[By Guest Blogger, Kyna Wise, Lead Singer of The Go Ahead]
I have a lot of love for the members of Sit Kitty Sit, Mike and Kat. I came upon them by chance at a show that my band was on the same bill for. It was at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, which was funny because we all are from San Francisco. I watched them, jaw open the entire time. I’d stare at Kat, entranced by her piano playing and her strong voice, then switch to Mike getting completely lost in his effortless ability to do impossible things on the drums. The two of them, very literally, made me cry by the end of their set. I was “fan-girting” so hard watching them, I didn’t have time to dream about ever becoming their friend.
A month later, I get an unexpected email. It’s from Kat and she is inviting me to sing on their album, Everlasting Fire. The joy that pulsed through me while reading this was unprecedented. For the first time in my life as a musician, I became a peer to people outside of my band, to two people I deeply admire and looked up to. Man, I could write for a very, very long time describing how monumental that recording process was for me as an artist but I digress. At the end of the recording session, Kat held my hands, looked me in the eye and said, “You’re family now”.
I knew immediately how real that sentiment was.
There’s the family we are born with and the family we choose. In my experience, the respect we give to our chosen family is very different than that of our born one. Perhaps its because we don’t have blood to demand the respect, love, and trust in our chosen family, therefore those three things somehow feel more real, more concrete, more earned. I am heartbroken to admit that I violated that trust with Kat. But I did. And because I truly love, trust, and respect her, it deeply matters to me that I did this. I can’t imagine how it made her feel for me to violate that love.
But like any real family, we move on from it. I was in a place where I wasn’t trusting even myself. You could tell by the relationships I was choosing to be a part of, the anxiety I was feeling, the mistakes I was making, I wasn’t loving myself. I was choosing not to trust myself.
Woo, boy. Self Love.
I get frustrated. It’s very easy for me to love other people even when I’m showing signs of not loving myself. The maternal instinct of taking care of others before me runs deep. I never saw a problem with a trait like that until I met Kat. From her stories and tales of the life she has lead, I was finally able to internalize the cliche concept of “You can’t truly love anyone else until you truly love yourself.” I always thought, “No, I can, I do. Don’t devalue the love I have for someone else because I’m not loving myself”. Watching Kat in her world, watching her rituals of self- care and self-respect opened my eyes. Without self-care, self- love, self- trust, it’s really hard to navigate what to do in a situation when someone has wronged you. Should you get mad? Revenge? Should you let it slide and feel taken advantage of? Should you believe them? Should you not say anything and build unspoken resentments leading to jealous and paranoid thoughts? Do you need space? How much space? I learned through this experience by how Kat handled me, how loving oneself and respecting oneself can help one get through being hurt in a mentally sound way. Understanding one’s self completely makes trust and alternatively forgiveness so much easier to acquire for the people you love when they hurt you. Having that complete understanding also helps realize the boundaries that you need to set in order to make sure you are respecting yourself within a relationship with someone. It’s entirely necessary to have this understanding of your own self in order to move forward in any relationship honestly.
Love is a funny thing. It makes us angry, it hurts us, it disappoints us. But, when you have a solid relationship with yourself, you can understand all that love is and accept it in all of its chaos. Work with it. Love IS constant, it is NOT perfect, it IS okay to forgive the people you love. You can rebuild trust infinitely. I’m realizing that trust, like love, is constantly being redefined through life. It’s always evolving. I’m excited to see how my love, trust, and respect continues to grow with Sit Kitty Sit. This family that I was initiated into has taught me so much about what it means to be a good, accountable, and TRULY loving person. I can’t express my gratitude. Not in a blog, not in a song, not nowhere.
Good people, love yourself, forgive yourself, apply that love to as many people as you can. I promise it feels better than any negative response to a negative situation. Thank you, Kat and Sit Kitty Sit for being shining examples of that kind of real fucking love.