My Playlist of Memories

My Playlist of Memories

We all have that set of songs that send us back to memory lane. There are the songs that we shared with a significant other. There are the songs that got us through the tough times. There are the songs that we used to listen on blast, the ones we used to replay until we got sick of the same old lyrics. There are the songs that bring us back to the most blissful moments. There are the songs that bring us tears from the pain we sometimes don’t realize we’re still holding onto. There are the songs who have become a part of who we are.

That’s what I listened to the other day.

Just A Dream by Nelly was a song I first heard through Christina Grimmie’s and Sam Tsui’s cover on youtube before Cristina went big on The Voice. There’s a certain beat to the song that brings me a kind of joy that coexists with strength. So I travel back down that road. Will she come back? No one knows. I realize, it was only just a dream. If you ever love somebody put your hands up. If you ever love somebody put your hands. And now they’re gone and you wishin you could give them everything.

Angel with a Shotgun by The Cab was a song I liked for a while. I really started loving this song when it turned out my ex-something also loved Nightcore’s version of this song. It became our song. It became something that reminded me of him. One time when we were lying in bed he played the song and, in that moment, I truly felt at home. Even though we had a terrible falling out, this song still reminds me of my first love. They say before you start a war you better know what you’re fighting for. Well baby, you are all that I adore. If love is what you need, a soldier I will be. I’m an angel with a shotgun, fighting til’ the wars won. I don’t care if heaven won’t take me back. I’ll throw away my faith, babe, just to keep you safe.

Let Her Go by Passenger is also an all-time favorite that will always touch my heart. Everyone goes through life not truly knowing what to do. We go through trails of guess and ‘hope it’s right’ as if we’re still middle school kids taking a test on material we clearly didn’t pay attention to, let along study for. So I understand the circumstance of not knowing. But when I listen to this song and it speaks so much about regret and not being more appreciative of what we have in front of us, I can’t help but wonder how many of my past relationship I regret to have lost – or if they even regret to have let me go. There’s a part of me that will always be fond of the old memories and wonder ‘what if it worked out’ or ‘what if I go back’. Only miss the sun when it starts to snow. Only know you love her when you let her go. Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low. Only hate the road when you’re missing home. Only know you love her when you let her go. And you let her go.

Battle Scars by Paradise Fears is a song that I will probably replay over and over as one of my top favorite song until the end of time. I discovered Paradise Fears in high school when the scars on my body really made me insanely insecure and even self-sabotaging. Even though my ex-something at the time constantly reminded me that I can be loved despite all my body’s been through and despite what anyone else says, I found myself playing this song a lot whenever I hit a low point; I found myself gaining a lot of strength from these lyrics. You’ve had enough, but just don’t give up. Stick to your guns, you are worth fighting for. You know we’ve all got battle scars. Keep marching on.

Crash Test Dummy (Broken) by Reed Deming speaks the words a lot of our hearts wonder. We have gotten so used to seeing ourselves mess up and fail that sometimes we forget all the times we were strong and shined. We see all the broken parts, sometimes thinking they’re the worst parts of ourselves, and forget how beautiful and strong we still are. After all, we are truly our worst enemy. I am…insanely…guilty of this and I know it to be true. I will beat myself up over mistakes I made that ended up hurting me more than anyone. I will chew out my own ear (if even possible) about how I am not living up to my parents’ expectations for me. I will cry myself to sleep after telling myself that I am not worth fighting for. And then wonder if anyone will love me and fight myself for me. What if I’m troubled? What if I’m flawed? And what if they all just think I’m a fraud? And what if I’m left without a choice? And what if I like girls? What if boys? And what if I listen to all that they say? They promised forever and then walk away.

I’ll be honest, a lot of the songs that have stuck with me through the past few years are the songs that managed to silence my own demons. They’re the songs that can get me to forget everything running through my mind like a tornado. They’re the songs that help me escape from even my own head and go to a place where the storm has calmed. They’re the songs that have gotten me to where I am today. These songs are who I am.

More songs from my playlist:
Sanctuary by Paradise Fears
Mended by Matthew West
Safe in My Hands by Eli Lieb
Make You Stay by The Girl and The Dreamcatcher
Roses by Shawn Mendes
Written in the Scars by The Script
This Is For You by David Dunn
Shelter (Acoustic) by Nick Howard
Sincerely Me by Artist Vs Poet

If you have the time, give some of these songs a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below. Let me know if they end up touching your heart like they did mine.
Let me know if you want more song recommendations (:

Bits of each song mentioned have been attached to each paragraph above (in italics) respectively

 Song

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Silent Screams

Silent Screams

You know what sucks? Wanting to sleep so you don’t feel the pain anymore but finding yourself living more horrors through nightmares you can’t wake up from. I couldn’t wake up.

A close friend hopes that I stop beating myself up over what happened. I had begun to tell him what happened, hoping for someone to tell me it was going to be okay. I’m grateful for him; I will never be able to thank him enough. He told me, over and over, trying to get it through my mind, that it doesn’t matter what people say or how much I beat myself up because it wasn’t my fault. He held me as I sobbed. My entire body was probably shaking. For once, I felt strong to be crying. I needed it so badly that I wasn’t scared to cry. I wasn’t scared that time because I believed he’d hold me together and give me time. When I calmed, he got me on my feet and pulled me into his arms. The warmth soothed my heart. He reassured me again and again that I was safe now. And, in his arms, I believed him.

But when I went to sleep in attempt to run away from my thoughts, somehow they still played in my sleep, in the back of my mind. I couldn’t wake to stop them. I couldn’t shake them out of my mind.

He wanted to fight off the demons in my mind with love. He wanted to shield me from the pain. But I don’t think he ever thought I’d wake up in the mornings with a scream in my throat but no voice to be found.

The Honest Story

The Honest Story

His hands went to my face and quickly brought my attention to him as he pulled me in for a kiss. My mind went into a blur as I panicked and shoved him away. My heart racing. My feet glued to the ground. I could barely breathe.

He apologized. My head felt like a jug of water someone kept shaking. I told him to stop. I told him to not do that, trying to keep my voice strong. He knew I had a boyfriend. He knew I was with someone. He knew I wasn’t interested. He apologized again. I could barely hear him over the loud sound of my heart beating in my ears. He asked if I wanted to leave. I said no. How could I even move when I couldn’t see straight.

My body was panicking too much. As if it knew for a fact it was in danger. He could easily lift my weight. He could easily overpower me if he lost control. He kept staring at me. It made me sick. I wanted to run but my head still spun.

We walked across the street, him complimenting my dress. I couldn’t listen to him. I wanted to drown out his voice. I wanted to scream. I wanted to slap him, but I didn’t want to put myself in more danger if I pissed him off.

Then I felt his hand on my ass. My entire body tensed even more. I didn’t know it could even do that with how tense I already was. I walked faster, telling/mumbling him to stop.

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. The entire world spun around me. It was a blur. But I finally got to my car. A part of me felt a little relief that I was minutes from being safe behind the locked doors of my own car.

He apologized again. He said something else but I couldn’t hear over the bees buzzing in my ears. He took a step closer towards me, his arms up for a hug. I stepped back but eventually ended up in his arms. I held my breath. I hugged him back wanting this to just end.

I missed my boyfriend. I wanted so much to be in his arms. I wanted to feel safe again. I wanted all of this to end.

His hand went to my ass again. I pushed him away but he held me still. I couldn’t move for a few seconds that felt like entirety. Then he let me go.

My feet were glued to the ground as he slowly walked away. I begged in my mind for him to walk away. I got into my car and I locked the doors. I couldn’t comprehend what had just happened. My body was in shock. My mind was a puddle, or like a pool.

I stared at my navigation system. I stared at my wheel. Where was I going? What was I doing? Why couldn’t I think straight?

I went to work. My mind rewinding the scenes in my head. I hated myself for playing dead. I wanted to slap him that smug look off his face, but my arm wouldn’t raise. I wanted to scream, but my voice had ran away.

I looked back at all the things I did wrong. I shouldn’t have offered him a ride despite him saying it took him 2 hours to get to school. I shouldn’t have went for a walk with him. I should’ve ran away when his hand was on me. I should’ve yelled at him with all my might. I should’ve pushed harder when he held me against his body. I should’ve done something more to fight.

A part of me wanted to scream. A part of me wanted to disappear. A part of me…just wanted to breathe.

Candid

Stifle

Phone… Laptop… What About You?

Phone… Laptop… What About You?

I wake up in the morning and reach for my phone. I don’t have a visible clock when it’s dark in my room. Sometimes I scroll past the notifications – messages, emails, reminders, etc. – and sometimes I simply groan at how early it is and lie on my back until I fall asleep again.

When I’m getting ready in the morning, my phone is often playing music that keeps me up and going. I easily fall asleep if I stay in bed. I push past the urge to stay in bed and go to wash my face. Face wash. Acne medication. Brush my teeth. Brush my hair (sometimes). Go get changed and get out of the door.

My phone follows me downstairs, to the car, to school, to work, back home, and goes to sleep by my head on my bed each and every night. It’s the one friend that always sticks by me. I reach for it when I’m walking to and from classes. I check instagram as if it’s a newspaper that gets updated every other minute. I check my messages as if I really get any. I check my email and scroll past the spam. I check the time and the reminders that yell at me to get a real meal.

My phone gives me everything I need. I put everything on my calendar. I put all my reminders into that app. I have connections to my family and friends. I have my emails. I have my instagram. What else do I need?

Well…I went to lunch with my boyfriend and his sister (also a close friend of mine) yesterday. I went on and on in the car. I complained about how loud the music was. I stared out the window, amazed at the sunlight growing through the trees that we pasted by.

I set up a instagram for the new member of their family, Rylee the cockcpoo – @rylee_discoveringlife

We started posting pictures. We went in to get seated. And then shortly after I found all three of us on our phones once more. I silently wished for us to put our phones away and actually be present with each other in the short time that we actually get to spend with one another.

Every time I see my boyfriend, I can never get tired of being in his arms. I latch onto him the second we get some time alone, wanting to be closer to him. I always miss him when we can’t see each other. And when we do, I love the conversations. I love the face-to-face time we actually get. I loved walking up behind him as he washed his hands and hugged him from behind. I loved sitting in the car with him, holding his hand, and just enjoying the music and the sunny sky. I loved being present.

And that’s exactly what I’m missing when I rely on my phone too much. I love being able to put it away but I know I always need to stay updated with my sister and my parents, at least. I love being able to just enjoy the moment and not worry about anything else.

My “New Year’s Resolution”:
1. Spend at least 3 days worth of time (72 hours) a week without my phone. I can listen to music but I have to be disconnected.
2. Spend at least 2 days worth of time (48 hours) a week without my laptop. I can listen to music but I have to be disconnected.
3. Practice my cursive – aim to get better at calligraphy (1 hour a week)
4. Draw a piece of work twice a month
5. Take 20 good photos a month

Let’s see if I can keep this going for the rest of the year!

Life #1. Life #2. Life #3. Life #4.

Life #1. Life #2. Life #3. Life #4.

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within.” – Steven Pressfield

When I got into middle school, I started spending hours at my computer writing. Whether it be short stories, potentially novel length stories, poems, songs, simple paragraphs or letters, I would spend hours typing away. I thought of the blank screen as a place in which I could pour out my heart. Being a kid who hadn’t had many people, if any, that I honestly talked to and trusted fully with my raw self, I resorted to expressing myself in other mediums.

That’s when I started to call myself a writer.

When I got into high school, I fell in love with photography and discovered a burning passion I never knew I had for this art. I always wanted to go shoot. I always wanted to take my camera everywhere I went. I became well known because of my camera and my photos. And all of that slowly shaped my vision of the world. A quote I once heard says, “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” I couldn’t agree more. I stand by this quote.

IMG_9883

Freshman year was when I started calling myself a photographer.

Today, I write. Today, I take photos.

But there will always be a part of me that wonders “what if writing or photography was what I devoted all my life and attention towards?”

We all have a similar question. That’s what I believe is to be my “second” and “third” life. The life of a writer. The life of a photographer. Though I hold both passions close to heart and continue to advance in both mediums at my own speed, the flame within tells me that there could be more.

Sometimes I wonder how happy I would be if I spent hours and hours of the days editing photos and going on photoshoots, if photography was my career. I wonder how many people would see my work, how many hearts my work would touch. Sometimes I fantasize about being a writer whose words make a huge impact in the world and motivated people to change their lives and ways of thinking for the better. I wonder what would have happened if I had followed my heart back when.

But then I look at the life around me, and stop. I love the life I have right now. I have another passion I discovered within my first programming class. I have high hopes for the future and this potentially life-changing career. I have a wonderful boyfriend who loves me. I have irreplaceable friends who adore me. I have a better life than I had expected.

After all, this is the life I’m living. If I weren’t happy with it, I wouldn’t be living it.

Lost and UnFound

Lost and UnFound

I remember that night like it was yesterday.
It’s been years yet I still can’t shake the feelings that come with the memory.

One more night of her being vacant for the day, and then for the night. One more day of a wine glass sitting at the tensely silent dinner table. One more day I was prepared for yelling and screaming matches. But, that day didn’t turn out as anyone would’ve thought.

Drunk. He didn’t recognize me.
In pain. His cries echoed through the night.
Crying. He mumbled phrases as the EMTs arrived.
Panicking. I ran, getting yelled at, to gather his things.
Crying. I thought I would lose him that night.
Delusional, right?

After what felt like days, he finally went to bed probably still mumbling curse words in pain. I couldn’t bring myself to get up from the corner I had been hiding in, sobbing with pain. I picked up my phone and called my best friend at the time. I called him, again, and again, and again. After the tenth time, my phone fell out of my hand as I curled up in a ball and shook with fear.

Why didn’t he answer? He knows how much I need him.
Where was he? I needed him to be there for me, especially now.
Why does it hurt so much? …the hundreds needles of pain each time I breathed.
Where was everyone? I sweared to myself that I was not alone, but I was.
Broken. into the millions of pieces of myself I was still trying to save.

After getting to my bed, I called again…and again…and again. Soon I fell asleep, tears falling from these cheeks. Curled up in a ball, it felt like the coldest winter night in a storm of sharp ice swirling around me.

And, somewhere in that night, a piece of myself was lost…
Never to be found again.

Calling