The Wishing Tree

Growing up there was a large oak tree that lived in the center of my neighborhood. Anyone from New York knows these kinds of trees are to be revered; as their existence is dwindling next to shadow casting skyscrapers. On weekends where my Grandmother would visit, we'd sit under the tree together and talk about life. Now, me as a seven year old, life consisted of the newest Barbie and whether or not I was allowed to ride my bike without a helmet. Clearly, I was all about the bigger issues back then. A visionary--if you will.  Yet, we'd sit together happy as clams and I'd share my most daring of dreams and look up to a green and blue sky, eyes wide with hope. 

It was at the end of an afternoon with my Grandmother that she proclaimed this large tree to be our wishing tree. Whenever something seemed out of reach by my tiny hands, I was to sit underneath the magical leaves of the wishing tree and make a wish.  Initially I frowned in my childish skepticism, 
"What if I want the highest leaf? A wish won't let me reach it." My grandmother laughed and patted my head,
"Wishes bring everything a little bit closer, then it's your job to reach for it."

Now that I'm grown I think of this tree often and the magic it provided to my childhood. This tree would actually be the subject of my first piece of literature, a crying post, and a immovable moment in time when I first believed. It gave me hope that beyond a regimented life, there lies a path for those who still believe in magic. A path for only the courageous, the strong, and the wonderful wanderers. A tree, of all things,  provided me with the foundation of believing in something you cannot see. 

One day when I have children of my own, they will have wishing trees. Right along with their Abc's, they will learn that nothing is more than a wish and a reach away. For most of my achievements began as silly wishes, a wish for something not yet defined. Always wanting more and wishing for the next star barely out of reach; this is the birth of ambition. There have been many who told me that my wishes cannot, could not, and would not come true. But I've always known better.

Because years ago, on a Saturday, a young girl was given a wishing tree. And with that tree, the idea that if you want something badly enough....nothing, not even the highest leaf is out of reach.

Make a wish.



Making Sense of Sororities

One of my favorite things is when people discover I was in a sorority and then reply with,

"Oh, that makes sense."

I'm glad you think so. Aside from learning how to paint my nails on my right hand with my left, being in a sorority was one of the best things I've ever done. Learning how to coexist with more girls than you'd ever like to be around, is a skill that has taken me far in my career, as the fashion industry is dominated by women. Sorority women are not just girls in neons playing powderpuff on the lacrosse field. Let me list the ways Greek girls have a leg up on life:

1. We know when to keep things to ourselves. After endless chapter meetings of wanting to say whatever comes to mind, we've learned to pick and choose our words carefully because after all- you live with these girls. You learn very quickly in a sorority when to say what's on your mind, and how to deliver it in a way that won't end up like this:

2. Sorority girls are mini politicians. We don't mess around when it comes time for officer elections, and we definitely won't when it comes time for that next promotion. Shaking hands and kissing babies? That's the way of yesterday. We can create a campaign, deliver inspiring speeches, and pass our finals. Bring it on Washington.

3. We have a worldwide network of sisters. Enough said.

4. We'll get our hands dirty. Habitat for Humanity? Food drives? Car washes? You name it- we've done it. You haven't seen determination until you've met a chapter that believes in a cause. Sorority girls are philanthropic warriors. 

5. We hold ourselves accountable for our actions. While my neighbor would crawl home at 4 am, I did not have that luxury. Being in a sorority means being a part of the bigger picture and what it means to set an example for the next class. It's learning that every action has a reaction, and doing what's right isn't always what's easy.  Actually it never is. It's never easy.

7. Multi-tasker is our middle name. Literally. What did you think the M in KMB stood for? Plan a formal, design tee shirts, practice recruitment, tutor on campus, run for Panhellenic, and do everything else college requires? Challenge accepted.

8. We always choose Paris. Being in a sorority means having a front row seat to the reality show that is undergrad college. Between your own experiences and those of your sisters, you learn quickly that while boys may come and go--your friends are always going to be there to put you on the plane to France. Or they'll make you watch The Hills until you promise you'll stop talking to Justin Bobby.

9. We're as loyal as they come. Being a part of a sisterhood means that while you may not love everyone in your chapter, they're your sister regardless. When push comes to shove you're there for each other through thick and thin.

10. You're an independent, successful, beautiful badass. There's no other way of saying it. The women I've been lucky to know and call my friends are people who inspire me to do better, do more, and become the best version of myself. We don't shy away from a board room presentation; we've already learned how to keep the attention of 100+ women with unlimited texting. We're brave and ready to take on the next challenge, whatever that may be. We've learned what it means to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We celebrate one another and are each other's cheerleaders through life. So I'm glad it "makes sense" that I was in a sorority. Because I was and I love it.



Hmmmm. Ok.

Twenty five is the age where there is an unspoken divide amongst your circle of friends. There are those who are ready for a family, marriage, and all the glories that come with buying your first home. To those, I tip my flower fastener in your direction. There are also those who are simply not ready to grow roots. They're the rootless, the wild, and they've been known to throw diamond rings in rivers. ....No comment on the rings in rivers portion.

As a member of the latter party, and having attended our last Wild Things Convention, there are a few things that caused quite the stir, a titch of confusion if you will. We've complied a list for your reading pleasure. Enjoy, have a laugh, and please don't email me defending your mason jars.

1. You saw this coming...when did mason jars become iconic motif for weddings everywhere? Did all of my friends secretly grow up in barns? Because last time I checked, the suburbs of Chicago had electricity and running water. I mean... your dad drives a mercedes. Free the fireflies and invest in a lamp. It'll last longer. Return on investment my friends. We are the most educated generation thus far, and yet we are regressing to mason jars... why...? We created Facebook and yet we are enslaving fireflies...

2. Don't make up baby names and get mad when I pronounce them wrong. #learningcurve

3. Making people buy dresses they will never wear again. If I can't wear it again and if I won't look glamorous then I won't buy it. I will show up in burlap and tell you to deal.

4. Pinterest is the Disney to the twenty-something American girl. Unless you start making friends with animals; all the Pinterest projects in the world won't make you a princess. A wedding should reflect your style, not the style of everyone you pin from. #beentheredonethat

5. Pressure others to get engaged because you are. I have a wedding once a year, it's called my birthday. I'm not ready for a marriage, but when I am, I will be sure to let you and 1,023 of my Facebook know. There will be live coverage on all major networks along with real time tweets. Don't you worry. But for now though?

6. Getting married suddenly means you have a curfew? We miss you at the 4 a.m. bars. Come back :(

7. I once walked into a wedding and thought, "Oh shoot, I'm at Easter mass, this can't be right..."
Unless there is a easter egg hunt following the reception (which would be a great idea) maybe treat pastels as accent pieces instead of an elevated easter brunch. #bunnychic #IwillFindAllTheEggs

8. Converse.. go buy some shoes. If you're wearing Vera you probably might want to hold on the cons. Save that for the honeymoon... or never... never works too.

9. Twine is everywhere at weddings. If you're that in love with twine, nix the platinum wedding band and just tie some rope around your finger. #youarenotsouthern #whoareyou??

10. Chalkboards. This is up there with the mason jars. God forbid someone erase the arrows to where the reception is... how would we ever find it?

11. Vintage Chic. 
This is what that looks like:

This is what you think it looks like (thank you Pinterest):

12. Milestones are not mile markers. All jokes aside, marriage is a beautiful thing. To my engaged and married friends, I love each of you and you're all pretty awesome. Job well done at finding your partner in crime. And to my single friends, the same to you and I will see you this evening. We need to celebrate in one another's spot in life and realize that marriage is not the destination. We are not a generation of housewives, and I know I did not attend college to get my MRS. A marriage is making your best friend officially yours--let's get back to celebrating the beauty in that and put on a real pair of shoes. And if you go to Michael's to buy some mason jars, you're out of luck. I just bought all of them and will be retailing them for $50.00 a jar. Take that Pinterest.



12 Truths

You never know where life is going to take you. Sometimes the unexpected becomes the present. And when that happens... I like to remember these truths:

1. See someone smile because you put it there. Do it again tomorrow.

2. You don't have to find out you're dying to start living.

3. When words lose their meaning- take action.

4. The hard times were created to make you grow. The longer you fight it, the longer it'll last.

5. Never underestimate the gift that is being there for somebody.

6. We should all act more like Kid President. Minus the corn dogs.

7. When you make a mistake or hurt someone--always apologize.

8. Just because you think your life would make a great reality show...doesn't mean it has to be one.

9. Picnics are always a good idea.

10. You can see the world a lot better from the roof of your parents' house.

And that's about it.