a retrospective for the new year (and a lesson in failure)

I have not written because I did not want to fess up. Patience may be a virtue, but pride is one stronger and I hold my ego tighter than I do my words.

I have been counseled to give that up. If personal failure requires a healing process, this is the next step of my journey: making amends, coming clean, public acceptance of my flaws.

So here: I won’t be going to law school next year. Even seeing that  statement now, weeks after my decision to defer for another year, makes me flush red. I have heard lately in refrain that shame is a powerful motivator— a statement that rings true for my life right now. I almost let that shame come between me and my mental health, between me and my future. This is (one of) the final steps of learning to let it go. It’s the very end of the year. It’s time.

I believe strongly in fate; in a destiny that keeps us moving toward moments that we’re meant to find the next little piece of ourselves in some pre-determined existence. It’s the only reason I can think of for meeting my best friend by pure magic, the only way I can deal with personal failures before learning to move on ahead. I’m not naive enough to think that fate led me to wait another year before going back to school, but I know that sometimes, things work out in the way they should. I’m breathing through it until it makes sense again.

I’m 22 years old and if I try too hard to push life to perfection right now, I’ll never get it right. Planning is good, scheduling is wise and valuable, but learning to live beyond those ideas may be what this year is all about for me. I am not my failure, life does not adhere to rigorous detailing,and options exist beyond my current reality. That, and breathing are my new mantras. In and out. In and out.

I still have my friends, my family and my intelligence. I have my passion! The force that led me to seek out law school in the first place, and another virtue that I refuse to stifle in the days between my dream and making it a reality. I have my boyfriend, who isn’t as much a decision but a concrete part of my life now— a man who’s presence I feel daily, without pressure or agenda. I hear so many people complaining about being single, talking about other people getting married is somehow more difficult than choosing a pair of socks that match. I’m not ready for marriage, but I know that my socks can take minutes longer to piece together than the time it would take to wake up and consider my relationship: it is merely a fact, a detail that requires no thought or consideration in the hazy morning hour I spend getting dressed for the day. Socks require a decision. He does not.

I still have my stress-baking and my mentors and a resume that, to be frank, kicks ass. I worked hard through school and it shows there, detailing 2-3 concurrent jobs that, despite this setback, will still be there on paper in a year when I decide to send in my applications. I have all of these things and if I don’t yet have law school, it’s going to be okay. It will be okay. I’ll learn this lesson, along with all of the others that maturing and school and graduation have taught me, and I will come out better for it.

So now, I sink back into my endless purgatory. I bounce from recruitment website to LinkedIn and back again, searching for a job that might fill my sense of purposelessness while I search for whatever comes next. I’m too full of self-discovery right now, alone for so many months in my childhood home that I’ve started to forget what independence is like. I had the time to paint my teenage-bedroom walls from bubblegum pink to gray, trying to escape the reminder that I once spent every night in that room as a little girl. Lying in bed at night, I can’t escape the feeling that it’s not any different.

This was not the year that changed me, but it was the one I muddled through to the end. Now, to find a job, live on my own again, recover mentally from a test and a process of applications to schools that led to too many breakdowns and nightmares. It marks the end of a long battle with my pride and my mind. I might not be where I wanted to be, but I would tell anyone who will listen that I won the war I went through this year anyway.

And so on to 2015, to the same goals and dreams but with a different mindset and spirit. And, for all of you, a Happy New Year and all of my wishes that you can learn to let go of your failings with me, that you can continue to dream and to hope for things that you may not have grasped yet, and for good friends and loving significant others and wonderful family that will keep you happy even when everything else isn’t as you had wanted it to be. Cheers.

easy like sunday morning

I had a great day of trail-walking and bloody mary’s and football. I said I would enjoy this time off and dammit, I am.

Here, look:




Now I’m watching AFV and curating a list of costumes that my boyfriend might actually like.

So far, I’ve got: tooth fairy and dentist, prince and princess, or Goose and Maverick. I reallllllllly wanna DIY a massive tulle skirt, so I’m pushing toward something that involves a tiara. Anybody else have ideas? I’ve been eyeing a catwoman bodysuit that kind of  has my name on it, which might beat out all of the other contenders. Meow.

I also made Broma Bakery’s caramel apples this morning, which blew everyone’s mind. You can find her recipe here and pictures of the beauties below.

IMG_2426 IMG_2420


Can you tell I’m completely obsessed with her blog?

That’s all for today. Just an update, some pictures, and a really great recipe. Enjoy.


saturday nights

I just took a shower so hot it scalded my skin, steam is still leaking out of the bathtub and curling at the edges of my mirror. I covered myself with shea butter, swallowed my handful of supplements and vitamins sitting next to my bed and curled up next to the computer screen: another Saturday night.

This isn’t all for lack of options. I could’ve road-tripped to East Lansing to see a friend, to Chicago to see another. I have a call scheduled with my other half in 22 minutes that I’ve been waiting for all week and I made a batch of to-die-for peanut butter cookies that has the whole house smelling like the inside of a JIF container.

more “saturday nights”

a new home

Welcome back to the new and improved WeStayAwake. It’s still undergoing some renovation: friends are working on a new logo and header, I’m playing with fonts and color schemes and an overall theme of the blog as I transition from college to a gap year to, eventually, law school. It’s going to be good. Stick with it a while longer while I get it there.

In the meantime, I intend to use this space more frequently. I told a friend (a new friend!) yesterday that revamping this blog meant that I would actually have to write more, and how scary that seemed to me after being away for so long. She was so encouraging, telling me that it’s an opportunity, and an exciting one at that.

Speaking of my new friend, this would all be impossible if not for the help of Sarah Fennel, author and baker-extraordinaire at Broma Bakery. She spent two and a half hours with me at Starbucks going over widgets and plugins while I fumbled around WordPress stupidly. She is a saint. She even welcomed me into her home (her beautiful home) and sent me off with a homemade caramel apple. Like, real caramel. Not the Werther’s stuff boiled down and slathered on,  like I would’ve done.

With the makeover, I’ve been working on a new vision for the site. One that includes more pictures, more content that isn’t just personal. I guess you could say that I’m transitioning from “personal blog” to “lifestyle blog,” but that sounds a tad bit pretentious for my liking and, really, I’m living with my parents and applying to schools, so I’m not sure if anyone would want to mimic this lifestyle anyway. But I have years worth of beauty tricks that I’ve amassed from blogs and magazines, new time for crafts and pinning and reading and the like, and my usual posts on life and love and school and work and whatever I want to rant on that day in the voice that some of you have been following for these past four years.

Come back soon, I promise it’s going to be good.



PS: You can still follow me on tumblr! If you don’t have an account there but would still like to receive updates, the box on the right will give send you emails when I update.


Last night, a friend of Sean’s asked me which memory from my four years at Michigan had been my favorite. A graduate of four months, I blanched. No answer came to mind as I fluttered, snapshot style, through memories amassed since 2010. “It’s so cliche,” I told him, “but I can’t give you just one.”

Ultimately, I settled for the memory of breaking into the Big House with my eleven roommates. We all had stayed awake until 2 am, texting each other encouragement so as to not lose our nerve. We left on foot, crossing the mile and a half walk to the stadium in various states of sobriety and dress (I had opted for an all-black ensemble with war paint spread across my cheeks). We climbed over turnstiles or squeezed between poles to gain entry and then sprinted for the field, trading hushed whispers and hugs on the 50-yard line of the largest stadium in America. We were invincible in that moment— a mix of days-later graduates and upcoming seniors, drunk on the feel of the field— our field— beneath our sneakers. more “homecoming”

what they won’t tell you

When I thought about post-graduation and what it would mean for my life, I always figured that I would be strung-out on deadlines and memos, filling every moment with job applications or client calls. I never knew it would be this lonely. 

Instead of filling every minute with work, I’ve hit a wall— halfway through my third month of being a part of the workforce— and I completely broke down tonight after spending far too long holding it all in. 

Before graduation, I lived in a house of 13 girls. I met with friends five nights out of every week and relished the rare weekend that I would allow myself to stay in after babysitting. I was constantly, deliciously surrounded by my peers. 

On a drive to Detroit for a settlement negotiation that I was sitting in on, my new boss and mentor chatted with another intern in the front seat about book she was reading about introverts. Called, “Quiet,” it explored the differences between extro-and-introverts, a difference I thought was simply determined as “not-shy versus shy.” She explained that the author believed it was more complex, in that the energy we gain from being alone or being around people was the far more important test when it came to which side of the fence you fell on. As she explained her need for quiet and serenity when working, including time away from her kids and husband in order to finish any big projects (once renting a hotel room in Detroit to achieve said atmosphere), I was in the backseat, realizing that I was an extrovert requiring constant presence of others to regain my energy. 

For the months prior to that conversation, I had been painfully aware that something was missing. I was unhappy and anxious, and floated through weeks in a constant state of agitation. My boyfriend would ask me if I was happy that day, and people I saw fleetingly on the street (as Ann Arbor is a small town) would ask me why I looked so sad. When Jane explained what it meant to be an extrovert, I glimpsed a bit of the truth of why I had been so unhappy. 

I was forced to face that same truth tonight, when I realized that I would have to be alone for another hour before going to my boyfriend’s apartment. Whatever the trigger (hairline though it may be), I was sent on a spiral that ended with me curled in a ball in my bed, crying into a pillow with my hand over my mouth. I felt so alone. So raw. My only contact that day were attorneys and interns and the other students in the yoga room for the one hour that I felt some sense of community. 

I realized that I’ve started to linger in grocery stores, just to feel like I can find some acknowledgment in a stranger’s smile when they squeeze past my unhurried shuffling to get to the salad bar. The days I don’t make it to the gym or to yoga are the worst, because I often don’t see anyone outside of work and my boyfriend, who, to his credit, does as much as any one man could for a girl that needs, apparently, a lot of attention. I keep netflix or my television on while I cook or clean so that I have some connection to sound and conversation. Without wifi and cable, I think I’d already be Wilson-drawing crazy. 

I’ve started to sign up for projects that I know will require time and effort outside of work, to draw out after-work meetings and drinks because I know they will be followed with an empty house. I run the dishwasher too often, because it sounds like someone else is home. I leave lights on, play loud music, shop far too frequently for a paycheck of my size. I try to be outside, but wherever I’d go there is lonely too. 

I hate it. I hate the empty, the quiet. I hate how I need people, because I never thought that I would be so dependent on others for my own happiness. I hate sounding sad and pathetic, and I hate that I have let myself fall apart now, simply because I will have to wait for an hour to finally not be alone. 

This is the part that they won’t tell you about in after-school interviews and magazine articles. They warn you to wear a suit to the big-firm interviews, business casual for the others. They teach you about theorems and research design and supply and demand but they forgot to teach us about how to cope with this kind of change, the kind that makes you catch your breath on a sob when it’s 10pm and you’re aching for a friend.

I suppose it ends eventually. People come back or you move away and find new friends and a separate support system. 

I hope so. 

Let The Ship Sink

Let The Ship Sink


All I wanted to hear was a knock at the door and the silence was deafening. The empty inbox, the text that never came, the phone that didn’t ring, no footsteps outside my door, no likes, no comments, no shards of anything anywhere except the sound of being unwanted. The heartache felt like nausea…

a letter to myself upon nearing graduation (part 1)

Hey you,

This isn’t what you want your graduation speech to be or what you wish the many people squawking in your ear about your plans come fall would say instead or what your parents have been asking about that liberal arts degree they invested so much money in. This is what you say to yourself on the nights when it seems like everything is pressing back down on top of you, your mantra when surfing the career webpage and the only thing keeping you from biting straight through your lip when you get another rejection letter. It’s the only reason you wake up at 8 am every morning (okay, 8:30am) when you don’t have class until 1pm, because even though you’re a senior you still have homework. It’s why you only go to Rick’s twice a week (and Charley’s once, and maybe Skeeps, but really it’s all in moderation).

It’s time to be so goddamn proud of yourself. Look at you, graduating from a prestigious university recognized worldwide as producing some of the top graduates, the brightest students. You are that bright student. You are that top graduate. more “a letter to myself upon nearing graduation (part 1)”

How far have you walked?

One of my favorite lines from a poem by Warsan Shire is “how far have you walked for men who have never held your feet in their laps.”

I happened to catch this picture posted by a roommate on instagram today of our other housemates…That’s Allie, scrubbing Fina’s feet in the shower after a long day of dartying. It might seem silly and trivial, but the first thing I thought of when I saw this picture was that line. Because if you have friends like these, friends that will wash your feet— forget merely holding them in their laps— then who needs to worry about the boys you’ve been walking to for so long?