Tag Archives: blogging

You’re Gonna Hear Me Roar (Eventually)

We’re gonna get real.

We’re gonna talk about Katy Perry, being sicker than you’ve ever been, long-distance relationships, hospitals, loneliness, and pumpkin s’more donut muffins.

And if that sounds difficult to follow, you may need to get off the ride now.

But if you’re up for it, before you read below, please press “play”-

I knew I was going to love the Katy Perry song, “Roar” before I even heard it. The title was too telling of the content- which I knew would involve some sort of lion or big-cat imagery, which clearly, having donned myself “The Lion-Haired Girl”, I was going to adore- and I wasn’t wrong. From the first notes, I knew I was going to get wrapped up in the overly-produced pop sound and the sweetness and simplicity of the lyrics. I was even more onboard when I realized that she had taken the word “roar” and turned it into “ro-o-o-o-OH-OH-OH-O-ar” during the chorus, which I could easily sing along to at any and all times.

The song came out August 10th, which shouldn’t be overly special to note, but it was.

5 days later, August 15th, my longtime boyfriend moved allllll the way across the United States, (literally, hi Seattle) to live his dream. To “roar” in another state, if you will. (And yes, he will hate this analogy so much because it’s Katy Perry instead of The National, but still). He rode away into the sunset and I remained just about as calm toward the situtation as any early-twenties-millenial-with-too-many-feelings can, which is to say that I ate a lot of deep fried things covered in cheese, made 18 playlists of coping music, texted him nonstop for hours about pointless things, and made impulse purchases of studded leather vests and combat boots because I assumed they would heal my heart (which, let’s be real, they definitely helped).

So, flashforward with me. I’m almost to the end of August and I still can’t get this song out of my head. I’m attempting not to dwell on every question of, “How are you going to make long distance work?” and I’m really doing a good job at taking care of myself. At some point in every day, I still find myself singing or humming the melody and succumbing to the pop masterpiece of “Roar”. I’m wishing I had boxing gloves like Katy had during her VMA performance and by now I’ve learned all the words and harmonies and have even started checking eBay for a knockoff of KP’s tiger satin jacket.

Image

(try not to be impressed by my photoshop skills)

If I was more of a believer in Long Island Medium or the ‘great timing of the universe’, I’d say listening to “Roar” on repeat was supposed to prepare me for September, but it didn’t. In between counting down the days til Katy’s album release in October and working a job with ridiculous hours of 4AM to noon (I know it sounds like I’m complaining, but, stay with me) I got mono.

Yep, that’s right – I get “the kissing disease” after my longtime boyfriend moves away. The jokes just write themselves!

But I don’t just get regular mono. I get mono coupled with a nasty Upper Respiratory Infection and complete with a super fun trip to the ER, which as it turns out, was the first time I had ever been in a hospital for myself and not just to bring flowers to a family member, and as it turns out, filled me with more anxiety than most anything I have encountered on the earth thus far.

(i added some doodles to make this photo of my hospital bracelet less depressing. hooray!)

(i added some doodles to make this photo of my hospital bracelet less depressing. hooray!)

The ER results in everything being okay, just a little scary (thanks a lot, liver levels!). So I take off work for a few days. My sweet roommate and friends rally around me and even my rockstar Mama flies in from Texas to make me soup and take care of me. I go back to work with the instruction that there is no “cure” for mono- I am just supposed to rest and drink fluids for about month and eventually it will go away…and then the defeat sets in. With my job hours already, I go to sleep at 7:30 PM most nights, and so add on being exhausted all the time from mono and I shrink into a cocoon. Not wanting to get anyone contagious, much less have to explain, “Hey, ask me about my mono!” to people, (which, by the way, no one will not freak out after hearing) I don’t see pretty much anyone during the entire month of September, and I certainly don’t listen to “Roar”. I hardly even talk to my roommates. Any calls I make to Seattle to be a supportive girlfriend just end in me whining. Mostly I just fall half asleep and lay in bed and feel sorry for myself. I pout and complain and everything I do becomes an event of “yay me!” or “I’m the worst”. Basically, I’m unbearable.

Now, I don’t say all of this to try and generate a feeling of sorry. People get sick all the time, but September unpolitely reminded me I just clearly am not as strong or independent as I thought I was. I try to talk this big game of being a girl who moved away from all she knew to chase her dreams in Nashville, even if they broke her heart, but all it takes is alone time to feel like I have no clue what I’m doing and to see just how needy I am. The social butterfly inside of me crumbled hard and I began to question what I was even doing anymore.

“But I listen to ‘Roar’ all the time, and every day I wear a lot cat-eye winged eyeliner because I am confident, and I make loud jokes and smile at strangers,” I kept thinking. ” I should be able to handle this! I’m an extrovert and I can tackle anything!” was an attitude I’d adopted forever, but now I was just looking forward to crawling in bed, doctor’s orders or not.

I gave up, in a way. I just kinda was a miserable person to be around and threw one hell of a pity party.

But eventually, about the second week in October, I started to feel better and began to feel like I could stay awake without it feeling like a challenge. I could be around people again and began to actually try and participate in activities that weren’t solely watching bad reality tv and moping. I could spend time with healthy human beings without bringing up how sad I had been and I could make some killer pumpkin s’more doughnut muffins with friends.

However, surprisingly, I didn’t have the immediate “lesson-learned’ feeling afterwards.

As a writer, I want to glamorize things. I want to tell sweeping stories of how life has changed me. I want to hear about your experiences and put them into words that jump off the page or screen and capture the heart.

But I haven’t had that moment. I know September was a lame month, but I didn’t get a big story resolution out of it. It taught me just how weak and spoiled I am, and not having anyone to talk to makes me cranky, but it didn’t give me this deep knowledge about solitude that I felt I could share, so I avoided writing it down. I avoided telling people or I just joked about it (“Remember when I had mono?”) but I still couldn’t shake it, so here I am.

I want you to know, whoever you are reading this, that I’m listening to “Roar” a lot again. I’m probably missing out on “better” and more scholarly music, but I can’t get rid of it, because in some small way, it helps.

Why do we put so much faith in the little things? Because it’s easy, I think. I rely on medicine I purchased at the store with a coupon to heal me, so why can’t a 99-cent single on iTunes do the same?

I’m not 100%. I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% satisfied with everything, but I know that I can listen to “Roar” now and not feel like I’m the worst. I can hear it as a fun pop song and get a little bit of empowerment about it, even if I feel like it’s not the dramatic show-stopping song that usually accompanies a huge moment in my life. I can promise myself that just because my life isn’t a movie and that I don’t get to have a “getting better montage,” I am still getting better. I can still bounce back. I can still, well, roar.

So I dedicate “Roar” to mono. I dedicate it to bad days. I dedicate it to thinking you’re depressed when really you’re just young and stupid and have cold feet. I dedicate it to timezones that keep me away from the person who has challenged me for the better and loved me stupidly well the past year. I dedicate it to insecurity. I dedicate it to not learning the lesson immediately, because sometimes it’s okay to say that you’re only 23 and you don’t have it figured out yet and that just because you have a blog does not mean you have to act like you have all the answers.

Regardless of confidence levels, you’re gonna hear me roar. In sickness and in health, you’re gonna hear me roar. Even if it means I have to accept some things as not finished yet, you’re gonna hear me roar. From Seattle to Nashville to New York, you’re gonna hear me ro-o-o-o-OH-OH-OH-ar.

And frankly, if you’re not okay with me roaring, I kinda hope that you get mono.

I Blame Justin Timberlake And The Hummus

I was going to write a New Year’s resolution post, or rather, finish it, but then it struck me that finishing said post was the point.

I had all these intentions but then things go sour or I get stressed, and so instead of writing, I come home and lay facedown on my bed and listen to a whole Ryan Adams album while half-moping, with a distressed golden retriever by my side who would like to help, but also is confused as to why I am not petting him every 2 minutes.

You see, I wanted to write about everything today. I wanted to write about how obsessed I am with the fact that Justin Timberlake announced that he’s returning to music and how also Destiny’s Child is releasing new music and how hearing this made me both scream, “BEST DAY EVER” and also not able to move my hands correctly to type a “hooray!” text to everyone for some time because they were shaky with happiness. I wanted to write about January things and about what I’ve learned so far in 2013 and about the dream I had last night in which Stevie Nicks (!!!) appeared and told me to keep going.  I wanted to write about how my boyfriend finally downloading emojis on his iPhone has been both the best and worst thing to happen in the past week. I wanted to write about Honey Boo Boo Child and I wanted to write about pizza. I wanted to write about my best friend becoming a featured contributor on my favorite website. I wanted to write about the napkins with pugs on them that a dear friend sent me in the mail and I wanted to write about how I have so many crafty ideas now that I discovered I have both spray adhesive AND glitter in the living room, currently at arms reach.

I wanted to write, I really did. But then something came up- like it always does – and I didn’t. I got distracted by a text message, maybe. Mostly, I read a blog post that I think is cleverer and more on point than my words and that made me discouraged, which instead, should have inspired me to write. Or maybe I got distracted by the hummus in my fridge and how it would taste on a Wheat Thin. Or 49 Wheat Thins. Or maybe I was about to type “wordpress.com” into my browser but then took a detour and found myself in a black hole of online shopping, adding too many things I can’t afford to my cart. Or maybe I just forgot, just put it off, just moved on to the next thought.

But, like it or not, I’m a reluctant writing addict. Words and sentences and paragraphs are art to me, are therapy to me, are home to me. There’s so many situations I have gotten over by writing about them or made better by writing about them or been able to laugh so hard at by writing about them. I have so many dumb stories and moments that I assume no one can relate to or no one cares about, but then I write them down and- BAM! – I realize I’m not the only one. Published or unpublished, typed or handwritten, full complete sentences or words on a page – they’re all important. Writing is something I come back to, but not nearly enough.

So I’ll get back to those New Year’s Resolutions later, but the top of the list is to WRITE and write, write, write and then write some more.

Write when it’s easy and write even more when it’s hard. Write seriously and write mockingly. Write for fun and write for work. Write Thank You cards and personal birthday cards and don’t slack on an email when it would take 5 minutes more to make your point better. Write down things you are thankful for and write down things you want to change. Write blog posts even if the idea of having a blog makes you feel silly and almost embarrassed sometimes. Write til your fingers bleed- figuratively or literally. Write compliments to yourself on your mirror in lipstick. Write fake ad campaigns and jingles for commercials that are better than the current ones you hear while you are waiting for the newest episode of “The Mindy Project” to play on Hulu. Write to your parents. Write to people you wish you could meet. Write poems that rhyme and write love letters you’ll never send and write your grocery lists in your best cursive with hearts above all the i’s. Write when you’re in a bad mood, write when you are stressed, write when you are broke. Write when you are overjoyed, write when you are in love, write when you can’t imagine a better day.

Most of all, write and don’t stop. Don’t compare your words to anyone’s but your own, and don’t be afraid to try new ones. Constantly write the thoughts in your head down somewhere. Write notes in the margins of your books. Write in other languages. Write down your big ideas and write down that funny quote your friend said at brunch. Write down lists of fake band names that you’d use if you were ever a rockstar. Write scripts that may never see the light of a studio, write songs that you may never sing, but, more than anything, just write.

And when you think you’ve written enough, write another page.

Or write another blog post…about writing.

Stay Hungry (I Think)

I think by now the salespeople at Anthropologie just know.

It’s so nice of them to ask me if they can help me or if I need a shopping bag, but when I’m scouring the sales racks for markdowns in my band shirt, thrift-store moccasins, and denim cutoffs that are fraying to no end, I simply think they have to be aware that I will not be purchasing anything priced above $20, so, in that case, my selection is narrowed to maybe 1 salt and pepper shaker and/or a pair of damaged earrings.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to still look at and try on all the pretty dresses, smell every single heaven-scented $75 candle, and caress the handcrafted kitchen collections as if I were Martha Stewart.

So that’s…something?

Every single book I read or blog I bookmark or movie I watch about people in their twenties seems so romantically tragic. Everyone’s broke-as-a-joke but still looks so put together, living in a rundown apartment with “charm” and quirks, working jobs that make no sense with their skillset or seem to “kill their dreams”, but through it all, writing their screenplays or songs or memoirs in hopes that one day they’ll be discovered and successful and their lives will come together and crescendo like a good last song on a decent indie record.

So that’s…real life?

Unfortunately, no one ever actually managed to print the manual on making it through life when you feel like a kid and an adult at once and every single person over the age of 30 that I seem to inquire about their twenties always takes a deep breath or lets out a nervous laugh and says, “oh, you could never pay me to be 22 again.”

So that’s…hopeful?

I wish I could stop writing about my twenties. I wish I could have more useful knowledge than the cheapest parking downtown or the best songs to put on a playlist, but I’m just not there yet. I’m not a Norman Rockwell painting of life experience, but I am, in fact, hungry.

And aren’t I supposed to “stay hungry”?

Staying hungry was always an expression that evaded me. It seemed dumb and worn out and lame- as if hungering would do anything useful. It seemed to sit right next to “starving artist” and I had no patience for that, considering I actually enjoy food and eating, and everyone that I knew that considered themselves “artists” seemed to spend more time complaining about world poverty while ordering overpriced coffee than making actual art.

But I think I’m supposed to be very hungry at 22 right now – whether it’s the hunger for a better job, hunger for figuring out who the heck I’m supposed to be or simply hungering for better plans on a Saturday night. I think the constant dissatisfaction that my twentysomething generation seems to ramble on about, whether it be privileged upper-middle-class bloggers (oh hi!) or blue-collar beer-drinking barstool rants, can be put to good use. Sure, dissatisfaction can breed apathy, but what if it bred “do better” instead? Or at the very least, what if it bred just a little bit of action?

Staying hungry can drive you to something, right? Staying hungry can mean waking up in the middle of the night and sacrificing sleep to write down some semblance of a great idea that actually sounds put together, right? Staying hungry can mean staying late, even at a job you’re not in love with yet to go above and beyond, right? Staying hungry can mean investing your time in real face-to-face relationships instead of online videos and shopping bags, right? Staying hungry can mean having an overwhelming sense of confidence in yourself and your life, even when you’re working for tips or an unpaid internship, right? Staying hungry can literally mean spending too much of your paycheck on concert tickets because you want to work in music and adore it and subsequently convincing yourself the next week that Ramen and toast and coffee is an acceptable diet, right?

And on a totally related note and story that I wish I was making up – my macbook charger literally just died completely while writing this post. So don’t worry, I’ll go ahead and prioritize technology and kiss the rest of my bank account goodbye when I swipe my debit card at the Apple store in the next few days.

But hey, at least I’ll be…hungry?

Hello From HelloGiggles!

YALL, BIG NEWS.

(Well, ‘kind of’ big news.)

Some of you may be staring at this lovely website (it is lovely, right?) because you found the link via HelloGiggles.com, who so graciously published a post by me today, titled “More Realistic Facebook Statuses” and that makes me so excited!
It’s no secret that I’m a major fangirl of HelloGiggles and read it nearly daily, loving and reposting things from them, so to be on their site, even a tiny little article, is so exciting for me and I’m so stoked about it!

Anyway, if you found yourself here today because of HelloGiggles, HELLO! HOWDY! IT’S SO GREAT TO HAVE YOU! Pull up a chair (a comfy one) and stay a while. Thank you for reading along. Let’s be besties and braid each others’ hair and watch Rocky Horror Picture Show and do the “Time Warp” and bake cookies and text message each other gifs and play with puppies and celebrate life together.
But seriously.

Oh, and if you’d like, I wrote a little follow-up post a while back called “More Realistic Facebook Statuses, Part 2”  and I mean, what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t promote that one, too?

As for the rest of you reading this who’ve been around here before, you’re always awesome. Your love and support and comments and shares make me feel warmer and sweeter than a perfectly-stirred pumpkin spice latte. And I love you so dearly. I have so many stories and ideas to write about and I promise I’ll stop living on instagram and publish new posts soon.

Keep roaring. Xoxo.

Graduation Day (Part 2) / THANK YOU!

So, I did it. I graduated college! I walked across a stage and didn’t trip and someone university-esque handed me a diploma frame! Hooray!

This is my favorite photo from graduation, even with the indoor lighting and green tint because it means to much that I was able to be in the same ceremony with three of the most influential friends in my life-

You should hire all of us!!! But seriously, I will now plug these beautiful graduates.

(left to right)

Christie is my roommate, my bandmate, and one of the greatest ladies in the world. She is always such a positive little light of energy and practically radiates love, not to mention that her voice is crazy-good. Go read her blog here!

Ryan is such a force of creativity and fun in my life and I am so glad I got to know and live above him! Keep his design site bookmarked, it will be up soon and will be wonderful! (He also designed Olive & Chuck’s twitter page!)

Zack is the best friend that I stumbled upon and had no idea I could have so much in common with. He is an AMAZING writer and the funniest person I know. Go read his blog here!

Looking at us 4 in our caps and gowns, all I could think of was this picture:

-(blame my pop-culture obsession.) I guess it could be worse. The O.C. was one of my favorites and my 3 friends are my favorites, so it works! And to you three, THANK YOU for being such great friends!

Now, on to the real thank yous for the past 3 & 1/2 years:

To anyone I’ve met over the past 21 years, to old friends from high school, to anyone who’s ever bought me coffee, to anyone who helped raise me, to anyone who has hired me, to anyone who sang with me, to anyone who helped me do math homework (because seriously, math is the WORST), to anyone who lent me their jacket when I was cold, to anyone who sent me a hilarious youtube video or picture of a puppy, to anyone who helped me study, to anyone who helped me procrastinate, to anyone who challenged me to think differently, to anyone who humored my love of puns, to anyone who let me force my musical taste on you, to anyone who danced with me even if you had two left feet, to anyone who listened to me rant about my bad day, to anyone who watched tv with me til 4 am, to anyone who helped me pick out an outfit, to anyone who baked a pie with me, to anyone who sat next to me in class, to anyone who let me cry on their shoulder, to anyone who walked around Target with me aimlessly just because, to anyone who prayed for me and to anyone who has ever read, commented or ‘liked’ this little blog-

THANK YOU!

I would not be the lion-haired girl that I am without your help, encouragement, honesty, love, support, phone calls at 3 am, jokes, songs and hugs. You are the reason that I love so wholeheartedly and cannot wait to see what the next chapter of my life holds.

I’ll love college deeply, I’ll probably still talk and write about it, but honestly – I don’t have any jobs lined up yet. I am looking, all around and beyond, but I’m not too worried. I know something will fall into place. However, shameless plug, if you hear of anything you think my lion talents might be lent well to, feel free to let me know, tweet me, leave a comment or email me at kelseyrmanning@gmail.com !

Finally, this blog has been something I’ve always wanted to do more with and now that I’m out of school, I hope to be revamping these parts and being more consistent with posts. If you have any criticism or ideas for me, I’d love to hear from you. If you have any design tips, send them my way! Please contact me with anything you like/dislike!

And if you could do me a HUGE favor, I’d love if you’d ‘like’ this blog on Facebook, right HERE. It would be awesome to get an idea of who I’m reaching with this blog and how I can better grow as an online brand & presence!

So, to repeat myself for the tenth time, THANK YOU. The internet can be a lonely place sometimes, but I am so happy to be able to have found my little corner and feel so loved. Yall are the best!

(OC Photo found: here)