nashville || july


It's been almost a month since roadtripping to Nashville for my birthday celebration. I'm so happy to have been able to show my friends the city I fell in love with a year ago. We hit the bars on Broadway (shocker), enjoyed pizza + beer at Soulshine (again, shocker), met with some sweet friends for coffee at Barista Parlor, experienced Mas Tacos and their truly delectable Mexican cuisine, got called up to sing on stage at Tin Roof, and I may or may not have rode a mechanical bull (a minute thirty y'all!) at Tequila Cowboy. Oh, AND I met one of my major girl crushes and top 3 blog inspirations in the flesh -- the lovely James of Bleubird. She recently shared the commercial she and her family shot in East Nashville. Keep an eye out for it! It's beautiful. We met the nicest people while visiting -- many who will turn into friends in a few short months after I relocate. Excited doesn't even begin to describe it.

As for the video I made, they're all clips taken from my iPhone. I did my best.

road to recovery


It's not exactly how it sounds. This is a post about finding myself again. It's been a work in progress since breaking up with my long time boyfriend at the beginning of 2013. That relationship was both the best and worst thing to ever happen to me; I learned so much, and loved so hard, but I lost myself. From the day we started dating we were dedicated to spending the rest of our lives together. Everything we did was influenced by our future together. We became so focused on creating a stable life that we not only left our friends behind, but ourselves. Now that time has passed, I can take a step back and realize how consumed we were in each other and how toxic it became. Only recently have I realized another crucial part of my identity loss: I had no creative outlet. For the entire span of our relationship, I subconsciously sacrificed my 3 main self-expressing outlets: writing, photography, and music. These elements have played such an important part in making me who I am today. -- Ever since I was younger, I've written poems and songs. I specifically remember  being teased in middle school for writing an angsty poem while on a field trip. -- Art has always been the foundation of my being, but I have always had an attachment to photography. I was always the friend who brought their camera everywhere and took pictures of everything and uploaded millions of pictures every week. I had no shame and loved challenging myself. -- I've always been fascinated by the world that exists in music. From being part of my school's band and choir to my local theatre's musicals, they were all so divergent. But they all revolved around the same core. My fondest and most prevalent memories of high school were spent with my best friend at local venues exploring new music and meeting amazing people -- many of those who have had a major impact on my life. Many who I still maintain a friendship with today.

And all of these things. Gone.

I didn't realize how damaged my soul was at the time. The final semester weeks were dwindling when I reconnected with an old friend. We grabbed coffee one day, and before we knew it, we were spending much of our free time together. He reintroduced me to the world that is music. I could feel parts of my soul slowly coming back together. And we laughed, a lot. And sometimes you connect so well with a person that even the silence is enjoyable. And sometimes friendships turn into more. And it did. And it was great. And it was fun. And, eventually, it ended. Terribly. Messy. Ugly. Horribly. Awfully. Like, in the worst way.

It was damaging, but it was also repairing. And above everything else, I met one of my greatest friends through this mess. Now she's one of the most amazing and influential people I have in my life. I don't think I've ever connected so well -- spiritually and creatively -- to another individual.
And for this, I am grateful of the mess.

Later in the year, I took time out to focus on myself and get back on track; mostly on my school work and social life. I felt like I was regaining control over my life. I started to feel free again. Before I knew it, I had rebuilt another friendship that turned into more. And for the first few months into this year, it was great. And it was fun. And, eventually, it also ended. And it was also very, very ugly. Although this one took bigger of a toll than anyone knows. I invested so much of myself emotionally that I self-destructed at the end. But I also learned so much from it -- including my love for Nashville, which has become a vital part of my future.
And for this, I am grateful of the mess.

The point is: I've been working on myself for over a year. It's not an easy process -- there was a lot of damage. And even though more rough patches ensued along the way, I was able to pull out the positives. The past year has been full of lessons -- the most critical being that no matter what you go through or who you meet, you can always take something away from it that will make you a better, stronger person. Sometimes they'll bring you back to yourself, even if only for a moment.
It's those kinds of experiences who make you who you are.
I feel like I have come a long way, but I still have a long way to go.

I am rebuilding myself every day.
I am enjoying the road to recovery.

never the same


I watched my best friend take his last breath yesterday.
I watched the light fade from my best friend's eyes.
I felt his heart no longer beating...
As we said our final goodbyes.

That was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through, and one of the toughest decisions we had to make. I was with him all day yesterday + made sure his last meal was a good one: raspberry chocolate ice cream with extra chocolate. Today is the first day in 13 years I haven't been able to say good morning to my sweet pup... things aren't the same in our house today. Oliver has been crying and frantically running around all morning looking for B. It's a rough adjustment for all of us.

You're truly irreplaceable, B.
Finally at peace + forever in our hearts.

Stubborn Love by The Lumineers on Grooveshark

"It's better to feel pain than nothing at all."
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