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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stream of Consciousness

I probably shouldn't trust the part of my brain that says, "Yes, Kate, you should start writing a blog at 11 p.m." But, for whatever reason, nighttime is usually when I want to write.

Vacation journalism fell through. That is okay. I was all excited about it until I actually started to attempt to write every day, at which point I felt like I had little to say that was interesting. When Marie's computer died, I saw it as a sign that we should not require ourselves to produce more written content for deadlines. Grad school does that enough.

Oh, grad school. It's almost 2013, the year I will graduate. I don't know how to make sense of time — the way it can go too quickly and too slowly simultaneously. I can't believe I'm just four months from being done. I can't believe that 75 percent of grad school is already behind me. When I'm in the middle of it, though, the days and weeks drag on.

via

The weather has been mild enough that this Christmas break has felt like something other than Christmas break. It's just some sort of bizarre pause in time, and I have briefly escaped my grad school reality into an alternate reality of late mornings and days spent in yoga pants. I like being home because I can get hugs whenever I want. I need a lot of comforting these days.

The future seems so up in the air. I traveled to and from Georgia with my family earlier this week, and at one point on the interstate, it was so foggy that we couldn't even see the closest car in front of us. That is how I feel about life now. I don't know what the semester ahead will be like. Even as I'll be wrapping up my time in Columbia, I'll be taking on a new job and beginning my research. It doesn't feel like I've been there long enough to be preparing to leave already, but I'm ready. I'm ready to settle somewhere that isn't so far from home. My heart feels stretched among too many places.

I expect that my memories from Columbia will fade away more than my memories from high school and Asbury. When my mom talks of her time at Mizzou, she talks primarily of the cold weather. She remembers trekking across campus and having to stop halfway to warm up inside a heated building. I think I will remember the friends who welcomed me when I was new in town and the church that I became a part of and the way it felt to have to stand on my own two feet for the first time in my life.

It occurred to me recently that it's funny how much emphasis is put on the changes that take place in adolescence. As soon as you turn 12, there are youth groups specifically for you and books to help you navigate this time of change. (And books for your parents about how to communicate with you once you start, like, totally rolling your eyes at them and slamming doors and saying "whatever" all the time.)

I'm just over here at 23 thinking, Why do adolescents get all the guidance? When you're 12, you're still a kid, and you still live with your parents. Making your bed and doing your math homework are still basically your biggest responsibilities. When you're 23, you have no idea what the heck you're doing. People treat you like a grown-up, but you still feel like a kid.

Twelve-year-olds may have to deal with hormones, but 23-year-olds have to deal with:

  • Grad school and all that entails (at least in my case)
  • Finding a job, networking, self-promotion
  • Figuring out when to move out, where to move, whom to live with
  • Figuring out meal-planning and cooking
  • Learning to budget
  • Maintaining long-distance friendships (>90% of my friendships are long-distance. Sigh.)
  • Having good time management
  • Being bombarded with engagement announcements on Facebook
  • Dating (which is just "a big LOL," as Marie would say)
  • Wrapping your head around the fact that things won't go back to the way they once were
  • Realizing that this aging thing is just going to keep happening

Basically 23-year-olds have to be beginner grown-ups.

I'm jealous of my married friends — not in a sad, when-is-it-going-to-be-my-turn sense, but just in the sense that I want to know who will be doing life with me. My close married friends are all in times of transition, too. New jobs, new locations, new responsibilities. But they know that they'll have somebody there accompanying them through all of it, carrying half the burden and sharing all of the memories. 

This is a total Jesus Juke moment because you could say, "But, Kate, you know Who capital W will be with you!" Yes, well, it would be nice to know who lowercase w will be there, too.

My parents bought my brother a plane ticket so that he can ride to Missouri with me before the semester starts and then fly back to Kentucky. I couldn't bear the thought of making that drive alone. I've made the trip by myself for Thanksgiving and spring break, but I've never done it by myself at the start of a new semester, when the return home seems so far in the future. I usually feel sick to my stomach for days before the goodbyes that precede a new semester. My first few days in Columbia this school year and last were indisputably the saddest days of my life. 

I know that once I get there, it will be fine. I know that I have to go back. I know that four months will go quickly. I know that I am so close to being done. I know that I want to finish this degree. I know that I have friends there whom I love and miss and think about often. I know that I have gotten a nice, long break and still have more time at home before I have to leave.

Still, though, I want to stay here. I want to curl up and pretend that I don't have to be a grown-up, that none of my friends have married and moved away, that no one's getting older, that goodbyes are the furthest thing from my mind. Or I want to go back to Asbury and live in the dorms. It's crazy now to think that there was a four-year period of time when so many people I love, who are now spread out all over the country and the world, were all together in the same place. That sounds like an absolute dream. I think I am homesick for heaven. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vacation Journalism

My blogging partner's computer died, so I'm taking the day off, too.


Addendum: or the week? We will see. This should come as a surprise to no one. I have never been good at keeping up with this blog.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Taylor Swift is taking one for the team.

Every day this Christmas break, my friend Marie-Claire and I have decided to join up in our blogging efforts. We will be choosing a topic and posting our own interpretation of it. So follow along with both of us as we share our completely reliable opinions on fashion, pop culture, and life before our last semester of grad school.

Whenever people criticize Taylor Swift for the number of men boys guys she has dated in recent years — and her penchant for using these relationships as lyric fodder — I am like, y'all, we should be thanking her.

If T-Swift weren't willing to put her heart on the line publicly time and again, we might not have such pop hits as "Today Was a Fairytale," "Forever and Always," and — duh — "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."


When I see pics of Taylor out with a new beau, I recognize that she is risking heartbreak — not to mention criticism — just to be able to provide us, her loyal fans, with our next favorite pop song. Talk about sacrifice.

Taylor Swift is not just some naive ingénue, people. She is a songstress dedicated to her craft. 


Speaking of dedication, when was the last time your diary got read on the radio, huh? That's basically what happens to Taylor Swift every time one of her songs plays — which is, like, thousands of times a day. 

So next time you find yourself bebopping around the house to one of T-Swift's hits, remember that she took one for the team and be grateful.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Royal Baby

Every day this Christmas break, my friend Marie-Claire and I have decided to join up in our blogging efforts. We will be choosing a topic and posting our own interpretation of it. So follow along with both of us as we share our completely reliable opinions on fashion, pop culture, and life before our last semester of grad school.



Potential Names for Will and Kate's Baby:

5. Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking (Pippy for short)
4. Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi
3. Suri Apple Blue Shiloh Beckham
2. Shia LaBaby (courtesy of my brother)
1. Neville Longbottom 

What would you name it?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Movies

Every day this Christmas break, my friend Marie-Claire and I have decided to join up in our blogging efforts. We will be choosing a topic and posting our own interpretation of it. So follow along with both of us as we share our completely reliable opinions on fashion, pop culture, and life before our last semester of grad school.

What are my favorite Christmas movies, you ask? 


5. Harry Potter series

Christmastime at Hogwarts sounds even more magical than Hogwarts during the rest of the year, if that is possible. I want to go to the Christmas feast in the Great Hall and open presents with the Weasleys. Is that too much to ask?

4. Gilmore Girls Christmas episodes

So maybe including a television show is cheating, but Stars Hollow looks like the perfect place to spend Christmas, and I always get the urge to watch this show when it gets cold outside. (The day Gilmore Girls is made available on Netflix Instant is the day that I cease to be productive for the rest of time...)

3. A Muppet Christmas Carol

Our family used to own this movie on VHS, but we lent it to some family friends when I was a kid and never got it back. I am still bitter. I don't remember enough about the movie to say why I loved it, but I know I did.

2. Serendipity

This is not only one of my favorite Christmas movies but also one of my favorite anytime movies. New York City sounds like a wonderful place to spend Christmas, what with the decked out department stores and outdoor skating rinks. Plus, Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack are perfect together.

1. The Family Man

It has come to my attention recently that a lot of people have never seen this movie. If this is true of you, get your hands on a copy at once. My mom bought a copy from the $5 bin at Walmart because I wanted to rent it every single Christmas. It just makes me want to snuggle up in a blanket with hot chocolate and my family and celebrate togetherness. That sounds so cheesy, but it's so true.

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Haiku Friday

Every day this Christmas break, my friend Marie-Claire and I have decided to join up in our blogging efforts. We will be choosing a topic and posting our own interpretation of it. So follow along with both of us as we share our completely reliable opinions on fashion, pop culture, and life before our last semester of grad school.

I give you the past week in haiku form:

Teleportation
should be invented by now
It's 2012

I missed the wedding
of my dear friend Dottie J.
What a lovely bride!

Classes are over,
and I have this urge to say,
Take that, professors!

Ninety-three point five —
the lowest A you can get,
a.k.a. success

Eight hours alone
passing cornfields en route home
Someone call me please

List'ning to podcasts
made by Focus on the Fam
Am I a grown-up?


T-Swift on repeat
She's finally 23
Now I feel less old

I'd like to pretend
that Asbury didn't end
Can't we all go back?

I trusted MapQuest,
but I'm lost on a horse farm
It led me astray

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Vacation Journalism

Every day this Christmas break, my friend Marie-Claire and I have decided to join up in our blogging efforts. We will be choosing a topic and posting our own interpretation of it. So follow along with both of us as we share our completely reliable opinions on fashion, pop culture, and life before our last semester of grad school.

Today's topic: Dream Jobs

Preface: This does not include the job that I'm actually studying to do (because, frankly, I'm supes tired of talking about that). Reality aside, here are my other top ten dream jobs. 

10. YA Author 

Oh, to see my name on the spine of a pink book in the young adult section of the library! I would write about unlikely heroines and teenage drama, and I would say "like" and "you know" and "I mean" a lot. YA authors have that liberty. (I would also use fragments. Like all the time.) 


9. Wedding Planner

I cannot think of a more Pinterestastic job than planning weddings. This job would combine my love of fancy events, planning, meeting people, and holding clipboards.

8. Makeover-er

Think Stacy London and Clinton Kelly. When my friends and I were in college, we wanted to start a makeover service through which we could aid the awkward freshmen with their fashion and beauty choices. So many girls with triangle hair, so many boys with cargo jeans, so little time.

7. Photographer

Being a photographer seems glamorous and artsy, and you get to use Photoshop, which is practically one of my love languages.

6. Web Designer

I took a web design class during my second semester of grad school, and it made me rethink all of my life choices. By which I mean, I wished I could've gone back in time and majored in web design. I just want to know all of the code.

5. Professional Runner

Did you know there are people who get paid to run? IT'S LIKE THEIR JOB. I am way too slow to make a living by running, but we're talking dream jobs here. I would wear cute running clothes and have rockin' legs. In this hypothetical world, I might even get a running-inspired tattoo like the one pictured. (Just kidding. That would never happen.)

4. Mindy Kaling

Another dream job of mine is just to be Mindy Kaling. That woman is a total rockstar. She's hilariously funny, she writes and stars in her own show, and her skin always look luminous.

3. Blogger

I'd have to blog way more frequently to be a professional blogger. Oh, and I'd have to get sponsors and hipster glasses. And maybe become a Mormon.

2. Pop Star

Hand me a hairbrush and crank up the Kelly Clarkson, and you will quickly realize that I seriously missed my calling as a pop star. (The Kelly Clarkson needs to be turned up really loud for this to work.) I hope I'd be the KC or T-Swift variety of pop star, not the Britney/X-tina variety.

1. SAHM

Let's be real: Being a stay-at-home mom is my one and only true dream job. I want to hold babies and wipe spaghetti off their faces and, when they get older, make school lunches for them and drive them to track practice. I promise not to wear mom jeans, though. You can hold me to it.


What's your dream job?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In a most delightful way...


Having somehow survived this past semester, I am home again at last. A few minutes ago, while standing in the kitchen, I started singing "A Spoonful of Sugar" from Mary Poppins. (Don't ask me why. I am always singing something.) In true Kate fashion, I was singing it in a British accent. Perhaps in truer Kate fashion, I was singing the verses out of order and just repeating the same few lines over and over again.

And then my mom and brother, the only ones home with me right now, started singing along — also in British accents and also out of order. And I thought to myself, I have the best family ever.
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