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From what I've seen, reaching 23-years-old is really a defining point of growing up. My boyfriend on his 23rd, had a bit of a quarter life crisis. I can see within myself that, I too am coming to a turning point in my life. I'm realising that I can either start pushing for what I want, or settle comfortably into a dull and boring life. I'm finally starting to understand what I want, and I'm gaining all the motivation to reach those goals.
Instead of a quarter life crisis (I think I hit that wall in 2016), 23 is a turning point. I am seeing a change within myself. It's make it or break it time. All I ever wanted in my life was to be successful. I'm not even sure what that really means even today, but I do know I am not stopping at anything until I reach it.
I'm also becoming more self-aware—of the "me" I am portraying out onto the world. I'm really trying to work on myself, and make myself a better person. My family and close friends will know I have a really short fuse, and tend to flip very easily. So working on my anger has always been a big thing for me to do. I'm really trying to talk in a normal, rational tone when I get angry, rather than going straight to a shout when I get even slightly annoyed. Obviously this isn't going to come over night, and it is still really hard for me, but I can see a little progress already. I'm trying to have more confidence within myself too. I feel like, throughout the whole of my university experience, and right through until we finally arrived in Australia, I had lost myself a little bit and now I am finally uncovering little bits of myself that had faded due to stress and worry.
Music has really been a huge part of this process for me. Macklemore (and occasionally Ryan Lewis) have been a huge influence on this growth I am seeing. Particular his newest release, Gemini.
Lead single "Glorious," reminds me that all the crap I had to deal with at the end of 2016—start of 2017 is now behind me—"I made it through the darkest part of the night and now I see the sunrise." This song really helps me to appreciate how far I have come in the past year, and see how much I have already achieved that I honestly never thought I would ever do. This past year alone we've quit our jobs, sold all our stuff and jumped on a flight to the other side of the world, all with a vague plan of coming to Australia and buying a van. But here we are now, still here and about to set off on our second leg of our travel journey around Australia.
A lot of his lyrics promote self-love, ("Intentions") and they really make you feel good about yourself, and help you to know that you're not alone in any struggles you do have within yourself. Even if it's just wanting to be a better person—"one day, I will change but I'm okay with who I am today"—or accepting the person you already are.
Macklemore talks a lot about believing in yourself, and these words have truly helped me through the rough patches of thinking about whether I am making the right choices, wondering if I should carry on. They have not only given me the confidence to carry on, but helped me to truly believe in myself and to push myself to achieve. Songs such as "Ten Million" have given me the motivation to make my platforms thrive. I have really been trying to push myself from strength to strength, and not let any minor hiccups break me—I really attribute that to this album.
I've also realised, that making the most of your life is what counts. I mean, we all know that already, don't we? We always get told by our parents "You'll miss school when you leave"—for the most part, that isn't true. It's the times you were supposed to be having a blast and truly appreciating the time you spend with your friends, but instead you are battling with your self-confidence. "Good Old Days" tackles this with a catchy melody and the help of Kesha's amazing vocals.
"Wish I would've gotten out of my shell
Wish I put the bottle back on that shelf
Wish I wouldn't have worry about what other people thought
And felt comfortable in myself"
Zara really helps me to realise how much I appreciate my partner—with lyrics like "you're the only one in my life," and on a day to day basis, he literally is the only person in my life right now. He is always supporting me through this process of finding my way and helping me drag myself out from the rough parts. "I can't complain, I hold her waist. My only ace until we're old and gray. See, that's my baby."
Honestly, I haven't really been listening to much else, other than This Unruly Mess I've Made and The Heist. I am not usually into rap, trap, RnB, or anything remotely in that area of genre (I'm an Indie loving gal, with a bit of Country thrown in here and there). But Macklemore's lyrics speak to me in a way that I was completely thrown off guard. Don't get me wrong, there's always that one track thrown into all of these albums that helps you let loose and feel free ("Downtown", "Levitate," and, of course "Thrift Shop").
At the end of Gemini is "Excavate." I think that once you listen to that song, you will understand where my mind is at right now...
Honestly, I don't really know if this will make sense to anyone that hasn't listened to this album (or anyone that has for that matter), but go ahead, take a listen, and tell me what you make of it.