Life From The Eyes of A Songwriter

Life From The Eyes of A Songwriter

I write my best songs when the world is asleep. When the silence is almost too lonely and all I can do is bring some music into the quiet.

The artificial light reflects off of the mahogany wood I cradle in my hands. It’s a little past midnight. A cup of mint tea is steaming on the bedside table and papers are strewn left and right on top of my bedsheets. I’m frantically scribbling away, a host of creative energy surrounded by the late night calm.

I write my best songs when the world is asleep. When the silence is almost too lonely and all I can do is bring some music into the quiet. The ink settles on the paper and the thoughts that were heavy in my mind find a new home in a melody.

I started songwriting when I was about 14 years old. I was a typical emotional middle-school girl with all these feelings trapped inside and I needed some way of letting them out. I wasn’t a good songwriter. It was always four chords with the same strumming pattern and the basic pop song formula. But as I got older I became more experienced and I have begun to take risks in my songwriting.

One of the coolest things about this form of art is getting to look back on years of life experiences. Taylor Swift and I are oddly similar: whether you were unnecessarily kind or we hit a rough patch in our relationship, chances are I wrote a song about it. I have recordings and notebooks of songs that paint a picture of amazing and not-so-amazing periods of my life. It is a wonderful way to reflect on all that I have experienced over the years.

I wrote a song entitled “When You Hold Me” at Interlochen Center For The Arts Summer Songwriting Camp. It is the thank-you note I never wrote to my mom for getting me through two very tough years in my life. While I don’t believe it is musically one of the best songs I have written, it is close to my heart because it is honest and genuine. On the other hand, I wrote a light-hearted song called “You Don’t Have to Say Anything” all about that special feeling of having a crush. A queasy excited feeling we have all had at some point in our lives.

While songwriting is an amazing way to remember parts of my life I didn’t document any other way, it is also terrifying to do because there is so much vulnerability involved. Sharing your original songs often means sharing a personal story and watching someone react to it, positively or negatively. I usually go to my sister, Josephine, for advice whenever I write a new song. She is always so honest and has witnessed my songwriting improve over the years. She knows the challenges I go through when writing a song and often quizzes me about the stories behind every one. I appreciate her (sometimes brutal) truthfulness because it makes me better and forces me to view my songs from a new perspective.

As I have spent more time at college, I have struggled to find the time to keep up my songwriting amid all my academics and extracurriculars. My guitar has started to collect dust and my notebook is hidden underneath a pile of textbooks. While it is important to me to work hard in school, I feel like a little piece of my creative side is being neglected. Looking forward to next year, I aim to build time into my schedule to play guitar and write lyrics so that I don’t lose passion for my art.

Songwriting is a passion I found at a young age that I keep falling in love with again and again. It is simultaneously my emotional outlet and the boundary of my comfort zone. It has been there for me through countless changes, heartbreaks, and sunny days. While it definitely comes with challenges, I wouldn’t trade my passion for songwriting for the world.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Bellman

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14 Stages Of Buying Jonas Brothers Concert Tickets As A 20-Something In 2019

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In case you missed it, the Jonas Brothers are back together and, let me tell you, they're giving us some major jams. For those of us who were there when it all began back in 2007 with their first album, It's About Time, this has been one of the most important events of the year. But nothing, and I mean nothing can rival the excitement every twenty-something felt as the Jonas Brothers announced their Happiness Begins tour. I, for one, put my name in for ticket presale, have been following every single social media site related to the tour/group, and, of course, listening to the Jonas Brothers on repeat. And if you did manage to snag tickets, then you know that this is how your brain has been ever since they announced the tour.

1. Finding out that they're going on tour

2. Hopefully entering your name into the lottery to get presale tickets

3. Finding out that you actually get to buy presale tickets

4. Impatiently waiting for your presale tickets by listening to their songs on repeat

5. And remembering how obsessed you used to be (definitely still are) with them

6. Trying to coordinate the squad to go to the concert with you

7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

8. ...And feeling super frantic/frustrated because there are about 2000 people in line in front of you

9. Actually getting into the site to buy the tickets

10. Frantically trying to find seats you can actually pay for because, let's be real, you're twenty-something and poor

11. Managing to actually get the seats you want

12. Joyfully letting your squad know that you've done it

13. Crying a little because all of the dreams you've had since 2007 are coming true

14. Listening to every single Jonas Brothers song on repeat (again)

If you, like me, have finally fulfilled one of your dreams since childhood, then congrats, my friend! We've made it! Honestly, of all the things I've done in my adult life, this might be the one that child me is the most proud of.

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The 7 Best Food Places Near UCLA You Need to Try ASAP

We have great dining food AND restaurants around us? Wow, we are #blessed.


Westwood is the home to UCLA and offers plenty of interesting and diverse dining options for students and locals alike. Since the area is firmly Bruin territory, you will find lots of on-the-go, affordable eats along with a mix of more modern and upscale restaurants.

Though I definitely haven't had all the food Westwood occurs, being here two years now (omg already!?), I think I can safely recommend certain places to eat.

1. Shamshiri Grill

South Westwood Boulevard is often referred to as Little Tehran, so most of that area is just Persian restaurants. Shamshiri Grill just makes the best meat and whenever I go there, I always order my meal with their special hot sauce, that is to DIE for. A must try.

2. Gushi

I can not tell you how many times I've been to this place. Located near Fat Sal's, you may be tempted to just miss it but let me tell you that is a mistake. I always get their Gushi Bowl which is just heavenly and the right amount to make me feel satisfied without being too filling. Be generous with the Teriyaki and Sriracha sauces on your meat and you are guaranteed to have a good time.

3. Pinches Tacos

I know Mexican food is very common wherever you go but Pinches Tacos is aesthetically pleasing and their food? Even more so. It just tastes so good! I definitely recommend the Asada fries and any tacos.

4. Saffron and Rose

Saffron and Rose is a Persian ice cream parlor like 10 minutes away from Shamshiri Grill and the quality and variety of ice cream is truly impressive. I would not have known my weakness for Jasmine ice cream if I hadn't tried this place and as always, the Saffron and Rose (it's namesake) deserves to be the name of the restaurant because of how rich in flavor it is.

5. Maharaja

I am very particular about my Indian food but the buffets in the afternoons at Maharaja definitely passes my checklist. I actually went there for my birthday so that just tells you how the food doesn't disappoint.

6. Nekter Juice Bar

I found out about this place very recently and I'm so glad I did because their bowls are so good. They also serve smoothies which I haven't had the pleasure to taste yet but I expect the same kind of quality. I am very partial to the Bruin Bowl and the Dragonfruit Bowl.

7. BJs

They have $3 Pizookies on Tuesday.

I am always there on Tuesday.

Are these two facts connected? Maybe.

What can I say? I just love the restaurants here.

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