I can think back to the times in my life when I felt the world was crumbling around me. From the time I laid one cheek to the bathroom floor tiles, water trickling over me and crying out the pain of a broken heart from a broken engagement when I was 23. The devastatingly cutting words "you are dead to me" fired in anger by my Father when I was 24, felt like bullets piercing my chest and sending me to the ground like a wounded soldier that had no fight left. I've sat for hours in a dreamy state of "high" from antidepressants. I've drawn my sorry's and sorrows with bottles of red wine in a beanbag on the floor until I lose myself in darkness as the sun goes down.
My worst is so not pretty. But my worst has led me to the most beautiful things in my life.
I remember a moment when I was 25 being just like the matrix, the blue pill or the red pill. Sucked into a dark spiral of depression, masking my pain with medication and anger until I had nobody left in my life except my Mother standing beside me. I had two choices. To be done with my life or to live it and live it to its fullest.
In 2014 determined in my recovery to be medication free from depression. I experienced a challenging chapter in my life; withdrawing from my "happy pills". These made me numb for 18 months where I felt so lost and hollow. I struggled to hear music in my ears and inspiration was nowhere to be found.
Coming off the medication I remember bundling myself up into a ball in my damp "dungeon” like basement bedroom in Newcastle, Australia as I felt every emotion that I had suppressed come weighing down on me like a tone of bricks. I had spent 6 months preparing myself as I gained knowledge of personal development and spiritual growth. I remember praying in the dark as I looked up at the moon out my window. "God, make it hurt. Make it hurt so bad that I never have to experience anything like this again". Releasing what no longer served me I started realizing that I was becoming aligned with the universe. I started to see little signs.
An email to tell me I got my first Nashville cut appeared out of nowhere from the ONE and only song that was demoed in Nashville from FIVE years before. I started to feel this calling within me, I knew I needed to go to Nashville.
In 2015 I boarded a plane knowing less than a handful of people stateside. I had absolutely no expectations, but somehow the universe was sending me messaged and guiding me. By the end of my trip, I wrapped up my last week playing a headline show at the Bluebird Cafe.
My journey to get here wasn't hard. I just knew the work I had to put in to make it happen and rolled up my sleeves for 14 months.
There wasn't a lot I "knew in my heart" after the fact of my landing. It was like walking one step at a time into the darkness only being able to see where my next step will land.
2017, was full of adventure and a hell of a lot of hard work. I FREAKING DID IT, I got off a plane and stepped into a country and built my business from nothing in two months. I never needed to call home for help, everything just fell into place. I moved into my dream apartment. I actually would dream about living here and little victories would happen. But I guess I didn't stop to see them as a gift or a sign from above that everything is in divine order.
In November 2017 I fell sick like I do every winter with a sinus infection. Then December came around and I fell sick with a sinus infection. Then January came around, I fell sick with a sinus infection and completely lost my voice for a whole week. Then February came around I was sick with another sinus infection. Every time they would hit it would be worse than the last.
March came another week off work, April came another week off work. My vocal loss never really went away I always had a lump in my throat. When Nashville started to heat up I felt amazing and almost like my old self until the end of May hit me the hardest of all I faced two full weeks with no voice, since then I struggle to get through a 3-hour gig. As an Australian living in the USA on an O1 Entertainment Working Visa, I can only make an income from music in this country due to visa restrictions.
Doctors were prescribing me chronic allergy medication. With doctors visits and medication, I was spending over $200 a month just for my health that didn't seem to be helping. My credit card became maxed out from trying to keep afloat until I looked at my last $100.
I started teaching singing and songwriting lessons online, singing demos and generating a new income stream from the limitations I had.
I remember feeling beaten. I felt like it every moment lead me to Nashville to come years down a path that looked like it was time to head home, seek medical help and potentially facing the fact "this dream is over and too hard".
I remember laying in bed at 3 am crying in the dark in my studio apartment in Nashville, being so angry at God for leading me to Nashville and leaving me feeling so helpless and sick in a country without any family or support. I'm not sure what it was but I felt compelled to reach for a book. A daily devotional book called "100 Days To Brave" by Annie F.Downs.
The title of the daily devotion I opened up to was "You Are Braver Than You Know". I want to share a little bit of this reading with you:
"I never felt brave. But day after day, I just did the next thing, took the next step, said the next yes. And God built a life for me in Nashville that I could not have dreamed up for myself."
Unknowing I brought a book by an author that had lived in Nashville. I wept harder then I think I've ever wept. THERE WAS MY SIGN. I knew I had stopped trusting in the universe and nourishing my spirituality. I knew that my compass had been warped and I wasn't aligned with my true north. I knew I forgot that I was safe and being guided, as I had been all along.
I got to work and found a doctor on google that was only going to charge $150 for a consultation. I'm not sure if I gave a stray dog energy that day, maybe it was the tears in my eyes. Maybe the Dr knew how defeated I was. The Dr looked at my welled up eyes and said that he is going to make me better and do all he can to make it possible for me to have the much-needed operation to fix my sinusitis.
This incredible man went on to treat me with 2 sinus operations over the course of the following few months. I felt a sense of surrender and I a week later a corporate gig come in which paid for all the money I had lost that year and got me back to zero.
At my worst, I changed my life around to eating really healthy, going to the gym and focusing on my health and taking care of my body. I met my person and he has become my family in Nashville so much that when I went back to Australia and was recovering from my operations I had Laryngitis for a month and a half so he flew out to make sure I would come back to Nashville.
I feel like my journey had to break me down to my worst so I could finally surrender. Stop wishing I have more than what I do and feel gratitude when for the thing things we take for granted (like health and friendships).
After being so angry at God, I feel like I was just being tested and pushed to my limits. After losing faith in him, he waited until I was ready to receive his help before he sent it.
Thank you universe, thank you God! x