This post contains gifted items but all opinions are my own.
A hell of a lot has changed in the past year, especially within the past few months. I thought now would be a good time to reflect and upload a little life update as keeping my blog personal as well as professional is something I’m committed to doing. I also think it’s a fabulous way to document what’s happened as this time next year I could (and hope I will) be reading this post thinking ‘just look how far I’ve come’.
I’m not sure how many of you know that I’m a singer. When I first properly launched my blog, almost two years ago now, I was on a bit of a hiatus from performing. Partly because I started studying professional vocals as a degree which unfortunately contributed massively to me losing my drive and passion for it. I just didn’t want anything to do with it and thought I’d moved on from that period of my life. I had a small following of people supporting and following my journey as a vocalist so despite trying to move on, I still had messages and prompts asking when I was next getting out there which to be honest, as flattering as it was, just stressed me out.
Another massive reason as to why I stopped performing was because of my Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I had a severe form of it which meant that 95% of the time when I needed to go to the toilet, if I wasn’t there within 20 seconds maximum, it’d end very embarrassingly for me. As I’m sure every single person reading this can understand, that is not something that I would ever want to risk.
Moving on to my recovery, stoma bag in tow, I started to find my love for music again. I’ve always been a rock chick but I found a huge love and admiration for Ariana Grande. Not just her flawless voice but her strength as a person and just how honest she is about being imperfect and lifes lows. I would definitely go as far as saying she made me want to sing again and after practicing to myself in my room, then braving joining a choir on my own, I decided it was the right time to get myself back out there.
Funnily enough, around the same time I received a message from a friend asking if I’d record some backing vocals for his latest song. As much as I’m not religious or spiritual, I just kind of felt like it was a sign. I had creative freedom and could basically just send whatever vocals I felt fit the song and although it was a bit terrifying, it ended up being so wonderful. The song was released this week and you can listen to on YouTube below or anywhere else here!
Next week I will be performing live for the first time in over 3 years with a local rock n roll band called Rooted. We’ve performed together once before and they’re brilliant guys and musicians so I’m super excited to get up onstage with them again. As for my future in music, I don’t want a full time career in it like I did as a teenager. I do want to use and share my talent, though. I’ve got some collaborations in the works with some producers, Jake and I have also been practicing some songs that we’re going to perform at a charity event I’m putting together. We were going to start regularly performing live but Jake is super busy in his job now as he’s training to be a chef so performing for us will definitely be on the back burner. I’m hoping to put some covers up on YouTube of us playing together, though. I’m also really interested in joining a function band as a regular musical outlet and an extra bit of income but I have to find the right one first.
I’m grateful every single day for my better health but having a medical condition means it’s never a straight line. It’s not mostly dependent on what you put into your body and the exercise you do like with the general population, It’s often completely unpredictable. I can definitely feel myself strengthening all the time though, physically and mentally. I’m beginning to learn my boundaries, how much I can do before feeling unwell and pre-planning rest days when I know I’ve got a busy schedule.
I’m travelling, I’m working, I’m performing, I’m exercising almost every day. These things were either not possible or were so hard they almost weren’t worth it this time last year. I’m feeling really positive about what’s to come and it’s the absolute best.
I had a moment at my friends wedding this weekend where I was dancing with my friends and my boyfriend, Jake to a live band. I’d eaten some amazing food and drank some amazing wine and I was singing my heart out. I just felt like the luckiest person in the world to be able to do those things again, to have the energy and the ability and to be surrounded by people I love whilst doing so.
When I say ‘back to work’, I don’t mean in a conventional way. When I was first thinking about going back to work post-illness/surgery, I was looking into working as a civil servant. I wanted stability and a decent income, who could blame me after such a bumpy ride. After really thinking about things, I realised it just wasn’t what I wanted. If there’s any time to follow my dreams, that time is now. I’m still young, I don’t have any massive responsibilities as I don’t yet have children and I still live with my parents.
I started to see opportunities to make money through different creative mediums that I’ve always wished to do. I’ve always had a creative mind and once establishing what services I could offer and how I could make money through them, I decided to just go for it. I’ve still got a long way to go before properly establishing myself and my business, my prices, my branding and all sorts more but I’ve already got a permanent role as a photographer and social media manager for a restaurant/hotel which I absolutely LOVE doing. I’ve had a paid singing job, a paid photography job, I’ve had a few paid blogging opportunities. So far, so good!
I also got sent these sassy glasses from GlassesShop which have blue block in them. I can suffer from pretty bad headaches and migraines at times and being behind a screen all day really doesn’t help. Since wearing them, I’ve definitely noticed screens impact my headaches less and also surprisingly they make my eyes feel less tired due to what I can only assume is the protection in the glasses. I also think they look pretty cute on me and I’ve always wanted to be able to rock a pair of specs so hey, kills two birds with one stone. I’d definitely recommend getting yourself some if you’re someone that spends a lot of time behind a screen for any reason. You can also get your first pair free with the code FIRSTFREE, you just have to pay for shipping!
I’m still getting into the swing of things and finding my feet as it’s a whole new venture for me as well as re-learning how best I work due to my body and mind changing massively. I feel so happy that I’m pursuing a career that I love so much. I would say that I’m lucky but I’ve worked so hard to be where I am that I feel deserving would probably be more of a suitable word.
As much as I adore blogging and plan to pursue it as part of my freelance career, it isn’t going to be the top priority for me anymore. I’m still of course going to put my all into the work I do and the posts I upload but there’s most likely going to be less content due to the fact I have gone back to work and have considerably less free time now as it’s spread across a few different things. I’m really damn excited to see where my career, my blog, my music and my life goes.
I’m hoping this year will be my best one, yet!
’Til Next Time,