Start again

Start again. Photography by Jamie Street

Start again

What do you do when you've nothing & no one to go back to?

🌱 You start again.
Which is where this blog finds me (and thousands others like me) sitting on the ‘other side’ of the COVID-19 curve. On March 16th, ’20 I woke early for my morning exercises. The release of my long awaited debut album was days away and I’d been looking forward to seeing Richard Tognetti performing in Melbourne a few days after. I’d arranged to have the kids cared for and was really looking forward to my trip into the city for some ‘down time’. But when I checked the ACO website for the start time, I saw that the show – and ALL shows everywhere – had been cancelled/postponed until further notice. I could NOT have gotten any worse news at that moment. I was shattered.

I got the kids to school and myself to work (no – I’m not a full-time muso), only to find the place abuzz with some ‘company meeting’ we all had to attend. The nervous energy was thick. I was naively calm. Our briefing told of how things were likely to unfold due to the virus pandemic, and after my lunch break I was one of two new staff that got laid-off. Okay. The day could get worse.

I watched the people I love continue their lives without me. Everything I'd worked towards had gone.

Things were really heating up on social media with streams of panicked posts from people fearing the worst. The supermarkets were already crazy and the world as we new it was shutting down.

In the meantime I had 4 days before my album was to be released. I’d spent years writing, saving, recording and changing my life to get to this moment. And this was how it was to unfold.🥂 Thankfully a bunch of my existing fan base were able to receive my previews and release news, some supporting me with sales (my only income at the time 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽). But it was near-on impossible to reach a broader audience when it came out on the 20th. There was just too much congestion in the media. Unfortunate timing.

So my kids came home early for ‘school holidays’, and we did as everyone else in lock-down did. Home schooling and laying low until at least school could resume.

The start of 2020 had been so full of hope and happiness. A newly single mum starting fresh with a new job, new life. A ‘cup full’ type person, you couldn’t tear me down. Even when I lost my job I knew that it just meant I’d not yet found my right place. But when a free soul is locked up for too long and all things they love removed, the mind starts to mess with your outlook.

Through the window of social media I watched the people I love continue their lives without me. Everything I’d worked towards had gone. My album had hardly been heard. I had no job to go back to. No love. No life… I fell apart in April. And stayed there for most of May.

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But having my kids so reliant on me (and they, my only company) helped me realise that they were my only priority. We finally figured out home-schooling together and began bonding like never before. Once I realised it was futile trying to keep my music afloat while learning to teach, I started rising at 5am for my own studies and to refocus. To rebuild myself. Again.

The wonderful thing about hitting bottom is that you can choose how you’d like to get back up. When you’ve got nothing and no one to come back to, it’s up to you what you’d like to do next. In fact, no matter where you are in your life – you always have a choice! (hard truth to swallow – I know) So I’m filling myself back up and throwing my love and energy out there. I’ve put feelers out all over the country, as I’ve nothing at all to lose by doing so. I don’t yet know my next step, but the adventure is beginning to unfold before me; I’m sponsoring a worthy cause that appreciate my support, I’ve been filming the past few months for a COVID documentary I was invited to be in, I’ve been approached by another music label, I’ve found a dream PT-job that may consider remote working and my leaky roof is finally going to be replaced and I’ll finally be able to move into my music studio downstairs. That’s something tangible.

2020 is again full of hope and I’m so grateful for the chance to tidy loose ends and reshuffle the pieces of the puzzle while locked-down.

Here’s to the next album of sadcore songs! 😜

Click here to check out my first one.

Photograph by Jamie Street

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