So I am SUPER excited to be publishing this post because the one and only Ron Pope was able to answer some of my questions!
I’ve been a fan of his music for a long time so I’m over the moon about this 🙂
So if you’re having a really chilled sunday and want some afternoon reading then check this out!
I hope you guys enjoy!
When did you first get into writing songs?
‘I started messing around writing songs with my friend Chris when we were maybe 12 or 13. He’d come by my house with his classical guitar and we’d try to figure it out. Our first tune was called “Up In The Night.” It sucked. Then I wrote other songs that sucked for a long, long time.’
Do you have a routine with writing songs? Is it lyrics or music first?
‘I don’t have a set process. Sometimes it’s a lyric, sometimes it’s a melody or a guitar riff or some little piano part. I’m not precious with it; my songs come from all sorts of different places.’
What inspires you to write?
‘Depends on the song. Sometimes it’s a real life experience that I’m narrating from point A to point B; other times it has to do with a particular idea or emotion I want to get across. Sometimes it’s just a feel or a musical thing I want to explore.’
Do you have a favourite track of yours? If so what is it?
‘Right now, I am really having fun playing “Let’s Get Stoned.” That’s probably my favorite tune to play.’
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
‘We played on a tribute for Aretha Franklin earlier this year at Carnegie Hall. During the encore, I felt a big hand on my back. I turned to my left and there was Sam Moore with his arm around me. We sang harmonies into the same microphone during “Respect.” That was pretty surreal. I was like “Oh my God, am I a soul man? I feel like this means I’m a soul man!” “Hold On I’m Comin” and “Soul Man” are two of the touchstones in my life. I felt like the coolest person in the world and like a complete nerd all at the same time.’
What artist/band inspired you to start writing your own music?
‘Too many to name. I always wanted to write tunes and so many artists inspired and continue to inspire me.’
If you could collaborate with any artist who would it be?
‘Alive or dead? Hendrix, without question.’
How would you describe your music in 3 words to someone that hasn’t heard it?
‘Absolutely not reggae.’
If you weren’t a musician what career path would you have chosen?
‘I don’t really have any other skills; I’d be screwed if this didn’t work out. I just knocked on wood.’
What advice would you give someone who is wanting to start writing and releasing their own music?
‘Start by doing something good. If you’re writing songs, wait to release them until you believe what you’re doing is competitive with the artists you look up to. That’s who you’re competing with. You’re not trying to be the best songwriter in Atlanta; you’re trying to become peers with your idols. Don’t jump out of the gate too early; once you release music, it never goes away. Take time and hone your craft.’
Where do you see your music in 10 years time?
‘I hope that we keep reaching more people each year. I’m going to keep making records and touring. I will do what I do to the best of my ability until I can’t anymore. In ten years, I’d like to be more or less just like I am now, but better at all the things I do.’
If you want to check out Ron Pope there are some links below to his pages and music;
I’ve always been a huge believer in forgiveness, that forgiving someone heals you, helps you stand up a little stronger than before, helps you be someone better. It helps you move on from people that have wronged you, and not live with a bitter heart.
‘Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behaviour. Forgiveness prevents their behaviour from destroying your heart.’
Forgiveness is a second chance, it’s a chance to not make the same mistakes. I’ve learnt through this past year that people make mistakes, painful mistakes which leave you broken all over the floor, too broken to pick yourself up, too broken to even think about forgiving them.
But I found that holding a grudge against someone made me angry, made my whole body ache, I could see it turning me into a cold heartless person that would flip out on people for no reason, I started to become nasty towards people that were only trying to help me. I thought forgiving someone for the unforgiveable made you weak, but infact its one of the strongest things you can do.
Forgiveness gave me healing, none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes, not because we are bad people, but because we are human. What good would holding a grudge do? What good would it do if I stayed a bitter angry person? So I learnt to forgive. When you forgive someone, in a weird way you kind of feel set free, I had this image in my head that if I didn’t forgive and I held a grudge, they would feel so bad that eventually they would come running back and say sorry. But that didn’t happen. But I learnt in time that’s not the right or healthy way to go about things, forgiveness grants you the opportunity to let go. To let go of whoever has hurt you, or whatever pain you’ve felt, to be set free from whatever demons keep dragging you back. It’s a beautiful thing to forgive because you’re giving yourself a chance to be free again, to live.
I’ve forgiven people that I guess didn’t deserve it, that never asked for it, never made the effort to make an awful situation a little brighter, but that’s okay, because I think now that everyone deserves forgiveness, because where would we be without it? Try and not stay angry forever, it won’t do you any good, and you’ll never give yourself a chance to be happy again.
Remember, pain is temporary… I know that now, it doesn’t last, no matter how painful it seems at the time it soon fades and with time you start seeing that your days can once again be bright, and that is such a beautiful thing. Forgiveness taught me that I am stronger than the hell I went through.
I chose forgiveness then and I choose it now. Why hold on to something that is hurting you longer than it should? Forgive and then walk away. Forgive them and set yourself free, you’re not doing it for them, you are doing it for you.
Forgive when your heart has been broken into a million pieces, you’ll soon start to piece them back together. Forgive when people don’t treat you the way they should, forgive when the one you fell in love with betrays you. Forgive them. It may take all the strength and energy you have left but believe me, it’s worth it. You may think forgiving someone means they have won, but it isn’t a game. So forgive them and move on.
Once you do you’ll start to heal, you’ll start to grow back your wings that were once damaged on the floor, you’ll start to smile and you’ll start to believe in happiness again.
Hope you’re all doing well and having a great week! This post is a very different one but I’m really excited about it as I’m doing a blog on Johanna Alba’s beautiful EP ‘Silent Confirmation’
I’ve never ‘reviewed’ anything before and I’m not entirely sure how to go about it, but I love listening to music and I love writing so I’m just going to type away.
Johanna Alba is a Singer/Songwriter that is currently based in Manchester. She has influences of Jazz and Pop and combines them to create beautiful, easy listening songs.
So, If you haven’t already purchased this EP I highly recommend that you do, I fell in love with the tracks as soon as I listened to them.
She starts of the EP with the song ‘Silent Confirmation’. It’s a very mellow and chilled song, and has a Norah Jones feel to it (which I absolutely love). The whole song just reminds me of relaxing on a Sunday afternoon reading a good book. It just has that kind of feel where it automatically makes you feel at ease. I love when music can do that, makes you feel calm and at peace with everything. The whole song is just guitar and vocals all the way through, but she does an incredible job of keeping your ears interested. The melody of both vocals and guitar blend so well together, and the first time I listened to it I got shivers. Personally this track is my favourite from the EP, and while all the other tracks are sensational, this one reminds me why I love being a musician, the lyrics and music fit perfectly together. It’s a beautiful masterpiece.
Next up is ‘Can’t Stand Your Love.’ This one is a lot more upbeat than ‘Silent Confirmation’ but still has that easy listening vibe to it. This song will make you want to get up and have a dance, I felt myself tapping away listening to this. I love the way she shifts between rhythms throughout the song, it definitely mixes it up! Everyone loves a song where there’s a subtle dig at someone who didn’t treat you right 😉 I think this song is perfect for that, it’s also more upbeat than your typical sad heartbreak songs (which isn’t a bad thing) but this brings something fresh and new to the table. I’m now humming the melody, it’s very catchy…
Following on from that is ‘Runaway’, this song starts off pretty similar to the first track, where it’s just guitar and vocals, but then builds up for the chorus. My favourite bit of the whole song is the chorus, I’m absolutely in love with the vocals, Johanna has no problem hitting the high notes and does a beautiful job at hitting them with ease. Lyric wise this is my favourite, Lyrics I think for any song are definitely a HUGELY important factor, and she does amazing job of connecting the lyrics with the music. If you’re wanting some chill out music this song is a perfect fit.
Next is ‘All I wanna do’ – straight up this has such a groove ( I tried thinking of another word other than groove to use, but I think groove is the only word that fits this song) Yet again this song is so easy listening, she just keeps bringing amazing vibe after vibe but every song is so different. I think this song is perfect for putting it on in your car, with the roof down (or windows…the image of a convertible is always better though) with the sun blazing and the wind blowing through your hair, perfect drive music. Kinda like a movie scene. I’m sure everyone has pretended to be in a movie scene in the car at some point, next time use this track 😉
Lastly is ‘The Break’ this one is a lot more simpler than the other songs, this song doesn’t really need much because I think the lyrics carry this song. The harmonies and backing vocals just bring this song to life, and to be honest made me a little sad, But I love it when a song makes you feel that much emotion, she’s telling a beautiful story which is captivating from the start of the song to the very end. I think this was a beautiful song to end on, as it finishes off the EP perfectly and somewhat magical.
If you want to buy her EP you can purchase it on iTunes or listen to it on Spotify.
Website – www.facebook.com/johannaalbamusic
(You won’t regret buying it!)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, it was something very different! Like I’ve said I’m not a music reviewer and I don’t know if theres a certain way people do it but I just typed what I liked about the songs!
Anxiety is a tough one to explain. It’s also something people aren’t very comfortable talking about. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been dealing with anxiety for a long time just like many other people. To a lot of people that don’t suffer with it, it’s very hard to understand, even as someone dealing with it I still don’t get it either.
My anxiety can affect me in numerous ways, and believe me it really isn’t an enjoyable experience. Like I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, last year wasn’t a great year, and from then on my anxiety just got progressively worse. Even the little things turned into such huge problems. My anxiety made everything seem worse than it really was. It made me overthink things constantly.
My anxiety can affect my relationships with people in my day to day life, I break a little when I think that someone doesn’t like me, and I know that’s not a healthy mind-set to have, I shouldn’t go out of my way to try and impress everyone because that’s not possible. I’ve changed who I am many times to try and fit in with everyone, because the thought of not being liked scares me to death. Before everything happened last year I really didn’t give a crap what anyone thought about me, or what I was posting on Facebook or Instagram or how many likes a profile picture got, I wasn’t bothered when someone didn’t text or ring back. I was so calm and not fazed by anything. Fast forward a year and a half and I’m the complete opposite. To a lot of people I know it sounds pretty stupid and I can totally see why but to me it seems like the biggest thing in the world. If I text someone and they don’t reply I automatically think ‘what have I done wrong?’ ‘Do they not like me anymore?’ I will start getting myself into a state where all I can think about is this text. Hours can pass and I’ll still be focused on why this person hasn’t responded, I’ll go over previous conversations to try and get any explanation from it, everything soon starts to revolve around this one message. I never used to be like that, and it’s awful to think that my mind has turned into something like this but unfortunately I have to deal with it, some days its a lot easier to handle and other days its harder, but anxiety isn’t something that can disappear when you click your fingers, it’s a day to day struggle.
One of the main struggles that today I still face, and is one of the hardest things, is the fear of being left alone. I know that probably sounds quite silly and even writing it seems a little stupid but my anxiety can build up to a point where I think everyone hates me.
During points in my life I’ve been left to deal with stuff alone, I’ve been left at my lowest times and it sucked. Big time. But somehow I managed to get through it, but with that came the fear of being left alone. I’ve never been the type of person to need someone else to make me whole, or need someone to be happy, I can do that perfectly by myself, but the thought of being in a situation with someone, or a friendship/relationship and being left, terrifies me. It will get to a point where I will try and do everything to make that person stay but results in me just pushing them further away. My anxiety will make me think so many things are wrong so I have to act on it, because it obviously must be true if my anxiety is telling me that it is…I have pushed so many people away because I’ve reacted to stuff that didn’t need a reaction, because my mind was telling me it did. I think I was so used to people leaving that I almost expected it when the next person came along, I thought I knew what was going to happen and I just started counting down the weeks or months until this one just got up and left. I thought this was a healthy way to handle it, because if I constantly prepared myself for them leaving, it wasn’t going to hurt that bad. I was anxious at every argument if this was going to be the one to make them leave, I was anxious at every time I would see them, would this be the last time? I still struggle with this, but I always take each day as it comes and try to be grateful for each day I spend with the people I love.
I love being around people, in big groups, gatherings, parties and the rest of it. But in this last year sometimes big crowds can make my anxiety hit the roof. I’ll have to get up and leave and try and find somewhere alone. Don’t get me wrong I love going out with friends and enjoying time with them, but at the same time I also love spending time alone, which I don’t think is a bad thing. Sometimes my anxiety will be a lot worse on some days and I won’t want to go to the party or see my friends, I cant really explain it but I just have to be alone. I don’t really want to talk or see anyone. I just want my own company really. Especially now I’m in a happier place I love being on my own. I’ll read, or write songs, or play the piano, or watch stupid videos on YouTube, or write blog posts! 😉 I think it’s healthy for people to spend time alone.
I’m also a very anxious traveller. I’ve never been that great at travelling anyway, but if I know I’m going on holiday or somewhere with a long distance travel, my anxiety goes crazy. I will start freaking myself out before we’ve even set off, and most of the time once the journeys started and settled I’m normally okay, it’s just the first thought. It’s worse when it comes to flying, I don’t trust planes, and I’ve watched enough air crash investigation to put me off for life. I think it’s the fact that I can’t get off, with a train, bus or car you can get off as there are stops or you can just pull over, with a plane you can’t really land it when you need some fresh air. The thought of being trapped in a small space with lots of people makes me sweat just thinking about it. I’ll try and do everything to calm myself down but normally my anxiety doesn’t let me. So travelling isn’t really a fun experience, but as I’ve said before I take it step by step. I’ll try and do things to distract my mind so it wont go into overload.
My anxiety is not just awful for me but for the people around me, and I don’t think I realise just how much it can effect them. Some days I just feel really anxious for no particular reason and just want to stay on my own, but to some people I think they find it hard to grasp that if nothing particular has gone wrong then why are you in a bad mood. I wish it was easy to explain, but I literally have no answer for that, some days are bad days and sometimes there isn’t a reason why. I have to try and be patient and understanding of the people around me, because it must be a nightmare trying to deal with me. But at the same time they also need to be patient and understanding because you are constantly struggling with it, you need to meet half way.
If I’m ever feeling anxious and need to leave the situation or whatever it is I’m in, I’ll normally go and read. Reading helps calm everything because I’m not focusing on me, I’m focusing on this story. It’s a great way to spend some time out. Another way to calm my anxiety is going for a run. Running is a good way to clear your head, I almost feel like when I’m running, I’m running all the anxiety out of me. I think it motivates me even more.
I struggle with anxiety every day, and I know people can be embarrassed or afraid to talk about it, which is understandable. It’s not something that is easy to talk about or easy to explain, but it’s something that is so real to so many people.
More people than we think face it, and just taking it day by day and doing things suited to you will make it easier. If you ever feel anxious don’t force yourself to do something, have some time out, because anxiety is basically…a proper bitch. Do what feels comfortable for you.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! I don’t think anxiety is talked about enough, so I just wanted to give my side of things!
It’s been forever since I last posted because I’ve been so busy, and I’ve come home for a long weekend to have a relaxing break!
I thought I would post this as I have officially finished university! 3 years has flown by super fast and I’ve met some of the best people. So I thought this post would be a look back at some of the best moments at uni. (Cheesy, I know)
SO, I remember moving to Manchester 3 years ago, I can’t remember the exact date, but I know I was very excited and extremely nervous. I had a room booked at the very classy MSV (C126 to be exact).
It’s weird looking back now and remembering moving in so clearly. I wasn’t living on my own though, I lived with my good friend Dom Major. I obviously didn’t know him at the time, but he seemed an alright chap when I first met him. Dom was one of the first people I ever met at BIMM, and we’ve been friends ever since, although there was a point where I debated our friendship because that boy played John Mayer on repeat. I then met and became good friends with Heather and Ciara, and these 2 pretty much made first year for me!
I remember starting lectures and thinking how it easy it was, it was so much fun just to write songs and play them for the class. Since the year I was in, is the very FIRST year to graduate BIMM Manchester…the lessons and work were a little all over the place, and I can’t even remember what work we had to do. I kind of remember freaking out over a 300 word essay thinking ‘OH MY GOD, SO MANY WORDS.’ I obviously didn’t know what third year would bring…
Once lectures had settled in, I then became friends with one of my favourite people, Owen. My first thought of him was that he was a complete weirdo and I still think that now. We got on so well, and we soon started writing songs together, watching disney movies and talking about how hot Idris Elba is. Here is one of my fave pictures of Owen (you can tell how weird he is from this picture)
So far, first year was going grand, and it wasn’t until christmas time of first year that I started talking to the other half of Muth, Megan. We have been inseparable ever since. Honestly, attached at the hip.
One of the worst stand outs in first year was the End of Term gig just before we broke up for summer. Meg and I had wrote the smash hit ‘Home’ and we were performing it in Factory, which is where the gig was held (awful). This performance had to be, hands down, the WORST PERFORMANCE EVER. It was bad, not a little bit pitchy bad, but both in completely different keys bad. BAD. People were actually covering their ears it was that bad. Here is a picture from that night, it still hurts to look at it, it brings back such out of tune memories…
One of the funniest pictures from first year has to be this one of Matt and I. I will never get over his haircut in the picture, I love it. Underneath all that hair though is a wonderful human who I’ve shared some very fond memories with – and some very awkward ones. (We will never go see a theatre performance again…)
So that was first year over! I was dead excited to start second year as I had booked a flat with Meg and Charlotte, and I was just excited to see what second year would bring.
I remember moving into to our new flat to start second year, we were on the 12th floor, and the view was AMAZING. I could literally stare out of our kitchen window for hours and not get bored, it was beautiful. Before lessons started a bunch of us decided to go to 5th Avenue for a night out. It actually was one of the funniest nights ever, it was such a good way to start second year. Although this was the night that glandular fever decided to make an appearance. I haven’t been back in 5th Avenue since…
Once I survived nearly dying, second year had started and I already loved it. Looking back, second year was my favourite year. Not necessarily because of the lessons or work (obviously), but just the people. We did so much stuff that year, and I met so many new people that I didn’t even think went to BIMM! One of the highlights is obviously meeting this wonderful human, Romario. Quite possibly the funniest person I have ever met. He always used to say hi to me in first year and I would runaway from him because I was creeped out by the fact he was so nice and confident. (We laugh about it now) We became such good friends in second year and he is still one of my best mates.
Second year consisted going to a lot of open mics, which I loved. It was a great place to hang out and see the talent at BIMM. It was a shame that some of these got cancelled, but I’m glad I went along when I did.
Here’s a shot of Muth and Akcadamy enjoying Novus Open mic at the very start of second year!
Another highlight of second year was my 22nd birthday, it was such a good night and I had the best time with the best people. I ended up drinking a little too much… but it was absolutely brilliant. We ended up going to Deansgate locks and having a good old dance. I remember texting Meg about 10 times once we had all gone to bed saying ‘I’m definitely going into Toms 9am lecture, definitely.’ I never made it obviously… (I hadn’t died or anything, I was just super hungover and the thought of cultural perspectives actually made me throw up.)
One of my favourite tutors from first year decided to leave us all… we had a goodbye celebration at black dog (obviously) and just had a really chilled night! I did drink more wine than I thought I did, I also thought I was incredible at pool…I wasn’t. Heres a few shots of us from that night!
The lessons were a little heavier than first year, but I still enjoyed them! Although Research Methods was a killer, I never enjoyed that. I remember performing at the End of Term gig before the summer break, and this time it went well! I was over the moon with how well it went, and I was so looking forward to my last year!
We always knew how to finish each year in style and it wouldn’t be complete without a group photo!
So, third year had arrived. The first term of third year wasn’t a great term – so fast forward a few months till after christmas and this is where I started smiling again. I had just come back from a trip to Paris, where I had filled myself up on pastry and cheese so I was ready for the new term!
Meg and I were living in our own little cosy flat, which then later got infested with a family of Mice, which wasn’t pleasant. Once the mice had kindly left (died), we were able to go in the flat and not be scared to sleep with the light off. 😉
Third year pretty much consisted of WORK, WORK AND WORK. So many essays, I spent so much time in the library. I don’t think anyone was that social in third year, because no one had time. I did celebrate some birthdays though and I did give myself a break or two.
I also started rehearsing again for my own band! I had been writing loads of new songs and was so excited to bring them to the band! I’m so proud of where it’s going, it’s taking it’s time but I’m loving the journey I’m on. These guys are just incredible! (Also my drummer looks like Jim Chapman) Here’s me and the band –
A HUGE highlight from third year had to be when I met Ludovico Einaudi, I got to interview him for my dissertation and it was the most amazing experience. One I will never forget. What a talented man! I also went to see him live the night before which was unbelievable, I had been wanting to see him for ages but he was never in the UK. I would 100% go and see him again, what a magical night.
Once I had completed and handed in all my work, the girls and I decided to celebrate with having lunch in the sun! (I ended up getting sunburnt on my head) but it was so worth it.
So, that has been my 3 years of Uni in one blog post. Obviously there have been so many amazing memories I could’ve talked about but I would’ve been here forever! My uni experience has been one I will never forget, I’ve had the most amazing time at BIMM, and some of the worst times but I made it out and finished with a HUGE smile of my face. I’ve met some of the best people, and some of the most talented. I can’t believe 3 years have gone by, but what an incredible journey, and I can’t wait to see what we all do next…
I hope everyone has had a great week and a lovely weekend so far.
So…I’m really nervous about doing this blog post but I just felt like I needed to write everything down. I think this is probably the most personal blog post I’ve ever written. So here goes…
Today hasn’t been the best day, I’ve found myself crying at points throughout the day and couldn’t really seem to switch it off. Some days I get like this, and that’s because I’ve been through an awful lot in my 23 years of being on this earth, that sometimes it just gets a bit to much for me.
Today was one of those days.
Today I realised that humans break easily. I don’t know why I’ve just realised it today. I thought I was the only one that kept breaking and trying to fix myself. Turns out I’m not.
I’ve been broken before, I’m not talking about a broken bone or anything like that, I was broken as a person and my heart was completely shattered all over the floor, that even now I’m still trying to piece back together. I lost myself as a person, I didn’t know who I was anymore, I would wake up every morning and cry, wander around aimlessly not really knowing what I was doing, I didn’t eat. I think the most I had in a day was a packet of crisps and an apple, so obviously that didn’t go down well as I lost about 2 stone in the space of 2 months. But I had no appetite, I was that broken that even eating seemed pointless.
I’ve been hurt before, whether that being a fall out with a friend or an argument with somebody, and it gets you a little upset. You have a cry and then you move on. You get over it. This time though I got the feeling this wasn’t something I just had to ‘get over.’ I had to learn from it and understand it and eventually the process of moving on will come. I couldn’t just click my fingers and suddenly everything was ok again (believe me, if I could do that I would) but you can’t. I had to take time and that was the thing that sucked most about it all. Time.
It felt like forever. Each day seemed harder and harder, and the days just kept dragging. I just wanted to get out of Manchester and go home, but then when I went home I just wanted to be in Manchester. I wasn’t happy wherever I was going. Weeks passed and nothing had changed, I was still this broken mess that wasn’t getting any better. I had no idea what to do, I didn’t want to do anything but wanted to do something. If that makes any sense. Friends would try to cheer me up or take me places but I just wanted to be on my own and cry. I remember actually looking forward to the evening so I could just cry on my own in my room because I needed to let it out, it actually hurt keeping it in all day.
My mind was just constantly playing tricks on me, I was constantly trying to fight it but through those months it just kept winning. I kept thinking ‘how will I ever be okay again?’ I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, I couldn’t even see a tunnel, I was just in darkness. I was constantly on edge and scared of everything. There was no hope, I couldn’t find any, it got to a point where I just thought ‘Right, this is it. I’m done.’
I remember it was mid November, and it was freezing outside and raining. (Obviously, it is manchester) and I had just woken up from my 4 hours of sleep, which was what I was getting each night. I wanted to sleep but I couldn’t, my brain wouldn’t let me. I wasn’t looking forward to the day as usual, each day I was just waiting around to see what kind of torture today would bring. I remember heading off into my lecture in the afternoon, but had to leave early because even sitting down in a room full of people with everything going on just flipped me over the edge. I think I was in that lecture for about 10 minutes before I left. Even 10 minutes was too hard for me. I remember heading down to Bristol after that lecture to stay with a friend, for the first time in about 3 months I was actually looking forward to going somewhere. It was only a small excitement, tiny in fact. But it was something. That weekend was the first weekend in 3 months I laughed. I don’t mean giggled or a really crap fake laugh. I mean crying from laughter. Which was amazing because every other time I cried I was crying because I was sad.
That weekend I’ll always remember, the weather was awful and I got soaked through on each day, but I laughed. I laughed properly. I even ate a full meal and actually managed to stomach it. We didn’t do a ridiculous amount on that weekend but that weekend was a turning point, and it was only when I was walking around Bristol on the evening with all the lights and my friend by my side that I actually thought ‘I’m gonna be okay.’
From then on, I’ve just kept getting better and better. Some days, like today are not so great, but I have to deal with it and grow with it. I know tomorrow will be better. I started eating again, I started going out and actually having a good time, I started getting a good nights sleep, I started to enjoy peoples company and not constantly wish to be alone. I started to be kind to myself and love myself. I started to live again.
Looking back on what happened to me is hard, but it’s a story that I am so proud of. I’m never going to be ashamed of what I went through and neither should you. Whatever that is.
I’ve learnt that we all broken. We are all trying to fill in the cracks. We are all trying to face life the best way we can. Instead of constantly being broken on the floor, I decided I’m going to take my broken pieces and make them beautiful.
So since it’s coming to the end of April, it’s time for a monthly favourites post! Lots of wonderful things have happened this month and I’m excited to share them with you.
So first off one of my best friends from home came up to visit for the weekend at the beginning of April, which was lovely. I hadn’t seen her in a while as she now works down in London so it was great that I got to spend some time with her.
I started reading a new book called ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ by Matt Haig. One of my friends recommended it to me and I’m really glad he did because it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend to go and get it. It’s about the authors journey through depression and how he came through it, it’s absolutely brilliant.
I’ve also just purchased a new healthy cook book! Since I’m still running I thought it would be a good idea to start eating a little bit more healthier. It’s called ‘Get the Glow’ by Madeline Shaw. It has lots of really cool and fun healthy recipes which are so easy to make, it also has exercise routines and mediation tips!
I went to go see the Jungle Book movie – which is absolutely brilliant! I love going to the cinema and I haven’t been much this year, so it was really enjoyable to go. It also had Idris Elba voicing one of the characters and everyone loves Idris so thats a big enough reason to go and watch it. I’m not going to explain what the Jungle Book is about because you should all know. If you don’t then what have you been doing with your lives!? Seriously…(I thought I would add a picture of Idris in just to spice up this blog, he’s also great to look at. You’re welcome)
The band and I have also got our set down! We had a great rehearsal at Blueprint studios the other day and everything is sounding great. It’s taking longer than I thought to get everything sorted but be patient because it is all coming together! You’re all in for a treat.
I also went to go and see a play at HOME Theatre called ‘Caresses’, which was rather interesting… I went with my friend Matt and we came out of it quite disturbed. I’m not going to go into detail with what happened during it, as I don’t think its very appropriate for a blog post but it was definitely thought provoking…
I haven’t been to as many gigs as I would’ve liked this month, I think work and essays have just taken over my life at the moment, so I’m struggling to find time to go and see gigs! I did catch a couple though, one of which is a band I spoke about in my March favourites blog. RUNAH.
This night was a little different as I normally see Tara perform with a full band, but it turned out to be even more captivating. She played electric guitar, and was accompanied by Singer/Songwriter Emerie who provided beautiful harmonies. Their voices blended so well together, and it was amazing to see everything stripped back. Each song was performed so elegantly and with a vulnerability that I found so affecting. The whole night was brilliant but RUNAH delivered the emotion, and that’s one of my favourite things. I had shivers through the whole set and was completely lost in the music from the very start.
Go on and check out their sound cloud, you won’t be disappointed – soundcloud.com/runahband
I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and are having a relaxing sunday! It’s also very sunny and warm in Manchester which has brightened up my day. So now it’s time for another blog post – I know you’re very excited.
I have lots of thing I want to say in this one and I usually do abit of planning beforehand, but I kind of just wanted to type this one out really and see where my thoughts take me.
So this morning I woke up and had a little cry. I think it’s only just hit me that I graduate University in about 6/7 weeks and then I have to go off into the real world. Thats a very scary thought and if I’m being honest I really don’t think I’m ready. I have a few things lined up after university which I’m hoping to go on and do, and I’m frantically running around trying to plan everything out. University has taken up 3 years of my life and in some funny way you think that it’s not going to end. You feel like you’ve got forever to figure your life out but then soon enough it’s April and you’ve got a load of deadlines and graduation is looming…
I use this app called Headspace. Its brilliant. It’s a meditation app, and it helps to just make me feel more calm. Especially in these past couple of months its proved very useful! I highly reccomend it.
Anyway, I came across this quote today and straight away I just felt more at ease and more calm with my life after University.
‘Don’t be in such a rush to figure everything out. Embrace the unknown and let your life surprise you.’ – Unknown
I love this quote. I don’t need to have my whole life figured out. Don’t get me wrong it’s good to plan things and have goals and aspirations – but don’t be in a rush to try and figure it all out. I’m only 23, I’m still so young and I’ve still got so much to learn.
Don’t be in a rush to settle down – Just because you’re in your 20’s, does not mean you now have to get married. Don’t think because all your friends are getting married and having children that you have too. You don’t. Go and travel the world, go to cities you’ve never visited before, run a marathon, jump out of a plane, go swimming with sharks – (I will do that one day…) Don’t be in a rush to have everything figured out, it’s okay to be unsure, that doesn’t make you a bad person or a failure. That just makes you human.
Being in your 20’s is such an amazing time. You can take chances you won’t be able to take when you’re older, you can meet new people and see new places. Take time in learning to love yourself, you’ll enjoy life so much more. It’s okay to take things as they come, to make mistakes and change paths. Don’t let anyone put you down for not knowing what you want, some of us take longer to get there and thats okay. Trust that things will fall into place. It’s okay to be uncertain, embrace the unknown – you may just surprise yourself with who you turn out to be.
It’s okay to not know what you want to do in 10 years. Enjoy the moment you’re in now and make it the best moment it can be. It’s okay to not know exactly where you’re life is heading. Challenge yourself everyday that pushes you in the direction of your goals, it doesn’t have to be huge but as time goes on, the future that seemed a little cloudy 3 months ago will start to seem abit more clearer.
Most of all – don’t think that everyone else has figured life out. While some people are further along the journey than others, we’re all in the same boat. Don’t forget to enjoy your life, don’t stop striving for your dreams but be open minded to change. Don’t keep looking back to the past, be excited of where you are right now and look forward to where life can take you. It can be all kinds of wonderful.
So a few of my recent blog posts have been about issues that I’m really passionate about, I really enjoyed writing them and the response I’ve had from them has been amazing. So I thought I would do another post on a topic that I think a lot of people struggle with.
‘Believing in yourself’
‘When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt’ – Honore De Balzac
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been the greatest lover of music. Whether that was listening, writing or playing. I fell in love with writing songs from an early age, and I knew that was all I wanted to do. I did have a little break where I thought about becoming a doctor, but I think that was because I had watched too much Grey’s Anatomy. (It’s so addictive) I’m also not great with needles so that definitely wasn’t a path I should’ve taken!
During my love of writing songs, I started having piano lessons and I was finally able to write songs with music! My first song was actually about my older sister and it was called ‘Sister Sister’ – Yes, very skilled. I know. But learning piano really made my songs into something great , and I loved writing about how I felt. Songwriting I think, is one of the best ways to express yourself.
I’ve been told many times and I’m sure lots of other musicians have, to just give up as its not a real job. When I’ve been out with friends and people ask me what you do for a living and I tell them I’m a musician, they look at you like – ‘Are you being serious?’ This automatically placed a seed of doubt in my mind. I felt that there was no point in being a musician because to a lot of people a musician doesn’t really do much. There was a time when I actually felt quite ashamed, and had really wished that I was doing something where people would respect and admire what I was doing. I looked at a lot of my friends and they were at some of the top University’s studying subjects that would no doubt get them a great job at the end of it. Some friends bagged jobs straight away in a profession where they could live comfortably – and then there was me, the piano player that liked to write songs.
During school I think I lost a lot of confidence because no one was necessarily bothered about a new piano piece I could play, they were more bothered with the people who were having a sweet 16 birthday bash at the local village hall or how many friends you had on Bebo. Don’t get me wrong there was nothing bad about being excited for these things, that’s great, but doing music through school I definitley lost sight of where I wanted to go. I guess I was quite scared in a way, when fear grabs you, it suddenly feels like all your goals are out of reach. I was constantly questioning my ability and knowledge in everything I did.
Growing up and starting college and then University I started to believe in myself more. I realised that there is no point in fighting self-doubt. I needed to train it, and by that I mean I no longer tell myself ‘I will never be a good enough Songwriter or Pianist’ – instead I say ‘What can I do to become better?’
Learn to recognise when self doubt is kicking in. When your mind is telling you that ‘You can’t’ or ‘What if I fail?’ – remember that you can always try again. And do just that. Doing this will transform a negative situation into an opportunity for growth. Give yourself a chance to shine, let the world see just how amazing you are!
Try and avoid toxic people and toxic situations. You need to surround yourself with people who are supportive and passionate, people who inspire and bring out the best in you. Through college and University I’ve met some of the greatest people who will constantly push me, and help me become the best musician I can be. I’m around some of the most talented people I’ve ever seen and every time I see someone play, whether thats a Songwriter, guitarist, bassist or drummer – I come away feeling inspired and a feeling of just wanting to play.
There will be times when self doubt will kick in a lot harder than you can imagine. Coming to the end of last year I had no interest in writing songs. I had a lot going on and I just lost all motivation and confidence. I had no interest in sitting down at the piano and writing. I physically couldn’t bring myself to do it. I felt like I wasn’t good enough – I had a lot of rejection through that time and that suddenly just took it’s toll on me. But being a musician and even in every day life you are always going to face rejection. Yes it sucks, and it’s not a nice feeling, but I’ve learnt to accept and grow with it. I’ve grown as a person and a musician and I’ve been working on a set of music that I’m so proud of and so excited to share with everyone.
Don’t let anyone tell you to give up, or that you’re not good enough. Allow your dream to motivate you. You are all amazing and can do anything you want with your life. Have belief in yourself that you can be the person you’ve always wanted to be. Have belief in yourself that you can do whatever you’ve been wanting to do. Don’t give up. Try again. I believe in you.
I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and are ready for the week ahead!
Since my post ‘Finding happiness in you’ went down so well (Thanks to all the people who messaged, emailed and text me to say how much they loved it) I thought I would write another one. I’ve had this idea for a long time but I didn’t know how to write it, I’m still not completely sure but I think it’s such an important topic to talk about.
Recovering from something whether that being an eating disorder or depression is something a lot of people are too afraid to talk about. I completely understand why people are, because when you talk about something so personal you are automatically making yourself more vulnerable to everyone. Whether you’re male or female you should never be ashamed about your recovery or what you went/or are going through.
Recovery is a beautiful thing. It shows just show strong you really are, and that should be celebrated.
Mental health is real. Battling with your own mind is scary. It’s not something that can be turned off like that, It’s a real struggle that people face every day. One of the saddest things is that in a lot of people you can’t tell whether they are struggling, and knowing that breaks my heart. Underneath all the smiles and the laughs is a person who is constantly trying to find a reason to carry on the day. That’s something that shouldn’t be ignored. Just because you can’t see the pain it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. To all the people feeling like this or going through something similar, I just have to say one thing – You are not alone.
Whatever demons you’re struggling with you are not alone. When I was going through hard times I was constantly told I wasn’t alone, at the time I never believed it because I got myself into such a state that I thought I had no one. But as the months went on and I started to heal, I realised I had never been alone through anything, and that was such a wonderful feeling. I look back now and feel so blessed that I had such amazing friends and family that never gave up on me even when I gave up on myself.
Some days are worse than others, but thats okay, you’re allowed to have bad days. Don’t feel like you have to put a brave face on to the world every day. I think a lot of people don’t realise how strong they actually are.
My road to recovery is still on going, but it’s a beautiful thing to witness. I look back to 6 months ago and I’m not in that place anymore. How amazing is that?! I wake up every morning with a reason to smile, life is so beautiful and you can do whatever you want with it. Have faith in yourself that you can get through whatever you’re going through. It will hurt, and it will be hard, recovery isn’t the easiest thing to do. But you’ll soon look back and weeks will have gone by and you’ll realise you haven’t cried, or you haven’t been fighting with your own mind, or you haven’t self harmed – and that may seem like a small step, but that’s a step in the right direction.
Relapsing will sometimes happen during recovery. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. You just have to get back up and keep trying, and believe me as the days go on everything will become just a little easier – You matter, don’t ever let anyone else tell you different.
Embrace your recovery, be proud at the fact that you’ve managed to get out of bed in the morning even when you really didn’t feel like it. Be proud at the fact that you managed to go the whole day without crying. Don’t be ashamed of your story. I’m not saying that recovery is easy but it is worth it. Watch how you grow and change as a person, along the way you’ll learn how to love yourself again. Every day is a constant battle but keep fighting. You are all wonderful warriors and deserve all the happiness in the world.
Like I said, I’m not really sure how well I wrote everything. I just kind of sat down and typed.
‘Be faithful in the small things, because it is in them that your strength lies.’ – Mother Teresa