Peace out 2014. It’s been real.

Here, I sit with a bun on my head and an appalling amount of green clay I’ve globbed onto my face. I call it a “mask.” Here, I sit basking in the light of my beautifully decorated Christmas tree, soaking it in while reminiscing on the past year. Tis the very end of year number 20, for moi. And as usual, I like to recap all the things I’ve experienced, both good and bad. The year 2014 started off hopeful, with the knowledge that nothing could be worse than 2013. And that has held true so far. When 2013 turned the corner and I saw 2014 as the light at the end of the tunnel I knew things would be far better than I could have hoped for…and I can’t say that I was wrong. Although 2014 brought its own new challenges, like living off campus, finding a place to park, actually working my butt off to get good grades, and trying to find a place to fit in…. I found that 2014 also brought its own new blessings, like learning how to get creative when I know I’m about to be late for class, and discovering how to position things in my room to block out the light of zooming cars out my window and the beeps, caused from less intelligent people driving on the wrong side of my one way street. The year brought much greater blessings than these, and the ones I’ve ignored are much too good to even try to put into words. You’ll just have to take my word for it. It was a splendid, lovely year. Now that I’m (partially) done bragging I have to review my bucket list and see if I actually did the things I told myself I would. Fingers crossed that I accomplished all (or at least most) of that list.

Voila! I’ve found it.

  1. Find a Hike: FAIL. To be completely honest, I don’t even think I tried.
  2. Accumulate vintage items: SEMI-ACCOMPLISHED. I bought an old Polaroid camera, that worked for only about a total of 4 pictures, the rest was just wasted and incredibly expensive film. I also got an old ring from my Nana, which is gorgeous and much more practical then a crappy camera, no offense. I’m stilling praying it will eventually work again.
  3. Bookstore: ACCOMPLISHED. I found a few, actually. Apparently Words on Wheels was a hit for me.
  4. Favorite book: ACCOMPLISHED. Jesus Calling. I read it everyday and so far no book has been better.
  5. Musication: SEMI-ACOMMPLISHED. I love having random songs sent to me, and I’ve received an assortment of music from an eclectic range of people. The most memorable songs of the year, for me, are: Dollhouse by Melanie Martinez, Bad Intentions by Niykee Heaton, Who Do We Think We Are by John Legend, and more that I’ll have to share in another post. Warning these songs are not really normal.
  6. Write a song: FAIL. I write them in my head… Does that count?
  7. Drive in theater: FAIL: Still waiting for someone to take me on a date to Coyote Drive In….
  8. Attend a concert: ACCOMPLISHED! Thanks to my great friend Lesli who won free Justin Timberlake concert tickets. Love ya, Les. And also Stagecoach, and of course Stagecoach again next year is already booked.
  9. Dress up: ACCOMPLISHED. I stuck to it. Rarely ever dressed poorly (or at least what I considered poorly, don’t ask my roommates if they agree), partially because I stopped working out the past 3 months because I was sick and kept pushing it off and I knew even if I put on work out clothes I wouldn’t make it to the gym. Next year I have to dress business casual EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
  10. Get a job: ACCOMPLISHED… let me repeat. I have to dress business casual EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. At least I get my own binder and my own business cards. I have to brush up on my persuasion skills because as a new TCU Student Media Account Executive, I have to sell ads like there’s no tomorrow.

And so, I’d like to think I had a very well rounded year. Stayed in the grey area for the most part. I guess I finally realized that not everything is black or white. And while that may be kind of boring, it was exactly what I needed before entering my next year, my 21st. Cheers!

Preview For Next Blog Post: I plan on doing a short year recap with a couple pictures and ending with a list of tips I’ve learned throughout the past year. For readers who are actively paying attention, let me know if there is anything else I should (or shouldn’t…) post. Thanks and Happy Holidays.

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On Repeat

If you don’t know me or my not-so-absurd study habits, you’ll probably benefit from knowing that my favorite song is The Intro by The XX. Y’all have heard this song a bazillion times, trust me. It’s that super catchy low-key beat that can be streamed together for 10 hours (seriously though, it’s on YouTube) and there are (fun fact) absolutely no lyrics. Just looking at iTunes on my computer you can see the blatant gap between my top 25 most played songs, coming in first The Intro with 719 plays (as of right now) and coming in a “close” second Clocks by Coldplay with a solid 76 plays. So, you guessed it, instead of listening to YouTube’s ten hour version of The Intro, I’ve dedicated my time solely to listening to my 6 minute version, on repeat, every single time I study, or attempt to study at least.

I claim to be spontaneous, one of my top three traits, but I am pretty damn predictable. I’m a creature of habit. Aren’t we all though? I’ve decided that I need to leave myself opportunities for new experiences, for stepping outside my comfort zone. So this week, I had a couple new rites-of-passages. Some good, some bad. And instead of doing my usual lists on this site, I’ll change it up and purge some words without any other context. So who wants to know what happened recently? Ya? Okay cool. Here goes nothing.

I went on my very first “official” date. I didn’t get let into the student section for my very first time and sadly it was for the K-state game. Us roommates had our very first fight about doing the dishes. I tried a coconut-oil hair mask. I went to Lab, that weird freshman bar. I got accepted to the London study abroad program for Strat Comm. I listened to new music. Found a new song to play on repeat. It’s called Bad Intentions by Niykee Heaton. I went to my very first hockey game. Go Stars! I got a 97.5% on my advertising test. I got my very first C on a comm paper. I saw a couple new movies. My roommates and friends had some exciting new experiences too, but it’s not my place to tell. Although, I want to brag for them. It took me 40 minutes to park at school on a rainy day. TCU has officially beat all of the Big 12 teams in the past three years. We rock!

Alright, I think that’s all my little mind can think off. I’ll let you know if any more cool stuff happens. This is just a reminder to give yourself a break. Give up that monotonous daily/weekly/monthly/yearly routine for just a quick moment. Make it memorable, intentional, and freeing.

Cheers to New Experience and Peace Out,

Tara

Words of Encouragement

I am feeling very thankful today. I notice that sometimes my ego blinds me from seeing everything that is good in life. Often, I forget how amazingly wonderful my friends are. Sorry, friends! The past few days have been kind of hard for me. Seeing that my entire Instagram feed is full with pictures from amazing adventures around the world, especially Europe… especially Paris. I am jealous. Very jealous. As this weekend was my first “free weekend” I thought it was going to be absolutely wonderful. Nope. It wasn’t. It was nice, but not wonderful. I’m so jealous of everyone else’s escapades that I forget to plan my own. Lately, (the past two days) I have been feeling kind of lonely. I wait for a text, for a call, for the doorbell to ring or a knock on the door. Nope. Nothing. Nada. But then I realized, I did get those texts, calls, and knocks on the door…  it just wasn’t to hang out, it was better.

“How are you doing?” “I miss you!” “Where did you get that maple bacon donut?”

and my favorite one from my little: “I hope you had a fun day at the fair and that it was your perfect fair day that you have always wanted.” Oh yeah, I went to the fair with my best friend… and even though we complained together the entire time… I mean we were at the fair so I wouldn’t necessarily say that life was that bad.

another favorite from a good friend: “You know I am a big Tara McQueen fan (blogger, person, advice giver, good friend.)

 

Thank you, friends! I know there were plenty more that I didn’t stop and think wow thank you. I regret not appreciating these little notes and I am making a pact with myself to notice the small things. You’ve heard the little things are the ones that matter most or how bout stop and smell the roses, right? How cliché am I? I just want to give a shout out to all my friends who continuously make my day. Thank you for always being there for me. I’m always here for anyone. If you are feeling down or just need someone to talk to please don’t hesitate. I am here for you. If you are too shy or embarrassed you can always use my tumblr account to stay anonymous. 

Look up Philippians 4:8 if you are in need of some extra faith. 

Stay lovely,

Tara

If the Shoe Fits, Why Not?

(disclaimer: this was written on tuesday, 2-18-14)

I have learned during the past weeks I’ve spent here that adjusting doesn’t always mean conforming. Yeah, TCU girls on their way to class are a big fashion faux pas. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. You run into that new boy you like, sorry, but you look like a mess. This is the part I refused to adjust to at TCU. Yes, I conform to the Greek life culture; I do not conform to oversize tee shirts that make me look 30 pounds heavier than I am. I will admit as I write this that I am wearing a long sleeve (non-figure flattering) Endless Summer shirt paired with black lulus and blue converse. Not at my peak, but I did wear a sassy business dress for a good majority of the day. And now it’s cold, so forgive me for dressing accordingly to the weather for just a second. Sorry students in my Lab class, but I am not trying to please you right now.

But all this is beside the point. As I am adjusting to the new college culture, I have learned to conform from identity to identity. Yet I am still able to maintain a stable identity of my own. Am I not making sense? Here let me make this clearer by using an example.

Conforming in the sense of adjusting.

I show up to my chapter meeting and my seating is not in its usual order, I am not squeezed next to my talking buddy who I used to sit next to for every meeting. Am I going to make the best of it instead? You betcha. Lucky for me I get to form a bond with the new ‘sisters’ I get to sit next to. Adjusting to change, conforming to sorority sisterhood expectations.

Well speaking about sisters, Caitlin (yes, I consider her a sister) and I decided to play into the role of Texas Californians. Does that make sense? We embraced our California mentality and explored the artsiest of neighborhoods we could find in Fort Worth.  It was totally worth it. Adjusting the California mindset to what Texas has to offer.Image

Naturally, during our spontaneous adventure we thought the only rational way to end this day would be to go to Billy Bob’s to see Scotty McCreery in concert. Now I am not gonna lie here… I am not country music’s biggest fan, however, when in Texas…, right? I kick on my cowboy boots and head to the rodeo, pretending to be the real cowgirl that I am. Conformity? Yeah, probably. Fun? AbsolutelyImage

It sure seems like Caitlin and I had a crazy cool weekend. Even on Monday it continued on. Caitlin was super stoked that her Eno hammock came in. I committed to helping her set it up and try it out. Given it was a pretty boyish color (puke green and brown) us to girls added a little pizazz to it. We hung that bad boy up on a tree and climbed in, both crossing our fingers. If this sucker falls down, that is for sure a broken tailbone. Am I usually adventurous like this? No, not necessarily as much as I’d like to think. So yeah I pushed myself to meet Caitlin’s expectations of hammock chiller.

Overall, I’d say this whole experience has been successful. It may be altering your perspective or altering your actions, but being able to stay true to yourself and opening up new and different doors for yourself really isn’t that bad.

I could ramble on and on, but assuming some of y’all have as short of an attention span as I do… I’ll spare you the time and wrap it all up. What I am trying to get at here is that you can ALWAYS change yourself into who you want to be.