The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is a scientific theory that states that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever. This isn’t about something changing the universe, but this is about something changing me.

butterfly-6This past weekend from Thursday night to Sunday morning, I had a friend stay here with me. It was honestly the most amazing thing that could’ve happened when it happened. We’ll call the guest “F” for internet and privacy purposes. Before F arrived, I hadn’t had any human interaction with anyone my age in over a month. I met F through Civil Air Patrol; he was in my squadron during my basic encampment. We stayed in contact, and I knew he was studying in Berlin. I asked if he wanted to come visit, and he agreed.

F arrived Thursday night around 1800 by train. The minute I got to speak English to a friend, I knew this would be good for me. We drove around town a bit, showing him around. It was dark of course, but in my opinion still nice. After driving around, we went to a restaurant in town to eat. He tried fries with mayonnaise for the first time. Those darn uncultured Americans :p

After eating dinner, we went to my grandparents’ house and settled in for the weekend.butterfly-7

The next day, we woke up and went to get breakfast at a local bakery. He had a puddingbroodje (a.k.a.”roombroodje”) and I had a Deense krakeling. We went to the park to eat them, and afterwards rode bikes for about 12 miles. I showed him around in the daylight and we saw where they build the big cargo ships,  the street I lived on when I was younger, the house we are going to be living in, my brother’s school, the business district, and a few other things. We also went to a store by a local windmill.

After our bike trip, we ate a typical Dutch lunch. We had soup to start, and multiple types of bread were set up on the table with young and old cheese, Nutella, hageltjes (a Dutch bread topping, it’s very sweet and looks like sprinkles), butter, sausages, and some other toppings. Once we finished lunch, we went to go see the Fraeylemaborg.butterfly-4

The Fraeylemaborg is a small castle, if you will, that used to house the lords of the land in the 18th century. It’s a very cute building with lots of history- and some ridiculously steep stairs… For a house, of course. The main thing we got out of it was the fact that the tower isn’t centered *twitches *and my brother discovered a really awkward pole placement on the back of one of the statues. And of course it was very nicebutterfly-5 to see. There was SILVERWARE. Pardon the blurry picture and the fact that you don’t get the joke. But it was authentic silverware.

butterfly-3After the Fraeylemaborg, we went to a different windmill- one you could actually go inside. F got to move the blades and help the miller with doing windmill stuff, and we went all the way up to the top and saw the big gears and how the mill works, piece by piece. We also saw a bunch of little bugs that still haunt me. After that, we drove around and drove to Zuidlaren to show F where the Zuidlaardermarkt is. the Zuidlaardermarkt is a famous horse market that has existed since 1701 and happens on the third Tuesday every October. After that, we went to an Oliebollenkraam and ate oliebollen, a Dutch New Year’s snack that is essentially fried dough. When we came home, my butterfly-8grandma had made Nasi for dinner; an Indonesian rice dish. After eating, we played a few rounds of sjoelen, a Dutch game with wooden bricks and point values much like a miniature shuffleboard.

Saturday, the last full day F was here, my brother had a soccer game at 0900. They lost, but it was F’s first live soccer game, which was cool! I was honestly surprised that they played on the turf field, since this country is in the middle of a huge turf protest. It’s been though that the rubber pellets used on turf might cause lymphoma or leukemia, since they are essentially ground up tires. But, it hasn’t been scientifically proven.

After my brother’s soccer game, we went to the Markt (open air market) in our town. Here we got Vietnamese food; loempias and bapao, and ate them for lunch. F also got a piece of Dutch cheese for his family.

butterfly-2The days started to really feel productive; we were so active before noon! In the afternoon, we took the rest of the day to tour Groningen. We started by walking around the Markt there, known as the Grote Markt- which translates literally to “big market”. After the Markt, we made our way to the Martini Toren. The tower has a really cool history. Here’s a little snippet from Wikipedia:

The lighting of celebratory fires on the third gallery, after the departure of Spanish and Walloon troops in 1577, caused the tower to partially collapse. However, the remaining portion kept a height of 69 meters. In the 17th century the tower was repaired up to the current 97 metre height. Later the tower was damaged several times by natural violence and several wars. There is a bullet hole in one of the bells, a result of heavy fighting when the Canadian Forces liberated Groningen at the end of World War II.

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The tower was fun to climb and the views were amazing. F and I got to ring the bell, and the rope will literally pull you off the ground at least five feet. I was hesitant to do it at first, but I’m really glad I did. For me, the worst part about the tower was going back down; there was so much traffic. I guess it’s a good way to meet new people, as my mom put it. I’ve had enough steep stairs for this lifetime. Y’all can keep your spiral staircases, too.

After the tower, we walked around the busy streets of downtown Groningen. There were shops, bars, pubs, food places, hair salons, you name it. After a bit of walking, it was time for the boat tour! We rode a boat all around the canals of Groningen, and got to see many nice sights you wouldn’t really get to see anywhere else. The recording of the tour guide speaking in Dutch, German, and English quickly became very repetitive and annoying, and I was happy when it was quiet for a bit. It was really hard not to fall asleep on the boat, though. It was so calming and you were so close to the water. F and I started dozing off a bit.

After that, we went to Kattencafe Poeslief, which is a cat cafe. They serve coffee and let you play with cats. We arrived pretty close to their closing time, 1700, but they still let us in to play with the cats. It was so awesome. We still had to eat dinner somewhere, so to conclude our unbeleafably* fun day in Groningen, we ate at ‘t Pannekoekschip; the pancake ship. butterfly-9

Upon returning home, we played two games of Mens Erger Je Niet, and F won his first game. My brother won the second.

Some time later, we went out to a bar and afterwards went for a long walk through town. We walked around six miles, probably. One of the places we walked through was the park, where we came across a cat who really needed some attention. It meowed and followed us, so I picked it up and carried it through the park. It was adorable.

This weekend was incredible. I could not have asked for anything better, or anyone better to spend time with. It gave me so much appreciation for what is around me and in town here. It gave me such a will to travel and see the world. There really are no limits.

Go, live, and be happy.

-E. ♥

*Spelling is done on purpose to commemorate a leaf.

Oh right! I almost forgot to mention. The bar we went to was called “De Vlinder”, which translates to “The Butterfly”…

If Anne hath a will, Anne Hathaway.

Sometimes when the house smells like pancakes, it’s not pancakes at all.

Sometimes when life seems to throw flaming lemons at you instead of kindly hand them to you, you feel like you’re being engulfed in flames. But, enough of these poorly written euphemisms.

So, what do you do when life throws approximately 5 curve balls at you? You sit and shake and cry a little, and you listen to the Indians win World Series game 1. What do you do when separation anxiety starts to kick in, and everything back “home” seems to be going wrong? What do you do when you can’t do anything?

Right now, I’m not really sure. I’m sitting back in a time zone 6 hours ahead of my friends, over 4,000 miles away- just waiting and watching things unfold. Sometimes, you can’t be there to fix everything. But if I were there, how much could I really do? There’s really a reason for everything. Right?

Well, I’d feel much more content if I’d hear from my best friend. He crashed his car into a lake yesterday. The news said he was okay. I’m sure he’s okay. Of course he’s okay. But it just sucks, not being there for him. Not knowing. I wish I could be there to comfort Kat when she needs it. I realize we lived 4 hours apart when I was there, but there’s a sense of comfort knowing we’re in the same state.

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  I obviously *had* to throw in a picture of Anne Hathaway.

Yesterday was interesting. Yesterday was weird. However, I am very much looking forward to tomorrow. What is tomorrow, you ask? Well, one of my friends that I met through Civil Air Patrol- at my basic encampment, is studying in Berlin. Berlin just so happens to be about 6 hours from here. And you know, as people both citizens of Ohio, we’d only find it reasonable to hang out in Europe. So that’s really cool- and I’m excited. We’re going to show him all around North Netherlands, including climbing a tower and taking a boat tour of the canals and city. Yay positive things!

But, I won’t feel okay until I here from Ky. He… *sigh*. I also hope his Euphonium is okay. I realized after texting him last night that his phone is likely at the bottom of the lake… or at least very very wet… So yeah. It’s just… I’m likely overreacting. But not being there, not being able to know what’s going on.., It really starts to take a toll on you after a while. Especially this.

But, it’ll all be okay. Right?

Maybe the Indians will win the World Series. That’ll be nice. It just really sucks not being there to watch it or witness it. But, shout-out to Alex for being a fantastic friend and figuring out how to get the radio broadcast of the game working.

Loneliness is my least favorite thing about life. The thing that I’m most worried about is just being alone without anybody to care for or someone who will care for me.

-Anne Hathaway

There are so many unanswered questions in my mind, and so much is going on. It’ll all work out. Right? I sure hope so.

Stay strong, guys.

-E.

Today, yo.

Blogging will resume as normally scheduled now.

Wait, what’s normal?!

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Huge shout-out to my Dutch family for coming over on short notice today. It made my brother extremely happy… and even though at first I didn’t want to socialize at all, and I was incredibly awkward, I’m glad you all came. Second shout out to that family member that pointed out I can carry a knife here. Thank you! 🙂

Overall, today was pretty awesome. It wasn’t a huge deal (obviously), but my day was good. Thank you so much to everyone who took time to say happy birthday to me- from my airport friends to Dutch family to my best friends to my CyberPatriot team. All of you, everyone, y’all are awesome. ♥14804878_1239880182719872_1304026081_n

There were flags- but no confetti balloons… the store was sold out. *sad face*. Oh well, it was pretty awesome either way. I saw a bunch of people who haven’t seen me in person in years, and I got a big duck. You think I’m kidding? Full sized glass for scale.

Well, I’m going to continue Skyping my CyberPatriot friends. Or well, Google Hangouts because Skype failed us. And then watch the third (and final) presidential debate! Happy Birthday to me, I get to watch the circus! Har har.

Oh, and I totally can’t do this European kissing everyone to greet them thing anymore *internally freaks out in American*.

Have an amazing day, everyone♥

-E.

Countdown- 1 (the baby one).

Tomorrow’s the day!!!

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*cries* -newborn me, probably.

This one is going to be a bit different. This one is going to be spent looking at baby pictures! These pictures were all taken around the turn of the century (1999-2001).  016

This first picture was taken at one of my first- if not my first swimming lesson. I was less than a year old, and I loved the water. I asked my mom if I liked the water, and she said “I don’t know, that’s like a million years ago” -actual quote from my mom, 2016. My grandma then confirmed I loved swimming.

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The second picture is of me at age 3, in 2001. I had gotten the car I am sitting on for my first birthday, and loved it ever since. The animal in the cage was a rabbit, named Buckshot. I’ll elaborate more on the bunny when I do my pet post, which I’m planning to post in late October or early November. The bike on the right is still in existence- my brother uses it (and loves it) in present day- even though he’s actually way too big for it.

021 The third picture in this post is also of when I was 3. (So is the fourth picture, but we’re only halfway there… WHOA-OH..My hair wasn’t often in a braid like this- but I really like them. Fun fact: my hair was in the same kind of braid for the Sadie’s dance my junior year. I didn’t have the cute little chick hair clips in High School, though. If you look at the background, you see the largest object is a dollhouse. That dollhouse was one of my favorite things in the world- both to play in with dolls *and* to play on. “On?” you ask? Yes! On! The slanted wooden roof was perfect for a small child to slide on. So, it was not only a dollhouse, it also doubled as a jungle gym.
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The final picture in this post is from when I was ALSO three, and I played field hockey. I’m the small child with blonde hair and the red sleeveless jacket thing (I forget what those are called- there *is* a specific name). “I really don’t see what could’ve gone wrong, giving all those kids wooden sticks” said my mom. “I’m really surprised no one cracked their skull open”. I agree, dude. I agree.

I was a pretty cool small child, blonde hair and blue eyes. I probably had some of the best faces (that the public interwebs don’t get to see). And tomorrow- yes, tomorrow- that “pretty cool small child” turns 18. Yay! Or something… (I think I can agree with newborn me who was crying… I’m not sure I’m ready to adult. Can I take a nap instead?).

Well everyone, as I enter the brand new world of adulthood (officially at 11:12 a.m. on October 19th)- wish me luck. Time to go pay some insurance.

“Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.”
― Roman Payne, The Wanderess

Have a fantastic day, you guys.

-E.♥

Countdown- 2 (the senior one).

TWO DAYS YO

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It’s Monday. On Wednesday, I’ll be 18. Yippee! (Right?) 

Yes, yes, I know in reality turning 18 *isn’t* such a big deal. A bunch of people have done it without some big fuss- and I feel like that’s why I’m blogging about it. I want it to be a big deal for me, so it’s something to do- something to remember. Over here in what my friend calls “the cave”, turning 18 isn’t some big milestone. You get to drink distilled alcohol and pay your own insurance (among other things). Side note: No wonder you are able to drink distilled alcohol, I might need it having to deal with all of this. Pass me the rum. Or something.countdown-0-3

So- senior year. What was senior year like?

Three words: “Stress“, “Music“, and “Senioritis“.

Stress because, well… High school. Music because dude, music became my life. I played in the Honors Band, Stambaugh Youth Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band, a quintet, Tuba Christmas, my High School’s Wind Ensemble,  did a solo for a competition,  and participated in a Festival of Bands. I was also accepted into the School of Music at one of the leading music schools in the USA (whose admission I deferred, along with CU Boulder and another) and I received the Director’s Award at my Senior Spring Concert. Outside of everything I participated in, I loved going to local concerts. I was a regular at the W.D. Packard Band concerts, and I would occasionally attend community band concerts. My friend and I lived in the band room all school year. The office became our locker, our cafeteria (even though food or drinks weren’t allowed in the band room- district rules), and our place for hanging out. I’d often skip lunch to practice or re-organize things. We’d often pick what we played in class- and often were hated for it. My friend picked out a beautiful arrangement- To Tame The Perilous Skies– and no one could play it. We’d pick out our favorite pieces and bribe our director to play them. I got my Holst pieces, he got his Carnival of Venice solo. Lastly, “senioritis“. Likely, anyone tseniorhat is a high school senior or has been a high school senior can attest to this one. Senioritis is accurately described by this definition from Urban Dictionary, except for perhaps the clothing thanks to the dress code (and absences for me… I couldn’t afford to miss my AP classes).countdown-0-4

What else did I do my Senior year? Oh man, so much. I was the robotics team captain for the second (or third…ish?) year. I was a member of two new clubs at my school- the Speech and Debate team, and coding club. I did Congressional Debate, and I loved it. I wish I could’ve had more time to do it. I did the Bridge Building Competition, the Ohio Attorney General Teen Ambassador Board (which was absolutely amazing and I’d highly recommend to any High School Junior/Senior in Ohio), I was a thrower in Track and Field, throwing Shotput and Discus. That one was new for me, as I had traditionally been a distance runner in track. I was a volunteer at the local Vacation Bible School as well as Fellowship of Christian Athletes group leader. And of course, I was a member of Civil Air Patrol.

All within Civil Air Patrol, I was a Flight Commander and Cadet Commander at my squadron, Bravo Flight Sergeant (and Honor Flight Sergeant) at the 2015 OHWG Encampment, Team Co-Captain at the 2015 Cyber Defense Training Academy, Ohio Wing Conference Cadet Staff, and Cadet Advisory Council Group Primary Representative. I was awarded the Billy Mitchell Award, Squadron Cadet Officer of the Year, OHWG Cadet Officer of the Year, 910th Airlift Wing Armed Forces Day Awardee, and Commander’s Commendation. Upon graduating, I have been the 2016 D-Day Ohio Cadet Commander, Alpha Flight Commander (and Honor Flight Commander) at the 2016 OHWG Encampment, Cyber Defense Training Academy 2016 Staff and a student in the Advanced Course, and I have received the Amelia Earhart Award for promoting to Cadet Captain. I have flown a Cessna and a glider, and have been a member of my squadron’s CyberPatriot team. 

Senior year was pretty amazing. I do miss a few teachers, and I miss the familiarity of knowing what would happen every day (as I had forecasted in the yearbook) , but I absolutely don’t miss High School as a whole. I’m so glad I graduated.

Hang in there, y’all. 

-E. ♥

Countdown- 3.

3 days, guys!

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Boulder, Colorado.

Before starting this post, I changed the picture at least 4 times. I didn’t know what year to blog about. Tomorrow is senior pictures, and Tuesday is baby pictures (which, that is already done and scheduled to post at noon, EST). I started typing about Junior year, but then I realized I’d already blogged about junior year. I  blankly stared at the screen, and then my lock screen came on. “I got it!” I thought to myself.

12-15 October 2014, my mom and I took a trip to Boulder, Colorado. cu-buffsWe went with the goal of visiting my dream college- CU Boulder.  We visited the campus, and I fell more and more in love with the college by the hour. The food was amazing, both on and off campus. I’d absolutely recommend Half-Fast Subs to anyone looking to eat in Boulder.

I mainly visited the Engineering building and technology parts on campus, but I’m extremely glad we stopped in to see the Marching Band as well. I was able to talk with multiple students as well as someone I believe was the assistant director. The music program there is absolutely fantastic.

Aside from visiting the CU Boulder campus, I also visited a Civil Air Patrol squadron; the Vance-Brand Composite Squadron based out of Longmont, Colorado. At the time I was a C/SSgt, and I didn’t notice many cadets that were higher ranked than me. It was a nice squadron, and I even met a friend I still occasionally talk to. He always jokingly said I’d never outrank him, but *in CAP*– I do now. He’s in the Army now, which (quite obviously) still outranks me.

So yeah, Colorado was pretty friggin’ awesome. Although… someone should really notify the Rocky Mountains that they’re all uphill… that’s really non user-friendly (har har). I’d love to go back one day- and yes, I did get accepted to CU Boulder.

Keep climbing!

-E. 

Also, yes. I am aware that “Countdown- 4” does not exist. It, like “Countdown-9” will never exist.

Countdown- 5.

Five days until I’m 18.




Sorry guys, this one’s going to be a little bit short. I really hope this works correctly, because I’m blogging from the WordPress app on my phone. I’m decently tired and I have a soccer game early in the morning tomorrow that I’m refereeing. It’s my first soccer game in the Netherlands, and I’m really stressed about it actually.

In other news, my mom got me a canvas picture of three Volkswagen buses as an early birthday present. I’m incredibly excited about it.

Well guys, I’m gonna get some sleep tonight. No Titanic documentaries or musicals either. I will continue my normal countdown tomorrow with Countdown 4, as soon as I find a good picture of 6 year old me (or younger). As always, thanks for reading.

And stay strong. ♡

-E.

PS. The WordPress app for Samsung Galaxy S4 is probably more buggy than Snapchat- and that’s saying something.

Countdown- 6.

6 days until I’m 18. That’s less than a week!

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2014. The year we lost Robin Williams and Maya Angelou, Shirley Temple and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Two Malaysian airplanes fell out of the sky. Ebola threatened to kill everyone. Justin Bieber was arrested and Flappy Bird was taken from the app store. Russia hacked the White House and North Korea hacked Sony over “The Interview”.

2014. The year I joined Civil Air Patrol. The end of Sophomore and beginning of Junior year. I was actively involved in the Engineering Tech Prep program through Project Lead The Way. When I grew up, I knew I wanted to be an Aerospace Engineer. My heart was set. I was a part of starting the robotics team at my school, and quickly became the team captain. Robotics was such a huge part of my life12079122_964691903572036_9002646432340228083_n. I loved engineering, computers, planes, anything to do with technology. Looking back, I honestly don’t know why I didn’t join the chess club.

Who was I in 2014? I was shy and awkward. I wore my favorite black combat boots everywhere until they eventually fell apart. Seriously, I colored them in with nail polish once because part of the leather got damaged. I was way too attached to those boots. My pants of choice were skinny jeans, and tight shirts were my forte. I wore very little makeup and loved dying my hair; it had been auburn and pink and blue. Later on in the year, I developed a liking for ties and baseball hats.

I loved writing, especially poetry. I started writing a novel, but never really finished it. Every now and then I think about going back to it. I should really find motivation to continue. I loved music, especially marching band. My trumpet playing skills had increased greatly since being third chair in middle school, and I was getting 1 ratings in solo and ensemble competitions as well as being a member of a local youth concert band and playing taps for my high school. I was a member of Drama Club, having taken part in plays and musicals like “West Side Story”, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”, “Wizard of Oz”, “A Christmas Carol”, and “The Trial of Ebeneezer Scrooge”. We took a trip to see “Wicked” live, and it was one of my favorite things.

I went to the Sadie’s dance with my best friend at the time, and we ditched after drinking hot chocolate. I watched a lot of NASAtv, and I especially remember the Soyuz 41 launch. Astronaut Samantha Christaforetti from Italy had a Olaf stuffed animal on board, and it was the coolest thing. Our CyberPatriot team got first in the state. I met USAF Major Caroline Jensen, at the time she was Thunderbird 3. I saw Family Force Five live. I got to pie my English teacher in the face. The only thing I remember about Junior Hoco is going to Dunkin Donuts after. I got to fly a flight simulator and a couple of planes, as well as attending my Civil Air Patrol Basic Encampment at Wright Patterson AFB.

So, all in all, 2014 was a fun year. It was pretty busy, too. But, I couldn’t have asked for anything any other way. Everything going the way it did got me through some major changes. People I’d met through my Engineering program turned into some of my best friends that year. Civil Air Patrol taught me who I was and who I wanted to become. Other cadets I met started to feel like family.

2014. Though I did so much, it was still an incredibly hard year for me. I was dealing with so many things, things no one should ever have to go through. But, because of my friends and family, and all of the things I did that year- I got through it. Not only surviving, but smiling as well.

Dum spiro spero.*

-E.

*While I breathe, I hope. Also a beautiful arrangement for wind band by Chris Pilsner. I had the amazing opportunity to perform this piece and many others with the Stambaugh Youth Concert Band.

Countdown- 7.

One week!

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“Start spreading the news
I am leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York”

The year was 2007, and 8 year old me excitedly squealed as my mom told me we were taking a weekend trip to New York City. For as long as I can remember, I have loved New York City. I don’t think there was any particular reason prior to this trip, but I could tell you exactly why I fell in love with the Big Apple upon return. The big city feel, the constant life. Everyone is going somewhere and going with a purpose, but they’re not above being friendly. The buses, the bikes, the taxis. The constant noise and droning of city sounds. All the beautiful lights, even the streetlights and stoplights and car lights. The Atlantic Ocean being right there. And all the skyscrapers… especially the Empire State building. In 2007, I fell in love with that building, and it’s still one of my favorite- if not my favorite building on Earth.download

I have been to New York City twice in my life now. The trip with my mom, and in fifth grade my school decided to let us take a class trip to New York. I wish I remembered more of it. I remember Ellis Island so clearly,where I bought my mom a mini Statue of Liberty and my grandpa a tin of mints with his name on it. I remember going on the giant Ferris Wheel in the Toys R Us store. I bought a package of M’n’Ms at the M’n’M store, for irony (they tasted no different than from a grocery store). There was such an emphasis on shopping during the school trip, I do remember that getting on my nerves slightly. I’m not the kind of person to “buy souvenirs”, and if I do, it’s something small. When my robotics team made it to the World Championships in St.Louis, all  I bought was a sticker and a lanyard from the Gateway Arch. When I went to Chicago with band, all I bought was a shot glass and a couple of post cards.

Anyway, yeah. Shopping *isn’t* my thing. I mean… maybe if I had unlimited money, but. That’s not how life works. I can’t wait to go back to New York City. I want to see the Christmas Tree… and go ice skating. I want to ride the subway again. Visit the Museum of Modern Art. New York City at Christmastime sounds like paradise. Maybe a friend and I will go one day. That would be fun. Maybe stay in the same place my mom and I did; the Chelsea International Hostel. It was such a neat place…

So yeah. Like 10 years ago, I loved New York as much as I still do. But, what else was I like as an eight-year-old? I loved my Webkinz “Pink Ponie”, named Monie. I carried her everywhere. preview_pink_ponyShe’s in that pink purse I’m carrying in the picture of me in the Atlantic Ocean above.

 Other than that, there’s not a whole lot else. I was in cheerleading and I loved to dance, everywhere I went to eat I had chicken tenders and fries, I was really your stereotypical child.

I mean, there’s really nothing wrong with eating chicken tenders all the time. But deciding to eat steak at a steakhouse when I was older was really one of the best decisions of my life.

Don’t be afraid to try new things.

-E.

Countdown- 8.

In 8 Days, I will be 18.

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First things first, I’m really bad at blogging when I say I will. So… “Countdown- 9” won’t be a thing. My apologies. However… This is Countdown- 8. Today, we focus on the 2010 me.

Who was I in twothousandten? Well, in this picture taken in July, I was 11. Oh man, 11 year old me. As you can see, I had a short bob like haircut, which I’m still not sure if it worked with my face or not. The clothes I wore were, well, the style of an 11-year-old. I wasn’t self-conscious about what I wore at all, and often times it didn’t match one bit. I wore a lot of colors, and I hated dresses. I always carried a small purse, but I’m not exactly sure what all I kept in it. Probably my camera; I loved photography.

I don’t remember a whole lot from being eleven or twelve. Looking back at myself makes me wonder how I would’ve done in Civil Air Patrol had I joined right at twelve. I was a shy, awkward child. I mean, I don’t know. I met Mitchel Musso that year, and it was so awesome. He was the first “pop star” I ever really liked, and my mom made it possible for 11 year-old me to meet him.

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No, this is not me in the picture. I took this when I was next in line to meet Mitchel.

He signed his album and a poster for me, and I still put it in my carry-on when we moved back to the Netherlands. No, I’m not as in love with Mitchel Musso as I was those days, but it’s still one of my favorite memories. I remember standing in line with my mom, anxious about how it would go and what he’d say and just… eleven-year-old anxieties. I was wearing a rainbow tie-dyed shirt with a glittery heart on the front, and sage green cargo/capri shorts. It was my favorite outfit back then, so of course I wore it to see Mitchel Musso. I’ve honestly stopped following what he’s up to these days.

What else was eleven-year-old me like? Well… I’m not sure. I was an eleven-year-old. I could say I was shy and awkward and weird, but really, who would’t say that about their younger selves? I don’t want to bash myself for who I was. I was happy, I enjoyed life, I wore what I wanted, I never really cared what people thought of me, and best of all… I was me.

These days I pretend I can match my clothes better (I really don’t think I can, but hey- pretending works) and I am a bit more social. I’m kind of glad the bob grew out of my hair as well. Having long hair is probably one of my favorite things.

Well guys, that’s it for my look at the past for today.

Always be yourself.

-E.