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Overcoming the Fear

The last year has seen very little checking off of bucket list items, but I finally got one. I went out last week with my co-workers and we went to a sports bar where they have karaoke and I did something that I always avoid doing in these types of situations which is actually sing a song by myself.

Besides checking it off the list I had other motives for doing such a thing; I wanted to prove to myself that I don’t care what other people think. I have an incredibly hard time singing in front of people despite my fifteen years of training and musical theatre background. For some reason singing in front of an audience whilst wearing a costume ad bearing someone else’s name was so much easier than just being me. Whenever I try to sing in front of others I start to shake and my voice wavers and all my training goes out the window.

I also have anxiety which causes me to secretly worry, basically at all times, if everyone around me is looking at me and judging me. Over the years I have cultivated an outward persona of not caring what anything thinks or says, while internally struggling with thinking everyone must actually hate me because I’m the worst. So for me, standing up in front of a bunch of strangers, and new co-workers that I just really hope like me and don’t think I’m an annoying weirdo, was a way of proving to myself that, no matter how bad or embarrassing it would turn out to be, that I could do something that me feel judged, and be okay with it, and with myself afterwords.

So I hyped myself up to do it, to sing one song before I went home to future hubby. I picked You’re so Vain by Carly Simon which was a mistake ultimately but I was ready to face anything that may befall me; cracking voice, pitch problems, forgetting the words, getting lost, I was mentally prepared for it all. Which was good because I forgot how low Carly sings. Way lower than I was even remotely prepared for. But I got up there, and I sang, and it was bad, but I did it, and I actually (kind of) had fun. But the best part? When I walked out of there and got in my car, I didn’t even beat myself up. I didn’t over analyze or feel like an idiot, I just accepted that it happened and filed it away under good memory (slightly embarrassing).

Anxiety-1 shy of a billion, Me-1

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“If I don’t get a plus one invite to your wedding, I’m not coming…”

As someone who is planning a wedding you worry, a lot. You worry about guest lists and money and flowers and dresses, and fitting into dresses. You worry about the most trivial things in the entire world and yet you can’t stop worrying because it’s such an exciting thing you don’t want to mess it up. So, inevitably, when you start to worry you pull out your phone and google the things you are worried about to read articles from other people who were also worried once upon a time. Today whilst Google various things I came across an article entitled, “If I don’t get a plus one invite to your wedding I’m not coming.” Knowing that I am not the only soon to be bride in my social circle who is worrying about things like this, allow me to address it with the understanding that all the things I’m about to say are said respectfully and in kindness not maliciously or flippantly.

Money is an object…                                                                                                                           One of the points the author of the article made is that the money thing is just a lame excuse and that the cost to invite an extra is negotiable compared to all the decor that no one will remember at the wedding. Let me be the first to say that this is so incredibly false.  As it stands without even knowing how many guests we will have on the actual day, my food costs are almost over 1/5 of my budget. Plus there are wedding favors, and drinks, and dessert, and invitation costs and save the date costs and stamps and envelopes and labels because my handwriting is atrocious, etc. At the end of day each guest is probably costing us close to $30 which is not  a lot when you’re thinking about one person. But multiply that by almost 200 people PLUS another $10 for every plus one that you didn’t invite personally and things add up. On top of that weddings are expensive. I’m not even having a fancy wedding, I’m having a casual wedding with tex mex catering from the local burrito place and it’s costing an arm and a leg. So please don’t tell me that in inviting guests money is not an issue because, quite frankly, it’s not your money.

All that said we in no way see our guests as a financial burden and I am happy to spend the money on them because they are the people we love and who love us the most in the world. Which brings me to my next point…

I don’t really want strangers at my wedding…

The author of the article said that this is a crap reason too because in twenty years how many of these people will I really remember, and I won’t have much time to notice extras at the wedding anyway, on and on. While all that may be true I have been strict on this rule from the beginning. With a few exceptions here and there for the parents, my groom and I have written and rewritten and added and subtracted from our guest list more times than I can tell you because we were very intentional about who was invited. We didn’t just invite everyone we’ve ever met so they can pay attention to us for one day. Because here is the truth; If you were invited to our wedding it’s because we chose you to witness one of the most precious and intimate moments of our entire life. Reciting vows is not just a nice tradition we uphold because it’s cultural. When I stand up there and tell the love of my life why I love him and how I want to spend the rest of my entire life with him, I don’t want to share that moment with strangers. I want to share it with my family both blood and non, and quite frankly I barely want to share it with them because to me it’s more than just a big party. Which is a nice lead to my final point…

Our wedding isn’t about you…

I know that might be harsh. And I know that might be hard to understand for some people but a wedding, at the end of the day, is still a wedding without the guests. Whether we have one, or one hundred people attend our wedding it’s still going to be our wedding because weddings are about two people coming together in love to vow to spend the rest of their lives together. It’s not about the food, or the music, or the guests though we are thrilled to have you join us for that coming together because we love not just each other, but you as well.

This biggest thing that bothered me about this article is the selfishness of the statement that titles it. If you are so bothered by not getting a plus one that you won’t come to my wedding then I’m sorry and I’ll miss you but that’s your choice. It is not my job, on top of a million other things I am worrying about, to cater to you. And while I will always try my best to make everyone comfortable, at the end of the day I don’t have to compromise, you do. Because our wedding isn’t about you, it’s about us, and if that sounds selfish to you I’m sorry you feel that way, but I will be there with bells on for YOUR big day. But today is about me and the love of my life, I’m sorry if you can’t understand that. And if you really, truly, can’t bare to spend a few hours with friends (because chances are you’ll know at least one person there) and our very kind and loving families, then we’ll get coffee after we get back from Mexico and tell you all about it no hard feelings, on my end at least.

With all that being said let me say a few things in closing. I have been to A LOT of weddings and I have brought a date to exactly one of them and I have had fun at every single one. I met people, or I knew people, I danced and ate and just enjoyed watching people I love, love each other.

Finally I hope that nothing I said was taken offensively. This post was written with love and respect for every one of our wedding guests and with the understanding that this is a touchy subject. So if you receive a wedding invite and there’s no plus one and that bothers you, let’s talk about it, I’m not just going to ignore your discomfort. I love you for goodness sake or you wouldn’t be invited in the first place! Just remember that we are also trying to plan (and pay for) a million other things so let’s talk in a kind, respectful, and casual way not with bitterness or resentment.

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We’ll Be Back At 3pm

So I’ve gone to Montana for thanksgiving which was really nice because I haven’t seen my cousins in such a long time, and even though we had to drive through a snow storm to get there it was well worth the near death to get to spend the holiday with such good friends. (And so much food)

After the holiday I decided to stay a week longer than my parents and fly back to Colorado so I could spend more time with my cousin and her kids. It was a great week of binge watching Hallmark movies and eating more Christmas cookies than anyone one person has the right to. It was nice to be with family after so long away in Europe.

Today my trip came to an end and I get to the airport two hours early as is my normal flying routine. No checked bags, boarding pass sitting in Passbook, I am ready to fly through security and get to my gate for some nice downtime to read or blog or what have you. 

I get to the security entrance prepared to remove my laptop, when I notice the door is half closed and there’s a cheap dollar store “we’ll be back” sign on it. It says “We’ll be back at 3:00”. Excuse me? What kind of airport doesn’t run security two hours before a flight?! I can’t believe what I’m seeing so I look around and sure enough all the security personnel is hanging out in security, talking and laughing and generally looking like they’re on a break. 

I know Glacier International is small airport but come on guys! It’s now 11:00 and I’m still waiting to go through security. I should be through and relaxing with a good book until boarding by now. 

I will remain vigilant and stare at the security door until someone starts running security checks. What the heck kind of airport is this?

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Living in the Hipster Age

First of all I have to say that it’s kind of pathetic how behind I am on posting about my adventures. I’ve been to London, Oxford, home to Colorado, San Fransisco, and Kalispell Montana and I have yet to write a single word about any of it. I promise I will eventually get to it all and even more, but today I have to talk about something else: Hipsters.

We live in a world of forward ever, trend setting, mustache grooming, hipsters. They set the trends, then jump out of the drivers seat leaving the band wagon to fall off a cliff. I know several of these coffee loving folk, I have even been accused of being on myself every now and then. We love to hate them and that is just what my new web-series Little Hipsters is about. The everyday lives of those record loving, flannel wearing, ironic glasses sporting girls and gals. Don’t forget to comment, like, and subscribe to see more videos every week! I’ll be back to my travels in a few days.

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Paris: Day Two

After a much needed long nights sleep, best friend and I were determined to make up for our first day in Paris with a fabulous second one. We had breakfast at the hostel, (we stayed at the Trendy Hostel which has breakfast included, a big plus. It’s a bit out of the way, but right next to the metro and a nice relaxing place to be at the en of the day) and then set out to visit the Opera, home of the Paris Opera, and also the real life inspiration for one of my favorite books, The a Phantom of the Opera, which was alter made into several movies, stage plays, and then the widely popular musical. I can’t truly describe the beauty of the any of the astounding architecture of Paris, but the opera house with its golden, winged, statues, and intricate carvings, archways, and columns is really sight to behold and I hope someday I et the chance to sit inside this gorgeous building and see an opera.

After a quick money exchange we made our way to Norte Dame where we attended Monday afternoon mass which was, although in French, a language I really know hardly any of, still incredibly moving. I am a believer and getting to go to a service in one of the most beautiful and historic churches in the world was something beyond words. To see the beauty of both the outside and inside of Notre Dame, and the way that people were able to express their devotion and love of God through their talents of architecture, sculpture, painting, and glass work was so moving. I will admit, however, that it is a little bit bizarre to be attending church with hundreds of tourists standing on the edges taking pictures of it like it’s some kind of performance. But j am glad that the church is a working cathedral and not just a tourist trap like so many other grand churches around the world.

After mass we went in search for food but made a quick stop a the Shakespeare and Company book store because it’s impossible for two book lovers not to find themselves drawn in by the piles and piles of books held within that shop. I could have spent all day looking at books and would have surely spent more money than I could afford on books had I not remembered that I basically have no more room for anything in my bags.

Our search for substinance led us to what is my favorite place in Paris, if not the world that I’ve explored this far, Montmartre. Montmartre is actually the name of the hill that this district lies at the foot of, but as an artist myself and a lover of art and literature, Montmartre is a dream come true. Unfortunately due to the influx of tourists to the area (sorry Paris) the artists can no longer afford to live in Montmartre for the most part which is a huge pity because that’s what makes it so wonderful. It was the home of such artists as Pablo Picasso and Monet, and was frequented by writers such as Hemingway and Langston Hughs.

We found a bakery, bought a delicious lunch of sandwiches, croissants, and diet coke, and found out way up a hill to a tree covered courtyard and a (albeit very wet) bench to eat on. This bench was right outside the building where Monet and Picasso both lived and worked in their early days in Paris. If I had to pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with Paris it was right there. Right in front of the former lodgings of artistic greatness, under trees with orange and yellow leaves falling at our feet, eating the best croissant I have ever had, I fell in love with Paris.

After resting for a while we started our climb to the cathedral Montmartre, and the best view of the city from anywhere in my opinion. We got to the top, took a deep breathe and just stood there in awe of the beauty of our view. That lasted approximately two minutes before we realized that Best Friend’s phone had been stolen when she accidentally put in her back pocket after checking directions. There were a few moments of panic and frustration, and then we realized that A) her phone was covered for theft so she could get a new one next week, and B) there was nothing we could do about it right then so we continued on our way more or less unaffected by the unfortunate theft.

After that it had started to rain even harder and my shoes were soaked through, so we decided to go back to the hostel and relax for a bit before meeting our friends again for dinner that night.

Around 6:30 it had stopped raining so we made our way back into the city for dinner and we met our friends at a small crepe shop and I had the best tomato, lettuce, and feta crepe, and then an hour later an even better nutella and banana crepe. It was a good food day over all.

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Paris: Day One

Arriving in Paris I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t as in awe as I probably would have been due to lack of sleep, heavy backpacks, and a little bit of nausea. We got off the plane, made our way to the bus that we rode nearly two hours to the train station, and then we purchased ticket to Versailles and took a nice long train ride to the beautiful palace of Versailles. We got there, bought our tickets, and then realized that there was a three hour cue just to get INTO the palace, and promptly decided that there were not enough hours in the day to do that. We found two woman about our age, handed them our tickets and found our way back to the train station to head to the centre of Paris.

By the time we got there I was going back and forth between nausea and starvation, dehydration, and just general exhaustion. Our goal was mainly to find food, and then forget all of plans for museums and wandering and take a nap as soon as possible. That being the case, and the fact that it was Sunday, we found nothing open that was even remotely close to our price range, so we settled for something not horribly expensive and just tried not to think about the cost too much. Then we finished our meal, found a metro station, and checked into our hostel as soon as we could, which was the best decision we could have made because two hours later when we left  to meet our friends we were much happier and ready to experience Paris.

Night time in paris is really the most wonderful thing. It isn’t called the City of Lights for nothing. It is actually amazing to me how beautiful twilight in Paris could be. Two of our good friends also happened to be in Paris for a few days, and also happened to be newly engaged which just made seeing them for the first time in months even more fun. we met them under the eiffel tower which I stood in front of and pictures like the tourist I am with no shame. It was actually a lovely movie moment. Best friend and I saw them across the square and we ran to each other and hugged, and exclaimed, and oohed and awed over the ring. Then we took a picture, and went in search of a Parisian cafe to spend more Euro in.

We settled on this lovely little cafe and a table for four outside, luckily under a heater because as gorgeous fall in paris is, it is also awfully cold. We ate onion soup and creme brulee, and had a wonderful time catching up and continually freaking out over the fact that we were together. In Paris.

When we parted that night and went back to our hostel to catch some sleep, I already knew I was going to love Paris, if only for the food.

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Sunshine Blog Award

Good morning bloggers! I am back from my Spanish/Parisian adventure and can’t wait to share it with you all, but first I have a post to make. I’m sure some of you have the Sunshine Blog Award posts going around and I was nominated by the lovely Hayley Diaries who shares my love of travel, writing, and being goofy. Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my adventures as well as share your own Hayley.

So here are the rules I was given to follow and to pass on to my nominees:

Thank the person who nominated you

Answer the questions from your nominator

Nominate other bloggers and pose the same number of  questions

Notify nominees

Hayley’s questions for me:

Describe yourself in 5 words

Funny, scattered, passionate, crazy, loud

What’s your zodiac sign?

Sagittarius

What’s your favorite time of day and why?

Twilight because I love the beautiful purple/blue glow everything get right as the sun is about to go down.

If you could live in any country which would you choose?

Germany. I fell in love with Frankfurt when I was there and would love to move back.

Who is your favorite super villain ?

See now that’s a toss up between Poison Ivy and the Joker, but I’ll go with Ivy because we girls got to stick together.

What are you Travel “must haves”?

My camera, deodorant, and my journal.

What’s your funniest travel moment?

There are a lot of them but while we were in Paris last week we were walking past the Lourve and this just adorable guy comes out of his building. He had the writer’ hair flop, the one that guys have that lets you know they are too busy being artist to do their hair, glasses, and a nice outfit. Well this guy is just grooving to himself, getting ready to cross the street and best friend and I are just dying at how adorable and goofy he is, when I notice that on of his socks is over his pant cuff. I’m about to mention it to best friend when the guy looks down, sees it, and quickly fixes it. But in order to fix it, because he is so tall, he had to like hop on one leg and keep his balance, it was amazing. So he fixes his sock and quickly looks around to make sure no one saw, snd confident that he was still cool. he crossed the street with a skip in his step. As he passed us we payed it cool, but as soon as he was out of earshot we died laughing and decided he was actually the most perfect man in the world.

What book has made you think the most?

I’m sure there are many, but  just finished “Everything is Illuminated” by Jonathan Safron Foer and it was an incredibly moving and thought provoking book.

Cold or hot climate? 

Cold. Cold, cold, cold, cold, cold. I grew up in Colorado where it rarely brakes 85 in the summer and that’s the way I like it. I thought I was going to die in Germany this summer. If you’re cold you can put on a blanket, or more clothing. If you’re hot? Well, you can only get so naked in public and even that doesn’t really help.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned while traveling?  

The most important thing I have learned is to not let little things distract from the big picture. So you didn’t get ot go to that one museum, it’ll still be there next year. So you didn’t get the perfect picture or video, who cares, you’ll still have that memory for years to come. And most of all, if something gets stolen, it’s just stuff. Insure your valuable things for theft and everything else, just let it go. (Except your passport. Don’t los that.)

What’s your favorite movie genre?

Romantic Comedies. I’ll watch almost anything but I’m a sucker for a good romantic comedy. Also that’s the genre of screenplay I write most so I just have a soft spot for it.

Ok so that’s it! Here are one my favorite posts from me three nominees, go check them out, they are fabulous writers and travelers.

WELL PLAYED BEER, WELL PLAYED -Micah does

The Breakfast Club | London Vauxhall One Summer Screen -Ellis Goes on Holiday

Conquerors Of The Useless – Rock Climbing In Lander, Wyoming -Roam Wild and Free

Here are my questions for you three:

Describe yourself(s) in five words

Favorite meal of the day?

Craziest thing that has happened to you on a trip?

Dream destination you haven’t made it to yet?

Beach or Mountains?

Favorite author?

Do you have a book you’ve read over and over?

Three things that you always have with you?

If you could be any fictional character who would you be?

Most terrifying travel experience? 

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The Crimson Curse Complaint

People don’t like to talk about periods. It seems to make some people really uncomfortable. which I think is a little silly, but I suppose I can understand that to a point, but since I’m not a reasonable person, I’m going to talk about it anyway. Now for some woman I get it, there is incredible pain that comes with their periods, and all around they are super uncomfortable, but I just wanted to address the topic of period complaint for a second, and why it kind of annoys me.

I was recently talking to a good friend of mine who was complaining about her period, as woman often do when that time of the month comes around, and she says to me, “I wish I could just make it go away without losing my ability to have children.” That struck a nerve. I don’t get my period very often because I have a condition called PCOS which makes my hormones all out of wack and al sorts of things that really suck. Part of that is that my period hardly ever occurs unless I take my meds and stick to a pretty strict diet. As a result, when I do get it I am usually really excited. I always have woman tell me how lucky I am not to get it that much, and how awful it is to have them every month. And while I absolutely understand that point of view, let me give you another perspective. This is what getting a period means to me:

Getting my period means I can have children. It means that I am not barren, and I can someday have children with a man I love very much. It means that I don’t have to cry myself to sleep worrying that I will never get pregnant. It means I don’t have to look my future husband in the eyes and say I’m sorry my body is broken. So I will take the cramps, and the bloating, and the inconvenience of it all to be able carry a little life around inside of me someday. Every month I don’t have one my heart breaks a little more. Because I want to be a mother and there is every chance it’s going to be a long, expensive, heart breaking process. So please don’t tell me I’m “lucky” not to have one every month. That’s not luck, that’s the true crimson curse.

Now I don’t want it to seem like I’m getting on my soap box and condemning woman for ever complaining about their period, that’s not what I’m trying to do at all. I just want to bring some light to the other side of things. I just want woman to remember that for ever inconvenient week of you life you have, there are going to be a million tiny moment with your children that matter so much more. So go on and grumble about cramps, and eat a whole roll of cookie dough. Just try to remember what it’s all ultimately leading to. And if you don’t want to be a mommy, then this post is irrelevant and you can disregard it as you please. But if you are a mommy, then you know better than I do exactly what I’m trying to say.

Stay strong all you beautiful gals.

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European Adventure: Day One

As I type I am currently sitting at a gate in Denver international airport, under a sign that says, “Reykjavik” in red. If you asked me what emotions I’m feeling right now I suppose I would have to answer that I am feeling an odd mixture of excitement, fear, anxiety, restlessness, and just the tiniest bit of childlike wonder, at the fact that I am finally headed to Europe to live for six months.

So many American talk about being world travelers, or wanting to go places. And I must confess I agree with Sartre when he said he wished people would stop saying, “I haven’t gotten the chance…” When it comes to things they desire to do. I am finally taking my own advice and being a doing instead of a dreamer. Because the world has enough dreamers, it’s time some of us take some action. And though I’m not sure I ever thought I would be taking a ten hour flight to Frankfurt via Reykjavek, I know this is something that I’m going to get to tell my children about someday.

Two lovely things happened on the way to my gate today that I wanted to share. Firstly, DIA has installed tubes along the lines as you wait for security that say, “Change for change, helpDenver’s  homeless”, which I greatly appreciate because goodness knows the growing homeless population is becoming an issue that can no longer be ignored, but one that needs to be dealt with. Preferably with compassion and love. Also it’s just perfect. My father was even saying as we drove to the airport that he always get stopped at security because of the change in his pocket. That’s a perfect way for men and woman to empty their pockets and help their neighbors. 

The second thing that happened is that there were two just absolutely delightful TSA agents. One who was doing the initial announcements, and one who was checking bags. They both smiled, and wee kind. They joked with people and seemed like they actually wanted to be doing their job which is just great to see because, and I hate to stereotype, but a lot of time TSA agents are just….kind of…unpleasant. So overall this has been, so far at least, a stress free start to a grand adventure. Prayers are appreciated and much needed.

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You Believe What Now?

I found out today that if you type, “The Holocaust d…” into google, it will automatically finish that with “didn’t happen” and come up with 7,560,000 results. I stared at the screen and the only words I could process were I…what…just…what? People actually believe the Holocaust didn’t happen? I mean, we’re not talking about a faked moon landing, or Walt Disney being frozen under Disneyland here, we are talking about the murder of 6 MILLION PEOPLE! Why on Earth would one person, let alone hundreds and thousands of people lie about something as horrific as that? And I’m sorry, but if you have ever seen any video or pictures of starving, wounded, sick, beaten, dead, jews how could you dare to even have such a thought? How can you look at the corpse of an innocent human being and say their life, their death, is a lie?

I decided that I was going to read what some of these people had to say and you know what I found? 32 different people who are just racist conspiracy nuts. I found no real evidence because most of it was hateful opinions, and the rest was easily refuted. One of these people had the audacity to proclaim himself a Christian and then proceed to call Jews the K word. If there is one thing I can’t stand it’s people evoking the name of God to fuel their hateful opinions. Not sure if this guy noticed or not, but Jesus was JEWISH. You can’t be anti-Semitic and a Christ follower…I mean, you can…apparently…who am I to judge his relationship with God? But really who the heck says “I hate Jews” and then turns around and claims to live their life by the words of a Jewish carpenter? It sends mixed messages, but I digress. The point is, while I firmly believe in the freedom of speech, I am astonished and disgusted by what some people do with it.

As I finish up my 20th century history course and get on a plane bound for Germany in a few days it’s hard not to think about the atrocities of the two world wars we have had. It is unfortunate that such a beautiful country has to be associated with an ugly act. I hope when I am in Europe I get the chance to visit some WWII memorials and remember the victims and soldiers of the war with the respect they deserve. I hope that for every one person who stands up and says “I don’t believe this happened” a hundred will stand up and say I do, and agree to help history live on in the minds of future generations so that never again will the world have to suffer through such great atrocities.

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