Moving trucks are gone, boxes are unpacked, and we’re all moved in. Come to our open house and check out our new digs: www.meganlinney.com
Here’s our housewarming post: www.meganlinney.com
Champagne’s on us.
I’ve been meaning to write for over a month now, but for the first time in seemingly forever, I didn’t know what to say. Or that’s what I told myself.
I think more realistically: I was afraid of all the things I would say, all the emotions I would feel, and all the word vomit that I’d have to mop up if I even approached my keyboard. So I didn’t.
Besides final papers and last minute essay editing (and yes, I passed ConLaw), I’ve been cutting back on my writing – a lot. And there’s one thing I know: I’ve never felt more lonely. Writing is healing for me, and it’s so strange that it’s the first thing I turn away from. Maybe it’s wanting to be a martyr and bear it all alone, or maybe it’s just that I’m exhausted; emotion drains you. But I’m learning it’s more exhausting to deal with them alone than to let them out. Even if it is word vomit.
So, *cue barf bags* here I go:
These past 6 weeks have been unruly. I’ve had so many emotions – happiness, anger, love, excitement, disappointment, sadness, silliness, and all the rest – but I haven’t expressed them. Not because I didn’t have the means (hello, this is my blog), but because I didn’t make the time. And having been on this planet for *officially* 22 years now, I’m finally starting to understand that time is our best friend and enemy. Kind of like siblings.
So this is me making the time. This is me doing something today for me; something that makes me vulnerable in emotion-packed times like these, but something that I know makes me feel better, regardless of situation. It’s something I (unfortunately) shy away from in times of stress and struggle, but something that I’m committed to making a constant in this next chapter of my life.
If you’re a giver like I am (bless your soul), you know how fulfilling it can be to give your time and efforts to others; meanwhile, your internal needs are over here like: help a sister out and gimme some sugar. Well, I encourage you to let those feelings rule for a day or two – even just an hour, if that’s all you have to give. But give yourself a little time to fulfill what you need and what you want, giving yourself some internal TLC. It might be exactly what you need.
Others can love you, but there’s just nothing quite like the love of self that comes from within. And if you’ve never felt it, let’s make that a goal; we’ll work on it together.
I graduated mid-May, had tons of family in LA, moved most of my stuff back home (currently having home identity crisis), silently turned 22, yesterday got in our pool for the first time in 4 years (fun fact: I hate swimming), been catching some Giants games, watching the Sharks and Dubs fight for the Cup/ Championship (YEE), spending lots of time with my childhood twin (hi, Suzanna), catching up with friends, crying (obvi), and wrestling various life duties. I’ve also been graciously bullied back into blogging, which I can’t thank you enough for, Jack. It’s been an event filled spring-to-summer transition, and while it’s a whirlwind, I’m so glad it’s mine.
I’m also stoked to get my new site to all of you! It’s been a huge project, but it’s finally ready for the reveal.
Catch you on the flip side, in not so long.
In a desensitized world, we hear, say and laugh at pretty much anything. But there’s one ‘f’ word that no one’s talking about in these last months of college and that’s haunting just about every twenty-something: future.
I’m at a crossroad – and knowingly so. And I think that’s what makes it so weird: that I know I’m at an incredibly pivotal, definitive point. I know that my life is just on the brink of change and that the next step is going to be something both daunting and exciting. I’m looking ahead and I see a thousand different choices: where to go, what to do, whom to be. It’s headache inducing, anxiety provoking, and downright scary. But as I keep trekking – putting one step in front of the other – I keep chipping away at the fear that I’m holding onto. The more I force myself to face my (literal) future, the more I replace that fear with acceptance, with gratitude, and with intention.
I graduate from college in exactly 31 days. I have 31 days to cross off the hundreds of undone things on my bucket list; I have 31 days to enjoy what’s left of college; I have 31 days to make the most of ‘the best time of my life’; I have 31 days to acceptably get drunk without judgment on any given day at any given time (sorry mom); and I have 31 days to say goodbye to Los Angeles and the beautiful friends, experiences and life that I’ve had here.
And before I get too dramatic and sappy (too late?), let me just say that a year ago – even 4 months ago – I would have said that I hated Los Angeles. But as my time here has come to a sudden and unsettling end, I’ve come to love this place – with its quirks and weird smells and unpredictable (and constant) traffic. It may be weird but it’s a place and a people that/who allow me to be just as weird, just as fluid, and just as unruly as I want. It’s a place of acceptance – despite the ungodly pressures of fame and beauty. If you connect with the spirit of Los Angeles – the one that exists deeper than Hollywood and the cold pressed juice industry – you’ll realize that Los Angeles really is just a place of expression. It’s given me the chance to not only express both myself and my dreams, but to create them. And for that, I’m thankful.
When I first drove to Los Angeles for my first semester of college, I had no idea who I was, who I wanted to be or what the hell this thing called ‘college’ was going to be like. But now I know: there’s not definition or definitive way of characterizing anything of such opportunity or chance. Which is why I’m so dedicated to approaching this next step of life in a very similar way:
Since age three, the next step was always: school. And then middle school, and then high school and college. But since age three, this is the first time that I don’t have a plan for my future; but I’m not letting that scare me or detour me from following what feels right. I have a million different opportunities ahead, quite a few important decisions to make, and a lifetime of failures and successes to live. So, this crossroad is really more like a multi-way junction without a map or a road sign in sight. And all I can say is, how exciting.
Here’s to the unchartered waters ahead. Can’t wait to share the ride with you.
*two hands shoot straight up like a 1st grader needing to use the loo*
Fem•i•nism (n.) – the idea that women are also human
It’s International Women’s Day, ladies! Which means two things:
[this post is happily linked with your curiosity in mind]
F E M I N I S T S (n.) – those brave enough to label themselves fighters for female equality
+ Malala Yousafzai is one of the greatest spirits on this earth. She’s shown that courage outplays evil and that love triumphs hatred. She’s inspired me to be a better woman and a better member of humanity – one who stands for equality and for justice. Who said role models have to be older than you? At 18, Malala has touched more people than I could only hope to inspire in a lifetime (or two). Her novel I Am Malala is a riveting must-read. For more on Malala, click H E R E.
+ Amy Dickinson is everything. She belongs in both this category and the next, as she’s a mother, writer, and fabulous feminist. She holds a definite, long-reigning spot on my list of top 5 of must-meets, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon (or ever). Can you say girl crush? She’s the author of The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them – a book that dissects the long line of single-women warriors in her family, and her journey of becoming her own. Not enough time for a novel? She also writes the Ask Amy column for the Chicago Tribune, which is also published in just about every major newspaper nationwide. Her advice is real and uprooting, but that’s what makes her work so unique and needed.
Fun fact: I emailed Amy once. She told me I have “pluck.” Best. Day. Ever.
W R I T E R S (n.) – those who inspire, choosing words as their weapons
+ Natalie writes Natalie Dressed and is the founder of Style+Spirit. She is a constant source of positivity through her content and on my Instagram feed. Her blending of spirituality and fashion is effortless, and she rocks what she’s got – regardless of what others might think. Need a pick me up? Check out her Instagram accounts H E R E and H E R E.
+ Real Talk with Lindsey is authored by a women I had the pleasure of knowing in high school. She’s as truly authentic spirit with a message that resonates: be real and be you. Her chic new brand Fearlessly Authentic Living embodies all that she stands for – and all that you should, too. Check out her Instagram H E R E.
Since I’m already plugging some serious lady bosses…
+ Sarah Pekkanen is one of my favorite authors. How she cranks out a new novel each year, I have no idea. From being a superhero mom to a genuine, kindhearted friend, this woman seriously has a secret to getting it all done. If you need a good read, grab any of her books and allow yourself to escape the (sometimes) all-too-realness of this world. Every once and a while, a moment to yourself is more than needed – it’s necessary. Snag one of many copies H E R E.
( P E R S O N A L ) H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N S (n.) – people I admire (and love)
+ Mom – Thanks for showing me what it takes to be a woman warrior. You take each day by storm, and I am so damn proud to be your daughter. You rock, Chief.
+ Dad – I know it’s Women’s Day, but you’re the the biggest feminist I know. Thanks for roughing it up with me and teaching me to defy gender boundaries, everyday.
+ Lauren – From barbells to beauty queen, you defy every female stereotype that has ever existed. Thank you for kicking ass at life and for showing me that limits don’t exist. Ever. Even if you aren’t Cady Heron.
+ Sue – You’re the strongest, most inspiring woman I know. Never forget how loved you are and just how proud I am to call you family. You’ve changed us all, more than you know. P.S. I promise I’ll call more.
So, tell me ladies, whom do you look up to? Who inspires and motivates you to be better to yourself and to others? Drop me a comment below so we can all get inspired and celebrate these women – today and everyday!
Cheers to rockstar chicks.
Happy March! How it’s the 3rd month of 2016 already, I have no idea. A check in with my 2016 resolutions: what were they again? Exactly. You could say I’m straying. We’re pretty dang far into the New Year, and yet we’re only just getting started.
So let’s circle back: How are we doing? How are things going for you, and how is 2016 taking shape? And with that – are you happy with how they’re looking?
If yes: Stop reading. You’re a god(dess) and you’re awesome and probably also not real.
If no: You’re just like me – and everyone else. Take a deep breath, and continue scrolling.
Let’s make sure we’re doing our best to kick our own a$$es and to stay on track with what we’re doing, who we’re becoming, and who we want to become. Your energy is valuable, so use it wisely; be mindful of where you invest yourself and make sure it aligns with who you want to be, and what you’re set on accomplishing. It’s not always easy, but it’s something that’s worth the constant work. It’s investing in your purpose.
I did a little self-reflection today, and I realized that a lot has changed in the last few months. I’ve finally gotten the hang of this whole “being single” thing (yes, there’s hope), I’ve gotten (slightly) better at this work/school/creativity/life balancing act, and I’ve just now figured out how to style my (3-month-old) chop. Head-turning progress? Debatable. But it’s (some form of) forward movement, so I’ll take it.
Recap of my resolutions for this year:
So I’m like 3/10th of the way towards my goals, with some serious time (a lifetime) to continue working. But I can’t expect myself or my life to change overnight. I need work for it, I have to keep trying, and I’ve got to march on. So that’s exactly what I’m doing.
Left, left, left, right, left…
Keep working on your resolutions and marching towards those goals; you can do it.
To onward and upward things, friends.
Your batting average in your rec league has dropped to a whopping .000, no one’s boughten you a drink in weeks (one week, fine, but three weeks in a row?! what’s happening…), and you simply just don’t feel like getting out of bed and hitting that hustle (me this morning… and yesterday). Everything feels weird, and you don’t like it. I get it. Trust me. I’m in a funk. And it’s a huge one.
Like so huge – so huge that I stayed on the couch watching Netflix all day yesterday, ate an entire stack of my aunt’s sugar cookies, and had 2 hotdogs for dinner. I’m sorry, what? I know. That’s what I said when I woke up this morning thinking about yesterday’s festivities. And so, it’s definite: I’m funked up.
But, now what?
Well, we’ve got a few options. I can tell you to shake it off and to keep pushing until you’re out of it. Or that you should do something drastically positive to pull yourself through this lull. I can also tell you that you’re stronger than your challenges and that you’re always going to persevere and be successful. I mean, you are, but that’s nothing you haven’t heard before, so that’s not really helpful, is it? At least not for me. Because funks are weird, and they make you 99.97 % immune to positivity and optimism. So here’s what I needed to hear this morning, and what has helped me through today.
[Note: today. Day by day, step by step]
You’re strong and disciplined. So, even if it feels like there’s a hiccup right now, trust in yourself that things will work out. Because they will.
And while that’s (currently) working for me, that doesn’t mean it’s a cure-all. So let’s get real with some nitty gritty help:
Time is Your Friend
We don’t usually like time. It goes too fast when we’re on vacation (spring break come sooner) or when we’re having endless amounts of fun (#college); yet it passes too slowly when we’re sitting through a boring, this-is-a-requirement-to-graduate type of class (me currently) or bearing through an awkward moment – the one’s where you’re trying to shove your entire foot (ankle included) into your mouth. Time can also be too long, when you’re missing someone important (hey, you), and then too short when it takes someone important too soon (miss you, too much). But despite our bad times with time (pun intended), it’s not always the enemy. Make peace with time and let it work for you. Your slump will be old news sooner than you can identify why you’re actually in it, but you’ve got to let it happen. Let time pass, and just be nice to it. You’ll (eventually) want it to be nice to you (and your aging skin) – trust me. You mean, I won’t be 21 (and wrinkle-free) forever?
Grab your favorite snack, and let (your pants) loose. Despite the pressure we feel to always be on the grind, it’s ok give yourself a little extra comfort when you’re in a lull. I’m constantly struggling with food and my relationship with it; every day is a battle to see who has more power. But when I’m lagging, nothing says “I love me” like a GUILT FREE bowl of Think ‘n Creamy Mac ‘n Cheese and a box of thin mints. Indigestion and those never-to-be-counted (silly) things called calories? Those are problems for future you, but the enjoyment? That’s a pick-me-up for current you. So indulge every once and a while. You deserve it. Go, go, go! The ice cream’s calling…
Let Yourself Sulk
It’s ok to sink. It’s ok to realize you’ve hit a low and that you’re at a point that makes you uncomfortable. Being in a funk isn’t fun. It’s a weird, uncomfortable place that we often don’t know how to navigate. Which makes it totally scary. And did I mention uncomfortable? Because it’s funking uncomfortable. But sometimes it’s ok to be at (what is seemingly) rock bottom and to just sit – to realize that you’re at a low point, and to just be there, without denial, self-judgement or hate. And to realize that wherever you may be, it’s ok – that you’re ok.
Trust is the most important thing in a relationship: true or false? Well I don’t know, considering I’m not in one, BUT, I’m confident in saying that it’s pretty funking important. It’s important not only with your S/O, but also with your funk (definitely significant, but not a S/O). So, let your funk be. Let it marinate and let it manifest (to a point). Trust that just as you’ve succeeded thus far in life, you’ll succeed in crawling out of this funk and reclaiming your life’s normalcy. I have faith. I mean, it’s Lent and all, so now’s the time.
Get Ready to Climb
I’m usually all about turning up. But at 6:12am (12 minutes into spin class), the last thing I want to hear is “give me a turn up” let alone three turns up. But I’m already awake, my shoes are clipped in, and I’ve been sweating for the past 11 and 1/2 minutes. So why the funk not? Being at a low is ok (and so is coasting those first 10 minutes of spin class), but when we’re aware that we’re off-balance, we’ve got to get ready for the uphill. Enjoy your sulk sesh, but know that you’re about to soar. Brace yourself, prepare for what’s to come, and get ready to climb. Because baby, you’re going places.
I know funks are rough, but they serve as unwanted (yet needed) reminders that our lives are full of goodness and love. If it didn’t get tough every once and a while, it’d be harder to appreciate the better moments. Or so I tell myself.
Keep doing you, pushing through, and funking it up.
Cheers to my midterm in an hour (ugh).
It’s the start of yet another week, and here I am in my pajamas (at 2pm), unprepared, daunted by the coming week, and completely overwhelmed by the (endless) number of things on my To Do List. Between getting papers written, reading dozens of Supreme Court cases (ew), working 20 hours a week and finding some time to simply be (and workout), it’s hard to find ways to help get it all done. There’s no way to completely be ready for what’s ahead – especially that shrieking 5am alarm – but here are a few simple tips that help me to create some calm, to organize and refocus myself, and to start tackling (and owning) my life.
Map It Out
There’s no better way to tackle your To Do List than to actually make one. Sit down, figure out exactly what you’ve got going, and write it down. No fluff, no BS, just straight up: here’s what needs to be done. It may be 3 huge (untouched) projects or a mile-long list of mini tasks. But whatever it may be, write it down. There are few things more surreal than seeing your life in writing, laying in front of you. And if you’re Type A like me and love (and live in) boxes, put little boxes next to each item so you check them off as you go. There’s something so gratifying (and empowering) about completing your goals, so set yourself up to be able to do just that.
Share Your Plans
Accountability, accountability, accountability. There’s nothing quite like a little (healthy) pressure. If you tell others of your plans, you’re more likely to execute them. Why? Because we’re all afraid of being judged. And as much I seriously cringe at the idea of succumbing to peer pressure, it can (under strict circumstances) be good for us. Share your schedule and your (newly made + beautiful) To Do List with someone who will hold you accountable and force you to work towards accomplishing all that you’ve got going on. Whether that’s your mom (hi, Mom), bestie, or significant other, make sure you’re spreading the word and letting others put some pressure on you to get your work done well and in a timely manner.
Create (+ Earn) Incentives
We all need a little motivation, right? And since I can’t always be there telling you how beautiful and capable you are (although, I wish I could), you need to find a way to propel yourself forward. Create incentives for yourself. Tell yourself that you can buy those new sunnies only if you finish that big project, or that you can grab a drink with friends when the laundry is done, you’ve sent out those job applications and you’ve gotten that sweat sesh in. That way when you finish your To Dos, you’re rewarded with not only checking off the boxes on your list (so fun), but with things that you’ve earned. It’s more gratifying when you deserve your rewards – plus you get your (dreaded) tasks done in the process. We call that a win-win. And a good, fashionable night out.
Believe in Yourself
The biggest key to getting all your *ish* accomplished is: have some faith. Up until now, you’ve figured it out, gotten it done, and made it out (mostly) alive. This time is no different. Take a deep breath and remember that you are your most powerful tool. You may not be able to accomplish everything all at once, but start with steps. Life’s a journey, and so is your To Do List. You’re in charge of your life, so act like it. Chin up, head down, and know that you’re destined to do incredible things. I believe in you – now it’s your turn.
Make your list, share your needs, reward yourself (within reason) along the way, and know that you can do it. Because guess what? You absolutely can. Drop me a line if you need to walk off a ledge. Always here to help.
Keep doing you, beauty.
Pictured below: Executing my To Dos (with conviction)
Happy 56th Birthday, Dad. Thank you for being the best guy I know and for giving me a life that I will forever be grateful for. In honor of 56, here are just a few (56) reasons why I will always cheers to you.
I love you, Dad. Happy Birthday.
P.S. No, I’m not tatted. You did raise me, remember?
We’re so afraid to make mistakes. To do the ‘wrong’ thing. To come to a fork in the road and pick the wrong path. Because the path less traveled is definitely more unique, heroic and mysteriously unchartered – not to mention tirelessly (and misleadingly) advertised by Mr. Frost. But the path more traveled? That’s tried and true; we know it works because so many have gone down the road before us and have been just fine. So many have taken the beaten path, the generic route, and their lives have turned out totally ok (or so it seems).
The paths we choose don’t define us, they guide us. We define what those paths entail and whether they’re full of hard work or laziness, passion or passiveness, happiness or hopelessness. The path is a general direction, but what’s ahead on that path? That’s for us to create, to innovate and to nurture. The path we choose does indeed say something about who we are, but the journeys we create on our paths tell so much more; our journeys are what define us and give every path the chance to be the right path.
me stressing over ‘big’ life decisions, which (ironically) aren’t black and white
We don’t always have to choose the path less traveled. We don’t always have to do everything differently, just for the sake of making a famed name for ourselves. We don’t have to be unique to be successful, but we do need to be successfully unique. Our path doesn’t matter, but who we are on that path is so critical to who we want to be and to who we’re becoming. And it’s important that we make that person a good one – one with true intentions and an incredible ability to love.
I can’t say that there are no such things as mistakes, because there are (read: pubic library). But making a mistake in the path you choose, or in the million and one “important and life altering decisions” that you make when you’re a 20-something, those are the ‘mistakes’ that are harder to justify, because those are the ones that help to make you who you are. Those decisions place you on a path, and they test your ability to adapt and perform; they give you a chance to create your own unique happiness, regardless of what (un)populated path you choose.
Every choice you’ve made in your life has lead you to this moment. Every choice has helped create you into this beautiful, perfect, capable, loving human being, full of potential and promise. Every choice has lead you to this opportunity to be able to ask yourself, right now: who do you want to be? And every choice has lead you to your next choice: who will you be?
Mistakes are just a simple miss take on life and this magnificent journey.
Keep doing you and keep making those little life choices you call ‘mistakes.’ They’re pretty damn beautiful.
Open your eyes. Take it in. And be present.
Sounds easy, right? Well I thought so, too, until I turned around, looked at these last three weeks of my life and realized that I’ve been in one serious (holi)daze.
From (somehow) finishing finals and my 2nd to last semester at USC (eek), to (surprisingly) getting my Christmas shopping done, I managed to make it through the holiday season with only a few bruises and a couple of minor (paper)cuts. But as I sit here and look back at the month of December, I’m thankful that it was a fast but fun one, filled with love, laughter, a few extra pounds (I’m about to go sweat, #resolutions), and not nearly enough time.
The holidays are (supposed to be) a time for family, friends, making memories and endless amounts of food (and cocoa). But how many of us had mile-long To Do lists and spent the majority of the season running around just hoping to check everything off? How easy was it to forget the organic root of the holidays: to spend time together, with the ones we love? Did you consciously approach the season with intention, seeking serenity and grace?
If you did, hats off. Because let me tell you, it’s hard. I tried and failed. Everything snowballs (literally), and before I knew it, it was today. The holidays had passed, and everyone’s headed back to work (or school). But hey, at least I tried, and at least there’s always next year to perfect my approach to the Christmas season. At least that’s what I keep telling myself… (356 days and counting).
And as this New Year starts, I’m excited to see what 2016 has to hold for me and the ones I love (yes, that means you!). I prepped for 2016 with some new face jewelry, a healthy little hair chop, some serious schedule altering, and a 180˚ attitude flip. Can’t wait for you to be a part of it all.
Love and blessings to you and yours.
With love, from me and mine (wait, it’s just me).
Keep doing you, babe. I know that Monday after New Years is brutal, but you’re doing great!