Before: a reflection on my last moments of normalcy.

A memoir-style recollection of the last moments I spent with my a cappella group ‘Tar Heel Voices’ before and right after we got the news about Carolina sending us home.

          I woke up on the carpeted floor of my Chapel Hill home. It was 6:18 a.m, Lauren was upstairs getting ready. I rolled over, incredibly sore and tired. We’d just competed in the ICCAs the night before – my throat was scratchy, my hair still straightened, save for the pieces around my forehead where the sea-salt sweat brought out some recollection of ringlets. I’d poured my clean clothes on my bed the night before so I’d have to fold them before going to bed – but exhaustion had gotten the best of me. I quickly shoved some t-shirts and leggings into my duffle (the one mom had given me senior year, specifically for train rides). It was a nice full circle.

          “You ready?” Lauren was downstairs with the biggest smile. I bit back my racing heart.

          “I’ll be fine once we’re on the train. Then I’m not in charge anymore.” I’d planned the whole trip, rode every bump, swallowed every hiccup. I’d done all I could to make sure the trip would go smoothly; now we just had to get there.

          You see, my dearest friends were horrible at getting places on time and no amount of reminder messages was going to force them to wake up on time. So, there we are 5 present from a group of 12. I was pissed. I was freaking out. I was scared. I’d set the expectations! I’d been so clear! How could the first part of the trip already have gone so horribly?

          A few phone calls later, it was sorted out. Brooke later joked that she woke up to “The wrath of God. The wrath of Lizzy Campbell.” I was far from a happy camper.

          A car ride to Raleigh with Arjun and Sarah was filled with show-tunes and pleasant conversation. I was just ready to get there, get on the train, and let someone else take over. The train station was sparkling; it was brand new. I could hardly remember the old one I’d spent so much time in. But it felt sort of therapeutic, I was going on a new adventure with new people in my life, and I was starting it in a brand new space.

          I sent the troops off to get food from the market down the road and sat with the luggage, took a few thousand deep breaths, and peed at least four times in 15 minutes. A vegan chicken salad snack pack and a coconut lime kombucha later, we were on the train, spread out in one car. I was relieved. We’d all made it; I’d done it! I’d actually successfully planned a trip and it was about to be the best five-days-four-nights of my life!

          The train ride was perfect, but then again I’d always loved the train. Kind of felt like a field trip. Turning to Brooke behind me, speaking in whispers, laughing at inside jokes that the boys were annoyed to not understand. It was a really simple and giddy kind of fun; I was utterly content. After an impossibly busy semester, I was so relieved to have a break.

          When we got there, the air was perfectly crisp – just cold enough to wake you up, but not enough to make you hate your own existence. We walked to the metro station and all laughed a little bit when Batman put on gloves to touch the metro card machine. He wiped down the railings of the metro with a Clorox wipe; Lauren passed around a bottle of hand-sanitizer. I didn’t think much of it; public transportation would always be gross, but I knew better than to lick the metal poles or rub my face against a seat that had sat many-a-stranger with many-a-story.

          The airbnb was my final fear – booking it had been a breeze, almost a little too easy. I punched in the door code and thank God it was just as cute and cozy as it had looked. We did bed selection in our usual order (Year, time in the group, position in the group). Since I’d planned the trip, I was a little insistent on choosing first. I was claustrophobic after all and had always had a hard time falling asleep. On most group retreats I would sleep on the floor or the couch just to avoid sharing a bed. I chose the small bedroom at the top of the staircase on the right. It had one bed just big enough to fit two people; Sarah was my bed buddy and best friend. We were both a little relieved that we had our own space – Sarah liked having personal space and I liked invading her personal space! A perfect duo.

          We were lucky that Arjun’s mother lived in the area; she was kind enough to host us for dinner that night. We sat around some of us sipping beer, some of us sticking with water and vegan ranch dip, and we sang. We sang songs we’d rehearsed a hundred times; we sang songs we hadn’t touched in months; we sang songs we’d never sung before just riffing off of each other and coming up with harmonies on the spot. It was beautiful and pure and everything I loved about that group of people.

          Sarah and I woke up to the sound of far too many alarms throughout the house. We got dressed quickly – used some charcoal toothpaste – and left with a small group to go to a supreme court open hearing. Security was intense – metal detectors, bag checks, electronics in lockers – the whole shebang. Batman continued wiping down surfaces, Lauren continued to hand sanitize every five minutes or so, and Sarah and I continued washing our hands – like a lot. We obsessed afterward about seeing RBG in person (and also that other justice that we wished we hadn’t seen).

          The Holocaust museum was emotionally draining. I found myself crying in the presence of strangers for the first time on the trip. I looked for Lithuania on all the signs trying to find the city where Ramunė was from – searched the names to see if her last name was anywhere. Tragedies always felt worse when we had some sort of personal attachment…I wondered what that said about me.

          I was drained and mad at the world and highly irritable. Sarah and I went back to the airbnb to nap. Which, yes, seemed extremely lame to our friends; I mean, we were in DC there was so much to explore! Why just go back to the house? But then we were on the metro, talking about life and romance and our theories on how that virus would affect our lives. I didn’t think it was gonna hurt us much; Sarah wasn’t really sure. We pushed those thoughts aside as we ate pancakes in bed and accidentally spilled syrup on our pillows. Brooke joined us later and we talked for hours; body image, teenage tendencies, life. I could tell they were gonna be friends I had in my life for a long time, dipping their toes into that pool of my eternal love.

          And the journey continued – every day bringing the kind of memories you know are fundamental when you make them. The moments that feel so special in person that you know you have to memorize all the details for later. We scootered around the city, drank too much coffee, and stood in somber silence as we learned more and more of the messy history of our country. Sarah and I went off on our own quite a bit – so much to talk about, so much to catch up on, so many spontaneous adventures we needed to let ourselves have.

          We were at the science museum staring at a small exhibit where children could hold insects. I asked the woman working the station where the bugs were kept went the museum was closed; she pointed to the cart, looking disappointed.

          “They’re just trapped there? In those small little boxes – forever?” I was shocked and complained to Sarah about it all the way to the Washington Monument. That was when I got the first email.

Congratulations Elizabeth. You have been accepted to the Writing for the Screen and Stage Minor.

          I couldn’t stop smiling; it was something I’d been dreaming of since I stepped foot on Carolina’s campus. I thought nothing could touch the joy I was feeling but then the second email came through.

          “Lizzy.” Sarah and I looked at each other. It didn’t feel real.

          Then we were with the rest of the group – all joined together, singing our alma mater outside the lincoln memorial. I started to think that maybe it would be the last time I performed with that specific group of people. We sang the rest of the night, sitting on the couches downstairs in the little home we’d made ours for the time. I couldn’t stop crying and I certainly couldn’t fall asleep; I felt like my life was slowly collapsing under saran wrap – suffocated by outside forces.

          I didn’t want to say goodbye, so I didn’t. After hugging one person goodbye, with the knowledge that they were exiting my life, for the time being, I knew I couldn’t handle saying goodbye to all 12 people. I couldn’t stomach the idea of acknowledging the end, so I didn’t. I got off the train, met my dad, and left.

          I wish I’d known those were the last slices of normal life. I wish I’d known how different things would be now. I wish I would have spoken all my truths, poured out all my love, sucked every bit of joy out of the moment. What a different world that was – my biggest fear residing in the question of if a boy liked me back – my biggest complaint resting with a group of people’s inability to be on time. I would give anything for my friends to show up fifteen minutes late to my doorsteps now.

But I can close my eyes and escape there for a moment, and there I am sitting, laughing, and crying with them all, knowing we had something special – knowing we were something special. There I am in Alexandria, sitting on a porch swing, eating ice cream, surrounded by endless love, and knowing that everything was about to change. 

 

STAYIN’ BUSY

“Hey Lizzy, can you hang out tonight?”

“Nothing’s on my calendar!”

“Okay, so that means you have at least four meetings all scheduled at the same time.”

My friend Steven CAME AFTER me yesterday!!! I hate it because he’s right. I am an over-committer through and through. In highschool I said yes to everything because I really liked being involved. Plus once I was home I had my down time! College is a whole-nother story ((I feel like I’m always saying that in posts))

I genuinely do love being involved; I think it’s a total party being able to be involved in so many different facets of school. I’m in an acapella group, I’m in a sorority, I’m starring-in/filming/directing a TV show that I wrote, I’m training for a half-marathon, and attempting to stay on top of school work and still fitting in free time to hang out with my friends.

That was exhausting for my to type, so it must be exhausting to live, right? Two nights ago, I did laundry at one in the morning, because I didn’t have any other time (where washers were open) to do it! ((thank goodness my friends came to keep me company)).

I got really good at time management in high school, so I think I’m a healthy busy bee. But being busy does mean I don’t have a whole lot of room for error. If something goes wrong in my (very tightly packed) schedule. Then something has to go – and I hate cancelling. I am very much a “yes” girl. I say yes to pretty much everything and anything; in high school my therapist made me say no to three things a week just to practice doing it. I definitely know my limits now and what I want to be committing myself to, but it’s college! There’s so much I want to do! And I just want to do it all now! Right???

Sometimes I look at my schedule and wonder how I do it. Like honestly, how am I a functioning human being with all this stuff? Even though I’m doing really well with it all rn, I know that I need to be careful. This could be a slippery slope.

I’m really tired! Like actually completely worn out. I wish I could do it all, but I know that sometimes I just need to sit by myself in an empty fourth-floor lounge and watch Netflix. ((i.e what I’ve been doing the past hour)) This is the first time all week I’ve had genuine down time – and I know I could go out with my sorority sisters and have a fun night out, or go to my acapella group’s girl’s night in, but I honestly just want a nice calm Friday night where I can go to bed at a reasonable hour and prep for the overbooking I have coming up tomorrow.

Guess who’s happy? Surprise, it’s me!

Wow hello wow! Boy oh boy am I tired! Is this what my brother feels like all the time (minus all the math #cantrelate)?

Every day I wake up and usually dread some part of my day, but then I come home filled with this wonderful blissful contentment that I can’t quite explain. It’s like that feeling of running hot water over freezing fingers or when vibrato echoes in a space.

For the first time in a little while I can confidently say I am happy. Like actually happy. Not just a fake smile in some photo posed at parties I’d rather not be attending. Not just iced coffee dates where I lie and say I’m probably just tired. Not just blog posts where I really try to convince myself that I’m okay.

I am actually happy. Very very very happy. It’s such a fantastic relief to know that I could walk through a dark and not so fun forest where I tripped far too often and somehow still get out with only a couple (a lot) of bruises. To know that all those forests have sunshine somewhere along the journey is something amazing. To know that my heart can withstand a whole lot is very reassuring.

And so what if my room is a mess or if I can’t remember things unless I write them down or if I can only make time for people if it’s on my google calendar? I am happy. That’s the good ole end goal for most, isn’t it? To be happy, to love, to be loved. I’ve got all three right now. Do I still seek self-validation in others? Sure! But I no longer place my self-worth and value in the love I receive from those who aren’t worth it.

Trust me when I say that I have become a whole lot more comfortable with the idea that I could be someone’s least favorite person. That thought used to keep me up at night and really h*cking stress me out. But that fear of needing to be liked and appreciated only turned me into this people-pleasing monster who was not as selfless as she may have appeared.

But here I am, today, in a very comfortable dorm bed that feels oh so much like home, surrounded by the most wonderful of friends; I am where I was meant to be and God knew it all along.

So, hi! Let me reintroduce myself; my name is Lizzy ((very much with a y)) and I am so happy to announce that I am truly happy. My love is a force to be reckoned with and I’d love to prove that to you some time 😉

PEACE OUT MY HAPPY HOMIES!

Bagel Bagel Bagel

Boy do I love bagels! There has never been a time where someone has suggested eating bagels where I’ve gasped at the audacity of their question. I seriously am always dtgabfa (down to get a bagel from Alpine) ((Alpine is the bagel place at my college sorry this isn’t the most #relatable acronym)). Bagels come in so many shapes and sizes and flavors some of em are super spicy – others are real ~salty~. Sometimes bagels are disgusting and like you gotta tell your friends to avoid them, but sometimes they’re really sweet and you wish you could have that bagel for the rest of your life.

Unfortunately, bagels don’t always know what they want. Which is a real pain as a customer. Us customers are constantly confused by bagels and their intentions! When am I gonna find a nice cooked piece of dough that is both honest with itself and with me!

I’m kind of tired of bagels, if I’m being totally honest. I spend so much time obsessing over how bagels think of me and how other people view my relationship with bagels. I kinda just wanna go gluten free for good, ya know? Whenever I have a bagel I always feel kinda weird after. Like I overthink all the consequences – the calories, my gluten intake for the day, the eventual run I will have to go on, the way it sits on my stomach the rest of the day – I’m not sure if it’s worth it anymore.

I used to have a consistent bagel (which was dope); I think I want a consistent bagel again. I’m really tired of taste testing all these different kinds – some have really awful bitter after tastes. I went on a bit of a bagel break earlier this school year; it was somewhat successful ? But I’m thinking I need to go on another one, especially since I’m training for a half-marathon right now. I don’t need any glutinous distractions. The right bagel will find me! I can hope?

((Oh, I see what she did there. She isn’t actually talking about bagels. It’s a clever metaphor for her love life, wow she’s so weirdly creative.))

I will say though, I miss Alpine a lot; I miss all my fellow customers. I miss late night bagel-talks and burnt coffee. I miss electric pianos and microwave s’mores. I miss that one suite that’s adopted me as their little sister. And I sure as heck miss those two girls; one hated me the first time she met me; one met me minutes before I could be found sobbing on a purple mattress.

College is so weird guys, like really weird. But I’m very ready to be back. I think I’ll go gluten-free for New Years.

Happy 2019!

 

 

Potentially Cold, Definitely Blessed

Hi Hello Dear Loved Ones and Strangers!

Welcome to my Blog; can I get you anything? Hot chocolate, a big ole hug, a nice hand hold? Please make yourself at home!

I’m sitting outside of my dorm (up against the brick wall completely burrito-ed in a blanket). I don’t think I’m crazy here, but I really enjoy being cold.

This is gonna be a religious blog post, and despite whatever you may believe, I’d invite you to read! Who knows, maybe you’ll learn some cool things about yourself (or this great big world we get to occupy for a little bit).

I grew up very religious ((shoutout to my Episcopalian middle/high school)). I was raised Methodist by some really cool peeps (my raised-catholic momma (who hates being called mama, sorry) and my preacher-kid daddio (who has never been called that before, but hey I’m trying new things). My grandma is this rocking awesome Methodist Preacher who marches for equality and loves herself a good glass of wine! But the dopest (a really great adjective, right?) thing about how I was raised was the way my family let us kiddos choose what we believed. I know a lot of people who were forced to believe this-or-that and therefore resented it. People don’t really like being told what to believe, ya know?

I don’t have that ~cool~ testimony where God like pancake-flipped my life in this miraculous way, but I’d argue that my journey won’t be over until I take my last breath. No one’s testimony is ever complete until they are!

I grew up with a really strong faith; I had my doubts as most questioning kids do, but I never really experienced a total blackout of my faith. When I was a freshman in high school, I struggled with a lot of mental health issues ((if you’ve read my blog before you might know a lil about that)) like big time anxiety issues. I started to fall into that spiral where I was mad at God.

“Hey God, if you’re so freaking great and loving and all that, then why did my camp counselor kill herself? Why did one of my best friends cut his wrists in the bathroom? Why do I want to not live anymore? If you’re really up there then get me out of this. Don’t let me wake up tomorrow. I don’t want anymore of this bs.”

((my fingers are getting very chilly at this point, so I apologize for these frozen-not-so-poetic words))

I was frustrated and mad and felt as if everything I’d been taught was some watered down truth meant to put a band-aid on all the hurt around me. It felt like religion was an excuse to ignore the real world, to ignore the real issues, to ignore the pain. I was done with the hypocrisy of those around me; I was done with the idea of suffering; I was done with feeling like my anxiety could suddenly go away if I were just more faithful in my God.

I didn’t stop believing in God, but I stopped loving him; I stopped having faith in his goodness. I was convinced that christianity was a whole load of crap, and that everyone around me was just being naive in their blind faith.

Then I went to my favorite place in the world, no not Disney World (even though that is up there). I went to Camp Cheerio, which is definitely the best summer camp in the whole world! It was my last year as a camper and I was not at all ready for those amazing memories to end. It was our camp-out night, a fine Wednesday night, and we laid out under the stars. My counselor gave some devotion that has long since left my mind, but I remember laying there under those beautiful stars and for the first time in almost a year, I prayed. I was sort of at a loss for words, but God has this miraculous way of speaking for me when I don’t know what to say. So there I was, staring at a sky full of hope and wonder counting shooting stars and praying; it was the calmest I had felt in such a long time. I felt the Holy Spirit work in me that night.

Later in the session, I sat in the woods by myself (a fun thing called Solo Night), on top of a fallen tree, with a bible open in my lap. I’d always loved the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, so I figured I should start there. I read this story that I’d heard so many times before, but for the first time I felt like I understood Joseph – a man who had everything taken from him, a man who was utterly alone in the universe – I saw how God delivered him through all the bs of life. But the most amazing thing to me was how Joseph was so strong in his faith through it all. That couldn’t be naive blind faith, that was something else. That was an amazing belief in something bigger than himself.

I am so far from perfect and I deal with strife over guilt every day, but I remember that someone loved me enough to die for me. Which in theory sounds like something we would do for any of our loved ones, but he didn’t just die for one of us – he died for each and every one of us. The liars, the cheaters, the murderers, the crooked politicians, the sex offenders, the rapists, the worst of the worst, and the best of the best. How absolutely wild is that? It will never make sense to me. Ever. 

There is nothing in this post that I can say to capture the absolute peace I feel in my God. There is no way to capture his grace. But when I think of the love God has for me and every one of the 7 billion people on this earth, I am overcome with emotion.

I can sit here and type forever, but nothing is going to measure up. Nothing is gonna feel like enough. I encourage you to look at the little things in your life that have gone so inexplicably right, those things that seem like daily miracles, the way your little sister smiles, the way the sky is painted every morning and every night, think of it all. There is something bigger than us out there in that wonderful sky. When I hear the way human voices come together to create the most beautiful and intricate of harmonies, I cannot help but think of the wonderful things God has put in my life.

There is something so much bigger than us; there is something so much lovelier than us. I’m not tryna make any of you religious or anything, but it’s a pretty cool experience and I highly recommend it.

Hosea 6:3
“Let us acknowledge the Lord;
    let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
    he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
    like the spring rains that water the earth.”

That’s pure poetry y’all.

I’ll do the research, so you don’t have to!

You’re welcome. 

Maybe at the family dinner table this thanksgiving break Uncle Something-or-Other started talking about that dang caravan and those darn immigrants, and maybe you sat there completely clueless. I’m guessing you don’t really know too much about what this caravan thing is? Or why everyone is up in arms about it? Heck, maybe you yourself feel a lil uncomfy with it all, but you’re not entirely sure what’s going on. I was in a similar position when I first heard of the ‘migrant caravan’, so I did what I do best – I listened to podcast after podcast, read various articles, watched videos; I did the research, so you don’t have to.

Let’s start with the what-the-heck :

On October 13th of this year, a group of mostly Hondurans began to flee from the “crime-ridden city” and head to America. They formed what is now known as the ‘migrant caravan’ and were soon joined by others from Guatemala and El Salvador.

What exactly is a caravan? Is it a super fun vehicle decked out for a family-road-trip of fun ! Woo-Hoo? No, definitely not. A caravan is a group of migrants traveling together for the sake of security. So, it’s basically a big-ole group of people sticking together and relying on one another, because at this point they’re all they have.

Let’s get to the why-the-heck?

This is the question I find the most important. Get out those toddler goggles and get ready to ask why a whole heck-of-a-lot.

Why do these people need to leave their homes? Why are they coming to the States? Why should we allow them in our country? Why should I care?

What could possibly be so bad in Central America that thousands of people feel the need to escape?

Central America was plagued with civil wars in the 1980s, mostly in El Salvador and Guatemala. It is clear the the countries never fully recovered from these wars. NPR Reporter Robert Siegle on the podcast “All Things Considered”, asked director of the Washington Office on Latin America, Joy Olsen, her thoughts on events in Central America. When asked about the police presence she responded: “They all technically have police forces but the police forces don’t function very well. Corruption is a huge problem. And the justice systems don’t function very well either. So prosecution rates are incredibly low.”.

Central America is a fairly dangerous place at the moment. There is a large gap between the very rich and the very poor with hardly any middle ground. This means that the very rich live comfortable safe lives away from the violence because they can afford to be protected. Unfortunately, yes, you did read that correctly. Olsen states that “security’s been privatized to a great extent”. The police forces are extremely corrupt and only protect those that can pay their way to safety.

A lot of children are being raised in what is known as a red zone ((“a community controlled by gangs”)). These gang members set up road checks throughout cities and force citizens to pay an extortion racket. (I had no idea what that meant when I first read this NPR article, so naturally I looked it up. It appears to be a sort of fee that citizens have to pay after being threatened by violence, so that’s disgustingly disturbing.) And those gangs are trying to recruit the male children to join the gang and recruit young girls to be sex slaves. One mother said her daughter was 11 years old when the gang requested she join.

Just pause for a second and take that in. Your eleven year old daughter – she’s finishing up fifth grade, she’s stressed about where she’s gonna go to middle school. Will her and her friends stick together? Does that cute kid next to her think she’s cute too? She should be worried about the math multiplications quiz she has on Friday, or what she should make her parents for Christmas, She should be worrying if her best friend is mad at her or what she should wear to family dinner. She should not be worrying if her father will be murdered or if her body will be sold away for sex. Your eleven year old daughter! Your twelve year old son becoming one of the criminals who kills and rapes. Who in their right mind would want that future for their child? What would you do? Would you do everything in your power to get them out of that environment? Would you travel thousands of miles to keep them safe? I don’t know what you would do! But I would do that for my thirteen year old campers, and they aren’t even my sweat and blood in human form. I would do that for my twelve year old neighbors that I haven’t spoken to in three years.

These people are not criminals! If you love a good podcast then I’d recommend “From Mexico, the Reality of the Migrant Caravan” produced by The New Yorker and published on November 1st of this year. It follows Jonathan Blitzer as he answers questions about the week he spent with the caravan. One of his main points is that these people are not violent! He says there have been no crimes committed with the group, no violence, no hatred. The worst rumor that spread was about someone “stealing babies” and then it turned out to be false. He talks about how loving and peaceful the people are; he shares how grateful they are to be leaving such a violent place and to try to provide a better future for their children. He says that most of them have hardly thought about what being in America will actually be like, or even if they will be able to get in. Their goal is not to infiltrate the states, it’s to escape the hell-hole they came from!

Now, I know that we can’t simply let all these people into our country just because they have a tragic backstory. Trust me, I am well aware of how optimistically naive that belief would be. But I do think there is something we, as a country, could do. What that is, I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t think the answer lies in hatred. I hardly think the answer ever lies within hatred. These people need help, and we are so fortunate that we have the opportunity to provide that. So, let’s help them. Let’s figure out something we can do. If the consensus is to not let them into our country as easily, then let’s come up with an alternative plan. We are too privileged to do nothing; we have the ability to help the world, so why the frick-frack are we not at least trying? If America is as great as we claim it to be, let’s prove to other countries that we are compassionate individuals who are not just money/power/fame hungry.

I recognize that this is a tricky situation; I recognize that I do not have all the answers, as I’m sure you don’t either. But I think we can agree that this is a situation we should treat with both our minds and our hearts.

America, the great melting pot, would not exist had our ancestors not decided to take a chance and leave a place they were not welcome. Always remember where we come from, remember our history, never forget.

Sources:

“A Look At The Violence Driving Central American Families To Seek Asylum In The U.S.”
     NPR, NPR, 25 June 2018, http://www.npr.org/2018/06/25/623318845/a-look-at-the-violence-
driving-central-american-families-to-seek-asylum-in-the-u.

“Migrant Caravan: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?” BBC News, BBC, 26 Nov. 2018,
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-45951782.

“The Corrupt Structures Driving The Exodus Out Of Central America.” NPR, NPR, 17 July
2014, http://www.npr.org/2014/07/17/332351627/the-corrupt-structures-driving-the-exodus-
out-of-central-america.

Wickenden, Dorothy. “From Mexico, the Reality of the Migrant Caravan.” The New Yorker,
The New Yorker, 5 Nov. 2018, http://www.newyorker.com/podcast/political-scene/from-
mexico-the-reality-of-the-migrant-caravan.

as always, if any of my information is wrong, please let me know and I will update it!

Power Moves Only

You may be asking yourself: hey Lizzy, I’m a cool hip 40 year-old mom, but what does ‘power move’ mean? Well lemme tell ya, you cool hip momma that follows my blogga.

According to Urban Dictionary, when one pulls a stunt that shows she has outdone others and retains complete control of the situation, and dares anyone to challenge this.

I don’t really agree with that, so I asked my sorority sisters! Jonna said “this is gonna sound bad, but, like, asserting your dominance while still being respectful”.  Logan chimed in, adding: “something that makes you feel like a bad b*tch”, and Jess argued, “if you’re not being respectful then you’re not a bad b*tch, you’re just a b*tch”.

So I started to think about the Bad B moves I’d been making recently in my life.

A list of power moves I have done recently:

  • Egg and Cheese on a CINNAMON SUGAR bagel
    • Shoutout to Will Campbell for teaching me this power play
  • GrubHubbing Coffee to my sorority house
    • I may have accidentally put in my dorm as the designated delivery location and I may have had to call the company and tell them to come to the “Kappa Kappa” house.
  • Applied for far too many jobs that I do not expect to get
    • I mean, like a lot a lot of jobs. I like to stay busy
  • Auditioned for like 5000 some musicals/plays/short films
    • I mean, I really like to stay busy

WOW HOW FUN.

Last night I was hanging with some cool chicas, and I was utterly shocked when one of them, out of nowhere, said: “I think Lizzy is the most BAD A person I’ve ever met.” ((She didn’t say the words ‘BAD A’, but this is a facebook-mom-friendly blog, so I’ll let you imagine the rest.))

It’s really crazy to me when people think I’m cool, or BAD A. Some guy earlier this year said the same thing to me, but I trust my friend’s opinion more. Now, I think I’m a coolish gal, but in that weird English-kid theatre-nerd kinda way? I mean, maybe that’s considered BAD A nowadays, but I don’t know.

“Hey, Jess do you think I’m cool?”
“No. Actually yea, I do. You used to scare me. Because you’re really nerdy and pretty and talented, so I didn’t think I was worthy of your friendship.”

WHAT?!? I’M JUST NOW LEARNING THIS! I think my extroverted-ness can be slightly intimidating, but I’d never imagine people actually think I’m cool.

Anyways, everyone should embrace their Bad B side and make some Power Moves®. Happy-Kappy Wednesday

Thank You :))

Hello beautiful wonderful world,

I’m laying with my childhood blanket in a small corner of the world that feels a little less like home than I’m used to.

I feel extremely guilty at the moment, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what for. Maybe it’s not guilt – maybe it’s just a weird nostalgic happiness that I’m not quite accustomed to.

Being at school makes me feel very much a part of something; I feel like an integral part of people’s lives. At home, I feel a little more lonely. Sure, I’m quite literally surrounded by those who love me, but it’s a different sensation.

In high school, I spent my nights texting or FaceTiming – constantly in communication with others. College friends don’t have the habit of doing that, because we can always be together. If I want to talk to someone I just walk into their dorm room. I don’t need to text them a thousand some snippets of sentences to feel apart of their world. I, therefore, don’t know how to text college friends or even know if it’s appropriate to do so. College is a gift for the extrovert.

I think being somewhat alone puts me face to face with the things I don’t want to think about. Loneliness and guilt, accepting I’m thoroughly flawed, knowing I’ve hurt others in irreparable ways. Who wants to think about that?

Being alone, or more-so feeling alone, is the worst. I’m not saying that in a subjective oh this kinda sucks way; I mean it thoroughly hurts like hell. I know I am not alone. No one needs to clarify that for me. But the feeling is real and here and valid.

A year ago, I felt so incredibly loved and supported. My small high school had a way of doing that, and my tight-knit knew-each-other-like-the-sunrise friend group never failed to make me feel cherished. I have tremendous friends in college! I really truly do! But at this current moment ((12:29 a.m)) I don’t feel like I could turn to them. We all feel a bit lonely; me bringing up my feelings would only reflect those in their hearts. I couldn’t do that to them.

My heart is in the process of healing, but she really doesn’t know how to. I don’t know if I’m really letting her either. I think I try to fill my life with love in order to cover up those small scrapes and bruises, but time takes away most scars. (And as much as I hate the whole time-heals thing, I guess I’m gonna have to give it a shot). I don’t know if time is what really heals things, I think it’s patience. And patience does require time, but he’s more of a side character. Patience is what we really need. Patience with ourselves, with our hearts, with others. Patience is a virtue, or so I’m told.

I’m very thankful for everyone and everything in this fun little mess of a world I’ve got going on. I’d like to think my life would make an absurd yet endearing screenplay, maybe one of these days Hollywood will pick it up. The long and the short of it is this: to everyone who reads these glimpses-of-my-mind, thank you. I’m not the easiest to read, and my posts are not always the most cheerful. I am a very happy person, but I cannot suppress my emotions. I write until I’ve figured out what I’m feeling. And if you read these, wow, you’re a real gem.

I think my audience is mostly moms, which is cool hey moms! I hope y’all don’t think I’m too dramatic. I hope you don’t grow to hate me after reading any of these. Please don’t take me too seriously; I am extremely flawed and mess up all the time. I will always try to own up to my errors. Life is about growing in patience. If you ever read one of my posts and feel compelled in some way, please reach out to me. It’s nice to know who the anonymous eyes are every now and then.

Thank you for letting me express myself so often. Thank you for loving me through my words and heart and soul. Thank you for being a part of my life, even for just a few paragraphs. Everything will work out in the end; what is meant to be will find a way and I’m just gonna have to be patient enough to let it.

Chooo Chooo!

I love trains, something my beloved father and I have in common. I have made at least one trip on the famous Disney train on every trip I’ve ever taken to the happiest place on earth. ((Disney please do not sue me for plagiarising your phrase,, I love you more than you will ever know and I wear your coordinates around my neck every day)) I think one of the major reasons I like train rides is because of my Dad. I think about him a lot when I’m choo-chooing into the universe.

You see, my Dad is one of the best people on this blessed earth. (Tied with my fantastic Mom, of course). He and I have a lot in common, more so than I would sometimes like to admit. We both overthink practically everything and strive to love others with as much power as we can muster. If you have the honor of knowing my Dad and the even greater honor of being loved by him never take that for granted. If Richard Campbell is in your life, count yourself very lucky.

My Dad has always valued my opinion. He has never spoken down to me or assumed my thoughts are invalid because of my age. He has always encouraged my brother and me to learn everything we can and to approach life with curiosity and love. And don’t even get me started on his sense of humor! That man could make you cry, laugh, and wish you could speak like him all in one prayer delivered in front of the family. He is the most amazing man in my life and has taught me everything I know and love about this world.

College constantly reminds me of how lucky I am to have such incredible role models in my life. When I come home from college, my Dad has the goofiest grin and most comforting hug. But he doesn’t just want to hear about my fun college adventures, he genuinely wants to know my thoughts on the world. I have so so so much respect for him. He’ll ask me my thoughts on current political issues, and though we do not always agree, he always respects my opinion. ((See guys, it is possible to hold respectful political conversations with your family)). I think about him a lot – every hilarious pun, every time I hear myself saying something I know he would say, every morning breakfast he’d call a feast – I think about that wonderful music-making man all the time.

When I sit on trains, I understand why he loves them so much. The world moves past you in the most beautiful way that a car just can’t quite capture. It isn’t like flying, where you feel so small compared to the great big world around you. No, you feel like you are one with the world and everyone sitting at your side.

My senior year, I found myself on trains quite a bit. A wonderful person in my life lived a little far from me and train-rides always seemed to be the most efficient way to travel to his corner of the world. I often made small talk with those around me; college students traveling home for the weekend, high school teachers who let me help grade their quizzes, boys who edited videos for hours before falling asleep against the window. I always felt like one with the world.

Travelling is one of the most fulfilling experiences, even if you’re just traveling a couple hours to a different town. Trains make me feel like I’m going on a great big journey, where I will learn something new of myself whilst being away from the worn-out views of my city. I plug in my headphones and pretend like I’m some character in a movie, ready to take on a new conflict and face the trials of life with a dimple on her left cheek.

I wonder if my Dad ever thinks about that, about feeling refreshed in a new place. I know that he consumes himself with his work; he, quite like myself, never accepts failure. If he knows how to do something, and knows he can get it done right, why wouldn’t he just do it himself? Why bother trusting someone else with a job we could easily accomplish on our own. I think we both have some room for growth there. We trust others, trust is key in our relationships, but our expectations are so incredibly high and we’d hate for someone to feel burdened by trying to match that.

I know that both of us want to make this world better – it’s that loving heart we both have sewed into our souls. We go about it in slightly different ways, but I can guarantee if my dad is in your life he has tried to make yours a little better. Whether it’s a light-hearted joke when the world feels like it’s crumbling, a jam-sesh where you can remember the ‘good-ole-days’, or just a polite smile passing by. He would never intentionally hurt someone, and I’ve seen that troubled furrowed eyebrow when he thinks he may have harmed someone far too many times. We both do that.

All this to say, I love trains and I love my dad, and if you have either one in your life you should probably take a second to thank whoever put them there.

Going Up

This is Lizzy. Out.
Can you hear me? Out.
Come in commander? Out.

I have always wanted to be an astronaut. This is so not a joke I am being ridiculously real with you at this current moment. Right now at 11:28 a.m on this wonderful Tuesday morning, I want to be an astronaut.

I know that this is fairly unrealistic, seeing as I have given up on math and science, not to mention the fact that I am not currently passing my astronomy class with flying colors. Despite all those (major) set backs, I still want to be an astronaut.

So, I’m gonna see how hard it is to become one.

NASA says they’d like to see at least 1,000 hours of “pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft.” And, according to the ever-trustworthy space.com article entitled “How To Become An Astronaut” I’m gonna need to major in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. For those curious, I am majoring in Dramatic Writing, so I’m pretty much nowhere near those requirements, but I’m not ready to give up yet.

Alright, now onto the physical requirements:

  • 20/20 vision (either naturally or with corrective lenses)
  • blood pressure not more than 140/90 in a sitting position
  • a height of between 62 and 75 inches

Welp, I do not have 20/20 vision naturally, but I do have corrective lenses, so CHECK
I couldn’t even tell you what my blood pressure is, but let’s just assume the best, so CHECKETY CHECK CHECK
I’m 5’7 (and surprisingly still growing???) that puts me at about 67 inches, so CHECK ONCE AGAIN

I was built to be an astronaut! I’m not making this up, the facts are listed right above.

So let’s say I pass all those silly little preliminary requirements. Then comes the fun stuff! As a candidate for space travel I’d become a qualified scuba divers, do military water survival training, undergo swimming tests, and be exposed to high and low atmospheric pressures! AND LEARN RUSSIAN! How absolutely dynamic! Talk about some cool stuff, right guys?

When my parents told me to reach for the stars and shoot for the moon, I’m sure they didn’t actually imagine I would try to. But then again, knowing me, I’m sure they figured I would at some point.

I recognize that I will never actually become an astronaut, but that doesn’t mean I’ll never see the galaxy. I could write you planets, color them with details until you can taste them. I could paint you a picture of the stars, the way they shine brighter from the right side of the spacecraft. I’ll read you journals filled with freeze-dried ice cream and rehydrated green beans. I will never be an astronaut, but I will surely go to space. What do you think writers see when we close our eyes?

Galaxies are constantly trapped behind our eyelids, ready to be broken into the world. One of these days I’ll let them see the world the way they ought to, but for now I’ll let them paint my dreams and crowd my thoughts.

Dear NASA, if you’re reading, I’d love to board your next space adventure. I’m fun I swear, and I have Nestle’s chocolate chip cookie recipe memorized (if that’s not someone you want on your crew, then I don’t know what you’re looking for!)