Letter from the Trapstealers

Dear P,

When I was in preschool, I used to play a game called “Trapstealers”. My friend J and I would roam around looking for the trapstealers, who were evil, terrifying beings that stole and trapped. Brave children that we were, we took it as our personal responsibility to track them down. The trapstealers were wily, but they left clues for us to follow. J led the expeditions, while my job was to find and interpret the evidence they left behind. Sometimes they would write on leaves or send messages in the patterns of pebbles in the sandbox.

A small part of me still wonders about the trapstealers. If I see notes on the ground, I will pick them up and look at them. Yesterday, I found this:

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If the trapstealers were trying to prepare me for a zany interview, they succeeded. Here are my answers to these questions:

“Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?”

The trapstealer story proves that I’m more of a gatherer.

“If you were a pizza deliveryman, how would you benefit from scissors?”

I’ve never delivered pizza, so this one is hard for me. Maybe if I were a pizza deliveryman gridlocked on the Atlanta interstate on January 28, 2014, I could have helped that woman deliver her baby. I could have used my scissors to cut the umbilical cord.

“Give me a time you faced a difficult situation and how you responded.”

I hate this question. Usually I deal with difficult situations by calling my mom and eating a gross amount of chocolate. Next.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

In five years, I’ll be twenty-five. If I continue on my current goal trajectory, I will be reading 100+ books a year, travelling all over the world, and completing Ironman races. I will be doing activities I like with people I like. These are the things I can (kind of) control. I don’t know about any other specifics; the future is too uncertain.

“Tell me what you know about this company.”

I know that you leave mysterious interviews on the ground so that curious bystanders can learn your secrets.

“Why do you want to work for this company?”

The scissor question is interesting.

“What is your biggest strength?”

I keep trying.

“What is your biggest weakness?”

My shyness.

“Tell me about a suggestion you made that was implemented.”

My freshman year, I wanted to start a group for autistic college students at UT and students interested in being their friends. I was very excited about this group and wrote out a long proposal, which I gave to a professor. She never got back to me and I didn’t realize I should email her again or continue to pester her until she paid attention to me (see the weakness answer). Yesterday, I received an email inviting me to exactly the group I suggested. I am happy it was implemented after all, even if I didn’t get to do it.

“Explain why we should hire you.”

You shouldn’t. I’m a weirdie who picks paper off the sidewalk.

“Do you have any questions for me?”

Yes. Who are you? What company do you work for? What are you trying to do? Why did you leave this message for a stranger? What are you trapping? What are you stealing?

How would you answer these questions, P? I miss you loads. You look stunning in your fashion post.

Love,

E

DSC_8766 DSC_8771 DSC_8776 DSC_8786 DSC_8792 DSC_8803 DSC_8808 DSC_8811 DSC_8841 DSC_8846 DSC_8862 DSC_8868Dear P,

The last week has been one of the greatest of the whole year. I am so grateful for my big family (which includes you).
Your pictures look beautiful and I love hearing about your adventures. However, no matter how awesome your life gets overseas, I’ll be jealous for your company.

Here’s some pictures of my latest journal entries celebrating December and November. I left my old journal at school, so I don’t have my stuff from before, but I think that’s fitting. As we start a new year, I think it’s important to remember that it’s easier to think in smaller chunks than whole years.

Have fun, stay safe, and keep in touch,

E

This is My Decade

“This is about a new phase in history where art, science, business, and spirit will join together, both externally and internally, in the pursuit of true wealth. It’s a phase where ideas are more important than people and everyone will have to choose themselves for happiness, just like I did. They will have to build the foundation internally for that choice to manifest. And from that internal health the rest will come, whether it’s a business, art, health, success.”

-J. Altucher

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Dear P,

I’ve often heard our friends say things like, “Ugh, I wish I had been born in the twenties,” or “The sixties were where it was at.” This sentiment is echoed in Woody Allen’s recent masterpiece, “Midnight in Paris.” I agree that being a flapper girl would have had a splash of glamour to it, though the whole prejudice thing would have been an issue. It would have been cool to be alive when the Beatles were in their heyday, or to don red lipstick and poodle skirts (cough, cough, T).

However, I believe we came of age at the most magical possible time. It has my pleasure to grow up with the internet, to watch it evolve and change society. The crash in 2008 made “job security” a thing of the past. Technology has made the repetitive jobs of our parents and grandparents obsolete. Flexibility and resourcefulness are replacing specialization and rote work. This is the decade of the artist-entrepreneur, who can start a business and create great work from anywhere. Old, bloated establishments, like the publishing and music industry, are going under, leaving room for the new and exciting. Alex Day, a British youtube sensation, beat Justin Timberlake for the number two spot on iTunes at the beginning of this year. Alex lacked Timberlake’s media empire, but managed to broadcast himself and his music with sheer talent and business acumen.

I’ve heard you worry before about the Big Question: “What am I going to be when I grow up?” This question is irrelevant. We need to pursue our interests with abandon and find ways to expand upon them. That is all. Adults will still try to fit us into boxes: “pre-med”, “pre-law”, “loser”, etc. These adults are deluded and we should not confine ourselves by the boxes they impose on us. You may go to medical school, but that does not mean that you can’t start a business, do research or find a way to use new research to develop better ways to teach kids math. To be successful, we must combine, recombine, develop and peel away.

I am lucky because my parents understand this. They have never advised me in terms of, “Secure one, steady job you can bore yourself to death with for your entire life.” They have always focused on developing marketable skills so that I am able to seize as many opportunities as possible, and even develop my own.

I am especially excited to live at this time because I feel that I am in such good company. I am only a tweet away from my heroes: Oliver Sacks, who is the grandfather of the popular science book, Maria PopovaJames Altucher (who I stole the Alex Day story from), Penelope Trunk (who I found recently and am obsessed with), Steven PinkerCheryl Strayed of Dear SugarGala DarlingJeff CorwinBrene Brown, and my former TA Joe Hanson of the youtube series It’s Okay to Be Smart. These people invariably make their living conveying interesting information in a compelling way. P, I want to do that. Being a contemporary of these people is better than being a contemporary of Fitzgerald, Roosevelt, Einstein or Picasso.

It’s a beautiful world, P, and for smart, creative ladies like us and our compatriots, the future is wide open.

Hugs and kisses,

E

Love in the Brain

Dear E,

Disclaimer: I think the reason I’ve been avoiding blogging lately is because I’ve been wanting to sit down and write a super awesome spectacular long post. But every time the inspiration hits me hard I’m either far far away from a computer or I’m swamped with homework. So for now I’m going to write you more often, but I’m going to keep it short and sweet. Even if it isn’t very inspirational.

Anyway, watch the video above!

Isn’t this such an interesting and cool study? I liked all the different ways people thought of love. I don’t know how accurate it was though. I don’t think you can pinpoint love in only one place or in a couple of pathways. It seems strange that you can measure love. I don’t know how I feel about dissecting love. I know I want to be a neuroscientist and everything, but love just seems like one of those things you could never explain, you know? And if you were able to explain it, would that take away from it at all? If we knew which chemicals caused love and which pathways in the brain were activated during “love” then would it still be as magical? Could we create love?? What if we could make people fall in love with each other? I’m wondering how long it will be before scientists claim they know the exact causes of love and how it works. I’m going to go read more about love in the brain. Even though I should probably be studying for school…#pass/no record!

Love you loads

XOXO

-P

The Best Art-Quotes of Tumblr

Dear P, 

My favorites items on tumblr (besides pictures of Darren Criss) are the decorated quotes. I have 378 saved on my computer. For your viewing enjoyment, I have picked my favorite ten. 

Honorable Mentions:

Exercise Makes All the Difference

(I found this picture at http://the-runners-tribe.tumblr.com)

How I Feel When I Don’t Run:

  • Irritable
  • Stressed-out
  • Fuzzy-headed
  • Generally unattractive

How I Feel When I Run:

  • Chipper
  • Enthusiastic
  • Focused
  • Clear-complexioned
  • Organized
  • Smart
  • Creative
  • Fit 
  • Strong
  • Ready to take on the world

If you don’t believe me, read this article by Jonathan Fields about your brain on exercise:

www.fastcompany.com/1783263/the-creative-brain-on-exercise

I am pretty uncreative about my exercise routine. I usually do stretches, running, and sit-ups. However, my friend T has a great, intense work-out routine set up for the summer:

www.livenaturallyblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/i-work-out.html

Exercise is not just about improving your appearance. It’s about feeling like your very best self! Release those endorphins!

-E

Creativity Exercise

Today, I was stumbling self improvement articles (one of my favorite hobbies) and I came across an article that said creativity, essentially, is combining two things that are not usually combined. So that led me to a creativity exercise! Take a sheet of paper and for five minutes think of random things that you can put together. Find the best combination and turn it into a piece of art! Here’s my brainstorming:

  • Shirts and Chandeliers
  • Love and Mental Institutions
  • Toes and Fish
  • Music and Pasta
  • Oreos and Snails
  • Cars and People (oh wait-that’s transformers)
  • Sunshine and Vomiting
  • Pens and Knights
  • Giggles and Pigs
  • Icicles and Sloppy Joes
  • Bicycles and Balloons
  • Wishes and Blinking

So, I, of course, drew a picture of someone vomiting sunshine:

I’m not sure that this is a good representation of sunshine, but the point is that I feel significantly more creative after this exercise. This is liberating to your brain even if you don’t follow through with the art project part. 

Love and kisses! 

E