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To Losing Friends and Growing Up

Remember those days where your friends were all that mattered? When your biggest worry was who your crush liked or how were you going to get ungrounded to make it to the dance? Those memories fade as we grow older. To me it seems like a century ago, even though not much time has passed since those “Good Ol’ Days“. When I was younger I moved around a lot. I was not able to make real, close friends until around 6th grade. I moved from California to a tiny back road town in Kansas. I was a city kid living in a country town where spurs and cowboy boots weren’t Halloween costumes but actual everyday attire, for some. The first few months in this tiny town, I had difficulty adjusting to my new setting. Once school started things changed.

I met my first “best friend”. B was everything I wasn’t. She was tall, slender, athletic, spunky and highly outgoing. I was short, chubby, awkward, and an all around goofball. She had lived in Kansas her whole life, which was also something I found odd. My life had consisted of 5 states and over 100 different towns/cities. Because of her permanent residence, she knew pretty much everyone. In fact, everyone seemed to know everyone. I had never lived somewhere with this kind of community. I found it intriguing and terrifying.

B showed me what it was like to have a close friendship with someone. A friendship beyond school buddies. We were truly the best of friends. We did everything together and my whole life was surrounded by her and other friends I had acquired.  Even when I found myself grounded, my grandmother allowed me to talk to B. We told each other everything and even made a friendship pact, promise, and scrapbook. One summer my mom told me I had to go back to California. I had never had a problem moving at the drop of a hat until that year. I remember the day I told B that I would be moving. It was as if someone had kidnapped my puppy and burned all my stuffed animals. I couldn’t imagine life without my new friends.

Once the school year ended, I moved back to California to live with my mother. My grandmother stayed behind in Kansas. I was depressed to say the least. My mother could see how much I was hurting. She knew I was missing that small town life and because she loved me, she agreed to let me move back to Kansas. It seems odd that I let a friendship control my happiness and well being but at that point in my life it felt like the right thing to do. What happened to B and I? Eventually, in high school we began to drift apart, as do most friendships. I got a serious boyfriend and she got…two…or three…or more. Ha-ha. We began to disagree and have different views and opinions. We even went through a period of not being friends at all. She eventually moved out of state to go to college and I moved back to my origins in NC. I frequently think back on memories I had with her and wish things were that simple again. Although, we went through a rough patch, we have always managed to stay good friends.

I’m not saying that because you get older, that automatically means you lose all your friends but as life goes on, things become more complicated. People start careers, they meet boyfriends/girlfriends and eventually get married and have children. You have so much more to stress and worry about and a majority of that gets dumped on to the people closest to you. This in turn can have negative effects on your relationships. When I was in middle school/high school, I remember getting so lonely and bored when I wasn’t hanging out with friends. Now, i find peace in being alone. On a normal day i would much rather stay home, read a book or watch T.V and snuggle up with my dogs than go out with friends. As an adult “going out” with friends often requires one to spend money (which i do not have much of) or drinking (which i don’t really enjoy that much). I miss the days where i could go to a friend’s house and just hang out. Watch TV,  play games, go on walks, and just talk. Talk and talk and talk about anything and everything. No one talks anymore. Everyone texts, facebooks, emails, ect.

So when did growing up mean losing friends? When does life start to become more important than your relationships? When you go to college? After college when you start a career? Meet a husband or wife? I wish i could say i kept in contact with all my friends from high school but the truth is we all went our separate ways and became different people. Half of us probably wouldn’t even get along anymore.

Political stand points, personal morals, religious views, habits, money…these things are factors in adult relationships but as a kid/teenager these don’t matter. B didn’t care that my family didn’t have much money, she didn’t care what religion i was, and we sure as hell both didn’t care about politics. All we cared about was how we had fun with each other and were comfortable enough t0 be ourselves.

I am blessed that i have met people whom i can call close friends yet i still feel saddened by the memories of lost friends. Today i went through pictures and took a journey back to the past. Most of my memories were happy, yet for some reason i felt a twinge of sorrow. I wondered what was that defining point in B’s and I’s friendship that no longer labeled us as “best friends”. I thought back to my good guy friend W and remembered how sweet and thoughtful he used to be. We would text every single day and see each other every day and now i’m lucky if he says hello to me on Facebook. One of the best guy friends i ever had still to this day, ended our friendship because, “We have different beliefs and views. We don’t even hangout with the same people anymore nor do we have that much in common as we used to. It’s best if we just call it what it is and move on.” That loss was particularly difficult. It was nothing either of us had done, it was just who we had become.

I am sure many people feel the same way that i do. Everyone reminisces on the past. I just find relationships interesting. They can end just as quickly as they blossomed. I am determined to make the friendships/relationships i currently have be lasting ones. No longer will i look back and wonder when was that defining point?

Take a look into your own life, do you have a friend that just faded away? Can you pinpoint the defining moment of when you just stopped considering that person a close friend? Or have you ever been demoted from friend to acquaintance?

Growing up sucks and so does losing friends yet unfortunately it is all part of Life.

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Local Wilmington band, Rio Bravo

Hello Readers!

(Totally just spilled my juice all over the table! Saved the computer though! Whew!)

For those of you who do not know, i am from Wilmington, North Carolina. Wilmington is a beautiful college beach town with lots of art, music and culture.

I really love listening and discovering local music/bands/artists. I believe it is important to support and get involved in your community. Recently, i have discovered this band named Rio Bravo. Yes, that is the name of an old Western movie ha-ha. Not quite sure why the boys decided on that name as their band title but it works for them. The band consists of four boys in their early-mid twenties. Micah- is the vocalist, Bryan- Guitar, Ed-Bass, and Christian- Drummer.

I enjoy all genres of music but Indie/rock/acoustic really does it for me. These boys scream Indie/Rock. They have the whole Hippy-Chic or “Hipster” style goin’ on which really suits them well.

I first met the group while at church because all four of them are members of the praise band at Port City Community Church. They are characters! From what i have witnessed they are quite the goofballs and i love it! They always bring a lot of energy and passion to the stage. The new Ep they recently released called Unbelievable Lie is intriguing. Interested lyrics and compelling vocals from Micah and an overall neat sound.

Not only are the guys funny and entertaining but they are also compassionate. The drummer, Christian and his sister Carmin created a clothing line called HALF UNITED ( http://www.halfunited.com ) which gives HALF of their profit towards feeding hungry children all over the globe. The company has some creative ideas and cute clothes and accessories.Image

A way to shop and NOT feel guilty afterwards Ha-ha! I love seeing people give back and try to make a difference in this world. It is inspiring to see young people working together in any sort of charity. I love that Rio Bravo promotes that.

I see a long future ahead of these boys. They have the look, the sound, and the heart of true musicians and i can’t wait to see their journey. Go ahead and check them out and see for yourselves.

https://www.facebook.com/riobravomusic

http://riobravomusic.com/

The Things They Don’t Tell You About Learning Guitar

For as long as I can remember I have had an interest in music and learning to play instruments, particularly the guitar and piano. I always wanted to learn but never truly put forth the effort. Growing up, my family was not wealthy. In fact some would even say we were “dirt poor”. This contributed to not owning an instrument.

As time went on I became interested in music and singing. I discovered I would carry a tune and wanted to be able to create my own music. So after many years of saying, “I want to learn guitar” I finally decided to stop saying it and do it.

My sister got an acoustic guitar for her birthday this past August and when she did my eyes lit up. Every time I went to her house I would stare at her guitar and oh so casually ask, “So uhhh… do you ever play your guitar?” and she would reply, “Not really, I don’t have the time.” And that my friends is when the idea struck me. If she wasn’t using her guitar perhaps I could use it. I practiced a little bit on her guitar but eventually I found a inexpensive one of my own on Craigslist. Thus it began.

 Thing They Don’t Tell You: Your finger tips will feel like they have been burnt off. I have soft girly finger tips which already is NOT good for playing guitar. When you press down on the strings you must press firmly. I had heard that your fingers would get calloused but no one told me about the pain I would endure until they became calloused. I continued to practice and practice so that my fingers would get rough but the more I practiced the more my fingers began to hurt. I had permanent string indention’s on my fingertips. The second day was even worse. FINALLY after a week went by I could feel the skin on my fingers had began to callous. Downside, I had lost some sensitivity in them. When I touched things with my left hand it felt different from when I touched things with my right hand. I asked a few of my friends who played guitar and were in bands and they all told me this was normal. One of them even told me that their fingers had BLED before! The thought of my fingers bleeding was a little alarming but it did not discourage me. It has been a few weeks now and my fingers are still sensitive but they are getting there. I still can’t decide how i feel about having calloused “musician” hands.

  • Second Thing They Don’t Tell You: Your hands and arms will ache. Guitars are not particularly heavy but holding anything long enough will make your arms become tired. Having straps help but even those sometimes can begin to become uncomfortable. Not to mention strumming your guitar over and over and over and over can give your arm quite the work out. Your hands will also ache if your fingers are not used to being spread out while trying to play chords or from being in the same position for too long or moving too quickly. It is similar to having writers cramp. No one ever warned me of this! So when I woke up with my arms and hands aching I was a tad bit surprised.
  • Stolen from Google
  • Third Thing They Don’t Tell You: How dang difficult it is! Perhaps for some who are just stupid, naturally, musically, talented people it might not be difficult. For those of us who were not blessed with natural instrumental skills, it is tough. As a beginner I am trying to learn basic chords, finger placement, strumming techniques and things of that nature. No one tells you how in depth it actually gets. There are SO MANY different chords and techniques. Not to mention I find it quite difficult to transition from one chord to the next. I realize of course that with an abundance of practice and time it will become easier as I memorize the chords ect…but right now I find it frustrating. A part of me secretly hoped I would be playing full songs within a week. Not how it happens folks. There are many details to playing an instrument that I never understood before until I started trying to play.

I have gained a new respect for musicians that I never had before. I have always appreciated talented people and their musical abilities as well as envied them but I never gave them the respect they deserved. Learning any skill takes time, patience and determination. When I would watch people play guitar I would be captivated by how quickly their fingers moved and the sounds that they were creating. I never thought about how many hours of practice they had put into learning that. Nor had I thought about the fact that at some point their fingers might have bled from playing so much. Not to mention the expenses of owning nice equipment. I originally wanted to learn guitar just so that I could perform and sing but now it has become much more.

Some tips to those of you who are interested in learning.

  • Before you spend money on buying a guitar make sure it’s something you are serious about. Guitars can be expensive and I have known many people who bought one, tried for a few weeks and then never picked it back up. Now an expensive and perfectly good conditioned guitar sits in their room collecting dust.
  • Be determined and don’t give up. Learning a skill is not always easy and most likely you will not learn how to play full songs right away. Do not let that discourage you.
  • Lessons are always awesome but if you are like me and can’t afford them, then find books, dvds, and YouTube videos to help. So many people make tutorials on YouTube which has really helped me because I can see what they are doing and try to mimic them AND I can hear how it is supposed to sound.
  • PRACTICE! Play all the time. Instead of sitting around and watching T.V, pull out your guitar and play. I like to play while I am watching T.V. I will watch the show and then during the commercials play around on my guitar. Sometimes I won’t even try to play songs. I will just pick individual strings or strum over and over just so I am familiar with the sounds. DON’T GIVE UP! Learning how to create music is so rewarding. It can be relaxing and healing. I encourage everyone to learn how to play an instrument!

Here are a few sites I have used:

http://suite101.com/article/learn-how-to-play-guitar-a48573

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/music-creative-arts/music/Guitar.html

http://www.8notes.com/guitar_chord_chart/

http://www.chordie.com/chords.php

I have also used a lot of Guitar for Beginners’ videos on YouTube.

To conclude this article I must say that learning guitar has been a bit of an adventure for me. I should have done a little research before I dove in but I am learning as I go. It has been a thrilling experience.

Much love to all of you musicians out there!

Xo Dani

Blogger V-Card Lost

After much pressure and pestering from my sister, i have decided to use my creative writing abilities to create a blog. I tend to be a very vocal person and i am constantly updating on facebook and twitter. My sister came to me and said, “Instead of voicing your opinion about everything on facebook, why don’t you create a blog?” I thought about it for a while and wondered what i would write about. I didn’t think i had enough to say to create a blog.

More time passed and my sister kept bringing it up to me. It took some warming up to the idea but finally i caved, hence my new blog WordsByDani.

I will warn all yee followers now that this blog will consist of the most random stories and rants. I plan to write and give advise about the people and events in my life as well as my interests, opinions, adventures and many many mistakes. I promise you though, my stories will never be a bore and there is normally something that you can take from it, whether it be a life or love lesson, a recipe, or just enlightening words of encouragement.

I love and encourage feedback so please feel free to comment or write to me.

I look forward to this new blogging adventure and I hope that through my writing that i may entertain, help, inspire, or encourage people.