{ Saturday, August 18, 2012 }
Running with "The Scientist" in my ear,
And I can't help but wonder
Why it wasn't easy this time.

And I marvel at the sky and at the
Hands that created it that you
Simply cannot believe in,

And I can't help but ponder
What His hand is in this abstract piece
Titled "Life,"

And why it is more full of smudges
And erred brushstrokes for me than most folks.

I contemplate mortality,
And why I feel so weak,
Yet I'm hanging on
While others are hanging by a thread.

I feel spoiled and dirty,
Looking into the mirror with disdain.
Notoriously getting off on my own words
And everything in my skull that follows.

So I give more and more –
Everything but my flesh –
Until I am a skeleton;
An unrequited corpse.

Lying alone in a cold,
Stony grave of hopeful words
And squelched heartbeats.

And I can't help but wonder
Why it wasn't easy this time.

The Train To Roosevelt Avenue

{ Wednesday, July 4, 2012 }

The subtle rocking of the subway lulls me to sleep --
An urban cradle at best --
And I begin to drift in and out of lucidity.

The melting pot I've thrown myself into begins to fade,
And 'this just in:'
The thoughts of the day.

It's funny, feeling on top of the world
And never enough
All at the same time.
This city will eat you up and spit you out all in the same day,
And then seat you on a proverbial throne.

And you'll never be enough --
Interesting enough,
Or alluring enough,
But that doesn't matter,
Because you don't need him,
But Him.

What's this dream,
Jotting down words for a living
And tumbling around in them mercilessly,
When they won't hold you through the night.

I feel like a puddle,
When I used to be a sea.
Becoming too much of this world and losing all depth
Is a terribly frightening feeling.

And then I snap out of it and gaze at all of the buildings grazing the sky
As I sit alone on rocks in Central Park.
Then I beg God for a sign that I belong here,
And I'm greeted with melodic birdcries and
Strangers' smiles paired with crinkled eyes,
And there is a tangible inward shift.

And then I know that I've got to break out of home,
Grab the piece of paper I've worked four years for,
Shake hands goodbye when I'd rather kiss,
Snuff the flames turned habits that I can't shake,
And get here already.

Our Nation's Capital

{ Tuesday, June 26, 2012 }

Only The Best

{ Thursday, June 21, 2012 }

I want to do something reckless tonight,
And I'm restless
Staring out of half-opened windows
And getting high off of the virginal summer air.

I miss the nights out,
The sneaks out,
The sitting-on-the-sidewalks-scared-to-hold-hands feeling.
Being bad back before I knew it was bad.

And they say the nice girls finish last,
But get only the best,
Or maybe I've just concocted that little cliché in my disillusioned skull.
It would be easy to be bad.

It's hard on these nights,
When all you want to do is run wild,
Clinging onto the windowsill and talking to God,
Asking Him to help you

Wait for all of the promises of
Golden intimacy
When everything else is so cheap and flimsy in the world.
Everyone is so cheap and flimsy.

And they say the nice girls finish last,
But get only the best.

Of Permanence, Of Change, Of Honesty

{ Tuesday, June 19, 2012 }
In these last balmy months of endless mid-morning slumber and evenings full of dusty skies, I've learned that nothing is permanent. Nothing, in the sense of what I have been most familiar with for the better years of my life.

I came to ugly grips with the stark reality of impermanent people and relationships years ago. I shed the callow skin of infatuation, soul-spilling serenades and hand-penned letters and traded it in for something much more practical and impenetrable.

But the halls of my home aren't as permanent or familiar, as is my childhood neighborhood. My bed, that used to curve perfectly around me as I drifted off to some unworldly, lucid place, suddenly feels like a tomb. Nothing here feels permanent anymore.

It's my last summer, and all familiarity has been rubbed away with time and age.

And I'm constantly moving. Going from here to there, point A to point B, incessantly. My spirit of adventure is undoubtedly being fulfilled, and it's invigorating. Rejuvenating, even. I am experiencing the world -- sight, smell, touch and taste at a time. No location is permanent, no location is too familiar.

I will be a stranger in a new city in five days, if only for 48 hours. But 48 hours is enough.

And I'm changing. Leadership, courage and boldness are taking the forefront; not by choice, but by necessity. And I'm learning that vulnerability does not equate to weakness, and desire is not a gateway to senseless hurt. Or at least, not every time.

And I'm coming to terms with honesty. The inner war field of 'the things I think' and 'the things I think I should say.' I so wish that I could honestly describe the things I have seen, and will see, this sepia-tinted season.

I wish I could formulate the words to describe what it feels like to watch the sun melt into the horizon from the Empire State Building, like a slowly-burning coal that had diamond potential. Or the way it feels to run my finger over adolescent initials carved into wood half a decade ago. Or how the heat radiates up from the pavement of city streets and only propels me to walk on harder toward my destiny. How the creek trickles all afternoon and how the big rock there -- my rock -- feels like a kingdom under the sun.

I want to whisper all of this, or say it all long-winded, or slip it out of my lips surreptitiously between sips of coffee, but that isn't reality. I simply don't have a recipient for all of this earnest honesty.

Until then, the paper and pen.

Vlog: Summertime Storytelling

{ Wednesday, June 13, 2012 }

Unapologetic. Enjoy!


{ Tuesday, June 12, 2012 }

I rose early just to see the smog rising,
And set out to soak in all that the asphalt would lead me to.
Seeing red in the one place that was once gratuitous to me --
No longer.
No one knew me here,
The blatant anonymity of it all was thrilling,
And the sirens and screeching tires served as a personal soundtrack.

But it was so early,
And I always go to sleep a poet and wake up a fraud.
The sleep had hardly been rubbed from my eyes,
Yet here I was, beating the pavement,
Feeling fraudulent.

I couldn't write my way out of this.

I sat on the weathered-down curb.
The pen felt flimsy and foreign in my hand,
And the words fumbled out of my mouth like tiny pleas. 
'I never should've,'
'You never would've,'
'I just feel...'

I just feel, like, bone-dry and hollowed out, you know?
On the inside, where lively rivers used to flow.
Flow like your fingertips down my goosebumped sides,
Or the hot water, trickling.
And I never should've been that honest,
Because we both know how you take the truth and run with it.
Contort it, and use it like a dagger, even.
Letting the truth slip through my paper-thin lips never set me free,
But only bound me to you yet again.
You only keep yourself this sick in the head
Because I know how the words get you (off).
I know, I know.
I know I could never be what you need.

And then I hastily scrawled my poor excuse of a John Hancock,
Folded the parchment, and sealed the honesty inward.
My pulse calmed, knowing it was all hidden for now.

You were still in the room dozing when I returned,
Looking fallaciously angelic in a tangle of ivory sheets and blankets.
I sat in a stiff-backed chair for a moment,
Only allowing myself a few glances, for memory's sake.

I counted the rogue freckles scattered across your strong back,
(That was so appealing)
And wondered how someone could sleep that hard.
(Sometimes for afternoons on end)
But that was it.
The glances only turned to longings, and the longings turned into inward beckonings for me to stay.

I left the letter on the side table, confident that you would read it as soon as you rose.
The sun began rising and combating the smog through the window,
Simultaneously raising my spirits.
The skyline was salacious and alluring and taunting all at once.

So I ran for it.

The Man With The Tambourine

{ Sunday, June 10, 2012 }

I strolled through the meek and modest doors of Grace Midtown tonight with my head in the clouds and a hunger for worship, completely unaware of the soul-rocking sight I would witness only minutes later.
Arriving early to the popular 6 p.m. service, I nabbed an aisle seat on the shiny, second row pew. While fiddling with my phone to pass the time, I felt a tap on my shoulder. A middle-aged African-American man stood in the aisle, smiling, and offered me a congenial “hello.” I returned the gesture and, in turn, returned to typing out a short and nonsensical text message.
The man was of slight stature, with a paint-stained T-shirt and baggy jeans cloaking his skinny frame. His hands looked worn with years of work, and his face was etched with the lines of age and burden. This man could have easily been a drifter or wanderer. However, there was a playful joy meandering behind his eyes. The type of joy that shines and emanates far beyond reason or unforeseeable life experiences.
The young pastor walked down the aisle toward the stage, but not before the man reached out and embraced him in an impromptu hug. The two exchanged small talk and, although the man took longer than most to articulate his words, he began to gesture to something on-stage. The pastor knew immediately. I watched as he snatched the in-house tambourine from the stage and kindly handed it to the smiling man eagerly waiting in the pew. No sooner had he had the tambourine in his hands when he proclaimed, “A man’s gotta have his tambourine!” In that moment, you would’ve thought he held the whole world in grip.
As the worship team took the stage, I watched the man’s excitement grow larger and larger from the corner of my eye. As we rose to our feet to sing “Blessed Be Your Name,” he began rattling the tambourine perfectly in time.
Throughout the set of songs, all I could do was watch him. He worshipped openly and without abandon. The tambourine in his hand sent praises up to God with each and every beat. His praises were honest and pure. He didn’t care who was watching or what anyone thought of him; he was in it only for Him.
Immediately following the night’s service he humbly left his pew and made a silent exit from the church.
Everything that I witnessed tonight followed me home in the ride home. I couldn’t stop thinking about him; the pure worship and gratefulness of it all.
Here I am — a 21-year-old woman with a college education, a car, a family, a spacious house, more clothes than I know what to do with, a wonderful group of friends. Yet I find new reasons to falter in my faith each day.
He had Jesus and his tambourine.
The moral of the story? He let his light shine with reckless abandon.
Matthew 5:15
“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”

Sun Blisters

{ Friday, June 8, 2012 }

I saw your distinctive profile.
Or at least I thought I did in the blur of people surrounding me,
Until I knew that I was wrong.

And my soul sunk down deep into my stomach
And my hope sunk even further.

So I walked the pier and stared into the waves that only mirrored my ocean eyes and beckoned me inwardly.
In, into the saline sea that would cleanse me --
The bottomless, brackish baptismal that I so desperately needed.

Inwardly, I did jump.
And everything washed away all at once:
The bitterness, anguish and awe.

And then I told everyone that I had sand in my eyes,
Or something stupid and juvenile like that,
But, really, I was crying.

A rebirth happened in the riptide that rust-colored afternoon.

'Get it together.'

{ Saturday, April 21, 2012 }
The truth is, I don't.
I have nothing together.

I'm ripped at the seams half of the time, while the other half I'm scrambling for composure and grasping at the slippery straws of 'what to do next.' What an ugly cliché I have become.

I'm the soon-to-be leader, the journalist. The friend, the comforter. The daughter, the role model. It's a hard feat, all of it. I'm forever riding this equivocating seesaw of success and mediocrity, dreadfully straddling the fatal line of average and noteworthy.

I don't want to fall into the margins.
Smear into the pages.
Become a footnote in this wondrous journey.

New York said 'yes' to me tonight and I had to say 'no.' The words felt like razor blades coming out of my mouth. I had it. But poor timing and concrete circumstances snatched it away.

My hands have grown weary of constantly turning doorknobs; opening the doors all on my own. Sleepless nights. Writing. Editing. Coffee. Competing against a former self.

It's hard.

It's hard doing it on your own. I've worked on suppressing the fragment inside that calls out in the middle of the night for a caress, a word of encouragement, fingers to intertwine my own with. But it can't lie dormant forever. I can't be the only thing sustaining myself, and I hate admitting that for fear of weakness.

So, maybe I need to become a little more undone.
Or just 'get it together.'


{ Tuesday, April 17, 2012 }
Wearing dark circles under my eyes like they're the latest trend
And mulling over what to dwell on next.

Did you hear?
Infidelity is the new black
And it's rolling through town like a freight train.

All of the irony slices through me like a knife,
Yet I let the blade hover for a second too long --
An erogenous guillotine.

"When I said that'd I'd 'return to you,' I meant more like a relapse."
It stings, you know.
When you relapse, and relapse, and relapse.

And relapse.

So I cradle the book
And self-medicate loneliness with Hemingway.

Leaked, Maroon 5's "Payphone:" Thoughts, feelings and disdain

{ Sunday, April 15, 2012 }

I regret to say that I'm really disappointed with this. I know it's only a one-minute clip, but I've heard enough to be wary about the new album.

First off, "Payphone" is lacking any and all of the soulful, funky flavor that I love about M5. This could very well be any other song on Top 40 radio today.

Second, the lyrics are unequivocally surface level. Adam has pulled out all the stops in the past lyrically ("Sunday Morning" is so heartfelt; like it came straight out of a early morning journal entry), but these lyrics seem to be penned for their "sing-songy" quality rather than depth and resonance.

Last, the unnecessary use of profanity throws the entire chorus off. Dropping the "f-bomb" (although I am not a fan of it) actually worked in "Makes Me Wonder" because of the nature of the song, but the stringing of two profanities in a row here just comes off as trying too hard to come off as "wounded."

And Wiz Khalifa is supposed to fit into this equation, somehow?

I love M5 and regard them highly as my favorite group of musicians, but this little taste of "Overexposed" is bland. When "Misery" leaked in 2010, its infectious baseline and catchy lyrics equated to a single of epic proportions. Where is all of the funk hiding? Here's hoping that "Overexposed" doesn't fall victim to "overproduction."

'How are public libraries established?' And other late-night thoughts

{ Saturday, April 14, 2012 }
Honestly, though -- I have always wondered.
Obviously a boatload of books does not simply manifest overnight. How long does it take and what are the exact logistics behind cultivating these well-loved establishments? And once a library is up and running, when do you know that you have "enough" books? Where do you go from there?

Soda machines are also a conundrum. Their water supplies are endless. And their flavoring. I attribute it all to magic.

And what about words in the dictionary like "a," "and," "or," and "the." The most simple words are the hardest to define, while words like "superfluous" and "magnanimous" are no-brainers in the defining department.

Why do we drive on the parkway, but park in the driveway?

How did we decide that kissing is pleasurable? I mean, it most certainly is (well, it vacillates with the person), but it's a little unnerving to think that our predecessors first experimented with pleasure by locking faces. Weird.

Lastly, the mere existence of words baffles me. "Grass." Grass? "That green stuff on the ground. Let's call it 'grass.'" Regardless of the origin of words, I still love them dearly.

These are things that keep me up thinking at night, and have been, since I was five. Goodnight.

Taken For Granted, Granted, Granted

{ Wednesday, April 4, 2012 }
As I lounged on Front Campus this evening with the dimming skyline serving as a backdrop, my mind wandered to how I have listlessly slipped into taking things for granted. Not just things, but my life. I have unconsciously begun to take my existence for granted.

It's scary, isn't it, when you catch yourself wrapped up and living in your most vivid dreams -- the ones you never thought were attainable -- and you nod at them like a familiar friend.

In a few days I'll be on a plane to New York City, again. This time, for an interview. Back to the city that has sucked me in and completely demolished the soil I've grown from. Nothing can compare. This incessant wonder of the future is no longer dinner table chatter or family small talk -- it's happening. The words have finally paved the path to where I need to be. It's real now, and that fact chills me to the bone. Everything beating around in my chest for the past 15 years is materializing, and I don't know quite how to handle it -- yet.

I wish this flight was my one-way ticket out. Out of the familiar territory that I have grown so immune to, away from the faces that I to stare into, unblinkingly, and am forced to treat like perfect strangers, away from my aversion to vulnerability and the blatant ignorance of my feelings (all in the quest of "bliss," or something like it).

We all spiral into the clutches of this emotional epidemic one way or another. I ache for the things that God has promised me. The waiting period is strenuous, tedious and difficult to meander through, but I know it will be worth it.

Something changed in me tonight. Something good. Amazing things are happening right before my eyes, so long as I permanently turn from the setbacks, the vultures of my soul and complacency.


{ Tuesday, April 3, 2012 }
And I drink it all in,
And I think of the bruises that are all faded and yellowed now.
The darkness,
And the childlike train of thought.
And I wonder if the bruises were worth it,
And I wish they didn't stick with me longer than you did,
And I wish that I could get away from here,
But I can't.

Those old 'car crash hearts...'

{ Monday, March 26, 2012 }

When your Spring Break destination suddenly turns into "home," the very least you can do to busy yourself is digging through the archives of your life. This evening I found myself face-to-face with an ill-scanned copy of the prized Fall Out Boy story, written at the ripe old age of 16.

Now, I can clearly see that is it riddled with style errors and marred with run-on sentences, yet I couldn't help but smile and reflect upon the journey from that story to the one I penned most recently.

Writing completely takes over the identity of its victims; sucks them in and cloaks them in a pensive facade until the transformation is complete. And then you don't have a clue as to who you were before the pen felt so natural and malleable in your hand, and sitting in one spot composing for hours is the new norm. Sometimes it happens overnight, and sometimes it takes years.

I feel like this is my identity now. I ramble to my parents about plot, verbiage and the Oxford comma and am greeted with loose nods and confused, sympathetic grins. It's hard to go a day without scouring the national news for a potential localized lead to carry in my back pocket back to school.

To be passionate about anything there has to be an apparent ardor and the faintest, slightest stroke of obsession. Not many understand, but when they do, you'll know. And it may be one of the greatest, most exciting things, or one of the most painful and arduous.

Either way, it is a story in itself.


{ Saturday, March 10, 2012 }

You'll meet her, she's very pretty,
Even though sometimes she's sad for many days at a time.
You'll see, when she smiles, you'll love her.
- Pan's Labyrinth

I'm honey and thorns,
Firmly rooted in a bed of home-grown hopefulness.
I'm the faulty bolt of a bigger machine,
Well-oiled and methodical.
I'm stitched together with awestruck wonder and good intentions,
Flawed in all the right places.

Marred with all the marks of a writer --
The restlessness, the incessant curiosities,
The scribble-laden notebooks --
Yet, I get by.

I guzzle coffee like it's water,
Coursing through my veins in a wave of piping hot life support,
And I shake.
I shake.
I drink until I shake,
Just so I feel.

I refuse to believe that humanity is mainly comprised of monsters,
Although some may argue otherwise.
'An idealist to a fault;'
I've heard it a thousand times over, now.

I'm magnetized to the flawed, broken,
All it takes is one glance to sense a Mariana's Trench
Between one's head and heart.
I don't know why.

Eras are distinctly divided into before and afters,
Of tender kisses, thoughtful words,
The things I remember that no one does.
Years are frivolous now.

I have a knack for saying all the right things
At all the wrong times.
And eating dessert first,
'Just in case.'

A bundle of anomalies, optimism
And sincerity.
The heart will thaw out when a warm hand wraps around it,
One day.

Leap Day

{ Monday, March 5, 2012 }
On that rare, balmy day in February I took a long, hard swallow and returned to those docks.
I was nervous.
I was alone this time.
I remember feeling vulnerable and naked without my pen and paper,
But I trekked onward without my proverbial security blankets in tow.
The water slapped the shore lovingly, playfully;
Teasing me.
Enticing me.

The worn wood was all-too familiar as I ran my hand along the railing,
Half-hopeful for a splinter, just to feel something.
I sat down in that familiar nook and began to search calmly --
Then frantically.
The letters were all gone.

Four February's ago those carvings were fresh, wondrous,
Washed away by weather, time and regret,
'LS and LB' never existed to the untrained eye.
A juvenile and atypical gesture at best,
It still stung.

And then my mind wandered to that last Leap Day,
When I asked you, "If it happened on Leap Day, did it really happen? Please love me just one more time, just to make sure it counts."
And you laughed at me and tickled me,
Then happily obliged.

"If I die in my sleep, are you still willing to be everything you promised you would be?"
You asked me with a glint of wistfulness in your eye,
Brushing my hair away from my eyes in the methodical way that I loved.
I was so young.
But, I nodded anyway.

And now I'm branded by my heaving, heavy heart,
But my head remains high.

A Glorified Bucket List

{ Sunday, February 26, 2012 }
A bucket list.

Sure, they are incredibly cliche, have had movies made after them and are bound to (potentially) remain untouched, but I have spent the afternoon mentally crafting mine into something of substance. Recently I have realized that I need to do more living. Life has been such a whirlwind lately that the days bleed into each other and Fridays fly by like nothing. Honestly? It's a little unnerving. I want to grasp as much life as possible. I want to taste, touch, feel, see. I want to force my eyes to see the unseen and my ears to hear the sweet nothings that I have grown so deaf to. Maybe this list will be a disappointment, but maybe it won't.

I don't want to put things off anymore. Not out of fear of death, but out of fear of being idle. Senseless. Numb. Jaded. All of the things I have fallen victim to so recently. I want my open heart back, and my open-book ways. Thankfully my kindness has not deserted me, but I don't want to censor it as I have.

So, without any more introduction, The List:

- Have something personal I have written published. [ ]
- Pet the soft, velvety part of a horse's nose, just to feel a sense of child-like wonder. [ ]
- Share a kiss in the middle of Times Square. [ ]
- Have the courage to read a poem I have written to the person it was inspired by. [ ]
- Do something radical in Christ's name. [ ]
- Get married at the right time, in no rush, when I know all is well with my soul. [ ]
- Spend all day in bed reading anything and everything I can get my hands on.
[ ]
- Work as a barista at a coffee shop. [ ]
- Crowd surf, although that may be more fit for my 13-year-old self. [ ]
- Own a bookstore, even if it is small and out of sight. [ ]
- Live in New York City. [ ]
- Sing karaoke in front of a crowd. [ ]
- Sleep outside without a tent. Just me and the earth. [ ]
- Walk the entire Brooklyn Bridge, in either direction. [ ]
- Go on a mission trip. [ ]
- Travel outside of the country. [ ]
- Ride on a two-seater bike with a friend, just because it looks ridiculous and I would love it. [ ]
- Befriend a complete stranger in a foreign city. [ ]
- Meet Stephen King, to thank him for growing my heart for the craft of writing. [ ]

These are all obvious things my heart longs for, for some time now. I may complete the list in five years or a lifetime. The mystery, intrigue and possibility of completing the list is absolutely invigorating. Of course there will be room for updates and changes, but I need to hold myself accountable for these longings.

My heart will thank me later.

Tea & Sympathy

{ Saturday, February 18, 2012 }

I was sitting in the cafe when I saw them --
Sitting by the hazy window, hands clenched across the table with only a copy of "The Great Gatsby" between them.
They were transfixed, as was I.

He followed every word she mouthed, carefully studying her lips and nodding in accordance.
Every now and then his thumb would quickly circle over hers; a comforting gesture.
Although the day was overcast, a single shard of light gleamed off of her thin, simple wedding band.
A golden loop of eternity.

He drank his coffee heartily, sans cream, and warmed his hands with the mug.
Looking pensively out the window, he hastily jotted something down in pen and stowed the notebook back in his pocket.
It could've been a short sonnet, a thought, a yearning --
I still wonder.

And then he looked back to her, eyes alive and afire with ardor.
She glanced up from her dainty teacup coyly, smiling.

He couldn't be a day over 80.
And she, 75.

This F. Scott Fitzgerald-fueled romance captivated me, absorbed me, inspired me.
It's the words that are the kindling, the basis for the fire.
It's the words that got them,
And will get me.

After one last glance, I pull out my own notebook,
Jotting down the words I am waiting, in earnest, to hear.
And then I leave, boots plodding through the puddles,
And wonder if there's any place for fire in the rain.

A Bit of Narrative Journalism, October 2011

{ Friday, February 17, 2012 }

As I step out of the taxi onto the bustling West 35th Street, the uncanny aroma of asphalt, exhaust and sweet promise hits me in the face -- I must be in New York City. Sure enough, I am.

After receiving news in early September that I had been chosen out of over 2,000 international applicants to attend Teen Vogue magazine's annual fashion university program in the city on Oct. 23, I had spent every day preparing for this ironically anticlimactic arrival.

As the inner journalist within me feels compelled to immediately begin snapping candid photos of the impeccably stylish passersby and scribble down every little detail of the Empire State in my reporter's notebook (the crosswalks in New York are massive compared to ours at home!), I resist the urge and set out to conquer the city on foot, one stiletto-clad step at a time.

Destination? The majestic Hudson Theatre near Broadway, where I would be taking a full day's worth of classes learning the ins and outs of the fashion industry -- the world I have so intently wanted to be a part of since picking up my first glossy issue of Teen Vogue at age 13.

Ducking into the dimly lit theatre smelling faintly of last week's popcorn and Chanel No. 5 perfume, I nab a plush red velvet seat as the day's keynote speaker, legendary designer Michael Kors, takes to the stage for his opening remarks.

Kors describes his long and dramatic journey up the fashion industry's brutal ladder, highlighting his setbacks and biggest accomplishments as a women's sportswear designer since the early 1980s. "As for now," Kors says, "I am always coming up with new takes on classics," when asked how he conjures up new designs after being a staple in the industry for nearly three decades. Hearing the designer speak in person is undeniably inspirational, and once dismissed, I set off for my day of classes in incredibly high spirits.

Heart pounding in my chest, I cross the street to the looming Conde Nast building, a marble monster of architecture that is home to coveted publications like Teen Vogue, Vogue, Lucky, and Glamour. After passing through security, I hop into the first available elevator and head to the fourth floor for my first seminar of the day on blogging.

I learn that blogging has become much more than an online hobby over the past five years, generating much revenue through corporate sponsorships, high profile advertisers and word of mouth fandom. I let out a sigh of relief and make a mental note that my addiction to blogging is, indeed, worthwhile and that compulsively updating my Twitter account is just as important. Take that, social media critics.

After leaving class I bump into Teen Vogue fashion news editor, Jane Keltner deValle, and immediately introduce myself. In a sense, deValle is the "golden ticket" into the magazine, and I make sure to steady myself, ask ample questions about interning and end our conversation by passing off my resume and delivering a self-assured handshake. Well done, Lindsay, well done.

Up next is my lunch break, and in customary New York fashion, every corner deli is promptly packed with hungry patrons. I opt for Subway, where a frustrated sandwich artist barks orders at me while putting together my standard veggie on flatbread. Normally my feelings would be hurt, but I smile. My first encounter with the atypical "rude New Yorker" makes me feel at home; as though I have been inducted into the club of "those-who-are-not-tourists."

Scarfing down my lunch and guzzling a piping hot venti Starbucks (coffee, black, no cream -- the New Yorker's staple), it's back to Conde Nast for round two, a Q&A session with star of MTV's "The Hills" and "The City," Whitney Port. As I walk to the classroom in my brand new heels (black, open toe, a $7 steal from Target) a second pair of heels (black, impossibly high, $500 Christian Louboutins) behind me begin "clack-clack-clacking" along in unison. Turning around, I am face-to-face with and immediately starstruck by Ms. Port herself. Fortunately, I squeak out an effervescent greeting and accompany the fashion maven into the classroom where she is soon to begin speaking.

Port name drops fellow coworkers and humbly promotes her first clothing line, "Whitney Eve," while explaining to eager audience members that, although the fashion industry is difficult to break into, it is still a very tangible reality. "Go the extra mile when interning in the industry," Port says. "Be sure not to become discouraged by demanding bosses or setbacks -- success doesn't happen overnight."

Feeling upbeat and still buzzing from my chance encounter with Whitney Port, it's back to the Hudson Theatre for the final seminar of the day. My naturally fast-paced walk puts me back at the venue around 5:30, where I am just in time to grab an excellent seat for the Teen Vogue editors talk. It is here where I will hear directly from the source what the magazine looks for in its editorial staff and interns.

My future co-workers file onto the stage (oops, did I really slip and say that? The editors, I mean) and open up the session by describing their position and what assets they contribute to Teen Vogue. "Do your homework by researching the publication you desire to work for," says editor-in-chief Amy Astley. "Mention past issues of the magazine, parts of the issue that you like, and any new ideas that you would like to contribute as a writer."

Entertainment editor Danielle Nussbaum chimes in and adds that writing for a fashion-based publication isn't solely about reporting on shoes and the latest runway shows. "It's not just about fashion, but about culture as a whole," Nussbaum says. "We like well-rounded individuals who know fashion, but also know how to blog, tweet, and brand themselves as savvy writers."

The bit of advice that resonates with me the most is delivered by accessories editor Shiona Turini, one of the youngest editors at Teen Vogue. "Work hard, be humble, and be ready and willing to learn," she says. This universal piece of advice can be applied by any college graduate to any field, and I am immediately inspired.

The speaking session closes, and the editors receive ample applause and praise for their helpful, candid speaking session. I'm on the verge of a standing ovation as I feel the hint of a tear welling in my eye, but I force it back with a smile and utmost respect for the talented and driven individuals standing before me.

As I retreat onto the dusky streets of New York City for the nine block walk back to the hotel, palpitations of promise beat steadily in my chest and guide my steps. My mind reels and thinks of how this industry is composed of much more than beauty, beautiful clothing, and familiar faces, but also of art, hard work, sweat, and untimely tears.

A cab breezes by me on the right, and the Empire State Building pierces the descending skyline on the left. I breathe in the culture, vibrance, and diversity of the beautiful melting pot surrounding me. No, this life isn't for everyone, and it certainly isn't for the faint of heart. That evening I fall asleep and dream of bright lights, coffee runs, crosswalks and deadlines -- elements of the beautiful concrete jungle otherwise known as my destiny.

{ Sunday, February 12, 2012 }

The song is beautifully written. He is beautifully created. The execution of the music video is pure magic. Need I say more?

February 10, 2012

{ Friday, February 10, 2012 }
As I stood in the midst of the buzzing, intoxicated crowd of my peers tonight, I watched the past meet the present like an unforeseen kiss. A bittersweet caress, at that.
The 90s music served as the perfect soundtrack, forcing me to remember where I was at the exact moments I first fell in love with those dated songs. The pool, the park, the back of my father's pickup truck. I was nine and full of innocent curiosity and boundless wonder.
Now, all of those curiosities have been satisfied. Some, in the most unsatisfactory of ways. Two distinct decades of my life collided this evening, but through all of the white noise and rigged lighting, you would never know. I stood, seemingly, in another dimension this evening.

I don't know when the day will come where I will untangle myself from this life-long love affair with nostalgia. Each day is another memento, something to hold onto; to toss into the trunk of my mind.
My thoughts still weld together like permanent post-it notes, often sticking and digging in their roots in the more inopportune places.
I still wake up on my own all throughout the night, systematically grabbing my pen and scribbling something incoherent on paper, to be read in the morning when my head is emptied of its dreams and filled with actual reason.
I still rest in bed for hours, carefully contemplating where I could make the most impact four, five years from now.
I still wonder how everything is in metamorphosis from constant to merely temporary, and if anyone ever truly stays, or just flits away into the air.

I'm still entangled in memories, yet, I cling to the future and its promises. The promises of change, travel and vibrant experience. Of 'just scraping by' and genuinely appreciating the breath of life over my soul. Of using these beloved words to actually make a living, falling more in love with the craft of writing with each scribbling of the pen.
I don't know where I'm going. But, I know it won't be boring.
No, it won't be boring.

A Letter of Resignation

{ Thursday, February 2, 2012 }


I'm leaving today.
Packing up my things to traverse the East coast on a jetliner,
Never looking back.

And when I hit the tarmac and sneak glimpses at the vast cityscape,
I'll wonder:
How will you follow me here?
Through letters penned in poignant, black ink,
Or faraway midnight pillow talks that last through the bismuth rising of the sun?
Through a crumpled map and a hand-me-down car,
Or plane tickets clutched tightly to your chest?

Or will you not follow me at all?
Maybe you will write me off for naught, or better yet,
A figment of the imagination.
'Just a someone I know through someone I used to know.'

And I'll walk the bridge each night,
Landing myself in Brooklyn by nightfall,
And I'll scour every gallery, bookshelf, crevice.
And I'll wonder why there isn't a trace of you here.


{ Friday, January 20, 2012 }

I keep developing these images of that season in the back of my mind,
Like painful Polaroids that I just can't seem to shake.
(Sh-sh-sh-shake it like a Polaroid picture)
Ha --
I exhale a weak, half-hearted laugh.

I drain the coffee and continue on,
Taking mental note that every novel thing in my life is destined to wind up coffee-stained.
The endless nights, the scrawled prose, the telltale caresses --

And now I'm walking and there you are in the horizon,
Long-legged and plaid-clad, because
That is how the rules of the game are played.
It is a rigged game, after all.

Your eyes give you away like they always did,
Pools of twinkling azure mischief.
But this time they avert themselves,
And shame courses through my veins and incinerates my core.

The gallery of my mind's eye is inundated with ruthless images.
The freeze frames where I'm robbed of my dignity in one fell swoop line the walls,
Impeccably framed by the your weightless, empty words.

'This is...astrological.'
'You are...beautiful.'
'I want you, Lindsay, now.'

Grotesque utterances, all of them.

So travel home on two wheels tonight
And set up the blank canvas in your empty house.
Attempt to craft something Impressionistic and weighty,
Regurgitating your self-righteousness through acrylics and watercolors.

Don't think of me and don't remember my face, my mind.
My body.
Black me out with bits of charcoal, please,
Until I'm nothing but raven swaths of anonymity.

Watch Out For Black Ice

{ Monday, January 9, 2012 }
I danced in the flurries unashamed
And let them dazzle down through the ebony sky
And land on my eager, greedy tongue,
Tasting nothing but subzero sweetness.
Everything tasted sweeter then.
Icepicks through my lungs with each inhale and I could care less --
This was the 'here and now;'
Now, the 'long and gone.'
And then I got scared of the windchill and my words and my nakedness
And I retreated to my safe haven of a bed to watch the ice melt from the windowpane
As my insides turned to ice sculptures of wing-clipped butterflies.
I stirred the milky coffee with my finger,
Thawing my frigid, fragmented 24-hour memory.
And then I slept everything away.