In 2014 determined in my recovery to be medication free from depression. I experienced a challenging chapter in my life; withdrawing from my "happy pills". These made me numb for 18 months where I felt so lost and hollow. I struggled to hear music in my ears and inspiration was nowhere to be found.
Coming off the medication I remember bundling myself up into a ball in my damp "dungeon” like basement bedroom in Newcastle, Australia as I felt every emotion that I had suppressed come weighing down on me like a tone of bricks. I had spent 6 months preparing myself as I gained knowledge of personal development and spiritual growth. I remember praying in the dark as I looked up at the moon out my window. "God, make it hurt. Make it hurt so bad that I never have to experience anything like this again". Releasing what no longer served me I started realizing that I was becoming aligned with the universe. I started to see little signs.
An email to tell me I got my first Nashville cut appeared out of nowhere from the ONE and only song that was demoed in Nashville from FIVE years before. I started to feel this calling within me, I knew I needed to go to Nashville.
In 2015 I boarded a plane knowing less than a handful of people stateside. I had absolutely no expectations, but somehow the universe was sending me messaged and guiding me. By the end of my trip, I wrapped up my last week playing a headline show at the Bluebird Cafe.
My journey to get here wasn't hard. I just knew the work I had to put in to make it happen and rolled up my sleeves for 14 months.
There wasn't a lot I "knew in my heart" after the fact of me landing. It was like walking one step at a time into the darkness only being able to see where my next step will land.
2017, was full of adventure and a hell of a lot of hard work. I FREAKING DID IT, I got off a plane and stepped into a country and built my business from nothing in two months. I never needed to call home for help, everything just fell into place. I moved into my dream apartment. I actually would dream about living here and little victories would happen. But I guess I didn't stop to see them as a gift or a sign from above that everything is in divine order.
In November 2017 I fell sick like I do every winter with a sinus infection. Then December came around and I fell sick with a sinus infection. Then January came around, I fell sick with a sinus infection and completely lost my voice for a whole week. Then February came around I was sick with another sinus infection. Every time they would hit it would be worse than the last.
I started to find myself on Broadway having the time of my life drinking until I would black out, waking up to messages from guys that I don't remember kissing. For those that know me, know I only drink when I'm broken. The only way I could feel "ok" is by drowning my anxiety, fear and stress with whatever drink the handsome gent at the bar will buy me. I would wake up even more sick with no voice at all, my body would resonate with this horrible vibration of fear. Then all the guilt would set in, feeding my body with so much negative self-talk.
March came another week off work, April came another week off work. My vocal loss never really went away I always had a lump in my throat. When Nashville started to heat up I felt amazing and almost like my old self until the end of May hit me the hardest of all I faced two full weeks with no voice, since then I struggle to get through a 3-hour gig.
Doctors were prescribing me chronic allergy medication. With doctors visits and medication, I was spending over $200 a month just for my health that didn't seem to be helping.
I remember late one night calling my Dad, I just cried and felt so helpless he cried too "Just keep swinging flossy" (My Dad calls me Flossy) "when you feel like you have nothing left in you, get up again and just keep swinging. My little girl is the strongest person I know, I need you to keep swinging". (I'm crying right now as I write this). My credit card became maxed out from trying to keep afloat until I looked at my last $100.
I'VE BEEN SO ANGRY AT GOD. I did what I was asked, I sacrificed so much to follow where I was being guided, I have broken my own heart so many FUCKING times to follow every FUCKING sign. I've completely given myself to the universe, I surrendered and challenge myself to become everything I have been asked too.
I called my Mum and just burst into tears. "I can't do this anymore" as my Mum always does, she somehow always knows exactly what to say to give me that little bit of strength.
She suggested maybe going back to Australia until I figure out why I'm so sick, suggested that maybe it's stress and gave me money to enjoy a stress-free week off to nurture myself, with one rule. No late nights, no alcohol and lots of rest. This week was one of my best friends weddings and my best friends 21st birthday. But I respected her rules and was grateful to have some time to clear my head.
I started teaching singing and songwriting lessons online, singing demos and generating a new income stream from the limitations I had.
I opened up a daily devotional booked called "100 Days To Brave" by Annie F.Downs after a night of sobbing and feeling "stuck".
The title of the daily devotion I opened up to was "You Are Braver Than You Know". I want to share a little bit of this reading with you:
"I never felt brave. But day after day, I just did the next thing, took the next step, said the next yes. And God built a life for me in Nashville that I could not have dreamed up for myself." (I'm crying right now as I write).
Unknowing I brought a book by an author that had lived in Nashville. I wept harder then I think I've ever wept. THERE WAS MY SIGN. I knew I had stopped trusting in the universe and nourishing my spirituality. I knew that my compass had been warped and I wasn't aligned with my true north.
So, I got back to work. Journaling, reading, nurturing and topping myself up with all the love I had neglected to give myself.
The doctor called me and told me that I will have to find an Ear, Nose Throat doctor by calling myself as the one they refer me to only take patients with Medical insurance, otherwise, it will be $1,000. I felt defeated but I knew I would be ok. I knew I just needed to connect to above and the path will become clear.
I found a doctor on google that was only going to charge $150 for a consultation. Dr Marvel used a scope down my nose and suggested that I go for more tests. I needed to go to a nearby clinic and get my vocal chords checked and a deeper look into my sinuses. I'm not sure if I gave a stray dog energy that day, maybe it was the tears in my eyes. Maybe he knew how defeated I was.
He suggested that if I was willing to drive an hour and a half to his clinic in another town he would be able to do all the tests there and he will do it for a standard consultation fee.
That week I journaled how I've searched for romantic pursuits out of fear. I've been so scared. I longed to have someone protect me to feel safe or a sense of belonging here half a world away from home or just someone to care if I was ok and wrap me up when I'm not (which felt like most of first half of 2018).
That day I surrendered, concluding that I was silly to have such limiting beliefs as I need to trust that the universe has my back. That God is the one protecting me and keeping me safe.
I went through the most glorious drive through the country to see Dr Marvel. As we worked through examination my eyes welled up with tears to hear the news that I have no vocal damage. The doctor tested me for allergies, I'm allergy free. The answer came with the results of chronic sinusitis.
Dr Marvel looked at my welled up eyes and said that he is going to make me better and do all he can to make it possible for me to have the much-needed operation to fix my sinusitis.
I held myself together enough to make it to my car. It was 6 am Australian time and I woke my Mother up with a phone call and I just cried.
After being so angry at God, I feel like I was just being tested and pushed to my limits. After losing faith in him, he waited until I was ready to receive his help before he sent it.
Thank you universe, thank you God! x