Where I Wasn’t 6 Months Ago

Here is the thing about life: I know nothing about life. But what I do know is that time moves on wether we like it or not. No human can physically stop in a moment, we can only remember to take moments as they come and capture a mental picture for those times that seem too good to be true.

The other thing I know about humans is that we are really good at focusing on the bad. when I look in the mirror every morning I am not saying how awesome my eyelashes are, or how not washing my hair but once a week has allowed it to grow into a frame fitting cut. No, I look at the fact that I could lose a few more pounds, and that my legs don’t have one of those odd gaps that might not actually exist.

So when I look back at where I was six months ago it is only fair to start thinking of all the things I have yet to accomplish. Like where is my million follower blog, and coinciding book deal? What about those 5 more clients I wanted to have? None of these things are sitting at the front of my silver platter.

Then I catch myself.

Sure, we are not where we want to be, but we have got to stop thinking that way. Not that I’m asking to neglect our condescending mentalities. Just simply put a spin on them. Like  the spin I put on the story of me crashing my car into a tree the day before senior year. It wasn’t a bad thing that little Susie was mangled into pieces. It was clearly meant to happen and invite the option for me to get the dream Jeep I always wanted. Of course that came a year after driving around a horrid bench seat Pontiac that was older than I. We simply can’t win them all.

Six months ago I wasn’t able to get through a full day without crying. I also wasn’t nine months out of a life changing break up. Six months ago I wasn’t able to go into a bar without getting crazy eyes and fearing my survival. Now I can drink a whole drink with ease. I wasn’t able to confidently smile at a stranger, or hold a conversation with someone I hadn’t known for at least 10 years.

You would have never caught me stepping foot onto the grounds of ACL, let alone running to retrieve passes. Six months ago I wouldn’t have put down my computer for even the most perfect pair of Manolo Blahnik’s, and now I can spend an entire day (minus a few hours before others wake) only mildly panicking that I will miss something.

But most of all, 180 days ago I would have never been able to tell you just how lucky I am. How taking six months to open my eyes would inevitably shed light on this thing I call life. Where in times I used to think I had no one to relate too I had these people who have been there all along. I wouldn’t have been sitting at a brunch table laughing to tears, so full of love I couldn’t even manage to eat the brunch food. I wouldn’t have understood that I am so much more than myself. I am my family. My friends. Those who have stolen my heart and don’t even know it.

We are all so much more than the things we have or have not accomplished and we so rarely understand that. When you surround yourself with the right people, and the right work, you begin to understand yourself. But until then we will think of the negative in a bad way, when really it is the best thing that ever happened to us.

And I think  that is pretty awesome.


Call It Circumstance


I am not a rags to riches story. Sure I left college with $30,000 in student loan debt, and now I make enough to graze the top of my interest in monthly payments… but I’m no hot shot. For me life is all about circumstance, and I’ve been pretty stinking lucky along the way.

It was always clear that my parents worked really freaking hard and brought home not that freaking much. Their bills were always paid, and my sister and I always got what we needed to succeed. But it became evident at a young age that while my friends were shopping the new arrival Limited Too printed tanks I was primarily shopping on the sale rack. The thing that became apparent later in life was that shopping on the sale rack still made me much more privileged than most.

Don’t get me wrong, I own my parents my entire world. They have fought for me since day one. Listened to my incessant antics and allowed me to bloom into a straight up maniac with dreams larger than the headache induced by my hot pink childhood room (which my father so gracefully painted with his own two hands). They are the first and foremost reason I know it is not actual circumstance that will make or break you, but what you do with the circumstance you are given that does.

It all started back in sixth grade, when I moved from the comfort of an elementary school where the principle said I would be the first female president and my best friend lived two block over, to a place where they didn’t even wear Limited Too.

It might be true, that my pastel blue two piece jeans and collard shirt get up is still to this day hanging in my parents closet. Thank Jesus I thought enough to wow everyone on the second day, not to blow them away too hard from the start, and didn’t wear it on the first. Talk about middle school suicide. In a sea of Abercrombie my tail was going to show up in a daunting two piece my lovely mother spent oh so much money on… sorry mom, but that was one mortification I couldn’t bear.

So there I was, a few weeks into school and this really cool girl Megan asked me to her house. My palms were sweaty, and my weak arms were heavy, but there was no vomit on my sweater already. If you don’t get those lyrics then there are no words, I’m a transparent white girl and know rap (Is Eminem still considered rap?)

Either way, there I was approaching her front door ready for the judgement of my life. She warned me that another girl in her group would be joining. And that said girl, Allison, was quick to chose friends so if I didn’t impress her these Total Request Live watch parties were going to be short lived.

Not even five minutes into the FBI screening we decided we were hungry. Well, really they decided they were hungry and I was not going to object. Of course I had eaten right before my mom dropped me off because there was no way I was going to go in on an empty stomach and spend this friend date panicking for someone to bring up food.

“Lets make ramen,” Megan said swinging open a pantry door so large I could die. My hood was known for its “Quaint” homes and interior accessories. But being new to this whole scene the homes in a neighborhood which sign would later be vandalized to read “Mill Hood” instead of “Mill Wood” seemed like a land full of mansions and princesses to my hopeful eyes.

“What is ramen?” I ask without thinking.

“You. Don’t. Know. What. Ramen. Is.” It was not a question, but a statement directly from queen B, or shall we call her queen A’s mouth?

My mind went into immediate panic. How could I be so stupid?? How could I not know what ramen is? Perhaps it was a sandwich? Or if it’s contents were being produced from the pantry, some kind of trail mix?? Why were my parents so ignorant as to not feed me this meal upon birth? Did she want me to have no friends? Was she dooming me to a life of Saturday nights at home even before I could SAY ramen? It seemed most certain that was the case!

I stood there in silence frantically avoiding glances with Allison and begging Megan for forgiveness with my panic stricken eyes. I wanted to run. Or cry. Or both.

Thankfully for me the ramen incident was overlooked and life moved on. Allison, Megan and two of their other test passing group members Kaylyn and Kayla went on to become my best friends of all time. Literally all of time. Allison read a study that said once you have known someone for a solid 10 years you are stuck with them forever. Or perhaps it was a Pinterest gif. Either way, both sources are pretty accurate.

They would become the girls I spent Friday and Saturday nights with. The girls who’s hair and make-up I would fix to prowl high school football games for hot boys with. Or more accurately to watch Friends and go through the What-A-Burger drive through (thanks to my hungover sister) with. The girls I would tell all my secret to. Would go to college with. Would selfishly loose touch with for two years then start right back up where we left off with.

These are the girls I would hold hands with through funerals, and stand by through weddings. The girls who know me better than I know myself.

Their personalities and walks of life would help show clearly how lucky we all are. How our parents raised the perfect concoction of daughters to one day meet. Girls who were meant to be together. They taught me how to love unconditionally, and never let go of someone you know is meant to be in your life. They are the reasons I know I got lucky when it came to circumstance. And the reason I spent most of my middle and high school days chocking down ramen noodles.

Turning 23


This past weekend I celebrated a birthday. Surrounded by family and friends I took a moment to reflect on the difference in where I thought my life would be and where it had ended up over the past 365 days.

For starters, I thought this day would have been spent with my one true love tucked beside me. I thought I would be a broadcast journalist who might not even had time for dinner on this day when news did not stop. I thought I would be in some far off city like New York or London. I never once thought I would be back in my home town.

But the thing I found much more intriguing while pondering these thoughts of that were no longer, was what has become.

There I sat with some incredibly familiar faces, and some I never would have imagined. I saw the beauty of people who have been there for it all, and looked into the eyes of someone who’s life is greater than they will ever know.

I thought of the times I imagined life being over at the age of 21. And how to so many it seems you must wake up one day being who you have always wanted to be. That you can’t build an empire, but instead must be born into it. But you don’t. We are on this journey that is no where near ending. We must chose everyday to try something new and prevail into the person we are meant to become.

It became clear that I no longer wanted to fear defeat. From this moment on my life was to be lived in hope. I wanted to learn and grow. I wanted to fill my life with these people and these conversations that meant more than small talk. And I wanted to share with others. I no longer had to be someone who held back or stood behind glass.

I looked at the faces of a fighter, a survivor, and a saint. What we wanted to be in grade school no longer stood true. How I no longer needed to long for someone to return, that was already gone. And most of all, how the world was finally at our fingertips. How for once we could be exactly who we wanted to be, and in that moment I wanted nothing more than to be just who I was.