Just Another Manic Monday… Or Is It?

Mondays can be rough.

Maybe you’ve had a super awesome weekend, and you don’t want it to end.

Perhaps your weekend was less than stellar, but you feel as though the week will just be worse.

No matter what your story is, sometimes we could all use a little Monday motivation to start the week off right.

Here’s a few things to do not just on Monday, but all through the week to keep motivated and productive:

  • Go out this week and do something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t done.
  • Break a sweat. Whether it’s bike riding, going to the gym, doing yoga, playing tennis, or cleaning your house, it doesn’t matter. Just get moving!
  • Make a to-do list. There’s nothing more motivating than the feeling of slowly checking off everything you’ve put on there.
  • Smile! Especially if you don’t feel like it.
  • Text that friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with, and set a time to ACTUALLY get together.
  • Find quotes that inspire you, and reflect on how they can help you in your life.
  • Take twenty minutes for yourself. Watch a sitcom on Netflix, start journaling, or just sit down and make a cup of hot chocolate.
  • Realize that everyday can be a new beginning. You don’t need the New Year to bring change into your life.
  • Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re awesome!
  • Write down a plan of how you could make your dreams a reality, even if it seems outrageous.

Mondays are best when handled with a positive mental attitude, so put a smile on your face, and show the world how incredible you can be!

xoxo Megan

When Is Enough, Enough?: How I Met Your Mother Edition

WARNING: CONTAINS SOME LIGHT SEASON 9 SPOILERS FOR HIMYM. If you don’t want anything spoiled, I’d suggest not reading.

I finally am caught up on the last couple of episodes of the new season of How I Met Your Mother, and I don’t know how much longer I can watch.

If you had asked me a year ago if I thought the show should have a ninth season, I would have said yes in heartbeat. Now that season 9 is halfway through, I’m wishing they had added 3 episodes onto last season and ended it there.

First things first, there was no need to focus an entire season on one weekend. It feels as though everything is being dragged out rather than neatly being wrapped up.  It seems as though every other episode this season is vaguely related filler.

While I was impressed by the continuity of the exes and the slap bet in “Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra”, I found myself asking “What is the point in all this?” The more I watch the more I question why I’m still watching. This episode was driven by an outlandish storyline that never really related back to anything more in the season, and it ended with Boyz II Men singing “You Just Got Slapped.” That literally happened.

Was a new season really worth all this excess? I don’t think so. I find myself even forgetting that this season is happening because it has yet to completely enthrall me. I’ve been watching the episodes, but usually not until a week or so later.

My dream season would have been this: Three episodes after the initial reveal of the mother. One episode of how the mother met the gang, one episode of Barney & Robin’s wedding, and one final hour long episode of the moments during and directly after Ted meets the Mother.

My dream season will never happen, so until Ted meets the Mother, I (and the rest of the show’s viewers) will have to sit through filler and odd plotlines leading up to the season finale that we’ve all been waiting years for.

One final note, I think enough will be rebooting the series through the spinoff “How I Met Your Father”…

Sometimes A Perfect Album Comes Along

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It will be the album you turn to when you’ve had a bad day (or it’s raining outside).

It’s going to be the one that teaches you about life and growing up.

That album will be what reminds you you’re not alone.

You’ll put this album on every time you’re in the car with your friends in hopes that they can relate to it and love it as much as you (even though they probably won’t).

It will show you the power of music as it overtakes your emotions.

That album will be unlike anything you’ve ever heard (even if it sounds just like some other band’s album).

If you have a record player, you’ll buy this album on vinyl because you want to hear it sound so pure and imperfect at the same time.

It’ll be the album that you’ll never be able to explain why you love it so much because no one else will understand.

When you find it, don’t take it for granted because there will come a time where the themes aren’t relevant to you any more, and it will be nothing more than something you play every once in a while for nostalgia’s sake.

I pity those who don’t have an album like this because there’s nothing better.

Finding Peace Outside The City

One of my absolute favorite parts of living in Nashville is living in the city, but still being so close to nature. I love that I can spend a beautiful afternoon hiking with my best friends & taking pictures in the same place I can go to a concert every night if I so choose.

Coming from a small rural town in Pennsylvania, sometimes it’s nice to be able to escape the city for a breath of fresh air. Being back in the woods brings me a calm that is able to keep me centered after a hectic first week back to classes.

It’s days like today that reassure me Nashville is the city I love, and that I can’t wait to continue to call it home.

Departures & Arrivals: Plus What Happens In Between

It seems as though every time that I’m at an airport I’m reminded of Hugh Grant’s opening monologue from Love Actually.

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there — fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge — they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.

Earlier this week, I had a surreal moment where I realized how magical airports are. There are thousands of people heading to hundreds of destinations all with different reasons. Some people are heading to reunite with loved ones while others are leaving those loved ones behind. Families are going on vacations. Students are heading back to the campuses they call home. Everyone is on their own journey, and for the first time it hit me just how incredible that is.

We all have our own lives, our own struggles, our own plans, yet we find our own paths intersecting with others at times we don’t necessarily expect. Most people keep their headphones on and eyes glued to their phones, but every once in a while, one should look around and learn more about some of the journeys of the strangers surrounding us.

During my latest flight, I got the chance to have a conversation I’ll never forget with two other ladies on my flight. We began discussing where we were headed and where we were coming from. Two of us were heading back to school, while the other was heading home after finally meeting a guy she had been talking to online for a year. In the short twenty minutes or so that we interacted, I learned so much about the human experience. I watched the three of us connect because we had the smallest similarities, despite the major differences in age and background.

This flight reminded me of why I’m a people person. I absolutely love reading about and hearing stories of other real people. Even if I have nothing in common, I’m enthralled by the human experience. On the flight, I got to hear stories about working with kids with special needs, about spending time in the Dominican Republic, about meeting a neice for the first time in 38 years, and most importantly, finding love and happiness in the most unexpected place.

I’m at a time in my life where I’m not always positive of the direction that my life is taking, but I know for sure that I want to spend as much time as I can learning about others and their own experiences and the lessons they’ve learned. We all have our own destinations, but what really matters are the times where our paths come together, if only for a moment, in order to show us that we are all simply human.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

A Trip Down Memory Lane

As I sit in my bedroom at my parents house (I don’t feel like this is home anymore), I realize I’m surrounded by the remnants of a person that I used to be. Autographed posters of boy bands who are no longer together. Books I read for high school, but never touched again. A bulletin board of ticket stubs, random pins, and various pictures of others and myself from years past. Half burnt candles and barely used lotions scatter the mantle and vanity. A fake rose given to me after a performance in the high school talent show.

The most haunting of them all though is four pink letters surrounded by pictures. “Life” it reads. As I look at the pictures, it’s an array of events that I once believed were the best days of my life. Most of the faces are ones I hardly know anymore; people I see here and there, but few words are exchanged in between. At one point, this was my life. I was who I thought I wanted to be. That was until I left, leaving the life I used to have behind me in a Subaru rear view mirror.

Two and a half years doesn’t seem like a long time, but I feel as though the photos on my wall are from an eternity ago. An era that my mind doesn’t seem to enjoy wandering, too. Simply because, while the memories are pleasant, the emptiness I feel looking at those photos reminds me of why I left it all behind. The feelings of having a large group of friends, but no one to call my best friend. The thoughts of feeling as though I couldn’t do anything right, even if I was just trying to say what was on my mind. The inner turmoil that came from feeling on the outside even though I was a part of the group.

Now my life can be found in three suitcases sprawled across the floor waiting to be packed up again in a couple of days. My home is Nashville now, but more importantly, home is the love and friendship I’ve found with those I’m close to. I’m in a place where I surround myself with people who are good for me and the person that I’ve become. My dreams are coming closer to reality with each passing day. Most importantly though, I’m finding myself; who I am and who I want to be.

Life is always going to be a four letter word, but I’m starting to realize that what really matters are the memories and people found in the photos around it.

How Binge Watching Is Ruining My TV Experience

Okay, so “ruining” may be too harsh of a phrase, but my TV experience is definitely changing.

Since I’ve been home for winter break, I’ve watched 4 episodes of Breaking Bad, 9 episodes of Modern Family, and a whopping 31 episodes of Supernatural.

With Netflix as my sidekick, I’ve been able to watch TV without the suspense of waiting a week or even months if the episode happened right before a hiatus. In a way, I feel as though I’m cheating myself out of the true experience. 

As mad as I get when it happens, I love the anticipation that leads up to a new episode. The buildup that comes from thinking of the countless possibilities of what is next. “When will Swan remember who she is?” “How EXACTLY is Ted going to meet the mother?” “Is Carrie actually over Sebastian?” Every week I get to look forward to my questions being answered, even if I have to wait for more than one episode.

With the TV shows that I still follow on a weekly basis, I act like a six year old on Christmas sitting in front of the TV waiting for a season premiere. 

Netflix robs me of that anticipation and has completely changed the TV watching/series following experience. If something suspenseful happens, I don’t have to wait days to find the answers, and I also don’t have to stop and change DVDs. In fact, Netflix will automatically start playing the next episode, so I don’t have to move.

Binge watching changes TV shows into a movie-esque event. Yes, they’re still separated into episodes, but they all run together much like an extra long movie as compared to one puzzle piece at a time. If you look at binge watching as a really long movie or as a challenge of how many episodes can be watched in one day, then it brings a whole new experience that can be a different kind of magic than the suspense one day, week after week. It’s simply a whole different ballgame.  

We as a society are keen on instant gratification. We feel as though we should have exactly what we want the moment we realize that we want it. When it comes to television, services such as Netflix and Hulu+ give us the opportunity to binge on most of our favorite series without interruption and at our own pace. We’re able to satisfy our desire to know exactly what’s going to happen next without waiting for producers and TV stations to set time aside to slowly reveal answers. 

At the end of the day, I’m not going to be giving up Netflix binging any time soon. It’s just too much fun. I will, however, always set aside a show or two that I watch on a weekly basis in order to not give up the contemplation and sense of wonder that having to wait for a new episode brings into my life.