It’s been a while!
The last time I addressed all of you lovely folks I was just getting ready for my New Year of 2015. As strange as it sounds, my life really has changed since I wrote that last post. Today I’m going to address two different concepts that have started to reshape how I view my day-to-day activities.
Recognizing and Reclaiming are two of the first steps that I have found in my journey to start taking back my life.
I spent the bulk of 2014 living in fear, shame, and disgust with myself. Instead of treating myself with kindness I constantly berated, cruelly mocked, and deliberately sabotaged many incredible opportunities that could have helped me and my career.
Throughout the year I continued through this downward spiral with the excuse of “You deserve this. This is what you get for acting like an idiot in 2013” until I hit a moment of clarity on New Years Eve.
I’ll start off with this statement about that night. It was by far, the best, and worst New Years Party that I have ever been to. I made incredible new friends who are still a part of my day-to-day life but I also made some of the worst decisions of my life. These choices sent me into a depression so deep that I didn’t see any possible way of ever recovering. I even seriously considered leaving everyone and everything that I love so dear in the Twin Cities to return to Kansas where I had my family and friends, but no musical connections. I was so upset with myself that I convinced myself that I honestly did not deserve to experience the amazing opportunities that I had built up over the past year.
To say that night got dark would be a gross understatement. It got so bad that I had to heavily rely on the love and faith of my friends and family over the next week to start feeling some sort of inkling that I DID deserve this beautiful life and everything that comes with it.
After that harrowing experience I started recognizing the horrors that I had inflicted on myself over 2014. I had just spent an entire year of truly hating myself, so much so that I prevented anyone else from being able to love me. I mean, if you can’t love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? So what are you supposed to do when you realize that you spent an entire year of hating yourself for choices that you made the year before? When does the cycle end and your life start to begin again? I made a conscious choice that I wanted my life was start NOW.
In the following couple of weeks I took my experience from New Years Eve incredibly seriously and started reclaiming the girl that I used to be. First of all, I stopped drinking entirely.
The music industry is fueled by addiction. Every single celebrity (for the most part) have all been photographed at clubs, drinking and smoking copious amounts, and getting into all sorts of trouble due to intoxication. At shows if you are an artist you are offered free drink tickets. After shows fans want to hang out and buy you MORE drinks, or invite you out to come party with them. All in all, being sober in the music industry is the equivalent of trying to complete a standardized test without a number 2 pencil, nearly impossible.
However, I had a new motivation for staying clean. That motivation was my own physical, emotional, and mental health which were all thrown into peril after that fateful night. I learned that by drinking I would more frequently fall into that state of mind and the negative repercussions that occurred on New Years Eve would not only happen more often, but would accelerate at an alarming pace.
Now I love to drink as much as the next person. I’m in my early 20s and I’m surrounded by musicians, culture, and life. But after learning those new details, I haven’t wanted to drink AT ALL.
To this day it has been a whopping 37 days that I have remained sober!
Staying clean was the first step in reclaiming the girl I used to be. The next step is one that is, unbelievably, even more difficult than the first! It’s about loving myself and giving myself permission to love again. 2014 was such a difficult year for me in that category. Since I moved up here in 2010 there’s always been some sort of love interest every couple of months to keep me intrigued. However, the year of 2014 I wasn’t with a single person. I didn’t allow myself to be with anyone as punishment for my previous behavior and horrific cycles of unrequited love that turned me into Psycho-Natalie.
I’ve decided to break that cycle and once again allow myself to be interested again. The ironic aspect of all of this is that now that I have my music and career to focus on, I actually do not have the time to be in a relationship. That last statement was somewhat a lie, but the fact of the matter is that even if I MADE time for a relationship, I should be focusing that energy on perfecting my craft.
It’s an incredibly lonely road to be on and some days (like last night) I feel so overwhelmed by my lack of intimate human contact that I want to crumble into the floor and sob for hours. These pangs of loneliness are just as difficult to stomach and pull myself out of as depression slumps.
The only thing that I can do in these situations is remember the remaining love that I still receive on a daily basis from my family, my friends, my peers, and everyone who supports me and my musical journey.
Recognizing and Reclaiming are two of the most difficult decisions a human can make. It feels nearly impossible to recognize those moments when you’ve made poor decisions and even more horrific when you realize that you consciously made these moments more unbearable by not treating yourself with love or respect. That being said. Once you do start to make those choices to turn your life around and love those aspects that you previously hated, they lose some of their power.
Reclaiming is a constant effort that will never cease. It’s about accepting that yes, you were an idiot, and yes, you could have made better decisions, but that you’re going to take those experiences to better yourself and your life. I’ve found that reclaiming is one of the most powerful tools that you can use and by doing so you can turn the most devastating moments into moments that will shape how you live your life!
I hope this discussion has helped shed some light on the importance of loving and treating yourself with the utmost of respect. Here’s to a beautiful new week and the chance for all of us to start over again!