Tag Archives: Bruce Springsteen

Underrated American Freedoms

I am a big fan of Christmas, but if you ask me what my favorite holiday is, I will have to go with 4th of July. It’s not just that I appreciate stars and stripes (because, take one look at my closet and you will see that I do), it’s that I feel like 4th Of July has no pressure to celebrate any certain way. Sure, there are some traditions that are almost universal, but there’s no set group of family or people that you have to spend the day with. The term “American” is so vast, that really, no matter your religious affiliation, family drama (or lack thereof), bank account status, or celebratory style, you can have a happy 4th of July. You can go out or you can watch fireworks from the couch. You can grill hot dogs, or you can get takeout. You can wear an Uncle Sam hat or you can throw on an old tee shirt.

In a way, 4th of July is a lazy holiday, and well, it’s fitting, because America is sometimes a little lazy. But hey, when it’s the middle of summer, what’s wrong with an easy, lazy celebration?

My personal 4th celebration this year was easy. Give me friends, fried pickles, beers, and fireworks, and I’m over the moon, but all this joy also got me thinking about a few underrated freedoms that I and those close to me get the chance to personally exercise in this great nation. For example, thanks to the USA, my friends and I can proudly have:

The freedom to wear leggings as pants

The freedom to get chicken nuggets as a side with your burger

The freedom to rock American themed nail art

The freedom to use whatever emoji you please

The freedom to fast forward through commercials with your DVR

The freedom to listen to the same Foxy Shazam song on repeat for a week straight

Historically, the freedom to throw tea into a harbor because I AM OVER PAYING TAXES

The freedom to spend way too much on fancy cheese at Whole Foods

The freedom to see Pixar movies in theaters and cry at their simple beauty, no matter how old you are

The freedom to daydream and read all day in bed

The freedom to write in whoever you want on the presidential ballot (even though it’s very rare that Beyonce and/or Miranda Lambert will win)

The freedom to dance in the aisle at the grocery store

The freedom to say “I love you” to anyone that strikes your fancy

The freedom to turn off your phone for a while and soak up life wholeheartedly

The freedom to take college classes or even major in ridiculously creative things like Writing, Pop Culture Studies, Television, Duct Tape Art, etc!

The freedom to get tattoos and be proud of the fact that you’ll be the ‘resident badass’ of the retirement home in 60 years

The freedom to change cities, friendships, relationships, and jobs, when you feel like one of them isn’t letting them be 100% of the person you need to be

The freedom to waste your afternoon on YouTube learning hair braiding tutorials

The freedom to wear bright neon socks with business-professional shoes (like a little secret that only you know!)

The freedom to NOT agree with everything someone tells you to believe and to express this in a healthy way, publicly, without fear

The freedom to have our needs like food allergies, dietary restrictions, skin sensitivities, etc, catered to by restaurants and stores! We can be picky!

The freedom to take other traditions from all cultures and put em all together in a red white and blue melting pot and call it AMERICAN.

So I hope this Fourth of July (or every single day of this year so far) that you listened to some Bruce Springsteen, rocked an American flag bandanna, lit things on fire, drank a beer, ate a burger, ooh’d and ahh’d at fireworks, or that you did none of the above, because ultimately, you had, and continue to have, that choice.

There are men, women, and children of all shapes, sizes, sexual orientations, races, creeds, and languages who have fought for and continue to fight for our right to  have that choice of celebration and furthermore, simply, fight for our existence as Americans, lazy and easy as it may be for some.

It’s a beautiful place we live in, and however you decide to celebrate this great land of ultimate self-expression is lovely and accepted.

So God Bless America, flaws and all. We may not have it together, but we can still be proud in the midst.

And no matter what, I can promise you I will personally fight forever for the right to have big hair, for all generations.

What underrated freedoms are you thankful for?

I Used To Be So Reassured (+ Time Travel!)

Hi, internet. I’m still unemployed for those of you wondering (all 3 of you) and I don’t say that to make you feel sorry for me, just to keep you informed and because well, it’s part of this story.

You see, when you’re unemployed, you have a whole lot of free time on your hands. During my large block of free time today, after filling out applications and googling pictures of puppies (because that is another essential task), I decided to go back and clean up some of my old blogs, seeing as I’ve had quite a few. I was going through old entries from several blogs ago (oh yes, I was one of those special breeds of the internet generation that had a blog in middle school and high school…and God bless your heart if you read them and are still deciding to read my words now) and I found this:

April 1, 2008: “There’s a few future plans I have planned out and heard more on lately, but overall, I’m just trusting God and putting it all in his hands. I hardly know everything, but what do I know? I’ve got a list of books to read and a set of records and box sets of LPs that Olivia is letting me borrow that I can’t even believe I am actually hearing and that amaze me. There’s also a graduation date to look forward to. And larger than that, I’ve got an intense passion for music that overwhelms me sometimes, a family and group of friends that I run out of fantastic adjectives for, and a desire to serve in some way. I know that those will be there no matter where I’m living or what I’m doing years from now, and actually, yes, that’s very reassuring.”

I wrote it almost exactly 4 years ago, about to graduate high school. The “box sets of LPs” were the Live 1975-85 Boxset and I was juuuust beginning to listen to Bruce Springsteen. I was 17, I was idealistic, and I was so reassured.

I’m definitely not the same girl I was then. I look different in nearly every way and I sound different too. I drink a lot more coffee than I used to four years ago and since then, I’ve also touched Bruce Springsteen’s guitar while he was playing it. In comparison to four years ago, I’ve picked up a ukulele and guitar, fortunately, and unfortunately, I read less books. I am, for all intents and purposes, better than I was four years ago, more educated than I was four years ago, and older than I was four years ago (duh) but that peace and reassurance about the future and about my life that I had four years ago? I’d give anything to have those back, instead of this post-grad anxiety.

I have been obsessed with the idea of time travel for years. No, really.  REALLY OBSESSED. Back to the Future was my Dad’s favorite movie and was on repeat growing up. Marty McFly stole my heart at a young age with his orange vest and guitar solo. Today I look into buying a used DeLorean on Ebay maybe once a month, and don’t even get me started on my adoration for Doctor Who and how I wish for the Tardis. Heck, I even loved Stargate and Battlestar Galactica for their crazy timeline drama. So, all this geekery and obsession leads me to love discussions about flux capacitors and what it might look like to go back into the past.  I talk about time travel with no qualms at all. However, reading something I wrote and craving to be able to write it again, to go back there when I thought I’d come so far, baffles me more than any space-time continuum.

Is it too weird to think that you should take advice from…yourself?

Unemployment & Little Old Me

Oh, internet. I’ve been oddly away from you for nearly a month, but you know this lion couldn’t stay away forever. So, what could I talk about in this long overdue post to entertain you and simultaneously express my feelings at the same time?

I could talk about working 11 AM – 4 AM at The PureVolume House the entire week of SXSW in Austin, Texas and how it meant not having a life and having 12 emotional breakdowns a day and running around the city and never sleeping and losing 5 pounds from stress and getting a million free t-shirts and liking the experience in the end but being so exhausted and slightly absorbed in the Austin hipster culture more than I need to be, but that would just be obnoxious (see what I did there?).

I could use this post to apologize for not being more consistent in my online presence, but I think that’s just the story of my life at this point.

I could tell you how obsessed I am with any and all Dawes albums, but I’ll just leave this link here to let you discover the love for yourselves.

I could put pictures in this post, but I’ve been lazy with the camera, too- minus using PhotoBooth to test out the 4 pairs of feather earrings I now own (because when I finally embrace a trend, I go head-over-heels).

(brb, flying away now!)

So what’s the thing to talk about?

I think the American Dream is a thorn in my side at this moment.

It’s just, me being unemployed is not quite the stuff of Norman Rockwell paintings.

I know it’s only been 3 or so months of not having a job on my end, but there’s days where it’s hard to keep my head up. Not that I’m ready to settle down, but every five minutes I log into Facebook and see that another friend of mine just had a child. Or got a job. Or got a promotion. Or is engaged. And I’m happy for this progress in their lives, don’t get me wrong, but when I’m applying to part-time shifts and my most substantial relationship is the one between my right foot and the gas pedal on my Rav4, it becomes harder and harder to relate. Unemployment hasn’t ruined my life yet, if nothing else, I’m just restless. I bounce between living at my parents’ house (yes, living at home, you have no idea how much pride I just dropped to type that on the internet) and couches of my best friends, but nothing feels permanent. Everything I own is in boxes or suitcases and there’s a little backache from sleeping on weird surfaces that won’t seem to go away. I feel like a gypsy at times, and while this is what my little traveler heart has potentially wished for, there’s still a feeling of being trapped. I can’t just drop everything and hop on the open road, because, for one thing, I’d run out of gas money by about El Paso and secondly, I’m afraid to go too far without the means to support it, friends and family to guide me, and really, a purpose. I’d love to leave Texas in my rearview mirror for a season or two, but it’s so hard to rationalize it when I’m not doing anything to make a paycheck.

I feel like an early-era Bruce Springsteen song or a bad twentysomething-life tv drama, but the white-picket-fence-settle-down-and-have-a-family-and-be-happy dream is so perplexing and challenging to my brain at this moment in time.

Am I supposed to be striving for this at age 21? Would my wild heart be more suited for domestic bliss? Is finding a normal job and normal hours and a normal relationship more secure than trying to somehow get my moccassin-clad foot into the music and media industry’s door?

Well, probably. But then again, being unemployed 3 months after graduating isn’t totally unheard of. My own situation has some sense of normalcy, and everyone I seem to meet says they don’t have this American Dream thing figured out any more than I do, even if they do have a fence and a golden retriever and wear clothing that wasn’t bought at a thrift store and go to meetings with clients and remember important events in their iPhone calendars.

I think my plan is to leave the American Dream on hold and settle for just finding something substantial with a paycheck that I can live in for more than a week, but for now, I do live week-to-week. Rest stop to rest stop. Couch to couch (and sometimes a real bed!). Cup-of-coffee to cup-of-coffee. I say yes to any and all free food offered to me and I celebrate sunny days with my sunroof down. I see old friends when I can, make new friends in the most random places, daydream big and sometimes I even put on a big-girl-outfit for a job interview.  I scan wanted ads and job openings for hours online, apply to a few and hope for the best. I get rejection emails daily saying I’m over qualified, under qualified or that companies just don’t have room for me.

Sometimes I feel a little discouraged, but then I remember that I’ve got a good set of speakers and a car that runs and music that I can press the repeat button on. I’ve got friends that make me laugh and family that loves me and lets me stay with them even when I’m without a job, and most of all, I’m still breathing and walking on my own two feet.

I don’t think unemployment looks good on anyone, but it doesn’t hurt to smile every once in a while, so, I am. Also, if you’re reading this and you need a copy of my resume, I can send it to you faster than you can ask.

(No, seriously. And I’m passionate. And I can start immediately. And I make a mean cup of coffee.)

SERIOUSLY. ANYONE, FEEL FREE TO HIRE ME; TODAY!

Things I Will Never Be Able To Accurately Express With Words

Surprise- I made you a list post, internet! But really, you should expect them by now.

I aim to always be able to use words to express how I’m feeling, tell a story, explain a phenomenon and sing along, but sometimes I can’t string them together well enough. Being a blogger, I swirl ideas around constantly and keep a running commentary both written and spoken to add on, but there are times where this just doesn’t work. You see, there are a few subjects and occurrences that I am left high and dry on and struggle to even say. So, that’s what I’m after today. Blame it on writer’s block, but here are the –

Things I will never be able to accurately express with words:

How much I miss Clarence Clemons’ saxophone on the newly-leaked Bruce Springsteen album

How hard it is to stay focused on ANYTHING when you are unemployed, 21, moving out, applying to jobs, getting interviews, getting rejection emails, and trying to figure out where to live in your postgrad life all at the same time

How cute baby kangaroos are

How much I turn into a needy buy-me-this child whenever I see a piece of clothing with sequins and/or glitter on it

How I could live inside this video/how the lyrics can be felt in my very SOUL/how soothing the voice of Ray LaMontagne truly is:

How much running out of coffee give me anxiety

How many days I could survive on only grilled cheese and pancakes

How hard it is to act professional and grown-up when your phone accidentally goes off and the ringtone is Beyonce’s “Countdown”

How much better I need to get at loving people in general

How hard I am hyping The Hobbit coming out at the end of this year

The amount of sadness that is experienced when you lose your favorite leather jacket to a night on 6th Street in Austin

How much joy Adele sweeping the Grammys brought to my heart and made me wanna buy 5 more copies of “21” (again)

How much better I sleep after I’ve spent all day talking and laughing and playing with my favorite people

How great an idea “never-ending breadsticks” was and is and continues to be

How frustrating writer’s block is when you tell people constantly, “Yes, I would love to be a writer when I grow up!”

How hard it is to NOT go to the animal shelter and set loose all the kitties and puppies and steal them away in my Rav4

How simple the phrase “Jesus loves you” is and yet how its repercussions are so huge and forgotten by little old me

How greatly I wish I could be crafty and DIY-ish but fail miserably each time

The overwhelming love I feel from the internet and beyond on a daily basis. Thanks, yall.

I Will Unfollow Your Wedding Board On Pinterest

I went to a wedding for one of my friends this weekend and looked all snazzy with these beautiful people:

(give all of us modeling contracts, plz)

Now, I know that as a single girl, weddings are supposed to make me bitter and hyper-aware of my aloneness, but I’ll be darned if I wasn’t sitting there the whole time with a big grin on my face and possibly tearing up during the vows. Is this progress? A little.

You see, I have a love-hate relationship with weddings. I think they are wonderful and a beautiful picture and celebration of Christ’s love and two people committing themselves to each other, and I also adore a good dance floor, but I try and steer clear of planning my own. I will unfollow your “Wedding <3 <3” board on Pinterest faster than you can say “I do” because I’m afraid of my wild imagination getting ahead of me and looking at perfect wedding ceremony and reception pictures all day then becoming a girl who places so much worth on getting married. It’s not that I don’t want to or that I don’t believe in it, quite the opposite, it’s just that I know it’s so easy for those idealistic dreams to cripple you. I know so many lovely and wonderful single girls who envision their ceremonies for hours and this becomes what they strive after, not their life as an unattached female! They pursue plans that aren’t even in the works yet and then come to the conclusion that getting married will solve every single problem. I mean, I laugh at things like this because they’re true:

But seriously, it’s okay to want to be married. It’s okay to like a certain color scheme or a sweetheart neckline or to occasionally tune into Say Yes To The Dress and chastise the girl for bringing too many bridesmaids with her to the salon (I mean, come on, everyone knows that’s a rookie mistake) but if you’re not engaged yet, don’t get so bogged down in the wedding fever that you can’t see anything else. There is life in being unattached, there is more to plan than what your invitations will look like! It’s so dangerous to place your heart in a situation that it’s not prepared for yet. Pursue the things that matter to you now.

In one of my favorite posts on The Good Women Project, Laura Hill talks about finding purpose in singleness and it shakes me up in the best way. It’s such a challenge to be a little ray of sunshine when people keep asking you about being in a relationship or telling you that your time is ticking before you need to get married (I mean, seriously? Is me not getting married like a bomb going off?) but it’s a challenge that you should accept wholeheartedly. Plus, after a while, pining for a perfect wedding or a picturesque romantic-comedy marriage is just going to leave you feeling empty anyway, and unless Ryan Gosling or George Clooney all of the sudden come to their senses and show up on your doorstep holding a welsh corgi and a bouquet of orchids, it’s pointless anyway. Work on improving your own life, not your future husband’s. Be you, be content, be happy. Don’t be spending hours creating the life you don’t have yet and may never have; love the one you’ve got.

And as for the wedding I went to? Perfectly executed. I mean, if you’re gonna serve breakfast food, I’m going to cheer. If you’re going to give me an excuse to wear 4-inch leopard print platforms, I’m going to celebrate. If you’re going to serve as a great example of a loving Jesus-centered relationship and when you smile at each other the whole crowd melts, I’m going to get excited.

And if by some miracle, you’re going to play Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing In The Dark’ as your last song, you better believe I’m going to start screaming and make everyone else do the Boss-snapping, Clarence clapping, saxophone solo and Courtney Cox arm movements with me like a fool on the dance floor.

I mean, come ON, how could I not?! It’s the little things.

My Happy Place

My happy place is a mid-morning omelette, bacon, toast and a friend.

My happy place is a big hammock in the shade.

My happy place is sitting in front of a fireplace with a cup of hazelnut coffee (two splendas & just a kiss of half-and-half, please).

My happy place is driving with the windows down on a back road riiiiight when the sun comes up in the morning and a perfect playlist to accompany the ride.

My happy place is that last page of a book when you finish the journey and you just kinda sigh and go, “what now?”

My happy place is an SNL skit that actually manages to make me laugh.

My happy place is volunteering for a community that shares great stories and encourages women in truth every day.

My happy place is a closet full of boots, jeans that fit really well, and leopard print.

My happy place is a never-ending marathon of The Lord Of The Rings (Extended Editions) followed by the Back To The Future Trilogy followed by Almost Famous followed by The Sound Of Music, then repeated.

My happy place is a big couch with a warm laptop on my lap, reading blogs and watching stupid videos.

My happy place is a group sing-along.

My happy place is anywhere I can put my toes in a body of water.

My happy place is a brand new Bruce Springsteen single and upcoming album + tour!!!

My happy place is a new haircut and the smell of fresh laundry.

My happy place is a never-ending text message conversation with my family members.

My happy place is waking up before my alarm and going back to sleep.

My happy place is a big stack of vintage vinyl records.

My happy place is petting a puppy.

My happy place is tap dancing in my best friend’s new apartment.

My happy place is finding tiny little ways to change the world while looking for a big-girl job.

What’s your happy place?

Song Lyrics I Wanted To Post As Statuses in 2011

By all standards, at age 21, I am too old for some things. Besides being too tall to ride the kiddie rides at amusement parks and getting strange looks if I order off the children’s menu, I should really not post song lyrics as a status or a tweet.

Don’t lie, you know we all used to and have at some point in our lives written lyrics to show the internet how we were/are feeling. However, there has to be a line, right? We can’t be emotional middle-schoolers forever!

I know, I know, it’s not a big deal, but sometimes I just hear a line that’s so perfect and I relate to it and I want to type it out so badly!

Here’s my problem- I’m a music nut and more than anything I have those dramatic days when I just want to tell people how I’m feeling with a well-crafted lyric written by someone else. However, this gesture often seems childish and silly and so in trying to grow up, I resist as often as I can.

However, I have this blog, and this blog is, more often than not, used to get out a few words I can’t say anywhere else.

So, hypothetically, if I HAD posted a lyric-filled status in this great year of 2011, these would be just a few I might have used.

Lion-Haired Girl’s “Song Lyrics I Wanted To Post as Statuses (Stati?) in 2011”

(Also, each song title is a clickable link to a video/audio recording of the song if you want to hear for yourself! Enjoy!)

“‘I wanna do right, but not right now.'” Look At Miss Ohio, Gillian Welch

This song packs more emotion in these words than I thought possible in a whole conversation. It is the perfect line about being in this weird transition period of adulthood and trying to keep right amidst everything in this crazy world.

“A year from now, we’ll all be gone. All our friends will move away and they’re goin’ to better places, but our friends will be gone away. Nothin’ is as it has been and I miss your face like hell, and I guess it’s just as well, but I miss your face like hell. Rivers and roads, rivers til I reach you.”Rivers and Roads, The Head And The Heart

Basically a song to encapsulate the end of college. Oh, this song! I get an intense case of goosebumps every time I hear it and the harmonies that go along with the words.

“Lord, have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways.” Down In The Valley, The Head And The Heart

Let’s just say this year was a big year for The Head And The Heart and this lion. I say this phrase in my head at least 4 times a week.

“And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back, so shake him off! I am done with my graceless heart, so tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart, cause I like to keep my issues strong. It’s always darkest before the dawn.” Shake It Out, Florence + The Machine

For all those nights when I’ve just wanted to give up, but dance it out instead. Florence, you’re a lifesaver.

“I told myself that you were right for me, but felt so lonely in your company, but that was love and it’s an ache I still remember.”  Somebody That I Used To Know, Gotye feat Kimbra

Gotye and Kimbra will stick in your brain and never leave it. The emotion in these harmonies? Crazy good. I haven’t been in this dramatic of a relationship, but something about this song just grips you.

“So with the angst of a teenage band, here’s another song about a gender I’ll never understand. If this is a rom-com, kill the director, please!”Kill The Director, The Wombats

YES. I’ve written about the magical powers of this song here, but if you’re ever frustrated with relationships and your life not measuring up to those fake-falling-in-love-movie-scenes that you’ve watched all your life, BLAST THIS SONG AND FIST-PUMP ALONG. Finally a frustrated not-in-love song! Have no shame.

“Somewhere between that setting sun, ‘I’m On Fire’ and ‘Born To Run’, you looked at me and I was done and we’re, we’re just getting started. When I think about you, I think about 17. I think about my old jeep, I think about the stars in the sky. Funny how a melody sounds like a memory, like the soundtrack to a July Saturday night; Springsteen.”Springsteen, Eric Church

Play this for any Bruce fan and see if they don’t feel something. Also, I got to meet Eric Church in Nashville and have so much respect for him now – he’s an incredible artist. Also, this song is pretty much a great deal of my life story. Good enough for me.

“I don’t wanna be laid down, no I don’t wanna die knowing that I spent so much time when I was young just trying to be the winner! Don’t care ’bout being a winner or being smooth with women or going out on Fridays and being the life of parties; no no no!”Losers, The Belle Brigade

I would like to dedicate this song to our generation- the one that feels like their lives aren’t worth anything if new Facebook pictures aren’t tagged of their ‘crazy’ Friday night parties every weekend. Be satisfied with your life, stop competing to win! Life is not a popularity competition! Throw your fist in the air to this song!

“Some say life will beat you down, break your heart, steal your crown. So I started out for God-knows-where, I guess I’ll know when I get there. I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings. Coming down is the hardest thing.”Learning To Fly, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

I have listened to this song on nearly every highway and back road of Texas and Tennessee highways, half-singing the lyrics and half-praying for the future. It’s a song that I’ve had in my back pocket for years and always cheers me up and helps me get a little perspective on life. It’s a song that makes me feel safe and like I’m where I need to be. That, and it sounds so good blasting with the windows rolled down.

“Home is wherever I’m with you.”Home, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

The most simple but the most true. This is the type of song I will always wish I’d written myself. The sentiment applies to my friends, my family and my savior, and I guarantee you can’t play this song and not smile. Try it.

What’s a song lyric that you wanted to post As A status (or did post, if you’re brave!) this year? I love hearing new music!