Tag Archives: sentimental

We Met In A Baggage Claim

I’m very hesitant to write about anything super-personal on the internet.

LOL, JK.

Well, false. I actually share my neuroses and anxieties with y’all all the time, internet, and I wax poetic about my quirks and problems and shortcomings, but I am hesitant to write about anything personal that involves someone else, because then I’m that girl. I’m that girl, airing my relationships for everyone to see, whether the intended party signed up for their name to be strewn across a webpage or not.

But.

I mean, I tried this time.

You see, there’s this little buzz in the back of my head that’s been itching to write about this for a while. Nothing overwhelming, not even the beginning of the whole story, but still something. So, here goes.

The Chicago airport is not where I expected anything significant to happen.

The Chicago airport was supposed to be a stop that didn’t matter, literally, a go-between and maybe a few minutes of me reading an InStyle with an overpriced latte while instagramming a photo of my shoes out of boredom.

But, it was significant.

We met at a baggage claim, which I think describes us maybe better than anything else could. A place that was full of people, full of distraction, and full of constant change. You’re not supposed to spend a long time at a baggage claim, you know. Just grab your bags and move on. By all intents and purposes, we shouldn’t have met. We should have just kept walking across the terminal to our respective locations. I mean, I know we were headed to the same place and probably would have run into each other anyway, but there’s something about suitcase carrier 5 that seemed to change things.

So, we met amidst so many ridiculous things.

I can, of course, remember my outfit and remember my hair color and style at the time, but I don’t remember the first thing you said– only that it made me laugh, and that you continued to make me laugh and distract me from important things. So everything else – people, appointments, cups of coffee – got half of my attention that weekend and even though that might usually cause me anxiety, I thought nothing of it. I’m always all-talk, but you could keep up and you could play along with all my puns and singalongs. We compared things in common and made far too many of the same references and got mad when we agreed too much.

Because, let’s face it, the whole thing was somewhat sickeningly adorable, and you and I were much too cool for that sort of thing. We were both chasing after being independent and renegades and maybe one of us was wearing a ridiculous graphic t-shirt that said “Free Spirit” and taking it a little too close to heart, but still. We were not the sort of people to read Nora Ephron books and believe them, to let romantic comedy plot lines become reality or to take stock in a one-time meeting.

We were supposed to be moving on. Getting on the next plane. Taking our suitcases with us, not opening them and unpacking our lives and talking about important things and agreeing so much.

So, we met in a baggage claim, and I still don’t know what to do about it all.

And now, a couple months and a couple thousand miles later, when you look at me and sing, “we found love in a baggage claim” to the tune of Rihanna’s “We Found Love (In A Hopeless Place)” like you always do, I’ll still roll my eyes, but hey, maybe one day I’ll end up writing it all down and it’ll seem less crazy and less cryptic.

But, probably not.

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I Used To Be So Reassured (+ Time Travel!)

Hi, internet. I’m still unemployed for those of you wondering (all 3 of you) and I don’t say that to make you feel sorry for me, just to keep you informed and because well, it’s part of this story.

You see, when you’re unemployed, you have a whole lot of free time on your hands. During my large block of free time today, after filling out applications and googling pictures of puppies (because that is another essential task), I decided to go back and clean up some of my old blogs, seeing as I’ve had quite a few. I was going through old entries from several blogs ago (oh yes, I was one of those special breeds of the internet generation that had a blog in middle school and high school…and God bless your heart if you read them and are still deciding to read my words now) and I found this:

April 1, 2008: “There’s a few future plans I have planned out and heard more on lately, but overall, I’m just trusting God and putting it all in his hands. I hardly know everything, but what do I know? I’ve got a list of books to read and a set of records and box sets of LPs that Olivia is letting me borrow that I can’t even believe I am actually hearing and that amaze me. There’s also a graduation date to look forward to. And larger than that, I’ve got an intense passion for music that overwhelms me sometimes, a family and group of friends that I run out of fantastic adjectives for, and a desire to serve in some way. I know that those will be there no matter where I’m living or what I’m doing years from now, and actually, yes, that’s very reassuring.”

I wrote it almost exactly 4 years ago, about to graduate high school. The “box sets of LPs” were the Live 1975-85 Boxset and I was juuuust beginning to listen to Bruce Springsteen. I was 17, I was idealistic, and I was so reassured.

I’m definitely not the same girl I was then. I look different in nearly every way and I sound different too. I drink a lot more coffee than I used to four years ago and since then, I’ve also touched Bruce Springsteen’s guitar while he was playing it. In comparison to four years ago, I’ve picked up a ukulele and guitar, fortunately, and unfortunately, I read less books. I am, for all intents and purposes, better than I was four years ago, more educated than I was four years ago, and older than I was four years ago (duh) but that peace and reassurance about the future and about my life that I had four years ago? I’d give anything to have those back, instead of this post-grad anxiety.

I have been obsessed with the idea of time travel for years. No, really.  REALLY OBSESSED. Back to the Future was my Dad’s favorite movie and was on repeat growing up. Marty McFly stole my heart at a young age with his orange vest and guitar solo. Today I look into buying a used DeLorean on Ebay maybe once a month, and don’t even get me started on my adoration for Doctor Who and how I wish for the Tardis. Heck, I even loved Stargate and Battlestar Galactica for their crazy timeline drama. So, all this geekery and obsession leads me to love discussions about flux capacitors and what it might look like to go back into the past.  I talk about time travel with no qualms at all. However, reading something I wrote and craving to be able to write it again, to go back there when I thought I’d come so far, baffles me more than any space-time continuum.

Is it too weird to think that you should take advice from…yourself?

I Really Loved My Apartment

I moved out of my last college apartment officially almost a week ago. This might explain my lack in writing, but really, I’ve just been attempting to put something together that doesn’t make me need to get a tissue mid-paragraph.

Here, while I compose myself, observe this picture of me and Christie dancing in our former apartment:

I could be overly emotional and ramble in this blog post. I could definitely talk for paragraphs in detail about how moving out was a metaphor for finally leaving college and how each piece of  furniture that left was a piece of the last 4 years finally leaving. I could joke about pawning all our leftover food and cleaning supplies on people even if they didn’t want it, post a link to “The Scientist” since Christie sang it nonstop the last few days we were living there, or tell you about how dramatic drinking the last cup of coffee on our final morning really ended up being.

However, I’m going to attempt instead to keep it simple, which is a new concept for me.

Moving is hard. It’s stressful and messy and at times you just want to throw everything away, but then you can’t throw ANYTHING away because you’re attached to it. We grow attached to stupid things like posters or plastic flowers or knickknacks on shelves because they represent little memories. I spent a good twenty minutes deciding which coffee cups to get rid of. I considered keeping a bottle of coconut lotion with 2 drops left in it. I had trouble fitting all my shoes into my car.

While all these moments could be the ones I remember or the ones that stand out, the one memory that will forever be representative will be the very last one. Christie and I had packed up nearly everything in boxes, cleared out all our stuff, removed all her paintings off the walls and we decided to take a little lunch break. We hopped in her car to go get sandwiches and she predicted I’d get the jalapeno chips, and of course, I did. We brought them back, and since everything was gone, we sat down on our wood floor and had a little ‘last supper’ together.  Our apartment had always been full of our friends and bustling with activity, but in those few minutes, it was just the two of us, roommates, and our last string of Christmas lights still plugged in. We didn’t talk about the sadness of leaving or our next plans, we just laughed about the streamers still on the ceiling from all the parties we’d thrown. We giggled about inside jokes and spoke in ridiculous accents. We talked about what we’d learned over the past year and sure enough, we talked about boys and flirting and relationships and marriage and all the places we saw ourselves in 5 years. When we finished, we sipped the last of our diet cokes and finished packing the last things we had left. Two hours and her parents’ truck later, we handed over our keys and were officially moved out.

If you asked me to be honest, of course I’m sad about moving out of San Marcos. I’m upset about having to move home without a job, I’m nervous about ever finding one and I’d give anything to be back in our rickety little apartment, even if I was just sitting on the wood floors. But, as I’m having to tell myself each day, the best parts of my little story aren’t over. Apartment C104 was one of the absolute greatest times in my life, contained the most wonderful best friend and roommate and basically other half-of-my-brain, was located above 4 of my other favorite people and neighbors in the world who basically let me live on their couch and in their lives for months, had a spectacular living room for movie nights across from one of the busiest kitchens for grilled-cheese-parties, and it was a fantastic little place to call home for a few months, but it isn’t the last of great times.

I’ll remember this past year in my favorite space bittersweetly, but for now it’s a little more bitter than sweet. I look forward to the future, but, all I’m saying is that the next apartment has some pretty big shoes, and wood floors, to fill.

And also, to whoever happens to move in next, good luck figuring out the light switches!

(Photo via Kasey Morgan Photography!)

All These Things That I’ve Done

Sometimes you are home from college cause you graduated and although you feel accomplished, it sinks in that you don’t have a job yet or a future planned and you get really scared-out-of-your-little-mind and nervous about the uncertainty.

Sometimes this uncertainty drives you crazy and you just sit at your computer on job-searching websites for hours, not sure where to start and frustrated with the results.

Sometimes you take a break from this ridiculous search and decide to do something productive, like, say, clean your room that you haven’t lived in for 4 years completely.

Sometimes when you’re cleaning, you stumble across childhood artifacts and old notes that you used to pass to your best friend in middle school, speaking in codenames about the boys you liked and the dreams you had for when you grew up, and you read them with a 21-year-old mindset and it seems so hilarious and bittersweet to see how much you’ve changed, or rather, how much you really haven’t.

Sometimes, buried beneath the notes and old ticket stubs, you find your old green 2004 iPod mini, or rather, your first real love.

Sometimes you take this little iPod, and even though it seems ridiculous, you hook it up to charge and find yourself looking through it eagerly.

Sometimes you realize this old iPod holds so many of the keys to your heart, so many of the melodies that you held onto tightly, as well as nearly 100 hand-crafted playlists that you painstakingly made at the age of 13 to express nearly every emotion and every situation perfectly.

Sometimes you wonder how you had real friends with such OCD playlist tendencies.

Sometimes you take this old iPod and hook it up to your car stereo and press shuffle, just for kicks, and then for the next two hours, you know every single line of every song that plays.

Sometimes these old songs make you happy, sometimes these songs make you question your music taste and sometimes they make you laugh out loud.

Sometimes you run across a song that you forgot how much you loved. I mean, you know it can be a little cheesy and that no one really listens to The Killers anymore, but you remember when this song was it. You remember using ridiculous words like EPIC to describe it. You remember when your best friend played it for you for the very first time after a particularly long school day full of low self-esteem and it cheered you up. You remember singing along to it with your friends on countless car rides through your suburban neighborhood and you remember seeing it in several inspirational online videos for all sorts of nonprofits and campaigns. You remember it being ‘over-played’ in your young hipster mind, but still loving it. You remember throwing your fist in the air and feeling a little part of your chest swell when Brandon Flowers & company repeated “I got soul but I’m not a soldier!” over and over again. You remember, for whatever reason, this song being one you were never able to skip past, never able to ignore, never tired of. You remember always hearing it and feeling infinite.

And sometimes, you hear it again, driving down the road on a day where you feel like you have no idea what to do with your life, and everything comes rushing back. You soak up every little lyric and rhythm and cymbal crash, and you remember that you’re okay and that life isn’t so overwhelming and dramatic.

And after all, sometimes you need a five minute and six second singalong to stay sane.

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)

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

Graduation Day; Part 1

I know that I haven’t written in weeks and that I should have philosophical reasons for doing so, but if anything, my life as of late has been defined by five words:

“i’m graduating college on friday.”

I am a huge mess of emotions right now. I feel like a little kid who doesn’t want to grow up. I feel like an adult who somehow is still holding onto my college sweatshirts. I feel like everyone around me is getting married and I’m sitting pretty on single island, holding onto my Lord Of The Rings dvds and musical soundtracks. I feel like I’m going to trip and fall onstage when they call my name at graduation. I feel a bitter confusing sense of nostalgia for freshman year when everything seemed new. I feel giddy realizing I won’t ever have to study again in a few days! I feel sleepy because I haven’t slept for 4 years while getting this degree. But mostly, I feel extremely and totally happy.

Everyone is telling nightmare stories of the current job market and suggesting grad school and cocking their heads to the side when I tell them I don’t know what I’m doing after this Friday, but I am just so happy; so overjoyed with the love I’ve experienced in the past 4 years.

I believe in Jesus. I believe in God. I’m not trying to convert you and you don’t have to echo my beliefs to read this blog. You don’t have to read this post or agree with it and I won’t take it personally if you stop reading altogether, but I just can’t honestly write a sentence about college and how it has changed my life without name-dropping Jesus and saying that I know he placed me here, at this university, for a reason. He put me here to surround me with knowledge and so much creativity and so much music to encourage my career goals. He put me here to grow and learn to go after what I want, no matter how hard or impossible it might seem. Mostly, he put me here to meet people that would challenge me, make me laugh harder than I ever have and love me unconditionally, and for all of this I am so thankful and gosh-darn happy!

So, come Friday, I’ll take on the real world. I’ll wear a funny hat and take pictures and keep replaying graduation cliches from movies and tv shows in my mind the whole time. I’ll try not to, but I’ll end up listening to Youth Group’s version of ‘Forever Young’ and I’ll get a huge lump in my throat. I’ll hug my best friends that I’ve been blessed to meet here and I’ll most likely do a bunch of happy dances. And I’ll cry- oh, that I already know, thanks to my sentimental heart- but you can bet that the tears will be happy ones.

And, you can also bet that my lion-maned hair will be Texas-sized and in full force.

And, of course, that I’ll blog all about it.