because I dont know what else to do

I am writing. because I don’t know what else to do. In hopes that I can add my voice on a platform different than a status or tweet. In hopes I can calm the storm in my head.

I don’t want to make this about me. I am a white woman. I have enjoyed the privilege of being white my whole life. I do not walk outside my front door and have to worry whether I will return again. But I have shed too many tears in these last few days, in these last months. To ever be the same again.

I do not need to recount the atrocities that have taken place. You know what they are. The sadness that comes from knowing these violences is unprecedented for me. I hope, in a way, that they are unprecedented for you too.

I am watching as day by day, my country is torn apart. It is ripped open, we are divided farther and farther by a chasm. It is hard to see the other side. Democrat vs. Republican. White vs. Black. Christian vs. Muslim. I see people vs. people and I hurt for it. I believe that the videos I saw, of warfare in Dallas, does not have one cause. We are suffering from a perfect storm of history, of growing pains, of politics, of fear. I fear for the fear we have let absorb us and change us. The United States has not had a war fought on our soil since 1865. I believe that statement is no longer true. What is war, if not blood on the streets, if not pools of blood in bathrooms, if not snipers hitting targets from above? What is war if not misunderstandings, if not fear, if not media making money off of our shock and horror.

Today, I am crying for my black and brown brothers and sisters who must be crying more than I, who must look at their baby brothers and have to worry if they will live to see adulthood, for I do not. Today I am aching for my generation, who will wear scars of violence on our hearts for the rest of our days. Today I worry if the life of security I have always taken advantage of, always assumed would be there, may one day, not be. I never want my feet to be steeped in blood. But I fear they already are.

So, because I don’t know what else to do: I am going to talk. I am going to encourage conversation around black lives matter, about gun laws, about changing the system to ensure that our screams are heard. Mostly, though, I am going to love. I am going to love my friends and my family and those in between, I am going to continue to revel in gratitude, in wonder that I am here. living. I have a gift. I am compelled to believe that love with always win. Because without that, there may be no hope.

Romp

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If you need me I’ll be wearing this, in the sun. (thanks to Alissa for the thrift gift)

Fucking in love with life right now. And that’s my story.

 

5/9/2016

Today I began the all too familiar process of packing my things. Of un-organizing, un-placing things from my walls and drawers and closet. Feeling the similarly familiar anxiety of a self-proclaimed minimalist: whydoiownsomuchstuff whoneedsallthisstuff letsdonateallthis stuff. Truth is, though, I won’t donate all my stuff, because I will definitely need this skirt even though I haven’t worn it at all this year. But I digress.

As a college student, I am used to the feeling of purposeful disorganization. Of every May, pulling out (again) the large plastic tubs where I will place all of my possessions to move (again) to another place. Moving is such an odd thing, though. It is easy when disassembling your home to forget for a second all the time that it was your home. Instead, the time in the home is simply a timeline- starting with disorganization and ending that way, with just some fuzzy stuff in the middle.

Of course, this is not the case. I have spent approximately 10 months here. This is not empty, fuzzy time. It is a pin in the map of my life, it is my home base. Meals have been cooked. Friends have come and sat and laid and drank and listened to Rumors just like we did when we were freshmen, i can’t believe we’re not freshmen, where has the time gone? One time I paced the floors of this room during the very small hours of the night while I tried to reason with my brain that, no, I am, in fact, not dying. I have waken up happy and surprised and regretful and hopeful in this room and in this home.

Of course, this home is merely just a spot in a larger sense of home. I do not have to be sitting within the confines of my room to be at home. Because many a time in these last 10 months, I was at home even when I was not sitting there. Sometimes home would be in a house just a bit away- through the yard down the alley cut through the parking lot cross the street. While dirty and reckless at times, it was a place I know I could always be. I am packing up from there too, but in a less physical sense.

Other times, home was the floor underneath pounding feet as faces of people I love danced beside me. It was on porches, it was on walks to the next destination. Sometimes it was in the basement of the art building, barefoot and covered in clay, body-slam dancing as others tried to focus. For a few weeks home was 8000-some miles away, nestled within mountains, a quiet place of love and peace, of unreal experiences that even today I am unsure even happened.

Really though, even with all these places and locations, it is not the geographical location that makes it special. Most of the time, it is the people you are with. Which sounds so goddamn cheesy, but guys it’s so true. There have been so many times this past year when I am just struck with gratitude. I am so lucky to be with people who love me and know me. That want to hang out even though I’m really weird and usually dysfunctional and will always have to pee before we leave.

Endings and closures and change makes me feel melancholy. It’s a different feeling from sadness, it sits right in my stomach and stays there. I can recognize the beauty of change. But change also fucking sucks. Change is the knob to the door of the unknown. Not knowing how relationships will go on. Not knowing if you will ever know how to make relationships go on.

Some things I do know, though: I am so grateful for this year, for having a fun life, for having fucking rad people all around me, even when sometimes stuff really sucks. a lot. So, even though I am busy disassembling my home, I know I’m not really. Home isn’t where your shit lives. Home is where you keep your people. Mine happen to live in my heart.

Sundays are for…

Sleeping in late (so late, in fact, that there is no way there is enough time to go to the gym as you had planned : )

Cleaning cleaning cleaning

Taking a shower and then just putting a nightgown back on

Making pancakes!

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….and wondering why they won’t cook and then realizing you have the wrong burner on.

But quickly remedying that issue and eating said pancakes smothered in peanut and jelly, with black coffee, s l o w l y

while doing absolutely nothing else.

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except maybe pull a tarot card for yourself for the day.

I got this pretty intense one. Still thinking on it.

And then finally hanging some of the art you have been meaning to since you moved if (August).

Finally, I put on an outfit and packed up my things for a Lesotho meeting (I leave in 32 days!!) and work in the evening.

I’d say it was a pretty okay day. (why aren’t the weekends just one day longer?!)

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Soft Neutrals

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This is one of those outfits that I have had in mind for a good long time, waiting for the temperatures to allow such a sweater-skirt-tights combo. I have to say that I was inspired by this post by a fellow blogger, I loved the look of the soft, light colored sweater and black skirt. I later found this turtleneck at my favorite thrift store, and an outfit was born. In my mind, anyways, which does not always work out well in real life, but thankfully this one did okay.

I bought these shoes late last spring to wear for a friend’s sister’s wedding, and I had not worn them since until just recently when I realized they can TOTALLY be for worn in casual, everyday settings. They are definitely menswear-inspired, which I dig.

I enjoy these pictures because I feel like they air on the silly side, but I appreciate how me I look. Shout out to my good pal Connie for always being willing to take time out her busy day to take pictures of me prancing about various places on campus.

Now this is the time of my blog posts where I wax poetically about my life and the world and such and so. But I do not have any amazing revelations or stunning insight. While this sounds sad, it is actually rather nice. Things are going, and things are good. I do class and homework, I meander about my house, I go to work. I play music sometimes. I make a lot of darn good food for myself. There are people around. I am slowly wrapping my head around being in Africa in 50ish days. Autumn has fallen. I can wear turtlenecks again.

There is this one scene in Gilmore Girls that I think about a lot (currently watching the show for the 100th time, and I wish I could say I am exaggerating). Lorelei says, “I’m happy, you know? I like my life, I like my friends, I like my… stuff. My time, my space, my TV”. It’s sort of a sad scene, but this line has always stuck with me. What a nice thought, to just be happy and content. With your life and your stuff and your friends. And that’s where I am right now. Which, after the past few months, is really a feeling like no other.

New Jersey

I went to New Jersey. I have about a bajillion photos that I am going to be putting on this post, so if for some reason you are not into beaches or really awesome vacations, pretty views and cute touristy things, then feel free not to read on. BUT if you are super into those things (as I am) then this is the blog post for you!

So, again, I went to New Jersey. With my dear friend Taylor. And her Dad. Her grandma lives there, and it is one of Taylor’s most favorite places in the world, and so we having been planning to take this trip over fall break for a good while. I am so glad it happened. It was absolutely beautiful and just simply just so fun. I didn’t realize how much I needed a little trip such as this. I feel like a new woman!

We drove there Friday, and had three full days of New Jersey fun where we drove to the ocean, walked the boardwalk, shopped in cute little towns, ate some really good food, and drank good coffee. The perfect trip. (I miss it already).

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It was maybe, like, 50 degrees that day but I just could not not take my shoes off and dip my feet in the Atlantic. (it was the first time me and the ocean had seen each other in a good while). But, the water was warm and my heart was the happiest.

Lattes at the beach are the single greatest thing. (also I’m a Dunkin convert)

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Some (off season) Jersey Shore boardwalk hangs. Also a selfie with Francis, my humble Carousel steed.

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This sub from Ebby’s out Subway to SHAME. Or really pretty much any sandwich I have ever eaten in my life, for that matter. It had three kinds of cheese! I wish I could tell you how good this was! I might name one of my future children Ebby in honor of this sub.

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The perfection that is Bordentown.

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The perfect diner brunch at Mustache Bill’s. Which apparently Guy Fieri has also been to for his TV show. Actually, like, half the places I ate at Guy Fieri had also ate at. Apparently we have similar New Jersey travel patterns.

Alternative caption: I have a big, beautiful, passion for breakfast food. (THOSE PANCAKES!)

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Barnegat Lighthouse, and views from the top. Windy and absolutely gorgeous.

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The stairs in which one climbs to the top of the Lighthouse (217 of them!)

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From the lighthouse, there was a walkway out into the end of the island. Once the walkway ended, you could duck under the railing and go out farther onto the large rocks, sand on one side and ocean on the other. Taylor and I walked down, searching for shells and sea glass. It pretty cold and windy for a second, but it was still absolute perfection. I wish I could just bottle up the beauty and then take it with me everywhere I go.

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More cute shops at Smithville. It was this little historic alcove on a lake, just like an old little village now with different shopping. I have never seen so many knick knacks in my entire life. All the shops were these creaky old wood houses that smelled of cedar and there was an autumn crispness in the air. Every one of the shopkeepers were so nice. We each bought our second batch of chocolates. Also another latte with a view.

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Oyster Creek Inn. One of the most beautiful places I have ever been, ever. Top 3 I would say. It’s this old little inn that serves big seafood dinners, and it is situated on a canal as seen above. During the fishing season, you can watch fisherman pulling up with their boats. They had a wooden boardwalk to take in the view down by the water. I can’t even describe what it was like, especially as the sun began to set. Pictures do not do it justice.

So, that is New Jersey through a great many Iphone pictures. I came home with a record, lots of shells, a stomach full of chocolates and a $5 vintage dress, and a brain full of memories and a heart full of happiness. I could gush on and on about what a splendid time it was, and it could still never be enough. Sometimes you just have to get out of your regular life, experience a new place, get out of the rut of everyday. New Jersey, you made my soul sing. And I hadn’t even realized it had been silent for a while.

Attitude

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I. LOVE. THESE. PANTS.

So some back story: I went to my most favorite thrift store of all time (many of the items I have found there have been featured on this very blog), and I brought a list of things that I was particularly wanting/looking for. Half because I am a weird thrift store dork and that’s my idea of fun, half because if I don’t I end up with, like, 10 more grandma mu-mus that I do not need. One can not have a functional wardrobe that consists of only big flowery sack like dresses. Trust me, I’ve been there. But anyways, back to the list. Well, on my shopping list a few months back was a good pair of mom jeans. I try not to be too trendy, ya feel? And the rise of the mom jeans is definitely been trendy around the blogosphere and other wise. (the “rise” get it? a sort of jean pun for you there) BUT I just couldn’t help but jump on the bandwagon. So there I was, sorting through very large amounts of jeans at the thrift store of my dreams. I couldn’t find any that fit the bill, except this pair, which I thought could maaaaaybe work and they were 99 cents so I thought, what the heck!

And oh lordy late August Mackenzie I wish I could go back and hug you because these jeans are the bomb dot com!

They are so comfy. Which is really crazy for me to be saying. Because I am morally against pants as a general rule. But now I am thinking, maybe I am just against *tight* pants?! MY WHOLE WORLD IS CHANGING.

So, I paired these babies with a plain white tee and some trusty ole Birks. And these glasses that I didn’t mean to always have on my face, but alas. I’m way feeling this outfit– like way way.

I was totally a grumpasaurus rex when I woke up this morning, BUT then I put on this outfit and danced around a lot in my elementary music methods class and made a goof of myself in front of my professor and had a big good laugh and hot damn my day was turned around. It’s all about the attitude, people. (maybe you don’t need this lesson as much as I do but.) I got plenty of attitude, that’s for sure, but it’s not always of the happy sunny kind. Sometimes it’s of the eff off kind. But these happy jeans just turned that right around! Plus look at those fall leaves oh em gee.

So, now I am off to make dinner (acorn squash, zucchini, beets, black beans and rice and curry powder yesplease) and watch Gilmore Girls for the zillionth time before a busy night. Later dudes!