Life | Struggling With My Heritage

Hello!

If I am a having a great reading month, I can bang out two reviews at the most, but if I’m not, figuring out what I want to blog about can be somewhat difficult for me. I do believe the book and music posts are the heart of this site but I think what I miss about are personal stories. It could be what I eat in a day or a life lately update, as long as it is like you’re talking to your best friend, I love them! And that’s what I want to bring back to the blogging community for 2021.

So, let’s start this year off with a brand new series, called “Life”. I sort of felt like Sir David Attenborough at the beginning of those nature documentaries you see on BBC America a little as I was writing that sentence!


At the end of 2019, my mom and I were finally to get dad something he’s always wanted for the last two or years, and it was the AncestryDNA kit. The year before, I was relaying things about my nana’s results, because she was given the kit for Christmas the year before. The biggest difference between the two of them is that, we sort of knew where she was from as we have a detailed family tree and information for her, whereas with my dad, it has been a case of “maybe” since I was really young, so he was genuinely very happy to receive this, even though he has been worried that these companies will keep the DNA in case you are wanted by the CIA or FBI. I understand why he had this fear, and I feel like it’s not one that a lot of people make easily, but again, he was very excited to finally get some answers!

Honestly, he wasn’t the only one who was curious. I am interested in genealogy, as I watch almost every TV show about other people’s discoveries. I find them really neat, especially when people are introduced to certain ancestors that may not have been the best people in their lives. It is also cool to feel proud of these people being apart of important moments in history too! However, if you are only wanting to see the percentage of where your family came from, that’s fine! This tool gives a better insight of general areas you came from through your heritage.

When my nana had told all of us was stuff we already knew, well, what I knew at least. She has strong ties to the British isles, mainly Irish, but there was an even bigger number for the western part of Europe: Germany. For my nana, who was given up for adaption at the age of 2. After she was given to her parents, they were afraid that her older siblings would be able to find her and basically steal her back to her biological family, so she moved around a lot growing up and lived on the West Coast for the majority of her life before coming back to the Midwest where she met her husband, my papaw in the the early 60’s.

It wasn’t until the late 80’s that someone came and knocked on her door to ask her name and was told that she had been adopted. Now, it took a little bit for this news to sink in but in the next two years, she found out that she was one of 13 children to a German father, who was a traveling salesman (he used to make furniture) and a Irish stay at home mother. She was able to meet some of her siblings and their families as they held a reunion a year before I was born. So, as I grew up, I heard every stage of her life and it’s been permanently engraved into my brain. It wasn’t until I was out of high school did I become obsessed with learning more about my own ancestry.

As we were able to find loads of information on my mom’s parents, and how exciting it was to learn more about both sides, I figured going into my dad’s side would be the same, even though it was full of questions more than answers. He has always said that we were of Scottish and Welsh descent but then there was some folklore in there too. We could have been connected to Native Americans. I was very much into that side of the story, and wanted to learn so much about it, but nobody was sure on what tribe we came from or how it came about either. Every year in school, we would learn more about these people and I would be ecstatic about it! When I was in fourth grade, our class created a teepee on one side of the room and we were divided up into a group of four and had to come up with names that resembled something they would have been called in their tribe. I chose Sunflower and was thankful that nobody else picked it out for themselves!

While my dad kept track of the arrival of his results at the end of February, they answered things we knew but my heart shattered on the no mention of being related to Native Americans.

It was one thing to know that I wasn’t a descendent of these amazing people, but it was even a harder pill to swallow to know that I was a full on brute.

The start of 2020 was very difficult on my self-worth because I would literally torture myself as I silently retraced the steps of history’s most horrible people like, Adolf Hitler’s hatred towards the Jewish community and becoming a dictator and was able to convince all of Germany to be mean. They were beaten, forced to work in camps, starved, and murdered because of their difference in religion. Unfortunately, after all these years of Germany becoming liberated of the Nazi regime, many people are still weary of the country.

And the last, the English coming to the West Indies and creating colonies on lands that were already occupied by indigenous people. Instead of the reason being about their religion, it was because they were not like them. Everything about Native Americans scared them, so they took everything that belonged to them and massacred and gave no mercy to anyone, even mothers and children. The English also brought with them the cruelty of keeping black people in slavery to the already cursed country. This would prove a problem that lasted well after Abraham Lincoln read the Emancipation Proclamation and allowed them to become “free” and able to do things that their masters had long been doing since they came to the United States.

It is a blessing to know many parts of history, but it is so hard to digest everything that your distant relatives could have done, which was the main reason why I didn’t say anything to anybody until now. I often wonder what would they think of me. Would they be embarrassed or proud of the way I hold myself, think about certain things and most importantly my disability? Unfortunately, I will never be able to gain anything by keeping this thought around, because it’ll never be answered.

As frightening to know that I could have some very bad people connected to my DNA but I started to feel bad for only looking at that side of things. These events are unsettling; we still struggle with our past, but we must move on and make sure to change our ways so it doesn’t happen ever again. We don’t learn anything by forgetting these sometimes gruesome and upsetting tales, so I will let them live in a large chest that is already full to rim of things that I have experienced in my life already, and continue blossoming into this journey.

Have you had your DNA tested? If you have, did you find out anything that was unexpected? For those who haven’t done it yet, can you tell me one reason you haven’t done it yet?

EP Review: “Songs Of The Whispering Things” by ANÚNA

18486126_10155276817287387_2195937333209615149_nIf the name of the group sounds very familiar I added them to this year’s Tune Tuesday for Ireland. I just didn’t know they were going to release a new EP before I put up that post, so I thought I should go ahead and review it on here.

ANÚNA are a choral group made up by Irish singers, including their director and composer Michael McGlynn. Their music is made up of traditional Irish songs and hymns, plus some are completely new written by Mr. McGlynn as well. They tend to have an a Capella sound, less music and more about the message of the song itself. However in this EP they are working with the Ulster Orchestra. The songs were inspired by Irish poet Francis Ledwidge.

The first track is simply titled “May” and you mostly hear the most eternal sound in the world. I love choirs so much, so this is technically a weakness of mine! In these types of songs you basically have to pay attention to the words, this is actually one of Francis’s poems. It is a beautiful start. You hear everybody – unfortunately I don’t know anybody in the group besides Michael so I apologize there! The second is “Midnight” which features the Ulsters Orchestra, there is a beautiful female soloist but I do not know her name. Surprisingly, I love a men’s choir than an all girl’s, don’t ask me why. I’ve always been more amazed in a man’s voice in these more controlled moments in a choral atmosphere! It starts like a very plain a Capella song but then you can slowly hear the symphony chime in and I sensed a more exotic sound, like Chinese than Irish! I still like it though!

Next is “August” is a lot shorter than the first one. It is less than two minutes long, but it is very beautiful! I kind of felt this had a dark but romantic tone. I really liked that and thought it was interesting. Fourth was a song called “Behind The Closed Eye” which features Kenneth Edge, who plays saxophone. Another weakness I have! Surprisingly, it is an interesting instrument to place into a song like this. You’re used to only hearing a sax in jazz and blues music, not something such as Celtic music! I thought it was very neat! The song sort of has a dark undertone, so I think it gave it a lighter vibe to it.

After is “My Songs Shall Rise” and it is another track that is uses the whole choir. I think it was hauntingly beautiful, especially around these high notes! The next one is “Where All Roses Go” and it features the Ulster Orchestra again. This one has Michael as the soloist. I think this is another one with a dark tone. It has a more traditional Irish sound, and you can tell right away. I don’t know why but it gives me like it belongs on the battlefield, just the vibe I’m getting from it while hearing it through my headphones. Last one, I added this onto my June Playlist as the group’s song to be featured. I thought it was gorgeous but didn’t even realize it was new until like a day later. Anyways, it is called “When The War Is Over” and this has a more somber vibe to it. I’m feeling the same way I did with the previous track.

I think this type of music makes you appericate what a person can do with just their voice, because you’re basically getting the essentials with three of the tracks having various of instruments playing within them too. I mostly go with how I feel afterwards, since I’m programmed to look at the lyrics in that anymore I basically let my mind flow, which is why with these darker and somber tracks were taking me to places like battlefields, I just go wherever the sound takes me.

Are you a fan of ANÚNA? What do you think of their newest extended play?

snowflake

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Tune Tuesday | Ireland ’17

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Hi 🙂

This week we are discussing the music of Ireland!

If you are a long time reader of Got Meghan’s Blog you know how much love I have for Irish music! I think the traditional music in their native language Gaelic is very beautiful, it’s grown into one of my favorite languages of all time and I’m slowly but surely the translations and meanings of each song.

Anúna is a choral group composed by the man Michael McGlynn, It features both singers and musicians playing the music of Ireland to its earliest time. It was formed in 1987 and has a total of 17 albums and have three concerts on DVD. One of the famous Irish singers to have come out of Anúna is somebody you might’ve heard a lot on the radio back in 2015, Hozier was also apart of the group from the years 2009-2012. Several members of my favorite girl group Celtic Woman also hail from Anúna as well, like Méav Ní Mhaolchatha, Órla Fallon, Eahba McMahon, and newest member Tara McNeil as both singer and featured violinist.

The last singer I have to mention is Maria Doyle Kennady, if the name sounds familiar in some way, Maria is also an actress who appeared on The Tudors as Catherine of Aragon. I thought she was a beautiful woman to play such a fighting and religious queen in the Tudor times. Despite the fact that the real Catherine of Aragon wasn’t the typical Spanish princess. She wasn’t with dark hair and tanned skin, instead she had fair skin and amber hair! Anyways, Maria has been making music since the 1980s, performing in one band before moving onto another called The Black Velvet Band, they have only released two albums as she’s eight, but she’s still working on her newest album. She tends to have music in alternative, folk and rock.
If you know of any more Irish music that you think I should add to next year’s lineup, let me know! 

snowflake

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Tune Tuesday | Ireland 2016

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Howdy!

We’re back in Ireland this week! I’m so glad to be talking about Irish music again!

I remembered whenever I was going through the archives of my brain of different artists I could talk about for both USA and Australia! Somewhere along the way I stumbled upon Lesley Roy. Her music was a part of my teenage years. I want to say maybe 2006 or 2007! So long ago! While I was busy trying to find whatever happened to her I found out that she stopped singing and went back to songwriting for other artists! I was a little sad when I read that because she has such a real, deep, raspy voice that I felt was the Stevie Nicks of my generation despite the fact that she was in her mid-20s when she released her album Unbeautiful and as I was busy trying to look up videos to use, I also found nothing on her VEVO channel. So I had to result for fan made videos for this post!

Do you know of any other Irish musicians that I need to hear? Please send them to me!

Blogs That I Love #20

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Look what’s back!!

The last time I did one of these posts was in March, that seems like a really long time ago actually! I really miss doing these posts but I’ll be honest when I made my Bloglovin account at the beginning of the year, I didn’t think I would basically follow every blog in sight. I still do Twitter blog sprees too so I’ve been seeing a lot more posts than I probably should and I think I got too overwhelmed picking and choosing blogs to share on this series.

  1. Sarah In Wonderland – This girl is such a sweetie, like seriously! I have really appericated her friendship in the last couple of months. It’s kind of weird but interesting that we even became friends in the first place. We join the SpoonieSpeak chats on Fridays, sometimes she even hosts them! She has quite a few invisible disabilities but somehow we instantly clicked. As much as I wish she slept better at night, I do like our chats. Late afternoons for me, but really late night for her! She of course, lives on the opposite side of the world. She mainly talks about health, beauty and lifestyle topics. I usually read her disability posts than her other posts, but she has an amazing blog overall!
  2. Cardigan Jezebel – Meggan is another sweetie and I am a bit envious of her because she lives in Ireland at the moment. So imagine all of the gorgeous fall pictures for a second! She is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blogger. I really look forward to her blog posts, mainly the lifestyle posts, but I’m starting to like more of her fashion posts. Another feature she’s been talking about more is her obsession with hair dye. So far I haven’t guessed one damned color right!
  3. Heroine In Heels – Laura is one my favorite food/travel bloggers out there. If I could I would literally do a whole list of my favorite travel bloggers ever, you all would understand my wanderlust in a heartbeat! She talks about other topics too, like fashion and does reviews on restaurants, clubs, etc so if you read those posts before you’ve had anything to eat, you’ll be 10x more hungry than you first started out trust me!

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