Good Is Good Enough

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This summer was all about taking time to take care of myself.  And that included learning what really makes me tick.   I don’t think very many people spend time thinking about how our brains work, or the ways in which we are comfortable functioning.  I know I certainly hadn’t given it much thought. But understanding your comfort spots, both good and bad, can help you get your life on track. I had a really rough semester last year, and didn’t quite know why.  After a summer of thinking it out, I discovered  a few personality traits that add to my stress, and am working on turning those into strengths this year.

One of these little bad habits? I have a very hard time letting “Good” be “Good Enough.” This is best illustrated in the acting world, for me.  In our profession, auditioning is the job, and getting cast is the fun part. So every time I get a callback at my incredibly competitive program, I should be praising the Lord and be thankful for the chance that I get to play. Which is usually the case. But callbacks do not always result in being cast. In fact, it would be fair to say that most of the time they don’t. 

I have a hard time letting the fact that I got called back be Good Enough.  I always want to take it one step further: yes, that was good, but it could have been perfect. In my mind, this has always just seemed like hard work and motivation. But this summer, I realized it’s affecting my quality of life.

It’s good to have high standards and set big goals…but it’s also good to remember that success can be measured on many scales, and in many ways. I had the good fortune to get called back for Yelena in Uncle Vanya yesterday, a lead role which I never in a million years thought I would read for.  I had an absolutely incredible callback. I am so proud of the work that I did, and feel so blessed to have created some very magical moments in that audition room. I got cut just before the end, so I will not be getting the part, but you know what?  A good (try AMAZING!) callback is good enough. Life is too beautiful to waste on “could have happeneds.”  It is going to be a struggle, but I am committed to bettering my life this year by keeping this healthy perspective in mind.

Hope this helps you to remember that you’re good enough, too 🙂

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Fourth of July, Four Outings: Rooftop with a View

Here’s the second part of my four ideas for amazing ways to spend the Fourth! While a homey Fourth of July is nice, it would be fun to have a chic holiday, watching the fireworks from atop a rooftop in the city.  This would assume that you have both a rooftop and a group of friends ready for a sparkly, sophisticated party.

The Place:

Any rooftop should do! Apartment building patio, restaurant garden, or hotel  deck–decorate with some gorgeous string lights and pretty plants, add some sparklers and you’re good to go.  Special note: the particular rooftop should have a view of some local fireworks.  I  would personally choose a spot downtown, overlooking our lake…it wouldn’t matter how high it was.  Fireworks will be lighting up the night sky!

Rooftop party anyone? #livelifecomfortably

How gorgeous is this? Bonus points if you get red, white and blue Adirondacks.

The Menu:

Firecracker grilled salmon, asparagus with parmesan and olive oil, steamed green beans with lemon-mint dressing, and a frozen lemon soufflé.

Firecracker Grilled Salmon | MyRecipes.com

Spicy and sweet–perfect for some sparkly skies.

Asparagus w/olive oil, sea salt & parmesan cheese

Steamed Green Beans with Lemon-Mint Dressing Recipe

Frozen Lemon Souffle

Add some blueberries for a lovely red, white and blue tribute.

The Outfit:

Foley Dress - Lilly Pulitzer

This dress is so BLUE! I am usually more of a pink girl…but my gosh, it’s cute.

Xhilaration® Juniors Mesh Detail Lace Fit & Flare Dress - Assorted Colors

If you love Lilly Pulitzer but don’t quite have the Lilly budget, here’s a cute alternative from Target! I own this one and it fits like a dream.

The Decorations

9' Formula One Red Umbrella

Red Harlow Americana Throw Pillow

Turquoise Paper 10 Bulb String Lights

All found at World Market.

15 Thoughts On Being Home

Today I spent my first full day back at home.  It was largely uneventful and relaxing, but I kept finding myself shaking my head and wondering at the novelty of being back in this house with my mom and stepdad.  Here are a few of my post-sophomore year thoughts.

1. I am currently lying in the bed I slept in basically every night from sixth grade to the day I left for college. Insane.

2. My room feels the same.  So easy to sink back into; like my favorite sweater.

3. I HAVE SO MANY BOOKS! I mean, I gave three boxes away last summer…and yet books are shoved into every cranny and crevice of my room.  And the basement.  And some of the living areas.  My parents probably could have invested in a yacht and sailed away to Cancun with all the money they spent on books for me.

4. My dogs (Kiwi, Mango, and Patterson) are so cute! Life is good when you have a terripoo, terrier mutt, and a miniature basset (meaning she weights fifty pounds instead of 80).

5. My dogs are loud.  Why are they barking at 8:00 am?

6. I can cook. My god.  It’s a miracle. I’m making scrambled eggs.

7. Eh, I’m too lazy for eggs.  Cereal it is.

8.  I can run errands without worrying about making it back in time for class.  I revel in the feeling of being in our usual grocery store, where I know where everything is and don’t have to spend the requisite fifteen minutes in line that my school’s neighborhood Walmart always seems to feature.

9. I forgot half the things I needed at the grocery because I was too busy reveling in driving around all of my old stomping grounds.

10. Man, I can’t wait to eat at Noodles/the diner/that new restaurant/my favorite burger place/the new fro yo joint.

11.  I gotta go for a run. I’m going to gain ten pounds in a week.

12. Getting new shoes at the mall? Awesome.  Getting new shoes at the mall that were paid for by your mom? Priceless.

13. There isn’t anything quite like curling up in the old comfy couch with a hot mug of coffee in your pajamas. 

14. Oh my god, I don’t have to do homework. Or a rehearsal. Or an audition. Or a lesson. Or a performance. Or go practice.

15.  How blessed I am to be able to end the day curled up on the couch with my mom and three dogs, having a couple of spoonfuls of Coffee Heath Bar Crunch ice cream and watching Downton Abbey.  Life is bliss.

 

How I Spent My Thanksgiving Vacation

Here are a few highlights:

This is Kiwi.  She’s hunting squirrels and contemplating the gorgeous day.

1) Seeing my dogs and my family, obviously.  But especially my twin brother, who I haven’t seen since July! He’s at a military academy, and doing an amazing job…but I seriously miss him!  It was so fun to jump right back into our traditions: obsessive movie quoting, cooking for each other, bugging each other during movies.  Perfect.  Sending him back to school was sad, but I’m cheered that I’ll see him in less than a  month!

2) The friends! Nothing like siting and catching up with some of my best friends in the world. It’s so weird to go home from college, because on the one hand, you feel like everything has changed, but on the other, you jump right back into friendships.  I also got to meet the baby of one of my dear friends, which was precious. I’m only slightly obsessed.

3) Vistin The Boyfriend’s (a.k.a Navy Boy) family! I have been best friends with his sister for like…nine years now?  So I love just being with their family. So warm and cosy! Slightly sad to not have the Boyfriend there, but I’ll see him in a little more than a month so I guess I can deal.

4) Eating.  I am a sucker for home cooked food, and the food of my hometown. Highlights included Thanksgiving (obviously) where I ate my weight in turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and apple pie with praline.  I’m going to post some of those recipes soon, because they are incredible!  I also ate at Noodles and Company, which is possibly my favorite restaurant at home. I just die for their penne rosa or pad thai…gah.  Mouth watering already.

Unfortunately now I have to try to work off all that deliciousness before Christmas break.  It was worth it.

5) Going Christmas Shopping with Mom.  And I don’t mean for presents.  We are obsessed with decorating, so we visited a holiday superstore and Hallmark, and just looked.  I love doing stuff like this with my mom!  Found this tree that I’m convinced will be in my house one day:

It’s an owl tree!

It was a lovely break.  Now I just have to get through the next two weeks and three days…le sigh.