19 on the 19th

Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear E, happy birthday to me!

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Oh hey look, that rhymed. This blog post, I’ll be answering some “writing prompts” about myself. The first day I’m 19. These prompts were really targeted at kids, but hey. That’s all good.

  1. What is something you are good at doing? Anything to do with technology or computers. My job is pretty great. 
  2. What is your favorite color and why? I always say I don’t have a favorite color. Or black. I guess I like black because it goes with anything. I also really like the combination of yellow and purple because it makes my mom happy. They really are happy colors. Red is also pretty cool, because it looks good on me. Recently I’ve been getting more into pink, too. I have this really cute lipstick called “divine wine” and it’s a super cute color pink.
  3. What is the story behind your name? Emanuel, and Queen Esther from the Bible!
  4. Which country do you want to visit and why? All of them. I also really want to go to Paris, France. It just seems beautiful. It’s so romanticized in today’s society, so why not?
  5. What is your favorite cartoon? I don’t really watch TV. Tom and Jerry is pretty cool. The one episode of Rick and Morty I watched was also 10/10.
  6. What do you want to be when you grow up and why? I want to work in a technology field. Tech support, networking, cyber security.
  7. What is your favorite thing about school? My Society, Culture, and the Digital Sciences professor is a great guy. I think the best thing about college so far though is the flexibility and mutual respect that everyone has for everyone, especially my classes with a majority of older students. The other freshmen are kind of annoying and immature, but that’s okay. They will learn. 
  8. What one thing do you want to change about your school? I. HATE. ONLINE. CLASSES. So yeah, no more online classes. And maybe ditch Blackboard for something that actually, I don’t know, functions. 
  9. What is your favorite season and why? FALL. Because it’s just great. Why not? It’s the perfect temperature, the leaves are beautiful, there’s bonfires and coziness and friends and corn mazes and my birthday and fall is just perfect.
  10. What would you like to invent and why? Something better than Blackboard lol (jk, maybe teleportation). 
  11. Where do you want to travel to as a kid? As a teenager? As an adult? As a kid, I always wanted to go to Paris. As a teenager, I still had that Paris dream. I guess I still would like to go to Paris, but I also really want to do a super basic road trip through all the states. Yanno, drive to Hawaii and stuff. 
  12. Where do you want to live as an adult? In a house with no debt.
  13. What is your favorite food? Describe it in detail. My favorite food? In detail? Quite possibly Arby’s Roast Beef sandwich. The classic one. It’s delicious. They have the meat. 
  14. What are you scared of and why? Spiders, because they’re gross. Finding spiders in my shoes, because that’s more gross. NOT finding spiders in my shoe (and them being there), because that’s terrible (these all stem from something someone told me in second grade thanks Mrs.Reyes). Lastly, burning alive. That one’s obvious.
  15. Write about your very best friend. He’s a great guy and the editor of this blog. He’ll probably point out at least three typos in this post alone. He’s pretty smart and has taught me so much about technology and networking and yeah. Hi Alex.
  16. What is the color of your room? Describe the things in it. Beige. There’s an American flag on the wall in between my side and Megan’s. On my side, there’s my bed. My bed has a purple blanket and a giant teddy bear that Andrew bought me (it’s super cute and usually gets kicked off my bed while I’m asleep). 
  17. Write about your pet animal. My pet animal? Megan has a cat named Abby and she’s an asshole sometimes, but a very cute one. She likes to lay on my face when I’m talking to people. There’s also George, my bunny, back in the Netherlands. I miss my floof. 
  18. Write about which pet you want but do not have. I want more buns. And a German Shepard Dog. 
  19. What is your favorite holiday and why? Halloween because Fall.
  20. Describe the night you _______________ and what happened. Wait what? Huh? This must be some kind of secret kid code that I’m too old for. Skip!
  21. Design a tree house for yourself and describe what you will do in it. Networking paradise. It’d be fully enclosed and super cold all the time. I’d run multiple servers and just yeah. A fiber connection to a tree house isn’t too much of a stretch, right? Maybe I’ll just put up a hammock… libra.png
  22. What is your favorite dress/outfit and why? I bought today’s outfit last night at Hot Topic and I’m in love. It’s a dress that has a galaxy/space print (and supposedly glows in the dark). I’m wearing black tights with it and my black boots. My necklace is the Libra star symbol. 
  23. What is your biggest dream for your future? To be successful and have enough money to be able to spend what I want when I want and to have lots of time to do what makes me happy. Oh, and to have a good job that I enjoy, of course.
  24. Ten interesting things about you are… 
    1. Today is my birthday
    2. I was born at 11:12 on a Monday
    3. I’m from the Netherlands
    4. My first car was named Steve. He was a green 1998 Ford Escort. 
    5. There’s a server in my apartment
    6. There’s a (mounted) deer head in the passenger seat of my car, a bunch of networking cables on the floor, and a Christmas tree in the backseat. There’s currently no room for anyone to sit in my car. 
    7. My brother and I share a birthday, and my grandmother and her brother share a birthday.
    8. I broke my ankle and growth plate in 5th grade from playing hide-and-seek. I was in a wheelchair for a while. I then re-injured it at basic encampment for Civil Air Patrol in 2014. They carried me from class to class until I got crutches. I borrowed a staff member’s. They then found a wheelchair for me to use at the Air Force Museum. I got the nickname of “Princess Wheels”. Kat pushed me around the museum and it was great.
    9. I actually *really* like singing. I used to think I was good at it. I was in choir for all of middle school and I wasn’t in high school because of scheduling. I used to practice with the church worship team in high school. I don’t know if I’m actually good, but I like singing. 
    10. The earliest birthday I remember was my bear birthday party, when I think I turned three. I had a bunch of people over and they all got these little bears with long arms and Velcro on the hands so they could hold themselves up. I still have mine. 
  25.  What makes you happy? My birthday! I’ve been in a super great mood all day.
  26. What makes you sad? When other people are upset or sad.

I’m also real quick going to touch on my music taste! I’ll be using YouTube this time though, unlike my post titled “Where Words Fail, Music Speaks” from January.

What song is playing right now? The USC Trojan Marching Band playing “The Kids Aren’t Alright” by the Offspring on the Navy Pier in Chicago.

My YouTube history is all sorts of random at the moment. The USC Trojan Marching Band playing “You’re Gonna Go Far Kid”, The YouTuber Denis’s intro music, “Poke and Destroy” by the Presidents, “The Nights” by Avicii, and “Hopes and Dreams” from the Undertale soundtrack. Obviously there’s more than that, but that about sums it up.

There’s not much else fun to blog about. My last night as an 18-year-old was fun. I raced someone (oops) (I won’t be doing that again) (I lost), went to Chick-Fil-A, and spent too much at Hot Topic.

Today I had Computer Science in the morning, and now I’m at work. Work’s been fun. I updated some computers (yay feature updates that take like 2 hours) and fixed some tech support stuff for a coworker. Tonight, Andrew is coming up and we’ll probably go to Chi Alpha. It’s been a good day. ALSO, THIS DRESS HAS POCKETS AND I LOVE IT.

I’m gonna go do a bit of homework now before work ends. Oh, that reminds me. @ whoever spilled coffee in the conference room on the second floor, I will find you. Mice aren’t supposed to be sticky. 

Alright. Really though. I’m going to go do some homework. I’ll blog again later!

I like to think of myself like a lion. Strong. Fierce. An over-comer. Yet, gentle. Because, everyone sees some shit in life. But, it gets better. As stereotypical as that may sound. Really… Everyone can find their lion. My inspiration just happened to… actually be a lion.

~E. ♥

Countdown to 19… 8!

It’s 11 October and as you all probably know: I turn 19 on the 19th. With that being said, I’m going to do a fun little thing every day I get the chance to blog. Today I’ll start by answering some questions about myself.

Let’s see how that goes! 

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

If we start when I was super young, I’ve had a few nicknames. “Weasel”, “Maddie”, “Blonde One”, and “Nikki”. All of them have some sort of backstory, but we’ll save that for another time. I prefer being called my actual name.  

2. What books on your shelf are begging to be read?

THAT DAMN JAMES PATTERSON SERIES

3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

Lol, I just had to do a sketch for class and it looked like something a cat coughed up

4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?

I lay and self-loathe, let’s be honest here

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?

All the days. I’d write a lot. 

6. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away?

I have notes from middle school still if that  answers the question…

7. Who is the biggest pack rat you know?

Pack rat? Like, has a lot of stuff? Probably myself. Y’all should see the trunk of my car. You could easily camp for two weeks with everything in my car. 

8. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?

I don’t go to parties. I don’t enter. 

9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be?

My strongest sense? Probably hearing. My sense of smell already sucks, so you can take that one. 

10. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Yes.

11. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

HAHAHAHA That animals would think my fingers were carrots and eat them. I was afraid of petting zoos for this reason until like… last year. 

12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

Sleeping? I dunno. I don’t feel guilty about anything. It’s my life. 

13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?

Probably Alex. 

14. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections?

Like, once for my Media, Power, and Culture class.

15. Which animals scare you most? Why?

SPIDERS ALL THE WAY BECAUSE THEY’RE GROSS AND BASICALLY COME STRAIGHT FROM HELL

16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?

I’m not going to avoid a conflict to spare someone’s feelings, if that’s the question. There’s so many ways to resolve a conflict I don’t see why “engage head-on” is the other option. 

17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured?

Someone said I looked 24 so I’ll take that

18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?

How often I break out like a 13 year old boy lmao

19. Are you a creature of habit? Explain.

YES YES YES. I updated to iOS 11 and I’m still lost.

20. Are you high maintenance? Explain.

Lol, no. Literally, the smallest things will make my day. I don’t need… “high maintenance”. Also, to me, that makes me feel superficial. I dunno. I don’t like that phrase. Maintenance to me means that you need fixing to be okay. Frick that. 

21. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits?

I did a 5k on Friday and wow that was lit

22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why?

Both! I have a whole lot of acquaintances and a few close friends. 

23. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others?

Why can’t I unleash the power of others in my empire?

24. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone?

Um…. Nothing comes to mind. 

25. What do you think about more than anything else?

Sleeping and eating lol 

26. What’s something that amazes you?

Myself! I’m still going and kicking ass and I’m damn proud of myself. 

27. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? Why?

I had to Google what “shooting straight” was, but definitely that one. Talk to me! Tell me how you feel about me! Give me your honest opinion. 

28. Where’s your favourite place to take an out-of-town guest?

Um. Something touristy I guess. 

29. What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why?

WHY IS EVERYONE PACKING UP IT’S 10:20 THIS LAB ENDS AT 10:30

30. Do you have a catchphrase?

“I dig that” right now probably. I also say “lit” so much I got my boss saying it hahaha

31. What’s your reaction towards people who are outspoken about their beliefs? What conditions cause you to dislike or, conversely, enjoy talking with them?

I don’t know

32. How and where do you prefer to study?

At home in absolute quiet. Sometimes music playing.

33. What position do you sleep in?

I’m a stomach sleeper. 

34. What’s your all-time favourite town or city? Why?

Boulder, Colorado. Man, it’s gorgeous. 

35. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new?

If they’re funny, if they smile a lot, and if they’re kind. 

36. How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you?

Not? My brother is really chill.

37. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be?

I’d want to be able to work out and get stronger and stuff (and look good) and not hurt. 

38. If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be?

With my (ex?) best friend Erin. She was my best friend from second grade until senior year of high school. Wow. 

39. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

Maddie/Madeline.

40. Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not?

No. Educate yourself. 

41. What do you consider unforgivable?

Rape. 

42. Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? Why or why not?

Yeah, you learn from those things. 

43. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize?

Meh. Most times, apologies don’t mean anything anyway. It’s their actions.

44. Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for?

Deep question up in here. Um, I guess my faith? 

45. To what extent do you trust people? Explain.

It depends on the person. People as a whole are untrustworthy. Even some of my friends. But there’s like, three people I’d trust with my life. One is my mom. 

46. In what area of your life are you immature?

None, I think. I mean, naive? Sure. Immature? Nah. 

47. What was the best news you ever received?

Probably my scholarships???

48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular?

Not difficult at all.

49. When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? What was the long term result? Conversely, are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first?

Probably with Erin in second grade. Little us got along super well. We were best friends until… senior year. And I don’t think so. 

50. When do you find yourself singing?

Almost always (I’m annoying sorry)

So there you have it! 50 questions answered about myself right now at age 18. Stay tuned within the next few days to see what other fun things are in store for my blog! 

~E.♥

It’s my favorite month!

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Halloween, Fall, black cats, chilly weather, there’s so many things to love about October. And hey! It’s my birthday this month! Last year I was posting countdowns and baby pictures and senior pictures as a countdown to my 18th birthday.

Now, my 19th birthday isn’t such a big deal. Or, it may not seem like it to many people anyway. But it’s kinda special to me. I’m turning 19 on the 19th and 19 is my favorite number. How much better could it get? It’s going to be a great day.

Lately, life has been pretty good. Last night… wow. Andrew and I laid under the stars for a while and it was fantastic. I’d dreamed of a date like that since I was like, 10. I genuinely felt that life was great… something freshman year of high school me wouldn’t even comprehend. I’d say I’ve got myself together decently well.

Speaking of getting myself together, how’s those goals coming along? My goal for September was to get amazing grades, get a good job, and establish myself.  I’d say I met that. School is going great. I got a job! (WOOOO) I’m a student IT assistant. It’s great. And establish myself? I think I did. I’m active in the campus ministries organization- Chi Alpha- and I’ve made a few friends (lookin’ at you, Isabel. You better not skip class for Netflix again).

Do I have goals for October? You bet. I have a few!

  1. Be healthier. Eat less carbs and less dairy. Work out more.
  2. Save money. 
  3. Sleep more.
  4. Find a routine. 

Okay. Well. It’s October and it’s going to be great.

Oooooh, I haven’t measured my yearly goals in a while. Let’s do that real quick.

My Goals for 2017 Were:

  1. Love myself and be happy. Do things because they’ll make me happy.
  2. Go to college and study where and what I want.
  3. Achieve at least C/Lt Col in the Civil Air Patrol
  4. Learn to stay calm and manage emotions, as well as being able to express these to others. (This one may not make sense to you as the reader, but it does to me. I’ve already started working on it!)
  5. Learn something new. Whether this is learning a new language, something about computers, anything.
  6. Make money. Save money. (Already working on the saving money! #AdventureFund)
  7. Stay hydrated. All year.
  8. Read my whole James Patterson series.
  9. Travel.
  10. Write more. (Whether this is blogging, letters, cards, journaling, it’s going to happen!)

How are they going?

  1. I mean, damn. Yeah. I’m happy.
  2. I’m in college, baby.
  3. This one’s physically impossible with dates and time in grade now. But that’s okay- we’re looking at January 2018 now. I achieved Cadet Major and I’m pretty damn proud of that.
  4. I’m…. a work in progress.
  5. I’m learning a lot about leadership these days. I’m learning even more about myself. But am I also learning learning? Yeah. I know binary now. Like, I grasp it so well. So yeah. I’m learning new things.
  6. #AdventureFund is coming along decently. There’s like $100 in there. And I got paid for the first time on Friday- $91.01. It’s lit.
  7. Ensure you are hydrating and drinking water.
  8. Ugh, I’m still on the same book I was on in like, May lmao.
  9. Yeah, that’s a thing. Planning a trip in December as I’m typing this!
  10. I guess so too. (College note-taking is writing, right? ha).

So there we have it. Goals. They’re.. uh… coming along. Yeah.

Well, I’m going to go plan and eat a croissant. It’s a damn good croissant.

Keep your head up and strive for greatness.

~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- 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- 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- 10.

10 days until I’m 18. 

14

This picture is from when I turned 14. A group of my friends threw me a surprise party at a local pizza shop. The “leader” of the group’s sister worked at that shop, and they organized a whole table, pizzas, and even a cake. 8th grade… those were the days. I had two different groups of friends. The girl who was holding my eyes shut in this picture- we’ll call her Brooke for the purpose of privacy. Brooke and I had been friends from the day I moved to America in 2nd grade. We were friends until the end of junior year. We shared so many memories. Brooke is now a Soldier in the US Army. We don’t talk anymore, at all, but I really do wish the best for her.

Anyway, Brooke wasn’t really a part of the friend group that threw me the party, but they included her because they knew she was my best friend. I always appreciated that. That friend group has gone many different ways now. Many of them don’t talk to one another anymore. When High School hit, some people ended up “popular”. Some people went full “nerd”. Others were punks or jocks, and honestly I’m surprised one or two didn’t drop out of school.

Who was I in 8th grade? Time to look back to an awkward time of teenagerness. I wore not two, but one glove. I also wore a fedora more often than not, and people recognized me because of it. I was ridiculously punk because of it, or so I thought. Lookmjing back, I understand why some of my friends called my Michael Jackson. The summer between 8th grade and freshman year, I “dyed” my hair purple with a Sharpie at band camp. Given, it was only a streak, but it probably looked so dumb. I’m still surprised seniors actually wanted to associate with me. I ran the mile in track, and I played soccer at the local Youth Soccer League. I got made fun of for that often, because most others in my grade were too old to play and found it childish that I played. It was actually downright bullying looking back, and as a result gym class (and the people in it) made me want to murder someone. I was an awkward trumpet player, not really good but also not really bad. I was third chair- back in the days our school administration allowed seating. They “outlawed” it sophomore year because it made other people feel bad about their seat (well no crap, that’s kind of the point). Other than that, I was your stereotypical young teenager. Worried about my weight (even though at the time I probably weighed around 115 pounds and I was 5′ 4″… I’d love to go back to that), worried about one pimple here and there, and I wore way too much makeup; dark eyeliner and sparkle eyeshadow from Claire’s. This was absolutely my “scene phase”. I’m not sure what stopped me, but I always wanted to cut my hair to have really thick bangs that mysteriously hung in front of my face. I drew on myself in Sharpie.

There was also the day my friend in science found the pyromaniac in me. He had a lighter with him, and I found this the coolest thing. He was a bit of a popular “badass” with a reputation for doing what he wanted. If you were his girl, you could be anything. I never wanted to be with him- I wanted to be him. Anyway, he had this lighter and it was shaped like a hot dog. It was actually incredibly dumb. We were sitting in science class, and the teacher was talking. I was always the “teacher’s pet”, especially in this class. She was the Student Council adviser, and an amazing teacher. She never really paid much attention to me, she trusted me. I never really messed around, but that day was different. My desk was next to his, and we were by the window. He takes out his lighter and shows it off. He lights it inside his desk. He hands it to me. I light it. I hand it back. He lights it, and he thinks it would be a smart idea to light a piece of paper on fire. To this day, I have no idea how the teacher never noticed, but this kid caught his desk on fire and successfully put it out in the middle of talking about microorganisms. The teacher retired two years later.

Sometimes I think about the days where walking to Taco Bell after school defined your popularity and the amount of glitter you wore decided who talked to you and wish life was that simple. Although… I never really was a fan of Taco Bell. I’m kinda glad we all grew up.

These days I wear less makeup, and thankfully I ditched the gloves and fedora somewhere along the timeline. I also lost most of that friend group (thanks high school), but I’m glad I know who my true friends are.

Life is weird, growing up is weird. But, there’s ten days until  I’m legally responsible to adult. Let’s embrace that. I’ll be here all week with your nightly reminiscing of my youth.

Here’s to growing up.

-E.