Reflecting on 1L.

IMG_5371.jpg

Today is one week since I returned from Boston to New York for my summer job. The Writing Competition was due on Friday, I took the train home on Saturday, and I started my job on Monday. I’ve only now had a minute to reflect on what this year really was and what it meant to me personally – and you know I’m all about self-reflection. This year was a year in which I had the least amount of time to ruminate (not necessarily a bad thing), but sadly, the least amount of time to reflect and to be balanced. I am profoundly grateful for all that this year taught me in terms of stretching myself beyond the bounds I thought I was capable, but I am equally as grateful for what it has taught me in terms of the kind of life that I don’t want.

Continue reading

Reflecting on 2016.

Oh, how I have missed carving out time to write, create, and dream in this space. I think that my last post was made during the brief window between orientation and the first week of classes, and it’s hard to believe that so much time has passed and so many things have changed since then.

unnamed.jpg

This picture was taken in the Anthropologie on Newbury Street and has minimal relevance to this post – it just makes me happy.

Continue reading

What I Read: August 2016

I feel pretty accomplished in saying that I’ve been successful in my goal of blogging more consistently (and intentionally) throughout this past month. Now that school is about to start, I know I’ll have less time per-say, but I’ve also come to realize that it’s more about allocating time wisely than anything else, so I’m hoping to keep the trend going with this here blog of mine. The first book that I read this month has a lot to do with this shift (I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam), so click through to see more of what I mean and to get the low-down on the three other titles that I read this month!

unnamed.jpg

Continue reading

Links I Love (+ an 8tracks Mix): August 24th

So here we are for my third installment of Links I Love (I promise I’ll stop counting soon), and here you’ll find the usual: a new 8tracks mix, and a video, podcast, and article that all impacted the last two weeks of my life in some way big or small. Enjoy!

Here’s a mix that came about pretty randomly. I was actually planning on making a mix filled with indie-folk songs for the upcoming Fall, but then I heard the song ‘Sedona’ by Houndmouth and just knew that I had to create something that was summery and more upbeat than I had intended. As I approach the beginning of Law School and find myself scared/excited/eager/terrified, these songs make me smile and feel empowered with the knowledge that I’ll adjust to this new chapter in due time. For now, all I can do is take it one step at a time and keep smiling along to these songs.

  1. Video: The Power of Following Your Fear by Marie Forleo
    • So this is the second Marie Forleo video that I’m including in a Links post and I have absolutely zero shame in that. While the first one I posted was about an hour long, this one is about 5 minutes, and everyone has 5 minutes to spare for something this good. The title says it all, but it’s a theme that I’ve written about several times and remind myself of regularly (and lately that means every day, and sometimes every moment). There is something beautiful and brave about doing the things that scare us instead of doing the easier thing: running away and avoiding our fear, which ultimately gives it more and more power over us. I wrote about this a bit in the description of my 8tracks mix (the one that’s on the actual website, not what’s written above). Right now, my phone wallpaper is a quote that states, “you are braver than you believe” – a.a. milne. I need this reminder because we so often equate bravery with an absence of fear when in fact it’s just the opposite. This George R.R. Martin quote says it all: “Can a man still be brave if he is afraid? That is the only time a man can be brave.” There are so many beautiful quotes that talk about these feelings and while I’m tempted to keep writing them out, I’ll stop now (but there are similarly empowering quotes by Joseph Campbell and Georgia O’Keeffe that follow along this same theme). I’m rambling, but the point is this: I found this YouTube video to be essential for life in general, but particularly timely for me as I embark upon a new chapter that has exposed both old and new fears within me. What this video helped reinforce for me is that, often when we are afraid of something, it is exactly what is needed in our lives, and this has been the underlying current that has carried me all the way to Boston. I pinned one of the quotes she included in the video that sums it all up here.
  2. Podcast: Dear Sugar – An Update From ‘Head Or The Heart’
    • I can still vividly remember listening to this original podcast episode in my old apartment, standing in my tiny kitchen and falling in love with the story that was being told. A lot of the episodes of this podcast effect me, but I really connected with this topic on a deeper level, so much so that I have actively wished that Cheryl and Steve would in fact do a follow up with the letter writer months later – and they finally did! I don’t want to give anything away, but the question was coming from a woman who fell in love with a man who had a checkered past with regard to his upbringing. Even though he had grown a lot and transcended various obstacles through therapy, she was still having trouble not judging him and allowing herself to fully fall in love with him. Suffice it to say that the follow-up did not disappoint in the slightest. I have recommended this podcast to virtually everyone I know, and this episode is a great way to dive in if you haven’t listened to it yet!
  3. Article: Men in Blue Jumpsuits by Hannah Brencher
    • I started following Hannah Brencher a few months ago on Instagram and Twitter, and she is just overflowing with truth-bombs of inspiration. She tweeted out this article, and even though the title made zero sense to me, on some level I knew I should read it, and I’m so glad that I did. Hannah writes about her relationship with God and how it has transformed throughout the years, especially recently as she has written more and more openly about her faith. She describes the change like this, “I went from being a young woman who folded God into cautiously written sentences to posting boldly about my relationship with Him on the regular. God went from being this distant uncle who occasionally sent postcards from off the coast of Maine to someone knit into my most inner of circles.” I loved that line so much. She also makes a beautiful analogy to God being like a custodian (hence the title) who sees the beauty in us regardless of our bruises and brokenness. Definitely read her piece in its entirety to get a better idea of just how profound this analogy is.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for another round up in two weeks when September will finally be upon us 🙂

Back Bay Brownstones: August 2016

Today is a beautiful day in Boston! It’s one of the first where it hasn’t been extremely hot, so I took the opportunity to stroll through the Commonwealth Avenue Mall and then down Marlborough Street to take some photos. I only went down about four long blocks total, so this is just a little taste of the charming architecture of the Back Bay. The cool breeze coupled with some songs by Father John Misty, The 1975, and Jenny Lewis made for a blissful Sunday. Enjoy!

IMG_3361.jpg

IMG_3377 (1).jpg

IMG_3413.jpg

IMG_3421.jpg

IMG_3439.jpg

IMG_3434.jpg

Links I Love (+ an 8tracks Mix): August 10th

So here we are for my second installment of Links I Love. I like the idea of doing this during the middle of each week when we can all use a little bit more inspiration to get us over the hump. Let’s dive in!

Here’s an indie-pop playlist filled with upbeat summer songs that have been giving me life as of late:

  1. Video: The Beauty of Being a Misfit by Lidia Yuknavitch
    • I was listening to the Dear Sugar Podcast a few weeks ago when I heard of Lidia Yuknavitch and I soon-after listened to her Ted Talk. Her talk explores her journey as a writer, and the struggles she had even as her dreams began to come true. My favorite quote from the talk is as follows, “Misfit people, we don’t always know how to hope or say yes or how to choose the big thing even as it’s right in front of us. It’s a shame we carry, it’s the shame of wanting something good, it’s the shame of feeling something good, it’s the shame of not really believing we deserve to be in the room with the people we admire.” As sad as this quote is, I find it very relatable at times, and I’ve had to coach myself out of feeling this way when beautiful opportunities come my way. When you don’t fit the mold, it can be so easy to feel a sense of inherent unworthiness (am I the only one suffering from a little bit of PTSD from middle school and high school?), but it is our job as individuals to honor our unique personhood and always, always remind ourselves that we are worthy of belonging exactly where we stand, no qualifiers needed.
  2. Podcast: One Part Plant: Asking for What You Want with Julia Turshen of Small Victories
    • I love Jessica Murnane’s podcast and this episode was pure gold. It featured the chef and cookbook author Julia Turshen and she spoke of how she started out her career in that niche industry. Up until now, she has helped co-create cookbooks with other chefs and celebrities, but her first solo cookbook, Small Victories, comes out in September. When someone co-authors or co-creates a cookbook, their name is seldom included on the front cover, and might only be referenced in the acknowledgment sections. However, Turshen has frequently been named alongside people like Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali in their books. She said that the reasoning for this is that she asked to be given credit, which is such a beautiful and simple answer that, frankly, I was not expecting. It reminds me of the quote, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” The episode also touched on more serious topics like the tragic violence that has been happening in our country lately, and how we can and should use our social media platforms to engage in a meaningful conversation about what is happening and how we can create change together. I’m usually silent on these topics, but it gave me food for thought to be more vocal moving forward, because these conversations are worth having, and, as it was said in the episode: if we can post for #TacoTuesday after something tragic happens, we can certainly use that same tool to engage in meaningful exchanges.
  3. Article: Visiting New York Showed Me Why I Left by Meaghan O’Connell
    • Maybe it’s because I just wrote my own personal story about leaving New York, but I found this piece to be not only timely, but very relatable. Toward the end of the article, O’Connell states, “You choose compromise, choose expense, choose discomfort, in exchange for the best of everything, except quality of life.” This is exactly what I touched on toward the end of my blog post – even under the most desirable real estate/overall financial circumstance, the act of living in New York day in and day out can be exceedingly draining, and the quality of living can become an issue for people who aren’t die hard New Yorkers. I liked her article because it was filled with simple truths and a resounding message that it is okay to choose to live somewhere else for the virtue that it is simply more well-suited for you, despite the concept that New York has the ‘best of everything.’

Thanks for reading! I’m having fun with this, so expect another similar post in about 2 weeks 🙂

What I Read: July 2016

My new goal is to do my ‘What I Read’ post on the last day of each month, but for this month, a week or so delayed will have to do. Small disclaimer: two the books I read this month were Law School related and pretty heavy content-wise, and the other two I read were the exact opposite – just some easy summer reads. It’s all about balance, right?

unnamed.jpg

Click through for my thoughts on what I read this past month.  Continue reading