15 Obvious Bucket List Choices

Sunlight

Blog Challenge Day 9: What’s On Your Life List/Bucket List

  1. Attain a level of advanced fluency in the French Language.
  2. Return to France for at least six months.
  3. Become proficient in a third language (Maybe Portuguese or Italian or Spanish).
  4. Satiate my sense of Wanderlust by visiting Nepal, India, Brazil, New Zealand, etc.
  5. Write a book.
    IMG_4772
  6. Work abroad for either a short or long term assignment in a development capacity.
  7. Fall in Love.
  8. Learn how to snow ski.
  9. Go to Graduate School.
  10. Watch the sunrise from the beach.
  11. Go on a long hiking trip, camping overnight.
  12. Live alone, without roommates or a significant other, and appreciate having my own space.
  13. Adopt a dog from the humane society and truly put effort into training it to be a companion.
  14. Attain my ideal healthy weight and maintain it.
  15. Go on a road trip with my significant other.

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A Thorough Definition

Blog Challenge Day 3: What Makes You Happy?

I think this has been the broadest prompt yet — so I’ll try to be thorough. Define happiness. Fulfillment? Validation? Elation?  Fangirl Feels? I’m going to have to resort to listography for this one as well, I’ll give you one thing for each of the four “definitions” listed above.

Fulfillment:

I think I’ve mentioned before that I majored in the french language for my undergrad. To date, learning a second language has been one of the biggest challenges that I’ve ever taken on. I’ve put so much time and energy into learning (what felt like) a million different tenses for 5,000 different verbs, memorizing all the grammar rules and memorizing when the grammar rules don’t actually apply, deciphering what was supposed to be “modernized” french poetry from the middle ages, and composing pages and pages of essays…all the nights I felt like I had no clue what I was doing….like I said, learning french was one of the most intimidating and frustrating goals I’ve ever endeavored to accomplish. And the payoff was like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. I still have moments (days even) where I want to pull my hair out but then, to watch a movie in french or listen to a news reel or read a book in the language I’ve wanted to learn my entire life — it’s incredible. I feel an incredible amount of fulfillment every time I look at how far I’ve come. I’m still not fluent, but I’m getting there. I’ve studied in France once and I’m working on getting back there again. I don’t know if I’ll ever actually use French in my job, but I hope that I do. Even so, even if I never have to use it in any professional capacity, it’s been an amazing journey and I learned so much about myself, what I’m truly capable of. I’ll never regret the time that I put into mastering a second language. Plus they say a third language is even easier to pick up, so maybe I’m take up Spanish or Italian next!

Paris I

Validation:

I believe that a lot of people can relate to this, but I love helping others. I love listening to my friends problems and giving them my advice and helping them work through and find a solution. I feel a huge sense of validation from knowing that I was useful and that I was able to be supportive and aid someone I love through a difficult situation. I took the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test recently and my description was dead-on: as an ENFJ (extraverted, intuitive, feeling, judgmental) I always want to bring harmony to an environment, I want to find the potential in everyone and I want to help them fulfill that potential. So yes, helping others to live more cheerful lives, I find a lot of validation in that.

Mel and KT

Elation:

This one is too easy: I love music. I love talking about music, listening to music, playing music. When a favorite band drops a new single or releases a new album? It instantly brightens my day, I can’t even describe it. Arcade Fire is releasing their fourth album, Reflektor, on October 29. You can expect a very, very happy blog post around that time from yours truly, in which I rave about how incredible this band is and how much I can’t wait to see them in concert again (hopefully very soon).

Fangirl Feels:

Really, I already posted a taste of my fangirl feels here when I went on and on and on about Austenland, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen and then later, JJ Fields. (I regret nothing). There are a lot of things that I get at least a little fangirl crazy about, but Jane Austen and P&P are by and large the most consistent (this is the part where I halfheartedly own up to being a twilight fangirl at one point but that’s neither here nor there). Since I already shared with everyone my passion for Austenland, I’ll give you a new Austen-inspired rec: Emma Approved. From the same people who brought you The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (They won an Emmy!), Bernie Su and Hank Green have embarked on a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Emma, in vlog style format. They’re only 5 episodes in so far, but given how FANTASTIC  The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was, I can tell you that this is probably worth checking out — it updates on youtube every Monday and Thursday at 9 am (pacific, so that’s 11 am for me in CST). I can promise you though, at some point in the next several months, these people are going to kill me with feels. And it’s going to be so perfect.

The Dreaded “Selfie”

Self Portrait 2

Alright everyone, since I’m still getting the hang of this blogging regularly business, I’m taking on a blog challenge. Starting with DAY 1: A self portrait and…

5 Seemingly Random Facts About Myself

1) I’m left handed.

This is not actually all that unusual, but sometimes I get weird comments about it. I’m a server and once, when taking a tables order, the gentleman asked me

“Why are you writing like that?”

“Like what?”

“With your left hand, why are you doing that?”

“…..Because I’m left handed?”

Not a great story, but apparently it created some cause for concern for said gentleman? Maybe he’s of the antiquated notion that the left-hand is the devil’s hand and I’m cursed. Who knows. He left me a decent enough tip.

2) I have the brattiest, most adorable dog ever.

Sammy, pictured below, is a huge brat. This is what happens when you get a puppy for a 16 year old girl who can’t even take care of herself, let alone focus on training a fluffy creature with huge, puppy-dog eyes. I mean, he’s potty-trained but he’s also spoiled rotten. We’re working on it now. We might even be making some progress.

Sammy, 1

3) I’ve traveled to 7-ish Countries.

The UK, France, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey and Canada. I have an intense case of Wanderlust though, so I’m hoping to expand this list someday soon.

Athens, Greece May 2011

Athens, Greece May 2011

4) I’ve Never Had A Boyfriend.

This seems to bother (some of) my friends more than it really bothers me. When I was in high school, I was very dependent on other people- easily influenced by my mother, my friends and the media (like most teenagers, really). I feel really lucky, in fact, that the friends I made were such positive forces in my life. Over the last four years, I’ve forced myself out of my comfort zone (traveling abroad, interning in DC, moving out) and I’ve worked really hard to be a more independent individual and to be a more complete person- one with my own thoughts and opinions. Occasionally, I feel like I’ve missed something by never seriously pursuing a relationship with anyone and sometimes I feel a bit lonely but for the most part: I’m good being alone.

I know myself, and I believe that if I had had a boyfriend in high school or early college, I would have let myself be far too influenced by him. I wouldn’t have gone to France because I didn’t want to be away from him for 4 months, or gone to DC because that’s just too far away. I’m a better person for my single life and I know that, when I find the right guy, I’ll have a more balanced relationship as a result.

“A lady I will be, but a man’s accessory, his handbag, no thank you. I will not be someone’s ornament. I will not just be someone’s honey, baby, sweetheart.”
Deb Caletti (Honey, Baby, Sweetheart)

5) I Can Never Pick A Favorite Color

Sometimes it changes by the hour, by the day, by the season. Every fall I rediscover my love of that deep scarlet color. In the Spring, I love color of newborn leaves as sunlight spills through the branches. Summertime, that cerulean blue, coupled with the crisp smell of chlorine, wins out over everything. But even the stark white of winter has it’s own appeal. My bedroom has been painted blue, yellow, white, green…at the end of the day, I love vivacity. Any color that refreshes and challenges your mood, that’s the one that I love.

Trees in Spring