Creative Pieces, LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, The "Something" Series

Some Things Never Change: A Monologue.

Lighting controls in hotels: things could be so much better... - Lux Review

My phone screen lit up and his name came up. Jamie. I sent it straight to voicemail.

Pulling the comforter off of my body, I dragged myself out of bed. The sky is gray and white; to the point where it’ll probably start snowing. It’s snowed a lot since he left. I hear nothing but the cars and the other loud, obnoxious shit that makes the city sometimes unbearable to be in. The thing about living in the city is that it never allows you to have time to just sit in your thoughts. Someone’s loud car alarm is always going off, some bus is always trying to make its way through a double-parked car, and there’s just always someone just yelling or talking way too fucking loud on the other side of these walls. Maybe it’s for the better that I just can’t sit in my thoughts for too long… the last time I did that, I woke up in Ari’s apartment with the craziest fucking hangover.

The last time I did something as stupid as that was just months after Willow was born. The stress of being a new mother and having my entire life put on hold after having Willow made me panicky, so I decided to disguise me wanting to go out and celebrate “my first drink post pregnancy” and just get fucking wasted. Ari was not impressed. I never heard the end of it from her, let alone Max when I got home that night…

The vibration from my phone in my hand jolted me out of my thoughts. I looked at the screen:

Ari: We got another case coming in later today, make sure to make it to the appointment this time, okay? See you soon!

I don’t respond; I haven’t answered to anyone’s messages for the past couple of weeks. I read them to let people know I’m up and breathing, but I just don’t have the energy to cough up a response like “oh-em-gee, life’s so fucking amazing! Let’s catch up with coffee soon!”

I finally get myself out of my bed and walk over to my closet. Another day, another dollar, a new fucking case. My father warned me about this when I told him I wanted to go to law school after my time in college. He swore I was going to stick to dancing, like my mother did, to pursue a career in dancing; just like my mother did. I guess a part of me–although I’ve grown to love her and appreciate her now–didn’t want to become like her. I didn’t want to grow up and leave my life behind for my career. Sure, dancing for the biggest names in the world sounds great on paper, but mom lost so much of her life trying to chase that high. I’ve seen her try to awkwardly get to know me when I first met her when I was 17. I felt sorry for her; that woman thought I hated her for leaving when really, at that age I understood why she did. Dancing was my whole life, and it was hers.

But I didn’t want to become like her. Says the person who left her family to pursue her career in law.

Like I said, my dad warned me about going into this field. One case ends, and another one opens; it’s a vicious never-ending cycle of losing your dignity for a reputation in this field despite what your personal beliefs are.

Maybe I’m good at my job because I’m always lying to myself. Maybe I’m my best client; just constantly have to tell myself a fabricated story and I have to believe it and defend it.

I grabbed a blouse from a hanger and a pair of pants to put on. I look at myself in the mirror, wondering who the fuck I really am. My hair is knotted and dry, it looks like I haven’t slept in a week, and… is that yesterday’s makeup still under my eyes? Fuck it, now it’s today’s makeup.

I grabbed my purse from my kitchen table and head on over to the coat closet. Before reaching for my coat, I stopped and stared into the closet. I slowly pulled out the article of clothing that I’ve come across. Jamie’s hoodie.

I remember the first time I saw Jamie in very casual clothing. It was a different look for him; he’s usually all about business casual and, well, it was refreshing to finally see him in a pair of jeans, sneakers, and a hoodie. A navy blue hoodie. The hoodie he gave to me when my little dress was way too cold to wear in the transitioning nights from summer to fall. He had to have seen it hanged up for him? The amount of times he came over here.

That’s the thing. His hanger was still next to the navy blue hoodie. He was still probably the last person that touched that hanger. Am I really thinking about this man and the hanger he used to put his fucking jacket on? Yes, and I want to cry just thinking about it.

I unzipped the hoodie from the hanger and held it in my arms. The hoodie still smelled like him; fresh and earthy. Sandalwood. I hold it up to my face and inhale his smell on the hoodie. I close my eyes, imagining that he’s right here, hugging me, looking down on me with his intoxicating smile and eyes. His eyes… fuck, those eyes.

I cock my head back towards the ceiling, trying my best to stop the tears from falling from my eyes. I don’t get why my body is reacting this way. I’ve been through this same-old-cycle for years. Kelvin Hanes back in Virginia. Scott Campbell in high school. Spence Wilson in college. Max Harper from the law firm.

Jamie-motherfuckin’-Kim. From the cafe.

Jamie was just different. He felt more than just space in my life. He felt like a necessity, like your wallet or house keys; something that you always needed with you. Everyone else before him were special in their own ways. My first boyfriend, Kelvin Hanes, was just some dumb puppy love in middle school. He kissed me in front of his friends at lunch to prove that we were dating. I didn’t even know we were dating, but I guess we were. It’s funny, that relationship surprisingly lasted longer than I ever thought it was going to be. When I moved to New York with my dad briefly a few years after, we just… broke up. No hard feelings, no tears for him. I guess I just liked him. Maybe I never loved him.

Scott Campbell, in a nutshell, was probably my first real serious boyfriend. I met him when I was in NYC for the first time. I met him in the school I was going to and I don’t know, he was just incredibly sweet. Despite me and my heavy passion for dance, he was always around. He was my first time, my first real date, my first long-distance relationship once I moved back to Virginia shortly after. He was patient with me until he couldn’t be anymore. Sure, that breakup at first hurt like a bitch, but we stayed friends. He’s still the one friend I run to when everyone else in their lives have shut me out. I have a tendency of just tiring people out to the point where they want nothing to do with me.

Spence Wilson, the nerd from law school. He was incredibly smart yet so fucking handsome. He knew so much about everything and anything that sometimes I still wonder how the hell did we work out as a couple through our law school years. Spence should’ve been the indicator on why I shouldn’t date someone within my own field. Too much clashing, and too much work being involved in our relationship.

But then Max Harper came along. I swore he was the one. He once felt different. He made me feel like my voice in the case mattered, he was funny, and if anyone was ever patient with me, it was Max. Max and I had a lot in common; we both come from families that were unconventional; his father killed himself after going bankrupt and his mother lives in a residency to manage her mental illness back in England. I can understand why he wanted to leave the firm after our intern case. He had it hard and I think he just needed some peace in his life. He thought I was his peace. Settling down, having Willow and starting a family; eventually getting married… I sometimes wish I was able to fulfill his expectations of me. All he needed was someone to keep him happy, be a wife and a mother to his child. Even after being madly in love with Max, I still couldn’t be what he wanted. Instead, I just left. I will never regret having Willow; she’s my light, my purpose that I keep going, and my smile on my darkest of days. I only regret not being a good enough mom to her.

But Jamie Kim tells me otherwise. Being the youngest of two older sisters with their own children, he tells me that I’m such a great mom to Willow. He would sometimes smile and randomly take pictures on his phone of me and Willow together. Jamie, the man who held Willow on the nights when I would accidentally double-book our case meetings with the weekends I had with Willow; the thought still warms my heart. Willow, or “little bean” as he used to call her, was comfortable with Jamie to the point where it felt so natural for them to be together. Moments like that are when I felt most like a family. Jamie taking Willow in as much as he took me in was… something I never thought a man would do. Jamie, the man that was in the States working on his own case within his own company, was here one moment and gone another. It sometimes feels like he wasn’t even here to begin with, but I know that’s not true. The pain in my chest, the knot in my throat, and the tears in my eyes tell me otherwise.

Despite being me, the most fucked up and destructible person on this planet, he was here. He smiled at me. He kissed me, held me, made love with me… he fucking saw me better than anyone else in this goddamn life ever did.

Yet life is what took him away… some things never change.

My thought is at a hold once I look at my phone.

Incoming call: Jamie.

I send it straight to voicemail. I hang his hoodie back on the hanger once more, take my coat from my own hanger, and leave home for the day. It’s not even home anymore.

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!

What Was Liz Up To 10 Years Ago in 2011?

It’s 2011. Adele’s “Rollin’ in the Deep” is the top song on the charts right now. LMFAO was on everyone’s radar. Blackberry phones were more popular than iPhones. Every teenager lived on Tumblr and liking pages on Facebook about the relatable things we felt were the norm (as well as poking your friends).

I was a 17-year-old girl in high-school; a junior to be exact. I was studying vocal for my third year, I was looking at colleges to attend to study writing in, and for the most part, I lived a pretty normal and standard life as a 17-year-old girl. Of course, things happened and not everything was always alright, but for the most part I was still living my life as a normal teenager, getting by, learning new things about life, being young.

I was your basic teenage girl. I wore t-shirts and skinny jeans with my Converse, I wore cardigans religiously since uniforms were required in my high-school, and to top it all off I wore a nice decorative scarf to add some personality to those boring uniforms. I experimented with different hair colors and hairstyles, white eye-shadow and eyeliner were my stables in makeup routine, and I used to wear one too many bracelets on my wrist. I wasn’t your typical teenager that was preppy and girly; a lot of the times I felt very boyish to the girls around me or the girls that I thought were prettier than me. Nevertheless, I was in my awkward teenage years as a 17-year-old, which most of us are at that age.

In 2011, I was very busy with my high-school choir. Coming off the success the 2010 choir had, 2011 just deemed us to be even busier than the year before, and busy is what we were. We performed in a numerous amount of events and venues, one of them being at the Statue of Liberty with a bunch of celebrities as well as Carnegie Hall! We did competitions that we both won and lost, and we just enjoyed the trips and the memories made during that time in our lives.

I wasn’t a popular kid, but I was friends with some of the more well-known students at my school. Being known as the best friend of a guy that graduated in 2010, everyone knew who I was, which was something I wasn’t used to. I then became friends with another well known group of people within my grade, and it was just… something I still don’t know how I was able to do. But besides the point although I wasn’t considered popular (someone once thought I was a sophomore when I was in their grade and have known them since freshman year because we had classes together).

But I did get myself in a lot of trouble when I was younger. I was rebellious. I broke the rules and didn’t listen to people and I made some pretty dumb decisions that I thought were smart at the time. I did unintentionally (and intentionally) hurt people out of my own emotions and selfishness, I didn’t know what were my priorities in my life regarding friends and the good people in my life; I was just a teenager that didn’t know any better, which again, most teenagers don’t.

So 10 years later, I look back trying not to have so much regret on the decisions I made. They were decisions that I thought were the right ones in that moment, and I made them. There’s nothing that I, 2021 Liz, can do about it besides let it live in the past and remember that things happened because they were suppose to happen. They taught me lessons. They taught me things that I was meant to learn about life sooner or later. They showed me what bad things can disguise themselves to look like and how good things can go unnoticed and unappreciated until it’s too late. So, I have to thank 2011 Liz for putting her in situations where she need to make tough decisions and just decisions in general that influenced her overall being. It’s those decisions that helps this version, this 26-almost-27-year-old version of myself, understand my worth, challenge the things that scare me or worry me, and know myself better.

What was Liz doing 10 years ago in 2011? Just being a teenage girl getting by.

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, Topic Tuesdays: Love/Relationships

“Hi, I’m Liz!” : Dating with Social Anxiety.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

So with 2020 finally out of the way and with 2021 here to give us more opportunities to better ourselves, I realize that in leaving 2020, I wanted to keep something up that I actually started last year!

… I started dating!

Late last year, I started to feel like I wanted to meet new people and challenge the fear I had about potentially getting into territory that requires… liking people in a romantic matter. Nevertheless, I felt like I needed to make that leap of faith and just downloaded an online dating app. And the rest is history.

I won’t lie; actually sitting down to create the online dating profile in the first place was the most anxiety-producing thing. I just felt like I wasn’t going to have people interested in me and that I was just going to be sitting on the app with no success. My best friend gave me the courage to just face that fear and go for it, because honestly what could I possibly lose? So one day on my way home from work, I sat on the bus, downloaded the app, and made the profile.

I got some matches here and there and spoke to a couple of people, but nothing really came of it. There was this one guy I matched with that actually wanted to meet and hang out, and while I was excited and nervous to have my first official date as a single person, at the end of the night it wasn’t a match and we went our separate ways. Since then, it’s been more of a miss than a hit, but I’m not stressed out about it.

The more I got around to the app and starting to experiment around it, I got less anxious and nervous engaging in conversations with people that I matched with. Sure, you don’t know these people, but the sole purpose of being on this app is to meet people!

I’m specifically on an app but allows me to write whoever I matched first, which in all reality has been helping me get over my fear of speaking to new people.

But, I can’t say dating has been the cure to my social anxiety; as a matter of fact, dating has been challenging my anxiety in ways that I haven’t seen in a really long time.

For starters, having those social cues that I haven’t been able to have in public due t the pandemic was interesting. My first date was awkward at first just because I didn’t pick up on the social cues in the beginning; i would stop talking randomly or just seem very tense and distracted and just in my head for the entire date. The same thing with writing the messages first: it causes me so much anxiety to think of something to say to these matches and to be able to keep up with them is just one of the hardest things to do, especially if they just aren’t willing to keep up the conversation with you in the first place.

Nevertheless, I am learning that this dating scene doesn’t measure my level of attractiveness and my ability to be liked on these apps. It doesn’t measure if I’m a good catch or not, it doesn’t determine whether or not something is wrong with me if no one is swiping with me; it literally means nothing at all but the fact that someone saw your profile and decided to either swipe left or right on you; nothing else.

Sometimes, I have to tell myself that.

As we speak, I have been somewhat taking a break from swiping and actively being on the app just because my mental health hasn’t been the greatest lately and before I can take care of someone else, I have to take care of myself. Although sometimes I allow my anxiety to believe these stereotypical things like “guys aren’t swiping on you because you’re a fat girl” or “you’re too boring and old, no one wants you”, I try my best to remember that I don’t have to take this seriously, and whatever comes from it, comes from it.

Personally, dating for me has helped me improved some areas of my social anxiety, but it also enhances some areas of it as well; that’s just what comes with the whole anxiety thing. Again, it’s about not allowing it to stick with you and make you believe that you are incapable of trying new things, finding and experiencing love, and just being a damn woman in her mid-20’s.

My anxiety can tell me whatever it wants about dating and the new people that come in my life… either way, I’m allowing these experiences to teach me instead of holding me back.

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, The "Something" Series

Something Reckless Tonight: A Scene.

Cool bar setting. Feels like you walked back in time 100 years. - Picture  of Carmelitas, Calumet - Tripadvisor

A phone is placed face down on a desk. An audible sigh from a woman echos in a room. Grace pulls her hair back away from her face. She hears her coworkers in the hallway celebrating the won case. It was a major win for the firm, and Grace has proved to them that she’s good at her job. The win is bittersweet for her; she’s happy she has another win under her belt, but she wishes she was celebrating this win with the one person that matters and helped her get through it.

She remembers her first win on a case, she was still partnered with Max. She remembers jumping into his arms due to the excitement of the case ending and them winning it. She was happy celebrating that win with the man she loved. She only wishes now she could do the same again, but not with Max.

Jamie.

Grace starts to sort out the files on her desk and puts them in their proper spots. A knock is heard on the Grace’s door. Without looking up, she calls out to come in. The door opens and Ari walks in the office.

Ari: Look at the baddest bitch in the firm just sitting in her office, being humble as fuck, not celebrating with everyone else.

Grace rolls her eyes.

Grace: Case closed, that’s it.

Ari: *annoyed* Grace.

Grace looks up and at Ari. Ari has her arms crossed and one of her eyebrows cocked up.

Ari: I’m not saying you can’t be a sad girl, but damn sis… you just won your first official case as a lawyer! That’s fucking huge! Are you not happy about that?

Grace: *annoyed* Sorry that I have other things on my mind besides a useless win on a case.

Ari: Grace Ashmore? Not caring about a win on a case? Who are you?

Grace gets up from her desk with the box of files and puts them on the table next to the exit. She walks back to her desk to straighten up some more. Ari watches her carefully.

Ari: Did you talk to Jamie today?

Grace doesn’t say anything. She just mindlessly continues to clean her desk. Ari gets annoyed and turns Grace around by the chair.

Ari: You’re not shutting me out again, Grace. You did it the first time, but you’re not going to do it this time. Talk to me.

Grace looks at Ari in a sullen matter. She deep sighs.

Grace: I told him about the case, but I doubt he read it; it’s like 3 in the morning over there.

Ari: Did you talk to him about anything else since he left?

Grace: No, because why should I? He’s in another fucking country, living his normal life, doing his normal thing with no thought in mind. Why should I bother holding onto something that clearly isn’t here?

Ari: Because you love that man, Grace.

Grace stops what she’s doing and looks at Ari. She’s angry.

Grace: I am not in love with him, Ari. You don’t know a goddamn thing about how I’m feeling, so don’t assume you know.

Ari: *annoyed* I may not, but I know my best friend, and I know when how you felt about him. If he didn’t matter as you claim, you’d be coming out with us to celebrate after work tonight.

Grace: Just tell me the time and place and I’ll be there. *sarcastically* Let’s go out and celebrate a damn win!

Grace grabs her purse and coat from the back of her chair. Ari watches her; she’s concerned. Before Grace walks out from the office, she turns around to look at Ari.

Grace: Meet me at my place at 8pm.

Grace walks out.

Later that night…

The bar is lively on this night, and a crowd of people from the firm walks into it. Ari and Grace follow behind. Grace is wearing a short skirt with an off the shoulder sweater and booties. Grace confidently walks to the bartender and requests a drink. Ari is nervous for Grace; she feels like Grace is going to make decisions she is going to regret in the morning. Ari’s boyfriend puts an arm around her and tells her that Grace will be okay and to just let her breathe a bit. Ari agrees. She walks away from the bar and mingles with the other people in the firm.

One drink. Two drinks. Three drinks. Grace keeps drinking and she has now a crowd of men surrounding her as she chugs like one of the guys. Grace is feeling warm inside, she’s feeling confident, and she’s being flirty with the guys at the bar. One guy has got her attention, Nick, and she’s feeling good about herself; possibly more so because of the alcohol.

Nick: So what’s the occasion? It seems like you’re celebrating something special tonight.

Grace: The occasion is meeting you tonight and celebrating life! What more can I ask for?

Nick laughs and puts his arms around Grace and she giggles. She takes another drink and leans in closer to Nick. She circles her finger along the bar-side table and continues to be flirty. Grace’s phone buzzes in her pocket; she ignores it. Nick whispers something in Grace’s ear and she flirtatiously giggles. Ari watches Grace from across the room; her boyfriend notices right away. Ari gets up from her seat and towards Grace while her boyfriend calls for her.

Ari reaches the point of the bar where Grace and Nick are getting cozy. Ari interrupts.

Ari: Hey, Grace… Dean and I are getting ready to leave.

Grace: *slurs* Ima stay a little while longer, *looks at Nick* The night is still pretty young.

Ari: The night is coming to an end, come on–

Ari tries to grab Grace’s hand, but Grace yanks her hand away.

Grace: No, I wanna say with… with… Nick, right?

Nick smiles at Grace and she winks at him back. Ari is visibly disgusted.

Ari: Grace, come on, you had enough to drink tonight–

Grace: Don’t worry about me, I’ll go home when I’m ready to go home!

Nick: Hey, I’ll make sure she gets home safely tonight.

Ari: …Yeah, no. *grabs Grace’s arm* Let’s go. Now.

Grace: *annoyed* Ari, stop!

Nick: Hey, let her stay.

Ari forces Grace off of the bar stool and walks away from the bar. She turns around and looks at Nick; annoyed.

Ari: Sorry sweetie, she got a man that’s waaay better looking than you.

Ari continues to pull Grace away from the bar towards the front door. Grace continuously tells Ari to let her go. Once they are outside and Ari’s boyfriend calls for a cab, she lets Grace go.

Grace: I’m not a child, Ari! I could take care of my damn self!

Ari: I’m not treating you like a child, I’m treating you like a dumb bitch, because only dumb bitches do what you were trying to do.

Grace: You told me to come out and celebrate this dumb win on this dumb case so that’s exactly what I did and now you’re dragging me out?

Ari: Yeah, I didn’t mean get shitfaced and throw yourself all over a guy! What the hell are you doing?

Grace turns around and stays silent. Ari walks to face Grace and keep her in place.

Ari: This isn’t like you. This isn’t you. If you stayed in there any longer, you would’ve done something reckless tonight and instantly regret it.

Grace: And what makes you think that? Huh?

Ari: Grace, you’re emotional as fuck. You legit lost the love of your life to his job back in his country, and you’re heartbroken. You need to allow yourself some time to heal.

Grace: Maybe I don’t wanna heal. Maybe all I want is some random guy at the bar to fuck the sadness away for one night. Maybe all I want is to forget about everything and everyone and just fucking live for a little bit! Maybe that’s all I fucking want!

Ari: So that I can hear you instantly regret your decisions once you’re off this roller-coaster of self-pity? No. I won’t allow you to do something as stupid as that, because I know you, Grace. I know that you will wake up in the morning next to that man wishing it was fucking Jamie!

Grace stands there and hr eyes get watery. Ari immediately notices and takes a deep breath. The cold air is shown when she exhales.

Ari: Come on, let’s go home.

Grace walks with Ari and her boyfriend in the cab, and it drives off once everyone is in it.

A little later in the night, Grace is shown sleeping on a couch with a blanket covering her up. Across the room, Ari stands at the doorframe, arms crossed, looking at Grace while she sleeps. Her boyfriend passes her and kisses her head goodnight, leaving Ari looking after Grace. Once the room is cleared, Ari walks into the living room and grabs Grace’s purse from the coffee table.

Ari walks into the kitchen and sits at the table. She pulls out Grace’s phone out of her bag and unlocks the screen.

3 unread messages: Jamie.

Ari ignores the messages and immediately goes into the contacts. She clicks Jamie’s name and writes the phone number on her own phone. Backs out, locks the phone, puts it back into Grace’s purse.

Ari walks back to the living room and quickly puts the purse back where it was, and walks herself back to the kitchen. She sits back down and writes a new message.

Ari: Hey, it’s Ari; Grace’s friend. Talk to Grace when you get the chance.

Sent.

Creative Pieces, LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, The "Something" Series

26-Something Memory: A Scene.

Man Looking Out of City Window at Night Free Stock Video Footage Download  Clips People

Traffic is at a halt on the busy streets in the city of Seoul. Jamie forgot just how busy living in the middle of it was like after being in New York City for the last couple of months. New York is just as busy as it is here, but somehow this busy city frustrates him for being too busy. Perhaps its not even about the city he’s in, but about the fact he’s not in the same city, let alone same country, as the person he wants to be with in this exact moment. The small apartment is dark, quiet; unfamiliar.

Jamie looks at his phone in his hand; swipes it open and goes to his text messages. No new messages from Grace; the girl from New York that he had completely fell in love with; the 5’3 petite curly auburn haired woman that was adventurous, quirky, short-tempered; beautiful. Grace Renee Ashmore was always beautiful to Jamie, even in the mornings where he would wake up next to her in his bed, hair spread out all over the pillow and hair stuck on her face, sometimes with the previous night’s makeup still on her face. She always looked so peaceful when she slept. He always felt like he was at home with Grace around.

He backs out to their messages and opens his photo gallery; a couple of food pictures and landscape pictures of NYC later, he comes across the photos of Grace. He smiles at the one photo of him and Grace throwing up peace signs wearing silly props, winking in the camera as Jamie took the photo.

October 7th, 2057:

The elevator doors open and Jamie is seen wearing a denim jacket, a black turtleneck, black jeans and Converse; he feels uncomfortable being casually dressed. For Grace, he’ll do it. He’s holding a cake in a box in his hands, and walks to Grace’s front door.

He knocks on the door with his elbow and waits for a moment before the door opens. Grace opens the door and Grace is in sweatpants and a hoodie. Jamie’s eyes widen, but the smile never leaves his face.

Jamie: Happy Birthday!

Grace stands there with no emotion in her face. Jamie awkwardly stands there.

Grace: Fuck my birthday.

Grace turns back into her apartment and Jamie walks in. He sets the cake on the kitchen counter and follows Grace.

Jamie: Whoa, what’s wrong?

Grace plops herself on her couch like a pouty child. Jamie walks to Grace and stands behind her and leans towards the back of the sofa.

Jamie: *cutely* Gracieeeeee…

Grace doesn’t say anything. Jamie gets closer to Grace and continues to act cute for her. He cutely leans in and play with her, hoping to cheer her up. She doesn’t budge until he cutely sings happy birthday to Grace and holds her arms up to dance. She smiles and immediately gets up from the couch.

Grace: Jamie!

Jamie laughs and opens his arms wide for Grace to come in and hug him.

Jamie: Now what seems to be the problem with your birthday?

Grace: It sucks! I just hate being reminded that every year I get older and that… I don’t know, I just wish I had Willow here to just make today… go by.

Jamie: I’m sorry you feel that way… *looks at the cake on the counter* Should I…?

Grace: No, the cake can stay. Thank you, Jamie.

Jamie and Grace share a moment in that hug until Grace pulls away from Jamie.

Jamie: Let me take you out tonight. I mean–

He steps back and shows off his very casual looking outfit to Grace. She giggles.

Jamie: I’m even in clothing you wanted to see me in!

Grace: You’re right, and you look amazing, might I add.

Jamie winks and puts his hands in his jacket pockets.

Jamie: Thank you, but I bet you’ll look even more amazing in the outfit you choose to go out to karaoke tonight.

Grace’s eyes widen with excitement. She happily jumps to her room to get dressed. Jamie laughs at the sight; “gosh, she’s so cute.”

Grace comes out of the room in a denim jacket and a green floral skater dress with ankle boots. Jamie looks at Grace.

Grace: I’m ready to sing to my heart’s content!

Grace grabs her purse from the table and grabs Jamie hand, dragging him towards the front door to go out.

At the karaoke bar, Jamie and Grace are singing loudly to some top 40 songs; Grace keeps up while Jamie struggles around with some of the words in the Americanized songs. He absolutely murders the Kpop songs that are popular in the States. They occasionally sip on their drinks, continuously sing loudly and horribly in the room, laughing out loud, enjoying each other’s company.

Grace takes her phone out of her pocket and turns the camera on to take a picture of Jamie singing to a song. He notices and waves his hand away.

Grace: *laughs* Come on Jamie, let me take a picture of you!

Jamie playfully rolls his eyes and acts as if he’s singing the highest of notes. Flash. Grace looks at it and smiles. Jamie walks over to the table of props and puts on ridiculously big sunglasses on. Grace laughs and continues to snap photos of Jamie.

Jamie: Grab a prop, Gracie! Let us take a photo together!

Grace skips to the prop table and picks up a featherly boa and a princess crown. She comes back next to Jamie and begins to take silly pictures.

Jamie: Peace signs now!

Both Grace and Jamie throw up peace signs and wink in the camera.

Flash.

Jamie closes his phone and places it on the table beside the window. He turns back around and walks away from the window and turns on the lights. The apartment looks like it’s barely been lived in, even though it’s been a couple of weeks since he’s been back home. He sighs; this isn’t home.

He takes a seat on the small sofa in the living room. He takes his glasses off his face to rub his tired eyes until he sees a light flash on his phone screen. He looks up and checks the notification.

Kevin: Just checking in to see how you’re doing.

Jamie closes his phone and places it face down on the coffee table. He lays down on the sofa, exhausted.

A couple of hours later in the middle of the night, he wakes up with an aching back from sleeping on the sofa. He sits up, and goes to look at the time on his phone. He doesn’t see the time.. He sees a notification.

Grace: Won the case. Thank you again.

As Jamie is about to text back, he votes against it, suddenly becoming sad, and closes his phones and puts it on the coffee table. Fuck. He misses Grace, and he doesn’t know when he’ll see her next. He looks around his apartment one more time before he shuts the lights off and enters his bedroom.

This place is not his home.

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: Expectations.

A new year means goals. Resolutions. Expectations. No room for fuck-ups or else the entire year is deemed a shit year and “guess 2022 is where it’s at!” posts are all over social media.

My least favorite time of the year is New Years. I don’t like the celebration aspect of New Year’s Eve, and I deemed these December holidays as just regular days for the sake of my own mental health. Don’t get me wrong, the whole thing about needing that reset button on life and that extra push to do better in the new year is perfectly fine; I personally know how bad of a year things can be and the only hope you have is for the next year to come.

Oops, my bad, before I go on this rant any further:

Hi, my name is Liz and expectations are some of the most nerve-wrecking things to have ever because of the absolute uncertainty and just the fact that if your expectations are not met, then it’s completely your fault you set those expectations so damn high.

… in a nutshell, hi, Liz here, we hate the concept of new years because of the expectations.

Goals, resolutions, whatever you want to call them; puts too much emphasis of being the thing that makes our year better. It puts the expectations that the upcoming year has to be amazing and has to be great and we expect that we will all be in better places if we have nothing but those good things happen to us.

But, progress is not linear. Progress is not calculated in positive things and milestones and hitting those expectations all the time. It’s being able to go over the obstacles of the unpredictable bad times and being able to move forward with your life. It’s learning from the bad experiences, not avoiding them from happening.

So, I guess my expectations for this year is to not have any expectations. Let the chips fall where they lay and let life happen. Learn from what happens and try our absolute hardest to not internalize everything and just let it go. I want 2021 to show me that although progress is not linear, progress is being made. Think more positively about the overall picture instead of nit-picking every little thing in my life. That things can not be okay, that it’s okay if everything isn’t in our favor, and that no matter what, progress will be made in the process.

So, the fuck the expectations that you have for the new year. Fuck the expectations that are your goals and resolutions have to be achieved in order to have a successful year. Fuck the expectations that if something doesn’t go as planned, you’ve failed as a person. Fuck the expectations that if you aren’t who people want you to be, that you again failed as person.

Expect the unexpected and be okay with it.

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, Voiceless Rant: The Series

A Voiceless Rant: January 2021 Edition.

30+ Best New Year Wishes for 2021 - New Year Messages for Friends and Family

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

First and foremost, happy new year! We have officially left 2020 in the past and we are now starting a new and fresh year! I hope that everyone had a fun yet safe new year’s celebration. I hope in whatever way possible, you spent it with friends and family and in great company since the holidays can typically be one of the hardest times of the year for people. Nevertheless, it’s a new year which means new beginnings, new opportunities, and just a new start.

Nevertheless, here’s the first installment of 2021 for this series:

For me, 2021 is going to be the year that life might be life-changing. With the surgery happening within the next month or two, I am preparing to get the fee ready to pay for and get handed a date. This is so fucking scary to think about, to think that this chapter of my life is coming to an end to start a new, foreign one.

2021 for me is that maybe I will finally work on the things that I need to work on for the sake of having better friendships and better communication with those people in my life. I want to finally be able to balance out prioritizing my feelings yet being aware enough of the other person’s feelings. Ending 2020 has taught me a lot about the things I need to work on, but I know that I am capable of improving some areas in my life that I’m not the most proud of.

In every new year’s post I’ve posted on the blog, I’ve mentioned that I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions because they give off the expectation that if you don’t achieve the goals that you set at the end of the year prior, your whole year was unsuccessful. I don’t believe in the new year’s resolution thingymabob because you don’t know what the year holds for you. You don’t know what’s to come, what’s going to interfere with your progress of achieving these goals, and to make these expectations before the year even begins isn’t the smartest thing to be doing.

But isn’t this sort of like a resolution post, Liz?” Possibly. I have some expectations for the new year and hope to achieve them somewhat in 2021. But, it doesn’t mean my year would be completely useless if I didn’t get to achieve what I wanted to achieve.

I mean, we all entered last year thinking we were all going to be making the biggest moves and the biggest memories since we were leaving another decade in the past; I know I did. But COVID happened, and it was something so unexpected for a year that was supposed to be a new leaf for a lot of people. Now we’re so happy to say we are officially in 2020.

But, I will take the things that happened in 2020 and what it gave us to learn from it and apply it to the many years to come; not just in 2021. 2020 has taught us that we as a society take the people in our lives and our abilities to do things for granted, because they can be easily taken away from us, as the pandemic did. It taught us how to spend time with ourselves, to see what are some things we are able do to make the best out of these shitty situations, to test our limits to see how strong we could be.

I just hope 2021 brings more kindness into this world.

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!

Happy 3rd Birthday, LFL! 🎂

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Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone for tuning in for the last nine days in celebration of the blog turning 3! It’s insane to see that almost 400 posts later, we are still here, writing content, still loving what we do, and finding even my own inner peace by writing for this blog.

Seriously, guys – thank you.

I know the community is small, and there aren’t that many of you out there, but honestly, that doesn’t mean anything to me. This blog was created in order to get my thoughts and words out there and to continue doing something that I’m passionate about when times got busy and life just happened. If you’ve been here before the name change (TNTH), then you know how we got here; I started this blog during my grad school career to keep my creativity outlet going in the gist of academia. Getting inspiration through our writers on the internet, I decided that on my 23rd birthday, I would launch my blog into the world. Although it’s scary, and due to the very personal voice I use on this blog I’ve upset some people in my life; I still don’t regret anything I wrote and will write for the blog. This is me in my purest form; I was meant to write and will continue doing so for the rest of my life, now we just have to find a job where I can get paid for writing like this, but we’ll get there eventually!

In other news, I’m now 26. I’ve officially crossed over to the “closer to 30” mark, and I’m freaking out! Of course, I am so grateful for being able to live this long; 8 years ago, I didn’t see my future, let alone 26! I’m thankful for seeing another year and to get another opportunity to learn, grow, and prosper. Also, my favorite number for some odd reason has always been 26, so maybe that’s a good sign that this year will be unforgettable!

I hope to do things at 26 that I never have done before: travel, go out and socialize more, meet some new people, eat healthier! Although 26 is still some way to 30, I genuinely do feel that 26 is the beginning of an even better chapter of my life, and I’m excited to continue to work myself to make these things happen for myself. 23 was bad, 24 was even worse, 25 was a bit better but still a struggle, and now I hope at 26, I find some peace and happiness and courage.

So that’s that! The LFL Anniversary celebration has officially ended! Like every year, we will go on a mini-hiatus for a week to just sit back, relax, and gather some ideas for future letters. We will be back on schedule on Tuesday, January 21st @ 12 noon!

Here’s to another year of LFL, and here’s to another year of life!

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LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!

25 Things That Happened/I Learned While Being 25.

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Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

These posts are some of my favorite to write, just because this post is pretty much what started the blog in the first place, but it does allow me to reflect on the many things I’ve done and learned right before a new year starts. Last year, we did twenty-four, and now it’s time to say goodbye to one of the best years I think I had in a really long time, twenty-five.

Continue reading “25 Things That Happened/I Learned While Being 25.”

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!

What 26 Was Gonna Be Like, As Told by a *Naïve* 22-Year-Old.

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Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

So, here’s a funny story.

When I was younger, and not that much younger but seriously YOUNGER, ya girl had plans. You see, I was 22-years-old, in 2016, living the best life I could possibly live, making plans for my future like some big, ambitious hot-shot. I was wrapping up college, I was going to grad school right after, I was in a serious relationship, and I was trying to think where I wanted to be by the time I turned 26.

I told myself the following:

  • First and foremost, I expected to have a working career, even though I never had a job in my life at the time. I thought by the time I turned 24 and graduated with a master’s degree, employers were going to crawl to me and beg me to work for them, and just instantly get a career that I loved. At the time, I wanted to do screenwriting, which I planned that with film school hopefully in the works, I’d be making films and all that jazz. Yep, living the dream.
  • I also wanted to get engaged by the time I was 26. In my mind, 26 seemed like the right age to make such a major decision like that, that I was so ready to settle down and marry the man of my dreams; which I guessed could’ve happened because the relationship was a serious one, but still – I thought I would’ve been engaged by then. If I got engaged before that, like from 23 to 25, then I wanted to be married by the time I was 26. In this relationship, I was in that mindset that I was ready to settle down with the man I was with, so I just thought that 26 was a good age to do so.
  • When I was so in love with that relationship, I had thoughts about even having children by the time I was 26. I didn’t want kids at first but discussing things like that with my former partner, it was something that I wouldn’t mind happening with that man. I was crazy in love, indeed. Again, it was in reference to my mother and how life was planned out for her; she had my sister when she was 25, and to my 22-year-old mind, I thought that was mature and an adult-like age to do things like that.
  • I also thought I’d be out of my mother’s place, possibly living with my then-partner or with a roommate or something. Then again, I thought that I was capable of moving out when I was 18, but man was I fooled! At 22, I just thought that 26 was still “too old” to be living in the same roof as my family, whether or not the rent was (and still is) stupid high.

Being at 25, I realize how ridiculous and high these expectations were for me. Of course, always aim high, but at 22, I didn’t realize just how much more growing up I needed to do. Of course, at 22 I didn’t know where exactly I’d be when I celebrate my 26th birthday, but it’s nowhere even close to where I thought it was going to be. At 25, I’m single, I don’t have anyone sliding in the DMs nor do I want anyone doing so, I know I don’t want to have kids and accepted that, and marriage is something I don’t see myself being in even in the next 4 years of my twenties. At 25, I learned a lot about life since I made those plans. Also, life just happens, and sometimes the things you work for just don’t happen for you and instead bring you other opportunities to discover things that feel more like you. Although I didn’t go to film school, I found my passions in writing flourish through rhetoric and writing composition, which lead me to the place and path I’m on now! Although I didn’t get engaged, married, or had a kid (THANK GOD), I found out that some of the things that I thought I wanted were not things I wanted for me as a person, but for me as a person who was in a relationship. And lastly, although I don’t live in my own place, I still have money to do the things I want to do like travel and explore the world; just living my damn 20’s!

So, this is how I’m truly entering my 26th year:

  • I work at my old college’s bookstore and I love it. I get to help college students get their textbooks as smooth and efficient as possible, which is just the start of my mission towards my career. I plan to stay in academia, maybe teach one day, but I truly become an academic advisor! Although I don’t have the experience to do so (yet), just working at a college is a good start. I also really like my job.
  • I’m not in a relationship anymore, which means all the relationship things I planned didn’t happen, and I’m perfectly fine by that. People just outgrow each other, and sometimes things just don’t work out. Since being out of the relationship, I’ve had the time to focus my energy on myself, which gives me a better understanding of who I am, what I want, and where I’d like to be. As of right now, I don’t want to enter a new relationship; I just want to get to know myself, travel, live my life, and challenge myself to new and better things in life.
  • I live at home because the rent is expensive and I’m just starting my life. I just started to make my own money, and I still have so many things to do because I get a place and have to spend my money on bills and such. I’m not ready for all of that, and that’s fine! Living in NYC is hard on your own, and I know I’m just not ready to try to be a complete adult and live on my own. The time will come, but it ain’t coming anytime soon.
  • I’m planning to go on my first airborne trip! This would be my first time ever on an airplane, and it would be to Florida to see Tori, one of my closest friends in my life. She moved to Florida last summer, and I’ve told myself that when she settles into a place with her fiancee and her dog, Sasha, I was going to visit her. We’re hoping for a March trip, so hopefully, the blog will be getting a travel diary within a couple of months!

There’s still so much life I feel like I need to live before I do any of those “plans” I had planned for myself. I’m not sad, nor upset that my life didn’t go as planned, it happens and everything happens for a reason. So here I am, 25 and 2 days away from 26, living my life the way it was planned out for me, by me, as I got older.

At least 22 was optimistic… too optimistic.

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