In 2016 I…

  • Finally started using my reusable grocery bags consistently. You’re welcome, earth.
  • Visited two new states. If you ever get the chance, do visit the Pacific Northwest. I know I’m glad I did.
  • Learned that I’m mostly aware of my singleness as a negative thing only when I’m struggling to open new salsa jars. I keep hearing marrieds say that marriage is cool because you have this helper for life, and I always think about this as I’m getting hand cramps trying to open stupid salsa jars. All the sudden I’m in total despair for a helper, or at least, a pair of hands stronger than mine. It would be cool I guess if those hands were attached to man who also loved me, but the SALSA is what’s important here. Then, using the warm water trick that my mom taught me, I inevitably open the jar myself, and think “Who needs a man? Certainly not me.”
  • Came out publicly as a Democrat.
  • Felt guilty for all the times in the past I’ve bumbled through earth thinking I knew anything for certain. Because now I’m never so sure.
  • Let the above uncertainty get to me a little too much at times.
  • Turned 25, which is the age that, for me, meant I became mature enough to know the decisions I was making weren’t always the right ones, but not mature enough to stop myself from doing them. This was hard and painful. I saw the person I was becoming as ugly for the first time maybe ever. At times I much preferred the immaturity of 20-23.
  • Failed at something kinda major. The fall-flat-on-your-face type of failure that people say will help shape you for the better. I’m not sure yet that it will shape me for the better, although maybe that’s up to me.
  • Held a newborn baby for a few hours. I breathed in her baby scent and as she slept, I dreamed for her about what her life would be like in the years to come. What would she grow up to do? In those moments, I felt a fraction of what her mother feels 24/7. All the love and all the fear, simultaneously. It was a rush, but one I know I’m not even close to ready for.
  • Appreciated several sunsets and not near enough sunrises, although I’m slowly letting go of the idea that a “morning person” is a thing everyone needs to be. Yet I still think that maybe I have it in me. We’ll see in 2017.
  • Felt stupid when I teared up at a Mizzou homecoming video as I watched it on the jumbotron at Faurot Field in Columbia. Maybe it was just the combination of the beautiful weather, the golden hour, and the beer, but that weekend I allowed myself to actually want to come back there to live, should the opportunity arise. There are worse things, right?
  • Went on a couple hikes and a couple movies by myself and wondered why I haven’t been doing such things my whole life.
  • Lost my grandma. I felt a lot of pain for my father and even more for my grandpa. But since this spring, I’ve also admired my grandpa for still being pretty dang happy, while also acknowledging that his marriage to my grandma was one of the best parts of his life. It’s the small things, you know? Like learning how to stream video clips from the MLB app to your TV from your iPad.
  • Went on a road trip for a week, visiting two friends in two different cities. So, add Nebraska to the new states list. Three. I learned I love driving by myself a whole lot. Spotify subscriptions are worth every penny.
  • Loved Miranda Lambert’s new album so much I contemplated moving to Nashville to write about country music. How could someone write so specifically about her divorce while not actually writing about her divorce, and with words that I felt like I could so acutely relate to, even though I’ve never really loved and lost? She’s a genius, folks.
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Hey, y’all!

I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a blog for close to a year now. I keep coming up with a thousand reasons why I shouldn’t start one, but they all boil down to this: I’m afraid. I’m afraid of looking stupid to my journalism friends, I’m afraid of being an over-sharer, I’m afraid of grammar mistakes, I’m afraid of not being “on-brand” enough. I’m afraid I won’t be consistent. The list goes on. I only want to come off as the most smart, poised, eloquent writer a 25-year-old can be.

To be so cliched: I’ve let the fear of striking out keep me from playing the game. And frankly, I’m tired of it. So, here I am, in the arena. Bear with me while I work out the kinks of this page and try to establish what works for me. Lord knows there is going to be some trial and error.

Bailey Jean at Brave Love Blog has been hosting a September blogging challenge, where she has a writing prompt for every day this month, and she’s been so kind as to include a link-up at the bottom of her posts each day. I figured this would be a great way to meet some bloggers and get some easy posts out there quickly. Clearly I’m behind, and I won’t catch up with all of them, but day 1 was to introduce yourself, so a few bullet points about me:
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  • I live and love in Dallas. I grew up in a suburb about 25 minutes north of downtown, and now I live in a little apartment that I’m obsessed with, with my roommate and her super cute pup.
  • I’m a little too obsessed with my alma mater, the University of Missouri, also known as Mizzou. It was such an incredible place to spend my college years. You’ll hear me talking about it on here often, I’m sure. This is a photo of the iconic columns on the quad. I spent many afternoons sipping coffee while studying either in the journalism buildings on the quad’s north end, or when the weather was nice, on the columns themselves. It was just as picturesque in person as in this photo. I can assure you. screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-3-48-57-pm
  • I have a really close-knit group of friends from high school. Most of us know each other from marching band (we were the coolest), and about once a year we try to take a trip to a new city together. This spring we visited Portland, Ore., Mount Rainier, Wash., and Seattle. I’m proud to know them, and I’m so proud of us for keeping in touch through the years even though our lives have put us in a few different cities and states.
  • I’m really passionate about personal finance. I am one of the lucky few whose parents paid for my college tuition, meaning I graduated debt free (HUGE BLESSING. THANK YOU AGAIN, MOM AND DAD), and I want to stay as close to that as possible. Even though I’m single, I have the very real goal to save for a downpayment on a house or condo in the next few years, and slowly but surely, I’m making it happen. Mint.com is my FAVORITE budgeting tool. I can talk about personal finance for hours, so I’ll spare you now and probably write a post on it later.
  • I majored in magazine journalism and am lucky enough to work in that industry post-graduation. I love words and stories and how powerful they are in every aspect of our lives.
  • SEC Football gives me life.
  • Recently I’ve gotten into hiking/backpacking/camping. I went on my first backpacking trip last October to Caprock Canyon in West Texas, and it was magical. I learned so much about myself during that trip, and I’ve been dreaming about my next one ever since. I’m happiest when I’m outside. screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-4-10-27-pm

 

That’s all for now, folks! Thanks for reading.