Wednesday, January 27, 2016

this is what saved me

YOU SHOULD BE WARNED: This is a bit of a serious blog. Me. EB. Getting real and deep. Or maybe like whatever is inbetween deep and shallow. Is there a word for that?

Remember when I said my trip to California was life changing? It was for a couple reasons. 1- I was alone, driving along the PCH with a lot of thinking time. 2- I read a book. An entire book, cover to cover, for maybe the third time in my life.

The book: The Comprehensive ENFP Survival Guide, by Heidi Priebe.

I should say that I've NEVER been one to believe in or even care about astrology. It's all so generic to match everyone and ew. Get out. But when I took the personality test and read all the extensive characteristics about my results [ENFP], and then continued to read dozens of articles about the different types... I related to every single one on a very direct level. Even stupid ish like "The Top Relationship Deal Breaker for Each Myers Briggs Type" and "The Role Each Type Plays at a Party" were making me be like "AWWWWW DAMN THAT'S ME YOU GOT ME YOU'RE A PSYCHIC WE'RE BEST FRIENDS, INTERNET!"

Then I saw this Survival Guide for $5 and figured why the hell not, I'll have some time on the plane.

A little personal back story that I normally keep from the public world, but people may have caught on: in September 2014, I went through a break up. Considering relationships are not something I do, the fact that I was in one for three years was a magical feat. It was my second official relationship ever, we were madly in love on day two, living together after a year, and long distance for the third year. For months I knew we were coming to an end, so when it happened- I figured I was fine. I sobbed at the pool under sunglasses for two days, drank myself into a blacked-out oblivion for a couple months, then made some new *friends* to have fun with.

I felt like I was happy. I was stuck in a weird rut creatively/with work, but these things happen and I blamed it on not having enough time, my ADD meds not working, and being surrounded by people and THEIR drama. I was traveling all the time, working my dream job with an awesome new boss, and for the first time in my life-saving up some money. What the hell could I possibly complain about?!

So as I head out to California, I jokingly said I was going on a rehab because I had just dealt with a couple of guys who were beyond emotional and hurt my brain. Once I was out there I found a happiness and care-free feeling that was like reconnecting with your best friend after years... you forgot how great it was. Even in pictures, I saw a sparkle again. [Let's use an analogy: As Britney got healthier after that horrid 2007, we kept saying she was happy... but we were lying. That twinkle in her eye wasn't there in pictures until recently.]

On my way home, I'm editing the pictures, then start reading this book. It was teaching me some things about the Myers Briggs system and making me feel like I was taking a science class. Then it was describing my entire self- my upbringing, family, friendships, work life/needs... then I got to some chapters about your personality crashing. Turns out losing yourself is real and these were signs I should look out for:
  • "Rather than coming across as their bubbly, optimistic selves, the ENFP will be formal and curt with their interactions, convincing even themselves that they won't be happy until they accomplish their goals."
  • "At your best, an ENFP is bold, adventurous, decisive and capable. At your worst, you are avoidant, irresponsible, self destructive, and prone to addiction."
  • Your fatal flaw is escapism. You dislike dwelling in negative emotion and avoid them at absolutely all costs. 
  • You may give up on new projects prematurely and get distracted by engaging in the never ending chase for the next great high.
  • You'll string someone along emotionally while you make up your mind, manipulating them into thinking your feelings are stronger than they are. 
  • Our struggles are born out of self neglect.
  • When your friends aren't available to go out as much as you'd like, you'll simply expand your circle. You'll shame or look down upon people for not living like you.
It was one slap in the face after another being like "girlfriend, you are effed up and admission is the first step to recovery."

Luckily, it told me how to get out of it. It told me to have some routine in my life like more sleep, more workouts, more conversations with friends, but also experience more because experiences are what make me feel fulfilled. Through an "activity," I realized follow-through is what I care about most in other people, but I needed to get back to doing it myself. The book/Heidi legitimately called me out for bragging about not needing a lot of sleep and told me to quit that ish cuz it's not worth it. So I did. 

It's weird when words on a page can know you so well and change the way you feel so quickly. A couple friends/family members had been asking me if I was alright for months, but could never give me an example of why they were worried, so I just brushed it off. This book knew everything I was doing!

Starting the next day, the admission happened. I had a meeting with my boss, lunch with my mom, and conversations with friends and exes. I kept telling everyone about "my book" and how I was sorry but I felt revived again. I even told them about the extra stuff I read like why I suck in relationships, how I'm helpful/terrible in the workplace. 

A lot of people have since asked me what book it is and if they should read it... if you're ENFP- do it. If you're not, it's hard for me to say whether or not it'll be interesting to you. There ARE several articles that might be able to help, like "What Each Type Does in a Rut." Heidi also wrote another book for all types right here.

Is this what it's like when someone suddenly becomes religious?! Is this my new Bible or something? I'm not saying Myers-Briggs is always right for everyone, or reading a book or some articles is going to change your life, but I do know that I'm beyond thankful to stumble upon it all. I knew I had to share it with not only everyone I talk to, but the world wide web too.

I'm still working on being my ridiculously happy, constantly motivated self 24/7, but every time I'm not, I notice it [or my friends do] and try to snap out of it. I've even printed out the below quotes/excerpts to put around and read regularly. On questionable days, they reel me back in.


This would also be a good time to thank you for sticking through it all with me. Every day I worried that I wasn't being entertaining enough or doing enough to keep people's attention... and maybe I wasn't, but at least YOU are here reading this right now. So thank you for caring. Or pretending to care. Or reading the first and last paragraph and thinking "this B thinks I care, that's funny." Still counts. 

Thank you. And here's to a new year, OLD me. 

love,
elizabethany

PS: Heidi Priebe, the author.... I know I've never even tweeted you before now, and this could be a little awkward... but you're my soulmate. There. I said it. Thanks for helping me do something for myself that even my friends and family couldn't help with.

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do it... Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." -Howard Thurman


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 wanderlust: a round-up of my 12 trips

This past weekend was the first time I've had multiple days off in a row without anything to do, and I panicked. Everyone told me to just relax and enjoy not having any plans, but after 2015, that's not something I believe in. 

My 2015 resolution was to travel once a month. I knew it'd be tough, that my bank account would suffer a bit, but knew it was the perfect year to do it. Fresh off a break-up, and having far too many never-have-I-evers when it comes to traveling, it was the perfect mission. I can't believe I genuinely completed it. 

Turns out, I can be somewhat focused when I wanna be. In January, I went through my calendar and each month put options for ideal places. I had specific events for some, others coulda been anywhere, but that quick task helped BIG TIME with the planning and making sure I got to most of the places I really wanted to. I also marked down when I should start looking for flights around 6 weeks before I wanted to go. Considering I only get one weekend off a month, I had to have an idea which ones they would be. Plus, ADD is tough. 

Why pay for school when you can learn these things while spending money on traveling?
  • Don't rely on other people. It's way too hard to coordinate going away with someone, making sure you do everything you both wanna do, and agreeing on a budget. If you wanna do something, you do it. Be selfish. No excuses. 
  • Pinterest is your travel BFF. Search the city for what to wear, where to go, what to eat.. and star your must-sees on Google Maps.
  • Washington, DC has no culture compared to most places. We're pretty and clean and political and historical I guess, but with such a hodgepodge of people, we're pretty bleeping boring as an overall city from the outside.
  • When packing, take the extra time to plan outfits for each day/night, then a couple staple pieces just in case. [Or, just be drunk with zero time to overthink it.] If you don't have several options to choose from while on vacation, you'll spend less time deciding what to wear and more time vacationing.
  • Also, don't overthink trips. They're not all bank-breakers, and you don't need a week to get on a plane. You have 36 hours and a cheap flight option, book it, damnit! 
  • Don't be afraid to ask people if you can crash with them, but don't make them feel like they need to entertain you at all times. You're a big kid now. Show up with transportation and no pressure [and probably a bottle of alcohol for them].
  • Typical selfies get redundant. Get your feet off the ground. 
  • Try the local food, but also the local beers. Collect the bottle tops. Some call it trash, I call it hoarding cheap souvenirs. 
  • Bring bumper stickers for your business if you have them. SO many bars let you stick them somewhere. 
  • Keep a hashtag of your travels so everyone can see your travels without stalking the rest of your boring profile. #EBbetravelin HOLLA. 

Now, as for my adventures...


JANUARY: Tampa, FL for Gasparilla

For years I've been hearing/seeing how awesome this Mardi Gras-like day is. The Kane Show [morning show at my home station] has a huge float and my soon to be new boss was still down there. It was everything I'd hoped! I rode on top of the float with Kane, had a beautiful dinner at sunset, and caught the Super Bowl at Rose's friend's house, with an outdoor projector and ALL the food. 
What I learned: Lots of cities have major events that you may not know of. Ask your friends that live elsewhere what they look forward to every year and visit them for that. It may be a little selfish, but you're still visiting THEM! [And you'll get a free stay and have a pro who knows the ropes, duh]




FEBRUARY: A cabin retreat weekend near Liberty Mountain

It had been about a decade since I last ski'd, so I knew it was on my bucket list for the year. I found this cute little cabin that slept 8 people on Airbnb and had a girls party night on Friday, hiking day/party night with other friends Saturday, then went skiing on Sunday. It snowed for some of the weekend which made it even cooler, and it's only a little over an hour away so most people only came up for one night. I felt like I had so many different experiences in one tiny little cabin weekend! As for the skiing, you can see in the bottom picture how that went. That was me the whole way down my first black diamond.
What I learned: My body is too old for skiing these days. It was so painful in my knees to be even a little enjoyable. Also, there is no better pizza than crab pizza from Ventura's




MARCH: Niagara Falls and Toronto, Canada

I knew I had to get out of the country at some point in 2015. I hoped it would be a cruise or something, but I had also never been to Canada. I flew to Rochester [had to see my beloved Nugget] and road tripped the rest of the way with Corey. It was cold, but absolutely beautiful. With a quick Internet search, we found an awesome Ice Bar that was EMPTY when we went, so we got to talk to the owner for a while, which may have been one of my favorite parts.
What I learned: Seeing the Falls when they're frozen is a must. I've never seen them not frozen, but it was crazy awesome. Plus, Canadians are really as friendly as you hear.




APRIL: Morgantown, WV

Maybe some will think this was cheating, but it was a weekend away for my former roommate's bachelorette party, and we did Morgantown unlike I ever have before: in a hotel. We also got a fancy dinner.... and, well, everything else was just as it should be in Motown: Full of shots, beer bongs, and dirty feet. 
What I learned: No matter how long you live in a place, there are always places you haven't been and can explore. Plus, the world is always changing and it's never going to be exactly as you remember.




MAY: Nashville, TN

I'd been promising my friend for years that I'd visit him in the city I knew I'd love, and finally booked a flight two weeks before I went [which was the very next weekend after Morgantown]. It was perfect, as I've shared in my previous post. We spent a day as tourists, and the rest living like a singer/songwriter- bumping into Chris Young, drinking on rooftops, and listening as they came up lyrics on the spot.
What I learned: Don't always be a tourist. Don't feel like you need to hit all the tourist hot spots in order to "complete your trip." If you wanna get a real feel for a city- do as locals do. My most important lesson this trip: It is 100% possible to fall madly in love with a city, and to feel real heartbreak when you leave.




JUNE: Dover, DE for Big Barrel

When I first heard about this country music festival, I thought there was no chance I'd be able to afford tickets. Turned out- they weren't that bad! And when you camp out, it turns into one hell of an experience. We only got to go for two nights, but even in the torrential downpours, I immediately knew I'd have to go back this year for the whole time. Country music all day, thousands of people who wanna have a good time, making new friends, and sleepovers- it's kinda my Heaven.
What I learned: I need to go to more music festivals. When it comes to festivals- bring wipes. Showers are not an option.




JULY: Key West, FL for my BFF's 30th birthday

We stayed on a freaking house boat! And it was WAYYY less than a hotel for five people. We had kayaks attached to it, and less than a mile walk to downtown Key West. Turns out, 4th of July is "off season" for them, so it was relatively tame. A bartender told us all about the SEVERAL other events they have throughout the year and I think we'll have to go back to the boat for one of those. 
What I learned: Airbnb is the freaking bomb, and they have a section [or several] for unusual housing. House boats > hotels.




AUGUST: Virginia Beach

When I missed Sam Hunt in DC because of a wedding, I immediately planned on catching him in my former home, and my God if that picture isn't worth it, I don't know what is! Also got to see inside Lady A's bus, and do flips on the beach, of course. 
What I learned: With enough motivation and hustle, you can hit every bar along the boardwalk in a few hours. 




SEPTEMBER: Columbia, SC

When I realized I had LESS THAN A WEEK to plan my monthly trip, I stalked Hipmunk for all the cities my friends live in, and my BFF's home was under $150 round trip. Since I had just been to Florida with them, I knew I could be 5th wheel again and have a great time on their boat. I suffered through a migraine on day two which sucked, but I rallied to party through the VMA's. 
What I learned: If you have nothing to do on a nice weekend, check flights. What's it gonna hurt? Just pack a bag and go. Especially if it's NOT a nice forecast where you live, but is elsewhere.




OCTOBER: College Station/Austin, TX

Okay, so this was actually the end of September, but it was the only weekend I had to make it down there so it counts! I had to do my annual trip to visit my people, but really wanted to explore Austin more, since I didn't get to do much of that when I lived down there. The city is so much like Nashville, and has SO MUCH CULTURE. Every bar had a theme. My favorite is pictured a the bottom... it had sand volleyball courts, cornhole, washers, and plenty of TVs. Moontower Saloon- A perfect Sunday Funday spot.
What I learned: Always make an impression so people don't forget you. I was amazed at how many people at the random bars, in my old office, etc that not only remembered who I was, but boosted my ego with how much they missed me AND made time to meet me for a big dinner. It's been 4.5 years since I left Texas.... they could have forgotten all about me and I'd understand it. 




NOVEMBER: California

By far the most important trip of my year. I'm so upset I never got around to making one big post about it, but I did post an album if you want to go through it. After some dramatic happenings, I just needed to get away and be independent. I traveled from Sacramento to San Diego by myself [with the exception of staying with people in some cities]. I drove the PCH in a sports car, drank wine in Napa Valley, walked across the Bay Bridge in San Fran, met with legendary radio people in LA, saw a taping of Jimmy Kimmel, stayed at the coolest hotel EVER- The Madonna Inn, and took selfies with seals in San Diego. I truly took advantage of every minute I had out there, and found myself again. I didn't even know I hadn't been myself until I went, but the feeling I had when I got back was one I'll never forget. 
What I learned: Traveling alone while you're young is absolutely necessary. Not just visiting someone alone, but getting a hotel for yourself, eating dinner alone and trying to make friends before going out that night, hiking trails and setting up selfie sticks without any care of what people think... that's how you become comfortable with who you are in a very special way.




DECEMBER: Atlantic City for New Year's Eve

It only made sense to finish the year traveling, and after years of avoiding gambling, I decided to stop being a little bitch about it. I've always been afraid of getting addicted to gambling, but that definitely didn't happen because I'm also hella stingy with my money. When your best girl Ellen takes all your money on her slot machine, you realize nothing is going to help you out. For the big night, we found a party on Playground Pier with open bar, SO many bars with different themes, and the opportunity to break another World Record- most people popping bottles at the same time. We did it!
What I learned: Gambling sucks unless you know how to play one of the card games without pissing other players off. Also, make friends with someone who does know that so you can watch and drink for free while they throw all their money away.


That was way too many words. This is supposed to be a picture book type of blog.... but, I'm gonna be honest- I inspired myself this year, and I'm just hoping I can help even ONE person decide that things don't have to be as difficult or impossible as you may think they are. Say yes. Get off the couch. Do what you daydream about doing. YOLO.

Okay now I'm really getting out of hand. I'm done here.

Thanks for being my best year, 2015. Bank account, I'll get you an IV ASAP.

love,
elizabethany

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

photo diary: jingle ball 2015

Most people get excited for the holiday or Christmas season, I get excited for Jingle Ball season. For months we hype it up, it's all we talk about, and then in six hours, it's all over. It's a whirlwind that normally takes me a whole week to look back on and realize everything that went on.

First of all, my look.

Once again, I started looking MONTHS in advance. I thought about doing Rent the Runway. I ordered six dresses from all different places, and ended up going with one I got for $15 from GoJane.com. This time I was actually happy with it.


I knew I wanted blue velvet, and since my Jingle Ball diet didn't work to its fullest, the ruching was important. Necklace is from RocksBox, and the shoes are Nine West from DSW clearance. Add everything together [with the important accessories like a giant flask, some rings and plain dangle earrings] and I spent a total of $70.

The station hooked me up with getting my nails, hair and make-up done. My nails, I loved.



When it comes to my hair and make-up, I feel like it's better when I do it myself. They did wonders covering my face up, but I felt like a ghost of myself because I've never seen me without bags! I went with the fierce pinspired eyes, though.

You've already seen my backstage video that my bro helped me shoot, but if you missed my Snapchat story, I decided to upload it for you.



Each year is a little different. Last year, our entire team spent a lot of time together. This year, I barely saw anyone unless it was passing by quickly in the hallway.



We also got to see the last two performers- Shawn Mendes and Demi Lovato- with our friends on the floor. Demi, girl, you got some pipes and they're impressive.



My flask was the talk of backstage, of course. [BTW, I got it for $16 at TJ Maxx]I even took it ON stage with me and tried to make a joke about drunk goggles. Something cheesy like "y'all look beautiful, but you'll look even better in a couple hours." Out of some 15,000 people, I'm not sure I heard anyone laugh. Remind me not to try that again. Thank goodness I'm in a room alone every night so I can imagine the laughs happening.



The next day, my brother and two of my coworkers headed down to Norfolk for the Not So Silent Night. Here's to hoping I can get those videos up before the end of 2015. ;) Also, hoping we get some of the professional pictures from on stage back soon. WHATDAEFF.

Thanks for a great year.... whether you listen in DC or somewhere else, thanks for letting me keep my job. It's days like this one that remind me I'm #blessed and that I #loveyoutothemoonandback. hahahaha I hate me.

love,
elizabethany

Monday, December 21, 2015

elizabethanytv: harassing artists backstage at jingle ball

When you work with a bunch of radio legends, you gotta find a way to do your own thing and get your own content. Now that I'm also music director around these parts, I have a little more credibility and decided to get my hands on some artists while they were in their dressing rooms, walking down the halls, or doing press.

It's basically everything we're told NOT to do. It's the most unprofessional thing I've ever done... yet it's probably the video I'm most proud of to this day.

Enjoy a different look at Jingle Ball:


The way it works back there is crazy. Everything is so specifically timed. They'll do an interview at 6:48, meet and greets at 7:04, and perform at 7:27. Squeezing in extra PLANNED time was impossible... so sometimes you just need to demand some attention and pray you don't get in trouble. [I definitely got in trouble. I always get in trouble. This time it was a scary bodyguard for a certain band made of four certain male humans.]

love,
elizabethany

Monday, November 23, 2015

photo diary: california sunsets

I'm a sucker for a good sunset or sunrise. Isn't everyone, though?!

One of the things I was most excited for in Cali was catching the sunset every night. Unfortunately, it happened way too early [about 4:30-5:00 every night], but I planned my entire day around where I'd be when it passed the horizon.

Like I've said a million times, I'm no professional photographer, nor do I use any really fancy equipment, but I like taking pictures. Here are some of my faves of nothing but the beautiful sunsets. 

From Pfeiffer Beach, in Big Sur. 


This beach was stacked with professional photographers, so I just found my way around them to not look like an idiot. It's no wonder they were all there, though. You had to drive down a two mile trail of a "road" to get to it.


Some of the sand was PURPLE! AKA gorgeous.



The red tone on all of the rocks [everywhere] was freaking fantastic.




Seal Beach, right above Huntingon Beach. I had to pull over into this little neighborhood because I wasn't going to make it to Huntington. Not mad. It was empty. 



Coronado Beach in San Diego





Since I was alone, I decided I should take pictures of complete strangers and pray they didn't catch me. That woman was awesome. This couple spent the entire hour taking selfies. 






For one of the days, I was walking over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran... which in theory is a great idea until you realize the sun sets behind a mountain. Still, an awesome walk to make.

Mr Mike Klein wasn't too fond of the heights back there. 

Still working on getting so many things ready to get posted... it really was a life changing trip. If you haven't met my boyfriend yet, get on it. 

love,
elizabethany



Pin It button on image hover