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Show the Love

I cannot stop thinking about Clare. She passed so unexpectedly, and it’s just so difficult to process that she’s really gone. She was such an inspiration, so full of life. The fact that we don’t know what happened yet makes it even more difficult to process that it’s real. I won’t be able to stroll into SoulCycle anymore and listen to her telling me to crank up the resistance because she knows I can handle it; I won’t be able to simply close my eyes and hear her voice move perfectly in sync with the beat she’s brilliantly selected for that exact moment. Things like these, you just don’t realize how great they are until they’re gone. I wasn’t even a close friend of Clare’s and my heart physically aches whenever I think about what happened. It’s just so sad.

Over the last few days, I’ve thought a lot about what it would be like if I lost someone who was extremely close to me. I can’t even process it; it hurts too much. So I’ve found myself hugging my loved ones a little longer, letting go of unimportant frustrations more often, and telling my friends and family how much I love them every single day, multiple times a day. Because God forbid, if something happened to me, I don’t ever want any of them to doubt how much they meant to me or forget about how much they changed my life. So many people leave footprints on your heart, and you should always take the time to let someone know just how much you care. Believe me, it’s things like this that really matter in life.

I’ve also thought a lot about happiness, and whether or not it’s ok to feel that emotion after someone passes. It kind of feels wrong, don’t you think? Smiling, laughing and cracking jokes when someone you love can’t do it anymore. Sometimes I’ll catch myself laughing, like I did yesterday when out to dinner for Dustin’s birthday, and halt the joy in its tracks. “I shouldn’t be doing that,” I thought to myself. “It’s disrespectful.” I even thought about postponing the rest of my busy travel plans for the rest of the holiday season.

But that would be so, so wrong. Especially when the person who passed was so joyous, full of life and energetic. Giving in to those thoughts would be like halting life. Canceling my travel plans, especially when I’m going to visit my best friend, wouldn’t benefit anyone, nor would it change anything. A part of me believes I would be looked down on with sadness and disapproval, and that’s something I don’t ever want to happen.

So I enjoyed the rest of my evening with Dustin and chose to celebrate life and the fabulous fact that he was born and came into my life a little over three years ago. It’s been amazing. And then I packed up my bags and boarded my first of two planes that will bring me to Oklahoma (I’m currently in Chicago), where my best friend awaits me. While I’m sure more sadness and reflection will come, I know that I’ll also laugh about inside jokes we made when we were 16 while watching countless episodes of Friends. Because that’s what we do best and it makes us happy. It’s about the little things, like being perfectly comfortable in silence, sitting next to one another and just enjoying each others’ presence.

I know the last two posts have been text-heavy, but writing is therapeutic for me. But I do have some photos! While I’m in the air, you can (hopefully) enjoy these photos from the last few weeks with a few really important people in my life. And if you’re not in these photos, please know that I genuinely hope we can spend more time together soon ❤

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I also thought I’d share a song that I’ve been playing a lot since we learned about Clare. It’s a favorite of mine and I really think the lyrics say it all.

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Let’s Get Personal: Round Three

As you all know by now, I love surveys. Maybe it’s the sixth-grade middle-schooler in me coming out, but I just can’t ever get enough of them. So to continue with tradition, I’m answering Caitlin’s third round of personal questions. Let’s get crackin’!

What’s the nicest random thing someone has done for you?

This isn’t super random, but I honestly think it’s the best thing someone has ever done for me in my entire life. After I tore my ACL and meniscus during my sophomore year of college, I had surgery to repair it. Fast forward about a month, when my physical therapy should be having more of an effect than it actually was. My leg was still in an incredible amount of pain and I could barely move out of bed, much less go through a full PT session. I hobbled into my therapist’s office anyway and hopped on the table for him to start stretching me out. One touch on my shin sent me reeling into pain and I nearly kicked him in the face. He immediately handed me a business card with science-y words written on them, told me to go to the hospital right away and give them this card. He was calling the hospital before I walked out the door. All I knew was that information, and the fact that he recommended someone take me instead of going alone.

With Dustin in class and baseball practice immediately after, I called my roommate, Meghan. She was in class too, but I didn’t know who else to call. Telling her all I knew, she walked right out of class, sprinted to our dorm room and drove me to the hospital.

At the hospital, I found out that I had seven blood clots in my left leg and that I was at a severe risk for a heart attack or stroke. Greeeeat. Oswego isn’t the best hospital, so I signed an AMA form and decided to go to University Hospital in Syracuse, which was 45 minutes away. My mom, a nurse, said I needed to get there immediately. Without another word, Meghan put me in the backseat, strapped on both of our seat belts, and drove like a bat out of hell. We made it there in 25 minutes.

It’s a long story, and I won’t give any more details to save time, but Meghan dropped everything for me. She forgot about all the plans she had that day and simply made me her number one priority. At times, I think she was more scared than I was. But she put on a brave face and did every little thing she could possibly think of to make sure I would be alright. I’ll never forget how amazing she was that day and how much she proved that she truly is an amazing friend.

Meghan loves me and I love Meghan.

What’s the worst thing about being your gender? What do you envy about the opposite sex?

The worst thing about being a girl is dealing with periods and pregnancy, in my opinion. I don’t have children, and I do want them some day, but man – girls’ bodies go through a lot just for being female! I once read a sticker that I think is perfect. It said, “Women are superheroes. They bleed for 3-7 days straight once every month, but they don’t die!” So true.

I envy that guys can just roll out of bed and be ready to leave for the day after tossing on pants and a shirt. Girls put in way more effort than guys do, and they do it on a daily basis. Well, almost a daily basis. 😉

Have you ever fainted? 

Only once, after being dropped in a cheerleading stunt. That was fun…not.

Describe one of the most scandalous things you’ve done. 

I went to a party one night that was BYOB, but I didn’t have any of the B. I didn’t know the people having the party, so I didn’t care too much about playing nice. After a while, everyone moved to a party down the street, but I didn’t know right away because I was in the bathroom (hey, sometimes ya just gotta go). When I walked out, the place was empty, but the people’s beer still remained. I high-jacked it, then went down the street. A few more hours passed and the people from the original party ran out of beer. Thinking it was time to make a profit, I sold them back the beer I took. Not super scandalous, but at least I’m a savvy business person 🙂

These are the faces of two very smart business women...and pong champions. Just sayin.

Do you ever want to contact someone from your past to say hello? 

Honestly, not really. If someone isn’t in my life now, then I believe it’s happened for a reason. And if they wanted to contact me, they could. It’s really not difficult to find out my contact information, especially since I have this blog!

How did your hometown shape who you are today? 

Growing up in the country really taught me about tight-knit communities and how to keep strong bonds with the people that matter. It taught me about the beauty of nature and taking the time to enjoy the little things in life, like the quiet lull of a moving stream or the sheer beauty of a summer thunderstorm. Most importantly, I learned how to appreciate the things in life that aren’t handed to you. I had to work for everything that I have today and growing up in my town motivated me to get out there and explore everything the world has to offer. I love being a city girl, but as the saying goes, “you can take a girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.”

Camping...and apparently making fire grow.

What would you change about our political system/government?

I would invest more of our resources into our educational system. And I would focus more on the problems within the United States. I 100 percent support our troops, but I think our country’s leaders need to spend a little more time helping the people while we’re going through such tough times at home.

What’s currently in your purse or backpack?

Umm, a lot of crap. My sweaty spin clothes from today’s class, all of the beauty stuff I needed to get ready for work after spin, my tupperware container from the lunch I brought to work, my wallet, passport (random trip, maybe?), pens, a book and business cards.

What’s the most awkward pickup line you’ve ever received?

I was at a house party during my sophomore year of college and some guy that I’ve never met before randomly walked right up to me while I was hanging out with some of my friends and said, “You should be arrested.” Uhh, why? “You just stole my heart from across the room.” Everyone just looked at me and I had no idea what to do. I sheepishly said, “I’m sorry…I need to get another drink.” And walked away.

What’s your party trick? IE: Random talent that you can bust out to impress a crowd of strangers. 

Wow, I’m super lame and have no talents. I make awesome jello shots. That’s about all I’ve got.

Liz's bachelorette party.

Your turn! Answer all or just one of the questions!

Feel-Good Friday: Rain Boots & Family Visits

Happy Friday! The weekend is officially here and I could not be more stoked. It was a really busy week at work and I was feeling a bit under the weather, which didn’t help matters. So now I am more than ready to kick back and relax with a puzzle beer. Cold, cold beer. (Name that TV show!)

And since it’s Friday, that means it’s time for me to list some of the fabulous things that have made me feel good this week.

My new rain boots. I bought these boots when it was downpouring nearly every day in NYC a few weeks ago, but they didn’t arrive at my doorstep until the storms had passed through. Figures. So I was actually really excited when I looked up the weather this morning and saw it was going to rain all day. Only because that meant I finally got to don these puppies!

I think these boots are absolutely adorable. I love the pattern and well, rain boots always trigger my inner child. How can they not? They give you the perfect opportunity to go puddle jumping! But I’ll puddle jump even without rain boots…

That was from freshman year in college with my roommate at the time, Lizz. T’was a good night indeed. But yeah, the boots I have now are awesome and I got them at Target for a very reasonable price. No complaints here!

Pandora. I just love this site all the time. As I’m typing this, “Hey, Soul Sister” from Glee Cast is blasting. What a feel good song. I heart Blaine Anderson (I just had to Google the character’s last name because I automatically think “Blaine Warbler” all the time). In Glee news, did anyone see the premiere? I’m so happy that Blaine transferred schools. Kurt and Blaine make my heart smile.

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Family. A lot of changes happened this year within my immediate family. My older brother started his second year of medical school, I moved to NYC permanently, my little brother started his first year of college, and my mom and step-dad are now in a house of just them and our pets. So. Weird. Luckily, all of us are coming home for a reunion this weekend and I could not BE more excited! Family game night, here I come!

Friends. I bet you think I’m talking about my real-life friends, don’t you? Or my blog friends? Wrong again! Although I love my “real-life” and blog friends, my TV friends have gotten me through this week and the illness I’ve been suffering through. Nothing like a little Ross and Rachel drama, Joey one-liners and Phoebe quirks to keep me feelin’ happy. I most recently watched “The One with All The Thanksgivings” and I die every single time Monica puts the turkey on her head!

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Such an amazing show. If you don’t love it, I’m not sure we can be friends. If you do, I promise I’ll be there for you 🙂

Your turn! What’s made you feel good this week? 

I Graduated College!

I know that it’s been forever since I’ve blogged and when I have blogged, it’s been quite a sporadic experience. Please let me apologize! For all of the readers that I haven’t lost, thank you for sticking by me and having faith that I will return. You were right, I am back!

So what was I doing this whole time?

Graduating!

I did it!

And everything else that accompanies graduation, including finishing projects and attending banquets…

Senior lunch and champagne toast.

Journalism banquet with my sports boys.

Honoring the Oswego State celebration of Bridge Street Run…

Signing of the white T-shirt.

Clearly, it's not an actual race.

And the "whaddup" face comes out.

Bonding with my gym ladies…

We can rough you up.

But we have a lot of love to give too.

Sometimes we try to act normal.

And my gym guys…

Gotta love Tony.

Plus getting to know some new-ish friends (Newish? I’ve known them awhile, but didn’t really know them. You get it, right?)

Rachel and Christine.

Eli and Sam. Same name as me, I know!

Cody.

Basically, I’ve been busy soaking it all in and creating memories that I won’t ever forget. The last four years have flown by so fast and well, I don’t know when I’ll see these people again, so I devoted every waking moment to them the last week or so. Yes, blogging fell by the wayside and exercise even took a backseat. Do I regret it? Not one bit.

Don’t think I completely fell off the wagon though. I knew that when I graduated I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the amazing scenery in Oswego, so I made sure to hit the pavement by the lake.

Sunset runs are the best. I trekked down to the lake after to get this shot.

I'm going to miss this view.

Peek-a-boo.

It all came to a close on Saturday when I walked the stage to celebrate receiving two bachelor’s degrees — one in journalism and one in creative writing.

I'm a big girl now.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. The last few weeks have been unbelievable, so it’ll be a challenge transitioning into a new life chapter.  But what about you? What have you been up to? What was it like when you graduated from college?

For your entertainment purposes, here’s a video that should be about love, but somehow it turned into a rockin’ graduation song for many of my friends and I throughout the week. Apparently we don’t go for Vitamin C or other artists who’ve put out traditional graduation songs. Throw it back and enjoy!