Recap

August 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Spontaneity.

Nearly one year ago, I began Sophomore year with this word in mind. It was time to break lose, roll with the punches, and stop meticulously planning every second of my life.

I look back on the last 12 months with many regrets, but the satisfaction of doing things I thought I never would.

I think about Heather from a year ago, and then look at who I am now. Appearance wise, I haven’t changed. Experience wise, I have grown more than ever before (despite the fact that my height hasn’t changed an inch). I’ve make breakthroughs, and I’ve made mistakes. I’ve gained best friends, and I’ve lost them too.

A big theme this year has been bravery. From a young age I’ve been incredibly timid, and it does not do me justice. This year I decided to take some leaps of faith (metaphorically and literally).

The first thing confidence got me was a lead in the school musical. At callbacks, I held nothing back. I shrieked and stomped my way into the role of Amber. Sometimes, you just have to let lose and go for it.

I rode a roller coaster for the first time, jumped of a bridge, and finally pierced my cartilage.

Unfortunately, brave spontaneity is a double edged sword. While I look back on some moments as my best, I’ve certainly lived some of my worst. Lesson learned: don’t make out with your ex, especially at a dance. Some creepy freshman will take a picture, and it will end up on Facebook (thankfully it was removed after only 1 day). Sometimes thinking “fuck it, I can deal with the aftereffects later” is a bigger compromise than you think.

So, was it worth it? Do the successes outweigh the mistakes? For now, I’m going to say yes. What are dumb decisions if we don’t learn from them anyway? I’d encourage everyone to do a few stupid things, because sometimes they’ll create your best memories…or at least make for a good story.

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5 Things I Should Like, but Don’t.

August 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’d like to start off by saying I got the idea for this post from http://ardentandawkwardinaustin.com/, check out her blog, it rocks!

Anyway, when I read her post it got me thinking: what are the things that I should like, but don’t?

1. M&Ms

This one shouldn’t be a big deal, but for some reason it surprises everyone. I like chocolate, but I have never been able to take the taste (or smell) or M&Ms. I can’t describe how, but something tastes different about the little colorful candies.

2. Reading novels

This is one of my least favorite qualities about myself. I have tried time and time again to be a reader, and I fail with every attempt. I like reading the news, and I love reading blog posts, but I don’t get the same enjoyment out of novels that other people seem to. Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t have time with my busy school schedule, but I feel like if I really enjoyed reading I’d make the time.

3. Wearing shoes

This one is pretty strange. Long story short: Last summer I was in a musical where I played a slave, and never wore shoes. I realized show much more comfortable I was without them on (especially singing and dancing). As someone who isn’t the most coordinated, it helps me feel more connected with the ground. Plus, the stress of finding matching shoes for a great outfit is just annoying.

4. Straight up coffee

As someone who in constantly on the go and who in avidly involved in the performing arts (school from 7 am – 9 pm? no problem!) I feel like I should be addicted to coffee by now. I say “straight up” coffee because I enjoy lattes and frappichinos, but never drink coffee straight. I don’t really mind the taste, but the heaviness of it just makes me groggy.

5. Cleaning my room

I desperately wish I was someone who has to keep a tidy room to stay sane, but unfortunately I am pretty content being a slob. This is fine until a super organized friend comes over, and I’m just embarrassed. If only I was as physically organized as I am mentally

Am I completely alone, or are there other people somewhere out in the vast universe that share these dislikes? Whats something you guys dislike that you shouldn’t?

Self expression 101

August 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Around one year ago I decided that my nails, which I had chewed until I got braces, were to dull to see the light of day. Since then, I’ve worn nail polish every day with only a few rare exceptions.

I’d like to think of it as a form of self expression, a visual of how I’m feeling depicted on my nails. Am I feeling light? Upset? Sexy? There’s a color to tell all. Plus, some crazy designs.

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The Dismount

August 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m back in Cambridge, and couldn’t have received a warmer welcome!  I guess I can finally cross “jump off a bridge” off my bucket list.

I cannot find the words to describe the free fall. It was the shortest and longest five seconds of my life, ending abruptly with the stinging sensation that traveled through my thighs and back due to my ungraceful dismount.

I should have begun by clarifying that I am not afraid of heights. I am terrified of drops however. It took me sixteen years to ride my first roller coaster because the steep drop in the beginning was enough to send me running in the opposite direction.

Here’s the trick: It’s all in the build up. The clicking of your cart as it slowly approaches the decent. Standing on the edge of the cement ledge staring in to the  reflective Charles River water.

Then, the release. The whoosh as the cart reaches the tipping point. The scream that followed the out-of-the-ordinary burst of courage that sent me flying off of the Harvard foot bridge.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to summon that kind of courage again, but maybe it only takes closing your eyes and counting to three.

Water for Elephants

August 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve never been a big reader, so I was less than pleased when I was faced with yet another annual summer reading assignment this year (isn’t this supposed to be my vacation?!). However, I had an unexpected stoke of luck when the book Water for Elephants appeared on the list of books I could use for my additional reading this summer (we must read one required book, and chose another book from a list to read as well).

Sara Gruen, you’ve outdone yourself.

I immediately chose to read this book due to the raving reviews my friends gave it, and was not disappointed. The story lived up to every outstanding comment it received, and with good reason.

For those of you who are not familiar with the book (which I highly recommend you pick up now if you’re not), the compelling novel tells the story of a young man who (literally) jumps on board with a circus in the 1930s. The characters are so well developed you would love to sit down to lunch with them one day, and the plot is so page turning you’ll fall asleep eagerly anticipating what comes next. This is a fantastic quality in a novel someone who has a short attention span, like myself. I struggle to focus on slow paced books that ease into the action. Water for Elephants starts out with a bang that rings in your ears until you’ve turned the final page.

A few more fantastic features include…

1. A story story jumps around in time. The book is always narrated by the main character, but the reader gets to hear from him when hes in his twenties, and when hes in his nineties. The book goes back and forth between his time and the circus, and his time in an old folks home. This works wonders in terms of character development. I love seeing all the aspects of his personality that stick with him in his old age.

2. A well rounded antagonist. Although the two denominational, black caped villain with the maniacal laugh is entertaining, being able to understand his/her motives adds a new layer of complexity to the story. Its for this reason I adore stories like The Phantom of the Opera and Macbeth. You desperately want to hate the “bad-guy,” but you sympathize with his/her struggles.

3. A love story that takes a back seat to the other action. Although the through line of love is essential to the book, it is not the only engine that keeps the plot running. For this reason, Water for Elephants is not only a love story, but a story about a young man attempting to get his life back on track (no rail road pun intended).

So, if you haven’t already jumped out of your chair/swivel chair/bed and run to the nearest library/book store/friends house to get your hands on this book, I’d highly recommend doing so as soon as possible. I guess I’ll work on all of the “book journal entries” that I neglected to complete while reading (sue me, I couldn’t put the book down for a second!).

Makeup: A Double Edged Sword

August 16, 2012 § 1 Comment

After going several days without wearing makeup I have concluded the following: Its incredibly addictive, dangerously so.

As a 16 year old girl, I am in an age group highly susceptible to makeup’s quick effects and strong hold. Once you start applying it, you just can’t stop.

There isn’t a set age when one is allowed to start wearing the stuff, and some women never do. However, others won’t leave the house without that extra layer plastered on to their abused faces. Some may even call it a mask.

My history with makeup begins in the fifth grade when I desperately wanted to wear lip gloss like my friends. Gap was out, and Claire’s was in.  By the sixth grade, most girls carried a small tube of the shiny gloop in their backpack, constantly reapplying to keep their lips sparkling. I had countless tubes of lip gloss, as they were cheap, and constantly getting lost.

However, the real makeup started when high school did. It began with just mascara, and that’s how it stayed most of freshman year. Unfortunately, I was slapped with an onset of horrible acne, so cover up was introduced to hide its long-term effects on my face. Now there were two regulars in my morning makeup routine.

The summer before Sophomore year, I was introduced to yet another piece of makeup for my collection, liquid eyeliner. I started tenth grade with three regulars, which quickly became four when pencil eyeliner made its way in to my life, and five when I discovered the wonders of foundation. Five types of makeup to apply every morning, five aspects of my appearance that weren’t me.

Recently when discussing the addictive nature of makeup with a close friend she said she limited her makeup usage to once or twice a week. When I asked why she answered:

“I want to wear makeup to feel pretty, not feel ugly without it”

Every time I began using a new type of makeup regularly, my face seemed incomplete if I didn’t continue to wear it.  I forgot about the time in my life where I only wore mascara, I figured that I just couldn’t pull off the natural look that so many girls do. I adored the confidence makeup gave me when I began school last year, but it wasn’t real confidence. It was a visage, a mask if you will. My self-security hinged on a couple of bottles and a lot of black goop.

So this year I challenge myself to wear minimal makeup three to four school days a week, and save the liquid eyeliner for days I need that extra boost. I’ll advise other girls to do the same. As cliche as it seems, don’t let something as simple as makeup rule how you feel about yourself.

Finding My Voice

August 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

My family has never done much traveling. I’ve been over seas a couple times, only once that I can remember though. As a result of sticking pretty strictly to the northern states, I’ve never been anywhere where my accent seems…foreign. 

I sport a very classic northern monotone, and on top of it, I say wicked. Well, I wouldn’t actually call it a monotone, but its much less expressive than the accents you hear in the south. I’ve actually been down here before, but I’ve never noticed how out of place my voice seems. Is this what its like to come to America from a different country? Or a different region even? There’s some food for thought. 

Aside from the accent, Nags Head is very different from Cambridge. Boston lives up to its unfriendly stereotype, everyone sort of…keeps to themselves. That’s not to say that there aren’t friendly people, because there certainly are, but not as many outwardly friendly people as there are here. Everyone seems more willing to start a conversation. I like it, its refreshing. 

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