February 12, 2014
Who inspired today's broken heart song?
A young woman who broke up with her boyfriend of four years because she realized she deserved better. She shared a personal story with me about her heartbreaking birthday a few years ago when she was with him. And guess what? Today is her birthday! So it only made sense to perform her song today.
She was stuck in an unhealthy relationship with someone who treated her poorly, but she convinced herself that he loved her. He also cheated on her several times. She woke up on her birthday alone in tears. He quickly handed her a birthday card, and got back to playing video games. She had plans to spend the day with her mom and brother. He chose not to go because he was tired. When she came home, he was mad at her for spending the day with her family instead of him. She went to bed on her birthday alone in tears.
Happy Birthday narrates a woman's story about being deceived not only be someone else, but also herself. The ghost represents someone who is physically there, but not emotionally there. However, this song is also a celebratory song. She reaches a place where she realizes she deserves better, and sets herself free by letting him go.
Where did you play?
34th Street – Herald Square. I was reluctant to play here mainly because I often think this station smells like urine, but it always has a great crowd and I'm really happy that I performed there today.
How much did you earn?
Did anything unusual happen?
There was a woman who gave me $20! She first stopped to listen and then went over to pick up one of my cards (caught on camera). She then handed me $20, and with the most sincere look on her face, wished me good luck. To the woman who gave me $20 (wishing and hoping she reads this): I really want to sing your story. It's my new mission to find you and write your song. I am also curious what prompted your heart today. And I am still in utter shock by your kindness. Thank YOU.
Speaking of money, I have a large zip lock bag in my room stashed with dollar bills that makes me look like I have an inappropriate side business. But in all seriousness, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. I want to incorporate it into this project. and in some shape or form, give it back to you. After all, Fifty Days Underground only exists because of you. I have a couple ideas but will keep them secret until I am certain.
A former coworker ran into me this morning. Oddly enough, I was immediately embarrassed. I awkwardly said, "Welcome to my office." It's funny how much easier it is being vulnerable in front of a stranger versus someone you know. There was one woman who seemed really excited about the project and took a couple extra cards for her coworkers - I thought that was really sweet. And I was super lucky to have a friend stop by to tape some footage for today's video.
Did you meet anyone interesting?
Yes, a couple people actually. I was noodling around on the piano in between songs, and another pianist approached me and asked if we could exchange cards. I told him about my project, and he was so excited about what I was doing. I asked him to submit his story, and he said he would. He pointed to some words on his business card, "Proud father of [anonymous]." He said, "I haven't seen this person in over five years. That is my story." I got goosebumps. I hope he does send his story. I would love to write a song for him. Maybe he'll even help me out with the keys.
I met another musician who was interested in doing some collaborating. He was really sweet, told me I had a beautiful voice and he could hear it all the way from the platform. That was encouraging to hear because lately I feel like I sound like a dying hyena. My mom warned me of wearing out my vocal chords before I started this project. How do mothers always know?! I swear, when you turn into a mother, God must send a guidebook of knowledge or something.
What's the best advice you received from a stranger?
I've decided if I don't get any advice, I'm going to share some fun facts of the day with you, starting now:
When I bent over to pack up my equipment, it smelt like poop.
I often feel like I have to shower multiple times a day to feel clean again.
I was called "dope" for the very first time in my life.
How are you feeling?
Really good! I think I've crossed the bridge of being able to function with very little sleep. I felt really happy about today's performance. The station was packed, and I was feeling nervous this morning, but I felt so confident and secure when I was singing. I actually had a moment where I smiled and felt really proud of myself. When I started this project, people would look at me, and I would immediately look down. I've done that all my life, singing or not singing. When people look at me now, I don't look away. I smile. For as long as I can remember, there's been this barrier in front of me blocking me from doing things I've wanted to do in my life. I've never really allowed myself to reach my fullest potential. And today there was no wall. It was just me being me. Not half of me, not me with a mask, but all of me. It's the most surreal, uncomfortable and amazing feeling.
I have to also share another incredible experience that has come out of this. A couple weeks ago, a woman saw me performing at Columbus Circle and e-mailed me. She writes a blog inspired by moments in our lives that change the direction of our lives. She wanted to write about my project, so we met last night to chat. From what I thought would be a short coffee date, turned into a three hour profound and immensely inspiring chat about life, heartache, vulnerability, community and so much more. She was also brave enough to share her own broken heart story with me. I've never had such a deep conversation with someone I just met before. I left feeling completely inspired and fulfilled. This journey is taking me to places I could have never fathomed.
Tomorrow's the documentary shoot. I am really nervous! I don't have a song yet, and I know I'm going to put a lot of pressure on myself to try to make it perfect. But it's okay because my freezer is fully stocked with ice-cream. Hopefully I get enough sleep to at least make sense when they are interviewing me.
© 2014 Kelly Bazely