"letters for a lifetime" #3: all that's left
Oh my! Release day already, is it? What a time it has been.
I have been singing around the house since before I can remember. I can’t recall a moment of my childhood that didn’t involve music. I mean, I was named after Ella Fitzgerald’s “Lorelei,” I guess I can’t be surprised at how much music has shaped my life.
In elementary school, when we would craft activities around what we wanted to be when we grew up, POP STAR frequently showed up in my work (aside from the one year in 1st grade when I randomly used “dentist” as a copout from all the pressure for a life I have yet to live). Even when my youngest brother got to this age he foresaw the same musical career path, making a “pop star” craft to give to me—a little reassurance from the age that knows and tells all.
But despite my aspirations, once I got to middle school, these answers shifted to careers like “film director” or “pr agent” (whatever tf that means).
Music became so engrained in my life, I no longer saw it as something to achieve per se.
Once I got to high school, I tried my hand at songwriting. It felt weird at first. Somehow even with the conscious fact that I was 15, I still continued to have MASSIVE impostor syndrome. I would rarely show anyone these songs; it was more of an outlet to release my somber emotions that were a result of my first heart ache. Simply put, no one understood me except for my notebook and precious ukulele.
And so I stuck to my guns.
Fast forward a few years, I began posting my songs online and sharing drafts with my closest friends. But even then, the thought of a career in music only crossed my mind once in a blue moon.
Yet somehow despite it all, I’ve ended up here. My first EP!!!!! I can’t believe it.
For the “aha” moment you’ve all been waiting for, I actually realized the hard way that going to business school was not for me at ALL. Not one bit (I'm still currently attending my school but with a new and much more appealing major: new media and digital design! But I digress). Within the first week of college, I felt so insanely inhibited creatively and barely found the time or energy to pursue my passions.
I know, first week of college Mia!? What a surprise that you think you don't fit in!? But I waited and waited and waited. And yet, suddenly it was nearing the end of the year and I finally got the chance to look up and I realized I had not moved nearly at all from where I was months prior. In fact, I realized I was stuck.
So I took a step back. I looked at my life from the outside looking in and began prioritizing what meant most to me. Next thing you know, I was researching distributors and contacting producers (though I ended up going the self-producing route) and planning my social media promotion before I even had the track list finalized.
Suddenly, everything was falling into place and all the work I have done over the past few years started to make sense. This looming uncertainty to achieve some greater unknown began to disappear and my feelings of determination sharpened.
* * *
“All That’s Left is A Lifetime” is a glimpse into the mind of an ever changing teenage girl.
I try not to give away too much of the lyrical meaning behind the songs in these letters—after all, they’re your songs now, not just mine! Read as far into them as you’d like.
While I feel most people think songwriting revolves mostly around the writer’s feelings towards a given person, (when I am writing, at least) the subject is typically completely detached from the idea once the song is complete. In fact, recently I realized that my present connection to my songs is more about my relationship with the self I wrote the song as instead of the person or concept it's about.
So yes, you can argue these are five little songs about a couple of teenage boys, but to me they are mere reflections of my emotions and my experience exploring them (whether for the first time or the hundredth).
This EP encapsulates the strange coming-of-age period that is post-high school, pre-college life; the preface to whatever path the "real world" leads you.
Such a sweet moment in life, with confidence heightened and untouched by any other age. In the past, I held myself back from sharing these thoughts in fear of looking like a foolish teenage girl expressing her oh so invalid anxieties. This project represents me finally surrendering to this supposed perception and welcoming these concerns while they are still the most of my worries.
I hope you love this exploration of self-discovery and enjoy watching me watch my dreams come to life. If anything, I can only wish this project inspires someone else to pursue their passions and not wait for the “right moment” to act on the things they love the most.
After all, ALL THAT’S LEFT IS A LIFETIME.