LET’S TALK ABOUT MY LOVE LIFE, SHALL WE?

Spoiler alert: it’s still barren.

Dear Reader,

I’ve been reading a lot of books recently. YA novels, to be more specific. I have to read one a week but I’ve sort of become obsessed with reading again so I’m already on book six. (Many reviews to come.)

You want to know what a lot of YA novels have in common, though?

Love stories.

Young love stories.

Stories of kids falling in love so easily and so quickly that adult authors write reviews that say things like, “a first-love story so well remembered and honest that it reminds you what falling in love feels like.”

TIME said that.

Well guess who hasn’t fallen in love.

Yeah, it’s me.

I don’t think back to high school and remember the feeling of being excited when that boy was waiting outside my classroom, ready to walk me to my first class. I can’t recall being asked out on a date or having butterflies when he picked me up. I never fooled around in a basement while his parents were upstairs and I never had anyone worth sneaking out of my house for.

I know I sound really bitter, but I just wish I had those experiences. I wish I had those memories.

You want to know the story of my first kiss?

It was the summer before freshman year of college (I know) and I was in the driver’s seat of my car (I know), dropping off the only guy who ever reciprocated feelings to the same extent as I did (I could get into this in more detail but I’m exhausted by just the thought of explaining this further). He abruptly turned, sort of jumped on me, went for the kiss and missed, pulled away, went for it once more, and missed again. Then, embarassed, muttered “let’s not tell anyone about this,” and quickly left.

I had to drive back to my house while peaking through the gaps between my fingers because I was covering my face with my hands. I cringed the whole way home. I was laughing and rolling my eyes, but I legitimately face-palmed for the fifteen-minute drive home.

We didn’t talk or see each other for a few weeks after that.

Cute little innocent embarrassing story? Maybe when you’re twelve or fourteen. When you’re going on eighteen (or eighteen and a half in his case), it can sort of stunt any romantic progress and prolong your awkward period when it comes to relationships.

So now I’m vicariously living through books.

And I’m reading these books like, how are these girls finding such great guys? And how am I so far different from these girls?

I know they’re characters and they’re fictional stories (except for the one I’m reading now), but it’s weird being in college without having passed these milestones that everyone else seems to have hit ages ago.

It’s similar to when recent grads are applying to jobs but won’t get hired because they don’t have any prior experience and they’re like, okay that makes sense except how am I going to get prior experience if no one will hire me??

That’s me in the dating world right now.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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{NEW VIDEO} SARAH AND I GET CULTURED

Dear Reader,

Great things are happening!!! Sarah and I have now completed 5 out of the 30 items on the bucket list. We have plans to finish a lot of the others within the next two weeks. AND I already finished editing the vlog of us going to the Toledo Museum of Art and writing on the Before I Die wall!

I still have to finish editing/upload the video of what we did in camera and the one about what the psychic told me, but I really think I’m getting better at making videos! (You can be the judge of that though.)

Anyway, it’s Sunday morning, I’ve got the whole day/week ahead of me, and things are looking good.

Sincerely,

Sammy

SOME SAD LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the world was when I was a kid. And how it looked to me.

I grew up in a suburban neighborhood in Northwest Ohio. I spent my days playing soccer and goofing around with my siblings and writing songs on my computer from 1995 that couldn’t access internet. Songs about Christmas and stopping and smelling the roses and a cute boy in my class.

Meanwhile, there was this big world outside my window that I wasn’t even aware of. But it’s hard to imagine that it was as bad as things have been getting recently.

Then I think about 9/11 and how that shocked and changed our nation. How much hurt it brought people and how much damage it caused. And I think, maybe the world felt like it was going to end 15 years ago, too.

I love Twitter. I love seeing clever jokes that are carefully crafted into 180 characters or less. I like seeing interactions between and updates from my friends.

But now every time I open the app, I feel this overwhelming wave of sadness and this need to cry. Because like many people my age, I hear a lot of my news from Twitter first. And the fact of today is that people are hurting every day. Some days it’s far away, and the pain doesn’t hit me as hard, or stay with me as long. But these past few days have been brutal.

People killing people. Because of race, because of fear, because of prejudice, human beings are killing one another.

I started learning about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as their stories were told through hashtags and video footage and then news stories that were shared in between tweets of funny vines and “medieval reactions” and horoscopes. So I closed the app and watched Philip DeFranco and read some articles, marveling at how close these events happened and how the world can still be this way and just feeling that overwhelming sadness again until I had to put it out of my mind and get on with my day.

Tonight I went on Twitter and saw a new hashtag trending, as I’m sure people are aware: #Dallas. More deaths–this time cops. More shootings. Every day it seems there is a story that breaks that is sad enough to last… well I don’t know how long it’s supposed to last until we start changing or stop mourning or whatever. But the point is there’s never enough time. These wounds aren’t healing because more and more is happening on top of them. Our nation is being cut and torn apart and we’re mourning something new each day. 

And I think to when it was 2007 and my biggest fear was going down the basement stairs alone.

Now I’m scared of everything. The future terrifies me. The thought of bringing children into this world worries me more than anything and I think, are kids today aware of the evil? Are they going to grow up completely unaware that in 2016, their parents were so scared?

Then again, some kids do know. They know all too well. The young daughter in the Philando Castile video–who had to comfort her mother moments after his death–she knows all too well.

And I guess that’s privilege. The fact that I learn/ed about the horrifying events of history instead of living them.

I still hold plenty of privilege, but I no longer have the privilege of ignorance bliss. I guess that’s the conclusion I’ve reached tonight. I’m 19 and I’m learning more each day about the reality of our world and the evil that human beings are capable of committing.

Sorry for the word vomit. Sorry I couldn’t be more eloquent on this subject (many people are much better at this than I am). Sorry that I’m failing to see the good in the world tonight.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. I still believe this to be true so I’m going to leave this here.

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[SBL2K16] #12. WATCH THE SUNRISE

Dear Reader,

I realized that I never actually gave you guys the finished list of what Sarah and I expect to complete this summer, so you can find that here.

#12 on that list is to find the best place in our hometown to watch the sunrise/sunset. We had this place in mind called “420 park,” but it was pretty disappointing to say the least. First of all, it’s not a park. It’s just a little clearing that’s sort of out of the way, so I’m sure it’s perfect for high schoolers to come and smoke weed. It’s not quite ideal for the sunrise.

Still, we woke up a little after five and drove to it and recorded some stuff, so I figured I’d at least edit it into a video. Besides, Sarah got a sweet timelapse of the sunrise (it’s better on her twitter because she puts it to the song “Catch & Release,” so check that out here if you’re interested.)

I’m just currently a little frustrated because I have this nice camera that I’m a little too incompetent to use and I’m spoiled at school with Adobe Premiere Pro, so being at home with nothing but iMovie (and my sister’s laptop because mine is lame) is annoying. It’s easy to use and everything, I just want it to look nice. I want to upload high quality shit, ya feel?

Anyway, no one started out as an expert, right? And the best way to learn is by doing, right? These are the mantras I repeat to myself on a daily basis.

So here’s the final product, if you care to watch.

Of course, none of this matters. Because at the end of the day, Sarah and I had a great time going to the “park” and having a nice conversation while we watched the rising sun on a blanket near the river.

I’m loving life, I’m loving summer, and I’m sorry I can’t better capture that for you, but I’m also glad I have the perspective to love where I’m at in my life right now.

Sincerely,

Sammy

“WHAT’S THAT THING YOU’RE DOING ON INSTAGRAM?”

Dear Reader,

You probably don’t know this because you probably don’t follow me on Instagram (I don’t blame you), but I’ve been posting a picture every day since the beginning of 2016.

I have had to use a few throwbacks and birthdays as cop outs,

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but for the most part (and especially recently), I’ve been pretty good at taking a new picture every day. But pretty much every day, I get another person asking me why I’m doing this.

So here’s why:

1. I started over J-Term as a way to basically force me to get out of the house and be social. Miami’s break is crazy long compared to other colleges and I really just needed an excuse or motivation to do stuff. And, as dumb as it sounds, it worked. Motivation comes in weird ways sometimes so I just roll with it. 

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2. I know a lot of people who have done this before (shoutout to Zach–the first person I saw do it back in 2014) and I think it’d be really cool to be able to look back on what I did each day at the end of the year.

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3. It makes me take pictures. I have a love-hate relationship with pictures because I have a love-hate relationship with myself, period. I basically developed a reflex of running from cameras and constantly designating myself as the “photographer” for group pictures, but that turned very quickly into running away from social opportunities and allowing myself to be left out of a lot of could-be memories. And it’s weird that a photo-a-day challenge is the thing that motivates me to hang out with people and jump in front of a camera, but, again, I’m not questioning where the motivation comes from as long as the results are positive.

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4. Social media is fun. I like being able to update my instagram account every day and I like it when people come up to me and tell me they’ve been following my “project”–which is something I didn’t even expect to happen. But it’s weird how many comments and compliments I’ve gotten from people about my pictures–and even my Snapchat stories too! (I have a newfound passion for snapchat.) And I understand how social media can be dangerous and can be seen as just another chance for people to allow themselves to be validated by numbers or whatever, but I don’t care about the likes or the “feedback” or whatever anymore (which is something I’m embarrassed to say I ever even cared about.) It’s just a lot cooler when people come up to me in person and say that they loved a picture or a snap story made them laugh or they feel “honored” to be in today’s Instagram. That’s the part that makes me feel good.

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5. This. I read this forever ago and it still stuck with me as one of the coolest things ever. And I don’t know if this project will last more than 366 days or if I’ll even want it to (people tend to get sick of it by the time the project is up), but for now, I like that I’m finding the beauty in every day.

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I like that I’m telling friends to come in for a selfie or allowing them to take pictures of just me.

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I like this project, and I think I’ll just stop when I don’t like it anymore.

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Sincerely,

Sammy

HIGH ON LIFE

Dear Reader,

It’s true that life’s a roller coaster, but right now’s a good part. And I’m not thinking about how long this is going to last or what’s inevitably bound to go wrong. I’m just enjoying the ride.

Second semester is great. My classes are really interesting and applicable to my future careers, and I’m at the point once again where I’m excited to do my homework. That’s how you know it’s good.

I’m taking a teacher leadership class and a class about learners with exceptional abilities. The people in them are so cool and the conversations that are stimulated by our readings each night are so interesting and it just makes me so psyched to have a class of my own.

My hardest class is probably linguistics, which is an 8am twice a week, but at least I have one of my closest friends to help me through it. And my easiest classes are for my journalism major, but I think that’s because I’m so excited about them (sidebar, I realize that I’ve been using this word a TON so far, but I looked up synonyms and I’m not about to call my classes arousing or thrilling, so we’re sticking with this.)

One of my classes is about feature writing, which is honestly just making me look at everyone as a possible story subject, which is so cool! It really makes me want to pull a HONY and start going around campus asking random people questions.

The other journalism class is about sex and the media and some of our future units revolve around Missy Elliot and Nicki Minaj, so that’s clearly an awesome class, too.

I’m also currently working on an article with a professor and classmate that will be published in an Educator’s Journal, which is something I’m already SO proud of, and we’ve only done the research!

As great as the present is, though, I am SO pumped for the future. I’m going to Gulf Shores for Spring Break and Hilton Head again this summer and I’m currently DREAMING of going to Vidcon in June, but we’ll see if that actually happens. Whether or not it does, though, Sarah and I have some big things planned that are SURE to happen.

But I get to see her along with the rest of my family (and my dog!!!) this weekend when I go home and I’ll get to go to Parker for coffee and the junior high to see little ones put on “Bye Bye Birdie” and maybe I’ll film a video but who knows.

I’m just loving life and it’s about time that I share some positive vibes on this thing.

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Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. If you like that picture, you might like the other 20 ones I shared last fall. Revisiting that post makes me happy. 🙂

SHOUTOUT TO MY BROTHER

Dear Reader,

It’s interesting to think of how I talk about my family. Most everyone who knows me knows about Sarah (because she’s constantly featured on my twitter/instagram/blog/facebook/snapchat). Yes, we all know she’s amazing and adorable and kind-hearted and sensitive because I showcase her all the time.

Then we have my parents, who I try to refrain from mentioning on here–at least when it’s negative. Most people know about my mom, though. A simple Canadian with outstanding manners (my favorite example is how she apologizes to Siri when she is misinterpreted). She’s a very typical stay-at-home mom who my friends adore, and then there’s my dad who is a very typical working dad. A family doctor in town who gets home between 5 and 6 and tends to spend the rest of the night working alone in the basement or watching shows with my mom or playing poker with some guys in the community. And it’s not like he was an absent father or anything, but because we don’t have the best relationship, I tend to hold back my feelings (or at least save them for my journal). Because, to be honest, our relationship has a lot of ups and downs (or a lot of downs with the occasional up) and I don’t think constantly sharing my side of the story publicly on a website that he could potentially find one day is a good idea in the slightest.

I will say this, though: while we butt heads on just about everything, the most important thing he has taught me is the value of family. A little ironic, right? But he was married once before he met my mom and together, him and Carol had Caitlin, my older half-sister. She’s another family member that many people don’t know about. She grew up in a house two hours away from us and we did see her fairly often (considering how busy we all kept ourselves), but that alone was enough to keep us from having a “typical” sibling relationship, I think. I still 100% call her my sister (“half” if I’m clarifying) and I love her family dearly, it was just different.

But, as the title indicates, this post is inspired by my brother–who is frequently forgotten by my friends (just as much as Caitlin) which is a little odd if you think about it because he is only one year ahead of me and seventeen months older. But we’ve had an interesting relationship. It started off great, back when Sarah was the third wheel and Sean and I were best buds, but then we were put in the same class (a 4th grade/5th grade experiment) and that was where we honed our most defining qualities to one another: my annoyingness and his tendency to be a dick.

Then we just kind of grew up wanting more distance. We could still be civil and get along, but I think being grouped together for so long was really damaging. I don’t know how he felt about me, but I mostly just hated being in his shadow. He was always hilarious and the class clown and going on adventures with his big friend group and having funny stories to tell. Meanwhile, I was hiding away in my room because I was somewhere between introverted and constantly self-conscience and I still had no idea who I was.

He had always been so sure, though. And, of course, sibling rivalry kicked in because he was always better at soccer and smarter naturally and didn’t have to try to get people to like him. I was always just a little behind.

When he went to college, though, I think we got the separation we needed. He was suddenly at the other edge of the state and we hardly ever saw each other. And I think that’s helping us repair this relationship.

But that’s the other thing, I don’t know if he wants the relationship repaired, because he surely could get by without it. He has the same family as I do, but he gets different things from different people. He has a dad he truly looks up to and a sweet mom who is always just trying to do everything right. He has a half-sister who has her own hilarious family and is a blast to hang out with, and he has a younger sister who adores him and can actually maintain a healthy relationship. And then there’s me–someone who can fight with him for hours and knows how to annoy the hell out of him.

But he probably doesn’t need that in his life.

Okay, this post kind of took a turn I wasn’t expecting (and it’s turning out to be much longer than I intended), but my whole point of this was to talk about a new resolution I have: to re-connect with my family. Because today I was sitting in EDP and we were talking about creativity and I was thinking to myself how Sean is one of the most creative people I know. And I don’t know if he knows that, because I’ve never told him.

So I want to make some changes this year because whenever I see stories of sisters who don’t get along or don’t particularly like each other or are just missing out on the relationship that I get to have with my sister, I am saddened to the point of tears. It’s why I cried during Frozen and it’s why I cried last week while watching a short video called “Where’s Molly” for class.

And then I think, some people out there have this kind of relationship with their brother. This indescribable, wonderful thing that can’t be put into words because it’s just the simple fact that revolves around the importance of family. And I don’t want to grow up and have kids who don’t get to learn soccer or hear the funny stories or get to look up to their uncle, all because their mom was too stubborn for too long and refused to just grow up.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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A LITTLE BIT OF A LATE-NIGHT UPDATE

Dear Reader,

I’m going to try to make this quick because if I write down all the thoughts in my head, it’ll get real deep, real fast, and we don’t have time for that. So I’ll summarize.

First, I have two blogs I just need to mention because they’re written by two very good friends of mine and I’m low-key obsessed with them so I feel weird that I haven’t mentioned them before. But on NYE I asked them if it would be okay if I “promote” them (I guess you could call this) and they said yes so hopefully they remember this and say it’s okay that I’m doing this.

Sad Spotify Playlists is written by my friend Zach and is great for the most ludicrous stories as well as deep thoughts and, uh, vlogs now I guess? (lol)

And Horizon Wanderer is beautifully written by my friend Maddie. In fact, it was one of her most recent blogposts (linked here) that made me want to write this one. I honestly felt like someone was narrating my life–or, rather, transcribing my inner monologue into something worthy of being read.

I mean, THIS: “Casual conversation is a thicket of thorny possible missteps because somewhere along the way I became so concerned with what other people think of me.”

No matter how many times I’ve tried to put that same sentiment into words, I’ve never found the right way to say it.

But anyway, I’ll write (much) more on those two later, but they deserve to be in the update.

Second, NYE was great, in case I haven’t mentioned. Again, I’ll write more on that later, but I just had to throw that in here because those two made up half of the wonderful entourage that invited me to ring in the new year with them and it’s just setting up 2016 to be amazing.

Third, I just saw Sisters with Sarah (typical) and it was hilarious and awesome because the entire time we would just lean over to each other and either say “me” or “you” and then we’d laugh at ourselves.

(Also, in case you haven’t seen the movie, I am Tina Fey who is irresponsible and messes everything up but still refuses to take 100% of the blame because, like, come on, things are hardly never 100% one person’s fault. And Sarah is Amy Poehler who is hilariously and hopelessly awkward with boys and weirdly loves and communicates with her parents even when she is 40. This is accurate representation.)

Fourth, I’ve been writing weird pseudo poems and little things that I might start posting on here but hardly any of them really truly relate to my life so people who actually know me, don’t be alarmed/weirded out/I don’t know what you think of me.

Fifth, I’ve been instagramming a lot more recently which is really not a big deal or deserves to be mentioned, but this means that I am actually taking pictures. And yes I’m also using HELLA filters, but we’re making steps in the right direction so that’s positive.

Sixth, I REALLY want to dye my hair blue (I know I talked about this a year ago, but it’s resurfacing.)

Like this:

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More on than later. (I’ll probably make another “If We Were Having Coffee” post soon.)

Seventh, The Happiness Project is in full swing, people! I think it’s gonna be a good.

Okay, I think seven is a good number to stop on. (Worked for Rowling, right?)

Have a nice night, everybody.

Sincerely,

Sammy