Am(r)azing Grace

The Union

My phone blew up with about a dozen texts, all with the same message telling me to get to the Kansas Student Union. I couldn’t get out of my apartment fast enough. It was Dec. 3, 2010, and I had a date.

She would have to wait.

Jason Mraz stood on stage while he joyfully accommodated the hundreds who showed up to see his impromptu performance at the Union that night. To save time for the sake of everyone, he let chunks of the crowd come up together to go home with a photo. A lasting memory to a “lucky” night.

I hung back to plan my move. I don’t usually get awed by anyone’s celebrity status unless he is one of my idols. In this case, it was. And he was probably the biggest. I went to the impromptu acoustic show as a fan, but didn’t think my reporter services would be needed.

Prodded by my colleagues, I had to do the interview since I was the mega-fan. The crowd was thinning and I made my move.

“I work for the student newspaper here,” I said as he put his arm around me for the photo. “Is it cool if I talked to you later?”

“You’re with the what? The Feds?!” he said. I was so uptight that I thought he was serious. “Sure man, we can have a word.”

And those were the first words Jason Mraz spoke to me. A joke to comfort my nerve-wracked situation; I should have expected as much.

He broke the ice for me. The dude’s good.

Above the Influence

The disparity of electronica hate-driven Nine Inch Nails in relation to the singer-songwriting of purity, Jason Mraz, is extraordinary in terms of music style and views on the world.

NIN had a stranglehold on my valued No.2 favorite-band slot years ago. Listen to their music, and that was the type of person I was back then.

For no inexplicable reason except maybe to experience the nostalgia in “The Remedy,” I listened to the two Mraz’s first two studio albums. Figuratively, they were gathering dust on my iPod, untouched. I did not know at the time or have any remote consideration that he would soon skyrocket up my musical hierarchy to become my No. 2. He was such a departure from my usual style that it should not have happened.

But when I listened to the words, something funny happened: They made sense. I could see still where Trent Reznor was coming from, but that wasn’t who I wanted to be anymore.

Whatever this Jason guy was on that was making him so free-spirited and genuinely happy, I had to have it, too. So I kept listening for clues.

With each song, there was a lesson: “Make it Mine” emphasized seizing life’s every moment; “The Boy’s Gone” told me to be happy with who I am where I’m at; even though I am one soul among billions, “10,000 Motherf*ckers” encouraged me to keep singing; the pain of losing a friend turned lover in “Absolutely Zero” was tear-worthy; “Song for a Friend” might be one of the best written songs of all time; there is no need to put a ceiling on relationships so you can soar “Up” into the sky; the adorably sincere “Prettiest Friend” wasn’t trying to predict the ending to a young relationship, “The Sunshine Song” is my daily slice of humble pie on crappy days; because of “All Dialed In,” I was never upset when the girl I admired belonged to someone else; “Butterfly” is raunchy yet innocent; and “The World as I See it” helped me see beauty in a savage time.

As I listened, these qualities became who I wanted to be. I could find solace in every situation, and I became uninhibited by fear, worry and hatred. The secret to happiness was as simple as being happy.

I know I have an unhealthy attachment to music, but this I felt was justifiable.

Years later, in May of 2009, I saw my first ever concert. It was am(r)azing.

Curious Discovery

These are the saddest cute kitties I have ever seen:

Jason Mraz’s former blog,


As you can see in the text below, there are no posts on this website. This kitty wasteland was once Jason Mraz’s blog, a source that I used quite frequently.

In it, he expressed musings of the simple things in life while spreading joy and gratitude. He fought for causes that helped the environment and used his blog as a platform to get others involved.

I just used it to better myself. He once recounted all of the embarrassing moments he had in his life, but he ended up being grateful. I still wince at some of the idiotic things I do and for what? I learned and I moved on. I am a better person for it and need not feel shame.

There were countless other moments he did this, discussing how his work consumes him, stressing to “Be Love,” and recounting experiences while traveling the globe. A couple months ago, he laid all of that to waste by emptying out his blog. I have no archives I can go back on except for an inefficient Facebook page.

When I went to his blog the day it disappeared, it was like a big part of who I was had just evaporated. For a moment, I was concerned about how I was going to get inspiration and peace of mind. But I already had it.

At this point in life, I can stop looking and listening and start inspiring. Years of practice has finally seeped its way into my being, and I have dealt with enough to help others experience the same. Part of me wants to reform the way I use social networking so I can continue on in Jason’s footsteps.

I’m still working on it, but it’s the least I could do.

Search of Incredible

Today is the last day to submit a story for Jason Mraz’s In Search of Incredible.

That’s just like him, scouring the globe for a cause to showcase someone other than himself.

His selflessness still boggles my mind. There are almost 7 billion people in the world and he’s trying to sift through them to find a truly remarkable and inspirational individual. He has found a couple so far, including this:

I had to ask myself how I was Incredible. I am, but at the same time I’m not. There are so many people in the world and there is always someone who one-ups your wisdom tooth story or your celebrity encounters. But I don’t find those incredible.

On Dec. 3, 2010, I met Jason Mraz. But that wasn’t the incredible part.

After the show, I made it to the girl several hours late.

I broke the ice for her and we’ve been in love ever since.




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