Long Time, No See

Okay, so it’s been a while. By a while of course I mean months and months so if there’s anyone out there that’s even slightly interested in what I have to say, there’s a lot that the world needs updated on.

 

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But, first and foremost the most drastic change has been my move from the United States to London, England. Of course there are a million and one things that go into picking up your life and moving to a new country, but it has always been said that the biggest risks yield the biggest rewards.

For those of you that don’t know this, I met my boyfriend when we were 14 and 15 at a hotel in Orlando, Florida. Naturally, I was a super awkward, slightly chubby, far less confident version of myself than I am now. To make things even more embarrassing, my best friend was 5’7 with legs up to her shoulders and blonde hair that seemed to give her some kind of superpower when it came to attracting boys. What’s even way more embarrassing is the fact that I found it acceptable to wear a blue and green leopard AND zebra print monokini… if that’s not a rough visual then I don’t know what is.

Flash forward to years of facebook messages, snap chats, terrible relationships, and the whole fad of rhinestoned MissMe jeans, we’re now living in my favorite place in the world in a two-bedroom apartment steps away from my favorite coffee shop. Basically what I’m getting at here is life is INSANE. As a little girl you dream about all of these fun things happening in your life and everyone always tells you they’re possible with some cheesy cliche, but here I am actually living it.

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Sure, there are about thirty thousand other little decisions and circumstances that led both of us to this point in our lives, but the fact of the matter is that we’re here – living and loving every minute of every day. In my life I’ve never really had this kind of unconditional love and support that I get from Buddy (yes, that’s his real name and no it’s not a joke) and that’s something that continues to push me day in and day out.

The bottom line of all of this random babbling is this: While I have had an incredibly blessed life, not everything is rainbows and ponies. I’m a real person with real problems, and truthfully a lot of things that have gone on in my life aren’t exactly rose-tinted fairytales. But, we’re all given things in our life and we are the only ones that have the power to determine how those events will shape our futures. I will never use anything that’s happened as an excuse to see the world in a negative light. There will always be more incredible things going on than bad, and no matter how someone else would view events and challenges, that’s how I’ve gone about living for twenty-three years.

Bad things happen to people and bad things happen in life. That has and will always be the case. Why don’t people talk about these things? Do people really believe what they see on the internet hasn’t been edited, FaceTuned, and manipulated to put the best representation out there? I have been guilty of this and it is something I’m not ashamed of because I also see the value of being raw and vulnerable.

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So here’s what I’m aiming to do – Three times a week I’m going to post things – good, bad, ugly, anything in between. Some people may not like that, which is totally fine. Some people only want to see happy moments in life. While there are hundreds of those every day, it’s important to talk about the not so glamorous side of life because we can’t all just pretend that it doesn’t exist. With this new little pet project of mine I’m sincerely hoping that by sharing my experiences, someone out there in the world can take what I’ve learned and apply it to their own life.

I’ve never really been one to seek anyone else’s approval or be scared of how “society” views the things I say and believe – so get ready for some truly candid talk about some truly candid shit guys – it’s gonna be fun!

*totally random things*

  • I’m typing this on my boyfriend’s laptop and while I’m devastated it isn’t a Mac, I’m more devastated that all of the keys are in different spots than they are on a U.S. keyboard so it’s taken me fifteen extra minutest to get this done
  • whatever I write in this blog is 100% my opinion, and while I welcome all opinions and schools of thought – any rude/negative/insulting comments back to me will not be accepted
  • Currently in England it’s 42F and raining. It’s 5:15 p.m. and the only time I’ve moved from bed is to make myself a cup of tea

 

Truthfully, I am PUMPED to get this going again. Writing down all of my thoughts and sharing them with you guys really does bring me great joy and I hope that it may inspire some of you to let down your guard a bit and see that being vulnerable and open is beautiful!!

yay for feelings and opening up my life for the whole internet world to see! 🙂

 

2017 is YOURS.

Okay everyone, grab your coffee, wine, or whatever drink will get you through this article. It’s going to be a long one, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. But sometimes there are just so many thoughts in my head I think it would be rude to not share them with all of you. I know a good portion of you won’t really care at all what I have to say, but I know my mom reads all these so I like to think it matters at least a little bit.

Let’s lay out the basics of who I am as a person to start out with:

  • 22 year old college student way too close to graduation and the “real world”
  • strong-minded, opinionated, and probably too stubborn
  • a person who is over superficial, petty, catty life things – this is a big one. I’m way too old to care that your best friend in second grade ate your last cookie or ruined your pretty pink dress. Come on guys, there’s a lot more important things going on around here.
  • Lastly (this one may come as a shock to some of you), I am purely human.

 

The last bit may seem a little obvious, but I think it is worth spending some time on. Now, let’s not be ignorant and say that being human is something everyone truly understands. I am fully aware that my gender, age, sexuality, environment, upbringing, and literally every single factor in my life makes up for who I am as a person. So this is where I warn you: If you don’t want to hear about what a female/22/heterosexual/first-world country citizen/upper middle class person has to say about life, feel free to click out of this now and go back to binge-watching a show you’ve already seen three times on Netflix. I promise I won’t be upset. I will not apologize for who I am, but I am also not blind to my privilege – I realize I am in a great position in this life so for the love of God do not tell me my thoughts aren’t valid because I don’t know “the struggle.”

I’ll probably give another disclaimer: my opinions may not be important to you, but they are relevant (and for my own sanity I really must write them all out and send them into the world). In no way do I think I speak for anyone else in this life, but at our core we are all human, regardless of our own personal shit we have going on. (Basically I’m just saying all 7 billion people on this planet are of the same biological species).

Okay weird rant-y/disclaimer/ introduction over with. I’ll get on with it now.

It would be incredibly dumb for me to filter myself in any way because I’m genuinely so excited about the ridiculous stuff that goes on in my mind. If you know me in real life then you know that whatever I type is pretty spot-on for how I speak in conversation. Basically, I’m a huge proponent of being yourself without any apologies and living your life as authentically as possible because quite frankly, anything less than that would be a humongous waste of time and energy.

With that being said, I want to challenge everyone reading this to take a look at their lives and think about a time where you either held back from talking about something you believed in  or tailored it in a way that was different from your original, authentic thought. I realize sometimes we change our language and tone based on who we’re talking to -it really probably isn’t a good idea to tell your boss about the 4 tequila shots you took last Friday and how you stayed in bed all weekend recovering. While that is authentic and real, it doesn’t further great conversation or even make you a front-runner for that promotion. This is more about being authentic with your passions and things that give your life meaning.

Let’s take a little example from my lovely life. *I am not bashing ex-boyfriends without good reason so calm down*

Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve always been under the assumption that in no way is it okay for a man to put his hands on a woman. When I was 15 a different idiot boyfriend felt the need to grab me by the neck, in front of my mom, for some reason he felt was necessary. Ever since then I’ve been pretty set in my ways about the whole “boys don’t hit/touch girls” thing. Fast forward to my current 22 year old self and my thoughts on the subject haven’t changed.

I’m sure you could guess my reaction to the upcoming story. One night while at a different boyfriend’s house (I don’t get around guys, I’m a serial monogamist with obvious bad taste) I heard a fight going on in the parking lot. I’m naturally a nosey person so I stood by the patio door and watched the events unfold. This poor 120 pound girl literally just wanted to tell her boyfriend about a problem she was having with her dad. The guy clearly wanted to get the hell out of there so he shoved his girlfriend out of his way a few times. That was enough to get my blood boiling but I stood there for a few more seconds to see what would happen. Long story short, the boyfriend picked up his girlfriend, turned around and forcibly threw her down in the bushes. uh HELL NO. As you can tell, that didn’t really fly with my so I immediately left the apartment to ask if the girl was alright.

So we’ll get to the part that really matters: my boyfriend later went on to say that it was the girl’s fault that anything even happened and he would hit a girl if he was in the same situation. He then went on to question why I involved myself. (Side note: I firmly believe the bystander theory is absolute shit. If something is happening you can guarantee I’ll step in, that’s just who I am.) I laid next to him, a bit dumbfounded and quite frankly a little bit scared that this person would put his hands on me or any woman if he was or felt attacked. Moral of the story: I just sat there and didn’t stand up for what I believed in, apart from saying “You’re an idiot.”

Physical and mental violence or abuse is something I am incredibly passionate about. This was an opportunity to be relentless with my feelings and tell that stupid guy off. However, for whatever reason, I pretty much kept my mouth shut. And for what….? This is exactly the kind of thing I hate about some people, and quite honestly why I hated that aspect of my relationship. The second you have to suppress your own thoughts to appease another person and hold back what you fervently believe in, that’s a problem. I’m not saying you should choose to argue with everyone you encounter for argument’s sake, but if you really believe in something there should be no harm in expressing that.

A huge problem I think we have in our society is our unwillingness to say what we believe for the sake of a bruised ego. We don’t want to offend people with our beliefs. I’m as sensitive as the next person, but being offended is a part of life. Nothing happens when you get offended. The world doesn’t stop, you don’t cease to exist; your feelings are hurt but you can go on with your life. I promise. I was offended when a younger boy mooed at me in the hallways of school when I was 10 but I didn’t spend a week crying about it. The beautiful thing about our existence is that we all perceive every aspect of life differently. THAT’S OKAY!!!! How incredibly dull would life be if there was only one shade of blue? Or if everyone thought there was only one kind of G/god? Difference is good and we need to be able to speak freely about the things we truly believe.

Today I challenge you to be as authentic as you can be. Wear the black lipstick your mom hates. Don’t “watch your mouth” because your friend doesn’t like hearing the word fuck. Call your parents and tell them you hate your degree and don’t want to go to law school anymore. (trust me, this one is terrifying but there’s so much freedom in honesty). Break up with your boyfriend if you can’t feel comfortable and supported in your own skin. Embrace your individuality and revel in the fact that you’re unique and complex. Take a chance and do or say something you normally wouldn’t because you’re afraid of upsetting the status quo. From personal experience, the second you forget about life’s “rules” and society’s “expectations” you’ll feel relieved and probably a little bit terrified. That’s okay too!! Use that energy to push yourself out of your comfort zone and live your life for the person you are or want to become. As soon as you learn to love and respect your individuality, the sun shines a little brighter and you smile a little bit bigger. There’s so much beauty in who and what you are, all you need to do is take a moment and be grateful for it.

Let’s Be Real…

Picture this: I’m sitting in an extra-large T-shirt that makes you wonder if I’m even wearing pants, barely matching socks that are practically black on the bottom, and half of my makeup rubbed off from where I got eyebrows threaded, revealing my too-dry and flakey red skin underneath. Don’t believe me? Here you go: DSC_1037.jpgDSC_1049.jpgDSC_1036.jpg

Let’s not forget: I’m in desperate need to brush my teeth from drinking too much coffee, I haven’t shaved past my knees in a couple days, and I’m long-overdue for an upper-lip wax. I’m sorry to break it to you guys, this is what we’re really dealing with today. I haven’t edited these photos to smooth my pores, make the whites of my eyes appear brighter, or hidden any blemishes that are so graciously dispersed across my face.

Today, I’m just basking in my authenticity; what you see is literally what you get. It’s one of those days where I don’t feel like doing much else besides watching that episode of Law and Order: SVU, just one more time, even though I guarantee I can tell you exactly who did it, why, and what their sentence was within the first two minutes of watching it. Really, it’s a problem. Okay, maybe not a problem, just a beautiful addiction. Who else doesn’t totally wanna be Olivia Benson? Talk about a real badass woman right there. Anyway, I digress…

So often I think we, as young girls, feel the need to hide our real selves from the world. For whatever reason we’re fixated on the need to appear “normal” within the context of society. There have been so many times I’ve sat in front of my mirror desperately trying to cover up a pimple on my forehead not because I really wanted to, but because I didn’t want people to see that I wasn’t “perfect”. It’s a lame confession, I know, but I guarantee you all know exactly what I’m talking about. Ever since I was in middle school, people have told me I have perfect skin. So when my face started freaking out due to those lovely little hormones raging throughout my already too emotional body, you can only imagine the amount of pressure I felt to keep up the “perfect skin” facade. Again, lame confession, but it’s a real one.

Just today I was trying on clothes at the mall for an interview when I absolutely lost it inside the fitting room stall of Forever 21. I’d tried on about five different pairs of pants, six different shirts, and I could not for the life of me find a single thing I liked. Let’s add the fact that I’m on my period (it’s 2016… if a girl can’t talk about biological processes going on with her body then we have a whole other host of real issues to tackle) so naturally I feel bloated beyond belief and practically the size of a whale. I’m not kidding when I tell you I was slumped over half naked with crumpled up clothes surrounding me frantically texting my best friend to explain that I was in a real crisis. Luckily, she came through with the pep talk I needed saying, “Find a high waisted pencil skirt and blouse and rock the fuck out of life like I know you can.” *Ladies, this is where I tell you to find a best friend like Sara and never, ever ever let them out of your sight.*After getting that text, I kid you not, I went back out there, found a pencil skirt and shirt, and felt like a brand new person ready to take on the world.

We all have days where we feel like crap about ourselves. We have moments that seem so dark and miserable that we forget just how incredibly incredible we are. The point of all this is simple: so often we favor the bad thoughts over the good ones. Truth be told, I know I’m the same person whether or not I’m wearing my favorite pair of fake eyelashes. The fact that I don’t have on an hour and a half’s worth of makeup doesn’t change who I am internally, yet we see all of the little things that we perceive to be “bad” and let them overwhelm us to the point that we end up crying in a public bathroom (yep, that’s happened to me multiple times). How incredible would it be if we could spend twice as much time praising ourselves than we do putting ourselves down?!

Now, let’s switch gears a little bit and look at instances where I spent the time to actually do my hair and makeup…15271272_1373417772670382_1563889980_o.jpg15302362_1373408096004683_1859864032_o.jpg15303815_1373408162671343_1534777171_o.jpg

I will not lie to you…I am probably WAY too proud of my highlight and the fact that I got those dang lashes to stay on for as long as they did. I’m happy that it only took me seven minutes to apply that liquid lipstick as opposed to the twelve it normally takes.

While makeup continually gives me a way to express myself, boost my confidence in my appearance, and allows me to show of what I like to think is my only talent, it doesn’t change who I am internally. Deep down I know my value is not based on the fact that I vainly spent an hour in front of the mirror to make myself look “presentable”. I understand that my physical appearance doesn’t make me a better person. I have a grasp on that reality…most of the time. But at times I still find myself loving me just a little bit more after I smear expensive products all over my face.

As a girl in 2016, I can say that life can be mentally exhausting. We have the tendency to attribute our worth to our appearance. This, in my opinion, is largely due to the society and social structure we live in, but there are other contributing factors. Why is it so hard to love ourselves but give out compliments like Oprah gives out free cars? I can’t tell you the amount of compliments I receive on my skin, the exact thing I find myself hating every day. This is not to be conceited, it’s to show that because of our internal monologue, we are so blind to the beauty that others see in us. I challenge you to accept your faults and recognize that those are what makes you unique and what makes you gorgeous.

To be honest, I don’t even know if anyone besides my family reads the stuff I decide to put out into the world. The things I say probably don’t make it to 1/20th of the people I’d like to reach. But that’s okay. Just today I read a quote a friend wrote down in her notebook. It said “Just make your dent in the universe.” And today, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not trying to overhaul the world and have everyone know who I am. If a single person reads this and it makes them smile or feel anything at all, I’m happy with that. I truly believe that everything starts off small; we only have to do something seemingly insignificant in order to begin the chain reaction.

So, I leave you with this: know your worth. No one is going to be perfect, not even you. We need to remember to live our lives for ourselves and not to achieve an ideal set out by some elusive idea. It doesn’t matter if you have on the most expensive dress, or if you’re sitting in yesterday’s pajamas with third-day hair. As long as you are you, completely and unapologetically, that is all you’re ever going to need.

So this in no way is beauty related, but I just have to get everything out there.

I think a HUGE part of growing up and experiencing life has to do with the people around you and how they may speak or act. I mean everyone is influenced  by those around them no matter how hard we like to think we’re all badass and tough on our own. No, that’s just not the way it works. The people around you play such a huge part in your overall experience and outlook on life.

With that being said, it is SO important to choose good people to be around and share your life. Now, not every decision you make is going to be a good one, but every decision will be a learning experience. And if life isn’t about learning and growing, what’s the point?

I feel that so many people are scared to stand up for themselves or say what they’re feeling just because of how people react. At the end of the day you have to be okay with yourself and the choices you make, no one else. Everyone should respect the fact that people are fundamentally different. No two people are always going to agree or feel the same way, yet everyone deserves the basic level of respect you naturally get when you’re a human being. It is beyond crazy to think that everything you say will be agreed with and praised, but it is even crazier to me to want everyone to agree with you. Opinions and disagreements facilitate conversation and change, they aren’t these evil things looking to tear apart our lives.

Now, with that all being said, some people take this too far. Disagreeing and causing pain and uneasiness just for the sake of doing so is never a good thing. I will never understand those that hurt others just for the sake of hurting them. Why do we spend time trying to bring people down? At the end of the day if we are surrounded by selfish, miserable people, we too will become that way. My point is this: treat others with kindness and surround yourself with only the kinds of people that treat you with the same kindness.

Life is hard enough as it is, we don’t need toxic people corrupting our daily lives. Ultimately, we are the only ones that can give people the chance to treat us badly. We all need to stand up and be done with the insensitivity and negativity that some people try to bring into our lives. At the end of the d ay, our lives are filled with the choices we make. You alone have the power to choose those that you share your life with, so share that wisely.

xoxo