Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Ice cream, sunshine and hanging out with the pup was all I had on my agenda today…pretty sweet, eh?

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This time next week I’ll be back in the working world, among all the hustle and bustle of NYC. It’s definitely going to be a change of pace, but I’m looking forward to it. After all, I do need a consistent paycheck if I want to move out to a nice little place of my own. Ahh, what a day that’ll be. One thing at a time though, right?

Now that I’ll be commuting again, I’m going to have plentyyyy of time to consume books left and right. Soooo…I’m looking for YOUR SUGGESTIONS! Holler at me in the comments below if you know of a fantastic book I should read.

Also, can we all just talk about how perfect this library is? Maybe a different rug but…#GOALS

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Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

No Kidding

No Kidding

Happy Word Nerd Wednesday, y’all! I’m now Facebook free! Wooo! I’m currently writing this as I sit with my ass in the grass on this warm day here in NY. Rudolph is right by my side…obviously. Life is great.

So…what am I reading? Ahh, a fabulously hilarious book edited by Henriette Mantel that is a collection of humorous anecdotes from female writers and they all have one major thing in common. THEY DON’T HAVE KIDS. Not only do they not have little buggers, they aren’t planning to have them. Ever. So naturally, I’m getting a kick out of this gem.

Here are some entertaining excerpts from my new favorite book:

Women’s magazines print serious articles about the beauty of a pregnant women’s enormous belly (oh, please) and her glow. A bride glows, a pregnant woman glows; is there no glow left for the rest of us? And when I read about the pancake-sized nipples that accompany pregnancy, all it does is put me off IHOP for life, which is a pity since that’s the only place I really get my glow on. – Suzy Soro

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In high school I once wrote that my ambition in life was “to not get pregnant.” I thought it was funny, but no one laughed. I was sent for counseling. – Julie Halston

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You’d think that people who do have children would take a greater interest in the world of the future, but I’m not seeing that so much. Parents often seem more intent on making sure their kids have advantages over other children than improving the situation at all. – Betsy Salkind

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I oppose breeding, in animals and humans. If you’re going to get a pet, take the five-year-old at the shelter, not the purebred puppy from the mill. There are so many homeless and needy animals, why bring more into the world and condemn the others to unnecessary suffering and death? – Betsy Salkind (I just want to quote her entire section. She’s my soul sister.)

Even if you have kids or want kids, No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood is a great way for folks to understand WHY some people choose not to have them. It’s not for everyone, and that’s OK. You enjoy the pampers, I’ll enjoy the pups.

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

Friday Inspiration

Friday Inspiration

Have you always wanted to take a cooking class or start up a class of your own? Perhaps you’d like to learn violin or start volunteering at an animal shelter? Everybody has desires and dreams that are often put off for “later,” but when later turns into years down the road people often use the excuse that they’re “too old” to do that now — whatever “that” may be. Nonsense! It’s absolutely never too late to embark on a new adventure and take a dive into uncharted waters.

Our society teaches us that we “can’t teach old dogs new tricks,” but that’s simply not true. The older we are, the more knowledge and insights we have to apply to new opportunities going forward. Don’t let others discourage you or make you feel silly about wanting to try something that excites you. You may find you have a hidden talent that you never would’ve known about had you never taken the initiative to try!

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Maybe you need a bit more inspiration — some concrete examples of folks who tried something new later in life and turned hobbies into amazing careers. Dreaming of a career or opportunity in writing or cooking? You should know 9ac44a11b6b9cbf163c5337dfbfbfaefJulia Child was nearly 40 years old when her first cookbook was published. Prior to discovering her love of French cuisine, Child worked in advertising and for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. Want to try a hand in acting? Samuel L. Jackson was 46 years old before starring in Pulp Fiction. Thinking of achieving success in the comedy/television arena but you’re currently on a completely different career path? Joy Behar, a comedienne and co-host on The View, was a high school English teacher! She didn’t start her show business career until after age 40.

Inspired yet? Need some more convincing? Take French poet Victor Hugo’s words: “Forty is the old age of youth, fifty the youth of old age.” It’s so important not to limit yourself based off of society’s “norms” and what others view as acceptable ages to do certain things. You’re in your sixties but you want to go sky diving or snorkeling? Do it! You’re 20 but you want to take a knitting class? Why not! Your friends will be jealous of all the cozy scarves and sweaters in your closet for sure. As Shakespeare wrote, “age is but a number” and, though he was referring to age in the sense of romance, the historic phrase can be applied to anything in life.

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It’s easy to get caught up in wishing you had started something from a very early age, but don’t let that hold you back today. Even taking a small step to try something new is a big step in the long run. Don’t let yourself get stuck in the day-to-day rut; there are always opportunities out there and people to help, but you have to be the one to take that first step towards change. Wishing you had a different major in college or a more financially secure upbringing is not going to change anything today. Choices you’ve made in the past don’t have to dictate the rest of your time on this planet. Stop making excuses, get out there and do something you’ve always wanted to! Time is not going to slow down. Book that class, download that language app and buy some new pots and pans. Start new traditions, dye your hair a funky color and write a letter to your grandma. Go, go, go!

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

For My Fellow Late Bloomers

For My Fellow Late Bloomers

Note: You can find an updated version of this piece on Thought Catalog, here.

Hi! My name’s Jackie and I’m a so-called late bloomer. The good folks at Wikipedia define a late bloomer as someone whose “talents or capabilities are not visible to others until later than usual.” My definition? Someone who played with Barbies wayyyy after their “fun and cool” expiration date. 

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Stuffed animals NEVER go out of style.

I recently found out that my 13-year-old cousin has a boyfriend. Naturally, it made me think back to when I was 13; I had just started 8th grade and was rocking some fresh braces. My wardrobe was largely made up of the latest Limited Too fashions and zero bras because, let’s face it, I didn’t need them. My “Aunt Flo” was still three years away, my first drink was six years away and my first relationship was still 11 years away. 

I watched my friends around me as they dated, and listened as they gushed over first kisses and everything else that I had zero experience with. I never had anything to contribute to these conversations and felt totally lame. But then I’d go home and watch Boy Meets World and believe that my Corey (or Shawn or Eric or Jack) was out there and I’d meet him soon enough. So I didn’t fret. I focused on other things like school and reading and writing and daydreaming…lots of daydreaming.

Graduating high school without ever having kissed a guy and without ever having had a drop of alcohol seemed to go against everything I’d ever watched on Gossip Girl. But then again I wasn’t living on the Upper East Side and my name was not Blair Waldorf (though I totally did dress up as her my senior year of high school — the irony now kills me).blair-waldorf

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Oh and remember that time I was Napoleon Dynamite during my freshmen year?

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Is this why I didn’t have a date to prom? lolz

I’m choosing to write about this now because I think it’s important. It’s important to know that you don’t have to compare yourself to others or feel weird because you’re “behind.” You’re not behind. You’re not missing out. You’re being true to yourself and that’s awesome.

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Me circa 2008.

I used to be so embarrassed about all of these “milestones” I still hadn’t reached. Like, oh my gosh I’m entering my second decade of life and have never been kissed! I’m Drew Barrymore! I realize now how ridiculous my worries were and I hope that someone feeling that way now will read this and feel better. We shouldn’t feel pressured to change because society tells us we should’ve done this or that by a certain age. That’s not fair to anyone.

Being a “late bloomer” ha1146550_10153160366260118_1918045206_ns actually given me more confidence today. I’ve learned over the years to be happy with my life and understand more of why I am the way that I am. I’m a patient person who doesn’t like to feel rushed into anything I’m not ready for. Why should anyone be embarrassed for that? I’m glad I didn’t waste years dating duds because now, at 24, I’ve found a gem of a guy who I love very much.

I’ll leave you with a quote from fellow LB Anna Kendrick: “When I was a teenager, I was an ultra late bloomer, and my mom would say it was a blessing because it means you never have to wonder if guys are only interested in you because you’ve got boobs.”

Amen, AK.
Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie