Hi, my name is Paul and I knew I was going to follow your blog the second you mentioned how much you love the coke from McDonald’s. It’s just so much better than everywhere else. Anyway, looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future!
I’ve been doing this blog thing for almost five years, and although some of you know me, I thought I’d take a minute to reintroduce myself by giving you a list of 10 things I love. At this point, you *hopefully* know I love travel, but here’s a little bit more about me and my interests:
1 . Carbonated beverages
A little random but so very true. I swear by McDonald’s Coke and will go out of my way to get a Coke from said establishment. I was grabbing Chick-fil-A for dinner with a friend, but I legitimately drove through McDonald’s to get a Coke there instead of with my nuggets and waffle fries. I also consider myself to be a walking advertisement for La Croix, considering that I drink one at least every day, and it’s usually key lime-flavored.
2 . Jonas Brothers
I went to a private grade school and transferred to public for high school. Both were great experiences, but the great thing about switching schools is your current friends didn’t see your peak of cringy-ness in sixth grade. Let me explain. In the sixth grade, I created and nominated myself president of my Jonas Brothers fan club called the STL JB Nuts. The newsletter magazines I crafted were filled with re-written news stories, finish the lyrics sections, submitted fan artwork, contests, a watered down version of a Letter from the Editor and fun facts. I would literally go to church, ask someone if she liked the Jonas Brothers and if she said yes (or sort of), I would promptly ask her for her email address to be added to my email list. At some point, I decided to make scented trading cards, and no, I didn’t spray these Sharpie-ed index cards, I rubbed lotion onto the cards. Oh, and also the magazines were sent from my personal email, [email protected].
I don’t know if shame is the right word, but let me say again that most of my current friends didn’t know me in middle school. All the face palming. But now that the boys are back, I took the opportunity of creating a comeback issue of the STL JB Nuts and threw a themed party. My life has come full circle, and I’m not sorry about it.
I was that weirdo who looked forward to the spelling bee every January in grade school. And in seventh grade, I won my school’s spelling bee, and although I remember that accomplishment fondly, I grimace at the picture that was taken following my big win: greasy hair, braces, a barrette that was not placed properly, holding a large inflatable bee.
No, I didn’t win in eighth grade, but I do love grammar, copyediting and spelling. I love all the nitpicky things, which is exactly why I chose journalism as a career.
4 . Personality tests
I am all about the personality tests and love learning about others’ results. I’m an ENFJ and a 3-wing-4 (achiever-individualist) on the Enneagram. If you’re not into these types of personality tests, I’m sure it sounds like I’m speaking gibberish, but if you are, you have a pretty darn good idea of who I am and what motivates me. I’m outgoing, emotional, and by-the-book black and white. I’m motivated by accomplishments and resume-building opportunities, but I like to be special and my own person.
Wondering where you should travel based on your Enneagram type? I got ya covered.
5 . France
If you’ve visited this blog any number of times, you know I love France and French. I’m almost finished with my dual degree in magazine journalism and French. And to answer your question, no, I don’t want to be a French journalist.
I’ve been to France three times, and even though I don’t have any direct or strong family ties to France, it feels like a second home. When beauty and practicality meet, I’m all in. Whether it’s journalism — well-crafted verse with the practicality of distributed news — or a foreign language that allows us to communicate but also is just downright gorgeous, I’m in love. The language, the geography and the lifestyle all captivate me, and I’m always planning my next trip there. (I’m headed there next summer!)
6 . Writing letters and all things print
My handwriting is nowhere near calligraphy, and I prefer typing for most things. But I’m a sucker for print, hence my professional pursuits in the magazine industry. At the end of each semester, I like to write notes to my friends and tell them how much they mean to me. I love buying stationery sets and really all things print. I’m always on the brink of running out of wall space; post cards, maps and photos fill my walls.
7 . Routine
This past semester I went to bed most nights at 10:30 p.m. and woke up at 7:15 each morning. I’d check the locks every night, and every morning I’d open the blinds after showering and getting dressed. I’m a creature of habit and like to have my ducks in a row. Ask anyone who knows me — I’m Type A to the bone. I’m most productive in the morning and am absolutely worthless when it comes to productivity after 9 p.m.
8 . Being with people
For virtually all of my childhood, I shared a room with my younger sister, and the four kids all shared one bathroom. I’m the third of four children, and it wasn’t until college that I ever had a moment to myself — if you can believe it. Although I’ve grown to need and appreciate time alone, I do love spending time with people and meeting new friends. Going home is still plenty busy with a grandparent and a fat and sassy Persian cat named Lambchop having moved in. (And while we’re on that note, I’m a big cat lady.)
9 . Exercise
For the longest time, I hated the fact that I wasn’t good at sports. At some point in my life, I have tried all of the following: swimming, softball, soccer, tennis, golf, volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, cheerleading. Swimming lasted the longest, and I wasn’t too bad. But I’ve come to the point where I’m starting to embrace the fact that I just can’t kick or catch a ball to save my life. In the fifth grade, we had contest in P.E. class to see who could punt the football the farthest. We had two attempts, and my first one literally went negative distance. So there’s that.
Alas, when it comes to physical activity for competitive purposes, I don’t shine, but I do strongly value physical activity more for my mental health than appearance. From Zumba to pilates, yoga to barre, I like staying active. I told my roommates that whenever I was stressed out, they should ask me when is the last time I’ve worked out because I notice a big difference when I’m working out regularly.
10 . Being put together
One thing you should know: I’m a recovering perfectionist. There might be a total of one week during any given year that you can find me without nail polish on my fingers and toes. I feel naked without my planner. I’d never gotten a B until college, and we are not going to speak of that one-credit hour science class on volcanoes.
In high school, I always dressed up: dresses, jumpsuits, skirts. Seriously. I can count the number of times I wore yoga pants and tennis shoes to high school on one hand. In seventh grade, my parents told me I was doing too much homework and made me start logging my study hours with a cap at three hours. My dad told me if he could make it through law school with a max of three hours six days per week, then I could make it through the seventh grade. The bottom line is I like being put together, and that’s not always something to be proud of. It creates a facade that I don’t make mistakes or that my life is always exciting because I do and it’s not. Forever a work in progress.
So there it is, a small peek into my life and interests. Thanks for joining me in this blog community. Go ahead and introduce yourself in the comments or on social!