I didn’t realize I was writing a concept album until I had ten songs, that when I looked at closely, had shared themes. And when put in a specific order, are in fact the themes of my life that unfolded over the last two years.
"Not Here in the Now" is one of the first songs I wrote for this album that didn’t yet have a name. It’s obviously a song about social anxiety and the dissociation coping mechanism. It was really vulnerable for me to write about that and though I knew it was important for me to share my mental health struggles, I was also hesitant to express it for fear it would come across whiney. I see people use their mental health as an excuse to victimize their life, and I believe if you’ve adapted that mentality, you’ve already lost.
Taking Back My Power
I wanted to have power and control over the narrative of my life, and if I identified too closely with my depression and anxiety, I was pretty convinced I would lose some of that. I think I was onto something but I didn’t know how to express it yet. As I began writing more songs, I realized that identifying my struggles is an important first step in taking back some of that power I lost over my life throughout the years of being conditioned by religion. I had to admit that I coped by checking out. If I stayed present, it would be too overwhelming at the least, but what I was really afraid of was my anger. My anger with the church, and the people in it that taught me not to trust, love or even like myself. Of course I felt anxious around people. I didn’t even know who I was or how to feel confident about that. There were a couple times when I unleashed all that pent up anger at the wrong place and time, and sometimes on the wrong people. I lost friends because of it. That was a turning point for me.
Music As My Outlet
I decided to start using songwriting as an outlet for my anger and then things started to click. I think when you’ve had a repressed and traumatic upbringing, there’s a common order of emotions that unravel over time. It often starts with a sadness or numbness from the loss of an entire life that feels like a lie.
"Not Here in the Now" is the expression of that first step in this journey of coming back to myself. Admitting the sadness and detachment from reality is so important, because the anger doesn’t make sense if you don’t. I began to work through these emotions of sadness and anger that eventually turned into bravery, humor, and self confidence. I realized I was writing an album about female liberation and self love. "Not Here in the Now" is part of the journey back to myself, back to the present, and back to true love, which I came to understand has nothing to do with this idea of God that I was taught.
Love Comes From Within
I started to believe more and more that true love comes from within. Maybe the kingdom of heaven exists here on this earth, in this lifetime. Perhaps I don’t need God to save me. Maybe she already lives in me. Growing up, I recited the Lord’s Prayer every day in school, which begins, “Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Now, I can’t help but see the word, “thy” and replace it with myself. It’s my name that’s sacred, my heaven that I get to choose to live in, my kingdom.
"Not Here in the Now" is the vulnerability that is necessary in a woman’s story of evolution. It’s that initial act of bravery. Admitting that you’re not okay is often the hardest part, but nothing can grow without it. "Not Here in the Now" is the beginning of my story, and the first single from my upcoming album.