Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February Playlist

February Playlist

Hey all! February is winding down so I thought I'd share my favorite tunes this month.
In terms of cool updates, two days ago I had a charity concert with a few of my friends that went really well and raised a ton of money for a great cause (visit justincarrwantsworldpeace.org for more info), and just hours ago I returned home from a college visit at my future home!

*drum roll, please…*

This fall, I'll be attending the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California as a pop music major (with a concentration in songwriting)! I am SO excited! It's been my dream school for over a year now and the company I'm joining absolutely defies description.

If you stuck around through this ranting and raving, please enjoy the 17 songs I just couldn't stop vibing this month! :-)

1. "Pain Au Chocolat" - 3:43
ALBUM: Arts Martiens
ARTIST: IAM

2. "Litost" - 5:21
ALBUM: Love Songs Drug Songs - EP
ARTIST: X Ambassadors

3. "Talk to Me Baby" - 2:59
ALBUM: Confluence
ARTIST: Zane Carney

4. "Scars" - 4:34
ALBUM: Chaos and the Calm
ARTIST: James Bay

5. "Magical Machine" - 4:05
ALBUM: Brutal Romantic
ARTIST: Brooke Fraser

6. "Novocaine" - 3:44
ALBUM: Everything's Coming Up Roses
ARTIST: Night Terrors of 1927

7. "Mess Is Mine" - 3:43
ALBUM: Dream Your Life Away
ARTIST: Vance Joy

8. "I'm On Fire" - 2:52
ALBUM: Battle Studies (Deluxe Version)
ARTIST: John Mayer

9. "The Body Breaks" - 2:43
ALBUM: Rejoicing In the Hands
ARTIST: Devendra Banhart

10. "Eavesdrop" - 3:35
ALBUM: The Civil Wars
ARTIST: The Civil Wars

11. "Undeniable You" - 3:22
ALBUM: Jukebox the Ghost
ARTIST: Jukebox the Ghost

12. "Jealous" - 4:47
ALBUM: Jealous - Single
ARTIST: Labrinth

13. "Careless" - 3:59
ALBUM: Wake the Sun - EP
ARTIST: Little Sea

14. "When the Darkness Comes" - 4:02
ALBUM: When the Darkness Comes - EP
ARTIST: JP Cooper

15. "You Don't Know How Lucky You Are" - 3:48
ALBUM: Dear
ARTIST: Keaton Henson

16. "Upward Over the Mountain" - 5:56
ALBUM: The Creek Drank the Cradle
ARTIST: Iron & Wine

17. "Nobody Love" - 3:22
ALBUM: Nobody Love - Single
ARTIST: Tori Kelly

Hope you enjoy these songs, everybody! 2015 is off to a pretty mellow start, and I guess that's how I like it. School is chugging along as ever, and even though calculus is the actual bane of my existence, I'm doing as I always do, and getting over it. To be honest, the theme of my February has sort of been getting over things, and so I'm extending to you a little suggestion, or a blessing, or a magic spell. Get over something that's bothering you. If you're holding a grudge, or you're stuck in unrequited love, or feeling bummed about a failure that happened a while back…just try to pick yourself up by your boot straps and move on. Trust me, I know how hard it can be; there's a reason that the axiom "old habits die hard" is so widely quoted and referenced. But do yourself a favor and find the positive in something you didn't see before, as opposed to dwelling on a negative. If you're still mad about that thing that happened four months ago, try to think about something you're looking forward to four months into the future, and push towards that. If you're still in romantic love with someone who's taken or totally uninterested, seek familial or platonic love in the arms of the people who are always there for you. If you feel like a loser or a failure from a setback, try to remember the last time you succeeded and focus your energy on activities in which you always triumph. Jeez, that's a long tag I just wrote, isn't it? Anyway. Happy February…and, well, happy March. xo

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sorry, I Gotta Go See About A Boy

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

Love is in the air…or pollution. Our planet is languishing before our very eyes! Get your priorities in order, simple humans!

*cough* Anyway.

I am an academic. I am an artist. I am a feminist. I am a sister, a daughter, a student, a counselor, a friend.

But I'm also…a teenager. And even though I pride myself on my strength, my maturity, my wisdom, and my talent, I am also ashamed of my less shining characteristics--specifically, in this case, my romantic naiveté.

Basically, I put every boy I like on a pedestal and, in turn, rob them of their humanness. I set them up to fail me. If he doesn't like me, it's earth-shatteringly disappointing. If he does like me, it's…also earth-shatteringly disappointing, because let's face it, most teenage boys have yet to master the whole Prince Charming thing.

In reflecting on my tendency to Alaska-ize or Margo-ize the boys I like (to borrow a phrase from an an author I like), I have started to see the validity of the other extreme. I literally have a note on my phone containing song lyrics that read, "Love is a lie, God's not alive, and I can't trust a soul." Now, that's not particularly helpful, either. Saying "screw relationships" and giving up on the possibility of romantic love because of a few isolated incidents of heartbreak is equally problematic.

I've spent a lot of my life believing that having a boyfriend would solve all my problems. (Super, hopelessly, unbelievably false.) And in the moment of being rejected or heartbroken--which has happened more often than I would like--I retreat into solitude, believing that there is no point in pursuing romantic fulfillment at all. (Also super duper ridiculously untrue.) Neither of those attitudes is healthy.

If having a romantic relationship is something you want, you shouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed or naive. Cynicism is the enemy of joy. Even though I have experienced more setbacks than set-forwards (yeah, Jensen, keep telling yourself that's a word), I still believe love is real. But as I get older, I'm starting to see--or at least acknowledge that I should see--that love is real. And by that I mean, love is not a fantasy or a movie plot. Love is fulfilling and euphoric sometimes, but love is also frustrating and disappointing, and love is also just average. Love is like life, in that it cycles through periods of ups and downs like anything else.

You might be thinking, who is this 17-year-old girl who's never had a real relationship to lecture me on the nature of love? To that I say…nobody, I guess. But in case you didn't know this already, I'm a reader, and a writer. And being a reader and a writer means going inside of yourself for the stuff you feel and the stuff you have yet even to fathom. I have used the word "love" liberally because I don't think love is restricted to 30-year-olds who built their relationships like houses. I have felt pain and longing and joy and attraction. So maybe I haven't been in love to your satisfaction, but I have been in love to mine. I happen to really like Valentine's Day, because celebrating love, in whatever form it comes, is a thing I think we should do a heck of a lot more often.

Here's my point: you can't let your search for love rule your life. But that doesn't mean you should stop searching. Now if you'll excuse me, I've gotta go see about a boy.

(Just kidding. But I probably will go watch Good Will Hunting.)