On Rain

Hey guys! How are ya? Long time no talk.

As always, I’m going to shoot you all straight. I haven’t posted lately, and yes, I know I haven’t posted lately, and yes, I did have complete access to this computer as well as wifi for the entirety of the time I wasn’t posting.

Life got in the way, like it always does, and I’m not too bothered by it. I hope you all aren’t either.  If anything, I wanted this site not only to have an excuse to write sweet, sweet nothings (lol) but to do my part in reminding the world that it’s okay to like, be human, you know?hate hate, firmly believe that miscommunication is the root of feeling alone, and blame the fact that not enough of us use this medium of technology to spread our innately human qualities and, therefore, lead one another to feeling alone.

The hate thing will be for another post, probably. But yeah. I’m human, I didn’t write. I don’t love any of you less for whatever little hiccup you may or may not feel guilt over today, and hope the feelings are mutual.

I’ve missed you <3

Today, I want to talk about rain.

I’ve always loved the rain. The sound, the smell, the fact that it makes you want to cuddle up inside in the cold and the way you feel when you dry off in the summer spells – it rocks. For me at least.

There’s this saying I heard more and more as I got older and felt myself feeling younger. Whining internally “why me?” at things I’m aware are overtly trivial, and blessed problems – my Nana used to reassure me by saying;

“When it rains, it pours.”

Silly, I know. But my Nana was a wise lady. The wisest. And she knew people. And it makes sense if you think about the fact that most of the hubabaloo of failure is the whole part that it comes out of the blue. You think what did I miss? Where did I go wrong? HOW?

The trick about the whole thing, Nana pointed out, is the fact that it really isn’t avoidable. It’s necessary. You don’t know how to walk without learning how it feels to fall. You don’t learn how to write without misspelling restaurant every once in a while. You don’t have flowers without the rain. 

I never want any one of you to read these posts and believe I’m looking for pity. That isn’t what this site is about. However, I toy with the whole practice-what-you-preach thing, and I want more people to feel okay with being, you know, people (see above) and it is a people thing to be let down.

So, I gotta prove it.

I didn’t have the easiest year. I am very aware and thankful for all that I have. Please read that twice. I am very aware and thankful for all that I have.

That doesn’t mean I, a person, cannot feel a little rain.

I have. I felt alone a lot this year. Felt myself looking for where I belonged, I lost competitions I worked hard to prepare for, friendships I thought were airtight, I saved every parking ticket for every interview in Boston I went to. I sent millions and I mean realistically hundreds of emails to employers, took notes on jobs and juggled carpool pickups to save up cash for gas – I heard “No” “It’s not us, it’s quite literally you” more often than I got a text back from people I never thought I’d need to chase.

It was as if everything that I knew about myself didn’t fit anymore. I started to believe, like the critical thinker that I am, that everything I was was the very reason I wasn’t getting everything I wanted.

It kinda sorta poured, you know?

But somewhere in that mess, somehow, in the way that most things happen, it all worked out.

The rain has a way of washing everything away. The rain has a way of bringing out beauty. The rain makes everything new.

The day after my graduation I heard about E&J Gallo Winery. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love wine. But seriously, their program, focus on leadership, character, and team atmosphere was one I wanted more than anything. I kept in contact with a woman who worked there all summer. An extremely close family friend (more of an aunt) was kind enough to send her information my way. I sent the woman emails monthly with updates on my life, questions about how she was, comments on the weather – there was no job available when I first met her, but I didn’t care. I was in awe of what she did, knew enough that I wanted to be just like her, whenever I decided to grow up, and went for it.

In the darkest of rainfalls, I kept E&J Gallo as my “dream job”. I never thought it would come to fruition.

Yeah, they were the ones I was late to on the most recent post. *Cue “AHHHHH” from the crowd*

I accepted a full time offer with them a week ago.

For every time I was too friendly, too young, too Catherine for anything other than my dream job, E&J Gallo wanted me.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this; it’s okay to not feel okay. Rain is a part of life.

Wherever you are, whoever you are, if you’re reading this at all or skimming this, thank you for making it this far. You are wonderful, you are important. Don’t ever doubt how magnificently unique you are. You are, magnificent, that is.

And if you ever start to feel a raindrop, how about you try and sing, for me.

Talk soon,

Catherine

On Like, Post Grad Stuff

Hi guys! Hope you all had great weekends. Oh, and Mondays, too.

***QUICK SHOUT OUT***

I want to thank, sincerely, each and every one of you that has personally come up to me regarding this whole blogging thing. Seriously, wether you love them or hate them or just know I make them, it means the absolute world to me that I reach you in any way at all. I have this funny relationship with these disclaimers, because they feel just a teeny weeny bit like not-so-Humble-brags – so if you’re feeling that way reading this, I’m with ya. Let me know. Or don’t.

***BACK TO OUR SEMI-REGULARLY-SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING***

I was supposed to post yesterday. Okay, not really supposed to on account of nobody’s really making me do this – but I’m trying for consistency here! As somebody who appreciates consistency, I’ll be the first to admit my admiration is more of a grass-is-always-greener-kinda-sorta-because-I-forget-to-water-my-own-grass-sometimes-cut-a-girl-some-SLACK-I’m-human!!! kind.

Can’t change unless you admit you fail sometimes. So there you go. Will try not to do it again, am cognizant that I may, in fact, inevitably do it again.

(side note, anyone else feel like that Z just looks wrong in cognizant? It’s not, but doesn’t it kinda feel like it is?)

Anyway, if I do do it, I’ll own up to it. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

My alumni weekend was this past weekend. It rocked. It didn’t, however, cause me not to post, contrary to popular conversation online regarding kids (adults sounds too weird I was literally enrolled in school three months ago)  and attending their alumni weekend(s).

Nope, I didn’t post yesterday because even after checking my email for two hours early in the morning, like usual, scheduling my coming month, and working on some content – I didn’t realize the actual date of yesterday (the  25th), received a call that I was expecting today (which I believed was the date of yesterday, hopefully you’ve caught on to this), jumped in my car and drove an hour and a half to a meeting that I’d been preparing for all week.

I’m early for quite literally everything. Everything. I’m serious, my biggest pet peeve is lateness, so I try and practice what I preach. I usually succeed. And by usually succeed, I mean I am literally never late for anything ever. The latest I’ve ever been is on time.

Not this time. Hour and a half. Late. Actual late.

I do this thing when I make a mistake where I obsessively try and realize the lesson in the whole thing. I firmly believe that everything that goes wrong ever has clues hidden in how to make things right– big and small, all mistakes included.

I know I’m not alone here.

But this time, instead of letting it ruin my day, I decided (after a considerable amount of  beating myself up) that it’s okay. Not that’s it’s like, okay to be late all the time, but like, it’s okay that every once in a while we all make literally human mistakes.

Seriously, it is. I had checked my email, scheduled, was up early, did work – I happened to misunderstand the date. In the past, I would take that as an excuse to deeply dive into reasons why I, Catherine Emond, a 20-something (2, I’m 22, but 20 something just sounds cooler so let’s roll with it) young adult (the tween version of adult) would make such a dire mistake.

Tiresome, and not super helpful.

You see, everyone makes mistakes (cue Hannah Montana – no, I don’t know why there are so many sidenotes in today’s post either but let’s all ~roll with it) but seriously, they do.

They make us human, they keep us humble,  they keep life interesting.

I realized that that, in itself, was a huge clue in making things right. See, you’re never going to be able to control the entire world, you know?

~ “You can’t direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails” ~

“You’re bound to completely blank on the actual date sometimes, and therefore, make yourself late. But it isn’t the end of the world, and you’ll be okay.”

Wherever you are today reading this, whoever you are, remember to cut yourself some slack every once in a while. Take every missed appointment with a grain of salt, remember that every mistake has a lesson – even if that lesson is simply learning to love yourself a teeny bit more, for all of the human that you are.

As always, thank you so much for reading.

Thinking of you all,

Catherine

 

On Jazz

Hey guys! Miss me? I’ve missed you.

I’ve been having this problem that used to make me put writing down altogether – but since I made you all a promise, here I am, pushing my way through it.

I’m happy.

Yeah, I just said happy. No, I’m not trying to be over dramatic or romantic in that whole I’m-only-my-true-self-when-I’m-suffering way, but in the sake of honesty here – it’s kinda hard for me to write when I’m happy.

You see, I find myself thinking in this super circular way about happiness when I can’t sleep or when I should be doing something more productive than thinking in a super circular way about happiness and every analysis leads to a consensus that, until now, has given me the perfect “out” in terms of writing about it at all.

I tend to write when I want to think something through.

To me, writing is extremely cathartic. It’s raw and real and there’s just something about how fast keys can make words and how bold Times New Roman looks while it marches its way across a virtual piece of paper that makes the most confusing of heartache as simple as organizing a five-paragraph-essay. It makes things clear.

There’s something mysterious, I think, about happiness that makes us afraid to unwrap it piece by piece in fear of being disappointed. Or at least, that’s what I’ve thought until now.

Maybe it’s the fear of being wrong. I think mainly it’s the fear of being wrong, that keeps people from looking deeper into something that’s wonderful. The fear of looking dumb, of hurting yourself in the long term by being real about feelings in the now because deep down we’re all innately and acutely aware of how marvelously out of our hands this life is.

I’m not immune to any of that, to all of that. I’m human. But I have this feeling that maybe sharing when I’m happy will help steer the online attitudes about real, raw life into just that, happy.

I made this blog with a promise to whoever you are, wherever you are, reading this or skimming this – and to myself. I’m going to keep it. So, here we go.

I met a boy. Most of you have probably realized that already, on account of how I write about love and am now writing about being happy and also the whole I’ve posted with a male person on social media multiple times and oh-my-God-social-media-is-ruining!!!!-relationships!!!-there-is-NO-HOPE-for-millennials (when are we going to stop blaming technology and start blaming ourselves?), I’m just going to confirm it, I met a boy.

And I’m happy. But I want to get something straight right off the bat. I am not happy just because I met a boy.

Please reread that, like, lets say, 7 times.

I am happy. I met a boy. I am not happy just because I met a boy. 

He does, however, make me happy. (see circular mode of thinking above)

He is wonderful and genuine and amazing and kind and honestly is probably reading this because he remembers little things about me like when I nervously post these (and realistically because I will text him that this is up) and he’s really quite private so he’s probably rolling his eyes a little right now (oh, dear) but he knew what he was getting into dating a girl with a personal blog about love so here we are. I met a boy.

So far, I’m pretty keen on him, as you can tell. Maybe you’ll hear about him for years and years, maybe I’ll look silly. Life is weird. This is vulnerable. This is real.

He likes live music for whatever reason. We saw a blues band this past weekend, I thought they were a jazz band for the majority of their set. Sue me. Regardless, they reminded me of him. Everyone was carefree. People of all colors and backgrounds in a little run down restaurant went from clapping to dancing while the lead singer played the harmonica to a song he wrote himself. He took tips in his worn out hat, made the wrinkles on his shirt dance while he hummed tones that made it feel like I’d known him forever.

It was simple, it was wonderful, it was happy

Happiness is a journey, a choice, it’s millions of little bits throughout the day – it looks different to each and every one of us, but it feels the same.

I hope you all think a little about something making you happy right now, whatever that may be.

More happiness people, more jazz.

See you next week,

 

Catherine

 

 

On Root Canals

Hi, me again! Same gal, one less living tooth.

Wonderful visual for all of you, I hope. I also hope you’ve had good Labor Day Weekends/following weekdays. I did! I didn’t want to post on Monday like usual because I hoped none of you would be on digital devices on account of it being a national holiday, but I also didn’t want to post on this coming Monday on account of it being 9/11, so here we are.

Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, let’s talk about root canals.
Actually, let’s talk about dentists.

So I’m terrified of the dentist. Literally terrified. I would rather spend an entire night locked in a room with a creepy looking clown thing reading off every Facebook post I thought to make in 2007 than go to the dentist. That terrified.

I write and talk and try to advise people on how to live happy and well and most of that advice – coupled with every reassurance I give potential employers about my reliability (I am very reliable potential employers if you’re reading this just stick with me until the end here) – is based on the idea of conquering things that scare you. Don’t let fear run you dry. Learn to love it. Learn to accept it. Fear is good.

Naturally, I had avoided seeing my dentist for about a year until last Tuesday.

I brush and floss twice a day! Okay? I’ve been at school! I don’t even like candy and I’ve literally never had a cavity in my entire life. (okay, maybe one, but that’s not the point)

The point is last Tuesday my lower right tooth started to hurt for absolutely no reason at all. And last Wednesday? I woke up in throbbing pain at 4am with the worst gut instinct I have had, to date.

“Maybe I should call my dentist”

After a few X-Rays, more than a few tears, and a confusing train of conversation, I left my primary dentist’s office with an appointment that day for an emergency root canal.

Now for any of you actual adults reading this who can properly deal with stressful situations/have lived through worse scenarios, I can understand if you’re rolling your eyes. It’s a root canal, no big deal, could be worse.

I am cognisant of my luck in terms of life. Grateful that, thus far, not much has rivaled the past week in terms of pain. However, terrified of the dentist. This outcome was quite literally the absolute worst case scenario in my brain. It was one of the very reasons I avoid going to the dentist as much as possible! This!!!

Turns out, teeth can decide to literally decease on their own. Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either until my mouth was drilled. It’s possible, it’s actually not always preventable, and it’s thankfully, fixable.

In  my case, my little right tooth’s passing on wasn’t preventable at all. No amount of candy, lack of flossing, or deterrence of dental visits could have truly prevented the act of getting a root canal.

And honestly, I’m kinda thankful for it all.

Today, I’m returning to my dentist to fill the tippy top of my little right tooth. In the past week I have had three appointments at the Endodontist (Dr. Andrew Bradley, one of the nicest doctors I have ever met in my entire life, who’s job is to save little teeth!!).

Some longer than others, only one novacane-free (why is that needle so long can somebody please get on this), all calmly and expertly explained beforehand. I was treated with the utmost care, patiently listened to until I completely understood what would be done to my little tooth, I felt safe.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this, it’s normal to be afraid of things. Fear is empowering and interesting and complex but most importantly, it’s scary. It’s normal to want to avoid something you are afraid of. However, just like my first dog’s relationship with our vacuum (RIP Chance the best dog in the world) not everything you’re afraid of is all that bad, when you really look at it.

Cut yourself some slack, breathe deeply every once in awhile, and if one of your teeth start to throb, call your dentist.

Talk to you soon,

Catherine

 

On Silence

Hey! Me again. Hope you’ve all had wonderful weekends. Even if you didn’t, today’s weather is finally brisk! The best weather in the land! Wahoo!

 

Let’s talk about silence. First of all, I’d like to admit the fact that I love Taylor Swift. Like, a lot. Not because of her hair or her outfits or her vocal range either – I love Taylor Swift because I honestly love most of her songs. Yes, I mean literally almost all of them.

 

Taylor Swift tends to be a controversial topic nowadays, which I find to be a funny sentence.

 

If you think about it, or at least, if I think about it, Taylor Swift has kinda always been a controversial topic during all-a-days(?). She’s been too; “rude”, “entitled”, “passive aggressive”, “crazy”, “shallow”, “dumb”, “untalented”, “obnoxious”, “blonde” – she’s literally even been called too tall?! She’s been called a lot, but with all of that, she hasn’t been called one thing;

 

Silent.

 

And that very thing is why I love her. It’s the reason I listened to “Bad Blood” millions of times even though I just don’t ~vibe~ with the hook (sorry, Tay). It’s the reason I defend her to people I barely know, the reason it took me a while to admit to liking Kanye West, the reason I was tormented over admitting to enjoy listening to John Mayer (STILL A JERK), the reason I’m so happy when I see her succeed.

 

She is so many things, but silent isn’t one of them.

 

And no, this isn’t meant to be a fan page for Taylor Swift (not that I wouldn’t ever in the future write one #mygirl #13) but an encouragement for anyone and everyone who knows a little, a lot, or even nothing about her at all.


Whether you hate her, love her, think she’s certifiable or overrated, by thinking anything you’re admitting you know who she is. And I want you to hold onto that feeling for a second.

 

Each and every one of you has a reason for being here. Each and every one of you is going to, at one point or another, make an impact on this planet. You quite literally already have, with the whole breathing-out-CO2-thing, but I believe wholeheartedly your futures are more than just gas. As much as I believe all of that, I want to remind you of something.

 

Nobody ever made history by being silent.

 

And yeah, I know some of you bitterly reading this (thank you for the views) are going to be all “ACTUALLY THERE WAS ONE TIME WHERE SO AND SO WAS SILENT AND THE WORLD WAS BETTER AND LIKE THEY DIDN’T TALK SO LIKE YOU’RE WRONG” and that’s totally fine.

 

Rather, I’d like to thank you all for helping with this exercise.

 

People have made history who literally couldn’t speak. I can admit that. Moreover, I raise you this, I don’t think you need to speak in order not to be silent. HA! Take that!

 

Take this for example, I’m typing. I’m not even speaking out loud. My fingers are speaking (is that a thing) and I will soon proofread this, post this, and BAM. Silence over this topic shattered! Hopefully, people reached!

 

What I mean to say is this. Everyday we are faced with situations and people and challenges that test our opinions and morals and feelings. And it’s cool, and it’s fun. Life is, that is.

 

Breaking silence causes change always, and I think that’s why most people shy away from doing it – because change, to them, means controversy. And I agree, it can. And I agree, that isn’t fun all the time.

 

Sometimes, I believe, we forget how powerful silence can be. Most times, I believe, we forget that being silent in the face of adversity that tests your morals or opinions or feelings can be just as powerful. Just as painful.

 

It’s not easy, as we’ve all come to understand that the most “right” things tend not to be. But as all “right” things tend to be, it is most definitely worth it.

 

It can be as simple as texting to include the shy kid from your class in your plans, as natural as going out of your way to thank a worker you see colleagues disrespecting, as genuine as handwriting a card to someone you care about in a time of need.

 

Take it from a bratty college girl who had her Gingerbread Latte defended by kind stranger in November, however you choose to break it, it makes a difference.

 

In the words of my dear friend Taylor, “Speak Now”. (I just had to)

 

Thinking of you all

 

Catherine

On Entitlement

I want you to take a second to think about somebody you know who didn’t graduate from college.

 

Maybe they never wanted to, maybe they weren’t ever able to, maybe they never even enrolled. Regardless, I want you to think about them, please.

 

Now I want you to think about what they’re doing. Maybe they aren’t scrolling LinkedIN applying for unpaid social media internships or aimlessly existing watching hours of Netflix on end, maybe they are. Maybe they’re working, maybe it’s in a field you wouldn’t ever personally consider. Maybe, without ever realizing it, you’ve been subconsciously judging them for straying from the path in which you found your own success. Hopefully, you aren’t.

 

I’m not one to lie about the privilege I’ve been given in this life. I am extremely thankful for my background, my friends, my town, my timing. I’m a very strong believer in timing, in chance, in luck. I am lucky, I am grateful. As strong as a believer I am in luck, however, I am tenfold a believer in effort. In faith, in believing in something.

 

Where am I going with this? I’m going to come out and say it, I don’t believe college is for everyone. I don’t believe everyone should go to college. Oh, and here’s the kicker; I don’t believe people who went to college are any smarter than those who didn’t.

 

Let that sink in. Now I went to college, graduated with a Marketing Degree, gained understanding of Microsoft Excel, Powerpoint, Google Adwords, Accounting and Finance. I can play with numbers, present large scale ideas with well thought out SMART goals behind them, I can lead, and I can delegate. I can write.

 

But do you know what I can’t do? Alot.

 

I can’t build a house. I can’t, really, stop a fire (even if I’ve started it). I know nothing about landscaping, except that I am not, and never will be strong enough to move that equipment or agile enough to operate it in such an intricate manner. I can’t break down and set up town events, I wouldn’t know how to package or un-package those white tents. I can’t memorize a menu of food, let alone take down legible notes in under 3 minutes. I can’t plumb, or tile, or fix a car.

 

I just simply can’t.

 

I apply to jobs that utilize the skills I have harnessed throughout the past four years of my undergraduate schooling, and chances are those won’t make me physically any stronger at the end of the day.

 

But a lot of jobs will.

 

There’s this quote Einstein used to say (I say in the confidence of somebody who was his friend years ago) about intelligence. Now if you don’t know who Einstein is, he’s this guy who years and years ago discovered matter, energy, and like, force and stuff. Science loves him. He’s probably on one, if not many, of your posters in your dentist’s office.

 

(sidenote, why do dentists praise him? Have we as a species ever delved into the anthropological reasoning for that?)

 

Anyway, he’s there. And this is what he said,

 

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing it is stupid.”

 

And I love it. And I think we should think about it more than every 6 months during our dental cleanings.

 

See matter, energy, and force can’t really be seen. They influence literally every part of our day to day lives, in almost every aspect, but their behavior is kind of inconspicuous.

 

Einstein was a smart guy who focused on something people didn’t think twice about. He studied it, worked with it, he picked it to define his passion in a time where people were focused on being passionate about frankly more visible things.

 

Remember the person, or people, I told you to think about before? Is this starting to make sense now?

 

I’m tired, frankly, of society glorifying an idea of a singular path for success, because success and it’s definition are if anything individualized, not unanimous. If we all had the same idea of what success was and how to achieve it, we literally would be living in a world that couldn’t function.

 

Everyone wants to be an actress? Who’s going to make the movies? Who’s going to watch them? Who’s going to make the set? Everyone wants to be a CEO? Well, who’s going to run the day to day operations of the company? Better yet, who is the company even going to target? Who’s going to need them?

 

If I have learned anything during the past four years of school, it is that my job, whatever it will be, needs people who don’t do the same thing. They are integral, they are important, and they are undervalued.

 

We live in a complex world, a digital world, an ever changing world. That world relies on us, much like Einstein’s laws, to stay balanced. Each and every one of us has not only a purpose, but a genius – and the real genius in it all is around the fact that not all of our genius’ are the same genius.

 

We should be more in awe of anyone who’s already on the track of their genius. In turn, we should be thankful that there are enough tracks, and enough differences, for all of us to stay swimming.

 

Digitally yours,

 

Catherine

On Happiness

Hi! Me again, hope you had great week(s)!

Thank you everyone who’s read the latest post. Who’s shared the latest post, who’s grazed the latest post, who’s contacted me about the latest post. Knowing I’ve made even the slightest impact on any one of you is overwhelmingly wonderful. I have no words, and I always have words.

Let’s talk about happiness.

Some of the happiest memories I have come from the most disappointing moments of my life. Twisted? Maybe. Silly? Not at all.

See life is hard. We all know this. You can’t control what it throws at you. You can’t control who it throws at you. You can’t control how hard people throw things at you (I tried). You can’t really control anything.

Take wifi for a second. We all love wifi, we created wifi – but sometimes it just doesn’t work. And no, I’m not talking about the times you go somewhere and people protect the wifi password like the second coming of Christ so you can’t connect. And yeah, I kinda hate that I’m using wifi as a universal example right now, almost as much as the fact that I hate that it kinda is a universal example. That’s all for another time.

What I mean to say is sometimes you can be connected to your own, password protected wifi, in your own house, and it can cut out. All of a sudden Instagram isn’t loading, Snapchats aren’t sending, you get messages as TEXT (what even is that) so you check your settings and for some God-for-saken reason you’re connected to the equivalent of a rock, “xfinity-wifi”.

Life’s like that. It’s weird, so weird that so many people literally argue over why it is the way it is. People believe in and argue over the existence of lands other than life because it is literally so frustratingly weird that the very species who live it can’t agree on why.

If anything seems consistent in life, it’s the wifi cutting out the very moment you’re confident enough to post on Instagram. It’s the rare slip of your thumb that sends the message to Zoey that you like her (please tell me you all get this Zoey 101 reference). Lightning without thunder. Tragedy out of nowhere. If anything, life is consistent only in reminding you how inconsistent it is.

What does this have to do with being happy? Well, everything.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard time and time again that happiness isn’t a place, it’s a choice. Usually, when I don’t want to hear it. And I know, it’s easier said than done. And I know it sounds ridiculous, but take it from a happy person, it’s true.

See life throws you some pretty tough stuff. Nowadays you constantly hear people telling you it could be worse. I’m not going to tell you that. Everyone goes through things, some things seemingly tougher than others – but don’t you believe for one second that just because your tears seem small they must not matter. They do. They all do. Life lets us all down, regardless of how different that looks.

Being let down by life is one of the most wonderful times to choose to be happy.

Two years ago I was extremely comfortable. Super comfortable. So comfortable, actually, that I had started to believe I was happy just because of that. I was happy because life didn’t want to let me down anymore, which isn’t what being happy is all about at all.

So naturally, life ended up letting me down, hard.

In the way most things happen, slowly at first and then all at once, my world crumbled right before my eyes. I was terrified, I was alone.

That very night I held my phone and my chest and cried, hard. I was scared and I was hurt and I was, in no way at all, happy.

It was right then I heard a front door swing open. *Gasp*

(It wasn’t a boy)

I have around 8 best friends from my hometown, elementary school best friends, love-more-than-life best friends, friends I hadn’t seen enough when I was betting the house on the silly idea that life would just this once stop moving so fast.

One by one, the door slammed, footsteps carried through my house, the hallway rug filled with the same faces I whispered secrets to at middle school sleepovers, at 9:00pm on a Wednesday, 8 girls stopped their lives to drive across town and sit with me while I cried.

In the way most things happen, slowly at first and then all at once, I was no longer alone.

In the weeks that followed friends terrified of driving highways braved the city of Boston to come hold me. People left during lunch breaks to check in, took time out of their days to make me laugh, to remind me to smile.

I’ve never felt more loved in my entire life.

Life didn’t throw me my old world back. That’s just not how it works, or not how it was going to work for me. And I didn’t want it to.

See, something happened to me, I lost something I used to depend on, and it hurt.

But something important happened to me too.

I didn’t let that pain win. I picked the girls brushing my hair, deleting pictures from my phone, sitting in perfect silence and reassurance in the way that only people who really, truly know you can do – I picked love.

I picked being happy.

Life is never going to be easy, and it shouldn’t be. Ahead of me there will be more highs and lows, more joy and disappointment, more work and rejection.

But there’s also gonna be a hell of a lot more love.

I am a lucky girl. Maybe some of you are lucky enough to have friends like I do, maybe some of you aren’t – we all want for what we can’t have, and some, if not most of the time, that tends to be out of our control.

Wherever you are in your life, you got me.

Thinking of you,

Catherine

 

On Breakups

I’m just going to say it, breakups rule.

I know what you’re thinking. Okay, I don’t really know what you’re thinking – but if you’re anything like me, you might have clicked on this to shamelessly skim for dirty details about yours-truly’s not-so-private-but-somehow-private breakups. Fights, insults, nasty texts I kept to myself – you might not wanna admit it, but I know you know you kinda-sorta-maybe wanna hear it all.

I hate to drag on disappointment, so I’m going to rip the bandaid off right now, this post isn’t for that.

I’m not going to air any laundry, but I do promise I’ll be honest. I want to talk about breakups, overall, because I want to talk about life and love and healing; and breakups are, for most of us, the first time we appreciate how things as routinely simple as breathing can suddenly become difficult. I figured I’d talk about them, for the sake of Asthma, at least.

Some of the most intense pain I’ve ever felt was caused by breakups. I remember watching “the Notebook” during a sleepover, shedding many tears over the ending – but not because of the relationship part. I was crying about the Alzheimers part, as my Nana had just been recently diagnosed. Of course the rest of the 2 hours weren’t bland by any means, but I didn’t have the wind knocked out of me when Allie went off to school leaving Noah behind, didn’t cringe internally when Allie became engaged to whoever James Marsden was supposed to play, my stomach didn’t sink when I realized Noah’s letters were lost in the mail for years –  I didn’t really get it.

Sorry, by the way, if you haven’t seen “The Notebook” and still wanted the plot to be a surprise.

No, it wasn’t until I went through my very own breakup that I understood how heavy and confusing it feels to grieve a living person; how tiring it is to go through your memories with fine tooth comb looking for motive of a crime destined to become a cold case file, how empty words become when you hear them over and over again and how powerful they are when they stop coming overall.

“But Catherine, I thought you said ‘breakups rule’?”

I did, and I meant it. I do still mean it. That did happen, and no, I didn’t like it then. But I’m older now, my heart has been broken and bruised and healed just enough times for me to understand that in fact, breakups kind of rule.

I should note now that I can’t stand society’s romanticism of pain. Purposeful and overlong psychological pain is not beautiful, it is painful. I feel like the entire “breakup” mantra online is very,

“Romeo and Juliet were meant to be or at least thats the gist I’ve gotten from Sparknotes so I must suffer and cry and wail until somebody realizes they did me wrong and then I forgive them” and like, we all just breeze over the whole THEY BOTH DIE IN THE END AND NOTHING IS LITERALLY SOLVED part.

*note, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however you clicked on this, so I’m just simply assuming you’re asking for mine*

I don’t in any way want to diminish the pain of breakups. They’re painful, they’re scary and lonely and cold and sometimes they make you feel like you brought a knife to a gun fight- they can stink, just as they can rule.

And no, I don’t mean that they rule because you get rid of crappy people – thinking people are crappy is a crappy way to think, and truthfully, doesn’t help anyone. I mean that breakups rule because they teach you how un-crappy you are.

Following still? This is the good part.

Breakups can sometimes make you so frail that you need to learn how to walk again. This, we have established. Arguably, I’ve never felt younger or smaller than when my heart was broken in any way. However, learning to walk kind of rocks. Have you ever seen a toddler who’s just learned to walk? Take a second and “Google” it, you deserve the smiles. I’ll wait.

Welcome back. Rebuilding yourself can be scary, but it is always rewarding. Better yet, after a little practice, you realize that “rebuilding” is more like “realizing” , because you’ve been you this entire time, you know? Seriously, with all this “be your best self” material in the world, I think people forget a lot that every version of you is just that, a version of you.

Breakups have allowed me to empathize more with others, to appreciate time on my own, to question myself, hug myself – without my heart breaking, I wouldn’t have been able to meet the strongest versions of myself.

There’s a phrase I’ve heard about not trusting a skinny chef. I’m not married, nor am I engaged, or in a relationship. If this makes you stop reading, don’t worry, I understand.

If you’re still here, thank you. See, if there’s anything I’ve learned in the past few years, it’s that ‘winning’ breakups has nothing to do with another person at all. Not hating a person, finding a new person, or erasing a person.

People have this wonderful power to make you feel like you’re flying, make you feel like you’re invincible, untouchable, amazing. The sunshine can make your whole being feel just alive but damn, the setting of it all can rattle you.

Just like the sun rises again the very minute you become okay with night, you will feel warm again. There will be no grand applause, no climactic turn of events, no being pulling the light just because you asked nicely. You will wakeup, and you will realize that all this time you were waiting to meet you.

I don’t know about you, but I think that kind of rules.

 

Yours,

Catherine

On Where I’ve Been

Hi, it’s been a while.

Remember when I promised I wouldn’t go rouge because I really liked to write? Me too. I’m sorry. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, for one reason or another, I didn’t write. I stopped. I gave my word and took it back, and that’s really all that matters.

See I started this because I don’t only like to write, I like to talk. I like to feel like I’ve made people’s lives a little easier, brighter, or at least a little more entertaining. I wanted this place to push myself to continue to work on my craft, and to appropriately do that, I have to admit where I’ve lacked.

For one reason or another, people trust me with advice. I appreciate it immensely, to me, it’s one of the most genuine forms of a compliment. Somebody whom I care about, regardless of how close we are in relation, trusts me with something hurting them. Because people don’t ask for advice unless they’re in a situation they don’t like, you know? Asking for advice is an extremely vulnerable act, it’s a humane act, it’s admitting that being real comes with pain on occasion and you’re trusting somebody to help you through that. We all need help every once in a while.

So in the spirit of honesty and advice, I have to come clean about something. I have been gone for a while for many reasons; I was graduating, applying to jobs, living my life to the fullest, etc – but I was also afraid. Yes, me, Catherine Emond, the one who loves advice, was too afraid to ask for it.

You see I dealt with a lot of rejection this past semester, and it made me scared. Normally, as a writer, I thrive in rejection. I find it beautiful, a sort of darker soil of life that when looked at in the right light, with the right amount of water, grows the strongest flowers. It’s a critical aspect of life, and I used to love it.

Something happened to me this year, I was tired. I was scared, I was guarded and withdrawn. I kept saying I was working on myself when all the while I was avoiding the very pain that I’ve sworn to cause the greatest growth. I was lying. I hate liars.

Honestly, words that should have literally washed off of my back stung, critics felt like they screamed, and I believed it all.

I’m not writing this for pity. I’m writing this because regardless of who you are, where you are, or where you’ve been – all of us are human. All of us get scared, all of us fall, all of us hurt.

I want all of you to know that if you ever feel as though you need to take back control; like you’re falling so fast that you can’t really breathe, so fast that all you feel capable of is praying to land, I want you to know you just need to open your eyes to wake up. You can mute the mean, better yet, you’ve been holding the controller the entire time. It might take a while to believe, you might start to wonder how far down the Rabbit Hole really goes but I promise you, the power to step right out, is yours. Dorothy searched the entire Emerald city just to realize she was wearing her ticket home, so look at your feet. People will criticize you for whatever you choose to do, however you choose to do it. Don’t believe me? Literally ‘Google’ anything about anyone. There are people out there who hate puppies; hate Disney, hate air! (It’s a ‘lifestyle’ apparently)

And guess what? Everyone has a right to hate and love whatever they want. But hating on hate isn’t going to get anyone anywhere. Being afraid of being different won’t make criticism go away. Most importantly, regardless of what you believe in, the scientific chances of you being born (statistics, ya’ll) are astounding. You’re here for a reason. Each and every one of you, each difference, microscopic to magnificent, literally fought its way to make you, you.

None of us are perfect, but all of us are real.

Thinking of all of you,

Catherine

On Things

When I was little I used to want to own and operate my very own pizza parlor. I was asked directly about this in Kindergarten, for our monthly newsletter, by Mrs. Sevinor. (Sidenote, does anyone else find it funny that no matter how old we get and how many people we meet, we tend to remember those teachers from elementary school? Or is it just me?) Our class was made up half by boys and half by girls – and coincidentally, our answers seemed to have a similar trend. There were princesses, princes, firefighters, mommies, daddies, policemen, superheroes, and doctors. Somehow, there was only one “pizza parlor owner and operator”, go figure, right?

 

I hate to break it to you all, but this post isn’t being written from the back kitchens of my successful business – but from a couch, on a Macbook air that I didn’t purchase myself (however I am very open to sponsoring any and all Apple products so if you know somebody let a college girl know!!! I’m sorry what I said before about hating your store!! It was a joke!) , with “the Bachelor” on in the background.

 

While my dreams of owning and operating a restaurant died before I worked as a hostess – as I learned to completely and utterly understand how unfit I was for long term work in the service/food industry  – my standing out in a classroom did not.

 

I used to always worry about finding my thing. I worry a lot, but about this probably most of all. As I grew older my classmates became soccer players, lacrosse players, cheerleaders, dancers, actors, football players, valedictorians, singers, honors students – you name it, I know somebody who’s claimed it. No matter what they’ve chosen, the older my classmates have gotten, the more I have realized that they have done exactly that, chosen something, and made it their thing.

 

Throughout the years I have tried on countless cleats and helmets, tried out for performances and plays, and tried to apply myself for hours on end to my schoolwork. Some have worked out, others have been more of a workout – all have taught me lessons I assume I will somehow reflect on in this space at some point or another, which leads me to the point of this post after all.

 

The more I think about it, if I have to pick a thing – I guess it would be what I’m doing now, talking. Well, internally I’m talking as I write this technically, wait no, I don’t mean in that way I mean in the charming-Lizzie McQuire-cartoon-Bitmoji-self way (by the way I feel I need to disclose that I in fact was not a Lizzie McQuire fan, I’m sorry for being one of those quote-the-one-episode/made for TV movie-you’ve-seen-of-a-supposed-pop-culture-phenomenon people by mentioning that. I hate me right now too.). What I’m trying to say is I like to say things, and so I figured I’d write them down, and here we are.

 

The thing about being 21 (so cliche to constantly mention my age in a very mid-life crisis tone when in fact I am at the brink of everything beginning, I know) is that you’re finally legally able to drink. You’re considered an adult by the United States of America, in every sense – even though your brain doesn’t stop evolving and growing until you’re 25. This silly thing happens, I feel, because we’ve officially been given almost everything that until now was held off until we had grown into a certain age – except AARP, that is – and I kind of feel like that can make us nervous. Not in the drinking age should be older way, everyone can calm down about that – but in the growing way. We’ve finally been given everything, and I think that can make us forget how much we still can grow.

 

Maybe it’s because until recently, I didn’t feel like I had a thing that I could print on a jersey, sweatshirt, AIM bio or email combination. Funny enough, I have fond memories of coming up with awkward email combinations in middle school in an attempt to identify with anything that could be a thing but wasn’t really my thing – just to fit in. And look at me now.

 

It could just be me, or maybe it’s more of my classmates than probably want to admit it – but I feel like a lot of us are so nervous about finding that perfect, socially status-quo email combination that we forget all of the cool, individual, wonderfully unique things that we honestly claim. That maybe aren’t majors, but passions – maybe not job titles, but also not money pits – the things that really make us who we are.

 

Until recently, I was terrified to start a blog – even though I knew in my gut I’d really enjoy doing it. I had read countless ‘young adult’ books about girls who started blogs, hid them from their classmates – only to have said blogs discovered by said classmates and, in turn, ridiculed by said classmates. (Sidenote, who honestly writes stories’ whose morals are all centered around preventing writing? Where is the sense there, people???) I used to write in journals but never continue them, write long, thought induced papers only to save them to my computer – I was so afraid of committing, or maybe admitting that this could be my thing that I refused to do it at all.

 

What I’ve realized in the most subtle way, like slowly falling asleep – first slow, then all at once but so natural you don’t notice – is that things are things for a reason. Whether they be Godly, coincidental, or bad indigestion – things tend to come with a gut instinct to do – and once you admit that maybe you should order the salad instead of the hot dog combo with a side of Tums – once you start to listen to yourself, doing these things tends to make you feel better. Maybe not immediately, but over time, these things make you actually, happy.

 

So, whoever’s still with me, thank you. Go do your thing, you.

 

Until next time

 

Catherine