Friday, October 30, 2015

"I Miss Him Like a Friend"

“I miss him like a friend.”

This is what my best friend Courtney said to me as we were talking about an upcoming show for Andrew McMahon that we wished we could attend. For those of you unfamiliar with him, he is the lead singer of the bands “Jacks Mannequin” and “Something Corporate” he now performs solo as “Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness”. Courtney and I have both been obsessed with him since before we had even met one another, and he has become a very important figure in both of our lives (read: basically we are just obsessed with him as a human and his music and he is amazing). This summer, we were lucky enough to finally see him in concert at The National in Richmond Virginia. He put on an absolutely amazing performance, and Courtney and I both had not seen him perform in over 4 years, so we were way past due. We both had an amazing time, we danced, we sang, I cried (long story), and we connected with the people around us and his music and it was a fantastic night. After leaving that concert, Courtney and I both talked about how really the only thing we could relate that concert to was some sort of “spiritual experience”. Which obviously it was not, but we were both moved so emotionally and so much in awe of him and his performance afterwards, that it is all we could talk about.

Fast forward about two months, and Brad Paisley announces that he will be coming to perform at Virginia Tech to kick off some college-country-nation type tour is he doing. FOR FREE. So obviously, with him being one of my favorite country singers of all time, I know I will be at that concert. So the time comes and me and my boyfriend and a couple of our friends head down to the part of campus where he will be performing and stake out a small patch of grass where we can all see pretty well. He starts playing and everyone goes wild, obviously, and the concert is going great. Throughout the concert, I noticed that Taylor (that’s my boyfriend – I guess I haven’t really ever mentioned that in this, woops) was trying to talk to me about just random things in the middle of the songs, or when the songs were over in the minute or two before he would play the next one. He also seemed really bothered by just everything that was going on around us (drunk college students at a free concert, there was a lot going on around us) where as I was just focused on the music and the performance and just worried about hearing this amazing live artist playing in front of me. So anyways, the concert ends and we are walking home and Taylor brings it up. He was kind of taken aback by how “unaware” of everything else I seemed and a little annoyed I was basically ignoring his attempts at conversation the entire concert. I told him that I was too busy enjoying the music and the energy of the artist to worry about anything else. I was so content just sitting there listening to live music by a fantastic artist, I wasn’t thinking about anything else.

And this brought me to the conclusion that there are essential two types of concert-goes: the emotional ones, and the non-emotional ones. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am for sure in the “emotional” category. Especially if it is an artist that I have a very strong attachment too, almost nothing will be able to ruin that concert for me. I think it can be summed up like this: there are people that go and listen to the music, and then there are people that go and feel the music. I think that is pretty accurate. There are people that say "I miss him like a friend, we need to go see him in concert soon" and there are people that say "Let's get a big group and go see ______!". And yes, do not worry, I understand there are some concerts that are just simply not like that, more of a party than a concert, so do not worry, I get that. 

But, as I mentioned before, I CRIED at the Andrew McMahon concert this summer, for many reasons, but I have been listening to Jacks Mannequin since early middle school, his music has gotten me through so many things, and I have listened to it during so many different times in my life. And I think that is why I am an emotional concert goer. I understand the emotion and feeling that goes into every song an artist puts out, and I can feel that. I also pick and choose my concerts, I do not just pay $20, $50, $75, whatever it is for concerts to see any group or artist perform. Music is something that is supposed to capture you emotionally, and some people really feel that, and some just listen. I’ll admit, sometimes I take it too far, in a “it makes me question my whole existence and all of my life choices and my entire future and makes me an emotional puddle for the next 48 hours” but sometimes it gives me an energy that I haven’t been able to find from any other event or substance. It’s like your emotions are right up on the edge ready to bubble over but instead they give you a rush that is unlike anything else.

Concerts really are a “spiritual experience” (I hate using that but I can’t think of any better words) for me, they give me a rush, a high, a pulse, that you just don’t get in everyday life. They have a magic that makes the words and the music come alive and pump through your veins to the same beat as the artist, which to me is just incredible. They are not just an event that I can buy tickets to, attend, and go home at the end. They change me, and I understand not everyone is like that, and for those of you that aren’t, I really hope you have something else that gives you that rush, because let me tell you, it’s simply life changing. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

What No One Tells You About Adulthood

Something that I have realized in the difference between my "freshman" year of life and my "sophomore" year of life is that I have been pushed much more toward the "adult" side of the spectrum where as last year I could still pretend I was in the "college kid" category. And to be honest, it has it's pros and cons. Right now, it feels like more of the cons than the pros, but i know it has both. So if you are like me and still feel stuck being busting out my selfie stick after a few tequlia shots but also feeling too old to late night until 4:00 AM with the college kids, this might just be the article for you. 

1. All of your friends move away and you feel like you are alone in the world. - Yes, everyone warns you about taxes and job interviews and all that jazz, but no one tells you that all of your friends move away and you have to coordinate work schedules, time zones, and personal lives just to be able to talk to each other for more than 5 minutes at a time. Basically once you get out of college life does everything in it's power to tear you and your friends apart and it's a shit ton of work to stay friends. They aren't always going to be there to pull you out of bed and make you go out and be social. They also won't always be there to sit on the couch and watch 4 seasons of "How I Met Your Mother" in one sitting while ignoring responsibilities. So you really have to enjoy the time you have with them, enjoy every conversation and enjoy every skype session you get, because sometimes they are few and far between. 

2. Student loans are super real. -  In college and in high school, student loans, and financial aid and all of that nonsense seemed fake to me. And then last year, when for the first 6 months after graduation my student loans had not kicked in yet, I was loving life. I was enjoying being employed and being an alum and still high on the fact that I had finally graduated college. and then BAM. Student loan payments start and i come down from that real quick. Coming to the realization that a pretty solid chunk of my paycheck each month goes to a loan company. And without getting into it too much, it's one of the hardest things to watch some of my friends who have no student loans get to save up and buy new cars or have nicer apartments or go on cool trips where as I will be writing a check for $XXX to a student loan company until I am least 40. That is scary. and it sucks. 

3. Your job/school work *probably* isn't going to be very glamorous. -  Sometimes we have these ideas of what life will be like once we are done with the treacherous late nights in college and grueling days of exams and papers and midterms, etc. Weather it's that engineering job at the great firm you have had your eye on forever or working on wall street, writing that book and making a bunch of money, or even just having a fancy office with a great window view, your first few years out of college are not going to be what you expect them to be. So seriously, get used to getting your boss coffee, working late with no overtime, getting put on all the "crappy" projects that no one else wants to do because you have the least seniority, or even having to go to your HR office twice a month because you don't understand your benefits or leave time balances, not that I know yet but I really REALLY like to think that all of those things will pay off one day. 

4. Your college major is less and less relevant the older you get. - Yes, there are some majors where you need that degree or that certificate to do what you dream of doing. But then there are some jobs (about 50%) where your college major is completely unrelated and irrelevant to the type of work you are doing. For example, in my example, I work in college admissions. So yes, my degree was great in that it taught me to work with people and all that stuff, but I have coworkers who have degrees in Biology, Geology, International Studies, French, seriously anything. Moral of the story, changing your major isn't the end of the world and if you don't know what you want to do yet that's okay too. 

5. Eating right and staying healthy is actually really, really, hard (and expensive) - If you ask me, this whole Kale trend is a conspiracy theory and gyms are just a front for the mafia to make some money. Which you have to buy into either eating like a rabbit or running like a rabbit to stay healthy in this day and age, which both are super expensive. As long as you can have the self control to not eat a gallon of ice cream every week and do some sort of physical exercise you will be okay, but let me tell you, that is WAYYY easier said than done. 

6. Your entire Facebook feed is going to be filled with babies/puppies/weddings/and drunk college kids. - Which is super confusing, because you feel stuck in the middle. You are not engaged, you are not pregnant, you are barely making enough money to support yourself in your tiny apartment yet alone pay for a puppy, but also you have real responsibilities so you are not going out every night drinking and partying, and you wake up most days knowing where your keys/wallet/and phone are. You have it together more than the college students you know, but not QUITE as much as everyone who is getting married and procreating. And that is okay, to be honest, enjoy this middle ground. You know where you phone is most of the time, and you don't quite yet have to take care of a tiny human, things could be worse. 

But yes, taxes actually do suck (see Rachel Green quote above), figuring out your health insurance is really hard, but also realizing that you can pay for all of your own living expenses and sticking to a monthly budget for this first time in all your years, being an adult can be ~kind of~ rewarding. So enjoy this time, one day we will look back and miss a more simpler time. Enjoy the late nights, and the early mornings, and the job interviews and the grad school applications and getting coffee for your boss because some day, maybe soon or maybe way WAY later, will all be worth it.