2011, According to Miss Hope

musings of a professional dreamer

I’ve never been a big fan of New Year. I’ve always found it to be a little anti-climactic, and I guess part of me feels that the concept is all wrong. I don’t like the idea of waiting for a new year to begin so that you can start doing something new with your life. It’s like waiting until Monday to start a new diet or start going to gym. What are you waiting for? People sum up their lives and worth into years that are either good or bad, and we try to convince ourselves that a new year will bring something different, something better… But at the end of the day, it’s another collection of days that I want to count for something. Just like yesterday did…

I think it’s important to look back at where you’ve come from though. It puts things into perspective and helps to account for what you’ve achieved (and for what you haven’t) and allows you to give credit to yourself where it’s due. Dividing that account into years makes good bookkeeping sense, so here goes…

I started off the year just like the year (and days) before, with a plan to keep my head down and keep on trucking, and boy, did I truck! Covering almost 35,000km around the country, I played 84 shows, in beautiful spaces to audiences who wanted to listen and in the wrong kinds of spaces for audiences who ended up listening, and some who didn’t.

I heard someone cover one of my songs for the first time. I made mistakes that made me stronger. I made mistakes I’m sure I’ll make again. I played half a show with an almost full band (and definitely need to do more of that).

I watched some of my best friends get married and fall in love all over again. I missed birthdays but I made it home in time for Christmas. I caught my first sunset from the top of Signal Hill. I met beautiful people whom I now call friends and reconnected with old friends who I’m lucky enough to see on a regular basis.

I collaborated with artists from Argentina in an outdoor spectacle that blew my mind. I visited a studio in a township shack which gave me a new respect for artists who believe. I watched Tori Amos and Michelle Shocked live, two artists whose music my sister played non-stop when I was growing up. I discovered new artists who spoke for my heart.

I celebrated two years fulltime. I launched my second album and got play listed on radio. I ticked off dream #1 on the wishlist and played a grand piano onstage. I played in my dream space against the most magnificent backdrop I could imagine and got a standing ovation that has made my heart shine. I sold out of albums and was spoilt by Kawai with a new stage piano that makes me smile every time I play it. I shot my first music video and experienced my first casting. I worked too many 16 hour days and played too little actual music.

I drove beautiful new routes, discovered new places, fell in love with towns I’d never heard of and sold out a show in the middle of nowhere. I got stuck in a herd of sheep. I discovered the Overberg. I discovered Hogsback. I was charged by a seal. I went 4x4ing on dunes and fell in love with a little red Jeep.

I challenged my Durbanness in mid-winter in Grahamstown, again, and lost to a chest infection, but won an Ovation Award. I climbed lighthouses and stood at the foot of Africa where the two oceans meet.

I felt lonely and hopeless but was reminded that these things always right themselves, and they did.

I cried and laughed and lived a dream.

And I’ll keep doing it all and dreaming bigger. I cannot put into words what it’s like to live a dream. I can only tell you that the moments leading up to it, the moments that build it – every tear, every smile, every encouragement and criticism, every heartbreak, victory and disappointment, and every sacrifice you’ve ever made – are entirely worth it. It’s like finally arriving home to yourself.

Thanks for listening and happy New Year, Rockstars. I hope that all your days are full of the things that your dreams are made of.

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© Shannon Hope 2017