a day of learning on campus

//I miss campus. I miss being in the city. I miss the quiet places I discover while walking any which way. I even miss the busyness of a city that never sleeps. Being able to get outside at anytime of the day and feel like it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon is so cool. You can find your craziness in the city, and you can find your quietness in the city. man, do I miss being in a place so easy to choose either one.

I thought I missed being around people my age everyday. I mean, I do. But not these people. “Typical college students” that want nothing more than to get drunk on the weekends-and maybe even some weekdays. I suppose in a way, I chose my decision wisely. Seeing my friends from church once or twice a week rather than being surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands, of drunk people around campus.

I’m not a people person. I enjoy my time away from people, and only feel comfortable with those who take the time to get to know me-not Sally’s best friend’s boyfriend’s second cousin twice removed that only wants to get drunk at a party that I’m at. I’m a complex person-every one is. But I suppose I don’t belong at a college like this one.

I have a lot of thoughts that constantly go through my head. Most of the time, my thoughts contradict each other and I get quiet, spending a lot of time trying to sort things out. That’s why I blog so much. That’s why writing helps me so much.

I can’t just be introduced to someone, and feel comfortable with them 20 minutes later. people that are able to be and feel that way don’t understand where I’m coming from. Putting me in a place with a bunch of people I don’t know, while everyone else knows each other could possibly be one of the worst situations for me to be in. My mental state is fragile-a lot of stuff has happened and I can handle a lot, but when it comes to strangers and feeling uneasy, I just can’t do it.

Today, I spent the afternoon back on campus with a friend I enjoy seeing. The weather sucked for half of the time, so we didn’t get to explore as much as I would have liked to. I suppose choosing to come down to campus on a Saturday night was my first mistake. It didn’t really click in my head until I got invited to play a drinking game with a bunch of people.

I spend a lot of time in my head. I play out how different situations could go. Today, my thoughts were off. Bad weather, too many strangers, and the invitation to party-nothing I thought was going to happen today.

a good night away from everything and with a cute boy ended a bit too early when the booze was bought and his friends became eager to party. I questioned if I should stay and “be social” or whatever. But chose against it simply because strangers freak me out-and partying with strangers is something I could never do. I don’t get a lot of time away from my busy life anymore-and even less time to make it down to campus and visit my friend. But I suppose his priorities are a bit different from mine-not a bad thing, just a bit confusing for me.

A few hours in my head tonight made me realize some things i would have otherwise not known if I hadn’t come down to campus on a Saturday night. I sit in a very different place in my life than 99% of people at this university with 50,000 people. I’m out of my element when people I don’t know come into the picture. I end up spending my time blankly staring at my phone rather than trying to talk to someone whose sole mindset for the day is when and where the party is. And I know what I don’t want-which is this.

life is strange and I have too many thoughts. \

(Source: kaajoo)

one day, I hope to love someone who loves me the way I love you

i wish you were supportive with my dreams and my decisions for once in my damn life

my first pull straight from a bottle of false happiness

-five weeks ago i drank for the first time.

let’s be real, i got really drunk.

i’m nineteen years old and have grown up my whole life being taught not to drink. i’ve never been rebellious when it comes to wanting to go get drunk because my parents told me not too. that wasn’t the case.

fourteen months ago my mother left and never came back. a year ago, i found out she was cheating. in an instant, everything she taught me growing up became a lie. no drinking, no cheating, no divorce-suddenly everything flopped.

she needed alcohol to relieve stress.
she needed cheating to relieve her sadness.
she needed divorce to relieve her guilt.

a year ago i lost all of my morals. everything i had come to believe went to shit and i’ve been spending the last year trying to figure out just what the fuck i wanted out of this life.

college became an added stress that i could so easily take out, so i did. there, of course, were other reasons leading up to me not returning for spring semester, or at all this year. like, how am i supposed to go off and start my life and be on my own when everything i was taught for eighteen years came crashing down? i didn’t even know where to begin to look for this life. i couldn’t have told you what i wanted or what i believed because it has all vanished in the single moment i found out my mother was cheating.

my friends all drank. i got angry early on in our friendship and slowly started letting their ideas of fun influence mine. i still wanted to hold onto what i was taught, but also wanted to experience fun and happiness again so i made one single way that i would let them get me intoxicated.

five weeks ago, my friends found that way to follow my one rule, and before i knew it, i had taken four shots in less that five minutes.

what a rush 

i spent some time after that calling and texting my friends, yelling out what i was typing. a rush of the moment thing, and i didn’t feel a thing. i remember asking myself why i was drunk and what i was doing, but my mind wouldn’t listen to the question i was asking it. so i just went on, ended up being surrounded by the best people, and never thought twice about taking a few more shots until i knew i had enough alcohol in my system for the night.

no hang over, and let me tell you, i was very drunk the night before. but we made our way back to minnesota and life went on. 


a week ago i consumed coffee for the first time. i’ve tried all sorts of friend’s coffee before but the taste always grossed me out. i was so wiped out, with minimal sleep in my system, and a full day and night ahead of me, so i bought a coffee-and drank it all.

the caffeine counteracted my delusional state and i was ready to run a marathon and conquer the world. i asked myself why i allowed myself this much caffeine, but my mind wouldn’t listen to the question i was asking it. so i just went on, ended up being surrounded by the best people, and never thought twice about all the caffeine in my system, followed by a ton of alcohol. 


today, i had coffee again. i didn’t necessarily need it. early day at work, but i was alive and moving-just a tad on the calm side. for the last week, i’ve been telling myself that I need coffee. yes, i just got back from a week-long road trip with no sleep, but i survived without the coffee until i caved today.

as i was running around work, hyped from all of the caffeine, my mind finally answered myself. i was calm this morning-not happy, not sad-just nice and calm. but when i got that caffeine in me, all of a sudden everything was funnier, i had more energy, i felt like I could conquer the world, and i felt happy.

my memories of five weeks ago popped up. that night, i was happy, the rush pulled me in, my friends loved me more, i felt happy-or at least how this fucked up world defines happy.


i’ve been living in a state of motionless the last year. my mom crushed everything she taught me the day she left, only to never return. i made the decision to leave college behind for now while i went off trying to find out what life is. i thought everything was fine-but i knew i needed more than fine. all of a sudden, church wasn’t enough for me anymore, the friends there weren’t enough for me anymore, it all wasn’t enough for me. i began losing my faith just as quickly as i had gained it back since returning to church last year.

everything became a blur-wake up, work, nap, food, bed and again the next day. some days i would come home from work, and wouldn’t get out of bed until the next day when i had to go to work again. but i told myself i was fine.

five weeks ago, i had convinced myself i found happiness and the meaning of life. that night, things happened so quickly and before i knew it, my mind was racing far too quickly to sit and think about how i felt, so i just assumed i was happy and went from there.

a week ago-the same idea.

false happiness was found in a bottle of liquor five weeks ago and a cup of coffee a week ago. no, i’m not an alcoholic now. don’t even let that cross your mind. but in that short time, my mind transformed into believing i’d always have a better time if i had alcohol, or if caffeine could consume me.

it only took me five weeks to become addicted to this false happiness. the experiences i had while intoxicated and rushing with caffeine flowing through my veins allowed my mind to wander and come across this false sense of happiness. i know that getting drunk all of the time won’t make me happy, and the amount of caffeine i consume in a single coffee is probably dangerous for someone my size. i know that my friends love me even while i’m sober. and i know i can be happy without alcohol and caffeine.

but there is just some place my mind went when i was too drunk to think twice, or too caffeinated to let my mind stop for a second, and it found the rush and excitement i’ve been searching for these last few months. i’m not an alcoholic, or addicted to coffee. i just allowed my mind to find a happy little place while being consumed by those things, and now my mind tends to wander back to that happy little place every now and then, telling me to come back to that place with it and feel the false happiness this fucked up world believes in.

allowing my thoughts to rush through my body, into my fingertips, and onto an illuminated screen surrounded by darkness all around.
a midnight snack
these are the days I’ll remember the most

as we make the final stretch back to Minnesota, I sit in the passenger seat overwhelmed by the experiences and emotions that have consumed my life the last five days.

five days ago, I sat in a parking ramp at the airport in Minnesota with Ashley and me crying because the car rental had fallen through. Meanwhile I had two friends on a bus almost to Iowa where we were supposed to pick them up. After exhausting every possibility I could think of (I even contacted my mother to see if she would help), I felt hopeless that this trip would go anywhere. Ashley and I racked our brains for two and a half hours before the last possibility came to mind: take Ashley’s mom’s car, leave my car for her to get to and from work, and see if we could rent a car somewhere else along the journey. A million bargains attached to a simple question-and then we waited. Just short of 3 o’clock we got the okay to get my car, drop it off at the airport for Ashley’s mom, and take her car to Iowa. {God is so good}

we left 4 hours after we had intended to leave, got a friend to pick up Ashley and Brittany and everyone was on their way to Iowa City. I got inside the venue 2 minutes after paradise fears was supposed to go on. Disappointment early in the morning turned into a rush of excitement, anxiety to get to the show before the guys went on, and happiness that this journey was in play and my 30th show was going to be the start of this road trip. {life always has a way of figuring itself out}

a set spent shooting the band, but a set spent happy, worry free, excited for the next few days, and honored to know such great people. Another show, another great set, another night with my favorite people. {so much love for this band}

the show ended, we wandered around the venue, made our way outside and found the guys coming up to us. conversations that went no where, but every where at the same time. It’s funny how things like that come to be. Random thoughts and subjects projected out of our mouths and into the ears of all of us standing in the circle. {the best of times with the best of people}

pizza in Iowa City, so I could check off another state I ate pizza in, turned into bonding with Landen, and ending our night with enough laughs to make up for the shitty morning that we had. Our place to sleep for the night was in a dorm, halfway to Omaha and I couldn’t be more excited for this crazy day to be over and for the rest of this road trip to be on the way. {this road trip was going to be the best thing}

omaha was weird. A venue filled half with people who have known the guys their whole lives, half with annoying fangirls who have known of them for maybe a year, and then us. I love going to “hometown shows” or shows that the families drive out for. It’s always fun to see how much life the families fill the guys with while on stage. Even the way their families faces light up when their son is on stage living out a dream is something cool to see. I spent the night shooting the band, and making my way to my friends every once in awhile to somehow make a fool of myself in the crowd. {getting stared down by Sam during the set for something embarrassing I probably did was the way I knew things this trip would be good}

as we were outside of the venue in Omaha, a girl came up and made small talk. Then, Jordan came out to say bye to us before they headed off on an overnight. But before he could reach us, this girl went up to him and started rambling on. I paid attention for half a second, my mind wandered as I looked around, and then something she said caught my attention. “I’ve never seen you guys before-” she started and all I thought was, “goodness, another new annoying fan that’s seeing this band for the first time when I’m over here with now 31 shows under my belt.” but she continued on and talked about how “they impressed her so much.” How she “only came to this show because her friend brought her, but she stood in the crowd blown away.” And that’s what got me hooked. I watched Jordan’s face as this random girl walked up, thanking him for being so awesome and telling him how blown away seeing them was-even when she has never even heard of them before. You see, that’s when I know that I picked a great band to be in Omaha for. And how cool it must have made Jordan feel-a stranger saying, “I don’t know you, but hey I like you and you’re talented.” {being able to experience someone doing this and his humbled reaction made me so proud of this band}

a late show, and the stupid decision of all four of us- we decided to drive until we reached Ashley’s apartment in Denver- 9 hours away with a time change. Our overnight drive started just after 11:30. 15 minutes into our drive, we passed Paradise Fears and I decided that we were now on a race with them to Denver-made the drive a little easier knowing we were in the lead. Ashley Keen’s choice was for all four of us to pull an all nighter and changed her mind a few minutes later, only to quickly pass out. Brittany and I went crazy- after the Ashleys passed out, we decided she would drive the whole way and I would copilot. I went insane-hit the wall a few times, came back to reality, bounced into a state of delusion every now and then, and stayed awake with the help of caffeine, talking to Brittany, and chatting with a friend over texting. 6:45 rolled around, my friend was just about to head to bed, the caffeine had worn out, and Brittany and I were ready to sleep. {21 hours awake with no sleep-Brittany and I were rocking this whole “road trip” thing}

i woke up in Denver, upset I couldn’t see the mountains. Two hours of sleep, and I was ready for another adventure today. We made our way back to Ashley’s apartment where everyone passed out pretty quickly. I took the time to shower, edit some pictures, and have some quiet time writing and allowing my mind to catch up to my body-which had been traveling at 75mph for 9 hours as my head was still partially in Nebraska. A few more hours of sleep crept through my body and I jolted awake completely convinced I had been asleep for three days {oh how I wish I had that much sleep in me}

i got coffee for the first time in Denver, and if gave me more energy than I’ve ever had. Taking an über to the show and avoiding more driving on our part was a decision I wish I could permanently make-never having to drive again. a small venue filled with no one I knew except who I came with and who I came to see. {a strange feeling-but a feeling of home nonetheless}

a Friday night, a night to have fun, and a night I spent most of the time in the crowd with my friends. lighting was bad, and I was annoyed with the shots I was getting-plus, it was Denver and I wanted to enjoy this show. Crowds that don’t go crazy, make me crazy. I can’t understand how someone’s “favorite song” doesn’t make them want to jump or clap or freak out over. I embarrass myself repeatedly at every paradise fears show I go to, but I’m never more free. People standing around in the crowd make me upset because I feel as though they aren’t allowing themselves to be as free as the music makes them. But whatever the case, it doesn’t stop me from jumping around, screaming lyrics-whether the right ones, or the ones I made up for the night- and feeling alive. {overnight drive #2 in a row for the guys meant dipping out. an apartment to go back to for us, meant sleep-and that’s all I wanted}

we had to be up and out of the apartment at 7am to drive to the airport, rent a car, drive our car back to Ashley’s, and get to Utah-our final destination on this trip. sleep was a tad more important than all of the above so we left late. Leaving late for things, or knowing I’ll be late somewhere makes me anxious but we still made it to the airport and got the car when we were scheduled to pick it up. we dropped our car off back at Ashley’s and made a stop at Voodoo Doughnut, and then to get food. By this time in our trip, days were running together, meals were spaced out more than what I’m used to, and {i had convinced myself that one day I’m going to live in Iowa, Nebraska, and now Colorado}

the mountains were visible today and I lost myself staring out the window at them. I love losing myself and coming back to reality with a new perspective of life, question upon question, or even just a smile on my face. I’m sure we stopped a few places in Wyoming- I think I took a 45 minute nap. But the mountains were glorious, and I was with some of the coolest people in my life. {this road trip was just what I wanted-and needed}

i always thought Salt Lake City was just a big flat area. I don’t even know why, but to me, it was always flat for miles and miles. I was wrong. Mountains all around-how couldn’t you fall in love? A bathroom in a hotel lobby is where we made ourselves look decent after being in the car all day. The doors were already open, and there were only two bands left by the time we got to the show. Food wasn’t agreeing with my stomach-I hadn’t had much the last few days but what I did have was all junk food or fast food. {but somehow I felt better just before paradise fears came on stage}

day four- a final day of shooting, being embarrassing in the crowd, changing the lyrics to songs, and having a consistent smile on my face for the whole duration of their set. A final night spent with best friends, strangers, and the best guys in my life. A final night spent at home-for “my home is placed in the hearts of my friends, the music I fall in love with, the bands I adore, and the concerts I am blessed to go to as often as I do” {time spent with people who mean the world to you are worth anything you have to go through to get to them}

a night spent in a hotel parking lot, driving through salt lake, and eventually into a hotel room for the night was possibly the best way to end the westward way of this road trip that almost didn’t happen. It never fails that every time the last time I see paradise fears for awhile comes up, the sadness tries to sneak up on me and before I know it, I’m doubting the good things they bring into my life. that night in Utah, I was reminded of the happiness, even after the sadness came. I am truly blessed to have these guys in my life-whether I get to see them after every show, or find myself in Utah with friends I met through music, or simple being told, “I don’t hate you. I like you a lot. I always will.” {my boys are the best}

we trekked back to Denver to drop off Ashley and Brittany, get our car, return the rental car and head back to Minnesota. The conversations made on the way back to Utah were some of the realest, even most inspiring conversations I’ve held. There were conversations that made me step back for while and think, ones that sounded like we had made up our own language, and ones that made me scared for the future. Every conversations either began or ended with laughter- {most of them never got too far because we laughed too much}

and that’s what these trips are for. It’s so fun being able to say I’ve seen a band in all these states. Running around the country makes my life fun and exciting and the rush I get from it will always be so overwhelming. but the trips would be worthless without the friends that come along. The conversations made, the never-ending laughs, the amount you grow and learn not only about your friends, but about yourself, is something truly remarkable. I have this band to thank for a lot. I often make myself believe they’re my whole source of happiness and the reason I am continuously finding myself and the thing that makes my world go ‘round.

this trip, I found all of these things to still be true-even after 3 1/2 years of knowing this band. I am happy around them & they make me lose myself, question things, and find myself again & they do make my world go ‘round. But they’ve done something a little more important than all of those things put together. They’ve allowed me to find this common interest with people and next thing I know, these people are my best friends and they’re laughing at my jokes and they’re helping me when I’m convinced I’m going to explode and they’re getting in a car with me and driving hundreds of miles. Yes, we drove to go see this band that brought us together, but most of the road trip happened in a car with three amazing friends-not at the shows with the guys.

i was told once that at the end of the day, it’s all about the friends you make though the music-they’re the ones that will be there for a lifetime regardless of what the band thinks or does or doesn’t do or whatever. And at the end of this day, it’s still about the band, yes. I’ve grown to be friends with them. They’ve filled my life with enough laugher to last far too many lifetimes. But at the end of this day, it has become about those friends just as much as how much this band means to me. The hours spent in a car, and time spent between sets, and during sets and after shows, it’s everything.

i’m just a few hours from home and have been trying to write this blog for hours. It’s long enough to be published as a novel, and I am so, so grateful to anyone who had read it.

the last five days I have been hundreds of miles away from my house, but everyday I have been home. This band, my friends, the car rides, the shows, and everything in between is what my home is made of.

i don’t want to be lonely, but with these people in my life, I’ll never be alone.

final road trip blog tomorrow because blogs are good but sleep is better right now

Places I’m unfamiliar with are places that I visit and places that take a piece of my heart when I leave

i’ve started to learn that losing myself isn’t a bad thing. the unknown can be good. if I get too into a blog post, being at a show, even staring out the car window at the mountains allows for the time when I don’t have to worry about work or I’m not too busy trying to take an artsy photo or the stress of family situations isn’t eating away at me. I start to question everything I have and everything I am and that used to be the scariest thing to me-questioning who I am.

i grew up believing that I need to know who I am at all times and I need to know where I’m headed and what I want to be and what I believe. If I didn’t, I was wrong.

last spring I graduated high school and all of a sudden the world was bigger, my problems were bigger, decisions became bigger, and I became upset when my life game plan started becoming shaky. High school allows for a time of learning with restriction. Graduation allows for freedom of that restriction, but with that comes the growing mystery of the unknown.

i grew up not having a care in the world for awhile. I had friends, went to school, played soccer. Things were good: I was normal. Then one day I came home from school and was told my sister was in the hospital. Things became so clouded and everything was up in the air for those three long, excruciating days. The unknown of that event turned into her passing away. “Unknown” became dark, gloomy bad news. And from that day on, there has always been a sense of unknown in my life scaring me, making me believe that things will always end up bad.

the day I realized college wasn’t for me yet was the day “unknown” came and haunted me again. my life plan fell apart and I was stuck in a state of being unsure about quite possibly every aspect of my life. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do and my life became a dark hole of what seemed like nothingness.

of course I had ideas but didn’t start following through with any of them. I had shows I still went to. I had friends I still hung out with. I had a job still. I just didn’t know where I wanted my future self to be in 5 years. I didn’t “have my life together” and i was taught an unsure future means an unsure present. This “unknown” took control of me and made me slowly pull back from the progress I had made.

a few months ago I had a night where the questioning of my future that night resulted from a friend’s life plan- a life planned out and a life changed. {was it just as simple as that?} he had a life going places-things were planned out. And he decided that he wanted to change course. He was ready to take on the unknown that came with leaving one life and making a new one.

so why couldn’t i do that?

that night was the night I started making plans and steps towards those plans. no, my future isn’t planned out. I’m still not sure what I’m doing next week. But starting to make plans make things a lot easier in the long run.

-i’m spending some of the 8 hour drive today driving through mountains for the first time ever. Places I’m unfamiliar with are places that I visit and places that take a piece of my heart when I leave. I’m so comfortable going to a city I’ve never been to but I’ve been so afraid taking my mind to a place it’s never been before.

but lately I’ve been finding my mind going to places it hasn’t been before and it leaves me questioning things I’ve never even thought about before. The amount of time I’ve spent in the car these last few days allows my mind to drift and find itself lost in the corn or the mountains or whatever I’m staring out the window at.

the unknown doesn’t freak me out like it used to. I’m okay with not knowing where I’ll be in 5 years- or even in a years time. It gives me a rush. It gives me comfort. And allowing my mind to explore the unknown gives me time away from thoughts of the past and thoughts of the future.

i stare at a window and lose myself only to come back to reality with more of an understanding of life. No, I can’t stare out the window long enough to find the whole meaning of life. But perhaps if I do it enough, I can eventually figure out where I want to be in a year or two, figure how just how the fuck people built pyramids back in the day, or find a cure for cancer-who really knows.

life is a constant flow of learning and discovering and how am I supposed to do that if I don’t push the boundaries- both physical boundaries, and boundaries I set in my mind.

"I don’t drink coffee but today is full of adventures"

so little sleep in such a long period of time is never an easy thing. A late show on Thursday, me editing pictures and us driving resulted in me hitting a wall multiple times, going insane, bouncing back to reality, and staying away until 6:30 in the morning only to take a nap that lasted a grand 45 minutes.

the clouds made the drive in Denver boring: I couldn’t see the mountains. I was a tad too delusional to even care at that point though. Sleep was on the horizon. We got back to Ashley’s apartment, and after a shower, editing a few more pictures, and 20 minutes of everyone else in the apartment passed out, I found sleep and stayed asleep as long as I could: 2 hours. Far too little sleep, but two hours more than I had before so I was a little more sane at that point.

i don’t drink coffee. I’m not a big fan of caffeine in general, just the occasional pop when I stay up past midnight and have to be up by 3:45am for work. But I wouldn’t have survived the day without some sort of caffeine and Starbucks was where we ended up.

smaller venues for this tour are nice. The shows I’ve been to the last few days have been smaller than I’m used to: first time headlining full band or something like that. Plus, Minnesota is always bigger and the east coast shows I go to are the big ones out there as well. But the venue in Denver was a nice size and made the show feel a little homier, even being 950 miles away from my house back in Minnesota.

the lighting sucked, shooting the show was difficult and I ended up only getting a few shots and then going in the crowd with my friends. The night ended with a call from my brother, a never-ending group chat conversation, and a lot of laughing.

the guys dipped early and started another overnight drive so we dipped pretty early from the venue and finally got the chance to sleep more than two hours.

-i always question when I’m in other states with other friends for the same show.

"why am I even here?"
“what are we doing?”
“am I crazy?”

but the answer always comes whether it be simply seeing the band on stage, being with my friends in the crowd, or the peaceful place I find my mind in.

life is crazy but life is good with the people I’ve surrounded myself with the last few days.


i’m such an asshole but i’m also a very kind-hearted person who likes making ppl happy and if i love u i will love u with all my heart and all my soul but then i’m also such an asshole