Back to the Old Way...

Monday, October 26, 2015

I have to admit I've gotten a little tired of this new idea of what a blog is.

I don't want to see a plethora of posts about various rich girls in Italy or Sweden with their Herm├Ęs bags and Louis Vuitton heels. 

Even the idea of being authentic has become a hipster trend. And many blogs focus on one thing: DYI, recipes, fashion, decorating, etc. (which isn't necessarily bad, but there seems to be this pressure to blog only about whatever your specific niche is). 

But when I find myself opening up the Bloglovin app or hungry for some posts, to read and hear from fellow women and men, from fellow's because I want to read their stories. 

I want to read about life - the real, the gritty, the mundane, the exciting, the boring, the inspirational. 

That's why I started blogging. Why I started (and why I keep on) reading blogs. 

To find rest for my weary soul in words from kindred spirits, from fellow souls who understand that this thing called Life is something to both mourn and celebrate. That there's hard seasons and good ones. 

And I hope that's what this little space is for you. A place where you can laugh, sigh, learn where to get some great inexpensive boots, chat about thrift store clothes, read about heartache and growing pains, and find encouragement. And celebrate - breathe - the moments in between. 

So that's what this blog will be...because I'm a real girl with messiness and lots of feelings. I've got a love for words, a desire for connection and kindred spirits and for saying 'ah, you too? I thought I was the only one,' and a heart for fellow feelers + lovers of life. 

I hope this little space reminds you of the raw, real, messy beauty of life...that it's not perfect, but that it's always worthwhile.

When You're Trying to Figure Out Your Path: A Million Different Ways

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Life's been jumbled up and all sorts of crazy lately...partly because it's the fall, and a time of change - of looking ahead to the future, of tests and deadlines and things picking up steam. And partly because I'm having to figure out what to do with my life next. After May...

As I told a good friend over coffee the other day, I've always had a very clear trajectory in my life for as long as I can remember. I was the child and high school student who knew what she wanted to major in and what she wanted to pursue.

Even after coming back from Paris this summer, everything was clearly laid out. I would apply to graduate creative writing programs. I would spend the next few years writing and growing, and then (hopefully) publish books. (all the while continuing to build my blog empire, heh)

And now...I'm not so sure.

In fact, as I told him, I have absolutely no idea what my life will look like. Where I'll be. Whether it's Texas...the East Coast...the Midwest...back home...or even England.

I might be in grad school. I might be working in the publishing industry. I might be taking a year off. I might be traveling. I might be doing none of those and instead something else that I haven't even considered.

And that's terrifying. And exhilarating. Because I'm opening myself up to the possibility. Granted, today was a long, exhausting, test-filled day that left me in tears and wanting to be five again so I can curl under the covers while my mother makes all my decisions for me. The absolute last thing I wanted was to not know what my future is.

But today, tonight even, something my friend said to me in return is finally sinking in. He said:

"You know, there are a lot of different ways to love God. You can love Him in grad school, as a waiter, in a simple job - it's just crazy the amount of ways you can love God. Wherever you are." 

Jess sent out a newsletter today about how it's really all about just loving God. That it's not about the success or doing well or even following all the steps you think you're supposed to.

At the end of the day, it's all just about loving God. And there's a million different ways of how that looks. A crazy amount of ways to love God.

If you're like me and currently evaluating your life - wondering what the next step is - maybe that will bring you the same peace it's bringing me.

There's no wrong way. Just a million different ways.

Confessions Vol. III

- ideal Friday night? The above, always. Add some episodes of Friends (how am I just now discovering the wonderfulness that is Joey, Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, and Pheebs?), fuzzy socks, and mac n' cheese...literal perfection. 

- I am not a cheesecake person. At all. Just the thought of it makes my stomach clench...I think because it's just so.much.dairy and I can't handle that. Also, I'm a carb person, so the idea + actual process of eating something sweet that's just creamy and too rich is...bleh. (Let it be noted though that I adore ice cream and am generally fond of pudding. I know, I'm a hypocrite.)

BUT I can and always will eat any cheesecake with chocolate. That's the only way I can stomach it. And Olive Garden's Black Tie Mousse cheesecake? Bae. But only because it tastes like mousse, not cheesecake. 

- I have developed a strange dislike of guys holding doors open for me. It's a bit absurd, but there it is. It's not that I don't appreciate them being a gentleman, but for Pete's sake, I'm strong enough to open a door and it's okay if I hold it open for you too. My philosophy is whoever gets to the door first should open it - whether it's the guy or the girl. None of this "Oh, I shall refuse to walk through the door until you, a lady, go through it first." BOO. Just go through the dang door. 

- men in flannel...holding babies? Stop. Just please stop, because that is my Achilles heel. 

- I recently realized I haven't been on a date in years. Three years to be exact. What. Which then lead to the realization  that I don't remember/know anymore how to act on a date. What do you do? What do you say??? How much flirting is too much?!? 

The struggles.  

- we're not going to talk about the obscene lack of sleep that I've suffered from for the entire past week. We're also not going to talk about how I am old and just want to nap for a year and it's been killing me to run on fumes but between midterms, traveling out of town for a conference, and having to get up early, it's just not been a good week.

I'm sorry, body. I really, really am.

- during the first few weeks of the semester, when all of the freshmen boys are going crazy because COLLEGE and ALL THE GIRLS everywhere they looked, I ended up in the same conversation with a few of them. 

Freshman guy: (trying to be nonchalant and cool) "So, what are you - a sophomore?"
Grace: (blinks stoically) 
Grace: "I'm a senior."
Freshman guy: (sudden look of horror like a deer in the headlights) 
Freshman guy: "Ohhhh.... (Laughs weakly while edging away - 'OMG OMG OLDER WOMAN BACK AWAY BACK AWAY, THIS IS NOT A DRILL REPEAT THIS IS NOT A DRILL') That's cool." 

Throw in the fact that I'm a year older than most seniors (I'll be 23 next semester) and I can't help feeling bad for the poor, stricken 18-19 yrd guys who gamely try to strike up a conversation. Poor little dears

previous Confessions: Vol. I, Vol II. 

Words of Magic

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A State of the Blog Address

Monday, October 12, 2015

There's something immensely terrifying about writing for people you know.

I could sit here for days and days, pouring every bit of my heart out - the ugly, the messy, the good, the not-so-good - with no hesitation or qualms.

And for a long time I did. Because for many years the people who read those posts weren't the ones I spoke to in real life every day. The early years of this blog were filled with much silliness and dramatic writing because I'd met so many lovely girls through the blogsphere and we were all faithful followers of each other's blogs.

But, nearly eight years later, thanks to Facebook and other forms of social media, quite a lot of people whom I pass each day, sit next to in class, see at church, or eat lunch with now have the ability and direct access if they so wish to click over to my blog and read what I've written.

And so during the past year or two, I inevitably always have the same reaction when a real-life friend or classmate comes up to me and says, "I read your blog!"

Oh. Oh dear. 

It's oddly paradoxical, I know. For many years I wished that more people I know in real life read my posts...but it's a funny thing to realize that a handful of guy friends have read this post or this one. That if I post anything remotely melancholy, half of the people I see every day as well as my mother might suddenly become worried that I'm depressed or that something's gone wrong.

It's the age-old problem, I think, of every artist who wants to be recognized yet simultaneously fears it.

I am a writer. I speak best through the written word. I process through words, stumbling and delving deep for emotions that come to the surface only through ink and paper. Or in this case, black type against a white screen.

There have been many posts lately that I've itched to write...but have not. Because people that I interact with in real life read my blog.

And for whatever reason, recently, that's frightening. That so many people can see into the real, raw bits of one's soul...that they can, in five minutes, read the entirety of my emotions and thoughts, while I have no clue as to theirs.

So if it's been quiet on the blog lately...well, that's why.

Because I'm trying to realize what it means to be a public voice. What it means to write in the open, where any and all can read without me ever knowing. Because when reality and the internet intersect, it can be terrifying.

For a creative person, it can be anxiety-inducing. Stifling, even.
But I have a voice. And I have a love for words, for writing. And a love for you, dear readers. For the connection that can form through a theme or thought discovered on a page or within a post. You too? I thought only I felt or thought like that. 

I want to keep going. For you.

So just hang in there while I figure out this craziness that is life online. It's a tricky balance, for sure. And one that I'm just now acknowledging.

(Really, I just need to be more like Tim - excuse the language - but I'm not quite there yet, heh)

Friday Feelings + Links

Friday, October 9, 2015

 I've never thought I could pull off a dark lip, but I'm feeling adventurous this fall, so I might just give these 5 Oxblood Lipsticks for the fall a whirl.

How to have a productive day...definitely going to be utilizing these.

These cute bat lights + bat party favors are making me want to throw a Halloween party...

10 Best Beauty Products for a Bargain - yes, please.

Made me laugh. So. Hard.

Loving this Brigitte Bardot inspired look - I tried this out the other day and paired it with a loose, upswept bun + black dress + silver cardigan and got compliments all day long. Such a fun look, especially if you're not a fan of a heavy dark smoky eye.

Why Wait Til Marriage: What No One Tells Kids and What I Wish Someone Had Told of the best posts I've read in a long time. "Your naked body deserves the honor of being shared only with someone who is covenanted to never stop loving your naked soul." 

Pretty fall shoes - I'm on the lookout for some good fall flats + boots, since mine are all on their last leg. There's something so pretty about a simple ballet flat or wedge ankle boots. No fuss but so stylish.

If Shakespeare Tweeted Romeo and Juliet instead of writing it as a play. Such laughs. Much irony.

A Beautiful Mess released their annual Pumpkin Spice Playlist. Lovely chill fall jams.

I laughed a little too hard over this. Poor, poor Steve.

Not a fan of dark lipsticks? Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere put together a list of 5 fun, colorful lipsticks for fall.  

And lastly, this fall checklist looks if only the Texas weather will cooperate and stop making us sweat every day.

Happy weekend, friends! What do you have planned? 

Manly Mondays// BC

Monday, October 5, 2015

It's Monday...which means two things: 

1. Benedict
2. The start of a new week

But it's okay, friends...we can get through it. I don't know about you, but October is so full and crazy with something every weekend (and midterms are somewhere in between there, I heard)

In the meantime, here's some Benedict wonderfulness. Enjoy and happy Monday, friends.