STAY WEIRD.

And if you’re not weird, get weird.

My awesome (and totally weird) boss always tells me to be weird, to embrace my weirdness, and to find someone else (a ‘lifer’) who will do the same. At first I thought it was weird that she was telling me to be weird, but the more I think about it, the more I realize just how imperative it is: we have to be weird to be different, because if we’re not different, we’re all one big monotonous group of boring humans living in a boring world.

But being weird and embracing your weirdness also means that others are going to be weird, and that you have to be okay with their weirdness, too. It doesn’t mean you have to be weird like them, understand their weird ways, or even like their weirdness. But let them be weird. Because they’re letting you be weird. And that’s what you want: to be weird – free of interruption, judgement and any sort of impasse.

So to nudge you to embrace your weirdness and to be a little weirder, I’ll (weirdly) go out on a limb and share with you 9 things (10 would be too predictable) that are weird about me, and that I’ve totally grown to love over the past 21 years. Because let’s face it: the older we get, the more time we’ve had to be weird. And weird is cool.

  1. I never buy jeans full price/ new
  2. I caption Instagram photos based on how even the lines of text are
  3. I sleep with 2 stuffed animals: Bunbun (the OG) and Oatie (Lauren’s OG)
  4. I constantly pick my nose (obviously because I have my nose pierced)
  5. I laugh at my own jokes… a lot
  6. I think my Birkenstocks look good with everything (they don’t)
  7. I have a (severe) aversion to soy products (yuck)
  8. I’m 99.6% sure that my ears belong to an elf
  9. I’m always full throttle about the things I love (i.e. I just got a Garmin vívosmart that I absolutely will not stop talking about… just ask my roomies)

And if you don’t believe any of that, there’s always this…

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Not featured: my blistering sunburn from the Hawaiian Sun


I’m sure I’ve got about a billion and one more weird things about me (just ask my sister). New things come up everyday, and I always think to myself, “Goodness me, I’m such an odd creature.” But odd is fun, because odd isn’t even. And even is boring. And we don’t like boring, we like weird.

So be weird, stay weird, get weird, and let everyone else be weird, too. Weird makes us unique, and unique is what makes us the beautiful and love-filled individuals that we are. Because we were all weirdly created to be pretty damn weird. 

Keep doing your weird ✌️

-Megan

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DAY 7: The Beginning of the End

After a much needed (and appreciated) week in Hawaii, I loaded up my little Honda and embarked on my journey down to LA to start my fourth and final year of college…

I have absolutely no idea how these years have flown by so quickly, and how – inevitably – I’ve grown this much older; but despite the fast-changing world around me, I’m thankful for my ability to absorb – to look around and take mental snapshots of my surroundings and to realize that my world today is far different from what it was yesterday, and it will be nothing like my world tomorrow. The amount of opportunity and potential that my life holds is incredibly humbling (and scary).

And although change is scary, it isn’t bad – it’s necessary. And as my girl Sarah (one of my dearest friends and mentors) would say:

The only constant is change. Yes, in life the sun will set again and again, bringing relationships, dreams, and chapters to a close. But it will also continue to rise each and every morning, awakening new beginnings, new journeys, and new possibilities that we cannot yet perceive. Do not fear the night sky, for it is always followed by the sun.

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And as the sun (eventually) sets on my time in college, I’m doing my best to embrace every moment. These (soon to be) four years have been the hardest, most joy-filled and downright weirdest years of my life. And thank goodness, because I wouldn’t have wanted them any other way. Because #college.

I’ve been in LA for 2 weeks now, and although I’m already hard at work and going about 1000 miles a minute, I still miss my family. No matter how old this girl gets, saying goodbye never gets easier. Especially after you’ve been downing mai tais together for a week straight with little zero responsibilities.

Starting this fourth and final school year is the beginning of the end of my college career; but really, it’s just the end of the beginning – the beginning of life. In 8 months I’ll be a freshman again – a freshman of life – and I’ll have the whole world just sitting at my fingertips. This summer has shown me so much opportunity and has given me such perspective on life, love, relationships, the working world, and what it means to commit myself to myself. Because at the end of the day, when the sun sets, I have to close my eyes knowing that I did my best to be my best – that I’m someone I’m proud of.

As I mentioned in my DAY 1 post, my goal for this year (and for life, really), is to focus on being happy. So I’m waking up everyday with a smile on my face (despite that 5:30am alarm), and trying my darndest to exude positivity and to catalyze the spreading of good vibes. That’s my goal for this year (and life), and I hope you’re inspired along the way. Because you inspire me. Everyday.

Keep doing your thang, ladies and gents – I’m so proud of you.

-Megan

DAY 5 + 6: Pacific Northwest + Some Hawaiian Rest

A quick note from the writer (that’s me), editor in chief (also me) and intern (still me): A huge apology for not getting DAY 5 out to you yesterday, but my life was consumed by something terribly important: Trojan Football. Need I say more? So here’s an extended post of DAY 5 and DAY 6 for your reading pleasures. Enjoy and (as always) FIGHT ON!



DAY 5

As my (cherished) time in Trinity came to an end, I still wasn’t ready to go home. So, I didn’t (#rebel). I piled into my cousin’s little Toyota Corolla and started the 587 mile trek to Seattle. And although the ride was long, the car was stuffed, and my hiney was killing me, it was absolutely worth it. Because goodness me, Seattle is stunning.

I spent the week exploring The Emerald City with my cousin Beau, and we stayed with two of our cousins who (now) live in Seattle. They showed us around and directed us to all the cool spots – both local and touristy. And if you know me, you know that touristy isn’t my thing (going for that boho, soulful vibe over here), but it’s hard to not be touristy when you’ve got a large Nikon strapped around your neck. I guess I just like pictures? We’ll go with that…

And since I couldn’t stop taking photos and because words don’t do this beautiful place justice (and we’re all about that justice), here are a few snaps to give you a glimpse of Seattle’s beauty and my amazing time there:

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Deception Pass State Park, WA

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Snoqualmie Falls, WA

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Summer Megan enjoying a ferry back to Seattle

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Pike Place Public Market

And after spending time in such a vibrant and incredible city, I’m set on moving there. My mom? Not so set. But we can work on that, because at some point, I have to do it. I have to just jump. It’s never an easy adjustment coming off your parents’ tab, but it’s necessary. And that’s not to say that it’s not absolutely horrifying, but what better time than (8 months from) now?

I’m excited to spend a long little while – a few months – living in Seattle next year, and to have some quality time with my family up there. The Pacific Northwest is a stunning place, and everyone can use a little change of scenery every so often. Cue: An escape from Los Angeles. This is place is so weird.


After a week in Seattle and a week of (attempted) packing back home, I found myself sitting on an airplane en route to Maui, Hawaii. Life’s hard at 21.


DAY 6

Given the crazy, nonstop summer that I had, Hawaii was the perfect time for some true relaxation and recovery. I turned off my iPhone, widened my eyes, and tried to absorb everything around me. There’s nothing quite like a Hawaiian sunset and a piña (or two) on the beach. Literally nothing.

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We snorkeled, soaked up some Vitamin D, and just enjoyed ourselves. A few (too many) mai tais later, and I can tell you that Maui (and my parents) treated me quite well. And coming from a girl who doesn’t like submerging herself in water, that’s saying a lot.

(Thankfully) I didn’t let my fear of the ocean dictate the fun that I had, and I’m so proud of myself for that. You have to push yourself to embrace your fears, because if you don’t, you’ll miss out on so much. I still panic and swim frantically away when I encounter anything living or breathing under the water, but at least I’m in the water and at least I’m trying.

So, Mahalo Hawaii for (another) incredible week, and I can’t wait to (hopefully) see you again soon. Your beauty and spirit never cease to amaze me.

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Keep exploring friends. The world is a pretty cool little sphere.

-Megan

DAY 4: My Trinity Hangover

Trinity Lake is probably one of my favorite places in the entire world. I haven’t seen much else of the world (yet), but if you’ve seen Trinity, then you know how irrelevant globe trotting is to knowing the value of such a sacred place. My other favorite place – this one more frequented (although, not frequented nearly enough) – is my bed. So, lazy days sleeping in as I lay on the porch and listen to the river rush by? That’s a little slice of heaven. After all, the Trinity is Holy, right?

But the best part about taking our annual camping trip isn’t the long drive upstate or even that first inhale as you step out of the car and onto a backroad. It’s being in such an incredible place with the most incredible people.

My dad is one of nine kids, and my mom is one of five. Basically, I have a gigantic family. With twenty-two cousins on my dad’s side alone, any family get together is instantly a P A R T – A Y (and a Costco buy-out to have enough food). And the coolest part? We all make the trek up to Trinity. Every year. For the same week. It’s a tradition that we have, and it’s one that I don’t plan on breaking any time soon. No matter the issue or circumstance, if you’re looking for me during the last week of July and the first week of August, don’t bother. I’ll be riverside, laying on a raft, enjoying paradise.


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Bingo with Lo


But as I get older, the responsibilities seem to multiply. It’s harder to block out that time in my schedule because I have so many things going on: work, school, summer school, training, and – oh yeah – this little thing called writing that I’m so in love with. But regardless of my (seemingly endless) list of responsibilities, I make it work. And I’ll always make it work, because it’s worth it to me. And things that are worth it are worth working for (i.e. just about anything).

Usually. Unless that job promotion is so worth it, but you’re so undeniably miserable. Then it’s not worth it. Happiness is king, so bow down, damn it.

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Trinity Megan is one of the happiest there is (only competitors being Hawaii Megan and “I’m Finally Done With Finals & So Ready to Stuff My Face” Megan), and right now I’m having a huge Trinity hangover. I miss the water, I miss the sun (I swear it’s more perfect there), I miss my family all in one place, I miss being unreachable (no phone? yes please), and most of all, I miss who I am when I’m there.

So as I sit here writing about Trinity and continuing to go through my withdrawal process, I’m also simultaneously staring at a countdown that permanently resides in the corner of my computer screen: 322 days, 17 hours, 11 minutes, and 46 seconds.

Sounds crazy, I’m sure, but trust me. If you’d have been there, you’d know.

Want to create a little mini Trinity? Turn your phone off, turn on some running water (Californians, you know better), close your eyes, picture the most beautiful green forest, and think of whatever it is that makes you happy. I know it’s not much in comparison, but I’m trying to work with my resources here. Give a girl a break.

Keep doing your best to unplug, unwind and have a good time.

-Megan

DAY 3: Highlights of My Summer

Not sure if your memory has grayed (pun intended), but the “amount of gray hair that has been surfacing itself on my scalp is appalling.” And although it’s definitely hereditary, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t drive me absolutely insane.

This summer I said goodbye to (most of) my grays and lightened my life a little. And I know I said I would embrace the early onset of wisdom (gray guys), but it was just too challenging for me. (Note to self: do more difficult things). I’d like to take this moment to point out that no, I’m not perfect and that yes, I have insecurities, too. Gray hairs residing atop that list (and my head).

Plus, who doesn’t love a little summer lighten, right? I’m bound to regret this decision as my roots make themselves clearly visible come October, but we can deal with that in regular Megan fashion: ignore the problem until we get there.

But just because I don’t (totally) love the gray on my head, doesn’t mean I don’t love it on my walls. I repainted my room 50 shades of gray (ok, maybe just 2), and decided that the (somewhat) dull and monochromatic tone of my room would set a large and glorious platform for my vibrant soul and colorful spirit. At least that’s the hope (and what I told my mom so she’d let me repaint).


  
Notice: the [insert title here] sign. Steph painted it for my birthday (with a thumbtack) #dedicated

My dad, of course, is the absolute man and painted my room to perfection. I would have helped, but I was too busy getting my hair done. And let’s be honest, no one can handle that much gray.

I needed a fresh start (sense a theme here?), and I needed to give myself a clean slate. I’ve decided that my twenties (all 1.25 years of them so far) are by far the most frightening (yet). So much is expected of us, and there’s so much pressure to be who the 245, 273, 438 American adults think we should be. Do yourself a favor and give yourself a chance. This is the time to decide who you do (and don’t) want to be, so make yourself intentional. This summer I promised myself that this is my time – my time to figure out who “me” is, and to make her awesome. A little hair change-up and room redo were just my way of beginning that process.


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A sneak peek at my blogging cove, my inspo board and my infatuation with bagels and Jamba. Oh, and my hair.

Get to the root of you, figure out what makes you awesome, what can make you awesome-er (totally a word), and keep loving yourself – even when it’s hard. And if it’s just too hard, there’s always bleach and paint.

Hope you’re having the most colorful of Thursdays.

-Megan

DAY 2: Chardonnay + Bae

I love my sister. A lot. And this summer, I learned to love her a whole lot more. We’re very different, and as with most differences in this world (i.e. any war), we often argue about our lack of similarity instead of embracing the diversity we bring to the relationship. But this summer we put in a little extra effort into making our relationship a little bit better – and it worked.

The hardest part about a relationship is finding the time for it. Whether it’s with your parents, siblings, friends, or a (gorgeous) lover, a relationship is effort. The great ones seem effortless, but that doesn’t mean they are. You’re dedicating time, emotions and usually a whole lot of $$$ (boys, you hear me). The most disheartening part about not getting along with my sister, though, isn’t that we fight, but that I usually just don’t try hard enough to make it work. How can we get closer when I don’t intentionally make time for our relationship? Hint: we can’t.

Day2_4But with me being 21 now (we’re back to that fresh start, again), my sister having an awesome new boyfriend (Hi, Eddie), and both of us just the slightest bit more mature, this summer was a step in the right direction. We did more things together than we ever have, we (randomly) gifted sweet surprise to each other (you’re welcome for this blog post, Lauren), and – best of all – we enjoyed each other’s company. Now, that’s not to say we didn’t have screaming matches where we fought to the death (we death-inately did), but they were far less painful and caused much less damage. Our fights are caused by flaws in our reactions, not our relationship.

Featured right: A quick pic because she’s #bae

So when Lauren asked if I wanted to do a wine and paint night with her, I thought to myself: I love wine, I hate painting, and I love my sister. Two out of three isn’t bad (at least that’s what I tell myself when I reel in that 67% on pop quizzes), so I decided to go for it. Besides, what makes two twenty-something girls a little more agreeable and a lot more loving and understanding?

Wine.

Definitely, wine.

So we wined and dined ourselves (mostly just wined) at a cute wine bar in Downtown Campbell, and we spent some quality time together. Throw in a little paint, a little more wine and some fabulous conversation, and that makes for about as good of a Monday evening as any. Definitely beats watching the Bachelorette… live. I can’t stand the stress of the excessively long commercial breaks.

I had heard of wine and painting classes via pretty much every cool boho person I know, and I’d been wanting to try it in my (nonexistent) spare time. I’m atrociously awful at art (of any variety) and had hopes that the fluidity of the wine would translate to the fluidity of my paintbrush. And if the art itself didn’t get better, then maybe at least my vision would worsen and I would think it looked better? One can only hope…


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My (attempted) painting on the left; Lauren’s lovely creation on the right

The wine must have helped to some capacity because the painting isn’t (half) bad, and it’s currently hanging on my freshly painted walls in my room. The walls have slightly more finesse than my canvas, but hey, that sloppiness is #art. Picasso didn’t get famous by painting inside the lines, now did he?

Keep doing you and keep wining, staying outside the lines and appreciating those around you.

But mostly wining.

-Megan

DAY 1: Taking on the BIG Two One

I’m all about a fresh start. From New Year’s Day to getting up in the morning (after 9am), I love new beginnings. They’re chances to improve who you are and to redefine the pieces of you that have taken up full-time residency in the “needs improvement” column – right next to “applying liquid eyeliner” and “learning how to flirt without being terrifyingly awkward”. Birthdays for me are just the same: a chance to start fresh, to rid my life of unwanted negativity and to continue to move towards being my best self. Every birthday I challenge myself to not only be better, but to make the next year the best one yet. And regardless of the last year’s turn out, I still kindle my flame of optimism hoping that the best is always yet to come.

So as May rolled around, summer got a sweet start when I (finallyyyyy) turned 21! And as I looked at my life and took note of its impurities, I knew exactly what my goal would be for my 21st year: happiness.


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Pictured: Happy Megan with a drink in hand as Steph keeps an eye out for me (per usual)

Thus far, twenty-one has been totally fab. And although being of age is quite less eventful than I had dreamed it to be as a tweenager (definition: the awkward, premature years when I proudly sported Limited Too and a mouth full of braces), I’m in love with my life – alcohol or not (although sometimes preferred). Highlights of my “21st year” to date being: celebrating my actual birthday with the best creatures around, spending some quality (and much needed) time with the family this summer, and buying a bottle (ok… bottles) of wine at Trader Joe’s. Sometimes it’s the little things…

I started my morning with a birthday hike overlooking Stanford with Steph, sent my dad off on a 2 week adventure to Ireland (obviously I didn’t go; still a sore subject), had dinner with my peeps at my favorite Greek restaurant downtown, and waddled over to a few local bars before heading home. Throw in a few cupcakes, a few too many strong drinks and some even stronger friendships, and that was the make-up of my golden birthday. Sound like a low-key 21st? Well, it was, and it was absolutely perfect.


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I didn’t do a Vegas run or an all-inclusive to Puerto Vallarta, and I didn’t want to.

  1. I’m in college, therefore, I’m broke. (Mom, you’re welcome)
  2. It wasn’t about the location, it was about the people.

And considering I don’t (yet) have the means to fly my entire dinner party across the border (#someday), being home made for a great place to celebrate. Our family trip to Hawaii this summer (more to come later this week) made for a great birthday trip, anyway. I mean, I can’t live too luxuriously as a twenty something or I’ll never want to work for anything. I think that’s how it goes, right?

A few thoughts on birthdays (and yes, getting older):

You can’t value life by the things you have or the number of years you’ve been alive; it’s about what you’ve done with those years, who you’ve spent them with and who you’ve become along the way. We’re given decades of life (if we’re lucky) because life isn’t easy – and it’s not supposed to be. It’s hard to get it right, and we need all the time we can get to even try to come close. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in these last 21 years, it’s that (most) humans totally rock. And our relationships with people (especially siblings) are far more fulfilling than any other substitute.


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Because we can’t take a normal photo

I wanted to spend the BIG Two One with my parents (I know I’m weird), my sister (she picks a mean Cab blend) and some really great friends. And I’m so glad I did, because it’s one of my favorite memories to date.

But the best is yet to come.

Keep doing you, even as those years creep up on you, and keep loving and enjoying other humans. Cheers (legally) to all you summer birthdays out there!

-Megan