One of my fears, perhaps my biggest one, is being misunderstood.
Every time I write a song, what I hone in on the most is if the lyrics are getting the message across. Like any human being, I am complex, with big emotions, often at odds with one another. Anxiety is something that I have been experiencing for a long time. Blame it on my gemini moon or getting outcast from a community that chose their religion over me… either way, when I’m triggered by the feeling of “I don’t belong”, the panic sets in.
I knew I wanted to write about this, but there is another side of anxiety that I experience as escape. Maybe most people would view that as a bad thing, being checked out, not in the present moment. But for me there was always this aspect of relief. I could escape into my imagination and be anywhere I wanted to be. It’s freeing. And my best ideas are born there. But when its always paired with the fear that no one likes me, or worse, that I’ll be abandoned by the ones I love the most, it’s complicated.
When I wrote “Not Here in the Now”, I did my best to describe this paradox of panic and escape to safety, but I knew it could be expressed better if paired with visuals. I mustered up the courage to believe myself worthy enough to bring in outside help to create a music video. The idea was already so solid in my mind. A house party, with me as the focus, kind of checked out and sad, while everyone around me is happy in this high energy party.
I presented my idea to Alex Raban (Room for Cream Films), and he understood the vision, which brought much relief to me, the girl with a fear of being misunderstood. After many calls, together we came up with this idea to have these other shots throughout the video of “where I really was” while checked out from the party.
Safe in my bed, singing myself back to comfort.
In some recreated bedroom dream land, much inspired by a mushroom trip.
In my feels in the car on a rainy night.
And the most vulnerable of them all, in my bathroom before the party rehearsing all of my projected feelings onto the people I tend to blame for my anxiety.
Creatively, I felt we pulled it off. We pulled off displaying the overwhelming mix of emotions that come with anxiety. We pulled off how dramatic it feels to be stuck inside your head. We pulled off expressing the complications of being not here in the now as a self aware individual. We pulled it off in two 10 hour days of shooting.
It can be a lot to feel anxious, checked out, angry at others, and at the same time know that it’s no ones responsibility but your own to overcome it. There’s a part in the video where I apologize in French for not being present. I don’t speak the language in real life, but that is kind of the point. Sometimes when you’re trying to express your overwhelm to someone it can feel so difficult to communicate. Like trying to speak a language you barely know.
Ironically, making the music video helped heal a lot of my anxiety. I think every time I push myself outside of my comfort zone, when I do something bigger than I’ve done before, it helps me believe in myself a little bit more. I get tougher, while simultaneously relaxing further, trusting in my intuition more than I did the day before.
I believe my ideas are good. And to have had so many personal details in the video really made it feel like me. Everything I create is intentional. Every detail is carefully thought out. It being filmed in my first little trailer home, where my children were born and raised is so special. The fact that the party was filled with “extras” who were my actual friends and family, ranging from all ages is a very personal detail. I’m proud of the community I’ve rebuilt, filled with misfits.
It’s always been important to me to not go along with the trends. I want what I make to stand out and reflect me as an artist as best as it can. It’s so easy to copy what everyone else is creating. To pull off something so original and personal is success in my eyes. If it inspires or resonates with even just one person, I’ve accomplished what I needed to. Every day I get a little bit more confident in who I am and how I express myself. I can feel the anxiety melting away. When I feel my creativity is flowing successfully, I’m very present and grateful. Right here in the now.