Because with instagram, everyone is a professional photographer.
@ sleeping bear dunes
voted america’s most beautiful place.
favorite mode of transportation.
me at a gig
the top of the sign.
coachella 2013 love.
san clemente, ca
love this trail.
sometimes i miss camp.
While arriving at camp every summer, I saw many people had small duffel bags, while some had giant trunks. I was always envious of the ones who had trunks — it meant they got to stay longer. For a few summers when I was around 12, my parents sent me to a girl’s YMCA camp in Northern Michigan for a few weeks. I lived for that place. There was no electricity in our cabins, no cell phones, and our only way of correspondence was to write letters home and get surprise care packages in the mail.
The showers were outside, and when you looked up in the stall all you saw was the sky. We played sports, shot rifles and arrows, built fires and stayed up late playing jokes on each other. We’d decorate our cabin with photos and cutouts from Bop magazine. We’d wave to boys at their camp on the other side of the lake, who would run and jump off their dock trying to impress us.
At the end of the summer, we would all light little candles from a single flame, watching the wax drip down our fingers and singing camp songs. When I got home, I would cry for days. It was tough for me to let go of this wonderful safe place where kids my age with the same interests came together, and felt totally free, just figuring things out along the way.
Because I tend to wear my heart very far out on my sleeve, for me, “the end” of something has always felt so uncontrollably final — leaving camp. Leaving undergrad. Leaving relationships. Leaving friendships. Leaving a workplace. Leaving grad school. In these situations, you are pulled in two very different directions, stuck in hardening cement. You know it is undoubtedly time to move forward in your life, but you still feel like you sometimes aren’t quite ready to do it. The window of transition is so small that most times, you don’t even have time to process what you are going through.
My cabin once painted our names and handprints on the wooden dock that stretched out into our lake. It felt like we would be immortalized there, for generations to come. We said we would all keep in touch– we got everybody’s addresses and sent a letter or two. But inevitably, my camp friends and I grew up. We moved on. It’s what you have to do.
I have each candle in my room back in Michigan, tiny nubs of wax on wood bases with the years written on them. It reminds me that moments and places like that do exist — that there are extremely special parts of your life where time seems irrelevant; where you’ve unknowingly learned so much that you haven’t even realized it yet. It reminds me that people whose names you’ve forgotten still affect you and have shaped you as a person. And that living without changes isn’t really living at all.View comments →
As an extrovert and ENFP, I get my energy from being around people. I recharge by sharing, discovering, and learning things with other people. Studies even show that after extroverts interact with people, we are more vulnerable to sleep deprivation because our energy levels are so high up. Of course I like my alone time, but only in limited doses, and usually with noise or music involved. Not only does silence aggravate my too-many-concerts tinnitus, but it makes me feel truly alone — something that is really uncomfortable. Bottom line: The more the merrier.
For the most part, we all want to experience things with other people. I see people miss out on things they want to do all the time, just because they don’t want to go by themselves. Trust me, I don’t like being alone either — but I would have missed out on so much if I was always dependent on going with somebody else.
If I had waited for somebody to join me, I wouldn’t have trained for and ran all the different beautiful races that I’ve run on my own. I never would have seen Meat Loaf live, one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen (don’t hate). I wouldn’t have gone off to guitar camp (my friends called it ‘hippie camp’) to learn how to play my favorite instrument. I wouldn’t have joined triathlon club. I wouldn’t have gone up to Liverpool to see the hometown of The Beatles, a moment that I’d waited for my whole life. I wouldn’t have ever moved to California.
So when I tell people that I’m going to Europe for a month this summer and am spending the majority of time traveling solo, most people are cool with it, but some are a bit shocked. “Don’t pull an Amanda Knox.” “Get somebody to go with you!” Of course I’d like to share the memories with friends. But most people can’t take a month off, and planning this thing was a crazy situation even with only one person going. Besides, this is one trip where I am doing everything that I want to do — the itinerary and choices are mine. So, I’ll make new friends. Pretty sure Europe in July is packed with people looking to do the same.
Like most of my MBA classmates, I look at this fall as starting all over, solo. New location, new apartment, new job, new career path. I lived alone once, and did not like it. But after 5 straight years of various Craigslist roommates, living in other peoples’ apartments, and totally minimalizing my possessions along the way, it’s about time for a new challenge — finding a more permanent place and learning how to make it my own.
Now to figure out…what the hell is my apartment decorating style? The only thing I actually own is a bed…View comments →
five year perspective.
Five years ago when I arrived in California, I spent my first few days mostly outside. I was determined to get some sun while it was still shining. One week and one sunburned California driver’s license picture later, I realized that unlike in the Midwest, the sun would almost always be out – I didn’t have to always try to catch it.
These days, I sometimes forget what it was like to feel that way; how everything seemed to be shiny, new, and sunny 2,500 miles west of where I grew up. How being at the beach and in the ocean felt like I was living some idealistic Saved By the Bell lifestyle, or how the sudden absence of winter somehow led to the mindset of an endless, lovely summer. Today on a flight from Chicago back to LA, I was reminded of how it felt to have it all be brand new again.
I boarded my plane at 6am, and immediately put my hood up and passed out sleeping against the window for about half the flight. A particular turbulent moment shook me awake, and I looked to my left to see a little boy, probably about eight years old, looking at me.
“You were asleep the whole time!”
“Yes,” I smiled, “I’m really tired.”
He told me he had been flying from Tennessee with his dad all day. Then his eyes really lit up and he leaned closer, his shaggy blond hair and bright neon jeans making it look like he was a native Californian.
“Guess what. We’re going to LA for Spring Break – Hollywood AND Beverly Hills!”
I dropped my jaw in excitement. “That’s amazing! What are you most excited to see?”
The boy told me he wanted to see the handprints at the Chinese theater, and the Walk of Fame. He said he heard that Spiderman even hangs out around there, and that maybe he could get a picture with him. Sitting in the next seat, the boy’s father smiled.
I took out my iPad and we played a photo hunt game for about the next hour. That didn’t distract the boy from asking his dad every 15 minutes: “How much longer before we get there?”
As we descended into the city, the boy leaned to the window and pointed outside, gasping in awe of what he saw.
“Look! Look at all the palm trees! Oh wow, that is so cool!”
I laughed and nodded, looking outside.
“Yeah. It really is cool, isn’t it.”View comments →
mba adventures in shanghai and beijing.
December 14-December 21, 2012: An unforgettable trip with an unforgettable group.
how is it already the second year of business school?
My summer vacation was working full time between two quick trips back to Michigan. Suddenly, undergrads are invading the campus, and it’s fall once again.
It seems that the older we get, the faster time goes by. This time a year ago, I moved down to Orange County, was freaking out about starting business school, and met all the incredible people that I now know today. I had quit a dead-end job for hopes of starting over– and now, I really have!
All of the nerdy marketing and tech stuff that I would go home and read about is now what I get paid to do at work every day. For the first time in my life I can actually see a career path forming out in front of me, and I like it. I feel like I am a part of something big, and am empowered to make decisions that can have major impacts on the business.
During the first year of b-school, my classmates and I all banded together to suffer through those quant-heavy classes. This year will be different. Many of us are working along with going to school, and with all the elective classes, we’ll mostly only see people who have the same specialization as we do. We now know all about the UCI campus, the career center, case studies, and how to avoid buying that $150 textbook. All of my classmates have their eyes on the prize: that important first post-MBA job. Some already have offers, and this summer, some have learned the hard way where they don’t want to end up working.
The best part of it all is that we still have a year left of being students–and for most of us, it will be the last time. I love everything about being a student (except the having no money part), so I’m going to make sure I enjoy every minute of it. A wise second-year student gave me some great advice: Keep your Fridays free for as long as possible.
I’m planning on doing just that.PS: Check out my classmate’s blog. View comments →