Saturday, October 29, 2011

"In childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking out. In memories of childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking in." --Robert Brault

Everyone can attest to being a child, a teen and wishing you were older. Wishing you could drive, wishing you could live on your own. And then, the time comes when you can do all of that and more, and you suddenly realize it's not what you thought it'd be. Or maybe it is. But regardless, you are left with the realization that the grown up life you always dreamt of and looked forward to is here, and you're suddenly looking back on the past wondering where it all went.

I went to Fright Fest last night with the most amazing friends who put up with my intense anxiety ("Why is there traffic?! We have to get there now!") and let my inner 8 year old come out once we got inside the park. There was definitely skipping. I hadn't been to this amusement park since I lived ten minutes away from it fifteen years ago. To say it was strange to be back would be an understatement. To say it was strange to be back AND drinking a beer would be an incredible understatement.

I promptly beelined for the rollercoaster in the back, the one I affectionately remember riding three times in a row and thinking the drop never ended, and hopped up and down until we loaded into the seats. My excitement was palpable and I felt like a kid again. But then the ride ended, so much faster than I remember, and I couldn't help wonder if I made a mistake going back. It wasn't the same. I wasn't eight and my dad wasn't sitting next to me.

I hope I'm still allowed to be in this transition phase. I am loving living on my own, making the dinner I want and being the sole provider for my darling pup. But, the fact that Christmas this year will be spent in a brand new state sans a family member and her family won't stop blowing my mind. The fact that my time with family and friends outside of this state is dependent on how many vacation and personal days I have left is crazy.

They always told us when we were kids that it goes so fast. All I could ever say to that is, "Fast?! You call this fast?!"

Yes Kaitlyn, that was fast.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Well everybody hurts,
That’s where we’re all the same
We drive on through the worst
And push on through the pain
-Gavin Degraw

Gavin Degraw recently released his latest album, Sweeter, and let me tell you, it's phenomenal. I loved his first album, enjoyed the second and have yet to listen to his third but this one is on par. I can't decide which song is my favorite because they change every other day and because they relate to some aspect of my life.

My sister used to ask me what I heard first in songs, the lyrics or the melody and to be frank, I still don't know. The melody will get stuck in my head for hours when I don't know the words and after I've memorized the words, I'll listen to a song on repeat because it "speaks" to me. And yes, I know that sounds so incredibly lame but isn't that the entire point of music? To reach an audience who relates completely to your words and can say, 'Hey, I've been there'? To write a piece of music that is so entrancing and memorable that, no matter what you do, you can't get it out of your head? I think so...or that's why I listen to most of the music I do.

It's incredible to me just how much songs can change your outlook on things. I think that's why Gavin DeGraw's latest release is so exciting. Every song fits a different situation and even though some are sad songs at their core, they can still make you smile. That's the brilliance of music. It listens when you don't know what to say, it's there when you're friends are busy. It can make you smile or encourage that flood of tears that you've been dying to get out but just couldn't...until now.

If I didn't convey my feelings enough by now, I highly highly recommend purchasing the newest release from Gavin DeGraw, Sweeter, or at least giving it a fair listen to on Spotify. And if you're not a fan of pop music, at least listen to it and give the guy some respect for writing and playing his own music.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places." --Ernest Hemingway

Please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the entire process of working out, lifting weights, getting swole, based on the process of tearing your muscles so they mend themselves bigger? Granted, some of that terminology is probably wrong and it might be a bit more complicated than that but the idea is the same. Break it down, build it back stronger. So why is it then, that when we're confronted with situations that could lead to incredible growth, we run?

We're told all the time to exercise and work out to stay healthy and lead longer, better lives but I think we should also be encouraged and reminded to keep our lives filled with challenges. When a relationship suddenly requires more effort or communication, don't run scared. Stay and fight. When a job has you working 60+ hours a week and all you want to do is lock yourself in a closet, don't. Know that the busy will fade and you'll be a better worker, able to handle the thousand assignments in 40 hours easy.

I don't think people see challenges in their lives as that. They see them as complications, something to be wiped from the slate before moving onto the next easy activity. But be honest, where's the fun in easy? I didn't sign up for a half-marathon because I thought it'd be easy. I wanted a chance to push myself harder and farther than I had before. I wanted the experience, the goals, the satisfaction at the end. I'm not saying all quitting is bad. Some relationships aren't meant to last, some jobs are simply stepping stones, but don't be so quick to push the eject button. You never know what you're going to learn about yourself if you try a little harder, push a little farther.