Sunday, March 29, 2015

Finished is better than perfect.

My biggest problem when it comes to writing is actually doing it. When I write, it takes forever for me to finish–anything and everything. Blogs sit in drafts unfinished for weeks. School essays were never completed more than twelve hours before they were due. Sometimes it even takes me awhile to craft the perfect Tweet, and that's only 140 characters. It's some sort of mental block I have, and it's very frustrating.

I once read that writer's block is an excuse writers use to not write, and I remember being very upset by this. "No, I love to write!" I'd yell. "I really want to write, I swear!" And I did, and I do. More than anything, I want to be a writer–better yet, a good writer. I want people to look at me and think "writer." I want it, I swear!

Part of my problem stems from wanting to be a good writer. I want everything to be perfect. Everything has to be perfect so everyone thinks I'm a good writer! But perfect is, you know, impossible. I know this. You know this. Everyone knows this! So why do I still try for perfect? I couldn't tell you for sure, but it has to stop.

This desire for my writing to be perfect has kept me from writing at all. I get in my own way. Before I even start writing, I get hung up on how long it will take and how these things never translate from my mind to the page the way I want them to. Better to just not do it at all than to do it and fail, right?

WRONG, MAGGIE.

It's always better to do the thing. Whatever the thing is, you've got to try.

For me, that means to just write–just get something onto the page, tweak it a bit, and let it go. (You know, like that one song from that movie that came out well over a year ago but you still, inexplicably, hear everywhere you go told you to.) I've started carrying a Moleskine in my purse so I can jot down thoughts and outline blog posts while I'm out, rather than writing them down on a sticky note or, worse, expecting myself to remember.

Even though I haven't posted here, I have been writing more. I love having these things to look back on even if they never make it to my blog. Hopefully I will get better at transferring from journal to blog, but baby steps, guys.

-Maggie

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Looking up


To be honest, I've been feeling a little burnt out. I'm always tired, and the only thing I feel like doing when I'm not at work is sleep. I'm not sure what it is exactly. I think I just need a weekend off. The weekends I haven't had to work, I've either been traveling or entertaining. It's been awhile since I've had a couple days off with no plans, and I'm really, really looking forward to next weekend because of this. Hopefully, I will be able to spend the entirety of it in my pajamas.

Those busy weekends were great though.

One of the weekends between now and the last time I blogged, my family came down for a visit. I took them to some of my very favorite places–Magnolia, the Pedestrian Bridge, South Congress, the Capitol, Pinthouse Pizza, etc. I love showing people Austin, my Austin. I want people to see why I love the city so much (which usually leads to me over-thinking everything and asking, "Are you having fun? Are you really having fun?" about five million times, which is not fun, but I'm working on it). I just want to be the hostess with the mostest, you know?

The two holiday weekends (hooray for bank holidays!) were spent in Lubbock. They were short visits, but I was able to fit a lot in each time. It all felt really normal, like I'd never left. Like I casually slipped into my life of four months ago.

I slept in my old room at Denny and D-Dad's, and one night Julia stayed over too. I played cards, ate at Casa OlĂ©, and made doughnuts. I went to eat with Kiera on her lunch break, and Gabby joined us the second time. I stayed up until two in the morning watching The Treasure of the Sierra Madre with D-Dad. And each time before I left, Denny handed me packages of toilet paper, powdered sugar, cans of soup, cake mix, and more (because she's Denny and that's what she does).

At one point over breakfast, D-Dad pulled out an atlas and showed me every place he'd ever lived, travelled to, and wishes he could travel to. He pointed out a route along the west coast that he'd always wanted to drive, but said that now the trip would be too hard. "I always wanted to, but we made excuses, put it off, and now we can't," he said. "Father Time stops for no one. That's why you should go now. Seize the day. Carpe diem, as they say."

In the end, the busy weekends and tired weekdays are worth it.

-Maggie

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2014

A few days ago, I decided that I wouldn't post a recap of 2014, mainly because we are already a week into 2015 and it seemed silly by this point. (2014 was so last year, right?) But after having plans cancelled today on account of freezing rain, I needed a little pick-me-up, and reminiscing on all the good last year brought seemed as good a way as any. Besides, too much happened last year for me to simply let it go without comment. It was a really big year. I think it defies the 365 day boundary that's imposed.

It was a year of change for me–a lot of change. I feel like I should feel a little off-balance, a little dizzy from everything that has happened, but I'm not. I don't know that I've ever felt more here. You know what I mean? I've never felt more aware of my life–everything that has happened, is happening, will happen. There's so much I can do! So many directions my life could take! I'm excited and nervous for all it.

I'm getting ahead of myself though. Let's talk 2014.



In January, I moved into a house with my dear cousin Julia. Our schedules were opposite roughly 92% of the time, but every once in awhile we'd be home at the same time. We'd eat dinner together, vent about our days, or maybe watch a movie. Sometimes we'd make runs to Taco Villa or United in search of the best sugar cookies. It was always fun, and I really wish our time as roommates could have been longer.

The months leading up to my graduation were generally hectic, stressful, and all around exhausting, but it wasn't all bad. I dyed my hair for the first time. On Valentine's Day, Melany, Britny, and I saw Craig Ferguson live and spent the rest of the night dancing at Barbarella. Over spring break, I got to see Mary and meet Whimsy for the first time. Sometime in March, my favorite show ended.

May (finally) rolled around and I graduated with my bachelor's degree. I may have come out bruised and battered (mentally, emotionally, physically) but dammit I did it. It was really difficult for me and I wasn't a star student by any means, but the doing it is reason enough to be proud. I saw it through, toughed it out. I'm very happy I did.

The summer was filled with a lot of trips. Melany and I drove to Arkansas for Shelby and Sam's wedding. After that, I spent a week in Austin as a way to detoxify, to finally rid myself of the stress and anxiety left over from my last few weeks of school. (It was also the week I got my second tattoo.) In July, I drove to Colorado to spend a weekend with Shelby and Dillon, and it was really, really great. In August, I saw Fall Out Boy (again) and Paramore in concert.



All of September and most of October was spent applying for jobs, packing, and saying my goodbyes to Lubbock. (Oh, and I saw Paul freaking McCartney in concert.) Those last two months in Lubbock flew by, and even though I was excited for my move to Austin, everything was going a little too quickly for my liking. It was hard to leave and I miss my friends and family there all the time, but I'm very happy to be in Austin. I love this city, and I have hoped and wished to live here since my eighteenth birthday. Getting to share an apartment with my best friend makes it even better.

After the move, Melany and I went as Wayne and Garth for Halloween. I started my first full-time job, and (thankfully) have really been enjoying it and the people I work with. I was fortunate enough to go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and both were wonderful. Then on New Year's Eve I rang in 2015 at 9:00 PM with KaCee and Kyle since they had to work early the next morning, and afterwards Melany and I went to Barbarella for the real thing.

So that's 2014 is a nutshell (a very large nutshell). Overall, it was a great year, and I hope that 2015 follows its lead. Over 300 days of the unknown lay before us. It's pretty daunting, right? We've just got to keep moving forward though. It's not like we really have a choice, but don't be scared! We did the same thing last year.

-Maggie

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy Monday

There are some songs that just make you smile, some that make you dance, and some that you can't help but scream along to. Here are examples of each.







I hope these help to shake off your Monday blues. You may not feel like it when you wake up in the morning, but dancing is allowed on Mondays (and Tuesdays! All the days, actually). It's not regulated. We're not living in that town from Footloose.

-Maggie

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time


How was everyone's Christmas? Mine was really, really great. Maybe one of the best Christmases ever. I was able to go home for a few days to spend time with my family. Despite my parents still having some shopping to do on Christmas Eve, everything was very relaxed. Everyone was in a good mood (very little squabbling, which is a Christmas miracle all its own) and we spent the days watching our favorite Christmas movies, exchanging gifts, and taking naps.

Christmas is far and away my favorite holiday. Really, it's one of my top five favorite things in life (below Harry Potter, above pajamas). There's just something about it, you know? The music, the twinkling lights, a buzz of anticipation everywhere you go. There's a camaraderie of sorts among strangers. Sure, gift-shopping can get a little hairy, but in general people are good to each other at Christmastime. Everyone shares in the joy and excitement. It's the closest we get to real magic, if you ask me.


At Austin's Trail of Lights in Zilker Park, there is a giant Christmas tree made of lights strung from the top of a moon tower. For some reason, when standing beneath this tree, everyone has a sudden urge to spin around–literally everyone. There were children on their parents' shoulders, elderly couples laughing, middle-aged men spinning as fast as they could. Each person anchored themselves to another, threw their heads back, and spun until they became too dizzy (or fell), cheered on by strangers and friends.

Moments like these–these "love actually is all around" kind of moments–are what help me to remember that, despite how bad things can seem, people are mostly good. Life is mostly good.

I hope you had a very merry Christmas. Here's to the new year!

-Maggie
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