Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Every Minute of it

Thank you for the reminder, Julie. 
Thanks, wifey.
A friend sent me the Jack Kerouac quote this morning because she said it reminded her of me.  I couldn't help but grin really wide to myself and nod in agreement.  It's true, I really am in love with my life these days.  With every minute of it.  It feels absolutely incredible to hear myself say that, because life for me was so different a year ago.  A year ago I would not have said the same thing.  A year ago I was getting used to kind of liking going to work.  A year ago I lived alone.  A year ago I had maybe three friends in my new life in Louisiana.  A year ago I had a boyfriend.  A year ago I wasn't living.  A year ago I didn't love who I was or where I was.  But now, I love it all.  

For the first time since I have been teaching in Louisiana I have had three consecutive days of sadness.  Genuine sadness that stems from the thought of not being here in June.  Sadness from leaving my students here and feeling selfish for leaving them to pursue other dreams of mine.  I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility for my students and the relationships I have created with the people that have become like a family to me.  My students, their lives, and the community they have welcomed me into have been an emotional catharsis for my early twenties.   

A year ago I thought I would be ready to cut all ties with Louisiana come May 2013, but I am beginning to think I may tie a knot instead, only to have it untied upon my return.  I don't think I can say goodbye anymore...

Surprised? Me too.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Drunk on Life

Remember this, guys? Well, let's recap a bit:

Personal Goals
  • Go on a blind date
  • Ask someone out on a date, because who says I can't go after what I want?
Check, and check.  Well, almost.  I am not wasting any time at all.  I am officially on the dating scene, I have never been the "dating" girl, but it's a new year and I decided that it's time to start dating.  So, I asked someone out, and I will also be going on a blind date this Tuesday.  

I know the blind date is the most intriguing story.  I have this past student who is a great kid, he's also very tech savvy.  Said student e-mails me towards the end of last semester informing me that his dad's friend was interested in taking me out.  My student prefaced all this by saying that he felt out of place telling me.  Awkwardness aside, I asked my student the infinite question, "How in the world does this 'friend' of your dad's even know who I am?"  Apparently back in September or October when my student ran into me at Wal-Mart as I was in my gym clothes and running shoes this person was also with him.  I only saw my student of course and cut the conversation as short as possible given my appearance.  According to my student he could not stop asking about me since.  Intrigued? Me too. I sure was flattered.  To wrap this up for y'all I will just say that I immediately left my student out of it and I made the executive decision to pursue this potential blind date.  This blind date has offered to make me dinner, but considering it is blind I changed its direction to meeting up for a drink at a local and neutral location.  In the words of Shoshanna from Girls, you've got to meet in a public place in case he turns out to be a rapist.  

It's fun, it's exciting, and it's definitely keeping my life interesting so I will keep y'all posted on the outcome of this date.  If anything I have a new friend, right? 

This weekend:
  • I saw Zero Dark Thirty and it kept me on the edge of my seat the ENTIRE time. 
  • I ran into every student and their mom (literally) on a rainy day outing
  • Said bon voyage to our dear Matt
  • Most importantly, in the words of a friend, I got drunk on LIFE. 
Don't forget to watch the premiere of Girls if you didn't.  I have to wait to watch it on HBOGo tomorrow night.  Please don't give away any spoilers! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Rain Day // Mantra

All this recent excitement for Girls kind of, sort of, may have caused me to purchase a ticket to New York City.  No, really.  Okay, maybe it wasn't just because of Girls, but I am so psyched to go to the city in February.  February is one of my least favorite months anyway, so I may as well jazz it up a bit and hit up the east coast.
Louisiana to NYC, booked in a NY Minute :)
It's been about six years since I last went and even though I don't plan on doing the touristy things very much, I am thrilled to take this trip with my friend and roommate.

Best part?  I plan on seeing Mumford and Sons while I'm there.  They're playing in Brooklyn two days in NYC, and you bet I will see them while I'm there.  I bet you're wondering, were they a deciding factor on whether I went on this trip or not?  You bet they were!

So, let's analyze how my mantra for 2013 is going, "the work can wait" and "anything could happen."  For me, this year is about living.  I mean really and truly living.  Work can wait sometimes, and I want to enjoy life.  I have accomplished so much in the past year and a half, but I have missed out on living parts of it.  At the end of this year I intend to feel 100% drunk on LIFE.

I think the universe took it to heart when I established said mantra for my life, because today I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to find out that school was cancelled because of major flooding/tornadoes/storms.  HALLELUJAH!! What a beautiful surprise to have a rain day.  The work can wait...obviously, it did today!

I slept in, made breakfast, had lunch at my favorite restaurant, watched Django, sat on my porch and worked, and went mud riding(!). Say, what?  Yes, you did not misread, I went mud riding on a rainy day.  A friend we met a couple of weeks back drove by, honked (in true southern fashion), and before we knew it, two of my roommates and I were headed to the bayou to experience a southern tradition for rainy days.  It was an outstanding experience, and yes I missed yoga, but made some fantastic memories.

All I can say is that, life, well lived is good.

How has 2013 started out for you? 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Too late, too soon.

Recently my friends and I made a non-Teach For America friend here in Small Town, Louisiana.  I know, you're probably took you a year and a half to make a friend?! Ha, I mean we have teacher friends, but we are not talking about those.  If any of you (teacher friends) are reading, I love y'all and am so blessed to have met you, but this post is dedicated to one of our few non-teacher friends of our generation.

Our dear Matt, who we met a mere three weeks ago.  We met Matt, a year and a half too late.  Matthew is a true gem and just good ol' salt of the earth.  He is moving at the end of the week to pursue his dreams and do amazing things at the cooler end of the state ;)

To Matt: thank you for being sweet, kind, and just the perfect addition to our friends here and our memories in Louisiana, and I know I can speak for all when I say that we are sad to lose you so soon.  You were a good one, and I intend on keeping in touch.  Best of luck on your endeavors, and I'll be seeing you in Tahoe, or Seattle, or St. Louis...but definitely NOLA.

Shrimp Creole: a true Louisiana meal 
Thanks for cooking an awesome dinner, Matt! 
Ever felt like you met someone too late or too soon? 

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Lemon Drops were the drink of last night
Aren't you just in a deciding mood sometimes?  Usually I'm pretty indecisive, not the best decision maker.  Lately though, I'm all about making decisions.  On this beautiful Sunday before starting work again I will give you some insight into two executive decisions I have made.

  • Making my bed regularly - I know this sounds super petty and ridiculous, but I've always been the girl who has made her bed every day.  Even through college I still made my bed daily.  When I moved to Louisiana a year and a half ago I somehow stopped.  I think this had something to do with the fact that I was going through a hard time that I stopped caring.  Now, I'm in a different state of mind and I woke up one day while I was home in Texas for winter break and thought, "Hmmm...I think I want to start making my bed every day again."  So, no more unmade bed for me.  It works for some people, and I tried it for a bit, but it wasn't for me.  I will wake up five minutes earlier just to get that task done.  Besides, I'm pretty sure I've read that people who make their bed in the morning are more productive.  

  • "Anything Could Happen" by: Ellie Goulding will be my theme song of 2013 - Not only is this song featured in Girls, but it's pretty damn great.  It gives 2013 such a purpose for me.  Go read the lyrics or just listen to this song.  Last night, my first night back in Louisiana I made some pretty great memories to that song with some friends.  Dancing and laughing...oh, what a night it was.

My roommate Kathryn, her BFF Dan and I 
Cue Ellie Goulding playing in the background
What decisions have you made lately? Do you have a theme song for 2013? 

Friday, January 4, 2013


I am currently craving:
The Fremont Troll in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood

  • The Pacific Northwest, all of it, I want to go there in a cozy sweater and a cozy scarf, wearing my Frye boots and wrap my arms around it.
  • Sitting in a pub in cold rainy weather with good company drinking a porter or a stout 
  • Let's add a band that sounds like this playing in that pub
  • Maybe a good night kiss that doesn't mean much, but feels good because the mood and atmosphere are just right (know what I mean?)
  • A hot cup of coffee (w/cinnamon) walking down a cold rainy street all whilst window shopping among quirky boutiques

What are you craving today?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Almost getting it kind of together...

I've spent much of the last day and a half watching Girls.  Have you heard of this show?  If you haven't, it's about time you do.  It premiered last April and season two premieres January 13th.  Here is a quick preview to what the show is essentially about, go on, click, click, click.

The show follows the life of Hannah Horvath, a twenty-something trying to live the American dream in New York City.  Hannah is a struggling writer working a non-paid internship in the city and living with her best friend, Marnie.  The show begins with Hannah finding out that her parents are cutting her off financially, she soon has to leave her internship and her quarter life crisis essentially begins.  The show also follows Hannah's two other friends, Jessa (a British girl) and her cousin, Shoshanna.  

I quickly fell in love with the show because it is so well written.  The main character, Lena Dunham (Hannah) is also the writer, creator, producer, and director of the show.  Lena is only 26! Apparently she has a book of personal essays (much like her character in the show) releasing in the near future titled Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's Learned.  Obviously, I will be checking this out and spilling my thoughts here once I get my hands on it.  

There's nothing I love more than books and movies that feel real to me.  I want to relate to a show and feel like the characters could be people I know in real life.  Don't get me wrong, I like Sex and the City as much as the next girl, but I don't really share a life as glamorous as Carrie Bradshaw or Charlotte York, and Mr. Big is a little unrealistic.  Gossip Girl is fun too, but life in the Upper East Side is far from relatable to my life, and probably yours too.  Girls feels real, I actually have friends with issues like those in Hannah's life, everyone around me is going through a quarter-life crisis, and we don't all look like we stepped out of Vogue or Cosmo (looks or clothing wise).  The show is is on HBO after all, but then again so was Sex and the City.  Unlike the super sexy content of Carrie Bradshaw's many encounters, Girls' feels much more raw and honest.  Trust me. 

Conclusion: check it, yesterday right now.  Season one is only ten episodes and they are all less than 30 minutes, making it super easy to get through.  I really wish I had spaced out watching the episodes...I don't want it to end.  It's just so good.  Go get caught up, and once you do, check out what's to come January 13th when season two premieres!

Are you as obsessed with Girls as I am? Please don't make me feel alone here...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Inbox: Clean!

I would like to dedicate this post to those of you (like me) who have not cleaned out your inbox in years.  My roommate, Kathryn, has been nagging me about this for God only knows how long...but I've been putting it off.  See, in some areas of my life I understand the need for organization and I am extremely well organized.  In others...meh, not so much.  My e-mail is a prime example of the not so much.  Today, however, I decided I wanted my inbox to be at zero as opposed to the 2,000+ e-mails I had.  I wanted to clean out old folders, get rid of those labeled "Insert ex-boyfriend's name here" and "College."  I did a good tidying up, and it didn't take me more than thirty-ish minutes, which wasn't long considering the big mess I had.

So today, I am pushing you (yes, you) to go do the same.  It will feel good, I promise.  Oh, and what better way to start off 2013 than to have organized e-mail.

Do you keep your inbox at 0? What number do you like your inbox to be at, or do you not care?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top 12 of 2012

As I work on improving my blog for the new year, I stumbled upon a couple of new ones that I'm starting to follow.  This particular one, gave me the idea for today's post.  After all, we beg, borrow, and steal from those who inspire hope within us in order to become our best version of ourselves.

Taken by: Lisa w/Contax 645 Medium Format Camera 
12. Re-Launching The Bright Side According To Laura.

11. Finishing my first year with Teach For America (whew!).

10. Taking the summer to fully reflect and re-focus on myself after a difficult break up, and learning to love my life again.

9. After much prayer and reflection, reaffirming my call to work for social justice through Social Work.

8. Visiting Seattle/Tacoma and falling in love with the Pacific Northwest.

7. Moving in with three roommates who have been a major contribution to making my second year of teaching much better than the first.

6. Continuing my yoga practice, strengthening my body, and mastering two and a half headstands.

5. Climbing to the rooftop of a building (I'm terrified of heights!) to an amazing night view of Seattle.

4. Applying to graduate schools and putting my eggs in two baskets (EEK!).

3. Asking for forgiveness and reconnecting with old friends (I still thank y'all).

2. Completing 75% of my commitment with Teach For America as of December, and falling in love with my job....what an accomplishment!

1. Always having my mother to rely on when I went through the bumps of 2012, having her there with words of wisdom, smiles, cards, hugs, and even spending more time than she needed to in Louisiana with me.  To her, I am eternally grateful.

What about you, friends, what are some of your highlights from 2012?