monday morning.

Not to sound too much like an orange cartoon cat, but I hate Mondays. I have a great distaste for them that is only growing as I age. And Monday morning in particular, can suck it. I’m already pretty notorious for only giving myself exactly enough time to get ready in the morning and not one minute longer, so after a weekend of staying up late and sleeping in later, Monday mornings are damn near impossible. My alarm goes off way too early, the sun shines in through my windows and makes it impossible to capture those last few minutes of sleep while I hit snooze, and I do not feel like I want to get up and face the day. But I’m an adult with a job, so I do anyway. I have to.

I’m the first one to arrive at my office, and I’m alone for a good part of my morning, as people begin to trickle in and start their days. Armed with hot coffee, cold water & the unsettling silence of my small office building, I begin my day. This always includes logging into Google Play, and hitting the “play” button on a carefully curated soundtrack of songs just perky enough to wake me up, but calm and gentle enough to do it slowly. I’m going to share that playlist with you today, in hopes that it will improve your Monday, and your morning routine, whatever it may be.

  • Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High – The Arctic Monkeys
  • Ancient History (acoustic) – Set It Off
  • Bloodstream – Ed Sheeran
  • Gold Dust – Banners
  • Islands – The XX
  • I Took A Pill In Ibiza – Mike Posner
  • Death of a Bachelor – PANIC! At The Disco
  • There’s A Ghost – Fleurie
  • Sympathy – Hedley
  • Porcelain – Skott
  • Wildfire – Demi Lovato
  • Hell No – Ingrid Michaelson
  • Here – Alessia Cara
  • Boyz n’ Poizn – Phoebe Ryan
  • Wild – Troye Sivan
  • Too Good – Drake
  • Burn – The Temper Trap
  • Hide Away – Daya
  • Holiday From Real – Jack’s Mannequin
  • Close – Nick Jonas ft. Tov Lo
  • She Looks So Perfect (cover) – Against The Current

My parents always taught me that sharing is caring, so here, have a link to listen to this playlist yourself.

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