My blog is one year old!

A year ago today I posted an 190 word blog post, titled “Why am I a lion?”. My inspiration came from taking a baby Simba lion stuffed animal that my boyfriend at the time got me to Chicago, Illinois. That’s when I realized how freaking amazing lions are. They’re fierce and strong. Exactly like how I wish to live my life. “She Became a Lion”. A quote from that very first blog post- “I like to think of myself like a lion. Strong. Fierce. An over-comer. Yet, gentle. Because, everyone sees some shit in life. But, it gets better. As stereotypical as that may sound. Really… Everyone can find their lion. My inspiration just happened to… actually be a lion.

I ended that post like I’ve ended almost every post on my blog; with a quote or small, uplifting statement. That statement was “smile, you’re amazing“. fiftyLittle did I know that statement would lead to so many more.
Over the course of a year, I posted 50 times. I got this cool little notification from WordPress right after posting my April Goals update. Fifty posts, anywhere from poetry and posts about myself, to Simba traveling and whatever else random I come up with, all these posts make up my blog.

From my fourteen followers, my friends that regularly read my blog whenever I post on Snapchat that I’m “back at it again”, to my fantastic editor and countless drafts that have lived on my account or ages, that’s what SHEBECAMEALIONTWOmy blog is. It’s nothing big, nothing popular. Sure, it’s the link in my bio on all of my social media accounts, but that doesn’t mean anything. I’m super thankful to those of you that read my posts, those of you that express your excitement about reading my posts to me. All of you are so fantastic.

So, that’s where my blog has come in a year. But… what about me? Surely I changed a little. And change, I did.

If you would’ve asked me on April 9th, 2016 where I saw myself in a year, I could never have imagined where I am right now ever being an answer to that. My answer would’ve been somewhere along the lines of “finishing my second semester as a Music Education major in college and with my amazing boyfriend”. Never in my life did I think I’d be in the Netherlands, taking a gap year from school, and single. Not on April 9th, 2016 anyway.

Now, just because I said I never thought I’d be here, doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. I may not have my boyfriend anymore, and yeah- it took me incredibly long to figure out how to be okay again- but I did, and I’m better than before. I am so thankful for the memories I was able to share with him, for the part of my life that he was… But it was without him that I learned to truly love myself. I have the best friends anyone could ask for. They go out of their comfort zones to make sure I’m okay… rescuing me from the side of the road when I slid on ice, telling me I’m amazing and encouraging me, and just being the helpful amazing people you are. I couldn’t thank Lauren, Kat, and Alex enough for always being my best friends. I may not be in college, or even in America for that matter, but that doesn’t stop me from realizing that being in the Netherlands can be an amazing experience. I’ve done so much that other people my age would never have been able to, I’ve seen family I haven’t seen since I was a little older than a toddler, I’ve done a bunch of really fun things, and I’ve definitely brushed up on my ability to speak the language.

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Oh, and of course Simba is here as well. He’s the little lion that started all of this, why wouldn’t he be?

In summary, I suppose I do kind of miss the idea of where I thought my life was going. But everything happens for a reason, and sometimes life’s just about riding it out and finding exactly what that reason is. There’s no shame in changing majors, re-thinking your friend group, cutting toxic people out of your life, or even completely changing who you are. Be you, be confident, break out of your shell.

A year ago today, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable going out in public and showing enthusiasm for something no one around me had enthusiasm for. Yesterday, at the Day of Music, I realized I no longer cared. I was happy to be doing improv and singing and being excited about music again, and I didn’t care that everyone around me thought the leaders of the workshop were completely insane for being so energetic. It was an amazing experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I couldn’t be more thankful for the people around me who have helped me realize this, who have pushed me to be the best me I can be. Lastly, I’m thankful for this blog- for being my creative outlet- for being somewhere I can go to write. I’m thankful that it’s helped people and that it makes people happy to read my thoughts. Here’s a little something from that very first blog post again:

These are my journeys, my thoughts, Simba’s travels, my poetry- well, I really just hope for this to be an inspiration to others. For others to find their lion. Or owl, gazelle, octopus, eagle, stork, anything. For others to keep fighting, to find life’s beauty, to be strong.

Here’s to many more years of happiness, figuring out who I am, and maybe blogging about it along the way!
And don’t forget to smile, because you’re amazing.

~E. ♥

“Where words fail, music speaks.”

Thanks for that quote, Hans Christian Andersen.

Often times when you first meet someone, you try to find things you have in common with them. One of the first things that pops into my mind is music. Music, in my opinion, is a huge part of what makes us who we are as human beings. In this post, I’ll be talking a little bit about my music taste. Fair warning though, it’s all over the place. There’s no one genre I stick to. Without further ado, let’s begin! Song titles will be in blue.

What song am I listening to right at this moment? I Wouldn’t Mind by He is We.

What are my top ten played songs according to iTunes?

  1. The Schuyler Sisters by the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast
  2. Tonight by Seether
  3. Work from Home by Fifth Harmony
  4. Cruisin’ California by The Offspring
  5. The Nightcore version of Haven’t Had Enough by Mariana’s Trench
  6. Stupid For You by Waterparks (Happy birthday, Awsten!)
  7. Satisfied from the Hamilton Mixtape
  8. Fire Water Burn” by The Bloodhound Gang
  9. You’re Welcome” by Dwayne Johnson, from “Moana”
  10. Team” by Krewella

What is my top skipped song according to iTunes? Turning Into You” by The Offspring.

I found a questionnaire about music online, and I’ll be answering some of the questions from it now. It’s kinda cool, and it made me think.

  1. What do you think music is? I think music is a form of art, through which humans can communicate. Instrumental music, to me, is one of the most basic forms of this communication. I sang a song in choir once and a line stated “music is a universal language, freely spoken by one and all”. That always stuck with me.
  2. How often do you usually listen to music? I listen to music every day, there’s barely a day I don’t. Most nights I have my iPod playing music through the entire night.
  3. When you want to listen to music you use… My iPod Classic! It has 160GB of storage, and it’s about the only piece of Apple technology I tolerate. There’s 1,236 songs on it currently. Other than that, I also use YouTube.
  4. Where do you prefer listening to music? In my room, right now. When I drive, I play music as well. I love listening to music while I drive.
  5. Have you ever been to a concert? Yes! I have seen Courage My Love, All Time Low, A Day To Remember, and Blink-182.
  6. What is your favorite musical instrument? Trumpet or cornet.
  7. Do you play any musical instrument? If yes, which one? Heck yeah. I play trumpet, cornet, euphonium, trombone, tuba, and a little ukulele and flute.
  8. Can you express your feelings with music? If so, how? Absolutely. There’s music for everything. I don’t know why I do it, but when I’m sad I listen to sad music. My go-to sad song isLittle Do You Know by Alex & Sierra. There’s happy music. There’s music to get you energized. There’s honestly music for everything. It’s up to the person to decide what they listen to, when.
  9. Is there a song that’s special to you? There’s a couple. If It Means a Lot To You by A Day To Remember is one of them. It was the first song ever introduced to me by the band, and I used to sing it all the time as a middle school student. Starboy” by the Weeknd is another. This is because when I was in Ohio in December, any time Michelle and I would go somewhere, it was on the radio. We’d send each other messages whenever it came on the radio. It became our song. Chandelier” by Sia is another one I’ll mention. I’ll just leave it at “2015 OHWG Encampment girls’ barracks” as to why it’s special. Lastly, the Christmas song Greensleeves.
  10. Is there a particular song you don’t like? It’s not necessarily… not liking… but the song Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol just upsets me. I can’t listen to it. I used to hate Aerosmith’s Janie’s Got a Gun, but it’s now a song that I like to listen to.
  11. What song would you recommend to someone in a tough situation? I’d recommend Never Too Late by Three Days Grace and Rise Above This by Seether. Possibly Your Guardian Angel by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus depending on the person and situation.

Alright. I think that’s enough for tonight. I should try to sleep. Here’s a quick January goal update: Goal 2; eat healthier, has been achieved. So has Goal 6; keep my email organized. It’s a decent start.

I’ll leave off with another quote-

“Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can’t.” ― Johnny Depp

Peace out, girl scouts. That’s the end of this JAMboree. (Ha?)

~E. 

I did one of those “100 things about you” posts from Facebook.

The result? Probably being unfollowed on my blog, and boring a few readers to death. 

Well, here we go. I’ll put my responses in purple and bold.

  1. Are you named after someone? Not that I know of…
  2. When was the last time you cried? Oh goodness. Sometime this past week.  
  3. Do you like your handwriting? Yeah.
  4. Do you have freckles? I do indeed.
  5. What is your favorite lunch meat? I am not a fan of lunch meat… at all.
  6. Do you have any kids? Nope. I prefer to wait a decade or so longer.
  7. Do you use sarcasm? No, never. What’s sarcasm?
  8. Do you still have your tonsils? Yep, but not the adenoids.
  9. Would you bungee jump? Probably not, but skydiving is on my bucket list.
  10. What is your favorite cereal? Fruit Loops!
  11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Usually.
  12. Do you think you’re strong? It depends.
  13. What is your favorite ice cream? Strawberry Cheesecake from Katie’s Korner!
  14. What is the first thing you notice about people? How they act/behave. (Fidgety, etc.)
  15. Red or pink? Black.
  16. What is the least favorite thing you like about yourself? I guess my acne. But what the heck kind of question is this? I want to think about stuff I like. Like my eyes. *cue empowerment*
  17. What was the last thing you ate? A mini cheese pizza.
  18. What are you listening to? The Offspring.
  19. If you were a crayon what color would you be? Black.
  20. Favorite smell? Thunderstorms.
  21. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? On the phone… that would’ve been a Cadet Advisory Council conference call.  
  22. Favorite sport to watch? Hmm… I wanted to be original, but I’m not. Probably soccer or football.
  23. What color is your hair? Like… 5 colors. My roots are like, brownish blonde (my natural color these days I guess) but the rest of my hair is this awkward faded red color.
  24. Eye color? Blue.
  25. Do you wear contacts? Some days. I prefer glasses.
  26. Favorite food? Dunkin Donuts’s Turkey Cheddar and Bacon comes close.
  27. Scary movies or happy endings? Ooooo, this is hard. Both. But if I had to pick, I guess toss me a happy ending.
  28. Last movie you watched? The Santa Clause 2.
  29. What color shirt are you wearing? Gray.
  30. Summer or winter? Summer.
  31. Hugs or kisses? Kisses.
  32. What is on your lock screen? A picture of a runway with a plane taking off that says “Take Me Away” in some pretty font.
  33. Last show you watched? I binge watched NCIS two nights ago.
  34. Favorite sound? Chords. Like, music chords. Mmmm.
  35. Rolling stones or Beatles? The Beatles all the way.
  36. What is the farthest you have traveled? Well, I mean, I’ve lived on two separate parts of the earth so there’s that.
  37. Do you have a special talent? I like to think I’m a half decent cornet/trumpet player.
  38. Where were you born? The Netherlands.
  39. Computer or Television? Computer all the way.
  40. What book are you currently reading? “Finders Keepers” by Stephen King.
  41. Any tattoos? Not… yet. 
  42. What color is your house? Brick-colored.
  43. What color is your car? It’s called “Reflex Silver” and is Volkswagen-specific.
  44. Do you have any pets? A cat named Ophelia. Past pets include Booplesnoot and Dwayne the Dwarf Hamsters- Cats Skittles, Shakespeare, Herbie, Mozart, and Rataplan- and Buckshot the Bunny.
  45. Mountain Hideaway or Beach House? Mountain Hideaway.
  46. What is on your mouse pad? The CyberPatriot logo on one, a dog on the other, and my mouse on the third.
  47. What is your earliest memory? My bear party when I turned five.
  48. What is your favorite alcoholic drink? Those darn Halloween Shots from the bar that night my friend from Berlin visited.
  49. What is your favorite vegetable? Spinach.
  50. Do you remember your first day at school? In America, yes.
  51. What is the worst exam result you remember ever getting? An F in Freshman Physics. And I got high-fived for it. That teacher was the best.
  52. How tall are you? I want to believe I’m 5’7” but I’ve always been 5’6″ and a half when I’m measured “professionally”.
  53. Can you swim? Like a fish.
  54. Who is your favorite movie actress? Natalie Portman.
  55. Who is your favorite movie actor? Christian Slater, Rami Malek, or Leonardo DiCaprio.
  56. Who is your favorite historical figure (been dead for at least 100 years)? Guy Fawkes.
  57. Who is your favorite superheroine? Does Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer count?
  58. Who is your favorite superhero? IRON MAN IRON MAN IRON MAN
  59. Can you name a female scientist other than Madame Curie? Absolutely. Grace Hopper. ♥
  60. Who is your favorite mythological god or goddess? Dionysus. It kinda just stuck after being assigned a project on him in 5th grade.
  61. What is the worst movie you have ever seen? Oh man, probably “VHS” or “VHS2”.
  62. What is the worst TV show you have ever seen? “1,000 Ways to Die”. I hate it.
  63. What is the worst book you have ever read? Probably anything I “read” for summer work in High School. Except for “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” and “For One More Day” by Mitch Albom (I sobbed).
  64. If you could go back in time to witness an historical event in person, what event would you want to see? Woodstock, in 1969.
  65. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? Hawaii.
  66. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you meet? Samantha Christoforetti.
  67. If you could become famous for one thing, what would that thing be? Trumpet Performance.
  68. If you could meet any famous person who is dead, who would it be? Heath Ledger.
  69. Have you ever gotten any points on your driving license? That’s a negative, ghost rider. I’ve only ever been pulled over once; for a license plate light that was out.
  70. Have you ever bought alcohol or cigarettes while underage? I mean, alcohol is legal here at 16. That’s underage in America. But. Negative on the cigarettes. (I can barely breathe *without* smoke around. Hah).
  71. Where have you visited that you would like to go back to? Colorado.
  72. What is your favorite way to travel? Airplane, or by car if it’s close enough.
  73. What was the last computer game you played? War Thunder.
  74. What is your favorite movie? It changes weekly. I couldn’t even tell you, probably. Alice, Through the Looking Glass was pretty good. So is Stuart Little.
  75. What is your favorite book? That giant book of Shakespeare plays I own.
  76. What is your favorite song? Anything Blink-182. Or “Timber” by Ke$ha and Pitbull. Or “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics. There’s too many… oops.
  77. What is your favorite city? New York City. 
  78. Have you ever written a song? Yes. And I wrote it down on my bunk bed that’s taken apart now. I have pictures, though. 
  79. Have you ever written a poem? There’s a couple on this blog!
  80. Have you ever been a boy/girl scout? Nope. CAP is pretty awesome though.
  81. Have you ever written a book? I tried.
  82. What is your biggest pet peeve? Not paying attention to detail.
  83. Have you ever blown bubbles in your milk? No, I’m allergic to milk protein.
  84. Would you rather eat a Big Mac or a Whopper? Whopper. Given, there’s no tomato, pickles, ketchup, or onion.
  85. True or False: You would rather eat steak than pizza. It depends on the pizza or steak. Likely it would be False.
  86. Have you ever tried to cut your own hair? Oh no… Not those memories…
  87. How did that turn out? I wore headbands for a year.
  88. If you could be any age, what age would you be? 21. Not because alcohol, because it seems you’d finally be treated like an adult.
  89. Have you ever gotten gum stuck in your hair? No, but I did get some on my favorite footie pajamas when I was younger and I was devastated.
  90. Do you ride roller coasters? Heck yeah.
  91. What’s your favorite carnival ride? That monster truck tire thing that rolls you upside-down.
  92. What is your dream car? A 1959 Volkswagen Bus, Type 2.
  93. If you were in a car sinking in a lake, what would you do first? Wait for the car to fill up with water, thanks MythBusters.
  94. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? Yes, in Florida (at Disney nonetheless). I barely remember it because I was passing out, though. It was my Sophomore year of High School.
  95. Can you pick something up with your toes? Yep. I can also open doors with my feet.
  96. How many remote controls do you have in your house? Three.
  97. Have you ever fallen asleep in school? Sophomore US History taught me how to sleep with my eyes open.
  98. How many times have you flown in an airplane in the last year? In the past 365 days, I have been on 4 separate commercial airliners, and flown a Cessna and a glider.
  99. What’s your favorite number? 19.
  100. A quote to end on? “She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city” -Roman Payne

Well guys, that’s my “100 things about me”. Hopefully I wasn’t too boring :p

As always, thanks for being here.

Stay strong!

-E.

Breathe…

Your chest starts to tighten, and you feel yourself getting colder. Your hands are clammy and you feel weak. You don’t feel the tears anymore, the ones streaming down your face. You think about everything in life you’ve ever done and you wonder what would’ve happened had you acted differently. You sit down on the ground against a wall, you feel yourself pushing into it… but you don’t realize it. You can’t stop it. You don’t fully understand what set you off this time, but it was probably something small. You usually keep everything bottled up inside. That’s not good, everyone tells you. Random parts of your body start to hurt. You want to cry out for help, but you know you can’t. Or you know what they’ll say. You get tired.. and you lose motivation to do anything. You try to breathe but your lungs feel like they’re filled with water. This goes on for at least 10 minutes…

If you’ve never had a panic attack or an anxiety attack, you may think this is just a poem. Maybe a short story excerpt. It’s not just a poem or story. It’s what happens to me and so many others when you get so stressed… so anxious, that you just can’t function.

So yeah, I am happy, and I am fine, but this just happens sometimes. You learn to deal with it. Sometimes you share with a friend what’s going  on. Sometimes you sit all alone. Sometimes it’s only 10 minutes. Other times it’s a whole day. Everyone and every time is different. Sometimes you don’t even know why you’re “over-reacting” so much. You can’t control it.

I wish I could control it. I’m trying… Really.

Stay strong, guys. Breathe. ♥

-E.

“That Others May Live” (Freewrite)

This was written by me in the February of 2015.

I opened my eyes, and stared around me in disbelief. The old city was completely unrecognizable. There was debris everywhere. Dust covered tents, buildings, shelters. The dreary smile of a sun trying to shine through the clouds of smoke. It wasn’t the same. I looked to my left and saw one of my brothers fallen at my side. I looked to my right, and saw another brother severely injured, holding his leg in pain. I looked down at myself. I realized I’d been hit, there was blood coming from my thigh. Why didn’t I feel it? Was I that numb? Would I feel ever again? I couldn’t cry. I wouldn’t cry. I had to be strong. I moved to my brother beside me, the one holding his leg. He was my wingman, my best friend. I reached for my bag, only to find that it had ripped. Everything was gone. I took my shirt, and tied it tightly around his calf. He winced in pain, and smiled. A genuine smile of thanks. He took his knife and cut the fabric of my pants, and made a tourniquet out of it. I lost all feeling in my leg. I shed a single tear, wiped away by my brother. “These things we do” he whispered in my ear. “That others may live” I whispered back. We helped each other up, leaning our weight on one another. “Let’s go help some people” I chuckled dryly, still limping. I wouldn’t give up. We wouldn’t give up.