My infinite passion for discovering creativity goes deeper than the bone. It's bigger than me! It's greater than all of us! I believe that spirituality and creativity go hand in hand. If you don't believe me, I encourage you
to listen to that wave of inspiration. Write that book, paint that picture, draw that portrait, arrange a beautiful bouquet of flowers, photograph your children. If you can master the ability not to analyze your work critically I guarantee you, you will feel something magical. Glimmering in front of you will be a reflection of your authenticity, vulnerably staring you boldly in the eyes and as your observe, you'll witness your spirit dancing across the canvas of your choice.
Despite believing that everyone should be encouraged to live creatively, I also hope that my future children don't feel the same calling that I do. Creativity as a profession is a whirlwind of wildest dreams coming true, excitement and one of the most thrilling rides I've ever jumped aboard. It's a spiraling into a shattering pain of heartache and rejection than as you get launched into the great unknown you find yourself back at the beginning willing to go through it all again.
I admire my mother for all her strength as she picked me up from broken pieces time after time with a sense of helplessness. She could have encouraged me to give up, and wrapped my fragile soul in bubble wrap protecting me from my next crash and burn. Instead, she encouraged me to learn how to fly.
I tried to give up; the pain was crippling. In 2012, I moved back to my hometown "Gunnedah". I taught singing lessons, played pub gigs on weekends. I found a lovely small town boy who I hoped to settle down with, spent my money on holidays our next goal was to buy our first house together. My creative outlets become photography, and I was studying graphic design. In 2 years I wrote five songs. Suppressing my need to write, sing and pursue this dream contributed to my depression. I lost my magic, and my spark was gone. I had nothing to contribute to the world, and I felt like I'd failed.
Under the layers of passion, ambition and my vulnerable at times self-doubt, deep down is hidden "a knowing". I remember as a little girl I knew I was going to do something extraordinary with my music. After fighting, pushing and feeding my ego for success "giving up" was when I truly began. Today I stand bare, humbled, and I believe beyond belief that I have the ability to pursue and succeed at whatever I desire to do.
As painful as this path is at times, it's more painful to stumble along lost untrue to myself, paralysed by fear and regret. So in learning that lesson, I found myself three years later in Nashville, Tennessee. Investing every penny I had into a dream that I have not choice but to chase.
It was October 12, 2015. Five days before I flew back to Australia. I walked into my publishing meeting Marty Morgan had arranged for me. I admired this publishing house as it saw 12 charting singles already for the year to date. I sat down on the leather studded couch and pulled out my broken guitar that I fell on the day before. I sang "When I'm Broken". When I finished the last chord I patiently waited for a response, I could hear myself gulp down my heart hoping that he would be kind.
His response "You know I have had over 100 people play me songs on that couch this year, and you're the first one that has blown me away".
Tears welled in my eyes. It's hard to describe why I felt so humbled while someone flattered my ego. But after 11 weeks on the other side of the world and years of little self-worth, my watery eyes twinkled as I masked welled emotions with a proud smile before an "ugly cry" had a chance to emerge.
After explaining that "When I'm Broken" is a duet he says "My friend is recording a duo album with his wife, would you mind if I pass this song along for him to have a listen?".
I politely agreed and curiously asked "Who was your friend?"
"Mr Grath Brookes" he responded.
In all honesty, Brookes may never hear my song. But if there was ever confirmation that I was exactly where I needed to be that was it. I believe my Nanna Peggy was looking down from above the entire trip, positioning me in the right place like a puzzle piece fitting perfectly together. I proceeded to play more songs, "That's a 2 million dollar song right there," he said with a matter of fact tone. Song after song his enthusiasm never deterred, we realised that we shared mutual friends in Australia and by the end of the meeting I had made a brand new friend in Nashville.
The Wednesday evening I played my first show at the Bluebird Cafe. One of the world's most prestigious songwriting venues. People line up and wait for hours in hopes to get a seat and musicians go through months of auditions to get a spot on the stage. Call it fate and a blessing that I happened to be invited to join a round. Marty Morgan's belief in me had him enthusiastically forging new opportunities for our songs to be sang and he was going to make damn sure I was the one singing them, knowing his kind soul, I can see why my Nanna chose him to guide me. After years of playing pubs fighting to be heard, you could listen to a pin drop throughout every song that evening.
One of the most rewarding parts of the night was when a women came up and hugged me at the end of the show. Through my songs, I connected with her and sang her story. I have never had an awful amount of opportunity where I could discover the power of my songs but that night I felt it. That was one of those magical moments I spoke about.
The Friday I experienced my first professional full band demo session recording "When I'm Broken" and by Saturday 7:30 am, my Nashville family had arrived to pick me up and drop me at the airport.
My trip was over; I was homeless, more broke than I've ever been in my life and bound for Australian shores. I learnt never to question fate, listened to where I am being guided and that within us we have a limitless amount of strength. I believe this because, in spite of my fear I became fearless.
Although I am now living at my mothers, my Nashville adventure isn't over. With the ambition of calling Nashville my home, I believe that this journey is just the beginning of a treasure trove of stories I'll collect as I continue chasing this untameable wild desire to dream and begin this thrilling ride all over again.