Leap Year

I got to thinking about leap year. Today, after all, is February 29, 2012. It’s always been such a random addition to our calendar, in my personal opinion. Every leap year, I think about those poor children who are born on February 29th. I assume they have to change their birthday to either the 28th or the 1st. I know it seems like such a tiny thing, but I would hate to have to change my birthday. It just seems so odd. But I guess it gives you an excuse to throw a huge celebration every four years. I’m probably the only one who thinks changing their birthday would be weird; thankfully my birthday is in September, in a non-leap year. So… what do you think about leap year?

Give me coffee!

I got to thinking about coffee. I’m a self-proclaimed caffeine addict. In fact, as I write this, I’m drinking a venti toffee nut latte from Starbucks. I need caffeine in the morning, whether at five or ten. And part of it, I’m sure, is psychological. I need the caffeine in coffee to jump-start my day. But I also think some of it’s necessary. The days I don’t have coffee, I get an all-day, excruciatingly painful headache. It’s basically withdrawal. Some say I’m addicted to caffeine. That’s a decently tame vice that most of us Starbucks-lovers have, I’d say. And I won’t give it up. I won’t give up coffee for Lent, nor will I give up coffee if I’m on a camping trip. I will find that coffee. I will avoid that awful headache. And you know what? I’m okay with that. I’m a coffee addict. And I love it.

“The Vow”

I got to thinking about The Vow. You know, that movie with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum? I just saw this movie. I was intrigued by the fact that it’s based on true events. Real love stories are always the most romantic, anyway. I was impressed by the concept. But it stopped there. This movie had incredible potential, but I ultimately left disappointed. Rachel McAdams, of course, was on her A-game, but the rest of the movie fell flat.


The writing didn’t impress me. A lot of the dialogue was on-the-nose and flat. I cringed during all of the scenes in Channing Tatum’s recording studio. The dialogue here was incredibly forced. I think most writers can recognize this. The movie wasn’t entirely awful, but it could’ve used a couple more edits to make the writing more believable and evoking. What did you think of this movie?

Writers Block

I got to thinking about writers block. All writers are guilty of this from time to time. But is it real? Or is it just a perfectionist’s excuse not to write until they have it all together? I would say it’s the latter. I’m not saying I don’t use this excuse. Sometimes there are days when I just cannot seem to find the right words. So I don’t write. But this is simply avoidance. The perfect words can be edited over time. It’s just important to get some words out, to get those feelings out. We can go back and fix things later. That’s what the editing process is all about! Besides, writing isn’t about perfection. Writing is about self-expression, self-awareness.


I will try to avoid saying I have “writers block.” It doesn’t exist. I cannot avoid perfection, but I can strive for writing what I want in the moment. After all, I write because I love it. And that’s what matters.


I got to thinking about avoidance. Why do we avoid things? Is it easier to avoid something than face it head on? Usually, yes. I’m guilty of avoiding things. I will be the first to admit that. I’ve never been a fan of change. I like things to stay the way they are. That’s the true simple life. But that isn’t how we should live our lives. Facing something head on is way scarier than letting it affect our lives, but it must be done. Ever heard this? … nothing ventured, nothing gained. It’s annoyingly true. We must not avoid things. If we do, we are avoiding life. In order to get the things we want, or to become a stronger person by overcoming something, we must tackle it with grace and confidence. You won’t get anything if you avoid everything. You’ll stay in the same place forever. And what kind of life is that? A boring one.

The De Jong Family

I got to thinking about family. Some of us are fortunate enough to grow up with loving, healthy families. Some of us are not. Luckily, I fall into the former category. There is nothing more important than family. I never fully understood this growing up. I always loved my family, of course, but I didn’t see how important they were. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how much my family has done for me. I don’t think I would be the person I am today without them. As those who know me, I freakishly adore my family. I always go home on breaks to be with them. That’s more important to me than a destination spring break. Family matters most. Family is the glue that keeps me grounded. Family gets me through the unbearable times, when I just want to give up. Family is the utmost imperative thing in this life.

It’s Time

I got to thinking about time. There’s never enough time in the world. Sometimes I feel like I have to pick and choose one thing over another because of time. We simply cannot do everything. Life is way too short for that. But at the end of the day, how we spend our time should be doing what we love most. Certainly we have to do things we don’t want to do, like laundry and cleaning the dishes. But excluding tasks like those, we should always spend our time doing what we love. What is life without that? Life should be measured by how many moments that make us smile, not by how many moments we have. We should do the things that make us smile. Time is in short supply. So don’t waste it.

Oh, High School

I got to thinking about high school. It’s an interesting topic, to say the least. I read once, before I entered those grueling four years, that high school was supposed to be the most fun four years of one’s life. That certainly was not the case for me. If those were the best years of my life, then I really was going to have a bad life. But high school doesn’t have to be perfect. My high school experience was awful. I hated every day of it after sophomore year. Girls were mean and guys were immature. I had three really great friends throughout high school. They’re three amazing girls who I still keep in contact with and will continue to forever. They helped me endure high school, giving me some great memories, pushing aside those horrific ones, along the way.

But now high school is ancient history! It doesn’t matter once you hit your twenties whether you were the quarterback, the cheerleader, or the biggest nerd in school. Life is NOT about who you were in high school. That would be pretty boring, anyway.

So this is what I propose. If you’re still in high school and it’s just as awful for you, take it in strides. It’ll be over before you know it. You don’t have to let people get to you. Chances are, you’ll do more with your life as an outcast. If you’re out of high school, remember that it doesn’t define you. If people were awful to you, always remember to not be like that to the new people in your life. High school, to put it plainly, is necessary and stupid. So don’t let it get to you. It sucks. But it’s only four years.


The thickness of the water,

Swallowed them whole.

The vivid blue;

So unforgiving, so dangerous, so grand.

They fell into the ocean,

Surrounded by bluefish and fluke swimming in schools,

Just off Martha’s Vineyard.

A place so desolate; a place I’ll never go.

Their arms couldn’t reach out for help.

They didn’t have a chance.

Their skin would turn to dust.

There was no way out.

And it changed my view of time.

Time is lost, time is forgotten.

I lost my little brother that day;

A day without a cloud in New York City.

That boy I lost could radiate sunshine from a smile;

That boy with those brown eyes;

That boy with that heart of gold.

I’ll never be the same woman without him.

I’ll never see the ocean as beautiful again.

Money Money Money

I got to thinking about money. Do we measure ourselves in money? Does money buy happiness? How much is enough money for us to get by? Everything requires money. And that’s a scary thing. Will we have enough money for our future? For a healthy meal? Sometimes I feel like I’m spending all of my savings at Starbucks or on dinners at my favorite Los Angeles Mexican restaurant, Don Antonio’s. Being a poor college student, I’m fully aware of what things cost. Money is all around us, whether we’d like to admit it or not. I’m not sure that money buys happiness, but it sure can buy a nice meal and Christian Louboutin’s. Money helps us, sustains us, but it certainly does not define us.