Geena Kloeppel
Bonn, Germany

Illustration by
Miho Tomimasu

Hi Geena,

Remember that time when you were 15 and your family asked you what you wanted to study in college, and you said "Popular Music"? I do too. I also remember the look on their faces as you grinned; they smiled those "here's-hoping-she-outgrows-this-phase-soon" smiles. I know it made you feel unsure of yourself and your music for a period of time. Don't let it tear you down. Self-doubt made you stronger and more committed to your goal. Two years have passed and look how much has changed since then! Not only do they now support you, but they have also come to understand why you're taking such risks. Quite an accomplishment, so far!

The "songwriting thing" - I hope you've turned it into more than a hobby. If you didn't, you may be regretting it now. If you get the chance to make music for a living, go for it!!!! I would be upset if you didn't believe in yourself enough to give your dream at least one shot. You need to give yourself a chance to make something you love into something larger than just a pastime.

Even if things turn out differently than you'd like, life will go on. You will keep writing; I've watched you become addicted to music and fall in love with sounds and words over and over again. And trust me, you will find people that understand why music makes you who you are.

I hope you released that record you always dreamed of making. I hope you are inspiring and comforting people with your music. Music is there for everyone, whether it be a collection of sounds that people dance to, or the ballads that help them fall asleep at night. You always try hard to make others feel good about themselves, but you can’t please everyone. Remember that music can't be about pleasing everyone. Be passionate, and strive to improve yourself, and you will make your way in life.

I'm proud of you, even though I haven't met you. Isn't that strange? I stand behind you 100% in all of the decisions you make in the future. Always do what makes you happy, and keep feeling as excited as you felt when you were nine years old and held a guitar for the first time.

You got this.

With love,


August 2013