I’m leaving my “temporary” home

Five years ago I moved from Small Town USA to Bloomington, Indiana to attend Indiana University. In my naive mind, Bloomington was this massive city that was both absolutely terrifying and unequivocally mesmerizing at the same time. I was thrilled to move away and live the college lifestyle that I always envied in the movies. You know, party everyday and eventually graduate and receive an expensive piece of paper. Deep down I told myself that Bloomington and IU was my “temporary” home. I was going there for school and parties, nothing to it. Little did I know, I would experience some of life’s highest highs and lowest lows in this ol’ college town.

Now that my move-out date is quickly approaching, I’ve been reflecting on my time here and just the thought of saying goodbye is making my heart heavy. I’ve watched some of my closest friends come and go and now that it’s my turn, I’m not mentally prepared.

I never thought this would be the place where I would fall in love, meet my forever friends, or experience how adult life REALLY works. (I still wouldn’t wish adulting on anyone.)

But this is that place. I did fall in love; with my neighbor right across the street to be exact. I did meet my forever friends and I even got the chance to live with them and make so many extraordinary memories along the way. And yes, it IS the place where I learned that I have to bust my ass to get what I want. Even if it was a degree in journalism that I’m struggling with daily to find a decent job. (Not to discourage anyone from pursuing their dream of being a journalist. I’m fine, I promise.)

Bloomington is where I became the woman that I am today. This town and the people I’ve met have shaped me into a selfless, understanding, loving, passionate soul. Yes, I’ve had my rough patches, more than I would like to admit, but the good times outweigh the bad tremendously.

So, with that being said, I look forward to coming back and visiting. I can’t wait to drive past the apartments and houses that I have lived in to reminisce on the one too many beer bong races that I WON on the doorsteps. I can’t wait to pass the bars and have a flood of memories come over me. And I cannot wait to come back and stand in front of those sample gates and be thankful for accomplishing something that not many people get the opportunity to accomplish.

Bloomington will always hold such a special place in my heart. I never knew I would get so attached, but damn I’m glad I did. I wouldn’t trade these past five years for anything in the world.

Thank you, B-Town. It’s been real.

Real. Fun.Sample Gates

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Celebrating 25 Years Of Dave Matthews Band

It had been 247 long days since I had seen Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge for my final shows of the 2015 tour.

On May 7th, DMB celebrated their 25th anniversary in the city where it all began, Charlottesville, VA.

Fans traveled from all over the country in order to see this once in a lifetime show. My group strolled into town on Friday and I had never been so excited to get out and explore a new city. Charlottesville made me feel right at home as soon as I got out of the car. The small town feel made me so comfortable and open.

We decided to unpack our things and immediately head downtown where we could visit Miller’s, the legendary bar where Dave Matthews worked and the band performed. After we had taken our pictures and met with friends, we headed to a party that Ants hosted at Mono Loco Restaurant just down the street from Miller’s. I attended the party hoping to see some familiar faces and what happened was even better than expected.

I saw some “old” friends that I met last summer or the summer before, but I also met so many new faces that I had only “met” through social media. Meeting these beautiful souls face to face was an experience like no other. It’s so surreal to meet someone for the first time and to feel as though you’ve known them for years, which is exactly how it feels when I meet people that have the same passion for this band as I do.

We continued our journey on Saturday morning by going back downtown and visitng the art exhibit for the 25th anniversary. Early photographs of the band were featured along with many of Dave’s drawings and handwritten lyrics for some of their most popular songs. A wave of emotions came over me as I walked through the exhibit. I had so many tears of joy pool in my eyes, but I could not keep a smile off of my face. It was a memory I will always cherish. Outside the exhibit, the original van that the band traveled in was on display. It was amazing to see the transformation of 25 years.

My group had floor tickets for the show and decided to go into John Paul Jones Arena around 6pm. We were about 10 rows back from the stage and had a perfect view of the band. The energy in the room was electric.

The band opened with The Song That Jane Likes, which hasn’t been an opener since 1994. They played three new songs, which completely blew me away. (Samurai Cop, Bob Law and Bismarck)

AND GET THIS.

Last Stop.

Sugar Will.

They haven’t been played since 2010.

The whole show was incredible. I’m so incredibly thankful that I was present for such an amazing performance. The band was totally on fire and the fans were loving every single second.

I am so proud to call these fans my family and friends and to connect over this band who has brought so much joy to all of our lives. The entire weekend was something I will always carry with me.

Thank you, Dave Matthews Band.

 

(WO)Man’s best friend

I decided to visit home last night and as I was leaving this morning I was struck with a sudden sadness because I didn’t want to leave my dogs.

I have a Pitbull and Boxer at my parents’ house. They are the sweetest animals I have ever encountered.

Diesel (Pitbull) and Walter (Boxer) slept next to me the entire night, one on each side. It was one of the best nights of sleep that I have had. They have such strong personalities.

Walter is outgoing and the life of the party. Diesel is more laid back and carefree. They both love to run and play tug-o-war. Max loves to be in front of the camera while Diesel is more apprehensive. (They both warm up quickly if I’m the photographer.)

As I was driving back to my house today, I realized how much of an impact a dog can have on your life.

They know exactly how you feel. They lay with you when you’re sick, they are happy when you’re happy, they greet you with such excitement every time you walk in the door. Your mood can go from the lowest low to the highest high. It’s such a contagious happiness.

Whenever I visit home and have to leave it breaks my heart to say goodbye, but I know that as soon as I see them again it will be like I never left. These two dogs are my entire heart and soul. Unconditional love at its finest.

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Where you are is where I wanna be

I may or may not have a slight obsession with the Dave Matthews Band. Hint: I do. I definitely do.

I really sat down and started listening to them my freshman year of college. I was floored. I had never been overcome by music like that.

I decided that summer was when I would finally attend a show. I bought tickets for Riverbend in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I took my cousin along with me and it has since become tradition.

That first show was quite a spiritual experience, no doubt. My mind was blown. The energy that they put into the show was unparalleled to anything I had ever witnessed.

At that same show, I realized what I wanted to do career wise, which is strange to think about now. I wanted to change my major to journalism with a concentration in music. My main interest is photojournalism. After seeing that performance I knew I wanted to capture images for those who couldn’t be there. I wanted my images to be able to bring the show to life and let the people who couldn’t attend, feel the energy through the photo.

Since visiting The Gorge, I have been obsessed with going to new venues. This year if the boys are at Red Rocks in Colorado, I’m definitely attending. I love the feeling of being in a new atmosphere with people who share the same passion as you do.

I’m looking forward to being able to travel to new places while seeing my favorite band do their thing. Adventures upon adventures.

Where you are is where I wanna be.

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Let’s Get Personal

Why is it that we, as humans, obsess over being given love and affection from someone else?

Why do we put it as a priority above all else that comes into this world. Why do we search for acceptance from society? We pride ourselves on being independent individuals, but at what point will we truly be independent?

How far will we go until we are emotionally satisfied?

They say you have to love yourself before others can love you. Is this true? If so, what if we cannot find the inner strength to accept ourselves because we have been living under the scrutiny of our peers and we have been telling ourselves that we will never be good enough. If you tell yourself something for so long, you start to believe it. It starts to become fact.

Maybe we need to shed this idea that in order for someone to love us, we must first love ourselves.

Maybe we just need that ONE person to tell us that we are special.

Maybe we just need that ONE person to love us, maybe then we will start to look at ourselves differently, more positively.

Be that ONE person that someone is searching for to tell them that it’s OKAY.

It’s okay to be insecure sometimes, it’s okay to want to hide away.

Be that ONE person that will show someone that they don’t have to be afraid to show love and affection.

Life is short, don’t waste it by being the one person who puts someone down, who tells them that they will be alone if they can’t find the inner strength to love themselves.

Don’t be the one person who refuses to have sympathy and compassion for those unable to show the same feelings.

As we get older, we tend to see and experience more negative outlooks on life. Pass some positivity forward today and tell someone you love them. Tell someone that they are not alone.

No matter what path you’re on at the moment, your footprints are accompanied with others.

As you evaluate this you realize how love and affection are truly important. It is absolutely dire for someone to know that they are loved.

That they can go through this crazy roller coaster of a life knowing that no matter how deep the hills go, there is ONE person who will be waiting to bring them to the top and look back on those deep hills as something that they can grow from.

Be that ONE person.

Spontenaity

I’ll be the first to admit that I have never been a spontaneous person. I love having my plans laid out a week in advance. BUT, last August I decided last minute to take a cross-country trip to Seattle, Washington. My favorite band, Dave Matthews Band, plays a three-day show in George, Washington every Labor Day Weekend.
I booked my first flight and boarded my first plane in Indianapolis. I was extremely nervous, but I knew that I wouldn’t regret it.
I landed in Seattle around 10 a.m. and eventually found my way out of SEA-TAC. Checked into my hotel and iced down some much needed beer.
I met up with my friends who were generous enough to give me a ride to the campsite.
The adventure had just begun.
If you have never witnessed the beauty that is “The Gorge” you are missing out. It is the most beautiful venue I have ever witnessed with my own two eyes.
I was in pit all three nights and camped with the most amazing people I have ever met.
It was truly three days of peace, love, and music. The band put on an amazing performance (as usual).
Like I said, I am usually one to make plans weeks in advance, but ever since taking this trip, I have become so spontaneous. Taking day trips to Tennessee to see a live band, making a trip to Chicago just because. Visiting Indianapolis just to try out a new bar.
Life is full of amazing opportunities and I now believe you should put yourself out there. Be spontaneous, be adventurous. Make memories that you can tell your grandchildren about. Make them want to see what you’ve seen.
And most importantly, love every damn second of it!

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