A Look at 2013

2013 was quite the year in the life of little old me.  I’m trying to think of one word to sum up the year but how do you combine ‘happy’, ‘exciting’, ‘sad’, ‘scary’, and ‘different’ into one word?  I guess life-changing might be the word…or is that two words?  Whatever, 2013 was life-changing. Here’s a look back at a year full of memorable moments. 

I brought in the year with Ryan and his friends who have continued to become great friends of mine this year.  I’m so thankful for all of them, they’re so so awesome.  I then continued my junior year at UMass in a big house full of 13 girls…that was wild.  But they’re great and will always be a huge part of my college experience. I’m bummed that we don’t have one picture of all of us…out of the 5 million pictures we took that year…but each and every one of you East Pleasant St. girls (and honorary guests) holds a special place in my heart.

Then came spring break.  Ah Punta Cana, so much fun.  The journey there was quite a nightmare between me fainting on the plane and then being deathly ill for the majority of that first day…I’ll definitely never forget that one.  But I got my act together and that week was AMAZING. Ryan, Connor, Morgan & I relaxed hardcore on the beach and by the pool.  And each day we had a mandatory nap because the all inclusive alcohol was a bit dangerous.  We were there for St. Patricks day so you can all imagine how that went with the two Irish boys…

This trip made Morgan & I realize how similar we are and how much we love each other and she’s now one of my best friends!  Thanks for that, boys.

I held a monkey!

…And a stray cat…in the Dominican Republic…not my best idea looking back on it.

Speaking of cats,  we also had Carlos this year.  He was basically the most epic cat ever who loved Ryan because of their mutual ginger-ness and even won over Timmy and Tommy even if they won’t admit it.  I’ll never forgive the person who ran him over and kept driving…so heartbreaking for all of us.  But Ryan still pours out a little tequila for him now and again, seeing as Carlos was somehow deemed Mexican.

I turned 21!  That night was hilarious.  My friends and family are awesome.

 

The day after my birthday, April 15th, sent shock waves through the country but particularly the city of Boston.  This city has such an incredible sense of pride and regardless of the intentions of those good-for-nothing terrorists, that pride increased tenfold that day.  People all over the country defined what it means to be “Boston Strong”, and countless miles were run for those who were robbed of the chance to finish the marathon that day.  The following days were filled with unity and love from all over the country.

 


Then came May which was super bittersweet.  Ryan and his roommates/friends had become like family to me and I was SO sad for them to graduate.  But I was extremely proud of them as well, and still am.  Although I do miss NBS terribly…everything from scary movie Sunday to them being gross smelly messy boys.  Amherst is so strange without them.

 
 
 

Believe it or not, life went on.  The summer was pretty awesome.  From pool days with Ryan and Teddy, to Taylor Swift with Jess (best birthday gift ever), to surprising Ryan with Countryfest tickets, to Zac Brown Band in the POURING rain with Jen and Steph, to a week in Michigan with my crazy loud wonderful family…it was definitely one to remember!

 

Summer flew by, as it always does.  Then it was back to school.  This time I was going back without Ryan and some of the best friends I had made there.  I was terrified.  I realize now how dumb that was though because so far this year has been great.  My roommates are my best friends and they are absolutely hysterical.  Then there’s the Hallock street girls who are amazing as well.  My friends are all so beautiful!  I seriously don’t know how there can be such a concentration of beautiful people around me but hey, it makes for good pictures. I learned a lot about myself last semester, although what I’m doing after I graduate in 5 months wasn’t one of them…

 
 

In October I lost my beloved Grammie to Alzheimers.  I HATE Alzheimers.  She was the absolute greatest woman and was taken way too young, but I know that I gained another angel and I also know that she was pullin some strings up there for this next part..

THE RED SOX WON THE WORLD SERIES!!! This. Was. Wild.  I obviously cried my eyes out AND lost my voice.  The bars were packed but Catherine and I acted like we were the only ones there…I remember being ecstatic in ’04 and ’07, but this time just felt different.  It was absolutely unreal and emotional after all the city went through this year.  It just meant so much more than a trophy and a ring this year.

Another HUGELY positive change I made this year was joining the TEDxUMassAmherst team.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it because I had a pretty heavy work load but I took the risk and I have to say it’s in the top 5 best decisions I’ve made…ever.  The people I met became like family so quickly and I truly would have missed out if I never met them.  These are the most brilliant people I’ve ever met and I can’t wait to see where their lives take them.  I can’t even begin to imagine.  There are no limits on what these minds can accomplish.
The rest was pretty much a whirlwind…Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went extremely quickly, but they were both fantastic and filled with love.  2014 is kind of crazy to think about.  In 2014 I will be a college student and I will also be a college graduate.  I will be 21 and I will also be 22 which is an entirely different ballgame.  For the first time in my life, I honestly can’t  tell you what I’ll be doing in 6 months.  That’s bizarre and terrifying and also kinda cool.  Lots of changes to wrap my head around and try my best to manage.  However, 2013 brought a lot of changes too.  It was also a TON of fun.  I already have a lot to look forward to in 2014 thanks to Ryan’s awesome Christmas gifts which will send me traveling all over New England, and one last semester in fake-life-Amherst.  So bring on 2014. Because so far my record for getting through these crazy years is 21-0.  Not too shabby.


Advertisements

This Christmas

The dictionary defines community as “people living in the same general location”.  Up until this week, I would have agreed with that definition.  However, this Christmas taught me something entirely new about community.  Here’s a little story for ya:

About 4 days before Christmas, my dad caught wind of a family in our town that consisted of a single mother and two young children.  While we were all out doing last minute shopping and searching for New Years Eve outfits, this mother was figuring out how she was going to tell her two boys that Santa wouldn’t be coming to them this year.  She couldn’t afford to buy them any Christmas presents.  My dad, being the saint that he is, called on our community to help this family and keep the spirit of Christmas alive in those young boys.  We know nothing about these people, even their names, but something had to be done.  Well, this is where the community comes in.

After just a Facebook post directed at our own little town, the messages started coming in from all over the world.  LITERALLY all over the world.  People volunteered to help with no hesitation whatsoever.  We had no idea what sort of things the kids liked to play with or what they liked to do, but that wasn’t a problem.  People bought all sorts of things from toys to games to sleds so they could enjoy the snow.  But it didn’t stop there.  People also bought gift cards, warm winter gear, and more for the mom who was struggling to make ends meet.  Things were getting dropped off at my house, my dad was picking things up all over the surrounding towns, and things were coming in the mail as well.  All the while, this mother had no idea any of this was going on.

This mother did not ask for our community’s help.  Nor did this mother know that her community expanded from the countless people in town helping out, to people in London sending gift cards (LONDON!!!), and people across the state ordering things online that could be picked up locally and wrapped for the kids (love you, Ali).  The beautiful part is, this is my community too.

This Christmas was amazing.  I got some great gifts and more importantly spent time with many of my loved ones.  However, no price tag can be placed on what I learned this Christmas.  I learned that community is not defined as the people that live around you.  Your community is defined as the people who share the same values as you.  Your community is made up of people who help out with no questions asked.  Your community is made up of the people who would forget about the craziness of their holiday season in order to help out a family in need.

And of all the presents under the tree, nothing compares to the feeling that came over me when I found out that upon receiving these gifts, this single mother collapsed to the floor in tears.  I am so thankful that this woman now knows the strength of our community.

Clarification.

The amount of positive feedback I’ve received on the Victoria’s Secret post is overwhelming.  I never thought my blog would have thousands of views in one day because I really just do it for fun and for the people who have told me in the past that they enjoy reading it.  

However, I have also received a good amount of negative feedback.  Some from people who I never expected it from, some from people who barely know me, but mostly from people who LITERALLY don’t know me at all and God knows how they even came across my blog.  The internet is creepy like that.  Anyways, here’s a little bit about me for the random people who know nothing about me but still feel the need to pass PARAGRAPHS worth of judgement.

My name is Emily. Nice to meet you.  I am 21 years old, I am 5’5″ (which is ABOVE AVERAGE height, I won’t say abnormal because I might offend myself), and I weigh 115 pounds.  I am a 00.  I am an XS.  I DO NOT HATE SKINNY PEOPLE! I do not think skinny people should be ashamed of themselves.  I do not think that I have the “right to define what is normal”. And never, ever, ever, did I say either of those things.  I am a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but at least make sure you know what the point is before you criticize it.

The point was not to say that skinny people should gain weight.  The point was not to say that skinny people are ugly.  If you’re naturally skinny or have become skinny in a healthy way, MORE POWER TO YA! The point was to say that people who are dissatisfied with their bodies should not take up unhealthy habits to look like Victoria’s Secret models.  Somehow, our society has managed to make us believe that everyone can and should look like these models.  We are so OBSESSED with body image.  Some of you nicely, and some of you not so nicely, pointed out that body image is not something we should be concerned with.  I agree. However, that doesn’t mean it should be ignored.  Telling a self conscious girl who wants to somehow grow 6 inches and lose 20 pounds in order to look like the models that they should just stop worrying about their body is frankly a waste of time.  I mean, I don’t know about you guys (because I don’t know most of you), but I can’t just snap my fingers and make someone forget about something that may dominate their thoughts day in and day out.  Maybe you can.  Again, I don’t know you.  However, giving them an alternative, a healthier way to gain confidence, is not out of line. 

Another thing my new cyber-friends don’t know about me is that I LIVE to make people happy.  I will go out of my way to help anyone and everyone and it truly makes me sad when others are unhappy. That is the reason behind THIS post.  I want you all to understand that I am not saying being skinny is a bad thing.  I am not saying that being skinny is abnormal. However, when you think about models, weighing 120 pounds or less when you are at least 5’9″  IS ABNORMAL. I’m not trying to define anything.  Ask a doctor.  Also, it is not a healthy figure to try to obtain when you are not naturally built this way.  I will not take that back.  

If you are naturally skinny and happy with your body, or naturally not skinny and happy with your body, I am SO happy for you.  Really, no sarcasm for once.  That is amazing.  And that satisfaction that you have with your body is exactly what I want for others.  I simply suggested a healthier alternative way to reach that sense of confidence that you all have. However, I hope they stop just before they become so confident that they can chastise people they don’t know for things they never said.

Sincerely, 
Your New Friend Emily.


 

Victoria’s Secret Starvation Show

It’s here! The night we look forward to, dread, or are frankly indifferent about (raised hand emoji), has arrived.  The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. So in anticipation of all of the “omg I’m not gunna eat for a week” or “going to the gym for like 5 million hours” tweets and statuses, I have a piece of advice.  Before you post something like this, do us all a favor and just don’t. Really. Don’t do it.

What’s the issue? Is it that your BMI doesn’t classify you as anorexic?  Or is it that you don’t have enough makeup to cover up every miniscule “imperfection”? Or maybe it’s that you don’t have the right self tanner to make it look like you have abs when you really have not an ounce of muscle on your body.  

NEWSFLASH: THESE GIRLS ARE NOT NORMAL. THIS. IS. NOT. NORMAL.


Am I just bitter? Maybe…probably. But that doesn’t change anything.  It’s unrealistic to strive to be these girls who are WAY too skinny in relation to their abnormal height, and it’s pointless to put yourself down because of it.  It’s also pointless to say you’re not gunna eat because guess what? You’re just going to slow down your metabolism!  So go grab the ice cream from the freezer and take a look at these girls I’m going to show you.  If you want to better yourself and go to the gym “for like 5 million hours”, go for it!  But don’t strive to look like those skeleton girls on your TV.  (P.S., anyone can wear a push-up bra, boys…don’t be fooled!)

These girls are what you should strive for.  They are STRONG. They are BEAUTIFUL. And they are HEALTHY.  As are all of you.  These girls are my inspiration, and their bods are prettyyy angelic if ya ask me! My 2013 Angel Lineup:

Arielle


Alex

 Vic

Brittany


Cassandra


Erika

Hillary & Her teammates

Eliza

Courtney


Lauren

Devyn

Emily
Lauren


Don’t you think these girls look and feel better than those girls who could blow away in a strong gust of wind?  Listen, I’m no saint.  Of course I dream about looking like the models.  But what’s better- cheeseburgers, or being engaged to Adam Levine? …Ok bad example.  What’s better- being able to defend yourself, or being about as fragile as Taylor Swift trying to hold a boyfriend (Although she will be the best part of tonight’s show)?  You don’t need bones sticking out or those ridiculous (but gorgeous) wings to make you an angel.  You are all angels and you are all beautiful just how you are!  If you want to work towards something, don’t work towards fading to nothing.  Work towards building muscle and confidence.

I choose strong.  I choose healthy.  You should too.