Tag Archives: lessons

blog is getting a juice cleanse;

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hey ya’ll.

if you couldn’t tell already, this blog has been needing some serious r&r.

it needs a face lift of sorts. maybe a tummy tuck. maybe a juice cleanse. who knows, but i’ve been thinking about doing it for months.

inspired by my dear friend jenna’s recent blog overhaul, i realized i can re-brand this space as much as i want. whenever i want. often i’d think i had something to “owe” to someone, but that’s a bunch of baloney. and uber self-righteous. and i’m not down with that.

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if anything, i feel like i’ve outgrown this little space like an old, dried out cocoon. or one of those shells that $5-side-of-the-road hermit crabs live in.

 

in a way, i feel like i’ve outgrown “personal” blogging. “lifestyle” blogging. whatever you call it, i can’t seem to get a handle of it.

in short, i’m not very good at lifestyle blogging, because i’m not very good at lying or fabricating perfection out of my normal days. which, in their own ways, are perfect to me, but odd or dysfunctional seeming to the outside world.

i’d rather tell stories about how i once made two dogs so excited they peed themselves at the same time. or how i dated a guy who ended up dumping me because he thought he was allergic to me. or how i made the most horrible cake ever. or how i dropped out of college once. or met swedes in san francisco hostels. that’s the stuff i thrive off of; those are the stories i want to tell.

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in short, my life doesn’t look like a j.crew catalogue, and it’s all too easy to make your blog life look like that, i know. and i’m feeling the need to step away from that sort of world. or at least back off for a bit.

i’m also too private for that. you know how people in the olden days say photographs steal your soul or something? i feel like blogging about various experiences that i treasure so much would make them less of my own memories and more of something that people could critique or strive to have happen in their own lives.

and guys, i don’t want any of you to strive to emulate any one else’s lives. whether it’s the stationery they use. or the pug they have. or the damn duvet cover they have. i feel like it’s very easy to fall down the rabbit hole of self-perfection. and i think i have the responsibility of presenting reality to you all.

with that said, i’m taking the next few weeks to create a new space that will not only be a good place for me to share things in, and i hope you all stick around for it.

monday’s fortune;

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{monday’s thai food fortune cookie.}

monday we overslept.
my brother was on a plane home at 9:30am.  mom and i ate thai, until at 2:50 pm my mom looked over my shoulder to see what everyone in the restaurant was staring at on the television.
“ooh! the runners two blocks away from the finish line.”

somehow i knew this couldn’t be right. without my glasses on, i felt this was fishy.
i knew from half-wrecklessly running a half marathon a few years ago that the majority of runners would be finishing around 2:50 in the afternoon.
it seems that someone else knew that, too. curse my mom and i’s poor eye sight.

in a lot of ways, i’m still in shock. the blasts were around 2-3 blocks away from my school. seven students from my school were injured. it’s also the origin of where i first got smitten over boston.
first saw that library rotunda. bought my dried apricots from trader joe’s. get caught by pushy canvassers on my way home.
aimlessly wandered on tuesday afternoons when i had nothing else to do but gawk at buildings and residents of this little city.

in these situations, i can’t even be angry. anger is what your bully wants to see. sadness is what these people feed on.
as a younger sister of an older brother with a penchant for wrestling and light-hearted sibling fighting, i know that you never show that person you’re upset. that’s what they’re looking for. the sooner you stop showing sadness and anger, the sooner the person in question leaves you alone. terrorism, while terrifying, is only successful if terror is sensed in the victims.

boston is better than that.
if you’ve ever gone to a sox game, or a farmer’s market in the italian end, you know these people won’t back down. they will insult your mother. they will be the first to drop their “r”s in conversation, but also the first to fight for you.
if there is anything i feel from yesterday’s events, it’s even more love for this city.

i’ve grown up here, these last few years. i became a fully functioning adult here. and i’m lucky to live here, if not for the people i’ve met, but for the people i haven’t met, who i got to see run yesterday.

not just running  in the marathon, but for the running they did towards the destruction that tore up so many people’s lives, wrecked their dreams of finishing 26.2 miles in boston, rendered them a little less innocent to the things that a small fraction of a fraction of a percentage of the world decide to bring into this world.

because that’s the truth of it. that’s why i can’t be angry or sad.
because these things can’t wreck my view of “humanity” because the people who do these things are a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the population.
and the runners and helpers towards those people in the blasts outnumber them in the millions and billions.

if you need any more proof of this, click the links below:

the google person finder
runners run to mgh to give blood after marathon
cowboy hat hero saves lives at marathon
13 examples of people being awesome after the bombing
red cross: how to help (apparently, they’ve exceeded what they need. humanity wins again)
 to boston, from kabul, with love

post-grad reading list;

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the other night i had the pleasure of meeting a really kindred spirit in the unlikely place of a new frozen yogurt shop  where i was attending a babysitters-parent networking event (feel free to laugh. this is my normal.) we hit a lull in the event, the other babysitters really weren’t talking to other babysitters and hardcore ENFP that i am, i just couldn’t handle not talking to other human beings.

i ended up talking to the girl next to me, a nice, bubbly post-grad and we shortly began gabbing to our hearts content about work, preferred take-out restaurants (indian food court restaurant @ the pru/ chili duck) and the like. admittedly, she met me on a rough day of realizing hey, i don’t think i want to work a job in my major (which tends to happen when you just got finished with a two hour lecture on paper.) and hey, maybe i want to do this one really “unpractical” thing that i’ve always wanted to do since i was eight. and hey, i’m graduating this year and i’m very scared i might have to work at a quiznos. 

the girl was the best part of the event. since my post-grad woes had been distracting me all week (and also the coordinator of the event mistook me for a mom as soon as i walked in the door, grumblegrumblegrumble) i was feeling a bit disgruntled and distracted. “you don’t have to work in your major!” she said, calmly. “you can literally do anything you want,” she said after hearing my questions about post-grad life. and then i thought about all the books i’ve read in the past few years or so that said the same, stupidly simple little reminder that i’ve heard a million times, both in books and by multiple elementary school teachers. once again, i’m nope-ing to doing a job in my major because it’s “practical”. i’m nope-ing to working at quiznos. boom.

so for your reading pleasure (and because i hope/know i’m not alone in this feeling) here are some “hey, you don’t have to work at [insert fast food establishment here]“ book list for post-grad survival

100 demons by lynda barry (a coming of age omic book!)

great gals: inspired ideas for living a kick-ass life by summer pierre

the artist in the office: how to creatively survive and thrive seven days a week by summer pierre

i was told there’d be cake by slone crosley + my boyfriend wrote a book about me by hillary winston  + the new york regional mormon singles halloween dance by elna baker    (the three women who are essentially doing what i want to do, no biggie.)

the happiness project
 
by gretchen rubin (reading this right now and my mind is bubbling over with ideas, ya’ll.)

what i know now: letters to my younger self by ellen spragins (one of my dearest friend’s mothers gave me this book when i graduated high school and it is actually the best little nugget of wisdom i’ve ever received.)

 

{what are your favorite reads for the post-grad-i-don’t-know-what-i’m-doing-but-i’d-like-to-still-have-money-to-eat group?}

i just want to wear all the hats, please;

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{my preferred means of studying}

i’m gonna whisper this really softly in case i startle any of you.

i figured out i don’t want to apply to grad school. not this year at least. maybe not even in five years. maybe not ever. whatever.

in the spirit of 2013: the year of “nope” i’m saying nope to running wild with ideas i’ve half-convinced myself of going forward with. i’ve always loved learning. i sometimes will exclaim it to whomever is near me. “siiiiiiigh, i love learning,” which is usually met with an eye roll. the fact that i was never on the scripps spelling bee when i was in middle school is still a weak spot for me (i would definitely be one of the little dweebs that writes the word out with her finger and the back of her number pinned to her mom-picked-out-polo.)

 in typical mackenzie fashion, i get a really romanticized image of the future and run maniacally with it clutched in my grubby, little paws. and this is all looked nice when i put this on me.  it was convincing and comfortable and fit me well.  this image was of me wearing tweed and classy-lady blazers, stacks of books in hand, trying to get people into poetry by super pissed off american women in the 20th century (my favorite), glasses sliding down my nose, as my head falls in between the crack of a book.

and that’s cute and whatever, but then i got this itch. it was along the lines of “mackenzie, but you would have to go to grad school somewhere for six years minimum, you effing HATE sitting still, ya turd” and “goodbye, time to read teen chick lit,” as well as a simple “ugh, when would all the sleeping happen?”

because when it boils down to it, i’m afraid i won’t keep learning new things. which is actually stupid, considering on my year off i taught myself pre-calculus, bought a german workbook last summer, and read james und der riesenpfirsich last spring. to say i’ll never learn new things is like telling myself i will never eat a whole cookie pie by myself (#14 best decision of my life, actually.) i rushed into this tweed-filled daydream of mine because the younger mackenzies thought i wouldn’t hold up my side of the bargain, to always learn things.

i’ve always liked to wear many hats. happy mackenzie rushes from babysitting (paper hat, made by charley) her favorite two year-old homegirl(“i get to listen to ‘sweet baby james’ when i go poop on the potty!”- charley, on her love of the music of james taylor) and bakes orange cinnamon rolls (ratty white target beret), and reads poetry when she wants to, for fun (still the beret, but turned to the side all fancy-like), and ya fiction, for fun (let’s be real now), and picks apart things stories, and crochets absurdly thick scarves (ten gallon hat, to change things up), and sings when she does the dishes (a top hat), and makes horrible jokes (a bowler hat). and shedoesn’tliketoplananythinginadvancethankyouverymuch (no hat at all.)

and at this point my hat collection is wide and varied and  and going to grad school in the next year or two would be like wearing the same beret every day for the next year, and gosh darnit i want to wear a sombrero.

2013: the year of “nope”;

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i am a yes girl through and through. i say yes to new friends because, hey, new friends! i say yes to babysitting new kids for new families because, hey, money for me to blow on overpriced decaf americanos and concert tickets and ingredients to bake speculoos cookies! i say yes to including not-the-nicest people in my little world that might not be paying the adequate amount of rent money to inhabit that space, because yes is always best, right?! especially in this twenty-something female blog world, i can’t tell you how many times i’ve seen a twee little “say yes to life” message riddled among blog posts. and you know what?

nope. just….nope.

don’t get me wrong, i love that i am agreeable. i love that i can easily get myself excited about doing things that the people in my life love to do, because if they love it, what’s not to love? i love that excitement is something i can easily tap into, like a little maple tree that’s overflowing with sap a bit too much.

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but then i get tired. and i keep saying yes. because that’s who i am. and who would i be if i said no every once in a while? ergo, my inability to say no. my inability to say “ya know, i kind of wanna go by myself to this concert, if that’s okay” to the cross-armed wet-blankets of my world. my struggle to stay in, stay put, and stay still, wondering what might be going on in the city of beans. “what’s so wrong with having internship, class and babysitting from 10am-10pm on tuesdays?” i’d say to myself, stress-eating bowls of microwaved pan-asian noodle bowls and 50% of my daily sodium intake. and then i saw this cute little drawing and it all made sense. 

such things only get harder when you spent an semester interning and making event calendars, where your only goal was to glean the internet for the funnest of events going on outside (murder mystery scavenger hunts inside museums! ladysmith black mambazo concerts! oktoberfests out the wazoo!), bombarding you with things you “must” say yes to.

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this is to say i will say yes to only the things that add, not subtract. saying yes to baking speculoos cookies to the tune of the ronettes than overworking myself to hyper-rory-gilmore-ic tendencies (and we all know i tend to do that). yes to the worthwhile things (new issues of ploughshares read on the t, tacqueria dates, and my favorite two year olds). no to the  things that wear me down until i am cowering under my electric blanket with a bag of sweet potato chips and twilight zone episodes acquired from sketchy dutch tv websites. i’ll still be a yes lady, but with a couple dashes of “nope”.

appreciators to the right. haters to the left. its the year of nope, ya’ll, and you’re welcome to join along.

seven year old selves, a playlist;

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{click above picture of three year-old mackenzie for playlist, because seven year-old me had an unsightly white girl ‘fro}

like i said before, the sads don’t typically prey upon me in the winter, i’ll admit. but i also have a pretty unfair advantage for combatting the nasty little case of blues that seem to hover above  most people post-january 1st by having a conveniently late-winter birthday (ahem, march 7th. ahem. i’d love this sriracha sauce iphone case, ahem).

but sometimes, like most people who live in cities where the days look the same at 4am as they do at 4pm, it hits me. it really does. it sneaks up and settles in and asks to stay to take the chill off in my living room and i’m sometimes to nice to shoo it away from my threshold.

and i’m all about honesty on my little space on the internet. i get bummed, despite tales of lady-dates, dance parties, and lit-up bicycle rides. i get sad.  i feel like andre the giant is sitting on my chest at times. i wish i didn’t have #anemicgirlproblems and could feel the tips of my fingertips when gallivanting out in the cold. you know, the usual. nothing out of the ordinary. we all get it.

i sometimes think the origin of this sense of sads we get is when we get disconnected from whoever sits comfortably at the seat of your soul and monitors the goings on of things. i’ll notice i get disconnected to the little seven-year-old mackenzie that inhabits somewhere between my heart and my spleen (whatever, it’s prime real estate there). she’s the original, core mackenzie. she’s a fledgling mackenzie, but still the most authentic. the girl who knew more about  the proper way to attain skinned knees (rollerblading into mailboxes because she didn’t know how to stop, real talk),  than how to order replacement books of checks (ugh, the worst).

she gets angry when she doesnt get to break free and crunch on the snow, watch a disney channel original movie in the safety of her grandma chair, and eat a spoonful of marshmallow fluff right from the jar. spunk without inhibitions and thoughts of compensation, consequence, or outer perception. and she’s been bogged down lately. and its time to shake off the dust and get seven year old self to stretch out her legs, preparing her for another round of roller-blading mishaps.

so, if you’ll excuse me, seven-year-old mackenzie is getting very impatient waiting for me. classic seven year old self. so classic.

on eating and drinking;

{we interrupt this blog of bad puns and puppy mentions for a lovely quote i found from a dear friend. so good to keep it in mind on this holiday}

“…when you kill a beast say to him in your heart,
‘by the same power that slays you, i too am slain; and i too shall be consumed.
for the law that delivered you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier hand.
your blood and my blood is naught but the sap that feeds the tree of heaven.’

and when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart,
‘your seeds shall live in my body,
and the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
and your fragrance shall be my breath,
and together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.’

and in the autumn, when you gather the grapes of your vineyards for the winepress, say in your heart,
‘i too am a vineyard, and my fruit shall be gathered for the winepress,
and like new wine i shall be kept in eternal vessels.’
and in winter, when you draw the wine, let there be in your heart a song for each cup;
and let there be in the song a remembrance for the autumn days, and for the vineyard, and for the winepress.”

-kahlil gibran.

i just bought a ticket;


there is something weirdly noble surrounding the idea of traveling; the sacrifice of certain pairs of shoes left at home and the inevitable awkward foot tan that will come with it. the forgoing of certain pleasantries so you can afford another museum in new york city. another styrofoam container of steaming dumplings from a corner shop in the lower east side.

a particular book you’ve been scavenging for months in a little university book store, the clerk shocked that any girl is buying a thick poetry anthology in the summer time. the inevitable baby wipe shower you will administer when you know your b.o. is insulting the man next to you on the bus. the fact that  one of your mom’s first reactions to your arrival home is that she can see how bad your underarm hair has gotten.

when i told people about my trip, i was somewhat shocked at their reactions. reaction number one= “oh, so how are you getting down the east coast? biking?! “ which flattered me, but my white girl calves could definitely not handle 1,000+ miles. even if i did google-map a bike route for it, i’m not that cool. reaction number two= “white girl, you’re crazy.” and reaction number three= “three weeks of traveling?! who are you doing it with? by yourself? girl, you’re too cool” which made me shake my head.

because… i’m not that cool. holding up your debit card to your face so you can see the numbers to type it into the megabus website does not make anyone cooler. fact: my tickets from bos–>nyc–>philly–>d.c.–>durham, nc =  a whopping $43. $43 to get me through five states. i’m not scrooge mcduck over here, dishing out gold from my velvet coin purse. i mean, come on. i just made a duck tales reference.

i read a quote a few years ago that was along the lines of “all those people who traveled the world were just people who bought plane tickets” and it really stuck with me. i don’t think there is any sort of illusion that makes one type of person a traveler, and the other not. i think one group is just used to popsicles for dinner and not opening a bar tab because they know that they’d rather have the money (that might, just might, end up getting stolen by french gypsies. but oh well. it’s a story?) to try fresh ceviche with the cook’s mother’s recipe in spain. or go to a punk concert at an ethiopian restaurant in d.c. or take those trapeze classes off the pier in santa monica.

for me, it’s the ability to string a story after a trip that really makes me see how cool a person can be after travel. not the fact that they decided to take the plunge, but what they did after they did what a lot of people can do if they make sacrifices. jealousy is usually (and thankfully) a foreign concept to me.

but i do find myself a bit envious when i see photos pop up with travels to prague or buenos aires or thailand. because i usually imply coolness to their journeys. but i don’t know how those people live their lives. they might be traveling in “hermetically sealed pope-mobiles” for all i know. they might have napped a lot while on their two week trip to new zealand. they might have said no to things a lot more than they said yes. they just bought a ticket.

you can have just as much fun (if not more) in your own town and have a larger variety of shoes to choose from, and whether or not you are in london has nothing to do with it. or you can travel. but that still only means you bought a ticket. it’s the resulting stories of the old cigar shop clerk in university city with the weird, near-pornographic post cards. and new bus stop friends that gave you a hug and told you “god bless”. and the somewhat-annoying-yet-endearing greenpeace canvassers you talk to for fifteen minutes about brooklyn.

it’s those stories that are noble. not the travel.