into your own

When writing, I always go back and forth on whether I should write in my journal or post something on my blog. And I guess it kind of depends on the topic. Usually any realizations, epiphanies, or general thoughts about life have made their way onto my blog. And then anything that I was feeling sad or angry about would stay in my journal. Simply because I always try to maintain a positive and upbeat energy around myself. I never want to exude negativity into the world unless I am able to put a positive spin on it.

And that’s something I truly believe in. Long ago, I told myself that I wanted to leave a mark on the world. I told myself to shine bright enough to touch the people around me. But you can’t do that when you’re complaining. So I really do try to look on the bright side.

I’ve had to work a little harder to do that lately. Going to school, I see so many of my friends have found themselves having the time of their life. Truly having the college experience. I see them thriving and coming into their own. And I think that is amazing. I’m genuinely happy to see people I care about flourishing. But I think that has only made it more apparent how lost I feel.

Before I even started my freshman year of college, I wanted to drop out. From the get-go, it didn’t feel right. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. So I told myself to just complete two years at a community college, get my prerequisites out of the way, and figure everything out later. But here I am two years later, revisiting the thoughts of my eighteen year old self.

I think that I’m stuck in the idea of following a timeline. And I wish that I could figure out how to get out of this mindset. I try to tell myself that everyone is different. That we all have our own lives to live. I try to tell myself that there is no right way to live. You just live.

Intellectually, I know that I’m doing just fine. I know that I’m going to be okay. I know that I have the ability to make something of myself. But inside,  I can’t shake this feeling that everything is just wrong. I feel like everything that I’m doing is wrong. I’m making all the wrong decisions.

But I imagine that everybody feels that way sometimes. I don’t know if you ever get past that little bit of self-doubt. I think that’s okay. I think that it keeps you on your toes. It keeps you striving for something better.

I often have to remind myself that I am only twenty years old. So yeah, maybe I am feeling a little lost right now. And I don’t know if it’s because I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. Or maybe I’m trying to figure out who exactly Emilee is.

So I started making little  changes.

Dying my hair is something I thought I’d never do. I was born with blonde hair, and that’s what I have always known. As silly as it sounds, I feel as if dying my hair opened up a door to a new part of myself. A bright fun color allowed me to embrace my youth, and made me realize that I am a bright fun person. It makes me want to go out and enjoy more fun things. It suits me.

I was born and raised in the same house in the same city for my entire life. I never wanted to leave Columbus. It was familiar. It was safe. But then I started to do some light traveling. In the past two years, I’ve traveled to concerts in five different states. I even got on a real life plane. It was scary. And maybe I peed my pants a little. But it was also exciting.

I started changing my wardrobe. I went from a girl that only wore short-sleeved graphic tees and skinny jeans to a girl that takes a little more risk in the world of fashion. I shop in the men’s section. I wear clothes that are five sizes too large. I wear long dresses and short skirts. I wear short dresses and long skirts. I wear high- waisted pants and shorts. I wear crop tops and sweaters. I wear combat boots and sandals. I wear grandma sweaters, dad shirts, and mom jeans. I have fostered my own sense of style. And I think that I am able to express myself through the clothes that I wear.

I embraced my love of music. I started going to concerts. I began writing for a few music blogs. I discovered that music journalism was not something that ignited a fire in my soul. I was hired as an intern at a radio station. I’ve been there a year and a half. I started selling merch for different bands. And that’s where I think I might have discovered something really big about myself.

I think I might have a place in the music industry. Now it may not be in music journalism. But I think I’m onto something with these merch gigs. Maybe I’ll end up in PR. Or working for a major label one day. But I’ve found something that I love. And it would be mighty foolish of me not to run with it.

I decided that I need to take more risks. I need to go after the things that I want. Even if I am afraid of failure. Even if I embarrass myself. Even if it seems silly or unrealistic. I have to try.

I want to go on the road one day. I want to travel with a band and immerse myself in another aspect of the music industry. I know it’s competetive. And I know it’s a gamble. And it may seem like a dream. But that’s something I want. I want to go on the road one day.

I want to write a book. I’ve always felt silly thinking about that. I’ve barely ever said it out loud. There’s always the fear that nobody will care what you have to say. Or that somebody will criticize your thoughts. Or mock your vulnerability. But I have a lot to say. And I think that my words might one day hold some weight for somebody else. I think that I have the capability to create a voice to help others.

These things are at the top of my list. And for so long, I was afraid to say it out loud. For the fear of judgment and disapproval. Disappointment. But I don’t think I’m afraid anymore. At least not as much.

I was lost. I had no idea who I was. I had no idea what to do or where to go. As I watch all of my friends grab life by the reigns and set down a path to the life they wish to live,  I wander aimlessly behind. Making little stops along the way. Sitting down to rest. To collect my thoughts. Smelling flowers. Petting dogs. Then I lose my way, and set on a different path until I lose my way again.

And I used to think that was a bad thing. Continuously changing my direction. It felt like I was never going to have anywhere to go. I was never going to be able to make a decision. I was just going to stay lost.

But it wasn’t until I was lost that I began to find myself.

I tend to ramble. And I’ve never really been that great at conclusions.

I guess all I have to say is to anyone out there feeling lost and confused, you can’t compare your path to somebody else’s. Know that you’re on your way. You’re about to stumble across something amazing. Whether it’s a new path that you haven’t explored yet. Or back to one you’ve already been down, this time with a new perspective. You are onto something.

You’re not going to feel lost forever. You’re going to figure out who you are. And you’re going create a beautiful life for yourself. But know that this life can change. And even if it seems like everything is falling apart and you’re lost again, know that it’s the calm before the storm.

And gear up for something even more beautiful.

♥M

 

 

 

love a little

Sometimes I feel like my life is a movie. Often a comedy. Rarely a horror. Usually a drama. It almost seems unreal. But more recently, I feel like I have been living in a tragedy.

To tone down the inevitable melodrama to follow such a statement, I’m not talking about the tragedy of Romeo & Juliet. And I’m not an angsty teenager pining after some unattainable boy. My life isn’t falling apart. However, it seems like the world around me is.

Maybe I was oblivious. Ignorant. Maybe I had my eyes closed. But as a child, the world didn’t seem so awful to me. I didn’t hear stories about kids getting murdered. Women getting raped. Hate crimes. Animal abuse. And so-on. Now, I feel like a day does not go by without a new tragic headline.

When I was in grade school, I remember having drills for fires and earthquakes. Now there are drills for what to do in a school shooting. And these drills aren’t just in case. They have been used. Living in a America, we have the right to education. But we’re living in a time where there will always be a fear, no matter how slight it may be, that school may not be a safe place. Our children may not be safe.

The state of the world we live in right now is terrifying, to say the least. And I’m scared.

Since I have gotten my license, I have been told a few things…

Don’t honk at anyone. They may shoot you.
Always check your back seats and under your car before you get in it. There may be somebody wanting to hurt you.

Making the transition into womanhood, young girls are given ‘advice’ that many boys never hear.

Girls are told to always be aware of our surroundings. To never walk alone. Don’t even think about pumping gas at night. Be conscious of what you are wearing. Make sure your body is always covered up. Don’t wear form fitting clothes. Always carry pepper spray.

As a woman, I have experienced some things that are not so great. Catcalling on the street. Having my ass physically grabbed at a music festival. I’ve been called names. Tease. Bitch. I’ve been followed. I’ve felt unsafe.

Once I was at a gas station, just minding my own business. As I am filling up my tank, a man approaches me. I have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach as he walks towards me. I know that this isn’t going to be a pleasant encounter. He starts asking me questions. What’s your name? Do you have children?

No, I reply, wondering what made him think I had children. He smirks at me, I didn’t think you had children. So, how old are you? Panicked, my eighteen year old self lies, says I’m seventeen. Because this 30 years+ man might respect the law more than he would respect my disinterest in him. When I tell him that I’m seventeen, he gets very angry. He begins to storm away, but then he walks back towards me. Are you trying to get me arrested?, he exclaims. I remind him that he is the one that approached me. He then proceeds to tell me that it doesn’t matter that I am seventeen, because he has a fetish for younger girls. He also asked me for money, to which I responded that I had none. But that was frightening. I cried the entire way home. Although nothing had actually happened, something could have. Because we live in a world where we can’t even pump our own gas without being fearful.

So yeah. As a woman, I have experienced some things that are not so great. But as a white woman. I know that I have it far better than a lot of people. For that, I suppose I should be thankful. And I am. I know things could be worse off. And I’m glad that they’re not. However, I can’t find it in myself to be happy that I’m not suffering when I know the there are people that do have it worse than I do. My heart aches.

There are people that live in fear to walk down the street. Because the color of their skin. Because they are wearing a hijab. Because they are a gay man holding the hand of their partner. To know that you could be attacked or even killed, simply for the color of your skin, religion, or for who you love.

And I don’t get it. I really don’t.

I believe that once you understand something, it makes it hard to hate it. Once you understand somebody and know their story, you respect it. You may not agree with it, but you respect it.

So I wonder. Is all of the hate in the world because people don’t understand others? Where exactly is the misunderstanding? How can we teach others? How do we share our stories?

It’s hard to be happy in a world that is dealing with so much hurt. It’s hard to feel safe when the people that are supposed to protect us are killing people of color. It’s hard to want to have children one day, that will practice standing on toilets if they are ever caught in the bathroom during a school shooting. It’s hard to discover who you are when you fear what might happen if you do.

So I think that it’s important to love a little more. It’s natural to hate the people that hurt us. But that only breeds more hate. More unhappiness. More pain and suffering. Fight the hate with love. Shine bright. Do good.

Stand for the things you love. Speak with kindness. Care for those around you. Protect each other. Hold hands with one another. Love each other. Because the light of our love is the only thing that will be able to combat the darkness and hate. But speak UP when you see injustice. Be willing to teach. Help others understand. If we all take a moment to learn about each other and understand each other, I think the world will be a more beautiful place.

♥M

light in my life

Going to a public school, being involved in extracurricular activities, and working in the service industry, you are exposed to all walks of life. With this exposure, comes a sense of understanding. Seeing the different ways that different people live their lives allows you to understand the world just a little bit more. For me, it made me realize that the world was so much bigger than the community I grew up in. Bigger than the schools I attended. Bigger than my group of friends. And so much bigger than myself.

I have seen a lot. I have seen people live a very privilege life. I have seen others come from nothing at all. I have seen people rise, and others fall. I have seen success and failure. I have seen those struggle with mental illness. And there is so much more to see.

After all, I have lived in the same house for the entirety of my life thus far, and have barely traveled outside of the Midwest. There has to be more to see. There has to be more people to see. There has to be more to learn.

One thing that I have learned is that I am a very empathetic person. I feel. Everything. To see somebody experiencing joy, it warms my heart. To see somebody suffering, it breaks it. And for a while, that was going to be my hamartia.

There are people in my life, people who provide a great deal of light and warmth. People that will share in my triumphs and cry through my pitfalls. I think that I am incredibly fortunate to have relationships with people that exemplify the sun shining through storm clouds.

I am very appreciative of these relationships. To have people to support, encourage, and believe in you with such fervor is so incredibly rare. And if you are lucky enough to find people that care about you so deeply, you must make sure to let them know how much they are appreciated.

The hackneyed phrase, “Life is too short not to tell people how you feel about them while they are still around to hear it” continues to ring true. That is why it is a cliché!

People want to feel loved. Appreciated. Cared for. And valued. And if someone is giving their heart and soul to make your life shine a little brighter, at the very least, you kind of owe them your gratitude. If you want to take it one step further, reciprocate the love, light and kindness they invest into you.

And if you do not want to do this. If you want to take advantage of this gift, and reap all of the benefits without giving anything in return. If you want to think of only yourself. Well. That is the quickest way to dim somebody else’s light. And nobody deserves that.

There are many people in my life that mean the world to me. There are so many people that I appreciate and cherish with my entire heart. And I know I do not tell them as often as they deserve. Every laugh. Every story. Every tear. Every rant. Every embrace. Every meal. I appreciate each and every memory.

Thank you to those who have brought light into my life. You. Are. Wonderful.

♥M

what you deserve

Something that I have struggled with for a while is trying to figure out what I deserve. I put a lot of effort into being the best possible person that I can be. I lend a listening ear. I am helpful. I am considerate. But I am human. I make mistakes. I get angry. I catch an attitude. I get jealous. I let people down. I let myself down.

I know that I am not alone when I say that I am my own worst critic. I am. If anybody were to try to hurt my feelings or put me down, I am sure I have had those thoughts before. I am not smart enough. Pretty enough. Funny enough. Strong enough. Personable enough. Am I enough?

When something good happens to me, something really good, I question if I deserve it. I usually decide that I do not. Not over another person, at least.

When something bad happens to me, I never really question if I deserve it. I just accept it. I accept that I am just awful enough to deserve the worst.

But I am starting to believe that I am not. I am not an awful person.

Going through the motions of life, childhood-kindergarten, adolescence-middle and high school, I have become a young adult. In one week I will be twenty years old. And in my twenty years of life, I have been very observant. I have watched the way the world works. And I think that I have developed in many ways.

I strive to be the type of friend that I would like to have. Someone that is caring. Loving. Affectionate. Strong. Humorous. Passionate. Someone that is a good listener. A good storyteller. Someone that can motivate. Inspire. Spark creativity. Evoke happiness.. Create excitement.This is the type of friend I wish to have. This is the type of friend I hope to be.

And I think that I am starting to get there. Telling myself that I am not awful always felt strange. Like I was trying to convince somebody that I was something that I was not. Like I was trying to convince myself. Telling myself that I am good is a whole other story. Who am I to say that about myself? But who is around me more than me? Who knows me better than I know myself?

If anyone is going to say what type of person I am, it should be me. If anyone is going to say what I deserve, it should be me. Right? With one life to live, I am starting to see what I want to get out of it. And I should not feel bad to say what I want. None of us should.

I want a big beautiful life. I will not go as far to say that I deserve the world, but I do think I deserve to experience what the world has to offer. I want to explore what I have to offer. The world. The people in it. I want to love. I want to love with my entire heart. And I want to be loved. I want genuine relationships. I desire symbiosis. An equal distribution of give and take. I want to live outside of all I have ever known.

After all, we only have one life to live…
And when it is all over, did you get what you deserve?
Were you cared for how you should be cared for?
Were you loved how you should be loved?

♥M

get connected

As I am getting older, I am learning how truly important it is to make connections. In order to get ahead in life, you have to utilize these connections. Now, I am not talking about taking advantage of others, or stepping on people to jump-start your rise to success. No way! That is a complete jerk move, you will burn every bridge you have ever built, and you will gain a reputation that will hinder you from building bridges in the future.

In this day and age, higher education may seem like the most important thing in the world. And I get it. It seems like every job requires, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree. But that is not necessarily always the case. I am not saying that education is not important. I am saying that often times it is more about who you know rather than where you went to school.

When you find an area that interests you, take initiative. Immerse yourself in it. Introduce yourself to the people in charge. Have them introduce you to other people in that area. Form relationships. Pick people’s brains. Learn everything you possibly can from others, and do not forget to offer yourself as well. Your words of wisdom. Your skills. Your connections. When you get everything you possibly can from an outlet, feel free to move forward. But do not kick those people to the curb. You are allowed to grow and prosper but it would be foolish to disregard the people that helped you get to that point.

When thinking of connections, your brain may first just go to connections in the business world. Networking. But one thing that I have noticed, something that is very special, are connections in everyday life. The ability to meet another individual and connect with them on a deeper level where you can become close friends or partners is something so fascinating to me.

There have been people that I have known for years, where our relationship has not bloomed beyond small talk. And that is okay. We just have not clicked in that way. But on the other hand, there are individuals that have walked into my life not too long ago, that I feel like I have known since I was a child.

It is so amazing to me that you can find somebody that you click with on every single level. Somebody that you can laugh with. Somebody that you can cry with. Somebody that you can talk to about the wonders of the world and the meaning of life. I think connections like these will really help you get ahead in the world.

Through relationships with others, you will learn more about the world. You will learn more about others. And you will learn more about yourself. And I think that is how you really get ahead. Not by what job you have. Or even how much money you are making. I think it is all about who you know, what they have to teach you, and what you have to teach them.

Sometimes these connections overlap. Sometimes the connections in the spiritual world and emotional world will overlap with the connections in the business world. This overlap creates a very special spot that allows beautiful things to happen.

I think that I am so very lucky. I am so lucky to have formed connections in various aspects of my life that overlap with one another. I have found friends that I can connect with on a deeper level. Friends that I can share the darkest parts of my soul with. People that can make sense of the clutter in my mind. I have found people within my area of interest that want to help me  join the industry of my dreams. Together, with all of the connections I have made, I feel protected. Safe.

I truly feel like there are people in my corner that want me to succeed. I have formed such genuine relationships with the most amazing people. These symbiotic relationships provide an even distribution of give and take where neither party will feel abused or mistreated. And I think that is the key to it all.

We all want to be successful. We all strive to get ahead. But what I have found to be extremely important in utilizing connections, is to take advantage of opportunities rather than people. Help the ones that help you, and make them feel appreciated.

♥M

paw prints on my heart

My sister called me that day. Crying. It was especially strange because my family tends to conceal emotions from one another. But I already knew. I knew as I was leaving the house.

December 7, 2013 my beloved lab, Midnight, was put to sleep. It was sad, really.

pup

I remember the day that we got her. I was exuberant young child, just five years old. A kindergartner. There was a box of three puppies, and knew she was the one for us. Us kids took turns holding her on the way home.

We all taught her how to crawl through the doggy door. We played together. We took naps together. We lost teeth together. We grew up together. She was a real good dog. She never hurt a soul, as long as you disregard the dead squirrels she dragged in the house one or five times.

Sure, she barked every time the wind blew. And maybe she was a lazy ol’ pup that spent her life on our loveseat, and left an imprint to prove it. But she was a really good dog.

Watching dogs grow old is such an emotional roller coaster. You watch their energy levels decrease, and their bodies deteriorate. They are only in your life for a decade or so, and then they are gone. But not without leaving a puppy shaped hole in your heart.

She died my senior year of high school. You may think, “dude, it’s just a dog. Chill”. But she was not just a dog. She was a companion. I had her through elementary school, middle school, and almost all the way through high school. Thirteen years I had this dog as someone to love. But she got sick. And her decline was fast. One day she just had a seizure, and when my dad and sister took her to the vet, they found tumors throughout her body. When it gets to that point, you have to do the humane thing and let them go.

Thirteen years, and she was gone. It was so strange to come home to a house without a dog. Without someone to pet as you walked through the door. Or someone to lick your face in the morning. I mean, Idunno what kind of stuff your families are into, but that was not a void my siblings or parents could fill.

And we had nothing to fill that void. For a little over two years. Until now.

February 28, 2015. One month ago. The Aldridge family welcomed a beautiful new pup into our lives.

pup

Anyone that has met me, even just briefly, knows how much I love dogs. I love big dogs. Small dogs. Fluffy dogs. Lazy dogs. Hyper dogs. I love them. And living without one for two years made me feel like I was missing something. So when this little furball came into my life, I was over the moon.

I had absolutely no idea that we were getting a dog. My family did not even know, until that day. My dad has a friend whose friend’s dog had puppies. The owner of the momma dog did not want the joy of having puppies, apparently, and opted to get rid of them. My dad’s friend was getting a little pup, and had the owner bring along the other dog to show my dad. Of course, my dad fell in love and brought him home.

I was just living my life, scratching my butt in the living room, when I hear my dad and brother talking. My dad had just gotten home, and I hear my brother say, “Oh she’s in there”. Nothing thinking anything of it, I just sat in the living room. Then, my dad calls me into the kitchen to “come see the puppy!”. My heart races. “WHOSE PUPPY?!”, I growl. As I beeline towards the kitchen. And there, in my face, is this sweet little puppy.

Immediately I drop to the floor, in tears. Sobbing, actually. He was so perfect, and a wonderful surprise. And I am so excited to say, after two long years, that I am finally a dog owner again.

Now, enough people have showed interest in my dog, that I thought I would make little puppy updates every so often. A ‘pupdate’ if you will. Just to keep everyone informed of my little baby.

So here we go.

Pupdate #1: 3.28.16

Choosing a name was very difficult. And it caused quite a bit of tension in the household. But we were discussing how he just looked like a little teddy bear, and fell in love with the name.

Bear. My son.

When we first met Bear, he was a little sleepy guy. He seemed super chill and calm. But now, he is a feisty little devil. He loves to run around in the backyard, and play with his toys. His favorite toy right now is his little tug-of-war rope.

Right now, we have him sleep in a crate at night. Just until he learns not to pee and poop everywhere. Also, until he fully grasps which items are food and which are not. But he does really well! For the first two weeks, he would not sleep through the night. I was exhausted staying up with this little guy. But I was happy to do it.

Now, he sleeps through the night! He does not whine as much when it is time to get in the crate. However, he is turning into a little diva, and prefers me to pick him up and carry him to it. Which brings me to my next point…

This little guy is going to be a monster. We took him to the vet a few days after we got him, and he weighed 16lbs. Three weeks later, he is now 25lbs! And they are expecting him to get up to 80lbs, which makes sense because he needs to grow into his giant paws.

At first, I thought he hated me. He would bite and scratch the heck out of me and my niece, but not really anybody else. I know that he is a little puppy, and is just learning to use his teeth. But shit man, puppy teeth are straight razor blades! I think he was just testing the waters to see how much he could get away with, because he could sense how in love with him I am. Now he freaks out every time I walk into the same room as him, and that is the most gratifying feeling. He is super sweet, and loves to sit on my lap. I hope he continues to do that as he grows, because giant dogs that think they are lap dogs are the absolute cutest.

Bear is doing really well on potty training. He already knows how to go in and out of the dog door on his own. And he does not pee in his crate at all anymore. He does not pee in the house much, however, if he does not have access to his dog door (ie: if the back door is closed) he will pee directly in front of it, presumably to teach us a lesson.

After his second round of shots, Bear is still not allowed around other dogs. But honestly, he is a little scaredy-pup who hides under the chairs at the vet at the sight of other dogs. I did get the “okay” to bring him around other people. I took him to the radio station, and I think that he did really well. He seems to get a little shy around copious amount of people, but after he warms up, he gets back to his little sassy self.

Overall, Bear is doing really well, and he is learning rules and desired habits very quickly. I am definitely a proud mama over here. He definitely is a ball of light, and I think that he is going to do great things for my household.

♥M

 

 

make a change

For years I have been trying to find out what I could do to make my life better. More enjoyable. More worth living. Day after day, week after week, month after month, I see people all around me falling into the same routine, and getting bored with it. A pit of despair? Maybe a little too dramatic. A rut? Definitely. I see people struggling to smile through a conversation. I see people having to drag themselves out of bed each morning. And each day, I ask myself, how have I gotten to the point where I have become one of these people?

Every so often, I find myself down in the dumps. I feel as if I am stuck on a merry-go-round. It is fun for a while. Spinning ’round and ’round. But then, I start to get dizzy. As the merry-go-round slows to a stop, it is no longer me that is spinning. It is the world around me. Blurry figures passing me by. I wonder if I should get off. Get off too soon and I would stumble to the ground. So I wait. I decide to wait until the blurry figures come into focus. Until I have a clear grip on what lies ahead of me. But then there is that part of me that questions if it ever becomes clear. If life ever becomes clear.

Now do not get me wrong, I am very grateful for the life I live. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food to eat, and a car to drive. I have a dog. I have friends. I have mentors. I am grateful for the life that I live, because I know it could be a whole lot worse. But what really gets me, is that I know it has the potential to be so much better. There have been so many instances where I sit on the sidelines waiting for clarity, when what I really need to do is get off my butt to make some changes!

I have thought about changing various superficial things. I have thought about chopping all of my hair off. Or getting a tattoo. Maybe changing my look as a whole. Though changes in appearance may jump-start a new way of life for some people, I do not know if I am ready to make such drastic changes. At least, not yet.

All around me, I witness beautiful people achieve amazing things in this wonderful world filled with endless possibilities. I realize that these people do not just sit around and wait for amazing things to happen. They make amazing things happen! And I find myself very inspired.

In fact, one thing that particularly inspires me is documentaries. I love watching documentaries that showcases individuals working their butts off to better themselves. I also find myself extremely motivated after watching TED Talks. I am so touched by these individuals that can share their growth, and share their words to move others. If these people can better themselves, I can definitely make an effort to better myself. Because nothing is going to change by sitting around and complaining about it.

A while back, I made the decision to incorporate more water into my life, and now water is my sole beverage of choice. On Halloween of 2015, I consumed my last carnivorous meal, and am now on my way to becoming a vegetarian. In the summer of 2015, I embarked on a 30-day sugar detox (which you can read about here), and I am very interested in going on another. With all of these choices, I truly feel like I have gained something from it.

From the various documentaries and TED Talks I have watched, I found three more things to incorporate into my life. Changes. Changes that I feel may make my life a little bit better. Because, I think, the real secret to a good life must start from within. Healthy mind. Healthy body. Healthy soul.

I really want to start doing yoga, and meditating on a regular basis. I have taken one yoga class, and I would like to see what more I can get out of it. I see so many people falling in love with yoga and feeling so free afterwards. With meditating, it seems like my mind is always racing, and it would be nice to have something to calm me down, without shoving pills down my throat. I also believe that meditation will allow me to explore parts of my mind that will promote growth.

I also want to journal more. I tell myself this all the time. Journal more! I try. I really do. I start to get into a habit. And then I miss a day. Then it is two days. Then a week. Or, I get into a funk, and my journal becomes a sadness journal. And I think about how I do not want to look back in my journals some day, and think about all the sad stuff I felt. But now, I think that this may not be such a bad thing. I guess it is better to write it all out than to keep it inside. So what if I have 20 entries about something sad? Those 20 entries could make the one happy one after that so much more precious.

Yoga, meditation, and journaling may seem like little changes. And they are. But something inside of me tells me to try. Take these steps to make a change. Create a better me. Create a better life. Hopefully along the way, I will be able to learn more about myself.

 

♥M

my favorite band

I will let you know now, that this is a lot. And you are absolutely under no obligation to read what I have written. However, if you do, you may find that you understand me just a little bit more.

Two years ago, I was a senior in high school. Looking back on my senior year, I remember it being one of the more difficult years of my life. I felt like I was being pulled in so many different directions. I was a squad leader in the marching band. I was a captain of the swim team. I was taking three AP classes. I was crying every single day. Between classes. In class. Sometimes all day. It is funny because I signed up for every activity and class that caused me this stress. But I was so overwhelmed.

There was nothing that I wanted more than to stop thinking. To stop thinking about school. Stop thinking about the future. I just needed to have fun. I remember, in 2013, I went to my first concert, Maroon 5. I had an absolute blast. I spent a wonderful evening with my best friends. I got to experience incredible live performers. And I got to leave all of my worries in the parking lot, as I stepped into the arena. This show definitely sparked a slight interest for a taste of more live music.

Two years ago, my slight interest turned for a taste turned into a full-blown hunger. However, I have always had an appreciation for music. I enjoyed listen to it. For a while, I enjoyed playing music. But live music had never been something that I had experienced. So I never know how amazing it would be once I did experience it.

February 5, 2014. I attended my first general admission show. I was introduced to a whole new world. This was a completely different experience than Maroon 5, almost a year prior. I remember my friend Madelyn suggesting we go to one of these “famous low-dough shows”. A five dollar show. I paid five buckaroos for an experience that certainly has stuck with me, enough to write about two years later. But of course it stuck with me. This is the show where I found my, now, favorite band.

The headliner was New Politics. A band I had never heard of, but listened to a lot, before the show. In order to have an idea of what I was getting myself into, I decided to look into the openers as well. The supporting acts on the bill were Sleeper Agent, and some band called Magic Man.

I can remember this day so clearly. I suppose that is because something just clicked for me that day. The temperature was below freezing. So cold that school was called off that day, and also the following day. Because this was my first general admission show, I recall Madelyn taking us up to the balcony, so I would not get murdered in the pit.

The first band, Sleeper Agent, took the stage. I have quite the soft spot in my heart for strong female vocals. I feel like female vocals are too often underutilized in the music industry, so when they are front and center, I am all-in. And that was Sleeper Agent. The chemistry between the leader singer, and lead guitarist was so palpable. The band kept me engaged, and excited throughout the entire set.

Magic Man was up, and so was the crowd. The five piece exhibited an incredibly high level of energy. It was infectious!. Every last person in this (sold out) venue, was on their feet, dancing and groovin’. The band was thriving, feeding off of the energy reciprocated by the crowd. Each member presented themselves in a way that advertised a quirky sort of confidence. I barely knew any of the songs, but I found myself mumbling along, and shakin’ my little booty. (This was a huge accomplishment, considering at this time I was not much of a dancer). The entire time, I was smiling eat to ear.

It was time for New Politics to come out, and every part of me was on fire. I was so excited. Afterall, this was the band that I came to see. I was so impressed in every possible way. Lead singer, David Boyd, gave the crowd a taste of his break-dancing background which basically made me poop my pants. The trio were so excited and grateful to be playing in Columbus, and put on an incredible performance. But eventually, the show had to come to an end.

I remember walking towards the exit, and noticing the lead singer of Magic Man at the merch table. Alex Caplow. What the heck? Who knew that bands came out after shows? He gave each of my friends a little Magic Man button, signed a lil’ autograph, and even took a picture. I was so overwhelmed. This was my first general admission show, so I had no idea people did stuff like this.

I left the venue. My friends and I slept over at Madelyn’s house. I woke up the next morning, and went home. All morning, I was thinking about how much fun that concert was. I even made sure to check out the radio station that put that show on. CD102.5. I had a feeling that I would really enjoy them.

It was not until my sister came in my room, when I realized what that show truly did to me. She asked me how the show was. I was so excited! I started telling her how Sleeper Agent really surprised me with their talent, and how New Politics absolutely blew me away.

When I started talking about Magic Man, I started crying. (What the heck, Emilee. That’s really freakin’ weird) Believe me, I know. I really have no idea why I was crying. I admit, it is probably a bit excessive, and ridiculous. I barely knew the band before I saw them. Honestly, recalling all of the details from the night before, I guess, just really moved me to tears. And that is when I realized something.

All that night, and into the next morning, I just stopped thinking. I was not thinking about tests. Applying for college. Grades. I was not thinking about anything. I just stopped thinking. And allowed myself to feel.

And when that second band took the stage, I felt everything. I felt the positive energy radiate through the venue. I felt the shift in the demeanor of those around me. I saw smiles brighten. And bodies relax. I allowed myself to get out of my head. I got lost in the music. I finally had that “night of fun” that I so desperately wished for. So maybe it makes sense that I cried. Or maybe I am still ridiculous.

After that night, I wanted to learn more about the band. About the people that created such a beautiful memory for. I wanted to listen more to the music that I lost myself in. And somewhere along the way, I found myself enveloped in a community of beautiful people that had shared similar experiences.

It may sound silly, but eventually, a group of fans began to feel like a family. We got to share the excitement of new tour dates. An album announcement.  And then we saw that we were alike in more ways than just one. Where some of us shared an interest in music, others shared a hobby. A favorite movie. It was so cool to connect with people, and have that relationship blossom, and grow. And it all stems from that one concert I went to.

Now, I am sure that I have come off a little strange. Maybe overzealous. Or a bit of a wackadoo. Certainly since then, I have mellowed out quite a bit. (I now know how to interact with others like a normal human.) But there is still a feeling of giddiness, and excitement in my heart.

That night was more than just a good time. It was more than letting loose. I found my favorite band that day. I found what would be my favorite radio station, and the place I would one day have an internship. I made new friends. I fell in love with live music.

And you know, I was down. I was closing myself off. I was in a really dark place. But there was just something about that night that made everything seem just a little bit brighter. So I guess you could say it provided me with a glimmer of hope. I began to realize that not everything had to be so goddamn hard. And I have been working on it ever since.

Two years ago, I found my favorite band. I wanted to kick myself when I saw that Magic Man had come here twice before I knew about them. But I do not know if they would have impacted my life in the same way. I do believe that everything happens for a reason. And timing is not just by chance. I find it so amazing that during such an emotionally trying time, the thing that provided me the most comfort was music from a tiny indie band from Boston.

♥M

rock local

I remember feeling something wet on my arm. I looked up to see if something was dripping from the ceiling. Something was dripping all right, but it was not the ceiling. I was sweating! Pretty profusely, I imagine, for it to literally drip down the arm of my cardigan. Gross, right? It was my first day at my brand spankin’ new internship, and apparently I was more nervous than I thought. January 20,2015- my first day at The Alternative Station: CD102.5FM.

I did not think I would be as nervous as I was, because I knew a fair amount of staffers from various concerts, and events I attended. But I was. I was so nervous that I got there fourty minutes early. I think that turning the page to what would be a new chapter in my life, seemed very daunting at the time. This was the first “extra-curricular” that I had ever done by myself. It was my own idea. Something I wanted to do. I do not think I even told any of my friends. It was something I wanted to go at alone. And I did.

Now it is January 20,2016. One year later. I have been sitting here, trying to think of something to say. Something that would eloquently convey my feelings towards CD102.5, the people that work there, and my internship. But I do not think that there is anything that would truly encapsulate my feelings. CD102.5 is something that is so unique, that I had never experienced before. And I think that is why I am really at a loss for words.

I feel like I have grown. A lot. And I feel like I have grown up a lot as well. Like I have become a better, probably even sweatier, version of myself. I have definitely broken out of my shell, and become more confident. I am more willing to explore more opportunities, and have experiences outside of my comfort zone. I feel like I am thriving, and flourishing. And I am excited to be a part of something so unique, and dynamic.

I am really grateful for everything that has happened to me this past year. Every event. Every concert. Every laugh. Every dog I have pet. Every hug. For everyone that welcomed me with a smile. All the connections, and relationships that have formed, are definitely going to stay close to my heart.

Many people end their internships after a few months to a year, and move on to the next thing. But I really like where I am right now. I feel so productive. Excited. Loved. Appreciated. And at home. I know I cannot be an intern forever. But for now, the CD102.5 Scene Team just feels right.

♥M

goals for 2016

In order for me to move forward in my life, I need to set goals for myself. I need to have something to work towards, no matter how small, or I find myself falling into the depressive routine of never leaving my bed. Last year, I made a list of goals for 2015. I did not consciously keep this list with me, but I remembered throughout the year that I did aspire to be better. When I went back and found the list, I felt very proud of myself that I had actually achieved many of my goals.

So today on New Year’s Eve, I submit my goals for 2016:

  1. In 2016, I will try to be healthier. I really want to exercise more, and eat better, just to feel more energized. I would like to focus on health rather than my appearance.
  2. In 2016, I will try to do more exploring, even if it is just in Ohio. I have lived in the same city my entire life, and there is still so much out there that I have yet to explore. I would like to go on more road trips with friends, and explore other beautiful cities as well.
  3. In 2016, I will make an honest effort to act like an adult. In five months, I will no longer be a teenager. I am almost twenty years old and I have never really had any legitimate responsibilities. So I would like to start being more independent, making my own appointments, doing laundry on a regular, cooking more than just ravioli, etc. On the flip side, I am still going laugh at farts, and cry at Grey’s Anatomy. There ain’t no age restriction on that, son.
  4. In 2016, I want to form healthier relationships. I want to meet new people that are positive and supportive, while also being that for somebody else. I would also like to make sure my current relationships are healthy. If they are not, I really would like to make an effort to try to shape them to be healthier. However, if they cannot be salvaged, I want to learn to feel like it is okay to let go, without any guilt attached.
  5. In 2016, I want to be more assertive, and confident in social situationsI get very nervous when I am in groups, and also when I am in groups where I do not know a lot of people. I often hold back a lot of what I have to say because I feel like they are going to find me annoying or weird. I want to make more of an effort to try to start more conversations, and make more connections.
  6. In 2016, I will try to utilize my free-time in a beneficial way. I often spend down-time watching TV or sleeping. Instead, I would like to use this time to do things that may benefit others. One thing in specific, I would really like to do more volunteer work. I love puppies, and I would love to volunteer at a dog shelter.
  7. In 2016, I want to make sure that I make decisions for myself. I am a very indecisive person, and I often turn to others to make decisions for me. In addition to this, I also influence my decisions to do things (go out when I want to stay home, take this class when I want to take that class, etc), because I do not want to disappoint anybody. But at the end of the day, I am the one that is going to have to live with my decisions. And it is my life, afterall.
  8. In 2016, I will try to be more organized. Okay, I lowkey make this promise to myself every year. But I feel that I now understand what a slow process it is. It is all about the little steps. And I mean, I could not possibly get more disorganized than I am already…
  9. In 2016, I want to try to not be so embarrassed over little things. I do not really get embarrassed often, but when I do, it is over silly things like not being able to find a parking spot, or speaking too softly and somebody asking me to repeat myself. Look, life is too short to be embarrassed. I just want to go for things, and not be so anxious, worried, or nervous all the time over potentially embarrassing myself. Sometimes you are gonna have food stuck in your teeth, and sometimes when your shoe will make a squeaky sound making people think you farted. It HAPPENS.
  10. In 2016, I will make an honest effort to stop apologizing for who I am. I am really beginning to become comfortable with who I am. I may be goofy, or have a lot of little idiosyncrasies that may be weird to other people. But I realized that I have a lot off really incredible people that love me because of these things, not in spite of. So I want to try not to apologize for things like laughing too loudly, nervously jiggling my leg, talking too much, etc.

I know that last year I made a list of goals. I have come a long way since then. Many of the goals will never be achieved and over with. I think that many of the goals I have set, and goals in general, are in place to direct me somewhere in life. A lot of these goals, I want to continue to keep in the back of my mind, to remind me of the road I want to be on.

Here’s to 2016.

♥M