I didn’t finish high school! It feels like a confession of sorts to admit that, but it is true. I am a high school drop out. School for me was a struggle. I didn’t like being there, I felt bored a lot of the time, and found myself escaping anyway I could, physically and mentally. I was really good at it, so much so that the words “head in the clouds”, ” if she spent more time listening and less time daydreaming” blah blah blah……..appeared on many of my report cards. Because of my lack of interest in school, I missed many, many days, and I feel very fortunate that I was able to disappear as much as I did without too much drama. I would go walkabout, down to the river, or follow the railway tracks. I found bones, and ruins and I’d go to the beach to walk the bluff. I loved leaving early and just seeing where the day would take me. I discovered tunnels, dirt paths that lead to creeks. I learned so much at my walk-a-bout education, much of my current activist mind germinated during this time. I remember taking a drink from a creek and tasting chemicals in the water. I followed the pipes that lead to factories making I don’t know what, but polluting the local waterways. I remember feeling sad.

Things changed when I was around 13. We got a new english teacher who would later teach music also. She was initially scheduled to be at our school for one term but ended up returning for 3 years. She changed my life and the lives of everyone in her classes. She was one of those people who was uplifting in her way of being. In her own words, she said she was “a teacher and not a Teacher”. I went from dreading school to turning up early and waiting by the gate till she arrived.  I learned so much from Mrs. McDonald, but at the heart of it, I would say she taught me to trust myself. I know that behind her teachings was a structure, but the way she presented that structure was so real and honest. It was through her inspiration that I understood that this life is a path, and we can choose which path we take. She really cared about us and we felt it. Kind of a big deal in a school of 1400 kids.

When I turned 16, my life took an unanticipated turn, I joined a band. Every teenager’s dream! I was lucky enough to look older than I was, which enabled me to get into music venues and play until all hours.  At 17 I moved out of home, and not because I had an awful home life, my parents were amazing, and my life at home was perfect, it’s just that I knew I needed to go. I had to follow my heart.

By the time I hit my mid 20’s, I had played in a few bands, been involved in theater, and got into university to study jazz. Yep, even a high school drop out can get into Uni. Later a group of friends and I started a band along with our first independent record label. From writing and recording to touring the world. It was a real grassroots effort, and we relied heavily on the kindness of others. To me, I felt like I was attending an amazing University the whole time. I have traveled the world as a touring musician and pilgrim. Together with my friends, we grew in ways that go beyond words. We traveled this path for 12 years. During this time I experienced two life changing events. I met the person that would become my wife, and I met meditation study and practice. In 2006, it was time again to take a turn. Fruit stopped touring and I stayed in America. Over the next 7 years, I continued to work as a musician and started another independent label. This time I worked solo and as a duo with The Wild Cellist from Canada, and I helped others to tour internationally. It was a different experience to go at it alone. I started to really see my strengths and weaknesses magnified, and it was confronting, fun and sometimes scary. Finally, I was ready for another adventure so in 2013, I decided to take another turn. I applied for a job where someone else was the boss. This was a job working with seniors in an Adult Day Program. I loved it because I got to spend the day focusing on other peoples needs. Through various changes and shifts, I became the Director of this program in 2016 and am still working their today.  All of these turns on my path have helped me discover that I am most inspired when I am working in ways that help others. I love coming up with ideas and creating things. It was actually one of my previous subcontractor jobs back in Australia, to come up with ideas as part of a think tank.

Over the years I have stayed connected and inspired by technology, and have made countless sites and videos for my own projects and for friends. I love working with amazing people who are creating amazing things and sharing that with others. I understand the challenges of being an independent artist in whatever genre or medium you are working in, and I can help. We are all human, and we are all creative, and I feel so happy to help people find those of you who want to be found.

I hope you enjoy this evolving site, and if there is anything I can do to help you on your journey, I am here.

Mel Watson