As some of you may recall, I live in the real Stars Hollow – as in the town that is the inspiration for the setting of Gilmore Girls.
As most of you probably know, this town played host to 1500 fans of the show for the Gilmore Girls Fan Festival and OH MY GOSH IT WAS AMAZING.
By now, you can google a bunch of articles detailing the entire weekend’s agenda and noteworthy moments, but now that the weekend is over and our town has gone back to normal, I want to tell you what the biggest thing was for many of us locals:
Everyone was SO. FREAKING. NICE. The weather was cold and gross and rainy (very un-Stars Hollow), but every person was smiling and appreciative. Every customer I helped was happy to be there and kept thanking me and other locals for opening up our town to them. Everyone was there to have a good time and they didn’t let crummy weather or long lines get in the way of that.
1,500 people. And all of them were lovely. Every. Single. One.
So I just want to say thank you to every attendee, every volunteer, every cast member, every crew member, every festival staff member. All of you. The town cannot stop talking about much we loved having you here, and many of us genuinely missed you all on Monday morning. You lit up our town and for one weekend, things here felt like they were on a new level of magic. So, thank you, thank you, thank you.
I am an adult, for all intents and purposes. Legally, I’m considered an adult by age alone. I can fight for our country if I want to. I can drink. I make responsible financial decisions and I’m responsible for the life of another being. People depend on me for things.
But I’m also still really into having fun. Fiancé and I play videogames and board games. I read children’s books and young adult books and sci-fi and all sorts of stuff like that. I buy nerdy t-shirts and think cartoons are great.
Basically, I still indulge in what some would call “childish” things. In fact, I don’t just indulge in these things, but I’m openly enthusiastic about them. These are not closet hobbies. These are part of my character.
And whenever these things come up around certain people, I get these… looks. Sometimes they are looks that say, “You’re such an adorable human being for your childish ways,” and sometimes they say, “Okay, but seriously. When is this going to stop? When are you going to grow up already?”
And the answer to that second one is this: I already have and I constantly am.
My childlike (there is a difference, by the way, between “childish” and “childlike” and I prefer the latter) ways are things that I don’t want to lose. They are the qualities that I like best about myself.
And even if you think I am just a kid in an adult’s body, what is so wrong with taking a page out of their book? Kids are happy (for the most part) and they’re honest. Kids are open to new ideas and they are imaginative. Kids have fun. Who ever decided that we ought to stop doing that just because a few years have passed?
So yeah, I’m growing up, but I’m still making life a fun game for myself. Cleaning the house? It’s a game. I earn points. Paying taxes? My friends and I get together for a tax party and get through it as a group with fun music and alcohol (which is not for children). Voting? If we are able, We make it a group event and we celebrate afterwards.
Because life should be fun, no matter how old you are. Fun shouldn’t be a special occasion, it should be a constant priority, and advancing in age shouldn’t mean decreasing the amount of fun you have. In fact, it should be quite the opposite. Your job should be fun. Your friends should be fun. Your relationships should be fun.
And you know what? You’re an adult. You get to decide whatever you want to do with your life, right? So why wouldn’t you choose fun?
So Fiancé and I were pretty darn stoked when we found out that our favorite YouTubing trio, Hannah Hart, Grace Helbig, and Mamrie Hart were coming out with a full-length, studio-produced, fully legitimate movie, Dirty 30.
But we were also a little nervous.
What if the movie wasn’t good? What if the rest of the world just thought it was just a sad attempt at trying to be “real” performers? If it didn’t go well, it would be a small form of proof that millennials are, after all, just idiots who are pretending to do real stuff, right?
But oh my gosh, you guys: This movie was fantastic. It was so good. It was funny, it was well written, the quality of the production was amazing, and the acting was great! We freaking loved it – and not just because we wanted to. The movie ended and we were relieved. And then we watched the special features and Hannah said something that was really awesome:
“When you run your own channel and make all your own content, you wear all the hats, you know, and you’re trying to make sure that lighting is right and that sound is right, and you’re writing and you’re editing in your head while you’re performing, and it’s this… this beast. When I came to set the very first time for the first film that we did together, I almost felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I wanted to help rig something…” -Hannah Hart
This hit me in a weird way, because I feel like it’s the exact thing that everyone who craps all over the millennial generation needs to hear.
Let’s take a quick moment here to define a millennial: A millennial is someone who was born between 1981 and 1997. So… at the time of writing this, millennials are anywhere between the ages of 19 and 35. I don’t know how many people actually know that. So… there it is. Millennials are adults. We’re not just starting to enter the workforce. Many of us are already in it.
And there is a stereotype that millennials are vapid, selfie-centered jerks who don’t want to work hard or put in the effort to get what they want.
But that’s just not true. Sure, there are members of my generation who are that way, but you know what? There are crappy people in every generation – and there are amazing people from those generations, too. We’re all just human beings.
And in a small, but cool way, this movie proves that the millennial generation is so much more than the general public likes to say we are. Yes, I do realize that it is a silly comedy movie. I don’t think it’s a world-changing documentary or anything, but can we just take a minute to recognize how much work goes into making a freaking movie? A lot. And I could go into a lengthy post about the importance of “silly comedy,” but that’s a post for another time, I think.
This film was written and produced by Mamrie Hart. She worked really, really hard, and gathered together a group of YouTubers who were dedicated to making this project great. Why? Because they have all had to generate their own success. Grace Helbig had to go out on her own and start making her own content in order to get to where she is. Hannah Hart has created a community of loving ad caring viewers who get out in the world and make a difference. If you don’t believe me, do your research. Start watching them and paying attention.
Fiancé and I have been long-time viewers of these creative women in our generation and we could not be prouder of them right now. They’ve looked at the world and said “You’re wonderful, but we’re going to shake things up a bit and do things our own way,” and it has worked for them. I’m really glad that they represent our silly, weird, instagramming generation in a spectacular way.
So go rent or buy Dirty 30 on iTunes. Go check out the stars’ YouTube channels (links below) and following them on social media if you don’t already. Because holy crap, you guys, they are just so awesome.
Getting married is often seen as a sign of adulthood. I don’t think it’s a universal rule, but I don’t think that it can be argued that marriage is a thing for children. So, when I got engaged I expected to learn a lot of things, but learning to say no wasn’t one of them.
I’ve never been good at saying no to people. I am at my very core a people-pleaser. If someone is sad, I want to cheer them up. If someone is angry, I want to fix it. If I am the cause of any negative feelings, I have a tendency to spiral into a deep hole of self-loathing. After all, my whole internet (and “real world”) presence is all about how you are awesome and I am foolish and while we are all a little foolish, we need to learn to embrace it and learn to love ourselves. Together.
So for me to say no to people is… rare. And painful.
But now I have a lot of people and businesses offering to do things for me. And I have a lot of people telling Fiancé and I what our wedding should and should not be like and how things are done and why we shouldn’t do them differently.
And I’ve had to say no. For the sake of saving our sanity and having the wedding that we want.
“No, we do not want passed hors d’oeuvres.” (but yes, I will always google how to spell that word)
“No, our wedding party will not be a traditional one.”
“No, we will not be doing <insert traditional, but gross ceremonial thing here> because it doesn’t jive with who we are.”
“I understand that you’re nice and just trying to run a business, but no, I will not be paying that much for flowers.”
These are all things that used to terrify me. I’m the girl who goes to a flea market and bargains to pay more for something. If I’m being taken advantage of, that’s bad karma for them, right?
And I always used to think that I could avoid saying no by disguising it with a yes, but that doesn’t work here. Sometimes, especially when planning a wedding, you have to say “No.”
And the other tricky part? Not apologizing for it.
The guilt I feel over turning people down is staggering, but I’m also learning that it’s a little egocentric. Obviously, I will always take other’s feelings into account (or I’ll try to), but it turns out that everyone’s success doesn’t rely on me. It turns out that saying no to some people is actually helpful in weird ways. It feels terrible to say it, and I will be far from bitchy about it (or, again, I’ll try), but I don’t need to beg for their forgiveness over it.
And all of this is because I’m learning something bigger: Our dreams and what we want is worth fighting for.
Fiancé and I have built what we feel is a beautiful dream for our wedding day. We reserve the right to stick to those plans even if they make others confused or ask questions. If we find vendors who won’t do what we want, we’ve learned that there are vendors and people who will, and saying no to one means saying yes to another. We can’t hire everyone and we can’t make everyone happy, but what we can do is celebrate our love the way that we want to with the people that we want to and hope that everyone has a blast in the process.
So, I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to say no to people when it comes to standing up for what you want and who you are. Be kind about it and be gentle (we are, after all, all human beings), but if you are also a person who hates saying no, give it a shot. Pick your moments, of course (so maybe don’t start with your boss), but find someone, who you are constantly just saying yes to in order to avoid confrontation (roommate? sibling? friend?) and say “You know what, that’s not what I want. Can we do something different?”
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I’ve been making more of an effort to spread cheer and optimism over there. I don’t really know what started this, but for some reason lately, I’ve been trying to broadcast happiness on a grand scale. Maybe it’s because the headlines lately have been exhaustingly sad and rageful. Or maybe it’s just because I like happy things and I honestly don’t think the world can have enough happiness. Either way, yesterday, I asked people on twitter to only tweet about the good stuff happening and using the hashtag, #HappyTweets. Now, I’m not a person with a ton of followers, so this didn’t take off quite as much as I’d hoped it would, but that’s okay. I still managed to tweet happy things, and I’m going to keep this going, even here on the blog.
So… in the event that you just need a reason to smile, here is a list of things to be happy about in spite of what the news tells us:
Puppies. I tweeted about this yesterday, but how incredible is it that we live on a planet on which puppies exist? Puppies, possibly the cutest things ever, happen all the time. They’re just all around. And then, on top of them being cute, THEY LOVE EVERYONE. Have you ever met a puppy that didn’t want to snuggle or play? Many books have been written on the love that dogs give us, but I think puppies deserve an extra boost right now because we are so lucky to live in the same universe as them. Just soak that incredible fact in.
Artists. Okay, so I’m also floored by just how amazing it is that we are living at a time when people like Jenny Lawson, Hank Green, J.K. Rowling, Hannah Hart, Ben Folds, Rainbow Rowell, etc. all create stuff that we get to enjoy and learn from. Every day, there are amazing artists of all types creating things that we just get to sit down and be like “THIS IS A THING I ENJOY” and then we get to walk away feeling inspired by those people and things they do. Especially now. Now we are in a time when content is just constantly available to us – and often for free. This brings me to the next thing…
The Internet. Okay, I know: The Internet can be full of terrible people, but you know what? It’s also full of amazing people and amazing communities. Before the Internet, the only people available to you were just the ones physically surrounding you. If they weren’t into the same stuff you were, that was just the pits. Now? Now you get to go online and log onto some forum or social media account and say “HEY, I’M REALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT FAKE LIZARDS MADE OF SAND AND WAX.” and someone else could be like, “OH MY GOD, ME TOO!!” and now you have a new friend who is in a totally different country. The Internet is an amazing place for people in search of community and friendships. I met the love of my life because of the Internet. I’m able to write and have a small group of readers because of the Internet. I’m currently listening to music because of the Internet. All the jerks out there? They are nothing in comparison to the awesomeness that I find on the Internet.
Books. THERE ARE SO MANY STORIES OUT THERE TO READ. FAIRY TALES AND REALISTIC FICTION AND MURDER MYSTERIES AND SCI-FI AND HISTORY. IT’S ALL OUT THERE JUST WAITING FOR YOU. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?
Flowers growing through cracks in the sidewalk. This doesn’t need any explanation. Tiny, delicate, beautiful things emerge and break through the toughest of materials. As cliche as it is, this metaphor is wonderful and we should all remind ourselves of it daily.
Music. No matter your taste, music is out there for you to fall in love to and with. Perfectly timed melodies and beautiful lyrics come to us in all sorts of ways and we get to apply them to moments in our lives as though someone is building a soundtrack for us. I just love it.
Your ideal weather. For me it’s 77 degrees and immediately following rain. I love rain, too, now that I’m thinking about it. Sure, weather can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but when it’s also kind of amazing. Just picture your perfect day, weather-wise.
Details in architecture. This one comes from my bestbian, Leah. She loves walking around the city with her headphones in and just looking at buildings and trying to notice their unique details. She’s the best.
Having a best friend. Many of us can think of our best friend(s). That person is someone who we can call whenever and just vent to. Best friends are the people who like you anyway. They’re the best.
Riding trains. I’m sure many of us have different feelings about train travel, but there is something so very classic and, as Leah puts it, “British” about the experience. She and I love British things, so this is in our happy column.
Good television. We are in an age of amazing television right now. Shows that are beautifully written and make us think. This is awesome. I, personally, love great dialogue. Great dialogue is great.
Crawling into a made bed at the end of the day. Oh man, is there anything more relaxing?
Wearing an outfit that you know you look really, really good in. Admit it. You know what outfit this is and it is the thing you feel best about yourself in. Because you are really ridiculously good looking in it and you can do anything in that outfit.
Making other people smile.
Rivers, lakes, and oceans. Bodies of water always seem to make me happy. I don’t know why, but they’re lovely. I’ve always really liked that line from Pocahontas where she says “my favorite thing about rivers is that you can’t step in the same river twice.” That has always made me smile.
I know I said puppies already, but let’s just give a shout out to all baby animals. Baby animals are just the best.
Hugs. Good hugs are great. Even if you’re not a hugger, somewhere out there is a hug that you love. I believe in that.
When everything is where it should be. I personally hate cleaning, but I love when everything is clean, so I force myself to go through the grueling process of getting it there because I know the reward is worth it.
Checking off everything on your to-do list. I rarely get to do this every day, but man isn’t it awesome when it does happen? Yes. Yes it is.
Live shows. In an age of digital everything, there is something even more amazing now about seeing something live. Last night, Fiance and I were lucky enough to see Ben Folds in concert and I’m still on Cloud 9.
Love. This will be my last one, because ultimately, it is the most wonderful thing in the world and it is everywhere. Sometimes we struggle to see it clearly, but at the end of the day, when you’re feeling really crappy, I think it’s nice to remember that love is out there. Even if you’re not feeling it, I think it’s nice to know that it’s there. It’s nice to think about what you love and who loves you in spite of yourself. I think it’s nice to love yourself. It’s nice to remember that there is a puppy out there who will love you. Love, as a noun and a verb, is something that constantly amazes me. The fact that we are able to love and feel loved is something truly remarkable. Random acts of kindness are random acts of love and if you really sit back and think about it, isn’t that just the most lovely thing of all? I think it is.
So that’s my list as of this very moment. It’s incomplete and constantly changing and being added to, but I invite you to write about what makes you happy in the comments. Tweet at me with happy things using #HappyTweets. Don’t let the crappy headlines win. Flood the world with joy whenever possible.
But wait. It gets better. She is not about to be one of those lawyers that everyone glares at because they’re evil or whatever. No. She’s gonna be one of those lawyers who actually makes lives better.
“What is she doing?”
My bestbian is going to be working for a law firm that defends sexual assault victims. She’ll be doing legal research to help win cases against sexual abusers. SHE IS ON THE LIFE-SAVING TEAM, YOU GUYS. SHE IS BASICALLY A SUPERHERO NOW.
So, she starts on Monday and she is so excited and so terrified. This is her first real job after law school and it is undoubtedly going to not be filled with joy and wonder all of the time, but she gets to go home at the end of the day and say “Today I played a part in making someone’s life better,” and that is amazing and she is amazing and I am so full of love and adoration for this person who has been the Tina Fey to my Amy Poehler for the past ten years. She is my soul mate and I am in awe of her every single day.
So, will you all please just tweet at her and tell her how amazing she is and how incredible she will be at this job? She’s nervous. Because she cares. She cares so much and she is the best person for this job and I am so unbelievable proud of her. So here is her twitter handle: @MsLBrady
Flood her phone with messages of love and joy and inspiration! Go forth and virtually high-five her!
So I’ve been thinking about doing a blog post once a month to feature something that I’m really into at the moment. This could be a product or a blog or an app. Whatever. I don’t want to be paid for these or given free stuff for them (I mean, free stuff is great, but just because I get it doesn’t mean I’ll write about it), I just want to find stuff that I’m super into and tell the world about that stuff because that’s what you do when you like something: You share it.
If you don’t care at all or don’t want to know about this or hate these types of blog posts, please let me know. This blog is not about to become some marketing place. I’m honestly just trying to spread the word about things that I love. I’ve already done one of these about Litsy, in fact, but that was before I really had this whole “regularly scheduled” idea. Aside from these monthly posts, I’ll still be doing my regular weird and embarrassing stories. I would, of course, love your input and comments about what you’re into right now too! Let’s talk more to each other and share ideas and fun stuff!
I’m going to call this series the “Holy Crap This Thing is Awesome and I Want People To Know How Awesome It Is” Series. Or maybe it needs a shorter title. Story of my life. Maybe just “Holy Crap This Thing Is Awesome.” Is that better? Tell me in the comments.
Habitica is a to-do list app/website that I am in love with because it is for people like me: nerds who want everything to be fun.
I am a fan of fun. Laundry is not fun. Cleaning the toilet is not fun. But when you are a level 7 warrior who earns points for cleaning the toilet so that you can level up and battle monsters via doing laundry and washing dishes, you become a toilet cleaning MACHINE. This app has motivated me like nothing else before.
I am a big fan of rewards for getting stuff done. I often tell myself that I’m not allowed to read or watch tv or play videogames until I’ve done something productive that I’m not in the mood to do. This app kind of takes care of that. Now, instead of saying “Emelie, clean the bathroom and then you’re allowed to watch an episode of Jane the Virgin (OH MY GOD THAT SHOW),” I can say “Emelie, accomplish enough stuff on your to-do list to level up and feed your zombie wolf and then you can watch Jane the Virgin.”
It. Is. Wonderful.
Also, these graphics! Oh my gosh, they’re so great! They bring me back to the 8-bit days of yore and I love them.
Oh! And you can team up with your friends and build a party and go on quests to battle monsters and conquer the lands of productivity! It’s amazing! So then you’re also holding your friends accountable and they’re holding you accountable and you’re all adulting in a way that you can’t even handle because no one told you it would be this fun.
Habitica, you’ve revolutionized my life. I love you. Thank you for making cleaning the toilet fun.
So, what are you super into right now? What thing do you think is awesome? Talk about it in the comments!
It’s no secret that I’m a Gilmore Girls fan. It’s also not a huge secret that I live in the town that is the inspiration for the show’s setting, Stars Hollow.
And now, as I’m sure you’ve heard, there is going to be a freaking Gilmore Girls Fan Festival in my freaking town. Where I live. MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE.
So now my little town is going to have to deal with a lot more people like me. Poor, poor town… But there’s going to be so much, coffee, a knit-a-thon, CAST MEMBERS, and – oh yeah: THEY’RE BUYING OUR TOWN A GAZEBO BECAUSE IT’S THE ONE THING WE DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE.
I think you can tell a lot about a couple from the way they shop for stuff in their home. You learn about who is practical and who is…not.
I am very concerned with things looking cute.
Fiance is very concerned with things working properly and looking nice.
This is most evident in our selection of kitchen equipment. If there are faces on it, or cute animals involved (as long as they’re not the meal itself), I am totally on board. Fun colors?! Count me in! In fact, before Fiance moved in with all of his fancy, functional stuff, almost everything in my home was brightly colored and had silly faces. My spatulas look like pigs. My knives are alarmingly bright. Fiance’s are all dull and silver. Well, they’re actually not dull at all. His knives are frighteningly sharp, but you know what I mean. They don’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, which I guess is a good thing if we were to be robbed. The last thing you want is for someone to break into your home and then you pull a knife out to defend yourself and the intruder is all “Aw, well that’s just adorable.” Then again, maybe you do. Maybe this is how we can find peace in the world. Through cute knives.
Fiance? He’s all “Well, sure, the knives do all look like cartoon farm animals, but do they cut stuff?”
WHO CARES, FIANCE! LOOK AT HOW HAPPY THEY ARE! They double as knives AND PUPPETS!
And that’s how I get things taken away from me and quietly escorted out of stores…
So yes, I think you can tell a lot about a couple from the way they shop for stuff in their home, but I think what’s even more interesting is that the Fiance and I are completely inverted when it comes to our selection in romantic partners. After all, I picked the practical one, and he picked the cartoon character with googley eyes…
This week Fiancé and I discovered the joys of furniture assembly and arrangement as a couple. There was a whole lot of “No, really, the couch should go here,” followed by “Oh my god, you were so right, this is all wrong, let’s put it back the way it was,” and then “That looks awful, doesn’t it? Maybe we should just put it all on the roof and call it a day?”
The biggest issue is that we live in 200-year-old tiny farm house with tiny rooms and crooked walls and we bought a bunch of modern-sized furniture from Ikea that doesn’t fit in said tiny farm house with tiny rooms and crooked walls. Plus, we have double the amount of stuff now that we’re living together. So, I’m suggesting we put stuff on the roof.
Fiancé: You mean the attic?
Me: What? No! It’s haunted up there. I mean the roof.
Me: Because we have too much furniture right now.
Fiancé: So you want to put it on the roof?
Fiancé: How are you going to get to the roof?
Me: A ladder. Or magic?
Fiancé: What furniture is going up there?
Me: At least some chairs. We have too many chairs.
Fiancé: Oh, like the designer chair you got from your sister?
Me: NO! I love that chair!
Fiancé: I have a feeling that you just mean my furniture.
Me: You said it, not me.
Fiancé: I think we can put the shoe trunk on the roof. I hate that thing. It’s dangerous, it smells weird, and it’s impossible to find any of our shoes in there.
Me: I agree. That furniture plan did not work out. It’s going on the roof.
Fiancé: Great. Except… It has all of our shoes in it. I don’t want to go up on the roof without any shoes.
Me: TOO BAD IT’S ALREADY DECIDED I’M GETTING THE LADDER!
Cohabitation is going really well, you guys.
In other news, I wrote a piece about Book Guilt and it’s over on Books, Ink’s Hamlet Hub. Go check it out, but only if you want to!