Modern Day Time Machine.

I’ve written before about my dark years. AKA: the eight years that Taylor Swift played on a loop and her picture was plastered on every and any open space within a mile radius of me. At the time, I thought I was *musically living,* now I know I was really just missing out on a whole world of different sounds.

No worries, I was eventually cultured. Enter Spotify, which, not to be dramatic, changed the soundtrack of my future. And now, my favorite compliment to get is “you look like you listen to indie music.” Houndmouth, HAIM, and Hippocampus describe my life better than any pop, country crossover track.

But, as I danced in my nosebleed seat at the Taylor Swift Reputation tour, I couldn’t help crying (and singing) along as she played some of her classics. And I started thinking about the power of music to take you back to such a specific moment, or feeling. The thought has stuck with me, and no matter how many times I sit down to write about it, it’s still hard for me to put into words. It feels almost like a modern day time machine.

And in all of this, I started to think about how it’s not just memories and feelings, but the people you share music with, too. It’s why we avoid certain songs that remind us of certain heartbreaks and make playlists dedicated to people we love. There’s so much life tied into something that we just have to press play to experience.

I wasn’t expecting to be so emotional at the concert. I didn’t even think to wear waterproof mascara; most of Swift’s current songs are more sass and less sob. But, when she played tracks from her first couple albums, it brought me back to long car rides with the best of friends, fifty chairs in a circle around a campfire, and a time of my life when my biggest worry was how I was going to fit more magazine cutouts of Taylor into my shrine. Simpler times, to say the least. It wasn’t a sad, depressing cry. More of a, “wow, things are so different now and I’m so different now” moment.

Change is always confusing. Realizing things aren’t the same always makes us more reminiscent of the past. I love where I am now, but part of me misses where I was when the Red album hit iTunes. It’s okay, life goes on and it keeps getting better, but sometimes it’s nice to be brought back to who you used to be. 


Stuck in my head: Long Live // Taylor Swift
Snap it: Rep Tour!

 

 

The Anniversary Collection.

Well, this is a little strange. It appears that Campus City Classic turned The Next Classic’s birthday is today. And the little bitch is exactly one year old. Bring in the cupcakes, light the candles, pop the champagne. 

It’s crazy to think that at this moment, a year ago, I was thinking about developing my “personal edge,” and struggling to figure out who I wanted to write as. I was also crying in my dorm room due to lack of egg whites in the dining hall. Oh, and VSCO was the biggest must of the moment. So really, a lot has clearly changed since then.

I’ve done a lot of self-discovery through my writing and I thought it would be a good chance to travel down memory lane. When I read my old posts, and yes I read my old posts, I sometimes forget that I was the one who wrote them. It’s like I’m maturing so quickly, and my perception of the world around me is so different now that I can’t always go back to the mindset I had when I sat down with a cup of tea and that idea. I find that a lot in this post from finals last year and this one from when I turned 18.

On the other hand, I love to see how some things haven’t changed at all. Like my love for Crazy Feta or my hardcore, borderline psycho, passion for Instagram. Not to mention my undying dedication to referencing chokers and Carrie Bradshaw.

But I’ve also really grown up in the past year. I’ve pushed myself to understand social media better and to start being vocal about being a strong woman, both in the gym and out. I’ve tried (and failed) at new things, aka Veganism and 100 Happy Days. And I’ve made so many amazing memories, all captured and appropriately Instagrammed.

I think the most bittersweet parts of looking back at it all are the relationships I’ve built, but also lost, along the way. From new friends to friends as old as they come, I feel so fortunate to have so much support and love following me everywhere I go. Not to mention a small fan club of ladies who kick ass at bridge and don’t understand social media, but read every post anyway (Hi Grandma and friends).

In honor of my one year anniversary with me, myself, and my online persona, I bring to you every song from every blog I’ve written. One playlist that brings together all the smiles, snacks, mental breakdowns, and lattes along the way. 

Raise a glass to The Anniversary Collection and another year of me talking to myself. 


Stuck in my Head: Don’t Take The Money // Bleachers
Snap it: Baked and Wired, Georgetown

Honestly in shock about this whole one-year thing. Life is crazy and fun, and blogging about it only makes it even better. Cheers, friends. Thank you for everything. 

Old Friends, New Victims.

The holidays are a merry time, I mean I’m not really one for reindeer sweaters, but gotta love candy canes and snow days. I know it’s only early December but the semester is wrapping up and I can’t help but wonder where the time went. It feels like just yesterday I unpacked my jean shorts. Well, jean shorts are officially out of season, but good news is snowsuits and parkas are in. Aka- perfect way to hide the Christmas cookie food baby. 

All the new friends I’ve made this year have really got me thinking about some oldies but goodies. And by oldies I mean friends from way back when. I won’t name names but there are some precious gems in the bunch. And now I’ve got to make a confession. I social media stalk them all. 

It’s not that I’m obsessed with them. I promise. I don’t know their college addresses or their bra sizes. I just wonder what they’re up to and I want to stay connected to their lives, even if I’m not really on their radars anymore.

Some friendships have an experation date– two crazy drama filled girls fall in love, one kisses the other’s boyfriend, bla bla bla, insert girl-fight here. None of these friendships were even close to that. Most of them faded because of distance and time, some I have no idea how we fell out of step. And as I make new friends and am forced to put myself out there for the first time in years, I’m kind missing some of my relationships that fell through the cracks. 

Why so reminiscent, J? This is soooo sad, how did you let this happen? Why don’t you just text them? Because I didn’t realize how valuable human connections were at the time. For some reason I let those friendships die to the point that I don’t know if I could text them anymore. It would probably be a super weird and awkward conversation. Something straight from the “Broken-up Couple” chapter. But it’s totally not my fault that I wonder what it would’ve been like to keep growing up with them.

Some of them have pretty freaking great lives now. I would’ve loved to visit them at college and get an earful of their new friend group gossip. But the past is the past and nothing is harder than rekindling a flame that’s been out for a while (I’ve never built a fire so I’m not totally sure, but I imagine). Basically this me saying I’m never unfollowing you because I guess there’s always some part of me that wants to be some kind of involved in your lives. Even if it’s just a like every now and then. I promise not to comment any old Facebook statuses (resurfacing is the woooorrrssttt) and I’ll try my hardest not to like ancient Instagrams. But keep me updated, because I still care.

And if you social media stalk me back, then maybe we should get lunch sometime and catch up. 


Stuck in my head: Welcome to Your Life // Grouplove
Snap it: somewhere in DC

When I say victims I mean social media stalking victims. I am not coming to kill you, I swear on chokers and bagels. 

Why I Finished That Donut…

Some of my all time favorite memories revolve around one single thing… food. It’s those bite filled moments that leave a mark on me and I think it’s because food has this innate power to bring people together. What screams friendship louder than a pizza? 


This weekend was one of reunions on many levels & each included a different series of entrees. Sitting next to my best friend, Christian, in a Cava talking for hours on end it was like those 3 months of separation never existed. Confessions over Crazy Feta. Housewives minus the wine. We all know by now that I’m weirdly emotional and attached to people who mean a lot to me, so seeing Christian gave me all the feels.

Update: he’s good and is officially a Boston boy minus the accent (but the accent is probably on the way). As he force fed me pita chips (I swear I didn’t even want them) I couldn’t help but think about how different life is now. It’s not a bad thing or a good thing, it’s just a thing and it’s an adventure and over a arugula bowl and a blackberry sage lemonade it was like time was paused and we we’re back to our 6:30 wildcat mornings.

And then because I love causing myself emotional distress I took a trip over to the legendary WJ for poms senior night. Spoiler: I cried and they were amazing. It was one of those moments when it really hits you that even after you leave, life keeps moving. Not going to lie, my first response to standing in the sound booth next to Coach K was panic that I wasn’t on the field. Believe me I totally don’t miss the stress of the season (think shin splints and mental breakdowns) but I miss the seconds of connection. The bonding over push-ups and pop tarts. The schools “most flexible team” was more devoted to sandwiches than stretching. Totally a team I belonged on.

And then it all comes back to MC. I think our relationship is primarily built on food & the fact that he loves the fat man inside me that can definitely out eat him any day. Long distance has proven to be more difficult than I thought when I wrote my first blog post a couple months ago. Weeks feel like years and sometimes there are tears where there wouldn’t normally be. It sucks and it drains you. But there’s still no one else I’d rather have watch me eat an entire box of gushers.

All in all, I think it’s more than the plate you order off the menu, it’s the experience and the memories that make the meal. I always hear the stories of my dad throwing bits of grilled scallops in the pool at the beach for me to swim around and scoop up and of my sister and I vacuuming edamame off our old wooden table with our mouths while chanting “Go Googoo Go!”

At Cava they always ask their employees their favorite food memory and I’ve always been dying to answer but when I really think about it I can’t pinpoint one moment that rises above the rest. My life has been a snack filled tornado of smiles and good fortune & I just want to thank food for giving me the grounds to get one forkful closer to all the people I love.

So what’s the point? Go out and eat and love it. Because with coffee comes a friend and with each bite comes a new story. 


Stuck in my head: Runaround Sue // Houndmouth
Snap this: Blue Heaven, KW

Sorry for my brief break there- 60 paged project due in 1 week killing me here. Condolences accepted in the form of gummy bears and money. 

How Does One Title 8 Years?

I think a person’s childhood can be defined by a couple things that make up their most important memories. For me it’s candy, my family, the beach, & some standout influential people I’ve met along the way. One person in particular has been on my mind a lot recently because I can’t get over how long I’ve known her and how far we’ve come.

Setting the scene: Bunk 26, 2009, two rather chubby 10 year old girls & a J-14 magazine

Arielle and I met during our time at sleepaway camp. I was, lets say, round and pale and awkward, and she was about the same but with tanner skin because hello, Israeli. We became quick friends as I showed her squirrels weren’t evil and she tested my already embarrassing hebrew. (The one word I still know is fish. I’ll let you know if this ever helps me in life.) I came home with stories of the Dead Sea and a (nonworking) email address to keep in touch with her. Luckily, summer after summer we kept coming back together, beds next to each other, like time had never passed (brief disclaimer- so her dad was the executive director of the camp but fate is a more romantic story so just work with me here).

Over the years we’ve had our personal victories and losses, 5,893 miles separating our experiences, yet we had the same struggles and conquests. High school brought boy troubles and ex-best friends to both of us, even though her story was in Hebrew and mine was in English. We we’re pretty bad at the whole keeping in touch thing- the 7 hour time difference was our worst enemy, and we could never really figure out international iMessaging.

This past summer we both worked as counselors & the hardest part of all of it was that our priorities had to be the kids, not each other. For the first summer in 8 years, she didn’t sleep, eat, and stargaze by my side. Saying goodbye on the last day was emotional, but she promised to come celebrate my birthday with me at college in the fall. Cue tears (think metaphorical rainstorm with Celine Dion playing softly in the background).

& as she promised, I got to sit across from best friend in my college dorm room, eating shitty pizza like it was totally normal. We spent the day decked out in UMD apperal, doing “american college” as Arielle puts it- aka tailgating and football. I couldn’t have asked for a better homecoming weekend because College Park really felt like home.

In the winter Arielle will be joining the IDF for two years. Honestly, I thought about it for a little bit- becoming a kick-ass army girl with a gun and uniform, taking a symbolic gap year, serving my religion and exploring a new, beautiful country. But, in the end American conventionality won and I am happily studying my brains out while in 2 months Arielle will be the kick ass army girl I day-dreamed (think Miss Congeniality meets Cadet Kelly).

Sometimes it takes a while for something to fully sink in. When I lost my wallet freshman year it only took 3 minutes before the loss hit me. With this, I feel like I still can’t fully process the bravery and strength of my best friend, but also the time that will pass before we’ll be together again. She’s no longer my Summer guarentee. And it scares me to be responsible for maintaining such a special relationship.

“There’s no judgements in this friendship.” Arielle told me as I ate another slice of pizza. Honestly, she should have stopped me because I was already 3 slices in and the food baby was in full swing, but who doesn’t love a friendship like that. No judgements. 

So to wrap this up I want to say cheers to two years of boot camp and celebration. Find your passion and your path. Live it up. I’ll still be here with my candy, my family & the beach when you’re done. Thanks for the memories. Here’s to a whole lifetime more. 

They say if you’re friends for 6 years then you’ll be friends for life. Well, here we are 6+, so I guess I can title our 8 years friendship forever. 


Stuck in my head: Way Back When // Kodaline
Snap it: College Park, MD

Just for Arielle: I promise to never drink the red stuff again.