“Don’t die with the music still in you”
I heard this on Thought for the Day the other week on the Chris Evans breakfast show and it haunted me, the words swirling around my mind as I processed not only what was being said, but also the fact that my beloved Nan had passed away only days previously. We had been playing her favourite music to her almost right until the very end.
Don’t die with the music still in you
Don’t leave this mortal coil without having sung your song from the rooftops, without having told your story, fulfilled your purpose, left your legacy.
We can’t all be surgeons saving lives on the operating table or scientists finding cures for awful diseases. We can’t all invent a world-changing product or stop starvation. We can all make a difference though – however big or small – and we should celebrate that.
I’ve always struggled to figure out my purpose. Growing up I was painfully shy, bullied, I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a job, just that I wanted children one day. That day came and while I love my children with every fibre of my being, I soon realised that motherhood wasn’t the all-fulfilling life purpose I had hoped it would be.
I had worked in special needs education for nearly a decade, but the relentless box ticking and bureaucracy put paid to that being a lifelong career path. This blog was an outlet for my passion for writing, but rambling on about parenthood, what the children are up to, even mental health or breastfeeding, it still didn’t feel enough.
Launching Apples & Pips was a way to showcase the gorgeous independent brands I had fallen in love with since having the babies, and I chose to donate to charity from the very beginning. That’s where the opening lines of my song started to be written.
Through charity donations and a UK-wide random acts of kindness scheme, I soon realised that I was at my best when I was doing nice things. That probably sounds really stupid – I mean of course we all like doing nice things! But this is my nice thing to do, and it is working. A fire has been lit and I’m writing the lyrics that will form the song of my life.
My shop is like an entity in its own right. Where I find talking about myself uncomfortable and embarrassing, I can sing at the top of my voice about what Apples & Pips does, why it does so, what the future holds. It’s that which has enabled my business to get so far in the VOOM competition, to put my business forward for several awards.
Putting my music out there
It may be a chaotic song; its tune may go off on random tangents every so often, the lyrics becoming muddled and sometimes confusing. It may at times contain doubt and self deprecation, but it will always be full of hope, passion, love, and belief.
So I will sing my song of marriage, motherhood, friendship, solidarity, social enterprise, creativity, success. I’m not going to meekly hide, the eternal wallflower. I’m going to sing loudly and anyone who dislikes it can listen to something else. But anyone who likes it can listen to it and hopefully support my purpose, let it inspire them to sing their own music.
What does your music sound like?
Don’t die with the music still in you. I’d love to know what the lyrics and sound of your music are, because everyone has their own tune. If we sing them loud and proud together, then maybe the melody can effect change, maybe it can save lives, maybe it can make a difference.