Moving

15941323_10211766780794409_7601888517331977624_nAs disappointed as I am for not writing many Los Angeles based blog posts in the time that I’ve lived here, I have an update, for those who are still around and reading: I’m moving.

It seems that I’m a person who isn’t easily pleased, or at the very least, I’m incredibly indecisive. I went to three different colleges and changed majors twice before I felt remotely content in my studies. I’ve hopped from the Midwest to the East Coast then to the West Coast. I constantly want to go to grad school, but then almost immediately change my mind. This decision has been a process. I had to keep my ambitions in tact while trying to be realistic.

I’m moving to Atlanta. I’m leaving Los Angeles in less than a week.

This past year has been a challenge. While in Los Angeles, I’ve had an internship with a film management company. After that ended, it seemed that my luck had run out here. As I pack my bags, I get to add a little bit of film development to my resume, as well as time spent as a barista. With obstacles come decisions, though.

At what point do I turn Plan A into a Plan B or C? Do I continue to apply to every job in Los Angeles for months while I work in a coffee house?  One of my first executive decisions as a 23 year old is that I will be better fit to work in the film industry in Atlanta. I will be able to sustain myself financially much better there. I’m not moving because of the location. I could care less the location as long as I’m working in my desired field. I don’t need to justify myself to anyone. I am doing what I want to make me happy.

In the next few weeks, I will be all over the country. I will drive from Los Angeles to Nebraska, taking a few stops on the way to see the Grand Canyon and other sites. (Let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations!) Once I make it home, I’ll get to see my family for the first time since August! I can’t wait. I’ll fly to New York to spend time with my boyfriend, watching his senior thesis presentations and productions, as well as award ceremonies and final screenings. I can’t wait to see him walk for graduation. I’m such a proud girlfriend. Within a week of him walking, we’ll start our trek down to Atlanta. By mid May, I’ll have a room in the South.

Moving always gives me different sets of nerves. When I moved from Nebraska to New York, I was afraid I wouldn’t make friends. From New York to Los Angeles, I was afraid I wouldn’t find a job (which I didn’t). As I move again, I don’t have nerves. I’m excited to take on a new state with my best friend at my side. I’m hopeful and excited. I’m eager to see what Atlanta holds.

–I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging in the past few months. I have so many drafts in my folder, but none have my stamp of approval. I do plan on blogging much more frequently, though. So keep your eyes peeled!–

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Why I Don’t Speak About My Anxiety

There’s this overall sadness in my bones when I think about how poorly the general understanding for mental illness is in America, as well as worldwide.  Aside from understanding, the lack of acceptance for someone that is struggling with chemical imbalance in their brain hurts me. Here’s why.

I’m anxious. Like, I’m actually anxious probably 80% of the time, and the majority of it is unknown to me why I’m anxious, and whatever is left over is irrational fear and I feel foolish.  But why do I feel foolish? Because I feel like I have to be quiet. I feel stupid saying, “Hey guys, I’m freaking out over this thing, but I don’t really know what that thing is. Isn’t it funny how my brain is just a little different than yours?” I can’t say that. That’s not acceptable, unless I’m with a bunch of other anxious or depressed humans.

I feel like my struggle with anxiety and the side effects of that make me appear weak.  I know that I am very strong for living with what I do. I have horrible demons that hide in my skull, and I’m pushing past them every day so that I can maintain as much stability as I can.

In the past year, I feel like I can’t bring up my anxiety, especially with my family. I have two younger siblings who I want to look up to me. I want them to see me as an ambitious and creative and successful young and powerful feminist who is living her life out of drive and not fear. I don’t want my little sister to think that I’m having panic attacks regularly. I don’t want her to think I’ve struggled. I want her to be strong and healthy and pursue her dreams. I want my brother to feel capable of everything his mind could imagine. I don’t want my anxiety to yield any of their hopes.

I don’t like talking about my anxiety with my boyfriend or my friends, because I feel like a downer. I feel like I’m a bummer and a burden. I feel like if I’m truly, absolutely honest about my anxiety, I’m going to look like the big mess that my brain is.

I feel like I want to be able to be open and honest, but even when I say the word ‘anxiety’ out loud, I feel silly. I feel like it’s a forbidden topic that no one actually wants to hear.  It’s okay that I have anxiety, so long as I’m managing that privately and outwardly cool and collected.

I had an anxiety attack the other day before work. I was trying to put air in my tires but this woman was sitting in front of the air pump and texting. I had to fill my tires before work, and as my time window slowly fell shut, my anxiety levels rose, and I just freaked out. Completely lost it. But I couldn’t tell anyone. No one would sympathize with a 22 years old girl crying in her stupid Passat because she couldn’t fill her tires with air. That’s so silly. I bottled it.

I started bottling my anxiety when I was 18. I bottled because I didn’t know what else to do. Bottling caused my anxiety to worsen. I’m bottling and bottling, and I’m concerned when the glass might crack.

I don’t talk about my anxiety, because no one wants to hear it. It’s still taboo. Anxiety is viewed as this “phase” young adults have. I don’t think it’s taken seriously by the general population. I’m afraid to talk about it. I’m equally afraid to see what happens to me if I continue to endlessly bottle.

Do you feel similarly? Totally disagree? Experience similar struggles? Did you find a way to overcome this? Suggestions? Comments?

My Brother is an Alcoholic.

I’m a bottler. My brother is a bottler. We bottle in very different ways, though.

I bottle my tears in little glass bottles behind my eyes so that they can never escape.

I bottle up words in my brain so that my mouth can’t find them, and that my sister’s ears can’t hear them.

I bottle the code that connects my never ending urge to just buy a plane ticket to my eyes on my debit card and my fingers on a keyboard.

I have a collection of bottles behind my lungs. He has a collection of bottles behind the couch.

My brother doesn’t like to fill up bottles like I do.  He likes to empty them.

He finds sweet nectars and drains the bottles in one sitting into his belly.

My brother doesn’t care to drink slowly, or enjoy the liquor. He guzzles. He funnels, more honestly. He goes until he can’t function.

His body has become a sewer.

Bad liver. Spoiled brain. Chaotic memory. Red aggression.

While he sips booze from jugs that he hides, my siblings turn their eyes to me but my bottles don’t break.

I bottle that I worry for my brother. A lot.

Does that mean that in order for him to stop bottling, so must I?

 

Burnt.

Quick note: If you’re squeamish and don’t like medical pictures, this might not be the post for you. The story is first, though, if you’re interested!

In a previous blog post, I showed a picture of me in a hospital bed, this was after I was quite literally attacked by a grill.  It fire balled around me, and I cannot even put into words how painful being burnt is.

I was working at the softball fields that I played at as a child, and was going to grill hot dogs and hamburgers for the concession stand.  It’s such an easy job, I get to sit in the shade while I grill, and I get paid well.  The grill had been acting up, but I went to go light it and didn’t quick enough, and POOF, my arms were toast.

I sat in the back of the concession stand in the giant sinks keeping water running down my arms.  It felt like a really intense sunburn. It felt like I was laying on a stovetop.  It felt like there was no way my arms would ever stop being burnt.

My arms and hands were red. My eyelashes singed off.  My hairline was blackened. I’m lucky that my eyes and mouth (lungs) had no impact from the explosion.

After probably a half hour of crying in the sink in the back of the concession stand, I demanded that I go to a hospital.  I don’t like doctors, shots, anything, but I knew that I needed to go.

My dad sped me across town to the emergency room.  I had no expectations, but I just needed help.  I was shaking so hard. I felt like I was going to pass out, but the pain kept me awake.

In the emergency room, they lathered a thick cream all over my arms and wrapped them with a very soft cotton.  While I was warm, I wasn’t burning, and I was so thankful.  They diagnosed me with second degree burns.  They injected me with very strong pain medication and gave me a room to stay the night in.

The next morning, they unwrapped my arms, they looked like they were sunburnt.  The doctor rubbed at my skin, some of it rubbed off like a blister.  He then covered that with pig skin (yes, literal pig skin) and wrapped my arm up again.  I had to return in two days for a check up.

At that check up, the doctor rubbed at my arms again.  This time, about 60% of the skin on my right arm peeled off.  That means 60% of my right arm was covered in pig skin.  Only about 20% on my left hand.  I was bundled up in soft cotton again and sent home!

I’m not sharing this story for sympathy, because my pain has come and gone, however, I think sometimes we just need a reminder that safety needs to come first! Sometimes we forget that a gas grill is actually an incredibly dangerous tool that we use.  Be careful when letting your children help you on them, be careful yourself when you use them.  Burns can be small and almost unnoticeable, but second and third degree burns are horrifying, and they scar, and discolor your skin.  I’m still wearing long sleeves so that I can protect myself.

Are you ready for the pictures?

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This is me almost immediately after getting my room.  You can se that my hand looks pretty bad. I was wrapped up til my shoulders.

This is 24 hours after the incident after unwrapping my arms.  They definitely look a little bit cooked, but I personally didn’t think that my arms looked too bad.

This is roughly four days after I got burnt.  On the left: my left forearm going towards my wrist.  My left hand, in my opinion, looks the worst.  But basically, it just peeled like a sunburn.  On the right: That’s my entire left arm healing with pig skin over it. Where it’s yellowish, I could cut off with a scissors, where it’s pink, it’s healing.

What a miserable injury to have, and right before my vacation!  But, all is well.  Currently, my hairline is entirely baby hairs, so that’s annoying.  My left hand is semi discolored and very freckled. I am really upset about my left hand.  And my right arm is pink and not back to normal, yet.  It may always be semi-scarred, but hopefully, it will look less injured in the future.

Have you ever had a substantial injury? A burn? Tell me your stories!

 

 

Westward Motion

I am finally in Los Angeles. I’ve been waiting since November to type that out, but here I am, and I couldn’t be more excited! (And scared.)

Day One: I started my journey out of Lincoln, Nebraska with my dad on Thursday morning.  We grabbed one last cup of coffee from my favorite local coffee shop, and we hit I-80. We drove to Frisco, Colorado, an adorable tourist destination, about ten miles from Breckinridge.  It was very cold. We had burgers for dinner, but I was so tired after eight nonstop hours of driving, so we headed back to the hotel for some sleep.

Day Two: We had breakfast at a little diner in downtown Frisco.  We snapped a quick selfie, and we were on the road again by 9:30.  I don’t really like driving in the mountains, don’t ask why, something to do with the heights and curves really terrify me.  I wanted to drive though, so I could pay attention to the road and not the rocks.

The farthest west I had ever traveled prior to last Friday was Denver. Western Colorado is stunning. And Utah was even sweeter.  The geographic landscape molds into different forms as you keep moving west, and it’s awesome.  Going from mountains to canyons is wild.

By dusk, we were driving through Arizona.  The rocks were tall and the roads curved sharply.  By nightfall, we were in Vegas.  I really didn’t appreciate Vegas. Twelve hours of driving doesn’t make me want to walk the strip.  I took a bath and ordered room service, and called it a night.

Day Three: We slept in and decided we better at least look at the casino, since we both have never been before.  We ate breakfast in the casino attached to our hotel, then tried a slot machine.  It wasn’t really our thing.  We drove the strip, and by noon, we were out of Vegas.

Traffic was heavy as we neared Los Angeles.  The two full days of driving prior had nothing on the four hours of heavy traffic I experienced on Saturday.  Without a doubt, we ran into standstill traffic on the outskirts of Los Angeles, due to a car accident. But after about an hour, we were moving along once again!

Right at dinnertime, we landed at my new and temporary residence in Inglewood.  My host greeted us with open arms and a trip to Marina Del Rey for dinner.

I’ve only been in Los Angeles for four days, but I am really enjoying myself.  I’ve dipped my toes in the Pacific Ocean (the first ocean I’ve touched!), and I’ve eaten oceanside with the sand in my toes.

I loved growing up in Nebraska, falling in love in New York, and finding California.  Send me all the positive vibes that California treats me well.

Evolution of Style: A Memoir

I think personal growth is something that we all seek. I like to watch how I change and adapt both politically and mentally as I go.  Where was I five years ago? One year ago? Today? The changes are fascinating. With age and time come wisdom and a greater understanding of the world (hopefully).

While understanding the ways of the world is definitely important, especially in this upcoming election, I want to take a slightly different approach to all that has changed during the past few years with me. Whether I’m voting for Trump or Clinton this election is irrelevant in this blog post (Clinton, obviously), because I’m focusing on more socio-economical content today: my style evolution.

I went to a very white, very wealthy middle school.  No one is that stylish in seventh grade. Not in Nebraska. We thought style was graphic tees from Hollister and Abercrombie. Rich girls are mean. If you don’t have a stupid eagle or moose logo on your left boob, you can’t sit at the “cool kids” table. As a seventh grader, I didn’t know better. So I begged my parents to buy me clothing that everyone else had. I wanted to desperately look like everyone else.

Fast forward to high school. I went to an inner city school. My country club friends went to the high school on that side of town. I was finally at a school where your clothes didn’t dictate your friends. (So, it was a pretty healthy place for someone facing those dreadful teen years.) I was finally in a place where I could experiment with my style, and that’s exactly what I did. I felt comfortable thrifting, or wearing brands that wasn’t acceptable in my middle school. Unfortunately, this was a point in my life where I wasn’t so confident in my body, so it was primarily dresses and skirts, but I really loved expressing my true self in my clothes.

I found out that I love tan oxfords with floral dresses. I love my natural hair. I love vintage sweatshirts. I was obsessed with this Hollister sweatshirt that was so old, but it looked so cool. I loved wearing bows in my hair and pearls in my ears. This was the time of selfies, and I cannot find pictures of me in my natural style at that time. My apologies.

College was even more liberating for me, though. I was an athlete my Freshman year, which made it hard to ever dress how I wanted at all. It’s fine! The one thing I learned was that I didn’t like wearing orange.

My Sophomore year, though, I worked at Forever 21. And believe me, I know, it’s not a fashion powerhouse, but it’s trendy. It forced me to look at fashion in a different way. I researched different designers, and how to style my outfits differently. I tried different styles, I tried some bohemian pieces, edgier leather pieces, super feminine pieces, more masculine pieces. I was inspired by the people around me. Ultimately, and oddly, I found that I love to color block.

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I found ways to mix and match vibrant pieces, neutral pieces, color fits. I love it. It’s still my favorite way to dress. It feels timeless, each outfit. I like classic pieces and shapes. Prints used to excite me, but in the past three years, solid colors excite me more.

When I moved to New York, I expected something major to come from it in terms of my style. I thought I’d go nuts. I really didn’t. I think I just solidified what I like in my closet. I learned how to dress for the cold in a stylish way that made me happy.

My perfect snowy day outfit? A super chunky white or tan knitted sweater. Dark blue denim. Riding boots. Huge, oversized, wool scarf. Bright red lip. Straight blonde hair under another chunky hat. Ugh. I love it. So cozy. So chic. So simple.

In the past six months, where has my style gone? I learned that I like hats. I have never worn hats aside from beanies. But I’ve loved wearing baseball caps and rancher fedoras. With a relatively simple wardrobe, a hat is a way I can accessorize, because I don’t often wear jewelry.

I didn’t catch on to the contouring trends or nude lips. I still want a vibrant red or magenta. I’ve always preferred blush to bronzer.

Since this summer started, I am loving bandanas around the neck. In Colorado, I bought a pale yellow one, and I’m obsessed. They are so chic and are such a statement. I’m loving wearing my suede grey mens Chukka boots with denim shorts. I’m loving wearing button ups and dresses with bell sleeves. I like wearing my great grandmother’s gold chains.

I think classic styles are good on anyone. I like white button ups with dark blue jeans. I am in love with my little black Kate Spade dress. I found a black off the shoulder dress from Target that was perfect for me to see if the style would suit me. It’s so flattering and sexy.

I think how you dress is so important. It says so much so quickly about your person. It evolved as I aged, as I became a feminist and stopped caring how men perceived me, as I moved from Midwest to East Coast, and will likely do so again when I move to Los Angeles.

I’m not claiming that I’m a style maven. I’m not even telling you how to dress, other than to dress for you. I’m so glad I got out of a school that made me feel that I had to dress like everyone around me. I’m glad I don’t feel obligated to buy $40 shirts that everyone else already has to know that I’m valuable.  I don’t want that at all. I don’t want to dress like anyone, I want to dress like me. I want to wear colors that match my mood and my grandparents engagement ring. I want to wear gladiator sandals that give my feet wild tan lines, and a midi skirt that I bought at Kate Spade that my mother could definitely make, but I loved the print too much to leave it there.

I love clothes. I love fashion. I love when people are so bold with what they wear. But you know what I also love? When people do their thing in a white tee and denim. Fantastic. I just love people expressing themselves and being confident.

I’m here for self expression, and growth, and understanding. Finding a new trend that makes you feel like a French film star is what I live for. Hello world, I’m super confident in what’s on my body, and I don’t care what you think.

Los Angeles Fears

Hello Readers!

I’ve made it clear in the last eight months that my overall goal is to move to Los Angeles post-grad, and I’m finally doing it!

I have a lot of emotions surrounding all of this. I spent the first twenty years of my life in the Midwest. I love Nebraska. I loved my time in New York, and cannot wait to get to the west coast, but I adore the Midwest and all of the people here. My heart is grounded here. I have every desire of ending up in Chicago, because there’s something about being in the Midwest that makes me feel like I’m with my kind of people, that smile when you pass on the sidewalk, that are kind and ask strangers how they are doing. I feel like I’m being looked after by everyone here, and its so endearing and loving, and I’m never happier than I am when I’m home.

However, I need to leave. I’ve known that going into the film industry, I would have to move to a coast. I want to move to a coast. But I’m still fearful.

My worst fear? Failing.

Is that every graduate’s biggest fear? Probably. There’s something nerve wrecking and daunting about traveling 3000 miles away and failing. I’m terrified of taking my savings account and donations from family members who are investing in my future and turning around in two years because it’s too expensive and I haven’t gotten anywhere. I’m afraid that my college debt was for nothing and I chose a stupid major.

I’m afraid of being on my own for the first time. I know that I went to New York on my own, but I was at school, surrounded by thousands of other kids and professors that were looking out for me. That won’t be the case in L.A. As of right now, I don’t really know anyone there. I’ll be on my own for everything. Paying bills, car trouble, job, stress, loneliness, anxiety, everything. It’s terrifying.

But as terrifying as it is, I have never been excited for something in the way that I’m excited for this. I’m nervous because it’s the first major step of my young adult life, and this will be what leads me to all of my other future endeavors. That’s a little intimidating. But holy shit, I’ll be 22 and living in Los Angeles. I’ll see touch the ocean for the first time in my life, I’ll be able to shop and hike and work in the film industry. I’m following my dreams, and I’ve never been so sure of what I want to do with my life than in this past year. I want to write and be in this creative business. I’m so scared, but I’m so hopeful and eager and ambitious.

Every single day in Los Angeles is a day that would be impossible to have in Lincoln, Nebraska. People have asked me what my backup plans are. People have rolled their eyes when I tell them I studied film and want to work in Hollywood. People tell me the horror stories of their friends and family not lasting six weeks out there.

I’ll last. I’ll thrive. I’ll work hard.

I’m so nervous, but I’m overjoyed.

I am positive I’m confident. I’ll make it. Successfully.