What’s Shakin’ Bacon

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I’m halfway between a sea of snow and a tandem of thoughts. It’s nearly April! Bonkers. There’s snow. Still? Major bonkers.

Procrastination? We’ve got it bad, friends.

Let’s take it easy and make it basic today. We’re going with the 5Ws: who, what, when, where, why. No frill, just chill. And mainly just because.

What:

Who is 36 days away from a birthday?
THIS KID.

Who’s putting a smile on your face?
C, who keeps up with my relentless sarcasm all the way from Cape Town. P, who kept me sane with a Monday night dinner date at my favorite restaurant in DC.

What’s shakin’ bacon?
A head space that is all over the place. Multitasking is typically my first language, but I’m knee deep in a few too many things (including snow). I’m going on 6 Gmail accounts open and 10n farmers’ market e-mails halfway written. Wicked procrastination on learning about FDI and nonlinear optimization.

Whatcha listening to?
Kodaline. Equal parts wintry and acoustic. And a bit of nostalgic summer throwback because this summer’s festival lineup is almost hot off the press.

What’s cookin’ good lookin’?
Grilled cheese on farmers’ market multigrain & a fan-freaking-tastic cup of joe whose caffeine buzz is making Tuesday and this post doable

When are you going to write a real post?
Good call, dude. It’s coming!

Where to?
Back to Miami, please & thank you. Sunshine Rx.

Why ya writing?
My thoughts are sorta cloudy, and explanations aren’t coming easily. Winter has overstayed its welcome, but it’s also dead giveaway that I haven’t written or journaled in awhile.

But hey! We’re making it through this crazy Tuesday.

LC

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Bienvenido a Miami

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bienvenido a miami. simply & smiling–

(but with no less sass)

a fair share of sun on the daily, blue moon on the nightly. and tomorrow forecasted to be a high five and a half, up high and down low.

if that sounded poetic, it’s by pure happenstance + sheer luck.  and mainly my way of saying sleep is callin’ my name right now like yo mom/pops does when they means business:

“aleeeeeeeeexaaaaaa. laurennnnnnnnnnnneeee. cotcamppppppp, are you getting enough sleep?”

jury is still out on that one… 

ps. sweet dreams. 

 

 

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Dear Sister, Even if You’re Not

I envisioned this post as a time capsule of sorts. While studying abroad in Nantes, France, I decided that I would one day want something that would be a one-way ticket to an experience of memory, a memory of experience. I wanted something that would make me feel as if I was transported back to the moment when I sat along the Erdre River with my two bare pieds noirs (literally “black feet”), dusty and darkened from wandering barefoot. So without further ado, I present the letter that I wrote to the most important person of my experience–my “host sister.”

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Dear Mélissa,

I’m writing to you, but you will likely never read this letter. Mais si tu vois ça, n’hesites pas à demander à Nathalie pour une traduction – j’utilise beaucoup d’argot, mais elle fera de sa mieux. (If you do, ask Nathalie to translate- my English is replete with unique slang, but she’ll do her best.) I’m writing to you to explain the thoughts that rest idle when the words have run elsewhere. I’m writing to you because there’s no map to sincere gratitude that has sufficient instructions when you’re lost in translation.

The words “host sister” find their way ever so subtly into my conversation.  The title comes easy now that it’s slipped its way into conversation with friends and family so many times. It’s easy, convenient, just a smidge endearing, but also quite amusingly incorrect.

We are not technically sisters. And while nobody would guess it, you’re not part of my host family either. (Though truly you are considered such, more or less.) You are a student, renting the room for two years now in this house we call ours and studying at the same university in this charming city. Our rooms sit side-by-side and are linked by the bathroom we share, like many other things.

I love that we are always known as les filles (the girls) in the house. We’ve taken to taking meals together, swapping cheese and sharing bread. I never get sick of laughing about the time when we gleefully put ribbons in our brother’s shoes on his birthday. I love that we’ll both bemoan missing Nathalie’s amazing pumpkin soup and tease the other if she does. I’m constantly amused by your endless love of coffee. And by the time you’re on cup #4, I know full well to join you pronto. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It warms my soul that you rush to greet me, when you know I’ve had an unkind exam at way-too-early in the morning. You are the first one to ask me how it went. To tell me “ça va, c’est fini” (it’s ok, it’s over), when my lower lip trembles in response. Whether you knew that or not, I needed it more than anything.

When I bounce into a room, I love that you offer to make room on the couch for me. And share the blanket too. Blanket sharing is serious business in this world of friendship. I try to politely refuse every time so as to not make you move. And I laugh every time you shoot me a raised eyebrow and eye-rolling glance that clearly says “shut up, and sit your ass down.” You know me a good handful of steps beyond politeness.

I love that you put my host brother, Cyriaque, in his place when he gets sassy up in your grill. I love that we’ll eat seconds of dessert at any given chance because we rejoice in just how sweet life is. I love that you know my class schedule and that I know yours. That you’re my confidante for all questions bizarre and embarrassing (and believe me, I ask a lot). I love the way you talk to your 2 year old (?) nephew, like your heart is so full of adoration that every word is laced with a love plain and simple. You’re kind and silly, easy-going and always ready to answer my next question.

I loved that night you bought hard cider during our spontaneous trip to the grocery store — “2 for tonight, and 2 for another night,” you said. That we cooked dinner, filling the kitchen with music and soul-soothing laughter alike. I love that I uttered the words ‘Ryan Gosling’, and you took your hand to lips and declared, “Il est parfait!” as I lost myself to laughter. I love that we later hung out and watched The Notebook en français, with you reminding me to make myself at home in your room that sits mere steps from mine. I loved the risotto you made but loved the pride that shone in making it even more. I love that you asked me twice if I was forgetting anything before leaving…even though you knew I likely would anyway. That like my sister, you stopped me before going out, straightened my smile, and beamed saying, “Tu es jolie!” (you’re beautiful). 

I smile from head to toe realizing how good of friends we’ve become so quickly, even with that transparent language barrier that tries to draw a line between two. I try to imagine what it would be like if I could speak fluently in French, or you in English. If this sweet companionship could be even better.

I love that I never guessed we of all people would be best friends. But I couldn’t be happier that we are. I wonder if we’ll keep in touch and what it’d be like if/when you were to come visit me in California. I think about how much you’ve given me comfort in being here and if I could ever do the same in return. I think about how much I’ll miss you. But above all, I wonder if you realize what all this has to meant to me…that at the end of the day, I would be proud to call you my sister.

Love,
Lexi

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{snow day}

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happy snow day from washington d.c.!

the reader’s digest version: 

brought to you by a royal sh*t ton of snow [atta girl, mother nature!]
beer for breakfast, chillin in da snow [crushin it]
homemade cinnamon rolls & coffee [fo real]
and 0% productivity [duh]
and that one boy next door who just yodeled for the 536th time. [no comment]

-lexi

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My Real Answer to “How are you?”

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34 days ago, I came home for the first time in 8 months. I wondered what Georgetown would feel like after so long spent away. If it would be a paradise lost or a paradise found or some crazy little thing in between. Cross-legged and with this song looping on repeat, I found myself wondering if I should have some sort of plan.

But New Years and its knocking for resolutions came and passed; the first day of school went pedal to the metal; and for once, no plan seemed to be the best plan of all.

SAY WHAT? I suppose this seems straight up loony. It goes against all the normal rules of being an ambitious perfectionist.

Well damn, it’s a good thing I have a flagrant disregard for normal rules.

No doubt, people have asked about study abroad--if I wish I were still there or happy to be back. Well hey there, life is our box of chocolates, friends–no need to choose just one! My transition has been one of rather surprising smoothness. Coming back from study abroad, I’ve separated things by place. The places I’ve been are incomparably different, but there’s more to it than that. Georgetown as I know it has changed, but then again, so have I.

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You see, my first two years at Georgetown were defined by polar opposites–by a fairytale freshman year and a sophomore slump. It makes sense that this year, defined wholly by me as I’ve deemed it, just feels authentic. I’ve parted ways with the categories I used to crave and am really just happier going with the flow. I’m doing what I need, doing more of less without doing something meaningless.

And that has made all the difference. I’ve found myself craving minimalism, going back to the basics as if life were the rediscovery of cheese pizza. I feel comfortable being in my own skin. I say this casually, but I mean it sincerely. I’ve been walking the line between self improvement and straight chillin’.

In the lands of self-improvement, I’ve spent a fair amount of time considering the people part of the equation. I spent a weekend with best friend C, just laughing about nonsense before her semester abroad in Cape Town. Days come together in due jankiness with best friends H, L, and who know me far too well. New roomies and E are the redefinition of funky fresh, with loving reminders that “donuts” and “happy hour” are integral vocabulary words. Couch talks with P have been vital. Lunches with have been wonderfully hilarious, and themed costumes with A have been a major sort of major success. 

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{Can you guess the costume? Hint: it’s Dr. Seuss}

I’ve realized how much certain relationships matter to me–they matter more than Sunday brunch, trips to Paris, corny jokes, Gmail, and really really comfy beds all put together. (Ok, that last one might be a close second…). I appreciate the people who are there when its convenient…but even more so those who are there when its not convenient. The people who take the time to hangout from across campus and from states away. The people who can see a classic Lexi moment before I see it myself. 

After a few years of slugging through general ed requirements, I’m finally starting to jump into classes that interest me. Plus, I still count every one of my dang lucky stars when a teacher speaks to me in English. And I could hug every, single one for never bringing up French literature. It’s the little things, yo! Professionally, I’ve accepted an offer for a return internship at Google this summer and couldn’t be more excited to see what the Bay area brings this time. 

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For me, coming back (home) to Georgetown has been about doing things a little differently. I’ve made it my goal to meet new people. And in such an eager pursuit, I’ve stumbled my way into conversations about unconventional elevator speeches, the how behind happiness, and quantum physics (come again?). I’ve been realizing the beauty of place but also of experience too.

Side note: I still don’t fully understand quantum physics. Really. At all.

Of course, I’d like to be careful to paint a charmed life as is so easily done on social media. I’m still dealing with a few fractured friendships and segueing my way into new life territory. There’s still plenty to do and even more to figure out. For all ya’ll who have been along for the ride, hey thanks! You make my day when you tell me you’ve enjoyed my ramblings. I’ve had a hard time sticking with journaling here, but someone last week reminded me why I love and need to write, even if it’s trivial.

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Looking to what’s on the docket, there’s no shortage of things coming soon to a theater near you. I want to start something new, to try a new restaurant or two, and to carry on with the farmers’ market. I want to visit the Holocaust museum for reflection and North Rock Creek Park for a hike simply because I never have.  I couldn’t be happier about next weekend’s reunion with Google friends/resident Cool Kids on the Block. And you better believe I’m bonkers pumped for an upcoming spring break in Miami.

Make no small plans, or make no plans at all.

I’m finding balance. And just being me–an unapologetically free-spirited, barefoot dreamer (and hot mess). If you’re inclined to ask for a normal explanation of what that means, my answer is this:

Well, darling, I thought we agreed that normal isn’t really my style anyway.

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Introducing the Characters: Allison

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First friend. Like ever. Taco beans magic dies hard. Strawberry blonde sistah child. Just keeps on swimming. And would save me from drowning (literally and figuratively) in less than a heartbeat. Sleepover buds since the beginning. Cake in the face and piñatas in the park. Irish at core, Bostonian beloved all the while. Surrogate sister and second parents. She got it from her mama….and papa too. 

AL and I go way back. Beyond anything I can even remember because we were two PYTs (pretty young things) in strollers at the park. No matter how much time has passed, it’s always the same. Kitchen table talk for days. Christmas cookie compadres. Persona and pretenses are tossed out the window because we know each other inside out…and backwards. Writes Dublin tour guides that blow every travel book to Guinness tipsy smithereens. Through life’s highs, lows, and ridic in-betweens. Simply a gem who has always been and will always be.
p.s. Happy belated birthday, AL :) 

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4 Days More

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4 days more in France! Real life is fast and furious, yo.

Procrastination is a mode of life at this point. And because I’m doing just that, here’s a nugget of Tuesday wisdom. You could pretty much call it a metaphorical home run.

“It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.

You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.

But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, have difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures.

Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.”

David Cain, “Procrastination Is Not Laziness

à plus tard (’till more later).

-lex

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