Dating: Are You Staying In Your League?



by Jeremy Carden

I’ve had friends tell me this on more than one occasion; “Dude, you are trying to date girls that are WAY out of your league.” Has anyone else been in that same boat? It’s hard to define “leagues” in terms of which girls to date and who not to.

My friends are quick to point out when I attempt to date “supermodel looking” girls who are 10’s while they say I should be “starting out” with 5’s or 6’s. To me dating is more about who I am compatible with when compared to what rank people put girls in. I’m not trying to sound like a goody good but that is just the way that I operate.

Some people live by the notion; “I’m too ugly for the people that I want to date but too hot for the people who want to date me.”

Let’s be honest at some point I’m sure in the back of our minds we’ve all thought that at one point or another. We’ve all probably been pursued by someone we were not attracted too at all and thought we deserved better.

Now when it comes to leagues if I thought the way that my friends did I would say sometimes I wouldn’t be trying to pursue girls in a league above me I’d be going after girls playing an entirely different sport!

That’s life I guess you never know until you try. So what do you say about all of this? Do you date according to leagues or just someone you find attractive?

Ever Have One of Those Dreams…



Where it just seems so real but also too good to be true? I don’t know about you but I’ve had dreams that sometimes “predict” the future. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way saying I’m psychic or anything like that. I’m just saying that sometimes I’ve had those dreams where something happened and then it happened in real life and I’m thinking “What in the world?!?!”

Anyway, last night I had one of the strangest, sweetest, comforting yet confusing dream that I’ve had in awhile. It kind of goes along with the blog I wrote earlier about your dreams falling on deaf ears. The dream went like this;

I’m lying in bed with my wife and I get up to get into my den and it’s filled with books and awards that I’ve won. I sit in a big chair and I just start crying like a baby for no reason at all. Then my wife comes in and asks me what is wrong. I just tell him that I’m finally happy. After all the hardships, sleepless nights, being turned down for job offers, rejected by crushes and everything I had finally gotten to where I wanted to be.

I had a loving wife (no kids, yet…), my family was doing alright (especially my mom I was financially able to take care of her getting her a new house, car and making sure she never had to work overtime or worry about late bills again), my dreams had come true music/writing wise and I wasn’t worried about anything.

Also, I was reading in some of the old journals that I started writing in from 2012 and 2013 (I started writing in journals August of 2012 to the present and in this dream I was probably late 20s or early 30s). As I was reading those pages, that is when I started tearing up because I would write about staying up late writing song lyrics, the difficulties or successes that God brought me through that day and the list goes on.

Funny part is I could remember nearly every detail from that dream except my wife. I honestly I have no clue who she was or what she looked like. Not sure if it was someone I never met before because if it was a girl I knew, something tells me I’d be able to recall that.

However, the main point I want to get across is that I don’t know what the dream meant. I’m no Daniel or Joseph so I can’t interpret dream unless like them God gives me that ability. The dream could mean that eventually everything that I’ve been working for through faith and determination will finally come to pass, but one thing seems evident; I didn’t get that nice house and everything else because I gave up.

That is my message I want to spread to you; never give up. If anything that dream has inspired me enough to work even harder for my goals! Don’t ignore your dreams, they sometimes tell us more than we expect.

Losing Weight; What Do You See When You Look In The Mirror?



Well, it’s been 2 ½ weeks since I’ve been home and I’ve lost 5 pounds! Cutting back on sodas (I went soda free for about 10 days, but now occasionally I’ll have a soft drink), walking with my 20 pound vest for a minimum of 45 minutes outside a day and generally not packing myself with junk food or eating too much made a huge difference in the long run.

During this time of the year, the temperature usually ranges (where I live anyway) somewhere in between 79 to low 90 degrees during the week. For me, sodas do not do the trick water is what keeps me refreshed. Also, I have to be careful of what time of the day I go outside to walk because the last thing I want is to get a heat stroke or something since it isn’t too smart to play with Mother Nature. Then when it comes to food when it is too hot I’m really not in the mood to stuff myself.

Now, I’ve talked about how people’s words can hurt when it comes to a person’s weight or how hard it is to keep that commitment to diet and exercise but there is one thing that will hurt more than anything; looking at yourself in the mirror.

I don’t know if that has the same effect on you but that does it for me! I know for some people it is looking at their weight on a scale. Personally I try to stay away from them but I just got one last week to record my progress. I only get on the scale every Friday afternoon so I don’t become obsessive and get to the point where I’m losing weight but not going about it in a healthy fashion.

Just taking a moment to look in the mirror while I go to wash my face and I just catch a glimpse of plump cheeks that weren’t so plump a couple of months ago take me by surprise. I don’t know why but that moment if when I realize that yes I have gained some weight. That was my reaction when I first got home from school. So, it is satisfying for me to know that my hard work is starting to bear fruit.

I think that the mirror is the biggest truth for a person to see for themselves what changes take place. That is why some people refuse to look in a mirror and I can see why. Just like getting on a scale it is easy to feel disgust and depression at what you are. However, that is not the way things should be taken. Use that motivation to push forward in order to change for the better. Not because someone called you a name like tubby or fat, not because you can’t quite fit into that old pair of jeans but because you WANT to lose weight for you and no one else.

Take a moment to remember that the next time you look in a mirror and do not like what you see. All it takes is a determined mind and the rest is just work and dedication. Never be disgusted by your appearance! You are who you are if you want to change do it for you and no one else. 

Don’t Respect to Neglect



Do you consider yourself to be what others might call a pushover or a doormat because you seem to let other people walk all over you? Honestly, I’ve been in that category for a long time and sometimes I feel that I still am. Unfortunately that is one of the prices that people pay for being nice and respecting other people’s feelings.

One thing that you should not do is respect everyone else’s feelings if that means neglecting your own. I know what it’s like being someone that it eager to please, but overtime I found that you cannot satisfy everyone and that’s a fact. If you live your life trying to make everyone else happy you’ll just wear yourself out and make yourself miserable.

If a friend is a true friend they will respect your own feelings as well without taking advantage of you just so you can benefit them. Overall, I think one of the most common situations where you respect someone else’s feelings while overlooking your own is in a romantic sense.

Not too long ago, I had to deal with that same type of situation. I knew this girl for over a year, we kept in contact during the summer and fall semester (she went to France to study abroad but we Skyped, chatted on Facebook and mailed each other letters) and she came back just last semester to live on campus again.

However, despite our “relationship” it seemed that she changed in France. She was at a point in her life where she doesn’t know what to do career wise and doesn’t feel a relationship would be best right now. Of course it hurt me deeply because I had to put my feelings aside and respect her wishes. Price of being a “nice guy” I always come up short in those situations.

Though I do not know if there will ever be something more between us like there once was it is uncertain at this time and to be honest though it’s been months since that situation happened I’m still getting over it. So, the point of this blog is to let you know there is nothing wrong with respecting other people’s feelings but don’t do it to the point that you neglect your own wellbeing. 


Is Your Dream Falling On Deaf Ears?


Ever feel like when you express your dreams, goals or desires to people that they aren’t listening or understanding you at all?

I go though that sometimes when telling people that I want to be a writer or more specifically a songwriter. It is like they brush it off like nonverbally saying; “What kind of ridiculous dream is that?”

I remember one time when I told my mom that I wanted to buy a guitar. You know so I could work on melodies myself. And the look she gave me was one that I can never forget. It was a look that said; “What in the world?!”

Prince and Taylor Swift are just a couple of my songwriting and music inspirations. Every knows that Prince is like a “god” of guitar and Swift being a country singer started out when a repair man came to her house and taught her a couple chords to play and the rest is history.

That kind of set me back seeing that she was my main supporter in my writing and then to witness her reaction to my statement just hurt a little on the inside.

Sometimes it does bother me especially after someone ASKS me what my passion/dream/goal is in life.

When your dream falls on deaf ears don’t worry because someday those same people are going to want to listen to what you have to say but it will be too late.

The point of this blog is to let you know how important it is to keep “real people” around you. People who listen and support your dream are the most important people to have at a time when you are building up your dreams. Also remember that the people you interact with help to shape who you are. Be around people who will bring you up and help in some way and also people that you can help by your work ethic or just being a friend.

Its funny how people are “deaf” to your dreams but once you succeed they suddenly get back their hearing because they want to listen to what you have to say and hope to slither in on your success.

Everyone who was present during the struggle deserves to be part of your success in some form or another.

Just remember that when you feel ignored by people when you talk about your dreams.

Losing Weight; Who Are You Doing It For?


It’s been awhile since I posted a health related blog because I wanted to wait until something good happened or come to a realization that I wanted to share with everyone.

Who are you losing weight for or why are you losing weight?

-To fit into an old pair of jeans you are a couple sizes too big for?

-To gain the attention of someone you admire like someone you have a crush on

-Because a family member or doctor recommended losing weight

-Because someone said something hurtful that promoted you to get into shape…

As I was doing my usual hour long job/walk outside on nice days at home, I was just thinking about gradually losing weight as the week rolled by.

Then I thought; when I do get into better shape (by continuing to stay active rather than passive in my desire to get fit) what would I feel like in terms of accomplishment?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you are losing weight for someone make sure you are doing it for yourself.

Honestly, I was thinking about the attention I would potentially gain from females by being a better looking person by losing weight. Most girls are turned off by a guy who is out of shape; don’t get me wrong first impressions mean a lot especially appearance because we usually SEE a person before we HEAR/Get to know them in terms of personality. A guy/girl could have a heart of gold but people judge first one appearance.

Though I began to also think about how people would look at me differently, they might ONLY be attracted to me because of how I look and that is not the way I want it to be. Looks fade over time whether it is weight, wrinkles, etc.

So, be sure you keep going for you. Build up self-confidence, because I know if I get thinner and fit into 32 waist jeans because I’m a 34 now. I’m going to feel more confident in myself knowing that willpower and self-disciple helped me get there.

It will give me that extra boost to approach and meet new people. For now, I’m just losing weight for myself in terms of confidence, health and just to know if I put my mind to something I can accomplish anything and the same goes for you!

Big Dreams, Small Bank Account


Have you ever had an idea, passion, dream or inspiration that gets you up from your seat and make your blood rush? That thing that makes you want to work towards something that could change your life but then it call comes to a screeching halt.

Sometimes I wish my bank account was as big as my dream is. I know I know, work hard/play harder, “seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be open” and all of the other saying people say to you when you are feeling discouraged.

Faith is the key to unlocking the door to our dreams. There are many days where I sit around wondering when my big break as a writer is going to take off or why nothing has happened recently to let me know that I’m on the right path or my hard work is paying off.

I will say there is a lot of truth to how one word of encouragement means more than success. When you are feeling down and someone whispers a word to help you press on brings something new to the table. It lets you know that you are not alone in the struggle.

Someday I hope that I eventually write a song that makes it to the radio waves, a screenplay that makes it to the big screen, a book that is a #1 seller or poems that ignite the souls and passions or people everywhere.

With every word I write on paper or type on my computer, I’m one step closer to my dream. Yes, that bank account, bills, school loans and whatnot seem to drag me down but I know I’m in the valley right now. However, pretty soon I know I will come to the other side to reap the fruits of my hard labor!

Keep on going people, keep your dreams alive! 

Summertime Health Tips

Well with graduation from Liberty University a thing of the past (last weekend to be precise) summertime has fallen upon me along with the temptation of doing nothing. I’m looking to do graduate school but I’m still torn between going back to Lynchburg or just doing it online (which is a heck of a lot cheaper not having to deal with housing charges) next semester.

In terms of staying healthy, I am pretty much on my own here. There are no large group of friends back where I live inviting me out places, I live in the neck of the woods so walking for a couple of miles would not be a wise choice with wild animals and snakes coming out to “play” in the warmer weather and laziness being something I’m trying to avoid.

My parents are the only ones in the house when I’m at college, so grocery shopping is pretty much a thing of the past; they go to work, get some take out and come back home. So right there leaves me with a few options in how to stay fit. The only stores within 10 minutes of home are a couple of general stores but they don’t really sell “food food” they only sell snacks, ice cream, candy and whatnot. The food they do have like eggs, bacon and other meats are overpriced due to the “convenience” of not having to drive 30 minutes to get something to put in the refrigerator.

That is something I’m REALLY trying to not fall prey; going to those stores to get junk food and soda because there is nothing else to eat.

After I get my paycheck next week from my online job, I’ll drive into town to get some good food like bananas, broccoli and some other substantial food options.

I really hated last summer because I got a taste of what my folks do when they get off of work; tired and worn out from a long day of work they do not feel like cooking so they just get fast food. That put 8 pounds on me and I hated it!

So, this summer I’m going to be more active. I’ve been at home 5 days so far and I’m going outside for an hour to 90 minutes just walking around to get air and keeps the blood flowing. I do not want to be stuck in the house just on my computer or watching TV.

Not to mention sleeping in until noon because being an online employee I can work at my own pace and whatever time I choose.

I’m going to a couple interviews next week to hopefully get a good summer job in town as well just to get out of the house. Hopefully that goes well!!

Basically, staying active and not being too lazy are my keys to having a good and healthy summer.

-Relax; there is nothing wrong with sleeping in sometimes (unless you have a job because then you have to get up early), have fun, go on vacation, but don’t let laziness become a common theme in the months to come

-Stay active; even if you don’t go outside because the weather is in the upper 80s or in the 90s region, do some pushups or something just to stay loose

-Hobbies; to get your mind off work and exercise just to give you something to do besides sleep, eat, stay on the computer, play video games or watch TV. Read a book, writing in a journal, go through old photos or something (I mean photos in albums BEFORE Facebook came along). For me I’m working on new songs and reading some books I bought this semester.

-Don’t eat too much; Cookouts, ice cream, and all the usual summertime food on the menu looks, smells and tastes good but there is nothing wrong with turning it down sometimes or at least moderate how much you eat. I know I cannot resist a rack of ribs, hotdogs or burgers from the grill. Who could? Well if you do eat a lot at least compensate for it by exercising more.

-WATER; to me summertime is the best time to lose weight because you sweat a lot burning more calories. For me personally, sodas just don’t do the trick in hot weather. Water just I don’t know feels good this time of year. It really satisfies my thirst (Kool-Aid on a hot day does the same but you catch my drift)

Have a great and healthy summer guys!

Started From The Bottom…


Ever have one of those days when you just want to crawl up under a rock because everything seems to be falling down all around you?

It seems like no matter what you try to do nothing works out the way that you planned. I’m pretty sure I can speak for anyone reading this that we’ve all had some days like that.

I don’t know about you but sometimes I just sit and reflect on where I am now in life. With nearly half of 2013 gone, I sometimes feel a little depressed because I have not accomplished any of the goals I set on New Year’s;

-Record a full demo album (9-11 songs)

-Visit Nashville

-Join the Nashville Songwriters Association International

-Find a lawyer or music agent

-After finding an agent/lawyer, search for a record label

Man, all I can do is shake my head at how none of these goals have come to light. Found out that looking for a lawyer was premature because I have to have some concrete demo tracks to actually shop around to labels before I get a contract. Joining the NSAI has been setback due to having to work a job in order to pay off housing for last semester meaning I had no extra cash to pay the joining fee.

When it came to demos I went to a recording studio but the guy running it thought my songs were not good enough but I had the talent to get there if I kept on writing.

Ever since that day (which has been around a month and a half) I’ve been hesitant to even pick up my writing pen. It’s like everything I’ve worked for these past 2 years was meaningless.

Hopefully, I can get a breakthrough one way or another pretty soon because Lord knows I need one.

Here’s to anyone working hard on any goals that they’ve set for themselves. Just remember that if you are at rock bottom the only place to go is up!

Raw Talent

Every person has something that they are really good at. One thing that makes them feel special because it is something they can do that their friends can’t or its some passion that fuels them in their day to day living. Sometimes that one thing you have will help decide what kind of career you get.

Athletes usually go for professional sport teams, singers and musicians shoot for musical aspirations and the list goes on. Regardless everyone has some talent that separates them from the rest.

However, it is difficult for some people especially those who are multi-talented or people who are talented in one area but have a desire to do something. Whatever the case maybe, it seems some fall in the category of raw and untamed talent.

For me I feel like I fit perfectly in that gray area of the talent spectrum.

Raw talent is a great thing but also it can lead to a lot of confusion. Having more than one talent can make things worse since it can have you running in all directions. Personally, it is something I struggle with everyday. Now I’m in no way shape or form trying to toot my own horn but I just have a lot of passions and what other people call talents then I know what to do with.

I just feel like there is no one that knows what I’m going through. Finishing up college, it is difficult to see where my skills will lead me when there is no clear path. I love writing, public speaking, web design, instructing (kind of like teaching I suppose you can say), connecting with other people, radio and photography.

With talent comes people trying to point you in a direction but like most things in life; the more people who try to help, the more confusing things get. Ever go through something like that, when you ask people for advice and everyone seems to be pointing in a different direction based on the answer they gave you?

I just wish there was a way to cultivate these skills to help achieve my dream, use what I learned in school and effectively touch other people’s lives. One thing that I am trying to avoid is to live a life of mediocrity.

That is something I will not stand for because I do not just want to be another face in the crowd or just an average Joe if you will. So, to anyone out there feeling the same way just know that you are not alone.

Whatever it takes use that raw talent and untapped potential to do something with your life that you can be proud of!