Thursday, August 28, 2014

A little shorty. A little inspiration.

Uh oh.  I can already feel myself falling behind on these posts.  And that is no good. The past week has been crazy. So busy.  Well... not really (I've been laying by the pool and eating a good amount), but I need some excuse for my laziness.  It feels like things are just starting to speed up again, which leaves this poor blog in the dust.  I just started it.  Dang Corinne, get your act together.

I think I always hold myself to some ridiculous standard when it comes to blogging, where I expect to write a long narrative posts 3-4 times a week.  Which I think might be a little unrealistic.  Don't get me wrong.  I love writing.  There is something about writing that is so relaxing and fun, but it's only that way when there's no deadline looming over your head.  And hey, this is my blog so I am gonna write at my own pace.  At least once a week.  Also I absolutely love writing longer pieces, but when I'm running short on content cough ridiculous stories of my pure humiliation, I need something a bit simpler.  The blog is really in its' infant stage, aka I'm still working out the little speed bumps that seem to slow down my blogmobile. That was so cheesy.  But also kind of clever I must say... maybe less cheesy puns Corinne.  Or more simple posts, based on anything: lifestyle, fashion, decor, food, etc. what is inspiring me, in general.

And I hope to find a little more inspiration as my life moves. And it's moving quick, I move up north in the next few days (internal panic begins).  But through all this craziness,  I vow to make time for this little baby, whether the posts get shorter or not, this post is a little shorty itself.  You will not be forgotten, this is starting to sound like a script for a Rom Com.  Instead of going down that route, I leave you with this little bit of script (by one of my career role models, Grace Coddington--Creative Director at Vogue, said with such grace and influence of course).  These words will inspire me, increase my passion and excitement for life, and most of all push me to always be curious: open to learning-- because things are changing. And  I am so excited for all these changes coming up. Here I come: new job, new life, eyes wide open. Ah, this is going to be fun.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pause and Fast-Forward.

So. Big news for this girl.  And I mean like huge. massive.  THE BIGGEST NEWS EVER.  After applying to what feels like a million, trillion places, and my countless failed interviews, I finally got it right.  I finally, finally got a job! It doesn't even feel real.  I think after two months at my parents house, moving into the third month, I came to the conclusion that Corinne it's time to be realistic, you may not find a job in the next few months, it's a valid possibility that you will have to live at home for a little while.  And that was a difficult conclusion to come to, because I never thought it was something I would have to face.

After forcing myself to face that conclusion, I was down in the dumps (what a terrible saying, it sounds so gross).  I knew that eventually I would find a job, but I am a naturally impatient girl.  My mom always says, "Corinne, you always put the cart before the horse." Which isn't all that true because I would never be near a horse anyways because I find them unpredictable and scary.  But putting my smart ass comment aside, yes, my mother is probably right.  I do plan things before they happen.  But I can't help it, planning my life out-where to live, which bars I want to go to, furniture and theme for my non-existent apartment (all white with an eclectic vintage vibe)- planning all of this out was so fun, and it kept me motivated.  It kept me reaching towards that lifestyle filled with brunch, independence and paychecks.  But, there's only so many interviews that go wrong, before you start to think, what the hell am I doing wrong?  It became a challenge to stay focused on that end goal. My motivation slowly dwindling, I kept applying to jobs, slowly but surely (my pace drastically different than in the beginning of the summer).

BUT---and I'm so happy to be saying this: it has finally paid off.  All the hard work: the countless applications, stresses of interviewing, stresses of not nailing the interview, stresses of driving in the city, stresses that the fact my graduation money was slowly but surely running out; those stresses are no more! And all my hard work, (cough and my 4 years of college cough), finally showed some tangible result.  I am employed aka a real life grown up!  It feels like such a turn around from a few weeks ago, when I was in that 'I'm going to die the cat lady that's unemployed' phase (yes, I know that's dramatic, but if you know me, I am a bit on the dramatic side).

Now that's it's finally here, I officially start September 2nd, I am nervous.  A really great nervous.  An excited and happy nervous.  Because my life is really starting to begin. It's not in pause anymore, actually the past few days feel like fast-forward.  Aside from my cheesy VCR analogy, I really am surprised it all happened so quickly.  But I know I am going do fine; or at least that what I keep telling myself to calm those nerves.  This is a crazy fast new beginning and I am so excited to start.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Shoe Choice.

There seems to be quite a few reoccurring themes in my life.  My endless wardrobe of black (I blame being in Europe for 3 months for that one), my love of writing (which has come and gone and come back again),  my unearthly cravings for Chipotle burritos, and finally my luck when it comes to choosing the right shoes to wear.  When I was in school, the best part of my day was truly getting ready.  I just love getting ready for some reason, putting together an outfit you've never worn before (this is thanks to my ever expanding wardrobe and shopping problem). And the best part of putting an outfit together?  Finding the perfect shoes to wear with them.  I honestly do have a problem when it comes to shoes.  That is a true addiction.  And I try to make my outfits both stylish and practical (I always check the weather because no one wants to be the girl wearing suede booties in the rain).  But as of recently, I have been wrong with the shoe choice. I mean like completely off.  I think I truly underestimated the amount I would be walking in D.C.  When you picture D.C. you see endless traffic, but I never thought of endless blisters.  This is probably due to my lack of familiarity of the city, and although I have lived in NOVA for my whole life, I seem to always choose the wrong metro stop to get off at and end up walking miles to my destination, of course in some sort of heel.

The other day I decided to spend some time in D.C., I always want to challenge my skills when it comes to the metro, and why not? D.C. is close enough to my house, it was a gorgeous day, and I had nothing else to do (I had plans to go to the Kings of Leon concert, which ended up being cancelled).  I didn't want sit home all day, seething about the fact some idiotic fan jumped in front of the tour bus causing a huge accident and some broken bones (seriously though, some fans are too much like calm down, crazy),  and as I flipped through The Washingtonian, a huge picture of a doughnut caught my eye.  It was a really pretty doughnut (don't judge me), and my cousin previously raved on and on about the restaurant that served them (plus fried chicken, drool), GBD, which was in Dupont Circle. I like Dupont Circle, lots of fun bars, and I had never been there during the day, so why not take a little day trip?  Plus I love fried chicken almost as much as my Chipotle burritos.  

I didn't want to waste my concert outfit, which was pretty simple: a comfortable white tank top, some gold chain necklaces, acid wash jean shorts, and my favorite grey suede booties.  I love these shoes, they're my go to when I just need a little...height (note: I love wearing heels, they create a longer line in the leg and the fact that 'tall girls can't wear heels' is just silly and a little prejudice to girls like me).  I slipped the booties on and I was set.  As I parked and payed for my fare card, I was excited to be up in the city, exploring and walking around in the summer air. 

There's something that is always so intimidating about the metro.  It's cleaner than the New York subway, and pretty safe, but for some reason when I see that map (with like a million different lines), my palms start to sweat.  I knew the general direction I needed to be going, and took a guess that I should get off at the MetroStation stop (completely overlooking the Dupont Circle stop).  Excited to be out and about, I stepped off the train, confident enough that I'd find my way to the restaurant some how.  As I blinked in the sunlight, I typed the address into my phone expecting to be two to three blocks from GBD. Nope. Wrong. I was just under two MILES away from the restaurant.  I just stood there for a second. Should I take a cab? No that would be too expensive, and this girl is on a budget.  I rocked back and forth on my feet, testing the overall pain from my shoes; they felt completely comfortable at the time, plus it was a gorgeous day.  I'm just gonna do it,  I thought.  And you know what, it wasn't all that terrible.  

I have grown to enjoy people watching in D.C. it's not like any other city. You see your yuppies, older professionals, politicos etc.  I like the city, it's not overwhelming which allows me to feel comfortable exploring.  After walking a mile (praying I was going the right direction), my feet were beginning to throb. I kept going, stopping only once to pose in front of the White House like a tourist (and take a little break).  After drinking some water and taking some typical tourist pics (only took one selfie), I pushed on.  By this time, I regretted the shoe choice. It was a bit hotter than I expected, the walk was much longer than I expected and I began to wonder if I'd ever make it to the promise land.  Finally, after weaving through a few sides streets, I made out the small sign, GBD, on a little door across the street.  It was exactly 3 pm, and the restaurant looked empty.  As I glanced through the door, like a creep, panic spread across my face, thinking ARE THEY CLOSED? I cautiously pushed it open, and it was my lucky day.  The cold air rushed toward me.  As I approached the counter I learned they were open and still serving fried chicken and Maker's Mark glazed doughnuts, and although my feet hurt; I was happy and relieved.  After eating my fair share of chicken and doughnuts (pretty delicious combination)  I sat there, proud that I accomplished another successful scavenger hunt in D.C. (though I took a mile or two detour).

I stayed at the restaurant for a few hours, experiencing the beginnings of happy hour in Dupont Circle (happy hour is the best time to people watch plus they had some awesome Sangria).  I then walked to the nearest metro stop which was about 10 steps from the GBD (I know, lesson learned, study the metro map more Corinne) and headed home.  And although I am convinced I am developing permanent blisters, I might as well get used to them.  Because I am not caving on the two things that seem to be causing them: heels and the fabulous city of Washington D.C. Until my next adventure in the city, I might give my feet a little break.  But hey, I have an interview tomorrow... and everyone knows the way to show confidence in an interview: a killer pair of heels.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

James Madison, miss you.

Today the feeling of FOMO is hitting me hard.  For those of you not familiar with the term 'FOMO' it stands for 'fear of missing out' or in general the feeling that you're missing something.  And as much as I hate to admit it, I am seriously experiencing FOMO for JMU.  I almost feel homesick. Which is strange.  But I called JMU home for the last four years and it feels weird not going back to my townhouse (and my beautifully decorated room, ah).  My sister goes back tomorrow,  because of course she has to be back for FROG week (for all of you JMU alums you know what that is, for all you non JMU alums-well FROG week is the most fun, most exhausting week of the JMU school year and it's an event in itself).

But in all seriousness, JMU was one of the best things that happened to me.  It sounds cheesy, but college really helped me mature as a person, find who I really wanted to be; it helped me grow up.  The first time I went to JMU was for a yearbook camp in high school, I know, yearbook camp.  This is when I was super involved in every club, determined to pump up my resume, plus I really like being a yearbook editor.  That would be my inner nerd coming out, but as I approached JMU,  I knew something about the school was different.  Everyone was happy, and I mean like genuinely happy, not like creepy Stepford Wives happy.  And the campus was beautiful, out of movie beautiful.  At the time I was contemplating going to College of Charleston, and although South Carolina is absolutely breathtaking, it didn't compare to the 'feeling' I got when I walked on campus at JMU for the first time.  Whenever someone asked me, "Why did you choose James Madison?"  I always responded the same way, "It was a feeling."  And for me, someone who doesn't like change at all, JMU felt like a comfortable transition.  That sounds lame, but it really was fate; a perfect distance from home, filled with enough friends that I wouldn't feel bombarded by new people, and it had a good reputation (both for fun and for the business school).  So when the time came to decide, I already knew.  JMU felt like home.

And over the last four years, it was the perfect home.  The first week coming to JMU, FROG week, was nerve-racking.  It was also filled with awkward ice breakers (note: ice breakers DO NOT help you make friends, they're just extremely socially awkward exercises forced upon you by overly enthusiastic people), but, over time I grew really, really close to the people in my dorm (who knows, maybe I'm completely wrong about those horrid exercises).  We did everything together, and living with the same people for a full year, well, you learn a lot about yourself.  Freshmen year was like a never ending summer camp, where classes were optional and going out became a norm.  I never wanted to go home, like honestly, it was like Disney World for 19 year olds. Which I learned quickly, did not make for the best grades.  Over time I adjusted my routine, and within the year, I had it down.  Like I was the ideal JMU student, who valued the social and the academic.  When summer came, I didn't want to home.  I was convinced life couldn't get any better.

The next three years that followed are a blur.  Sophomore year was a lot different, made some interesting decisions.  I got a little caught up in my own world, and felt a bit lost after the year ended.  But as my junior year approached I knew it would be different, I was about to encounter the hardest semester ever, or so I heard from previous COB 300 alums.  And it was the hardest semester (academically), but still a blast.  Only at JMU can you feel totally overworked but completely happy at the same time.  The next semester I went to Florence, and that speaks for itself, I was in Europe. Like honestly words can't describe what I experienced. Food, wine, traveling, art, clothes, and more wine. Perfection.  Studying abroad should be mandatory for all college students, it's life-altering.

Finally it was my senior year, and as I returned to school, I was completely blown away how quickly the past three years flew.  Like really, it flew by (time flies when you're having fun) and I knew my senior year was my last hurrah, so I wanted to make it fun.  Between applying to jobs, going to classes, planning a trip to Vegas for spring break, and going out routinely (a good amount, I won't say how much I went out, but let's just say a good amount) the year flew by and graduation approached without me expecting it.  It sort of hit me in the face, and the next thing I knew I was walking across the stage, praying not to fall, grasping my diploma (well the fake one they give you) thinking, this is surreal, this can not be my college graduation.  But it came and went and I actually only cried like five times. Which, if you know me well, is pretty impressive.  Honestly, I'm surprised I wasn't sobbing walking across stage.  I wasn't really sad, I mean I was ready to graduate; to be working and done with school, but I knew that this was the end of an era.

And as I look back at my JMU career, I am so proud.  I really changed throughout those four years.  I became smarter (hopefully), more well rounded, and learned some very important things: how to do laundry, how to make pasta (still working on the overall cooking thing), how to drink (in a mature fashion), how to be open to people and how to be independent. Plus I met some of the most amazing people, people who changed me.  And although I tend to not be a very 'school spirited' kind of girl,  I will always love JMU.  Look out freshmen, you have some big shoes to fill, but really, enjoy it.  Hey, don't you worry, the class of 2014 will all be back for homecoming.  Rumor has it, it's on Halloween weekend, which we all know, is going to be absolutely and utterly ridiculous.  But, I wouldn't expect anything else from the best school in the nation: J-M-U (duuuuuukes, tear tear, grabbing the tissues).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Simple, Happiness.

When I was younger, all I wanted was to be old.  I would look at older girls and think you know I wanna look like them, with their dresses, heels, and makeup, as I pranced around my room in mom's heels and old eighties shades of lipstick.  No lie, I looked like the Joker. Plus it was probably all over my face which contributed to the insane clown child look.  A few years later, my mom let me buy a small tube of lipstick for myself.  It was my lucky day, and as I ran around CVS, basically convulsing with excitement at the rows and rows of colors, different reds and pinks, I knew I had made it, I was one of them.  Of course I chose the most hideous color, bubble gum pink, which I'm still convinced is not flattering on a single living person. Whether it was hideous or not, I was happy.  Because I was one of those girls, the girls who wore heels and makeup.  I was older.

But now, with everything that is going on in my world and the world around me, I sometimes long to be a kid.  Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that I can go to bars, vote, drive, work.  Hey, and I enjoy happy hour just as much as the next person.  And don't even get me started when it comes to mojitos/margaritas on the beach--I am one satisfied girl. Being 22, freshly graduated, I get it; I have the ability to do anything right now. But life as a kid was so simple.  I didn't understand stresses of bills, insurance, taxes (pssh I still don't understand how to file my own taxes).  I would look at my dad doing bills think, wow look at all those checks and paperwork, he is one important, rich man, I can't wait to do bills!  Oh how naive you were, young Corinne. Quoting a famous proverb (that I just made up), "With knowledge comes the understanding of both the good and the bad," and now I fully understand the awesome times and the not so awesome ones.

But just reminisce with me for a second: wasn't it the best when you played outside all day?  Like what did we do for 10 hours straight?  Honestly, like throw rocks at each other?  Sometimes I think of myself as a kid.  I created a music room and charged kids money to listen to music in a room, I know, crazy right?  But kids actually came and paid me. Already had that business sense I guess.  Those kids were so gullible, but hey so was I.  I used to visit my grandparents in Hollister, California (yes it's an actual place, and no it's nowhere close to the beach),  and that old house holds some of the best memories for me. I used to picture myself living there, all grown up and living in California--the best state there is, and though I don't know if I'm comfortable giving California all of that credit now, it did provide me with some fun times as a kid.  My brother and sister and I used to sit in the drive way of my grandparent's house, draw on the concrete with chalk or read old books we found in the shed out back (one time I found an old copy of Carrie, the cover scarred me for life). And we used to play wall ball (aka just throw the ball at me because I could neither catch nor throw, meaning I was usually the last one picked for games or sports and the first one out
- but that's another story).  Those little memories (besides being pelted with a ball) make me so happy; the simplicity and fun of being a kid.

Ah, but this is taking too many turns down memory lane, it's making me a little carsick.  Although sometimes, it is nice to think about those times when maybe you didn't worry as much, maybe you just enjoyed who was around you.  I like that about kids.  They're like the original Rastafarians, no worries, just a huge smile across their face, proud of the latest fort they built or music room they created.  Hey, maybe I just need to listen to more Bob Marley and relax.  Bob and the kids seem to know what's up, what the key to life is: Simple, happiness. (Cue Three Little Birds,  "Don't worry about a thing...")

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Magic Heels.

Do you ever just see something, and think, you know what, this is going to be my good luck charm. That was the case with these shoes.  To me they seemed too perfect.  The exact mix of business and party, the mullet of shoes.  I saw them staring at me from a far and thought, I'm going to buy these overpriced shoes because they are going to get me a job.  Well.  There may have a bit of a disjoint with that causality.  But whatever, the shoes symbolized a new Corinne, polished and professional, taking care of business like a boss.

Boy, did I learn.  The day of my back to back interviews came and I was ready.  What's that saying, "Dress well, test well," well I like to think of it as dress well, interview well and my outfit just felt right.  I was wearing red, which if I remember correctly (according to some cheesy magazine I read years ago) red meant passionate, determined and intense.  Exactly what I was going for. And to top it off, I had my new shoes on.  After slipping those babies on; I felt invincible.

Driving is always less challenging than I expect in heels, it's actually quite easy.  Leaving with time to spare I sped into D.C. already anxious of parking.  I am convinced D.C. has the worst, the worst drivers known to mankind, and with me in the mix, WATCH OUT.  As I passed the office I was interviewing at, I began to panic, how do people park in the city?! Like really how does it work.  Refusing to risk humiliation in a horrible attempt to parallel park, I decided to park six blocks from the interview in a parking garage that charged me $30 upfront. It's fine, it's fine, I thought, I am wearing my lucky shoes.  And so I left the garage feeling triumphant that I hadn't crashed into a pedestrian. As I began to walk the six long blocks to the interview, everything just felt...right.  It was a sunny day.  Everyone was passing me with a purpose and I felt like I belonged.  Plus I looked the part, and confidently walked towards my destiny.  My dreams of living in the city were rudely interrupted by a homeless man who at first said "Give me money!" and then continued to tell me to "go back to my own country" I looked at him and smiled, YOU are not going to ruin this for me, I have my lucky heels on and I'm the one heading to the interview mister (side note: if you were homeless, wouldn't you be nicer to people so they are actually temped to "give you money" but I digress).

I felt so proud making it to the interview early that I ignored the digging sensation coming from my feet.  No, I thought, my shoes are perfect, these beauties aren't going to give me blisters, they're getting me a job!  However, after having to run to my second interview, literally run, I decided I could maybe... possibly be a little tinny bit wrong about the magical shoes.  And maybe about these interviews as well.  Feeling a little defeated and more than a little tired, I drove home contemplating the last interview question:

"What degrees past 12 o'clock is the hour hand at 3:15?"

After reworking millions of ways to solve the problem in my head (it's 97.5 degrees to any of you attempting this horribly lame interview question), I finally put it to rest, the interview was over.  As I looked over my shoulder to change lanes,  I smiled, seeing my magical heels sitting in the backseat, my confidence restored.  Okay, they may not be magic, but I had no regrets buying these lovely shoes.  Learning from them (that I can only wear them for 2 hours max). And although I didn't wear them to a winning interview, I will one day wear these to a job that I love, for 2 hours.  And hey, they were still sexy as hell.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hello, Hey, How You Doing?

I’m sort of in a weird place right now.  If you have recently graduated and are currently looking for a job maybe you get what I mean.  Actually, you don’t even have to be in that exact situation—just in between, in a lull, in a rut.   When you hear people say, “You know, I never thought I would be here right now” you think, well where else did you picture yourself to be?  Well now I get it.  I didn’t picture myself to be here right now.  And don’t worry, this isn’t a self-help sort of blog, this is a ‘let’s explore my interests and figure this out’ kind of thing.  A smart, or maybe not so smart person once told me, “Corinne, keep your expectations low, and you’ll never be disappointed."  WAIT, what? That has to be the saddest advice someone’s ever given me and thank goodness I haven’t taken it thus far.  And I don’t think I ever will, I don’t think I physically can.  Luckily I get my hopes up easily meaning I have felt almost every form of disappointment (job opportunities, dating, school, hey even restaurant recommendations), which I think is actually is a good thing. With disappointment comes learning--growing.  And surprisingly through all of my sarcasm, I tend to be an optimist.  And you know, I do believe everything happens for a reason, and I also believe what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  I didn’t mean to quote a song there.  Or a thousand cheesy inspiration posters (cue high school counselors’ office).  What I’m trying to say is yes, I didn’t expect to be here, but hey no one can tell the future—if I could I would making BANK off of that skill—and I still have time to figure out where I want to go and who I want to be.  For now, I am trying to enjoy my life; making mistakes, learning, dating, eating, drinking and shopping along the way, but making my mind up on what I think is important and what makes me happy.

So to wrap this up; this is my new blog.  I’ve blogged before when I studied abroad in Florence, Italy, and it really was cathartic. Plus extremely easy, I mean I was in Europe for 3 month aka unlimited stories of food, love, and travel.  But I am no longer in Europe.  So this is me, going out on a metaphorical limb and hoping I will find something to inspire me, to show a real side of me and what I am interested in, and to lift me from this metaphorical limb to something a little more sturdy.  Maybe it’ll lead me somewhere fun. Preferably a bar that serves great brunch.  Oh and unlimited mimosas.