Another New Year’s Resolution Post

Hey there! I miss you. I’m currently in Myrtle Beach on vacation with my family but my mom just left me and James is still asleep so I got lonely and started blogging. I’m having a pretty good time here. I came into this vacation ready with tons of jokes about fried chicken and racists, but I forgot that the South also has Southern Charm. Which, now I that I think about it, is probably why all the cute boys here talk to me. (But why not in the RVA? Why cute boys?)

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Claire Gerloff’s Most Fascinating People of 2013

When I was 8 or 9, I discovered Barbara Walter’s Most Fascinating People of the Year. The excitement of the countdown drew me in everytime- Who would be number 1? Will it be Britney Spears or the Olsen twins this year? (Unfortunately, no, only in my mind). Ritually, I would cuddle up in my parent’s room and watch the program and scribble down the list in my notebook although I barely knew the people on the list. Well, since Barbara Walters and her quasi-British accent are retiring after this year, I thought I might take a stab at her next replacement and make my own Most Fascinating List.

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Fall Down Four Times, Get Up Once

“At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles,” My literary boyfriend, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his masterpiece essay, Self-Reliance, “do not spill thy soul; do not all descend; keep thy state; stay at home in thine own heaven.” Mrs. Gallo introduced us to Emerson during my junior year, a stroke of serendipity, because “the whole world was in conspiracy to importune [me] with emphatic trifles” then and I needed Emerson to help me get through it all.

I came into my junior year straight off of my sophomore high. I had found love, had the best friends, and a car. I felt like I was unstoppable, things were going to continue uphill for me. I was an elite member of prom committee, had many plans for the dances (including my own prom) and football games. I kinda had a “just try and stop me” attitude, and unfortunately, the universe took me literally.

I crashed my car within a week of school. I was luck enough to be saved, but my car wasn’t. I was sad, I loved my car, I named her Lola- and she was gone. It was a traumatic experience, but I had made it out okay. I had my health, my family, my friends, and my boyfriend. I would be okay.

But my relationship was growing distant. I blindly told myself not to worry about, I never had anything to worry before, so why should I now? So when we finally broke up about a month after my car accident, I had seen it coming, but that didn’t curb the devestation. He was my first boyfriend, I loved him, how could this happen? After he drove away that night, I cried to my mother and my best friend came over and I felt somewhat better. “Boys will always come in and out of your life,” My momma told me, “but your girlfriends will stay”

Well, my best friend decided a month later that she didn’t want to be friends anymore. I couldn’t believe it. I was still trying to cope with breakup and small bouts of PTS from the crash earlier. I needed her to be with me. I didn’t know how to deal with it as an individual stressor, let alone with my other problems.

By January of my junior year, I had begun working at Sweet Frog. I was working three or four days a week, my college tuition savings was starting. Trying to keep myself busy with work, I attempted to get my problems off of my mind. Weekends, when not at work, were spent with prom committee, I almost never saw my friends. At least I’ll always have my family, I told myself.

When my grandfather died in March (Song Contest week nonetheless), I had hit rockbottom. I had lost someone in the worst possible way, some dear to me. This was the worst blow, there was nothing I could’ve done to stop it, and nothing to do to bring him back. Granddaddy was now with two of his sons, and I know that he would now be my guardian angel, so Granddaddy, I’m going to need your help.

As prom drew closer, I was so busy working out, working at Sweet Frog or working on the committee, I didn’t have time to bat my eyes. Without any time to find a date and knowing no one to take, I asked a friend to set me up. When the day came, my hard work in the committee paid off, I got lots of compliments for the beautiful decorations and well as being skinny and my dress. I was proud of myself, but when my friends walked away, I saw my date and felt like crap on the inside. My consistent efforts of ditch the date were failing, he kept following me. I was an awful person for having a date- just wanting my exboyfriend, the one, months later, I still had feelings for, to see pictures of skinny me with a guy on Facebook and maybe miss me like I missed him. It’s disgusting how selfish I was.

A few months later in the summer, I finally said something to him about how I never got closure after our break-up. After sending a few text messages, something finally manifested-what am I thinking? He has a girlfriend now, he’s over me and I should be over him. The Greek tragedy of my life hit catharsis, and a wave of relief went through my body. I will be okay. I walked into work a couple days later to a new, extremely cute employee at Sweet Frog, “Hey, I’m Robert.” I hadn’t experienced happiness in a long time, and this boy made me giddy. I flirted with the first boy that I was attracted to since my ex, even though he didn’t understand I was attracted to him. When love songs came on the radio during my drive home, I didn’t immediately turn them off in anger at the happy people, in fact, I turned the volume up and sang along.

Something that helped me chug through my junior year was picking up my Norton reader for Honors English 11 and leafing through the section on Emerson, and a certain line spoke to me more than the others: “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself”.  Everyone else seemed to prance all tra-la-la and I hated them, wiping away tears in the corner to my overplayed break-up music playlist on my way to work. I felt like they couldn’t and didn’t want to listen to me and my overplayed problems.   But it was my fault for keeping them in. I wasn’t bringing myself any peace. I had to go out of my bubble, and start to the journey to mental happiness. I started trying to see my friends and do things that made me internally happy, jewelry making, baking, whatever I wanted. Life kicked me onto the ground four times, but I got up one grand time and marched into my senior year. And you know what? I think I did a good job-I got into my dream college three weeks after I submitted my application, I made my own prom dress (and loved going dateless, even after Robert said no), and graduated with honors. Robert and I never worked out- but I don’t think we were meant to. He wasn’t someone to date, he was a symbol that I could be happy with another guy. Senior year went by in the bat of an eye. That girl and I didn’t become friends again, but we got on better terms. I’m still a bit of a paranoid driver, but it’s only because I’m trying to be safe, and Grandaddy watched over me every step of the way.

God, Buddha, or whoever you believe in, gives us a lot of tough times to deal with, but I think it’s to see how bring ourselves back up. No matter how you do so, it all springs from your mental clarity. I believe all things happen for a reason, but sometimes we don’t know what that reason is. You can go forth and conquer all you want, but it’s not going to be worth a thing if you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. I think it’s Mrs McAleer who says “flexibility is the key to mental health”, so let’s all take a deep breath, let out our emotions, do some yoga (get our bodies flexible) and work on mental health and happiness.

Pros and Cons of Winter Break

Spring break-uh I mean-winter (these 70 degree days have totally flipped my head around) is much needed after one long semester. Plus side of college? Getting one month off until classes begin again on January 13th. There’s a lot of good with having a month off, like making up for lost sleep and getting two more weeks off than my mom and  James; but there are downsides as well. What’s that? You want to hear all my pros and cons? Okay good because I anticipated that and made a list for you when you weren’t looking.

Friends!

  • Pros: Hip hip hurray I get to see my Saint Gertrude people that I’ve been missing since summer. Since I was working every minute of fall break and outta town during Thanksgiving break, I finally get to see Celeste, Maegan, Christina, Caroline, and all you other baby boos who left Richmond (and me).
  • Cons: WHERE ARE MY VCU FRIENDS!?! When I head down to campus, it’s empty; I’m roaming around the gym looking for Eric, walking up and down Grace wondering why the Honors Dorm looks so empty, and stand alone at Starbucks. Could everyone come home from NOVA, I swear you’re not having as much fun there as you would here.

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Work.

  • Pros: Now that I’m not writing Focused Inquiry papers or doing meaningless algebra worksheets, I have time to be on the clock for 31 hours a week. Time is money, and so are tuition bills. Hence, I will gladly sell my soul to Buford Road Pharmacy. (Another plus side: winter time at the pharmacy means busy time! At Sweet Frog, it meant being on the clock to talk to Marcus and eat Libbie Market fried chicken and potato wedges)

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  • Cons: 31 hours a week also means a lot of “Sorry, I wish I could hang out but I have sell drugs” to your friends asking you to hang out.

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Free time! 

  • Pros: Concerts concerts and more concerts! And so much time to finally sew and make zipper bracelets! Now I can finally read Dan Brown’s Inferno, oh I have so many awesome plans for my month off it’s going to be awesome!!

  • Cons: Hahahaha free time is a myth. I’m at work all the time and then when I get home I need to clean my room or do something about my weird cat. (For the record, I’m being 100% truthful here. I said I need to clean my room. I did not say that I cleaned my room.)

Christmas

  • Pros: Yay for gifts and merriments, reasons for good food, chocolate, and post Christmas 85% discounted holiday candy!! I love doing things for my friends and charity so that makes me really happy c:

  • Don’t get me wrong and please don’t call me a Grinch, but Christmas is not my season (because it’s in winter). Everything is typically cold, I can’t prance around barefoot and jump around in my shorts and tank top. The holiday is green and red and I like the bright oranges, yellows, and turquoises of summer. Also, we can insert a typical rant about the commercialization and crowded Targets here….

Baking cookies

  • Pros: Cookie parties, cookie recipes, cookie baking time with friends, ahhh it’s another excuse to use more sugar!! Plus, I got those cute cookie cutters from my mommy to use plus my new state of Virginia cutter 🙂

Note to self: Pencil in cookie time with future husband #3 Josh Hutcherson

  • Cons: My boys have left me for their mommies and now I don’t know what to do with all these extra cookies. (Come back to me, little engineers!)

The gym

  • At first it was a great idea! Go to the gym over break to avoid getting fat from those extra cookies. It was just me and that guy with the Jew fro who is always judging me (and a few other Richmond kids). I was really getting into the zone and kicking some elliptical butt!

  • Suddenly, Cary Street Gym thought it would be a great idea to just close until early January. No stop  this wasn’t a part of the plan I want my pants to fit

Looks like my break is going to be filled with more work. But that’s okay, half-superheros can do these kinda things. And no matter how busy I will be, I will still find time to blog, whether or not people are reading this.

lizziemcguirexmasI don’t know about you, but I really hope Steven Tyler is Santa Claus. Maybe I should brace myself for Short Pump’s atrocious traffic for the chance to meet this legend. Maybe he can sneak me some cool Aerosmith memorabilia under the tree this year. Or at least sing a song with me….

Feliz Navidad bellos!

(PS Morgan I finally figured out the gifs c: thanks girl!)

Music Lessons

Have you ever heard anyone say that they don’t like music? Music is one of the few bonding forces that unites all people. It’s a basic necessity, like water, shelter, food, and breathing. Music works as a such a powerful force, it can stir up tears, love, and trigger memories. One of my favorites is after a concert, when you are blown away by the show. Leaving the venue with the adrenaline and exhileration, I turn to my friends and we look at each other and say “That was the greatest thing that has ever happened to me”. What other medium can do that to you? I’ve always thought music to be a beautiful thing, a message of your soul. Music, as an art, imitates life.

Last Saturday, Alison pulled me out of my cave to take me to the 1975 and twenty one pilots at The National. We got up close (and personal when Tyler of twenty one pilots walked right between to us) and our ears probably took a little hit too, being in the front row. But it was so worth it. The energy level of the crowd buzzed throughout the air, spreading the excitement. The 1975, from Manchester, England, brought good British music, not poppy One Direction stuff. twenty one pilots works their own rap punk pop vibe a la white boy style. Alison and I are also marrying the duo.

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Mom, I know you said I can’t have any tattoos, but you never said anything about my husband!

Tyler articulated something that I’ve always admired about music during the performance: Music is a chance to express your self to everyone, and no one will really care. Because we’re all weird. It’s time to drop all fears and show your colors to everyone. Music is such a uniting force.

Tuesday, I returned to the National with Hannah to go see New Politics, who we both adore. This show wasn’t sold out, but it was still amazing. A more intimate concert, I think the band members made eye contact with everyone in the audience at least once. When the show was over, we even got to meet New Politics and talk to one of the openers for a while (someone made them cookies- why didn’t Hannah and I think of that?!) I was so happy to be there with my best friend at her first concert- another A+ quality.

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During the show, the lead singer, David, talked about following their dreams brought them here, headlining shows and touring the globe. Follow your dreams. It sounds so easy, but it’s not. But if you want happiness, that’s how you do it. Never settle for the practical or the safe. Yeah, you might have to sell used cars by day and play music by night, but if that’s what makes you happy by all means do that! If you want to be an artist, ignore those idiots who tell only say you won’t make money. You know better than that. Happiness is, and forever will be more valuable than money.

I come from a musical family, so that’s probably why I see so much in music. I grew up with parents serenading me from lullabies to Little Feat, but I’m a tone deaf fool; then when my mom tried to sing to baby James, he just covered her mouth with his hand, and now he’s a little alto saxophonist. It’s only been three months for him on the sax, it’s impressive how quick and naturally music comes to him. Hm, I wonder where he got this musical talent, definitely not his premiere guitarist father and singing scholarship mother. This boy only picked music because he was tired of art, a lucky strike of chance. Wednesday was his first concert at Thomas Jefferson, it was awesome. I’m really happy James likes playing, music is good for your soul, it connects you throughout time to every other person who played those notes and sang those words. I really do love music. It’s another universe, an oversoul over us that reminds us there are other people out there who feel just like you do. Music is here to connect our hearts and create dreams to go after.