I met you in a bar in Philadelphia when your semester had just started and my relationship had just ended. You had a blue shirt on and you were dancing alone, the room was full of dancing people- but I saw you.
I met you in a bar in Philadelphia after swearing up and down that I never wanted to talk to a boy again. "Tequila will be my boyfriend!" I screamed as I inserted two dollars into the Trolley coin slot. In my little crop top and black mini skirt, I was looking for myself. I wasn't looking for you.
I met you in a bar in Philadelphia and I never wanted to meet another boy again. You put your number in my phone and you looked at me like you were the luckiest boy on earth. "I can't even stand how he's looking at you," my best friend said right before I let myself decide that I should probably give you my number too.
I met you in a bar in Philadelphia and one week later you called me your girl. I didn't know you could feel fireworks and that you could be so recklessly high without a drug- but it turns out you can. It was moving fast and it scared you. It was moving fast and it didn't scare me at all.
I met you in a bar in Philadelphia, but somewhere between the 'i miss you' texts and the wine bottles I found myself thinking of you in some of the most beautiful cities in the world. I wasn't sure who I was, you weren't sure who you wanted to be. I couldn't come to your party because I was 300 miles away.
You met her in a bar in Philadelphia. Your new relationship had just started and my relationship had just ended.
Lately my fashion choices have been just like my mind: scattered. Upon trying to assemble an outfit for a night out- I realized that just about every city has a different 'vibe' when it comes to nighttime ensembles. Try too hard and you'll stick out, not trying hard enough could end in buying allll the drinks for yourself. And who does that, am I right?
My old college town (Indiana, PA) was a pretty much anything goes type of place. During the day it was all leggings and sweatshirts, but at night it became all crop tops, mini skirts and beer bongs. The cool thing about it was everyone was extremely accepting, and if you wore yoga pants to the club no one really gave a shit. My friends and I were absolutely obsessed with a dive bar where jeans and crop top was the perfect go to- but dresses were welcome too (if you were celebrating a special occasion or just got dumped).
New York City is a tough cookie to crack. In Manhattan anything goes, but if you wanna make an impression (and let's be real, you do) you gotta look like money. Leather skirts and crop tops are my dream combination, but not exactly accepted everywhere. If you're looking to try an extreme look, New York would probably be the place to do it.
Pittsburgh is one laid back, beer-drinking city. Most times I like to stay low key, unless I'm going to Southside or Oakland. I like to be prepared for pretty much anything in Pittsburgh, because the neighborhoods are so diverse. Regardless of where you're at though, a beer is probably your best accessory.
Brooklyn is a hipster-ass place. Since it's still New York weird things are cool and extreme fashions are accepted. I like to go for a more bohemian vibe in Brooklyn/Williamsburg because it's a tad more humble then Manhattan. I like to get a little Gossip Girl meets Coachella vibe here and mix super-classy with down-to-earth pieces.
Philadelphia is everything. So you have to dress for everything. Fishtown will get you and indie/hipster vibe. Center City you want to look a little classy. Either way you wanna look hot. I try to stick with leggings when I go to Philly, because they're pretty versatile and not too much. A trendy piece like leopard flats are an awesome touch to any outfit and makes it look super-chic.
I look at you now, with your beard long and your hair in desperate need of a haircut. I see the shell of a person I used to know so well, but your eyes are different. Behind the smoke of your cigarette I begin to see you clearly, the emotions and honestly that you run from. You never could take anything seriously. Beer cans pile up outside the door of your apartment. Did you drink one of those beers solely because of the thought of me?
I look at you now, and I see you with a mask on. You're trying to be someone else, someone better- but you never knew how great you were in my eyes. For someone so cocky, you don't have very much self-confidence. I see a boy lost, in desperate need to search for himself, but wants to search for trouble instead. Who is doing this to you- was it me, is it her?
I look at you now, seeing all of the potential you had. Part of me knows you still have it, if you want to. How far you will go if you just wanted it a little more. I still remember you saying how much happier you were without me, but I still remember, three months later, when you asked me for a second chance. I fumbled in my purse and pretended I lost my lipstick.
I look at myself now, with my hair blonder and 15 pounds lighter. I see a dark cloud gone. The big grey-blue eyes once filled with worry, hurt and tears almost every day have been replaced with big, beautiful turquoise eyes filled with optimism, happiness and freedom. Constantly seeking the next adventure, the next chapter of life. Wine bottles pile up outside the door of my apartment. One of those wine bottles was to escape the thought of you.
I look at myself now, with fewer excuses to call you. Barely responding when you text, but still wanting you to. Three beers in I wonder if you think of me, and hope that you do, because I still think of you. He's someone else, someone better- but I'm still searching for myself.
I look at myself now, seeing all of the potential I have. Part of me knows I never could have had it, not with you. I still remember crying into my pillow wishing to go back in time, but I still remember, three months later, when I knew this was the best thing that ever happened to me. I fumbled in my purse and pretended I lost my lipstick.
I look at myself. Six months later, and I'm doing better.
I look at you. Six months later, and all I see is bitter.
When you really love something, it's funny how willing you are to go back to it.
This all became clear to me when I asked my mom if we could go back to Vero Beach this spring with our remaining timeshare points.
"But you got stung by a jellyfish there, why would you want to go back?" She said.
Being stung by a jellyfish hurt. If you have never been stung by one, consider yourself blessed. If you have, then you know that the pain literally leaves you speechless. The pain is so extraordinary that you barely even process it until you've come back to the shore to lay down and ask yourself, what the fuck just happened? But it never stopped me from going back to the beach and going back into the ocean.
Overanalyzing this epiphany, as writers often do, I began to realize this was true of many aspects in my life. Getting burnt by the match didn't stop me from lighting my favorite Anthropologie candle (Volcano). Getting sick from Penn Station sushi didn't stop me from ordering Philadelphia rolls at just about every chance I get. But most importantly it made me realize that I would be willing to go back to anyone I love (friends, family, boys) even if there is a chance of getting "stung" again.
Maybe it's the Aries in me. Stubborn, headstrong, brave. But I like to think of it as more than that. They (They being the Tumblr/Twitter posts I stumble across late at night when I drank too much coffee after 5 p.m.) often say "Don't get burned by the same flame twice." I guess I don't believe in that. I guess I'd rather go for that flame until it completely burns out. Until there is nothing left to keep alive, and there's only ashes left.
However, the worst part is still trying to reignite a flame out of nothing but ashes. And I know that too.
And while I still hope for that flame to re-ignite, hopefully this time with a flame that would won't burn me, it's like wishing for the ocean to be free of jellyfish.
And for now, I'd rather take my chances. I'm still going in the ocean.
Whenever winter comes around I always want to wear the same thing everyday: hoodie. leggings. Ugg boots (not safe in the snow but…) and a face to match my hatred for the cold.
Though it's not new years eve yet, I've decided to start my resolution a little early: Dress chic. Even in winter. Lately I've been gravitating towards a lot of black accessories, a lot of red lips and a little bit of leopard print. I also have a long-sleeved maxi dress, a duster cardigan and a pair of Steve Madden ankle boots on my Christmas list this year that I can't wait to start wearing basically, like, every day.
Another resolution I'm starting a little early is the commitment to making at least one day a week a "me" day. A that is full of food, coffee, books, Netflix, journaling, tumbling… whatever I want. I plan for this day to also be full of comfy oversized sweaters, cute socks and an all-day top knot.
Take a look at a few of my dream outfits for this winter and hopefully they will inspire some of yours:
Kanye West once tweeted: "She asked when is fashion week…. uuuum… I thought it was every week??!!"
This year's fall fashion has been on. fucking. point. And by that I just mean that I am loving the leopard print. I am loving the tall boot/sock thing that's happening. And I'm loving the anything-goes-crop tops-sure-why-not attitude. Basically I'm obsessed with anything that makes me feel sexy and confident and ready for anything.
From dive bars to date nights to coffee runs (I think you can figure out which outfit is for which) here's a few picks from last week:
I'm not proud of this, but an episode of Teen Mom 2 just gave me a huge life epiphany. But first, let me back track for a second. The post-grad, early twenties situation that I've been warned about (and warned about, and warned about) was suddenly a reality. And it hit me hard.
To sum things up- I found myself saying goodbye to summer with no job, no boyfriend, no kitten and no friends within a 50 mile radius. Which was a complete 180 turn from everything I had known for the past few years. I was like, I've seen this shit happen in movies… but it was never supposed to happen to me. So I did what any 22-year-old with no crucial life commitments would do. I ran away. I escaped. I ran to Philadelphia. Then to Florida. Then back to Philadelphia. Then to Brooklyn. Then back to Philadelphia. And back to Philadelphia again. I reconnected with friends from all over- from high school, from college, from elementary school. I spent time with my mom, eating everything from sushi to escargot. I got super ambitious about a video game hobby and bought a 3DS. I developed a crush on Ansel Elgort, which even I admit, was long overdue. I tried a lot of different wines. I ventured into bars with sand on the floor, but in NYC (ironic, but I was into it.) I met a boy. He was great. Handsome. Hilarious. Awesome. I got a "big girl" job at one of my favorite clothing companies. And just as things began to look up- the post-grad-early-twenties situation came down hard again. And then I had to return to reality, and face the cold hard facts: Timing is everything, and your early 20's isn't really the time to settle, for anything.
So, back to Teen Mom 2. As I was scrolling through Twitter with my left hand and shoving unhealthy portions of shrimp lo mien into my mouth with my right hand, I heard this:
"This is life. You gotta learn your lessons, then you go."
And I'm not sure why, but it made something click. It made me realize that nothing right now is permanent. Nothing is worth over thinking, and stressing, and trying to change. Because that isn't what your early 20's are for. They're for the mistakes, the memories and the moments of life clarity (even if they are few and far between.) So in this overwhelmingly optimistic spirit of being 22, (and happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time) here's a collection of tumblr quotes that I just wanna put on teeshirts, paste on my walls and tattoo on my body. (by the way, I'm totally kidding, but they have been giving me some peace during this miserable and magical (oooo yeah *t swift voice*) time.)