Tuesday Tunesday: Somewhere I Belong

Since starting this blog, one of my main goals was to address mental health, and I’ve been really candid about sharing my own ups and downs, much of which started, unsurprisingly, when I began my freshman year of high school (what is it about that age???). I was experiencing so much and wasn’t quite sure how to cope until I found unhealthy strategies that weren’t really helping me properly cope or heal, namely self-harming. Thankfully, I didn’t stay there long, and to this day, I firmly believe music is one of the things that pulled me from this darkness. It was one band, in particular, that helped me put into words what I was feeling inside, helped me know that I was not alone, helped me find somewhere I belong.

Last week, Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, succumbed to the demons that plagued him for so long, the very same demons he helped save me from. I’m still processing and mourning such a deep loss, and as an adult who largely grew up with him and his bandmates, I know I can never listen to those albums the same. Chester left this world without a suicide note because, if you listen closely to those lyrics, every painful and angst-filled song was one. We found peace, understanding, and even hope within each album. And while I’m so thankful for what Linkin Park did for me and so many others, I only wish Chester had, too, been saved. I don’t know what support systems Chester had, but I hope you know that if you ever find yourself in the darkness, please look for the light. Seek help. Tell me. Tell someone you trust. You don’t have to walk this road alone. I promise.

In case you or someone you know needs support, here are some resources:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Crisis Text Line, the free, nationwide, 24/7 text message service for people in crisis, is here to support. For support in the United States, text HELLO to 741741 or message at facebook.com/CrisisTextLine.
For support outside the US, find resources at http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

Now, to honor his work and legacy, here are five (plus two LIVE bonuses) of my favorite and most meaningful Linkin Park songs from their earlier albums. #RIPChester

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Tuesday Tunesday: Dream it, Believe it, Do it

 

We all have aspirations we yearn to bring to fruition, dreams we pray will turn into realities, and goals we want to achieve, but sometimes the path to getting there isn’t paved in gold. Instead, it’s more like a dull, rocky, gross texture. Just when you think it’s smooth sailing, you hit rocks you never saw coming. Sometimes these rocks are thrown your way and sometimes you (un)intentionally put them there yourself. Whatever the case, whatever the path, and whatever the dream, don’t let anything stop you from pursuing your passions and walking in your purpose. Here are five of my favorite Disney songs to remind you to believe in the beauty of your dreams:

 

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Tuesday Tunesday: Try, Try Again

Happy Tunesday, friends! If you follow the Kermit Says… Snapchat (@kermitsays), then you know I kept yesterday’s word, worked out, and ate relatively well. I’m looking for an accountability buddy to keep me in check, and if you play your cards right, maybe that could be you! In the meantime, I thought today’s Tunesday playlist could serve as the inspiration needed to keep going and achieve my goals regardless of what obstacles come my way. Maybe it will inspire you, too!

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Tuesday Tunesday: And This is Your Life

 

While driving into work yesterday morning, I was listening to Chicago’s KISSFM with Fred and Angie–per usual–and they were playing a game where callers in their early 20s phoned in and tried to name 1980s and 1990s sitcom theme songs. As I listened to these “youngsters” try and fail to name these tunes, I couldn’t help but realize a few things: 1) Since I’m at the end of my 20s, I guess I’m now old; 2) Since I could name every single tune, I guess I’m now old; and 3) Since I refer to the 1980s and 1990s as the “good old days,” I guess I’m now old. I’ve never really thought about my age, at least not negatively, but since turning 29 a few weeks ago, I have been feeling pretty nostalgic lately, especially when it comes to high school.

 

“It’s the oldest story in the world. One day you’re 17 and planning for someday, and then quietly, and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.”- Nathan Scott, One Tree Hill

When I was a sophomore in high school, the WB (now CW) premiered it’s latest teen classic One Tree Hill, and I was obsessed! I would rush to complete my assignments so I wouldn’t miss an episode. Basketball, brothers, complicated relationships, and incredible music? What more could a high schooler want? In the series’ nine years, they played nearly 2,000 songs (wow)! In fact, a Buzzfeed article reports that “music was such a huge part of One Tree Hill that the fictional club Tric was written into the show in Season 2 so the writers could feature more bands and artists.” Each carefully selected and meaningful tune appealed to teenagers turned adults because the songs and episodes examined real issues, captured the essence of teenage and eventually adulthood, and encouraged us to just be our true, authentic selves. I grew up with One Tree Hill, and while each episode isn’t quite as fresh as it is for those youngsters now binge-watching it on Netflix, the songs themselves have stayed with me, and for that, I am grateful. Be still, my emo, angsty, teenage heart. Here are a few of my favorites from the series:

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Tuesday Tunesday: Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing

Happy Tunesday, friends! Last night I finally had the chance to sit down and watch Universal Pictures’ animated hit, Sing, and I haven’t stopped singing and dancing since. In fact, I felt so many emotions while watching the movie and connecting with most of the characters, that that experience is what has inspired today’s post. Among all the characters Sing follows, there’s an optimistic koala bear with unstoppable dreams, a gorilla who longs for a different life than the one his father has forced upon him, a pig who’s bored of her domesticated life and yearns for more, and a shy elephant who’s introversion and self-doubt hinder her from achieving greatness. What’s beautiful about each of these narratives is that, in most cases, we are them and they are us. They are very real and the challenges and set-backs each character faced are challenges we experience daily in some form. So, whether these are adversities we encounter beyond our control or because we got in our own way, Sing challenges us to go after our dreams–both big and small, and believe in ourselves, and if we hit a few bumps along the way or fall flat on our faces, which we will, Sing reminds us to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and keep going. Here are a few songs from the film that beautifully captures those sentiments. Take a listen:

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Tuesday Tunesday: The Story of Tonight

Tonight’s the night I’ve been waiting for since JUNE, friends! I’m finally seeing Hamilton! As a theater kid who has seen her fair share of theatrical productions, there are no words to describe my excitement and joy. I have listened to the soundtrack ad nauseam, memorized the lyrics, and even researched Hamilton’s life. To say I’m obsessed is a bit of an understatement, but this is just what I do. When I find something I love, I go hard–and I LOVE musicals. So to honor today’s big event, I’m sharing some of my favorite tunes from a few of my favorite musicals. Enjoy!

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Tuesday Tunesday: Get Pumped Up!

Happy Tunesday, friends! We are less than 24 hours away from the big announcement and opportunity I’ve been alluding to on Snapchat and Instagram, and to say I’m nervous is an absolute understatement. The butterflies are swirling about and my hands are shaking just thinking about it. When I feel anxious and worried, I try to take a deep breath and refocus, but when that doesn’t work, I dance it out! I turn that nervous energy into productive energy and use it to boost my confidence. So, whether you’re about to present your history project, speak in front of 15,000+ people (hint), head on to the lacrosse field, or compete in a major math tournament, sometimes we need a good tune to get us in the mood and remind us that whatever mountain we may face, we’ve got it! Here are just a few of my favorites:

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