Shut Up and Go

Stop Scrolling, Start Doing

By April 16, 2015 Motivation
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Blah. For the past few months I’ve felt more addicted to my phone than ever. Tweets, Snapchats, Instagram posts, not to mention the Netflix app to watch TV and HuffPost, Skimmin, Rue89, and Gothamist apps I use to read my news every few hours, my phone’s camera I use to take snapshots for social media, and VSCOcam to edit those pictures, and of course, Facebook messenger to keep in contact with international friends, and that’s just my data package. Then we have text messages, phone calls, setting alarms and reminders, and worst of all for me, refreshing my email inbox.

It’s to the point where I even feel myself rolling my eyes AT MYSELF when I go to unlock my phone, like why do I need to constantly check notifications or emails or whatever. I don’t; because most of the time there’s nothing new and I’m using it as a diversion to something in the real world: boredom on the subway, boredom in bed, boredom at work. I tend to be good about these kinds of things, like realizing the world is more than screens and tweets and photos, and that we survived without them just a few years ago, as every generation older than us millenials feels to need to constantly remind us.

But then I play devil’s advocate and ask myself why there is such a stigma behind being on our phones when doing a lot of these things through a screen are 10x more convenient. It doesn’t mean more to my life whether I’m reading the news from a screen or from a newspaper, or using a bulky digital camera instead of my iPhone, or having to pay to talk to international friends on the phone instead of just calling through the my phone’s internet – doing these things otherwise would just be as if we’re adding an unnecessary, outdated step.

And if I’m on my phone as a solution of boredom, again, why do I feel annoyed that I’m on phone? Would I rather just be bored? No.

And then I stopped into a coffee shop and noticed a few things. The problem is not that I’m using my phone to pay for my tall Americano or read breaking news while I wait in line. It’s when I sit down and notice the groups of friends who were silent on their phones. It’s when the group of friends who, when they finally do decide to talk to each other, choose to gossip about who unfollowed them on Twitter. It’s when they idolize celebrities on Instagram and wish they could have their lifestyle. It’s when they Snapchat a friend elsewhere asking what they’re doing. It’s when they decide to take a selfie of their “fun coffee date.”

It’s when your virtual life starts affecting your real life.

This is why I feel so annoyed at myself. Most of the time, when I tell myself I’m “bored,” I’m not actually bored. When I have a minute of free time, I go straight to my phone checking notifications, catching up on the latest buzz, or reading up on friends’ statuses. My mind sees I have nothing to do and automatically thinks: go on your phone, you’ll have lots of things to do. This is what needs to stop. We don’t need to constantly be stimulated. We need to give ourselves some time to digest and take a chill pill. This is why the days we go without our phones, at first make us feel empty, but then make us feel more alive. We finally force ourselves to stop scrolling and start doing.

We spend less time staring at a screen for unnecessary reasons and more time talking about topics that matter, more time learning about things we’ve been wanting to learn, more time exploring and admiring the cities we live in, more time being active and living a healthier lifestyle. Our days become more worthwhile. Our lives have more oomph.

And it would be hypocritical for me to say that looking at screens is the antithesis of living life, since you’re literally scrolling on this page, but there’s a difference between scrolling just cuz and scrolling because you think this may add value and serve a purpose in your life. It’s about doing things out of purpose, and not simply defaulting to zombie mode and mindlessly going straight to your phone. I appreciate that you’re reading this and hopefully finding inspiration, which will then lead you on to live a more meaningful life with more oomph.

And if this all sounds like common sense to you, then great, but for the people who are reading this and realizing they may be that person at the dinner table checking Twitter, or chatting about all the he said she said that goes on in our Facebook timelines, let this post be a reminder that there is more to life than screens.

Stop scrolling, start doing.

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Exploring Nashville (and eating the best kale of my life)

By April 14, 2015 Nashville
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My trip in Nashville would not have been complete without a trip to the rest of Nashville. Before this, I had already spent one day in East Nashville, and my evening scouring the Opry Mills Mall and gorging myself with Chuy’s Mexican food. Ugh, so good. But now it was time to see what the rest of Nashville had to offer – the downtown, and two more cool neighborhoods.

Downtown Nashville

Our second day of exploring Nashville took us to the touristy part of town – the Tennessee Titans stadium, and then downtown’s Broadway strip, filled with anything and everything country. I kid you not, I even went to a place called Honky Tonk Central…where my mom knew all the lyrics to country’s biggest anthems.

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We arrived for a quick pick-me-up around 2pm and they had three floors of live music. And great live music, might I add. We sat in the back so as to not draw attention to ourselves – none of that “oh you’re from out of town, let’s get you up on stage” business, although I’m pretty sure anyone on Broadway in Nashville is probably from out of town.

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You know you’re in the heart of America when you no better than to ask for anything whole-grain or organic. These chips looked highly radioactive, but the queso dip was on fleek.

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Hillsboro Village

After a few rounds of “I’ve Got Friends in Low Places,” it was time for me to head to the next cool part of town, Hillsboro Village. Of course, there’s East Nashville [A Day in East Nashville], but if you’re on the other side of town you’ve got Hillsboro Village and 12th Ave South. I wanted some college town vibes, so I headed to 21st Ave, which to me seemed like the main drag of Hillsboro Village. The street reminded me of a small downtown of a small city – no chain restaurants, simply mom-and-pop, independent stores like…

Pangaea

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A day in Cool East Nashville

By April 13, 2015 Nashville
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My entire time in Nashville, I kept thinking, “damn, that came out of nowhere” – in regards to many things: the grandeur of my three-egg breakfast at Nashville Biscuit House, the coolest coffee shop I’ve been in awhile hidden right off a highway, and just like, where the hell did this post-nasal drip come from?

Anyway, my first day in Nashville was spent cruising down Gallatin Ave through a neighborhood I had read many blogs about: East Nashville. Like most “up-and-coming” neighborhoods, it looked completely run-down. Basically, I would have had no clue I was in a trendy party of town had I not done prior research. But that’s fine by me, since my personal taste tend to lean more industrial anyway.

I was enjoying the cruise in the passenger seat, humming along to some spunky Miranda Lambert song “Little Red Wagon” – seriously#YouKnowYoureNoLongerInNewYorkWhen – when my mom and niece had had enough of looking around the cool parts of town and just wanted some damn breakfast. So we stopped at Nashville Biscuit House.

Nashville Biscuit House

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Again, from the outside, you would think it’s just a typical, mom-and-pop biscuit breakfast, but Nashville somehow made it cool. Once inside you have 50% families and 50% tattooed, bearded hipsters and country belles making denim overalls look cool. Most people order the Nashvillian (eggs, grits, and bacon), but I settled for some coffee and a basic egg platter.

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And if it means anything to you, even the nurse practitioner I had to see for my severe sore throat (long story), recommended “some place down the street that looks real sketchy on the outside, but that’s really charming on the inside” – which turned out to be Nashville Biscuit House.

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But what day is complete without a stop at a coffee shop, even if you just had coffee at Nashville Biscuit House? If you’re looking for a cool coffee shop to chill in, people watch, get work done, or meet cool people, then I HAVE THE PERFECT SPOT FOR YOU. This place definitely made my extremely selective, elite list of favorite coffee shops around the world and personally it was what had me convinced that East Nashville wasn’t just East Nashville, but cool East Nashville. I present you, Barista Parlor!

Barista Parlor

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Weird Things You’ve Always Seen Around NYC & The Stories Behind Them

By April 10, 2015 New York City
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Walk around New York City long enough and you’ll notice that among the bizarre people are many bizarre things. After five years of living in the city, I decided I had had enough and after some intense google searching, random street interviews, and deep soul-searching, I finally got to the bottom of this.

The numbers

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I always loved passing these numbers, 1) because it reminds me of my past obsession with the show LOST, and 2) because when my phone is dead, which is always, these numbers give you the current time. Take a look. The first four digits are the time in military time/the 24 hour clock. 20:04 is 8:04 pm. The next few digits are seconds, and milliseconds, etc. If you go from right-to-left, you have the time until midnight. 03:55 is the amount of time in the day until midnight.

LOVE Statue

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In about one thousand movies, the LOVE statue at 55th and 6th is always a nice reminder of the emotion I should be feeling while living in New York. You know, something to remind me that Manhattan is not just a ridiculously exhausting, ridiculously expensive, and ridiculously overcrowded island I chose to call home. Ignorant me thought this statue was one-of-a-kind and something that really marked New York, but ha, these things are apparently all over the world. The original, however, was created by Robert Indiana and can be found in the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Are you even surprised?

We know how to do love in Indiana (#BornAndBredHoosier).

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