Pocket Vacations

26169039_10211079596372599_6775302881647493717_nSometimes you need a vacation that isn’t even three days long and is filled with coffee. I call these “Pocket Vacations” because they’re so small they can fit in your poc- I take that back. I’m so sorry for this. I regret everything I’ve ever said.

ANYWAYS. I had one of these recently in Atlanta, Georgia. One of my good friends from high school (are you as surprised as I am that I had friends in high school?) moved to the big GA last year and so far she’s loving it. I thought “hey I could use this human to see a new city without having to pay for housing” and so I slid in her DMS.

Okay jokes.  Continue reading

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Escape into Danger.

11942192_10153107801173231_8893816411187717852_oWith nowhere else to go, I drove to the base of a mountain and started climbing. My shoes weren’t made for the steep rocks and I slipped more times than I’d like to admit. There were no other people around; after all it’s the middle of a Tuesday on a hot summer’s day. No one in their right mind would be hiking right now.

I give it up to poetic justice when I reach up to grab hold of the rock and feel a sting in the tip of my fingers. I yank my hand back to see blood trickling down the palm and onto the hot stone below. Continue reading

Magic, Disney, and Losers

25550256_10210955637113695_2179826903778710288_nMagic much exist because I’ve seen it with my own eyes in the midst of the happiest place on earth.

Disney World. Despite it being so crowded I wanted to scream and so hot I wanted to cry, the three days I spent at Disney World were truly magical. This is partly due to the wonders of the parks, the details of each corner, the excitement of the rides, and the endless options of activities. But it is even more to do with the wonderful company of three Losers.

Remember Emily, the broadway-crazed wannabe from this post? She was, of course, the front-leader of our group. This was her trip to see the wonderful Savannah and in order, Randi, me, and Alissa all invited ourselves. It’s safe to say we somehow created a wonderful group with which to explore the magic of Disney World.  Continue reading

I’ve lost weight.

25158126_10210900058124255_1773950141686488199_n-2I think it’s finally time to break the silence about a big change in my life. About eight months ago I began working out regularly and eating really well. The result of this was weight loss and muscle gain.

This is the first time I’ve publicly talked about my health change. I’ve confided in a few close friends but for the most part I’ve stayed silent. Why? I’m not totally sure. I just don’t like to talk about it.

Maybe it’s because I have a past with body image issues. Maybe it’s because I’ve been surrounded the majority of my life by people I saw as workout obsessed and incredibly annoying and I didn’t want to be like them. Maybe it made me uncomfortable because I didn’t mind how I looked before, I just wanted to make a change for me and no one else. Continue reading

At the Top

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I take a deep breath and push the air out, watching how my lips curl into a delicate ‘O’. I should have warn deep red lipstick, it’s more intimidating. Dad told me not to though. Apparently I need to ease the board into my leadership.

I shake my head and pull my fingers across my skin, from collar bone to collar bone before rolling my eyes and turning away from the mirror. Staring into my own eyes in the extravagant bathroom mirror doesn’t offer the courage I had been expecting.

I lean against the counter and mutter, “Screw Hollywood,” pushing two of my fingers up my nose and onto my forehead. My eyes close and I rub the bridge of my nose, pulling in deep, burning breaths. My phone dings and I flinch before grabbing it from the countertop and swiping it open. Continue reading

The Crooked Path

picssThe other day my class had the honor of hosting for a visiting writer, Domingo Martinez. We had the pleasure of listening to him talk, give us advice, and answer any questions we could throw his way. I haven’t read all of his book yet but I have flown through a couple of chapters and let me tell you, this guys has lived quite the life.

Or, as he puts it, he’s taken the crooked path.

First off, I do suggest his books to anyone interested in memoirs. I can tell he’s spent years honing his voice and perfecting his craft, so now his novels have a unique tone and language. He’s worked hard over the years and never let his past or struggles stop him from being heard.  Continue reading

Book Review: Room

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 11.23.06 PM.pngTold from the perspective of five-year-old Jack, Room, written by Emma Donoghue, takes readers on an exciting, emotional journey. The novel opens up to the morning of Jack’s fifth birthday in “Room” where Jack and his mother, “Ma”, have lived for his entire life. Readers explore this world in Room through the eyes of Jack, seeing everything as if it were the entire universe, which is what Ma told him. However, the need to be free after eight years being imprisoned drives Ma to come up with an escape plan. This involves Jack feigning his own death and running from “Old Nick,” their captor, after jumping from his truck. During his “Great Escape,” Jack is able to get away and explain to the cops what happened to him and Ma. The police save her and arrest Old Nick. The story, far from over, continues to follow Jack as he discovers the outside world. Readers see both Jack and Ma deal with the trauma, fear, confusion, and consequences of what they went through. The themes touch on the troubles of one’s reality completely altering, positionality, and rape. Continue reading

Follow The Cloud

23435041_10210694259899428_5803650162365813881_nNumbers 9:16-20:

“The cloud would cover it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. Whenever the cloud was lifted from over the tent, afterward the sons of Israel would then set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the sons of Israel would camp. At the command of the LORD the sons of Israel would set out, and at the command of the LORD they would camp; as long as the cloud settled over the tabernacle, they remained camped. Even when the cloud lingered over the tabernacle for many days, the sons of Israel would keep the LORD’S charge and not set out. If sometimes the cloud remained a few days over the tabernacle, according to the command of the LORD they remained camped. Then according to the command of the LORD they set out.”

Continue reading

Not In Charge.

23132121_10210649578102411_2645317899219630129_n“Senior year is a time for random road trips” Jordan said to me one afternoon as we made the decision to hop in the car early Sunday morning, drive to Austin, see our teacher at the Texas Book Festival, get lunch, and drive back. It wasn’t meant to be a long trip, or even an eventful trip. Just a trip. An adventure.

I was running late Sunday morning because geez I wake up early every day but I managed to make it and Jordan hopped in my car, ready for the day. We instantly stopped for coffee and I blasted Taylor Swift. “Are you a fan of Taylor?” “Yes.” “Good.” Continue reading

Caress Your Soul

13244015_10206450173279915_4943505738771786978_oThis weekend I took a familiar trip to Austin, Texas. Even though I’ve been there multiple times, each trip and experience is unique from the last. The one this photo is a part of, taken over a year ago, was filled with different places, different events, different people, and different memories. A different Madison Lawson visited the same city and saw everything… differently.

“Caress Your Soul”, a piece of graffiti I saw that day at the graffiti park, spoke to my heart. It told me that anything that touched me, made me feel, made me love and warmed my soul was good. It told me to chase those things that caressed my soul, told me to hold onto them because they would be fleeting and when would I find the next one? Continue reading