So take me home...

Matt reminded me today that because of the moments we have shared and all the fun we have had there, Atlantic City truly is one of "our" places. And I would have to agree with that statement.

I can recall many wonderful moments when we had the chance to book a room for the night when Matt had shows at either that particular casino or a neighboring one. And like the many times before, we'd enjoy some drinks and laughter with our friends, a few hilarious moments at the tables or pool, or the best conversations/random bits of hilarity back in the room. And just like every AC trip ends, Matt has partied the hardest and I'm driving us home while he sleeps in the passenger seat. 

On the way home today, it got me thinking about how lucky I am to live in a state where one minute I could be at home, the next head out to the beach, take a train into the city one day and head down to the casino another time. And if I truly wanted to see horses, I could drive 5 minutes down the road. 

New Jersey is home to me and I am fiercely protective of those who choose to share with me how much they think it smells, or that they pay to go on the beach, or that there's so much traffic, or that it's a wasteland. (Frankly, if all you can say is that it smells, then obviously you haven't been beyond the Turnpike around Newark Airport.) 

While driving today, with my iTunes playlist blaring some Beach House and the sun out in all its glory, I took in my surroundings. On the way to the Parkway from Atlantic City, there was nothing but miles of glimmering water breaking against the rocks, sandy shores, and blue skies. And I felt calm, knowing that all I needed was with me right at that moment. The calming waters, my love blissfully asleep in the passenger seat, and the road ahead of me. I felt at home.

I've heard many interpretations, but in my opinion home is more than just a person or a place where you're understood. 

Home is a place that is filled with a healthy balance of normalcy and crazy, a place to be with your thoughts. 

Home is Matt, my friends and family. 

Home is my notebook or a piano. 

Home is a fire in the backyard, coupled with a glass of wine and chirping birds. 

Home is one of Matt's shows, where I can dance and let loose. 

Home is a New Girl marathon and take-out sushi on a night by myself.

Home is talking to an old friend and catching up.

Home is being sad and feeling lost every once in a while.

Home is the excitement of being on a train to NYC and being dwarfed by all the skyscrapers.

Home is the excitement of knowing that I'm heading home to Matt.

Home is being surrounded by children.

Home is the first jump into a swimming pool to commemorate summer.

Home is riding a bicycle downhill, letting the wind whip my hair around.

Home is New Jersey, where I can be sitting at a diner at 2:00 am with friends laughing my ass off about the most random things...or watching the sunrise with Matt on the beach in Spring Lake. 

Home....is my life. 

And it's priceless.

~ Jenny Rockstar


What the world needs now is love....among other things

When I heard of the tragedy in Boston, I couldn't help but have a brief flashback to my freshman year of college and hearing about the Twin Towers. Two completely different moments of American vulnerability, but still sad.

I thought of people I knew running in the marathon and how scared they must be.

I thought of my family members who could have potentially been in Boston today.

I thought of my friends who live there.

I thought of the families/friends/fans who witnessed the event and what was going through their mind amid the chaos. 

And the mere thought that people still don't know how to live with one another without malice and hate...that's what upsets me the most. At work, I held back tears and pushed through the remainder of the day. On my way home, Matt & I discussed the potential new war that would be created if this were started by another country. (Frankly, I'm sick of war...when does it end?) And the minute that I walked through my front door, I couldn't wait to hug Matt and sit down to a delicious dinner with him so we could share our day.

Most of the time, we forget to appreciate those simple moments. Yes, I could dwell on what happened and just live in that sadness, but I don't want to. I will keep those in Boston in my thoughts and hope that those who have the chance to recover from this can. (And for those who gave their lives...I offer condolences to their families and hope they find peace.) 

Instead of dwelling, I went for a bike ride with Matt on our brand-new beach cruisers. (Matt's bike is mint green and blue, while mine is this sunny yellow. Very fitting for our bright personalities.) And in our brief 15-minute ride around the park just to test out our cool purchases, I couldn't help but genuinely smile, let my hair down and live in that moment with child-like wonder. Every little stress melting away as I rode carefree on the sidewalk, squealing with laughter at each dip and rise. There was even a moment where Matt & I rode side-by-side, beginning to understand which streets would be better for casual biking. A small moment, yes...yet meaningful in a way that was needed today. 

Tonight, most of us will be glued to our television sets to find out any updates we can. But with it, don't forget that it shouldn't be moments of tragedy that make you understand the importance of living life for the simple things. It should help you appreciate those simple moments even more, live those simple moments a little more, do anything to make time for those simple moments. You never know what's going to happen. 

Instead of focusing on our political leaders or dedicating time to sharing opinions on things that frankly just don't matter, spend time on people and things that will matter. (Because let's face it, we won't all completely agree on everything and it's dumb to think we will. Besides, our differences are what make us great! And no matter who is in office or leading the state or country, we'll be screwed anyway. No need to reiterate the obvious.)

There's enough hatred in the world...I'm ready to start taking away its power as much as I can with love, positivity and hope. 

Who's with me?

~Jenny Rockstar


You take away the breath I was keeping for sunrise...

This morning, while Matt & I were up at 4:00 am (oddly enough) watching three days worth of DVR'd Jeopardy, the idea of catching the sunrise this morning was brought into play. Matt had never had the chance to watch the sun rise while on the beach, giving us one hell of an opportunity with timing. 

So by 5:20 am, a plan was solidified and with a cup of hot coffee, layers of clothes, my camera, and an eager boyfriend, we set off for Spring Lake Beach to partake in one of nature's most beautiful moments. (And a first for me to watch the sunrise with a significant other - I have had the pleasure of witnessing this phenomenon at least once before with friends when I was 18.)

While the days have been getting slightly warmer, don't let "spring" fool you...it was freezing this morning. (Shortly after leaving the beach, my hands took turns thawing out on the heater...yes, while driving.) But when we arrived, the familiar pinkish hue started to peek out from the horizon. 

Grabbing our gear, as Matt had decided his acoustic guitar (that he didn't even use) was needed, we set out in the morning chill. The beach had a serene quality in the aftermath of Sandy. The boardwalk was completely washed away as obvious by the cement foundations lining the beginning of the beach. It felt weird walking in between them, finally witnessing the aftermath after months of trying to avoid it. 

The scene was absolutely breath-taking. A moment that, since Matt and I were the only ones on the beach (or at least from what we saw), it felt like we were the only two people witnessing this glorious occurrence. All the colors that Matt hopes to capture in one of his paintings, beauty that I almost felt my camera could not fully capture, and a momentary feeling of peace and euphoria. 

With my camera, I felt invincible. I felt my stride come back, adjusting the settings as I sought to capture the way the sun peeked out from the horizon, casting its shimmering glow onto the ocean. Matt looking like a miniature when placed in front of the vastness of the water. (Watching that child-like wonder made me fall in love with him all over again.) 

This morning felt like a revelation, a breather, an epiphany. I have spent so much time lately trying to be perfect at everything...except being myself. I've neglected that for a while now. Only recently did I start to feel like discovering music with passion again. Only recently did I start bringing books to read at any random moment I have. Only recently did I start breaking into my vinyl collection for a few hours every week while cleaning (or reading). 

The sunrise stays true to itself, shining as bright as it can and letting the world see its natural beauty. I need to be like the sunrise. I need to stop hiding below the horizon and find me. So far, I've done a great job of getting to myself, but I have a long way to go still. I have yet to peek out from that horizon. That's the hardest part. 

So with a calmed mind and a sense of purpose, I continue to push harder, to be the person I know I need to be. To be the sunrise and shine bright. To aspire to what I know I'm capable of, rather than settling for what I think I'm worth. It's going to be beautiful. It's going to be adventurous. 

And damn it, it's going to be breath-taking.

~ Jenny Rockstar


And now for something a little more challenging...

I'm ready to write more this year. Whenever I don't spend a ridiculous amount of time writing down things, I tend to just lose myself completely. 

This year, I'm making more of an effort to write down as many of my thoughts as possible. I'm going to start a project (and finish it.) I want to travel and document those travels. I want to breathe in music and share whatever words those melodies possess me to write. 

Yup, 2013...challenge accepted.

~ Jenny Rockstar