2018, notes

i’m the queen of france

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hey there good lookin’

You may be saying to yourself, “wow! it has been some time! does she own a calendar? watch? any outlet for time and organization? who is she?” and you would be correct, my friends. It has been some time.

These last eight weeks I’ve been manifesting in the French Riviera: laying on the beach, drinking very cheap rosé and eating expensive ravioli that I simply do not have the funds for (hence the cheap wine: it’s called balance). This lifestyle has been so hard to become accustomed to (she makes jokes too!).

On a real note, I’ve been studying abroad in Cannes, France for the past two months, and between classes, beach trips, weekend excursions, and being on island time pretty much all the time, I’d like to believe that I’ve grown a lot as a person. These experiences, people, conversations and occasional late night crêpe runs have vastly changed my perspective on a lot. Here’s where I cut myself off because I’m not trying to be the basic girl who goes to study abroad for one summer and thinks that she’s suddenly Ghandi. I know I’m not an intellectual now.

All in all, I’m thankful for this experience.

Now that you know a bit about my hiatus, thanks for still stickin’ around,

RR

GB

 

 

 

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2018, notes

slowest reader award

About a year ago after finishing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s honest yet loving novel, “Americanah,” I was on a mission to find a like-minded author whose work could illustrate a part of America that I was keen on better understanding: immigration. I found said-detail in Imbolo Mbue’s “Behold The Dreamers,” which takes place in early the 2000s and New York City.

A disclaimer that I find necessary to add, before I state my opinion and summary of the book, is that with this novel I found a problem that too often I put it down, sometimes for weeks or months at a time. Although I was heavily interested in the story, I neglected to afford the time for it. Alas, a year has gone by, and today I finished it. I felt like that was important to admit. Now you’re up to speed.

The story takes you through the perspective of its two main characters, Jende and Neni, husband and wife, as they live through a chain of events. By doing so with each chapter, it creates a personal voice for the two. They are not just names that help keep the story organized, but rather they are people whom readers can recognize just by flow of verbiage. (I know that I may seem ramble-y when talking about this aspect of the novel, but throughout my reading career I’ve grown a specific liking to authors that use this device to their advantage. Emma Straub does a great job at personalizing her characters with this system, and Adichie used it as well in “Americanah.”)

Aside from an analysis on the quality of writing and character building, I also enjoyed it for its honest telling of a reality that many suffer as immigrants in our country. There is the classic representation of America being a symbol for freedom and opportunity, while also present is the harsh truth that the grass may just seem greener on the other side.

I cannot put to words the highlights of the story without doing it an injustice, plus it took me a scattered year of corner folding to finally complete it. All that I can say is my own opinion, which is that it truly enlightened me on a part of America I’ve never been involved with or even fully aware of its realities. It awakened the same spirit that was brought about from “Americanah.” And while I feel naïve and ignorant for my previous neglect of America’s insufficient immigration system, I also feel empowered to do what I can with this information and opportunity. With that being said, I trust that you’ll read it yourself, and maybe you’ll find a new understanding for the Dreamers as well.

Thanks for reading,

RR

GB

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2018, notes

what’s it like dating yourself in 2018? — a piece on self love.

Good evening friends!

Valentine’s day was yesterday, and I wanted to make a little spiel on self-love in the simplest ways. Here are some things that I think we all appreciate but don’t actually give credit to for making us happy.

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You want to go see that new movie with someone special? it’s called an over-sized sweatshirt and your four best friends. Lady Bird was so much better with your girls anyways.IMG_1493

Waking up and wanting to go get a bagel with someone so you go get that bagel, come home, get back in bed and turn on New Girl.

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Everyday is an anniversary– that leopard print coat you wanted? it’s yours. Most online stores don’t even up-charge for gift wrapping, and that means you buy all those things you’ve saved on your wish list, ship ’em as a gift, and happy anniversary to you. “oh I shouldn’t have!”

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Concerts are so much better when you’re not trying to vibe with the music while feeling conflicted as to whether or not nodding your head looks like you don’t know every word of each song. Now, you can get your freak on and whip out all your middle school dance moves because chances are you’re wearing comfortable sneakers and didn’t even do your hair for the night.

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Going to sleep at a reasonable hour not wondering where your goodnight text is because your dad already texted you two hours ago.

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You feel empowered to never be tethered to someone because it’s 2018 and Oprah’s Golden Globe’s speech is still the background on your phone.

Sorry if this was stupid or cheesy, but I think that self-love is pretty underrated, and being aware that you shouldn’t define yourself by your relationship status needs to be the goal of 2018.

Let’s celebrate ourselves!

–RR

GB

 

 

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notes

cheers to friday and pizza rolls

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side note: my 9:40 am class was canceled, work was pushed back an hour, and I’m ignoring all my other responsibilities to lay in bed with pizza rolls and That 70’s Show. That’s all you need to know, you may proceed.

Remember that time I featured a little doodle made by my adolescent sister? Ya well, I got lucky again and had her sketch another one, which ended up being an absolute master piece that made me lose my ish. She’s amazing. It hurts. Ok.

On another note, I finally got around to watching the beautiful film, Lady Bird.

You laugh. You cry. You experience every emotion on such relatable terms with the protagonist, who makes you feel like pink hair is for everyone and the early 2000’s need to make a comeback (if it hasn’t already? I can’t keep up.)

I could write an entire post trying to elaborate on its grandeur and authenticity, but I don’t think my words would do her/it/Greta Gerwig justice– so just take my word for it and go see it. You will not regret it, I promise.

–RR

GB

It would also be pretty cool, if you checked out my little sister’s art account on instagram @emily_rae_art!

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Three Really Cool Things!

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My friend introduced me to this band, CLUBZ. The two creators’ aim was to revive the Hispanic music industry with 80’s and 90’s vibes, and I’m pretty much all about it. It’s pretty contagious.

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Really trying to come up with reasons I do not need this tee, but I have yet to find one convincing enough.

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Remember my blog post about the french and how awesome they are? Ya well my dream of being one is kinda coming true this summer! I’m studying abroad for eight whole weeks in the south of France! so many baguettes, so many mispronunciations, but so much fun.

–RR

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my abandoned book collection

Today’s post comes to you from a very honest and intentional place in me.

I want to address the books I’ve purchased, began reading, and left to collect dust on my bookshelf. These books are all written by fine authors, and some are books I still have full intent on reading, and for whatever reason regretfully I have yet to do so.

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  • Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
  • The Nest By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  • All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
  • How To Ruin Everything: Essays by George Watsky
  • The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
  • Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell

This past summer, when I blogged about the books I wanted to read before school started again, I actually read majority of the books on my list. I figured by calling myself out on ditching the present thought of each book, I will reintroduce myself to them and maybe actually finish some this time.

All of these books were recommended to me from trusted opinions, and I had high intentions of finishing each, but as you know life gets in the way and after months go by my interest is gone.

So there you have it. My abandoned collection of books and stories that I still hope to one day rekindle my fascination for. Crossing my fingers that I’ll pick up one of these again and read it in full. If I do, it will probably end up being reviewing it on here, so I guess you’ll be a witness to my success or failure either way.

As always, thanks for reading!

RR

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“writing coaches”

You probably thought I quit on my 2018 goal, didn’t you?

I thought coming up with topics to write about would be easier on the spot, but this is a learning process and I’m nowhere near my creative spark. Alas, here we are though!

On this blog, I promised to talk about one thing and that is creators and creatives. I usually default to talking about subjective inspiration from musicians, artists, and quotes, but I think it’s interesting to look at the actual people who inspire me to do what I’m doing: write. By this I mean the literal writers, public figures, etc. whose work and talents I’ve seen and am motivated to imitate.

  1. Emma Straub. I rank her #1 because she’s a phenomenal writer and my favorite personality to follow on Instagram. This past summer I had a fan girl moment at her bookstore in Brooklyn when I mistook her husband for an average employee and asked him to do an interview with me for my journalism class. As soon as I heard his name my jaw dropped and my exact words were, “oh my god you’re married to Emma Straub. I love her.” I proceeded with the interview, cried a few tears on the inside, and ended up getting my book signed by her without actually meeting her. I own all four of her novels, and two copies of Modern Lovers. I also have the french edition of Modern Lovers shipping to my apartment because I’m that girl who needs everything with Emma Straub’s name on it in my possession. I’ve ended up talking more about my obsession with her than I actually have about her writing and why it inspires me, but she’s a unique person and I hope one day to be her or at least just be her friend. yeah let’s start with that first actually.
  2. Carrie Bradshaw. Part of me cringes at this one because of how cliché and expected it is, but if I’m being honest with myself the first time I ever decided that I wanted to write for a fashion magazine was in the eighth grade after watching an episode of Sex and the City and seeing her shoe collection. I thought to myself, “Yeah I’m a pretty decent writer and it seems like Bradshaw’s got a pretty snazzy lifestyle in New York. I’ll be a journalist.” Shows you how little I knew at the age of 13. Nonetheless, her character’s bold personality and lifestyle seemed exciting, and I knew that writing was something I liked so it made sense to go after the same dreams–minus the promiscuity. It’s cheesy, and I’m embarrassed to look up to a fictional character as my inspiration, but it is what it is.
  3. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her novel, Americanah, changed my perspective my country and myself. Her writing introduced me to like-minded authors and stories, which have all sparked a new interest for discussing the problems of America that we so often ignore. Her work is based on topics and interests that I hope to one day have a large enough voice to discuss.

So there you have it, my short and sweet list of the three women who have set the bar high for my dream of being a writer. You could say they are my “writing coaches,” yes that’s fair. Here’s to the anticipation of watching my list grow!

Thanks for reading,

RR

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