Hatred is not in my blood
Euphoria’s what I feel in my dreams
Love is what I’m searching for
— “You” by Morgan Saint
November found me in a new city, new town and new home — but it also found me living out some of my most intimate moments, conversations and reflections of life, love and home.
I spent countless nights in my room reeling from the euphoria I felt from seeing some of my favorite new artists — from Hayley Kiyoko who’s “Feelings” got me through the entire month, the new friend I made in guitarist/instrumentalist Yvette Young who’s talks on life and that music and art shouldn’t be a competitive thing inspired me to find my own voice, to the interviews with artists who said they appreciated my questions and asking the right things, to Morgan Saint, a new artist I was surprised to fall in love with for writing the soundtrack of my life, and all the new friends I’ve made who’ve made me feel a part of a bigger community.
At the beginning of the month I expressed some of my worries:
“You’ve only been here for four months?!” one said in disbelief. “And you’ve been doing so well. My first year was rough. But look at how much you’ve done already.”
“Everyone’s journey is so unique and different. Things will come when they’re meant to come,” another assured me.
“This girl is so humble,” one said about me. “She’s an amazing guitarist and she’s the one who let me meet Apl De Ap!”
“Rachel is a great music journalist,” an old colleague also introduced. “You should read her stuff.”
“Chase that passion Rachel,” an old friend also said. “You’re too talented to keep that stuff hidden.”
All these reassurances, signs and friends who would consistently talk to me about my music had me thinking: why am I so scared to harness the power of my gift?
I attended an entertainment panel and was also reminded of the importance of having different loves in our life — to inform, inspire, and generate positivity and passion into all these different aspects in our lives.
This past month felt like a month of absorption. After all my adventures and travels, I took the time to slow down to be with myself, my thoughts and tap into my voice again. It’s easy to lose yourself in the big city surrounded by people you love, but do you really connect with?
I went to a new record label listening party whose artists became fans of my Instagram videos; I met Apl De Ap who warmly reached out to me when I met his friends who I’ve yet to meet up and record with; I met strangers from the online world who have complimented my work with Kore Asian Media and even felt honored to be interviewed by me; and I even had low moments where I searched for a place to belong, feel at home and blindly put pressure on the ones I love out of my own fear and insecurity.
As 2016 was a year of love, positivity, playing music and writing everyday, 2017 was a little lost. I got caught in the grind of working and hustling, trying to chase something, be something and make things happen when I just needed to trust that things would naturally unfold.
You’ll still be looking out for me
When my mind is a mess and my heart’s not there
But I’ll be coming back to you
‘Cause you smell like home and your love’s still there
— “Vows” by Naomi Scott
But as I take the time to hit ‘pause’ in my busy life to write these posts (as infrequent as they are), it humbles me. I’m reminded of where my heart really lies and what direction I really want to take. I’m learning to think less and live more; to be less hard on myself; to listen to my heart’s desires; to demand more of what I want and deserve; and to also take more care of my self to love life and be my best self.
And also, I’d just like to thank Naomi Scott who, after one chance encounter where she complimented me out of the blue, I was reminded of the potential for love and the love I have in myself — to give and to give to myself instead of searching for that in others. Although she caught me off guard, she’s also been a great source of light and inspiration — her music has become the soundtrack to everything I’ve been trying to say lately.
With love and honesty,