Sleepy Sundays | I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22

My brother and I, at my first birthday, August 7th, 1994.  Yes, I still eat cake that way.
My brother and I, at my first birthday, August 7th, 1994.
Yes, I still eat cake that way.

Birthdays. What can you say about them really? Some people love them and some people hate them, but I for one, fall into the “love” group wholeheartedly (for the most part). I am not someone that dreads getting older or has an existential crisis every time their birthday rolls around, but I am someone that does a lot of contemplating and thinking when this day comes back around each year.

I'm pretty sure I saw a girl leaving Starbucks wearing this exact sunflower dress yesterday. The baby version of me was such a trendsetter.
I’m pretty sure I saw a girl leaving Starbucks wearing this exact sunflower dress yesterday.
The baby version of me was such a trendsetter.

Friday, August 7th, was my birthday. I spent it with friends and family having one of my favorite meals, eating yummy cupcakes, enjoying more than a few cocktails, and reminiscing about life and all the birthdays I’ve celebrated before this one. Every year for at least the last 5 years or so, I sit down, and just think. I think about all the things I have or haven’t done this past year, I think about the chances I took and the ones I let slip by, I think of all the happy and sad times, and I think of what I expected life to be at this moment. I always have a clear picture of what I want my life to be and where I want to end up, and coming to terms with the fact that I have no control over those things is a tough one for me. Well, I wouldn’t say that I have absolutely no control, but there are many things that just happen how they are mean’t to in life, and there’s not much you can do about it.

This is still the face I make when someone asks me to "smile for the camera!"
This is still the face I make when someone asks me to “smile for the camera!”

In a perfect world* (from the point of view of a daydreaming, introverted, bookworm that has an intense love for adventure and smiles), I would be travelling right now. Making the most of my youth, exploring all the places I’ve written about on this blog and many, many more. I would be standing on top of a mountain in Greece, staring off into the ocean contently thinking about where I’ll go next and what places I want to see. I’d be writing every day, and putting it all out there for the world to see. I’d never worry about money or material things, because who needs that when you have so much to see and do in life? Books would never be far from my hands and a smile would never be far from my face. I’d be happy, in the purest sense of the word.

But it isn’t my perfect world. Instead, I’m a struggling student, working a full-time, at a supremely boring and mundane office job, while tackling a full-time course load. I’m stuck in midwestern Missouri in the middle of America, with no funds to get out. I’m drowning myself in student loan debt in hopes of giving myself a better future. I’m boyfriendless and single in a place where that is a rarity. I’m not fit and healthy, as I would so love to be. I’m not writing everyday or living out my passions and dreams. But one thing that I realized on my birthday this year, is that I am happy. In the purest sense of the word. And that is all that matters to me right now. I may not be where I’ve dreamt of being in life, but I’m happy. I’m meeting new people and making new friends all the time. I’m exploring my own city and creating my own adventures. I’m writing a lot more than I used to, even if all of that writing is still sitting in my drafts folder and hasn’t been posted here.

This is one of many football team related photoshoots that my parents forced upon me as a child. American parents and their sports, you can't get away from it.
This is one of many football team related photoshoots that my parents forced upon me as a child. American parents and their sports, you can’t get away from it.

This birthday has shown me that I don’t always need to be in control. I can still lead a happy life, even if it isn’t what I expected it to be. Even when I have hard days, and bad days, and even on those days where I just want to sit on the floor and cry from all the stress, it will all be worth it in the end, and it is all worth it right this moment, just for those days where I am filled with pure happiness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the little glimpses into my life and child hood throughout this post with the random photographs I’ve decided to throw in. What’s a good birthday post without a little bit of a throw back.

I will leave you now, as I always should, with a quote from Harry Potter.

What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does. -Rubeus Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, page 719

And now, at the very end, you get me, in my current state. Hair that somehow always manages to be untidy at all times, Superhero t-shirts, and a cat in the background.
And now, at the very end, you get me, in my current state. Hair that somehow always manages to be untidy at all times, Superhero t-shirts, and a cat in the background.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 6

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Day 6: Five ways to win your heart.

1. Be yourself.
2. Be nice.
3. Have a passion.
4. Be understanding.
5. Smile.

I was a little apprehensive about writing this one. As a single girl, I think it’s clear that I don’t even know what I really want in a guy, let alone how one could “win my heart”. I’m the kind of person that believes that love is something that never ends, and since I’m not with anyone and I don’t have those feelings of love for anyone, for me its safe to say that I’ve never been in love. At least not the relationship sort of love. I love my close friends, and my family, but I don’t feel like I’ve ever loved any boyfriend I’ve had. I know that’s not the way everyone sees this whole “love” thing, but it is the way I’ve worked it out for myself. With that said, I decided to list qualities that would push me a little closer to falling for a guy, which I suppose would mean he would be the one to “win my heart”.

I don’t think there’s anything better than when someone is truly being themselves. I think its completely obvious when someone is acting differently or not being true to themselves. I’ve written about bad experiences of men acting ridiculous on dates before, and I can’t help but be a bit apprehensive about going out with anyone new, because I just don’t want to deal with it again. The last thing I want is for someone to act different than who they are just because they think it will make them seem cooler or because they think it’s how I want them to act. Personally, I’ve never been one to go for the big muscly guys, or the ones that talk down to other people, because I’m just not like that. I’m at the point in my life where I really want to find someone that I have a lot in common with, someone that I can really build a friendship and a relationship with, and if the person I’m talking to isn’t being themselves, how can I possibly have a hope of building anything with them?

Being nice should just be common sense, but from what I’ve seen in the dating world so far, in this city at least, it doesn’t seem to be as common as I think it should be. I’ve encountered men that were mean to the staff in the places we went, men that were rude to their family and friends, etc. I don’t want to limit this to just men, because that’s obviously not the case, but that’s the only reference point I have. All I ask is that the guy I’m with treats the people around him with respect. Being kind can be the simplest thing, and also the most attractive. I’m not asking for you to be Gandhi or anything, but a little kindness and respect can go a long way.

Have a passion in life. I don’t mean like sexual passion or anything like that if that’s what you’re thinking, although I suppose that’s somewhat important too, but I’m not getting into that here. I mean a passion as in a drive for something in your life. Whether you’re passionate about writing, sports, books, travelling, science, anything; I just want you to have a passion for something. I’m saying you as if you reading this right now could be the guy for me, who knows, maybe you are, but I suppose I should say “him” instead; I want him to be passionate about something, whatever that may be.

I’m not a perfect person by any means, I have a million and one flaws to go along with all of the great things about me, and I need a guy that can be understanding about that, just as I’ll be for him. Being understanding of someone else’s feelings, views, opinions, dreams, lazy days, insecurities, and everything else that someone goes through is important, not just in a romantic relationship, but in any relationship. Friendships, family relationships, work relationships, it all takes understanding and kindness even. I can assure this mythical future boyfriend that wants to “win my heart” that I will always be just as understanding as I’d like for him to be.

No one can ever look better than they do when they’ve got a smile on their face. Knowing that the person you’re with and spending time with is happy and smiling is a lovely thing. Seeing someone genuinely smile at me can brighten my whole day. There’s only so much that can be said about smiling, I feel like this is the most self explanatory of all the things on my list here, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Some of these posts in this challenge make me feel a bit uneasy, as though I’m making myself out to be this crazy demanding person when it comes to relationships, but I’m really not. I feel like everything I’m looking for is fairly basic as far as relationship “requirements” go. I think the biggest thing here is that everything I’ve written down as something that the ideal man needs to possess to “win my heart” are all things that I have to offer him as well. I can’t promise that I’ll always be pretty or have a nice body, or that I’ll always have it all together, but I can promise that I’ll always be a genuine person and be myself, I’ll always be nice, I’ll never lose my passion for the things I love in life, I will always be understanding, and I will do my best to have a smile on my face as often as possible. What more can you ask for really?

Are there any things that someone can do or qualities that they should possess to win your heart?

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

20 Summer Goals

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Recently, a friend of mine challenged me to make a to-do list of sorts, of 20 goals I wanted to accomplish before summer ends. Instantly I thought that it was a silly idea for me. Would I even be able to think of 20 things to do before summer is over? Would I have any hope of completing the list? After a while, I realized that these thoughts were simply just self-doubt, and decided to go for it. So as I sat down with a notebook and pen in hand, ready to start writing, I stopped to think for a little while. I wanted these goals to be important to me. I wanted them to be things that meant something to me, and things that would enrich my life a little. Before I knew it, I had a dozen goals written down on paper, and it all started to feel a bit more real. I looked to some friends for more ideas and in no time I had my list of 20 goals, and was more excited than ever about the prospect of summer. Doing this little challenge has given me a renewed sense of excitement for summer, an excitement that I haven’t had since I was a kid getting out of school for summer break. Summer has taken on a new meaning now that I’m older. It’s no longer filled with endless amounts of free-time and popsicles on hot summer days; now it’s just filled with work, scorchingly hot days with little relief, and sweat, so much sweat. But these goals made me a bit more excited and motivated about everything. So without further ado, here are my 20 summer goals!

1.) Write a short story
2.) Make homemade pasta
3.) Learn how to paint (well) with watercolors
4.) Create a photo album of my favorite photos
5.) Attend at least four cultural/arts events (i.e. author events, art fairs, ethnic festivals, music events, etc)
6.) Write handwritten letters to at least three different people
7.) Stop putting off starting a blog just because you think people will find it silly
8.) Learn to whistle with my fingers
9.) Plant and grow a sunflower
10.) Cook a traditional dish from at least three different countries
11.) Take a baking or cooking class
12.) Try one new food every week
13.) Learn to sew, knit, or crochet, and make at least three homemade gifts to give at Christmastime
14.) Sleep under the stars
15.) Try five new cocktails
16.) Volunteer with at least three different charities/organizations
17.) Learn as much as possible about a culture different from my own
18.) Take one day each week to myself, with no distractions or obligations to worry about, to relax and decompress, no matter what!
19.) Do at least three new crafts
20.) Write about what I’ve done, how I’ve felt, and what I’ve daydreamed about each and every day in a journal

The best part about this list is that I haven’t put any pressure on myself with it. I don’t have unrealistic goals of completing each and every thing perfectly before summer comes to a close. If I don’t manage to complete something, the beauty of this list is that I can just add it to my next list of goals and continue! I hope you check back on this blog every so often to keep up with my progress on this list, and on all the other things I get up to.

I’m proud to say that I can officially check off number 7 on the list, because I have started this blog!

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx