23 years old | graduate student | awesome | audiophile
Had this thought the other day:
following your heart would be a hell of a lot easier if it was free.
but seriously though.
For me, one of the most frustrating things in life is money. Those who are born with it often have no ambition or drive to use it properly, while those who have to work hard to earn their money also tend to work extremely hard to get themselves to a point where they can use said hard-earned money to better themselves.
If only everyone in the world was given a set amount of money at birth, and their success, whether personal, financial, or otherwise, would be measured solely by hard work, ambition, and drive.
in the past 2 weeks, I’ve been told that it is “impossible” to complete my current graduate program on time and that my “paid job” is effecting (professor’s spelling, by the way…) my assignments.
now, the old me (pre-college, so around 2006-2007ish) would have probably cried about it for a while, then vented to anyone who would listen, but really struggle with what to do.
however, new & awesome me (thanks college!) still cried a little, but more out of frustration that my graduate professors truly don’t have any faith in me to finish the work and program that I’ve been doing for the past 19 months.
so, what did I do?
cried a tad, vented a little, threw some papers (come on, I’m only human!), then listened to some pick-me-up music (playlist will be posted soon!), sent some emails, set up some meetings, and am being a super adult about it.
I WILL complete this program by next spring because I refuse to compromise. I WILL continue to work a full-time job, commute, attend school full-time, pay all of my bills, and keep a social life.
because I CAN :)
I’m not usually the resolution type, but as I’m sitting here at work completing the last 2 hours of my 16 hour double, I figured there’s a few things I want to do this year (and for years to come…)
So here goes.
My 2013 Resolutions
1. Focus on the positive.
I tend to be kind of a downer at times…I think it’s time to change that.
2. Go to at least 1 concert/music event every month.
I recentlymade a list of pretty much every single concert/event I’ve gone to from 1994-2012. Over the last 5 years, I averaged 21 events per year. So 12 is completely possible!
3. Visit friends out of state.
For one of the first times ever, I have friends living outside of PA. So, I’m making it a priority to get myself in a car, train, plane, or whatever to go see them.
4. Save money.
Simply, I need to cut spending and save, save, save.
5. Become more comfortable in my own skin.
I didn’t want to make a cliche resolution to lose weight, and honestly I’m not sure I could pinpoint x amount of pounds I’d need/want to lose, so this resolution is basically my goal to be healthier and happier.
7. Make new friends.
It never hurts to make a few new friends.
8. Try at least 1 new thing each month.
In an effort to step outside of my comfort zone…this could be new foods, new drinks, new places, new jobs, new experiences, the possibilities are endless.
9. De-clutter (and de-stress)!
This resolution is already underway as I have finally taken the initiative to organize all of my clothes. I’m planning to go through my apartment room by room and de-clutter as much as I possibly can.
10. Follow my heart.
Self-explanatory. Who knows what’s best for me better than me?
It is a cold hard fact that vulnerability lies within every human being. Possessing the bravery to face and share this, however, is another story. On Thoughts I’ve Never Had Before, Part 2, Jesse Ruben proves his depth as a songwriter and talent as a singer and instrumentalist by tackling vulnerable topics head-on without regret.
The EP begins with the song “Fearless,” which accounts the give and take necessary in any relationship and how the effort put forth is an integral part of reaching success. Next is the poignant, yet hopeful “Carry On.” It takes the listener on a journey through difficult and often unavoidable situations, but continuously urges them to “carry on, carry on, carry on.” In the midst of these hard times, Ruben shares the most strikingly honest and simple lyric I’ve heard in a long time, “I believe in forgiveness, I believe in peace, and I think love is a privilege that everyone needs, I don’t think it’s so outrageous, I believe that love will save us.”
The honesty continues to flow through Thoughts and Ruben’s impeccable songwriting with the song “Family,” which follows the all too common occurrence of family division. In this very personal account of his experiences, Ruben is able to put the often indescribable feelings related to parental divorce, death of a family member, and sibling love into beautiful words that enter the listener’s ears and travel straight to the heart.
“Not Getting Any Easier” again holds tight to the heart, perfectly describing the experience of going through new situations and the nameless feeling of missing someone or something and the constant emptiness that is present. Thoughts I’ve Never Had Before, Part 2 begins to wind down with “Don’t Marry Him,” a track that musically portrays the tough balance between being a good friend and being true to one’s own feelings. The EP draws to a close with “Whiskey On Ice,” which tells the story of a chance meeting and the trying decisions that follow, even years later.
Jesse Ruben has once again released a collection of songs that are honestly human and relatable, proving that vulnerability is not something to hide from or fear, but something to embrace and share.
Ruben is currently on tour in support of his new release. For more information, visit jesseruben.com, become a fan of Jesse on Facebook, or follow him @jesseruben on Twitter. Thoughts I’ve Never Had Before, Parts 1 and 2 are both available on iTunes.
What is a singer/songwriter? In this day and age, it seems to be any self-professed “artist” who owns a guitar and plays it while softly singing a poem written after a tough day in high school. Because of this strange reality, it is getting more and more difficult to make a name for oneself and become more than just another guy or girl with a guitar. However, Jesse Ruben manages to do so with pure talent, dedicated fans, and the ability to take personal stories and create songs that invite listeners to relate seamlessly.
In his most recent EP, Thoughts I’ve Never Had Before, Part 1, Ruben shares a handful of these stories. The EP opens with the inspirational “We Can,” which manages to motivate without being corny by simply reaffirming the power each of us holds to achieve anything, no matter how big or small. Motivation then shifts to second-guessing with “Stupid American Guy,” in which Ruben paints a picture of the aftermath of following one’s heart…to another country.
The next track is undoubtedly one of my favorites solely because it screams the truth. At the midpoint ofThoughts is the oh-so-appropriately titled “I Should Get Out More,” the secret anthem of college students everywhere. Ruben captures the college life that everyone experiences, but that no one wants to admit - the nights where binge drinking loses out to the Family Guy marathon on TV. The laughter and whispers of “that’s so true!” during live performances of the song further support Ruben’s ability to relate to audiences.
The EP begins to wrap up with an acoustic cover of the iconic “If I Only Had A Heart” from The Wizard of Oz and ends with “In The Blink of An Eye,” a lyrical study of the effects of time on relationships and how the meaning of love can literally change in an instant. Jesse Ruben once again proves his worth as a true singer/songwriter and a true artist with Thoughts I’ve Never Had Before, Part 1 , a small but emotionally heavy collection of what it’s like to feel vulnerable and to explore those feelings that make us who we are, whether we like it or not.
Thoughts I’ve Never Had Before, Part 1 will be available for your listening pleasure on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 and Jesse Ruben will be embarking on a tour in support of the new release within the next few weeks. For more information, visit jesseruben.com, become a fan of Jesse on Facebook, or follow him @jesseruben on Twitter.
so damn good.
Happy Thursday. Here’s a cover of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” I did for my live session for the Sirius/XM Coffeehouse Channel.
New music soon I promise.