Headphones in…

Before I was ~cultured~, the only iTunes playlist that got any attention was, undeniably, my Taylor Swift collection. In between sessions of fangirling and building my shrine, I downloaded endless hours the pop-country crossover. It was part of my identity. I was Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift was me.

Let me set the scene for you and really let you grasp the scale of my dedication. I turned my room into a photo gallery, pasted her outfits on my mirror for inspiration, left sleepaway camp for her concert (1 of many), memorized her addresses (and took pictures outside when I visited), had fan pages, and blocked close friends on social media for criticizing her. Honestly, this list could go on, but let’s leave me with some dignity.

It wasn’t just her that I loved, it was the way her music made me feel that I fell in love with. Knowing all the words to a song is exciting. Knowing all the words to all the songs on every album is a sense of community. And it wasn’t until my senior year of high school, 6.5 years after the obsession started, that I realized other artists could make me feel the same way.

Discovering new sounds was incredible. Landmark Music Festival was a huge turning point for me, as was growing to love MC and the music he listened to. I’ve found some of my favorite music since then: Houndmouth, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, HAIM, Lorde. My transition from Swift to the streets (this is a reference to the college essay I wrote on her) marked my *true* maturity.

So while walking the Dover Downs at Firefly (a music festival) this past weekend the question that caught my eye was “what does music do for you?” And it took me a hot second to figure it out, but I think music has helped me grow and change and seek new opportunities. It’s taught me that you can always find a new passion, and it doesn’t have to replace an old one.

I’ll always be willing to trade an arm and a leg for another chance to stand stage side at Taylor’s concerts. It’s part of who I am and what I love. I just don’t need to wear an entire outfit with her face on it and talk to pictures of her anymore.

Wow, look at all this adultness. If you knew me between 2011-2015 you probably thought this day would never come. Well, same.


Stuck in my head: Sober II (Melodrama) // Lorde
Snap it: Firefly Music Festival

LinkedIn-spiration Or…

Nothing passes the time like a good social media stalking. Doesn’t matter the platform, it’s always fun to see your stalkee grow up right before your eyes. Three years ago they were tweeting about how Miley just can’t put pants on and now it’s all climate change all the time. It’s a great way to get to know someone, without actually having to know someone. The best Instagram bio I’ve come across in all my years of internet watching: “I’ve probably stalked you too.” Amen, sister.

But one platform is so anti-stalk, it’s almost scary to lurk in the shadows. LinkedIn is one of my obsessions. To figure out if you’re old yet, update your profile until you reach Superstar Status. If that brings you immense joy your soul is probably an accomplished mom of four with a kick-ass career and always enough time to hit the gym. But lately, the idea that my social stalk victim would know I was tip-toeing around their page has stopped me from exploring my friends’ professional adventures. And I am genuinely interested in what cool steps people are taking to find their passions.

When I receive an email that someone was looking at my page it’s a two sided response. Half of me feels gratitude and excitement towards someone’s interest in me, and the other half is that annoying smirk emoji that sends “well, I am Superstar Status” vibes. During this whole internal monolouge I never even have creepy thoughts cross my mind. Whether they were using my profile as LinkedIn-spriation for building their own pages or just clicking a familiar face to grow their connection numbers, the act of looking at someone’s profile feels lighthearted, quick, and just enough detached. No fearing for your life, old man commenting on all my posts, there’s someone in my bushes worries here.

Overall, I think it’s about accepting that to build a strong network, it’s about engagement outside the walls of your house or the comfort of invisibility. LinkedIn promotes an environment to share your professional accomplishments, abilities, and ambitions. And if it’s worth stalking, it’s worth supporting. By being an active user on the platform you’re reaping more benefits than the silent Sally over there in the corner. You’re being present. You’re creating a personality to the profile picture. And more importantly you’re taking ownership of your curiousity.

There’s no shame in the social media stalking game, so get ready for a whole lot of looks.


Stuck in my head: Vowels // Capital Cities
Snap it: Union Market, DC

Infinite Happy Days.

Back when flurries were falling and 70 degrees was what the thermostat was set to, I started my 100 Happy Days project. Reminder: It was me basically writing down one good thing about my day every day. Easy as pie. Just some cute, fun introspection stuff. Basically yoga. More than 100 days later I am proud to report I never made it past day 50. I know what you’re thinking, total fail, right? Wrong.

My journey of putting pen to paper and getting into the whole reflection thing was definitely harder than I expected. So was actually remembering to fill out a page each night. But, I realized that each day there was always more than one thing I wanted to write down. Once again, my eyes were opened to how fortunate of a life I lead (in regards to happiness) and how the people in my life are responsible for that.

Here are the highlights and my thoughts on the whole experience, because of course, I learned something.

  1. AOII was a huge source of happiness this year. From entries about good rush conversations (Day 27) to finding my soulmate/big and having adventures with my new family (Day 40), I’ve found a lot of happiness in the moments I share with my sisters. Honestly, no surprises here, but still. Peace, love, Pandas.
  2. Food is a really great thing. Not going to lie, most entries are pretty food focused. Some favs include trying amazing pastries (Day 45), finding my heart and soul at an all Vegan restaurant in Chinatown (Day 41), & too many Metzman family dinners to qualify as being “away” at college (emphasis on Day 36 when I included the word “amazing” to describe our meal… rare…). I think my appreciation for flavor & love for building better relationships using a fork, knife, and spoon really shine in my little purple notebook. Double helpings for all.
  3. Sometimes it’s the little things that make more of a difference. My favorite things to look back on in the past 100 (cough cough 50) days are the moments that are insignificant yet still influential, smile worthy memories.

    My top 3:
    #1- Olivia crumping (Day 50). I don’t even remember what this means but goofing around with my shoebox-of-a-room buddy is enough to make all the pain of finals season go away.
    #2- My professor knows my name (Day 39). Don’t worry, I continue to crave approval from every teacher ever, but hey, at least I’m trying in life. This honestly still brings me immense joy. Although my grade in the class is still pending.
    #3- Organized shoes in closet (Day 24). Because what’s a girl without her wardrobe.
    Other noteworthy entries: FaceTiming my Grandparents (Day 3), being thankful for having arms that move (Day 7), buying a slurpee (Day 11), “Olivia is a boss ass bitch” (Day 20), sunny days (Day 30), and basically any workout I did in this time period- shoutout mostly to BodyPump and spin.

Overall, I think the intimacy and positivity of writing down my favorite moments has led me to a special state of mind where I can appreciate the good in each day, no matter how fleeting of a second the moment is. It’s also about being able to spot these moments when they happen, and live in them for as long as you can. Such a little thing can cause such a big smile and I love that. My outlook now revolves around remebering those little treasures and seeking them out when life feels harder than normal.

So thank you, 100 Days (aka 54 days), for helping me find, hold, and love the tiny moments that turn that frown upside down.


Stuck in my head: Ever Since New York // Harry Styles
Snap it: Chinatown

To my loyal readers, you always make my day a little better. Thanks a million and a half. 

It’s All About The Aestheic.

Since I spend all my time posting on Instagram or wanting to post on Instagram I figured it was about time to reveal my Instagram social strategy. No, it’s not just IG whatever’s on the plate today, each post goes through a series of steps before it can be deemed *ready for insta*. If I’m being totally honest, some pictures come to me in visions and I can’t eat/sleep/function until I capture them IRL. Okay fine, I can eat and sleep. But functioning is hard when that perfect post isn’t in your camera roll.

Each post is a little different, but most follow the same guidelines. Horizontal, flash if indoor, natural light preferred, probably closed smile, coffee in hand if available. Might seem simple but it’s not. You can ask my sister/personal photographer. Think ten thousand shots, ten thousand angles, and ten thousand complaints from the model. But hey, I’m just trying to capture a memory.

From there we go into editing. Nothing extreme, just playing with contrast, brightness, and lux. The goal is to make the photo kiiinnndddaa match the rest of the photos on your profile feed. This is where the element of aestheic comes in. If you’re a teenage girl right now you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not a teenage girl then you’re definitely questioning my sanity and it sounds like I’m speaking gibberish. Hang in there with me.

Your IG aesthetic is the vibe of your feed. This term popped up with the rise of Instagram Influencers and it’s one of my favorite aspects of the platform. Essentially, you’re building a personality and a brand through your feed, and the way you do that is by purposely posting pictures that reflect that vibe. That vibe is your aesthetic and your aesthetic is your profile. I try and aim for a little city, a little campus, and mostly Cava. Finally it gets sent to a few bffs for comments and suggestions, captioned (always ending with a . because consistency, hello), and debated for another 2 or so minutes. Then, it’s out of my control and into the Insta-sphere.

I could talk about Instagram forever, but here’s the truth to my thoughts behind a post. What would Lucie B. Fink/Katy Bellotte/theFeedFeed/Aimee Song** do? To me, Instagram is also about being inspired and sharing photos you’re proud of. So when I hit that share button in the top right corner of the app it’s because this is something that’s worth it. It’s those fun nights out, those fun nights in, and all the meals in between. 

So I’ll just put this out there. I’m Instagram obsessed, well dressed, and aiming to impress. And if you don’t like it, feel free to unfollow.


Stuck in my head: Hey Now // Matt and Kim
Snap it: My Instagram Feed, find it here.

Keep in mind I want to work in social media!  I’m not just like super crazy. There’s a plan behind the passion, don’t worry. 

** These are some of my favorite Instagram bloggers. Check them out. Major IG crushes. 

Calling All the Cyclists.

I feel like on some level I knew I was born to scream at riders from a bike since my first spin class back in freshman year of high school. Something about the music, the ride, and the energy in the room captured me from day one and I was addicted. The sound of the pedals is music to my ears. I wish I had it on a track to listen to all day. Spinning to the sound of spinning, watch out it’s the new Soul Cycle.

Not going to lie, it was a little intimidating going into my first class. I had practiced the playlist & cues at least a million times, but saying it on a mic was a little more intense than whispering it in the corner of a crowded gym. But if I’m not lying then I also have to admit I wasn’t that nervous, it was just my workout with a little twist.

I really wanted to become a spin teacher for a couple reasons. The music, the ride, and the motivation.

For the music-I truly believe that if your playlist is something that gets people singing and dancing and moving all on its own, your workout will fly by even if you just do a seated climb the entire time. Cue Justin Beiber, Beyonce, and all kinds of Iggy.

For the ride- I love to switch it up in each song. No two songs are exactly the same. Shorter segments of each movement makes for a shorter feeling ride and a stronger rider.

For the motivation- I really want to help people find their love for exercise the way past spin teachers have helped me find mine. My first class teaching was full of first timers, and while it was a super hard playlist, I was so proud to introduce all those ladies (and man) to something that really helped me learn to value my health. If I even get one girl to come back & give it another go I’ll be one step closer to my goal. And yes, my goal is to add some more spin junkies to a world seemingly overflowing with runners. 

Hey Mom, I think I’ve found my calling. Forget college, I’m offically pushing pedals and playing pop music for a living. 


Stuck in my head: Reflections // Misterwives
Snap it: University of Maryland

Catch me Mondays at 6:30pm.

Shoutout to my favorite spin buddy for coming out for my Satuday class this week. Peace, love, mothers&daughters that spin together. Also sorry to MC who was forced into the ride. Hope the sweat was worth it. 

My Slice of Pi(e)

I can remember hearing about sororities forever. I watched GREEK & lived through tales from older friends, so I basically called myself a mini-expert on all things srat. Since the dawn of time, I dreamed and dreamed of having sisters, a house, and greek letters to call my own. Rush was quite the experience, but it led me to my newest adventure, Alpha Omicron Pi. 

Recuritment is something truly unique & there is absolutely nothing that tests your ability to girl flirt more. Going from house to house was like walking on air, honestly. I’d been counting down the days until I was a PNM before I even committed to Maryland. Late nights and sore throats were just sacrifices in the process.

Rush doesn’t work out for everyone, it’s just a fact. And when I say I think I got lucky in the process I truly and deeply mean it. As rounds got smaller the pressure built to make a decision and try to find my perfect fit. The problem was I saw myself everywhere and was super scared to admit I had a favorite at risk of being cut by the next round. Some call me superstitious, some call me obsessive, I just call myself emotionally unstable. 

As I looked at my Preference round list, I didn’t even have to think where I belonged. The decision had already been made by the amazing women that had come before me. Girls in AOII had already touched my life in such unrepayable ways it was hard to grasp the possibility that I could one day call them my sisters. To them I already owed my good times because they got me through the bad times & helped me become who I am today. Almost officially an AOII sister & a true lover of all things girl power. I can barely imagine how much more AOII will touch my life.

While change is nerve-wracking and meeting 100+ girls in one day can only be described as overwhelming, this is one of those moments that fails to be translated into words. I feel so incredibly honored it brings me to tears to say I made it.

Here’s to Pledge Class 17, Alpha Loves, a thousand new Instagram followers, and a GroupMe message that will probably never stop exploding. I finally found my perfect slice of Pi(e), and I plan to never let it go. 


Stuck in my head: Walking On A Dream // Empire of the Sun
Snap it: AOII house, Bid Day 17…aka the best place ever.

To Ally and Kuff- I literally can’t put anything into words, but you know. It was always AOII because of you. Eternally greatful. 

Quick little Dictionary:
Srat– sorority
PC– Pledge Class
PNM– Potential new member
Preference Round– Last round of recruitment. Super emotional. Super beautiful. No words to describe it.

 

 

Why I Love Where I Am…

I’ve always had an insanely amazing relationship with my parents. My dad takes all the credit, says he was tough in the beginning so he’d have less to do later, but I think it’s really because I am the biggest parent lover in the entire world and they just got lucky. 

University of Maryland has been in the family for generations, I’m talking parents, grandparents, the whole thing, so while it was a question of where I would go, it was never a question of where my parents wanted me to go. Terp is in our blood. We basically bleed red, black, white, and gold.

Every student goes through the college (panic) process where they really have to sit down and think if a school is really for them. Lucky for me, UGA, my almost top choice, got ruled out because I didn’t make honors there, so it was Maryland or bust. Well not bust, I had plenty of other options. Just none of them screamed “you belong with me” quite like a fancy turtle & an Under Armour partnership.

Every day I thank my lucky stars that I was rejected from Georgia honors because it brought me so much closer to a world that means so much to my parents, especially my Dad. Walking the streets of College Park I can’t help but feel so tied to my family history here. Not to be sappy, but I think college makes you really become the person you are and it can really define you, and I am so fortunate to get to experience a place that took such a big part in creating my parents’ identities.

Standing in the middle of my Dad’s Delta Tau Delta tailgate back during football season (think a giant neightboorhood Dad party but with Fireball and Helluvah dip) I couldn’t help but feel so connected to him. For the rest of our lives, we will both love something so much and I can’t even express how much that means to me.

I guess the point is that I am so happy to be back at good ole UMD. Even when it’s stressful and hard and overwhelming (hint hint, foreshadowing my upcoming semester), the thought that I share this place with the two greatest people I know only makes me fall more in love with being here.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share something so special with you. I promise not to go toooooo far for grad school. But the city still calls.


Stuck in my head: Morocco // Moon Taxi
Snap this pic: College Park

I say lucky waaaaaay too many times in this post. BRB, signing up for Thesaurus.com’s word of the day email right now.

Also just a disclaimer, this was written waaaay back when and totally neglected until now. I’m trying to get my stuff together here before it all hits the fan and I lose my sanity & free time. & it’s never too late to show some parent love.