sometimes it’s hard

sometimes it’s hard to let others know what you’re feeling, because you feel the whole world probably has heard your resounding thoughts echoing, echoing, echoing about your skull. sometimes it’s hard to realize that not everyone prefers the internal dialogue of a good thought sequence, debating between person and rational thoughts. sometimes it’s hard to let others understand that no, you’re not shutting them out; that’s just how you process what’s going on around you. sometimes it’s hard to verbalize your thoughts because your brain takes a little longer to muddle through your fears and emotions, leaving you confused until you can process your consciousness. sometimes it’s hard to say, “i need to withdraw for a while to access my mind.”

But what is an introvert…really?

It’s died down a bit lately (or maybe that’s because I’ve cleaned up my social media sites to reflect the posts I want to see…), but the buzzword lately seems to be “introvert” and listing reasons why you’re an introvert, qualities of an introvert, ways you can make your friends understand the daily trials of being an introvert… you catch my drift. Some weeks ago, I saw a list that caught my eye, though: “# signs you’re an outgoing introvert.” I read the list (guilty!) and realized, hey, that’s me.

The confusion I felt with being an outgoing person, yet introverted, remained: don’t outgoing people crave social interactions all the time? And aren’t introverted people constantly seeking solitude?

Today, I listened to a really interesting podcast about defining introversion and extraversion, saying that introversion is when a person “re-charges” their energy by being alone, and extroverted people “re-charge” by being around others. The speaker went on to say that outgoing people enjoy social interactions and interact with others comfortably, while shyness is a term we associate with being socially awkward.

I really enjoyed the distinction in which the speaker made, saying that shyness is somewhat of a crutch for adults. Sure, you can be shy, but you have to interact with people. That’s how the world works. You can teach yourself confidence and how to interact more fluidly, and you might never overcome those feelings of shyness, but you can try to work through them to be a better social partner.

If you are interested in listening to the podcast episode, you can download it here.

Raise the volume. Live the legend.

Welp, it’s been the better part of 6 months since I’ve drudged through the blogging trenches, and what better time to dust off the keyboard than when I got my YSL VoxBox?

If you’re new to the term, a VoxBox is an Influenster’s coveted prize. If you’re lucky, and active on the site, you get to claim free goodies in exchange for your social media help to advertise. (I’m in!) I joined a while ago, and have loved most every product in my handful of VoxBoxes. What’s not to love, when the samples are catered to your wants and needs?

This round, I got lucky. Influenster sent me the YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils mascara. And for those of you who don’t speak French, it’s just a classy way of saying falsies.

I loved sampling this mascara. My lashes are very short and straight, and it’s always been a task for me to find a quality mascara to do the trick. I am a fan of “stacking” (Shout out to my baby sis, the makeup guru, for adding this to my vocabulary 😉 ) my mascaras, and I usually need to use 2 or more types of mascara to get the look I want. With this product, though, I didn’t have to do that. It’s a thicker formula than some of the others I use, which was nice, too. I have been pairing it with an eyeliner I received from Influenster, and I’m loving the combo. I know I’ll be buying this mascara again when my sample runs out.

Disclaimer: Influenster provided me with a copy of these products for review. No other compensation was provided. The opinions expressed are solely mine.

Falling apart

Breaking up is hard to do.

No kidding. Especially in a long-term relationship. Even more so in an long-distance relationship. You know how tough it is to make things work with 800+ miles working against you? Pretty damn hard.

I think breaking up gets a bad wrap. Yes, of course it sucks, but things fall apart all the time. You can choose to be the parallel lines that glide alongside one another indefinitely, but never intersect, or you can choose perpendicular lines, which come to a point, then diverges into their separate ways. But at least they meet.

I’m not going to become an overnight romantic and spew words of strength and wisdom. This sucks. I do, however, know that we could have held on to the threadbare fabric of our relationship, or we can attempt to end on a positive, civil air that suggests maturity and adulthood.

I think maturity lies in knowing the right time to toss what’s left of the positives into your memory bank, attempt to forget the rest, and try to salvage your emotions. Maturity is knowing that you’re going to be okay, and living with that. Waking up and repeating the mantra, “I am smart. I am independent. I am okay.” And maybe I don’t really need to chant it, because I have been, mentally. I moved cross-country with little more than a Master’s degree, hand-me-down furniture, and my faith. That’s courage.

And you know what? I’m [going to be] okay.

3 Things I Love & 3 Things I Less Than Love About Florida

So, as of today, I have officially been living in Florida for 6 months. Southern living is a far cry from my native Pittsburgh culture, but I’m starting to adapt, n’at.

I’ve been thinking a lot about where I want to live after this coming school year ends in the fall (right about June 2015). My contract with my company is up when the school year ends, and I desperately miss the north. I don’t want to completely dismiss the south, because I would love to live in North Carolina/Virginia/Tennessee area, too. I just think Florida is a little too far of a migration for this snow bunny.

My love of mental, handwritten, typed, and really every kind of list hasn’t escaped my assessment of Florida. You even get 2 lists to read!!! because I love my pros and cons that much:

Pro: Floridians are an active bunch of folks.

I’m currently living about 2 minutes (by car) outside of downtown Jacksonville in a historic “Shadyside-esque” part of the city. I love it. My apartment building was built in 1929, and has all wooden flooring and tons of charm. Being female, this is pretty much the sole reason I chose to live here. That, and I wanted a centrally-located apartment… No matter the temperature or precipitation, I never leave the house without seeing at least 5 dog walkers, 10 bicylists, and 3 runners. And don’t even get me started on the walkers. If I want to go to the library? I bike. Grocery store? Bike. Exercise? Run down along the river…or bike. And you know what? I have yet to see any obese Floridians. Boom.

Pro: I can garden year-round.

I started my veggies and herbs outside this year in February. FEBRUARY. Can’t even begin to tell you how happy and green this made my thumb.

Pro: You can get anywhere in Jacksonville in 30 minutes (or less).

First thing I was told when I moved down here, and shockingly true. This may be due to the fact I picked one of the most central areas to live, but I was surprised. Even with traffic! Jacksonville is extremely navigable.

Con: Florida is HOT.

You’re probably thinking, DUH, MEGHAN. But in my defense, when I moved down, the weather was a beautifully temperate 70-80 range. Cold nights dropped to maybe 40. I was honestly in heaven. I could do this kind of weather all the time! Then summer hit me like the Raging Rapids if each and every one of those waterfalls doused you in your sweat. No joke. If I’m out and about, I retreat into air conditioned stores, or I go someplace I know the wind is ever-present. If I’m at home, I try to keep the A/C to a minimum, but see con #2…

Con: Creepy-crawlies.

When I found out that Florida is home to something called the palmetto bug, I panicked. Why would anyone in their right might choose a residence in the same locale as these giants?! Then, I was told not to worry, and that a decent landlord will take care of keeping them at bay. Still slightly paranoid, I was a little more okay with this.

In July, I had been trying to keep energy bills/costs down, due to my unpaid summer months (a negative of working in the schools) and kept the A/C to a bare minimum. If I was literally sitting doing nothing, bathing in my sweat, it was fine. I’m alone sitting around reading/crocheting/movie-watching most days anyways.

One day, while I was putting away my laundry from the drying racks, I noticed a huge, belly-up pest underneath the metal frame and screamed into my empty apartment. Next step? Text everyone I know who lives in the south to identify this thing. And so, let it be known: not only are palmetto bugs inevitable, so are cockroaches. Instant panic. But I’m clean! But I don’t leave food uncovered or laying around! But I live in a nice part of town! These things don’t care. I contacted my landlord who literally laughed at me and said in her southern drawl, Oh, hun, you are definitely not from the south. Those things are harmless! Just ugly. They love the heat. So, you mean to tell me that these beasts are common? A/C has been permanently running ever since. Get me the hell out of here.

Con: Florida is flat.

There are no hills whatsoever in this sunny state. I kid you not, the biggest hill is on a bridge. So it’s not a hill. Gimme somma dat Canton Avenue, yinz guys. Biking gets super boring when you’re cruising through the flatlands.

All in all, I guess Florida isn’t the worst locale, but I don’t love it. I’m glad I got to experience the culture down here, but I’m already planning my northern move. North Carolina? Tennessee? DC? Maryland? Virginia? Delaware? Any recommendations??

Thoughts on finality.

It’s true: when you’re young everything feels like the end of the world. Nothing rings truer than on vacation. This year’s trip to Cape May may be the first vacation I’ve ever taken where I don’t feel sad upon leaving. I know this isn’t the final say in all future vacations, and I know this won’t be the last time I go to the beach, so I can honestly say I don’t feel upset leaving.

I had a blast, but I think everything has more of a feeling of finality when you have less experience to back it up. Finishing high school, each individual year of college, and even the first few semesters of graduate school (at my school, there were graduates every semester, including the summer) were very sentimental for me. Finishing graduate school and the first year in my big girl SLP shoes? Not as much.

I did feel a pang of completion, but it wasn’t such like in years past. I guess it’s kind of like this:

1995, when you finish kindergarten, you have no idea.

2004, when you finish eighth grade, you still are just nervous to be the bottom of the totem pole next year, and don’t truly realize you’re over halfway there.

2008, when you get that high school diploma, life is starting for you. For about 10% of those people walking across that stage, this will be the last time you see them. You’ll hear their names again when their untimely deaths are announced.

2012, when you graduate college, you’ll only know about 10% of the names called. It won’t be as tearful as the high school graduation, because you’ll assume you’ll see your close friends again. Also, you’re going to graduate school in another three months, so you’re not even finished.

2013 (December), you finish graduate school. You’re done with the comps. You passed. You busted your tailbone day and night, barely slept, and lived off of espresso. You don’t even attend your graduation. You only want to get the eff out.

2014, you have completed 4 months of your Clinical Fellowship year. The past year, you’ve finished your last graduate school class, completed your crazy on-campus practicums while working a full-time 40 hour Graduate Assistantship, completed externships while working two jobs/studying for your comprehensive exam/applying for every job imaginable/prepping to move cross-country, and then got a job and moved cross-country and were officially a temporarily licensed SLP.


I used to get postpartum-vacation-depression, but after all that 2014 has already brought, I needed a getaway. But “parting is such sweet sorrow”? Not quite. I am ready to get back to the busy life. Hashtag can’t stop won’t stop. 😉

My thoughts on the auto train

Have you ever thought, “man the commute from Jacksonville, FL to Pittsburgh, PA is just too darn long for a single driver”! No? Maybe that’s because unlike me, you don’t live in Jacksonville! 😉 I have been wanting to escape the Florida heat for some time now (read: since May), but didn’t want to make the hike drive. 14 hours in the car alone? No, thank you!

Some genius I know (I apologize if you’re the one, but I simply can’t remember who) suggested I travel via the auto train. Yes, that’s a thing!

Basically, I drove 2 hours south to Orlando through the hurricane rains, and waited in line for about 2 hours, then waited in the train station for about another hour and a half all so I could sit on a train for 18 hours with my car. (No, I was not sitting IN my car for those 18 hours…) It’s a pretty sweet deal if you have to trek between DC and Orlando, though! The train was a pretty nice set-up, with ample leg room and reclining seats. Hoo-ah! Sounds like I’m a seasoned traveler, right? Ha.

The auto train serves dinner and a continental breakfast, which undoubtedly busted the whole/natural foods approach I’ve been eating as of late, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. The only real struggle was sleeping, but not for the reasons you’d think. Things I’d do differently next time:

1. Bring a neck pillow & blanket.

2. Bring a change of shoes (not flats).

3. Be prepared to jolt awake at any subtle stopping of the train. Nice to know my vestibular system is 100% functional, though. Helloooo, 1:30am.

Oh, and all the free coffee you can dream of!!! Luckily, this gal was seated right next to the lounge car where the machine was. Pretty sure I had 6 cups over those 18 hours? And only 1 decaf. 😉


All in all, it’s worth the money. Getting off the train to a carful of luggage and driving right off the lot? So worth it when you’re an impatient traveler such as myself. And the views? Gorgeous. ❤