Tag Archives: post grad

I Will Never Write A Post About Crafting (Or, I Hate Waiting)

I learned long ago that “DIY” is not one of my strong suits.

My attention span is usually too short to craft, meaning that I leave projects half done, haphazardly put together and glue gun still plugged in, whenever something shiny passes by. I can’t focus on one thing because I find it easier to focus on 7 things, and so I’m half covered in glitter and full of great ideas, but never ending up with a final product and never thinking anything through to completion.

I would create more adorable home accents, but everytime I peruse my carefullly-curated Pinterest boards or favorite craft blogs, I end up seeing the finished products at Target and it’s so hard for me to not just buy them on site, thinking of all the time saved and frustation avoided, because when it comes to creating- though it pains me to admit – I’m not big on time spent. Call it a product of the internet generation coupled with my non-existent patience, but I absolutely hate waiting.

I mean, I HATE waiting.

I always smudge my nail polish because I move my hands too soon before it dries, I can never get my car all the way dry in the car wash because I’m ready to keep driving, and I have a compulsion to read books all in one sitting because I want to get to the next chapter and move the plot along.

I’ve been known to set out my clothes for a special event days earlier, as if preparing would speed up the calendar, and I have a long list of tactics and games to play while waiting in line, so that I don’t notice the time. I can tell you the roads to take that keep traffic moving, so that even if they end up taking more time to get to your destination in the long run, you never had to physically stop.

But, life is in a waiting period right now, and it’s driving me crazy. I’m not quite new in town but not quite a ‘local’, so I’m waiting for that transition. I’m still waiting on a job that aligns with my dreams a little more closely, or is at least full time. Plus, this whole bizarre stage is even more inviting, because everyone I know is here too. We’re all stuck in this waiting room of our twenties, falling between childhood and adulthood and waiting for the glue to dry. We’re not quite comfortable because we’re expecting the next thing and still looking for the big break.

Of course, there’s guarantee that the big deal will get signed or that we’ll become everything we dreamed, but what reason would there be to even get out of bed if we didn’t expect it? What motivation would there be if we weren’t hoping that something bigger was coming? Why would we ever try if we didn’t think there was even a .01% chance that the almost-meaningless tasks of our day would eventually lead to something even better?

So, what is there to do except swallow the bitter pill of not being settled and hang a few curtains and call this waiting room home? Because it’s going to be more ‘almosts’ and more rejection and more part-time and more waiting and waiting and waiting, but at the very least we can give it a good soundtrack and spruce up the place and write it down so that someday when we’re all on a big porch drinking the sweet tea of adulthood, we can remember that it came from sleepless nights and watching the clock and the comraderie that can only come from wishing and hoping and hustling and waiting and waiting and, yes, waiting.

As I get older (and hopefully wiser), I will try and craft, just for the heck of it. I will spray paint my bed frame gold and barely make a friendship bracelet and maybe stain a wooden table, but more than anything, I will go ahead and buy the confetti, because when this wait is finally over, I can promise you, cross my Texas heart, that I am going to throw the whole entire bag of it into the air.

On Change, Anxiety, and New Zipcodes

I’ve been fed up with this blog for a while. White girl problem as it may be, hear me out. Or don’t.  I mean, there’s plenty of internet to scour that is less lion-y than this little domain.

ANYWAY.
I’ve been tired of this blog being the same, feeling like I’m a never-ending ramble of the same topics. I get all sorts of blog-envy over other websites I gawk at daily–ones filled with pretty well-lit pictures and layouts, crafts and recipes, ‘outfit of the day’ posts and all those cute things that the blogging community tends to be drawn to. Meanwhile I’m over here slapping sarcasm around, making musical references, mentioning Ryan Gosling too much, and relying on inspiration that waxes and wanes based on my caffeine level for the day.

Will I ever be the next Martha Stewart mixed with Paula Deen mixed with Annie Lebowitz of the internet? Probably not, but that’s not to say that I don’t want to incorporate different things and styles and some sort of photography around these parts. And I hope you’ll be with me, internet, at least somewhat, as I try to document important things and continue to ramble like I’m known to do.

So, there’s that. Yes, I want to change things around my little website, but this thread of ‘new-ness’ goes a little deeper than that as well.

As much as I can be stubborn with change, I tend to welcome the kind I like. I am enchanted and constantly wanting new colors, new textures, new sounds and new faces in my life. Sure, I am comfortable with the things I love and cherish them dearly, but I have an itch to explore and to discover and to consume all sorts of brand new material.

I wasn’t always this way, though.

See this little girl?

Even though it takes a brave and confident individual to wear matching ruffled socks, she was actually a very scared kid and afraid of new things. She feared new school years, she feared things she didn’t know, and she even feared a lot of the rides at DisneyWorld. She was well-acquainted with crippling irrational feelings of being scared for no good reason. It took her a while to get adjusted to new things, but she found that if she could hold tightly onto the hand of Mom and Dad and Brother and Grandparents and various friends, it was not so bad. Tears were not uncommon, panic attacks and anxiety came in waves, but she was still surrounded by a group of people that wanted her to succeed and wanted her to find out all sorts of great things about this great earth, and so slowly embrace change, she did. And you see, once she did, each progressive time became easier.

That little girl was me (spoiler alert!).

Nowadays, the tenacity and cheerfulness and energy with which I tend to greet new days and new situations and new people has been well-earned and well-fought through years of anxiety for, and even though the uncertainty of change still creeps in from time to time, I’ve learned how to embrace it a lot easier.

And so, as my Mama puts it, the little girl she’d never thought would ever leave home now wants to pack it all up in a suitcase and go see the world.

So, in the season of embracing change I decided it was time to change to color of my hair…and my address.

I’m moving to Nashville.

Do I know what exactly I’m doing yet there? No. Do I know the city like the back of my hand? I’m getting there. Do I have a place to live? Surprisingly, yes! And it has indoor plumbing!

I love music, I love Nashville, and if there was ever a time to do something crazy like move to Music City and chase a crazy dream, now is that time. I’ve got little to no obligations, no pets, no husband and kids, nothing holding me here, and a family that’s been so encouraging about the whole thing. So much so, in fact, that my parents told me that if I don’t do it now, don’t take this chance while I’m young, I’ll always wonder, always regret it. I’m not saying my anxiety won’t come back like it tends to, but there’s excitement in this decision, too.

So here’s to change, here’s to wearing hair turbans, and trying not to feel dumb taking self portraits for your blog in your backyard. Here’s to trying to cram 8 pairs of boots into one suitcase and realizing you have a problem. Here’s to long highways, supportive parents, reuniting with old friends, lots of live music, being young, and making new progress and new mistakes in a new zipcode.

And if you ever find yourself in Nashville, internet, I’ll buy you some iced coffee and vinyl and we can try to figure out a life plan together. Lion’s honor.

That Time I Worked At A Tech Camp In The Desert

Life moves pretty fast. I mean, seriously, Ferris Bueller got that one right.

I’m back in Houston. Back temporarily, back soaking up all this time with my family and friends, and back scrambling to adjust to Houston since flying in from Arizona, where I was bouncing around for close to the last two months working as an Instructor at a summer camp where kids come to bask in…technology. That’s right, you heard me, a camp where video games are encouraged, where all the tech-y goodness and computer madness is embraced and I wound up teaching a new group of 8 kids each week how to program their own iPhone and iPad games and apps.

And yes, it was excellent.

And yes, it was challenging.

But mainly, it was an experience that I feel like I’ll still be soaking up for sometime. It feels so strange to see my wardrobe expand to more than camp shirts, shorts, and tennis shoes. My schedule is more flexible now, my days aren’t dictated by teaching and break times and my mattress is a heckuva lot more comfy than a dorm one, but even so, I still have moments where I swear I’m in Arizona about to expand a lesson on accelerometer rules.

After 7 weeks of being known as Yolko (my camp nickname…which is quite a long, adorable story that I’ll tell you over coffee sometime and that will be chapter 11 in my memoir) I am back to simply being a Lion-Haired Girl with a plan. This little plan of what exactly I’m doing next with my little life and career and change-of-address forms. It’s a small plan, it’s a little bit of a crazy plan, but before I get into it, there’s a few things I have to share from this summer.

Things I learned from working at a summer camp for technology:

Kids are terrifiying…and at the same time awesome (esp this generation)
The little ones growing up in these technology-fueled years have a million questions and understand way more than they should at this age, so that potential can be super-intimidating, but in the vein of all things nerdy, “with great power comes great responsibility,” and they learn and adapt super fast. They can pick up software in a week, are fueled with all sorts of creative ideas, and craft amazing projects in a short amount of time. Also, they all love Nyan Cat way more than necessary.

The PC v. Mac debate can get really heated and emotional, especially to gamers

Iced coffee tastes even better: 1.) in the desert and 2.) when your regional manager delivers it as a surprise

Sometimes there are baby birds hatching outside your classroom and you simply cannot contain your excitement
The Messy Bun – hairdo of champions (and tired instructors). Once you master it, life gets easier.

Handwritten mail is still one of the sweetest things.

Introducing kids to using GarageBand means that they will all consider and call themselves the next Skrillex…

Sometimes your $10 watch doesn’t survive Water Day…and that’s okay

Programming apps and games for iphones and ipads takes a lot of work…and a lot of dance breaks.

Skype is a gift from God. So are the extra chocolate chip cookies in the cafeteria

There’s a lot of stories you just can’t explain to most who weren’t there
I’m pretty sure the entire world knows the lyrics to most every Maroon 5 song

Few things are better purchases for the summer than an $8 coffeemaker positioned right next to your bed for fuel every morning

Seeing parents who are so proud and in shock and awe of what their child accomplished in a week at camp never ever ever gets old.

You will get tired. You will get sick. You will get burnt out from time to time. You will miss your real family. The staff you work with will slowly become family. You will get delirious most nights and laugh for a long time. You will get pied in the face, buckets of water dumped on you, and locked out of your room at least once.

You will get amazingly quotable campers. You will get campers who are geniuses and blow your mind. You will get attached to them, you will miss them, you will be proud of them at the end of the week. You will brag about them and give them candy for being awesome.

You will love it.

And you will be so exhausted and busy that you might fall asleep mid blog-post when writing all about your experiences.

photo via Beyond Sky Photography

Skills I Don’t Know If I Should List On My Resume

I am really good at identifying S Club 7 songs

I can complicate any “simple” order at a fast food restaurant and often do

I am really good at making other people do math for me because it gives me anxiety

I know the E! Channel’s afternoon programming lineup very well

I can paint with all the colors of the wind

I know how to twirl spaghetti on my spoon all fancy

I can carry up to 12 Venti beverages from Starbucks by myself and walk 5 blocks with them without spilling a drop

I know all the words to “It’s Raining Men”

I am excellent at driving around with my low gas light on for as long as possible before filling up again

I  know all 4 of the Beatles’ birthdays, Bob Dylan’s birth name, and the kind of guitar Bruce Springsteen has used exclusively for most of his career

I am experienced at using “five more minutes” as an excuse frequently

I can waste several hours crafting the perfect playlist for the smallest seemingly-insignificant event or afternoon

I frequently create great life mottos like, “Someday I will use this in my screenplay” and “The cure for anything is more sleep or more coffee”

I am great at exhausting all my energy when adorable animals are around and trying to make them love me and cooing at them and singing songs to them and doing baby voices to speak to them

I am wonderful at living vicariously through the instagram feeds of Mayer Hawthorne and Oprah Winfrey

I identify colors I see with titles from the old Crayola box, including, but not limited to: Tickle-Me-Pink, Purple Mountain’s Majesty, Robin’s Egg Blue, Lazer Lemon, Macaroni And Cheese, Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean, etc.

I am a pro at taking naps, like, give me a few hours and a warm spot and I will NAP IT OUT

I am slowly learning how to sustain a real relationship on lengthy text messages, airport-terminal-embraces, skype calls til we both fall asleep, iced coffee dates, short visits, long goodbyes, and so so much borrowed time

I am skilled at actually wanting a job and not wanting to be a complaining twentysomething statistic like everything else I seem to read

I am always prepared to dance like crazy until my feet hurt and sing until I’m hoarse to good, loud, heartfelt rock and roll and never apologize for it

19 Days And Nothing Is Normal Anymore

19 days and nothing is normal anymore.

It seems a novelty to write about why I haven’t written in a while, so I’ll try and keep it short, and hey, I might even throw in a few pictures!

19 days without writing, 19 days with little to no downtime, 19 days of too little sleep. 19 days of jokes and stories that don’t make sense to anyone who’s not here working at camp with me. 19 days in a new town in a new state. 19 days that have felt like 6 months. 19 days and I am a dot com now!!!! (check the browser bar above!) 19 days of growing up and feeling so much like a kid at the same time. 19 days of brand new relationships. 19 days that I never could have predicted in, like, 19 million years.

My head always has this little buzz inside of it lately. Every single day is a blur as well as a lull and at some point, usually a Maroon 5 song (no shame) or Lumineers song or Aretha Franklin song that’s stuck in my brain and won’t stop playing. My hours are off, my schedule is off, and the only consistent thing seems to be the attachment of my phone to my hand and face.

I’m working from 7am-11pm every single day and my energy is so spent, but I’m not complaining. It’s exhausting and it’s hard and I tend to have a little freakout of stress every single day, but it’s worth it. Gone are the days of making huge plans and long hours of lazy television marathons in bed, and here are the days of quick ideas and constant problem-solving and barely having time to throw my enormous mane of hair into a style before I’m needed and expected to have some semblance of my thoughts together.

I’ve never done this before. You see, I’m a novice in the field of actually being busy and booked all day, every day. Sure, I’ve watched nearly all the romantic comedies and coming-of-age movies where the young twentysomething girl is wearing a polished Anthropologie-knockoff-outfit, holding several binders of important files and precariously balancing full Starbucks cups as she rushes through the bustling city to her challenging 9-to-5 and important boss, but my current version of said portrayal is a lot messier.

You know how they tell you to make goal lists and things you want to accomplish? This summer I’m shredding those lists and setting fire to the idea. Because right now, I live my life 5 minutes at a time, and can’t plan more than that, and I’m gritting my teeth to learn that it is actually okay. It’s actually OKAY to let go and pry my fingers away from holding onto my control-freak-mantra of where I’m headed in life. Sure, it is important to dream and have an idea of where you see your pretty face 5 years from now and yadda yadda yadda, but at this point there’s no telling and simply no time to do so.

Right now I’m hardly the sweeping-conversationalist and meticulous-playlist-maker obsessive-planner that I have been for so long.  Who am I?

I’m frequent sips of coffee. I’m little tiny moments of catching my breath before I’m back to teaching 8 kids that need my attention and exhaust all my brainpower. I’m high-fives when they excel and I’m concerned questions when they are stuck. I’m a constant brainstorming session of activities and strategies to make camp better. I’m the alarm clock that gets set minutes later each day to try and catch up.

But, even with everything, I’m not totally disconnected. Because, oh lord, more than ever before, I am constant little text messages and too-long phone calls and hours on skype to stay in touch. I’m verbose emails and gchats and Facebook posts and instagrams in a different time zone. I’m songs sent on Spotify when there’s no time to talk and we have to use lyrics instead, and I’m a paragraph of heartfelt I-miss-you’s and call-me-later’s. I’m long pauses when I know neither of us want to hang up but we’re out of words. I’m letters in the mail and voicemails that ramble.

I’m exhausted but also exhausting every single form of communication possible.

And while I’m grateful for this job and for this change of scenery and for all these moments, I just wonder if it is ever going to feel normal; so tired and burned out but so happy, as well as constant connection with those I love, but so disconnected at the same time. Maybe I should give up on finding normalcy in my 20s altogether?

Or maybe I simply need to wear that earlier-mentioned polished Anthropologie-knockoff-outfit while balancing Starbucks cups and everything will make sense. Maybe that’s what’s truly missing.

Blogging On A Friday Night (Because My Life Is So Crazy)

These past few weeks have been, well, an experience.

They’ve been chock full of lots of Al Green (because this song hurts so good!)

and one very wrinkled face.

I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching on the back porch

reminding myself to look on the bright side

reverting to the sleeping habits of a 7 year-old

and having the biggest turq-and-gold arm party I can possibly get away with.

Seeing Bon Iver’s ACL taping blew my little mind

(thanks for the photo, z!)

seeing Don Draper at the Drafthouse with accompanying Mad Men themed drinks made my heart skip a beat

And seeing that it was Star Wars Day made me bust out the ol’ Empire tank and tell everyone, ‘May The Fourth be with you!’

Multiple people have described me as a hummingbird before- constantly moving- and this month is proving that nickname all too true. Sure, I talk with my hands and I tend to fidget and tap my feet often, but add all the caffeine I’m drinking and all the big-life-decision-anxiety and it’s getting even more ridiculous. I’m waking up at 3:30 AM to go in to work, napping at random hours and going to sleep at 8 PM and so it never seems to balance out and I exist in this bizarre insomniatic state most of the time. More than ever, I’m this little confused toe-tapping and arm-flapping girl who seems a little crazy and over-excited, but that’s okay. My sleep schedule is all sorts of messed up, but in the weirdest way I’m just happy, ya know? I just feel like I’m happiest when I’m busy and when I keep moving. Honestly, as silly as my situation is, I feel like I’m going somewhere right now, I just feel like little things are falling into place and slowly I’m getting these moments of rest to define my dreams. In between writing notations for nonfat milk and extra foam on white Starbucks cups, I’m getting free time to just decide what I want the next step to be, and even if it can be currently frustrating or exhausting, I know it’s all going somewhere. My little hummingbird wings are happy to keep zipping back and forth with new ideas and life directions that I’m considering, and I know in the back of my mind that eventually I am going somewhere, because, for better or worse, staying in exactly the same place has a tendency to freak me out.

This post is all over the place and inconsistent (surprise, as usual!) but really, I just want to say that I love you all and even though I am a nervous post graduate and I don’t write consistently, I miss writing SO MUCH and you should tell me to write more often, because it helps the little brain in my head not feel so crazy.

And also, you should listen to the new Of Monsters & Men album and the new Jack White album and really you should all just get Spotify if you don’t have it and tell me to send you songs on Spotify because I basically am addicted to Spotify and spend enough time with Spotify that it should be my boyfriend and I pretty much love sending people songs more than anything.

And no, Spotify isn’t paying me for this blog post (but they really should be).

But really. Here’s a freebie for all you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herders!*

*(And again, if you get that reference…call me.)

I’M IRONICALLY EMPLOYED

And, in the most dramatically ironic moment of my life yet – I AM EMPLOYED.

I AM EMPLOYED:

                            -at a Starbucks, in my hometown.

Yep. Baby steps.

If you know me at all, know my relationship with coffee at all and how it is a full-fledged obsession in my life, know my relationship with my hometown at all and how I’m terrified of being stuck in it forever but also welcoming of its safe place, please laugh at this irony with me. I couldn’t write a plot point this interesting if I tried.

But seriously, it’s employment and I am more than grateful. It’s something to do while I remain persistent at breaking into the music and media industry somehow! I mean, I am not knocking this AT ALL, in fact, I am doing happy cartwheels! And as my best friend Zack put it so perfectly, I get to spend all day being surrounded by my boyfriend: coffee!

But also, the irony. OH, the irony.

So, drop by sometime. I’ll make you a lion-haired latte.*

(*But there won’t actually be hair in it, cause that’s really gross. Should we call it something else? Just a “lion latte”? A “blogaccino”? A “postgrad mocha”? You decide.)