QUICK UPDATE!

Hey loyal blog followers!

Just a quick update here, but I’ve actually changed URLs and sites! I wanted to accommodate the type of posts Ive been writing; something I’ve been more passionate about right now.

So, go check out my new blog at:

http://www.fashionbeautyandpopculture.wordpress.com

I’ll be focusing on fashion trends, my Pinterest “obsession” and all things pop culture!
Check it out! ❤

Feel free to follow me over on that blog too! ❤

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My [Must Listen To] Summer Music Playlist

It’s summer, and basically, I can’t be found anywhere without my earbuds or car radio. So, that’s what today’s post will focus on: the charttopping hits I can’t help but sing along to.

In chronological order of when I started listening to the song…

1) “Boom Clap” by Charli XCX

The TFIOS hit is catchy and makes me want to get up and dance (which I almost did in the theater!)

2) “All of the Stars” by Ed Sheeran

From a previous post, you all should know how much I’ve loved this TFIOS ballad. In fact, I was the only one in the theater who stayed until the very end of the credits, just to hear the Ed song in entirety.

3) “One” by Ed Sheeran

Another Ed hit, this one from his newly released album ‘x’ (pronounced: multiply). I love Ed’s ballads. It’s so beautiful, and as the dancer I grew up as, I just want to choreograph a lyrical number to it.

4) “Classic” by MKTO

This song is taking over the radio waves all summer long, and I’m loving it! It’s that perfect summer song for driving around town. (Not to mention, I remember the lead singer back from his Disney days… Oh, how times have changed.)

5) “She Looks So Perfect” by 5 Seconds of Summer

Another radio hit, 5SOS nailed it with the perfect summer jam. I mean, I saw them on tour last year with One Direction, and knew they had chart-topping written all over them. And their debut album is set for release mid-July. Can’t wait.

6) “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith

I hadn’t heard of this until ice dancer Charlie White danced to it (breathtaking!) on Dancing With the Stars, and now… I love it. The fam’s annoyed whenever I turn the radio up when I hear it, but oh well… It’s that good.

AND it’s inspired several covers including one by Jacquie Lee, from “The Voice.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AJy05n1wFI)

7) “All of Me” by John Legend

This sweet ballad is musically well-done. I can’t help but love it.

8) “Not a Bad Thing” by JT

Easily one of my go-to favorite summer radio hit! It’s so catchy.

9) “Really Don’t Care” by Demi Lovato

I LOVE this song and what it stands for. I was at the gym listening to this song mid-workout when I started thinking how this Demi song is kind of like my life motto. About how I don’t really care about how others think of me, and not letting their perceptions cloud how I think of myself. (Plus, I’m like obsessed with Cher Lloyd’s hair in this video.)

10) “x” by Ed Sheeran

Yes, this is the whole album, but it’s so good. This summer, I’m especially loving “Don’t,” “Thinking Out Loud,” “The Man,” among the genius tracks.

11) “Scarecrow” by Alex & Sierra (The X Factor winners!)

I voted for them on The X Factor, and now they’ve released their first single! I have to admit the vocals live (TODAY show) are much better than the iTunes track of it. But, it’s still good.

12) And no summer music playlist can be complete without… “Fancy” by I-G-G-Y Azalea

Not to mention her video is inspired by “Clueless,” a film I love, but it’s so catchy… You just want to sing along.

There’s my top hits of the summer. I’m sure many more are to come.

Girls CAN…

Who knows what Covergirl is? I know the answer: DUH. Who doesn’t know what Covergirl is? So, let me ask again. Who thinks Covergirl is just like any other makeup brand?

Your answer: No. Covergirl, while selling makeup, tries to EMPOWER women, not pressure them to wear so much makeup it changes who they are. Covergirl tries to enhance one’s NATURAL BEAUTY.

And guess what? That’s what we should be focusing on. Not wearing loads of makeup that it looks like it’s caked on your face, but minimalist, so your personality is what sparkles.

MAKEUP TIP: On normal days, I literally wear the tiniest line of eyeliner, a small swipe of mascara, and a little lip balm. No glamour. Just me. And I’m confident enough in myself that I’m okay with that. I’m not trying to look like I’m going to the Oscars, when I’m really just going to Target or Starbucks.

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(See? Very minimal makeup. And I’m still happy in the way I look.)

And that’s one thing we need to work on: making women and girls feel confident that they don’t need so much makeup to feel beautiful and special. You’re special all on your own… Just YOU and your PERSONALITY. Because that’s what SHOULD matter.

Let’s stand up to society and prove we know how to make girls feel confident in their natural beauty. Let’s tell the world, “Who cares? My personality can outshine all this makeup. And I’m confident in myself not to wear so much.”

Who’s with me? As I read on CNN’s Girl Rising initiative, if one girl can make change, then what’s stopping thousands of girls? Let’s stand up for our future and for the future of all the little girls to come.

#wecan #girlscan #empowerment #iamagirl

My style…

As a follow-up to my last post, I thought I’d discuss what it is I actually like (as opposed to current trends).

***

In my small suburb AND my Southern university it is evident that I’m a preppy girl. Lilly Pulitzer, Jack Rogers, Vineyard Vines, monograms galore, pearls: all staples in my wardrobe. But, I’m also a huge Topshop fan, or as I refer to it as the ‘trendy’ side my style.

EXAMPLES:

Here’s the preppy version of me. (Such a Lilly girl.)

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And my trendy self. (These are from Topshop.)

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Some days I feel like being the prep I am, and others I want to feel like I’m sashaying down a catwalk (a girl can dream, right?)

The point being: it’s okay to be both. It just shows how there’s many layers to my personality, as reflected in my style: girly girl preppy and hip or trend-setting fashionista; they’re both my taste.

 

 

The top trends, according to moi…

I’m all for versatility when it comes to my blog, and that’s exactly what this post is.

To clarify, I love fashion. Like, it’s a huge interest of mine (just look at my Pinterest page; it’s evident). So, today, I’ll be discussing the top trends (this time, it’s for summer) from my favorite sites and brands.

***

One of my new favorite stores is Topshop, the originally UK brand is taking over stateside (you may have seen stores inside participating Nordstroms.)

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I LOVE this pleated midi skirt. It’s so summery and it’ll look GORGEOUS with an adorable crop top. The perfect summer staple. It’s perfect for a picnic in the park, your summer internship, anything: it’s summer perfection.

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This crop top is so cute. I love this pattern. Nothing says Summer 14 like a crop top, especially in one as cute as this. I say, pair your cute crop top with that midi or maxi skirt in your closet. The skirt will make your summer ensemble flowy and whimsy, while the crop top is tight and well, cropped; the perfect juxtaposition.

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Rompers have been in for a while. But this one screams summer. And I love it. The color really pops and the fabric is crisp. The crispness and the popping color creates the perfect summer outfit.

As I go to university in the South, I’ve become infused with the Southern trends, from Jack Rogers, pearls and Lilly Pulitizer. So, this list cannot be complete with out some Lilly dresses.

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This traditional Lilly dress is cute in its own right, however, this summery print is perfect for summer events. I’d love to wear this out and about this summer. It’d be perfect for different events in Summer 14, from hanging out to Friday at that summer internship. Don’t you agree?

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This bright dress is so different from the traditional Lilly dress, which is why I love it.

One of the things about me: I love fashion and what’s trendy, but I hate looking the exact same as everyone else. So, yes, I’m a Lilly girl, but I prefer the prints that aren’t traditionally chosen or Lilly staples.Because that makes fashion to me: taking what’s trendy and putting YOUR spin on it.

Because, after all, you’re the one wearing it.

 

Comparing my experience to a Buzzfeed article

So, I’ve been in Israel for the past ten days, which is why I haven’t posted in a while. I went with a well-known program known as Birthright, and I had the best time full with so many memories.

There is a very humorous article on Buzzfeed called, “42 Signs You Went on Birthright.” So, I thought I’d discuss each item and relate to my personal experience of these last ten days. Here’s the link if you are interested: http://www.buzzfeed.com/seanf12/42-signs-you-went-on-a-birthright-taglit-trip-to-a86v. My goal is to assess how accurate the Buzzfeed list is to an actual experience. What a way of comparing my obsession with Buzzfeed and my new favorite trip.

***

1. “You slept more on the bus than you did in your hotel room.”

On average, my group (about 40 students from colleges across the country) probably got about four/five hours of sleep a night, considering our days were jam-packed with hiking, swimming, and shopping everyday; we spent  less than two hours at each location. And since we had to drive from place to place across the country, our bus rides would average 15 minutes to two hours. In my personal experience, I literally napped every time I got on the bus for longer than ten minutes.

ACCURATE.

2. “ICEBREAKERS!”

Actually, we didn’t do many Icebreaker activities. Our tour guide, when we first met him on the bus, walked up and down matching our names with a famous counterpart (I was Miranda from Sex and the City.) Then, in the hotel, we had to say our Name, Hometown, School, and some other fact (maybe favorite color?) that I can’t remember. I do remember how LONG it took, since we had to go around a large circle of 40 people.

3. “Your tour guide had such a deep knowledge and connection to Israel that you question whether or not he was actually part of the Torah.”

Our tour guide knew SO MUCH about the entire history of Israel, it was insane. Literally, I was shocked how much he knew, that none of us had no idea. Our bus had the most fun making fun of our tour guide for his mistranslation of English phrases.

SOMEWHAT ACCURATE.

4. “If the rabbi you had in Hebrew school was as cool as the one on your trip, you would’ve paid a lot more attention.”

Irrelevant. However, we were in one of the hotel rooms one night (our entire bus, after our night out) with a karaoke machine, when a rabbi down the hall  told us to leave or turn off the music. Turn Down for What? The rabbi.

5. “Every day, you hiked at least 5 miles up a mountain… before lunch.”

The thing about this, our tour guide didn’t quite understand the difference between a “nature walk” and a “hike.” The first day we went to a nature reserve and was told it was hike. It was a walk at best, a very leisurely walk. That afternoon, we were told we were going on a “nature walk.” It was a HIKE. Like, we literally hiked DOWN a mountain, holding onto rocks as we descended.

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TOTALLY ACCURATE.

6. “Without your swanky orange [ours were pink, actually] nametags, there was a 0% chance you remembered everyone’s names.”

YES, especially the first three days. When we went kayaking the second day and we took them off, I was lost and think I asked people their names about twice per person.

ACCURATE.

7. “For lunch, your options were: a) falafel with hummus, b) shawarma with hummus, c) hummus with hummus, d) all of the above.”

Coming back home, I could not handle any pita or fried food. I literally had falafel or shawarma EVERY DAY for lunch/dinner, despite the fact I desperately wanted something DIFFERENT.

SO ACCURATE.

8. “When they tell you to drink as much water as humanly possible, they REALLY aren’t kidding.”

Upon arriving at the bus from the airport, we were given a liter water bottle. We were expected to finish by the time we arrived at the hotel. (It took me almost five days to completely finish it.) The staff literally told us to drink every two seconds. Halfway through descending Masada, they made us play a drinking game (WITH OUR WATER) and chug our  full liter water bottles. It was a bit insane. But, when the risk for dehydration is that high…

ACCURATE.

9. “Because the hiking just never ends and your average daily mileage approached ‘Moses wandering the desert levels.'”

So funny, literally laughed out loud at this one. Read #5. We literally walked and hiked  SO FREAKING MUCH. My feet were in so much pain from walking. That, and my calves were physically sore from walking up and down mountains, plus we never got a break. I literally was sore trying to sit down and stand up.

TOTALLY ACCURATE.

10. “Seven miles, 15K steps, and 2000 daily calories burned later, the first night out reminded you how beautiful Jewish girls can look when they have a few minutes to get ready.”

Speaking as a girl, it was so nice to shower, put on makeup and nice clothes after feeling gross and sweaty for four straight days (some with no time or place to shower or shave). EVEN THOUGH WE ONLY HAD LESS THAN TWO HOURS ON THE TOWN. Every time we got to look somewhat decent, it felt so nice (even just post-shower too), especially after the entire day feeling sweaty and gross.

ACCURATE.

11. “You also realized every Jewish guy’s wardrobe consists entirely of J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Lacoste.”

Well, this is just guys in general. But, seeing Buzzfeed’s picture, yea, I agree.

12. “Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, EVERYBODDDY.

Not my experience. Our staff kept us from that situation, tbh.

13. “You received an elaborate education on key Hebrew words, phrases, and expressions.”

Not our bus. Though, we did ask our “medic” (security guard) how to say a guy/girl is cute. You know, the important stuff.

14. “For example, every night you got to party you went ‘La Panim.'”

Again, not our bus, and we only could party (go out) one night the whole trip.

15. “You became a regular with the hotel bartenders and lived up to their stereotypes about American drinking habits.”

Accurate. SINCE THE LEGAL AGE FOR DRINKING IS 18, it was okay. Literally, our entire bus would be at the hotel bar (only place our staff would let us order drinks) from after dinner till we went to bed.

16. “The next morning though… ‘Al Hapanim.’

(Buzzfeed shows a picture of sleeping participants.)

17. “You heard incredible stories from people around the world who share an amaaaaaazing passion for Israel and whose personalities can only be described with one word… Trippy.”

Our tour guide did talk to so many random people on the street, who had the most incredible love and passion for Israel, even if they weren’t originally from there.

18. “Slappin’ and schmearin’ suntan lotion became a routine morning activity.”

That, and asking to borrow someone’s sunscreen lotion. We put on so much sunscreen lotion everyday, and we still all got sunburned/tan.

ACCURATE.

19. “You appreciated the beauty of the Tel Aviv beaches and the warmth of the Mediterranean Sea… for the 30 minutes you got to spend there.”

We actually did not swim in the Mediterranean, but the time part could apply to EVERY PLACE WE WENT.

20. “Achla Hamuda was your jaaaaaaaam, even if you only knew five words to it.”

Nope. Not our bus. Though, our soldiers from the IDF did lead us in bus sing-alongs on an hourly basis.

21. “Your group regularly disappointed the trip leader/bus mom, with your inability to count from 1 tp 40.”

We didn’t have to count. Our bus moms thought it was childish, so we had to make up “families” and make sure we were all accounted for.

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(My fam. Our parents met in an airport, then adopted some Ethiopian babies, North and West– I was North. Then, adopted our grandfather. That’s the fam.)

22. “Your bus driver’s inability to make three-point turns while on a 50-degree angle on the side of a narrow mountain path made you question what he did before he was a bus driver.”

Hahahaha. Seriously? We travelled on the tiniest, curviest mountain paths and I had no idea how he did that and parked with such ease. I can barely even parallel park in the U.S.

SO ACCURATE.

23. “On the bus you had one Israeli soldier with a gun acting as your guardian angel…. because at the end of the day, you’re still in the Middle East.”

He was our medic, #shahof. (Inside joke.)

24. “From Askelon to Tiberius, lurking around every corner, you had the sneaking suspicion that waiting to attack you were… CATS!”

Because cats over there are like U.S. squirrels. They caused many panic moments, until our medic picked up a tiny little baby kitten from our tent and ‘tossed’ it outside. We laughed. But, worrisome for the cute kitten, though it had rabies and such.

TOTALLY 110% ACCURATE.

25. “You got used to being surrounded by danger, when you made an unknown turn around a cliff and shouted ‘YOLO,’ it was actually relevant.”

Not on my bus.

26. “Sharp jagged rocks in the distance? Yeah, let’s climb those in our Havaianas.”

Once again, there was confusion over “HIKE” versus “nature walk.” How many times when climbing a mountain did we discuss how “This is a HIKE. Not a nature walk.” Countless.

27. “Excuse me, Rabbi: Can you please explain what a ‘Mikvah’ is just one more time?”

Again, no Rabbis with us. Though, the same information was repeated/ defined a lot.

28. “With such an incredibly thought out and planned schedule, the hardest decision you had to make each day was what to wear.”

(Buzzfeed shows a picture of two guys wearing identical white V-necks and black basketball shorts.) Laughing out loud. I mean, when you are hiking/swimming all day, your wardrobe is pretty much set.

29. “It took nine days to realize no matter how clearly you expressed your desire for black coffee with ice cubes in it, you would get milk-filled mocha slushy (and would drink it anyway).”

Aroma Coffee was a HUGE discussion topic on my bus, more particularly,that the iced coffee was not by our American standards.

30. “But seriously, do we need water shoes?”

YES. The answer is yes. For the Dead Sea, the rocky Sea of Galilee, and more, you NEED water shoes.

ACCURATE.

31. “Everywhere you went, the most commonly asked question [in our case statement] was, ‘Is there free WiFi?'”

Yes, we wanted WiFi. And not, the bus one, because it didn’t work most the time. Or the Jerusalem hotel we had to pay for WiFi per device, and it still only worked (sort of) in the lobby.

SO 110% ACCURATE. (That’s our generation, folks.)

32. “Between meals, it was always chip-o-clock, and, excessive trail and error led to one conclusion: Green Doritos > everything else.”

I’m amending this one: Going to the local grocery store to get snacks and not understudying what to get because everything was in Hebrew. (We were just trying to find granola bars!)

33. “You realized your new Israeli friends were just like you, except with a better Borat impression.”

Actually our Israelis were the BEST. (And they met us at the airport to say goodbye for real!!)

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34. “Walking around the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, you were convinced you were on the set of Homeland.”

Don’t know that show, so yea…

35. “Protecting borders, surviving wars, and developing advanced military technology are all impressive… but nothing is more impressive than chocolate with Pop Rocks inside.”

An Israeli chocolate speciality… if only I was able to find stores that sold it. #americanprobs

36. “On the one day you visited the military cemetery, and said goodbye to your Israeli’s, you were like… ‘Really! Really? OK fine, I give up, have all of my tears you sadistic bastards.'”

Yea… that’s accurate. It was so different to see our Israelis break down at Mt. Herzl when discussing their fallen comrades. Saying goodbye to them was hard. But, hey, at least we’re still Facebook friends. (Now my Facebook Newsfeed is full of Hebrew phrases. And I don’t speak Hebrew. At all.)

ACCURATE.

37. “Despite the warnings and precautions, you still managed to get cuts all over your body and feel the fiery wrath of the Dead Sea.”

Being in the Dead Sea is strange. But it stung EVERYBODY. And we were only in there for  15 minutes.

SO ACCURATE.

38. “You developed a deep fear and respect for your camel, who may or may not be named Carlsbad, over the 10 minutes you spent with him.”

Oh my gosh, SO FUNNY. The pair behind me kept saying how they were so afraid the camel was going to spit on them. I was more concerned riding the donkey. It was more unstable. And 10 minutes? More like five. (Since our group was so big, half rode camels and the other half rode donkeys then we switched halfway through, except some people still had to walk back. Well, I didn’t.)

ACCURATE.

39. “That one night in the Bedouin tents gazing at the stars finally gave you a reason to use those free astronomy apps you downloaded years ago.”

Okay, maybe not the whole app thing. But, we went on a night walk and it was so peaceful and beautiful to lie down and stare at the sky, full of stars.

40. “Despite it being a “free trip,” by the last day you had less than 20 shekels in your pocket.”

Hahahaha. YES. The amount of meals we had to pay for on our own (falafel and shawarma mostly) plus souvenir and jewelry shopping. And Americans can’t really haggle for a better price. And who really knew the conversion rate between dollars and shekels?

TOTALLY 110% ACCURATE.

41. “When the trip was finally over and it was all said and done, you strongly considered leaving the airport, joining a kibbutz or the IDF, and making Aliyah.”

Awww, so sweet. And true. ❤

42. “But even if you didn’t, you’ll never forget the good times you had, the amazing people you met, the memories we created, and the squishy feeling in the bottom of your water shoes.”

Because it was the best trip of my life. ❤

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Well, that goes to show you how accurate (and hilarious) Buzzfeed can be.

 

Something New

Hi followers! So, before today’s post I wanted to add a quick update! Summer’s approaching rapidly, which will mean this blog will be updated less frequently. (Especially within the next few weeks.) Hint: I’ll be back around the time TFIOS opens in theaters (which I’m so excited for, by the way!)

Anyway, back to the blog…

PROMPT: Actually, for today’s prompt, I’m going to post a story I had written prior to this blog, that I’ve absolutely loved. I wrote this story a little while ago, (almost a full semester ago). I call it “Different.”

Thanks for reading. And as always, feel free to comment below!

***

I could easily spew some bullshit story of romance and true love, but we all know that’s utter fiction. For some reason, the only stories worth caring are Hollywood love stories, but it’s not reality. So, can we at least stop pretending that’s all life is like.

I’m not good at anything. I have no real talents or experiences. I just sit alone a lot and think. Think about what everything would be like in another life.

Don’t pretend you know me. Or anything about me really. I know you don’t really care, and it’s okay. I’m fine with it. I’m a nobody. Hey, the first step is acceptance, right?

I look up. I’m at school. High school, the bane of every teenager’s existence. Except, I’m no longer a student here. I graduated last May and enrolled at a fancy private liberal arts college some 400 miles away. But, classes are on break for a week. So, I’m back home. What a delight. And I have to pick up my perky, hopeless romantic, dork of a brother, who’s a sophomore here.

High schoolers shove past me, racing to their shiny cars and respective significant others to do whatever significant others do. I roll my eyes, when my brother spots me, “Hey. I didn’t think you’d be here.”

“Well, what can I say? College bored me. So, here I am. You happy to see me,” giving him a hug and walking him to my car.

I leave the teenage-infested parking lot and head onto the street. “So, how’s school?”

“I really don’t feel like talking right now,” and he stares his head out the window.

Placing my hands toward the top of the steering wheel and facing my head in his direction, “Come on. This isn’t you, Noah.”

“What isn’t me? Because last time I checked, I’m me.”

“Chill out. Where’d my hopeless romantic little brother go and who are you?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I just don’t believe in true love and soulmates anymore.”

“Okay, what happened? Who’s this girl you like? And what did she do?”

“It’s nothing. Forget I said anything.” I pull the car over to an empty parking lot and turn off the ignition.

“Okay, I’m not moving until you tell me what’s going on.”

“Fine. There’s this girl. Sarah. She’s so pretty. Like when I looked at her, I could just tell there was something special about her, you know?”

“And what’s making you all depressed and mopey?”

“She’s dating this guy and I think he’s a bad influence on her. I just don’t know.”

“Well, Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes, what are you going to do?”

“Forget it. Just drive, Sav.”

“Fine,” and we drove home in silence. “Okay, are you still not going to say anything, Noah?”

“There’s nothing to say. It’s over. She exists. I exist. Boom, end of story.”

“Noah, I’m only in town until tomorrow. So, if there’s anything I need to know, tell me now before I find out for myself.”

He sits on the back deck and I follow him, “Falling in love, that’s the easy part. But, moving forward is when it gets tricky.”

“Oh, Noah,” I said, giving him a hug.

“Well, I’ve got homework,” he springs up and goes inside.

That went well; not. It seems like me leaving means he can’t trust me or something. Then I, thought to myself, how can I even pretend to be on his side. I’ve never once been in a relationship or even on a simple date or been kissed! Oh my gosh, I’m a total loser!

Later that night, I went to Noah’s room, “Knock knock.”

“I’m not feeling well.”

Opening the door, “Give it a rest, Noah. It’s just me.” I plop on his bed. “Go on. Talk.”

“There’s so much I want to say, to her, something, anything. But, I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Sav, first, she has a boyfriend. And second, she has a boyfriend. She’s taken. What the hell am I even doing? I’m such an idiot.”

“Hey! My little brother, I think you know him, is this huge hopeless romantic and believes in soulmates and true love. He once told me, that you never give up on true love. Where’s that guy?”

“He entered high school. Why didn’t you tell me it was a hellhole?”

“Well, then you wouldn’t have figured it out for yourself. Come on, dinner time!” But Noah got me thinking, if it’s true love, what am I so afraid of?

The next morning, I was packing to leave.

There was a light knock on my door, “Hey, you leaving already?”

“Yea, my flight’s in an hour. Gotta head back before classes start.”

“Hey Sav? I’m sorry. This whole thing has me confused.”

“Noah, can I tell you something?” He nods to me, and sits beside me on my bed. “I’ve never done anything. I never do anything. And take it from me, that’s no way to live. You have to fight for what you want. When you know, you know.”

“SAVANNAH, HONEY?”

“Yes, Mom?”

“We need to leave now if you’re going to make your plane! Are you ready?”

“Be right there, Mom!” I turn my attention to Noah. “Please, promise me, that you’ll go after what you want. And don’t be afraid to be the hopeless romantic that you are, no matter how dorky it is. Okay?”

“Bye, sis.”

“Bye, baby bro. Take care of yourself.”

“Sav?” I turn around, holding my luggage, “Try something different. Do you promise?” I nod, and head downstairs.

“Ready to go, honey,” my mom asks, as I reach the bottom step. I nod again and Dad takes my bags, and I dutifully follow them to the car. “You know, Sav, college is great for more than just academics, you know. I know you make good grades, honey, but college is more than that.”

“Mom, I gotta go. I’ll miss my flight.”

“Oh, right! Sorry, honey. Have a safe trip. Call me when you land.” For such sweet, loving, ordinary parents, I couldn’t feel more different, like a letdown on their part.

I get to the airport, and went straight to my gate, like I was supposed to do. I always followed the rules.

By the time my flight lands in my college town, I’m running late to catch the shuttle. I started running like a crazy person, which is so not me, my suitcase barreling into people on all sides of me. I finally arrive at the exit, and I see the bus pulling away.

“No, no, no,” I hear behind me. “You miss the shuttle too?”

“Yup, just by one minute too. Ugh, how am I supposed to get back to campus now?”

“You a freshman over at the college?” I faintly nod. “Me too. I’m Ethan,” as he extends his hand.

“Savannah,” as I take his hand. I look over his faded jeans, navy pullover sweater, his sneakers, and his messily-brushed light brown floppy hair.

“Should we split a cab? I mean, we kind of need to get back to school?”

“Sure, seems as if I have no other option.”

We walk toward the cab station, and stand in line. (Considering it’s a small town, we only had to wait for approximately seven people ahead of us.)

“So, Savannah? Where are you from?”

“Cincinnati. Right outside, actually. You?”

“South Pasadena, Florida. Coming to college was so weird not being around 98% elderly folks. So, why’d you choose here?”

“I don’t know. I guess, I liked the academics and the people. Boring, I know. I just wanted a change in scenery, you know?”

“Believe me, I totally get it. Hello? You’re talking to the guy who was practically raised by throngs of grandparents, in addition to my own family!”

“EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME! You need a cab?”

“Oh, right, sorry,” Ethan answers back, as the cab stand worker points us to the next waiting cab.

“After you,” Ethan gestures me toward the cab.

We’re sitting side by side in the cab’s backseat, riding the forty-five minute drive to school, when he starts talking again.

“So, Savannah.”

“So, Ethan.”

“Where are you living on campus?”

“Brittner Hall.”

“No way! That’s where I live! Second floor.”

“No, I’m on the second floor! Room 207.”

“I’m 220! How is that we’ve lived on the same floor for four months already, and yet I never met you until today at the airport?”

“I don’t know. Guess I don’t get out much. I’m usually out late at the library studying.”

“Yea, but what else are you involved with? Other than classes?”

“Classes. Why do you ask?”

“Really? How can you only have time for class? I barely have enough time to go to class myself!”

“Well, then, what are you involved in?”

“Well, glad you asked, Savannah. I am a freshman representative for student government, on-air personality for the campus TV program, I write for the newspaper, I rushed a fraternity and am now a pledge, I am an active participant in religious and political groups, and I help organize speakers who come to campus, and classes, obviously.”

“Seriously? How do you sleep? Or eat? Or study even?”

“Eight hours every night, like a baby.”

I started to laugh, “Okay, you’re nuts. There’s no way you can do all that plus get good grades. What’s the catch?”

“THAT’LL BE $68.50, PLEASE.”

“Saved by the bell, I guess.”

“Um, should we split the fare,” I ask, reaching for my wallet.

“Nonsense. It was my suggestion to get the cab. I’ll get it, no worries.”

“It was quite expensive; I can’t let you do that.”

“Well, Savannah, how about if I pay for the cab and I’ll let you buy me dinner tomorrow?”

“Fine,” I grumble. “Thank you. That is very nice and polite.”

“See? One of the things I learned growing up in an elderly community.” I can’t help but laugh again.

We walk side by side back to the dorm. “So, Ethan. I don’t believe I caught your major?”

“Business, I think. Or psychology. What about you?”

“Honestly? I don’t know.”

“That’s shocking. For someone like you, it seems like you’d have everything planned out.”

“Evidently, not everything.”

“SAVVIE!!!!!!” That’s my roommate, Emma. She runs down the hall as she sees me approaching.

“Well, Ethan. It was nice to meet you. I better go. Thanks for the cab.”

I hug Emma, and we walk off to our room, discussing our trips. Then, from the opposite end of the hall, “See you at dinner, Savannah!” I smiled back at him, and then closed the door behind me.

“Okay, Sav. Spill. Who was that? And how’d you get a date so fast after break?”

“Chill, Em. We split a cab back from the airport after the shuttle stupidly left without us. He paid the cab driver, and he said I could pay for dinner tomorrow to make up for it, if I felt so inclined. It’s not a date; it’s a business transaction.”

“What’s his name?”

“Ethan. Why?”

“Because, Savvie, you’re BLUSHING! You like him! You so like him!”

“Like him? I don’t even know him, Em. And plus, it’s not a date. He didn’t seem to like me like that.”

“Okay. What did you talk about with him?”

“Em, why does that matter? I just met him. But, if you must know, we talked about hometowns and why we came here, our majors, what he’s involved with; that’s it. No big date lines or something.”

“Sav. He likes you! Why can’t you just admit that? And that you like him?”

“Because I don’t.”

“Really?”

“Nope.”

“Where does he live?”

“Room 220. Why?”

“No reason. You wouldn’t mind if I asked him out, would you? He did seem pretty cute.”

“Was he? I hadn’t noticed,” I blushed again.

“LIAR. Sav, simple answer: do you like him?”

“I barely know him!”

“That’s no excuse. Do. You. Like. Him. Yes or no.”

“If it’ll make you happy… Maybe. But, for now, it’s nothing. So, drop it.”

“Fine, fine, fine. Who’s his roommate again? Room 220? It’s Ethan and Alex right? Hmmm, Alex seems cute. I could ask him out. Then we can double date!! Eeee!!”

“It’s not a date, Em! Chill, okay? Can I go unpack now?” “Fine. But, stop denying that you like him because I know you do. You can’t hide anything from me—we are besties. No secrets.”

I laugh.

**

Okay, so I hope you enjoyed that –long– story! Even though it wasn’t a prompt, you can get a feel for the type of writer I am, and how this blog, using new prompts has gotten me out of my comfort zone, as a good writer should. So, one tip for all you budding writers out there: try something new. Write what you like, yes, but too much? It’s boring. TRY SOMETHING. Outside your comfort zone, random, anything– just pick up your pen and start writing.