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.

Not Another Teenage Love Story

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It’s hard trying to reconcile my desire to write the perfect, brutally honest, realistic, absolutely adorable, #1 New York Times bestselling, when’s-the-movie-going-to-come-out YA romance novel and my desire to not write another cliche teenage love story. Yes, it’s quite difficult because “teenage love story” is in itself a cliche, the cliche to end all cliches, the one you roll your eyes at and walk past in the bookstore unless you happen to be in the mood for that kind of cheesy stuff. The cutesy title in the cursive font with an artsy picture of a Brandy Melville model-esque white girl on the cover. Scatter in some hearts or flowers or candy and boom you’ve got yourself an entire book genre.

I know the frustration, because I am a cynic when it comes to the YA romance section. I hate how easy love is portrayed. You see someone across the room and you know. You bump into him/her around town and a beautiful relationship blossoms. A few roadblocks happen, but it doesn’t matter what life throws at you, because true love conquers all, and what else could this adolescent self-centered infatuation be but true love? Who cares if the roadblock is a tyrannical dystopian government? And why are these dystopian governments so concerned with teen dating habits anyways?

Some romance novels entirely miss the point. And what’s the point? To ask the questions no can answer about love. How do you know you’re in love? How does love translate to marriage? What do you do if you’re in love with someone who simply does not love you back? Why love anyone if it’s going to bring you pain and heartbreak? After all, Sigmund Freud said the tragedy of human life is that we love beings who will die.

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Love is something no one totally knows about because everyone experiences it a different way. If there’s an infinite number of types of love, why isn’t there an infinite number of types of love stories? Why are they so damn cute when love makes us so damn sad? Why are love stories so cliche?

This is the kind of teenage angst that I want to put into my own YA romance novel – if I ever write one. I want to write characters who, like me, have been disillusioned by the portrayal of romance in the media and who are attempting to reconcile it with real life. I’ve begun to explore the concept in bits and pieces of writing. I’ll share some of my bits and pieces right now in an attempt to (hopefully) eventually write the world’s best non-cliche teenage love story.

Love is a whirlwind of feelings and thoughts and insecurities and pain and failures and ecstasies and fantasies. It doesn’t have a beginning or middle or end, it simply is. It’s made up of all the wrong turns you took to finally reach your destination. Finally, two wrongs can make a right. And the road isn’t a straight line either. And you don’t really know what your destination is, even when you’ve already arrived. It’s an utterly confounding adventure that few believe in and almost none accomplish.

No, it’s not a straight line- no formulas, no straightforward procedures. So that’s the way I’ll write my story. It’ll be in bits and pieces with no order, rhyme, or reason. Because that’s love.

“Isn’t he cute?” she gushed. Literally gushed. Like spewing love, hearts in her eyes, head in the clouds gushed.

“Uh, I guess…in a McHottie way.”

“McHottie?” she stopped gushing for a minute to give me a half-amused, half-confused look.

“Yeah, he looks fake and processed, like a McDonald’s meal – attractive but detrimental to your health. Basically he looks like how every ‘hot guy’ looks nowadays. It’s like they all come from a factory or something. Big, bright eyes, tanned skin, tousled hair, flawless skin, swoon-inducing smile/smirk. They’re products of pop culture and victims of the teenage pressure to ‘look hot.’”

She looked at me exasperatedly, “Indie, you should hear yourself talk sometimes.”      

No need to ask who “him” was. David McKennon had been her dreamboat date for the past two years (which is forever in high school dating time) until their little boat sprung a leak. Well, more like multiple small leaks that you don’t even realize until it’s too late. You know how couples split up. First it’s annoying habits. He chews with his mouth open. She laughs too loudly. He’s a slob. She’s an attention whore. Then you get tired of each other, and you start to notice the imperfections of your significant other. And you realize that you really hate those imperfections. And then along comes another boy and another girl. And you guys get suspicious and jealous. Pretty soon you’re sinking into a whirlpool that can only end in break-up.

See, that’s the scary thing about getting in relationships. There can only be two endings: you either end up married forever or you split, both of which are terrifying commitments with very permanent consequences.

“I realize…” I started to say, eyes glued to my reflection in the water. I saw the pimple on my nose, the leftover scars of my fungus infection in the corner of my mouth, my uneven eyelids, and my scraggly-looking eyebrow hair. “I realize I’m not that kind of girl. I’m not that romanticized girl in radio songs and I’m not that girl you’ll find starring in the latest TV show and I’m not that heroine in YA novels that ends up with the boy AND the dystopian-free life.” I turned around abruptly. “But I am so much more than that. And I know someday I will find some guy who will appreciate a girl who’s not necessarily the girl of his dreams. Or anyone’s dreams. Because I’m not a girl who can be dreamed of.”

I jumped down from the railing. “So, mister, if I’m not perfect enough for you, you can bet your ass that I don’t need anyone who doesn’t need me.”

I never really got the concept of “the one that got away.” I figured that if you had loved him, you wouldn’t have let him leave. You would have found him, fought for him, again and again, because that’s what lovers are supposed to do. I never realized that sometimes the best way to love someone is to let them go.  I never realized that sometimes you have to stop holding on to people tightly because their overloaded dreams are too heavy for your arms to carry.

 …

“You’re the kind of girl that deserves to be poetry,” he said.

 I turned to face him without hesitation saying, “Every girl is that kind of girl.”

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Ode on Emptiness

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Here’s to the unspoken conversations,

the unheld hands,

the unwritten letters,

the unsung serenades.

Here’s to the peals of laughter that we’ll never share

and the twin brown eyes that will never meet

and the nights I’ll never spend

curled up against your chest,

listening to the soothing rhythm of parallel heartbeats.

Here’s to the moment when we look at each other and know

and our stomachs flutter,

and you lean in and the hands brush at the lips’ touch,

and the rush of blood from head to heart binds a meeting of two lonely souls,

a moment that will never pass.

Here’s to a bridge that crumbled before it was ever built

the loveliest of roses too perfect to bloom

the train to Neverland missed by a millisecond

the greatest thing that never happened to me.

Here’s to the potential of Everything

gone

leaving a vast vacancy

filled by a vast Nothingness,

Emptiness.

And I hear the sound of silence

amplifying the numbing pain,

mourning the death of hope.

Starting College!

Phew. You wouldn’t think becoming orientated would make you so disorientated. I’ve just been through about 8 days straight of pre-orientation followed by orientation, and all I can say is, I’m glad I can finally start classes and have a less hectic schedule! Still, it was a lot of fun channeling freshman energy into meeting new people and exploring places on campus.

Thankfully, the first day of classes gave me a spot of time to take a deep breath and think about the first few days of my college experience. To be fair, the freedom is glorious. Living alone was something I didn’t think I would be good at, but I’ve been holding it together. As an introvert, making friends seemed like a daunting task, but the majority of the people I’ve met have been kind and extremely interesting, coming from all different backgrounds and places.

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To sum it all up, here are my top reactions to my college experience so far:

  1. Hallelujah. Freedom.
  2. Doing my laundry was surprisingly easy.
  3. On the other hand, I’m really running out of socks.
  4. Where are my Nike shoes? My favorite pair of jeans?? God, I should’ve packed neater.
  5. I am SO exhausted from waking up early and getting to sleep late because of all these activities with free food. (And sadly mandatory floor meetings.)
  6. The people here are SO smart and SO interesting in a way that I never expected.
  7. Textbooks are stressful. They’re insanely expensive and take quite a bit of digging/research to find them for a good price. At the same time, it’s nice to get (at least some of) them early so you don’t have to worry about getting 20 books at once.
  8. If you take a while to find your niche of friends, there’s nothing wrong with you or the people around you. It might seem like it’ll take a long time when you’re lost in a crowd, but you’ll connect with people faster than you think.
  9. You’ll probably have less down time alone in your room than you expect, just because you’ll want to be out and about exploring campus or participating in activities, especially in the first couple of days. I haven’t really been on the internet in a week, which is quite different from what I’ve been doing all summer.
  10. You’ll start to realize that things that are part of your identity that you may have never even considered as “different” will be pointed out. As a Texan, for me it was saying “y’all” too much. (Seriously though, it’s such a convenient contraction.) Embrace it.

I’m already lovin’ the college life and I can’t wait for the long line of experiences ahead of me.

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The Harry Potter Tag

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Thanks to Bridget from Stay and Watch the Stars for tagging everyone that read her post, so I could snatch up the opportunity to finally do a Harry Potter post. In a way no other fandom has, Harry Potter defined my childhood, sparked my imagination, and increased my adoration for England. The stories we loved as children will always remain magical to us because we believed in them, so they remain in our memories, real and enchanting. Without further ado, I present to you my inner Harry Potter geek. Wouldn’t miss this chance for the wizarding world. (Not really.)

(Of course there are spoilers; don’t be riddikulus.)

Favorite book?

I guess the correct answer is Deathly Hallows, since it’s the one that really went out of the box and tied the entire series together. The plot twists and character development, the way J.K. Rowling allowed the readers to uncover the secrets and hidden history of important characters gave the story many more layers and made it a more compelling read.

However, my actual personal favorite is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. To me, Deathly Hallows lacked one thing, and that was the traditional Hogwarts/wizarding world charm that I had come to love in the other books. True, the series was supposed to get darker as the golden trio got older, and I loved the way the books grew up with the characters, but I always missed the more “childish” books. Goblet of Fire was the transition book that mixed old and new. It kept the Hogwarts feeling of Christmas, classes, and Slytherin-Gryffindor rivalry, while showing the behind-the-scenes rise of the dark forces and introducing the mess of teenage angst into the lives of the coming-of-age characters. The Quidditch World Cup, the Triwizard Tournament, the Yule Ball, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons – these are the creative magical touches that I love about the series.

Also, I love any of the books with plenty of Fred and George’s sass and humor. The sixth and seventh books just weren’t the same without them.

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Favorite film?

I definitely didn’t pay more attention to the films than the books, which is why I take it as a personal offense when people say they’ve only seen the movies and have never read the books. However, the movies weren’t bad and I did enjoy them, and I really fell in love with the cast.

My favorite would have to be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, because in my eyes, that movie stayed truer to the book than the other movies. My biggest problem with the movies is that they cut out scenes that made up the heart and soul and whimsy of Harry’s world, including the scene at St. Mungo’s, Peeves, Hermione’s S.P.E.W., Tonks and Lupin…I could go on. There’s a Tumblr post (that I found on Pinterest) that lists all the parts that should have been in the movies. I couldn’t agree more.

Of course there’s not enough room to put everything in the films, but a fangirl can lament, right? That’s why you read the books.

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Least favorite book?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It probably shouldn’t be that easy to decide, but this one was by far my least favorite. It lacked some of that Hogwarts charm that I was talking about, it lacked Fred and George, it didn’t have the intrigue of Deathly Hallows, Ron hooks up with Lavender, Dumbledore dies…need I say more?

That said, I still love it more than plenty of other books I have read, and it is an integral part of the series. Like I said, anything Harry Potter will have a special place in my heart.

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Least favorite film?

Same as my least favorite book. I can’t remember much from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, so I guess I must not have liked it that much. I vaguely remember thinking that they left out too much.

Parts of the books/movies that made you cry?

Snape’s love for Lily. There’s been a real backlash against Snape’s character, but I’ve always been a cheesy romantic. I’m a sucker for unresolved heartbreak.

Also, Neville’s backstory. The scene in the books when he visits his parents at St. Mungo’s was really poignant, and it’s haunted me for forever.

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Favorite character?

Snape. Not because he’s especially noble or secretly kind-hearted – he’s not – but because he’s complicated and broken and a classic example of the antihero blurring the lines between “good” and “bad.” He’s not cliche, yet he’s the embodiment of the most cliche theme: “Love conquers all.” The theme that love is the greatest motivator is woven throughout the book, and Snape, the Death-Eater-turned-spy all in the name of love proves this more than any other character.

Least favorite character?

Umbridge. Or Tom Riddle’s father and grandfather. In my eyes, they were the real villains.

Favorite quote?

“It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.” -Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Least favorite quote?

“And Percy was shaking his brother, and Ron was kneeling beside them, and Fred’s eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.” –Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

*internally screams*

Favorite music from the films?

“Reunion of Friends.” Makes me cry every time. God bless John Williams.

What would your patronus be?

A bottle-nosed dolphin. Or a phoenix, if patronuses can be magical animals.

If you could have the Resurrection Stone, the Invisibility Cloak, or the Elder Wand, which would you choose?

The Invisibility Cloak, duh. Haven’t you ever read “The Tale of the Three Brothers?”

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Which house would you be in?

I’ve taken one of those detailed sorting hat quizzes (the kind that asks better questions than “what’s your favorite color?” then suspiciously limits your choices to red, blue, yellow, and green) and I ended up with equal percentages as a Ravenclaw and a Hufflepuff. Knowing me though, I am a Hufflepuff, because as much as I value creativity and intelligence, I value character and virtue more.

If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?

Emma Watson. Talk about perfection.

If you were on the Quidditch team, what position would you play?

LOL sports. Probably the water boy.

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Were you happy with the ending?

Happy, yes. Satisfied, no. I wanted to know more about their lives “19 years later,” but I guess that’s what fan fiction is for.

How much does Harry Potter mean to you?

What kind of question is that? How am I supposed to measure meaning? I can’t say that it means more than anything to me, but I can say that it has defined my philosophy, changed the way I think, and pushed me towards reading and writing. Taking away Harry Potter would be taking away a huge chunk of my life, and I just wouldn’t be the same person that is sitting here typing this today.

But more than anything, the Harry Potter series gave me friends, family, and a home. What more could I ask?

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I tag anyone who would like to do the Harry Potter Tag and show what Harry Potter means to him or her. If you do decide to do this, leave your blog post in the comments, and I’ll be sure to check it out!

This One’s For You

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They say you have to know your audience when you write. That’s not a new concept – it’s a cliche writing tip really – and yet when I write I tend to blab on and on and hope someone from the interweb may stumble along and find my rants and possibly deem them worthy of a like. As a new blogger, that’s technically my audience – the people who wind up here by chance.

In large part, I don’t give great thought to my audience when I sit down to make a blog post, because I write for myself. Well, that’s pretty selfish, you might think. But writing is a selfish task. It’s the sum of your background, your experiences, your culture, your heartbreaks, your hometown, the books you read, the people you love, the thoughts you have at 4 AM…your writing is centered around you. Writing is a way of getting to know yourself first, before anyone else. It’s a way to tap into your own mind, creativity, and soul.

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And yet, writers aren’t selfish. They’re brave. They make themselves vulnerable for the world to see; they whisper their secrets to perfect strangers. All the lives that you’ll never know, all the people you’ll never meet, never will be – that’s the world. That’s my audience. I write for myself, yes, but also for the others. I write for the the underdogs, the cynical romantics, the seekers of truth. I write for every girl who’s ever been ignored because she isn’t “pretty enough” and every boy who feels like they can’t cry unless they’re alone. I write for anyone who’s ever let go of bitterness, drowned their sorrows with music, danced in the rain, fallen in love with their flaws. I write for the ones who are quietly brave, who have seen the world’s hatred and ignorance and brokenness and still believe it to be a beautiful place. But most of all I write for you, you as a human being with a heart and soul and piece of hope to share, I write to tell you that you are not alone and that no one is alone.

So now you know. This one’s for you.

Open Letter to WashU Class of 2019!

As summer of 2015 flies by and freshman year of college looms closer, I can feel my anticipation/stress/nervousness levels rising, but I also feel a closer bond with my future peers at WashU. Here’s to my new classmates and everyone else part of the Class of 2019, because we’re all in this together (as our generation was taught by Troy and Gabriella).

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Dear soon-to-be WashU fam,

It’s all very surreal isn’t it? This whole college thing? I mean, it’s always been in the back of my mind, knowing that I was going to have to get up and go sometime, but I’d always been more worried about getting there. Now that I’m here, I’m not entirely sure what to do with myself. I suppose we all feel somewhat like that, as college freshman, but it really hadn’t hit me until now with the room assignments and the class registration (aka the most stressful 10 mins of my life) and the dorm room shopping frenzy in full swing.

Well, as far as I know, everyone seems uber friendly and nice, and that makes me all the more excited to meet y’all. Sure, sure, at some point tthat horribly annoying freshman energy to meet new people and try new things will wear off, but as for now, that’s exactly what I intend to do. I can’t wait to have you all, my brand-new chosen family, at my side doing it with me. I’ve always thought Class of 2015 was the best class – not quite millenials and not quite 90s kid – so I expect I’ll love Class of 2019 just as much. (Although *side note* it does suck that we didn’t get to be Class of 2020. That just sounds so legit. 2020.)

We’re in this adventure together, whether we like it or not, kinda like Hogwarts or Percy Jackson or Game of Thrones. Ok, Game of Thrones is a bad metaphor. But the point is, I am so lucky and thrilled to be going to college, and I’m so ready to be a part of this fam. Once a bear, always a bear. #WUSTL2019

Love, Francie x

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