Do you ever feel like there’s so much more to you than people know? Do you ever feel like there’s so much more to you than can be defined in words? Me too.
I sing, I write, I act, I play piano, I work, I run, I cycle, I cook, I bake, I knit, I design, I care, I talk, I struggle, I learn, I listen, I love. I do a lot of things, I play a lot of roles. I choose to show different sides of my personality within these different roles, and sometimes this isn’t easy. We become defined by one side of our personality and really, it just isn’t that simple. I have always defined myself as a doer. I like to create, if I’m doing something, I’m satisfied. I struggle with sitting idly and feeling a lack of accomplishment.
Life is busy and its easy for there to be times when certain things I do become priority over others. But, when I find correlation and my passions collide, I’m inspired.
I recently decided to cover a song by Demi Lovato, titled Sober. When I first heard the song, I was struck by the singer’s vulnerability. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know I value when an artist can be real and RAW. In this song, Demi is completely transparent, she confesses to relapsing after six years of sobriety. Strength, beauty, and fearlessness are the words that fill my mind when I hear the way she sings these lyrics.
I was so moved by the message of the song, I began covering it. I would sing it at open mics and various performances, and it always captured the audience. It moved them. I decided to record the vocals and piano for the song. After recording the song, I let it sit. I was weary of releasing it. I was afraid that people would think I that struggled with addiction, and I would be associated with drug or alcohol abuse. The truth is, I have never struggled with addiction or substance abuse, yet my relationship to this song is undeniable.
After a few moments of self reflection, I realized this is exactly why I NEEDED to share my cover. We are so quick to negatively associate the word ‘SOBER,’ with an abusive past, when in fact it holds such a positive meaning in the present. To become sober is to have the strength to abstain from something. I have become sober from many things in my life: toxic relationships, one sided friendships, anxieties, being too harsh on myself. It’s all relative, it matters, and it makes us human.
In planning the video for Sober, I figured people would expect something dark and moody. Dark imagery would fit the tone of the music. In communicating the positive side of sobriety, I wanted to use soft colors. I opted for a baby pink flower wall, neutral clothing and makeup, and blue and purple hues for lighting. I wore one blue eye colored contact juxtaposing my natural brown eye, in order to accentuate this duality we can find within ourselves.
Those of us that struggle with elements that we need to become sober from are not defined by those qualities that we need to become free from. I have spent my life battling with the idea of trying to be perfect. This has manifested itself in many negative patterns. I endlessly work towards trying to get sober from these habits of self criticism. This is why I cry when I sing these words. And all the while, I’ve exuded nothing but confidence in professional matters and on stage. Though vulnerability defines me, I try my best not to display it. We become ashamed of these hidden parts of ourselves, when they are the very details that make us complex and relatable. The secret is: everyone is struggling with something, big or small. Somewhere inside, we are all fighting to be sober.