Eight Months Later
Here I am, sitting in a Canadian coffee shop eight months later, finally finding the time to take a moment and reflect, relax, and just be. Maybe it’s because I’ve finally finished school for the year, or maybe it’s because I’ve been forced to take a break from music for an entire week. Maybe both. But either way, I thought it deemed an acceptable time to check back in and share some insight on my musical journey in regards to where it has brought me, where I have been, and where I hope to go. Because let me tell you, this past year has brought a world of change and new territory that I never would have imagined I’d be trekking through.
Releasing “Poetry & Stars” was a feeling like none other. I’m not sure it’s possible for me to ever feel that way about a song again. The whirlwind of hope and excitement mixed with my intrigue of the unknown… there was no way to know where my journey would go at this point, let alone where it would begin.
And then all of the sudden it began and just kept going.
At times it has been, and still is, difficult for my mind to refrain from sampling whichever negativity and doubt seems most appealing at the time. To refrain from wandering around in comparison and fear. To hold myself up and remain doused in hope. But it is an incredible feeling to see something so close to my heart affect people in such a way that impacts who they are. No matter how many people that may be. Every single person who reached out to me over this past year shed a bright light into the center of whatever type of day I may have been having. For someone to go out of their way to reach out and let you know that they connect with what you have created makes it all worthwhile. And on top of that, people from different countries telling me that my music reached them still continues to amaze me.
People often ask me what it’s like to pursue music while still being in school. Well, I could write a novel on that. In the simplest way I am capable of, let me break it down for you: it takes a lot of sacrifice, dedication, and most importantly, great people who are there to help and support you through it all. I’m not going to pretend I’ve done a perfect job at maintaining the right balance of each aspect of my life. At times, I’ve let certain areas of my life outweigh the others. It has really taken a great deal of time to learn how to prioritize what is most important to me and sacrifice some other aspects.
Some weeks I would go without writing or working on any music, and those were the lows in my year. I was really forced to single out what was making me feel off, and when setting aside time to work on music I was able to identify this as the missing piece. My dependency on music and songwriting truly shined through this past year and it really became evident to me how much my heart longs for it. This factored into switching my major to Music Studies, which has allowed me to enjoy my education more than I ever have.
For the future, I am hopeful. Sometimes it feels like I am drowning in which song to work on, though this isn’t exactly a bad problem to have. The songs I have yet to release are raw and jam-packed full of the times in my life this past year which stood out, whether good or bad. Being able to release my emotions and process through songwriting is a game-changer, and honestly I am often shocked to see where I was at in the past in relation to where I am now. To see what I’ve gone through but, in fact, got through. These songs are reminders of hope. Reminders to not dwell on your present failures, but on your future successes.
What I’d like to leave with you all are some of the things that I learned this past year, though this list is ever-changing. I know now what I didn’t just a week ago, and I’m sure next week I’ll know something I didn’t today. Because that’s just how it works. And once you become content with this truth, life becomes a much more enjoyable learn-as-you-go experience that we can all take part in together.
- Be real. People are going to respect you and connect with you more if you are real with them. Being yourself with others invites them into being themselves with you. There’s no need to fake it.
- Look up. Don’t stay so focused on yourself at all times. It’s truly a breath of fresh air to take a minute and focus on something other than yourself. It adds perspective and can really allow you to see the world differently.
- Support others. Simply put, it’s not a competition. There’s room for all of us at the top, whether or not you believe so.
- Don’t go the easy route. Easy is never worth it in the end, and will never bring the satisfaction and results that you are longing for.
- Stay hopeful. Something I often do to remind myself of this is I will ask myself, “When was there a situation that I got through, which I felt I never would?” And let me tell you, I can name about a hundred.
- Challenge yourself. You are capable of much more than you realize. Just because something is difficult or frustrating doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile.
- Rest. Don’t burn yourself out. Life can be stressful and the only way to not feel overrun and overwhelmed is to leave yourself time to be still.
- Stay true to yourself and your values. Nothing is ever worth changing who you are. There will always be people who may try to change you, but something that no one can ever take away from you is who you are. So don’t let them.
This is Me
Music has always been a huge part of my life, and if you know me at all, you are well aware of this. Oftentimes throughout my life, people have asked when I began singing and making music. This always brought me some sort of confusion because I wasn’t sure how to respond– I have simply always known music. I have been singing and writing songs for as long as I can remember, and began learning piano at age five. Recently I have been watching home videos, and many exhibit just this– singing made up songs at four years old, telling the camera that I want to be a rockstar when I grow up.
My passion and drive for music didn’t just stir up one day, and there was never a single instant of revelation that I wanted to pursue music. Being a musician has always been a dream in my heart and is a part of who I am.
I am not lying when I say that I was a pretty bad singer in my younger days, however. If you’ve seen any videos from those performances, you would agree. It amazes me to look back and see that I continued performing in front of people even when I was told by my peers that I wasn’t good…. and let’s be real, middle schoolers can be brutal. My first year of high school was when I finally began receiving affirmation and praise for my voice, and I can’t bear to imagine where I would be now if I had listened to those before and let it affect my decision to continue pursuing my passion.
Many people may look at me now and think that I am crazy to believe something so rare is possible. That I am spending so much time and effort pursuing music when there is such a low probability of it becoming my occupation. But this is just who I am– I will give my all and if that does not show results, at least I know there was not an ounce more I could have put in to result differently. To let anyone’s opinions have an effect on my actions is not who I am.
My expectations are not high, though my dreams reach further than I could ever see. Releasing my first single is a huge step for me and I honestly cannot wait to keep sharing more. Each song holds a little bit of my heart within it, and to be so vulnerable and reveal that with the world can be scary. But I honestly am only full of excitement to do so. I know that if I don’t give music my 100% now, I will always look back wishing I had, wondering what could have been.
We all have one life to live here on earth, and regardless of how my music does and where it goes, it will always be out in the world as a representation and piece of who I am.
Doing what you truly love is something that not all of us have the chance to do, but this is my shot at it. I believe in following my dreams, no matter the outcome, and I encourage you to do the same. I am so excited to not only begin sharing my music with the world, but to continue sharing insight into each song and more of who I am.