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.