Tag Archives: music

See Ya Soon, Kid.

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See these people? These people are something like a second family to me, and they have been for five years of my life. That’s a fairly long time in comparison to all the friendships that have faded over the years. Let me tell you a little more about this team and posse of sorts.

With shaking hands and a nervous smile, I auditioned to play keys in my youth group’s worship team. I was new to the youth group scene, and didn’t know a soul. I remember sitting in my church’s youth room rather nervously, peering around at the new faces. Those new, unfamiliar faces would become my nearest and dearest friends. (little did I know.) I don’t remember much of my first year with the team, honestly. I was terribly shy, and stood in my little corner of the stage every week, meekly plucking out some chords on my keyboard. I soon befriended the bass player, however, since he was closest to me on stage. We were all knew to the whole worship team thing, and had a lot to figure out. But thankfully, we were able to figure it out together.

And slowly, but surely, the years passed. Camps and retreats and youth group outings brought us all closer, and I began to come out of my shell. I was soon spending much of my time with these people, and really befriending them. The fellows in the band became like my brothers, and Kaitlin became one of my best friends. I began to see God work in us as we grew up and matured in our talents and spiritual walk. Leadership was born in an unsuspecting one of us, and just last year Andrew became the worship leader of our team. It was amazing to us, since just a year prior to that he refused to sing in front of any of us. In retrospect, I’m astounded by all that God has done in us. It’s truly incredible. And more than half of us are going into music or some type of music ministry! I personally would have never even considered a future in worship ministry had I not become part of the team. It’s really helped me understand and grow my passion for worship and glorifying God with my musical talents and abilities.

So, that’s the story of how we met and how we got to where we are now. Sadly, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about how we’re all parting ways in a few short weeks. Our decisions and colleges will take us to four different states. Four! 

It’s slightly hard for me to imagine life without these people by my side. We’ve taken on so much together that it only seems right that we should take on college together. But, God has different plans for us. I’m so proud of these guys and gal for where they’re going and who they’re becoming. Amazing, incredible things are going to happen because of them – I just know it. 

Goodbyes aren’t easy, and I am especially not fond of them. But it really isn’t goodbye, I suppose. It’s more of a “see ya soon”. Although I am SO excited to start a whole new season of my life at Cedarville University, I’m really looking forward to the breaks when we all get to come home, reconnect, and update each other on our lives at college. I’m also really excited to see the new worship team that’s rising up – it’s comprised of many eager underclassmen who I can tell are going to grow into great leaders very soon.

To end this post, I shall leave you with the words of Winnie The Pooh:

How lucky I an to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

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mediocre mondays

I am beat. I haven’t been this exhausted since the beginning of freshman year. I’m not sure if it’s due to the fact that my life has been all sorts of hectic lately, or the senioritis wearing me thin. Whatever it may be, I am tired as all get out today. 

Anyway, I’m going to take myself on a coffee date and read for an hour or two to get my mind back in order. I love my monday and thursdays spent in the coffee shop, reading or typing away with the comfort of the steady hum of others’ conversation. 

As for now, I will finish putting together a playlist for my grad party.

 

release (an original) // lyric thursday… sort of.

release by Estherlyn. (that’s me!) A quick little post before lyric thursday is over even though it technically is already.

I was yours like a bird in a cage,

The only thing I knew was flying 

but you took that away.

 

I was yours like a monarch in a jar,

you crushed my wings 

I could not escape.

I’ve written quite a few times about how I was held captive to a nasty addiction. But with that addiction came the monster of depression. You may write me off as a normal teenager, going through a rough time and blaming it on depression. But that is not the case. For me, it is believed to be genetic, probably inherited from a birthmother who abused drugs and alcohol before she gave birth to me. (my adoptive mother is great, please don’t confuse the two!) My doctors were incredibly worried once they were told it was probably genetic. But before I actually went to the doctors, I struggled alone. I couldn’t comprehend why I felt so lifeless. I did not want to do anything but sleep and eat occasionally and sleep some more. I began to loathe any human interaction. When I absolutely had to be around others, I put on a fake face and smiled until it hurt. My true self was becoming a ghost to the girl who could fool near everyone.

So release me, I was never yours to keep locked away.

So release me, I am my own, I am my own today.

So release me, take the shackles off this heart of mine

So release me, I was never yours, I was never yours to keep.

A couple years later, I still struggle with depression. I am so much better now, with help from therapists and a change in diet. I still feel a bit embarrassed admitted my struggle to others, but I’m learning that it’s okay. I’m channeling my energy and feelings into expressing myself in ways for others to relate and be able to feel like someone understands. Because I do understand.

I am my own, I have been made new.

No longer bound by the shame and regrets,

I am made new.

ivories and hidden keys

I am a classical pianist. I have been for nearly thirteen years now, and I absolutely love it. At first, I was merely intrigued as a child as to how someone could seemingly bang on white and black keys and produce such a marvelous sound. I began to learn the components of music and how to read music and all that jazz. It was difficult at first, but it seemed like my brain was wired to think in terms of music. It suddenly became easy and almost effortless to read the notes on a page, and my love for music, specifically piano, began to blossom. 

Music slowly began to take over my life, and as I got older, I began to spend hours and hours at the piano. Now that I am a part of many music clubs and participate in festivals and auditions, I spend quite a bit of time playing and polishing my pieces. I love how graceful my fingers feel as I glide up and down the keys with ease. My left wrist often pains me due to tendonitis and carpal tunnel, but I’ve learned to play through the pain. Sometimes beauty is sacrifice I suppose. Although I do enjoy playing in front of crowds and judges and other musicians, I play piano for myself. I get lost in the music for hours on end, not really caring about the world. My favourite thing is playing piano while it is raining outside, with a cup of tea by my side. There’s something very serene about that.

Piano is my therapy. I tend to play whenever I feel glum. It makes me feel powerful for creating something beautiful, even when I feel quite the opposite.

the window.

There by the window I thought I might love him,

but there by the window I shook my head “no”.

Fear looked at me and I lowered my head,

the steam in my coffee knew that it was the end.

I wonder how I looked to others as I sat by myself at the far too familiar coffee shop, my eyes looking downcast and my shoulders slumped. I wonder if anyone payed any attention to me, the lonely girl in the corner, holding her coffee that had gone cold long ago. I wonder if they thought about me. So often, I walk into a coffee shop and notice things, notice people, and notice how they sit. Some sit agitated and nervous, waiting for someone special to arrive. Others sit behind laptops or books, searching for their piece of mind. I often think about them and wonder who they are and what they came to the coffee shop to escape from. 

I wonder if people do the same for me. I wonder if they noticed the sad eyes and distracted smile. 

These are the moments and these are the days.

And these are the reasons why I’m not the same

one who sat by the window unwise and afraid.

Tomorrow I know I’ll be better. 

One day, I walked into the coffee shop and ordered my usual chai latte. I was surprised to hear that someone had already paid for it. I tried to figure out who might do that, but with a quick scan of the quiet coffee shop – no one looked familiar to me. I was humbled by the kindness of a stranger, and suddenly my day didn’t seem too terrible at all.

By the window I wrote letters to people I hated

and mine was the name at the start of them all

but the crippled and cracked wooden table forgave me

and I learned to forgive myself.

I can’t count the times I’ve escaped to that faithful old coffee shop to escape the trials of life. I’ve even curled up in one of the chairs, hiding behind a book so people couldn’t see the tears in my eyes. There’s something about being nestled in the steady hum and warmth of a coffee shop that makes me feel okay.

By the window I found it’s okay not to be okay

and the brave ones admit that they’re afraid

and I found that we don’t have to wander alone –

We won’t if we are together. 

Let’s sit by the window together.

Jane Marczewski

 

 

Draw A Map, Find A Path, Take A Breath, and…

Run.

Easily one of my favourite songs to listen to when I’m down and out.

“Kinda wish I had the courage, a bit of bravery. So tired of waiting for a man to come and save me. Wishing I had everything, or something really. It’s hard to admit it but now I’m thinking freely.”

Learning to rely on yourself, your own strength, and your own courage rather than another human’s is a hard and painful experience. But it is so rewarding. I feel as though I’m a much more confident person since I’ve realized that I do not need another person to make me feel brave. I am brave because I am me. I am courageous because I’ve endured the trials and the pains of life. When the going gets tough, people often leave in fear. But you know what? I will always have myself. You will always have yourself, no matter who walks away and who doesn’t stay.

“I’m going to open my mind to all these new found, exciting possibilities.”

if you never try you’ll never know.

In January of 2013, I stepped out onto a stage in front of a sold-out crowd. Cameras were flashing and people were cheering and lights were blinding me. My keytar was slung around my shoulder, and I waved sheepishly. I couldn’t believe it. I was there, playing at Heavy and Light (a concert tour put on by the organization To Write Love On Her Arms). And I wouldn’t have been there unless I took a huge chance.

A few weeks prior, I was on facebook wasting time as usual. The band The Rocket Summer posted something that caught my eye and I eagerly scanned the post. The front man of the Rocket Summer, Bryce Avary, announced that he would be going solo on the Heavy and Light tour. (Bryce is seriously one of the biggest musical inspirations to me. He is all sorts of crazy talented!) He then said that he didn’t want to be totally solo and was going to hold a contest for each city the tour stopped in. To enter the contest, you had to put a video of yourself playing the sax solo to his song “So Much Love” on any instrument you wished. (a winner was picked for each city!) The prize was free tickets to Heavy and Light AND the once in a lifetime chance to play on stage alongside of him.

Crazy! I had wanted to go to Heavy and Light for a long time. The closest date they had to where I live was about four hours away in another state. I knew the only way I could convince my parents to let me go is to win the contest. 
(You see, going to Heavy and Light meant a lot to me. TWLOHA was an irreplaceable key in my road to recovery.)

So, on a whim, I recorded a video of myself playing the solo to “So Much Love” on my keytar and uploaded it to youtube. I honestly didn’t think I’d win, especially after I saw some of other entries. Weeks passed by and the contest slipped my mind. I had pretty much given up on the idea of winning and going to the concert.

Until, one day before the concert Bryce contacted me on facebook with the words, “Congratulations! You won!”

I was ecstatic. I started to scream and happy dance around my living room as I shouted in utter joy. I couldn’t believe it – i was going to Heavy and Light as a special guest! AND I got to play on stage! With Bryce Avary!

The experience itself was life changing, and working with Bryce really helped me decide to pursue music. I had an incredible night at Heavy and Light and I will never forget it or even be able to begin to express how thankful I am for the opportunity. 

But the thing is, I would never have been able to if I hadn’t taken the plunge. I took the chance. 

monday morning. (or wednesday afternoon)

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She may be young but she only likes old things, 

and modern music it ain’t to her taste,

She loves the natural light

captured in black and white.

 

She sees mirages of mountains ranges

within the blink of her eyes this changes

back tot he open plains

oh no, she can’t explain.

(death cab for cutie – monday morning)


Have you ever stumbled across a song that perfectly defined who you are and who you want to be all at once? That’s what this song is for me. 

What song accurately sums you up? What song would be in the soundtrack to your life? What lyrics do you most relate to? tell me in the comments – I’m intrigued!

-erin

“I’ve got a lot of loose ends, I’ve done some damage,
I’ve cut the rope, so it frayed,
I’ve got a lot of good friends, keeping me distracted,
keeping my sanity safe”

Sometimes we wish it were easier to cut out the parts of life that we don’t like or we’re ashamed of. Or erase the words we wish we weren’t guilty of saying. Or forget that things that haunt us. I know I sure do.

“Here, I stand on the edge of the ledges I’ve made,
Looking for a steady hand,
Here, I stand in the land of the rocks in the valley,
Trying to be a better man (for you)”

The people in my life who have been faithful and constant throughout the hard times and rough spots are so very important to me. I treasure their friendships and support more than most things. But it’s so easy to feel like I’ve failed them. We, as humans, constantly look at all the ick of the past, and wonder how anyone could possibly love us if they found out about that ick. We hide it, deep down and pretend it was never there. We keep it locked up so no one could ever know.
But the thing is…that’s what friends are for. They’re there to encourage us and to help us get through all the “ick”. I’ve learned that my friends really and truly care, and they never cast judgement. How silly I was to think that they wouldn’t want to be my friend if they knew.

Now I seek to be that friend that people can talk to. I want to be someone who people can trust. I want to return the acceptance and unconditional love that my friends gave to me.

“I want to learn how to love
Not just the feeling
bear all the consequences

And I want to learn how to love,
And give it all back,
And be forgiven for all I’ve done.”