If you didn't know this by now, we've had an entire year without Ed Sheeran. I know, I know. It's shocking to think that we survived. For me personally, I may have survived but barely.
When Ed first announced that he was taking a break from social media, I was happy for him. Everyone deserves a break, right? He left us with the promise that he'd be back with his third album and disappeared. He came back very few times after that. He appeared at the Grammy's to accept his first and well deserved win and showed up here and there through pictures from other pals such as Taylor Swift. But other than that, he honestly left us. Why is this such a big deal?
Maybe it's not for you. But it was for me. To say Ed's music has gotten me through some of my darkest and seemingly impossible times is an understatement. Yes of course I have blasted his acoustic music when my heart was breaking and I have had his more upbeat songs on loop when I needed a pick me up. But my relationship with his music goes beyond that. Through every anxiety attack and every morning when getting out of bed seemed physically and mentally draining, I've turned to Ed. I have put in my earbuds and turned the volume up and his music has honestly calmed me down, his voice gets me to take a deep breath and keep going. Everyone says music is universal. I love music. But I've never connected with an artist like this before. My love for him has grown over the last five years and it is only getting stronger. This can't just be me. Maybe for you, it's not Ed Sheeran. Maybe for you it's a band that you've loved since you were a teenager or a Broadway show that felt like it opened just for you. Whatever it is, it's pure magic.
It's magic to be able to drown out the world when you need to. It's magic that a beautiful melody and some perfectly placed lyrics can lift you up when not even the strongest of hands can. And it's one thing to be able to listen to this music through speakers but to witness it live? I can only speak for myself when I say that nothing and no one can touch me when I'm at one of Ed's shows. It's him, his guitar, his loop pedal, and me. There are moments that happen upon us in the rarest of times. These moments are both quiet and loud and force us to feel our heart beat and pay attention to every breath and remind us that we are, in fact, very much alive. No screens to distract us, no background noise making our head spin, no current events story there to make us question our world. That's how it feels to be at one of Ed's shows. Alive and infinite and alone and united. I hope that you have something or someone that makes you experience that and if you don't, I hope you find it soon.
So to go back to the beginning, I have had a whole year without any of this. Ed has been away and I've been here. My life has been very up and very down in 2016 and there have been times when I either really needed a bottle of wine or really needed Ed's music. Sometimes both. Sure, I could just do what I always do and listen to his albums and EPs, and trust me, I did. But to have no word for him, no sign or hint of new music for a year? It's been hard. Between Twitter and Instagram and every radio, talk, or award show, it's easy to feel personally connected with your favorite artist. And when that artist pulls away from all of the above, there's a noticeable void in your life. Which is why when Ed Sheeran tweeted this out to the world:
Everything changed. To some, it may just be the color blue but to me, it's a reunion with a friend that is long overdue. It's the first hint to his return. Maybe that's a new album (it better be a new album) or maybe it's his next single or maybe he just wanted to add some color to the world. Whatever it is,Ii'm so happy to see it.
So here's to Ed, here's to music, and here's to feeling alive.