There are so very many reasons why Amanda Palmer is my hero. The more I learn about her life philosophies and her journey to becoming the amazing woman and artist that she is, the more I wish I could have found her when I was a timid, broken teenager desperate for love and affirmation. Because though Amanda would probably admit that she was also desperate for love and affirmation as a teen, she was anything but timid. She was, and is, larger than life, taking up space in the world, making no apologies for who she is, going after life with every ounce of her energy and her fathomless heart.

If there’s one thing I want my teenage self to know, that Amanda Palmer reminds me of every time I hear her music or read her blog, it’s that it’s OK to take up space in the world, to make noise, to make a mess, and to be different. When I was growing up, the only thing I wanted more than to be accepted was to be noticed… by anyone. But I was so afraid of the negative sides to being noticed by the “wrong” people that I spent all my time being as small and undetectable as possible.

Amanda Palmer is the exact opposite of that, and I think that she always has been. I love her for the way that her music, her art, and her life philosophy encourages me to step out of my own comfort zone and to take up space that was meant for me. Everyone needs someone like that, a larger-than-life hero that inspires them to be brave. And the world could use more artists who make space for other artists, who lift others up as they reach for the stars themselves.

So when I realized that AFP herself had shared my blog post about not shaving, I want you to visualize exactly how that moment went down for me.

 If you haven't seen  Kristen Bell melt down  over the fact that a sloth was coming to her birthday party, I highly highly recommend it!!
If you haven’t seen Kristen Bell melt down over the fact that a sloth was coming to her birthday party, I highly highly recommend it!!

When your hero takes the time to not only read what you’ve written, but also to share it and her supportive comments with her entire network… that’s an emotional moment. I’m not even a little bit ashamed that I was so overcome with joy.

But I mean seriously, who could ask for a better hero than that?

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 Me and Brushy One String after GlobalFEST at the Mondavi Center on 4/7/2016
Me and Brushy One String after GlobalFEST at the Mondavi Center on 4/7/2016

Brushy is a new hero; I’ve only known of him for a few months. But I have to tell you, if there was ever an example of someone who clung to his dreams and made art out of what some, more privileged people might have mistaken for nothing, it’s Brushy.

If you ever think that you don’t have the resources to reach for your dreams, just watch this video… seriously…

When I went to hear him play last night, I was excited, but I confess I expected it to be a kinda gimmicky performance. Boy was I ever wrong. Brushy’s voice, his presence on stage, and the lyrics of his songs bespoke deep emotion and experience that captivated me and challenged me. If only I could be so lucky as to channel that kind of energy and passion into my craft.

I am so inspired by someone who would take a guitar with only one string, teach himself to play and sing, and then go on an international music tour sharing his gifts with the world. His passion and emotion make me want to jump up and dance! And then get down to work because how dare I squander all the resources that I have and let my own dreams pass by.

Thank you Brushy! Thank you for being you, fabulously dressed in all your bling and cowboy hat last night, singing your heart out on stage for us, not giving up your one string because you thought more would make you better… you’re amazing. Your energy and commitment to your craft are infectious. You’re definitely one of my heroes.