What I Might Have Told Her

I graduated one year ago.

I often wonder what would’ve happened if me, at this present time, sat down with me, one year ago, to have a conversation over a margarita. What would I have said? Would she have listened?

Addicted to Attention

I have craved attention from dating apps and from boys I meet in bars. I have craved attention from social media followers on a picture I like of myself. If it didn’t get enough attention I didn’t like the photo anymore. I have craved the attention of employers reading my resume and of readers of my blog.

Adjusting to Stability

I now sit at my computer, post-work, with the clock counting down to my next obligation. Once again, I ask myself to curate some kind of wisdom in my schedule. Instead of sitting, I feel as though I am constantly going. I must be on at all times and my head spins until it finally hits the pillow, if I am lucky. I have gone from sitting to standing to running and, still, I have trouble figuring out what exactly I am learning from it all.

I Am Independent and I Am Okay

Growing up, I was terrified of codependency. I never wanted to rely on anyone for anything. I didn’t want to look to someone else to give me self-worth, and I never wanted to let another being have the power to dictate my happiness. I wanted to be able to take care of myself. Perhaps this is something I was born with, or maybe I picked it up somewhere along the way.

On Relationships and Being Your Best Self

In my past relationship, I had been with a guy who took gym selfies and posted them on social media. He also couldn't be bothered by texts through the week, unless it was to confirm weekend plans. He would curse at me as a joke and then expect me to laugh.

Why did I stay in this relationship? Why did I not run when I knew it was wrong? Great question!

The Beginning, The Middle, The End

To the graduates: On the night before my college graduation, I had a terrible stomachache.

My best friends and I went for a ceremonial last scoop at our favorite ice cream place, a place where I should have had a loyalty card or something by that point, and I could barely take a bite. My insides were roiling (and I promise, it wasn't a hangover; by then I knew the difference). I just felt sick and shaky and any other night, it would have put me right to bed. 

It Will Be Okay

When I was growing up, my mom often quoted her favorite movie. “When the Lord closes a door,” she said, channeling Maria Von Trapp, “somewhere he opens a window.” Though I’m not one to live my life based on corny lines from The Sound of Music, I do think that there’s something wise about this particular platitude.

Creating Space for Simple, Part I

Like everyone our age and younger, technology has been a consistent presence in my life—first Nintendo 64 games, then computer games (Zoo Tycoon, anyone?), then flip phones and long texts slowly typed on 3 letters-per-numbers keypads, then smartphones and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and emails always, always on and notifications always, always crying out for attention, and here I am at stoplights opening emails and in elevators scrolling through Instagram and in bed responding to texts before my feet ever feel the carpet beneath them in the morning.

OUR FAVORITE THINGS: 5 Books That Change You

“Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic,” J.K. Rowling wrote. My girl J.K. nailed it, because I firmly believe words can challenge and shape our perspectives on life. Below are 5 books that I have read multiple times and highlighted the ish outta the pages. I’ve included some of my favorite lines to give you a preview of the goodness you can expect in each book.

My First "Big Girl Job"

It was the phone call I'd been daydreaming about for months. The one that would justify the four years I'd spent getting my undergraduate degree and—to be honest—the one I was beginning to doubt I'd ever get. When my new boss told me I'd gotten the job as marketing and social media coordinator for Ramada hotels, I just about fell over. It took all my self control not to squeal or sob into the phone; this was what I'd been waiting for. This was the light at the end of a long tunnel.

Little Rock and Learning to Listen

I’ve only been in Little Rock for 12 or so hours when I find my way to the Flying Fish. My friend heralds this place as “the best fried catfish place” but I know when she says the name that it’s nothing extraordinary. We have one in Fort Worth, a place where rich people go to feel like they are back to their roots, low country fare serve fried that tastes like an indulgence when compared to the gluten-free organic food that is usually consumed.

On Having A "Real Job"

“Hopefully you won’t still be doing this by then.”

The “this” he was referring to is my weekend job: I work in hospitality at a music venue. I did this for about six months part-time after I graduated college before I landed my first “real job.” When I moved on from that first “real job” a year later and started my current full-time job at a non-profit, I returned to this backstage hospitality job on the weekends (because Americorps basically pays you in loose change).

For Everything There Is A Season

I have not listened to "Mr. Brightside" by the Killers since graduating college. 

My 2016 Boston College grads feel me on this. That song might be on every single playlist I made those four years. It was the party song. It's a great workout track. We'd bump it on car rides—out of state, to the local grocery store, it didn't matter. On my 22nd birthday, my best friends threw me a party, and I stood on a table while I and a roomful of humans shouted "I NEVERRRRRR" at top volume. I don't remember a time when I didn't know all the words (honestly, does anyone not know all the words?).

This Is Where You Belong

After being laid off from my job two months ago, I packed my desk and drove to the beach. It was a perfect day for shorts and a sweater, walking along the bike paths and lifting my face toward the sun every few minutes. I wanted my skin to burn.