My Beauty Routine

Hello, World.

I haven’t gone over my beauty routine in a while. I alluded to some products I’m using in my post about products I didn’t think I’d need at age 23, but I haven’t done an updated “beauty routine” in a while. So, I wanted to share my routine and the product I’m loving. Currently, I try to keep my routine to a minimum while ensuring my skin is looking healthy and clear. I am blessed with fairly clear skin, but I am an advocate of maintaining healthy skin habits. Continue reading “My Beauty Routine”

The Great Purge

The Great Purge

Hello, World.

I recently felt like I’ve accumulated too much stuff. I have the desire to cleanse my life of all the stuff that takes up space but isn’t contributing and isn’t giving me anything. I was recently talking to people about the issue I have with unread books. At the beginning of 2018, I decided I would go on a book buying freeze until I’d read all the books that I had that I hadn’t read. Continue reading “The Great Purge”

How to Handle People with a Superiority Complex

How to Handle People with a Superiority Complex

Hello, World.

Have you ever met someone knew and remember thinking, “wow, this person must know everything?” Or “wow, this person clearly thinks highly of themselves?” Or even, “wow, this person obviously thinks they are better than me?” We all know that person who barely smiles, whose nose is always slightly upturned, the person who acknowledges you when it benefits them but acts as though you’re a random stranger on the street when it doesn’t. Continue reading “How to Handle People with a Superiority Complex”

Moving Across the Country

Moving Across the Country

Hello, World.

I recently received a request for a post about moving across the country and setting up an apartment from far away. I’m not sure why it hadn’t occurred to me to do a post on this, but once a reader suggested it, I was eager to sit down and write it. I’ve done a post about apartment hunting, but that was more how to find the perfect place. I’ve also detailed the best way to make a new place home by decorating it to fit your tastes. But the logical place to start when you’re moving far away to a place you may not be familiar with is starting big picture and then narrowing your scope. Continue reading “Moving Across the Country”

Read This When: You Had a Rough Week

Read This When: You Had a Rough Week

Hello, World!

Have you ever had a rough week? A week that you just couldn’t wait for it to end so you can stop feeling like everything is going wrong? Sometimes rough weeks just happen. Whether it’s the weather, combined with bad juju at work, combined with feelings of frustration or just a general feeling of frustration and feeling like things are just working against you. You know, like for some reason you’re trying to wade through some invisible current and an external force is pulling you in the other direction. Rough weeks, when they happen, are not fun to deal with and can be pretty defeating.

I overheard someone complaining on the phone recently about having a terrible week. Something about no one sticking up for her when a guy at her job was yelling at her about something that she did. Something about laundry being messed up. Something about her boyfriend canceling their dinner plans that Friday, the one thing she’d been looking forward to. For the record, she was sitting near me at Starbucks, and talking loudly. I promise I wasn’t purposefully eavesdropping on this woman’s private conversation. Anyway, I felt bad for her and definitely recognized the feeling of being defeated by a week where things just aren’t going well. It’s kind of funny how hit or miss weeks can be. We go week after week with nothing particularly bad happening, and then suddenly, as if the universe conspires against us, all the bad stuff hits in a single week, making the Monday to Friday week feel eternal and uncomfortable.

The thing with rough weeks, though, is sometimes it’s better to just embrace them. Embrace that things aren’t working for you and that you’re frustrated. Don’t keep fighting it, just accept that it’s not your week and make the best of what you can. I also think it’s beneficial to take a step back. Breathe. Try to remember that not every week follows this terrible formula. Take time for yourself. Go to a yoga class, meditate, do something that’s low key but will help bring you back to center. I think it’s important to not push yourself to make things work during rough weeks. It’s okay to be frustrated and want to just take it easy. So, embrace the things aren’t working, find your center, and wait for a new week and a new start. Hopefully, by then, the bad vibes will be gone.

Truly,
Callie leigh

Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone

ACS_0375Hello, World.

I recently finished reading Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone and I loved it! I will admit that I had a very slow start to reading this book. I had just finished Little Fires Everywhere, and I think I had a residual book hangover and picked up this read a bit too soon. However, I always give a book until page 150 before I decide whether to stick it out or not. Right around page 100, this book really picked up speed for me. Initially, this is one of those books that when I started reading, I was hooked and engrossed in the story, but starting wasn’t always at the top of my priority list. However, right around page 100, I was hooked and thinking about this book nonstop. I found myself getting to work early, reading outside of Starbucks before heading to the office, and then hurrying home after work to read a few more chapters before bed.

Similar to Little Fires Everywhere, this book was highly recommended and read by a lot of readers I admire. What I love about this story is that it’s epic. It’s epically tragic, epically forgiving, epically real, epically raw, and just epic. Every aspect is large and proud and in your face, but it’s all sewn together so seamlessly and the closure you get at the end gives you chills. As per usual, I wanted to share the description of this book that is on the book because I think it’s important to see how the book sells itself, and then discuss whether that description is accurate. The dust jacket reads:

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska—a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

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As the niece of a Vietnam War veteran, I was hesitant to read about the PTSD that resulted in so many vets (from every war), but particularly following Vietnam. However, this book made me want to know more and more and more about the 70s, the political climate, and what caused the war. I’ve spoken to my uncle a few times about his experience, but, understandably, it’s hard for him to discuss. However, this book was so interesting in how it handled PTSD and the War. For one, I do feel that Ernt would have been abusive (this is a spoiler, but honestly it’s so apparent in the first few chapters, you won’t lose much knowing ahead of reading that abuse is present), regardless of the war. I think, however, he was suffering badly from undiagnosed PTSD. I will note, however, that sometimes it felt like his experience was the sole reason he was abusive, and that bothered me slightly. Maybe I’m being too harsh or idealistic, but I just felt that his experience as a POW would not lead him to be severely abusive to his loved ones. In many ways, the details and treatment of the abuse imply that the abusive side of the father was always there, if only dormant before his war experience. Still, this debate would make an entire essay in an English class.

The other thing I will say about the abuse is that when I first started this book the abuse sometimes felt a little like a trope or too “textbook” domestic violence. The signs too clear. That probably sounds wildly insensitive and I do not mean for it to. What I mean is that oftentimes abuse is layered and complicated and not boiled down to “he didn’t mean it,” “I egged him on,” or “he loves us too much, that’s why he hurts me.” HOWEVER, (and I shout this because it’s very important), it is important to remember that this book is set in the 70s, when domestic violence was not as recognized and prevented and the law did not serve victims justice. Further, I loved Leni’s story arc in relation to the abuse. She transforms from a young, naive child who is told what to believe into an independent, strong, won’t-take-the-unhealthy-behavior shit from anyone. I will say, the abusive scenes were hard to read and I had to set the book down a few times just to calm myself.

While this book is being touted by many as predominantly about abuse, I felt it was much more about love and survival and the power we find within ourselves to go after what we want, stand up for ourselves against all odds, and the sacrifices we make to keep those we love safe. It’s a story about motherhood and the responsibility that both daughters and mothers feel toward each other. Also, I just adore Matthew and Leni’s relationship. I don’t want to spoil anything about them because their storyline gave so much and was so fun to read and watch develop! But… I will say, I love them. Their love story is both endearing and heart-wrenching. It’s a bit of Romeo and Juliet if Romeo and Juliet lived in a wild, unforgiving landscape. There is a bit at the end where some things are left unclear, and we get a handful of chapters before we ever get closure. While reading that handful of chapters, I was so annoyed. I just wanted to know what happened. However, once you know, you feel the epicness of a love that shouldn’t survive but does, in whatever form it takes.

Finally, I loved how Alaska was its own character, but also served, in many ways, as a representation of Leni’s home life and her parents’ marriage. The land, much like her parents, could be beautiful and loving and enchanting, but also wild and dangerous and unpredictable. The similarities between tip-toeing around the cabin so as to not upset Ernt and tip-toeing over frozen-over bodies of water left an uneasiness as I was reading. The tension, when relieved in the home, was often still present in the landscape.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am very glad I read it. It isn’t a book I’d ordinarily pick up, but I’m thankful I listened to the recommendations!

Next up, The Female Persuasion. What are you reading?

Truly,
Callie leigh

My Advice: “Prepare to be Humbled”

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Hello, World.

I recently started my summer job and I am working with some law students from other law schools, and we regularly swap “war stories” about our law school experiences. It’s funny to compare notes and see what is consistent and what is not. When we were talking about advice given or received about law school, I said my advice to incoming 1Ls is “prepare to be humbled.” I usually laugh after this, often trying to lighten the mood of the rather dark sentiment I’ve just relayed, especially when I see the person on the receiving end of this advice either attempt to roll their eyes in an undetectable way or look at me with wide, fearful eyes. The thing is, I don’t say this to be cruel or mean and it isn’t meant as a scare tactic. However, I do mean it.

The reason I say this is simply because law students are, in many capacities, the highest achieving people from their respective colleges. We likely graduated with honors, were leaders in our extracurricular activities, maybe worked in the legal realm between college and law school, and are, if nothing else, academics, logical analysts, and deeply successful people. It is common that Type-A personalities end up in America’s law schools, so it is unsurprising that when you put all the very intelligent, diligent, hard-working Type-A students in an environment grounded in grades done on a curve we start to feel … humbled. Maybe we’re no longer the smartest people in the room. Maybe we struggle with torts or criminal law in ways we’ve never grappled with the subject matter before. Perhaps our writing is suddenly receiving grades previously only known as part of the scale and not where we fell on it. I’ve had people who I’ve given this advice to excel in law school classes. However, I do not mean “prepare to be humbled” to apply only to the grades received in classes. In some way, law school humbles the human spirit. If you’re excelling in classes, maybe your social life is not what it was in college. If your social calendar is full, maybe your grades are slipping lower on the curve, unable to move up the slope. Maybe you applied for the job you were confident you had, only to be rejected from it. Maybe you applied for 80 jobs only to receive 20 emails, 18 of which were rejections and the other 2 were botched interviews.

So, in law school, and in life, prepare to be humbled. Being humbled is not a bad thing. In fact, it is more grounding than anything. There is a reason people say “she’s so down to earth” as a positive compliment to people. Humble people, kind people, always get further in the long run. The people who are not this way may be wildly successful, but my personal belief is that it is better to be humble than the inverse, which is arrogance, aloofness, or just outright condescension. Sometimes you are the smartest person and the room, and others you are not. A good rule of thumb in law school is this: act equally in either scenario because people will likely not respond well to you telling them, informing them, or implying to them that you are the smartest person in the room!

Truly,
Callie Leigh

A Note to My Residents Who Graduated This May

A Note to My Past ResidentsWho Graduated this May.png

Hello, World.

On May 27, my first group of residents that I had as a resident advisor graduated from Saint Mary’s. If I was in California this summer, I would have tried to go, but sadly, I was unable to make it. Still, seeing all my residents in their caps and gowns, toasting champagne and concluding their years at SMC made me emotional. For one, I was so proud of them. Second, I saw them when they entered SMC and it’s been fun to watch them grow and find their voices and become who they are now. Naturally, there are residents I keep in better contact with than others. Still, the thing about being an RA is this: you make an impact on them, but they make an equal, if not greater, impact on you. So many of them have grown immensely, have become leaders, have become writers, activists, and some will go on to graduate programs. Obviously, this happens with each college class, but it feels different when you met them at the starting line and now they’re crossing the stage, diploma in hand, cheering loudly at the finish line.

I probably sound sappy, and maybe I am, but it’s also fun to see where your residents end up. When I was in California over spring break I visited my alma mater and ran into some of the residents who just graduated. One of them told me he changed his major to English (my major) and he became an RA to first years, which was so exciting and fitting. Another resident told me she got a full-time job post-grad at a major San Francisco accounting firm. The accomplishments of my residents make me so proud of them and I love to see how they’ve blossomed into the young professionals they are. Perhaps it makes me happy because I remember how I felt and who I was my first year in college and then how I felt and who I was leaving college. Saint Mary’s is named one of the colleges that change lives, and I know that was true for me. Saint Mary’s, in many ways, is home for me. I am so appreciative of the time I spent there and the change and growth it fostered in me, and so to see the college have a similar effect on my residents is incredible.

To my residents who graduated, and to anyone graduating college, I say this: the next year will be hard. You may love it or you may find it challenging, but you’ll likely experience a sense of change. You won’t be in Moraga come August like you have for the last four years, but you are starting a new chapter, and in that there is excitement. Know that while you may struggle, may feel displaced, and may miss college so badly it causes a physical ache, you have memories that can never be forgotten and people who will be with you for life. Transitioning from college to real-life or graduate school has a steep learning curve, one much steeper than between high school and college, in my opinion. BUT, the College has prepared you and you are ready to tackle the world and make a new start for yourself. When adulting sucks, remember the feeling you had on graduation day. The one that is equal parts “so glad I’m done with this f*cking place” and “gosh, I’m going to miss this.” You know the feeling. Remember it, and remember that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to.

Forgive me if that sounded a bit like a graduation speech, but I honestly have always, since the day that first group of residents entered Assumption Hall, wanted the best for them. So, go out into the world and build your empire, cultivate a legacy, and remember, GO GAELS.

Best,
Callie leigh