“You’ll be a Cat Lady!”

At some point during my college career, something within my friend group snapped. Suddenly, midway through junior year, everybody and their brother was teasing me about becoming a crazy cat lady one day. Maybe the label was because I avoided dating all four years, maybe it was due to the cat sweater I sometimes wore (ironically!), but no matter the reason, it kind of sucked.


The idea of ending up alone and a cat lady terrified me, as so many people (including family members) already touted me as being “Ms. Career,” out to basically work myself into a Liz Lemon-esque life. I tried to explain that a) I hate cats, b) they hate me back, and c) Liz Lemon ends up getting married (spoiler alert), but whatever—if I was into having a cool job & making a difference, obviously relationships weren’t in the cards for me.  (The logical fallacies abound…)

Told you.

Told you.

When I told people what I wanted to do with my life, I would always get a pat on the back and worried advice: “That’s great and all, but don’t put relationships and love on the back burner.”

Bullshit. I refuse to believe that the purpose of life is EITHER relationships OR career. Think of Adam—God gave him a task (Genesis 1:15) AND someone to be with (Genesis 1:18) (…and then more tasks haha).

So often, when we relegate life to either/or, black/white existences, we truly miss out & settle for an off-brand, dowdy version of the life God has for us.

I know I’m not going to be a crazy cat lady. Cats hate me, remember? And I mean come on, I’ve got a lot going on for me.  But, I do know that if I end up single or married—no matter what my relationship status—I’ll be doing the awesome things God has planned for me. The people who God has in my life, both now and in the future, are a part of that awesomeness—but they aren’t the end all, be all for my life.

Maybe you’re in the same boat I was in or perhaps the opposite boat (but on the same river?), but no matter what, keep going! Whether you’re pursuing a cause that gets you really fired up or you’re striving to better yourself at something you truly feel MEANT to do, don’t stop!

God will bring people in your life who support you, love you, and have the same goals. If there’s nobody there, a) email me at kelsyblack04@gmail.com! I’m here for you! and b) they’re on the way. Trust me.

Best Links of the Week: Saturday Edition


Today’s TMI Saturday seems to go in one of two directions: aesthetic design or evocative reads. (And of course, lots of BuzzFeed.) Hope you enjoy them as much as I did this week!

Cool Design

  • Buzzfeed says it best: these bookstore ads “capture the magic of reading”. They’re enchanting. 
  • These awesome film & TV poster inspired Save the Dates have gone viral lately, but the best part is that I have friends who know them! Fun fact: the couple’s actual invite was a DVD case!
  • So, this isn’t as timely as it would’ve been in say…May, but this cool visualization of the plot of “The Great Gatsby” is simply cool. Keep doing what you do, designers!
  • In that note, if you work best at a coffee shop but as also broke as a joke, check out Coffitivity! It plays “cafe noises” to help you be productive. I haven’t tried it yet, but will soon! I wonder if it has a “include pretentious hipsters talking” background option.

Feel things. 

(Okay, you need a break from crying.)

Feel more things. 

  • The latest viral Christian/marriage post is the sharply titled “My Husband is Not My Soul Mate.” What do you think of it? (Remember, read with a grain of salt, as the author didn’t intend for such a giant audience of readers.)
  • This made me SO angry: Sojourners has an incredible series of posts about sexual violence in the Church & this post about “masculine Christianity” takes the cake. Powerful stuff: “[Rape] is not about short skirts…It’s about fear of powerlessness. It’s a crisis of masculinity and social control.”
  • To combat the anger, check out Rachel Held Evan’s insightful examination of anger versus bitterness, “Why I can’t stay angry.”

I’m a Venti Black Iced Tea (with Sweetener) (by Evan Olson)

150625_4238045584986_2069791569_nWhenever people hear about how Evan Olson and I became friends, they’re rather incredulous. “Wait, are you sure you’re not just describing a typical Nora Ephron screenplay?,” they ask. Nope. We joke about that fact, because it’s not everyday that you become friends & never actually encounter one another–only to finally meet in Times Square around Christmastime. (And guess what happened when we DID meet up? We hated one another…until the last day of the trip!) Evan works at everyone’s favorite local coffee shop (you’ve probably never heard of it. Starbucks?), has great taste in music/books/films, and is a fantastic writer, composing words in such a way that as you read, you can almost imagine them being transformed into a pilot for a quirky TV show. You need to seriously follow him on Twitter or his blog ASAP, because he’s got a lot to say! 

Without fail, it happens every week.

I see someone around town and, instantly, I realize two things simultaneously;

·         They are a customer.

·         And I know their drink.

I’ve worked at Starbucks for almost three years. It’s the most enjoyable job I’ve ever had. There are time when it’s stressful, for sure. But all that stress is kind of forgotten about when it’s a Tuesday morning, Frank Sinatra is singing swoon songs over the radio, and customers are slowly trickling in for their morning usual. It’s magical and, on those days, exactly what you’d expect it to be like.

I live in a fast-growing suburb of Des Moines, Iowa. But it’s not huge, yet, so it’s easy to bump into people. Customers included. It never fails to make me smirk when I see people who I have no real connection to and immediately know their beverage. I’ll be with my sister, we’ll walk by someone at Target, and I’ll whisper, “That’s grande mocha.” Or, “That’s double-cupped raspberry white mocha. She’s the one who screamed at me and called us all…..” You get the drift.

I’ll never forget this past week. We were at Target (Seriously, I go their once a week. Sue me. It’s the most relaxing place in the universe) and I commented to my sister how I had just walked by six different customers. It was a very Christopher Nolan-y moment: they were all connected and they didn’t even know it! Six degrees of separation – Starbucks style.

Speaking of people and their beverages, I’ve noticed something. Simply put: after a designated amounted of time, customers begin to resemble their drinks. It takes about three weeks for it to happen. The person has to first begin coming in routinely, then they have to settle on a beverage, and they gotta order that same beverage six or seven times. After that, it goes like clockwork.

Example A: This one woman always orders a Earl Grey Tea Latte with no classic, two Sweet and Low, non-fat milk, and light whip. Whenever I hand her the drink I think, “If you were a drink, you would be this one.” The teabags are a purple-colored hue and, somehow, she seems to always be wearing something with that general color. It’s weird and she’s not the only one it happens to.

It’s a lot like people who own pets and how they slowly begin to morph into the human equivalent of their Pomeranian. Diehard customers (male, female, tween, and college students) they all begin to resemble what they drink.

This theory brings me to a question: what drink would you be? Continue reading

Interviewing for a Job, as told by gifs.

When I graduated (a mere 75 days ago, but who’s counting?), I honestly didn’t think finding a job would take such a long time. I imagined that like the magical boomerang, I’d just have to send out my resume and maybe an application once, and then BAM. Something would fly right into my lap on the first try. anigif_enhanced-buzz-12707-1367877643-0

Well, that hasn’t happened. I’ve applied for dozens of jobs, sent out my resume to every agency in town, got an agent (yeah, I know), and even had to fend away a couple of pyramid schemes (which was something that Google, not LeeU, helped me recognize). Along the way, I’ve had quite a few phone interviews and some in person interviews (the holy grail of interviews). (I almost had to Skype interview once, but thank God that was cancelled. Skype freaks me out.)

Except the guy in this scenario is a job here in Nashville.

Except the guy in this scenario is a job here in Nashville.

Job hunting is not fun. Like, crazy not fun. I’ve heard it said that while unemployed, finding a job IS your job, which makes it the least desired job in the world, right after being Nicolas Cage’s hair stylist. The past 75 days haven’t been easy, but I’ve been learning a lot about myself, life, God, everything, etc, so this time has been meaningful. I’ve been also able to freelance on several awesome projects, which helps too!


Aren’t interviews the best though? They’re like Sonic Happy Hour drinks after a long day driving in a car without AC or windows that go down (yeah, that’s my car): refreshing to the spirit. FINALLY someone replies back to the thousands of emails you send or applications submitted into the big, black void of the Internet. You’re on top of the world again! You’re ready to bring your A game & get that job!anigif_enhanced-buzz-24900-1366767851-3

Phone interviews are always somewhat awkward though, as you can’t see the other person react & gauge your responses to their body language. They’re always a bit tough for intuitive, “I talk with my hands all the time” communicators. One time on an interview, I could tell that they put me on speakerphone & then muted their end when I was talking, which was kind of intimidating. Like, you know they’re talking about you, but you can’t really do anything about it…anigif_enhanced-buzz-712-1366773375-16

In person interviews are my favorite too because I love to dress up for them (dress to impress!) and also try my absolute hardest to gain rapport with my interviewer. (In spite of the small talk with the receptionist or security guard as I wait for the interviewer to come to the lobby.)  tumblr_m5fskqiRZu1rqtw44o1_500

But all the rapport and jokes in the world can’t make up for THE WORST QUESTIONS EVER ASKED. God forbid you ever deal with this & just have nice, totally normal questions.


Oh yes. The double questions. The ones when the interviewer wants you to admit something horrible or further prove that you actually don’t know anything about the job/skills/company. Sometimes I’ve caught them & saved myself, sometimes…no. anigif_enhanced-buzz-4193-1371488698-2

There’s always that turning point in an interview when you just KNOW it’s too far gone to rescue & that you will not be asked back for another interview. That’s happened to me before (usually I’m super confident in all my interviews) and  I was totally correct–didn’t get the job.


But despite the rejection from some jobs, I’m not too torn up. Obviously, those weren’t the places God had me to be! There’s a finite amount of rejection in a person’s life–with each one, there’ll only be less to deal with! All these “no”s are just leading me to my “yes.”


Back to the job hunt!


The Trendy City (by Rachel Johnson)

 599541_10151700049309629_830056510_nNo matter where Rachel Johnson goes, she is a highly influential trendsetter. She just can’t help it! From her own personal style and insight to hilarious videos and thoughtful articles, Rachel is always the first to spot a trend and share it. She’s so talented at trendsetting that she’s been interning at NR Styles in NYC all summer! Rachel and I have been friends for the past few years and she’s one of the most hilarious, consistently thoughtful, wise, & stylish people I know! If you met her, you’d be friends with her right away. Follow her on Twitter or read about her summer adventures at NYC Summertime!

NYC is known for its diverse styles and fashion forward trends brought to us by the local runway designers and the average West Village hipster.


So how does one stay “trendy” in the ever changing, stylish city?

(I must be honest, I’m currently in my pj’s because I have a day off. No judgement here.)

1. You have style.

Yes, you do.

Each person has one thing that identifies their style.

Now, this could be an article of clothing, a type of accessory, a bright lipstick, etc.
OR your style could be identified through your smile.
The way you carry yourself.
Confidence that exudes from your walk.


Whatever it may be, you have a unique factor that makes your style “you”.

2. Trends always change.

The question really is- How much do you care to keep up with them?

You see, no one in this city cares about how you look.
That’s what makes NYC so unique.

You wear whatever you want. You think you look like the sh*t. But no one really cares.

That sounds depressing, but it’s really not!

You can get away wearing anything in the city.
(Seriously, I’ve seen some weird outfits)

I do like to look at trends via various style bloggers and fashion sites
(or via http://nrstyles.com/blog )

3. Just be yourself.

I once got this exact fortune from a cookie and it’s one of two that I have kept.


(also was disappointed to see my fortune obviously isn’t unique but that’s another post…)

If you measure your happiness on constantly having the latest fashion trends,
then you will constantly be seeking after happiness.

The trends change.

The trends come back
(where’s my jumper from 5th grade?!)


Just wear what makes you happy and confident.

I’d much rather go to McDonald’s in my sweatpants than eat a salad in a skin-tight mini dress.

To each his own.

Find that unique factor that only YOU have and own your style.



“Real Life” Fashion Problems 101 // By Kelsy of The Accidental Extrovert


Did you check out the guest post I wrote for my friend Sarah’s blog? No!? Check it out!

Originally posted on butsarahbethsays:

Thought you guys might be interested in hearing from my first ever guest writer, Kelsy, of The Accidental Extrovert! She’s got some great fashion tips for your transition from college grad to working girl!

Kelsy was my gateway peer leader during my freshman year of college! I’ve always admired her style, and now you guys can get a little insight into her wardrobe choices as well!

Be sure to check out her blog–which I’ve linked above–and leave a comment down below!  Also, I’ll be guest writing on her blog sometime in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled! Without further ado, here’s Kelsy:

“Real Life” Fashion Problems 101

I’ve been out of college for a little over 2½ months, but sometimes I can’t help but think that my four years of higher learning just BARELY equipped me for the little time I’ve spent in the “real world” so…

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