22. Checkpoint.

Standard

Last week, I officially reached the age of 22 and reached a dreaded point of no return. (If you think that’s dramatic, just wait until you read the next couple of lines.)

A couple years back, with my best friend, we set a time limit for our goals/dreams, stating that by the time we reached 22, we should be at least x% there (with x not being 100, because that would have been unrealistic). More like a “best before” date where, if our goals were not met, our ability to achieve said dreams would just expire and we would simply die. Yes, die. Implode. Explode. Cease to exist, somehow. I know, a bit dramatic… But we were desperate for something to look forward to and the idea that in such a very near future we would be somewhat closer to our dreams, it was just that and more!

Now, it was a very reasonable goal that I set: to, at least, have the start of something on the way and at best, already be a little bit further. Rather vague, I’ll give you that, but that’s just how my plan-making works! Ha ha Anyways. Although it was reachable goals, providing us with a specific point in time to look at and work hard towards, it still had this ominous undertone basically implying that life would end if we didn’t even get to those mediocre levels before then. So, now that I think of it, that was probably responsible for a percentage of the pressure on my shoulders as I desperately tried to build up skills and make reality shift my way.

As I am typing this, you can tell that I am alive and have, indeed, reached the goal. In fact, I have exceeded my expectations! Which is quite a fucking relief because, if you know me, you know how deeply and intensely I care about things and especially the life thing, and I cannot imagine (i.e. I can exactly imagine) what would have happened had I not fallen into the place I am right now.

Looking back, you know, it’s always been a rollercoaster. There’s some v low lows, some lesser lows and some higher lows, yet through it all, I’ve always been going up, even as I spiraled down. And with this past year being what it was, my birthday felt like a checkpoint. Not just a new chapter, leaving the rest behind that thin new page, but a completely new book waiting to be filled. Now, I don’t know how many books have previously been put on the shelf, I can’t look, the amount of dust would make my asthma go ballistic. Right now, all I’m overwhelmed with is all the blank pages, all the fresh spaces and all the possibilities. The past is still here, realer than ever, but it’s old news.

My last four birthdays had each been a different shade of blue which left me feeling very apprehensive for this one and also, the bar wasn’t very high. I was hoping for the simplest of days possible. I wished for it to be just a regular Friday where I would do stuff in the morning, practice in the afternoon and go to the open mics in the evening. And, I’m happy to say it was just that: not extra but not fucking dark either. People were nice to me, I got cake, heard my mom’s voice and all went well. Unbelievable! Ha ha

I think I did cry at some point but I don’t remember now. I was, in fact, rather miserable all day long but that’s actually just the way it is. I turn into Eeyore on my birthday, each year. Don’t ask why, I’d just shrug and say I don’t know, although I do know (but the list is so long already and it keeps growing). But, yeah, despite the heaviness of it all, it was a decent birthday and the best I’ve had in a while (oh boy). And it’s nice now that the bar is so low because it can only mean that all the next ones will be better!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To come back to the whole time limit drama, I think 18 year-old me would have been proud, to be honest. Back then, I couldn’t hold a tune, play a scale, write a song, travel alone for the sake of me, had never sang on a stage and was, to put it simply, a disastrous trainwreck with none of my issues under “control” (if acknowledged at all). All I had was a dream and hopes dangerously tied to a blinding despair.

Somehow, I survived all of these years through the storm and even the darkest of days where I had almost completely given up all. I guess I must have been sinking upwards, because the deeper I get, the brighter it keeps getting. *confused frown*

Point is, I have achieved so much in all of this short time!

Sure, the first three years and nine months showed rather slow progress, loads of regression actually, and painful growth.. It was a slow motion journey, dragging my weary bones all the way to where I am now. But the last three months of this journey were packed with progress, light, love, hope, confidence and my reborn fire. I swear, during these four years (could these be the content of the book I was mentioning earlier? would make sense!), the most progress I made was in July, August and September this year, all the way to today when I am writing this in my cosy bedroom.

I am not very sure how, but I managed to cram all the hard work that should have been slowly spread out over those years in three months. It was crazy how it all happened. But I’m glad it did now because I didn’t die. And I am living my best days, blooming a little more every minute into the person that I was made to be and connecting with all types of beautiful souls.

So, yeah… I am 22 now. Things are indeed on the way (and even maybe a little bit further than that). I am alive and well. Fire is burning real hard, I have all the fear and light to fuel it. My progress has been saved and from this point on, it’s only hmmm…. Sideways! It’s only sideways we go! (screw “up”)

This post is nothing like I wanted it to be, but you know what? I don’t give a asdfghjkl because, as it turns out, I am more focused on working hard right now and welcoming all that’s to come to care about what was and has been. Like I said, checkpoint has been passed, progress has been saved, my past isn’t going anywhere. As a matter of fact, it’s not going anywhere without me and, like my trustworthy sidekick it’ll always be right over my shoulder when I look back. So, no worries, you know I will be writing letters to my past again. can’tletgo

Nothing like a checkpoint to give you just enough confidence and fearlessness to run through the rest of a level like the mad man that you are.

Until next post, keep running! ❤

P.S.: I almost forgot, but last Thursday was Nostrum’s birthday! Our first year together!!! 🙂

Advertisements

safety match (original song)

Video

Loads of things happening lately, guys! I’ve got some really cool songs on the way and some done as well, which I’ve been performing a couple of times already at the open mics. In time I will share them but for now, take this raw one I “finished” this morning.

Crack my bones like matches, I can be your light

Lift me off the ground, I’ll come back to life and I’ll

I’ll be a place that can hold both your brightest smiles and all your darkest heartbeats

Crack my bones like matches, burn me to the ground

I will rise again and bloom inside your loving arms

And I’ll be your home, your light, the fire burning in your eyes

If you just say the word I’ll rip my heart out of my chest for you

Crack my bones like matches

I will follow you into the darkness, I promise

If you just hold my hands we won’t get lost

We’ll be just fine, we’ll be alright, we’ll be okay

Performing for the first time tonight!!

Aside

Hey there!

I still haven’t finished the post about my holidays back home, but it is on its way. It contains feelings which are hard to get out just yet, so it’ll take the time it needs!

I just wanted to write this right here to let you all know that I will be performing at an open mic tonight in the city! It will be my first ever musical performance and I cannot wait!

I will be singing Brandi Carlile’s what can I say alongside my latest original song, Running Gag.

I’ve been practicing all week long! I’m a little nervous right now even though it’s only four hours away. But I’m confident!

I’m going to be watching some Brooklyn 99 right now and rest my voice for a while! I wanted to do some work but my brain is too ecstatic for me to do anything other than relax atm.

I literally can’t wait anymore!! I am not fully ready, but I am so ready!!

I will definitely be blogging about it tomorrow!! Maybe I’ll even get some videos of it, which would be great!

I will do my best and I hope that it all turns out awesome and I can have some nice memories of this first time!

Cheers!

Feeling g(.)(.)d

Standard

pardon the silly title he he

Today was such a beautiful day. In a very simple way. And I just feel so good! So, here’s me, writing a blog post about this beautiful day.

IMG_20180529_185201.jpg

I went for a walk this morning, straight after dropping the kids to school. Usually I take the bus to the city, so I can read a bit and then walk back home, but I wanted to try something different. And so, I called my sister and walked all the way to the city. One hour under the warm morning sun!

When I reached the city, I had a quick debate with my sister whether I should go for a coffee or not. And eventually, I settled for an ice cream, which I devoured on my way back home!!! And from then on, I just got some nice little surprises. From the smile of the busker to whom I gave my change to the group of French tourists I helped. It was a lovely morning!!

And then, when I got back home, I only had enough time to have a snack and practice my guitar scales.

 

I was not so productive, although I did go through one of my theory exercises. (Just now.) It’s a “sight-playing” exercise which I’ve been struggling on for the past two weeks. And this time, I actually managed to play through it all with a click on (70bpm… hehehe). I mean, I did make loads of mistakes but I kept playing anyways, adding some silent bars and beats here and there! Ha ha

Although I wish I had done more, I am completely at peace with it.

Another thing that I talked about in the videos for channel #2, is how, apart from feeling overall good, I’m also just feeling very happy with my little empire that I’m slowly building.

These past few months, I have become more aware of all the progress that I’ve made ever since I started working on building this empire. And I’ve been giving myself more credit for all the distance that I’ve walked already! Although I am fully aware that I’ve not even reached half of it, I am proud of myself for having gotten so far. All the hard work (stubbornness) is starting to pay off…

I’ve done loads of looking back, and remembered of all the immense struggles that I used to have when I had just started learning the guitar/singing. It fills me with confidence and powerful hope, and never fails to bring a smile to my face. I am now capable of doing things that I once thought I could never possibly do. And I have overcome most of the things that used to hold me back!

There’s a lot more skills, a lot more confidence and way more natural and magic! Which is something that I was telling my host dad last night, as we shared a beer in the back garden and joked about Robert the pigeon.

As you may already know, I’m always looking for the light everywhere, and there is a special thing that I see in everyone which I like to refer to as “a spark” or “un je-ne-sais-quoi” for when I’m feeling French. And that spark is something that I’ve been feeling pretty much in everyone. From my favorite artists to my friends whose art resonate in me.

And the thing is that I am now starting to feel it in my work… Like, last night, for example, as I was listening to What You Are Without Me with my host dad, I could feel some sparks in the music, filling the air with a strange, haunting, magic. And it’s crazy because, it is my voice; it is me.

And you know what’s even crazier? It’s that I can feel it, inside of me, that it is happening. Soon. I can see it slowly building in my hands, as I write better songs and manage to reach more people. And I can feel it deep inside that it’s all just around the corner. And it is terrifying!!! (I will surely elaborate on that feeling on another post pretty soon.)

But it also makes me so happy.

This is the main reason I came here in the first place anyways. To get my empire rolling. And, guys, not to jinx it, but it is happening!!!

When I come back from my holidays (which are in less than three weeks now!!!), I will be jumping head first in! And I just can’t wait…

IMG-20180527-WA0011.jpeg

Life is good. I’m in such a good place. Things are looking up.

I’m more me. I’m creating more and better. I’m happier and healthier! And surrounded by such supportive and kind-hearted people & a pigeon.

Things are almost fully on the way! I’m seeing my family again in three weeks.

My songs are cool. I’m cool. Robert is cool!

And the new season of Arrested Development is finally on Netflix!

What is there not to get excited about?

I want it all!

Anyways, until next post, make sure you keep looking for the light! It’s always there. Not always the color you’d expect. But it is real and it is everywhere!

I had such a beautiful day and it’s only Tuesday, so hopefully that’ll help me rock the rest of this week!! ❤

Hard working rhymes with self-loving!

Standard

Last week I took a break. Tried. And it was really hard.

But during the last few hours of it, I eventually had a breakthrough. And now I’m back on the road, at a slow walking pace, trying to catch up with the image of who I’m trying to be.

These four days were intended to be a “mental health break”, where I would let go of all the necessary and unnecessary pressure, and focus on feeling good. Relax, as Esther likes to say it. It was supposed to calm me down and help me find my way again. Kind of like a “spring cleaning” of my mind, sorta???

IMG_20180420_160823.jpg

It was hard to step away from work! Simply because “work” literally consists of all I’m passionate about. And also, it wasn’t easy to ignore the loud voice that always goes: “you gotta work harder or you’ll never get there on time”; ‘on time’ referring to my time, as in whenever I’m scheduled to die.

I had to resist the cravings to open up my books or pick up pens or bring out my guitar. And, at first, it was the hardest I had ever had to try not to do work!

But eventually, my body settled into a more relaxed, as in lazy, mode of life — which I actually used to be very used to, years ago.. And so I had four days that were very different from whatever lifestyle I had settled into ever since I got here.

Although they didn’t bring me the peace I expected, they really helped my sanity and body. I did loads of walking and watched loads of my favorite shows, and, most importantly, I let go of some of the pressure.

IMG_20180513_202919_305.jpg

If you know me, you know I’m not one to take breaks, and certainly not long ones.. But I’ve just been so stressed out these past few weeks that I had to do something about it. What motivated me to take action was that the small breakdowns just kept happening and it was both draining and frustrating.

Anything would be enough to make me feel defeated and get me on the floor. And it made it so hard for me to go through each day, accumulating disappointment and frustration. All I wanted was to make some progress, get things done and get better at everything. But I only got the opposite and it was down right irritating.

It created this crippling fear in me with the daily anticipation for the small struggles, disappointment and I-want-to-bang-my-head-on-the-wall’s. Every little thing felt a thousand times bigger and it weighed on my back, which was bending too much I was scared it’d break.

The last straw was fucking up my guitar restringing… I felt so heavy when I realized I fucked up. It was the most defeated I had been in a long while. I wanted to give up on everything!

And the thing is that I instantly knew why it made me feel that way. Which doesn’t happen all the time! You know, sometimes you need time to cool down and think back on a breakdown to realize which cat pushed the vase off the table and how that is why your foot is bleeding. what the hell did I just write

One, because I was so stressed out that anything that would come in the way of my work and “jeopardize” my progression towards my goals would freak me out. And two, because I was utterly disappointed in myself for failing at doing something I thought I was good at.

I mean, this was changing the strings on my guitar. Musician 101. And I thought that, even though I still don’t have that much experience, I could actually handle it and do a decent job on my own. It was kind of a slap in the face. Very small. But it was enough to throw me off my foot stool (which, with the edge of my bed, constitute my desk, aka working space, ha ha)… A small mistake, which can easily be fixed, and my whole career was annihilated!

And that was it, the moment I knew that I had to step away from it all before I would completely lose my marbles.

IMG_20180509_104606.jpg

I was overwhelmed that even breathing was too stressful

Now, I think that the reason that this happened is because I do not ever take real breaks. Small ones. And so I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing… And eventually, the tiredness and pressure accumulates and I only realize that I should stop and take care of myself when I’m so close to breaking. (Which is not that bad a thing! At least I know when to stop!)

I gotta work on that. I am working on it, as a matter of fact! I think I am finally starting to learn how to learn from my mistakes! Hip, hip, hooray!

I am thinking in a healthier way now, including breaks in my routines and allowing fun activities to relax in between the grind.

When I read what I just typed, I realized how silly it sounds. But my head is literally so focused on what is to come out of it, that sometimes I forget myself completely in my hardworking ways. And so I have to remind myself that I am a person behind all of those dreams and goals, that I have to take care of myself because without me, there is no me.

There you go, I made it even sillier! 😉

But what I mean is that I am at the bottom of it all, the foundation of the dreams. Healthy body, healthy mind. All of that. I sometimes get so absorbed by the idea of hard work that I neglect myself which is a big issue that I must work on fixing for the sake of all. If I can’t stand, nobody will drag me to the other side of the mountains and then nothing will be possible anymore.

There’s only one door to all possibilities and that’s me.

IMG_20180515_205500.jpg

I gotta take better care of myself for I am the only one that can turn my dreams into reality.

This is a hard concept for me to comply with because, like I said, the over-achieving-hard-working-gotta-make-it-happen part of me always gets the upper hand. And that hand is a hard ruling one; an imperious one, dare I say! And that little dictator has that unhealthy way of correlating “fun” with “slacking off”… So, I guess that is why it is hard for me to learn that working hard doesn’t mean “always beating yourself up and neglecting the poor little human that you are”.

You know, people always say “Don’t let them kill your spark!”. But I think that what we should say is “Don’t beat the dreams out of yourself!”. Have I said that before? (yes) Because sometimes, by dreaming too hard, we kill our own fire. And that’s one of the things I kept telling myself during these four days, this is not what music is all about.

I have been too overwhelmed lately. Not just by work. Although, it is part of the problem. There’s been too much tension and frustration. And I was feeling miserable. Which is definitely NOT what art is all about.

Art is my safe place. It feels good and it makes me feel alive. And it should always feel that way. But I let my demons eat away at me again and I let them go too close to the fire and they got a bite out of my dreams..

But I’m bouncing back up now!

sky

My break didn’t really relax me. If anything, it stressed me out some more. I was just trying so hard not be stressed out at first, that I got overwhelmed. Took me a while to find back the “easy going” way.

But it made me remember something…

IMG_20180514_213901.jpg

I don’t exactly remember it, but I know I mentioned it in several posts last year, because that’s when this new point of view came and changed my life. And this, my friends, is a very crucial key for me to keep moving through life. Don’t let the fear paralyze you; instead, let it fuel you. Work through it. Work through the storm! Not because you’re scared means you shouldn’t even try.

And I realized that, lately, I had let the fear eat me up and this is not okay.

It’s time to kick those demons in the ass again, remind them where they belong. I know they can’t leave, and I’m kind of fine with them staying; that’s not what I’m asking. What  I demand is that they stay put in their place. I am in charge. They are tied to the tree while am roaming free!

So, I am ready to get my shit back together now. We’re two days after the end of my short break and I’ve been doing okay. I’ve been really nice to myself and letting it happen. I’ve not been pushing too much and my head is up. I’m doing my best!

I am happy because I know that I can count on me and knowing what I know about me, I’m glad to know that I’ve got my back. I know this is weirdly-phrased but what I mean is that it feels good to be able to trust yourself like this and know that you are enough, you’ve got all it takes to provide for yourself on this crazy adventure!

Now, this is a long post like we hadn’t seen in a while, ain’t it? I’m glad I got all of this out! I am so ready for a more self-loving hard-working life and I can’t wait for you guys to hear the new songs! Also, there will be paintings soon with my mom and brother’s birthdays coming in June!

Plus a special little BIG news…. hehe

Until next post, remember to be kind to you and to everyone else and do not let fear stop you! Coexist with your own storm(s?)! ❤

The “H” word.

Standard

Happiness is not a sacred land that you can only reach after years of hard work. That is purely a fantasy.

Happiness is not an everlasting bliss. That is delusional.

Happiness isn’t a mysterious light at the end of a tunnel that you pursue.

Just like sadness, happiness doesn’t last forever for it’s only an emotion. And emotions aren’t forever. They have a certain duration and intensity, and more often then not, they fade fast. They’re only passing through.

How long it lasts only depends on what caused it. It can be a person, a thing, a moment, a dream; anything. It can be recurring. Like, when you see them again; each time. But it’s never a constant line. It needs to take breaks, breathe in, freshen up so it doesn’t get old. It’s interrupted by other emotions, sudden waves. Or it simply fades out after a while, like a cigarette slowly consumed by your eager lips.

 

It can’t last.

Because nothing lasts.

“Forever happy” is a fantasy. Happiness is a moment; a deep breath; a smile; a smaller piece of dust from the sea of dust blowing in the wind.

Happiness is the little things, the bigger ones. It’s the people, you. It can be found anywhere, in anyone, anything, at any time. And it’s a lovely emotion, it feels really good. But it doesn’t last. And it isn’t as big a deal as you’d like to believe.

 

Don’t reach out for a fantasy. Reach in and around for a real emotion, a pure bliss and enjoy it as it runs through you.

Happiness is now. It’s everyday. And it’s never lonely for we are like salad bowls of emotions and feelings. It’s never just one. Your insides are intertwined in a big messy hug.

Sometimes, this life leaves you blue…” But if you look close you’ll see that’s not the only color in your bruises. There’s more than meets the confused mind & distraught heart.

I’m a firm believer that there’s light even in the darkest of places, even if just a spark. And I’ve made a way of life out of finding it everywhere, the Light; the sparks.

You’ll get sad. You’ll get angry. You’ll get happy. You’ll get loads of different things, sometimes all at once! But you won’t get to a special place that contains all that means “light” to you. Not in this life at least. If happiness has to be a place, then, look no further than in yourself. There’s a whole universe in there; it’s all yours to explore…

IMG_20180425_153738.jpg

Until next post, embrace the ephemeral lights that make this world go round! ❤

Home is calling.

Standard

Sometimes I close my eyes and it’s like I’m already there. The warm lights, the warm smiles and the drums in my chest.

And when I open them, only to find out that I am still so far from where I want to be, that heart of mine sinks in my chest.

It is hard, at times, to keep going when all you do never seems enough. It is hard to keep running towards those new horizons when all you do feels like running in circles.

But the one thing that is harder, is giving it all up.

I would never conceive a life without music and a future where I’m not there. My mind can imagine loads of things but that is the one thing that defines “impossible” to me.

And why would I give up anyway? I can feel myself getting closer and closer.

And as I slowly approach this dreamland, it only gets harder and more frustrating. The challenges flow and it’s not easy to follow.

But I can hear them.

Out of my window.

When I close my eyes.

When I lay in bed.

When I breathe.

I can hear the voices. I can see the lights. I can feel my pulse and almost feel my smile.

I feel it in my heart, my bones; my soul.

I can hear the stage as it’s calling me.

It’s closer by the day.

I might be crazy but I believe.

I’m on my way.

I like the idea of a future because although it never comes, it’s somehow always happening” – Hotel Books

Until next post, keep believing and don’t stop trying. Make things happen! ❤