Cecily Strong #ForPresident

I love SNL, but I’m not going to lie and act like I know who is currently on SNL. I tune in occasionally, and watch clips that come up on Buzzfeed or my Facebook timeline. I had never heard of Cecily Strong before, but when I saw a few photos on Instagram (I need to chill on the social media) of Cecily Strong’s jokes from the White House Correspondents Association Dinner, I hit Youtube (I really need to chill on the social media).

Needless to say, I was laughing the whole time and I officially love her. You know when you watch a celebrity on TV and you’re like, you know, I would totally be friends with her in real life (no? nobody else does this?)? That was how I felt after watching this clip. Total feminist, total realist, very hilarious.

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Head to Toe: Everyday Makeup Tutorial

When I decided I wanted to learn how to do a better smoky eye, I began searching for makeup tutorials on YouTube. Once I started watching, I realized there was a lot of basic things I didn’t really know how to do accurately when doing my makeup. I didn’t know where to start, what the best brushes or sponges were, or how to properly compliment my eyeshadow and lipsticks. So I went from looking at smoky eye videos to just the basics, before overwhelming myself.

My favorite YouTube channel became Head to Toe. Jen has an incredible way of simplifying each step, and she has a makeup video for almost everything. This first video really helped me out for a basic, clean look that I could do for work each day. Definitely check out her channel.

College, where’s How to Survive 101?

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It’s funny, isn’t it, all of the things they don’t teach you in college. Like how to properly balance a checkbook, how to find jobs that come with benefits, or just plain old How To Survive in the Real World 101.

I’ve realized as time passes since graduating, and listening to my friends talking about commencement that is just a month away, that this is really it. It’s over. I’m at the end of the tunnel, the end of That Journey, and That Chapter. Those four (and a half) years disappeared before my eyes.

I already feel like a different person. I’m already passed the hype of graduating because January was that month for me, not May. I’m in the I-need-a-job-now-but-all-I-want-to-do-is-watch-Netflix phase. Oh, and slight panic mode.

I’m realizing that Sallie Mae is going to come knocking on my door in June, and that if I don’t start budgeting and prioritizing, I’ll be struggling to pay for everything – and oh my god, that word “everything.” How do adults survive? How do they pay for it all?

I should’ve raised my hand during one of my Shakespeare lectures and said, “While Lady Macbeth is my favorite character, can you please tell me how I’m going to be able to pay for my loans, my car, other bills, and still save enough money to move out? How does that work, exactly? Winning the lottery? Okay, thanks.”

It’s not just the money though.

I already feel like a different person because my mindset has changed. I have finally learned how to focus on myself, and I feel incredibly grateful. While it is sad to be leaving the college bubble, and all of its impactful, memorable years behind, those years have shaped me into the person who is confident even as she stands outside of the College Bubble.

Those years taught me to have faith, be strong, work hard, love yourself, and set boundaries. Maybe that is all I need to survive.

Letter to My Younger Self

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Dear Seventeen-Year-Old Me,

It’s the end of your junior year. It’s been a rough year.

Mom’s been telling you that everything is “going to get better.” That losing your friends, Greg breaking up with you, and all of this crying will mean something someday.

Right now, it doesn’t help. You’re angry, you’re upset, and you have just learned a few hard lessons in life all at once: sometimes, when people hurt you and do wrong to you, they will still think they are right. They will not apologize for the ugly things they have said or done. They will try to knock you down.

It’s shocking, right? That people can be that selfish, that hurtful, and be okay with what they’ve done to you, isn’t it? But it’s okay. I can see you right now trying to act like it’s okay, it doesn’t matter – you’re pushing all of this fucked-up-ness down. Don’t do this. Listen to me.

What I want to tell you is that Mom (you will realize this when you’re about twenty-one) is almost always right.

It’s going to be okay. It’s “going to get better.”

And I’m not writing this to talk about your asshole high school friends, or Greg. You won’t remember them until you see them again. No, really, I’m serious.

For example: one night in the August before your graduate from college, you’ll run into those assholes at the Landmark Pub in Livingston (yup, you’ll hang out there – you’ll appreciate the cheap drinks and the easy access to Nikki’s house if you’re too tipsy to drive). You will all smile politely at one another. You will then continue walking passed them towards your remarkable, supportive group of friends that you have acquired over the years. You will not even think about the interaction again. If anything, you’ll be laughing with your new friends about how time really flies.

It’s going to be okay.

I am writing to tell you that there’s a lesson in this pain you are currently experiencing: this heart-wrenching feeling is not the end of the world, but it is okay to be upset. It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling and embrace it, and therefore grow stronger from it. Don’t be ashamed or hide from it. Stop holding it in. You have to (figuratively) bleed it out. IT’S OKAY.

We’ll experience more pain. We have to. We’re going to cry really hard once in awhile. We’re going to get angry and throw things. We’re going to push people away. We’re going to hate ourselves. The pain will come from other people, and from the inside too. We’ll screw up and cause our own pain. We’ll hurt others. It’s inevitable. We’ll also find good – of course. Good people, good opportunities, life changing moments, but that pain you’re feeling now will be felt again. And that’s okay.

At twenty-two, I’ve begun working on us. I’ve decided that we should allow ourselves to heal. Right now, you are not allowing yourself to heal. You are actually about to begin a self-destructive pattern, because you think that’s what healing is. It’s not. Partying and hanging out with “bad” boys is not healing. You’re charming when you are not drunk (prepare for us to embarrass ourselves a few times). You’re worthy of good men. These distractions merely numb the pain. They don’t let you embrace it and they don’t help you grow. I know you know this, because even at seventeen, we are smart enough to logically see this. We just don’t want to see it. We will eventually figure this out. Have faith. It’s going to be okay.

Pain is not a negative thing or a sign of weakness. For last five years, starting at the moment you are starting at now, I thought it was.

I was ashamed when I cried because the girls we used to be friends with stalked our locker to harass us, when they vandalized our car, when they spread nasty rumors. I was ashamed of crying when Dad told me fine, I’ll never talk to you again. I was ashamed that Andrew, who you will date next year, hit me and that I let it happen. I was ashamed when Oscar, who loved us so much, hit me years later. I was ashamed of being weak. I was ashamed of being broken. Bottling everything caused me to hate every fiber of my being, and I was ashamed of that pain too.

I subdued the pain. I put on a pretty, fake face, like you’re doing now, because I couldn’t handle facing my pain. I was scared of pain. But listen. Pain can be good. Pain means you are human, that you are growing. We hurt and we adapt. And it’s going to be okay.

There are phenomenal things coming too. Those shitty experiences that will happen to you? It’s cliché, but they are necessary lessons that we will be thankful for. We will learn how to embrace other people’s actions and realize it’s not a reflection of ourselves. We will learn how to respond thoughtfully, to care about other people’s emotions – because like I said, we will cause pain too.

It’s all a matter of growth. It’s all a matter of positive energy. How will you find a best friend like Nikki if you don’t get hurt by fake friends? How else will you learn what you want in a man if you don’t go through the bullshit? How will you stand up for yourself, threaten to quit your job, and have them ask you to stay and offer you a raise, if you don’t experience pain and learn self-respect?

Our pain is our strength because we grow. Learn to love yourself, because the next few years are rocky. We’ll make it. I’m already proud of you because of the person I am now. We have a good head on our shoulders.

Embrace the pain, feel it.

It’s okay to be human.

Girls on Drugs – Wale

First, my dedicated Purple Album lovers, I apologize for the huge span in between posts. I’ve been working and applying to internships/jobs like a maniac.

“Girls on Drugs” by Wale is one of my favorite songs from his new album The Album About Nothing, alongside the song “The Pessimist” which features J.Cole (I will post that in a separate post). It’s not the lyrics so much, but the background vocals, alongside the beat and his voice that captured my attention right away.

This album is dope. You can either purchase it on iTunes or listen on Spotify (Spotify is seriously a gem, I always use that when I’m not sure if I want to buy an artist’s album yet).