Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Sometimes I don't take off my makeup before I go to bed.

Other times, I leave my laundry sitting in the dryer for days (yes, I said days). 

I procrastinate beyond belief, and I tend to neglect my responsibilities.

I am sharp-tongued and often too critical of others.

I am indecisive.

I am selfish.

I am impatient. 

Sometimes I hate myself. I mean really hate myself for no reason at all.

However, out of all of my weaknesses, I feel that my reluctance to trust others to remain true to their word is the most paramount. Stemming from being over-analytical to a fault, I find myself preparing to emotionally pull out of any situation or relationship that changes ever-so-slightly from what it used to be. As soon as everything starts to lose its rosy hue, it takes all the strength I have to not tuck my tail between my legs and sulk away, whispering to myself that I knew everything was too good to be true.

I have the tendency to become emotionally attached very quickly. I love too deeply, and have a heart so big that I sometimes trip over it. As a result, I am constantly prepared to be let down, so as to protect myself from being left behind in the dust, knocked flat on my ass. I have a hard time giving others the benefit of the doubt, even if they have done nothing but prove to me that that they deserve it more than anyone I have ever met.

Trusting others to be true to their word is something I am constantly working on, if for no other reason than the person in question deserves my full and steadfast confidence. How incredibly selfish and ridiculous it is to assume that because of some insignificant and undetectable shift in dynamic, I am about to be tossed aside like that dress you spilled a glass of pinot noir down the front of; once adored, but now useless.  

We, as sentient human beings, are masters of our own fates. By reacting adversely to that phone call that didn't come, or that hug that was milliseconds shorter than the last, who is to say that I am not reversely pushing someone away? I am allowing myself to miss opportunities and ruin relationships because I am pathetically responding to these inconsequential factors that I am wholeheartedly convinced are subtle hints that I am expected to pick up on. 

I am slowly learning to just be content with the present, and allowing others to have my undiminished trust until they show me they don't deserve it. Putting your whole heart into something is terrifying, but I am finding that I'm infinitely happier when I do. Instead of playing the part of a fortune teller and predicting what everyone around me is thinking and feeling, I am trying to just allow people to be accountable for themselves.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

<3 Bre

Monday, February 24, 2014

Come Alive

In keeping with my usual procrastinating self (I mean, I graduate in two months so why change now? Am I right?) I found myself thinking about potential blog posts this afternoon instead of working on an assignment that is due tomorrow.

And now here we are...

I am going to let you in on a secret about myself: I love enthusiastic people. There is nothing more captivating than someone who is truly passionate about something, and has no problem showing it. It took me a while to pinpoint the quality that makes a personality just a little bit more magical, but I've recently discovered that it is this, enthusiasm, that adds that certain sparkle to an already magnetic soul.

If you know me, you know that I have an extreme affinity for quotes and song lyrics. I keep a small leather journal that is filled with my own scribblings, interjected with my favorite sayings and passages. I often have trouble stringing my own thoughts and feelings into comprehensible sentences, and have found that, usually, someone else has already done so in a more eloquent and vivid way than I ever could.

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

How incredible it is to imagine that you might only be existing, instead of being alive.

I pride myself on my ability to read people, and imagine that I possess a very intuitive charisma. More often than not, I am able to get a good glimpse of a person's soul simply by being in their presence for a period of time. I have found that the people that I truly connect with are always those who display an enthusiasm for something. Whether it be life, friendship, the outdoors, cooking, music, cats, or hell, even underwater basket-weaving...they are alive and on fire for something, and it shows.

"...what the world needs is people who have come alive."

I can only hope that the reiteration of that phrase has the same effect on you as it does me.

What kind of world would we live in if enthusiasm didn't exist? If apathy and indifference reigned
supreme over exhilaration and vivacity. Take note of how beautiful those last words sound compared to the former...

What I am trying to convey through all of this rambling is the idea to be alive. Be enthusiastic. Live dynamically, and with conviction. Find your passion and let the world know what it is. Let it explode out of your fingertips. Leave people stunned in your wake, wondering how one person could possibly have that much life inside of them.

"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

Come alive.


Friday, February 7, 2014

We Have Only This Moment

"The minute you begin to do what you really want to do, it's really a different kind of life."

Very recently, I have gone through some big plot twists in my life. You know, those ones that you never see coming, but once they're in view they're harder to stop than an oncoming semi?? Yeah, those. After dusting myself off, I decided it was high time to make some changes. Pretty soon I will be out in the "real world," and to be perfectly honest, I'm not too excited about the idea of putting my current self out there as-is.

As someone who lives their life around the anticipated actions and feelings of others, I have always relied on carefully calculated maneuvers that will keep everything around me in perfect harmony. My first instinct has always been to step back and only make my moves once I know what everyone else is going to do. To sacrifice my own satisfaction and self-worth to make sure that everyone else gets what they want. And you know what...?


Honestly?! Where did that mentality come from? I now know for a fact that it doesn't leave you any better off, and quite frankly, that behavior has the potential to leave you more bitter and resentful than you would ever imagine. And if you are anything like me, I probably have a pretty good idea of what you're thinking right now...

I'm incapable of being selfish.

What if I piss someone off? I can't deal with making people mad.

I'm more comfortable this way, it's how I've always been.

Blah, blah, blah. The list goes on for miles...

Why should we continue to make ourselves miserable, so that everyone around us can be happy? And who says that they (those people we are so desperately concerned about) wouldn't be happy if we did what we wanted to?? And why are we so desperately concerned about them??? And what do we get out of all of this????

Nothing. That's what.

We, these overly caring, pacifistic, people-pleasing martyrs get absolutely nothing. No benefit, no personal gain, not even our own happiness to cling to, because all of those things and more are being stifled by some innate desire to know what everyone is going to think and do before we can act, ourselves.

Very recently, I have experienced true bliss for the first time in a long time. And you know why? Because I have started on this daunting journey of doing what I want, and of putting my feelings first. I can promise you that there is no better sensation than feeling so completely content and free that you just simply do not know what to do with yourself. You want to run, scream, and explode simultaneously. Yeah, pretty fucking awesome. I'm not writing all of this to give you the go-ahead to be a self-righteous douche who expects everyone to duck under their big feet as they go stomping around to get their way. I'm talking about the little things. The little actions that people like us smother because we don't want to upset or offend anyone who might not see eye-to-eye with us.

That guy you have a thing for? Tell him. (Yes, this is terrifying for me as well)

You're already 5'9" but you wanna take those four-inch platform wedges for a spin? Wear the hell out of them.

Someone looks at you funny because you're blasting [insert embarrassing musical artist here] in the parking garage? Turn it up louder.

You would really rather not go to that "awesome rager."? Say no.

We have ONE LIFE, PEOPLE. THIS IS IT. Don't look back and regret that you didn't go for that guy because he might not feel the same, or didn't wear those heels because people would stare. Your life is too precious to be wasting it on anyone but yourself. Someone isn't ready for you?? Oh well. Don't take it personally, pick your head up, and keep moving until you find someone that is. We are too incredible and magical to limit ourselves to fit into someone else's box. The people who are meant to appreciate you will find you and stay in your life, stop making yourself miserable by trying to, instead, find them.

I promise it'll be worth it.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

"Sing a song about the heartland..."

"...the only place I feel at home."

Sunset as seen from the peak of Mt. Leconte

As I am mentally preparing for my big trip to Italy at the end of this week, I have spent some time reflecting on other places I have traveled to throughout my life. England, New York, Jamaica, Colorado, and others immediately come to mind, but there is one place that stands out among the rest: the Great Smoky Mountains  National Park in Tennessee.

On the most recent trip that my family and I took, we began trying to count the number of times that I have been there. We figured it out to be around thirteen. Thirteen times visiting the same exact place. My parents' numbers are even higher!

I can almost say that I have, in a sense, grown up in the Smokies. Vacations there have become a tradition in my family. I can't say exactly what it is that keeps calling us back; maybe it's the scenery, the tranquility, the history, or the "getting back to nature" aspect. But then again, all of those things can certainly be experienced and felt somewhere other than the Smokies. So what else can it be...? I've come down to a conclusion.


There is something truly magical about this place. I can feel it in my bones, and I know my family can, too. 

There is also something truly magical about being so familiar. It's almost as if I know the mountains' secrets. Like I've lived a million lifetimes there, and there is nowhere else on earth where I could feel so completely fulfilled.

Even from a very young age, I can remember the feeling of finally being "home" hitting me the second we entered the park. It was a sensation that would slowly creep in starting at the Georgia state line, growing steadily stronger through North Carolina, and Tennessee, but never reaching it's height until we were surrounded by the mountains. Suddenly I would be wide awake and giddy with excitement. All the windows would go down, and my mom's old James Taylor cd would begin to play. 

There has never been a time where I was disheartened to hear that my parents had, again, decided on the Smokies as our summer vacation destination. On the contrary, I was often relieved to know that I would soon be returning. Too much time away and I began to long for something to breathe life into my soul; the kind of life that can only be found in the magic of the Smokies. I have a strong suspicion that my family felt the exact same way. 

It never takes too much to bring me back. A song, a scent, a wisp of a memory, an old picture, and suddenly I am missing it so badly it makes my heart ache.

Cades Cove, TN

Whenever I try to imagine my future home, I always think that I want to live somewhere like New York City. As much as I would love that, I think I could only do it for a few years at most. After that fantasy fades, the heartland slowly comes into focus; Tennessee, to be more specific. :) 

Old dirt roads, gently rolling mountains, fireflies, good country music, towering trees, and bubbling creeks are what truly hold my heart. I can't imagine not having this special, almost sacred, place as a part of my life when I am grown. It is such a big part of who I am, and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to form such a connection with it, with my family by my side.


2011 (please excuse my boyish travel attire)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ignorance is Certainly NOT Bliss

If you are reading this right now, then you have caught me in a heated mood. Also, this has very good potential to become quite lengthy. You have been warned.

Originally, I had planned on my next post going in a VERY different direction, but about five minutes ago I saw something online that caused me to immediately log in, and begin writing about what had just offended practically every fiber of my being.

I will begin with another one of my favorite quotes (I have many):

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought, without accepting it." - Aristotle

I chose to hi-lite that, because I want everyone who opens this post to see it, even if they read nothing else that I write tonight.

Now, where do I even start? I will not say what exactly it was that I saw, as I do not believe in pointing fingers, and starting unnecessary drama. Also, I don't want to make anyone feel embarrassed, as that is not my goal for this post. I'll just say this:

Understanding others, in all aspects of life, is something that is very, very important to me. I often make an attempt to speak up when I hear people being disrespectful about someone else's culture or way of life. Choosing to study anthropology has definitely put this understanding within reach, as learning how and why we should do so is it's own undergraduate course: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. I think that every single college student in the US should have to take, and pass, this class in order to graduate with a diploma. Seriously.

My heart genuinely breaks when I hear people talking about others who are different than them in a negative manner, calling them "weird," "wrong," or "gross." What is weird about them? Is it because they don't live the way you do? Is it because they marry people of the same sex? Or maybe they marry more than one person? Or they eat fried grasshoppers? Or they don't wear any clothes? Or they put their daughters into a "fattening hut" to become beautiful before they are married? No. You only think they are "weird" because you do not understand why. Or, because you are under the delusion that your way of life is "right."

Ugh. I shudder at the thought.

If you think that your way of life is the "right" way, I have news for you, my friend. You are terribly, terribly mistaken.

One of the responses that I most often hear is that people call these other cultures "wrong" because their practices and/or beliefs go against that person's religion. I know that this is a very touchy subject, but let me tell you something, I believe in God. And I am willing to bet that no matter what religion, if any, that you follow, your god/creator/supreme being did the same thing my God did. He/she/it/they created everyone. Including those people who are, as you might say, "living in sin." So in my eyes, that is not an excuse. And yes, they may be going against the teachings of your religion, but that does not mean that their way of life is wrong in the grand scheme of things; it is simply wrong in your realm of the universe. And I'm sorry to tell you that there is a BIG difference.

I could go on and on, but for length's sake, I'll move forward.

Another thing that makes my heart ache: hearing people telling their children or friends to steer clear of TV shows, or books that detail the lives of people who live in a way that they don't agree with.

Why don't we just prop open the jaws of Ignorance, and begin shoveling kids in by the bucket-full, hmm??

I think this is what infuriates me the most. Many people complain about these types of TV shows, such as the ones on TLC (Sister Wives, My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, etc), calling them useless. I think they are absolutely wonderful. They are teaching us about the many cultures that exist right in our own backyards! They are showing us that we do not have to travel to the middle of the Amazon to find diversity. We can find it in our own society. The backbone of humanity is variety. Differences are what outline all of the beautiful cultures that exist on this earth. And the thought that people are viewing these programs not as a learning opportunity to enrich our minds and broaden our horizons, but as a threat, makes me sick.

 If there is one road to world peace, it is education. And not taking any, and every opportunity to learn about the world and the people who inhabit it is what is keeping us at a stand-still.

That being said, there is a serious difference between appreciation, and acceptance. I am not saying that we have to agree with the way of life of every single group of people on this earth. That is pretty much impossible. But what I am trying to say through all this rambling, is that it is crucial that we try to understand why all of these different cultures live life the way that they do. And how they came to be. Who, and what, they evolved from. How they fit into the giant puzzle of the world. That is what must be appreciated.

The only way that we can truly appreciate these things, is by trying to view the world from outside of our own perspective. Everything is objective. Our own biases are the only things standing in our way.

Ignorance will get us nowhere. And I beg you, please, do not give in to that close-minded, unenlightened, ugly-souled person that we all have the potential to become. Life is beautiful, and people are beautiful.

I will end this with another quote that I love:

"Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace." - The Dalai Lama


*P.S. - If you'd like to skim over it, I've posted a link to a very interesting anthropological article that will really put this whole "understanding" thing into perspective for you. It did for me! (hint: reverse the words "Nacirema," and Notgnihsaw," and then read it again to see if you get it ;)   )


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rockettes, Donuts, and Time Machines

Hello again out there! I know it's been quite a while since I posted on here, but I've been super busy! With finals, working, and travelling to New York City, I hadn't quite been able to find the time, or inspiration, for a new post in the past few weeks. However, my many adventures in the Concrete Jungle provided just the encouragement that I needed!

The reason why I traveled to New York City was to audition for the Radio City Rockettes! To be a part of that infamous kick-line has always been a dream of mine. While it didn't come true this year, there is still hope, and I will not give up easily! After a few days of gallivanting around "the city," it was unfortunately time for me to return back to the real world. Upon arriving at the airport, I realized that my flight was delayed! My concerns of missing my connection in Atlanta only grew as our departure time was pushed further and further back. Discouraged, I found a place upstairs to wait out the three more hours that now remained until I took off from New York. But little did I know that I was soon to meet one of the most amazing human beings that I have ever encountered.

His name is Jacob, and he is five years old.

It didn't take long for him to come over and begin a conversation once I had sat down a few seats away. Without any inhibitions, he quickly began telling me about his love of trains and machines. I found out a few moments later that this display of amicability might have been fueled by a strawberry-frosted donut that he had recently consumed ;). And speaking of donuts, Jacob LOVES Chinese donuts, and Chinese "cuisine" in general! (Yes, he used the word cuisine!). When he told me that he was five years old, I said that I wished I could be five years old again, too. After a moment's contemplation, he informed me that if I had a time machine,  I could! I then discovered that he is an excellent drawer of time machines. As he was teaching me how to draw, I thought to myself that I had never met another five year old with whom I could have a full, intelligent conversation with. He was intimidatingly bright! As the time passed, Jacob and I amassed quite the collection of drawings, including time machines, stages full of ballerinas, and kitty cats. After a while, my stomach began to growl, and when I returned with a donut of my own (this one covered in star-shaped sprinkles), he immediately informed me that he would have named it "Starry Night." Through our conversation, I found out that Jacob and his mom were also on my flight, and were headed to the same final destination!

Once we finally departed and landed in Atlanta, we had already missed our connecting flight and were forced to stay in a hotel overnight and take the next flight out in the morning. Our adventure was not yet over! When our little caravan reached the information counter to receive our vouchers, I sat on the floor and talked some more with Jacob. He told me all about his love of drawing, and reading; specifically the Magic Tree House books, featuring Jack and Annie and their time-travelling excursions. I told him that I, too, loved the Magic Tree House books, and that I was very impressed with his reading skills. He said thank you, and told me that he liked my dress (which he described as "cucumber green"); how cute!! We continued to talk over the next few minutes about magic crayons, Thomas the Tank, and Ms. Frizzle and The Magic School Bus. Jacob was quickly becoming my favorite of all five year-olds ever.

When we arrived at our final destination, I have to admit that I was very sad to say good-bye! Jacob and his ceaseless curiosity had turned what started out as an exasperating situation,  into one that was more than enjoyable. One of the most intelligent young children that I have ever met, Jacob dove whole-heartedly into every conversation that we had, and possessed such a focus and determination to solve every question that he came up with (and there were many of those!). He had more passion in his tiny little body than some people display over a lifetime. He reminded me that we cannot ever lose our sense of curiosity, and let ourselves settle into the mundane rut of everyday life. The world is ours, and it is waiting for us to explore it!

I was reminded that there is ALWAYS a silver lining to any situation that seems hopeless, and sometimes it might come in the form of a five year-old boy with a love for time machines.

Bre :))

Friday, March 30, 2012

"Where Have All the Good [Girls] Gone?"

Hello out there again! This is something that has been bothering me for quite a while and I think it's time I talk about it, so I'm going to just cut to the chase. Recently I had someone ask me,

"So where does your good-girl act end? Or are you really just a good girl?"

My reaction went something like,

"I'm sorry...but what??"

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that something like this has happened to me. For years it seems that people have been questioning my motives, insisting that I have some sort of hidden agenda or that I am simply being a brown-noser. When I was younger it didn't happen as often, for a child's honesty and naivete are not often mistaken. However, as I got older and it happened more frequently, it began to bother me more and more. Why is it so hard to believe that a girl can simply be a genuinely good girl? Why are peoples' first instincts to think that she obviously has some ulterior motive for being polite, respectful, and adhering to a classier standard? Sometimes I feel people assume that just because a girl is over a certain age, it is only matter of time until her morals simply fly out the window and her wild streak finally surfaces.

Now I'm not claiming to be perfect, because I most definitely am not. I love to get a little crazy now and then just as much as the next girl, because after all, we do just wanna have fun ;) But why do we have to stop being ladies?? Going out half-naked, drunk as a skunk, with your underwear hanging out as you stumble down the sidewalk is not going to get you the kind of attention that you want, girls. Neither is cursing like a sailor with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth, and bringing home a different guy every night. Sometimes I fear that doing our best to emulate those fools on  TV shows such as Jersey Shore (as entertaining as I find them), or Bad Girls Club is becoming the norm. Is this where peoples' skepticism comes from? Am I, as a good girl, becoming something of a rarity in this ever-rising sea of Courtney Love wannabes? No offense Court....

If so, this truly bothers me. I feel that it devalues my, and other good girls' discipline if people see it simply as our attempts to get what we want. I respect my superiors, even if they don't necessarily respect me. I (try to) listen to my parents. I feel extremely awkward if I venture out in clothes that appear to be three sizes too small. I make a true effort to watch my mouth. It is hard for me to not try my best at everything that I do. I am inclined to see the best in everyone, and to give them the benefit of the doubt. I say please and thank you. And most of the time, I feel a little old-fashioned in my ways. But I know that I am not alone.

 I often hear girls complaining that their boyfriends/crushes/"friends"/whatevers are not the knights in shining armor that they had hoped for...but once upon a time I happened upon a quote that provided an all-too-easy fix to this problem...

"If more girls were willing to be ladies, then maybe more guys would be willing to step up and be gentlemen."

SO PULL IT TOGETHER GIRLS. It's worth a shot, right?

Being a good girl does not make you a nerd, or a prude. If you too are a good girl at heart, please do not be afraid to show it! I promise you that you are not alone, I know there are more of us than you may think :)

Bre :)