In a world of pain and suffering, why wouldn’t we all be obsessed with the illusion of bliss and freedom? Initially I saw happiness as an unattainable luxury, a state that keeps us naively alive with the promise of a better world that will never exist. While it is true that moments of happiness in life are a great part of what keeps us living, we need not be permanently happy to lead a fulfilling and “happy” life. To some extent we choose how to view the world each day. We wouldn’t know true pain and devastation without having experienced some state of contentedness. I am not going to spend my life convincing myself that I am happy when that may not be the truth, but I will make a concerted decision to try.
Over the years, I have considered myself a Coldplay fanatic to say the least. I own every album not only in physical form but also in terms of PVG (Piano, Vocals, Guitar) sheet music. While I connected deeply with Coldplay’s previous offering, “Ghost Stories” (2013), the downbeat nature of this album proved to be a bit lacklustre in comparison with its predecessor “Mylo Xyloto” (2011). “A Head Full of Dreams”, with its combination of electronic and acoustic sounds and upbeat tempo, is a feel good album, imbued with toe-tapping rhythms and memorable lyrics.
Mylo Xyloto Tour 2012, Sydney
5. Amazing Day
This beautiful, fulfilling instrumental and vocal song is born out of simplicity and builds up to be one of the most inspirational and relaxing tracks of the album. To me, this song embodies love and being able to enjoy the small things in spite of having fought a hard journey for so long. This song is definitely worth a listen.
Everglow is a gentle yet touching love ballad that brings together relaxed percussion and a beautiful piano melody. The chorus intensifies, adding more layers to the song, and you can feel the emotional connection that Chris Martin makes with his audience through his lyrics and vocals. The sentimental journey that Coldplay embarks upon in this song is what earns it a top spot.
“So if you love someone, you should let them know, oh the light that you left me will everglow.”
I find this song to be an important and motivational addition to my daily musical regime. While it can be repetitive after six minutes and forty-five seconds, this is a message of hope that reminds me over and over again to keep fighting.
“When you’re in pain, when you think you’ve had enough- don’t ever give up.”
2. Hymn For The Weekend
Beyoncé’s immensely talented vocals in this long-awaited pairing with Coldplay are a musical breath of fresh air. To me, it refers to the giddiness we can feel when in love, referred to metaphorically as “feeling drunk and high”. No matter what we go through and have been through everyone deserves to be loved and to feel loved. The combination of electronic sounds, percussion and piano create a beautiful environment for this love to be felt- this love that is so great that it can reach beyond earthly realms.
On a personal note, this song represents an amazing weekend I spent with one of my beautiful friends- reminding me of the love I feel, to stay strong and keep fighting each and every day.
“Life is a drink, your love’s about, to make the stars come out.”
1. Fun (feat. Tove Lo)
Fun is an uplifting tune which reminds us to get lost in the moment and enjoy what we can in life. This song wins my top spot because of its important, inspirational message and empowering sound/lyrics. We can often get so caught up in our regrets and difficulties that we forget what the point was in the first place. Even if just for a moment we can get caught up in the beauty and joy that life has to offer, it can all be worthwhile. This song is a much-needed reminder to let go and allow yourself to enjoy what life has to offer. It also provides hope and shows us that as long as we fight and continue to do so, there is no such thing as a lost cause.
“Nothing’s too broken to find our way back, so before it’s over before you run, ah didn’t we have fun?”
Do you agree with my top picks? It was difficult to choose as I love the entire album, so I based my views on personal connection and inspiration (I’m sorry Adventure Of A Lifetime, I think we need to take a break). I would absolutely love to hear your opinions and what your favourites from the album are.
We cannot see the light but when we are emerging from the eternal darkness. Challenging times reveal true love more than any other. To have never felt pain and suffering is to never have felt true happiness and relief or true love and friendship. While the darker aspects of human nature often prevail, humans will continue to amaze, enthral and surprise. Think about some of the small kindnesses you have witnessed in everyday life. A compliment, helping hand, or simply a smile can often mean the world to someone in the depths of darkness. So why not? Why do we spend much of our lives trying to avoid eye contact with the person walking past us on the sidewalk? Why do we seem to never have an extra few minutes to talk to the stranger sitting next to us on the bus? As human beings we all have common traits, emotions, fears and yet we seem so avoidant when it comes to connecting with one another. I like to try to get at least one stranger to truly smile every day. We can make a difference by simply changing our approach to everyday life. Push the boundaries a bit more each and every day. Question the self-criticisms you accept as hard truths. Where did these ideas come from? What do they serve? How can I acknowledge these thoughts yet rise above them to lead the life I wish to lead? Our brains are so much more powerful than we believe and in fact, continue to develop into our late 40s. The day you decided that you were fat or stupid or unworthy in your teenage years thus need not dictate the way you lead the rest of your life. We can continue to grow and rise above even our darkest and most punishing thoughts.
- The Sun
For the past month and a half, I have traded the beautiful (albeit scorching) Australian sun for a European winter in Spain. Basically, the weather differences side by side have looked something like this:
The sun has finally returned to Logroño and it is BEAUTIFUL.
2. The Outdoors
Logroño provides many incredible opportunities to be outside and to explore the natural and cultural charm of Western Europe. I am so lucky to have the time and energy to explore this beautiful city both on foot and on bike.
Since arriving in Logroño, I have started 5 dance classes, including Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Flamenco and Ballet. Dance, particularly tap, has over the past years been an important part of my life. A way to not only express myself but also to communicate, explore and treat my body with the respect it needs. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to dance while overseas.
4. Friends and Family
While many of the people I love are living on the opposite side of the planet to me, I am so lucky to be able to love and to be loved by all of the beautiful people in my life. While there are frustrations while attempting to communicate over technologies such as Skype, I am lucky to be able to hear and be heard by the people I love. Although I may live far away, these people are always in my heart.
5. Trying new things
Patatas bravas, playing the glockenspiel, Flamenco dance, bike riding, oreo chocolate… These are just a few things I have tried for the first time since arriving in Spain and I’m sure there are many many more to come. Obviously, the most significant new thing I have tried is struggling to communicate in Spanish for the majority of the day (as English in Logroño is fairly limited). While this can be exhausting and difficult, I am very glad to have the opportunity to try my fair share of new things and to attempt to sharpen my language skills.
Wind whispers to me,
Telling me all I should see,
The sky, the trees, the beautiful sun,
Streaming down the barrel of my gun.
“Life,” it says “life is out there.”
But I am trapped, my soul laid bare.
“Pick me up!” I scream and choke,
It says “I’ve heard this from other folk,”
“My dear you have wings of your own
And from this prison you could have flown.”
I frantically search but no wings I see,
Maybe I was never meant to be free.
Then it hits me, wind streaming in,
My own strength is where my freedom begins.
So two weeks ago I tried to pack my life into a suitcase which I brought with me to the small yet charming city of Logroño in Northern Spain (about 150000 inhabitants, capital of La Rioja region and known for its wine). Among the priorities on my packing list were my tap shoes, travel hula hoop and various meaningful tokens that tie me to the people I love the most in this world.
Adjusting thus far and coming to terms with this move hasn’t been easy. We don’t realise the things we love the most until we are distanced from them. Yes I am here to find that part of myself I have always been yearning for, but I can’t help but feel that somewhere on my travels I left something behind, something that means more than anything else.
I’m here in beautiful Spain, surrounded by a world of opportunities and experiences yet-to-be-lived. Step one is complete. I’m in Spain and I’m here for the long haul. I don’t know what the coming year will bring but I know that it’s time for me to live it, and that’s why I’m going to keep updating here. Maybe along the way I’ll find what I was looking for.
Tomorrow is a new day. A new chance to explore, to learn, to live. And I hope that I will live it to the very fullest.
My darkness grows, overflows,
no one knows.
My darkness hides, where it abides,
flows in tides.
My darkness screams, haunts my dreams,
so it seems.
My darkness frightens, its grip tightens,
my fear heightens.
But I am stronger, my light will conquer,
my heart beats longer.
I miss the way you wrap me up like no demons are there,
I miss the way you pick me up and hold me in the air.
I miss the way you smile and look me in the eye,
I miss the way you show you love me simply with a sigh.
I miss your laugh, your jokes, your touch
that keep me safe when life’s too much.
I miss the life you’ve given me, the beauty I now see,
But most of all I miss the way you make me feel like me.