After Laughter

 

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I am a long time fan of Paramore. From the angsty middle school days, to their latest album After Laughter, I’ve kept up.

It’s been little while since their last album and After Laughter was long awaited by their fans. I am by no means a music critic, and am probably too bias to ever be one. But I want to talk about this album lyrically and share how grateful I am for it.

This record came at the perfect time in my life, and I know many others. Hayley Williams describes different phases of grief and struggle throughout the album from “Hard Times”, outlining what rock bottom feels like, to “Forgiveness”, describing the struggle of turning the other cheek to the person that has wronged you. Anyone that knows me knows that I recently when through an emotionally trying time and am still working to pick up the pieces of that. Through this album Williams shares with listeners that it is, in fact, okay to not be all right, and if it takes a little while to heal, then take all the time you need. Pain doesn’t disappear and its important to lean into it and face it head on no matter what that looks like.

She addresses certain people’s lack of empathy in “Rose-Colored Boy”, a song speaking to an overly optimistic person in her life who thinks she’ll be just fine in no time. For some reason empathy is a very hard thing for some people to exercise. Maybe because being optimistic truly does feel like it would be helpful, but when someone is in pain and trying to deal with that, telling them that everything is fine is insensitive and looks like you’re trying to minimize what they are going through. Thanks, Hayley, we all have that person we want to tell to “piss off”.

Each song addresses a different time in the process of grief. I love that Williams does that and does not lump “grief” into one bucket. There are so many stages and so many aspects to deal with. The lyrics are backed, for the most part, by groovy, pop sounds almost in contrast to the subject matter, but even that is a tool Williams uses to get her message across.

Thank God for music and thank God for Paramore.

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Moving West

I decided to toy with the idea of moving to Los Angeles this past spring, during the last semester of college. Nothing other than a few job applications shot out really came of it. It wasn’t until around July when a good friend already living here encouraged the decision that I really decided this was what I was going to do with the start of postgrad. I had an internship opportunity in LA and that was all I had going for me, so why not?

Last Sunday, my boyfriend and I (also taking the plunge and moving to LA with no job) packed up all of our belongings and hit the road for the opposite coast. We traversed the country and saw some things that blew us away. *below photos taken in Colorado and Utah*

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I’ve never been to California. I’ve never been west of Texas. So I’m going into this adventure pretty blind, and I’m going to share my observations and thoughts on the place in order to 1) record this ridiculous thing I’m doing and 2) maybe help someone else who wants to do the same thing.

So follow along if you’d like to learn something about Los Angeles from a fresh college graduate on a slim budget. Here we go!

Graduation

IMG_0948Mama, we absolutely made it.

Last weekend, May 6-7, me and about 6,000 of my closest friends all graduated from the University of South Carolina. To say it’s been a long, strange, trip is a bit of an understatement. I have learned and grown more in the past four years than any other time in my life and even when I thought I wasn’t ever going to make it out alive, I found myself walking across the stage of the Colonial Life Arena shaking President Pastides’ hand.

My time at Carolina absolutely flew by. There was so much that happened that jammed itself into four short years and I’ll have memories to last me my whole life. Friends were both made and lost, hearts broken and mended, exams failed and passed, and football games won and lost. There sure isn’t anything like it.

I am very sad and nostalgic as my time here comes to a close. Moving away from a city that managed to win my love, and saying goodbye to people I can’t imagine loving any more is not something I ever imagined having to deal with. No one tells you about this part.

But now we are all on to the next stage of life. And it will be exciting if nothing else. I have no idea what I’m going to be doing, where I’ll be doing it, or who I’ll be doing it with. But if I’ve learned one thing from going to a school 500 miles from home not knowing anyone, it’s that comfort can be both lost and found and both are okay. You find home in parts of cities and parts of other people you never knew you could find before. Everything little thing is gonna be alright.

To Carolina and to the people who made me who I am: I’ll love you always. Forever to thee.

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