Wilkinson – Afterglow

Ok, so I’ll admit the first time I watched this I thought it was some sort of advertisement. I stumbled onto Wilkinson after watching a few of Wet’s music videos (which if you don’t know who that is then do yourself a favor and check them out). I paid zero attention to the song in the background, but yes. It is, in fact, a music video. And it’s sick. Song isn’t bad either.

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Another DM post

yoRaise your hand if you told yourself you would be better at life this semester. Keep your hand up if you didn’t school one iota last week.

Thought so, go you.

Don’t feel too bad because I’m pretty positive 90% of us are in the same boat (good news though, it’s Monday and I  hereby cleanse you from the week long chain of less than great decisions and spending waaaay too much money on food that doesn’t align with your #SpringBreakBod).That being said, three cheers to me for surviving my last syllabus week. Gulp.

When I finally figured out that I was able to finish my graduation requirements after one heavy semester and a few summer courses, I was like yes plz sign me up. I intentionally gave myself absolutely zero time to think about the never ending list of “lasts” that I’m about to encounter. This is mostly because I made a vow to myself to never repeat the last day of eighth grade again (me crying nostalgically to the office ladies about how I didn’t want to grow up and be a high school ‘adult’). You’ll be happy to know that I have help up my end of the bargain since that day. So today when I sat down to plan out my next few weeks, I was a little surprised to feel a familiar rush of nostalgia. As I was flipping through my planner, I saw that Dance Marathon is only two short weeks away. Whoa. This is my last Dance Marathon. Ever. Welcome, feels. And also extreme panic for being under my fundraising goal.

I’ve been participating in DM since my freshman year. To be completely honest with you, I had absolutely NO idea what I was getting myself in to (and if this is your first one, neither do you). I signed up because it had the word dance in it. I’m like “Sweet, a bunch of people who like do dance and stuff!!!” I knew it donated to some sort of cause. So cool, I get to do what I love and put something on my resume that makes me look like a good person. Even better.

I hate asking people to do things for me, so if I was going to commit to plastering my online giving link everywhere, I wanted to be sure that it was for a good cause. I scoured the internet for stories and testimonials about all the good Dance Marathon does in the terrible world of pediatric cancer. By this point I’m thinking that this whole deal is pretty cool and definitely worth pestering all of my friends and family to donate “even just one dollar!!!!”- how many times have you seen that this past week?

After I hit my goal, all that was left was the actual event. I packed my bag and set off for 24 hours of non stop dancing, but I couldn’t have prepared myself for the experience as a whole.

Standing in a room full of people who are genuinely dedicated to one cause is nothing short of an indescribable experience. It’s rare to come across a crew of college kids doing something that can truly change your entire outlook on life in just 24 short (or excutiatingly long and sleep-deprived) hours. Listening to family after family speak on their encounters with cancer took me through a whirlwind of emotions. I found myself teeter tottering between feeling insanely grateful for my life, and extremely devastated about the turmoil these families face. For sure makes everything else feel so small.

At this stage in life, I think it’s hard to find things that make you feel like your presence is significant, or that you’re capable of making any sort of a dent in the world. We’re all just sort of aimlessly wandering around trying to figure out where we fit into the big scheme of things. In that process, there’s always someone ahead of you or doing something you wish you could do. Always some sort of sense of discontentment. It’s so easy to get caught up in what you’re not doing, that you miss out on what you can do.

Thank God for this organization because, for me, Dance Marathon has allowed me that sense of fulfillment. It makes me feel like I can do something productive in my three short years here by contributing to something so much bigger than myself. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that there are very few people whose lives haven’t been touched by cancer in some way. It flat out sucks. So do something about it. Obviously, we don’t all have the means to find the cure to this awful disease. But what we can do is take part in organizations such as Dance Marathon.

So. As I try to scrounge up the last portion of my $500 fundraising goal, I encourage you to do something with your Monday to make yourself feel even just a little productive or fulfilled. If that means crossing a few things off your to-do list, get up and go do it. If that means throwing “even just a dollar” my way, check out this link. If that means getting out of bed for the first time today, well then it may be too late for your Monday ‘start-over’ that I mentioned earlier. But hey, better late than never.

And for my fellow Dance marathon-ers: you rock.

 

Post travel sads

FullSizeRender 3In the last 14 days I have been in 6 states: Colorado, Nevada, California, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa. Six hours on a plane 33 and a half hours in a car in the last two weeks. Now that I’m officially back to the homeland, I’m suffering from a very real case of PVSD (post vacation sads disorder). Symptoms include me sitting on my couch in the middle of nowhere, Iowa, looking out the window at snow instead of palm trees, scrolling through vacation pictures, and putting off anything that signifies I have any sort of responsibility coming my way (heaven forbid I do something productive on winter break). I’m stuck in a reel of replaying the adventures of the past few weeks over and over again. I think this is because I don’t want to be back in Hampton, Iowa, and I sure as hell don’t want to start my 18 credit semester on Tuesday.

Anyone who’s ventured outside of their home knows that this kind of travel entails plenty of window time. In case you’re unclear of what I mean, this is the part of the vacation where you sit, whether in a car or plane, and stare out the window and think about life or do what I do most often and pretend like I’m in some sort of dramatic music video (tell me you’ve never done that and I’ll tell you you’re full of shit).

During some of the time where I wasn’t in an old school Hillary Duff or Blink-182 video, I got to thinking about all of the people I had encountered over this past trip. Ok yes, I was blessed to actually physically meet some pretty amazing humans over this last vacation, but even beyond that. I’m talking like all of the people I had just passed on the street and missed (most likely due to one of two things 1. Me scrolling through Instagram or 2. Being too hungover to take off my sunglasses) or all of the people living lives I know absolutely nothing about in the homes I was flying over.

Have I lost ya yet? Let me try and put it in perspective. Think about how many people you don’t know that you pass in a given day. Maybe you make eye contact, maybe you don’t. But you’re walking, they’re walking, each of you have your own thing going on, but you know absolutely nothing about who they are are what’s going on in their life…and continuing to walk by is you being totally cool with that.

Obviously it’s not possible to meet all 7 billion humans on this earth, but for some reason it’s unsettling to me to think that any given stranger I encounter either on the street or in a coffee shop and doesn’t say hello is totally okay with never seeing me again. Selfish, maybe, but it goes both ways. Too many times I’ve seen someone and been like ‘hey they seem interesting’ or ‘hopefully i run into them again,’ leaving it entirely up to chance. Doesn’t matter what’s going on in my head though, cause on the outside at that point I’ve become just another passerby who is completely oblivious to the fact that this person has their own life and complexity outside of just being an extra in mine.

So here I am, staring out the window of the car trying to flip back to my music video brain, and thinking I’m completely bat shit crazy at this point, and my attention is redirected to this video. Watch it, or else I’ll tell everyone you do the weird music video thing too.

Good, right? There’s actually a word for it: Sonder. Some guy, somewhere out there cared enough to make a video about the word so strange people, like me, can feel slightly less strange. Sweet. Thanks, guy.

Kylie Jenner, will you be my friend?

PLZ STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND LOOK AT THIS DRESS.kylie.jpgWhaaaaaaaat? As if my girl crush level wasn’t already alarming, this dress really just took it to a whole new level. As in it is now my iPhone background, I’ve stalked the designer and have already priced it out like nine times. As of now, it’s looking like I would have to sell all of my possessions and my soul to the devil for just the top. So yeah, you were right if you estimated it to cost more than my life. A price I’m willing to consider paying.

It’s like if Britney Spears (Toxic era) and Tinkerbell had a love child (and it was a dress and not a human) this would be it.

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Oh hell yeah, I nailed it.

Still slightly confused as to what Kylie and Kourtney were even doing at the Golden Globes after party…seeing as they are no where near actresses, nor do they possess any type of potential talent in that area…but do I care? No. Why? Because the dress can do zero wrong and anyone wearing it is exempt from such criticism. Thank you Kylie for once again being my style spirit animal. Cannot WAIT until we are friends (despite my slightly stalkerish tendencies) and you let me borrow that dress. Which will inevitably happen.

Botched: the hair edition

derpReal life photo of me smiling through the pain^^

I made the grave mistake of cutting my locks in the middle of my Abercrombie and Fitch denim skirt phase. Hind-sight is 20/20 but anyone with half a brain knows that no major decision should be made when you all but worship that stupid little moose logo. Since coming home with the early 2000’s signature side swept bangs, and practically a bowl cut, I’ve been trying to grow it back out. Believe me when I say I’ve tried everything from strange oils to prenatal vitamins. And hey I was making some progress until I met she-who-shall-not-be-named (a hair dresser who is probably related to satan).

For those of  you who haven’t noticed, Holly the 20-year-old has left the building and an unhot version of Stacy’s mom has entered stage right, red hot. The version of Stacy’s mom that is probably on her third cup of coffee and has something stuck in her teeth. Welcome over-caffeinated Stacy’s mom with the librarian bob, wish I could say I was glad to have ya. Some of it is probably my fault for not having a routine hair stylist in Iowa City, or anywhere for that matter. Maybe I’m an unclear communicator, but here I am 3 cycles of hair dye and two haircuts later with a style that is nowhere near what I expected. I will say that some salvation came my way during fix #3 in the form of a stylist back in my hometown- so I at least feel less like a colonial woman now. Bless your soul, Tiffany.

All of that being said, I can’t pinpoint a time in my life where I felt less like myself than I do right now. I’ve committed myself to a life of ponytail nubs and baseball-cap-wearing to try and hide the degree of friedness (which is high af). To be honest, I hate myself for getting so tied up in something as superficial as a haircut. But dude, you’re lying to yourself if you said someone’s hair isn’t among the first things you notice. Kind of gross how big of a role physical appearance plays, but unfortunately that’s kind of the way it goes at this stage of life. How I feel is typically a bit of a direct link to how I present myself on the outside and that works the opposite way as well.

Somewhere along the line I’ve let myself fall into a place where something as small as a botched haircut can result in a mini identity crisis- a personality flaw that needs stopped in its tracks. So I’m teaching myself to embrace the bedhead, care less about what everyone may think of it and move the hell on. It is hair. It freaking grows back. Get over it. Change is good and, hey, as I’ve said before, I think the biggest improvements as a person come from your most uncomfortable experiences. Obviously this is just a blip on the scale of uncomfortable or unfortunate happenings (and I tend to be a little bit overdramatic) but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn something from it. Even if it’s just to never go back to she-who-shall-not-be-named.

So it begins

I DID NOT START A BLOG AS A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION OR ANYTHING RELATED TO NEW YEARS.

In fact, I am bound and determined to be the last person on the face of the earth to make a resolution at this point.

Resolution or not, I’ve been pretty reluctant to start a blog because I find it nearly impossible to brand myself as one thing when I have interests all over the board. Nonetheless, I’m surrendering. This is largely because I’m sitting in the car on the way home from Denver and am bored out of my freaking mind. But, truth be told, I’m finally starting this shabang after what’s probably a solid year of contemplating. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so if you knew how many times I’ve read this over, before actually clicking publish, you would probably be sick. Not gonna lie, sharing my work, whether writing or any other form of art, freaks me the f out. The whole idea of putting myself out there, knowing that for as many people who like what I do or say, there are probably double that amount that wish I would just go away (this is 100p a jab at anyone who voted ‘go away’ on my twitter poll) . But hey, such is journalism and such is life. I used to keep a journal pretty religiously but have found myself too caught up in everything else going on to keep up with my writing. Being on winter break seems like to perfect time to rekindle the fiya.

No doubt, writing keeps me sane. Thoughts aren’t anything concrete or real until they are verbalized or written down. You can turn something over in your head a million times but, if it just sits in there it’s doing nothing but taking up space and clouding your ability to actually live. I’m already someone who is very in my head and since neglecting my writing, it’s made for a lot of sleepless nights and blank stares (I promise I’m not braindead, there are actually wheels turning in there most of the time). And because some things truly are better left unsaid verbally, what better way to realize those chaotic thoughts and ideas on the internet machine for literally everyone to read. Go technology!

So. Here I am crawling back to my true love: writing. Out in the open and 100% out of my comfort zone. But yo, as the cliche goes “life begins outside your comfort zone.”

CollegeFashionista things

Like I mentioned in my 650 word rambling about little ole me, I’ve been keeping myself busy with lots of fashion blogging. I’m currently in my third semester of writing for CollegeFashionista as well as my third semester as a social media intern for them. I’ve learned a heap about my own personal style as well as style in general. For example, freshman year Holly wouldn’t think twice about rocking some flip flops for a night on the town. I mean, to each their own, but yikes.

Moving along. While I plan on posting original content under the Rags + Retail section in the future, I thought I’d start off with a little blurb from my latest CollegeFashionista post (and give you some pictures to look at cause your eyes are probably short circuiting from all the text).

e n j o y

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As I’ve treaded my way through college, there is no doubt a reflection of the route I’ve taken in my personal style. I’ve never been very good at picking one thing to specialize in or brand myself as. What I mean by this is I wouldn’t just call myself a fashion blogger or sports enthusiast. I wouldn’t even just call myself a dancer. And to me, that’s A-OK. No sense of squeezing myself into a tiny box because it rolls of the tongue better to just call myself a Fashion Blogger or Sports Reporter. What I’m saying is I pride myself in wearing several different hats throughout a given day. In terms of my style, I do the same thing (both figuratively and literally because we all know I love myself a good ball cap). Whether it’s patterns, textures, materials or casual vs. dressy, a go-to Holly outfit blends things together that may not strike you as something that should work together. Cohesive contradictions equal praise hands emoji.

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If you would have asked me to wear a fur coat with sneaks at the beginning of my journey at CollegeFashionista I would have probably asked you if you knew who you were talking to. I’ve loved learning more about myself through this experience and becoming more comfortable with broadcasting those realizations through my clothing.

CATCH THE REST HERE