emmett and i have been on the road for the past week and a half and oh boy does it feel good to be back. two sundays ago, we piled in the car with benny and drove up to northern michigan for our totally awesome writing retreat. and let me tell you. making a six hour drive by yourself with a baby and a dog is not that easy. emmett slept for most of the way. but the time that he didn’t sleep, he screamed bloody murder. which made for a very very long hour or so both ways (on the way back, it took us two hours to get from the southside of chicago back home. that was a real test on my nerves - driving at a rate of 20 minutes per mile with emmett crying the whole way).
the day after we got back from michigan, matt, emmett, benny, and i drove down to kentucky for the horse races and easter sunday. it was a perfect weekend - keeneland was beautiful, emmett had a blast and got so much attention in his little seersucker suit, benny got to run around with his dog friends, we had an incredible easter lunch and lots of quality time with matt’s folks.
we drove back into chicago late last night and, despite how wonderful both trips were (pretty neat to be on a snowy frozen lake one day then amongst horse farms exploding with flowers the next), it feels so good to be home. matt and i both slept like rocks last night. i woke up early this morning to make a green smoothie and a big latte before going to an exercise class. after that much time in the car, my body feels really tight and sluggish. it felt so good to stretch it out and use my muscles again. then matt picked me up from my class for a little coffee date. and all three of my meetings for the day got rescheduled.
so i have a full day of working from home in front of me. which feels oddly luxurious. i’m just the right amount of caffeinated (lately, i’ve been either under-caffeinated or caffeinated to the point of frantic distraction) to get organized and dive into some harder thinky work that i’ve been avoiding for a little while now. and then i get to pick emmett up from his nanny and go to the store to stock the fridge. wahoo! (this is how i know i’m getting old - i’m way too excited about going grocery shopping.)
as awesome as it is to travel, it’s always so nice to settle back into being home.
Hi! I really believe that the first step to getting into college is to stop trying to get into college. Or rather, stop doing things deliberately for college. I know it’s been said again and again, but colleges, in my experience, really want you. There’s really nothing I’ve done in high schooI for the purpose of college.
As far as extracurriculars go, Maya Angelou really said it best: “Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” Find what you love, pursue it endlessly, immerse yourself in it. If you become great at it, awesome. If not, your commitment is what’s most important. That being said, I definitely think it’s important to really seek out every possible opportunity for what you love. If you love art, don’t limit yourself to founding “Art Club” — intern at a gallery, enter every competition, volunteer to help teach art for young kids. The point isn’t just “get a job” “volunteer” “win an award” — they should all relate back to your passions. Does that make sense? Pick a few things you love, and commit 110%. (And remember, more often than not, the title comes after the work. So if you want to be Editor-in-Chief of your paper, put in the work as though you are — without stepping on anyone’s toes, of course.)
I also think you should remember that everything happens for a reason. So much of what I’ve done in high school has happened to me by chance — like hair and makeup, for example — so don’t be afraid to try a crazy opportunity. Put yourself out there.
The only other thing I can say is to not be afraid to be genuine. The first paragraph of my Common App essay talked about Heather Has Two Mommies, Twilight, and “Blurred Lines.” My Yale supplement was about how society talks about Ophelia. My short answers were about falafel. You don’t have to be profound or deep. You don’t have to uncover the meaning of life. You just need to be memorable and authentic. And more often than not, being you is more memorable than being what you think colleges want you to be.
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very wise words from my very awesome niece. at seventeen, i feel like she’s already figured out how to carve out a life that is rich and meaningful.
we are all so very proud of you!