Everything I Need

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

14 October 2021

If you had the chance to read my post last week, or happen to own a calendar, you likely know it’s October. October is the beginning of autumn and arguably the most flamboyant month in the Northeast. October is also Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In honor of the last, I’ll be walking at my local domestic violence shelter’s fundraising walk on Sunday, October 17.  And if you can donate your time or money to any of the causes above, I encourage you to.

 This October

October 12, 2021, is the day one of my favorite musical artists, Kina Grannis, released her latest album, It’s Hard to Be Human. I started listening to Kina in 2009 when YouTube introduced me to her cover of Simon and Garfunkle’s The Sound of Silence. Aside from her incredible voice, once I got to know more about her – through her writing and vlogging – I was drawn to her honesty and openness. She shares her struggles openly. She shares her humanness. This is a quote from Kina’s Facebook page, when she shared her new album:

 “these three years have been so chock-full of humanness. they broke me open and filled me up over and over again, taught me incredible lessons (and then taught them to me again every time i inevitably forgot what i had learned), and gave me such an incredibly deep love and compassion for all humans going through their stuff. my “stuff” may have looked a certain way these past years, but as humans, the raw experiences we go through—love, loss, joy, despair, existential overwhelm, etc, really bind and bond us in our humanness. this record is a meditation on lost dreams, hope, surrender, and the ultimate realization that we have everything we need.

 Love, Loss, Joy, Despair, Existential Overwhelm

When Kina mentions her “stuff”, she is referring to her journey with infertility, miscarriage, and IVF. While I’ve never experienced her particular struggle, I’ve certainly been close with people who have. It’s easy to empathize with women who face these struggles. I have two beautiful children, and I couldn’t imagine life without them. But I have experienced my own love, loss, despair, and existential overwhelm. If we’re being honest, I think we all have. And as Kina says, if we really home in on our experiences it can bind and bond us.

We can’t possibly know the struggles of others absolutely. But we can choose to be either compassionate or uncaring. We can choose to ignore or reject things we don’t understand or curiously listen to others explain them to us. We can accept the message of the loudest voices or learn to listen to the quiet. Here’s a lyric from Kina Grannis’s song, Quiet:

How was I supposed to get by?
Pick myself up, say it’s alright, alright
I didn’t know it was fine
I didn’t know it was fine to be quiet

On the eve of my 37th birthday, I can officially say I’ve learned a similar lesson. It’s fine to be quiet, especially because I have everything I need.

What do you need? What do you hear in the quiet?