What I remember most about writing Ricochet is how tired I was when I wrote it. I was dangerously exhausted, having come out of a couple of years of steady stress (which I thought I had managed spectacularly).
It was July. Some childhood friends and I had made plans to spend a long weekend together on Nantucket Island. Four days on an island in a big house with people who love even the most annoying parts of me? I was all in. A dream come true.
But I started to drag my feet. I put off making travel plans. I stayed out of the group emails that circulated about carpools, meals, and sleeping arrangements. These were my very closest friends, some of whom I’d known since kindergarten. I had always wanted to go to Nantucket, and this invitation was a golden opportunity. Why wasn’t I more excited?
It made no sense.
And then something happened.
Just like that, I stopped the doubting. I gave up worrying about this situation, or any other for that matter. I was too tired.
I just, let…it…all…go.
And that’s when I realized that what I wanted more than anything, was solitude. I loved my friends and the idea of spending a weekend away with them. But I was craving my own company even more.
Every single one of them understood.
I made reservations for two nights at a bed and breakfast in a trendy Calgary neighbourhood. The next morning, I tossed my guitar, notebook and brand new non-blotchy pen in the car and headed into the city.
There was so much I wanted to do! My list was deliciously long. I would visit museums and pubs, take walks along the Bow River, try a walking tour of the historical parts of the city, find a good bookstore, and meet some interesting people. This was my time away, and I wanted to get as much out of it as I could.
I arrived at the B&B and chose the room with the biggest bed, a window overlooking the river, and no TV. I set my stuff down and walked to a well-known music club down the street. But I was too tired to enjoy it.
I started to go for a walk along the riverside path but cut it short.
Finally, I went back to my room and took a very long nap.
When I woke, I started fiddling around on the guitar and came up with an interesting, kind of hypnotic fingerpicking pattern. It suited my contemplative mood.
I played this lick over and over. And while I played, I thought about all the obstacles that had been hurled my way over the last couple of years. I had spent those years ricocheting from one crisis to another, never landing before the next one came along.
My life felt like a pinball machine. I was the ball flinging and banging around from one bumper to another.
I pictured myself drenched and determined, hoisting myself up in a rocking boat during the middle of a stormy sea, only to fall overboard and climb back in again.
I resolved to change. To stop flailing and bouncing off of everything.
I didn’t want to be that reactive girl anymore. I wanted to be the woman on the shore, feet firmly planted in the sand while the storm raged around me.
No more ricochet.
I created all the lyrics and most of the tune sitting on the extra large bed in that B&B.
Working on the song was cathartic. When it was done, I slept for a very long time. And when I woke, I had an enormous breakfast. The work was done.
I went home refreshed, renewed, and resolved: no more ricochet.
My friends in Nantucket tried to reach me for a Facetime call that weekend, only we never connected.
But I connected with myself, and that made all the difference.
Watch the video of Ricochet below and download the single for music library, here.