There is an answer, I haven’t found it / But I will keep dancing til I do

I’m nine days into my junior year of college and I’ve already had a significant existential crisis. Like an earth-shattering, life-altering set of panic attacks played out in the circular plot of grass outside my dorm that looks like my town’s new high school and in the dirty lilac sheets of my uncomfortable twin bed. Ironically, two years ago on September 5th, 2016 I had just returned from my significant existential crisis that manifested itself in a life-changing last minute solo trip to Washington, D.C. I wish I was still naive enough to spend all my money to go to a random city alone to meet random girls at a random college. It was kind of cute.

Freshman year one of my first ever classes was Spanish 002. It was in a beautiful old building at the edge of campus around eleven o’clock in the morning. Before I would walk up the winding staircase, past intricate stained glass windows and old carpets and peeling ceilings, I would eat a Sodexo grilled cheese while reading emails. My keyboard was always stained with grease and my face was coated in sweat from the naturally hot basement. I would take out my gigantic Lilly Pulitzer planner and do homework half-heartedly, alone, googling random things that came to mind and checking blogs. I would always sit somewhere where no one could see my computer screen; I was embarrassed to sit there for an hour, unfocused and scrambling to do an easy one-page worksheet, and have someone watch me and judge me for that.

It’s crazy to think that it was just two years ago. And that I could handle being four hours away from my home. I could handle running out of money, getting rejected by guys that thought I was clumsy and weird, wearing dressy clothing for no reason and making an ass out of myself, not doing my homework rarely ever, missing my 8:30 a.m. class at least twice a week, and walking everywhere in oppressive heat and not crying about it. I for sure cried about other things, but how am I a junior and crying about oppressive heat? To my mother? Who has had breast cancer and doesn’t give a fuck? Why am I suddenly so weak?

If I replaced my closet with dresses right now I would never go to class. If I drained my bank account I would drop out of school. If I got rejected by a guy I would go into a deep spiraling depression. When did this shift? Why was I doing so much better as a freshman than I could ever do as a junior?

I used to think it would get better for me. There was a senior girl in my Spanish 002 class that didn’t wear leggings and sweatshirts. She wore cool scarves, skinny jeans, motorcycle jackets, and ankle boots. She wore long t-shirts, ripped boyfriend jeans, Adidas sneakers, and dangly earrings. She traveled the world and was from New Jersey and transferred her sophomore year from the University of Maryland. And she talked to me.

Me. The girl wearing an orange dress and Jack Rogers. The one with a crush on a tall douchey guy in my class that went to the douchiest of prep schools in the DMV area. The one who forgot homework yet color coded her planner and folders, the one who missed her classes 24/7 but still put on a full face of makeup to go to ten minutes worth of a Chemistry lecture. Yes, me.

She asked me what “leer” meant. My first thought was, okay, this girl can’t be serious. But she was! She didn’t know. She hadn’t taken Spanish in five years, she said. She was a senior. Class of 2017. On her way out. Something I couldn’t even picture for myself.

Her name was Molly, and shortly after we paired up on a group project. She picked me up in her car (!) from outside my dorm where everyone saw us (!) to go to her APARTMENT (!) and I didn’t even ask! She let me into her HOUSE. She had steel cut oats in glass jars, beautiful art prints lining the walls, mismatched furniture and three extremely unique roommates with bikes and lives and great Spotify playlists and futures. After we did the project, I cried. I cried really hard in my room, and I didn’t know why. All I did was sit in the corner of her room in a really soft chair and conjugated verbs. But I cried. Going over Molly’s house showed me that maybe someday I could live in an apartment with white walls and mismatching kitchen appliances and steel oats in a glass jar with interesting people that were my friends. It showed me that it is not like this forever, whatever “it” is, and whatever “this” means. You have to move out, and you have to meet people, and you have to make oatmeal.

In Burlington I would walk down the street, the streets full of actual people with lives outside of universities, lives with children and taxes and family vacations and city recycling. I almost forgot that someday I would be one of those people, too. I have a lot of trouble remembering that now, and especially lately. I can’t imagine what life is like outside of college because it’s not staring me in the face. There is no residential house I can stare at within 45 minutes walking distance that does not have a student living in it. I can’t buy steel oats in bulk because making oatmeal in the microwave is really annoying. My plants are dying because I don’t have natural light for them to soak up. My soul is dying because I can’t drive anywhere right now and put on Dance For You by the Dirty Projectors and cry into the open air just because I can, and just because I feel like it, and just because I could get away.

Even though I felt like I had to get away from Vermont, I had the opportunity to get away in Vermont. I could pretend to be someone who just lives there. I didn’t have to have an identity. I could sit in front of Uncommon Grounds and people watch with the weird comfort of knowing that some of the people I saw I would never see again. But here, everyone is everyone I will see again, even if I don’t know it, and it’s terrifying.

Maybe I’m one of those people who will always think the grass is greener. Maybe I can’t ever make decisions for myself that will turn out right. But finally, when I talk about my freshman year I can say something positive. I have never felt more comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. I was making mistakes left and right but still listened to those songs that made street lights shine brighter and my life a whirlwind of a movie. Here I am afraid to make mistakes, terrified to the point of never wanting to try anything new again. I hope I can find that feeling somewhere in my life, someday: trusting, ignorant, blissful hope.

 

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This is ~Very!~ Unlike Me

I have never mentally recognized that I am working towards a goal. I’ve 100% done it before, like I’ve been working towards my goal of finishing college, of being tanner, of earning money to enjoy my year at school. All of these things I don’t recognize as goals, mostly because I’m not a goal-oriented individual. As I’ve been learning this summer, I am a people-oriented individual, and often my ups and downs with others reflects itself in my life. When I am at a good point, most of my relationships are vibrant and active, and when I am at a bad point, you can assume that I’m having a problem with someone.

And that’s just it- I actually am accomplishing my goal of learning more about myself and my mental illness this summer. It feels so good. I actually said I was going to do something and did it! Usually I just do things and just don’t pay attention to the consequences or don’t read into it. It feels so strange to be writing this positive of a blog post, but it reflects how I feel right now. I actually made a new friend yesterday, and I haven’t made a friendship I feel comfortable in since high school. All of the people I met in college are great, but there is a disconnect somewhere, like I know that we will eventually lose contact in a few year’s time, so what’s the point.

But something I found that was more rewarding to focus on rather than all my shortcomings with forming relationships, is celebrating and growing my current ones. By simply choosing to not focus on the fact that I haven’t made any new friends and make that an issue, I chose that it didn’t need to be. I figured out what kind of people aren’t for me and why, and I thought about how me and my current friends work together and why, and I think that will set the tone for the new year at school and who I will give my time to. I just feel overall smarter in my decision-making. Maybe I’m not sure of my outward appearance and what that should look like, but no one ever is. I have two sides of me that fight each other constantly, and all I know is that I should give them equal attention, no matter how much money that costs (lol).

I think working on my relationships first was an important step since they are so important to me. Now that I have that for the most part sifted out, I can be happy while examining myself because I know I have a strong support system. I have learned that I have a lot of energy and can keep going for long periods of time with little sleep and no caffeine, and I’ve seen that at play during ten hour shifts at my new summer job. I like that about myself. I also learned that maybe I’m not as lazy as I thought I was; I’m just impatient, and when things don’t happen fast enough for me, like cooking, I choose to just make mac and cheese or eat a snack. Practicing patience has been a challenge but I’m working towards it. I also learned that I need a shit-ton of independence, like the most independence one can have, but I can never fully attain that because I’m bad with money and need to rely on someone for financial support (how surprising). So basically I’m really hopeful to get a well-paying job in the future or at least be near some bomb thrift stores as an adult.

Which leads me to the big huge realization: IT IS SO! OKAY! THAT I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE. It’s very okay that most of my friends have plans or timelines or boyfriends that they want to marry but it’s also MORE THAN okay that I don’t! The last thing I need to do is compare myself to someone who is EXTREMELY differently wired than me. I am a unique individual who can choose to plan out her life or not. And I’m not the biggest planner! I have a planner but I only use it for homework and even then sometimes I’m lazy and don’t write it down. So why would I have to have my entire life plan laid out when I can’t bring myself to write down that I have to read a chapter for Spanish II? I find it way more fun this way; at least, I did when I changed my perspective. My life could go so many ways and by my choices and intentions, I can kind of control it.

So through all of this I chose not to spend the summer stressing about my major change, my bad luck with friendships, the friendships I had that were fizzling out, my eventual possible lack of a job that I made up in my head, or the fact I don’t want a boyfriend. I chose to focus on my jobs and going to the beach. Not that hard to focus on, and not that hard to change my mindset to do so. I highly recommend going to therapy and putting a little mental structure in your life. Coming to you live from Ashlawn Farms, I can finally say I have hope for the future and I don’t think I will stop for a while. ūüôā

I Want This Quote Tattooed On My Body

“We don’t give other people credit for the same interior complexity we take for granted in ourselves, the same capacity for holding contradictory feelings in balance, for complexly alloyed affections, for bottomless generosity of heart and petty, capricious malice. We can’t believe that anyone would be unkind to us and still be genuinely fond of us, although we do it all the time. Years ago, a friend of mine had a dream about a strange invention; a staircase you could descend deep underground in which you heard recordings of all the things anyone had ever said about you, both good and bad. The catch was, you had to pass through all the worst things people had said before you could get to the highest compliments at the very bottom. There is no way I would ever make it more than two and a half steps down such a staircase. But I understand its terrible logic: if we want the rewards of being loved we have to submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known.” – Tim Kreider (READ THE ARTICLE TOO)

Yesterday I was in the mood to write a blog post so I could finally share some of the thoughts I have meant to flesh out recently, but after I procrastinated that for an hour, I came across a simple post on Instagram from a quote account I follow. I mostly follow it for its aesthetics, if I’m being completely honest. I like the gradients, the pretty colors, the font. But the post from yesterday, captured above, hit me so hard that everything I’ve been worried about for a while now suddenly connected into one giant problem that I now understand! That’s cool.

I’ve had a lot of trouble with friendships throughout my life, starting around middle school when I started to despise being alone (mostly because I thought everyone was hanging out without me). In high school it took a while but I found my people, or so I thought. And in college I tried to find my people, I might have found them, I don’t know, or so I thought. It seemed that everyone I tried to count on, or even counted on in the past, just let me down one small incident at a time that by the time I tried to bring up my grievances, they didn’t get it. I felt, and I still feel, like an irrelevant human being that doesn’t deserve friends. That is the biggest lie I believe about myself.

I don’t want to 100% put this on myself, because I know for a fact I have encountered some grade-A horrible human beings that for sure wronged me, but I think I project this feeling outward. I also have hyper-focused on it this summer to the point I stopped doing things I was supposed to do to improve the quality of my life, like clean my room or take a shower at a convenient time or write in my journal. All because I was convinced my life was boring because people weren’t knocking on my door to hang out with me. I was just waiting for them to do so, and I lost the whole point in the process. If you just live your life and focus on what you do have control of (yourself and your actions), people will come to you. Friendship isn’t a job; while it does take work, it’s supposed to be fun work that will benefit you and other people, like volunteering.

I remember freshman year towards the end of the year when I sat on a field eating a papaya by myself while I watched everyone around me play frisbee with their friends, listen to music with their friends, skateboard with their friends, study for finals with their friends. I’ve had so many moments like that; visible representations that I’m very, very alone. They all seemed to happen in college, but when they started to happen at home, the place where I am comfortable and can be myself, I noticed that it wasn’t college. It wasn’t being away from my home at all. If you tell yourself you don’t deserve friends, and after each friendship that fizzles out you blame it wholly on yourself, you aren’t going to make good friends. You’re going to get desperate. And I got desperate and gravitated towards people that sucked the life out of me. This also happened during an identity crisis, which I think I’m towards the end of! (or maybe my life is just one big identity crisis!)

That identity crisis is the crux of why I struggle to make friends. I used to think that no one wanted to be friends with me because I was confusing; I dressed seven different ways each week, I went to the gym for two weeks and then didn’t go for two months; I listened to Alvvays and Current Joys but also Travis Scott and NAV but also really, really like Sweet Home Alabama and Wagon Wheel and I could never not like The Doors because of my high school obsession and I also really like stuff on Soundcloud that sounds like you should be laying on a beach and just having a fun time and not caring about important world issues but I also just want to listen to one song on repeat for six years; I cut my hair, then regretted it, then didn’t, wore makeup every day and didn’t shower or the opposite. I was doing a million different things everyday. But that’s just who I am right now, and it shouldn’t confuse people, because we are all contradictory and complex. We are more than just dual, like my gemini sun sign says we are, we are multitudes, we are everything. I’m tired of feeling like I have to subscribe to one shell of a person just to fill this abstract idea of being liked. Because no one really likes me, and I don’t really like anyone. Why should I pretend?

This realization, while comforting, is also scary. It just reinforces the idea that I will never want to be in a relationship which is annoying because all my friends are in one or want to be one or are always talking to a guy. I don’t remember the last time I talked to a guy other than my dad. To be honest, I don’t care. I can say that with complete confidence. The only time I want a relationship is when I’m bored out of my mind and no one will hang out with me. When I’m at a concert, or singing by myself in the car on the way to work, or making a really fucking good sandwich, or talking about stuff I love, there is no lingering “I want a boyfriend” voice in my head. If there is in yours, I’m glad, because you’re listening to your wants and needs and I hope you find a boyfriend or girlfriend or someone in the near future that makes you happy. I remember when I really liked someone in high school and heard that voice when I was just living my life and I listened to it. But recently I’ve been making up these voices in my head that just don’t need to be there and I need to stop it, it just makes me drive myself crazy for absolutely no reason.

I want people to know that I am hard to grasp. I want myself to know I am hard to grasp. I change every day, all the time. And I hate that, I really do. I wish I had as concrete of an idea of who I am as I did others. But I think it would do me well to remember that nobody is just somebody, everybody is everyone. Everyone does dumb shit all the time, myself included. I will never be perfect and I will never please everyone and I will never be able to PR for myself or control my image. I think Instagram gives people the idea that we can do that, and maybe if you’re very constant and boring (which is a good thing, we need to destigmatize boring, I want to know what that’s like) it’s easy to get a cohesive idea of what people should think about you, but most people can’t. If you are one of those people, I encourage you to embrace the fact that you are imageless. No one can bottle you up and distribute you to others. Not able to be described; the ingredients change and may vary. The salad bar of life. You pay with cash and card and sometimes throw out pennies and your hands are sweaty and feet are cold, but your stomach is quite warm. Nothing is black and white! We have gray, but we also have apricot, and aquamarine, and pink. Because fuck the spectrum it does not exist. Remember that the color wheel was invented for a reason. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ALL OVER THE PLACE, if you feel that inside of your soul.

What I want myself and hopefully whoever reads this to take from life today is to forgive other people for being complicated. Imagine if everyone wasn’t complicated; yes, life would be so much easier, but everyone would be predictable. And while it’s nice to value consistency, consistency does NOT equal predictability. And adopting this idea will be hard, because where do we draw the line between people just being complicated and them treating you badly? It’s one of the things I think I will try to learn throughout my life, but will never fully understand. I think it’s something we can’t change but can learn to deal with.

With that, I am going to leave Cilantro in Guilford with my peach iced tea and go home to make avocado toast even though I just ate Doritos yesterday, and on the way there I am going to listen to country music, and I just emailed some girl from South Carolina about believing in God, and then I’m going to go to my high school job where everyone drinks Monster and smokes weed in the parking lot during breaks while I drink kombucha and eat a nectarine. Yeah I’m a ~contradiction~ people what are you gonna DO about it. I’m laughing at myself right now. Which is good. I’m going to start letting myself be known. Not just the good parts of me, but the bad parts too. And especially the things that don’t make sense. Because they don’t have to make sense! People don’t make sense. (That’s why I hate science sometimes because when it comes down to it everything is made of dust and I don’t know how we got feelings or fireworks or lemonade or stickers from dust) Have a great day everyone.

Early Summer Moodboard

While summer is always on my mind, it’s been taking up most of the space in there recently.

Finals week switches something in my brain that gets overly excited for summer. If you look through my email history, for the past few years most of my purchases are made in correlation to the timing of my exams. My fruit consumption has gone up; I’m wearing my first sun dress of the year today; I started crafting my summer playlist.

The start of the summer season is a fresh start not only in the timing of one semester ending and bleeding into a break, but a fresh start in terms of the constant sunshine, the new yet familiar smells, the first bike ride; the first pair of shorts you take out of your closet; the first coating of tanning oil on your skin. You receive the comfort and the excitement of knowing that these firsts will turn into multitudes and multitudes, creating memories that blur into one movie in your head: the summer of whatever year it is, wherever you are.

I can’t wait for tomorrow; the start of my summer. I can’t wait for the similar amount of happiness two different days will bring for me: the one where I wake up at ten, eat oatmeal, go to the beach for the whole day, go to my best friend’s house until 3 a.m.; the one where I wake up at seven, eat oatmeal, drive to work with the windows down, go to yoga, have a dinner on the grill cooked by my father and watch a movie with my mother. And these are just skeletons of the days I will have. I will go to my favorite cities; I will go to fireworks showcases; I will go to concerts; I will go on road trips. These things are what make my life worth living.

sundream ~ rufus du sol (x)

love lies remix ~ khalid and normani (x)

more colors ~ kidswaste and chelsea cutler (x)

drugs ~ m.a.g.s. (x)

the sun ~ myd (x)

Lake Turnover, Existential Crises, and Seasonal Depression

In AP Environmental Science, we learned about lake turnover. Lake turnover is the process of a lake’s water literally turning over from top to bottom. In essence, as the seasons change from fall/winter to spring/summer, water and debris that existed on the bottom of the lake (called the hypolimnion) moves to the top of the lake (called the epilimnion) and vice versa. In deeper, larger lakes, the hypolimnion is never reached by the sun’s radiation during either season.

I think about seasonal depression as lake turnover. In the fall and winter, my surface level as a person is dense and heavy, iced over, brewing with sad or angry emotion; everything I’ve let simmer at the bottom of my hypothetical lake since the last “turnover.” Everything I ignore during summer eventually surfaces during the next turnover season. In summer, the surface water of my hypothetical lake is nurtured by the sunlight, bringing back all forms of life and movement. I like to think this is why I feel really shallow or surface-level in the summer, because I am able to focus on lighter feelings like happiness and carelessness because of lack of pressure from school or avoid cooped-up isolation due to cold weather conditions.

There were a lot of things I didn’t fully finish feeling or face over the course of last summer. And, of course, in the middle of the fall/winter season, I switched schools, so that affected how I’ve been feeling. Long story short, there were a lot of things that I had to overcome and conclusions I had to come to over the past fifty-three days I haven’t posted. In those fifty-three days, I have changed so much I don’t even recognize myself anymore, physically and emotionally.

Before anyone gets scared, I think this is good. I know everything is changing all the time, but I felt I was in that phase of my life too long. I became a whole different person when I got out of a relationship in 2015, almost like a child that needed to learn how to exist in the world by myself again. I made a ton of mistakes over that first year, then I went to college and experienced such rapid growth that I don’t even know how to assess it all. That version of myself got old, and over last summer I knew something was going to change, something big was going to happen, and I was going to have to say goodbye to some things and start some new things.

Conveniently, Saturn changed signs in December. Since then, my life has been reorganizing itself. I have a clearer version of what I want out of life and more confidence that I will be able to achieve it. I have made peace, for now at least, with the fact I am a million different people at once. I have faced problems in most of my relationships with important people in my life and confronted them with the knowledge that I will repeatedly have to battle these issues because it’s just what happens when two people are friends. I ended a quasi-relationship in the dramatic way I wanted to, accidentally shook up some other ones, and cut my hair. I have accepted the fact that I am one of those college students who always wants to go home.

I like this new me. I am more hardworking and introspective and calm. I have written two coherent poems and have read them in front of other people. I am more detached and understanding and less quick to react. I don’t wear makeup. I am in the process of obtaining a second job. I don’t shake uncontrollably when I drink a cup of coffee. I have finally realized what does and does not make me feel happy and fulfilled. Is this maturity?

Whatever it is, unfortunately I had to reach some record lows to finally gain some emotional stability. But I read an article recently that made me feel better about this; a girl who lives out of her car and teaches yoga and spirituality in Australia says her mantra is “no one cares about a movie where nothing goes wrong.”¬†Since I’ve accepted that I will probably always live my life pretending I’m in a movie, what better time to adopt this mantra and use it to justify my shortcomings in life! But no, really, I think it’s taken me almost twenty years to realize that everything going wrong makes my life interesting. More than half of this blog is dedicated to me processing the things that go awry in my life. My life would be devoid of creativity and emotion if my life went well all the time.

So I’m going to forgive myself for being off for the past fifty-three days. Everything that happened led up to today, where I’ve had two cups of soup and my professor comforted me about my fear of public speaking and I found great new music on Spotify and I finally remembered to spray heat protectant on my hair before I straightened it. Not the best day, but not the worst day. Soon everything will be better or just different, and that’s all I can ask.

existential crisis playlist:

center of gravity the brazen youth / all that and more (sailboat) rainbow kitten surprise / going gets tough the growlers / jackie wants a black eye dr. dog / where’d all the time go? dr. dog / oh! starving car seat headrest / ifhy tyler the creator¬† / this must be the place (naive melody) cover the lumineers / close to me the cure / sunburned shirts car seat headrest / the good times are killing me modest mouse / a$ap forever a$ap rocky / be above it tame impala / femme fatale the velvet underground / archie, marry me flyte / see you again tyler the creator & kali uchis

things i did during my existential crisis:

watched twentieth century women, american honey, frances ha, wild / started breaking bad / finished thirteen reasons why / worked a lot / went on a hike in the white mountains / hosted a poetry reading / discovered a great salad at one plate, two plates / stopped going to therapy / ate a million bags of cadbury mini eggs / started tweeting again / started my spring 2018 spotify playlist / started working out again / hiked in the white mountains

Hey Guys, Don’t Transfer in The Middle of The Year

I need to write this post in the middle of the Student Union as my hands shake uncontrollably. Why? Because I’m so scared of everyone for no reason. Even typing these three sentences I have clicked in and out of WordPress like five times. I turned down the brightness so low I can barely see what I’m writing. All because I don’t want the streams of people walking by me to see what I’m doing.

I thought coming here would cure that. There are over twenty six THOUSAND students who pass through the Student Union presumably every day. And that’s not counting teachers, staff, visitors, etc. Not one of them gives a single fuck what I’m typing on my blog that less than ten people read. But I can’t stop glancing up, changing tabs, or internally screaming.

Why can’t I just not care?

For a few days I’ve been coming to terms with the fact I have somewhere along the line developed crippling social anxiety. So I’m forcing myself to write this in public while a cute father and mother pull up chairs to the table behind me to eat dinner with their daughter. Hello, you’re probably reading this. But also probably not because you’re eating dinner.

But hey – that’s the point! I really shouldn’t care. If I really believed in the content I was putting out, and wasn’t scared of who I am, I wouldn’t care. I guess those are two things I need to work on.

Unfortunately, this translates into my everyday life too. If I just garnered up the confidence to ask a simple question, I would have been able to go to a concert tonight. If I didn’t immediately flee a social situation at breakfast, I would have gotten the correct spelling of this person’s last name I’ve been meaning to look up on Facebook. My read receipts on my text messages have been texting me, and I’ve gathered up so many text messages I’m afraid to read because I don’t know how to respond.

I just responded them, because so what if my responses are dumb. It’s a text message. It does not make or break a friendship. Just because they don’t respond, or question what I said, doesn’t meant that I did something wrong.

Now I look like a heavy-breathing, sweaty crackhead wearing a fur coat and green eyeshadow on the brink of sobbing in a public place. Does this make me less scared? No. Probably more scared. But this is necessary. What’s the point of life if you can’t make friends because you’re so scared to open your mouth and say something because you are terrified they’ll hate you or desert you for someone better. I’ve been through that and it sucks and I think that’s why I’m scared. So, one big sincere fuck you to my freshman year friends that decided it was cool to just leave me out of everything. But also thank you because I was wasting my time with all of you. But also fuck you again because you made me feel like shit.

In conclusion: it’s hard to be a freshman all over again. ESPECIALLY when no one else is learning with you. Every freshman has an upper hand on me because they’ve been here for one semester; same with every regular transfer. Yes, we can discuss how different our old schools were from UConn, but when I say UConn is big it already seems small to everyone else. I don’t know where most buildings are, I get on the bus when they are going the wrong way, and when I try to use the excuse “I’m new here” people are confused because it’s February.

I hope I start figuring it all out soon because I’m tired of being a freshman. I know it’s one month in but I’m so done being scared and underprepared everywhere I go. I just wanted a fresh start and all I got was sweaty hands and endless uncertainty.

 

What I Read Every Day While I Should Really Be Doing Something Else

So, I had to get this idea from somewhere. The One Thousand Lemons thing. Specifically, the quirky title I must credit to Sophie. I don’t know where she came up with it, but it’s really sealed the deal between me and my love of lemons. Thank you for giving me a personality trait!

But here I will list all of the blogs that have been burned into my psyche. Some have been burning for long, enduring years; others, just months. I am open to suggestions so if you have a WordPress account hit my line in the comments.

It wouldn’t be right for me to not credit my entire existence to Rookie. I’ve been reading that blog since spring of 2013 and it’s probably the first formal blog I’ve ever encountered, definitely through Teen Vogue or something. Tavi Gevinson, when asked the question “Who is your biggest inspiration?”, was ALWAYS the answer. She’s just so cool. She started the site as a style blog when she was literally just twelve. And then when she turned fifteen made it into something bigger. It really piqued my interest in knowing everything in the whole world because, somehow, a fifteen year old girl with the same interests as me knew everything. I found so many movies (The Virgin Suicides, American Beauty), TV shows (My So Called Life, Freaks and Geeks), and music (just look at my old 8tracks account) through Rookie.

Two years later I discovered¬†The Messy Heads, which defined my entire summer 2015. After a dry period of not really doing anything creative, the early version of The Messy Heads revived me into an individual. They inspired me to buy a bike for my birthday, read more books, dress like a hippie, and journal. And that’s exactly what I did. At first, it was two girls at the blog, India and Emma. They were two best friends living in California, and then India left the blog. Then Emma moved to all these new places like Los Angeles and Seattle and Paris and now New York. My favorite post of all time, which introduced me to one of my favorite songs, is this one. It used to have film photos in it against a white background, but Emma changes the site around all the time, so who knows when that will be back. I respect her life changes but I wish that she kept the integrity of her old posts in place. Her printed magazines are also very good, and she just came out with a new one.

I feel all fake throwing Man Repeller¬†in with the OG favorites, but I’ve known about Man Repeller since Leandra Medine first became famous, so maybe it will count. I used to read Man Repeller a long, long time ago. I don’t remember any standout memories but I used to follow her on Wanelo, Tumblr, the works. Regardless of when I actually started consuming Man Repeller, I’ve always been ~hip~ to her concept of man-repelling. I read her blog every morning like it’s the newspaper and tbh, it kind of is. It’s really the content I want to see.

Sophie recommended a while ago to read Sea Foaming, and it’s actually so good. Their postings are sparse, but captivating and important when they arrive. I like their monthly edits a lot. It reminds me a lot of 2015 Messy Heads. The blog is based in Australia but has a lot of guest writers so sometimes you understand their weird lingo. I love their incorporation of the beach because it’s #relatableasfuck. Overall a great source of learning about Australian shit you don’t know about.

Within the last year, I started reading Teen Eye Magazine which I find refreshing. It’s written really well, almost professionally. A lot of girls from different perspectives contribute to the magazine and I always learn something new when I check it out. Although I don’t check it every day, I read it when I’m looking to learn something and read a lot of their posts at once.

I don’t know if¬†The Cut¬†is considered a blog or a news source, but I think it blends the two perfectly. It’s a little more newspaper-y than Man Repeller, but sometimes that’s good because I want to be informed and stuff. I found them two months ago via their millennial pink article. I remember eating millennial pink strawberry cream cheese and wearing a millennial pink shade of eyeshadow while reading it, what a time.

Besides all of these blogs, I read i-D for updates on pop culture and pay for the¬†New York Times to keep semi in touch with my political science classes. Amanda just started a blog called Naive Young Woman, which I hope she continues because it is very good. Go read that blog if you choose to read anything on this post. ūüėČ

I Didn’t Really Talk To Anyone This Month So I Unintentionally Participated in Dryuary

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I don’t know what happened in January (well, I do, and I’m gonna explain it) but I suddenly became myself again. This was actually a really significant event because I have been dealing with frequent crises for the past three years, alongside the normal crises (graduating, going to college, transferring, changing my diet, selling my clothes on the internet). So I’ve ~finally~ started loving the things I’ve always claimed to like. Or, in a better manner of saying that, I started doing things I used to do as a child or early on in high school before I got distracted (by boys, by being employed, I could go on, but mostly boys). And you know why? Not to deter the few who do not believe in astrology, but SATURN CHANGED SIGNS. Click on that link to learn more from my god, CafeAstrology.

To go off on a tangent, basically Saturn changes signs just about every three years. Last time Saturn changed signs, it was to Sagittarius in December 2014. I didn’t know about the magic of Saturn then, but I can clearly see its effects in my life. I was getting bored in my stagnant relationship, and he was getting controlling. All I wanted to do was have fun. I made a new friend that had the kind of fun I wanted to have. I also realized that everyone in high school didn’t hate me and that I could make friends. So I broke up with him and had that SAGITTARIUS fun, I hooked up with different guys and went to parties and drank and smoked and acted SAGITTARIUSLY. I took more risks and did random stuff no one else would think to do, like being manager of the fencing team, performing in front of my entire high school the first day of senior year, painting on the courtyard walls, and bought multiple impulse plane tickets. Very Sag of me to travel so much during these years!

While that was (literally) all fun and games, when I got to college I realized that I should probably get to know myself better. But I had no idea! I was too busy having ~fun~ and being ~free~. Which is definitely a part of who I am, but not all of it. I had no idea how I wanted to dress, what classes I wanted to take, and how I wanted people to see me as a person. When Saturn moved into Capricorn, I watched a video about it and realized I was listening to music I adored when I was sixteen and talking to people I was close with when I was sixteen. It was spooky as fuck. And, without me even trying, I figured out my whole life. I think so, at least. So, here’s how it’s been so far. (Also, if you’re interested, here’s the video that changed my life!)

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  • Call Me By Your Name¬†DESERVES ALL OF ITS HYPE.¬†First of all, I literally CALLED IT that ultramarine blue would make a comeback in society. Second of all, it was so god damn beautiful. I love Northern Italy. My Italian professor last semester was from Florence and he just encouraged me to follow my Northern Italian dreams. We also ended the class by collectively enjoying prosciutto and melon. I can’t wait to move to Italy and own a lemon grove and only play this album 24/7. I’m also reading the book, which I recommend but it’s just a tad sexual; nothing I have a problem with, just a warning. Anyway, if anyone reading this wants to see it, I am unemployed and free on weekends.
  • I saw it in December, but I need to put it out there that Lady Bird exists.¬†And I’m so glad it does! Thanks for going with me Amanda and Sophie. The soundtrack is bomb too. I feel personally attacked by that movie. To quote Wyatt: “Have you seen Lady Bird yet… It’s literally just you.”
  • Cadbury Mini Eggs are now at your local CVS.¬†It’s maybe just a tad early for that. Easter is April 1st. I know that because I am now two types of Christian. I got confirmed to the Congregational church earlier this month if anyone wanted to know. Sorry, Martin Luther, but I’m going to hop between sects of faith. If I’m not Catholic, what will the boys in Northern Italy think of me? And I lowkey miss the stale bread.
  • Actually, my new religion is mixing Buzz and Trick from the Naked 3 palette.¬†I’ve been really getting orange and pink vibes from January. See the Instagram post captioned “never deserting my pillow pet again in 2018” on my account which is @mainacarey but also @onethousandlemons!
  • A book that everyone has told you to read: Just Kids by Patti Smith.¬†It was good! It really brought back those #mems from when I was obsessed with the 1960s. High key cried when Jim Morrison died. I just ordered M Train which I am highly anticipating.
  • French accents + doing makeup perfectly with your fingers and a Q tip + cool camera angles =¬†the best makeup tutorials of all time. This girl is the global beauty director for Estee Lauder and she is SO COOL. Watch her videos here; her name is Violette. And follow @v93oo if you like bright colors.
  • The one marriage setup in life I wish happened to me.

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  • I finally have a coherent taste in men!¬†It involves curly hair. Obviously, TimotheEe Chssmmsmtlet is one of them because of course. A more ~underground~ man I adore is Avery Ginsberg. But he has a girlfriend who I have coincidentally watched on YouTube since 7th grade! I also watched the move Can’t Buy Me Love this month and Patrick Dempsey with curly hair is an 11/10.
  • Obama!!!! transferred colleges and he is still alive.¬†And got to be president. So I could be president even though fuck that. Read all about it here!
  • My true calling lies in beginning my sunglasses collection. Right now I am at a standstill in my sunglass-collecting, but I am hoping to have a renaissance soon. Especially since I already decided how I’m going to be dressing this summer… and started kinda sorta shopping for it. I have an issue.
  • The Old Lyme Inn has a great selection of sandwiches.¬†Just thought everyone should know, even though I’ve been telling literally everyone. I don’t even care that they didn’t update their menu for the winter season. Their fall stuff is bomb and I forgot how much I love fall comfort food. Think overbearing Thanksgiving vibes, the best ones, and root vegetables.
  • If you think you had it bad, think of something worse, and prepare yourself.¬†This could go for anything. I don’t suggest being negative about life, but all I’m saying is to prepare for the worst. Yes, I had another horrible roommate. Yes, I’m moving now. Yes, I ordered two new art prints on Amazon as a pat on the back for not flipping the fuck out at anyone I share a bathroom with. Also, finish your meningitis shot because it will handicap you.
  • Over break, Amanda and I were watching Chopped, a normal routine.¬†But then we happened upon an episode of The Great British Baking Show, and found this lovely human being, Ruby Tandoh, but most importantly her print-making and art Instagram, @rubyst. She’s so cool, she is gay and bakes and loves One Direction.
  • Owning rain boots has added approximately 6 years to my life.¬†What was I doing before I owned them? Why was I wearing sneakers in the rain? Why did I enjoy getting my socks wet? So many mistakes were made in not ordering them sooner.

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  • Oceans V2 by Felly ~ I found this through a Margot Lee vlog, because where else do you find the chill vibes. I don’t like Felly or his weird brand of a kid with long hair possibly from Texas who sings about pointless stuff and weed, but this song IS chill vibes. Perfect for a morning you don’t want to be awake but want to romanticize your morning anyway.
  • Pink + White by Frank Ocean ~ I go through breaks with Frank Ocean. I think the last time I listened to Blond was February of last year, and I wasn’t all that into it. I would listen to it before going to bed. But now I have fully immersed myself in Blond and I am happy to report that I am in love! Especially this song.
  • SWEET by BROCKHAMPTON ~ I will admit that I am late to the party with BROCKHAMPTON. I listened to them half-heartedly last semester but now I think I finally get it. I’m working on exploring the breadth of their music but this song is funky as fuck. I wish people would pregame to this song at UConn because they probably do at UVM because it’s UVM.
  • The album¬†Swimming¬†by French Kicks ~ I’ve always, always raved about Sex Tourists, but now I finally understand that their entire album is a really snowy winter day and a hazy summer day at the same time. I am such a fan. Good to put on in the background of an emotional bus ride or homework.
  • After the Storm by Kali Uchis ft. Tyler the Creator ~ I would love to know what the producer of this song was thinking while he created this song. It reminds me of mango smoothies, a clear, no-humidity day in August, a really refreshing glass of water, and the perfect pair of sunglasses. Such good vibes. 10/10 release.
  • Lover is a Day by Cuco ~ I love this genre of like techno emo rapping-talking vague Tame Impala vibes shit. It sounds like I just described Twenty One Pilots but I didn’t. Whoever this kid is is on a whole other emo level. But I feel him and his almost eight minute song. He says some real shit. “Will you love this part of me?” I’m wondering too.
  • Road to Nowhere and And She Was by Talking Heads ~~ Road to Nowhere is one of those songs that you play as you dramatically make an exit, but it’s kind of corny and has mild Broadway vibes, which is why it makes you laugh too. Save that seriousness for Tiny Dancer. And She Was is just a good 80s jam, which I’m always in the mood for if we’re being honest. Talking Heads, while being my freshman year English teacher’s favorite band, is also one of mine. Thanks, Julie. Cultural nod to the Talking Heads shirt in Call Me By Your Name.
  • Elephant Gun by Beirut ~ I’m experiencing another renaissance in the form of Beirut’s music. But literally where else can you get Eastern European AND Western European AND Northern African vibes from a piece of music written in English? I just really appreciate a good brass setup. If you do anything today, check out this band and just think about art museums and being born in the 1700s and wearing, like, a petticoat or something.
  • Viva la Vida by Coldplay ~ I’m really stressed out while writing this and I didn’t listen to it that much over this month, but I thought I would include it as a stress reliever. Something about it, maybe that I used to sing it in the shower every day for probably seven years, is just calming and familiar and beautiful. Cue me singing “IhearjERusalembells-a-ringin, Romancavalrychoooooirsasinging” under my breath until I fix my sleeping schedule.

And Now, I Finally Publicly Admit That My Nose Was Too Big For My Face in 2010

As me and all my friends edge closer to 20, I want to properly mourn the last decade of our lives.

I remember turning 10. It was the end of fourth grade, and our class pet, a hermit crab, had died overnight. We were sad. We still had my cupcakes though. It was a Thursday.¬† I doubt that turning 20 feels as important as 10 did, but still, like I said before, we are all going to be different people because now we’re going to be old.

It’s coincidental that I thought of this article idea the night before Man Repeller posted this article, but maybe it’s not because I’m convinced that blog/Leandra Medine is a vision I had in an astral projection I construed a long time ago.

But yeah! This is basically just an ode, but also a calling to full-on revive, every aspect of yourself that you have feared yet simultaneously loved over the past ten years. I think it will be fun.

Like, will you bring back the overnight braid, also known the cheap (wo)man’s crimper? The ones that were supposed to come out like this¬†but ended up looking like an even greasier version of this? Or maybe it will be long layers with a hint of ~scene~ bangs, as seen in 2009 from Shailene Woodley? Or will it be something more recent, like shitty multicolored ombre or, my favorite, dying your hair with Kool-Aid? Was that just me? Possibly.

I also want to bring back aspects of culture SO bad. I miss soft-grunge so much. I miss the upside-down crosses complete with light Satanic undertones, those #teenagerposts on tumblr (which, I have a theory on why those were so popular- that we were just all discovering the commonality of the human experience in an incredibly obnoxious way, complete with poor font choices), and Take Care (Deluxe Album Version) by Drake, which I never really stopped listening to in the first place? Or maybe it will be a bit more ~advanced~, a little more mid-2010s, and you bring back Arctic Monkeys lyrics juxtaposed against pictures with horrible lighting, trying to own every LUSH product in the entire universe, maybe even a little Squaready on your Instagram? Ah, the simpler days, when people used to edit their photos AFTER putting it in Squaready and gave me chronic headaches.

It’s easy to erase all of the horrible times of being a teenager and remember the highlight reel, but I also think it wouldn’t be honoring our past selves without reflecting on all the depressing things that we thought made our lives so mundane. Mine was sitting in the library across from my high school for hours until my mom picked me up. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep. It was also when the lock was stolen on my locker twice the first month of freshman year, or maybe asking my friend to ask a guy to hook up with me at a birthday party the summer before 8th grade and getting curved and realizing I did it only because of peer pressure. Or maybe it was my entire love life and my gross choices! I don’t know. Pick your favorite mistake and laugh but also be thankful that now all you have to worry about is whether you want to get married or something and paying taxes. I think that’s better than accidentally shaving your eyebrow off because someone told you you had a unibrow in Spanish class.

On a lighter note, think of that pesty body part you’ve finally grown into. Mine is my nose. It was always so big. In seventh grade a kid told me it was too big for my face and I started crying. My mom told me it wasn’t true. But guess what? I look back on old photos, and it was too goddamn big for my face. Now it’s perfect! And has way more blackheads. But such is life.

Shout out to the past ten years for formulating all of us, you were brutal but necessary. Maybe none of us will tear our ACL, get hives from shaving our upper lip, or get tempura paint from art class on our new shoes in the next ten years, but I bet it will be just as messy and ugly. But in a good way, of course. We know more now. We know we’re gluten intolerant, allergic to strawberries, or dyslexic now; we know that we would maybe hate to live in Florida, or statistics is the bane of our existence, and we might always sleep late on the weekends even when we want to get shit done. I think it’s cool that we know ourselves more now. But things were cool when you didn’t know. Your old self is really funny and interesting (in a good way), no matter what you think, because she was trying. And you even have stuff in common, I bet. I still listen to Frank Ocean when I’m depressed just like I did in 2012, and I still eat pizza upside down like I did in 2005, and I can’t let go of my side part I got in 2011.

Here’s a photo of me liking coffee just to prove that I hate coffee now and ~people evolve within the confines of their projected personality~, also wearing neon orange lipstick to prove that we all make mistakes…

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Accidental Studying Abroad

It’s quite difficult to sum up one and a half years of my life into one post, one video, a playlist, or any form of media that I use to express myself. Half of me sees Burlington in a cold concrete, clear King-Krule’s-newest-album-blue way, in frigid temperatures and boring outfits and icicles hanging from every possible crevice, branch, and post. The other half remembers purple sunsets over multicolored mountains, thrift stores littered with drag, concerts every night, the cold-warm breeze on your face at the lake in late August. But what it really was is the mundane shit that I took for granted.

I really want a Sodexo bagel with strawberry cream cheese, or a chocolate croissant paired with Speeder and Earl’s hazelnut coffee, the corn tortillas from New World Tortilla, or the chicken and wild rice soup from the marketplace. I want to sit at my favorite study table overlooking the streams of students passing by merchants and club tables in the student center. I want to make myself a grilled cheese on Wednesday afternoons again, complete with the really fucking good local ingredients that we didn’t even have to pay for. I want to go to City Market and stare at the beauty products. I want to come home from work and talk to my roommate about everything that scares me. I want to ride the bus.

I am happy and sad that I didn’t know it was my last semester, or last week, even, at University of Vermont. Unlike studying abroad, I didn’t know when my time away would be up, which brings us to Amanda Thompson’s concept: accidental studying abroad. That’s what I did, I think. I mean, here I am going on and on about sunsets and dining hall food, it sounds like I went abroad for a few semesters or something and am being really overdramatic about it. I guess I didn’t really get a formal goodbye.

When I go back, it won’t even feel like my city anymore. No more walks to the bank, or ArtsRiot, or the waterfront. Walking into Monarch and the Milkweed or Outdoor Gear Exchange or the Lamp Shop will be what it is: just a visit. Not a part of my general routine. Not something I can shoot down the street to do on a Tuesday.

I guess I’ll find my Tuesday places here. Maybe it will be CVS. Maybe when it snows, the flakes will be so big and mesmerizing, and the sunset will be so purple that I can put on Sex Tourists by French Kicks and close my eyes and pretend I’m in Burlington. Maybe I can sit in the new museum, the one that I don’t know just yet, listening to Birds Don’t Sing by TV Girl and pretend that the edgy art students around me are just UVM students.

I wasn’t outdoorsy enough, I wasn’t weird enough, I wasn’t cool enough to fit in; all that stuff that rang through my mind constantly was bullshit. As much as I told myself all of that, it was still my city. I went to the farmer’s markets, whether it was with friends or by myself, and I went to the protests, and almost got a tattoo in the tattoo parlor, and I walked back from frat parties by myself at three AM, and hiked some mountains. I did the Burlington stuff. I did it all, and I didn’t even realize it.

I miss Waterman. I miss Lafayette. I miss Old Mill, especially the view of the lake from the fifth floor. I miss the ugly library, the gross Grundle, the gym that was way too far away from where I lived. I miss the one street that Champlain College had property on, it was just so beautiful. I miss slipping on ice going downhill and staining my jeans.

So yeah, I guess my thought now is “What was I thinking?”. But I know what I was thinking. I wasn’t thinking. I was feeling. I knew that I just needed to go. And it complicated stuff for sure, and I’m not even sure if I like UConn all that much yet. It isn’t UVM for sure, but I’m paying $30,000 less so that makes sense. I only have to do a little bit more of college here, and then it’s all over. And I can make it good.

If I was at UVM right now, I would be writing this alone eating mac and cheese. But I’m not alone right now and had a salad for lunch, so I guess that counts. Emotionally, I’m doing so much better here. I feel less depressed. Maybe a bit lonelier, but I think that will go away. Because I’m getting what I really wanted, which is a second chance at college.

Maybe a side effect of being me is always wanting to leave wherever I am. My mom says I just love to travel, but I just really like leaving. I didn’t cry leaving UVM. I really liked leaving, to be honest. I don’t know why, because now I look back and start crying. But in the end, leaving always brings some good into my life. It was like that with flying to D.C. for the first time. I want to feel like that more often.

Maybe I’ll never feel comfortable where I am, or secure in my friendships. Maybe that’s another side effect. I think I wouldn’t have figured it out if I hadn’t left.

Thank you to the city of Burlington and the institution of the University of Vermont for housing me for 1.5 years. I couldn’t have done it without my favorite political science professor, my shitty freshman year roommates, the girls I met in my public speaking class, the guys I liked for no reason because I was bored, my friends I semi-hated, or Brianna.