Hedley: 10 Years

Today, I might get a little personal. I’ve been neck-deep in nostalgia in the last few weeks with some old friends, and I am loving it. Last month was the 10 year anniversary of my favourite band’s first album. Today, October 05 2015 is the 10 year anniversary of the first time I saw them live, AKA the best day of my life and something I’d been waiting for over a year to have the chance to do. In the last decade, they’ve put out 5 albums (and are currently working on LP6) and I’ve seen them every time they’ve been in my province. I’ve met them, I’ve had late-night chat session with them, I’ve had the insane opportunities to listen to rough cuts of songs before they’ve been released, and I have had the absolute joy and pleasure of meeting some of the most amazing humans because of this band. Today, I want to talk about Hedley.

I never thought that a band would have so much impact on my life, but they have. Somehow, they push me to be a better person, and to become someone worth being. They remind me that no matter who you are, you can have an influence on someone or something. They’ve taught me how to actively seek happiness instead of just waiting around on it. But I think the biggest thing they’ve taught me is to just be yourself. Honestly, truly, fuck anyone who doesn’t like you, just be you. And when I talk about these lessons and values they’ve placed in my life, I don’t just mean that they’re lyrics have inspired me that much. That’s the thing about discovering your favourite band before they “make it” – you actually have the chance to get to know them because they have like, 100 other fans. You spend late nights on their fan forum and they begin to recognize you – first by your username, then your photo, then they just know you.

But in all honesty, the fact that those 4 guys know my name isn’t even the best part. The best part is the community they’ve created, and the friendships I’ve built because of those 4 guys. This band is one of the reasons that my best friend and I initially bonded during lonely nights chatting on MSN Messenger until 4AM. I have phone numbers in my contact list stretching from Surrey, BC to London, ON to who-knows-where in New Brunswick even thought I’ve never been to those places, because I’ve had the opportunity to meet other fans from across the country. I’ve made some genuine, lifelong friends and I don’t know if I otherwise would have ever met half of these people. Hedley did that for me.

There’s so much I need to thank these guys for – friendships forged, memories made and life lessons learned. They are always there for me in a way that I can’t explain. They somehow seem to always know what to say and when it needs to be said. I am so genuinely proud of these 4 boys for growing from a shitty garage band to an amazing, refined talent, and I’m insanely lucky for having them to grow up with. They’ve challenged and shaped me in a really weird way and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Remember you matter.
Remember they don’t

-jwh

Advertisements

F A V O U R I T E S

Unless you’re a YouTube beauty vlogger, no one ever asks you, “Hey, what’s your favourite stuff right now?”, which I think is completely unfair. The amount of times I text people about insignificant things that like, ‘totally changed my life for reals though’ is ridiculous. So, while I sip wine out of a My Little Pony mug, here, have a blog post. IMG_5288Just Peachy by David’s Tea
 This tea actually came out last year in David’s Tea’s summer collection. Iced peach tea is my favourite thing to drink in the summertime, like, I can’t even tell you how much of this I could drink in a day. I was really bummed when they decided not to bring it back this year, but by some miracle 2014 Stephanie must have known this would happen, and I discovered a full cannister last month! So now I can spend another summer sipping on this and I’m probably more excited than I should be. IMG_5285Glamoflage by Hard CandyReady, Set Gorgeous by Covergirl, and Smooth Skin BB Radiance Powder by NYC
After roughly 10 years of doing makeup daily, I have finally discovered my number one, holy grail foundation combination. Despite the ridiculous names (I mean really, Glamoflage? Ready, Set, Gorgeous? Where are your standards, cosmetics companies?), I’m obsessed – for real, not in a ‘OMG I’m obsessed JK I’ll forget about this in a week’ kind of way. I have never used a better combination of foundation products – it’s not heavy, it lets my skin breathe while still having enough coverage to even out my skin tone, and the colour basically melts into my skin. It’s amazing. The best part, though? All 3 of these products can be purchased at the drugstore for under $17. Insanity! IMG_5283Mint Cocoa Crunch Mints by Saybon
Let me preface this by saying that I think the combination of mint and chocolate is straight out of hell. It’s just so wrong. These, however… I honestly don’t know what it is. These are so good. I can’t stop; We have a dish of them sitting in my office and it’s right next to my desk -the struggle is real, let me tell you. IMG_5289Romper by WalMart (I know, I was surprised too)
This is not new or revolutionary. It’s summer, it’s the season of rompers. I’ve struggled with this trend since it’s conception – I liked the idea but couldn’t get past the fact that it reminded me of a baby’s onesie. The fact that I’m 5’0 on a good day and have enough trouble looking my age is it is lead me to decidethat this trend wasn’t for me. However this year, I tried a few and was disappointed – they all seemed to be too small in the shorts-part and too poofy in the top part. But then one day, strolling through WalMart aimlessly, as you do, I happened upon this one. It was a different style from the ones I had been trying so I figured, “hey, it’s $12 – what’s the worst that could happen?” So I took it home with me and guess what? Now I have a romper that works on my awkward, boyish body. Now if I could just figure out a simpler way to pee while wearing it…IMG_5308Overcast
I’m just gonna come out and say it – I hate the iTunes podcast app. I hate it. It’s not user-friendly, and it does this thing where it will start playing the podcasts, but with no audio. What?! That’s the whole point! This app has been a lifesaver – Maybe not literally, but I love my podcasts so it’s definitely been really great to have. It works with iTunes so it has all the same podcasts, and gets new episodes at the same time, it’s just a different interface. Since switching to Overcast, I haven’t had any issues. I filed away the iTunes podcast app in my “stupid” folder and haven’t looked back since. IMG_1793Imagine Dragons
Earlier this month, I had the absolute pleasure of taking my brother to see his favourite band live. Walking into a concert venue and feeling the energy in the building – that’s my happy place. That’s the best moment to be in, no matter the band that’s playing. If you have the opportunity to go see Imagine Dragons live, take it. Even if you don’t really like them, just go. It was a mind-blowing concert. They perform so well, their light show was absolutely incredible, and I have dubbed them the Unofficial Kings of Drum Solos (a very prestigious award in my world – drummers are my favourites). Not to mention, Dan Reynolds got that white boy groove so, you have to go just to see him dance around during Shots.

There – my favourites. Thank you for letting me be narcissistic and talk about the random crap that I think is interesting.

intent vs words.

The biggest problem that I see with so many people having the opportunity to share their voice on the Internet is that they often get criticized for things that they never actually said. Tone has always been something that’s hard to convey via text – from junior high arguments being started by a sarcastic remark on MSN Messenger, to public figures getting decimated in the news for a tweet that was meant to be a joke. Before you attack a person for something they said (or something you think they said), I would recommend that you take a moment to consider what they meant by what was said. Sometimes, there’s a difference. The speakers’ intent isn’t always reflected in their choice of words – or sometimes the audience chooses to project drama and negativity onto what the speaker was trying to get across. And in a world where you need to get your point across in 140 characters or less, your intent often gets lost.

This is something that’s often been at the forefront of my mind. I’ve always been pretty good at reading between the lines and understanding the thought process behind what someone was saying. In high school, I got caught in the middle of arguments between friends a lot because I was able to grasp both sides when they didn’t understand each other. I got high marks in English and Drama classes because I could see past written words and delve into how the author wanted their work to be read and understood. And more recently, I’m able to sympathize with public figures who say things that might not be as “politically correct” as our society demands as of late. In fact, this whole post was inspired by recent tweets from a singer named Jennel Garcia.

jennel

Jennel wasn’t implying that social anxieties aren’t real – obviously that would be an ignorant and plain ol’ incorrect statement to make. However, Jennel has a fair point: People, especially young people, use labels like “anxiety”, “depression” and “mental illness” as a crutch. These conditions are very real, and can be crippling – no one is denying that. While I know this and have experience with it, I also know that not everyone who says they have a mental illness actually has one. “Anxiety” is not a synonym for “shyness”, “depression” is not the same as “having a bad week”, and “mental illness” is certainly not parallel to “feeling off for a little while”. People say things like, “Oh my god, I’m so awkward, I don’t know if I can deal with this party,” because they’d rather be at home on Tumblr than go to the party. Honey, you’re “awkward” because you’d rather experience life through fanfics and text posts than actual social experiences. I know it can be hard – I mean hell, I’m 23 years old and I still don’t like showing up to social events alone because I’m afraid of feeling – you guessed it – awkward. But you’re never going to get past it if you don’t do it. Just do it.

I felt really sorry for Jennel while I was scrolling through the replies to that tweet. People didn’t understand that she wasn’t being ignorant or rude, she was trying to call out the fakers and say, “Hey, it’s not cool that you’re taking this very real thing that effects a lot of people, and using it as a trendy accessory.” If the people who saw that tweet and reacted negatively had taken a minute to see the tweets that came after, or the types of things she was replying to regarding the topic, they would have realized that she wasn’t being malicious, and in fact is very passionate about having honest conversations about mental illness.

I just think it’s something we should keep in mind – people deserve a chance to explain themselves. People deserve more than 140 characters to voice their opinion, but since that’s the platform we use the most, maybe as an audience we need to take a breather and think about the intentions behind what people are saying – most of the time these statements aren’t being made by bad or ignorant people, so why are we so quick to assume they’re being bad and ignorant? I’m sure we all know what it’s like to have something we’ve said taken out of context, and get a lot of shit for it. We don’t like it, so maybe stop doing it to other people, okay? Okay. I’m glad we’ve come to an understanding, People of The Internet.

(Hoo boy, I wish it was that easy to come to an understanding with the People of The Internet…)

Out With the Old, and Such

Hello new faces!
I made the decision to move my blog over from it’s former host to WordPress on a whim. Honestly, there wasn’t much thought behind the decision besides the fact that WordPress is a more well-known platform. After dealing with the dismay and heartbreak over not being able to get my usual username/url (it’s not even being used, it’s just reserved!), I opened up a fresh, new account and started exploring.

Upon opening my account, I knew I was going to like it here – I love the fact that this isn’t just a blogging platform – it’s more community based. I can visit people’s profile, read about them, follow them, etc. I’m a huge believer in the importance of online communities, and in my approximately 3 hours of actual activity on WordPress, I’ve gotten more attention and felt more welcome than I did in 8 months on my former host. Though I suppose a good reason for that is due to the fact that I had a bunch of content ready to throw up and republish, but I’d like to think that another reason is that y’all are just such nice people!

I’m looking forward to getting to know the community and sharing some thoughts with you guys. Thanks for welcoming me with such open arms.