HAPPY VS. SATISFIED

Dear Reader,

Lately I’ve been waking up around 7 or 8 every morning, completely exhausted, but I’ll force myself to get up and go on with my day (forgoing my daily nap, I might add) until I decide it’s time to turn in–well, until Sarah decides it’s time and I follow suit. This is normally around 10pm, but I never fall asleep before midnight.

Instead, for those two hours (sometimes more like four hours) I think about life. Obviously. Because that’s what people do when the sun goes down and the world gets a little quieter and they’re forced to be alone with their thoughts.

Tonight’s topic of choice (I mean, not that I have much say in where my brain wanders) is life in general and, well, the pursuit of happiness I guess.

It kind of started with me thinking about where I want to go in life. I still want to be a teacher. I still want to write novels. I’m on pretty solid paths to both of these careers, I’d like to think, but I’m not ready for that stage yet.

I’m only (almost) twenty–and actually, maybe that’s why I’m having all of these thoughts. All of these clichéd, angsty thoughts about how much I feel like I just don’t fit in anywhere and how much I continue to crave the approval of others. As much as I hate to admit it, I care way too much what people think. I want people to like me and when they don’t–which I always feel like they don’t–I curl up further into my shell where the wheel of self-deprecation is turning faster and faster. The repeating thoughts of how annoying or awkward or ugly or stupid I am just repeat like overused mantras.

And maybe that’s the root of my problems, but that’s not even the main subject of what I was psychoanalyzing tonight.

All I kept thinking to myself was, I am so unhappy.

Just repeating, over and over, I am so unhappy playing like a record in my head until I decided to abruptly rip the needle from the groove and force it to be silent. Because I had a correction: maybe I’m not unhappy, maybe I’m just not satisfied.

After all, I have plenty to be happy for! And I know that’s not exactly how it works, but if you look at my life or you walk a day in my shoes, you would find plenty to smile about. So why is it that I find myself crying the minute those days turn to night?

I must just be unsatisfied.

I still see myself as a pretty ambitious person. I haven’t necessarily given up on my big dreams from my childhood (besides, well, the lounge singer in England or the cellist in the Broadway pit). And maybe I’m just living a wildly unfulfilled life, but I’m twenty. I still have plenty of time to get to those big plans of mine.

But satisfaction isn’t happiness in the same way that unhappiness isn’t dissatisfaction. You can be satisfied with a performance and still be unhappy in the same way that you can be happy and not yet satisfied.

Ah, we’ve reached the part of the post where the rambling becomes mundane and repetitive, so I better wrap this up.

This isn’t a post about depression and this isn’t a post to say I’m going to kick myself into gear and finally try to get some fulfillment out of my life (though I probably should).

This is just me trying to get my thoughts down in order to understand where I’m at a little better. And I think we’ve all come to the conclusion that I’m just another average twenty-year-old girl who’s trying to gain some kind of control on her life, all too aware that she’s just another cliché.

Sorry for the word vomit.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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MY NEW NETFLIX LOVE

Dear Reader,

I have about two weeks before school starts, and less than one until I move in. So I should probably be preparing, right? I mean, there’s still so much to do! I have to plan out what I’m going to fit in my room, I have to pack it all up, and then I need to prepare for class of course. I should probably give that book list another look before heading back to school.

I know all of this. I know what I should be doing, and I’ve just barely started it all, but then good old Philip DeFranco recommended “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” on Netflix–and he highly recommended it. So, me being me, I decided to start watch it.

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And holy shit.

To be fair, I had pretty low expectations of the show. I hadn’t heard that much about it and the last thing I watched because Philly D said to (David Cross’s standup) wasn’t spectacular. So, I just started it because why the hell not? I’m between shows anyway so might as well.

Now here I am four episodes in and obsessed. Let me explain why.

First of all, it’s a musical. And it’s not like Glee where they’re all covers or like Scrubs or HIMYM where there’s one episode in the whole series where everyone sings a lot. No, every episode has like two original songs that are super funny in their social commentary style.

It reminds me a lot of Amy Schumer or SNL, actually. One of the first songs is all about the effort it takes to get ready for a date and it just seems like the type of song that people would share all over Facebook, tagging their friends like “@Sarah omg this is literally me last night.”

But also–and this is important–they can actually sing! And not in the way like you give a Disney star a song just because she can carry a tune. No, these people were born for shows like this because they’re funny, they’re good actors, and they’ve got amazing voices.

Also, the lead is a normal sized human. WHAT? Yeah I know, my standards for TV these days must be super low for me to be impressed with actors who can actually act and people who look like they eat like me, but honestly. When I watched Gossip Girl I wanted to skip meals and try diet pills (no joke–well, half joke–but to be fair I was in a bad place during my freshman year of college). When I watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and see her jumping around trying to fit into spanx and then thrashing around in a leopard-print leotard in the next cut, it’s comforting.

When I see her walk into a grocery store looking like this

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I feel at home. I feel like my demographic is being represented, okay? It’s important.

Also, back to the singing, freakin’ Santino Fontana is on the show. AKA Hans from Frozen. Yep, that voice is speaking every episode, which is honestly enough for me to watch. Plus he’s the good guy now–the one I’m rooting for–so I’m proud of his redemption.

Like I said, I’m only four episodes in, but I really went into this thinking it was going to be stupid. I mean, a girl quits her job and moves across the country to chase a guy she dated for a summer when she was fourteen. A show like that can’t hold up, right?

So I thought.

Anyway, I thought I’d share my new obsession because I just want it to be appreciated by others. Maybe it’s because I sort of grew up listening to Broadway (thanks Mom) but this show really speaks to me, okay? If you can make a point and be funny in an original song, you’ve won my heart.

Also the production value of this show must be crazy so I’m thinking they’re going to need a pretty big audience if it’s going to keep getting renewed.

EVERYONE WATCH IT–SEASON 1 IS ON NETFLIX!

Sincerely,

Sammy

[BOOK REVIEW] HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD

Dear Reader,

I’ll admit it: I was a little late to the Harry Potter party. While my sister was reading these stories at 8 years old, I didn’t even read the first one all the way through until I was 16. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way, though, because a lot of it would have been lost on me. (Also, Sarah had to wait a few years for the release of the sixth and the seventh, where I got to read all of them back to back in the last month of summer before my senior year of high school.)

So yes, I was 16 when I experienced the magic, and it was amazing. The series honestly changed my life a little bit. As someone who is also planning on writing a few books, I was so inspired by the fact that this entire world and this seven-year adventure could be created purely from imagination and told so perfectly. And then for the books to be just as lovable? It’s truly amazing.

So, if we’re being completely honest, anything JK Rowling writes about these characters that I fell in love with four years ago is, most likely, going to be amazing to me. And, spoiler alert, it was. (Oh, quick note, there aren’t real spoilers in this review, but we’ll get to that.)

And I keep seeing things around the internet regarding why people didn’t like the play or why people are “outraged” that it’s not another book or whatever. And all of those people are surely entitled to their opinions, but I do not think it’s overrated. I do not think it’s too little too late or a desperate grasp on something that’s over now.

loved it. I cried so much, sometimes just because of nostalgic reasons and sometimes because I was touched by the story. I laughed out loud–mostly at what Ron said because I forgot how damn much I love Ron. I read it in one night–maybe like three and a half hours which is so quick for me–simply because I couldn’t put it down. I thought it was amazing and now I want to read and watch the whole series again.

So, like I said, there are no spoilers in this review because I hate the thought of ruining someone’s first time reading something, but I’ve decided to do something new. The purpose of my book reviews from now on will be whether or not I recommend it, whether or not I liked/loved it, and what a person should look for when reading it–what type of person this would suit.

But I always feel like I have to leave out so much and I hate that, so I’m starting a new thing where I’ll post a separate review, on the same day, but it will be password protected so no one will get spoilers if they don’t want. The password today is “ireadit” and the purpose I’m trying to create for this is to start a conversation. My favorite part of reading is talking to others about it–and I think that’s why I love Harry Potter so much. Never have I ever read a book so popular among my peers, my friends, my family. And, so often, the conversations I have after reading a book make it mean that much more to me. It helps me make sense of all of it and decide my own personal opinion.

So, if you’ve finished this and want to go to that post, I really want to hear your thoughts! Comment you opinions or your questions or your grievances with the book. And, if you finish this book in three weeks, the beautiful thing about the internet is that the post–the conversation–will still be there, ready for you to add your input.

Well, here goes the trial period. Hope to see you over there.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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WRITING EVERY DAY, EVEN IF IT SUCKS

Dear Reader,

Happy August! Happy Monday!

Sarah and I just had the joint realization about Garfield’s hatred of Monday’s: so he obviously hates them, but why? He doesn’t have a job. He doesn’t go to school. He’s a cat and should have no particular preference or even awareness for the days of the weeks. But he does and he hates Mondays.

But maybe this is because Jon (his owner, I spelled that right, right?) does! So Mondays signify the end of the weekend and mean that Jon will be absent for much more of Garfield’s life for the next few days and obviously that’s sad and lonely and Garfield just really loves Jon! Isn’t that beautiful?
(Sidenote: I haven’t read Garfield comics in years so I don’t know how well this theory holds up. Does Jon have a job? Taking care of Garfield seems like a full-time job to me.)

Here’s another funny thing that happened this week: Sarah came downstairs in short shorts and I said “oh my God can you please put on longer pants?!” and she said “they’re called shorts for a reason Sam!”

Touche.

A lot happens in our home between Sarah and I that make me laugh but probably aren’t funny enough to document but also I still don’t want to forget them, so I’ll just write them someplace so when she tries to decline living with me in a few years I can pull out the list and say “but look at how much fun we have!! We’re so good together!”

One of these things is the other day I was in her room only wearing a bra and I sighed and said “I think I’m skinny fat” and she said “Sam, you’re beautiful,” and I yelled, “well I didn’t say I was ugly!

Honestly you’ve just got to be able to make yourself laugh and if you find someone who gets you enough to help you out and ensure that you laugh at least, I’d say, 75 times a day, then you’re pretty golden.

So what is the point of this entry? Just a hello, I guess. A quick check to see if any people out there are still reading this blog. An announcement that I will be back starting now and trying to post more often (maybe I’ll do a BEDA–blog every day of August–I think that’s the acronym). We shall see.

If you’ve made it this far please recommend something for me to watch on Netflix because I am quickly flying through every Netflix-made series, comedy special, and throwback movie on that site. So any suggestion would be highly appreciated. (I, myself, recommend Stranger Things, Ali Wong: Baby Cobra, and The Fundamentals of Caring).

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

SOMETHING TERRIFYING HAS HAPPENED

Dear Reader,

I’ve considered myself a serious fan of YouTubers since about freshman year of high school. I don’t say that to sound intense or to elevate myself in any way (if anything, the phrase “serious YouTube fan” probably sounds a little lame), I just want to clarify because it was a realization.

It’s weird when you’re on the internet for so long, watching these videos of people with huge followings, and then you go and talk to your friends and they are completely unaware of these, let’s just say the word here, celebrities.

They’re much more well known now because of their books and their crossovers on television and the overall increase in social media fame, too, but there was a point when the only people I could really reference to classmates were NigaHiga and Jenna Marbles.

It was at this point that I wanted to become a YouTuber–and who wouldn’t?? I’m not trying to undermine anything that they do, but even they will admit that it’s the best job out there. Money aside, even, you get to spend your days traveling and collaborating and socializing and being creative.

I wanted in from the beginning, but I didn’t have a particular talent. I grew up writing in my room for hours on end and I was completely content with being alone to entertain myself. I wasn’t necessarily a natural-born performer.

Besides, I didn’t have any content I wanted to produce. I couldn’t sing. I couldn’t really act. I hadn’t ever tried writing a skit and I couldn’t even tell stories particularly well.

Funny enough, I now have a YouTube channel even though none of that has really changed.

But the difference here is that I’m not trying to make YouTube my job. It might be if I could choose, but I can’t. Not really. It’s more up to people–to the audience–to decide who makes it big on YouTube.

So I’m just here trying to find a new medium to document my life. Sometimes I make videos to pass the time. Sometimes I make them to try new things. Sometimes I make them to share something I love.

I got a text back in the fall from a friend–completely out of the blue–that said, “wtf you have a YouTube channel??”

He found it because of a stuuupid mistake, and seeing that text made my heart drop, but it ended up being one of the best things that happened for us. He loves YouTube, too, and is creative in expressing himself (see his blog here) and we became really close because of it.

Other random people in my life know about it, and other close friends do as well, but yesterday I had the same feeling that I had this past fall when I walked into the kitchen and saw my mom watching the video of Sarah and I sharing our summer bucket list.

I love my Mom and I tell her most things. I’ve complained to her about hangovers and confessed that I’ve only ever cracked my phone (or dropped it in a toilet) when I’m drunk off my ass. And her seeing this one video of Sarah and I (especially since she really didn’t seem all that shocked or confused by it–she only commented that she liked my editing when it zoomed in on Sarah’s face) isn’t a big deal. It’s what could come that is.

If my mom knows something, she will most likely tell my dad. And if she knows my “Sincerely Sammy” username, they could easily find the channel again. Or, more importantly, this blog.

I would have no problem letting them know about the channel. I could vlog more freely and make videos with Sarah when they’re actually home. I could use her computer to edit and not have to lie that it’s for a school project. Things would be easier.

If they know about the blog, things could get harder.

This is my safe space. I come here to vent and to analyze and to clarify and eventually grow. I come here to make sense of my life and I often pick apart pieces of my past when trying to make sense of my present.

I don’t care if they read about my trip to Gulf Shores or my book reviews for The Empty Bookshelf.

I care if they read about my depression and my ADD and my analysis of their parenting. I care if they read my entries from freshman year (and even this past fall semester) and see, firsthand, how much I was struggling.

I don’t want them to find out how much I’ve kept from them. Because what they know won’t hurt them, and ignorance is bliss. I don’t want to shatter that now.

Because just like how this blog brought Zach and I closer together, it could act as a wedge in my relationship with my parents that could drive us even further apart.

Sincerely,

Sammy

{NEW VIDEO} SUMMER BUCKET LIST

Dear Reader,

I am SO behind with everything. Because of my summer class, I haven’t really had the time to relax and get organized, like I planned on doing, but I’ll officially be done with it after today which means I can get back to my life!

In other words, I can get back to sharing my life.

I can get back to blogging.

But I have a lot of projects in the works right now. I got back from Cuba a week ago and I have a ton of footage to edit and stories to tell and pieces to write, but I also have other ideas for this summer.

Sarah and I are doing a bucket list (we made this video like three weeks ago and I uploaded it last week so sorry for the tardiness) this summer and I think I’m going to get back to writing book reviews (I’ve finished Yes PleaseChina Rich Girlfriend, and The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy recently).

Also Sarah really wants me to write another “If We Were Having Coffee” posts. She hardly ever reads my blog but she loves the ones I write like that for some reason so I’ll probably do one soon.

Anyway, I have a ton to do before my class is officially over, so I’ve got to get back to work, but yay for it being finally summer!

Sincerely,

Sammy

[VIDEO] THE ONE WHERE SARAH GRADUATES

Dear Reader,

 

Sarah graduated on Sunday and will be attending a college in the fall that is four hours away from me (which is a problem because neither of us will have a car).

Until we part ways, you can expect a lot more videos (vlogs and otherwise) that feature her.

I’m excited.

Sincerely,

Sammy