Hold on to Sixteen as Long as You Can

I spent last week on a cruise to Bermuda. It was glorious. When I returned to America, land of cellular service and social media, Facebook informed me that marriage equality was made the law in Ireland, that Josh Duggar molested serveral underage girls and 19 Kids and Counting was promptly cancelled by TLC, and that my high school was closing due to low enrollment over the last several years. I’ve talked about attending Catholic school several times, and had a good high school experience. Not that I would EVER re-live those fours years, but I wouldn’t skip over them in another life either, ya know?

Anyway, the title of this post comes from a little song called Jack and Diane. This throwback graced this afternoon’s work playlist, and hearing “hold on to sixteen as long as you can” low-key made me want to cry. It also triggered a super vivid memory of watching Glee when I was actually 16 and in high school. I feel like there’s an episode where this particular line of this particular song are noted. Kurt was trying to relate to his dad who was super into Mellancamp songs but I can’t remember the rest of the plot for my life. You know what I’m talking about right? You also know I’m all about crying alone, so I sought out my yearbooks when I got home from work. The notes in the back of the book that documented my junior year, the year that began when I was sixteen, all had one common thread: everyone suddenly thought I was funny. I guess junior year was when I finally stopped giving so many fucks about what everyone thought of me, and let my sarcasm flow freely through the classrooms. I also had an amazing English teacher that year, and kept my mouth closed on only the rarest occasions because I had so many thoughts on The Joy Luck Club (which everyone should go read right now) & Frankenstein. At sixteen I started to find myself, speaking up in classes instead of putting all of my opinions into homework assignments and papers. Holding on to sixteen is holding onto the year I started to see who I would be when I grew up. Knowing that this building where I spent four years, where I was inspired by teachers who taught me more than they will ever know, and where I made some of the best friends I have in this life will soon close its doors forever is awful. But hoping that all those sixteen year old juniors get to have this feeling wherever they are, is almost enough to make that awful feeling go away.


Also, google the lyrics to Jack and Diane, because I had no idea how #scandalous it was until half an hour ago.

A future bright as the promise of tomorrow 

I hope she never feels what I feel at night 

I hope she’s never told that she shouldn’t have been walking alone,
Or that her dress was too tight and her heels too high.
That she doesn’t have to constantly call worried parents,
And lie about having a boyfriend to be left alone.
I hope she feels safe on her college campus, in her big city, or that little town where she’s still in high school.
I hope that her choices aren’t seen as the source of the problem.
I hope that she’s told she has a voice, and power, and that she can do anything. 

What I’m Thinking Wednesday

Thoughts that crossed my mind today included…

1. Angelina Jolie. As I watched the morning and evening news yesterday both shows took time to highlight Angelina’s decision to have her ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed to avoid getting a cancer that she found she was at an increased risk for through genetic testing. Genetic testing is awesome. You should go for a genetic screening because genetic counselors are medical professionals who do more than design babies and you can learn tons of valuable information about yourself. But I digress. She was quoted as having said that now her children will never have to say that their mother died of ovarian cancer. Call me morbid, but they will eventually say that their mother died of something else. Everybody will die, and your genetic panel cannot say with certainty what the cause of your death will be. Being proactive about your health as a woman is essential, and you must make your own preventive and reactive decisions. Don’t let people like Angelina Jolie, who can afford the best surgeons and genetic counselors around, make you feel inferior for making a different choice regarding your own body.

2. Speaking of ovaries…I always thought I wanted kids. That is, until I was actually around a kid for an extended period of time. I still love them and being around them, but having one of my own, full time, sounds pretty awful right now. You don’t get to sleep, but you still have to keep the same work schedule, if you want to afford day care. If you can afford day care, then you don’t actually get to see your kid because it’s their bedtime by the time you get home, feed, and bathe them. Then you get judgement from everyone about your parenting decisions. It’s just a hassle that I’m not about anymore. I think I can be perfectly content with a really cool job, lots of money, and maybe an equally successful husband. #goals

3. Speaking of kids…can we acknowledge how strange gender reveal parties are? Can we also acknowledge that gender is a social construct and it should be called a “sex reveal party” but that sounds hella creepy? Anyway, if you’re not familiar with this concept, it’s what it sounds like…your friends and family gather as you either cut into a cake or open a box of balloons and if whatever’s inside is pink, it’s a girl, and if it’s blue, it’s a boy. When my friends have kids they’re getting books, lots of oatmeal colored sweaters, and elephant stuffed animals because teaching small children the boxes they are supposed to squeeze themselves into from literally the womb is so weird and destructive.

4. Let’s change gears here and talk about nutrition. The granola bar aisle is always a struggle for me because they’re never actually healthy but sound really tasty. So, when out of sheer curiosity, I flipped the slim fast bar box over to read the ingredients, I legit laughed in the supermarket upon seeing the first ingredient was corn syrup. The next was soy protein isolate. GIRL. Go eat a banana. Or a piece of chicken. Or literally anything else. Meal replacement bars are a joke, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

5. I’ll hop off that high horse now to rave about how amazing those individually wrapped Russell Stover Easter eggs taste. Go buy some right now. Red velvet cake, wedding cake, CHOCOLATE wedding cake, cookie dough. There’s like 7 grams of fat in a piece of chocolate roughly half the size of my palm but #yolo #treatyoself.

6. iPhone needs to step up their emoji game. I need: a unicorn, a piece of cheese, and an avocado half to effectively relay my emotions about several important things in my life. As soon as possible. Thanks Apple.

7. The price of Anthropologie swimwear. I pinned this gorgeous one piece that I immediately needed in my life…until I saw the price and needed to wait at least one more paycheck. When I end up being super successful and childless I’m going to spend copious amounts of money on Anthro clothes and ridiculous art to display at my estate.

There’s a glimpse into my mind on a typical Wednesday.

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The Road Not Taken

Yesterday I took a break from being millenial trash and bought paper books. However, they were from Barnes & Noble, where I also purchased a Starbucks latte, so my capitalism/basic-ness is still at an all time high. Anyway, my favorite purchase was a tie between a collection of Robert Frost poems and a collection of American short stories. While contemplating what I want to be when I grow up with my best friend, I made a mental list of all the things I’ve wanted to be throughout my life but didn’t actually pursue. So, here’s a physical list.

1. High school English teacher. In case you couldn’t tell by the fact that I buy short story collections for fun, and write this blog, I LOVE ENGLISH. Inspiring the next generation of writers is no easy task, but I had a fabulous high school English teacher in my junior year AP class who did just that. She helped me realize that I was actually pretty good with words, and although my creative writing skills are literally negative on a scale of one to ten, my poetry analyses were closer to an 8. My favorite poems are Annabel Lee and The Road Not Taken (also featured in the Frost collection mentioned earlier, OBVIOUSLY, and the title of this post). I could go on about symbolism and literary devices for days, but I’ll spare you.

2. Nurse. My dad is still holding out hope that one day I will be an RN. Reason #1 I considered being a nurse- they are superheros. Working crazy hours, dealing with difficult patients and nasty family members, and keeping a smile on their face through everything. Reasons I could NEVER be a nurse – 1. my hands shake when I’m nervous. 2. I get really emotional when faced with sad situations, and don’t think I could find it in myself to be an uplifting or comforting presence for any kind of extended time period. Every nurse I’ve ever encountered just radiates the sense that they ADORE what they get to do for a living. Bottom line – I’m not cool enough to be a nurse.

3. Magazine Editor. Jenna Rinks of 13 Going on 30 inspired this one during that beautiful montage where she puts together her pitch to save the fate of the fictional Poise magazine. She basically makes collages and directs photo-shoots, which to 12-year-old me looked super fun and totally easy. This one did not work out for obvious reasons, however, I can make quite the scrapbook & have really nice penmanship – skills that are sure to take me places one day.

4. Food Stylist. This is code for “I still want to work for a magazine, but with food instead of fashion.” (It might also mean that I just want to be Instagram-famous for fabulous smoothie bowls & chia puddings.) Food stylists are under-appreciated artists who make chefs look even better, and can take home a real nice paycheck if they’re good.

5. Feminist Guru. I picked this title because I don’t actually know what I mean, other than I wish I majored in Gender Studies in college. I chose not to because I thought I wouldn’t be able to find a job. **Spoiler alert – there aren’t any jobs in nutrition either, so #chaseyourdreams~* The one Gender Studies class I was able to take required us to read Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men, which is a wonderful book that examines the socialization of young men in Western countries. It also has the best title I have ever seen, and I hope to one day come up with a piece of literature that creative and informative.

My current dream is Master of Public Health, working on nutrition-related issues with under-served populations. Current status – waiting to hear back from schools.


Confessions of a Basic Bitch

Being a Basic Bitch is the worst, but having Basic Bitch moments is okay…right? I mean we all have them, at least I hope it’s not just me. Try to refrain from judgment while I list the ten most Basic things I have ever done, in no particular order. Let’s go.

1. Changing from yoga pants to leggings before going out. Because black stretch pants that don’t flare at the bottom are perfect for the bar, but black stretch pants that do flare are more conducive to pretending you just left a spin class.

2. Going vegetarian for a week. For no reason other than going vegetarian for a week.

3. Having a Pitch Perfect Pandora station, in a non-ironic way, that I blast while driving anywhere to get fro-yo.

4. Seeing “chia seed pudding” as a recent search on Pinterest…which brings us to

5. A semi-full wedding board complete with dresses, rings, and DIY projects…and no boyfriend in sight.

6. Watching every episode of Breaking Bad during my list finals week of college.

7. Being so hungover that I couldn’t get out of bed until 6 pm, then harnessing just enough energy (and $5) to get in the car to for spicy chicken sandwich and fries from the Wendy’s drive through while still in pajamas.

8. Practicing calligraphy by filling a notebook with ~inspirational~ quotes. Many of which have been titles of my other posts.

9.  Eating kale.

and finally,

10. Drunkenly ordering chicken sandwiches with my best friend on Good Friday and then waiting until midnight to actually eat them. #priorities

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.

****Trigger warning – eating disorders.****

Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.

Think about that when you don’t eat all day because you plan on drinking your calories at night,

When you google how many calories are in an apple, and drink your coffee black (even though you hate it)

When your beautiful best friend asks if she looks fat in the outfit she was so excited about…before she stepped in front of the mirror,

When that selfie doesn’t get as many likes as you had hoped,

When you hear “fat”, and know it was chosen as the insult that would hurt you the most,

When you keep pushing at the gym even though you feel sick,

When you lie to the people who love you… “No thanks, I just ate.” “I’m not hungry”,

When someone makes a joke about you needing to have a cheeseburger,

When your hair starts to thin, or you always feel cold, or you realize your heart can stop beating at any moment,

When you accept that you need help,

When you think about who will suffer the same way if something doesn’t change soon.

It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Far too many lives are touched each moment by eating disorders, the most lethal of mental illnesses. They do not discriminate, and effect men and women of all cultural backgrounds. They are about gaining power and control in a life that seems too chaotic to handle. If you or someone you love is struggling with disordered eating, please talk to someone. Nothing will change until we talk, empathize with the suffering, support the recovering, and prevent the future cases.

Life is beautiful…and so are you.

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ helpline – 800.931.2237


50 Shades of…Shade

Okay, so every time I put on Pandora, try to watch a YouTube video, or walk past a TV, that awful, slow version of “Crazy in Love” starts playing and the 50 Shades of Grey promotion begins. This could be a cosmic sign to lessen my social media consumption, but I don’t think that’s the point.To be real, I haven’t read the books. However, I did read all of the Twilight Saga while in high school, and know that the 50 Shades books originated as fan-fiction in dedication to Stephanie Meyer. So, Mr. Grey is based on Edward Cullen, who literally has only two characteristics – 1. being hot and 2. being cray cray. I can’t even describe Bella, now Anastasia, because she has no personality other than needing to follow Edward around like a small child or a puppy. She does have brown hair though, just in case you were wondering. What I’m wondering, is why are so many people anxiously awaiting for this movie to be released on Valentine’s Day? Why do we, as a society, have the general consensus (as evidenced by massive book sales and movie advertisements), that it’s okay to show this kind of relationship as an acceptable one? Why do we have a weak female lead with no discernible sense of self, and a man with no respect for her safety or desires? Why do we STILL tell little girls that the little boy picking on them is probably expressing his crush on her? Why is emotional/physical/sexual abuse not terrifying and hard to watch?

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” Maybe this series of books or the release of this movie is helping us to spark a discussion. Talk about it on the internet, in class, or on the train where the ads are displayed. Talk about how abuse is not, and never will be, love. Talk about how sex needs to be consented to by both people participating, and that it can be stopped at any time when one of those people feels uncomfortable or unsafe. Talk about books with positive relationships, and characters that have more personality traits that can be listed using one hand. Talk to anyone who will listen.


Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created

Esther 4:14

Near the top of the list of the things I am most thankful for is that my parents sent me to Catholic school from kindergarten through 12th grade. That I learned about prayer, attended mass on weekends and Holy days, and taught first graders CCD to fulfill my service hours. I pray to St. Anthony when I lose something, and to St. Jude when things seem hopeless. I get hit by a wave of nostalgia when I see kids in plaid jumpers with little cross ties. Although I am much less devout now than when I was at the height of my Catholic school based faith, I never really stopped praying. That’s the great thing about religion. If you avoid all of the politics and just take the spiritual belief that God loves you and has a plan for you, you get this amazing sense of peace.

I was particularly inspired to write this post after binge watching a Lifetime special series over the weekend when I was sick and called out of work. The show, obviously, was “The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns.” Magical. It’s about this group of twenty-something girls who start discernment and ultimately decide if they want to join a convent. They got to do all of this wonderful work with people in their community, and it was crazy to watch these girls who are my age, in 2014 no less, visiting convents and seriously considering joining The Sisterhood.

In school we were always told to listen for our Calling, whether it be to the religious life, married life, or single life. Just to know, or rather to believe, that you were created with a purpose to do something that will forever impact the world is amazing and terrifying at the same time. Even if you stopped going to church, or confession, or saying your bedtime prayers, God is still there. And will be there forever, waiting to help you find the path meant for you. I’m pretty sure I won’t feel called to be a nun, but I do believe I’m being called to do something else. I know I’m supposed to write, and I know I’m supposed to find a job in which I can truly help and inspire people. I know I’m supposed to stop and reflect on how blessed I have been throughout my life. That I have a college education, a roof over my head, and food on my plate. That I should go outside more and appreciate the beauty that can be found wherever you look. That I should pray to say “thank you” more than to say “help me.” That one day I’ll encounter that moment where I feel like I have learned what I was born to do.


Given how much we agree life is a miracle, we sure do bitch about it a lot

Deciding to make the most of whatever situation you find yourself in is the key to happiness. Staying positive when you’re broke, tired of studying, and just want to go drown in some frozen yogurt is pretty much the only thing that will get you through the week. Plus the countdown on your phone & your never ending playlist of motivational music. So in the midst of holiday crowds, finals, and the end of the year, today’s post is going to be about my biggest pet peeves. We all need to vent if we want to remain relatively sane, so here we go…

1. When people say “Barnes and NobleS”. Girl, read the sign outside the bookstore. It CLEARLY says, in giant green lettering, that the name of the store is Barnes and Noble.

2. Tell me you don’t eat fruit because of the sugar. This one really makes my skin crawl. Even a starchy fruit like a banana is so much better for you than cakes or sweetened drinks. Fiber, vitamins, and a little sugar >>>> sugar, fat, and empty calories.

3. Chipped nail polish.

4. Not holding the door for the person behind you even though they’re only a few feet behind. If you do this to me and are within earshot by the time I enter the door I opened myself, you will definitely hear a loud “THANK YOU” for nothing, that will hopefully make you question your life choices.

5. The sound of grinding teeth. Kill me.

6. “Supposively.” Open a book & spare me a little secondhand embarrassment.

7. Being rude to wait staff or cashiers is basically a flashing sign that you’re a terrible person. Whatever your issue is, it’s probably not your server’s or cashier’s fault. Try reading your coupons, or posted signs, and not being nasty to the kid who’s probably just trying to make it through college so they never have to do their current job again.

8. #instagood, #instamood, #likeforfollows, etc. Not only do these hashtags not make any sense, but they take up twelve lines of space under the selfie that I don’t particularly care about already. #millennialstruggles

9.  The photo documentation of every month you have spent with your boyfriend. 3 months is not a milestone. You’re over the age of 12. If you have to prove your grand love with a monthly post, maybe you should take a break from filtering and captioning your #anniversarypic and go on a real date.

And finally…

10. Slow walkers. Able-bodied people who choose to walk at a glacial pace in the middle of the sidewalk/hallway/staircase so you can’t go around them…OMG THE WORST.

Merry Christmas and Good Luck on finals! Try not to snap at the next person who lets the door slam in your face or makes an annoying post on social media.


“Everything is an act when you’re pleasing everyone”

“Feminism” is becoming less and less taboo every day. Sexual assault on college campuses is finally being addressed in mainstream media and people are learning to stop blaming the victim, or question what they were wearing or drinking. “Real beauty” campaigns are encouraging young women and other companies to embrace different body shapes, skin tones, and lifestyles. Women have careers and families.

So in this millennial age, where everything is documented on cell phones and social media, why are nude photographs of women still so shattering to their image? Leaked photos find their way on to the Internet from mistrusted ex-boyfriends and hacked iCloud accounts and become the subject of Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and and Instagram posts. Why is the body still viewed as scandalous or wrong in a time when women seem to be able to do anything?

I’m a big believer in the saying that if you’re pleasing everyone, you’re doing something wrong, but I’m also a big believer in personal responsibility. Love yourself, and love your body. If you take a picture you don’t want the whole world to see, don’t take it. It’s incredibly immoral, and illegal, to steal someone’s photos and distribute them against that person’s will. Of course, the victim of the situation is not to blame for simply taking a picture, and the body should not be regarded as “shameful” by anybody. Unfortunately, in 2014, privacy is pretty much a thing of the past, so be careful of what you send to people or store on your phone or computer. Nothing is truly protected.

At this point changing the way that women who take these pictures are viewed is equally important to the way that the person who stole them is viewed. The thief should be regarded as a criminal, just as the victim should be viewed as that – a victim of a sexually based crime. No more or less a role model, actor, or singer than before the supposed scandal found its way to the mainstream and social media outlets. A women who has now had her reputation forever changed, and unfortunately, her body scrutinized by people she never intended to show.

Be proud of who you are. And absolutely cause a little controversy – because if people are talking about you, you’re probably doing something right.