Music Recognition Monday

What do we have here? A Music Recognition Monday?!

Welp. I hinted to this in my last post, folks. I have taken it upon myself, in my oh-so-generous Hannah way, to come up with a playlist of some underrated but insanely talented people that make music extraordinary. This playlist is filled with some of my favorites recently (not all of them, of course. If I did all of them at once I’d have no second installation of Music Recognition Sunday, next week, now would I)?

I don’t know if you guys knew this, but music is very important to me. It’s always been something I’ve grown up with. It always makes the bad days tolerable and the good day even better! It’s truly a form of expression that is marvelous at its core. Somehow, these particular sounds travel through our ears to our eardrums and then our brains are like, “Yup. I like that combination of noises” ?? Crazy!

But, seriously. The generic mindless party music that tend to be on the radio more than other deserving songs, ain’t cutting it for me. Most of them are not music at its core, music at its best. I mean, there are so many genius artists’ music that never end up on the radio, but are still adored by many. They’re original! That’s what this whole post is focusing on! The music that’s at a coolness level even the radio can’t take.

And no worries! I have a really unique and well-rounded music taste, so if one of these songs aren’t your cup of tea, that’s fine, maybe the next song on the list will be! I like all kinds of music, so you may just find one of your new favorites in the playlists of these Music Recognition Mondays!

I’ll give you guys 20 songs to stew on for the week ūüôā So try giving each of these songs a good listening to, and I’ll come up with another Music Appreciation Monday in time for next week! Let me know if you like this concept and what great artists you guys like to listen to, too!

Till next time,

Hannah

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The Company We Keep

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the many harsh yet valuable lessons I’ve learned over the course of my years on this big swirling green and blue rock called Earth. One specific lesson that has come to mind lately has been the importance of the people you choose to hang around with, and the importance that they are quality humans.

I mean, in my wise old age of 17 and three quarters I’m pretty much a life expert by now, right? I never make ANY mistakes. Whew- just at the top of my game. (I sure hope you get sarcasm).

But, in all honesty, I don’t think anyone is an “expert” on life from the get-go. You learn as you live, from experience, from happiness, from struggle, from basically everything you go through. You just grow, (if you’re open to growing). And, most importantly, if a lesson you’ve learned could help someone out, don’t hesitate to pass it along the line!

What has become so much clearer to me over the years, is what a HUGE¬†roll the people in our everyday life play. Yes, that’s right! Your parents, your friends, your teachers, that weird mailman that gives you your Kohls coupons in the mail… they all matter. A lot more than we usually recognize.

I have heard once that you become most like the five people closest to you. Whether that be mannerisms, habits, speech, attitude, worldview, positivity..you name it. It may be a saying that holds no real scientific research or discovery, but I have noticed how much it rings true to life.

It’s not an instant change. Usually, it’s not a conscious change. either. It’s a gradual thing, that makes you look back and think to yourself, “Woah. I’m kinda different.” Essentially, what it boils down to is a little word called growth. As humans we are¬†always soaking in what’s around us. You’ve heard how kids are “sponges” because of that very reason. I have the firm belief that we never grow out of the “sponge” stage. Everything we choose to take part in, the people we choose as our friends, the family we have, the movies we watch, the music we listen to ALL affect us as humans, whether we realize it or not.

It can either be growth into a well-rounded person, a productive citizen, a wise individual..Or it could be growth backwards, in areas that are destructive. That’s why we have to choose carefully, and guard ourselves from this. We have to remember who we are.

I had a friend. Let’s call them “Vince”… and Vince was a friend from childhood. I’ve always known Vince, always loved them like family. Vince and I were super tight. Vince was motivated, fun, and had lots of potential for the future, but kind of had the tendency to follow the crowd. Well, Vince started hanging out with some people that weren’t the best. And the changes started, little by little. First, Vince started swearing more (no judgement to anyone who swears…This just really wasn’t at all like Vince). And I think “Ok. That’s kind of weird and unexpected of them.” Then the other seemingly little things started to change, too. The movies and the shows and the music they listen to change. Then, the wild behavior started (recorded on social media, to make things worse) and I got worried (May I also add we are also teenagers). I told them lovingly, what’s going on, Vince? This isn’t like you. Are you okay? Vince said they were fine. Things go on, and eventually I confront Vince in the continued behavior that was happening, in a loving but firm way.

But Vince, instead of seeing the concern and the love of a friend, took everyone’s concern as judgement, clinging even closer to the other friends that were fostering this destructive behavior.

This was over the course of¬†one year. It was a complete 180 from the “Vince” I knew all my life.

We need to be careful. This is a great illustration to hold tight to, to remind you just how important it is for you to choose those who will lift you up, to spend your life around. You need good friends, ones who aren’t just there for the next drink, but who are there for the ups and downs. Who aren’t afraid to tell you how things are, who will hold you accountable, and will love you through your struggle.

Although, there are other aspects to what I’m speaking of. It may not be that the people around you are leading you in the wrong direction, like Vince’s friends. It may be that the people around you are sources of negativity to you. Either way, this is harmful.

It’s harder if people that you have no choice but to be around are the ones dragging you down. None of us here on this earth get to choose our families. I was blessed for the most part with very supportive and loving parents, but not everyone is.

In those situations where the people around you feel like a rain cloud over your sunny day, try your best to guard yourself from the negativity. Don’t let it seep into your perspective. Do your best to be a light in their lives, and don’t let that pessimistic mentality sink into your thinking. I’m a very empathetic and feeling person, so I have to be careful about taking someone else’s problem and treating them as my own. I often do that with my friends or my family until the problems become a burden on myself. It’s good I care about people. BUT- there needs to be a limit to the caring. I can give advice, I can talk with them about things, but it’s up to them to make a change. That’s important for you all to remind yourself as well.

Be careful in choosing who has the privilege of knowing you, or who will have any influence in your growth as a person- positive or negative. You need people that want to see you succeed in life, and be the best person that you can be.

So, there. That’s my little spiel for the day. I feel that this is something not reflected on enough by today’s youth, or by anyone else, for that matter.

And if you’re the one that needs to do the changing, the one that is the gray cloud, or the one that seems to be going a little out of control…Be intentional in change. Realize your weakness, and make an effort for the better. It takes time, and it takes work to change for the better, but it is never impossible. The people that say “People don’t change” don’t truly know people. We all need to strive toward happiness, instead of feeling the victim of an unchanging circumstance.

P.S. I so love that I’m back on the roll of blogging, and will post some more later in the week. I think my next post will just be something fun, giving a shout out to all the awesome unrecognized songs that I jam to daily. You may not know this, but music is a huge part of me. (I kinda love it).

Thanks for reading! I want you guys to know that sometimes the topics I write, I am often preaching it to myself, as well, to remind myself of the truth. Keep learning, keep growing.

Hannah

To Everyone Growing Up…

Dear person growing up,

It’s okay to mourn growing older. (Temporarily).

Childhood is precious and it’s special and it’s magical and imaginative.

But newsflash: those warning you of the “real world” and how awful adulthood is going to be are the ones that are doing adulthood wrong. You don’t have to lose that optimism and that light. That light and that¬†love for life.¬†

In some ways, it is the most pure form of living.

So¬†don’t¬†grow up. Yes, grow. But grow responsible. Grow taller. Grow stronger. Grow in all other areas, but don’t grow cold. Don’t grow numb. Don’t grow critical. Don’t grow complacent.

Keep that best version of you that believes in something, that kid that knew they’d be a cool adult, and never let them go.

There are countless numbers of bitter people in the world that could tell you what adulthood means for them.

But listen…growing up shouldn’t be the end to your happy. It should be a continuation of it, an even freer happy. Life is all in the perspective.

Love,

Hannah (a fellow grower-upper…)

Be “Yourself”–A Poem Confronting Society

Be “Yourself”

But make sure yourself is a size 2

Blonde

Thigh-gapped

Cheerleader

Dating a football player

 

Be yourself.

But make sure yourself wears the perfect clothes

Not too little clothing

Not too much

You don’t want to be labelled easy

Certainly don’t want to be prudish, either, now do we?

 

Be yourself.

But make sure yourself wears makeup

Not too much

Not too little

Guys like you natural

But not that natural

 

Be yourself.

But make sure yourself talks the perfect amount.

Not too little

Not too much

Too little you must be “shy”

Too much you must be a “loudmouth”

 

Be yourself.

No, not that way.

Be yourself the way the way those runway models tell you

The way those sparkling individuals on the magazines scream at you to be.

 

And one last thing…

Conform.

Make sure yourself is just like everyone else.

…Be yourself

_________________________________________

Alright, you little readers, you.

This is a stark¬†contrast to the humorous and bantering commentary of important matters that naturally springs forth from my pen to this blog..hmm, well, actually what springs forth from my¬†laptop to this blog! …But I need you to know something. Confronting society itself isn’t always going to be a “running through wildflowers while licking an oversized lollipop” kind of thing people wish it would be. FOR EXAMPLE…on this very entry, someone made sure to point out how “upbeat” and “positive” the poem was. (Then pointed out they were using sarcasm).

This poem was for that reason exactly. This individual was simply proving my point. There will be myriads of people that you come across in life that feel you should cater to their negative opinions. As my good ol’ mom always says, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

That being said, if we want to make any change for the better in this day and age, we need to be bold¬†to expose society’s hypocrisy for what it is. Hypocrisy! We don’t want to tip-toe around these issues! This poem’s purpose was to open more peoples’ eyes to the lies they have been told about what true beauty really is, and to tell them, “Nope. You’ve been lied to. Beauty comes from the inside, and by the way… you don’t have to constantly obsess about what people think of you! Isn’t that awesome?! If you’re living happy, healthy, and kindly, then you’re better for it! Ignore the shallow.”

So, of course, this piece is going to be raw, and it’s going to be vulnerable. It’s sending a message.

I wanted to write something meaningful that depicted the confusion that youth and adults are faced with today, the ever-changing opinions and expectations of a world gone mad with ideals. A world we are faced with. Whether it be high school, the lunch room at work, or plain old anywhere…you shouldn’t have to change everything about yourself to feel worthy or accomplished.

This poem is supposed to show how all the seemingly “harmless” opinions add up to where no one feels they can win. This what society is instilling into us, and we need to do our best to reject those lies told to us in our everyday life.

We, indeed, should truly and authentically be ourselves. (And not the cookie-cutter image people are expecting us to live up to). This poem’s root and underlying purpose is to show one person at a time that the world around us is always going to have an opinion. About what we look like, what we sound like, what we act like, it’s always trying to categorize. It’s our job to go against the grain, and be who we really are, no strings attached. If that means being a cheerleader, a soccer player, a run of the mill average ol’ human being, do it with spunk and do it knowing your worth.

You’ll be better for it in the end if you shrug off the “you’re this” and “you’re that”.

You are precious the way you are, and unless its hurting yourself or others, be authentically you.

Signing off,

Hannah

Reminders for the Valentine-less

Hey, you. Yes. I’m indeed talking to you. The poor sap hugging that greasy Taco Bell bag, while scrolling pathetically through all those cute couples’ Valentine’s Day pictures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, whatever your form of torture may be…oh. Wait. Was I was talking about myself again?..Well, I’m sure there’s more than just one person that can empathize with this scenario, so let’s continue.

This post is to my fellow Valentine-less people out there: I know you’ve probably gone the majority of the day thinking you’re a complete loser that’s never going to find someone (especially since I only just got around to posting this little piece of insight at 10 o’clock at night)….but hey. At least you’re going to be able to see this eventually. ¬†And at least we’ll all gain some insight on what could have been a pretty discouraging day, overall.

Now…first thing we have in common? We are single on a day society particularly likes throwing it in our faces. But let’s not be bitter, shall we? Valentine’s Day is actually a very good thing, it just takes some patience, perspective, and survival skills that rival MacGyver’s. No biggie, right?!

Wrong.

But, look at it this way- all that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! As a kid at school said today, “Valentine’s Day is Independence Day for a single person!” Of course, we all thought it was a corny joke at the time, but ya know. I’m rolling with it.

So, to ease your pain a bit, let’s go over some of the very important and helpful reasons why it might actually be kinda sorta good thing that you’re still as single as a Pringle on Valentine’s Day this year! *insert timely cringe at my own jokes*

The Economic Benefits

Well, for starters, you didn’t have to go buy anyone chocolates today, now did you? So, yayy! You aren’t even more broke than you were before! God’s had mercy on you and especially on your wallet. Looks like you won’t have to resort to the life of a hobo just yet!

Less Stress

It’s funny…life is a lot less complicated when you only have to worry about yourself and your twelve cats.

But- joking aside, it is true. Some people go for years and years from person to person, not truly knowing who they are without someone else. I’m grateful that I have this time just for me, myself, and I to figure out who I am and what I need in someone else. Truth is, you’re just learning how to make it on your own. It’s a life skill that’ll always come in handy. Another reason why you should never down yourself for being single. You don’t¬†need someone else to make you happy. If you think that way, you’ll be on a constant emotional roller coaster.

Cultivating Friendships

You won’t have the temptation to overlook all your friends for your significant other, which is something I see all too much.

Actually, this will cultivate friendships and you will have even more time for friends and family, which is always a good thing, as long as you pick the right people to spend your time with.

Pursuit of Dreams/ Less Distraction

And now that you have more time on your hands, what’s holding you back on that dream of yours? Time management is everything and positive thinking doesn’t hurt, either. Focus all that extra attention on what will take you far in life. So what if that person you were talking to probably doesn’t like you back? You’re stronger than letting that get to you and you’ll turn it into a great thing.

Ultimately, this could mean less distraction for schooling, for work, for life in general.

And…Last but Not Least! Preparation for Your Significant Other

Having that wait and anticipation for the perfect guy or girl to come into your life will make it that much more meaningful. Look at all the reasons I stated before…ALL of that is preparing you for that one person that’s going to turn your life upside down, in a good way.

So, don’t ever beat yourself up about being single. Even on Valentine’s Day. It stinks, but just remember- you never know who’s going to walk into your life, so be patient, and always remember to have a sense of humor about it!

Welp, folks. That’s about all the Valentine’s Day talk I can take for today! Thanks for reading and make sure to like, follow, comment, whatever you all feel like doing.

Your trusty blogger,

Hannah

Growth, Trees, and..what? Patience??

Hey, you! Yeahh, you. The one with that weird haircut and your eyes glued to the screen. Gosh. You look like you haven’t gone outside in months. Well, good news, couch potato! I definitely haven’t forgotten about you..although I wouldn’t blame you if you’d forgotten ME, at this rate.. Completely going off the blogging grid after posting an entry about my hopeful “blog schedule”? Ironic for even me, but seriously..

These last few months have been a roller coaster of ups and downs, and making time to post was nearly impossible. But no fear. I’ve still been writing! You guys just haven’t seen any of it yet. So, buckle your seat belts, folks. The silence is over, thank gosh. It was driving me a little crazy knowing I haven’t posted in so long, when I know I have more meaningful content to write than ever before.

This was written two days ago in the morning, looking out on the wonderful landscape of my high school Providence Christian Academy’s campus.

“The trees are winding and twisting every which way. They grow however they grow, effortlessly. Without a care in the world, they trust the tale of time to show them who they’ll be.

Patience. The tree has patience like no other. It cannot see itself growing. Actually, to HIM it seems like he’s forever rooted in one place. With no change to come.

But slowly, it realizes that there is meaning to the life even the smallest and the lowest of us are granted. Just takes trust.”

dscn1964
These are some pictures I have taken at my high school’s campus last year, in the founding year of the school.

tree

But yes..I’m here to stay and have more content to come, including an entry of my relatively recent trip to New York City, around the time that the protests were going on.

In all the busy of these last few months, I’ve even gotten behind in reading what some of my favorite blogs have been posting! In the days and weeks and months to come, I will be working overtime. This isn’t something I’m going to give up on.

So, stick around for the ride..

Your lil ol’ blogger signing out,

Hannah

Wherefore Art Thou Blogging Schedule??

Wait a second. Is Hannah ACTUALLY being proactive and setting a schedule for her posts??

*Gasp* this has not happened in the history of EVER! How can this be??

Well, with the sarcasm out the way, the rumors that those pesky paparazzi spread (Gosh, they follow me EVERYWHERE) are true. I’ve chosen to force myself into finishing at least one post a week and publishing on Thursday. I love writing, and I love this sweet little Word Press community. It’s just been hard to finish things each week, but finish them I shall!

So, on every Thursday and any other day I randomly want to write an entry, you can be sure that it will be there for your little reader eyes to do their little reading thing.

Thanks for being such a dedicated little group of encouragers. You guys have been great.

Till next time (next Thursday)!

Hannah