Music Monday | Anthem – Leonard Cohen

We are just into our fourth week of travelling with one more to go. It feels both long, and short. I miss friends at home, and those living in places I’ve already been. But I can’t be multiple places at once.

Or maybe I can.

Today we were here, though. A little park in Montreal across the road from Leonard Cohen’s former residence. I loved Leonard Cohen but I don’t grieve for him. I don’t need to. Because he already knew what life was about.

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Don’t dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be
There is a crack, a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in

Music Monday | Still Fighting It – Ben Folds

Everybody knows
It hurts to grow up
And everybody does
It’s so weird to be back here
Let me tell you what
The years go on and
We’re still fighting it, we’re still fighting it

This week, I am finalising my manuscript. Progress paused last year when I commenced an intensive work training program but that was completed last Friday. Now I have a few chapters left to write and have set a daily target of 3,000 words which will get me to the end by the weekend. Looking back, writing scenes from years ago, it’s all so obvious. There are visible patterns to behaviour and the underlying beliefs that drove it.

This month, I’ve been separated from my ex-husband for longer than we were married. Time bends and stretches. The last eight years have flown. The last eight years, I’ve grown. It hasn’t always been easy. At times it’s been incredibly painful. But that was what I wanted when I started this new life. I wanted to feel. I wanted to love. I wanted to know myself. I wanted to grow up.

Music Monday | I Said Hi – Amy Shark

Yesterday, I acquired a Spotify account. Considering it’s been around for 10 years, I’ve taken my sweet time adopting this technology. Music is an instrumental (pun intended) part of my life but I tend to stick with radio — Triple J — or my iTunes playlists. Today I listened to one of the “made for you” playlists and felt like I was listening to the radio but with ads. I’m not sure I’m a fan…yet.

The feature I’m most curious about is its ability to predict my taste and introduce me to artists I may not have discovered. The playlist today didn’t deviate from the artists I selected during the set up process but it was a good mix. At one point, a current fave came on.

Amy Shark’s ‘I Said Hi’ is about waking up and fighting for your dreams, no matter what. It’s also a cheeky snark about the music industry executives who rejected her for a decade.

Lying on my side, watching time fly by
And I bet the whole world thought that I would give up today

In an interview she explains that she had friends and family that were like “Oh, are you still doing your music. Come on Amy, get a real job.” So it’s a real passive aggressive song, like “oh, tell them I said hi.”

“I started saying that all the time. My manager would say ‘I’ve got a meeting with such and such today’ and it would be someone who was a dick to me, or whatever, and I’d say ‘tell them I said hi.'”

And yet, it’s this attitude that makes the song a success. Because haven’t we all wanted to say “I told you so” when we achieve something that everyone around us said we wouldn’t, or worse, actively discouraged us from?

My Year 11 chemistry teacher suggested I not continue with the subject for my senior year of high school. At the time, I took his advice. Ten years later, I became an industrial chemist; an internationally published and awarded expert in my niche field. Tell Mr Farquharson I said hi.

Who do you need to say hi to?

Music Monday | Wanderlust Wishes: a Playlist

It’s no secret that I love to travel, and today G and I booked our next holiday. We are heading to California in a few weeks for a friend’s wedding, followed by road-tripping around Canada, before spending my birthday in New York.

To celebrate, I’m sharing a collection of “travelling” songs that I love to listen to in the car.

And my current fave — I blare as loud as possible — windows down, even thought it’s winter — is this.

Music Monday | Hunger – Florence + The Machine

“At seventeen, I started to starve myself
I thought that love was a kind of emptiness
And at least I understood then the hunger I felt
And I didn’t have to call it loneliness”

Songwriters: Tobias Jesso / Thomas Wayland Bartlett / Emile Haynie / Florence Welch

I was fourteen. But felt the same. So for the next 20 years, I filled the loneliness with many things. Hunger, food, marriage, alcohol, sex.

One day, I filled the emptiness with myself, and found I’d been whole all along.