Gold Crwn Magazine ISSUE 28 // ALEX G - Page 58

Continued

years, and very recently I cried about a comment I got. It’s hard to avoid that. A lot gets foggy on the internet—it’s easy to lose sight of who you are, especially when those mean-spirited comments are speaking to voices and fears that are already inside of your head. While it’s important to not sit too long with those bullies’ voices or let them tell you who you are, it’s okay to be hurt by it. If you try to numb the pain, you’ll numb the joy and the beauty as well.

I used to be much more avoidant about the pain it caused me to read cruel comments on the internet. I tried really hard not to care about the negativity, but in trying to detach emotionally from the hurtful comments, I also detached emotionally from the really beautiful, encouraging ones. I have since tried to be more open-hearted, and on the one hand, those mean comments carry a new sting, but on the other hand, when people show love and gratitude and connect to my music, I feel that so much more deeply as well.

At the end of the day, I think it comes down to remembering and practicing applying another Brené Brown quote: “If you aren’t also in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.” Or, as Melissa McCarthy’s character says in Ghostbusters, “It’s really easy to sit there and be the naysayer when you don’t actually do anything.” People on the internet have not earned the right to tell you who you are. It’s easy to throw stones from a safe distance. Let the people who love you tell you who you are. Take time to build relationships of trust and mutual respect. When you have someone in your life who you trust and love, you can be open and honest and brave with them, and you can even cry if you need to. They are the ones to help remind you who you are.

Why was it important to show the real you to your fans?

I couldn’t be in my integrity and continue living (and hiding myself) the way I had been. I was learning to show up and be real with people in my real-life relationships, and I realized pretty quickly that in order to be an integrated, whole person, it was crucial I do that in my relationship with my supporters as well. Of course, in every context,

showing up genuinely and generously requires healthy limits and boundaries. Some things do not need to be blasted over the internet, and some things require a lot of trust to share. But I do not need to put on a public face that is different from the one I wear when I go home at the end of the day. I realized people are looking up to me, and what the world needs more of is honesty, humanity, humility. It became a strong value of mine to show up and be seen however I am. That’s the stuff that saves lives, and that helps bring people out of hiding. I want to be a part of making that change in our culture. I look up to people who help me show up as I am, and I hope to be that for others.

How does it feel to be this far at such a young age?

It feels bizarre. I was reminded recently of, like, “Oh! You’ve actually achieved something here!” when I bought a house. It shocked me and it shocked my friends, and it was this real reminder that things have gone well for me. It feels confusing and exciting. It’s weird. It’s cool, but it’s weird.

If someone asked you, how can I get to where you are by the time I'm 25, what would you tell them?

I can’t tell you how to do that. That’s a hard question, because my journey—I was very lucky. A lot of things honestly just fell into place for me. Aside from all that, all I can really say is just put the energy in, learn what you can about your craft, try to work well with other people, and create the best stuff you can. But nothing is a guarantee. I completely recognize my privilege in being given the opportunities I’ve been given, and truth be told, it really isn’t even fair. I know a lot of people who are doing it the way I wish I had done it from the start, who create art they love and who live authentically, and I’m further along than they are (as far as numbers, views, subscribers etc. go). But their careers are the ones I really admire. So there’s not a formula for this—not for getting ahead and being happy at the same time. There is of course a game that can be played, and a ladder to be climbed, and a road to take to get ahead, but at what cost? I think the best we can do is just create work we love and are proud of.