What I listen to

Possibly one of the hardest questions for me to answer is “what type of music do you listen to?”
So I’ve decided to make a compilation of my favorite music, right here for your viewing.

 

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Lorde

First off, my favorite Lorde.  This album is my everything; I genuinely love every song on here (with the exception of one song) and that’s rare for me to say of an album.  Lorde’s music really speaks to me, and I relate to so many of her songs.  My favorites are A World Alone, Bravado, and Buzzcut Season.

 

 

Imagine Dragons

I am a huge Imagine Dragons fan, and I especially love their new single.  My all-time favorites are Roots, and anything off their Night Visons album.

 

 

Halsey

Surpringsly, I like her newest single.  When I first heard it I wasn’t a fan, as it’s a lot more pop than her older music.  But after listening to it a few times and letting the lyrics sink in, I discovered my love for it.

 

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Woodkid

Woodkid has the type of music perfect for the background of an action/adventure movie.  My favorite of his in Conquest of Spaces.

 

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Honeywater

Honeywater is my go-to whenever I want something relaxing that can put me to sleep.  My favorites of theirs are Southern Wild and Evergreen.

 

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Zella Day

I love Zella Day’s sound.  I have yet to explore more of her music, but my current favorites are Compass and East of Eden.

 

& that’s about it!  I listen to many other artists and types of sounds, but these are my favorites.  If you share a love of any of these artists with me, comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nobody can tell you how to live reality

Recently, I was with a close friend of mine and she made a comment about my life that didn’t bother me in the moment, but later on I realized how offensive it was.  I confided in my mom about it, and she looked at me and said, “You cannot let anyone tell you how to live your reality.” Those words struck me, hard.

There is no one way to live life.  Everyone’s paths are different; no two should be identical.  And it is none of your business to inform people on how they should live theres.

Now, I’m Christian, and I believe in envangelizing, and have a set of moral and spiritual beliefs that I wish everyone could live by.  The decisions I’m talking about are more neutral; ones in which someone could go harmlessly either way. For instance, college. College is for some people, while it isn’t for others.  I wouldn’t disagree with someone’s decision not to go to college, if they had others means of supporting themself in life.

So I’ve realized not to give people the power of telling me how I should live my reality.  And frankly, telling them to back off.  It’s something I’m trying to get better at.

Why I march.

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Now let me start off by saying this: this topic is controversial.  It may or may not offend somebody.
But I don’t care.  I don’t care because everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and this is mine.  I share my beliefs and opinions in a respectful manner.  I don’t bash or tear apart anybody else who thinks differently than me.  So I ask you do the same.
I’ve felt hesitant to share my views on touchy subjects like these, especially with all the hated and controversy going on this time in history.  But I don’t want to feel that way anymore.  So if you don’t like what I have to say, simply click out.  It’s that easy.

I don’t share a lot of my own personal beliefs, but with the annual March for Life approaching in two days, I had a strong desire to talk about it and share my thoughts.  I think it’s important, especially as it concerns human life.

I’ve attended the March for Life almost every year since I was a child.  It’s a powerful experience to walk down streets that have been shut down because so many people are marching, and hear talks given over loudspeakers to thousands.  To march for hours despite the cold, bad weather, and frozen feet.  To unite with people from all over-young and old, local and international-to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.  To raise voices together, to chant together, to sing together, to shout together.

It’s an incredible feeling to be part of something much bigger than yourself, fighting together for a common cause.  I feel so proud knowing I’m part of it.

In Poland this summer I visited the concentration camp of Auschwitz.  As I walked along the roads, and read the descriptions of the numerous tortures and killings that went in the camp, everyone was silent.  The feel of the place was eerie and dark.
And that’s when it hit me:
this is going on today.  And it’s happening right under our noses.
Thousands of people are getting killed every day.  It’s mass murder.  It doesn’t matter if it’s freely permitted by somebody, it’s still mass murder.
This is what happened with the Jews.  With the Aztecs.  And now today, in the 21st century.
Only now, it’s hushed.  It’s taboo.  It’s controversial.
But should it be, when human rights are concerned?

So that’s why I march.  To stand up for innocent people.  To raise awareness, and to spread the word.  I know that even if abortion doesn’t end in my lifetime, I did something to  contribute to the end of it, even if it was small.
If you’ve never attended the March for Life in D.C. before, and live a reasonable distance from it, I would highly recommend attending.  It’s a powerful experience.
And I look forward to marching over and over again, as long as it is necessary.

2016.

 

Wow, this year passed like a whirlwind.
I’m not one for overly cheesy yearly recaps, but 2016 deserves a review.

2016 was one of the best, if not best, years for me since my childhood years.  There were some bumps in the road, and rough lows, but that’s a guarantee.  No picture perfect, polished year exists.
2016 was a year of growth for me.  I did things I never thought I would, like getting the chance to attend World Youth Day and travel Europe, and get my license.
I’m glad for all the yes’s God answered me, and all the no’s.  I’m glad for the ups and downs; I’m thankful for it all.
Life isn’t easy.  Life is a difficult, emotional, turbulent, beautiful ride.  I’m glad God created me for it.  And I believe everyone should feel that way, too.

I don’t have “new year’s resolutions”; I see them more as yearly goals.  My goals this year are to be selfish, and be content.

Selfish not in a self-centered way, but in a self-loving way.  I no longer want to give of myself to people who abuse that, or don’t reciprocate.  My guard against those kind of people will be higher than ever, because I am tired of being knocked down when I’ve only ever had good intentions.
I don’t want to be a marionette, altering myself to be what or who I think others would want me to be.

I have a good feeling about this year.  I have a feeling God is going to shake the whole world.
So here’s to 2017.  I’m ready for you.

 

 

I’m not fearless.

Have you ever wondered whether there is a difference between the words “brave” and “fearless?”
I always used to think they were alike, but only somewhat recently did I realize that they were opposites.  I used to strive to be fearless once, but now all I strive to be is brave.

To me, the word “fearless” is an absence of fear.  That you aren’t held back by any fear whatsoever, and are free to do whatever you want to do.  It used to be my goal to be fearless, and I thought it was something high to attain that would take years to master.
That’s when I realized what I should have been reaching for all along was bravery.
To me, “brave” doesn’t mean an absence of fear, but a choice.  A choice to push on and do whatever you are setting out to do, even if you are terrified or shaking in your feet or clouded by doubts.
Brave is a choice to push past these feelings and decide that what you want is bigger than your fears.

So I have let go of trying to be fearless.  There are choices I make in which I am afraid, but despite that, I push on, because I know it will be worth it.
Bravery can come in all forms, big or small, whether it’s going up to a stranger and saying hi, or leaving everything you know and moving across the country for college.
Personally, one of my bravest moments was deciding to go on a month long pilgrimage this past summer.  Although I knew people going, and was excited at the idea of traveling different countries, anxiety put a raincloud over me until it was hard to concentrate on anything else.  To lots of people the situation would just be exciting, but to me it was one big anxiety trigger.  But despite all that, I didn’t let my fears and anxieties hold me back.  I pushed past and was able to go and have some of the best experiences of my life.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with trying to eliminate fears.  But it can be unrealistic to try to force yourself to not be afraid, and have no fears, for something scary.  I see bravery as the alternate of taking a deep breath and saying, “I’m afraid, but that’s ok.  I can do this.”
So next time you are faced with the prospect of doing something but you are afraid, be brave.

Alive.

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I was created to be alive.

With every first breath in the morning-eyes fluttering open, hands stretched high, mouth twisted in a yawn.  The signal that I have made it through the night to live in another day. We have no guarantee of tomorrow, but we still set alarms.

With every stomach-knotting laugh, so deep in love with life and it’s moments it feels as though every fiber of your being is getting pulled.
With every beautiful person-the stranger who offers a smile, the faithful friend who holds your hand amidst the storm you are weathering.
With every mistake and wrongdoing- when words fly out of mouths unhinged, when yelling becomes the only form of communication because all words have run dry.
With every accomplishment-hands held high, shrieking in joy after winning the game.  Smile spread wide after seeing the A you poured night upon night of studying a textbook for.
With every tear.  Tears of happiness when you look in the mirror and realize you’ve recovered.  Tears of pain.  Silent sobs into a pillow, and stomach-churning sobs, sliding down your bedroom door, when the only thing you can see is darkness.

With every heartbeat, heartbreak.  Knowing they are yours, and the realization of simply thinking they were.

No, I was not created to be stagnant.  I was not created for comfort.  I was not created for only the good.  I was created for the ups and downs, highs and lows, hills and mountains.

I was created to be alive.

Our weaknesses can be our strengths

The other day I was scrolling on the internet, and stumbled across something that put my mindset in a new perspective.  It was a chart listing several mental disorders, and then listing the “strengths” that these disorders bring.
Those with depression tend to score higher on tests, as they have a strong sense of realism.  Those with ADHD can thrive better in disruptive environments.  Those with anxiety have high levels of empathy.

It got me thinking, many view their problems as simply negative, but what if they don’t have to be just that?  What if problems bring their upsides, that one couldn’t have otherwise?
What if the key to dealing with your problems is to use them to your advantage?

This chart doesn’t just have to apply to disorders, but to personalities and characters as well.  I think of it as a scale.  Each personality has its individual strengths and weaknesses, and they balance each other out.  Maybe the reason why so many people have low self esteem is that they focus only on the weaknesses, and don’t pay attention or nurture the strengths.
For example, if you are a person who has a quick temper, and only see yourself as a person who gets angered easily, maybe you aren’t looking at the whole picture.  Underneath this anger may be a strong dislike toward wrongs and injustices, and desiring to change them.  Or maybe you view your quietness as a flaw, but don’t see the considerate, thoughtful nature this can bring.  For myself personally, because of my anxiety, I can be very empathetic and considerate, and easily understand other people’s pain.  So maybe instead of simply viewing your problems as problems, maybe the solution is to view them as something like a secret ally.  This doesn’t mean your struggles will simply be erased.  But looking at your problems through these lens, and nurturing these “upside” traits, can bring you a newfound strength.

positivity: optimist vs. pessimist

One thing I’ve come to realize about myself is that I’m not naturally a positive person.  I’m not the kind of person that walks into a room and brings everyone down with my negativity, or a constant whiner and complainer.  But I’ve always viewed the world in a glass half-empty type of way.  I’m a big realist, and tend to focus on the bad, and often only the bad.
But recently this has shifted.  I’ve come to “learn” positivity.  It’s not something that I naturally turn to, but it’s something I’ve taught myself to do and it’s become more natural over time.  While I may focus on negativity, and be sucked into a downward spiral, I  can now pull myself out of it easier.  I can deal with tough situations with a newfound hope and positivity.  I can find the silver lining.
I’ve also come to realize how much I dislike unnecessary negative people.  I always have, but recently it’s been something I’ve found I especially dislike.  I don’t have time for those who constantly complain and bring others down with their pessimism, especially about trivial things that don’t affect the grand scheme of life.   I’m happy with my progress and where I am now.  Because how I see it is this: you can find a 100 bad things about the world, but you can also fine 100 good.

10 things I learnt from a month long pilgrimage

imageHeeyyya everyone!

So I got back from Europe the 22nd of August.  It was SUCH an amazing experience, and something I know I’ll never forgot.  I’m so blessed to have gone, and seen and done all that I did.
I wanted to share 10 things I learnt from my experience.  (May sound like I put a lot of thought into it, but it reality it was a list I whipped up on my phone during a bus ride.)

 

  1. You can’t control everything, and that’s ok.  Life is not meant to be lived with full preparation, and it’s not meant to be perfect.

2.  You can only achieve greatness in life outside of your comfort zone.

3.  Don’t judge people by their covers.  They can surprise you and be something       completely different than you thought.  Get the chance to actually know them.

4.  Fully trusting in God can be very difficult, but it is something worthwhile that will carry you throughout life.  Learn to do it now.

5.  Don’t be afraid to show your imperfect, quirky side to people.  People gravitate toward genuineness and honesty, and if you show that side of yourself, chances are people will appreciate that more than the constantly put together, perfect person.

6.  Reach out to people.  Just say hi.  You never know what that can lead to.  It doesn’t necessarily have to lead to something big, but sometimes it can lead to lifelong friendships.

7.  Live in the moment.  Don’t be afraid to understand every detail of a building, or to take the perfect pictures.  Just soak in the moment as it is.

8.  Knowledge is power.  Learn as much as you can about the sites you’re visiting, and pay attention to the small details no one else does.  Really listen to the tour guide.  Take your time.

9.  Don’t be disappointed; everything happens for a reason.  Not getting into a museum or rooming with your friends is sometimes the very thing that’s supposed to happen.  Trust in God’s plan.

10.  Don’t be worried about remembering every detail of the trip, or documenting every single thing down.  Years from now, looking back on your experience, the little details won’t matter, the memories will.

 

~B

 

 

 

 

Wisteria Tag

Grace {Pens and Castles on a Cloud} and Leah {melodypensandtea} both nominated me for the Wisteria Tag.  Thank you, both!  I’m going to be answering both of their questions.

Grace’s questions:

Do you write for yourself or others?
Definitely myself.  My writing isn’t the same if I think too much about other people reading it.

Who has helped you improve your writing?
I guess I would have to say my composition teachers, specifically my 6th and 7th grade composition teacher.  I learnt so much from her, and through her I really discovered my love of writing.

Name three books that have been central in your writing (as in, they inspired you to write, or write a specific story, etc.)
Agh, this is such a hard question.  I would have to say mainly the classics, because I grew up reading them.  Lemony Snicket’s books have also been a big inspiration.

What is your least favorite genre and why?
Hmm…probably paranormal romance.

If you could, would you try to change the landscape for young adult novels of this generation? How? (if this question is confusing: the norms of young adult novels today are pretty obvious–would you want to change them with your writing and how?)
Agh, there are so many things…one of the biggest things for me is the teens vs. government cliché, with teens=good and adults=bad.  I get this works in some YA, but I wish more of them were not just black and white.  I like the YA books that aren’t clear as to which side is the right side, and has heroes with major flaws and villians with redeeming qualities.  It’s just realistic to how life really is.

If you could write/collaborate on a novel with one author, who would it be?
Lemony Snicket.  Enough said. xD

What’s your writing process?
I always start out writing on paper.  If it’s a story/other work, I’ll write out my ideas and rough outline on paper, then type.  If it’s poetry, I keep it all on paper, unless I want to type it up.  I’m a big perfectionist, so I usually write tonss of rewrites before I get the final draft.

What do you do to get out of writer’s block?
I don’t write.  I just go out and try to find inspiration elsewhere, like nature or just going about my day.  I know something will come to me eventually if I just let it happen naturally and try not to force it.

Do you like to listen to music when you write? Why or why not?
I’ll listen to music on rare occasions, and the only kind I can listen to is instrumental.

How has writing changed your life (if it has–and it’s OK if it hasn’t!)?
Writing has gotten me through so much.  Being able to put my thoughts feelings down on paper-or type them up-is really therapeutic for me.  It helps me to express everything I couldn’t otherwise get out.

Leah’s questions:

What keeps you writing in spite of everything?
It helps me to grow and understand things in life better, so I’ll remind myself that.

Did you always love writing?
Yes!  I pretty much always have.

Favorite/recurring theme you enjoy writing about?
People, most definitely.

Poetry/prose or creative non-fiction: which do you prefer write? Which do you prefer to read?
I love writing both poetry and  creative fiction, and reading them, but my top choice would have to be creative fiction.

What in nature inspires you?
Everything!  Everything and anything about it inspires me.

Are there any musicians who inspire your writing?
Not really…I wouldn’t say my writing is inspired by any specific musicians, although Pink has been a recent inspiration.  I get inspired by musicians that are really honest in their music.

Favorite poet, and why?
I can’t choose just one!  One of my top favorites though is Virginia Woolf.

Least favorite book you’ve read?
At the time (I probably wouldn’t feel the same way now) it was Heidi, when I had to read it for school a couple years ago.  For some reason I couldn’t stand the book and Heidi’s character.  I actually didn’t read the last chapter of the book because I was so done with it and hated it so much, haha.

Do you like typewriters? Do you, or does anyone you know own one?
YES and yes.  I would absolutely love to own one.

How do the current events influence your writing, or even just your thoughts?
I was trying to come up with a good answer for this one, and then I read Madison’s  answer for this question, and it put my thoughts into words perfectly.  So I’m going to steal her answer. 🙂
“Current events only affect my writing in the sense that I like to touch up on the subject of people; I feel if I get anymore in depth with what inspired me to write my posts, things get too opinionated or political. Especially with what has been happening this year. As far as my thoughts influencing my writing.. Well all I ever write is my thoughts, so you could say they are a very big influence. If I’m not thinking about anything, I don’t write. If I am thinking about something, you’ll find me clacking away at my keyboard.”

Well, that’s it!  I know I’m supposed to tag 10 people to do this, but everyone I know has already done this tag…so I’m not going to tag anyone.  (Sorryyy.)

Thanks for reading! 🙂

~B