Favorite Feelings

The first day of a vacation, i.e. what today is for me. (I’m coming for ya, Allyssa and Iowa and South Dakota!)

The first sip of a large Diet Coke with vanilla from Sonic, because it’s extra vanilla-y.

Reading in a pool, your body half-submerged as the sun warms your shoulders and arms.

When you flip on the Food Network and the Pioneer Woman is on. She’s fantastic.

The crunch of a tortilla chip dripping with creamy jalapeño sauce from Chuy’s. UGH. I melt.

A perfectly clean room.

When you sit down to write and your brain actually spits out ideas.

The first time you listen to an album or a song, and you end up loving it. It’s the magic of listening to lyrics for the first time, you know?

When you used to work at Disney World and you visit for the first time in over a year, and Russell from Up remembers you and walks you to the Wilderness Explorer Clubhouse. (Oh, Disney. I MISS YOU.)

Receiving snail mail from your friends. Just sayin’ hi.

Sitting between the shelves of the local library, writing. You feel so official.

Actually seeing–not FaceTiming, not texting–your best friend for the first time in months. (Tomorrow, tomorrow!)

The tickle of your dog’s tongue on your nose.

Watching baby birds evolve: from aliens to gargoyles to feathered gargoyles to real life birds.

Long drives by yourself. You sing at the top of your lungs and no one judges you when you zone out to think about life and stuff.

And on that drive, you’re able to think of new story ideas and blog posts (like this one) and you feel energized and creative and productive!

And, finally, the satisfaction that comes with writing your thoughts down. There’s nothing better.

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Hope and New Beginnings and All That Jazz

I’ve talked about how much I love the New Year on this blog before, but this year I love it times ten. I’m so hopeful and so energized and ready to take on whatever comes my way.

Like so excited.

I think I’m ready to not feel like I’m in a “funk” this year. I’ll be honest, after returning home from my college program in August of 2016, I felt lost and out-of-sorts, unsure and hesitant. Kind of…blah. I think the transition from college to Disney World to the real world to graduate school has been daunting and rough at times. But now I’m feeling good. More balanced. Ready. Excited. Hopeful.

Some quick little goals/resolutions:

  1. Enjoy my first year of teaching–I’ll be teaching composition one as part of my graduate teaching assistantship this coming semester, and I am so excited to give it a whirl.
  2. Make my health a priority this year. Work out! Feel like an athlete again! Eat well! Be mindful! Feel great!
  3. Write and write and write and write and write and revise and revise and revise and revise and submit and submit and submit and submit to magazines and whatnot.
  4. Be happy. Stress less. Enjoy the little things.
  5. Find a hobby–maybe cooking? Something?

I hope everyone has a happy, productive, and magical 2018.

Disney College Program: Last Day at Home

DCP Update:

My journey begins tomorrow, my friends. By this time tomorrow, my grandma and I will be comfy cozy in a hotel room after a day of travel. By this time tomorrow, I will have said goodbye to my room and my mom and my puppies. By this time tomorrow, I will finally be officially on my way to the Disney College Program.

I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m impatient, I’m apprehensive, I’m eager, I’m…everything.

I’m just so ready to finally know what working for Disney is like, to be totally immersed in the world that Walt envisioned. I’m “ready to know what the people know, ask em’ my questions and get some answers.” 

Oy. I can’t stop with the song quotes.

I just can’t wait to get started and to make magic for others. I say that a lot on this blog, but it’s totally worth the redundancy. I can hardly contain my excitement to see a guest light up because they have met their hero for the very first time.

It’s going to be so cool.

Here’s a quote that encompasses the reason I’m so proud and happy to be moving to Orlando to help create the magic that has influenced me so profoundly:

“You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” {Walt Disney} 

Can’t wait to do you proud, Walt.

Have a magical day, my lovely readers!

My car is packed and ready to go!

 

Classic

My last quote for the “3 Days,  3 Quotes Challenge” is a Disney classic:

“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” 

Who wouldn’t love this quote? It’s hopeful and optimistic, something I try to be every day. Sometimes it gets hard, but when I’m feeling a little down, this quote can help me see the sunshine again.

Keeping on laughing, imagining, and dreaming, my friends. I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

 

“I Am a Promise! I Am a Possibility!”

I attended my mom’s kindergarten graduation last night. 

Don’t worry. She wasn’t the graduate–she just happens to be a kindergarten teacher. 

Kindergarten graduations are a curious thing. The little scholars get a diploma,  sing a few songs, eat some cupcakes, and then complete eleven more years years of law-abiding education. Why is there a celebration if nothing tremendous is completed, like twelve years of education or walking on the moon?

 I think this notion is where the celebration lies–nothing really has been completed yet, and that’s whats so exciting. These little kindergartners, these pint-sized humans, are filled with promises yet to keep, possibilities yet to be discovered. They have the potential to be anything. They truly do. And that is something tremendous to celebrate.

 The kindergartners sang such an inspiring song last night; I don’t know the name of it, but I know I was almost on the verge of tears because it was so simple and so sweet. Here’s the first little bit of it:

  “I am a promise! I am a possibility! I am a promise with a capital “P.” I am a great big bundle of potentiality!”

How awesome is that? It’s so optimistic. It’s so true. And it was incredibly cute–kindergartners don’t really sing, they kind of yell the lyrics, so it was a very “in your face” message of promises, possibilities, and potentialities. 

Even though little kids inevitably have this comfort of knowing that their future is limitless, we can have that same mindset when it comes to our own lives. The only day that really matters is the day you’re in–it’s like what my girl Alice from Alice in Wonderland says: “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” We start each day new with a bunch of promises and possibilities not yet fulfilled. It’s up to us to make the most of them. 

Now. Let us begin our days with the mindset of a kindergartner: be filled with promises and possibilities, take a hold of your potentiality, and be sure to have your afternoon nap.

The Importance of Imagination (Inspired by Anne Shirley)

I have just finished reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time. I’ve always been a bookworm, but I tended to avoid the really great classic children’s literature during my actual childhood. I’ve taken it upon myself to read some of the good stuff I might have missed.

Anne of Green Gables was first on my list, and I have completely fallen in love with it. Anne has cast her imaginative spell on me just as she charms her way into the hearts of the unsuspecting citizens of Avonlea, including her “kindred spirit” Matthew (my heart!) and strict, but malleable, Marilla. I just love the dreamy way Anne talks and her emotional involvement in the things she loves. I love her growth throughout the book and I love that she’s a romantic, imaginative girl who isn’t afraid to have ambitions, to be herself.

My momma has always compared me to little miss Anne Shirley of Green Gables. I can see why–I’m a tad dramatic, I’ve always used big words, and I’ve always kind of been an “out there” kid. I used to play “pretend” constantly. I remember practicing “dreamy” faces in the mirror because I wanted to match the descriptions of my favorite heroines in the books I read. I thought living in “olden times” (as I would call them) would be an absolute dream. This was before I realized that “olden times” had no indoor plumbing. Or air conditioning.

I was an imaginative little mess.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized I miss the constant daydreaming of childhood. I daydream now, but my mind often wonders about my unknown future–I don’t often daydream about “lovely” things, about “romantic” things as Anne refers to them. I don’t often imagine fantastical things; I drift off into some other dimension still worrying about the realities in this dimension.

It’s time to bring back some childlike imagination,  to let my mind wander into an abyss of color, possibility, and glorious improbability. Sometimes thinking about things that overreach the realm of reality prepares the mind to deal with the realities we actually face.

I’m not sure if that makes sense. But it definitely feels right.

So. Let’s all take a hint from little Anne Shirley. Take some time today to space out and imagine lovely things. Let your creativity soar, and appreciate all the beautiful things this world has to offer, just like Anne.

And now, a few of my favorite quotes from this glorious classic, all spoken by Anne herself:

  • “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
  • “Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it?”
  • “Young men are all very well in their place, but it doesn’t do to drag them into everything, does it?”
  • And, my favorite: “Oh, it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them–that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.”

I’m so glad I decided to revisit the neglected children’s classics of my childhood. Without the decision to do so, I would have never encountered such a lovely little book that encourages girls of all ages to exercise their imaginations and push beyond the limitations society sometimes creates. Anne’s imagination was her asset that aided her in so many areas of life; let’s all take the time to mimic Anne Shirley and drift off into the land of improbability in order to make our dreams an inevitable part of our future.

Life: It Gets Busy

I’m just a little buzzin’ busy bee!

Seriously. These past few weeks have been non-stop projects, practices, and obligations. And Easter. Easter just consisted of delicious cookies and candy, to be honest. Anyways. Long time no blog, my friends! Here’s a few things/obsessions/fun stuff I’ve been thinking about lately:

  • I’ve discovered/binge-watched/fell in love with the television show Parks and Recreation. It has cracked into the list of my top three TV favorites of all time, I believe. Season 7 isn’t on Netflix yet, so I just have to wait to see the final season and cry because I didn’t get to experience it in real-time. Why do I always wait to find out the good stuff is really good? Take Harry Potter, for example: I didn’t even read the entire series until my senior year of high school, right after the final movie came out. I missed out on so many midnight premieres! Oy.
  • I’ve become a Disney Etsy addict. Not really. But I can’t help but be blown away by the talent some people have and the want-to they possess to literally start their own business from scratch. I keep discovering new artists and entrepreneurs via Instagram. If you love Disney and want to grab some custom ears or painted Toms, just browse Etsy to discover your own obsessions.
  • Summer is so close yet so far away. I can’t wait to read recreationally and not be burdened with a billion trillion gazillion papers and projects.
  • I’ve been browsing Pinterest lately for the perfect professional, yet young and fun, outfits. I’m almost a grown-up now (sort-of), and being a grown-up means going after internships or starter jobs while looking put-together and stylish and awesome. Also, it means just being awesome in general and figuring out that you are not a snowflake. For more grown-up tips, I suggest you check out the book Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown. Good stuff.
  • Sleep is hard when you are just so stressed/excited about all the happenings of life.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day, despite any elevated levels of busy-ness. The semester is almost over. We can do it. We can succeed. We can even smile whilst among piles of papers. Take a cue from Leslie Knope, my favorite character from Parks and Rec, and be proud of everything you’ve accomplished thus far:

“I am big enough to admit I am often inspired by myself.”

Now keep on buzzin’, you busy little bees!

Good Things

There are so many good things in this world. I just wanted to take a moment and put pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard) and list some really good things that exist in my life:

  • Chocolate milk. Just so darn good.
  • Chicken fajitas.
  • Good grades on some hard tests.
  • A really comfy bed. I’m talking really comfy.
  • Coffee. It’s a given.
  • Netflix.
  • Disney movie marathons during snow days.
  • My new Donald Duck Tsum Tsum that sits on my desk, protecting my pens that help me produce my ideas and hopes and dreams. You go, Donald.
  • Witnessing proposals. This has happened in the last couple of days, and seeing other people’s happiness and dreams coming true just make me so happy.
  • Once Upon a Time returns tomorrow. This is good.
  • Spring Break is coming in less than two weeks. How amazing.
  • Esty stores that feed my Disney addiction.
  • Morning jam sessions.
  • Early bedtimes.

Good things come in simple packages, my friends. You just have to realize how wonderful those simple things really are.

I hope everyone had a magical Saturday!

Take Me to Disney

When your week is busy and life keeps throwing papers and tests and workouts at your face, I suggest taking a trip down memory lane, specifically to any trips you’ve ever taken to Disney World. Ever.

A smile breaks apart your sullen lips, your nose longs for the smell of the Main Street Confectionary, and you start singing some Disney tunes. Life gets a little more magical and a lot less stressful. I even suggest donning your sparkly Mickey ears for ten minutes at least; I feel like outfits are just more “complete” when you sport some of those iconic little beauties (10 points to you if you know what ride I’m referencing).

I love looking at old pictures from when I visited Disney World–I’ve been three times, and it is by far my most favorite place in the entire world.

Enjoy some of images of my trips to  the most magical place on earth! Remember, there’s a “great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day,” even if that day brings some unwanted stress and chaos.

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#LikeAGirl

I didn’t even watch the Super Bowl. I was babysitting–instead of all the sporty controversy, I was playing hide and seek and having a great time with some awesome kiddos.

But I heard about the “Like a Girl” commercial. And I watched it.

You guys. I cried. Absolutely bawled. When that little girl came onto my computer screen and answered the question “What does ‘run like a girl’ mean to you?” I wanted to stand up and applaud her intelligent-beyond-her-years answer:

“It means to run as fast as you can.”

It reminded me of myself as a little girl. I was so confident, so sure of myself, and I knew I could do anything! Anything at all. I could beat the boys in a race, and I scored the most points in coed basketball games. I knew I was worth something–my family loved me, I loved myself, and I wanted to go places.

It really is incredible how your self-confidence can change as you evolve from a little, go-getter girl into an unsure, unsteady teen and young adult. Confidence becomes crippling self-scrutiny. I’ve been battling with self-criticism, but this commercial just made me feel so empowered.

That little girl inspired me. She just wants to run “as fast as you can.” I woke up this morning and decided to attack the day like that little girl. During weights this morning, I lifted “like a girl”–stronger than I’ve ever been, always becoming my best self. During my classes, I analyzed literature “like a girl”–confident in my analysis and convictions, speaking with an unwavering voice in front of the class.

I think it’s amazing that they aired a commercial that is attempting to change an insult to a compliment, enabling girls to be the awesome little girls that they are! Yes, throw like a girl, because you are strong and capable. Run like a girl, because you are running as fast as you can which is an accomplishment in itself. Do things like a girl, because you are a girl and girls are freaking awesome.

Thank you, thank you for this commercial. Because of this commercial, I’m going to aspire to have that confidence I did as a little girl, thinking I could take on the world at any moment. Why not be the person that your littlest, most innocent self aspired to be? It’s time to #LiveLikeAGirl.