Monthly Archives: August 2011


It’s the last day of August, and my last day of work at my summer temp job.

A day of endings.

I’ve had a lot of endings in my life in the past 6 months or so.  I graduated from college, and that one giant ending encompassed a whole bunch of little endings.

I wasn’t an RA anymore.  I wasn’t a member of the Notre Dame Figure Skating team anymore.  I wasn’t a student anymore.  I wasn’t living just a few doors down from my closest friends.

All the things that had seemed to fit together perfectly to encompass my identity and my sense of self, my day-to-day life for the past four years, came to an end.  And I had to start over.

While it was by no means easy to say goodbye to a way of life that I had been comfortable with for the past four years (that I had loved, as a matter of fact), I am slowly figuring out a new way and a new identity, with the help of this blog.

But it’s nice that today is not nearly such a traumatic ending.  I had a good summer, working with friendly people and learning a little bit about the publishing industry.  But I’m ready to be done and ready to move on to the next thing (which hopefully involves more writing!).  I’m at peace with this ending.

It actually feels a bit more like a commencement.  Not the big event, with the pomp and circumstance–that was awesome, and will forever be one of my favorite memories from Notre Dame.  But rather, the beginning coming from an ending that everyone always says a commencement is all about (Hallmark, in particular).

I may be done with summer and my job, but I’m ready to be done, and ready to find out what else is out there for me.


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Parents and Goodbyes

For all you fellow young adults out there who ever wondered why your mom still teared up when you left for your senior year of college (“Haven’t we done this before?  Isn’t it supposed to get easier on her?”), or why it was so hard for your parents to drop you off at your new big-city apartment several hours from home, here are some good insights, from a piece in The Boston Globe this past Sunday.

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A little country music today

As the summer winds down, and my temp job comes to an end tomorrow, here are some song lyrics that are on my mind:

Man, I don’t know, where the time goes, but it sure goes fast~Kenny Chesney, Young (2002)

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Hurricane Irene

I feel like I can’t let Hurricane Irene pass by without somehow acknowledging it on the blog, despite the fact that it is not directly related to being outside the bubble.  I can’t claim to have a blog that is plugged in to current events and other newsworthy things without mentioning Irene. 

So first off, my thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this hurricane.

Secondly, just the fact that I am back in a zip code where hurricanes are not only a possibility, but a legitimate worry, reminds me how far outside the bubble I am.  Hurricanes were never on the radar while I was at college in the Midwest.  There was the occasional tornado warning, and frequent blizzards, but never hurricanes.  I’ll have to get used to that again now that I am back on the East Coast.

Thirdly, as a former journalism student, I was naturally interested in the media coverage of the hurricane.  Which actually was a tropical storm by the time it reached Massachusetts, contrary to all the reports I saw on “The Hurricane Channel” on our satellite dish.

A couple points to make here:

1. I have to acknowledge that my dad predicted that Irene wouldn’t still be a hurricane by the time it reached us, and I disagreed with him, only to be proven wrong (Yes, I said it, WRONG.  That one sentence will make his day, trust me.).

2. Yes, you read that right: The Hurricane Channel.  The perfect vice for all paranoid weather-watchers out there (I may have been one of them at points of the weekend).

3. I in no way want to diminish the degree of damage and suffering that this hurricane did in fact cause.  But the response to the media coverage of this weather event has been interesting.  A tweet by one of my former ND journalism professors first got me thinking along these lines, and then I did some research.  Some say that it was blown out of proportion in a race to get good ratings, like this guyOthers think that just maybe the media hype helped people be more prepared.

4. I’m not sure what I think.  Which, I know, is not the best response.  The same journalism professor whose tweet got me thinking once told me to never pose a question in a piece that I can’t answer.  So I’ve got to at least try and formulate some thoughts here:

I’ve always been a “better safe than sorry” kind of girl, someone who likes to have as much information as possible and be prepared for the worst.  Which is why I did in fact watch The Hurricane Channel this weekend, as it broadcast reports from news outlets in the areas where the hurriance was hitting at that time.

And I was taught by a number of excellent journalism professors that it is a journalist’s responsibility to inform the public, as well as minimize harm.  So as long as these stories were broadcast as an attempt to keep people informed and help them prepare for the storm, I’m ok with it.  Any attempt to spread fear or panic in exchange for ratings, I’m not so ok with.  And only the networks can answer that question for us.

So I may not have all the answers to the questions I’ve posed here, but I definitely had some good food for thought this weekend, as I rode out the storm.  Anyone else want to weigh in with any thoughts or opinions on the media coverage?

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Chick Flicks and Real Life

So I am about to post a movie trailer, for a mediocre chick flick, one that I enjoyed and the critics universally panned.  Post Grad was the movie we went to see on a “girls’ night” during college, and starred the always-lovable Alexis Bledel, otherwise known as Rory Gilmore from the equally lovable and girly TV show Gilmore Girls.  It was only junior year, so our own post-grad lives seemed too far away to ponder that night.

I remember my friends and I loving it, while also acknowledging that it was completely cheesy and utterly predictable.  But hey, who doesn’t need a little cheese now and then?  As long as you acknowledge that these movies are ridiculous, I see no better way to spend a Friday night than eating candy and watching rom-coms. 

But I re-watched the trailer recently and wondered how I’d react to the movie now.  Critical non-acclaim aside, because I am generally known to really enjoy crappy movies.  I definitely saw myself in some of the situations portrayed in the trailer, except, of course, for the various romantic entanglements that Bledel’s character finds herself in (this is Hollywood, after all, so there needs to be some sort of romantic drama).  It reminded me of my earlier post about the Avenue Q songs, and how I heard them differently now that I’m having my own post-college experience.

The trailer, at least, reminded me of the universality of this post-grad experience.  Not sure if the entire movie would do the same (based on those Rotten Tomatoes reviews), so maybe I’ll have to stock up on some candy and rent it one of these Friday nights and let you know.

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Flashback Friday (a little early)

And for this week’s flashback, I present a video of highlights from last weekend’s move-in at Notre Dame, courtesy of @NDdotEDU.

Full disclosure?  I teared up watching it.  I wonder if it’s too late to sign up for that 5th year?

Have a great weekend, all, and thanks for reading!!

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Some more lyrics…

Each day, countin’ up the minutes, till I get alone, ’cause I can’t stay
In the middle of it all, it’s nobody’s fault, but I’m
So lonely, Never knew how much I didn’t know,
Oh, everything is uncharted.
I know I’m getting nowhere, when I only sit and stare like…

I’m going down,
Follow if you want, I won’t just hang around,
Like you’ll show me where to go,
I’m already out, of foolproof ideas, so don’t ask me how
To get started, it’s all uncharted~ Sara Bareilles, Uncharted (2010)

Check out the video, too, there are some awesome cameos!  And it’s Sara Bareilles, so naturally the song is really catchy, too. 🙂



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Some assigned reading

Check out this humorous and insightful post on growing up, loneliness, and being the new kid, from Domer in the Desert.

Reminds me of how I felt the summer I lived alone while doing an internship in NH, or even how I feel on a regular Tuesday, without friends down the hall to talk to, go to dinner with, or listen to my ridiculous train commuter stories.  I might not have moved to a new place all by myself, but it definitely is weird coming back to an old place and finding that places and people aren’t just as you left them.  I may have come home, but there is a certain element of starting over for me, too.

Loving how this blogging stuff reminds me that it’s a near-universal experience 🙂

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Wedding Bells

Lately, weddings and wedding-themed things keep popping up in my life, in both big and small ways.

I went to the first wedding of one of my college friends in June, and another friend just got engaged last week.

One of the people on my team at work is getting married this weekend,

so today we went out for a celebratory lunch.

There was a book review in the Metro that I read on the train this morning about a wedding-themed novel coming out soon, Girls in White Dresses.

Taylor Swift’s Speak Now album is on repeat on my iTunes, and the title track is about a wedding.

And I’m guilty of spending many a summer Friday night watching Say Yes to the Dress marathons on TLC with my mom and sister.

But never fear, this is not one of those “always the bridesmaid never the bride,” whiny kind of blog posts.  I’m not that old yet.  And the only wedding I’ve ever been in was when I was 6, and the flower girl at my godmother’s wedding.

This is more of a “Wow, life” kind of blog post.

Mostly because it boggles my mind that I am old enough to have friends who are married, or getting married.  I’m not quite ready for this particular milestone myself, which I’m sure plays into the whole mind-boggling thing.  I guess it’s because I feel so young, and like life is coming at me so quickly.  All the wedding stuff around me embodies that feeling.  I can’t believe I’ve already graduated college and become something of a post-grad, young adult.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying it.

When my friend called me up last week and told me she was engaged, my first reaction was, naturally, extreme girly.  Shrieks, gasps, and demands for details.  I’m sure you know the drill.

I was out shopping with my sister when I got the phone call, and I excitedly   shared the news with her when I got off the phone.  And then I told her, quite seriously, “This is a big day for me.  This is the first time one of my girl friends told me she was engaged.”

“Is this really about you right now?” my sister countered, half laughing at me, half exasperated with me.  (Little sisters are always nice enough to knock you down a peg or two when you start thinking too highly of yourself)

But I really don’t think I was being self-centered when I said it.  Although it was my friend’s milestone, and her happy news to share, it said something about the point that I’m at in life.  Friends’ engagements and weddings are just another step on this post-grad road I’m trying to navigate.  They just happen to be way more fun than job interviews or cover letters.  But that doesn’t make them any less significant to my growing up, I don’t think.

And though I might not be the one getting married, all this wedding stuff is definitely starting to make this post-grad life thing feel more real.

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Be Good to You

Father Charles J. Murphy, a family friend, wrote a beautiful prayer titled “Be Good to You” that I wanted to share with you all.

Fr. Murphy, who also happened to be a lifelong Notre Dame fan, passed away earlier this summer, but his words live on and are meant to be shared.  They are inspiring me as I navigate an uncertain path, and I hope they do the same for you.

Be Good to You

BE YOURSELF — truthfully
ACCEPT YOURSELF — gratefully
TREAT YOURSELF — generously
BALANCE YOURSELF — harmoniously
BLESS YOURSELF — abundantly
TRUST YOURSELF — confidently
LOVE YOURSELF — wholeheartedly
EMPOWER YOURSELF — prayerfully
GIVE YOURSELF — enthusiastically

…and compare yourself only to the person you are called to be and never to another. The only person you have to be better than is the person you are right now.~Rev. Charles J. Murphy

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