Here’s To The Ones Who Dream

Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com


CRAZY AS THEY MAY SEEM


Despite what the title may suggest, this is not a post about La La Land. However, it is a post about dreams and failure and trying again, which is sort of the same thing. The past few years of life-changing surgery, making a decision to transfer my degree which I’d later regret, and recovering from mental health issues have taught me a lot about what I want from the short time I have on this planet. My passion for life has fluctuated at times, and facing up to my deepest desires has been a challenging experience. However, the ups and downs along the way have led me to a point in time where I can say I’ve come to accept my hopes and dreams for what they are. I’m going to give them a shot, and I’m not going be ashamed of doing so. This is the story of the evolution of a dream.

Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com

Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS


We all have childhood dreams, but not many last into adulthood. My first dream was to be a diva a la Celine Dion, but it turned out my voice was more folk than Frozen. Throughout primary school, I tried my hand at the piano, horse riding and ballet, but it was swimming that eventually turned out to be my thing. I remember finishing a race in a regional competition, and turning to the finish judge in a panic when I saw that the other swimmers were still racing at the other end of the pool. It turned out that, embarrassingly, I’d finished nearly a lap ahead of everybody else. I was young, but my 11 year old brain wondered if there was the possibility of becoming an Olympian. That was my dream, until scoliosis came along to mess that one up. However, it was a blessing in disguise.

 
Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com

Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com
Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com
 


MAKING A U-TURN


Recovering from major spinal fusion means no school, no standing up for long periods, and certainly no exercise for at least a year. At this time, I was obsessed with The Lord of the Rings and its soundtrack, and for some unknown reason, I asked my parents for the piano books. Piano has never been a real interest of mine before this point, but learning those pieces, followed by Pirates of the Caribbean, followed by Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, followed by Debussy’s Clair de lune etc. awoke a passion for music inside me. For the next seven years, my parents couldn’t pull me away from the piano, and I fast tracked all the way to ABRSM Grade 8, picking up bassoon and classical singing along the way. By the time I was 18 years old, I lived and breathed music of all genres. When I wasn’t playing Chopin, I was uploading K-Pop covers to a surprisingly successful YouTube channel. My future was bright, and after landing a place in the prestigious music department at King’s College London, I thought my path was set in stone. My new dream was to become an opera singer, coached by the best of the best at the Royal Academy of Music. However, fate was to play her hand once more, and starting university as a confident musician in 2013 was not to be.
 
 
Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com


A STEP BACKWARDS


In the September when I was supposed to be enjoying Freshers, I was recovering from a complex operation to reshape my deformed rib cage due to pectus excavatum. The surgery was successful, but I contracted an infection that went unnoticed for a month. It spread into my blood, and I was later admitted into hospital with sepsis. After a brush with death, I remained in hospital for almost a month, and nursed an open wound in my chest for four more. I couldn’t practise my instruments, I had no focus, and I became depressed. When it came to starting university next September, I’d lost all confidence in my musical abilities, and upon notification of my audition at the Royal Academy, I panicked. It took less than a fortnight for me to give up on my dream of singing.

Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com
 
Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com
Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com
Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com
 


LEARNING, GROWING, CHANGING


At that point, I thought giving up music would be a relief. Transferring to Comparative Literature felt like a blessing – one that came with less pressure, less disappointment – but little did I know that it would be the start of the most difficult period of my life. Three years later, and I’ll soon be finishing a degree that I never really cared about. It has caused more heartache and more suffering than being stripped of my clothing, fans blowing icy cold air at me to slow the infection that was trying to kill me as a surgeon opened up my chest without anaesthetic. It’s something I never thought I would say, but in my experience, mental health problems can cause more pain than any physical suffering, and I think I’ve had my fair share of both.
 
 
Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com

Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com

FRESH STARTS


However, suffering is one of life’s greatest teachers, and from these experiences have come new dreams. Dreams born from the ashes of those I gave up on. They’re made of the same stuff, but they’re less fragile, less easily broken. They are freer, not to be confined by specifics. They are fluid, shapeshifters. Saying them out loud gives me a rush of exhilaration. They are the first thing I think of when I wake up, and the last thing on my mind as I drift off to sleep. I am terrified and excited by them in equal amounts, but above all, I am thankful to have them. Being without a sense of who I was, and stumbling forward without direction was harrowing. Dreams give us a sense of purpose, something to strive for. We don’t know where they’ll lead us, but we’re lost without them.


FOOLS WHO DREAM



And here’s to the fools who dream
Crazy as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that break
Here’s to the mess we make


Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com


SHOP THE POST


Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com
Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com

 

This was an extremely long and personal post that I’ve been meaning to get off my chest for a long while. I know it might not be to everybody’s taste, as it feels a little narcissistic, but it means a lot to me. Do you believe in dreams? Have you ever given up on them?

 


Here's To The Ones Who Dream | www.marthajaneedwards.com
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