I’ve been a bad blogger …again. I hope that every time I add to my Journal Entry chronicles, I am not self-confessing my lack of interaction. But yes, I’ve been a bad blogger again.
I’ve been scared. I feel like I’ve used that word a lot since I’ve started my journal entries – but this time around, I’ve been scared that I would jinx the happiness.
These past 30 days have been the best days of my life.
I promised to myself at the end of 2016 that 2017 was going to be my year – my year to do what’s right for me – my year to be strong, to adventure, to make life happen for myself. I was worried that moving to Cali could actually result in me failing that. I was in a new place with one person to call my friend who had her own life to live. I worked from home, which isn’t the best way to make friends. I had no way to get around, not that I really knew where to go. The cost of living was haunting me. I was scared. I was scared of failure and loneliness.
But then it all so quickly started to fall into place and all that fear went away. And then I was scared to write. The words being printed indefinitely on paper made me feel like they would be left there as a closing and make it all come to an end. I would be jinxed. But before this I ran around the entire house knocking on every piece of wood in sight – so, here goes nothing…
They say that when things are meant to be, they work out in mysterious ways. A large part of me wants to believe that that’s true – that this move was meant to be, that everything happens for a reason, that secretly our inner being knows what’s right for us and gets us there, eventually.
This experience for me thus far has been a fairy-tale… And maybe, just maybe, it’s not a fairy-tale at all – maybe it’s just how life should be, I just haven’t lived like this yet …until now.
Since the immediate second I stepped foot into Santa Barbara I’ve been taken in by my loving cousin who would tear down bridges for me (…literally). She brought me into her world and made me a friend to everyone she knew. I was worried that, like being in a relationship somewhere new, I would then in result be living her life instead of one of my own – but oddly enough, I wasn’t.
I have new cousins who aren’t my cousins at all but have me over for family dinners, and don’t second guess my company when I crash their Sunday beer pong games (even without the OG cuz), whose kids run around calling my name to jump on the trampoline and take silly selfies with me. They add me to their group texts, invite me to movie nights and for glasses of wine and hunt down bagel bites with me at every Starbucks in town.
The same goes for every other friend of my cousins that I’ve been introduced to – I can now call them my own. Every day, without fail, someone is asking me to hang out. Fashion shows, bottle service and sparklers on my birthday, classy parties in giant houses in giant hills, photo-shoot’s, signing my first lease, consuming my body length in burritos, sun bathing on beaches with palm trees in them…
I took my first shot of tequila, drank more in the past 30 days than I have conclusively in my entire life, champed through an oyster shooter and even ate cow just for the sake of the In-N-Out experience.
The list goes on… I went into this experience very scared, overwhelmed, sad… I set my expectations very, very low and did some burying of the excitement I did have. I forced myself, instance after instance, to not get my hopes up.
So now I ask you – Is it really true, when they say what’s meant to be will be? Or is it that we (I) tend to aggressively overthink things into such intense mannerisms that we destroy all sense of hope and expectation until we take the risk, so that it has to end up being more amazing than we anticipated? Maybe knocking our expectations down (not aggressively, but you know what I mean) is what we need sometimes to be grateful and remind us that life and people really are amazing? (Not to get confused here – I mean, get out of your own inner fairy-tale of expectations – I don’t mean let people treat you like sh*t).
I’m not exactly sure what direction I’m going in with this post, because there’s so many different things I’ve learned in my 30 days of this new life so far – So I’ll give you the sum of it:
1. Life is what you make it. Plain and simple. 2. YOLO 3. Take the risk. ALWAYS. 4. It will all work out. 5. If you’re scared to do something that you really want to do, just do it. Chances are at the end of the day it will be one of the best decisions you have ever made. 6. Be kind. Smile wherever you go. Let things roll – it’s usually useless to get worked up. And don’t forget to make friends wherever you go. 7. There really are nice, inviting, friendly people out there – sometimes it just takes time to find them. Don’t let any selfishness and ignorance you’ve experienced with others bleed into your judgments of humans as a whole. 8. Even if it’s not what you want in the moment, force yourself to do what’s best for you (we all have that little gut monster telling us what’s right). You will look back, even in a weeks time, and thank yourself for it. 9. Always be genuinely you. No matter how weird or imperfect it is. If you are raw from the get-go, then your friends will be your friends – everyone will love and choose to have you around for the crazy human that you are, not who you think they want you to be. 10. Look at everything, and yourself, as a constant learning experience. Take it in – all of it.
30 days down, a lifetime to go.
I have been using my second blog, Deeper Than Words, to post my creative writing; poems, short stories, lifestyle and journal entry posts. I figured that from now on I will put more of them here. After all, no blogger is just one specific genre behind a computer – they are human, and you should see the human side of me too. So, I’m going to post a series of journal entries – meaning, posts where I reflect on situations I find myself in in life; posts about those moments when I take a step back from the situation and think about it more as a whole. These posts can get pretty personal and sometimes very deep, but hey, that’s a part of being a writer. You can’t really be a good one unless you lay it all out there on the table. So, here it goes. Journal Entry One…
You gave me a sense of purpose.
You gave me a sense of purpose.
You gave me a sense of purpose.
The words continued to replay over and over in my head. “I… you know…” he stumbled, “It’s just when you were here you gave me a sense of purpose. I could have helped you. Or, well, I could have tried to. And now you’re not here and it’s just that I don’t have the incentive, the reminder, the bond with you that we have when you are around to remind me that I could have a purpose, that I could be good for something. It’s just hard. It’s hard.”
It hit me like one of those giant, unexpected waves I’ve almost drowned in on the shores of the Hamptons. The taller-than-you waves that curl over your body, that you might actually in reality expect but aren’t seriously prepared for even though you think there’s some way that you will indeed be able to handle its strength. I hated the waves. I hate the ocean but at the same time it’s my favorite thing. I’m afraid of it, and there aren’t many things that I am actually afraid of. It reminds me so much of this moment because this, too, this deep moment of honesty that had been stored for at a minimum of 4 years since I had been living away from my dad had been built up and then released over me. It hit me hard, and I tried to handle its strength but it brought me down anyway, and I was drowning in it.
I finally reached the top and felt the sun on my face. Gasping for air, I rubbed the salt out of my eyes, found my feet and buried them deep and hard into the sand below me and calmed myself. Sweet relief, sweet gratification, purity.
He knew it and I knew it too, that with the truth comes more truth. Before I could even speak he had filled in my words, “But I want you to live your life. That’s where you want to be and what you want to do and that’s what I want for you too, your happiness and to make your own choices.” I had my life to live and couldn’t change my destination or course to be what someone else needed rather than what I did. He understood me, and all at once I understood him too. I think I always did – I always knew this unspoken truth – it was just one that I wanted to stay under the water. I didn’t want to feel it, drowning me, yet it still did. And with the relief of it, I still felt the grains of salt burying themselves into my skin. They soon too will wash away, but I couldn’t help but think how unfair it was that they took me under in the first place. It hit me exactly how he didn’t want it to but needed it to all at the same time.
It felt unfair for him to throw that upon me. I am here and he is there and I wish every day for him to be better. I have tried with my kindest strength to be an incentive for his sobriety – calls every other day if not daily, understanding, loving tones, genuine love, kindness, motivating words. I thought that was enough but it never was and so I gave up.
Those moments, underneath, seeing glances of the sun shine through into the darkness as I searched my way to the top, the salt burning my eyes, are panic mode. Honesty is my favorite action yet the most unpredictable and breathtaking, for good and bad reasons of course, and instantly sweeps you off your feet and into panic. You see, that suffocating moment led me to a deeper understanding.
Maybe sometimes it is the healthiest decision to relieve yourself of your deepest feelings, but for others that relief can leave a burden. But then again, maybe sometimes that burden on us can be turned into less of a burden and more into a deeper understanding and perspective into that persons thoughts and your relationship with them. I’ve come to learn that the truth will, at one time or another, be revealed whether it’s from the person themselves or through some other revealing that might not be as pleasant – and that’s in a emotional and literal way. But regardless, the truth conquers all. Maintaining a healthy relationship is all about communication – honesty, perspective, understanding. All of these things my dad and I had together, and whether the truth did drown me for that moment or not, it was the gentle rawness of his feelings, the truth of it all, that I appreciated more than anything.
I think that’s something we all can (or more so need to) understand and appreciate – that sometimes the pain of drowning for a moment brings us the utter beauty and appreciation of the fresh air pulling deep into our lungs, and the sun shining on our skin.
P.S. – Yes, the header picture is me on the shore of the beach (known as ‘The End of the World’) in the Hamptons, NY. I was on vacation with my family there. We stayed in a tiny, old little hotel that legitimately rested on the ocean shore. The 6 of us would step out of our one bedroom shack at sunset and listen to the waves pouring onto our doorstep. It was magical. And yes, I almost drowned. True story (but then again, I can be a bit dramatic). XO
It’s officially November… Which is officially scary. Scarier than Halloween scary. Time goes bye much, much too quick and there’s so many fun and festive things to do during the Fall season! Halloween may be over, but the little bit of warmer weather and freshness of Fall isn’t. There’s still time – but it’s limited! Now that the ghouls and goblins are out of the closet, there’s other things you can focus on this season.
Here are some fun things to do to embrace the rest of Fall this November:
- The traditional apple-picking, apple pie baking, baked stuffed apples – apple opportunities during Fall are endless.
- Throw a football party – this is endless amounts of fun! chips, dips, and some friendly flag-football during half time.
- Go Wine Tasting
- Go Tailgating
- Spend a day at the park or in a nearby city. Pretty soon you won’t even want to be outside to even climb into you
- Festive Fall Crafts – knit scarves and mittens, collect fallen leaves to decorate the house, make a giving tree
- Go for a hike – this is especially amazing at the time of years, because the foliage is utterly beautiful!
- Golf – If you’re really bad, like me, you might want to take this down a notch and go for some mini-golf (;
- Go to your local farm and see what there is to offer for the season! Apple ciders, pumpkin pies, corn mazes, scarecrow making – all fun things to take part in!
- Collect for your local food bank for Thanksgiving… There’s no time better spent than time spent giving back… After all, it is giving-season!
all mages via tumblr… see more at stylestudiesx.tumblr.com
Dress: Urban Outfitters
It was an ongoing joke on the 4th of July to count and see how many people complimented this dress, and there were so many we couldn’t even keep track! It’s just so casually, effortlessly beautiful and elegant. I know I use the term effortless quite a lot, but if I could erase every other time I’ve used it and change the definition of it to this dress, I would. Though the front is very lowcut, thanks to my lack of packages it didn’t seem revealing. It’s very light, breezy and cool in the heat, but does shrink in the wash! I almost lost it when I struggled to button it around my ribs, but as the day went on it loosend back to its original fit. It’s a true beauty!
“I can’t agree, it’s too much… I would never.”
“Anything but that… Don’t do that.”
With all the celebrities, insta-famous fashion bloggers and beauty gurus, I find myself feeling pretty down after a long scroll through social media. ‘How can she look that good, all the time!?’ ‘Is that even real!? Ugh, clearly it’s real it’s on Insta!!’ Which is exactly the opposite of the truth, but through all the filters and selfie poses, Instagram makes the unreal more than real. I always find it most interesting to look through the “Explore” section, as a lot of what appears there is catered to the type of Instagram’s you follow and those in relation to the people you follow, and was passing my boredom away with a look-through of mine, which of course contained make-up tutorials, models, and fitness junkies. But to my surprise and excitement, I landed upon the ridiculously funny and sarcastic account of Celeste Barber, an actor who took to Instagram to mock celebrities and their ridiculous lifestyles and photos. Hysterical captions and crazy faces, Celeste has earned herself a large following of over 800,000 users. Automatically I had to follow her and had to write this post to share with all of you; if anyone even for a second is made to feel self conscious and out down by any celebrity of insta-figure, you need to be following Celeste. In fact, regardless of your care for celebrities, or your feed, for a laugh and some realism, you need to be following her.
“Don’t you hate it when your doing your nails in and you get a CRAMP!?!?”
“Setting up a @gofundme account to buy @chrissyteigen a bed. Pushing two chairs together to lie down is BULLSHIT.”
“Not tonight babe, I’m tired.”
“I seem to have lost my clothes. Again.”
Not only does she mock celebrities ridiculous pictures in unrealistic outfits and poses and relates them to your real life daily human being, but she also reveals the flaws in the outlook of our current culture, calling out the facts on pictures like both of Kourtney and Kim Kardashian’s revealing posts:
“This is a photo I’m recreating of @kourtneykardash. I’m pretty sure we are promoting talent, strength, and women’s empowerment. Not just sex, as I originally thought.”
“New thought for the day.”
This photo-shoot of couple Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik and their falsified, highly admired relationship:
“Real love is perfect, flawless, acrobatic, stylised, timed and photogenic.”
And the unrealistic idea that this picture of Kim and Kanye is at all normal, because let’s be honest, it isn’t and all because they are the celebrities that they are does not make it at all class[y].
Lastly, my favorite, this hysterical caption about what all of us really go through during flights…
“Thank you @virginaustralia for sitting me in between 2 men who were 6 weeks into their ‘depderant is for losers’ regime. And a big #shoutout to #jetsmart for f*cking NOTHING.”
Overall her sarcastic wit and realism sheds light on these not-so-realistic celebrity lifestyles and lets us all remember that we are all human and it’s okay.
See more of her Instagram here.
13 books piled high and the birthday gift of a lifetime, The Series of Unfortunate Events was my new best friend and sent me into a reading frenzy. From there, I was hooked. Carrying the Twilight series around high school, friends calling them my ‘Bibles’, reading sent me into another world, into characters lives where their feelings became mine and their every thought and action, good or bad, agreeable with my personality or not, became something I understood and admired. I felt my vocabulary expanding. As a writer, I was inspired to write. I grew up a child and young adult who always took into consideration other people’s feelings and sought to understand their perspective and reasoning, something that I knew automatically was instilled in me from my continuous reading. Reading taught me to feel for others, to have a compassion and understanding for the world around me and people in it that the average person has, and I found this to be the same with other writers I met who also love to read. How can you be a writer at all if you don’t understand the deeper complexities of the world? No matter what a book may be about; historically telling the story of WWII, Slavery, or Elizabeth Bennet’s struggle with love, reading puts you in other peoples shoes in every aspect, developing analytical thinking.
This got me wondering… Reading has benefited many in this way tremendously (and I’m not just saying this… science proves that reading increases empathy and analyzation), and for this reason alone it should be practiced in every home, but what other benefits are there to reading?
Reading increases brain activity, and leads to increased intelligence. Furthering your vocabulary, writing skills, analyzation (as stated nearly a handful of times… it’s just so great!) and overall increasing your brains health.
Reading relieves stress and anxiety. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed or not in control of your emotions, pick up a book. Reading takes your mind off the subject that calms down your emotions as you’re pulled into a different world.
Since it relieves stress, reading can also be a sleep aid. Finding a way to break stress and relax before bed is the perfect way to get a good night’s sleep and help the whole process go down a little more smoothly, for us whose minds tend to run a little extra as soon as we hit the pillow.
Reading also has many beneficial aspects to look forward to later in life, in the sense that it stimulates the brain and increases memory potential, easing off diseases like Alzheimer’s. The brain, as it’s used, is strengthened, just like many other parts of the body. In result, reading can decrease risk of many diseases we may obtain due to aging.
This mental stimulation of the brain that reading causes can also increase intelligence, as reading increases vocabulary and writing skills (as well as analyzation… just thought I’d throw that one in there one more time for you (; ). This includes creativity as well, something that many of us know tends to fade away as we age. “Our brains work similar to a sponge, they soak up every bit of knowledge we encounter and store it for future use,” (Torres, Uloop).
Now I understand also that many people say they don’t like reading, that they ‘can’t’, but if you find the right book, the story that intrigues you and pulls you in, then it’s just like a movie except with a deeper connection, a more enticing storyline. You can read about anything. I mean this literally. Your favorite instrument, band, sport, celebrity, your biggest passion; these all come in some form of book. Which is why it’s something that’s not hard to do and is beneficial in too many ways that there is no reason to not do it. Therefore, you need to go read a book, and you need to do it now.
A handful of my favorite books (incase you need some ideas):
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen – A difficult read, but gets better everytime you re-read it, and such a classic!
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr – Written from two perspectives during WWII, a young blind girl living in France and a young German boy who’s highly intelligent. Nothing else to further say from there, it’s too amazing to not read, even for the ‘non-reader’.
The Nightingale, Kristin Hanna – Another historical fiction book written during WWII, from two perspectives: a rebellious teenage girl who joins a resistance and her very introverted older sister who always plays by the rules and has a Nazi billeting in her home. This was by far my favorite book I’ve ever read. Get past the first few chapters and the twists and turns are never ending. To say I cried is an understatement.
#GirlBoss, Sophia Amoruso – Everytime I read this I wanted to get up off the seat I was sitting in and do something productive. Need a sense of motivation and to be driven? This is the perfect book! Reading her story of going from nothing to everything in a matter of a few quick years, you might get a little bit of anxiety from the overwhelming urge to get up and make a difference. This is true life motivation for any and everyone.
Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline – Taking you back in time to an older woman’s childhood as an immigrant orphan and her scarring experiencing, she tells her story to a misguided teen who is looking for answers to find her way through life, as she herself finds out answers to some of her mysterious past.
It wasn’t until this past weekend visiting home that I realized and understood what a good friend really is. I was dreading the thought of it – being home without a car, staying at my Grandmothers depressing house, having nowhere to even go! I knew the general routine – I spent time with my family and that was that. Rarely did I go home and spend any time with friends from home. It had gotten to the point that they have gone on with their lives without me. Yeah, we still kept in touch and were the same good pals we always were when we did hang out, but my effort was the only one that was present. Relentless texts and calls, to the point my brother snapped, “Are you kidding me? No, do not text her again. Why do you even try,” with a sassy ‘ugh’ and an eye roll. I realized then that I was just making a fool of myself. So, this weekend in particular, I made it clear in advanced that I would be home for the weekend. I wasn’t expecting them to drop their plans at my beck and call because I just so happened to be in town. Yet as predicted, they never called. But it was this visit home in particular that I truly felt I needed them, their comfort, the distraction. And still, nothing.
I had arranged a ride from the airport from a very close family friend who I have known for years, mainly for being best friends with my older brother, but had grown closer to me in the past year or so. She was there to get me, and how grateful I felt. I was intent on expressing my gratitude and desire to spend the day together after I got in, and we did just that. We had spoken briefly of spending some time the next day together as well, but I knew how that went. People have lives, they’re not always there to spend time with me when I need to. Life doesn’t stop for me, nor did I expect it to. It was destined to not happen. And yet it did. She was my mediator for an awkward brunch, my reliable driver and laughter for long car rides to visit my brother, my puppy cuddling, relationship gossiper for the rainy afternoon and she even chose dinner with me over it with her boyfriend. It was all so nonchalant, so natural, so easy. I went away, back to my second home, content and looking happily on the weekends visit – something I didn’t think I would feel. It was then that I realized good friends do exist, and after twenty-one years, I finally had one.
I’m a hopeless romantic, which means I’m an over-emotional, over-caring love giver in all types of relationships I get myself into, and it has always been hard to remember that not everyone is as caring and loving as I am. I would drop anything and everything for someone I care about, and never felt like anyone ever did the same in return, but that’s just who I am. Through much stress and frustration, it is not till this very day that for the first time I’m really starting to understand friendships, on a level I never thought possible, which is why I share this with you…
IT’S OKAY TO HAVE HALF-ASS FRIENDS. Lots of people half-ass their entire lives. Yeah, no, this is no excuse and doesn’t mean it’s okay to have bad friends, but it takes a lot of understanding to realize that even some of the half-ass ones are good friends.
A good friend is a different definition for everyone, but we all know the basic rules and that it takes caring and loving. It takes being there for that person when it really counts; maybe not for all of the weekend visits or random phone calls but when when they miss your birthday two times in a row, thats a deal breaker. When you need a shoulder and they’re never there, deal breaker. When you’re the one waiting all day to spend time with them and cancel all other plans and they go hang with other friends instead, deal breaker (yup, I’ve had to learn the hard way). These are pretty understandable things, but its tough realizing that not all people are going to be as caring as some, and they really just can’t. For many, it’s not in their genes. Not everyone is equal amounts of caring or giving or appreciative or reliable. And it’s not true, that ‘if they’re a real friend, if you really connect and bond and are soul mates, they will be the most caring and loving no matter what’ (this goes for relationships too). Its not like the movies for every person. It’s not all thoughtfulness and love and caring. they may not go to extremes for you like what you would do for them. It’s not taking it personally and understanding that that’s just who they are. It doesn’t mean that they’re not good friends, they may love you unconditionally, be there for you when it counts, and love you just as much as you love them, but don’t have the same level of understanding and ideals in terms of commitment and care that you do. But what makes people best friends are the ones who connects with you because you share the same level of understanding and desire in terms of being a good friend; they would do the same for you that you would do for them.
I’ve had a lot of half-assed friends. They most likely don’t see it as being half-assed, but i do just because I’m the type of person who gives it my everything, and it took my a long time to understand that IT’S OKAY, they’re still GOOD FRIENDS, they’re just not the same type of person I am. Any type of relationship requires balance and having needs fulfilled to make them flourish, but some people will never meet your needs and you either have to accept that they aren’t that type of person and love them anyway, or move on. Maybe you’re not the type to give it you’re all and wear your heart on your sleeve but you need a friend who is, and vice versa. It’s understanding the type of person you are, understanding the type of people you’re dealing with and what will come from the relationship, realizing what you need and accepting what you can’t have and loving them anyway. Man, life’s complicated, as are you and everyone else, and we’re all just trying to figure each other out, one step at a time. We’re all unique in our own way and it’s understanding peoples individualities that make it all so interesting. Therefore, always remember, everyone’s different, and it’s okay.