Ladies and gentlemen,
I'm sure the title of this post gave my mom a small heart attack. And fair, it's a little over dramatic. But it got you here, didn't it? It's less that I don't want to go home for the holidays, and more that there is a small caveat that keeps me from being fully immersed in the idea of going back to Toronto.
Because of this caveat, I would like to direct this post primarily at my older readers (and dedicate it to all my graduating readers). I know you're out there; my aunts, my uncles, my family friends, and the other individuals who have stumbled their way on to this page. This is for you. Okay, now that I've beaten around the bush enough, I guess it's time to release the tension and let you know why I'm a little hung up on this idea of going home.
When I go home for the holidays, there are a series of social events to attend. Traditions of Christmas parties and holiday festivities that I am so excited to participate in. I get to see so many people that I only see once or twice a year. However, considering I rarely see all of these people there is an obligatory amount of small talk that goes on. And adults love to ask a very specific question to university students:
So, what are you going to do when you graduate?
And I will answer it right now:
I have no fucking idea.
How "no idea"? Only the unique amount of uncertainty that comes with having a degree in a field you have no intent in pursuing. The kind of uncertainty that make you physically nauseous and you're pretty sure you just spent ungodly amounts of money to walk across a stage so a stranger can hand you a very expensive piece of paper. That kind of uncertainty.
And I’ve heard all the follow up questions. The most common being “if you don’t want to go into neuroscience, why are you getting a degree in neuroscience?” And to that I say, thank you reader, that is a very insightful question. However, I am not as insightful. At 17 years old, my infantile brain thought that I was interested in neuroscience when in reality, I was interested in the idea of neuroscience. Same way that I think gravity is a pretty cool concept and I love being secured to the earth, but I have zero interest in studying physics.
And sure, I could take my degree and try to go get a job in science. But what job? With what company? In what field? Being frank, a bachelor’s degree in science is in no way a legitimate degree. A BSc in the world of science is like a gold sticker on your test in elementary school. You had to do something to earn it, but in the grand scheme of things nobody is going to take it seriously. To do anything legitimate and lucrative (haha, just kidding there are no lucrative careers in science) I would need to go get a master’s degree.
Why don’t I get a master’s degree? First of all, I don’t know if you’re just sitting on $15,000, but I very much am not. My back account looks less like a phone number and more like a GPA. Plus, I’m not even sure what I would take my master’s in. Or what I would do with a master’s once I get it. I would just have another expensive piece of paper and no idea for a job. No master’s. Maybe at one point, but definitely not yet.
And if I'm being totally honest, I know exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life. Music. I want to write and perform and work on my website because it makes me so unequivocally happy. It's the same reason I'm writing this instead of studying for my finals (oops?). I want to spend the next 60 years working on music and I would give my left kidney to do that. But right now, what I’m falls more under “passion project” then “sustainable career”. I want to write music more than anything else in the entire world, I’m just trying to figure out how to turn that into my real-life job.
So, yes. I am excited to go home. I am excited to see my aunts, my uncles, my family friends, and the other individuals who have stumbled their way on to this page. However, please, for the love of Christ himself on this holy holiday, do not ask me what I’m doing in May. I just told you my answer.
From me, with love, to you,
Ladies and Gentlemen, let's just get to the point. Men are trash. Boys are garbage. We should all just quit.
I spend a lot of time thinking about my relationships, and for a couple reasons. Numero uno: I have a nasty rumination problem. Ever since I was little, my mom has been trying to drill into my head "don't perseverate" but I do and it sucks. I think about things until I've twisted my brain into knots and all I can think about is "could I have done it better" and "what if I just did something different". My train of thought is a series of "what ifs".
Numero dos: writing music means that I'm constantly thinking about my relationships. I'm trying to work them into songs which I write and rewrite and take apart and put back together. I think about the details of my relationships, my crushes, my flings and try to see what is song- worthy and what is just a detail that I keep for myself (I have a public diary, I keep very few things to myself).
But that also means I've thought a lot about the boys (the word "men" is not really applicable) that have appeared in my life. And more often than not boys make me feel like a bag of garbage. And after pondering why, I have formally broken down the stance "men are trash" into a three-pronged argument (because three seemed concise).
#1: They say hurtful things.
Yes, I understand that girls can say way more hurtful things than guys, there have definitely been times I wish I could take back things I've said. However, men too, being so intelligent, can say things that hurt. An example? Picture this: 2nd year me is flirting with this boy at a party when my older sister (yes, we party together), comes up and says "hi". Promptly after she leaves he looks at me and goes "you know, compared to your sister, you're really doughy". And am I still dwelling on this? Uh-huh. Should I let it go? Probably. Will I? Nope.
And no I didn't go home and cry into my pillow and write in my diary, but it still chipped at me a little bit and it SUCKED. I understand he probably didn't mean it in a mean way, my sister and I have different body types, primarily because she works out and I eat oreo cookies for breakfast. I know this all to be a fact, however it still is a bit of a slap in the face to be called "doughy". Men are trash.
#2: They always assume you want more.
Okay, so a little disclaimer: I can come across as a lot sometimes (don't but we all). I don't do the whole "texting etiquette" thing, and I air on the side of high maintenance. These qualities mean that I can come across as a touch abrasive. I know these things, I'm working on them, but these innate parts of my personality will always been sewn into some of my actions.
If I text my girlfriends everyday, they don't care. They know that I'm an idiot, and need that kind of attention. HOWEVER, when I text a guy, let's say, every couple days, they assume I'm in it for something more. Or if I make out with someone at a party and then text them a week later they assume I'm looking for a deeper commitment. I spend 99.999% of my time moving back and forth between Toronto and Vancouver, I'm in school, I work, plus I have to run this whole website/music thing. I can barely see my friends and pass all my classes at the same time. Where in the Lord's name would I fit a boy into this equation? News flash. Girls are allowed to want casual relationships as well.
I have had multiple boys assume I'm looking to settle down with them because they've decided to read into signals that aren't there. But unless I've explicitly said "I want a relationship with you" you're probably not the one I've got my eye on. Remember, I'm really blunt. And yes, at some point I do want a relationship, I want "the dream". Husband, kiddos, house with the picket fence. But do I want that with Chad from Sigma Apple Pi? No. He still thinks it's okay to put "can shotgun a beer in 3 seconds" on his resume. Men are trash.
#3: They CANNOT (I repeat CANNOT) keep their mouths shut.
I have made a habit of sharing too much, I publish my life on the internet. So that means the information that I do keep to myself I value very highly. It all started after I broke up with my ex. I went on a date with this guy in a fraternity and, being in a sorority, he and I had a lot of mutual friends. The date was really meh, not a lot to write home about, but it was my first date with someone not-my-ex so it was kind of a big deal. The next day, everyone and their cousin knew about this date and it was exhausting. If I did not explicitly tell you something, I probably (definitely) don't want you to know.
So, when I...get intimate...with boys, in any capacity, I always ask them not to tell anyone. Not because I'm embarrassed, but because I don't need everyone knowing everything about my life. Yet, for some reason boys feel the need to gossip like the cover of a TigerBeat magazine. It's nobody's business but my own and the boy's, yet they treat it like everyone should know. I mean I get it, I'm a damn treat, it's hard to keep such things to yourself, but please do so.
Plus, these boys always think I'm never going to find out that they told everyone. I'm not deaf, and if you couldn't keep it to yourself, why do you expect anyone else to? Like I said, men are trash.
So, that's why I can't deal with the Y-chromosome right now. Essentially, they can't do anything right. However, my sexual orientation dial is set very much to "men" and I'm stuck liking idiots who still classify booty-calls as dates. So there is no life lesson to this, no special piece of wisdom I can share with you because I'm still figuring all this out. So good luck ladies, and happy hunting.
From me, with love, to you,
LADIES AND FREAKING GENTLEMEN. I did it.
I somehow made it another 365 days on this earth, I circled the sun and lived to tell the tale.
So yes, today is my birthday and that means I'm saying auf wiedersehen to 20 and guten tag to 21 (and more importantly it is my champagne birthday because it's my 21st birthday and the 21st of November so I'll be drinking bubbly for the next 24 hours).
I've been mulling over a lot of different ideas for what to write for my birthday. Last year I wrote a very "classic-me" post about all the things I've learned and all the sentimental crap that comes with being as wisdom-y as I am. And I kind of thought about doing that again, but I post about learning things all the time. I did a life-lesson post at the end of the summer, I did one recently about self-love and one about mental health before that. My website is a series of unsolicited advice, and didn't think I needed to dole out anymore on my birthday.
And in thinking a lot about this last year, I've realized what an amazing year it has been. Being 20 was the best year of my life. And not everyday was perfect, lots of days weren't, but weighing all factors, this year checks most if not all of my boxes for an "amazing year".
So in attempt to highlight this amazing year, I'm going to share my top 20 moments of being 20. Some of them are lengthy and require stories, and some are very brief and easily explained, but I hope this helps to explain why this year has been so amazing. So buckle in, because we're counting down (I did my best to order them, but it was very difficult):
#20: When Johnny Reid shared my Instagram post on his story.
Just absolutely surreal.
#19: Celebrating the Raptors win.
Toronto sports are rarely something to rally around, I always will, but they're often a bit of a let down (I'm looking at you Maple Leafs). However, this summer, Toronto celebrated Raptors in 6 and it was kind of incredible. Every game was its own tiny celebration, and everyday its own little party. Toronto was a ton of fun leading up to the Raptors winning game and I'm so happy I got to be home for it.
#18: Working with BeaYOUtiful
My older sister is a chair for a non-profit based in Vancouver. BeaYOUtiful works to support young girls in a series of issues; social media literacy, body positivity and stress management are all on the curriculum for young girls who take these classes. This year I was able to participate in their Inspired by HER conference last January, as well as be a guest speaker during one of their 6-week classes this November. I got to teach young girls how to write music as an outlet for stress and it was so rewarding.
#17: Performing at VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto.
Growing up I sang in a private sector choir in Toronto, VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto. Last year, the choir's repertoire was based around Canadian songwriters. As part of their final concert, they invited back choir alumni who went on to write music, and yes that includes me. VIVA! gave me so much as a kid, and getting to come back and perform as a solo artist was not only rewarding, but I got to see all my old conductors and friends who went on to work with VIVA!
#16: Voting in my first election.
Y'all know how passionate I am about voting!
#15: Drinking Games with My Cousin
My cousin is one of my best friends, and we both enjoy gin probably more than we should. One night when I was in Toronto she came over. We have both seen The Italian Job with Charlize Theron and Mark Wahlberg enough times we could probably recite the movie script from start to finish. However, after realising the movie isn't on Netflix as we had expected, she and I settled on watching The Losers with Idris Elba, Zoe Saldana and Chris Evans and playing a related action-movie-drinking game. It quickly descended into chaos, we both lost complete track of what was going on and spent inordinate amounts of time talking about how attractive Idris Elba is.
#14: Walking the Seawall.
One of my closest friends abandoned my last year to go live in Australia for a couple months on exchange (obviously very devastating). When she got back we walked the seawall around Stanley Park in Vancouver and caught up. She told me about her trip, I shared all the horrible life decisions I had made without her around for constant guidance. Our little adventure ended with hot chocolate and getting on the wrong bus to try and get back home. Little bit of a road bump but not a bad person to get lost with.
#13: Skiing during Winter Finals.
Last winter finals my Dad and younger sister came out to Whistler with family friends of ours. Just the break I needed. Granted I spent more time studying than on the hill, my family-oriented personality will always ask for more family time in my life.
#12: Long walks in Toronto with my Best Friend.
I love walking. It's one of the many things that make me a weirdo but thankfully my best friend shares this little quirk with me. We don't live in the same city during the year and we don't get to see each other a lot during the summer because her work schedule is insane. But a couple times this summer we would take 3-ish hour walks and catch up and joke. We also planned my wedding at one point so you can't say they weren't productive walks.
#11: Work Parties.
I work retail in downtown Toronto, and we regularly get drinks after work. All the regular things, talk about nightmare customers, gossip about people, share dating stories. There was one particular night I made my coworkers take tequila shots after a particularly long day at work. I go back to my job every time I'm in Toronto not for the job, but for the people.
#10: Getting my Full License.
You can read all about this in my post from this summer!
#9: Seeing Avengers: Endgame on Opening Night. And then Again. And Again.
What can I say? I'm a huge dork.
#8: Watching Cody Ko with my Mom.
My younger sister and I had been making jokes regarding the "That's Cringe: Girl Defined" video on Cody Ko's YouTube channel. We kept trying to explain the joke, knowing that most of Cody's (and specifically Cody + Noel content) wasn't necessarily something I would want to watch with my mom. But after poorly explaining the joke multiple times, we decided to just watch the video. Quickly my mom, my sister and I got sucked into a wormhole of YouTube - the only way to watch YouTube. We spent the whole life laughing as we showed my mom how entertaining the commentary side of YouTube can be.
#7: Canuck's Game with my Older Sister.
Earlier this term I was given free tickets to a Canuck's game and immediately invited my older sister to go with me. Let me preface this - neither of us had any idea how hockey games worked. We weren't even sure how long the game was. We had assumed "free tickets" meant nose-bleed tickets, when in reality we were 8 rows from the action the whole night. There was an awkward moment when my sister cheered for the wrong time, but other than that I think we pulled it off?
#6: Dinner with my Younger Sister.
My younger sister and I spent a lot of time together this summer. I had a lot of difficulty picking my favourite moment with her this year. But I think it was one night when she and I went out for dinner to this Italian restaurant by our house and came home and watched....yes you guessed it.... Avengers: Endgame. She had spent all summer watching every Marvel movie in order, and this not only was such a fun night but the culmination of all her hard work over the summer. Plus I finally had another person to nerd-out with.
#5: Releasing "The Train".
I love releasing new music and the positive feedback on a song I had laboured so intensely over was so incredible. Read more about "The Train" below.
#4: The Halloween Pre-Party.
I have the most amazing group of friends at school. But this is the first year we don't all have classes together and one of my friends is on co-op so we don't all see each other that often (at least at the same time). On Halloween we decided to go to a house party and pre at my friend's house. We tried to make cocktails but after poorly organising this endeavour we all just brought hard alcohol. These girls are the most incredible people in my life and finally getting to see them all at once for the first time in forever made my night.
#3: An Impromtu Beer Pong Tournament.
My cottage is located in the middle of Butt-Fuck-Nowhere. Meaning, when it rains (which it rarely does), there's not a whole lot to do. You're 45 minutes from town and you can only spend so much time huddled up in the cottage before cabin fever sets in. This summer at the cottage I had my best friend at the cottage and my younger sister had her friend from volleyball and her family at the cottage. So we had 8 people at the cottage on a rainy day. At around 3pm, we started to get pretty bored when we decided to have a beer pong tournament. We developed a "March Madness" style bracket and played game after game of beer pong. So fun, so random, and my parents got way too competitive.
#2: The Boodle.
One of my best friends in Toronto is Filipino and this summer she invited a group of friends to participate in a boodle (yes it's a real word). It's a tradition that originated in the Filipino military in which a ton of food is piled on banana leaves in the middle, and you eat as much as you can with your hands. Not only was the food amazing but it was hilarious. We just ate until we couldn't eat anymore and joked and laughed. Plus, that night ended up being quite influential on the rest of my summer (but that's a story for another time).
#1: Thanksgiving at the Cottage.
My dad has worked so hard to turn our cottage from a hoarder's nest into a second home. And as you can see from my Instagram, I love the time I spend in New Brunswick. I grew up spending summers there, and to now be able to return and see my family on the east coast is incredible. This was the first time I saw that part of the country in the fall and not only was it stunning, but it was so incredible to get to see my family (immediate and extended). We are a rowdy bunch of drunk idiots and in spite of the nearly 10 hours of travelling it took to get there, I have no regrets.
So that was my year. And yes, I saved some favourite moments for myself, some quiet moments I want to keep and some times I laughed so hard I almost peed. But that's what this year was. A collection of amazing moments. And I'm terrified for 21, but I'm also excited. Who knows, maybe next year will be even better?
From me, with love, to you,
Fun story time: I'm in a sorority. I've been in a sorority for four years and every year we throw a semi formal in the fall and a formal in the spring. These two events are the bane of my freaking existence. Not because the events themselves are bad. There's okay food and overpriced drink,. it's a standard event. But the culture surrounding the event makes me want to stab myself in the carotid artery.
Let's start from the beginning. At the beginning of every semi and formal season we make a set of slides. The slides are essentially: Here's a photo of me looking hot, here's my name, my age and a sexual pun. However, I don't have "hot girl" humour. I very much have boy humour. Self-deprecating, poop joke, I-just-farted humour. So making those slides is a pain, it's something so outside my comfort zone, and makes me so uncomfortable. And yes, you can get your panties in a twist that we make slideshows, but get off your high horse. I've been asked to semi based on the slides and so have so many people. It's a useful way to get your foot in the door in terms of introducing yourself. They're also usually super funny.
Okay, so after you make yourself a slide. You have to find a dress. I am 6ft tall, so ordering a dress online is a fucking nightmare. I have ordered many a dress only to try it on and realise you can see my butt hole. Not cute. Butt holes are not public property. Plus I'm super poor. I'm a university student. We're all super poor. And every year I say I'm going to re-wear an old dress but I get sucked into buying a new dress because everyone else is. Yes, this part is kind of my fault for getting sucked into peer pressure, but I'm complaining about it anyways.
So you've got your slide, and found your dress and you think the worst is over BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG. Dates. You have to find yourself a date. If you have a significant other, this is super easy. You shoot your boyfriend/girlfriend a message saying "semi is on this day, be ready" and you're set to go. But if you are chronically single - like myself - you have to go out and find yourself a date. Often I have taken my sister, but that kind of feels like taking your cousin to prom. And I could take a female friend, and I have, but it would be nice to have the option to take a boy. You know?
And sure, I could take a boy still, but boys suck and men are trash. The last time I took a boy he tried to sneak a mickey of vodka into the event and almost got us kicked out. Also, if you bring a boy you risk riding that weird line of "are we going to hook up?" and that grey area can be exhausting.
The event itself is fine. I love getting dressed up and looking fancy and taking pictures. But it's usually a mediocre night in which somebody drinks too much, somebody makes out with someone they weren't supposed to and all the usual drama that occurs when you put a bunch of 20-year-olds in a room. But you spend most of the day of semi getting ready and the next day you don't get a whole lot done cause you're generally hungover.
So you come out of the event stressed and even more broke than you were before, but for some reason I can't not go. I want to go to these events and I have fun and spend time with people I legitimately see three times a week anyways. And sure, this is a first world problem, and yes I'm complaining about nothing, but semi season is such a thorn in my side. So, my semi is rearing it's ugly head, my "semi diet" still has me looking like a pile of shitty mashed potatoes (pale and lumpy) and I have to pick my date by Monday. I'm real close to bringing a cardboard cut out of a celebrity and just getting to eat twice the amount of food.
Anyways, I hope your fall is going well and if you too have a semi formal, good luck.
From me, with love, to you,
I am a damn treat.
Have you heard me say this recently? It has become a bit of a catch-phrase of mine and I drove my entire family insane over Thanksgiving weekend as most of my speech was littered with this phrase. And although it started from a place of sarcasm, it kind of became non-sarcastic (unsarcastic? dis-sarcastic?) with time. I AM a damn treat. However, don't worry, this isn't going to be about me going on this rant about how amazing I am. We're going to dive a little bit further down this rabbit hole or why I started including this is my day to day vernacular - and why you should as well.
I spent a lot of my life thinking that I was less-than. As a teenager, I sought validation from people around me; I thought that to love myself, I needed others to love me. It was exhausting, I oozed desperation and self-loathing. I aspired for better in the most self-destructive ways and created insecure relationships with people willing to abuse the fragile state I was in. Not to mention this perpetuated my anxiety beyond belief. "Hot mess" doesn't nearly describe the way I was living. I had people who loved me, but they felt like exceptions to the rule, I felt like I didn't deserve them.
And then to top it all off, I got into a relationship. I dated this guy who was wonderful but I shifted all my self-worth into the foundation of this relationship. I was enough because I was loved by someone, because someone else saw me as enough. But what happened when that relationship ended? I was shattered; nobody loved me anymore and therefore I was unlovable. I had placed all my value in something that no longer existed. I spent the next three months literally flinging myself anywhere, on anyone, trying to patch up the hole in my life where my relationship should have been.
Now this next idea is credited to Daniel Schloss (go watch his comedy special "Jigsaw", 10/10). I loved myself at a whopping 10%, so anyone who cared about me at 20% loved me TWICE AS MUCH as loved myself. TWICE. It felt like the sun and the moon, until you actually think about all the things you like 20%. Here are the things in my life that I like 20%
I would love to tell you that I had this "light bulb" moment. This sudden realization that I was better, but I didn't. I would love to tell you the key to self-love is spinning around three times and jumping up and down on one leg and then TADA! Self-love! But it happened. Slowly. With time, I realized that I was caught in this loop. I was anxious because I needed others to love me and because I was so stressed about what other people thought, nobody wanted to be around me. The things that made me great were overshadowed by the things I hated about myself. This dependency on others also allowed me to shift blame in my life. Nothing was my fault because I was nothing, I was only what other people made me, so my faults were their faults. All good things were just a lucky shot and all bad things were someone else's problems.
But like I said, with time I shifted my values. I started taking credit for my actions, both good and bad. Being responsible for the things you do means that you are the sum total of your decisions. (See my last post). Taking responsibility for the good things was easy. Taking responsibility for the bad things was hard.
A prime example is grades. If I did poorly on a test then I had to think, how hard did I actually study. Did I give it my all or some half-ass attempt? Because if I gave it my all, if I could confidently say that, then there is nothing else I could do and I had to be proud of myself for the mark I got. But if I didn't use all my resources, TAs, office hours, extra help, then the shitty grade was on me. It was my responsibility. Frankly, I'm still learning to do this. I'm still learning to take responsibility for the bad things, because it isn't easy. But I'm learning and that's what matters.
And once you are the sum total of your actions, you are something. You have tangible evidence of the things that you are. You are the job that you got because you interviewed well and you put the hours in. You are a friend because you treat those around you with respect. You are, you are, you are. And I began to realise, I am a lot of things. I am a baker, a singer, a sister, a friend, a student, a writer, a philanthropist. I am all these things because I went out and I made them true, and nobody in this world can take those things away from me, because they're mine.
You don't need to love yourself 100%. Loving yourself 100% at times can be bad as well, it can stop you from changing and growing and being better than you are. Right now I love myself at about 80%, which isn't ideal but I'm getting better. I still have things I want to work on, but I'm on the right trajectory and most importantly, I'm proud to be who I am. There are still days I look in the mirror and I'm unsure, but 80% is a hell of a lot better than 10%. And for someone to be my sun and moon they need to love me at at least 80%. And to put that in perspective, my list of things I love at 80% are:
So I am a damn treat because I made myself that way. I took an 18-year-old girl with chronic panic attacks and a self worth lower than the pits of hell and made her into a young women who is about to graduate university (should all go as planned). And yes, the world will throw things at me that are out of my control. I cannot control the weather or time or the actions of those around me, but I can control me and that is enough. I am enough. And I am a damn treat.
From me, with love, to you,
I talk a lot about mental health. I hope that talking about it will normalize mental health for at least one person. Maybe just one individual will hear everything I'm saying and, for them, life will be a little bit more manageable. It is also really easy to talk about mental health in the past tense. I struggled with my mental health, I worked hard to get better, I had panic attacks. However, a lot of these sentences would remain true in the present tense. Progress is not a straight line; a trajectory from start to finish. Progress is twisted, it loops back on itself until you're not totally sure where the beginning ends and the end begins. But this past-tense-retelling of my mental health is only half the story.
I have great days and I have bad ones. And I want to talk about the latter half of that sentence. The Bad Days. It would be so much easier to brush them off and pretend they don't happen. Shove the handful of the Bad Days I still have under the rug, smile for the cameras, and make a happy-go-lucky post about taming your demons. But that's not being honest, so here goes nothing:
I still have Bad Days.
I still have panic attacks. I still can use negative coping mechanisms. I still have a less-than-amazing grasp on all my triggers. And that's because as I change and as I experience new things, I need to learn new things about my illness. I still can't do a lot of the things I want to do. There are certain areas of my life where I am less-than fine and I can't stand it. It's make me angry thinking that I have to put up with social anxiety. I hate playing the game of life with the cards I've been dealt because sometimes it feels like everyone has a winning hand and I'm trying to play poker with a deck of cards from a fucking Uno game.
And I would love to say that there is some overarching life lesson to this. That I could wake up tomorrow morning and be cured of the illness that my brain gave my body. I want to wake up give you some answer to the questions you've been asking. But there aren't direct answers, because if I had the answers, I wouldn't have the problems. I would love more than anything to to pull some "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" bullshit and say the answer to your issues is "42", but that's not the reality of the situation.
The only thing I can say it keep moving forward and be honest with yourself about where you're at. I have lived nearly 21 years on this planet, and I am not wise in any account, (I still consistently make the mistake of setting my alarm for 7PM instead of 7AM) but I know your life is a collection of decisions. And some decisions you make will be dumb (I climbed up on a garage roof while I was drunk and fell off) and some decisions will be great (setting an actual sleep schedule this year after 21 years of my mom pestering me about it. She was right. Moms always are). But as long as you're trying the best you can to make the right decisions, nobody can fault you. So yeah sure, I'm playing poker with a bunch of Uno cards, but I'm going to play the best hand I can because nobody is going to re-deal me in just because I don't like my cards. I'm going to keep moving forward because I actually don't have the ability to move back. October sucks. It gets rainy and cold and Christmas seems like a long-haul from here. So take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Even if you're going two steps forward and one step back, you're still moving forward.
From me, with love, to you,
Attention: If you bleed maple syrup, represent the true, north strong and free, and spell the words "colour", "favour" and "neighbour" with a "u" (how intended), this post is for you.
I try to keep this website politics-free. Why you ask? Couple reasons. Firstly, every orifice of this world is crammed with people's misinformed political opinions about this rally or that protest. The world of politics has become a landscape of "he-said, she-said" and I want to stay as far as possible from that. Secondly, my opinion should not matter to you. I am a singer-songwriter, not a politician. I'm not even fully sure how our government works. If you asked me about the true and real differences between a province and a territory, I would give you some bullshit answer like "it depends on how far north they are" (that is not true, I have no idea what the actual differences are). My degree is not in political science, it is in neuroscience. We could have a pretty in depth conversation about your dopaminergic system, but I can't tell you a whole lot about the House of Commons. And finally, my political opinions are nobody's business. There is a reason we vote in private! It's private! I'm allowed to hold my opinions, you're allowed to hold yours.
HOWEVER, I am going to get a little preachy about a particular government/politics related event that is oot and aboot right now (if you didn't read that in a Canadian accent, I can't help you). THE FEDERAL ELECTION.
Ladies and lumberjacks, I know that we are not as flashy with our elections as our southern neighbours (I mean they're already having debates and they're election isn't until 2020, American politics baffle me), but there is no way you have not heard about our election. I would bet my goddamn toque on it.
On October 21st, Canada will be holding its federal election in which every Canadian registered to vote will be given the opportunity to elect a representative for their riding. Every riding is a seat and the party with the most seats will represent Canada, and the representative for that party becomes Prime Minister. Just in case you weren't sure what you were doing, there's your TLDR.
One of the greatest nuggets of wisdom my dad ever gave me was "If you don't vote you can't complain." And holy Barenaked Ladies was he right.
No matter where you stand on the aisle, vote. I don't care if you live in Punkydoodles Corners or Sober Island (yes my American friends, those are true Canadian places), go vote! We are lucky enough to live in this hockey-loving, poutine-soaked country where voting is a right and not enough people take advantage of it. And Canada wants you to vote. Between absentee ballots and advanced polls, Canada is giving you the chance to vote so please for the love of Bryan Adams and Ryan Reynolds, VOTE. If you don't then you genuinely don't get the right to complain about the state of the world. You're getting the chance to make a difference and have a say in your future so please TAKE IT.
And take this opportunity to make an educated vote. Don't vote for someone because that's what your friends are doing. Research who is in your riding and find their opinions on the issues that matter to you. Please do you research, and please look somewhere other than Buzzfeed.
So, I apologize for all my beautiful Canadian references, but I needed to spread this nugget of wisdom with y'all.
And in case you didn't get it: fucking, vote.
From me, with love, to you,
Hello friends. Let's cut right to the chase. Dating apps.
Like any 20-year-old single girl, I have fallen prey to these apps. Tinder, Bumble and Hinge are all on my phone and I have spent an embarrassing amount of time swiping through face after face of random stranger. Girls' nights in often includes phone swapping and gossiping about the occasional familiar face that pops up. I receive those annoying notifications saying "you've received x-number of likes, go like them back!". Even though the purpose of these apps are to find people, for some reason every time I open one up I feel inevitably lonely. I feel worse when I shut the app than when I opened it. I've even gone as far as deleting the apps multiple times, only to re-download a couple weeks later.
So why? Why run back to something that makes me feel so lackluster? I'm pretty great, just in case you didn't know, and I can get a bit preachy about loving yourself, but I keep these three demons in my life for no apparent reason. But everything holds some logic and there are three main pillars that support my argument to keep these apps. I'm not saying that they're good reasons, but they're all I've got: Culture, Entertainment and Hope.
It's important to be seeing someone. The stories about previous hook ups and exes are almost just as much a part of young adult culture as the actual hooking up and dating. Swapping battle stories about bad first dates and awkward sexual encounters happen so often I'm not even sure who's heard what story, and most of my friends are the same. And if you're unsure that this is true, think of how many times you've referred to a boy in you're life not by his name, but by an event that happened. "You remember that boy from last Friday?" or "Is this the boy from that date you told me about?" are common place in conversation. My friends refer to the men in my life as "the boy from _____" rather than with names. We want to talk about boys; it doesn't make us shallow or boy crazy, it makes us human. But back to the apps.
These apps have become as common place as men themselves. Having the apps keeps you in the conversation. When the stories are just as important as experiences, you need somewhere to get those stories, and dating apps do so three-times over. Having the apps keeps me in the loop and I'm not willing to give up that foothold.
The apps are meant to be addictive. If they weren't, they wouldn't really be that successful. First of all, the swiping is a little therapeutic in that repetitive, senseless kind of way. Secondly, the instant gratification. When you match with someone, it's that little burst of reassurance "I'm attractive". There's nothing wrong with wanting to feel attractive, wanting to seek a touch of validation from strangers (@social media). But the high doesn't last long, because you're not actually fostering connections. Swiping for the sake of swiping becomes dull really quickly. You have so many meaningless conversations about slightly-witty lines in over-constructed bios and everything feels disingenuous. It's different from meeting someone through a friend or at a party, because you're regular people having a regular conversation, rather than trying to time responses to texts that your friends have analysed, trying to figure out if he's just looking to fuck or for a serious relationship.
And FINALLY, it's kind of entertaining to receive just absolutely disgusting pick up lines on Tinder. I do screenshot them all and save them in an album on my phone called "Worst of Guys". True story. Can confirm.
Now this one is super obvious. PART OF ME KEEPS THE APPS BECAUSE I LIKE BOYS AND WANT TO FIND ONE THAT LIKES ME. <-- Is that wrong? Hell no. I'm 20 and I'm single! And as much as being 20 and single is fun because I can use these apps and tell funny stories and go on awkward first dates, the goal is ultimately to not end up single. And not in a mellow-dramatic cat woman, spinster way, but I see what my friends have with their significant others and think "Yeah, it'd be nice to have that". I've been in a relationship before, and pros definitely outweigh the cons if you're with the right person. And frankly this whole finding-me-a-man thing is not going quite as easily as rom-coms make it out to be. So fuck it. I'm on dating apps.
So there we go.
Culture. Entertainment. Hope.
Not the most amazing defense for keeping something in my life that makes me feel kind of meh, but it's the only argument I really have. And yes, I can feel my feminist phase coming on again, and I will likely scrap these three apps from my phone soon, only to re-download on my next girls' night in when conversation switches from school to boys and I feel left out. I guess I'm throwing this out into the world just to see if anyone else feels the same. I mean I'm not going to be writing a song about this anytime soon/hopefully ever, so here's the outlet I'm using to write about it. What do you think?
From me, with love, to you,
"I see the train coming, I feel the urge to move"
So, for anyone has seen any of my social media pages over the past little bit, you may have seen a new song that I released: "The Train". And continuing the tradition I've had over the last little bit, I'm going to break down my song a little bit and explain to you some of the intricacies I've woven into this little beauty.
I wrote this song about the stress of instability, of knowing that your current situation is a disaster.
This summer, I spent some time with a guy and we both decided that it wouldn't last past the end of the summer. I had to go back to school and he had to stay in Toronto. It was complicated; we spent so much time trying to make up rules to prevent us from being in a real relationship. Out of fear that at the end of the summer someone would end up broken. But did we care about each other? I like to think so. Were we vulnerable? Definitely.
"And I hope that we know what we're doing,
I hope that we've thought this all through"
And we kept seeing each other and spending time together and tangling ourselves in this situation. Knowing in some capacity we were going to get hurt (maybe me more than him, I'm a bit of an emotional nutcase). At times I just wanted confirmation that what we were doing wasn't a mess, because honestly sometimes it felt like it. It felt like I was gearing up for this thing to come crashing down on top of me.
"I would listen to all of your nonsense once again"
But I had fun. I had so much fun. And for the first time in a long time I liked someone and they liked me back. I know that sounds childish, to have this "crush" on someone, but sometimes you can forget what it feels like to have this mutual affection for someone. That reciprocation of feelings fills you up and every once in a while you need that feeling.
I wrote "The Train" to try to explain it all. The confusion, the heart break, the frustration. The train metaphor started off almost as an inside joke as I tried to explain to the guy what it felt like to be anxious, and before I knew it, the anxiety I had tried to explain was manifesting itself in this weird and upside-down relationship.
"Then you cut the ropes, with nothing to say
And left me alone, to wait for the train"
This is one of my only songs I've ever opened back up after finishing it. The original version didn't have this bridge or final chorus. Because I didn't really understand what I was doing because I had only ever seen and been in conventional relationships, which this wasn't.
And that's the problem with unconventionality. There are no rules. You don't have to obey standard relationship etiquette; you can just quit when you want to because there are no promises to uphold.
"And I hope your worth the pain"
"The Train" is about conflict; of wanting to live in the moment now, but wanting to protect myself later. Of seeing the disaster coming and assessing the risks, and sticking to the tracks anyways. Getting hit by the train was the price I was willing to pay. Just standing where I was and looking forward, essentially thinking "this better be worth it, cause at some point this is going to fucking suck".
I love this song, and I'm so appreciative of all the positive feedback I've been getting, both in person and through social media. Thank you so much! And if you haven't seen I entered this song in a competition to win money so I can record new music (like this song). So I've put a link down at the bottom where you can vote and support your girl.
From me, with love, to you,
Just in case you guys didn't notice, today is the 2-year anniversary of the release of my album, The Blue Book Project. Obviously, over the last two years things have changed. It would be more concerning if things hadn't changed. But usually, I take moments like this to reflect back on a period of time that has passed and how I've grown and what I've learned. However, I'm changing it up a bit.
I'm using this time and this amazing platform I've been given to say thank you. So often I reflect on what I've done, it can get lost in the process that there are other people in this relationship. That I can only do the things I do so long as there are people to receive them.
For two years I have been figuring out what I'm doing. Trial run after trial run of designing a website, writing a blog and trying to figure out what to post on Instagram. Trying to find photographers and booking shows. Writing music and picking what's good enough to share has all been up to me. And I've made mistakes. I've posted the wrong edit of a photo, got times mixed up for events and forgotten the words on stage at least once. I'm learning and so many of you have been so patient as I iron out the life I'm living and I am so greatly appreciative. I can guarantee that I'm learning from my mistakes, just as I can guarantee that I'll make more (and hopefully learn from those as well).
I want to thank anyone who over the last two years has liked, followed, subscribed, or shared anything. The people who watch every YouTube video and the people who watch only one. This thank you is for the people who like and comment on Instagram posts, and put up with my mediocre if not embarrassingly dad-jokey captions. You make what I thought was a pipe dream seem possible and I appreciate you so much more for it.
And I want to thank a couple people specifically. My mom and dad who have given me a safe home in which I feel welcome to pursue my dreams - no matter how ridiculous. Who pick me up and dust me off after I've fallen under the weight of all the things I thought I could carry on my own. I want to thank my younger sister, who has listened to my songs in all stages of write ups, and comes to nearly every market to help me pack up and lug my equipment around. My older sister, who comes to every show and drags everyone with her. Who cheers the loudest and sings along whenever I'm on stage. To my amazing friends who come to shows and have quickly become my biggest cheer leaders (even if that means they make me perform impromptu concerts at their birthdays). I want to say thanks to all the individuals who have made an appearance in my songs - whether or not they know it.
And FINALLY, I want to thank anyone - stranger or friend - who has voiced their support to me. I was stopped in the hallways by a friend the other day who told me she reads every post on my website. Or the girl who recognized me at my job in retail after seeing me at Brickworks Market. Anyone who ever asks me about music, or congratulates me after an event. You stoke my fire to keep going and I am so grateful for all the love I receive.
I love you all and here's to another amazing year.
From me, with love, to you,
Hey girl hey! So summer 2019 is coming to a close and I thought I'd check in with everyone and drop some pearls of wisdom courtesy of my personal life experience.
The last four months have been full. As much as life seems static at times, if I actually think about landing in Toronto four months ago, I can't really begin to explain all the things I've done between now and then So let's take a moment to reflect on some of the little tidbits of knowledge I've stocked up on this summer.
1) Sometimes a failure is just a delayed success.
This one comes courtesy of my driving test(s). So this story requires a little bit of backtracking; I have always been shitty at taking driving tests. Always. My first driving test involved tears and sweating and profuse apologies for not being able to parallel park. I obviously failed that test. I would go on to fail my next test on a technicality before getting my learner's permit on the third try. Out of fear of repeating my previous mishap, I delayed getting my full license all of last summer - despite my dad (my harshest critic) saying I had become a very good driver.
So, as I wanted to get my license before the 5-year Ontario deadline expired (I would have had to start all over again) I attempted to get my license last Christmas but was turned away due to a broken taillight.
This summer, was my summer. Even though the thought of driving tests still caused a rumbling in my stomach, I was on a time crunch and was not fucking around. I practiced and prepped and drove the area where my road test was supposed to happen and I felt ready. But (as you can probably expect), I failed that road test as well. I called my dad in tears and he told me "What the fuck, don't cry, just take it again" (which was very much expected of my dad if you've ever met him).
So, a little over two weeks later I was back on the road with slightly calmer hands. I had already failed once, there wasn't a whole lot worse that could happen. But (third time's the charm) I passed and got my full license.
Now this rambling story may have led you to believe that I should not be allowed to share the road with the rest of you but it reminded me of the classic "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" because that's what I did. I went after something I wanted and ultimately succeeded, yes there were some failures along the way, but now I never have to take another driving test. So keep both eyes on the road, cause I'm out there now.
2) Not every idea has to be a good idea.
Now I have to admit, this idea is not mine. This lesson comes from a certain man-friend.
He and I were talking about a song I had written. I was really excited about the idea, and had spent a really long time tweaking and moving parts around to bend the metaphor to sound the way I wanted it to. My mom had heard me banging around on the piano for about a week when I finally pulled her upstairs to show her. I played the whole thing out for her and turned around expecting to see a proud mama, however she was just a little "meh" about the song.
I was so frustrated, I felt like I was holding a new single and she took a big dump on my idea. Looking back, I was definitely asking for an ego fluff, not a legitimate opinion. So I messaged my man-friend (and all of his wisdom) and he responded with two things: One, it's my song so if I thought it was good it shouldn't really matter; two, people with good creative ideas also have bad creative ideas.
And that concept was terrifying; I could have bad songs. A song that I laboured over could absolutely suck, no matter how much I cared about it. It was then I realized, that there was a point in which all my songs were bad. I have a secret file on my computer filled with garbage from when I was nine and thought I understood the difference between a chorus and a verse (oh man was I wrong).
No human being will be brilliant every moment of every day. I've been setting unrealistic expectations for my writing, thinking I am only going to pump out hits, which we all is impossible. It is this pressure which has likely the root cause of my writer's block.
P.S. I reopened that song up and reworked it, definitely one of my favourite new songs ;)
3) Work and fun are not mutually exclusive.
As I've mentioned, I've worked in retail for three summer in a row
And in the past I have worked my little booty off, picking up double shifts and babysitting and running from job to job to try to save all my pennies (or I guess nickels since Canadians don't have pennies anymore). But every August hits like a son of a bitch and I burn out, spending the last month of summer bitter about a job that has no relevance to my field of study, feeling like I missed out on summer vacation.
So this summer I took a step back, I picked up less shifts and made sure I took time every week to recuperate (Oh my God a work-life balance, who is she?). Drank the booze, had the girls nights out, and most definitely felt the hangovers; but somehow never burnt out at work.
And to my surprise, I saved more money this summer than I have in previous summers. Yes sure I spent money on drinks and dinners etc. but I didn't spend so much money on buying lunch at work because I had time to meal prep. I didn't spend as much money buying clothes, because I wasn't as stressed (yes, I am an avid user of retail therapy).
I was able to have an enjoyable summer, while saving a lot of money for Vancouver. Like I said, the two are not mutually exclusive.
So those are my three lessons. Yes, I learned other things such as: don't get an IUD and go to work the same day (the cramps will kill you). Or, some people are always going to be assholes (that one is courtesy of my ex), but those two seemed pretty self-explanatory. I felt like these three were the most valuable to share. In 1 week I will be back in Vancouver and my life with be a whirlwind all over again. Goodbye summer, hello school. Can't wait.
From me, with love, to you,
So ladies and gentlemen, in four short weeks I'm going into my fourth year of university. And I'm pretty close to vomiting at the thought of graduating. In nine months (should all go as planned) I will have a university degree in Behavioural Neuroscience. I have no idea what to do with that degree, but it will be a degree. But between then and now I have nine months. If I'm not mistaken, you can fit a lot into nine months; you could fit a whole pregnancy in that time. DON'T WORRY. I'm not pregnant, that would be a damn nightmare. But I'm just trying to say, nine months is a lot of time. And I have lots of plans. My senior year of high school was so fun, and I'm just hoping my senior year of university can follow suit.
So what is making me so pumped for September? There's lots. First and foremost, I'm excited to see my friends. I haven't seen them for four months and irregular phone calls just aren't making the cut anymore. I love my friends in Toronto, but that doesn't make me miss my friends in BC any less. After three years in Vancouver, I finally feel settled into that rainy city and I'm excited to get back to it. There are so many people there that make me happy, and I've missed them a lot.
Moreover, I'm actually excited for my class schedule. Not only are my classes fabulous (shout out to Drugs and Behavioural Neuroscience, woot, woot), but my class schedule is beautiful. It took me a near 14 hours to design, so it better be beautiful. But it's also the first year I got my first choice for all my class slots. Plus, when you like your classes you do better in school, right? (2019 Goal #3) Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but let a girl be optimistic.
And of course MUSIC. Not only do I already have one show at the Roxy on August 28th, but I have two more shows in the works (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Plus I've been writing a ton over the summer, I feel like I say that all the time, but I'm really excited with the more mature twist my music is taking. Plus, there was a touch of drama this summer which made writing that much more fun. Over the next few weeks I am looking into posting new music on YouTube so please keep eyes and ears open if you want to hear something new from me after all my insta-story-teasers.
So friends, a killer class schedule and new music? Fourth year is about to be my bitch.
From me, with love, to you,
Most university students have summer jobs. It's how we stay afloat; save all summer, just so we can spend all year while we study our brains out. I have a summer job, and while I wish it was music full time, I also need to be realistic. So for three summers I have had the same summer job in Toronto: I work retail downtown. Retail in downtown Toronto is an equal mix of entertaining and frustrating. There are days where I love my job and days where I'm near slamming my hand in a fitting room door so I can have an excuse to go home. It's a fine line that I tread very carefully. However, no matter how frustrating or entertaining, it's always exhausting. You are always wearing your best face, meeting hundreds of people, and trying not to yell at somebody for trying on a jeans without underwear (true story).
But, unfortunately, I have an extra dash of special in my life that makes retail especially exhausting. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder; for anyone who needs a refresher course you can read my post from Bell Let's Talk Day,
Or if you're looking for a TLDR: social anxiety is a phobia of social situations because of being judged or negatively perceived. Meaning, I spend inordinate amounts of time and energy thinking and rethinking my social interactions throughout the day. Taking into account that for 40 hours a week, my job consists of thousands of social interactions, you can see where I might struggle a little bit.
Now, little disclaimer, I never told my bosses about my anxiety. I didn't think it was relevant for them to know, plus it's hard to rationalize hiring someone who has a fear of talking to people. So I did, and still do, keep my diagnosis to myself. And then, over time, it seemed less and less relevant to bring up. I would have been informing them for the sake of informing them, rather than contributing something meaningful to the relationship I had fostered over three years. Plus, it was nice working somewhere where nobody knew, nobody had seen me have a panic attack, and nobody felt the need to treat me with the "kid gloves" that can sometimes be associated with mental health.
But retail is often physically and mentally draining for me. I spend 8 hours a day on my feet doing one of the things that makes my skin crawl. I then go home and think over the conversations I had with customers, coworkers and bosses. I sit at the kitchen table reliving moments throughout the day, trying to figure out if I said the right thing to that women with the two kids and the dark hair. Or if the tall guy who tried on jeans smiled because he was being polite, or because I said something stupid and didn't notice.
And I have to rest, like anyone at any job, but I need time and space away from it all. There have been a couple times, after a 6 or 7 days of working that I've gotten so anxious I've been sent home because my bosses don't know what's up, but they keep repeating "something is off you today".
So why do I still work retail with social anxiety? Why do I keep mixing oil and water? Well, I love a challenge. I love pushing myself and finding my limits. In addition, it's good practice. My first summer in retail, I went home early quite a few times, had to have my parents pick me up from the store because I was on the brink of a panic attack, or just spent full days exhausted after long shifts. But now, I'm taking it all in stride. I'm learning to balance work and I'm becoming stronger for it. I'm learning to catch myself winding up for panic in the middle of a shift, and being able to settle my nerves and make it to the end of the day. Moreover, I go back for the people, who - without knowing - have been incredible rocks for me. And finally, I go back because I'm pretty decent at selling clothes.
And I publish this knowing that there is a good to fair chance that my bosses and coworkers will read it. But I trust that they have enough faith in me to know what I'm doing, and I know I work in an environment where nobody will judge me for it. I'm just hoping that someone will read this and think "that thing I'm afraid of isn't so bad". Good luck <3.
From me, with love, to you,
The other day, my friend and I were discussing New Year's Eve. I don't know how we got about to this topic, but it happened. My friend was arguing with me, trying to prove New Year's is stupid and arbitrary. You could pick any day of the year to "reset your goals". Everyone picks New Year's, and then never holds to the promises they make.
And I didn't disagree. I've made my opinion on New Year's Eve very apparent: I think that it's stupid. I think it's always a let down, and many years of resolutions have been broken and forgotten by February, let alone the next year. However, I still like the idea of using New Year's as a checkpoint. A point to reassess your life, and the track your on to make sure that you're doing what you want to be doing. And what better way to hold yourself to goals than to announce them publicly.
So, on New Year's Day of 2019 I posted four "themes" I had for 2019. And seeing as July 1st is about halfway through the year, let's check in to see how they're going.
Theme numero uno: Health. This is definitely my most "back burner" goal. I haven't started working out still, but I've definitely shifted my focus slightly. In May I went 31 days without sugar, as a bit of a post-exam cleanse. Since then, I've fallen off the wagon.
But I'll take progress as progress. In addition, I'm walking a ton more. I've started walking to work which is in and around an hour (my coworkers have taken to making fun of me relentlessly for this). It can seem a little tedious sometimes, but it gets me outside so kind of that whole two birds, one stone thing. Plus I get to work. Three birds, one stone?
The next theme was social media. I wanted to consider social media as a job, something that needed to get done. Not something to do when it was convenient. Focus on authentic growth on my social media platforms. I'm still getting a hand on balancing everything, but I got Twitter. I never use it, but you can't win every battle.
However, this goal can be so frustrating. As much as I want to disconnect, to enjoy just being somewhere, social media feels like this necessary evil. An unexpected aspect of this theme, was learning to balance my use on social media. Scrolling through Instagram isn't productive, but writing a blog post or editing an Instagram post? That qualifies as productive.
Next theme you ask? To study harder. To be honest, I did pretty well in this department and I am super excited for my classes in the fall. But as much as I'm open and honest about my life, publishing my grades is not something I'm going to be doing. Moving on.
My forth and final theme was new music. Right off the bat I shared two new songs: Steady and I Just Want To Be Loved. Both these songs I'm in love with, and I think they're representative of the way my music is moving. But it kind of felt like the stereotype of a resolution, analogous to getting a gym membership.
At the beginning of the year you get your shiny new membership and go twice a week for the first three weeks and fall off the wagon by the time February swings around. Same thing with my new music, Two songs right as the New Year rolled in and then fairly radio silent on YouTube since then. Granted, you can find clips of new music under my "Music" highlight on Instagram, I wouldn't necessarily call this theme a smashing success. I do have things planned for the upcoming months, but this is just a reminder for me to get my ass in gear.
So that's my check in. Hopefully this inspires someone to revisit the goals they made in January, and figure out a good way to get there. Good luck you guys!
From me, with love, to you,
The most infamous part of writing anything - poetry, stories, songs - is writer's block. That feeling of staring at a page and coming up with nothing for days. Anyone who has written anything has felt this (essays and school papers included). The worst part about writer's block is it leads to procrastination. Sitting at a keyboard or picking up a notebook starts to feel defeating, so you avoid it.
Since I've been back in Toronto, writer's block has set in aggressively. And I find that happens sometimes when I'm moving. Mainly, because I get out of the habit of writing; of sitting for an extended period of time and flushing out, fine tuning ideas. Before a move, there is so much work to do to get prepared to leave somewhere for a while, the packing, seeing people that I'm going to miss, a good deep clean of my apartment. Plus, after the move there is a lot of hustling and bustling on the other end. Things like writing can get pushed under the rug in situations such as this. And as many of you may know, once you break a habit, it's hard to get back into it.
Think of it like this. If you go to the gym every three days for two months, keeping on that schedule isn't so hard. You're just maintaining your course. But if you go on vacation for two weeks and come back, it's a lot harder to maintain that habit you've broken. Once my schedule for summer started to set in, it was hard to remind myself to keep writing. To get back in the groove.
But when I do sit down, and I'm out of practice. Things that at one time came so easily are difficult again. My voice is out of shape, my hands are tired from playing guitar for only an hour. All sad songs sound melodramatic and happy songs sound cheesy. Lines don't fit together, there is no clear thematic overlay. Wouldn't it just be easier to learn to play someone else's songs? Be a cover artist? I've written tons of songs before that nobody's heard, I can use those and by the time I'm out of songs I will have written something new. Something that's ready to show.
And I think that's a lot of it, my writer's block comes less from not being able to write anything, but more nothing that is good enough. I want to write something I'm in love with, but those take time and sometimes the best songs need to be laboured over. The thought needs to become cohesive before it can become a song.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The other day, I sat at the kitchen table with my younger sister and pitched her an idea for a song, something small that I couldn't quite put my finger on yet, but felt like it was a good idea. It wasn't a full thought, but it was on its way.
And TODAY, I wrote a song. Verses, chorus, bridge, all of it in one sit down.
That's really all I have to say, I don't know how to celebrate the defeat of my writer's block in any other way, so I'm letting y'all know.
From me, with love, to you,
So for a month, I (alongside my younger sister) decided to limit sugar intake. This meant no sweets, no sugary drinks, no ice cream or chocolate, no cookies, cakes, brownies of the sort. Now anyone who has been anywhere near me, understands that I would give my right hand for a good cheesecake, and my Instagram more commonly features oatmeal cookies than videos of me singing. So why did I do this?
Exams. Alongside studying, I was eating Starbucks cookies and Domino's pizza in place of real food, I was feeling a little bogged down. On top of the stress from exams, I was chocked full of all the guilty-pleasure foods. I kept rewarding myself under the pretense that "exams are stressful". Which was fine, but my food choices were reading a lot more Michelin Man than Michelin Star. So needless to say, I wanted a break. I wanted what can casually be referred to as a "detox". I mean, I had and still have no intentions to go full vegan, organic, keto, paleo, whatever-you-want-to-call-it. Just clear out my system a little bit after three weeks of treating my body like crap.
So May 1st, the journey began. It started off really nicely. I wasn't necessarily sugar-free (for example, I'm still eating ketchup, bread because who has time/money to figure all that out). Also, I wasn't doing this to make a point, but more to just make sure I'm keeping my "themes" for 2019 (See post below), one of which was to be just a little bit healthier.
But then, I kind of hit a hump. In Vancouver, I buy all my own groceries so prior to May I had finished up anything sugary and didn't buy anything else. But when I got home, I was at the hands of my sweet tooth family. Different types of Ben and Jerry's, chocolate covered almonds in a bowl on the fireplace mantel, and a drawer dedicated to "fancy chocolates". Things got more complicated. Plus I was going out more, seeing more friends, meeting at coffee shops filled with pastries that I had committed to not eating for the month. Man, I know they say sugar is addicting, but you've really got no idea until you remove what can casually be referred to as a staple of my diet.
But around mid-May, I had grown slightly more accustomed to all the temptations my house was filled with. Plus my sister and I were in it together. Bananas and raspberries became dessert and "treat foods" were more often savoury like pizza. It's not that I wanted to become this healthy life guru person, it doesn't really work with my over-dramatic personality. But I'm reaching the end and here are a couple of things that I've noticed:
1) I'm sleeping better
2) My skin is clearer
3) I don't crave it as much
4) I used to eat WAY more treats than any single human needs
5) There are ways to reward yourself that aren't food (p.s. online shopping has become slightly more prominent in my life...maybe I've just traded one monster for another...)
Now, as June rolls around, I am not sticking with this over-bearing, psychotic life choice but I hope that in some way I think a little bit more about the things I'm eating.
From me, with love, to you,
As of tomorrow, I will be back at the farmer's market scene in the June Rowlands Park, hosted by Appletree Markets. So in mini celebration of my return to markets, I want to reflect on how I got started there.
Picture this, it's 2015 and the spring of my Grade 11 year. I am a gangly, barely-out-of-puberty 16 year old and still think I understand what "good time management" means (just wait until university). One afternoon, I had met with a family friend downtown, she studied poetry at a university downtown, and I wanted talk to someone about my lyrics. On my way home from a very reality-inducing conversation, I had thought a lot about what she had to say.
"You need to perform in public if you want to take music seriously"
And I thought had performed "in public". At school assemblies, at open mics in my school, and in front of my friends, but it's easy to do something scary in front of people that support you. I thought I had been taking music seriously, but I was 16 and knew nothing.
With extra time on my hands and a lot of thinking to do, I walked through June Rowlands park, where the market was being held. I had been to this market quite regularly with my family and friends, so I knew the general gist of what was going on. As it was every Tuesday, the market was bustling. Children ran after each other between the stalls, parents ate fish sandwiches at picnic tables and couples looked at crates filled with fresh vegetables. But there was no music.
There was no guitar, violin, singing, nothing. And if a cartoon light bulb could have appeared over my head it would have. I made a beeline for what appeared to be the organizers booth in hopes that this "no artist" was not just a fluke, but they truly had no house musician. Fortunately (for me), they were musician-less.
Within a month or two, I was all set up to play at the market that coming fall. I would run home after school to collect my gear from home, and set up shop in the sun and played for passerbys, I set out a guitar case to collect change and played for four hours nearly every Tuesday the fall of my Grade 12 year.
Flash forward, June Rowlands Market is still one of my favourite places to perform. I've learned so much playing at that market. I learned to shake off any fears about performing in public, I've learned to escalate my professionalism even in relaxed environments, to construct a set list catered to your audience and engage crowds no matter the size. Markets remind me why I perform, why I write music. For the people who sit for a song or two, even though they have no idea who I am. For the regulars who comeback week after week to hear me play Tracy Chapman's Fast Car. For the people who are enthralled enough to buy an album. I am so excited to return to the June Rowlands Market this week and hope to see you all there.
From me, with love, to you,
So, I'm not sure who noticed but I got Twitter. I'm not fussed if nobody noticed, I wasn't stoked about the idea of getting Twitter, therefore didn't advertise it the way I likely should have, nor have I been as active as I could have. But I got Twitter, or I guess re-got Twitter.
Yes, once upon a time I had a Twitter account. When I was 14 I had a terribly cringey Twitter account which served one purpose: proof that adolescents should not be on social media. It was full of terrible jokes and pop culture references I didn't understand well enough to comment on. It made me uncomfortable and self-conscious of everything I said.
So, if I didn't really want Twitter, why did I get it? Social media platforms can be a lot to manage and I consistently complain about not having enough time in my day. If I'm being honest I felt a little obligated. Not because I'm delusional and think people need to hear my thoughts. My inner thoughts are pretty mundane and consist primarily of random trains of thought that my sisters have to endure. But I felt that as an aspiring artist, I needed to make sure I was using all my outlets to reach as many people as possible. So I got Twitter.
But turns out, I still hate Twitter.
There are two main reasons. The first being I'm not "Twitter funny". Keeping up with trends on Twitter is insanely difficult, within the hour the world has shifted its attention to a new topic of conversation and if you didn't get your 280 characters down in that time, you're old news. Trends on Instagram or even Facebook for that matter last at least a day or two, whereas Twitter's constant updates mean even when you're ahead of the game, you're behind. And frankly I'm not that funny in the way Twitter wants you to be. I'm not the short, witty, funny that fits into a sentence or two. I mean, don't get me wrong, I've made people laugh before and if I really try I can tell a funny story. But when you think "Victoria", "funny" is not a defining attribute and I'm okay with that, that's why I'm in music and not comedy. So, 1/2 the people on Twitter looking for a laugh, won't necessarily be hunting for my account.
And the 2nd reason. If your not the 50% of the Twitter population looking for a laugh, you're looking at a political argument, a public shaming, or controversial issue. I'm going to speak very briefly on this, because my political opinion shouldn't matter to anyone. I'm not a politician and unless its in the comfort of friends or contextually fits into a discussion, there's no need for me to chime in. I mean I'll tag along in the social-media-political gossip if someone is doing something obviously wrong, like lighting babies on fire, but other than that I like to keep my (frankly) unimportant political opinions to myself.
And there are other tiny reasons I don't like Twitter; it feels vain thinking that my moment-to-moment thoughts are important enough to force other people to see, I don't feel like I have the time to keep up with it, and I'm just not that in-tune with how it works. Logically, you've all arrived at one conclusion:
"Victoria, just stop complaining and FUCKING DELETE TWITTER"
And to that I say: "I CAN'T".
I like Twitter. Don't get me wrong, I still hate it. But now I like it. I still maintain all my previous beliefs, and my Twitter is an embarrassing example of a social media profile, but I can't delete it. I keep wanting to get better, be better and say something funny, and instead make two consecutive tweets about birds as if I'm taking a degree in ornithology.
Anyways, at least there's always Instagram.
From me, with love, to you,
So, finals are officially done and May is practically here, and that means for another summer I'm packing up 90% of my life and going back to Toronto. Every year this begs the question from friends and strangers alike whether or not I want to stay in Vancouver or go back to Toronto? And even more, which city do I prefer? It's not that I don't want to stay in Vancouver for the summer. I have seriously considered staying on the west coast, but I can't say that I've disconnected from the east coast yet. Plus, I get to see my family and go to the cottage. So between that and the money I save living in Toronto, I spend summers back at home.
But this doesn't mean I like Toronto better. The longer I stay out here the less I'm sure about which city I like better. My first year in Vancouver I couldn't stand it, the weather, missing home, and university in general had my life in circles. However, over time I've built a family here, I've become accustomed to university and learned to deal with the rain (I'm not going to say I like it, I'm not crazy).
What made me fall in love with Vancouver? There is the obvious, I'm a fan of the people I've met. A city is only as good as the people it's filled with. Aside from that, Vancouver is active, people are constantly on their feet and looking for something to do. Granted, exercise is a hobby I rarely engage with, but it's nice always having the option. I can always find someone to walk the seawall with me or take the Sea to Sky up to Whistler. In addition, Vancouver springs are outstanding, not only are they super early in the year (compared to the rest of Canada), but the cherry blossoms make the city so beautiful it's practically distracting. I've loved engaging in the local music scene. The west coast has a thriving independent music industry and I've loved the way it has welcomed me over the past couple years. I've been able to grow as an artist and performer that Toronto wouldn't have allowed me to do. And finally, being by both the ocean and mountains is more than amazing.
But what about Toronto? Growing up on in Toronto provides a slight advantage - not that I'm keeping score. My family and childhood friends are there, and I've spent so much time getting to know the city. But if you ignore that obvious step up, Toronto is more of a city than Vancouver is. Toronto feels bigger, faster and more alive. I understand that it's not for everyone but I love feeling like my city is moving, it keeps me focused on looking forward rather than standing still. A bigger city also means more diversity and more experiences. Everyone in Toronto is that little bit more eccentric. Being normal is weird and being weird is normal. On a personal note, I love walking in Toronto; people in Toronto walk more often. It sounds stupid, but they just do. Finally, I love the snow in the winter, Toronto with a fresh layer of snow almost rivals a Vancouver spring covered in cherry blossom petals. Plus, when it rains it pours and then stops. You don't get seven days of grey like you do on the west coast.
Don't get me wrong, neither city is perfect, but neither is bad. I love both. Took me a long time to get to a point where I could say that, and I accredit it mostly to the people I've met, but I love both cities. There are days in Toronto I miss long walks through Kits, and days in Vancouver I'd kill to be at the Brickworks. Sorry if you were looking at this post to validate your opinion on your favourite city, that's not really what I'm here to do. I'm going to miss Vancouver this summer, but I am excited to get back to my roots for a little bit.
From me, with love, to you,
For many, summer is underway, or on the way in the next couple months. But as May is just around the corner and people are itching to get into the warmest part of the year, I want to talk about the phenomenon that occurs this time every year. The mass release of music. Whether you have two months to go to camp, four months in retail or you take two weeks off at work to go cottaging, it's hard to deny summer is buzzing in the air and the music industry knows that. This time every year, music is released in a slow and steady stream, with every song clammering to be the "song of the summer".
And yeah, I get that music is released all year, but summer music holds a special place in everyone's lives. The songs on played at beach parties and patio bars. It's the song that by mid-July is so rooted in your brain, you catch yourself humming it more times than is pleasant. Summer music is quintessentially happy. It's about getting away, living life, and being in love. This music becomes laced into pop culture history, and thrives on the laid-back nature of summer. People want to be in a good mood during the summer and industry knows that.
But in order for us to fall in love with this music all summer, it needs to be familiar before June hits and we're all well into developing our tan (or sunburn in my case). So this music is coming out now and over the next month.
And I understand if you think I'm being dramatic about how much of a staple these summer songs are in Western culture. But facts can't be exaggerated. In order to prove myself, I did a little bit of research and delved back in time to find old songs of the summer, just to prove how influential they are.
In summer of 1965, the charts were topped with The Rolling Stones' I Can't Get No Satisfaction, and The Beatles' Help!. I've decided to link these songs below just in case you live under a rock.
Not enough proof? 1972 featured both Brandy by Looking Glass and Lean on Me by Bill Withers.
And I could go on forever, songs of summer include Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (Jim Croce - 1972), Jessie's Girl (Rick Springfield - 1981), Papa Don't Preach (Madonna - 1986) and Macarena (Los Del Rio - 1996). YES. The MACARENA is a summer song!
And new music you ask? Old music isn't your jam? Crazy in Love by Beyonce (2003) and I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry (2008) in the 2010's and Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen (2012) and One Dance by Drake (2016) were all the top songs of their respective summers.
So I guess my point is, the music you listen to this summer is important. The music you love and sing along to, gets hung up on a wall among the greatest of the greats. Summer music is a cultural staple whether or not you want to realize it.
My picks for this year's summer song? Well, it's probably not even out yet but I've got my fingers crossed the Jonas Brothers will pull something out of their back pocket and bring back the era of bands. One can always dream.
Also, I'd love to know what your favourite summer song is? Not on this list? Not on any list? Let me know what gets you pumped for sunny days ahead.
From me, with love, to you,
(P.S. Because I'm no rookie, if you need sources. It's no APA formatting, but it does the trick.)
Every summer, university students across the world jump to LinkedIn and Indeed to pick up a summer job and I have joined them. For a while, I was putting off job-hunting, while I decided whether or not I was going to be staying in Vancouver for the summer. But as much as making the decision to go home has taken some of the pressure off, it also has made me accept the reality that it's time to buckle down and find a job.
In an old post (see below), I talked about how stressful being a university student is. With finals right around the corner (7 days to be exact), this stress has not subsided at all. And on top of all the usual life things that need to occur, I now need to job hunt. This means revamping resumes, writing cover letters, and explaining why I, over all the other qualified university students, are the best for the job.
And I'm not going to lie, at first the job hunt was fun. It was fun imagining all the fun things I could do this summer, all the exciting new opportunities four months out of school would give me. But this excitement descended into madness fairly quickly. I soon realized that I was caught in what I call "The Work Experience Loop".
The Work Experience Loop, while incredibly stupid, is quite simple to understand. It is the situation where a job requires you to have work experience to get the job, but not being able to get work experience, because all jobs want you to have work experience. See the problem?
And I'm not saying that I haven't had work experience, but it's hard to get a job that's not retail or service without work experience. I was looking at an internship (specifically for university students) in the music industry yesterday and it asked for 3 years of work experience in digital and social media marketing. THREE YEARS. Three years ago I was still in high school.
The second problem is my Long Term Plan. A Long Term Plan is your endgame, the job that you see your career path ultimately ending on. As much as I've loved working in retail, selling jeans and t-shirts isn't really where I see myself post-university. There's only so many times I can say the words "buy one get one half off" before my head explodes; retail fun but it doesn't get me up in the morning. My Long Term Plan lies somewhere else. And I've been putting off settling on my Long Term Plan for so long, working odd jobs here and there avoiding the fact that I'm entering my early 20's and it's time to figure out a direction for the next couple years (I am well aware my parents are somewhere reading this saying "it's time to get your ass in gear").
Frankly, I've been putting it off because of the Work Experience Loop. Afraid to apply to a job where I don't have a background in, Plus, no matter how you frame it, getting a "no" sucks. And knowing I don't have the work experience I need means I'm subjecting myself to a whole lot of "no". Starting something new and accepting the fact that I'm in and on my way to being an adult makes me a little weak in the knees. I don't understand how taxes work and I still don't have the self-restraint to not binge-watch Netflix, I'm definitely not ready to be an adult. The idea of settling and going for my Long Term Plan makes me want to throw up just a little bit.
So that's where I'm at right now. That limbo between being a student and being unemployed. There really is no silver lining to this story until I find a job, so that's it for now. Good luck in your job hunting, and hopefully yours is going better than mine.
From me, with love, to you,
My music background is diverse. I started in musical theatre at 10, after I was unable to shake a nasty speech impediment (I couldn't say the letter "r", truly quite traumatic when you're parents name you VictoRia). I loved singing, but unfortunately I had two left feet and musical theatre had a lot of "off seasons". My older sister suggested a private sector choir that her high school teacher conducted, one which she was constantly recruiting for. I was hesitant, choir seemed nerdy and it wasn't really my cup of tea. But I joined because I wanted to sing and my parents were starting to give up on my dreams of ever winning a Tony - seriously, I can't dance.
If I'm being honest, I didn't like choir at first. It was a level of discipline that musical theatre didn't have. I felt uncomfortable and out of place. I was a terrible sight reader (for people who don't sing, sight reading is exactly what you think it is, being given music and a starting note and just singing along) and struggled through what my peers found simple. But I dragged my feet through a full season.
That fall I went to high school and my conductor became my vocal teacher. I had to join another choir in order to keep singing in high school, and it was a program my older sister swore by. A lot of the faces I knew, friends of my sister's, friends from choir, and peers in my own grade.
Throughout this time, I stuck with the private sector choir I had replaced my musical theatre career with. I stuck with it because I made friends, I found a group of girls who I identified with. A little bit quirky, a little bit loud and I loved them for it, and they loved me. I found solace sitting in a church room every Monday night for hours, passing notes we wrote on our music, labouring as a group over intervals or vowels until our diaphragms were sore.
And my school choir. These people became my family. I spent an inordinate amount of time in choir at school. In the vocal room, practice rooms, and auditorium (singing in stairwells during exam session and the strings and bands students took all the practice rooms). The people in that choir I owe so much to, for getting me through incredibly hard times. They bore the brunt of my worst days and I am so grateful for them.
I joined choir to find an outlet and stayed because I fell in love with the people. Choir is the "team sport" of singing. You have your coach - your conductor, your captain - your section leader, and your teammates. Throughout my high school career I traveled to two different countries in choirs, sang in six different choirs, became a teaching assistant, a section leader, but most importantly, I made friends that I still tell everything to, because things aren't important if you're not with people you love. Granted, I still sight sing like a tone deaf cat, I got way more out of my experience in choir than anyone can ever teach me.
So go out their friends and find your team, because I found mine and it was fucking awesome.
From me, with love, to you,
"Lately, I've been stepping over things he's trying to build "
As I've talked about quite a bit on this website of mine, I was in a serious long-term relationship at one point. But we broke up and there was this big space in my life where he used to be, and frankly I was desperate to fill it with another human. I had spent nearly two years with a person that was my person, and I lacked that. I lacked the attention that comes with having a boyfriend, I lacked the feeling of being cared for. It's not that I wanted a relationship, but I wanted aspects of a relationship that my single life was missing.
A month or two into being single, I started hanging out with a friend of mine quite regularly, we talked everyday, saw each other all the time and he began to fill the space that had been left empty.
"I just want to be loved, I drag him 'round again"
However, I spent time with him for the wrong reasons entirely. A thing that I may have forgotten to mention is that I knew very well that my friend had feelings for me. He cared about me so fully, and I saw him as a friend. But I continued to see him. I continued to text him and talk to him, tell him about my day and let him comfort me when I was stressed. I knew I was being selfish, but I also depended on this micro-relationship I had built.
"Somehow, I feel lonelier when I'm with him"
That part of my life was so confusing. Everyday was filled with new feelings. I felt guilty for acting the way I was, for being selfish with a person I knew was so incredibly kind. I knew how he felt, and I knew how I felt. I would chicken out on plans that felt to commitment-y because I wanted a relationship without a relationship.
At the same time, I was so empty. I didn't understand why I kept doing this, why I didn't just go out and find someone I actually wanted to be with. I had this thing that was almost right, but it just kept reminding me that I didn't have the real thing. I had this mirage, and it was so delicate; I knew it was a matter of time before it disappeared.
And frankly, there were days when I liked him. When I almost went through with the whole charade because I genuinely wanted to.
"I feel wrong at the end of the day"
So that's what this song is about. It doesn't paint me in the most flattering light, but I stand by the way I felt and the honest story it tells.
I'm looking into sharing new music soon, keeping with my trend of 2019. Thank you so much for all the positive feedback my new stuff has received. I appreciate you guys so much.
From me, with love, to you,
I thought I’d do something different and engage in a little story time. Last weekend I met a very cute guy (let’s call him Guy for the sake of anonymity) at a bar after playing a show. And me, being human and attracted to cute guys decided I wanted to hang out with Guy. He was cute, and from out of town so if me and my awkwardness crashed and burned, then I really didn’t lose anything did I?
So, here’s where my night takes off. My friend and I are at the bar I played at and after my show Guy and I start making conversation. He proposed we move to bar #2. I’m a little hesitant because I have my guitar, but he says it will be really fun and he really thinks I should come. So, again, me being a girl, gets persuaded by Guy and the proposition of spending an evening with someone I find attractive. I cannot be blamed for my actions as of yet.
So, my friend, Guy and his friends, and myself relocated to bar #2, where things become interesting (please remember my life is remarkably vanilla so “interesting” comes with a little asterisk). I check my guitar in coat check, which if you know me is a lot of commitment because I don’t really let anyone touch my guitar, and spend some time getting to know this boy who I have committed my evening to.
I would also like to interject a new piece of information that is relevant to the telling of this story: I don’t enjoy when boys buy me drinks. I know this is weird and there are at least 20 girls reading this thinking “what the fuck, why do you go to bars?”. It started about a year ago when I realised that my guy friends were paying for my drinks. This wasn’t really fair, we are all in university, working minimum wage jobs. My friends and I are equals yet somehow, they got caught paying all the tabs because they have a Y chromosome. So, I pay for my own drinks 9/10 times. If I’m out with my friends and someone buys a round of drinks, I’m not going to be pretentious and make a big deal, but consistently (especially if I’m out with guy friends) I make an effort to pay for my own booze, or at least buy the next round.
That being said, Guy offered to buy my drinks and I didn’t want to get into a philosophical debate about my drink-buying policy with a stranger at a bar that I was trying to flirt with. I’m not a great flirt, but I know philosophical debates at bars are a pretty big “no”. So, I let Guy buy my drinks (I did offer, and offer, but he said no).
Things are going very well with me and Guy. Guy is being very touchy, so I be very touchy back. Guy says something flirty, so I do my best to muster up something witty in return. I’m really putting my best foot forward here. Until Guy brings up the conversation that ends the whole night:
Guy: So, I really liked your set
Me: Thank you
Guy: You write all your own songs?
Me: Yeah, I really like it
Guy: Can you write a song about me?
Me: Haha, what?
Guy: C’mon you wrote songs about other guys, what did they have to do sleep with you?
Me: I’m sorry, what?
Guy: Haha, it’s no big deal. I want a song, what do I need to do, sleep with you?
And here my friends, is where I take a pause from story time to let everyone know something. If you feel the need to offer sex in EXCHANGE for something, you have crossed a line. Just in case you needed to know where the line in the sand is, it’s right there.
From me, with love, to you,
P.S. To finish my story, I left briefly after. Guy asked me to stay using the ever-so flattering line “Oh what are you doing? I’m just an asshole when I’m drunk.” On the off chance he ever gets a song, which let’s be honest he got a blog post he isn’t special enough to get two things, I really don’t think it’s going to be the kind of song he wanted. Sucks to suck.
"I get caught up in the wind and I start to drift"
I floundered on writing this a little bit, the song is really personal, and sharing it's meaning was something I found kind of stressful. But I also wanted to explain it because a) it's a song I'm really proud of and b) I love the meaning behind songs just as much, if not more, than just the song so I figured there are a couple people out their who shared this feeling with me.
I wrote Steady last fall. It had been a year since I had been in a serious relationship and I had spent the last year trying to ground myself. My previous relationship had been passionate and all-consuming, meaning the burn out was overwhelming. And in the absence of this relationship I had filled my life with things that I hadn't otherwise been able to: music, philanthropy, school all took front seats in my life for the first time in a while.
"I keep locked on the shore with nothing to look for"
And all these big changes meant big highs as well as big lows. And this place where someone used to be, where someone used to bear the weight of my life, was empty. And I was pushing through on my own. While I'm grateful for the role my friends and family took in filling this space, there is something unique about having one person that is yours.
So while I was happy being single and I had built this life I was so proud to be living, I started reaching the point in which I was ready to start seeing people again. In the fantastic words of Ed Sheeran "Success is nothing if you have no one there left to share it with". So I decided to throw my hat back in the ring. I started flirting with guys again, I went on Bumble and (oh dear God) Tinder, just to see what was out there.
"The way this heart moves gets the best of me"
And it wasn't long before I developed a bit of a crush. But that's the thing about crushes, they bubble up and fizzle out, leaving you kind of hollow. And it happened again and again. The bubble and fizzle. Nothing of significance, just more frustrating than anything. I was frustrated that I felt like I was ready, but nobody else was. I was frustrated that I couldn't just settle on one person. I was frustrated that I felt like I was liking people for the sake of liking people and not because I knew anything would come of these crushes.
Steady was a way to express the fact that while nothing of any true substance had occurred, I was still getting tousled around. I was still trying to find my bearings and genuinely was unable to do so.
"I get caught up in you, the things that you do"
So that's what Steady is about. Just being in this void when it comes to your love-life. Where nothing happens, but you still feel like you're putting in all this energy. That feeling where you are begging yourself to find one person and settle down, but you can't. Where you're so unsure about what you want out of a relationship, you can't possibly know the right kind of people to look for.
So no, either people I know or listeners, trying to determine who Steady is about, I'm sorry to disappoint. It's about a feeling, one I hope you can relate to.
"The way this heart moves gets the best of me"
If you want to hear me play this as well as other new music, Friday March 1st I will be at the Roxy at 7:30pm!
From me, with love, to you,
What's going on?
Here's a place where I'll try to keep you updated on what's going on in my life and with my music to keep you connected.