How to Be Successful

Once I hit two million views on this post, I answer a phone call from an unknown number for the first time ever and it’s Savannah Guthrie (who is definitely responsible for contacting her interviewees for the Today show). Naturally, I prove equally charismatic in person as I am in writing during my 7:10 AM spot when I am “surprised” with a book deal. I fly back to Wisconsin, spend the rest of my days reading in my overstuffed chair and writing at my vintage desk from West Elm, wearing some on-trend, dorky glasses.

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ABC’s of Gratitude

A few reoccurring themes in conversations and events over the past two weeks have led me to the Gratitude Challenge, On Day Two, the task is to “Use the alphabet as a fun and quick format for making a list of things for which you feel grateful. Share this list with your social network through email or a blog post.” Hope you enjoy the list as much as I enjoyed creating it.

A, E because he was the first thought that popped into my head for “A” even though he should probably go under “E”.

Being able to walk, run and dance without restriction or pain.

Catching someone singing in their car.

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2013 In Review

According to the stats helper monkeys who prepared this 2013 annual report for Miss Early Bird, the year could be summarized by family, living alone while dreaming of being on the Bachelor and zits. According to what actually happened this year, this summary seems rather depressing so I will make a few clarifications here. In true extended-family-style, we sang & cried our way through a funeral and did not let high-altitude inhibit some serious dancing (and maybe a little more crying) at a wedding. The Love of My Life, Mack and Me make up our own little family now and we will “make it official” in 2014. I also started my own business which has become less about zits and more about personal growth and empowering others.

There are people who literally stood beside me during a tough moment this year. And there are people who witnessed and contributed to a tiny moment of triumph. Often, these moments happened at the same time because of your support. Thank you.

#ThrowbackThursday: Simplicity

After graduating college, I applied for a volunteer position in Colorado. I wrote the following essay as part of the application process. I did not follow through with the program. I did longwindedly describe my concept of simplicity.

As I wrote my responses, the answers to questions one and two began to merge into one another. I have found that my motivation for applying & my definition of simplicity are intertwined, as will be the following essay.

I once read that “Your whole life has been a journey, leading to this exact moment…” At the time that I read it, I thought this was a beautiful and comforting phrase. Now, I know it to be true. I will attempt to explain how recent events have aligned to reach this moment…

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An Ideal Day

I often imagine a day during which I can leisurely pursue my interests, without too many obligations and with time to spare. Don’t you? I’m working towards having more of these days and, once again, will rely on my faithful blog readers to hold me accountable. If you are short on time today, the list below can be summarized into one sentence: Wake up and do whateva I want. (Author’s Note: I am an English major. Whatever is spelled as “whateva” for the sake of emphasis.)

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#Throwback Thursday: Life-Altering Moment

This is the essay I included with my college application. I’ve since traded Dawson’s Creek for Sex and the City and experienced less fear and more excitement within other life-altering moments.

I am an avid fan of Dawson’s Creek. One hour a week is devoted to watching the poorly acted and overly dramatic teenage soap opera. I am painfully aware of how unrealistic the show is — due to the gratuitous vocabulary in conversations between high school students and the all too abundant one-liners followed by graceful tears or forced laughter. Despite my avarice for Dawson Leery’s entire character and my giggles when one of the male characters begins to cry, I did shed my own tears when the series ended. My unconditional love for the show was inspired by the contemplation of my high school experience. As I recall the trials and tribulations of high school, I can readily identify with many situations in each Dawson’s Creek episode. Some of the questions that the characters ask themselves and each other force me to think long and hard. This time it was Dawson who surprised me into thoroughly thinking about a vague and somewhat generic question. He asked Joey, “What was your one most life-altering moment?” I stared at the screen with wide eyes, not even listening to her response, but trying to come up with my own.

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Why I Love Zits

I planned to write an “I Have Zits” post, which would explain that I was well aware of the red splotches across my cheeks and bumps along my jaw line, but did not minimize their appearance for fear that liquid foundation was their meal of choice. A blue moon prevented the publishing of said post and brought me to a point where I could write one called “My Zits Are Gone, Yay!” Instead, I cleverly titled this post as is because you looked at the title and thought, Uhhh, who loves Zits? I do!

Apparently, Zits love me back since they have hung out on my face since puberty. The razors, the bras and the secret purse compartments indicated womanhood while my face conveyed more of an embarrassed thirteen-year-old boy sort of vibe.

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Leave Me Alone

Mild paranoia leading to thoughts of the Craigslist killer has prevented me from blogging about the uneasiness of living by myself. When the Love of My Life moved in, the tightness in my chest lifted and I was able to take an audible, relieving breath.

Although I try not to wake him up when my alarm sounds, my feet hit the carpet, the floor groans and he shifts in his sleep. The creaky stairs and sticky doors wake him up, lead him to the culprit (me) and a premature birthday surprise. These charms of an old home get even more fabulous when I am in a fight with him. The plaster walls block zero sound. How can I effectively sit in another room and pout when I can hear him sighing or clicking his Xbox controller? The sounds are amplified by how much I dislike him at the moment.

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Failing in Front of You

When I finished reading Penelope Trunk’s Some Advice on Taking Advice, I added “Failing in Front of You” to my list of post ideas. After you have dutifully read Penelope’s post, you can continue reading below.

Venture into the neatly organized yet chock-full, moving truck style mind of Miss Early Bird—if you dare—and you will find coulda-woulda-shouldas surfing brain waves back to my psyche, proclaiming, “You failed today. Yesterday too.” Continue reading

Everything Changes, Even the Catholic Church

I went to church at least once a week since the day of my conception through my nineteenth year of life. Although I have no memory of originally hearing or saying “and also with you”, the response became a reflex.  If you plopped me in a pew while I was in a coma, the priest could give his cue and “and also with you” would pass my lips before my next belabored, artificial breathe.

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