Tumblr Time: Askthetic

Because half my creative energy (read: creative plagiarism) comes from Tumblr, so why not? Here’s one of those questionnaire thingies that gets reposted a bunch and all my compelling answers.

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1: what color do you talk in?

lavender gray

2: what songs do you think people remember you by?

“because of you” by kelly clarkson – one of my favorite solos

3: if you could take claim for any invention, which would it be?

toaster strudel

4: radio or mp3?

lol @ mp3. but if it means radio or downloaded music, i would prefer my own downloaded music.

5: what movie character would you choose to be your parent and why?

carl & ellie from up because goals.

6: if people floated instead of walking, how far off the ground would you be?

1 foot would be ideal

7: choose a song to live off of.

my silver lining by first aid kit

8: would you rather have clouds for feet or suns for hands?

clouds for feet

9: is your phone charged enough?

right now? not really. it’s at 48%.

10: if you could choose one person to protect with your life, who would it be?

my little brother

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11: if you had to choose one person to be protected by, who would they be?

sam & dean winchester

12: what book do you need to read?

station eleven by emily mandel

13: who saved your life?

my parents and my soulmate best friends

14: CDs or vinyl?

vinyl

15: if you could only repeat words said by one person, who would you want to be echoing?

stephen colbert

16: do you like feeling tall?

of course

17: do you like wearing other people’s shirts?

i don’t particularly like or dislike it. i borrow people’s clothing for practical reasons more than for aesthetic reasons. i guess i prefer wearing my own clothes for the most part.

18: if you could breathe music, which artist would you choose to inhale and which would you choose to exhale?

inhale the bleachers, exhale the 1975

19: would you rather have hair that changes color with emotion or get injured each time you’re touched by the person you love?

hair that changes color with emotion – sounds rad.

20: what are the promises you’ve made to yourself?

not to compromise my dreams/my life for money, not to romanticize boys too much, and to remember to repay my parents for all they’ve done

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21: if your family died, whose house would you go to for safety and reassurance?

one of my best friend’s houses whose family i know

22: what wouldn’t you do to help a friend?

depending on the situation, almost nothing. like if it comes down to it after weighing all the options, i’m willing to break the law.

23: if you had to choose one music artist, actor, or author to become your mentor, who would it be?

julie andrews ❤

24: who do you admire most in the world? why?

brandon stanton of HONY. because he humanizes his subjects; he shows how the entire world is admirable in some way.

25: what are songs that make you want to become the sky?

“american” by lana del rey, “hands on me” by vanessa carlton, “it’s a memory” by fred falke

26: would you rather be the night sky or the day sky?

night sky

26: would you rather be the sky or the earth?

sky

27: would you rather be the earth or the moon?

earth

28: would you rather be the moon or the sun?

moon

29: if you had to change your name to something else, what would you change it to? why?

i’ve always like the name rowan. idk why, it’s just pretty to me, and gender neutral – it might be my future child’s name.

30: are your hands cold?

my right hand is a bit colder than my left hand, but they’re mostly room temperature.

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31: if you had to choose three articles of clothing to keep for the next three years of your life, what would they be?

my “feminism is the radical notion that women are people” sweatshirt, a really pretty beige-ish/blue-ish jacket i stole from my mom’s closet, my ugly washu christmas shirt

32: monet or da vinci?

da vinci

33: van gogh or michelangelo?

van gogh

34: if you were a teacher, what would you assign to your class as their first project?

lol idk. maybe i would make them fill out a tumblr questionnaire.

35: how do you pronounce ‘crayon’?

……like it’s spelled? the “cra” in “crazy” and “on” as in “on and off”

36: have you ever wanted to be invisible?

yup. it’d be a cool superpower.

37: have you ever wanted to be everywhere?

i don’t think so. i want to go everywhere, but not be everywhere at once – not even abstractly. that sounds like too much.

38: if you could change any one thing about your current surroundings, what would it be?

more space & larger windows. more plants.

39: do you hear things in layers or all at once?

layers

40: neon light or natural light?

i love neon light aesthetics. but as a personal preference, i’m gonna have to go with natural light.

41: if you could choose one instrument to master overnight, which would it be?

cello or acoustic guitar

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10 Things I’ve Learned from 13 Years of Journaling

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It all started May 25, 2003. My first diary entry ever:

“My favret thing is when we go to libery. My ather faveret thing was to wach mother-goose.”

This profound statement is followed by a stick figure drawing of what appears to be a little girl watching TV.

While I have come a (sorta) long way from preschool, I still keep that drive to write just a little every day. No doubt I have taken breaks in between. Sometimes three-year long hiatuses. But through it all, I eventually kept going, and I have now filled seven journals full of memories throughout elementary, middle, and high school. And it’s something that’s irreplaceable.

Everyone should journal, and since blogging is a lot like journaling, I thought it would be pertinent to share ten things I’ve learned from my 13-year experience in writing down all the trivial details of my life.

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1. Don’t apologize for taking hiatuses in between journal entries. You deserve a break and you can’t write gold if your heart’s not in it.

2. That said, you do need to motivate yourself sometimes. Look for prompts. Introspect. Relive your day in your mind and write down those reflections. Anything.

3. Don’t worry too much about grammar/sentence structure/any part of the snobby writing process. This is a free-write. No rules attached.

4. Write when you’re the most emotional. What I’ve discovered? Pain creates art.

5. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Experiment with letter-writing, lists, different voices, different styles, different subjects. Write entire page-long paragraphs or choppy sentences. Write poetry or prose. Doodle. Be inconsistent. It may seem like a mess, but there’s a method in the madness – it’ll keep journaling fun and interesting; it’ll keep your creativity on its toes.

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6. Buy beautiful notebooks and journals and sketchbooks and notepads. You won’t be able to resist filling them up.

7. There’s always something to write about. Even if you feel like nothing happened to you today. Surely, you did things. And those things happened in a way that won’t repeat itself exactly ever again. That’s got to be something. Or who says you even have to write about your day or yourself? Just pull up a chair, break out your favorite pen, grab one of those cute journals I told you to splurge on, and get movin’ (your hand)! Once you get started, the rest will come easy.

8. If you’re really out of things to say, plagiarize. Assemble lists of favorite quotes, favorite lyrics. Make specific themes – famous last lines or best girl power lyrics. Hopefully, these will inspire you down another writer’s path.

9. Try writing at different times of the day. You’ll get different results. The 9AM you is different from the 6PM you, which is different from the 3AM you.

10. Say everything you would normally never say out loud. It’s not just therapeutic; you’re creating a snapshot, a self-portrait to look back on over the years. You’re writing for you – a worthy audience and one you can trust.

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What’re you waiting for? Break out the pens, paper, and creative mindsets. Hope this helped! xx

P.S. Additional Tip: Try to have better handwriting than me XD

 

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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College Interview Questions

Job interview

With college applications hovering over me like a storm cloud of suspense, it’s probably a good idea for me to get a head start on preparing myself. In fact, my very first college interview is this week (hardly a head start), so I decided to get some practice thinking about common interview questions before I stumble around and give those cliché answers that only high school students can come up with. (Um…I’m a good student. I’m responsible. I promise.) I tried to leave out the boring academic stuff and answer the questions that will really let you get to know about me. So without further ado, I give you my typed-up answers to some college interview questions:

Tell me about yourself. (By the way, I hate this question. It’s vague, boring and thought-provoking in all the wrong ways. And yet you’re sure that this will always be the first question in any interview.) I’m a rising senior who’s on the International Baccalaureate diploma program. I’m active in choir, volunteer work, and French Club, and my passions are literature, music, and history. But aside from the basics, I’m the kind of perfectionist who craves creativity. Sometimes, school doesn’t really promote that sort of spontaneous inspiration- it’s focused more on memorization and standardization- but I try my best to infuse all my school projects and assignments with a little originality. I hate boring. I always need an outlet for my ideas.

Who in your life has most influenced you? Of course, my parents have bestowed upon me their own cultures and beliefs and lessons that they’ve learned from life. They’re the ones who’ve really encouraged me to pursue my passions and cared about my education. However, there is one girl who’s really inspired me ever since she was mentioned in my eighth grade English class. Her name was Rachel Joy Scott and she was a victim of the 1999 Columbine High shooting, but what made her special was not her death but her life. She wrote an essay shortly before her death about the importance of random acts of kindness and how she had this theory that if one person did one nice thing for another, it would set off a chain reaction of kindness. People described her as an inspiration and told stories of how she would talk to kids eating alone in the lunchroom or go out of her way to show compassion for others. She also traced her hands in her journal and wrote “These hands will one day touch millions of hearts,” in the middle of them. It’s extremely sad that she died, but I’ve always wanted to be the one to carry on her powerful legacy. I wrote a speech in tenth grade about kindness that was inspired by her, and I dream of touching millions of hearts, the way she did. Even though I never knew her, it’s almost like she’s always been a sort of guidance. Rachel left the world with an amazing message which I’ve come to adopt as my philosophy in life.

What fictional character would you most want to be like? Eponine or Frodo Baggins. While they both face miseries and difficult situations, they’re both brave enough to sacrifice for the things they love. Eponine sacrifices her life to fight with Marius and leads Marius to Cosette, even though she knows her heart will break if he ends up with another girl. To me, that was always the definition of true love- sacrificing your own happiness for the sake of another’s. Frodo is an underdog, someone nobody expects to be a hero, but who ends up sacrificing his life and the comfort of his home to protect the Shire and all of Middle Earth. He is courageous enough to bear the burden of carrying the ring and taking it to Mordor even though he doesn’t actually have to. He has this incredible sense of duty that’s both touching and inspiring.

What do you do for fun in your free time? (What free time?) I love to read. I read the news online, or look through a Smithsonian magazine, or just read a book. I also love music and singing. Sometimes I’ll just meditate with my favorite songs on, or I’ll belt some karaoke.  My taste in books and music span across all genres. I love creative writing- I have about a bazillion story ideas that I still haven’t finished, and I’ve kept a journal since I was in kindergarten, which has been very rewarding to look back on those memories and general silliness. Finally, I try to exercise every day even though I’m no athlete. Sometimes I’ll go play tennis with my dad or I’ll go to the gym and walks some laps or use the machines.

Recommend a good book to me. In IB, we have to write an extended essay on any topic we choose, and I chose my personal favorite classic, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. It tells the story of a girl, Francie Nolan, growing up in the poor tenements districts of Brooklyn, New York in the early 1900s. It goes through her struggles and it really delves deep into her mind and you can see her world from her perspective. Because where others would see dirty, bitter people suffering through brutal conditions, Francie views her world with innocence and imagination, and she sees the underlying magic and stories of her neighborhood. At the same time, I love how multi-dimensional and developed the characters are, because you can really picture in your mind what sort of people they are. All of them are deeply flawed but also virtuous in their own ways, and the book reveals this truth that people can be cruel and kind at the same time. By crafting real, raw emotions and revealing human nature, Betty Smith delves into topics ranging from ethnic prejudice to family relationships, all through the eyes of a growing Brooklyn child. It’s the difficult situations and conflicted characters that move the story along and really bring it to life.

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What do you do best? I’m best at what I’m passionate about. I love writing, singing, and learning things that interest me. While I’m not astounding, I really put my energy into writing well and singing well. I also am good at certain subjects at school because I’m interested in learning them. The second semester of IB US History was my favorite, full of intricate foreign issues and history relevant to today’s world, so I studied hard and received good grades. This past year of English, we read so many interesting, thought-provoking books, so I did well in that class as well.

Who do you most admire? Audrey Hepburn. She’s a classic image of a strong woman. Not only is she incredibly talented and iconic, she’s classy, intelligent, and generous. She’s one of the only twelve people to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Oscar. At the same time, she’s a humanitarian who’s been an ambassador for UNICEF. She’s truly a powerful inspiration not only for aspiring actresses, but also for any girl who’s ever dreamed of growing up to be a princess.

What is your biggest weakness? I’m not fearless or spontaneous. Sometimes I hesitate way too much before I’m willing to try something, and I end up regretting it later. I’ve gotten a lot better since I was young- I used to be extremely shy and afraid to try anything,  from raising my hand in class to meeting new people. Now, I’m much more willing to jump in, but I still need to work on fighting my fears and allowing myself to seek out new experiences. Hopefully, college will help with that.

What three adjectives describe you? Open-minded. Driven. Balanced. I’m open-minded to new ideas and perspectives all the time. Whenever I read about something in the news or just hear about disputes at school, I always want to find out everyone’s opinions and angles on the issue. Coming from a multicultural background, I genuinely appreciate embracing other people’s views. I’m also driven to succeed. Passion for learning and helping others and discovering who I really am fuel my desire to achieve my goals. When I set my mind to something I truly want, I never give up, because sometimes the end result is worth the sacrifice. Balance is something I’ve had a ton of practice working on thanks to IB program and my extracurriculars. Even though I feel stressed sometimes, I never feel burned out or so frustrated that I can’t handle my life. A lot of it has to do with time management, and the other part is self-motivation and this belief in yourself that you will succeed.

How do you define success? Leading a life that makes you proud and giving something back to the world selflessly.

Welcome

I can’t wait to kick off my new blog! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, and now here I am. To start, I’ll tell a little bit about myself through an “I Am” Poem. I’m hoping this blog will show bits and pieces of myself, which is what I was aiming for with this:

I am a pasted-together scrapbook of memories, tears, and laughter

I am a quick prayer for a miracle right before a test I didn’t study for

I am Coldplay, OneRepublic, and Goo Goo Dolls

I am a Starbucks white chocolate mocha on a freezing December day

I am a Potterhead, a Narnian, and a hobbit

I am unwritten (can’t read my mind, I’m undefined)

I am an awkward caterpillar still waiting for her wings to grow in

I am a Pinterest addict

I am Sherlocked

I am tripping and falling on flat surfaces all the time

I am still crying over fictional characters

I am a creator, a changer, a dreamer, and a believer

I am Disney songs at the top of my lungs

I am an optimistic realist

I am down-to-earth indie folk and 90s dance pop at the same time

I am that person who keeps laughing after everyone else has stopped

I am a cheesy love letter

I am an old Jansport backpack in a sea of Vera Bradley

I am a giant spoonful of Nutella at 3 AM because I’ve lost control of life

I am a hopeful wish on a shooting star

I am plug-the-earphones-in-and-drown-the-world-out time

I am the poet of my life

But I am more than a poem