Encapsulating a year

It’s hard to remember back to the earlier parts of this year, this was a year that was all about me recreating myself.

Honestly, it was one of the hardest years of my life, not just because I started at a new school but because this was the first time I decided to put myself first. Which, was something I had never done before. It was a learning curve to be okay that others didn’t support certain decisions I made.

Knowing that I was starting at a new school right when the new year began was a freeing feeling. A complete reset. One that I needed for awhile. It wasn’t hard to settle in as I sort of knew that it was a place that I was supposed to be.

The hard part was creating what I wanted out of my time at Susquehanna. Did I want to just throw myself into as many things as I could, or did I want to give myself a break and take my time settling in?

This question wasn’t one that took me awhile to answer, it was clear from the start that I wasn’t going to pace myself in terms of getting involved. Right away I joined a sorority and the school paper. Which, are now two of the biggest parts of what makes me who I am. That’s how I know that I made the right choice to get involved immediately. But, this wasn’t something that I was used to. I’m a very socially anxious person and it took a lot of mental determination to get over the part of my brain that kept telling me it was too much.

By the time the school year was over I felt like I had whiplash. It didn’t feel right to already be done and to be actually sad to leave school. This wasn’t something that I had ever felt before, to cry knowing that I wouldn’t see my friends for the whole summer and for some until the next spring.

Sitting here now knowing that a year ago exactly I was nervous and scared to start over gives me hope that some things do workout. But it also helps me know that major changes in life can be a good thing, not something to be scared of.

Starting the school year this fall was a weird feeling. It would be my first fall semester away from Temple and to be honest I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Would I get bored? Would I think this was a mistake?

It didn’t help that I was going in living with nine other girls that I wasn’t close to. Little did I know that they would all become close friends. Obviously there were ups and downs, and the downs were probably some of the lowest points of my life. Mentally this semester was one of the hardest I’ve ever had. Remember when I said that I started putting myself before everyone else? This is when I learned that lesson, and it was the hard way. I would constantly see everyone else’s problems and want to fix them without ever looking inward on what I was feeling. It wasn’t until fall break that my therapist told me that I wasn’t doing well. All I could do is look at her funny. What did she mean? I thought that I was fine. But, the more that she talked to me about all the things that I had repressed for so long the more that I saw she was right.

I wasn’t doing well and it was then that I started taking time for myself. But, a part of me still felt like I was empty in some way. I realized then that yes, putting everyone else before me was a mistake but helping other people is a passion and a drive that I haven’t felt for a very long time.

Yes, writing is and always will be my first passion. But, if I’ve taken anything away from this year is that you need to hold onto the happiness when you feel it. So, I’ve made the decision to go to grad school for clinical psychology. For a lot of you I think you’ll roll your eyes and say “wow that girl is too indecisive” but, what I have to say to that is how many times in your career today do you wish that you made the switch to that one thing that made you happy. I’m doing what I think is going to give me a purpose in this life, don’t doubt me on that.

This year has shown to me that I’m a lot stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. I hope to continue this search for recreation. Brick by brick my citizens, brick by brick.

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Tragedy

A noun, meaning an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress.

That’s exactly what happened on Tuesday night.

It was a tragedy what happened to Ethan.

I have been graduated from Boiling Springs since 2015, but that doesn’t mean that I stopped caring about what happens in our community.

When I got on Twitter last night, this wasn’t what I was expecting to read about. Scrolling and scrolling all I kept seeing was tweets about American Horror Story or people complaining about their schoolwork. What I never imagined to see was post after post about how important mental health was. How people who are struggling should reach out to prevent events like this from happening again.

What did they mean “events like this”…there’s no way that could’ve happened to someone in Boiling Springs.

I was bewildered, I couldn’t believe what was happening. It was like all of my worst fears came jumping out at me. Someone took their own life.

I had no idea how to react.

I was sitting with my sisters in our living room and I just blurt out, “I think someone from my high school killed himself”.

My friends didn’t know what to say, shit I didn’t even know what to say after that.

There was just one thought going through my head, I was laughing tonight and someone was bringing their life to an end.

Nothing could’ve been done, no one could stop it.

I remember in my senior year I was struggling with the thoughts in my head. They were suffocating and I felt a very heavy pressure on my chest. I thought that it was okay, I thought that I could get over it and I could go back to normal.

I never went back to normal, in fact it got worse. I started to separate myself from everyone and I cried every night before I went to bed because I couldn’t calm down these thoughts in my head that told me that I couldn’t get through the day.

It’s hard to imagine going through life not having people notice the shift in my mood, my mom was the first to really point it out. I had no idea that it was happening, I had to have her point it out for it to be addressed as a problem.

Depression, anxiety they are all like a big thick blanket. You don’t have a choice but to get wrapped up in it, at first it’s okay, it’s manageable. But then you start to get hot and you want to just throw it off of you but it gets so heavy, and you get so tired and it just won’t come off. You kick and you scream and you cry but nothing happens. So you stop. You stop caring, you stop looking for ways out. It becomes normal.

Then you don’t even notice it anymore.

At a young age it’s hard to understand that something like this could be happening. That at 10th grade someone couldn’t picture a future anymore.

There was a time in my life that I really felt like I wouldn’t accomplish anything of importance in this life. But, what is “important” in life varies from person to person. It’s not the same for everyone.

Today, for me and most of the community in Boiling Springs, is a wake up call. Stop thinking it’s okay for people to make jokes about suicide. Stop standing by and watching people pick others apart because they don’t think it will effect the person.

Stop being a bystander to mental illness, because it will eat people alive.

This is a PSA to everyone to recognize that mental health is real. If you see someone struggling go up to them, talk to them like they’re a normal human being.

If you are reading this I need you to know a few things. One, there are other people struggling too. Two, seek out help if you even feel slightly off. Three, know that I am here for you if you need help.

I have had to push past a lot of struggle on my own. But, I recognized that I can’t do it alone. I needed my therapist, I needed 100mg of Zoloft to feel even semi functional.

These aren’t things that I ever wanted for myself.

But, I don’t have a choice.

Help is out there, and there are people willing to give it to you.

1-800-273-8255, the number for the suicide hotline.

Use it, share it, it could potentially help save someones life, or maybe even yours one day.

 

What am I doing?

Remember that one time I said I would post weekly, well that was a lost cause as soon as all my classes started.

I truly apologize for that, but today i’m here and ready to write until i have nothing left to say.

These past four weeks at school have been a whirlwind. I had no idea that I could do so much and still have time to sit and think about the world around me.

Which by the way is deteriorating in front of our faces, but like its fine I guess. With all of the hurricanes and the earthquakes I can’t help but think this is a sign from some higher power that we are doing something wrong on this Earth.

Now, by no means do I know what we are doing wrong and it’s not my job to find that answer but it does really upset me. As a college student, I know that I have less than two years in my little bubble until I have to go out there. In a world where everyone hates someone.

Gives me hope to think that my generation can change the world. Gives me even more hope to think that could be me. I have no idea what I truly want to do out of college. I just know that my words have the power to change this world.

Ultimately that’s my goal. To use words against all the hate and against all the destruction. To help build people back up and put places back together.

Words have always been something fascinating to me. Maybe that’s why I love music so much, because its a string of words that go together and there’s a beat to go with it.

Who knew that something so menial and subjective could change so many peoples lives. I mean when I was 13 and writing short stories I had no idea how much that got me through the bad times. I just thought that it was something that everyone had the ability to do. Just like musicians, they don’t think about it. They just sit down and it comes out, in this perfect masterpiece that they share to the world.

In my lifetime there has only been one constant thing, writing. No matter how sad, frustrated, mad I was, writing was always there for me.

That’s why now, when i’m so frustrated with school, work, everything I just sat down and opened my laptop. I’m not thinking of these words as I put them on the page and it feels so good to just let all of this out of my mind. It was getting cramped and it was hard to even see some days.

I can feel the release as i’m typing and listening to music. That’s another thing. Music has been my saving grace for so long and in my hardest times it’s been the one thing to really uplift me.

I don’t even know where I would be without music and writing, probably lost somewhere.

There are a few songs that I constantly cling to,

  • “The Less I Know the Better”, Tame Impala
  • “Deadwater”, Wet
  • “Mother Earth”, Banks
  • “1-800-273-8255”, Logic
  • “Lens”, Frank Ocean
  • “Don’t Kill My Vibe”, Sigrid
  • “Twin Size Mattress”, The Front Bottoms

This list is comprised of some sad songs and some songs that you just need to hear sometimes. I’m someone that needs to listen to sad music when their sad. I have no idea how to even listen to happy music when i’m sad, it just pisses me off more.

I know this post is kind of weird, and honestly like I said before i’m not even thinking as I write these words.

Brick by brick my citizens, brick by brick

Holy Shit

Quite the vulgar title I now, but honestly I didn’t know how else to word it.

I’m on the preface of a new year in college…my junior year. I feel old. Now i’m officially upperclassman which almost doesn’t feel real and I guess it shouldn’t because it’s only my second semester at Susquehanna.

Last year before school started I wrote this whole post about change..it was cleverly titled “Change” (feel free to check it out).

I thought that I had the whole world figured out then, that I was finally going to be happy at Temple and my world would get better.

I guess that’s the irony in thinking that you know all. Cause you don’t and you never will, unfortunately.

This upcoming year will be weird, all of my friends are turning 21 and that is the “pinnacle” of every young adults life…or so i’ve heard.

Too bad i’m one of the last to come of age so i’ll get to learn what not to do I guess.

As for this blog and what to expect from this year, i’m not sure what to even tell you. This summer has been weird musically, I mean don’t get me wrong a lot of amazing music is out but I keep listening to the same thing.

I want to set a goal to do biweekly “What I’ve Been Listening To” posts. I think that those were my best pieces because they were raw and I don’t always jump straight to new music right away, I like to cherish what’s going on.

Maybe setting a goal will help me stick to it…no promises.

Anyway, if you’re still reading this post i’m surprised. Not exactly what I had planned but this feels natural so we’re gonna go with it.

Brick by brick my citizens, brick by brick.

Liz

August 5th | Logic

Walking into Festival Pier last Saturday there was a lot going through my mind.

That this was the first time I was seeing a concert in many many months, that there was a lot of white 16 year old boys here, and after a long time I felt back in my element.

In the moment I realized how lost I’d been since my last concert. Like a fish out of water I have been working at a children’s center all summer and not out in my field, exploring live music.

I had no idea what to expect from the lineup. With Big Lembo, Joey Bada$$, and Logic it was a diverse group of people.

It ended up being very cohesive, and Joey Bada$$ truly set the tone for the rest of the night. While most people had on their Logic merch you could see how taken they were with him. Who knew that Joey Bada$$ could be so soulful and soft when it came to his music. Personally, I had no idea about a lot of his music, I was aware of his album, All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, which by the title itself was incredibly creative. I went into the venue not knowing much, but I left with so much love for him and vulnerability. He truly let the crowd into his soul.

I wasn’t prepared for Logic to come on. With his new album, Everybody, I was shocked with how much I truly enjoyed it. As of now it’s still one of my top 5 albums of the year.

Right when he walked on stage the air shifted and the crowd went crazy. He started with “Hallelujah” which was no surprise to me as it’s the opening song on the album as well. There were two songs that I was hoping for my own personal therapy I would get to hear live. Lucky enough he played them both and gave a short speech about how each one of us was important.

“Anziety” was the first song to blow my mind on this album. He tells such a deep and dark story of how anxiety has changed his life and he never saw it coming. I feel like most people feel that on a real level, I know that I did. Looking around as this song was playing looking at the faces of the crowd it was clear that he was making an impact whether he knew it or not.

Later in the night he played the most important song off his album “1-800-273-8255”, which is the number for the suicide hotline. This song received a lot of attention from the media because of the truth in the lyrics. In interviews with Logic he says how dark of a time that this song came from. To hear these lyrics live was something else. It was so therapeutic that I had a revelation while at Festival Pier. When you looked out at the audience you could see that a lot of them had too.

Overall, it was everything that i had wanted from a concert and that diverse group of artists made an amazing show.

 

Ctrl – SZA

Now, I know what you’re all thinking..Liz you just uploaded earlier this week. It’s just as much of a surprise for me as it is for you honestly.

Today we will be focusing on the new album that has taken over my life, even more than Melodrama. 

This album was heavily anticipated after Solana, aka SZA, released the lead single, “Love Galore” ft. Travis Scott. This song took me awhile to warm up to but once I started to love it I just couldn’t stop listening.

Solana’s voice is captivating and soothing. She is constantly spreading the truth about relationships on this album. This song is no exception, with lyrics like, “right now, love / only thing keepin’ me by your side / only thing keepin’ me by your side now”. Not to mention she got one of the hottest rappers in the game to collab with.

Since this whole album was a masterpiece i’m going to pick my top 3 songs on it.

  1. “20 Something” – This song made me tear up on the first listen. I just turned 20 in May and i’m still having a hard time believing it. Like i’m in a new decade and still don’t have shit figured out. Solana put me at ease letting me know that none of us have our lives figured out at this age. One lyric sticks out, “that’s me miss 20 something / ain’t got nothing, runnin’ from love / wish you were here, oh”. This has become my daily mantra.
  2. “Drew Barrymore” – Okay so the video just came out for this song and it’s incredible (Drew makes an actual appearance). Again with Solana it’s her smooth beats and her lyrics that have me hooked completely. With this song in particular she gets really blunt by saying, “i get so lonely, i forget what i’m worth / we get so lonely, we pretend that this works”. Even just looking at those lyrics puts me in a mood. That’s the cold hard truth that most people don’t want to admit to ourselves (me included).
  3. “Go Gina” – There really aren’t any amazingly deep lyrics to this song but the beat just puts me in a good mood instantly. It’s just a jam the whole way through and a song that I put on all my playlists.

This album in it’s entirety is on my top 5 albums of the year list. I don’t see that changing any time soon. If you haven’t yet please listen immediately, if Solana alone can’t make you do it Kendrick is even on this album which means it’s certified fire.

xoxo

Melodrama – Lorde

Well it’s been a long time since i’ve been able to sit down and write a true review.

I’m happy that it came at a time Lorde dropped her new album, Melodrama. Yes, I am a little late to the game but there’s no better time like the present.

So, let’s get into it.

Right away I knew this album was going to be different. The lead single “Green Light” took me by surprise. This happens a lot when someone brings out their sophomore album. Suddenly their production changes and the sound is just not what you heard before. In some cases this can be bad, in Lorde’s case this showed growth.

When Lorde started her career with Pure Heroine it was dark and brooding. She was young and that time in her life was full of unanswered questions and growing pains.

When you listen to Melodrama you hear Lorde being sure of herself, growing into her skin and not being insecure about it. Something so different from her first album.

There are a few songs on this album that cut deep.

  1. “Liability” – This was one of the singles that she released and I still cry every time I hear it. She hones in on that self doubt and loneliness. With lyrics like, “the truth is I am a toy that people enjoy till all of the tricks don’t work anymore”. Anyone who listens to this song can feel that on some level.
  2. “Hard Feelings/Loveless” – This is one of the most beautifully written songs on the whole album. This song is about the pain of a complicated relationship, one that we’ve all had. Realizing you’re better off alone but not without a little sadness and hurt first. But by the end you realize that you need to take care of yourself first.
  3. “Writer In the Dark” – Wow. This song. As someone who writes their feelings to keep sane it meant a lot to hear Lorde bring that emotion in a song. It felt like i was hearing everything that i’ve thought but now they were lyrics. It’s all about loving someone but they’ve left and you’re being honest with yourself that you still love them.

 

Lorde has truly done it again. Although I don’t think it outdid Pure Heroine I can hear her growing through her music and that is something anyone can cling onto.

xoxo