One of the Best

While 2014 wasn’t a perfect year, I can honestly say I’ve never had more fun in my life than I had this year. A huge part of that is due to the outrageous amount of live music I was lucky enough to see. There are few things that make me happier than going to shows and this year I had a ton of people to enjoy those shows with, made fun new friends in the process, and even learned how to love going to shows on my own. Some were just here at local dive bars, some on Broadway in Nashville, some at festivals, some bands I saw multiple times, and some, to be honest, I almost don’t remember seeing at all (damn you VIP at summer shows!). And, okay, it’s not just “some” bands, over 150 of them to be a little more exact.

Here’s the list of how it all went down….

Paul Shin Trio, Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle, Kacey Musgraves, Kip Moore, Lady Antebellum, The Zeros, Gary Clark Jr., Kings of Leon, Vance Joy, Young the Giant, Aloe Blacc, Haim, Bastille, Kate Nash, Ellie Goulding, Chromeo, Girl Talk, Busta Rhymes, Outkast, Holy Ghost, Kid Cudi, Future Islands, Lorde, Foster the People, Pharrell, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Queens of the Stone Age, Nas, Jay-Z, Muse, STRFKR, Frank Turner, Krewella, Flosstradamus, Skrillex, Dillion Francis, Aluna Geore, Calvin Harris, Lana Del Rey, Beck, Arcade Fire, Debbie Harry, Moses Sumney, Local Natives, Night Terrors of 1927, Fitz & the Tantrums, The Warlocks, The Dandy Warhols, Hunter Hunted, Twenty One Pilots, Nonono, St Lucia, Foster the People, White Sea, Strange Babes, Naked and Famous, Cults, Vampire Weekend, Sigrah, Nmezee, Holy Ghost, Reel Big Fish, Frank Turner, John Butler Trio, Deap Valley, Band of Skulls, Me Like Bees, Not a Planet, March Fourth Marching Band, Robert DeLong, Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Architects, Capital Cities, Man Man, Cherub, 2 Chainz, Diplo, Travis Scott, White Arrows, The Neighbourhood, Rich Robinson, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, The Zeros, White Girl, Glass Animals, Glass Animals (yep, again), The Invisible World, Jeremy Messersmith, Rev Gusto, Dear Boy, Scruffy and the Janitors, Kitten, The Architects, Better Than Ezra, The Late Night Callers, Max Frost, Justin Timberlake, Curtis Harding, Jack White, Misterwives, The Bleachers, Prof, Dem Atlas, DJ Fundo, Atmosphere, RAC, Future Islands, The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, Delta Spirit, Empires, Glass Animals, Cherub, Portugal The Man, Grouplove, Moon Taxi, Outkast, Striking Matches, Exile, Raelynn, Mac Wiseman, Vince Gill, Alabama Shakes, Charity Byars, Mauldin Brothers, Scott Collier, Lewis Copeland, Michael Scott, Brandon Holder Band, Jesse Cain, Jon Pardi, Kip Moore, Randy Houser, Chris Young, Dierks Bentley, Jungle, Bonobo, Said The Whale, Ross Christopher, Kopecky Family Band, Against Me, Gaslight Anthem, Alt-J, Deadman Flats, Rain Dogs, White Girl, Night Terrors of 1927, Future Kinds, Golden Groves, Chappo, The Features, Not A Planet, Found a Job, Gypsy Sparrows, Paulo Nutini, Hembree, French Horn Rebellion, The Noise FM, Sheppa, The Architects, Beautiful Bodies, Cold War Kids, Cage the Elephant, The Outsides, Misterwives, Bleachers, Banks, Glass Animals, St. Vincent, and finally, to end 2014, The Black Keys.

What. A. Year.385770739

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Getting Back to Good

The last month has been… shitty. Some days are okay. Some days I get relatively close to feeling normal. Some days are even pretty close to great. But there’s still those times, sometimes entire days, where I still feel completely out of sorts. A lot of it has to do with the (ex)boyfriend. After a break up, even after you begin moving on, there’s still those times when the sadness/loss/anger/confusion creeps back in and keeps you from feeling completely whole again. And those times, while lessening, are just… shitty.

It probably doesn’t help much that every day I drive to work I have to pass the place we first met (literally two blocks from my office. Cool.) and be reminded of that excitement and possibility I felt that night. That? Yeah, that probably doesn’t help me in getting back to my old self either. That’s just… shitty.

But, you know what’s not shitty? Keeping myself busier this month than I have in a long time. Spending more time with friends. Trying new things. Forcing myself back into working out. Taking cooking classes. Going to shows solo and meeting new people. And…

GETTING A NEW JOB! Not only do I not have to pass that place that now makes me feel a whole lotta sad feels daily, I also have something really exciting to focus on. It’s been no secret that I’ve been less than thrilled with my current job and really ready for a new challenge, and now finally I have it.

While none of these things truly speed up the broken heart healing process, they do help to keep me feeling positive and happy, and even excited. They make it easier to keep going until the day comes along when I’m finally back to the old me…tumblr_mifxnwn4f41qkn03yo1_400

The Losing Season

I love Kansas City. I have a great amount of Kansas City pride. But, God love ‘em, the Royals season was sadly all too similar to my love life. After years and years of trying their damnedest and still losing, finally all the pieces came together. Finally something just clicked and they were winning. They were great. They were confident. They had been the underdogs for so long that everyone was rooting for them. Everyone wanted this season to finally be the one. And while the final series wasn’t a smooth ride, it really seemed like this was it, this season was the one. Then, suddenly, it was over. Just like that, everything they had been waiting so long for was over. And it was just one small run that came between them and the win. They have to walk off the field, defeated, and watch as someone else enjoys the happiness they thought would be theirs. They came so close. They were great, just not quite great enough.

But, this isn’t the end for the Royals. They will have other seasons. Some they may lose, and maybe someday, one they will finally win. The Royals will shake this loss off… and so will I.

Enough.

It’s nice hearing you’re great. It’s nice hearing a person appreciates all the things you do for them and how you open yourself up to them and how you give your feelings freely to them.

It’s not nice feeling like those things are not enough for them to want to continue on in a relationship with you.

In fact, it’s much worse than “not nice,” it’s more like devastating. It’s soul crushing to feel like you are not enough. And when you are dumped, there’s a very good chance you will spend a lot of time feeling exactly that. Sure, the person you are being dumped by may say it’s nothing you did and that you are, in fact, great, but that does nothing to ease the feeling of not being enough for them. Your friends, your family, anyone will probably tell you you are enough. You gave everything you had, and that was enough. You being you is enough. You being open to loving someone is enough. But, after the person you have fallen in love with gives you the “you are great, but…” talk, you will likely not believe any of this.

You will feel like if you were better in any number of ways the person would want to be with you still. No matter the reasons they are actually ending the relationship, in my case distance and not feeling ready to be in a serious relationship, you will still think it’s you. It has to be you. It has to be things you did. Or things you didn’t do. You question everything about yourself. You think back on your relationship and question every time that person made you feel great and every time you thought you were more than enough for them because of how perfectly things felt, and this makes you think surely you must have missed some huge sign. You must have gotten something wrong. There were no fights or unhappiness or areas of life you completely disagreed on, so it must have been you. More than ever you are certain you are not great. In fact, you think you aren’t even good. Not good enough to receive back the love you have given. It is one of the worst feelings in the world, and there’s no way to cure it. People can tell you until they’re blue in the face that you are great, that you are enough, but when you have been left heartbroken, it’s fairly impossible to believe.

Among all the terrible parts of going through a breakup; the feeling of loss knowing you won’t have that person you were so close with to talk to everyday, the end of all the future plans you’ve made with them, the knowledge that you’ll never fall asleep and wake up in their arms and have that wonderful feeling like all is right in the world, among the myriad of feelings constantly swirling in your head, one of the worst will be feeling like it is all happening because you were not enough.

A Case of the Could You Fucking Not’s

Lately I find myself with little patience. For everything. My favorite season is ending, my job provides little to no enjoyment, I’m in a constant search for something to do with the rest of my life professionally (or at least a constant search for a job that provides the possibility of moderate amounts of enjoyment and more than, oh ya know, three paid days off), I’m trying like hell to make a long distance relationship feel just as normal as it did pre-distance and all of this has been leaving me maxed out on my daily allotment for patience. It’s a rare day I don’t find myself constantly annoyed by any and everything dumb. I suppose normally my tolerance for stupid people doing stupid things isn’t the highest, but the stress of these last few weeks has just demolished said tolerance for all things asinine. For example…

Coworkers approaching me with problems first thing in the morning:

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Coworker who forces me to be at the office 20 minutes later than necessary so I can hear his thoughts on the decline of “modern neighborhoods”:

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Coworker who asks me to work late full well knowing I’m salary and won’t get paid for it:

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The person who cuts me off in traffic, then proceeds to drive under the speed limit:

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The person who cuts me off in line at the pharmacy, then proceeds to ask one trillion questions:

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Manufacturers of cardboard tampon applicators, one-ply toilet paper, automatic faucets that don’t work and all other sub-standard bathroom products:

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All things pumpkin spice and soon to be cold weather related:

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People who are constantly on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, but yet can’t seem to use their phones to text you back:

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All ex-girlfriends:

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And mostly, all the people who insist on telling me their own long distance failures when they hear my boyfriend was relocated 600 miles away. Really? REALLY? All of you:

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Luckily y’all I have found a way to combat this raging case of Could You Fucking Not’s, and boy is it delicious…

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The Perfect Hot Mess

Ohhh long distance dating, you’re so fun! The first few weeks after The Boyfriend left were torture. Sheer torture. Okay fine, torture is an exaggeration, but it was really, really hard. It’s hard to go from seeing each other nearly every day to…nothing. Yes, we text and IM and Snapchat and talk and Skype, but none of that is quite as good as his arms physically wrapping me into a hug.

Before he even left we had plans for our first rendezvous. We were meeting in St. Louis, our halfway point, for a music fest on September 6th. Almost one month after he left. 26 days to be exact. 26 DAYS! That was about 25.5 days too many in my opinion. So instead of patiently awaiting our reunion, I began plotting and planning a way to shorten our time apart. Labor Day was the obvious choice. Hellooo three day weekend! Perfect! Neither of us had to take time off and we both really wanted to spend it together, so what could go wrong? Well…airlines. Airlines are what could go wrong. Apparently airlines have no consideration for lovers being forced apart and wanting to reunite because every single flight to get him to me, or me to him, was nearly $400. $400 for a one and a half hour flight! Yeah, thanks but no thanks, airlines. Driving wasn’t much better. It took more than half of our “long” weekend away from us since it’s eight hours each way. FRACK!

Never one to give into adversity, I continued on in my quest and decided to get a little more creative. What if neither one of us had to drive the full eight hours? What if we only drove half? What if we met in the middle? WHAT IF WE WENT CAMPING?! After high-fiving myself for a solid ten minutes I passed along my plan to The Boyfriend and he loved it. Success! We found a state park perfectly in the middle of us, reserved one of the last spots that just happened to be secluded away from most of the other campsites, and even the weather for the weekend switched from constant rain to one small chance of showers. Everything was perfect.

Now, a few of my friends did not seem as keen to the idea as I did. Camping? Really? No showers or makeup or bathrooms kind of camping? I understood the hesitation. Roughing it can be a bit much for some people. But not me! No way. I can totally do it! I mean, I’ve camped before, right? I’ve even camped with boyfriends before! Well, I mean…for a night or two anyway. And, we were with other people in a big group. And there were other girls there so when I needed someone to walk with me to find an adequate poo place in the dark we could go together….

OH SHIT.

Now I see what my friends are talking about. Sure, I’ve done the camping weekends before, but with just a guy? Just the two of us? No one else there? This is three solid days of nothing but me and him time, which is GREAT, but camping also meant three solid days of nothing but me and him time with no bathrooms, no showers, no makeup, no nothin’. I hadn’t seen The Boyfriend in what felt like ages, so is this really how I wanted him seeing me? I should be in a cute sundress with perfectly tousled (and clean) hair and flawless makeup. I should be able to daintily say I needed to pop into the ladies room instead of braving my fear of the dark and making bathroom dashes by myself (or worse, asking him to come with me. We are not at the ‘leave the bathroom door open’ point yet!). Goddammit, whose crazy idea was this camping business? The plan that seemed like solid gold slowly began to darken in my mind. And to top it off, the closer it got to our trip, the more the weather began to darken as well. Nothing but rain and high heat. It seemed as if the weather gods were set to act as the cherry on top of a ruined weekend sundae. Wet and make up free is not a good look on me, y’all.

I spent nearly all the four hour drive to our campsite sweating this (GREAT. Now I’ll be soaked from rain, sweaty, AND without makeup? It just keeps getting better!). But, as soon as his truck pulled up to the campsite and I got to kiss him for the first time in 18 days, everything changed. Suddenly all that mattered was a whole weekend of time with him. My hair was a hot mess, the bathroom situation was a hot mess, the weather was a hot (literally hot) mess, but none of it mattered. All that mattered was after nearly three weeks away from each other, we finally had nothing but time. And as much as it would have been great to look totally cute and put together, it actually turned out to be kind of nice to be gross and hot and sticky and less than pretty around him and know it didn’t change a thing. The weekend may have been a hot mess but, in the end, it was absolutely perfect.

Oh, and all that rain that ruined our perfect weekend? Well, let’s just say it didn’t actually ruin anything at all. Turns out, being stuck in a tent for hours on end with the boy you adore isn’t such a terrible thing. Nope, not terrible at all.