college, Essay, Halloween

NO PICTURES

As I was on a (what would turn out to be over four hours in the rain and two iterations of Taylor Swift’s 1989) drive back from my Boston Halloweekend, I realized – mid-eating a Chicken McNugget – that I hadn’t gotten a picture for Instagram the entire weekend. “Fuck!” I said, mouth muffled by “meat.”

And over the next few hours, as I caught up on all the social media I had missed – all the Halloween Instagrams of people in their various costumes, all the posed Snap stories and (let’s be realistic) Instagram stories – I felt more and more annoyed. I had let a prime social media weekend slip through my fingers like sand, or silk, or (most realistically) me dribbling a basketball.

It was the second time I was in Boston in October, and I had – on both occasions – made a plan to take a cute Instagram with my friends and completely forgotten. It’s a sober truth, I’ve realized, that when you’re a freelance writer-journalist (slash full-time inspiration and model), your chances for taking cutely candid Instagrams are severely limited. Either I’m working, writing, sleeping, eating, watching Netflix or doing some combination of the aforementioned. And unless my followers want endless versions of my dog with the exact same photo filtering (I do an opaque shadow, get used to it), there’s a limit to the content I’m naturally coming into contact with.

Getting an Instagram is more than an exercise in vanity. This might be dumb – do you know me? – but social media is as much a cultivation of personal branding as it is to remember moments. I want to work in media, and understanding various social media platforms, and being active on those platforms, is important to me. And in a post-grad world where I’m a very small fish in…the ocean? A galaxy? It helps me feel connected to the larger world. And yes, I use those photos for Tinder. Sue me.

Before I came up to Boston in the beginning of October, I texted my best friend. “We have to take a photo together.” She agreed (she loves photos of me). But with the time constraints of balancing family and friends, we forgot. I spent my hours with her, and my other friends, drinking at our favorite bar, hanging out at home, getting brunch. I drank up their presence like a sunflower; it had been so long since I had seen them in person. And I just missed them. And I didn’t want to miss any of them by separating myself through a screen.

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Life, Rambles

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

This will be short because it’s a holiday and everyone’s in a food-coma by now anyway. For me, this is technically Black Friday (after midnight) but actually Black Friday now starts at, like, 3 pm on Thursday, so Lorde knows!

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I did a Friendsgiving with my flatmates and it was super cute! I was a little bit disconnected because of stressors about travel that are a little anxiety-inducing, but our Friendsgiving was actually super nice and profesh. We had a rotisserie chicken because even the idea of cooking a full turkey makes my heart hurt. We had delicious sides and good wine and good laughs (courtesy of me).

And I made everyone go around the table and say a) What they’re thankful for and b) What they’re looking forward to in the coming year. I know that the latter is definitely more of a New Year’s Eve thing, but I decided to forge ahead like the pioneer I am.

And being allergic to authenticity, I said that I was thankful for my friends, my family, and the E! Network for bringing me the Kardashians. Which is true.

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But I’m also thankful for a lot more. I’m thankful for my parents who love and support me even though I’m the midnight sheep of the family (it’s a deeper shade of black). I’m thankful for my sisters because they’re as psychotic and emotionally manipulative as I am, which reaffirms my belief that I’m not a complete serial killer in the making. I’m thankful for skinny jeans. I’m thankful for my role models who—from writing to being a good human to comedy—make me strive to be better.

I’m thankful for my mental health. I discussed a lot with my boss and coworker today, and I realized how far I’ve come in the last year. Mental clarity isn’t something I take lightly, and I’m in a good enough place now to realize that I have such a good life. and it’s beautiful and painful and chaotic, but it’s immensely gratifying and satisfying. So I’m thankful for the last year, which has shown me the vigor of life.

I’m thankful for my blog, for allowing me to exorcise all my crazy, all my love, all my hurt, all my funny, and let it exist on the digital ether forever.

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I’m thankful for boys with cute butts. I’m thankful for queer icons like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock and Caitlyn Jenner and Ross Mathews and countless others who inspire me to be my best every day and educate others. I’m thankful for WiFi. I’m thankful for the chance to live in London. I’m thankful for having a beautifully bonkers friend group and collegiate home-away-from-home waiting for me when I get back from London. I’m thankful for my dog, who reminds me that I’m just human garbage and he owns me.

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And I’m thankful for you. Oops, no, not you. Behind you? The guy with the scruff? You’re so cute! Are you single? What’s your inheritance like? No older brothers? Nice. Only child?! Even better. Cool. I’m Danny. Let’s talk. You’re cute. Haha you’re funny. Omg stop!

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Oops, got off track. And I’m thankful for you, reader. For coming back post and post and indulging in my crazy, but I don’t know/can’t decide/don’t want to know if it’s because you identify with me, you think I’m The Voice of Our Generation, or it’s one of those “Can’t look away from this trainwreck” situations where you’re afraid something really juicy is gonna happen and you don’t want to miss it.

Regardless, I’m thankful for your loyalty, your pageviews, and your (ahem) promotion of my blog, my Twitter, and my Instagram! Follow @thedanosaurus across all social media!

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Thank you Oprah for giving me this life. Thank you Khloé Kardashian for creating the earth in seven days. Thank you Nick Jonas for your butt. Thank you, the Dalai Lama. I haven’t met you, but you seem chic.

Peace, love, and turkey meat!*

*But not the dark meat. Because who eats the dark meat?

 

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