A Night With Mraz

Last night, I got to see Jason Mraz live. I was introduced to his music back in 2005, and I’m been a fan ever since. He wasn’t one of those musicians that I was just dying to see in concert, but I’ve always admired his talent. After seeing his performance, my opinion of him has grown and changed. He’s a phenomenal musician and is incredibly talented. The band that’s been touring with him, Raining Jane, is filled with girls who can play more instruments than I can imagine learning how to play. Love music? Go see him live.

Yesterday’s date has some not-so-fond memories for me, so I was looking forward to the show distracting me. What I wasn’t counting on was leaving Alte Oper full of inspiration and a sense of peace. I really wish I had pulled out my journal during the intermission so I’d be able to share all of the thoughts that were running through my mind in the moment, but I failed to do so. The rest of this is just a pale replication of some of those thoughts.

At one point, he mentioned that people always ask him how he seems to stay so positive. He replied that he believes positivity is a choice- he chooses to be positive every day, because without that, there can’t be forgiveness, acceptance, etc. A lot of people speak about acting positively without actually doing it, but I think if you can make a conscious effort to stay positive whenever possible, it’ll reflect into your life and people will be drawn to that. I know from experience that staying positive is so much easier said than done- for countless months, I was unable to even genuinely smile. For me, finding the smallest moment of positivity can be considered a win.

The best part about this whole concert was just hearing all of the encouragement he was genuinely sharing with the crowd. It was refreshing to hear someone with his level of fame who still acted so down to earth. I appreciated it even further because the way he inspired everyone in the audience is what I really hope to do with this blog. Like I’ve said before, I want to be relatable and honest. I want to inspire people to share their stories and know that even in the darkest of life’s moments, there will be an end and the light will come back.

One of my favorite songs from the Yes! album is 3 Things mostly for the following lyrics: “the third thing I do now when my world caves in is I pause, I take a breath, and bow and I let that chapter end.” Those lines are quickly becoming the way I’m trying to live my life. I’ve always been a dweller on the bad moments in life, so a regular reminder to stop and collect myself before going┬áto the next thing helps with closure, thus being able to properly move on.

As for the rest of the concert, there was a video on his trip to Antarctica featuring penguins, a sitar, amazing harmonies, and a surprise proposal. Well worth it.

Niederrad, Germany- October 2014
Niederrad, Germany- October 2014

listening to: Jason Mraz

Happy Challenge: Round 2

A little over a month ago, I completed the 100 Happy Days challenge on my instagram. I used it as a way to count down until my trip to Alaska and as a way to make sure I appreciated as many moments as possible in those hundred days.

Challenges like this help to remind me that days are made up of different moments and experiences, and it’s our choice to focus on the good or the bad. For someone who struggled with severe depression for quite a long time, remembering to seek out the light and the good is a very important task. While it’s not a crippling fear of any sort, I do know that for someone like me, it can be easy to sink back into the unhappiness and self-isolation if I’m not conscious of my daily well-being.

All of the seriousness aside, I also enjoyed my first 100 days challenge because I started to find joy in simple things that previously I had taken for granted. A sunny day or simply having some quiet time to write became things that I learned to appreciate far more than before.

I’ve also always been known as somebody who doesn’t tend to finish what she starts. If I was even able to count how many projects I had started and hadn’t finished, I’d be appalled with myself. To say I have commitment issues is putting it lightly. To have completed the photo challenge without skipping a single day or dreading having to post a picture was a huge change for me.

Because of all of this, I decided to do a second round of 100 Happy Days. I’m only three days in as of today, and lot will be happening in the next ninety-seven days, so it should be another fun challenge. The final day (if I did my math correctly- which I didn’t do the first time) is scheduled to be December 31, so I will have moved from Germany to Texas, visited New York City with friends, seen Damien Rice and Jason Mraz in concert, visited family, and moved from Texas to Alaska by the time the hundred days are up. With all the moving and traveling that will be going on, it will also be a good way to keep me grounded.

I wanted to show off a few of my favorite moments from my first round of the challenge. I could have easily picked twice as many photos, but settled with five good memories, because they helped shape my growth during those hundred days.

day8

A few of the girls that quickly became my family while in Frankfurt. I know without a doubt that these three are lifetime friends and I wouldn’t trade our laughs and deep talks for the world.

day11

I visited Berlin for the first time nine years ago, and my visit in May this year was just as wonderful. I got to show off the unique city to my parents, and the East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall will probably always be one of my favorite sights to visit in the world

day30

My job isn’t always just fun and playing games with the kids I watch. Sometimes, it gets very stressful and overwhelming. This Wednesday was one of those days of constant running around with no break in sight. The host mom I work for sent me out for drinks with friends, and being able to spend all night talking about everything under the sun was just what I needed.

day67

Another photo tied to a memory of a day that didn’t start out all that well. It was the 4th of July, and the only day where I was painfully homesick. I wanted to go out and celebrate with fireworks and barbecue, but without any Americans to spend the day with, I felt completely isolated. I ended up traveling to the American air force base close to where I live and spending the evening out there. It was one of those emotional days, but I ended up enjoying the evening and learning I can celebrate a holiday without needing to be surrounded by friends or family.

day90

Paris. All of Paris will be a fond life memory, but being able to just sit and enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower from my friend’s apartment was the most serene I felt the entire time I was in France. Oh, to be able to go back there and spend hours writing on that balcony. A girl can always dream.

listening to: Alt-J