Monday, August 25, 2014

Shaky ground

I wonder if I will ever be out of the "what's next?" stage in my life. As I inch closer to my 26th year on this earth, I can't help thinking and over-thinking and worrying and dreaming and perseverating about the future. It's both terrifying and exciting.

I recently read this awesome list of quotes from the queen of television, Shonda Rhimes. She's the woman behind shows like Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.

She gave a kick-ass commencement speech this summer at Dartmoth, and one particular piece stood out:
"You want to be a writer? A writer is someone who writes every day, so start writing. You don't have a job? Get one. Any job. Don't sit at home waiting for the magical opportunity. Who are you? Prince William? No. Get a job. Go to work. Do something until you can do something else."
Just do it.

Don't be an asshole. Don't be afraid of your dark side. Screw the haters. The list goes on.

These are all things I'm taking to heart as I look toward the future - even if what I'm seeing looks pretty fuzzy. It has been a tough few months as I struggle to stay true to myself and keep my spirits high among significant negativity. But at the same time I have been surrounded by incredible people and love.

So what has been going on this year? In March, Emily and I flew to San Francisco and met my little-no-so-little brother. He drove up from LA - his current homestead - and we stayed together at a hostel downtown. Tamer than our trip to Toronto years ago but still pretty solid. The toilets in our hostel even had sinks built into the water tanks; so, yeah, can't beat that.
Enjoying hostel bagel. Photo credit: The shameless Emily Lauten.
Of course visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and, well, spending time together were secondary concerns. We were focused on seeing our old friends Logan, Veronica, Piz, Weevil, Mac, Wallace, Dick...the list goes on. Yes, we did travel across the country to be together for the premier of the Veronica Mars movie. And it was so worth it. Not to worry, there was actual exploring:
Then we took a little turn down the Pacific Coast Highway. Saw some lazy, fat seals making out. Ate a giant breakfast with gut-busing pancakes. Drove more winding roads. And didn't get car sick. That's what I call winning. 

Fast forward. OHIO! April. 

Maggie and I celebrated Easter by rubbing each other's foreheads. It was magic. We also spent time at la casa de Grenell and ate delicious Easter things. My mom was there.

Also it appears we were really wrapped up for April. This a trend that will continue throughout one of the mildest summers that I've had the pleasure of living through in the swamp that is DC. 

I had a marathon of marathons this spring. Mastered the art of the spectator and spotting individual runners among thousands of similarly crazy dedicated people. It was a nice reminder to never sign myself up for a 5k/marathon/race ever. There are just some things my body was never meant to do.

Something a little more my speed was a ticket to Ford's Theater for Putnum County Spelling Bee! Still as hilarious as when I saw it years ago in Chicagoland. Speaking of things I did a long time ago and recently got to do again - the Washington Monument! That poor obelisk finally got its braces off and welcomed tourists, including myself and traitor Charlie Harris - my work neighbor who decided to leave me this summer for the great world of academia. All the way in freaking Indiana. With Rachel and their sassy pug-child Tuck. I no long have an excuse to visit the Lego convention. 

Generally May wasn't an awesome month due to certain work happenings. BUT there was a Leann Rimes concert at a Jewish Synagogue (girl still has chops). AND a pretty awesome wedding in Amish country Pennsylvania. AKA Intercourse, PA. No joke. I finally got to rent a car without paying an underage fee. It was actually a very nice trip with Miss Emily and a beautiful wedding. There's something about watching the Amish take their Sunday buggy rides that clears the mind and soul.

The Moms came to visit Emily and me in June. This provided the perfect opportunity for my mother to notice I still sleep with my mouth open and suggest I invest in nasal strips. A mother's advice is never far away and always life changing. Thankfully, separation from my mother was short lived as I planned to visit WI in July. 

Fun side story: Our apartment building fire alarm sounded for the first time this June. I was stepping out of the shower when a woman over the loud speakers told us nicely but firmly to immediately leave the building. So I found myself standing in front of our building in nothing but a robe eating grilled cheese (thanks roomie!). Apparently I was the ONLY one taking a shower that morning. Go figure.

So far, so crazy. Stay tuned for another post about July. Spoiler - there were fireworks.  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I've been having words

My little brain-dump of a blog has been feeling neglected lately. I've been a bit busy typing away for other sites in the name of money (and pleasure of course): my full-time bread and butter and Knot the Groom my other side project.

Here are some of my writing highlights since we last chatted!

Words on poverty and development:

14 Inspiring women and the inspiring things they said
Rare beauty: Meet ONE Mom Nancy Sumari, former Miss Tanzania
World Radio Day: 5 Ways the radio is fighting poverty
Transform your skin, transform a community: The story behind Shea Yeleen 

Words on weddings:

Real Wedding Inspiration: Lauren and Brian Summer fun with our new color dipped canvas totes

I have been having fun expanding my writing repertoire, but I do miss the freedom this blog gives me to banter with that great void we call the internet. It's like sending signals out into space with the hope that there are sentient beings out there. Jury's still out on that one, in the case of the internet and the universe. Having been able to write for a site (cough ONE, cough) with a substantial readership and social media presence has been a blessing and a curse. I had to eventually come to a decision that I would not read comments. Who are these faceless beings that never read our content with good intentions? It's as though they seek out posts they know they will hate. Anyway, virtual haters are not new but they're still disgusting. 

And on that note...feel free to leave me a comment! I'd love to not read it. Just kidding. I probably will. I can't seem to help myself sometimes.