Three years ago I quit my day job to allow myself to be that person. It wasn’t a decision that I made as consciously as I’d made every other decision up to that point. Listening to my songs about self-belief, passion and following your dreams, you’d probably think I made a conscious decision to pursue my dream, but that’s not at all how it happened. I was scared shitless and dove head first, eyes wide shut, into something I had (and still have) absolutely no clue how to pull off. All I knew is that I had to be willing to sacrifice a few things if I was ever going to become anything. And, in all honesty, at the time I didn’t have all that much to lose.
There are a myriad of quotes that encourage you to live life to the fullest, and hearing them repeatedly, they start to lose their meaning. But the fact is, this is it. At the end of my life, I want to be the person that says I tried everything I could to be everything I could be, I loved with my whole heart, I hurt like hell, I laughed and cried because I had people and things in my life that meant everything to me, and I had a blast doing it all. I can put a positive spin on just about anything – you learn that when you’re willing to sacrifice things for a dream that’s important to you – and as a recovering philosopher, that’s a pretty damn good place to be. I’m willing to sacrifice all kinds of things for the people and things that mean the most to me, and I’ve learned that I’m willing to compromise more than I ever thought I would. I’m even willing to compromise my own happiness in the pursuit of happiness. Present sacrifice for future gain. We’re all working towards something, and as much as I’d love to say I’m living entirely for now, because “now is all you have” and “you could die tomorrow”, we’re all subconsciously striving for a better future, a bolder love, a greener grass.
But there are no rules. I grew up thinking I had to be a certain kind of person to get somewhere, that there were rules I’d have to follow to live the life I was meant to live, and if I just checked those boxes, everything would be okay. But it doesn’t work like that. I realise now that the second I acknowledged the implication behind there being no instruction manual, the moment that I let go of everything I thought I believed in, and took more risks and allowed myself to make some mistakes, the more myself I became. Because there are no rules. I don’t have a 5 year plan and I don’t want one. I don’t know where I’ll be in two months time. It’s thrilling. It’s terrifying as hell too, but I can’t change that part. All I can do is feel the fear and do it anyway, and then capture the sound it makes. Every moment of my life is defined by its sound, a soundtrack that drifts and swells in my head. Because this is who I am. It’s who I’ve always been.
Currently on a break from fulltime touring, Shannon Hope is utilising her other talents in digital creative spaces… but there will be another studio album, and some exclusive performances every now and then. It’s not over. It’s just different.