What's Wrong.

I had the most interesting conversation/realization last night while talking to my roommate.

She was having a "situation" with a gentleman-caller, which of course I wont get into. And may or may not have been asking my advice (which is not generally recommended, in my opinion). Among other facts about all of my obviously hugely successful relationships, I came to a hard truth that I had been considering lately.

"I've been on the dating scene for like 15 years, now. And I was always this planner. I wanted to plot out who I should be by what point in my life, etc-etc-etc. I think that, as women, this is in our nature. And after 15 years of trying to plot things out and thinking that I knew what was best for me and what I wanted- something finally occurred to me: I have no idea what I'm doing. I have no idea what I want, and why I really want it (this I can get into another time). So I stopped planning for things that are impossible to see coming or going. My new plan is to be on the No Plan Plan."

And maybe... maybe that sounds scary, or depressing. But I think it's the most optimistic thing I could have imagined.

Coming to the realization that you've had it wrong all along is the best thing that could ever happen.

Let me explain why I believe this to be true: There are people who go through a great portion of their lives under totally incorrect assumptions. I, of all people and based on both my romantic as well as personal/family life, needed to come to terms with the fact that whatever I think my life is going to give me- there's no way in Hell I can predict. Both the good and bad in my life have never been anything I could have seen coming a mile away. Which is a major drag because I have the worst poker face of anyone I know, so when those surprises show up I have a tendency to look like a cartoon character scooping my jaw from the floor.

I love knowing that my life is incapable of cartography. I'll never be able to predict what's around the next bend, for better or for worse. No amount of stressing out about tomorrow is going to gain me any control over it. Which... is kind of nice.

It's also been really relieving to respond to people when they ask me about my future. Obviously, there are things I SHOULD and will plan; like career-type goals and aspirations in my writing. And it's important to know yourself so that you know when to say Yes/No in the cross-hairs. But in many personal aspects there have been a lot of, "Sooo, what are you going to do?" scenarios. And my response has generally been, "See what happens next." There's no pressure to try to orchestrate people or situations. My only job is to have faith that they'll work out, and if an obvious step is needed- to take it as it comes. No drama. No manipulation. No stress.

I've never been so happy to have gotten it wrong.


Here's Some Stuff.

The past week or so has somehow ended up filling itself with conversations about this blog. I have been fortunate to be surrounded with people who love and support me and perhaps because this site is becoming more relevant in my professional life- people are letting me know their ideas to improve it. I couldn't be happier about that.

Among the suggestions I've gotten lately have been to incorporate a bit more regularity. I have an opportunity in that I get to browse the internet and also peruse through some pretty neat musical talent, and I think it would be good to share that with people. Because I legitimately enjoy writing about the things I currently include here, I wont plot out a weekly situation at the moment, but I'd like to start posting lists of some fun things I've gotten to see this week/weekend. So today will be the start of that. I suspect I will find a clever moniker for these lists at some point, but today let's just say, "Here's some stuff."

This song makes me want to dance barefoot in a cabin somewhere.


This has been on my bookmarked list for a while.


I want this to be my future life.


I am so obsessed with her yoga videos it's not even funny.


I think most people have heard of THIS site, but it's really fun in cases of Wanderlust.

Have a great week!!



Today is moving day! My wonderful, amazing, brilliant Digital Producer over at Music In Press has decided that if I want to further my writing, I'm going to need to also move my blog over to Tumblr. I will still be posting here as well, but they'll also push over to my new site with them in order to broaden my audience. I literally do not know what I would do without some of these incredible people who seem to believe in me so much. You can find me here:

And now, something that seems like such an obvious. I have so many things that I still want to do with my life, and I guess I never really sat down and wrote it out. I hate to call it a Bucket List because... I don't know. That seems so generic and unoriginal. So I'll just call it my Dream List. It sounds prettier that way. Here's to copying Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman:

Photo credit: Warmythings on Tumblr.

1. Build/Sleep in/Design a Treehouse. Anyone who knows me understands how badly I want this to happen. I don't know what it is about Treehouses, but they seem sort of like the closest you can get to magic without actually involving fairy dust.

2. Visit the following places: Rome, Barcelona, Machu Picchu, Bali, Croatia, South Africa, New Zealand, Chile, Galapagos Islands, and several parks throughout the US. Not in that order, and more places are on my radar but not at the top of my list.

3. Get my pilot's license. This is a tall order, but I feel like it would be such an amazing experience.

4. Live in a log cabin in the woods. Even if it's only for a week.

5. Take a road trip to Zion National Park, camp, and hike The Narrows.

6. Learn to play the Ukulele.

7. Have something published on Thought Catalog and/or Think Simple Now.

8. Create an elaborate meal based on something from What Katie Ate. 

9. Decorate a house/apartment/cardboard box and include the following: mason jars for cups, birdhouses and a garden, trinkets from my travels, a giant bookshelf filled with goodness, a hammock, and rocking chairs on the porch. 

10. Stop feeling the need to wear make-up.

11. White Water Rafting.

12. Be more involved in humanitarian work.

13. Build a piece of furniture out of wood.

14. Take the following classes: photography, cooking, computer courses (for the programs I don't know very well!), and more art classes.

15. Learn to really live on less. 

My dreams are pretty simple, for the most part. Hopefully more will follow, soon!



Discover why you're important, then refuse to settle for anyone who doesn't completely agree.
-Fisher Amelie, Thomas & January (via Coffee Stained Cashmere)


For The Fellas (A List of Awkward Requests).

Photo Source: Unknown
Because my personal life seems to be a favored topic, and because I am in a good mood today, I wanted to turn it into THAT kind of party. So here it goes:

I've been single for something like 2-3 months. I say that random figure because it took a month for things to kind of finalize. I have gone on a few dates, some good and some not-so-great, and discovered that the dating scene is more or less hilarious to me. I'm not saying that I'm sitting here laughing at these people, only that if you were to look at any person's dates from an outside perspective- they are SO awkward and SO random.

And so, I've decided to make a list. Of things to do, and things not to do, on first (or second or third) dates. You're welcome, and please take this with a grain of salt.

1. Please be awkward. I'm dead serious. I am the least cool person I know, and if you're really, really cool, I'm gonna get weird. I'll be intimidated and therefore start to do this mental thing I call the "Play It Cool, Play It Cool" game which involves a lot of eye darting and perspiration. Then I will try to overcompensate by making excuses to leave the room/date which apparently makes guys think I am not interested. Therefore: if you want me to act interested in you, you're going to need to be as uncomfortable as possible. Will accept: tripping over yourself, jumbling your words, and telling jokes that trail off into in-coherency. Now that I think about it, just act really drunk. But don't be really drunk. Because this isn't amateur hour.

2. Please don't think you're Rico Suave. I understand that you've seen Swingers and you've probably been on enough dates to think leaning back in your chair and being my First World Problem will make me like you. It doesn't. For one thing- and as mentioned- if you're cool, I simply cannot date you. For another thing- I have no interest in someone who has recently purchased the Cool Guy Starter Kit. If you've got some incredible stuff going on, or have had some grand adventures, I'll figure it out sooner or later. Remember: the journey to a woman finding out that you're something special is a marathon, not a sprint. And you laying it on extra thick just makes us think you're a sleazeball.

3. Please talk. Dates are rough. I think men believe that women want someone who is a great listener, and we do, but we also want someone who interests us. I can't think of anything more uncomfortable than sitting there trying to be clever and creative and cute while someone stares at me with their mouth shut. One major, glow-in-the-dark reason is that on a date, we are probably eating something. And if you're staring at me while I'm eating, I always always ALWAYS think it means I have food on my face. So you not talking can obviously only result in a lot of me trying to nonchalantly wipe my face off, very similar to just caressing my own mouth. No, I am not trying to signal to you that you should swoop in on these lips, I just assumed there was ketchup on them. Now please, tell me about your favorite comic book.

4. Please don't play The Game. I think there's this prehistoric notion guys get where they think if they play it cool and wait to call/text, women are going to think they're desirable and therefore chase them more. Here's the truth, at least according to my warped mind: People are going to mean what they say, and even moreso what they do. If you don't call me, I assume it's because you don't want to call me. If you don't make plans with me, I'm going to assume you don't want to make plans with me. And you know what I'm going to do? NOT pursue the guy who has no time for me. I know, it's crazy. It's blasphemy. It's madness. But if you like me- my guess is you're going to ACT like it.

Sidebar: This goes for my lady friends out there too. Please don't tell a guy you want something casual if you don't. Be honest. Because if you try to do what you think is "playing it cool," and let a guy think that you're not looking for something serious, expect to get exactly what you ask for. I love you, so please don't set yourselves up for that kind of disappointment. 

5. And finally, please be a gentleman. I'm sure there are girls out there who hate when a guy approaches women with what people used to call "Class," but I'm not one of them. The following things will get you bonus points with every female friend that I have, at least (Call me old fashioned): opening doors, opening CAR doors, saying 'please' and 'thank you' to her as well as anyone else you encounter on said date, wearing something nice, at least offering to buy her drink/food, not texting people unless it's an emergency (although I'm semi-guilty of this so I can't complain TOO much), showing up with some kind of cute or random gift (doesn't have to be expensive, but showing a girl you thought about the date ahead of time is hugely hawt), being open and adventurous about what to do on said date, complimenting her, texting her after the date to say if you had a great time (swoon), if you want to- ask permission to kiss her, if you run into friends please introduce her to them, and always-always-ALWAYS walk her to her car.

I realize that last one got more serious, but I figured I'd at least throw that out there. I can't say I speak for the entire female population. I have a few friends who are more interested in things that I don't necessarily seek out in a guy. But what I DO know is that wit, a sense of humor, good manners, and just not being a tool in general will get you a lot further with most women than having a great car and Chris Evans-esque looks will. But most importantly, on another serious note: just be yourself. He's going to come out sooner or later, and you're not trying to audition for a movie role. You're trying to find someone compatible with who you really are. The last thing anyone wants is to totally be into someone, only to find out 6 months down the line that they're not at all what they originally rep'd themselves as.

Let's just all be cool to each other, people.


Talk, As If You Care.

"Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength."
-Sigmund Freud (photo: source unknown)

Today I had the inclination to blog. Like a legit craving, really. But as I sat here, I realized that I had nothing to blog about. And so I leaned in, drinking my coffee, and proceeded to write some of the most meaningless junk I've seen.


There was a lot of deleting and re-reading with disappointment. But I wanted, so badly, to have something to say. And I just didn't.

And it occurred to me: Today is a day for waiting. Do you ever have those? I have them a LOT. Days where I'm not really pursuing anything because the more I chase, the less I get. I've learned to get more comfortable with days like that because they've taught me patience. And patience... well, it's never been my strong suit.

And as it happens when you stop chasing and let be- I came upon the above quote shortly thereafter.

It's interesting to me because I really am such a firm believer in opposition. Almost in this kind of weird way. Do I enjoy challenges? Not particularly. BUT- were it not for the opposing forces in my life, I wouldn't have acquired many of my strengths that I pride myself on. I believe all people are this way.

This is entirely my own opinion- but I believe that people without challenges are the least interesting of people. I don't want to hear about how your parents paid your way through college so that you could inherit your trust fund life. I want to hear about how you struggled and lived off Top Ramen and how the day you got that degree, you knew that you had made it happen. I want to hear about what made your life a mountain, not a great Plain. (Oh, puns. Will they ever get old? ...Yes? Oh, okay.)

I have a habit of asking people the awkward, hard questions. A particular friend of mine has had to deal with this habit amplified as of late, for which I'm... well, apologetically unapologetic. I can't give any other reason other than the fact that I am undeniably and unavoidably curious about people and their stories. People fascinate me to a fault. And maybe that's MY vulnerability... MY flaw (or one of, at least.) I want to know about other people to the point where it's just plain intrusive.

I want to know everything about everything. And every place. And every possible route to get there. It's this unquenchable thirst for seeing and learning something new. I've had it since I can remember and it's been my greatest strength, and yet my biggest weakness because it's gotten me into trouble more then a few times.

But I enjoy vulnerability. I couldn't agree more with the statement that it becomes our greatest strength.

I think the trick to mastering this is to be aware of your vulnerabilities, and to harness them into something that you can transform into your strong points. Vulnerabilities seem to have this negative connotation tied to them, like they're a bad thing. They're not. They're an opportunity.

For one thing, they're a chance for you to grow. You've got a chance to take points of you that would be weak spots, and turn them into the most resilient parts of your life. I find that to be the most amazing challenge anyone could set out for themselves.

For another, and potentially more exciting, point: they become opportunities to help other people. The more you talk about your challenges- the more other people realize that having struggles is commonplace. They now know that they're not alone. They see that they can have the power to overcome, too. Inspiring another person to take control of their life is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life...

As a writer, it has become very important for me to come to terms with my vulnerabilities. Not just so that I can work toward facing them, but because I have an opportunity to use this channel to tell people how alike we are in our struggles. To reach out to the ten or however many people who will read this, and say, "Hey- we're the same in this way."

It would be good, if we talked about it more.



"it’s an odd realization that everyone we know, everyone we associate ourselves with, whether it be family or friends or significant others, was at one point a stranger. it’s amazing how relationships start from nothing and form themselves into something so wonderful."

Quote courtesy of Remain Simple; Photo A Well Traveled Woman


Meet Me In The Middle.

Photo source: Unknown

It's incredible how many people out there are extremists. I count myself among them, to some extent.

People believe that they are supposed to be 100% committed to being one way or another; to having one opinion or lifestyle or mindset. I know I have a history of being that way. For much of my life I felt like I needed to be 100% invested in who I was, and where I was, and where I wanted to go. Being in the middle of the road on something meant some kind of indecisiveness and therefore a measure of not knowing yourself completely.

But you know... how can anybody know themselves completely? You are not a finished product.

And you likely never will be.

There's a beauty in the delicate balance of not really knowing something. Of being open to the possibility of taking life as it comes along and not closing one's self off to what's around the next corner. Why do we all need to be so steadfast in this "Who I Am" persona? Why not be flexible?

Goals are good, yes. I agree. Direction is good, yes. (One Direction is NOT good- for the record.)

Possibility is, however, better. Malleable definition is better. Potential is better.

I know people who get so caught up in filling the mold they've made for themselves that they stop seeing themselves. They only see who they want to be. They see only the past and future, and have no concept of what it would even feel like to live in the present without it BEING about the past or future. Life is a series of moments, a string of "right now" instants that pass us by if we forget to breathe them in. And so many, many people forget to breathe them in.

I think that your late twenties and early thirties (and for many people that bridge widens) is a tricky time for people. There are so many things that happen, and most importantly of those things is the projection of what we should be during that time. There's this projection that we place on ourselves, and that other people place on us, of who we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to accomplish. If you don't have X done be Y point in your life, you're a failure. If you don't have the house, the kids, the job, etc.- you are not on par with the person you've been mapped out to be. But who decides that? Who decides who you are an what you want and who you should be? Is it REALLY you who determines that hologram of a person? I'm not so sure that it is.

I have a couple of friends in my life who are at this crossroads where they don't know which way to go. Do I travel? Do I stay at this job I hate, but make good money at? Do I settle down and pretend I want "the calm life?" It seems like there's a Great Wall dividing the options. And in a time when people seem so intent on "having it all," and breaking those constructs of social norms... why are we still so set on filling shoes that someone else picked out for us?

We're coming to a time when there are no social norms. Where we can stand on that middle ground between The Wild and The Settled, straddling that line with one foot on each side. We don't have to commit to becoming the image we might have been brought up to see as "the boring adult," or "the lost boys." Who decided that those were the only options?

I say we make those goals of ours, and pencil down our dreams. Create the person WE want to be, and give them a taste for adventure as well as a habit of responsibility. Let some days be gusts of wind and others be grounding mounds of earth. This is your choice; your definition. Be a little bit of everything, and love not the backward glances of what you've done or the expectant view of what's to come- but each moment of what IS because it's the moment that you're in that is most precious.

The middle of the road never held such possibility.


I Love Everything About This.

"The Truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
-St. Augustine (354-430)
Courtesy of A Well Traveled Woman
Photo source: Unknown


Wouldn't it be Nice.

"Always Love. Hate will get you every time."
-Nada Surf
Photo source: Unknown

I believe one of the most underrated behaviors is to just be nice. I realize that's a pretty simple request but you'd be amazed how difficult it can be sometimes.

I used to think that it was important to surround myself with really interesting, funny people. I loved talking to them and hearing their stories. "If someone can make me laugh- I probably like them" has been my motto for years.

But lately I've been surrounding myself with some people who, while still interesting and funny, are also just really NICE people. They're supportive and kind and complimentary, even when I think there's a chance they're sugar-coating things. And you know... I love it. I love the way those types of people make me feel. I feel capable and driven, like I can take on the world. If I have doubts about something, they're very much those people who will tell me "You've GOT this," and it's been incredible. Borderline jarring, at times, but incredible.

For years, I've tried to be that way, and maybe that's why I appreciate it so much. I send out letters and emails to people to let them know when I think they're awesome. I do it because I think it's so underrated and rare for people to do that. Be the change, I'd tell myself. But for some reason it was a weird feeling for me when I started to see that reciprocated.

Then something interesting happened.

I began to notice the people who weren't being nice. Who weren't being supportive. And where I would have once told myself that poking fun and being a little bit mean was funny- I'm now seeing it as, "well... that's mean."

I don't want to be around people like that anymore.

I want to be around more nice people. People who make me feel good about myself. I think that, in a psychological sense, being kind is sort of the first line of friendship defense. It's what draws us to people, or at least it should be. When someone makes me feel good, I want to be around them. And if we've established a common ground of "you make me happy," we can move into poking fun to some extent- pending that it doesn't make me feel badly about myself. But I don't want to be around anybody whose ratio of nice to "funny in a slighted way" is 5/10. Or even 7/10. Make me feel good; make me feel supported, and that's my primary focus in our friendship.

I don't think it makes sense to invite negativity into anybody's life. Just invite the good.