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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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Too dramatic? 

So I sit here again, at my computer with a cup of coffee. This is usually how it goes, we both know this by now.

What’s on my mind today? A lot of things. A lot of moving parts, a lot of flux – but again, we both should know this by now.

Here on Thu’s News, this just in: she has a new job. And typing this out gets me teary-eyed. (DID NOT SEE THAT ONE COMING.) Yes, I accepted a new job. Yes, I left what is “the dream job.” Yes, it was absolutely my choice. Why am I sad? Because I’m an emotion investor.

What does that f*cking mean? I made it up. It was “emotional investor” until about 2 seconds ago when I decided to delete that last bit. I invest in emotions, mostly my own (because I’m the proprietor of those said emotions). Or maybe I’m a broker. If I explain it, can someone tell me if I’m an investor or a broker?

In every job that I’ve ever had, I’ve invested quite a bit of emotion into it. Good and bad. Sadness and happiness. Everything in between. Whether it was in my actual day-to-day duties, clients or my teammates- emotion was poured into it. How much did I invest? Depends on the return, OBVIOUSLY. Teammates are probably the largest invested group. You see them (or communicate) with them for a large part of your day. If you’re lucky, your teammates are the ones that are in the trenches with you and can pick up slack. And if you’re super lucky, they’ll accept the GIFs you send them, play pranks and they’ll have a beer (or 5) with you…even if you’ve left that place of work.

WHICH IS WHEN THEY’VE BECOME YOUR FRIENDS, and that’s a whole ‘nother chunk of investment. Am I actually replacing the word ‘commitment’ with ‘investment’? idk

…Where am I going with this? I “had promise of high return,” and thus I invested a lot. Unlike a financial investment, these emotion investments came with strings (i.e. the feels), not just dollars. But like an investor, if something (logistically, and otherwise) comes your way- it’s advisable to invest (right?). It’s extremely conflicting, personally. I had a lot of emotion equity in my last job. Have you felt this way? Am I being too emotionally invested in a job? Probably. But maybe you get it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled about my new job. It’s overwhelming, it’s just the beginning and there are so many things for me to learn. But consider this is an ode to my old job, and the ones that preceded it. Because leaving a job is never easy. Even the ones I didn’t like, it was hard. Why? Let’s all recap: I’m an emotion investor, and I’ve been lucky enough to get the opportunity to invest my emotions so deeply. DAMN YOU ALL. You know who you are. Why can’t we all work in the same place, doing what we want, forever?

Oh yeah, because that’s not how Life likes to work.

We’re actually all emotion investors at our work, whether we see it or not. Think about it. Why would you stay? JUST ‘CAUSE THE DOLLA BILLS? No. Or maybe. I don’t know your life. BYE.

I did it again. I got into another bike accident. This time it was a bike-on-bike collision. It was completely not my fault. I don’t even think I was going that fast (which is something rare). The dude just pulled out on me…and stopped directly in my way. It wasn’t at ACL but it was after. I seem to have an affinity to get hurt when there are music festivals going on (re: SXSW), but I digress.

Ended up with some major bruising (or 3) and an abrasion (or 2). Lesson of the day: always wear your helmet…which is seriously true by the way. I wore my helmet, thank God. I wore my helmet and I still have a hazy memory. It’s a scary thing, I’m still trying to piece together that night. Grasping at straws for a memory that I assume is never coming back. It’s a blessing that I got picked up by at PA (physician assistant aka my brother) and came home to two more PA’s (aka his classmates).

I will be out of commission for running, at least until the bruising goes away. I have a big ‘ol bruise on bum…and it hurts to walk (how sad…). All I can say is, “whomp, whomp, whomp.” Ironically, as this has been my second bike accident, I don’t think I’m done with biking (just yet). If you’re not frightened at bruises, I’ll link a picture of it here.

Another day, another accident.

community-college-life-fact

oh acc, my acc

I was never proud of where I came from. Was. Today and forever, I am proud to say that I transferred from a community college. Two community colleges actually and they both had their own greatnesses, thus why I am writing this post. See, I don’t think people get it. Many people have a negative perception of community college and you know what? I’ve been there, but I also think maybe people haven’t fully understood how fun it really is. I miss community college, and it’s not just because of the many ‘Bonus’ and extra credit opportunities I came across. Sidebar: I come across more extra credit opportunities at UT than I was led to believe.

To be completely cliche, it’s really how you make it. My very first experience at a community college was great because I got through it with my friend and it was during the summer. I Skyped in the hallway, and I got credit just by being there. My official experience at a community college kind of brought the “ashamed feelings” though. Despite being in an amazing city, I thought to myself, “I don’t have to be happy, I don’t have to make it fun, this is just a stepping stone to university-life.”

When I didn’t get into UT for what felt like the 30th time, I wanted to cry. It was supposed to be easy, it was supposed to be just 1 year here at this community college (thought in a tone of frustration)…and so I had to move home. Yep, not a lot of people know this, so there that is in the open. I moved home to go to our local community college, somewhere I thought I was doomed. Many of y’all have heard of it, LONESTAR? (Go Ducks.)

But I honestly don’t know what happened, I started to love it. I started to make the situation better because no one else was going to…or something. In my first year, I was disillusioned by the impossibility that my experience was going like NBC’s show, Community, until I realized that it totally was…in it’s special way. We had carnivals, I had a Spanish class that I loved (kind of like Community), and speech class was always a show…I loved going to the library and messing around with people, reading the books (because people still do that), and sleeping on benches like it was my job. Our Spanish class even had an end-of-the-semester party at our classmate’s house and it was legit, ask Caroline. There was a gazebo.

I’m not saying my time at ACC was completely awful. It kind of was, but it kind of wasn’t. I went to ACC and I was taught by some amazing professors that made me realize that we are all meant to do great things. One prof even wrote me a letter of rec and I know he meant every word. I went to ACC and I realized that I hate o-chem and that the biology/pre-med life is not for me. Who knows what would have happened if I had gone straight to a university and just stuck through my classes? I don’t know and I don’t really care to know, I think this was the way it was meant to be. (Go Riverbats.)

I also made friends with a lot of older people. Some people were in their late 50’s…and they were amazing. Y’all know I love older folk. They still have sass and they are all class. (I just wanted to rhyme, sue me.) They showed me how to appreciate the opportunity I get a.k.a. getting a degree at this young age. I wasn’t bombarded by job loss or worries about their kids, but they were and it put things into perspective. My problems seemed microscopic in comparison to theirs.

There are some people who go through an incredibly straight path throughout their college career. They go from high school -> university in 4 years (internship or 2 in between) -> full-time job. What I discovered is that this is a huge misconception.

My friend recently got a tattoo that says, “Treasure the journey.” I get it…in this context anyway. If you are thinking about community college, really consider it, it’s really what you make of it, and I really did love my time at community college. If community college is your only option for the first year, congrats, I’m jealous, “treasure the journey.” If you’re in community college, really “milk the cow”. I made up that analogy, but really enjoy it, find those goofy festivals, the weirdo, but incredibly awesome professors that actually care about their students, and the older folk who are probably in your class. I miss them, they totally have stories. And if you’re like me, someone who transferred from a comm college into a university, wear your riverbat/duck/whatever-the-goofy-comm-college mascot is proud.

Fact: The boiling temperature of water is 212 degrees.
That is an actual fact.
212 degrees Fahrenheit to be specific.

Why is that relevant?

  1. During my time in high school, our football team was on fire (metaphorically speaking). We were beating teams left and right. We weren’t the best, but we were pretty damn good. Thus, when we referred to our beloved Wildcat football players, they were on fire, they were “212”. We even had a hand signal that my best friend and I still do to this day. I loved watching high school football and I loved our team. Our principal and this tradition she carried out was crazy – but it stuck with all of us. It suck with me almost literally, metaphorically.
  2. Tying in with that last sentence, there is not a moment that goes by where I see the number 212 and think about my principal, my school, and my time there. Room 212, apartment 212, page 212, number 212 on a ticket – I mentally do the hand signal and mentally yell, “TWO TWEEEELLVEEE!”
  3. Most recently, I have officially started interning with Fahrenheit Marketing. That’s right, they’re called Fahrenheit Marketing. There’s a line in the ‘About’ tab that [literally] says, “We associate our marketing campaigns with turning up the heat.” If that doesn’t scream 212, I don’t know what does. UPDATEToday was the first day and our CEO brought us breakfast tacos. I was meant to work at this place y’all.

Perhaps it’s my Wildcat mentality. Perhaps it’s my insanity. I think I wrote this to say: everything happens for a reason and it’s all connected.
I think 212 is deep rooted in my life and forever will be. I’m okay with that.

Here are embarrassing shots of me and my best friend…and our never-ending love to the Cinderella story (re: this is another Wildcat tradition that only Wildcats would understand).

wildcatpride

circa 2009?

I know I keep disclaiming my posts before I write them, but I promise this is my final one… I think. Today’s disclaimer is: it’s about to get actually vulnerable, but I guess that just means that my blog is showing growth… 

I often say “sidebar” in conversation. I would be in mid-sentence saying, “blah blah blah” then I say, “sidebar: yada yada yada.” Attempting to make this metaphorical to my life, like the sidebars I spontaneously sprinkle in my conversation, there are sidebars that spontaneously come into my life and disrupt it. But I choose the word “disrupt” in the most respectful way possible. I know it has a somewhat negative connotation but things happen, life happens, life gets disrupted. It’s nothing bad, it’s just life. Life goes on after sidebars just like my conversation. (Is that confusing enough for you?)

As I had mentioned earlier, Hannah and I are about to embark on a tour around Texas (cc: the “Texas Forever” Tour). We have been planning for months, making lists, and tweaking maps. But alas, a sidebar has come into my life and we have to postpone this trip. PTL that I have great friends who are understanding.

tftourpost

That was a little sidebar of sorts because this is the actual vulnerable part of my life: the sidebar that has spontaneously come is my mom. She didn’t just come into my life, but the help she needs from me is something of spontaneity. For those close to me, y’all know she has been recovering from a gastric ulcer. It’s interesting because I was actually having a problem with prioritizing and then this sidebar came in and rumbled my priorities into perspective. Some might call this sidebar a sign but I digress.

It’s been a hell of a summer and I’m not just talking about the 1000-degree-heat. With school, two internships, the fear of growing up, friends, etc etc – prioritizing has been something I’ve been working on but struggling with especially these past 2 months. Never had I piled on a plate so full, never had I thought I would make it to the other side. It’s hard prioritizing, y’all. What is summer supposed to be like? All work? All play? What are we entitled to do? Are we entitled at all? Transitioning into adulthood, everything becomes blurry. I wanted to go on vacation, but I also hated taking off work. I wanted to go to $1 beer Wednesday’s, but I was too tired, did that make me lame? I wanted so badly to go on this road trip, but does that make me a bad daughter?

photo

I love my mom. I would do anything for her, but when she asked me to help her, I was frustrated and disappointed. Priorities blurred. It was a rough decision because I wanted to compromise. Sometimes sidebars aren’t meant for compromise though, sometimes they’re meant to shake you and ask you to adapt.

After a month of debate [with my brain], several hair photos, and peer pressure – I cut my hair. 8 inches of it

And y’all, my hair is was long. Look here:

Image

shameless photobooth photo, hi

But Tuesday afternoon, I got chopped. Here’s a plug: I went to the Aveda Institute and I loved my person! I’m not sponsored by them or anything but if you’re looking for an affordable haircut *cough* students *cough*, go here. If you’re a person who is attached to your hairstylist… maybe don’t go here? I don’t know, I didn’t care, I trusted Natalie and she was wonderful. Here it is (sort of):

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this is not a drill

Anyway, I got 8 inches cut off and when I was telling my friends, they all asked me the same thing: how do you feel? As if I just got broken up with and they were afraid I was going into a downward spiral of depression. (I kid, but you know what I mean.)

Yes, haircuts are a little emotional. For some, tears may appear and for others, it-ain’t-no-thing. I was somewhere in between. My hair has always grown fast, so after really embracing this fact (sidebar: the heat was getting to me), I just did it. It was spontaneous, but calculated. Haircuts are a little emotional…but it’s just hair…and hair grows back.

Perhaps I did all of this because I’m rolling into my final year of university and I needed a new change. BLAH, how cliche am I? But what are cliches if they aren’t totally true? I needed this change and here’s a fun fact: getting a haircut is the cheapest way to get a new wardrobe. Everything looks different when you get a new ‘do. Or at least in my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

For anyone who hasn’t done the deal, just do it. (Okay, don’t do it, because I know some girls who are very attached to their hair and would mentally cry for 6 months until it grows back and I don’t want to be responsible for that BUT…consider it.)