A Thank You To My Idol

A Thank You To My Idol

You have no idea what you mean to me.

In elementary school, I was a devoted fan of the singing competition reality show, American Idol. I watched it every week and cheered on my favorite contestants like it was my job. I loved the show so much that one week when I wasn’t allowed to watch it (for reasons I won’t go into detail about), I sat in my bedroom and cried all night.

I am telling you this because from my loving of this television show came a certain singer who means everything to me.

Carrie Underwood.

If you’ve had even one conversation with me you know that I love Carrie Underwood more than anything.

My love for her began when she was a contestant on American Idol. She was on season four, and I was in the third grade.

I remember sitting on the couch one night watching auditions (my favorite part of the show). I remember Carrie walking into the audition room and falling in love with her and her voice as soon as she started to sing.

I also remember arguing with my fellow classmates the day of the finale of the show. They all thought Bo Bice was going to win, but I stuck with Carrie the whole season and she never let me down.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard any voice more beautiful or pure than Carrie Underwood’s. There is something so unique and distinctive about it. I say this because just last week my mom asked me to pick her voice out of a recently released country singers medley, and I could do it within five seconds of her starting to sing.

The thing is, Carrie Underwood is more than just a singer to me. She was my role model growing up and still is today.

Her story, a shy, small town girl making it big on a reality TV show inspires me in ways I cannot even explain. It reminds me that even though I too am a small town girl, I should never give up on my dreams and passions.

To this day I am still a devoted fan of my American Idol. I have seen her in concert seven times and counting, and cry every time.

In 2007 I even had the privilege of meeting Carrie in person.

I had a laundry list of things I wanted to say to her, but of course, when the moment actually came I was overcome with emotion and so totally starstruck, that all I said was,

“It is so nice to meet you…”

Which, of course, it was. But now that I have grown out of my awkward middle school stage and don’t know if I’ll ever have another opportunity to meet my idol, here are some things I’d like to say:

Thank you so much. I have been with you on your journey since day one, and I am incredibly proud and inspired by everything you have done. I know that some days you probably have no idea of your impact on people like me, but just know that it means so much to me to be able to look up to you. Thank you for being a role model and for always staying true to your home town values. You are truly my inspiration. Your music is one of a kind and something that has gotten me through the roughest days and longest nights. Please always keep writing music and always keep singing. Just thank you for being you.

As one of my favorite Carrie Underwood songs says, "thank God even crazy dreams come true." I'm so glad hers did.

Cover Image Credit: Country Music High Definition

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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