nov ninth

birthday’s always put me in my feels. specifically, the night before my birthday makes me feel a little crazy. as insane as it sounds, given my big family and lovely friends, I always get a little scared that everyone is gonna forget my birthday or not want to celebrate with me. this is completely irrational but I still can’t get those thoughts out of my head. leaving behind another year makes me feel like time is escaping from me.

I’m sitting at my kitchen table, after I spent hours today scrubbing it, because that made me feel in control. I’m savoring my last two hours before my birthday, my last two hours as a twenty year old.

twenty kicked my ASS. I lost two of my best friends at the start of this summer. I got my heart shattered (over and over again) by a boy. I don’t remember much of spring semester because of crippling depression.

today i saw one of my favorite friends from freshmen year. except we aren’t friends anymore. also today, i got a LinkedIn email suggesting I connect with one of my childhood best friends. an important childhood friend that isn’t in my life anymore. this hurts. losing people is the worst and I feel like Im particularly incapable of getting over friends.

twenty forced me to grow in a lot of uncomfortable ways. I changed ALOT this year, and mostly for the better. i squashed my low self esteem, started actually liking myself, and decided to respect myself.

twenty had my highest highs too. I started my photography business, had the most amazing summer where I found a lot of healing, I fell in love with my faith again, and I deepened a lot of the relationships in my life.

I got to travel, TWICE, for my business. I thrifted a lot of cute clothes and listened to music id never experienced before. I shot a lot of live music, watched a million tik toks that made me laugh so hard, went on an amazing camping trip and some of the best road trips of my life, and busted my butt at my serving job to upgrade my camera. I crashed my first car (well, more like someone crashed into me haha), but that gave me the opportunity to buy my dream car. I sat in Eno River and laughed and cried and had difficult conversations while floating on logs. Sammy’s and Sushi nine saw a lot of memories from awkward first dates to crazy nights out with my friends and life changing news over crazy crunchy tuna rolls.

ive made myself proud this year. even tho I’m nostalgic right now, its been a good one. cheers to life moving faster than I can keep track of and cheers to twenty-one.

xoxo,

jf

healing

here’s the things about heartbreak. it comes out of no where and wipes you off your feet. the pain is absolutely breathtaking, your head pounds, and your chest feels like it’s going to explode. emotional pain is a horrible form of physical pain.

you know you are going to heal, but it’s absolutely unimaginable. the pain is there for a long time. days, weeks, months. it’s no longer the physically crushing pain, but it is the type that makes your stomach cramp and forces you to forget to eat. You keep expecting to stop caring so much, but every day random things remind you of what you are trying so hard to forget.

healing isn’t instantaneous. it takes a long time, and it takes effort. you have to walk away from what is hurting you, which takes courage. you need to find what will help you heal, and work towards that. therapy, sunshine, and people are some of my favorites.

because one day, you will find yourself editing photos on a rainy day with candles lit in your cute, tidy apartment. your hard work will pay off. the love you have for that person will always be there, but your heart has grown bigger and they occupy less and less space. its scary, but you will find yourself at peace.

and hopefully in the future, you won’t be afraid of running into them in a bar or at the grocery store. maybe you will be able to have a conversation without your heart rate tripling and spending the next day bawling your eyes out in your parent’s kitchen while they try to comfort you. one day you acknowledge how badly they hurt you and how they could have chosen to not do that one thing if they had really wanted too.

still, your love for them doesn’t change. what does change is you; you fall in love with yourself. you become a new person and new worlds open up to you. and then you find healing, and that is a beautiful thing.

college girls and our love for the bachelor

ah the bachelor. yes, we all know its fake and we still indulge in it anyways.

why?

it is because the bachelor is perfectly mirrored by college dating culture.

in an age of snapchat streaks and right swipes, we relate all too well to the women of bachelor nation. we are a pool of dazzlingly worthy women, vying for the attention of emotionally unavailable boys, hiii Matt James and pilot Pete. we are accustomed to feeling like options. we let ourselves cry and question why we are not good enough, when we were never the issue. like the lovely women on the bachelor, we mostly desire relationships, but instead of being pursued, we let ourselves entertain the thought of other women being our competition. and sometimes, we rise above the illusion of “competition” when we enter into real relationships with our sisters. this is a small victory in the grand scheme of college relationships.

but mostly, we win the second we stop enabling our college dorms and dating apps to be real life versions of the bachelor. we find freedom in knowing that we deserve to be pursued and adored, not treated like a contestant on a reality tv show. when that clicks in our brains, my fellow college ladies, let’s live with that confidence, and keep the bachelor as ONLY quality wine night trash tv.

xoxo,

Julianna

my future husband (a checklist)

here is a list (that I will be adding to) of non-negotiable qualities for my future husband ❤

  1. has a real and honest relationship with Jesus Christ and will go to mass and adoration with me and raise a catholic family
  2. our love allows us to love the people around us better
  3. open to life (4-5 kids) and WANTS to adopt
  4. family oriented
  5. has a BIG heart
  6. hospitable
  7. has healthy male and female friendships with people of all ages
  8. reminds me of my dad 🙂
  9. entrepreneur
  10. loves and encourages my creativity
  11. buys me flowers (frequently)
  12. values hard work and has a good job that he loves
  13. loves the outdoors
  14. prioritizes travel
  15. has a budget and sticks to it
  16. has healthy hobbies and creative outlets
  17. does not watch porn
  18. pro-life
  19. makes ALL women feel valued, respected, and comfortable
  20. is my best friend
  21. full of practical knowledge
  22. a handy man
  23. eats healthy and works out regularly
  24. thinks I’m beautiful and reminds me that every single day
  25. encourages me to be a better person
  26. lets me encourage him
  27. has a heart for ministry
  28. knows his beliefs and sticks to them
  29. tells dad jokes
  30. thinks I’m as funny as I think I am
  31. takes responsibility for his actions and knows how to apologize
  32. artsy fartsyy
  33. our relationship brings me PEACE

can’t wait to meet u hun:) xoxo, jf

when you don’t feel “pretty”

feeling pretty is a myth.

There’s something about our culture that has planted the idea in innocent little girls’ brains that feeling pretty is essential to confidence.

and some days, we wake up and we feel beautiful. or perhaps we don’t wake up feeling beautiful, but we subscribe to the recipe of conventional beauty, a multi-step routine that allows us (specifically women) to clone ourselves into the stupid standard of beauty that is set by social media and a billion dollar industry.

I have fed into this lie for years. The lie that I need to “feel” pretty. its a myth, a fleeting feeling that is there one minute and gone the next. some days I do feel pretty, and I love that feeling. it’s just not persistent.

the good news is, feeling pretty literally DOESN’T MATTER. food tastes just as delicious, sunshine soaking into your skin is just as therapeutic, laughing with close friends is just as life-giving, holding a sleeping baby is just as soothing, the love between you and your favorite humans is just as powerful, and life’s experiences are just as crazy and wonderful and weird and beautiful.

life is so much bigger than feeling pretty. you don’t want to remember spending hours tearing yourself apart in front of a mirror or obsessing over your insecurities and let those feelings ruin a glorious experience.

let go of those feelings that are LYING to your beautiful soul.

when you don’t feel pretty either decide that you ARE pretty (because fundamentally, you are) and move on with your day, or embrace that you don’t feel pretty AND YOU JUST DON’T HAVE TO. you need to experience that freedom.

xoxo,

jf

ootd 002

merry Christmas eve! I came to my parents without an outfit for Christmas Eve mass and I asked my mom if I could borrow something and she pulled out this beautiful brand new dress and offered it to me. I am so grateful for her generosity and I love the dress, its something different than I usually wear and I felt so elegant. I haven’t really dressed up in a long time, and it felt amazing to take my time doing my hair and special makeup and putting on high heels and a beautiful dress.

ootd 001

I adore this free people dress. its unique, I love the shape and the way it flares out when I move. the mauve tones are gorgeous and I paired it with black chunky sandals that tie into the black in the dress. I wore it to mass but i think it would also be appropriate for a fall wedding or event.

xoxo, julianna

three ways to support your friend with an eating disorder

having an eating disorder can feel absolutely crippling. its embarrassing to admit to yourself that you struggle with something as basic as eating; after all, eating is literally a basic life necessity. it feels like it should be easy. eating keeps us alive and its something that should be enjoyed, but sometimes it feels impossible. your mind manipulates your body into believing that something terrible will happen if you eat. your stomach feels full all the time, the smell of food nauseates you, and your throat feels closed. sometimes you feel healthy and hungry or crave certain food, but the moment you put food into your mouth its right back to the same cycle of tumultuous emotions.

after a period of not eating, the lightheadedness sets in, and your body kicks adrenaline in to keep your body functioning. the feeling of adrenaline rushing through your body gives you a high that is addicting. it feels amazing, but at the same time, it’s terrifying how quickly the lack of food starts to affect you. you can literally feel your energy levels get obliterated and your personality disappear. sometimes restricting food is about control, sometimes its related to body dysmorphia, and sometimes its because you want to feel that adrenaline fueled high, but regardless, it is terrifying and a very vulnerable time.

if you have a friend who struggles with an eating disorder, here are three ways that you can help them.

  1. use your words. encourage them. remember that an eating disorder affects their entire life and it hits really hard at random times. remind them that food is important, cheer them on as they are eating, and let them know that you are proud of them no matter what. celebrate when they do eat and sit with them when they can’t. I promise your words make a tremendous difference and even if you feel like you are repeating yourself or you feel like you aren’t making a difference, your supportive words are NEVER wasted.
  2. offer to FaceTime (or sit with them) while they are eating. I am extremely uncomfortable eating in front of people, but when I am struggling to eat, FaceTiming friends can really help. talking to someone while I’m eating gets my mind off how much my brain doesn’t want food and when someone takes the time to FaceTime me it feels like they are literally shouldering part of the burden of my eating disorder. when someone who loves me is literally watching me eat, I have more of a desire to finish my food because I want to make them proud and I don’t feel as utterly alone.
  3. make them or bring them food. my parents are the best at this, they cook meals for me and bring them to me perfectly packaged. sometimes I find the motivation to eat at random times, and it is very helpful to have a nutritious meal that I can just pop in the microwave without thinking about it.

If you have not experienced an eating disorder, it can be hard to understand, but please do not forget that you can absolutely make an incredible difference in someone’s life based on the way that you support them. its not about giving advice, it’s just about showing up every day for your friend and cheering them on.

if YOU struggle with eating, please know that you are not alone. it can feel very isolating and it’s ridiculously hard to talk about, but finding help is absolutely worth it. stay away from any place where unhealthy eating habits are encouraged, and please remember that your body loves you and you should love it back.

xoxo,

Julianna