This Summer Intentionally Left Blank

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I’m tempted to write, “This page summer intentionally left blank.” Because that’s what life looks like right now.

The ocean has become my second skin. Watermelon has become a food group. And pajamas have become not a choice, but a lifestyle. Actually, I’m relatively sure the neighbors are convinced that I’m a mysterious recluse planning some major heist, all while wearing pajamas.

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In truth, I’ve had no intention to do anything in particular and every intention to dabble in the art of doing nothing this summer. I’ve spent plenty of time with Mom and Dad — happily received after four years of haphazard nomad life.

I’ve watched the entirety of New Girl and laughed out loud through some of, much of…okay, all of it. Perhaps mostly though, I’ve relearned how to be alone, to come back to solo familiarity.

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Such has been the tune of summer. Sipping iced tea, reading all the beach reads, eating too many fajitas with two great friends, and definitely maybe living in a bathing suit. I’m catching up on the news. You know, for all of 2015 that I’ve missed.

I’m doing a lot of yoga to tune in. And playing a lot of guitar to tune out. Self-spring cleaning of sorts! But you know, summer.

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Admittedly, I’ve been a bit off-the-grid, in hopes that a short leave of absence from everyday social demands might lend itself to finding some inner peace. To go from constant social activity in college to an abundance of alone time is a test of extremes.

For an admitted extrovert, it’s odd, refreshing, and maddening all at once. I think most people would call that the peace I’ve been seeking.

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This is to say that simplicity has been a joyful recess from life’s adventures. A quick breath of fresh air before “real life” begins, as I move to San Francisco and begin work in September. Unlike other transitions, I haven’t dreaded this chapter one-and-a-half. The middle ground is comforting, for once. Learning to adult is not a one day shabang, after all.

With these last few dog days of summer, I’m trying to savor free time while it’s still free. To relish the page intentionally left blank.

And to find balance in the whole dang thing..

…all while wearing pajamas.

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I’m Sending You a Postcard

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I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person that sends postcards. The globetrotting kind that sends a visual message-in-a-bottle from really rad places and with effortlessly cool handwriting.

The thing is though, I’m notoriously terrible at remembering to buy, write, or send postcards…the essentials, more or less. I also have a thing for technology. And I hate my own handwriting.

This combination does not = postcard kind of person.


So instead, I’m sending you a postcard here. If you’re taking the time to read this, I probably would have sent you a postcard (if I was that kind of person). To you in New York City who always secretly laughs at all my bad jokes.

To you in Washington D.C. who is headed to Jazz in the Garden. To you in San Francisco who never hesitates to remind me of our crazy first date. To you abroad, eating all the delicious things. To you in the world who always takes the time to say, “What’s up?”

You! I’m sending you a postcard. With too many 1 cent stamps. And probably a gelato stain. No postmark, but it’d probably be late if there was one.

I’m sending you a postcard from..

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London – Cheerio! London town was full of proper rollie pollie cabs and grey skies. And as an American, I felt like everything seems familiar but foreign. A collision of cultures, if you will. The mushy peas are wildly overrated. But those “digestive” biscuits?! Man, oh man. Lord, save the queen.

Amsterdam – If there ever was a way to make a maniac on a bike feel right at home, this is it. Life lesson: Dutch apple pie puts American apple pie to shame. The same could be said of beer. It’s wacky, but aren’t we all a little?

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Paris – Oh Paris, je t’aime indeed. I love speaking your language, be that French or butter. It’s unclear which of those is the real native tongue. One day (not today, but like…the year after tomorrow), I’ll be back to call you home. That’s a little bold. But then again, this is me we’re talking about.

Lisbon – You remind a girl that life is meant for living. Truly, Lisbon was my favorite of the trip. Laid-back but charming and filled with friends who have the same natural zest for life. Here, there was an art to doorways — to inviting people in with cordiality and sending them off with warmest wishes. We’ll go back! Oh yes we will.

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Barcelona – Naps and nightlife — was there ever a more accurate description? Barcelona was a laughable realization that it’s a small world after all. Notably in the middle of a club after far too much liquid courage. No new friends isn’t really our style anyway.

Prague – Castles with charisma and monasteries with home-brewed beer. All the way with the panache! Bohemian gems and a hint of old world charm. We also tried Czech food for the first time. And maybe the last time too…

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Berlin – You embody good vibes and great food. The main squeeze. As a bonus, your street music is the best I’ve ever heard. The kind of sounds that I wish I could capture in a bottle and save for a rainy day. You’ve got spunk, brimming with a sort of unidentifiable vitality.

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Greece – In one word: janky. The notion of sidewalks eludes you, but your sunsets more than make up for it. You’ve got the views down-pat. Not to mention the gelato, the beaches, and the kindest Greek people. The European Union (ECB) is like “B*tch better have my money,” and you’re just like, “How about a postcard?” Points for audacity.

After wandering across a continent, home is a welcome destination. I’m doing a whole lot of nothing here, and that’s the most refreshing adventure of all for a constant doer.

Currently:

Listening to – Little May – Boardwalks (remix). It sounds like summer!
Playing – Ben E King  & Kanye West on guitar. Clearly,  don’t understand what “genre” means.
Watching – Orange is the New Black & Good Will Hunting (my new favorite movie)
Reading – The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Learning – How to do: Elementary Spanish, html code, and peacock pose (pincha mayurasana) in yoga

Doing – Nothing. Well, except sending a few postcards.

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Finals & Otherwise

A few pennies for your thoughts:

1. Regarding finals. Greetings from my home in the library — the capital of procrasti-Nation.

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I’m writing a final paper that includes a reflection on my entire college experience. I can vouch that my paper is currently rubbish, but it’s perhaps the best (and only legitimate) excuse I’ve ever had to Facebook stalk myself. (I digress though.)

The professor encouraged us to consider  three things one should think to say, especially as college comes to close: 1) Thank you 2) I’m sorry and 3) I love you. Life on the real! These are the big hitters in the world of vulnerability. Let’s consider it. Consider the things we’ve said and the things we’ve left unsaid in the last four years of  life.

In other news, a professor just informed me that I forgot to put my name on a final exam. Demotion to the second grade is altogether possible.

2. Kid President’s Pep Talk. A guaranteed pick-me-up.


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Ivan & Alyosha’s New Album. I’m sorry / not sorry that I’m fangirling.

Here’s to one final paper and then freedom…or demotion to the second grade?

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Lessons of 22 Years

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So I fell off the face of the Earth for 3 months. I’m sorry about it, really I am. But let’s rejoice in the come back. It’s like “BACKSTREET’S BACK ALRIGHT?!” only less boy-band and more Lexi.

If you are 22, were 22, or are turning 22 (wow hi that’s me), there’s grace in those double digits squared. We’re old as dirtdom! Kinda. I don’t pretend to be an expert after a couple decades of being a young whippersnapper.  I’m unqualified as they come to give advice, unless it’s regarding pancakes, bad jokes, or hula hooping.

Instead, I’d like to humbly share a few of my own musings from this traveling circus we call life.

One:  There are three golden rules. 1) You do you. (Everyone else is taken).             2) Some people suck. Losers happen. 3) Let me live. Make it count.

Two: Be bold; be unapologetic. This is the secret sauce. If it’s scary but electrifying, you’re doing it right.

Three: Your gut instinct knows what’s up. Check it often.

Four: Like and love are eternally tricky. Trust the Law of Fuck Yes or No. If you feel strongly about someone, tell them. Emotions defy logic. And vulnerability is enough to make anybody pee their pants. But life is finite. Take the leap (and trust your bladder to hang on for dear life).

Five: Even the “cool kids” — be that of middle school, college, or the office — see someone cooler than them. Popularity is whatever. We’re all cut from the same fabric, neither a cut above nor a cut below one another.

Six: Be the person known for giving great high fives and stellar hugs. It’s good street credz.

Seven: Appreciate the heck out of music. Pick whatever strikes a chord with you. You don’t have to like everyone else’s tastes but appreciate their appreciation. Turn up that $#!& real loud. Dance like nobody’s watching. Especially when everybody’s watching.

Eight: Understand privilege. This isn’t a guilt-trip; it’s a quick guide to how the world works.

Nine: We don’t have time; we make time. “Busy” is not an excuse.

Ten:  There are no universal right answers in life. (See golden rule #1: You do you.) But if there was a universal right answer, it would be pizza and red wine.

Eleven: If you’re not okay with getting zero likes on a social media post, you shouldn’t be posting it.

Twelve: Essential life investments: a comfy couch, chapstick, and a clothing ensemble that says, “Ya look good” (Ya do!)

Thirteen: Have a signature–word, perfume/cologne, cause, joke and smile. People remember the little things.

Fourteen: Never, ever forget what happens when you turn the corners of your mouth upwards.

Fifteen: Tequila is liquid dynamite. Which can be dangerously good or dangerously bad. Choose wisely.

Sixteen: Vegetables are your friend. Cereal is also acceptable for any meal though. Balance.

Seventeen: Acknowledge humanity. Thank the taxi driver; smile at that lonesome person on the subway; recognize the beggar; talk to the guy at the sandwich shop.

Eighteen: Find a passion project. Make it meaningful. And then make it happen (even if there’s no payoff for you).

Nineteen: Cool it with the texting “game.” F’real. A smiley face does not make marriage the obvious next step. Double texting does not make you needy. Read receipts are not to be used as a tool to smite others. Play nice.

Twenty: Always have a homemade trick up your sleeve. It’s important for friendship, surprise birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, and general classiness.

Twenty One: Call yo people that matter. Especially Mom & Dad. Not just on the bad days. They knew you before you knew you.

Twenty Two: Life is messy. At 22…or any age really. This shabang isn’t always pretty. We’re en route to getting lost…a lot. But somewhere along the way, we’ll find the things that matter. Let’s get ice cream and call it a win because hey, we’ve got nothing to lose. Then, when the world least expects it, we’ll make our come back.

And when that happens, we’ll be singing “BACKSTREET’S BACK ALRIGHT!” all over again. Though the funny thing is, we’ll probably still be wholly unqualified to give advice, unless it’s regarding pancakes, bad jokes, or hula hooping.

But ya know? That’s alright with me.

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Stories Behind Senior Spring

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I look at my last post from January and laugh. To tell the story of the past few months is to tell an epic odyssey, inevitably full of ups, downs, and all the hot mess-dom in between. I’ve tried to write this post going on ten times, but it felt wrong each time. There’s a whole lot of stories behind senior spring. I can’t tell all of them, but let’s start from the beginning. The do-rey-mi. You know!

January was marked by a languid rut — the lethal combination of missing inspiration and abundant disappointment. It was like Monday every day. And really, what kind of dumb joke is that?

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February was about getting back in the game. Life sent a muse or two my way in the form of best friend, AL, a handful of local lovers, a snowy weekend getaway with K, and a lovely visit from friends and the steadfast parentals.

February was a spark of passion where and when it was most needed.

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March was a sober blackout. A heap of contradictions, if you will.

Excusemewhat. March was marked by five ridiculous days off-the-grid in Mexico for Spring Break. With more karaoke-fueled laughter and Enrique Iglesias than thought possible.

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It was marked with intense work (+celebration) of orchestrating a 900 person summit. It was marked by finding a passion project that hits all the way home.

But also…it was marked by heartbreak at my own hands, with the ache of giving advice that I myself couldn’t take. That’s the good, the bad, and the ugly — it’s real and honest and really honest.

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April feels like good vibes here on the horizon. Spring is here to stay, and that’s a notion we can get behind. By way of April, we’re finding that fresh air is like crack…only not crack. We’re relearning that friendship isn’t static.

April means hiking, coffee prom, a weekend of pretending to be a tourist with the ever-wonderful, M, the last day of classes, and the curious case of a 22nd birthday.

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These days, I’m feeling on the wild side on inspired — the way I do only when the world is spinning almost faster than I can keep up. Remember how we would spin around in circles as kids ad nauseum? Most people hate that feeling, finding such spinning exhausting.

But me…Me, I love that feeling. I live for the feeling of the world spinning me to dizzy euphoria. I live for the wild breathlessness and uncontrollable laughter that ensues. I live for that feeling of being young, wild, and probably too free for my own good.

So now, come what May. Life today comes full of this unbounded freedom  I have 15 days more of Georgetown. And that’s a good place to be — both filled with savoring the moment and anticipating whatever come’s next.

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So You’re Looking for Inspiration?

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So you’re looking for inspiration? Join the club. It’s January. It’s Monday. And this case of the blahhhhhhhh’s is f’real. No joke.

This uptown funk has a way of making us feel just a bit blaisé with it all. I chalk it up to the whole dang world being back to work. Which means slogging through a hot mess of an email inbox, Christmas music withdrawals, and meetings out the wazoo with everybody, ever. Everything on our December to-do list that was stowed away in a miscellaneous junk cabinet of the brain is like, “HELLO WTF NICE TO SEE YOU TOO.”

Since hiding under a rock sounds both painful and infeasible, let’s get back in this game. Si se puede! Yes, we can!

I believe in us, Mondays and all. Consequentially, so does the Internet. Here’s how, in inspiration form:

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Why we can’t help loving Top 40 music: // Shazam has it figured out, but there’s a catch. “It turns out that we just want to listen to the same songs over and over again.”

• How to Understand White Privilege. // Important. So, so, so important. A must-read for anyone, no matter who you are.

How to Kick Butt 101: // Climb this really nutzo, crazy, seriously awesome Dawn Wall in Yosemite. Make history. You know, casual.

Is Love Also Science? // To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This. We had a dinner conversation about this, and my conclusion is this: these questions create intimacy, but not love. (Though intimacy is often part of love, so touché)

Beauty isn’t forever, // but Meryl Streep is.

On diets. // What if you didn’t have to eat like a caveman, forego carbohydrates (WHY?), drink like aaaaall the juice, or eat Soylent to be healthy? There’s this really cool idea wherein you eat real food, instead of dieting: The Anti-Detox Diet. Let’s get uncomplicated, yo!

Peace & quiet. // Let’s take a hot second to embrace the NY Times’ The Joy of Quiet. Because sidenote, meditation could be changing our DNA?

• The world be cray. // How the World Changed in 2014.

Hallelujah, Ben & Jerry’s. // I just died and went to ice cream heaven, thanks to my two fave men. 2 words: COOKIE CORE. Game over.

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Tomorrow is time to get back into this game! I think you’re great, really I do.

Let’s not forget it. Buh-bye!

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The State of January

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So can we agree that January is just a lot? Snow is far less sexy when battling blizzards is required for participation in life. Good intentions to drink more water and eat more vegetables are easily confused with more beer and more pizza.

And ahem, someone better have a really compelling reason why it’s inappropriate to wear a Snuggie to class/work.

(Equally compelling is the fact that we can ignore any reason the world gives us.)

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We’ve got a fair shake of people telling us How to do a Juice Cleanse (and be really miserable); How to Be a New You (because Old You is so out); How to Resolve to Do Everything Ever (but not actually do it) or How Not To Set New Years Resolutions Period (because *shrug*).

It’s all a complicated beast, really.

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I don’t have any miracle gluten free diets to recommend or get-rich-quick schemes to share. But it’s my 21st year in this rodeo, which is secret code for the fact that I know a whole lot of a something about a whole lot of nothing.

I mean, 21 years is older (& wiser??) than Facebook, Buzzfeed, and skinny jeans all put together. Heck, 21 years is older than the entire Internet! Boom clap.

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2015 already, ma? Ya gotta be kidding me. I hope you got ready, got set, and got to the go. I hope you’re still hoarding the last few goodies from Mom/Dad’s care package. And I really hope that you’re planning on inviting me over to share them.

I’m mostly kidding about that invitation. Unless Mom/Dad sent  homemade brownies or cozy socks or a piña colada, in which case I’m totally not kidding. Priorities of friendship.

14 days into the year, and topsy turvy is already the name of the game. We may be back to doggie paddling, but the rest of the world is right there with us. We’ll call it somewhere in between sink and swim.

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The world for me comes bursting at the seams this year. Hey world, slow your roll!

So far, we’ve crossed off a cruisin’ trip to Los Angeles; a masquerade ball best described as “soooo college” by every parent ever; and an unhealthy/healthy amount of New Girl.

I’ve also taken to teaching myself guitar and am borderline semi-pro. Or more accurately, I’m superbly mediocre and thrilled about it.

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In the works, there’s upcoming trips New York City trips and a roadtrip to Mardi Gras. There’s old skool hanging out and a birthday or two. There’s capstone classes and a spring break jetset to Cozumel where guacamole is the imperative word (or is it margarita?).

There’s a finale of Georgetown and all the holy $h!t moments of impending graduation (let’s not talk about it). Perhaps a European adventure on the docket and a return to home base. There’s moving to San Francisco and starting at Google full time. And who knows what else. Cheers!

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Between now and then though, we have plenty of awkward moments, crazy hair days, and oops-we-did-it-again moments to enjoy and endure. I mean, it’s all part of the master plan, right? *wink wink*

Meanwhile, let’s get our priorities straight and resolve to find a really compelling reason as to why Snuggies should be school/work appropriate.

Because that’s a New Year’s resolution I can get behind.

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