Doing My Best

I haven’t posted in forever. Here are a bunch of photos of my time back in Boston so far.

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First night back in Boston

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This year’s dorm decor. I got that lamp from the kid’s section of Target.

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Walking the bridge from Cambridge to Boston. In the center you can see the gold tip of the Capital building.

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The view from my room is a brick wall. My friend has a gorgeous view of the sunset every night.

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First walk to the Esplanade of the year.

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I bought two plants and now I’m an obnoxious cat lady.

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I discovered Brookline Booksmith. My life will never be the same.

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Gourmet Dumpling House & Mia

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Donburri at Wagamama

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Best friend visits for less then 24 hours.

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Don’t know what I would do without these people.

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Washington in the Garden.

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Ben looks so grown up in his college apartment.

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When your dad takes you out for a bowl of noodle soup. The next day I came down with strep and was out of commission for like a week.

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I have a secret walking route that is so peaceful.

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OTTO Pizza is my home away from home.

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Fall in Brookline.

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Fall nights at home.

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So happy to be home with my dad and to be in the Maine fresh air.

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The best brunch in the whole wide world.

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Mom came for Parent’s Weekend. And pasta.

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Sorry mom.

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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.

Thank You Notes to Strangers

Thank you…

 

…to the cashier who complimented my shirt. It was new and a little more cropped than I’m used to so it boosted my confidence in wearing it.

 

…to the man driving the seafood truck, who let me go in front of him so I didn’t get blocked by the traffic behind him. If you hadn’t, I would have been late to work.

 

…to the construction worker who flashed me a big smile and peace sign when he saw my green VW bug drive by. Smiles are contagious.

Positive Thoughts

I was reading this lovely article on Cup of Jo, and it finished off with this question and answer with the author and interviewee:

 

Do you have an overall beauty philosophy?
“You’re prettier than you think. Everything in the world is beautiful, people are beautiful. You are the person that gets to experience yourself closest at hand, so enjoy it.”

 

I just thought it was such a nice sentiment and wanted to share 🙂

A few of my favorite things (right now)

The story of a fuck-off fund. I’m struggling to save money and not spend it all as soon as the paycheck comes, but this piece TOTALLY changed my perspective on having savings.

 

I hate the gym. I’ll probably drag myself there once school starts, but I thought Man Repeller did a great article on some exercise alternative: How to Become a Low-Key Exercise Person.

 

Casey Neistat is my favorite YouTuber at the moment, and his video on selling a home that symbolized a significant milestone in his life was so touching.

 

Been making this salad non-stop. It is so great especially when topped with avocado!

 

This article reminded me of all the manners books my mom bought me as a child. I don’t know why we had so many. I guess, I was a horribly rude child!

 

So excited to see this incredible Maine restaurant profiled on NBC News!
http://www.nbcnews.com/widget/video-embed/736958531992

 

Jessi Klein, the head writer for Inside Amy Schumer just released her memoir. I can’t say this is a favorite quite yet though as I have yet to read it, but I have listened to about 100+ interviews of her, and I want her to be my cool cousin.

 

And last but certainly not least, Bachelor in Paradise (the very best of all the Bachelor adjacent shows) is back TONIGHT! Catch my live-tweeting at 8 pm sharp! Here’s a sneak peek of all the drama to come: http://abc.go.com/shows/the-bachelorette/video/vdka3277797

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.

Thinking of Boston

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I am terrible at living in the moment. Anxiety has a tendency to try and pull me back to the past, and more consciously I have a habit of constantly trying to plan for the future in big and small ways. This summer, I’ve been trying to really focus in on living in the moment as much as possible. However, with less than a month left until I head back to Boston for another school year, I cannot contain my excitement. Every time a co-worker asks when I head back, I can’t hide my giddy smile when I think about being reunited with my friends. I’ve started daydreaming about all the fun we’re gonna have doing our favorite things.

For those heading to school in Boston here are some of my favorite things to do with friends, that I can’t wait to be back doing:

• Late night walks to Bova’s for a creme brûlée cannoli or over to the Esplanade to feel the late night summer breeze while sitting on a dock in the Charles River.

• Taking the T over to Brookline for Otto’sZaftig’s or celebratory hibachi.

• Going to brunch in Kendall Square at State Park and then an early matinee at Kendall Square Cinema. Or going to a Thursday night movie at Kendall to start our weekend early and scoring a student discount!

• Walking over to the historic waterfront to have a view of Boston Harbor.

• Going to the MFA since most Boston students can go for free! (I have going to the ICA and Isabella Stewart Gardner museums on my bucket lists this year!)

• Going to free student theatre, comedy shows, a capella or dance performances. The talent at my school (and I’m sure most schools!) is so freaking impressive. I feel more school pride going to these shows than I do a sporting event (arts school problems!)

• Walking through the Boston Public Gardens and then down Newbury Street or Commonwealth Ave. on a sunny day.

• Authentic Dim Sum in Chinatown at Gourmet Dumpling house.

I miss you Boston, but I’ll see you so so soon! Xx

I love podcasts!

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photos via: NPR, Limetown, RadioLab

I have really loved the past couple of months at my summer internship. However, a lot of the work I’m doing gets very repetitive which while I do find soothing, my short attention span doesn’t quite agree. But I have cured my desire to get distracted at work with the greatest solution: podcasts! I have tried out a bunch and have definitely found some of my favorites which I am going to share with you today!

  • Invisibilia: I listened to my first three episodes in a row, and I became ADDICTED. The best podcast of them all. It’s SO interesting and I feel like I am learning so much with every episode. The second season just started. Can I please get an internship with these ladies?!
  • This American Life: This is like the gold standard of podcasts. Ira Glass does such wonderful work. The stories about ordinary people with extraordinary tales to tell ALWAYS brighten my day.
  • Dear Sugar Radio: This podcasts put all advice columns to shame. If you are a fan of Cheryl Strayed already, how are you not already listening to this podcast?! She and Steve Almond are a dream team.
  • Serial: This highly talked about podcast is the one that really got me into podcasts. Sarah Koenig is awesome and someone I deeply admire for the work that she is doing in the radio journalism field. I am so glad she is telling these stories that need to be told!
  • Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!: So this podcast was my savior for all my journalism classes. I love that this is a fun, informative way of staying up to date on the latest news.
  • Limetown: So imagine Serial and the X-Files had a baby… it is this podcast. The first season was AWESOME and literally gave me chills every episode. I cannot give this podcast enough compliments.
  • Modern Love: Every week, actors and actresses have started reading essays published in the Modern Love column of the New York Times. They are beautiful, occasionally heartbreaking, but ultimately enlightening.
  • Radiolab: I am addicted. The storytelling on this show is incredible. Their mini-series More Perfect was just released too, and it makes me stop in my tracks whenever I’m listening. You cannot miss this!
  • The Moth: I love storytelling and the Moth gets the best storytellers. These stories will make you laugh and cry in the same breath. I am dying to attend a live recording.

And for fans of the Bachelor/Bachelorette:

  • Here To Make Friends: Listen to this podcast! Emma and Claire are the funniest and talk about the good, bad, ugly and sexist when it comes to all things Bachelor. It feels like such a good cleanse listening to this show after watching the actual show that is typically filled with plenty of cringeworthy moments. (I’m actually listening to it as I post this!)

This Week

This week has been long! It started off strong though and the weather this weekend is already making me miss summer because I know it’ll be gone before I know it. Soon enough it will be replaced with long days filled with studying over textbooks and sleep deprivation.

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The most perfect night for a summer concert!

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Friends!

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My best friend and forever&always concert buddy.

On Tuesday night, I went to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros for the third time! It was the perfect night for a summer concert. We had such a blast, but I’m not gonna lie, the band isn’t really the same without some of the original members… oh well! Live music is always a good time.

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I finished at massive project a work on Friday, and it felt so good! This wasn’t the prettiest picture of all the packages I was making, but it is still nice to have as a reminder of all the hard work.

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The annual Clam Fest! One of my best friend’s is in town from Seattle. We watched the parade on Friday from the same spot that we have been since we were freshman in high school. Time flies, but it is comforting to know that some things can stay the same.

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“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one!” Love the hallway aesthetic in my godmother’s home.

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Roses in my godmother’s garden are giving me ideas for my next tattoo… (sorry mom!)

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Daisies of my dreams

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My mom said if I cooked breakfast, she would wash the dishes. I agreed. And then she surprised me with a special ‘Lazy Sunday’ breakfast dessert. What a good woman.

 

Highlights not in pictures:

  • I didn’t get a parking ticket while at the concert! Always a win in the battle to find free parking.
  • Listened to such a thought-provoking episode of Invisibilia this week. It was perfect timing with all the violence and hate around the world right now.
  • Had a really nice conversation with my dad about business and future goals over our Friday lunch.
  • So lame but my mom and I bought the same pair of shoes so we could match, and I was (and still am) very excited about it.
  • My mom and I are in talks of starting a vegetable garden next summer! Fingers crossed we stick to it!

 

This week was great personally, but I was also fighting back a lot of anxiety regarding the state of the World right now. There is so much hate and sadness being felt and spread, don’t contribute to it. The smallest but maybe one of the most important things we can do right now is focus on the love and happiness that is present in our lives ❤

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 🙂