CH-CH-CH-CHANGES!

Welcome everyone to 2017, or already 3 months in to March. What a crazy beginning of 2017 I’ve had so far. This is definitely a year of changes from home, school and personal things going on in my life. Without the support I’ve been getting through my difficult times, I wouldn’t be where I am today. The late David Bowie wrote a great song called “Changes” and there’s a lyric in his song that struck me and something that I can truly relate to. “A million dead-end streets; And every time I thought I’d got it made;
It seemed the taste was not so sweet”

I think what that means to me is that no matter where you are in your life, there will ALWAYS be some dead ends and loopholes that you have to try getting out of and find the ones who can motivate and inspire you to do great things and keep you going strong. The ones who have done that to me recently are all the guys in Art of Dying: Cale Gontier, Cody Watkins, Jonny Hetherington, Tavis Stanley and Adam Gontier (cousin of Cale and in a kickass band Saint Asonia). I do have more to name but you know who you are. All of you have changed me in ways that I still can’t explain. You have opened me up to new horizons, told me that no matter what I’m going through to never quit, keep a strong head on my shoulders and always push away the negativity. I always found that music soothes the savage beast in all of us no matter what we need it for. I use music to escape, drown out my sorrows and worries and let it take me to places far away and just be.

I am going through the most difficult change right now going back to school after over 10 years and went into a trade program Hotel Reception back in September,2016 and I’m already 3/4 finshed. I had some hard times getting through a few modules and I wanted to give up entirely on it. Someone really close to me told me to never give up and finish what I started. I had my doubts and wanted to just run away from my problems and let someone else take care of them for a change. He said to me that he has faith in me to continue and he’s been inspired by me to go back to school and be something greater to make a better career out of it. I have now gathered up the courage and built up some strength to go all the way and see the “light at the end of the tunnel” which means school and to feel proud of my accomplishments.

My all-time favorite lyrics I love quoted by Art of Dying and Saint Asonia are “If it takes forever, I will DIE TRYING”; “If I can Get Thru This, I can Get Thru ANYTHING”;  “I am doing the Best I Can, with EVERYTHING I am, don’t you know NOBODY’S PERFECT” “I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but I can finally breathe again, Life’s too short, the day’s too long,In the end I knew it all along” and lastly “Let me live my life, I can go get my knife, or I can pull out the one that you stuck in my back”. 


All of these amazings lines have touched me in different ways. I mean come on, if you think logically, we all interpret what it means to us right? These amazing bands and artists are sending messages to their fans that there is nothing perfect in our worlds. We all screw up and we all have our flaws. I have not met one person who had everything handed to them on a silver platter and asked for more and had a perect life because there is no such thing as perfect. We all work hard for what we want and never give up until our time is up. Changes are either a great thing, or a bad thing, depends how you see it.

I, for one am now seeing my changes progress and I evolve every second of every day to make sure that I don’t get lost along the way and have my peers keep me grounded and secure. I don’t realize this enough but I take nothing for granted. I am a hard-working individual, I make mistakes, yes I worry at times about what my future holds, but that’s what makes me who I am. If we didn’t have doubts and worries in our lives, what would make us question things and have to search for answers? It would be too easy to have things given to you right? I know I wouldn’t like that since I am a strong-willed person who has the mind of a more mature person that I am now in my 30s.

If I didn’t have all this chaos going on right now, I would be very lost and be stuck wondering what would be going on in my life, had I not gone back to school, met some awesome people and start living the life I want to live and forget about everything bad thrown my way. People who have gotten to know me call me an inspiration and my words of wisdow have broaden their horizons to do great things. I don’t say it enough but THANK YOU for the ones who say it to me.

Lastly I want to leave you on this to think about. No matter what struggles you are all going through and think of going to the bottom and giving up on EVERYTHING, ask your self these questions, 1:Can you name one person at the top of you head who has made an impact on your life? 2:What was that impact/how did it affect your thoughts? 3: If you can tell that person some excellent words of wisdom that was passed on to you, what would you tell them?

I’ll leave this quote that I found perfect to end up this first blog of 2017. “Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.”

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Out with 2016, In with 2017!

What a crazy 2016 I’ve had with so many ups and downs in my life. Where to begin is quite the challenge. So many things have happened that I have such a big reflection to look back on with people and places that have put such a huge impact on my life. The losses I’ve faced and the friendships I’ve gained has taught me that life is short and we should never take anything for granted, but to treasure every moment as if it were our last.

Back in June,2015, I have met the most amazingly talented Canadian band, Art of Dying, that I have now gotten to know personally, and each of the guys are the best thing that have happened to me as an individual. The Art of Dying IS MY LIFE TO LIVE! I was so mesmerized by their music I discovered and how down to earth they are as grown men who, once upon a time, started out as everyday Joes trying to survive on their jobs, until they started playing music for a living. Once a great friend of mine Jasmine told me to come meet them after their set, I was so shy because I’ve never met a band in my entire life. I’ve only seen their shows, bought a merch piece and went home and felt that “music adrenaline high” and spoke about it for a few days until it died down.

After meeting the first member, bass player Cale Gontier, I knew of him because he is related to his cousin Adam Gontier, formerly of Three Days Grace, and now with his awesome rock band Saint Asonia, and he started talking to me for a while and we got to know each other and he asked me what got me into music, so we exchanged some great inspirational words and I remember him telling me “no matter what you do in your life, make every second count, give it your all, never give up, ignore the negativity thrown your way, because at the end of the day, you’re your own critic that can make yourself happy and proud of the work you have accomplished, and if you’re still not satisfied, keep working your ass off until you have no strength in you and feel the urge to give up, but getting to know you, I know you won’t ever do that.”

Moving onto AOD guitarist Tavis Stanley, we had such a great conversation of music and how it’s changed people’s lives and Tavis asked me if I played any instruments, and I said the piano since I was 4 years old, and I have yet to learn the acoustic guitar, and that’s when I found out that he teaches Skype guitar lessons at the comfort of your own homes without going out anywhere, and at first, I wasn’t sure if he was just telling me this to sell me with it, or just letting me know and I would brush it off as a suggestion in the future. Well, almost a year later as of February.18th,2016 until present time, I am still going strong with my guitar lessons with Tavis and having the time of my life.

Onto the best singer known in my life and that I call my role model, Adam Gontier. Adam has been such a huge part of my life since I was 15 years old, and since he started out in Three Days Grace. I have been to every show of his and never missed a beat to every song he sung and was always lost in the moment. From what I can mention about him is that he has the biggest heart known to mankind that has given me the opportunity to open myself up to endless possibilities of everything that I was always afraid of doing and to not look back. On that note, I thought to myself, why not? I decided to go back to school after a 10 year hiatus, and I am in the midst of doing a trade program in Hotel Reception. I am already half-way done and have maybe 5 months max to finish and I am off to my new adventures in my 30s.I am truly blessed to have him be so proud of the littlest things I have done and made such a grown man smile and glow of happiness

I don’t know what kind of person I’d be had I not met many great people in my life who have done the smallest gestures to me and made such a huge impact and changed me for the better. First and foremost, I am happy to be still alive and well and I have a few people to thank.

#1: Adam Gontier, A HUGE THANK YOU for your constant support, the most heartfelt music you write that has touched my heart and gotten me so emotional that made a beautiful redheaded Canadian girl cry,  you have broken me out of my creative shell for writing so many inspirational words about what I am so passionate about and sharing it with others, and just being myself around others that I was once shy many years ago. I will NEVER stop following your music until the day you stop writing and creating such masterpieces that touch others hearts and lives. Adam you are such a huge inspiration to me that I would go to your former home town just to see you perform again and again in a heartbeat like I did on November.25th,2016 with my great friend Jasmine & company.

#2: Cale Gontier, it has been such  a great honor meeting you a few times the past 2 years (so far) and showing me that there’s more things in life than just what’s in front of you. You have opened me up to endless things that I was once afraid of learning and doing, that I had this fear that I would never have the courage to talk to great people such as yourself, Adam, the AOD guys and make this great kinship we have now built over the short years that just passed. I am beyond thrilled to bits to get to spend the entire day/night with you crazy Canadians on the road being a “roadie assistant, if you will” and feeling the experience of a lifetime what it’s like to be seeing what you men do on a daily basis on the road. There will for sure be some fond memories to remember, some great laughs and you never know what you will expect from me, so watch out Caley! 😛 It’s also been such a great honor being in your hometown of Peterborough,Ontario on November.25th,2016, driving for close to 14 hours in the past 2 days, having the best time of my life watching my idol Adam perform for a few hours, meeting your awesome family and hanging out with them and yourself for the night and having little sleep of 3 and going back home on a happy high!

#3: Tavis Stanley, I have had such a great 2 years getting to know you and learning some great acoustic guitar jams with you almost every week or so, giving me some “music homework”, putting a smile on my face, hearing me mess up and cuss in french (sorry for that haha) and improving during every lesson. Just letting you know that I am not giving up the lessons until I am able to show you and the guys what I’ve learned, but that will eventually  be #SOON lol. I love our crazy energy that we feed off each other and making me feel comfortable and when I finish, and getting that sense of accomplishment that I did such an amazing job and want more. “Roadie for the day” will definitely give me a sense of how much effort and energy you put into tuning the guitars, and everything else involved in it, so thank you for hinting to me to go for it and not turning back. I have yet to hang out with Jonny and finally meet Cody and getting to know him. It will surely be a fun time to never forget.

#4: Kathy, it’s been so fun getting to know you the past year and a half and hearing your spooky and funny stories you have shared with me and constantly making me laugh so much that my ribs hurt from laughing so hard. I would like to keep this friendship growing throughout the years if you will have me. It’s been great sharing our ghostly encounters and knowing that it’s alright to be scared because they can’t do no harm. I hope to have some fun talks with you in the near future and keep our friendship growing.

Last but not least, #5 Vera, I’ve shared some funniest laughs with my southern girl who keeps me up at night with the need to cry from laughing. You have the softest heart and no one should put you second when you are just trying to make things right in your life. All of us here have supported you through EVERYTHING you and all of us have been through in our lives and that will never change or end. Keep that beautiful smile you shine so bright, the funny “y’all’s” you tell us in your southern accent and then some, and don’t ever let that sparkle dull on us.

THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR CONSTANT SUPPORT, LOVE, DEVOTION, AND FRIENDSHIPS YOU HAVE GIVEN ME THE PAST 2 YEARS AND LET’S NEVER END THIS CYCLE PLEASE! WISHING YOU ALL A GREAT NEW YEAR FOR 2017 AND WHATEVER YOU ALL WANT FOR THE YEAR AHEAD, MAKE IT GREAT, UNFORGETTABLE AND MEMORABLE. XOXO

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Music & Friendships!

Main characters:

Sarah – Felicia
Kathy – Shauna
Vera – Charlotte
Adam – Markus
Cale – Theo
Sean – Jace

Chapter 1

It was a cold and snowy winter day in late December and I had been listening to some of my favorite bands on my Spotify playlist, while unwinding down after a long day of work and I stumbled upon 2 of my best bands of all time Art of Dying and Saint Asonia. I’ve always been great supporters of Markus and Theo for a very long time and one day, I started chatting with Shauna and I have been telling her that I am a huge fan of them and she asked me if I wanted to privately chat with the guys for a bit. I guess you can say it was a trial to see how I would react to them, even though I am a long-time fan of theirs.

That same night, very late I might add, Markus started talking to me and I hit it off with him right off the bat, so to speak, and I kept asking him questions about his music and what I know about him and the information I came up with really impressed him. A few hours went by and he told me he has a surprise guest for me to chat with. I patiently waited for a few minutes and then I got a funny greeting message. “Hello beautiful, this is the mystery man, we have met before and you find me very attractive. I know you have heard my music before because Markus can see what you play in your playlist. I find it very intriguing the selection of songs you have in your playlist and I am very happy to see you have both of our music in there. Thanks for being such a great supporter. So, enough of all this, do you know who this is, I know you do. I can feel it in my bones.”

I immediately private messaged Shauna and said “I might have an idea who it is but my guesses are always wrong.” She replied “Honey, I know you know who it is, just say it to him and he will be happy.” Off I go back in to our private group chat and I immediately scream out “THEOOOOOO, I knew it was you. It just took me a while to figure it out.”

“Hey beautiful, I didn’t get your name. If you don’t tell me, I’m gonna have to stick with this nickname.” “I’m Felicia, it’s a huge pleasure to meet you and Markus too, of course. I have been a fan of yours and Markus for a very long time and I will continue to support that for a very long time. I actually did meet you last year in the summertime and I was happily dragged by a friend of mine to meet your band-mates. Let’s just say since then, my whole life changed for the better and I couldn’t be happier.” As the night went on very late at this point, almost 2 a.m, we all had a great time and unfortunately, we had to get some sleep.

Chapter 2

Things went really well and smooth from our first chat that I got a special invitation from Shauna if I’d like to join our private group and meet other people who share the same thing as I do. I said to her “Shauna, are you kidding me? It’s an honor to be part of this amazing group of individuals that are amazing and 2 that I looked up to as a fan. I hope to meet more people in here so we can form a tight bond and friendship that share the passion of music and life.” She told me to wait a few minutes to talk to Markus and Theo to see if it’s alright to have an addition to the group, and they were thrilled to bits of excitement. Theo told Shauna “Felicia is such a great person with a bubbly personality and I know Markus and I will make her feel right at home so she won’t get nervous and freak out that she’d want to leave us”

About 2o minutes went by and I get a message from Shauna saying “Hey Felicia, look at your screen in about 30 seconds and you will see something pop up.” 30 seconds go by and I see another message “Hey Felicia, this is Markus. I’d like to personally invite you to join our private group, you will have a great time with all of us and be introduced to 2 more people whom you have never met before, and you’ll really enjoy them. They are personal friends of mine and will make you feel like yourself in no time. The first person is a really great friend of mine and Theo, his name is Jace. He can be a little intimidating at times but he has the coolest job known to mankind. If you’d like to know what he does, pretty soon you can chat with him to ask him any questions you have. My next friend whom is also a friend of Shauna, her name is Charlotte. She has the best and wildest personality and such a fun person to be around, when any of us feel down. She lifts our spirits up and we all share the most silliest things and get a kick out of it. Welcome to the group . Myself and Theo especially since you are so attracted to him as he called it, will be welcoming you with open arms and make sure you have the best time every night.”

A few weeks went by and when you realize how much time we’ve spent chatting every night, and very late at night too I might add, it was the new year, 2016, and Markus and Theo were on winter vacation from their touring. We spent so much time back and forth chatting and at some point being a little bit flirty, even though some of us didn’t realize it, ended up forming such a strong friendship and trusted each other that I would never betray their personal lives to others. Friday nights were the best every week because the guys would have poker nights with friends of theirs and we’d have some fun times chatting with them until the early hours of the next morning.

We would have such fun times talking about our favorite bands and musicians and critique them or their sound that we would have a blast and always post our favorites in a special group on social media. We never realize how much time goes by on certain nights because we all talk at the same time that we laugh so much until our stomachs hurt. I have opened up my music horizons to listen to more intense heavy metal and hard rock bands, all thanks to Markus and Theo for introducing me to their friends bands music. I’ve even shown some bands and artists that I listen too to the guys and they are very impressed. Some people think I just listen to pop, rock and country music. I do listen to a variety of music but never country, unless I live in hick-town and want to drown my sorrows into bluegrass or folklore which is so not in my catalog of music.

I love how music has a way of connecting people to each other. I find music defines the artist on the way they write and what goes on in their minds so they can share it with their audience every night. It gives us and them a sense of escapism, freedom, and also a way to relate to what the artist was thinking of while writing/singing their song(s). As a creative person, I have learned to share what people would really want to know, and still keep some things secretive. After all, it is your personal life and I would personally not want someone invading in my life and know every single thing that goes on in my daily life.

Chapter 3

A few months down the year and we are already in spring. I have made such a strong closeness with everyone in our group that I can confide in them to say whatever is on my mind, and they will keep it to themselves, without blabbing it on to others. I love this amazing friendship we’ve built and it continues to grow every night. I now have funny and cute nicknames that I have given to all of them. Markus is the protector and now sleeping beauty, Theo is booty shaker and now fiery dragon (don’t ask lol), Charlotte is sexy mamma, Shauna is now queen (of the group), and Jace is now my savior.

Had it not been for this amazing group and individuals, I would not be this amazing, bubbly, full of energy, funny and fun-loving spirited woman I am today, if I never got to pursue my dreams I’ve been shying away from my entire life and “tearing down the walls” to break free and say to “let me live my life” the way I want people to remember me when it’s my time to go.

Sidenote – I promise to keep everyone here updated as our friendship grows and continue on the chapters, as the months go by.

 

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My Musical Inspirations Part 3!

Hey everyone, welcome to 2016. Sorry for the long delay since my last blog. I was very busy with work, the holidays and getting back on track with my health and new projects in the making. I have finally gathered the courage to write my own music because one day in my life, I want the ones who have inspired me to take a look at what I’ve been going through and thank them for saving my life and letting me in their lives, per-say and get a better understanding of what I was going through growing up and relate to them. After all, we are all human and go through the same things in life. Let’s face it, no one in this world is perfect. We all make mistakes in our lives and work through them to get better and be stronger at what we have accomplished and feel proud at the end results.

My first song is not finished yet because I have been extremely busy and multi-tasking finding some inspiration from some artists & bands whom I have looked up to for a long time and they have all given me some great advice on how to write and what to look for so the listeners can relate. I cannot give too much away about it but what I can say is that the meaning of my first song is facing your fears in the unknown and having a guardian angel guiding you to the right path in life, no matter what you’re going through.My first song does sound dark at the beginning, but towards the end of it, the listeners get an answer that whoever is/was helping me out, they did a great job. I find that music defines a person on the way they write and what goes on in their minds.

I’m musically creative and have been playing the piano since I was 4 years old. I’m almost 30 now and I’m finally opening up my possibilities to learn a new instrument, aside from the piano and that one is the guitar. I’ve always had a dream that one day I’d be willing to gather up the courage and take lessons and enjoy it. I have already started taking my first guitar lesson on February 16th, 2016 and I am so happy that my teacher, Tavis Stanley (Art of Dying guitarist) said to me that I am already more advanced than all his students he has taught. I already have plenty of music knowledge from my prior piano lessons growing up, so it is going to be a fun experience now starting on the guitar and learning the fretting, chord progressions, etc. I’ve had a lot of great chances to meet my favorite bands I admire and that have given me the inspiration to do what I’ve always wanted to do.

The first band I’m talking about is a Canadian bands from Vancouver, BC called Art of Dying. I got to meet them and chat with them on a deeper level and gave each other feedback on music. Their lead singer Jonny Hetherington, lead guitarist Tavis Stanley, bass player Cale Gontier and drummer Jeff Brown all told me some great words of wisdom to go after what I want to do and never give up, no matter what I’m going through. These 4 amazingly talented guys write music because they love it and have a passion to, not because it’s an obligation. Their powerful lyrics send out a message to their fans and Die Hards to go after their dreams and work your butt off and all that hard work will pay off.

Adam and Cale are both cousins that are really close. The second band I admire so much is Adams band, Saint Asonia who is also a Canadian band formed in Toronto, Ontario, and they both hold a special place in my heart. Back on July.31st,2015 Adam Gontier (lead singer, rhythm guita) and Mike Mushok (lead guitar) did an interactive Q&A on Nikki Sixx -Ask Anything chat with their fans and it was posted on YouTube to ask questions and mine was chosen, among many others from around the world. I asked them “Whose inspired you ALL to become great musicians?” and they both gave me amazing answers of bands and artists that myself and my parents grew up listening too. Here is the link if you’d like to check it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bor2tWLsrs0 . I won’t tell you what time my question was asked. You just have to listen to it for yourselves and be surprised and amazed on what they say. I have met a few great people who are also fans of the bands Art of Dying and Saint Asonia. Their names are Kathy Bachand, Victoria Cherrington and Nikki May. Once I started getting to know them and chat with them, we started getting really close and our friendships keep growing every day.

On to a personal level, in my past I’ve had a lot of tragic things happen in my life and there was someone close to me that recently passed away, and he told me some inspirational words that always stuck with me. He said to me “Follow your heart and your dreams and they will lead you to great things in the future, and whatever you choose, make it count.”

Well so far, I have done a lot of great things in my life that I’m proud of. I said to myself that I would never get any tattoos, and I now have 5 of them that are very personal and have a lot of stories and meaning behind them.

A few years ago, I went to Las Vegas and my best friend Sabrina and I did a fun outing of the Grand Canyon and did the Sky-walk and I was always afraid of heights, so I faced my fear and it was the most unforgettable experience of my life. I saw so many great views of the canyon and the hoover dam. I even took a small 10 person plane and around the dam to see what it’s all about. It was so great that I want to back and do more over there in Vegas. This memory stuck with me because I always told my best friend that I would never want to be in a high place, and she told me to trust her. Well, funny enough, I did, and I forgot what I was missing out on. It was so exhilarating and breath-taking that I am still telling people presently of how my first experience went.

Had I not been involved with music in my life and not followed my dreams, I would be a completely different person and done something else that I would not enjoy doing. Music is such an important thing to a lot of people who are very creative, because it helps them live, breathe and go on journeys that they have never been on before with their family, friends and fans. Just to hear one person do a random act of kindness to someone and say “take a listen to this song and it will change your perspective on things” makes all your worry and sorrows go away and you become a completely changed person that can conquer anything you set your mind to do. I for one am a strong believer that if you put your heart and soul to do whatever you have a goal set on, you will be amazed on what you have done and others will turn to you for advice and tips on what got you started.

I guess you can say that I’m a motivational and inspirational person because I, among a billion of people from around the world, are going through the same thing I am, so we are not alone and can relate and get great feedback off each other.

One final note to say: Thank you to all of those who have believed in me and been through my journey and help me out along the way to become an independent woman. I have spoken to a lot of inspirational people who have shared their personal stories with me and I am returning the favor to do the same back to them. I would not be the most bubbly person with such a great positive attitude and cheer people up, had I not been creative in music and share all this with you.

I will leave you with this inspirational quote. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”– John F. Kennedy

THANK YOU!

 

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