Thursday, August 29, 2013

I'm a Tiger...

So I turn 19 Monday.What. I must say I’ve been legitimately worried about transitioning into the college life. I was fifty percent worried I wouldn’t eat my normal seven meals a day (only mildly exaggerating) and fifty percent worried that I would spend all of my time alone in my room. This post will probably end up being incredibly boring... so if at any time you feel like you’re about to fall asleep don’t hesitate to close out of this page... I won’t mind.

So like I said... I was worried about transitioning into college. I don’t think any of my fears were unjustified, I was just anxious to start a new chapter of my life. But a combination of Nutella, buttered popcorn, Grand Theft Auto, and some insanely awesome people have made this transition far from painful.

I love college... for the most part. There’s something about Columbia, Missouri that’s just incredibly magical. The atmosphere is electrifying. The freedom is refreshing. Agnes the ghost lives in my room (don’t doubt it, campers, she’s really here) and that’s partly obnoxious but at the same time nostalgic. 

There’s just enough of my past life that I was able to bring along with me (My viola, friends from camp, my best friend from Liberty, and lots of photos) that keep me comfortable. At the same time there’s so much new stuff (mostly new people) that keeps my life exciting. 

There’s a certain bliss to being a people person in college. I feel like I’m meeting someone new everyday, which is probably far from unheard of at Mizzou. There’s a population of 30,000 people (don’t quote me on that) on this campus... which means there’s 30,000 people for me to potentially meet and befriend. The opportunities are endless. I’ve found my way into a group of friends (most of whom reside in the same res hall as me) that make me laugh on a daily basis. 

Of course nothing can be perfect, and this time of my life is no exception. I won’t deny that I’m not a huge fan of my major. I thought viola performance would be the right fit for me. I realize I haven’t been here for too long (2 weeks and 2 days, actually) but so far I’m just not getting into it. It’s hard to find the motivation to go into a practice room, and I’m expected to practice three hours a day for six days a week. That’s a lot. I’m still passionate about music, and music is still an important aspect of my life, but I don’t think I was meant to be a performer or a teacher. I’m going to stick it out for the semester though. That gives me a few months to test the waters. I’ve always been told that college is a time for me to discover who I am. Past Tyler would have spent every waking moment worrying about this situation. I’m not worried. I have plenty of passions left for me to try out. Specifically I think I want to try my hand at writing or counseling. There’s a feeling in my gut telling me that one of those areas could be the thing for me to do. 

I don’t want to sound carefree, but at this point I just want to go where my road leads me, instead of trying to build my own. It’s a little scary, yes, but hey, so is life. I choose to focus on the positives: I’m in an awesome town, at an amazing school, spending every day with amazing people that consistently challenge me to be a better me. I don’t think I would have gotten this from any other school, so I’m content in knowing that Mizzou was the right choice for me. I’m absolutely in love with my school.

I don’t know where my future leads. But I am confident that I like where it’s headed. Mistakes I make will be mistakes I learn from, and any triumphs will boost my confidence. I’m ready for the future.

I hope you’re having an amazing day, and I wish that many more in your immediate and distant future.

Tiger pride!

-- Tyler 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Can't Think of a Good Title...

I'm not gonna lie. The thought of college for the past few days has scared the absolute poop out of me. I'm on a campus with 30,000 other kids and very minimal adult supervision.

I didn't do a whole lot of mental preparation for this transition. I'm not gonna lie, when people told me that this is a new chapter of my life I didn't 100% believe them. This is quite the transition, though.

Please note: This isn't me complaining. Not one bit. Despite this new chapter of my life sneaking up on me, I am completely happy. My best friend is here, there are 12 other JCs here, and I'm meeting new people every day. The people on my dorm floor are friendly. The people that aren't on my dorm floor are friendly.

There's something about the atmosphere in Columbia that just makes me feel so alive. I can't wait to start making music in this new atmosphere. I can't wait to start down the next part of the path that is my life.

The people I have by my side at Mizzou are some of the best friends you could ever dream of. On top of that I have friends and family all across the state and in many parts of the nation that support me as well, and I support them.

I know that there will be tough times in college. Those 15 required foreign language credits are going to make me want to sit in a corner and cry / pull my hair out of my head. But I know I can do it.

I know that I have people cheering for me. They may not be here with me in person, but they are with me in spirit, and their support means more than the world to me.

It's getting late, so I'm going to go to bed now. I have a lot of work to do, because I have a whole life ahead of me that I need to live.

Goodnight, everyone!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Why Shouldn't I Look Back...?

So I'm sitting here packing all of my underwear (B.U.M brand, in case anyone reading this gets the inside joke) and I think it's finally starting to settle in. I'm about to start a brand new chapter of my life. I'm about to (hopefully) go out and conquer my future and pursue my dreams and make a name for myself. 

A lot of people have been telling me that I should focus on my future and not spend a lot of time looking at my past, because this is a chance for me to start over.

As nice as that sounds, I don't think that's what I want to do. I've spent a majority of the past two days reflecting on my summer, and just how much I've been blessed these past 3 months. 

There were so many things I was lucky to experience this summer: and I'm just going to allow you to see them via photograph. 

Why would I not want to look back on any of these moments? They're memories I'll carry with me forever. My summer has practically been perfect. I've spent ungodly amounts of time with the friends I love and I've managed to liberate myself from the people and things in my life that are holding me back. 

I feel so content right now. The anticipation for the next chapter of my life is killing me. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Swan Song and the Phoenix Ashes...

In a way I feel as if my weekend with the MASC JCs (you shouldn't be shocked at all that I'm talking about the JCs again) was my swan song.

The term "swan song" derives from the legend that swans, who are mute their entire lives, sing one beautiful, yet mournful, song just before they die.

Morbid, I know. However there were hints of beauty and mourning (at least for me personally) in that weekend. That weekend was beautiful because it was the most appropriate ending to a chapter of my life that I can think of. It was mournful because I think that by the time I got home I felt like you feel when you finish your favorite book series: You're emotionally exhausted and you have no idea where you're supposed to go from there.

While that weekend is comparable to a swan, I think it's also fair to compare it to a phoenix. The lore behind the phoenix is that when it dies, it erupts into flames and is then reborn from the ashes.

I think that weekend was my flame, and college will be the ashes. I know that with the assistance of hundreds of people I've started to discover who I am and who I want to be.

The next phase for my journey for self discovery is college. I am glad to say that a lot of important people in my life are coming with me to college. No journey goes without burden, though. Most of the people I love will not be coming with me to college.

That is why it is important that I rise from my own ashes.

For some reason, I want to shed my musician status. I don't want people to look at me and think "That's Tyler, he does music." I know that sounds weird coming from a music performance major.

No, I want people to see me and hopefully the first thing that goes through their head will be that I made them feel like somebody who matters. That means I have work to do.

So first things first, I am changing the title of this blog. My blog is now named "Smile: You're Going to Change the World."

A new title that is appropriately named after a new me. A new me with new goals.

The figurative death of my past life is necessary to be figuratively reborn into a new life. A life full of happiness, mystery, friends, and passion. A life that will be dedicated to seeing other people smile.

So remember...

Smile: You're going to change the world.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The 15 Most Inspirational People I've Met That Can't Legally Consume Alchol

I've been wanting to make this list for a while, but I've never been sure exactly who I want to put on it.

So as to respect the privacy of the people I've chosen, I've opted not to put their names on here. A lot of them know who they are. 

If you really MUST know who someone on the list is, you may contact me privately.

An example of how to inquire who someone on the list is: "Hey! I was just wondering if you could tell me who number (insert number here) is?" If I feel you should know, I'll tell you.

DO NOT do this: "Hey, so am I on your list?" That's awkward. Don't be that person, please. I'm begging you.

1. This person is one of the funniest and most laid back people I have ever met. But at the same time this person truly cares about others. I never thought I would become good friends with this person. When I first met them they were a role model for over 600 people, including myself. I never dreamed I would work alongside this person as a role model for 600 more kids. I undoubtedly put this person on a pedestal, but that’s only because they deserve to stand above the world and let their light shine for everyone to see. Too bad they live on the other side of the state.

2. Person number two is one of the most genuinely thoughtful people I have ever met. She puts anyone and everyone before herself. She was another role model, like I mentioned above. Nobody understands my love for all things Spongebob quite like this person. I’ve not had many face to face interactions with her, but it feels like we’ve been friends for years. I know that I can go to this person for anything. I aspire to be as fun and caring as this person. Again, she lives on the other side of the state... and I hate it.

3. I’m not entirely sure this person likes me very much. We don't talk a lot, but I feel like I know them pretty well. We've spent a good chunk of time together, considering we both live on opposite sides of the state, but we're not particularly close. However, there is a character trait that I deeply admire about them: It doesn't matter how tough the job is, and it doesn't matter how many obstacles stand in her way. She gets the job done. 

4. This next pick is actually a small group of people. Three people, actually (and now they know that I'm talking about them). But I think that these three people understand me better than anyone else, especially since we just started hanging out this summer. They're three of my best friends in the world, and I don't think anyone understands how blessed I feel to be able to have these three in my life. Our friendship is as natural as breathing. I have no idea what I'm going to do when I move away from two of them. We can talk about anything with each other. We can sit around and not talk at all. Either way we're making memories with each other. It's magical.

5. This person has every reason to throw in the towel. But they don't. They're strong both mentally and emotionally, and they can find any cloud's silver lining. They have a huge heart and can make the best of any situation. I'm not sure how else to word it.

6. This person I've been friends with off and on. We're not on the best of terms right now, but I can't deny that they've taught me a lot. Mostly that sometimes it's okay to mellow out and let your worries melt away. Maybe one day we can sort out our differences. Here's hoping.

7. Person number 7 has the capacity in her heart to love everybody. She refuses to see the bad in people, because she truly believes that the good is far more superior. She cares about everyone and makes the world smile. I wish I could be half the person she is. She is truly wonderful.

8. This person has been one of my best friends for a while now, and she's probably the only person I know who is more passionate about music than I am. She's literally going to college to follow her dreams of singing for a living, and I know she can do it. The only thing more beautiful than her voice is her soul. She isn't afraid to be honest, but at the same time she knows just what to tell someone to make their day instantly better. 

9. This person has come to mean more than the world to me. He's my best friend and our personalities and opinions are complete opposites. If we can be friends despite our differences than Congress has no excuse to not be getting stuff done, dammit. I think at times this person annoys me to the point that I want to leap off a bridge, but at the same time I would jump in front of a bullet for them. Their consistently chill outlook on life is the perfect balance for my uptightness. We're like salt and pepper. 

10. This girl is one of the toughest people I've ever met. She's another one of my best friends, and there's not a person in the world who I act crazier around. She knows how to have fun, despite having her share of struggles. 

11. I think the simplest way to describe this person is that her personality makes the whole world want to dance. I'm not sure how else to describe her. She's fun and she's not afraid to be herself. 

12. I met this guy last year and now he's one of my favorite people in the world. He doesn't say a lot, but his personality is infectious. He's one of those people that makes all of your worries disappear because he is a leader that lives in the moment. I'm glad I'm moving to Columbia, because it's going to make visiting this person a million times easier. 

13. I just recently started talking to this person (like this past weekend), despite having worked with them for a week in June. I never realized until this past weekend, though, just how good of a job he does of making other people happy. He's truly a selfless person, and an incredible leader. The best part is how effortless he makes it look, though. 

14. I met this girl last summer as well, and to this day she is arguably the nicest person I've ever met. She's the first person to volunteer when someone needs help with anything, AND I WAS ONE OF THE FIRST CAMPERS TO MEET HER SO HA TO EVERYONE ELSE. 

15. If there's a person who can rival person #14 in kindness, it's this girl. She's quiet, but she cares deeply for the well being of other people. She's also ridiculously talented when it comes to expressing herself, and I know the world should hear what she has to say.

The end.