Ride the Wave

So, I’m sitting in the computer lab of my apartment complex typing this because I haven’t had internet for five days. (If I did, I’d hope that I’d have been back on the bandwagon of making regular posts.) Conveniently enough the computer lab is right next to the gym, so that all worked out. And I just happened to make a new friend. Well, anytime I have a connecting conversation with a stranger I tend to use the phrase “made a new friend.” But either way, positivity spread. It’s kind of rejuvenating sitting at a desk space being productive, though. And I brought goldfish, which probably the weird orb security camera above me disapproves of, but that just means Century Link should go ahead and fix my internet!

Today has been a day of days. This week marks a little more than a year since I’ve worked at my current job, which is crazy if you think about the past year. So much has changed, so much has happened in such a short span of time. How have all these months been so filled with friends and family and adventure? New experiences, repeats of favorite old experiences, memories, losses, growth. Change is inevitable, and most of the time it’s out of our control. Lately I’ve been reminding myself that because so many things are beyond my grasp of control. So the things that I can affect I just have to be very intentional about. In the meantime, I’m trying to remember to flow with the wave of life right now.

(Sunset on the way back from Mexico Beach last week.)

In other news my days have been filled with parks, happy hours, good phone conversations, family time, friend time, sunsets of cotton candy colored skies, walks and walks, puppies. Lots of puppy play times! Today a friend a few stores over brought over surprise egg rolls and fortune cookies. Last night I went and saw “Boyhood” and went to sushi with two of my cousins. Saturday my brother and I fiiiinally got to have a sibling dinner at Burrito Border, which hadn’t happened in quite sometime. While I was doing my cool down on the bike at the gym, Shelby and I reminisced over my time as house manager and VP in our sorority house. (And how somehow that turned into me being the person in charge of the internet, even after I graduated?) It’s funny to look back on all of those times now, and impossible not to laugh at the absurdity of being awoken in the middle of the night because someone wanted me to kill a bug in their room, or the buffet was leaking downstairs, or a girl locked herself out of her room and wanted me to call a locksmith. I’d like to think all these crazy circumstances were prep for something in this life, and I think they very well were.

(Meet Chief, one of my favorite puppies on the planet.)

Expect the unexpected. Life is full of surprises. Sometimes, beautiful ones. 

(Like these flowers waiting on my doorstep two weeks ago.)

 

Life’s Little Surprises

You know how sometimes life just makes you tired, and then you start not wanting to do things after work or make plans or whatever just because you’re so sleepy all the time? (No? Just me?) I’m someone who completely enjoys my time of decompressing, whether that means reading or writing, watching Netflix, laying on the floor listening to music, practicing guitar (not exactly relaxing, yet) cooking…whatever it is, I just enjoy being still and alone and not having anyone try and rush me around. That’s great, when it’s needed…like Sunday and Monday this week were for me. I ran tons of errands, took care of my little check list of things I wanted to get done before the semester starts and things are crazy at the store again.

My point in all of this is the flipside to that. All the things I said to say yes to? Even when you’re starting to get tired. I’m the kind of person who thrives off the momentum of all that activity. Until I hit a brick wall of exhaustion. But then I just need a little recharge, and it’s time to go again.

Last week I went to Food Truck Thursday out at Lake Ella with my friend Jamie. We hadn’t seen each other since the beginning of summer, so there was so much to catch up on. We decided to forgo real food, and skipped right to dessert with Big Easy Sno Cones. It was a nice evening because we sat on the front porch and watched the sunset across the street, and had time to just talk and talk. Which is basically my favorite thing to do. On my way to meet her though, I ran into another friend on the sidewalk who I’d known for years for but we never really hang out. We’d mentioned it a couple times at the beginning of summer, but never really made it a point to make plans. We decided to put an end to that last week, so yesterday we met up at one of my favorite little bars in Tallahassee, (Fermentation Lounge that’s over in the All Saints District.) Oh my goodness. Such a good time. We were there for a few hours just talking and talking, swapping life stories, and similarities, and a shared appreciation for our college friends, and adventure and travel and lots of laughter mixed in.

Even though my weeks lately have been packed with activity, it just reminded me of the little surprises life can through in throughout the days. If I hadn’t made my initial food truck plan with Jamie, I wouldn’t have run into my other friend and probably wouldn’t have been so intentional about making plans for us to hang out.

It just reminded me that as the easiness of summer starts to fade away in a couple weeks that I need to remember all these great evenings, and mornings, and mid-days, I’ve had these past few months. The time carved out from the days, even when the other compartments of life seem to drain the energy, quality time with people is so refreshing and rejuvenating in itself.

So, there you have it. That’s my encouragement for now. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Don’t spend too much time psyching yourself up to do things, just go do them. Find new friends. Invest in the relationships that click in life. And just enjoy yourself and make the most of the time you have, whatever that may be.

3-2-1…SMILE!

Last weekend Kaylynn came to visit me in Tallahassee. It was her first trip back since graduation! (Far too long if you ask me.) It was basically as epic as we could’ve imagined. Full of showing her what’s new, visits to some old haunts, good people, good food, and lots of laughs and love.

One of my bucket list items for the weekend was to check out the photo booth in the new Urban Outfitters, (which oddly enough is in the exact spot I used to work in.) Of course she was down. I have a mild obsession with photo booths. (Who am I kidding? None of my obsessions are mild. But I digress…) So, after showing her the fabulous hidden gem that’s Woodchuck’s breakfast, and a mini family photo shoot at the sorority house we ventured over to UO at College Town. Because technology is awesome they had this nifty little video from the whole shenanigans I thought I’d share with y’all:

Words for Thought

(Sunset over Doak Campbell taken Monday night – too beautiful to capture correctly.)

I stumbled across this quote on Tumblr this morning, and it so eloquently words thoughts I’ve tried to express for years. Word to the wise: don’t allow toxic people to consume you and the happiness in your life. It’s ok to let go.

“Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful — you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.”

Daniell Koepke

Throwback: The Weekend my Peter Pan Heart Turned a Year Older

I’ve been slacking on the updates, I know so I thought I’d do a little throwback to my birthday weekend. For the first time in a long, long time my birthday didn’t fall on the same weekend as Thanksgiving so I decided to make the most of it and roadtrip to Athens! The Cherry Blow Dry bar in Tallahassee was having a grand opening special, so that Friday I decided to get my first blow out. OhMyGoodness all the people who rave about them on Twitter aren’t lying. It’s fabulous to feel like…put together for a snippet of time.

The drive to Georgia that afternoon was just what I needed. There’s something healing about those country roads, even if you’re not broken.

When I arrived, Kaylynn and went to get dinner at Taco Stand. It’s this little mexican restaurant that’s super random, but really delicious. And it worked well for our pre-going out meal the last time I’d been in town. (Under much better circumstances this time, not in a state of turmoil over pending transitions in my life – though there were still plenty of transitions to come.) Afterwards we went next door and hung out with her neighbor Brady and his younger brother Drew. We jammed out to some Billy Joel (I’m not even kidding – how reminiscent of sophomore year of college is that?!) and some country music while we played Cards Against Humanity (my first time!) Later on we went downtown, which just turned into an epic evening, even if it started raining on us. We bar hopped, we celebrated one of their friends finding out he was having a baby, and of course birthday celebrating ensued. We rode UGA’s version of Night Nole, and there was a group celebrating a guy’s birthday and the bus broke out in song and also football chants. I love spirit like that. We laughed, and drank, and ran around town talking and dancing. It was one of those nights where we stayed up til 5am. When we got home there was a random kid’s debit card with us? Who the heck knows. The next morning started off kind of rough when I poured Kaylynn’s chemical solution in my eye and freaked out I might go blind. But it’s nothing a little Bojangle’s breakfast couldn’t remedy. We took the dogs out to play in the parking lot, and the poor neighbor’s dog accidentally knocked it’s tooth out on the curb! See what I mean about the types of ridiculousness that automatically ensue?  Later on we tailgated, and made delicious mixed coffee drinks and mingled and played corn hole. Then we borrowed the neighbor’s student ID, and I went to my first UGA football game. That was a totally fun experience. Then we went downtown and stayed up late into the night again.

It was a weekend that was full of my favorite things. I love meeting new people, but feeling instantly connected – like you’ve known each other forever. I love walking in groups on city sidewalks, and I love laughing til my stomach hurts. I love great conversation, the kind where you can say “oh my gosh! You too?!” rambling on about vinyl, film, running, and all aspects of life. These are the kind of times that make me feel totally alive. It’s the most simple, purest way to inject love into life. It was one of the most fun birthdays I’ve ever had.

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This was my hair post blow-out. Thanks, Cherry Dry Bar!

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Love those Georgia roads.

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Classic: The Taco Stand.

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The Blue Moon sampler pack my dad gave me!

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Story of our lives. (Big/Little pic.)

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This is Drew! Pretty sure I took this when we went back to Sand Bar after we temporarily lost the group. (Brady went to get pizza by himself!)

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It was a Snapchat filled weekend.

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Bojangles!

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Beautiful fall foilage.

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Perfection: getting to hangout with my little AND my grandlittle in the same day. Happy heart.

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Family line photo.

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Bob – love this kid!

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Kay got me a cookie cake!

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Tailgate randomness with the dogs.

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Brady and I at the game.

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Me, Kay, and Drew at the game.

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Another Snapchat.

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Group photo!

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Snapchat snapchat snapchat.

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Kaylynn showed me the magic of a curling wand.

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And to close it out, the gorgeous sunset on my drive back to Florida.

It turns out, this year my birthday happens to be the week before Thanksgiving once again! We’ll just have to wait and see what kind of shenanigans we can get into then, but this was a fabulous start to kick off 26!

So, This Is the New Year.

Like I said: it all works out. It’s mid-January, and here I sit on the other side of town from where I typed out that last entry. There was a very tear-filled goodbye, a few roadtrips, and lots of boxes in-between and now for the first time in my life I’m living in my very own little apartment. All by my self. It’s kind of strange, after all these years, but it’s also completely liberating. And right now I’m using it to my advantage. I’m delving into the little niches of my brain where my writing thoughts wait, and I’m digging into the little pockets with brainstorming ideas and I’m trying not to let the flame of current creativity blow out. My friend Kylan was right when he told me you truly get to know yourself when you live alone. I thought I knew myself pretty well, but apparently there’s more to know. That’s exciting, in a way – at least I’m not bored yet. The past year is going to be hard to top, but I’m looking forward to what 2014 has in store. There are adventures to be had, friends to be made, curiosity to be followed, spectacular memories to create.

Ohh oh we’re halfway there…

Well, look at that? How many times have I sat in a room, somewhere in this state thinking about the future? I mean, there’s only so much thinking you can do. Only so much preparation. At some point, it just comes. The future arrives and you’re in it. Right in the middle of it, whether you’re ready for it or not. So, I’m just going to remember how all those other times I didn’t really have much of an idea what was ahead of me then either. The summer when I got that envelope in the mail in Inverness, telling me about who my roommate would be in the all girls dorm at FSU. Freshman year trying to figure out housing for the next year, thinking maybe I’d live in New Hall with my big sister? And then getting a spot in the sorority house and matched with a girl who I wasn’t very close with at the time. Look where that brought me? Two years of an awesome roommate, a lifelong sister and friend. Summer after sophomore year having one of the most amazing experiences of my life studying abroad in London. Living in a “flat” with one of the most amazing girls I know, who would have known then that little lady would be the one to inspire me to run years later? Junior year, after a trying time, and trying to figure out an internship for summer and all kinds of other weird stuff you try to pretend you’re planning going into senior year of college – and then look! I wound up in the senior annex living with another sister would become one of my greatest friends. That whole house brought me all these friendships I might not have stumbled upon otherwise. Friendships that would last years later. A lifetime later. And then when I left Tallahassee and came back, there Camille was again to offer me a place to stay. Then I found Alex and who’d have thought answering a random Craigslist ad would bring me to the position that it did? Another “lifer” friend, an amazing housemate, and it’s been a good run. I don’t know what’s next. I have no idea. But one way or another it’ll work out, and probably, most likely, I think I’d even bet on it that whatever’s next…it’ll be more amazing than the slightly in the back of my head kind of panicky me could imagine. I just have to get there. And I will. Because pretty soon there won’t be a choice, it’ll just…be. But until then! Onwards and upwards right?