Things I Learned the Hard Way & Why Music Still Matters.
Oh my blog, I’m actually writing again! (So bad, sorry. I never know how to start these things). So much has happened since I last posted: good, bad, exciting, heartbreaking – it’s hard to know where to begin. But I guess I’ll start with the big stuff. Now this one might get heavy, so if you’re someone that’s fed up of seeing “depressing” stuff all over your news feeds then see ya later (but before you go .. sort it out. This is the world, let’s not pretend this stuff isn't happening). Still reading? Great, you’re my kind of person.
For the past maybe month or so, it seems like here in the U.K everyday we've woken up to more tragedy. An attack at a pop concert, terrorism on London Bridge, the horrific loss of life at Grenfell Tower, more terrorism in Finsbury Park … it’s not been an easy month to “keep calm and carry on.” As an individual with what feels like very little power of influence, it’s hard to know what to do to make it better. With that said though, I find it mind blowing when people really do just carry on like nothing happened. Posting selfies, promoting themselves, turning a blind eye to the fact that just as easily they too could have just lost all their possessions, a family member, or even their own life. For a couple of days, particularly in the aftermath of the first attack in Manchester, I felt paralysed by my feelings about it. Maybe something to do with the connection of that incident with music and young people, broke my heart in a way that I couldn’t quite grasp. I wasn’t there, I didn’t lose anyone, but still I couldn’t think of anything else. I felt helpless to what was happening in the world around me.
In the midst of all of this, I was about to release a project that I’d put my heart and soul into for over a year. My energy and focus was supposed to be all about that but instead I felt like maybe I shouldn’t even bother. What does it matter in the grand scheme of things? How dare I try and draw any attention to this thing, when it feels like everyone should be grieving. I sat with this thought for a couple of days, wondering why it was I seemed to feel the tragedy of these events so deeply when I wasn’t there, what I could do to make it any better, and wondering if there was any significance in the fact this was all happening at the same time. Everything about the project lived up to it’s name, “Things I Learned the Hard Way,” so what on earth was I supposed to be learning here?
It struck me then, that even with the world feeling like it's falling apart, of course there’s value in creativity. Even if no one hears it, even if it’s just something that I made because I wanted to. Just having the freedom and the opportunity to do that is a really remarkable thing, and something that should be celebrated (even if only by me!). I watched the One Love Manchester concert in tears, amazed at how music can still bring people together in the darkest of times. And that’s why it matters. I was reminded of why I do literally allow my whole world to revolve around writing and music and creating. Because, that’s what I’m meant to do, and that’s how I’m meant to help. I know that effort might seem pathetic in comparison to the help provided by a nurse, a police officer, a fire fighter … but maybe through writing I can help someone heal, help someone feel good for a minute in the midst of pain or help someone remember that special person they lost. I really hope that one day I can create something that has a big enough influence to really have an impact. Maybe I sound like a pageant girl telling the audience that I’m wishing for world peace, but after the past month, I don’t care. I honestly think there are individuals given big enough purpose and vision to make a difference in the world, and if that’s your path in life you probably need to unashamedly put it out there. So, Hi World, for how ever long I’m around or on whatever scale, I’m going to try and make a difference here.
I felt a little embarrassed writing that. Deleted it a couple of times. Imagined people reading it and laughing, thinking who does this girl think she is! But I also reckon if I was a huge star, or philanthropist, or politician saying it then people would probably think it was OK and not so cringe worthy. Hey, we all have to start somewhere, and we can’t scale down the vision because you think no one cares!
“No one cares” was actually the most common phrase to come out of my mouth making my project. And that fact probably sits top of the list of Things I Learned the Hard Way. It seemed like people close to me didn’t care, people I wanted to count on for support didn’t care, the industry didn’t care, the public wasn’t going to care … But you know who really really cared? ME. And actually that was what really mattered all along. I had an idea, I made it happen, and the rest is out of my control. No matter what it’s another step in the journey, and hopefully that’s one leading to something big.
So yeah, I’m happy with being here, starting small, where I’m at, and I’ll keep writing, creating, and trying to make a difference in whatever way, big or small, that I can. And that, is how the last month taught me the hard way, why I started this, and why I’ll finish.
Massive thanks to everyone that’s listened to TILTHW so far, and to all of the artists and producers involved. You can download or stream it from all major platforms now.
Below you can find a number of links to support the causes I mentioned in this post. Please support them if you can.