blog

If the Timehop App Knew Too Much

Alongside hitting snooze upwards of three times, my morning routine usually consists of checking the Timehop app on my phone. For those of you unfamiliar, Timehop connects to your social media accounts and tells you what you have posted on that day, however many years ago. In my case, Timehop usually reminds me of bad jokes I’ve made—though to be fair, I usually still laugh at them.

Sometimes when I read through an old status or tweet or Instagram picture, I’m reminded of more than just the post itself. I have flashbacks of the days and moments surrounding the post, getting a little glimpse into where I was when I posted it. This got me thinking: wouldn’t it be something if Timehop somehow tapped into those moments in time, both the good and the bad?

It would probably look something like this:

6 years ago today you said “you too” when the theater ticket taker said, “enjoy the movie.”

4 years ago today you woke up and felt inexplicably different about the relationship you were in.

2 years ago today you spent the entire day on the couch for no reason.

1 year ago today you ate 15 Oreos for breakfast and couldn’t eat anything for the rest of the day.

7 years ago today you fell in surface love with a person you saw on the freeway and spent a solid 10 minutes picturing what your future together would be like.

3 years ago today you looked in the mirror and liked what you saw for the first time in a long time.

5 years ago today you ate expired food from your fridge.

5 seconds ago today you were still wondering if it had any lasting effects.

14 years ago today you saw your favorite movie for the first time.

10 years ago today you made awkward small talk with a person who would become your best friend.

 

To be honest, I’m not sure if I’d like a deeper digging Timehop. I like the freedom of being able to block things out here and there. But I suppose the important thing to remember, both about the real Timehop, and the nosy, fictional one I’ve imagined, is that it can remind us of all the moments that have lead us to where we are now, and the ones currently leading us somewhere in the future. Today will be full of those moments, as will tomorrow. They won’t all be easy, but they’ll be necessary to help us get where we’re destined to go.

30 Things I Want to Do Before I’m 30

Yesterday I turned 27 years old which was you know, cool. Though it kind of felt like 26, to be honest. That is, except for the fact that I’ve officially entered my “late twenties.”

YIKES.

What is life?!

Note: I took a break from writing this blog post to figure that out, then I came back and SPOILER: I still have no idea.

But anyways, yes, I’m officially 27 years old now, and as one of my friends pointed out to me yesterday: 30 is right around the corner. And while I could (and might, occasionally) spend the next three years freaking out about that, I also thought I’d put the milestone to use and make it a deadline for some long terms goals I have bouncing around in my mind.

Thus, I bring you 30 Things I’d Like to Do Before I’m 30:

  1. Pay off my student loans
    • Two down, three to go!
  2. Get a book published
    • If you ever see my name on a book cover, please buy a copy (or 10)!
  3. Pay off current credit card
  4. Open a new credit card & start earning airline miles
  5. Donate blood
  6. Hike the Narrows
    • I found out about this a few years back and have never been able to put aside the time to do it, hopefully this will be a good motivating factor!
    • In case you’re curious, read about it here.
  7. Hike Half Dome
    • This is another hike high on my list that I feel like I just need to make happen
    • Read about it here.
  8. Hike Mt. Langley
    • About three years ago, I was given the option to climb either Mt. Langley or Mt. Whitney and I went the route of Mt. Whitney. The experience ended up changing my life (you can read all about it here) and so I figure it’s only necessary to finally make the time to climb the other.
  9. Learn to play the ukulele
    • When I was in high school I was given a ukulele for my birthday by a close friend and after all this time, I’ve only ever taught myself “Happy Birthday,” and I’ve even forgotten that by now. So, neighbors, forgive me as I struggle my way to success on this one.
  10. Go to Harry Potter World in Orlando
    • I don’t really feel like this needs further explanation…I mean…it’s Harry Potter World! *packs wand*
  11. Take a cooking class
  12. Take a Yes Man trip
    • In case you haven’t seen the Jim Carrey film this is referring to, there is a scene when the two main characters walk up to the counter at an airport and book the first flight out without question. Me, being a fervent planner, will need to mentally prepare to be this spontaneous, but I think it will be a great adventure.
  13. Make my family tree
    • I’ve never gone into it that much, but my family is BIG, and I think it’s about time I pieced it all together and see where I fit into this crazy, beautiful, chaotic picture.
  14. See a Broadway play
    • Fingers crossed Lin Manuel Miranda’s next smash hit is running in New York by the time I save up enough money to get there.
  15. Go out for a really expensive dinner
    • “Yes, I would like another glass of wine AND a dessert menu, thank you.”
  16. Go camping
    • The only time I’ve ever gone camping was while we were climbing Mt. Whitney, which I feel was a very extreme, sink or swim, type of situation, so I’m hoping for something a little more relaxed than that.
  17. Stay at a 5-star hotel
    • “Yes, front desk? Do you have any extra robes?”
  18. Buy a bunch of plants and keep them alive
    • The second part of this goal being KEY.
  19. Go to a bottomless mimosa brunch
    • See, I’ve gone to brunch, but I’ve never gone to an almost too long brunch that involves your closest friends, story after story after story, and too many mimosa refills to count, culminating in a much needed taxi ride home and a good long nap to commemorate a Sunday well spent. Is this a weird thing to aspire too? Yes. Am I ashamed of it? Not even a little bit.
  20. Go on an LA staycation
    • I’m arguably the worst LA resident there is. Since I’m so jaded by the constant traffic, I almost never go downtown and do the touristy things someone who has lived here all their life should have done countless times and should have knowledge of when out of town visitors come seeking knowledge. So, I consider this both a goal for me and a service to everyone who has ever asked me for directions or vacation tips and was met with little more than a shrug and a smile.
  21. Know at least 20 recipes by heart
  22. Read every book on Time’s 100 greatest books of all time
  23. Fall in Love
    • I mean this in a lot of ways. I think we have the opportunity to fall in love over and over again in our lives, be it with experiences, things, or people, however, we are only able to do so if we open ourselves up to the possibility. So, I want to encourage myself to do just that.
  24. Make a time capsule to open when I’m 40
    • *pictures Crossroads*
  25. Learn to drive a stick shift
    • I once watched an episode of The Amazing Race where a team got eliminated because neither member knew how to drive a stick shift. While I don’t foresee myself in a situation like this, I’m not taking any chanced.
  26. Go curling
    • This one is for me, but also for my mom, who is one of the biggest curling fans I know. I can barely stand to watch it on television, but I’m up for trying it out in person.
  27. Stomp grapes and make wine
    • Just so I can offer someone a glass and, while pouring it, say, “You know my feet have touched every ounce of this.”
  28. Blow glass
    • To be honest this just looks AWESOME, and I could always use an extra trinket to add to my desk.
  29. Go to a championship game (World Series, Stanley Cup, etc.)
    • Of course, I’d prefer them to involve one of my teams (a.k.a the LA Dodgers, LA Kings, NY Giants, etc.) but I’d be happy with a ticket regardless, and I’d probably end up crying from the excitement in the atmosphere regardless.
  30. Run a marathon (maybe)
    • I say maybe because I’ve been running ALL. DAMN. YEAR. to try and complete the 1000 mile goal I set for myself, and committing to something of this magnitude sounds exhausting. However, I’ve always thought it would be an amazing accomplishment and have never truly ruled it out.

Here’s to the last three years of my twenties! May they be just as crazy and confusing and stressful and wonderful as the first seven. And for those of you also approaching the milestone of 30, those who are still a ways from it, and those who are a ways past it, may you always know that you have the power to do anything you set your mind do. Age really is just a number, and you can kickass no matter what that number may be.

July/August Favorites

Well friends, we have reached—by school standards—the end of summer. Those of you who are still in school have begun to begrudgingly wake up to an alarm again, and those who are out of school are now sitting nervously in traffic behind those who slept past that alarm and are charging down the streets like a crazy person.

To all parties involved, I apologize.

As a token of my dearest sympathies, I offer you this new edition of favorites. Hopefully you will find things to love among the things that I love so that we can all focus on things we love rather than the things we hate—like the end of summer.

Let us begin!


 

If I Were You Podcast

tumblr_static_jathumbsmaller

For those of you familiar with CollegeHumor.com, this podcast is run by popular comedy duo Jake and Amir. Each episode they read questions sent in by fans via email and answer them by giving advice on what they would do if they were you. Questions range anywhere from relationships to starting college to crappy bosses to crazy roommates. This podcast always cracks me up, making me look like an absolute crazy person while I’m running, but I like to think of it as my core workout for the day. (Find it here)


 

Kayla Itsines’ Cookbook

517J5DfYYqL._AC_SX354_SY510_QL65_

As some of you may have seen, this month I started a bi-monthly cooking series where I hope to spend as much time learning how to cook as I do avoiding burning my house down or poisoning my family. You can check out the first post here, it’s all about workout guru Kayla Itsines’ new cookbook, The 28-Day Bikini Body Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how easy and delicious the recipes are, and have already shuffled them into the my (very limited) memory bank of things I can make on the fly, which is saying something, because usually that space is filled with old ‘NSYNC lyrics and directions to a friend’s house that I haven’t visited since elementary school. (Find it here)


 

Honey Vanilla Bourbon Pecans

0001111087199

I don’t care who you are—unless you’re my sister or someone with a similarly dangerous allergy to pecans—you need to try these pecans. They are so good. So good. I bought them on a whim at the grocery store figuring they would be a healthy(ish) snack, but once I tried them, I didn’t really care if they were healthy or not. They were that good. Throw them in a bowl with some grapes and you’ve got yourself a hall of fame worthy snack. (I’ve only found these at Ralph’s but I would check every grocery store around you to try these guys, again, they’re that good.)


 

The Hard Cuts by Needtobreathe & Something to Tell You by HAIM

As you know, I have no idea how to give commentary on music besides, “it’s good!” so, as always, let’s turn this one over to the abundant adjectivers over on iTunes:

The Hard Cuts by Needtobreathe: “musical chicken soup for the soul” (Find it here)

Something to Tell You by HAIM: “all sweet melodies, catchy rock and pop hooks, and gonna-work-it-out feels.”  (Find it here)


 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck & Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy

51o5EmJtnBL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

As if the bright orange book jacket wasn’t enough to catch my attention, the title of Mark Manson’s book made it all but impossible not to buy. I mean, how do you not buy a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Tell me how you walk by that book! Actually, don’t tell me, because if I did than I wouldn’t have read it, which would be a tragedy, because I LOVED this book. It was such a unique take on a self-help book, mostly because it demanded action rather than positive thoughts towards action. To explain the title, it teaches you to give a f*ck about the right things and to stop giving a f*ck about the wrong things.  (Find it here)

 

51GVRV55InL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Speaking of worth the read, if you’re a Dodger fan, Sandy Koufax fan, or just a baseball fan in general, I highly recommend Jane Leavy’s biography Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy. It is jam packed—and I mean JAM. PACKED.—with all things baseball, pop culture, and racial relations of 1950s-1960s baseball and has them intertwined in the telling of Sandy Koufax’s 1965 perfect game. I for one was absolutely sucked in by the story and found myself walking away with a much deeper knowledge of baseball, and a big fat crush on Sandy Koufax. (Find it here)

 

 


 

@JunkBanter

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 8.03.43 PM

Honestly, this account made me so furious that I HAD to follow it. Why did it make me furious, you ask? BECAUSE I DIDN’T THINK OF THIS. It’s an account based solely around talking about snacks. Classic snacks, new snacks, limited edition snacks. It’s all snacks, all the time, and I just don’t think I’ll ever get over not starting this conversation. However, since the important thing is that this conversation exists in the first place, I highly recommend you go check them out. They are constantly filling me in with crucial snack-toids, such as the upcoming release of 7 new Halo Top ice cream flavors, which is a company I mentioned a few favorites ago, thus making any new releases a TOP PRIORITY. (Find it here)


 

Charity Miles

Charity-Mile

This app was recommended to me by my cousin, who is well versed in my mission to run 1000 miles this year. The way he saw it, I was going to be putting in the miles regardless, so why not do some extra good in the process? And I couldn’t agree more! This app is super straightforward and easy to use and has a ton of different charities you can run (or walk) for. All you have to do is choose a charity (which you can change anytime you want) and then get moving! The miles you put in will be converted into donations from sponsors of the app, making your hard work payoff again and again. (Find it here)


 

Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know! My Amazon cart is always open…

See my previous favorites post here.

If You’re Willing to Start from the Ground, You Can Build Anything

Can I have a show of hands for anyone who has been personally victimized by country duo, Dan & Shay’s song “From the Ground Up?”

giphy (15)

Right, okay, that’s what I thought. Let it be known that my hand it also up.

In case you’re unfamiliar with this song, have a listen:

Or, if you want the short version: it’s a painfully adorable ballad about finding true love and building a life with someone.

The first verse of the song starts like this:

Grandma and grandpa painted a picture of sixty-five years
And one little house
More than a memory
More than saying I do
Kiss you goodnight’s and I love you’s
 

And then the chorus goes like this:

And we’ll build this love from the ground up
Now ’til forever it’s all of me, all of you
Just take my hand
And I’ll be the man your dad hoped that I’d be

It’s the kind of song that gives you all the feels and makes you yell at the ceiling of your car in the middle of traffic—or at least that’s what it does to me.

When I was little, I dreamed about finding the one. The person all the Disney movies and romantic comedies promised me. The person that would make everything make sense. Now, as I grew up, I figured out that you don’t actually need someone else to make your life make sense. I figured out you can do that all on your own. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t wish for someone to stand beside. Someone to laugh and cry and get all crotchety with. Someone who, when this song comes on the radio in the middle of dead stop traffic, you realize is so noticeably absent that it provokes you to yell at the aforementioned ceiling. BUT I DIGRESS.

The key point to note in this song is that the singer proposes he and his true love build their life together from the ground up. When he brings up the love story of his grandparents, he isn’t saying, “we have that,” or “it will be easy to have that,” rather he’s saying, “if we work hard, we could have that.”

In our lives, we will wish for a lot of things that will require us to build from the ground up. Be it a love story, a career, a legacy or a home. But no matter what we’re building or the various tools we’ll need to do so, every bout of architecture starts with a Day One. A commitment to the desire. And one of the marvels about life is that we often don’t know when that Day One will be.

You never know when you’re going to find your true passion. You never know when you’re going to meet that person the romantic comedies promised you. But isn’t it a wonder to know that every day you wake up with an open heart, every day you meet someone new or try something you never thought you would, it could be the start of something that changes your life forever?

So even though there may be songs or movies or coworkers or couples walking down the street that sometimes make you want to jealous road rage your way off the (literal or metaphorical) freeway, it’s important we don’t take advantage of these days. We never know what they might be teaching us, or the Day Ones they might be leading us towards.

And hey, you never know, Day 1 could be today.

Thoughts I Had While Watching Star Wars for the First Time: Episode VI

In the final installment of Part 1 (because if all goes according to plan I’ll be watching the rest of the films very soon, which should provoke a Part 2) of this series, I have A LOT of feelings. More than I was ready for. In fact, I hold everyone reading this who has seen this film and did not warn me of the emotional impact completely responsible for the mini-breakdown I had mid-movie. I also blame you for the ice cream I ate afterwards.

Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi

  • Here we are. The last film of the first three-film series
  • Did they have any idea back then that there would be a ranty brunette girl watching them 30 years later, making commentary, trying to catch up before the eighth episode came out?
  • Did they have any idea they’d still be this epic?
  • Here we go.
  • Okay, I said it once and I’ll say it again, Jabba the Hutt is disgusting.
  • Can’t say I’m a fan of his comrades either.
  • I’d take Hoth over this place any day.
  • Though this place does have some tunes.
  • R2! C-3P0! My guys!
  • They have a message from Luke.
  • What is this plan, Luke?!
  • Exchange the droids for Han?
  • I don’t know if I’m behind this.
  • I mean Han’s a good guy (as it turned out) but R2-D2 and C-3P0 do not deserve to stay here in this awful place watching Jabba the Hutt slobber all over everything.
  • I’m not down with this.
  • Ah yes, here’s Han! Poor guy. Still frozen as a Disney movie.
  • But who’s this bounty hunter lurking around his frozenness?
  • She kind of looks like Leia…
  • Wait! It is Leia!
  • She’s come to give Solo a Han.
  • Okay come on that was pretty good.
  • Maybe one of my best.
  • A Han and Leia kiss!
  • I’m into it.
  • Uh oh, Leia’s captured.
  • And now sporting some sort of golden bikini.
  • Wait.
  • This is the bikini!
  • I finally get that Friends reference now!
  • Hey Chewy! Lookin’ good pal.
  • Did you grow your hair out?
  • We can talk about that later. First, we need to get out of here.
  • Oh, okay. The old, diving board loop de loop light saber shoot out move. Smooth, Luke
  • Leia: Screw you Jabba, imma murder you in this bikini
  • *looks for symbolism in Luke’s lightsaber being green now*
  • Okay, we’re free and back with Yoda.
  • Why is Yoda moving so slow?
  • No.
  • No, Master Yoda, you can’t die.
  • DOES YODA DIE?
  • NO ONE TOLD ME YODA DIES.
  • HOW DID I NOT KNOW THAT YODA DIES?
  • HOW IS THIS NOT A BIGGER DEAL?!?
  • “Unexpected this is” – Yoda.
  • I’m 100% going to start saying that whenever I’m casually surprised.
  • OH MY GOSH HE’S DEAD.
  • What in all hell?!
  • THIS IS LIKE DOBBY ALL OVER AGAIN
  • THIS MOVIE PROVOKES SO MUCH CAPS LOCK
  • *Luke learns that Leia is his sister*
  • Bet you’re pretty relieved about that, eh Luke? Seeing as she’s clearly chosen your best friend and all.
  • Okay, I don’t know what an ewok even is, but I’d like one. Preferrably Wicket, here.
  • Luke’s heading to fight Darth!
  • Dear Dad, I would totally battle you in order to save you if you became Darth Brian.
  • You too, Darth Gina.
  • Also, I get the whole *power* thing, but the dark side’s biggest selling point appears to be wrinkles, black cloaks and asthma—pass.
  • Note to self: always befriend teddy bears. You never know when they might come in handy against your enemies.
  • The Emperor: are you totes mad, Luke?
  • Luke: NO
  • The Empereor: your feelings betray you!
  • I’m super glad people can’t read my mind when I’m nervous or scared. It goes weird places. Things would get awkward.
  • #DaddyDarthDiesAHero
  • Key Fact Learned from Episode VI: I’d like to move to Ewok Forest.

Thoughts I Had While Watching Star Wars for the First Time: Episode V

As stated in yesterday’s blog post, I recently watched the first three Star Wars movies, both to accomplish one of the goals I set for myself this year, and to, you know, catch up with the world.

Going into Episode V, I felt a little less like a rookie. I knew (most of) the characters and I had a better idea of who I was rooting for and who they were fighting against. Of course, this did little to quiet my mind when it came to actually watching the movie. I still had a lot to say, and most of it was on topic.

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back 

  • Okay, here we go.
  • Hmm, we’re somewhere very cold.
  • Hoth. I’m told we’re in Hoth.
  • And Luke is going somewhere on his own? He must know this is a bad idea.
  • What did I tell you Luke? You always have to bring a buddy. You never know when you’re going to encounter a yeti!
  • There’s Han! Still handsome.
  • Hey Han, Luke needs you.
  • Wait, you’re leaving again? Please don’t go.
  • Oh damn, Han is just leia-ing it out there from the Princess.
  • Han: you love me
  • Leia: No I don’t.
  • Han: 342cc6d14060407efd20b32714a3f1bf
  • I say you go for it, girl, he might be kind of douchey but at least he’s not your brother.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi! You’re back! At least in Luke’s fever dream you are.
  • And you’re talking about Yoda! Listen to him, Luke. I have it on good authority that Yoda’s a good dude.
  • Han found Luke! Yay! And he cut open a yeti creature thing and shoved Luke inside to keep him warm. That’s…friendship?
  • Did Leo and the crew at The Revenant see this? Is this where they got the idea about that horse?
  • “Laugh it up fuzzball” – Han.
  • If only I knew a very sassy, hairy person I could say that to.
  • I can’t decide if I’m more of a C-3P0 or an R2-D2. I’d like to think I’d translate gibberish for my friends whenever they needed me to (like C-3P0), but I also speak gibberish sometimes (like R2-D2).
  • Some days I also think I could speak strictly in yells like Chewy.
  • I’m going to say I’m a C-3P0 though. I can completely relate to his random spewing of fun facts and his constant state of anxiety. He might be my spirit animal.
  • Does no one have motion sickness in space? It seems like these ship rides are pretty rough.
  • FANGIRLING OVER YODA.
  • Oh my gosh, everything he says is iconic.
  • Yoda: *pulls ship out of space mud*
  • Luke: I don’t believe it
  • Yoda: This is why you fail
  • GOOSEBUMPS.
  • How are there not more t-shirts that say “YAASS YODA”
  • Lesson Learned from Episode V: When needing to escape an enemy, float away like space garbage.
  • NOOOOO! SEE-FREE-PEE-OHHH! My man is down. He is literally in pieces.
  • Lando = scoundrel
  • *watches Han get frozen* UM. WHAT.
  • Leia: Luke it’s a trap! Don’t come! Seriously! You’re very important, don’t come! Darth is just trying to bait you!
  • Luke: Be right there!
  • I TOLD YOU HE WAS YOUR DAD LUKE.
  • And I told you the dude was dark.
  • Okay, I know this is traumatic news, but this is seriously no time to have a complete breakdown.
  • The world is still falling apart and I need you to pull yourself together.
  • …and there goes your hand. Okay, I know this is rough, but stay strong here buddy! Think about Leia! Actually don’t, she’s kind of hitting on your friend. But that’s good because remember, you’re siblings. But don’t think about that now! Think about Obi-Wan. And Yoda. They’re good guys.
  • Well, Yoda isn’t actually a “guy” per se. I’m not sure what he is. But he’s awesome, that’s for sure!
  • That’s right! Keep fighting Luke!
  • Darth: Come to Daddy!
  • One-Handed Luke: No!
  • Did Luke just cannonball away from this duel? That’s pretty badass.
  • Hey gang, Luke’s hanging from a weather vane over here, come give him a hand! Uh…sorry. Too soon.
  • Ahh! My man C-3P0 is back. He’s not exactly in working condition. But he’s alive, that’s all that matters.
  • We’ve got Luke. We’ve got the droids. We’re back at the base. Let’s all take a deep breath.
  • Aww, look at you Luke. They were able to give you a *literal* hand. Happy for you bud.
  • Also, shout out to Lando for not being 100% awful. You can join Kenobs in the “I trust you now club.”
  • Alright peeps, next movie, we find Han!

 

Now read: Thoughts I Had While Watching Star Wars for the First Time: Episode VI

Calling All Humans, I Want Your Garbage

Calling all humans, I want your garbage.

No, not your actual garbage. Not your literal, tangible, probably rank garbage. I’m talking about your figurative garbage. More specifically: your morning garbage.

(How many times do I have to say garbage before it becomes a drinking game?) 

We’ve all had bad mornings. The nuclear, should have stayed in bed, can this seriously be happening type mornings. The garbage mornings, if you will. And since we’ve all had these, I thought there should be a place to talk about them. To laugh at them. To prove they are actually a thing that happened, even if it may seem impossible.

So, I’ve started This Terrible Morning. A blog dedicated to the horrible, awful and hilarious mornings that tend to haunt us every once in a while.

This is where your garbage comes in.

I want your stories, your pictures, your sarcastic turn of phrases. All of it. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a writer or a comedian or a photographer. The only credentials you need are an honest voice, a great story, and the willingness to share it.

So if you’ve ever had one of those mornings that started with a (maybe literal) bang and ended in a (hopefully figurative) fire, please do me and the Internet the honor of sharing it! And if you’re someone who secretly enjoys reading about those fires, please do me and the people brave enough to share theirs the honor of subscribing!

You can find the blog at www.thisterriblemorning.com

You can submit your stories/pictures/etc. to thisterriblemorning@gmail.com

Dear High School Students,

Hi, it’s me, an adult—or so they tell me. I’m 10 years removed from where you are right now. When I look at you I feel like we’re a million miles apart and yet, at the same time, we’re also five minutes away. When I look at you I can see me and where I was when I was where you are. I was lost and confused and goofy and scared and optimistic and curious and quiet. I didn’t have a clue who I really was or who I wanted to be. I just knew I hoped the future brought good things. Fun things. Things that lived up to all the things everyone told me to work for.

Did I find those things? I think so. Yes. And also, no. I think I found some, missed some, and have yet to discover some even exist. In many ways I feel like I’m you again. Like I was never not you. And I suppose that’s true. I supposed I’ve always been me, no matter where I was or who I was trying to be. It’s been me, in this body, in this life, wandering her way through the world, and this past Monday I happened to land in your auditorium for your spring showcase, with the hopes of seeing my little brother be courageous. Which he was. He acted and sang and even swayed a little, and I smiled from ear to ear with pride and love.

But that was only the half of it.

You see, he had two performances. Two amongst twenty. And as I waited for number one and then number two, I got to see you, all of you, being courageous. You were funny and honest and sad and scary and beautiful and touching and raw. You made it look easy, even though I know better than to believe that. I know some of you spent hours debating what you would wear. I know it seemed nothing looked right or fit right. I know you probably paced back and forth wondering why you couldn’t be more comfortable in your skin or why you couldn’t be as easy going as some of your friends. I know you might have tried to talk yourself out of coming, and that you were nervous you wouldn’t be funny enough, talented enough. You were worried you wouldn’t be honest enough, or worse, too honest.

But you showed up. You showed up and sang songs and acted out scenes and performed monologues. You shared little pieces of yourselves, even if they were hidden behind familiar stories or catchy hooks. You stood up on stage and said, “here I am” and I just want you to know that I saw you. You. I didn’t see the flaws in your outfit you kept fidgeting with backstage. I didn’t see the hair out of place that almost brought you to tears. I didn’t see you as a number on a scale or a statistic in a textbook. I saw you and I just wanted to thank you. Thank you for letting me and the rest of the world see you. And thank you for the inspiration to let the world see me.

Spring Break Road Trip (Day 6: Bend to Park City)

It was another early morning to start another long day of driving, and with the events of Saturday still looming in the far back corner of our minds, we figured it was only logical to start our day with Starbucks.

Unlike Friday’s departure from Vegas, the drive out of Bend didn’t involve buildings shrinking out of sight in the rearview mirror. It was more of a peek-a-boo. A now you see it, now you’re back in the middle of nowhere type deal.

Fortunately, the drive out was beautiful. The highway cut through a lake, thus sandwiching us between still, glassy surfaces that reflected the slow moving clouds overhead. Green surrounded us. I almost felt out of place amongst the flourishing trees and plants and seemingly endless grass.

About three hours into the drive, we made our first stop for gas, figuring you could never be too safe. And while I won’t bore you with the details of what made getting gas at this station a minor struggle, I’ll share with you the accidental lesson we took from it.

Amongst the frustration, my sister, who was doing most of the grunt work (i.e. getting out to pay for the gas), made the statement, “I hate this 10 minutes!” I, of course, started laughing, so much that I nearly honked the horn with my face. When my sister returned however, she clarified the statement, making it less hilarious and more meaningful.

“You hate this 10 minutes?” I said between laughs.

“Well yeah, I don’t want to say, ‘I hate today’, because it’s really only these 10 minutes that have been bad, the rest of the day could be great!”

Resulting tip: if you have a bad part of your day, don’t assume the whole thing is a wash.

Over the next few hours, we made a new friend in the form of the Snake River. As we made our way through Oregon towards Idaho, the Snake River ran alongside us, constantly making us “ooh” and “awe.” When we started nearing the border (which is also known as “Onion Country”) the land got flat. Trees became rare and mountains ran out into the distance. Seemingly every patch of land was freckled with cattle, some of which moved so slow (or not at all) we thought the Idaho-ians may have planted them there for good looks.

After officially crossing the border, our (no longer lonely) highway turned into an actual freeway, which brought me more joy than I would have expected. There were speed limit signs, there were billboards, there were the occasional brake checks from surrounding cars, it felt like home.

We stopped for lunch at Subway, then stopped for gas, where we met arguably the nicest man in the world. He pumped our gas for us, which is not uncommon outside of California as we’d come to find out, and asked us about our day and our trip. My sister and I were both in agreement that he was, as stated previously, the nicest man in the world, but it was hard to tell if this was true or if we were just so used the cold attitudes in Southern California that any motiveless kindness seemed unfathomable.

Side-Tip: If you’re passing through a town you think might offer a good souvenir, but don’t know where to look/what to get. Find the town’s Wal-Mart and grab yourself a hat. Not only will it make you fit in for a low price, it will also hide the fact that you’ve been sitting in the car for 8 hours and your hair is greasier than a fried Twinkie.

2DC48660-E042-4CA4-B470-43D1DB0F9F51

As a whole, Idaho looked mostly the same. We sped down its highways gawking at the (real or fake?) cows and horses and the snowy mountains far in the distance. If I were to describe it in two words, I would probably have to say its “unmistakably Idaho”, meaning that if you blindfolded me, put me on a plane, drove me out into the middle of Ida-nowhere, I’d probably be able to identify the state. If you’ve been to Idaho, maybe you know what I mean. It just feels like one of those girls in high school that knows who they are now and who they’re going to be later. Idaho is Idaho, and I’m a fan.

Upon entering Utah, we did what anyone (and by anyone I mean only us) would do: we took a side trip to see the World’s Largest Fishing Fly!

If you’ve seen this post, you’ll know that I’ve made it a mission of mine to see all of the World’s Largest Roadside Attractions (or as I call them: WRLA’s), so when I heard we’d be passing right by the only WRLA in Utah en route to our 3rd stop, there was no other option but to pay it a visit.

 

Some tips if you ever decide to visit a WRLA:

  • It will probably be in a very strange, very random and not-always-easy-to-stop-in-front-of location
  • You will undoubtedly receive strange looks from people while you’re taking a picture in front of it
  • You should definitely ignore all those looks
  • Always buy a souvenir when available.

 

The World’s Largest Fishing Fly is in the parking lot of a flea market. There is no sign, or souvenirs, and my sister and I got the attention of a number of passing cars as we took pictures in front of it.

Here I am totally caring what they think:

IMG_0969

After our 5 minute, yet totally worth it stop at the Fishing Fly, my sister and I cranked out the last hour and a half of the trip to reach our friend Mel in Park City. It was just about sunset when we pulled up to her house, so we spent the next few hours talking, laughing, eating Taco Bell, and watching Friends. And like our two stops before this, Mel’s house instantly became a haven for us. We felt welcome and loved and thankful to be there, but most of all, we were excited to see what adventure this next leg of the trip would bring us.

My Journey (So Far) to Winning the Heisman

One of the goals I set for myself in 2017 is to run 1000 miles, and this past Sunday, I hit the 200-mile mark! Woo!

You still have 800 to go, you know.

Hey. Enough of that, negative brain. I’ve run 200 miles!

HELL YEAH SHE HAS. 

Thank you, positive brain.

This is an exciting goal for me. Not only because accomplishing it would be incredible, but because even believing I could try to accomplish it is something I could have never dreamed of a year or two ago.

Over the last few months, I have had a number of different obstacles—i.e. my body trying to convince me it’s falling apart—in regards to this goal, but while they should discourage me, they’ve done exactly the opposite. I feel motivated, I feel inspired, and most of all, I feel able. Even on the days when running sounds hard or tiring, I don’t have that lingering doubt in the back of my mind that I’ve grown so familiar with. I really believe I can do this, and hell, if there’s a better feeling than that, I haven’t found it yet.

But while this goal seems wholly attainable to me, and I know I’ll stop at nothing to achieve it, I respect its grandiose. I know I can’t get over-confident and go all tortoise/hare on the thing, and so I still go into every run with the same amount of respect and dedication.

Among my family members, I’ve started referring to this goal as “winning the Heisman.” Am I a male, college level football star? No. But the way I see it, if a kid tells his parents he wants to win the Heisman, they’ll probably smile and tell him to “go for it”, even though they know he has a loooong way to go, and for me, with running, it’s very similar. I have never been a runner before, ever. And so having a background that was practically dedicated to not running, it seems pretty far-fetched to come out with a goal like, “I want to run 1000 miles in one year.” But the truth of the matter is, every year one kid does win that Heisman trophy, and so I figure, why can this be the year I win mine?