What is a “Free Spirit”?

I think it’s sad that when you try to explain to someone that you are a “free spirit”, they automatically think “Okay, so you’re a hippie slut.” For example, one of the definitions on Urban Dictionary for free spirit is actually “Slutty; in a 70s way.”
Can someone please explain to me what the hell that even means?

To be a free spirit is not to be a slut. I cannot stress this enough.
I was talking to one of my ex-boyfriends one day, just trying to explain my mindset to him, and I finally got frustrated and just said “I don’t know. I’m young and I’m dumb sometimes. I’m just a free spirit.” His automatic response was to say that I am a whore, which is completely untrue.
So, what exactly is a “free spirit” if it’s not an easy hippie? A free spirit is someone who is able to think for themselves. A free spirit is someone who doesn’t automatically do things the way that society thinks that they should be done. Basically, a free spirit truly is a nonconformist.

My mind works so much different than most people that I know. I’m the type of person who loves relentlessly, and does everything that she can to be self aware in every aspect. I live my life for myself, yet not in a selfish way at all. I live my life trying to grow as a person and understand those around me. I try very hard to be empathetic and understand people and their emotions, the way that they handle situations.
Recently, I’ve went through the hardest breakup I’ve ever been through. In the beginning stages of moving on, I genuinely believed that there was no hope whatsoever. I believed that I was going to die if I didn’t have him back. One day, though, I decided that it was time to completely change my mindset, and it’s the best thing that I’ve ever done. Instead of searching for the negative day in and day out, I decided to really change my perspective and look at the positive things that are coming from moving on with my life without a man in my life.
This is when I truly started to see beauty in everything around me. I started to see the good things in life, the things that I could hold into to shape me into a beautiful soul. Instead of looking at our breakup in the “How will I survive without him” way, I changed my thinking to “If we wouldn’t have broken up, I never would have done what I needed to do in order to fight off my demons.” The entire situation with my ex made me realize that I wasn’t as happy as I thought I was within our relationship. I thought that he was the love of my life, but I realized that I’m not ready to meet the love of my life yet.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to be young and dumb. It’s okay to make bad decisions occasionally. It’s what helps you grow into yourself. It’s what helps you decide the type of person that you’re going to be.
I’m living my life freely. I’m not planning anything out anymore. I’m getting to know new people and getting to know myself for who I truly am and what my heart truly wants. I’m not listening to the people around me who are saying: “You will never be successful unless you go to school. You don’t have the money to move away and make it on your own. You will never be able to [insert whatever it is here] unless you go to college first.” blah. blah. blah.
None of those things are true. I just don’t live my life as a robot. I live my life for myself. I do what makes me happy in the moment, and honestly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I promise you that if you live your life with spontaneity and do what makes you happy and not worry about anything or anyone has to say except you, then you will experience life for everything that it is.
I’m so much more appreciative of everything and everyone around me. I am learning to be empathetic. I’m learning to see beauty in the darkness. I’m learning that being an optimist truly changes your mood. The way that you think truly matters when you are searching for the right road to take. I’m learning to be free, I’m learning to be me.

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Heartache is no Joke.

I’ve realized recently that it isn’t socially acceptable to be heartbroken. People seem to forget about the pain of heartbreak until they are in position themselves. They look down onto you, expecting you to be okay within that very second. They just don’t understand that sometimes “You have to get over it” is just not a logical thing to say. “Getting over it” makes no sense in that moment. “Getting over it” seems damn near impossible. Yet, when you explain that, 9 times out of 10, all you receive is either silence or the classic: “I don’t know what to tell you. All things get better with time.”

What people seem to forget is that heartbreak is a physical pain much like hunger. When you go too long without eating, your stomach starts to have this constant growl and ache. Sometimes it’s easy to ignore, yet at other times you absolutely have to put food into your body otherwise it feels like your stomach is starting to digest itself. Unfortunately, with heartbreak, you can’t just sit down and eat a gallon of ice cream and magically feel better like people expect you to.
I’m not sitting here saying that I wish people could understand what I’m going through, and I’m also not saying that a single person has ever felt this way before. We’ve all had our hearts broken. Some of us with breakups, some with death, and some with a different kind of loss. However, once time passes and the aching slowly goes away, it’s almost like we forget what it feels like to be in mourning. Is it weird of me to say that I never want to forget this feeling?

I’m sure that most people are going to find that very confusing. Why on earth would I want to remember this pain? Honestly, there are a few reasons. The first one is simply because as human beings, we are here to embrace the life that has been given to us. We are here to live, breathe, thrive and feel everything. That might sound pretty “hippie” of me, but this new way of thinking has helped me move on with the recovery process of every ounce of pain I feel.

The second reason is a little more personal, and I will try to not bore you with the gory details. The reason why I lost my previous love is because the timing of our relationship could not have been worse. Between my severe anxiety and depression disorders, there were also issues lying deep in my being that I would have never confronted if I hadn’t been to therapy recently. Because of these things, to say that I treated my fiance badly is an understatement. I treated him terribly. When I look back, I can’t help but think “Damn. He held on so much longer than I ever would have.” Constantly fighting, constantly making him question his self worth, constantly leaving him, and more things that I personally don’t want to have plastered all over the internet, but obviously he should have left me long before he did. All the time that I’m treating him this way, I had no idea that I was as unstable as I truly was. I really had no idea just how far down the hole I had fallen. The pain of this heartbreak will always serve as a reminder to never lose myself again. The guilt that I feel for pulling him into my life when I was so clearly unstable is crippling. If I could go back in time to the day that I met him, I would turn the other cheek and never have talked to him, simply because how I treated him was so badly. But, while talking to one of my friends about feeling this way, they said something to me that really helped me get through a pretty bad time. “Being unstable doesn’t make you ‘the bad guy’, it makes you young.”

I constantly find myself trying to figure out my entire life instead of just letting it pan out the way it’s supposed to. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I’m also the type of person who needs an answer for everything. Why did it happen this way? Why did they ever walk into my life? Why did I fall in love with him the second that I met him if it wasn’t meant to be? Life is unfair. Because I fell in love with my ex-fiance the second that I laid eyes on him in high school, I was absolutely sure that we were going to be together for the rest of our lives. That’s the only outcome that made sense. I’ve started to realize that sitting here and questioning why it happened and why it failed, I should just be glad that because of this relationship, I realized that I needed to reach out to someone for help. I shouldn’t sit here and be distraught over something that I cannot change, but be thankful for the good times that we had together. Life is funny sometimes, and things always have a way of playing out better than you could ever imagine them to. Holding onto the light, and surrounding yourself with those who fill your heart with love are the only things that you can do to get through the hard times.

Listen to Alt-J. The Talent is Immeasurable.

As a musician, I often find myself feeling music a little bit deeper than the average person. I just have a passion for well written music, and I appreciate it when I hear it. Whether that be fantastic instrument playing, or the poetic lyrics. However, I have never quite connected to a song or artist the way that I have connected to Alt-J.

Who is Alt-J? A band who isn’t “well-known” or plastered all over the media. However, they are a rising artist, and it makes my heart swell with happiness to know that people are beginning to recognize true artistry when it presents itself.

The first time I heard of them, I was at a friend’s house. Occasionally one of the more popular songs would play in the coffee shop that I worked at, but other than that, I had never really sat down to listen to them until just recently. There is a song on their most recent album called “Hunger of the Pine” that really stood out to me. I wasn’t even sure why. I couldn’t really understand word for word what the vocalist was saying, but all I knew was that the song was gripping onto my heart and not letting go. It just made me feel broken, hurt, but it a way that made me realize that everything was going to be okay – almost hopeful. So, I decided to watch the music video. Maybe that would help me with my interpretation, right?
The video consisted of one man, running through the woods, and getting shot over and over with arrows. No matter how many times this man gets shot, he perseveres. Over and over… a shot to the leg, multiple shots to the chest, yet nothing is stopping him.
Honestly, this just confused me even more, considering making out the lyrics was still difficult for me. So finally, I looked them up.

Sleeplessly embracing
Butterflies and needles
Line my seamed-up join
Encased in case I need it
In my stomach, for my heart
Chain mail
Hunger of the pine
Sleeplessly embracing
Yawn yearns into me
Plenty more tears in the sea
And so you finally use it
Bedding with me you see at night
Your heart wears knight armour
Hunger of the pine
Sleeplessly
Embracing
You
Realisation grew on me
As quickly as it takes your hand
To warm the cool side of the pillow
I’m there for you, be there for me
I’ll hum the song the soldiers sing
As they march outside our window
Hunger of the pine
Sleeplessly
Embracing
You
Une immense espérance a traversée la terre
Une immense espérance a traversée ma peur

Throughout the contents of this song, he also throws in a little clip that says “I’m a female rebel” repeatedly when the beat of the song swells up.
After reading the lyrics to the song, I completely understood why it was gripping my heart the way that it was. I’m sure that I don’t have to explain to you all what the song means. He’s clearly yearning, aching, pining for someone that he loves very, very dearly. He talks about the amount of pain that he feels from his heartbreak, and then once you put the music video into play, it really shows just how he’s feeling. Heartbreak is a real pain. It’s a loss. It’s a suffering. It really does feel like your being stabbed in the chest multiple times throughout the day. The second that the person crosses your mind – BAM – instant heartache. If you meet someone with the same name – there it is again. When your phone vibrates, and though you know that it’s not them, you look thinking for just a split second that it’s a possibility that they could be talking to you, then you realize that you were right, they aren’t talking to you, and there it comes again. The sadness. Taking over your body and making you think that you’re dying.
I’ve never had music sit this way on my heart before, and honestly, it isn’t just this one song. Alt-J has several songs throughout both of his two albums that have latched on to my soul. Before I even knew the meanings of the songs, I felt the emotions that they poured into writing them, and that’s so rare in today’s society.

Everyone should really go listen to Alt-J if they haven’t already. They are growing more and more popular as the days go by. They actually just performed on the Jimmy Fallon show the other night, and it was amazing. Give them a chance to sing beautiful music into your heart, because it’s rare that talent like this presents itself to the media. Take advantage! For your own sake.

Music is Art, and should not be Prideful.

After this past year’s Grammy award show, I have had such a bad taste in my mouth about today’s hit music and top artists. I did not realize how difficult it is for most people to recognize and appreciate true talent. As I am sure most of you heard, Kanye West decided to pull another stunt where he took it upon himself to walk on the stage in order to express how he felt about an artist winning a big award. This time, instead of Taylor Swift, West “pretended” to interrupt Beck’s acceptance speech for album of the year, stating that Beyonce was more deserving of the award.

I remember when Beyonce released her most recent album, because she kept it a secret from everyone (including many people that work for her label), and did not tell a soul until the album was released on iTunes. This was the first time that that has ever been attempted in music history, and the album sold millions of copies. She also restricted single track sales for a week or two so people were forced to buy the album in it’s entirety, claiming that people needed to listen from start to finish so that they could fully understand the story of the album.
Looking back, I can fully appreciate what Beyonce did and how risky it was not advertising the fact that she was releasing an album, because marketing is extremely important in today’s industry.

Now let’s take a look at Beck. A man who plays 17 musical instruments, and who has written every song he has put out himself. Beck has been around for over a decade now, and he’s clearly not slowing down. Beck has toured the world with many headlining tours, and once even toured with Johnny Cash. Beck wrote, produced, arranged, and recorded his entire album all inside his own home.

The Grammy’s are the biggest night of music every year. The Grammy’s are filled with class and high end people who gather together to celebrate one of the greatest gifts that we have in human life. Music brings people together in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine. Looking back into history we see that slaves used to use songs to communicate with each other. Music holds a special place in all of our hearts, and it’s something that deserves to be celebrated. When someone as talented as Beck comes along, he deserves to be appreciated for he is a true artist. Beyonce, on the other hand, has many other people write her songs for her, she doesn’t produce her albums herself, etc. Now I’m not saying that Beyonce isn’t talented by any means. If anyone loves Queen B, it would be this girl, but I also know when to recognize someone as a true artist when they deserve to be recognized.

It makes me so sad to see today’s society ripping true musicians apart, and giving glory to those like Kanye West, who literally view themselves as Gods. Someone who so clearly thinks he and his friends (Jay-Z, Beyonce, etc.) should be held higher than the others around them because they are so popular, but popularity does not define true artistry. We see that when we look at some of the people in Hollywood today like Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, the Kardasian sisters, etc.

This is just something that has truly been weighing on my heart, and I needed to express it.