The Birthday Blues

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I just turned an uncomfortable age. I’m at the point where I’m technically a full blown adult, but I don’t feel any different than I did at 17. You know you’re getting on in life when you tell your granny about your plethora of presents and she asks if she should say “lucky girl” or “lucky lady”. Please tell me I’m not a “lady” now!

At 5, I couldn’t wait for my party with a huge blow up water slide. At 6, I secretly searched the house for my presents at 4 in the morning. At 8, I thought only of my chocolate butterfly shaped cake I’d asked for. At 13, I was so excited to be finally be a teenager and not be seen as the baby around everyone. At 16, I wanted nothing more than a guitar for my birthday. At 17, I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t been noticed by a record label yet. At 18, I was grateful high school was over and my real life could begin. But now at 25, I still don’t feel like my life has begun. I feel like I’m stuck in the mud, just like the game we used to play as kids.

I remember staring out the window of English class at 16 thinking I was just months away from success. I’d learnt to play guitar and I was sure I’d finally found my calling in life. I was so lost before that, but now I was sure I’d be a world famous singer-songwriter in no time and I’d hear my song on the radio any day. I’d look down at my English book, covered in pictures of my favourite bands on stage, and believe 100% that would be me soon. I was so sure. I watched the Grammys and MTV Awards every year from my couch absolutely adament I’d be on that red carpet the next year.

But now, I’m no where near where I wanted to be (I’m not even on the same planet!) and its time for a reevaluation. Have I maybe not found my calling yet? I believe with all my heart that we are all put on this Earth for a particular reason, but only a small percentage of us manage to find out what that reason is. I’m so scared I’m never gonna find mine. It’s unfortunately become clear to me that what I imagined as a 16, 17, and 18 year old is not what’s in the cards for me.

I feel like I don’t have much to show for the last 9 years. Yes, I’ve written loads of songs and made my own music videos and a whole list of other things, but that’s not exactly what I set out to achieve by this age. I should be living on my own, travelling the world (preferably on tour), and actually have money in my account. What does it say about me that none of those are true? But I feel like a fat dog in a tiny cat door – I can’t go forward, I can’t go back. I don’t know what else I could possibly do with my life if music isn’t my calling, so do I keep trying to go forward? Who knows. I’ve already changed my path a thousand times when things fail in an attempt to keep pursing my dream, but does there come a time when you have to admit there is no path to that destination?

Everyone goes on about the power of positivity, and “if you work as hard as you can, your dream will come true”. Well, I’ve been as positive as someone can be and worked my butt off, and my dream is still a dream. So does that mean success is still coming or is it never going to come? I have no idea! Every year on my birthday and New Year, people say things like “I hope all your dreams come true this year”. As much as I appreciate their kindness and well wishes, it does make me feel like my failures are extremely noticeable.

I guess my advice for someone who feels the same way I do, is to not let the people around you dictate how you feel about yourself. I get so upset every time I release a song and people I actually know don’t buy it. Or I release a music video and people I know don’t watch it. Or if they don’t share it or comment saying you did a good job. Only you have to believe you did a good job to make you feel like you did. I also wish I could say ‘don’t worry about your age’, because I’m really worried about my age. I’m so scared I’ve run out of time, but I can’t do anything about it now. I have to embrace the 25ness.

Do I change career paths? I don’t know. Do I just go and get a job? I don’t know. All I know is that I don’t want to go through life knowing I didn’t try my hardest at what I loved.

A little lost and confused but still working hard,

Chels ❤

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