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So Remember SheKnows?

8 Nov

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So remember how I up and moved to Arizona this summer?  And remember how Arizona was not for me?

If ever a place and I didn’t agree, it would be me and Arizona.  Moving there was like being on a bad first date every day all day for three months. “Look, we have nothing in common, this will never work, but somehow we agreed to live together this summer so we’ll just have to grin and bear it and not look at each other a lot.”

There’s a reason I took three, major, life important trips while living in Arizona.  Life important trips were necessary to sustain my mental well being during those long, hot months. (Trip 1, Trip 2, Trip 3)

My mother (once a Zoner herself) told me that the only people who live in Arizona are the people from there.  My aunt told me that Arizona was not meant to support life as the plants and animals (and temperature!) all exist to poison and kill you.

What I’m trying to say is this Arizona feeling might run in the family or something.  Also I’m trying to apologize for using the word Zoner.

The end.

Now, look, if you’re from Arizona let’s not have any hard feelings, OK?  Heck, I’m a girl from Utah who loves chocolate covered cinnamon bears and says “heck” sometimes (mainly when writing blog posts read by family members).  If ever there were someone to understand loving the place you are from even when others don’t, it’s me.

Arizona is just not mine, just as Utah is probably not yours, and we can all love each other and live happily ever after.

This got off topic quickly.

Arizona.  Internships.  SheKnows.

There we go.

While in Arizona I interned with SheKnows.com.  The whole story of how I found and got the position is one of those stories in my life that seems so serendipitous.  You know the ones?  Where your whole life changes because you randomly googled something that led you to SheKnows and then you emailed about jobs and found out about the internship and bing bang boom six months later you’re in an abusive relationship with Arizona?

I often think things in my life are serendipitous (mainly boy things) and then they don’t work out and I have to reevaluate my view of the whole situation.

SheKnows was a serendipitous story in my life that actually worked and led to more serendipity and soon my world (or SheKnows world) was raining serendipitous gumdrops.

With sparkles.

Or something.

You get it.

The point is, it worked.  And not too long after leaving my internship, I was hired as a freelance writer for SheKnows!

10 EXCLAMATION MARKS!

Starting out as a writer is a very hard thing.  There’s a lot of rejection and “not good enough” and overall, while I love writing and choose it every day, I also hate writing and wonder why I chose it quite a lot.  Fine, every day.

I should have just said that in the first place.

Getting hired on at SheKnows was a victory, and in these beginning stages of writing, victories are huge.  Victories are 10 EXCLAMATION MARKS.

And so we get to the point of this here blog post, which is this:

I am now writing for SheKnows and I will now be posting my articles quite a bit on this blog thing of mine and you should probably read them all and give them five stars and compliment them with things like, “Wow, who is this super serendipitous writer that I adore?” and “She’s gorgeous.”

Or you can just read them, whatever your style is.

In either case, here are my two latest:

15 Gifts for your female boss

12 Weird celebrity cleaning endorsements

I’ll save my spiel about crazy topics and writing as entrepreneurship for a later time because oh my this blog post is already out of hand.

Whew!

The end.

With sparkles.

Or something.

You get it.

Roommates And Goodbyes And Nacho Cheese

1 Aug

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My (ex) roommate Harry is the best sort of person.

He wears bowties and tassled shoes, goes to Trader Joe’s for the kale samples, and has a big, bellow of a laugh that makes you smile just hearing it. Also, he flaps his hands in the air during Important Life Situations like the first time he eats a Café Rio burrito.

This flap is vital to our friendship.

Harry is the hitherto-unknown combination of boarding school meets mountain man meets legal intern, and I’m not exaggerating when I say he is the quirkiest person I’ve ever met.

Yesterday I said goodbye to Quirky Harry outside of Einstein Bagels, his shirt still wet from the dramatic moment he ripped it off to clean the countertops, his hands shaped like a heart over his chest.

“You da best, Jill” he said. “I’ll see you in Tucson!”

*Cue soon-to-be-out-of-date contempo pop music*

So long Harry, Roommate Extraordinaire. I will miss you giving me love advice like “looking hot never hurt anything” and calling me West Coast Quirky and visiting every frozen yogurt shop in Phoenix to find coconut topping.

I’ll even miss your go-to joke, “What do you call cheese that belongs to someone else? Nacho cheese!”

See you in Tuscon.

This is 25

21 Jul

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Friday night I stayed in my coverup-turned-nightgown, ate a bag of parmesan vegetables, and read a book that always makes me cry.

Saturday night I put on my highest heels, went to a hippity hip bar in Scottsdale, and celebrated the birthday of someone I’d never met.

Welcome to 25, my age of dichotomies and tentative plans and parties for people I’ll never see again.

Some weeks it is lonely and chaotic and overwhelming.

Last week it was bacon-wrapped hot dogs.

Hipster’s Paradise

17 Jul

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Oh my, oh my, oh my.

Last night Chuckjuice and J.Lo went out on the town, and I mean that in a very literal sense.

We went to The Duce, which I can definitively say is the most hipster restaurant in America bar none, closed for debate, signed sealed, delivered you’re hipster.

At The Duce you can’t give your normal name when ordering, no, you have to give a cutesty nickname.

Enter Chuckjuice and J. Lo.

A half hour into our journey, “J. Lo from the block!” was announced, barely audible over the loud, vinyl music.  I strode through the converted warehouse to the food truck, gathered my cheeseburger sliders and returned to my communal seat.

I am making none of this up.

I promise.

There was a thrift store in the back.  And hula hoops.  And swing dancing.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I took a few hurried pictures of the night, very self conscious that the tattoo-sleeved, mohawked patrons were all watching my picture taking like, “We just live in the moment, you know?  We don’t even use technology.  What is this iPhone you speak of?”

At one point, our bespectacled waitress came up and said, “J. Lo, I think you picked up the wrong food.”

I turned, “J. Lo’s here?!  Where’s J. Lo?”  And then I remembered.  I was living in a hipster’s paradise and now, finally, finally! people were calling me by chosen name J. Lo.

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped for.

Also I was standing on a bench taking pictures of mac and cheese muffins when this happened so…

And now, for the filtered photographs part of the evening.  Because this restaurant is basically a cross between a children’s museum, amusement park, and circus and if you don’t take ridiculous pictures, well then, you’re missing out on life.

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Please note the boxing ring.

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Please note everything.

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I’m ever-so glad it was Chuckjuice, the least hipster man on earth, experiencing it all with me.

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They serve brunch all day, obviously.

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And that brings us to the very hipster end.

Great night and even greater mac and cheese muffins.

J. Lo out.

Demon Weather Girl

11 Jul

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One of the side effects of moving to Arizona in the months where, how shall I put this delicately, THE SUN BURNS LIKE THE FIRES OF MORDOR, is that I’ve become one of those people.

The weather people.

You know what I mean.

I can’t stop talking about the weather.

I’ve watched myself morph into this monster over the last two months, this weather demon girl who cackles to herself and jumps into conversations to boom, “SO THAT HEAT IN ARIZONA, SHALL WE DISCUSS?”  It’s quite the party trick.  Frightens the children.

A couple of weeks ago I spent much of a 48-hour period with my brother debating which weather was worse—Austin and its Legendary Humidity or Arizona and its Hell Heat of Certain Misery.

It didn’t matter that I only see this brother twice a year.

It didn’t matter that there were other things going on.

All that mattered was satisfying the weather monster in my soul, feeding it with talks of mugginess and degrees and burn marks.

Record-breaking heat!

Cookies baked inside of cars!

When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!

The conversation ended when my aunt, who has lived in both places, announced she would potentially move back to Austin, but she left Arizona and never looked back.

Monster demon weather girl was delighted with this news, “BOOM.  IN YOUR FACE. ARIZONA HEAT SUN CRY.”

Guys, it may be time for me to move back to Malibu.

Home Sweet Not Home

8 Jul

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A completely unrelated photo of Pittsburgh at night.

Yesterday I stood in the airport, tired and fuzzy-eyed, wearing a ridiculous maxi dress that now takes the place of pajamas in my travels.

I was waiting for a flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix when the gate next to me began boarding. “All passengers to Salt Lake City board at Gate F7. All passengers to Salt Lake City board at Gate F7.”

My heart broke a little bit and I almost forced my way onto the plane. “That’s me. Yes, I’m Mary Johnson. Yes, I’m whoever you want me to be. Yes, get me on that plane right now so I can go see the people I love!”

I didn’t do that, obviously. I simply watched and waited politely, envious of each person getting on the flight I should have been on. I then took my own flight to Phoenix.

Oh Phoenix, land of hot weather and perfect internships and no attachments. Phoenix with its mattress that leaves my back with welts and its Café Rio when I am missing home.

Phoenix, Phoenix, Phoenix.

I have nothing against Phoenix. But I also have no love for Phoenix.

Last week I was at a BBQ with a bunch of people I didn’t know. As the introductions were made and the inevitable small talk began I realized just how jumbled my life has been for the past few years.

I’m usually pretty good at fielding small talk questions, at knowing which topics will be most confusing for others, at easing the awkwardness of having to explain my life story when all they were really looking for was a yes/no.

This day, however, was different.

Someone asked me where I was from and I said, “Salt Lake.”

They then asked me if flights were expensive this time of year from Salt Lake and I said, “Well actually I flew from Phoenix.”

And then they said, “Oh, that’s right, you’re in school. Do you go to ASU?” I explained I was at Pepperdine. Studying writing. Which turned into a bigger conversation.

And then the cherry on top was that one of the girls there was a social worker, and she, too, recieved her MSW from the University of Utah. I mentioned I had done the same thing, because really, what are the odds?

This brought up social work. And London. And quitting social work.

After about 15 minutes of this small talk that continued confusing others and myself, the group moved on to bocce and baseball, and the girl I was speaking with said something like, “Wow, you’ve really been all over the place.”

Wow, indeed.

The last few years of my life have been a rollercoaster of choices and moving. I’ve moved to fulfill lifelong dreams. I’ve moved for my career. I’ve moved to satisfy that wanderlust that creeps inside of me at all times whispering, “Maybe here you will discover whatever it is that you’re missing. Maybe here you’ll discover the real you.”

I’ve moved and moved and moved, and even though I’ve chosen these changes, some days I am so tired of moving, so tired of starting over that I have no words. Just exhaustion.

Yesterday I boarded a plane to a place where I have no attachments, was picked up by an ever-kind roommate, collapsed on my hateful mattress and slept.

Maybe one day I will find roots and an easy way to small talk about my life. Until then…

On Loving What You Do

26 Jun

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Two years ago I moved to London all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, determined to change the world one child at a time!

Actually, that was technically two years and two months ago.

Two years ago exactly I was working as a social worker in London all tired-eyed and limp-ponytailed. I was screamed at/threatened on a daily basis, and found myself with the unpleasant task of acting as my coworker’s bodyguard.

To say my job as a child protection social worker in London was the hardest point in my working life would be dramatically understating the situation.

I’m a dramatic person.  I know drama when I see it.

A couple of weeks ago I found myself in an air-conditioned Target in Scottsdale, rambling through the shoe section with a fizzing soda in hand. I paused to take pictures of the exceptionally-fabulous, tried on sandals, and made notes for an article that would later go live on one of the largest women’s websites in the world.

That stroll through Target was a *moment* for me.  A look-how-much-my-life-has-changed moment.

Before SheKnows I had enjoyed aspects of my career, but I had never loved my job.  I had never looked forward to work, gushed about my assignments, or understood the “do something you would do even if you weren’t paid” mentality.

In fact, I assumed that anybody who said they would do their job without compensation was straight-up lying a la “Oh yes, my favorite food is broccoli” or “I can’t wait to go running today!”

Guys, what does this mean about the world?

Do some people actually enjoy broccoli?

Read my first article for SheKnows here: 5 Things You Should Be Buying at Target Right Now.

Thoughts For A Tuesday

11 Jun

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  1. I should not play games on my iphone.  Should not.  Don’t tell me about a new one.
  2. A city is not a home until I have a go-to nacho place.
  3. I miss Malibu.
  4. I miss Caitlin saying, “You look like sexxxx today, you have to document this,” thus preempting the awkward, “Take a picture of my cute day” conversation.
  5. I want to be best friends with Jewel.
  6. I do not understand how it is so hot here that my chocolate melts indoors.
  7. There should be some block on my computer after midnight so I cannot buy impulse plane tickets across the country.
  8. I don’t deal well with loneliness.
  9. Shoes are my favorite part of an outfit.
  10. Burberry Brit was meant for me.  And I was meant for Burberry Brit.
  11. I should quote Jewel more often.

Honey, I’m Old!

7 Jun

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Do you remember in Season 9 when Chandler quits his job as a statistical analysis and data reconfiguration…guy…and decides to pursue advertising?  And he takes that unpaid internship where the other way-younger interns call him “Sir” and he calls his boss “Man-who’s-two-years-younger-than-me?”

Yeah.  That’s a little bit how I feel at my internship these days.

Honey, I’m old.