Thursday, 4 April 2013

Why I Love: We Are The In Crowd

We Are The In Crowd love doing one thing, and one thing only: making people happy. They have spread the love enough for me to write this article, of how they make me feel. As you can tell, I love We Are The In Crowd. Born out of Poughkeepsie, NY, WATIC have been putting smiles on faces since 2009 and I was lucky enough to see them perform at Hit The Deck Festival back in 2011. I actually touched Taylor, she just doesn’t know it yet. A big part of the happiness comes from the aesthetically pleasing live performance they give, especially seeing lead singer Taylor, bounce around the stage like a ten year old. Although small, she gets up and around and that boundless energy is infectious on the other band members and consequently, the adoring crowd.

I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to WATIC (I only realised they had an album out a year after it was released). But that was because I was hooked on their EP ‘Guaranteed to Disagree’. I remember distinctly travelling into London each morning for work this past summer with Taylor and co blasting into my ears, with their fruitful and joyous summer anthems. They quickly became the soundtrack to an action-packed summer for me. Now that I’ve discovered that illustrious first album, the emotion and addiction has been taken to another level. ‘Kiss Me Again’ and ‘Better Luck Next Time’ have a share on the award of the ‘Catchiest Song’ of the year for sure, and every time I listen to them, they remind me of the sunshine and the wonders that we call summer.

This may come as a surprise to some, but happiness is out there for everyone and music can play a huge part of that. It doesn’t matter who they are, everyone has that one band that they look forward to listening to and immediately puts a smile of their face. Well, We Are The In Crowd have won a place in my heart for doing exactly that and I recommend, if not giving WATIC a try, finding that one band who emits splashes of happiness and then shouting about it. Below is ‘Kiss Me Again’, featuring Alex from All Time Low. Enjoy. And remember, Stay Young,  Stay Happy.
Article by Dan Levitt @DanOverboardNJ

Friday, 25 May 2012

6 Photos of Water Fountains

I went to London today and I came across a water fountain. I thought I'd start my photography career. Not bad from an iPhone eh...

I am on Twitter @DanOverboardNJ

Monday, 21 May 2012

My Bucket List: Part 1

So I have just finished my second year of University and looking back, it has been a tough but ultimately successful one. One thing I have managed to do, is compile a list of things I would like to do before I die. I believe this is called a Bucket List. Here's number one, something I plan on ticking off this summer.

Number 1: Learn Spanish

It has been my dream to learn a second language for a while now, ever since seeing the attraction and glamour being bilingual offers. Like most students I've had the chance to learn another language in the past but never could quite capture that spark for learning. Back then I simply didn't have an interest in anything other than girls or sport, so it wasn't my fault, technically.

Why Spanish you may ask? The idea actually came about when thinking how cool it would be to work for a Baseball club in America. If you have any knowledge of Baseball in the U.S. you'll know that the game is dominated by Hispanic nations. This then opened my imagination to all the greatness that would come with learning Spanish, namely the culture, the people. and more importantly the weather.This summer I plan on travelling around Spain for two weeks.

I guess there is a question and lesson at the end of all of this. The question? What has changed since secondary school? My answer? Now I want to learn. The moral? Don't be forced into learning OR doing anything you do not want to do. That last sentence has been and will be at the center of all my doings.

I am on Twitter @DanOverboardNJ

Monday, 5 March 2012

Change Is The Result Of Personal Development

On the back of recent events, I have realised how much I have changed as a person and how much I continue to develop.

If I look back at the music I used to listen to, there is no way that it would find any place on my play-lists today. I then look at the people I used to associate myself with and the people I associate myself with now, and there is not one person that I can call my 'friend' from a few years ago. I use the word 'associate', as that is all they were, associates. This makes me wonder whether I have 'changed' or 'developed' as a person. Maybe my taste in music will shed more light on the matter.

For anyone that knows anything about me, they will know that I am fiend for rock music. Anything with a guitar and set of drums will do me just fine. But many may not know that I was once a 'holic' of rap and hip-hop up until around five years ago. Anything with a cool beat and manufactured drums captured my musical fetish. Now? Well, anything other than rap. A stark contrast to five years ago by anyone's standards. Was this me changing as a person, or was it a result of my development?

I suppose the question you have to ask yourself is, ''is 'changing' a bad thing?'' To me, it suggests a lack of loyalty towards something and points towards a negative outlook. But is it really that bad? Or is it the result of a development, like the case with my musical preferences. My iPod play-lists have changed, yes, but it is the result of a hunger for new artists and diversification into a new range of music. Does it stop there? No, I don't think it does, because Miley Cyrus just made it onto my iPod.

I am on Twitter @DanOverboardNJ

Thursday, 1 March 2012

To Conquer Fear, You Have To Beat Fear

I am in the midst of overcoming my biggest fear, something that has been a stumbling block for me. I thought I'd shed some light on it.

Facing up to a fear can be daunting, whatever it is. It's not that you don't want to overcome it, it's facing the repercussions that you're scared of, but the sensational feeling after which you overcome a fear makes it all worthwhile. Whether it is conquering a fear of exams, something as extreme as holding a snake or something as simple as writing this blog, I feel a sense of invincibility. I decided to go a step further and try and describe that invincibility, and came up with two types.

As mentioned in my previous blogs, I am now starting to accept that I am not superman. The ability to be less judgmental and to keep an open mind has helped me regress from this. It got to the point where I was walking out of lectures and seminars, because I thought I knew it all and was too good to learn. Even if I did (I didn't), this is nothing other than ignorance and a shameful attitude towards life. Anyway, this is a type of invincibility that boasts pride and deniability that isn't a bad trait to have, but too much of it can be be stupid, look immature and is ultimately dangerous.

The second type, and my preferred one, is much more pleasant surrounding itself around happiness. We all have different fears to conquer and overcome, but for me it was something so simple as talking to people. Whether this was in a bar, the tennis team or even in the street, I just could not bring myself to do it. I had a monkey on my back that just would not let me do it and used to deny that I had any problem with talking to people, which just dragged me further and further away from doing so. It all came down to lack of self-confidence and paranoia of what people would think of what I was saying. I do not know what or when it was exactly, but something has switched in my mind and that monkey has now halved in size. Although I am not 100% there, I am now able to go up to talk to people about absolutely anything. I finally feel I am being myself which, although has taken longer than I had hoped, is the most relieving feeling I have felt to date.

How long this will continue I do not know. But it has made me realise that the best way of overcoming your fears is to face up to them right there and then. It is no good to keep putting it off as the anxiety will only build up even more. Try thinking about which type you fit in with currently and the one you hope to one day indulge in.

Are you on Twitter? @DanOverboardNJ 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Winning the Lottery Would Change Everything, Wouldn't It?

After finishing my last blog 'One Step at a Time, One Foot In Front of the Other', another quote quickly came to me. This time it was one I thought up myself and is classed as a credited one if I may say so myself (we'll see).

You may recall from my last blog I said that in order to be happy in what you do, you should take the time to find out exactly what it is you want to do instead of doing everything at once. Well this made me think about that journey we will all endeavor and that end goal we all have in sight. It made me think that our personal fulfillment at the end of the journey would only be reached if the journey itself was enjoyable.

I, like many others, ask this question often: ''Can you imagine if I won the lottery''? Well no, I can't imagine actually, and I'm not sure that I want to either. This may sound a little bizarre at first, but where is the satisfaction in just being given a million pounds? Wouldn't that feel a bit of a let down to know you haven't worked or achieved anything in order to do so? Maybe that's where we go our separate ways in terms of philosophies, but I can quite adamantly say that I would rather bust a gut and enjoy a journey before I became rich.

I suppose ''Life's not about what you achieve, it's about how you achieve it'' can be applied to most, if not all, life circumstances. We've discussed the lottery situation, but what about something as simple as getting a job? Is it better to get a job by 'knowing a friend of a friend'? Or is it better to land a job knowing that you have got that job on merit, through hard work and constancy and are the best candidate for that job? Don't get me wrong, receiving a job through someone else is not a bad thing and that is not what I am saying, but it sure does feel better if you do it on your own.

All of this has made me think and realise that, it is all about the journey we will undertake and I guess the real question you have to ask at the end of it all is 'would I change anything'? If you can honestly answer that question with no, then nothing else matters.

I am on Twitter @DanOverboardNJ

Saturday, 18 February 2012

One Step At A Time, One Foot In Front Of The Other

For my second entry I would like to follow on from my first, 'Life Changer', where I dissected a quote from Ricky Gervais. That quote being ''If you love your work, then you'll never work again''. You could call this 'Life Changer - Part 2' (but don't).

In 'Part 1' I recalled on myself being ready to live a life after graduation that was set in stone, even going as far as knowing when and where I would retire. As pleased as I am to know that I am in the transition of seeing the bigger picture in terms of a career, it has opened up a whole new can of worms as to what I actually want to get out of my life.

What will I do as a career? How will I earn money? Am I too good to work for someone else? Those are just some of the endless questions circulating in my thoughts and have been for quite a while now. I cannot answer these questions just yet, partly because I do not know the answers but I think it goes a level deeper than that. Now that I am realising my true freedom and potential, I am struggling to find out how I will become happy in doing what I want to do. It boils down to having so many options now that I don't what or where to start first.

And for good reason. There are simply so many things I want to experience, milestones I want to accomplish and endless places I intend on visiting. I have found it hard to accept the reality of not being able to do these things right now. Not only because I do not have the resources to do so, but for the fact that I wouldn't be able to truly enjoy everything if I was doing it all at once. I have tried that method over the last six months and have got nowhere. It has all been a bit of a blur.

I guess what I am trying to say is that in order to find that thing I want to do, that place I want to visit, that career I want to pursue, I'm going to have to do it one step at a time. A nice quote to finish on then that I think is relative to anyone and is from a song from a band I haven't given much time lyrically to, but actually talk sense. It goes ''One step at a time, one foot in front of the other''. What I take from this is that there simply is no short way round and even if there was, that would be cheating. Where's the fun in that?

Until next time, have a think about what it is you actually want to do and how you plan on doing it. I know I will be.

Twitter is cool @DanOverboardNJ