Thursday, May 30

firsts, triumphs, mistakes, and being out of my comfort zone in one day

I learned my lesson. Never start the day thinking to yourself, "Well, today is just going to be an average day. What a bummer."

I don't even know where to start with this day. Where do I even begin!? It was a day of firsts, lasts, mistakes, triumphs, mostly being out of my comfort zone the entire time, emotions, and a whole lot of paper folding and running. By the end of it, I felt like I needed a splash of reality to reaffirm that my day was real and that it was over.

So let's recap what exactly happened on May 30, 2013:

I realized around 2pm once my stomach grumbled that I had forgotten to eat lunch. Not only that, but as I reached under my desk and fished around the best purchase I ever made (a large leather purse) mid conversation with an owner of a restaurant who I was inquiring to find out who to contact about making charitable donations, I realized I forgot my lunch on the countertop at home. The sudden opportunity gleamed its headlights: HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO CONQUER BUCKET LIST ITEM #310: EAT A MEAL IN A SIT DOWN RESTAURANT ALONE! Is it just me? Am I the only one who hasn't ever secretly wanted to go to a restaurant completely alone surrounded by couples, groups, and people there with other people only? I didn't allow myself a second of hesitation before running out the door with my phone held in my hand in front of me so that Google Maps could direct me to the right Italian panini specialty hole-in-the-wall shop. I ended up 0.7 miles in the wrong direction and once I realized I'd gone the wrong direction completely, wound up in Pike's place. I thought, well, this blows. I don't want to eat here where everything will be overpriced and flooded with oh my gosh, TOURISTS.

And then I turned around. I headed in the opposite direction that the crowds were walking and ended up in a smaller section of Post Alley where my stomach called out that it must be fed now and conveniently I looked up, glassesless no less, to see a sign reading Pizza & Pasta bar. Done. I wanted Italian, anyways! Waited fifteen minutes, paid all of $6.02 for an iced tea and slice of pizza bigger than my head, and then sat by myself outside in the alley. It wasn't technically a "sit down restaurant  but once I was outside, I was surrounded by people in groups. And there I was... eating alone. Surrounded by people in Pike's Place where almost every person was there with another person for some reason or another. And it was great. I think I'm kind of the best lunch date that ever was, come to think of it.

I then turned back around and headed inside to leave a tip because it was easily the best piece of pizza I've ever had (a touch of garlic in the sauce, perfectly crunchy bottomed crust, cheese evenly dispersed and so tasty) and talked for fifteen minutes with the owner who works there from open to close every day and didn't once break his smile. I kind of wanted him to kiss me on the cheek by the end. 

Never really walking alone downtown before aside from the above stated pizza eating experience, I managed to run errands for the work party we had later this evening around without getting lost. I made it to the addresses written on post it notes in my hands! Huzzah!

Now, I am not prejudiced or entirely unfamiliar with people that are homeless. I respect them and their right to hang out on the streets. Soon, I want to buy one a meal like I've seen people in my building do and bring it to them personally. However, I ended up in an interesting part of town where I realized I was the only female Caucasian and person with a home on the street. New experience. Not all together terrifying because buses were passing by, but at one point a woman pushing a rolling suitcase in front of her down the middle of the suitcase screamed at me, "GET THE F*** OUT OF MY WAY!" causing everyone to turn around and part down the middle of the street for her. Okay, so I was slightly terrified at this moment and I immediately darted out of her way after her suitcase hit my feet.

Finding and contacting a few people who are interested in donating their products for a big event coming up at work. Talking on the phone and reaching out to people is exciting. I feel honored to work for who I do.

Sometime before leaving to do errands and after getting back from the most glorious lunch of my life, I got a text from my mom with a picture of a letter from my landlord in Montana saying that there were stains on our apartment carpet and we had 24 hours to be rid of them or else we'd lose our security deposit and we'd be charged with damage. We're talking like, $1000 lost in total. Down the drain. Panicked, I called the office, my roommate, friends still in Montana who could go clean it for me for a $50 an hour promise- all while navigating downtown Seattle running errands. Admittedly, I didn't read my contact well enough last summer. Because that was standard and due to their restrictions on what carpet cleaner you are allowed to use, you aren't allowed to actually use anything that would remove simple stains a professional vacuum cleaner would take out. Doh! Unnecessary anxiety that rubbed off on my mom and roommate. And myself.

Out of my comfort zone:
We had our building office party this evening. Every floor of the building opens its doors and people go from floor to floor learning about the office and their work and enjoy food and games. It ended up being fantastic and I met a lot of fascinating people on the few floors I had time to visit. People from all over the West Coast and even other Interns that are *gasp* my age! 

Then, of course  there was finishing the day and sprinting 1.1 miles to the ferry in under 8 minutes and making it onto my boat. There was the boy in the elevator. There was realizing no minute was the same as the next one after it all day long and I had abou a million things to handle and I did it all. I survived what I would have cried imagining over two weeks ago (!!!! just two weeks ago!?) and this is it. This is a full day. And I loved every second, even the panicked and uncomfortable ones. 

This is the best thing I've ever done for myself- getting myself here, working to make it happen for months, and hoping for it until it worked out at the last second.

At the end of my day, when I crossed Puget Sound and rode my bus and finally drove home, I took myself on a twenty minute walk through the *rain forest*. This is all real, this is all real.
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Tuesday, May 28

reasons why I probably won't want to go back to Montana

Like, ever.

1. I thought public transportation was good for people watching and conversation overhearing. Wrong. I have seen and heard far more interesting conversations in Seattle. Alleged affairs between Mother's and soccer coaches. People with hot pink hair and partially shaved heads so the pink just kind of sits on one side like, "Sup, bald side?" It's good stuff. Today on the bus a darling little man was talking to a woman holding the biggest bouquet of flowers I've ever seen (have I mentioned that I have NEVER gotten flowers in my life) and said to her, "Well, this weekend was our anniversary so we made out and watched movies all weekend. 60 going on 16." I died and went to Heaven.

2. The food. Excuse me while I think about trying new food and expand new horizons because I honestly have almost gotten ran over mid sniff in the middle of the street. Also, I have had the best crepes in my life, best cookies, best soups, best lemon poppyseed muffins- and I know this is only hardly scratching the surface of what I should be enjoying. So. We'll get there. I'll explore.

3. I can walk outside my office and realize, OH HEY, I'm in the middle of downtown Seattle where most people in Montana go for a *vacation*. I'm here, everyone! I'm in freaking Seattle, Washington! Hub of the Pacific Northwest! I'm where all the action is at!

4. Everything isn't only just accepted here, but celebrated. Individuality is worth a festival over the weekend, a compliment on the street, a few minutes of your time and dollars if you will for a live acoustic show on 1st Ave and Pike, and more. I have so much seeing to do and observing. But my favorite thing, hands down, is that everyone is happy and free to be who they are and I'm convinced the more unique you are, the more loved you will be.

Sunday, May 26

blackbird bakery: where i found love

Today, completely by chance and most unexpectedly, I found the best cookie I have ever or will ever eat. I mean it. I didn't even choose this location nor did I actually plan on eating due to the fact that I had a whole bowl of cereal in the morning to start my day which just goes to show that this cookie was meant to find me. I'm lucky in that I have family in Seattle and that they're adventurous enough to embark on a Bainbridge Island adventure with me but also that they are vegan and chose the only vegan bakery on the island to eat at. Which, as you can probably assume, is where this cookie came into my life.


After only a week here, I just have a couple of questions that have ran through my mind at least once a day. One: how does anyone stay skinny here when there is so much food? (answer: the hills). Two: how does anyone afford to eat here? (the jury is out on this one). Three: how does a city have so much good food!? (answer: I'm in a city and this is actually a normal thing in a city).


So we all walked into Blackbird Bakery together which was stuffed with people- tourists (apparent by Nikons around their necks), locals (dreads and/or Danskos), and vegans (us, apparent by the hovering near the shelf of vegan only food). Still wasn't planning on eating. Get up to the cash register where the cookies are conveniently located and I thought, well. Why not? I'll walk seven miles in the city tomorrow anyways like usual and it's not on my bill. 

The cashier asks me which kind I'd like, pointing to several different types, and leaves the best for last saying, "Our most popular Super Chunk cookie?" to which I didn't even hesitate  I'm doing this thing nowadays where I don't even ask what's in something before I order it, I just look at the food for 0.37 seconds and let my initial gut make the choice. 

So what is the Super Chunk cookie? Fudge chocolate baked to precision so it's both slightly crunchy on the outside covered in little crumbs that somehow add a certain element of texture that's savory, white chocolate chips inside in addition to scattered fudge chunks, and a not quite gooey but squishy inside. I ate this thing in mere seconds. It's actually miraculous that I considered taking a picture of it before I ate it because I had no expectations going into my first bite. I've had cookies before, I thought. 

No, Maggie, you really hadn't.

And to everyone that might happen to come to Seattle: you need to make the trip to Bainbridge Island just for this cookie. It is worth the $7.50 walk on ticket and trek across downtown to taste it. Also, apparently you can buy them in bulk freshly made.
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Saturday, May 25

*insert lyric to Mean by Taylor Swift?*

The thing about living in a city and blogging about it all is that I don't know what to write about. In Missoula and Moscow, it was always easy. On a day to day basis, there were maybe one or two things that stuck out to me as interesting enough to write about and pick apart. In a city, I want to write about every single thing I see. I want to write about the traffic and aggressive manner in which everyone drives, I want to write about the way the city looks as I inch closer to it on the boat, I want to write about the faces I see every single day that are never the same twice, I want to write about the interactions I have with people in every shop I go in who tell me their stories, I want to write about what everyone is wearing or doing on every single street corner, and I want to tell my every story.

There's a lot to write about. There's a lot to think about. My brain is bombarded with information and every little thing I do is an adventure. I don't have to make an adventure out of going to Walmart at 1AM in Missoula because just walking one city block is enough to write 1,000 words about. In fact, when it comes to the end of the day where it's just me, a floral couch, my pen and journal, I don't know how to write it all down. I feel like everything I'm documenting through writing is doing it all a massive disservice. The lady who owns a tea shop from Japan on the corner of Pine and 3rd isn't just funny, she's a Lorelai Gilmore mixed Mrs. Doubtfire; mothering, understanding, quick as a whip, blunt, and carefree. And more! The skyline doesn't just shimmer when I leave the city every day, it flickers with the reflection of the sunset and the water and mirrors the excitement of the people below on the boardwalk riding the ferris wheel and eating at Ivar's for the first time. It's brimming with things to talk about. It's not so much of a problem as a huge and brand spankin' new challenge.

Can I record this city and my life in it for 3 months accurately? Can I tell its stories and do it in a way that I can look back in six months when I'm back in school and remember the moment I felt inducted into the city by way of high-fiving a man for making the commuter boat with twenty seconds to spare after sprinting across the terminal in shared rejoice? A common thread with another person I've never met but share what is a huge chunk of our days that is commuting and catching the right boat's so we are on time for things? So when we high five it's like a I get you and your happiness right now completely and I know we're both thinking about the extra 40 minutes we have in our night to read a book or make a nice dinner kind of thing when we make eye contact?

I don't really know. I just know I like to blog as if I'm the only one who cares about what I'm saying and writing it all out so that it means something to me in the hopes that if I can enjoy it, someone else can, too. This is an adventure of a lifetime and I want to blog as much as possible even if it means I'm posting every single day. Hopefully it's not boring. Hopefully it isn't just personal as it is relatable. I really don't think too hard about these things and I guess I only am now because my blog has been the same for the past three years and I wonder if it's about to change with me.

Or maybe it won't. Because like I said, I'm here to lay it all out honestly as I have always done. Including the moments I mess up and accidentally call a mister a missus and apologetically explain to everyone around me that I'm from Montana and don't know what I'm doing- though, as I'm realizing, no one really freaking cares. I'm a number. I'm anonymous. I'm a little itty bitty piece of nothing that will get my car towed if I'm not careful, be charged with a $90 parking ticket for being a minute late to my parking meter, or get lost in the wrong part of the city after the buses are closed with no one to call to give me a ride back to the boat terminal.

Friday, May 24

"oh, you're a commuter girl!"

Yes, yes. I am that. I am a "commuter" girl now, as a co-worker pointed out when he asked where I was living this summer. I am a girl who drives to a park and ride, gets on a bus, boards a ferry, and walks to work. And in the span of three days, I've experienced more public transportation than I ever have in my life combined. And I like to think that because someone mistook me for a local today that obviously means I must have the system DOWN. Right?

Last night I almost thought I was in over my head with the whole thing. The constant crowd of people on the streets even at 8pm on a Thursday, the amount of time it takes to get places and amount of scheduling that must be done to get where you need to be, the noise, the traffic, the sketchier people under tunnels and really just everywhere- I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. It was sensory overload like I'd never felt. Granted, I also had underestimated my hunger so that by the time my first shift of work was ending, I realized my blood sugar was borderline to the emotional-about-everything stage.

But seriously, this is all so new. It's all so very good, though, and I can feel myself molding as I absorb it all. I started my job yesterday and wasn't late and managed to iron my clothes properly before arriving. I have my own corner of the office with a computer and the entire office has windows on all sides that looks down out into downtown Seattle. I met every person in the office yesterday and they were all so kind and enthusiastic. I'll find out more next week what my real duties at my internship will be so I'll have more to say on that later. However, I am truly excited about all that I'm going to get to do with such inspiring people who all come from different backgrounds and share similar passions.

After getting home last night at 10pm, I woke up early this morning to venture a few cities away from Seattle to hang out with Dillon. I went to Ikea for the first time, ate at Ikea for the first time, and had much needed caffeine before getting back on the Lightrail to get to Seattle so I could make a ferry. However, and this was maybe my favorite thing to happen so far in Seattle, I missed my ferry entirely so I spent the late afternoon by myself meandering downtown Seattle alone. I whipped out my camera and took a few pictures. The sun came out and for that hour it seemed like the city slowed down a bit on a Friday afternoon. It was glorious.

It's absolutely incredible to be in the middle of everything all the time and that's probably the most shocking part of this entire experience; to be in the middle of such a culturally strong city. I don't feel like I am becoming a brand new person from it all, rather, I feel like I'm adding to myself and that's what will happen while I'm here. I'm seeing and experiencing so many things I haven't before, or at least, seeing them celebrated like I've never seen. Between figuring out the city and navigating it all with a full time internship and enjoying all that it has to offer, I'm drooling over how good it all is and good life is going to be for the next few months. finished_12 finished_6 finished_11 finished finished_9 finished_8 finished_5

Wednesday, May 22

And then I went into the city for the day

Here's the bad news: I forgot my tripod at home.

Here's the good news: I have lots of fabulous friends in Seattle that when I remember my SD card will take pictures for me and in just a couple weeks I'll be going back home for that tripod of mine.

Here's the bad news: Today I forgot my SD card while I went on an adventure into the city so not only do we all miss out on outfit photos in the city for the first time, but I also can't document the tea tasting we engaged in at the most adorable tea shop in the world, the hottest man I have ever seen, the Seattle skyline from the ferry and the ferris wheel, and the best crepes in the world.

Here's the good news: I will be smack dab in the middle of the city every single day.

Here's the bad news: I probably won't be affording many more $15 crepes.

Here's the BEST news: I did have my trusty iPhone to capture the hottest man in the world and also some hats we tried on that had me wondering if I was back in Montana.

I am slowly figuring this whole public transportation system/commute thing out. Tomorrow is my first day of work!
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he was so attractive, everyone. i don't think i can even accurately describe
his face, either. but just enjoy those pants...

Tuesday, May 21

day one

I made it. I am officially a city living girl. Except, not really, because I'm living in suburbia out of the city, but the city is mere minutes away and I'm on my own to figure this whole thing out.

There's something I really, really love about a new place. About finding new "places" that are your own, about navigating a new world, about observing new people you have never met before let alone ever seen, and about finding your own way through it all. It's exciting and challenging and every little thing feels like an accomplishment. It's especially victorious when you make it to the bank even though there isn't enough cell service to use an iPhone app so you are forced to ask a kind lady on the street you end up having a fifteen minute conversation with.

Considering this is the first time I've ever lived truly alone, the realization when I wake up in the morning and can do everything that day in the order I want to do it, is spectacular. I don't start work until Thursday and the little voice in my head told me that I should get out of bed at 10am this morning because anything later was just unacceptable, you know? And then I was like, who am I kidding? I'm exhausted and there is no one here to tell me not to sleep in any later, so I kept sleeping. I rolled out of bed at noon to make breakfast and immediately after making pancakes, I didn't do the dishes. I waited until lunch to do them because no one was going to be annoyed by them hanging out innocently in the sink. I spent far too long singing at the top of my lungs getting dressed to venture out into town and then when I got back, had a snack before putting the groceries away because leaving them on the counter wasn't going to hurt anyone.

This living alone thing, man, it rocks.

The things I didn't do despite accomplishing running three errands in town and navigating the area a bit included: showering and unpacking.

But there's no one to tell me to move my suitcases out of the doorway, either. So that might just wait until tomorrow.

I survived my first day! So have a Red Vine on me, please. Because I didn't buy any. Because if I can eat a one pound bag in two days with a roommate watching, Lord knows how fast I would consume them without anyone watching. finished finished_3finished_1finished_11finished_10 finished_6
outfit photos were NOT done because though it took me 20 minutes to get dressed,
i spent no time on my face and/or hair.

Sunday, May 19

be on my way

This week, I was hands down, an airhead. A bimbo. A nutcase. However you want to call it. People talked to me and I paid attention for maybe part of what they said before zoning out halfway through to go over my to do list for the umpteenth time. I didn't even mean to do it, I just couldn't focus on one thing while thinking about the thousand things I couldn't forget. Let me reiterate that packing and moving out of your apartment while also taking finals and nannying is not the way to pack and move out of your apartment or take your finals or nanny. Oops.

And yet! It's done! I'm all set and almost caught up on my lack of sleep from last week! I'm trying to desperately wane myself off of the massive amounts of caffeine I had last week! I'm ready for Seattle- which made the craziness of last week worth it!

If there's one thing I know about myself, however, it's that when I'm tired (like most people), I get emotional. Not cranky, but emotional. And maybe it was a sleep exhaustion induced episode, but towards the end of my packing when my walls were completely bare and floor cleared of every piece of furniture and random sock- I sat in the middle of it and just had a *moment*. A cliche holy-crap-where-did-the-time-go moment but also a I-can't-believe-how-different-I-feel-now moment.

If I could tell the person I was a year ago all the things were in store, I would have probably wanted to run away from it all. I would have been terrified. I just want to shake my head at that person. At a time when I desperately needed to let go of friends, a way of living, ideas about my future, and the many insecurities I had, I was also petrified of change. I needed it, but I was too afraid to even think about anything at all changing whether it was my living situation or major. And as good as my summer was last summer, it was also emotionally exhausting to keep my head up and think positively because I had to force myself to accept change even though I didn't want to. When I moved into this apartment, I didn't want to start school or face Missoula to make the changes in my life I wanted to. I just couldn't let change penetrate the other areas of my life that needed it.

I don't think you ever really know the affect you have on another person. But the new friendships I formed and the ones I made stronger than before by focusing my attention on them and not other toxic ones- they affected me in huge ways. They made me face those things I wanted to keep my back turned to and appreciate change. I have the people I met and great friends I have for changing my perspective and for being part of the new world I made for myself in Montana. I have them to thank for being encouraging and making me realize I should be studying what I love.

I confronted so many things this year. Things I was scared of but too proud to admit I was scared of. Dumb, silly things I hate myself for being scared of when it all seems so obvious and clear to me now. It only makes sense to study something you're passionate about and excited to attend class for, it only makes sense to be friends who have similar interests and are a positive role in your life, it only makes sense to do things that make you happy, and best of all, it only makes sense to take chances and risks now for your future because why not!? If I didn't decide to find an internship and live in Seattle, I would have been living in Idaho all summer and while it wouldn't have been a horrible situation, there was no reason for me not to try to do more.

And this summer is truly and absolutely going to be the best summer of my life. Everything fell into place and my happiness is through the roof. I'm not afraid of the things I was scared of before. I'm exhilarated and ready.

And I might still be feeling the emotional sappiness from being tired because I still have some rest to get before I'm top speed again- but seriously. I mean it. If there's something, even small, you can do to change your life in a good way and it's possible, do it. DSC_1812

Wednesday, May 15

finals happy week things that take less than three minutes

During finals week, I have to do small little things to perk myself up. Have to. And they can't take up more than a few minutes of my time because there's no time for much else, especially when you're a clothes hoarder and junk collector and have to move out of your apartment during finals week so you can move to Seattle.

My Finals Week in under 3 Minutes Happy List:
(one) Eating a spoonful of peanut butter on my way out the door. Instant and glorious gratification. 
(two) Taking a long route on my way to school to fit an extra jam session in the car with the music turned up a few notches louder. This improves my mood drastically and is probably the biggest boost of them all.
(three) Looking at my harddrive of pictures from my trips to Seattle and realizing it will be my home for three and a half months in days. Motivation instantly provided.
(four) A quick phone call with anyone in my family that will answer. My dad's weird voices are the best when it comes to needing a solid three minute laugh.
(five) Writing "I HATE MY LIFE" in all caps on a page in my journal. Untrue and extremely dramatic, and yet, it feels better at the same time? 
(six) Reading a good soul touching article on Thought Catalogue. 
(seven) Coffee. Coffee coffee coffee. Without ordering "non-fat". Because it's finals week.

Monday, May 13

sometimes, it's just the little things that are the big ones

The longest day of my no-longer-pre-med life occurred today. Remnants of my pre-med past want to hit myself over the head with a frying pan but present non-pre-med me wants to cry. Granted, the part of me that wants to cry wants to cry because it is a genetics final I am cramming a semester's worth of information into one day for, but nonetheless, it was the hardest day of the semester.

But in all honesty, it makes me realize I am definitely doing the right thing these days. Because! I am just not that good at human biology. Poorly structured class or not, it's just not my thing. Writing is my thing because I love it and I can do it without wanting to completely off myself. Human biology, however, is not my thing. I don't love it and I definitely warped into a super dramatic version of myself tonight in the text's I sent to people complaining about how hard and horrible it was. And if today had been my last day on earth, I kind of think that the way I spent it studying for a genetics test is the very last way I would have wanted to spend it. Ethics? Sure. Lit? Sure. But genetics? Absolutely not.

Two good things happened today, though. Two good things that would have made today, if it had been the last day that I lived, an acceptable pass. And not because of what I was doing but rather that one of my favorite people said something small and probably not meant to be so funny but made me laugh for hours. And then at lunch, she allowed me to take this picture of her and post it on Instagram. Then there's sitting back after taking it and the reminder that to see this amazing person I get to call a friend doing what she loves with so much passion and excelling GREATLY is truly something else. It's inspiring. And if not for her, I probably wouldn't have realized that human biology was absolutely not what I loved. I'm so glad my homework every night involves something I love as much as she loves anatomy and physiology. 

"I listened to the Mulan soundtrack on my way to school today and it was the most inspiring bike ride of my life."
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You rock my world.

Sunday, May 12

what my sunday morning looked like that ONE time

Last weekend, when I had the whole apartment to myself- well, by golly! I made myself some chocolate chip pancakes and a homemade mocha, then sat myself down at the table with none other than our kitty cat. However, I couldn't take pictures of the things behind the scenes that would have spoiled the illusion that my life is actually this pretty once in a blue moon. Not because I cared about ruining that illusion and seem like a normal lazy twenty year old college student, but because it wouldn't have made it past parental controls on your web browser if you happened to have them. The true beauty of this scene and this morning was the pantless One Direction singing at the top of my lungs, messy living room scattered with notes, and raccoon eyes because I just do not care to take off my makeup before bed sometimes. Or before making breakfast.

However, let me tell you: when I have guests over, I like to treat them right. Someone please vouche for me (Katy!?). I like to make them chocolate chip pancakes and introduce them to my cat. And these days I've gotten pretty okay at using the whole espresso maker. So, if you were to visit me, your morning would look like this and that would be beautiful.

But if it's me alone, there's a lot more to be seen. I just thought I needed to clarify that so there isn't any confusion. My pancakes are scrumptious and as good as they photograph, however.
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Friday, May 10

I wish I could make this story up

Until 3pm, yesterday was simply marvelous.

I put on the dress I had bought in Hawaii not expecting to wear until at least June but low and behold, the high for today was in the eighties. Has that ever happened so early in the summer!? I finished my paper during my three hour gap and then got out of my afternoon class early so I stole my roommate from her place in the grass on campus and relived our glorious Freshmen 15 days (or, mine, I should say because that girl has a perpetual eight pack). Calzones and ice cream were purchased from the campus store which we consumed in the grass. I went to my last class which for some reason went faster than it has ever gone all semester. And then, oh, and then...

I got to my car. Put on my sunglasses. Pulled out of my parking spot and turned on my tunes. When I was mere blocks from my apartment, I suddenly heard a loud *pop* like a firework had gone off and simultaneously, a loud bang. For half a second I thought I'd gotten in a car accident until I noticed orange gunk everywhere and the dispersal of what looked like orange spray sunscreen  Then I realized. It was my pepper spray that my mom bought me to keep me safe on my runs through the wilderness because the occasional bear sighting has been reported on my trail. I immediately pulled over because I was coughing and it was stinging my throat, plus, I didn't want to get it in my eyes so I had them half closed as I veered into a used car lot. Rolled down every window and then just stood outside my car until it seemed like it was all done. 

Here's where a dumb mistake got even more dumb: because the pepper spray had gotten all over my car and on every surface while I waited in the parking lot for it to die, naturally I thought it was a good idea to sit on my seat (which in my defense didn't look like it had been touched) bare legged with a short dress on. It was a block from my apartment that my legs suddenly felt like they were on fire until I couldn't hold still and it felt like they were being skinned with a knife. I kid you not. Searing pain. I called my mom in a panic and in what was the only smart choice I made, immediately got in the shower and lathered my legs up with soap. However, the burning didn't fade for over an hour as I sat in the ice cold milk/water bath I created because apparently the fats in milk helps strip the chemicals from your body.

Once everything had simmered on down, I sat on the couch and watched Friends and that's the end of that story. Sometimes, my life. I don't even know. And this time I take full responsibility of my actions because I definitely could have prevented the entire thing from happening at all.

Tuesday, May 7

remember when i used to be a style blogger...? I forgot, too.

DSC_1441 Right, right. I semi-frequently post what I'm wearing and it isn't regular at ALL and maybe I should just quit "style blogging" all together. I mean, there are a lot of things I don't like about style blogging and while I know some people do it very well and I love them for it, sometimes it is enough to make me bonkers. Plus, there's the fact that if I wasn't allowed to write about my day or my ten thousand emotions I might burst. Sometimes I start to take myself too seriously and can't seem to decide if I want to be just a lifestyle blogger or a style blogger. And then I think, wow, Maggie. Stop thinking so much about it and just write what you want because if there's one thing that seems to be a constant it's that I come back to this here teensy corner of the universe to just document and talk openly about life. I think you all are pretty fantastic though for sticking around and you all get that I'm just kind of a whole package of clothes, emotions, honesty, and whatever else I talk about.

But seriously, thank you all for letting me just be me.

Anyways, today was a DAY to be talked about. Not only did the cutest very obviously gay and wonderful man approach me on the street and watch these outfit photos be taken until jumping in one himself, but my best friend who I have known since the very first day of college aced the heck out of her MCAT's (and by that I mean falling in the 99% percentile) which made me cry on my drive home from squeezing her insides rotten. This whole college journey thing is such an emotional intensive experience and to see someone you love come out on top is amazing. I feel lucky to have been a part of her experience every step of the way. LAURA, you are an inspiration. And now I'll be able to say I know an Ivy League medical student in 2014.

Today marks the first day that it hit eighty degrees here and I took a bit of money out of my photography dough (and then put the rest in my savings for Seattle! huzzah!) from a couple weeks ago towards these new Saltwaters. Today also marks the first day I decided to wear my hair like this in public. Despite the few people who asked me if it took forever to do, truthfully, I wore down and did it like this because I was much too tired to shower this morning. And I kind of think I look like Princess Leia, too, but this is my new favorite thing to do to my hair because it's all out of my face. That is a gift, ladies and gentlemen.

My Seattle countdown is ten days. I'm freaking out.
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Just in case you thought I was kidding, no. He really did ask for a picture.
And he should really model. Look at that bone structure!
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dress: forever 21 // shoes: Saltwaters // sunglasses: old navy

Monday, May 6

being alone and getting ready to say goodbye to missoula

This weekend was the literal BEST.*

Without a roommate* and most of my friends gone and/or busy this weekend, I declared I was going to make my apartment a cabin in the woods and just not leave except to go downtown one time to see my friend and eat breakfast in the 70 degree sunshine. That still counts, right? You can drive to town on vacation? And also to see a movie? But I digress, no one visited me and while I left for no more than a couple hours, I enjoyed the quiet by myself. I lived by my own schedule, did exactly what I wanted to do, and did it shamelessly. Not that it was much different from when my roommate is home because I still do those things, it just feels more spectacular for some reason all alone.

At first when we got this apartment I was like, well, great. We are fifteen minutes from everyone we know and it takes ten minutes to get downtown. We are isolated. But, really, looking back, I thoroughly enjoyed what a nice change that quiet was compared to living on campus where you are constantly surrounded by people rarely with a minute alone to think. I had a lot of quiet time this year. I was only social when I wanted to be which was a gift. I needed a break to recharge and though next year we will probably most likely be back in the middle of it all close to campus and downtown, I feel more aptly ready for the business now.

There's just one last weekend left in Missoula before summer and dare I say, I think living so far away actually did force me to enjoy this "city" more because when I did get lonely, I was forced to venture out. I have my very own places here now and regular spots I frequent when the quiet is a bit too much. I am a RUNNER now and pass the same people on my scheduled runs during the week. I fell a lot more in love with Missoula this year and I am more sad than ever before to leave the place I think I made more into a home for myself than I have previously. 

And I think that's what's so different this time. It's not the people I'm sad to leave because I know we'll all be back, but actually the place and what it means to me now. A personal connection, I suppose we could call it. This place has become a second home and I am lucky to have it.

*Jenny, if you're reading this, which you probably aren't, I just want you to know I was very depressed while enjoying my quiet solitude that you weren't there and my weekend of course would have been better had you been. I was just, you know, making do without you.

Saturday, May 4

could blog, wanna blog, should blog, won't blog

So much happened this week that every time I sat down to blog about it, something new happened so I decided to let those things that happened finish before I blogged about it. And then another thing happened on top of it so as you've figured out, I just never ended up blogging about anything. Not that this is a huge upset for you, as it mostly means I will not look back through my archives in a year and remember the week my car broke down again, the night I stayed up until 3am on a school night not studying, more date stories I can't even begin to talk about, and the day in which Downton Abbey became my life. I didn't even journal. And now everything has happened and it's not as exciting to me now as it was while it was happening. Maybe that's for the best, though. I spared posts of me complaining about something that ended up just fine, embarrassment, and incriminating stories about figuring out more flaws in the general hipster persona.

I'm still sticking with what I have decided about hipsters, though- there are good ones, it just takes a whole lot of sifting through the masses to get one that isn't just nice, but makes me laugh, isn't just funny but also nice, and isn't arrogant but still possess some shred of self confidence. So. 

Despite all of that, let's for one second not mistake that all for thinking my life is remotely exciting because I did spend most of the week in bed without pants on with my laptop, Downton Abbey, and the short story that is both my baby and enemy. That's basically the dreamiest way to spend time and once I am absorbed into my sheets, I will make every excuse in the book not to be social or leave for any reason at all. 

THANK YOU for your support and kind words about Seattle! I didn't even think to say that if anyone lives in or around Seattle and knows of lots of fun (and cheap!) things to do, please let me know so I can send you an email! Or, you know, if you want to hang out because that'd be pretty snazzy, too. 

Meanwhile, I've spent enough time saying almost nothing about nothing, and I need to save my writing powers for this short story. I'm telling you. It is the death of me and also the life of me that I do it the way I need it to be written. 
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a favorite kind of friend came to visit me on her trek across the country 
and of course i abused my right to show her my favorite places in missoula
by eating a lot of food.
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self explanatory but the most damage done was my bank account.
and you know, that's fixable.
alright so i don't know the guy in this picture OR the girl who took a photo of it,
but i saw this kid on campus and seriously tried to sneak a picture
instead of doing the brave and noble thing by asking if i could actually do it.
i'm so glad kristinep_photo did and that i found this randomly
while cruisin' the #missoula hashtag. but yes, ladies and gents. 
this happened on my campus. 
i think i should go for zombie and cowboy hat wearing missoulians
instead of hipsters now?
Photo on 5-1-13 at 9.38 PM #2
writing. writing. writing.
or... dying?

Wednesday, May 1

always, always, always going to be an idaho gal

there's something about idaho.

let me make it very clear: my loyalty and love for idaho has no bounds. it is limitless and it will never be lessened or weakened. 

but let me make something else very clear. i can't live there anymore or ever again. and nothing makes me quite so happy as leaving after i've been here for a couple days. that's it, ladies and gentlemen. my idaho limit is all of 48 hours. but simultaneously, nothing makes me happier than the two days i am there that i drive on the same roads i drove on when i was 17 and falling in love for the first time, have coffee with my sister in the coffee shop i did homework my senior year when bribing myself with pastries was the only way to get anything done, sleep in the comfort of the house i can remember walking through when i was in second grade before my parents decided to buy it, and see the mountain that has watched over our little town for the eighteen years i lived there. i swear, there are a dozen memories for every square foot of moscow. every place has its meaning there. every place holds some sort of fragment of myself that would later be pieced together to define me when i packed my 47 scarves and DSLR for montana. i love remembering (hence, blogging). i love returning to the person i was who lived there for eighteen years and in that way, it's timeless. time stops there. 

and that's why, too, as soon as i've seen those fragments face to face, i'm able to see those parts of myself clearly and remember my reasons for leaving. i leave feeling invigorated and renewed. i know why i'm meant to leave, so i can do something more and be something more than i could be there. i know i've gotten all i could get from home and it's time i attach memories to new streets, corners, and park benches as i've done in missoula. and that's why at the end of last summer i knew in the back of my mind i wouldn't be coming back for an extended period of time again for a while. i knew that the following summer, i had to do something different. i had to expand my love for idaho elsewhere and see where it could get me. even if it meant making someone coffee or washing dishes in another lab somewhere else, i knew i just couldn't do it there. 

and so this winter, i did it! and as of last week, i succeeded. after applying to dozens of internships, abusing every connection and resource i had, getting rejected so many times it started to feel like i wasn't meant to get out at all, i was offered an amazing opportunity to intern in seattle this summer.

that's my news. I AM LIVING IN SEATTLE THIS SUMMER. with an internship, house to sit, commute to the city every day, and a completely new and different place to explore and let those fragments wander. 

but as i left idaho this weekend, knowing what i know now and that my visits here are just going to be visits from here on out, i wasn't as happy to leave as i was before. nostalgic, even. because even though moscow never ever changes, it's the person you are that does. and as much as i can see the old parts of myself there, i know they're meant to be in the past. i don't need to remember that person anymore because as i said, they're just a part of me now. it doesn't feel like i'm torn between places i've lived and called home anymore, it feels like i'm whole and have the pieces with me that i've picked up wherever i go. i'm always going to be an idaho girl through and through, wheat field lover and small town adorer, but that doesn't mean that i can't be an idaho girl and nothing else. it's time for something different. it's time for some change, even if it's only barely a start.
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