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Every new place I’ve gone to in my (adult) life, I had this urge to BE a local, eat like a local, go where the locals go, do what the locals do. However, on my recent trips, I had a stark realization that I am a tourist. (I know what you’re thinking. NO DUH. Hear me out.) No matter how much research I do (from other tourists, btw), no matter what alley I go down (not recommended unless you’re in a group), I will be a stranger coming to a new place. I will be a tourist in the place I go because that place is not my home. As much as I want to be where local people are, I will inevitably be where tourists are too.

But that’s okay.

I want to see the Eiffel Tower,
I want to eat at Noma,
I want to go to Ha Long Bay,
and so many more things that you will consider “touristy”.

There is a reason why people flock to places and make it that way. It’s because it’s beautiful, highly-regarded and worth seeing (except Time Square, but also I’ve seen it and maybe it’s why I say that. Sorry to call you out, NYC).

Recently, I went to Yosemite National Park for the first time. It is one of the most touristy national parks I’ve been to, but damn, it is beautiful. I ate the expensive cafeteria food, I bought postcards, I did the hikes, I was among tourists (and locals! or frequenters?) and it was great. I would definitely recommend it, I’m definitely coming back to visit and hike it again. I will be a tourist the next time I come with just a little bit more knowledge than before, but a tourist regardless.

We are all touring an unfamiliar land at one point or another, why not throw up that “double peace sign” pose every once in awhile and live life a little (touristy)?

thu texas

It me.

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Wow, okay so it’s been a hot minute seven months since I’ve written my last post. And I can give you many-a-excuses as to why I haven’t been writing, but I will only give you one: I thought I lost all creative sense for writing. I still briefly feel that way, but with my one small stroke of inspiration, I’ll attempt. There may or may not be some (Houston) liquid courage involved…**

I’m writing about how I feel about Houston, Texas. The 713, 281, HOU, HTX, Clutch City, etc. The city has many (debatable) names. I’m writing about how I miss it.

YERP. I miss it for a multitude of reasons even though I’m in the city I’ve wanted to be in for nearly two years. The reasons that kept me from moving are the reasons I miss it (of course):

  • The people
  • Supper club
  • The [diverse] food
  • The Vietnamese grocery stores
  • The Heights and its esplanades
  • Some dude I have my blinders on for, whatever

This seems like a short list, but you’d be surprised of its impact. I mean, the whole lack of Vietnamese grocery stores (yes, I know about MT) could be a whole blog post itself. Yes, I’ve only been here a month and I know it takes time (ugh). I’m keeping an open mind, I promise. However, if you ask me, ask anyone, don’t you find Austin different than what you remember when you visited last? You can’t deny its growth. I mean, look at the new medical school on Red River…or the multiple complexes that have popped up on the east side (where it was once scary AF).

All in all, I’m saying something my thoughts will probably change again…because it happens. Change happens. (Gosh, Thu, what a revelation you had…) Houston will change, Austin will change. Heck, Dallas is probably changing (but who cares as long as the State Fair is still there?). This post is my appreciation and apology to Houston, its people and its food. How did you wedge yourself into my heart?

Recently, while driving in the rain I thought about Houston like this:
You’re like dry socks on a rainy day. (Caveat: I’m not very good at analogies, but go with it.) My friend, Eric, always told me to have a pair of extra dry socks, especially in Houston weather. There’s nothing like putting on dry socks after running from a flooding parking lot to your dry location. It’s kind of amazing. I guess what I’m saying, Houston, is that you’re amazing. When I have those “rainy days,” I’m glad I can look back and put on those dry socks and think of 8th Wonder Brewery, Coltivare, supper club and Viet Hoa (among many, many other things you have to offer).

Cheers to you Houston, but not to your traffic. I will see you again soon. Thanks for being those dry socks.

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Thank you for my reminder, JT.

**Drinking a 11th Below ‘Oso Bueno’ beer

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Missing. What a wonderful feeling. Or, horrible feeling.
It’s all about context.

It’s wonderful because you miss something/someone so much that it hurts, but at the same time wonderful. It’s a sign of true missing. It’s not filler. It’s not unauthentic. It’s real, and it’s visceral. It’s an aching feeling that can only be fulfilled when it/they come back. I say “it/they” because it can be your favorite tv show, your favorite YouTube channel, your favorite jeans or person.

It’s horrible…because it’s an aching feeling that can only be fulfilled when whatever you miss comes back. It’s even more horrible when you know that it/they can’t come back. When that show you love so much has ended, that YouTuber has decided to stop making videos, that company stops making jeans or person is no longer here.

What a juxtaposition. It’s confusing. How can you miss something or someone and feel so wonderful and so terrible, simultaneously?

I bring this up, because I feel this way currently. A simultaneous feeling of happiness and sadness, wrapped so closely that I can’t sort it out. What do people say? “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?” Winnie the Pooh said that…or his maker, A. A. Milne.

It’s true, isn’t it? How lucky are we to have something that makes saying goodbye? Even if it’s heart-wrenching…for a couple of days, weeks or even years. What I’ve realized and preached, is with some time, the feeling dissipates. Sounds insensitive, but that’s how we process and move forward. Breakups, loss of life, loss of tv show (not to trivialize the former two).

This was mostly a process, stream-of-consciousness-type post. To get through how I’m feeling and to…eventually move forward. I do feel lucky. You should feel lucky if you ever come across this feeling, too.

Remember: It’s about context. And it takes some time.

Upon reading, speaking with others and experience- I think this is a necessary post. However with the saturation of information and media, it’s unlikely that this will make it to the eyes who need it the most-newbie Millennials who are about to graduate. Actually, this can apply to some people who have already graduated too.

Now, I’m going to go on with a disclaimer: I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, never have and arguably never will. But I’ve done a lot of shit (good and bad) and maybe my mistakes and victories can help you out.

A new dream of mine is to be one of those people who stand behind/next to their agency’s table and share the good word. A recruiter, but one who only goes to career fairs. Those daunting, awkward career fairs. Everyone’s muttering to themselves, timing when they should hand our their business cards…or when it’s okay to ask for the recruiter’s card. It’s more awkward than when you attended your 7th grade formal with your crush. Much anxiety. …am I hitting the right chord?

its-gonna-be-okay

If I were a recruiter, this is what I would say to the youths of the world. Some of these things are industry-specific. Some of these are University-of-Texas-specific. Nonetheless, I think you’ll be able to relate.

15 Important Things I Would Tell You at Career Fair:

  1. Whatever Murph tells you is probably true.
  2. Don’t send a resume with paragraphs of copy. Don’t send one that is more than 1 page. PLEASE check your dates and verb tenses.
  3. If you’re on social- be active or delete it. Ask yourself, “What’s the point?” Someone *will* look at it. Private Profiles are a thing though.
  4. Regarding Work-Life Balance: Successful ladies wake up hella early to exercise- so this should answer several of your questions (about me).
  5. You might work a shitty job (or 12)- but think of it as “market research…”
  6. Re: Shitty Jobs- get the hell out of there, ASAP.
  7. You will probably drink the same amount that you drank in college- but spread out. There’s a reason why Happy-Hour’s exist.
  8. Don’t get on your phone unless it’s for work, or unless it’s Tweet-worthy (this is mostly industry-specific).
  9. Always look at someone when he or she is speaking with you (don’t do #8 when this happens).
  10. Be kind, always professional but unapologetic about who you are and what you want. 
  11. NEVER be afraid to ask for more. More index cards, more work, more responsibility or more money. Make sure that the former two is followed by the last bit. Make damn sure.
  12. Re: #10- Never be embarrassed or weirded out by wanting to express your desire/geek-out for the job you want. People like that. …Anddd you should also like the job you’re applying for.
  13. SHIT AIN’T EASY. But that’s why you’re still in school. Relish in that.
  14. You will not get anywhere alone, but believe in yourself. These, I think, go hand in hand.
  15. This is super important- BE PUNCTUAL. Being late is like you’re screaming to your future employer, “PLEASE. DON’T HIRE ME. PLEASE.”

BONUS TIP: Always say, “thank you,” whether that is in email or card, after an interview, or any time really. Saying thank you goes a long way.

So fellow youths, if you see me at a table in the distant future- pretend like you’ve never read this, you’ll get your resume to the top of the stack (I kid, but also, am I? FIGURE IT OUT).

When in doubt…be like April, and believe that you are a beautiful, brilliant musk ox.

XO,

$thu$

I have a little fiddle-leaf fig plant that resides in my room. His name is Fig.

ANYHOW. This is the kind of fig tree that we have, and this is Fig:

vsco cam fiddle leaf fig tree

As of late, it’s been about feeding Fig (yeah yeah yeah, I’m a 62 year old woman, I know). It’s about making sure he gets enough sunlight and looking at the weather to see if he can go outside (they like temperate weather, but they also have moving trauma). If you’re a plant owner, you know it’s not easy. And if you’re like me, you’ve named and personalized your plant. This post isn’t about how to be a plant owner or taking care of a Fig- it’s about being a friend. A true friend.

Some of mine have left and gone overseas, some are not, but are still sufficiently distant. I consider myself lucky to have a few close to me. And I know who they are. I speak to them. And when I don’t, I still know what’s going on in their life. I know they’re invested in me and I am invested in them. There’s a mutual, intangible feeling that you’re on the same page. But recently, I’ve taken a look at who I surround myself with, and it doesn’t look too pretty. A part of me feels as though I’ve found community, and a part of me feels like I’m still grasping at straws. My friendship garden looks a little weedy, a little toxic and in need of care. Like Fig needs care. I believe that we should weed our weeds, people who are not beneficial toward our lives. People who do not add to our lives, just as someone would tell you to quit something that doesn’t add to your life (i.e. smoking, a fallen career, a significant other, eating too many chips, etc.). Just like a fig, or any plant, we have to weed in order to grow.

You’re allowed to do that. I think that’s something that people overlook, or something they let hang over them while the foster fake relationships. But friendships flow in and out. There are people who are no longer in my life, but I will always remember that 1 story or 1 lesson or 1 memory they’ve taught me.

I’ve never taken friendships lightly. I want to be able to really know my friends, support them and face hardship and dumb with them. That takes a lot of time, and we don’t have time for everyone. That’s why I take People Notes (but this is a topic for another time). The fact that we don’t have time for everyone saddens the crowd-pleaser, ideal person in me. But again, life is far too short to try and invest in everyone. Especially to enjoy and relish a relationship like a friendship. It’s sacred. Like gold-paint-feather-headdress-dance-around-a-bonfire-at-the-beach sacred.

If you have a good one: someone you feel comfortable with telling your poop stories to, someone you can rely on, someone who is on the same wavelength as you (despite differences), someone you have a good feeling about- and that’s not everyone- hang on to them. Feed them with your light and comfort and craughs (that’s crying + laughing, together).

desk thutexas vscocamThis is my desk. This is where I work. Yes, I work from home. (Yes, that’s Hootsuite and Fall Creek Falls TN State Park. Breaks are allowed.)

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen the gold accent and graph paper pretty frequently. And if you read my last post about work, you know that I’m still in Houston…or so I thought. I’m writing this quick FAQ, because well…these questions have been asked frequently regarding me, my job and some miscellaneous things. Let’s do this:

  1. Are you still in Houston?
    Yes. 
  2. I thought you were moving to Austin?
    That is correct.
  3. When?
    I’m not sure, but I’ll let you know. I’m not a person to just leave you in the wind…but apparently that’s what people assume about me. I plan on having a Golden ‘Going-Away’ Gala, don’t you worry. Me leaving Houston is something I would like to celebrate. *party emojis*
  4. So, you don’t have a guesstimate?
    Yes…and no. Even though I shouldn’t fall into superstition, I do. And I feel like if I say it out there, it might not come true. You feel me? 
  5. So you work from home?
    Yes. And I jam to Tay Tay Swift and Nelly Furtado, unapologetically.
  6. Do you work in PJs?
    Sometimes, but I try not to because it’s true what they say: you should dress up as if you’re going into the office. Otherwise, you set yourself up for a pretty unfocused day of working from home.
  7. *said awkwardly* So…what…do…you…do?
    A few different things. Drink beer and sit on my computer? Just kidding…sort of. In a grand scheme of things, I manage social media and assist in strategy. On a micro scale, there are a lot of little things: remembering User tags, Instagram stalking, researching influential users, actual posting, etc. The great thing is: I’m all about the details. 
  8. Fact: I work at Manes & Co. 
  9. Do you still barista?
    Currently, yes. Come by sometime. I’m still working on my latte art. Nonfat milk is not my friend.
    [Updated]: I will a barista for two more weeks from this Friday, September 11th. 
  10. When do you barista?
    When I’m scheduled. *shrug*
    [Updated]: …and for two more weeks. 
  11. Anything else?
    Nope, I think I covered everything.

If I’ve answered your burning questions, huzzah. If I haven’t, strike a conversation with me, I’m still here in HOU, hi.

You know when you’ve had almost 200g 400g of coffee and it’s finally kicking in, so you feel compelled to write a blog post about life?

This is most definitely a stream of [coffee-induced] consciousness, inspired by the hilarious Grace Helbig.

Life has been going swimmingly. Sort of, I really just wanted to type the word. I mean, what does that word even mean by definition? The connotation suggests that life has been going great, which is sort of true. I really can’t complain. After having a conversation with a friend who teaches inner city kids, bilingually– I feel like I can’t/shouldn’t complain for the rest of my life. So Christina, if you read this- it’s actually inspired by you and your class.

We take life for granted, everyday. Every. damn. day. And it’s really hard not to do so. Because we get tunnel vision, and we only see what we want…and it’s never enough. We’re hungry, we’re selfish and above all, we’re greedy. We don’t have enough of X, we need to get rid of X or we don’t have X. In reality, we have so much. In reality, it’s arguable that we have too much. I’m sitting on my chair, typing on my computer. I get to work from home. I have a job and I have a home. I have two chalkboards that are pretty freaking cool to write on. What is there to complain about? What more is there for me to “need?” It’s easy to come up with things. It’s difficult to take solace with what we have, which at most times is more than enough.

So what’s the point of this post? There should always be a point, I’m told. Life has been going swimmingly, although sometimes shitty, but I’m going to keep telling myself, “swimmingly, swimmingly, not shitty.”

Life is going swimmingly.