Lady Gaga wanted to quit music because she was losing herself.
Inspiring, honest, frank, real.
Those are a few words to describe Lady Gaga's speech at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence event over the weekend where she opened up about her emotional health at the Emotion Revolution Summit, a partnership with her Born This Way Foundation. She spoke openly about her experiences with super stardom, the demands asked of her and her struggle with depression. Things began to change when she learned to say "NO" and stop over-extending herself.
"I have had to make decisions like . . . why am I unhappy? 'OK, Stefani-Gaga hybrid person . . . why are you unhappy? Why is it that you want to quit music?' I was like, well I really don't like selling these . . . you know, fragrances. Perfumes. I don't like wasting my time, spending days just shaking peoples' hands and smiling, and taking selfies. Feels shallow to my existence. I have a lot more to offer than my image. I don't like being used to make people money. I feel sad when I'm overworked. And that I just become a money-making machine, and my passion and creativity take a backseat. That makes me unhappy.
So what did I do? I started to say no. I'm not doing that. I don't want to do that. I'm not taking that picture, I'm not going to that event, I'm not standing by that because that's not what I stand for. And slowly but surely, I remembered who I am. And then you go home, and you look in the mirror, and you're like, 'Yes. I can go to bed with you every night.' Because that person, I know that person. That person has balls, that person has integrity, that person has an opinion. That person just doesn't say yes. That person doesn't get a text from somebody and say, 'Oh my God, they wrote this, and sent this emoji. Should I send this back? What do you think, is that OK to say? Are they going to like me if I say that? Should I say something different?' This is the age that we live in. We are not actually communicating with each other. We are unconsciously communicating lies."
Gaga's all too right when she says "this is the age we live in."
Millennials, including myself, are swept up by the fast-pace digital age where everything is accessible, everyone is on-demand and information is a few clicks away.
Sometimes I think to myself, 'what is the point in dealing with constant pressure updating a music blog where much of the breaking news can be found on other music blogs? Are you simply re-interpreting what someone else already stated? Are you being creative and innovative with your posts are you attempting to keep up with the rat-race of exclusives and firsts?' I continue to write because despite the angst that comes with striving for unattainable success, this blog is my passion. In part, Gaga's message is inspiring others to go for what they want in life and focus on why it drives you. Separate the bullshit from what's real, learn to stand up for what you believe in and always remember who you are deep down.
And if something leads you down a path you're unwilling to venture... say NO.