Bloom

Showing off some of my writing and art journaling. I started a web portfolio for it , although it only currently has two posts, including this. I just want to share my newest creative adventure! Enjoy!

Mental Health Tell All: My Story

*To preface my story: this is in no way supposed to be a sob story or asking for sympathy, it is simply a piece to tell my story and educate people about the truth of living with mental illness for your entire life. It is a conversation starter and a beacon of hope.*

I never thought anything was wrong, I thought this was how everyone thought and acted. It never really crossed my mind at six years old that I was different. My friends all chalked it down to me being me, not that I was weird or “sick”.

I was a pretty laid back baby and toddler; I slept all the time and ate anything you put in front of me. I laughed, I was social, people liked me. When I was in Kindergarten, we went to have dinner with family for a birthday or something of the sort. I ate chicken fingers. That night I came down with a stomach bug of sorts. I decided it was because of the food. After that, I wouldn’t want to step foot in a restaurant; my parents tell me that when we would walk across the parking lot holding my hand, I would start to sweat and stand in place, refusing to go in. Since I was five, I was forced in anyway. But I would avoid chicken fingers like the plague.

Soon after that, I started washing my hands excessively to rid myself of germs so I wouldn’t throw up. That was the big fear: vomit. It didn’t even have to be mine, because if I was near it I was convinced I would catch whatever made that person sick. I wouldn’t use the bathroom at school, or any public place. I would pump the soap three times rinse and repeat ten times. Then I would wash the backs of my legs where they touched the toilet, because the toilet is full of germs that could make me sick, so I had to do everything in my power to stop that.

My parents soon saw how chaped my legs and hands were and started to take me to various doctors to see what was wrong. I had no clue what was happening. At this point I was probably six years old, and didn’t know your mind could be sick. I was finally diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, more commonly known as OCD. That still didn’t register with me, so my new therapist described it as a bully in my head that was making me do things that I didn’t want or need to do “or else”. We started Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and I was reluctantly put on Prozac (my parents were initially against it, but was told by a psychologist that I was suffering and medicine would improve how I was feeling and acting, so they decided to put me on it because they couldn’t bear knowing that more could be done to help me).

Something that I have always been afraid of, besides vomit, was failure. In first grade and into second grade, I  had a compulsion where I would rub spit on a place where a misbehaved kid touched me. I don’t really know the reasoning behind the spit; I guess it was to clean the bad with good? I needed so badly to be recognized as this amazing person and to have approval from authority, so I needed to separate myself from the bad kids in every way possible. I was (am) worried about the future, and I didn’t want to be…well a fuck-up, to be blunt.

Another compulsion that popped up was based on an old superstition: throwing salt over your left shoulder after you spill it, or else you’ll have bad luck. Of course, I couldn’t have that, so everytime I dropped something, I threw it over my left shoulder. Also anytime I made fists, I had to unfurl them over my left shoulder.

Once I was sick, like vomit sick, and said that the nausea went on and off. So I would alert my parents that I was nauseous by saying that I was “on”. That continued well after the illness went away, because, for some reason I thought it would prevent throwing up. I find that a lot of my OCD goes in opposites, kind of like jinxes. So if I say I won’t get sick, I will and vise versa. So I would constantly tell my parents “I’m on” to try to reverse psychology the universe. I was that way with a lot of my compulsions, come to think of it. I would say up (as in throw up) every time I said down, and I had and still have mantras I say in attempts to ward off “bad things”.

That’s the whole point of OCD, though, it’s to prevent bad things from happening. And people who have it find ways to do that through compulsions made from small connections to their “bad things”. I worked, and still work, in therapy to overcome these compulsions. We do exposure therapy and lots and lots of CBT. We delay the compulsion, we change it to be different every time so it doesn’t stick, we work at the root of the fear to help see why this won’t prevent anything, we also do something called “junk thoughts vs. facts” where we would list the thought, the “junk thought” and refute it with the facts. I always hated this as a kid, but I try to do it everyday now with both OCD and general anxiety.

Too many people think OCD is about being clean and organized, which it can be, but there’s an intense fear of something bad happening that’s attached to it that makes it OCD. It’s my pet peeve when people go “I like to be organized, I’m so OCD about it”. They don’t realize the depth of the disorder, they just prefer to be organized, they don’t have to be or else they will be paralyzed with fear of impending doom. I try to point this out to people, but I just end up looking like an ass.

As I got older, I started to develop more generalized anxiety. I had my first panic attack when I was eight on the Spanish Steps in Rome. Too many people, too much noise, too overwhelming. I started to become less social, more focused on doing well in school. I had two or three key friends by fifth grade, compared to the fifteen or so in Kindergarten. I worried more and more about the future, especially watching my older brother grow up, and do things that I would soon have to do. In middle school, I developed social anxiety based on self esteem issues, but that’s quite common at that age. I wasn’t able to talk to new people, I wasn’t able to give a class presentation without stuttering, sweating, crying, or all of the above.

The self esteem issues then stemmed into body dysmorphia. I was in seventh grade (I think? Either that or sixth), and I was at my yearly doctor’s physical. They weighed me and told me I was 103 pounds. I flipped. I thought that was way too much, even though I  would kill to weigh that now. My poor self esteem and OCD teamed up to make me anorexic. I would only eat dinner, and I would eat less than half of it. I would do upwards of 150 sit ups, twice a day. I would do any kind of exercise I could do. By eighth grade I was 80 pounds. Before this, I had stopped going to therapy for a while, because, at the time, I was stable. My parents didn’t realize the depth of it until my physiatrist talked to me and weighed me. I went back to therapy, ate a bunch of sweets and gained the weight back, and then some. I was resistant to gaining weight at first, but I was told of all the health risks and I started to panic. Also, my therapist is super strict with that so I knew I had to.

I still have similar type thoughts to those I had when I was anorexic. I think about restricting my eating, and I get really uncomfortable when I see something in the mirror that I don’t like. Luckily, but not luckily, I don’t have the restraint I did back then to not eat (and eating healthy is hard when you’re a picky eater). And most days, as of right now, I am feeling ok with my body. Would I like to drop a few? Yes, but I won’t go to unhealthy lengths to do so.

Eighth grade into Freshman year of highschool were my lows. My brother had started looking at and applying to colleges. I was sad to see such a constant and loved part of my life leave me. However, I started analyzing myself. I realized I had no idea what I wanted to do (who does in eighth grade?) and that I probably wasn’t smart enough for an Ivy League school if my brother wasn’t either (I placed a lot of personal worth in being smart, so not going to an Ivy was a hard pill to swallow). I hate(d) the unknown and was rushing toward college before I had even started high school.

Ninth grade starts, I’m in all AP or honors courses. The social and academic stress starts to get to me. I have panic attacks daily, and leave school most days. I started self harming, because I felt I deserved it for being weak, or not doing well in class, or just because I generally hated myself. I was extremely depressed; all I wanted to do was sleep, because I didn’t want to deal with life and I started isolating, without realizing it, even though what I needed most in my life was people. I would have a meltdown every school night because I couldn’t bear the thought of going.

At one point I had posted something online that was vaguely hinting toward a plan of suicide. My closest friend at the time caught wind of it and told her guidance counselor. We had the same first period: studio art. One day she wasn’t there, which I found fishy since she was always there. Then the classroom phone rang. My heart dropped and I knew then what was going on. I was summoned to the guidance office where my friend, her guidance counselor, my guidance counselor, and my mom had gathered. She was telling me how worried she was, then my mom did the same, but said she didn’t know how serious it was. I never really talked about my suicidal ideation out loud before, so how was she to know. All she saw was anxiety.

It was decided that I would be pulled out of school and participate in an outpatient program at the nearest mental hospital. At that point, I was apathetic and didn’t really care what happened next. So, I spent all of November 2013, my freshman year of highschool, at a mental facility. To this day, I don’t know how many people or who knew where I was, and I don’t care to. I don’t want their sympathy that’s really only a formality, when they’re really thinking that they didn’t realize that I was that crazy.

I came back to school, not feeling all that different. We eased me back, going the first four periods one day, and the second four the next. I had to drop all my honors and AP courses because I was just too far behind, and the stress of trying to catch up was not ideal at the time. I was really down on myself for that, because I wasn’t appearing as smart and now would DEFINITELY not get into an Ivy League. There was a program at my school for kids around the county with learning disabilities. They had their own classes and counseling department. I only used the latter, but I was also helped by one of the aides. She helped me catch up and stay on top of work. She helped me calm down from anxiety and panic attacks. She was my savior. This program also helped me get 504 or IEP accommodations in school , meaning I was legally identified with a disability and was entitled to certain tools to help me succeed with my education. I can still use it in college, which is great.

Throughout the rest of high school I was kind of a loner, sitting quietly in the front of class, going to the library for lunch. Most of my friends at the time went to a different school. That didn’t matter though, because they would end up ditching me because I was too sad. That’s a long and complicated story, but basically, I was a bummer to be around, so they stopped inviting me places or responding when I invited them places. It blew up from there and I had pretty much no friends going into my junior year.

I was starting to get a better handle on things at that time, though. I was becoming more confident and less anxious. I made a friend or two in my classes. I started working towards college, which we never thought would happen just two years before. I made amends with one of the girls who dissed me because we had a class together senior year and started to reminisce and realize how much fun we were together. I got accepted to nine of the eleven colleges I applied to, and waitlisted at the other two. Ultimately, I decided to pursue fashion at the University of Delaware.

My first year at UD was good and bad. I made a lot of progress with anxiety, made some good friends, and even joined a sorority, which I never in a million years thought I would do. I also failed my first class, did subpar in the rest, had a witch of a professor who threw me into a minor depressive episode. But, it was good enough that I wanted to come back!

I’m still learning and growing and figuring out how to deal with my issues. As long as you work hard and have a good support system, you’ll get there. There’s hope, there’s always hope. You just have to ride the wave, and then you’ll be where you need to be. You can live a happy and fulfilling life with mental illness, it’s 100% possible. Please let my tale inspire you to achieve your dreams, or help out a loved one in need.

Remember: there’s no flowers without the rain.

Colourpop Haul and Review

In the past year or so, I’ve been seeing Colourpop Cosmetics pop up on my social media feeds over and over and over. They get stellar reviews from nearly everyone, so I decided to give into the hype, and let me tell you, I went absolutely hog wild with makeup. I don’t regret it for a second.

Here is a picture of my entire haul (I will have individual shots and swatches with product details later on):

IMG-7077.JPG

*Not pictured: foundation brush, and eyeshadow brushes.

I’ll start with the basics: foundation, concealer, and setting powder.

First up: No Filter Natural Matte Foundation My shade is Fair 15

IMG-7096.JPG

The foundation comes in a small pump bottle. It was more liquidy than I expected, but still easy to apply. I used the medium foundation brush for initial application and blended it with a sponge. It is a medium to full coverage foundation, and I barely need concealer after it. The shade is a little off, since I’m slightly tan, but I ordered lighter on purpose so it’s right when the tan fades. The description says matte but it’s kind of dewy. It can get kind of oily throughout the day, but it’s been really hot out, so it could just be that and my oily skin.

Next: No Filter Matte Concealer in shade Fair 04

IMG-7093.JPG Excuse the dirty top, I get messy when I do my makeup. The concealer comes with an applicator, so I use that for initial application under the eyes and blemishes/dark marks. I the use the sponge to blend. This concealer is no joke. It’s probably one of the best concealers I’ve tried, and I have some serious eye bags to cover. You have to make sure to blend completely because it can crease under the eyes if you’re not careful. This is pretty full coverage and works like a charm, and only six bucks!

Last on the face: No Filter Loose Setting Powder in Translucent.

IMG-7092.JPG I always need some kind of powder to counteract my oily skin. This powder works well to set, for sure, but it doesn’t quite keep me matte all day. Again, though, take into account the fact that I’m walking in 90 deege heat with high humidity. I do stay oil free for a while.

To apply, I use the large powder brush to dust my face and extra oily areas.

IMG-7118.JPG
Here is an picture of me wearing all three face products after a long day in heat and humidity. Held up amazingly, in my opinion. 

Up next is my favorite kind of makeup to buy: eyeshadow palettes.

 

I’ll start small, with my two four color palettes.

First contender: On The Daily (for some reason these two palettes aren’t coming up on the website)

IMG-7107On The Daily is a set of browns that are fittingly named, since you can wear them anytime. There are two shimmer shades and two matte shades. When I swatched some of these colors (on all the palettes I’m going to post) they don’t show up on my skin because they are too similar in color. Otherwise, these shadows are pretty pigmented; one or two swipes and you’re good to go.

 

The next palette is called No Limit:

IMG-7106.JPG

These are also good for daily use, but I’m a sucker for pink shadows. These are just as pigmented and easy to blend as On The Daily. The first peachy shadow doesn’t really come through in the photo, but it’s good as a base color. The second shade from the bottom is my favorite shade. It’s hard to see in the picture, but it’s a medium pink with shimmery gold undertones, making for a really interesting shadow.

I also bought two bigger palettes. One for fun, because I never really experiment with bright colors, and the other as a staple of browns and neutrals.

I’ll start with the fun bright one, which is called Yes, Please.

IMG-7110.JPG

I tend to match the main color(s) of my outfit to my eyeshadow, and I’m branching out into brighter shades such as yellow! This is the perfect palette to start out with in terms of bright colors. I like subtle, but cool makeup looks, and these colors are not uber pigmented, so it’s easy to achieve that style with these colors. This is such a fun palette to experiment with, and mixing these shades with the second big palette makes for some #looks.

 

 

 

The other big girl palette is called Double Entendre.

IMG-7112.JPG Sorry that the lighting is kind of crappy, I was having a hard time angling my body out of the way of the light. These are great colors for all occasions. There are some shimmers, but mostly matte. I love doing neutral toned looks because they are really low-key. These colors can stay low-key, or be amped up by some shimmer. It’s so versatile and that’s why I love it.

 

 

 

 

The last products will be lip products. I actually only bought one, the ultra glossy lip, but since my order was delayed, they threw in a full sized lipstick. How awesome is that?

I begin with the intentional purchase, the ultra glossy lip in Aquarius.

IMG-7115.JPG

I don’t tend to go bold on lip products. I always feel like I’m overdoing it and it’s distracting from my true features, but that’s just me. It really enhances other people’s features, just not mine. I personally prefer gloss because it doesn’t usually dry out my lips and the shine gives extra umph to your pout. This color is just slightly different from my natural lip color, which is perfect. Again, I’m all about subtlety, especially in lips. This gloss is high shine and low stickiness. I may go as far to say that it’s the perfect gloss. Don’t @ me.

 

 

The last product, the super generous freebie, is a Lippie Stix in Toasty (I also can’t find this one on the site either, sorry guys).

IMG-7113.JPG I lucked out on the color of this one, if I’m being honest. It’s a great brickish color, that’s not too overpowering. It gives some life to my lips, but it’s not the only thing you notice about my face. This is a color I would lean towards if I were picking for myself, so good job Colourpop, you got me pegged!

To wrap up, I just have to say that I paid about $115 for all this plus six brushes. It’s all great quality so it’s a big win for me. I already have my next order planned when the Sol palette is back in stock, among other things. I highly suggest shopping with Colourpop. Another plus about them is that they are cruelty free! So go out and get some awesome makeup!

How To Get Over The Fear Of Doing Things

Do you ever make plans, and are genuinely excited for them, until the day of? I think we’ve all been there, and it’s extremely frustrating! Sometimes it’s just a case of being too comfy at home, but other times, it’s irrational fear and anxiety telling you not to go. That’s the case for me most of the time. Besides the fact that I am a homebody, I still go into a spiral of negative thoughts in the hour leading up to the event. It gets even worse when I end up cancelling.

anthony-tran-679123-unsplash

Such pre-event negative thoughts can include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • What if we run out of things to talk about?
  • How can I say I’m ready to leave without sounding rude?
  • Am I overdressed? Underdressed?
  • What about my makeup? Is it caking? Is it bleeding down my face?
  • What if I say something weird?
  • This is supposed to run a little late, what if I don’t have enough “me time”?

And on, and on, and on….

alone-books-girl-890668

Then there is the post-cancellation thoughts:

  • Why did I do that?
  • They hate me now.
  • What reason can I give that won’t make me sound like a total loser/flake?

And on, and on….

Through the years, I have learned a few tricks to kick those thoughts out of your head and “force” yourself to leave your comfort zone.

1. Remind yourself how excited you were for this in the first place.

Ask yourself why you made the plan/agreed to doing this. You obviously thought it would be fun or interesting to do this, so bring up those good feelings again. Confront the negative and say, yes all this can happen, but what are the chances? There’s more of a chance I’ll enjoy myself since I agree to do this or even initiated this to begin with.

2. Tell yourself that you’ll be better for the experience

The worst that can happen is you have a bad time, but you can say you did it, and you have grown from it. It gives you experience in talking to people and in knowing what to wear and how to act at certain functions. It’s all a learning curve, and now you have one more thing on your social resume. You also won’t have to deal with cancellation guilt.

asdrubal-luna-485688-unsplash

3. Going out this time will make you more comfortable going out again

It’s almost like exposure therapy; the more you are exposed to doing things you don’t want, the more comfortable you’ll get with doing them over time. Once you go out and see that it’s not such a big deal, and that you actually had fun, you won’t be as scared to do more.

4. When you do go out, don’t you always have at least a little fun no matter what?

Think about the times when you actually did decide to go out. They were probably enjoyable or at least had memorable moments. Let this inspire you to think of all the fun this even holds, and how it would be so much better than sitting home alone and going to bed at 9pm.

anthony-tran-677896-unsplash

5. You won’t have FOMO when you see your friends out without you

When you cancel plans, and your friends go out without you, you will no doubt see social media posts within the hour. Doesn’t it hurt to know that you had the opportunity to share these experiences with your friends, but now your watching them second hand. Then the next time you talk to your friends, they’ll have a new inside joke from that night that you missed out on, or they’ll talk about this crazy thing that happened that you just had to be there for. It sucks to be on that side of things, especially when you had control over being there or not.

6. Only plan to be out for part of the time

If you tell yourself that you only have to be out for an hour, you are more likely to go. Then, once you’re out, you’ll be having a good time and won’t be checking the time, or you’ll be having a good enough time that when your hour is up, you think to yourself, I can do another half hour. And you keep going on and on like that until the night is over. Once you’re in the swing of things, you realize it’s not so bad. It’s kind of like working out; say you only have to be on the treadmill for 15 minutes, then that passes and you’re thinking it wasn’t so bad, so you go another 15, and another, and another, until you’re done.

yuris-alhumaydy-671913-unsplash

7.Push Yourself

This might be the hardest thing to do. You’re tired from school or work or both, you just want to lie in bed and rewatch your favorite shows and movies. I get that, trust me. But set a goal for yourself, and push yourself to reach it. You can even set a little reward for yourself. Once you reach that goal, it is so satisfying (and I little ice cream reward doesn’t hurt either). You will always have time to relax by yourself, but certain events only happen once, and you don’t want to miss out.

ben-white-146950-unsplash

Basically, your brain makes up stories and excuses for why you can’t go to things, but you have to counter that with facts about why it will be good and beneficial if you go. You’ll be much happier that you’re doing things and not missing out. Getting over this fear takes time, but it’s worth it.

Photo-Op: All Time Low

Last Sunday, I saw one of my favorite bands live for the sixth time (never gets old) in New York City. All Time Low not only makes top notch music, they also put on a kickass concert, hence seeing them six times (even though I wish it was more). Their energy is almost contagious and their banter between songs is very entertaining. It also helps that their music has meant so much to me for a lot of my life, and hearing those songs sung live with such passion, surrounded by people who feel the same way about the music being played, is just incredible, there’s nothing quite like it.

I usually only take my phone to a concert to take pictures, but this time I decided I’d try to get my camera in. I tried to bring my camera to a concert once about five years ago and they turned me away, and I never tried again. However, I was inspired to try again this time. I was tired of crappy phone pics, so I decided to step it up. It was a really good decision, in my opinion. I spent the first few songs dancing and singing along without worrying about pictures, but I soon broke out my camera. I still was able to enjoy myself while taking pictures, in fact it may have made it more fun. It was hard, since I’m short and always manage to stand behind the tallest person at the show. I actually used my camera to see above the crowd most of the time.

Included in this post will be my favorites from the show. Be warned that most of them are of Alex, the lead singer, because he was in my direct line of site and not behind tall people. I tried my best to get all of the guys, but again tall people and hands and what not. Either way, enjoy seeing this concert through my lens!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Life Is Always Nicer In My Head

I get through life with daydreams. It eliminates that empty feeling I seem to always have, at least for a little bit. I use it to pass the time, to fill the void of what I don’t have, or just to try to fall asleep. I put myself at the place in life where I want to be, and sometimes a place I will never be, instead of where I am.

I know that my excessive daydreaming is probably hurting me more than it is helping me, but it’s just so tempting, you know? To escape real life and live and actively control your fake life? Soooo much better. Sometimes it gives me hope for what life can be, sometimes it makes me sad that I know life will never be that way.

I dream that I tour with bands as their photographer, I dream that I am a great and prolific writer, I dream that I have a successful fashion label, I dream that I meet amazing people along the way that become like family, and so, so much more.

I’ve always had my head in the clouds. I remember daydreaming as a kid, thinking about what I wanted high school to be like (it was definitely NOT what I wanted it to be), what I wanted college and even after to be like. I was, and am, always looking ahead. I’m never really present, I’m always thinking about what comes next, even if “next” means retirement. I think my daydreaming is almost a way of soul searching what I really want in life. I don’t know what I’m looking for specifically, I just know something is missing, and that is why I daydream.

I’ve had a progression of different jobs in these dreams, a progression of relationships and locations. The one thing that remains constant, though, is that I am truly happy and my mental health is in check. I’m not in over my head, or depressed in any way, or ultra stressed. I’m carefree, confident, and happy in all aspects, which has always been my ultimate goal, I guess.

I know it’s not likely that I’ll be a famous photographer or writer, I know it’s not likely that I’ll style celebrities, or have a perfect fairytale love story. But I dream about it anyway. I guess it’s all just wishful thinking, but it makes life worth living, in the sense that life can be that great if everything falls into place just right. Even the mundane things I dream about, such as having a short conversation with a certain person, give me hope. Although it is usually followed by disappointment, it just means to me that I have to pick myself up and try again, and try again harder. Even if I never get there, I will always know I gave it my best effort.

I wish daydreaming had some power to put my desires into the universe and make them reality, but for now I’m just a broke college girl who has no clue what’s actually going to happen next.

 

My Top Five Music Albums of All Time

There are only a handful of truly perfect albums to fit each person’s taste. To me, a perfect album is one you can listen all the way through, without skipping any songs. You can listen to it over and over, and never get tired of it.

The albums I picked to talk about check those boxes and more. I can relate in some way to the lyrics, the beats are catchy, and I have an association tied to it from some point in my life, good or bad. Even if an album or song reminds me of a dark time, I still love it for all the aforementioned reasons and because it also reminds me of how much that album meant to me at the time; It has sentimental value in the fact that it really helped me out.

In no particular order, here are the five albums I love to death:

*When I state my least favorite song, I still like the song, it’s just at the bottom of my rankings for that album!

folie 1. Folie à Deux (2008) by Fall Out Boy

This album reminds me of the first time I went to sleepaway camp. I was 14 going on 15, about to enter my sophomore year of high school. I just left the worst year of my life behind me, and was ready to grow again. The camp I went to was for creative and performing arts, and I went for photography. I was finally meeting like minded art people and had my first studio shoot. It was all very new and exciting. Listening to this album reminds me of that time of growth and exploration. Note: I didn’t discover this album until about six years after it came out.

Favorite song: 20 Dollar Nose Bleed

I really like piano in faster tempo songs. This song has an upbeat sound, with not as upbeat lyrics. I’ve always loved that contradiction in music because it doesn’t bring you down as much; you still enjoy it when you’re happy, and you get more pumped up when you’re sad. I can’t put into words the vibe that 20 Dollar Nose Bleed has, it’s unique, and that’s why I like it.

Least favorite song: She’s My Winona

Honestly, I still really enjoy this song, I just like the other ones on the album a smidge better. I have zero criticism for anything on this album.

fh2. Future Hearts (2015) by All Time Low

This album came out just in time for me be visit my Aunt in Florida during spring break my sophomore year. I was getting better from my previous year of school and everything seemed to be going adequately. This album reminds me of going to Florida, like many do since I go every year, but this has a different feeling to it. Even though it’s not my favorite song on the album, Missing You really got through to me. I was struggling with mental health and having this song remind me that I had people who would miss me (not necessarily the band, because they obviously have no idea who I am, it just reminded me that I had a great support system).

Favorite song: Dancing With a Wolf

I could feel the emotion in this song. I love a song that can make me feel something that I haven’t yet experienced before, it shows strong songwriting skills that I can appreciate a lot. The sound, again, is unique, in a way. It’s interesting and it was an instant favorite.

Least favorite song: The Edge of Tonight

Even though I do like this song, it’s sometimes hard to get into because it’s slow. I have trouble listening to slow songs, even if I truly like them. I personally need to be energized by music, so that’s pretty much the only reason this song is at the bottom.

tm fh3. Forever Halloween (2013) by The Maine

This is the only album on my top five that reminds me of a bad time. I was a freshman in high school, and extremely suicidal. I had this album to soothe me. I listened to it during the worst summer of my life, and into the beginning of my rocky high school career. It mostly reminds me of that, but it also reminds me of how much relief I once got from it, and still do. This was my into album to The Maine. Their entire sound is different to what I’ve listened to in the past, and the lyrics take me to a different place and make me want to write.

Favorite Song: Happy

This song resonated with me when I first listened to this album because of the lyric “This ain’t a fairytale, and I don’t think I’ll ever be happy”. As I said, I was feeling completely hopeless, so I could really relate to this song. It’s also a really cool tune in terms of sound.

Least favorite song: Forever Halloween

I find that an album’s namesake song is usually my least favorite on the album. This is another slow song but this one is also mostly instrumental, which bores me when I want to sing in my car on a long drive. These Four Words is also slow, and is a close second to last, but it comes ahead because of the fact that it has more lyrics.

warning4. Warning (2000) by Green Day

This was my first Green Day album. My Aunt (same one as before) showed it to me when I  was probably too young for it (maybe about 7 or 8) but it didn’t matter because I didn’t understand the bad stuff and the musical part of it is great. I listened to this album with my brother and my mom on the way to day camp for two summers. I also listened to it as I went to bed for God knows how long, so now I instantly relax when I hear the opening chords to Warning. It reminds me of being young and enjoying life. Now that I know what most of the references are in the lyrics, I appreciate it even more.

Favorite song: Warning

This is a rare case of me liking a namesake song. If you had asked me my favorite song off this album ten years ago, I probably would have said Misery or Deadbeat Holiday. I’ve recently gotten into this song because of the relation of the lyrics to the current political climate in America. Green Day has always been, and always will be, political, and this is another fine example. This song is also relaxing to me because it still has energy but it’s lowkey.

Least favorite song: Church On Sunday

This album is great through and through, but I had to pick a bottom, and this had to be it. Church On Sunday is still an amazing song, it just kind of falls to the wayside when I think of this album, which is why it’s at the bottom.

pftw5. Pray for the Wicked (2018) by Panic! at the Disco

This album came out almost two months ago, at the time I’m writing this. I only liked it at first, not loved it, but it quickly grew on me and I can’t stop listening to it. The first two singles, (Fuck a) Silver Lining and Say Amen (Saturday Night) remind me of taking long showers at college, because that was the only place I could really listen to it and pay attention. The rest of it reminds me of the trip my family took to Europe this summer, since it came out in the middle of it and it was my only entertainment due to lack of wifi.

Favorite song: Tie between Roaring 20s and Old Fashioned

I can’t choose between these two songs! I like them for different reasons. Roaring 20s aptly gives me 1920s swing music vibes. I love that it can sound modern and retro at the same time. Something about this song just struck me, and it’s what made me get into this album more. Old Fashioned is cool because it has two very different sounds in one song between the verses and the chorus, while still flowing smoothly. The verses have a funky vibe to it due to the horns, while the chorus has a lighter, more Panic!touch to it. I can’t do it any justice, as with anything I’m describing, but trust me, it’s pretty great.

Least favorite song: The Overpass

There’s nothing particularly wrong with this song, I just don’t get as into it for some reason. It kind of reminds of spy movie music in the beginning, which is fun, but nothing is bad about it.

So there you have it! My top five music albums, what they remind me of, and my top and bottom songs from each album. I hope you either like my taste in music, or will listen to some of these kickass albums!