Sometimes you hear a song and it connects with you on a level so deep, that you believe it wouldn’t have been possible for you to express your own feelings that way. You could swear that song was written for you and only you, and at the same time makes you realize that you are not alone in your struggle. Do you feel that?

Well, I do, and on several occasion. Usually, this is what would make me label an artist to be my favorite, especially since I don’t listen to only one genre. In the last couple of days, I have been listening to a song I just discovered, by an artist I didn’t know was in music at all.

The song is called Stronger than ever, by Raleigh Ritchie. Who is Raleigh Ritchie? That’s another name for Jacob Anderson who played Grey Worm on Game of Thrones. If you didn’t know that he sings, trust me, I didn’t know either. He is actually good, very good, and he wrote this song to describe how life felt when he first moved to London.

I feel so much in this song, so let me tell you a story and you can tell me if I am right to feel that the song was written for me or not.

Stronger than Ever

Hate me when I’m gone, I’ll make it worth your while when I’m successful
But when I’m here I need your kindness cause the climb is always stressful
Clumsily gasp myself by thinking I’ll be better off alone
I’ll leave my peace in pieces all around the decent people back at home

As you know, I am Egyptian, but I currently live in France, a continent away from my family and Friends. I haven’t seen my family in two years and won’t meet them from another two. This is my decision. The biggest reason behind that is because I am currently trying to build my author career, and in order to do that, I need money to pay for edits, cover designs, betas, marketing and a lot of in between things that drains my pocket every month. I do it because it’s what I want from life, but it also came with another cost that I didn’t expect. I lost my friends because of that. The closes person to me in France told me she was mad at me several times. It was because I stopped checking in and hanging out like I used to. My friends constantly make me feel like I am the bad guy and I am the one who is giving up on them which is not true and is adding a ton of stress to an already difficult path That I have to be able to walk as soon as possible if I want to see my family again who also have half of my heart and are waiting for me. I now tell myself that It’s best for me to be on my own. I stopped even peaking into their lives from time to time so they forget about me, but I can’t even tell you how many times I wished for nothing more than a hug, just a hug. I will even take it from a stranger if it will make me feel alive for a second.

‘Cause I’m a big boy, an adult now or nearly
If I pull the wool back from my eyes I can see clearly
The world is at my feet and I am standing on the ceiling

Egypt also has a different culture, one that is much more protective. For example, you cannot move out of your family house until you get married. Boy or girl, and matter how old you are, it just doesn’t make sense for Egyptians to live on their own, to abandon your people (This is how Egyptians look at it if you move out. You are not a good person) And this is what happened to me. I moved out when I got married and me and my wife moved in. Shortly after the marriage, we decided we wanted to travel the world together, and our first stop with her home country France. What I never realized though was that I have always relied on a safety net of people that delayed my fight with real adulthood.


And I fall, fall, fall, when it all comes down
I fall from the sky but I won’t fall forever
I fall but when I’ll rise I’ll be stronger than ever

We were supposed to stay in France for three months, but it ended up being a year during which our marriage fell apart and we started a divorce process. I found myself stuck between two options, to either go back to my country, or stay in a city where I knew no one at all and didn’t speak the language.

Official man, delusions grand and now I’m a free agent
I’m here to make a stand for causes I don’t understand and make a statement
I fall short on knowledge, I don’t even watch the news
Can’t be arsed with college, it’s nothing but a human zoo

This was also not long after the revolution in Egypt and as someone with a degree in tourism and antiquities, there was no demand in my field at that time. In fact, all my friends back home were getting laid off. France also didn’t recognize my college degree and it became useless. I decided it was best for me to stay, but to do that, I had to work in fields I don’t know, learn about things I didn’t understand and dive into it, just to find a job and make a living.

‘Cause I’m a big boy an adult now or nearly
If I pull the wool back from my eyes I can see clearly
The world is at my feet and I am standing on the ceiling
And I fall, fall, fall, when it all comes down
And I won’t be crushed by the weight of this town
I fall from the sky but I won’t fall forever
I fall but when I’ll rise I’ll be stronger than ever

I lived alone for the first time in my life after a heartbreak and away from everything and everyone I once knew. It was hard. For every little success I gained, there were countless nights of me breaking apart, but every morning I glued the pieces back together and faced the next monster.

I’m not defeated, I believe that I can turn this ship around
Destroy the status quo until I know I found a common ground
I’m not alone, I’m just focused in my zone, this is easy
I’m fine, I just need time to turn this into home, I’m good, believe me
Believe me when I say I’m gonna be

It has been almost five and half years now and I am in a much better place than where I used to be. I am still fighting every day, but I am no longer trying to survive. I now have the power of a thousand fights and the determination of a thousand losses to go after my dreams. So, believe it…

Big explosions crack through thunderous mountains
Hearts exploding, minds, volcanoes pop and blow
I’m not alone, I’m not alone

I will make it to the top of the mountain, and I won’t stop there. I am already starting to see it happen. I am slowly, but successfully gaining a reader base. Someone has already nominated my book the Forbidden Warriors to the caffeinated fantasy book of the year awards, and I received enough votes to make it to the top ten with my less than 6 months career. I work every day, write every moment I can and study to improve my craft during my breaks.


Who am I kidding? I’m sad, no ideas coming
It’s driving me mad and I’m fighting it
It’s turning me bad, I’m loaded, pages taking me over
I just wanna be home with all my friends and family
Mum and dad, it’s closing in on me, I need recovery, coming home
I’m coming home and I need closure, I need closure

And yes, I won’t lie. I am sad to be alone and it’s driving me crazy sometimes. The more I think about it, I dive deeper into depression. Every night, every morning, and every free second I wish I could be back home with my family or hanging out with my friends. I want to go out and not miss out on my life, but for now, I will stay home and write more stories, and why is that?

‘Cause I’m a big boy an adult now or nearly
If I pull the wool back from my eyes I can see clearly
The world is at my feet and I am standing on the ceiling
And I fall, fall, fall, when it all comes down
And I won’t be crushed by the weight of this town
I fall from the sky but I won’t fall forever
I fall but when I’ll rise I’ll be stronger than ever

In the end, I am thankful for music and for this song because it reminds me that we all have our own struggles and even when you think that you are all alone, you aren’t really.

May all your dreams come true, sooner than later

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