Welcome 2014 and thank you 2013 – A brand new year

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2013 was a huge questioning year for me. I’ve been struggling with who I want to be and what I want to do and in that respect, I am beyond excited for this new year. I’m hoping 2014 will be a year that answers.

I have a lot to thank 2013 for. I finally became comfortable when calling Boston my home, I made some really fantastic friends, and learned a lot about what it means to be the person I’ve always wanted to be.

I’m looking forward to starting fresh and pushing myself a further towards all the goals I’ve been avoiding for the past year. What is even more exciting for me though, is that I also 2014 is going to be a huge year for all the people I love so so very much. One of my very best childhood friends is graduating high school and starting college this year, my boyfriend is transferring schools and moving away from home, lots of my friends are starting the year with travels abroad, I am turning 20 years old. It’s exciting that everyone is excited. 2014 is going to be a big year. It just feels, I don’t know, BIG.

In just one week I will heading on a plane bound for London Heathrow. I am spending a week there with my Nanny (grandmother not babysitter) before moving on to Well, Limburg in the Netherlands where I will be studying for the next 3 months. It’s all very nerve-wracking and I’m not sure how to process it all yet but of course I cannot wait until I’m there.

I’m going to be seriously packing and seriously researching for the next week and I would love to hear any travel recommendations any of you have – cities, views, best places to eat, see, dance, anything! I really want to make the absolute most of the time I have there.

I hope you are all enjoying the start of this new year and are planning to make it one of the best yet,

xo Victoria

Also check out the Adventures page. It’s been updated for December!

Christmas Eve spirit – Feeling merry, merry, merry

“The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you”
— Neil deGrasse Tyson

And sometimes it just really doesn’t. 2013 was a year of all kinds of confusion for me. I spent a lot of time wondering what I was doing and why I was feeling the way I was and why I thought I was good enough to do this or think that or be friends with so-and-so.

A lesson:

“You need to realize that the way you are feeling now will not be permanent”
— r.h

Because then sometimes, the universe just makes absolute perfect sense. Yesterday I spent all day and night soaking in the holiday decorations and magic at Disneyland with one of my very favorite boys. I woke up this morning to sunny 70 degree weather, christmas music playing through the house and knew I was all too ready and so excited for a Southern California Christmas.

The christmas tree is full with decorations and presents underneath, the fridge is stocked full and my mom is planning secret santa gifts for all the neighbors. Tomorrow promises to be even better!

On such a magical day with lots of people celebrating around the world I wanted to share a quick list with you all:

What I’m grateful for today: 12/24/2013

  • Eating Disney fried chicken with a view of the magic castle, making up silly jokes in 75 min. wait lines, eating the largest and fattiest ice cream cones I’ve ever seen, holding hands down Main Street (Yesterday at Disneyland was perfect)
  • Lazy mornings (It’s past noon and I am still unshowered, in my pajamas, drinking a warm vanilla coffee mmm!)
  • My younger (but very much bigger) brother, sitting next to me on the couch, making me crack up as I write this.
  • My parents in the living room, planning all the details for next summer’s family trip to Cape Cod, New York, and DC (how exciting!)
  • My puppy dog Lulu who has proved each and every day that she is happy I am home for the holidays (can’t say that about everyone you know, can you?)
  • The sunshine streaming through the front room windows reminding me that although we may never have a White Christmas, a California Christmas is more than I could ever dream for.
  • The excitement that comes with the anticipation of tomorrow and the start of 2014

Enjoy your Christmas holidays,

xo Victoria

A reminder for me at 19 and for all of you today

“Forgive. Forget. Fake it. Chin up. Wear lipstick, make lists, make sure your voicemail isn’t full. Mix protein shakes, send timely thank you notes, sip drinks more slowly, stare at adults’ eyebrows, smile without dimples, develop perfect posture. Be gracious, be kind, eliminate self-pity. Look in the mirror and shift your internal monologue from ‘How do I look?’ to ‘This is my face,’ from ‘What the hell am I doing?’ to ‘This is my life.’ Capitalize your emails, read the news, walk briskly, stay focused, and never, ever let on that you are somewhat lost and sometimes lonely and so completely confused (and would someone please just let me know what it is I’m supposed to do next, where exactly I’m supposed to go–). Just keep going. Go, and do not stop.”
— Jennifer Schaffer, A Checklist For The Age 19

 xo Victoria

I convince myself that I like blogging – It’s Saturday

I woke up this morning and promised myself I would blog. It’s now nearly 4:30pm on the west coast and I am only now just getting around to it, or forcing myself to get around to it more like. Let me complain for about 5 seconds. Final exams completely drained me. I wrote 3 research papers and studied for two major Lit exams in the course of two weeks and found little time for anything else. I only read what I was assigned, used the internet to check my email (all spam) and refused to the leave the building as it blizzarded outside. I’ve felt creatively bored and drained.

But, things are better now. I’m home in California for the Christmas holiday. I am slightly more relaxed, sleeping better and enjoying the warm winter we get here in the South Bay every year. I finished the last of my christmas shopping this morning and only have a few more homemade gifts to complete and then I am headed to Disneyland on Monday. Come on Victoria, I keep screaming, you are SO blessed!

I want to do more with 2014. Of course, it’s already bound to be an exciting year with all the traveling and European adventures I have ahead. But I still want to do more: more for myself, more with my writing, more ideas, more creativity. Because I really do have SO many ideas, SO much to write about.

“I am gone quite mad with the knowledge of accepting the overwhelming number of things I can never know, places I can never go, and people I can never be.” – Sylvia Plath

And I want to share more with all of you, the few of you out there reading all these sporadic and unreliable musings of mine ( I know my mom and my nanny are my two biggest fans at the moment but we all start somewhere right?) So here’s a promise to myself to start doing that, or at least start trying. Stop settling for being average, for being content and easygoing. It’s time for me to make some noise, create beautiful things and write strong opinions, stand up and answer to who I want to start being.

At the very least, we can all agree my intentions are in the right place.

xo Victoria

Tuesday Morning Daily Reminder – Happy December!

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“The next time I feel the urge to criticize I will ask myself two questions: given the same circumstances and no hindsight would I have done better, and who asked me for my opinion in the first place?”
— The Zen Humanist

It’s December already – WHAT. That means in 2 weeks I’ll be finishing my semester at school and flying home again, in 3 weeks it’ll be Christmas, 4 weeks a brand new year, and 5 weeks I’ll be on a plane again but this time headed for Europe. WHAT.

I love December. It’s only the 3rd and I’ve already indulged in far too many chocolatey coffee drinks while keeping the heating on high and snuggling in bed with a stack of books from my literature classes. Lovely lovely lovely.

4 weeks from the New Year and I think it’s never too early to start thinking of resolutions. I know many people think New Year’s Resolutions are a ridiculous cop out form of goal setting, but I truly love them and will be scribbling all of mine down in a journal over the next few weeks. If not for any other reason, they are always nice to look back on over the year, regardless of your success in completing them, and be reassured that your intentions were in the right place. Besides, writing them down and declaring them aloud is the first step into putting them in action I think.

Things to share with you this Tuesday -

What I’m reading: White Teeth by Zadie Smith (Also – going to start making reading lists each month and hoping ya’ll help collaborate to make them even better!)

What I’m writing: Absolutely nothing besides my final academic research papers…ugh help! Hoping this changes real soon.

What I’m watching: An inspiring Youtube video put together by my peers at EmersonUnite

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t2DE3w19SY

I’ve got a busy week ahead, desperately trying to find some way to motivate myself into writing a few 10 page papers on various topics – bleh. But I’m sure all of your weeks are feeling just as swamped!

If the weather’s getting colder for you, I hope you are staying warm and cozy! And if it’s not…(cough cough family in California) well, consider yourselves lucky.

Happy Tuesday,

xo Victoria

P.S. check out the adventures page I’ve been putting together!

Weekend Reminder – Back in Boston

In no time at all, I’ve arrived back in Boston. Seven days with all the people I love most flew by far too quickly – as does most time these days.

I’m sitting in the airport waiting for a friend to wake up and meet me. I’m tired, grumpy, not feeling too great after a horrid and turbulent red-eye flight, but most of all I’m trying to remind myself that I’m grateful. Home is, and always will be, one of my favorite places in the world and for that, I have to always remind myself, I am grateful.

While my mom is reading this post this morning (and I know for a fact she is), I hope she knows how perfect she makes every trip home for me, how I miss her all the time when I’m not with her, and how I cannot wait to see her (and my dad and brother) in a few weeks for Christmas.

But for now, it’s time to get back to the grind. Final exams and 10 page papers to write, 20 degree weather to face, and christmas shopping to check off the list. I know I’ll see the bright side soon. I know I’ll love the first real day of snow and enjoy the christmas lights put up throughout the city. And I know I have no time at all before I am home again for Christmas.

But for now I’m in an airport. I’m tired, grumpy, not feeling too great and that’s about as good as it’s going to get today. Which is ok. I’m ok with that.

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Weekend reminder for you all:

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Today and always! Happy weekending

xo Victoria