3 DAYS, 3 QUOTES | Day 3

Dear Reader,

It is the final day of the 3 days, 3 quotes challenge, and I think I found a new favorite:

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“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

For the past two days, I’ve shared a quote, and then gave my thoughts on it, or told why it’s important to me. But this… this one, to me, is literary perfection.

I mean, I find myself typing to try and make my case, but I’m just quoting him again. Every word in this quotation is perfectly, and it makes me wish that more people in my life were the mad ones. Because I think those are the people for me, too.

Sincerely,

Sammy

 

3 DAYS, 3 QUOTES CHALLENGE | Day 2

Dear Reader,

Yesterday I wrote about how remarkable I find people who can pick out the perfect words, and by combining them in a way that I never see until after the fact, they create wonderful quotes that we repeat and share and even write on canvases and notebooks and posters. Today I have the perfect example to share:

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“I go to seek a great perhaps.” – the last words of poet, Francois Rabelais, read in Looking for Alaska by John Green.

The first time I read this, I thought it was perfect. This is a feeling I have had for as long as I can remember, and it can be summed up in one perfect phrase.

“A great perhaps.”

When I was younger, I constantly thought about moving. I didn’t have a bad childhood by any means, but I always wished I could get away and meet some new people. I wanted to be the new kid. I wanted to experience what growing up would be like in different cities–different states. And even still, I sometimes dream about transferring colleges just to get a taste of something new, even though I realize how lucky I am to be at Miami, and how much it really is my dream school.

But I’m constantly thinking about the great perhaps. And, though I understand now that it is important to be content where you are and be in the now–experience the present–I will continue to dream. I’m going to study abroad and I want to work overseas and, in fact, I want to work a lot of different jobs just to get all of those different experiences. Just to give myself an opportunity to create those stories.

I continue to seek a great perhaps.

Sincerely,

Sammy

3 DAYS, 3 QUOTES CHALLENGE | Day 1

Dear Reader,

A few weeks ago, I was nominated to do the 3 Days, 3 Quotes challenge (you can find the original post here at My Overflowing Thoughts–thanks again!) and I have finally gotten around to doing it. I’ll nominate some of my favorite bloggers at the end of the three days, but here’s my first quote:

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“She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.” – Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

I really relate to this quote because I really relate to this girl (though I have yet to read the book). I have always been obsessed with quotes. I have always been so impressed with people who can perfectly fit words together as if it’s a simple math equation–whereas whenever I try, I always find that something’s off. Nothing I say I ever feel can be quoted. Nothing I say is ever perfectly worded or worthy of being written on a poster or hung above a doorway. Everything can be better said by someone else.

And that’s okay! Because I have these quotes of people before me who so easily conveyed their thoughts with the best words. And sometimes I think that if I study them enough, I’ll figure it out. How to come up with that perfect sentence. And then one day I’ll be able to piece together my own perfect sentences and someone will want to quote me.

But until then, I’m excited to share with you my favorite words that were said by someone else. 

Sincerely,

Sammy

 

 

{ESC} BOOK ELEVEN: AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES

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Dear Reader,

On Friday night, my sister and I decided to see Paper Towns. I read this book last summer, loved it, and was ecstatic when I found out that they were turning it into a movie. And I am glad to report that it did not disappoint, and might be my favorite movie of the summer so far.

After it ended, we headed down the street to our local Books-a-Million, where I dropped $78 on books and road maps (I was very influenced by this movie). But one of the books I picked up was another John Green book, An Abundance of Katherines. I had no idea what it was about, but I like John Green, and I own all of his other books, and it was $10. So I bought it and read it within 12 hours. And here’s what I thought.

First of all, it’s a very weird premise. This child prodigy has been dumped by 19 Katherines, and, in fact, has never dated anyone by another name. Bizarre, right? And I really don’t want to spoil it (though there’s not much to spoil), so I won’t say much else about the actual plot. But I will say that the characters were very interesting and it was very informative. I feel like I know a lot more random facts that I found interesting (even if the supporting character, Hassan did not).

But here’s the thing: it’s a John Green novel. So, if you like stories that follow the same formula as Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska, you’ll like this one. There’s a boy who really doesn’t do much. He’s not necessarily opposed to adventures–I mean, he’ll certainly follow the main female character into one without question–but he’s just used to staying home. And then he falls in love with this quirky, interesting, intelligent, beautiful girl.

That’s really all I can say without giving away the ending, but if you asked me if I would recommend it, I still probably would. It has tons of overlaps with his other stuff (the above formula, discussion about oblivion like in The Fault in Our Stars, characters obsessed with road trips), but there were still some interesting differences from AAOK that I enjoyed. I especially liked the last bit about the stories we tell and how they can impact people.

So, I’ll give it 3 stars, and probably won’t be dying to read it again any time soon, but it certainly wasn’t a waste of time. Parts of this story will definitely stick with me.

Sincerely,

Sammy

 

{ESC} BOOK TEN: A WORK IN PROGRESS

Dear Reader,

I finished this book a while ago but didn’t write a review on it right away, so I ended up forgetting about it. And, actually, that pretty much sums up the experience I had while reading it. It was fine. Some of the advice given might be worth hearing (if you haven’t heard it before). But overall, it was pretty forgettable.

This is the first book I’ve read that was written by a YouTuber, and only because I got it as a gift. But I was a big Connor Franta fan for a while. He’s constantly cheerful and ambitious and is always ready for an adventure, or able to turn something into a good story–characteristics I find admirable in anyone.

But in his writing, I started getting kind of annoyed. Mostly because every chapter ended with a piece of advice–and one that I had already heard before. One that everyone has heard before. Things like “go for it” and “chase your dreams” and “look up from your phone every once in a while.” Not bad advice, by any means, but it was also the way he said it that bothered me. I felt like Connor was the annoying brother who, just because he’s a few years older, feels qualified to pass on all of his wisdom. But he’s only 22, and while he has done more than most guys his age, I found myself annoyed when, at the end of each chapter, without fail, there was some corny sentence along the lines of “What are you waiting for? Start climbing.”

That’s an actual concluding sentence from one of his chapters.

Another is: Time to hop on that high-speed train.

And another says: Start living today, not tomorrow.

And: So what are you waiting for? Let go, my friend.

Do you get my point?

But he knows that he’s young and that he still has a lot to learn–which is part of the reason why he titled it “A Work in Progress.” So maybe I’m being too hard on him. I mean, if was writing my memoirs at this age, I’d have no idea what I would say.

So, I don’t think this is going to be my favorite book written by a YouTuber, and I still have hope for those written by Carrie Hope Fletcher and Mamrie Hart and a lot others (but those two specifically). And if you can get past the lame advice and want a visually pleasing book (the pictures are great) with amusing stories that will take a day to read, then this is probably for you.

But for me, I’ll just sick with giving him 3 stars out of five and continue to watch the occasional collabs with him.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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MY WEEK IN HILTON HEAD

Dear Reader,

When I was younger, my family used to take a trip to Hilton Head about every other summer, but somewhere along the way the tradition died. So this year, we decided to bring it back, and it turned out to be one of my favorite weeks I’ve had this year.

This is that week.

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It all began with two days spent in the car, which Sarah documented with ugly selfies of us for her snap chat story.

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Then we showed up to the condo and met up with the rest of our family. It consisted of my parents, my grandparents, my aunt Susie, her son Mac and his girlfriend Ashley, and then my sister, Caitlin, my brother-in-law, Zac, and their baby, Molly.

Molly sort of stole the show for the whole week, but can you blame her?

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And all in all, it was a very relaxing week. We got henna tattooes.

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We found an “Island Bagel & Deli,” where we rode our bikes to one morning.

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We had family jam sessions where Mac would play the chords to songs like Bohemian Rhapsody, Hey Jude, and American Pie, and the rest of us would attempt to sing along.

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We went to the beach, which I found out that I hate, but took pretty pictures nonetheless.

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And there was an awesome rainbow one day!

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We sort of recreated a picture from our childhood (sorry I don’t have the original).

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And we continued to take ugly selfies.

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But then our seven days on the island came to an end, so we said our goodbyes, took our last pictures with Molly,

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and headed back to Ohio, all promising that this is the start of a new family tradition, and we will return.

Sincerely,

Sammy

 

MY TEN-MINUTE CONVERSATION WITH EDIE

Dear Reader,

I have a 2015 bucket list, and I find that the thing I have to explain most is talk to strangers.

And it is kind of a weird thing to put on a bucket list, mostly because people don’t really understand the benefit that it could bring. But I firmly believe that every person you meet can teach you something, and if you don’t engage anyone, you might be missing out on those lessons. You might miss out on stories and experiences that can come from what might seem to just be small talk.

So that’s where Edie comes in.

My last day in Hilton Head was Friday, and it started out pretty bad. Really bad, actually. I was pissed off for a hundred different reasons, and just ended up being really grumpy all morning. And the day before, Sarah and I had gotten henna tattoos. But then we went swimming and took showers, and they were now really faded. We decided we’d go back and see if they could just be touched up, but after my awful morning, I didn’t see this happening. But my aunt wanted to go back to those shops anyway, and we did spend $40 combined for these things, so I got roped into going.

So we walk up to the kiosk and explain that we came yesterday, and showed how faded they were, and without hesitation this young girl behind the counter, Edie, offered to quickly go over them again. No charge. No need to validate that we were really here yesterday. She was just kind enough (and probably bored enough–it was really dead at 4pm on a Friday) to offer without question.

And the four of us started talking–just small talk at first. She told us how this was the calm before the storm, and how she loved this summer job and had lived on the island her whole life. And then she started telling us about her family. She’s the only girl out of all of her cousins, and the rest of her family is from Georgia. She was telling us how southern proper they are, and especially her grandparents. Then she explained this tradition she has.

Each summer, the kids are forced to go to “Manners Camp” at her grandparents’s lake house. They can bring two friends each, but they have to go to the hour sessions each night. And it kind of ages with them. They’re first taught please and thank you, and then to always hold doors open and then maybe how dinner places are set and the proper etiquette to use.

Well my aunt loved this idea–especially since it really related to some of the different conversations we had throughout the week. We talked about how we wish we had some big traditions in our culture, and how the girls that my sister babysits are brats and make her say she’s never having kids. And it’s true that kids these days maybe don’t seem to have the same manners that seemed to be pounded into our heads when we were younger, and that’s kind of sad. Even kids my own age seem to be so rude and disrespectful sometimes, and I hate that.

So right there, my aunt vowed that she is going to do this herself when she’s a grandmother and a great aunt. All of the cousins will be forced to go to her house and learn how to be polite and courteous. They’ll learn the skills that we both feel are so important to have. And maybe they’ll hate it and make fun of it, sort of like Edie, but it’ll be something they’ll eventually be thankful for. Something they’re glad they did once a year in the summers of their youth. Hell, I wish had something like that when I was a kid. Maybe our family would be closer because of it.

But it’s funny to think that this 10-minute conversation with a random girl at a henna kiosk sparked this future family tradition. And it’s sad to think that we’ll probably never see her again, because she really was a cool girl, but I’m so glad we went back that day. I’m glad we at least got to meet once in our lives.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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INFINITY DREAMS AWARD

Dear Reader,

The other day I was nominated by Nysha for an award (thanks again, girl!) that I haven’t seen around yet, which got me very excited. Even more than that, this award is about dreams and ambitions, and anyone who knows me knows that I have had some crazy ones in the past. I’d like to think they’re more refined now (I no longer aspire to be a lounge singer in England or a truck driver for a year), but I still try to live by this age-old sentiment:

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Anyway, I think that’s enough of my rambling. Let’s get onto what this award is!

The rules are:

  • link back to the blogger who nominated you
  • list 7 dreams
  • nominate other bloggers

The dreams:

Travel the world with my sister and document our journey via video and blog posts and travel journals. Collect stories and memories and knowledge through experience on the way.

Publish a book. The “old fashioned” way. No kindle or ebook publications will suffice when I go to check off this goal. I want to see my thoughts come alive on paper and I want to search through bookstores just to see my name in print again. I want these stories I’ve created to be told, and I want to have hard evidence of that achievement on my bookshelf when I’m older.

Learn to play the accordion. It’s going to happen, people. Mark my words.

Live in New York City. Maybe a few stories above a frozen yogurt place or a small bakery or an antique store or something. (This is how I’ve always imagined it). Have my own spot at Central Park where I can be frequently found. Be able to see all of my favorite musicals and plays on Broadway (and off). Go to the Tony Awards. This one really encompasses a lot of the other dreams I have, and I guess that’s just because New York is the place where I see these dreams coming true.

Travel to Thailand and swim with elephants. This has been a dream of mine since the day, maybe three years ago, that I found out it was possible (via Pinterest). It’s been #1 on my buck list ever since.

Run a Half-Marathon. Considering I haven’t even ran a 5k yet, this one is nothing more than a dream at the moment, but one day it will happen. I’m thinking the Princess half marathon in Disney World.

Cook Thanksgiving Dinner. This one may seem weird, but it is a dream of mine to one day be surrounded by a group of people I love. I don’t know how many of these people I’ve already met, but I see myself spending all day cooking with them, enjoying each other’s company and having a traditional Thanksgiving feast.

The nominations: 

The Old Fellow Goes Running

Britta Bottle

The Happy Lifeaholic 

Lisa Tiller

Thinking Out Loud

Mary’s Average Adventures

Sparkle and Shine

FAMTAQ

Girl in Between

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. Happy Canada Day everyone 🙂