recommended reads

An excellent mentor of mine, Mrs. M, who has known me since high school, sent me a list of books to read over a year ago.

As I was cleaning out my space to return home for the summer, I found her list. Trying to be less cluttered, I knew I had to file it electronically so I could have it forever.

Mrs. M is a phenomenal person. Professionally, she is at the top of her field in our region and has been recognized nationally for what she does. Personally, she is also a joy. She is tough but kind and sincere and funny. I hope I am as graceful, accomplished, and elegant as she is. I would not be where I am today without her, and I want to impact as many lives as she has and still is!

Regardless, I chose to put the list here because I don’t want it getting lost in my notes- another thing I’m dreading cleaning out. I trust her recommendations immensely, and I know that the following titles will not disappoint.

Without further delay, here it is:

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Without Shame by Katherine Russell

Unfortunately, that’s all I have for today. Here’s to hoping for a good end to your April.





what i want to be

I am at a stage of life in which we are all figuring out what we want to be. We’re circling options for relationships, majors, jobs, careers, and destinations.

All of this decision making has made me want to crawl into fresh sheets and never leave. It’s a lot of change in a short time and it’s the types of changes that have serious life consequences. They’re heavy, consequential, important choices.

But among all of them, we sometimes lose the values and traits that make us real. I think it’s easy to get enveloped in the mess of growing up and leave who you really are behind. It got me to thinking about what I want to be as a human being, and I wondered how people would describe me and if it would compare to how I would want to be described.

This is what I landed on:

Wild, unfiltered, unapologetically loving.

Isn’t that just the most beautiful description you’ve ever read? I just love it. It took my breath away when I read it. (It’s from a Huffington Post article which you can read here.)

I want to be all of those things. Wild, maybe even bordering on a little reckless, and absolutely enamored with being alive.

My friends would say I’m pretty good at being unfiltered. I am not afraid to say what I think. Saying what I feel, though, is a different story. I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve and I disguise my emotions sometimes.

Being unapologetically loving is, to me, such an act of bravery. To be able to care so freely without fear of getting hurt is something I desperately want for myself.

This year, almost half over, has brought immense struggle and change and heartbreak. But at the end of the day, I’ve learned more about myself than ever, and probably the best revelation of them all is deciding that I want to be those three things.



merry christmas

Though I am not a practicing Catholic at all anymore, my Aunt C sent this to me after my grandmother passed in August. I saved it into my notes and have been reading it once in a while for a little reminder.

After losing DJW, this has been something I’ve been reading more and more. I thought I’d preserve it here.

A Gentle Reminder from Pope Francis

This life will go by fast.

Don’t fight with people, don’t criticize your body so much, don’t complain so much.

Don’t lose sleep over your bills. Look for the person that makes you happy. If you make a mistake, let it go and keep seeking your happiness.

Never stop being a good parent. Don’t worry so much about buying luxuries and comforts for your home, and don’t kill yourself trying to leave an inheritance for your family. Those benefits should be earned by each person, so don’t dedicate yourself to accumulating money.

Enjoy, travel, enjoy your journeys, see new places, give yourself the pleasures you deserve. Allow dogs to get closer. Don’t put away the fine glassware. Utilize the new dinnerware; don’t save your favorite perfume, use it to go out with yourself; wear out your favorite sport shoes; repeat your favorite clothes.

So what? That’s not bad. Why not now? Why not pray now instead of waiting until before you sleep? Why not call now? Why not forgive now? We wait so long for Christmas; for Friday; for Reunions; for another year; for when I have money; for love to come; when everything is perfect…look…

Everything perfect doesn’t exist. Human beings can’t accomplish this because it simply was not intended to be completed here. Here is an opportunity to learn.

So take this challenge that is life and do it now…love more, forgive more, embrace more, love more intensely and leave the rest in God’s hands.  Amen.

“Why not call now? Why not forgive now? We wait so long for Christmas; for Friday; for Reunions; for another year… for when everything is perfect. Everything perfect doesn’t exist.”

Wishing you all the ability to lose perfection and embrace what we have, right here, right now, this holiday season.


instant blonde

P.S. Previous Christmas posts: 2015, 2016.

dear djw

Dear DJW,

I don’t remember the day we met. We always just knew each other. When you go to a small Catholic elementary school in a small town you just get to know everyone. I do remember, though, the summer we became friends. We were sixteen then and it was before the complexities of driving, sex, and relationships had really hit us. We spent many days together with EB at the neighborhood pool while she lifeguarded and we distracted her brought lunch (Chipotle, usually, but you never ate a ton of it because you worked out and were on a strict diet to keep yourself in tip top shape for the Marines.) We talked about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and we mercilessly but lovingly made fun of you for your escapades with the East High School girls, especially TW. We joked about being three deep and about Mrs. Z yelling at us to watch the swimmers more.

When I introduced you to one of my best friends, CM, that summer, I knew you would like her. I did not know that she would end up being your first and that you would both develop feelings for each other. I’m both grateful and apologetic for that. I want you to know that she cared deeply for you and I’m happy that you got to know and love her. But I’m also sorry if she hurt you, or the way my friends and I discouraged her from pursuing anything more serious with you did. I’ll never know what impact that introduction had on you, but all I can do is hope that it was a positive one. I’m sorry that I urged you that things with EB would never work out. I should’ve told you to follow your heart no matter what.

But most of all, I’m sorry that I never reached out before I moved. I should’ve told you to come and say goodbye. I should’ve asked how you were. I should’ve made you meet with the Officer so he could’ve told you about ROTC or enlisting or how much potential you had.

I may have always been a year ahead of you in school, but you were only a few months younger than me and a lot bigger and stronger, and you liked to remind me of that as much as you could. I always admired you immensely for your commitment to your family and your country. I imagined the letters and photos I would send you once you enlisted. I loved how good of a big brother you were, because I have a good one too and I know what a blessing it is to have that.

Our friendship may have faded since I moved, but I want you to know that I’ll never forget you. I love you and I hope that you’re at peace. I am immensely thankful to have known you and been your friend.

EB said, “Some people just touch your heart in a way that can’t be forgotten.” You touched mine and many others.

Rest in peace, DJW. 12.16.17.



an opinion piece

“I am eighteen years old. I am a female college freshman. I am naive, energetic, and absolutely obsessed with boys.

When I moved to college, I understood the stigmas everyone warned me about: binge drinking, the freshman fifteen, failing class, never calling home. But one aspect in which I felt utterly unprepared for was the hookup culture, the casual sex that permeates my campus and, now, my life. No alcohol awareness course, gym schedule, monogrammed agenda, or homesickness remedy could ready me for what sex means in college in 2017. I started having “just because” sex, meaningless and unattached hookups, in my first week of classes and now, on the airplane home for fall break, I feel such a need to reflect on my newfound sex life that I’m typing on the notes app of my iPhone, which is at a meager 20%. My laptop, my preferred utensil, is dead, and I don’t have my other preferred utensil, paper.

I am torn on how I feel about my newfound sexuality. On one hand, I feel free. My ability and choice to sleep with attractive boys and men is a slap in the face to the friend who called me “eternally alone” or the boys who joked that I was too prude in high school. It’s interesting to me that this is perhaps what makes me the most satisfied of all of my encounters, yet the people back home who teased me about my lack of sexual experience have no idea where I sleep or who with. Casual sex makes me feel more desirable. A boy finds me hot and normal enough to have sex with for release and fun. I like being that quick fix. Beyond that, though, sex is another layer of independence. Just like I can drink, smoke, or wear anything I’d like to now, I can hook up with anyone I want, at virtually any time I want, as long as he’s interested and consented. Such an instantaneous connection, which, unsurprisingly, fits my generation’s need for urgency and availability, to the most intimate connection, fills me with a sense of power that I never had before move-in. And power is a factor too. The longstanding argument that sex is power and power is sex comes to mind. There is a thrill in having so much control over a boy just because we’re having sex or have had it already. I have learned how to master men, even if just for a minute or two of pure bliss, when, four months ago, their flippant comments and idiotic actions mastered me.

Of course, boys still can rule my emotions and my actions. I just know how to take my mind off those feelings for a quick hookup or night away from my own bed. Now that I know how much they’ll sacrifice for sex, though, I feel even more convinced that boys of my generation are never going to be the men I want them to grow up to be. I don’t need to be even more disheartened about finding a soulmate in s country where the divorce rate hovers around 50%. I swell with the pride and satisfaction of having such power over a man while or after we have sex, but I also often feel powerless. All a boy might want me for is sex, and I can give that to him, but I can’t give him a desire to date me or spend time with me outside the bedroom. There’s also the backwards concept of having sex partially just to spite the people, male and female, who once mocked me for not doing it. I should be having sex for me, not for anyone else, and I am, but I’m thinking about those naysayers a little bit every time I collect my things from the latest dorm tile or fraternity house carpet. And I do feel sexy and wanted because guys want to have sex with me, but, at the same time, being the girl they depend on for a no strings attached lay and not the one they bring home on breaks with them tanks my self-esteem. It can be frustrating to only see someone I find hot or otherwise attractive in some way when they’re drunk, lonely, or simply bored.

Yet I have a roster of guys I find myself texting to hang out with when I’m drunk, lonely, or simply bored. I am used, and I use them.

This is sex in college today, and it is full of contradictions; fulfillment and emptiness, power and helplessness, brightness and bleakness, independence and entrapment. It is a sizable part of my life on campus, and it is what keeps me up at night… in more ways than one.”




I’m back. Resurrected, risen, returned.

Did the whole move six states away thing, and damn, it was hard.

If you know me, though, you know I don’t give up. Ever. So I’m determined that this was meant to be and adjusting is just hard, but I really do think I am supposed to be here. I get better every day and I feel more and more like myself too.

I’d be writing all weekend if I were to use real form and posts, so, just for my own memory, I’m listing all the major life updates I’ve had since my last post.

  • I had sex with a TC, I, on September 16 at like 1am. Drunk, but not blacked out.
  • I then proceeded to also fuck a PDT, N, on the night of the 21. Well, it was probably early on the 22nd if I’m being honest.
  • My beautiful and sweet 88 year old grandmother, affectionately known as Mimi, passed away in the first week of August. I had to move on the 9th, and between that and other family travel complications, I moved per usual. Then, on the weekend of the 26th, I went back home for the services. It was lovely and filled with family, as she would’ve wanted, but I still miss her dearly.
  • On the 19th I had a sort of episode and flipped out on my brother’s girlfriend, who fucked me over severely, which resulted in me finding a therapist ASAP down here.
  • I found one, Dr. B, and he is possibly the sweetest person I know. I love him and his advice and couldn’t believe I had been missing out on therapy for so long.
  • Because I haven’t been in the best state since moving, I sense that my parents are worried about me and are afraid to make another major life change by divorcing. They continue to lead the same separate lives, like ships passing in the night.
  • I have a deadline of apologizing to my brother’s girlfriend by this Friday, and I haven’t done so yet. Or spoken to her since the 18th of August.
  • A guy who fucked me over at home, MM, texted me today asking if he could see me. HA. No, but it feels good to know that I’m *finally* desirable, ya know? And he’s rushing SC, SN, and KS. We’ll see.
  • I miss home so much. More than I thought I would.
  • I’m trying really hard to do well in school but also sleep and have a social life. So that’s basically just what I’m doing now.

Alright, I have to go. Saturdays in the South… if you know, you know. I’ve missed you, though, and I’ll be back soon.