Sunday, September 23, 2012

Week 2 - The YOU Challenge: 2 Songs!

Here goes. Week 2 of the Ten Week YOU Challenge.
Up this week is 2 SONGS! Believe it or not, I gave a lot of thought to this post. Which two songs would I share with the world? And why? I'm a firm believer that music can say all the things we don't know how to say ourselves. What did I want the two songs I chose to say about me?

Well, here goes.

Tattoos On This Town by Jason Aldean

I fell in love with this song the moment I heard it. I grew up in small towns in New Mexico, Arizona and Wyoming. Any small town kid knows that if you want to pass the time, you have to invent a lot of things to do. Sliding down the drain on trash can lids and stop signs. Piling five people on one bike (it really happened!). Hide and go seek in the mesquite. Shooting snakes and squirrels with BB guns. Playing cops and robbers and running all over town. Building the best blanket forts in the back of a pickup and watching a drive-in movie. Summer romances. Walking around Wal-Mart because there was nothing better to do. Watching fireworks and stargazing from the hood of a truck.
"We let the world know we were here with everything we did."

I might not have had the luxury of shopping malls, beaches, nice restaurants or fancy theaters around the corner, but I did have the luxury of great friends and the world at our feet. I guess that's why I love this song so much. It brings back so many good memories and sometimes, just for a moment, I wish I could go back to being a kid. When the world was only as big as that little town and you couldn't go any farther than that dirt road would take you.
"It sure left its mark on us, we sure left our mark on it... Laid a lot of memories down, and we'll always be hangin 'round, like tattoos on this town."

However stupid or trivial our choice of activity was, we had fun. We weren't just passing the time, we were living. Living life to the fullest. And I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

Ok so, it's a bit different than the first one. This song is one of my "power songs" on Nike+. Whenever I hear it, I feel that much more motivated to run harder, run faster and to get stronger.

More importantly, though, I love this song because it's a reminder of where I want to be. I've grown up knowing I wanted to live in New York. I never really knew why, I just knew I wanted to walk those streets, be inspired by those lights. Nowadays, my dream is to take the New York journalism scene by storm.
"One hand in the air for the big city. Street lights, big dreams, all lookin' pretty."

I've had a lot of people tell me I can't cut it in New York. I'm "too small town." And I quote: "Taylor, you can't drive that truck in New York City." How about, "They ain't got no cowboys in the Big Apple." Or maybe, "Everyone wants to go to New York. What makes you different?"

I've heard it all. I'm not saying I want to spend the rest of my life in New York, because I don't. (It's true, I couldn't drive my truck down those narrow streets!) I just want to know that I can get there. That I can make it. That I can cut it. That I have what it takes. That I'm enough.
"Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothin' you can't do. Now you're in New York, these streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you."

So there you have it. I like to think of the two songs as representations of where I come from and hopefully where I'm going. I like to think that the places I knew as a kid have made me into the person I am today: adventurous, strong, innovative and incredibly ambitious. :)

Tune in next week for.... 3 FILMS!

Do you?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The 10 Day YOU Challenge.

If there is one thing I know, it's that I am TERRIBLE at blogging. I usually go for three or four months without posting. I've always meant to get in to posting once a week, but fail miserably every time I try.

THIS time, however, will be different! I saw this on my friend Jamie's blog and I thought, "Hey, I can do that!" Soooo here we go. The Ten Day YOU Challenge. We'll make it a ten WEEK challenge. Be here. Every Sunday. :)

The Ten Day Week YOU Challenge

Week 1: 1 Picture
Week 2: 2 Songs
Week 3: 3 Films
Week 4: 4 Books
Week 5: 5 Foods
Week 6: 6 Places
Week 7: 7 Wants
Week 8: 8 Fears
Week 9: 9 Loves
Week 10: 10 Secrets

Hopefully this will help keep be accountable and hopefully it will help you all learn something you didn't know about me. Because, let's face it, I'm pretty legit. ;)

Week 1: 1 Picture

This is me. I love laughing. I love having fun. I love being young. I love doing ridiculously stupid things that result in pictures like these.
I'm a dreamer, believer, optimist, lover of life.

Check back next week! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How Tupac saved my life.

^^^Take a listen while you read.

I was 18 when I was struck with this crazy realization. No matter how hard things get, no matter how sad we get, no matter what life throws at us, life goes on. Seriously. Life goes on.

I had just suffered my first real heartbreak and I remember lying in bed at night crying and crying. It was the first time I discovered intense emotional pain can also cause intense physical pain, the first time I literally cried myself to sleep, the first time I found myself wishing I was someone else.

And that's how I've felt lately.

I was so excited to get back to Provo after a very, very long summer. But now that I'm here, I feel lost. Confused. Like I got off the bus at the wrong stop and am struggling to figure out how to get to the right place.

Sappy details aside, I've been completely miserable. Like, depressing country music playing 24/7 kind of miserable. But, in my opinion, I've been doing a pretty good job of concealing it. Which, as many of us know, tends to make you even more miserable.

Then, I started sorting through the folder "useless junk" on my laptop and came upon this gem:
Oh, Tupac. Not generally one I look to for inspiration, but hey, he has a good point.

It was at that moment I paused my depressing country music playlist and put on my "wanna feel like a bada**?" playlist. Which included "The Fighter" by Gym Class Heroes.
"Everytime you fall it's only making your chin strong."

It was a moment of clarity. I think it was one of God's tender mercies. It's like he was saying, "You're better and stronger than this. Pull your head out of your butt."
"Give me scars, give me pain. And they'll say to me, say to me, say to me, 'There goes the fighter.'"

I've always known life isn't always going to be roses and butterflies. But in that moment, I realized there sure as hell won't be any roses and butterflies at all if I'm constantly focused on all the thorns and poisonous caterpillars.
"'Til the referee rings the bell, 'til both your eyes start to swell, 'til the crowd goes home, what we gon' do y'all?
Give 'em hell."

And I think that's all there is to it. Fighting. Happiness doesn't come easily. Happiness isn't a given. Happiness is a choice you make ahead of time. The time to put your fightin' pants on is when things are the darkest, the scariest, the most miserable.

Because it's in that moment that you find out who you really are: a butterfly or a caterpillar.