Wander Weekly #3: Live Free or Die

Wander Weekly is a weekly post on what I’m consuming at the moment.

Happy almost-Independence Day, American friends!

Please pour one out for those of us who don’t have Monday off. (🙋)

This week: a reminder that freedom isn’t free. Do what you want with your life.

I am –

Reading:

Rebecca Rusch is a BADASS, as showcased by this interview. Her story seems really interesting, and the way her long ride and resulting film intertwines a personal connection to the Vietnam war with outdoor adventure is incredible.

Thanks to Abigail Wise’snewsletter (featured in last week’s WW!) for the read.

Listening to:

I listened to this episode of the She Explores podcast on my commute this week, and I definitely admire Jainee and Lindsay’s drive (get it? drive? I was driving. I’m so hilarious.)

Anyways, I’ve had entrepreneurship on the mind this week, which I touched on a bit a few days ago.

Following:

Mari Andrew is a writer and illustrator who was based in D.C. up until a few months ago. She draws simple and inspirational depictions of life that are super #relatable, and she has 509k Instagram followers. Sorry I’m not more obscure and underground with my recommendations, but she’s too good not to follow.

Mari had an event at a store in D.C. where I got the chance to meet her – here’s an awkward picture I made a stranger take of us! Adulthood, amirite??

Watching:

  • Lighting The Fire:Wrong Turns

I am fascinated by ultrarunners. Jim Walmsley is no different (in fact, he’s the best.) From Outside Online:

“From 9MindAsylum,Lighting The Fire: Wrong Turns tells the story of Jim Walmsley’s eventful start in the sport of ultrarunning. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force and dealing with bouts of severe depression, Walmsley turned to running to get his life back on track. He moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, and connected with a community of runners who helped him rebound and supported him after his infamous wrong turn at mile 93 of the 2016 Western States 100 race.”

Bonus Pro Tip:

  • Get a library card

Yes, I am a super nerd, but I cannot even tell you how much money I have saved and reading I have enjoyed thanks to libraries. I like to read. The library has free books. It just makes sense. Sure, my local library’s website is from circa 2003, but it does the trick of allowing me to request books from the comfort of my bed.

Also, millennials love libraries.

 

Interested in more recommendations? Discover more Wander Weeklieshere.

 

Self-Promotion is Awkward

Welcome to the meta blog post of your dreams.

Being a person on the internet is difficult. You opt in, of course, by signing up for social media, by friending and following people, but it gets harder when it gets more personal.

Sure, no one is going to hate on your baby pictures or engagement announcement (if they do, block them. That’s the beauty of personal Facebook use.) But posting something you’ve written? Or a painting you’ve worked really hard on?

Maybe it didn’t get as many “likes” as you’d hoped, or whatever currency you’ve chosen as bestowing value on your gift to the world. And it’s harder to block out criticism of your creations in the internet age.

As if to drive the point home, I recently listened to thisThis American Life episode from a few years back, which talks about the personal nature of starting a business. You, as a person, are the branding, and at least in the beginning, you are a part of whatever you’re selling. People have to buy into you. And if they don’t, how do you not take that personally?

~~

I think about whether or not I should feel narcissistic in starting this blog, and I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Quick note: if you’re a millennial and you haven’t seen that article before and it makes you angry, read till the end. A highlight:

While every millennial might seem like an oversharing Kardashian, posting vacation photos on Facebook is actually less obnoxious than 1960s couples’ trapping friends in their houses to watch their terrible vacation slide shows.

There’s no denying that we are the selfie generation, the oversharers.

Even if you’re not a millennial, personal sharing is still prevalent. Believe me, I have plenty of older Facebook friends who share much more than I care to know about their lives. But they don’t seem to care about my opinion, and if it makes them happy, why should they?

A blog post like this one is, of course, self-promotional. I want to write stuff, and it’s ideal if people read it, but I’m not good at the part between the writing and the people reading. You have to send a blog post out into the world like a toddler on the playground for the first time, except every time is the first time – will this blog post make friends? Or stumble and fall on its face in the sandbox? (Not speaking from experience, I was more of a swings girl.)

Am I supposed to shove it in your face on my Facebook and Instagram to get you to read it? That doesn’t seem great for a toddler. Lmk! Link in bio!

Anyways, whether you’re starting a business or creating something for the first time, I’m in the camp that it’s always going to be at least somewhat terrifying and intimidating.

For some people, it may come more naturally. Either way, we’re all chucking stuff out there to see what comes back.

I feel like I’m always walking a line, trying to sound somewhat inspirational and down-to-earth and creative but also not be, as they say, an oversharing Kardashian.

It’s best not to tie your personal worth in too much.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go promote this post.

 

P.S. Another interesting but slightly tangential article I found was this one from Quartz about millennials and side hustles. Worth a read.

Wander Weekly #2: Weekend Warriors

There aren’t always going to be this many W’s, I promise. Don’t hate me.

Wander Weekly is a – you guessed it – weekly post on what I’m consuming at the moment.

This week: a dedication to weekend adventures.

I am –

Subscribed to:

  • Abigail Wise’s “Sticks & stones” Newsletter

The sign-up form tells you what you need know about this newsletter: “A weekly newsletter about the outdoors for women, by women.” The collection of outdoorsy articles that Abigail compiles is an awesome bonus in my inbox every week.

You can sign uphere.

Listening to:

  • “Kids (acoustic)” by frenship

The best ship is Frenship. This song is definitely melancholy in its acoustic version, but still upbeat enough that I find my head bobbing along.

Reading:

  • This article about hiking with a hangover by the folks at Kelty

In college, I fell more in love with the outdoors and became, as they say, a bit crunchy. Eventually, I learned to prioritize getting up early to spend time outside (I am not a morning person, mind you.) But also, college. This read has some nice expert tips on balancing your love for the outdoors with your self-loathing on Saturday mornings.

Watching:

  • “For people who feel behind in life🏃🏿” from evelyn on the internets

This video was one of my “Recommended” on YouTube, and I’m so glad I clicked on it. Am I way behind the times and the #coolkids for not knowing Evelyn on the Internets? Don’t answer that. Anyways, the slow-mo/deep life advice interwoven with hilarious commentary is amazing.

Bonus Pro Tip:

Honey is a browser extension that finds coupons for you when you’re online shopping. Seriously, it does all the work. Just download it already.

 

Interested in more recommendations? Find the first Wander Weeklyhere.

 

The Art of Comparing Ourselves to Other People or Someone Will Always Be Better Than You, and That's OK

Back in January 2017, I got an email from LinkedIn – all carefully laid out, lots of nice pictures, filled with professional portraits of my college acquaintances and filling me in on what people are doing. What have you been up to? it asked me. Update your profile now!

Dammit, LinkedIn. How dare you taunt me. At the time, I didn’t really have anything to add to my profile – I’d already written in the internship I’d just finished, and my days were mostly filled with focusing on finding a full-time job.

What else could I update? “Eating immense amounts of chocolate.” “Running for 10 minutes till I reach Trader Joe’s, which is perfect because I’m already super tired and need food.”

I spend too much time comparing myself to other people (any time, really, is too much.) I know this is bad – I‘ve read enough books and self-care internet articles to know that. So much has already been written on the subject in this age of social media and FOMO.

It’s something I’ve been consciously working on, but I’m human, and I have an Instagram. Envy happens.

Yet despite the occasional moments of why am I like this, the glimpsing of LinkedIn titles and wondering if it’s already too late for me, if everyone else is so far ahead it’s ludicrous to think I can catch up – despite all that, I’ve never considered the option ofnot doing what I’m doing. Of true stagnation.

Because in order to keep myself moving forward, I have to live my life as if the option of stopping does not even exist.

Beneath the flutters of doubt, I do know that it doesn’t really matter what other people think, just like my opinions aren’t going to affect your life most of the time.

You’re on your road, and I’m on mine. Of course they aren’t going to look the same.

And what does being “ahead” even mean? What that looks like varies from person to person because, duh, we’re all different and want different things. My brain doesn’t always remember this, so I have to pause and remind myself sometimes.

So what if my photos don’t look like a professional travel photographer’s? Or if I can’t keep up with the Nordic teens on social media who somehow take amazing photos of incredible places all the time and maybe don’t go to school idk???

So what if my writing isn’t perfect? If it was, we’d be done here. I’d be off making millions helping stressed-out upper middle class parents get their kids into college with immaculate essays on the social injustices of this country (I assume.)

So what if this is the 3rd paragraph I’ve started with “so what?” This is my blog. I do what I want.

If we’re constantly comparing ourselves to the J.K. Rowlings and Chris Burkards of the world – or even the people in our lives who are doingcompletely different things from what we want to do, but look at how successful they are! – then we’ll be unlikely to get anywhere ourselves.

(Also, quick reminder that J.K. Rowling was broke when she started writingHarry Potterand the Philosopher’s Stone.)

And the people who are doing what you want to do? That’s awesome. Use them as your inspiration to get better and keep moving.

There will always be room for your success, too.

And it works out. Just like your mom/mentor/great-Aunt Matilda tells you it will. I got a job I enjoy and learn a lot from, I updated my LinkedIn, I stopped thinking about it.

Well, OK, I still have some self-doubt. But I try to use it to channel my actions away from complacency. So I’ll publish this piece anyway, and the next one, because the other choice is stopping, and that option doesn’t actually exist.

The point is that I want something that I can back on a year from now and say, “What is this drivel?? Why did I write this??” because that will mean that I have grown in that time.

So hi, future me. You wrote this drivel. Here’s hoping you learned something from it.

 

Looking for context? Take a peek at the first Wandering Adult article.

Wander Weekly #1: Wonder Women

Welcome to Wander Weekly, a.k.a. what I’m consuming at the moment. That was a lot of W’s, and I’m sorry. Not that sorry, though.

In honor of the recent release of Wonder Woman, this first round-up is heavy on wonderful women.

Enjoy the first edition!

Subscribed to:

  • The Girl’s Night In (GNI) Newsletter

GNI sends out a witty, topical newsletter every Friday morning (so if you sign up today, you can get your first one tomorrow.) It typically includes a range of lighthearted and thought-provoking topics, from things to do during a night in to interviews with awesome bo$$ ladies. Also, the founder is based in Washington, D.C., so they sometimes host IRL events here if you’re in the area.

Subscribe here.

Girl's Night In

Listening to:

  • “Line of sight” by ODESZA feat. Wynne + mansionair

ODESZA has been playing on repeat in my life lately (it’s very hard to avoid dancing at work when the beat drops in this song, but I try to limit myself to vigorous head nodding.)

Also, a fun game is trying to sing along to the chorus.

Reading:

This book is a compilation of interviews with entrepreneurial women, from product designers to filmmakers. My favorites so far have been with Thao Nguyen, lead singer of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, and writer/actor/filmmaker/director Desiree Akhavan, who I previously had not heard of but now want to be my best friend.

Some good quotes:

More risk taking, less ego.

– Desiree Akhavan

I learn more about my process when something that makes me cringe emerges. If I’m not making mistakes or changing, I’m stagnating.

– artist/designer Christine Schmidt

Watching:

  • “Where the Wild Things play”

Great song, great footage, badass ladies. Thisinterview with filmmaker Krystle Wright is pretty great, too:

…a friend told me, ‘Krystle, if your mum has heard of the song then there is no way you can afford it.’ I ignored the advice and went after it and did not want to take no for an answer.

Bonus Pro Tip:

  • Use Amazon Smileto #buyallthethings instead of regular Amazon

Every time you buy something, Amazon donates a portion of the purchase price to charity, and you can choose from over 1 million charities to support. I was lazy in college and somehow never made the switch until a few months ago, but now every purchase I make kicks back a bit to the World Wildlife Fund.

 

No idea what’s going on? Me neither. Check out the first Wandering Adult article here.

 

Welcome to The Wandering Adult!

Hi there!

This is where I’ll provide you some context, a brief welcome, and a thank you for getting this far.

I’ve been meaning to start a blog for awhile. Much of my procrastination revolved around a) me being a procrastinator and b) the fact that I couldn’t come up with a title. What would my focus be??? Who is my target audience?? How can I maximize my SEO?????????????

Then I scrapped that road and just started writing this post, sans title.

What it amounts to is that sometimes my brain gets too full and I have to let stuff out. (It’s crowded with thoughts such as, Where is that corgi going and is it creepy if I follow it? and How much longer can I wait to eat this avocado before it turns on me? Corgis and avocados are things I, as a basic millennial girl, worry about a lot.)

So, I’ve decided to write down my thoughts.

Specifically, I’m starting this blog to write about my own experiences and adventures as a *cough* twenty-something *cough* who graduated from college and realized,I have no idea what to do with my life.

Original stuff, I know.

In my own experience, adulthood sometimes feels like many of us are floundering around in the dark, looking for the light switch that will illuminate everything and suddenly make the path forward clear. As hard as we look, we still find ourselves clinging to the wall, reaching our hands out with the hope that someday we’ll catch that dang switch.

If I have learned something in the last year since I was forced to leave graduated from college, it is that the switch is never coming.

Wandering, however, is not necessarily a bad thing.

This blog is intended as a creative space to document my quest to sort out life’s fun curveballs and find my own happiness – in my own words.

For me, finding happiness must include:

  • travel,
  • getting outside, and most of all
  • finding your “passion” (buzzword alert!) in a world that sometimes seems like it’s trying to beat you down with a stick.

You’ll find a lot of those things here.

I can’t promise I will always be correct in my musings or assumptions, but I’ll give you my darndest thoughts and advice anyways. And probably too many em dashes. Sorry.

So, here it is: The Wandering Adult.

For anyone who is trying to figure out what to make of this “life” and “adulthood” thing and would like to read along for stories of how I deal with losing the path, finding the path and realizing it’s going in an entirely different direction, or saying “screw it” and forgetting the path. And for anyone who likes adventures.

Hope you enjoy.

If you’d like to learn a little more about me & the blog, you can do so here.