Friday, August 30

i am a champion, hear me ROAR

I have approximately 43 minutes until I'm supposed to be at my friend's house where we will leave Missoula in the dust for Seattle where Taylor Swift awaits us. The biggest things on my plate right now include deciding how to dye my hair next week at my appointment, finding a part time job to pay for my groceries, gas, and the occasional dress at Ruche, and which members of the opposite sex I'm most keen on pursuing Netflix dates with.

In other words: my life is easy right now.

I was thinking about this yesterday during my two hour lunch break I spent on the lawn of my campus and how pathetic it is that those three things are my biggest concerns right now. When I was complaining to a friend earlier about whether I should go ombre again or not, she said, "Wow, Maggie, your life is so hard." To which I nodded admittedly because, seriously, there was 100% truth in that statement.

And as I thought about it, I remembered where I was last year and what the biggest things on my plate were. I remember the week of school I missed for personal reasons. I remember feeling like I was no where near where I wanted to be in my life because I wasn't doing anything I enjoyed or was proud of. I remember being completely bitter about things that were meant to end. I've gone into these things and more here and there around my blog- but to sit in the grass eating my lunch, realizing I was excited to go to my next class and all of my classes this semester, fully content with the direction life is moving and taking me, and that my biggest worries were so small felt liberating. And I'm not ashamed of it! I know the difference between what a small worry is and a big one and I think I appreciate the ease of my life at the moment more than I would if I hadn't experienced all that I have. So, there you have it. I am so extremely grateful for such small anxieties. I am so extremely grateful to just enjoy.
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On that note, seriously, what should I do with this mess of hair? Go dark? Go dark with a few highlights? Ombre with my natural color as the dark shade and lighter tips? Taking any and all recommendations.

Wednesday, August 28

I really hate the first week of classes

This morning I woke up forty minutes before class, popped an english muffin in the toaster, and promptly raced to the bathroom to you know, put on my face and such. Looking in the mirror, I saw my pores in the reflection and to my utter surprise, gasp! No zits? No red spots? Nothing to cover up!? I couldn't actually remember the last time that happened!

So of course it's now bedtime and to my utter horror, I just felt a zit. Making its appearance within 12 hours of feeling really proud of my skin. But, you know, worrying about that stuff is so middle school because my self esteem is so much greater and I have seen the big picture of things meaning zits are small potatoes to college. TMI? Okay, moving on.

Anyways, tomorrow is Thursday and at long last, the first days of classes are coming to an end. I know the first week of classes is supposed to be like, the best of the year or whatever because there's no homework, but I despise the first week of classes. Give me my homework! Give me a busy schedule! Give me structure, my Lord! I need things to do to keep my mind from going completely bonkers and I just can't enjoy a night with my book if it doesn't feel like I did anything productive that day. I had to buy eight books for ONE class and I'm taking both American Lit classes at one time. Oh, and I am taking 21 credits this fall. On the other hand, my creative nonfiction writing class is going to be the bombest and in my spanish class, I sit by the cutest creature to ever hit a spanish class. 

I'm trying to find a job and I'm hoping the job Gods are kind to me. The Internship Gods blessed me this summer so now I'm busting my butt to revamp my resume with all of my newly acquired skills and knocking on everyone's doors hoping to get hired anywhere that isn't the school cafeteria. 

I may be back in the blogging scheme of things but that doesn't mean I've dragged my camera around with me anywhere, yet. In fact, all I have are measly iPhone photos and everyone has seen those already in the Instagram sphere so, whoops.

Maybe tomorrow, maybe tomorrow. 

The last notable thing I have to mention is that Taylor Swift is this weekend and you bet your bottom dollar I'm going. How could I miss it? And I've truly outdone myself this year in terms of costumes. But just for old times sake, let's refresh our minds with that time she called us out in her concert for our awesome sign. Yeah. 

Monday, August 26

SENIOR YEAR of college is brewing

It's that time of year when I think I'm ready for heaps of homework because there's only so much fun I can actually have day after day with my friends, I'm hunting Craigslist like a hawk for furniture and this year, a bicycle, accidentally taking the longest routes home because I haven't mapped out the new area where I live yet, and preparing makeshift meals because my pantry isn't filled yet. Case in point: last night I had an english muffin with peanut butter, a piece of watermelon, and some Wheat Thins for dinner. You only college once, right?

Anyways, it's 11AM and I've finished my first day as a senior in college already. Already, I've been mistaken for a freshmen, but all is good. I've come to terms with the fact that every bouncer I meet is going to ask to see everything in my wallet with my name on it (health insurance card, library card- you name it) and other freshmen on campus will lump me in their category.

I guess now that college is rolling again and I'm back in Montana, it's time to also blog again. I say I "guess" because I am once again in charge of my own schedule so I have some flexibility and thus, will  probably procrastinate on homework and other things I should be doing by documenting life occurrences.

This year I solemnly swear I will: journal and write 250 words daily, eat less carbs and more greens, move everything important to my external hard drive, not be such an internet junkie and enjoy my friends, meet Taylor Swift again, get a job, and, uh, just live life with more gratitude. Gratitude! That's my word of the year. Seattle was a wonderful great place where I got to live my dreams for a few months but if anything, coming back to Montana has shown me that most of experiencing new things is being grateful for what's available to you and putting yourself out there. You gotta do things to experience them, not complain about what you don't have, you know?
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Saturday, August 24

achey breaky heart

This week felt like a big fat breakup. I knew when I left Missoula, Seattle and I would only have three months together and I had a long talk with Missoula about needing to get out and experience other things. Missoula understood. And Seattle met me with open arms! She gave me miniature donuts from Pike's, ferry rides on the daily, Puget Sound views from my office, the best coffee in the world, the home of Head and the Heart, and shopping up the whazoo. So, like, maybe I should have expected that Missoula wouldn't take my return so lightly. For a while there, I was prepared not to leave Seattle ever and take a year off school while I interned and worked three jobs (seriously, written plans were drawn up and everything- I don't kid). But, come on! The worst fire season Missoula's had in three years, cranky rent company managers who charge you for a temporary key because your roommate has both of them, forgetting to call the internet company in advance so you're stuck without internet when you have a million pre-fall semester tasks to do, a mattress screw up, hairy legs because you left your razor at your bathroom in Seattle, forgotten sheets and pillows- well. The last ones weren't Missoula's fault. They were entirely mine. But still. It was the beginnings of what seemed like Missoula not welcoming me back with such open arms.

However -- my new roommate and I escaped after only a few hours running errands on my second day back to her family cabin in Montana. And I got to see a different Montana than I know, even more rural and isolated. True Montana country, by golly! It was almost like all the reasons you'd think I chose to come to Montana were intentional and in stark contrast to Seattle's city line, the country was quite pleasant. Then we came back and I reunited with some friends and spent my Saturday morning at the Farmer's Market so it seemed like we were at peace again- Montana and I. In fact, once my clothes are put away and my life is a bit more organized, I think this could be our best year together yet.

In the meantime, I'm on the look see for a new bike to get to and from campus and not so excited about my Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester. But. I'm ready. Senior year, come at me.

Monday, August 19

satisfaction

Happy Monday! 

For the first Monday in fourteen weeks I did not: wake up at 6:30am to take a shower, walk to my bus at 7:54am, ride the bus at 8:04am, board my 8:45am ferry, arrive at work at 9:45am, work for eight hours, do the entire ferry/bus/walk thing in reverse, get home at 7:45pm, eat dinner, stalk the internet for an hour, read, and fall asleep by 10pm. 

I'm back in Idaho! Temporarily, for I move into my new apartment in Missoula in two days and I have a sister to say goodbye to before she goes to Virginia and last minute unpacking to do. 

I feel like I have a lot I could say. I have a lot of stuff I'll get to eventually, about Seattle, about my Internship, about city life vs small town life, about everything- and I'll get there. I'm still summer-ing and enjoying the present before it's gone so I'll just say this: I feel at peace. For now, I'm not eager to get somewhere else to do bigger and better things with my life because I finally started to do just that. I am satisfied. I feel okay with where I am right now in this moment and feel like I've been able to take a big deep breath of air for the first time in too long. Life is good and life is moving where I want it to go. There's no immediate rush to make any big decisions just yet about the future as it is finally just steadily going somewhere. I made the big choices, I got myself here, and I'm at peace with the now. Boy does it feel good.


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Saturday, August 17

the seattle summer i stunk at blogging

Let's all say it together: Maggie, you suck at blogging. You S-U-C-K at blogging. It's pretty abismal, really.

Tonight on the ferry I thought about all of the memories and things I've done in Seattle this summer. I could fill a book with all of the thoughts and memories I had. And yet, so few of them made it to this here public blog. It was a time of trial and error, fixing and discovering, and evaluating and thinking. It was a selfish summer spent entirely on myself. But I don't think that's entirely it, either. I kind of think if I lived in the city permanently, I would probably remain a pitiful excuse for a blogger, not because I don't love recording my life and sharing it, but because I love taking advantage of being where I am, too. I love taking 10:55pm ferries home and not having a second to blog. I love making every experience count and I love that everything is an experience. I love never being bored.

Maybe I'll wish I'd blogged better in a few months when I'm so Seattle nostalgic I reread everything I wrote. Maybe I'll wish I took more pictures. But, I also think fully being present opened up opportunities I wouldn't have had stuck behind a computer, too.

Anyhow, as I write this, the present feels like a profound moment of sorts. I did indeed take the 10:55pm ferry home tonight and it was the last ferry back to the Island I'll take for the summer. And, I got to take my mom home with me tonight, who is presently sleeping in the bed I've slept in for 3 months next to me conked out. I don't know if it's really sunk in that everything is in its "last" stages- last night's sleep, last drive through the forest home, last breakfast on the porch- but I also think that as much as I'm going to miss Seattle, none of it actually feels that final because I don't think it is. I know I'll be back.

Tuesday, August 13

a bad day blogged about because

I've started over and rewritten this post, tried to write another one entirely, and then started again. It's no use. I can't write about anything else because this is what I'm thinking about.

If I'm being totally honest with this blog, yesterday something bad happened in the morning right outside my office and it sort shook me. It took 3 months to muster the sort of "city confidence" I've built to walk around the city alone and skirt around questionable people and areas without much thought. The city is just not something I grew up experiencing. The scarier sides are an extreme I've never seen in a cozy small college town. When I say it took a long time to become comfortable, I mean it took me a long time to feel safe.

Which was my problem, really. And truthfully, these kind of incidents can happen anywhere, even in my small hometown. It can happen at any time, at the building where you work or the street you walk on every day. I spent the morning feeling like I just wanted Idaho back and I wanted my internship to be over now. Walking across the street to the Post Office, I kept my head down and sped walked as fast as I could. I might have hated Seattle for a second.

My night turned the day upside down. I fell in love with the city again. I realized how silly I was. I realized how naive I was to think that I could ever feel 100% safe anywhere. I realized I hung onto that confidence for the sake of putting on a brave face because I'd been totally on my own first five weeks I was here. I felt like I had to feel confident or I'd crumble. No single place is perfect. And the things that Seattle has given me are so much more than a random act of violence. I saw the city from a new perspective, both literally and figuratively, and walked through it in the evening sunshine, tense at first, but slowly with more comfort. I walked back to my ferry stop slightly anxious but okay again. I got it back. I couldn't love this city more. It's a wonderful place not without its faults but it has a whole lot of positive things about it, too.

It was a bad day. But it was a lot worse for other people and in the end the person I feel worse for, is the one who did it. 

Thursday, August 8

three months ago, i had never lived in seattle before

Today I rode the ferry for the 7th to last time. Today I fell asleep on said ferry and woke myself up choking on my own drool for the 2nd day in a row. 

Today I smiled when my favorite coffee barista at Starbucks wrote my name on my cup with three exclamation points and a, "I love your glasses!" Ignoring the fact that this is Seattle and everyone has big glasses here. Big hair in Texas? Big glasses in Seattle.

Today I sent in my resume to a new internship that I'm excited about. In Montana.

Today I leave for a weekend trip to Idaho where I will see my sister for the last time for four months before she goes to college on the opposite coast. 

Today I got a card in the mail from Amy that said, "Live your life the way you dream it." I'm all about the corny. How does she know that's how life has felt for three months now?

Today I trained the new "me". The new intern who will take over my job when I leave. 

I leave in seven days. I'm ready for the future this summer has created for me but I'm also absolutely not. 

Three months ago, I had never lived in Seattle before. Me without Seattle doesn't even seem real anymore.

Monday, August 5

mondays in seattle

After a SERIOUS case of the Mondays this morning, it wasn't even barely half bad the second I left the house. The universe was like, here, Maggie, I know it's a Monday after a glorious three day weekend but the world out there isn't so bad outside the house you're living in on Bainbridge Island!

It started with my favorite British man I've ever met (I say met only because I haven't met One Direction YET) who, upon taking two steps into the bus and swiping my pass said, "My, is that a cup of tea or coffee in your awesome mug?" It's not just the British accent- he also has a four year old son he takes to Preschool every morning that, rain or shine, wears a full rain body suit zip-up-the-front and everything style. I replied, "Coffee." He moaned and said, "You know, tea with jam and sugar is even better." Maybe it was the accent. But seriously, his child is adorable.

Then at lunch, my intern friends tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Come on! We're going to the public library!" The public library? Turns out every first and third Monday of the month, a librarian reads stories for thirty minutes during lunch. The seven of us walked in among a bunch of the cutest elderly crowd I would definitely sit around with for tea, with jam and sugar. The librarian on board for the reading today read a science fiction thriller story and it was like listening to the best audiobook you've ever listened to. Different voices for every character with their own body language and gestures. It was superb. Never mind that I was sadly reminded I won't be here for the third Monday this month.

I only had to do data entry and donor research all day so that means... Netflix on my phone all day long while also working! ...It's okay, I promise. My boss encourages it. 

Computer problems that meant a 4:40pm ferry ride home and taking off my pants the second I walked in the door and spending all evening reading on the porch. Is Bainbridge Island the life, or is it the life?

So, maybe it just was an average day. But an average day is still a five star Monday. But, seriously, the Public library here? Nothing like it. Another thing to love about Seattle.

Saturday, August 3

playing catch up (with photographs, even)

Today is a rest day. Designated rest days MUST happen approximately every 18.3 days in my Seattle world. As in, I need to spend on day on the Island not in Seattle and preferably outside on the deck reading for an entire day, eating home-cooked meals, and taking a really long time to drink my morning three cups of coffee. After two weekends of day to night activities back to back all day long and 21 experiencing, it was due. In fact, I could blog about what I've decided about the bar life but I'll leave that for when I've been to more than just one. I don't think I'd be doing nightlife a service judging all bars by one country bar in Tacoma that was only fun because I was 21, you dig me? I've seen those real Montanian cowboys and I barely like them, so the fake ones, well, don't get me started.

I guess I'm the sort of person that has friends that fly to visit me so for the last two weeks I had friends here sharing the adorable Jack and Jill style bathroom in the house I live in with me. That meant voyaging via bus to the most exciting parts of the city because, and I can promise you this, if you visit me, I will try to give you the best bang for your Ticketcity-plane-ticket buck. There was the Woodland Park Zoo and Seattle Center day, there was the Fremont Troll and Gas Works day, there was the Queen Anne Kerry Park AND Bhy Kracke Park day, there was the UDistrict and UVillage day, there was the Tacoma bar night, there was the Capitol Hill thrifting day, and finally the Bainbridge Island days. 

This is why I have to deny all plans thrown at me on the occasional Saturday. I can't keep up with myself. And I can't really afford it- especially when I play personal shopper for my sister and buy her trooper olive green slouchy jackets that are too perfect for words. 

And here's where I admit that I took zero pictures with my camera for any of this. Are we still friends?

I got to spend time with my friend who flew here from Montana and got to see for myself what a new-to-the-city-Montanian looks like and probably what I looked like when I first got here. For example, when she saw a cute dog, she voiced how adorable it was and how it reminded her of her own very loudly hoping the owner would stop so she could pet it. He didn't bother glancing at us let alone stopping and I had to tell her that is not how the city works. Then there was the time we saw protestors stopping pedestrians to sign their petitions and I told her to keep her head down and ignore them- guess who got stuck listening to their speech for thirty minutes? And then I got to hang out with none other than the funniest person I've ever known. Sydney has a heart of gold and I like to think she fell a little bit in love with Island life, too. I know she liked Island driving (if you visit me, I might make you be my chauffeur when I have an expired license, too.) 

The highlight of these past two weeks was laughing, effortlessly and completely. There's nothing like giving yourself to a full hearty laugh, you know? No walls, no worries- that sort of thing? The kind of thing you're hesitant to do when you're among friends you just met at work who you're afraid won't invite you to sit with them at lunch if you're too weird too soon. 

Anyways, I need to find a job. Or SOME jobs. I'm mostly to the not so homeless thing now but I need some bucks and I'm worried about what I'm going to do if I'm not as busy as I am now during the school year. 
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Thursday, August 1

my place

I haven't been blogging much. Which was more or less due to just falling behind on documenting everything and then it became somewhat intentional because (...wait for it), I started to become sort of enamored with not lugging my camera around everywhere and just enjoying people I was with instead of taking pictures of our coffee in coffee shops.

After I hit my homesickness wall and everything snowballed into a sob fest in Riteaid, I sort of think I've maybe slid into a steady and solid spot that's my own in Seattle. I found my place. I've become close to the other Interns in the office who I eat lunch with and spend breaks with. The people I live with are nothing short of welcoming and kind, showing me the life of good wine, kayaking adventures in the Puget Sound, and the well cooked vegetable. The people I mentioned in a post a while back that were regular appearances in my life are sort of kind of "friends"? A Seattle family of acquaintances, maybe? 

For example, I walked into the Office Max by my building that I frequent while running errands for my office and as I passed the customer service desk, waved to my pal who I now know has worked there for six years and left her family in Ghana who she hopes she will be able to move to Seattle someday. 

"Make sure you only go to me!" she said as I passed her. Like that's even a question.

I got everything on my list- a pen cartridge refill, name labels, card-stock, and white, and got in her line. As soon as I got to the front she came around the desk and gave me a hug and said, "Maggie! It feels like forever since I've seen you! You must not have had any events lately?!" Because, well, she knows my job and knows what's up when I'm in there every day for a week. I shook my head, no.

"I've missed you, (*insert name which I won't disclose to the internet*), too!" I said.

"You know, Maggie, it's so nice to see a regular face in the city, you know?"

"Yes!" I exclaimed. "And it's especially nice to see a regular face as nice as yours."

"You are family, Maggie! My Seattle family!" she said, hugging me.

She said more kind things and you know, we may not technically be family let alone friends, but it has made all the difference in the world for the past few weeks to be able to float around the city as still as an anonymous nobody to people around me but to have those safe-zones of comfort whether it be my office, Office Max, my favorite Starbucks, and Quodoba. It makes the city a lot less lonely and I've just felt at home. It's good. 


Psst... aren't you so sick of my life revelations about every week? I am, too. But I'm half convinced that's just being in my early twenties. Right? Am I telling myself this to make myself feel better? Right.