Things I Like Include: Mindfulness

I’m sure most of the eight people who ever read this are getting tired of me talking about my eating disorder. And to be honest, I’m right there with you. I am exhausted by disordered eating and trying to remain in recovery. It is time consuming. It is expensive. It is emotionally and physically exhausting. So we’re totally on the same page: I am also tired of talking about my eating disorder. However, whenever I share or publish posts about my own experiences, inevitably someone contacts me to tell me that I’ve helped them in some way. I’m not saying that to be a martyr or to be self-important. But if I can make even one person feel like they’re not alone in their experiences struggling with weight, body image, and disordered eating, then I’m going to keep sharing.

I have also been pretty upfront about my autoimmune disease. Hashimoto’s disease SUCKS. It truly is the worst thing to ever happen to me. On a good day, I feel moderately energized and able to be in control of my weight, energy level, mood, brain fog, and skin. On a bad day, I can sleep for 12 hours, forget the directions to doctor’s office (literally, I drove to a doctor’s appointment two weeks ago: a doctor that I have been seeing for six years, and I went the wrong way), gain 3 pounds overnight, be irritable, emotionally unstable, and depressed. It is an awful way to live, and it’s invisible, which often makes me question the validity of my own reality.

After going to the doctor’s office two weeks ago, taking a blood test, and determining that my medication doesn’t need adjustment, he suggested that my symptoms could be resulting from a heightened sensitivity to gluten and dairy. He told me that many times, people with one autoimmune disorder will develop more. With this information, I (begrudgingly) decided to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet (after I ate some queso and drank a Boone’s Farm, of course). I am happy to report that I’m feeling so much better, and I feel like I have the energy to live my life in a way that makes me most happy. Even after making this positive medical and lifestyle change, I still felt (feel) like I was struggling, but I couldn’t pin point what I was struggling with.

After discussing my new dietary restrictions with a friend, I realized that my struggle centered on food restrictions in the midst of eating disorder recovery. Eating disorders thrive on food restrictions. I am not going to sugar coat bulimia and disordered eating. During the height of my eating disorder, during the times when I wasn’t actively throwing up 6-8 times a day (and chugging chocolate milk or water to make doing this easier), I was restricting my calorie and food intake in a way that wasn’t physically or mentally healthy. Typically this restriction occurred after a day of being particularly “bad.” I can remember once, the day after a particularly grueling experience binging and purging roughly 15 times, I spent the day consuming nothing but water and Splenda packets. Another day I squirted a tablespoon of mustard on a lettuce leaf three times (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Although I’ve found some physical benefits of eliminating gluten and dairy, I’ve found that I have to be especially mindful in order to not fall back into my previous patterns of destructive behavior. I have determined that for me to feel good with my Hashimoto’s and to feel good with my mental health and my eating disorder recovery, I have to take the time to really be present when I’m eating a meal, and I have to know when restricting becomes suffocating. I recently purchased a book on mindful eating and intuitive eating practices, and that has certainly helped. However, it would be wildly refreshing to have a day where food wasn’t all consuming. Where I didn’t have to put a value-judgement on the food I was eating. Where I could enjoy it without feeling guilty or feeling restrictive.

I have still not completely recovered from my eating disorder. I honestly don’t think I ever will be (unpopular opinion, I know). I have a tumultuous relationship with food, a tumultuous relationship with exercise, and a tumultuous relationship with my body. I don’t think I truly know how to exercise and to eat well in order to be kind to my body. I still see these as punishments: punishment for my thighs touching or for my stomach, punishment for hurting my family with my disorder, punishment for my body not functioning correctly and for my autoimmune disease. My autoimmune disease makes it really hard to lose or maintain a steady weight, which is another issue entirely and presents another whole set of challenges. After I began my recovery from bulimia, my body was in shock. I had spent six-seven years abusing myself and depriving myself of any real substantive nourishment. My metabolism was shot (only compounded by my metabolic-related autoimmune disease), and I began to put on weight pretty quickly. Even after not binging and purging for years, I still feel like my body isn’t able to reap the benefits of healthy eating and exercise because of this autoimmune disorder. I can eat 800-1200 calories a day, exercise for an hour every day, and I’ll still probably only lose 1 pound (if any). I have made a decision to be healthy and to abandon my eating disorder, and I feel like my body continues to betray and punish me. This is beyond frustrating, and I have had come to terms with the fact that I will probably be overweight most of my life.

I don’t know if I even have a point or a thesis in writing this. I think that in modern society, it’s easy to get caught up in the next big craze and to idolize trends. Yesterday it was gluten-free, today it’s paleo, tomorrow it’s something else. These health modifications can be wildly beneficial (I am already experiencing benefits from changing my diet). They can also be wildly dangerous, particularly for people who have a challenging relationship with food and diet-based restrictions. Most days I love myself. My body is strong, and my legs can (and have) run races. I can lift heavy things, and I love Zumba and barre classes. On most days, I put good things in my body, and I am kind to myself. There are still days when I look in the mirror and want to cry, and not eating gluten isn’t going to fix that. I remember being seventeen years old and 115 pounds, and I desperately want to be there again. Since my most recent struggles with my autoimmune disease, I’ve felt like this more often than not. I’ve found that being honest with myself is helpful. I acknowledge that how I’m feeling is valid, but reminding myself of how far I’ve come. I’m also a huge proponent of mindfulness. Taking the time to engage with and listen to myself and really begin to understand how to best respond to my body’s needs has been a godsend. If that doesn’t work, I look around at my wonderful friends, job, and partner, and I remember how fortunate I am to be surrounded by people who could give a sh.t how fat my hips are. I don’t know what the right answer is, but I know that, in the short term, this is working all right.

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Things I Like Include: Surviving Professionally

For the past few days, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of attending the Association of Student Conduct Administrators (ASCA) Conference in St. Pete’s Beach, FL. It has been such a wonderful experience. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from and engage and connect with such influential contributors to my field. I feel like a sponge (corny analogy), but it’s completely true.

Today I had the opportunity to hear Dana Bolger, an activist and Executive Director of Know Your IX, speak to the attendees at my conference. Dana is my age (which, I will admit, made me feel exceptionally small), and I was truly humbled to be in her presence. She addressed members of our field about what survivors want from a university resolution process. She spoke about prioritizing care over compliance (a lofty task in our current landscape of risk management within higher education), providing student survivors with confidential resources on campus (aka: fewer mandatory reporters), and the social, physical, and financial burden that our student survivors often carry. Hearing Dana speak fed my soul, and it awakened something in me that has been sleeping for a long time.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have been a strong advocate for sexual assault survivors, prevention, and education– specifically on college campuses. When I arrived to college as a Freshman, I discovered that I identified as a feminist, and in my second semester of Freshman year, I began working with an undergraduate peer education group to educate students, faculty, and staff on sexual assault prevention and healthy relationships promotion. Many of my friends and family probably wondered why I became so invested in this issue– I also believe that, deep down, most of them know why.

This post is not about my own experience, although it’s completely fair to say that my experiences inform my opinion. As a new professional in this field, It can sometimes be hard for me to sit in meetings or listen to conversations where my colleagues bemoan Title IX legislation or the issues of compliance surrounding sexual assault and personal power-based violence on our campuses. I understand that it is SO hard (damn near impossible at times) to remain legally compliant with often conflicting legislature. In order to keep up, many Student Conduct and Title IX professionals find themselves in need of a law degree to keep up, when the reality is that most of us signed up for this gig because we care about students and their success. I pursued this work professionally, in part, due to my own experience, but also because of a mentor who consoled, pushed, and revitalized me after one of the most emotionally exhausting and confusing times of my life. As selfish as it may sound- who wouldn’t want to be that for someone?

My point (not succinct at all…but I apologize) is that this work is important because it impacts students and their ability to thrive, survive, and exist as members of our campus communities. Sometimes in student conduct and Title IX Administration, it can feel very “us vs. them,” (us being administrators and them being students). It is often a thankless job where no one wins, and everyone leaves feeling bad about what did and will happen.  In a time of increasing (and justified) calls for legal compliance, it is important to remember that there are people behind these laws and these people have stories. Listen to these stories and validate the lived experiences of our students. Our students very often progress and become our colleagues, and inevitably their lived experiences shape policy and best practice in the field. Imagine how frustrating it is for a survivor of campus sexual violence to sit at a table in a conference, a staff meeting, or among colleagues and listen to people complain about responding to these incidents and complying with federal law. If you think that compliance as an administrator is hard, try navigating feelings of shame and embarrassment as a survivor who’s seeking justice in a system administered by professionals who are angry and stressed about trying to navigate compliance.

So much has changed in the six years since I was a Freshman. I am grateful to be a part of a generation who demands engagement with issues of campus sexual violence. I am grateful for mentors who continue to inspire me to use my experiences to serve others, and I am honored to be a part of this field.

Things I Like Include: Resolve

I haven’t updated this blog in…well, if we’re being honest, years. I am in a satisfying and healthy relationship with a partner who I’m crazy about– we’re getting married. I have a wonderful job, a Master’s degree, and a great group of friends. Writing has always proved to be cathartic for me, and it really helped me get through adolescence, heartbreak, college, and many tougher times in my life. I haven’t needed to turn to writing in the past few years; however, this week I feel drawn to speak on something that’s been weighing on me lately.

In the New Year season, talk of resolution fills the air. Everyone, myself included, has things that they’d like to change about themselves. Sure, I’d love to be more organized, better at saving money, and a more accomplished reader/musician/writer…the list goes on. Specifically, it’s a season of weight loss and bodily transformation. People flock to the gym and suddenly resolve to be thinner, healthier, and more active. This can be really great for some people, and for many, the New Year brings motivation and the feeling of hope that comes with bettering yourself. However, for someone who is recovering from an eating disorder, the season of resolutions can be a scary and lonesome place.

At 23 years old, I finally feel as if I have a semi-good handle on my eating disorder. I speak about it in the present because it is a part of me. My bulimia is something that is always in the back of my mind. Even though I am no longer binging and purging every day, I feel as if being a recovering bulimic is much like being a recovering alcoholic- the compulsion is still there, and I have to actively choose to silence the voice of my eating disorder- urging me to chase a feeling of emptiness. After struggling for 6 years, and throwing up more than 5 times a day, I got help, and found some freedom in recovery. However, every year, like clockwork, Christmas passes, and the New Year brings up new feelings of insecurity and doubt. Everyone is excited about the possibility of losing weight and feeling more confident in their skin. For me, a recovering bulimic, feeling more confident in my own skin means continuing to learn to listen to my body, and to read the signals that it sends me. I don’t believe that I am at the point in my recovery where I can really jump into intense diet plans or weight loss regimens without  falling back into old habits. I feel terribly afraid about embarking on any major (or minor) bodily changes for fear that I will let my eating disorder re-gain control over my life.

As a recovering bulimic living in a diet-obsessed culture, I find that I tow the line between being “healthy” and falling back into my former patterns of disordered eating. Re-learning how to eat and how to exercise after mistreating my body for so long was hard to say the least. I’m still learning what “normal” feels like. For the time being, “normal” is overweight, active, and eating healthily (most of the time-a girl’s gotta have an Oreo once in awhile, ya feel me?!?). Maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit for how strong I am. Maybe I could start a boot camp program, or jump into a Paleo diet, or train for a half-marathon without feeling the need to take it one step further into destructive behavior.

As I greet this New Year, for now, I’m resolving to be gentle with myself in this process, and to not compare myself to other people. I urge you to resolve to be mindful of how you approach resolutions and to recognize how simultaneously hard and hopeful this season of numbers and new beginnings can be for some people.

Things I Like Include: Activism

I haven’t blogged in quite a while because I’ve been busy, but also because I haven’t felt inspired to write anything.

Last night I got some inspiration.

This post will begin with a story about a red couch.

http://jezebel.com/impassioned-email-from-a-sorority-sister-no-sex-on-the-486246211

Take the time to read this Jezebel article from my school. Last May, I, like many other students at the College of William and Mary, saw this Jezebel article, and I snickered at how ridiculous it was. However, at that time, I was also the Chapter President of Alpha Chi Omega on my campus. Once upon a time (about four years ago) The Alpha Chi Omega house had a big red couch in its living room (lovingly known as “Big Red”). My Sophomore year, we got rid of Big Red, and replaced her with some cream colored furniture. She now lives in a nice house off campus, but I digress.

Last May, I received multiple phone calls from my chapter advisor and the Fraternity and Sorority advisor at William and Mary about how “bad this Jezebel article looked for Alpha Chi.” Bear in mind, Alpha Chi Omega was never mentioned in the message, and bear in mind that Jezebel never specified which sorority the email came from. These advisors told me that I needed to do some damage control and that this “was bad.” I was also told that we would get in trouble, even if they discovered that the letter came before my time because it presented a “negative representation of the sorority.”

Maybe I’m crazy, but the only thing that this article said was that women were having sex IN THEIR OWN HOMES (albeit in the shared areas of their own homes, but their own homes, nonetheless). The reactions that this letter elicited from our own chapter advisor and the Greek advisor at William and Mary were steeped in both a double standard and a double bind that women, Greek women, and college women face DAILY. They saw this article as problematic because it displayed that women have sex, which opposes socially normative constructions of femininity that necessitate that women be chaste and non sexual (or they run the risk of being sluts). Women are supposed to be sexy and not sexual. Moreover, women of the world and Greek women are held to a different standard than their male counterparts. Colleges knowingly police female drinking, partying, and sexual behavior through a strict enforcement of rules and guidelines–rules and guidelines that apply to BOTH fraternities AND sororities.

So what does this story have to do with anything?

http://totalsororitymove.com/william-mary-sigma-chi-sends-out-most-bizarre-and-disgusting-email-about-vaginas-ever-written/

Last night, an article surfaced on the website Total Sorority Move that contained an email sent over the William and Mary chapter of Sigma Chi’s list serv. This email was foul and dirty and objectified women in a way that makes me physically ill. This purpose of this blog post isn’t really to talk about the lewd and unacceptable nature of this email and this behavior. Many of my friends have shown distaste with the email and many of them also know why this kind of rhetoric and ideology is problematic (although some of them do not understand, and even have gone so far as to say that the content in the email was “just a joke” or “funny”). Rather, the purpose of MY blog post is to highlight rape culture and how it manifests itself in both egregious and seemingly harmless ways.

This email from a member of Sigma Chi is particularly egregious. It reduces women to their anatomy and chronicles them as sexual objects rather than people. The author sizes up women on campus that he sees as sexual conquests (“sluts” as he calls them) by starting at their feet and moving up. In doing this, he creates this myth of the faceless woman and, instead, categorizes women solely by their shoes and vaginas, never making his way up the rest of the body and therefore trivializing the female body as a whole.

This email IS rape culture. Rape culture is an ideology, a practice and a set of beliefs (conscious or subconscious beliefs) that works to trivialize and eroticize female sexuality and to normalize rape and violence against women. Violence against women ranges from physical violence, to emotional violence, to sexual violence, to rape, to objectification. This email is a clear example of how rape culture exists in our society and why it is so damaging– but so are my advisor’s responses to the Jezebel article.

How can this be? The policing of women’s bodies is a manifestation of rape culture. Slut shaming is a manifestation of rape culture. Framing female sexuality as deviant is a manifestation of rape culture. When my advisors, BOTH of whom are female, told me about the possible ramifications of the Jezebel article, they were reacting within a framework of rape culture. Emails from our administration about “staying safe” in the wake of a campus sexual assault are a manifestation of rape culture because they address and advise the survivors  instead of addressing the perpetrators of rape and instead of stating that rape will NOT be tolerated on our campus. Our society places an emphasis on how not to be raped rather than on how not to rape. Our courtrooms normalize rape and aggression by hiding these atrocities behind a veil of consent and culpability regarding a survivor’s alcohol or drug consumption. Rape culture is “she was asking for it” because of her skirt, her shots, or her inability to say “yes.” Rape culture is everywhere, and perhaps more insidious than the egregious examples like the Sigma Chi email are the small examples that we are taught to view as normal and commonplace rather than outrageous.

I don’t think that all fraternity men are bad people. Quite the opposite, I know many men that are in fraternities who are GOOD people and who are appalled by behavior like this. But, I am floored by the people who don’t see this type of blatant atrocity as an issue. Additionally, I have heard cries of Greeks across campus about how “this doesn’t characterize Sigma Chi, and this behavior is not representative of Greek life as a whole.” We are only as strong as our weakest link, and right now, we are pretty damn weak (The Greek community, and the William and Mary community).

I read a post on Facebook this morning from a man, a Freshman, who summed up my thoughts and feelings perfectly:

“Yesterday’s events are just another horrid reminder that it’s easy to condemn those who disparage, but that those same voices also create a culture of enabling that allows those who do nothing or don’t even want to admit that there remains problems to fight in this country to get away with it as the media pays little to no attention.” (Venu Katta, https://www.facebook.com/VenuRKatta?fref=ts)

Let’s stop enabling. Let’s start “doing something.”

Things I Like Include: Truth Behind Numbers

In honor of the NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) walk on my campus this weekend, I thought I would do a post about body positivity. Being an American woman, I believe that I’m in forever the middle of what feels like a lifelong (and slow) process towards loving myself and my body. I’m going to do something that may sound terrifying to the average 21 year old college woman- I’m going to confess how much I weigh:

 

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This is how much I weigh, and this is my Body Mass Index.

According to this (and every) Body Mass Index chart or calculation, I am obese.

 

I won’t lie and say that I am not dreadfully uncomfortable about doing this. My weight is a number that’s only shared between me, my doctor, and my bathroom scale (and honestly, sometimes I’m even hesitant to look at the scale in the morning). That three-digit number is absolutely haunting. It determines how much breakfast I think I’m allowed to eat, how many miles I’ll have to run that night, and whether that day I’ll feel comfortable in my jeans and my skin. That number often determines whether I look down at my thighs and see curves or fat, ugly or beautiful. Today, on the 8th of November, I am choosing to see beautiful.  

 

I, for one, believe that this is qualification: this obesity standard, is ludicrous. I fit into relatively normal sized jeans, I can run upwards of seven miles at a time. I am training for a half marathon, and I love my body.

Sure, I’d love to lose some weight, but I can’t help but wonder if I actually want to lose weight or if I feel like I’m supposed to want to lose weight. Like most 21 year olds, I probably eat too much pizza and drink too much beer, but I am constantly worried of being judged unfairly in comparison to my thinner counterparts- the woman at the bar who eats as many cheese fries as I do, but who is a size 4. Do people make snap judgements about her laziness, her values, and her intelligence because of her size? I’m sure there are some implications that exist. However, I don’t believe that they are equal. I feel healthy until I am told otherwise- until I am confronted with a number that tells me I am not healthy, that I am “other.”

In a conversation with my best friend Alyssa (who is in school to be a dietician) this summer, I came to a sad conclusion that I only truly understood once I said it out loud:

“There is no worse feeling in the world than being the biggest girl in the room.” 

There are no feelings that compare to feeling like the ugliest of your friends; to have to sit at a dinner table with a group of people while you are starving because you feel too embarrassed to eat in front of them for fear of being judged.

 

This number, my BMI, this arbitrary measure of health has the potential to determine my health insurance coverage, doctor to patient bias, and essentially, my self worth.

 

I am sick of feeling defined by numbers. Between weight, grades, and applying to graduate school, I feel as if I am constantly inundated with my ability (or inability) to measure up to the norm. I move that, instead, we begin to define our bodies and our minds by what they can do. My legs can take me down DoG street at a 10 minute/mile pace, my mind can create thoughts that they couldn’t conceptualize 5 years ago. 

I have one hundred and fifty nine reasons to love myself and all the things that my body is capable of.

Things I Like Include: The Hump Day Handful

This whole “theming Wednesday’s blog posts” is actually working to help hold me accountable to posting. I love creating new blog posts, but sometimes I get caught up in the rhythm of the week (and by that I mean copious amounts of schoolwork and very little sleep) and I just “forget” to post. However, THOSE DAYS ARE NO MORE. It feels good to be on a schedule.

 

This week’s Hump Day Handful is going to be fitness themed. I’ve had a glorious time the past few weeks going to the gym with my sisters. The usual suspects are me, Tori, and Alison (who’s birthday it is today, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALISON). We all trek over to the student recreation center on our campus, and we head to Zumba, Cardio Dance, Body Combat, etc. I’ve honestly never been a person that was super jazzed about fitness. I cheered in high school and a little in college, and I played soccer, but I was never one of those people that went on sporadic 4 mile runs just because. While I was in Memphis this summer, I decided to take up running as a hobby. I made myself a goal that I would participate in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC this spring. Starting in the summer would give me plenty of time to train. Which brings me to the first feature in this week’s ‘handful.’

 

Nike + Running App

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This app is PHENOMENAL. It’s calibrated to keep your distance in check on both indoor and outdoor runs. You can also program “power songs” that will play during the middle of a tough workout to give you the extra ‘umph’ you need to push through to the finish. Plus, you can add your friends and all cheer each other on throughout the month. 

 

Next on this week’s Hump Day Handful is something that I never thought I would do…ever!

ZUMBA

Tori and Alison and I have been doing an inordinate amount of Zumba (slash Cardio Dance Party, slash this thing where they turn off all the lights, turn ON a black light, and you dance…sounds perfect, right?) I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Zumba. I love the music, the dancing, and leaving the fitness studio dripping with sweat. You can burn 500-1000 calories doing Zumba, and there are targeted tracks dedicated to squats, abs, and even arms (we did an arm track the other night that literally almost KILLED ME…but I loved it so it’s okay).

 

Nike Air Pegasus

 

This shoe is the BOMB. I had been running in my Nike Free Runs, which are great, but they just don’t have the right support for distance running. Don’t get me wrong, the free runs are such COOL shoes. They come in a bajillion colors that are adorable (and come on, cute shoes MAKE me want to work out). But the Pegasus are the money maker. I can run for miles and miles without my feet hurting one bit. I’d highly recommend these shoes to any runner: new or veteran.

 

So there you have it. A fitness inspired hump day handful. Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Things I Like Include: Weekend Snapshots

Snapshots of the perfect Fall weekend. 

 

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A few pictures from my weekend. This week is extremely busy, but I’m committed to trucking through and taking one day at a time. Plus, there’s a lot to be thankful for. I have a job interview this week, I’ve applied to graduate school, I got to spend the weekend with two of my best friends, and I’m almost at a two-hand countdown until I get to visit this wonderful boy.

 

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Life is good.

 

Things I Like Include: The Hump Day Handful

In an effort to become a more regular blogger (I’m honestly so bad at creating a regular blogging schedule), I am going to start a weekly post of mine called the Hump Day Handful. This will mostly include a handful of things that I’m currently obsessed with or in love with, or things that I think that maybe you can’t (or shouldn’t) live without.

 

The past few days I’ve been pretty sick with strep throat. This has left me pretty much married to three things:

My baseball hat

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My Camelbak

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and

My Eos Lip Balm

When I’m sick (I don’t know about y’all) but I never feel like getting all dressed up. Usually for me it’s just a crewneck sweatshirt, some running leggings and some tennis shoes, and a baseball hat. I’ve also been trying to drink a lot more water since I got sick (which means that I’m basically drowning myself). I drink about 7-8 Camelbak’s full a day normally, so my water drinking has basically been on crack lately. Finally, my lips have been so dry from all the coughing and allergies and medicine I’ve been taking. I LOVE eos lip balm. It’s literally the most delicious thing I’ve ever used (sorry Burt’s Bees). Plus, those little balls are so stinkin’ cute!

 

So there we have it- the first of what I’m sure will be many Hump Day Handfuls. What’s on your must-have list when you’re sick?

Things I Like Include: Fall Air

There is no feeling more decadent than sitting next to an open window, soaking in the first crisp breaths of Fall. The leaves haven’t started to turn yet, and I have a feeling that this weather is nothing more than a fluke. I am sure that by Tuesday it will be unbearable hot again, and I’ll have to break out the shorts that I haphazardly placed in the back of my closet until next Summer. Until then, I’ll sit in limbo right under this open window, breathing in the cold air.

 

There is something so quintessentially “Fall” about my home town. I don’t know whether it’s the small town football games or the County Fair that I stumbled upon this weekend, but everything about Windsor, VA screams “autumn” to me. Coming home after being at school for a while always makes me really nostalgic. I can’t help but think about doing my homework on the back porch or sitting in the third pew from the back every single Sunday morning. It’s not a sad nostalgia- I find it really comforting to revisit old places. However, I also think it’s important to realize that they are just that: places of nostalgia. I am headed in new directions, and I can’t stay here forever. 

 

In other news, Fall weather means that I can’t stop eating pumpkin flavored stuff- everything that includes some semblance of pumpkin, apple, or cinnamon. Last night my mom made this pumpkin crunch cake thingy, that I plan on devouring in its entirety this week.

 

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Cooler weather also means that the Avett Brothers/ any band with a banjo and a bearded lead singer are on repeat in my room, my car, and my mind. Take a peek at my favorite fall playlist, courtesy of ashleyveekay and 8tracks.

 

 

Things I Like Include: A True Friend

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There aren’t enough words- there will never be enough words. Thank you for being a motivator, a friend, a teacher, and the Captain of my soul for twenty-one years. Thank you for loving me like I belonged to you- like my blood ran through your body. Thank you for treating my mother like your own child, and for coming to every play and every dance recital. Thank you for shrimp scampi and Tom and Jerry and fishing on your pier and for turning off Fox News whenever I come over because you know how much I hate it.

 

I love you today, tomorrow, the next day, and forever. There isn’t enough breath in my body or love in my heart to ever tell you how much you mean to me.