I had won the war

Before I was anything, even before I was a dancer — I was an audiophile and musicphile. Music has helped keep me sane throughout all facets of my life. Truly. I begin and end with music. The only thing that takes precedence to my love of music is my love of my Future CEO. Bar none.

So today I want to tell you about a recent measure of growth. Will you indulge me today? I do hope so.

In late 2011 or early 2012, I was really lost within myself. I had just been diagnosed with #Sarcoidosis in October 2011. At 38, I was coming face to face with the fact I wasn’t immortal. LOL! My marriage was tanking. I had no one to talk to except people at work. I had isolated myself away from my friends. Things were really surface, because I was hurting really bad and I knew if I didn’t isolate myself I would crack. I had moved jobs for more stability and to reduce my stress levels. Things were really bad at home. The only bright spots of joy in my life was my child and music.

Let me repeat, the only bright spots of joy in my life was my child and music. Other than that, I was suicidal.

Somewhere in the hellscape of misery and depression, I had asked my ex to buy me a refurbished iMac. I had enough programming and tech skills to refurbish it and run external PowerPC apps on it. He bought it and I was ever so grateful. I hadn’t had anything new in a couple of years. No new clothes. No new shoes. No new lingerie. Nothing. All my energy went into my child, work, and crying myself to sleep.

So he buys me the iMac and I turned it into a bit of an electronic music studio for myself. I just needed to connect to music again. I was no longer a DJ. In fact, my ex- and I met in Belgium whilst I was djing. We had technics in the house and giant speakers, but all the joy and happiness that music brought me was overshadowed by the fact I didn’t even feel welcomed in my own house. I felt foreign to a space I helped fund, support, and create. So I wouldn’t get on the decks unless I took a day off from work, dropped off my baby at daycare, and I was at home with the dog alone. Just me and the dog rocking out.

Yet with the iMac. I could put the baby to sleep, clean the kitchen, then go in the guest room and free myself through music.

So I barricaded myself in the guest room at night, a lot. I’m sure that was the death nail on my already dead ass marriage. I would stay up to 1am or 2am listening to music, making mixes, or trying to remix songs. Then I’d begrudgingly go to bed. I didn’t see the point of laying next to someone who seemingly hated me and didn’t love me anymore. (Insert Kanye shoulder shrug…)

During this time, I stumbled across Feist and then the Diplo remix of “I feel it all”. At that moment, that song was saying everything I couldn’t say.

I Feel It All

I feel it all, I feel it all
I feel it all, I feel it all
The wings are wide, the wings are wide
Wild card inside, wild card inside

Ooh, I’ll be the one who’ll break my heart
I’ll be the one to hold the gun
I know more than I knew before
I know more than I knew before
I didn’t rest, I didn’t stop
Did we fight or did we talk?

Ooh, I’ll be the one who’ll break my heart
I’ll be the one to hold the gun
I love you more
I love you more
I don’t know what I knew before
But now I know I want to win the war

No one likes to take a test
Sometimes you know more is less
Put your weight against the door
Kick-drum on the basement floor
Stranded in the fog of words
Loved him like a winter bird
On my head the water pours
Gulf stream through the open door
Fly away
Fly away to what you want to make, home

I feel it all, I feel it all
I feel it all, I feel it all
The wings are wide, the wings are wide
Wild card inside, wild card inside

Ooh, I’ll be the one who’ll break my heart
I’ll be the one who’ll break my heart
I’ll be the one who’ll break my heart
I’ll end it, don’t you start it
The truth lies
The truth lied

And lies divide
Lies divide
Home

In some weird emotional exercise in denial mixed in with my creative side, I stayed up one night and created an edit based on Diplo’s remix. I broke down the parts I really wanted to say to my ex, looped it, threw some sound effects on it and voila – edit.

I was so proud of the edit. So I shared it with him. And like with most things that I created — he wasn’t impressed. Instead a huge argument ensued about how much time I was spending in the guest room detached from everything else in the house. He went on to say he didn’t buy the computer for me to isolate myself in the guest room. I remember choking back the tears because he hasn’t listened to the words, he hadn’t listen to what I created with the very computer he bought for me. My gift of music meant nothing to him in that moment and it was music that brought us together. I think I knew the end was nigh, but I knew it then.

I was angry and hurt. I had given of myself to create something to let him know I still loved him and he rejected it, like he had been rejecting me for the last couple years of our marriage. (btw — he was having an affair, so there’s that…) — So no wonder he had no interest in me, my art, my emotional well being, etc. I had become a “Killing Joke”. In a twist, I was being laughed at and I was the one in the end who died.

So here I was with my track edit. The wind taken from beneath my wings. Defeated. I remember sharing it out on the internet and feeling broken.

He eventually walked out on me and our life together May 2012, shortly after Mother’s Day. I went through hell and in my descent into the very dark place, I put up all the edits, mixes and music from that era. Including the edit I did. I couldn’t bring myself to listen to it. I would howl inside with sadness and anguished. It was like being tortured with my own f’ing naivete.

.

.

Then something brilliant happened in 2018, I happened to be cleaning up my external drive and cleaning up my old music files and there it was. There was the edit. I thought to myself, do I dare listen to it? After all these years, would I still cry out in pain? Then I said to myself, f*** it. It’s a beautiful remix and I just put my stamp on it. F*** yeah I’m listening to it. I created it. I created it. I’m f***ing okay.

And I listened to it… on repeat. And it was good.

I had won the war. I didn’t feel the pain of my failed marriage and rejection when I heard the track. All I heard was me being creative and clever. All I remember is my late night sitting at that iMac banging it out through some tattered headphones. All I remember is me getting up from the desk feeling like a f***ing rockstar because I create things like a badass.

I had won the war.

.

.

Disclaimer: The post is more about the evolution and not about the music, but the music is a trigger for unpacking the feelings and process I went through to be healed. I feel like people need context.