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my mental happy place

I’ve written before about my sleep struggles and frequent anxiety. These are two of my least favorite things about myself, and when they join forces at midnight, I know I’m in for a night of laying flat on my back trying to slow a racing heart, or scrolling through the “Discover” section of Instagram wondering why everyone else has a better life than I do.

I was at a Girl Scout sleep-away camp once, years ago, and felt ill-at-ease among the overly assertive counselors and cliquey girls. One of said counselors, who had nicknamed herself “Willow,” did her best to help me sleep, asking me to close my eyes and picture lovely things like waterfalls and open meadows. It helped.

Later, in high school, I occasionally went to a stress reducing/teen-focused yoga class after school. After going through the motions, we’d end class by laying flat on our backs, palms upward, lavender pillows over our eyes (still my favorite smell). Our instructor, Alison, would narrate some lovely meditation that pretty instantly made me fall asleep.

This can’t be a coincidence. Though I prefer to ease my anxiety during the daytime hours with more realistic, rational solutions, bedtime is for dreaming. Over the last decade, I’ve really honed in on my happy place – the dream world I create in my head, a life I fantasize about. It’s not exotic or anything special, really, but it’s something I continue to come back to, and for whatever reason, it makes drifting off to sleep so much easier.

I live in a small house by myself, in the woods, but walking distance from town. I bake a lot of bread and go to the farmer’s market often. I don’t have a computer. I read and paint a lot. I mainly wear dresses and silk nightgowns. I have a garden filled with plants I’ve managed not to kill. Sometimes it’s raining and I plop myself in front of a fireplace or in the giant clawfoot bathtub. (As I’m writing this, I feel kind of pathetic because most of these things are totally doable. We’ll see.)

Every once in a while I’ll scroll through Tumblr or Pinterest and see a photo that instantly transports me to my constructed happy place. Here are a few of those.

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the latest

my favorite words

I make a living playing with words, whether it’s writing an advertisement or describing various types of food and drink. These are some of my very favorite words (in alphabetical order), along with images that remind me of them.

Demure.

A teacher once described me as “demure” and it sounds so much nicer than “quiet.”

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Effervescent.

The only thing better than “eternal.”

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Grace.

Jealous of anyone named this.

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Quintessential.

Because why would you say “essential” when you could say “quintessential?”

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Sparkle.

Clothes, eyes, smiles, sunlight…everything sparkles.

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Summer.

It just makes me happy, especially when used as a verb.

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Wander.

Like “travel,” but more wistful.

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places

travel vignettes: HAWAII

coconut oil
mahalo
pineapple
palm trees
aqua
surf boys and surfboards
roadside stands
luau
fire dance
macadamia nuts
sunshowers

Where to go & what to do in Hawaii, from a frequent visitor.

i traveled to hawaii in third grade and eighth grade and wrote this list in march 2012.

follow new york is my boyfriend on tumblr.

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true life: my 9-5 is killing me

I have always craved stability. When I graduated from college, all I wanted in the world was a standard 9-5 job. Though I didn’t land my dream job, I made enough money to pay rent, ball out a little, and still had time to work on my side hustle. I’ve since upgraded to a new position, but still feel like something is missing from my life.

Totally opposite to my craving for stability is my desire for a life worth living–and a fear of “settling.” One full of adventure, envy-inducing Instagram posts, and stories that will shock my grandchildren in 50 years. While I feel so incredibly fortunate to even be employed, I still feel like something is missing. I wish so badly that I would be content working at a desk job and living the suburbs. Life would be so much easier, but I know that it would kill me a little bit.

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When I was still in school, I remember looking at people like Yoga Girl and Chelsie Antos, waiting for it to be my turn to teach yoga in Aruba or go RVing around America with my hot husband. While neither of those things specifically will probably ever happen to me, you get the idea. I wanted to be mildly responsible, get my degree, make some money, and then start exploring the world. Now, I want my life to have a little more purpose: for myself (selfishly), and for others (also kind of selfish).

Until I can start making big moves (i.e. waiting for my lease to run out), I would love to hear your ideas for keeping life exciting in the space between M-F, 9-5.

Follow new york is my boyfriend on Instagram.

**Check out my updated (and very professional) portfolio. 

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i found my voice…again

The only truly bad¬†thing about getting paid to write is that something I have always enjoyed has turned into something I¬†have¬†to do. Budgeting time to turn everything in on time, following style rules of different publications, and being as professional as possible via email to make sure I get paid. I started tackling assignments with a mentality of “getting it over with,” a significant switch in mindset since I used to savor the time I spent working on this blog.

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My¬†blog has always been a creative¬†outlet. I can use as many Oxford commas and semi-colons as I want. And it’s gif galore up in here! The only opinion on this website is my own–though that sounds a lot more egotistic than I mean.¬†For the second half of my American educational experience, my teachers consistently complimented my voice as a writer. I didn’t fully grasp what they meant at the time, but as I started peer-editing my classmates’ work and copy editing for the school paper, I started to understand. I want my writing to feel like a conversation. It is unpretentious, it should hopefully make you crack a smile. I like to think that if we met in person, my voice IRL would sound like the one that comes through here.

In churning out as much work as possible to make that $$$, I realized that I started cutting corners on¬†authenticity, and my voice wasn’t as bright as it used to be. Thanks to some recent job changes on my part, I’ve had time to think about the kind of writer I want to be. And I sure as hell better be one with her own voice.

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nobody ever told me i couldn’t be whatever i wanted

America’s recent presidential election has sparked a number of discussions about race, gender, class, and privilege across the United States. Like any other country, ours has its flaws. As a woman in the United States, I will receive an unfairly short maternity leave when I decide to have babies. I will never make as much money as a man who does the same job as me. I will be scared to walk home alone at night regardless of how safe my neighborhood is. I will go to professional meetings where men will look at my breasts when they speak to me. I will be “asking for it” if I wear a short dress. I will be “hormonal” if something upsets me.

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I am not pretending that my life has been filled with hardship. I was lucky that my parents started saving money for my college tuition the day I was born. I was lucky that I grew up in a place where you don’t have to lock your doors. And I was lucky that nobody EVER told me that I couldn’t grow up to do or be whatever I wanted to.

To my parents, my sister and I are exempt from every negative thing you hear in the media about being female. To them, there is nothing we cannot do, even though we are women and will have to work twice as hard, look over our shoulders when we walk home at night, and be belittled over the course of our lives.

Because of this, they have no understanding of how terrified I am that someone accused of multiple sexual assaults has been elected president of a country I have loved and been proud of my entire life. Because of how hard they have worked, they believe that nothing bad will ever happen to us–and I am not allowed to be a victim. I am not allowed to talk about how many times things happened to me that I didn’t consent to; how many times my feelings were brushed aside; how many times I felt ashamed to be a woman.

I don’t consider myself a political person (and this blog is not a place for politics) but as someone who¬†hopes to one day live in a peaceful world, it’s hard to remain silent.

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people, Uncategorized

why rachel green doesn’t get enough credit

Even though numerous people and Buzzfeed quizzes have told me I’m most similar to her, Rachel isn’t my favorite¬†Friends¬†character (see Chandler Bing). But after re-watching the series for the umpteenth time, I realized that she doesn’t get nearly enough credit.

She didn’t marry Barry because she wasn’t in love with him, even though it would’ve been the safe thing to do and her family wanted her to.

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She paid her dues and worked her way up to her dream job.

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She was an amazing friend and not afraid to speak her mind. Maybe I should aspire to be more like Rach!!

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