My Life

Does the vague name make it sound more edgy?

Raise Your Hand if You…

It’s Monday.

I’m just looking for some solidarity here.

Please raise your hand if you…

  1. Color in the bubble part of letters when you’re bored or antsy
  2. Set more than one alarm for work in the morning
  3. Just don’t get the “dilly dilly” commercials
  4. Guess how many previews are going to play before a movie
  5. Can’t keep a houseplant alive
  6. Audibly gasp when you find groceries unexpectedly on sale
  7. Try every flavor of Oreo
  8. Always return the shopping cart
  9. Treat/talk to your car like it’s a person
  10. Wait until after Thanksgiving to listen to Christmas music
  11. Feel calmer when things are clean
  12. Prefer chocolate milk over coffee
  13. Can’t resist a movie on sale for less than $5
  14. Have waited so long to do laundry that you had to wear a bathing suit under your clothes
  15. Have playlists that coincide with your current mood
  16. Sing in your car like you’re in a musical
  17. Hate salad
  18. Talk about athletes on your favorite sports teams like they’re your actual friends
  19. Are constantly Googling things just because you’re curious
  20. Always read the directions of a board game in full
  21. Also have a tendency to make up your own rules that might make the game more fun
  22. Add random vegetables to your pasta to try and make it healthy
  23. Sniff your hands after you wash them to see if the soap smells good
  24. Will take any opportunity to craft
  25. Suck at painting your nails
  26. Avoid going to Target because you have no self control
  27. Have a compulsive need to touch everything that looks soft
  28. Have had an argument with Siri
  29. Are worried Siri is constantly listening to you
  30. Would like Siri to know you love and appreciate her and to please not turn against you when the robots win
  31. Have your own unique vocabulary to describe things
  32. Take coloring seriously
  33. Take coloring so seriously that some coloring books in your house are off limits to guests
  34. Can turn almost anything into a quesadilla
  35. Still make paper-chains
  36. Hate sneezing in an empty house because you’re scared someone might say bless you
  37. Cut the crusts off your sandwiches
  38. Like seeing movies alone
  39. Lay on top of your laundry when it comes out of the dryer
  40. Think all DVD’s should come with a blooper reel

 

Anyone?

2018 Goals Check-In #3

Dear Fall,

Where are you? It’s October, which means we’re starting the last quarter of the year, but I’m still kind of sweating so…what’s the deal? I mean, I’m just ready for some sweater weather, you know?

Speaking of none of that, let’s check in on some goals.

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1) Do a handstand in yoga

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 33.33%

Current Progress: 33.33%

I’ve been a bit up and down with this goal, especially in these last few months because things got so insanely busy. But as stated before, my biggest obstacle here is myself. I’ve just got to start trying. Wish me luck!

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2) Take a kickboxing class

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

I really didn’t expect for this goal to be one I put off for so long, but here I am in the (almost) middle of October and I’ve yet to throw a punch (or kick) at anything. (Or anyone) (Anyone in a kickboxing class that is.) (Not that I’ve punched or kicked anyone outside of a class) (How many side conversation parentheses is too many?)

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3) Visit (at least) 20 museums in Los Angeles

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 4/20 (5%)

Current Progress: 7/20 (35%)

While I haven’t made as much progress as I’d like on this one, I’ve loved every single museum I’ve gone to so far. These past few months I went to the Annenberg Space for Photography, the La Brea Tar Pits and LACMA, which had ACTUAL PICASSO PAINTINGS, Y’ALL. *heavy art nerd breathing*

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4) Get CPR certified

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

Things fell through on this one a little bit, as the class I planned on taking ended up being on a day that was packed with too many other things. But I’m getting myself signed up for a new one, and before you know it, I’ll be ready to save your life at the drop of hat.

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5) Shoot (at least) 1 roll of film per month

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 6/12 (50%)

Current Progress: 9/12 (75%)

Seeing as I majored in photography, it shouldn’t come as a surprise for me to love this goal, but it kind of does. After I graduated, taking pictures became more stressful and robotic than it was fun, which kind of made it lose its spark for me. But having my film camera back in my hand has made me feel like I’m back in college again, shooting too many rolls of film and spending too many hours in the darkroom getting them developed.

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6) Complete the 104 things to Photograph book

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 23/104 (22.12%)

Current Progress: 52/104 (50%)

I think this one is going to end up being somewhat of a big reveal at the end of the year because I still haven’t gotten my film developed or gone through the book to really study what I have and haven’t taken a picture of yet. I think we can safely estimate that I’m (at least) half way through, but I really have no idea. #lessthanidealupdate

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7) Visit the sea glass beach in Fort Bragg, CA

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

I’ve done my research on the what’s and how’s of getting to this glass beach and it is my hope to get a weekend getaway with my roommates on the calendar before the end of the year. But I’m also going to count is as a win if I can get it officially on the calendar for next year, as long as it’s on there by the end of this year…you know?

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8) Go to the dentist

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 100%

Yes, I went to the dentist. No, it was not fun.

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9) Watch 20 documentaries on Netflix

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 4/20 (20%)

Current Progress: 10/20 (50%)

I honestly wish I would have set this goal a long time ago. There are so many good/crazy/emotional/incredible stories being told out there and I’m happy I’m finally getting around to hearing them! Some of my favorites that I’ve watched recently are Icarus and The White Helmets. (Both are on Netflix!)

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10) Perfect an omelet

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

An omelet? No. A fried egg? A hard boiled egg? Yes! I’m moving up in the egg world, guys, I just don’t have a pan non-sticky enough to make an omelet yet. But I have heard something about making an omelet in a bag? Stay tuned.

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11) See (at least) one movie in theaters per month

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 6/12 (50%)

Current Progress: 9/12 (75%)

There’s been a few last minute (i.e. September 30th) movie watching over the last few months, but I still have yet to miss one! Here’s a list of all the ones I’ve seen so far:

  1. I, Tonya
  2. Call Me By Your Name
  3. Maze Runner: The Death Cure
  4. 50 Shades Freed
  5. Red Sparrow
  6. I Can Only Imagine
  7. A Quiet Place
  8. Book Club
  9. Incredibles 2
  10. Won’t You Be My Neighbor
  11. Three Identical Strangers
  12. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
  13. Eighth Grade
  14. Skate Kitchen
  15. Crazy Rich Asians
  16. A Star is Born

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12) Read 20 books off the Time’s 100 List

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 6/20 (30%)

Current Progress: 12/20 (60%)

PSA: If you ever plan on setting a goal like this, invest some time in audiobooks! I’ve gotten through a good handful of books in the last few months because I’ve been listening to them. It’s made the stories more engaging and really helped me appreciate/understand them more than I would have just trying to sit down and read them on my own. My favorite one I’ve listened to so far is To Kill a Mockingbird.

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13) Pay off credit card

Current Progress: Progress

Yeah so, let’s just say progress has slowed on this one. It hasn’t stopped, which is what counts. But these past few months have held *expenses* and I’ve had to crutch a little. I’m not worried about it though, I’ll get there.

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14) See 3 WRLA’s – COMPLETED!

While on a trip to Seattle and Canada this past March, I was unexpectedly able to complete this goal, seeing the World’s Largest Cowboy Hat & Boots in Seattle, WA, the World’s Largest Paper Airplane in Mukilteo, WA, and the World’s Largest Tin Solider in New Westminster, BC, Canada!

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15) Volunteer (at least) 5 times

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 2/5 (40%)

Current Progress: 4/5 (80%)

Gonna give myself a pat on the back for not putting this one off until the last minute like last year! I’ve got my fifth volunteer slot lined up for this month, so I might even get in a few extra dates before the end of the year. *pats back to the tune of the Cha Cha Slide*

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16) Donate Blood

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 100% (not really)

Current Progress: 100% (for real!)

After getting a no go due to low iron the first time I tried to donate blood I made an effort to add iron rich foods to my diet (for example: spinach, which I put in breakfast smoothies) and I decided to try again. This time, I did it! Was it my favorite thing ever? No. But will I do it again because it’s an easy way to help out? Definitely!

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17) Do the 1 second/day video challenge

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 185/365 (50.68%)

Current Progress: 283/365 (77.53%)

Every time I update my collection of one-second clips, I get so excited to see the final product! But while I’ve peeped the progress, I won’t be giving any spoilers until the year’s over. Stay tuned! 🙂

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When we add that all together, my total progress is about 52%. Again, I’m a little behind, but I’m ready to give these last few months all I’ve got!

If you set goals this year, I hope things are going well for you, and if you didn’t, it’s never too late to start! 🙂

Happy Birthday, Grandpa

It was a Saturday afternoon, right when the Camarillo breeze started to creep its way through the trees, when my dad pulled up in front of my grandpa’s house. We made sure not to park in front of the mailbox—that was one of grandma’s biggest rules—and then we open and shut our doors, carrying in some groceries, the mail and most importantly, lunch, up the pathway to the front door.

I stood on the porch, peeking through the black mesh of the screen at my grandpa sitting in his chair, as I waited for my dad, who was a few steps and a free hand behind me, to open the door. That’s when I saw a sign taped to the wall.

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“Ding dong!” I yelled.

“Well, hello there,” my grandpa said with a laugh. “I see you like my new doorbell.”

“I love it,” I said as we walked in.

He smiled.

Growing up, I was told by many people—frequently—how much they loved my grandpa.

Howard is the best.

Howard is my favorite.

Your grandpa is truly one of the best men I’ve ever known.

As I got older, these compliments were passed down to my dad.

Your dad is the best.

Your dad is my favorite.

Your dad is truly one of the best men I’ve ever known.  

And then to my brother.

Troy is just the best.

Troy is my favorite.

Troy is one of the best guys I know.

While nice to hear—albeit annoying at times because, like, don’t you know how great I am?!—it wasn’t new information for me. It was no secret I was growing up surrounded by incredibly strong, kind and caring men. To be honest, it kind of ruined me. Because if I know there are men like them around, why waste my time with anything less, you know?

My grandpa taught my dad who taught me (and my sister and my brother) how to love. How to care for people and make them feel like they matter. He taught us by reminding us that we matter.

In college, when I studied abroad in Australia, my grandpa sent me postcards and letters, giving me a sense of home when I was scared and needed it most. And to this day, whenever we get together as a family, my grandpa always goes out of his way to ask each and every one of his grandchildren (and children and great-grandchildren), “What’s new?”

When I think of my grandpa, I think of love. Of joy and fun and safety. I think of the mini donut holes he always had out on the kitchen table when my family moved in with him and my grandma.

I think of going to Dodger games, of eating hot dogs and singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, and of the time my cousin Spenser was wildly booed for popping a beach ball that was being passed around, because my grandparents knew the usher and didn’t want her to have to chase it—which he never did again, by the way.

I think of sitting around in he and my grandma’s living room with one arm leaning on a cousin, the other on an aunt or an uncle, and my legs propped up on my brother’s shoulders as we all sat close and opened presents on Christmas Day.

I think of going to the mall during the summer to walk around, just so we weren’t cooped up in the house, and how occasionally we would convince grandpa to buy us a blizzard from Dairy Queen.

I think of bowling on Thursdays, watching golf on Sundays, and eating pizza on Friday nights after sitting in the bleachers at my parents’ softball game, learning how to keep score next to my grandma. (When someone would ask who was winning, my grandpa would either say “good guys” or “bad guys”—monikers I still use to this day.)

When I think about these things, it’s no wonder why people go out of their way to tell me how great my grandpa is. But oftentimes I wonder if they really know how great.

It takes a special kind of man (and a badass lady partner in crime) to raise the kind of family I grew up in. And it would be one of the greatest successes of my life to find a partner worthy of our traditions and to raise children with as much kindness and compassion as was given to me.

I can only hope that one day I have grandchildren looking at me the way we all look at you, grandpa—and I hope I’ll stick my tongue out and make them laugh the way you’ve done my whole life.

We’re so very lucky to have you by our sides—and there are a lot of us, so that’s a lot of sides, but you still manage to make each one of us feel just as important and cared for, and I pray we make you feel that way too.

Happy (one day early) birthday, Grandpa.

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P.S.- Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone I’m your favorite.

A Kim Pop Quiz for My Family

As a way to continue my birthday week festivities, I decided to put together a series of questions about myself to quiz my family on how well they know my newly 28 year old self.

Going into the quiz, my brother, Troy (who is 7 ½ years younger than me) was feeling extremely confident. He was the one sitting on the couch and rounding everybody up so we could start.

“I got this,” he said.

“Oh gosh,” said most everyone else.

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1) When listening to music in my car, what volume do I like it set at?

The correct answer: 30

*entire living room is silent*

Me: Would it help if told you the maximum volume of my car is 45?

My family, collectively: Yeah, okay, that helps a little, I guess.

Troy (smiling): 17 (my favorite number)

Me: Very cute guess, but no.

Natalee (my sister): 30

Mom: I put 14, but I don’t really pay attention where I set it.

Me: Where you set it?

Mom: Yeah.

Me: Mom, this is a quiz about me. (Lol)

Mom: Oh, that’s right! Yeah, I have no idea.

Dad: I was going to say 17 as well, but I thought that would be too low so I went with my favorite number at 28.

Score

Dad: 0

Mom: 0

Natalee: 1

Troy: 0

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2) At age 14, which celebrity crush did I print out pictures of and tape to my wall?

The correct answer: Chad Michael Murray

Troy: How is this question fair, I was barely cognizant!

Dad: Let’s see, 14…hmm

Troy: I mean, come on, I was four! Or six. Or something! I need an extra second on this one.

*gives him a few more seconds*

Troy: Leonardo DiCaprio

Mom: I wrote down Lance Bass but now I think I’m wrong…

Dad: Aaron Carter?

Mom (whispering): Is it that boy from One Tree Hill?

Natalee: Sean Faris?

Me (nodding to my mom): Chad Michael Murray

Mom: DANG IT! I want to change my answer. Can I change my answer? I knew it. Do I get a point for that one?

Troy: I’m standing by the fact that I was six.

Score

Dad: 0

Mom: 1 (judges ruled she got the point)

Natalee: 1

Troy: 0

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3) Besides my wallet and my phone, name four items I always have in my purse.

The correct answer: various

Troy: I have two that I’m very confident in, one that I’m 50/50, and then I need one more.

Mom: I nailed this one

Natalee : Me too. Woah, dad, you are focusing so hard.

Dad: I’m trying to think.

Troy: Okay, chapstick, sunglasses, birth control, and, I’m not confident in this one, but, like, makeup stuff.

Me: No makeup stuff, but everything else is correct.

Dad: A flashlight, sunglasses, hair tie/clip, chapstick

Me: No flashlight, and I only ever keep a hair tie on my wrist but…

Dad: Well, you should carry a flashlight.

Mom: Keys, chapstick, writing notebook, and a pen

Me: Correct!

Natalee: Sunglasses, chapstick, keys, notebook

Me: Also correct!

Score

Dad: 2

Mom: 4

Natalee: 5

Troy: 3

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4) Which side dish will I often order at a new restaurant, just to see what it tastes like?

The correct answer: Mac n’ cheese.

Natalee: Easy.

Dad: Yeah, I think we’re all gonna nail this one.

Troy: If I’m wrong I’m going to be surprised.

Mom: Again, I’m stuck between two…but this time I’m going to go with my second guess…so, sweet potato fries.

*I shake my head*

Mom: NO!!

Dad, Troy, & Natalee: Mac n’ cheese.

Mom: I wrote that down too. Look! Look at my notepad, I wrote that down too. Darnit!

Score

Dad: 3

Mom: 4

Natalee: 6

Troy: 4

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5) What was my biggest fear growing up?

The correct answer: Being kidnapped

Natalee: Again, easy.

Dad: Okay, I have a strange answer, but then I think I had something similar, so I’m going to say falling in the toilet?

Troy: The dark?

Mom & Natalee (confident): Getting kidnapped.

Mom: Although falling in the toilet is a common fear for kids that are potty training…

Score

Dad: 3

Mom: 5

Natalee: 7

Troy: 4

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6) Up until recently, what was my go-to Subway order?

The correct answer: Footlong oven roasted chicken on flatbread with tomatoes & honey mustard

Troy: Okay, none of these questions have fallen into the Troy sweet zone. I don’t even remember going to Subway with you in the past three years.

Mom: I can’t remember the name of the chicken, but I wrote down chicken footlong with wheat flatbread, toasted, with American cheese.

Me: Is that it?

Mom: Um, and then that mustard you like. Not hone—WAIT NO: HONEY! Honey mustard! And then you don’t like lettuce, so…that’s all.

Natalee: All of that, and then add tomatoes.

Dad: Oven roasted chicken on flatbread with no cilantro

Troy (quietly): I put meatball marinara.

Score

Dad: 5

Mom: 10

Natalee: 13

Troy: 4

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7) I wear the same necklace every day, what shape is the pendant on it?

The correct answer: a “V”

Dad: An angel

Natalee: V

Mom: Lightning bolt

Troy: Oval

Score

Dad: 5

Mom: 10

Natalee: 14

Troy: 4

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8) What word do I use to describe a beer that would otherwise be described as “hoppy”?

The correct answer: “sticky”

Natalee (to my dad): You know this one!!

Troy: Wait, this isn’t fair! I can’t even drink beer yet.

Me: You’ve sat next to me while I’ve drank a beer so many times. And I say this about so many beers.

Troy: I tune out when you talk about beer!

Mom, Dad, & Natalee: Sticky.

Troy: Yeah, no. I put dirt or like…grass.

Me (being a brat): Mmm, I love this beer. Tastes like grass.

*Troy stays quiet*

Score

Dad: 6

Mom: 11

Natalee: 15

Troy: 4

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9) Where is my birthmark?

The correct answer: My left middle finger

Troy: Do we really have to write this one down?

Me: No, go ahead and just show me.

*everyone waves their left hand at me*

Score

Dad: 6

Mom: 11

Natalee: 15

Troy: 4

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10) What do I buy from every new place I visit?

The correct answer: a postcard

Mom: I got it.

Troy: This feels very generic answer but, postcard?

Natalee: Postcard.

Dad: Postcard.

Mom: Postcard.

Score

Dad: 7

Mom: 12

Natalee: 16

Troy: 5

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11) What is my favorite alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink?

The correct answer: Dirty Shirley & chocolate milk

Troy: Yeah, I don’t know about alcoholic, but for non alcoholic, I’m gonna say lemonade.

Mom: Dirty Shirley and chocolate milk.

Natalee: Dangit, she’s right, but I put chocolate milk and Shocktop because we were just talking about beer.

Dad: Yeah, I put Shocktop and water.

Me: To be fair, I do love all of those things.

Score

Dad: 7

Mom: 14

Natalee: 17

Troy: 5

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12) What is the first blog post I ever got published?

The correct answer: The Juice Cleanse

Troy: OH! Wait, no, I don’t think that’s right.

Dad: Was your first one on that mommy site?

Natalee: The 40 Penises of Freshman Year.

Mom: Was it the one about Mr. Day?

Troy: The one with the girl from Jane the Virgin?

Me: *shakes my head politely while soaking in a brief moment of pride*

Score

Dad: 7

Mom: 14

Natalee: 17

Troy: 5

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13) Growing up, I was obsessed with a specific musical instrument. However, upon reaching middle school, taking a band class and getting the chance to play it, I quickly realized that I hated it. What instrument was this?

The correct answer: The flute

Troy: I know this! Yes! I know this one!

Mom, Dad, Natalee and Troy: the flute.

Me: Yeah, the flute SUCKED.

Score

Dad: 8

Mom: 15

Natalee: 18

Troy: 6

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15) Which physical feature of mine was I not born with?

The correct answer: My dimple

My family, collectively (laughing): your “dimple”.

*Note: It’s actually a dent. I was dancing in socks on hardwood floor and I slammed my cheek into the corner of my family’s living room hutch. 

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BONUS QUESTION

Name three phrases I say all the time

(This one was based on curiosity more than anything)

Natalee: Barnacles

Mom: Wonky, shitty, barnacles

Natalee: The word “incorrect”

Dad: Oh snap.

Me: Do I say, “oh snap?”

Natalee: I think you did in like 9th and 10th grade. Oh and you said, “that’s provocative.”

Dad (in a 14 year old Kim voice): Scandalousssss!

Me (cringing): Oh my gosh, 14 year old me was awful.

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Final Score

Dad: 9

Mom: 16

Natalee: 19

Troy: 7

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Troy: Okay, I’m just realizing this has been unfair. They (pointing at my parents) see you at work and you live with her (points at my sister).

Me: Bub…

Troy: Okay, okay, no. have a question. What’s the correct way to turn off the volume of the TV when you and Kim want to play video games and listen to music?

(my family starts to answer but Troy interrupts)

Troy: You turn the television volume down to zero. You DO NOT push mute because then the word “mute” shows up in the bottom right corner of the screen and that bugs her.

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Don’t worry, Bub, I know you know me. ❤

A Few Challenges for My Birthday (Update!)

Remember a month ago when I wanted to start my 28th year off with a bang, so I decided to set a bunch of 30 Day Challenges for myself, causing most everyone (including myself) to worry that I’d gone too far and might possibly start my 28th year off feeling like a failure?

Well, I have great news: I actually did it! I checked off every single item on every single challenge, and I come to you today, newly 28, feeling like a freaking badass.

To be honest, I loved the challenges. I loved having something new to challenge myself with every day, even though some days it felt like a little too much of a challenge. And though it would have been easy to fall behind, I always took time out of my day to sit down, open my notebook and write, draw, and journal my way through each challenge I did that day.

One of the most important things I learned throughout the process is to let the challenges challenge me but not own me. There have been so many times in the past when I’ve tried to do similar 30 Day challenges and I started off strong, but then fell so far behind that I gave up. I was so determined to follow the challenges exactly to the letter that it wasn’t motivating me as much as it was discouraging me. So, for these past 30 days, I made sure to work the challenges into my life, rather than completely alter my life and turn the challenges into work.

Here are a few highlights:

Happiness Challenge


Do you collect anything?

Come to think of it, I collect a lot of things. I’m very sentimental to begin with, so I don’t like to throw things away and I often upcycle them into new DIY projects. In terms of consistent collecting however, I would say: postcards, sand, t-shirts, ticket stubs, and old cameras.


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What is something you wish you were good at?

Singing. I love singing so much, especially in my car. I think it’s such a freeing feeling and I can understand why people who are talented singers fight so hard to make it their career. 


 

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What is your favorite quote or a quote that means a lot to you?

I’m a big lover of quotes and words in general. I love the way people can spin them in a way that can change your perspective on things. If I were to choose a quote that sticks out in my mind it would be this one from Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said , people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It’s a good reminder that you don’t have to say the perfect thing or do the perfect thing all the time. As long as you lead with kindness and love, that is what will leave a lasting impression.


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Why did you start blogging and what is the origin behind your blog’s name?

I started blogging mostly because I had no other choice. I’d always loved writing and then when I went to Australia I started a travel blog where I mostly just rambled my way through my study abroad term. Once I got back, I missed writing and posting blogs, so I started a new blog, only this time it would be about anything and everything that came to mind. As for my blog name, it’s pretty simple, as it’s just my name minus the hard to pronounce part of my last name:

KimberleeKoehn


FitBit Challenge

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If you ever find yourself looking for a challenge, I’d recommend any of these. (You can find blank copies of all of the challenges on my original blog post here)

Overall, I think the challenges served exactly the purpose I hoped they would, as I feel both accomplished and excited about the year to come. I also got to know a little more about myself (and my lack of ability to draw a dog, the result of which I didn’t include here, for everyone’s sake) which I think is important. It’s always good to check in with who the heck you are every once in a while. And as of now, I’m really liking that person.

A Bummer of a Step in the Right Direction

A few weeks ago I applied to a job that sounded like it would be the perfect fit for me. Not only was the company one that I’d volunteered for in the past, but the job itself was one I believed I was completely qualified for and could offer a lot to.

It had been a while since I applied to a job. And even though my current job was not unsatisfying—I have both friendly coworkers, generous bosses and a healthy work environment as a whole—I’ve long dreamed about finding a new home. Somewhere that I can grow and learn and be challenged in new and exciting ways.

Patience was all it was supposed to take. Patience and hard work and determination. And after years of feeling as if I’d done just that, I found this job opportunity and hit apply.

A week later, I got an email asking to set up a phone interview. My stomach turned and turned, wondering if perhaps this was actually it. Maybe this was what I’d been patient for. Maybe this was what I’d been working towards.

The night before the interview, I warned my roommates I would be going into work late the next morning, asking them to send their thoughts and prayers, and not to judge if they heard me pacing back and forth on the phone.

After the interview, I went to work as usual. I pulled into my parking spot and clocked in at the time clock and sat behind my desk. My stomach was no longer in knots, and my confidence was through the roof. I nailed that, I thought, and instantly my mind began to picture me in a new parking spot and behind a new desk.

In the days that followed, my confidence waned. It wasn’t that anything had changed; I still believed I’d given a good interview, and even if it wasn’t perfect, it was honest and a good representation of who I was and what I can do.

Prideful thoughts told me they’d be crazy not to hire me, that there wasn’t a chance they’d interviewed a candidate as good as me. But realistic thoughts countered back with humbling doses of doubt.

What if they don’t hire me? I began to worry. What if this is just another blip on the failure radar? What if in a few weeks, this will be nothing more than a jaunt of unrewarded risk?

Tears flooded my eyes as I sat at my desk. What if this wasn’t it? Could I really continue being patient? And if this seemingly perfect opportunity wasn’t going to work out, then what was I even being patient for?

Over the next few days I felt nauseous with worry. I checked my email obsessively, hoping the next refresh would prove my doubts wrong. But nothing came.

Then, in a seemingly ordinary moment, when neither acceptance nor rejection was particularly weighing on my mind, I felt a sudden feeling of peace. It wasn’t a confidence that things were going to go my way, and it wasn’t a guarantee that I wouldn’t be crushed if they didn’t, but rather a reassurance that whatever happened was exactly what was supposed to happen.

So often I’m someone who’s making plans, setting goals and checking items off lists to ensure that I’m setting myself up for a happy and successful future. I’m always trying to do more, to be more and I assure myself that eventually what I do will lead me where I need to go.

But therein lies the problem.

So often I forget that I’m part of a plan much bigger than me. That what I’m working towards, even on the most mundane of days, and what I’m being patient for, even when it seems hopeless, is something greater than I could ever imagine.

Almost exactly a week after my phone interview, I received an email that the company had decided to go in a “different direction”. And even with that feeling of peace sitting in the back of my mind, I was still bummed. It was still a no, and now that it was a real no rather than one fabricated in my head, it stung—bad. So I took that day and I let all the sad and the disappointed move through me. Rather than go out with my friends, I stayed home and watched a sad movie and let myself be bummed.

As it turned out, this wasn’t it. But even though it felt like a step I didn’t get to take, it was actually a step forward in a new direction. A step towards something else.

So even as I drive to work today and park in my same parking spot and clock in at the same time clock and sit behind my same desk, I can take a deep breath knowing that right now, I’m exactly where I need to be. And that as the days go by and I keep moving forward, my patience will pay off, and where I end up will be far greater than any place I could have ever imagined.

10 Things I Do Incorrectly

Ever since the day we were born, we’ve been taught to do things a certain way—or at least the way our family (and those around us) deem acceptable. Then, as we make our way out into the world and see other people doing things in completely different ways, we have one of two reactions:

  1. We are intrigued and overall impressed, thus we adopt this new method.
  2. We are horrified.

I’m not afraid to admit I have habits that (I guess) might horrify people. Not in a clinical way or one that would warrant an arrest or anything. But some that would definitely provoke a dirty look or at the very least a pity nod and a side glance to someone equally as upset.

Don’t get me wrong, this post is not a promise to change any of them. It’s also not an apology. I’m just pointing them out to let you know that I know, and also to let you know what I know in case you’re wondering if anyone else does what you do, you know?

For example:

1) Tie My Shoes

I was never able to figure out how to work the loop, swoop and pull method, so I’m still rocking the bunny ears. Honestly, I prefer this method. I think it allows a tighter (a.k.a more efficient) tie.

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2) Follow Washing Instructions

As a persistent rule follower this is a little out of character for me, but I get so aggravated that some clothes require this and some require that. I do stick to the basics: colors vs. whites, but when it comes to machine wash vs. hand wash, I’m more than likely to go survival of the fittest on you and cross my fingers you make it out of the washer and drier. If you do, I dub thee worthy of my closet.

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3) I Cut the Crusts off My Sandwiches

I’m sorry but crusts are gross and I will never apologize for this. The only thing I’ll admit is a little weird is that crusts don’t bother me when the bread is toasted. But I feel like that’s because it’s a more consistent texture…or something.

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4) Handwriting

My handwriting is an absolute disaster. It’s a strange combination of cursive, chicken scratch and both lower and upper case letters. It’s a shame too, because I actually love writing and receiving letters. But when I look at the way I write, it’s not a big mystery why I’ve never been able to keep a consistent pen pal.

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5) I’m Right-Handed and Left-Handed

(Not really) speaking of hands, mine are moody. While my right is dominant in most everything in my daily life, I’ve always batted left-handed. As a result, I also golfed left-handed, however, I recently learned that I have a better right-handed golf swing. So basically my body is having a constant identity crisis.

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6) I Hate Peanut Butter & Coffee

I feel as though both of these preferences have been regarded as sins at some point during my life, and while I’d like to apologize (I guess) for being unable to relate/obsess/meme with you, there’s really not a whole lot I can do about this.

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7) Dream

This is one of those things where I know I don’t really have any control over it, but I still feel like I’m doing something wrong. I just have weird dreams. And not the “haha how funny” kind of dreams, I’m talking mouth agape, friends concerned and inquiring about professional opinions type of weird. I’ve written about some of them (which you can read here and here) but they just seem to keep on coming. Just the other night I had a dream about peeling the top layer of skin off of my face. Mind you I had this dream after a relaxing evening of watching a romantic comedy and coloring.

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8) I Occasionally Misuse “Literally”

I understand this is a terrible (literary) crime, especially since I like to consider myself someone with a relatively good handle on the English language. But I can’t help it! Sometimes I find myself in the middle of a story where the punch line feels so unbelievable that the person I’m talking to couldn’t possibly believe how serious I am. So I’ll say, “LITERALLY,” before the big reveal, that way they know I’m not screwing around. And even though it doesn’t make sense, and there are people who would say, “oh yeah, and what would it have been like figuratively,” the way I see it, it’s their choice to be a jerk. All I was trying to do was get them as excited about hearing my story as I was telling it, and I wanted the ending to literally blow their mind. Into a million pieces. Yes, I wanted my story to be so good it murdered them.

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9) Tanning

I understand that I have pale skin. I also understand that tanning is terrible for your skin, which is why I don’t often do it. But can someone explain to me why, when we spend a few hours in the sun, I come home 98% pale, with blotchy sunburns on my knees and a tan line from my FitBit, and my sister comes back a golden brown sun goddess? Something about that just doesn’t seem right.

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10) I Scrunch

This is more of a shrugged acceptance rather than a confident statement, as I don’t know if there is actually a designated “right way.” The other day I was watching a video on YouTube where someone mentioned they “scrunch” their toilet paper rather than “fold” it when they wipe, and there was an uproar among the adjacent parties. Words like “monster” and “animal” were used. Meanwhile, there I am, knowing full well I’ve scrunched my whole life, wondering if I’m some sort of deranged psychopath and don’t even know it? To settle this, please feel free to add your two cents here:

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In the end, some of these things are biological and some could be addressed in a nature vs. nurture argument, but most of these things are just because…me. I don’t want to apologize because I don’t think I should have to change, but I also don’t want to say I don’t want to change because my analytical side likes to weigh the pros and cons of both sides.

Except on crusts that is. You ain’t changin’ my mind on crusts.

This Blog was Written by My Dog

Hello.

Yes, yes I am cute.

And I’m hungry.

I’m always hungry and cute. Always.

Sometimes I feel like people judge me for it, but I can’t help it.

I woke up in a great mood this morning.

Going to bed at a decent hour probably had something to do with that.

My family likes to stay up late and watch TV at an unfathomable volume, and in MY room no less. I guess I have the best TV, but something tells me they’re wasting its potential by watching a bunch of sports and network dramas. Doesn’t anyone watch the Discovery Channel anymore?!

And don’t even get me started on the other dog we got a couple years ago. She’s always up in my business. Always. I love her, though. So much. But stop looking at her. AND DON’T GET THAT CLOSE.  She’s mine.

Anyways.

I was lucky last night because my family got tired early, which meant I could go to bed early. And since I know them (and love them!) really well, I could tell they were getting tired way before my sister, so I snagged the big dog bed and pretended to be asleep before she even knew what hit her.

She was mad. It was funny.

I love her.

The sun was particularly lovely this morning, which immediately made me want to go outside and pee. My sister wanted to play, but it was too early. I just wanted to lay in the grass and look at the bugs that fly around.

She doesn’t like when I don’t want to play. Sometimes she’ll even bite at my legs to try and rile me up. It’s annoying, but I love her. Plus, I know how to get her in trouble. And when she gets in trouble, I usually get some extra pets. I’m clever.

I have a love/hate relationship with summer. It’s a much more social season for me. I tend to meet lots of new people and my family is together more, which makes me happy, but this heat is ruff. I spend most of my time dreaming about the next cold place I’m going to put my body.

Dog Tip: If you’re ever at my house and get really hot, just put your face on the floor in the kitchen or underneath my dad’s reclining chair. Those are the best spots.

Some days my family shares popsicles with me. They take the first lick and then I get the rest and then they get another popsicle for themselves. Sometimes I try to lick that one too, but they say no and kiss my nose.

They’re hilarious.

I like to go hiking too. There is a stream that we cross and my mom lets me off the leash and I run through the water and kick it around and dance. It’s the best thing ever. I love it. I wish we could stay in the water for the whole time, but my mom likes to move on eventually. She wants to get the top of the big hill. Sometimes she even asks me to help her get up the big hill, but it’s a really hard hill and I’m not as young as I used to be, mom. But I love you.

I have a basket of clothes at my house. I love dressing up for special occasions. I have one shirt that is for football. It’s blue, I love it. My family has the same shirt. We match and it makes me happy. I also have one for Halloween. It has stripes and when I wear it my family calls me “rufferee” instead of my name. I love it. One of my favorites is my sweater. I love it. My family lets me put it on when it’s cold outside and they are hanging shiny balls on a tall tree that they bring into the house.

My family’s crazy.

I hope they know how much I love them, though. I think it might even be more than they love me. But I think that’s only because sometimes I bark more than I should at strangers that come to visit and they tell me to stop but I’m too nervous that they are mean strangers instead of nice ones. I hope they forgive me. Not the strangers, my family. The strangers can chase their tail for all I care. I hope they never catch it. My family though, I’d help them catch their tails if they wanted to. They’re the best. Make sure you tell them I said so too, it might get me a treat.

A Few Challenges for My Birthday

As of yesterday, my 28th birthday is officially one month away!

This is both alarming and exciting. I’m not necessarily intimidated by the prospect of being 28, but then again it’s like, woah, I’m going to be 28?! You know?

Anyways, in order to welcome in age 28, I’ve decided to do a few challenges.

I did some deep diving in the Pinterest universe—and made it out alive, so 28 is already looking good—and I’ve found a few that look both fun and doable. Plus, they’re lists, which if you know anything about me, you know I love the hell out of some lists.

Some people might say giving yourself a hefty amount of tasks to check off in the month before your birthday would be stressful, but I have never been one of those people. Thus, let the lists commence!

I got one for exercise:

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I got one for drawing—which should really be a challenge since I don’t/can’t draw, but hey, maybe 28 year old me draws. Who knows?

30 Day Drawing Challenge

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I got this one that will give me something to write about each day

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And this one for happiness, because it just seems like a logical way to welcome in another year of life.

30 Day Happiness Challenge

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Is this a bad idea? Will these challenges end up stressing me out more than building me up? Have I made a grave mistake by committing to them on the internet rather than just keeping them to myself?

Maybe.

But all I can do is my best. The whole point is to get 28 started with a bang.

Not bangs though, I don’t think I (or my sister) could do those again.

bangs

Why I Almost Didn’t See Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade” and Why I’m Glad I Did

One of the most talked about films in theaters right now is Bo Burnham’s directorial debut, Eighth Grade. Having been a fan of the comedian for a number of years now, when I learned his name was attached to the already intriguing project, it made the decision to see it pretty easy. So, this past Monday, as I packed up my stuff at work, I checked the showtimes nearby and decided to spend my open afternoon doing just that.

Walking into the theater for the 4:00 p.m. showing, I fell in step behind a couple and then discovered my assigned seat was directly beside them. We shared a laugh and made a few comments about the associated odds, and then slowly got quiet. They leaned into each other and talked low, and I opened the book I had in my purse.

As time went on, other people began to shuffle in. Some alone, like the girl my age in a slouchy cardigan, and the one probably younger than me with a blonde bun piled on top of her head; an older woman carrying a large popcorn and a colorful shawl, and a man about my dad’s age wearing a red shirt and glasses, who took a seat in the very front row. Others arrived in pairs, like the couple already stealing bites of each other’s food, the boy in the baseball hat that walked in laughing beside the one with long brown hair, and a pair of girls carrying identical ICEEs and whispering.

The man in the couple next to me leaned in to his girlfriend. “What do you remember about eighth grade?”

“Not much,” she replied.

He paused and then said, “I remember my dad taking me out of school for a week…” and then continued the story too quiet for me to hear.

I sat reading my book, listening to the mumbles of surrounding conversation, my mind wandering to where I was in eighth grade. I thought of the week I had pneumonia and how when I came back a number of my fellow classmates told me they thought I died. I remembered having crushes on boys that my best friend and I gave code names and wrote about in notebooks that we passed back and forth between classes. I thought about my hair and what a nightmare (at least I thought) it was, and how I refused to take it out of a bun unless it was flat-ironed. Also, the pink pants, but I tried not to harp on those, it was the early 2000s.

After a while, people started to get restless, and when I looked at my watch, I understood why. Before I could form an opinion on the matter however, a theater employee walked in to inform us that the movie would not be playing. He offered his sincerest apologies and assured us we would get a refund and a coupon. Glancing around at each other, we all stood up, most of us shrugging and exchanging short anecdotes like, “well that sucks.”

As we stood in line for our coupons, I got the same feeling I always get after I walk out of a movie. That sense of camaraderie with my fellow moviegoers, knowing we’d just gone on the same journey together, even though in this case the journey was much shorter than we might have preferred.

On my way back to the car, I glanced at my phone. Since I’d spent a good amount of time looking over the showtimes earlier in the day, I remembered something about a 5:15 showing at a theater down the road. I tucked my coupon in my pocket and picked up my pace. I had 15 minutes. I could make it.

Hustling to the line at the second theater, I waited patiently, alternating my gaze between my feet, the ticket window and my watch. In a look back a few minutes later, I recognized a few of the faces getting in line behind me. A girl with a blonde bun piled on top of her head; a boy in a baseball cap followed closely by a boy with long brown hair; a man about my dad’s age with a red shirt and glasses. Each of them held a gift certificate in their hand, waiting patiently while trying not to look at their watches.

Once I was in the new theater, I again took a seat by myself, again noting the couples, groups and other singles that filed into the theater one after the other. My instincts were to feel self-conscious. I was here alone after all, and eighth grade me would have died at the thought. But as the lights went down and the conversations I wasn’t a part of began to fade out, I realized how far gone I was from eighth grade me. And as I watched the movie and laughed and cried and cringed with everyone about the things we all went through at that age, I was reminded how far we’ve all come since then.

Without going through what we did, the movie might not have been as funny, and it might not have made us (or hey, at least me) cry. We wouldn’t have cringed or “aww-ed” or wanted to hug the hell out of Kayla (the main character played by Elsie Fisher) because we wouldn’t have understood how much better things get. How much more we were going learn and experience and discover. We wouldn’t know that eighth grade is ugly but life is beautiful. That life becomes beautiful because eighth grade is ugly, and how it repeats this cycle throughout every stage that follows.

So as credits began to roll and the lights came back up, we all looked around at each other and smiled. We were filled with that feeling of camaraderie, but this time it wasn’t only because of what we’d gone through today, it was because of everything we’d gone through since the day we stepped foot into eighth grade, and every step we’d taken after. We knew were in this together, and that unlike our eighth grade selves, we weren’t afraid to admit that that mattered.