A Simple Saturday Morning

So some days the weight of frustration is like an elephant sitting on my chest, and it’s been holding me down for so many hours that even when I finally move out from under the crushing impact, it’s still hard to catch my breath. It takes a little longer to let the bird out of the cage, to feel my wings spread and the breeze wash over me again. But when it does, I feel a wave of gratitude. It’s easy to neglect the simplicity of carefree breaths sometimes, when your brain doesn’t feel like it short circuited and you’re left with all the frayed wires to make sense of the mess. On this simple Saturday, I’m thankful for exactly that.

Really what’s better than a group of people sitting around a table in the evening, with good food, good drinks, and plenty of laughter? And my days have been full of that lately. Whether it’s in my kitchen, or my parents’ kitchen, or a restaurant. There are few things I love more than laughter, (and music.)

This morning I went for a little run. It’s overcast, the sky is full of gray clouds, but the air isn’t too heavy yet. (For a Saturday morning post sun-rise in July in North Florida.) It’s nice to have those moments again, where my own time is carved out from the world, this little piece of solitude. It used to be about time, and distance but not lately. Lately it’s just about enjoying the whole activity, getting to do this thing that’s my instant ticket to clarity – no matter how short lived.

Maybe today will see some beach time. Maybe it’ll see some crafting. Who knows? But I hope your Saturdays are sweet, and simple and your hearts are full of carefree easiness of summer.

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Laughing in the Dark

Sometimes, when I’m the only one out in the neighborhood on a Tuesday night, walking up the driveway in the dark I find myself laughing. That’s a different kind of laughter though, the softer one that happens when you’re laughing at yourself. Usually because my roommate or I forgot to take the trash to the curb the previous week, and now the bin weighs two of me, and it takes all my effort to drag it to the street. I always think what a humorous sight it’d be to see, but it’s always just me. This laughter was different, I couldn’t stop it from bubbling up and roaring out. The volume drowned out the sound of the plastic wheels scraping the cracks in the cement. I hadn’t laughed so hard, in so long. The kind where if I wasn’t gripping the handle of the trash bin with one hand, and holding my phone in the other, I’d be clutching my stomach and doubled over trying to catch my breath. (Which is what happened anyways when I made it to the street side.) I sucked in air in a quick moment, as I looked up at the stars, and felt the stillness of the night and wondered if any of the neighbors were going to take a peak out their front doors, or through the curtains from the street facing windows of their houses to see what all the commotion was about. That might be a tad bit embarrassing, but not enough to keep me quiet because those uncontrollable laughs that spill out like that, they don’t happen everyday and it’s not worth squelching them.

Talking on the phone is a weird thing. It’s funny because what used to seem such a simple, obvious form of communication has turned into something else when we can just type words on the screens of our phones, or shoot someone a Facebook message. All these other ways of “communicating,” that use words, but they’re different. You don’t hear the way the octave of someone’s voice rises when they get excited, or the quiet contemplative hmm as they carefully choose words to describe this opinion they’re conveying. You don’t hear when you’ve made someone laugh those deep belly laughs, or when they’re surprised at your understanding of some off the wall thought you blurt out. It’s different when someone whispers some meaningful phrase and the words travel to your ears, instead of seeing them in an instantaneous flash on a back-lit bright white grainy page. Sometimes I get lost in the weird black hole of time spent on the internet, but I’d much rather loose track of time swapping stories, and learning a person out loud.

Friday Favorites

Hello, there! Here’s yet another edition of my Friday Favorites. Let’s say it all together now, “TGIF!” That’s for sure. I am so looking forward to spending sometime with the family at the beach this weekend. (And I’m a nerd and look forward to the time jamming out in the car ride on the way there. Maybe getting some coffee because what beats a Friday afternoon caffeine high? OK, Friday Happy Hours in the sunshine are pretty fabulous as well.) Anyways, you’re probably wondering what I’ve got for you today?

All Tide Up will be getting new shirts (TANKS! just in time for summer) in the store this weekend. Get excited because I know, I am! Be sure to check it out, and if you haven’t already, give ’em a follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There are giveaways and free shipping deals you wouldn’t wanna miss out on!

I’m not even gonna lie here, I might be pulling for some contestants that are not on Adam’s team. (Though I did love Caroline and was sad to see her go – she better get a record deal with someone else!) But oh, wow did I love this weeks performance of The Cure’s “Lovesong” by Adam Levine and his team on The Voice.

This Buzzfeed article “21 Kids Who Sold Out Their Parents” had me LOLing at the office. Who doesn’t love kid art? And if you need a laugh you definitely need to skim over this one.


My heart may have been breaking a little last night as we had to say goodbye to The Office but oh my goodness, talk about a great two hours of television. Before they aired the finale there was this awesome interview session and montage collection called The Office Retrospective. If you missed last night, and even if you haven’t been up to date in the current season (or since Michael Scott left) I recommend you watch it anyway. From the get go, (which this is how it works for this show with me anyway) I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. Later there were tears rolling down. Some from that uncontrollable hyena laughter and from some the tugging on my heart strings. The dynamics on this show have always been incredible. They casted some brilliant actors who portray these characters like they were made to, and the writing is just top notch. Plus, I didn’t know John Krasinski was working as a waiter when he auditioned for the role of Jim Halpert (even though he’d been encouraged to go for Dwight!) that “THE KISS” was his first on-screen, or that Jenna Fischer was a temp in real life. Hello. Fabulous news guy. If that ain’t a ray of sunshine and light sending hope into your dreams, then what is? There are some pretty awesome moments in the finale, and the speeches at the end?! All incredible and quotable, and *sigh.* Just go watch it, ok? Endings may suck, but wow what a great run! And to know that the cast and crew are as close as they appear, in real life? Just wonderful. I love knowing projects like this exist out there, people love work that much out there.

OK, so there’s my shout outs to a portion of the awesomeness of this week. Be sure to check those out! Annnnd as we head into the weekend, have a safe, happy, wonderful one!

Probably Why I Feel Tired

It doesn’t seem to matter what phase of life we’re in, middle school, high school, college, post-college – things don’t change that much. (I would say people are the same, but I know deep down we’re really not or that would be so boring!) By this I mean, I don’t think it matters how simple something starts off as –  people always seem to be looking for more. If something begins on a kind of platonic level, I always find that the simplistic, basic, normal level of things doesn’t seem to last long. Maybe I give off some kind of vibe I am unaware of, but this is has happened my whole life. (Until you know you meet a person that you want to have a non-platonic relationship with, and they don’t see it the same way. So it goes, right?) But really. I mean, why can’t a straight guy and a straight girl just be friends without some kind of underlying expectation? I for one, have always operated using The Butterfly Test. Sure I’ll hang out with someone with an open mind, but if I don’t feel it, if it’s not there it’s the truth when I say I’m not going to miraculously develop feelings for you later.

Maybe I need to just start posting Craig’s List Missed Connection ads. Would it be totally creepy to write something like “Hey! Bearded guy running down Thomasville Road on Tuesday around 630pm in front of the bike shop. I liked your pace, wanna run sometime?” Yeahhh, and that’s probably how you meet the serial killers…

I’m driving home from work, rambling to the ever-faithful listener, my mom about how maybe I just don’t like anyone? (Not like as a human being, but in a romantic context.) Then I see someone running down the street and blurt out how they’re pretty cute. And of course, this is better than just some stranger you see in a parking lot somewhere because I can already deduct that we have running in common. Then about .7 seconds later I see my ex-boyfriend pulling out of a local park. Surprise! That seems very typical of life, and the weirdness of the way things happen.

All of my dreams this week seemed to revolve around weddings in one way or another, which is completely strange. Sure I have two to attend coming up (one at the end of May, one at the end of June,) but really? Why so on the brain? Earlier in the week I dreamed that I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding for the second time. I didn’t know the groom. It was a chaotic ordeal. I felt really uneasy about the whole thing. Then I was talking to a friend about her own wedding in the dream, that I was in, which didn’t happen in real life. (You know like your subconscious creates fake memories?) Then last night I dreamt that I was wandering around in my compression socks (they’re obnoxiously hot pink and bright) and I wasn’t even running which was so weird, and I was apparently looking for a wedding date? I got set-up with one of my male friends who is gay, at the same time as I got set-up with a stranger. It was just, weird. Completely weird. I woke up kind of disoriented.

It all makes it sound like I really have relationships on my mind, but honestly I don’t. You know what I’ve been thinking about lately? Friendship. I have some incredible friends in my life, but they are scattered everywhere. Literally. So, I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like. (I’m working on this because money is just money, and who ever knows how much time they have? And I don’t want to be sitting here saying “I wish we could’ve hung out just one more time.” Though don’t we always wish that when the inevitable happens?) But really time goes by and as we get older some of my friends are settling down into a different life. Getting married, having babies, real jobs that mean you can’t just take off days and days of work for some exotic spontaneous trip…And it makes me ache a little because although in some people’s worlds it doesn’t seem to work like this, in mine it has – it feels like as these life changes happen, new boundaries are drawn, and I feel confined to small little boxes in each relationship. And I get it. There’s an appropriateness to things, certain parts of life have to change because we aren’t who we used to be when these changes come. And most of my friendships have always had this weird dynamic, a certain energy that buzzes in the air, that’s heavy with an intimacy not of the physical type, but in the connection – the depth of the heart. And I know these can’t carry on when others are added to the equation.

But lately, I just miss what it’s like to pile in a car and drive around, adventuring. I miss cramming on a couch having movie nights, (or Olympic nights, or Degrassi nights haha.) I miss sprawling across beds staring at the ceiling, talking about life. The future a fuzzy cloud of uncertainty in front of us, imagining the possibility. I miss sitting on kitchen floors with my feet tucked under me, giggling at everything and nothing. Feeling like in that moment, I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I miss going on walks in the still of the night, only the light of the stars shining down, and the things that only go spoken in the safety of the dark. I miss making pancakes at random times of the day. I miss the way that music sounds different when you’re listening to it with someone else, as it fills the space between you in a room.

There are certain people who just know me like no one else. The silence is comfortable. The laughs are the deep kind that make your stomach hurt. Lately those relationships just feel far away, and like they’re slipping through my fingers. I know the tone changed here, but the thing is I’m not really looking for what people probably think I am. It’s not about boyfriends or romance. It’s that sense of companionship, a partner, sharing experiences with people who get it. This is the stuff I’m carrying around all day. It makes me smile because I’d have to know the happiness of such moments, to miss them but it gives me heavy boots to feel the weight of it, too.

Wednesday Words

(This photo has nothing to do with the post, except that it’s from the last time I was at the beach – a windy, stormy, cloudy day. I think it’s fitting for a reflective post.)

Yesterday, I was filing some old jobs in the storage room and a thought came to mind that I immediately figured must have been from a dream the night before. (Though I should have recognized from its pleasant nature, that it was real life. None of my dreams have been very sweet lately.) It was just a glimpse of a memory, sitting next to someone on a front porch. Dusk settling into the evening, casting shadows on the street in front of us. Knees brushing, sitting side by side. A cold bottle of beer in my hand. Laughter, the deep kind, that slowed down as the words started to flow in hushed tones, as the conversation turned more serious. Not serious in a boring way, just serious in that way where after hours of talking you know you’re sharing things in a bit more thoughtful way. The words are still flowing, but both sides of the conversation are listening deeper. It’s the way we know we’re revealing a layer of ourselves. My heart swelled when I realized it wasn’t a dream, but rather a sweet moment that occurred a month or so ago which I’d tucked away somewhere in the back of my mind. It wasn’t infatuation that made me appreciate that moment, but I was happy to be reminded that these special connections are still occurring in my life no matter how few and far between. Times like that are my favorite. If every weekend was full of quality encounters like that, I would be extremely content.

Throwback Thursday: A Few Family Shots from an Old DC Trip

These were taken a few years ago, but it feels a lot longer than that! i was looking through my facebook albums and feeling a little nostalgic for a dc visit so i figured i’d share a few photos from a family trip my junior year of college. the album titles crack me up, and i only remember some of the references. (“We need nicholas cage for this” – pretty sure that was a quote from a museum day. “you have to be willing to get happy about nothing” – andy warhol. “kind of like a reflecting puddle” because the pool was basically dry. “girl you look just like britney spears, are you britney spears?” what a passerby exclaimed to me. “got so excited about the dinosaurs – i got hiccups. true life event at the museum of natural history.) it was a good family time full of museum hopping, yummy food, basketball, seeing old friends, shopping and just enjoying each other’s company. one night we hung out at the mall for a few hours, just taking photos and laughing. now those are some good memories!
We had just discovered tweeting. This is a sad technology picture.
My best friend!

basketball game!
E with this “free Jack” (24) sign. hahaha!

a little dry…
TREX!
I don’t have any answers for why I’m standing over there like a weirdo…
so random and awesome!

I see the moon and the moon sees me!

Throwback Thursday #12: MySpace What

If any of you are anything like me and get sucked into marathons of TV shows that you’ve already seen before, than you’re probably aware of MTV replaying The Hills on “Retro MTV.” (The fact that enough years have supposedly passed since I was in high school, that shows that aired regularly then can be considered “retro” is bizarre to me, btw.) Nonetheless, like I’ve explained with the random TLC shows I get sucked into, I’ve found myself watching episode after episode of The Hills, again. In my defense, a lot of the time it’s on for some background noise while I’m cooking in the kitchen. Otherwise the house is just too creepy quiet. Also, is it just me or are LC’s story lines relatable no matter when you watch them? And I wish I’d paid closer attention  the first time I’d watched, and remembered some completely awful character traits *cough*Spencer*cough* (or JB even,) and committed them to memory to complete avoid people who displayed any of them later in life. Alas, I didn’t and now in retrospect I can see these trends of behaviors in people I spent time with and I just think to myself…what exactly was I thinking?! See, I could’ve learned a lesson! But you know, like Audrina says somethings we have to learn for ourselves, so it might not have been that helpful at the time anyway.

Ok, longest tangent ever to get to the point that in season one, when Spencer and Brody are actually checking their MySpace accounts and bragging about friend requests, I got the urge to check out my own dated profile. I haven’t been on there in forever, and here are some of the photos I dug up (some of these weren’t even taken on a digital camera…):

JD and I, I think we were sixteen? Hanging out at Lauralyn’s house. Probably making s’mores on the chiminea.

My hermana Kirsten and I at the Jimmy Eat World concert at House of Blues, meeting Tom! (Either 10th or 11th grade for me, I think January of 10th.)

Oh man, this pic is old. I think I was sixteen at the time (because I used my video camera I’d gotten for my birthday to take the still photo) on the train in England. Even older flashback? This was my LJ icon for forevvver.

With Ali, Kir’s roommate at Stetson. I’d never gotten ready to “go out” anywhere. Between the two of them they had about nine thousand and seventeen MAC eyeshadows, and they did my make up for the night.

With JD August of senior year, during the week we did AIM club activities, getting the incoming freshman ready to start school. I remember how several people commented on this photo thinking I looked like Lo (Bosworth) at the time. I don’t really see it.

My awesome pen pal Katherine made me that shirt! This was on the trampoline at my cousin’s house in Tallahassee, with my brother one football weekend.

With Theresa and Sunni at a bonfire at JD’s house.

Hanging out with Nate the summer of my senior year.

Another photo from Stetson, lounging on the floor with Asha in the dorms the weekend of a Jack’s Mannequin concert.

Oh man, we were such dorks. I remember this night, Luke Matt and I were hanging out watching a Beatles special on CNN (seriously.)

This photo is so random. It’s at my work (now,) where we tailgated when I was in high school. This was the weekend of the UF/FSU game. I don’t know if we were playing hide and seek or what.

With Kirsten and Parker, dress-up random photo shoot in my room after we were finally freeee from the AP English test!

With Lauren on the last day of school, my senior year her freshman year of high school.

My little bro and I one of the last weekends before I left for college.

Caption reads “P4L” which means pirates for life. Charlie, Kyle, me, Brad.

“What’s a friend? A single soul dwelling in ten bodies.” (Asha’s caption for this photo.) What’s better than a pile of friends?

Girls at the bowling alley. Classy.

Wedding table at Erin & Jon’s wedding!

The height difference is outta control.

Ok, here’s the thing – other than these random random photos with friends, there’s something else myspace is full of. (It appears the kids on Instagram are calling them “selfies” these days.) Photos of yourself, taken at totally unnatural angles, and lighting. So vain and ridiculous, but not unusual at all at the time. Sometimes your arm is stuck in the shot. A lot of times they’re zoomed in. It’s a wonder we remember where and when they were taken in the first place.

I think this was taken on the beach in Destin one night when my family was on vacation. This is such a “myspace” pic. Ugh. (Also, the captions on almost all of my photos are song lyrics. These were from Spoon “And we believe in the sum of ourselves. That’s the way we get by.”

I loved that tiedye shirt. And the caption to this was “Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer.” (from Boys Like Girls “Thunder” song.)

And The Decemberists “If you don’t love me, let me go.”

Or a My So Called Life quote: “Like your life just figured out how to get good. Like, that second.” Ohh, Angela Chase.

Myspace was the perfect spot for vain pictures of your new haircut.

Or quoting The OC while wearing a Jack’s Mannequin shirt. “In order for two halves to be whole, each half must be whole on its own.”

My albums were frequently spammed with playground photos. (And captions I probably felt so connected to at the time, like “You look like the songs that I’ve heard my whole life, coming true.”)

Or ones where you’re actually doing something (like I caught that fish with just that line at Cooter Pond that day!) But also, I’m pretty sure this is the day I started crying on the dock about prom. Sum up high school much?

What happens in college when you go social costume shopping at WalMart with your best friend.

My Blow Pop shirt! And another favorite song lyric “Not even chapped lips will stop me from kissing your sunburned cheeks.”

“Love just leaves you bruised” and actually managed curls, I probably took this before walking outside at all that day.

“You grew up and you sparkled, why don’t you care?” (Some favorite SoCo lyrics from “Walking By”) in one of my favorite formal dresses, ever. Oh you know just having a photo shoot in my Converse shoes in my living room. (Everything and nothing is normal about this.)

Shake my head…black and white, angles, sunglasses inside. Typical.

Sweet Duke, and I.