Wanted: A Wolfpack

Every time I take the Meyers-Briggs test the most skewed personality trait is the extroversion part. I have a knack for finding a familiar face where ever I go. And I’ve been known for either collecting friends? Or having enough that I deem my “friend quota is full.”

I’m the worst.

But it’s just because I love being around people and feeding off of the energy of interaction.

Since I moved to Boston though, it’s been a little tough to replicate my (AMAZING) North Carolina crew. Three very, very best guy friends? Girl friends who had gone through every crush, relationship, conquering and failure with you? Well that’s impossible.

Part of it is my fault. I went and got an awesome boyfriend who I wanted to spend every waking second with. And I moved in with a built-in friend from home who is my female saving-grace here in Boston. They have made it less of an investment to try to make connections with other people. (Sorry, Andy and Sarah – Looks like I’m throwing you under the bus.)

Part of it is seemingly Boston’s fault. I haven’t quite had a person cross my path, like Bridget Weber (Lynch ha), who I instantly knew I would be best friends forever with.

Maybe I’m not immersing myself in the right groups.

Or maybe I’m bitter because I did have the great fortune to make some amazing friends who have sadly now all graduated and moved away.

But regardless.

I need a Boston rew to carry me through the end/eventual move!

So web friends, give me some advice. What should I do to meet more people? So far this summer I work pretty much alone at my internship — so no opportunities there. Are meet-up groups odd or acceptable in the city?

Also, keep in mind I don’t have a ton of funds to join a lot of sports teams, etc. because that’s a typical way I’d be putting myself out there.

For now, this Sunday morning, I’m off to church….

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2013 was just the prologue. 2014, I’m ready.

I looked back at 2012’s New Year’s Eve post today as I sat down. The first sentence said “I have the most deliriously, deep-to-the-bone happy feeling about 2013.”

Man.

Was I ever right to feel that way?

2013 was a year of conquering. For the very first time I think I really waded into some selfishness. I wanted to really evaluate what I wanted in life. What was I going to do to get there? For the last three or so years I had been floating along with good enough; and turned out––that wasn’t good enough anymore. In that case, I think selfishness is the way to go.

The list of 25 by 25 was a huge impetus to get my butt in motion. To stop talking so much and do a lot more. I never imagined how putting a list together and reflecting on action could make so much happen.

I mean, just the cliff notes?

– Visiting NINE new states.

– Going to Canada.

Me + Soon-To-Be-Little-Did-I-Know-Now-Current Roommate

– Running a 10K.

– Really kicking butt at my old job. I was given some great new accounts and was really proud of the work Woodbine was doing.

– Sibling beach camping trip.

Me + Brother

– Running a HALF MARATHON.

– Making some amazing new best friends. Ones that came in the last half and ones in the first (looking at you, Tara).

It's amazing how you can become best friends with someone in a minute.

It’s amazing how you can become best friends with someone in a minute.

– Little brother graduated and moved to college.

Davis looks good.

– Quitting my job.

– Welcoming Evan into the world. That was a best.

He’s growing like a weed, though.

– Moving to Boston.

– New, great roommates.

– Starting graduate school.

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– Teaching myself the guitar.

– A Savannah AOII reunion.

– So many sporting events. Countless Dash. W-S Open Tennis. A Braves weekend. Red Sox. Patriots. Panthers. Whew.

– Going to probably 10 concerts.

Boots and Coozies tailgating for Brad Paisley.

Boots and Coozies tailgating for Brad Paisley.

– Being at the Macy’s Parade for Thanksgiving.

– Staying close with best friends. Even when they’re freaking far away.

Katieryn LANE! (Wright.)

B + VK + Me. ❤

Sha. ❤

Roberta and Stephanie. 🙂 Rob and Steve, you know I love you.

Denise and Briana. Derek and Brad, you know I love you too.

The B.C. to my A.D.

Linds Love.

V found me in Boston.

And of course Kait. Plus Sha. Plus Brooke.

Mushy.

Mushy.

PS, if you’re my friend and don’t have a nickname we apparently need to work on that.

– Finding a new church.

– Coming back from a rough sports injury.

–  Starting OVER with friends and coming out with a pretty amazing group.

Broadcast Family Class '14

Broadcast Family Class ’14

– Oh, and a new boyfriend. That’s a pretty big deal. Love this guy.

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I pretty much (minus a few 25s) crushed 2013. I honest-to-God do not know how it could’ve been better unless someone came out of the scenery and gave me like $100,000 or something.

Seriously. I am so freaking blessed.

And on the one hand where I am infinitely grateful to the things that God has moved in my life; I am also just so proud of myself. I know I couldn’t have done it without Him––but there was a part that required me to be brave. And there was a part that required me to have some insane trust and at the same time strength.

Moving to Boston was one of the most terrifying and gratifying things I have done. But I couldn’t see the gratifying part while I was laying in the floor of my Winston-Salem apartment crying my eyes out. Committing to a Boston apartment before I was sure that I wanted to leave? Committing to an apartment before I had let anyone know? That made it real. And that made it scary. But I took a deep breath and I went.

There have been equal forces at hand in each part of 2013.

The incredible joy of travel while facing an uncomfortable fear of flying.

The reward of returning to school with the painful goodbye and sadness of leaving an office made of my second family.

The excitement of new friends while missing the old.

The happiness of conquering change while feeling the holes of traditions and being with family.

The fresh victory of testing my body and seeing my running capabilities blossom with the regret of pushing too hard and finding its limits.

The amazing excitement of  love and then also the fear of vulnerability.

My life is amazingly balanced. And if you know me, and how Libra I really am, you know that I couldn’t be happier. On a daily basis I am amazed at the fullness of my heart and the satisfaction I have.

For the first time in a long time I don’t feel like I am settling.

2014 you have one heck of a lot to match; but I feel confident. I feel excited. And I feel like I’m going into 2014 with the best momentum I could ever dream of.

You know when you were young and adults would tell you “Just wait, these aren’t the best years of your life.” I had the scary and happy and confused and curious thought recently that . . . I think 2013 was. I think it was one of the best. And I think 2014 will be the second. This roll that 2013 started doesn’t feel like it’s settling down. Instead,  I really think God just got started. 2013 was a prologue and I damn can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the next act.

So for my annual predictions.

Last year I called: Happy changes. Beautiful friendships (new and old). Fun celebrations. Promises followed through. Adventurous travels. Getting out of the comfort zone. Being invested. Healthy growing up. Lots of love.

And I want to keep all of that. But I’m going to add:

  •  A little growing up. 25 is young; but I can grow.
  •  A graduation.
  •  A stronger family.
  •  A running come-back story.
  •  A giving back to the city I’ve fallen in love with.
  •  Decisiveness.

Decisiveness? You might say. Yes. I think 2014 is going to challenge my confidence in the big decisions. I’m going to need to jump fast and with my whole heart. I’m going to have to know what I want, how I want it, when and where. And I’m going to have to be 100 percent in those big choices.

I want to go with my whole heart.

And if 2013 is any indication, I know I can.

Weekend Warriors: Favorite city + Favorite people + Favorite Sports Team.

I grew up in a corner of North Carolina where “Christmas shopping in the city,” or “summer baseball game,” or “weekend at the amusement park,” or even “day trip to get out of dodge” meant taking the winding 2.5-hour drive through the mountains and Georgia foothills to Atlanta.

Most of the trip is a peaceful four-lane road past dairy bars and pastures; however, about 30 minutes before you hit the city the roads widen, the traffic becomes more plentiful and as soon as you cross under the giant maze of bridges (which I discovered was the ‘perimeter’ as I got older), well, then you’re in Atlanta.

Seeing those tall buildings and soaking in the amount of sunshine has always been home away from home for me.

My family would make the trip every couple of months and I feel like I’ve spent many a mile-marker in Fulton and Gwinett counties; birthdays and vacations included.

It was the place I always swore I’d move to when I graduated college and it’s the reason why UGA was my first choice when the time came to apply.

Life happens. You get scholarships and choose an in-state school. You start dating a guy and move to a different Carolina town.

And instead, you visit Atlanta every chance you get.

And every time you visit you’re reminded of how “one day I could totally see myself living here.”

This weekend marked the second annual road trip of high-school best friends from North Carolina through South Carolina to Georgia. We remarked on the trip down how it had been a long time. I mean, sixth grade–when we all met? Well that was almost 15 years ago.  (Insert nostalgic photo of awkward 11-year-olds with braces and baby faces that is probably laying around my parents’ house.)

Best-friend kind of love.

Gigantic Braves fans, a game is always useful motivation to plan a weekend. So a Travelzoo deal later we were south-bound early Saturday morning.

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The lesser-known, well liked #10 of the @braves. #CJonesRespect

Saturday of all Saturdays, we had tickets for THE GAME. The Braves had been on a wild sweep of 14-straight wins. If the team won Saturday night’s game they would have tied the franchise’s longest streak since 2000 when the Braves won 15 in a row from April to May.

So, of course — we figured they would lose. (We weren’t very confident in the luck we were bringing.)

A fairly short road trip into Atlanta, a customary stop for burgers at The Varsity, a meandering through Centennial Park and the World of Coke gift shop and we were off to the field for a preliminary afternoon of extremely hot tailgating. Man, I’m just not quite accustomed to that heat or humidity.

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The Varsity “Whatya have, whatya have, whatya have.” Um, all the onion rings please.

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These kids are funny.

Our seats were a DREAM. Suite life, baby. I’m not sure if going to a Braves game will ever be the same after seeing one from the bounty of air-conditioning and private bathroom. That said, I would maybe trade for some field-side seats. All the same, it was incredible. Especially considering that there was an hour rain delay. Nothing like dry seats.

J-Hey Kid at bat.

Once the game started up, it was a little bit of a snoozer (three hits up to the 8th inning!) and then a half hour of INTENSITY.

The Braves let up one run to the Marlins off of some sloppy defense and the stadium was erupting in rapture and cheering for an offensive answer once the Braves came up to bat.

We cheered for a single like it was a home run.

Me + current/former roommate. ❤

Three outs and Janish who stepped up to bat, noted has a .000 batting average, stuck out. Looking. Against the worst team in our division.

Sad ending to a 14-game winning streak.

It was humorous to see the onslaught of “You’re not allowed to go to Braves games when they’re on a streak” messages that were sent to us from various friends and family members.

Me + Derek + Brooke + Bradley. Wouldn’t have been the same with any other three.

The game went so late that by the time we got back to our hotel there wasn’t a lot of time to deliberate if and when we wanted to go out to a bar. Luckily we had found a really fun, random karaoke bar, Metro Café Diner, last summer that just happened to be down the street. On the way there, we passed 50 Cent’s truck from Fast Five. Interesting. So we went straight to aforementioned bar and proceeded to stay for three hours drinking Shandy beer and belting karaoke with other downtown-Atlanta strangers. It was of course followed up by a 3 a.m. trip to Waffle House. (Of course.)

What felt like only a nap later and we were back on the road to the Carolinas, smiling wildly at the adventures and fun that we had shared in a cram-packed weekend.

I was left realizing it may be a while before I get to see Atlanta again, so I took a good long look as we drove away. See you again as soon as I can, ATL. I promise.

Forty Days of Dating.

I am winning at the internet today. I have the BEST thing to share with you today.

#1) Forty Days of Dating

Sounds like a chick read, right? “Oh someone’s given up dating for Lent and posted a blog about it. Groundbreaking.”

But you’d be wrong.

“What do you do when you’re tired of the prospect of dating? Two good friends with opposite relationship problems found themselves single at the same time. As an experiment, they dated for 40 days.” — Forty Days of Dating

So, it’s two designers. Be prepared for so much typography porn. And the 40 days? It’s a reference to how many days it takes to break a habit. (Kind of curious that Lent is 40 days . . . some other things are making sense, but I digress.)

They tell their story in an amazing way: side-by-side questionnaires, same questions, every day. Seeing their answers next to each other and the progression of their relationship throughout the experiment is fascinating.

Timothy (the “can’t-commit” guy) and Jessica (the “fall-too-fast” girl) give a wealth of relationship background and opinions that are very relatable. If you can’t relate to Jessica on a self-perspective, you’ve probably been involved with a Jessica. If you can’t relate to Time on a self-level, then you’ve definitely dated or been friends with a Timothy.

I find it so interesting to see their approaches to the experiment; their reactions to the same situations; their worries and musings when it comes to considering the future of a relationship and even what’s influenced them personally to shape how they act and what they’re looking for.

I read the About page. I read the bios. I watched the video. And then I read (starting at the bottom on the home page) Day 1. Day 2. Day 3. Day 4. . . .all the way to Day 10 and thought, “WHERE ARE THE REST?!” I was convinced that they are going to fall in love based on this experiment, and I needed vindication that I was right.

But where were the rest of the days!?

No fear.

They’re in the midst of posting a new day every day. Today was 11. Tomorrow will be 12.

I’m fascinated. And we all know how bossy I get when I find things I like. So, go read : ).

Savannah Summer Kick-Off (Delayed).

I remember when I would be on summer break from school as soon as I had seen the first week of break end, the reality would hit that I only had a FEW weeks and I needed to savor it before school crept back onto the calendar. I would do the silent week tally in my head with each passing weekend. And I always dreaded the “halfway mark” just simply because then it became a literal countdown. You had less time left than you had already spent.

I do the same thing when I’m on vacation.

“Oh no, it’s Wednesday. We only have half of the trip left. Bummer.”

I’m weird. I need to not start focusing so quickly on what’s happening weeks ahead––but it’s just my nature.

So in the meantime, I try to take advantage of appreciating what’s happened so far this summer and make sure that I keep enjoying every second of sunshine in the meantime that I can.

This summer has been crazy. Crazy busy. Crazy unexpected. And crazy fast!

It seems just like yesterday that we were spending Memorial Day at the pool being lazy and playing water volleyball. Making new friends. And looking forward to three full months of post-work and weekend recreation.

That said, I realize now the “summer things” that I’ve meant to post about are getting further and further in the rear-view mirror. Have to post! I’ll try to do all my catch-ups this week and first give you a picture of the (surprisingly) only vacation yet this summer!

SAVANNAH.

A reunion three years in the making with some of my closest girl friends from being a sister of Alpha Omicron Pi. Aren’t we presh? It is no small feat to stay mediocrely cute when it’s 98% humidity, just saying.

 

These girls came into my life my junior year in college. I was already flexing my usual overachiever ways by taking full honors class loads (I think I was still a triple major at the time, man I’m a nerd) on top of some reporting internships and working as an editor on the college newspaper. Teaching children’s church at Cornerstone Summit. But, that wasn’t enough, duh.

So I decided to join the group of ladies colonizing a new fraternity at Appalachian State.

My perception had been that girls in Greek life lived for their organization. I already had a life. I was a busy girl with a lot of focus on doing what I needed to do to graduate successfully, get a good job, spend time with good friends that I already had. But I had room for more.

Joining the colonization of AOII at our campus was one of my best decisions. These ladies were dedicated to the values and principles of our organization (which were values I already held dear), but what made us so strong was that all of us were like me: we all things we were focused on fostering outside of Greek life too. In the photo below you have amazing academics, incredible musicians, wonderful teachers, smart businesswomen and marketers, writers and advertisers. Yeah, all in one photo : ) We weren’t all buttoned-up and professional all weekend though.

Coming from all over the East, and having not seen each other in 3 years, meant that there was a lot to catch up on. We traveled to Savannah, Ga. from all over. A handful from all over North Carolina, one from Nebraska, one from Connecticut and one from Florida. Dedication.

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There was celebrating. (An engagement! A graduation! A birthday! And a lot of other upcoming life changes to celebrate.)

There was sightseeing.

And beaching.  (Aren’t our visors super fly?)

Some sororities have bigs & littles. Well, AOII does too. But since we colonized we had to have twins instead. Here’s me and mine, Brandie. So special. Out of (I think) around 50 (i think? omg, how big was our colonizing class….now I don’t know…) girls, we picked each other. Handing in a piece of paper with the name of our twin preference. Yup, I picked her. She picked me. Soul mates.

LOTS of eating. (And some drinking, maybe.)

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There was running. (Yup, this is from that last run. Sad times.) And morning coffees.

And consequentially, there was embracing the “no make-up” moments. (So nice to have friends who understand the need to run on vacation!)

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There was a lot of smiling.

Whole lot of smiling.

And even more laughing.

But, I guess at the end of the day — it was just a lot of love : )

Later this week, I’ll make sure to share about how awesome Winston-Salem is in the summer; how some of us really know how to throw a kickin’ baby shower; how Brooke and I are experts at country music concerts and how I feel like I am living every day of the past few months to it’s very, very fullest.

 

2013, you’re halfway gone.

And with the end of June, we’re officially (months-wise) halfway through 2013. It’s pretty wild to take a tally of the first six months and see all of the adventures and stories I’ve collected this year.

From making my first travels out West to exploring Canada with Sarah.

Running. Running. And more running.

Wild new projects, clients and tasks with work.

Unexpected new friendships and relationships. Both their starts and their finishes.

Explorations with little brother. And big life moments crossed off the list. (high school graduations and half marathons.)

2013 has been, to date, as wide-eyed, open-armed and headfirst as I have wanted it to be. I have taken the chances that seemed appropriate. I have had a lot of faith. And I have felt as much alive as I have in a long time. So, this is what living is like?

But there are still six months left. And like with any client on an annual budget; halfway through you have to take stakes in––have we gotten where we hoped to at this point? Are we on track to finish and, at the minimum, meet objective?

January through June? Check. Satisfied.

June through December?

Well, according to the 25 by 25 there still needs to be a broadway show, some personal acting, some education, volunteering, learning about firearms, be published AND write a book proposal. And that’s just by October : ). Crazy remainder list, by the way.

2013 was admittedly going to be a year of change and growth; and looking back on the first six months I cannot believe how accurate my predictions have been.

The most immediate prediction list for the remainder of the year? How about just this third quarter?

– Swallow my pride and see a specialist about my leg. I need to get back to running as soon as humanly possible without forever cursing myself with an injury. (You guys, I had a dream I was running last night.)

– Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley and Kenny Chesney concerts with Brooke through the rest of the summer.

– Family time over the 4th of July holiday.

– Prepping a little brother for college.

– Planning a trip to Atlanta for time with best friends (including the Braves, duh).

– Getting creative with saving money. Let’s see how many dinner parties I can have instead of going out . . .

– Busting out some 25 by 25s, stat.

Next check in will practically be my 25th birthday. Don’t mind me while I go have a freak out over how quickly this year is passing.

Time flies when you’re having fun!

“The best part of any relationship is the beginning. No problems, no fights, just white wine, cuddling, and crazy amounts of History Channel documentaries”

Forget Carrie and Big, Ross and Rachel, DJ and Steve, Eric and Donna, Marshall and Lily, Cory and Topanga, hell–even forget Seth and Summer (haha)–I want a Ben and Leslie kind of relationship.

Season 3. So, so hooked on “Parks and Rec.”

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