Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oh Life... is just one of those days when I am just feeling everything. I am putting it off as being utterly tired...which I am since I have worked a million shifts (and am right now) in the past 2 days and have had very little sleep.

But I'm feeling everything. Music is hitting me hard. It's giving me things to think about, emotions I don't let myself feel very often. I can't say I am depressed (though I had one of those days majorly on Wednesday) but I think it's more of me putting my heart on my sleeve.

I keep thinking about the past today. I keep thinking of my mother. Tomorrow is her birthday, she would have been 55 years old. I keep thinking if I am making her proud. If I am making the right decisions in my life. I keep second guessing myself. I'm not a fan of second guessing myself. But I think of her, and how wonderful she was and strong, and wonder if I am half the woman she was. I just want to make her proud with everything I do.

But I worry. I worry that I making the wrong choices in my life. And I can't help but really think of her at this time of the month. As I told several people, February is probably the 2nd worst month of the year for me after December. Why? Because both of my parent's birthday's are in this the same week actually. My mother would have been 55 tomorrow. My father would have been 64 on Wednesday. I know, I joke sometimes because my father was born on leap really he would be 16 years old on Wednesday, but it still doesn't stop the ache in my heart.

I don't think that many understand how that ache could be there for him. Yes, my father made some pretty horrible choices in his life, and ended up in prison when I was a very young child. But my father was smart. He had a brain that could do many things...and he wasted it. I say that he wasted it because the father I knew was the one who sat at home all day and did nothing. He was lazy. But he was smart and he loved me and my brother. He really did. And I think the moment that he made the decision that changed the rest of our lives forever, he was afraid of losing us. I remember him asking for us, he didn't want to take the chance of my brother and I being taken from his life, so he acted rashly.

The ache that I have is because I didn't really know my father well enough. I never got to really get to know him, and when I had the chance, I didn't have the attitude where I understood what he did. I thought at the time I went to see him in Florida that he had wanted to ruin our lives. I was angry for what he did.

Hindsight is always 20/ they say.

This week of the year always hurts for me because of the fact that I don't have either of them. I have this reminder that if they were alive, we would probably go out to dinner. We would probably share a few drinks now that I was 21. We would probably catch up on life. We would probably have a grand ole time. I'm sure mom would probably go out to Ponderosa and get her double order of sirloin tips.

But instead, I just get to wish them happy birthday in my own small way, speaking to them, and wish they were here.

Memories, memories are interesting things. I think the reason I love the human mind so much is because it confuses me in so many ways. The brain is an enigma. How can one have something in the past come up so easily, and you feel everything you felt in that moment? I will always have those memories, as scars on my heart. And there will be times when they come popping back up. My dreams have been especially vivid lately, and last night I dreamed of a relationship gone. And when I awoke in tears, I remembered that yes, Sam is dead...but I have Kevin and I am so happy to have him.

I feel so vulnerable to the world today. And I am remembering so many things, and how I felt when those moments happened. It's been interesting. As I sit here at the front desk, I attempt to keep myself together. Tell myself it was the past. That I need to let it go.

But how do you let go of something that was so important to you at one point? I can forget my parents, I can't forget Sam. I can't let that cease to be a part of me. I carry them in my heart. Their memories, the feeling of their hugs, the sound of their laughter, the look of their smiles; they are there to stay. I just need to find newer and happier memories to keep me occupied for awhile. And I need to stop holding it all in all the time.

I guess I'm so afraid of being a burden on others. I don't want to bring them down. I'm a people pleaser. So, I keep all these emotions in, put on my smile, make it seem like everything is going to be alright. Yes, I have a control over my life now that I didn't have before but I don't have all the answers. I'm still blundering at times. All the time actually. But, I need to let some of it out. I know that I have Kevin and he would do anything for me and he gets frustrated because I don't let him in. But it's hard for me. I've been alone and doing all this by myself for so long. It's all become a habit.

It's not saying that I'm not trying. Oh, I try so hard. But I second guess myself. One thing that got ingrained at Uncle Dave and Aunt Debbie's was to formulate what I said carefully. I had to say it in a way so that I didn't get yelled at, or a look. So I would second guess myself. Then I would think about how to phrase it and beat myself up. Finally, about 80% of the time, I never asked. Why? Because I was afraid of them. I didn't want them to think I was weak. So I turned down offers, I told people I was busy, and I never asked.

And today, I do the same thing. I still filter what I say. I keep the serious stuff in my head. I don't lay it out there for those who I know care enough to listen to it. That was always something I did with my mother. We had those serious conversations all the time. And I miss that. She was the only person I was never really guarded with.

Just another thing for me to work on.

All-in-all, I'm being emotional Amelia who's just trying to figure out this crazy world.

1. Here Without You- 3 Doors Down
2. Ballad of Mona Lisa- Panic! at the Disco
3. The Fighter- The Fray
4. Us Against the World- Coldplay
5. Little Lion Man- Mumford & Sons
6. Monsoon- Tokio Hotel
7. Where We Belong- Thriving Ivory

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thoughts and Updates

"People throw rocks at things that shine,"

I saw this quote today, and it sparked an interest in me. You see these shining souls, these beautiful people who give you hope for the world. Then you hear things about these people, you hear about struggles, things that others have done to them, and it makes you sad.

Our world is a jealous place. When someone is jealous of another, of how strong they are, of how lucky they are, of how beautiful they are; they will try to bring them down. They will throw "rocks" no matter if it is in a literal or general sense. They may start rumors. They may deceive these people. They may work hard to make their lives a living Hell.

But it's those people who at least attempt to dodge the rocks. Those who don't let those who want to bring them down, conquer them, who are the beautiful ones. Stones go through lots of trials. They are dropped, rolled, run over, hit, washed away...but in the end they become beautiful and smooth. All those imperfections and pains are taken away and they become beautiful.

No matter what kind of trials may come your way, things that people say to belittle you, things that others do that make you momentarily unhappy; remember that it doesn't last. I am also a big believer in karma, and I believe that in the end, they will get what they give. Which means, in the end, they will not be rewarded for trying to make your life harder. Just hang in there one more day.

Let yourself shine. Be beautiful. Live you life. Don't let anything hold you back!


So I know I haven't really written about my life as of late on here...sorry for that. Life has been school, work, trying to find time to spend with Kevin and seeing my friends on the side...with very little sleep. It has been interesting. On Valentine's Day, Kevin delivered flowers and chocolates while I was at work (such a charmer) and took me out to dinner and to see The Vow. I tried to not be that girlfriend who made him see a chick flick, but he insisted. Three days later we celebrated our 2 months of being together, he makes me so happy.

This past weekend I went to Grand Rapids to see my friend Katrina. My friends Zac, Hoffa and Jessica joined me for the epicness and it was quite fun. It was a weekend full of much walking (I'm still recovering), lots of laughter (my ribs hurt so bad!) and so much fun. It even included an acapella version of Bohemian Rhapsody at 2 am...with harmonies. We are awesome.

Other than that, I've been trying to stay healthy (colds have come and go quite often) and tried to keep myself from going crazy basically. I am in the A/B range in all my classes still (WOO!) so I'm happy about that and I am enjoying this schedule for the most part this semester. Life is good. Spring Break is next week. I need a breather!

1. Stereo Hearts- Adam Levin with Gym Class Heroes
2. Cinema- Benni Benassi (Skrillex remix)
3. Numb- Linkin Park
4. Forever My Father- Go Radio
5. Munich- The Fray
6. My Name is Skrillex- Skrillex
7. Solas Ane- Samuel Hazo
8. If Today Was Your Last Day- Nickleback

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Power of Music

I think a lot of people discount the power that music can have over an individual. Music is a curious thing. For those who take the time to listen to it, get lost in it, read into the lyrics, live it; they find their lives are expanded in new ways. The arts, of all kinds, are amazing things. They help get out emotions that sometimes words can't describe, even in normal ways. Music is an art.

For me, music is my art of choice. Yes, I can draw, but I don't see myself as an artist. I don't think I am accomplished when it comes to the use of a pencil to draw, or paints to paint. Music is something that I can do and it is something I have done for many years now.

When my mother was sick and we were dealing with a lot at home, she bought me a clarinet. I wanted to be in the school band, I wanted to play an instrument, and she supported that. She did everything she could to get me my instrument and by the time I was in middle school, it was my instrument. I loved it. Me and the clarinet were best of friends.

My clarinet has, over the years, seen many tears, shaken in my hands when I was angry and dealt with lots of my pain, both physical and emotional. My clarinet was my outlet to get out all the feelings I was dealing with. I would spend hours playing my clarinet, trying new things, putting all my emotion out through that instrument. Some people meditate to calm down, I played my clarinet. To me, at the end of each practice session, I was 100% calmer and more clear-headed. I learned when I lived with Uncle Dave and Aunt Deb that they would leave me alone when I was playing my instrument, so that's what I did...a lot.

So it seemed natural when I went to college that I wanted to pursue music. But after my jaw surgery, I had to wait a semester to pick up the clarinet. And I was excited to do it. But as my second semester waned down, life was getting hectic and I was forced to play the clarinet....I started to hate it. And I put it down for awhile, changed my major and quit. After the loss of Sam, I couldn't keep it down. At the end of summer 2009, I picked it up again, started in the band at UM and learned the joy again.

But it just wasn't instrumental music that got me through everything. Instrumental music was "instrumental" in my love for all music in general. My mother always had a love for music. For my childhood, we would sing in the car. These moments were some of my most favorite, just mom and me, singing at the top of our lungs, in the car driving down the road.

But over the years, there are songs that have changed my life. It may seem weird to some that a song can change a life, but it really can. When musicians write a song, they have reasons, and those songs can strike a chord in the many fans that they have. They can keep someone going for one more day. They can give life. I think that the enjoyment and the emotion someone feels by a song may be perfectly selfish, but if it inspires you, be selfish.

Never Too Late: I remember when I found this song. I actually saw this video first. I was in a dark place in high school, I was depressed, but I hid it well. And this song played to my dark soul at the time. When I found this video, it was the summer and I was home alone. I couldn't go anywhere because I felt like I was a prisoner. This song, when I heard it, gave me the hope to keep going, that I would eventually escape from what was holding me back. I watched it on repeat on our Video On Demand a lot that day.

The Crow and the Butterfly: Oh this song. This song. The memories. When Shinedown released this album, it was spring 2009. I was once again in a dark place. I lost a lot of friends. But then I was in love and Sam, well Sam loved Shinedown. So we spent a lot of time listening to this album and all the others. One moment I will always remember, we were together, and he put his hand on my heart and said, "I am the crow, and you are the butterfly. I will always chase you as long as I need to." We considered this our song and loved it. But as tragic as it is, our love story was much the same. For months after his death, I would listen to this song and believe he was the "butterfly." I now come to believe that he was right and that in the end, I found the real person I was supposed to be with. My next tattoo will be using this song as symbolism. Summer 2009 was one of the best but also one of the worst summers of my life. Life changing. That is really what it was.
How to Save a Life: When this album came out, I didn't know who the heck The Fray was. But then I got the CD from my friend Emily for Christmas and I was in love. I listened to it to no end. And this song, well it kept me going in high school. The whole CD did really. It's funny how certain artists wiggle their way in there and you'll always love their music. Their albums, every single one of them, has been so legitimate to my life. The first one, songs about escape, came out when I was trying to leave home. "The Fray," came out when I was depressed, in early 2009 and they were songs I listened to when I was alone in my room. And now, "Scars and Stories" that came out on Tuesday has a lot of songs about love and being in love and people being there...well it just explains my life. I love the power of music!
The Dance: This song always makes me think of my mother and the strength that she has given me, even if she never knew. This song is about living life, being in love, dealing with loss. This song is me. "I could've missed the pain, but I'd've had to miss the dance."

Open Up Your Eyes: There are very few that will ever know the symbolism behind this song for me. All I can really say is it came out July 14th, 2009. Sam bought me the CD and this song was playing at a very important and wonderful moment in that summer several days later. For those who know, be lucky you know. And for those who don't know, just know that that moment changed my life, began it in essence, and it is a moment I won't forget. Ever.
Viva La Vida: Viva la vida means "long live life" in Spanish. This song reminds me of senior summer. The summer after I graduated when the world was at my fingertips and life was crazy. I was free from life really throwing hard blows. I remember I got my license that summer, and I was told I couldn't listen to music when I was driving. Did I listen? No, of course not. I had a CD that started with this song and I would get a mile from home, put it in, turn it up and jam. I remember this song as the soundtrack of that summer for me. And I remember how free the whole CD made me feel. Coldplay will always have a special place in my heart for making me feel free, no matter what I am dealing with. When I wasn't letting myself be depressed about things and listening to music that got me there, I would listen to Coldplay. They would lighten my mood and give me hope. This song always brings a smile to my face. Always.

Music is important. It is something I will instill in my children when I have them. I will show them the love, the beauty and the meaning of what is music. Music saved me. Music kept me going. Music was the biggest gift I have ever and will ever be given.

Oh...and my music this morning, since I don't feel the need to list them, I'll leave you videos so YOU can listen. It's all the new album by the Fray, bear with me haha:
Heartbeat- The Fray
The Fighter
Turn Me On
Run For Your Life
The Wind
I Can Barely Say
Here We Are
48 to Go
Rainy Zurich and:
Be Still

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Rant About Being Human

One of the most frustrating things about being human is how confusing we can all be. How one person is totally different than the other in what they like, feel, how they act...all of it. And because of these differences we are so apt to judge someone so very fast.

It's true, we don't take the time to get to know others before we make decisions on their character. We write people off long before we really get to know who they are, and it is really sad. Our inherent decision to judge someone by the way they look or what they say the first time we meet them makes our race, our being, so superficial.

I'm not saying that I don't do this. It's something that is inbred into all of us. Some do it more than others, but I know that in the past few years, I have done it less and less. Why? Because people are so interesting. It's those differences in others that are so much fun to learn about and meet. Enriching your life with the lives of others is a gift that many have yet to receive, but when you realize its potential and how awesome it is, well, you'll never be the same again.

I think one of the reasons we judge so easy is because we want to protect ourselves. I know how that is. I have be judged by others all my life. I have been written off as "the fat girl," "oh, she doesn't have money so she can't wear cool clothes so she's not worth our time," "She's just weird," "she's just a geek." All of them. And I'm not going to sit here and say that I am not any of these people. Yes, I am overweight. Yes, I grew up in a household where my mother was barely hanging on at times. Yes, I have some quirks. And yes, I am a geek, but you know what, I am proud of that.

But I hated it when people thought things about me. I hated it when people judged me. Heck, to this day I still try to please everyone as much as possible. But why? All this extra energy I put into making everything wonderful can get exhausting. There are few people, who I consider myself closest to, that I don't try to please, because they love me for being me and I can be me when I am with them. These are the people who no longer judge me.

It is hard to stop judging and to sit and learn. Over the past few years, I have found that meeting someone for the first time, I like to get to know a little about them before I decide anything. I like to learn what they like, what they hate, what makes them tick. People are fascinating. I can't say that enough. 

Behind my smile is a complicated being. For those who really know me, well they totally understand what I mean by that. Yes, I have a relatively optimistic attitude. I am a big smiler. I like to make someone else's day by just sharing a smile, a laugh, a moment; I feed off of it. But I wasn't always the "happy" person that I portray with my smile. Heck, I still have days now where I put the smile on because I don't want to bring people down to the levels that my brain puts me through all the time. I always say this, but I have not had an easy life. True facts. And in each part of my life so far, I have been dealing with problems that are far more complicated than most of those my age.

And this made me misunderstood. I had no control over my life at home, the things that were happening and I couldn't do anything about it. So I put a smile on, put it aside for the time being when I was away, and just kept going. I learned early not to dwell on it all. If I dwelt on it, I would destroy myself, and I didn't like feeling the negative emotions that thought left me.

But in the end, I learned that some thought was needed. I remember the day after my mother's funeral, I returned to school with a relative okay disposition. Not because the day before was one of the worst and more traumatic (what 14 year old wants to say goodbye to their mother forever?) but because I knew what I had to do. I had to do well in school, graduate, move on in life. My mother was gone, there was nothing I could do about it. I was put in a house I felt unwelcome in. There was nothing I could do about it at the time. My life felt like it was falling apart with no end around me, but I could change things, as long as I didn't cave.

So I was misunderstood. People didn't know what was going on at home. They didn't know the pain, the emotions, the hardships I was dealing with basically by myself. So many of them saw me as the mask I portrayed. So they wrote me off, made verbal abuses that did hurt at times, spread rumors, made my life at school, which was something I could control, harder. But, like everything else I've ever done in my life, I finished.

And now, years later, there are some who have come forward with apologies. They realized how wrong they were about me. They heard the truths, the hardships that as a teenager I shouldn't have had to deal with, and they apologized. I could have been bitter. I could have not accepted the apologies. But, I also realize that as teenagers, we don't get to know people like we should. As we grow, many of us will mature into wonderful people of our society, and we find the error in our ways. I forgive because I also know they aren't the same person they were 4 years ago.

And some of these people are now some very good friends.

And for the rest. They will probably never see the error of their ways. I don't expect to ever hear an apology from the lips of many of them. But, I am okay with that. "How small are we mortals who walk the Earth throwing stones at one another." There will always be people throwing stones. It's those who no longer let the stones do more than hurt for a second that are the strongest. Those who will throw the stones will always be bullies and not people you want to associate with.

So I have a challenge for you. Meet someone new today, introduce yourself to someone you never thought you would. Have a seat, ask them about themselves. Us humans love talking about ourselves. Learn something from them. Learn who they are, what made them who they are. People are interesting you just have to take the time to learn about them. You may learn something about yourself, and meet someone that will become a better friend than you'll ever imagine.

I've never regretted it.

1. The Girl- City and Colour
2. Sex on Fire- Kings of Leon
3. Syndicate- The Fray
4. The Lightning Strike- Snow Patrol
5. Blindsided- Bon Iver
6. Bird Stealing Bread- Iron & Wine
7. Detlef Schrempf- Band of Horses
8. Waiting...- City and Colour
9. No Sunlight- Death Cab for Cutie
10. We Build Then We Break- The Fray

P.S. The Fray's new album came out today. I am so getting it after class. *le geekout*

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I am an Unconquerable Soul

Things aren't perfect.

Life isn't perfect.

This I can tell you is true.

But in the morning when you wake, are you thankful?

Do you realize that you have been given a gift everyday?

You're alive.


Go make memories and do things you'll be proud of.

Don't let the shit keep you down.

Realize how lucky you are.

No matter what.

I am an unconquerable soul.

A incurable optimist.

And that will never change.

Let the sun into your life and keep it there.

You won't ever regret that decision.

And be spontaneous today.

Do something you wouldn't normally do.

Drive a different way home.

Find some adventure.

Stop waiting.

Tell those you love that you love them.

And don't regret the past because its the past.

You can't change that.

And live.

And I mean truly live.

1. Who You'd Be Today- Kenny Chesney
2. Awake My Soul- Mumford & Sons
3. Iris- Boyce Avenue