good things / two

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Hellllooooooo, pals. It’s been awhile, eh?

I was teaching y’all that nothing is certain and you can’t rely on anyone, so you’re welcome for that priceless life lesson that I graciously provided free of charge.

Jokes, I’m just studying abroad in England and trying to #live #in the #moment, ya feel?

But no one cares about excuses so let’s get into the Main Attraction, the Entreé of this post: Good Things™: Part Two!!!!!!!!

I had a Perfect Moment this afternoon. I was showering, the sun was gently shining through the curtains, I was listening to SZA’s album for the first time and I recognized that I’m just a minuscule blip of a blip in the universe’s timeline. I’m always comforted by my cosmic tininess.

That moment mattered to no one but me but it was perfect. 

And I felt EUPHORIC listening to SZA’s album ‘Z’ for the first time. I haven’t felt that way listening to an album in a minute. Highly, highly, highly recommend. Nothing’s better than some good tunes and basking in the universe’s indifference.

I went to the Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Studio Tour yesterday and WOW, WHATTA DAY. I went with three pals I’ve met on my study abroad program. There was something really cool about being nostalgic around new friends. 

Plus the tour was a MAGICAL, EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL wonderland.

I bought Soap & Glory’s body butter, The Righteous Butter the other day and man, what a perfect moisturizing experience!!!!! It smells great, the packaging is an incredible shade of pink, and it leaves your skin feeling HYDRATED and POWERFUL.

I distinctly remember the second day I was in England I thought, “dang, there’s no one walking their dogs around here :/” BOY, WAS I WRONG. People in England LOVE their dogs and I love them for it. During the colder months every single pup I saw was donning a coat. Once I saw a terrier wearing a SCARF.

And they’re all so well-behaved! A lot of the time the owners won’t even have them on leashes, even on city streets!!!! The level of trust between the dogs and their owners in England is so pure and inspiring. I hope to one day achieve it with a creature of another species.

I went to Ireland with Erin last weekend and it was a great couple of days. The high point for me was doing a four mile walk in the countryside in the pouring rain to get to a dilapidated, crumbling castle — my favorite kind.

It was green everywhere, yellow flowers lined the path, someone had placed tiny fairy doors on some of the trees.

Erin was playing some Irish tunes as we walked and even though I was freezing and soaked, I couldn’t stop smiling. It was magic.

It takes a truly stunning place to be beautiful through rain and cold and man, Ireland is definitely one of those spots.

Also!!!! Through this I discovered Irish music makes me incredibly happy!!! If you want a taste, listen to Erin’s playlist that acted as the soundtrack to our Ireland trip 😌

Me being a happy green marshmallow in Ireland.

Adding Erin’s mom on Facebook has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in 2k16 so far. She recently posted this picture with the caption “Charlee is stuck.” Incredible!!!!

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I watched a really great scary movie with my housemates the other night called ‘It Follows.’ It was the best scary movie I’ve seen in a while and you should definitely, definitely watch it if you like scary movies.

My housemates and I have been trying to have a movie night since we got here and I’m proud to say that finally, four months into our study abroad experience, we actualized our dream.

OKAY I have a lot more good things floating around in my skull but I’m going to cut it short because the ratio of time spent on this post to words written is atrocious and I have books to read! Papers to write! Existential crises to have!

Also I feel like this post wasn’t on par with my other ones… I basically just said “amazing” and “incredible” a bunch of times but I will cut myself some slack and release it into the wild.

As usual, here’s a dog video to end off this post. It’s combining two of my favorite things — One Direction and dogs. It’s ridiculous and so true to what the internet was in 2012, I needed 2 share.

Cara

life lessons from my middle school diary

I’ve kept some sort of written journal type deal from around second grade, on and off, until present day. All I have to say about this is: GOD BLESS. There is truly nothing more entertaining than reading your younger self’s thoughts and feelings about ridiculously petty stuff.

My elementary school diary is cute (I documented the unadulterated joy I felt after watching The Lizzie McGuire Movie for the first time, the trials and tribulations of playdates, my growing love for wolves) but my middle school diary is honestly a piece of modern art. I’ve decided to take some quotes from it and add some commentary. Maybe we can all learn a thing or two from cringey 13 year old Cara.

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“I kind of procrastinate on homework, studying for tests, projects… okay, basically everything. He he… I’ve got to learn how not to or else I’ll be staying up till one in the morning, writing essays I’ve had for three weeks!!!” 

Look at this poor, naive angel. She thought she could change her time-wasting ways. You’ll embrace your procrastination in due time, Young Cara. You’ll learn that people work in different ways and even though your way maaay be the most stressful one, you’ll finish what you need to. Usually.

“For some reason a rumor got out that we said [redacted] turned GOTH when she went to her new school. We just said she changed!”

People may twist your words and it may become drama at your middle school dance. Do you really want your life to have the storyline of a low-budget teen movie? Don’t shit talk your friends dude, you have like three.

“I MIGHT be getting a phone like the Razor for my birthday! BUT two girls in my grade have it… [friend 1] says to get it, it just matters what I like. But [friend 2] says NOT to. I’m going to listen to [friend 1]’s advice and not let anyone else control my life!”

What a profound lesson. It doesn’t matter what other people think, get that metaphorical equivalent to my knock-off Razor of your life!!!!!!

“PAR-TAY! It’s all about parties this week! And WHO doesn’t love a good party? NO ONE, THAT’S WHO!” 

(I was talking about a middle school dance and a bat mitzvah. I was truly out of CONTROL.) Appreciate those rented swanky halls and the only-slightly-warm buffet food paid for by your friends’ parents when you can, because when you’re 21, the only things parties have to offer is shitty beer and misogyny.

“Sorry that it’s been a while but I’ve been SUPER busy! And a lot of things are changing … and are different.” 

Things change and become different. Can’t argue with that one.

“I even bought makeup and my friend showed me how to put it on. MAKEUP. Seriously. Last year I was making fun of people who wore it, now I’m wearing it. Last year I was all split ends, baggy T-shirts and sneakers. Now I’m makeup, babydoll shirts and ballet slippers.”

God. @YoungCara, why were you making fun of people for wearing makeup? Relax man, it’s really not that serious. You’ve fallen into the trap that society has set– equating femininity with inferiority. Putting black goop on your eyelashes doesn’t make you any worse or any better than anyone else, my friend.

“First of all, boys are stupid. So, I am sticking to NOT obsessing over one, when there MUCH more important things out there such a friends, homework, and dying whales.”

This speaks for itself. SAVE THE WHALES.

“Whatever, I don’t like drama. I have true friends. I don’t need her. Ha! She’s gonna end up marrying an old, rich man for his money and have an unhappy life!!!!!! She’s fake, all she ever talks about is stupid stuff like clothes and gossip.”

Okay. This is horrendous and reeks of internalized misogyny so I’m going to drag middle school Cara for a bit.

Let’s be honest– you loved “drama,” ya creep! You printed out pages and pages of yahoo emails between you and your best friend when y’all were fighting to show people at school. This method of problem-solving probably would not make Oprah’s ‘Top 10 Ways To Handle Conflict with Grace and Respect.’

And I know you’re upset about your good friend ignoring you, but calling her “fake” is not the way to deal with it. What does that even MEAN? It’s weird that you’re pretending you’re above “stupid stuff like clothes and gossip” but if you flip to ANY PAGE OF THIS ENTIRE JOURNAL, you’ll find that you discuss these two topics quite often. Which is FINE! Things that are traditionally thought of as feminine are not inherently bad or shallow! (I mean, gossip is questionable but don’t pretend your sketchy self didn’t partake.)

 The media forces women to care about how they look and what they wear but then in the same breath, shames them for doing so. You’ll learn that the only winning side to this battle is to do whatever you want and let others do the same.

“I love my mom. She puts up with me. I don’t think I would be able to if I was her… I can be a brat!”

Appreciate your mom, you are definitely a brat.

“Why do we call each other “Hot Shower” friends? Well, Caitlin’s mom said that good, true friends should make you feel like you just came out of a hot shower. You know: calm, relaxed, nice, just all around great.” 

Still true!!!!! Young Cara, you will not BELIEVE how much better having great friends will make your life.

Okay, I think that’s enough of the Cara archives for now. My last two posts ended with some dog-related content so I might as well keep that tradition going, eh? Here’s a video of a dog and a baby that my mom and I watched 20 times in a row after she discovered it during one of her viral video binges.

Cara

good things / one

I like appreciating small things. I get that from my dad. He tells me excitedly about things he sees — a weeping willow, a bunch of vultures on a wire, an ice covered branch. It’s sad that he doesn’t know how to work his motorola flip phone better because I’m SURE I would be getting blurry pictures of cool trees out the wazoo.

(Also, I looked up the technical term for “a bunch of vultures” and it’s “a wake, committee, venue, kettle, or volt” which ALL sound fake so I refuse to use any of them.)

During the summer I started to get into the habit of writing down one thing I was grateful for each day. I really do believe in the whole “every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day” philosophy.

You can bet your bottom dollar that when I’m a mom I’ll be purchasing a driftwood plaque with that saying painted on it for $19.99 from TJ Maxx for our beach home. It’s going right next to our sea glass mosaic that spells out “Relax” and the “It’s five o’clock somewhere!” picture Nancy gave me during our annual book club Secret Santa. She knows me too well.

Anyway. I’m starting this series called good things on my blog. Pretty simple and self-explanatory but I’m amped. 😎

// Here’s some Good Things™ from the week of January 4, 2016:

My brother is learning Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here on the guitar and hearing the notes drift from his room to mine is soothing.

Watching Magic Mike XXL (for the second time) with my pals Olivia and Caitlin. I love this movie, man. It has heart, it has soul, it has Matt Bomber’s objectively perfect face. (Also, tell me that his character isn’t Harry Styles in an alternate stripper universe.)

Being able to walk outside at night and see STARS!!!! You don’t really get that in Boston. When I’m at school in the city I usually just pretend that any flashing, moving light in the sky is a star. Desperate times.

Having an honest conversation with my friend Erin about studying abroad (I’m going to England next semester, she’s going to Hungary). We’re both nervous about it and it was nice to talk it over with someone who gets it. I’d say I’m about 2% excited and 98% terrified right now.

My brand is ‘Gets Nervous Over Things People Are Supposed To Be Pumped For’ so I think I’m maintaining brand integrity quite well. During our second meeting my study abroad advisor stopped and said, “You… you know you’re supposed to be excited about this, right?” Yeah, I know Joe, but I have a BRAND to think about!!!!! All of our interactions were kind of awkward; I’m always uncomfortable around tall, kind, advisor-type men. I felt the same about my high school guidance counselor. Just like, be a bit colder and emotionally guarded, will you???)

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Going to this ceramic-painting place with a couple of friends. It was relaxing and we all got so into we somehow spent over three hours painting those tiny, overpriced things!!!

(Mine’s the moon candle holder. After painting it I realized that this rendering of the moon sort of looks like Donald Trump but I don’t want to think about it too deeply because I don’t want to insult my love, the moon.)

This Carrie Fisher quote. It’s exactly what I needed.

Friends sending me pictures of their dogs — which is the BEST thing about winter break. During the school year the only snaps of pups I receive are sporadic, blurry, distant photos of a stranger’s dog on the street — don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate them fully — but currently my dog photo harvests are bountiful and I feel anew, tbh.

Look at my friends’ dogs!!!!! Apparently I subconsciously organized them into warm tones and cool tones (or in 90s makeup catalog terms, summers and winters.)

Okay, this concludes the first installment of Good Things. I still don’t know how to end posts so here’s another video of a puppy.

I distinctly remember my friend sending me this video a few years back. When I first watched it, I yelled for a solid like, 30 seconds. My other friend calmly turned to me and asked, “Is it dogs or One Direction?” This question made it very clear she understood the true depths of my psyche.

(Also! Feel free to share any good things from your week with me either on here or twitter, I’m @Cara_Pond over there!)

Cara

hello

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I really enjoy that this photo highlights my dark circles — truly my essence

Hi! I’m Cara.

I’m starting this blog because I want to and I can, I guess? I don’t know, man, why does anyone do anything?

Things about me:

I’m a red head, I’m a junior in college, I go to school in Boston, I recently turned 21. (I’m excited that I can now attend those wine and sunset painting workshops with my local soccer moms. I’m not kidding, I’ve always wanted to go. Hit me up, Jody and/or Susan)

I co-host a weekly One Direction podcast called Talk Direction

I’m a big fan of naps

I’m a “look at the moon!!!!!!” type of person. I’m also a “look at that dog!!!!!!!!!” type of person. This applies to any cool leaf or rock as well. I like getting excited about small things, apathy is 😴

I… don’t know what else to say?

This is giving me hardcore cringey flashbacks to those “introduce yourself and say one interesting fact about yourself!” ice breaker things teachers make you do on the first day of class. (I thought I’d be safe from those in college but ALAS.)

I usually go with “my eyes change color” which tbh, I’m not even sure is true but it’s interesting enough while also vague enough not to disturb the air of mystery I’ve worked hard to curate.

I feel like twins have it the best in these situations. You can say you’re a twin and people are SHOCKED and AMAZED but in the end, you really didn’t divulge anything truly personal. Forever a bit pissed that the egg I was made from didn’t split in two, ice breakers would’ve been a breeeeeeze.

(I texted my friend who’s a twin and asked her what personal fact she went with in ice breaker situations and she said she always goes with the twin thing so it’s #confirmed.)

Anyway, much like the rest of my life, I don’t have a clear plan for this blog.

I really like having the podcast as a way to talk with people from all over and even though it’s technically a One Direction podcast, we tie in a bunch of other things that might not be completely related (ie. intersectional feminism or like, the nuances of hot chocolate consumption.)

But still, it’s a bit limited. Also, writing is my preferred method of communication so I thought I might as well dip my toes into the blogging pool, if you will. 🏄

I’ve had a bunch of blogs over the years that I’ve kept private but wrote in them like people would actually see them. It’s embarrassing, I know, but I think this (and the podcast) marks a change in the attitude I hold about the validity and importance of my thoughts and experiences.

Valuing yourself is really cool, man, and it’s the best thing I could’ve started to do during the 21 years I’ve been on this big ol’ rock we call Earth.

Damn, I’m getting sappy the first post in. I need to pull it together.

I never know how to end things so I’ll just leave you with this video of golden retriever puppies, a two minute video that is absolutely Oscar-worthy.

Cara