A NOSTALGIC THANK-YOU.

Goals are important, but sometimes it's good to look back and reflect on what you've already accomplished. Fall makes me think about the past. It brings about the sort of nostalgia that only the changing leaves and crisp October air can bring.

Today, I'm thankful for what music has done for me, for where it's taken me, and for who it's introduced me to.

No matter how long you've been following along to the story of MR+B, I want to thank you. Thank you for supporting me, making my songs your own, and joining me on this adventure. I'm so grateful.

More new songs are coming very soon. Can't wait to make them a part of this story.

THE DMV, TONY THE TIGER, AND NEW YEARS.

This morning, I woke up at 8:30am, threw on some #softclothes, and reluctantly drove myself to the DMV. No better place to spend your last morning of 2014, am I right? 

That being said, I wasn't in the best of moods. On my drive over, I was mentally preparing myself to wait in line for three hours in front of "sneezing flu-spreader" and behind "mom with five screaming children," only to be told I don't have the right paperwork by Roz, the mean secretary creature from Monsters Inc.

I parked in the crowded lot and walked toward the entrance, dreading the next several hours of my existence. I was being so dramatic you'd think I was actually wishing this to be the worst day of my life.

To my surprise, I entered the front doors to find no line, no sneezers, no screaming children, and no monster. What I did find, however, was a change in perspective, thanks to a joyful stranger.

As I was speaking with the woman at my assigned desk, an elderly man with a cane approached the desk beside mine with a big smile. The clerk asked him how he was. He responded with a grin, "I'm like Tony the Tiger. I'm greeeat!!! It's a new day and I'm alive!" This prompted me to laugh, along with several of the clerks behind the counter. The kind of laugh that leaves a genuine smile on your face even after the chuckle runs out. He continued to kindly interact with the woman helping him. As he left, he made a point to look the two clerks and myself in the eyes and say, "Have a happy New Year, and God bless you!"

Man. This really got me. After all of my internal whining about visiting the DMV, I ended up leaving the place with a more grateful heart - sans any of the horrible things I'd expected to encounter. All because of this man. He made my day better, and because gratitude is contagious, he probably ended up doing the same for everyone else who stepped foot into that building today. 

It's New Years Eve, and I want to wake up in 2015 with that Tony the Tiger mentality. I want to be "doing greeeat" because of gratitude, and not only when things are going my way. 

Friends. Let's help each other out this year by smiling a little more, laughing a lot more, and having more faith in things like the DMV. Let's be grateful. Good exists, and we have a God that loves us.

Happy New Year.

- Ben (MY RED + BLUE)

 

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY. THE START.

My EP #TheStart was released a year ago today. Crazy. I can’t put into words how much fun it’s been sharing these songs with you all. From playing them here in Nashville, to taking them out on the road and getting to hang with so many new and old friends. One of the coolest things about music is that it brings people together, and this EP has done nothing short of that. I’m so thankful for a community that embraces independent artists like myself, for friends and family who encourage, and for a God who can turn messes into masterpieces. I’ve been writing like crazy, prepping to do this all over again. And I can’t wait. Thank you for all the love, and I’m glad we’re in this together. ✌️

LOS ANGELES.

Tonight, I get to play my songs in LA for the first time ever. Feeling blessed and humbled by certain doors that have been opening lately. Doors that have reminded me I’m part of a much bigger story. A story that goes beyond my own pursuits and ambitions. Thankful for a team like Sorted Noise that has my back and believes in me. Thankful for guys like Donnie Hedden who I can collaborate and share experiences with. The list goes on. If you’re in LA, I’d love to see you at The Hotel Cafe tonight. 8pm sharp. The Sweeplings will be playing right after me. They’re great people and they make great music. Gonna be a rad time. If you’ve ever had a conversation with me about music, chances are you’ve encouraged and/or motivated me. Thank you for that. Cheers to the good life and the pursuit of a dream. 

FAMILIAR.

As I sit at my favorite Nashville coffee shop, things feel familiar. The blue ceramic coffee mug holding my hand-poured Ethiopian brew. The brick wall framing my computer screen. The wooden counter on which my elbows rest as I stare out the window at the rain. 

Even the faces of my fellow caffeine-seeking patrons I’ve grown to recognize.

It took me sitting down to write this to finally appreciate the details of my morning routine.

I don’t want to live my life taking the simple things for granted.

Familiar doesn’t need to mean boring. Or old. Or unimportant.

These are the things we’ll miss when we move on. Whatever that might mean. Just like many of my peers, I plan on spending a good bit of my life traveling. My career choice depends on spending days on the road. Nights in hotel rooms. Evenings with fleeting faces. 

And that excites me. It keeps me going.

But while I’m living in the familiar, I don’t want to let it fade. 

I think the familiar is what we’ll end up missing the most.

So, let’s hold each other accountable. Interact with intent. Ask meaningful questions. Take mental images of the views we love. Point out the smallest of beautiful details so that they don’t go unnoticed. Draw them. Write them down.

Our Creator formed everything we see with a purpose.

Even the familiar.

So, let’s enjoy it. Share it. Thank Him for it.

This morning, I’m going to sip my coffee a little bit slower. Stare at the rain a little bit longer. And hold on to what I love a little bit tighter.

Join me?

These are my morning thoughts.

-B