Why You Should See Harry Potter in Concert

Few things make me happier in life than Harry Potter and when I heard the Goblet of Fire was coming to the St. Louis Symphony thanks to CineConcerts, I knew I had to see it. Have I seen the movie over 100 times? Yes. Did that stop me from crying, laughing and cheering the whole way through as if it were the first time I was seeing it? Absolutely not.

There is something about seeing a live orchestra play a movie score live alongside the movie. You can feel the music throughout your body and feel connected to what’s happening on screen as it’s being played out. The quiet moments are more pronounced. The loud moments are more in-your-face. It forces you to be in the moment and it’s wonderful.

While it obviously wasn’t the first time I’ve seen the movie, watching it with the crowd and the symphony felt like seeing it for the first time. We were told by the conductor, Justin Freer, that we were allowed to participate: ‘We ask that you boo your least favorite characters and cheer on your favorites.’ And cheer and gasp and laugh and cry (yes, cry, RIP Cedric), I did. Being around a crowd that loves this fandom as much as I do was a wonderful experience. I saw young kids experiencing the movie for the first time with hands covering their eyes when Voldemort rose once again. I saw an older woman laugh hysterically when Ron was asked to place his hand on McGonagall’s waist. It felt like a joint experience. Something we were all actively participating in together.

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter or just a fan of movie scores in general, I can’t recommend seeing Harry Potter in Concert enough. They are currently on a global tour (yes, GLOBAL!) and will be doing all 8 films (and I personally cannot wait to hear Alexandre Desplat’s score).

Get tickets and see where they’re going to be at next.

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26 Things I Haven’t Done or Can’t Do By 26

I am 26 today (woooooooo) and I thought I would write a list of things I have yet to do or accomplish or can’t actually do as a 26 year old adult woman. AKA: the list no one asked for because, really, no one gives a shit.

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  1. I haven’t written a bestselling book.
  2. I haven’t been an award-winning anything.
  3. I haven’t been a dedication in someone’s book. Rude.
  4. I can’t do a handstand, cartwheel, or anything relating to putting my hands on the ground and kicking my feet in the air.
  5. I have never learned to be graceful. I am not well coordinated in any way, shape or form. I broke my toe tripping over air. AIR.
  6. I forgot (hated) to wear my retainer and now have crooked teeth … again.
  7. I don’t own a LBD.
  8. I don’t know how to eat slowly. I always eat food like I have been starved my whole life.
  9. I don’t know how to make really good coffee.
  10. I haven’t gotten the Harry Potter tattoo I keep talking to everyone about.
  11. I can’t whistle.
  12. I’m not married or have kids. To be honest, I haven’t ever had a serious, proper boyfriend.
  13. I haven’t won the lottery.
  14. I haven’t gone a day in the past year without doing cheesy finger guns after a bad pun.
  15. I haven’t ever run a mile. I walked it in high school (in under 10 minutes—that’s good, right? Right?).
  16. I can’t talk to a room full of people without turning bright, tomato red.
  17. I can’t and won’t ever stop thinking about the time in middle school when I forgot the dance routine to “Hot, Hot, Hot” and stood in the back of everyone during the half-time performance, flapping my arms about pretending I was doing what everyone else was doing.
  18. I can’t play any instrument nor carry a tune and that’s probably the saddest thing about me.
  19. I haven’t grown out of loving romantic historical fiction (yes, the books with the two half-naked lovers embracing on the cover is my kryptonite).
  20. I don’t have the perfect Instagram bod where I am all nice and toned and tanned. I’m more Pillsbury Doughboy than anything (pale and fluffy).
  21. I’ve never not finished a gallon bag of peanut M&Ms by myself. Probably why I don’t have the above.
  22. I’ve never had perfect skin. Is that a thing some people have? Are they just genetically blessed? How do I get perfect skin?!
  23. I haven’t ever been to a party where my very cool party trick of reciting either the opening chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Store or the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet went over well.
  24. I’ve never shotgunned a beer that hasn’t immediately gone up my nose. I think I’m doing something very wrong.
  25. I’ve never been able to see the numbers 69 and not smirk.
  26. I don’t know a lot of things but speak like I have an authority on everything so never believe me. Or just pacify me and nod your head even though I’m probably wrong.

To the Women in My Life

It’s International Women’s Day and I felt it would be the perfect day to celebrate the top six women in my life at the moment (obviously). This is not to say that there aren’t other women in my life that mean an incredible amount to me, you know who you are, but these six have gotten me through a pretty difficult transitional period of my life. And honestly? I don’t know what I would have done without them this past year.

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Kelsey

The fact that you put up with my 100+ random text messages on a daily basis is a testimonial to how much of a good friend you are to me. I honestly don’t know what I would do without your continued support and friendship over the past two years. You have been my rock, my shout into the void, my shoulder, my comedian, my constant and I can’t thank you enough for that. I know that I can go to you about anything and you’ll always be there to listen. You’ll support my stupid decisions, correct my stupid mistakes (Judd Apatow) and laugh along with me because life is a wild ride and I’m glad to have you in the passenger seat. You’re absolutely the Head to my Heart and vice versa. Thanks for everything.

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Emma

There’s only certain people that come into your life at a pivotal moment and you were one of them. After three years of not seeing one another, it was the best feeling being back in your company and feeling as if no time had passed. I know that I can text or call you at any time and you’ll always be there at the other end ready for a conversation. Thank you for always listening to my rambling chats, listening to the random songs I send you, and for being there for me. Always.

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Paige

You left me and finally understand everything I’ve told you for five years—you find yourself when you’re away from everything you know. I’m so incredibly proud of you for making the biggest move of your life and I love that you’re making a home for yourself away from your friends and family. You’re my biggest inspiration this year and for the past seven years, you’ve made me stronger and braver. Even if you don’t realize it. Thank you for your no-nonsense, not putting up with bullshit attitude. You’re the fiercest person I know and I still have a lot to learn from you.

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Brittany

You definitely won’t know how much or understand how much being friends with you again has saved me this year. Thank you for inviting me to that initial One Republic concert and letting me into your circle of friends. It’s a weird thing moving back home to no friends and starting over and reaching out to someone you haven’t seen in nine years is a little intimidating. Especially when you are the outsider to a group of friends who have been friends for a long time, but you’ve been so welcoming and amazing and your friends have welcomed me and I can’t think you enough for that. I really, really can’t.

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Roxann

Oh, lady, thank you always. Yeah, we’re not always the best at keeping in touch and going months without seeing each other (life always gets in the way!), but you help me step out of my comfort zone and learn to be a bit more extroverted. I’ve met some truly amazing people through you and ate some of the best food of my life thanks to your introductions. Every time we see each other, I know I’ll laugh until I cry, drink a bit too much and dance a bit chaotically and I thank you so much for that.

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Momma Bear

And finally, my wonderful, wonderful momma. Everything I do is for you and I never ever want to disappoint you. Thank you for always being my support system and listening to me complain about people you don’t know and excitedly talk about things you don’t care about. Thanks for letting me cultivate and explore the things I love and not stopping me from going after the things that I’ve wanted. You’re the reason that I have such excellent taste in music and know all the words to Bennie and the Jets (finally!). You’re my best friend and I have so much to learn from you still and won’t ever stop learning from you. You’re my favorite person in the world (even though we constantly get on each other’s nerves). Thank you for everything. I love you.

A Love Letter To A Year

It was the British Airways plane landing in Paris and desperately trying to find Alyssa, my new roommate that I had only chatted to on Facebook and wondering if I was at the wrong staircase or if she was. It turned out I was. It was navigating tourists, taxi drivers, and wondering where Uber would pick passengers up, calling and calling and canceling and canceling until we decided to just grab a taxi instead into the city centre where our hotel was. It was the taxi driver asking what we were doing in France, “holiday?” he’d ask and we would catch ourselves smiling without meaning to, smiling like some sort of disease that spread across our faces in a contagion as we explained we were going to be living here for a year.

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It was making it to the hotel, stumbling up stairs and getting hopelessly lost trying to find the hidden door house cleaning was blocking. It was dropping our things in the room, showering and falling asleep almost instantly. It was waking up a few hours later, half in a daze wondering where we were and brushing our teeth before heading out to explore and see and smell Paris before we headed off the next day to our new home. It was coming out of the metro stop and being awed by all of the buildings because being in Paris for the fifth time still didn’t diminish the beauty of the city. It was wandering around trying to find something to eat, hoping to just pass a Prêt a Manger so we could explore some more and settling on takeaway crêpes and staring in wonder at the Eiffel Tower like always. It was heading back to the hotel and taking another shower and falling asleep and getting up the next day with my heart pounding trying not to freak out that I needed to get my suitcase and bag on the train and pretty soon, soon, soon I would be in a tiny town in nowhere France living for awhile and what if I really hated it and I wanted to go home?

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It was getting an Uber to Gare d’Austerlitz and taking the 9:01 train into Argenton-Sur-Creuse and stumbling with my bags and forcing them in the carrier in the middle of the train and finally (finally!) finding my seat on the train and thinking “holy shit, I’m actually doing this. This is actually happening.” It was the train stopping in Argenton and me scrambling to grab all of my things and running onto the platform and seeing the teacher who was to pick Alyssa and I up, the teacher that was described as “40ish with long blonde hair and a nice beard,” and dragging all of our luggage downstairs and then back upstairs and then downstairs and out into the parking lot where the town awaited us. It was seeing the town for the first time from the inside of a car window and thinking how very French everything looked. It was thinking, I’m actually here. It was seeing the massive hill that we would soon be walking every single weekend, or day in Alyssa’s case, from the school to the centre and up a windy path and there it was—the lycée.

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It was going through the gates and meeting other teachers and seeing the apartment and hearing French and more French and feeling exhausted from all the French. It was feeling small in such a large space and feeling vulnerable being somewhere where the language was so very different than my own. It was exploring the town for the first time and buying groceries at Carrefour City and seeing the minimal selection and the fact there weren’t any Oreos or good flavors of Ben and Jerry’s. It was going to the chocolatier for the first time and experiencing my new favorite sweet—massive macarons. It was feeling like I was in the village from Beauty and the Beast and wondering if life was even real.

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It was meeting the English teachers for the first time and getting my schedule and wondering if they were ever going to speak to me in English as I nodded along to their French as my schedule was put together. It was meeting Eleonore for the first time and creeping on her on Facebook afterwards and wanting to be her friend because she seemed so cool. It was getting email upon email from the teachers asking me to plan lessons, or put together a presentation, or asking me questions about myself that I didn’t know how to answer.

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It was going to new cities with Alyssa to explore, heading to towns around where we were living like Chateauroux, Bourges and Orleans. It was Kelsey visiting me for a few days while I was busy during my first week of classes. It was taking her to the creperie in town and ordering Nutella crepes and laughing and just hanging outside in the sunshine with my best friend in a town that I had yet to call home. It was waking up to the sun creeping through the tall windows and wondering if the view outside my window could get any better because nothing was as beautiful as that. It was walking from the lycée to the college and being intimidated by all the cool french kids with their dark scowls, subtle laughs, and aura of just having snuck a cigarette in the toilets.

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It was exploring the edges of ASC (only Alyssa will get that) and realizing we had nowhere to get pizza delivered and no Mexican, but we did have a great burger place and a cinema so we felt like it was something. It was being invited to watch one of the teachers play in his band in the next town over and being picked up by Celine and Lucie and standing inside a bar the size of a hallway, watching them play cover after cover and having cheap beer splashed against every possible surface. It was singing my heart out to “Ça Plane Pour Moi” and feeling so incredible happy in that moment because it felt like everything was coming together. It was trying to get wifi and phone service and Orange hating us and nothing getting resolved. It was spending money on unnecessary items because we thought we might need them. It was French bureaucracy and paperwork and paperwork and even more paperwork. It was trying to open up a bank account and waiting for a letter to be sent to the bank and even more waiting and thinking I’d never get a debit card and finally, miraculously, the bank emailing me saying I can come get a card for my account.

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It was going to London for the October break and taking Alyssa as she had never been there before. It was staying in a hostel in Earl’s Court and leaving the station and turning right and walking and walking and walking before we found it on a quiet side street that had lots of mews and flowers planted everywhere. It was the weather being perfect and waiting in line at the History Museum to see the giant dinosaur before it was to be moved and exploring Southbank and Trafalgar Square and Tate Modern and walking and walking and walking and walking. It was sharing my enthusiasm of my favorite city with my new friend and taking roomie selfies and laughing and heading to the Harry Potter Studio to see her face light up at all the things that I have seen before. It was sharing experiences and heading into small bookshops to explore new titles that we haven’t seen before and walking up Marylebone to explore the place that I had once called home many years before. The sights, the sounds, the shops, everything being exactly the same but with some minor roadwork and construction along the winding street. It was seeing Piccadilly at night and maneuvering around tourists, it was going back to the hostel and a girl yelling, “excuse me!” and us laughing because wasn’t this all just the best? It was heading to Brick Lane to explore the markets and seeing a Coach bag—the Coach bag—and walking up Primrose Hill to the very very very top and being blown away by the view. Always. It was boozy milkshakes at Everyman Theatre, pancakes at The Breakfast Club, tea at Primrose Bakery, and margaritas from Wahaca.

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It was heading back to Paris to catch a train back to the small town and exploring the park with the signs for how to exercise and laughing hysterically at the odd looking trees. It was cheap bottles of wine and chicken nuggets and peanut m&ms that tasted different but I ended up liking them way more and wondering how to make mac and cheese and failing over and over again.

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It was early mornings to Brussels with a train delay that made us late and pay extra money to catch a different train. It was frustrations at the French railway and trying to calm down with chocolate. It was realizing that we could live in Brussels because of the three different languages and the coffee shops and oh my god didn’t it feel amazing to be in a city again? It was seeing Grand Place in person when I’ve only ever seen it on Instagram where the pictures definitely didn’t do it justice. It was the Christmas trees in every corner of the city preparing itself for the festivities that were to come. It was the waffles and the chocolate and the statues of dogs and people peeing everywhere. What was that about? It was going to see Fantastic Beasts and thinking it was going to be in English like the ticket said but the opening credits rolled in and we watched it for the first time in French. It was being so hungry and stumbling around for food that we ended up in a Hard Rock Cafe binging on American-style food and paying too much for drinks. It was seeing the Atomium and thinking why is there an Atom in the middle of the city? How strange this place is. It was walking into another Harry Potter tour and realizing that every trip we’d been on had a theme. It was being annoyed with our hostel mates and thinking how pretentious they were as we rolled our eyes at them and the 30 second showers and trying to hurry up and not smell like we walked around a city for hours and hours.

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It was hosting Thanksgiving and attempting to make as much food as possible as American as possible and playing Heads Up and laughing so hard and Maria’s lemon squares that I still need the recipe to and watching the parade on YouTube from the year before and the teachers seeing how bare our place was and that view. That view. It was Wednesdays with Eleonore where we would watch TV and eat lunch and plan lessons and I would fake her accent and we’d practice dance moves and watch The Crown, Timeless, Broadchurch, and About Time where I cried secretly to myself because that movie gets me every time.

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It was Alyssa laughing at me for how much Nutella I ate and taking photos on her holiday with another teacher of the biggest Nutella jar I’ve ever seen. It was going to Toulouse to see Mika and Mika (yes, they are dating and have the same name) and seeing the Christmas market and exploring the city twice over. It was sitting by the river, eating bagels with Mika, and laughing about how strange the world is. How you can have friends everywhere you go because the world isn’t that big. It’s playing cards and me being the asshole every time. It was hearing “Voyage Voyage” playing on TV and singing along with Mika and his friends. It was the train ride home (yes, I was calling it home) and watching the hills roll by and Doctor Who.

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It was heading back to the States for Christmas break and stopping in Ireland by myself. Exploring all the little places I had never explored before and seeing the castle where Pierce Bronson got married and sneaking on the grounds only to be yelled at. “But sir, I had no idea this was private property.” It was going to Galway and always being floored by the beauty of the city. Always. Always. Always. It was being home for two weeks, how strange to only be back in the luxury of my mother’s cooking for that short of a period, and hopping back on a plane to Chicago, to Dublin, to Paris, back to Argenton all before midnight on New Years Eve. It was falling asleep at 7pm and then waking up an hour before midnight. It was the silent city as no fireworks went off, nothing was going on downtown and I was all alone in this big empty flat on New Years. Naturally. It was not having wifi for a week afterwards, waiting for Alyssa to get back home, and reading awful book after awful book (hey, 50 Shades of Grey) and laughing at how horrible they were. It was eating my weight in peanut M&Ms because I was too lazy to cook.

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It was heading back into Paris when Alyssa finally came back and not going to the brunch spot we were desperately wanting to go to as the queue was over an hour long. It was Galerie Lafayette, and the paintings of superheroes in 18th century clothing, it was the view from the top of Printemps, it was the sun setting over the city and me realizing how much I did love Paris for once. It was going to tea and shopping with Eleonore and her mum.

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Then another six weeks passing and another two week break springing up and heading to Amsterdam solo and being nervous because I had never been there before. It was navigating another metro system and hearing Dutch for the first time and thinking how odd it was because it sounded so much like English. English that I didn’t understand. It was meeting Sarena, my new travel buddy, and going on a free walking tour and learning all about the gorgeous gorgeous city that I couldn’t believe I was in. It was pancakes and views and canal after canal. It was Bansky painted on the side of a university and bikes lining every inch of the city. It was boobs and the stench of marijuana. It was everything and nothing like I expected. It was finding 10 on the side of the road and buying banana coffee cake at the cutest cafe in town. It was being blown away by the generosity and architecture and everything I was seeing. Spending way too much money on the art museum but not caring because it was vast and beautiful and how do we have so much art in the world? Will it ever stop? I hope not. It was heading back to the airport to go to Edinburgh and meeting Christine for tea and becoming instant friends because of Harry Potter (I told you there was a theme). It was heading back to the Airbnb I was staying and meeting Kayla and Dan, my new friends from South Africa. It was drinking Australian red wine and laughing at everything and nothing. It was hiking up Arthur’s Seat with Christine on a bruised foot and limping to Byron Burger afterwards. It was tea and a warm brownie at The Elephant House where we stayed for hours talking about life and love and adventures we never wanted to stop going on. And then, my favorite bit, heading to Berlin where my worlds collided and I stayed with Krystin in cold, cold, rainy Berlin. Where we ate all the food and checked out the local markets and shops and talked about how we first met each other and look where we are now!! It was the American diner with my polaroid camera and taking photos in a photo booth much to Krystin’s embarrassment and dope ass toast and ordering way too much Thai food and the delivery driver not knowing where we were at and Krystin speaking broken German. It was drinking way too much in bed and watching Children of Men. It was chilling out and resting and being with someone I love.

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It was back to Argenton. And then it was new classes, new students, new kids to look at me and stare and not speak English because they were embarrassed and it was me standing in front of a class getting embarrassed because they won’t speak. It was me dancing around and singing and listening to 11 year olds scream “Mack! Mack! Mack!” and thinking how much I simultaneously loved and hated it. It was the cool, older kids who hung back after class to try and speak to me and how much I really loved them all.

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It was my birthday. A celebration at Le Clap for burgers with Eleonore, Alyssa, and Marie and eating way too much that I had to unbutton my pants. It was my dessert on fire and leaving straight after classes to take the train with Alyssa back to my favorite city, my number one love affair, London. It was going to Sky Garden and swiping left on Tinder to too many people, getting our ears pierced and seeing Beauty and the Beast. It was being surprised with chocolate cupcakes at our hotel by Sam and eating The Breakfast Club and Yolkin and Wahaca and thinking life could not get any better. Life is funny that way.

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It was Carnaval and watching all the students walk to class in fancy dress and wanting to participate so I painted my face. It was wishing I could be dressed up as a chicken or Tetris pieces. It was going to drinks with Eleonore, Chloe, and Lucie and wondering how I ended up being here for almost a year and not hung out with them all before. How it was possible that during my last month I was finally making friends that I would soon be leaving. It was drinking kir and dancing to the Spice Girls and bad 90s R&B while opening the windows wide to the streets of Argenton for the whole town to hear.

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It was the last holiday. Meeting with Sam, Ami, and Kelly in London to show them around Europe for their first time. It was photos on the bridge, Southbank, and so much walking. It was wishing I lived in the flat we stayed in and how I wish this was where I lived always. It was Mad Hatter’s Tea at Sanderson and boozy cocktails and Tate Modern and cider upon cider. It was walking to Duck and Waffle for the views and being overwhelmed by all the gorgeous men that surrounded us. It was an hour long queue at The Breakfast Club so they could see what I always rave about and being disappointed not seeing the attractive waiter who is usually there. It was Ami struggling with jet lag and falling asleep at the National Gallery. It was taking the overground to Harry Potter Studio and seeing it for another time through the eyes of my friends. It was their squeals, their “look at this!,” their obvious excitement that made me laugh and smile and so damn happy because Harry Potter brings everyone together, really. It was seeing the women with the tasseled trousers and wondering where she got them. It was buying them at Topshop the next day. It was early mornings to Nordic Bakery and walking around Regents Park showing Sam the school I went to and the gorgeous trees and shit all along the roads. Oh, beauty mixed with shit. Sounds about right. It was Byron Burgers in Shoreditch and a speak easy under The Breakfast Club and Kelly getting excited because a local said, “I’m so glad there aren’t tourists here” and there we were, tourists with locals. It was waking up at an ungodly hour the next day to catch the Eurostar to Paris and freaking out thinking we weren’t going to make the train and panic, panic, panic. It was grabbing a taxi outside Nord and the girls looking in every direction trying to see every inch of Paris that they could. It was Charlotte, our Airbnb host, and the spiral staircase and sleeping on top of a crate and walking around downtown and seeing the Eiffel Tower way, way up close. It was walking along Champs-Élysées to go to Sephora and grabbing face masks and contour. It was seeing a sign that said “j’existe” because yes, I do. It was a tiny dog on the metro who liked everyone but me and falling asleep as soon as we got back because I was so very tired but the girls stayed up for me. It was Nutella crêpes in the Latin Quarters and Shakespeare and Company bookshop and getting drunk on cheap wine and texting people we shouldn’t. It was going to the Red Light District hoping to go to a burlesque show but ending up in an abandoned warehouse watching a French band play and dancing all night. It was drinking and drinking and drinking and listening to the bands we hadn’t heard since high school. It was going to get a huge omelette and coffee the next afternoon because we slept in and seeing the whole of Paris from the top of Galeries Lafayette. It was eating shitting Italian food and walking towards the Louvre to see the Eiffel Tower in the distance sparkle. It was Tiger bar and gin and walking walking walking. It was saying goodbye and onto the next adventure.

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It was taking a taxi to the airport outside of Orly and getting upgraded to a suite and reading a book all afternoon and taking the longest shower and watching Netflix waiting for Alyssa. It was Alyssa getting completely lost and ending up walking on the highway. Silly girl. And then we woke up and we’re heading to Milan onto our last adventure together. It was seeing the three hottest guys we’ve ever seen in our lives and slightly drooling wondering where they were going. It was the Milan train station and men leering and walking across the street, and finding our hostel neatly tucked away, a five minute walk from the station. It was seeing the Duomo from the stairs and being blown away by it. How could something that gorgeous be made so long ago? It was walking around in the heat and pasta and gelato and sitting in the park for hours to read and wondering, “Is this all? Are we so pretentious that we aren’t impressed by Milan?” It was going to a rainy rainy Venice and being claustrophobic by the winding and tiny streets. It was being an Instagram husband and Lizzie McGuire movie references and couples heavily making out and Kat Von D liquid lipstick inside Sephora and sitting on very hard bars inside the train station before heading back. It was the hot bartender at the hostel and Arctic Monkeys playing quite loudly in the common room. It was being so amazed by the view from the top of the Duomo and wondering why we hadn’t done it sooner. It’s taking photos at the top of one another, our last one as roommates abroad.

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It’s heading back to Argenton for the last time and packing up our apartment and having a goodbye dinner with the teachers and crying and stealing toilet roll from the student toilets and having a goodbye party with my favorite students who made me laugh and laugh and cry and cry and drinking more cheap wine with Alyssa and attempting to see how far we could kick our slippers out the window and yelling into the night air and watching 90s rom-coms and The Bachelor and First Dates and Scream and Don’t Breathe and getting so angry when the wifi would cut out at the best parts!! It was crying when I said goodbye to Eleonore and hugging Alyssa in Paris as we went our separate ways. Her back home and me to Scotland to meet Matt. It was everything that I missed and everything that I misremembered. It was all the best parts, hard parts, sad parts, and everything in-between. It was everything.

24 Things I Learned By 24

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1. Eat the ice cream. Stop questioning and dig in.

2. As much as you hate it, not everyone is going to like you and that’s completely out of your control. Sometimes it’s a personality thing. Remember how you don’t like some people’s personalities? Well, same thing goes for other people regarding you.

3. Mom is right about mostly everything.

4. You don’t need 100 friends to be happy—you just need one.

5. Just be nice!

6. Love things without restriction. Stop being embarrassed by things that you like. Embrace your dork.

7. Being alone and being lonely are too separate things.

8. Don’t wear shoes that are a half size too small. Your feet will thank you for it.

9. Laugh until you cry.

10. Saying you don’t understand something is okay. You don’t have all the answers.

11. Get your oil changed.

12. Take care of yourself—have time to breathe and reflect on things and don’t always be go-go-go. You need to have downtime.

13. Stop thinking about the things you did in your past. You can’t change them, so move on.

14. No one’s lives are like they appear on social media. Stop being jealous.

15. Don’t feel bad about sleeping in. Sometimes you need it.

16. Always check you’re logged into the correct social media account. Tweeting something from your work account that was meant to go on your personal isn’t always the best.

17. Do not touch your face when you have a zit. Don’t pick at it. Don’t mess with it. Don’t even stare at it.

18. Stop hanging out with people that make you feel bad about yourself. You’re essentially in an emotionally abusive relationship. If you wouldn’t want your friends to hang out with them, why are you?

19. Get your haircut more than once every six months.

20. It’s okay that you don’t know what you’re doing in life. You’re still young and figuring yourself out.

21. Don’t ever pass up the opportunity to snuggle a cat.

22. Learn how to make a basic meal, and not just microwavable meals.

23. Do things that scare you.

24. When someone is sad, just be there for them anyway you know how.

Dear January

I promised myself this year would be made up of moments. I would take each day as it comes and not force fun, force moments, or force behavior. This month has been proof that you should never force life to happen because sometimes life is really fucking rad and you meet people you didn’t know a few months ago that completely understand you and you just take it day by day.

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At the start of every year, I always get this weird sense of nostalgia of things that at the time felt really great, but in retrospective were probably not the best. People I let walk all over me. Nights where I should have gone out instead of staying home. And some serious hard looks at myself and what a shitty friend I can be. I’m working on it. I really am.

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But, January, you were a good month. You were full of discovery and Bloody Marys. You were full of food and fast friends. You brought new music in my life, more dance parties, and remembering how much I like to hang out with people and have genuine conversations about everything and nothing all at the same time. You were full of ice cream, eye-rolling, lace-up shoes, and the reality that I’ll be leaving in a few months back to the city that I love more than anything. You were full of Star Wars jokes, movies at vintage theatres where Kels and I laughed and laughed and laughed. You were full of art, happy hours, valets, and falling in love with strangers passing by with beanies and a flute of champagne. You were full of kissing booths, Tinder, and all the Drake jokes one can imagine.

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January, I want to say a hearty thank you. You’ve been good and maybe next month I will write to you in a video.

Mixed Emotions

  
You’re too soft. You’re too hard. You’re too shy. You’re too loud. You’re too quiet. I tell myself that everything that I need to be is in all the words that everyone around me has ever said. Don’t do this, but be this. Be that. Don’t be too much of this, but be a lot of that. Those lies are deceiving and so are your eyes. Your breath on my neck and your hands on my hips as I think about all those little things that I’m not, but I am and your lips fall heavily on my mouth and those thoughts melt away. But then again, I think too much. I speak too much. I can’t wait to get out of your presence. I hate you as much as I’ve hated anyone, yet I can’t wait to be with you. Push me away like you do with everyone. Tell me all of your secrets late at night, naked with your chest heaving up and down. Then push me out the door, tell me to leave, ask me quickly to go, as you pull on your pants, and turn on the sink to brush your teeth. Don’t look at me. Don’t even talk to me. Let me fall in love. Let me in, but only for a second. Kiss me hard. Slowly. Long and with fervor. Push me out the door. Don’t forget to throw me away. I’m too quiet. I’m too loud. I’m too shy. I’m too hard. I’m too soft.