My Life

Does the vague name make it sound more edgy?

33 Harmless Things I Hate

Playing off the list I recently made of things that make me happy, my mind started swirling with things that do quite the opposite. It was nothing too intense or traumatic, it was just things that irk me. The things, to put it lightly, I’d just rather not come into contact with in my day to day life. For example:

  1. Spoilers (i.e movie endings, sports results, etc.)
  2. Unwarranted rudeness
  3. Hidden pickles in hamburgers
  4. Chewing noises
  5. Lack of decision making
  6. Decision making
  7. People who don’t use their blinkers
  8. People who walk slow
  9. Clothes tags
  10. Nuts in chocolate
  11. When lotion dries out and hardens
  12. Crooked or off-center picture frames
  13. Online articles that promise you lists but give long paragraphs or glitchy slideshows
  14. People who cheat-merge on the freeway (a.k.a wait way longer than they should to merge and then cut you off)
  15. Dictionary definitions that tell you nothing (for example: if you looked up “protagonist” and it told you something like “the opposite of an antagonist”)
  16. Autocorrects that make no sense (I’m looking at you “haga”)
  17. A dirty kitchen
  18. Static
  19. When socks slip off inside your shoes
  20. Being unable to think of anything else to say to someone besides a vague comment about the weather
  21. Car commercials that trick you into thinking they’re advertising something else
  22. Car commercials in general
  23. Wind
  24. The fact that it never seems to get any easier to wake up for work on time
  25. Finally mustering up the energy to go to the doctor, only to feel 100% fine when you get there
  26. Stores with too many scents
  27. My sensitive stomach that gets motion sickness from EVERYTHING
  28. People who say “you look tired.”
  29. TV episodes (especially season finales) that end with “to be continued”
  30. Getting sunburned in the ONE spot you managed to miss
  31. Tea
  32. Loose fitting shoes
  33. Inconsistency (for example: when the first edition of this post was 34 items long, but this one is only 33…smirking-face_1f60f)

2018 Winter Olympics (Week 1 Recap)

Today officially marks the end of the first week of the Olympics, meaning I’ve officially spent a week on the couch watching the Olympics. Aside from a few butt cramps, I’m not complaining. The Olympics are one of my favorite things in the whole world and when they are on, I never want to miss a minute!

That being said, I know there are a number of people out there who 1) don’t have time to watch them, 2) don’t have the means to watch them or 3) don’t really care all that much. While I can’t really help you #3’s out there, fear not, #1’s and #2’s, I’m here to break it down for you. The way I see it, this is a win win because you get the info you’re looking for and I just get to talk about the Olympics, which I never get tired of doing. So let’s dive on in. Here’s what’s happened so far:

The Highlights & the History Makers

To name a few:

  • This is the first winter games for South Korea
  • Six countries: Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Singapore, and Nigeria are making their winter Olympics debut
  • Mirai Nagasu became the first US woman to land a triple axle at the Olympics
  • Chloe Kim became the youngest female to ever win an Olympic snowboarding medal
  • Adam Rippon & Gus Kenworthy are the first openly gay winter Olympians
  • After crashing and breaking one of his poles at the start of the men’s 30km skiathlon, Norwegian cross-country skier Simen Hegstad Krueger came all the way back and won gold
  • After failing to medal in Sochi and then facing a brutal injury at the end of last year, Shaun White won gold in the snowboarding halfpipe, making him the first snowboarder in history to win three gold medals.
  • Chris Mazdzer became the first American to medal in luge since 1964
  • Sven Kramer of the Netherlands won gold in the men’s 5000m, making him the first male to win 8 gold medals in speed skating
  • Russian pairs skaters Aliona Savchenko (skating in her 5th Olympics!!) and Bruno Massot earned the highest score ever recorded in pairs free skate to win the gold medal

 


 The Events

(All images belong to https://www.pyeongchang2018.com/)

Alpine Skiing

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Men’s Alpine Combined Slalom

  • Gold: Marcel Hirscher – AUT flag-for-austria_1f1e6-1f1f9
  • Silver: Alexis Pinturault – FRA flag-for-france_1f1eb-1f1f7
  • Bronze: Victor Muffat-Jeandet – FRA flag-for-france_1f1eb-1f1f7

Men’s Downhill

  • Gold: Askel Lund Svindal – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Silver: Kjetil Jansrud – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Bronze: Beat Feuz – SUI flag-for-switzerland_1f1e8-1f1ed

Women’s Giant Slalom

  • Gold: Mikaela Shiffrin – USA flag-for-united-states_1f1fa-1f1f8
  • Silver: Ragnhild Mowinckel – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Bronze: Federica Brignone – ITA flag-for-italy_1f1ee-1f1f9

Men’s Super G

  • Gold: Matthias Mayer – AUT flag-for-austria_1f1e6-1f1f9
  • Silver: Beat Feuz – SUI flag-for-switzerland_1f1e8-1f1ed
  • Bronze: Kjetil Jansrud – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4

Women’s Slalom

  • Gold: Frida Hansdotter – SWE flag-for-sweden_1f1f8-1f1ea
  • Silver: Wendy Holdener – SUI flag-for-switzerland_1f1e8-1f1ed
  • Bronze: Katharina Gallhuber – AUT flag-for-austria_1f1e6-1f1f9

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Biathlon

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Women’s 7.5km Sprint

  • Gold: Laura Dahlmeier – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea
  • Silver: Marte Olsbu – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Bronze: Veronika Vitkova – CZE flag-for-czech-republic_1f1e8-1f1ff

Men’s 10km Sprint

  • Gold: Arnd Peiffer – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea
  • Silver: Michal Krcmar – CZE flag-for-czech-republic_1f1e8-1f1ff
  • Bronze: Dominik Windisch – ITA flag-for-italy_1f1ee-1f1f9

Women’s 10km pursuit

  • Gold: Laura Dahlmeier – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea
  • Silver: Anastasiya Kuzmina – SVK flag-for-slovakia_1f1f8-1f1f0
  • Bronze: Anais Bescond – FRA flag-for-france_1f1eb-1f1f7

Men’s 12.5km pursuit

  • Gold: Martin Fourcade – FRA flag-for-france_1f1eb-1f1f7
  • Silver: Sebastian Samuelsson – SWE flag-for-sweden_1f1f8-1f1ea
  • Bronze: Benedikt Doll – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea

Women’s 15km Individual

  • Gold: Hanna Oeberg – SWE flag-for-sweden_1f1f8-1f1ea
  • Silver: Anastasiya Kuzmina – SVK flag-for-slovakia_1f1f8-1f1f0
  • Bronze: Laura Dahlmeier – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea

Men’s 20km Individual

  • Gold: Johannes Thingnes Boe – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Silver: Jakov Fak – SLO flag-for-slovenia_1f1f8-1f1ee
  • Bronze: Dominik Landertinger – AUT flag-for-austria_1f1e6-1f1f9

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Cross Country Skiing

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Women’s 15km Skiathlon

  • Gold: Charlotte Kalla – SWE flag-for-sweden_1f1f8-1f1ea
  • Silver: Marit Bjoergen – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Bronze: Kristia Parmakoski – FIN flag-for-finland_1f1eb-1f1ee

Men’s 30km Skiathlon

  • Gold: Simen Hegstad Krueger – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Silver: Martin Johnsrud Sundby – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Bronze: Hans Christer Holund – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4

Men’s Individual Sprint

  • Gold: Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Silver: Federico Pellegrino – ITA flag-for-italy_1f1ee-1f1f9
  • Bronze: Alexander Bolshunov – OAR olympic-rings_25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef

Women’s Individual Sprint

  • Gold: Stina Nilsson – SWE flag-for-sweden_1f1f8-1f1ea
  • Silver: Maiken Caspersen Falla – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Bronze: Yulia Belorukova – OAR olympic-rings_25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef

Women’s 10km Free

  • Gold: Ragnhild Haga – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Silver: Charlotte Kalla – SWE flag-for-sweden_1f1f8-1f1ea
  • Bronze: Krista Parmakoski – FIN flag-for-finland_1f1eb-1f1ee  & Marit Bjoergen – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4

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Curling

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Mixed Doubles

  • Gold: Canada flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6
  • Silver: Switzerland flag-for-switzerland_1f1e8-1f1ed
  • Bronze: Olympic Athletes of Russia olympic-rings_25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef

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Figure Skating

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Team Event

  • Gold: Canada flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6
  • Silver: Olympic Athletes of Russia olympic-rings_25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef
  • Bronze: United States of America flag-for-united-states_1f1fa-1f1f8

Pairs

  • Gold: Aljiona Savchenko & Bruno Massot – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea
  • Silver: Wenjing Sui & Cong Han – CHN flag-for-china_1f1e8-1f1f3
  • Bronze: Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford – CAN flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6

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Freestyle Skiing

04_freestyle_skiing_0_20171031152818878

Women’s Moguls

  • Gold: Perrine Laffont – FRA flag-for-france_1f1eb-1f1f7
  • Silver: Justine Dufour-Lapointe – CAN flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6
  • Bronze: Yulia Galysheva – KAZ flag-for-kazakhstan_1f1f0-1f1ff

Men’s Moguls

  • Gold: Mikael Kingsbury – CAN flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6
  • Silver: Matt Graham – AUS flag-for-australia_1f1e6-1f1fa
  • Bronze: Daichi Hara – JPN flag-for-japan_1f1ef-1f1f5

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Luge

20170111145737117_14_luge_0

Men’s Singles

  • Gold: David Gleirscher – AUT flag-for-austria_1f1e6-1f1f9
  • Silver: Chris Mazdzer – USA flag-for-united-states_1f1fa-1f1f8
  • Bronze: Johannes Ludwig – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea

Women’s Singles

  • Gold: Natalie Geisenberger – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea
  • Silver: Dajana Eitberger – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea
  • Bronze: Alex Gough – CAN flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6

Doubles

  • Gold: Tobias Wendl & Tobias Arlt – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea
  • Silver: Peter Penz & Georg Fischler – AUT flag-for-austria_1f1e6-1f1f9
  • Bronze: Toni Eggert & Sasha Benecken – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea

Team Relay

  • Gold: Germany flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea
  • Silver: Canada flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6
  • Bronze: Austria flag-for-austria_1f1e6-1f1f9

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Nordic Combined

05_nordic_combined_2017103115308314

Normal Hill 10km

  • Gold: Eric Frenzel – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea
  • Silver: Akito Watabe – JPN flag-for-japan_1f1ef-1f1f5
  • Bronze: Lukas Klapfer – AUT flag-for-austria_1f1e6-1f1f9

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Short Track

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Men’s 1500m

  • Gold: Lim Hyojun – KOR flag-for-south-korea_1f1f0-1f1f7
  • Silver: Sjinkie Knegt – NED flag-for-netherlands_1f1f3-1f1f1
  • Bronze: Semen Elistratov – OAR olympic-rings_25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef-200d-25ef

Women’s 500m

  • Gold: Arianna Fontana – ITA flag-for-italy_1f1ee-1f1f9
  • Silver: Yara Van Kerkhof – NED flag-for-netherlands_1f1f3-1f1f1
  • Bronze: Kim Boutin – CAN flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6

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Ski Jumping

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Men’s Individual Normal Hill

  • Gold: Andreas Wellinger – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea
  • Silver: Johann Andre Forfang – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Bronze: Robert Johansson – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4

Women’s Normal Hill

  • Gold: Maren Lundby – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4
  • Silver: Katharina Althaus – GER flag-for-germany_1f1e9-1f1ea
  • Bronze: Sara Takanashi – JPN flag-for-japan_1f1ef-1f1f5

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Snowboarding

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Men’s Slopestyle

  • Gold: Red Girard -USA flag-for-united-states_1f1fa-1f1f8
  • Silver: Max Parrot – CAN flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6
  • Bronze: Mark McMorris – CAN flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6

Women’s Slopestyle

  • Gold: Jamie Anderson -USA flag-for-united-states_1f1fa-1f1f8
  • Silver: Laurie Blouin – CAN flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6
  • Bronze: Enni Rukajarvi – FIN flag-for-finland_1f1eb-1f1ee

Women’s Halfpipe

  • Gold: Chloe Kim – USA flag-for-united-states_1f1fa-1f1f8
  • Silver: Liu Jiayu – CHN flag-for-china_1f1e8-1f1f3
  • Bronze: Arielle Gold – USA flag-for-united-states_1f1fa-1f1f8

Men’s Halfpipe

  • Gold: Shaun White – USA flag-for-united-states_1f1fa-1f1f8
  • Silver: Ayumu Hirano – JPN flag-for-japan_1f1ef-1f1f5
  • Bronze: Scotty James – AUS flag-for-australia_1f1e6-1f1fa

Men’s Snowboard Cross

  • Gold: Pierre Vaultier – FRA flag-for-france_1f1eb-1f1f7
  • Silver: Jarryd Hughes – AUS flag-for-australia_1f1e6-1f1fa
  • Bronze: Regino Hernandez – ESP flag-for-spain_1f1ea-1f1f8

Women’s Snowboard Cross

  • Gold: Michela Moioli – ITA flag-for-italy_1f1ee-1f1f9
  • Silver: Julia Pereira Sousa Mabileau – FRA flag-for-france_1f1eb-1f1f7
  • Bronze: Eva Samkova – CZE flag-for-czech-republic_1f1e8-1f1ff

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Speed Skating

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Women’s 3000m

  • Gold: Carlijn Achtereekte – NED flag-for-netherlands_1f1f3-1f1f1
  • Silver: Ireen Wust – NED flag-for-netherlands_1f1f3-1f1f1
  • Bronze: Antoinetter De Jong – NED flag-for-netherlands_1f1f3-1f1f1

Men’s 5000m

  • Gold: Sven Kramer – NED flag-for-netherlands_1f1f3-1f1f1
  • Silver: Ted-Jan Bloemen – CAN flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6
  • Bronze: Sverre Lunde Pedersen – NOR flag-for-norway_1f1f3-1f1f4

Women’s 1500m

  • Gold: Ireen Wust – NED flag-for-netherlands_1f1f3-1f1f1
  • Silver: Miho Takagi – JPN flag-for-japan_1f1ef-1f1f5
  • Bronze: Marrit Leenstra – NED flag-for-netherlands_1f1f3-1f1f1

Women’s 1000m

  • Gold: Kjeld Nuis – NED flag-for-netherlands_1f1f3-1f1f1
  • Silver: Patrick Roest – NED flag-for-netherlands_1f1f3-1f1f1
  • Bronze: Kim Min Seok – KOR flag-for-south-korea_1f1f0-1f1f7

Men’s 1000m

  • Gold: Ted-Jan Bloemen – CAN flag-for-canada_1f1e8-1f1e6
  • Silver: Jorrit Bergsma – NED flag-for-netherlands_1f1f3-1f1f1
  • Bronze: Nicola Tumolero – ITA flag-for-italy_1f1ee-1f1f9

The Medal Count

Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Germany 9 2 4 15
2 Norway 6 7 5 18
3 Netherlands  5 5 2 12
4 United States 5 1 2 8
5 Canada  4 5 4 13
6 Sweden 4 2 0 6
7 France 3 2 2 7
8 Austria 3 1 4 8
9 Italy  2 1 3 6
10 Republic of Korea  2 0 1 3
11 Japan 0 4 3 7
12 Switzerland 0 3 1 4
13 OAR 0 2 4 6
14 Australia 0 2 1 3
15 China 0 2 0 2
15 Slovakia 0 2 0 2
17 Czech Republic 0 1 2 3
18 Slovenia 0 1 0 1
19 Finland 0 0 3 3
20 Spain 0 0 1 1
20 Great Britain 0 0 1 1
20 Kazakhstan 0 0 1 1

 

In all honesty, I’m really only scratching the surface here. The numbers and names do little to capture the stories behind them. Congratulations to everyone whose hard work earned them the opportunity to represent their country this year, and a special congratulations to those going home with a medal! There have already been so many great moments in the Olympics and I look forward to seeing many more over the next week and a half! If you need me I’ll be on the couch with a remote in my hand, cheering for Team USA!

Sometimes Friendship is Gummy Bears

About 3-4 years ago I was going through a period of my life when I genuinely believed I didn’t have very many (see: enough) friends. I considered myself a master of acquaintances, succeeding in keeping most people at arm’s length to ensure that a) I wouldn’t get hurt and b) I wouldn’t disappoint anyone. Some days I told myself I was satisfied, other days I wasn’t so convinced.

Combined with shyness and bouts of social anxiety, I struggled knowing what kind of friend I should be. I read articles and watched how other friendships worked, and though I wasn’t necessarily dissatisfied with my relationships, I constantly worried that other people were. I thought I was too boring, I thought I was too quiet. I was too this or not enough that and I drove myself crazy, making notes on what I could improve on or what I should do differently.

In time, I came to realize that these fears were all linked to the insecurities I felt as a person, rather than the weaknesses I had as a friend. I’m not saying I am or have ever been a perfect friend, however, in not accepting and loving the person I was, I was doing a disservice to both myself and to anyone I tried to start a friendship with.

These days, I consider myself very lucky to have an amazing group of friends. And while I would still consider myself a guarded person, I have a much easier time opening that door because I’m proud of the person I’m introducing on the other side. In light of this however, I still find myself having those doubtful days. With a constant stream of articles, quizzes and social media anecdotes that define what friendship should look like or feel like or sound like, sometimes I’m still left wondering if I’m a good enough/entertaining enough/honest enough/etc. friend.

For example, the other day I read an article that was titled something like, “You Can’t Consider Yourself Best Friends with Someone Unless…” and it went on to list a number of conversations and experiences the author considered defining for a friendship. I clicked on the article in hopes of finding relatable experiences I could share with my friends, however, as I read through it I didn’t recognize myself in a single thing. Does this mean all my friendships are fake? Of course not! Does it mean that we live in a world where friendships are as unique as we are and should be understood accordingly? I’d like to think so!

The way I see it, friendship is what you make it. There is no definable timeline, there are no parameters and there are no “you’re not actually friends unless…” Friendship can be big, it can be small, and it can be shown with words and actions alike.

About a week ago, after having a terrible day and coming home on the verge of tears, my roommate, Rachel, presented me with a small packet of gummy bears. It was the last packet leftover from my sister’s birthday—which featured a taco piñata full of mini alcohol and candy—thus making it precious cargo.

“I just want your day to be better,” she said as she handed them to me. And it genuinely was!

I know it sounds silly and small, but in that moment it made me feel loved and understood, which is really what friendship is all about. It’s not about being a specific this or that or talking about this or experiencing that. Sometimes it’s just someone willing to give up their gummy bears. And when you can find people like that, you stop worrying about whether you have “enough” friends, because having even one friend like that is a far greater gift.

The Dream About Space (Among Other Things)

If you’ll recall from this post a couple years ago, I tend to have weird dreams. I also like to evaluate those dreams using DreamMoods.com so I can pretend I’m not concerned by the subject matter. That being said, I want to take you on a journey through a dream I had about a month ago, which may or may not be one of my strangest dreams ever.

Let us begin.

So the dream starts off with me sitting at a table with my sister, Natalee, my cousin, Cory, a girl named Brooke (whom I’ve never met or seen in my life) and a middle aged man who is not only a stranger as well, but also nameless.

The meeting is just like any other meeting—save for the fact that it revolves around our upcoming trip to space. As in OUTER space. Why are we going to outer space, you ask? Because our family friends just moved there and have invited us to visit, obviously. And when I get an invitation to space, I take it—and apparently invite strangers to come along.

Now, seeing as we’re going to space it is obvious why we would need to hold a meeting. No, not because of the whole earth to space transition—because apparently that’snot a big dealand “I’ve done this many times.” No, the key reason for the meeting is that we are going to be using a different “portal” than usual to get there, and I wanted everyone to know ahead of time.

At this news, Cory and Natalee nod. This is no big deal for them. They just need the when and the where and they will be ready to…you know…portal it up. Brooke on the other hand is NOT DOWN. I get it. I mean, we all have a portal that works best for us, am I right? In the end, Brooke and the nameless dude bail, leaving Natalee, Cory and I in the conference room, where we crawl through a tiny hole that leads to space. (Feel free to give me a call, NASA, I remember what the conference room looked like.)

Once in space, we float through our friends’ new digs, which is mostly a glass sphere with round buttons all over the inside. While I wasn’t visibly upset in the dream, upon waking up I realized that of the six people that belong to the family in real life, only three of them were in my dream. The other three people in attendance were 100% strangers, however, dream-me didn’t seem to notice. #alarming

After getting all of the, “hey, yeah, we’re in space, cool floating pod, do you like it better than your two-story earth house?” type small talk out of the way, we decide to do what anyone would do the first day they were in space: play board games. (Because who needs gravity to hold the pieces to the board?!)

The next morning I wake up leaning diagonally into a wall, yawning and stretching like it was the best night of my life. I then tell my sister I would like to go to church. Naturally she gives me the lowdown, explaining, “lol Kim, you can’t do that, we’re in space,” to which I reply with a crawl back through the hole in the wall, because #portalsarelife.

Once I’m back on earth, I start walking. The portal dropped me off about two miles from my church (in my actual, real life neighborhood) so I take the same route I do every Sunday. Once I’m about a half of a mile away however, I’m stopped. Is it because there’s a roadblock? Is there an earthquake? Am I hit by a car?

No.

I stop—and I mean, come to a DEAD HALT—because there is guy putting on a reptile show for kids. A REPTILE GUY. And do you know what I do next? I hold a snake. Do you know what I do after? I GO BACK TO SPACE.

I can’t even tell you where the portal was this time. From what I can tell, dream-me may or may not have the ability to teleport on command. To make matters worse, when I get back to space and my sister asks me how church was and I say, “oh, I actually didn’t make it,” she says what no one should ever have to say, “Kim, did you get stopped by the reptile guy AGAIN?”

I wish I could tell you I was able to figure this one out. But even after I broke down certain parts I was arguably more confused than when I started.

For example, outer space supposedly signifies “boundless creativity” which, okay, cool, I would consider myself a creative person.

To dream that a stranger is pretending to be someone you know (i.e. when the family I know in real life was not quite the family I found in space) suggests that the person you know is not who you thought they were. So I’m boundlessly creative, but my friends are imposters…okay…

To see or play board games signifies “progress in life.” Now, I could argue my in-dream life is making much more progress than my actual life, seeing as I can teleport on a dime between earth and space and everything. But if we’re only talking about real life, I suppose recognizing my boundless creativity and my imposter friends would be considered forward progress so, okay, I’m still with you.

To see a reptile in your dream symbolizes your basic urges, instincts and suppressed desires. Ummm…yeah, okay, I think this is a safe place to officially draw the line. Let’s just call it a (REALLY) weird dream, okay?

34 Things that Make Me Happy

While reading Lily Collins’ book, Unfiltered, I fell in love with a chapter where she listed things that maker her happy. She made sure to be specific, which I thought was important because it made the list unique to her, and I can only assume made her smile while she was writing it. After reading through her list, I was immediately inspired to make my own. So, here are 34 things that make me happy:

  1. Writing (figured I’d start with an obvious one)
  2. Night driving with loud music
  3. John Cusack movies
  4. Laughing at commercials that shouldn’t be funny
  5. Macaroni & cheese
  6. Watching sports (on TV or in person, both ones I know and new ones I can obsessively ask questions about so I can learn the rules)
  7. Converse shoes
  8. Chocolate milk
  9. Watching awards shows and crying when people achieve their dreams
  10. Getting even one Jeopardy question right
  11. Houseplants (especially those that don’t die right after I buy/plant them)
  12. Fishing
  13. Harry Potter
  14. Finding the perfect gift
  15. Collecting ticket stubs, programs, menus, or any other souvenir I can get when I go somewhere new
  16. Proving myself (and others) wrong
  17. Listening to podcasts when I get ready in the morning
  18. Saying words that end in “-sts” (a.k.a lists, casts, etc. I just love that noise!)
  19. Ice cream in waffle cones
  20. When waiters bring you mints with your bill
  21. A clean house
  22. Making people laugh
  23. Dangly earrings
  24. Excel spreadsheets
  25. Going to church
  26. The Olympics
  27. Trying every single new flavor of Oreo
  28. Crossword puzzles
  29. Dancing at weddings
  30. Requesting Whitney Houston’s, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” at weddings
  31. A good playlist
  32. Big cozy jackets
  33. Finding weird places to stop/things to look at on road trips (i.e. WLRA’s)
  34. Ending this list on my lucky number (17) multiplied by 2. (a.k.a nerdy math-ish things)

My Google Search History

Did you know there is a limit of Internet windows you can have open on your phone? Did you know that it is extremely possible to reach that limit?

Well I do, and I have…5 times.

The first time was an accident—well actually, every single time has been an accident. I’m just a very curious person who will Google anything and everything, if only to level up in the fun fact department. Though I suppose that doesn’t necessarily explain why I never close any windows. Maybe I subconsciously keep them open in case I need to refer to them later, like it’s my own personal detective’s notebook. Or, more than likely, I just Google something and then turn my phone off and never think about it again.

Regardless, as I am once again approaching the window limit, I thought I might look back at (at least some of) what got me there. Let’s take a dive into the mind of past-Kim.

(Wait, is this a good idea?)

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1) Dodgers radio

My best guess why: I was desperately trying to find a way to listen to the games leading up to the playoffs and ultimately the World Series…which we ended up losing. Ouch. The wound is still fresh, let’s move on.

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2) How long are diced tomatoes good for?

My best guess why: It was a classic “I’m so glad I saved this Tupperware of diced tomatoes so I can make the most of the groceries I bought. But, uhhh, are these still any good though? Strictly speaking, what are my odds of dying if I eat these?” You know, one of those conversations you have with yourself—too often, probably—and so you turn to the Internet for guidance. FYI: when stored in a Tupperware, diced tomatoes are good for one week in the fridge.

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3) The best of 80s fashion

My best guess why: A friend of the family was having an 80’s themed birthday party and my mom and I were at Target next to the chokers trying to figure out if we wanted to go halfway or all out. Spoiler alert: we went all out.

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4) Cajeta

My best guess why: Whenever I go out to eat and find an ingredient on the menu I don’t recognize, I look it up both for educational purposes, and to ensure I don’t accidentally order something spicy because I’m a giant baby and would start profusely sweating/crying/begging for milk, etc. FYI: it’s essentially caramelized goat’s milk.

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5) Prohibition Facts

My best guess why: Your guess is as good as mine. I have no idea when or where I would have needed/wanted to drop knowledge about Prohibition, but apparently that conversation happened at some point.

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6) Last minute Halloween costume ideas

My best guess why: I’m really not a Halloween person, so “last minute costume ideas” is really just code for, “someone made me dress up this year.” That being said however, I’d like to think my costume this year wasn’t a complete and total failure. I put on my best set of nerdy glasses and a dinosaur shirt I bought at a greeting card store, and then I spent a solid hour gluing Smarties to my pants, thus transforming me into “Smarty Pants.” Fun fact: my sister stabbed plastic knives into cereal boxes to become a “Cereal Killer.” Sorry not sorry for the puns.

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7) Chow Chow Dog Yoga

My best guess why: My sister gave my dad a “Dogs Doing Yoga” calendar for Christmas last year and this image headed one month:

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It instantly became one of my favorite images of all time and so sometimes when I’m feeling down I give it a glance. It’s almost a foolproof strategy for joy, if you’re ever looking for one.

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8) Rapper with Pointy Teeth

My best guess why: My roommate asked me, “have you ever seen that rapper with the pointy teeth?” And then I said, “What are you talking about?” And then Google was like, you mean THIS GUY:

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I’m still traumatized.

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9) GOTR abbreviation

My best guess why: While on vacation in Colorado last year, my best friend and I saw Needtobreathe in concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. As we waited for the show to start, we came across a guy in a shirt that said “GOTR” across the front. A Google search would reveal the initials represented a band called Ghost of the Robot, but before doing so we decided to make out best guesses:

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10) Brian & Brittney Kelley Fashion

My best guess why: In September of last year I went to a Florida Georgia Line concert where I was showed a series of photos of the band, some of which included this jacket:

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Upon arriving home that evening and over the course of the next few weeks, I was OBSESSED with finding this jacket, unfortunately to no avail, and this website is a residual breadcrumb. It’s the clothing brand of one of the lead singers of the band, which I’m pretty sure I tried to put a hex on after sifting through every single page of the website at two in the morning and coming up empty. Apologies for that, Brian and Brittney, I’m sure the clothes are lovely if not severely overpriced and completely lacking the one item I was looking for. I’m totally over it though. I’m not bitter and I’m not spiraling back into Google to find the jacket that I still need would very much enjoy owning. I’m totally in contro…

Just Keep Dribbling

There is a boy in my neighborhood, probably about 12 or 13 years old, who is constantly dribbling a basketball on the sidewalk in front of his house. When I get home from work, he’s out there. When I go to the gym, he’s out there. When I sit on my couch trying to find inspiration for a blog post, he’s out there, just like he is right now. Dribbling and dribbling and dribbling.

Now, I don’t know what this boy’s dreams are. I don’t know if he wants basketball to be his life, or if maybe it already is. I don’t know if he wants to play in the NBA or if dribbling on his front porch is just how he blows off steam. But when I hear him out there, I smile, because I recognize the habit or the vice or the passion or whatever basketball is to him. For me, it’s been writing, it’s been photography, it’s been books, it’s been sports, and a number of other things.

These passions, these vices, these dreams all start small. They all start with just a dribble. And in order to make them real, to turn them into something tangible and successful and satisfying, we have to keep dribbling. Even when the days start to go by faster, even when our schedules start to get fuller, even when our bodies start to grow tired.

In my life, there are things I want to accomplish. Tons of things. Heck, I even have lists of them on the Internet. But while some of these things may seem impossible, some of them may seem far-fetched or unlikely or incredibly difficult, some of them might even be things I’ll change my mind on in a few years, what’s important is that I’m trying. Day in, day out, I’m trying. I’m working. To make myself better. To make myself stronger. To remind myself that no matter what life throws at me, I can keep working.

When I see that boy outside his house, I wonder what he’s working towards. If it’s basketball, I wonder if there are days when he sits inside with the ball in his lap, telling himself to just give up. Then I think about the things I’m working towards, some of which I’ve grown frustrated with the lack of progress on, and I ask myself if it’s because they’re not meant to be, or if I’ve just spent too many days indoors with the ball in my lap.

At the end of the day, it’s all about taking those small steps. As hard is it is to believe, they do add up and they will pay off. We just have to keep dribbling. And dribbling. And dribbling.

The Year of Patience

As my final wrap-up post for 2017, I want to talk about my word of the year. As mentioned in this post, each January my mom, sister and I seek a faith-based word to focus on for the upcoming year. In 2016, my word was “give” and this past year my word was “patience.”

Ouch, right?

I had tried my best not to hear “give,” but when I started hearing the whispers of “patience,” I all but invested in earplugs.

“Don’t you know…” I asked at the start of the year. “Don’t you know I’m not really in a position to be patient right now?! Don’t you know I have things I need to get done and questions I need to get answered? I need to move, I need to work. If anything, my life could use a heavy dose of impatience.”

These prayers however, did little more than assure me that not only was patience my word, but it was also, unknowingly, my greatest need.

I am at a point in my life when there is pressure coming from a lot of angles. Some of it real, some of it imagined. Pressure to move forward, pressure to settle down, pressure to make a name for myself and start on the path I was meant to follow. And while I’ve been desperate for answers, I’ve also been too impatient to hear them.

To me, patience looked too much like hesitation and sounded too much like indifference, and I didn’t think I had time for that. This world has us convinced that life is passing us by. That if we don’t move fast, we’ll miss the opportunities given to us. But the truth is, opportunity is everywhere, and the only way you’re guaranteed to miss it is by not looking—or in my case, not listening.

I am a creative person, with a lot of hopes and dreams of where I can use the gifts I’ve been given. As a result, I’ve tended to make plans of where I want to go, how I want to get there and how fast. Then, when I sit down to pray, I essentially lay out blueprints and ask for a signature.

Newsflash, Kim: that’s not how it works.

And while I knew this, it was clear I needed it spelled out for me. And so it was:

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Over and over…

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…and over and over again…

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If I were to give God the voice of a millennial teen, it would sound something like, “YO, CHILL. I GOT THIS.”

And while it took me a while. A LONG while. We’re talking most of 2017 type of while. In the last few months of the year, I finally started to listen. And even more, I started to understand.

Patience is not laziness. It is not indifference, confusion or failure. Patience is listening. It’s waiting. It’s breathing. It’s listening for what you need rather than demanding what you want. In being patient, you are being proactive. For patience is not a pause in productivity, but a path to it.

I will always be someone who wants to make plans. Who wants to move and work and make something of myself. But what I’ve learned this year, and what I hope to keep close to my heart in the years to come, is that I need not worry about the plans, for they are not really mine. And while that may be scary to accept because it means I’ll never have the blueprints, and I’ll never know all the steps, I can be comforted in knowing that the steps I do take are in the right direction.

So as I move into 2018, the year of…wait for it…SURRENDER. I again turn to the words I’ve been handed so far. Trust and then give and then patience. They all add up, and they all have purpose. For they are the steps. They are the answers. They are the plans that I’ve been looking for. And I need only listen to let them lead me forward.

2017 Goals Final Check-In

So I’ve decided to use this week as a kind of “wrap up” for 2017. Monday was the last episode (in 2017) of All the Good Things, and today we take a final look at my 2017 goals. Let’s see how I did:

1) See Star Wars

COMPLETED

That’s right folks, I can finally unlock a new level of society because I have officially seen all the Star Wars films. Well, at least all of them except the new one. But to be fair, that one wasn’t on the list because I didn’t know it was coming out. So as of now I’m counting myself among the I’ve-been-too-busy-with-the-holidays-to-see-the-new-one-yet breed, which is exactly where I want to be.

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2) See 5 WLRA’s

COMPLETED

WRLA (pronounced wool-rah) is my nickname for the World’s Largest Roadside Attractions, which I became addicted to sometime last year. It is among my life goals to see them all, and so I’m chipping them off slowly. This year I shot for five, and ended up seeing the fifth one just under the wire. My sister and I drove out to see the World’s Largest Donut on New Year’s Eve Eve. The other four I saw this year were the World’s Largest Paper Cup, Fishing Fly, Thermometer and Monk.

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3) Try this jean rug DIY

COMPLETED

I did most of the prep for this project back in September, but didn’t actually sew it together until this past weekend. On one hand I could say I’m glad I was ahead of the game (at one point) because when I finally sat down to sew it together, all the pieces were already cut. But on other hand, I wish I would have just taken the time to sew it together back then, it might have been a tinge less stressful. Regardless, I’m very proud of the end result. It’s nowhere near perfect, but it’s something I actually sewed with my own two hands and, like, HOW COOL IS THAT?!

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4) Run 1,000 miles

COMPLETED

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It’s almost unfathomable that I can write “complete” on this goal, but it is, in fact, COMPLETE! I, Kimberlee K, ran 1000 miles in 2017. EEEK. You can read all about this ridiculously crazy feat here.

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5) Complete The Ultimate Fit Bit Week

COMPLETED

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At the beginning of the year I decided to make my own Fitbit achievement known as “The Ultimate Fit Bit Week.” Essentially I wanted to see if I could meet every goal (i.e. steps taken, calories burned, active minutes, etc.) every single day for an entire week. Let me tell you, it was not easy, but it’s one of those things that I can now say that I did, which is cool. You can read about it here. Also, if you’re reading this, Fitbit, make sure you name this challenge after me if you ever make it, you know, a thing.

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6) Volunteer (at least) 5 times

COMPLETED

As I’ve said in previous check-ins, this was one of my favorite goals of the year, which made it a no brainer to add it to my list of goals for 2018. I’d highly encourage anyone and everyone to volunteer if they get a chance. It’s truly one of the most rewarding experiences!

These were my five for this year:

  • Food Forward (5/21/17)
  • Children’s Hunger Fund (6/24/17)
  • My Stuff Bags (8/10/17)
  • Food Forward (8/26/17)
  • Children’s Hunger Fund (10/7/17)

You can find opportunities to volunteer here.

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7) Go to a sporting event of “every” kind (i.e. baseball, football, hockey, basketball, & soccer)

60% COMPLETED

When the year started, the NFL, NBA and NHL were all in the tail end of their regular seasons and moving into the playoffs, thus making tickets to the games way out of my price range. So, since I knew baseball would be an easy one to check off (because I’m a huge Dodger fan), and soccer season was just about to start, I decided to channel my energy into those and put the other three checkpoints on hold until the end of the year (a.k.a the beginning of a new season). In the end, while I was lucky enough to be invited to a hockey game (in a suite!! Thanks, Sam!) I never found my way to a basketball or football game this year. But don’t fret! At the end of the day, not going to a basketball or football game doesn’t make my year a “failure” or this goal a wash. And it would be a waste to get caught up in the parameters of the goal and obsess over the failures rather than celebrate the successes. For among the casual weeknight Dodger games I got to attend this year, I also got to see Game 6 of the World Series, and got my family out to see an LA Galaxy soccer game, which we probably never would have done otherwise. When I think about it like that, I’d say it’s a pretty successful goal.

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8) Try every class at the gym

VETOED

The lack of progress on this one began with a lack of facilities, due to water damage at my local gym. It was back up and running in April, but then April turned into May and then June and then July, leading me to believe that procrastination had taken over. While that was definitely part of it, the truth was, I was scared. By July I had hit the 500-mile mark of my running goal, making the finish line something I could actually picture, and I was scared to do anything that might prevent me from reaching it. So around October, I more or less forfeited—or rather vetoed—this goal for 2017 and decided to add it as a bonus goal for this coming year. I still want to get a taste of what my gym membership is getting me and I figure it will be a good way to stay in shape.

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9) Do The Princess Diaries painting

COMPLETED

You remember this iconic scene from classic RomCom The Princess Diaries, right?

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I mean I think it’s safe to say we were all jealous of that mother/daughter arts and crafts session. Lucky for me, I have an amazing group of friends and family that dove headfirst into this project for my 27th birthday.

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You can read about that day here.

Also, I recently got a chance to hang the end results up on my wall and it makes me smile every time I pass by.

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10) Find and try the “Best of” restaurants in LA

COMPLETED

This was another goal that I was super excited about and it did not disappoint. I’ve always wanted to take more advantage of my access to downtown Los Angeles, and I feel like this search for the “best of” restaurants in my five favorite food groups (i.e. pizza, burgers, ice cream, donuts and sandwiches) helped me scratch the surface.

Here are my five finds:

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11) Watch every film that has ever won Best Picture

98.88% COMPLETED

As of my last check-in, I had 60 movies to watch before the end of the year. When the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, I only had one. Before you “awww”, know that this was intentional, as I realized (too late) that the last movie on the list was the final film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I haven’t seen the first two…

…DON’T GIVE ME THAT LOOK. I realize this is another cardinal sin of cinema and I’m going to make right, okay? I’m adding this trilogy as another bonus goal for 2018.

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12) Learn to Longboard

VETOED

Similar to goal #8, I more or less quit on this goal after I became knee deep in my running. It just seemed too likely that I’d fall off my longboard and tweak an ankle (or worse) and I wasn’t willing to give up the progress I’d made. So, again, this was postponed. Hopefully I’ll find the courage to *shred* in 2k18.

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13) Learn to do a headband braid

COMPLETED (I GUESS)

Have you ever adopted a new hobby and put in a bunch of time to get better at it, only to realize that your skill level is and always will be pretty basic. Yeah, well that’s how I feel about the headband braid. After spending the year watching a bunch of different tutorial videos and knotting my hair a bunch of different ways, I more or less accepted that I’m just not good at headband braids. I get the basic concept, but my end result always looks like I let a little kid play hair salon. SO, I’m forfeiting my pursuit of the perfect braid. The way I see it, at least I can say I tried, and at least I have a handful of friends that are willing to do my hair.

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14) Reach the 100,000-mile mark on my car

COMPLETED

This was another highlight of my year. After hitting the 100,000 mile mark, my family and I loaded up into Jeffrey—wearing sparkly hats and homemade glasses no less—and took a ridiculous amount of pictures and Boomerangs to commemorate the occasion.

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You can read all about Jeffrey’s (my car) big milestone here.

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15) Do a bar/pub crawl

COMPLETED

As if it were destined for my attendance, when I Googled “bar crawls” in October, I found 12 Bars of Charity, which divides its attendees into “teams” and gives them t-shirts to showcase the charity they choose to support. My friends and I were on the “black team” which supported the Boys & Girls club. And while we only made it to three of the twelve bars—because we spent too much time talking at each one shrug_1f937.png—we still had a great time, and talked about going again next year to go to the bars we missed. (Though at this rate it will take us 4 years to see them all)

If you’re interested, 12 Bars of Charity has events all over the country. Check here to see if there’s one near you.

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16) Sing Karaoke

COMPLETED

Much to the surprise of my pre-2017 self, karaoke became somewhat of a staple for my year. My friends and I found a favorite place and made many an appearance on a Saturday night. I found that it is one of the best ways to blow off steam and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

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17) Complete Project Lightbulb

COMPLETED

Project Lightbulb is the nickname I gave my family’s dream vacation to Iceland. And while it became clear that this goal would be impossible to complete this year, I decided that as long as we made steps towards planning and booking it—a.k.a inching it to a reality—I’d call it a win. That being said, this year we did take steps in the right direction by officially opening a savings account so we can slowly save up enough money to make this thing happen! Iceland here we come!

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And that, as they say, is that! I completed 14 of my 17 goals, which is an accomplishment in itself, and what I didn’t finish, I plan on carrying over into this new year.

But the ultimate win here is the I CAN that comes alongside the setting and completing of goals, no matter what those goals may be. This list of 17 goals inspired me to get completely out of my comfort zone, which led me on new adventures I never would have experienced otherwise. I can only hope that the goals I set for 2018 can do the same.

If you are someone who is looking for some inspiration in your life, I highly encourage you to set goals. Whether big or small, artistic, athletic or otherwise, write them down, put them out into the universe, and then go for them! You might surprise yourself how much you can accomplish.

Happy New Year!

5 Square Pegs I’m Thankful For

It’s Thanksgiving time again, which means we have reached that point in the year where there is an entire day dedicated to something we should all strive to do a little more of: be grateful. I personally feel like I could talk for hours about all that I am thankful for, but that’s not to brag, it’s more to criticize myself for all the moments I let trivial things make me forget.

This year has been a trying one for our world. Fear and hate have tried their best to dictate who we are and what we do. But among this darkness has also been the constant presence of love. There are people helping people and loving people and saving people. There is still an ever presence of light that is trying it’s best to bleed out the dark.

Here on my blog, I’ve been doing my best to highlight the good things that have been happening amongst the bad in a monthly segment called “All the Good Things.” It’s a list of positive minded and/or inspiring actions/events that happen during a specific month, the length being equal to the number of days in that month. Come December, I’ll have done 11 “episodes” which equivalate to 334 good things that have happened so far this year! (And that’s only the ones I included on the list!) For me, making this list each month has given me a constant source of hope and positivity. It’s inspiring to know how many good hearts are out there in the world!

Speaking of good hearts. Last year for Thanksgiving, I wrote a post about 8 badass women I was (and still am) thankful for. Starting with my girl, Gina Rodriguez, the list showcased 8 women who had truly inspired me that year with their character, courageousness and all around badass-ery. This year I have a new list, and while they are not all women, they are all people who I’ve looked up to this year . For amongst all the repetition and imitation found in this age of social media, these 5 people are paving their own way with passion, innovation, inspiration and kindness. These are the square pegs challenging all the round holes—don’t make it weird. They are the ones standing out for good reason, showing the true benefit of being yourself and standing up for what you believe in.

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1) Ellen DeGeneres

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If you’re ever looking for a smile or a safe place to laugh, Ellen is your go-to girl. With her unwavering positivity and message of kindness, she is a constant source of joy for anyone and everyone, especially those who watch her show. I am constantly inspired by the goodness she brings to television and social media and I can only hope to be part of projects with such a positive impact one day.

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2) Malala

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Honestly, I don’t even think there are words I can say that could possibly describe the magic that is Malala. But maybe that’s the point. After all, it is not only her voice but her actions and her unshakable bravery that make her someone I continue to look up to. If you don’t know her story, I highly you suggest you look it up in its entirety, but here’s a sneak peek:

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3) Gal Gadot

Build Presents The Cast Of "Wonder Woman"

A small part of me wishes Wonder Woman would have come out last year so that Gal Gadot could have been properly featured on my list of badass women, but the rest of me is glad it came out this year, because she is the superhero we all needed. It’s no secret she’s a badass, but it’s also no secret that she’s humble and kind and an incredible role model for young (and old and any age really) girls and boys alike.

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4) Chance the Rapper

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I don’t like being behind the times, so when I started hearing everyone talk about Chance the Rapper’s album Coloring Book, and then realized I could only listen to it on Spotify, I almost immediately handed over my $7/month so I could see what this guy was all about. After doing so, let me just say that regardless of whether or not you like his music—which I do—you can never be too late to the party that is Chance the Rapper. Bottom line, he’s just a great person that is so full of life and love that it makes you want to be full of life and love.

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5) Lin-Manuel Miranda

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A few months back I had the opportunity to see Hamilton when it came to LA, which was everything I wanted/hoped it would be times 1000. Afterwards, I more or less love-ranted my way into a blog post called “5 Lessons I Learned from Hamilton & Lin-Manuel Miranda,” which says pretty much everything I want to say here, save for a few more thank you’s. As someone who’s constantly exhausted by what I find on social media, Lin-Manuel Miranda is always a breath of fresh air.

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Sometimes I have to remind myself that these tweets are not written directly to me. But then again, maybe they are. Maybe they are exactly what I need to read in order to get me where I need to go, which in a perfect world, is a place where I can write something that is exactly what someone needs to read in order to get them where they need to go. I’m all for this assembly line of inspiration, kindness and productivity, Lin. Let’s keep it moving!

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Thank you to all these square pegs and to the many more that are out there making a positive difference in the world. I have so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving and you are all among them!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!