It took me a little while to figure out why I was feeling so shitty today, but I finally got it. I’m simply feeling sad. I’m grieving. I’m still so unused to allowing myself to feel my feelings, that I find it hard to recognize them. I’m getting quicker though. Today it took me a bit more than an hour. In the past it used to take weeks. Years actually. Plus I needed help. Now I can figure it out on my own.
As I was walking through Prospect Park, coming back from the library this afternoon, I watched people setting up their barbeque/picnic spreads, with 90’s-style sunny R&B tunes blasting in the background. You know the type where some Jamaican dude comes on every once in a while and does a feel-good rap-bit. Man, I so couldn’t relate. It reminded me of a woman who approached me a couple of years back after my record-release show. (A show I am still very proud of..) She suggested to me after my performance that I should write happier songs. I can’t remember my reply. I probably just felt uncomfortable.. If I could travel back in time into that situation right now, my reply would be this: I can’t. And frankly, I don’t want to.
But that was then. Recently, I do find myself searching for happier chords on my guitar. It feels good to realize that there’s a natural evolution that happens in songwriting, that mirrors the emotional terrain one is exploring at any given time. The album that I’m recording right now has some seriously dark, hypnotic moods, and I feel thrilled about the prospect of performing them. It feels honest, it feels real. And dark doesn’t necessarily mean depressing. It can be powerful and uplifting to some. It certainly is to me.
I’ve come from a dark place, but it doesn’t mean that I am a dark person. I just feel compelled to express my emotions honestly while I have them. Tomorrow my emotions will change and evolve, and then I will create something different. Perhaps happier songs will come, but they will come in their own time.
Today, I will honor my sadness, although it is not my intention to wallow in it. I’m making myself my favorite comfort food: mashed potatoes, and I may even drink a hot chocolate afterwards. If you knew me well, you would know that that’s some serious self-soothing right there.
“Tears are words that need to be written.”
― Paulo Coelho