What I've Been Loving

Hey y'all! Happy Thursday! Since I didn't share a January favorites post last month, I didn't get a chance to share with y'all everything that I have been loving, and lately it's been a lot. I watched a ton of TV when I was sick with the flu last month, and I've been listening to a ton of music while I have been working on homework and blog posts. I defintely wanted to share everything that I have loved lately because it's too much to keep to myself.

The Young Pope | If you follow me on Twitter, you would 100% know that I am obsessed with this show. It so weird. I can never tell if I love it or hate it, but I know I want to keep watching it. I am way behind on it because it's definitely not something you can watch while working on something else, but I am hoping I can catch up when I find a free weekend. It's on HBO, which I know not everyone has, but Alabama gives students a subscription, so check to see if your college does the same thing.

Victoria | Queen Victoria has been one of my favorite historical figures since I was a sophomore in high school, and this PBS Masterpiece series was made for me. Jenna Coleman plays Queen Victoria, and I love her so much. I cried when she left Doctor Who. The show is actually based around Victoria's journals, so it's pretty accurate. Also if you're into great love stories, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's relationship is definitely for you. (Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes are dating in real life!)

The People v. OJ Simpson | The OJ trial is one of those things I am weirdly obsessed with, and this American Crime series is so good. It's definitely different because it's not a true documentary. I think that makes it more interesting because you see how everything unfolds rather than being told. Plus it answers a lot of questions I have about the trial, especially involving the race relations in LA during the time. If you're also into this case, I also recommend OJ: Made in America, which is a ESPN documentary.

Coloring Book | I've never really listened to Chance the Rapper's album all the way through, but I have listened to a couple songs here and there, but after the Grammy's I figured I needed to listen to the whole album. I think I am also one of the last people to listen to Coloring Book, but if you're like me and haven't listened to the whole album, just go do it. It's so good.

Hozier | I have defintely said this before, but I'll say it again: I am always behind on stuff. I am very rarely ahead of the curve on something related to pop culture. Randomly one day I started listening to Hozier's self-titled album, and I love it. Of course I have listened to the more popular songs, but I hadn't just listened to the album straight through. There was a day where I just listened to "Jackie and Wilson" over and over again.

La La Land Soundtrack | I saw this movie with Emma last month when we were bored one weekend, and it was so good. I will occasionally listen to the soundtrack when I want to listening to something a little more relaxing. It's such a beautiful soundtrack, and Ryan Gosling is the definitely the definition of the heart eye emoji.

xx, jKm


19 Lessons for Year 19

Last year after my birthday, I wrote about 18 things I had learned in 18 years. This year I wanted to write about 19 lessons I've learned in the last year. Obviously some are going to be more serious than others, but this past year has been absolutely crazy in the best and worst of ways. I just can't believe how much has changed since my 18th birthday, and I've definitely learned a lot in my 19th year. 

My parents and sister came to visit me for my birthday/the Kentucky v. Alabama basketball game.
  1. At some point you will stop getting everything you want.
  2. Usually this is for the best even if you don't realize it at first.
  3. Boys are still dumb in college. Don't let anything make you think otherwise.
  4. Sometimes all you really need is to call your mom at 3 in the morning.
  5. You don't have to be friends with people you don't want to be friends with.
  6. There's literally no such thing as too many comfort color t-shirts.
  7. Even when you agree with Stephen A. Smith, he will still sound like he's yelling at you.
  8. Find friends who hate the same things you do.
  9. Even if you don't like the taste of coffee, you will learn to like it.
  10. Do the things you love even if you have to do them by yourself.
  11. Podcasts are great, and more people should listen to them.
  12. "Miracle" will always make me cry, especially during exam week.
  13. Sometimes you won't understand why something didn't work out. It's okay to let it go.
  14. Nothing is quite the same as your local Target and Waffle House.
  15. Never underestimate the power of a shower and a nap.
  16. The older you get the more you will realize you have no idea what you're doing.
  17. Find what you love and do it. Remember why you love it. Don't let everything else overshadow what you love.
  18. One day you will no longer be able to eat as much cheese as you want to.
  19. Your biggest competition and critic will always be yourself. Remember to give yourself some slack one and a while. 
xx, jKm


A World Without Sports

In honor of Valentine's Day, here's a love letter to my one true love: sports.

On my bulletin board at school, the first thing I pinned up was a Sports Illustrated Point After article. "A World Without Mookies." When I first picked up the issue, the title caught my eye because I love the Boston Red Sox and Mookie Betts is one of my favorite players. Then I read the piece by Steve Rushin, and it stuck with me. I think about this piece a lot because a lot of my life is dedicated to sports. I stare at every time I sit at my desk, and I read certain parts over and over again.
"Without sports, we live in a joyless, Gronk-less, Fosbury Flop-free world. It's Indianapolis without the 500, Manchester without the United. Life is a lot drearier. And 'Do you believe in miracles?' is no longer a rhetorical question." 
That's the last paragraph, and I think about those last words a lot. Life is a lot drearier, writes Rushin. And my life certainly would be a lot drearier. I mean, I owe just the sport of baseball a lot to who I am as a person.  So here's my life without sports:

I never would have done anything once I had to stop dancing. I would have become one of those faceless people in a crowd without anything defining them. I would have been most of my life studying in high school, and I certainly wouldn't have had as many friends. There would be no Friday night games and certainly no Tuesday afternoon practices. My life would have never been ruled by whether or not there was a varsity football game that week, and I never would have jumped for joy at the thought of never having to work another freshman game on Thursday again. I would never know what it feels like to stand on the sideline, running back and forth between the offensive line players and trying to convince someone that yes, he should probably drink water right now considering the heat index is over 100.

Without sports, I never would have joined newspaper because I would never had had an interest in writing about anything. I never would have met one of my best friends and first mentors. I never would have had the chance to write outside of school and actually have work published. I would never have spent every single week taking pictures and going to games. My hard drives would be a little less cluttered, and someone else probably would have learned to how use a camera because I wouldn't have been hoarding one for three years.

I probably still wouldn't know what I want to do with my life. I would be an undeclared freshman without a clue in the world about what she wanted to study. The University of Alabama would never have been on my radar; it would only be known as that school in the next state over. I wouldn't have gone here, and I would certainly would never have tried to convince my parents to name our dog Saban or Bear. (We still named him after a sports figure) I have no idea where I would be going to school right now. Maybe UGA? But who cares? Sports don't matter anyway.

My relationship with my dad would be incredibly different. I am not even sure what we would talk about. I never would have gotten stuck in an airport for 10 hours trying to visit him to go to a baseball game. Summers spent at Turner Field would be nonexistent, and there would be no plan to go to Florida for spring break to watch spring training. Walks to the bus stop as a kid are quiet, and car rides would be spent in silence without Greeny and Golic in the background.

March would just be another month in my household, and the first weekend in April would mean nothing. October would no longer contain a sense of magic in the air, and the third weekend in October is just another boring weekend. There are no more playoff heroes, and the madness is gone because you've never had to throw away a busted bracket. Cinderella is only ever used to describe the princess. There has never been "Warriors blew a 3-1 lead" joke made, and in return I have never made the "Yankees blew a 3-0 lead" joke. Thinking about "One Shining Moment" doesn't make me cry because it's never been written.

So what my life be like without sports? That's all the long answer, but the simple answer is it wouldn't be my life. Obviously it's hard to think about exactly where I would because like I said so much of my life has been dedicated to sports. Without sports, everything changes for me.

xx, jKm


Nineteen Years + Growing Up

(Happy late post!) On Saturday, I celebrated my 19th birthday, which sounds weird to me. I never thought 19 would be an important birthday to me, but once I moved to Alabama, it actually became a huge birthday. In Alabama you aren't an "adult" until you are 19, which means I haven't been able to buy over-the-counter medicine, go to the doctor by myself without need my parents information, or go to bars (only important for date parties).

My birthday is always a weird thing to me. For the longest time, I was obsessed with my birthday because it is what helped me get through winter and seasonal depression, but this year, just like Christmas, my birthday came and went without too much fanfare. My parents and sister came for the Kentucky v. Alabama game, and afterwards we got a late lunch/early dinner. And that was that. Between Christmas and my birthday, I think I've realized that growing up in college is weird at least for the first year. It's really easy to get wrapped up in homework and tests and the future that I forget what else is happening even when it's super exciting. Normally the month before my birthday drags on, and I am counting down the days until the day comes, but I almost forgot about it. I guess this is what being an adult is like.

Here's hoping I don't forget about my Spring Break trip. 
xx, jKm


February Motto

Today is the first Monday of February, and I am ready to get stuff done this month. I was talking with my roommates this weekend, and we all agreed that having a positive mentality is half the battle in getting everything done. During January I didn't really have that upbeat, positive, go-after-it attitude until it was a little too late for some things, but my goal for February is to make sure I am always looking forward to something and working toward something. I stayed pretty stagnant during January, but I want to make sure February is a lot about growth, and it all starts with my attitude toward growth and life.

xx, jKm


January Reflections

January was a weird month. Normally at the end of the month/beginning of the month, I talk about what all I loved during that last month, but I feel like January deserved something different. This is going to get somewhat, vaguely political, so if you don't want that, I just suggest clicking out now (or I don't know, read a reliable newspaper or something.).

This was a really long month, and it was pretty stressful. I moved back to college, started new classes, and got sick all within three weeks. In the midst of all this personal junk, some pretty bad (re: terrible) stuff happened in the world, and honestly, I felt pretty defeated. My anxiety was getting worse; I got lost in my classes because of the heightened anxiety, and then I got the flu. All I wanted to do was go back home to Georgia and sleep for the next week (or four years), but that wasn't really an option. I needed to go to class because we all love those attendance policies... *eye roll*

After a week of dragging myself to all my classes despite feeling like death, waiting with bated breath to hear what new crazy executive order has been signed, and then watching Hulu all weekend to recover, I went to class on this last Monday feeling physically fine except for a cough but mentally exhausted. I didn't have a whole lot of drive to get me through doing homework and blogging and studying. I have also been questioning what I was doing for a really long time, and I just didn't feel inspired to keep going and trying.

As y'all probably know, I am a public relations major, and I've known that's what I have wanted to major in since I was a freshman in high school. However, lately I wasn't sure if it is what I wanted to do anymore. We've been talking about working at a PR firm or in a PR department in my intro level class, and that's not what I want to do when I am older. I started to forget why I was studying what I was studying because I felt like I was stuck between two options I didn't want. 

Then on Monday night I went to our Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) meeting where there was a panel of people working in different aspects of PR. Not one of them worked for a firm or a major corporation. One worked for a pretty big restaurant in Tuscaloosa. Two worked for the city of Tuscaloosa. One worked for the SEC Network.  I remembered why I picked PR over other communications majors: I can do whatever I want. PR is an incredibly broad field, and I am not stuck working in only the spheres my textbook talks about. I can basically work in whatever aspect that I want to, and I was creating limitations where there weren't any. I left the meeting feeling more inspired than I had in over three weeks.

The meeting also confirmed something that I had been mulling over in my mind for a while. Right now I am in the process of adding a marketing major! It should be official next Friday. The plan is to drop my two minors and double major in public relations and marketing, which is something I have been thinking about since October or November. I realized this was really important when I realized what I wanted to be doing was integrated marketing communications, which is basically a combo of PR, advertising, and marketing. I figured I should at least get degrees in two of those aspects. I am so happy, and talking to my advisor made me really excited because she seemed excited for me. 

I know I need to be aware of what's going on in the world, and I can't let it just pass me by as if it doesn't matter because it does matter. It matters a lot. The world is truly a scary place for some people right now, and because of that, I need to remind myself of what is still good in this world. If I don't, I can easily get caught up in everything and spiral down in a very, very deep way. I think being involved and helping out while also working to make yourself happy is going to be crucial for the next four years.

These thoughts don't exactly connect to one another, and they definitely aren't even finished thoughts, but I just wanted to type out everything that I have been feeling recently. 

So those are my January Reflections! 
xx, jKm