I’m not done making mistakes and taking chances.

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“NOTHING GREAT IS CREATED SUDDENLY.” It was just a kitschy plaque I saw at the grocery store, but it stopped me in the aisle. If you read my blog here regularly, you know I am passionate about constantly improving and about following your dreams.

spinsbythesea

When I was introduced to secular music for the first time, I was very influenced by Jason Mraz’s early albums like Waiting for my Rocket, Selections for Friends, and Mr. A-Z. His lyrical prowess was unlike anything I’d encountered in my sheltered musical experience. His flow, storytelling and impressive range in vocal skills made Mraz one of my favourites and remains so to this day.

I’ve been in my new home for two months (a 3,555 km move from the West Coast to an arctic island). Just before I got here I downloaded a bunch of Ed Sheeran’s stuff. Immediately, I experienced the same love of his mastery of words and sounds to tell stories. I might be late to the Sheeran party, but if you look at my iTunes you will see many of his songs show 27-35 plays (and that’s not counting any of the plays on my phone, only my computer). I listen to his stuff one at a time on repeat. There are several songs that have hit me with chills or brought me to tears on the very first listen. There have been songs that have spun me backwards and made me deal with things in my past. There are songs that give me total hope for my creative future.

Why do I love these guys?

They have lived.

I heard Take it Back for the first time today while I was out running errands. I set it up for repeat. I went and bought a coffee and walked down the rocks of the beach over faded yellow ropes and discarded seal skins to the very edge where I could feel the wind hit my face and I was as close as I could be to the water. Me and my black coffee, I closed my eyes and I could feel it all. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It just hits me. I was not discouraged by how inadequate I feel in comparison to his song writing. I feel inspired and I know the more I listen to people who are great, the closer I will get to creating something worthy of further inspiring others.

But it’s not just practice. It’s living. My favourite artists have taken chances, had rough times, had great times, they’ve gone to the university of life and that appeals to me so much. I’m 5th child after a doctor, nurse, teacher and business man. Both my parents have worked at a university. I just want to go places and meet people and keep saying yes. I’m done three years of uni, but it’s hard to think of going back when I have so much I want to do outside of expensive books and minds that are learning so much but reach the world and have no idea what they are passionate about or value. They wrap themselves in their degree and face the world, find someone who likes what they’re wearing and take a safe job to pay for their new condo and pay for the normal life they have always been expected to live.

I don’t know if I can take this route. 

I want to make more mistakes. Learn more through the people I meet. I want to get lost. I want to stay up all night talking to strangers.  I want to buy a ticket and leave with no luggage. I want to write and sing and draw everything I see. I want to extend my heart to those in need. I want to drive until I run out of gas. I want to busk. I want to photograph things that no one but me sees. I want to notice the small details of the world and bring attention to them through art and music. 

For me, there would be nothing worse than turning 30 and feeling like I settled. I am 8 years away from 30. Jason Mraz is 37, Ed Sheeran is 23. I don’t necessarily aspire to fame, but I aspire to create big things. Important or at least meaningful things. Music, writing, art, maybe movies. I want to make stuff that touches people and changes them. That makes them think, like my favourite songs, books and films have made me reconsider my assumptions.

Back to the quote I found in the grocery store at the beginning.

I found extreme joy and hope in this quote. “Nothing great is created suddenly.” There’s no pressure. It’s up to me to remain driven and focused, but I can rest in the fact that I’m on a journey that can lead to greatness with each choice I make. I can achieve what I desire with time and hustle.

What choices do you wish you made? Is it really too late to make them now? What’s holding you back from taking the risks that could change your life?

Here’s the full quote: 

“Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig. I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.” -Epictetus

What is the proverbial fig in your life? Are you rushing too much in hopes of ripening it faster? How are you developing your passions and skills to harvest a sweet fig at the end of your hard work?

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Skip the Charades

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Let’s skip the charades
You’re seeing right through me anyway
Can we just speak plain?
We’re playing for the same team 
But I’m the one that’s acting like
Acting like
Acting like
I’m so strong
You’re the one that’s acting like
Acting like
Acting like
Nothing’s wrong

I listened to this song on repeat for the last hour of my long run yesterday. I really want to cover it, but I have to learn the tab first. Doesn’t music have such an amazing ability to clear your mind or make you think even more deeply? It’s interesting how in one season I appreciated certain music for the acoustic quality, for the voice of the artist… then in another, the lyrics pierce me deeply and make me ask questions about my life. 

Prior to this, I listened to the complete discography of Dallas Green (City & Colour) a few times. The questioning, melancholy theme that runs through all of his songs hit me hard yesterday and I appreciated his music in a new way. 

If you are going through a hard time in your life, I would encourage you to explore some music you have never listened to, or to pull out some music from your past that you haven’t heard in a while. When your soul is in a searching and vulnerable state, music can be all the more powerful. You may find that you aren’t alone, that your feelings are normal, or that you have the power to change things. You may find empowerment or sympathy through music. You may just find distraction. Or maybe you will find new meaning in the words of a songwriter that you’ve heard a hundred times. 

I don’t know what will happen. But I suggest you give it a try.

Cold War Kids and Dallas Green are some great artists to get you started. 

Reheated Dreams- Original Song

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This is a song I wrote and put up on YouTube last year, but took it down. I’ve decided to bring it back, though at some point I’d like to make a better quality video of it. Here are the lyrics:

All we ever do
Is talk about tattoos
We want to get
But haven’t yet

We rip our dreams out of
Magazines
We’ll travel far away
It’ll happen someday

Wishful thinking helps the heart
Though it never seems to get us far
We’ll keep the hope and keep on planning
Otherwise we’re stranded in
The dark, the cold
The bareness of the life we hold
The daring that we wish we had
It’s really very sad

All our room’s decorations
Are really only indications of
Things in the past that we
Used to have

Well.. Hon, I want to dance
But you are on the fence
Say more liquid courage will
It will improve your skill

Wishful thinking helps the heart
Though it never seems to get us far
We’ll keep the hope and keep on planning
Otherwise we’re stranded in
The dark, the cold
The bareness of the life we hold
The daring that we wish we had
It’s really very sad

When we see the present pass
We’ll pour a drink
And lift our glass
To all the adventures that we never knew
Reheat our dreams
It’ll have to do

But it is possible to
Change course
Of all I’ve told
In all this verse

Will you seize the moment dear?
I’m ready now, let’s get out of here.