What is your favorite rainy day activity?
I think my favorite rainy day activity is probably staying inside and either listening to music or playing guitar.
I’m still learning guitar, and I play a few instruments. When I was younger I tried to learn, but it didn’t really work out, so I was like, “I’m gonna give this another shot.” In my apartment my windows are like right next to my bed, and when it rains, I like to open the windows and listen to music. I don’t know, it’s just a comforting thing, and it’s the same with playing guitar.
It’s like a really good answer. So, how long have you been playing guitar?
Like 6 months now.
Do you take classes here? Or just kind of self-taught?
I’m just teaching myself. Yeah. Some of my friends gave me tips. I practice chord progressions, and that’s really helpful with playing songs. Like I started off knowing nothing about chords, so I was just looking up songs with three chord progressions and it has helped a lot, especially playing songs that you like. One of the first songs I learned was Jolene, and it’s only four chords, and it’s so easy. That’s kind of the song that I always start off with because it’s so easy, so it just gets myself warmed up.
So what’s your favorite song to play?
I don’t know, but when I first started playing back in sixth grade, my mom got me these two books and they’re all Beatles songs. It has all the chords, and one of my favorite things is to go through and play all the songs I knew as a kid, like “Yellow Submarine” and “I’ll Follow the Sun.” Those are probably some of my favorites to play.
I saw that you have a tattoo.
Yeah, it actually says “I’ll follow the sun.” Last February, my great-grandmother passed away, and it really hurt. She called me her sunshine, it was always “oohh my sunshine,” and “I love you, my sunshine.” She was a WWII survivor. She lived in France when the Nazis came in. She didn’t talk about it a lot, but her family had to live in the sewers and steal food and clothes. I got really close to her, and I really looked up to her, because she was such a strong woman. So in high school I took French because of her, and I tired to learn so we could speak in French together, but it didn’t really work out because she had a thick southern french accent and I could never understand her. She had Alzheimer’s, and last February I just remember I was in class in the Wren, and my mom texted me, “There’s something going on.” At the same time, my sister was pregnant and my first thought was, “Oh my God, there’s something wrong with the baby.” I was like, “What’s going on?” And my mom asked me if I was in class and I said, “Yeah, but just tell me.” And she was like, “Meme’s not doing well.” And I just got up and left class because I kind of knew at that point. She was 91. Actually this fourth of July she’ll be 93, so, yeah, it just really hurt. I don’t know. I felt like the family on that side didn’t care for her that much, to most of them she was a burden, and knowing how much she loved me, I feel like I didn’t do enough. I didn’t call her enough, I didn’t send her enough letters, I didn’t tell her enough how much I loved her. After that, I just wanted to get something to really remember her.
I really wanna get a kite tattoo in honor of my grandmother, so as soon as you said that, I definitely understand where you’re coming from.
It’s really pretty, too.
Thank you, I actually just got it done three weeks ago. It’s been something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now, probably since last February. And my best friend goes to VCU Arts, so over spring break, I asked her to draw me something, like just a simple sun, and I just told her, “Just draw.” So we were at lunch, and she drew this and it was so much more than I thought. I was thinking a lot more simplistic, but when I saw it, I was like, “God, that’s what I want.”
That’s great because, then, you have your friend aspect in there, and it really means something to you.
Yeah, this is probably my favorite tattoo. Last May, I got one on my foot and it’s in my mom’s handwriting. It says “ILYTIAB,” and it’s something we say to each other. It means “I love you to infinity and beyond.” But even as much as that one means to me, I love this one. I look at it constantly.
So it seems like these tattoos always mean a lot to you.
I’ve only gotten three tattoos, and I’m definitely not against tattoos that just look cool. Like tiger sharks are my favorite, and I love sharks. I wanna get one of an outline of a tiger shark, but the tattoos that I’ve gotten so far are really important to me. I guess I really love tattoos because I can show people what’s important to me. People always ask about tattoos whenever they see them, so I get to tell a story with it, and that’s one of my favorite things.
Thank you so much for talking with us.