All By Myself

I hadn’t realized how much I do on my own until I found myself uncomfortable with doing something on my own. Let me explain.

Tonight I went over to Target to pick up some things for my Halloween costume (a post on that to come later!) and as usual, the shopping wore me out. And made me very, very hungry. It’s hard work spending money.

Because I’m lazy, however, I didn’t feel like making myself dinner. In fact, I wanted to treat myself to something extra yummy to eat because, well, why not? Since it’s been a rainy, cold day, nothing sounded better than a hot cup of soup. So I headed over to Panera.

During the entire time I spent driving to Panera, I was deciding whether or not I should eat there or take it to-go. If I took the latter route, it would be cold by the time I got home. But if I didn’t, that would mean I’d have to eat at the restaurant. Alone.

It’s funny; I’m a very independent person. I like to do things on my own. I prefer to do most things on my own, actually. But there’s something so terrifying about sitting alone in a restaurant, as vulnerable as can be.

Why should it be any different than eating my breakfast alone in my room every morning? It shouldn’t. Eating alone in public doesn’t mean I’m a loner, or that I’m strange, or anything else of the sort. What it does mean, however, is that I am comfortable with myself. That I enjoy my own company. That I don’t need someone else next me to enjoy a cup of soup and a caesar salad.

I like to think of it this way: I took myself on a date tonight. As cheesy as it sounds, I was the best possible date for myself because I know me better than anyone else ever could. I know what makes me happy, I know what I want, and I know what I deserve. Sometimes it’s nice to just be there for yourself; to know that you really are all you need.

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It’s That Time Of The Year Again

HAPPY SEPTEMBER!

Summer has come to an end and I am back at school, but perhaps most importantly, I have quite possibly the world’s cutest dorm room (in my humble opinion, that is). I invited you to take a peak into the tiny yet cozy space I’ll be inhabiting for the next nine months!

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Yes, that is most definitely a pillow pet. I’m an adult, right? Right?

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There’s something incredibly calming about fairy lights…I imagine they give the same effect as a night light does, bridging the gap between pure darkness and light. Except in my case, it’s not so much the dark that I’m afraid of this time (homework, responsibility, adulthood, running into someone in the bathroom when I wake up at 4 in the morning to pee, etc, etc…).

Or maybe it’s simply because they’re called fairy lights. I suppose that’s a good enough reason to keep calm.

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Come on, you didn’t think it’d be my room without some sort of One Direction paraphernalia, did you?

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Is this not the cutest jewelry holder you’ve ever seen?! I snagged this from the Farmers Market this summer for only $10!!! (If you’re reading this, thanks, Patty!)

P.S. please note the bag of chocolate covered espresso beans. I’d love to say that these are solely for when I’m up late at night beep-boppin away at my homework, but let’s be real–ya girl just really loves chocolate.

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I’m looking forward to this year, and hopefully I’ll be seeing a lot of you on this virtual space in the time to come!

LET PEOPLE FEEL

I’m going to try to make this post short and sweet, but it is something that has been on my mind since yesterday and I feel I should address it.

There’s this thing people like to do called ‘invalidating someone’s feelings.’ As many of you probably know, a member from One Direction left the band yesterday and it was a big deal for a lot of people, including myself.

I’ve seen too many people mocking, judging, and essentially just being rude to those of us who are genuinely upset over the situation. The most common claim is that “teenage girls are crying over nothing,” which is problematic in multiple ways. First, to negatively label everyone as “emotional teenage girls” is disgusting-why is it so easy to invalidate a “teenage girls” feelings because of her age and her gender? This is definitely linked to the way young girls are treated in our society: as if they’re shallow, unintelligent, hormone driven people who are apparently a tumor to the intellectual world. But let me just say this: I have never known more compassionate, smart, dedicated and kind people than the teenage girls that have been in my life. Although I am now 21, I have been a teenage girl once and I will always take offense when you belittle someone like that.

Next, people tend to see this entire situation as childish and shallow, but those are the people who have literally no idea what this band means to its fans. It’s deeper than just attractive boys and catchy music, and for a lot of us it is personal. This band has been a big part of our lives for four or five years and when you become invested in something for that long, when you create bonds because of it and you grow up alongside it, it obviously means more than what’s at the surface. I was going through a strange time in my life when I discovered this band, but because of it I met some of my closest friends, I have learned things that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned, I have become a better person, and I have felt like I’ve really belonged. For many of us it has been a constant in our lives, something to always go to whenever we needed because we knew it would always be there. So excuse us for hurting and excuse us for having legitimate feelings.

Of course there are always going to be “bigger and more important” things happening in the world, but that doesn’t mean your personal issues and emotions aren’t worth anything. If you see someone who is clearly affected by something, no matter how insignificant you deem it to be, just respect their feelings. Show some sympathy. Life isn’t about making people feel ashamed for what they love just so you can feel superior for the time being. People can hurt in ways that you might not understand, but that doesn’t mean they’re not hurting.

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An Eventful Week

Where do I even begin?

Last Saturday was my 21st birthday, so my friends and I celebrated accordingly. Although I unfortunately didn’t have the chance to see my family on my birthday, it was still one of the best birthdays that I have ever had. It was a beautiful, sunny day in Duluth and I was surrounded by so many wonderful people who worked so hard to give me an amazing day!

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As you can see, I was a birthday princess. Can I wear that crown around all the time?

On Monday, Reena and I hopped on a bus to Chicago for our “spring break in the city” and we spent the week adventuring, shopping, walking, eating pizza, walking some more, taking the subway, getting lost, and did I mention walking?

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This past week has been one of the most memorable of 2015 and I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend my 21st with such caring friends, and to have traveled to a new city with my best friend. Coming back to school and having to put last week in the past is certainly tough, but I am looking forward to all that the future has to bring for me.

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” -Emily Dickinson.

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I also want to thank my friends for showing me an immense support for this blog. I’m constantly overwhelmed by the kind words and encouragement you all throw my way. It means the world.

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Spring Is Near!

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 Whenever someone has asked what my favorite season is, my response has always been “fall” and I’ve only recently realized that I’m a liar. I have been lying for nearly 21 years about what my favorite season is. And I didn’t even know it!

There’s just something about spring that lifts my spirits. Perhaps it’s the distinct smell, the sun peeking out more and more, the sound of birds chirping again, or the simple fact that everything is coming back to life. It’s beautiful.

After months of bitter cold and snow, it’s a miracle when the temperatures start rising to 30 and 40 degrees. I love being able to go outside in just a light sweatshirt. I love seeing the trees grow their leaves again. I love the slight breeze. I love the melting snow. But most of all, I love how happy I am when it’s springtime. It’s almost as if I come back to life, too.

Here are some songs on my spring playlist:

Bloom-The Paper Kites

Shine On-The Kooks

Hero-Family of the Year

Into the Wild-Lewis Watson

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What’s your favorite part about spring? What are you looking forward to in these next few months?

Negativity? No Thanks!

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I’m not sure if it’s something that comes naturally with getting older, but I’ve found that I no longer give a damn about what everyone else thinks of me. When I was younger, in high school especially, I was always so paranoid that people were talking about me when I walked by, or that the giggles I heard behind me were due to the fact that something was terribly wrong with my outfit.

It caused me so much stress and uneasiness because everywhere I went I was wondering what was wrong with me, mentally going through all the ways to not draw attention to myself.

I don’t know if you realize this but that’s kind of a really terrible way to live life.

Perhaps it was college, or maturity, or just some weird happenstance, but eventually that just stopped. Don’t get me wrong, I care a lot about what my friends and family think, but outside of them…nope. From time to time I still get a sense that people are talking about me (it’s a bit obvious when they get into a group and they all take turns looking at you and then proceed to talk in hushed voices) but all I can do is shrug. Because the fact of the matter is that 99.9% of the time those people don’t know me, they’re just making assumptions about me based off of shallow things. All that really matters to me is that I’m happy with myself.

And you know what? I am.

So if you’re battling the same fear that I was, I urge you to take into consideration how little those people know of you. Instead, think of the people close to you who know loads about you and love you unconditionally. Do not base your worth on what some stranger says, it’s simply a waste of time.

You do you, friend. You do you.

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Introversion

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No, I’m not antisocial. No, I’m not a loner. No, I don’t hate fun.

I’m just introverted.

What does that mean exactly? Well, introversion is a personality trait  that consists of things such as being quiet (for the most part), observing, thoughtful-but most of all, introverts tend to get their energy from being alone.

I like to be on my own. In fact, I love it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy spending time with others. Usually whenever I’m socializing I hit this wall where all of a sudden I have no more energy to contribute to the occasion. It’s like pulling out the white flag and waving it around while whispering “Okay, I’m done. I’d like to be alone now. Thank you.”

While extroverts get most of their energy from being around people and being social, introverts are quiet opposite. Give me a day (or three) to recuperate after an exhausting social event and I’ll be ready to go again!

Here’s a handy dandy little guide about introversion:

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Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert or even an ambivert, you’re awesome. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Thanks for reading!

What I Love About Myself

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Believe it or not, I had a great Valentine’s Day. And I’m single.

In the past I’ve always dreaded Valentine’s Day (partly because the mix of red and pink makes me nauseous) but this year I was content. More than content, really. I was happy.

Spending the weekend with my best friend, Reena, and eating junk food upon junk food and watching rom-coms was certainly helpful in having a good Valentine’s experience, but the fact that I’m currently the happiest I’ve ever been with myself was icing on the cake.

Contrary to popular belief, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day even if you’re single. It can be a day full of lovin’ yourself, and does it get any better than that?

So in honor of Valentine’s Day I’ve decided to make this post about self-love. Here are 10 things that I love about myself.

1. I love my independence and the fact that I can enjoy my own presence when I’m on my own.

2. I really love my eyes.

3. The fact that I’m passionate about certain issues.

4. How confident I’ve become with my body over the years- I’ve gone from cringing whenever I looked in the mirror to actually checking myself out sometimes! Ha!

5. I’m trustworthy; I don’t tell people other peoples business. Gossiping is boring to me.

6. The fact that I’ve unlearned so much internalized misogyny and problematic thoughts.

7. My desire to constantly learn more and become a better, stronger person.

8. My sense of humor.

9. My love for dogs (which probably trumps my love for humans, if I’m being honest.)

10. I’ve got a kick-ass smile.

A few years ago I probably wouldn’t have even been able to come up with 5 things that I love about myself. Progress is a beautiful thing.

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Now it’s your turn; what are some things that you love about yourself?

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A Weekend In Winona

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to take a trip down to Winona with my best friend Reena to surprise our other best friend, Tricia. We arrived in Winona around 5:00 Friday night and met up with a few of Tricia’s friends and needless to say she was quite surprised when she found us sitting on a couch in her friend Bekah’s house.

It was a really great weekend spent meeting many of Tricia’s friends, eating yummy food, exploring Winona and above all, still somehow finding a way to waste hours upon hours doing absolutely nothing. It’s what we do best.

Before we left yesterday, however, Tricia took Reena and I to this cute little cafe called Blooming Grounds. We drank hot cocoa and chai’s and simply sat and enjoyed each other’s company.

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This weekend reminded me how wonderful these two girls are and how lucky I am to be able to call them my best friends. I always feel so comfortable with these two, and they are so supportive of me and everything I do. (They even listen to my feminist and animal right’s rants :) )

A New Year

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Happy 2015 to you all! I can’t believe I haven’t written a post since last year (sorry for the overused joke but, hey, it was inevitable). I hope everyone has had a great time over the holidays! I certainly have; I’ve been spending my time with family and friends, working, napping, and simply enjoying the nice break.

2014 was a good year for me; I’m leaving it very content and appreciative. It was a year full of personal growth, and I am extremely happy with who I am now, even though I’m still working on it day  by day!

I’ve never really been one for New Years resolutions, but I’m deciding to give it a go this year…why not!

The first of my resolutions is to journal every day. Journaling is something I love to do but too often I go through spurts of not picking up a pen and just writing. So, with that being said, I’m making 2015 a year of 365 journal entries. Hopefully by doing this I will be able to stir up some more creative energy!

My next resolution is to love myself more. It might sound like a silly resolution but I truly believe that loving yourself is key to growth and overall happiness. I’ve come a long way from a few years ago in terms of self-love, but it can always always be better! No more knocking myself down because I don’t meet my ridiculous standards.

The next resolution is to not let my introversion stop me from making friends/memories. Although I don’t consider myself 100% introverted, there are still too many times where I just burrow into myself and hide from the world. It’s hard for me to put myself out there and meet new people, and that has always been something I’ve strongly regretted. Now, I’m not planning to become an extrovert (that’s a very scary thought) but I want to be able to look back on this year as one that consisted of wonderful people and memories that will last a lifetime.

My fourth resolution is to never buy a product that has been tested on animals/created in a sweatshop. This one is very important to me as I am a big believer in women’s rights as well as animal rights, and it’s a difficult to find products that are cruelty and sweatshop free nowadays. I feel that not enough people realize the damage that these types of companies and industries create, but I plan on informing everyone and anyone!

Lastly, I want to travel more. I’m not sure if that constitutes as a resolution, but it’s something that is very important to me and I don’t get out nearly enough. There’s so much of the world that I’ve yet to see, so many people to meet and so many thoughts to have and it is upsetting to think that I’m not experiencing all of those things.

I’m excited to see what 2015 holds for me. What are your New Years resolutions? May 2015 bring you a lot of positivity, adventure, and love.