Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise.

Over the past few week I have had the opportunity to hear some incredible women speak and watch women accomplish great things. Octavia Spencer came to IU not long ago. You may know her better as Minny Jackson from The Help or Dorothy Vaughan from Hidden Figures. One thing she was passionate about was bringing one another up, meaning helping one another out, supporting each other, and sharing your little victories. Personally I am all for this. And one way that I have been able to support my fellow women recently has been through the Maya Angelou inspired Phenomenal Woman campaign organized by entrepreneur, Meena Harris. This campaign raises money for seven organizations that do work for women’s rights by selling a simple gray t-shirt that features two words: phenomenal woman.

The campaign began with a humble goal of selling 500 t-shirts. And since the start of the campaign the the goal has been lapped over 14 times. The current count is at 7,257.

That sounds like a lot, yes. But take a minute to soak that in and realize what that means. Because so many t-shirts have been sold, $232,224 will be donated to charity and the campaign is not over yet. (Yes I am promoting this campaign right now, but how could you not when such good things are happening?) There is still 14 days left before the campaign ends and therefore still potential to make a positive impact.

Something that started off as a small nod to National Women’s Day (March 8th) has grown into so much more. One woman started a campaign and many others came to support not only the cause but also each other.

We should celebrate that.

People have amazing potential to do great things (women and men). This is just one example of someone advocating for their peers and others coming to support the cause.


If this perked your interest and are interested in buying a shirt, or would just like to find out more the link is listed below.


Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.



The Ann Perkins, Ednas, and Zippys of Our Lives

1. Ann Perkins

Ann is that magical human being that you always look up to. If you could be someone else you would be her, she is just about everything you want to be in life. She looks like she has it all together. She is absolutely perfect in your eyes, no matter what she does she could never not be a “…poetic, noble land-mermaid.” (Knope, Leslie). You feel the same way about Ann that Leslie does.


2. Edna Mode

Edna is a shockingly bold and forward person, who never ceases to say what isn’t being said. Her sass is limitless. She has that European-direct quality to her without actually being European. She is funny–but 85% of the time she uses her quick wit to make you the center of the joke.  And she is horribly nosy. She cannot lie, so when she does finally decide to give you a compliment you know it is genuine.

edna mode

3.  Zippy Brewster

Zippy is the boy you met instantly. You never had classes, or any reason to hang out, but you spoke regularly. Zippy is honestly so sweet but his flirtatiousness gets old fast. He is athletic and makes sure everybody knows it. He is always armed with some sort of seasonal sporting gear flaunting it. Even during the winter months when you would think he couldn’t possibly have a physical reminder of his athleticism, he is a swimmer, swimmers don’t have basketballs or tennis rackets to show off. Nope. In the winter months his shirt is constantly coming off,just in case you forgot, maybe you need another look at his abs as a reminder. He could almost be a Tarzan.

zippy brewster

Couples That I Am Both Oozing With Jealously Over and Over The Moon Happy For At The Same Time.

Allow me to introduce you to some of the cutest couplely phenomenas of 2015 as we know it.

  1. Thomas Rhett — I totally get it that Country music is not everyones cup of tea but I like to think everyone likes even just small doses of a sappy situations even if they don’t like to admit it. You don’t have to, you can just watch these videos and shed a few tears in secret.

Not only am I jealous of his stunning wife’s beautiful hair, the fact that they were high school sweethearts, and her role in every single one of her husband’s music videos but also their lifestyle together.

Click here to watch.

While watching the video I started to recognize all of the places. —Welcome to Hawaii, it’s beautiful—. Same trees.  Same beach entrance. I am basically going to live that life when I am older.


Bragging rights- I have so used the same shower the is shown in the video.

2. Jake & Peyton

Jake clearly did his proposal right. He got the girl and captured all of it on camera. Again these to are pretty much everyones relationships goals. I’ve always been one for wishful thinking and excessive optimism. I’d like to think this isn’t too much to ask for. Anyways, congrats to those two. Click here.

If you didn’t get you sum of sap tonight and  you are feeling extra enchanted by their relationship and that video wasn’t enough click here for Peyton’s instagram. (Everyone social media stalks to they just don’t admit it.)

If you haven’t squealed or made squishy faces yet I have on last thing up my sleeve. Cat-fishing.

Finally finding a sense of direction, maybe.

You all know the dreaded questions that come from adults mouths when you get to a certain age. No matter what life stage you are at there is always a guaranteed uncomfortable encounter.

When are you going to have kids? (Age 27), Are you going to propose? (Age 23), Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? (Age 21), WHAT DO YOU WANT TO STUDY IN COLLEGE? (very much me right now, 17). Seems simple enough for some people, people with solid direction and life-long instinctual drive towards a certain career path but a whole lot less simple for someone who hasn’t figured out themselves yet, not even their palate. Half the time I can not pick out a burger for myself, so I panic and default back to my regular avocado burger when it comes down to it. Me being asked what I want to do with the rest of my life is catastrophic, there is no default I lean on. It is a guaranteed different answer every time. Started off with vet but after 15 years of serve animal allergy denial I have moved on from that, next up was nurse because if I couldn’t do animals why not people?Wrong. Very wrong. Science is so not my thing, I like fluffy puppies, not germ balls. The nurse boat sailed pretty darn quickly. After filling through pretty much every medical occupation ever known to man, the science field switched to the arts. However I think I’m getting better at the university studying question response. I have cut my Tina Belcher “uhhh” response time way down.

Last time an adult popped the question I was being driven to my final ACT test (which I am officially done with standardized testing HALLELUJAH to that. And for those of you wondering how I did the second time around– I did not improve at all.)

My response came after a long Tina Belcher “Uhhh”.

I responded with jumbled sentences that ultimately lead to writing. Most of it is a blur because every single bs siren was going off in my brain. The experience is fairly accurately summed up with this Tina gif.


Ultimately this response sits the best and is the closest to my idea of what I see myself enjoying 5 years from now. And now I feel like slightly less of a train wreck.

Honesty hour:

I don’t know what the heck I want to do with the rest of my life. I believe that the jobs that my generation is going to be exposed to have not been invented yet.

I was recently asked what my dream job would be if I could choose from anything, even then I wanted to slide to the floor. I have many ideas just not one that I have fully decided on. The curse of indecisiveness.


After a solid week of vacation time on another continent and many hours spent on a plane, train, or car browsing magazines. I was thinking why not work for one, a magazine or a website which has led me to now, my current daydream and aspiration Buzzfeed.

I would like to be a writer for Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed writers are fantastically honest, and have the more charismatic personal voice. Let me at that.

I have a short patience when it comes to projects. I love the satisfaction I can get from them and just move on. I can reflect and just move on to something newer and more exciting. It’s short-term. Perfect for a person with an ENFP personality that like the be constantly moving on with her life. The articles are so broad and universal. Buzz feed’s base reaches 200M people. Knowing that people would actually read my words is nice. There’s so much opportunity in the field. Everything about it is alluring to me now that I think this being a possibility. Give me some feminine issue to discuss and I’ll eat it right up. Heck I would do the job now.

There are a hundred other reasons as to why this would be a good fit but this isn’t a “Why do you think this is the job for you?” application essay.

Writing like that for a living is the dream. But can someone please answer for me what kind of college degree one needs to attain to become a killer successful writer for internationally popular internet websites that address everything from politics to controversial topics to  DIY to baby animals.

Finals Prep

It’s almost finals time! Or maybe it is not…. I still have a month of schooling left before that happens but my mind is already there. I don’t know about you but during finals season I get really really good at getting side tracked, scary good. Procrastination becomes my finest quality. This year I am determined to spend as little time as possible locked away in my room “studying”. This is said every year but this time I mean it. I’m in Japan now where I actually want to get out of the house. Besides I only have a year or so left until I graduate and will most likely end up back in the US. That is beside the point, here’s my tips for staying focused and getting the most out of your studying time.

1. I highly highly suggest listening to foreign music when you study; music that you won’t be able to understand the lyrics to when you are half paying attention to the background noise. I’m telling you this works miracles. When you can’t fully get caught up in the words, they don’t stick with you, you can have the same song on repeat for hours. It has the same effect that instrumentally music has, just more exciting.

I personally binge on French music. (Yes the person who speaks Spanish and infant level Japanese, and maybe two words of French.)

My English teacher showed me this song. Sounds super lame but it’s not, she is a very cool person. Listen here.

My second go to French song— and yes the blue means it’s a link.

And the last song that I have on the rotation. And maybe my favorite.

2. EAT while you study. I’m not kidding, you will be more awake and retain more information. By eat I do not mean binge on potato chips, finger fruit would be ideal. My personal favorites are blueberries and raspberries. And if you are feeling extra adventurous get a second bowl throw a few pieces of chocolate in it and heat it up for 40 seconds. Then voilà, you have a chocolate dip for your fruit.  Or even chew a piece of gum. There are studies that show gum chewing improves test performance, the chewing motion helps get blood flow to the brain.

Don’t believe me? Google it. Better yet, here’s an article on it, I’ll save you the trouble.

3. Get organized ahead of time. Sort out your papers and make yourself a simple game plan. We are trying to avoid this


4. Take breaks every so often to get up and walk around without diving into some distraction that will take your mind 30920203 miles away.  And don’t just read from you textbook, vary your studying methods . Make some monsterous  color coded flashcard timeline if you have to.

I've done it. And massively helpful. This was only a third of my AP US History exam timeline

I’ve done it. And massively helpful. This was only a third of my AP US History exam timeline

Oh yeah and 5. mute all Facebook chats. Just put away your phone and turn off at notifications, they won’t help you here.

You can clearly tell I was only excited about points one and two, to be fair they are the most exciting. But with those food and music in the background, how much more exciting can studying get? Really how much more excitement can you get from this predicament?

Hope this will help and good luck.

Dear Japan,

Dear Japan,


It’s been almost a year and I’m comfortable.  I no longer have to think long and hard about what floor button I have to press when taking out the trash. I have the train system figured out, I can start a basic conversation in your language, and have fallen in love with your culture. It has been almost a year and I have changed greatly. I’m still the loving optimist just now with added experiences. I’ve been to that otter-hand holding marine park I had once raved  and was overly excited about. I drink tea constantly, eat rice almost daily, ride the train regularly, watch Grey’s anatomy when I can, and reconnect with old friends back home. I came to this country with expectations, immense hype, and I am proud to say that I have not been disappointed. My life hasn’t turned out exactly as I had planned but it never does.

I’ve gotten to the point where I recognize this is my life now and I’m living it.

Short Appreciation Letter to You All

Good Morning or Good Night– depending on where ever you happen to be in this world at the moment. Some of us are winding down on a Thursday night and some of us are just getting started. Just wanted to wish you all good luck and tell you how much you are appreciated.

I continue to fail to tell people how much that matter or how special or significant they are, which is a crime. People forget how special and talented they are. Everyone should be reminded every once in a while. So if you are reading, please please please times a million, know that you do have worth, and your work does not go unrecognized, you do have an impact on this world. I love you all, don’t get discouraged, and keep on doing you.