Thursday, September 30, 2010

Out of the Darkness Walk

On Sunday, I'll be walking in the "Out of the Darkness" walk. The walk raises money funds for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention as well as awareness on suicide. I am walking for a few reasons:

To Raise Awareness Suicide prevention is a cause I am extremely passionate about. I'm an active follower of To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to finding help for people struggling with depression and self injury. I've always been passionate about this cause, but working with teens for the past year has made me even more involved. I saw how easily crushed and suffocated they could get, how hopeless they could be. Some of them felt like the world was closing in on them and they could not escape. I believe that every person deserves hope sprinkled into their lives. No one should ever get to the point of wanting to end their life. Suicide prevention is possible. I'm walking to raise awareness of that fact.

In Memory In memory of the thousands of people who committed suicide last year. In memory of my student's best friend who killed himself at the age of thirteen. In memory of my cousin, Tom, whom I never got the chance to know because he took his own life when I was two years old. He was young himself, only in his late teens. I know he was an amazing young man from the stories I hear. I wish I could have known him.

To Raise Money The AFSP needs all the help it can get with funding for prevention programs and research. You can save a life by donating, and you'd be supporting your good pal Megan at the same time. You can donate here:

If you don't want to pay online with a credit card, you may also mail me cash/ a check and I will donate it to AFSP for the walk.

Thanks for reading, and I hope that you choose to help save a life today.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

broken hallelujah

For as boring as my life can be lately, this week was quite busy! I've been on an emotional roller coaster ride for as long as I can remember, and there are no signs of it stopping.

Start of on a very non-serious note, American Idol. I finally read all the changes they made and seriously? Are they trying to flush it down the toilet? No mentors, no theme week, no good judges. Ew. If Idol contestants were always allowed to just stick to their own genre, then I can promise you Mandisa wouldn't have made it. they wouldn't have allowed a Christian/Gospel singer. And what about the people that don't KNOW what genre they are yet? David Archuleta would have been screwed. What really bothered me, though, was Nigel's comment about the success of Idols. He said that Kelly and Carrie are the only ones who have done anything. Wrong, so wrong. He of all people should know that and should be standing up for the other Idols. Today he tried to apologize and spelled Jordin's name wrong. That just disgusted me. Anyways, onto much more important things than American Idol.

First of all- I am putting my whole "fearless" idea into practice this weekend. I'm going on a retreat with the church that I've recently found. It is very young adult focused and has an active group of 18-35 year olds that meet a couple times a month for different events. This weekend is their fall retreat and I made the decision to attend. I'm terrified. There will be 30 or so other people who I have never met before! I've done this before (St Tom's retreat, MVC orientation), but it's still extremely nerve wracking. I don't do well thrown into new situations where I have to speak up and meet new friends. I'm looking forward to it spiritually, though. I definitely think this retreat is what I need. Please say a prayer for me that I remain at peace and that I keep an open mind and heart to what God has in store for me for the weekend.

My main focus this week has been passing on positive thoughts, prayers, and hugs to the Carter family. My mom and I went over to their house on Monday night for Fred's birthday party. What an occasion- the house was filled with family members and friends celebrating a wonderful man. I spent most of my time there holding Caroline, the youngest of the six at just a little over a year old. I had a great time watching the other kids run around their yard with silly string and bobbing for apples. Later in the week, I took Lizzy, the seven year old, out to dinner. I love all of those kids, but I have a special connection with Lizzy. I don't know what it is about these Carter's that have me so hooked. Their story has stuck me in such a deep way, and I want to be around for them through it all. I know I can't save the day or make everything go away, I just really care about them and want to be their holding their hands along the way, if they ask for it. I can't go five minutes without thinking about them or brainstorming ways to help out, even just a little bit. I was quite emotional on Monday night and my best friend Sam was comforting me via text message. She said something that made a lot of sense- "Maybe you need them as much as they need you". I hadn't really thought about that until she said it, but it's true. Each of those kids, Martha, and Fred have taught me valuable lessons- patience, honesty, and compassion. I wish it wasn't through this heartbreaking situation that it happened, but I do feel very blessed to have them in my life and to be a part of theirs. I don't know why this is happening to such an amazing family, and I may not ever know. God has His reasons, as difficult as they may be to understand. I like the way my mom put it...Fred is a lifeguard, so she said "maybe God needs a lifeguard". So, another prayer request is for this beautiful family who have let me into their hearts. Hold them close to yours, please. They need to feel love from all over the world.

Song for the day...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

fight for love

This week has been full of birthday fun. Yesterday I popped into Cristo Rey to give a card and a hug to my best friend Dean. I've mentioned Dean in here before, and by now you should all know how much I admire him. Simply put, the boy loves harder than anyone I've ever known. So it makes me happy when he is the receiver of that same kind of love. I was able to experience that yesterday when I saw a whiteboard covered in birthday messages for him.

While I was at the school, I dropped in the cafeteria at lunchtime. Best/worst idea ever. I loved seeing some of the kids but it was extremely crowded and all the screaming and hugging was quite overwhelming. I was grateful, though, especially because I got to talk to two girls who are very much like little sisters to me. Anyways, in this crowded ranch filled cafeteria, several of the students said to me "Miss Carolin, we don't get juice every day anymore!". I must have heard that about thirty times. Other kids asked if they could have chicken rings instead of pizza, or other odd food requests. It struck me as adorable that they still see me in that same role- the person who served them food every day. For many of them I was more than that, but for a handful of those kids, that is the only time they saw me. So it seemed funny that the minute I walk back in, I am again "Miss Carolin, the volunteer who feeds us". That got me to thinking, and you know when that happens a blog is coming...

Although that is a cute example, how often do we assume a role to someone in our life, or put them in a box? We see them how we want to see them and forget that they actually have several roles and sides to them. They have flaws and talents just like ourselves. We get so caught up in our idea of someone that it's easy to miss they may be going through something terrible, they may need you to let down that idea of them and see them a little differently. I think this is especially true for celebrities, but it also happens in our every day life. We never know what another person may be going through. Give them a chance to speak up about it. Ask questions and listen. Don't assume you know everything. Don't be shocked when they do something that is "not themselves". And when that does happen, definitely do not push them away. That is when they need you the most. Maybe a friend has been lying a lot or avoiding your phone calls. Don't give up. Find out why. You could save them. I guess what I'm trying to say your love to all and keep an open mind...and don't put someone in a box.

Also, happy birthday to my beautiful mom. In case you didn't know, my mom is the best mom ever. No, no, that wasn't a question. It's just a fact. I am truly blessed to be the daughter of such an amazing woman, teacher, and friend. I tried to write a little poem for her, but I failed...miserably. Not because I do not have enough great things to say, but because I can't put it into words. I love my mom. Everyone loves my mom (also a fact). I've been able to meet some truly amazing people through my mom and all her years of teaching. Most have come and gone and are no longer a part of my life. One of them, however, will always be one of my heroes- her name is Martha. She too is an absolutely amazing mommy with a strength I have never seen before in anyone. I admire Martha greatly and I am blessed to have her and the rest of her beautiful family in my life. Martha is truly a gift to everyone that is lucky enough to know her.

Sorry, got a little off topic there. I hope everyone has an amazing weekend. Remember to love yourself for who you are and accept others for who they are.

Song of the day: This song is very fitting for what I was discussing at the top of this post!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

send me all your angels

I have so much going on in my life right now, I don't even know what direction to look in. Considering I spend my days at home talking to myself or my dog, I know that seems quite strange....but it's the big picture that's busy. I have some potential amazing opportunities on my plate. It's all a matter of time. I'm not going to say what they are, because the last time this happened to me a few months ago, none of them worked out for me. So, I don't want to jinx myself yet and need to be patient. Plus, I like to believe that I have a few devoted blog readers and I don't want to spoil any endings :) Just pray for me, please.

I have a few things I would like to share with the world (and by world I mean whoever happened to stumble on this blog...)

I discovered an amazing organization called Be A Number. It was started by a college student in Northern Michigan. Here's how it works- you order a tshirt through their website. When you order a shirt, another shirt will be sent to an impoverished child. Your order number is on the back of your shirt and these child's shirt, so only two people in the world have that number. The point is so children in those conditions know that someone else in the world cares for them. What's really cool is you can type in your number on the website and find the child who matches it! So amazing- and the shirts are only $20. Quite a deal, really. You can get involved by becoming a student rep for the organization on your campus if you are a college student. Go to their website- to learn more. I know I'm planning on purchasing my first shirt soon, and ideally would like to get one for each of my family members for Christmas. Organizations like this give me hope for the world.

Next, I had a great interaction today with a former student. We have quite the history. In the beginning of last year she hated me, she even called me a "dumb white girl" under her breath...although I heard it loud and clear! Then one day I found out that she has epilepsy, so we sat down and talked about it for quite a while. My brother also has epilepsy, so I was able to offer her some encouragement and advice. She told me I was the first teacher to ever do that for her and that she was glad she could come talk to me. After that, we would talk often about her medication, tests, and academic struggles. I will absolutely never forget the day she came running down the hall with her progress report. She had gone from a 1.0 to a 2.7 and was crying tears of joy. She hugged me so hard I almost fell over and said "I came to show you this! I needed to show you this. It's because of you!". Well, it wasn't because of me, it was because she worked hard. But, I was touched that she felt I impacted her. This student also began writing a lot and would show up to my creative writing class. She wrote beautiful poems about self acceptance and friendship. Once when it was my turn to lead prayer for the school, I read one of her poems aloud. So, today I got an email message from her asking for advice. She's a junior now and starting to look at colleges. She wanted to know what to do if she wanted to continue writing as a career. I gave her the best advice I could, and encouraged her to talk with the college counselor as well as reps from different colleges. Part of what I said to her is included below, and I think it really applies to all of us:

Besides all of that, the biggest piece of advice that I can give you is to keep writing. No matter what major you decide, if writing is what you are passionate about, keep doing it. The more practice you get the better you will become. Keep a journal and BE HONEST. If you have a dream, like writing a book or getting a poem published, go after it and don't quit. Keep trying until you reach it. You have a pure talent for writing and if it is something you are interested in, keep going.

I meant every word, although I do forget to apply it to myself at times. We all do that, though. We get so caught up in the "can't" that we forget we have total control. Find something you are passionate about and keep at it! Do not give up on your dreams. Do what you love for you, doesn't matter what anyone else has to say about it. You have one chance to make this the best life you want for yourself, so why waste time wondering what if? Go out there and get it done, son.

Random note, this is going to be a darn good time for music. Some of my favorite artists are releasing new albums this fall/early 2011. Stay tuned for many "new music" updates in the weeks to come.

Song of the day:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Were You?

Where were you?

Freshmen year of high school. Health class, second hour. We were discussing eating disorders. Suddenly, our principal comes over the announcements and says "A plane has crashed into the world trade center". Silence. Her voice cracked as she continued to inform the school what was happening. We could tell she was crying. I looked up at my teacher, who was now in tears. What does this mean? I was so confused. Then I began to put the pieces together- we have been attacked. Our country. Someone hates us so much that they just killed all those people. My heart broke. Why?

The rest of the day was far from normal. Teachers cancelled classes. Girls huddled together in front of the tiny tv in the library to watch the coverage. I was confused, and scared. I didn't know anyone in NYC, but I was scared for the people there, for all the lives lost. I remember comforting a friend who was bawling her eyes out because her sister had just taken a job at the WTC. I had no words, could only hug her. I remember all sports practice and games got cancelled. I walked outside after school and saw hundreds of girls running to their parents cars...other girls huddled in groups talking. I remember how quiet it was. For a school with at least 600 teenage girls, we were dead silent. My dad picked me up that day, which was unusual because I always went home with a junior in our neighborhood. I don't remember the conversation between my dad and I, or the conversation at home. I just remember being very confused, and hurt.

As the weeks went on I was still trying to piece it all together. I've always been one of those "can't we all get along" type of people. Our school had a special Assembly to honor those whose lives were lost, those who fought to save lives, and those who were now suffering because they were middle eastern. Mercy had several girls from that background, and they felt it was important to speak out.

Nine years later, it still deeply saddens me, as I'm sure it does everyone else in this great nation of ours. I'm not going to pretend like I know everything politically, because I don't. But I do know this:
-I am proud to be here.
-I am grateful for those who have fought for our defense and protection.
-I am deeply sorry for those whose lives were lost, and for those that knew them. May we continue to honor those people forever.
-I believe in love. All kinds of love. I believe hate needs to be replaced with love.
-Tell the people in your lives that you love them and you are thankful for them. Every single day. Because one day it could all vanish.

I'm not really sure what I'm trying to accomplish with this blog. I've been reading a lot of "where were you" stories today and finding how connected all of are...I hate that it had to be through tragedy, but we can at least recognize the pain and suffering those people went through. Today is not about me by any means, but I did spend a good part of the day thinking about my purpose on this earth. I wonder if others do the same.

I love you all.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I trust this is Your plan

God is good and I am blessed.

I could end this blog right here, that's really all you need to know. But, I'll clue you in asto why I know this is true: my prayers have been answered.

-I have at least one part time job set in stone, am 95% sure about another one, and will be doing babysitting here and there. Nothing is permanent and I won't be starting for at least another week or so, but I can take a deep breath and relax. These jobs will give me excellent experience and more money in my pocket. I'll still be looking for a full time job in my field, but this is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
-I have a car. Most of you know that my precious little stinker of a Taurus went to car heaven in February. Until July, I had the car that the Sister's of Mercy provided us with. Then I came home, and have been sharing my mom's car. She's been incredibly gracious about it, but it's been tricky with job interviews and such. My sister bought a new car and is selling me her current one. She is being VERY fair about payments, because she knows I need to settle into these part time jobs first, which I think is just awesome. I was blessed with a very amazing family.
-I had an amazing experience at Church tonight. You don't need to hear all the details, but you do need to know that everything is going to be okay. Trust.

So, like David Archuleta told me, things are gonna get better. They already are. I'm excited about the way things are panning out for me and blessed to have a strong support system. Hopefully this means I can get involved with the things I wanted to before, like volunteering and a young adult faith group.

There are two other reasons I'm incredibly content today, and they came in the form of music:
-Anberlin. I discovered them two summer's ago, and ever since have been a fan. Anberlin is an alternative rock band with a Christian background, but they aren't classified as a "christian rock band". Does that make sense? They are open about faith, but not necessarily in all of their music. Anyways, I dig them. It's their fifth album, and pretty close to perfect. Lyrics are great, music is great, and vocals are excellent. Favorite songs "Take Me As You Found Me",
-Sara Barielles. Her new album is maybe my favorite album of 2010. It is absolutley amazing. I've been anxiously waiting this for quite some time now, and it defintley did not dissapoint. Sara wrote every single song on the record. Her lyrics are incredible- she finds a way to say things that is beautiful and so spot on. She really inspires me as a song writer. Plus, she plays a handful of instruments on the album, which is pretty awesome. Each song is different, I love when she gets jazzy and soulful and also when she's soft. Terrific album. My only worry is that people will go crazy for "King of Anything" and forget that the rest of her album is even better. Same thing happened with "Love Song" a few years ago. People went NUTS over that song when the real treasure of that album was "Gravity". Anyways. Favorite songs "Breathe Again", "Let The Rain", "Hold My Heart".

In other news, today marks the first day back to school for many people. Unless you go to a private school, then you've been buckled in for a few weeks. This is the first year since I was 4 that I'm not starting a school year. That really freaks me out. School has always been the core of my life, even last year. I wasn't in school, but I was working in one, and almost everything revolved around it. Now that's all vanished. I feel strange without it. I also sort of miss college. For those of you that know me, I'm assuming that took you by surprise. Trust me, it surprises me too. College and I weren't exactly best friends. But, now that I've been gone form it for two years, I can honestly say that I miss it. I know a few people starting their freshmen year right now, and boy do I feel for them. I know how scary that can be. So, I'm offering my advice. How to make friends.

You should know that I came into college completly 100% terrified. I was practically kicking and screaming on move in day. I didn't want to go. But, I managed to make friends along the way. So if I can, anyone can. It just takes practice :)

I know a lot of people make friends with people on their floor/suitemates or whatever. I was not one of those people. Every single girl in my floor had a few things in common: A. They were blonde B. They all came from my rival high school (okay, not all of them, but about 80%. They planned it).. C) They were more interested in where to purchase alcohol than where their classes were. So, no friends on my floor. Plus, my roomate won the award for worst roommate ever, so you know we weren't friends. But, if your floormates are cool, go knock on their door. Ask them if they want to watch Real World with you or go grab something from the cafeteria.

Classes! As a freshmen, I didn't declare a major, so I had classes with mostly other undecided freshmen. You can form study groups, walk to class together, etc. It's really cool when you declare a major, because then you'll start to see some of the same people in your classes. Also, your major most likely has a club- like Western had "Family Studies Organization". Check that out, you can talk with other students in your major about internships, volunteer opportunites, networking, etc.

Every college has hundreds of clubs. Sometimes you have to search a little, but they are there. Look into what they offer and join one that best meets your interests...because whatever that is, I can almost guaruntee you there is a club for it. They all do tons of activities. I highly suggest checking if your school has APO, a co-ed community service based fraternity. It is an excellent organization that I wish I had joined in college. They do amazing things. Also, don't be afraid to go to that first meeting alone. I know that can be terrifying, but if there is a club where there are people with similiar interests, it won't matter. Or try emailing the leader and let them know you're interested- they usually scoop up new freshmen very eagerly! Along with clubs, there are usually IM sports.

Church! It doesn't matter your religion, most colleges offer something for all faith backgrounds. My church in college was awesome- we had weekly Sunday dinners, retreats, study hours, etc. I didn't discover it until my senior year but was SO glad when I did. It was one of the best things I did as a student at Western.

Of course, you can always do what I did- join a sorority. I know. What the heck is a shy little thing like me joining a sorority? To be honest I don't know what I was thinking. One of my friends was going through rush, and I wanted friends, so I did the same. And you know what? It was both the greatest/worst thing I've ever done in my life. I know, not very encouraging...but my sorority was special. First of all, I suggest to at least rush- you meet a ton of people just by doing that! At least give it a chance, because sometimes sororites are completly the opposite of what you hear about them- mine was. And although things didn't exaclty worked out the way I had planned, I still made some great friends and was able to add amazing things to my resume because of it. Great experience. If your school has Delta Gamma, look at them first :)

Above all of these though, you must be confident in yourself...and do not let other people change you in a negative way. If there is something you believe in, stick with it. Don't give in just to make friends- because if those people don't respect you or your beliefs, they really aren't your friends anyways, and you will end up getting hurt. Also, take your chance now. Don't let it just pass you by. This is your time, not tomorrow. Step out of your comfort zone and reach out to other people. Make your name known, and be proud of it.

Okay, I'm finished preaching. Have a great Wednesday.

Monday, September 6, 2010

What's Your Song?

Once in a while, I hear a song that makes me stop dead in my tracks. Whether it's vocals, music, or lyrics, something about certain songs strike me hard- they hit home. That happened today when I heard David Archuleta's song "Things Are Gonna Get Better". I'm going to need you to listen to this song.

Now, let's discuss.
A. Last summer I wrote a song called "It Gets Better". The lyrics are a mirror image of David's song.
B. "Walk On", a U2 song, is the common phrase we use when discussing Laurence. In fact, I've used it quite a few times this past weekend while celebrating memories of Laurence in honor of his 16th birthday.
C. "And everybody's got someone they've lost/And they can't believe they're really gone/But you gotta live on/Yeah, you gotta live on". Laurence. Matt, etc.
D. This whole transition phase I'm going through is one of the toughest I've ever faced. Through his song, David reminded me that things are going to get better. I know taking advice from a 19 year old American Idol finalist may seem a bit odd to most people, but when a song comes along that touches my heart in such a powerful way, I am going to share it with the world.

So, this poses a question. I want to know....what song feels like the artist is reading your mind? I have several, and this is absolutley one of them. What are some of yours?

While you're contemplating that, I have got to tell you about a fabulous book I just read, called Loved Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos. It is an incredibly sweet love story- without all the cliches and eye rolls. It's a beautiful story, and the author writes in such a descriptive way. I have never read love described in such a perfect way before. She quickly became one of my new favorite authors! This book was me laughing and crying. I could not put it down once I got to the last few chapters. Plus, it inspired a huge writing splurge. I loved this and I'm excited to read Belong To Me next!

Hope everyone has a great week. Things should be in place for me soon. Let's hope.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I Hope You Find Everything You've Been Dreaming Of

It's no secret that I've been on an emotional rollercoaster these past few weeks. From job dissapointments and family illnesses to a beautiful wedding and fun concerts, I never know whehter I will wake up laughing or crying. The days that are hardest are the ones where I have nothing for me to do. Last week, every day was like that. Therefore, I was pretty miserable. So imagine my family's relief when I came bouncing through the door Friday evening after an incredible day.

Most of my "favorite days" are a result of something epic happening, like meeting an Idol or going to a great concert. Friday was just another pretty typical day...yet one that I will always remember. I had made the decision earlier in the week to surprise my students at Cristo Rey by attending their opening mass. I was slightly nervous about it, actually. My nerves escaped the second I walked in the church and was greeted by some of the Sister's of Mercy. I spent some time before mass chatting with them. Then, the music started and the student body began processing in- juniors first, then sophomores, and finally, the freshmen. I was on the end of the row, and every two or three kids on my side would notice me and start waving frantcilly. When I went up for communion, I heard whispers of "Miss Carolin!" wave throughout the pews. That's when the smile came on my face. It hasn't left yet.

After Mass, they lined up all the students outside in two recieving lines. They asked the guests to shake their hands and wish them luck on the school year. It was very surreal meeting the new freshmen- there are so many of them, and not one did I know! Finally I got to the sophomores- and this is where I started to feel like a celeberiy. Every single kid hugged me. I know that could be seen as inappropriate but I really couldn't help it. They all just kind of latched on to me. I got many of the same comments throughout the line "I miss you!" "Why aren't you back here?" "Please come back!". It goes on and on. I just kept smiling and hugging. A few of the students who I was really close to cried. Plus, the entire time I was on one side, the opposite side of the line kept chanting for me to get to them- so I literally had to run and do it all over again once I got to the last student on the first side. More hugs, more smiles. It was one of the most amazing feelings in the world. I mean, seriously. If you had told me a few years ago that I would have impacted the lives of teenagers in such a positive way I probably would have laughed in your face.

After the lovefest line, I stood outside the school saying goodbye and talking with staff. Took some pictures with a few students and gave "be good" lectures out. I went to lunch with some former coworkers and then we hung out at Dean's house for a while. It was absolutley perfect. I know I've made this day about me, but it's more than that. It's about those kids. Those amazing kids. Those kids changed my life. They are the most amazing individuals I have ever known, and I feel absolutley blessed that I got to be a part of their lives, even for just a short time. I'll never forget any of them. I'm so passionate about their dreams, about their LIVES. I would do just about anything to be back there with them on a daily basis. Anything.

I'd also like to say that my best friend Dean really played a large role in my happiness. Not just yesterday, but all year long. I feel like everyone needs to know Dean, or at least have someone like him in their lives. Thanks for everything, Deano. I'm so happy we're friends.

My weekend continued to be "perfect" when I participated in the Curesearch Walk for Children's Cancer this morning. I was walking in memory of Laurence. It was the perfect walking weather- a cool, crisp morning with beautiful scenery at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills. Before the walk kicked off, they invited everyone who was walking in memory of someone upfront. They gave us each a gold balloon, and after a moment of silence, had us release them into the sky. That image was beautiful. They swirled up into the clouds. I hope people got pictures, although I know pictures won't do it justice. Anyways, I got emotional...because tomorrow would have been Laurence's 16th birthday. Plus, there was a little 3 year old girl there who is a cancer survivor, and she was standing right in front of me crying. I was near the front for the walk, but ended up passing everyone and finished first! I never in my life thought THAT would happen. I think I pushed myself a little too hard, though, because my shins were killing me. That doesn't matter, though. What matters is that I had a great time walking for Laurence. During my walk (which was without music, ps), I spent that time talking to him. I wouldn't change that for anything.

So, for Laurence's 16th birthday, I wrote a little something. It's based off the gold balloons in the sky. I love you, Laurence. Happy Sweet 16.

Your heart of gold was all we could talk about
And how you were constantly pouring it out for others, selflessly
I imagine when you closed your eyes for the final time
Your golden heart broke into pieces
Swirling gracefully into the sky,
Slowly headed toward the clouds,
Which grabbed onto the pieces, tucked them away in the safest place,
the pockets of the angels whose home lies within the clouds
when the rest of us down here get stuck
Pulled into destruction, ready to give up
The angels simply drop your gold from the sky
And it comes swirling gracefully back down,
Until it finds a new home in our hearts
And we can move forward, with a little golden piece of you to keep us going

Don't Mind Me...

A "real" blog post is coming soon. For now I'm just doing some memes.

1. Reply to this post, and I will pick five of your icons.
2. Make a post (including the meme info) and talk about the icons I chose.
3. Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts.
4. This will create a never-ending cycle of icon squee. Whoo

Here are the icons Elizabeth picked for me:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Big Mike/Crystal: My two favorites from season 9 :) I love this picture. I feel like Big Mike was the big brother/dad to everyone and Crystal was, of course, Mamasox. Therefore, we have the cutest piggy back picture of life.

Siobhan: This girl completly blew me away on tour. Her set is powerful, passionate, and (imo) a step above everyone else. She is a true performer. I hope she gets picked up soon because I can't stand the thought of her fading away.

GAGA: This picture is from the Grammy's...Gaga has had quite the year! She is one of my biggest inspirations creativly, because she just does whatever she wants. And yes, I am one of those people who thinks she is a genius. Sorry if you disagree. I love her. I love what she has done for people. I love her music. How wonderful life is now that Gaga's in the world :)

Jason Castro: One of my favorite Idols, ever. I absolutley love his voice and his music. I sometimes forget he was even on Idol, because of my support for him post-show. This picture is from a very raw interview he did about his faith. (another thing I love about him!). He's amazing. You should check out his music like yesterday.

Allison: I have no idea what this picture is from, but I love it. Allison is another one of my fave Idols...and I am very sad that her career has not taken off yet. She has a voice like no other. Homegirl can SANG. I am dying to see her live again. Go get her album!

Picture Meme: Comment saying you want to play and I'll give you a person. Then, you pick ten pictures of that person!

Elizabeth gave me Kelly Clarkson!

1. Choose a picture of the funniest face on your person.

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2. Choose a picture of your person eating

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3. Choose a picture of your person with an animal

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Choose a picture of your person with a member of the opposite sex.

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Choose a picture of your favorite outfit on this person.
I'm not sure if this counts, because it's an album cover, but I love this dress more than life.

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Choose a picture of your person smiling.

This happened 8 years ago TODAY.

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Choose a picture of your person half-naked.

Not posting a bathing suit picture cuz that's creepy. Instead, have a picture of her epic Since U Been Gone performance.

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Your person doing an outdoor activity.

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Your favorite picture
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Reply to this meme by yelling "Words!" and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your LJ and explain what they mean to you.

American Idol: Oh God. Where should I begin? Well. I guess with 8 years ago today! Miss Kelly Clarkson was named the first American Idol. Crazy how fast time goes. American Idol has gone from bieng my favorite tv show to a huge part of my life. It's brought me friends, laughter, tears, love, heartbreak, inspiration, change, disappointment. People make fun of AI often...especially those who don't understand what it means to me. All the craziness started Season 6 with Melinda and has gone full speed since then. I love that show, and more importantly I love the memories and friends it has given me.

Concerts: My personal escape from reality. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't go to concerts. Nothing else gives me that feeling. Nothing like screaming the words to my favorite songs at the top of my lungs. I've even gone to concerts alone, because once the music starts I am completly in my own world. I've been lucky these past few months with my favorite artists coming here for low prices. Let's hope that can continue. I'm looking forward to Lady Antebellum and The Rocket Summer in October.

Writing: What to say. Writing fuels me. As Crystal Bowersox told me, "let it out hunny". that's the best way to explain it- there's no other way for me to let out my feelings more perfectly than writing. Journaling, song lyrics, it doesn't matter. As long as I get it out. It's amazing how much better I feel once I can do that. My hope is that one day I can inspire people by my writing.

Michigan: I love my state. Never once have I SERIOUSLY wanted to get out of here (except Nashville). I mean, I hate the winter, but Michigan itself is awesome. From the beautiful northern michigan to the big city. This past year I have grown to fall absolutley in love with the city of Detroit. It's such an amazing place full of treasures. I really wish more people would pay attention to what goes on down there, and lend a helping hand to the struggling parts. Why ignore it? Even if you live in the suburbs, Detroit is your city too. Don't complain about it if you aren't helping.

Kids: "Kids" for me has taken on a whole new age group. I consier the teenagers I was working with this year kids. They were 14-17, but really, just big kids. I was always kind of intimidated of the thought of working with that age group, but this year opened my eyes to the world they live in. They need us. They need YOU to help them. You can't put all this pressure on them and then just not reach out. Save a life by helping out a kid.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Walking Without Music

So, today I went for a walk without an ipod. I know, that's as daring as lighting a candle in a dorm room. But, this is the first time I've ever done that. I know this seems really silly, but that was kind of a big deal for me. I've never walked without music, it's like my little crutch. When I don't think I can get through a walk, and I'm on that last hill, all I have to do is switch to a Kelly Clarkson song and I'm golden. This little episode got me to thinking that I can do much more than I give myself credit for...that I can step outside my box and push myself. So often we use little tools to get us through something- as simple as a hand to hold or a compliment from someone we love to the more complicated stuff like an alcoholic beverage or a cigarette. But the strength to get us through these challenges really comes from within us. We can begin to let go of our material things and use the power in our hearts to push us through! How awesome is that? And imagine this...if I felt this empowered taking a walk without music, imagine the possibilities when I continue to step out of my comfort zone.

I've been coming across so many messages lately about pushing past fear. I'll share them with you, because I think all of us can learn from this.

The first two are from Melinda. It seems she and I are often on the same page. Here are two things she has shared recently:

"Stepping out of my comfort zone! Step 1: Watch myself on AI for the 1st time. It's hard, but I'm learning a lot! What's your comfort zone?"

"As we are liberated
from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Marianne Williamson

Another is from one of my inspiring facebook friends, Myshel. She's one of Mandisa's backup singers. I always enjoy her posts.

"I've talked and talked about it long enough....its past time to BE about it!!! So I'm biting the bullet with NO FEAR and just gonna DO IT! I hear you singing to me 2011..."

That one really hit me hard. I've realized that I cannot sit around and wait for things to happen for me. I have to go after them, fearless. Thanks for that, Myshel.

Finally, a quote that I read.

"In the Bible, it says "Do Not Fear" 365 times. There’s 365 days a year. So that means, always wake up in the morning, telling yourself, “Do Not Fear” everyday.Because God is by your side, & He will always protect you."

So, I am going to continue to push myself out of my comfort zone and find peace and strength within myself, rather than using "things". It's time to live freely. Who's with me? Let's walk without music, together.