I have a chewed piece of gum on my desk.

The past few months I’ve received a lot of emails, Insta DMs and in-person Qs about my blog. I’ve sorta ~blogged about it~ before, but that was, like, almost a year ago. So, here’s a refresher.

Some of the Qs I’ve been asked are as follows:

  • Why and when did you start it?
  • How can I start a blog? I have so many things I want to write about but I’m nervous to publish them.
  • Where does your inspiration come from?
  • Are you worried about employers reading your blog?
  • LOL remember that time we briefly dated — you should blog about it. 
  • How did you get your following? What are some SEO techniques?

And here’s my favorite one that I get all of the time.

  • Do your parents read your blog? 

I’m going to attempt to answer these questions, but I’m sorta against a typical Q&A format because tbh, it’s not ~on brand~ with the rest of my stuff. So, per usssuual, I’m going to write about this how I write my all of my blog posts: a personal essay about yours truly.

If you’re here for SEO tips, this isn’t the place for you. Sry.

Hold tight, you’re about to see EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEAK BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS PREMIUM BLOG ABOUT IT CONTENT!!!

Let’s start off with what my desk usually looks like.

IMG_8312.JPG.jpeg You’ll see the WordPress screen, a cup of coffee (well, 3rd cup of coffee), water, a chewed piece of gum, a pen, and a To-Do list. This is what my “desk” usually looks like (minus the chewed gum — I have manners).

I’m at my dad’s house, but the setting where I choose to write always changes. Coffee shops, my couch, the bathroom at a bar five vodka sodas deep. It depends.

What you can’t see (or hear, I guess), is the SSOTWTIHLTORFTPFD (Spotify song of the week that I have listened to on repeat for the past five days). Can anyone relate? It’s Sinking by Jeremy Zucker, in case you were wondering.

I have gotten in the habit of taking my make up off religiously every single night (only took me 24 years), except I haven’t quite mastered the art of getting ALL of my eye liner off. Here’s me in real time — my typical ~blogging look~.

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NO FILTER Y’ALL

Pro tip: The most successful bloggers are always guzzling coffee. This blog isn’t sponsored by Keurig, but tbh, it should be.

So now that you’ve gotten a quick peak into what my life looks like when I blog. Now to the how and why.

I don’t have any real “pro tips” for you about blogging. Truly, I don’t. There are thousands of blog posts out there that tell you about the keys to creating a a high-traffic blog and for those blogs, that’s they’re goal. More traffic.

When I write, I don’t really write for traffic. Yeah, my topics are relatable and when WordPress sends a “You’re stats are booming!” notification, I’m low-key stoked, but you’ll also notice the titles of my blog are never something like, “10 Things Why Everybody Should Drink At Least 4 Cups of Coffee A Day. I’ve Done It And You Should Too.” Lol, #trustory, but you know what I mean.

Basically, I don’t write click-bait.

There is nothing wrong with click-bait. I’m not currently sitting on a blogger high horse scoffing at other bloggers who produce this type of content. I mean, clearly.  There’s currently a chewed piece of gum in my peripheral, who am I to judge?

I’m just saying, that’s not my writing, or I guess “blog” style. So like I said, if you clicked this article looking for tips on SEO or how to go viral, this isn’t the place for you.

Words are a beautiful thing and through this blog, I’m able to experiment with them in a way that is both therapeutic to me and my readers. As much as I write for you, I write for me. It keeps me sane.

I write in an emotional, provocative, stream of consciousness kind of way — as you have probably picked up on. I don’t want to get all sappy and say I ~speak from the heart~ because sometimes I don’t. I let my fingers do the talking — and sometimes it comes out shit. Hence why I have over 450 drafts.

I don’t go into blogs planning what I’m going to write. I don’t believe that inspiration can be pre-determined. For me, it just happens. I experience severe writer’s block like the rest of us and then find myself staring at cappuccino suddenly immersed in an infinite amount of topics and the words flow from my brain to my fingers effortlessly.

The most successful (and profitable) blogs usually have editorial calendars and scheduled posts. They are consistent, reliable and write in a way is “shareable.” I mean, that’s the key to going viral, right?

Not always.

I didn’t build my audience from developing an editorial calendar or sticking to a certain schedule. I built it by sticking to my style — sticking to the style that I know best. My personal “brand” if you will. People come here knowing what to expect – and usually they like it. 

In a way, this website is less of a blog and more of collection of short stories. It wasn’t always that way, though.

Let’s dive into the beginning.

I started this blog when I was a mere single 20-something. Titled Another Chapter in the Book, I didn’t really know what I was doing, and the stuff I wrote about is honestly laughable. Check this out. My very first blog post EVER is titled “Trying to Never Figure Out Life” published April 5, 2013. Holy wow.

I tweet way too much, use Facebook for strictly photo sharing and creeping, and Instagram pointless shit while crossing my fingers that the “likes” will get in the double digits. My iPhone battery sucks, and I also hate myself for complaining about first world problems on a daily basis. I like to take chances, make spontaneous decisions, and am always reaching for something more.

I mean, still sorta true except Twitter is dying and if I ever post a picture that doesn’t get into the double digits I’m straight up deleting my Insta out of pure embarrassment. Kidding but not really. 

Then there was this point titled, “Sunshine, you ROCK.” Ugh, Beth.

Shout out to Mother Nature for rocking my socks this week. ‘Tis the season for sundresses, Sperry’s, and sunglasses. I mean, this doesn’t compare to last year, when it was 75 degrees in the middle of March, but hey, take what you can get.

Am I real?????? Can’t be. Also like, #tbt to when I would wear Sperry’s.

Anyways, like I said before, in the early stages, this blog was purely snippets of my every day thoughts. A kewl and new way to write that wasn’t in the depths of a journal page. It didn’t take much effort and I never really put much thought into what I wrote.

Oh, how times have changed. 

So, how did I get here? Couldn’t tell ya. It wasn’t a revelation I had one morning where I was like haaaayyy I’m gunna tell y’all about all of my personal shit. It was like I developed a strange yet invigorating & intoxicating relationship with this thing and then got more comfortable with the types of things I shared.

This “thing” being my blog.

Behind my marble-skinned MacBook and black plastic keyboard I find peace. It gives me a high I can’t really explain. Things that don’t make sense suddenly can turn into a story that I didn’t even know was there.

For all of you that have asked, how do I start?

Watch a 2 minutes WordPress tutorial on YouTube and then write your first blog post. That’s it. 

Not everything you write has to be novel-worthy. It doesn’t have to change the world. It just has to be you. Like any art form, writing takes practice. What you learn through practicing is two-fold. In one instance, you learn more about how to formulate a more compelling sentence, but in the other, you learn how be more comfortable with your mistakes.

It’s like sitting in front of an easel with nothing but a blank canvas, a paintbrush and a plethora of the finest paint and you’re like LOL, I can hardly draw a stick figure thooo???? You don’t wanna fuck up the canvas so you approach it with caution, afraid of messing up the entire thing with one stroke. The more blank canvasses you fuck up, the more comfortable you get with fucking up and then you realize that your new fuck ups aren’t as bad as your old fuck ups. Make sense?

Then suddenly, you wake up and your art is plastered all over the internet! It’s crazy!

All I’m saying is just write. Write for yourself. Develop your own style. The rest will come. Don’t be too concerned with your audience at first, because again you’re writing for yourself, remember?

I know for a fact that there are some people (hopefully not toooo many) who read what I post and roll their eyes and prob screenshot it and send it to their group chat and laugh.

Or, maybe not at all because I’m not that important lolz. 

You guys also ask a lot about my “subjects.” If you don’t know what this means, basically my “subjects” is my ~long list of ex-lovers who hopefully don’t call me insane~.

I actually had one person ask me, “Do you date people so you can blog about them?”

LOL. No. Good Q though.

Like I said, I don’t go into things being like OOMMGGG THIS IS GUNNA BE A GR8 STORY. It just so happens that relationships make really good blog posts. So, then I write about it and you read them. Simple as that. Honestly, I hope one day that I find myself in a relationship that is too boring to write about because it’s so perfect.

But also not really because that’s no fun either. 

I don’t usually ask people if I can write about them because then they ask questions and I don’t want them to ask questions because then it makes me nervous to write about and then story gets all censored and un-fun and I accidentally talk in a bunch of run-on sentences. Know what I mean? I never share revealing details about them, but besides a couple of guys, people actually like being the subject of my blog. Dead serious!

My last ex was angry about the blog post about him. Like, extremely angry. Pretty sure he consulted a lawyer about it too. I mean, there was not really a case there because the truth is always your biggest defense when it comes to writing but trust me, I’ve done my legal research. You should too.

Like I’ve said in the past, I don’t write with the intent to defame or publicly shame anybody — nobody should. I write stories. My stories. My truth. Are there other characters involved? Of course. That’s life, man.

At first I was so timid, so afraid of what people would think. Like, omg what if people think I’m a total psycho?! 

I eventually just stopped caring. I learned to stop apologizing for what I wrote and learned that if my stories are something that turn certain people away, those people were never meant to be in my life in the first place.

Pro tip: If you want to write about dating/exes, gr8. It’s fun. But don’t make it about the other person. Don’t write for them, write for you. Speak on behalf of your feelings and your experiences. The other parties are just characters in your story. You don’t want to create a “bash your ex blog.” Nobody wins and it usually isn’t as compelling of a read as you want it to be. 

I find inspiration in every day occurrences of my life; dude-induced or not. It doesn’t take a monumental experience for my brain to extrapolate a story. I can literally stare at a blank wall and turn it into a string of sentences on a page. Some call it talent, I call it overthinking — something I’m quite good at.

Does my family read my blog? Yes. Believe it or not, my blog posts are actually on my dad’s fridge. My mom’s always the first to compliment them and this Christmas, my cousin’s wife bought me a unicorn mug because of my last blog post. Check the featured image.

So, yeah, they read it — and they support it!

For a while I tried to hide it from future employers, but at this point I consider it an accomplishment. Yeah, maybe the stuff I write about isn’t super profesh but, it’s me.

And I like me.

My posts don’t follow the rules of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. In fact, I’m quite sure that if either one of them awoke from the dead and read one blog post, they would re-pass away due to grammar deficiencies. Pretty sure “lolz” and “fuckboy” aren’t in the Webster Dictionary.

They’re not meant to be grammatically perfect nor attract the most traffic. I used to care more about that stuff but then I realized if I wrote in that way, I’d lose the edge that have been developing since the early days of blogging nearly six years ago.

Pro tip: Develop your edge.

What’s an edge? Honestly, I don’t really know. My professor told me that my writing had an “edge” so I’m holding onto that compliment in the hopes that it some day makes more sense to me.

Not everybody is going to love what you write. Not everybody is going to love the character you create out of them. Some people turn into a whole chapter while some only make it out with a line or two. The beauty of personal writing is that you have complete control over what gets put on the page.

If you want to start a blog, then start a blog. Who’s stopping you?

Don’t write for others, write for yourself. You’d be surprised how many stories you can create out of a seemingly monotonous life. When you master that, your life actually starts to feel much more interesting.

Inspiring female artists to add to your playlist.

To call myself an “artist” would be a massive stretch. Creative? Yes. Artist? Ehh. If you count off-pitch sing-in-the-shower sessions and my innate ability to doodle the f*ck out of a new notebook, then, yes, maybe I am an artist.

I can’t sing. I simply can’t. I want a phenomenal voice, like really bad. But, I also want my college loans to disappear. We can’t always get what we want. My best voice is found behind the constraints of my laptop saturated beneath my QWERTY keyboard. I’ll leave the singing to the real talent.

This post isn’t about me though – shocker!

Lately, I’ve realized my Spotify has been packed with super amazingly talented women who sing with a purpose, not just to appeal to the masses. Women who are bad ass and deserve praise and recognition for their brilliance.

**I am not a music critic nor am I trying to be with this post. Just fangirling!**

Women who you NEED to add to your music playlist ASAP:

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Photo via Billboard

If you follow me on Snap, you probably hear some song off SZA’s new album Ctrl playing in the background. I’m literally obsessed. Her voice is raspy and distinct – but don’t we all secretly LOVE raspy voices? Like, ugh, lost my voice last night I sound like a man!! *but I secretly want my voice to sound like this all of the time*

“I’m talking a lot of grimy shit, but it’s truth,” she tells PitchforkPREACH GIRL. This “grimy shit” she speaks of has turned into an incredible set of R&B tracks that must be added to your queue.

My faves: Prom, Go Gina, Supermodel, Drew Barrymore (released on an earlier EP)

 

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Photo via unrtd.com

Referred to as a “dark pop” R&B artist, Jennifer Banks brings an interesting edge to the pop world with her latest, The Altar and previous breakthrough album, Goddess. Both album titles connote a “bow down to me” type of attitude, but I love every second of it. It’s not coming from an obnoxious place, it’s coming from a woman who has bared the shitty parts of life, overcame it, and looks to inspire other people by sharing her story.

She tells explains what it means to be a “wounded healer” to Time Magazine, “When you’ve gone through something and you’ve overcome it, you’re able to heal other people. A wounded healer, I think, is a lot more powerful than a healer that has not been wounded.”

Her lyrics promote self-affirmation with a sharp “no fucks given” undertone.  Amazing.

My faves: Fuck with MyselfSomeone New, Gemini Feed

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Photo via Philly.com

Half of the iconic duo Marian Hill, (s/o to Kat for introducing me), Samantha Gongol is possibly the best artist I’ve seen live. If you haven’t heard of them, you probably Shazamed them recently as you watched Apple’s recent iPhone commercial.

Dubbed as the “sexiest band of the year” in 2016, their music is absolute FIRE. I’ve also been told more than once that it’s a common artist to include on a sex playlist. People love to f*ck to this music. No joke.

In an interview with Soul Sisters Podcast, Gongol explained the empowering heat behind the music, “It’s really important that we always write from the perspective of a strong female character,” and noted that bandmate Jeremy Lloyd is “a champion of everything feminism.”

My faves: Down (obviously), I Want You, Got It

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Photo via Pigeons and Planes

This Australian-based “one woman band” plays the guitar, piano, trumpet, loops, sings, AND beat-boxes. Badass. Discovered from a viral YouTube video she recorded in her bedroom back in 2016, Sultana has been selling out shows worldwide ever since.

For this 22-year old woman, music has been her escape since her teenage years…literally. In an interview with Tone Deaf, she explains her nine-month drug induced psychosis from eating pizza laced with magic mushrooms. For these several months, Sultana was unable to pull herself from this psychotic state and lost all sense of reality.

She says music is what saved her. “I went into my room one day and I was just strumming and I realized that I achieved complete peace of mind while I was doing that,” she explains, “I had finally found some quiet so I literally played and played and played and played until I played the pain away, did every single open mic, snuck into every single place to go and play a show, busking, everything.”

My faves: Jungle & Notion

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Photo via Instagram

I knew from the first time I met this gal that she was something special. A strong and unapologetic feminist, Blackwell’s music has a distinct rawness with empowering and soulful undertones. In my recent relationship post I talked about the importance of being an advocate for other women, and she encompasses every aspect of that in her work. You da bomb.

At the ripe age of 21, she’s already killin’ the game with her most recent EP, New EraThe inspiration behind her music can be traced back to her upbringing in Detroit Michigan where she was introduced to the world of Motown Music and Hip Hop.

Blackwell explains that she “plans to use her career to make a difference in the way our society places limitations on girls and even young boys”. She believes that her voice can “move mountains and barriers for her daughters to come.” Keep an eye out for this one, she’s about to make some serious waves in the music industry.

Love you girl! Don’t forget about me when you make it big.

My faves: Commencement & Be Careful Master

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Photo via Into the Urban

I didn’t realize I had been listening to Baraz on repeat until a reader suggested her for this post. When I searched her, I was like AWWW shyt! I already love this gal! 

Baraz brings an captivating mix of electronic, pop, and R&B to the music scene. Falling in love with the sounds of Galiamatias, Baraz started uploading her own music over his electronic instrumentals and uploaded them to Soundcloud. No studio or producers involved. Just a gal who had a dream and wanted to be discovered.

Through Soundcloud, the duo released Baraz’s first EP, Urbana Flora without ever meeting in real life. Technology these days. You’ve probably heard Baraz on her recent hit, Electric featuring another of of my faves, Khalid (if he was a female he’d totally make this list). Her music has also been remixed by several artists including R3hab, Le Youth and Felix Jaehn and she’s currently touring with Coldplay.

My faves: Electric ft. Khalid, Make You Feel, Pretty Thoughts (FKJ Remix)


Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I wanted to include all of them, butttttt I think I might just make this an ongoing thing. Thx for being osm per usual.

Below you’ll find my Spotify playlist including all of the tracks I mentioned above. You’re welcome.

For Blair Blackwell’s music, check out her Soundcloud.

Mediocrity.

I didn’t mean to get super personal, but I couldn’t help it.

“What’s your biggest fear in life?”

I hadn’t prepped for this one. I had four pages of a Google Doc typed out, with every possible question I could attempt to predict.

Tell me about yourself.
Why should we choose you?
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you deal with it?
What skills have you learned that have helped you develop both personally and professionally?
Why do you want to work for us?
What would you say your weaknesses are?

The list continued. I had thorough responses typed and saved as I watched the cursor blink and continue to ask each question I had already answered.

“What is your biggest fear in life?”

I paused, I’m sorry, that question sort of took me off guard.

She laughed. I laughed (nervously). “It’s a loaded question,” she acknowledged, “take your time.”

I was quiet for several seconds. Breaking the silence with an “um” followed by further silence.

Mediocrity. I replied.

She paused. “Can you repeat that? Did you say mediocrity? What do you mean by that?”

Have you ever felt like you’re not living up to the expectations you set for yourself? Like, you know you’re capable of great things, but do you ever wonder if you’ll get to that point? I know where I can be someday, but what if I never get there? 

I swallowed hard and continued…

I fear being mediocre. Being less than what I know I am. 

As a young twenty something with an uncertain future ahead, I fear mediocrity all of the time. I fear always being two steps behind of where I want to be. Always reaching, but never grabbing. Striving, but not thriving.

I have done some great things in my young life, as have you. But, I can’t help but wonder what else is out there for me. I can’t help but wonder if I’m taking the wrong steps, dating  the wrong people, living in the wrong place.

Or worse, being the wrong person.

I can’t help fearing if I’ll ever make it to where I want to be. Career-wise, dating-wise, life-wise.

Success is often measured by the number on your paycheck, but to me, I find myself worrying less about that and more about non-financial fulfillments. I worry about the people I surround myself with, the late night thoughts that flood my brain, the guys I unexpectedly develop feelings for. I worry about never being completely satisfied. But, are we meant to be completely at peace with everything at once? Are we meant to experience ultimate nirvana? Is it possible to be living in your own form of utopia? 

“Life is perpetually creative because it contains in itself that surplus which ever overflows the boundaries of the immediate time and space, restlessly pursuing its adventure of expression in the varied forms of self–realisation.”

Life is creative. It’s unexpected. Daunting, confusing, and beautiful all at once.

Am I just existing?

High school preps you for college (sort of). College preps you for the real world (not really). But once you’re in the real word, what’s next? It’s like suddenly you’re in an abyss of “Am I doing this right?”s with no one to fall back on but yourself.

As I sit on the patio of my favorite coffee shop, my mind is moving in a thousand different directions. To my left lies my phone pinging with work emails. To my right is the overpriced coffee I definitely didn’t need. There are job engine tabs open on my Google Chrome browser, packed full with opportunities that don’t seem to mesh well with me.

I know I’m not supposed to be picky. I know that not all dream opportunities are at the end of a straight and narrow path. Is it normal to wonder if I’ll ever get there?

I draw inspiration from random happenings. My stories are always crafted after the fact; after some deliberation, caffeine, and an inspiring Spotify playlist. Is this what life is supposed to be like? I may not know the significance of a random job or a confusing guy in the moment, but I can only hope it’s part of the windy path that will get me to where I need to be.

Rather, where I want to be.

Tomorrow is my 24th birthday. There is no Taylor Swift nor Blink 182 track to caption my Instagram picture with. *Sigh*. There’s also no guide titled, “Where you should be in life be when you turn 24.” Damnit.

Some friends are in long term relationships, others are still experiencing the stress that is dating different people, like myself. Some have 401ks and pensions, others stuff their closets with cash tips after a long night of bartending. Some are up late studying for grad school exams, others are up late hooking up with a random guy.

Some are content, others want more.

However, I think we all ask ourselves, “What is my forever?” We wonder what jobs we’ll keep, what people are worth investing in, and whether or not that plane ticket is worth splurging on. Most of us have no ties grounding us to one set plan or place, so I suppose my fear of mediocrity is normal and somewhat validated.

Life is a strange mix of people, places, and unexpected outcomes. I’ve never been one to plan, but I find comfort in knowing what’s next. But, yet, I’ve found that the best things always come without warning. I’ve found that the right people and opportunities come at the right times, even if it feels wrong in the moment.

We have the power to shape a beautiful life in the same way we have the power to shape a mediocre one. Not every career decision will be monumental, not every relationship will sweep you off your feet. I guess we have to experience the mediocre to experience the groundbreaking.

Ten years from now, I hope I’m working a job I love, coming home to a guy (or dog, most likely) I love even more. I hope to wonder why I ever worried. Why I ever doubted my abilities. Why I asked myself if I’ll ever make it.

I suppose fearing mediocrity is better than accepting mediocrity as a constant. Right?

So, for now, I guess I can be content with my half broken dresser and sub-par chicken piccata. I can be content with a mediocre situationship, content with feeling under qualified for every job posting I seemed to be interested in. Not every area of my life can be  awesome at all times, but I guess that’s what makes me crave more awesomeness.

I’m not sure if this is where I’m supposed to be at age 24, but do we ever really know? Not sure. I guess we all experience life at a different pace. Interning while some are career-ing (poetic license???). Hooking up while some are proposing. Feeling uncertain while some are at ease.

I don’t know where I’m supposed to be or who I’m supposed to be with.  I don’t know if my answer to the interviewees question helped me land a job or kicked me off the list entirely. I know less about life than I’d like, but then again, I’m only 24.

It’s unnerving, but if you feel the same way I do, thank GOD because that means I’m not the only one. Phew!

Hold onto the confidence you have in your abilities, because in my experience, it’s the confidence that has led me to the awesome life I’ve lived thus far. Even if sometimes it doesn’t feel so awesome.

Crave awesomeness over mediocrity. Crave awesome people, awesome places. You’ll encounter countless mediocre things in the process, but we need the mediocre things to experience the awesome things. You know, the groundbreaking, “this shit is LIT” kinds of things. Strive for the awesome life, but accept that it’s not going to come out of every decision, relationship, or job you encounter. It’s the mediocre that builds the foundation for something killer.

We’ll get there. Eventually.

In the meantime, you can find me attempting to fix my half broken dresser and perfecting my chicken piccata dish while laughing hysterically over this video with my roommate. The little things, you know.

“I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here. I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.” – Richard Feynman

 

VLOG: Should you blog? Yes. Should I vlog? Idk, but here I am.

I never imagined myself to be a vlogger. It’s like the super kewl and trendy thing to do nowadays, but man, being able to talk through a QWERTY keyboard is much easier than talking to Photo Booth alone in my apartment with Stella. For me, at least.

So, when I asked myself if I should hop on the vlog bandwagon, I remembered the feeling I had 4 years ago when starting this whole blog shindig…which led me to the first vlog topic.

In my very first vlog, I answer the question I get all of the time, “should I start a blog?” Excuse my poor grammar at times…like I said, QWERTY keyboard > Photo Booth chat.

Enjoy my awkwardness, excessive hand motions, and countless “um”s and “like”s. xo

12 anti-Trump things to do today if you just tryna chill~

“What are your Inauguration plans?” Living in DC, the new home of our president-elect, this question is harder to avoid than most things.

Continue reading 12 anti-Trump things to do today if you just tryna chill~

Walking to work.

I was wearing a loose black dress from Urban. I paired it with black combat boots and gold bangles. I had been a slob all day, so I figured I’d throw something cute on to run some errands before work.

I stepped on the elevator, a man stood next to me and stared at my naked legs and then looked at me and winked. 5, 4, 3, 2, L. I stepped out and could still feel his eyes staring behind me.

Continue reading Walking to work.

Here’s what I want my funeral to look like

 

Inspired by Mindy Kaling’s book-because she’s just the sh*t.

Death. A morbid subject, yet inevitable to all. I have been to countless wakes and funeral in my lifetime, sadly. Distant cousins, grandmothers, an uncle to a friend of a friend who my dad knew on the board of directors for our youth basketball league. I mourned the loss of my friend’s goldfish one time in the 2nd grade. We cried as it swirled down the toilet bowl.

As I’m perpetually overwhelmed with sadness during these “mourning ceremonies,” if you will, my mind does doze off occasionally to completely selfish thoughts.

Continue reading Here’s what I want my funeral to look like

This is why I blog

 

When I started blogging as a sophomore in college, it was merely a fun side hobby. I wrote short posts, never diving into anything too personal. I didn’t want to make my journal public–not because I didn’t believe in my writing, but because vulnerability is scary as hell.

Putting myself out there only to get ridiculed or have people ask, “Why would she ever make that public?” was always a scary thought for me. Continue reading This is why I blog

No, you cannot use me to cut the line.

I don’t hide the fact that I landed a pretty sweet gig after college. It started with a risky move away from home, continuing into brutal understaffed nights as a waitress, then to long days of working in the office prior to my brutal understaffed nights as a waitress until I finally landed into a salaried position at one of the hottest new spots in the District.

Follow me on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform you can think of. You won’t have to scroll down too far to find a post about my workplace. Event planning and marketing for a 4 story bar with a 360 degree view of the city on a glass atrium rooftop is super Insta and Snap-worthy. Sorry about it.

I worked hard to get to where I’m at…and maybe had a little bit of luck on my side too. The days are long, the emails are never ending, and the event hosts are sometimes overly demanding. I meet and talk with dozens of new people every day, but that’s my favorite part of the job. And I have a ~super cool~ business card.

We attract varying demographics. I have helped planned events ranging from Boston Marathon fundraisers, 150 person masquerade parties, to 20 person debate watches (it’s DC, remember?) We never charge rental fees as we want to welcome any type of event into our venue. That’s *~the motto~*

Before I bore the sh*t out of you, let me get to the point of this blog.

The point of this blog is a lesson for my readers. I’m sure most of you are kindhearted individuals, most of whom are perfectly lovely people who I’d love to get with brunch with sometime and share many laughs over bottomless mimosas and bloodys.

Alas, I’m sure there are some people out there who would benefit from this.

And so I begin:

How To Not Be A Sh*tty Person 101

Our line at the door on the weekends is outrageous. We pack every floor to capacity and we’ve only been open for a month and a half. Not to brag. But, seriously. You cannot seriously expect to show up at 11pm on a Saturday night and immediately have a cheap rail drink in your hand. Using the “I know the owner line” won’t work and probably will never work.

So, thus, trying to use the “I know the events coordinator” line DEFINITELY won’t work. I’d like to envision myself as that important, but, I’m at the same entry-level-struggling-to-make-rent point in my life that you are most likely at too. My desk is just a fully stocked bar while yours may be a cubicle.

Attempting to drop a name at the door doesn’t make you a douchebag, I appreciate the hustle. Your time is valuable, the last place you want to be is waiting in line when you’re at the height of your buzz in the middle of the winter (why nips were invented). I get it.

Here is what makes you a douchebag:

“Hey Beth, I noticed that you have a really cool new job. My friends and I are looking for somewhere to go tonight. Are you going to be working?”

Hey! So great to hear from you. I haven’t spoken to you since the last time we slept together…in September. Remember that? We went on a few dates in the fall. I wasn’t super into you, but I think I tried texting you the day after I stayed over and you weren’t really having it. Then we stopped talking. The end. I debated responding something snarky when you texted me in the thick of Jonas, but then realized I didn’t really give a sh*t. So, sorry for not responding. Yes, we were open during the snowstorm. I know it’s a little late now, but I hope you and your friends found a warm spot to hang out!

“Hey! What’s up? I hope you’re doing well and sorry this is totally random, but are you working tonight?!?”

Hey, nmjc!! Hbu??! Sorry just seeing this text now. It was 11:30pm when you sent it, I’m assuming you were waiting in the line that was roughly 100-people deep in the freezing cold. The last time I heard from you were legitimately drunkenly screaming profanities at my house on the way to the bar last semester of college. And I think the last time we actually spoke was when I confronted you about that time you told everyone I had an eating disorder without talking to me about it first. Lol. Smgts! I know we used to be friends–well friends is a loose term–but it’s totally great to hear from you. How ~totally cool~ that you moved down here too! Let’s catch up sometime. We can chat about the time you made my first semester of junior year miserable.

These are messages I’ve received the past couple of weeks. I looked at phone in both instances and couldn’t help but laugh. Honestly, it’s kind of entertaining seeing people outwardly be shitty and try to hide it the fact that they are in fact being shitty.

“Hey Beth, I really could give two shits about you, but can I talk to you real quick? Just for a sec. Just needa get into this bar first. Then I’ll go back to being shitty.” Like, just admit the fact that you are in fact being shitty.

Ok, I’m bitter. Whatever. 

I deal with difficult people on a daily basis, as I’m sure you do too. I can’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t expect to always be the girl who gets called back after a sleepover at a guy’s house. I don’t need to be liked by everyone. However, respect goes a long way.

Perhaps I’m ranting (ok, definitely ranting). Perhaps I was too naive to believe that this stuff goes away when you reach the age of almost-23. Perhaps I’m to blame for your shittyness–oh wait, no, that’s totally on you.

This is what I really wanted to respond when you texted me:
Hey. It’s nice to hear from you. How are you doing? I do work at a bar, thanks for noticing! I hope at some point I meant more to you than a $7 Bowman’s rail drink. I feel sorry for you that you are waiting in this crazy line while I am able to get in without a problem. Really, I’m sorry. However, your pathetic attempts at superficial friendliness to skip a 30 minute line is rather entertaining. I would say ‘I hope all is well,’ but I actually don’t really care. Sorry. I wish you nothing but a declined credit card on the cheapest beer we have.

So, no, you cannot use me to cut the line.   

Moral(s) of the story: Kindness goes a long way (even longer than our U St line on the weekends). People will always use to get ahead (literally and figuratively). And although you may only be important to drunk 20 somethings, at least you’re leaving your mark somewhere (and that’s pretty effing cool).

 

Featured image: Taken by Aaron Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

That time I went to see Pope Francis by myself.

The scariest part of moving away wasn’t anything having to do with finances or mental stability. People asked me time and time again if I was scared, and I would always reply with, “No, I’m just excited,” which was the honest truth.

Oftentimes we avoid jumping into the unknown because we’re afraid of what life might throw our way. Difficult times are easier to face when you’re surrounded with people who know you well enough to get you through it.

But what happens when you don’t have that safety net?

It was about a week ago where loneliness set in. I laid in my bed as the tears started to fall and suddenly I missed my friends and family more than I had since arriving here. I wish I could text someone to got to Chili’s for lunch and spend hours gossiping and talking about people and places we both knew.

I’ve met dozens of people since getting here whom have been nothing short of welcoming and kind. My roommate’s amazing and my coworkers have shown me that Tuesdays can be just as fun as Saturdays. It has nothing to do with my failure to make new friends.

I just missed the familiar, I guess.

The next day was a huge day in DC. The Pope had arrived and the entire city shut down for him (am I supposed to capitalize Him?). It was a monumental event including a parade open to the public right by the White House. After my slight cry-fest the night before, I woke up early enough to go see him. However, I couldn’t find anyone to go with.

Suddenly, I didn’t really want to go.

I texted my friend, “Is it weird that I go and see the Pope alone?” “Of course not, it’s the pope,” he replied. I suppose he was right. If I had no plans during the day and I failed to participate in this huge event, I was definitely doing something wrong. I tied up my running shoes and headed down to the monuments.

I felt kind of awkward at first being alone in a huge crowd, but I glanced next to me and there was another guy about my age walking alone too. Alright, so I’m not the only one. I thought to myself. We walked next to each other and passed the religious extremists shouting/preaching/hating or whatever you want to call it and we gave each other a look that said “What is wrong with some people?”

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The look sparked a conversation and he said to me, “I wonder what must have happened to them growing up that they turned out like that.” I laughed and agreed, and from there we spent the rest of the morning together. I had underestimated the time that it was going to take to actually see the Pope, so it was definitely nice having friend there for 2 hours to keep me company.

Conversation with him came easy, he was staying in DC for a co-op through Northeastern University (small world!) and the majority of what we talked about revolved around entering the real world and what it feels like to be a post-grad. He was only a junior, but working in the accounting field during tax season made it feel like he was already in the real world. Oh, and we also bonded over the fact that we were both STARVING.

Our conversation continued and it was as if I had known him forever. It was nice being able to have an in-depth conversation with a new face for once. Oftentimes with people we just meet, conversations are seemingly superficial and we let ourselves believe that we’re only capable of something deeper with people who have been in our lives for a long time. But, I guess when you’re two 20-somethings alone together for hours on end, small talk can only last so long.

The sun burnt my shoulders as we waited for the Pope-mobile to drive by. I had constant dry-mouth from lack of water and my phone battery was quickly diminishing because, you know, I just had to get everything on my Snapstory. We shared these similar first-world problems which made the time go by quicker. This interaction couldn’t have come at a better time after my tear-filled night.

Well, I guess the solution was going to one of the most talked about events in America completely by myself.

I don’t know why I felt super self conscious going to see the Pope alone…I mean, like, it’s pretty freaking cool that I got to see him. I guess I’m just used to always having someone. And here, that’s not always the case.

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Since that day, I’ve learned to embrace being alone. When you constantly surround yourself with the familiar, you fail to recognize the unfamiliar, which can be way cooler sometimes. I don’t mind sitting down at a coffee place by myself for hours, I don’t mind trekking to Georgetown to shop without a second opinion by my side.

The beauty of moving to a new place is that you get to create your life how you want to. It’s a clean slate; a chance to put yourself out there in your most vulnerable state. It’s a chance to see life beyond the familiar, beyond the expectations you set.

Because, who knows? You could have an ongoing conversation with a complete stranger for 4 hours next time the pope comes to visit. This guy reminded me that you’re never alone as you think you are. He reminded me that life isn’t meant to be lived by familiar standards, that vulnerability can lead to awesome experiences.

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Or, maybe you’ll meet the right people and get invited on a yacht as a blind date…stay tuned, my friends.