“Screw it – YOLO” – the moment of clarity in a lifetime of anxiety.

Disclaimer – I have been up all night so I apologise in advance.

I’ve noticed that sometimes I have two reactions to something. The first is painfully familiar – it’s the anxiety disorder screaming at me. It goes something like this, only even less coherent (if you can imagine that):

I CAN’T OH MY GOD, I CAN’T TELL YOU WHY NOT BUT OH MY LIFE THIS WILL LITERALLY END MY EXISTENCE, I JUST CANNOT OKAY, DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS, I AM SO GOD DAMN SCARED AND EVERYTHING WILL GO WRONG AND EVERYONE WILL HATE ME AND THINK I’M PATHETIC GOD I’M A MESS I HATE MYSELF AND I-

I unfortunately listen to this quite a lot, it kills my confidence and esteem, makes me shrink, causes me to speak quietly and only when spoken to, makes me feel useless and like a nuisance. It inhibits me a lot in my everyday life and stops me from doing things I probably could do, just by convincing me that I probably couldn’t.

And sometimes, not always, but sometimes, this second reaction kicks in. It sort of bitch slaps the panicking Becca into silence and just says:

“Screw it – YOLO.”

It doesn’t justify itself, doesn’t try to rationalise itself any more than the hysterical anxiety reaction does. I suppose it doesn’t have to. The fear is still there, the panic, the dread, the anxiety. But this voice stubbornly insists that I persist anyway, even if for no other reason than that my existence on this planet is already too short and I have frittered away enough time on being scared and avoiding things.

As I cast my sleep-deprived mind back, this second reaction got me to start singing, to start posting songs online, to audition for things, to get up on stage for the first time (and the second, and the third, and so on), got me from being terrified of public speaking to teaching classes, eventually got me working in a field I never imagined I’d end up in – and staying there even when I struggled so much initially that I became unwell. Basically every major, life-changing thing that has happened to me, happened because of this second reaction (and my decision to go with that over the old faithful anxiety reaction).

I often question this second reaction and think it’s crazy, or misguided, or foolish. But I never question that first reaction in the same way because I am so used to my mental health issues that I believe them and trust them, and take them to be truth. Those “YOLO” moments feel alien and unfamiliar because for a brief moment I’m not anxiety-ridden Becca. I still may not exactly believe that I can do whatever it is, but for a brief moment I don’t NOT believe that I can. I decide to find out, and – importantly – I decide it doesn’t really matter what the result is.

For a moment I’m the Becca that I dream of being.

And then I realize that I am that Becca. She is me, I am her. I just stifle her. Perhaps if I listen to the YOLO reaction more, I can be her more of the time. Perhaps then I’ll also find a healthy middle ground between crippling fear and reckless abandon.

But first, I think, I must find sleep.

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Updates!

Hello again, just a few little updates on the album project! Tracks 3 and 4 have been mixed, and I think track 4 is my new favourite! Darren really outdid himself on this track, he spent a lot of time getting it just right and the atmosphere is freakin’ awesome, I think you’re going to love it!!

Darren had a meeting with his publisher and on their advice we’re actually going to re-cut the entire thing in English as well before presenting it to record labels. They’re meeting an exec from Fuji Pacific soon who we’re hoping will get involved. Exciting times!

Also in case you didn’t already know, I’m playing Basingstoke Live on Sunday 12th July, you can come along and watch me from 15:40 to 16:00. My little artist bio is up on the main site now, click here!

[Cover] Girls’ Generation – Catch Me If You Can!

So Girls’ Generation/소녀시대 are my favourite group and their new song dropped yesterday – holy hell! They absolutely killed it in the music video, the dance is amazing and they all look amazing as always. I couldn’t resist covering it while I wait for my EP to be finished off, and thought I’d post it here 🙂 I hope you enjoy my vocal rendition and the girls’ visual slayage! 😀

You Don’t Have To Be The Best.

Really, you don’t. I don’t either, and normally I know that. But every now and then I let my doubts creep back in and I start to feel like I’m not enough, somehow. I see people who have what I lack, excelling where I struggle, people for whom things seem to come so easily, so naturally.

I think many of us have these moments, and in those moments you realise you will never be as good as this person. You can’t help but feel discouraged and you may even wonder why you bother at all. You incorrectly assume that just because you’re not the best, that what you have to offer is insignificant, and perhaps that you should hide it away for fear of being judged against these amazing people and being found wanting.

I do not have the best singing voice in the world, and for many years I hid it. But rather than list my complaints and issues with it, I’m going to list the reasons why I sing instead. If you’re going through a similar thing, perhaps make your own list to remind yourself of why you do what you do 😊

  • It allows me to express whatever I’m feeling. Whether I’m happy, sad, angry, lonely, whatever – I can vent those feelings through singing.
  • It has also helped me to overcome crippling shyness and anxiety. I went from being terrified of even speaking to people to performing in front of hundreds of people!
  • On a related note, imperfect as I may be, other people seem to like my voice. The general consensus is that they are glad they listened to it! It makes me really happy when someone else enjoys it, too!
  • Singing has brought me into contact with some of the most amazing people, and shown me how kind, helpful and supportive people can be!
  • I enjoy taking on challenges in many areas. Vocally I do this by attempting songs that I don’t think I can do. I often surprise myself and realise that some of my barriers and limits may be self imposed.
  • My voice now is pretty unrecognisable from what it was when I started. I find that pretty exciting and want to see if it will keep changing and evolving over the years.
  • I want to see what I can do with it, see how far I can go. I’ve done pretty well in several competitions, had a private audition with Disney, won a free trip to Korea, and most recently I’ve written an EP with an amazing producer. I’d say that’s going pretty well really.
  • I like being able to write my own songs and put my thoughts and experiences into what I’m doing. I love covering songs and I always have, but there’s something really exciting about singing a song I’ve made, that means something to me. I’m particularly fortunate to be writing with someone who is very talented but also very open minded and happy to work with my ideas!

Sometimes I think I don’t deserve success, because I’m not good enough, because I’m not talented enough, because I’m not impressive enough. But in the end, that’s not for me to decide. And rather than thinking about whether or not I’m the best (I’m not) or whether I ever will be (I won’t), I suppose I ought to just focus on loving what I do and always trying to do it better. For the things that I just categorically cannot do with my skill set, I can either accept it and move on… or try to find another way around. I’m an artist, after all, a creative. It’s all about using your imagination, right? 🙂