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

Personifying A Change

I’ve never shied away from change in my life. Whether it was something small, like the start of a new high school semester, or a big change like starting a new job in a brand new field, I’m always excited for a fresh start. I fall victim to the dullness of a day-to-day routine, and crave changes on any scale quite often.  Unfortunately, as somewhat of a “grown up”, you can’t change your career path every six months, or pack up and move to Chicago on a whim. So I find other ways to satisfy my thirst which can sometimes result in a mini wardrobe overhaul, downloading a ton of new music, or simply going for a drive and getting lost somewhere that I haven’t been before, just to do something different for an evening.  Most often, though, this craving for a change leads me to the hair care aisle of the nearest drugstore.

collage
This has been my hair journey from 2011 to today, and what a journey it’s been. I’m so thankful that the Era of Selfies is upon us, so that I could document the ever changing rainbow atop my head. Sometimes I feel like with each different hair color, I’ve been a different person. I know that’s not true, but like I said, change is something I crave, and sometimes the idea of completely changing who you are is so appealing to me. A blank page, a fresh start… Some days, it sounds like heaven. I could never actually abandon the life I’ve built for myself and the people in it, nut while I’m scrubbing the dye into my hair, I close my eyes and imagine exactly what that would be like.

And at the end of the day, I honestly believe that if your life is in need of a quick fixer-upper, or if you feel like you don’t like the person you see in the mirror anymore, the first and easiest step is to make that person look different. You hear people say “fake it ’til you make it”, and this is along those same lines. To make a change in your life, you have to start somewhere, and as superficial as it might sound, changing your mirror’s reflection is the best way to kick-start that change. Make the outside reflect what you want on the inside. Personify the type of life you want, and become the change.