Thursday, August 11, 2005

I'm on the road to.. Somewhere. Finally.

In the last few days I have decided that my life needs a complete overhaul. This overhaul has to be unrelenting. This has come about not because I am unhappy, but, perversely, because I am starting to feel Happy.

Since leaving University last summer I feel I have had, as I'm sure everyone does, a bit of a hard time adjusting to Life On The Outside. Up until the point of graduation there is always someone standing over you with a stick (a proverbial one) (well I suppose it depends which school you went to) and a scowl, saying in booming tones "DO YOUR HOMEWORK, CHILD" or "GET OUT OF BED AND GO TO A LECTURE YOU SLOB, AND FOR GOD'S SAKE CLEAN YOUR ROOM WHILE YOU'RE AT IT".

So, in fits and starts, you obey. You do your homework, albeit at ten o'clock on a Sunday night. You go to just about enough lectures and read as many books as you can, go to seminars and talk about exciting sounding things, like Post-Modernism, Post-Colonialism and Post-Seminargettingdrunkinthebarism. You pass your exams. You get a degree. You get drunk. You walk around for a day trying to balance a bit of black cardboard on your head and feeling a bit stressed because your parents won't stop taking bloody photos of you when you're talking to people you hardly know and you don't realise they're doing it until the person you hardly know lowers their voice and says "don't look now right but there's a man taking photos of us" and you turn around and it's your Dad and you get all flustered because you feel like a loser and all you're really trying to do is avoid standing on the hem of your gown. Ahem. I mean, like, hypothetically, obviously.

Anyway, so University ends. Some people get jobs in the city, selling their souls to the corporations in return for £40 grand a year and a fast-track road to hard-working eighteen-hour-days hell. Some bugger off to travel, delaying the 'real world' under the thin guise of 'finding themselves' or 'charity work'. Others have mysterious 'contacts' whereby they get well paid trendy jobs in trendy industries and get trendy haircuts have lots of vinyl and know lots about mysterious (but trendy) DJs that only the other trendy people with trendy haircuts know about. And SOME people actually do vocational degrees, and do things like become Doctors, or Lawyers, or Philosophers (that was a joke) (but you knew that).

Others have No Idea. They spend months, even years declaring that they Don't Know Yet, while their self-esteem shrivels down to the size of the Beckhams' collective IQ. Then they are alright, so anyone? If this is your situation? It's going to be Just Fine. Please don't end it all now.

For me? I know exactly what I want to do. I want to sing. If I didn't I think I'd want to work for a charity. But the only thing I want to do is sing and, as the Internet is my witness, I will not give up until I am singing for a living. I WILL NOT AND DON'T TRY AND MAKE OR I WILL SET MY DOG ON YOU AND SHE HAS AN AXE.

But I have been feeling really pretty shit for ages. I can see that now because I feel better. Since the end of last summer things have been horrible and complicated. I had no respect for myself and let myself be convinced that I was worthless and pathetic, that I had no drive, no means to DO anything about my dreams. Nobody told me that, but the situations I chose to put myself in drained my confidence in myself. I needed to look to others for support, and when I didn't get what I was looking for for whatever reason, I crumbled. I continued crumbling.

What happened the other week with the bombings and the robbery really shook me up. I went to rock bottom. My self-destructive streak took hold and I felt nothing but contempt for myself, manifesting itself in a way that hurts other people as well as myself.

It was, to be a little flippant, a bit rubbish.


I discovered that I had a support network stronger than I ever could have imagined. My parents have been so unerringly supportive and understanding, offering me love and compassion so much that I thought I would burst with emotion. My friends and sisters have put up with my apathy and moodiness. I pulled out of a holiday that had been planned for months, provoking confusion to say the least, and it was met with warmth and understanding. And The Crush?


I can't even describe how grateful I am to him for all that he has done for me. I am so happy with him. Yeah, he knows that, I'm not just writing it publicly to avoid actually saying it, really I'm not. He has done so much for my confidence, my self-esteem, my everything. Also he laughs at my jokes, which, while admittedly making me wonder sometimes about his sanity, is pretty cool. I laugh at his jokes more, though. I think he's really fucking cool.

Enough of that sentimental mushy crap.

My point is, I am ready now to start Doing Something About My Career. My first step will be getting a website, which Euan (of commenting fame) is going to help me with. On it will be sound clips, gig details and pictures. Other stuff, too.

Does anyone have any input? What should an aspiring singer on the London Jazz scene have on her website? Which links?

When I have done that, and got my demo CD all good and ready, I will become a PR bitch and trawl the streets of London, going into the jazz venues and telling them to hear me and love me. I will ask my jazz friends to play with me (not like THAT [you dirty bitch]). I will earn money through singing. Hear that steely 'I-don't-take-no-shit-no-more' determination.

And that is just one side of my overhaul.. The other involves composition, my Imac, GarageBand, some 'contacts' at some major record labels, and a lot more guts. I'll tell you about that later.

I am getting there.

It is YOUR job to read what I write and tell me I'm not a mentalist for doing this. When I was little and wailing about having to learn my times tables (DEFINITELY more of an artsy person), my Mum used to sit me down and make me repeat the phrase "I CAN and I WILL. I CAN and I WILL". I'm still crap at maths but that's beside the point.

I think I have always felt that I could. It had just become a case of when I would.

And now? Well, now I still feel that I can.

And I think the time has come that I will.

Here goes. Wish me luck.


Blogger Doug said...

Wow, an epiphany of greatness. I wish you all the luck, and maybe those of us in the states can hand out your demo CD's from streetside stands. Good luck and make sure you let us know continually how it goes.

6:42 pm

Blogger Leah said...

You can totally do it and are very much not mental. I'll buy a CD! But I can't guarantee I'll go to your shows, as it's a bit of a trek from Chicago. Come on tour here when you're famous though!

7:08 pm

Anonymous Dawn said...

Dude, with an attitude like that? You can totally do anything. And you are not mental - you are awesome. I say go for it and don't forget the little people when you've hit it big.

7:09 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best of luck! Don't forget to blog for us now and then when you're famous! :)


7:55 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

fab. im very much in the aimless stage at the moment, so i suppose theres hope yet. this is probably not helpful, but the only jazz type place i know of directly, is a place called the lord hood, in greenwich, ive never been, it migiht be crap, but i remember reading their sign!

and, i totally read 'i-mac' as 'immac'

11:02 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes yes I too believed you were now dependent on hair removal cream...

But I am so glad you're not. That would be a messy and oftentimes smelly dependency.

7:32 am

Blogger Bug said...

How exciting! Good luck, lovey - and hurry up and get that website up, that sounds groovable :)

By the way, you have to stop mentioning how wonderful The Crush is or I may have to die of jealousy

7:46 am

Blogger Dancinfairy said...

Wow! With that attitude you really will do it I am sure. I Promise to jump on a train from sunny Brighton for one of your gigs. Now all I need is some of your will and determination. When you are fabulous and sucessful, could I borrow a bit? Until then I'm gonna try out the "I CAN and I WILL. I CAN and I WILL". (Stange looks from work colleagues as I sit at my desk muttering!)

11:59 am

Anonymous AD said...

hey, been reading your blog for the last few days....good stuff....
just hope you follow through what you have written in this entry....and im sure you will be successful...(sorry for giving advice, but you could print this entry and stick it on your wall to remind yourself when you are feeling down....)

like someone once told me 'take care of the little things and the big stuff will sort itself out !!!'

good luck and keep writing....


2:19 pm

Blogger pixie said...

Good luck!
And if you fail in the music biz, maybe you can be a writer! (I'm serious here.)
Anyhow, yeah, if you get a demo, check out It's a fab radio station out of Seattle that plays on the internet as well. Who knows, maybe if you send them a cd, they will play it?

7:15 pm

Anonymous SiY said...

Hi, I graduated from Warwick this year. The first part of your post struck a bit of a chord with me: I'm living back at home now and missing the structure and fun of uni. The second part sounds good though; nice to see you being really fired up about what you want to do with your life and I wish you all the best with it.

Incidentally Warwick now has (has had for a year) its own blog system! Luckily they let addicted graduates like me hang around (check out my site if you feel so inclined). I enjoyed my quick look through your blog!

2:03 pm


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