2:45 am. I can’t sleep. I woke up from a dream – not a nightmare, but unsettling too. I keep trying to recall my dream, but it is gone – lost in the corners of my mind. I just know that I was wrong about something. I did the worst one can do when unable to sleep; I took my phone and checked notifications. I was on Twitter and on a whim, I unfollowed a couple of accounts, the one of my former favourite band too – turns out they are a bunch of pretentious bellends. It took me almost 20 years to see it. I still appreciate their music; it was the soundtrack of my life, and yet… I really don’t like the people they became. Or is it me?

Am I drifting away from the person I used to be? I feel empty and overflowing. Sad and happy. Tired and wide awake.

How did that happen? When did everything change?

In a little more than 2 hours my alarm will go off, and I need to go to work. Early shift. I like that – if only it started later, lol.

Birds are beginning to chirp outside (the window is open); my husband is snoring next to me, and my mind is thinking too loud.

The Dead Rift – Her Name is Calla or how a hug changed my perception of myself

This is the link to the new Her Name is Calla song on YouTube.

This band is dear to my heart. I like their music, no question about that. I like this new song very much. But I also like the people in this band.

Adam (songwriter, drummer, banjo, theremin…) and Tom (singer, songwriter, piano/keyboard, guitar) changed my life. How very melodramatic, right?

We had been in touch for a while, mainly via Twitter. I had purchased some of their albums, solo albums too, and then they were to play a concert in Brussels. I know exactly when I planned to go there. It was that time in 2014, whenwh saw Anathema at the Kulturfabrik in Esch/Alzette, with my sister and her ex. We arranged everything that night and the days after that. I did not work at the time and my husband was put on parenting duty. My sister was still in school and her ex was free to work whenever he wanted. My husband didn’t have much say in any of this, to be honest. I planned over his head, and I am glad I did. There was a train ride – more than 3 hour long. There was a steange city and the quest to find the hotel we had booked. There was the first and only mirror selfie I took. There was also a friend (who passed away in 2015) who helped keeping the anxiousness at bay. A first hug from Tom that made my knees shake happened. A set of music that was far better than anticipated was played. And an invitation to join the band for a beer (eventually we had 6 or 7 or more of them) was accepted. There was laughter and silly stories, as well as serious ones. I felt right at home with these guys, speaking English for an entire night for the first time.

The most important part of the night were two tight hugs by people who had been strangers mere hours before. Tom and Adam hugged me that night. I don’t like to be touched, even less by strangers. But they did not ask, they just did. And it set free an entire wave of events and emotions. I can never forget and never repay these two men. We all live our lives, and there was never anything romantic involved. Not at all. It was just that hug that made me realise that I was so much more than I thought I was. I freed myself from the cage in my mind, that night. Simply because of these hugs. Crazy, I know. Of course, later new cages and shackles tormented me. But without those hugs, without that night in Brussels I would not be who I am. I would be a lot less outgoing and self-confident, and I would probably be a full-time housewife. I love being a full-time mom, for sure. But I also love my job. I love getting up and preparing for my shift. I have a purpose in life. Sure, I had that before too, but it became more apparent for me, because Tom and Adam didn’t know the mom or housewife, they only new Cathy.

I am forever grateful.