Georgia Voice columnist Melissa Carter

Melissa Carter: Tunes to get through big life changes

My contract has officially come to an end with my previous radio station and I am now free to pursue other professional ventures. As exciting as that should be, I’m afraid I am a creature of habit and have to dig deep to find any hint of adventure in these new pursuits. But, just like getting through a workout that you dread yet know is good for you, I have found my motivation through music and want to share my playlist for anyone going through a big change in your life, regardless if it’s professional or personal.

“Ship to Wreck” by Florence + The Machine – The first step in making change is accepting the fact that things actually need to change. And oftentimes that comes with a sense of disappointment or even failure. As Florence Welch belts out, “What was it that I did? Did I drink too much? Am I losing touch? Did I build this ship to wreck?” I struggled with why everything in my life (except Mr. Carter, of course) was failing. My son helped me breathe through it all and find the light that was available if I only took the time to see it. I realized that light pointed in a different direction than where I was going.

“Watching the Wheels” by John Lennon – A psychic actually suggested I listen to this song again. Not that I’m comparing myself to an iconic music legend, but for anyone whose career requires great sacrifice on the part of the employee, such as mine, it indeed spoke to me. It symbolizes the moment you can step away from where you are and see it from a detached perspective. “Surely, you’re not happy now, you no longer play the game,” John relays others’ advice to him. It’s at this moment you realize you are happy without the anxiety and judgment of the past.

“You Gotta Be” by Des’ree – Here’s a tune you have likely forgotten about, but one with lyrics that reintroduce you to the idea of believing in yourself. “You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, You gotta stay together,” Des’ree says, and when you’re on the precipice of fear of the unknown, it’s a nice breeze that pushes you back to firmer ground.

“Born This Way” by Lady Gaga – Known as an anthem for the LGBT community, it applies to anyone who feels out of place. Gaga says, “Don’t hide yourself in regret, just love yourself and you’re set.” At this point, you are beginning your sprint toward the new and rediscovering the parts of yourself that you have always liked and are finally giving attention to.

“The Greatest” by Sia, featuring Kendrick Lamar – It’s now time to officially move on, and you have decided you will succeed. Sia says, “Running out of breath, but I got stamina, running now I close my eyes, well I got stamina, I see another mountain to climb, but I got stamina.” You have what it takes to continue to achieve in life, and despite being a little shaky, you are no longer questioning whether you have what it takes to advance down it with confidence.

Now all you need to do is get those headphones on and just keep swimming.

To read Melissa’s letter to her son in which she explains what she’s been up to since her unexpected final show on B98.5 and what she’s doing next, click here.