What Happens When You Do Not Give Up

I just released a new song from my debut album and sexual assault awareness project, HUMAN. The song is titled "guts", and it is about never giving up on your dreams. Now, some of you may wonder what "never giving up on your dreams" has to do with sexual assault. It has plenty to do with sexual assault, and I explain how below.

After my sexual assault, I had a hard time envisioning my future. I was an 18-year-old who had just started college, and that one experience flipped my life upside down. My plan was to graduate with a business degree in four years, restart my father's record label, and become a successful musician as he did. Between the police, Title IX, court, and more, that plan did not work out.

So, I made a new plan. After struggling to survive at my first university, I transferred to a new one with a music industry program. My degree program required a lot of credits that I did not have, so I stayed in undergraduate school for two extra years. It took me six years to graduate from undergraduate school. Six years.

As I studied music, several people counted me out. They said many hurtful things, and one of those things was that I was behind because I did not try hard enough. They had no idea what happened to me and how much it still affected me. They had no idea how my "trying my best" could be different from other students' "trying their best." While other students could go out and perform every week, I was experiencing what I sing about in "legs." While other students could belt out Lady Gaga, I was fighting to feel safe enough in my body to sing. In the past few songs of HUMAN, I sang about sexual assault's effect on physical intimacy, body image, and the "mind." In "guts", I sing about sexual assault's effect on educations and careers.

As you can see, I did not let anyone stop me from reaching my dreams. I could not reach them the way that 18-year-old thought she would, but I kept trying different ways until I found God's way. Boyd Where Prohibited, which is the record label I release music through, is the next generation of my father's record label. I am a successful musician, and I hope to become more and more successful as I age.

No matter what you want to do in life, you can do it if it is meant for you to do. I hope that "guts" encourages you to keep going, no matter what.

You can stream and download "guts" at stopsexualassault.org/guts. You can also buy the "guts" t-shirt at stopsexualassault.org/store.