Monday, December 8, 2014

2k14 Awards

2014 has been good to me. i started wearing more lipstick, tried doing my nails more. i gave up on leggings but discovered knee high socks. a lot of dreams came true and some old ones got deferred. i did things i never thought i would and fell in love with things i'd always thought i'd hate. there were new friends, old connections, rekindled romances (just kidding about that last one). i stopped journaling but i should pick it up again. i learned a lot, the hard way and the easy way. i think i changed but i still love puppies more than anything.

all in all, it's been a good year. a hazy, frenzied, challenging, comfortable one all at once. i sometimes forget i'm only 23, but it's like amy poehler said: you're never too young to be very wise.


but before i go through the minute details of a fabulous year, i thought i'd share the minutiae of my year in review. because i'm easily excitable. if you didn't know.

best song: taking into account my ability to listen to it endlessly, sing along passionately, turning to it desperately - and happily - throughout the year...i'm gonna go with "i wanna get better" by bleachers. but for purely sentimental reasons i can't beat "shake it off"
best album: i may be biased but 1989 is really all that and a bag of chips.
best film: there weren't many great films this year - or at least i didn't get around to seeing them yet. but i really loved the lego movie. which i am not at all ashamed of. and dawn of the planet of the apes was truly - how you say? - unforgettable.
best tv: it's parenthood's last season and it's made me a weepy mess.
best show: the other mozart - this amazing one-woman show about mozart's equally talented but sexistly forgotten sister
favorite celebrity: taylor swift. the songs! sass! the slayage! the self-made success! hear her roar, amiright? also, bff status.
high: emma watson's #heforshe speech
low: #handsupdontshoot #icantbreathe
new life philosophy: forget the games, the expectations, the ideas of who i should be and what i should like and how i should act. you do you and i'll do me.
favorite quote: "i may not have gone where i intended to go, but i think i've ended up where i needed to be" - douglas adams.
best book: i loved eleanor and park. also, my coworker is repping this new ya novel coming out called all the bright places and it's so wonderfully good so just read it okay? okay.
best trip: malta, obviously. but i also loved our blitz through istanbul.
greatest concert: grouplove. i didn't know how much i loved them until i saw them live. and now the memory of that show is one of my favorite.
makeup must: NARS velvet matte lip pencils. especially never say never. lifetime supply, please!
fashion favorite: skater skirts
better with: karaoke is my eureka.
better without: caring so much about what people think of me
wish list item: this gramophone for the iphone
biggest temptation: buying concert tickets for the bleachers nyc show in april. likelihood of me giving in to said temptation? 100%. totally weak-willed here. and have you heard them?? they're awesome! UPDATE: i totally bought them. (note to self, don't contemplate ticket purchases while listening to band)

Monday, November 24, 2014

isn't it about...time?

i really haven't been in the mood to write here. which is too bad because it's been a really fun month. like...really good.

except the weather. but we don't talk about that.

but it's been fun. it's cool to have reached a year mark, getting to re-experience things again. like, i can finally be like "oh, i love fall/winter in the city because this happens and this happens and remember when that happened?" there's a sense of nostalgia and experience. history is repeating itself in the best way and it's a little surreal.

like, how is 2014 almost over? i remember thinking it was weird that it was 2014...and now the year's almost over and it's almost 2015 and everything's moving too fast and if i think about it too hard my face will just permanently morph into the surprise face emoji because i just can't even. but in all seriousness, i don't think time has moved slowly since freshman year of college. that first semester, i felt like all i had was time. it was easy, breezy, beautiful. a lazy summer that just went on for eternity.

and then life picked up and time never slowed down again. everything blurs together until i'm looking back and i'm like "was that really a year ago?" yes, yes it was. but if that horrible justin timberlake movie in time taught me anything (and it really didn't) (but if it did), it's that time is i've been cashing it in on some good experiences. there were a lot of good times this year (and a lot of money spent too) (heyo). malta, knicks, hamptons. grouplove. philly. dc. rockettes. yankees. karaoke. coney. christmas. there was just a lot going on. all the time. but i think the more important lesson of this fast-paced, crazy-fueled, fun-times-had year came from an actual good movie about time, conveniently called about time, that taught me a lot (go figure) about time. (go watch it ) (it's honestly good) (honestly).

it's about a SPOILER ALERT time traveler who wants nothing more than a beautiful life, so his father tells him to live each day like anyone else, but then go back in time to repeat each day in order to recognize all the good things you may have missed the first time around. but of course things go awry and it's not always feasible to travel back in time (just ask harry potter). so the real takeaway, for the time traveler and for me, was something more realistic (at least for those of us without time traveling talents):
the truth is i now don't travel back at all, not even for the day. i just try to live every day as if i've deliberately come back tot his one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.

we're all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. all we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride. 
*my heart strings* 

so...just living deliberately. happily. remarkably. extraordinarily. wholly. that's what i've been working on. just finding happiness--and looking for it in even the most unhappy times. and i haven't always gotten it right (this year has been hard, too). but i think the reason this has been the happiest year of my life isn't just because of all the things that have happened or all the places i have been or even all the people i've been lucky enough to meet. it's because, deliberately, i've been trying to be happier.

and SPOILER ALERT it works.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

baby we're the new romantics

so my bff forevs, taylor swift, released her fifth album, first pop album, yesterday generally slays. i have one song stuck in my head, constantly and consistently. i love it and i'm obsessed with it. but i'm not going to fangirl MUCH except to can hate on taylor for her singing voice, her dancing, her fashion, her relationships -- i don't know why you would but, hey, you can -- but can we all just respect that she is a really talented lyricist? like, maybe i've had too much of the kool aid by now, but this is clever stuff. and i'll never understand how she can make something so personal (so inherently taylor) and yet i'm over here like HOW DID SHE GET IN MY BRAIN?

this is my new anthem. click for a link. or, you know, just buy the album. you won't regret it, because it's just good, fun, clever, addicting stuff. i mean, that's kind of taylor's mo: it's all about the slow burn. you listen to any of her lyrics -- really listen -- and suddenly you're hooked.

(i mean, don't even try to tell me you didn't listen to shake it off at least once and actually like it. because i won't believe you.)

new romantics
taylor swift

we're all bored, we're all so tired of everything
we wait for trains that just aren't coming
we show off our different scarlet letters
trust me, mine is better
we're so young, we're on the road to ruin
we play dumb, but we know exactly what we're doing
we cry tears of mascara in the bathroom
honey life is just a classroom

cuz baby i could build a castle
out of all the bricks they threw at me
and every day is like a battle
but every night with us is like a dream
baby, we're the new romantics
come on, come along with me
heartbreak is the national anthem
we sing it proudly
we are too busy dancing
to get knocked off our feet

baby, we're the new romantics
the best people in life are free


brb putting it on repeat. don't mind me. currently having a dance party in the mail room. the end.

**my one gripe with the whole thing is that this is only a bonus track. my love for taylor will only be rocked if she doesn't play this on tour**

Friday, October 10, 2014

travel bug

going to malta maybe changed my life. and i know i haven't talked about it here, mostly because i've beaten it over the head of anyone who interacts with me or my facebook. and it's a little late to write up a post about just how AWE-some malta was. but i don't even care. because, yes, malta was beautiful and interesting and diverse and it was liberating being there on my own terms and i definitely want to go back (really). but more than anything malta just made me realize...there's so much more i want to see.

this world is so big and vast and beautiful. it's indescribable and different. every corner, crack, and cranny holds something amazing. i loved every second of being lost in something so beyond me. no one there knew who i was (aside from my wonderful travel buddy). but what i mean one had any idea who shelby was, what concerns and worries i felt shadowed or bogged down by. my problems weren't theirs. my dreams weren't theirs. i was merely a face in the crowd of their lives.

it was so absolutely freeing.

we can be pretty selfish people. and with good reason. (mostly.) i mean, this is our life--we only get one shot. we need to be concerned about us and what makes us happy and what gives our lives value. it's right to be aware of oneself. but it was also nice to be reminded that even if my life revolved around me, the whole world, in fact, did not. life in malta went on. life in new york went on. i just totally stepped out of it for a week, caught in the current of everyone else's orbits.

i think there's a reason people say they caught the travel bug or they suffer from wanderlust. because it does feel like a disease. something beyond your control. something that just happens and takes you and changes things. five years ago i thought there were only five places on earth i cared to see. i wanted to see new york, london, paris, italy, and egypt. that's all. i didn't get why i had to travel to appreciate the world. i had books! i had the internet! i had pictures! i didn't feel drawn to any place outside of my (very small) comfort zone.

well, that changed.

i went to london. then paris. i realized the world is pretty cool and maybe it would be fun to see more of it, but no big deal.

then i moved to new york. and i realized moving, going, changes you. and i thought how amazing it was to be at this international hub with thousands of people coming and going. i wanted to be one of those people.

and then i went to malta. i rushed through istanbul. and i realized there's a big world out there and i'm desperate to see it all. if only to know what more it can do to me.

and this has all taught me three things: 1) travel changes you. it makes me feel strong, capable, brave. 2) traveling gets easier (no more throwing up on planes!) and so much more fun, and growing up is grand--i mean, look at how tiny and young i look in london compared to istanbul. is it just me? 3) I MUST SEE ALL THE PLACES!

i keep a list of travel destinations on my phone. just places i've always wanted to see or places i hear about or pictures i see and think "that looks amazing." and it's getting lengthy. and i get too excited about each one. and i'm already eager to plan my next trip. but the real question is...where?

i want to see...
new orleans
key west
kauai (jp!!)
the grand canyon
niagara falls

i want to go to...
the french riviera
new zealand

i thought i could make a "30 before 30" travel list, but there's too many places i want to see. and so many different ways i want to see it all. one could say i'm young and restless. but i think that's okay. and even right. life shouldn't feel settled already. I'm barely 23, i have my whole life ahead of me, and, hey, i can sleep when i'm dead.

i've realized the world is my oyster and i really can do whatever i want is my life. and that is such a scary, amazing, freeing thought. so i've seen bits of the world. i wouldn't call myself well-traveled or wordly. but i wish i was. because what i've seen so far amazes me. and it's changed me. i feel more capable, more brave, more me than i ever felt. i like who i've become and the openendedness of who i can yet be. and maybe that's dramatic and maybe life will get me down and i'll never see another place again. (knock on wood). but more and more my life's mantra can be summed up to simply "Life Wholly Lived."

i want a life of adventure. i want a world of discovery. i want immersion and escape. i want to feel and see and do and be. in the pages of this world and all its diversity, i want to find me.'s to that. vacations, amiright?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

tweet me this

i was having a blue monday when i realized i was staring out of the window at my dream job looking at the empire state building. #perspective

i may be biased or whatever, but i'm really stoked for taylor swift's new album.

i spend too much time combing websites for fall clothes. i want all the tights, knee highs, maroon-colored dresses and plaid jackets i can get.  

i know i'm behind the times, but i've been listening to Ed Sheeran's X album nonstop. because it's perfect. and his music video for "thinking out loud" is beautiful.

i never feel more like an adult than when i wear lipstick. this may seem childish.

the last book i read was THE INFINITE SEA. it was so good i almost want to keep it as the last book i ever read.

i don't know how it's october already, but i'm happy it is. now is the time of apple, cider, donuts...and all three at the same time.

i bought my ticket home for christmas already. the day is marked in my calendar simply as "PUPPIES." #priorities

i fell in love with "four walls" by Broods. i can't fall asleep without listening to it.

my roof is crumbling down around me. this is not a euphemism, and i've had to have the repair guys come into my apartment twice in the last week. just holding on to that "newly renovated" title, i guess.

i went to a cocktail party on a roof in midtown last week. bought a fancy lbd and everything. held down my seltzer and lime like a boss. i so fancy. also, i like playing dress up. 

i think i should lose five pounds, and then i think food is just SOOOO good. whose fault is that, really? happiness > dress size.

it's fall premiere season, constantly reminding me of just how much tv i watch. most important to me, though, is parenthood. can it not be the last season, please? also, brooklyn 99. also, the mindy project.

i really don't know what's going on with my life right now, but i mostly dig it. which i guess is as good as it gets.

these innocuous updates were brought to you by bored-at-work-and-i-figured-it-is-time-to-update-my-blog-again-but-i-have-nothing-new-to-say-so-bye.

Friday, August 29, 2014

it's my yearversary

it's been a year since i moved to new york. that's twelve months. fifty two weeks. three hundred sixty five days. eight thousand seven hundred sixty five hours. five hundred twenty five thousand nine hundred ninety four minutes (rent LIES). which is just crazy.

if you had told me a year ago...
that i would live in harlem, dealing with five am ragers at the crazy asians upstairs and inebriated loiterers passed out, maybe (hopefully?) still breathing, on my front porch
that i would have my dream job where, yes, i can wear shorts and, yes, i can sleep in and, yes, i can read all day
that i would become obsessed with karaoke, spending probably hundreds of dollars on in and becoming such a regular that the owner recognizes me
that i would gain ten pounds (okay, maybe 15 on a bad day) from all the great food and literally (literally, i say!) irresistible treats and that i would feel pretty okay about it
that i would have countless friends come and countless friends go (interns are the worst)
that i would go to concerts and broadway shows and hipster JP-themed performances
that i would see the dc cherry blossoms and spend a weekend living large in the hamptons and get stuck in an elevator in philly aka the worst place on earth
that i would be going to malta because why the #$!!?@ not   
that i would meet Nick Offerman and Keenan and see BJ Novak and Al Roker and Nick Lachey and Tracy Morgan and Emma Stone and that one dude in pretty little liars
that i would meet--nay, hang out--nay, party with--nay, befriend TAYLOR FREAKIN SWIFT

...i would have called you crazy.

(still don't believe it.)

and yet, here we are.

i mean, a year ago in utah, finishing at byu, wondering what on earth to do, life was all...

and when i finally decided to just up and move, there were haters to deal with. naysayers to ignore. good-intentioned worriers to soothe. ignorant doubters to scoff at. incredulous disbelievers being all "but you're not even married yet" which was just like...

and to them (and that little part of me who doubted i could actually make it) there's only one thing to really say:
#nothingbutlove  #butseriously 

i remember being so scared last year. you know, so long ago. i wrote in my diary "growing up is weird. because you don't really feel it happening. it's just, one day you're looking back and you realize everything has just changed." and that was overwhelming, the openendedness. i was really scared of new york. of acting grown up. of leaving everything familiar for somewhere i'd never been before. and this has been the craziest, scariest, most stressful, hardest, and exhausting year of my life. but it has also been--and i'm not trying to be dramatic here--but it has been the most amazing and singularly happiest year of my life.

and i owe it all to...well, everyone.

for everyone back home who supported me and loved me and visited me (i try not to have favorites, but i mean...), i have to say thank you. i couldn't have done it without that pre-game pep talk (justin), or that first phone call where you pretended not to hear me sobbing (cait), or the proof of income (dad), or the panicked "are you alive?!" texts (mom), or the letters assuring me i had a pretty put-together life (lars), or that money for my fashion makeover (melbran), or the on-the-road-but-i-guess-i'll-talk-to-you phone calls (trav), or the t-rex et al photographic updates (abby), or the first visit just because that was everything awesome (ash). really, all i can say is thank heavens for FaceTime and group messages. you guys are the best and i love you (even if i still hate utah).

and to all my friends out here. thank you doesn't even begin to cover it. i could spend this whole blog giving shout outs (but that's not good edicut), so just know y'all are errythang.

this year has been...awesome? unforgettable? amazing? i mean, really, it comes down to the age-old question: how do you measure a year in the life?

how about .... karaoke, road trips--fruit snacks!, baked-by-tom cookies, seamless, donuts and dance parties, "all roads lead to molly's," mormon drunk, brooklyn we go hard, badminton, feminist plays, "just friends inviting friends," kiss marry kill, dough, institute (penis mascots?), subway leg lifts, brunch, "wall blasted with single air rifle pellet": art, cereal parties, shnugs!, "you're ducking worth it," tram rides and lighthouses, "it's not chocolate," waffles, the PPC, "does this feel like an old man gnawing on your knee?," just dance, CONFETTI, betelehemu, heads up, bad kisses, good cuddles, "i like the way you freestyle dance," tater tots, credit card!, the movie bag, "did he go deep?", tri-state hold em/three's a crowd/black diamond head/the loser game, MASH, "you have a really high metabolism," beyonce + golf = winning, crotch guitar, girl scout cookies, murals, 90s dance parties, sleepovers, "caesar...loves...humans," group messages, asian tourists, #tourguidetom, "let's keep in touch," puppy parades, nipply weather, "i didn't invite them i added them," linger longers, grouplove, movie screenings, "kaaaaate," teacups!, jesus count, reeses oreos, "you guys have a lot of inside jokes," sunday dinners, fork it all the way, nncce nnce nnce, TBH IMHO MRW, broken elevators, photo ops, ...more karaoke (#noshame)

if you can't tell....

so, yeah, it happened. one year older and wiser (maybe) too. this year has reminded me, again and again, that life is meant to be lived. hard and fast. because it's not the years in your life, but the life in your years that count. #preach

ya dig? i survived. i conquered. i KILLED it. ohh yeah.

TL;DR: i lasted a year, people. one whole year. so here's to another. i'm coming for you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

that time i met taylor

also known as "the greatest day of my life heretofore and ever after." cuz, frankly, that was the coolest experience of my life.

let me explain.

once upon a time, taylor was rumored to be releasing a new single at a yahoo live streaming event in nyc. i knew this and have been talking about it forever because, hello, i am human and i love everything taylor does. so when they announced the time and date, i definitely marked the calendar. and when they posted a contest for taylor's new york fans to see the show, it was definitely one of those things to make me go hmmm.

i read the terms of agreement (cuz i'm a super nerd like that) and saw that it wasn't a random drawing but that it would be based on your social media presence, enthusiam, and the general opinion of the judging board. whatever. (i didn't read it that closely) but it asked for your twitter account, instagram, and taylor nation account. and i'm like, lol, there's no chance i'm winning this because 1) i tweet about once a year 2) my instagram is much too self-obsessed to feature taylor and 3) wtf is taylor nation?

but it also asked for a 500 character essay. which, when it boils down to it, is about three sentences long. what did i say in this SPOILER ALERT award-winning essay?

...i have no idea. honestly, i don't remember. i wrote it in about five minutes, right there in the submissions form, so i never saved it. i remember saying something about being 23 just trying to grow up. i mentioned feminism and friendship. i made some snarky joke about how we wear the same clothes and have the same fabulous friends. i utilized ironic hashtags.

and i won.

cue epic fangirling.

so on monday, i left work early to go hang out with taylor. only i didn't know i'd be hanging out with taylor. all i knew was i was one of 89 people (chosen out of 5000) spending seven and a half hours together. what happened was seriously better than anything i could have imagined. 

we went to the abc studios for the yahoo live stream. i sat in the front row. err, couch. and i was four feet away from Taylor at any given time.

see here.
that's me in the background, generally freaking out.

yeah, that happened. do i look ridiculous? yes. do i care? nah.cuz, oh yeah, i met taylor swift.

she's gorgeous. it was awesome. the song was great. #FLAWLESS oh, and then we danced together. as in, she came up and we shimmied. there is photographic proof!
(thanks, laura) (though we can work on quality later)

and if you think that's enough to last a lifetime, you'd be right. i could have died and been happy. i could have been shepherded out and still raved about how great it was. but instead, the following happened. all of which is true, none of which is exaggerated, all of which i still don't believe.

so now let's start a segment i call according to taylor.

"this is the a-team right here."
referencing us on GMA. because she says she handpicked us as the ones who are at the forefront, championing her music without even knowing her. none of us had met her before and she wanted to bring us together. myself included. all i can say is...wut?

"i thought we could go somewhere and eat some pizza. how does that sound?"
she does some interviews (i'm on GMA, ma!) and we're shepherded onto buses headed to some undisclosed destination. at this point, we're all in breathless shock over what just happened. i get some sort of speaking disorder that won't let me say anything other than "i danced with taylor. i danced with taylor." which is, you know, fine by me.
and then we pull into TriBeCa. and we park in front of her house. and we all start freaking out. and we're standing in her hallway, climbing her stairwell and i'm like...there's no way this is happening.

"thank you so much for coming!"
oh, the pleasure's all mine, taylor.
she's standing barefoot in her gorgeous foyer, featuring huge mirrors and vintage birdcages and large black and white prints of her and her fabulous friends -- including one of ed sheeran managing to flip the camera off in such an adorable way.

she hugged me. and basic english escaped me. i was quiet and mesmerized and i just wanted to be close to her (#notacreep). it's just...everything. her cats make me want to be a cat person. her apartment makes me believe in the power of exposed beams and dark leather.

i used her bathroom. this is not a drill. the one with the gilded mirrors and red walls. the one hidden in a wall behind her piano. her piano! the one i almost played chopsticks on.

"did everyone gets something to eat?"
we stood in her kitchen and watcher her eat. like a Discovery Channel special, we just couldn't look away. and she pretended it was normal, 89 people pressed around her, like she was used to having an audience for everything.

"who wants a coke?" 
she looks straight into my soul. i just want to say yes. so i raise my hand, make eye contact. she asks me "diet or regular." and then she passes me one. as in, taylor swift handed me a coke.

the only thing going through my head at this moment: is this real life?

"is my song on the radio?"
we all heard it, the new, catchy, sugary, wonderful shake it off and she ran across the kitchen to turn the volume up. and then we danced. we had a dance party with taylor swift in her kitchen. and it was flawless.

"let's go take polaroids. grab the grammys"
she had four or five grammys scattered around her living room. along with a gma and a cma ("this one is just," eye roll "whatever"). we all press around her, too excited to act normal. and everyones pushing to hold a grammy and to get a picture we were promised would be emailed to us.

"thank you so much, kind soul who did that"
because, oh yeah, i fixed taylor swift's tag. why not, right? i mean, we're besties now and that's what besties do. so, yeah, when i was standing behind her and i saw her tag sticking out of her dress, i just reached out and fixed it. and she turned around to say thank you. and we made eye contact. and i smiled bashfully. and she thanked me. and i didn't know what to say. because basic manners escaped me.
i did hear someone behind me exclaim in sweet, flabbergasted jealousy "she just fixed her tag!"
i thought whoa, that was a special moment there.

"have you held my grammy yet?"
this is not a euphemism. she asks me directly -- immediately after the tongue-tied, tag-fixing debacle. and then she hands me her grammy like it's the most normal thing in the world and i almost die, hugging her again for a photo.

"well, see you around."
we were all saying goodbye as she gave us goodie bags filled with merchandise. she took the time to say bye one-by-one, hugging us one last time. and as she thanked me for coming and i giggling, thanked her for having me, i admitted it was my one-year anniversary in the city coming up. and she held my arms and made her classic shock-and-awe face and told me "oh my gosh i did not know that! that is so amazing!" we bonded over a love of fall and the promise of pumpkin spice lattes.
and as i finally started to leave (awkwardly, always awkwardly), she smiled and sort of shrugged and said "well, see you around."

there were finger guns fired. and i DIED.

so, there you have it. the absolutely 100% totally true story of my night with taylor swift. i have no idea how that happened, and i really still can't believe it did. but there we are, just me and taylor, kicking back since 2014. you know, nbd*.

*jk. bd. lol.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

whistle blower

i posted this video about street harassment the other day. unfortunately, i don't like facebook as a forum. all. so i'm sorry if that got out of hand. but i feel like i've got to say something. because i'm over it. quoting the great Batman Begins, "harassment! all i see is harassment!"

but seriously.  

i've faced harassment pretty much every day since moving here. it ranges from innocuous to terrifying. i've been cursed at, spit at, followed, called quite a lot of names. from things that have been seemingly sweet to skin-crawlingly vile. and it's something i live with. it's something i deal with. but i'd still like to draw attention to it. because it's wrong.

people try and play different angles. everyone has an explanation. a justification. an excuse.

she was asking for it. 
what did she expect? 
it's just a joke. 
she should be flattered. 

it's disgusting. i don't care about cause and effect; the bottom line is sexual harassment is wrong. period. and it's not about the women.

let me be clear. this is not me saying women's actions don't have consequences; this is me saying they shouldn't. where did the responsibility go?

when I'm wearing shorts and a guy comes up to whisper that he wants to f--- me both ways, that's not on me. when i'm wearing sweats and no makeup and a guy whistles, telling me to "work that ass," that's not on me. when i'm wearing a dress and a guy tries to get my attention, following me down the street to do it, that's not on me. when i'm wearing a long skirt or a baggy tee and a guy tells me "look at me, bitch," that's not on me.

it's not about what i wear. how i saunter. what i say. it's not about the color of my skin, my hair, my eyes. it's not about where i am, what culture i'm a part of or who i surround myself with. the terrifying truth is...they couldn't care less about me.  

those guys don't see me, they don't see what i'm wearing. they don't care about hemlines or dress sizes. they see a woman without a man and decide that they're allowed to comment. whether it's positive, flattering, creepy, simple, sexual--it demeans the women. because, honestly, it's not about us. it's never about us. catcalling and street harassment is about the men and what they're getting off on. it's a power play. it's them pushing boundaries and getting away with it. it's them assuming they have a right to us, that the way we dress or walk or act is for them.

and that's wrong.

when we put the responsibility or expectation on the woman to dress or act a certain way, it takes away any obligation for a man to act like a decent human being. regardless of what a woman is wearing or parading, no man has the right to feel entitled to it. but the sad truth is, guys feel justified in reacting to a woman as an object.

and before you go all #notallmen on me, please don't. because, yeah, sure. not all men are douchebags. not all men sit on corners or stare at girls or yell obscenities or whatever else you want to say.

sure, not all men, but yes all women.

all women have felt harassment--even if they don't want to recognize it. and it's something guys can't understand. i don't consider myself a victim, and i try hard not to have other people's actions dictate mine. but my entire life has been spent dealing with this issue. we're taught to keep our heads down, ignore them, accept it and move on. but i'm over it.

i don't like that i have to be careful where i go or when. i don't like having to cross the street to avoid a group of strangers. i don't like not being able to say "good morning" back in case that's not all he wants to say. i don't like seeing every stranger as a possible threat. i don't like keeping my finger on speed dial when i walk home at night. i don't like imagining what i'd have to do to fight my cab driver off if he took a wrong turn. i don't like pausing before entering a subway car with just one guy in it, wondering if it will end well. i don't like having to constantly have my guard up, my keys in hand, my bitch face on.

i don't like it. but most of all, i don't like that we try to normalize this. that we shrug it off and make excuses saying that's just the world we live in. we try and laugh it off. we try and lay blame or point fingers--usually at the women. but that's diluting the issue. 

because the truth is, i don't think there's any real solution. this isn't easy. it's not a quick-fix. it's frustrating and overwhelming and we can't just pass a law and be done. but i hope i can raise awareness. i hope i can open the eyes to it of those closest to me. because i want people to understand...this isn't about what a woman can or should do. this isn't about who's to blame or what to do. this is about convincing people of one very simple truth: street harassment is wrong.

cut. print. check the gate. moving on.

until we accept that it's an issue, until we stop trying to lay blame and justify, until we stop making excuses and just finally admit it's a problem...nothing will change. i care about this because i can't normalize it anymore. no more slut shaming, no more victim blaming. i will rant and rave and rage against the machine. because it's all i can do. and i'm done being quiet. something needs to change, even if that something is just public opinion. so face it. this isn't about who to blame or how to fix it; this is just about admitting there's a problem.

Monday, July 14, 2014

manic monday

i have a very restless mind. seriously, i should probably learn to meditate because at the speed my brain is running i'm getting exhausted trying to keep up. but this summer has been RICH (is that a thing?) and i'm excited about everything i've done, am doing, and will do. cuz, you know, #life.

so. since i'm bored. and it's a monday. and i couldn't sleep last night cuz my mind was going a mile a minute (that, and my sunburn). and i just like to talk. and blogging is like talking. so, since all of that, here's a little of what's been on my mind. and is on my mind. and is better than working on monday.

fresh on the mind: i saw this one-woman show called "the other mozart" which is the true story of Mozart's forgotten sister, also a musical prodigy who wasn't allowed to be anything because #sexism. it was a really beautiful, tragic, funny story that should definitely be a movie and told everywhere because it was just that awesome. and i can't stop thinking about it. 

most anticipated summer movie: dawn of the planet of the apes. i hate it, but i secretly love it and i just have to see it, okay? so that will be happening.

best thing since sliced bread: tater tots. i'm seriously obsessed and i may need to get some immediately...

the final countdown: laura is coming back to me, finally and forever. she'll be in the US of A august 2nd and in my neck of the woods a couple weeks later. i plan on introducing her to the world through a carefully detailed plot known as Operation: Reintegrate Laura.

favorite book of the summer: this is not a test by courtney summers. it's a book about the zombie apocalypse, but it's not a zombie book per se. it's actually super thought provoking and eery and immediately absorbing. so just read it. cuz i said so.

constant obsession: shorts. always and forever. i just...i love shorts (sorry, ma). my friend thinks she's never seen me wear the same shorts twice. this is an exaggeration but...maybe only a little. no judgment.

best summer tune: come with me now by the kongos. i listen to it too much. but, hey, it's better than fancy (lol jk i listen to that one too)

what i wish i could watch: jurassic park. that movie is everything. and it would be even more everything if i could watch it outdoors on the big screen with hundreds of other people who just get it. sigh. a girl can dream.

best summer snack: i am always in the mood for potato chips. just plain, greasy potato chips. it's revolting and i hate myself, but i crave them like a pregnant woman craves bath salts: it doesn't make sense, but you just can't resist.  

midsummer, looking forward: well, there's malta #duh, but that's in september so maybe it doesn't count? if it doesn't, i would definitely say i'm super stoked on laura coming out here. there will be jimmy fallon (fingers crossed), karaoke (lol still do that without her), maybe a paly (i've actually yet to go to a broadway musical...), and lots of food (classic). she better be normal...

midsummer, looking back: i think the best time i've had this summer so far is just sunshine with friends. whether it's philly (the worst) or Rockaway beach (so so) or the hamptons (yaaassss), i've had a lot of good days and i can't even begin to describe how happy that makes me. i feel absolutely liberated, which i know sounds dramatic but, hey, it's me talking. so there's that.

it's been good so far--nay, great. and even though i can't believe it's already mid-july (what?!) i can't wait for what's coming...whatever that may be.

dun dun dun? 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

city of brotherly love

the one (and only, if i can help it) time i went to philly was a pretty memorable one. see my last post if you don't believe me. but i can't pretend it wasn't fun. well, funny? unforgettable? exciting? i can't quite decide on the right adjective. things went down. that's for sure.

the good
it was a beautiful weekend. the sun was out, the sky was blue, the wind kept up on our toes. we were wearing red, white and blue; stars and stripes. i brought my picnic blanket and we had a good time playing games, doing photo shoots, asking stupid/epic would you rather questions, throwing peanut m&ms, and gorging ourselves in a manner befitting an american holiday. 

and then the next day we played tourist. and old town philadelphia is beautiful. the old buildings, the cobblestone roads, the big trees, the horse-drawn carriages of the not-amish. it felt very american. and we definitely enjoyed the backdrop of independence hall. 

and perks of having your bag stolen? bypassing the long security lines. all they ask is "twirl, please." and twirl i did. plus, i got good jumping practice with all our old-timey jumping pictures. 
nailed it. 

we looked good.

and like any good group of twenty-somethings, we danced just right on the line between immature and enthusiastic. so when we found ourselves in front of independence hall, i wanted a picture of me at the front door. because why not? and also duh. so i skipped up the steps and thought lol what if i knock? so i knocked. i made a big show of it, tried opening the front door, pushed down the nob and everything. as you can see, it's been documented.
and then as i walked away, skipping back down the stairs to everyone else chilling in the shade, the doorknob starts rattling and i watch in surprise as this old security guard opens the doors and looks around confused. we start busting up laughing as she comes out to check for...someone. but i wasn't gonna raise my hand. we just laughed, she went back in, and that was the time i doorbell ditched independence hall. 

it's probably the greatest thing i've ever done. 

the bad. 
turns out hotel management don't like letting people into their prepaid rooms if they don't have the credit card to prove they are the ones who prepaid it. #respect, i get it. but waiting for twenty minutes at 2 in the morning for a grumpy manager to grudgingly hand me the keys aint so fun. "DON'T charge anything to your room," they say. and i'm like, please, we ordered in our own pizza, duh. 

well, we were happy to get out of there come morning. so happy we were jumping for joy. 


only problem? we decided in the elevator was the best time to click our heels up. allison was like "jump on three" and 80% of us followed orders. one. two. three. crash. 

the elevator stopped moving and we stopped laughing. 

for about a second. 

half of us thought it was hilarious; the other half, not so much. but we were in stitches, giggling over, one, the tension; two, the fact that it actually happened; three, that of course it happened in philly; four, that we were literally stuck in the elevator. i was slightly panicked we'd be charged some fee--like they have a "you break it you buy it" elevator policy in place. but we made the best of a bad situation by 1) laughing 2) giggling behind our hands when people got annoyed we were actually laughing and 3) taking elevator selfies. (but first, let me take a selfie...)
so how many people does it take to break an elevator? nine. it takes nine. also, allison is the guilty looking one in the top right corner. we blame her. 

when they finally came to open the doors (ten minutes later), we were trying to corroborate a story. just in case. but they forced open the doors--and we'd only made it three feet down the floor--so we just climbed out. they had a worker on hand who started apologizing profusely. like "we are soooo sorry this happened to you. i am sooo sorry. do you need anything? can we do anything for you?" and we just booked it out of there, like, "no worries, we're good. byeee!!" 

"sorry for breaking your elevator" was not mentioned. 

here's them rescuing us. she looks like superwoman and we appreciated it.

the ugly. 
see this post. and imagine me crying with a stuffy nose. the amounts of snot that came blubbering out of me was not insignificant. also, the after photos of my cry face are pretty horrific. we won't show you pictures.  but, hey, the fireworks were awesome. the show was great. and the company was sweet. so i can't complain*  (*but i will). 

the end. 
so philly got a place in my heart, that's for sure. a dark, sad, diseased part of my heart where i store only the most hateful memories. but, hey, it left it's mark. it was a city i knew i wouldn't like, so it made sure that i would not like it the most. Philly: 1532650 Shelby: 0. 

i still feel pretty victorious. i mean, hello, my name is shelby and i survived a weekend in philly. unscathed, no. but stronger. you can't keep me down.


Things that make the fourth fun?
Stars and Stripes. Neil Diamond. Grilled meat. Fruit. Fireworks. General Gluttony.  

Things that make the fourth not fun? 
Getting your purse stolen. 

Yeah, turns out that's a real buzz kill. 

Philly is a real son of a...well, you can imagine. 

There I was, minding my own business, pumped on life. Sure, my original plan had been Boston. But Hurricane Arthur had other plans, managing to opposite-of-postpone the fourth of July spectacular. So my group of friends regrouped and decided on Philly. 

First mistake. 

And we all can guess what happens next. I went off to enjoy the concert, leaving my bag with the group. There were a bunch of bags there, someone in the group was always there. So let's not lay blame; it was just one second  and my bag was taken. Could have been anyone's. It just happened to be mine. 

For a minute I believe that maybe I can find it, that maybe it was buried somewhere and it will just be one of those New Era stories where if I only pray hard enough or sing some hymn, some guilty thief would return my bag to me. 

It didn't happen. 

And after some denial and definitely after some begging, I faced the music and decided there were certain things that needed done. So I called my bank. 

Well, first, let's be real: I hyperventilated hard core. Mostly because I still have the stuffiest nose, so breathing is already hard. So, yeah, I cried. And it got ugly. 

But then I called the bank. 

My credit card company. 

My other credit card company. 

And the other one. 

Turns out, my card was used for gas and a dollar candy at the convenience store. 

Which is just rude: not only did I have a thief, but I had an uncreative one at best. Twenty-five on gas? That's the best you can do? Dream a little bigger, darling. 

It kinda sucks, feeling the rug pulled out from under you and having no real idea how to go about picking up the pieces. I mean, I have no money--and this came after two unforeseen medical bills that already put me in the red zone financially. They took my keys, my metro card, my ID...not to mention my favorite wallet and my best deck of cards (also metro cards) and my key chain from Paris. My tissues (which would have come in handy with all the crying and snot blowing that was happening) and $25 and my headphones and Chapstick and--


Let's be real. That's probably why they stole it in the first place; I literally made it irresistible. Welchs fruit snacks by the dozen. mmm. Can I really blame them? 

Answer: yes, yes, I can. And I wish I had the opportunity to knee him/her/them in the balls while shouting some major profanities because WTF douchebag?! Who ruins Americas day for a lousy $20? You're the worst and your city can just suck it. 

I've had enough of your crap, Philly! 

It was pretty traumatic but I dealt. They only had an hour before I managed to cancel all my cards and alert the banks. So there. I still got to go and listen to Nicki Minaj and Ed Sheeran KILL IT. And then I watched the coolest most expensive fireworks show because #muhrica  So all in all it was a good night. 

...And also a no good dirty awful night that I will never forget. 

You win some, you lose some. And I lost. Big time. 

But, hey, I absolutely love and adore philly! Absolutely nothing can turn me against it! 

(This is a major lie. Philly is the worst.)

So much for brotherly love, #amiright 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

hey, batter batter

as anyone who knows me knows, i am a huge sports fan.

i am also a huge liar.

note: only one of these things is true.

but seeing as i'm in new york (living the dream!!!) i knew it was time to take me-self out to the ballgame. yankee style.

(you should know i bleed blue)

all joking aside, i really don't think there's anything that feels more like summer than (fake) green grass and a baseball diamond. this may be due to an array of nostalgic baseball films i was inundated with as a kid. angels in the outfield, anyone? but seriously. is there a sport more represented in cheesy/disney films than baseball? and why not, right?

i love everything about it. the cheesy organ music! the snarky song choices when anyone screws up! the chanting! the clapping! the baseball caps and tees! the hot dogs! the seventh inning stretch! the bright outdoors! the smell of fake grass! just the laidbackness of it all.  it feels a) american, so b) it's awesome.

some people think it's boring. to them i say...have you watched football?

but last night was splendid. the sun was beating down on us, the sweat was pooling, the drunks were getting drunker. and yet...everything was perfect.

it all happened cuz earlier last week some friends decided they wanted to go -- and i bullied my way into an invite -- and then we got an entire group to rally. twenty-four people came and the yankees conquered. coincidence? i think not. just look at our team spirit!
note: turns out i'm horrible at taking pictures (and may also be a narcissist) so i failed to get photos of everyone who came. #mybad but i know my awesome night was thanks to all 24 awesome people who came. #blessed

ah, summer. it's enough to make a girl who doesn't like sports suddenly want to go to every game, but maybe that's just because she bought a hat and she has to get her money's worth in and, you know, blue's her color and new york is her city so she's all in it for the yankees because that's only fair.

let's go with that. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

no take backs

so i have a work bio now. because I'm legit. or I try to be. and you can visit the website here and gawk at how official i am. or just read on. 

because it goes a little something like this:

Shelby Boyer joined the agency in 2014 working as an assistant to Stephanie Rostan and Jim Levine. After a life spent rambling about the perks of being a part of the Harry Potter Generation and discussing the finer points of Jurassic Park, she now considers her job her favorite thing to talk about.

That, or where one can find the greatest doughnuts in the city. (answer: dough)

A Midwest transplant, Shelby grew up in a small town always dreaming of bigger things—and better food. With a penchant for overanalyzing every book her parents ever bought her and a pesky habit of editing friends’ late-night texts, she set her sights on a career in publishing. After earning a degree in English and editing, she bought a one-way ticket to New York, bullying her way into internships and interviews until she got her chance at Levine Greenberg. Now happily settled, she relishes calling herself a New Yorker, eating pizza like one, and posting fancy pictures on Instagram to make everyone back home jealous.

Her reading habits include old favorites (John Green, Gillian Flynn, and Michael Crichton especially) and plenty of room for new obsessions. But when not reading, Shelby is usually indulging her sweet tooth with a fancy cupcake or oversized cookie or listening to bands floating somewhere between hipster and mainstream.

there you have it! so it's official. and remember folks, you heard it here first: we are now the Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. if you're at all observant you'll know that this means, most importantly, that I am assisting not one but two principals. because i'm that good.

also important: this announcement (of the name change - congrats, Steph!) means i finally have  business cards with my name on them. i'm considering mailing these to everyone i've ever known (part of a plan I have called "Mission #suckit"). but that can come later. right now, i will relish in my employment being legitimized with my oh-so-serious bio.

what can i say? i'm a regular working girl--erm, woman. just keeping it real.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

a week of me!

guys. i'm 23. i know this is equal parts not a big deal and a pretty big deal. i mean, it blows my mind--not because it's old, but because it's a number i've never considered, you know? it's like...what does it mean to be 23? supposedly it's the worst year of your twenties (yay!) but i think it's just one of those forgotten ones. i mean, probably because there is no sugary anthem for it a la 22 (thanks, taylor!). but the point is i wanted to make it memorable. because this last year has been unforgettable. and crazy packed. and oh my gosh i can't believe it's only/already been a year. so i wanted to go out with a bang. and, boy, did i.

this has been my week. i call it such because i have seemingly morphed into a narcissistic attention whore who cannot bear to not have people paying attention to her.

so...nothing new there. lollollol.

but really. it's been a fun and fabulous week full of unexpected moments and some very-much-planned (by me, the most self-indulgent) and flawlessly executed (by my most impressive friends) experiences. so yay for the memories. it has been a FABULOUS week. and since we all know i love a good pat on my own back, i figured i'd share it. so, you're welcome.

a bunch of us went to karaoke on a thursday night to sing ourselves hoarse. and, you know, to party. it was a parade of Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, Alanis Morisette, Backstreet Boys, and more. nat and i put our girl Celine Dion to shame with a soulful rendition of "It's All Coming Back to Me" (sing it, girl!). that was pretty much a highlight. there were tears shed, it was that beautiful. and then we broke it down to "Empire State of Mind" in the style of my man Jay-Z. nothing like a bunch of white kids singing like they can relate.

but it was so much fun. we met new people, stayed out late.

seriously, nothing makes me feel more grown up than staying out late on a weekday. i know this is childish. which makes the whole thing a paradox. (or is it an oxymoron?)

point is, karaoke = winning.

ramen. creepy parking lots. cookie dough. lbd. turns out, it's all a winning combination.

i know this is going to blow all y'all's minds, but...I WENT TO AN EARLY SHOWING OF GODZILLA! and it was everything i could have dreamed and more.

through a curious turn of events, my roommate got some press passes to an early showing. because she works for a website that streams korean dramas and because...godzilla is originally asian? i dunno, but i'm not complaining. she heard me rave about it--because, hello, i had fandango set to tell me when tickets went on sell. and i bought them instantly. so she casually mentions that she's going to this movie and invites me along. i of course almost cry. but i keep it together enough to say yes, please and thank you.

and it was awesome. words just.... plus, when you're sitting in a specially reserved seat and given free popcorn and a drink and you get to talking to some guy next to you who's a movie critic so you get to share your love of monster movies and spend a good fifteen minutes discussing the finer points of Jurassic Park--well, if you know me at all, you know that is my definition of heaven.

i was on cloud nine after that.

and the night wasn't even over! because we went dancing again. at that monthly 90s dance party in brooklyn. and it was still the greatest thing ever. 90s music really is all that and a bag of chips. besides what's a more appropriate way to celebrate your birth as a 90s kid than by going to a 90s dance party? answer: absolutely nothing. i got me so marky mark, TLC, destiny's child, Spicegirls. it was a good time.

other highlights of the rather eventful day?
first ice cream cone of the season. from an ice cream truck. and it was delicious. 
more karaoke. but only the female power hitters, so...#feminism
getting caught in a random rain storm so running in to the Gap and "trying on" sweaters as we waited it out. 
getting a gyro just to have it explode all over me. 
watching how many people were willing to go into a starbucks bathroom without tp and commenting on using napkins instead (it was a disgustingly surprising amount).

I had a mormon hangover from all the late night revelry on saturday. so it was a prettaay lazy day. but there was mac and cheese and cookie dough, which is as good a hangover cure as anything else.

or so i hear.

well, turns out i'm addicted to karaoke. because we went again. and it was oh so fun! some vanessa carlton, smash mouth, and, of course, my girl, Celine. it was another beautiful day.

#317 reason i love my job? sometimes they pay for us to go to cool events. this is also a perk of representing cool people. so what did i do on this lovely tuesday evening? we went and saw Nick Offerman and Megan Mullaney's, play, Annapurna. it was crazy/funny and i loved every minute. especially since it culminated in my meeting NICK OFFERMAN. whaaaaaaat! And not in a celebrity/fan sort of way; but in a colleague and peer sort of way. like oh my gosh--he said my name.

my office represents his book, hence going to the play together. and then his agent (my coworker) was like "I'm gonna hang out after to say hi. you guys can if you want." uh, yes please. so i hang out for twenty minutes, shocked as people actually decide it's not worth it, and then there he is, bearded and tall with a voice like butter. he was chatting, being lovely, and then he looks around at all of us and is like "i'm sorry, i don't think i've met all of you." and so he went around to shake hands and say hello. he gets to me and says "i'm nick." and i give him a firm, confident handshake, looking him deep into his soullful eyes (not creepy) and say "I'm Shelby." and he goes "shelby, it's a pleasure to meet you."

whaaaaaaaat! happy birthday to me.

did i consider inviting him to my birthday? or asking for a picture? yes, all of that crossed my mind. but i played it cool. i'm a professional for heaven's sake!!

now, did i freak out a soon as I left? uh, duh. i couldn't stop smiling and I was basically GLOWING just basking in the mere memory of his presence.

plus, you know, the play was amazing too. seriously, an intimate two-person show that was just guttingly emotional, there are no words to describe it. except to say that nick offerman is the greatest and...i still can't believe he said my name. the end.

so i don't know if i've made this abundantly clear yet,'s my birthday today. claps for me! honestly, i haven't really been a big birthday person before.

well, this isn't true. i love the attention i get on a birthday, and i've had some pretty awesome birthdays (disneyland/world anyone?) what i meant to say is i' haven't really been a big birthday party person. i'm more a please-family-give-me-all-your-attention-for-the-whole-day kind of person. which mostly culminates in a dinner out. but this year i was feeling especially energetic (read: needy) and i wanted to do something to prove life is good out here! so i threw a party (is it gauche to throw one's own party?) and in true shelby fashion (read: gluttonous), we made donuts. tons and tons of donuts.

it was at my place--newly furnished so i looked especially stylish. and we set up a "build your own donut" bar. what is this, you say? only the greatest idea since sliced bread!
this is how we do it. optional pudding cream filling. your choice of glaze. and a plethora of toppings to roll it in.
patent pending.

and to prove i'm even more self-centered than you think, these are the only photos of the night.
so...there's that. but i mean, really, it was because we were too busy having fun to take pictures OBVIOUSLY. and lets be honest, these aren't the most flattering photos of me. unless being photographed in the middle of swallowing a donut whole is flattering.

but we did get in a good after shot.
oh, the gluttony.

but it was a good party. i mean, the food was obviously delicious. the company was wonderful. the energy was palpable. and i couldn't ask for better friends. all joking and self-congratulating aside, it really was a great party. and i felt so happy! so yay for a great year and a great start to a great new year! they sang me happy birthday and i blew out a yankee candle! just keepin it classy.

and then today is the day. i woke up with a super stiff neck. as in my head feels too heavy for my body. it's a new sensation (maybe I really am old?). it was hard getting up and to work on time, but i managed. and i discovered some perks of being a professional in an established office.

1) you get birthday lunch. yay for free food!
2) they'll buy you donuts for a "surprise" birthday party because they know how much i love them. and while they were worried i'd be donut-ed out from last night's party, i assured them there was no such thing.
3) um, they actually give you really nice gifts. likes about $100 worth of stuff like movie tickets and SPA TREATMENTS. it pays to have friends with money. #justsayin

also, some of my beautiful, lovely family members sent me flowers! and the flower people accidentally doubled the order so i got TWO bouquets! because i'm that special. and all the love i've received via texts and facebook have been truly heartwarming. who knew there were so many puppy birthday memes to be had? (taryn.)

so, thank you. and no matter if or how you contributed to any of the stories raved about here, i love ya! and i love life! yay for being 23! it's been great so far. and the build up wasn't half bad.

and lest you think the week of me is over--as most weeks only last seven days--let me assure's not. because what comes next? THE HAMPTONS LYFE!

stay tuned. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

the manifesto

it's may first. this is significant because...(drum roll please) is a week away until my birthday!

but seriously.

this year has been a pretty momentous one. if we're talking may to may, i've seen graduation, moving to new york, struggling to find a job, finding a job, playing at life, etc. if we're talking 2014 alone, well, that's been a whole lot of momentousness that basically culminates in me getting a desk at work (yay!). #winning

but seriously.

i think it's always a good sign when a year feels long and full and hazy. like i've stuffed it with so many experiences, so many changes, that my memory bank can't sort through everything that happened. but it really comes around to one thing, and that's the fact that i really just can't believe how...comfortable i am. i've never felt this way before--this free, this happy, this sincere. it's like the me i was finally came to terms with the me i wanted to be.

but seriously.

and in that vein (of grandiose and cliched) i've been trying to put into words what i've learned or how it's changed. not because i'm perfect. but because i wanted to bottle what i was thinking right now. i wanted to write down and forever remember what i was feeling in this moment--this beautiful, breathless, incredible-in-every-sense-of-the-word moment where life just seems beautiful.

but seriously.

so i wrote a manifesto. it's been quite the ordeal, deciding what i really believed and cared about and valued. but this is what it came to, these certain unalienable truths that i definitely hold to be self-evident. and it goes a little something like this...

Life wholly lived

That it may be said that I lived a life of passion met with purpose; that I was never merely comfortable or fine or settled, but that I was always seeking more; that I believed in myself and tried my best to always believe in others; that I spent time instead of money, gave everything instead of nothing, collected memories instead of things; that I never gave in to the doldrums of mundanity or the false security of monotony; that money never haunted my motives and achievements never hindered my ambitions; that I always clung to joy even when life wasn’t happy; that I let individuality and not traditionality define success; that I lived always in pursuit of life—that all this and more may be proven true, I hereby lay out these most crucial truths by which I might better LIVE.

You only have one life to be yourself.

Regardless of what the world may expect, suggest, or demand, there is no one right way or one right life. Never lose yourself in an attempt to fit in to a crowd, a group, a culture. Always consider the why instead of simply following the what. Life is too short to live out other people’s expectations, so be yourself. Your desires, hopes, and dreams are always valid. Consider what you need and what god needs of you always before letting others begin to define you. Because you are enough.

Every day is a miracle.

Recognize that every day and every moment is a chance to feel something new. Appreciate every breath—from the quiet moments, the down time, the simple pleasures, to the big, the loud, the brash, the memorable. To become complacent is to risk forgetting what it is to live, so never entertain a mundane thought. Life is hard, so live hard. Be open to adventure and spontaneity. Never settle into a routine. Always seek out new people, new things, new ideas. In other words, live life unabashed.


The only way through is up.

Always live life in a forward motion. Challenge yourself to be more. Recognize that you should always be changing, growing, progressing—becoming more—and that the world around you can move with you. People are complex, often inexplicable, and you’ll never really know them or all their intricacies. So why not just believe in them? Life is hard enough; we cannot afford to turn against each other. Believe that people get better, and live each day to try and prove it in turn.

The world is not meant to be small.

Do not get caught up in your own bubble. Familiarity is a beautiful thing, but there is a whole world to discover and explore. Crave the bigness of the world, the liveliness of it. Travel any and everywhere possible. And when you do, go not as a tourist but as a discoverer, an explorer, an adventurer. Taste the world from a new perspective. Be there as a witness and participant, never just passing through. Remember, we only have this world for one life. Don’t waste it.

All that glitters is, in fact, not gold.

Remember that money is fleeting and things don’t last. Cost and worth are two very different things—understand the difference. Never let things become everything. Yes, responsibilities are real and certain opportunities cannot be met without certain sacrifices. But the sacrifice should never be living. Wisdom must win, but don’t hold off on the life you want. Money and the weight it carries is not everything the world would have you believe; use it in ways that matter to you.

Dreams are never just dreams.

People will tell you that dreams, by their very definition, are unattainable. But hard work always pays off. Faith and trust are the endless motivators. And dreams are all we have, so live for them—spend every waking moment desperate to find, know, and fulfill them. Life is about going hard and giving it your all. Remember, safety is not guaranteed. To just get by will never cut it. So whether or not the dream happens or it changes, the pursuit will never be a waste.