New Year, Same Me

I’m usually all about those new beginnings. I’m pro change, pro positivity and pro happiness. The New Year is always a perfect chance for me to break away from my ‘old self’ and to rebuild who I am and what I stand for.

But this year is different. This year I don’t want to be someone else; I want to be me. I want to be the same me I’ve always been, I just want to love her more. I want to appreciate myself more than ever before, and I want to better honor myself and recognize my value. This New Year is a chance for me to change, but not to change myself; it’s a chance for me to change the way that I view and think about myself – a chance to embrace myself for all that I am and all that I’m capable of. I don’t need to change who I am, I just need to change my perception of who I am.


newyear_sameme2Arnold, CA


Last year I made promises of being more flexible, eating healthier and doing ‘my own thing’ more often. Some of those fell through (as many do), but I’ve also seen improvements in others. And that’s all I can ask for: improvements. I’m not perfect, I never will be, and I need to realize that progress is the mark of change. Change doesn’t always happen in a year, let alone over night (wishful thinking). But signs of change make themselves visible all the time, we just have to be more attentive to recognize them.

This year, I’m making one promise: to love myself. And my resolutions this year are simply steps to help me do just that.

  1. Sweat once a day. Whether I’m going for a (fast-paced) late night stroll or an early morning power workout, I need to get my blood flowing to release some endorphins. I’ll feel better if I do, and that’s what matters. It’s not for the body, it’s for the mind.
  2. Write for at least 15 minutes a day. Even if it’s just a couple of sentences about how I just don’t feel like writing (which will happen), I need to get my thoughts on paper (or screen). Writing heals me; it makes me feel better, it helps me to (healthfully) deal with stress, and bottom line, it makes me happy. Your benefit: you’ll be hearing from me a little more, too. The more time I take to write, the more I find to write about. (Hint: You might want to carve out some [insert title here] reading time into your New Year plans. Saddle up for some 2016 good reads.)
  3. Start every day off right. Ambiguous, right? But think about the best way to start a day: with happiness (and coffee). For 365 days, I’m going (to try) to wake up every morning, look in the mirror and give myself a compliment. It can be how proud I am that I finished that overbearing reading assignment last night, or simply how valuable I am, just the way I am. I need to not be so hard on myself and to be happy with the capable woman I am becoming. And what better way than looking myself straight in the eyes and reminding myself of my immense worth? Others won’t always do it, so I will. Awkward? Maybe. But I’m sure I’ll eventually move past that, even if it is next December. (Improvements, remember?)

Twenty sixteen is going to be the year of Me(gan). I’m hoping to seize every opportunity just as it comes, and to dive into 2017 a better, smarter and more loving human than I am today. Cheers to a fabulous, blessed, and confident 2016. Kick ass, take names, remember your roots, and remind yourself that no matter what, you’re beautiful and you’re worth it – always.

Keep doing you, the same you you’ve always been. I’m always here to support you on your journey towards a healthier, happier and more lovable life. Drop me a line about your resolutions and what 2016 has in store for you and yours; I always love hearing from you. Thanks for your continued support on my journey. You keep me pushing.

With love and hugs on the 1st day of the best year yet,

(The Same) Megan

piece of P E A C E

I was seven when I first decided that I wanted to be the President of the United States. I cried endlessly when I lost the elections for student council in 8th grade to Thomas Lee and Eric Park. I was proudly captain of the women’s varsity golf team in high school. And as I embarked on my college journey, I chose two majors that – I felt – gave me the greatest opportunity to affect the largest population in the most direct, impactful way: policy and politics.

My entire life I’ve sought control: control over others, over situations, and over my own life and endeavors.

But before you think I’m a complete pathological freakkkkk, let me just say: everyone seeks power. The entire world revolves around it. That’s why we have hatred, war, discrimination and every other ill behavior in this world. That’s why siblings (although we love them endlessly) frustrate us so much – because we can’t control them. That’s why we hate being yelled at – because someone else is attempting authority over us. That’s why college is such a norm: to get a good education, which (supposedly) leads to a great job, which creates personal revenue, allowing us utility (clearly acing Econ) and ultimately, giving us power.

And although we’ll never be able to control the many diverse and complicated situations that cloud our tangled world, we can control one thing: the way we react. We can control the ways in which these situations affect us. And isn’t that enough? Isn’t it enough to know that no matter what, you control how you feel? Sure you’ll have external influences on your feelings, emotions and opinions, but ultimately, you’re the one deciding if you’re smiling or frowning, breeding love or hostility, acceptance or exclusivity.

How empowering?

With the heartbreaking cluster of recent attacks across the globe, it’s easy to feel both helpless and powerless. And although you may not physically or monetarily be able to give to the people of Somalia, Lebanon, Iraq, or France – among many other suffering nations and peoples – you have power over your response to these acts, and whether that response is one of ignorance or of unwavering support and acceptance – despite differences. There will always be people in opposition to your freedom, happiness and dreams, but you can’t let them stop you. You’ve got too much to give, much love to share, and an illuminated soul that the world desperately needs. You’re a small, yet vital piece of humanity. So, be a piece that takes a stand. Be a piece that fights for peace. Be a piece of peace.


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spread peace, give love, be hope.


Keep doing you, conscious of how imperative you are to the (sometimes hidden) beauty of this world.

-Megan

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only that that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

catch me if you can

I went to a bar on Saturday night. And I had a glass of wine. (Who am I?) And I was surrounded by a (far too large) crowd of people who were (presumably) looking for that ‘special someone’ as they sipped their skinny martinis and downed their craft IPAs. Needless to say, I didn’t stay long, but hey – I went. #college. Am I doing this right?

And if I had a dime for every face I saw painted with possibility, as if to say, ‘Are you the one?’ I would literally be out of college tuition debt.

Everywhere I turn, people are intensely searching for their perfect significant other. And more often than not, this never-ending search ends in heartbreak, heartache and a collection of miserable mistakes (those 2am calls never end well, trust me). So, if actively looking for ‘the one’ doesn’t work, then why do we try so hard?

Why don’t we S T O P?


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take a moment, close your eyes, and remember just how much value lies within your small, yet mighty soul

We’re so busy fishing for ‘the one’ that we forget that we’re the catch. We have to stop looking and start being – being the one that someone’s looking for. We forget how valuable we are; we forget that whomever it is that we’re looking for, they have to deserve us, and they have to work damn hard to prove that they do. And in your case? That means they better be pretty darn great, because you absolutely are.

We need to treat ourselves as if we’re the ones being sought after, not the ones seeking. We need to love ourselves the way that we hope someone will someday love us. And we need to be happy and proud of who we are, far before we can bring that happiness and confidence to a relationship.

There’s such an unnecessary stigma that’s associated with being single. You’re alone, you’re the odd (wo)man out, and you’re (always) the ultimate third wheel (or 5th if you’re really lucky). But this is the time of our lives when we can go anywhere, do anything – no strings attached. Why are we constantly shying away from this incredibly liberating opportunity instead of embracing it and making the most of it? There will never be a time quite like now, and there will never be opportunities quite like the ones you currently have within your reach.

So every time you wish that you could find someone to hold tight, try to shift your mindset. Hope that someone finds you and holds you tight – because you’re the most valuable piece of love and grace that anyone could be blessed with. And you have better things to do than waste your time looking for people who probably don’t deserve you. So grab your girls (or boys), have a drink (or two) (or three), and continue to live fiercely and love endlessly. Someday, that perfect prince(ss) will hook you – I promise. But until then, just keep swimming.

Cheers to you, the biggest fish in the sea.

-Megan

F A L L

It’s finally boot season in Los Angeles – well, at least for me. I had the pleasure of falling down the stairs last weekend in a public building. The worst part? No one was there to see it. And if you’re going to take a huge spill (quite literally, as I was carrying a cup of coffee) in a public place, at the very least you hope that someone gets a good laugh out of it, right? Instead, I had a huge cry, a slight panic attack and a quick realization that my ankle (not to mention my dignity) was not okay.

So, here I sit, writing this lovely message to you with one foot just chillin’ and the other strangled by my highly fashionable and incredibly sexy boot (pictured below). Jealous? Thought so.


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my natural habitat with my (un)natural boot

note: still no brablems


And as horrifying and debilitating as it’s been to have this ball and chain 24/7, it has forced me to slow down. I’m constantly trying to cross one more to-do off of my (never ending and seemingly impossible) life list, but with this new accessory, I can’t. I have to take things slow(er), and I would be foolish to not seize the opportunity to take a moment, look around, and notice the incredible things that surround me.

I’m not one to turn down the intensity (read: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop), and I don’t think I have. This week I’ve simply shifted my stresses to school and work. Example: I wrote a 6 page paper in 3 hours yesterday morning with 6 minutes to spare. Call me crazy, because I absolutely am.

And as if falling down the stairs wasn’t enough, the form for my MRI yesterday asked the question: Have you fallen recently? Obviously had to check the “YES” box. Totally awesome and not the least bit mortifying. Because who doesn’t want to repeatedly relive their clumsiness?

I’ve got a few blog posts lining themselves up this week, and I’m excited to share them with all of you over the next few days! Be careful while walking down the stairs carrying coffee; it is Friday the 13th.

Keep doing you, kiddo.

-Megan

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

Well, I’ve officially survived my first round of senior midterms. Key word: survived. I didn’t say it was pretty, but hey – it’s over. In better news, round two starts next week, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. [insert extreme sarcasm – and excessive studying – here] To give you an idea of what the upcoming segment of my life looks like: project, midterm, midterm, paper, project. And that’s just the next two weeks… But all I’m thinking about right now (to get me through this academic hell) is watching The O.C. on rerun and eating some (thick and creamy) Mac and Cheese. Senioritis? Maybe. (Definitely.)

But as my crazy semester charges forward – and full steam ahead, at that – I’m thankful for all of the chaos and commotion. I don’t know how to live my life with any sort of vacant, dead space. I’m constantly hustling from A to B because I don’t know how else to do it. I’m not wired to have down time; I’m not wired to simply ‘do nothing’. Definitely sounds nice, but so does walking out of this class right now, and we all know that won’t happen (because he takes attendance).

I’m a girl on the move. I excel under pressure, time constraints and over-booking. I thrive on activity and a full schedule, and when I don’t have a stacked agenda? It’s great for all of 4.7 seconds, and then I’m more stressed, less productive and incredibly anxious.


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When all else fails: L A U G H


That doesn’t mean this crazy life filled with never-ending commitments (and far-too-little sleep) is always fun. It definitely isn’t perfect, but after 21 years, I know how I operate; I’m thankful for the ability to know myself, know my body and know my own personal needs. Now, don’t let me fool you. Meditation, (mediocre) cooking, writing and plans with friends are all in there, they’re scheduled – and written with pen, so they’re firm and nonnegotiable. I’m not a robot, and I never will (or want) to be, but I do need to be busy. Hence, I choose to scramble my way through life in survival mode and to take on (far) more than I can handle sometimes.

At times my life is one gigantic headache, but it’s uniquely mine, and it’s one that I’ve learned to function with. At some point I’ll reduce the chaos, slow my steps and increase the amount of vacant space in my Google Calendar. But as a 21-year-old with seemingly endless energy, I’m just enjoying the mayhem and embracing whatever craziness is thrown at me (or that I intentionally opt into).

And as nuts as this restless life may be (literally), I make sure to have constant reminders that this life is one to be thankful for and one worth cherishing: endless laughter, love, incredible company and an overdose of self-acceptance and respect.

I’m going a million miles a minute down the highway of life, and there’s no way I’m stopping anytime soon.

Keep doing you, as fast or as slow as that may be.

Gotta run, love…

-Megan

No Bra, No Brablems

Raise your hand if you hate wearing a bra.

[insert a bajillion emoji girls raising hands here]

They’re just not fun. They’re tight, pokey, hot, itchy, and just all around yuck. And don’t even get me started on pricey (the good ones, anyway). But before you assume I’m a total hippy and completely disconnect my life from yours (I promise, we’re not that different), let me make a disclaimer: as much as I hate to wear them, I do.

I’ll admit – they have some incredible uses (i.e. they’re great for running marathons, riding roller coasters and bumpy buses (me right now), diving into home plate (me 5 years ago), and wearing plain white tees). But they can also be incredibly cumbersome. And I often find myself wearing a bra even when I don’t need to: to bed, around the house, and under huge baggy sweatshirts as I roam Ralph’s at 10pm (I know, #sin). And as I continue to do this, the big question is: why?

Well, I feel pressured.


When you’re freeballin’ and the paparazzi catches you like…

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H E L L O


We’re constantly doing things just because everybody else is doing them. But how often do we stop and think: why am I doing this, and is it because I really want to? When I was a kid my mom used to discourage me from peer pressure (thanks, Ma) by saying “Well, if (s)he told you to jump off a bridge, would you?!” And of course, as a (sassy) child I would promptly say, “Of course not, Mom. Don’t be ridiculous.”

Yet the older I get, the more I recognize myself jumping – the more I’m giving into others’ ideas of goodness, normalcy, beauty, success, and perfection. The older I get, the more I realize that I’m just like everyone else, living in a sea of normalcy and trendiness, just trying to blend in.

But I don’t want to blend in. I don’t want to be just another one of the millions. I want to be one in a million. I want to stand up, stand out, and be different. And you should, too. Because you’re too perfect, too gorgeous, too valuable, and too you to not embrace and love yourself – all of yourself. Even the really (really) weird parts. Because remember: weird is good. And bras are (heavily) overrated.

Keep doing you and letting those girls go.

-Megan

A Note: On Missing Someone

It’s really easy. Everywhere you turn there’s something that reminds you of them and the way they’ve touched your life. From hearing that Taylor Swift song (again) on the radio, to wearing their clothes that you so graciously “borrowed,” just about everything sends you a shocking reminder that they’re no longer there. And although these constant memories are frequent, it doesn’t mean they’re bad.

Although, they feel bad. Really bad.

Some of the most influential people in my life are (sadly) no longer regulars. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t (or don’t) matter or that I’m not (constantly) thinking about them. Because I am.

I often parallel missing someone to living by the ocean: the days all start the same – gloomy, chilly and no sign of sun. You never quite know if the fog and clouds are going to burn off. But hell, you might as well throw on that bikini, make a damn good cup of coffee (obviously in a french press), and hit the beach, because if you don’t, you might miss a killer tan. And what a waste of an opportunity.

You’ve gotta move on, you’ve gotta keep chugging, and you’ve got to stay positive. And as cliché (yet true) as it is: there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.

[on that note: I’m blind – someone please help me find said ‘light’]

I was so incredibly lucky to have my mom and grandma in town this weekend, with a surprise guest appearance featuring: Auntie Kristie. There’s nothing quite like time with family to put a smile on your face, some (non-ramen) food in your tummy, and a little extra happiness in your heart.

There’s also nothing quite like family to help with missing someone. Missing them is easy, it’s how to live with missing them that’s hard. And when I totally figure it out, I’ll let you know. We’ve all got our $#!† (sorry, grandma) to work on.

Missing you, xo

-Megan

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…

stayweird

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

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

DAY5_3

Summer Megan enjoying a ferry back to Seattle

DAY5_1

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.

DAY6_2

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

-Megan