Photography by Cat Coppenrath

When was the first time you saw one other?

B: Back in October, a friend of mine wanted to throw a house concert in my front yard. He gathered together a couple of artists that he had never met but had admired, and one of those artists was Julianna. 

As soon as she walked in, I was so drawn to her. 

I immediately hopped up to help her get her gear out of the car and then proceeded to try to hide in the corner for the rest of the night. Part of the reason was that she was intimidating and part because I was still recovering from a concussion and social interaction was super tiring. But she kept cracking jokes in my direction and being relentlessly warm, and that was that.

J: Only my second week in San Diego, I befriended a banker from Wells Fargo [who I went on a date with] while cashing some savings bonds [I was short on rent] and he got me in contact with another musician in town. That musician, who is now a great friend, booked me for the house show at Becka’s place.

It was my first show in San Diego since moving.

After that night, I kept booking gigs, and Becka kept coming to them. Before long I realized that my pre-show nervousness wasn’t exclusively music-related. It was that striking girl with the dark eyes sitting criss-cross in the grass.

What is your favorite memory together?

J: There was one day we spent up north in San Francisco where we did absolutely whatever we wanted for 12 whole hours while zig-zagging along the Barbary coast trail. It was perfect drizzly Bay Area weather and we shared an umbrella — one person holding the stem and the other reading from the much-too-detailed hiking pamphlet we had towed in for the occasion. With that and her sister’s DIY food tour as a guide, we turned what we planned to be a 3-hour hustle into a 7-hour mosey where neither of us worried about what we might be missing or who we might be disappointed with our incredible lateness.

Both Becka and I are dyed in the wool people-pleasers, so this was some kind of unspoken miracle. I think we both knew it was important to show the other person that we could spend the currency of an entire day just on us. And we did. And it was PURE MAGIC. 

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?

B: I think we were raised very differently, especially in terms of how we greet an obstacle. Personally, I’m more comfortable bulldozing through someone how doesn’t quite see eye to eye with me. 

J: On my side of the sandwich, there have been some members of my family that have been upset by the makeup of our relationship.

This is my first same-sex anything, and it definitely jostled a few close to me when Becka and I started dating, which in turn jostled me quite a bit [since I never upset anybody…pretty much ever].

It’s a scary feeling to be critiqued on something so personal! Sort of makes you want to jump ship all the time, and that has not been a fun kind of rollercoaster for Becka [bless her] as I’ve wrestled with the heaviness of constant opposition.

But, it is getting better.

Now, as opinions pour in on whether Becka and I should be together [which seems to keep on happening – seriously please stop], I’ve had to learn how to turn the volume down on those perspectives and trust that this thing we have been building together is indeed good and also trust that nobody really has a say to tell us otherwise. My mom always tells me that nobody lives behind the door of your heart, and the door of your home, but you – those are places that are sacred and absolutely up to you.

So here we are, behind the doors of our hearts, learning to choose what we know is a good thing every day [and anybody who says otherwise can stay out on the stoop].

Tell us your favorite thing about one another

B: My favorite thing about Julianna is how she interacts with people. She gives each person this open, undivided attention. Before we started dating, I loved watching her talk to people, whether that be someone after her show or the person making her sandwich. She immediately makes people comfortable and gives them space to be genuine.

J: Becka has these tiny crystals from when she was in kindergarten that she hangs in her window so it makes rainbows on her bedroom wall.

Since we first met, she’s been stopping me mid-sentence to look at the light bobbing up and down through those little crystals.

Becka does that a lot. She has this incredible patient anticipation for beauty.

She made me hold a crab once, [something I’m not too keen about and would never think to do on my own] and made me really pause to look at it. I wasn’t convinced at first, but then she just had me wait and watch it wiggle around a bit before I shook it off my palm. And the little guy has been burned in my memory ever since — I found the joy and beauty in that little crab.

She especially does this with the kids she works with in equine-assisted therapy. She is just so full of play and discovery and warm plushy goodheartedness. And there is nothing I love more than watching her patients tend to the tiny crystals in these kiddos and revel in those moments when they catch the light and spill over with color. 

What’s in the future for you both?

B: I graduated grad school in May with my MS in Early childhood mental health. So I’m looking forward to finding time to relax without homework and exams hanging over my head. I’m hoping to find more time to spend with my horse and all the important people in my life. And of course, find a job.

J: I have a few music projects rolling out through the summer, so I’ll be tending to that little garden as it grows. Releasing music is pretty much one of the scariest things you can do, so I have a lot of courageous vulnerability to parse out over 2019. I’ll also hopefully continue to find my rhythm here in San Diego as an artist and human – still feeling a bit like a newbie over here!

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

B: A friend once gave me the advice that relationships aren’t 50-50, they’re actually 100-100. There are days that you won’t be able to give anything to your partner and there are days that they won’t be able to give anything to you. And on those days you might need everything from your partner. Don’t get so focused on exact fairness and be more ready to create something awesome and supportive.


Photography by Cat Coppenrath