This Album is Heaven Sent

PICTURE ChristinaI’m not the kind of girl who wonders why Katy Perry hasn’t been making new music. I’m not the kind of girl who cries herself to sleep with Lana Del Rey dripping in her ear like melting popsicles turned black and grey.

I’m the type of girl who listens to the weird musicians, with the mellow voice and cocky attitude. The musicians who don’t care if they have fans or not. I’m the type of girl that listens to bands from the 90s and early ‘00s. Who listens to the musician that only posts music on sound cloud, and expects their fans to post concert videos on random YouTube pages.

Ever since seventh grade, I’ve been obsessed with the album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis. Wonderwall is one of my favorite songs. I absorb the orchestral background like a washcloth absorbs sweat and grime. I bask in the off pitch voice of Liam Gallagher as he sings about some girl that he’s probably still in love with. His voice drifting in the prominence of the cellos, acoustic guitars, tambourines, and drums. Leaving me in a tranquil state that makes me smile, even when tears are fanned out on my cheek like a parachute.

This is the album I listened to when I got a phone call saying that I was accepted into Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. The album I listened to when I had to stay up until 2:00 in the morning, because I had to finish a “group” project by myself, since no one finished the book we were assigned. The album I listened to before my dog was diagnosed with cancer. The album I listened to when she died. The album I listened to when I decided to tell a good friend of mine that I had a crush on him. The album I listened to when he told me he was dating a girl whose name wasn’t even her real name. The album I listened to after an old friend of mine walked by me, and neither one of us said hello. The album I listened to when I won an iPad for a poem I’m not proud of. The album I listened to when I wore eyeshadow for the first time. The album I listened to when my friend told me it looked bad. The album I listened to when my doctor told me I was done growing. The album I will listen to when I get accepted into one of the colleges I want to go to. The album I will listen to when I get my first car. The album I will listen to when I get married, then divorced, and decide that maybe I should wait a while before looking for another man. The album I will listen to when I retire and live in a beach house, even though I hate sand.

As long as I listen to this album, I’m okay.

-Christina Sumpter, Senior Creative Nonfiction Editor

The Exploration of Comfort

PICTURE SavanaThe most comfortable I’ve ever felt has been in a field full of strangers. Sweat burning its way through my clothes. Sun beating down a steady rhythm on my scalp. Though it might not sound too enjoyable, it is one of my favorite places to be. Its rare to find a group of people who all find pleasure in the same exact things and then on top of that, be able to get them all together for a music festival. This opportunity was something i had never experienced on such a large scale. After my first concert, I realized that it was something I needed in my life.

Everyone has their own version of this experience. Whether it be in the church pews or an empty bedroom. It’s so important that everyone, especially teenagers, take time to find the places in life they feel comfortable. It offers a way to discover yourself in a freeing and safe environment.

I lived for most of my life feeling different, less impactful moments of comfort. Being tucked into covers fresh from the dryer. Feeling my father hug me goodnight. Leaning back in my seat after eating until my mouth was tired of chewing. All of these moments are ones I wouldn’t trade for the world. However, time makes these moments seem less important.

There are still days where I crave those quiet intimate moments. But now that so many years have gone by, I find more comfort in being cradled by a mass of strangers than I would in being cradled by any single person.

Whatever you find comfort in, don’t be afraid to find new, different ways of being happy. Try painting, sculpting, go somewhere you’ve never been before. Eventually, you will find something so different, so new, that you will never be able to look at the rest of your life in the same way.

-Savana Pendarvis, Junior Creative Nonfiction Editor

On Meaningful Long-Lasting Comfort

Seth's Blog Post PictureThe first image my mind jumps to at the words “warmth” and “comfort” is a plate heaped with fried chicken, pepperoni pizza, and macaroni and cheese. It’s tempting to keep rambling about unhealthy foods I’m craving at the moment—eating them satisfies me with a warm buzz to the stomach.

The next is my laptop perched on a soft, blue blanket. Netflix waits with its lopsided smile. This is also tempting, since I can go in-depth about the shows I’m really into and hopefully win them new fans. But I’m not going to dwell on either of these, because they only provide temporary contentment. The warmth and comfort that sticks to and infuses a sense of security within me comes from the words and actions of my friends and family—the special few I’m not ashamed to care about.

“I love you” is already such a direct, soul-baring statement, but there are so many other ways to verbalize it: “Are you hungry?” “Did you put your seatbelt on?” “How was your day?” Questions like these show affection and care, and when I’m asked these I feel a little twinge of happiness and reassurance. Trust me, I’m being 100% honest.

Physical contact is another aspect that really comforts me. I love being a touchy-feely person: hand-holding, back-rubbing, hugging. In addition to the heat they literally create, they also warm me up inside with—you guessed it—comfort. I guess it’s an animal thing to crave touches.

There’s the shallow, fleeting comfort that unhealthy foods and TV shows offer and the lasting warmth that the love family and friends offer. It wasn’t really hard for me to choose.

-Seth Gozar, Junior Fiction Editor