Tag Archives: letters

Dear 2012 (At The End)

Dear 2012,

3 states and 6 cities later, and I still don’t think I believe it, but here we are in Nashville. I can honestly say that I never would have even predicted this, sitting in San Marcos, Texas on a couch watching Coldplay and confetti on PBS (in fact- the first episode of Austin City Limits I ever worked!) this time last year.

But, oh boy, it’s been a YEAR!

You’ve definitely been the hardest year of my life, and although there have been times I have hated you, I wouldn’t trade your worst moments for right now.

You’ve been the year that I mourned graduating college and the friendships I made there that are so hard to keep track of now, but I fight for daily – whether through phone calls or text messages or just gchats that say nothing but “I MISS YOU” for days. You’ve been the year of different hair colors, the year of caffeine headaches and flight delays, the year of dance parties and hugging a lot of people, and hugging even more dogs. You’ve been the year of crying from laughing so hard, the year of taking the stigma out of 22 years of panic attacks, the year of learning new faces and new roads in new cities. You’ve been the year of growing up even more than I wanted you to be, the year of comparing everything to “Girls”, the year of sriracha-on-everything, the year of learning to trust my instincts, the year of meeting a boy with a fantastic mustache who bought me a Shiner (and the rest is history) and the year of discovering that being happy and overly-excited about life is not a crime!

You’ve been the year of relationships – from boys to family to friends to coworkers to strangers to Twitter to Jesus to neighbors to musicians to pen pals – and you’ve turned everything I knew about communication and love in those relationships upside down, in the best possible way. You’ve been the year of unlearning old habits of thinking ‘you’re just not good enough’ and the year of letting myself be loved for me, quirks and passions and all.

Together, 2012, we made it through unemployment that felt like it might steal all my joy and sanity for 6 months followed by 2 months in the desert only to pick up and move randomly and land my first big girl job in a week (!!!!!!!), and all the stresses and excitements of those decisions.

I probably didn’t sleep enough, I probably wore my vocal chords out singing to Adele’s “21″ frequently and lord knows I scuffed up some shoes dancing to Motown and Jack White. I probably should have called home more, I probably should have been more organized, I probably should have answered more emails in a timely manner.

But hey, I fixed that leak in my car by myself! I handled those awkward hard conversations! I wrote those songs and I shared them! I showed up on time to those interviews, I ate those vegetables, I streeeeeetched that budget even when it was hard, and I feel all the better from it.

2012, I’ll miss you and I’ll look back at you wistfully, probably, and someday romance this terribly confusing time of my 20s, but for now, you should know – it’s nothing personal against you – that I am really wholeheartedly looking forward to what 2013 can dish out and bring me.

However, if you talk  to 2013, could you please tell him/her I would like it if Damien Rice and Justin Timberlake both finally put out new albums? And if all the puppies without homes could just make their way to my doorstep? And if maybe I could wake up one day and be able to walk in heels flawlessly, play guitar like Jimmy Page and sing like Sharon Jones?

Appreciate it. At the very least, can you tell 2013 to bring more opportunities to bring my taxidermy stuffed bobcat around? Just doesn’t get enough love.

Photo on 2012-12-21 at 17.09
Ferocious Hugs and Champagne-at-Midnight Kisses,

Lion

Dear 2012

Dear 2012,

Howdy! I know we just met, but I’m already excited for you and a little intimidated by you at the same time! After all, you’re just barely here and I already have so many plans and dreams and hopes for you, so, if you don’t mind, I’d like to share a little of them with you. We don’t have to call them resolutions, in fact, let’s just call them I-REALLY-SHOULDS:

I REALLY SHOULD:

take the time to redesign and improve the look of this blog!

stop spending so much moolah at starbucks (or at least, stick to talls!)

get my first, real, paying  “big girl” job! please!

eat more vegetables (duh)

craft/create DIY things that i actually like and will use

learn to walk in heels (or at least so i don’t look like a struggling baby giraffe)

invest in a nice camera and start documenting more

continue writing songs!

actually try and develop a normal, regular sleep schedule

call my family more often

find a shade of lipstick that i like besides bright red (although it is so tres glamorous, darling!)

learn to play another instrument

give more hugs

make more pancakes

trust that the Lord has a plan for my life and rest in that assurance (no matter how much fear of the future can make me a little anxiety ball)

So, 2012, let’s make a deal – you help me make these happen and I’ll try and celebrate you as much as possible. After all, I need an excuse to wear a party hat more often!

xo,

Lion

What are YOUR own I-Really-Shoulds? Let’s hear em!

A Letter To My 18-Year-Old Self

dear 18-year-old self,

hi, i’m about to graduate in 5 hours and you haven’t even entered it yet. get ready.

i know you’re scared of college, i know it doesn’t make sense yet and i know it’s not exciting yet, but it will be. you’re going to learn A LOT in the next 4 years (spoiler alert: it’ll actually only take you 3 and 1/2 and you’ll wonder why you graduated early) but i just wanted to share a little advice with you before you enter the greatest university in the world (go bobcats!!!).

based on what i have learned in these college years, here’s some wise words and Advice from me to you:

buy someone a drink. coffee or alcoholic. when they’re having a bad day, when you’re feeling generous, or both. this is the simplest thing to do but it is the easiest gesture to just spread a little love. pay for the person behind you in line. offer a refill. this is a good thing.

stay up all night just to appreciate sleep.

go on a road trip. see things you’ve never seen, even if they’re only 15 minutes away.

stop being so cynical of love. you’re going to heal, you’re going to get back on that horse. i know that you still want to make sarcastic comments anytime anyone enters a relationship but you’ve gotta refrain. you’re gonna get over it. you’re gonna listen to a lot of adele and some nights you’re gonna cry, but you’re gonna become a better woman from all this and more that anything, you’re gonna laugh about it in the end.

PICK UP THE GUITAR IN YOUR CLOSET AND ACTUALLY LEARN IT. also, think about finding a ukulele. trust me.

offer to drive everyone. make playlists for the car. don’t overlook how much bonding is going to take place just driving around your small college town.

make cookies. learn that cookies take almost no time or effort to make, but they are secret code for caring.  LEARN THIS EARLY and then make them often, make a lot of them and give them to your friends. no reason needed.

i know it seems stupid right now, self, but you’re gonna get really into fashion and you’re gonna have a heart for it and you’re gonna find a style that suits you and looks good. just trust me on this one. embrace the fact that you love leopard print and vintage 1960s looks and go with it. also, thrift stores will be your new home, so bring febreeze.

try not to be so dramatic. keyword: try.

you’re gonna watch a heck of a lot of good tv. don’t let anyone tell you that this is a waste, because certain episodes are going to bring you to tears and you’re gonna realize that that’s what you wanna do with your life. you’re gonna make a best friendship cemented with buffy the vampire slayer. you’re gonna marvel at mad men and be blown away by the heart and simplicity of pushing daisies. share these with other people and watch episodes together and all fall in love with the artform of visual media.

take pictures!!!! take a million pictures! TAKE SO MANY PICTURES -but don’t get lost in the nostalgia of them. appreciate the memories but don’t get stuck trying to relive them. the past can hurt if you try and stay in it. always be moving forward, always look for new little places and people to give your heart to and share your life with.

call your mom. you’re gonna grow so close to her. she understands that a spoonful of nutella counts as a meal. she understands that growing up is hard. she knows what to say and when to listen and when to pray.

call your dad. he’s gonna teach you how to fix a flat tire and a broken heart.

call your brother and grandparents. they’ll always have a good story to tell and a good restaurant recommendation.

don’t worry so much.

everyone’s gonna get on you about dating and at family gatherings everyone will ask if you have a boyfriend. just smile at them politely. i know you want to punch them, but please, smile.

and whenever you get sad, just switch decades and go live in the 60s and 70s for a little while. play soul music and old country and psychedelic tunes and dance in your room till it gets better. let jimi’s guitar solos speak when you can’t, let sam cooke cheer you up with that divine voice of his and let john, paul, george & ringo continue to sing you to sleep.

keep writing songs, please. keep writing them and singing them even if no one hears them. maybe let someone hear one. and then two people. and then three. and before you know it, you’ll be strumming them in a coffee shop with your best friend adding harmonies. ps, you’re gonna grow so much from this.

don’t be so negative on the internet. don’t vent. use the internet as a place of creativity and humor and connection.

smile at people you don’t know. it’ll freak them out a little, but what’s not fun about that?

go play. go be outside and run around and do cartwheels in the sunshine. build blanket forts and eat candy.  you don’t have to grow up just yet.

pray, read your bible, talk to people about jesus. seek him when it’s not going right, cry to him when it’s not fair and tell him everything you need. don’t let loneliness creep in; remember that you are loved.

you’re going to live with some wonderful ladies who make college apartments feel like one big sleepover. cherish this even when yall get on each other’s nerves. reconcile by making breakfast and going shopping and getting manicures and watching chick flicks, because it is perfectly okay to be a girl and be feminine and sometimes spend too much time talking about ryan gosling and shoes. embrace those x chromosomes.

guess what? get ready for the greatest men in the world to enter your life! you’re gonna find boys who teach you what you want and they’re gonna respect you and make you feel pretty and loved even without saying anything. you’re gonna be the luckiest, most envied lady for all the great guy friends you have in your life. appreciate this and love them back.

go to that stupid freshman year seminar that has that speaker who you’ve never heard of and look for the boy who’s messing with the zebra phone case. i know that looking back it will be embarrassing when you tell him within the first five minutes of meeting that you two will be best friends someday, but trust your instincts. and get ready for the best friend of your little life.

and you know what? even though sometimes your feelings are messy and undecided and up-in-the-air, don’t be afraid to share them.

oh, and don’t forget that no one looks good in that silly hat, but the least you can do is add a little pizazz to it.

(and don’t worry, your hair’s still big in the future.)

love,

your 21-year-old ready-to-take-on-the-world-but-not-really blessed-with-the-greatest-friends-in-the-world self

An Open Letter to Urban Outfitters

Dear Urban Outfitters,

I’ve always kinda liked you. I know a lot of the time that you’re super expensive for my college girl budget and sometimes your merchandise is called “offensive”, but more often that not, you have pretty things that I like to wear. Not to mention that your sale rack is like a drug to me! In fact, there was a time when I loved you with my whole heart, after I won $1000 dollar gift card to shop in your lovely doors with a few Christmases ago.

(that happened!)

Needless to say, you’ve been good to me in my past few years, but sometimes your design choices leave me scratching my head and wondering. Let’s take some items of your recent catalog, for example:

“Embarrassing Photo Protective Sunglasses”

Okay, okay, I am a self-obsessed sunglasses collector but couldn’t this same look could be achieved with black construction paper and 2 straws? Or simply just de-tagging yourself in an embarrassing photo? Am I over-thinking things?

“’80s Cell Phone Case”

Somewhere, our 80s ancestors are crying. Isn’t having an iPhone cool enough? Now we have to have a vintage so-huge-that-it-looks-ridiculous iPhone? I’m so confused.

“Jeffrey Campbell Jumper Wedge”

“Yes, I’m looking for a pair of shoes that would cause me a lot of anxiety and make my feet feel like they are straddling the Grand Canyon all day. Do yall have any of that in stock?”

“Tripp NYC Z-Cut Jean – Army Green”

Whaaaaaaat? Isn’t the whole point of jeans to be warm? Or as a girl, to celebrate and be lazy and not have to shave your legs?! (Sorry fellas, the truth hurts). Don’t these defeat those purposes? Wouldn’t you get weird tan lines if you wore them outside? Wouldn’t you feel slightly trapped wearing them and/or like an Egyptian mummy wrapped up in cloth strips? So. Many. Questions.

“House of Dagmar Febe Cardigan”

I have little problems with this cardigan, actually. It’s cozy, it’s cute, it’s versatile! And I have no problems with people investing money in a good piece of clothing, no judgement! Spend away! But for $749.00, this cardi had better the greatest cardi in the entire world and/or be lined with gold and/or be able to tell me if it’s raining outside. Seriously.

“Hot Guys & Baby Animals Wall Calendar”

What? How did this get in here? Oh, did I accidentally put it in my cart? Look at that! Guess I’ll just have to buy it. It’s not like I want it or anything. I mean, I’m not one of those girls. I’ll just buy it to use for the calendar part. I have a lot of important dates to remember and this could really help. Yeah.

I like you, UO, I really do. I just think that this relationship gets a little rocky sometimes. Honestly- it’s not you, it’s me. Let’s just take a little break. I promise I’ll be back, though!

Xo,

Lion

P.S. Okay, but please call me when your Diego The Cat pillow goes on sale:

So cute!

(All photos screencapped from urbanoutfitters.com, any criticism is all in good fun! Really, I do love you, Urban!)

Dear ‘Rachel Zoe Faux Fur Long Vest’

Dear ‘Rachel Zoe Faux Fur Long Vest’,

We’ve never officially met, but the love I have for you is overwhelming. I know that online window-shopping is one of the worst things to do when you’re currently operating on a college-girl budget, and I know the dangers in typing “Nordstrom.com” into my web browser’s address bar, but today, I just couldn’t help myself.

Upon seeing you, my heart skipped a beat. The way you hang effortlessly so and could add a little bit of dramatic flair to all my outfits? Adore it. Your warm perfectly-tan color with white leather accents and furry softness that makes me want to curl up in you? Can’t get enough. The fact that you were designed by one of my not-so-guilty pleasures, Rachel Zoe, whose show I am addicted to and who I consider to be one of my major style icons? Just makes me DIE (in the best way).

I know that, at times, people would look at me funny for wearing you. I know that you might seem to be “too much” for traditional collegiate fashion crowds to handle and the general public might think I am trying to become Mildred Pierce. I know that there is no way I can add you to my online cart, since you cost quite a few pretty pennies. I know that I wouldn’t get to layer you as much as I wanted because living in Texas, it’s October and the temperature is still in the 90s. But even despite these obstacles, I just had to share my undying love for you.

We may not be able to be together now, but maybe someday in the future our eyes will meet across a crowded room at a clearance rack and I’ll scoop you up in my arms and take you home with me. Until then, stay fabulous.

Love,

Lion

Ukuletter

Dear Ukulele,

I don’t talk, or type, about you enough.

You are the least intimidating, cutest instrument on the face of the planet. You are easy to learn and people fall in love with you as soon as they see you, due to your size. I can sing along, I can make stuff up, and not a lot sounds bad with your four strings.

You were my companion to freshman year loneliness (and my new roommate!) my summer plaything and you have always been portable and fun. Now, you’re my ticket into coffee shops and venues. Because my dream to become the next  Janis Joplin or Envy Adams of The Clash At Demonhead is not a reality yet (unless you or the internet know any struggling rock and roll boys that need a slightly feisty female to lead), for now it’s ukulele and my voice, and recently, accompanied by guitar and another fabulous lady. I can play little ditties on you and strum patterns and on a sunny day, make everyone feel slightly like we’re in Hawaii…even if we’re just on the concrete apartment porch.

You could have been a trend, uke. I could have picked you up temporarily and then let go when the next tiny instrument craze came along, but you fit into my fingers so well and stuck with me and now I’m hard-pressed to go anywhere without you. My friends all got ukuleles too and now we’re a family! Or at least a group of enthusiasts. Or just that annoying band that won’t stop. Something like that.

Oh, and the internet LOVES you, ukulele! Seriously, you make every song better. Like this, this, this and especially THIS! With you in my hands, there’s nothing I can’t accomplish. So thank you, ukulele. I would be awful sad and a lot less musical if you ever left my side.

Xo,

Lion

(Ps, that picture is by the wildly talented Victorio, of course!)

A Love Letter To Plaid

Dear Plaid,

I don’t know what it is about you, but things between us are getting pretty serious. My best friend is a rather huge fan of you, I’ve always been drawn to your lines, but lately it’s becoming a habit to wear you every single day. We can blame the weather, I mean, Texans such as myself are NOT equipped or enjoyable in temperatures below 60 already and it is near freezing, although I think now that we’re bonded, I would wear you anyway. I’m drawn to your best counterpart- long-sleeved soft flannels. Only problem is, plaid, I can’t stop! I choose from my ever-growing collection and throw you on like a proud badge. However, a question, if you will. Why do the menswear clothing racks always get the best picks, plaid? I search for you in women’s sections and always end up migrating towards the other side of the store, pretending to be buying for a burly timber-cutting amigo. Doesn’t matter though, I am an addict, and warm striped flannel-y goodness is my only fix, whether the price tag is marked for my own gender or not.

You know, plaid, maybe this new-found appreciation stems from the recent realization that the greatest profession on this earth is a that of a lumberjack? After all, you get to stay warm with layers, work with your hands, eat as many pancakes as you can for every meal, and most importantly, it’s plaid 24/7! Am I considering this profession seriously? Of course not…except occasionally I get this song stuck in my head when I wear you. But that’s probably my own fault, and possibly the fault of many high school choir performances back in the day.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping me warm and stylish. I would be so much colder without you. Also, I would probably look less like a Nirvana groupie, but I guess it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.