Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.

John Ruskin (1819-1900)

The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things … the trivial pleasure like cooking, one’s home, little poems especially sad ones, solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard.

Barbara Pym, Excellent Women (1952)

 

We call that person who has lost his father, an orphan; and a widower that man who has lost his wife.  But that man who has known the immense unhappiness of losing a friend, by what name do we call him?  Here every language is silent and holds its peace in impotence.

Joseph RouxMeditations of a Parish Priest 1886

+trance+

Quote: “If this night is not forever, at least we are together, I know I’m not alone, I know I’m not alone.” – Alan Walker, Alone

Last Friday, I had the privilege of seeing Alan Walker perform live for the first time in Webster Hall.  He is a young, but fantastic performer from Norway that no only makes amazing tracks, but also has great remixes as well, i.e. Sia’s “Move Your Body.”  His most recognizable song is his hit single “Faded,” which I heard in passing as the background music of some video my brother was watching.  This contributed to me streaming any Alan Walker song and remix literally 24/7, to the ire of my friends who had to listen to me blast his songs while doing homework, getting ready for class, etc.  Up until the release of “Alone” last December, featuring vocals by Noonie Bao, a Norwegian singer, my favorite Alan Walker song was “Sing Me to Sleep,” which features vocals by Iselin Solheim, another Norwegian singer who also sang “Faded.”  The reason why “Alone” became my favorite song by him was because I really resonate with songs that talk about solidarity and the realization that you are not alone.

♓️

While the concert was amazing, I was disappointed that while doors were supposed to open at 10 p.m., it was not until 10:20 p.m. when we started moving inside.  Mind you, with the wind chill, it felt like it was five degrees out!  Timing in concerts are the worst; we were allowed up to the Grand Ballroom at 11 p.m., but Alan Walker did not start his performance until 1:30 a.m.  During that time, we heard in-house DJs perform their stuff, which was not so bad until I noticed that a lot of their stuff just sounded like tracks they were playing off Proximity, which was a bit disappointing.  After that, Martin Jensen came out and played his stuff, which was surprisingly fun to dance along to.  I honestly did not know that I even knew Martin Jensen’s music until he started playing his songs and I recognized the lyrics and sang along.  However, two hours of non-Alan Walker music does take a toll on an old person like myself, so I kept on checking my phone to see when Alan Walker would make his entrance.

When he did come out, it was amazing because I basically knew all the lyrics to his songs and the songs he remixed, so I felt fully immersed in the experience.  Sorry to all my Snapchat and Instagram followers who had to watch twenty things that night!  Below are flattering pictures of me of that night, courtesy of selfies and Webster Hall.

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It was cold out, but once we saw that sign, nothing else mattered.
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They told us this was our line, but at 10:13 p.m., we were still waiting outside.
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The classic bathroom selfie, featuring stalls that look like something from a horror movie.
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Inside Webster Hall, still frozen, but too happy to care.
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Me asking my friend who this guy is.
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My friend said I looked like a model here with my side profile, so I just had to post this.
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My face looks gross, but I liked how the lights made the stage look cool.
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Alan Walker’s speaking on stage, while I’m bathed in red.
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I think my right arm was always moving up and down during the two hours he performed.
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We are the millennial generation, “pics or it didn’t happen.”
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I was confused when everyone started recording Alan Walker thanking the audience, but smiled because I knew someone was going to take a picture.
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Alan Walker and his New York fans.

As you can see from the pictures, I managed to snag a front row spot and it was delightful to be literally six feet away from him.  It was also surprising that the people did not push me to get towards the front, and I had sufficient room to dance, which made me extremely happy.  The only bad thing about my spot in the front row was that I was standing right in front of the streamer shooters, so you can guess what happened to me way too many times that night.

xoxo,

the girl who got hit in the face with streamers way too many times

Image Credit: Webster Hall

I make money from touring and selling merchandise, and I honestly believe if you put effort into something and you execute properly, you don’t necessarily have to go through the traditional ways.

Chance the RapperVanity Fair 2017

+rockabye+

“They heard a lullaby every time a part of her died in Silence.” – Akshay Vasu (via goodreads)

Whenever you ask someone why they like a song, they usually answer with one of two responses: a) the beat is catchy, or b) the lyrics spoke to them.  I think it’s fascinating when people say the latter because despite being able to memorize lyrics easily, I don’t find myself thinking about what the song is saying.  People are more caught up with the relevance of a song rather than its resonance because something that’s relevant equates to an instant connection with other people.  Not saying that the latter discourages connections, but it requires work and speaks of a deeper level of connection with others.  When someone mentions their favorite song, their friends immediately hop onboard the popular song bandwagon, regardless of the lyrics.  Though, when lyrics are mentioned, it’s always by the hipster in every group who sticks his/her nose down at the lyrics because do you even know what this song’s actually saying?

Recently, I’ve been listening to Clean Bandit’s music again after a period of not listening to them, post-“Rather Be.”  This is an issue many bands face: after their hit song, the songs that follow it don’t have the same charm because they just try to recreate their hit song’s success.  For some, they consider these follow-up songs to be successful, but for me, it’s a sign that I should just listen to other songs because absence does make the heart grow fonder.  My return to Clean Bandit’s music was due to “Tears,” featuring Louisa Johnson, which set the mood for their super addictive, “Rockabye” featuring Anne-Marie and Sean Paul.  Besides “Cheap Thrills” by Sia, released in February of 2016, I haven’t listened to Sean Paul’s music for the longest time, (i.e. since the early 2000s, when his songs were played during dance practice), so it was a pleasant surprise to hear his voice again.

This is a song that encourages reflection and realizations, even if your mother wasn’t a single parent because watching the music video, you see a parent simply trying to her best in a world that doesn’t think highly of her, all while protecting her child from the harsh realities.  This is the same story for many parents – they want to preserve their children’s innocent smiles from all the pain in the world.  Parents generally want to keep their children ignorant of all the behind-the-scenes work that’s required to make that possible.  This backstage work may be at the cost of the parent’s pride; you can be the most prideful person in the world, but once you have a child, you become humble or are humbled.  Parents simply want their children to not live the hard lives they had, as no parent wants to see their child suffer – they would rather suffer in their steed instead.  The lyrics support this sentiment:

“She tells him, “Your life ain’t gonna be nothing like my life (stay)
You’re gonna grow and have a good life
I’m gonna do what I’ve got to do
(Stay out there, stay out there)”
(Credit: azlyrics).

It’s not that the parent wants to do something per say, but a parent must do what they have to do for your sake.  It is a bitter pill for children as they enter adolescence because seeing your parents suffer for your sake, while you live a simple life of worrying about school contributes to its own kind of stress to the child.  As children, we know that education is the only way to escape this situation and save your parents from an uncomfortable life, but it can be hard for children to focus solely on their future when they see their parents breaking their backs to keep a roof over your head.

My biggest takeaway from this song is what I think I understood about my parents’ choices is only the tip of the iceberg.  It makes me think of the times I berated my parents for making a foolish decision because looking back, I’m not quite sure if I can easily disregard their decisions in this present moment, as I did years ago.  While we call service workers like teachers and nurses underappreciated and devalued to a ridiculous degree, I think that many parents have it worse.  Teachers and nurses have a retirement and pension when they get old, but what’s the reward for a parent with a child who hasn’t realized their parent’s worth and impact on their life?  Parents are also service workers who have an extremely valuable, yet intrinsic value, which leads to their subpar appreciation by many children.  So, let’s all be good to our parents because until we also become parents, we cannot fathom the choices our parents have made for us at the cost of their own happiness.

xoxo,

the girl who is hopefully becoming more mature

p.s. Below is the music video for “Rockabye” if you couldn’t be bothered to click the link or you wanted to listen to this song while reading this post.

Image Credit: Daikhlo

+lemon+

“Lemons.  He liked lemons.” – Nick Harkaway (via goodreads)

The beginning of a new year only means one thing – resolutions.  For most of us, we usually begin a new year with promises of a better and healthier version of ourselves.  However, if I am being completely honest, I do not think that there has been a year where I have actually kept my new year’s resolution.  For example, I once swore to be less addicted and caught up with my AIM account, yet within a week, I completely forgot about this promise and stayed up until midnight, chatting with my friends.  Another year, I swore with my best friend that we would work out together and get a beach bod’ for the summer, yet two days after swearing upon the high heavens, we were founded relaxing at a nearby café, trying to rationalize why we could not go to the gym that day.

If going to college and dorming with strangers, who I now call some of my closest friends, has taught me anything, it is that resolutions should always begin on a random day.  As a New Yorker, going to school in Pennsylvania has taught me how privileged I am, to be able to have access to clear tap water, as tap water in PA is probably akin to thick and gross mineral water.  Consequently, my solution to drinking PA water was to make a healthier alternative to lemonade that strangely tasted good, as well as a lemon detox tea that is perfect for helping you shed some of that extra salt and water weight that is making you bloated.

The lemonade alternative is an easy way to get a quick refreshing way to spruce up your everyday water consumption.  We all know that for clearer and healthier skin, on top of overall health, we should be drinking tons of water daily.  However, drinking water becomes monotonous over time, and so we are easily tempted into drinking other things like iced lattes and sodas, which sets us back on our daily water requirement.  So, to make drinking water not a chore again, listed below is the super simple recipe for a lemonade alternative

Ingredients

  • 5 lemon slices
  • 20 fl. oz. ice
  • 14 fl. oz. cold water
  • 1 tsp. honey – optional

Directions

In a large water bottle, add the lemon wedges before adding the ice.  Next, add the water, and honey, if desired.  Cap the water bottle and shake bottle thrice, turning it upside down, so that the lemon juice can be slowly infused into the water.

The lemon detox tea is also another easy way to get your daily water consumption, especially when it is colder out.  Listed below is the recipe for the tea to wash away some of your bad mistakes, like the time when you had three too many slices of pizza

Ingredients

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of ground mint
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ½ tsp. honey – optional

Directions

In a mug, mix the lemon juice, ginger, cloves, and mint.  Pour hot water and stir to combine.  If desired, wait a couple of minutes to add the honey.

Most tea recipes that include honey usually add the honey prior to pouring the hot water, but I would advise otherwise.  A few pre-med and biology majors have told me that when honey comes to contact with extremely hot things, it can create a carcinogenic, and frankly, we are not seeking to increase our chances of cancer just so we can drink a sweetened drink that will help us feel less bloated.  And anyways, we do not need a sweetener when we already consume so much sugar to begin with.

xoxo,

the girl who is trying to keep her resolution this year

Image Credit: Get It Online Joburg West