In And Out.

I’m currently writing this at 1:00 am, because I couldn’t sleep due to overthinking and messy thoughts. So, instead, I’ve decided to distract myself with Netflix movies. (I just finished watching Begin Again and I highly recommend it if you want to listen to an absolutely lovely soundtrack and admire the perfect wardrobe of Keira Knightley’s character.)

Anyways, it’s been an interesting past couple of days as I’m sure you’re all aware. Interesting in a scary way. Interesting in a confusing way. Interesting in a lot of ways that I hoped it wouldn’t be.

But it was. And it is. And here we are.

So now what?

There’s currently a lot of fear circulating through the world at the moment. It’s always been there, but now it’s become more apparent like someone’s slowly been turning up the volume and we’re sure the speakers are going to burst at any moment. That could also very well be the sound of our hearts about to beat out of our chests, but for one second let’s stop. Let’s close our eyes. And let’s breathe.

In and out.

In and out.

First, let’s remember that we are all people. We all have brains in our heads and hearts in our chests and souls in our body. And this is important. It’s very important, because these are the things that make us human beings. And underneath everything else, underneath our clothes and our skin and our religions and our beliefs, there is a brain and a heart and a soul. We are far more alike than we are different.

Second, let’s remember that each and every one of us is going through something. We all have internal battles. Brains are messy places and sometimes we don’t understand them. And if we can’t understand our own heads how do we expect to understand everyone else’s? We don’t have telescopes that allow us to see into thoughts. Science has yet to invent those, so until then we can’t possibly know anyone’s reasons, motivations, or histories. Let’s take this into consideration when we interact with others.

We have to learn to think less with our brains and more with our hearts.

And lastly, let’s remember that love will always overcome hate. We are all powerful individuals. We each contain our own ideas and opinions and we can express ourselves through our words and through our screens in an instant. This is an incredible gift to possess. And we must use it wisely. Use your words to spread kindness, and hope, and optimism. Use your abilities and your actions to inspire and to help change the world for the better.

Because it is definitely possible for a single person to change the world, but the process is a heck of a lot faster with a few helping hands.

So in this time of confusion and transition, do not be judgmental. Do not criticize others for their beliefs. Instead, work hard to be the difference that you believe in. Use your gifts to lend a hand to someone who might need it. Be thoughtful and encouraging and kind.

Please be gentle to one another.

The world is in desperate need of some love.

And maybe a few group hugs too.

Love,

Madelynne Catherine

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Adventures in “Adulting”

Moving into your first real apartment with friends feels a lot like playing “house”.  Except for the fact that the food isn’t plastic, the dishes actually have to be washed, and no one gets to be the dog. (Which, if we’re being honest, was the best part of the game.)

I’m nineteen now, which means I have officially survived my first year of being an “adult”, but for some reason I’ve never felt more like a terribly confused, little kid. Maybe this is because the last time I attempted to vacuum resulted in a glitter explosion in the living room. Or because I recently dyed all of my white sheets blue after overlooking a sneaky navy t-shirt in the washer. And, trust me, the list goes on.

And on.

And on. 

But, surprisingly,  I’m not actually upset about this.

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A Slight Dilemma Regarding Favorite Colors

In second grade, favorite colors were a very big deal. They were the start of all icebreakers. The beginning of friendships. The information that could make or break you.

I’m being slightly dramatic, but you get my point.

During my first day of class, my life changing greeting went something along the lines of, “Hi I’m Madelynne and my favorite colors are red, white, and blue!” But, unfortunately, to a room of very judgmental and close-minded seven year olds, having three favorite colors was not allowed…even if you were just trying to be patriotic.

So, of course, I did what any sensible second grader would do, and quickly combined all three colors together to create lavender. And from then on, my greeting became, “Hi I’m Madelynne and my favorite color is lavender!”

And that was that.

Lavender just became something that I associated with being Madelynne. And it wasn’t long until everyone else did too. My birthday cards became lavender, the walls of my room became lavender, and anything my mom picked out for me was lavender.

Everything that I owned had some sort of lavender aspect to it…except for things that I bought for myself. Because even though lavender is a lovely color, it wasn’t really my favorite anymore.

I began to notice other things.

I loved the calmness of blue and the things it reminded me of: the ocean, vast skies, bright eyes, rain drops, and song birds.

I loved the brightness of yellow and the things it made me feel: happiness, excitement, joy, and energy.

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Just Van Gogh With It

Last weekend, I took my very first trip to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and let me tell you, it was quite the experience. Tears were shed (mostly by me), odd looks were received (all by me), and inspiration had struck.

With wide doe eyes and a gaping black hole for a mouth, I cemented my feet down in front of every artwork for probably a bit longer than socially acceptable. But the transition from a page in my art history textbook to right in front of my face was too insane to grasp. Everything felt so tangible, so real. It was as if the artists were saying to me, “Hey look! All we had to work with was this surface and some colors and look what we made! It’s so easy and attainable, even you can do it!”. To which I mentally replied, “Who? Me?“. And they of course answered with a resounding, “Yes, you!“.

So with an ego boost due to Monet’s imaginary encouragement and thoughts swirling in colors that even Van Gogh would envy,  I went out in search of a canvas to knock out a masterpiece myself.

Because that’s an easy thing to do, right?

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Life’s What You Make It, So Let’s Not Make It Lame

Yes. The title of this blog post is partially influenced by Hannah Montana lyrics. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move on, shall we?

Okay, so last night I went to a Gwen Stefani concert and she totally killed it. Throughout all of the jumping, dancing, and running around stage, her vocals remained perfectly stellar.

And the fact that her costumes were decked out in plaid, sparkles, and glitter galore, just made the experience so much better.

She was amazing and it was incredibly fun.

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Now, long ago I decided to try this thing where I just don’t give a hoot what anyone thinks of me. I’ve learned to just embrace my very off key singing and take pride in my repertoire of awkward dance moves. So concerts are definitely my happy place, because everyone else is either singing off beat right along with you or they’re simply focusing and enjoying the music too. The whole crowd is screaming and singing and jumping around and we all just look so silly together and it’s wonderful.

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Searching for a Rainbow

Bad News speaks in a loud, blaring manner. It stands confidently on every street corner blasting a continuous stream of negativity through a large megaphone. If Bad News were a person, they would be obnoxious and bumbling with no sense of manners and a problematic lack of proper timing.

Unfortunately, due to their demanding presence, Bad News often blocks out Good News.

Good News stands off politely to the side just quietly trying to get a word in every now and then.

Because of their actual possession of manners and a quiet inside voice, we can sometimes feel as if Good News is absent. But don’t worry. Though Good News is sometimes overshadowed by Bad, it is quiet, yet persistent with its message. If you look hard enough, it is always there consistently speaking and softly shining.

So this is your reminder that Good is still out there. Don’t let the Bad News make you think otherwise.

You just need to find the rainbow inside of the storm.

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Anything, But Certainly NOT Everything

This past weekend I traded in the busy city life for a peaceful summer at the beach. My days have quickly gone from car horns and crowds of people to ocean waves and swarms of seagulls.

Though I find sunrises here especially beautiful and the air to be much sweeter, my brain has yet to fall into time with the peaceful lull of the tides. Instead, it’s been a bit of a jittery mess. Perhaps, I haven’t given it quite enough time to fully grasp the fact that I’m on vacation, but I’ve decided to blame it on the fact that I’m just experiencing my “Stages of Summer” process.

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Balancing Act

“Life is all about balance. Today I’ll eat this funnel cake, tomorrow I’ll eat a salad. See? Balance,” I say while eyeing a hot fudge sundae and fries.

So maybe that isn’t exactly how it should work, but my bad food decisions aside, I really do think that life is just one big balancing act.

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It’s kind of like constantly having to monitor a playground see-saw. If you add too much to one side, then it won’t be long before the other side is sent flying up into the air. Then after that, the rest is up to gravity to see how long it’ll take to crash and burn to the ground.  It’s a constant struggle of keeping both sides equal, so that no one flies up and no one falls down and everyone is happy.

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When Life Gives You Lemons…

I’ve always thought that if my life had a theme song, it would go something along the lines of, “just a mess in a dress doing my best”. Of course, Taylor Swift would sing the lead vocals and there would be an epic trumpet solo leading into a grand finale filled with confetti and extremely enthusiastic jazz hands. That would be ideal.

Unfortunately, real life doesn’t include perfectly timed musical soundtracks or flawless choreography, which is, honestly, a total bummer. However, it does include a lot of messes.

And a lot of lemons.

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Let’s Review Our First Grade Math

After eighteen years of living, I’m a bit surprised that I’ve only recently realized just how important the first grade lessons of addition and subtraction really are. Of course, I obviously use this math so much that it’s become second nature by now, but that’s just the thing. Since I use it all the time for money and measurements and all that, I don’t really think about it when I do. But it’s just finally dawned on me how handy these tools are when applied to real life (real life as in relationships, habits, etc.).

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