What I’ve Learned

Download.jpg

It’s okay to be overwhelmed.

German kezboards are very different than American ones and zou need to proofread zour emails.

French press coffee is deceptively difficult to make right.

Sometimes you can buy a jacket at a flea market for fifty cents. Reader, FIFTY CENTS.

Deep breath, it takes time to make friends.

People probably arn’t thinking about you as much as you think they are.

Living on your own for the first time is quite a learning curve.

Fall, and I mean real fall, is some kind of magic.

30 minutes is not enough time to get ready in the morning. For the love of God, please give yourself 45.

P.s. this post inspired by this article and photo from here

Lists of Note

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThings I will miss when I die

Coffee

Crawling into fresh sheets

Violin music

Texting my brother

That satisfied feeling you get when you finally break through the ice with someone

Taking polaroids

Ayrick

Kissing

Things I won’t miss when I die

The insane amount of paper work required in Germany

German pronouns

Uncomfortable bras

Rejection

Dirty dishes

 

 

A Beautiful Passage

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 9.42.41 PM

I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, “Kiss me harder,” and “You’re a good person,” and, “You brighten my day.” I live my life as straight-forward as possible.

Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.

I could be walking down the street one day, blasting Rihanna or Fleetwood Mac, jamming so hard that I don’t see the bus coming. I could be walking with a book in my hand, reading until the very end. I could be paying total and complete attention, imagine the impact before it arrives.

And I’d really, really rather not die with some confusing statement I said sitting in the phone or the thoughts or the memory of someone I know, care about, need.

I know how it is—we all want to be mysterious. None of us want to get hurt. None of us want to look desperate. So we wait to respond to texts, phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, Tweets. So we communicate our emotions in how we end our messages (no period this time? Really gonna get them.). So we say vague, half-statements and expect people to read our minds.

But what if we died?

What if the last thing you ever texted that girl was, “I don’t know, whenever,” when she asked when she should come over, even though you really really wanted to see her right now? What if you were head-over-heels in lust with some beautiful human in your Lit. class but you chose to wait 15 seconds before texting them back, only to never get the chance to text them at all?

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.

But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.

And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.

We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.

We never know when the bus is coming.

(So go text them back.)

– “Tell the People You Love that You Love Them”, Rachel C. Lewis

 

Before the Internet

fullsizeoutput_4bb8Before the internet, you would stand in line for the bathroom and stare off into space without fear of looking pathetic.

Before the internet, you would make a music video to a Brittney Spears song and then leave it on the camcorder for your parents to laugh at when they found it one day in the future, because there was nowhere to post it.

Before the internet, you would move from one city to another and no one at your new school would know anything about your past unless you told them. They would have no idea you used to pee your pants when you laughed too hard or that your best friend had been a Barbie doll named Starlet.

Before the internet, if you had a disagreement with your cousin about the names of the Seven Dwarfs in Snow White, you had to simply agree to disagree, unless one of you happened to have a book on the subject on hand or could run to the library to check one out.

Before the internet, you went to the movies to see Shrek, and no one took your picture unless Mom dusted off the point-and-shoot camera and lugged it to the theater, which she never did.

Before the internet, you would write your best friend Jessica a letter and cross your fingers that she still remembered your inside jokes by the time it arrived.

Before the internet, you spent hours practicing your signature for the back of your library card, only to mess it up horribly in permanent ink and be overcome by deep regret every time you spied it in your velcro wallet.

Before the internet, when someone asked you out, you just had to use your best judgement as to whether or not they were a psychopath and go from there.

Before the internet, you would watch You’ve Got Mail on VHS every summer on repeat at your aunt and uncle’s farm in rural Iowa because you’d already exhausted conversation with all your family members and walked around everywhere and played all the games you knew.

Before the internet, you’d play Detective Agent on CD Rom every Saturday morning until your little brother scratched it beyond repair and your mom forgot where she bought it, and she couldn’t just order another one.

Before the internet, you’d sort of just sit on a park bench and hum a little ditty to yourself that you overheard while in line at Block Buster.

Before the internet, when you visited your grandmother at Christmas, you had to fill her in on everything that had happened during the last year when she asked, but could probably only truthfully recall about 10 percent and had no way of remembering the rest.

Before the internet, you’d spend your playdates creating a newspaper about the Olympics, featuring articles about gymnasts from countries you were pretty sure existed in real life because you’d overheard their names but couldn’t know for certain.

Before the internet, if you missed the newest episode of Veggie Tales on Friday night, oh well. Tough. You’d just cry and go to bed without a Silly Song from Larry.

Before the internet, the only ordering you did was off a menu.

Before the internet, when you broke up with someone, you could easily just assume they led a terrible life without you and leave it at that.

Before the internet, the only stocking you did was following your attractive older cousin around from a safe distance at every family function.

Before the internet, you almost always got lost on family road trips because your dad wanted to take the “Scenic Route” and there was no way of looking up what exactly that entailed.

Before the internet, you couldn’t really do much of anything. And it was lovely.

P.s. This post is an homage to this article from The New Yorker. And the photos are from a recent visit to my cousins’ in Nebraska.fullsizeoutput_4bb9fullsizeoutput_4bbafullsizeoutput_4bbbfullsizeoutput_4bbcfullsizeoutput_4bbefullsizeoutput_4bc0fullsizeoutput_4bc2fullsizeoutput_4bc7

 

Little Letter

IMG_6767Dear Succulents,
I tried not to buy into the succulent craze that has swept the nation in recent years, but I officially give in. You are SO cool. My friend took me to a succulent nursery the other day and I was amazed. I need to get some of you for my room in Germany.

Dear Rob Bell,
You are a great author and speaker. I’m currently reading your book “What we talk about when we talk about God” and it does not disappoint.

Dear Little Brother,
You are such a tease. I only got to spend a few hours with you yesterday before you were off again! But I sure to love the time we have together 🙂

Dear Germany,
Two and a half weeks. I’m coming for you.

Dear Hair,
Not sure what to do with you these days. Any thoughts?

Dear Summer,
You simultaneously flew by and took your sweet time.

Dear Tattoo,
That’s right, I got a second tattoo. You look more and more beautiful to me each day. I hope I’m not getting too addicted to tattoos…;p

P.s. photo from the Grand Canyon this past June

Little Letter

IMG_7861Dear “Gilmore girls”,
I started watching you again for the third time and you never disappoint. But to be honest, I’m still a little miffed about the ending of the revival. I won’t spoil it here, but it sure was a cliffhanger and now I’m thinking we need another revival to satiate us.

Dear Quote,
The other day I heard, “No one hangs hard times on the wall.” That really spoke to me for some reason. It is so easy to assume everyone is fairing better than you at any given moment, but the truth is we are all dealing with the sadness and pain of life. You are never alone in hardship, ever.

Dear Paddle Board,
I enjoyed taking you out for a spin on the lake last night. But all those jet skiers were zipping around me making the water choppy and I had a hard time getting much of anywhere.

Dear Texas,
You sure are hot during the summer. Boy, just when I think it can’t get any hotter, it does! Maybe I’m a California weather wimp, but I still am not used to it.

Dear Coffee,
Just reminding you how much I love you. Never forget.

Dear “The Lilac Girls”,
Just started this new book and am already a fourth of the way through. Historical fiction is my jam.

Dear Germany,
Are you as excited as I am for my return on August 23rd? I sure hope so, cuz I can’t hardly think of anything else!

P.s. Photo from our time in Bar Harbor, Maine 🙂

What’s Your ‘Vacation Mentality?’

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 10.51.06 AM

I recently read this article from the NYT entitled “How to Be Mindful on Vacation.” It really struck me, particularly this part:

Think of a vacation as a feeling within, rather than a chance to bring your hurried lifestyle to another place.

Often in the past I’ve been disappointed by vacations or trips because I didn’t check off all the items on my ‘To-See’ list. I get so caught up in being a successful tourist that I forget the original reason for the trip– to relax! Of course there’s a place for sight-seeing, but I always let it stress me out way too much. This article is a good reminder that vacation is more a state of mind than anything else.

I think that’s one of the reasons I love to travel alone once in a while, because I am more aware of my environment and willing to take the time to notice small details.

This trip I’ve been on for the past three weeks has been particularly nice because I went into it without expectations. That way, when something didn’t happen, I wasn’t disappointed, instead I could just focus on all the great things that did happen and turn them into positive memories. For instance, I didn’t go to any museums in NYC this past week, something I truly enjoy. But you know what? I did get to spend extra time in Central Park. And it was lovely.

I’m curious, what’s your vacation mentality? Do you struggle with being present on trips?

P.s. Photo from here

Little Letter

IMG_3822Dear Maine,

You stole me heart. I’ll be back for it later.

Dear Vacation,

I forgot how great you can be for the soul.

Dear 22nd Birthday,

Well, you came and went and left me another year older. My dad and I saw the musical “Mathilda” in downtown Fort Worth 🙂

Dear Frankfurt,

Can’t believe I get to see you again in two months!

Dear George Saunders,

Just started reading your new book “Lincoln in the Bardo.”

Dear “S-Town”,

Shoot, you were quite the podcast. NPR always blows my mind.

Beautiful Poetry

img_0301.jpg
The other day I stumbled across poet and author Nayyirah Waheed’s work and it is so beautiful I almost wanted to cry. Below are a few of my favorites if you’d like to read:

be easy.
take your time.
you are coming
home.
to yourself.
-“The Becoming/Wings”

there
are
feelings,
you haven’t felt yet.
give them time.
they are almost here.
-“Fresh”

my
mother
was
my first country.
the first place I ever lived.
-“Lands”

i knew you.
before I met you.
i’ve known you my whole life.
-“Nafsi”

all the women.
in me.
are tired.
-Waheed
img_0331.jpg
What do you think? Are you a fan? I sure am 🙂

P.s. Photos from here