Literally, Darling

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Hello out there! I know, it seems like I’ve fallen off the face of the earth in terms of this blog, but I haven’t! I’ve just been on the hunt for new, exciting opportunities.

On that note, you’ll never guess who just joined the incredible team of writers over at Literally, Darling. Ok, so it’s actually a pretty easy guess after all. It’s me! I’ll be contributing to the website a few times a month. So if you’re looking for a site that posts content geared toward millennial women, check us out!

(And if you’re wondering exactly how pumped I am to join Literally, Darling, please see gif below:)

To check out my Literally, Darling contributions, click here!

Far-Away Friends

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This post came about mostly as a result of me realizing how many amazing “first meet” photos I’ve had friends/family take for me. That being said, I also think there’s something in the air that’s making me really nostalgic for the days I’ve spent with my friends who are far away from me. Maybe it’s because summer is wrapping up and fall is approaching. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen most of them in months (if not, years). Maybe it’s because they’re all part of my very own amazing support system.

These people are friends I can count on to take me in, listen to me cry at 5 AM, and tell me I deserve the better when they know I’m not receiving it. They cheer me on when I land a date or an interview. They send me fun packages for my birthday and holidays.

There’s one very specific thing they all have in common, besides location (far, far away): I met them all online. I find it funny that over time, “online” friends have become a staple to my generation. It’s something I’ve been proud of for years. This isn’t to say I trust everyone online. A girl’s gotta have some common sense. But when I know, I know. And while there are still so many friends I’ve met but have yet to meet, they’re all awesome as well (and I’m thinking of you all too).

Say the internet is ruining communication all you want, but these friends wouldn’t be in my life if it weren’t for the internet. They’re phenomenal people and we know how to communicate from far away.

The Friends

Sophie was my first real online friend. We met in 2008, did the whole “vlog” thing back and forth for a while, then eventually managed to skype. I officially met her in 2011, when I studied abroad in Melbourne. Of course, I didn’t get to see her enough, but we reunited again in 2014 when I traveled back to Australia for a solo adventure. She took me in, gave me a bed to sleep in, took me on adventures, cooked for me, and even came into the city to hang out with me. She’s the friend who will stay up with you til 3 AM, not realizing how late it is, just to catch up on life things. She’s the friend who will watch Twilight with you and secretly love it while turning it into a drinking game. She’s the first person who let me in and she’s really the reason I fell in love with Australia to begin with.

Then there’s Mitch. I technically met him through Sophie, but through the magic of the internet, we met over skype in 2009. I fell for the Aussie charm pretty quickly and we became a couple before I met him (with Sophie) in 2011. First loves are an interesting thing. I could probably talk about first loves for days. Mitch was mine and although I accepted that it wasn’t meant to last, we did get a second chance when he came to visit me in Chicago over Christmas in 2012. Again, wasn’t meant to be. But I did see him again this past spring and I realized something about our relationship: I can’t call him my “ex” because before anything else, he is one of my best friends. He has my back all the way across the world. He drops what he’s doing to go on adventures with me. He pushes me to be better and stronger. He cooks me meals that remind me of home when I’m homesick. And in the future, when I manage to live in Australia for longer than a two months, he’ll watch out for me. That is a best friend.

Jessica. My first tumblr best friend and most likely my twin-separated-at-birth. I cannot fully understand how alike we are (looks, personality, humor, hopes, dreams, everything) and I don’t think I ever will. We are perfectly aligned. I met Jess in NYC fresh into 2013 and I think I owe a lot of my happy moments that year to her. It was almost as if starting my year off with her set the universe’s positive vibes into motion. She’s a bundle of enthusiasm, wanderlust, and dreams. She is passionate, funny, and thoughtful. Her friends are like family and like me, her family is number one. I tear up a little whenever I see our first-meet photo (thank you, Eric).

And then, there’s Blake. My mysterious (yet totally predictable), charming best friend from Sydney. Another tumblr best friend, but with Blake, the connection always comes back to music. It’s some deep-rooted thing for both of us. Music being the answer to everything, the invisible thing that links us to memories, the one thing we will both always have. We kept in touch via social media for a while, then turned to texting and the occasional phone call (I’m not going to lie, I nearly melted into a puddle when I heard his accent the first time). Neither of us can really remember when or how we became friends, but the most exciting moment of my 2014 trip to Australia– hands down– was meeting Blake for the first time. After years of waiting, I was finally able to hang out with him in person (and with drinks!) in Sydney. We’re the black sheep. And I love this kid.

I miss all of these friends (and their friends and their cities), but it’s pretty damn amazing to know that wherever I travel, I’ll have a piece of home with me. These friends are my homes away from home. And I wouldn’t have them if it weren’t for the crazy little internet.

The Rut

Yep, I’m stuck in it again. We just can’t get rid of each other these days. I get sucked in and feel weighed down and completely idle. Like I can’t go anywhere. Like I have to wait for some green light to switch on and tell me to carry on. But that green light I’m waiting on burned out.

Now, I realize I’m only 24 years old. I’ve got plenty of time to find jobs, switch jobs, change my mind, go on dates, meet new people, etc. If there is one thing I’ve been trying to convince myself of for the last few months it’s that there is no right way to go through your twenties. There is no pre-designed path to follow. There is no time limit for what milestones I reach and how I go about reaching them. The problem is, I see people around me (both in real life and online) succeeding and I wonder which fork in the road I took incorrectly. The other problem is that I can try to convince myself all I want, but that doesn’t mean it really sticks. I really, truly, feel stuck right now.

One of the things I added to my “25×25” bucket list (which I swear I’ll design and post soon) was to stop comparing myself to others. I focused that goal more-so on appearance, but when I hang out with my rut, I realize I heavily compare myself to others’ successes. How did she land that job? How is she already married at 23? How does she make her creativity/work look so effortless? I can’t answer those questions, but I guess I don’t really need to. Social media outlets have completely skewed how we share and see things. I personally only choose to share certain things on instagram/twitter/facebook, mostly for the sake of keeping some level of privacy. But also because I don’t want people to see the rough patches. And there’s nothing wrong with that! When I compare myself, I forget to consider that these women hit rough patches too. We all hit our personal bumps in the road. We all have days we don’t feel creative or motivated or good enough.

So maybe I’ve just got a flat on this horribly bumpy road. I’m not waiting on anyone to come fix it for me. I know I can fix it myself, I’ve just got to find that spark that motivates me.

Long story short: I’m in a rut and I needed to write some things down to get them off my mind. Maybe just to take a little weight off, maybe just to hope that someone reads this and can relate.

The “Good Things” Jar: 2013 Edition

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When life gets rocky, it’s not uncommon for our vision to become skewed. Personally, I get frustrated and struggle to realize that worse things have happened. In an effort to put my life into perspective, while also appreciating the little things along the way, I began a jar of “good things” on January 1st, 2013.

While 2013 started out rough, better things happened along the way: I met a lot of cool people, traveled around the States (midwest & east coast), had quite a few friendships blossom, went on some dates, saw a lot of fantastic concerts, discovered new favorite musicians (stay tuned- will be posting more about this!), and landed an incredible internship. I’m hopeful that 2014 will bring new opportunities and bigger, better things. Not to mention, I have a hefty amount of my “23” bucket list to accomplish before July. I’ve picked some favorite things from each month to highlight. Happy new year and bring on 2014!

January: Went to NYC for the first time and met my best friend from tumblr, JessFebruary: Started dealing with my anxiety and met Pete Wentz
March: Saw and met Marcus Foster & Bobby Long
April: New FOB album, landed a full-time job, and repainted my bedroom on a whim
May: Landed a column of my own at Noisetrend.com
June: Discovered Chelsea Fagan and the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup
July: Celebrated my 23rd bday and got laid off from my full-time job
August: Landed an interview and intern position with The Everygirl
September: Saw The Unlikely Candidates at JBTV and started 5k training (until my wisdom teeth surgery)
October: Grace Helbig acknowledged my existence and I went on a few dates with a new boy
November: Kept busy at The Everygirl, met Sophia Bush, and saw the boy more
December: The Everygirl Holiday party and Christmas with the family

The most beautiful lyrics I’ve ever read

Last week, my dear friend Blake told me to check out a singer named Josh Pyke. I love music recommendations (especially international ones), so I was already excited. Then I listened to “The Summer” (Blake’s suggestion) and it was completely haunting and lovely, so I felt the need to look at the lyrics. Reading this song completely blew me away. Here’s the first verse:

If I could bottle up the sea breeze I would take it over to your house
And pour it loose through your garden
So the hinges on your windows would rust and colour
Like the boats pulled up on the sand for the summer
And your sweet clean clothes would go stiff on the line
And there’d be sand in your pockets and nothing on your mind

Look who’s back!

If you guessed me, then yes! You’re right. Here’s a virtual high five!

I took some time over the last couple of months to focus on my new full-time job (which has since ended) and my new weekly freelance column (which is still ongoing).

Here’s what you’ve missed. In May: I dated a boy and I started a new job. In June: I made some new friends at work and I started writing for Noisetrend.com (my weekly column can be found here!). In July: I turned 23, decided to write a “23” bucket list, and was laid off from my job as a result of the economy. In August: I’m constantly noticing time passing. I don’t have answers as far as why time picks up and slows down as it chooses, but maybe this is a chance for me to realize I need to slow down.

Having to leave my full-time job was more sad than upsetting/frustrating, in that I would be leaving my friends and my routine. On the drive home from my last day, I was sure I’d cry– it was a rainy day and it was weird saying goodbye to everyone. That’s the recipe for a tear-filled drive home. Instead, I drove home feeling like I was granted a chance to find something new. To go off and do bigger, better things. To find a job that allows me to come home and think hey, I made a difference in one person’s day.

So I hope you’ll stick around to see the 23 things I plan to accomplish while I’m 23, to see me find a new job, to read some new writing, and to possibly allow me to make your day better.