The Iceberg Effect: more than just an excuse to reference Titanic

Dear diary,

I am a perfectionist.

Love,

Holly

I remember being about 8 years old and auditioning for a role in our community theater’s production of Sleeping Beauty. Typically the younger kids get cast as a something minor whose only purpose is the be cute and make the parents say “awwww”. Nope, not me. Not my jam. I went into the audition wearing something I thought Princess Aurora herself would wear. I wanted a part in the musical but not as some lame side character. I wanted to be the freaking princess. The lead role. Which is almost ALWAYS someone over the age of 15. Did I care? No. If I was going to audition, I was going to land the biggest part in the entire production. Anything less was failure.

Fast forward 3 hours to me having an absolute hysteric meltdown in my room. Like HYSTERIC.

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Pretty accurate TBH

My mom came in with a cold wash cloth to put over my eyes to try to help calm me down but literally nothing would work. Of course, my parents had a big discussion with me to try to explain the directors purpose for casting who he did and that I’ll get the next one. But I didn’t want the next one and I didn’t understand why I wasn’t selected.

Ever since I can remember I have obsessed over things being perfect or being the best at whatever I do (which, hello, that is the best way to set yourself up for failure).

Keeping this in mind, fast forward 14 years and I’m pursuing a career in dance and entertainment. In LA. The Mecca of perfectionism. And as much as I wish I could say I’ve completely shaken that 8-year-old version of myself, I can’t. She is still very much a part of me and, in some ways, she’s 100 times louder. What I can say, is that I’ve learned (and am constantly learning) how to deal with her.

I really believe that mindset is everything and that there is a way to put a positive spin on most things we face in life. Learning how to see the strength at the other end of your weakness is a hard thing to do, but allows for self growth rather than a fun little spiral of self deprecation. And we all know I love self-deprecating humor. For me, I think being a perfectionist has a lot of positive qualities. I am meticulous about my work. I walk in to any new task or opportunity ready to give 110%. My drive to be the best is so loud it almost overwhelms me. Which brings me to the flip side. I get in my head when I’m out of my comfort zone. I spiral about all of the other things I’m ‘inadequate’ at when one thing goes wrong. I have a hard time taking no for an answer. I have an intense fear of looking stupid and I hold myself back from opportunities if I don’t think I know what I’m doing….even if it’s just mentally. But here’s the cool thing- I’m aware of all this.

When I walk into an audition, I never know how I’m going to feel. There are days when I enter the room with my head held high, loving what I’m wearing, the way I look and the way I’m dancing. Those are the days that I walk out of the audition feeling amazing whether I was cut first round or stayed until the end. But there are also times when I defeat myself before I even take off my jacket to warm up. When I’m comparing myself to every other girl in there. Everyone picking up the choreography faster than me, everyone who knows the casting director already, everyone who has better hair or a better outfit…a better body…it’s hard not to. In an industry of constantly being told no with no with zero feedback or reason given, you find yourself always searching for the why behind the no. Why did it turn out this way? Oh it’s gotta be because my hair wasn’t long enough. I should have hit the gym more. I’m not hip hop enough. I wish I was taller. Tanner. Skinner. Prettier. Better. Spiral spiral spiral spiral.

It’s a lot. But like I said, I am aware of it. I’m able to see past the now and look ahead totumblr_p5ehleSHXG1qclnf1o5_r1_250 the future…to know that that particular ‘no’ is a ‘yes’ somewhere else. And that, my friends, is key. I always like to refer to this as the iceberg effect (partially because I love Titanic and am always looking for ways to reference it in my day-to-day life).
Let me explain. When you look at an iceberg (or at least a photo of one cause I don’t know how many people are hopping on ships to go iceberg hunting), you see a little triangle of ice sticking up above the water. Think of that as the now. The parking ticket you got 541866180yesterday, the guy who is just not that into you, the gig you got turned down for, the deal you didn’t close…But what you can’t see is all the stuff that’s coming your way or the why behind it. The stuff that’s not right in front of your face but is underneath all of the day to day stress, working it’s way into your life as it’s meant to be. The good stuff. I really do believe that coincidence isn’t real and that everything happens for a reason (how many times have you heard that?). But it’s true.

Persistence is everything and perfectionism can be a major deterrent in keeping a positive mindset, especially in the entertainment industry that focuses so much on the outward appearance, but use it to your advantage. Flip your mindset and learn how to find the strength within your so-called weakness. I promise your fate with the iceberg will be a hell of a lot better than Jack’s.

 

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My teenage bedroom was inspired by Paris Hilton

Sometimes I feel like I live in an episode of the suite Life of Zack and Cody (shout out Cody, I still love you) because my apartment complex is extremely hotel vibey. Nice lobby with giant mirrors, cool couches, a TV bigger than my car and someone who works security at the front desk…Mr. Mosby, if you will….

tumblr_nwk2gqyVEy1upoajro8_250Zack and Cody aside (sorry Sprouse twins)- can we please address the glow up that is my living situation???? Do I need to give you a lesson regarding the evolution of my bed situation? Did you say yes? I don’t really care either way cause I’m about to. You should have seen that coming.

2008- I had a SUUUUUPER sick loft bed with a desk underneath it for the longest time. I thought I was the absolute coolest human in the entire world. My parents let me have the master bedroom at our old place in Pella, and that thing was MASSIVE. It was supposed to be two bedrooms but the builders knocked out the wall between them because everyone who toured the home bitched about how there wasn’t a master bedroom. Viola! The birth of a master-master bedroom. We painted the walls a mix of purple, pink and green, a color scheme I had decided on based off of a dress Paris Hilton wore (WHICH I FOR THE LIFE OF ME CANNOT FIND ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET). Yes, I was a big fan and you are lying if you think “Stars are Blind” isn’t an absolute bop.

Anyway. I remember getting sent to my room a time or two (or more than that) and just being so jazzed cause my tween brain loved my room. So much room for cartwheels and to throw clothes all over the place! I even had a futon in one corner and like 3 of those weird circle foldy chairs that used to be a thing.

2012- By this time I was even cooler and super sad on Twitter cause I thought I was in love with this guy that I was too scared to hang out with in person but we texted all the time and they were pretty long messages most of the time and so that sounded like a relationship to me!!! I was SUPER mature and #overit (in terms of the pink walls not the guy, cause that was a thing for far too long). I decided to paint it brown like my soul!!!! Actually, no. That’s not why. I started shopping at Anthropologie and thought the BoHo life and style was pretty dang cool and super opposite of what I had been up until that point. And that was pretty cool to me. I was really into drawing and painting so on the parts of the wall that were left tan, I painted abstract flowers all over. I remember ditching plans with friends so that I could stay home and keep painting. This is starting to sound slightly more like the me I know. We even put in hard wood floors which I completely forgot about until just now. Hands down the coolest part about my room was the vintage furniture that was in it. My parents had inherited a bunch of my grandmas old stuff from dressers, to chairs and even a lamp. IMG_4266

Then there was the bed. I had ditched the desk and the loft and traded it in for this guy. Take a look at the purple lamp in the background (and my dogs!!!!!). That thing was about the only part of the Paris Hilton room that stuck around.

2013- Fast forward to college and I have now regressed back to a loft with a desk beneath it. And this time the mattress wasn’t a full, it was a twin. Whomp whaaaa. Funny how that works. My roommate was from China and one of her first times being in the USA was to move in with me. So while I had dreamed of color coordinating with my college roommate, that just was plain and simple not a thing. We had a sink in our dorm room and enough space to literally walk from our beds to the door and that’s about it. Definitely less than ideal, but I was barely ever there between dance team, school and my sorority. In fact, pretty much the only time I was there was when I skipped class…..which was like only a fewwww times.

 

2014- And the regression continues!!!!! I moved into Kappa with a roommate I literally did not know from Adam (who might I add turned out to be one of my favorite people and you can tell in the photo to the right that she feels the same way).  IMG_4055Our room was the size of a shoebox and I missed the fist 2 weeks of sophomore year because I had strep throat so I didn’t even get to meet Erin (my roommate) during move in, my parents did instead. Nice!!! I remember this living arrangement being so funny cause I would have to wake up so early for dance team shit and spray hairspray all over the place while simultaneously eating breakfast and also getting dress while trying to head out the door and not be late. Yes, it was typically as frantic as it sounds. Weirdest part of our room: I had no where to put my National Geographic brand suitcases so they became my bedside table and I thought I was super artsy and resourceful. Cringe. Erin if you’re reading this, I love you forever for putting up with me in our little shoebox room.

2015- FINALLY. My own apartment with my own room. I bought a bunch of frames, wall lights and a bedspread from Urban and that started my obsession with their home line. I actually still have a lot of that stuff in my apartment currently. Except for now the frames aren’t blank. My friends would always make fun of me in college cause I literally never put photos in them. They stayed how they look in this photo for pretty much the whole year. Not because I didn’t have any pictures with friends to fill the frame with…I totally had friends. Really. Another piece of this room that came with me was my grandmas dresser and desk (which were all but falling apart).

 

My favorite thing about having my own room in college: being able to be an actual hermit when I wanted to. Which was hard because I lived right downtown Iowa City aka where all the bars are aka where I ALWAYS had a friend in some circle or another who was trying to get me to partaaaaaaay. Which was also a fun part of living over there.

2016- The couch phase. So my parents moved to Hampton, Iowa, at the beginning of my sophomore year of college so not having an actual room never really bugged me because I lived in Iowa City for a pretty much both summers because I was there so much. But once I moved back home after finishing up my degree after my junior year, aside from the guest room, I didn’t really have a place that felt like mine. I didn’t know any one in Hampton and I knew it was a temporary ‘home’ so I didn’t really care to take the time to go on a friend hunt. Not that I have to hunt to find friends, geez. But yeah, I spent pretty much every day living there figuring out how I could get to California and what my living situation would be. As to why I crashed on the couch instead of the guest room more often than not, I have absolutely no idea. I think cause my mom didn’t like it and that was literally the only way I could rebel in Hampton. That sounds about right.

2017- Hello twin bed, nice to see you again!!! NOT. As I’m sure all of you know by now, I had the pleasure of sharing another small room with another human. Kelly and I had two twin beds shoved into that little space like an L. Which is kind of what we took when it came to personal space. For us though, it worked. Seriously don’t think there are too many people out there in this world that I could stand to do #TwinBedz with. But OUCHmy back was not in great shape after being able to move a full 0% when I slept in that thing. I am a MOVER in my sleep. Or at least I used to be before I was confined to a twin bed. Honestly, I’m surprised I never fell off any of the lofts or small beds. Truly a miracle.

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Moving on. Needless to say, I was ready to have my own space from kitchen to bathroom to bedroom by the time our lease was up. The decision was pretty easy since two of my current roommates were leaving LA and the other one was a guy who had fallen in love with our neighbor across the street. And then there was one, ME!!! So I started looking around for a studio apartment which brings me to the current situation……

2018- I’m extremely particular about a few things: what I’m about to eat, what my Instagram caption is going to be, who is going to be stuck with me for the rest of my life and the space I spend most of my time in. Which is why I landed myself in the complex that I’m in right now. It feels good to live in a place that I’m proud to call home and isn’t much shy from my dream apartment. Well yeah, was all fun and games until the movers packed up all my shit from my old place , and just stuck it in the new place. Which made it feel less…new. I had my tiny little twin bed in the corner and a bunch of boxes full of kitchen stuff for a while. Then I picked up a couch, then a chair, and now I have officially said goodbye (also good riddance) to my twin, replaced it with a queen and GOT A MF TABLE that I could marry if that was legal. Woof did that escalate quickly or what?

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the mattress and the table so I’m just gonna link to everything here.

  • TUFT AND NEEDLE Apparently this brand is all over the internet?? I hadn’t heard of it until someone recommended it to me at work. But I’m not sure if its because I was coming from a hard twin bed mattress to a queen ($585) or if this one is actually a cloud but DAMN. It feels so much like a hotel bed that I had a hard time figuring out where I was the first few times I woke up on it….that might be more of a me problem though. Either way, I’m sleeping so much better and have space to not be curled up like a freaking dog in a kennel the entire night. I also threw in the pillow cause I have never spent more than $15 on a pillow and it was about damn time. No complaints there either.

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  • URBAN OUTFITTERS haul.
    • Chair– Which I assembled myself, thank you very much.IMG_7438
    • Couch– It folds out into a little pull out bed. It’s pretty small but it’s perfect for my place and I think it was in the ballpark of $250 when I got it.
    • Frames- Still going strong from my college days!
    • IMG_3470Key hanger– Which says Late AF because well….
    • Table– ISN’T SHE LOVELYYYYYY. Pretty proud of this one. Especially since I built it in under 2 hours. I’ve had my eye on it for so long and it was finally 20% ($300ish) off so I pulled le trigger. My one complaint is that a part of it came broken. There are two hanging racks underneath the table that you can store the stools in. BUT of course the screws that had been drilled into the table (the only part of it that came put together) were broken and the hanging things were unattached. Something I chose to ignore for the time being. I also don’t have a drill to fix it with so if you know a guy hmu.

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  • AMAZON came all the way through with my Duvet insert ($25) and bed frame. I found a whole bunch at Urban but they were all at least $500. I can’t tell you how many times I had it in my cart and then took it out again, but I decided since it’s not really the focal point of my bedroom, it’s not really necessary to get a super elaborate one. Plus I spent about $650 on my mattress and pillow so I gotta find the balance somewhere.

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And then I got two pet “dogs” at Trader Joe’s named Spot and Rover (pictured) and am extremely content with this place. I say “dogs” because I have puppy fever SO bad and I thought buying plants would help. And wine. I also bought wine. Obviously I still have a list of about 25 other things I want to throw in my bachelorette pad at some point but for now, it’s good. Six months in and it finally feels like me. Which, as you can see, the definition of me has definitely changed over the years. And thank god cause I really would have to go on a friend hunt if I still had Paris Hilton walls.

 

LIT SHIT: March

SPRING HAS SPRUNG. And yet, here I sit in the middle of Snowstormville, IA, typing away at the coffee shop I used to work at. Hello nostalgia! Also hello snow, what the f are you. Seriously. It feels like the North Pole here. I must say I’m pumped to be wearing my favorite turtle neck today though. God, I love a good turtle neck.

Moving on. We made it through another month and as per me swearing I’m going to start holding myself accountable, that means I gotta do one of this weird review things to talk about shit that is lit…or at least I think it is. Can I get a drum roll? Or at least pretend you’re even a little bit excited to read these.

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RELAXED. The Now in Silverlake. First of all, I had never been to Silverlake, which is apparently the hipster capital of Los Angeles. Now I’m by no means calling myself a ‘hipster’ but…..how the hell had I made it that long without exploring over there??? I also wore fake wire rimmed glasses so I could blend in with the hipster-folk. So this little boutique spa is aesthetically crafted by the Instagram and zen gods. It’s beautiful. All white walls, plants everywhere, minimalist design and not to mention that it smells incredible. As I said in one of my previous posts, I made the goal to take time to do one self-love-esque activity each week. This was my pick for week one of March. I got a 60 minute deep tissue massage and dammmmn did ya girl have some KNOTS. The Now really knows how to set the mood.

They gave me some water and led me into this heated room with swinging benches and faux fur blankets and once my masseuse was ready, I followed her back into this long hallway with an extremely high ceiling riddled with low-lit lanterns hanging ever-so-perfectly. I basically had to shackle my hands so that I didn’t grab my phone and take photos of it all for the gram. I was trying to zone completely in for once. I left feeling great and had even managed to snag a few photos of the waiting area while I made friends with the two chicks at the front desk on my way out. Bottom line, if you haven’t checked out The Now, do it. They have locations all over LA including West Hollywood and also Studio City but you can check out the other ones on their website I linked above!

REFLECTED. Wisdom Tree. Alright so let me start by saying, THIS HIKE IS HARD. Especially for people who are unapologetically clumsy in nature (me). I struggled so hard to find my footing through the bouldery inclines and sharp drop offs, but hey I lived to tell the tale. It probably didn’t help at all that I came to meet Carsyn at the base of the trail directly from finishing booty day at Barry’s. Yowza. IMG_2184But worth it. We both needed a morning to disconnect from our digital lives and enjoy nature and a great book. I brought my journal up there cause it had been a hot minute since I had written an entry. Carsyn just stated reading You are a Badass (READ IT IF YOU HAVEN’T). We spent about an hour and a half up there. Wisdom tree is cool cause there’s this box where people write stuff and then leave it in there. Because I’m nosey as hell, I struggled to not read everyones’ notes but I restrained myself. I can only imagine the secrets people stick in the box.

BAWLED. Love, Simon. After Carsyn and I finished our morning at Wisdom Tree, we headed to go see Love, Simon. It is so good you guys. I probably cried for about the last half of the movie. For those of you who don’t know, it’s about a high school aged boy who is gay and has been hiding it his whole life because he is unsure of how to come out to his friends and family. Growing up, I had a lot of extremely close friends who lived this exact life. I thought this movie provided a pretty raw look into what that must have felt like for them. Ouch. This really tugged at our heart strings. Not to mention, the soundtrack is incredible. But I’ll talk about that more a few bullets down.

GROOVED.  Like a sexy human Claude Racine’s class at Edge. Yooooo. We learned a dance to Rocket by Beyonce. Which literally starts off by saying “Let me sit this @$$$$$$$$ on ya” so you can probably imagine the nature of the combo we learned. I’ve been trying to stretch myself when it comes to performance and committing to a character and this class just felt so good. Claude is cool as hell and teaches in such a relatable and real manner. I’ll definitely be back soon.

SURPRISED MYSELF. at Nikki. I had my first actual audition in front of an artist this month. That artist was Nikki Minaj. Lol yeah excuse me while I shit myself. Got to spend about 6 hours with my Clippers chica, Kylie.IMG_2267

SPENT. $25 on an entre at Mercado. HOLY SHIT CARNITAS HEAVEN. This is self-love activity numero dos. I can’t say I’ve spent that much money on a meal in a lonnnnng time but it feels good to be able to do that for myself when I want to. It’s a trendy little Mexican style restaurant in West Hollywood off 3rd street. I went with Carsyn and they set us at a two-top table by a fireplace. Ambiance points!!!! They for sure thought we were on a date though L O L. We started with the chips and guac and can I just say HOLY GUACAMOLE. I am a guac fiend and this was definitely top 5 level.IMG_1891 Carnitas are their specialty and since that’s literally one of my favorite meats, I couldn’t say no to that. Basically it’s a hunk of TENDER AF meat served with escabeche on the side and corn tortillas. And Carsyn and I split a side of mashed potatoes because we were really going for it. Pair that with a few spicy margaritas and boom, you have the perfect way to spend your evening. Dessert was Coconut Bliss non-dairy ice cream and an Eating Evolved coconut butter cup (AKA MY FAVORITE THINGS EVER, if you’ve never taken any of my recommendations this is the one that I promise you you should take). Where did I fit all this food you ask? That, my friends, is a question I will never be able to answer.

DRINK DRANK DRUNK. Bottomless mimosas at Mama Shelter. $20 for all you can drink mimosas. This reminded me of college where you can literally die on $20 worth of drinks (hello dollar-you-call-its). Obviously we had a little more self control than my college self probably would have but ooof did they sneak up on us. We started here for St. Patty’s day with some brunch and then ventured up to the rooftop. I’m so excited to come back once it’s a little bit warmer outside. I spent my time on the rooftop under a heater and blanket cause I’m fragile and California has ruined me.

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TUNES. Listened to Amy Shark, Exes. Alright, I said earlier in my blurb about Love, Simon, that I would get back to talking about the soundtrack. This is where I discovered Amy Shark. The song ‘Sink In‘ is one of my new favorites. This song punches ya in the gut. Not to mention it’s totally in my vocal range and my latest obsession when it comes to belting (and recording myself) in the car. Also if you haven’t checked out Exes yet, I highly recommend. She just released a song called ‘Over‘ (also one you may need your tissues for). SO so incredible.

OUTFIT REPEATED. Leather Jacket. Yeah this is no secret so I won’t dwell on this point too much. I feel like every time I feel cool enough to post an Instagram story of myself I’m wearing this stupid thing. I truly don’t know how I got by without it for as long as I did. I could be wearing a workout outfit but throw on my (p)leather jacket as a head out the door and instantly level up my life. I got mine at Urban Outfitters…pretty positive that all of Los Angeles owns the same exact one but it’s fine.

READ. Tiny Beautiful Things. I just bought a bunch of self-help books based on suggestions so THANK YOU to those of you that tossed some my way. This is the first of the group that I dove into. I’m about 100 pages in and I’m already in love. Basically it takes a bunch of advice column entries from Dear Sugar and complies both those and their responses together for a beautifully crafted series of stories and lessons on love and life. I love non-fiction books that I can apply to my own life, but I also love the story-telling quality that fiction books have. Because of that, this is such an easy read for me because it’s both. It’s all true little stories that are 100% applicable to life’s trials and tribulations.

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I spent the end of the month the best way possible, with my family. The perfect way to recharge. April’s gonna be a good one.

Alrighty friends, until next time.

A guide to rerouting

I ended February in a bit of a funk. I found myself feeling disconnected, a bit down and completely insatiable. The worst part about it is that I couldn’t figure out why I felt any of these things. Clearly things weren’t going the way I wanted them to go…but how did I even want them to go in the first place?

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#relatable

I was sick of feeling negative (because I truly believe that you get from the world what you put into it, and no one wants negativity mirrored back at them), so I was racking my brain for a way to figure it all out. I’m learning that I’m a pretty complicated individual and should probably apologize to my parents, friends, past flings or anyone else who has ever a had a “what the f are you as a human” moment with me because same. I’m having one with myself currently. You’re not wrong.

I wanted to share what I did to work through it because it’s proven to be pretty effective for me. First and foremost, please realize that t’s completely normal to feel a little off from time to time. I am such a huge perfectionist that I have a hard time recognizing that. I want every day to be the best day ever and often blame myself if life doesn’t always feel like Disneyland. So accept it. Sure it doesn’t make it suck any less, but step one to moving forward is definitely acceptance. Acceptance, but not complacency. Don’t get stuck in a rut or valley. If you are able to realize somethings up, take matters into your own hands and begin rerouting yourself to work towards a peak, and hopefully a plateau, again.

Alright. So I got comfy, lit some candles (currently really into grey flannel), made a pot of coffee and opened up a word document on my computer. I love to write when I’m on like a cup number three of coffee buzz. Plus my fingers can type in hyper speed. I put them to use by making a list of things that I want- some of them tangible and some of them more abstract. Since I was feeling unsatisfied, there were obviously things in life that I, either consciously or subconsciously, wanted or felt were lacking. I tried to not let myself think and just freely type until I genuinely couldn’t think of anything more. You’ll probably find yourself struggling to come to terms with a bulletpoint here and there BUT for the sake of getting out of your head, try try try to turn off your noggin.

Once I finished my list, I took a second to read through everything. I was pretty surprised by some of the things that made their way onto the list. Some made me laugh, some made me cringe and some were as stupid as a Gucci belt. But like…I definitely want a Gucci belt so whatever. The cool thing about free writing is that it tends to unearth some things that you didn’t even know you were keeping from yourself. Next, I went through everything and made even more bulletpoints of how I can attain that particular want. Each and every single one of them. This was a little more challenging, but so crucial in the process of rerouting your thinking. I think people can become pretty miserable when they fixate on what they don’t have in life…which is essentially what this giant want list is. The shift in mindset comes from knowing that there are things you can be doing right now to get there and, most importantly, that the only thing stopping you from getting there is yourself. Woof.

It’s likely that your list is going to be pretty overwhelming. Mine was. So keep in mind that you don’t have to literally focus on every single bulletpoint this week. Pick 2 or 3 that you would like to focus on each week. And HOLD YA DAMN SELF ACCOUNTABLE. If you’re trying to eat better, make a daily food journal. If you’re trying to practice more self love, set aside one day a week to take yourself on a date. If you want to strengthen your connections with people, devote some time on the weekends to call your friends back home. Whatever it is, write it down in your planner, put it on your google calendar, scribble it on your hand, tell a friend so they hold you to it (hell tell ME if you can’t find an accountability partner), etc. I promise you if you do this, you’ll be amazed at what you are able to cross off your want list just by following what you said you were going to do.

Being twenty something is not easy but life feels good when you have goals you’re working towards and stay in tune with yourself.

LIT SHIT: February

Where the hell did the last 28 days go? Went by in the blink of an eye and I think it’s because I was so crazy busy. Lots of cool stuff happened, but my schedule was so packed I feel like I didn’t really take enough time to check in with myself and appreciate much of it. Also. I feel absolutely all over the place right now so forgive me if that’s reflected in this blog in any way shape or form. I also just drank a latte faster than any human being should. Get ready for some scatterbrained writing. You’ve been warned WOO.

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Me pretending I’m not having a quarter-life crisis! Also-check out Joe Ward for all your photography needs!!!

I spent this morning taking some time to try and get my life together by setting a plan and some goals for the next few weeks. I started by reflecting on February. Looking back on the last 4 weeks, it’s no wonder I feel a little psychotic right now. My planner is full of white out, scribbles and a series of me stretching myself way too thin week after week after week…after week. Moving forward with this year, I’m trying to find a little bit more consistency in my life and learn how to say NO when ya girl just needs a break- easier said than done. So. I’m sitting here trying to think of ways I can start to do that and I figured I’d start with Riffs and Raffs. What better way to start than with a more regular writing schedule? Up until now, I’ve kind of just put out posts about random shit whenever I feel like it. Which has been fine, but in the spirit of consistency, I’m going to try to put something out each week of the month, with the last post being a review of some of my favorite shiz from the previous 4 weeks. I figure ending the month reflecting on all of all the good stuff is a surefire way to start the new month on a positive foot. I have also given a name (soft opening in the title of this post, stay tuned for the grand opening in about a paragraph. OH BOY OH BOY!!!).

PSA: I’m writing all of that blabber above to hold myself accountable to this schedule. I’ll probably try and do a few posts and mental/physical wellness, navigating life in LA and some on dance life as well. That being said, if there’s anything you want to see me writing about- PLZ HOLLA AT YO GIRL. If you could not give less of a shit I guess you could also tell me that. I’ll only cry for a few hours.

SO. Without further ado here’s some LIT SHIT February edition. And yes, I am calling this monthly blurb LIT SHIT. Yes, it will always be in all caps. *Cue Demi Lovato’s Sorry Not Sorry*

DRANK. Bulletproof coffee. The addiction is real. I was spending way too much on them every time I went to Whole Foods (which is too often) so I took matters into my own hands and bought the ingredients to make my own. The recipe calls for black coffee, ghee (or butter) and Bulletproof brain octane oil. I also add collagen (I use Vital Proteins) and sometimes a little coconut milk and maca. I throw it all into my nutribullet and blend for a frothy drank that keeps you going for hours, helps you metabolize fat and curbs cravings.

TUNES. I know I already confessed my love for Taylor Swifts new album, so I won’t talk about that anymore…but really it’s great. But I recently found this song “I Don’t Wanna” by a band called the Ivy. SO good from the beats down to the lyrics. I’ve also started making a playlist for each month on my Spotify and have been told I have great taste in music by several strangers (friends) who are completely non-bias (definitely bias). March is still a work in progress but I’ve got lots of good stuff on there and more to come if you’re trying to get some new sounds in your headphones.

ESCAPE. Ojai, California. I need to treat myself to more weekend getaways because DAMN. It was the trip I didn’t know I needed. My friend Arielle turned 25 and a bunch of us pitched in for an AirBnb over there. I forgot what it felt like to step outside and hear literally nothing but birds. Didn’t even know I missed that. It was such peaceful weekend with lots of heart-to-hearts, wine, food, more food and hiking. If you’re in the LA area and haven’t taken a second to escape the tall buildings and build up of trash on the sidewalks in a little while, treat yourself to a quick little road trip to Ojai to recenter and remember that there’s more out there than just Los Angeles.

NETFLIX BINGE. The End of the F*cking World. WATCH IT PEOPLE. I actually watched the entire series kind of by accident while I was in Ojai. We had all come home after lunch and needed a nap but that turned into about 4 hours of wine and Netflixing. It’s a super easy series to finish because none of the episodes are over about 20 minutes long and there are only 8 of them. Basically it’s about this teenager who is a psychopath and wants to kill this girl (she’s actually such a badass) so he befriends her and basically he catches #feelings. There’s a lot more to it though. It’s suspenseful, sad, romantic, funny and also really f*cking weird.

you+are+a+badass+by+jen+sincero+review+the+b+diaries+self+help+book+self+improvement+growth+blogREAD. You are a Badass. I put off reading it for a long time cause it’s such a fad read and sometimes I like to be a hipster about things. But it’s the real deal. I love the voice that Jen Sincero writes in. Kind of reminds me of the tone of my blogs- pretty laid back and casual. Kind of feels like you’re sitting in her living room on the floor drinking wine and she’s preaching at you how to take control of your life. And like, you wanna listen cause she’s cool and also drinking wine.

OVERATE. The Farmer and the Cook. Yooooo. THIS restaurant. Another find in Ojai. It’s this little hippy dippy spot with lots of vegan options, a market place, live music, outdoor seating, juice/smoothie bar and full coffee menu. LET’S GO. What more could you want. I got the Hurrache which was better than anything I have eaten in a long time. I also was blessed enough to consume the best cookie I’ve ever put in my mouth. Ever. I’m not either of these two things but for some reason I got the vegan and gluten free oatmeal raisin cookie. I realize to 78% of you that sounds absolutely awful, but I am not exaggerating when I say I’ve never eaten anything that good. It had this crazy brown sugary mapley aftertaste and ugh I can’t talk about it anymore cause I’m hungry and it’s making me sad.

#FITNESS. In the Yoga studio. As you know by now, I do class pass each month. I used to have a yoga membership at White Heat yoga in North Hollywood and it truly felt like home. I loved the staff and the way I felt walking out of the studio. As hard as I tried to make it work after I moved downtown, I had to cancel the membership. They recommended I go to Evoke yoga downtown and let me know that a lot of the teachers also teach there. Cool. That was in November and I just now made the time to go see what Evoke is all about. It’s about 1.5 miles from my place and I learned the hard way that it’s more efficient to just take an Uber (if I can’t get my ass out of bed early enough to walk) because parking downtown is not a thing. As in I missed my first class cause I couldn’t find a place to park good ole Snoop. I’ve been going to hot flow 2 and am so thankful to have yoga back in my life. Taking the time out of my day to get centered is really beneficial for my scatterbrained self.

These last few weeks have felt a little off for me, so here’s to looking at the positive side of things from February and knowing that it’s only up from here.

And, as always, please please reach out if there are any questions you have for me or anything you’d like to see me write about.

Can you fall in love with someone online?

Hi guys, my name is Holly Reimer and I am addicted to Catfish: the TV show (hiiii Holly). I needed to come clean and finally say it. I recently got TV at my new place and it has TiVO!!! What is this crazy invention and why does it allow me to fuel my addiction the way it does?! Since I’m rarely ever home, I have a recurring recording schedule of the show so I can watch it whenever I find myself in front of the TV. Pathetic? Yes. Do I care? No. Currently, I have 11 episodes to catch up on. I. Am. So. Excited.

But I have some questions about these people. How on earth do you fall in love with someone you’ve never seen in real life?! Is it a thing that’s actually possible? Here’s what I’m thinking. I don’t think it can actually be love (whatever that is) because a few things happen when you have never actually seen someone in real life. For starters, you are able to imagine how they must be in real life based off of how you perceive them from the internet. So maybe you’re feeling like you’re love or whatever but, in reality it’s probably more that you’re in love with the idea of the whole thing. Which who hasn’t been there before- loving the idea of something more than the actual thing. It’s the same principle as the reason why I refuse to marry someone until I’ve lived with him for a bit first: you don’t really know someone until you spend an amount of time being inseparable because only then do you actually see their mannerisms and habits.

I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t be the only person out there who knows they look undeniably cooler on social media than they feel in real life. It’s no secret. Instagram or any sort of dating profile you maintain online is probably about 80% your “Oh my gosh this is such a cool thing I did/great photo/amazing place I’ve visited/SO my aesthetic!!!” and 20% (probably even less) “this is funny/cool/me at 7 am with no make up on.”

So here lies the problem. You’re scrolling through Facebook. Twitter, Instagram, Bumble, Tinder, Grndr, Match.com, Farmers Only, Christian Mingle and you see someones profile that looks intriguing. You start chatting and the only image you have in your head of them is this “Highlight Reel” version. Abs, world traveler, loves dogs, great with kids. What you can’t learn through the screen is that they chew really loud, breathe through their mouth, have a gambling problem and 2 girlfriends in 2 different states. What’s even worse is you can’t seem to even verify the good stuff because every time you try to FaceTime or video chat their camera is conveniently broken or the power in their apartment has gone off so the screen is pitch black. Nice, really good!!

On the flip side, of all of this it freaks me out. There are so many people out there who have had their photos used on fake profiles. It’s happened to many of my friends. The internet is such a big place, I feel like it’s nearly impossible to be 100% certain that it’s not happening to you as well. Scary. And also sad.

I may be turning into a sap, but there are definitely times when I find myself watching Catfish with a little wet thing full of feelings dripping down my cheek (lollllll). And it always comes when they are talking to the Catfisher. I spend the entire first half of the episode making the Catfish out to be this huge monster in my head, much like the victim has made them out to be this amazing person they’ve fallen in love with. Once they are finally revealed, there are a lot more layers exposed. Maybe they’ve suffered from abuse, were bullied as a child, have an illness that makes them house-bound. None of these horrible things makes their behavior excusable by any means, but my point is this all the way around: You can’t know someone fully (or love them) until you know them beyond social media.

I think this is why I’m so obsessed with this show because of this idea of people portraying themselves in a completely different way then how they are. Pretty relatable with how hugely blown up social media is in this day and age. Also, I think it’s because I am confident I would be a huge asset to Nev and Max’s investigative team because ya girl can internet creep.

But let me know! I love hearing feedback. Am I off-base? Have any of you been Catfished or fallen in love with someone you’ve never met? More importantly can you get me a job on Catfish???

 

Post-Thanksgiving food coma feels

Yes, I’m still full. Full of thanksgiving food but also full of gratitude (sorry that transition was so cheesy). This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family and I decided to spend the morning a little bit differently than I had in the past. Normally my Thanksgiving starts off with some cinnamon rolls and the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade. My mom is normally in the kitchen, doing all of the baking she should have done the night before, and then we roll over to our family thanksgiving a good 20 minutes late.   No worries, I still got my traditional cinnamon rolls and even enjoyed a traditional holiday feast later on in the day…but I spent my morning feeding the homeless just a few miles away from my place.

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Fellow Clippers ladies Carsyn, Mikayla, Kyla and myself

I had always seen photos and heard people tell stories about the homeless in LA- particularly in skid row, but I had never seen it in its fullest. Of course, it’s no secret that there is an overwhelming about of homeless people in Los Angeles. In fact, LA county has the largest homeless population in the country. But what’s wild to me is just how close to the high rent and lavish areas they are living. People are within blocks of each other living polar opposite lives. Someone is living in a penthouse apartment enjoying top shelf wine and online shopping for the holidays while, less than a mile away, someone is living on the street unsure of where their next meal is coming from. How can there be a lifestyle difference of that degree within the same block??

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Anyway. It’s the holidays and no matter who you are, everyone deserves to spend them with full bellies and a smile on their face. This year, I’ve been so lucky to make some incredible new friends- one of them being my fellow Clippers spirit member Kyla. She and her family organized a donations based food/clothing drive for Thanksgiving morning. We all met downtown, packed meals and care packages and headed to set up shop to start the hand outs.

img_8028Going into the morning, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Like I said, I had only ever seen photos or driven past a few tents under an overpass. Once we parked our cars and started walking around, I was stunned. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. Initially, I thought we would be volunteering at an actual homeless shelter or mission. But we took it into our own hands and set up a folding table with all of our meals (complete with dessert) on 7th and San Pedro, if I remember correctly. Not 30 seconds after we set up, we had a line of about 20 people. Most all of them expressed their extreme gratitude and even stayed to chat with us for a little bit.

I know it’s not much, but even being able to help out the people on that block alone gave me such a warm feeling along with a wake up call. I think in the past, I had been too scared to open myself up to even seeing that side of life. I preferred to live in my own little bubble, blissfully unaware that was a life that people so close to me in proximity lived. It’s so easy, especially living in LA, to get wrapped up in material things. I’m guilty of it for sure. I think we all are. Seeing this side of life gave me a whole new outlook on the lifestyle I live. A whole new level of gratitude for my upbringing and all of the blessings I have received. And finally, a whole new motivation to help in whatever way I can.  I’m so thankful for Kyla and the friends who organized and participated in this event. Thank you for reminding me just how blessed we are and what Thanksgiving is all about.