On Monday, it was announced that British singer Adele will be taking a multi-year break from music. She told US Vogue that she’s taking four to five years off to concentrate on life and love. She realizes that when she’s working herself to the bone, the things around her, besides her music, don’t go well. And although she does create epic records like “19” and “21,” she isn’t happy.

Adele is recovering from throat surgery that threatened to take that very instrument she’s become known for: her voice. In losing her voice temporarily, it gave her the clarity to realize what is important. And for her to determine that making music isn’t a priority at the moment, she’s putting her needs first.

I can’t be mad at that.

“Now I can have enough time to write a happy record. And be in love and be happy. And then I don’t know what I’ll do. Get married. Have some kids. Plant a nice vegetable patch.”

A lot of people are criticizing Adele for deciding to quit music for something that can be as fleeting as love, and I understand where they’re coming from. Adele is in a relatively new relationship, with someone she just met last year. Why is she hanging up her career for something that doesn’t seem very solid? Why is she drawing back from an amazing opportunity for a man? Well, I think it’s more than that. It goes beyond quitting music to make googly eyes at her new beau. It’s about giving yourself time to grow and experience life.

When people are in the public eye constantly and giving their all to the world, they have nothing left for the most important people in their lives. When you’re touring and performing endlessly, I can only imagine that personal relationships suffer. And artists who give too much of themselves too soon, burn out. Lauryn Hill’s a perfect example of what can happen when an artist reaches her breaking point, but she also serves as one reason folks are hoping Adele gives it a second thought. In the end, Lauryn’s relationship failed and her music has been less than stellar since she stepped out of the spotlight (Personally, I think it’s because she got that hypnotized by that Marley magic stick, but that’s a whole different topic for another day).

As a HUGE fan of Adele’s, I’m so sad to hear about this break. I love her, and I want nothing more than for that side ponytail-enthusiast to stay and make more records and slay us with live performances. I can’t get enough of her voice, which sounds as good live as it does on her albums. I don’t want her to go, but I understand why she’s making the decision and I support it.

I want Adele to take this break, frolic with her love and get happy. Then I want her to come back in 3 years, and remind us why she won those 6 Grammy Awards this year. She’ll come through, sit on a stool like she loves to and SANG like Jesus poured water down her throat. And we’ll all love it as much as we do now.

Sometimes, you need to make a selfish decision to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. It’s great to realize it, than to be forced to pause if your health fails. Or if you find yourself an emotional wreck. Or before the whole world requests that you have a seat because we’re sick of seeing you everywhere ALL the time.

Adele is leaving on her own terms, and leaving us wanting more, and I wish her all the luck on her journey to getting happy. In the meantime, I’ll just listen to “19” and “21” over and over again until she’s ready to come back.

Have you ever stepped away when you were seemingly on top?

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