female friendships

 

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Hi pals.

How’ve you been? It’s been several months since we last chatted so I’m assuming you’ve probably felt every emotion on the emotional rainbow in that time. I hope you’ve landed somewhere around happy.

I’ve been listening to and LOoooOOving Lady Gaga’s new album Joanne. I like it in its entirety but the song Grigio Girls really spoke 2 my soul. Last weekend I cried to it on the bus while I sat next to two 20-somethings having a conversation in which one of them uttered a truly remarkable phrase: “Back in my aggressively marxist days…” I didn’t catch the rest of the sentence, sadly, because I was too busy trying to keep my weeping quiet.

I was spiralling out
And she was so alive
A Texas girl real strong
Taught me this strong song
So when I start to bawl
She says, “let your teardrops fall”

The song, for me, is a beautiful tribute to bonds between women. Women encouraging other women to be emotionally vulnerable, giving permission to ache and cry openly. Women in pain throwing their arms around other hurting women, helping each other bear the weight and limp forward. Women doing silly things together, things deemed shallow and vapid by the outside world, and just having a good fucking time.

Some of the most important relationships I have in my life are the ones I have with my female friends. I wish I had a Kris Jenner-level budget because I 100% would’ve made a high-production “I Love My Friends”-esque music video by now. Sorry pals, all you get is a blog post and my undying devotion :^)

I’m so bored by the sentiment that girls can’t be friends because they’re all catty / gossips / two-faced / etc. I go to a women-centered college and I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been asked by dull, beer-breathed frat boys, “An all girls school? How do you get anything done? Isn’t there drama all the time?” (It’s not in the slightest bit true and maybe the issue is how you view women, but this is supposed to be a POSITIVE POST so let me get my war flashbacks from frat parties outta here!!!!!)

I’ve learned more from my female friends than I have from anything or anyone else, I think. Here’s a little list of some of the things I’m grateful for about them:

They’re incredibly funny and great to be around. Spending time with them is rejuvenating, like an expensive hot springs spa or a giant, sprawling dog park.

By speaking openly about their struggles with mental illness, they gave me the tools, the language, and the support to get help for mine.

The passion they have for their individual fields is so cool to see. It’s inspiring for a Living, Breathing, Human Mess™ like me to see people have any sort of direction in their lives (the only direction I have in my life is One Direction, baby!!!!!!!!! ha……. I hate myself)

Since many of my friends have such different interests than me I get to learn cool new facts all the time. (It’s like getting lost in the depths of Wikipedia at 4 am but without the shame.) This summer I learned all about how you go about fixing anal prolapse in cows from my pre-vet friend Olivia. It involves a metal tube, who would’ve thought!

I’m grateful for the kind of conversations and support you can only really have in women-centered groups. The other week some of my friends and I had a sobering conversation about harassment– “Not every man does it, but every woman has had an experience with it,” Lily said. Life is a little less hard when you have a support system of women who just get it.

I’ve had 3 am conversations with my friends where I sometimes have to take a moment and just thank the Universe for bringing such wonderful women into my life. Like out of everyone on the planet I’m allowed to be friends with these creatures? Really? Me?

I’m grateful for the women in my life. If you’re a woman who thinks you “just can’t be friends with other women” please consider reconsidering. Surrounding yourself with women who challenge you, support you, make you laugh, allow you to cry, is the probably the best move you could make in this game o’ Life.

As always, I’ll leave you with a dog video before I shove you back into the cold, cold world. Here’s a video of a golden retriever puppy giving himself a bath and tucking himself into bed. What an icon, what an inspiration.

Cara

things that make my life better

Look, living on this 5.972 × 10^24 kilogram orb is hard. If there’s anything I can get in exchange for a small amount of metal circles and paper marked with dead guys’ faces that will make my human life easier, I’ll get it. Here’s a list of the superficial objects, things, and metaphysical concepts that have made my 21 years better in some tiny way.

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// MELATONIN 

I LOVE SLEEP!!!!!!!!! Sucks that I suck at it. My ‘trying to fall asleep’ routine is just me laying in complete and utter darkness for 2-4 hours getting increasingly angry that my body won’t shut off and do one of the only things it needs to do to survive. How weird is it that we can be BAD at something our bodies are literally programed to do. What a handy skill.

When I was young, I used to convince my parents all the time that I had a “cold” and I needed Benadryl– that goopy purple nectar would knock me right out. I’m not sure how they always believed me but I think they were just tired of me asking them to check for ghosts in the corners of my room.

These days, I have weird anxiety when it comes to trying to fall asleep (MAYBE BECAUSE I’M SO BAD AT IT) so I try to prolong it as much as possible by staying up late reading wikipedia articles on old government mind control experiments (go look up Project MKULTRA, it’s horrifying). But using melatonin solves that, honestly. It’s natural but strong and it actually works.

Here’s the type I use. I get the 2.5 mg kind and sometimes taking half is enough to pull me into unconsciousness.

// EXTERNAL CHARGER

Remember the days of yore when you only needed to charge your flip phone maybe once every couple of days? That season has long since past and now we have slim glass bricks that are destroyed by a 3 feet drop and need to be charged multiple times a day.

My old iPhone would drop from 100% to 50% battery after looking at one Instagram photo of a dog so it was obviously essential for me to invest 16 dollars into this cute pink external charger. It’s great to have especially for treks to the Earth’s molten core and/or long bus rides.

// CAMELBAK

If you know me in real life, you know that I prioritize hydration. I used to go around parties and get people to drink water like some sort of h2O missionary.

I don’t spread the good word of Water too much in social settings anymore but you know what, I SHOULD. Drinking enough water will solve all of your problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Except for maybe your crippling student debt or your failing marriage, but other than that, you’re SET.

I’m sure my cells and organs celebrate the anniversary of me purchasing my first Camelbak water bottle like it’s a national holiday. There’s something about that weird bitey nozzle, reminiscent of a baby’s milk bottle, that makes you want to drink water by the gallon. Maybe it’s because I haven’t emotionally matured since infancy, but whatever the case, I’m more hydrated than ever. Here’s a link to get your very own Adult Baby Bottle

// FALSE LASHES

I’m not kidding when I say false lashes CHANGED MY LIFE. They’re a really effective way to step up your Look. Plus they make you look like you’re better at makeup than you are and they photograph REALLY well.

Just pop on some eyeliner (or struggle with it for 45 minutes while your friends become exasperated with how long you’re taking so they order the Uber and then you’re forced to leave with uneven winged liner but it’s fine because parties are always dimly lit and we’re all going to die anyway) and some false lashes and you’re ready to hit the town!

My favorite type right now are the Ardell Natural 110-Black.

False lashes are kind of hard to put on at first but it definitely gets easier with practice. Look up a tutorial on youtube for it, that shit helps. Also if you peel the glue off the lash band, you can get a bunch of uses out of one pair. There’s a lil #LifeHack for you, free of charge.

// SPOTIFY PREMIUM

(If you’re a member of the United States government please politely look away now)

I used to be all about the whole ‘youtube to mp3’ converter to download songs (I’m too dumb to torrent things) but honestly, I got too lazy to copy and paste individual links. Look at me, reformed from a life of crime due to laziness!!!!

It was definitely worth it though — regular Spotify eats up your data and only lets you play artists on shuffle. Being able to save playlists and albums to play offline is neato, I’d say! Look at me… living inside the confines of the law and loving it!!!

You can get Spotify Premium for 5 dollars a month if you’re a student! (They also have this promotion where they do 3 months for 99 cents quite often so keep ya peepers out and peeping 👀 🔍 )

// THRIFT STORES

Thrift stores are a GOD SEND if you’re broke or like to dress like the lady in your neighborhood who owns four too many wind chimes mixed with a member of the coolest retirement-age bowling team in town. I, personally, fit neatly into both categories and have been buying almost all of my clothes/shoes/purses at thrift stores for years now.

It’s refreshing and therapeutic to shift through the racks of clothes with history instead of seeing the same graphic t-shirts emblazoned with variations of “I love pizza” 30 times in a row. Plus you can buy five Hawaiian shirts for five dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I’m so grateful that Macklemore invented thrift stores back in 2012.

//

Well! I think that’s it folks. I can’t divulge all the tricks I’ve learned for maintaining an adequate life at once! Gotta keep you coming back for more.

As always, I’ll leave you with some Dog Content. Here’s a vine of a dog named Hank doing a dramatic head turn. I love him and the drama he conveys in just 6 short seconds.

Cara

cara (across the) pond

It’s currently 11 pm on a Thursday night– I’m dancing around my room alone, waiting for my lava lamp to start doing its thing, listening to Willow’s album ‘Ardipithecus‘ (it’s prime for grooving, let me tell you) and I’m SUDDENLY mentally transported back to last semester, which I was privileged enough to spend in Bath, England. Cool how a few notes played in a certain order and a melodious human voice can throw you back in time, right? Music is the Universe’s gentle quarterback. I don’t know football metaphors, this ends now.

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This teleportation didn’t take much space-time bending as I’ve only been home from my semester abroad for a few weeks. (I’m not going to figure out the exact number because thinking too much about the passage of time makes me feel like my face is melting off.) I discovered Willow’s album while making toast in England and spent many a sunny day sitting out in our house’s garden, listening to her songs instead of doing my class reading. Listening to ‘Wait a Minute’ instantly brought me back to the little patch of grass in our yard I had accidentally claimed as my own by sitting there so frequently, it became matted down in the shape of my body.

(Lil tidbit about toast, one of England’s finest delicacies: Victorian women were fed toast sandwiches and other bland foods because society thought that foods with strong flavor — or flavor at all, apparently — would turn them into IMMORAL, UNEARTHLY SEX FIENDS. That’d make a cool band name if anyone wants it. So would Toast Sandwich, actually. I had a “band” in third grade called ‘Secrets Unleashed’ so I’m absolutely an authority on all things Cool.)

ANYWAY, the actual point of this blog post is to talk about my semester abroad. Now, I get it — the internet is INUNDATED with college students’ posts about studying abroad. (If anyone’s looking for a fun new hobby, calculating what percentage of the internet is comprised of those blog posts might be a nifty one to try out.) But guess what, all of our lives are just a blink of Time’s eye anyway so let me have my moment.

I never thought I was the type of person who goes abroad. I don’t… exactly know… what I mean by that but I think it connects to the fact that sometimes I forget I’m like, an actual participant in life. I get so wrapped up in my friends’ lives, feeling happy for them or excited for them or sad for them that I rarely think oh, shit, I’m a human too and I can and need to have my own experiences.

As a socially anxious introvert, I’ve spent much of my life on the sidelines, observing. I don’t think that it’s a bad thing, I feel I’ve learned a lot about human nature, about myself, about sympathy by doing so. There’s a beauty — and necessity, I’d argue — in observation, but over the past year I’ve begun to recognize how crucial it is to be active in my own life. I’m not going to feel fulfilled by attempting to exist through someone else’s.

I’m not trying to say that living in England for four months suddenly made me want to Live Life To Its Fullest!!!! and Cherish Every Moment!!!!!! (I mean…. it lowkey did… but that’s not the point here….). I think studying abroad was not the cause, but the effect of me deciding that even though I may bumble my way through life surrounding by a luminous halo of anxiety and stress, it doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to have my own experiences.

There’s two parts of me that are usually at odds with each other — one part, the part riddled with anxiety, craves the safe and familiar while the other part often feels stifled and needs change. Somehow the second part was able to convince the first part in gentle, hushed tones that I could use a change of scenery after two and a half years in my little Boston bubble.

I am endlessly grateful that it did. Like most things, my time abroad was both exponentially better than I could’ve ever imagined and harder than I could’ve ever pictured. I’ve found that you rarely feel how you think you’re going to feel when thrown into a situation. I guess that’s a good thing, otherwise we could all just stay in a dark, damp hovel somewhere and just imagine going through life. (Although who’s to say that’s not what I’m doing right now and I just became so good at it I forgot I ever started. UH.)

I’ve also found out that I’m better at handling situations than I give myself credit for. Before my flight to England, I had never traveled alone. (It’s still weird that, me, a giant infant, is allowed to go into a metal contraption by myself and be transported across the globe.) I have now done so multiple times and am now safe and sound in my house (or just imagining I am from my hovel but it’s fine, I guess). I can navigate stressful situations when I need to, apparently. Good to know.

Along with this, I found I am capable of making strong, meaningful connections without someone holding my hand along the way. Back in 2013, one of my best friends Isabel and I ended up going to the same college. We knew that we didn’t want to be glued to each other’s side our freshman year, and we weren’t, but we ended up in the same circle of friends. (Mostly because Isabel made friends I kind of just… tagged along for the ride.) I have since made my own, individual strong bond with said group of friends but I was still anxious as hell about having to make my own initial connections with people while studying abroad since all of my other friends I made during like, middle school or earlier.

In a surprise twist no one expected, I still retain the ability to make new friends. I’m sure my preschool teacher would be glad I haven’t lost this basic life skill. Months before I left, when I was planning my flight home with my mom, she asked if I cared if I came home a day earlier than my program suggested. I remember thinking, “I’m sure the last day is when everyone is going to be saying goodbye to their friends and that’ll just be a bummer for me since I won’t have made any.”

(WOW ok, I’m realizing how sad and pathetic that sounds/ that people on the internet are actually going to read this… I’m trying to be honest and connect emotionally with y’all…. just let it happen….)

I didn’t end up flying home a day early because it was cheaper not to. In my last 24 hours in Bath I: 1.) had to pack up four months of things and evacuate my house because of a undetonated World War II bomb found under a nearby playground 2.) sat in a circle of intelligent, interesting, hilarious people I somehow duped into becoming my friends, where we went around and said genuine nice things about each other in a park until 1 am.

(Neither of those things would’ve been on my list of ‘300 Ways I Probably Will Spend My Last Day Abroad.’)

It was such a pure moment, I highly recommend you do this with your group of friends. I think we shrink away from giving heartfelt compliments in everyday life because it’s cheesy and puts us in a vulnerable position, but it’s important and you’ll be glad you did it. You’ll never regret saying something kind.

Most of us were crying, all of us were gut-wrenchingly sad. We knew it wasn’t going to be the last time we would be all together, but it was the last time we would all be together like that.

As we were saying goodbye to Bath Abbey — the beautiful church in the city’s center we passed by everyday — I just kept thinking, “all good things must come to an end.” As much as endings and goodbyes SUCK, they’re necessary. Good things aren’t meant to last forever. If a good thing goes on for too long, then it usually turns sour and you’re left with a bitter taste about the entire thing. Four months is just a sliver of time, but that’s okay — things don’t have to linger to be important.

I have a lot more to say, but I think I’m going to end this here. And in grand Cara tradition, I’m going to end with a dog video. It’s another instant classic my mom found on Facebook. Bless.

Cara

(Shout out 2 Chloe for using your overpriced polaroid film on us and to @elizabethdoud for the snappy blog title, I’m sorry I’m such a disappointment and didn’t change all my social media usernames to it… I gotta maintain #brand #integrity ya feel? )

 

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