BLOGGING IZ HARD

Remember when I said I’d try to blog weekly? Pretend like you don’t. Because I haven’t. (Granted, I have written a weekly column for MOVE Magazine, but that’s different.)

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This is personal. I should’ve been updating you all on the many endeavors I’ve gone on over the course of the semester and I haven’t. Too anyone that I may have upset, I apologize.

But here’s the deal. Living abroad is a lot. Like, a lot a lot. It’s exhausting. I know it’s not as if I have a 9-5 job and run a household (props to all those out there), but living in a huge and exciting place like London means that I have a limited amount of time to absorb it all.

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One of the many aspects of living in London that I didn’t expect is that sometimes, I just want to stay in. GASP. I have a massive city with endless possibilities at the tips of my fingers and I’m just sitting on my couch. In the dark. On my laptop. Boring, amirite?

WRONG. I (and multiple Buzzfeed quizzes) consider myself to be an ambivert. That is, neither an extravert or introvert, but a healthy dose of both. I love to be loud and silly and meet knew people, but I also gain energy from escaping it all and being alone. It depends on my mood, how tired I am, what I’ve been doing, if I’m reading a good book, etc.

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What I’ve noticed about my life in London is that the only time I’m ever “alone” is on public transport because no one talks and when I shower. While being surrounded by people is something I thoroughly enjoy, sometimes I need to get away and I just don’t get that in a city with millions of people.

So I spend a lot of my time here exhausted and in need of a break. Don’t get me wrong, I love to spend my weekends exploring the city and finding new, exciting places. But often times, I just want to come home and sit on the couch with my roomies and scour the internet for hours.

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Should I feel guilty about that? Because I do. I feel really guilty. I’ve spent so much (of the government’s) money to get here, and now that I’m here, I’m afraid to waste any time. I feel a constant nagging to be out there and exploring my temporary home, but I don’t exactly have the means nor the energy to do that every day.

I’ve noticed several of the others on my trip appear to have a lot more endurance than I, going above and beyond when it comes to living in London. They’ve been to numerous shows, restaurants, bars, clubs, events, attractions, etc. They’ve really gotten into living in London. But I, and my flatmates, are fans of the familiar and repetition. We have several hang out spots. We have a diner, a coffee shop and pub that we go to regularly, all of which I love. But I fear that we’ve been holding ourselves back and are missing out on something amazing.

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As of today, I have exactly one month until this adventure of a lifetime is over. I’ve already seen the changes in myself. I’ve grown as an individual. I ooze maturity now. (Slight exaggeration, but hey, I can survive in a city with eight million other people.)

That being said, please keep me accountable. I want to make the most out of this final month. Ask me how I’m doing (disclaimer: I might be too honest), tell me about cool places to visit if you’ve been here, encourage me to step outside myself, etc.

Please and thank you.

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With  love,

ellise

We Have a Maid: London Update 2

I woke up Wednesday morning to a knock at the door. I was still sleeping, but one of my flatmates let her in. I don’t know about you all, but I don’t do well with maids. Not because they aren’t wonderful or that I’m afraid they’re going to steal something, but because I feel that my mess is my responsibility. When she started clearing the dishes we had used moments earlier for breakfast, I quickly told her if she needs anything out of the way, just tell us to move it or kick it. That’s when I discovered she was French and didn’t understand a thing I said. So she went on her merry way and took care of four 20-something girls.

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This was just one of the many experiences I’ve had in the last 10 days that are very different than what I’m used to.

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If I told you the transition to living in a different country an ocean away from home was easy, I’d be lying. Luckily for me, I’m surrounded by 26 other students in the exact same position.

Monday marked my first day working in London. At 9:55 a.m., I arrived at Lumiere London, my internship for the next three and a half months. What I walked into was NOT what I expected. Apparently, over the last month or so, the beautiful photography studio I was expecting was no longer the home of Lumiere London. Carlos (my adorable little photographer boss) and the rest of the companies he owns/works with, moved to a larger and better space. Unfortunately, the construction wasn’t really close to being finished.

I went in Monday expecting a short interview and schedule set up. That turned into working for seven hours with the office manager, Alessandro, and updating their entire website. When I told them I knew how to use WordPress, I realized too late that blog WordPress versus professional website WordPress are very different things. But thanks to the MU j-school’s “learn by doing” method, I figured it out.

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My second day at Lumiere London, I was told to bring clothes I could get dirty. I did. We spent the majority of the day organizing and cleaning the dust/dirt-filled studio space. Every surface was disgusting. And with no heat in the studio and 30º F outside, it made for a chilly day. But a good one. This was my first day to really get to know Carlos and Alessandro. We were able to goof off, talk about backgrounds, and work peacefully/jam out to my Spotify playlist. So an all-around solid day.

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On Wednesday, we had our first day of classes. We have two classes on Wednesday beginning at 2 p.m. and going until 7:30 p.m., one being an international journalism/media class and the other our internship seminar, both taught by Steve Rice. (If you’ve taken J2150 at MU, you’ve probably heard of him.)

Now, if I’m being completely honest (and this is my blog so of course I’m being completely honest), I was NOT looking forward to having Steve as our professor. But I have to tell you, Steve is really cool. And nice. And a good teacher. And loves his family. He’s like…a real person. WHATTT? Who knew?

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So we had our class introduction, etc. For the seminar, we just gave presentations on each of our first days of working in London. It was amazing to hear what kind of work my peers were already doing in their first two days. It really seems like CAPA (our program) knew what it was doing when they picked out these internships for us. Everyone is genuinely interested in their jobs and it’s clear they will be building great portfolios. My friend Sophia had already published a story in The Independent (kinda big deal) by the time class began.

On Thursday, we met Richard.

Richard is a hilarious little British man that teaches our British culture class. He is so funny and as obsessed with One Direction as I am. He even told us Harry Styles owns a house a mile away from our flat so if I end up home before April 29th, just know it probably had to do with stalking charges…

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Our afternoon with Richard was great and I must say, I really love my classes. We get to adventure through the city of London. With Steve, we’ll be going to BBC and The Guardian, etc. while Richard will be taking us to museums and curry restaurants (IN CLASS). I don’t know why I’m getting school credit for this stuff, but I’m cool with it.

Friday was great. It was my last day at my internship for the week, but as expected, I didn’t do much with fashion photography. Instead, I learned a bit more about the business aspect, then spent the afternoon painting the rafters with Carlos. I kind of loved it. I got to spend more time with my co-worker (kinda?) named Dan who is very British and sounds (in my opinion) a lot like Benedict Cumberbatch. He also has the perfect, stereotypically sarcastic sense of humor, which made the fact that he had to ask if I was being sarcastic at one point just that much better. (Yes. I was being sarcastic.)

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The week flew by. Everything is flying by. But I have be honest. This is unlike anything I ever imagined. And there have already been a few bumps along the way. If I were to tell you that homesickness didn’t consume me the first few days and that I didn’t cry in the shower everyday for the first week we were here, I’d be lying.

I didn’t intend to make this post serious, but it’s been a little rough over the past couple of weeks away from home. As a person that suffers from anxiety on a daily basis, being in a huge city with total strangers is hard. It wasn’t until five days in that I began to feel comfortable and transition into my temporary life in London.

However, now that I’ve made the transition, I feel good. Really good. The sights, the sounds, the smell (meh…maybe not the smells), the life all make this experience so unique. I have 99 days left before I make the long journey home, and I intend to spend every minute of it exploring and educating myself on what the world has to offer.

(PS: I totally went poop in the Stonehenge bathroom.)

London is so diverting

Well. I’ve moved to London (temporarily). For the next three and a three-quarter months, I’ll be living in Camden Town, London. If you’re anything like me, you imagine everything to look like it does in Mary Poppins and Big Ben to be visible from every borough. Boy was I wrong.

Trafalgar

We’ve only been here about four days, which is not nearly enough time to explore the whole city. I’ve seen the major sites via bus tour and took a walk through the original, one square mile of London that houses Parliament and Benny, but everything is already so different than I imagined.

Beginning with the people, I definitely underestimated how diverse this city truly was. I knew the statistics, but until you are actually walking around London, the fact that there are over 300 registered languages spoken daily and that white British are a minority didn’t sink in.

Our flat in Camden is extremely modern, not at all like the hotel Amanda Bynes starts at in What A Girl Wants. We have a lovely view of the street below and some office building across the way. But the unique thing about Camden is its colorful variety of people and shops. The Camden Markets are one of the most renowned and popular attractions in London. The streets are filled with shops and salespeople. You can find anything from London souvenirs to Doc Martins (the current fashion trend of the city). Pubs and bars also fill every street corner here. The night life is booming and there seems to be no lack of entertainment. I unfortunately haven’t found a go-to coffee shop yet, but it’s only the first week (and nothing can ever take the place of Kaldi’s in my heart).

Our group of 26 (or 27…I don’t remember) is really great. The majority are strat comm, meaning I know very few people here. It’s definitely put me outside my comfort zone to be in a new city on a different country without any of my closest friends or family. That’s been the hardest part thus far is accepting that I won’t see any of them for nearly four months. I think the first few weeks is the worst for homesickness. Though the city offers countless distractions, I find myself thinking of home in my downtime.

However, I begin my internship tomorrow with fashion photographer Carlos Lumière and I could not be more excited (OR NERVOUS). I know very little of fashion, but I look forward to working with Carlos and learning the ends and outs of running a successful photography business (I’m assuming he’s successful because he splits his time between London, New York, Paris and Monaco…).

I just did a trial run so I could figure out where the heck his studio was and let me tell you something. Having no GPS on my phone was terrible. I didn’t even know which direction was north. You exit the tube and you’re suddenly in a street with no idea which way is up. BUT. After walking five minutes the opposite direction, I managed to get my bearings thanks to the London Eye and eventually found my way.

The Eye

I have a huge adventure ahead of me, that I know for sure. New friends, new places, new experiences, etc. I can’t wait to finally get in the swing of things and stop feeling like a small child as I ride the metro in silence. This city is beautiful, the people have been kind, and I can already tell that this life-changing experience will leave a long-lasting impression on my life.

Look out for more blog posts to come. If I get obnoxious on social media, I understand if you choose to unfollow me. Also, feel free to send words of encouragement or just updates on life back in “the States.” (That sounds so pretentious. I’m sorry.)

Peace n Blessins,

Ellise

After “A Rape on Campus”

I’m disgusted.

I’m disgusted with what allegedly happened to “Jackie” in the Rolling Stone’s “A Rape on Campus.”

I’m disgusted with what’s happened to the other countless victims of sexual assault at UVa and the world.

Currently, I’m most disgusted with the responses to this story.

Regardless of whether or not the account was true, the backlash it has received is unreal. Numerous people resorted to victim blaming, which is the most ignorant, idiotic response to something this sensitive I’ve ever seen. If someone claims that they have been sexually assaulted, you take it seriously. Doubt and victim blaming are what keep victims from reporting their assaults. It’s a crime. It needs to be investigated of course, but very few reported cases of sexual assault are the result of a boy/girl who cried wolf.

Nevertheless, it does happen. In the light of new information, Rolling Stone has issued a note to readers stating that they have reason to believe “Jackie” was not as honest about the events at the UVa fraternity two years ago and that they regret not speaking with the assailants.

This also disgusts me. If this “Jackie” created this tale for attention, I feel bad for her. She obviously has something in her life going on that makes her feel the need to act out in such a way. But the fact that someone would lie about a sexual assault makes me almost as nauseous as the act itself.

The damage of a false account at this magnitude is unmeasurable. That being said, I don’t think RS has shared enough information with readers to back this calamity just yet. I understand the purpose of issuing this correction, but was it necessary to do so without sufficient evidence? It makes “Jackie” look like an awful person and creates a very hurtful scenario for those involved and other victims. Who’s to say that the people contradicting her claims are the ones creating false statements? It’s doubtful that a criminal would openly admit to their crimes, so it’s unsurprising that there would be a response from the assailants (and/or their lawyers, I’m sure) stating that the incident never occurred. It would ruin their lives (which, if this is a true event, should be the case in my opinion).

I’m saddened that this is even something that society has to be concerned with. As an independent female attending a large university, I find it mind-boggling that women should fear walking home in the dark alone. I grew up in a small town. I’ve never feared for my life. I’ve never used pepper spray. I carry a pocket knife not for safety, but to cut duct tape and open packages. Why the hell should I have put limitations on my life because other people choose to be monsters? Why should I change the way I dress because it could make a guy believe I “was asking for it?”

I’m not ignorant or oblivious. I may not take the same precautions of my female peers, but I understand that, regardless of my belief that the world is a wonderful place, there is danger. I tend to press my luck (something my family and friends are less than thrilled to know). I’m trusting. And why should I not be? Why is it that I have to be on the defensive every day?

I saw a great analogy on Twitter a few weeks ago that stopped me in my tracks. The truth to it was painful. This is what it said:

“You say not all men are monsters? Imagine a bowl of M&Ms. 10% are poisoned. Go ahead. Eat a handful. Not all M&Ms are poison.” 

Another part of the tweet said this:

“Because we’re taught ‘Don’t leave your drink alone’ instead of ‘Don’t drug someone.'”

Why is this reality? Why do we live in a society that thinks this way? I don’t know how to fix it. As a twenty-something with dreams of world travel, adventure and independence, how am I supposed to live? If I’m trained to hold tight to my purse, hold my keys between my knuckles in defense, and not talk to strangers, how am I expected to meet new people, open up and experience the good of the world?

In exactly one month from tomorrow, I’ll be traveling over 4,000 miles to London, England for a semester abroad. At our orientation, at least one-third of the discussion was focused on safety. They want us to go out and experience the city, but don’t go alone. Experience the nightlife, but don’t stay out too late. Try the bars, but watch your drinks and don’t get too drunk. Meet new people, but don’t talk to strangers. Of the 28 or so going on our trip, all but two are women. The safety talk was very obviously directed at us. (Pepper spray was not mentioned as something to bring with us because it’s illegal in the UK.)

I know that I live in a bubble of optimism. But I know that horrible things happen all the time. MU itself has numerous rape/assault reports every month or two. The Rolling Stone story cited that one in five females are sexually assaulted in college, a number that is one in five too high. I’m achingly aware that this statistic is alarmingly high. I avoid alleyways and talking to sketchy men on the street. I don’t take drinks from strangers. I stay in lit areas. But I don’t let fear hold me back.

It may be my blissful ignorance of the evils of the world or a rebellion against being told to be safe, but I just don’t understand. I don’t understand assailants. I don’t understand how people can be so obtuse and believe that women “ask for it” by wearing leggings or a too-short skirt. I don’t understand why it should be necessary to invent a nail polish that changes color when drinks are “roofied” because I don’t understand what person would drug someone else’s drink. I just don’t understand why we live in a society with so much good, love and joy, but have to suffer terror, pain and sadness.

Regardless of whether or not the RS story told a fabricated tale or a traumatizing true story, “A Rape on Campus” has added a renewed dialogue about rape in our culture.

So that’s my rant for today.

Single Girl Diaries: The Stranger

Have you ever had a crush on a stranger that you see ALL THE TIME. You don’t know their name, where they’re from, what they do for fun, if they’re a dog or cat person, what their favorite band is, etc. They’re a stranger.

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You see them regularly—maybe at your favorite study spot or Chipotle. Sometimes you stare too long. Sometimes you accidentally find yourself drooling.

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You fantasize an entire life together:

  1. Work up the courage to introduce yourself.
  2. Instantly fall in love.
  3. Love leads to numerous, perfectly-planned dates.
  4. Then marriage.
  5. Then world travel
  6. Maybe some kids (meh)
  7. Settle down
  8. Mind-numbing 9-5 job.
  9. Come home and spend the evening talking about life and movie plots.
  10. Die within 10 minutes of each other at an old age in your sleep.

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I skipped a few other details, but you get the picture.

I have one of these stranger crushes. I call him “The Barista.”

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He wears flannel, has the perfect haircut/beard combo, and is super nice and charming.

The other day, I ordered my mocha latte from him. He spelled my name correctly on the receipt (swoon), then told me to stick around because it’d be done in a minute. It was a long minute, but I didn’t mind. I got to watch him craft my coffee. He then filled the mug to the brim in an attempt to create an intricate flower pattern out of steaming milk. It lead to an awkward sipping from the counter so I wouldn’t spill, but he was very funny about it.

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I don’t know his name and I know I’ll never actually say anything other than “Mocha, please” and “Can you punch my card?” (see previous blog).

So this is to you, nameless barista. Thank you for always making me smile and producing the most delicious mocha I’ve ever had. I look forward to many more daydreams of our (non) life together.

(Is this weird?)

Single Girl Diaries: Can Girls Ask Out Guys?

FIRST OFF:

I’d like to clarify for those readers that may believe the title of this post to be an obvious answer. I know girls CAN ask out guys. The answer is very much yes. I’m very pro gender equality/I’m very opposed to the stereotypical gender roles placed on us.

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HOWEVER, can I ask a guy out?

(This is much less of a “gender equality” thing and much more of a “how the hell do I get the courage to do this” thing.)

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I was raised in a fairly traditional, conservative household. Therefore, I was raised to expect men to be extremely chivalrous. I expect guys to be kind and thoughtful and hold doors and ask me out (mostly I’m terrified of asking them).

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Seriously though. Kudos to you, guys. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there. Rejection is one of my greatest fears in life, so I feel ya.

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So how do I, as a timid female, ask out the really great guy I’ve been crushing on?

Guys: Does it make you feel un-masculine when a girl asks you out? Also, I feel like if I have to do the asking, it’s because you aren’t interested? Is this true? Someone answer my questions.

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This is a very one-thought post. I don’t really have anything else. I just need answers because this is something I’m considering but have no idea what I’m doing so weeeeeee.

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PEACE,

Ellise

Single Girl Diaries: Dear Boys

Dear Boys,

Here’s the thing. I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea what I want. I don’t know how to flirt and I sure as hell don’t know if you’re flirting with me. I’ve never really been kissed. I’ve never been on a cute date. And I’ve not had a boyfriend in six years.(Which let’s be honest. A relationship at 14 is not a relationship.)

I’m attracted to the guys that would never notice me, aren’t good for me, or are too good for me. The unattainable are just so appealing. (Someone back me up on this, amirite?)

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Also, if I like you, you’re going to think I hate you. Or I’m rude. Or really awkward (which I am). Buzzfeed recently produced a video that perfectly captures this aspect of me and made me finally feel like I’m not alone.

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If I like you, I am hyperaware of your presence, but pretend not to see you. If you like me, you’ll have to address me because I’m awkward and won’t say anything (usually because I’ve convinced myself you hate me for some reason or another). If you address me, my voice is not my normal speaking voice and I try to act as blasé as possible. I’ll also turn the color of a tomato because my body thinks it’s hilarious to give away my secrets.

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*Please note that this is not my real personality. I’m actually funny and caring (or so I like to think). I also tend to mockingly insult you. Sorry. Please just know it’s the way my mind reacts to you speaking to me.

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I don’t date very often because I don’t get asked. My friends tell me it’s because people are intimidated by me (but I think they’re just saying that for my self-esteem). LOL. I’m the least intimidating person. Ever. In the whole world. I’m like a spider. I’m much more afraid of you than you are of me. (Except not poisonous or deadly.)

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So here’s the point. I know I’m not alone in this (at least that’s what I’m trying to convince myself). I’m speaking to you, dear reader that is wasting your valuable time looking at my silly gifs. We’re all terrified. It’s okay to be terrified. Try not to be intimidated by others. Don’t fear rejection. What’s the worst that will happen? They say no? Then you part ways as friends or happy acquaintances with no bitter feelings. C’est la vie, non?

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Most importantly, why should we feel pressured to be dating at all? Why is it that anytime I see a relative, they ask if I’m seeing someone? Can I not be a happy, independent 20-something woman without a man? I have amazing friends and family, a great God, a beautiful life, and tons of coffee. Sure it wouldn’t hurt to have someone to snuggle and watch movies with, but that’s what dogs are for, right?

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Single Girl Diaries: An Ode to My Secret Love

I take a deep breath and open the door.

The atmosphere instantly heats the chill of the evening air.

I spot you across the room and slowly saunter up.

I say your name, filling me with butterflies.

I know we’ll be together in a few short moments.

Time stands still as I ache to hear my name.

You’re too far. I’m found wanting.

“Ellise.”

I turn in your direction.

You’re waiting for me, perfect and sweet.

I reach out and hug you to me for warmth.

Your aroma is heavenly.

I take the first sip and all is right in the world.

My mocha latte and I are finally together.

james

Single Girl Diaries — My ALMOST Date

Part I-Meeting

It was a beautiful Sunday evening. I was atop the University Parking Garage taking photos for an Advanced Techniques of Photojournalism assignment in which I had to take photos of the same thing every three hours from dawn until dusk. It had been a long day, but it was my final trek up the four flights of stairs and I just wanted to get it over with.

Within a few moments, I was set up and ready to shoot (photos). It really was lovely. I was enjoying a light breeze and the natural sounds from the streets below me. Then I heard something out of place and really close. I turned around and saw the back of a boy riding away on a longboard. Cool, I thought. Then a second boy on a longboard went by. I smiled and waved this time, then turned back to my work.

A few minutes later, someone called out to me asking what I was doing. I was startled, but it was just the longboarders. Cute longboarders.

After my quick explanation, our conversation took a quick turn. We began to talk about a vast array of things from underwater caving to spaghetti donuts. There was never a lull in the conversation. It was great.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that I was making fast friends on the top of a parking garage. As the sun disappeared below the horizon and the light began to fade, I decided it was time for me to go. (I had a lot of work to do or else I would have stayed.) With a casual “see ya later,” we parted ways.

I descended the staircase with my clunky gear and made it to the street below only to see one of the longboarders standing in the road. I thought little of it. They’d told me they lived nearby. So it caught be by surprise when he called out my name. I walked over all suave and confident (lol. because I’m super suave and cool and stuff).

He then, in the most adorable fashion, asked for my phone number and if I’d like to get coffee sometime. WHAT. Is this real life? Did that just happen to me? An attractive, funny, cool guy just asked for my number? I had to consciously remind myself to answer out loud (I obviously said yes) and he handed me his iPhone. We parted ways after that and I giggled like a school girl all the way to my apartment.

My reaction

My reaction

Part II-Texting

Sk8r boi waited the appropriate amount of time before texting me without seeming too eager (24 hours). He opened with the fact that he’d been on the parking garage again and expected to see me, and ended with asking me to coffee on Wednesday. I told him I’d have to check my SUPER busy schedule, but yes.

We proceeded to text the rest of the night. I think we discussed emojis for an hour. It was my kind of conversation. The next night, a very similar thing occurred. He told me I was slacking not being on the parking garage and I told him I was at my campus ministry. We then spoke (typed) until midnight.

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Part III-Wednesday

It was the day. He asked to get coffee Wednesday. It was Wednesday. I was freaking out. I’d spoken to several friends about it (because I don’t know how to date and whatnot), but felt reassured. But as the day wore on, I heard nothing. No “Hey, what’s a good time for you?” Nothing.

I didn’t want to initiate the conversation. I mean, this was his thing. He asked me, right? But at 7 o’clock, I decided I’d waited long enough.

“Hey, where did you want to get coffee?” I asked.

His response? He forgot. “We might have to reschedule for next week. Is that cool?”

Of course that was cool. I’m forgetful. I do that kind of thing all the time. We hadn’t actually set a time or place and coffee was only mentioned once two nights prior. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt and said yes.

Then nothing. No more conversation. No reschedule. Nothing.

Did I do something wrong?

What could have happen in that short period of time to abruptly end things? There was zero commitment. I’m even hesitant to call it a date. We were just getting coffee, for goodness sake. Was he really just that forgetful?

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Part IV-Aftermath

So that was it. I didn’t hear from him anymore. We did have a run-in a few days later, but it was very brief and kind of awkward. It also ended with a “see ya later” rather than a “we still need to get coffee.”

Since then, I’ve seen him everywhere. No, I’m not stalking him. No, he’s not stalking me. But we apparently have similar taste in coffee shop hangouts and outdoor spaces. It’s even gotten to the point where I texted him and told him to stop showing up where I am. (I was trying to be cute and flirty, obviously.) He lol’ed and told me to say hi next time.

But that was it. Also, one of my besties (and mutual friend of sk8r boi) decided to take it upon himself to discover the answer to my question by subtly mentioning me in conversation. Sk8r boi responded (on his own accord) that he’d met me, I was pretty cool and that he’d asked me to coffee, but had been really busy.

So is he interested? Is he not? Was he really just busy? Do people think these things through? Has he even thought about it? Am I crazy to put this much thought into this? UGH. SOMEONE TAKE AWAY MY INTERNET.

uncomfortable

(Also, if he (sk8r boi) somehow stumbles across this blog, please know that I am not crazy. I just overthink things and write about them for reassurance. Please disregard this post. I’m pretty normal and mildly funny.)

Ugh. Whateva,

Ellise

Do The British Like Coffee?

london

As of yesterday, I can officially say that I’ll be spending my spring semester in London, England. Woah. Ugh. Writing that makes it feel so…official. So real. Am I really going to London or is this a sick joke?

I’ve been working towards this since freshman year. One of the main reasons I chose MU was because of their London internship program. January to April, I’ll be working for an actual news organization in London. I don’t know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing, but what I can tell you is that I’ve never been more nervous and excited for something in my life.

For some silly reason, I’ve romanticized this foreign city. I imagine it as my be-all and end-all. Without this experience, I won’t ever discover what I truly want in life. Why? I don’t know. I’m probably crazy.

As you can imagine, I’m scared to death. I’ve been abroad before. When I was fifteen, I spent a month in Australia with a group of strangers, so I’m not nervous to be out of my element and in a foreign place. But I am afraid of failure.

What if I get there and can’t perform well at my internship? What if they hate me? What if I discover that journalism isn’t for me? What if I accidentally use a British accent in front of the wrong person and they kick me out of the country?

On top of failure, there are so many other “what ifs” running through my mind right now. Can I really afford to do this? What if I run out of money? What if I fall in love with a member of One Direction and then have to come back to America? What if I decide I never want to leave? What if I hate it and want to leave? What if they don’t have coffee?

So for right now, I could use a few prayers for peace and a friendly reminder that everything will be okay. Even if my trip is sub par and I end up living on bangers and mash once I run out of money. I can’t imagine this trip won’t have some huge impact on me, whether that be my confidence, my journalism skillz, or my life as a whole.

If nothing else, I’ll at least get some badass photos of Big Ben and Platform 9 and 3/4, right?