Nov 2, 2013

Random Acts Of Kindness

Well, Halloween has come and gone which means it's officially Christmas time. Well, fine, Thanksgiving season but everyone knows Thanksgiving is really just the pre-Christmas practice feast where you talk about how thankful you are for all those people you have that you'd like to buy presents for... right?

No? Okay, well, in my family it is.
Actually, in my family, Christmas season starts in October.
In my house, Christmas goes through Valentines Day.

But this year, I'm turning more focus on Thanksgiving- mainly because this year I'm hosting my family (some of them at least) for Thanksgiving dinner. We're talking cooking & planning the menu *hopefully with some help- hint, hint Mom!*, setting up, the whole shabang.

And the more I think about Thanksgiving, the more I think of the last Thanksgiving I cooked for myself...when I was living in Florida.

 As a Disney intern, I missed the holidays with my family but in my stubbornness, I was determined to make every holiday special nonetheless. It was the first year I had ever even thought about how to cook a turkey or what to serve for Thanksgiving. My mom and grandma had always taken care of all that in the past. I just woke up, watched the parade, and ate more pie than I ever would have thought humanly possible. But this year, I was determined there would still be turkey, there would be potatoes, stuffing, and the parade- even if it killed me.

You know that scene in the Santa Clause where Tim Allen burns the Christmas dinner? That is what my Thanksgiving reminds me of. Not because anything was burnt- I hold my own in a kitchen- but because my perfect Thanksgiving turned into a bit of a nightmare.

The night before Thanksgiving, I had everything all planned out. I made up my list and I headed off to Wal-Mart (which in Orlando was always a nightmare). As typical in Orlando, there was a homeless man in the parking lot in ratty jeans. His shoes had holes in them, his shirt was dirty. He had an umbrella (thank goodness, it was pouring) but evidently that was about it. He hit me up for money on my way in the door. I said I had no cash without even looking in my wallet and I walked right past him into the store.

In the store, I loaded my cart with everything imaginable. Turkey, potatoes, stuffing, pie crusts, cranberries- I was having an excellent holiday, gosh darnit! Stuck in Disney World or not. It was going to be exactly like being back home. Except, I didn't know what type of turkey to buy or how to even cook a turkey and the more I shopped, the more I missed home and my family. The more I shopped the more upset I became about missing the holidays. I was homesick and buy the time I got to the checkout, I was really feeling sorry for myself (in fact, I had texted my parents 3 times by then telling them I was quitting and coming home for Thanksgiving). Pity party, party of 1. (In my defense, I had NEVER just completely missed a holiday with my family before!)

So, I get up to pay, I pull out my wallet, and... I grab the debit card. I swipe the debit card and put in the pin number. My card is declined. DECLINED?! But, I know I have money there. I, humiliated, fighting back tears, tell the cashier there must be some mistake, I just got paid even. She swipes the card again but you can see it in her face like "yeah, they all say that". It declines again. I look down and I realize- I grabbed the wrong card.

You see, my boyfriend and I were sharing a bank account. Same account, different card. And this was his card only I didn't know his pin number. Of course, there is a line behind me and I'm flustered. So, you know what I do? The only logical thing to do- I start bawling. Hysterically. After all, nowhere in my perfect Thanksgiving plans did it say "not be able to buy food at Wal-Mart." Frantically, I get out my phone and I dial his number and he doesn't answer. So, I try to plead my case with the cashier.

"It will go through as credit, can I sign for it?
"No," the cashier responds in broken English, "You not Christopher."
"No, I get that. But I'm on the account- do you want to call the bank?"
"No. Get out of line. I print receipt. You get pin number."

It took me 20 minutes to finally get an answer and a pin number and by the time I left I was both humiliated, crying like a crazy woman, and completely devastated. I was so over Thanksgiving. Holidays are stupid anyways, right? Who needed this lousy turkey anyway? I hate turkey! (Not really but that's how I felt at that point)  It's pouring rain, I was having an absolutely awful day, and I really just wanted to go home (really home, not to my apartment) and see my family and cuddle my dog and eat a turkey that someone else cooked because everything tastes better when it's cooked with love! (*imagine hysterically sobbing in between each thought*)

And, the homeless man from earlier started following me to my car.
He handed me his umbrella which I declined at first ("no sir, I don't want to buy your umbrella").
And then he said "I think you need this more than I do." And, I kid you not, he loaded all of my groceries into my car. All of them. In the pouring rain. While I stood dry under his umbrella.

He did it after I said I had no cash.
He did it for no reason other than that I had obviously had a really lousy day.
I couldn't get over it.

Sometimes, I wish I could run into that particular homeless man and tell him how much of an impact he had on my day (and my life) by taking that memory of a really horrible (and really selfish- seriously, holidays aren't about the food) experience and turning it into a lesson on kindness.

Because sometimes, there is nothing in it for you. I had blown him off, written him off, not even checking to see if I had money and he, knowing I probably didn't have any cash on me, went out of his way to help the crazy girl crying outside of Walmart in the pouring rain.

And when I think about Thanksgiving and what I'm thankful for, he always pops into my head. When I'm angry or frustrated, he pops into my mind. When I'm stuck between my stubbornness or being kind to someone who maybe doesn't deserve it- I think of him.

Each time, the memory reminds me that even though I may not seem to have much to gain by helping someone- maybe they have something to gain. Maybe they need that random act of kindness. Maybe they'll learn from it, grow from it, think of it on their darkest days, and then pay it forward- and that makes it worth it every time.
My family and I when they visited me during my Disney internship.

Feb 16, 2013

A Negative Side to Positive Thinking

I've gone back and forth debating whether to write out todays post or keep it to myself. As I'm writing it now, I'm not convinced I'll end up clicking that "publish" button that is glaring at me from the top of the screen.

To post or not to post.
That is the question.

The thing is, this isn't my typical happy-go-lucky post that I like to write. And it's not that I'm writing this from a sad place or that I'm less happy than usual but I realized this week that there is one huge down side to positive thinking and picking my perspective.

I realized that sometimes I just avoid actually dealing with things.

The thing about perspective is that the problem doesn't magically go away. It doesn't just stop existing. You simply make up your mind to not dwell on it. You push it to the back of your mind and you move forward and you focus on something else. You choose not to be sad or frustrated and you focus on something happier.

But it's all still there.
It's just buried under the surface.

Don't get me wrong- perspective is important. If you believe the world is caving in on you, it's easy to feel like the victim. Sometimes, it's necessary to hold your head up and tell yourself that you are going to choose to the make the best of a situation. That's a good thing- it is- until it isn't.

Because you're still human.

The doubt is still in the back of your mind. The fear is still very real. You are still disappointed.

Allowing yourself to feel all those things is important. It's what makes you human, keeps you feeling alive. You have to take all that in with the good- not just shove it to the side and refuse to face it.

Change is an exciting thing but it isn't without it's price. Yesterday was the first day in a long time where I just felt the urge to curl up in a bawl and cry. Not because I was sad but because it was the first time I allowed myself to face the doubt. The first time I allowed myself to admit that I was worried, disappointed, or anxious. It was the first time I let myself face the negative and that made me feel so incredibly guilty.

And selfish.

And I felt like I was somehow letting everyone down by breaking- myself, my friends, the people who read this blog and then comment on how happy I am.

I really am happy.

But I'm also real. A real person with real thoughts and fears. I refuse to give into those fears, yes. I refuse to dwell on the negative but I realized that it was important to allow myself to feel all those things  in order to move past them.

The thing is I know without a doubt that everything will be fine. I'll find a new apartment, I'll love my new job, I'll hold my head up and I'll hold myself to a higher standard. I won't settle. I won't back down. I'll cross every bridge, every mountain, every angry river that gets in my path and I believe that the end result will be completely worth every second of it.

So, I think, the morale of this whole big thing is that I just want you to know- it's fine to cry or scream or yell or punch a pillow or whatever you need to do. It doesn't make you weak. It doesn't make you negative. It makes you real. You can be the happiest person in the world and still have days where you just need to let it all out. The important thing about perspective is your focus on the end goal, I think. You just have to remember that even if things don't work out or aren't going how you want or even if you are just plain scared- you are so strong and you are so brave and you will find a way to make it work.

Whatever it is, if it's important enough to you, you'll figure out.
And every little bump in the road will be completely worth it.

Feb 15, 2013

Friday Letters

Dear Person Who Brought Donuts Into The Office Today- Are you trying to kill me? Twists, cream horns, chocolate covered, and CARAMEL COVERED?! It's like heaven (and a heart attack) in a box. On the flip side, I'm officially hyped up on sugar this morning.
 Dear Glee- THANK YOU! I almost skipped the Valentines Day episode because your story line has been yuck for 2 seasons now. But man, last night was good- so many story lines developing. You better keep those going. We're sick of your stupid theme episodes. YAY for Artie's love interest! Dear Family- Thank you for the Valentines yesterday. I cant wait to use my gift certificate to get my nails done.
Dear Potential Future Landlords- I would absolutely be lying if I said it wasn't sketch that you charged us $70 for app fees, almost a week ago, told us we'd hear back by Tuesday, and still haven't given us an answer. If you're after our money then just say yes so we can pay a deposit. I work in leasing so I totally understand it can take a while but come on now!
Dear Creepy Neighbor- Listen, this is the 700th time you've bothered me about my dog. Stop watching out your window for me to get home or let him out. It's getting weird. Especially if it's late at night, you are wearing a bathrobe, and wanting me to meet you in the shadowy part of your lawn to "talk". No, mam. So for the last time- I don't know how you know I'm moving, but my dog is coming with me. If by chance he wasn't, you would be my absolute last choice to take him. If he goes missing, your house will be first on my list of places to look. So, please, for the last time- stop. You aren't babysitting him, I feed him, he is fine, and no he's not for sale.
 Dear Little- It's GIRLS NIGHT!! I made a cake just for this occasion! AND Im making chicken parm for dinner. GET EXCITED! Scary movies also! I can hardly wait! Soon girls nights will be fewer and further between so I gotta take the ones I can get!

Feb 7, 2013

"Hello, mam. May I please speak with Jesus?"

If you've been scrolling my blog and just looking at titles, you would think I "found God" and was suddenly very, very religious.

If you've been actually reading the blog, you probably are a little worried for my sanity.

It's okay. I worry about it sometimes too!

That white dress? Yep. That was high school me's dream dress. Also, sorry Melani, I stole your picture.

When I was in high school, I spent about 2 months of my life working as a telemarketer. Seriously, the worst job I have ever had but I wanted a prom dress that was $700 and I was determined to make those payments (Side note: I didn't in fact make those payments. My parents bought that dress. Sorry, mom!).

I was the kind of telemarketer who worked outbound calls trying to sell people insurance for their credit card. I hated that job more than basically anything. I'm thoroughly convinced that if I end up going to hell (let's hope that doesnt happen!) but if I do, it's going to be an exact replica of that business, with me permanently strapped to my chair, taking call after call, constantly repeating "Hello, Mrs. Smith. My name is Destiny. How are you doing today? I'm calling in regards to your account with _____________. No, no nothing is wrong with your account. I'm actually just wanting to let you know that we have a debt relief insurance that will protect your account in the unfortunate event that you were to lose your job or become injured! It's only $10 extra per month and will protect your account for up to $10,000! Let's sign you up for that, okay?!" The whole time my manager will be saying "SPEAK WITH A SMILE!" and the jerk supervisor will be reading off everyone's sales for the week (I usually had like 2. I was not telemarketer material and I'm quite fine with that!)

Anyways, one day I got a particularly interesting screen that told me I would be talking to Jesus. JESUS!!! Oh my lanta. If I'm being honest with you, I had an uncontrollable giggle fit. What a cocky name- Jesus. "Oh, yes. This is my son. Jesus Christ Jones. We think he's the second coming" or when he's in trouble- "JESUS CHRIST!! You get your butt back here RIGHT THIS INSTANT! You've really done it this time!" Oh, the perks of having a child named Jesus.

Obviously, high school me was a mess of giggle fits at that instant.

Eventually, a Mexican woman answers the phone "Hello?" and I, through a fit of giggles say ... "Hello, Mam! I'm looking for Jesus." (Bahahah! sounds like I'm having a spiritual crisis). She replies "Jesus?" and I say "Yes, mam. Jesus. Is he home?"

She pauses for quite some time and then replies "You mean Hay-Seuss."

Oh, snap.

Ever since I've been thoroughly convinced that Jesus Christ is really just a Mexican man named Hay-Seuss. We've got the story all wrong, you guys.

Feb 6, 2013

I'm starting a church!

I have a serious confession- I love rap music. No, really. LOVE it. But not your typical rap music- I have this strange obsession with rappers who are actually really intelligent. For instance, Childish Gambino kind of melts my whole heart. That's Donald Glover's rap project- Donald Glover is also a stand up comedian, a former writer for 30 Rock, and an actor (have you seen Community?!). Let me tell you- that boy is smart and talented.

Well, have you seen the Watsky "white kid raps fast" video on Youtube? Fun fact- Watsky also does POETRY SLAMS! which are incredible even though I was a bit skeptical at first. The video below is called "Drunk Text Messages To God" and it's about what his religion would be like if he started his own church.

So, in honor of Watsky, I'm starting my own hypothetical "religion". I think I'm going to call it the Church of Destiny. I know. It's not very creative. But thats ok because...

At my church we believe in bubble baths,
hot showers.
We never stop at one glass of wine
when we could go straight for two.
At my church, we do pasta for 3 meals a day
We never worry about getting fat
Or if our jeans are going to fit the next day.
At my church, we encourage people to take the plunge
We revel in fear
We do the things that scare us the most
At my church, we are crazy with two crays!
We believe we have no restraints.
That we can tackle every situation that is thrown at us.
We have faith in ourselves.
We skip winter
Fall and Spring
And live in an endless summer
We do days at the lake,
sunbathing, jet skis.
We encourage traveling and traveling alot.
We have gypsy spirits
That get restless and wonder
But thats okay, because life is an adventure and you only live once.
At MY church, services are midday
We can go to bed early
and sleep in late
At my church, our hymnals are filled with showtunes.
The choir sings accapella mashups
and I always get the rap parts.
Our pews are covered in chevron throw pillows.
Our choir robes are covered in sequins
and we believe that the Good Lord likes things that sparkle.
We only have one commandment
and that is the golden rule.
At my church we dont turn you away
because you are different, or think different.
We encourage you to express yourself and embrace being exactly who you are
We believe in debating,
in remaining respectful,
and in embracing viewpoints that differ from your own.
At my church
we focus on the good in the world
We look for things to love in every person we meet.
We drink Pepsi and hot Cheetos for communion.
We read sci-fi and fantasy for our sermons
and we talk about our adventures as our testimonies.
In the words of Watsky- "I'm not Jesus Christ .... but I can turn water into koolaid!"
What would your church be like?

Feb 5, 2013

The time I took a step off the ledge and just kept running...

GUYS! I got the phone call. THE phone call.
Which means I put in my two weeks notice at 7:57 AM this morning.
I think it's the first time I've ever almost cried about quitting a job.
But I LOVE my job, my co-workers, and my boss.
It's been the most perfect, awarding experience.
But I know where I want to be and this new opportunity will get me there.
My boss was very gracious and understanding.
I, however, am a nervous hot mess if I ever saw one!
Of all the things I struggle with change is the worst.
But if you never allow yourself to make changes,
you will never improve.
You will never move forward.
And as scary as it all may be,
it's even more exciting.
So, here's to this new adventure in this crazy wild ride I call life!

Jan 24, 2013

Those Not So Magic Changes

photo courtesy of Meg White Photography.

Hi, bloggy friends!

I've been MIA from the blogosphere this week. I keep logging in and logging back out because I just don't want to try to put the cluster of crazed thoughts in my brain into legible words. The past few weeks have been crazy for me in so many ways- readjusting to school, adjusting to Boyfriend being away again- and I keep finding myself thinking "well, what next? Where do I go from here..." about basically every aspect of my life.

I've got so much I want to do. So many adventures I want to have and haven't for one reason or another (one main reason- money). I have so much on my list of things I want to accomplish this year and I've been getting a bit overwhelmed. How do I make it all happen? How do I achieve so much in such a short time? How do I balance school, the blog, work, and fun time? How do I get from point A to point B?

You ever feel like you want to be moving forward but you just keep taking 2 steps back? That's me this week!

This is not typical Destiny mood. Thank Goodness.

So, I've done what I always do when the world around me feels too disorganized to handled- I made a list. Yes, I know. That is absolutely crazy. But a list seems easier, more tangible- I can turn it into a step by step. For instance- within the next year I want to move to Springfield (scratch that- I HAVE to move to Springfield for school) but this is only possible if I a)get a full time job in Springfield, b)leave the job I love, c)finish my current lease, d) save up some extra "rebound" money just in case and e)find Yoda and I a new home in Springfield. Awww, see? Nice, easy, step by step.

Oh. I hate change. But I get so complacent and so comfortable, that sometimes I wonder why should I change? Why should I move forward? Why should I leave something I enjoy for something I may not like as much?

Why should I put faith in things that are "unsure"? Why should I take that leap for something that could back fire? I can't guarantee that things will work out. I can't guarantee that I will succeed in all these endeavours.

Darn those unknowns.

But you know why? Why I should do all those things?

Because I have faith.

I have faith that as great as my life is currently, there is a greater life in store for me somewhere, some time in the future. I have faith that I am capable to face every challenge that comes my way and I am capable to tackle every obstacle head on. I have faith in my abilities, my skills, myself. I have faith that even if/when things dont go my way, it's simply a gateway for bigger, better things to take form. I have faith in myself. Faith in the world around me.

And when you have faith, when you trust yourself and the world around you, amazing things happen. It's just a matter of closing my eyes (or shutting out that voice in my mind that is scared), jumping off the edge, and trusting the pieces to fall where they may because either way, I know I am able to put it all together so that it works.

I have faith that I will surpass even my own expectations for myself.

Jan 21, 2013

A Guest Post From a Non-Blogger. Meet LITTLE.

So, this weekend, my Little asked me if she could take over the blog for a bit and do a guest post. Of course I said yes- she's the smartest kid I know. Secretly, I'm hoping that I can get her hooked and she will want to start a blog of her own. THAT would be something worth reading! So, Little took over the blog for the weekend and this was the result-

From Little's senior shoot from Meg White Photography

Hi guys!
It’s Lil here! I wanna start off by saying I’m super excited to write a guest post for Big’s blog! I hope you all enjoy reading her blogs as much as I do!

I have a few topics I would like to write about! One being jealousy and the other being assuming the worst in people!

Being a high school girl, jealousy is everywhere I turn. And sad thing is, jealousy makes people want the worst for others! For example with prom coming up, a lot of girls post “Just found the perfect prom dress! <3” (including me) but for those other jealous girls reading it they think “what color?” “I wanna see it!” “picture!”

They want to make sure that it’s not the same color or better than theirs. instead of being happy with what they got and hoping the best for this other girl.  It happens in every situation not just prom.  People do not want anything better than what they have! And truth is, there will always be something better! So my advice, be happy for others and don’t tear them down. Would you want people doing that to YOU?
From Little's Senior Shoot with Meg White Photography

 Also, something even I deal with in the hallways, are people that assume the worst in you.  There’s those people that think oh she can’t really be THAT good, she HAS to be leading him on, she’s so quiet she MUST be stuck up, etc.  Reality is it’s hard to be friends with certain people.  Because people know how THEY are, and assume that’s how YOU are too.  However, that’s not always the case.  And sometimes there are those friendships that you’d be better off without, just don’t stop caring.  Some people think oh, you’re not my friend, why should I care?  You should ALWAYS care. 

However, off the subject, when you assume people are that way just because of what they wear, how they act, who they are friends with, etc. that’s judging a book by their cover. I don’t know about you, but my mom’s always told me that was not a good thing to do.  And I’ve learned not to.  There are people I’ve met that really have had some hard times, or needed a friend, that I would’ve never guessed did by the looks of it.  But I got to know them! And they were some pretty awesome people.

So I’ll leave you with this.  TRY IT! Try to just stop with the jealousy and assuming, and meet new people! Because you could run into that person that will change your outlook and put a whole new meaning to life!



See? I told you she is wise beyond her years! Let's show her lots of love and hopefully sway her to start blogging on her own! OH! You can also help her out by going to this page on Facebook and commenting "vote" on her picture. She is in a photo contest! The photo should look like this- 
Go and vote! Please and thank you!

Jan 16, 2013

Bucket List Adventures #1- That Time I Got My Belly Button Pierced At That Super Sketch Place In Venice Beach

Hello, darling friends!

I don't know if you remember but I posted my bucket list a while back and mentioned that I had already marked some of the items off the list (and of course hope to mark way more off!) and that I would slowly but surely get around to sharing those experiences with you- and here we go! I finally got around to it. Actually I have 2 whole weeks of blog posts planned out (wait, me? a planner? Noooooo...) and I'm excited to get to it!

This is was actually #1 on my bucket list when I typed it (I tried to stick in order of things I had already marked off first- for organization purposes, you know!) Anyways-

I know this sounds really silly but I have wanted my belly button pierced since junior high. All my friends were doing it but my parents had a very strict "no piercing" policy and wouldn't sign off for me. Darn those parents of mine! But they had a point- a lot of things I wanted back then, I eventually out grew wanting. My belly button ring wasn't one them. It also wasn't top of the list-

So when I turned 18, I decided to get a piercing- but I chose to get my nose done instead. Being my first piercing, I sat down with my parents and discussed what I wanted. They knew they couldn't really have stopped me (I'm completely stubborn when I've made my mind up) but they were actually really supportive. This was long after the "mom... I'm a rock star" talk so I think they had started to come around. In fact, my dad took me to get it done and laughed at my "pain" face when the needle went through. Thanks, Dad.

And thus, the piercings had begun.

The next I got was my monroe (which I loved for about 2 weeks, kept on principle for a few months, then it fell out, grew closed, and I didn't event bother getting it redone).

My next adventure in rockstar-i-zation was my tattoo. I didn't tell my parents before I went, I just went. I posted it on Facebook. I had learned by now that my mom really just didn't want to know some things and this was one of them- I started clueing her in after to save her the worry.

But, I still wanted my belly button done. I don't know why. It seems so junior high now.

So I went to California this past summer to visit my family and I put it on the list of things I wanted to do while I was there. I figured going with my aunt and cousin would make it a fun memory.

My aunt got her piercing done in Venice Beach and so I said what the heck and agreed to do it there.

Only- HAVE YOU BEEN TO VENICE BEACH? It's both the most fascinating and absolutely terrifying place ever. The streets are lined with performers and art vendors and it's seriously just amazing. It's also not the most sanitary place in the entire world. So, I started to chicken out.

That's right. Me. After 3 other piercings (I'm including my ears) and a tattoo, I chickened out of getting my belly button done. Fears can be so illogical sometimes!

I have this weird thing though where I really start to get disappointed with myself if I let fear stop me from doing things. I wasn't always this way but as I've gotten older I've started to get more stubborn, I think. Like I said, once my mind is made up- it's made up and usually NOTHING stands in the way of that-

So, we went shopping around for a bit and I basically had a little talk with myself that went something like this- "Homegirl, how are you going to feel if you go home without this? Will you be disappointed? Yes. Then suck it up, put on your big girl panties, and get on that table!"

I promptly left that dressing room, marched my little behind right up to my aunt, said "Nope, I want to do it" and marched right down the street to a very sketch looking building filled with boys covered in tattoos with very wholey faces.Which, in all honesty, was right up my alley. That's right, folks! I walk on the wild side! I'm edgy! I'm cool! Haha... ugh....

Pre-piercing. Photo courtesy of my gorgeous cousin, Tess. This is the face of completely calm. 

So, this place is mainly just doors, so they can open it and you can see inside- we basically walked around a corner to the "piercing area" which was basically a fold out chair, a table with a giant needle (it was wrapped- don't worry folks!), concrete floors, and a very awkward table-ish thing that I had to lay on. He clamped my belly button (which was not pleasant) ... and then....

Now, really, I consider myself to be pretty pro with pain. My tattoo was a breeze, my monroe was a breeze, my nose piercing was a cinch- but let me tell you- MY BELLY BUTTON PIERCING HURT! Ugh. People lie. It was so slow! I must have made the worst face ever too because the guy even apologized. You know what you don't want to hear when getting a piercing- "SORRY!"- I thought he messed up!

But good news is, months later- it has healed nicely, it is completely gorgeous, and when I left I felt like a total bad @$$ (because you know, I finally did something most girls did when they were 14).

Sorry, Mom.

Jan 15, 2013

Lessons Learned

One of my sister's gorgeous senior photos by MegWhite photography! Seriously though, is she not darling?

Hello, gorgeous friends!

I haven't updated in a week- which is ridiculous for me! But this past week has been filled with changes, family, and some much needed R&R. Boyfriend went back to school this week (so did I) which leaves me officially roommate-less once again and I will be sharing our adventure trial run in being in a live-in couple here soon!

I spent the weekend hiding out at mom and dad's- they don't even live out of town! It's like a ten minute drive down the road! But Little had just got back from Breckenridge and we spent the weekend lounging on the couch and catching up. It's fun to play teenager every once in a while- sit on the couch, eat food I didn't pay for, in a house I don't pay for. Awww, sweet relaxation! We picked Little's prom dress which is absolutely amazing and completely unexpected. I am sure I will post tons of pictures of her in it when the time comes!

Little is a senior this year which is absolutely unreal and scary for me (she won't be ten minutes down the road when I want to do movie nights!) but also very exciting! This got me really thinking about all the things I've learned since high school and how much things have changed (and yet, some things not so much).
 So I decided to come up with a little list of lessons I've personally learned since high school.

 I'm so excited for her to get to have her own adventures and make her own decisions and see what she decides to do with that new independence!

Life after high school taught me:
- I make my own rules and decisions. My parents did a very good job of trying to teach right/wrong and setting rules of the house- that being said, I don't always agree with their definitions of right versus wrong but I think that's a good thing. As you grow up, you have to decide what is right for you. I've come to find that quite often there is more than one "right way" of doing things and that what one person believes is not necessarily true for another. That's the fun part- you get to figure out what you believe in.
- The greatest way to learn what you like is to try new things. For instance, my mom is a "well done" steak person. All my life I've been fed well done steak. Let me just tell you my personal thoughts- well done is steak is not delicous. It's fine, it's edible but it's not something to fuss over. So once on a whim, I tried "medium rare" steak (yeah, I'm brave!) and it was like WOAH! Whole new ballgame. Completely different (Better to me) taste. Now I get excited about steak. But growing up my mom always said I'd get sick off steak that was pink in the middle or that it was gross and I believed her. She doesn't like it and that is okay- the point is you will never know if you like something or not if you are too afraid to try it.
-"Different" doesn't make you "weird"- Am I the only one who wanted to fit in in high school? Boy, I sure hope not. But, I did. I went to a very small school and a lot of the kids were more "country" (though I hate that term) than I was but I was always pulled toward a more punk-y, edgy style as a teen so I was SO confused as to who I was supposed to be as a teen. Seriously, I didn't know if I was supposed to shop at Hot Topic or Hollister. The point is, be who YOU are and who you want to be. People who don't understand will turn it into a negative but it isn't. The world would be a dull place if everyone were exactly the same. The world needs a "Destiny". The world needs a "YOU".
- Acceptance and understanding are two huge stress relievers. There are certain things you can't change. There are, hate to tell you. Little things you can't control- those obstacles are put there to change us. To make us stronger. So, accept that you have to face whatever that obstacle is head on- and then let go. Let go of the worry. Don't overplay it in your mind. Just let it go, and tackle whatever hurdle you have to tackle with the knowledge that you are better because of it.
 Along the same lines- you can neither control or change other people (but gosh, how handy would that be?!). Don't concern yourself with the unneeded stress of trying to alter someone else's beliefs or thought process so that it is more like your own- they have a reason for doing what they do and being who you are, just the same as you do.
-My parents are far better parents than teenage me would ever have wanted to admit. You know what the best thing about my parents was? They let me be a kid. Seriously, I didn't know how great I had it. They never worried us about money problems, they never asked us to pay their bills, they never made us take on any responsibility we couldn't handle- they let us be young, carefree kids. They also aren't big fans of handouts and have taught me that if I want something, I have to earn it.  They also dressed me in fuzzy bunny sweaters until the fifth grade but we'll save that grievance for another day! (Love you, mom!)
-If you don't want it to, drama doesn't have to follow you after high school- I hear this all the time (or read it on Facebook) where a kid is excited to graduate to be rid of girl drama and people comment that it never ends. It does end. It at least gets a whole lot better. I found college to be much more spread out and that people really didn't care about little things the way younger kids do. If you have that friend that constantly talks crap on you (we've all had em!), ditch 'em. Seriously. You won't be sorry. Negativity is contagious and this is one situation you can control. Get rid of anyone who doesn't make you feel "good" and surround yourself with people who think you are amazing- you will start to think you're amazing too.

What has life after high school taught you

Jan 8, 2013

Just Because I'm An Introvert...

Another day without my straightener! People keep asking what is wrong with my hair!

Listen, guys! Blogging is hard work- that's what I'm coming to find! But it's also really fun and creative and I basically am obsessed with it. A huge part of blogging, I think, is NETWORKING. I'm constantly trying to read new blogs, join groups, comment and post anywhere and everywhere hoping people will like what I have to say and want to read my blog (but also to support other bloggers because I know how exciting it can be to get feedback).

I found this topic ("Just Because I'm An Introvert Doesn't Mean...") on 20sb and I kind of loved it because growing up I was always an introverted kid and I always felt like that made it really hard to relate to peers and the people around me. It gets misconstrued alot in the process of people trying to understand and that always has kind of aggitated me.

I'm introverted, I'm not "stuck up". This is the one that probably aggitated me the most as a teen. I'm not a bitch, I don't want to seem rude- I simply get stuck in my head. Let's get this straight- small talk? I kind of suck at it. It's not that I don't want to talk to you about the weather, it's just that my mind tends to drift. It's a constant daydream, always contemplating the future or feelings or emotions, it's alot. Don't get me wrong- if you say "hey", I'll say "hey" back. But after that, I just dont know where to take the conversation- unless you want to hear all about that day dream I was having where I ended up on a Broadway stage and married Ron Weasley... yeaaaah, that would have made me a popular kid. I swear I try to small talk, I have gotten better about it, but I still tend to get stuck in my thoughts.

It's not that I'm anti-social. I love going out with my friends and being around my family. It's just that from time to time, I need that veg day where I sit on the couch in my sweats, break out my notebook, write a little bit, sip a little wine (okay, let's be honest here- it's so cheap that calling it "wine" is a bit of a stretch), eat way too much junk food, and watch chick flicks alone all day. It doesn't mean I don't want to be around my friends. It's just that every once in a while, I day to clear my head and recooperate.

Over the years, it's gotten easier and I've became much more outgoing and put out the effort but it's an actual effort for me to go out and be social. Seriously, I tried to explain this to someone the other day and I'm sure they thought I was crazy- but I always have a GREAT time going out with friends once I get in that situation but getting in that situation is a challenge for me. I have to talk myself up. It's not that I'm really nervous or scared or even anxious but honestly, after a week of work, I'm tired. That couch looks pretty great and that book is basically begging me to read it (poor neglected reading list!). It takes alot of energy to go out. Especially after a 40 hour work week and school every day from 5-9.

I asked a friend once in high school (when my friends were starting to get into partying a bit more) why I never got invited to parties- don't get me wrong, I didn't even drink in high school (I wanted something to look forward to when I hit 21- silly I know) and she said "honestly, no one thinks you will go. You always say no." and around that time I really started to feel a huge disconnect from my peers. I felt like everyone had taken it personally and misunderstood my reasoning. It's not that I didn't want to hang out, but I needed a balance that I just had a hard time finding in school (8 hours a day with loud teenagers, throw in cheer/choir/band/whatever else I did after school that wasn't at home... yeah, okay, I needed the weekend to recoop mentally).

I think sometimes we have to find a right/wrong. We want to know how we should be and sometimes we have a hard time dealing with things we don't understand. I always think there is a reason for people being the way that they are- and this was mine. Without all the details though it really can be hard to understand.

We all have our little quirks, I guess. <3

If you want to join up you can get a button here

Jan 7, 2013

A Little Food For (Positive) Thought


I keep logging into Blogger, clicking "New Post" and then just staring at the blank screen like - "Well, what now?" Darnit, Blog! Someday you are going to learn to write yourself!

It's a Monday and I'm back in the office after a weekend that was not exactly the quiet weekend at home I had planned. Saturday I finally got a new haircut/color that I've been craving for months now and I think it turned out great! It's a red ombre (YOU GUYS! It's suddenly COOL to look like you haven't got your hair done in MONTHS!) and I went with the ombre because I'm hoping it will keep my roots from showing as I attempt to grow my hair out even longer! I've also given up my straightener/curling irons and let me just tell you- it's killing me. I'm quite the little frizz ball these days!

But what I actually wanted to talk about today is timing and if I'm being honest it's probably one of the harder parts of positive thought for me. Because trust in the Universe around you (or God or yourself even or whatever you choose to believe in- we don't judge around these here parts!) means trust in the timing. I'm a total control freak so when I want something- I tend to want it here right this very second. Not five minutes from now- not tomorrow- not next week- NOW.

Here's what I've realized though, I always manage to get what I need.

So, half the battle is over- I know that if I really truly need something, I will find a way to get that or experience that. I trust the world around me enough to know that, so why does it matter if it's 5 minutes from now or five years?

Truthfully- it doesn't.

When I need it, it will come through.

And if I don't have it yet? I'm not ready or it's not ready for me.

Sometimes, you have to hit the bumps to appreciate a smooth road.
You have to have those less pleasant experiences to fully appreciate the amazing moments.
You have to fail to learn to appreciate success.

This is what I'm realizing each day-

There is a reason. There is a reason for the bumps, the rocks, the moments where I don't receive what I've asked for- even if the reason is that I haven't fully gotten to enjoy the journey from point A to point B.

We get so concerned with the destination that we forget to enjoy the ride. We get so caught up in where we want to be that we don't stop and take a look at how amazing where we are really is. And sometimes, we forget to trust in timing-

But everything will fall into place. When we're really, truly ready.

Funny how this nonreligious post sounds so religious. It always strikes me as strange how so many different people can believe some of the same thing (different versions of the same story almost) and yet we still choose to be pulled apart by the views that are different instead of united but the bits that are the same.

Jan 3, 2013

When Positives Turn Negative

Photographed by Meg White Photography during a shoot in September.

Hello, gorgeous friends!

Guys, I've failed. Oh, goodness. I'm sorry! I'm taking a temporary/possibly permanent break from the 30 Things challenge. I know! I'm sorry! Don't worry though, I'll still be blogging a ton but now I'll be writing things that I want to write- starting with todays post. I may come back to the 30 Things Challenge and finish it slowly  but I just have so many other things I want to write about. It was SUCH a fun challenge and I really encourage you to try it. It did exactly what I needed it to- it helped me introduce myself to you, got me in the hang of blogging, and even- I think- helped me find my blogging "voice". I had a great time. I just feel like it's time to move on and write things that feel more- organic. Something nice, raw, and my own.

Plus, this has been on my mind for awhile now-

I had a conversation with a woman the other day that got the gears turning in my head. She is a fun, talkative woman with a fun job and I love hearing her talk about her work/co-workers. She is such a sweet lady and I thought this was incredibly real/honest for her to admit- she began to talk about a girl who works in her office. She described this girl as being "overly friendly", the sort who uses terms like "hun" and "babe" for everyone she meets. The sort of girl who brings cookies to work and shares with everyone. She talked about how this girl (I've never met, by the way) was just trying too hard and how, because of that, they just weren't going to mesh.

Now- I think this "rubbed me wrong" for a few reasons. Possibly because, honestly, I am so that girl. I am. I spent a year working as a waitress and I've called nearly every stranger I've encountered "hun" ever since. Old habbits die hard, right? While I've yet to bring cookies to work, I do occasionally stop and get donuts for the office before Monday morning meetings. Yeah, obviously, I really empathised with this girl I've never met.

This started me thinking about how often we (I know I do it!) tend to take a "positive" aspect of a person and turn it into a negative. Hear me out, here-

The girl in this scenario sounded nice. She seems to be putting in an effort to connect with her peers. Sure, the "hun" thing could possibly be a bit annoying but it sounds like she was genuinely trying to make the people around her comfortable and put in effort to be kind- sounds all positive to me. But, I think, in a way that that threatens us and we find a way to cope by creating a complaint. (I've never met this girl so honestly my opinion is just objective and based off the given information)

I'm not saying always. I'm not saying everyone does this- but I know I sure do.

For me, though, I tend to pin people who threaten me as "cocky". I'm pretty confident in my own skin, don't get me wrong- but I have flaws and I've struggled with accepting those the way I think alot of people do. So, when I meet someone who I feel is more confident than I am I tend to think of them as "cocky". WHAT?! This person thinks they are AMAZING?! Cocky. Cockycockycocky. How dare they? HOW DARE THEY be so comfortable with who they are!!! (I think sometimes people with certain sense of humors get mislabeled as cocky as well)

Growing up, I was always incredibly thin. I'm not saying thin is a positive thing (dont even get me started on body image and the crazy double standards). But I was constantly (I do mean CONSTANTLY) fighting off rumors that I was anorexic/bulemic. My entire family is thin. I was stuck in an awkward phase, had a crazy fast metabolism, and was one active kid. I was making healthy choices, I just wasn't putting on weight. But sometimes, the world around you wants to see you a certain way.  I think it's the same reason we turn things that are "different" into things that are "weird".

The point of this whole big long rant is THIS- I feel like sometimes we have to find flaws in people. Sometimes, to the point of creating flaws out of things that aren't actually flaws. It's easy to get stuck in a vicious circle of needing to make people out as being inferior. I've done it and I still catch myself doing it from time to time (Hey! I'm human! I'm working on it!).

But it doesn't have to be that way- what if instead of constantly looking for flaws in people, we focused on the positives. What if we made it our goal to find at least ONE good thing about each person we encountered and we focused on that good? The possibilities for change are endless.

And you know what I think the first step is? Taking that advice and turning it on ourselves. Next time you look in the mirror- find the GOOD things. Focus on the good things. We all have flaws, sure, but they don't have to make us shine any less bright.

You are beautiful, inside & out.

Jan 2, 2013

Ode to 2012

My tattoo as photographed by MegWhite Photography
Hello, gorgeous friends. Did you all have a good New Years? I really did even though I just stayed in for a Gossip Girl marathon with the best friend. We made rules like 1- We HAD to stay in our sweats all day and 2- We COULDN'T do our makeup or hair. It was a true lazy day and exactly what I needed to recoop from the hectic holidays!

As we've moved on into the new year, I want to take a few minutes to reflect on 2012- which was a CRAZY year for me. It threw me alot of loops but I ended up with alot to be grateful for. It was a year full of learning. It was a year full of accepting. Mainly, though, it was a year filled with strength, curiousity, and surprises.

At the beginning of 2012, I was stuck. I had just got out of this experience. I was living with my parents and I was working a crappy part time job that I absolutely hated. Don't get me wrong, looking back I can see how I needed that experience and how much I have learned about myself and grown as a person because of that experience. I don't mean to sound ungrateful- because honestly, I am so thankful. I needed the experience. I did. But every day was a constant question of "what's going to happen next? Will I be able to handle this? What sort of thing is going to ruin my day today?" I absolutely hated my time there despite the fact that it was a fantastic learning experience. I was blind to that perspective at the time. I was stressed out daily and I felt worthless, literally. It was one of those jobs with really high turnaround where they just really don't care if you stay or if you leave. You are just a number. One application in a pile of 100s. Have you ever worked a job like that? Well, alot was going on there and one day I just said NO. Literally, I left work, got in my car, and said "Homegirl, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! You hate this place! You can do more than this! You are capable of MORE!" and I called my boss, put in my 2 weeks notice (while I still had the nerve to do it) and drove away. (Sidenote: I came back and worked my 2 weeks. Even in a crappy situation you should always try to do right by people! Plus you might need them as references later!) I felt on top of the world for about an hour. Then that panic set in- WHAT HAD I DONE?! Where was I going to get my money from? How would I afford to live? Oh my- literally, as soon as the panic set in, my phone rang.

Guys, I couldn't even make this stuff up if I wanted to!!

I got offered a job. Now, here is the crazy thing, I had literally interviewed for this job 2 MONTHS prior to them calling me. They had hired someone else but, at that moment, for whatever reason, my phone rang and they offered me a place in their office- full time, okay pay, quiet office. In the words of Rachel Dratch- "UUUUUUUNIVERSE!!!!". Funny how everything has a way of falling into place. I always feel like somehow I get exactly what I need from life. Maybe not always what I want (although in this case I did), but I always seem to get what I need.

This experience kind of just taught me to trust the world around me, but also to trust myself and my instincts. I had worth, I knew it. I had settled for a job I hated because I felt like I had no other choice- I stayed because I felt like I had no other choice- but as soon as I took that leap of faith, everything around me started falling into place. Sometimes, that's just what it takes- shutting your eyes and taking the dive. Come what may.

2012 was really the year where I established my independence. I moved out on my own- no roomate and with that came alot of responsibilities- but the main responsibility I took on 2012 was understanding that I was responsible for my own happiness. 2012 introduced me to a new way of thinking where I was in control of my perspective. Perspective is a funny little thing but it makes a world of difference. You see, if you allow yourself to perceive the world as being a dark, depressing place then that is what the world becomes to you. But if you view the world as being filled with possibilities and endless opportunities- that's what the world will be. We all have bad moments. We do, no way around those (although if you know a way- please share!). There will always be mornings where your car doesnt start or you stub your toe on the way out of bed. But you do have control over what happens next- you can say to yourself "GOSH! TODAY SUCKS!" and live in that cranky, grouchy state. You can keep that rain cloud over your head all day long and wollow in self pity OR you can let every moment take you back to zero. You can accept that that wasn't the best moment you've ever had, let that moment go, and look for something better in the next moment. The honest truth- there is always some good, somewhere if you make up your mind to see it.

If you make up your mind that it isn't there, it won't be- does that make sense? You can, quite literally, blind yourself to all the good that is in your life just by perspective. Mind blowing, right?!

2012 was also a year of adventure. It was the year I travelled out to California, went ziplining, got a tattoo, and really just allowed myself to be exactly who I am. It was the year I forced myself out of my comfort zone. A year filled with new friends, new romance, and a zillion little adventures.

And 2013 promises to be even more adventure packed- 2013 is the year Little graduates high school and moves to the big city for college, apparently the year my MAC (Most Awesome Cousin) gets married (EXCITING!), a big move is in the works, and I am feeling like a big trip needs to happen this year- it's thrilling to go into a new year and just welcome the unknown. Here is what I do know- no matter what 2013 brings, it's going to be exactly the year I need it to be- filled with ups and downs, learning, and growth. It's going to be one heck of a year.

OH! Also, because I almost forgot- exciting things are happening in the blogosphere and I just signed up for a blogger book swap! You can get more information by clicking the button below! I'M SO STINKING EXCITED!!! I am still working on the "reads" section of the blog but don't think I've forgot! Maybe I will start with whichever book I get from the book swap! I have a To-Read list a mile high but I'm going crazy waiting for this book swap to start!

 Big things happening for A Little Serendipity in 2013 as well! So stay tuned, folks!