The Importance of Disappointment

Hi. I’m back. I sincerely promise that I am going to get back into this blogging thing. Sometimes when your life is unbalanced, your work suffers. That has certainly been true when it comes to my writing schedule. Life is funny like that. If by “funny”, I mean cruel. I used to imagine that life was my companion, always at my side, ready to tackle anything that comes my way. But as I get older, I have realized that life is a large, all-encompassing ocean that just throws wave after wave at you; you have to either be on top of it, or you’ll get swept up and knocked down until the waters are still once more. I know it’s a little dramatic, but just bear with me.

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I faced a disappointment today. And it wouldn’t have been nearly as brutal had it not felt like “life” had set the whole thing up only for me to be yanked away from it at the last moment. Again, dramatic, but my mind seems to work only in metaphors.

All my life, I’ve been waiting for a sign or an experience to tell me exactly what it is that I should be doing. When I started college, I wanted to pursue something I loved: writing. So, I became an English major. For the most part, I loved it, but about two years into the program, I found myself sitting in a Jane Austen class, worrying if all those people who told me I wouldn’t make any money were right. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that class, and I learned a lot about social class and feminism, and how Jane Austen’s work is just as prevalent today as it was in the 1800s. I began to doubt my future as an author, so I panicked and rushed to find a way out only to run right into the communication department (yet another degree that is relentlessly teased for being a useless major, but I didn’t know that at the time. And actually, that accusation is completely false, but I will get into that another time).

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What I realize now that I didn’t at the time is that I had no clue what kind of jobs a communication degree could get me, but it was exactly what I needed in the moment: new and full of opportunities. As I got my feet wet in the department, I struggled to narrow in on a concentration. I was stuck between not knowing what I wanted to do and feeling an overwhelming desire to follow my dreams. Here’s the thing about dreams, they are always changing. When I was 9, my dream was to open a vet/groomer/boarding/puppy play palace. Now, that dream feels like a logistical nightmare. The reason I was so torn was because I didn’t know what my “dream” was. I had heavy interests in maybe screenwriting, maybe casting, maybe production, but I was also still very much in love with writing and wanted to see what my options were in media relations. It wasn’t that I didn’t know what to do, but that I had too much to pick from. I also had a fear that if I picked just one, it would be the wrong one and I’d have to start all over.

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So, I took a few film and public relations classes, and while I do still love the idea of one day writing my own television series or movies, I discovered a previously unknown love of public relations. It was something that clicked and that I was actually good at. This brings us to present-day. I graduate next May, and I have decided on the public relations concentration.  On a whim and on the fear of not having enough job experience when I graduate, I applied to several internships. To my utter surprise, I got an email requesting a phone interview. It didn’t matter to me at the time whether I got the position or not, because I only applied out of fear of regretting it if I didn’t. After a great phone interview, I was called in for an in-person interview, and the more I learned about the organization, the more excited I got. Each time I interviewed, I felt more and more confident that I had found that sign I’d been looking for.  For the first time, I was able to envision myself having an actual career. The position would give experience in not only public relations writing, social media, photography, but script writing, too, for their film and media department. I didn’t have to pick just one concentration; I really could have it all! Out of dozens of applications, I was one of three people vying for the internship.

It felt like the position had just fallen into my hands. If only I had caught it.

It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself and blame things like this on “Life”, but sometimes things just happen for a reason. It wasn’t the right time or place. I wasn’t the right person for the job. I still feel like I would have done a great job and I would have learned a lot. I may be a little bruised, but overall, I feel stronger than I did before this whole experience. Even though I didn’t get the position, I did not leave empty-handed. I left with the knowledge that I am a good writer, that I am able to successfully be in the running for the job of my “dreams” and the experience to try harder the next time I’m given the opportunity.

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It’s Been A While

It’s been a while since I’ve graced you with my presence, so I figured I would jump right in with a life update.

At the beginning of this month, my oldest sister, Angela, had foot surgery to remove some bone spurs that were causing pain on the back of her heel.

Her beautiful doctor 😍
Sorry, I know it’s gross.
This is after her surgery–good as new!

For the past month, I have been living with her and her husband and driving her to work, to her doctor appointments–basically anywhere she needs to go. I’m her full-time uber and occasional cook.

These are from back when she wasn’t completely dependent on me for her transportation. Look how happy we were….

It’s been alright, but I definitely miss my alone time. Yes, I love my sister and would do anything for her, but if I’m being honest, I really agreed to it so I could cuddle with her cat, Charlie. He’s the love of my life. But, it’s been hard being away from home. I know I’ve written before about my bedroom being my safe haven, and I have been a little home sick for those calm evenings spent drinking tea surrounded by the heavy aroma of Target candles. In about a month, I will be able to go home.

I’m also taking summer classes this summer, which I am strangely excited for. Hopefully, they all go well. It’s starting to set in how close I am to finishing college. I’m almost free! But then I get sucked into a downward spiral when I think about applying and interviewing for jobs. So, I try and float somewhere between harsh reality and denial.

Anyway, I really just needed this post to get me started again, so I hope you enjoyed this brief bridge piece. I’ll be back shortly!

13 Reasons Why: A Review

This isn’t really going to be a review; my title lied. It is part review, part rant…

13 Reasons Why: A Rant

I recently (binge) watched 13 Reasons Why on Netflix this past week. To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations because all of the promos made it look like another stupid teen drama. I was only slightly tempted since I had read the book in high school, but if Cassandra hadn’t started it with me, I probably wouldn’t have watched it for a long time, if ever. After a few episodes, I was hooked. Mostly because of nostalgia– I really loved the book when I was younger.

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This show is probably one of the only instances in my life where the book just didn’t measure up to the show. Now, I have not read the book since high school, so I could be wrong, but the show was just so much more nuanced. There are a lot of changes from the book, but it made the whole thing so much more connected and intense. Plus, the acting was incredible. Watching the show was truly an experience and I can’t wait to watch it again.

I wasn’t originally going to do a review, because the show had been given so much praise already that there wasn’t anything I felt I could add to the conversation. But recently on Facebook, I’ve seen a lot of posts talking negatively about the show because of how graphic and “triggering” it was. So since I am passive-aggressive af, I’ve decided to throw in my 2 cents, plus I really loved the show.

I will be discussing generalized plot points, so if you have not finished and do not want any light spoilers, click away.

In the Facebook post that started this whole blog post, it was basically saying that the entire show needed a warning because the whole show was graphic and insensitive to people who have gone through similar experiences.

First of all, putting a warning on the whole show, telling exactly what is going to go down throughout the entirety of it is (for lack of a better word) stupid. Who would watch a show, knowing exactly what is going to happen? Also, everyone has been talking about this show, everyone knows the premise. So, if you know that you are sensitive to suicide or bullying, then don’t watch a show about suicide and bullying.

Another point that was made in a different Facebook post was that 13 Reasons Why was glorifying and romanticizing suicide. This one was coming from someone who hadn’t even watched the show, and yet they felt entitled to write a whole novel on her Facebook about it. This show, in no way, makes suicide look enticing. If anything, it shows the raw, painful, frightening, and depressing truth of taking your own life.

I don’t think there is anyone out there who read the book or watched the show and then thought, Wow, I could really go for a nice suicide right about now. I was more inclined to buy a tape recorder and tell all the assholes I knew how much of an asshole they were than to take my life. In the final episode when we actually see Hannah commit suicide, it was the darkest thing I’d ever seen in my life. I kept expecting the camera to cut away, but it didn’t. It stayed with her until she died. I stayed with her until she died.

I can’t say that I’ve never thought about killing myself, but it was more like “If I was dead right now, I wouldn’t have to go through this shit” than actual self-hatred and loneliness. But watching that scene was like a sharp slap in the face, waking me up. We always hear about people who kill themselves, but seeing it happen and it’s direct affect around everyone around them is unnerving.

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This show is supposed to make you uncomfortable. You are supposed to feel sick to your stomach. You are supposed to want to look away but fail. Yes, this show is graphic and “triggering” but that is because it needs to be. People aren’t going to talk about it if it isn’t right in their face. That is why the book was so important when it came out 10 years ago. It was all anyone talked about in the hallways at school, and now it is all anyone can post about online. It opens discussion, which in turn instills change.

Thank you for reading!

 

Formal Lookbook

So this past Saturday was my sorority’s spring formal. It was a lot of fun, but I mean, anytime I get to hang out with Amberlyn and Cassandra is a good time. We got all dolled up and took tons of pictures, so here is a bunch of pictures that I took before we left.

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I really love this one because it looks like we are at prom!
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Here is the beautiful Cassandra, who is so photogenic that it should be a crime
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And the lovely Amberlyn! I like to imagine that she is thinking of me 🙂 but she’s probably thinking about her adorable new puppy!

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This is me and my friend, Darby.

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My absolute favorite picture of MAC 
So there you go! I hope you enjoyed these pictures. It was a lot of fun to capture these snapshots of my life, and I hope to continue with photography.

I know I haven’t been posting as frequently, but I’m trying to get back into the groove of things. As always, thanks for reading (or in this case, viewing)!

Luckiest Girl Alive: A Review

I haven’t been doing so well with my resolution to read more. Since January, I’ve only read two books. This past week, I read Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, and it is so beautiful. I can already tell that it will be one of those books that you pick up year after year to read again.

I first heard of this book through a weekly newsletter that I am subscribed to. For those who don’t know, I am OBSESSED with Lena Dunham (blog post to come, I’m sure). She and one of the producers of Girls, Jenni Konner, started an online newsletter called Lenny Letter. Knoll wrote a piece in one of the issues a year ago today about her book. In the Lenny Letter, Knoll talked openly about how her personal experience with sexual assault led to the idea of her novel (you can read her piece here). She was so open and raw in her piece that, without even knowing anything else about her book, I had to read it. And on one fine day, I found myself once again strolling the aisles of Target when a familiar book cover caught my eye. I’m so glad it did, because I instantly fell in love.

The novel follows the soon-to-be Ani Harrison (formerly TifAni FaNelli), who strives to recreate herself in an attempt to alter people’s perception of who she was. She is a senior editor at The Women’s Magazine which is most comparable to our Cosmopolitan, and is engaged to the attractive, blue-blooded Luke Harrison. It would appear as though she has the perfect life, but very quickly you can tell that there is something unnerving about her. Throughout most of the novel, the reader is left in the dark about Ani’s past, but through small glimpses and memories, we slowly begin to understand the dark and twisted person that we’ve been unapologetically subjected to. Knoll creates a very realistic mindset that we get to experience throughout the entirety of the book.

Personally, I felt an instant (yet frightening) connection with Ani because her internal monologue mirrored my own in a dark way. Perhaps it is just a testament to Knoll’s writing that her readers can understand her character so well, or perhaps I should seek professional help. Either way, I definitely miss Ani’s quick wit and dark humor.

It is beautiful, inspiring, and suspenseful. I have told all (two) of my friends about this novel, and now I urge all of you to do the same.

3 Reasons Why You Should Have a “Staycation”

For my spring break this year, I decided to have a “staycation” right here in Atlanta, Georgia. I probably spent as much money as I would have anywhere else, but it was all worth it. In fact, I highly recommend a staycation to everyone, and here is why:

Housing is Free

You don’t have the hassle of booking a hotel room or an Airbnb, and it also means you get to sleep in the comfort of your own bed (or air mattress, in my case). I spent most of the week in Kennesaw with my friend, Cassandra (check out what she’s been up to these past couple of weeks here!), which meant I spent most of the week on my air mattress, but it’s pretty comfortable compared to sleeping on the floor.

You Get to Experience New Things

We all have a list of things we’ve been meaning to do or see in the city that we live in, but we never get around to doing it. With a staycation, you can check off all of the things on your list. I hardly ever explore Atlanta because I hate driving in the city, but thankfully I had Cassandra and Phoenix (may she rest in peace) who graciously drove us everywhere. One of my favorite places I went to was Cinnaholic, which serves gourmet (vegan friendly) cinnamon rolls. You can pretty much have it made with whatever toppings you want. I got cream cheese icing with Oreo crumbles and cookie dough.

You Can Also Hit Up Your Favorite Places

Sometimes, when you are on vacation, you can be underwhelmed by certain attractions or maybe an experience wasn’t everything you thought it would be. With a staycation, you already know what to expect when you go to your favorite mall or amusement park. One of my favorite places in Atlanta is Ponce City Market, and during my staycation, I went there with a few friends. Going during the week was such a strange, but fun, experience because no one was there. There weren’t any crazy lines or packed boutiques. It was kind of refreshing.

I had such a wonderful spring break, and it was a treat to experience Atlanta as a tourist. If only it hadn’t been 30 DEGREES OUTSIDE, I would have enjoyed it more.

Real quick story time:

Just because you are familiar with a place doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious. One of my days of spring break, we went to the Marietta Square to walk around. While I was taking some pictures of my friends on one of the park benches, I heard footsteps quickly approaching. As I looked up, an old man (who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, or maybe even Satan) fell flat on his face as he was sprinting towards me. He stood up and claimed he was just coming to offer to take a picture of all of us together. As he said this, he reached out towards my phone. I told him I was fine because I just had my own little photoshoot a few minutes prior, but he was really insistent. I was about to just hand it over to get him to leave us alone, when the thought came to me that he might run off with my phone. So, I slid my phone into my purse and told him no once again. He finally walked away, saying something like, “I was just trying to do my one good deed for the day”. It was a very unsettling experience, but I’m glad everyone involved was okay, even him because he definitely took a dive.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you all have/had a great spring break!

March Ipsy Bag!

Good morning!

So last month, I decided to get an Ipsy subscription. A few ladies at my work were talking about it, and I really wanted to give it a try. 

And it’s finally here! 

When I first subscribed, I was too late for the February bag, but the March one is absolutely beautiful.  


It came with this cute inspirational card that you are supposed to pass on to someone else to spread the love, although I might just keep it for myself. 

But seriously, how beautiful is this bag! It has a black mesh overlay and the rose pink fabric is a soft canvas material. 

If you’ve never done Ipsy before, it comes with five beauty products with a mixture of sample size and full size products. 


The first product is INT Goddess Gold eyeshadow. It is a beautiful rose gold color and the gold really comes out on the skin. 


Next is the Air Repair Complexion-Boosting Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid. I tested it on my hand and it is very lightweight with a pleasant floral scent. It feels a little tingly after a while but it made my skin feel very soft afterwards. 


It also comes with a full sized Model Co. black crayon eyeliner. It is smudge and water resistant. In fact it was a pain to remove but that seems to be a trend with the eyeliner in my life. 


The bag also came with a sample sized Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in the color rosé. It is a very beautiful color and once it dries it becomes very matte. Some of the other liquid lipsticks I’ve tried have become kind of sticky and tacky but this is very nice. 


Finally, it came with a Beau Gâchis tapered blending brush. The brush is very soft and this might be what I’m most excited for because I was just thinking this morning about how I needed more eyeshadow brushes in my life. 


I hope you all enjoyed this “haul”! I’m so excited to do this for the future months.