I’ve been inspired by the song, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” since the first time I heard it on the radio driving back to Athens on Highway 78 in January of 2012 (yes, I remember the exact moment). The lyrics have been on Post-its stuck on almost everything I own, and it’s even on a canvas that hangs on my wall in Athens. It was written by Will Hoge, and is easily one of my favorite songs of all time. Some days, that song would come on the radio in my worst moments when I was tired of school, tired of classes, tired of Athens, tired of working. And somehow, that one line, “Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart,” would always remind to just keep going. To get out of the car and go to class, to get out of my room and go to work. I had to conquer the obstacles I faced in order to reach what I wanted– and what I wanted was to live a life surrounded by music and people who shared my passion for it.
Yesterday, I went to the Grammy block party, and as I stood there and listened to Will Hoge sing “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” in the middle of Owen Bradley Park at the end of Music Row in Nashville. I looked one way and saw a lot of people who are probably really important and I just don’t know it, and I looked the other way at this man on a stage singing about dreams, and it really hit me for the first time that I’m living mine. I’m living my dreams. I’m in the city I’ve loved for so long, I’m surrounded by music, and opportunity is staring me in the face.
Tonight I went to dinner and to get ice cream with my friend Emily. We were sitting in Jeni’s Ice Cream in East Nashville, and who should waltz through the door but WILL HOGE.
Seriously, is that not insane? It’s like God just plants this Will Hoge guy and his music in my life to remind me “Oh by the way, you just have to keep dreaming and wait for the crazy surprises I’ll bring you to.”
And boy, does He bring some crazy surprises. I never would’ve guessed I’d end up here this summer. A year ago, I was indifferent about life. I didn’t even care what career I’d have or where I’d end up. I just wanted to get through one day without screwing up.
But now, here I am, a year later. I’ve made a songwriting demo, and I’ve somehow managed to move my life temporarily to my favorite place in the world and jump into the industry family I’ve always wanted to be a part of. I’ve been blessed to be carried this far by a God who lets me dream SO big.
And I don’t really intend to stop dreaming big.
Thank God for Will Hoge.