On Bad Days and Getting Dressed for Work

I recently started a new job that’s had me up before I’d like to be and at home on the weekends catching up on work-related duties. It’s an opportunity and a half but my poor anxious heart is struggling. It’s not exactly what I want to be doing (lounging on a beach being fed grapes paid for by my fat book advance) but… it’s cool and I’m working on it.

Living Well Between the Goodbyes

I wasn’t prepared for the high-speed film reel of memories to hit me the second we drove off the 405 onto the 101 highway.

Two hours of driving through my tears on the day I said goodbye to a boy my brain had grown accustomed to telling “I love you,” when my heart just wasn’t there yet. An entire CD of Lady Antebellum Christmas songs my sister and I played on repeat on our way home for winter break. A 40-mile trek with three girls who shared my apartment and the label “best friend” just to walk into a Target.

The Thing About Plans Is This

They change.

Flights change. Book release dates change. Dinners with friends change. Sometimes, however, when you think you’ve made perfect, unbreakable plans that you truly want to work, it’s hard to realize, remember, and accept that some plans change.

3 Keys to Planning a Wedding When Life Won't Slow Down for You

The funny thing about getting engaged is that life doesn’t stop and grant you sufficient time to plan a huge event, workout for the dress, go through pre-marital counseling, get engagement pictures done,  etc. Nope, life moves forward at a relentless pace, continuing to require your time and energy per the usual. Here are 3 keys to planning your wedding even when life won't slow down for you.

A New Blog, A Better Blog

New things, better things.

That’s been a go-to phrase for me for the past several months, a reminder in a rather transition-heavy and emotionally-turbulent time in my life to keep my eyes set on the good things to come rather than the worries I usually burden myself with needlessly.

And in the spirit of new things, better things comes along That First Year getting a makeover.

The House That Built Me

Things need to be done, decisions need to be made, reports need to be turned in, resumes need to be updated, dresses need to be dropped off and you also have to eat lunch and feed your dog and grab drinks with your friends and do your laundry and decide what to do about that guy you’ve been texting, and you haven’t made your bed or grocery shopped in two weeks and you definitely should shower today because you’ve put it off one day too long and now you’re pushing it. 

And it’s only Tuesday. 

On Eating Dinner at Home

Graduation day is over. My dorm room is packed up. I have said goodbye to my best friends, the ones for whom “goodbye” doesn’t really ever apply, even if I’m not sure when I’ll see them again. I am in the backseat of the car and I have cried myself into a nap; when I wake up, my parents are pulling into the parking lot of our favorite deli off the highway. We sit at a table in back, order soda and sandwiches and even dessert. As we talk, I become once more hyper-aware that something in my life has undergone a seismic shift. I am going home, but I am not in college anymore, so I don’t yet know what “home” means.

Not What You Want, But What You Need

I saw the finish line. It was close. I never thought I would make it but there I was: six weeks from wearing that awkward too-small cap and oversized gown. I was pages away from closing the book yet with the strongest desire to call it quits and throw it away. 

I felt lost. I was anxious and ready to move somewhere new and exciting. I was ready to walk away from everything I worked to build and everything I chased after just for something new. I wasn’t secure in myself, where I was going in life, or the standing I held with the people around me. 

What Do You Do First?

Often, when I wake up in the morning I am struck with a sense of urgency likened to the feeling I imagine one would experience if they opened their eyes only to find themselves hanging by their hood from Toronto’s CN Tower. Which is to say, my waking is somewhat violent. I hit consciousness with a hard kick in the back from slumber and blowing around in the windy beginning of each day I am overcome by the worry of what to do FIRST.

A Collection of Postcards

Some people like to put tacks on a map of the places they’ve seen, whether through the window of an airport or up close and personal in the heart of a town that doesn’t belong to them. But what I like to do is hunt down the tackiest souvenir shop, browse through the shot glasses and T-shirts, and walk away with a single postcard that will never make its way into a mailbox.

I look at the pictures on the front, try to recall seeing those views from a much more personal point-of-view.

Remember that time when…

Today I Am On A Plane: The Move to New York City

Today I am on a plane. 

I have just moved to New York City.  I have listened to "Empire State of Mind" 7 times.  I have had 2 mimosas. I don't know what I'm doing here. I don't know how I got here. 

Five days ago I was in Nashville, TN. My home for the past 4 years, my city, my happy place.

One day ago I was in Long Lake, MN. My home for the past 22 years, the only home I've ever lived in, my safe haven. 

Today I am on a plane. 

I have realized there is a difference between dreaming your dreams and living them. 

I have also realized how hard it is. 

Through the Eyes of a Child

One disappointing thing about getting older is noticing the mystique of things that used to excite you fade. Coming into the real world is met with its fair share of challenges, and the temptation to let this harden you is accessible; perhaps it’s autopilot to become jaded. To have a hopeful outlook towards the state of the world, towards your passions, even towards life at times, takes a conscious effort. The reality is you witness (and sometimes find yourself in the middle of) a lot of crash and burn scenarios as you grow up, and it is really easy to let ugly truths cloud your perspective.

The Place I'm Going to Miss: On Moving Yet Again

I wonder sometimes if I'm making a mistake by being so nomadic, if I should be saving to own my piece of real estate: something more permanent, something that validates my worth as an adult. Sometimes it's hard to feel like an adult when I have no husband (or even a boyfriend), a house or a kid. My reasons for moving so much aren’t even because I travel too much to have roots anywhere. The reality is that I float from place to place because things change so rapidly. There's no real constant in my life yet, but I don't know if I want there to be.

How to Fit Your Life into Two Suitcases: Tips for Moving Abroad

Two months from now, I will be living 3,700 miles away from home in a country I’ve never visited before. 

My boyfriend and I have decided to move to Holland, where he is finishing his degree in The Hague. Several months ago, he asked me to come with him and after much deliberation, planning and money-saving, I’ve decided to take the plunge and come along for the ride. When he first asked me, I was terrified. I’ve never ever visited Holland, how could I move somewhere I’ve never been? I don’t speak the language, how would I get around? Or get a job? What could I do as a job? Where would we live? 

Being the planner that I am, I started tackling my list of fears one by one.