“Courage, dear heart.”

Life requires a great deal of courage in many forms and situations. As it turns out, most of the best things for you are the results of hard decisions. When we fail to have courage, we hurt ourselves and others around us. Certain situations, especially those that are unfamiliar, can be very scary. Not many people want to put themselves in a vulnerable spot. The impulse is to guard ourselves, but in the act of self-defense, we often unknowingly fail ourselves.

We deserve better. 

However, we don’t always have the courage to do what we believe is right. Sometimes, we don’t have the courage to confront the thoughts within our own heads. If we can’t be candid with ourselves, how can we expect to have honest and upfront relationships with others?

I have learned that often, the first battle is internal. Building the courage to face the deepest, darkest corners of your own being is the first step towards acting courageously in the different situations we face. Have the courage to support yourself even when you must be vulnerable. Becoming comfortable and aware of your strongest and weakest points helps you to foster more real relationships with others. This, in my opinion, is more valuable than letting others fight your internal and external battles for you. When others are left to fight in your place, issues of trust and accountability arise, and sometimes one person is left with an unequal burden because they are able to see the things that you refuse to acknowledge.

Learn your voice. Be proud of that voice. Be humble when you realize that that voice is not without flaw, no one’s is. To me, that is courage.

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Concert Watch

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Here are 5 concerts coming to the area that I am SO excited about!

1. Ingrid Michaelson | 04 February | The Carolina Theatre, Durham, NC

Although I haven’t listened to Ingrid’s new album¬†Lights Out very much yet, I am a huge fan of her older albums Girls and Boys, Be OK, Everybody, and Human Again. I have heard from a friend that she is funny and puts on a great show. It would be worth it to only hear a couple of my old favorites, and I am sure I would leave the show loving her new album. I believe that hearing songs for the first time live is a cool experience and makes me love some of them even more.

2. Cold War Kids | 05 February | Haw River Ballroom, Saxapahaw, NC

I really like this band and this venue. Our Pi Phi formal was at the Haw River Ballroom my freshman year, and since then, I have been trying to find an excuse to go there for a show. I missed Phantogram when they came, so this might be my chance.

3. Alt-J | 03 April | Red Hat Amphitheatre, Raleigh, NC

This band has produced some of the most amazing sounds to have ever hit my ears. I can honestly say that every song on An Awesome Wave is genius, including Intro and Interludes 1-3. Interlude 3 is even in my top favorites of the album. The harmonies, chord progressions, instrumentation, and lyrics combine to create a really unique sound. The new album ventures a bit from their original feel, but the songs Warm Foothills and and Bloodflood pt. II are reminiscent of their old style and remind listeners that they are a band that wants to keep moving forward and developing who they are without completely losing who they have been.

4. Walk the Moon | 23 April | Cone Denim Entertainment Center, Greensboro, NC

This concert is going to be a blast. Walk the Moon’s collection of upbeat songs makes me imagine a night full of jumping, singing, sweating and being shoved around by reckless teens and their watchful parentals. This will be one of those shows where you leave exhausted yet energized and ready to do it all over again … after a Cookout milkshake and a nap.

5. The Kooks | 07 May | Ziggy’s By The Sea, Wilmington, NC

Do you want to go to the seaside? / I’m not trying to say that everybody wants to go / I fell in love at the seaside… The Kooks playing at this venue sounds a lot like fate, considering the lyrics to their song Seaside. This band has been a favorite of mine since the songs Naive and She Moves In Her Own Way came out on Inside In/Inside Out when I was in 7th grade. Not to mention Luke Pritchard was one of my earliest celebrity crushes. This sounds like the concert my 13-year-old self has been waiting for!