The Big 100: “Trading Words for Memories” Revisited.

The first post I want to highlight is this one, Trading Words For Memories, written for my family after my grandfather passed away in December of 2016. It was my first experience of loss, the first time I saw my Dad cry, and the first time I felt like my writing could make someone feel better. In reading the old post, I can hear myself struggle to find the right tone and words to express how I was feeling. 89 posts later, I have more to say. 

“There’s a part of me that wants to fill every hole he left in someone’s life– husband, father, grandfather, friend- but I think his memory and influence will do more good than an overemotional 18 year old trying to be her Dad’s dad.”

Something I’ve always struggled with is feeling guilt in relationships, and wanting to fix things for people, even when it’s not really possible. Experiencing this loss, I think that I wore my Dad’s heaviness more than my own. But through time and support, I learned how resilient people are, and that the best thing we can do is preserve in their memory.

“Staying true to my everything-happens-for-a-reason spirit, I know that all change comes with lessons and love. I am inspired to preserve my relationships with everyone, forgive and forget, because life is short but love lasts so long.”

And at the time, focusing on the positives in my life felt like the greatest takeaway. But since, I’ve started to honor my Grandfather’s memory not with personal lessons, but through questions about who he was. I started asking for stories, recounts of his best reactions, passions he chased throughout his life. Over a year out, I think I know who my Grandpa was even better than I did when he was alive. I feel like I’m reshaping the old, cookie-loving man I’d known into how my parents, cousins, friends of friends knew him. A true intellectual with a weakness for sweets. 

“But in all sincerity, I really believe that each person in your life shapes your character. Thank you for making me who I am today. I know you’re proud, and honestly, so am I.”

But the closing holds true, and I never stop thanking my lucky stars for the incredible role models in my life. 

Find the original moment of reflection here


Stuck in my head: Mission to Mars // RKS
Snap it: terrain cafe, PA

 

The Big 1.0.0.

This week I shared my 100th post and I didn’t even notice. Like talk about letting a big moment slip by. Come on, J, let’s get it together here.

I started my blog back in September of 2016 with this post about losing my blog-ginity and how I wanted to develop my personal edge through writing. The “OK, let’s do this now” came from my, at the time, favorite Instagrammer, and the name came from my love for my campus and my city. 

That’s when the creativity took off and I started to develop my voice. I shared about my internships with CAVA, Marriott, and GNI and started to try new things, like going vegan for a week. I dedicated posts to people that make me so happy and vacations that made me really feel like I was living fully. From burnout to pushing through the push-up pain, I’ve found a passion for writing for other people and become a much more reflective, self-actualized person.

In Summer 2017, I felt like I’d outgrown the image I’d created. I wanted to own my female experience and speak more to social media. That’s when The Next Classic was born, in 12 hours, from my parent’s beachside bedroom. The perspective matured, just as I had in freshman year. In this swap, I can hear a change in the way I saw, and now see, the world around me. 

This post is like bringing the cake to the party, it just felt necessary to round up some of my all-time favorite works and bring them back from the blog graveyard. To celebrate 100, I’m resharing two old posts with new insight.

The first one comes tomorrow.  

My blog has seen me grow professionally and personally and I’m proud of how my work and my character have evolved. It’s time to stop and smell the syntax, but not without a true, sincere thank you to everyone that’s helped me along the way. From Instagram DMs to comments on the site, my family and friends are really the ones who built this. I owe all my confidence, and probably a couple internships, to you. 

I’m still impressed with myself from the “stop and smell the syntax line,” so we’re going to end with that. Let’s stop and smell the syntax, friends. 


Stuck in my head: Butterfly // Delicate Steve
Snap it: Herald Square, 2016. It felt like time to bring this back.