Life Lately (everything is awesome)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I so wish I was in France right now. Not in a bad way, and not because I don't want to be in Denver, but because it was SO much easier to blog in France! Life lately... well life lately has been incredibly busy. And honestly? I love how busy it is.

There are so many great - seriously great - things that are happening right now, and I cannot express how grateful I am for that. I was so scared that I would get back from studying abroad and feel empty, and hopeless, and that my life would be boring. While I miss France so much, sometimes it hurts, studying abroad gave me incredible clarity and spark.

I feel a lot more confident and comfortable in who I am, my passions, and what I want out of my relationships and in my life. That has meant letting go of some things. Sometimes it feels so weird to be living a life that I didn't plan... or living a life that is so different from what I had planned. But if I'm honest, it's about 10,000,000 times better than I had imagined.

I am in love with my internship. I get so excited, and no matter how I feel - sick, tired, stressed about school or life - whenever I'm there I feel great. I know that at least for a while, I'm doing what I want to do. That little bit of clarity is so nice. 

My friends are basically wonderful. Seriously. I saw my bestest friend for the first time in a couple months just last week, and when I'm freaking out about boys or school or whatever, she lets me vent and be crazy Zoe. I love having someone who is so wonderful, it's like we never miss a beat.

Formal was this past weekend. I love formals! But this formal was the best formal I've been to in my undergraduate career. It was SO awesome. So much fun. Thanks to my super awesome date, and my super awesome friends. Plus, my seriously great dress. #goldsequinsfordays

It's snowing in CO right now. I will not get a snow day, and I know that, but I'm drinking tea and avoiding doing my homework like I will. Questionable life choice? Maybe. Regret? Never.

I'm starting my Senior Thesis! It's crazy, and daunting, and intimidating, and scary, and exciting, and exhilarating, and I can't wait to actually start researching things! I'm researching France, and the region I studied in, so I know that I can keep my love for France and Normandy alive.

So, I'm sorry I haven't been blogging as much. I so wish my blog was full of interesting things, but I'm glad because it means I'm out living life. I read somewhere, and I don't remember where, but another blogger said not to get too caught up in blogging. Remember to live life so you have something to blog about. Right now, I'm living life and absolutely loving it. So when it slows down, I'll have a lot to blog about. :)

Basically... I just feel like this:

So, now, life lately!!

Reading... All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It's SO good!

Watching... The Oscars? More consistently (re)watching Sherlock.

Working on... Senior Thesis. SO MANY COOL THINGS.

Listening to... Ed Sheeran. I'm obsessed! Especially this song...

Wearing... Warm things. A striped sweater I bought in Caen. My favorite blanket scarf (from Rouen).

Loving... Life. Everything. Even the snow (and lack of snow day).

What are you up to? How's life lately been for you?

Weekly Wishes #23

Monday, February 16, 2015

This last week was a really, really good one. Busy (as always), but good. I got to see my best friend for the first time in a few months, not including our Skype date when I was in France, during which I baked a cake (!). It was so good to be together face-to-face, and like we never even missed a beat.

And, you know, it was Valentine's Day on Saturday. I went to Boulder and hung out with some friends (including my bestie!), and then saw the production of the Vagina Monologues at DU. It was so much fun, and definitely one of the best single V-Days I've spent.

Last Week: 

1. Take a pretty picture every day and post it to instagram. I did a decent job... I posted a few really cute pictures!

2. Update my planner. I did do this, and it was a great feeling. I really want to write a post about planners and some planning organization, so I'm glad I finally got my act together.

3. Start my research paper for my Advanced Seminar. I made an outline, and I'm starting to go through all of my research again and finding those pieces that will help shape my argument. Progress!

This Week: 

1. Paint at least twice. I was able to paint a little bit this weekend, and I really, really enjoyed it. I think I spent a half hour both times, and it was just nice to relax and to something creative, even for a little bit.

2. Get halfway through All the Light We Cannot See. I read a solid chunk of it over the weekend, but it's really long so I want to get through it. It's really interesting, and it's cool because I've been to the place where this book takes place, St. Malo (post-WWII, obviously), and I can put myself in the place.

3. Have an awesome time at Formal!!! It's on Friday, and I'm so excited. There's a lot of steps between now and then, but it's going to be amazing.

How was your week last week? Anything fun planned for this week? Let me know!

Weekly Wishes #22

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I seriously cannot believe that it's the second week of February already. Where has the time gone? I've been back for over a month? I've been in school for 5 weeks already (only)? What is happening???

I have so much to do this week, and I'm sure you all do too. :) I think it's better to be busy than bored!

Join the link-up at The Nectar Collective!

Last Week Recap:

I posted one of my favorite posts to date, a roundup of why I need Feminism. Check it out and let me know what you think! I also did surprisingly well on my goals!

1. Go to yoga. Not quite... but I thought about it! 

2. Stick to my blog schedule. Yep! Posted three times: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

3. Get my dress for formal. Yes, and it's so pretty! I even found a date. :)

4. Paint my nails. I did! They were a super pretty turquoise color for a bit. 

5. Read a book for fun. Yes! I'm starting to get into All the Light We Cannot See

This Week: 

1. Take a pretty picture every day and post it to instagram. All about appreciating the small things in life. :)

2. Update my planner. I used a small one abroad, and I'm just not used to the beautiful one I have now. I have so many more dates to put in. 

3. Start my research paper for my Advanced Seminar. It's due in four short weeks. *internal screaming*

What do you need to accomplish? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email!

Feminism Friday: 5 Reasons I Need Feminism!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

I wrote a post a while ago about all the reasons I am a Feminist, and there were A LOT. I have been wanting to do another post about Feminism for a while, and decided to maybe try out a semi-regular "Feminist Friday" series which talks about.. you guessed it.


Quick backstory: I've always been a Feminist. My mother is a Feminist, my father is a Feminist, and they raised me to believe that I could do anything I could ever want to do, and my options, talents, and value were not decreased because I was born a girl.

Fast forward to last year, and I'm in college. I'm part of a group of amazing women who help re-establish the Undergraduate Women's Council on my campus. I finally felt like I had an outlet to try and make something happen for women, and actually make a change and a difference for women on my campus. No sooner had I celebrated with my friends than I realized why I needed Feminism in the first place.

Flash forward to now, and today on this blog. I could give you a very academic, statistic-filled look at why Feminism is still important... but that doesn't give you an insight into why I need Feminism. I want to give you my personal stories and accounts of why Feminism matters, and why I still need Feminism today.

1. It's hard to be a woman... and women make it hard on other women.
Why is it, that as women, knowing how hard it is to be a woman sometimes, we are so hard on other women? There is an endless commentary running through my head at all times of other women I know. There is no doubt that when I first enter a room, I am sizing up other women, comparing myself to them and mentally making note of their flaws. It feels horrible, it's a competition none of us agreed to, but it's a security blanket.

I need Feminism because there is no one single perfect woman. We are all different, and we are all beautiful in our own ways. We should be doing more to celebrate and help each other than competing with each other.

2. I want to see the world, and I don't want my gender to dictate whether or not I feel safe. 
Luckily, in France, I didn't have too many bad experiences with feeling unsafe about my gender. That could be because a large part of my orientation had to do with the preventative measures I should take as a woman. "France is a latin country," I was told, "so men will call out women on the street or touch them in bars and it's normal. Don't think too much about it." But when I'm just walking home, at 3:30 in the afternoon, and I know someone is following me... I'm going to think about it.

I need Feminism because women worldwide deserve to feel safe and comfortable in their bodies, no matter where they are.

3. There are a lot of women who fought hard, were tortured, beaten, and imprisoned, just so women could gain the right to vote. 
The battle for the 19th Amendment was a long and arduous one. But it didn't end in 1920, and it certainly hasn't ended in 2015. We have made amazing progress in Feminism, as women, and as a society. More women than ever are getting degrees from institutions of higher education, and that is absolutely amazing. However, there are more roads to cross - not least of which is tackling the wage gap. Click the link.... it's a seriously fascinating map.

I need Feminism because women have made an insane amount of progress in the last 100 years. But we still have a long way to go.

4. My choices, desires, and interests should not determine my worth as a woman.
I wear an insane amount of stripes, and the right pair of heels makes me feel hella sexy. I love glitter, pink, and I can spend hours painting mason jars and wooden letters. I paint my nails several times each week, and I own a ridiculous amount of nail polish. I am smart, strong, and I work really hard. I'm vulnerable, sensitive, and I take things really personally. I cry... a lot. My priority right now is not getting a boyfriend, settling down, and getting married. I don't want kids. I love them, but I don't know if I want to be a mom yet. Contrary to what I've been told... that doesn't mean that I am less deserving of love, happiness, and potential marriage, when I'm ready for it.

I need Feminism because I should be free to choose the life I want without being judged, ridiculed, or laughed at for it. My choices and priorities are valid.

5. There are still a lot of women and men who feel like they don't need Feminism, or who misunderstand and misuse Feminism. 

There is nothing that breaks my heart quicker or more than when someone I love declares that Feminism is just a liberal, man-hating ploy, and they don't need Feminism because they love men. I've been teased (and I'm in college) for being a proud and outspoken Feminist, and it makes me so sad. Yes, there are a lot of different factions of Feminist thought and theory, especially today. However, the one thing all of these strains has in common is that we all believe in equality of the genders (cisgender, transgender, genderqueer, etc.).

I need Feminism because it's not a man-hating, bra-burning, violent movement. It is all about equality, which is something that should bind us all together.

I need Feminism now more than I ever have, and I am so proud to be part of a group of women and men who believe in equality as much as I do. Without Feminism, we would not be here today, and I would very likely not be where I am right now, writing about my opinions while earning a degree.

We've come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.

Why do you need Feminism? Do you consider yourself a Feminist? 

Letting Go

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Have you ever felt like you were just meant for something? Maybe a dress looked absolutely killer on you, or you found an internship that so perfectly aligned with what you want to do... you just thought to yourself: this is meant for me. I am meant to do this, be this, and accomplish this.

I have, and most of the things that I thought I was meant for, or were meant for me, ended up not being meant for me. Not even close.

Here's the struggle: I'm a planner. I love to plan out my life 6 months, one year, five years, ten years down the line. I like to think that I'm in charge of my future... in charge of what my life trajectory will be like. I have this vision in my head of myself... an amazing glamazon who is always dressed to the nines and never says anything stupid. I have a nice bag on one shoulder, coffee in one hand, and my phone in the other. I'm adored... and confident.

A lot of my plans have come to fruition: I did go to a great college, and I am in some great programs. I studied abroad in France, learned French, had a whirlwind, amazing, life-changing time. I do have great internships, amazing friends, and I've had some of the best experiences I could have asked for.

But the vision I had in my head? Complete bullshit.

What happened to all of these plans that I had?

I've realized something, and it's something I've thought about, and had a couple of tear-filled conversations with my parents about:

You have to let go of the vision in your head, so as to accept, love, and own the reality of your life. You have to let go of the plan, and you have to fully embrace whatever happens. 

That's scary. I mean, seriously scary.

I've had to let go of a lot of things I thought I was meant for. It's weird, like I'm living in this alternate, temporary reality and tomorrow morning I'm going to wake up on the life trajectory I have spent so much time building.

Let's get real. That's never, ever, going to happen.

I'm all for dreaming, but I'm also realizing that sometimes my dreams and my plans don't line up, and then I feel like my life is a mess. Sometimes, I have to let go of things that don't fit in my plan, and things that at one time I thought were meant for me and maybe aren't anymore.

I am meant for greatness. It may just be a different kind of greatness than what I've spent so much time planning for.

Sometimes you have to let go of what you think you should do, who you think you should be, so as to own the person you are. You are great. You are meant for greatness, and you are meant for the greatness that your life has in store for you.

Are you meant for greatness? What have you had to let go of so you can achieve that greatness? 

Weekly Wishes #21

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I have been a horrible blogger lately, and for that I apologize! I was so sick last weekend, so I actually didn't get to write my content for the week, and then I was playing catch up with my classes, so I'm really sorry.

It has been a busy couple of weeks, especially with school (which is absolutely no surprise), Delta Zeta, working, and my internship. I definitely need to set an outline for what needs to be done. Thank goodness for Weekly Wishes!

Join the link-up at The Nectar Collective!
Two Weeks Ago:

1. Do the readings for all of my classes! I actually did this one! It made my life about 100x easier.

2. Submit my final post for the Academic Programs International Blog! When I sat down to write it, I got a little bit sad. So I actually haven't submitted it yet... :(

3. Make some pretty things. :) I did! I made some iPhone backgrounds, and a computer background. It's my first time making stuff and sharing them with you (aside from my post graphics), so I'm pretty excited and proud. Check them out and download them here!

This Week:

1. Go to yoga. Last year, I got super into yoga, but I stopped when I went abroad. I really want to get back into it!

2. Stick to my blog schedule! I made it for a reason, right?

3. Get my dress for formal. It's in 2 weeks! It's in 2 weeks! Also... find a date?

4. Paint my nails. I just got some new colors, and they're so cute!

5. Read a book for fun! This was one of my New Year Goals, but I've been so busy for school that I haven't read much in the past few weeks. I started All The Light We Cannot See and it's so good!

What do you have to get done? Have a great week, busy bees!