Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Life Lesson #8: Bonding with the pavement.

"They can because they think they can." - Virgil

Preach it, Virg.

I recently had a heated discussion with someone about doing. To me, taking action is nearly always the right thing to do. Personal bubbles are meant to be popped, comfort levels expanded, and dreams attained. That typically requires a decision quickly followed by an act.

I want to know what I'm made of; how can I figure that out without constantly challenging myself? Something I've learned: you are always stronger than you think. I'm a capable little girl. I figure that out more and more every day.

My friend Emily decided to do a 5K because it is far out of her realm of possibility. I joined her quest for the same reason. Before starting to train, I didn't even have a pair of intact tennis shoes. Now I will gladly talk with you about intervals, stretches, distance, hills, breathing, and any other running related topic. I feel akin to people I see running. I can't wait to cross my first finish line with my first number on my back and in first place (well that's a complete and utter lie but I wanted to keep the "first" theme going).

Realize you can do whatever you set your mind to early. You'll save a lot of wasted time that way.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Life Lesson #7: The male roommate.

He sees you when you're ready for a Friday night on the town, but also when you're sick and contemplating never leaving the bed. He hears about all your big successes, but also that embarrassing moment that you never wish to relive. He knows that you sing in the shower, walk around in your underwear, eat your noodles plain, and drink coke straight out of the two liter. No, he's not your boyfriend, he's better: your first male roommate.

I just so happen to have three myself, and despite having trepidations initially, they are rather dandy. Sure they can't help me with my make-up or loan me a purse, but they keep the gags coming and always give an honest opinion on... well, everything.

In case you haven't figured it out, guys don't seem to feel the same pressure to sugar coat the truth the way girls do. If a girl doesn't like her friend's shirt, she's likely going to come up with the most roundabout way of telling her, if at all. A guy will tell his lady friend she looks pregnant in a heartbeat, if that be the case. The boys have told me I looked like crap on some days, and others they tell me I look beautiful.

So next time you go roommate shopping, don't let gender lines necessarily make or break your options. The boys need a place to rest their heads as well.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lesson #6: Not everyone had a Red Ryder.

I remember my cousin's eighth birthday. As the only boy in the bunch, he always got different toys from me and my sister. Better toys. He had the Batman cape, the Legos, and on that birthday, the Red Ryder BB gun! I was sooooo jealous of his BB gun, I got one myself when my birthday came around. If I hadn't made such a fuss though, it surely would've been another Tweety-filled holiday.

I come from a family that gives the boys G.I. Joes and the girls Barbies, that doesn't drink or smoke, that goes to church several times a week, and that might not be aware that the South didn't actually win the war. Although not every family member fits this mold, I can introduce you to quite a few who do. And it's how I grew up.

This may be a given, in fact this is a given, but not every family is like that. It's almost easy to forget, but it's important to remember. I was reminded on a recent road trip.

My roommate and I drove through Florida, visiting his family and staying with friends. We spent a lot of time together in the car and talked about everything under the sun. One thing that really resonated with me, though, was something he said about families and our differences: you don't really know what people's lives were like for the first 18 years when you meet them for the first time in college.

In undergrad we don't have the luxury of seeing each others' roots. So when that roommate of yours is absolutely driving you up the wall... Well, chances are their family functioned in a totally different way from yours. And that's kind of awesome.

Matt's family was a perfect example. His parents, liberal hippies that have Grateful Dead memoribilia around the house, were so different! They taught Matt his multiples with a drinking game. He wasn't allowed to play with guns (no Red Ryder for that house!). His Dad even nicknamed me "Herpes Girl" after a few hours (and a story, of course), something my Dad would never dream of doing. I absolutely adored them.

Yeah, our backgrounds are different, but that makes life so fun! I love getting to know other families and their priorities, habits, and dynamics. I feel like I can then understand my friends on a new level. I also realize what I love about my own family and what I want to do better with them. Basically, it's a win-win realization and experience.

Thoughtfully yours,
Herpes Girl

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Life Lesson #5: Don't pick up strangers.

In fact, I think it's best not to touch them altogether. But, I may be a prude.

I feel like I could devote an entire blog (and trust me, I've really thought about it) on guys. More so, their stupid antics they actually think are a good idea while in pursuit of the nearest/cutest girl. Yes boys, I'm looking at you.

Today's winner was named Richard, I believe, and picked the same pool as me to soak up some early afternoon rays.

It all started off innocent enough. My roommate and I were laying off the edge of the pool, explaining our personal theories on love and relationships/dating. Soon, all too soon, we're joined by Richard, who was in search of a partner for chicken fight. I, being a horrible friend and roommate, give the best sales pitch I can for my dear roomie. Don't worry, the karma came around all too quickly.

She's a peach and plays along, meekly going a round with a stranger and eventually switching to bottom position for Richard to take over on top. As soon as she's freed from the game she jumps out to lay on her chair. It's much safer on land.

So there I am, laying on my own, minding my own business. Apparently that made me the next target.

After turning down offers to join the strange boys in conversation, one picks me up and brings me over. I'm not kidding.

So... at what point in his life did this work? What's worse, these guys start pulling out these cheesy lines. I look to Emily for assistance while she soaks up the fact that she actually got off easy.

I may be the size of your backpack when you were in fifth grade, but my portability should not be put into use by perfect strangers. It will not lead to a date. It won't even lead to a last name and potential facebook friend. Yeah, that's right, I said it!

So guys (and socially awkward girls), my advice is this: while sweeping a girl off her feet is easiest done in its literal sense, this will not likely lead to the sappy kind. That "air of mystery" isn't complete crock. Try it sometime.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Life Lesson #4: Badasses have more fun.

I must admit, I feel a slight swell of accomplishment when I put on my tennis shoes. I was slightly upstaged this weekend when my fantastically fit roommate decided to do her first triathlon, which she completed with a smile.

Emily's Top Gun Triathlon was in Ft. Desoto on Saturday. As the loyal number one fans that we are, Charlie and I drove down on Friday to cheer her on.

What was supposed to be a pretty chill road trip turned into a bit of an adventure. Originally, we planned on staying with my friend in Tampa, then driving out to the fort in the morning to cheer Em on. Well, we were just too close to the beach to not go on Friday, so we made a beeline for the shore. We realized that we were extremely close to the race, so instead of backtracking and going to Tampa for the night, I made the wise decision to rough it for the night. Worst decision of my life.

Charlie's snoring, which could rival the cheers on a game day, was the least of my problems. The bugs LOVED me. I suddenly suspected the nearby fishermen were just biding their time until we fell asleep so they could cut us into a million peices. We probably slept a couple of hours at best. Luckily, our 6 a.m. wake-up call came quickly.

We trekked over to the race, beating the sun up. Somehow we miraculously ran into Emily and Jenna before everything got started. We saw them at four different points throughout the race and were definitely there to watch the triumphant crossing at the finish line. They're so hardcore.

I think people earn the most cool points when they do something completely outside the typical. My Dad, for example, the coolest guy around, did a stand-up comedy routine a few weeks ago. Emily joined the ranks by doing more activity most people do in a year before 9 a.m. yesterday morning. It gives me a good push to plan my next crazy goal.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Life Lesson #3: Themed parties are just an excuse to play dress-up.

My costumes might've changed since I was a wee one. Over the years, I've traded in my wonder girl dress, my batman cape, and my power ranger (pink, in case you were wondering) costume for new, more versatile, characters. However, even though I can't fit into my old poodle skirt anymore, I still feel like many things have never changed. And really, college is just an excuse to revert back to the olden days of dress-up. Except this time, many have a beer in hand.

Interestingly enough, many of my most notable costumes have been characters that I knew of when I was a kid. I've been Tinkerbelle AND Waldo (Where's Waldo, if you need more of a reference). I also still take the opportunity to occassionally add some glitter (only when the costume calls for it, of course) or get creative with the make-up, just like I did circa six years old. Even spandex seems to make its return.

A sub life lesson: the most ridiculous costume at a party instantly becomes the coolest kid in the room. If you don't know that then you have never had the most ridiculous costume, now have you? EVERYONE, ladies, men, strangers, friends, will tell you how awesome you are. Slowly, the parts of your costume that are easily disassembled will be taken and worn by others. For some reason that person is always sweaty. And you my friend, are a hero.

Get creative. Make a fool of yourself. Buy a hippo inner tube and watch the sparks fly.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Life Lesson #2: How to fake your adulthood.

At 18, you can vote. At 21, drink. These milestones are supposed to represent "adulthood," and yet plenty of us are hitting these benchmarks feeling like we still have a baby bottle in hand. Don't lie, you or someone you know still has that old glitter make-up or toy... I mean action figurines, somewhere in your room.

So what is it exactly that tips the scale? When do you go from being a child to being a grown-up?

People often point to many different events (buying a house, losing your virginity, going off to college) as the turning point, but I happen to believe that it's not that easy. Of course not, it's life, when is it ever that easy?

I have no quick and easy answer. I'm responsible, I know how to pay my bills on time and take care of my daily needs, yet I still enjoy jumping fences for that midnight swim like the adventurous kid I am. I'm not willing to give up that part of me, so I'm going to settle on "faking" it for a while. The solution? Balance, my friends.

1) There's facebook, and then there's linkedin.
"No adults allowed" is just not possible anymore, but there is clearly a social theme and professional theme to each of these Web sites. On, be prepared for Business Faith. She's got a growing list of experience and an education to match. On however, well, Everyday Faith might've worn something silly to a themed party or climbed into a large bag. And there's photographic evidence to prove it. And while I could look stupid, and future employers might possibly see these glamorous moments, it's important to me to be myself. Just because I party does not mean I can't represent a business with class.
2) Today's day in the office can not handle last night's cleavage.
Perhaps "sexy" is best left out of the workplace. No other explanation needed.
3) Time to talk pretty.
Sometimes you meet those people that seem to speak two different languages: on and off the clock. When you're not working, feel free to use whatever colorful words you'd like. To each their own. But, when working, you're representing more than yourself, and your speech should match that.

College is a tricky and transitional time and there are no hard and fast rules. I love that.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Life Lesson #1: Always have a boyfriend when you move.

Trust me.

You may be able to handle taking out the trash, hosting your own party, or buying a car, but moving should not be a solo activity. It is at this point when you realize your biceps are no match for the bookshelf full of your favorite Jane Austen novels or the ridiculous amount of kitchenware you have acquired (and I can't even cook!).

So what's the solution? As I see it, there are three:

1) Look ahead.
Your lease will be up in a few weeks, and yet you sleep alone at night. Show a little leg, hit up those ladies' nights, and get yourself a boy toy. This, however, is my least favorite alternative. First of all, let's not be selfish, this guy has some feelings too. He probably doesn't want to just be a piece of meat, even if that meat is genetically created to lug your antique dresser from point A to point B. Plus, you have to put up with him in between and find a semi-appropriate reason to break up afterwards.
2) Grin and bear it.
Yes, Miss Independent, as Ne-Yo says, you are "fly effortlessly." So why does that have to change on moving day? Throw that beautiful mane in a ponytail and pull out the boxes. Never taken down a fan before? There's probably something on youtube to help. Curious about how to gracefully move the trunk down the stairs? You'll find a way. You always do.
3) What are gay best friends for?
They don't get the wrong idea and yet they still can bench press you! In my experience they will sometimes be less dependable then, say, someone that wants down your pants, but they can also make you laugh the entire time you're trying to fit all your pillows into your backseat.

When your next moving day rolls around, be prepared ladies. Because who really wants to be alone when you finally knock the suitcase off the top shelf of your closet and it all comes tumbling down?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Crossing the Line


I know I need to suck it up and move on, but I don't get Twitter. I'm not a fan of the concept; the thought of having my every action recorded for others' knowledge pains me.

Not only is it happening, it's expected now for celebrities and other well-known personalities to do so. If you read the article I linked up top, it talks about celebrity twittering, or at least twitters on their behalf.

You see, 50 cent doesn't have the time to send updates every two minutes, so he has someone doing it for him (probably best-- I can only imagine the profound twitters 50 would make). So does Obama. And Britney.

The entire purpose of this Web site, though, is to gain a new level of intimacy with these people. Don't you lose that if they aren't doing it in the first place?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Interning... the wave of the future.

It's 7:30 a.m.

Is my alarm clock really going off?

I'm a college student! I thought I wasn't allowed to see 7:30 in the morning!

Welcome to the world of interning. Maybe it's not the real world, but it's one step closer.

While internships may pull us kicking and screaming into the structured world of pin-striped suits and business totes, it comes with huge payoffs. Trust me.

Professionals encourage students to complete 2-3 internships before graduating. In fact, interning is built into the curriculum for public relations majors.

As a junior, I am currently beginning my first internship. Sometimes I feel like interning takes up time that I don't really have in the first place, but the work I am doing now will get me further in the future.

Also, I'm an environment that was created for learning. While I'm expected to give my best effort, my boss also knows that this is the first time taking my skills out of the classroom. Mistakes happen. Internships are the place to make them.

Go. Get an internship. It will give you an edge on your competition. And, as we will be entering the workforce at a time of dwindling jobs, it is important to stand out as much as possible.