The Lifelong Search for Joy (Not Happiness)

Pic 16

For a lot of teenagers, there’s nothing they want more than a shiny new car for their 16th birthday. Or at least, a shiny new piece of plastic that allows them to legally drive. Me on the other hand? I wanted absolutely nothing to do with driving—I loved the company of my parents as chauffeurs, and I never felt embarrassed by their presence. Most of all, I feared the power and responsibility of maneuvering a very expensive toy on the roads (especially with all the inattentive drivers who spend more time looking at their phones than their rearview mirrors). One of the first times I drove with my mom on a permit to obtain the required hours, my left leg twitched uncontrollably—and a lot. It felt numb by the time I made it to my destination! That’s how scared I felt.

Continue reading

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Makeover

Pic 13

I’ve always loved the month of August for one reason: the allure of a back-to-school makeover. Whether on a show like “What Not to Wear” or YouTube videos of drastic bedroom redecorating, I enjoy seeing the magic of change and the fruit of forethought brought to fruition. There’s always something so refreshing about “reinventing” yourself or your look to start a new stage in your life (school year or otherwise). While I’ve never had a transformation quite as fantastic as Mia’s in The Princess Diaries, I do give myself a little makeover near the middle of each August not only to make myself feel the most beautiful and confident, but also to have something to look forward to when school may otherwise be…a dread. So without further ado, here awaits ­­­seven easy ideas for some well-deserved self-pampering. Continue reading

Picture This: The Power of Visualization

Pic 12

Back when I played soccer, my dad–the soccer connoisseur of my family–always told me to visualize on game day. He’d joke and facetiously say, “Be the ball,” like you see in movies, but his words also held some sincerity. He told me that if I pictured myself running off the ball, having a great first touch, and kicking with firm precision, then I would better be able to actually accomplish those goals in the rush of a game. So on early Saturday mornings, with puffy eyes and fresh dew coating the landscape like a blanket, my parents drove me to my soccer games as I dreamt of little black and white balls in the back seat. And I felt ridiculous doing it. I can’t say for certain whether visualization ever improved my skill in a game, but I do know it has found an unexpected yet welcome home in other aspects of my life—and it should work its way into yours, too. Continue reading