One Direction Goes Solo

One Direction Goes Solo

My fangirling days are not over just yet...
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The boy band who stole my heart the moment I heard "What Makes You Beautiful" back on March 22, 2012. I will never forget the countless hours I spent watching YouTube videos, staying up late waiting for them to live stream, waking up at 3 a.m. on school nights just for a release of a song or an announcement they were going to make. The time my parents surprised me with tickets for their "Take Me Home Tour" for Christmas 2012 and after that being so grateful to have attended "Where We Are Tour" and "On The Road Again Tour". These were the good old days, the ones I fangirled over 24/7, the ones that I truly have missed since they went on their hiatus back in 2015.

The boys are now on to their solo projects, releasing songs left and right. Especially this month (May) has been a big one for the boys. It all started back in September.

Niall Horan released "This Town" on September 29, 2016. I remember eating breakfast that morning back at college, practically choking on my food at how beautiful it was. I was so excited that at least one of them put something out.... I was starting to feel lonely without my fangirling side and without the boys from 1D.

Louis Tomlinson released "Just Hold On" a collaboration with Steve Aoki on X-factor in honor of his mom who recently passed on December 10, 2016. Two out of four have now released something. Life could not be better at this point in the One Direction fandom.


Fast forward to April 7, 2017, Harry Styles released "Sign Of The Times" as his first solo debut. Which in fact shocked the world with the style of music he went with. Although it fits him and we all love it!

Niall Horan released yet another tune on May 4, 2017, "Slow Hands". This just might be my summer jam...oh and I can not wait to see Niall at Summer Bash this coming June!

Harry Styles released his first ever solo album "Harry Styles" on May 12, 2017. I cannot help but turn it on every time I get into my car! I do not think I can pick a favorite because they are all good.

After a long wait, Liam Payne released his solo single May 19, 2017. Called "Strip That Down" featuring Quavo. There is no doubt in my mind that this song will be all over the radio this summer. Such a bop! It was also released that Liam will be attending Summer Bash in June as well, I am so glad I bought tickets!

The past couple months have felt like the good old days. Even though they might not be together as a group, they still continue to top the charts with their solo careers. I have stayed up just to listen to Harry Styles on BBC 1 Radio in London, watched Late Late Styles (which was the best thing ever), followed Liam and Niall on their radio tours and what they have been up to. It's the good old fangirling days and I would not trade it for anything else. I have every hope these boys will come back together at some point but until then I support their solo careers and I am so grateful I got to watch one of the biggest boy bands dominate the world and still dominate as solo artists.

P.S. If you told me this would have happened back in 2012, I probably would have cried and laughed at you.


Cover Image Credit: One Direction

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Poetry as A Way to Process Body Image

A poem about my hands
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The prompt for this poem was "what do my hands know?". I've answered this prompt before and written about being a musician who creates aural art with her hands, but this time I turned my contemplation in a different direction—toward my hands themselves.

I think it's interesting that I chose to conflate knowledge with a realization of aesthetic value independent from traditional social norms for women in the current US culture.


A History of My Hands

By Lydia Solodiuk

My hands know that they are beautiful.

It was a reckoning a long time in coming.

I hated their oversizedness, having a man’s hands in the 5th grade isn’t what any girl wants.

I hated that I didn’t have pianist hands even though I was a pianist in my younger days

It took a visit to a laser esthetician office’s,

She, heavily coated with makeup and derision, judged my hands unacceptable to the feminine norm.

So I ran outside, into the narrow parking lot bordering a small highway. Everything smelled like exhaust and rubber and pizza sauce.

I watched the man through the grimy window shape a pizza with his bulky man hands into a perfect swirling circle.

That was the beginning of love, for me and my hands.

What a poetic beginning for a girl descended from Sicilian orchards

Where grimy, hardworking hands slowly caressed lemons into wooden boxes.


Cover Image Credit: Public Domain

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Who IS Allowed To Talk About Gun Control?

I have more questions than there are answers but I hope that we are on the way to a country with far less gun violence.
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Who is allowed to talk about gun control?

I see a lot of stuff on social media saying that teenagers don’t know enough to talk about gun control. Why? If a teenager dies of cancer, their friends talk about cancer. If a teenager dies because they were hit by a drunk driver on Prom night, the high school scares their students into not drinking and driving. Guess what, 17 teenagers were killed last week. Why are their friends not allowed to have an opinion on that? They have been going to funerals every day since Friday. I can’t imagine having to go to the funeral of the guy I sat next in math class. People my age aren’t supposed to die, we are supposed to graduate and get our dream job. A high school student should be thinking about homework and what movie they're seeing this weekend, not if that noise in the hallway was a man with a gun.

In media, we project images of strong teenagers. The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, they are all books and movies depicting kids in situations they don’t like. The main characters fight the system causing an uproar from the adults. But, in the end the teenagers are victorious, their prize is happiness and spending their adult lives in peace. Why would adults feed their children these novels and not expect the message to be taken to heart.

Ou president is a 71 year old white man, there were approximately 14 incidents where shots were fired in a school. That is about as many as there have been in 2018. I have no idea what changed, what has made this number dramatically increase. But obviously something needs to change. Why does President Trump feel threatened by the idea of making the ability to purchase a gun less accessible?

Personally, I don’t think that we need to make all guns illegal. There are many people, several of which I’m related to, who legally own guns that have only ever been used to shoot animals during their designated hunting seasons. But, last week I watched in horror as the news story of a guy that I graduated with was shot and killed. He had recently bought a pump action shotgun and was showing friends when it accidentally went off and shot him in the chest.In our society, guns are not going to disappear, but they are far too prevalent and easily accessible to those who clearly do not need to be in possession them.

The students of Douglas High School do not want to do away with guns. They want to make sure that no one ever has to worry about their friends, children, siblings or any one else while they are trying to get an education. I have more questions than there are answers but I hope that we are on the way to a country with far less gun violence.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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