I'm Just Saying

Golden Lads And Girls

14375342_1898733117020628_440956483_oA little over three weeks ago, I boarded a plane in Salt Lake City, Utah. Eleven hours later I got off that plane in London, England.

While I have traveled the U.S extensively, this was the first time I had ever traveled internationally. I went to England for three weeks with a group from my university on an English Literature study abroad tour. I knew it would be amazing, I knew it would be perspective changing and life altering. Fulfilling dreams has a way of doing that. However, I had no idea just how amazing it would be, just how perspective changing, or how thoroughly life altering.

I love it when you feel yourself changing into something better as a result of something beautiful you have experienced. Of course, becoming better is a good thing even if the circumstances are less than favorable, but if something is so thoroughly wonderful that it seeps into your soul and changes who you are, then that is the most magical thing of all.

While we weren’t able to visit my ancestral homeland of Scotland, we saw so much of 14408386_1898732953687311_1195077434_oEngland and Wales, and even popped over to Ireland or a few days. I went into more cathedrals than I can count. I stood in each one of them in complete awe and reverence of the beauty surrounding me, of the hundreds of years of worship I could see with my own eyes. We were able to attend Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral as well as Salisbury Cathedral. Those are incredibly special experiences that I will always carry with me.

We saw a host of Shakespeare plays, we visited the homes of the Bronte family, William Wordsworth, and Jane Austen. We spent four magical days in London, where I left a good portion of my heart. We saw castles and manor houses. We basked in the breathtaking beauty of the countryside. I fell into a relationship with scones and hot chocolate from which I shall never recover. We visited Cambridge and went punting. We spent three glorious days in Stratford-Upon-Avon, a city that has completely and utterly stolen all of my love and then some.

14360354_1898733463687260_617352064_oI have been home now for about four days, battling the jet lag and mostly winning. But I feel so different. While I love my home very much, I would be lying if I said that I’ve come home the same person. This trip was not only a dream come true, but it felt as though a piece of me that had long been yearning had finally come home.

So my only request, England, is that you take very good care of it until I return.


For Laughs

I Prefer Steadfast

For about as long as I can remember, people have found it necessary to tell me that I’m a stubborn person. Well actually, for longer than I can remember, I’m fairly certain.

Now to continue on with this honesty thing, most of the time this comes from my mom when I call her in hard situations. Somewhere along the line it usually comes up that I’m a pretty stubborn person.

honkedWell it has been my experience in life that calling somebody “stubborn” is not a compliment. I’m not necessarily proud of my so-called stubbornness, however it seems to be a fact that the entire world knows about.

So I’ve been thinking.

I think being stubborn is a good thing, obviously to a point. Being too much of anything is probably not a good thing. If you’re not willing to stick with something and believe in it, then you should probably just go home right now. But you don’t want to be so stubborn that you miss wonderful opportunities.

Anyway, I guess the point here is that I’ve decided to not be stubborn.

I prefer “steadfast”.

It’s much more positive.

I'm Just Saying

Frankly, My Dear…

Dear Frank Sinatra,

I think, above anything else, you have taught me what it means to live. What the journey of life often looks like. Your voice has been in the background of the biggest moments in my life. Every time I listen to you sing, I remember when you said, “Whatever else has singingbeen said about me is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.”

So when you sing, I believe you. Whatever else has been said about you. (Although the mafia accusations never really bothered me because, here’s a secret, I’m pretty sure I was in the mafia in a past life. Just saying. But that’s a conversation for another time.)

You have taught me that in the hard moments, when you feel really hollow but also almost too full, you always get back up. You taught me to be brave in the face of doubt. You taught me that we are more than we seem. You’ve taught me to face it all, and stand tall while I’m doing it.

I’m pretty sure that if you ever had the moments where you felt like somebody took a cheese grater to your soul, you just fixed it with Jack Daniels. The problem with this is that I don’t drink, so I’ll never know the exact effectiveness of this particular solution. But that’s okay.

Frank Sinatra

The thing is that moments like those can be oddly relieving, while also being more painful than you thought they’d be. No matter how surprisingly well they went. Brave things tend to do that, I think. They are surprising in no less than 900 ways. My solution usually involves listening to your music for undisclosed amounts of time until ridiculous hours in the morning.

And then when I wake up, I feel better. Stronger.

Whenever I have the urge to complain, I let myself be as ridiculous as I want for about 20 seconds. And then I shut it off like a switch and continue on. It worked really well on my religious mission, and works great on a grander scale as well. You let yourself feel whatever you’re going to feel for an hour, all night, a day, a week, or whatever it is you decide. But when you get to the end of that time, you move on. That’s the key to wallowing.

Is that anything like Jack Daniels?

Because if it is, then you taught me that, too.

white bandYou also taught me that old movies are better all the time. As a general rule. They just are. They’re better because they weren’t afraid to say the things we only ever think. They’re better because everything is better in black and white or old color.

Really, Frank, you’ve taught me a vast amount of things when it comes to living. A lot of what not to do, I’ll be honest, but a lot of good things, too.

Also, your green fedora and the black one with the white band are my favorites.

Thank you for all the things.



I'm Just Saying

Being Brilliant

daisiesToday feels like summer. The cool air early this morning wasn’t quite so sharp as it is in the spring, and the trees are blooming with beautiful white flowers. There is a feeling of breathless movement but also perfect stillness  – I think that’s really how summer feels. It is this perfect space in time where time doesn’t really move and the sun is brilliant and warm and everything is green and growing. There is creativity, vitality, and life. There is dust in the air and time with family in the evenings. Summer is brilliant.

It has been an interesting little while since I last posted. I’ve been thinking a lot (shocking, right?), and though I don’t exactly have a list of things to show for all this thinking, I do feel hope.

Have you ever had those times in your life when you seem to be in a rut? Just kind of…stuck?

Not that I’m wishing such experiences on anybody but I sincerely hope you have because this would mean that I am not alone in this land. A lot of this feeling stuck has to do with my creativity. It’s like all my writer juices packed up and took a vacation like they think they’re allowed to do that. I mean, come on, writer juices. We’ve been together a long time. But I am pleased to announce that they are coming home. So that’s nice. fields

Another thing I’ve been really thinking a lot about lately is just life in general. Though there are some things I’ve been struggling with, things are going pretty well for me overall. I’ve just been wondering a lot more about what I want to become.

I think it can be so easy to get lost in to-do lists. I know that I am totally a culprit of this. Because I’m very easily distracted, to-do lists are pretty much the only way that I get anything accomplished. But I think I get so used to them that it translates from daily things to do to a way of life, which isn’t something  I would recommend to anybody. We can just get so lost in what we do that we fail to realize that what we need to be is what’s really important.

And today I want to be like summer. Brilliant and hopeful.

For Laughs


jimmuI’ve thought a lot about mottos throughout my life. I know that specific families have mottos, that people come up with mottos for their own lives. The Scottish clan I am descendant from has a motto, which I hold very special.

But rarely have I ever considered adopting a personal motto of my very own. There are two reasons for this:

  1. I pretty much already have several tiny mottos that I just live by
  2. I’m not very good at sticking to routines and things that feel forced. I don’t love the cagey feeling because I’ve got this red hot streak of rebellion in my soul. Odds are I’d come up with a fantastic motto and then not follow it simply because I was telling myself to.

But today I want to talk specifically about one of the tiny mottos that I live by fearlessly. And it is this:

Always, always, ALWAYS have coolness for the delivery dude.

Particularly the Jimmy Johns delivery dude, but all delivery dudes in general. I cannot count the times that the Jimmy Johns delivery dude has literally saved me from starvation. Always give the delivery dude the right of way, do all you can to make the delivery dude’s life easier. Because the delivery dude is saving the world one sandwich at a time.

Always be cool to the delivery dude.

I Was Wondering

Socially Acceptable

elevatorLet’s talk elevators. I have discovered this past week, since returning to school, that I am a huge advocate for elevators. Whoever invented elevators had better have a medal of some kind. Elevators are amazing and if it came to elevator rights, I would be on the front lines every. single. time.

In fact, if this were an instagram post, I would invent #elevatorrights. Just did, actually, so use it!

But here’s my problem: why do I get nasty looks from the masses climbing the ridiculous amount of stairs while I patiently wait for the elevator? And moreover, why do I give in to this social pressure and ascend the dooming steps with them? Why has it suddenly become socially unacceptable to to take advantage of pure genius innovation? Why do I feel guilty for taking the elevator???

Are elevators unacceptable?


For Laughs

The History Of Serious

If you ever come to a point in your blogging life where you have no idea what to do: this post is for you. If you are sitting in front of your blog, looking at a blinking cursor and a straight line of views: this post is for you.

I have all the answers to your problems. Actually, there is really only one answer. Go to Google, type in “topic generator”, click on the first option, and follow all directions.

You will be given 5 blog post titles, 5 magical ideas that will change your world and revamp your blog. This just might be the exact thing you need on this, the first day of 2016, to really kick off the year correctly. Choose one of these titles, and then use it right away.

You might think I’m kidding. But I am not. I am totally serious. This is serious. Your blog is serious. This year is serious. Don’t do it for me. Do it for you. For your blog. Change history. Seriously.