I Fell in Love with Austin, Texas on the Fourth of July

IMG_2470

Sometimes you visit a city, and you just know. You get that little voice in the back of your mind telling you “this is a place I could stay”, or “this is somewhere I belong”. Austin gave me those thoughts, and I just knew. But let me start from the beginning…

One day, in the middle of April, I was sitting at my desk trudging on through the work day, wishing I was somewhere else, when I had an epiphany; I should take a mini vacation. Then it came down to deciding where to go, simple enough, right? Wrong. Being in the center of the country means that my options are incredibly limited, and unlimited, all at the same time. I can take a plane heading anywhere in the country in a relatively small amount of time, and I can take plenty of road trips, but most of the “desirable” places to go in the scorching heat of the summer (i.e., the beach, for obvious reasons) are quite far away. Now I’m the queen of road trips, so per usual, I opted for that, then looked at the map and just chose. Just like that. Austin, Texas is it was. My family vacationed in Texas often when I was young, so the idea of venturing there on my own this year felt comfortable and inviting. So, I grabbed a friend, and off we went!

IMG_2345

Driving from Kansas City to Austin wasn’t the MOST pleasant of things, but I think making that whole drive down, through the construction, traffic, and holiday travelers made driving into the city that much sweeter. I was more excited than I ever would have expected to be when I realized we were about to *finally* make our way into town. I even pulled off the road, just to capture the moment for myself, and you as well, I suppose. For anyone familiar with the city, we stayed just off East Cesar Chavez, and it was a hipster’s paradise, let me tell you. I loved it.

We were only there for the weekend, so I didn’t get the chance to do many of the things I had hoped, but I still had an amazing time. Our first stop was visiting the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, and explored for quite a while. I genuinely enjoyed learning so much about his presidency, the good and not so good parts alike. I’m someone that loves learning as much as possible about history, and this was something new for me to dig into. The library itself was quite astounding, walking up the steps towards it was a special experience all on its own, without factoring in the beautifully put together LBJ Museum that accompanied it.

IMG_2428

After we were satisfied with our exploration there, we decided to visit the capitol building. For any of you that may not know, or may be from a different country, in the US, we have our Nation’s Capitol in Washington D.C., but each individual state has it’s own Capitol as well. Austin happens to be the state Capitol of Texas, so the (absolutely beautiful) Texas State Capitol Building is here as well. We took quite a long walk around the grounds, and had a bit of a wander through the interior of the building as well. My favorite part, however, was simply sitting on a bench, near the front of the building, all by my lonesome. Having a tea and taking it all in, that’s what I do best.

IMG_2409

From there, we simply explored. For the next two days, I ate more Tex-Mex than anyone should ever eat, I grew to feel like I was a part of a new place and a new city. I went grocery shopping, I laid by the river and read a book, I chatted with strangers in a bar; I completely immersed myself if the daily life of this city, and I think thats’s what made this trip so special for me. It felt like I was visiting a home away from home, and I was genuinely sad when it came to an end.

FullSizeRender-3

I may have single handedly eaten all of the avocados in Austin, and I’m not even sure I’m exaggerating.

23278067660_c087bf7a86_o

One of my favorite moments was sitting by the river watching the sun go down around the city. I think this will be a memory I keep close for a long time.

14107241288_b1f6fcd43b_o

One of the things I admired most about Austin was the graffiti, which might sound strange to some people. But Austin is filled with beautiful, inspiring, and interesting graffiti. The city just seems like an even more special place after seeing how many people have made their mark here in such a positive way.

IMG_2457

I spent a surprising amount of time in this backyard whilst I was there. The house I rented had a beautiful backyard with a comfy seating area to relax in. I definitely made use of it, particularly the incredibly comfy lounge chairs, they were perfect for reading and relaxing. These popsicles were absolutely scrumptious by the way, check out GoodPop if you’re able to get your hands on them. They’re all natural, and are honestly the most delicious frozen fruit pops I’ve ever had. I’m feeling serious withdrawal symptoms at the moment.

The final day, before we had to wake up and make our way home, was the Fourth of July. Celebrating Independence Day in Texas is not something new for me, I’ve done it a few times in my life with my family, but this was a whole new experience for me. We went fairly early in the afternoon to secure a seat near the water to watch the fireworks over the city. I expected that there would be a lot of people, and Austin didn’t disappoint me there, but what I wasn’t expecting was how much I would love getting to know all the people that happened to be sitting around me. I arrived with one friend, and left with dozens, and it made me so much more in love with the city, and so much more pleased with the trip itself.

I had a few drinks, set off a few sparklers, and chatted with more people than I have in the past month, all in one night. The fireworks were stunning, the atmosphere was incredible, and it was the perfect ending to a much needed get away.

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender-2

FullSizeRender-1

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

-Lexie Xx

Sleepy Sundays | Don’t call it a comeback

3218587798_c7e836733c_o

So, we meet again, you cute little blog you. I’ve missed this, I really have. Sometimes you forget how good something simple like this can feel, just releasing all your thoughts onto a screen, letting anyone that’s willing read everything you’ve decided to share. Life gets in the way, I’m sure you know how it goes. But today, after so much time away, I’m back. Will I stick with it? Make time for something I enjoy in life for once? Who knows, but I appreciate each and every one of you that kept following me, even as I was away for months on end. You’re beautiful and I love you.

Now, with all of that out of the way, let’s chat. After all, that’s what I always wanted to do with this blog. I wanted to get my thoughts out of my head, and written down on paper, even if that was through a keyboard on a public forum. I wanted to talk to people, interact with them, learn from them, get to know them, and become friends with them. So let me just ask, how are you? How are things going? I’m doing well. Things are going okay I suppose, all things considered. Nothing too exciting has happened in my life since we last talked. It may have even grown just a little more monotonous since then, if that’s possible. I’ve fallen into a routine; get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep, and repeat. Monday through Friday, this is my life. I wish I were able to switch it up, to add a little spice to my life. How do you do it? How do you keep your life exciting? Please, share your secrets with me Senpai.

The most exciting thing that happened to me this weekend was when my Amazon order arrived yesterday, containing a new Electric Kettle and some cupboard organizers for all of my tea; who knew life could be filled with so much excitement?! I know I didn’t! All joking aside, I was sincerely thrilled to open up my new kettle, but I digress. Maybe I’m just in a rut? That’s possible I suppose. Or maybe it’s because my birthday is just a few short weeks away, and I’m beginning to feel the pressure that comes along with it. I’ll be 23, which may not sound old or important, but there is a lot of pressure coming along with this birthday. My parent’s think I should be settled down with that “perfect someone”, thinking about getting married and starting a family, my friends think I should already be finished with college and moved into my own place, partying it up. When in reality, I’m 22, living at home, single, fighting to finish this bachelors degree, and working a full-time job that brings no joy or excitement to my life, and chasing Pokemon in my spare time. Oh goodness, this is turning into a very “woe is me” sort of post. I need to change things up, turn it around.

Maybe I should share some things that make me happy, who knows, maybe that will pull me out of this little funk I seem to be in at the moment.

One seemingly unusual thing that always makes me happy is a strange one to describe. I suppose its essentially just the wind, but it’s much more than that to me. I love that feeling, when you’re sitting outside on a slightly cooler night, in-between the summer heat and the autumn chill, reading or just watching the world go by, when the wind sweeps across your face and you feel completely calm and safe, even if just for a moment. It makes me so happy to know that moments like that exist.

IMG_1665

My cat is also another point of sheer happiness for me. I mean, just look at her! Look at that face! She has this way of knowing when I need her. She’s always so quick to come and snuggle with me when I’m feeling down, or ill, or upset. Even when she’s being obnoxious, or irritating, she still has a way of making me feel so genuinely happy, all the way to my core, no matter what. For instance, she is currently laying on my chest, partially blocking my access to the keyboard on my laptop, and just being a general pain, and I still smile like a fool each time I look down at her sweet little face snuggled up against my arm.

As much as my family has a tendency to be a bit overbearing and hard to handle, I’m still filled with happiness each time I remember how lucky I am to have them. After the horrible events in France, TexasMinnesota, Louisiana, Turkey, and so many more these past few weeks, I’m feeling even luckier than usual to have my family, and to know that I have people out there to fall back on and lean on when things get tough. They are all absolutely insane, pushy, and ridiculous, but I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

Lastly, one of the things that makes me happiest; daydreaming. I’ve always loved the fact that we’ve all got this ability, this superpower, to transport ourselves to another time or place in our own minds. We’re all equipped with our own mental T.A.R.D.I.S, if you will. If I’m unhappy, or feeling stuck, or sad, or anything in between, I can simply imagine that my life will take a different turn in the future, or imagine that I’ve stumbled into a new place, or just lay back, and let my daydreams guide me. There’s no limit to the amount of things I can accomplish in a daydream. No one cares how I look in a daydream. There’s no body shaming, there’s no cruelty, and there’s no fear. It’s a completely pure space, untainted by the outside world, and it is one of my biggest sources of happiness.

And with that my friends, this Sleepy Sunday post has come to a close, and I’ll have to drag myself out of bed to start my day. My tea is gone and my cup is dry. I hope you enjoyed reading this ramble that I’ve decided to put out onto the internet, and that you found something to take with you from it. Whether that be something life changing, like learning your daydreams are a T.A.R.D.I.S, or simply just the memory of how adorable my cat is, I hope you’ve had a lovely few moments here with me.

Please feel free to leave me a comment and chat with me, or check out the “Contact Me” page to send me an email. I would love to hear from you and get to know you.

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

-Lexie Xx

 

 

 

Thank You For Supporting My Blog! | My First 40 Days of Blogging

(Source)
(Source)

It’s been exactly 40 days since I started this little blog, and as I’ve neglected to provide you with either blog posts I’ve promised you today (more on that later), I’ve decided to write this little thank you post to all of you that read my blog. I started this blog on a whim. I’ve always had the desire to write a blog, but never thought anyone would read it, or that I would even be able to create any sort of content that I would find to be adequate enough to post online. After a few friends gave me the courage to do so (one of them has a FANTASTIC blog you can read here, I sometimes just sit and read some of his older posts for fun, they are perfectly written and so easy to connect with; I love it), I jumped on WordPress at 3 in the morning and threw myself straight into this crazy blogging world.

I feel like I was lucky in that I had no idea, and still have no idea, what sort of traffic or “stats” a blog would normally get in it’s infancy. I still have no idea if my little blog is doing well in those aspects or not, but its not about that for me, not yet anyway. At the moment, I’m still just loving writing and putting my thoughts out for people to read. It has been such an incredible outlet for me so far and all the comments I have received have been more lovely than I can describe. I’m waffling at this point, but I suppose that’s just what I do. I ramble when I have too much to say with no idea how to say it. I guess I’m just trying to say thank you. Thank you to all the people that have viewed my blog, liked my posts, commented on my posts, and followed me. It truly means the world and I appreciate each and everyone of you that are coming along with me on this blogging adventure.

So far, my stats for my past 40 days of blogging are as follows:

I've been visited by people from 63 different countries, or more by the time you're reading this, and I find that absolutely astonishing and beautiful.
I’ve been visited by people from 63 different countries, or more by the time you’re reading this, and I find that absolutely astonishing and beautiful.
All the visitors, views, likes, comments; everything. It all blows my mind. I find it incredible that this many people have taken the time to click on my little blog. Thank you to all that have. <3
All the visitors, views, likes, comments; everything. It all blows my mind. I find it incredible that this many people have taken the time to click on my little blog. Thank you to all that have. ❤
This is a snippet of the bottom of my blog's homepage, where you can see that there are now 786 people following my blog. To me, that number is incredible. I am speechless that in only 40 days this many people have found my blog and enjoyed my writing or content enough to follow me. This number may be small or insignificant compared to what other blogs have or do in their first few months, I truly have no idea, but for me, this is a huge number and I am appreciative of every single one of you following and viewing my blog. You're all brilliant people.
This is a snippet of the bottom of my blog’s homepage, where you can see that there are now 786 people following my blog. To me, that number is incredible. I am speechless that in only 40 days this many people have found my blog and enjoyed my writing or content enough to follow me. This number may be small or insignificant compared to what other blogs have or do in their first few months, I truly have no idea, but for me, this is a huge number and I am appreciative of every single one of you following and viewing my blog. You’re all brilliant people.

I never really believed that anyone would read what I have to say, or that anyone would ever want more, but the amount of “never stop blogging” comments that I have gotten from some of you makes me feel so incredible and shows me that there are people out there that really do want to read exactly what I want to write.

I won’t keep going on and on here about this, because there’s only so much that can be said, but the main point here is simply thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my weird little heart, and I hope you enjoy whatever I decide to write about in the future.

Now, I do owe you an explanation as to why my 30 Day Writing Challenge and my Sleepy Sunday blog posts haven’t gone up today. There is one simple yet complex reason for my absence today, and that is Food Poisoning. Note to all reading this: If a food truck at a festival downtown in your city looks questionable, DON’T ORDER FROM IT. No matter how hungry you are. That’s what put me in this hell I’m in; a dodgy chicken and black bean burrito from a dodgy food truck at an otherwise lovely festival called Boulevardia here in downtown Kansas City. One mistake and I’ve been on my deathbed (I’m over-dramatic by nature, can you tell?) all day, wishing the worst upon whatever health inspector failed to shut that food truck down before it made it’s way to me with its poisonous food. So that my friends, is the reason that I have failed to write out my usual posts for you today. I decided to write this little one showing my appreciation for you, as it has only taken about 10 minutes and minimal effort. I am hoping beyond hope that this mess ends tomorrow, and if it does, I will most certainly get back to my normal schedule. I hope you understand, I know that any of you that have experienced food poisoning will most definitely understand, and I look forward to feeling like a human being again and getting back to writing thoughtful posts for this little blog baby of mine.

Once again, thank you endlessly for your support of this blog and your all around support of me personally. I don’t even know how I could thank you for the loveliness that you all have shown me here in these past 40 days. Here’s to the next 40 days and many more to come.

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 19

(Source)
(Source)

Day 19: Discuss your first love.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I don’t feel like I’ve ever been in love with another person romantically, and I think that’s what this prompt is referring to. So I can’t really blog about that for you. I wish I could say that there was a high school sweetheart or a college love, but I’ve not had that. I’ve had plenty of boyfriends, but none that amounted to real love. Instead of writing about that, I’m going to write about a few other “first love” situations.

When I was really young, as young as 3 and 4, I loved maps and puzzles. I would put together map puzzles of the world and of various countries, and would tell everyone about all the different places I could see. This was the point that my United Kingdom love affair began. I did my UK puzzle over and over and over again until it basically fell apart. Apparently I loved the shapes and colors of it and didn’t want to do any others. Once that was destroyed, I was given little books and things by family about the UK and all things British; they all found it so funny that I had this little obsession as a toddler. Eventually, as I grew older, I began learning about the history, the monarchy, and the geography of the countries and fell even more in love. Aside from that, I gained a real love for geography from my map and puzzle obsession. I don’t know that there is a subject (aside from writing and literature) that I excelled in more.

Reading. I can’t think of a time in my life that didn’t revolve around books and reading. I can remember vividly being read to as a child, all the time. I was lucky enough to have been taught to read at an early age, before entering school, so I was reading at a higher level than most of my peers as I grew. I may be absolutely crap at math, but reading is something I can most assuredly say I am spectacular at. The first “real” book I ever read on my own was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and I was hooked. I have read all the books in the series cover to cover more times than I can count. It was an outlet for me, to be able to jump into a magical world so vastly different from my own when things got particularly hard at home or when I wasn’t having the best time socially at school. I didn’t have the simplest childhood or teen years, but books and my imagination helped me through it. Reading will always be a part of my life, from my “first love” book of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, to every book I’ve read since then, they have all inspired me in their own ways.

Lastly, my niece and nephew. I didn’t have the best family life growing up. Nothing was very stable, there were a lot of fights, and things just weren’t very pleasant at times. I wasn’t really sure what love was when I was young. I was never sure whether or not my family loved me, or if I loved them even. It was all really complicated. But the day my niece was born, and I was able to hold her and experience her very first day in the world with her, I knew what love was. I was only ten, but I knew that she was going to be someone very special in my life. I didn’t think it was possible to ever love anyone as much as I loved that chunky little monkey, but then her brother was born, and I fell just as in love with his sweet little face the moment I saw him as I did with my niece. Those two absolutely mad children are my whole world, and I couldn’t be happier that they are the people that helped me realize what love really is.

How about you, have you ever been in love? I’d love to hear about it.

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 3

(Source)
(Source)

Day 3: What are your top three pet peeves?

1. When someone always finds something to complain about, no matter what the situation. (The irony of putting this in this post is not lost on me, I can assure you.)
2. When people see the film adaptation of a book without reading the book first, or even worse, don’t know it was a book in the first place.
3. When people make that scratchy sound with metal forks on their teeth.

Those three things are in no particular order really, and if I’m honest, there are other things that annoy me more than these from time to time, but I had to write down three, so here they are! I found it a bit funny how many things came to mind when I read this question. I never knew that there were so many little things that trigger angry responses from me, I should probably work on that, but for now, I’m just going to write a post where I complain about these insignificant things as if they were real problems, because I have been prompted to do so.

You know those people, the ones that have a tendency to chronically complain about everything in life, and seem to always blame the world when things go wrong in their lives and never themselves. There are so many things about this that bugs me, the biggest being the fact that most of the time, the things that happen in our lives happen because of the choices we make and the things that we do. Sure, there are most definitely things that happen in life that are completely uncontrollable, but those aren’t the things that these people usually complain about. I’ve not found the best response yet to deal with people that complain all the time, at this point, I just try to build them up and boost their confidence if I can, to maybe try and help them stop complaining a bit. But I can assure you, if you are someone that complains often about anything and everything anytime something doesn’t go your way, there is a huge likelihood that we won’t be very good friends.

I absolutely hate it when people see a film adaptation of a book without reading the book. It’s just one of those things that drives me crazy. I don’t know why, maybe its a conditioned response, or maybe its just the bookworm in me hoping to remind the world that the book is *almost* ALWAYS better than the film. I came across the unthinkable recently; my 11 year old niece’s friend didn’t know that Harry Potter was a book series and not just a series of films. My little heart almost shattered. The book series that shaped my whole childhood, my whole imagination and mind, was simply reduced to a series of films and not the words that flew off the pages creating vivid images in my mind. I do hope I never encounter this sort of nonsense again, but who knows, the world is full of people that are forgetting the importance of the written word.

Lastly, when people make that awful scratchy sound with forks on their teeth when they’re eating, the one that rivals nails on a chalkboard, yeah, you know the one. It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It makes my face go into this scrunched up mess of pain and annoyance. It is horrendous. Please, make it stop. PLEASE. If we’re sitting at a table eating together, don’t do what my brothers did all my life and purposefully make that horrible noise just to drive me mildly insane. That’s just cruel.

Goodness, after all that complaining and whining, I’m starting to annoy myself. Maybe writing about pet peeves is a new pet peeve of mine. Whatever the case, for better or for worse, I have disclosed the things that annoy me most to all of you, and I trust you will use them wisely. I also trust that you will find the humor in this little post, and wont take it too seriously. Speaking of seriously, the world would seriously be a less infuriating place if we could all just put these things to an end.

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

-Lexie Xx

Ancora Imparo

(Source)
(Source)

I went out today to grab some tea and a little lunch after leaving work early, and stumbled upon a little cafe that I hadn’t been to yet, which is rare in this city. I ordered my lunch and sat down at a little table near a group of men and women that didn’t look too far off from my age, maybe a touch older, and couldn’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation a bit. They were talking about life in a very general sense for a while, but then they came upon a topic that is very important to me, one that I feel should be important to everyone; Learning.

One of the men sitting nearest to me said something a bit shocking. He said quite causally, “I really feel like I’ve learned all I need to know in life”. His friends nodded and agreed with his sentiments, adding things like “yeah, I feel the same way” or “exactly, what else is there that we really have to learn?” I sat at my little table, sipping on my cup of Earl Grey, completely confused by the whole thing; how could there possibly be nothing left for them to learn? Have they explored every country? Read every book? Heard every song? Learned every language? How could they possibly have learned and absorbed all of this information, all of this knowledge, in the short few decades that they’ve been alive?

The short answer to those questions that raced through my mind is that they haven’t, and they never will. Not with that attitude and thought process. At no point in anyone’s life will there be nothing left to learn. Knowledge is infinite, and there will always be something new out there in the world that you have yet to experience, or even hear about. There are tribes in Africa with customs that we know nothing about. There are new scientific breakthroughs happening every single day that have yet to be published. There is new technology being thought of every second that has yet to be completed. There are new lives entering the world at every moment, that you may never have the chance to learn about. Even Johann Goethe, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and Leonardo da Vinci left the world before they had the chance to learn everything, and just imagine how much more there would be for them to learn if they were to come back into the world today.

Learning is something that is immeasurably important to me. It is the thing that keeps me going every day. I hope to learn as much as possible about the world. I want to travel and see as much of it as I can in my lifetime. I want to sit down with people from different walks of life and hear their stories. I want to write my own stories, to add to the material out there for people to consume. I want to learn. For the rest of my life, the thing I want to do most is to learn.

Ancora imparo. These were the words I wanted to say to those people sitting next to me, the ones that thought they knew everything, but really knew nothing. Ancora imparo. The words uttered by Michelangelo at the age of 87. Translated from Italian, it simply means “I am still learning”. Even one of the greatest minds, the sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer, knew that he still had so much left to learn.

With that, this post of ramblings and thoughts is over. If there’s one thing you take from this, I hope it is that you can never be done learning. There will never be a moment when there is nothing left in the world for you to learn and explore.
Ancora imparo.

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

-Lexie Xx