“Who We Are” – Tyrone Wells

I’ve mentioned before that Tyrone Wells is my favorite singer/songwriter. I’ve been to tons of his live shows, his music always touches my heart and played a small part in helping me get out of a toxic relationship (read more here.) Today he released a new single called Who We Are and you should run, not walk to go listen to it.

I was alone in the hospital, just days after I was diagnosed last year, and Tyrone hosted a live performance on his instagram which was so perfectly timed with what was going on in my life. So I reached out to him on insta and thanked him. From there he would occasionally check in and see how I was doing and started following my cancer journey. (Side note: I know some people have a problem with the word “journey” when talking about their cancer experience but I think it’s pretty accurate and don’t hate it at all). Anywhooo back to my story- earlier this year Tyrone asked for my email to send an unreleased song and holy moly what a thoughtful gift. I immediately burst into tears because every bit of that song spoke to my soul. He said if I liked the song, it could be a sort of an anthem and he was 100% correct. I thanked him for thinking of me and said how it completely resonates with my life but it’ll touch so many people as well. He said I was the first person outside his work crew and family to hear it. Wow how special. This whole cancer thing really sucks but there have been some really beautiful moments to come out of it and this was one of them.

I told all my closest friends to listen to the song today and they all wrote me back saying they got chills.

The bridge goes “I will turn the pain into tears of gold, I’m not caving in, I’m not letting go. When I hear them say, that it can’t be done, I’m not laying down, I will overcome.”

You have to hear it because the whole song is powerful.

Last week, I was flying from Oahu to Maui which is a 40 min flight in a 12 passenger plane and I kid you not, I listened to this song on repeat the whole ride. It was really hard to keep the tears from falling down my face in that tiny airplane. I was also on Decadron which makes me super emo… I was so moved that he shared it with me and thought about me and my journey. I also thought about all I have been through this past year. The months in the hospital alone, the night in the ICU where I almost died, the pain, the nausea, the anxiety, the sleepless nights, learning how to walk again, the isolation, and everything in between. I still have bruises on my stomach from shots I got over six months ago. I see them every day and it’s a reminder of where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. I was also flying from a weekend with one of my college roomates on Oahu (which is such a special place to me- where I went to college and had the time of my life) to Maui for my nephews 10th birthday party with the rest of my family. I am beyond grateful I survived this past year and get to celebrate these unfortettable moments.

view from the puddle jumper

I didn’t share much of the absolute worst days with ya’ll because 1. I was so stinking sick and 2. I didn’t want to scare you with horrible details. But know that it sucked. You can’t control what happens to you but you can control how you react and I chose and am choosing to smile through the pain and always seek the good in every situation. Plus, this whole experience has made me stronger and I can only image who I will be after I’m done with all of this. Speaking of, even though it’s more than a year away, I am planning an epic end of treatment bash where maybe I can convince Tyrone Wells to perform this song… lol dream big, right?

K now go listen.

“I believe, yes I believe it. I can see, yes I can see it. Though I’m not there yet, I lift up my head. I believe, yes I believe it. I can see, yes I can see it. Every bruise and every scar makes us who we are.

Songs about the SUN – Playlist

It’s raining in California this week. It’s also day three hundred bazillion of quarantine so it’s time to make a playlist that can transport me to happier times. ( I’m actually ok. I’m healthy. I have a great home to self distance in with a view of the ocean. I’m being dramatic.)

The lyrics to Ben Harper’s song really resonates with my spirit… “she’s only happy in the sun” because TRUTH!

Pretty sure J Boog’s song, Sunshine Girl, is about me.

Anyway here’s a list of songs about the sun that will hopefully make you smile and dance and forget there’s a worldwide pandemic happening.

Love and light! lol

Tyrone Wells Changed My Life

Tyrone Wells just did an Instagram Live tonight to try and bring people together during this crazy time. His music has been the soundtrack to my life; has brought me joy on sad days, smiles on good days and everything in between.

Listening to him sing tonight brought a flood of emotions and allowed me to reflect on a time I’ve tried to block out of my memory.

One of my best friends, Caroline, introduced me to Tyrone Wells’ music when we were 15 years old when he came to play at her high school. Living in a major music city, we often went to his shows around town at Neumos, Chop Suey and other small music venues in Seattle. 

Then I went to Hawaii for college and his wife was from the islands so they would do small shows during the holidays for friends and family and it was like a little treat from home. I would listen to his music on repeat. I’ve even had the same alarm clock song for years. I wake up every morning to the lyrics…”You Make the World a Beautiful Place to Be.” 

After I graduated, I got into a really unhealthy relationship with someone that took advantage of a young, naive, lost girl. I was a strong independent woman but this man found me when I was at my weakest and manipulated me in a way that I no longer knew who I was. Over about 9 months, I lost my voice and identity, was cut off from my friends and family and was stuck in a really low place. It was an extremely emotionally abusive relationship. Deep down I knew I deserved better but I somehow got to a point where I didn’t know how to get out. I pushed my family away when they tried to help. I had friends that came to visit that didn’t even recognize me. I tried to leave him several times but was always lured back in. I won’t go into details but it was a terrible time in my life.

One day I was talking to Caroline on the phone and she had just come to Oahu for a visit and I only got to see her for a little bit because my boyfriend would accuse me of doing something inappropriate if I didn’t check in and return home as quick as possible. She was bummed we didn’t get to hang out much while she was in town and was telling me that Tyrone Wells was filming a music video in Venice Beach the next day and was looking for extras and that she wished I could fly there to go with her. I then hung up with her and immediately got in a fight with my boyfriend about something ridiculous. I called my mom crying and told her about my conversation with Caroline. Her and my relationship was pretty strained at this point because I was cutting everyone off. But she called me back about 5 minutes later and said to pack my bags because I was on the next flight to LA. So I tweeted Tyrone telling him I was flying all the way from Hawaii to be in the video and at the shoot the next day he goes “Ok, so who flew here from Hawaii?” and I said, “I did! I got in a fight with my boyfriend and hopped on a flight” and he was like that’s rad and put me at the front of the group. It was such a fun day. I turned my phone off so my boyfriend couldn’t ruin my time. Then over the next few days Caroline had a serious talk with me about how I wasn’t the Keili she knew and loved and that I needed to get out of that relationship. She even told me I could live on her couch if it meant I left him. So I went back to Hawaii a few days later, packed up my stuff and moved to California. 

Please excuse my horrible outfit choice. Remember, I packed in 10 minutes.

I would not have made it through that time in my life if it hadn’t been for my amazing mother, my sweet Caroline and Tyrone Wells. 

About a year later, Caroline and I went to see Tyrone at the Roxy in LA and we waited around after the show to say hi. We introduced ourselves and he was like “Oh is your name Hawaiian?” and I said “Yes, I’m actually that girl who flew from Hawaii to be in the music video” and he goes “Oh yeah, what happened to the boyfriend?” And I said, “I dumped him” and he said “Great!”.  It felt like one of those full circle moments.

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen him live but I still get chills every single time. His music got me through one of the hardest times in my life. I truly couldn’t thank him enough ( & Mum and Caroline).

Go check out his music. We’re all feeling uneasy during this time and trust me, his music will soothe your soul.