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,
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.