Alright pals, I'm gonna get a little tech-talky with ya today :)
If you're like me, you probably spend WAY too much time on the internet. I mean, it's verging on unhealthy... Some of my favorite internet pastimes are blogs & social media among others (I'm lookin at you buzzfeed). I mean the hours I spend perusing around the blogosphere & social media stalking is straight up ridiculous.
Good thing I found these sites to help me cut down my time online!
For you blog lovers out there, I recommend you check out BlogLovin (very appropriately named). This site is great for following ALL of your favorite blogs! It's like a Twitter feed just for the blogs you love!! Genius right? You can customize your feed exactly how you want it and even get emails sent straight to you when new posts are up instead of just mindlessly waiting around for new updates from your favorite friends (I mean, friends in theory. I like to believe I would be great friends with these fine folks). Also, it's great for finding other blogs that peak your interests. Without this site I never would've seen, much less adored, these guys!
For those of y'all who have a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, Vimeo, and/or Google + account, that is (clearly) a lot to keep up with. Instead why don't you check out About.Me and better yet, create one for yourself! I know, I know, you're probably thinking "If I have to create one more account with a new profile picture and a bio that brings back too many bad middle school memories of trying to create the perfect AIM away message, I'm gonna FLIP OUT". I feel ya, I really do. But before you flip out, how about creating oooooone last account that combines EVERYTHING. Now, doesn't that sound better? I thought so.
3. My pages (subtle much?)
So here's the deal, in another life I was DEFINITELY British... There's just no question about it.
I throw my (rough) British accent around in conversations pretty much every single day. I use it so much that for Christmas this year my parents got me a CD set of what is basically the Rosetta Stone for speaking English with Foreign Accents...complete with Cockney AND Proper British lessons. Though a clear gag gift, it might just be my favorite gift I have ever received.
My obsession with the royal family is no joke. I woke up at 4 in the morning to watch the royal wedding with some dear, equally obsessed friends, have seen possibly every documentary/movie on British Royals, have a tea towel with Will & Kate's face on it (thanks Granny!) AND my mom even has the same birthday as the Queen!! (obviously that one wasn't my doing, but it still makes me real happy)
I also have always had a special place in my heart for British film, television and books! I have read every Jane Austen novel more than a few times and seen all the films-which definitely includes those classic BBC versions, duhhh. I'm a huge fan of the British version of The Office, and MI-5 might just be my favorite crime television show (which is saying a lot because I marathon NCIS, Law & Order SVU, Psych & NCIS:LA on the reg). And don't even get me started on my sincere, undying, forever love of Harry Potter. Just to put it in perspective... My house in Texas and now my apartment in LA, both have a bathroom under the stairs which we affectionately refer to as the "Harry Potty" (because Harry lived under the stairs...get it?).
And HELLO! Who could forget about the music? On any given day growing up, you could drive past my house and see the entire family dancing around to Queen, The Who or of course, the greatest band of ALL TIME, The Beatles. And no Sunday would be complete without going for a drive with the windows down, sunglasses on, and the whole fam belting out "Gloria" by Van Morrison at the top of their lungs. Oh! And speaking of Mr. Morrison, I got to give a shout-out to our family song "Brown Eyed Girl", that we could all basically preform for you at the drop of a hat, family Von Trapp style. It's not just the classics that I love either. Amy Winehouse had an incredible voice and every Mumford & Sons song pretty much speaks straight to my soul. And fine, I'll admit it, I'm a BIG One Direction fan... I blame it on growing up in the 90's with a strong love of boy bands (I will Mmmbop until the day I die), AND the fact that it's so refreshing to see a group of guys my age doing what they love, having a good time and not taking themselves too seriously... You keep on telling the story of your lives fellas, you do you!
But I think, above all else, the thing I love most about the British world is their kindness. Sure, not every British lad or lady you meet will be kind. But it is just plain wonderful to meet polite people who are genuinely pleasant to talk to. In the span of 24 hours I randomly encountered 2 groups of British peeps at work and I gotta say, they have completely influenced the way I will interact with people from now on.
The first fella, I'll admit, completely charmed the pants off me (not literally, I am a professional!). He came in, very polite, told me the name of the executive he was meeting with, and said "cheers" (in the magical way Brits do:) when I handed him a water bottle. Other people came in and out of the lobby as he was waiting, he gave up his seat for anyone who came in (even though there were more than enough chairs/couches to go around), was quiet in a very echo-y lobby, and smiled to every person that walked by no matter if they were maintenance or a suit. After the meeting he came back to the lobby, shook my hand, said thank you and "catch ya later!" (swoon). As a receptionist, it is surprisingly rare for people to come back to the lobby to thank you for something you did several hours before, especially when they just spent hours meeting with the powerful big wigs upstairs who could have just changed their life. The next morning, 2 pleasant British ladies came in to meet another executive. After calling the assistant to announce they were here, I offered them something to drink as I have done with every other guest. They almost seemed surprised that I would even offer, and when I brought them their water bottles they said "that is so kind of you, thank you". Hearing those words completely warmed my heart. After I started thinking about it, in conversation, interviews, films and what have you, I have heard loads of different British people say, "that is so kind". And to me, that phrase is so much more warming and sincere than "thanks!" or "that's so sweet". I don't know why, maybe it's because it just feels more genuine and it helps you to recognize their kindness in return.
Kindness is contagious friends, the best kind of thing you can catch. And I don't know about you, but if I am going to pass anything along in this world, I want it to be kindness. Maybe it's just the beautiful springtime weather we have been having lately or listening to "Happily" by One Direction on repeat, but I am really excited and happy to make a conscious effort to pass kindness forward, especially in the work place.
All this to say, thank you random British strangers who showed me kindness this week! You have forever influenced the way I deal with people. And thanks for having the most charming accents EVER.
Sorry about the cheesiness of this video...
I just wanted to share my latest car jam with y'all because I actually really do love this song, but this video...rough.
I'm a big believer in movies (that's probably why I ended up in LA). But I'm an even bigger believer in movie quotes.
We all know the classics "Here's looking at you kid" and "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" which are all just fine and dandy. But give me a person who can fearlessly throw a "Zetus lupetus!" (from the 1999 critically acclaimed Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century) into any old conversation, and THAT is the person I'm gonna invite to allllllllllll the parties. As soon as I hear someone throw out a random movie quote in the middle of a conversation, I know I've found a pal for life. The more creative, obscure and/or from the 90s the better!
Here are some of my personal favs...
1. When there's a lull in the conversation, try fighting the awkward silence with this bad boy from one of my all time favorite characters, Harry in When Harry Met Sally...
"You know, I have a theory that Hieroglyphics are
really an ancient comic strip about
a character named Sphinxie."
2. When someone offends you, channel your inner Mushu from the Disney classic Mulan...
"Dishonor! Dishonor on YOU!
Dishonor on your COW!"
3. When you're not sure how to approach a group of guys at a sports bar, take a note from Viola/Sebastian in She's The Man...
"So, uh, you play the beautiful game... bros... brothers... brethren?"
4. When your boss yells at you for being late (for the umpteenth time) show him your classy side and quote the classiest of class, Julie Andrews in Princess Diaries...
"A Queen is never late, everyone else is simply early"
5. When trying to convince your friend to do anything really, bring it back to 1998 with some solid words from your main bra-h in Brink!...
"When you woke up this morning, did you say to yourself 'Today, I'm gonna talk.' or
'Today, I'm gonna skate!'?!?!"
6. When someone tries to intimidate you, channel your inner Mushu from Disney's classic Mulan (again)...
"Ooo, I think my bunny slippers just ran for cover"
7. When your roommate leaves for work and you're still on the couch, show your support like Miracle Max & Valerie in The Princess Bride...
"Have fun storming the castle!"
8. When you're sooo over your friends never-ending political debate, throw in some wise words from
Cher in Clueless...
"If the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly
party with the Haitians."
9. When another teeny-bopper complains about not having the newest crop-top from Forever 21, quote the most underrated character in 10 Things I Hate About You (the movie, not that horrendous tv show), Mr. Morgan...
"I know how difficult it must be for you to overcome all those years of upper middle-class suburban oppression. Must be tough."
10. When your tired of justifying your latest Netflix obsession, get all epic Coach Boone from
Remember The Titans...
"This is not a democracy. It is a dictatorship.
I am the law."
I want to live life like Anne Shirley.
I don't know why it took me this long to piece that together.
This stage in my life is very transitional. I am just starting to discover who I want to be, though I thought that's what high school/college was about. I will never deny that my childhood & college years have helped shape me into who I am now, but part of living in the same state surrounded by the same people meant there wasn't a lot of room for change in personality. Granted, I'm not saying I have changed my personality, I am just growing more and more to love who I am and becoming exceedingly happy to share it with the world. Part of that is due to moving to a new city/state and part of that is just what happens to you in your 20s.
So in this transition, I've been doing a lot of thinking about who I want the world to see when they see me. As much as I have tried to deny it and judged others for it, there have been many different "versions" of myself over the years: "Professional Katie", "Sarcastic Katie", "Texas Katie", "New York Katie", "Creative Katie", "Shy Katie", "Goofy Katie", "Awkward Katie", and many many more. It's not like any of these are polar opposites from each other or anything, they just all have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. But no more. Why can't I strive to be the best version of myself, all the time, no matter where I am or who I'm with? "Because that's setting a pretty impossible goal for yourself Katie, that's why!" Sure sure, that's true. But I can sure as heck try my hardest.
I've been working on this (me) for sometime now and recently thought it'd be a good idea to share. When I thought good and hard about the characteristics in myself that I wanted people to really see, I couldn't help but think about the nature of others that have inspired me all my life. That's when it became a no brainer... Anne Shirley!
Anne of Green Gables was, and still is to this day, one of my favorite literary stories of all time. I remember seeing the book for the first time on a shelf in my mom's craft room and being immediately drawn to it. I remember plopping down on my super cool pink and white striped beanbag chair and watching the series VHS's we had rented from the library (well that didn't make me sound ancient or anything...). I think that was the first time I watched 3 movies (which meant about 6 VHS tapes) over and over and over again for days, that's what binge watching looked like before Netflix kids. And OK, confession time: Gilbert Blythe was my first and forever crush. But that's a whole other post :) I'm here to talk about Anne Shirley.
Anne is fearless. Anne is sincere. Anne is kind. She is a daydreamer, she is a good friend, she is an optimistic adventurer.
Anne Shirley is a lover of life.
These are the traits I love most in any person, but what I love even more is how Anne Shirley lives them. She taught me to fearlessly accept who I am and be proud to show the world. She taught me to be genuine in thought and belief. She taught me that kindness matters. She taught me to never ever EVER stop dreaming, imagination is one of life's greatest gifts. She taught me the importance of being a good, loyal, forever friend. She taught me that adventures are worth having and that enjoying the anticipation can be half the fun because "nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them.". And she taught me that though life will not always be pretty and happy, it is important to LOVE life through even the most sad and hardest of times.
Every last one of these lessons are timeless. They can be applied in any relationship or even in the modern day workplace (you better believe Anne Shirley would fearlessly eat that last doughnut sitting all alone on the conference room table). She knows the value of hard-work and has a passion for never giving up. She fights for her beliefs, friends, family and the dreamer in all of us. If I could spend a day, a hour even, with anyone fictional or real, it would without a second thought be her. I can just imagine how infectious her energy would be, and that is something I know I would take with me for the rest of my life.
So here's to living life with her energy from now on. Here's to never giving up hope for a life filled with beauty. Here's to living without being preachy. Here's to growing in fearlessness and character. Here's to living the Anne Shirley way.
I'm a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. addict,
happiness enthusiast, lover of
thrift store sweaters, diet coke, and Meg Ryan movies. I'm a Los Angeles newbie by way of Texas. This blog is for friends, family and fellow
20-somethings to keep up with my
life in this crazy town. It's not glamorous but it's an adventure.
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