Some people think I just sat down one day and decided I was going to be a writer. But it doesn’t work like that. First I had to fall in love with the art of writing and storytelling. Then I had to go out into the world, meet people, and do things. Writers write what they know and I only know what I have done and what I have thought. Writers decide life is important enough, strange enough, funny enough, and inspirational enough that they are going to write it down. Sometimes I sit and write a whole bunch of nothing for hours and when I look up it is dark outside and I realize I have forgotten to eat dinner. There might only be one or two good sentences in those four pages of nonsense but that’s more than I had when I started. Some of the best stories start with random sentences born from nonsense. Sometimes I stare at my computer screen or notebook and I think how will I ever publish anything because I have nothing to write about (the infamous writer’s block). That usually goes away because in about ten minutes I have tripped over air or said something quirky to myself as if I’m a comedian. I have small issues that I can blow up if I feel like it and sometimes I am a mess (physically or emotionally) and sometimes I am a crazy person. Sometimes I laugh like a hyena. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry and I can’t breathe and I basically turn into a YouTube worthy disaster zone. I get random hiccups that literally take my breath away and cause my life to flash before my eyes (did I mention I’m dramatic sometimes?) Speaking of life flashing before your eyes, have you ever sneezed while driving? Basically the scariest moment ever, right? Wrong. Scariest moment ever is driving the car while my mom sneezes in the passenger seat (I love you, Mom, but your sneeze is deafening and terrifying). My sister is a goon and I could write several very large books about all of her shenanigans. One time she made me laugh while I had lemonade in my mouth and I spit it all over her. She used to try to teach me how to do cartwheels every summer. I could never do it because I was afraid of throwing myself towards the ground- what if I broke my arm!? We used to swim in the pool with our feet crossed pretending to be mermaids. I have met some very odd people in my lifetime. One time a man came into Wegmans when I had my long hair all the way down my back and offered to buy my hair. How is one supposed to answer that? I think I can talk in an accent a lot better than I actually can and I’m sorry to all the British people I have probably offended in my lifetime. Hugs from my dad are precious moments and that is something I have taken my sweet time learning (I guess I’m sort of stubborn just like he is). I used to feel like a rebel when I chewed gum with my braces (then I immediately spit it out for fear it would get stuck in my braces and my mom would have to take me to the orthodontist…and there would be yelling…and probably tears…) No one can snap their fingers as well as my mom (don’t try, you’ll lose). I used to sit on my little sister because it was fun to trap her but now she’s stronger than I am and can just pick me up (actually I’m scared of her). Speaking of Kellie’s muscles-maybe you’d like to hear about the time she did pull-ups at the fair at the Marine tent and all the men stood in awe that a little second grade girl could do more pull ups than the 25 year old men walking by. I guarantee she could still show up the marines in pull-ups today. I’m telling you-she’s strong, don’t make her mad. She’s basically my mom’s security guard so take this as your warning. I have a serious anxiety attack if I don’t have my Pandora ring on my finger. I feel naked, and I just hold my finger like it might fall off if my ring isn’t there. That would be pretty terrifying if that happened. I love the color pink and maybe it’s childish but if there is glitter involved you can bet it will be all over my face in .25 seconds. One time my sister ran into the wall in our living room so hard it shook the entire house. She also walked right into a metal clothing rack at Kohl’s once. Don’t worry, she still has both of her eyes. I had this pink purse in high school that had pink fringe all over it and it had a long strap and was probably my favorite thing ever. I have absolutely no idea what happened to that bag (which actually is making me sad right now) but I do remember I used it for everything. My dad fixed the strap and the zipper more than once and slowly the fringe started to fall off. The inside had pen marks all over it and there was an incident with lotion exploding but I still loved it. I really wonder what happened to that bag. Maybe it got thrown out. I had a white t-shirt of my mom’s when I was younger that I wore to bed as a nightgown. It was a WYRK (country radio) shirt and I lived in that thing. Until one day I noticed it had been missing longer than it usually took for the laundry to be done. My mother, the woman who raised me, had the nerve to throw it out without consulting me! I’m still grieving but don’t worry mom, I don’t love you any less. I have real pajamas now and they don’t have holes in them. I am a shopaholic. Just walking into a store is enough of a drug fix for me. Even if I have no money I still go to the store and try clothes on because I LOVE shopping. One time my sister mistook my uncle for some random old guy roaming in our backyard. We retold the story at Christmas and everyone thought it was funny- except my uncle. I like surprise parties. Let me elaborate: I love throwing surprise parties. I thought it would be just as fun to have one for myself (and it was absolutely amazing, I was totally surprised and honored you guys did it for me) but somehow I like the planning and seeing the initial surprisee’s (yes, I think I just made that word up) surprised reaction better than anything. It’s like when you’re at a wedding and the best part is looking back at the groom when the bride comes down the aisle. Every girl wants someone to look at her like that. I am in love with babies. All babies. Seriously, if you have a baby, I will probably steal your child and love it forever. I mean, I always bring them back but I will be more than happy to take him/her off of your hands for a while. I have an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to Ryan Gosling, because why not? Someday I am going to actually walk into Gap Kids and have a reason to buy baby clothes instead of just walking around staring at all the cute itty-bitty baby clothes. One time I dragged Shannon (very much against her will) into Gap Kids to look at baby clothes (for no reason other than baby clothes are extremely adorable) and she detested every moment of it until she saw a darling outfit with ducks all over it. Then she melted just like me and that was definitely a bonding moment for us. I still sleep with the teddy bear my mom made for me when I was little. She has patches on her and has been sewn and re-stuffed but I love her just the same. Over the years I have found I have either a very high pain tolerance or my inner self just refuses to allow pain to be felt. Ignore it; it will go away (probably). I once cut my entire finger open at work and didn’t notice until blood was streaming down my hand minutes later. Best part of the story: I was sweeping and I cut my hand on the top of the broom. Like, what? How does that even happen? I somehow get the most unusual injuries. I went through a phase in high school where I painted my nails every single day with different colors and intricate designs. To the girls I have met in bar bathrooms, we should all get together and publish a book because let me tell you those are some of the most interesting moments. I have been cooking basically since my mom taught me how to use the oven but somehow at 21 years old I still don’t know how to cut a jalapeno and promptly wash my hands before touching my face. I really like the name Oliver. Once in high school as I went to sit down in the lunchroom I slid right on to the floor and had no idea what had happened so I just sat there and laughed for a minute. As Shannon has pointed out, even if I don’t know the song I will hum along to it basically unknowingly. It’s a whole brain processing thing-maybe-or maybe I’m just a little weird. Actually, I’m a lot weird. And that’s why I am a writer. Because if you laughed at least once while reading this then I guess I am going somewhere with all of this. When I read I want to laugh and think and believe in something. Life is about believing in something. And more than ever, I believe that all of my beautiful weirdness is my little candle to light this little corner of the world and wherever I end up next. So basically this is my disclaimer that if you are a part of my life, you will most likely end up in a story of mine at some point. I love writing about the things and people surrounding me so get close and let’s be crazy and novel worthy and throw a little sparkle around.