I’m a Loser (…but okay with that.)


“Little Miss Sunshine” is easily the scariest movie I have ever seen. I know I’m a good six and a half years behind, but I just watched it the other day for the first time and walked away feeling terrified.  I’ll save the effort of explaining the plot (what do you think imdb is for?), but know that one of the key themes is being a loser.  Throughout the film, several dreams and plans of multiple characters are foiled by cold, harsh realities.

As a soon-to-be college grad, the idea of watching my dreams crash and burn before my eyes scares me. Already, I’ve experienced post-grad rejection: I interviewed for the summer internship of my dreams in NYC , made it to the final round of interviews, and was denied (and the funny part is they most likely went with someone younger…read: still in college). “Little Miss Sunshine” was an one hundred and three minute reminder that sometimes you pursue the wrong dream in life and end up feeling like a complete loser.  I really don’t know how to handle losing (just ask anyone who plays a board game with me) and have grown up with the confidence that I’m a winner. But, dealing with rejection is a really fundamental part of becoming a thriving, healthy person. I’ve decided (as of four days ago) that I’m too young to be afraid of it. So I’m won’t be.

And you know what? It’s okay to be a loser.

A loser passionately and intentionally pursues their goal despite the odds.

A loser doesn’t get comfortable and sets up camp where they’re at, but knows there is always room for growth and improvement.

Most of all, a loser makes themselves vulnerable: like Grandpa Edwin in “Little Miss Sunshine” says, “A real loser is someone who’s so afraid of not winning, they don’t even try.”

Maybe someday I’ll rewatch “Little Miss Sunshine” again and not want to disappear in a small hole of sadness, but until then, I’m going to learn to not be afraid to lose. 


P.S. In all actuality, “Little Miss Sunshine” is a beautiful, humanizing film.

Graduation, as told by gifs

So, I’m officially done with all undergrad coursework. Which is…weird.


Four years of collegiate schooling…but yet, I still have to think of this gif when people ask me how I’m doing.


…You might say I thrived during college.


Preparation for graduation is almost as prominent as the act itself! It’s like a video game–each level must be defeated before moving forward. First, Financial Aid reminds you that now owe your soul (and wallet) to Sallie Mae. I love loans!


And then you have to deal with level 2: mutual melancholy from all other graduates. Because of the semester abroad, I “left” Lee all the way back in December and thus, “dealt” with all the sad feelings about leaving then. (Note: the quote marks signify ignorance). Me circa December 2012:

tumblr_lsrjmsrxb11qii6tmo1_500anigif_enhanced-buzz-28425-1366761432-8Me circa April 2013: 


But still. It’s hard to know what to say other than “It gets better?” (Because let’s be honest, I’m in the same boat, just living in blissful ignorance! What boat?)



Finally, level 3: ACTUAL GRADUATION



It might be boring. (High school graduation was! I was too busy mentally preparing myself for walking across the stage in sky-high heels.)


There will be overdressed people.


But whatever, let’s do this.


Outing my First Tattoo

Hello world, I have a tattoo.

I got it a month ago in Cambridge’s best tattoo parlor (is that still a thing–tattoo parlors? It sounds infinitely 1874), Tattoos by Fabio. Yes, the shop is called that. No, sadly, Fabio was not the guy who made my tattoo. I was just as disappointed as you probably are.

"Step into my parlor...tattoo parlor!"

“Step into the parlor…my tattoo parlor, that is!”

When I’m super nervous, I talk…and talk…and talk. I don’t shut up, honestly. As Johnny, my lackluster named tattoo artist (tattoo guy? I really don’t know the lingo, obviously), took me to a back little room, I kept asking him pretty much everything I could think of in an effort to calm down. What’s the best tattoo he’s done? What’s the weirdest? Where are his tattoos, as he didn’t seem to have any?…And then he took off his shirt…The answer was pretty clear after that. (His tattoo was GIANT and covered his entire torso, which is extra insane because he did it himself!) I even suggested Johnny & I getting matching tattoos (kiddingly, Mom), because we were basically best friends by this point.

And then just as quickly as the process began, it was over! As much as I’d love to share a picture, because it’s on my ribs, it’s kind of hard to take a picture without it looking like I’m half-heartedly sexting somebody. (It’s also hard to show it off in public without practically undressing.)


Fun fact: the font was contrived from Jane Austen’s handwriting! But that’s obviously not why I chose the font, as that would take being a fan of someone to a weird level…

So, what is it? Pretty simple: see above! I really have always struggled with working to be smart/funny/pretty/skinny/cool/whatever enough to prove I’m worth it. But you know what? The idea of becoming “enough” is an unachievable mirage that leaves you dying of thirst for affirmation in a desert of insecurity. (Whew, I just surpassed my metaphor quota for the month!)

Isaiah 41:9 has always been a comfort to me, as God tells us “For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.” The struggle with being enough is slowly losing power in my life, as I’m realizing daily that I am enough, right here & now. “Enough” is not to be achieved, but to be understood. So, I like having the visual reminder.

Skeptics of tattoos, to answer your questions: yes, it’s meaningful to me (see above, y’all); yes, I’ve been thinking about it for a year and a half; the stigma behind tattoos is changing; nobody is going to care when I’m old; it’s covered up for my future job, unless I work at a place that requires crop tops, in which case, I’m doomed.

Well, I can mark this off the job search list.

Well, I can mark this off the job search list. Bummer.

And I love it! I don’t regret it at all and am kind of already planning on a second tattoo for the near future. But more on that another time!

TMI Thursday: Procrastinating Finals Edition

Welcome to a new weekly thing, TMI Thursday!  It’s no secret I spend 4.3 hours a day on a quest for the weirdest, cutest, funniest links on the Internet. My level of dedication is almost the same as a fierce mountain goat’s…or something. So, what better way than to round up some of the best of the best each week & share?

You may have seen my earlier attempt at procrastination (Finals week, as told by gifs), and well, I’m still not done with those papers. I’m currently halfway done with the worst one, which is luckily the last, and then freedom! If you, like me, are still procrastinating or are just totally bored, enjoy!

Tiny Timewasters: Procrastination Level 1

  • World, I give you the best thing & a rather short list: People Who Taylor Swift hasn’t dated (YET)
  • Is this real life? Read for yourself: A Christian newlywed couple maintain abstinence for TWO years after marriage
  • Oh Jimmy Kimmel. Tricking Coachella hipsters to talk about literally made up bands= Priceless. I did the same prank to my sister once with a book series–works like a charm.

Ain’t nobody got time–wait, maybe: Procrastination Level 3

  • So, the other night I had the privilege of hearing the hilarious Jon Acuff speak at a local church. He has this awesome new project called No More Voices, which is all about anonymously sharing the lies that burden us & releasing them for freedom! Really, really awesome. Take a look!
  • Social experiment to ponder: this woman took anonymous self-portraits of people in public who seemed to be nonverbally commenting about her appearance. What do you think? Is she projecting her insecurities or are people truly awful like that?

THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS: Procrastination Level 5!!!!!!

  • Watch this alarming, poignant short film that asks “What if heterophobia was the norm?” It’s 19 minutes long, but the time really flies by and leaves you with a lot to think about. Worth the watch.
  • On Facebook lately, there’s been an article passed around called “It Matters Whom You Marry and I wasn’t 100% sure if I agreed with the points made. It kind of rubbed me the wrong way, as it reminded me of the whole “You complete me” relationship mentality. Matt Chambers over at EthoShift has a great rebuttal, entitled “How to ruin your marriage before it begins” Part I & II. Really interesting insights.

Bonus: Self-promotion, I know, but I forgot to mention a new article I wrote for Threads UK! It’s all about how the show “Mad Men” reminded me that shame is not okay. 

I’ll leave you with this mantra (It’s finals and you deserve it):


Finals Week, as told by gifs

I’m two papers away from total and complete freedom. Great news, right?


Totally great news, if you (like me) ignore the two papers part, which I have been successfully doing for the past two weeks.

tumblr_m3aqfioqv01qe9eo3 apathy

Until…I realized that my papers were indeed due…THIS WEEK.


How can this be?!


I know, I know. Complaining about two tiny papers after living in Europe for 3 months?


All of y’all dealing with “real finals” probably feel this way right now:

maddogOne paper won’t be a problem at all. The other though…


On the other hand, who needs to graduate anyways?


Coming Home: Culture Shock & Fruit Tea


While I can hardly believe I’ve been back in the United States for a little over a week, my time back home in Franklin and Cleveland has been quite eventful. The three months abroad has quickly faded into a distant memory or vague dream, especially when reunited with family and friends. The whole experience is quite odd. As much as I hated jetlag recovery, part of me is sad it’s over, as it was a constant physical reminder that yes, I really was in a different part of the world. 

Due to reading a fascinating article, “How Facebook Can Ruin Study Abroad,” and the millions of questions about my semester abroad asked this week, I’ve been reflecting quite a bit on culture shock.

Someone asked me yesterday if I experienced culture shock when arriving in England, and to be honest, I really didn’t at all. Nothing seemed altogether too foreign, minus the time difference, accents, and driving habits. The only thing out of the ordinary was the lack of familiar people, which was quickly fixed through Facebook, Twitter, and a surplus of free calling & texting apps.

Social media eliminated the bulk of culture shock for me, as even when I was in completely new countries during my two weeks of backpacking, there wasn’t a learning curve that Google Translate couldn’t fix. However, the ease and comfort of social media was a constant struggle for me, as I fought against staying connected back at home with experiencing the culture surrounding me. Some compromises were made, such as watching British movies and TV shows and “discovering” new UK artists like Gabrielle Aplin. (Side note: As a Millennial (anyone born from 1982-1993), our culture is marked by rapid globalization, so it can be argued that social media actually is a key part of UK culture as well…but, nevertheless, it is more of an American addiction than anything else.) 

Altogether, social media was a crutch and a safety net, protecting me from culture shock yet with a cost–one cannot be 100% present when they are partially still in Tennessee. 

Ironically, I’m experiencing major culture shock being back in the States. Interacting with other Americans–and especially Southerners–always makes me hesitate, as I’m expecting a language barrier. And driving! I was at a stop sign the other day and forgot which side of the road was “right.” I had to wait for another car to drive past! Embarrassing. 

I’ve been telling everyone that these three months have been life-changing, which is completely true. What I don’t say is that they’ve been habit-changing. Now that i’m back in the United States, there’s no reason to live online anymore. I want to be all here, all the time.