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Dear Samantha,

This is what I wish for you in your 20th year:

  1. Allow yourself to feel what you feel.
  2. Do not fear your own voice.
  3. Write your heart onto the page.
  4. Be active when it comes to moving your body and expressing your beliefs.
  5. Live every day with purpose.

Have a fulfilling year. Let Anna Quindlen’s words ring in your ears, “George Eliot wrote, ‘It is never too late to be what you might have been.’ It is never too early, either.”

Love,

Me

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I’m Gonna Be A Better Human (if i can)

I’ve been listening to this song quite a bit lately, and I know the lyrics come across rather silly, but this tine still manage to stop me in my tracks whenever I hear, I’m gonna be a better human if I can.

2016 was a big year in so many ways –mostly in some pretty horrible ways. It put so many of us through the ringer, but I do have to say that I am coming out the other side a better person than I was at the start.

I have big plans for 2017 part of which includes utilizing this little corner of the internet a lot more. See ya in 2017!

Let Uncertainty Drive You

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Annoying motivational/optimistic photo because I am annoying. Just kidding. Read this thing I wrote. Please.

A year ago this week, I was moved into my college dorm feeling completely ecstatic, overwhelmed, terrified and every other emotion a person can possibly feel. Freshman year was a roller coaster. There were the late nights that I stayed up with friends laughing those deep belly laughs that feel like an ab workout, and other nights I put myself to bed early after finding myself feeling deeply alone and crying on the itchy dorm carpet. There were many one-person dance parties hosted. There was a lot of Bova’s cannoli or Maria’s nachos eaten past midnight. There were fights to be had. There were the horrible professors and the disappointing grades here and there. But I do not take any of it for granted – both the good and the bad because despite it all, I am so thrilled to be back.

Yes, I still remember all of the lows suffered. The delusions of a young heart, the times I was an awful friend and the procrastination that left me in a mess of stress. From all of it, I learned who I was and who I wanted to be. I came into my freshman year wanting so much, but I had to banish many of those desires. I wish I had let the unknown creep in more because the minute you let go of your expectations is the moment that anything can happen. So as all of you college freshman, roll onto your college campuses feeling all the feels as they say (or maybe I just say this, whatever) please, let one emotion rise to the top: uncertainty.

Embrace the mystery of what is going to be ahead of you for your freshman year. Let curiosity allow you to walk a messy but fulfilling path to reaching your potential. I’m not trying to write this as some all knowing upperclassmen because I certainly am not. While I hold many regrets from my freshman year, I do my best to hopefully right my wrongs and then move on knowing that the past is in the past.

Therefore, I sort of hope that reading this would allow even just one of you to avoid regretting moments in this incredible year of your life. Be driven by the uncertain future. Don’t take your education for granted. Do stupid stuff but always be safe. Break the mold and be full of contradictions. Define yourself and don’t let others try and stuff you into a box. It’s okay to cry because you won’t remembers those nights. However, you will remember the nights with your friends where you can’t stop smiling. When you look back and recall those nights a few days, weeks, months, even a year later, that smile will return to your face.

College is such a massive opportunity above all. Go in with an open mind, stay positive and just have some fun.

How to do things alone: spontaneous drives

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You’ve been in a funk. Not quite content with where you are. Antsy for what’s next, and it is paralyzing in the most melodramatic way because you’re only 19 and being paralyzed just means laying in bed, still in your pajamas, watching YouTube past noon on a Saturday. But you haul yourself out of bed to go run an errand with the intention of coming right back home. You put on clean jeans but a dirty tank top. Leave the house with as little as possible – keys and your phone for an emergency.

Once outside of the house, it feels good. The A/C on, windows down, radio blasting. The errand is completed easy enough, but you don’t want to go home. Instead, you remember you have a few dollars left on a gift card – just enough for an iced tea. You drive to the town over and get the largest iced tea you can. And then you pull out of the drive-thru and you’re not quite satisfied. You turn off the radio and trade it in for your oldies playlist. You head away from home and turn onto a quieter road.

You notice all that has changed around you. A new housing development, a newly paved road and a general store that’s changed hands. Time has passed while you were away. Things don’t stay frozen in time and a familiar places is now seemingly foreign. And in that you reflect about how those closest to you have changed and now hanging out has a tinge of awkwardness in it. But that means that you must have changed too. You are becoming the person you want to be. ‘Landslide’ plays. You know all the words. This playlist has perfect timing.

There is a road that you’ve always wanted to go down but you drive past it. That was a bad decision. You turn around and go down it. The houses are big. Huge. Symbols of wealth. You wonder if you could live in a house like that one day. You make a plan to get rich. Then the road gets winding and you get a little lost but then you realize you’re not. You’re right where you started. ‘Uptown Girl’ plays and you do a little shoulder dancing.

You drive toward the sea. Ask yourself to make a reminder that you are in fact content in this life. The world becomes more familiar around you because as much as things do change, so much can stay the same. So much can provide stability and comfort. Overhanging pine trees, glistening ocean, speed limit signs that are consistently ignored. You pass a young family that replaces the ones that have moved out now that the kids have left the nest. They are moving into the houses of your childhood best friends. You pass the road that you went down so many times to visit your best friend. Your mom first drove you there. She got out of bed to pick you up late at night. And then you were able to drive yourself there. You think of that house and all the lazy days spent there, the team dinners, the songs sung around the family piano. It was the foundation for the essential suburban life. But that family has left that house and gone to another.

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You drive closer to the sea. Cross a bridge. Take a picture. Regret taking a picture because you know it was unsafe. Take another selfie anyway. The road you’re on is tight. A one-way street because it is barely wide enough for a single car. Barely wide enough to be a public road. Yet, the tight parking spots along it are filled up because over the cliff and on the beach are swimmers basking in this perfect day. You take the back road. Go through the private neighborhoods gates. Feel like a rebel. Turn around. Decide to head back home. A girl is running on the sidewalk. You went to high school with her, and she is still the most ambitious person you know. You miss seeing her in the hallway everyday and sitting next to her in class.

You cross the bridge again but don’t pick up your phone. You take your eyes off the road to look at the landscape directly. Think about how lucky you were to grow up here. Wonder if you will raise your kids here one day. You want to but you know you belong back in the city. ’50 Ways to Leave Your Lover’ comes on and the irony hits you. The adoration that you have for this hometown is endless, yet you’ve chosen to leave. You plan your exit carefully.

Driving down Main Street, the evening sun hits everything perfect. Kids are walking and biking and longing to get their license. You turn to go home. Wish you had a home on this street. Maybe one day you will come back here to stay after all. Then you take a right, then a left and then you’re home. When you pull into the driveway you don’t need to remind yourself to be content because you simply are. You go inside and immediately need to write about it.

On Putting Yourself Out There

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Hitting the publish button on the first post of a silly little food blog I wanted to write, was one of the most nerve wracking ventures I’d ever pushed myself to do. It was ironic though because I’d been writing blogs for years.

I have switched urls, gone between prose and poetry styles, and switched layouts hundreds of times, but I had never shared posts with people before (besides my one dedicated fan, Isabelle). My stomach tied itself into knots at the thought of anyone reading my writing, an embarrassing thing to admit as a Journalism major.

However, a large reason I was able to get over this fear was because of my journalism classes I took during my freshman year. First semester, I had a class where our teacher put our papers (without names but with grades!!) on the overhead projector for everyone to see. It was horrifying and I was honestly pretty angry about it. It felt unfair and cruel. But as the semester went on, I slowly began to appreciate my professor. Taking the criticism anonymously made it less personal and helped my grades steadily climbed from a horrifying C- on my first article to As on my final stories. However, the grades were symbolic of how I was allowing myself to be open to criticism and allow myself to grow and be better.

It motivated me to write a blog and share posts. It motivated me to be a better student of journalism and go for bigger stories. I became confident with asking a random person on the street for an interview. I was getting better material and pushing my capabilities.

And the openness and willingness that I was developing in attitude, translated into my personal life. I was less concerned about the right thing to do among the crowd. In 2016, this usually applies to the world of social media. I started posting pictures to Instagram that captured moments and were honest rather than staged photos that I spent hours debating whether or not to post. I commented on the Instagrams of writers I loved and got replies too! I was reaching out to all these people I had admired before on not just Instagram but Twitter and Snapchat too! This had always been something that made me nervous, but it was worth it when I started to see replies! I was conversing with people I had felt a connection to through their content.

The lessons I’ve learned however are less about attitude and more about gaining the confidence to put myself out there. My peak confidence level was when I was in 7th grade and obsessed with Glee and becoming a Broadway star. Yet over time my dreams have changed and that confidence and fearlessness has become overcome by cynicism and realities of life. But I’m not really okay with that. I have missed that confidence, I once had and by putting myself out there I can feel that liquor of confidence seeping back into my veins, and I love the feeling.

So where is this all going you may ask? Well this platform is going to be shifting. I still love food, but I don’t want to only post about it anymore because it’s just an impediment in putting myself out there. There is a lot I would love to share and write about, and I want this corner of the Internet to be the place that I can do exactly that. I’m a little nervous about there, but I’m ready to put myself out there. Stay tuned for more 🙂

Rebranding?

Hello world. Remember that time I ran a food blog? Yeah, me too. Those were the good times — when I had free time and money in my bank account. Oops!

Well now I’m back (or I’m saying I’m back) with a new name: Girl Meets Boston! Mostly because I wanted to highlight (for my parents) that I’m doing a lot more in Boston besides eating. But also I’m not in Boston right now. I will be in August, but I came back to Maine for the summer because boy, oh, boy I have missed this beautiful state dearly.

I’m so glad to be home too. Since being home, I’ve gotten my wisdom teeth out (ouch!), started a summer job(which I love!), voted for the first time (I’m coming for you 2016 presidential elections!), forced myself to go on runs(kind of?), seen friends who are also home from school, and kept up with doing my own laundry (most of the time…sorry mom).

Anyway, let’s see if I post on here regularly. (The answer is probably not.)