Music & Moving On (requested article)

Like a lot of songwriters, I like to write about personal experiences. Love and loss are two themes I explored in my self-titled EP release. A listener has requested that I write a post about my relationship with love and how to move on.
I’ve had a hard time trying to write this article because the topic of love is personal and complex. We question it when we have it, desire it when we don’t and allow it to dictate our perception of ourselves.
My song, “Last” dealt with a tumultuous relationship I experienced and my fight to leave it. Recognizing that you are in a bad relationship is the first step. I realized that this person should have made our relationship a priority but was instead choosing to disregard my feelings. Writing the song helped me express the pain I was feeling but also helped affirm my own self-worth. The relationship I was addressing wasn’t a romantic one but the difficult relationship I had with my mother. However, I think the sentiment applies to romantic love as well. Sometimes the people we wish we could depend on are unable to provide us what we need. This may force us to rely solely on ourselves, or else look to others for support.

Whether or not the relationship works out it is important to not let the success or the failure of it define you. Be realistic about the expectations you have of yourself and the people in your life. In my case, my mother was mentally ill, made damaging choices to our relationship, and did not apologize. I do not harbour ill wishes towards her but I have no desire to allow her back into my life. Some people do not change and it can be best to leave the past where it is.

“Forget Me” was a song that dealt with multiple relationships in my life. It was originally based off a poem I had written in high school about my father’s battle with cancer. When I started to re-work the idea it became more of a letter style song to my father.

In the song I wrote,

You never met my first love // Never saw me turn him away

I let him go and rightly so he found a girl worth remembering, and he forgot me

This lyric is regarding my first serious relationship, which I was incredibly fickle with. I was never happy when we were together but would be desperate for it back when we were apart. Eventually though, everyone gets tired of someone who can’t make up their mind… especially when love is involved. My life was chaotic growing up, which exasperated the situation. I regretted my actions and was hung up on this guy for a really long time (hindsight is always 20/20). This was less than ideal of course because he ended up dating my best friend for many years.

Relationships can be messy. I relied on this guy for too much support and then became dependent. Looking back I wish I had found a way to let the whole thing go sooner. I took everything way too personally, thought I wasn’t good enough, and that I had missed my chance at ‘one true love’. This was not true. People make mistakes; sometimes you let a great guy go and keep a shitty one around. Try to cut yourself some slack when you let the good one go and embrace that people move on. You can too (to even bigger and better outcomes)!

The conventional wisdom is that moving on from heart ache takes time. I believe this is true. If you use some of that time to reflect on your relationships and find positive outlets to express what you discover you will probably find the transition is easier. You will also end up learning more about what you want in future relationships. I sincerely hope that some of what I’ve experienced helps you.

– Ilsa


  1. And that’s why all humans are honored because we learn from our interactions with them… sometimes we learn from them…at times, they learn from us. Life is terms of experience, yes? Happy song-writing!

      1. Do you honestly believe that moving on is the best thing to do in terms of break up with the one you love?

      2. Every situation is unique, however if you have broken up then there is a reason. Sometimes only one person feels that things are not working and that can be difficult for the person who still feels satisfied in the relationship. I think it is important to fight for love you believe in but it is equally as important to realize when you need to let someone go. I know from personal experience how hard that can be. I have discovered that I want to be with a person who wants to be with me (not someone I have to convince to stay with me). That has helped me let go of past relationships that did not work out.

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