a 2016 bucket list goal completed


(Originally written on my music blog. I loved it so much I want to share it here too.)

music is art

One of my bucket list goals of 2016 was to make a youtube playlist of songs I found personally empowering. I wanted to memorize those songs so I could repeat the lyrics like mantras when I heard the melody in my head. I believe that what you tell yourself in your mind does heavily affect how you see yourself and process your life, so I wanted to give myself some musical tools to battle my own self-destruction. Considering I am a VERY musically-driven soul, I felt this would be a creative and personally empowering way to help rewire what I tell myself.

These are some of my favorite songs from that playlist.

Rise by Selena Gomez

At first, this melody didn’t do anything for me, but I only had to listen to the lyrics to change my mind. I remember riding my bike in the crisp winter night air over the gently rolling hills of the neighborhood park when I first discovered this: it made me feel like I was actually flying! It lifted my spirits as I listened to uplifting emotions and the rhythm made my feet pedal even when my legs were screaming on the fifth, sixth, seventh loop down that hill. This song has become a happy place for me.

Like the air you can
Rise from the rubble with your mind, you can hover
You can rise like the tide, like the heat it in the summer
Yes, I know there are those who will wanna bring you down
But you can rise with your mind and make your higher power proud
You can rise, like the air you can rise

Rise by Katy Perry

Another song by this title, but wow it’s so powerful in another way. Katy truly gives voices to survivors, to the ones who feel the heaviness of being beaten down yet keep getting up, who continue to try. I really love how dark this song sounds and yet how empowering the words are. One of my favorite combinations in these types of songs.

Oh, ye of so little faith
Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
Victory is in my veins
I know it, I know it
And I will not negotiate
I’ll fight it, I’ll fight it
I will transform

Alive by Sia

You will find a lot of Sia on this list. Her songs are some of the rawest and empowering I’ve yet to find. “Alive” is a personal favorite, one that I listened to a lot early last year when I was biking to school. Its steady beat physically drove me to better fitness while the sound of a real fighter was in lyrics and vocal work. “I’m still breathing” followed by the joyful, almost vengeful cry of “I’m alive” seemed stolen right from my heart. This song made me want to keep trying, keep recovering, to keep breathing. The fighter in me who is so happy to just still be alive. “You took it all but I’m still breathing”–that there is my heartbeat. ❤

The Greatest by Sia

In my humble opinion, Sia has some of the best lyrics and musical sound right now in modern music. So much of her music is truly uplifting, while still satisfying my need for the minor key to present in melody, as you can hear in this song. Between the music and the lyrics, this is magic for me emotionally and mentally. I love the positive chants left to echo in my mind. I love how the song is not “I AM the greatest” in a prideful way, but is rather saying “I’m FREE to be the greatest” as in almost giving oneself permission to blossom into something you can’t even comprehend. ❤

Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no
Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no
I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive
I’m free to be the greatest here tonight, the greatest
The greatest, the greatest alive
The greatest, the greatest alive

Unstoppable by Sia

Never tell yourself you’re worthless. Empower yourself instead. While God is the one that gives us the strength to keep fighting, I want to give myself the mental edge in thinking such powerful thoughts as this song gives. ❤

I’m unstoppable
I’m a Porsche with no brakes
I’m invincible
Yeah, I win every single game
I’m so powerful
I don’t need batteries to play
I’m so confident, yeah, I’m unstoppable today
Unstoppable today, unstoppable today
Unstoppable today, I’m unstoppable today

Hold Tight by Madonna

This is a very personal choice of a song. It’s more something I’ve come to rely on after I left my boyfriend behind for the first time in May. I had a lot of fear being so far apart; but one thing I knew: I really loved him and he loved me. I wanted to hold tight to that. For me personally, this song took the words out of my heart for him, and yet also reassured me the more I listened to it. That I recognized my confidence in us and our love for each other. Thousands of miles couldn’t stop it and this song still helps remind and uplift me even now.

A million miles later, we walked through the valley of the darkest night
We made it through the fire, scarred and we’re bruised but our hearts will guide us.
Together, I know our love’s gonna last forever, we’re gonna be alright tonight.
We live with no limits, we’ll dance in the middle of a freezing rain
With you and I in it, we’ll survive the eye of a hurricane.
Together, we’re gonna make this better, we’re gonna be alright tonight.
Hold tight, as long as your by my side.
Hold tight, everything’s gonna be alright.
Only love, only love tonight
Like stars we’re burning so bright,
Hold tight everything’s gonna be alright.

Stand By You by Rachel Platten

This song brings me to tears because the words feel ripped right from my heart to all who I call a friend or hold dear, and who hold me dear in return. It’s less a personal mantra on self and more a mantra about how one wants to treat those they love. I heard this a year ago and singing its lyrics have always helped me express how much love and empathy I have in my heart for those around me and it encourages and empowers those feelings.

Hands, put your empty hands in mine
And scars, show me all the scars you hide
And hey, if your wings are broken
Please take mine so yours can open too
‘Cause I’m gonna stand by you
Oh, tears make kaleidoscopes in your eyes
And hurt, I know you’re hurting, but so am I
And love, if your wings are broken
Borrow mine so yours can open too
‘Cause I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we’re breaking down, we can find a way to break through
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you

Hall of Fame by The Script

This is actually a long time favorite of mine, so it was less of a “discovery” and more a song I just couldn’t leave off my list. This is the definition of a classic uplifting song, from the major chord to the empowering “you can do it” like chanting. Its almost cheesy, something you’d hear in the climax of a feel-good movie maybe. But hey, we all need a cheesy movie moment, where we’re Rocky Balboa at the top of the stairs feeling like we can do anything. This my song for those moments.

You can throw your hands up
You can beat the clock
You can move a mountain
You can break rocks
You can be a master
Don’t wait for luck
Dedicate yourself and you gon’ find yourself
Standing in the hall of fame (yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)
‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame (yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

Just like Fire by P!nk

I had nearly forgotten this song till later into the year when I heard the lyrics on the radio. A family relative recently described memories of child me as “a ball of fire.” And honestly remembering, it’s a great description. As a kid, I had so little that held me back. I lived life loudly, boldly, unafraid to express every bit of emotion and thought in my mind. I was just like fire. Besides maturing since then, I’ve been smothered a lot too, through fear and depression and insecurities of all sorts. But I really want to get back to being like a ball of fire again. So, I’ll keep singing this song to myself to I’m finally who I was made to be. Cause no one can be just like me anyway.

Just like fire, burning out the way
If I can light the world up for just one day
Watch this madness, colorful charade
No one can be just like me any way
Just like magic, I’ll be flying free
I’mma disappear when they come for me
I kick that ceiling, what you gonna say?
No one can be just like me any way
Just like fire, uh

Before I end this, I just want to pose a question for everyone to think about quietly to themselves: What are the words and lyrics you allow into your head and why? I don’t think there’s a wrong answer to that question. I just think it’s a great question. ❤

~Jamie

6 Fun Interactive Books for Adults


I’ve slowly picked these different books up over the past year and I’ve had so much fun with them that I wanted to write about them! Have you tried any of these out? What are some of your favorite interactive books?

  • Music Listography. This is easily the one I’ve written in most, and my favorite of the Listography books (I’ll be featuring three in this post.) I found it barely used at a thrift shop and it tickled my music-addicted soul pink. There are so many lists to fill out; I’ve loved documenting my favorite songs by decade (90s list is the longest!) I’m taking my time with it, enjoying the questions and pondering which 20 albums WOULD I take to space with me? 😛

  • Me, You, Us. This was designed to do with either a significant other OR with different friends and pals, with a place at the top for the names and date of who you’re talking about. I bought this as something fun to do with my boyfriend as a silly conversation starter and something to bond over or make us think about “us” and it’s terribly fun! I need to have a pack of crayons with me for the next round, because one could easily add on pictures and drawings on each page. I love it!

  • Spirit Listography. I bought this with an amazon gift card; I haven’t looked at it closely, but it’s a mix of intrapersonal reflecting and proactive “make the world a better place” type mix of prompts to list.I’d much prefer more intrapersonal questions to reflect on, but it seems a decent mix. Plus the cover is gorgeously beautiful. I’m happy with it! And in usual Listography fashion, it has the most quaint little illustrations with each list that I enjoy rediscovering as I flip the page.

  • Wreck This Journal. My sister in another state Rebecca bought me this during my first visit to Georgia when we went bookstore prowling together. It was the first time I’d seen it in person and I couldn’t leave it behind. This is as interactive as you can get with a book. It wants you to throw it, tear it, do everything it says on each page and its stupid therapeutic amazing fun! This would be the best thing to take with you on a camping trip even where you can throw it as hard as you like without it sailing into the neighbor’s yard. 😄

  • My Future Listography. I’m pretty sure I found this with the music book. Basically, you fill in the different lists about what you hope to do, visit, see, or read, ect. I filled in bits and pieces of it, and have already looked back through and been to checkmark some as done! I like seeing how my wishes or wants change as time goes by too; a perfect little time capsule to remind you what the past you wanted to do, or to see how far you’ve come!

  • The Amazing Story Generator. I love this book; it creates some of the most creative and silly and challenging story prompts ever! I bought it off Amazon with birthday money it’s really fun to keep around for a laugh or challenge! If you’re a by-the-seat-of-your-pants fiction writer, I’d highly recommend for kicking writer’s block in the butt or for a fun random challenge! See picture below for an example of how this book works!

Do you have any favorite interactive books?

~Jamie

Open Letters and Lyrics to the Men Who Influenced My Life


I originally posted this on my quiet music blog, but I was told I needed to share it here too and I agree. ❤ I hope the music can touch you too. ❤

These are open letters (certain identities hidden for privacy) to four men who’ve affected my life in ways that have shaped me into who I am today. I say goodbye, I say I miss you, and I say I love you. I’ve had these words and lyrics on my heart for a long time…it felt good to express like this.


{For The Childhood Best Friend}

Dear B,

You were my first best friend, my playpen buddy, my childhood friend, the one I always knew would be my partner in crime in all our games. You were one of the best parts of my whole kid world. You’ve inspired some of my best fictional characters by leaving such an impression of the ideal childhood friend. I’m sorry our families fell apart like they did; I’m sorry we drifted. But thank you for being a part of what gave me a happy childhood. You will always be my first best friend. ❤ This song makes me think of you and miss you as we leave childhood behind us. Thank you for all the memories, and I wish you the greatest luck in your future. I’ll always be in your corner, ok? ❤

So Long by Zooey Deschanel.
“Hate to say goodbye, goodbye and I hate to see the end, the end.
‘Cause it’s been so long since I’ve made a friend like you.”

{For The Friend Who Disappeared}

Dear D,

When my whole world was crashing, you entered my life…you were like a life preserver…you noticed me, wanted to be my friend, entered worlds with me, made me laugh and forget my pain, my depression, my fear. I liked you. I’m sorry our families fell apart….I’m so sorry that I lost contact with you. I’m so sorry that you never came to see me, that you never responded to my note, that I’m not yet brave enough to come find you myself to say thank you and goodbye. While things have worked out in my life, I still consider you disappearing from my life as one of my biggest regrets and personal losses. I grieved your loss to this song for years: I listened to its chorus a thousand times because it matched how my heart hurt, and sometimes still does. I do thank you for being the friend I so desperately needed at that time in my life, for helping me feel special; I miss you when I see Willy Wonka, vampires, and Sherlock Holmes. You deserve the best of luck, wherever you are. Just please don’t live in fear for the rest of your life, ok? Please don’t live in fear.

Habits by Tove Lo.
“You’re gone and I gotta stay high all the time to keep you off my mind ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh.
High all the time to keep you off my mind, ooh-oh, ooh-ooh.
Spending my days locked in a haze, trying to forget you, babe, I fall back down.
Gotta stay high all my life to forget I’m missing you, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh.”

{For The Unsafe Father}

Dear Dad,

I really miss you: the you I thought I knew when I was a little girl. I’m sad that you didn’t want me to become my own person, that you believed I didn’t have a mind of my own, that you couldn’t just love me enough to let me be free. But I’m not sorry I don’t see you anymore. You played too many mind games, your words never added up, you made me feel like dirt. I won’t accept being treated that way again for the rest of my life. I do hope you will change one day. This song has been my anthem of freedom from your treatment since I first heard it, because even though you kept me down for a long time, I’m standing up now. I’m becoming that ball of fire again, and I’m finding emotional and mental freedom and happiness.

Roar by Katy Perry.
“You held me down but I got up, already brushing off the dust.
You hear my voice, you hear that sound like thunder gonna shake the ground.
You held me down, but I got up, get ready ’cause I”ve had enough.
I see it all, I see it now; I’ve got the eye of the tiger, the fighter, dancing through the fire, cause I am a champion and you’re going to hear my roar louder, louder than a  lion ’cause I am a champion, and you’re going to hear me roar.”

{For The One I Love, the One Who is There}

Dear James,

You’re incredible. You’re the man who loved me for three years and was too scared to tell me for fear of losing our friendship…the man who has given his everything to win my heart, to be there for me…. You are the one who helped me grow despite my hurts; who helped me feel safe; who made me feel funny and happy; who told me I was gorgeous the way I was, to embrace my flaws; who told me I had a voice, that I had value, that I was worth more than gold…. thank you. Thank you for over a year of dedication as my romantic partner and for five whole years of being there. For just not leaving or disappearing like everyone else has. Thank you for loving me so unconditionally and for telling me you’ll always be there. Thank you. I have a dozen romantic songs that make me think of you, but you are more than just my boyfriend; you are my best friend, the seashore to my rocky waves, my home and happy place, my joy. I am full of gratitude for you and for everything you’ve given me. This song is my heart to you; because every lyric rings true. Thank you for changing my life for the better and I love you! ❤

Thank You by MoZella.
“Mixed up and lost, you showed me love at no cost, and when nobody else cared you were there….

Down on my luck, you helped my life get unstuck and when the world went away, you stayed…
Thank you for the good times, thank you for your love, thank you for the joy you’ve given me…
You fight off my enemies, you’d take a bullet for me, and you know I’d do the same for you…
‘Cause that’s how we roll, connected at the soul, and I just want you to know how I feel…
Thank you for loving me every day, thank you for showing me the way, thank you for things I never say…
Thank you.”

Dear Men,

You have changed me, shaped me, and influenced my life in so many positive and negative ways, but you have helped me develop into a better person; you have made me feel loss to appreciate love and loyalty when I truly recognize it; you have given me the sweetest memories and most bitter tears. You have even helped me become a better person. Thank you for that. None of it was in vain. I won’t forget any of you… don’t you forget me either.

Don’t You by Simple Minds.
“Won’t you come see about me? I’ll be alone, dancing, you know it, baby.

Tell me your troubles and doubts, giving me everything inside and out, and love’s strange so real in the dark.
Think of the tender things that we were working on.
Slow change may pull us apart, when the light gets into your heart, baby.
Don’t you… forget about me… don’t don’t don’t don’t, don’t you… forget about me.”

Sincerely, your old friend, your daughter, you girlfriend and future,
Jamie ❤

Currently: Baking in the Kitchen


Libelle illustration:

Currently listening: to the One Outs original soundtrack. Stupidly fun to listen, so funky and cheeky. ❤

Currently sitting: at the kitchen table facing into the living room, and moving back and forth with the oven baking chocolate chip banana muffins.

Currently liking: the Grammarly extension for Google Chrome! It’s so much better than the WordPress proofreader–ugh.

Currently drinking: lots of water, still. It’s freaking hot out there and it’s refusing to rain in my neighborhood, so I’m continuing to suffer. Gotta stay hydrated! 😄

Currently writing: more often my second blog, Jamie Talks Anime. It feels good to be back! I gave it a new layout too, and for some reason, that’s really brought back my motivation to write again! Feels awesome!

Currently watching: Frasier, on the living room TV:”Ham Radio”, one of my favorite episodes!

Currently obsessed: with my newest third blog, My Soulmate: Music. If you remember in an earlier post I mentioned I wanted to find more ways to better express myself this year? This spontaneously became one of them! I’m posting a favorite song almost every day AND I LOVE IT.

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Currently tired: of politics. Enough. Said.

Currently excited: for my birthday this Sunday! I actually hadn’t thought about it very much this year, but my family and loved ones have been getting excited about it and now I’m excited too!

Currently scaring myself: with finding a job and practicing driving. I’m doing both at the moment. I really hope I have a job by the end of August, I’ll really need it by then. Thankfully, the driving part has been easier than expected. Left turns aren’t that bad, I just learned a trick for parking, and I successfully drove on 7 lane roads for the first time the other day! It will be very interesting when I’m comfortable enough to buy a car and can go where I like. @_@ 😄

Currently stuck in my head: so many songs.

Currently wishing: for rain, rain, lots of rain! I WANT IT SO BADLY.

Currently praying: that I continue to be safe while driving, that I find myself the right job, and that the right vehicle will be made available at the right time and place and price.

~Jamie

2016 Bucket List Check-In


On January 1st I don’t make resolutions; resolving to change a behavior is fine but usually, that’s ineffective to me personally. However: I do make a bucket list: I figure that listing actions for myself might give me better luck in improving throughout the new year. But I don’t follow it strictly, as life tends to change and I want my goals to be able to adapt or change with it. “They’re more guidelines than rules” sorta thing here. 😄

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It’s nearly my 22nd birthday, and half the year is over. As I become contemplative over another kind of year gone, this would be a great time to revisit the  year’s list and see how I’ve done so far!

Investigate more video game and anime soundtracks for writing. Have done this, want to keep doing this! Favorite anime track (below) and favorite game track discovered so far.

Officially meet my best friend in person. Did it. Best ten days of the year (maybe my whole life) as of yet. Just ugh, the feels and fun we had. I miss you so much, James! (Am writing another post on this BECAUSE SO MUCH HAPPINESS!)

Learn the rules of the road. DID IT. I didn’t want to write “get drivers permit” for fear of jinxing myself (send me help) but it worked. I’ve also gotten about 25 minutes of practice in already. Please pray I learn smoothly and easily and that the right vehicle is provided just when I need it.

Take better care of myself emotionally and physically. Am learning to do this and will continue to learn and practice. Surrounding myself with supportive people has helped; there’s nothing quite like seeing yourself from someone else’s perspective and realizing you’re worth so much. ❤

anime, anime girl, and manga image

Finish reading and underlining my Creative Writing books. Haven’t attempted this yet. I have set books out in the open where I can see them, though. Just need to actually pick them up and read them. 😄

Spend money consciously. Doing better at this, need to get even better quickly, especially as I begin job hunting.

Find unique ways to express my personal creative spirit and needs. I’m going to leave this open, as I want to do this much more. So far, I’ve invested into some excellent temporary tattoo sets; I absolutely love artistic temporary body art, especially on my feet. And I’m getting back into crocheting by learning new stitches. But I want to express myself even more!!! I’m hoping to Booktrack more this year, and would love to just find brand new ways to be me.

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Continue enjoying anime and anime blogging. I’m only just returning to aniblogging lately after a two-month break, so I’m leaving this open too. I’m hoping the new Summer Season will be more memorable than the last two seasons; so far its a promising one!

Make a YouTube playlist of empowering/humanizing songs to memorize. This is half done. I’ve made one, I just need to listen to it more often.

Play the piano more consistently again. Need to do this more too. I’ve recently found more music that I want to learn, however, so I’m hoping that will help. Specifically Summer (below) and Fire by Brian Crain (so I can expand my memorized collection of his songs: I can play Rain, Wind, and Song of Sienna by heart with my eyes closed.)

Continue maintaining online relationships and build new ones at college. This one I’m managing (I made one nice friend last semester!) but it is changing slightly since I’m taking a year off from college to start job hunting. But hopefully, I will be able to build some nice relationships where ever I work!

Write only for me. I actually feel like I’m doing pretty good on this one! This has interpreted as also being “write only when I wish” as well, and I’ve done that as well; I only blog when I feel like saying something and I’m continuing to work at saying what I truly think and feel.

Re-blog my updated 100 Favorite Movies series. Haven’t done this yet, mainly because I’M STILL TRYING TO RANK THEM ALL. So hard! But I’ll do it eventually!

And I'm passing it down to the next generation!:

Clean out my room of useless junk during my next furniture arrangement ritual. Haven’t rearranged my room this year yet, but I’ll remember to do this the next time I do.

Decide on a college major. This I’ve done, kinda. I know I’ll probably be getting an Associates of Arts Degree in Communication, whenever that happens. But that’s about all right now. 😄 I’ll work on that.

and

Listen more when others speak, but speak up more for the authentic me.

This one I’m going to leave open too because it’s something one should never stop doing. I do believe I’ve gotten better at this the past year and that makes me happy. ❤

2016, new year, and quote image

How’s your year fairing? Accomplishing anything you thought you would? Any goals change when you thought they wouldn’t? Did you do something that turned out to be easier/or harder than you anticipated?

~Jamie