Open Letter To My Insecurities

picDear Insecurities,

We’ve been friends for quite some time now, long before high school, long before puberty, possibly even earlier. You’ve kept a steady hand at my back, a tight grip on my shoulders, and made sure to be there in my darkest hours. You’re around when I buy groceries reminding me some things cost more than money and my thighs can’t afford it. You’re there when I look in the mirror and there when I step on the scale, a sweet whisper in my ear saying you should be better.

You’re there to remind me of my failures, so I can remember that I can’t do better.

You play my embarrassments on loop, so I remember who I really am.

You slip in side-by-side comparisons when every pretty girl walks by, so I know what I’ll never be.

You are always there when I fall to remind me this is where I belong.

Over the years I’ve called you different things by the ways of “security blanket” or “that’s just who I am”. You’ve worn different faces in friends and boyfriends and mentors and peers, but mostly one that looks very similar to me.

For so long you’ve been apart of my life, we’ve basically become one, and over time, together, we’ve created something big and impressive, monstrous and terrifying that skulks through the plains of my mind — my own worst enemy.

You recently took on the face of someone I once considered a friend, and in a vile and vicious attack you told me to get some confidence along with other things.

Well here’s step one: Insecurity, kindly piss off.

Actually scratch that, pack all of your shit and leave. Take all of your advice and needling comparisons, take all of your scathing insults and side-eye’d looks and just GTFO. You’re no longer needed here, and most importantly you are not welcomed here.

I will rise above my failure, because I can learn from my mistakes.

I will laugh at my embarrassments, because perfection is boring.

I will smile at and compliment the pretty girl as she walks by, because we all need a little boost sometimes.

And when I fall, I will get back up and soar above everything that knocked me down.

Today, my #wcw goes to me, because without you, I am amazing. Without you, I am fearless. Without you, I am proud to be me.

See you never,

Kristen

Tinder Chronicles: The Struggle of Being 20-Something and Single

Calling: all da’ single ladies, all da’ single ladies.

Let’s be honest, being single is rough in the 21st century. Communication is lacking, unless it involves technology. Dating has become a thing of the past. Meeting your significant other the way your parents did is like Myspace making a comeback, it’s not likely going to happen. The struggle to find something organically is like searching for a needle in a hay stack, time consuming and disappointing.

Almost everyone I know has fallen into the trap that is online dating. I mean look even Hilary Duff played into it. Giving into this dating style will almost always lead to the infamous pick up line of:

“hey so uhh do you wanna hangout?”

(hangout meaning, you know, not really hanging out).

This leads to my awkward self. I have never been a relationship person. Honestly, the thought of being in a relationship makes my throat close up a little. Commitment is a lot of work, and worrying about someone else makes me freak out.

But I see so many of my friends getting married (I’m lucky to stand by two of my best friends this year) or having babies (my friends truly make the cutest little humans) and I still feel as though I am missing out on something. But am I?

Let’s break this down:

I am 24. I am finally truly happy with my life and the yellow brick road I’m skipping down. I have a great group of friends that encourage one another to embrace individuality and independence. My Mom loves the fact that I never have been “that girl” who let a guy break her down. Yet, I still wonder what could I be doing different to make someone stick around more than a couple dates.

Okay, it may be because I tend to be a little too frank at times, and I laugh during the most inappropriate situations. I’m sorry that when I’m awkward the giggles come in full force, I can’t control it.

So I decided to participate in the whole Tinder epidemic.  Attempted to date or what have you with some, but in the end it never worked out (for the better). I mean look at what I have to deal with:

IMG_4473

Oh Zach, if it would not work in person, it most certainly won’t work on Tinder. No Tinderella for you.

Sorry Mr. no driving off into the unknown sunset with you, getting kidnapped is not on my bucket list.

Sorry Mr. Bren no driving off into the unknown sunset with you, getting kidnapped is not on my bucket list.

Apparently this dude thought "Dog and Cat :)" would steal my heart. Give me the dog and home Collan.

Apparently this dude thought “Dog and Cat :)” would steal my heart. Give me the dog and go home Collan.

They always proceed with asking about nudes and sending dick pics. NOTE: If any guys are reading this, WE DON’T WANT THEM. So don’t slip them into the conversation and expect us not to block you and run away screaming. I’m just sayin’

Anyone who knows me is aware that I am not a shy person. I have embraced my awkward-isms, and inner hippie, to finally become someone I love. I do believe you have to truly love yourself before you could ever give your heart to someone else. So why is this whole “Single Lady” thing so difficult?

These Tinder Chronicles will be something I update over time to inform you all about some interesting dates I’ve been on, experiences that were a little dissatisfying and possibly even stories from my friends who’ve dealt with similar instances. Expect stories like the time I proceeded to talk too long about the annoyance that are fraternities (to a guy that was the president of his) or that one guy who showed up late and drunk to our first date. The awkward moments are endless and I hope this series amuses you like it has my friends.

Stay cool kids,

Ale

P.S. — Mom, Dad, and fellow family members, I apologize in advance for what may come out of this series.

 

 

Dear 16 Year Old Pam:

meinplaneFollowing in the style of Kristen and Ale, I got inspired to write some advice to my younger self and compare as to how the decisions I made in the past molded me into the person I am today. This will also include some cautions that I hope current 16 year olds will consider (Hey, wassup, Hello, you! I keep it chill and totes know all the modern lingo. YOLO, amirite?)

Also the fact that I was 16, seven years ago is blowing my mind right now! If I had been on 16 and pregnant, my child would be in elementary school! (Like usual I compare my life to that of a reality show.)

Dear 2008 Pam:

Let me start off by saying things in 23 year-old Pam’s world are completely different than what we imagined. I know by this time in our life we wanted to be touring the world with one of our favorite bands (probably the Fall Out Boy/Cobra Starship/The Academy Is…) What exactly we wanted to do was unknown – we just wanted to be that person side stage that helped make shows as fun as they were when we experienced them.

Let me give you some insight as to how our life turned out regarding some of the things we daydreamed about in Biology class.

This was literally me in Biology class. This was somewhere between listening to lots of Reggaeton (What happened to that? Did they run out of Gasolina?) and discovering my love for Pop Punk. Also, please note the bandage on my hand from a Bunsen burner and my pink ACDC hoodie.

This was literally me in Biology class. I think this was when I stopped listening to reggaeton (What happened to that? Did they run out of Gasolina?) and discovered my love for Pop Punk. Also, please note the bandage on my hand from a Bunsen burner, chunky yellow highlights and pink ACDC hoodie.

Am I lame for not being in the “popular” crowd?:

As our future favorite author Mindy Kaling states in her book,

“Teenage girls, please don’t worry about being super popular in high school, or being the best actress in high school, or the best athlete. Not only do people not care about any of that the second you graduate, but when you get older, if you reference your successes in high school too much, it actually makes you look kind of pitiful, like some babbling old Tennessee Williams character with nothing else going on in her current life. What I’ve noticed is that almost no one who was a big star in high school is also big star later in life. For us overlooked kids, it’s so wonderfully fair.

This quote should single-handedly be your mantra for the next couple of years.
I know we don’t normally stress about trying to fit in with the cool kids, but I’ll admit that we wished we were out raging past midnight or going on all these adventures like our classmates.

Trust me when I say that you’ll have plenty of adventures in years to come, especially once you meet some really great people that push you out of your comfort zone! (Shout out to my ovaries before brovaries and bae!)

Ah, see? I too went through the "Duck Face" phase... apparently while on the yearbook computers.

Ah, see? I too went through the “Duck Face” phase… apparently while on the yearbook computers.

Get involved in school activities:

Let me be the first to tell you that you will bond with a lot of people in the future when you mention that you used to spend hours playing The Sims, but for our benefit try to get involved in journalism or newspaper. This way, we have a better idea of what we want to do with our career AND you’ll get out of the house. It’s a win, win!

It wasn’t until senior year of yearbook (which you’ll join because you want to hang out with your then BFF) that we will realize we like taking pictures/helping communicate to people about a brand/person! Turns out you’re actually pretty good at it because *spoiler alert* you’ll win at a UIL competition for it! (Side note: When you win this, definitely keep competing. Don’t be scared to try new things and go new places.)

Leaving for College:

Which brings me to my next point. Don’t be afraid to look at places other than UTEP. Don’t feel pressured to stay in El Paso. This will be hard for mom to understand, but ultimately she’ll be very proud of you.

In the last couple of years you’ve moved to a completely different city (might as well consider it a state) and you graduated from a great school in under 4 years! You’re going to accomplish great things when you follow your gut. We’re also living in one of the coolest cities in the state and have a close group of friends that make you laugh until your stomach hurts. So whenever you get worried about leaving all your friends and family behind, just know that you’ll soon find a close group of people that you will consider your second family.

Mom:

Oh mom – isn’t she the cutest? Make sure to hang out with her even if it’s just watching over-dramatic Novelas while she’s asleep on the couch. You’ll miss the way she goes “Ay Pame.” whenever you’d rant about something dumb or the way she’d always say hello to your cat before she says hi to you. (We both secretly know she loves that cat more than anything.)

chataIf there’s anything I can forewarn you about, it’s to make sure that cat is house trained before you leave. When Chata (Cat in french with an extra a – ~smooth~) passes away while you’re at college, it’ll be the most heartbreaking call you’ll ever experience.

Mom is better now, I think she still misses someone to take care of but she’s better. She’ll be your biggest cheerleader and best friend – despite her wish to have you back home.
Also, please try and learn some cooking tips from her. This will be very beneficial in your future. I still regret never making her teach me her barbeque chicken recipe.

Get this girl a gavel:

One of the most important things we learned when leaving El Paso is that not everyone has the same views on things as you do. (It’s taken us 7 years to learn this!)
Try to put yourself in other people’s shoes before you judge their actions. This will cause issues in future friendships but ultimately you’ll learn your lesson. Besides, it’ll work out for the better whenever you stop being friends with that blonde girl who told lies faster than fire burns paper.

Boys – sometimes a girl doesn’t need one:

I bet this was something you were anxiously waiting for me to talk about.

I included AWG because at this point he was the ultimate bae (in 2015 this will take the place of "boo".) I don't blame you. After all these years we'll still swoon over his stupid, beautiful face.

I included AWG because at this point he was the ultimate bae (in 2015 this will take the place of “boo”.) I don’t blame you. After all these years we’ll still swoon over his stupid, beautiful face.

Good news is, just like we suspected, it’s not the end of the world if you wait until you find a good guy. If I remember correctly, we’re currently crushing on the pot smoker who you tutor after school?
(How very, Tutor Girl/One Tree Hill of you!)

As I remember this, I’m surprised at how well you picked out your crushes! (Hear me out.)

Even though he’s high 95% of the time, he always buys you your favorite tea and is very polite and understanding that you don’t do the drugs and alcohol thing.
This friendship was strictly business! He’s a good guy, but I’m glad we never dated him. THAT would’ve gone over very badly with mom.
(Fun side note: You’ll run into him one summer after you come back from college and he’ll thank you for singlehandedly helping him graduate high school. It’s a cool moment!)

There were a couple of other boys in the mix after that. One was clueless and you spent almost a year and a half trying to get him to notice you while you helped him apply for colleges.
The other one would’ve been fun, but he never seemed to pick up on the clues that we liked him. Looking back on it now, present Pam would’ve said something but it probably worked out for the better! These things definitely happen for a reason.

Maybe if we had at least tried dating one of these boys, you’d have a better idea of this girlfriend thing and give your future boyfriend less headaches.

I won’t tell you about the boy we end up with or how it happens – that would ruin the surprise! Just know that you won the lottery with this one and you’re lucky you’re in love with your best friend.

ENOUGH OF THAT.

I included this picture of myself with magenta hair, because we used to do this.

I included this picture of myself with magenta hair – because I’m still proud we did this.

Just for our entertainment, I want to review the songs from 2008 we were BUMPIN on that little CD player you took to the bathroom when you were getting ready for school. (At this point, future Pam would like to take some time and give you kudos for being able to stay up until 1 a.m. then wake back up at 6:00 for school. How you did that is pure wizardry.)

I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry
PAST PAM. Let me be the first to warn you, PLEASE go see Katy Perry perform when you go to Warped. You will get in line for the meet and greet and be 2 people away from her before they cut the line, but listen to her road crew when they say she has a set coming up. You will be semi-butt hurt because you didn’t get to meet her and you will regret every single day of your life that you didn’t watch her set before she turned into a pop star.

When I Grow Up – The Pussycat Dolls
I’m sure this won’t surprise you, but the Pussycat Dolls are no more.
Also, I still don’t know if they say groupies or boobies – the internet will not confirm.

Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) – Beyonce
Beyonce is queen in 2015 and this will be the song everyone plays at their wedding when you have to stand on the dance floor and pretend you want a ring on it. (We currently are working to convince our boyfriend we want a puppy.)

Get back to surfing the web and figuring out your new myspace profile. That’s all for now kiddo. Be proud of who you are and keep doing what you do!

Future Pam

Stop. Collaborate and Listen: Throwback Thursday — Music Edition.

In this installment of Stop. Collaborate and Listen, we decided we wanted to sit down and kick it old school. We each gave our low down for our favorite past, present jam and most anticipated albums. Songs and ridiculous banter included. Let’s rock out!

Kristen’s throwback album: Fefe Dobson’s — Self-titled album
Favorite Song on The Album: (THIS IS HARD) “We Went For Ride“. Songs gives me feels.

Kristen:
Yooooo this was my first CD ever and also my middle school JAM. I probably still know the words to (almost) every song.
Ale: I know the name but why can’t I think of what the popular song is?
Kristen: Lemme help you girl! “Take Me Away” and “Everything” were two of her most popular ones.

Kristen’s Current Album Fave: Paramore (another self-titled)
Favorite Song: Damn… Probably “Ain’t it Fun

Kristen: This album came out at a perfect time in my life. I needed to hear “Last Hope”. I needed to dance my but off to “Ain’t it Fun”. Two years later and I can still jam to this every day if I wanted to.
Ale: I have a vine of you dancing to this album at the pre-launch party Pam hosted at Wake the Dead. OH THE MEMORIES. WE WEREN’T EVEN CLOSE THEN. Crazy stuff.
Kristen: WHAAAAA?! really?!
Pam: “Still into you” is SO good!! Definitely jamming that right now.
Ale:Interlude: Moving On” is a jam and I was so happy they played this live!
Kristen: I love allllll the interludes! Yaaaussss

Kristen future album: The Rocket Summer

Kristen: I’ve been craving a new release from Bryce Avary for a while. He will always be my favorite artist. When I hated my job, I used to listen to “Waiting” on repeat as I drove into work! And every time I have to make a difficult drive home I like to listen to him.
Ale: Oh The Rocket Summer. I love me some “Brat Pack” (currently listening!)
Kristen: I have this old video of me and two of my hometown friends jamming to that in the car. AH memories!
Pam: I’ve witnessed this video and seen Kristen lose her shit during a TRS concert. Both are AMAZING.
Ale: Sooooo you’re saying I need to see this. Got it. Kristen TRS concert is in our friendship future.
Kristen: Also, have I told you my Bryce Avary/SXSW story? It was the same year I met NJ!
Ale: Next hangout discussion.

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Ale Throwback Album: NSYNC No Strings Attached”
Favorite Song off the album: “Digital Get Down”

Ale: I know every word, to every song, and will always put this on when in the car with my Mom so we can jam like it’s 2000. The fact that “Digital Get Down” is my favorite song at such a young age says so much…..well at least the digital part….not the webcam stuff…okay that may be weird now. Disregard.
Kristen: I love “Bye Bye Bye” But DGD is definitely a close second!
Pam: Is this the one with “Pop”? *desperately googles as all the NSYNC CDs blend together in her mind*
Ale: Nope! The one before it!
Kristen: “POP” IS MY JAM *dancing around in my chair y’all*

Ale’s Current Album: The 1975“The 1975 (Deluxe Version)”
Favorite Song off the album: “So Far It’s Alright”

Ale: So last week I got a tattoo (I’m sure I’ll do some sort of post about my tattoos) but the artist jammed this CD the entire time we were there and I forgot how much I loved this album. I’ve been really into the bonus tracks on this deluxe album (probably because I overplayed the album for a year). “Haunt//Bed” and “Fallingforyou” are amazing as well added to this deluxe. Stoked for future music from them!
Kristen: Only know of them really. Had to go to spotify for this one!
Pam: I will never understand the lead singer. “Noaksdhfakh, Petticoat! Never gonna give, never gonna give it no. Chocolateeeee”
Kristen: HAHAHAHAHA
Ale: Knew Pam was going to say that! I love me some Brit’s what can I say.
Kristen: Yasss me too. I need a british guy
Ale: Guys, you know the song really isn’t about Chocolate right?
Kristen: I don’t even know the lyrics!
Pam: IT’S ABOUT THAT MOTA.
Kristen: Okay cool. but what’s MOTA? ( i instantly regret this)
Pam: The wacky tabacky. (Mota is the spanish slang word for weed.)
Kristen: OHH. So you are down with that but when me and Ale try to say demon leaves you don’t know what’s up!
Ale: This whole convo is why we’re friends.
Kristen: Pretty much!
Pam: Well I don’t listen to that podcast and demon leaves sounds crazy to someone who doesn’t listen! Mota is a term I’ve known since my El Pasooo days.
Kristen: Well.( GOOGLE MY NAME IS NOT MISSPELLED I DID NOT MEAN KIRSTEN WHO THE F**K )
Pam: Well.

Ale’s Future Album: Phoebe Ryan and Grace full Lengths.
Ale: Everyone should take a minute and go listen to Phoebe Ryan’s EP “Mine”–specifically “Homie” and Grace’s EP “Memo” — specifically “Memo (Boyfriend Jeans)” Both of them have super unique voices and lyrics are killer. I want more! These EP’s were just teasers for the amazing-ness to come with a full length.

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Pam’s Throwback Album: All Time Low’sNothing Personal
Favorite song off the album: Lost in Stereo

Pam: OH MAN. I recently rediscovered this album and I immediately remembered all the good times I had while listening to these songs. I had really liked their “So Wrong, It’s Right” album, but I really grew to appreciate ATL as they made video updates for “Nothing Personal”. It was great to see this band go through the recording process and release such a fun album. “Weightless” was released and I was immediately obsessed. I will lose all my chill if you ever play the live version of “Lost in Stereo” near me.
Ale:Lost in Stereo” is one of my favorites to jam out to at their shows. Along with “Stella”.
Kristen: I never listened to ATL really. They were always a band that I just kinda happened to see live. Idk but I only know “Weightless” and “Damned if I Do Ya” *Kanye shrug*
Ale: Their “Future Hearts” album may be my favorite of theirs.
Kristen: But you know… I’ve been listening to them more lately and I think this might be the latest I’ve ever been to the party.
Ale: Better late than never!
Pam: I’m so happy we now all have the ATL feels. Forever. Ugh. I love them so much.

Pam’s Current Album: Katy Perry’s — Prism
Favorite song off the album: Walking on Air

Ale: THAT SONG IS MY JAMMMM. love me some Prism.
Pam: This album in my opinion is FLAWLESS. It’ll always be in my top 5 because it came into my life at such a good time. I was on my last semester of college and I dreaded everything about becoming an adult. This album provided me with the perfect escape from reality. It has some jams, some fun songs and “By the Grace of God” makes me cry every single time I listen to it. This album was the first CD I put into my first car and I played it every day as I learned to navigate myself to and from work. I’ve also had the privilege of seeing Ms. Perry perform the majority of this album on the Prismatic World Tour and I nearly died out of happiness.
Ale: Katy Perry performing “By the Grace of God” at the Billboards or Grammys….TEARS. ALLL THE TEARS.
Kristen: NGL I really only listen to her singles. But I can jam to some “California Gurls”
Pam: KRISTEN. You should definitely try to listen to the album as a whole and then let me know what you think. It’s very pop, but I’m interested in your feedback.
Kristen: One day. I’m thinking about going through One Direction’s discography first. 😉
Ale: 1D’s “Four” album is the only one to pay attention to. Just sayin’
Pam: Are you f*cking kidding me?! 1D?! I agree with Ale if you want to listen to them.
Kristen: I like three songs off of Midnight Moonlight or whatever it is. Fun fact “Zane’s high note” is one of my google searches PAM GET OUT I KNOW IT’S SPELLED WRONG.
Pam: HOW DARE YOU PUT “ZANE” BEFORE YOUR BEST FRIEND’S FAVORITE POP STAR. *Tyler Oakley screech*
Kristen: Have you seen him. I do recall a text message from you that says “Nooo the hot one left 1D”
Pam: 1D is a hot mess right now. *Demi Lovato voice* “I really don’t care!”
Kristen: You’re a mess right now. She said that?
Pam: It’s a song by herrrrr!
Kristen: OH
Pam: I would say let’s leave this 1D discussion off the post cause it’s a hot mess and mostly I don’t want that TAINTING MY PERFECT KATY PERRY LOVE NOTE. *MUAHAHAHAHA*
Kristen: 😦
Pam: But seriously. Give Katy a listen between your boy band listens! Give her a chanceeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Pam’s Future Album(ish): Demi Lovato’s upcoming CD.
Favorite song off the album: “Cool for the Summer

Pam: Technically she hasn’t announced a new album or date yet, but I’m really diggin’ her new sound with “Cool for the Summer!” I’m very interested to see what artistic approach she’s taking on this new album. Especially because she’s writing from her “perspective” now, or that’s what a Billboard article claims. What does that meaaaaan?
Also, can I give a shout out to all the good songs Selena Gomez is putting out right now?? I see you!

Expect more of our favorites, throwbacks and all around chatty banter will be happening in weeks to come.

Until next time lovely AA-ers….

Maybe she’s born with it? Maybe it…shhh…no.

IMG_1916I am always late to the party —  literally and figuratively. I’m generally the last one to hop on board a trend, to find out about some rando celeb drama, and I’m also pretty late to most social events. Let me tell you, it makes for awkward smalltalk. “Yeah so that glee is really something

huh? Don’t stop believing….” Yeah, exactly. I’d like to blame it on my sheltered childhood, which I for the record am not ashamed of. I remained blissfully ignorant  on a lot of things well into my late teens and early twenties (I can feel Pam laughing at how old I’m getting *desperately searches for the middle finger emoji*). Boys, dating, fashion, the list goes on, but now as my quarter-life crisis comes to a peak, I find it a bit ridiculous that I know next to nothing about makeup.

To be clear, I know a few things. I know what foundation is. I have somewhat figured out the right color for me. I can do a decent smokey eye look (which only a fourth of the time looks like a black eye). But don’t you dare talk about my brows, they are perfectly fine the way they are.

Anyway, I saw this tumblr post that made me want to try a few things. Four different shades of foundation (it took a while to find the right one!) and one hour later, I found myself with what felt like a pound of makeup on and only questionable success. It was time to make a trip.

So, I probably should have went to a place like ulta or sephora or something like that. Instead I went to Target, which in my opinion is the motherland. I had a list, I was ready. I needed all the makeup, and bread… Two birds, you know.

I was… less than successful. Let me walk you through my experience.

  • Oh my god, my face feels so heavy.
  • Do I look like I’m trying to hard?
  • Did she just throw shade at me?
  • To be fair I did almost walk into her
  • It is very hard to inconspicuously take a decent selfie and walk
  • But I’m trying not to make eye contact with anyone
  • my face is like noticeably lighter than the rest of me, which I don’t think was the plan
  • …that eyeshadow was probably not for contouring.
  • oh wait I have a coupon for maxi skirts
  • oooOOOOoo pretty!
  • don’t touch your face, because it you touch your face everything you touch will be smeared in brown. SAVE ALL OF THE THINGS
  • No. Kristen, you are on a mission. BRead and makeup that’s it!
  • Okay here at the makeup aisle
  • God, there is just so much stuff
  • What do I do with pressed powder?
  • Is there a difference between BB cream and BB balm?
  • What the hell is CC?!?!
  • MYBRAIN IS MALFUNCTIONING
  • Glow? Glamour? Transform?
  • Airbrushed? HOW?
  • Speaking of brushes. I can not possibly need that many
  • Okay I’ll try another aisle
  • So many colors
  • So many shades
  • I’m getting a headache
  • Shine-free
  • cruelty-free
  • What next: gluten-free?
  • It’s like a doofus playing madlibs
  • Volume, definition, bold, nude, bronze, magic!
  • Get me out of here!
  • Where did I park my car?

That’s basically how I spent an hour of my life, BUT I did not forget the bread. #PRAISEHIM.

piclab

I feel like a normal person again. It only took two exfoliating scrub cloths, a palm-full of deep
cleansing wash, one aloe mask, and a large glass of the classiest box-wine money can buy.

Along my journey, I learned some very important things about myself. One, I know all the words to The Next Ten Minutes; two, I am completely hopeless. Time for reinforcements.

Pam and Ale, as two of my best friends and the nerdiest makeup gurus I know… Help?

To be continued…

 

Jude Law and a Semester Abroad

If you know the song this title refers to we are best friends for life. If not here it is for your listening pleasure:

Listening to Brand New is not the point of this post, but a semester abroad is. I had the pleasure of going to live in Florence, Italy for 5 weeks exactly 2 years ago. Let me tell you, it was the most magical time of my life.

First off, my study abroad experience was a little different than most. We went to Italy to immerse ourselves into the culture but not necessarily take a class. Understanding, embracing, and loving this new experience. And honestly, it was the most fitting way to seize my roots and understand where my Dad used to cause havoc as a young adult (Oh did I forget to mention that my fathers from that beautiful country?)

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The group consisted of 12 very unique, passionate, and loving individuals. When I left they all became family. Being thrown into a foreign country with people you don’t know can solidify “family” status no matter who you are. I honestly felt like I was a cast member of “The Real World: Florence” —

“12 strangers…picked to live in a house….”

Well…you know the rest.

I could not have asked for a more perfect group to go abroad with. Our situation was a little awkward initially. We had been in class with each other for a year but I had not said more than 5 words to each of them throughout the two semesters. Yet, we were going live in such close quarters for an extended period of time. DISCLAIMER: There were 5 girls that had to share ONE BATHROOM. Let’s just say we all got to be VERY comfortable with one another quickly.

There was a phrase that was told to us on our first day being in Florence:

Fare Bella Figura

To make a good impression. This was the saying in Florence. Jeff and I later got this tattooed on us to remember this time.  We all embraced this to the fullest our entire trip. We wanted to leave an imprint of ourselves in this city. Make a good impression and soak in this incredible opportunity we had.

The amount of times we spent in the boys apartment drinking bottles of wine, or going to Red Garter and dancing to Don Omar’s “Danza Kuduro” made this trip unforgettable. If any of you are reading this now, Crystals birthday. I have videos.

But besides reminiscing on the past,  I want to talk about 3 of those family members that are still some of my closest friends to date.

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These 3 hold a very special place of my heart. The one that swells when I think about the last time I saw my family in Italy, because they were there. When I think about sitting on the beach and soaking in the incredible view from my Zia Amelia’s apartment building. When I think about going out in the town my Dad made his name known (I came to find out he is still loved by many). There will not be many people in my life that I get to share those memories with, and for that, they will forever be some of my favorite people in the world.

If it weren’t for me putting myself out there and embracing the unknown, I would have never met them. I would have never had the chance to party with them on the beach with my cousin Alessandra or go experience seeing my cousins clothing line at the Pitti Uomo. Coming back to the states, Jeff would have never taught me how to change a car battery and I never would visit Crystal weekly at The Blind Pig (she made the best shots). All in all, stepping out of my bubble made me meet people that changed my life for the better.

The reason I am rambling on about my experience in another country is because I feel that everyone some time in their life needs to get up and go somewhere foreign. When I say foreign, that doesn’t necessarily mean another country. It means pick up and go somewhere completely unbeknownst to you. I have had the pleasure of living in many places in my life and it is the most thrilling thing in the world going somewhere new. The anticipation of meeting new people and experiencing new things is my drug, my favorite high.

I feel as though when you break out of your comfort zone and try new things you tap into a part of yourself you would have never otherwise experienced.

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For example:

While in Italy, I found out that I actually love to hike and climb. We had this amazing opportunity to hike all the way up to the top of Fiesole to look over the hills and see the entire city of Florence. I hated almost every minute of the steep, prickly, mosquito swarmed, treck, but when we reached the top — I can never explain how my breath was taken away when looking at the beauty of the city. Or when we climbed 125 steps to Monterosso this little city that had the most delicious gelato and tiniest shops. I live for moments of struggle and near defeat, that lead to pure satisfaction. That is why hiking and climbing are something I crave. I hope to someday do some amazing hike, with friends or loved ones, that will have a lasting memory as these two experiences did.

I am nowhere near places I would like to venture to. Heck, I haven’t been to that many outside of the United States, but my life goal is to live. Live in a way that is something inspiring and adventurous. One that my future children will want to.

I encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone. Get into an awkward situation, be apprehensive, fall down, get back up, and just embrace everything you can in life.

Make a good impression, leave an imprint, and live life to the fullest. It’s the only way to do it.

Stay weird,

Ale

 

When life gives you lemons, you sometimes wish for limes because they go better with tequila

Snapchat--2672837582882681986Alternatively named: the process of an all-day hangover.

Step 1:  Participate in an all night rager.  Well technically in my case it wasn’t an all night type of deal. It normally isn’t. I tend to be promptly in my bed by 3:00 – 3:30 AM, which yes I know in typical fashion is considered pretty late, but I used to work at a bar and so this is just an hour or so past closing time ( feel free to hum semisonic for the rest of the blog post).  But no, this was not some full throttle Project X type of ordeal. In this instance it was more like two poorly timed tequila shots. Feel free to switch the song in your head to 0 to 100 because that’s how most of my nights seem to end up.

Step 2: Wake up immensely confused. Not in the sense of holy shit where am I? But more like: Why did I do that again, or why is my computer so close to my face, or why does my arm hurt in that spot specifically?

Step 3:  Try and remember what happened the night before. Which immediately leads to…

Step 4: Try and go back to sleep. Step 3 can be revisited at a later time. Hopefully, well after several cups of coffee.  Step 4 can be tricky for many reasons. 1. Do I have to work? Because I have had the misfortune of making yet another terrible mistake like turning up on a Tuesday then yeah, Step 4 is not an option for me.  2. Sometimes my head hurts too much for me to go back to sleep and I’m promptly pushed into the next part of my day.

Step 5: Find water. This does not sound like a hard task. I know. But sometimes finding the will to pull myself out of bed and over to the nearest source of water is the last thing on my mind. Cotton-mouth be damned.

Snapchat-20141130031938Step 6: Forget water and guzzle down coffee. No real explanation needed.

After this step, my day can go a couple of different ways. The fog in my head will lift and I become a regular, or as close to it as I ever come, functioning adult.  It really depends on the type of hangover I wake up to.

Sometimes I just wake up confused, like there’s cotton in my head or something. Plus I always feel a few steps behind everyone else and incredibly slow in understanding things. Try doing a phone interview like this. I D I O T.

I feel like the most popular hangover experience is waking up hungover. But even worse than the immediate “wake-up you’re hungover” is the “surprise! It’s three hours into your day and now you’re furiously ready to puke everywhere.”

I hate it! I feel bamboozled by my own body.  I wake up feeling victorious because I’ve escaped a hangover finally. Then the symptoms slowly creep in. A little twinge of pain in my head here,  a questionable gurgle in my tummy there,  then like a damn freight train to the face, hello full blown hangover. Like I don’t have plans or something.

I’ll be honest. I’m hungover a lot. It’s nothing I’m particularly proud or ashamed of, just a matter of fact. I figure most people go through their stage of drinking/partying all the time when they are in college.  I didn’t get to do that! My first two years of college I lived at home, and when I went to university, I was not in those partying circles, mostly due to the fact that my closest friend was a few years older than me and totally against that type of living. Bring on the board games.

The sad thing of it all, is I have yet to find a decent hangover remedy. I’ve looked online, called my seasoned partying friends and family and asked them for advice; I haven’t really found one thing that works.  Some of them don’t work at all!

Most importantly I’d like to congratulate myself for finishing something as eloquent as this </sarcasm>, while hungover. You’re welcome internet.

Peace out,

Kristen

 

You Know What They Say When You Assume…

When I become a mother, I’m going to make sure to emphasize to my child that being a kid will be the easiest thing they’ll ever have to do in their life. Not in a naggy, “You don’t appreciate anything” kind of way, but in a “Dude, appreciate naps now because in college you’ll literally daydream about taking a nap” way.

Kids have it so easy! They get to nap, watch tv and play all day, homework is easy and they never have to budget or worry about their taxes. As kids though, we also run into a lot of awkward moments that will scar us for the rest of our lives – especially when we’re trying to go to sleep and our brains seem to think this is the best time to bring an awkward moment up.

Here's elementary school Pam modeling her newest shoes, featuring Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She was my favorite "Disney Princess" - my mom never told me she wasn't an actual DP.

Here’s elementary school Pam modeling her newest shoes, featuring Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She was my favorite “Disney Princess” – my mom never corrected this.

One of my favorite memories from being a kid is when I tried acting like I had my life together and the universe gave me a big, NOPE. We’ve all done it. We’ve tried to act like badasses before realizing, to our embarrassment, we were dead wrong.

One morning while I was in the fourth grade, I remember getting off a bus and running to the playground to show my best friend my new Esmeralda sneakers I’d gotten for my birthday.
I spotted my friend’s long brown hair across the field and immediately took off at full speed to greet her. Once I reached her, I playfully poked her in the back (something we always did) to let her know I had arrived. The brown hair swooped around and to my horror the face staring back at me was not my best friend.

This random girl stared at me – making the world slow down to the most painfully awkward seconds of my entire life. I was literally paralyzed in fear as I stared at this stranger. After about two more seconds, I turned around and ran across the blacktop straight into the hall of my homeroom.

Sometimes I can still hear the squeak of my sneakers running down the hall when I drive by elementary schools. *shivers*

Good thing is I made this mistake back in elementary school, not over social media like someone else I know.Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 12.13.03 AM(Don’t worry Kim… I too thought it was Georgio…)

Being a kid is all about learning how to deal with situations like this when you’re thrown out into society as an adult. Thankfully, this experience has made me become more aware of who I’m going to greet before I approach them. I’ll definitely make sure to let my future children know that they need to take all this into consideration before they go around poking random children.

Letter to My 16 Year Old Self

Dear Alli (you will change the spelling of your name to “Ale” soon enough),

199776_1002191510105_9147_nI am writing to give you some advice, my delicate flower. I know you are going through a little bit of a crisis at the moment. I am here to provide some insight, some guidance perhaps.  With this foreshadowing I am going to give you, I want you to remember one thing; Everything happens for a reason.

First and foremost, be yourself. Through and through, 100%, be true to who YOU are. Don’t be afraid to want to listen to screamo and rock out in your room to System of a Down and Fall Out Boy. Identifying with Peyton Sawyer is okay because even 8 years later she is still your spirit animal. Stop trying so hard to get the coolest jeans from Abercrombie & Fitch, and attempting to pop your collar, it’s never going to be you. Understand that some of your friends truly aren’t meant to be your friends. You will find the best group of people in life who will truly get you on so many levels (Pam & Kristen *hint*hint*). I know you’re not happy right now and feel trapped, but this is all a big chapter in your life story, I promise. (Side Note: Get closer to Cristina, when you meet her grasp onto that friendship and hold it tight, she will be one of your best confidants in life).

300x300Second, be nice. Be compassionate. Think before you speak. You are a very unhappy young girl right now and you tend to take that out on everyone around you. Stand your ground, but understand that people have feelings, and they will get hurt by your judgement on their life choices. They didn’t ask for your opinion, don’t give it. You will learn how to handle these situations better when you sit in your first communications class at JJC. (SIDE NOTE: Sorry to tell you, but becoming the next Atoosa Rubenstein, is unlikely to happen. But you will get a chance to have a lovely email chain with Jodi Picoult and it will be one of the best moments in your life). At 24, you will pride yourself on positivity and it’s the greatest feeling in the world.

Next, forgive. Stop holding that grudge; that demon will break you down. Stop bringing it up every fight. You will look back on it and tear up at the fact that you broke her heart with every offensive name you called her. You love her. She will be your biggest cheerleader, best friend, and favorite drinking buddy. The light you see in her eyes when you walk across the stage at Texas State, and the tears you shed when you have to say goodbye, will eliminate the hate you have for her now. And don’t blame him for his actions. He’s hurting just as much as you are. He loves you unconditionally and will be the first person you call when you learn to cook. Appreciate them. It’s a struggle, but they love you, so very much.

Finally, stop fighting for their attention. They will make you second guess your beauty and confidence. You know exactly who I am talking about in reference to changing everything you believe in to make them happy. You will be disgusted with your actions when they repeat itself with someone else. At 24, you will not need that reassurance to be happy. You will be so content with who you are as a person, that the acceptance of them is not needed.

full-1You will grow to love music even more than you do now. And attending concerts will be your favorite hobby.  Don’t fret that you failed the drivers test once, Mom will call you a great driver eventually. You will still love collecting magazine covers and Gilmore Girls. When Midnight passes be ready for this little pup named Spike to show up and steal your heart. Soak in your trip to Italy in the back of the van; Florence is not as scary as it seems. Myspace is a thing of the past, and Mom will join Facebook. This thing called Netflix will come and rock your world. And remember being a  Zia will be the  greatest title you will hold in life, be proud of it.

All in all, I hope this finds you as you are riding on the bus to the next football game, or in the basement with BAANgkok. Take a shot of cheap vodka and listen to Party Like a Rockstar, and cheers to your future self for understanding what it truly means to live.

xoxo

Your future (grey-haired, vibing, pop-punk princess, tattooed) self.

P.S. When Sabrina yells at you during labor, know that when you leave that delivery room, your life will change forever.

 

 

Dear 16 year old me…

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Dear 16 year old me,

You awkward little ray of sunshine. I love you so much. You are so innocent and naive and it is just so wonderful. We’re 25 now and we’ve done a bit of growing up. I’m not going to lie to you, most of our growing up has happened in the last year! That’s okay though. I feel wise enough to give you the advice I wish I would have heard.

Are you ready? Write this down.

Study more

I know it sounds lame, especially when you are doing just fine without, but your grades will be significantly better. AND you can go to a university instead of community college AND get that full college experience like in Sidney White… and every other college romcom you like to watch. (PS in a few years don’t let anyone give you crap for watching Romantic Comedies.) And think about how excited Dad would be if you joined a sorority (what a weirdo).

Apart from all of that, if you paid attention more in school and current events you wouldn’t second guess yourself as much as you do these days (and by these days I mean the 2010’s babe… you’re damn old now!) or be as dependent on Google. Most importantly… you’d probably be a better speller.

DO NOT TELL THAT BOY YOU LIKE HIM

Despite what the movies, books and magazines say, you are not to, under any circumstances, tell that young man that you think he’s cute and you want to date him! You are a fragile little bird and are not ready for that type of rejection. It will scar you for years. DO NOT DO IT.

The friendzone is a safe place to be until you’re ready to not be an awkward little duckling. And that’s okay, do not rush into this part of your life. Trust me.

Tell your mom you want new clothes.

And clothes that fit. This is important.

Also, Start saying “treat yo self”. In 7 years you’ll have the ego the size of oregon because of it.

Ask Dad to play the guitar.

We both know you hate the saxophone, and there’s no turning back now since you’ve been playing for 6 years or something. So, tell Dad you want to play the guitar. He’ll be freaking thrilled! And he’ll teach you how to play American Pie and you’ll have tons of fun and spend Sunday evenings playing jazz scales and classic rock songs because “you can’t be a rocker if you don’t know where it came from.” But brace yourself because he is totally going to make you play for Granny and Aunt Ruby and god knows who else at Christmas. It’ll be totally embarrassing, but do it anyway because it’ll make him smile.

Stop teasing Dad about his singing

You’ll miss it.

When those girls at school offer it to you, take it!

You’ll know what I’m talking about when it happens. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Lifes too short to live in a box as long as we have. Don’t go crazy. Try it once and let it go.

That book you’re writing…

Finish it. It’s weird because you’re into weird shit like that, but finish it! You’ll feel so great and you probably won’t ever show it to anyone but that’s okay because you did it! And then rewrite it. And again, until you’re ready to show it to someone.

Then keep writing.
Write everyday.

And then fly.

Hang out with Brittany more

I know she’s kind of mean sometimes, and you two fight over stupid things like why she didn’t put your shirt back in your room or why you have to clean the dishes when it’s clearly her day, but it’s more important than you can imagine. And you can’t see it now, but you need her just as much as she needs you.

Trust me.

Spend more time with Dad

Force him to spend time with you. No matter how tired he is. Make him teach you how to draw. Make him teach you how to write music. I repeat, make him spend time with you. Which will probably mean that you have to go to church with him on Saturday nights. Do it, you deviant.
Do not spend so much time on Myspace and DO NOT lie to that boy.

1) Myspace will be a joke in 3 years. I know it’s hard to believe, but there is a thing called Facebook and it’s about to BLOW UP. You should definitely buy some stock with your graduation money.

2) I know you and Michelle think it’s funny, but it’s not, and when you realize that, the guilt will eat you alive. So just tell him the truth. He’s kind of an idiot anyway. It’s really no loss there.

Read your English books

I know you try. But then you get lazy and sparknotes the book halfway through. Don’t do that. READ IT ALL. Highlight the parts you don’t understand and THEN sparknote those sections you don’t get.

You’re life will be so much cooler when you can make witty literary references.

But you know, FRIENDS jokes and references are just as cool.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Listen to me. Just because you don’t do something right the first time doesn’t make you a failure. It makes you human and not some freak of nature who was probably genetically created in some lab in the arctic.

But seriously, the saying ‘Practice makes perfect’ exist for a reason. You fail by giving up so quickly. Give it time, and then if doesn’t work out then you’ll know it’s not right for you. Knowing when to quit is different than giving up. Remember that.

Remember you are awesome!

A ton of people will tell you that you are. So much that you’ll need to hear it all the time for reassurance. Stop that. You don’t need to hear it, have faith that you are. Have faith that you can do anything you set your mind to without having to be told constantly.

The sooner you do that the better your life will be.

Stay kind.

You have one of the biggest hearts out there. Never let that go.

Did you get all of that, little bird?

Alright get out of here and back to playing the Sims or whatever.

Dream big, you amazing little weirdo.

Love,

Adult (and slightly awkward) Kristen