Life Lately // (and #Blogtober)

October 27, 2014

5 Blogtober Prompts:
  • Biggest fear: Never getting married. Happy Monday.
  • Dream Vacation: My grad school best and I are going to the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC for Spring Break so I'd say that's pretty much a dream vacation. I've never gone anywhere sunny or warm for a SB and I am ready for some "local cocktails" and beach hair.
  • Go-to beauty product: Mascara. Sometimes I see women at meetings who don't wear mascara, and I get super jealous that they can just walk out the house like whut up I got dark eyelashes (naturally). Then I feel the ghost of Sheryl Sandberg standing over me and immediately feel guilty for looking at their makeup and not hearing their words.
  • Favorite book: East of Eden, Steinbeck. This could be a post in itself. Go. Buy. Now.
  • Who'd play me in a movie: Rachel McAdams. Leighton Meester on standby. 

4 Things I Did This Weekend:

  • Got stiffed by a walk-in 12-top. They spent $400 and left me $20. Happy Monday. 
  • Went to a bonfire with co-workers and laughed too hard and snuggled too hard (sue me I'm a touchy drunk) and went down a fond memory lane with Dr. Pepper and Vodka in a coffee cup. You can take the girl out of the sorority, but not the sorority out of the girl. 
  • Built a leaf pile with my two favorite humans.

3 TV Shows I Watched This Weekend:

  • Parenthood
  • ...and I'm out. Shit. 

2 To-Do's For This Week:

  • Get my oil changed. ASAP.
  • Go to bank. Put money in. Immediately take out in form of rent check.

1 Pinterest Truth:

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Dear Cosmo (on Abortion)

October 23, 2014

Have you had a chance to read Cosmo's latest article on abortion?

In it, they interview five anonymous women about their choice. I think it's important, and I am pleasantly surprised that Cosmo -- of all the "news" outlets -- took the initiative to start the conversation.

However. I believe that Cosmo missed an opportunity to craft the conversation in the right direction. Their five women are all extremely one sided. All five expressed a healthy post-procedure experience, with little feelings of depression, remorse or isolation. They all said that they 'didn't want to talk about it, and didn't need to.' Society was telling them they should feel a certain way post-procedure, and they didn't.

Good for you. However, there are women who do have a hard time with it, and do need to talk about it. Cosmo had an opportunity to express that all post-procedure emotions are valid, not just highlight ones that go against the expected. I wish Cosmo had presented a more varied array of experiences.

I applaud Cosmo for starting the conversation, and I encourage all women -- whether they found it the right choice, wrong choice, easy, difficult, life-affirming or life-altering -- to join the conversation. Every experience is important and every experience is valid. I appreciate that there are women who are trying to push back against society's imposed expectations, but there is a danger in pushing back against society that we create new expectations and impositions amongst fellow women (this applies to all minority groups 'pushing back' against the larger, societal forces on a variety of issues). You may not have felt guilt or remorse, but don't pressure women who did experience those emotions to feel abnormal. Enough of telling others what they should or shouldn't feel. Instead, let's just have an open conversation where "should" isn't the main verb.

Have you read the article? Will you?

24 Hours in Baltimore

October 20, 2014

If you give a girl 24 hours in Baltimore, she will probably:

1. Attend a board retreat at a super sweet hotel. 

2. Solidify her reputation to the new board members as "the girl who loves food the most" while delighting in a Cuban dive-bar's epic cuisine. 

3. Make some time to be a good Catholic tourist and visit the first Cathedral in America.

4. Take some selfies with gorgeous old buildings in the background, while wondering if the selfie is really the safest choice given the number of cracked-out looking people standing nearby. 

5. Freak out when her best roomsicle and lover face (and her husband) drive up for dinner at ze best place. You can sit outside on the bay with heaters! It's stunning and gorgeous and so fun and only made my better by the company of two of my fondest loves (one fond love, one fond love's husband).

6. Crush crabs with mallets! Remain hungry after working so hard for food. Order brownie to tide you over on plane.

7. Delight in impromptu visits and dinners, which reassure you that some people are just meant to be friends forever. 

What was the highlight of your weekend?
Have you ever been to Baltimore?

Are you Brave Enough?

October 18, 2014

I was thinking the other day, as the calendar hit that date. Thinking about a year ago. And if I had known, a year ago, what was to come... Would I have made the same choice? Would I have walked into that restaurant? Would I have ordered that same meal? Would I have smiled as brightly? If I knew what was coming, would I do it again?

I thought of those silly icebreaker questions, like "If you were a superhero, what power would you choose?" And all those crazy people who say "to see the future!"

...Because if I could see the future, would I be brave enough to keep going? To do it anyway, knowing full well the pain that was coming? There is joy, to be sure. But some seasons of life are harder then others, and if you were a superhero you wouldn't be able to choose which season you foresaw and which one you didn't. You'd see it all -- the good, the bad, the ugly, the future.

I don't know if I would have the strength to keep going if I could see the future. I think there is a mercy in each day being a new slate. There is a mercy in not knowing what season of life is next, and whether it's mostly good or mostly trying.

Which leads me to believe that people who see the future must be incredibly brave. God. God must be incredibly brave -- the bravest, in fact. To see the future and be able to gently lead us through it, whispering encouragement along the way.

If you could see the future, would you want to?
Are you brave enough to see the future and walk the path regardless?

Life Lately: Bad Dates and Kleenex and Stuff

October 14, 2014

Creak, creak, creak. Do you hear that keyboard? That's me, your little old pal. 

So. What have I been up to?

Well. I've been sick. 

There's this gross nastiness going around Michigan right now and I just really don't appreciate it (but as long as it's not ebola, I won't haterate). This is my first time being sick-sick while living on my own and I have to say... I. Freaking. Loved. It. 

I wish I was as cute as this cat when I was sick.

When you're sick and you live with others, you waste so much energy trying to make sure you're cleaning up after yourself and preventing them from getting sick too. When you live alone and you're sick, all bets are off. Picking up that sweater? No. Containing kleenexes? No. Doing dishes? No. You just lay there on the couch and you get better, little thang. 

In other words, I learned I am the grossest human alive when I am sick because I stop cleaning. (But Ang I cleaned, so don't be afraid to come over for the MinProj tonight)

Well. I went on a date. 

Being sick and all, I'm sure I was a huge gem. I didn't want to go by the time it actually came, but I put my big girl panties on and went for it. I guess I thought it would be good practice? 

Things got awkward when he was all "I graduated in 1995. What were you doing then?" And I was all "Uhhhh I was 5." 

So that was that. It didn't seem like an important age difference, until we pictured him asking a five year old out to dinner. 

In other words, I learned that bar lights are super tricky and there are in fact 37 year old men who still wear baseball hats backwards and Marilyn Monroe t-shirts (eww). 

How have you all been?
What stellar things have you been learning lately?

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Letter to Myself in 10 Years -- Blogtober14

October 9, 2014

Oh hey there, self. 

How are you? Is this voice from the past scaring the shit out of you while you're changing a diaper or soaking in the last minutes of child-free nap time? Sorry for the interruption. Hold that baby tight for me, okay? 

How are things going? I'm assuming everything worked out in the end, just like everyone said it would be. That you finally did that first interview where they asked when you 'made it' and you had no idea what to say. Because you couldn't quite pinpoint the moment where it all suddenly clicked and started rolling (just like they said it would). Did you wonder when you got old enough to be giving professional advice in interviews? Did you smile kindly at the blogger interviewing you, remember when that was you? 

Do you and your husband still hold that 'welcome-home' kiss just a second too long? I hope so. Even though the kids scream now, they'll appreciate it in the future when they realize that they had a pretty good example of two people making 'love' work. 

What are you doing this week? Raising mad fundraising funds and saving the world? Chasing children? Snuggling up close to your husband? This week, when you were 24, you: went to an Eric Church concert, worked 40+ hours a week at three jobs, went to grad school for 9 hours a week, popped wine and ice cream pint tops with girlfriends and giggled way too late into the night, and went on a date. Oh and you tried cooking something new for dinner that came in a box to your doorstep. I'm tired, too. I'm glad your life has slowed down. 

Well, have fun. That dress looks gorgeous on you. I hope your fundraising event goes well, and I hope you never tire of the tingle from your husband touching your arm in a crowded room. We did it, baby girl. 

And just remember, everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end. 

Where will you be in 10 years?

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Snapshot - Favorite Instagram Pics

October 4, 2014

As soon as I discovered Instagram, it was my favorite go-to social media account. I love the emphasis on just pictures, less words (cough cough incoherent Facebook rambling statuses). Here are a few of my favorite instagram snaps.

You can follow me on instagram @autumnlee816.

Move Over, Carrie: Lies From Your Lover

I chose an old school word, "lover," for this post. People don't take "lovers" anymore. Or maybe they do and maybe that's a conversation for another post, and maybe the discussion of the definition itself is for another post. But here's this post, written somewhere between a latte and a midterm. 
It's not really any secret (is it) that I got myself into some hot water these past few (9) months. Water that got hotter the longer it went on, that type of fine increase that you don't notice because it's so gradual it barely feels like a change at all. Until suddenly you're standing in a hot tub of burning hot water that's scalding your entire body. That, my friends, is where I've been. And I'm just now sorting it out. Taking that time after you've stepped out, after the heat has finally steamed it's way out of every pore of your body where you can breathe and say the fuck was that. 

So anyways. Back to lovers. And the lies that lovers tell you. Because that's what they didn't show in SATC, when Big and Carrie are lying in their hotel beds -- sheets rumpled, cigarettes (say no, kids!), and disheveled hair. They make it seem glamorous. They make it seem sexy. They make it seem like something that whips you away in a hurricane of emotion that cannot be refuted. But they don't show you the rumpled lives and the burned emotions and the disheveled souls. Because it's not natural -- as much as SATC and Mad Men say it is -- to be engaged in this type, this lover-relationship. 
Here are the lies I've worked out so far. 

That it is private and separate. No humans exist in a silo, and that is just a fact. "A private life is a happy life," but a private life is not a secret life. There is a difference. And at first you will be oh, so comforted by the idea of things that happen with the sacred spaces of four walls or four bed posts or two sheets. Enchanted, charmed. But things that are worth it, things that are healthy... do not need to be kept secret. 

That you are an angry woman, and that is wrong. You may be jealous and angry and hurt, but that is not wrong given the circumstance. We're not meant to share our partners, no matter what TLC/Mad Men/The World might show us. Don't let your lover convince you that that nasty, bitter person is you. You're reacting to circumstances. 

That it is only physical. Humans exist in tandem between the emotional and physical. You can't remove one. It's not possible. Both of you are always looking for something else. It might be companionship, shelter, human touch and warmth, emotional support, a buddy to eat with, an ear to listen... but there's always something else. Ladies, you are always, always more than just a physical commodity they lust after. There is so much damage done across the world by tearing women down to get them to believe that their entire worth is found in their body. That's a lie. 
That you're in control. And I'll leave it with that. Because that is worthy of it's own, Part 2. 
What lies did you hear (from lovers or others)?
Is it ever possible to have a lover-type relationship 
truly as glamorous as TV makes it seem?
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My Dream Job [and Goals Link up!]

October 2, 2014

Helene in Between Blogtober

When I was a child, my dream job was to be Diana Sawyer. I once read an article about how Diana Sawyer's husband was a famous newscaster in LA and she was a famous newscaster in NY, and they only saw eachother once a year (I have no idea if this is/was actually true). This is why I wanted to be Diane Sawyer. Because she cared so much about her career, that she only needed to see her husband once a year. 

I would work it into dinner conversation on the daily about how independent and advanced Diane was for her work-ethic. How she didn't need a man to complete her, bah humbug! I wanted to be a hot, sexy, powerful, respected Diana Sawyer with a husband I saw once a year. 

Now, my dream job is to be a marketing communications executive for Catholic Charities. This is something I am super passionate about. I am a convert to Catholicism, and I have heard many, many criticisms of the Catholic church during my little Catholic lifespan. Here's the thing, there are many, many beautiful things about the Church. One of them is our strong, and continuing, tradition of philanthropy to EVERYONE -- regardless of faith, race, gender, etc. So, if I can help PROMOTE that and help UNIFY people around the idea of CHARITY without bias... then that is a win at the end of the day, to me. 

Not Entirely Perfect

                                             --- SEPT. GOALS LINK UP ------

My September goal was to work out two times a week (slow and steady wins the race!). I actually succeeded! A huge motivator for me was losing weight for my friend's wedding, as well as that whole bra incident. Now that I've purchased new bras, I feel extra motivated to keep up the workouts because THOSE THINGS ARE EXPENSIVE AND I MUST FIT IN THEM FOR A LONG TIME, NO CHANGES. 

Anyways, I hope to continue this healthy trend indefinitely (forever?). My only concern is now that it's getting dark out, I don't get as much cardio in because I don't feel super safe running around downtown after class in the dark. Hmm... guess it's time to start using that gym pass? Plus, as classes, papers, midterms and tests start piling up... I know workouts will be the first thing to go from my packed schedule.

Any advice on how to keep fitness a priority?
Who did you want to be growing up?

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Hayley Larue Design