When Plans Get Derailed

It’s been a little quiet around here for the past week or so. Maybe you noticed. Maybe you didn’t.

Either way, life. If you caught up with me via my Coffee post I expressed how super motivated I was about a lot of my goals so far this year and I’ve been doing great. That motivation was still going strong for so many things in my life.

And then I messed up my right wrist last week. It was a little sore from too much computer use and scrolling one day so I was doing wrist stretches and think I overextended or strained it or something because there was a definitive pain in that moment and then it felt weird/hurt. So I took it easy for a couple days, iced it and took some anti-inflammatory. It was feeling better on Saturday and Sunday and then Sunday night it killed even worse so I got a wrist splint (thank you Amazon Prime one day shipping) and have been resting even more…and that’s about where we are now.

[Keep Reading]

If We Were Having Coffee

I saw a life coach I love, Ashley, do a post entitled If We Were Having Coffee and I decided to take her lead and do one myself in November 2013 because I loved it and sometimes I feel like we forget that there is a whole life behind the people that write and read blogs. I got such a great response to my initial post so I made it a  reoccurring thing for the past couple of years and do it when I feel so inclined!

 

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So, grab your coffee/beverage of your choice and meet me for a chat. I’ve got some Sleepy Time tea in hand (god I never actually have coffee when I do these posts…I used to drink it but cut down a lot). I’m excited to chat with you all because it’s been since October!!!

 

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you that I’m currently finishing up Underwater by Marisa Reichhardt and also reading the Goblet of Fire (yes, this is a first time read of Harry Potter for me!) I’d ask you what you are reading…

If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you how totally pumped I am for 2016. I mean, we are only 5 days in but I am totally dominating on some of things I wanted to work on this year. I’ve started working out again (wee hiatus this Fall until now) and I want to die but I feel great. I’ve been nourishing my body again with all the healthy food after my sugar coma and major overeating from the holidays. No seriously Will and I eat pretty healthy 80% of the time and then the holidays we turn into rabid sugar monsters.  I’m setting up a nice bed time (hence the sleepy time tea right now!) and morning routine because I have issues with sleep and that’s one of my goals. I’ll tell you…I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’ve been exercising, eating right and attempting to sleep better and I feel READY TO CONQUER THE WORLD. I’d ask you about some of your goals and desires and intentions and hopes for 2016 and I’d probably share with you some of the other stuff that is on my TO CONQUER list for 2016 and I’d be super invigorated about how badass 2016 is going to be for us.

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If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you how super excited I am for the trip Will and I are taking this year. We are going to London for a week and then to Madrid to visit friends for a week. I’m excited to be going back to London (Will has never been) and getting to experience a new city. I’m a person who feels very frustrated when I can’t explore and travel and in the past couple years we’ve had to cut down on travel stuff because $$ and I just feel so discontent that I just want to jump out of my own skin. I’m excited to have some adventures and spend time with Will and probably get lost. It will be fun because Will and I have both been to Europe but never together! Only mildly freaking out at the thought of leaving Finn for 2 weeks. I don’t want him to feel abandoned especially being a rescue dog. I’d ask you if you have any travel plans for 2016 and if you’ve been to either of the cities I’m going to/have recs of things to do/eat/etc.

[Keep Reading]

Beyond the Pages: The Thing About Insecurity Then Vs. Now For Me

Beyond the Pages is my way of sharing the things books make me think about and interact with and want to talk about shared experiences with people. Some of my best conversations have happened because of something that came up in a book. I’m pretty personal in my reviews but I’d like a way to not bog down my review with a huge paragraph of personal experience so this is my way to be able to share it. Some times it will be serious and sometimes just random and fun but I hope we can connect! PAST Beyond the Pages here!

 

 

The book that inspired this conversation:

Dumplin' cover

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
(Goodreads // Amazon )
Check out my review of Dumplin’

What It Is About:

Willowdean has always been the fat girl and she’s always been pretty okay with that despite the normal teenage insecurities. It’s never been a THING for her. Until she gets a job and crushes on one of her hot co-workers who totally ends up liking her back. And then insecurities and what people think get the best of Willowdean and makes her second guess herself and if Bo could really like her. So she decides to remind herself of how confident she is and enters a beauty pageant (that her mother is the coordinator of) — an act that sparks a little bit of a revolution when a couple of other girls, who are inspired by Willowdean’s bravery, to join with her despite them not looking like the usual beauty pageant contestant.

What It Got Me Thinking About:

insecurities for me as a young person vs. insecurities now

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There was so much to love and appreciate in Dumplin’ and so much it made me think about but the biggest thing I thought about while reading was High School Jamie and how insecure she was and then I thought a lot about insecurities in the lens of 30 Year Old Jamie. Julie Murphy really did a great job portraying those high school insecurities. Through Willowdean, who mostly loves and accepts her body how it is, we see this vulnerability that we have as young people when it comes to how we see ourselves because it’s mostly always through the filter of how the world sees us. We see how hard it becomes to be confident of the things you love/accept about yourself when it seems the world makes it so easy for those self-conscious feelings or insecurities attach themselves to you like a leech that drains your confidence. How it becomes easy to feel like you need to change because other people think you should. How it becomes easy to loathe yourself or to judge yourself harshly — for things you might have not ever noticed before.

[Keep Reading]

If We Were Having Coffee

I saw a life coach I love, Ashley, do a post entitled If We Were Having Coffee and I decided to take her lead and do one myself in November 2013 because I loved it and sometimes I feel like we forget that there is a whole life behind the people that write and read blogs. I got such a great response to my initial post so I made it a  reoccurring thing for the past couple of years and do it when I feel so inclined!

 

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So, grab your coffee/beverage of your choice and meet me for a chat. I’ve got some amaaaazing Harvest tea from Trader Joe’s that has hints of apple and cinnamon and ginger and all sorts of other goodness. And I have a soy pumpkin candle burning so THE MOOD IS RIGHT, Y’ALL!

 

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you that I’m currently reading A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern.  I’d ask you what you are currently reading!

If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you how much this past month having our rescue dog, Finn, has changed me. He’s such a silly, loving and sweet pup who is so good though it hasn’t been without its trials (he and my dad’s dog hating each other, teaching him to walk properly on a leash, training, etc.) but I’m enjoying it all. He’s gotten us out even more (for walks, to hike, to the dog park) and we’ve met so many different people. The other thing is how much he has opened up my heart to the rescuing process. My heart breaks for all these lost and abandoned animals. Will and I have started volunteering in different ways with different shelters (including the high kill shelter Finn was originally at before DogTown rescued him) and the rescue we got Finn at who does SUCH good work and is full of awesome people. I’d ask you if you have a pet/ever rescued an animal but I’d also ask you if you’ve discovered something new you are passionate about that you hadn’t even realized.

Me & Finn!

IMG_8759(1)hMe & the little pit puppy we gave a freedom ride to (aka a ride from the high kill shelter to a rescue/adoption center). SHE WAS SO SWEET. PUPPY KISSES.

 

If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you how I recently did something very out of my comfort zone and I had such a good time and I think it could lead to good things. It’s scary but also so invigorating to go outside of your comfort zone. I asked myself, “what’s the worst that could happen if I did this?” and honestly the WORST thing was no biggie honestly. It’s definitely one of those moments where I’m like YAS SELF TAKE MORE RISKS, BE MORE FEARLESS, KICK THAT COMFORT ZONE ASIDE. I’d ask you what’s the last thing you did that was out of your comfort zone and you felt great about it!

[Keep Reading]

Beyond the Pages: Musings On Internet Life

Beyond the Pages is my way of sharing the things books make me think about and interact with and want to talk about shared experiences with people. Some of my best conversations have happened because of something that came up in a book. I’m pretty personal in my reviews but I’d like a way to not bog down my review with a huge paragraph of personal experience so this is my way to be able to share it. Some times it will be serious and sometimes just random and fun but I hope we can connect! PAST Beyond the Pages here!

 

 

The book that inspired this conversation:

The Status Of All Things

The Status Of All Things by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
(Goodreads // Amazon)

What It Is About:

What would you do if you could literally rewrite your fate—on Facebook? This heartwarming and hilarious new novel from the authors of Your Perfect Life follows a woman who discovers she can change her life through online status updates.

Kate is a thirty-five-year-old woman who is obsessed with social media. So when her fiancé, Max, breaks things off at their rehearsal dinner—to be with Kate’s close friend and coworker, no less—she goes straight to Facebook to share it with the world. But something’s changed. Suddenly, Kate’s real life starts to mirror whatever she writes in her Facebook status. With all the power at her fingertips, and heartbroken and confused over why Max left her, Kate goes back in time to rewrite their history.

Kate’s two best friends, Jules and Liam, are the only ones who know the truth. In order to convince them she’s really time traveled, Kate offers to use her Facebook status to help improve their lives. But her attempts to help them don’t go exactly as planned, and every effort to get Max back seems to only backfire, causing Kate to wonder if it’s really possible to change her fate.

What It Got Me Thinking About:

social media and how it is so embedded in my life..everyone’s life really, how social media isn’t always an accurate representation of who a person is

Image1fdsfI’ve been feeling very on again off again with social media lately. Reading this book reminded me how much social media affects my life and how it has permeated into my daily routine in such a huge way without me even realizing it. I grew up before the internet. I grew up before social media. I know how to live life without it all….but why does it feel like sometimes I don’t?

I’m going to preface this with: I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA. I LOVE THE INTERNET. It is glorious. I have met some of my very best friends. I’ve grown as a person. Have found an amazing outlet. Learned a lot. I love how it has allowed me to have PEOPLE to connect with who I wouldn’t otherwise.

Here’s 2 things it made me think about:

 

If you don’t post it on social media, did it really happen?

In the book, immediately when Kate finds out that her fiance was breaking up with her, her first thought is basically, “what will social media think of this? How will I break the news on Facebook?” At first I thought, “how silly” but then I was thinking about how I’ve struggled with this so much. I go to social media immediately to announce life things.  I can’t go a day without thinking about how I can photograph it perfectly for Instagram. How immediately when I do something fun I need to post it. What will my followers think if I get too personal about my bad day? Will people like this? Will people think it’s lame? Social media is the first thing I do when I wake up and a lot of the time the last thing I do before I close my eyes.

I’ve been better with it lately because I’ve just felt so TIRED of sharing and curating my whole life. I try to be authentic and open as possible when I do share but lately I just want to keep things to myself. I don’t want to live my whole life out on social media. I’m tired of putting so much of myself on display and caring too much about what social media thinks. And I’ve been finding life a bit more fulfilling by enjoying those moments without sharing them. Sure, some of them were super share-worthy (like how beautiful the sun and the leaves look from my reading spot here at the park) but it’s kind of nice to not immediately reach for my phone and be like, “I need to tweet/snap/instagram/ that.”  Sometimes it’s kind of just nice to admire it and feel the sun on my face and appreciate the moment. I’m still a work in process but I’m finding that life is more fun without over-documenting it.

[Keep Reading]

If We Were Having Coffee

I saw a life coach I love, Ashley, do a post entitled If We Were Having Coffee and I decided to take her lead and do one myself in November 2013 because I loved it and sometimes I feel like we forget that there is a whole life behind the people that write and read blogs. I got such a great response to my initial post so I made it a  reoccurring thing for the past couple of years and do it when I feel so inclined!

 

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So, grab your coffee/beverage of your choice and meet me for a chat. I’ve got a hard root beer right now (AMAZINGNESS but dangerous because you forget it’s booze).

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you that I’m currently reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and just starting the second book in the Vampire Academy series.  I’d ask you what you are currently reading!

If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you that even though I’ve been doing a little bit of traveling/vacationing this summer I am in one of these moods where I’m so antsy because I want to be everywhere in the world right now. I just get frustrated by the fact that in order to travel you need money (which lol at my bank account right now) and in order to get money you need a job….oh and most jobs give you like NOT ENOUGH VACATION TIME. I just want to explore and go places and I follow too many travel blogs and people who are traveling right now and the wanderlust is so, so strong. It’s always strong but it’s like this unbearable sort of strong right now. I’m trying to plan my trip to Spain next year but I just can’t because I WANT TO GO NOW.  Is this normal human behavior? IDK BECAUSE WILL DOESN’T GET LIKE THIS. He wants to go places but he isn’t like physically pained and antsy like I am.

If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you that I’ve decided Will and I are going to start home brewing beer. On vacation my cousin and his girlfriend were talking about how they do it and brought us some (it was an amazing saison) and I’m like OMG WE ARE DOING THIS. 1) we love beer and 2) I decided we needed a hobby to do together. We have a ton of our hobbies that we do separately and then we have like THINGS we enjoy together and do together but nothing that’s a ~hobby~. I’d ask you, if you were OF AGE, what’s the last great beer you had/if you home brew or know anybody that does. I’d also ask, if you were married or dating, if you have a hobby that you do as a couple!

If we were having coffee…. Id tell you that I cleaned out my clothes in my closet this past week using the KonMari method (the cleaning book I was talking about further up) and MAN did I have a lot of clothes. I’m really bad about getting rid of clothes. More so than books (I’ve talked about my ruthlessness before). I really struggled with it. You are supposed to ask yourself if  the item “sparks joy” and only keep what does. Well, the problem is that I can’t tell if something sparks joy or if my clothes hoarding voice is CREATING a sense of joy when I think about it. UGH UGH UGH. It’s so hard. I would say I got rid of about 40% of my clothes and shoes. I know I could have done better but it’s good enough for me right now. I’m going to continue on with it for the rest of my items but oof that was hard. I’d ask you if you’ve done the KonMari method (ALL THE RAGE RIGHT NOW) and if you are also a clothing hoarder. Like seriously I had stuff in there from high school and early college years which was like circa 2002-2008. OOF.

If we were having coffee…. I’d tell you that I’ve been craving a really good non-fiction title. I don’t even really care what about. I want to learn about anything. I want to just read something interesting! I’d ask you for recs!!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you about my efforts to try and create a nice, relaxing morning routine and how maybe it works like 30% of the time. I think I’m destined to have the kind of morning routine where I wake up miserably and late and rush around and eat my eggs in the car while trying to remember if I brushed my hair at all this morning only to realize no I didn’t and oh hey I don’t even have a hairband on my wrist when typically I have like 5 on each wrist somehow. In my head I envision these peaceful mornings with the sun shining in and I do some yoga (I don’t even do yoga) and I sip my tea and listen to Enya (is Enya still around?) and like create wonderful shit before 7am. HOW HARD IS THAT, SELF? I’d ask you what your morning routine is like!

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you how Will and I really need to make friends with other dating/married couples. All the couple friends were part of the group that we are no longer part of and the few others we had either a) broke up or b) moved away (our last couple friend who moved to Spain last week). HOW DO YOU FIND COUPLE FRIENDS? THERE SHOULD BE AN APP FOR THIS….an app to like “date” other couples to find a good match. I just miss having another couple to go out and do things with. It’s really hard to make friends in general at this age. It used to be so easy…WOAH COOL SPARKLY SHOES LET’S BE FRIENDS! INSTA BESTIES ON THE PLAYGROUND. Maybe this still works as an adult? IDK maybe I will try it.

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If we were having coffee….I’d you that I feel like I’m finding it harder to find new FAVORITE books and movies. I LIKE and even super LOVE a lot of things I consume but I’m having a hard time finding those life changing things that just stop you in your tracks and just speak to every cell in your entire body and you don’t know how you possibly lived life without having experienced it before. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m hard to impress BECAUSE I consume so many books and entertainment or what but UGH…I want that FEELING. Do you know that feeling? I’d ask you what the last thing that gave you that feeling was.

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I’ve been having a hard time with nostalgia lately. I don’t know why. I’m just suddenly MISSING things and people and moments from the past (really really missing my college years…I felt so free then). The way things were. I love the way things are SO MUCH and am so happy with who I am but I’m also yearning for different parts of who I was before. I don’t know if it’s that I’m turning 30 in a couple of months but the nostalgia is starting to weigh on me. When I was cleaning my closet out and I’d pull out these clothes all these memories just came flooding back — my trip to Europe, dates with Will when we were in college, moments with friends I’m no longer friends with. GAH. MAKE IT STOP. I have nostalgia feels every now and again but these are so strong lately. I’d ask you what the hell was wrong with me. But rhetorically speaking obviously. I mean, unless you are a psychologist and can tell me what’s literally wrong with me.

 

If we were having coffee…what would you tell me? Come on…lay it all out! It’s just you, me, the pleasant sounds of a cafe…and maybe some other eyes in the comment section but NBD right?? Our we can have coffee in my inbox if you don’t feel comfortable. I really want to know! What’s going on with you?

Beyond the Pages: Friend Breakups

Beyond the Pages is my way of sharing the things books make me think about and interact with and want to talk about shared experiences with people. Some of my best conversations have happened because of something that came up in a book. I’m pretty personal in my reviews but I’d like a way to not bog down my review with a huge paragraph of personal experience so this is my way to be able to share it. Some times it will be serious and sometimes just random and fun but I hope we can connect! PAST Beyond the Pages here!

 

 

The book that inspired this conversation:

A Sense of the Infinite Hilary T. Smith

A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith
(Goodreads // Amazon)

What It Is About:

It’s senior year of high school, and Annabeth is ready—ready for everything she and her best friend, Noe, have been planning and dreaming. But there are some things Annabeth isn’t prepared for, like the constant presence of Noe’s new boyfriend. Like how her relationship with her mom is wearing and fraying. And like the way the secret she’s been keeping hidden deep inside her for years has started clawing at her insides, making it hard to eat or even breathe. But most especially, she isn’t prepared to lose Noe. For years, Noe has anchored Annabeth and set their joint path. Now Noe is drifting in another direction, making new plans and dreams that don’t involve Annabeth. Without Noe’s constant companionship, Annabeth’s world begins to crumble. But as a chain of events pulls Annabeth further and further away from Noe, she finds herself closer and closer to discovering who she’s really meant to be—with her best friend or without.

What It Got Me Thinking About:

friend breakups, how friends grow apart, how friendships change over the years

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I think when I was younger I thought one of the most painful experiences you could go through was a unrequited love or a breakup with your 6th grade boyfriend but it wasn’t until I hit high school and beyond that I realized two of the most heart-wrenching things in my life would be friend breakups, shifts in friendships and growing apart from friends to the point where you they feel like strangers to you.

I think that’s one of the things A Sense of the Infinite did so well — it chronicled these shifts and that slow drifting apart we can have with even our best friend. It showed how sometimes you realize that a friendship doesn’t quite fit anymore but nobody wants to make a move. I think it was poignant in how the rose colored glasses come off when you recognize the first real crack and how you see things for what they really are. I have definitely experienced all that.

When I was in middle school I had just moved to a new school and new town and I met my best friend in 8th grade. We were THOSE type of best friends who did everything together and preferred to be with each other to everyone else. We had the most inside jokes and it was like a head over heels love affair those 2 years of our friendship. And then I went to high school and she was still a year behind in middle school and, even though we lived 6 houses down, everything slowly shifted to the point that when she finally came to the high school the cracks were far too large. It ended with her dating a boy I knew was trouble and her doing things we swore we would never do — differences I couldn’t get over at the time. That friend breakup was the hardest. SHE WAS MY EVERYTHING. My partner in crime. We were ~friendly~ the rest of high school but it was SO different and that was almost the hardest part. We’ve since seen each other once as adults and we are cool. I’d love to rekindle that friendship but we live so far apart now it doesn’t make sense. I’m happy that she’s happy and I can look at our good memories with fondness rather than bitterness.

More recently as an adult I did a friend breakup with a whole group of people that were a mix of a core group from high school and then some college friends we met and brought into the group. I still get sad about it sometimes but honestly I’m more relieved than everything despite the fact my former bff and college roomie and I have drifted so far apart as a result of me not being part of the GROUP anymore. It was one of those things where they were sole people that I hung out with. It was a mix of guys and girls and I had the most fun with them. But there were THINGS that I think I always recognized even in the height of my friendship with them but just ignored for years and years. After we graduated the drifting really happened even though we all still mostly lived near each other and hung out pretty much every weekend.

[Keep Reading]

If We Were Having Coffee

I saw a life coach I love, Ashley, do a post entitled If We Were Having Coffee and I decided to take her lead and do one myself in November 2013 because I loved it and sometimes I feel like we forget that there is a whole life behind the people that write and read blogs. I got such a great response to my initial post so I made it a  reoccurring thing for the past couple of years and do it when I feel so inclined!

 

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So, grab your coffee/beverage of your choice and meet me for a chat. I’ve got a lemon shandy right now (it’s afternoon right now, okay!) and it’s divine.

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you that I’m currently reading This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen and Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. Also, I’m audiobooking The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen. I’d ask you what you are currently reading!

If we were having coffee... I’d tell you how much of a FUN summer Will and I are having already and we have so many other fun things planned I can barely contain my excitement. I’ve enjoyed beach days and pool days and nights out and good food and ice cream and concerts and new beer and just SO MUCH FUN. I’m really thankful it’s been a fun summer and it’s been really nice to feel so happy after a crappy winter! I’d ask what you have been up to thus far this summer!

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If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you that I opened up that THING…better known as a story…that I had told you about before. I had written like a paragraph or two last summer, bawled and then never opened the document again. It’s been sitting on my desktop untouched but all the while ideas have come to me for it. It’s a contemporary YA (I think..idk she just finished her first year of college) and it’s so personal and I am not even a good writer nor have I ever wanted to write a novel before. BUT WHAT THE HELL. I OPENED IT. I WROTE A SENTENCE OR TWO TO ADD TO WHAT I HAD. WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENS.  I’d ask if you are an aspiring writer. If so, do you have any tips??

If we were having coffee…. Id tell that recently I’ve been thinking a lot about fear and how I can recognize places in my life where it has held me back. I know that sometimes fear is there to protect us but also I’m starting to see how I use it as a crutch and it kind of makes me sad. I don’t want to let myself live so fearfully and I don’t know when I started REALLY letting fear get in my way.

If we were having coffee…. I’d tell you that I’ve really been wanting to get into podcasts. I’d ask you for recs!!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I’ve really been having a weird relationship with social media. I’ve been so disillusioned by it recently? I don’t even know if that’s what I mean. I just…sometimes I’m so weary from it. I get overwhelmed by it. I think “WHY DO I PUT SO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY AND STOCK IN ALL THIS?” I have nothing to say sometimes. I’m over the over-documentation and wading through the picture perfect shininess to get to the realness. The constant barrage of voices and options and links and possibilities of people and things to follow and knowledge and opinions. BUT THEN OTHER DAYS I AM LIKE OMG I LOVE THE INTERNET. IT IS THE BEST. I’ve been a lot more MIA than I used to be (especially on Twitter) and I feel like the balance has really been helping me. I’d ask you how you deal with social media fatigue.

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you how last time I was lamenting all my workout woes and how I couldn’t get back on the workout wagon and I’d like to inform you that I’ve been working out again and IT FEELS SO GOOD. I mean really. Sure, it’s nice to lose a little weight and look toned and wink at yourself in the mirror because you are like DAMN GIRL YOU LOOK GOOD. But most of it is about how I truly feel. I hate every moment while I muster up motivation and all the way through the workout until I think of how I feel after. How energized I am. Or how I think about how badass my body feels when I can hold a plank for longer or do more burpees than usual. It makes me feel like I can conquer anything…well not during my workout…mostly I’m a whiny baby…but AFTER. HEAR ME ROAR.

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If we were having coffee….I’d you that I’ve been having A REALLY spectacular reading year thus far in 2015. It’s been kind of magical — a great mix of 2015 releases and older books and things I missed last year that seemed to be beloved by others I trust. I don’t want to jinx myself but MAN OH MAN IT’S BEEN GOOD. I’d ask you how 2015 has been treating you reading wise!

If we were having coffee…I was thinking the other day while going through some of my old college papers while cleaning a box from my old room at my stepdad’s (and was talking with book club about it this morning) about how much I MISS school. And not even SCHOOL itself. But learning things. And I know I am learning things all the time and blah blah blah. But I miss learning a specific skill or subject. So I’ve decided I’m going to challenge myself to learn a new thing this summer. I’d ask you WHAT THE HELL I SHOULD LEARN! haha

 

If we were having coffee…what would you tell me? Come on…lay it all out! It’s just you, me, the pleasant sounds of a cafe…and maybe some other eyes in the comment section but NBD right?? Our we can have coffee in my inbox if you don’t feel comfortable. I really want to know! What’s going on with you?

Are We Out Of The Woods Yet?

If there is one thing you’ve learned about me over the years it’s that I am a very sentimental person and everything is ridiculously significant to me so I reflect a lot about the most random of things.

I can even make going to a Taylor Swift concert an emotional thing. So, yeah, I went to see Taylor Swift yesterday in Philly. It was awesome. As one would expect. I’ll get to the experience but first I’m going to get a little emo on y’all. IS IT A DAY THAT ENDS IN Y?

This was not my first Taylor Swift concert. I saw Taylor Swift in February of 2007 at a small venue called Crocodile Rock near her hometown and about 45 minutes from me. I went with my college roomies on a whim because we all loved her single Tim McGraw and had been listening to her album nonstop. (My Taylor Swift conversion was by force — they were all country fans and I was the pretentious little hipster who was too afraid to admit I liked it when they constantly played it but I so did. I WAS SO ANNOYING IN COLLEGE). Taylor was adorable, talented and sweet. I remember her pulling up a little girl on stage for Stay Beautiful. It was just a great experience and it made me a fan of her even more.

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So here we are like 8 years later. EIGHT YEARS HOLY CRAP. A lot has changed in 8 years — for me and clearly for Taylor Swift who is playing to crowds of 50,000 now and is one of the biggest names out there. But there is something ridiculously significant to me as I reflect back on my own journey and that of Taylor’s in these years. I got a little emotional when I bought the tickets. When I first saw her I had just turned 21 a few months before and now I’m getting ready to turn 30 in a few months. MY LIFE WAS SO DIFFERENT.

When I first saw Taylor my mom had passed away just a few months before that in July of 2006. I was so lost and so unsure of myself because of that but also just in general because those early twenties are just a tumultuous time of growing in general. When I saw Taylor last night I’m at a place where things aren’t perfect but I feel like I’m out of the woods — I’ve made it through my 20’s and even though things at almost 30 are not what 21 year old Jamie would have expected them to be but I’m okay with that. I’m confident and more happy with who I am than I’ve ever been. I’m more myself than I’ve ever been and having a BLAST because of it. I’m doing things for ME and not worrying about what people (whose opinions don’t really matter) think. It was a long and tearful journey — some pretty hard friendship breakups and letting things/people go that had been a part of my life for so long, saying no to be able to say yes to the things truly of my heart, some definite comfort zone blasting and a lot of mistakes along the way. It was hard to realize how much of my life I lived for other people in my early 20’s — to make them like me, to have their approval, to fit in, to not rock the boat — all at the sacrifice of my own happiness and the real me. But if there is one lesson I’ve come out of my 20’s with is that life is too short to pretend to like things you don’t and to deny yourself the things you really do because of what people think. I’m quoting myself from this post.

And I can’t help but see some weird parallels between my life in these 8 years and Taylor’s life in these years since I last saw her (okay hers is much more exciting than mine but STILL). I mean, LOOK AT HER RIGHT NOW. She has come into her own so much. She’s owning who she is and what she wants to do. She’s letting herself go in directions that others might question and she’s doing it with CONFIDENCE and SWAG. And she’s just having a whole lot of fun with her life and not letting opinions that don’t matter dictate her life. It certainly hasn’t been easy for her and for every one who loves her she’s got plenty of people who want to knock her down. But she’s doing it. And at the heart of this world dominating Taylor Swift is still that sweet girl I saw sitting on a stool timidly just being so vulnerable with the audience and telling the stories of her heart.

It’s crazy how much can happen in 8 years. It’s humbling. It’s empowering. It’s motivating. It’s a reminder that I CAN GET THROUGH IT. 8 years later and I still miss my mom like crazy but it, and the other extremely difficult things I’ve faced in those years, DID NOT BREAK ME.

So, I don’t know, it might be this weird parallel because of my overly sentimental heart but if a Taylor Swift concert that bookends my incredibly tumultuous 20’s is the thing I needed to reflect and remind myself of how badass I am and how much strength I have inside of me…well then I will take it and run with it as I face my 30’s head on.

 

So let’s get to the actual concert!

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Some highlights:

– IT WAS SUPER FUN. So much fun to sing and dance and not care about my white girl awkward dancing because there was a lot of that going on. Loved singing to all my faves! She really knows how to put on a good show (though sometimes she did a little too much inspirational talking for my taste before songs but they were probably things the younger crowd needed to hear from someone they look up to!)

–  OH MY GOSH SHE DID THE BEST VERSION OF LOVE STORY. It was like this re-imagined 1989-esque version of it and it was incredible. She recorded it here if you wanna listen:

– We got these cool little bracelets that flashed with different colors while she was singing. After the show was over if you tap them they still light up with different colors!

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– Some awesome special guests: Rachel Platten (literally she sang Fight Song with Taylor which is the only song of hers I know!!) and Mariska Hargitay who I LOVE from Law & Order. (I will say I’m a little jealous that I was not there the night before when Echosmith joined her on stage!

– I loved looking at all the awesome costumes and t-shirts the Swifties were wearing! Some ballerinas and cheerleaders and people who made Instagram polaroids. AND TWO GIRLS DRESSED UP AS STARBUCKS CUPS. It was awesome.

– I loved how even when she’s playing to a crowd of 50,000 she still has that personal touch that makes you feel like she’s playing to a small crowd and how you feel like you really know her. It’s no wonder she’s got some of the most devoted fans ever.

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– I loved how she included her bffs — in between some of the songs there were these cute videos with all of her bffs about what it’s like being friends with Taylor and just about female friendship and empowerment in general.

– HER OUTFITS WERE ON POINT.

– Vance Joy opened for her so I was happy to see him again because Will and I LOVE him (Will was a little jealous I got to see him again) but I will say his stuff is a little slower and less GET PUMPED FOR TAYLOR kind of music.

– Experiencing my first BIG Taylor concert with one of the biggest fans I know, my friend and fab book blogger Katie, who drove from CANADA to PHILLY to see her!

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It was SUCH a fun night and I’m so happy that I was able to go — it was my Christmas present from Will! I’m still TOTALLY on a Taylor Swift high right now and I think Will might kill me if I have 1989 on repeat all day.

If We Were Having Coffee

I saw a life coach I love, Ashley, do a post entitled If We Were Having Coffee and I decided to take her lead and do one myself in November 2013 because I loved it and sometimes I feel like we forget that there is a whole life behind the people that write and read blogs. I got such a great response to my initial post that I wanted to make it a reoccurring thing!

 

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So, grab your coffee/beverage of your choice and meet me for a chat. I’ve got water with lemon right now. Love that H2O.

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you that I’m currently reading Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed. Still too early on to have an opinion but I love reading about different cultures from my own and arranged marriage is something I’m not familiar with on a personal level obviously. Before that I just finished Bone Gap by Laura Ruby which was sooo interesting. I am still trying to unpack that one. I’d ask you what you are reading and what you just finished before that…

If we were having coffee... I’d tell you I’m really excited for how my late spring/summer is shaping up — so many good book events, concerts, vacations, etc. that Will and I have planned! We started putting it all out on a calendar and I’m just GIDDY with excitement. I’d ask you what you are planning on doing this summer.

If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you that I’m failing on my 30 before 30 list that I had told you that I made. I haven’t crossed many off so now I have to kick it into high gear. 30 is coming up sooooon (in October). I’d ask you how you tackle your more random goals (ie things that are of importance to you but not like pressing matters). Because right now my list is just SITTING THERE.

If we were having coffee…. Id tell you that the last time we talked I was feeling super discouraged with blogging but I would LOVE to update you that I’m feeling really good about it right now. Nothing really has changed but somewhere along the line my mindset did because look, internally, I’m REALLY happy about what I do here and feel excited about everything I post. So what is there to care about otherwise? I think the nice Spring weather is boosting my mood but who knows. Also been brainstorming some things I’m really excited about. SO YAY.

If we were having coffee…. I’d tell you that I’ve been having a really hard time with some changes going on in my life. SO, my stepdad is great. He’s like a second dad to me (I had both of them walk me down the aisle). I lived with him until I got married even after my mom passed in 2006 and he’s just really important to me. He’s been dating this woman for a while and they will be getting married in September. My personal feelings about her are complicated (long story short: she’s caused fractures between this relationship for both myself and my sister) but I WANT him to be happy. It’s hard. And then the fact that soon she will be moving into MY HOUSE? The house where my stepdad, mom, sister and I lived for all those years. I’m having to box up my stuff (I’ve kept stuff we can’t fit in the apartment there in my old room) and get it ALL out because her sons are moving in and will TAKE our rooms and it’s just all so weird. I know his life is moving on but it’s so weird that I’ll go there and the place where I see all MY memories will not be mine anymore. I won’t have a room. I won’t be able to just go in there as I please like I do now. I stop by, eat food and just hang out all the time. And all the touches that my mom put on that house? I know they are just going to be painted over and things will be taken down and changed. I would almost rather him sell the house rather than have to still visit MY house but it won’t really be mine anymore. I spent a lot of time this past week there by myself packing up my room and just crying. A LOT. I know it’s inevitable but it’s just so hard to watch yet another part of my mom just get erased in some ways. It was comforting to go there because that house was still so much my mom just reflected in everything that is in it and the decorating.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I’m still struggling with what to do next with my life. I’m still nannying for the time being and haven’t really been sending out as many resumes. I needed a mental health break from it. I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve had a “real job” in marketing at this point that nobody is going to hire me. But like…it’s not by choice? I started nannying because I had to pay my bills somehow while I job searched. And here we are over a year later and I’m still nannying. I’d ask if you had any advice for me.

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you how I’m having such a hard time working out these days. I was doing so good last year and this year I can’t stay consistent. I’d ask you if you have an exercise routine and, if so, what it is.

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you about how I’m so thankful for many of my friendships but especially my one girlfriend who I get together with every Wednesday for wine night. I’ve been so awful about making an effort to get together with friends but having this standing date reminds me how much I love getting together with friends.

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I’m PRETTY SURE I’m going to BEA again this year. PRETTY SURE. Year #5 of BEA if so! I’d ask you, if you were a blogger/librarian/teacher/bookseller, etc., if you were going too.

 

If we were having coffee…what would you tell me? Come on…lay it all out! It’s just you, me, the pleasant sounds of a cafe…and maybe some other eyes in the comment section but NBD right?? Our we can have coffee in my inbox if you don’t feel comfortable. I really want to know! What’s going on with you?

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