After my time on The Bachelor, I found it difficult to adjust to the real world. My life had changed forever; I had become so in tune with spirituality and myself. I knew what my every heart beat was whispering; I could feel my feet walking a new path as I inquisitively followed. I understood every feeling in my body, and what it was telling me, I had become self-aware. Around large groups of people, I felt engagement was fake and impersonal, I become a loner.
After an evening having social drinks with friends on Darby St in Newcastle, I had a few girls come and ask "Were you on The Bachelor?". This lead to a line of people queuing up to take a photo with me, even people who didn't watch the show. I was used to this from music events, but this was different. I hadn't validated myself as worthy of being in someone's photo, all I did was seek attention on national TV. I felt like I couldn't give them anything, a song, inspiration or even a simple, genuine connection. It was a hollow victory for 15 seconds of fame. I eventually use to shrug it off and say, "No I was on Bondi Rescue". I giggleed and they would walk away confused. A few weeks after I got kicked off people would just look at me as a familiar face they have met somewhere before, I much preferred the strange stares.
Dating for me has always been something I don't understand. I never actually dated in my adult life. From single at 17 with cute little dates to being 26 and guys simply after a "booty call". WHAT THE HECK IS A "BOOTY CALL"? I knew what I needed. I needed to be alone. Like actually alone! No dating, no messaging boys, no snap chats just me alone with my demons, sifting through the silence in my life and songs in my head.
Another significant turning point for me was a book called "The Artist's Way". I believe that spirituality and creativity go hand in hand, I discovered this first hand in my time on the Bachelor, after writing journal entries I continued to write after the experience. I was guided by something bigger than myself, and my past experiences leave me with no scepticism that there is something bigger out there. My debut single was called "Ghost". About the darker side of spirituality, I discovered when I was 19 with enough evidence to make your skin crawl. But I'm not here to talk about my beliefs and how wakey I sound.
"The Artists Way" was educating me to live a creative life every day, even when I wasn't song-writing. I was contributing to creativity through drawing, photography and writing. I believe it allows me to connect to a higher vibration so when that killer song and inspiration wants to come through I'll be there ready to hear it loud and clear.
As I finished my last hurdle of overcoming a lifetime of unloving thoughts towards myself and disbelief in my abilities, I trusted that a path was going to open for me. I waited and waited. Shed layers, upon layers and continued to be patiently still until a way forward cleared.
October 2011, I threw out to the universe that I wanted to spend three months in Nashville writing songs. But I was to scared, I didn't know how to save for a trip that big. It had been so long since I had been to Nashville I knew no one. What if I failed? What if I come home broke with nothing to show for it? It became a dream packed in its suitcase labeled with the terrifying fears that haunted me about the possibility of failing my expectations.
August 2014 I received an email from a co-writer in Nashville, from a trip I had made back in 2009.
You probably don't remember me; my name's Doc Holladay. We wrote a song together back in 2009. I just wanted to reach out and let you know that after all these years our song has just been cut.
Frantically picking up the phone, I called my Mum. It felt like something to perfectly divine to be dumb luck. Still to this day I believe my incredible Nanna Peggy was up above shoving my one and only demoed song lost in Nashville achieves of old hard drives, collecting dust in publishers faces, only to be contacted with the great news years down the track when I'm asking for guidance. I got a message and I called my mum right away.
"Mum I have a feeling I'm going to move to Nashville in two years, I don't know how or why but I just get a feeling".
And then I did nothing, I waited for my next cue. I wrote, I gigged, I continued to sit in silence focusing on my mental health and finding my strength.
I can't tell you the moment or paint a beautifully vivid picture. But in February 2015, I walked past Travel World on my way to yoga and my intention wasn't to even look in the window. But I felt such a strong urge I couldn't ignore it. It was like a magnetic force that dragged me into the store and asked the travel agent ticket prices to LA. "$1100 if you fly in July" her voice sparkled like magic.
That was all the money I had; that day I took the biggest leap of faith and booked my ticket.