Building Character (& Learning to Love the Struggle)

My mom does this thing where whenever I complain about something (like having to walk a mile to the train station in the pouring rain) she replies with “it builds character.” I find this incredibly annoying. I don’t want to build character, I have enough character! Though, what I’ve learned in these past few months of intense struggle is to live and appreciate every single hardship because at the end of the day one can never have enough character. At this point in my life I am sort of paying my dues – and this includes kissing people’s butts while working my own butt off. This sort of work-without-rewards is a major struggle, but I am sort of starting to enjoy it. It’s kind of like working three jobs in order to save your money to buy  that car you’ve really wanted, then finally being able to purchase that car with your hard-earned money. The hard work will ultimately make you happy. And your ability to reflect on how you’ve earned that car all by yourself will be the absolute best feeling in the world. Though you will only get this feeling after an extreme period of intense struggle. BUT you will look back knowing the struggle was 110% worth it. So that’s where I’m at right now – working my way through that struggle period full of hard work – though knowing that I’ll look back on these moments with a smile on my face. So yes mom, it pains me to admit it, but I guess you could say I am building character.

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This picture was taken after I walked a mile to the train station in the rain (& stopped by Starbucks).

Samantha

I’m On a Train

Incase you were wondering what was going through my head at the moment.

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A lil’ taste of spring in Boston, MA earlier today

The girl with fair skin and glossy brown hair sitting in front of me just made a dinner reservation for 12 Harvard Law students, paid for using another person’s credit card. She seems old enough (I’d say mid-twenties) to know how this whole train thing works but keeps making rookie mistakes like misplacing her ticket and trying to eat a salad while the train shoves her side-to-side. There is also a man, around the same age as her, I suppose, sitting on the opposite side of the aisle and a row directly in front of the fair skinned girl. He wears round smart-looking glasses, a soft blue button-down, and eats out of a container of hummus. Yes, the entire container, and the conclusion I’ve drawn from that is, he simply gives no f*cks. Directly to my right there is another gentleman, again around the same age as the other two, propped up in his chair, typing away on his laptop, referring to the battery life of his devices as “juice.” His conversation with the older man next to him went like this: “Do you need to plug that in? You can use the outlet next to me.” “Hmmm no thanks, I still have a little juice left.” I heard this and cringed. Lastly, there is the young lady sitting directly to my left, who was writing viciously in her bright yellow notepad when I sat down, but is now curled up in the fetal position sleeping. She was hesitant to let me sit with her – our conversation went like this: “Is anyone sitting here?” “Ummmmm no.” Her lengthy “ummmmm” made me realize that she’d rather I not sit with her, so I sat my ass down as a sort of, well I’m definitely gonna sit next to you now that I know you don’t want me to. HA!

 

My cell phone is about to die and girl-in-the-fetal-position is currently blocking the outlet with her body.

That is all.

Samantha

The End is Near

As I lay here in bed at 8:30 on a Sunday night, I struggle to understand how I am still alive. I cannot remember the last time I had more than a 30 minute break from homework or slept more than seven hours in one night. My life is like a blueberry muffin – slowly crumbling through my fingers and onto the ground where the world is ready to stomp all over them before sweeping my crumby life up and throwing it all in the trash. BUT I must remain optimistic! In only a few days I’ll be boarding an airplane to Scotland. Why Scotland, you ask? Well friends, my big sister is studying abroad at St. Andrew’s, and the crew (aka my parents) and I are going to visit. I seriously could not be more excited. Though (get ready for pessimistic Samantha, once again) this is also the reason why I am drowning in work. My life as a college student simply does not enable me to take ten days off. Therefore, I am currently doing twice the amount of homework to make up for my future absence. And that’s as much as you’ll get out of me tonight – time for bed (f— you, daylight savings), gooooooooodnight.

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Enjoy this throwback of the big sis and I – at a time where bed-head and temporary tattoos were an everyday thing.

Samantha

I’ll Smile if I’m Happy

I’m working Coterie this week in New York City, which is basically just a ginormous fashion trade show. It is awful. My days start at 6am and don’t end until I get home after 8pm. It’s only a four-day gig, but I have already contemplated faking the flu and ending my internship work a day early. Today I was instructed to “be cuter” and “smile more”. I’LL SMILE IF I’M HAPPY, DAMMIT. I am seriously one demand away from a mental breakdown. More to come – that is, if I don’t end up in therapy by then.

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This is me & my fake smile.

Samantha

Do I Laugh, Or Do I Cry?

Everything’s been cancelled…..except for my life.

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I traveled to Newport, RI for the long weekend and woah! what a beautiful and cozy place to be this time of year.

Due to the everlasting snowfall Boston has received these past few weeks, everything from classes to the trains have been cancelled and shut down. So now what? I lounge around in my heart-covered boxers all day, enjoy the beautiful snowfall outside my first story window, while cuddled up in my fluffy blanket with a cup of my favorite tea and a great book– right? Nope – WRONG – not even close. First of all the snow has turned into giant ten foot mountains on every street corner and slushy brown puddles that have absolutely ruined every pair of shoes I own. Second, it seems as if as soon as the snow decided to bring everything in the Boston area to a halt, my life decided it wanted to move faster than ever – so fast that I am now struggling to keep up. The T (Boston’s version of the Subway) is shut down, but that’s too bad because Sam still needs to get places. The school decides to cancel classes, but that’s too bad because Professors still want to assign work. The city doesn’t want to clear the sidewalks, but that’s too bad because Sam still needs to walk to the train station. These past few weeks have been a s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e, but then again, these past few weeks have also been and continue to be i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e. These are two highly contradicting feelings and my only way to react is through extreme contradicting emotion. One minute I’m smiling, the next minute I’m frowning. One minute I’m laughing, the next minute I’m crying. One minute I’m excited, the next minute I’m panicking. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions these past few weeks, my friends, and something tells me the end is nowhere near in sight.

Though I must say, and this could very well just be me desperately attempting to maintain my optimism, but I have a strange feeling that this’ll all be worth it.

Samantha

P.S. I’ll be in NYC (yay!) all of next week working COTERIE – very VERY excited. BUT let’s hope I make it there, as the T is STILL shut down from the past snowfall. (Honestly, I’ll walk from Boston to NYC if I have to – dammit!)

IT’S A REVOLUTION

Starbucks now offers coconut milk!!!!

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The coffee chain doesn’t officially start serving coconut milk until tomorrow, but if you know how to charm your barista like I do you’ll be able to get an exclusive taste 24 hours early. Which I HIGHLY recommend you do because it is deeeelicious!

That is all. Cheers!

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Samantha

P.S. Apologies for my sad eyes that totally misrepresent my enthusiasm on this historical day. I’M SO EXCITED I SWEAR.

Shitty People

Because I have a paper due in a few hours that I haven’t even started yet.

I feel like I’ve been on this earth long enough to have dealt with a wide variety of human beings. I’ve been friends, acquaintances, and interacted with the nicest people in the world and the worst. Today I am choosing to tell you about the worst kind of people, because nice people, as wonderful as they are, simply do not make for a great story/life lesson.

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Drawing by Me

I was friends with a person in high school (no names will be used for the sake of their dignity and my safety) who was what I believed to be the “best” kind of person. Though to my disappointment, and surprise at the time, this person turned out to in fact be the shittiest kind of person. This person’s awfulness was not due to the fact that they weren’t there for me as a friend or even the fact that they took too much and gave to little. No – the reason this friend-turned-faux was the shittiest type of person was simply because prior to deciding they no longer wanted to be friends with a “basic bitch” like me, they led me to believe that our friendship and their genuineness would last forever. The worst type of people in this world are the deceitful ones, the ones who in a matter of seconds go from your best friend to your worst enemy with no explanation as to why. Perhaps what makes me the most angry about this situation and others like it, is not because I was friends with a shitty person, but because that shitty person denied their shittiness. If you’re not a nice person then I suggest you own it, don’t go twinkling around convincing people you’re not awful. OWN YOUR SHITTY PERSONALITY. BE A SHITTY PERSON. But don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, because then you’re not just a shitty person, but a phony person too.

Holden, of The Catcher in the Rye, says it best:

“One of the biggest reasons I left Elkton Hills was because I was surrounded by phonies. That’s all. They were coming in the goddam window. For instance, they had this headmaster, Mr. Haas, that was the phoniest bastard I ever met in my life… I mean if a boy’s mother was sort of fat or corny-looking or something, and if somebody’s father was one of those guys that wear those suits with very big shoulders and corny black-and-white shoes, then old Haas would just shake hands with them and give them a phony smile and then he’d go talk, for maybe a half an hour, with somebody else’s parents. I can’t stand that stuff. It drives me crazy. It makes me so depressed I go crazy. I hated that goddam Elkton Hills.”

I’m not quite sure how to say this, but it’s almost like Holden and I live in two parallel worlds – except “Elkton Hills” is my hometown. I don’t think I’ve felt this connected to another person before in my life, and it’s a damn character in a book. Wow, that’s really sad, I think it’s time for me to go write that paper now.

Samantha

I am a Stereotype

…except like WAY better.

So here I am, shopping bags in one hand and a single-pump cinnamon dolce latte in the other – but don’t call me a “white girl”.

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Reasons why I am a stereotype:

  1. I say dumb things like “There’s no such thing as too much tequila.” (sad, but true story).
  2. I treat Starbucks like it’s a drug.
  3. I flip my hair every three seconds.
  4. I find happiness in spending money (especially when it comes to sales).
  5. And I wear heels even when there’s two feet of snow on the ground.

Reasons why I am not a stereotype:

  1. I am incredibly opinionated.
  2. I have lots and lots of goals for myself and my career.
  3. I am constantly eating and/or thinking about food.
  4. I thrive in diverse settings.
  5. And my iTunes library is absolutely nothing like you would imagine it to be.

Stereotypes can be fun to joke and laugh about at times, but what’s not fun about a stereotype is when someone doesn’t want to interact with you based on the person they think you are. It is to those people that I’d like to say – get to know someone (aka this white girl!) before you judge them to be “boring” or “annoying” based on the stereotype you’ve subconsciously given them. The stereotypical aspects about me (identified above) are true, but every other “white girl” stereotype you have in your head go ahead and delete them now because that is not who I am. And I know I speak for a lot of people in discussing such a sensitive topic – specifically those of you who have been handed a stereotype by your peers based on an ignorant perception and opinion made of you. So in some ways, yes, we all belong to a stereotype – but in many other ways we do not.

Samantha

How the Snowpacolypse Changed Me

I write to you from a bus – seated next to an old man who smells like farts and sips from a bottle of cough syrup – just thought you should know that.

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*This is the only picture I’ve taken over the last few days – me with my legs crossed (like a lady), clenching my Starbucks (like a white girl), and sitting in South Station (like a loner).*

So I’m stuck in my sheltered little basement dorm room for a full 24 hours – now what? Well, in my observations of those around me, I decide that snow days should be days of absolute nothing. I pull up Netflix, throw off my pants, throw a few blankets over me, and tuck a bag of Veggie Sticks under my arm. All of a sudden, only about four hours in (and a bag of Veggie Sticks later), I am angry, annoyed, twitching, and develop this unsettling feeling in my gut. Why?! I simply cannot bear the idea of sitting in the same spot doing the same thing for an extended period of time. It is PAINFUL. I start to question my life and my future, and before I know it I’ve convinced myself that my life is going n o w h e r e . The sad thoughts of my sad future make me want to cry, puke, and throw a puppy all at the same time. But then I got over it.

As a college student living in a Boston suburb, it is very hard to imagine what my future has in store. My routine becomes too normal for my liking and I grow sick of always seeing the same faces. I am constantly reminding myself why I am where I am – which is a horrible feeling. This is just the first step on your journey to success. One day you’ll be some crazy successful woman living in New York City. One day you will be the woman that girls your age aspire to become. ONE DAY! Then my stomach settles and I get right back into my same old routine with a semi-genuine smile slapped across my face. The day of the snowpocalypse arouses one of those moments and despite my desperate self-motivating techniques I could not escape my funk. So this got me thinking and thinking some more and thinking even more. After all, I was stuck in confinement for 24 hours, for the first time ever gagging at the idea of turning on Netflix, and had nothing to do but allow my mind to wonder. Maybe I should move to California? No, I can’t be that far from my mom. Maybe I should drop out of school? No, then I’d seriously be lost. Maybe I should DO SOMETHING? YES SAM, THAT’S IT!!!! It suddenly became clear to me that this routine and life I had become all too accustomed to was simply making me unhappy and not even one of my fancy self-given pep talks was going to cheer me up. I simply needed to DO SOMETHING.

So here I am, on a packed bus home to Connecticut, excited for a nice change in scenery. Plans are currently in progress, but a weekend of adventure is most definitely in store. And that’s that. It’s time for Sam to do things, see things, meet new people, and remove herself from the tiny little bubble of a college-student life. I will leave it at that – more (exciting???) details to come! CHEERS TO THE FREAKIN’ WEEKEND.

Samantha

The Neck of a Turtle

I haven’t worn a turtleneck since I was eight years old.

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I’ve totally become a safe-dresser and I totally have a problem with that. I think my safe-dressing has become the result of laziness – laziness to put any extra effort into getting dressed for the day. BUT THAT STOPS HERE. So if I was a new year resolution-ist, I’d have to say that my resolution for the year 2015 would be to take more fashion risks.

This is where the turtleneck comes into play. Turtlenecks have just come out of retirement and Samantha has just come out of laziness. My first thought when I heard the word “turtleneck” a few months back was, “NO WAY!” And it wasn’t a good “NO WAY I’m totally gonna go buy one” it was a “NO WAY I will NOT bring TURTLENECKS back!” Though reflecting on that moment now, I honestly believe that “NO WAY!” was out of fear. Fear of taking a risk, fear of looking like I was eight years old again, and fear of dressing different. But right here in this very moment I am making a promise to myself to no longer let my fears hold me back – especially when it comes to how I dress.

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Turtleneck is from Uniqlo, Pants are from Guess, and Shoes are from Sole Society.

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To you it may seem like just a turtleneck, but for me it’s about being who I want to be and letting absolutely nothing hold me back. After all, slow and steady wins the race – right?

Samantha