6 Reasons to Smile Today

Last night I was in a weird funk. I don't know if it was the Soundcloud Lesson of Harmony No. 3 mix that was perfect to vibe to but also strangely melancholy combined with the fact that I finished my last post about our backpacking trip, but I was just...blah. I never like going to bed sad or upset or even in a weird, not-sure-what-I'm-feeling funk, so I made myself think of 5 good reasons to smile (and ended up with 6!). 

1. Fall = Fall Fashion. The arrival of fall means the arrival of fall fashion, and I never thought I'd be so excited to see the seasons change. Summer is fun, of course, with beaches and dining alfresco and summer cocktails (although I love margaritas all year long), but for some reason it's so much harder for me to put together cuter outfits in the summer because I'm so focused on staying cool. In the fall, however, is when my style really shines through. I'm usually in all black with my old faithful black BDG jeans that I buy at least two at a time, but this time I'm trying to get better at wearing the other, more colorful items in my closet. So happy the weather finally permits! 
(Jeans: Seven for All Mankind, Sweater: Forever 21, Button-up: ASOS)

2. I finally got a new MacBook (and finished my travel series!). As I said in my post about Rome, someone stole my backpack at the end of our trip, laptop, camera accessories, and all. There were lots of clothes that I bought solely for the trip, clothes that are perfect for layering/mixing-and-matching, so I was excited to put them to use this fall. Yep, gone. My new Lululemon pants that Derrick bought for my birthday: gone. And they're now sold out...*cue crying face* What was hardest to come to terms with was the fact that my beloved Macbook was gone. 5 years we spent together, down the drain. Photos, documents, EVERYTHING...gone. I get teary-eyed just thinking of it, but I know I have to move on. Thankfully, my brother is in Finance at Apple and was nice enough to let me use his employee discount for a new Macbook (which I kinda needed anyway.) The downside is that I'm newly Funemployed, and it wasn't in my financial plan to take a chunk out of my savings for this, but I'm thanking God that I at least had it. So,  new beginnings with my new MacBook Air!

3. Yesterday was Indigenous Peoples Day. I remember spending days in elementary school learning the catchy "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue" rhymes. I wrote mini books and illustrated what the exchange between the Native Americans and Europeans must've been like when Europeans arrived in the Americas. Never did I ever consider the possibility that Europeans completely dominated, murdered, and raped the natives, turning this land into something totally different (read: darker) than what they'd spent generations building. As I grew older, I educated myself, and on last year's cross-country road trip we drove through the Navajo reservation and saw how displaced the community was. Hand painted signs, teepees, little structure to the neighborhoods. It didn't feel like we were in America anymore. It warmed my heart to see so many Americans acknowledging the original Americans on "Columbus Day". What the natives endured was tragic, and this country has a terrible history of distorting history to make us seem faultless, like the greatest nation in the world with a spotless past. Indigenous Peoples Day gave me hope that we as a people care more about accurate history, not spotless history.

4. My little brother is hooked on Ray Donovan. During downtime in Europe, Tiona and I cranked up the laptop and binge-watched Netflix. We watched Narcos first, and then dove into Ray Donovan. It wasn't available in each country, so we watched season 1 in Amsterdam and Berlin, and weren't able to find it on Netflix again until we returned to Amsterdam for our flight home. We watched a few episodes of season 2 before heading back to the states and realizing it wasn't available here. I managed to find it on Hulu, and locked myself in my room for days until I finished season 3. My little brother made fun of me, of course, and even laughed when I finished season 3 and separation anxiety kicked in. But I convinced him to watch the first episode late one night, and he got hooked! We watched two hour-long episodes before going to bed, and the next day he texted me and said it was the best show he'd ever watched and he couldn't stop thinking about it. SUCCESS! I love when people love shows I introduce them to.

5. I'm heading back to NYC in 9 days! Derrick and I are celebrating our first anniversary on October 25th, and we decided to head back to the city where it all began. We rented an apartment in Brooklyn, and will live like locals for 4 nights. I cannot wait! We'll be going to brunch with a few of our favorite couples at one of our favorite brunch spots, possibly having dinner at my favorite restaurant, and the rest is up in the air! I'm excited to revisit the spots that remind us of the days we spent getting to know each other and spend this special weekend in the city where we fell in love. I haven't returned back since I moved in the beginning of August, so I'm itching to get back. NINE DAYS! :)

6. Travel, travel, travel. Leaving NYC also meant lots more opportunities to travel. I don't know if it was the pressure to not take off of work, or the growing comfort of my daily routine (work, gym, home, cook, Friends, bed...every night), but I took nearly no vacations, or at least not nearly as many as I'd wanted. Since moving home in August, I've had the opportunity to really live how I've always dreamed, spending more time traveling and less time "working" (I prefer to freelance). I've been fortunate enough to travel to Los Angeles, Cancun, 5 countries in Europe, and over the past two weeks I've been collaborating with both Derrick and my mom to plan trips for this upcoming fall/winter. I'm headed back to NYC for our anniversary, Baton Rouge/New Orleans for Thanksgiving (and it'll be my first time going to the Battle of the Bands and Bayou Classic!), and Dallas for Christmas. For the first time ever, my brother and his wife are joining the two families together for a Christmas celebration in Texas, which I'm so excited for! After Christmas, Derrick and I are heading to a small town outside of Dallas for his fraternity brother's wedding, and then it's back to DC for New Year's Eve.

When my mood is off, my entire day is off, so it's so important that in times of distress, I always make the effort to choose happiness. Here's to having a better day!

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  1. Beautiful smile and photos. Congrats on everything, best wishes!

  2. I love your positivity and joy! Thank you so much for brightening my day!



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