Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Haiku #8


Commute did me dirty
California, at a price
Take me now, North 10

Sunday, September 7, 2014


I'm trying to decide-- actually, it's less of a decision and more of a calling or an invitation. Anyway, I'm trying to figure out which chair in my parents living room is going to be my chair. The one that becomes my default, the one that I start to assign feelings to and start to think of more like a living thing in the same way I used to with my dolls as a kid, the one that when my parents move to a new house, I think back at this living room and picture myself sitting in that chair.

Right now I'm sitting on the couch, but to be honest, it leaves a bit to be desired. It's a blue couch and perfectly comfortable, but it's lacking in some way that I can't quite determine. Maybe I just haven't taken enough naps on it yet to bond properly.


It's hard to deny the fact that this part of my life is an obvious shift from the past and let's just go ahead and embrace that cliche and call this a new chapter. Of my life. Of this blog. Of myself. So, I'm going to try and hit all of the major points, if not for you, for myself as a record of how things went:

Two weeks ago, I moved back to California and into one of my parents guest rooms from my summer in Philadelphia as an intern at Anthropologie. Earlier this summer, they offered me a job as an assistant designer. I turned it down. Philadelphia was nice and the chocolate chip cookies at the corporate cafe of the URBN headquarters were enough to make me rethink my entire life plans and all of my morals, but something in me felt strongly about coming back to California. For what? I didn't know. (Let's be clear: I don't know.) (Let's be clearer: The last few days I've wondered more often than I'd like to admit if I've made a huge mistake.)

I'd moved to Philadelphia from four years of college in Savannah, Georgia. But now I'm in Costa Mesa, and one of the walls in the guest room is covered in yellow floral wallpaper. For the last few days, I have been unpacking boxes of my life in college, which I suppose could also be considered the only adult life I've known, into the room with the wallpaper dividing everything into four piles: keep, give, store, toss. It was surprising and uncomfortable how many things that in Georgia were a given to make the effort to hold onto and ship across the country just don't make sense here and ended up in the toss pile. Then there are the things that are truly important to me. Pictures that I want to see every day. Sewing supplies that I use as often as I can. Where, in my parents home of bachelor pad style empty-nesterness does that all belong? Even my clothes feel different. I stood with my arms crossed, looking at all of them hanging in the closet and it threw me. Is that who I am? All of this color? And pattern? And dresses? My "all time favorites"? It doesn't feel like me. Or what I think of as me.

Today, I filled up my car with gas. I punched in my zip code. 31401. Savannah, Georgia. Which I guess is my way of saying that Georgia is where, as of this moment, I still find my default chair.

Worth mentioning:

Money. It sucks to not have any. No matter where you live.
Friends. I have them here, but it's different. They haven't spent the last four years with their lives on time-out waiting for me to come back, but this isn't Christmas break where we get to have dinner and talk all about life and gossip about people we used to be close with and then pay the bill and see each other the next year. I'm here to weasel my way in now. To establish myself as someone they call. And someone I call. And we go on walks where we can talk about life and not have to give months of back story because ideally, they'll know it already. Because we've lived it with together.
Friends Part II. I have them there. On my old default chair in Savannah as well as in places where they are adjusting and meeting new friends and making new lives too. I miss them. These people know me. They really, really know me and who I am. And I know how they each like their coffee and they all know how I like to talk about myself a lot.
Friends Part Ib. If you're my friend and you live in Orange County and you're reading this, please don't read too much into this and let this offend you, but I would say that I have about 5 good friends in Orange County and 4 of them have or are about to have children. I wonder what this says about me. (PS- all of your children are glorious and no, I did not mind holding her in the cry room, in fact, I really, really loved it.)
Streets. Is everything in Orange County somehow off of Bristol? And why can't I ever remember the difference between Bristol, Bear, and Baker?

Tomorrow, I start an internship with a stylist in West Hollywood. Internship numero six. The future is about as blank as it possibly could be and with all of the adjustments, something about this time of life is already so sweet and so wonderful and challenging in the exact way I wanted it to be. I'm digging in. I'm excited. This is where I'm supposed to be. A time of learning and relearning.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Lifespan of a Bushka

Chapter 1: in which our heroine goes to New York and finds herself

Chapter 2: in which our heroine goes to Georgia and finds herself

Chapter 3: in which our heroine goes home and starts looking

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rebel Yell

Starting to believe that I'm going through my rebellious teen years right now. Except without peer pressure of recreational drug use,  sneaking out  to hang out with boys from the fast crowd, and drinking cheap beer at a strangers house.

I'd be game for sneaking out if the opportunity presented itself.

But no. 

In recent months, I've been super into the idea of quitting things and into making executive, possibly ill-advised decisions all on my own. Into making announcements instead of asking questions. 

Maybe this is less of being rebellious and more of being a grown up. Besides the quitting.

It's too hot to wear leather. 

Super into being proud of myself.
Super into in Indian food.


I'm interested in having a desk with a view. Even if that view is just my own backyard.

Especially if that view is just my own backyard.

Monday, June 30, 2014

All just slips of paper

Life, right now, feels a little bit like one of those machines on a game show that is a telephone booth full of money and wind. And I feel like I have 1:00 minute on the clock to grab all of the money. But instead of money, it's little slips of paper with different things that I'm sure of written on each piece. So the wind is blowing and my face is red because I know the whole audience is watching and I'm grabbing grabbing grabbing at what-- I'm not sure exactly, but I want to grab as many as possible before the wind dies down and I find myself leaving the telephone booth only to realize that all I'm holding is a bunch of handfuls of slips of paper. 

A few of the slips of paper that you're going to have to pry out of my cold, dead hands: 

I graduated. I also like how curly my hair is. Also, this was the last moment for the following two weeks of which I wasn't crying. 

Wonderful, wonderful people at my side. 

Saying "goodbye" was kind of the worst thing ever. For the record: these smiles are fake. Or at least mine was. But they're hopeful and proud smiles too. The kind that hold just a ton of words and stories and history that I would never really be able to get out in a real smile with all sorts of telling teeth.  

How have I lived for 22 years without a pair of monogrammed pajamas? It's everything you'd think it'd be and everything you'd never expect. 

I was kind of a total grouch for the majority of mom and my trip up the coast from Savannah to Philadelphia. There were fleeting moments of me being a nice person like when mom bought me a milkshake and let me sing super loud to Alison Krauss' When You Say Nothing at All over and over again, but mostly it was a lot of me crying and texting my friends and making fun of the Naval Academy and begging her to go into the Piggly Wiggly to buy tampons for me because I'm still nervous about running into someone I know (in the middle of Virginia) and them seeing and officially knowing that I've hit puberty. 

Let it be known that LJP and DWP were both kind of saints for dealing with me that week in the way that they did. Patience and understanding with a  healthy dose of honesty and encouragement. And pretending not to notice that I didn't lift one box for the entire moving process. 

And then mom and I got to Philadelphia. Have I even... no, I don't think I have. I'm such a bad blother (blog + mother... or maybe I like blommy better). Ok. So, the reason I'm in Philadelphia: I'm interning for Anthropologie at the URBN headquarters, which are located in Philadelphia, with their casuals (casuals = sweats, pajamas, robes, knit dresses, comfy stuff) team. 
This picture was after my first day of work when mom and I met for dinner at Little Nona's. The food was delicious. The company was excellent. But homegirl still couldn't keep it together and by the time we were splitting the tiramisu I forcer her to get me, I was crying again*. And continued to do so from the restaurant. To my car. To her hotel. To the curb. To hugging her goodbye. And then all the way back to my apartment where I really let things get out of hand. 
Anyway, I probably ruined dinner. 
I hope mom still likes me. 

I barely made it a week before I came crawling back to these lads in New York City for a little TLC. Stick with what you know, yamiright? 

Also: beer. 

To truly kick off my time in Philly, somehow over the course of the 4 days that I lived in the city, I contracted a deliciously contagious case of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. How? I will never know. Especially since the virus is so rare among adults that about 90% of the websites I looked up for information didn't even speak directly to the reader, but instead, immediately assumed that the patient was typically under 6 years old and are written mostly in the form of "If your child is..." or "You might notice that your son or daughter..." No, no, no, Internet. Not a six year old here. Just a 22 year old college graduate slash intern, looking at 6 days of doctor prescribed quarantine with an empty fridge and a hopeful future. 

My feet are healing quite nicely, thank you for asking and I am no longer contagious so, right now, you might say, life is pretty ahsa-weeet. 

More soon. I promise. 

*More tears in the month of June 2014 than from January 17, 2012 (the day after the Gilmore Girl's finale) through May 2014 combined. Someone diagnose me with something.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


In honor of my date

(long story)

There is a lot to talk about right now, but I'm just going to throw this out there for now.

I fell asleep on my couch watching
old romance movies
with my glasses still on and my book
in my hands.
I woke up and ate a spoon-full of
and debated whether I should set the
coffee maker for the morning.
I have a king size bed with a blanket
on the end I never unfold.
I always sleep on the left side, the
right side kept perfectly made.
some nights my room is so quiet I
can hear my heartbeat.
quiet is something I've had to get
used to.
I bought a glass bottle of root beer
today and couldn't get the cap off.
This man gently took it out of my
opened it, smiled and walked away.
I was talking to my friends about
how I want to find love,
honestly, I'm not sure that I really do.
Unless it's someone who would close
my book
and take off my glasses when I fall
asleep on the couch.
Unless it's someone that will kiss
frosting off my lips
and make me excited to set the coffee maker
(because I'll know that in the
morning I'll take two cups
out of the cabinet and smile as I
pour hazelnut creamer)
Unless it's someone who will mess up
my sheets
and perfectly made bed,
making this room a little less quiet.
Unless it's someone that will laugh as
I struggle to open a glass bottle of
root beer and instead of opening it
for me. he says,
you can do it, I know you can
I don't want to find love
I guess I just want it to find me
while I'm busy living my simple little


This and other feelings coming at you live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 11:10 on a Tuesday.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bikini Season

Ok, so I'm going to level with you here. An honest moment. One that I'll pretend I feel good about posting, but will secretly wonder for the next few days who actually reads this and whether or not I should be embarrassed about it. 

There are two things I've hated my entire life: math and the beach. 

Both of them I view as complete time sucks, and both of them I look at as something that can be avoided 99% of the time. But! When that 1% rolls around, there is absolutely no getting out of it. 

My disdain for the beach, is not one of those situations of unreasonable and unfounded cynicism. Coming from Southern California, this abnormality in personality is something that I have, on numerous occasions, had to defend and explain and I do, in fact, have in my back pocket a short list of topical complaints to spout off when the dreaded words "beach day" are suggested as an option of time spent. 

1. It's so hot. 
2. Sand is so hot. 
3. Laying out in the sun is boring. 
4. Laying out in the sun is unhealthy. 
5. Parking. What a nightmare, am I right? 

And if these very logical and hardly arguable reasons don't do the trick in convincing whatever second or third party that a day spent doing practically anything else is a better option, there's always the hard, cold, avoidance tactic of plainly refusing to go. My friends love that. 

What I rarely ever admit, though I'm sure is glaringly obvious to most, is the real reason that I've hated the beach since I can remember: Bathing Suits. 

I have a very distinct memory as first grader, going to the beach with a friend my same age, and her telling me that I looked fat in my bathing suit. Looking back now, to think that the word "fat" was in the vocabulary of two girls that young when referring to body shapes and self image makes me sick and says much more about my little friend than it did me, but nevertheless, as ridiculous as it sounds,  I just don't think I was ever really able to shake that label: Fat in a Bathing Suit. 

At every stage of my youth, the insecurities with my body remained and despite small steps and chapters of acceptance and understanding of my shape and it's place next to the word beautiful, I've never been able to face down the bikini. It's just there. All skimpy and tight. Squeezing the tops of my thighs into submission and being a totally lame and unsupportive friend to my bits and bobs that are typically on maj lockdown (translation: boobs errywherr). And I don't like it. And it ruins my time at the beach. And I sit there, probably burning, wondering what my friends think, or what our complete stranger beach neighbors think, or heavens to Betsy-- what if I run into someone, probably a boy I like, at the beach who isn't quite my friend, but I know well enough to say hi, but they're like, shocked at my shape-- what will that hypothetical half friend/ half acquaintance/ probably a boy person think?! 

I've been able to get off scot free for years now. I think the last time was at the beach was maybe freshman year of college and I haven't missed it at all. Come to think of it, I can't even begin to count how many events I've passed up throughout my entire life to avoid being in a bathing suit. But last Friday, like a snake in a bush, I heard those words: 

"We should all go to the beach." 

There it was. Hanging. Like a noose. And this time there was no getting out. This Friday had already been reserved for days as "the last real weekend of college"-- the one we'd agreed to all block off and spend together. So, I agreed to go. Begrudgingly. I figured, why not, Julia-- this can be your one punch on the timecard for the next five years. But, I've spent the last week nervous and dreading today. Until something kind of funny happened. This past week, I've happened to read two separate and totally random pieces that are challenging me to truly, once and for all, rid myself of this body guilt and hiding and comparison and self-criticism that isn't worth all of the effort. The first was an excerpt from Anne Lammott: 

There's a whole chapter on perfectionism in Bird by Bird, because it is the great enemy of the writer, and of life, our sweet messy beautiful screwed up human lives. It is the voice of the oppressor. It will keep you very scared and restless your entire life if you do not awaken, and fight back, and if you're an artist, it will destroy you....

...Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you're 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It's going to break your heart. Don't let this happen. Repent just means to change direction—and NOT to be said by someone who is waggling their forefinger at you. Repentance is a blessing. Pick a new direction, one you wouldn't mind ending up at, and aim for that. Shoot the moon.

The whole excerpt is gorgeous to me, but when I read that one line about the pools and jiggly tummy's, I had to read it four more times before I truly let myself believe that she was right. About bathing suits, but also about a million other things that are so worth doing, but require a potential of imperfectionism at some point. 

The second was a short and sweet, but funny little article on Hello Giggles called "The Best Advice Ever for Surviving Bikini Season." And do you want to know what that best advice ever for surviving bikini season is?
"How to get a bikini body: Put your body in a bikini"
Ah-hah!  Now there's a trick! So simple, it's almost like I could've been doing it the whole time. Oh wait-- I could've been doing it the whole time! When I read that put in such simplistic and wonderfully obvious terms, I felt almost guilty for wasting so much time and energy on such a no brainer. Wear the freaking bathing suit. Just put it on your body. And then stop thinking about it!

For some reason, the combination of both of those articles just really stuck with me for the last few days. Unlike a lot of other advice on this topic this time of year, both of these added no pressure or a need to meet halfway with a justification for why I am the way I am or how I should just "accept my quirky body, but still find a way to look past it and enjoy my life." 

All this to say that this year, I'm taking myself, my new, adorable J. Crew bikini (purchased on Tuesday at 11:00 at night and overnight shipped to get here by beach day), my two obnoxious boobs, love handles and white-out colored upper thighs and I'm going to the beach with my friends, dammit! And I'm not promising that I'm going to love it. I standby all of my previous complaints with conviction and and certitude. (Because the beach still kind of sucks...) But I will promise to do my best to embrace what I got. Like a freaking Dove commercial.