Choosing to have joy in the day to day can be difficult. As a Christian I believe that joy comes from God and he has certainly given me alot of it. When people meet me they often say 'You are so excitable!' or 'You are so happy all the time!' I know that people believe this is just my personality but I believe that joy is a God given gift. It isn't being happy all the time, it is trusting God's promises.
It has been a few weeks since I last wrote due to a very busy gig season and recording! I have absolutely loved being busy but at the same time I felt quite discouraged this week. Do you ever have moments where you think - 'I can't do this anymore.' or 'I don't think anyone is really interested in what I am doing.' That was the voice in my mind all week. I felt so down and no matter what I did I could not escape this feeling of inadequate, despite people telling me 'You are doing so well' I did not feel like I was.
Often I make the mistake of believing social media. That might sound quite odd but I swear its a thing! I feel inadequate because I don't get likes on covers, people do not respond to my emails, my gig posts and when I see other people who don't even do it as a job getting hundreds of likes and support I get very down and ask myself 'Is it me?' Comparison is the biggest killer of ambition in my opinion. I constantly have to remind myself that I do what I love for myself not for other peoples approval. Often it is easy to get swept up in a perfect instagram life and feel a desperate need to get likes, but it isn't real and likes to do not determine your success! (Preaching to myself here, don't mind me!)
It was in this thought process that I began to think about joy. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of times I had to choose joy when circumstances were not going my way. I was constantly deprived of opportunity despite my hard work, I always felt like I wasn't good enough and I felt hurt that despite my progression in areas, I did not feel I was going anywhere. This week I had a huge moment of joy when I was asked to play at a birthday festival (AWESOME RIGHT?!), it was here that I realised that I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I will choose to have joy no matter what. Opportunities come and go but our attitude is what shapes us. A few years ago I was too afraid to really sing infront of people, I wasn't asked to sing by people and my identity was other musicians. Now I am myself, I love to sing and I am being asked to sing across Dorset and Hampshire. Times spent alone in my room singing songs because I loved them were not wasted. I grew in that time and sometimes it is good to begin in the quiet and choose to trust what God has planned.
I know not everyone has a faith like I do and that is okay. What makes me Carley is my relationship with God. I trust that he has a plan for my life, I don't always know what it is but I know He is with me in everything. My journey as a musician has not been an easy one. For starters I never thought I'd be doing this as a job!! It has been a huge struggle at times but I have remembered to have joy when things don't seem to be falling into place. I wasn't always happy during these times but I had joy knowing that I can learn alot about myself from how I feel and the situations I get into.
So these were my thoughts this week! It was a crazy busy week of recording and 5 gigs within 5 days (NEVER AGAIN!) The EP is teaching me alot about music and myself. I always had doubts in my ability as a songwriter but I am learning to just embrace who I am and create because I want to make something that is my own. If you feel discouraged today and the things I wrote make you think 'I feel that all the time!' Know that you are awesome! You do not have to compare yourself to other people because everyone has a different journey that they are on. I chatted about this in my last blog but it is a lesson that I always have to remind myself of.
I hope you find Joy this week, even in the crazy busy or the boring daily. I found joy by taking a breather and realising where I am now. I apologise for the many cliche lines in this blog today! I am feeling wise after a manic week, which reminds me - remember to rest to!