Summer blew me away..

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First of all, I know it’s a little late to be doing this, but, believe me, I tried! The truth is that summer did in fact get the best of me… Those two months have got to be the longest summer I’ve ever survived. I am not just talking about the soul-melting sunshine but also my super duper long days with the kids being off school. Loads of things happened, in & out, and now’s the time for me to look back and see the bigger picture! But I’ll make this really short cos I just wanna move on tbh

 

To be completely honest, the best thing that happened to me this summer was meeting my dear friend Maria!

She took me on all those cool adventures and we shared some beautiful moments together, from the simple walks in the park to the mesmerizing cliffs of Moher and the Blarney castle. Seeing her face every Monday night in the Brù bar’s small crowd, listening to me pour my heart out while struggling on the guitar, was the best feeling. She brought me light, strength, confidence, smiles and actual good memories! And now, it’s been six days since she’s gone back to Italy and I miss her so much. ❤ It’s hard to adjust to not having her around anymore…

Then, of course, the real big thing that happened this summer– no. The greatest thing that I made happen, was the 11 live performances and all the good things that came from them!

I tried my best to go as many open mics as I could. Sadly, I didn’t make it to every. single. one. of them! Which was really my goal for the summer. But my pushing myself a little too hard in a social life that I had never been used to was not a good idea, and my anxiety made sure to rise up just to slap me in the face & back into a chill place. I had to take a full week off music and social stuff so I could take a few steps back, let go of the pressure and remember the reasons why.

The real magic thing with the open mics is that by just being in the right place I was doing the right thing. That’s literally the one thing I’ve always been doing wrong my whole life, never going to the place. And so, even on the first night I went, things happened. And the more I went, the more doors unlocked. I’m not just talking about me getting better at everything and more confident; although that is a thing as well! I’m talking about the people!

I’m having more and more people come up to me after a performance to tell me how they really enjoyed my songs, following me on social medias or simply coming back to hear me again. And this is all surreal, you know? The best part actually is to have those really cool talented musicians telling me how good they think I am and some even wanting to work together. The feedback has just been so positive and encouraging. I’m shook.

And that’s really been the main things of this summer. There’s been more but now that I look back I realize that they weren’t as important as they felt in the moment. And then, there’s been crazy stuff as well which I might share later on or maybe in a song some day haha

So, summer’s been long and draining. Lack of free time + 7/11 right-handed performances almost got the best of me; I’m lucky I didn’t fully lose my mind! Ha ha And it’s brought so much light and so much good!

Now, I’m  very excited about all that’s to come. I’ve met a new musician last week at the Brù, Billy. He’s an awesome guitarist and we’re working on stuff together now, and soon, we’ll blow your brains away. Gently. Look forward to it, this might be the start of something bigger!

And there we go! A short enough post to remember this past summer and now we can finally keep moving on. My brain is buzzing with ideas and I can barely contain myself. I’d say this is all going pretty okay for me! Can’t wait to share the new songs!

Until next post, remember that sometimes, it’s as simple as it gets: show up, and things will happen! ❤

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Feeling g(.)(.)d

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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.

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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…

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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!! ❤

My art journey so far…

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Hi everyone! Story time!

It all started back in January 2016…

That’s the month I decided to start getting serious about life and start doing the things that I’ve always wanted to do. University was making me miserable and eventually, four months in, it finally pushed me towards where my heart was this whole time.

It’s kind of crazy that I had to wear myself out doing things that I didn’t care about in order to open a door which wasn’t even locked in the first place. In fact, there wasn’t even a door. It was just literally right next to me. I just preferred touching the things that were further away and not even real. All the while being fully aware that it was next to me and that I should have been giving my heart to it and nothing else. It is pretty silly, but I guess sometimes it takes what it takes…

So, I started a blog, I bought a sketchbook and all sorts of art supplies that looked appealing. And it’s also the month I bought my first left-handed guitar and started a healthier music journey.

Here is my very first sketchbook which I bought from a very French shop in Lille:

 

 

And I customized it as best as I could, dressing it up in my favorite people’s favorite quotes. (By the way, these Lynz quotes are like, so important!) And, I swear, everytime I would open it, it felt like I was opening a window on such a bright horizon!

And then, the magic happened…

I still remember the first time I attempted drawing anything, which was in fact, in a different sketchbook, and how it blew me away.

See, the thing is, I had always kept in mind this idea that I was simply really bad at drawing and kind of accepted it as my universal truth. When I decided to get serious at it, I was ready for all the hard work it would take me to get to a fairly decent level because I knew that I was starting really low..

So, when I put my pencil on the page and these happened:

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I couldn’t believe it. At first.

Then, I could totally believe it. And maybe it filled me with a little too much confidence which led to some disappointment when I tried out drawing again the following days and I was not creating masterpieces.

It was only a test to see how well I could follow a simple tutorial, and even my preliminary lines were a perfect match to the tutorial! Which I had certainly not expected since I had never been good at copying things. And I nailed it. So, I expected to nail everything from then on, which of course, was purely a fantasy…

However, from that moment on, I progressed on and on and faster than I ever thought was possible! Things just clicked so easily and I unlocked brand new patience slots every single day, I forgot the meaning of “impossible”!

The amazing thing is that, all the things in the first part of that sketchbook, even the most mediocre sketches are still so many levels higher than what I thought I was capable of at the time! The last time I had actually drawn anything before that was for my highschool drama group and it was far from that quality!

As I said in the video, it’s like my decision to dedicate myself to art pushed open a door from which skills just came pouring out, as if they had been held back this whole time, but never locked away.

I like to joke that it all just fell from the sky and hit me in the face. But I don’t believe this sort of things can happen that way. It had to be here all along, laying silently, patiently, waiting for me to call…

An incomplete tour of that 2016-2018 sketchbook:

 

 

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At the end of it, I wrote a little looking back note, which I read in my video. That was back in last December, which is when I finally finished this sketchbook! Phew!!!!

And that was a big relief, finishing it! Because I started it so long ago and it held with it not only the memories of all the places I went to and carried it with me, but also all of the storms that I had to keep running through. Which is both a good thing and a hard one. But I think that’s what makes it so precious… As you flip the pages, you can see the evolution of both, my mind and art skills. It’s the perfect document of my journey from & through Lille to Ireland.

I’ll hang on to this sketchbook for as long as I can, not because I need a reminder of where I started from so I can fully celebrate my growth, I’m not gonna lie. I think it is mostly because, as much as it hurts, these are parts of the past that I can’t let go of.

At least not yet.

Oh, how I’ve grown!

It started with a spark. Which didn’t come out of nowhere but from the depths of me. And I’ve been burning ever since. Different intensities, different colors. But, burning on!

Here’s a little side by side of “firsts” from that period and latests:

 

Both as an artist and a person, I’m in a much better place now. I am capable of more and willing to try harder. I’m happier and healthier! I’m stronger, more determined, more dedicated and focused. And, man, have you seen my last painting???

The road was long and dark and bumpy to get here. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I learned a lot about myself and the world. It sure hurt me, but it also forced the best out of me. Gotta learn the hard way when you’re born to be wild! hehehe

Now, I’m looking forward to all that’s to come. All the lessons and the learning. The new skills and the acquisition of all the knowledge. The creations and discoveries. The people and the things. The places and the moments. The smiles and the tears.

I’m grateful for all that’s past and all that is present. And I’m looking forward to more life.

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Literally best selfie of the day. He he. Looking forward!

And, I think that’s it! Proud of my progress and looking forward to more! Because there’s nothing like getting more and more comfortable in your own little universe. Being able to fly freely-ish in my music and art is a big goal! 😉

Until next post, keep working and keep believing! ❤

I am the Fire||Looking (back) forward

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Hi! Today’s the last day of this long-ass month and I think it’s the perfect time for some introspection by looking at my past-self all the while focusing on the road ahead. So, let’s jump right in!

Following my post about frustration&cie, I tried recreating this picture of me taken when I was 16 and with my sweet Lady Revenge (on the right, obviously).

 

Note: I remember taking it myself and then pretending my little brother took it for me because, sometimes when you’re sixteen, it’s hard to admit that you took a selfie… Ha ha!

I’ve come a long way…

The other day, I had just finished my vocal practice of the day (half-assed) and ended up singing a little bit longer just to record my progress. And as I skipped from song to song, I ended up singing I Don’t Love You by My Chemical Romance.

I have a very sensitive relationship with this song and have actually rarely listened to it, especially since the break up. It makes me feel lots of things and I can’t handle it. But it’s one of my favorite songs by MCR. The melody and lyrics and the riffs are just beautiful. And as I sang it, it reminded me of my sixteen year old self. I remembered the struggles of my younger self and how I always had hope overcoming them. (When it comes down to singing at least.)

And I did.

I used to not be able to stay on key so well and let’s not even talk about my range or projection. My voice wouldn’t come out at all, it was a lot of throat, a lot of tension and so on. You get the idea. And now, as a not-so-far-from-22-year-old, I’ve learned so much and I’ve gained more control over my voice, and honestly, now there is really hopes that I can become a singer in this reality. he he

I am really happy to see and feel the progress that I’ve made! Even without working every single day nor as hard as I’d wish. Proof that no matter how little you do, you’re still doing something and still moving forward in the end!

And just yesterday, I was looking for an audio draft of a song that I recorded at some point when I was living on my own in Lille last year (and I found it, and I’m gonna finish writing it this upcoming month!) and oh, what I found! Gold.

I found my several attempts at an audio journal and also too many singing clips (much cringe). Now, I didn’t listen to all of it as I had something else in mind at the time, but… Wow. I sound much younger, even though it was only last year. And that, to me, is very surprising. But it’s not just that, I hear every subtlety of my suffering, struggling and the Act. It’s like watching a movie you wrote the script for. I’d guess. I don’t know.

It’s just like when I go through my pictures. I don’t know if it’s as obvious to others as it is to me, most probably not, but I see the change. I hear my voice and I hear all those differences. Not only technique-wise, but just, you know, my soul? I hear my soul. And I hear the wounds that were still so fresh and oozing out of my every sounds. And I see my face, and I see a completely different person. Some pictures even look like a complete stranger to me. And those smiles… G**, those smiles..

I know this is extremely obvious, so pardon me for saying but I need to…

I know exactly what I’ve been through. Obviously. (told you) And when I look at these pictures, when I hear my voice, it takes me straight back to then. I know it, I remember it but I also can feel how it is in what some would like to envision as “the past“. But what I feel most intensely is empathy or maybe even pity (??) for this young girl that I see/hear.

I used to be such a…. mess. And when I sit down now and look at her — me — I feel sorry  (?) for that person.

I feel the pain, I see all the cracks and I smell the decaying hopes. I see how miserable and desperate she is for some light, some love, anything. I hear how she fights but to what end? I know how she feels but I feel it in a different way now that those feelings aren’t truly my own anymore. And I feel so sorry. Because no one should feel like that and no one should be alone to face storms like that. And I wish I could have been her friend instead of my own enemy. But self-destruction has a way to seduce me, no matter how strong the warnings.

And, you know, all that empathy and humanity that I feel when I look at past-me? I realize as I type this, that, this is exactly what should be one of the pillars of self-love (like any other love), but it is hard to be like that to your present self though, isn’t it? I feel as though the only reason I actually am able to feel it now, and only now, is because she feels like a stranger now, she is in another chapter of my life, and therefore, I can see her for the human that she is. And I believe I must strive for this, a humanization of my own self. Dear ***, what have I become? Ha ha

Now, as much they hold heavy amounts of darkness and brokenness in them, I must hold on to these audios and pictures (and I think I aslo have a couple video journals somewhere). Not as an anchor to “the past” but more as reminder of where I’ve been. I gotta keep that weight on my feet, not on my shoulders, you know what I mean? I think it’s great to have these remnants of “the past” around and to be able to check them out whenever you need to.

Humans are very emotional creatures and I’m not gonna pretend that I am not attached to who I used to be and the memories. I must never forget. So I won’t lose myself. But also because, almost like a mother, I enjoy re-living the growth of that little girl that’s made me who I am today.

I’m really glad I made and kept these because, documenting my progress both as an artist and as a little human trying, is what keeps me progressing. Because, if I couldn’t look back and see that I’ve moved and I’ve become more, wouldn’t that kill the fire?

I know where I’ve been, I know where I am and I know where I’m going…

There is strength to be found in all “past” weaknesses and some more to be found in the uncertainty of whatever is to come. I remember everything and I pray I never forget, no matter how heavy it gets. Everything is fuel and I shall take as much as I can because it’s a very demanding journey.

Now, as much as I’m proud of all the progress I’ve made both as an artist and as a person, I’ve gotta keep looking forward and keep harvesting for fuel as I keep on blooming. I realize that I am constantly growing, even when I least expect it, and I must keep trying my hardest to get to where I wanna be.

I’ve come a long way but I’ve still got a long way to go. Good thing I’ve got a tank full of fuel, some good souls on my side and my loyal & dedicated self.

I’ve got my back!

 

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Until next post, keep at it whatever it is you love and remember who you are. You’ll get there! ❤

How’s that first week going?

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HI hi hi! This is my blog, I wanted to talk about my day and so I will do just that.

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Much love for my host mom!

Maybe it sounds silly to you, but I sometimes forget that this is, indeed, my blog. It is my personal blog. But I sometimes get so caught up in the whole productivity log side of it and also, the deeper side of writing, that I feel like simple posts like this don’t belong on here. But, they do; of course, they do!

And as an individual, my emotions, my thoughts, my moods and my reactions to the Universe’s flow come in different colors and shades and shapes. And all of them are valid and worth, if no one else’s, my own time. They all deserved to be acknowledged, appreciated and embraced.

Now, this is so not what this post is going to be about but I think it is worth the mention. One of my new year’s resolutions is to “let my emotions shine again” which is intimately linked to “Not be afraid to be fully me, always.” Where these come from is the poor coping mechanism that originated from all the self-censor and shutting down provoked by the small repetitive teasing & joking around of my peers.

I could write a lot about this topic, and I will, eventually at some point. All I wanted to say right now is that it is an issue that I am working on and this what this post is about in a way also. Allowing all parts of myself to shine and co-exist on my blog is a first step towards that goal of gaining back what I thought I had to steal from myself to survive. So, let’s start, shall we?!

So far, this week has been going pretty good for me on many aspects!

I recovered from my sore throat very quickly and I’ve been rather productive. I mostly stayed in the house until I was sure I was completely recovered but I didn’t go crazy! I did a nice little amount of walking these past two days to make up for it, and I got to see Esther again (finally!!).

Today, I spent a long time in the morning working on the next chapter of my story, Uncage the Night. It’s coming along pretty nicely although I’m still unsure whether to keep that chapter as part of the story or keep it as an extra, after the story ends. It’s a disturbing one, but in a different way than every other is disturbing… It’s really weird to write it but it is such a crucial part of the story. Maybe not crucial but it is part of it and there is no way for me to just cut it out. It’s here to stay. One way or another.

Then, it took me forever to get ready as I was chatting with my best friend at the same time. I went for a walk down to Douglas. The plan was to go out for lunch on my own again and launch myself into yet another personal/creative project that I’m starting this year(which I’ll talk about later in another post! 😉 ). But, what I got instead was ten new markers and a tiny anxiety fit. Yeah…

It was a very small one but it took a lot of energy out of me. I swear it was such a teensy-weensy one. I wanted to go to a certain restaurant to eat, but as I walked in front of it and I saw the people inside, I just kept walking past it. And literally nothing happened. But there was anxiety involved and it still drained me. So I walked back up, took the loooong way home, and got me some chocolate chip cookies on my way back. It was tiny, but it still wrecked me; physically and mentally.

My body was tired. I was disappointed and a little bit saddened by the very lame surprise that interrupted my good time out. And when I got home, all I did was sing. Which helped me feel better. I just now posted a few clips on my Instagram and also a new cover on my YouTube channel. And I’m really happy about it in a way because, although it is FAR from really good, I can hear so much progress in my voice and it just sounds so… I’m not sure what it is. But it gives me hope & confidence about my musical future to be honest.

On the same topic, I’ve secured my spot for the 25th February vocal workshop in Douglas. I paid (I mean, my best friend did and I sent her a fancy fancy chèque) and I just can’t wait to go!! This is going to be soooo awesome!

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After the singing, when my host family got back home, I played around with watercolor for a few minutes, still needed to settled down from the anxiety fit. And then I did some hand study, using my crooked hands as reference. Using my A5 sketchbook more is part of my goals for this month because I only used it four times during my evening art classes and I’m not gonna lie, the size impresses me a bit; so I’m stepping out of the comfort zone, into the progress zone, yo!

 

I also worked on music theory. And well, what I’ve been doing is, basically, go back to the start of my book (once again!) to take notes this time with every chapter as I feel it helps me digest the content better. So right now my learning is in suspension, at the chord progressions chapter, and with my notes I’ve just reached the scales chapter (which is only four chapters away). I’ll catch up eventually! Goal for the month also!

If you follow my Instagram, you would know that I’ve finally gotten more serious about my learning to write with my left-hand. I have managed to work a bit on it everyday so far. And I intend to keep it that way. I’m doing really good!

Just like with the guitar, it is not actually learning, it is more about passing on already acquired skills to my left-hand. I can write pretty well already. It is shaky, slow and clumsy but I’m confident that by the end of this year, I’ll be very good at it!

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In other news, there’s a tropical cyclone close to my island right now. ‘Tis the season after all. We often got cyclones in January, I remember. Last time I read about it it was right on top of Madagascar and it’s been doing a lot of damages over there. It is so big compared to tiny Reunion Island! Ha ha ha. I went through a small storm a little while ago here in Ireland, so, chacun son tour!

And I think that’s about it for today! It was pretty weird and all over the place, but overall, it was a very good day! I still had a good time outside and walking still felt good through the struggle. Being home to my host family at the end of the day also helped a lot! And I am glad that I managed to get some work done!

Here’s to markers and anxiety fits! hehe

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P.S.: I haven’t touched my guitar very much during this week or ever since the school break to be honest. But I’m very excited since the Synyster Gates school has finally been launched! Anybody heard of it? Anyways, the kids are going back to school next week so that’ll mean more guitar time for me!!! ❤