Treat Everyone as Your Equal

I’m quite happy to say
That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day,
The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches
And no kind of Sneetch is the best at the beaches.
—The Sneetches


Removing the Beer Goggles

Perspective is important. For, what was probably, the first time last weekend I went “out” to a bar on a Saturday night and I stayed sober. At first all I could think about was my stomach because it was so full from gorging myself all day, but when that subsided I realized something.

Now before you start judging me, no I am not an alcoholic. I don’t drink super often and I’m not always out on weekends. I was actually pretty lame. I didn’t drink until I hit 21 and because of that had zero tolerance so it took very little for me to start feeling intoxicated. Since college I have virtually stopped drinking and I rarely go out to bars so it’s not that strange for me to experience my first sober night out at 24. So there.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me explain my realization. I’m sort of a grown up. I feel like a large portion of the posts I have written so far explain my shortcomings as a young adult and fail to examine my successes.

As I watched the drunken goofballs out on the dance floor, first I wished I was one of the so I could dully enjoy their dance moves. But then I felt like I was too old for it.

No, I am not saying I don’t enjoy a night out now and then and I don’t condemn anyone for being drunk. I’ve been there and will be again in the future. I have a sleep schedule now though. At 10:30 p.m. when it becomes “primetime” to go out I’m ready for bed. I no longer sleep in past 9 a.m. and I’m okay with it. Things are going okay for me.

I graduated college in four years. I am in my second position in career field. I have a fantastic boyfriend. I discovered my love for roller derby and became a Circus City Derby Dame. I have a 401K. I have paid off my student debt. I’m going to be okay. I’m sort of a grown up.

Don’t dwell on your hardships and failures. Be proud of the things you’ve accomplished. It took a night out without beer googles for me to understand. Don’t make my mistake.

5 Ways I am exactly like my puppy


I’ve heard it is common to take on the characteristics and habits of the people you live with. Well, I am pretty positive the same can be said for the animals you live with. In the weeks since we brought Thor home, he has picked up a lot of my habits. Or have I picked up his? Either way, we have a lot in common.

Unlike like me, Thor is not very good at holding still for photos. So I only have pictures of five things we have in common. So those are the similarities I will share with you.

1.  We get distracted really easily


I will sometimes stop talking in the middle of a sentence. This is not because I am thinking of a way to rephrase what I am saying or anything. More often than not it was because I was thinking of something else or I was talking about something else and I was distracted. Thor is the same way. He will switch toys in the middle of playing tug of war because he walked passed another toy and needs to play with that one instead.

2. We love food


I love eating. Who doesn’t really? I am almost always looking forward to my next meal or craving something. My life is ruled by food. I get hangry and it comes on fast. If I leave for the weekend I will probably bring some sort of food along in case my host doesn’t like breakfast or I know there will be a long break between meals.

3. Sleep is our favorite thing


I love sleep. I used to be a champion napper. Now, there aren’t as many opportunities for me to nap, but if I get one I am not about to lose it.  To be quite honest, I pretty jealous that Thor gets to nap whenever he feels like it.

4. I like being comfortable


Maybe it is because I am tall, but I hate being cramped or uncomfortable. Sometimes that means stretching my legs out by hanging them out a car window. Sometimes that means putting my legs along the top of the couch. Thor gets it, just look at him.

5. I want you to pay attention when I’m telling you something


One of my biggest pet peeves is when I start telling you something and you stop listening. Just please pay attention to me when I’m talking to you. Thor is the same way. We are working on the training thing, but right now when he wants your attention he barks at you until he gets it.

Do you see what I am talking about? He is clearly my dog. Seriously, we even look alike. We have the same smile. Look:


Riding Outside the Lines

Everyone wants to leave their mark on the world, and last week I got my chance.

Last weekend I got the incredible opportunity to leave my mark on Wausau, WI. I was one of 20 artists that were chosen to participate in a four-day mural competition. My proposal was to be created on The Glass Hat, a really cool, artsy bar that is actually pretty historic, being established in the late 1800’s. Little to say I was STOKED. I had so many cool ideas to make a really cool mural that would play on the brick of the building and the love of old 1950’s bikes of the owner, all while looking like the thing had been there for years. And although I felt very confident, I mean I painted in college and placed in the city’s annual Chalkfest just two months earlier (read more here), I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

For starters it’s a mural. That thing is there literally until the building becomes too old and collapses or the owner decides they hate it and paints over it…which leads us to the second major freak out…what happens if the owner of The Hat (what us cool kids call The Glass Hat, that’s right I’m cool) doesn’t like it. Neither of these problems really hit me until one in the morning, the night before the competition, after I sent the owner my third design, to none of which she seemed overly excited for. The fear that I may do all this work to have it painted over the next week was REAL.

From that everything just started to seem like the end of the world: I hadn’t bought my paint yet and the contest was literally starting; I couldn’t take off an extended time off of work; people were probably finishing theirs’ day one and I wouldn’t get a chance to start; I was an idiot and signed up for a 5k in the middle of the contest in a city a half an hour away; I had no ladder to even reach the wall I was painting…you get the picture…there was a lot of panicking.

I was in it though. Maybe not “in it to win it,” but I was not bailing no mater how freaked out I was. Before I knew it, it was Thursday—

DAY 1:

Part of me wasn’t even planning on starting on the first day: I didn’t have a ladder, it was suppose to storm, and I wasn’t getting off of work till 5:00pm. Then on my walk to work, at ten in the morning, I saw people working…some looked to be almost half way through. So I decided to put on my big girl pants, find a ladder and get sometime down. Turns out 5ft plus 4ft is not enough to work on an almost 8’x8′ mural; but I somehow got my corners plotted for the piece.

DAY 2:

Come Day 2, I was just determined to get my frame and backwash in. Luckily another of my wonderful friends lent me a second ladder, this one 6 feet tall. Things got a lot easier and I only kinda felt like I was going to die…however not long after starting, a co-worker appeared, made fun of me for being a klutz, and then reappears with a 14 foot ladder. At the end of the day I stepped back feeling confident in my new ladder and accomplishing what I set out to accomplish…and then I looked around. Seeing the murals already finished or coming together from my fellow artists sent me into yet another panic; but the sun was setting and there was a Friday fish-fry calling my name.

DAY 3:

So remember how I said that I signed up for a 5k in the middle of this contest like a crazy person…well I ran it, rocked it (kinda, I finished), and then sped back to Wausau to start my mural at almost 3:00pm. I was so behind all the other artists. Here I was with my box as this just beautiful portrait sits finished to my right and a friggin galaxy is being created on my left. The panic was back and in full force.

Don’t worry though, I had the help and support of my boyfriend to get me through. And by help, he brought be water, carried the ladder, and then sat out in the sun with his Game Boy Advance playing Pokemon literally the entire time…

By the end of the day, I was completely exhausted. Running 3 miles and then climbing a ladder all day in the hot sun isn’t really a fun thing (killed that Weekend Warrior challenge though). I was, however, feeling better about the wall. With the text and base coat down for my subject matter, an early morning of touch-ups and finalizing the background seemed very accomplish-able.21706006_10156587204579392_548567725_o


You know all those times you say you are going to get an early start on something and then just don’t? These were not one of those times. HA. In all honesty, day four was just a cake walk. Something just clicked and the piece just fell together.

Somehow, even being behind the ENTIRE WEEKEND, I was one of the artists that actually finished by the 1:00pm deadline. The next two hours the participants got to walk around, see the other murals, and then vote for our favorites. Finally the time came to announce the top three…and I was not one of them, however both pieces on either side of me were which was really cool because both defiantly deserved the awards. To see all of the murals and read more on the event, check out this photo album and story my super cool reporter friend put together: here.

In the end I didn’t care. Yes, it would have been nice to win; but I made something I was really, really happy with, and that the owner was even more happy with than I. I made something that is going to be there forever (well I hope forever). Just a week later, the weekend has already opened up new doors for me through the new, amazing people I met. It has reminded how much I love to paint, and continues to remind me how much I love this community and the opportunities it has given me to push myself to be a better self.

With that: all the days of planning, 3 ladders, 100 dollars in painting supplies, and 16 hours hanging out in alley next to The Glass Hat…here’s the final piece. 21706407_10156587206769392_746601408_o


I would also like to take the time to thank all the wonderful, amazing, and inspirational people that made this weekend possible:
  • First and foremost both Gisy and Downtown Wausau’s River District for creating this awesome experience
  • John from Hallman Lindsay’s “Ask an Expert” and everyone from that store who put up with my multiple stop-ins for paint and supplies
  • Lora, Blake, Penny, and Mike for all lending me their ladders…sorry for the one’s I haven’t returned yet…
  • Joey for carrying said ladders; bringing me food, water, soda, coffee; putting up with all my craziness; and getting sunburned just to cheer me on
  • Everyone who helped out during the event to provide entertainment, make sure we are fed, and offer their buildings to be painted…you all rock.
  • Everyone who came by to say hello and check out the event, especially those who donated (and voted for me…kidding)
  • Finally all the artists who donated their time to such a cool and unforgettable experience
  • Also to all of you that took the time to read my story 🙂

Never stop

20 Thoughts Every Twentysomething has on a daily basis

I had chili for lunch today and now I feel like I gained thirty pounds. I don’t regret it, but man do I wish this waistline was more forgiving. It really wouldn’t hurt for me to get back on track with my workouts either. There are a lot of things I need to get under control. Do you ever feel that way? If you’re thinking yes, here are a few other thoughts you might have on a daily basis.

  1. I’m fat.
  2. Where will I be a year from now?
  3.  I like my job…right?
  4. Is that a stretch mark?
  5. Tomorrow I’m going to start eating healthier. For real.
  6. Seriously another one?! Who’s engaged now?
  7. I’m tired.
  8. Her hair is perfect. I hate her.
  9. Maybe I should run away and travel for awhile.
  10. I wonder if my boyfriend will propose this year. Hopefully not.
  11. Oh my god! What if my boyfriend proposes this year?! Am I ready for marriage?!
  12. I’m really tired.
  13. There is no way I will ever be responsible enough to be in charge of another human.
  14. I’m definitely fat.
  15. Could I BE any more stressed?
  16. Does he/she still like me? Why don’t we talk as much anymore?
  17. I should wear that one outfit again, I look hot in that.
  18. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could cook?
  19. I did a killer workout today. I probably lost like 10 pounds.
  20. Do I have to go to work tomorrow? I wonder how many vacation days I have left…

I feel like I could keep going, but in the interest of time, and keeping your interest, I’ll stop. You’re not alone with these thoughts. We’re all there. Every day.

Thanks for reading!

Embrace Yourself

Uncertainty. If there is one thing I am sure of as a twentysomething, it’s feeling uncertain. I feel like I’m constantly saying and thinking, “I don’t know.”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. Your mid-twenties are meant to figure things out so eventually you can be more certain. However, it is nice to feel a little more in control.

In an effort to feel more in control and be more honest with myself I am going to share three things with you that people may not know about me. I feel like if I am more honest with myself and others I am taking a small step toward knowing more answers.

1. I have way more anxiety than I let on

I think my anxiety has increased somewhat since I graduated college, but even so I am way more anxious than I like to let people think. My boyfriend know this, bless him, but not a lot of other people do. I am anxious to the point where if I send a text message and don’t receive an answer I am sure the person I sent it to is mad at me. Facebook messenger is the worst. If I don’t hear from a friend for awhile I automatically assume they don’t like me anymore. And that’s just the start of my anxiety. I know, I’m ridiculous. I’m working on it.

2. I wish I knew more about makeup

I rarely wear makeup. I would much rather sleep in longer than apply makeup. I also cannot justify wearing it, just to sweat it off later in the day. However, I still wish I knew how to apply it. Even if I only wore it to special occasions it would still be awesome to know how.  I still cannot figure out eyeliner.

3. I secretly love ramen noodles

Yes, you read that right. I never stopped eating ramen noodles when I graduated college like most people.  I think they are delicious. I eat them all the time. I get it. You probably think it’s gross, but I promise not to make you eat them.

There you have it. Three things you probably didn’t know about me. I feel better getting them off my chest. Next step, life decisions.


Think Big

My New Zoo, McGrew Zoo,
will make people talk.
My New Zoo, McGrew Zoo,
will make people gawk
At the strangest odd creatures
that ever did walk.
I’ll get, for my zoo,
a new sort-of-a-hen
Who roosts in another hen’s
topknot, and then
Another one roosts
in the topknot of his,
And another in his,
and another in HIS,
And so forth and upward
and onward, gee whiz!
-If Ran the Zoo