I love to travel. I hate to pack.
I love my sorority sisters. I hate the, “gotta look perfect” pressure that comes with hanging out with that group.
I’ll be the first to admit that the pressure is 98% self-imposed. And I’d like to reiterate – I LOVE my sorority sisters. They’re my people. It’s just that they, unfortunately, are the most fashion-forward, put together group of girls on the planet. And even more unfortunate, I am not. So every time we put together reunion trips, like the one in Austin next weekend, I’m always paralyzed with anxiety on what to pack.
You know those work weeks that just seem to suck every last bit of energy, enthusiasm and creative impulse out of you? Yeah, I had one of those weeks. After 5 days of navigating corporate politics and an unnecessary game of pointing fingers, I felt completely burnt out. Yesterday I left the office at 8pm, made a sad attempt at a run around Lake Calhoun and ultimately plopped myself in front of the TV with an embarrassing spread of Chinese takeout. I’m even more embarrassed to admit that I was in bed and sound asleep by 9:30pm.
You Guys… it’s 55 degrees out today. 55! Did I mention I live in Minneapolis? And that it’s February 27th? Heaven.
Like most people, when an emerging season reveals itself, a visceral sense of happiness and optimism blossoms inside of me and I always try to find the perfect soundtrack to accompany the specific time of year.
First snow fall? Time to queue up a little Bon Iver.
First summer drive with the windows down? Vampire Weekend, all the way.
First tailgate of the football season? Throwback JT, please!
For gratitude and writer’s envy: Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
“Jeevan found himself thinking about how human the city is, how human everything is. We bemoaned the impersonality of the modern world, but that was a lie, it seemed to him; it had never been impersonal at all. There had always been a massive delicate infrastructure of people, all of them working unnoticed around us, and when people stop going to work, the entire operation grinds to a halt. No one delivers fuel to the gas stations or the airports. Cars are stranded. Airplanes cannot fly. Trucks remain at their points of origin. Food never reaches the cities; grocery stores close. Businesses are locked and then looted. No one comes to work at the power plants or the substations, no one removes fallen trees from electrical lines. Jeevan was standing by the window when the lights went out.”
― Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven
I’m going to say it loud and proud – I have ambition. I have things I want to achieve, places I want to go and glass ceilings I intend to break. Unfortunately having that itch for the corner office can be somewhat paralyzing. Quite honestly, even typing it out here gives me an overwhelming sense of vulnerability. We all know that having the dream is the easy part of the equation, but what about getting there? I’ve spent a good chunk of my 20s wondering what it will take to achieve my goals and hunting for a recipe for success. I can’t tell you how many Forbes, “What the Most Successful People do Before Breakfast” articles I had to read before I realized there really isn’t one.
The popular, “you do you” anthem has become my main motto as I’ve gotten older, and it especially rings true as I attempt to draft a road map for my career. I’ve finally let go of the mentor fantasy (you know, the one where I run into Tina Fey at Whole Foods and she thinks I’m so promising that she decides to take me under her wing and teach me every thing there is to becoming a bonafide badass?) and I’m taking responsibility for my own progress. My approach? Take one day at a time and find motivation and inspiration in my daily routines. So, here’s my home-grown, partly stolen from the internet but dashed with a sprinkle of Allie, recipe for success.
Last, but definitely not least – our courageous and competitive Kendall. Although Kendall and I endured college together, we’ve actually managed to grow closer during the years we’ve lived thousands of miles apart. I like to think it’s a testament to our friendship, but it’s mostly to do with the fact that Kendall is as loyal and caring of a friend as they come.
“There is literally no one like Kendall in the universe. There’s this popular Amy Poehler interview where she essentially tells a reporter that women are constantly pressured to be everything at once – smart and tough yet sensitive and caring etc. Well, Kendall is that rare breed of human that truly is a mix of all of these amazing qualities. She’s brilliant and tough and would rather die than lose at something, yet she’s one of the most empathetic people I know. I love that she knows what she wants out of life and is brave enough to go get it. She inspires me to live the life I want to live, not one that fits other people’s standards and timelines.”
“This girl is fearless. Even if something scares her, she faces it with a smile on her face. I’m of course referring to oysters. She never looks at anything as a closed door. Even though she has her feet firmly planted on the ground, she is a dreamer. She dreams up grand adventures and turns them into reality. Kendall takes her fearlessness into fashion. I definitely see her as an inspiration when it comes to clothes. She’s not afraid of the sequins crop top and rocks it confidently.”