Hello everyone and welcome to my 'Captured Memories' blog. I have created this blog to document my journey as I begin writing for my EP, which is also titled Captured Memories. I feel this title sums me up as I love taking pictures and making memories with polaroids. I have taken thousands (my friends would argue even more!!) and I adore looking back through them and remembering the feelings I had in the moment of the flash going off.
I wanted to title this first post small beginnings. One of my favourite bible verses Zechariah 4:10 says 'Do not despise the day of small beginnings' and despite it being one of my favourite verses I did not live by this. When I was 13 years old I loved singing and if I wasn't singing I was very miserable. I was envious of those who got to sing on television, have their songs played on the radio and those who got to be on stage. I longed for the day that I could get a platform to inspire others and use my gift for good. Being a musician for me was never about fame or even money, I just wanted to inspire others to sing as it changed my life from such a young age. So when I was younger I did despise the day of small beginnings. I despised busking, I despised the small gigs, I despised the 2 likes on Facebook and I despised the beginnings of learning an instrument. I wanted to be great instantly but sadly it took time and a lot of practice. As I got older my dream of being a musician faded as I began getting involved in Church, I was still singing (worship leading) but I almost forgot about this dream. It was during this time that my singing and playing improved. I became patient and I began to enjoy small beginnings and the tiny opportunities. My attitude had changed. My dream hadn't. It was still there in the back of my mind but I had to go through a season of quiet to be able to really hear what my heart wanted. As cheesy as it sounds it was very true at the time.
I always had negative connotations to being a secular musician despite my dream of wanting to sing. Would people judge me if I did it? What if people hate my music? These anxieties gripped me for a long time, even as I started gigging more often. After a few years of gigging in pubs and bars I still felt like I wasn't good enough to be performing in public. Despite a very confident looking Carley I was anything but confident. This is the part where I thank my friends and family. Without their encouragement, love and support during this time I would never have pursued music and the small beginnings of just my family coming to gigs grew into fans coming to gigs!! People actually came to see me because they loved my style of music. Although this could still be seen as a small beginning as I am still playing in local places it is a huge breakthrough for myself. I no longer envy those who already have a platform because I know that where I am now is where I need to be. Whatever happens happens but I hope to be singing regardless. Be encouraged that everyone really does start somewhere. I was lucky enough to start in the small town of Lymington, where people were kind and encouraging.
After these small beginnings. The little streams leading to flowing rivers. I started to get involved in festivals and larger events. I was even crazy enough to enter a competition where I got through to the finals and had the opportunity to play at The 02 in London. In the same year I was entered into The Venus Awards where I won an award for Musical Talent. This was surreal to me. I could not believe it. I was making music, performing and meeting wonderful people in the music industry. I felt so encouraged by the experience and it all came from small beginnings. It came from practices in my room, from little gigs, from friends telling friends about the local Carley Varley musician. There is still so much I want to achieve but I no longer despise the beginning, because once I reach my goal the journey is over. I want to enjoy every minute, even the bad parts. I am so excited to be releasing an EP, I am so excited to get recording and I am so excited to finally get over my fear of people not liking what I have to offer. My music will be my outlet, my creativity and my own.
So 'Do not despise the day of small beginnings' embrace them. I did and I am learning more and more that life is more beautiful when you stop and say thank you for what you already have and not waste time wishing the goal was reached already. Enjoy the Journey.