The Concert That Saved Me This Summer | Judah & the Lion: Pep Talks World Tour

If you know me, you’ll likely know that I love concerts. I always have! It was something that my family & I would do together, go to Charlotte and see a concert together. Even when I was running a fever & going through a stretch os non-stop sinus infections, I still went to a Twenty One Pilots concert because I love them so much, even in a fever-induced delusional state. But the concert I went to this summer meant the most to me. Judah & the Lion’s album Pep Talks saved me this summer.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that my transition home from the Disney College Program has been far less than magical. I’ve struggled daily with missing my friends, feeling overwhelmingly lonely back at home, and fitting back into the places I left behind. Coupled with continuous health problems (thanks, IBS) and increased anxiety, it made for a less than happy summer. The one thing I was looking forward to was this concert.

The moment I found out Judah & the Lion was bringing their tour to Charlotte, I pestered my dad about getting tickets on the daily. I would text him about it, send him articles about the band, and whisper their name through the vents in our house like a creepy reminder. You’d think this may make him less likely to want to get them, but boy did he pull through! As a 21st birthday present, he got us amazing seats to the show. We were 10 rows back and smack in the middle. THANKS AGAIN, DAD!

Now, why was this concert so important to me? You may be thinking, it’s just a band! Well, their album literally saved my summer. Pep Talks is a raw and real album written by lead singer, Judah Akers, about the time in his life where he felt the loneliness. He talks about the real struggles he had growing up and how it has effected in adulthood to put him in the lonely place that he was, despite being surrounded by friends and family. I’ve never connected with an album more than I did with this season of life I’m in and Pep Talks. Judah comes across as this happy, goofy, fun-loving guy but on the inside is filled with a sense of overwhelming loneliness and dwelling on his past troubles. And that’s how I feel I’ve been this summer. In Disney, I was filled with so much joy that I wanted to keep that facade (it became a facade and not real when I left) up when on the inside I feel lonelier than I’ve ever felt. I’ve never had something so perfectly describe who I am, especially when dealing with negative emotions.

Well finally, some honesty
I’m not that great transparently
It’s been a few years since I’ve felt OK
But I’m just like a pro not showing it on my face yeah
I’m an ocean now, peaceful on the out
But the deeper I go down, I’m discovering all the things
My brain has let sink below
Eventually coming up up like a cyclone
So my first step to recovery, a couple deep breaths
And then hear me speak
I’m not OK, I’m not OK
Come get my pain, come get my pain

– from the song i’m ok. featured on Judah & the Lion’s album Pep Talks.

As soon as the show started, I immediately began to tear up. I’ve loved this band for years, but this album, in particular, was just really special to me. To hear it being performed live is just an experience that I will never forget. Hearing such honest and real words being performed that match how I’m feeling and am never really able to get it is honestly transformative.

Throughout the whole show, Judah kept talking about the meaning behind the album. He referred to the audience as a family and spread a message of hope like I’ve never heard before. Singing and dancing along, even in the pouring rain, to the lyrics “No matter how bad all this gets / I can’t stop this voice in my head / This voice in my head says / We’re gonna be alright / We’re gonna be alright” there were definitely tears mixing with the rain on my face.

If you’ve ever questioned the importance of music, let this prove it to you. Thank you, Judah & the Lion for the album that continuously pulls me through this lonely season. And, thank you, dad, for the best birthday present!

❤ / Bail

P.S. – If you’ve never been to the Metro Credit Union Amphitheater in Charlotte, HIGHLY recommend. My all-time favorite venue.

A SUMMER OF GROWTH

What a summer this year has had in store. I can’t believe that school starts in one week and that the summer of 2018 has come to an end. It’s been a crazy ride that has gone by seemingly too fast. At work, I gained more responsibility in my position, got to do some really cool graphic design/logo work, tried my best to keep things smooth sailing within my time, created a 27-page booklet from digital design all the way to print, wrote a lot, and somehow managed to do it all while keeping my sanity & social life intact. We took a family vacation to Fells Point, MD & Harrisburg, PA where I got to visit an aquarium, conquer a little piece of my irrational fear of ghosts (I don’t know if I believe they’re real, but staying at the Admiral Fell Inn sure made it seem like they were), see Harry Styles live on tour, eat a lot of Amish pretzels & pierogis, spend time with two of the cutest little boys in all of PA, & spend precious time with my family. I got to pet sit for many different friends & basically spent over half the summer living out of other people’s homes. Overall, this summer was packed full of growth and learning. To wrap it all up, here is a list of some of the things I learned:

  • Saying goodbye is okay because more than often you’ll see that person again if they are someone who’s meant to be in your life.
  • It’s okay to hand things off to other people and not try to juggle everything by yourself. You’ll likely lose your marbles if you try.
  • Mama Mia 2 is a great movie, but it will make you want to cry like a baby.
  • Any sort of baby fever can be squashed when you spend a week with a 2 & 3-year-old. They’re exhausting!
  • Adobe Illustrator is not my friend, but I’m determined to make it my friend one day.
  • When proofing the same content over & over again, a change of scenery can definitely help.
  • Distance sucks in all types of relationships, but it’s worth it to do what you can to stay in touch.
  • Dreaming big is important, especially with a God who can move mountains.
  • Follow through is SO important. Saying you’ll do something doesn’t mean much if you don’t put words into action.
  • Don’t forget to make specific time for resting.
  • Time away from your phone is good for the soul.
  • Having artificial nails is all fun and games until you try to take them off yourself and it hurts.
  • Never let your age define you. You can be mature beyond your years and ready to take on the world.
  • No creative idea is stupid. It may take some rearranging or really good planning to execute, but that’s how some of the best things are created.

I’m pretty sure this summer is the best one I’ve had so far. I definitely had rough days, but overall I’ve been filled with immense joy in what I’m doing, the people in my life, and the direction God is taking me. I’ve grown in myself and my skills in what I’m studying to do. It’s been a great reminder that I absolutely love the industry that I’m studying to be in, and already getting into it. It’s got me thinking more about what exactly where I want to go career-wise. I know I want to go into PR for a company that’s putting out positive messages, but other than that I’m not sure. I know God’s got a great plan and this summer was for sure a part of it.

What are some of your most memorable parts of this summer?

xx,

Bailey

CONCERT REVIEW – HARRY STYLES

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It’s no secret, I love going to concerts. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to attend several shows throughout my life with my music loving family. I’ve not just been to a specific genre of concerts either. My concert experience ranges from Warped Tour to One Direction and everything in between! So, I figured I’d share my love for music in the form of concert reviews, starting with the one and only Harry Styles.

On June 14, 2018, I saw Harry Styles, live on tour in Hershey, PA. Now, this wasn’t our usual choice of concert venue seeing as it was seven hours away from home, but because we have family in Harrisburg nearby we made a family trip out of it. BOY WAS THAT A GOOD DECISION. This was the second time I had seen Harry in concert. The first time being when he was with One Direction for their “Where We Are” tour. I remember 16-year-old me being thrilled about seeing him then and let me tell you, nearly 20-year-old me was even more thrilled to see him on his solo tour. I’ll run through some of the highlights from the different aspects of the show.

The Venue – Like I said, this wasn’t our go-to concert viewing location. We were at the Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, PA. The set up was stadium style with the stands on the side, but they put down flooring for seating down on the field, that’s where we were. Now, the venue was nice with views of roller coasters in the background, but the seats weren’t my favorite. They were so close together that when everyone was sitting there was no way to avoid touching the person next to you. We were quite literally shoulder to shoulder. I’m not a super touchy person, so that did make me quite uncomfortable. The other downside was that since we were in the field section, everything was flat so if there were taller people in front of you it was tough seeing the stage. Plus can I just throw in, FOR PETESAKE PUt your PHONES DOWN AND BE IN THE MOMENT?! It was already a struggle to see over the people in front of us without everyone stretching their arms up to get an inevitably blurry Snapchat post. Other than those two downers, the venue was actually really nice. It could hold a lot of people and they had the lights going on the rides which made for a fun background. Plus, we got dropped off in the Chocolate World parking lot and had a very short walk to the Stadium.

The Opening Act – Not gonna lie, I was a little unsure of how I’d feel about the opening act for this tour because I don’t like country music very much. Kacey Musgraves opened the show and I really enjoyed it. She had a beautiful voice and carried herself really well on stage. It was a great opener to a great show!

The Show – Where to even begin? The show was phenomenal. Harry Styles is just a lovely human being. The show opened with images of his hands flashing on the screen trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube. Piece by piece it would start to come together, and anticipation grew as most of the audience had caught on to the fact that when the cube was solved he’d be out. Out he came in a mint blue, bell bottom suit! He was super engaged with the audience asking questions between songs, cracking jokes about dads/boyfriends who had obviously been dragged to the concert against their will, joking about how many bugs were flying around on stage, and generally making sure everyone was having a good time. He restated several times that he just wanted everyone to have the best night, whether that included singing along or dancing, he just wanted everyone to have a safe space to be themselves and enjoy their time. Plus, his voice sounds the same in real life as it does on record. He has such a pure and unique sound that transcends. He sang some old songs, most songs of his debut album, and even some songs he hasn’t released yet. This show now ranks at #2 on my list of all time favorite concerts.

The Merch – I couldn’t talk about the Harry Styles concert and not mention the tour merch. I absolutely LOVE the merch Harry had to go along with his tour. A majority of what he was selling had the praise “treat people with kindness” on them. I think it’s really incredible to see someone with such a huge influence doing something good and being a positive force to their audience. Besides the fact that they had such a good message attached, the shirts and sweatshirts are super soft. I got a yellow crewneck sweatshirt that I basically want to live in, and am really sad that I can’t right now because it’s been 90+ degrees in Tennessee every day. The sweatshirt has black embroidered stitching on the breast pocket area that says “Kiwi” and on the sleeve that says “I’m having your baby.” I also got a yellow t-shirt with black vinyl lettering across the front that says “treat people with kindness” and a black tote back that had Harry’s hands solving a Rubik’s Cube on it. The merch overall gets an A+ from me.

Overall, I had an amazing time at the Harry Styles concert. Even though I wasn’t feeling super great, I always end up getting sick before shows, I still had a lot of fun. What are some of your favorite concerts you’ve ever been to? Comment below!

Treat someone with kindness today!

xx,

Bailey

 

A Postcard From Washington, D.C.

The Capitol of the United States of America. It’s a busy place where everywhere you look there are people scurrying by on their way to work, cars and tour buses flying past, and at least one security person every 100 feet (or so it seems). There’s a lot going on in Washington, D.C. and last week I found myself thrown right in to the heart of it. As a part of my family’s biannual trip up to Pennsylvania we decided to make a pit stop in D.C. for a few days and explore the city. So, here’s a little look in to our adventure!

DAY ONE (Sort of): The trip started off with a 6 hour drive to Arlington, VA. We got to our hotel at around 7:30 pm and to be honest I felt completely miserable. The day before we had left for vacation I had actually been diagnosed with a sinus infection and had horrible nausea and sinus headaches. Therefore, I decided to spend the first night sleeping in order to hopefully make myself feel better for the rest of the week!

DAY TWO: Day two of our D.C. adventure started out a little late because we had to get all of our stuff out of the hotel because that night we were moving in to Washington. By the time we got out and about it was actually lunch time so we hit up an Arlington pizza place called Pupatella. THE PIZZA THERE WAS THE BOMB. The restaurant itself had a really modern, Neapolitan vibe to it and the pizza tasted just as great as it looked. After filling up on delicious, cheesy goodness, we headed to Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington Cemetery is a place that is hard to accurately describe. It’s beauty is stunning and really a place to behold, but then you also realize that you are surrounded by thousands of people who lost their lives serving our country. It really makes you think about how valuable life is and how lucky we are in America to have such brave people fight for our freedom and safety every single day. It definitely made me thankful to live where I live. We took a tour around the cemetery and admired its beauty and meaning every step of the way. We got on the last shuttle of the day and headed back to our car to drive in to D.C. and check in to our hotel and get some rest.


DAY THREE: Our first real day in the capitol! We walked a few blocks to the nearest Metro station and hopped on the train to go visit the capitol building. I just want to start this by saying that this building is absolutely stunning. We stood outside and took it all in for about 30 minutes and decided we needed to check out the inside of this place. Lucky for us, the line to get in wasn’t super long so we got right in and jumped in to a tour group to learn more about what goes on in this massive building. It isn’t just a place where the House and Senate meets, but it also holds some beautiful statues and paintings of historical figures. If you are ever in D.C. and have a chance to tour the capitol building I would highly suggest it! Plus, it’s free & air-conditioned!! How can you say no to that? We finished up our tour of the Capitol and realized that we were starving. We quickly looked up the closest place to eat and walked to a British-American pub called The Alibi. This place was amazing! The food was fantastic and the service was even better. The two men working there were the nicest people (not to mention their awesome accents) and even brought us some phone chargers when we were complaining about our dying phones! If that’s not customer service I don’t know what is. When we got our food it was delicious! I had the sausage rolls and I wish I had ordered three more plates because they were that good. With full stomachs we decided to walk our food off by heading up to see the White House. To be completely honest, I was disappointed by the White House. I don’t know why but I thought it would be bigger and more grand. There was however a fun lady singing about how Jesus needs to be in our government and another man screaming in a foreign language and pouring bottles of water on himself. So I think that made up for it!


DAY FOUR: The next day was spent in the very beautiful National Botanical Garden. Every where you looked there were plants and flowers like you’d never seen before. They had a really nice layout of rooms with different themes that made for a really fun self-guided tour. We spent a large chunk of the day taking in God’s beautiful creation and then decided to visit the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum! I have to admit, this museum bored me at first because it was all about aviation, but then we got to the astronomical section and I found it MUCH more fascinating!! We only had an hour and a half to look around the museum before it closed, so we didn’t get to soak a whole lot in but it was still fun! We had dinner at an amazing restaurant called Founding Farmers which was super delicious and supports local farmers. Plus, our waiter was so nice! It was a great way to end the day.


DAY FIVE: Our final day in Washington! This was an unplanned day as we were actually supposed to be in Pennsylvania. We started running out of time because of everything there is to do, so we stayed an extra day (which I wasn’t to keen on but you have to roll with the punches sometimes). Day five was a day completely devoted to museums. We went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Native American Museum. Both of these museums were really informative and great to visit! The Natural History Museum had a great exhibit on gem stones and lots of other really interactive exhibits (which are great for me and my tiny attention span)! It was a great way to spend our last day in the capitol. We left the native american museum, grabbed a hot dog from Ben’s Chili Bowl, and headed for Pennsylvania leaving D.C. behind us!


The trip to Washington, D.C. is one I won’t soon forget. I am not a very political person so I didn’t know how much fun I would have, but I actually enjoyed it! I would definitely recommend adding it to your travel bucket list. I hope you’ve enjoyed this look in to my vacation! What place would you like to visit this Summer?

xx,

Bailey