I Like Dreamers

I Like Dreamers

I like dreamers. They are not realistic in the least, and it is the most endearing thing.

“I’m going to do this,” they say, and I lean in close. “Tell me more! Tell me of all the things you’ll do!” And it excites me to see just how unfazed these people are by reality’s demands, how willing they are to say to reality, “Beat it, scram!”

Reality is like the cranky nanny who never wanted the children to have any fun whatsoever. “Fairies aren’t real!” she scowls to the little girls playing in the garden. (Please picture an English countryside scene for this image, because that is how I see it playing out in my head.)

Reality is bills and jobs spent in cubicles and breakups and illnesses and death. We have enough reality already. That is why I like dreamers.

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(P.S. My personal blog has made the leap from PenPointed Noise to a snazzy new Maps & Mochas so that I can write on more than just music. See it here. PenPointed Noise will expire June 26, 2016.)

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The 1975’s “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it”

1975 I Like It Maps & Mochas

Let me tell you a love story. The scene begins innocuously enough: a cold and damp February morning two years ago, the sun hours away from rising. A still-drunk Scottish man throwing up the night’s revelries on the sidewalk. Another drunk man being escorted off the bus that had just arrived at the station from its overnight journey. A 10-hour trip ahead on a smelly and cramped Megabus from Edinburgh to London. The same album on repeat throughout said trip through the British Isle.

And that’s when I fell wildly in love with The 1975.

Three years after their self-titled debut album, these British lads have released their second album, I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it. And. I. Love. It. I won’t attempt to convince you to like the album title, but I will attempt to make you love the album itself. Or if not love, at least give it a listen.

I listened to this album for the first time on my way to work the morning of its release, which turned out to be a poor decision as it left me emotionally incapacitated for the remainder of the day. Some of my friends have been disappointed with the lack of consistency in the sound of this album, and I am sympathetic to their critiques, especially after the melodic cohesiveness that was the band’s first album. However, lyrically this album is much-improved from the first, and that’s a win for me. It’s also bleeding all sorts of ~*feelings*~ and I’m all about a good dose of vulnerability when it comes to music.

READ FULL POST HERE.

(P.S. My personal blog has made the leap from PenPointed Noise to a snazzy new Maps & Mochas so that I can write on more than just music. See it here.)

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To the One Who is Grieving

To the One Who is Grieving TFY

Grief is a word that when spoken aloud reddens the cheeks and sends eyes downcast to the floor in embarrassment. It is often treated as a secret to be concealed, a state to be avoided, a feeling to be repressed. And yet it is something that is so inherently human.

“The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken.’” C.S. Lewis writes in The Problem of Pain.

I’ve listened to the heartbreaks of friends, observed the heartbreaks of strangers, read the heartbreaks of writers, and experienced heartbreaks of my own. And in these heartbreaks, I’ve learned much of grief — of the way it hurts and of the way it heals.

Give yourself grace in this grief. To the one who is grieving, your grief is not weakness. It is not a flaw to conceal, not a failing to be ashamed of. Let yourself cry. Let yourself yell out angry questions of “Why did this happen?” while you drive down roads emptied by the night’s hour. Let yourself mourn and ache and wonder how things will ever get better.

I once hid my grief, shamefully tucking it in an untraceable crevice deep in a darkened wood. Admitting my hurt felt like admitting defeat, so I shied away from any sort of vulnerability that allowed for an honest confession of “I am hurting.”

“Feelings, and feelings, and feelings. Let me try thinking instead,” C.S. Lewis writes in A Grief Observedafter the death of his wife.

Like my writing hero, I tried to think my way out of this feeling that shamed me so, hoping that by logically explaining to my heart how inconvenient and unnecessary sadness was, it’d send those unpleasant feelings back to my metaphorical heart-vault, setting stoic British guards outside it to ensure sadness stayed safely locked away. And when my heart did not oblige by my mind’s persuasion, I became angry at myself – genuinely hating myself, even – for my inability to rid myself of this silly sadness.

“Do I hope that if feeling disguises itself as thought I shall feel less?” Lewis asks.

And like my writing hero, I learned the impossibility of reasoning your way out of grief. You are human. Humans have feelings. No amount of logic can overcome your capacity – your human need – to feel. Give yourself grace to feel widely and deeply in your grief.

READ FULL POST HERE.

(P.S. My personal blog has made the leap from PenPointed Noise to a snazzy new Maps & Mochas so that I can write on more than just music. See it here.)

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How to Travel on a Post-Grad Budget, Part 2

How to Travel on a Post-Grad Budget, Part 2

As I said in my previous post – How to Travel on a Post-Grad Budget, Part 1 – it is 180,000% possible to travel on a post-grad budget, and I will continue to defend this statement in a manner that is borderline aggressive.

Here are four more tips to help you save while traveling:

PART 2: AT YOUR DESTINATION

1. DON’T BLOW YOUR MONEY ON FOOD.

During my flight over to New Zealand, I was a fool and bought dinner at LAX, spending ten dollars and fifty cents ($10.50!!!) for two (TWO) scrambled eggs, which would have been $16 New Zealand dollars, a.k.a. worth a meal far more satisfying than two (TWO!!) scrambled eggs at my final destination.

Don’t do stupid things like that with your money. Bring snacks with you to eat at the airport. Get a free cup of water at Starbucks or bring an empty refillable water bottle that you can fill at a water fountain once you’re through security. Just don’t spend $10.50 for two (TWO!!!!!) scrambled eggs at the airport.

READ FULL POST HERE.

(P.S. My personal blog has made the leap from PenPointed Noise to a snazzy new Maps & Mochas so that I can write on more than just music and eventually PenPointed Noise will be laid to rest. See Maps & Mochas here.)

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How to Travel on a Post-Grad Budget, Part 1

How to Travel on a Post-Grad Budget, Part 1 (2)

It is 180,000% possible to travel on a post-grad budget, and I will defend this statement in a manner that is borderline aggressive.

The world wasn’t meant to be admired from a stock desktop wallpaper; it was meant to be experienced. This is another statement that I will defend in a manner that is borderline aggressive.

But traveling isn’t always easy on entry-level wages. Here’s how to see the world without breaking the bank:

PART 1: PLANNING YOUR TRIP

1. BUDGET.

A) Before we even begin discussing budgeting for travel, you must first know how to budget your money for all general life expenses. This post from That First Year and the blog The Financial Diet are good places to start when learning how to manage your money.

READ FULL POST HERE.

(P.S. My personal blog has made the leap from PenPointed Noise to a snazzy new Maps & Mochas so that I can write on more than just music and eventually PenPointed Noise will be laid to rest. See Maps & Mochas here.)

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Beauty, All of It: New Zealand in Photos

nz IN PHOTOS

It was a bright afternoon – no clouds, just pure blue lakes reflecting pure blue skies and the sun reflecting off snow-capped peaks. And I was on a bus winding along these empty New Zealand roads, the sound of Leonard Cohen’s Live from London concert floating through the bus speakers, his deep voice singing “Hallalujah” in an even deeper valley.

I felt like I was in a movie.

I had a lot of moments like that in New Zealand. And I think that’s what’s so great about travel: the way it gives our lives these movie-moments that can’t be found in the monotony of our usual routine.

***

What’s that phrase again? A picture is worth a thousand words? Well, that’s not true, I don’t think. Photos can’t capture the fullness of a moment, can’t capture the laughs I had playing a popular French card game with our friend from Lille, can’t capture the sound of an avalanche echoing through a valley, can’t capture the magnitude of the mountains and just how small you felt standing next to sheer cliff walls, your head straining back to peer at its peaks.

Photos can’t fully capture that. But that’s okay; they’re still fun to look at.

READ FULL POST HERE.

(P.S. My personal blog has made the leap from PenPointed Noise to a snazzy new Maps & Mochas so that I can write on more than just music and eventually PenPointed Noise will be laid to rest. See Maps & Mochas here.)

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Knock on the Door

Knock on the Door

When I was a brat-child (trust me, I was the worst), I would run to my room, slam my door and throw myself dramatically onto my bed after a fight with my parents.  There I would fume and dwell on whatever angry thoughts an 8 year-old can conjure.

Eventually, I would hear a knock at the door. It was one of my parents (God bless ‘em), trying to talk some sense into their moody child.

“Go away!”

That’s usually what I would tell them. Go away.

READ FULL POST HERE.

(P.S. My personal blog has made the leap from PenPointed Noise to a snazzy new Maps & Mochas so that I can write on more than just music and eventually PenPointed Noise will be laid to rest. See Maps & Mochas here.)

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