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

Dear Abby,

DEAR ABBY – THE PURGED WORD

http://thepurgedword.tumblr.com/ask

Hey guys. This is awesome. Thanks to everyone who posted questions to the link above. The first day went really well. Below are the Dear Abby questions and responses. Let me know what you think. Keep continuing to post on my ask page. Y’all are awesome.

***If you feel like you want to view a more immediate response, please check this page http://thepurgedword.tumblr.com (its the same page but without the /ask). I will try to respond as quickly as I can. At the end of each week I will take all the questions and responses and pile them together and post it here! Thanks for being patient.***  


September 4, 2014 — The new batch of questions slowly trickle in.

 

Dear Abby,

How can I approach someone with whom I share a literal distance barrier? How can I effectively bridge the gap and present myself?

Dear DistanceDistressed,

If you are attempting to capture the attention of a potential significant other, the challenge can be more difficult when you are unable to have face-to-face conversation. However, that is not to say it cannot be done. First, you should probably find some type of bond or similar interest you have in common with that person and attempt to expand off of that. For instance, maybe you have the same major and were curious how they got that intern… that you heard about from a friend, of course. Just to give a basic scenario. Whatever the case is, you must be the one to start the effort if you feel inclined to let them know how you feel. After the initial connection, take a step further and keeping talking and showing off your true personality and more getting to know them and then eventually try to occasionally meet with your “crush” for lack of a better word; if the opportunity arises. Until then make sure you are always on their radar. I am sure you can use your imagination and be creative enough to figure out small ways to do that. Just remember, don’t be afraid to branch out of your comfort zones. If you want to make something happen… go out and work for it.

Good Luck!

Love, Abby

June 13, 2014 –I apologize. Most of these posts are from early May to recent. I caught up on my tumblr, but I just now got to adding them to this wordpress. Enjoy. Don’t be scared to ask more! 

Dear Abby,

I am a freshman in college and have a boyfriend that I adore and love very much. I am nervous if I am not “supposed” to have a boyfriend right now at this point in college. People have influenced me to think that I should not have a boyfriend and that I should see what else if out there because I am so young. What do you think…

Dear CollegeCutie,

College is a time to explore and go crazy, but that doesn’t mean you have to be single. Yeah, it’d be fun to keep your options open and see what’s out there, but if you like how things are don’t let someone persuade you into thinking that’s not okay. Just remember college is the place to make new friends and new memories… Find bridesmaids! So let yourself have the freedom to do that. Don’t be attached at the hip with your boy, but if you love him you don’t have to break up with him. It’s your life; don’t let others tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Enjoy your college years cutie. Live it up!

Love, Abby

Dear Abby,

I’ve only taken one final but I am already over studying. How do I stay on track and focused for the rest of the week? Sincerely, expert in procrastination.

Dear Expert in Procrastination, 

You just have to take one day at a time. Designate 30 minutes of hard work on one subject and alternate to keep your brain alert. Don’t jumble it up too much though. DO NOT FORGET TO EXERCISE. I know it feels like there is no time to get in a work out when you are cramming for finals, but leave the book at home and hit the gym for 30 mins… Or even better run or walk outside to get some fresh air. One other tip I find very helpful is finding a new place to study, but not somewhere that will distract you. If you are from Fort Worth I would recommend Brewed… It’s my favorite place to study. And lastly, turn off your electronics for AT LEAST an hour worth of studying. GOOD LUCK!

Love, Abby

Dear Abby,

I am not the biggest of my friend’s boyfriend. I fear that he is subconsciously making her do things she does not want to do. How can I help her without losing her more to her boyfriend?

Dear BoyfriendBan,

Instead of calling her out for complying with her boyfriend’s wants. Ask her what her wants are without her boyfriend’s opinion. You have to help her see the problem herself without directly telling her to look at it from your view. In the meantime, invite her to do fun things with you all the time and she will cherish those moments and it may even open up her eyes to help her use her OWN choices on what she wants to do. Try not to attack the bad boyfriend, attack the problem. Good luck!

Love, Abby
P.S. If this didn’t make sense ask again in a week. Finals are kicking my butt and Abby isn’t at her prime currently.

Dear Abby,

When is the honeymoon stage in a relationship over?

 Dear Honeymooner,

The honeymoon phase is over after the first 3 big fights. Just kidding! I think it’s something you and your partner will figure out as time goes on. I can’t say when it will be in your relationship or anyone else’s either; but give your relationship the time to have it’s ups and downs and I think you’ll have a better understanding of what I’m trying to say. Happy honeymooning ;)!
Love, Abby


April 19, 2014

Dear Abby,

How long should you wait to say I love you in a relationship?

Dear LostLover,

The big three words are rarely ever planned. In most cases “i love you’ naturally slips out, whether it means to or not. Make sure than when you do say it that you mean it and that it is not forced. Don’t be caught up in the honeymoon-dating phase and jump the gun. Wait long enough to see if it is love versus infatuation. Infatuation is finding your lover to be flawless while love is knowing your lover is flawed and loving him/her anyway. Choose wisely, not timely.

Love, Abby 


 

April 17, 2014

Dear Abby,

Last night my boyfriend and I had plans to hang out, but around 11 he told me he was too tired to hang out. He always does this. What can I do? I don’t want to sound like a needy girlfriend. Please help!

Dear LonelyGirlfriend

It is hard to not seem clingy when all you want is to hang out with your boyfriend whenever you have free time. Sometimes boys don’t get that you just want their undivided attention for a while. Remind your boyfriend that you need some TLC, but give him space to do his own thing every once in a while. Make it clear that he doesn’t always have to say yes when you ask him to hang out and that will make him seem less flakey. You don’t want to be waiting all night for him to come over if he is going to keep pushing it off and then bail last minute. Manage your own time and don’t depend on his word if you think he is going to flake out. I hope this helps.

Love, Abby.


 

Dear Abby,

is eating a bowl of ice cream before bed every night beneficial to ones health?

Dear IceCreamFiend,

As long as it makes you happy. Being happy is always good for your health. However if you want a professional medical opinion I would ask somewhere else.

Love, Abby


Dear Abby,

What are your views on homosexuality and Christianity?

Dear CuriousChristian,

My opinion is exclusive to my faith and I am not here to advocate my reasoning. From a traditional Christian standpoint homosexuality is frowned upon. Interpret this how you will. I don’t have a particular opinion about how I feel, but this is what I believe to be what I know so far. Stay curious and ask questions before boasting about your opinion.

Love, Abby


Dear Abby,

I’m stuck in a rut. I long for “best-friend-like” friendships as well as I’m longing for guy friends. Help!

Dear FindingFriends,

Some of my very best friends are guys. I feel more comfortable telling them my secrets more so than I do tell my girl friends sometimes. To make a friend you have to be a friend. Make a long lasting relationship by committing to being the best friend you can possibly be and more than likely that friendship will succeed. Find the best of both worlds! I hope that helps!

Love, Abby


 

Dear Abby,

I long to be loved, but I am comfortable living in a simple life. Do I need to push myself out of my comfort zone to “find someone” or should I wait for “Mr. Perfect” to come to me?

Dear Mrs.Perfect,

It is always a good idea to branch out of your comfort zone and meet new people. However, don’t push yourself into a relationship that you’re not ready for. Remember though, you have many Mr. Wrongs to go through before you meet Mr. Right. As for now search for love from your friends and family and don’t be afraid to add some flavor to your life by meeting new people. Goodluck!

Love, Abby


 

Dear Abby,

What if you are trying to respect the boundaries of your married kids and never show up unannounced or uninvited (and rarely do invites come) but when they do, you show up gladly and then 5 years later they say they feel ingnored???

Dear UnrequitedInvitations,

Patience is a virtue. With time, good souls will find their way back to home and love will be returned. Don’t dwell on the could haves, you’ve done your best. If you feel like asking for invites is crossing a boundary, instead offer the invitation on your premises more frequently and the invitation will eventually become reciprocated. I know it is hard to be walking on eggshells, especially when you are trying to express love that feels unrequited. More often than not, claiming to be “ignored” is a way to seek for attention. Give it the attention it needs and be patient as things will find themselves being pieced back together. Stay strong and optimistic.

Love, Abby