Show Me How Big Your Brave Is
2015 has finally reached its end.
And I could not be more relieved to hear (type?) that.
2015 was a bitter sweet year for me, and from the sounds of it, a lot of other people. As I'm sitting back and reflecting on what came of it, some truly good, bad, and ugly.
Let's start with some good.
I was in my third year of university, doing well in school, and still seeing plenty of concerts. I made some amazing new friends and cherished some old ones. I continued on living in the big city, having a steady job, and a lovely partner. I had a really great opportunity to do an internship at a marketing and PR company which had me situated in the marketing department and taking part in Canadian Music Week, a thrilling and equally exhausting three months, but certainly something I took with me. I have no doubts that 2015 had some other good moments. Most years do! But nothing felt like the same excitement that I had in past years. I took it as just something I needed to shake off.
Then some bad.
I had been writing for a webzine called Anchor Shop and finally felt like I fit within a comfort zone. I was writing features bi-monthly, doing interviews and doing concert reviews for some of my favourite artists. One day I went to check my email and was heartbroken to hear that the site would not be continuing. After having been writing for a year with them, I felt mildly defeated, but was appreciative of such a great opportunity.
Then, some ugly.
I had always dealt with anxiety and my own bouts of depression, but at the start of the new school year, it got worse. Really worse. I didn't want to talk to a lot of people, I got angry at my friends and co-workers, and I became really obsessive over particular situations. It took a nasty toll on me and I wasn't the person that I was, and I felt it too. I couldn't even pin point a moment where this bug came from, but it was on my shoulder and it wouldn't go away. Everyone could tell I wasn't me, and there was nothing I could do about it.
Or so I thought.
One day for a school assignment I had to film a video for my Youtube channel. It was actually the first video I filmed in about 7 months and after I finished it, I felt better. It was as if I needed that little push and encouragement to get me back on my feet. Slowly and surely I began to appreciate the things I loved again. I saw a few musicals, went to a concert, and I felt better. It was as if a switch went off in me and I realized that I can be bigger than my anxieties and bigger than my demons.
I just finished reading Sara Bareilles' book Sounds Like Me and in it she mentions a lot about how she dealt with her own sad moments from not getting recognized as a musician, to struggling with her weight and how she learned to rebound by still making music and even writing a musical. Most importantly, she talks about one of my favourite songs of hers, Brave, which is all about fighting back and not giving into what other higher ups might say or do to you. To me, it felt like everything came into place right then and there.
I decided this is how I wanted to move forward. I started signing up for job listings in my field, I was sending out resumes, I did more videos, and I even made this website. My goal for 2016 is to push past my anxieties and not let any fears get to me. As the song goes "you can start speaking up", and I know I can.
Maybe it sounds a little silly, but I think every now and then we need a bit of a nudge to get us back on our feet.
I hope you find your brave and have a joyous 2016.