A Real, True Thing on Being Happy Again

We drove through the late evening to get up north, me at the wheel for the entirety of the trip, cruising behind a Ford minivan with cartoons playing in the backseat. Halfway through, I asked Sean to google the symptoms of a stroke. “I keep having this weird pain near my eye, just below the bone,” I told him. “What does that mean?” 

He dutifully typed “pain in zygomatic bone” into the search engine and laughed when he found the culprit: fatigue due to under-then-over use of the muscles sitting underneath my cheek. I guess I had been smiling so little for so long that the muscles that I would normally use to grin became atrophied. How’s that for a telling allegory on my post-graduate life? 
We finally got in around 1am and walked to the water, where I’m writing this from, and looked at the millions of stars finally visible from a house with no neighbors, no light. The moon was gilded and low in the sky, nearly touching its twin reflection in the water. 

Today the beach is covered with midge flies. They don’t bite, but they swarm. If I were a religious girl, I might begin to think of locusts. Instead, I wave them out of my face and wait for the wind to blow them away. 

Even with the flies, these are the days I love most. Good people, the sound of the water, the sun. My face started to hurt again this afternoon, but I’m -quite literally- smiling through the pain. I don’t need idyllic to be happy right now. 

So I guess you could say things are looking up.  

Letter to My Younger Self: From the 834 Blog

I’m currently externing (is that a verb?) for a PR and marketing firm in Grand Rapids, and they were gracious enough to let me take over their blog for the day to talk about my past and how I got to the 834 offices. Read on: 

The blog post you wait all month for is here-PR current and future pros reflecting on their careers and lives in “letter to my younger self.” This month we feature Erin Pavacik, a University of Michigan graduate and integrated communications gal by “accident” (it’s destiny honey) and 834 Design & Marketing intern/associate. She is on the hunt for a job right now, so snap her up before your competition does. She will likely destroy you in that contest as your competition, so consider yourself forewarned. We think she’s pretty darn cool and she is really smart. So. Smart. Anyway, we will stop gushing about her and let her school her younger self.

Dear Grasshopper,

UGHH. I don’t want to write this to you right now. By your high-strung, over-achieving standards, I have failed you miserably and am surely headed for a life of destitution, and I know you will read this, look of horror evident on your face, while your mind races with a plan to fix us.

Erin selfie

Stop. I’ve already been through all of them. You know that dream we had of going to law school, becoming a hot shot lawyer and basically taking down misogynists and abusers and the like with a finger gun and a, “pew” in their direction? It’s not gonna happen. I decided that law school wouldn’t be right for us; weighed the cost of attendance against the job prospects for lawyers and realized that I didn’t want a J.D. so much that I was willing to gamble $100,000 on a career post-graduation. Only 40% of law school graduates from your year – 2010 – are working in law firms today, 4 years later. You know those are the highest-paying jobs, the ones that make that debt seem worth it. I got too fixated on that number, on being one of the 60% not in a law firm, or the 1 in 5 that doesn’t even use her law degree, and I bailed.

After that happens, there’s a pretty nasty downward spiral until you pick up the phone and talk to a woman doing strategic communications. She will give you advice and offer her wisdom and you will soak it up like a cow seeing a sunshine-covered field for the first time all winter. You had blinders on, kid. We hadn’t thought of career options past 15 because everyone assumed that you would be a lawyer. Now, the world of communications, of journalism or public policy has opened up to you and you’re thinking maybe this can be it.

There’s still a long way left to go. You currently clean bathrooms and sweaty gym floors at night to pay off some of your debt and support an unpaid externship while you live with your parents. I know it’s not ideal; stop stomping your feet at me. I don’t like it much either. But it’s necessary. It’s the grunt work you’ve gotta put in to get to where we both want to be. Wear gloves and a smile, pretend you’re Cinderella, and keep applying to jobs. Five, ten a day, if you can handle it. Follow up, write emails, use those connections and, most importantly, ask for help. I know we’re gonna get there someday, because the pluck and determination you’ve got now isn’t touched a single bit when you go to school. If anything, school only strengthens your resolve.

On the days when you feel your worst, write. That, along with friends and family and trivia nights, are what get you through the toughest parts of college. It’s entirely worth it to take the time to write that piece on heartbreak you’ve been dying to get out, even though you have an exam or final essay due the next day. Your favorite advice will come from Peter Elbow in some dense book in your very first English class as a University of Michigan student (pay attention!): sometimes, we must write a scathing rant or weepy love poem just so that we can write the work that is actually needed of us. Sometimes, the little bit of love poem that finds its way into your lab report. And that is what will end up making your writing something to be proud of.

Erin P Water

You’ll also get some great advice from an English professor in your senior year, who will tell you, after you made a variety of edits to your paper sitting next to him, that Winston Churchill once said, “This is a rule up with which I will not put,” and you will forever stop trying to structure your sentences so staunchly around prepositional guidelines. The copy editor in you will resist. Let it happen anyway.

We learned pretty quickly that there is no formula for success post-grad. Even your best friends, the ones making crazy money in entry-level jobs as consultants or in venture capital are unhappy with their careers in their own ways. Support them and reach out to lean on them, too. It’s easier to get through the hard parts together. Blast “Dog Days Are Over,” just as frequently as you did when Florence + The Machine first released the track and sing loudly until you start to believe that your happiness is coming.

So you’re a bit of a failure so far, so what? You’re still a college graduate. You went through every hair color and style possible and found one that sticks: You will take this as a sign of growth. You fell in love, helped kids in prison, got published and switched career paths with your dignity (mainly) intact. You can’t do that quite so easily when you’re 35, so thank my apprehension now. We both just gotta hope that it pays off later. Get some rest, kid. We’re gonna be just fine.

Much love,

Older self.

 

Why It’s Time To Take Those Accounts Off Private

While I was in school, I heard constantly about keeping my online presence hidden. The warnings ranged from dubious (“I just don’t know about putting all of those things online…,”) to downright ominous (“Employers will find your Twitter account and you will never get a job and you will die a lonely, success-less death”). These warnings were directed at everyone in my class–from business consultants to PR professionals to doctors-in-waiting. The answer to social media was “One Size Fits All” and if you colored outside of the online presence guidelines, you were sure to never be hired.

I think this idea mainly stems from the generation above us: Our parents, not understanding Twitter, Facebook or, heaven forbid, Reddit, decided that whatever we put out there on the Internet was obviously Very Bad and therefore, everything should be as hidden as possible. “What goes on the Internet, stays on the Internet,” is as ubiquitous a saying as the Vegas one in kind. And, while true, just because something is going to stick around in digital copy forever, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to bite you in the metaphorical ass someday.

A year after graduating, which also coincided with the anniversary of taking all of my social media and online presence accounts over to private, I was in an interview with an expert in PR and strategic communications. One of her first questions was about my private Twitter account.

“I was told to go incognito on all social platforms,” I stammered, surprised that she was questioning why my account would be blacklisted from a potential employers’ prying eyes. She laughed, then proceeded to explain that it only looks like I have something to hide. She asked me if I was a serial killer. I, of course, said no (I’m not), and then told me to put it on blast.

It turns out that some companies and vocations — PR and strategic communications being one of them — actually like to see some sort of online presence from their potential employees. And online presence is something I’ve been doing – on this blog, on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, you name it – since social media was a thing. And I am PUMPED that I finally get to open up my accounts for the world to see. I just wish I had realized that the advice we get from the morning news, professors, horror stories like that of Justine Sacco, parents and mentors was more thoughtfully disseminated. Instead of “lock it up,” we should be teaching Tweeters to refrain from racist messages or ill-timed diatribes. Rather than preaching to change your Facebook name to keep employers from finding you online, we should counsel to keep those pictures of Friday night to yourself  — and maybe stop being so sloppy. It’s part strategy, part witty sense of humor to fit in with the sarcastic collective that populates the majority of online forums, and a whole lot of common sense.

I should mention that opening up your online presence is not for everyone sloughing through a job search or admissions process. While I remain pretty certain that a med school admissions office doesn’t care about your Instagram of your mountainous fro-yo, it also won’t be acting against you. I would argue that embracing your personality and projecting that essence online is only going to create a more well-rounded, modern, capable version of yourself for anyone who’s out there Googling your name. If nothing else, coming out strong with open accounts, you’re making it clear that you have nothing to hide. If you do, however, frequently tweet racist and inappropriate things, take questionable pictures and post them with graphic captions, please, for the sake of everyone else, keep it private. And probably stop being a racist idiot.

If you’re still confused, my rules for social media are as follows: Try as hard to spell someone’s name as NPR does to pronounce it (and pronounce it the right way off of the computer, too!), don’t be racist, sexist or gross, and don’t be rude. Congrats. You are now welcome to inhabit social media. And if you want to follow me in my little spaces, click here for Twitter, here for Instagramhere for Tumblr, and here for LinkedIn.

The Career Diaries: Guest Edition

krasnoo1

A good friend of mine from Michigan is stepping in this morning with advice on working your way up the ladder. He’s a producer at SI.com, and I’ve envied his job (despite being mostly clueless when it comes to sports) many times. Now, I get to envy his work ethic, too. Read on for Ryan’s insights on paying your dues, late nights and lateral moves that might end up moving you up someday: 

Let me just preface this by being candid: I get paid to watch sports. Had I known I would have grown to be 5’11” and 155 pounds with average athleticism and zero hope for a playing career, I would have put that in my fifth grade yearbook under the “What I want to be when I grow up” section instead of “Professional athlete.”

There is a TV on the corner of my desk next to an unkempt pile of Sports Illustrated magazines from the past year. As a producer for SI.com, I’ve watched every major sporting event on that TV that 2014-15 has had to offer. The World Series, the Super Bowl, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao and most recently my second go-around of the NBA and NHL playoffs (not to mention every episode of Jeopardy… I like learning, OK!).

I curate sports sections and edit articles that come in off these games. That’s my job, and every writer and jock I know has, without fail, told me they want it. But all the grunt work, all the inglorious hours put in when most people are asleep go unnoticed.

May 12 is my one-year anniversary, but it feels less Drake, and more “started from the bottom now we’re still here.”

The “problem” with sports is that they happen, well, when everyone else is done in the office for the day. I work nights and weekends. Three days per week my shift starts at 6pm and ends at 2am. On Saturday and Sunday, I work 10am-6pm, and my “weekend” falls somewhere in the middle.

My body frankly hates me and my circadian rhythm has been off for so long I don’t remember what it’s supposed to feel like. The weekly switch from staying up so late to getting up early has led to so many Dunkin Donuts iced coffee runs that I’m convinced I’m keeping it in business.

Don’t get me wrong; I have had the opportunity to do some pretty incredible stuff so far. I wrote the recap to Derek Jeter’s final at-bat in the Yankee Stadium. I covered the NCAA tournament. I’ve been asked to do interviews for radio stations. At 23, it’s more than I could have imagined.

But no one realizes I work such inopportune hours, and for little compensation to boot. Routines are hard to form because my sleeping and eating schedule is constantly changing. I’ve missed an abundance of concerts, dinner with friends, weekend trips, happy hours, comedy shows—basically everything that makes living in New York City fun and worth it. And dating? Next question.

But this is where we all have to start. No one hands you the corner office when you walk into a job. That job will be there one day, but only once you’ve mastered the too-small cubicle you share with a coworker.

I’m paying my dues and will be for a while; this is the nature of the beast. It’s hard to climb the corporate ladder when the rungs are so far apart you can barely see them, but you have to have a little bit of trust in the process. This is hard to do, especially as someone new to the workforce and unfamiliar with its structure.

If after a while, the next step becomes too unattainable, though, it’s important to accept that and consider other ladders that are within reach. It’s OK. It’s learning. Sometimes moving sideways is moving up.

But when you take that next step and reach that next rung, you can look back and see all the progress you’ve made. The hours and effort you’re putting in won’t be for naught, even if you don’t see it now.

Rather than focusing on the long term and battling with the unanswerable questions of when a promotion (or better hours!) will come your way, focus on the stuff in front of you, on the things you can tackle immediately, and enjoy looking back on the accomplishments you’ve done. Chances are, someone else is too.

Ft. “GO TO EUROPE” Advice and Why It Isn’t Helpful

As a member of the Millennial generation — and an unemployed one at that — I am repeatedly given heaps of advice by everyone from family to complete strangers to internet bloggers I turn to in my darkest hours of “Will I ever find a job?” doom. Most of it is HIGHLY appreciated. I can’t tell you how many phone calls have left me completely psyched about a profession that, previously, I had never known of. Even the somewhat “bad” advice, given by older women at the gym I work at, can be salvaged into something useful…except the time I was told to just get pregnant and raise children in order to find my higher calling. I don’t think I’ll be salvaging that one.

Despite all of this great advice, there are a few things I wish earlier generations understood about looking for a job as a Millennial.

First, that the advice to just pick up and fly away to Europe or South America or any number of the places I’ve been told to go, is not always feasible for those of us with mountains of student debt. I have friends who are putting down $500/month just to cover their hefty interest on thousands of dollars of money owed. Personally, I had to defer my loans while I search for a job that pays more than near-minimum wage, and I don’t even have to pay rent.

When I hear this advice, it causes me to assume that there is a complete disconnect between the writer or giver of advice and the Real World of Student Loans (or they just simply don’t understand the tragedies of bad credit). Recently, Jon Acuff, author of Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, & Never Get Stuck, wrote an article in Time Magazine on the “20 Things Nobody Tells You When You Graduate College.” Aside from the fact that I truly believe that Mr. Acuff was capable of straying from listicle format (Buzzfeed, must you control everything?), I was shocked to find number nines’s “Take risks! Go teach English in Europe! Start a small business!” right next to number ten’s “Don’t put off your college loans” prudence. Am I the only one who finds these two tidbits of knowledge completely at odds with one another? Sure, we don’t have kids or homes tying us to one spot. But, in some cases, the premium we pay on student loan coverage is near equal to what you’re paying for a mortgage or your drool machine. We aren’t without our tethers.

And then there’s the constant griping about technology. “You kids and your computers!” is a constant refrain heard in my house, but who’s the first one my mother turns to for help with adding a new Pinterest board? That’s right: me. It’s a complaint we hear constantly, but lately the diatribe has turned against this Luddite-esque model and into one that champions our skills in tech. It’s one I’m glad to see.

Finally: we don’t want the lives that our parents lived. For many of my friends, the thought of settling down in our early-to-mid 20’s is appalling…mostly because we’re already there (FYI I turn 23 in a month exactly so feel free to remember that). We want big cities, bright lights and Jay-Z rapping over a montage of our weekend exploits. We want a career that fits us (could a side effect of our so-called entitlement be idealism?) and cozy, modern apartments filled with our MacBooks and Anthro sale candles. Scrounging by on a small salary to live in the city in a tiny apartment sounds much more appealing than a two-bedroom with $3,000 in the savings account and one on the way. The thought of someday soon not having to own a car is completely exhilarating. The prizes and markers of our parent’s generation are now the burdens of our own. And stop trying to give us your old armoire.

For the over-40 crowd, this might seem like sacrilege. Maybe I come off as ungrateful. I don’t intend to be either of those things. I just want the writers of blogs and articles, advice givers (sought out or otherwise) to understand that their guidance does not exist in a vacuum: we are very much within a context of high debt, different expectations and distinct dreams. That said, keep the advice coming– the counsel from the white-haired gym walker to get pregnant found a place in my reservoir of life lessons, even if it was just to make sure I don’t get pregnant and raise a child simply for purpose.

From The Financial Diet:

For anyone who did or still does live at home with their parents and is in their twenties, I think it’s crucial that we recognize this time period for what it is — a luxury that shouldn’t be squandered or taken for granted, a time to save as much money as you are able, and to make higher payments on school loans if that’s something your budget allows. Removing the stigma from living at home is made possible by working hard and showing the world that you aren’t some freeloader eternally mooching of of your parents’ good will, but rather a smart adult who it utilizing this time as a stepping stone to a secure financial future.

I might not be a “Professional,” but I am acutely aware of the perils (and advantages) of living at home in your twenties. Thanks Lauren and Chelsea! Click the quote to read the whole article.

The Painful Reality of Returning to Your Alma Mater

I will have to preface this post with an apology. I was in Ann Arbor this weekend (where my alma mater, old friends and colleagues are still located) and failed to see 9/10 of every place or person I should have. I am very sorry for not seeking you out, or for canceling our plans. It might sound silly, but I am simply just not ready.

See, in Ann Arbor, I was successful. I held (possibly too many) jobs, had friends, went out around town, sampling restaurants and happy hours, and my outlook on life was one of confidence, bluster and, I now know, naivety. I simply assumed that my hard work in my jobs, my good grades and my connections in town would get me a job post-graduation. I thought I was smart enough to beat the LSAT with a month and a half of studying. I had no idea that simply succeeding in one city, for four years in an environment built to push 20 year olds to succeed, would fail to guarantee me a 180 LSAT or a career path or even something as simple as a job fitting my education.

When I pulled onto US-23, cruising past Brighton and into houses full of students drinking Oberon on rooftops, I realized quickly that I was in no way prepared to be back in the land of Maize and Blue. I met with Sean for lunch and hid in the back corner booth for the entirety of the encounter, trying to make sure I wouldn’t have to run into a former coworker (not you, Jordan. It was great to see you!) or roommate and be forced to explain that I wasn’t really working at the moment, no I wasn’t going to law school, how is your 6-figure salary and full-ride to Medical School?

I had an hour to kill between lunch and babysitting (the reason I was in AA), and instead of spending it visiting old friends and coworkers, I went to Whole Foods and walked around the prepared foods aisle. I found my coveted dark chocolate ginger, grabbed some fizzy water and showed up early to my babysitting gig, despite the fact that the boys I would be babysitting for the next 12 hours weren’t even home yet.

The next day, I cancelled my plans to go to coffee and yoga with a friend, where I would see even more old coworkers and friends and the thought of which had my heart pounding, palms clammy. I texted Jake, Michelle, Matt, Sean and my mom trying to figure out what the hell was happening. I LOVE YOGA. I love my friends! I love(d) Ann Arbor! What was this feeling that I was experiencing, and for the love of god, WHY was I experiencing it?

I had lengthy conversations with each, and eventually reached my conclusion: Pride. Good old fashioned, strong as hell pride, fortified by years of success and coddling, and powered by a personal image of myself that had taken time, naivety and hard work. When I was in Ann Arbor, I was a smart, successful, strong and self-assured woman. I was confident and shining, and someone once told me that when I walked into a room, was noticed simply because of my presence (if you still read this blog, thank you for that compliment because it is the greatest I have ever gotten to date and on my off days of which there seem to be many lately, I remember this). And now, I am without career, without direction, and a seemingly endless failure in a stream of job searches or career paths or future education and if you ever want to know how low your self-confidence really goes, just quit your job, move in with your parents and spend your Friday nights watching reruns of Grey’s Anatomy.

That girl – the one in Ann Arbor with the jobs and the plans and the shining eyes – is dead, or at the very least, groggily slumping into a months-long coma. And facing that old version of myself was a shockingly difficult confrontation, one with pride and failure all wrapped up into a painful package, that I never realized I would run into before I entered the city’s confines.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten. I don’t have a way to fix it, nor any way to deal with these feelings of self-doubt and confusion. I’m working on it actively, looking for careers and trying to convince myself that I am not only this year – my life and my journey is the sum of my experiences, not just the most recent struggle. That said, I still don’t think I’ll be returning to Ann Arbor anytime soon. I need some success first. I need my break.

 

Go blue.

The Career Diaries, Part 2: Solicited Advice

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking to a woman in her 30’s who has the career I eventually want (at the moment). I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting – a subdued conversation on career and politics (since the job involves politics), perhaps, but I definitely got way more than I had bargained for. She was brash and honest and unreserved in offering any and all advice she could throw my way…and I LOVED it.

So, courtesy of an unnamed business professional and badass, here are the very best pieces of advices she had to offer for recent grads.

  1. If you are the smartest person in the room when you go to work, get out of there. Who are you going to learn from if you’re the smartest person you’re around from 9-5 every day? Certainly not Bob the IT guy. Not even your boss, who’s idiocy you have probably pondered at-length.
  2. If you’re sticking around for some supposed need to stay at a job for over six months because any less looks bad on your resume, stop. Do not stay at a job you do not like, you are not learning from, and aren’t benefiting from in any large way, other than a paycheck. Obviously, the paycheck might be necessary – I have student loans. I get it. Sometimes, you can’t afford to leave. But even if you need to pay the bills, you can take those Friday and Saturday nights and use them to apply elsewhere. Keep looking, and eventually something right (or more right than what you have now) will pop up. Never feel like you’re totally stuck.
  3. Embrace the abyss, but be strategic about it. Job searching is soulless and there’s only one shining moment of glory at the very end, which can quickly be replaced by a sense of doom if the position or company or boss doesn’t fit your expectations and needs. Approaching this search with anxiety and fear might still get you a job, but you’ll be a wreck by the time it’s over. Instead, use the abyss to your advantage. For example, if your abyss is that you have no idea what you want to do for a career (like me), fill up your black hole with LinkedIn connection requests and phone calls on what interesting people do for a living. They’re usually willing to give you all kinds of advice and at the end of the phone call, you can ask about open positions at their place or work or whether they know anyone else in the business you can talk to, creating a never-ending stream of mentors and learning opportunities.
  4. Don’t go working for a start up (unless you’re in tech or want to act as the CEO of your own someday). If you want a career in anything other than those two things, your services will not best be served by a startup, where the staff is new to the market, the connections are limited and the company’s name is not yet well known. You are much, much better off taking a position with a large company, starting small and meeting the many people you will need to get your career off the ground later on.
  5. You think college was hard? Try the workforce. If you’re not willing to put in 10 hour days, then stay away. Find something more quiet and less demanding and settle in. But if you’re ready for some hard work and long nights, you can expect to achieve a great, rewarding career that makes the hard nights worth it. My contact told me that her first job was grueling – long hours, small pay, little reward. But she met great people who knew that she would put the work in, and now she has a 9-5 job with great people, stability and great compensation. Immediate gratification hopefuls take heed – your work may not pay off right away, but when it does, it is so, so sweet.
  6. Stop being so proud. Ask for help and thank the people who put themselves out there for you. Be humble about it (she recommended reading David Brooks’ “The Moral Bucket List” for insights) and realize first that you know nothing. You’re a first or second-year graduate from, sure, a great school, but your work experience amounts so far to internships and fleeting moments of glory earned from those projects you carried out flawlessly. For seasoned veterans of the workforce, that’s nothing. Infantile. Be okay with knowing nothing, because when you understand that, you can begin to ask around for that knowledge elsewhere, and people are usually willing to give it out. Understanding that a job is partly a way for you to learn more about the world and your role in it suddenly makes everything seem more important and meaningful, and executives appreciate that potential hires are coming in ready to learn.
  7. Pick three to four jobs and use them to write your own personal job description, title it (Use specific wording that you want in your dream position. If you want to be a consultant, use that word or words like “strategic” or “specialist,” and if you want to be a writer, use words like “communicator” or “editor.”) and then send it to your network to see if anyone inside it knows of someone looking for something similar. This was actually how the woman I was talking to got her current job, and she swears by it for friends and other job-seekers.
  8. Lastly, be genuine about your needs and your job search. If you’re up front about where you are and what you’re looking for, the people around you will respond to that sentiment. I was open about my career search with my unnamed connection, and she’s already sent me job descriptions and sent my resume off with her recommendation to other companies. All it took was a LinkedIn request and an honest email and conversation, and something could be coming down the road as a result of that effort! Fingers crossed.

Good luck and happy job searching! Check back later for more of #TheCareerDiaries, or comment with suggestions on what you’d like to see more of or your struggles with finding the best fit for you.

First Day Of Spring (2015)

For some reason, I have a habit of writing on trains. A few years ago, I wrote a (weird) piece on the coming of spring while returning to Ann Arbor after a battle with tonsillitis that sent me back home. Fitting now that, as I return from Chicago, only one day from the First Day Of Spring, I follow with tradition and write again – trading backpacks for briefcases and Noah and the Whale for Shakey Graves. I feel different now.

In a testament to that feeling, this spring will vary from most. In years past, I return to Michigan ready for more class, more homework, more friends. Today, I’m returning to work and job applications and my parent’s house and, unfortunately, not my boyfriend, because this is our off week. If it weren’t for tenacious crocuses pushing up through the ground or days of 50 degree weather between the many fits of freezing, I would have had no idea that time was even passing. Day-in, day-out, and I am still stuck in a feckless pace, spinning ’round in circles and hoping that someone will reach out their hand, grab me by the collar and tell me where to go next.

If spring is truly about new beginnings (and isn’t that what we tell ourselves when we’re purging our closets?), I’m more than ready for mine. I’m putting together a list of feelings and insecurities and baggage I’ve been carrying around all winter and I’m going to throw it into the same pile that houses all of my ill-fitting jean shorts. And maybe then, when I finally have space, I’ll finally receive whatever I have coming next to me.

Falling in love and…. growing up in general has this sort of beautiful ‘deal with the devil’ vibe to it. The amount of wisdom and love you gain is directly proportional to the vanity and ego you’re willing to lose.

-Molly Guy of stonefoxbride, courtesy of @TheGlow.com