Comparisons

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Hey guys,

Dyl’s back with a little more self examination that could possibly be applied to y’alls life thus making the world more harmonious. Honestly, when Mercury is in retrograde my life always feels like it’s unhinged, but this time around it’s not doing me much harm. I reflect on life regularly I mean what else are you going to do? The topic I’m about to discuss just popped into my head on Sunday. It wasn’t really brought on by extensive self meditation or reflection. It was just there and it’s so simple and yet completely earth shattering.

The topic of the day is….. COMPARISON.

Yes, everyone’s guilty of comparing themselves to others. It’s in our nature. The type of comparison that I’m going to talk about is the debilitating kind. I’m not just talking about comparing some girls platform sandals to your ole wonky shoes. I’m talking about the kind of UNNECESSARY comparisons that hold you back from achieving success without even knowing it.

So the other day I’m lounging around looking at people who are ‘famous’ for little sketches they post online. I’m sitting there being completely self deprecating and wishing that I could be an artist too… then I realized.. I was. I scrounged up all my old charcoals and just started drawing distorted faces and I liked how they turned out. They made me feel something. I created art thus making me an artist.

(Not saying that any ole smuck could be an artist. I have a background of drawing and as a kid people use to refer to me as the artist of my class… but as I grew with age I started putting art on the back burner.)

Then I realized that the figure paintings I did not too long ago were actually really good and shouldn’t just be referred to as a ‘doodle’. They were art!

The only thing keeping me back from calling myself an artist was the fact that I am surrounded by better artist who actually get paid for their artwork. Anytime someone would ask what my hobbies were I’d never say drawing or painting because I didn’t feel like I was good enough. I referred to my art as doodles because they didn’t match up with the incredible pieces of art that I’d see at Artwalk or at least I THOUGHT they didn’t compare. People would compliment my talents and I’d take that compliment away from myself. The comparisons didn’t end there.

I’ve always loved to sing. I’ve always really loved music. Music can touch me in a way that nothing else can. Anytime anyone would call me a singer I would slap that compliment right out of their hand and into a trash can. There’s so many talented musicians and artists around me. I felt as though if I were called a singer it would have been an insult to people who ARE singers, but wait….. I sing and my voice is lovely so aren’t I a singer? One month ago I would have never just typed out that I had a lovely voice. I was too afraid with being compared to the greats, but that’s what was stopping me from being great.

Anytime anyone would ask me if I were a model. I would die. I’d laugh in their face and say “certainly not, I only help out my friends when they want to be creative or need to build their portfolio”. Why would I say that? Because Lafayette is swarming with beautiful girls. I don’t get paid to model. Why would I call myself a model? But why wouldn’t I? I’ve been on many a photo-shoot. I have my own portfolio going. I could very easily take that portfolio and get a little gig here and there, but I stopped myself from doing that because I compared myself to the beautiful women around me.

You see.. I realized that the only thing keeping me from calling myself an artist, singer, model, or even a scholar, was my myself. I was too afraid to say that I was good at something because I knew there was someone out there who was better. I was too afraid to embrace any of my talents so I let them go unacknowledged. I robbed myself of my own talents! Others acknowledged the parts of me that I didn’t think were up to par. They were!! They were exceptional and I refused to see anything exceptional about myself because there’s so many people who excel. Why wouldn’t I let myself be one of them?

It’s funny because it’s so simple. Nothing is preventing me from being in a band or making art or doing anything except for my own refusal to embrace or acknowledge my own talents. Hopefully now I will be able to proudly exclaim that I am up to par with others. I am a talented young woman. Hey, I’m good at things! Just because other people are exceptionally good at things does not mean that I am less. I am good! I have talents!

— If you’re good at something, anything, say that you’re good at it. Tell everyone! It’s such a sin to let talent go to waste because your afraid!

 

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RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH A FEW BEERS AND AN EPHIPHANY!

imageHi y’all,

Hope everyone’s holiday was full of good liquor and laughs. If you know me personally you know that I am a very family oriented gal. I like spending a lot of time with my family because they’re… well.. FUN. We threw multiple parties the last few weeks and spent the majority of the time in the music room playing tunes and drinking eggnog until the crack of dawn.

I’ll be the first to say that I’ve been in a slump the past few months. It’s kind of a reoccurring thing brought on by my own foolishness. As I looked around at my relatives I wondered why I had ever felt a tinge of sadness in the first place. Then I realized the only reason why I had remained sad or bitter about my current situation is because I was still making it my CURRENT situation. I would not allow myself to move out of this state of sadness because I was content wallowing there. I started reminiscing. Thinking of all the good times I had missed out on all so that I could just sit in the same ole bar and wait for familiar faces to come through. Being there didn’t make me happy anymore, but I couldn’t pull myself away. I also started thinking about the times I would spend hours on social media looking at things that didn’t pertain to my life anymore. I remembered every word that ever made my heart drop and I would let them continuously repeat through my head. I thought about all the times these past few months where I would intentionally hurt my own feelings by giving into bad habits. I obviously did not want to move on. I did not want to be happy. On New Year’s Eve I had this epiphany. I realized I had all the power in the universe to move on and be happy. The timing just wasn’t right. I needed to wallow for a while. It’s okay to feel sad and it’s even okay to let it consume you for a BRIEF period, but I was ready to let go. I was ready to be happy again. I wanted to get back to where I was before this stint of sadness and resentment. Once I decided this I felt a sudden change. A weight had been lifted. I was ready to be happy and so I was. I looked at my family singing, dancing, drinking, and laughing and I realized that I am the luckiest young woman in the world.

Work Playlist: January 4th, 2016

Hey y’all,

Here’s some jams I’ve been listening to recently. Share any of your favorite songs with me. Always looking forward to fallin’ in love with new music!!

 

  • Girl You’ll be a Woman Soon- Neil Diamond
  • Lucille- Otis Redding
  • I’m Glad- Captain Beefcake & His Magic Band
  • Look at your Game Girl- Charles Manson
  • Laputa- Hiatus Kaiyote
  • Shaolin Monk Motherfunk- Hiatus Kaiyote
  • Anything by Jacques Dutronc
  • Blue Because of You- Fats Waller
  • Bang Bang- Nancy Sinatra
  • Mathilda- Cookie & The Cupcakes
  • Minor Swing- Djando Reinhardt
  • Hey Mami- Sylvan Esso
  • Mona Lisa and Madhatters- Elton John
  • Le Temps De L’Amour- April March
  • Blue Moon- Dean Martin
  • Hound Dog- Big Mama Thorton
  • Lilac Wine- Nina Simone
  • Love Me, Please Love Me- Michel Polnareff
  • Lady You Shot Me- Har Mar Superstar
  • Heard it Through the Grapevine- The Slits
  • Amoreena- Elton John
  • Try Me- James Brown
  • Into the Mystic- Van Morrison

How to feel again–

Hello all,

It’s winter intercession for us college kids, but my winter intercession will last a little longer than others. I have one more semester of college to endure. I have 18 hours left. Since the price of tuition sky rocketed and my TOPS conveniently expired at the same time, I will not be able to split up these 18 hours. It’s too costly. I will have to bite the bullet and finish all these hours in one semester. Thinking on it, I know I’m going to want to devote majority of my time to that last semester and I know I won’t be making enough money to afford to live in Lafayette. SO, I plan on moving home with mom and pops after my lease comes up in May and going back to school in the Fall to finish. That way I won’t have to worry about working enougto pay rent and bills and just concentrate on my studies.

Ever since I made the decision to take the Spring semester off.. I’ve  been completely restless. I’ve been working a lot, but I NEED to keep my creative juices flowing. I started looking back through my old journals. Occasionally in class I’d jot down the names of authors or the names of films that my teachers would recommend during  lectures. In one of my English courses we had read The Fall by Albert Camus, Barabbas by Par Lagerkvist, and Demian by Herman Hesse. (10 out of 10 recommend all of these!!) I figured I’d check out the other works by these authors and I was not let down!

These are novels that completely altered my mindset. They made me feel. When life gets monotonous I feel the most intense urge to be shaken by something, anything. Even if it’s something that would be viewed as emotionally painful. At least it’s affecting me. I’m not sure if other people feel the way I do, but I feel desensitized sometimes. It may be from my connection with social media, which I’ve been trying to veer away from, or it may just be how our society works now. We are constantly shown horrific images and hearing gruesome truths that simply do not affect us anymore. Even the beauty in life seems to have little to no affect on us. We can google the most beautiful places in the world and even when we are wrapped up in a beautiful moment, whether it be on a simple date with someone we love or on vacation surrounded by beautiful scenery.. we are too busy trying to ‘capture’ the moment to share our experience with others. We are completely desensitized. I don’t hate feeling sad or angry. I hate not feeling.

The English courses I’ve taken in college have completely changed my perception of life. I’ve expressed this in many of my other blog entries. The novels I mentioned above have given me a sense of rebirth. They’ve affected me in some way, altered me, changed me, completely opened my eyes.

I felt myself thirsting for more. I wanted to learn more, change more. That’s why I started researching the authors that had been my professors favorites. First, I read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. Then online I found The Sibyl by Par Lagerkvist and read it in one day. I told my mother that for Christmas I’d be very happy to get any books by these authors or anything similar. That same day I went to Lagniappe Records with a boy and I noticed a book exchange in the back of the shop. Right there, staring me in the face, is The Plague by Albert Camus. This is the last place I’d expect to find this novel! It was fate! I grabbed it and hurried home and couldn’t wait to start reading it. I had plans that night so I just shoved it in my purse where it stayed. I ended up at an after party during this same weekend. It was 4am. I had already thrown up. I was done with the partying, but I was stuck at this party with some friends. I figured why not start reading my book!? I immediately got fussed at for reading at a party–my bad! To which I abruptly decided I needed to take a break from after partying which is really just my own way of desensitizing myself more. I like going to parties, I love socializing, I love spending time with my friends, I like to drink, and I definitely know how to have a good time. I was in no way trying to be pretentious by whipping out my book at a party. I can’t even bring myself to think of it that way. I had spent the entire night shoveling drinks into my gullet. I couldn’t stand to have one more shallow conversation or drink one more beer. I didn’t think reading would offend anyone seeing as to how happy it makes me! But then I remember why people go to parties… to get sloshed and try and hook up with anyone even remotely attractive and reading at a party completely disrupts the mood. I forgot, I forgot that these people were trying to desensitize. They were trying to forget about their work week or any sadness they’ve been enduring. In no way am I persecuting them for that, we all do it, but they should not have persecuting me from making myself happy either.

Long story short.. If you feel as though you’re in a rut or you feel like nothing affects you, it’s only because you’re not feeding yourself what you crave. Whatever makes you passionate or incites some sort of fire in you is what you should be pursuing. Whether it be music, film, art, literature, or anything under the sun that moves you.. let it consume you. In a society where it’s so easy to disconnect yourself from even your own emotions find the things that make you feel and talk about them everyday, research them more, dive so deeply into it that people worry about you. Even if the emotions aren’t pretty, feel them. Even if something scares you, talk about it! Scare yourself! Scare yourself with how easy it is to simply feel nothing. Please you guys, explore what you love. Look around you. See what makes you happy and who makes you happy and hold on to those things. Feel as much as you for as long as you can!!!

 

Blanche DuBois as a Tragic Heroine

Hello all,

I have been a very bad blogger. I’ve been so overwhelmed with my second to last semester and work that I haven’t had any time to keep my site updated. Although I’ve been regurgitating research paper after research paper I’ve still found the time to journal regularly and write about what I love.

This semester was a tough one. I enrolled myself in 400-level online English courses to satisfy my minor and my work schedule. It was hectic, but I learned so much and realized that English lit is my true passion– well, the humanities in general.

The two English courses I took were The Shakespearean Experience and Modern American Drama. For my research paper in the later of the two classes I decided to combine what I learned in both courses.

I will give you a little taste of the final product, just encase you too have a passion for Greek tragedies and the modern dramas.

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Aristotle’s definition of the ‘tragic hero’ is a character that invokes the audiences’ sense of pity or fear, “the change of fortune presented must not be the spectacle of a virtuous man brought from prosperity to adversity.” (Poetics)

There are key factors that can help you deduce if a character is a tragic hero.

The character typically comes from noble stature or some high position. The hero has all the potential to be great, but they are certainly not perfect. This makes it easier for us to sympathize with them because we are able to relate to their human qualities/flaws. The hero’s downfall has to be of their own fault, not due to some overriding malevolent fate. The hero’s punishment must outweigh the crime. Their fate is not wholly deserved. Last but not least, the downfall must not be a total loss. Some self-knowledge must be gained and the audience must experience catharsis.

Now that you know what a tragic hero is I will give you my thesis. I argued that Blanche Dubious’ character from A Streetcar Named Desire is a prime example of a tragic heroine and that Tennessee Williams wrote her character out to be a tragic figure.

The research I studied to write my paper was overwhelmingly not on my side. There were barely any scholarly articles backing up my thesis. Many critics believed that Williams was a misogynist that wrote Blanche’s fate out to demoralize women and highlight her vices. Kind of a… ‘that tart had what was coming to her’ sort of morality lesson. The main critic that I pulled this information from was Kathleen Lant. Her work, A Streetcar Named Misogyny, was well thought out and maybe I’d get behind it if not for Williams constant sympathy for Blanche’s character. Williams seems to demonize society for the corruption of Blanche’s character instead of persecuting her for being a woman.

If we were to state that A Streetcar Named Desire was written out to be a tragedy why wouldn’t we agree that Blanche is the tragic heroine? She certainly fits the mold of the tragic heroine. Blanche comes from a ‘high position’. Her family owned a substantial amount of land. She had status. She had a young husband that she loved very deeply. She was happy, but she still had that character flaw.. the same that is present in the tragic heroes of many Greek tragedies.. excessive pride. Blanche was a self-absorbed woman. Her own desire to be wanted and loved by men is what inevitably separates her from reality. One could say the tragedy begins with the suicide of her young husband who’s homosexuality had just been outed. Critic, Lant, argues that Williams seems to “blame Blanche for her young husbands death and feels her responsible”. If Williams if trying to portray Blanche as villainous and not tragic then why does he place so much emphasis on her depression by the death of her young love. He puts her instead in a very sympathetic state. We feel for Blanche. Although her narcissism is an unadmirable trait we are able to justify her behavior by realizing that maybe she feels so undesirable because her husband was a homosexual. The death of her husband sends Blanche into a downward spiral. She begins seeking intimacy from strangers and scandal leads her to her sister Stella’s home in New Orleans. There she meets the other characters of the play including Stella’s husband Stanley, played by the beautiful Marlon Brando in the 1951 film, a must see… hubba hubba. At this point Blanche is completely detached from reality. She drinks excessively, almost every other word out of her mouth is a lie, and she’s more concerned with her appearance than her well being. She stands up to Stanley regardless of the dangerous position it puts her in. Blanche’s rape is one of the most pivotal scenes in the play. It insights an extreme amount of pity from the audience. The punishment must outweigh the crime. Blanche’s rape sends her into a state of complete and utter delusion. She is unable to tell reality apart from her delusions. Blanche was an educated woman. She was well spoken, enjoyed literature and all the finer things in life. By the end of the play she lost everything of value to her including her sanity. The downfall was not a total loss. Blanche’s story comes full circle. She “relies on the kindness of strangers” once more and leaves with a doctor to go to an institution. The audience is able t experience catharsis. We wanted to see Blanche succeed and she had all the potential to do right but she’s fated to fall.

I believe Tennessee Williams wrote Blanche’s character out to be a tragic figure. The way he portrays her is nothing short of tragic.

I recieved an A on my actual research final and I loved the topic so much that I thought I’d share.

Intuition or a Gift?

I’ve always heard of the power of female intuition. I have had many a strange occurrence where it felt as though I was predicting the future. I’d shrug it off, but I was always pretty dead on when I felt like something would happen. No I wouldn’t see visions or know without a doubt that someone was going to drop dead. I’m pretty sure we have all had times where we would dream of somebody who we haven’t spoken to in a while or we would suddenly think about them. Not long after we would end up running into them, getting a message from them, or hearing someone else mention their name. It’s an eerie feeling right? I feel like I come across this feeling pretty regularly… way more regularly than catching myself saying “Deja vu”.

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I’m not sure if there is any cold hard evidence supporting that women’s intuition is more than a myth. I’m sure there is some research out there. I’ve read a few articles that mention some minor theories in regards to why women seem to be psychic, but nothing really tied together. The excerpts that I did read mentioned how nonverbal communication could be a factor. Women are pro’s at nonverbal communication. Hell, women are pro’s at communication in general. Nonverbal communication could be explained as body language. The ability to communicate or read people without verbally expressing anything. The article stated that because women were able to read the emotions of others so easily and express their own very openly… it made them more in-tune. Women could pick up on small subtle messages that men ignore. Thus giving them the ability to appear to know something more than meets the eye. I agree, but that still doesn’t completely satisfy me.

Even the theories focused on the “mother” in every woman doesn’t give me much to work with. I get it, mother’s know. Mother’s know all. The connection between mother and child is so strong a bond that the lives (souls) of these individuals are intertwined. I’ve read stories where mother’s have woken from nightmares to find their child has died or have had bad feelings and something horrible has happened to their kids and so on. I completely get this…. BUT there’s still flaws. There’s still questions there.

Here’s another thought… maybe not every woman experiences these feelings or maybe some women are more sensitive to this stuff than others. I’ve always felt that I was more in-tune than others. I’ve spoken with a lot of my girlfriends. Some of them have never felt what I felt. Some of them have just been able to tell that they were going to get dumped….. yeah, when your boyfriend stops talking to you.. that’s not intuition coming into play. What I’ve experienced is what I can only explain as a glimpse into a higher state of consciousness. A connection to the universe and everything around me. A deeper understanding. I feel like this is what we are rewarded with after we die. An understanding, a knowing, of everything to come and everything that has already happened.

In any sense… I am gifted. Gifted with the ability to read people. A lot of women have this gift and we need to harness it. Honestly, it’s a very powerful thing in our control. You have the ability to see everyone’s little weaknesses… you can either do good or evil with that power. Some use that knowledge to control or destroy a person. It’s easy to manipulate someone when you can predict their every move… when you can feel their feelings. Instead of doing that, be empathetic! Connect with them! The ability to read people and examine the human heart is a beautiful gift… not everyone possesses this. Help the people in your life make good changes in theirs.

Lafayette Strong

imagePouring through article after article I cannot find solace. I wanted to write my own article and I’m not even sure why. Maybe I’m writing this to help myself process it all better. Maybe I’m writing this just so that I can look back and remember this exact moment. I’m not sure. It’s gotten to the point where all my emotions are masked by something stronger… A sense of bewilderment. I’ve felt complete and utter despair. I’ve felt rage towards the ignorance and evil that has made itself known. I’ve felt fear and panic during the hours when things were still up in air. I’ve even felt my blood boiling towards my own peers that are seemingly ok. Typically these emotions would be very powerful, but the sense of shock keeps watering them down.

Last Thursday, July 23rd, tragedy struck my little city. The security blanket that Lafayette had been desperately clinging to was ripped from our grasp. Something nobody would ever expect to happen in ‘the happiest city in America’ did. A ‘drifter’ that had made our little city his pit stop for the last month decided to enter The Grand Theater and unleash fire on innocent civilians.

One of the millions of questions I have is.. How can you live in this beautiful community for even just one month and still want to harm it? How can you go to Artmosphere and interact with the kindest most vibrant souls and still want to do something like this?  I’m sure there were other events he attended and other people in Lafayette that he interacted with.. How could he not feel for this place… not even a little? Even if it’s not your home.. Lafayette has a way of feeling like home.

There’s so many questions that will go unanswered and I feel as though no amount of searching or grasping at straws will satisfy. How do you explain the unthinkable? When a similar incident happened in Colorado, a few years back, everyone in America watched the news in horror. Personally, I took comfort in the fact that my home was quiet and full of kindhearted people who could never perpetrate such unfathomable acts. But what happens when evil decides to come to your city? This reminds me that you should never cling to comfort. Life is unpredictable.

I, sadly, knew both of the victims. Jillian Johnson, I had the pleasure of meeting once or twice. Although I didn’t have a personal relationship with her… I felt as though I did. My best friend had been her employee for the past year and also a really close friend to her. When you hear someone constantly talking about someone they admire and love it causes you to feel a similar connection to that person. The saddest part is that I know I would have gotten the chance to know her better if her life hadn’t been taken so abruptly. The next victim, Mayci Breaux, is someone I grew up with. She’s from the small town of Franklin, LA. Franklin is where my dad was raised and it’s also where he was employed when I was little. I went to Hanson with Mayci. She was a year younger than I was so we weren’t super close in school. We formed a tighter relationship through summer camp and dance classes. In dancing she blew my boney ass out of the water… which wasn’t particularly difficult, but that girl really had some talent. She competed in dance competitions and would make it all look so easy. I’m happy to have gotten the chance to catch up with her this past fall. She came to the Cedar’s reunion show that my dad’s band had reunited for and I got to hug her and tell her how grown up and pretty she looked. I have never seen either one of these ladies without a huge beaming smile, both in photographs and in person. I have also never heard a negative word about either one of these beautiful creatures and I’m not just saying that because it’s a postmortem thing to say.. I’m saying it with complete honesty. These women made nothing but friends out of everyone that they met. Both women were forces to be reckoned with. Mayci was an up-and-coming force at the age of 21 while Jill was already a full fledged force at the ripe ole’ age of 33. Both women were not afraid to share their talents. Both women would jump on stage and exude confidence and passion. It’s inspiring. It makes me want to embrace life. It makes me want to live without fear or hesitance.

These past few days have been some of the hardest to witness. From holding my best friends while they cry and mourn the loss of their boss, mentor, and friend to reminiscing on my own childhood friendship. Wakes, vigils, memorials…. It’s been hard. It’s hard to sleep. This is all I’m thinking of while I’m awake and when I’m asleep it subconsciously comes up in the form of nightmares. There’s still a redeeming light in all these dark days and that’s the amount of love in this community. Love endures all. At the vigil I attended on Saturday I felt an overwhelming sense of love. I held my best friend’s hand tighter than I ever could imagine grasping another human being and we cried as Jill’s sweet voice rang through the air. We all embraced each other and sang as one man held the Acadiana flag high above the crowd. It was the most sincere moment illustrating true human compassion that I think I will ever get the privilege of witnessing. I’ve never seen such raw unadulterated emotions pouring out of human beings. I watched as everyone fully embraced their vulnerability, fear, and sadness and turned it into something uplifting. It was a breathtaking moment that I’m sure I will never forget.

imagePrayer flags that were created by my fellow Lafayettian’s and hung at Parc Sans Souci for the downtown vigil.

Although we are all at a loss for words, for answers, for comfort.. We will persevere. We will live better lives for Jillian and for Mayci. We will learn from this and grow as a community. Learn from this. Tell everyone how you feel about them. If you think someone is talented, tell them. If you think someone is beautiful, tell them. If someone has touched your life, tell them. If you love someone, tell them everyday. Embrace your talents. Don’t be fearful. Try and make a difference. Be more involved. Don’t brush this under the rug. Allow yourself to feel. Allow yourself to mourn. Even if you didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Mayci or Jillian, mourn for them. Mourn for their friends and family. Mourn because it could have been you or someone you know. Mourn for your city. Mourn for the loss of security and safety that we all once felt. Mourn and then rise above. Feel and then embrace. This affects us all. This is Lafayette. This is home. Feel for Lafayette. Lafayette Strong.

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RIP- Mayci Breaux and Jillian. Sending positivity and strength to all those who were injured including my old educator Mrs. Allister Viator Martin. Also sending hugs to the families of the victims, particularly… Mayci’s parents, Mayci’s boyfriend Matt, Jill’s husband Jason, and her stepdaughter Paxton.

Love Lafayette!

Ok you guys, here I am again to be the beacon of light on your bleak Mondays!!

If you live in Lafayette LA and you don’t occasionally listen to KRVS, shame on you. 88.7 KRVS Radio Acadie is our local public radio station, but it’s so much more than that!

“Mission Statement- KRVS is an indispensable source of information, ideas and cultural experience that enables people to fulfill their potential as citizens of south Louisiana.” (KRVS)

KRVS plays a variety of music notably blues box on Friday mornings.. my personal favorite time to tune in. They also feature a lot of music that’s true to Louisiana culture. “We play Cajun, Zydeco, Blues, Jazz, Swamp Pop, Swamp Rock, Louisiana singer/songwriter music, and many other distinct musical styles created and played in Louisiana.” (krvs.org)

There’s a lot of people I know in my quaint little city and surrounding areas who have zero interest in embracing the culture of Lafayette. They would rather get lobotomized than go out and listen to Zydeco…. let alone drive around during their free time and listen to it. I get it… It’s not for everybody. Everyone has different music tastes. I get it! BUT, Cajun and Zydeco music is more than what it seems. It’s really fun and it opens you up to the culture of our beautiful little city. Lafayette is unique. Everyone’s always bitchin’ about how they can’t wait to get out, but they never seem to stay gone for long. Lafayette has it’s perks no matter how hard it is for some to admit. Just think… we have one of the best free music festivals in our back yard. It’s really time people start embracing Lafayette and embracing the culture of Louisiana.

I use to be like you… My parent’s would drag me to the Fais Do Do in New Iberia for the Sugarcane Festival when I was a little girl. They would make me stay and watch Cajun bands all night long and I was always so bored with it. I didn’t enjoy listening to Zydeco or anything of the sort because… it was everywhere. I was raised around it and in my mind it was only something older people enjoyed. As I got older my musical interests got vast. I can appreciate any type of music now. I’m always down to see any bands play because I like the experience of listening to live music. Recently, I’ve started to really dive into the culture that surrounds me.

My best friend Cayla forced me to go to my first Cajun Jam at the Blue Moon Saloon about a year ago… There she introduced me to a lot of people who I adore today. Majority of the people I met were a little older than I am but they were all so new and exciting and talented. I embraced the experience fully. I started going every week. I met so many new people through opening up to new music and new experiences. The fun with Cajun music or any variation of it is that there is so many shows to go to. The week days are never boring because there’s always someone to go see. Just open yourself up to it. Go out!! Have a beer! Cajun dance with your friends. Embrace everything that Lafayette has to offer you. Don’t take live music for granted. This city is always buzzing with music and life and laughter. Love Lafayette!

Here’s the website for KRVS! They have a schedule of what they’re playing and upcoming programs.

http://krvs.org/

College the Luxury or the Necessity?

As my final year of college approaches I can feel myself getting more and more overwhelmed. I keep brushing this off and trying to enjoy my summer but it continuously creeps up on me throughout my day. I’m not so much stressed about my plans after college… I’m sure that’ll hit me around next spring… I’m more stressed about going through this final year.

I’ve discussed my opinions on what I value in terms of success and future careers and what not. I just want to help people. I want that job. I feel like that will be the most fulfilling job for me and a place where I can shine. Yeah I’d love to go to school forever and get a PH.D or go to medical school… but sadly, money doesn’t actually grow on trees. The tuition at my school has gotten raised by 10 percent. TOPS, my financial aid, ran out… because they only cover four years. I beat myself up for changing my major and setting myself back. What if I don’t even get a job in the CJUS field? What if I end up with a regular job that didn’t even require a degree?

I have just been feeling a lot of heaviness and stress in regards to school. I’m torn. I want the degree really bad. I want to graduate because I’ve come this far but then another half of me feels like college served it’s purpose for me already. It’s not like I’m in law school and when I graduate I’ll have a set career where I’m reaping the financial benefits of a degree. I’m in Criminal Justice. I would need more schooling to do any big time stuff. I just don’t want to waste anyone’s time or money. College made me an intellectual. It made me appreciate knowledge. It gave me purpose for 4 years. It pushed me. It taught me so many valuable life lessons and made me into who I am. Isn’t that the purpose? Or is the purpose the degree? A bachelor’s degree isn’t even as valuable as it once was. Masters are where the big money is…. not that I even care about money to begin with. I don’t know if I want this. I don’t know if I want that suburban lifestyle… where I graduate from college and marry a man with an engineering degree and settle down immediately. I can’t picture that for me.

So this half of me is screaming to just save my parents the money and go travel and spend this time starting to live my life. I can meet a man that I truly love and we can live somewhere else for a while and have fun and go listen to music and do adventurous things in a different city and then I can settle down and have that family and feel content because I did what I wanted to do during these years.

I want the degree but do I still need it? I feel torn. I’m not sure what path was meant for me. I know my parents really want to see me graduate and get a degree. I can do it… I just don’t want to stifle their lives or choose the wrong path for myself. My parents have another kid in college. I worry about them. I don’t want them struggling if it’ll be in vain. What if I don’t use the degree I have? What if I’m better suited for something else? What if I’m meant to be somewhere else right now?

College is treated as a necessity but priced as a luxury. I would be in school for the rest of my life if it was easier to pay for. I love school. I love learning. It’s fulfilling. I want to be a college graduate but at what cost?

I’m going to swallow this and take this last year as it comes. I am a worrier. I worry about everyone around me constantly. I definitely worry about others more than myself or my future, but it’s only because I know I’ll be okay. I know my future is bright regardless of what I do this last year. I’m a positive person and I’m happy with the choices I’ve made thus far so I have faith in myself. I just need to take a deep breath and worry less. I’m surrounded by love, affection, and positivity from people who just want to see me excel and be happy. That’s all I need to focus on right here in this moment

Heal your Past

Honestly, I feel as though I should write a self-help book sometimes. As a young woman, I have been through my fair share of miscommunications, misunderstandings, heartbreaks, disappointments, and unfortunate events. It’s hard to let go. I will be the first to tell you that if letting go is an easy process then maybe what you let go of wasn’t too important to you to begin with. I’m the type of person who feels everything to my core and some people see that as a weakness. “Oh she allows herself to be too vulnerable.” “Where is your pride?” “Why would you let anyone see your true emotions like that?” “Makes you look weak.” This is a reminder how completely different people’s perspectives are. I have never viewed vulnerability as weakness. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to leave anything up in air… If I feel something I want it to be known. I feel like people are always stressing how short life is, but they still conceal their true emotions out of fear. I don’t care how I look to other people. I feel like being too prideful is less healthy… it doesn’t allow you to work past anything. It doesn’t allow you to fully express. I can breathe and I feel light because I have nothing holding me down. Everyone knows me. Everyone can see me because I allow them to.

I have gotten to the point where my past has healed. It’s been a long journey full of ups and downs, but I’ve finally healed all of my wounds. It wasn’t hard to do after everything had been said and done. I just woke up one morning and realized every single circumstance or event leading up to where I am today made me who I am today…. and I really like who I am today. Even the circumstances that seemed hurtful or unfortunate at the time.. have been completely and utterly beneficial to me as a person.

I realized my actions are an energy vortex… the more I dwelled on unhappy thoughts and gave in to destructive behaviors the more I craved it. I kept looking at situations in my past and blaming them for any current unhappiness or sorrows… but then I realized that those bad times bred a much healthier mindset and a better me…. and will lead me to make better choices in the future. I’ll never sell myself short. I developed so many strong qualities throughout this journey of rebuilding… my sense of humor, my compassion, and my drive. I’m proud of the person I have become so why try to hold on to anything that’s destructive to that. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone anymore.. I just want to help others who are struggling with coming to terms with healing their past. It’s really easy once you get to a certain point. If wounds are still fresh.. give yourself time. Clarity will come and once it does.. everything will be so clear and simple. You’ll be able to take a deep breath and finally take a step forward into becoming the fullest most beautiful version of yourself.

I love you guys and if anyone ever needs anyone to talk to or if you just need to hear some kind words… please don’t hesitate to message me. I’m here for each and every one of you!!