Boy Wanted

Someone who’s a feminist.

Someone whose hilarious, witty banter astounds you…but only once you get to know them.

Someone who is flabbergasted at the sight of a starry sky on a clear night.

Someone who maybe lacks some self-confidence and faces insecurities (as we all do) but smiles bravely and dorkily all the same when you capture them in a hug.

Someone who writes poetry in their head without realizing that they are the poem they’ve been trying to write all along.

Someone whose favorite dates involve trips to museums.

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Someone who’s a humanitarian.

Someone whose first kiss to you is on the cheek or the forehead.

Someone who keeps up with current events and has an intelligent opinion on half of it and will humbly admit that they have no clue what to think of the other half.

Someone who cries during marriage proposal scenes on TV.

Someone who is globally literate – an adventurer, a traveler, a learner of cultures, a speaker of many tongues.

Someone who maybe has trouble showing affection, so that when they do, it’s all the more special.

Someone who realizes that we are literally just tiny specks of dust floating in space guided by social constructs and surrounded by nothingness but still believes that life contains hope, purpose, and possibility.

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Someone who’s both a cat and a dog person but is basically 99% cat.

Someone who reads Sartre and Faulkner, but will still claim that the Harry Potter series are the best books of all time.

Someone who makes mistakes and apologizes genuinely.

Someone who treats your subpar singing as if it were the love child of Adele and Beyonce’s voices.

Someone who stops to make silly faces at children (or at least won’t mind when I do).

Someone who appreciates all music but has a soft spot for amazing movie soundtracks, indie/alternative, and “dad music” (Queen, The Beach Boys, Brandon Flowers).

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Someone who will watch chick flicks and cheesy Christmas movies with you over mugs of hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Someone who adds a touch of compassion to everything they do, a Hufflepuff at heart.

Someone who embraces the countryside as well as the city and can’t decide whether they like the East Coast or the West Coast better.

Someone who cares deeply about their work.

Someone who will make a fool of themselves on the dance floor just because they know how much you love to dance.

Someone whose existence is pure art.

Someone who loves you. Honestly, purely, gently, passionately.

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My Attempt to Work Out (Oh, Boy)

“I get enough exercise just by pushing my luck.” -some poor guy who should’ve probably trademarked this phrase before it was plastered over workout apparel and memes everywhere

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Look, I’ve tried to stay on an exercise regime before. We’ve all been there. We’ve all sat in front of our laptops watching the latest Blogilates YouTube video as hope slowly drains out of us before typing “#unattainablebodygoals” in the comment section. I’ve gone to the gym on and off. I’ve done these home workouts on and off (but never all the way through). But after a year in college (hellooooo freshman fifteen) and a trip to East Asia (what do you mean lunch is $2 what kind of narnia is this?), I’ve decided that I need to crack down on my health.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my body. I have a healthy BMI, I’m not overweight, and I can still fit into that one then-oversized T-shirt I had in middle school. I want a fitter, healthier, and more toned body because I love my body and I love myself. I’m promising myself that I will take care of myself. Therefore, I’m going to exercise. Every day. And eat healthy. Maybe not every day. (But there will be attempts to cut junk food and embrace more fruits and veggies.)

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I’m no fitness expert (God forbid), but I’ll share my amateur home workout routine with you. I like it because I can do it anywhere (say yes to never leaving the house), without equipment (like I have equipment), and it’s simple enough if you’re willing to put in the effort. I mean, converting fat to muscle is never really gonna get any easier.

I really wanted to concentrate on cardio for the summer with some work on my abs and thighs. And I also discovered XHIT Daily videos on YouTube recently and I really like them – they’re effective, they’re easy to follow along, and the trainers aren’t too annoying. So here’s the plan.

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Monday, Wednesday, Friday (cardio x abs):

  1. How To Burn 150 Calories in 8 Minutes
  2. 9 Exercises For a Flat Stomach OR The 7 Best Ab Exercises (I like to alternate the two. The first one’s a little less strenuous in my opinion.)

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (cardio x legs):

  1. Cardio Workout: How to Lose Weight
  2. Miley Cyrus Workout: Sexy Legs OR Thigh Exercises for Losing Fat OR Victoria’s Secret Angel Butt Workout (That last one says “Butt Workout,” but I like that it works out the cellulite-y part of your thighs.)

Sunday (cardio):

  1. FuseDance Cardio Melt Workout

There you have it. I’ve been doing this for about 2 weeks now, and I’ll admit I’ve had to skip some days because I’m simply too busy or because, you know, period cramps. But I feel a lot healthier, energetic, and happier than I did before. I’ll admit, I haven’t really lost a lot of weight, but for me that’s not the point. I don’t need to be skinnier, I just want to be fitter.

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Take care of yourself guys – physical health and body positivity are both extremely important. No matter the criticisms from friends, strangers, family members, beauty advertisements, the media, mall mannequins, society…you are perfect. Pear-shaped, hourglass, skinny, heavy, small, large, petite, tall, boyish, lanky, straight, curvy – these things don’t make you more ugly or more beautiful. Your body shape is made beautiful by the human being that inhabits it. You only have one body, so enjoy looking after it. xx

 

 

Life Update #2

10 things happening right now.

  1. For the first time in two years, I’m trying harder to expand this blog. I’ve been working on it very sparsely and casually over the past months, and I’m pretty proud of the little bit it is. Well, now I’m finally getting my blog its own Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. These accounts will mostly just be little notifications when I post and maybe the occasional retweet or reblog. We’ll see. I’m not 100% sure where I’m taking this, but I do know I want to blog more and blog harder. You can follow @brooklyngirljournal on Instagram and Tumblr or @brooklyngirljnl on Twitter. Thanks for any and all of your support!

2. I’m heading off to Austin! I’ll just be gone for a week from Saturday to next Friday, but I’m pretty excited. I haven’t really explored the weird (dark) side of Austin yet and I’ve dearly missed Tex Mex. Plus, I’ll get to see some of my best friends down at UT that I haven’t seen since winter break. Have any suggestions for what I should see in ATX, since I’m going to be a clueless tourist?

3. France for Euro Cup 2k16!! Allez, les Bleus!!!

4. I just finished Year Two (that’s Season 2, I suppose, in normal terms) of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast and I’m so hyped. The live show finale sounded amazing and I can not wait to be able to attend my first WTNV live show sometime soon. Unfortunately, I can’t make it this year as I am heading down to Austin when they come to Dallas. But next time, for sure. I can’t stay away from a live showing of Cecil/Carlos love any longer. And if you guys have no idea what I’m saying, do yourself a favor, get on YouTube, and start listening to Welcome to Night Vale. You might regret it, but hey, “Are we living a life that is safe from harm? Of course not. We never are. But that’s not the right question. The question is: are we living a life that is worth the harm?”

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5. Before this post starts to seem like a shameless plug for each and every one of my social media handles, I just want to say that expanding my reach goes both ways. I would love to hear what you guys are posting. Leave a link below to your latest blog post and I’ll be sure to read/comment/like it. You can even leave a link to your Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, whatever. I’d love to know what you all are up to. Building a community is important.

6. I have to relearn high school calculus in preparation for next semester. Gross. #khanacademyfordays

7. In an attempt to not sit on my lazy bum all summer and put in some level of productive effort, I’ve taken up an internship with New Story Charity. They do the kind of international developmental work that I hope to get into in the future. Basically, they’re a nonprofit that transforms slums in developing countries into sustainable communities. They’re also on a mission to stop chagas in Bolivia, a disease caused by the “kissing bug” that leads to fever, swelling, and heart failure. If you’re interested in interning or helping out, check out their website at www.newstorycharity.org.

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8. It’s World Chocolate Day! #treatyoself

9. I’m about to finish a book I’ve been reading for a while, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Here’s my 2 second book review. 4 stars out of 5 since it’s relatable to college freshmen and fangirls and somehow manages to be both a Harry Potter fanfic and an original story at the same time. Fun for a light read, but I’m more of a deep thoughts/annoyingly philosophical kind of girl, so I could’ve enjoyed it more.

10. Dark skin is not a crime. How hard is it to grant somebody the right to not be shot at? Trayvon Martin. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Sandra Bland. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. And so many more. Say their names, because they matter. Black lives are human lives; black lives matter.

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Three Things

Because the best things come in threes.

Three things you can’t go without: music, bubble tea, people

Three celebrity crushes: Tom Hiddleston, Dave Franco, Asa Butterfield

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Three favorite book characters: Eponine from Les Mis, Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit

Three favorite things to wear: sundresses, Nike shorts, kickass red lipstick

Three things you want in a relationship: depth, gratitude, humor

If you had to evacuate your home because of a natural disaster, what three things would you take with you? laptop, diary, senior yearbook

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Three pet peeves: chewing with your mouth open, negative groupthink (like when you dislike a person just because all your friends dislike that person), being on your phone all the time when we’re having one-on-one time

Three things you’d do if you weren’t so afraid: travel around the world by myself, ride the largest roller coaster at the park, become a writer

Three favorite TV shows: Sherlock BBC, I Love Lucy, Game of Thrones

Three favorite music albums: The 1975 by The 1975, Grand Romantic by Nate Ruess, Strange Desire by The Bleachers

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Three best #wcws: Julie Andrews, Kristin Chenoweth, Audrey Hepburn

Three things on your desk: purple glasses case, empty Tapioca House cup, February 2014 issue of Smithsonian magazine

Three reasons why you write: to reflect on myself, to entertain, to advocate for certain truths about life

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Baby Bear No More

Freshman year: the first installment of a 4-book series. Francie, our dynamic young hero, sets off on an epic character arc through all-nighters and a cappella auditions, Plato’s Republic and frat parties to arrive at the other end of the metaphorical tunnel and see the light of summer. She’s undergone a change, she’s learned some lessons, she’s an older and wiser person. But honestly, that can be said of any year, any second, any period of time. So what made freshman year at WashU special?

The unexpected. The things I didn’t know I would be doing until I got up and did them. I thought about making this post a list of things I thought I would never do but did this year, but quickly realized the list would be long enough to break the internet. I can’t say that I’ve been bungee jumping or climbed the Himalayas or, I dunno, hooked up with Matt Bomer or something, but I’ve had some very special (dare I say life-changing?) experiences.

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I had a gooey butter bar for the first time. I attended Loufest. I fell deeply in crush with a guy I met and then fell out of it. I casually walked into a K-pop dance audition and fell headfirst into the endless black hole that is Korean pop culture. I bought my first crop top. I learned how to bachata. I got comfortable farting in front of my roommate. I fell in love with tortilla chips and salsa. I became an ecofeminist. I got Melanie Martinez to sign my McDonald’s receipt. I did my laundry.

As always, the most life-changing factors of all are the humans I’ve interacted with. All these amazing, interesting people I’ve met and all these lifelong friends I’ve made. Having heard so many roommate horror stories, I was so grateful I was able to survive mine – we only steal each other’s food and call each other “bitch” maybe five times a day. Just kidding, “Dan,” you are honestly one of the only people I could’ve gotten so comfortable with so quickly. All the (super-talented) (sexy) (nice af) friends I made through the K-pop wormhole. All the wonderful classmates I had with all your low-key hilarious quirks and high-key interesting personalities. All the awkward Tinder correspondants. All the people that I maybe talked to once but (you know what?) are still part of the WashU community and are still part of the fam. Yes even you, annoying kid who laughs too much at the professor’s jokes in MGT 100, you have touched my life in some small way and made my first year unique. I wish I could give a witty, poignant ten-page tribute to each person I met, but that would just take away the time I have to study for finals and we wouldn’t want to do that… For now, I’ll just grant you my friendship/acquaintanceship and leave it at that.

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You know, it’s a tough crowd here at WashU. Everyone seems so much smarter, so much prettier, so much more evolved than you are. It’s hard to keep your head above the water sometimes when there are so many big fish in the pond and you kinda feel like a plankton. But hey, it’s just the first book. Harry Potter didn’t defeat Voldemort in the first 223 pages. I’m still going through that character arc and I’m still just trying to figure out who I am and what I want to do. And I realize I will still be doing that after I graduate college and (cross my fingers) get a job. So for now, I’m just working on soaking it all in – the laughter, the pain, the small glories and the broken bones, the existential crises, the tipsy nights, the failed midterms – all of it.

From this messy rollercoaster of freshman year moments, when was the moment I stopped being a baby (WashU) Bear? Maybe it was when I took my first sip of alcohol or when I let go of the high school memories weighing me down or when I finally figured out where Ridgley Hall is (just this week). All I know is that I’m not the young, naive incoming freshman that I was in August 2015. I’m still young and naive, but not as much as before – a small piece of my youth is lost. I’ve finally moved on from being baby bear. Welcome to Sophomore Year: Puberty Bear. xx

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How a Cynical Romantic Got a Tinder and Why She’s Kept It

A friend got drunk and made me a Tinder. That’s what I tell them. It’s passive, casual. I’m not the desperate one; my friends are just being friends. We’re all more normal and the problem of who’s to blame or who’s desperate for love or who wants to hook up is solved, or left purposely ambiguous.

It is technically how I got one. But that doesn’t explain why I let her nor why I have yet to delete said Tinder account. Often it’s the why not the how that’s so much more interesting, because the why is where it doesn’t make sense.

After all, the cynic in me says wtf are you doing. The cynic in me says love is just a superficial emotion based on the seductively deceptive belief that beauty is goodness. That beauty is love. The cynic in me says Tinder is just a way to perpetuate that superficiality by making uninformed decisions based on six or less photographs and a generic bio of “I like music and working out.” You would think that the entire male population in America likes music and working out and that’s all folks. Music, work out, sleep, repeat.

The romantic in me says WTF ARE YOU DOING in all caps. The romantic in me says THE WHOLE POINT OF YOU KNOWING LOVE IS SUPERFICIAL IS THAT YOU CAN BE ABOVE ALL THAT YOU DUMBBUTT. GET OFF TINDER, DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT, it demands. Romance can be found in hopeless places. You can have a real connection with real people off of a screen. Someone will come along and love you for who you are without you having to sell your soul to a dating app. It’s pleading now, begging me to stop. And when I don’t, the romantic in me sighs, laments, weeps.

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I have to admit swiping right on cute guys can be fun at first. Matching with cute guys? Even better. Until you’ve accumulated 50 matches and you’re feeling kind of dead inside. What’s the purpose of this? So many fish in the sea and they’ll all swipe right so it seems. So many fish in the sea but none of them are really for me. I suddenly have mixed feelings about it, mostly negative feelings. I don’t feel special, I just feel like another face on Tinder. I feel predated on, part of some sexist community of boys who see women as conquests. Most of all, I’m disgusted with myself. Why am I still doing this? Why do I keep coming back to the app like some unhealthy relationship? I’m suddenly tied to this sick, self-validating cycle of swiping right and seeing how many matches I can collect. Why am I talking to strange men? Is it to make myself feel better after years and years and years of sitting around waiting, thinking ‘what is wrong with me’ as other boys dated other girls and I just somehow always was forgotten? Lizzie’s so pretty. I’m going to ask Yasmin to prom next week. And then, oh yeah, there’s Francie. She’s alright, I guess.

It’s easy – so easy – to fall prey to loneliness. Part of why I’m still on Tinder is self-validation. I’m floored and flabbergasted and somewhat flattered that someone could find me remotely attractive. After rejection, crush after crush of going nowhere, four high school years with no first boyfriend, no first date, not even a first kiss, it’s hard to believe that I’d ever be noticed. It’s a twisted way for me to confirm my self-worth. As a romantic, it’s a desire to be romanticized as much as I romanticize others. I see the world through a lens of literary tragedy; I see everyone as a storybook character. It makes the world that much more beautiful. Subconsciously, I think it’s my turn. I want to be seen as someone’s protagonist, someone’s love interest, someone’s romantic hero. A girl with sad brown eyes who listens to Matchbox 20 and goes to arboretums – what a gem, what a catch. I just want to feel unique; I just want to feel like art.

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Then again, part of why I’m still on Tinder is wishful thinking. That’s also my old pal, the romantic in me. I want a purpose from all this, as if there is one.  I want that cute guy in my human geo class that I matched with to whip around one day as he’s heading out the door and ask “So why’d you swipe right?” And then I’d mysteriously answer “curiosity” before leaving in a sexual tension-charged blaze of glory, the perfect start of a beautifully intellectual relationship.

And another part of why I’m still on Tinder is the overestimation of my ability to flirt and not be awkward. Like I could ever answer a question about love confidently. I can barely wink. But something in me says that if the stars align and I play my cards right, I can flirt my way into true love.

These are misconceptions about myself and about love. I’m inexperienced, innocent, and way too young to be flirting with college graduates. I’m a girl who stays up until 2 AM writing blog posts about unrequited love. I’m not a hookup girl, I’m just a sad romantic. Sad romantics belong on Tumblr, not Tinder.

Yet I’d be lying if I said that I deleted my Tinder account. Maybe it’s my Stockholm syndrome speaking, but maybe the curiosity isn’t such a terrible thing. Maybe I keep coming back because I’m still trying to figure out why I keep coming back. I’m still trying to figure out who I am and what I want in a relationship. And maybe, hopefully, somebody will jerk me back to my senses and make me realize why I don’t need a Tinder account and have never needed one. And maybe, hopefully, that somebody is me.

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15 Compliments I’d Rather Receive Besides “You’re Pretty”

Because people are so much more than their mirrors.

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  1. You have this beautiful inner strength.
  2. You’re quiet, but it’s a thoughtful quiet, like you’re writing a novel in your head.
  3. You’re so sensitive to people’s feelings.
  4. You have an inner glow that comes out when you smile.
  5. I love your aesthetic/your style.
  6. You remind me of my favorite song.
  7. I admire how loyal and loving you are to your family and friends.
  8. Please make a CD of you singing so I can fall asleep to it at night.
  9. You’re so smart/creative/original. Your ideas and personality are so different from everyone else’s.
  10. Thanks for being my best friend.
  11. Your sense of humor is on point.
  12. I want to spend time marathoning movies and fangirling over them with you.
  13. You may not know it, but you’re brave. You stand up for what you believe in.
  14. Your tweets are fire.
  15. You’re so much more than pretty.