Coming to Terms With the ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Finale (SPOILER)

I have been an avid How I Met Your Mother fan for almost 2 years. I have seen every single episode (thank you Netflix). If there was a new episode, and I was not able to watch it live, I would record it. Almost every night, I would come home from work, put on my pajamas, make popcorn, curl up on the couch, and either watch the recording of HIMYM or watch an old episode on Netflix. Some may say I am obsessed with the show…and I am okay with that.

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After watching last night’s finale, I just sat there. I stared at the blank tv screen. To be honest, I was not happy. I kept thinking:

  • “After all this time, after all this wait, Ted finally gets the perfect girl…and then she dies! They were together about 11 years, married 4 years, and had 2 children…AND SHE DIES!”
  • “We went through an entire season leading up to Robin and Barney’s wedding…for them to divorce after 3 years!”
  • “Why would they put so much heart-break into one, final episode?”
  • “They left us on a cliff-hanger! This is not fair!”

Then, I came to terms with the finale.

  • The show’s title is NOT deceiving. We really do get to meet the mother (Tracy). Whether or not we admit it, we knew quite a bit about her. We knew a lot about her even before Season 9. She was the woman-version of Ted and she shared a ton of interests with him. What more could we want for Ted?! Remember the episode where Ted is in Cindy’s room and picked up every item that belongs to Tracy?! I think the reason we were all so upset with the death was because we, finally, had a face and a name. Despite “knowing” Tracy before Season 9, we only became attached to her during the last episode of Season 8 – Season 9:  when we saw her.
  • As Ted’s daughter points out, Ted was telling a story about Robin more so than their mother: “You made us sit down and listen to this story about how you met Mom – yet Mom was hardly in the story. No, this is a story about how you are totally in love with aunt Robin. And you’re thinking of asking her out, and you wanna know if we’re OK with it.” In hindsight, we should have seen this coming. For a show entitled How I Met Your Mother, we learned way more about every other character…especially Robin.
  • We loved the IDEA of Barney doing a complete 180, but did we ever truly cheer on Barney and Robin? I feel like I cheered him on any time he started dating someone…period. We did not really care who he dated or ended up with, as long as it made him a better person. Ironically, it ended up being his daughter that made him a better man. That was a pretty epic (and sweet) twist of events.
  • I lost count how many times Robin mentioned that “it should have been Ted.” During those episodes, I thought “Oh, she is just living in the moment and freaking out.” Ted and Robin were never on the same page and were never right for each other…at that specific moment. It makes sense that they rekindled an old flame after Robin and Barney divorced and Ted is widowed after Tracy’s death. It is a beautiful story of second chances, moving on, and just being happy.
  • After 9 seasons, Marshall was rewarded for being such a supportive, loving, and grounded husband. Let us be honest here, we loved Lily, but we all got a little tired of her selfishness and immaturity. However, in the finale, it is obvious she calmed down quite a bit.
  • Despite being a sitcom, the show touched on a lot of relevant themes:  love, dating, friendships, death, family, work, forgiving, marriage, disappointment, and so on. Often, we forget that there were some pretty heavy and deep episodes. Remember when Robin discovered she cannot have children or when Marshall’s father passed away? The finale stuck to its guns and touches on a little bit of everything. What more could you ask for?

In the end, the show taught us about hope. Yes, there is even hope in the finale. Ted could have been bitter after Tracy’s death, but we see him taking a risk and choosing to be happy. Robin could have chosen to remain distant and reserved, but we see her attend Ted’s wedding and grinning ear to ear when he stands under her window, again, with the blue french horn. We see Barney find the love of his life:  his daughter. Finally, Marshall and Lily remain faithful and have 3 children.

A round of applause to the cast and crew of HIMYM:  well played.

Thoughts While Typing a Paper

I am supposed to be typing a 6-8 page paper for my classes; naturally, I am procrastinating. Instead, I am compiling a list of thoughts that run through my head as I am “working” on my paper:

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  • “Maybe I should make coffee. Coffee will help me focus, right?!”
  • “I need good music. I can’t type in dead silence. I also can’t type listening to really crummy music. This is a tough decision.”
  • *Types 10 words, takes a 10 minute break*
  • “Ok, you have got to get this done. Type 1 page and take a break.”
  • “A bubble bath sounds really good right now. After, I could paint my toenails. My toenails need a fresh coat of paint. Hmmmmm.”
  • “What color should I paint my toenails?”
  • “Did I just see movement outside of the window? Is someone trying to break into the house?!”
  • “I’m kind of hungry. Popcorn sounds good.”
  • “Maybe I will just eat popcorn, watch a 20 minute show, and then get right back to work.”
  • “I REALLY NEED TO WORK ON THIS PAPER!”
  • “I want a cat.”

The Katniss Shawl

I have a slight obsession with The Hunger Games:  both novels and films. For the premiere of The Hunger Games in 2012, I dressed up as Katniss, not only to the movies but to class, as well. Ya, I am a little nerdy, but who is not?

Here I am in 2012:

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You can imagine after seeing Katniss’ shawl in Catching Fire, I had to have it or make it. The shawl is on many Catching Fire posters and Katniss wears it toward the beginning of the film.

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My mom found a pattern on Ravelry.com. Since January, I have been knitting on my version of the shawl. A lot of knitters used a rope for the cowl-neck; this made the neck look like a perfect circle. Instead, I did not use rope and my mom suggested that I knit 4 rows, purl 4, knit 4, and purl 4. Essentially, it looks very similar to the original but without a big, bulky rope.

Without further ado, I give you my version of the Katniss Shawl from Catching Fire:

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Katniss Shawl, Olive green Forever21 jacket, and Steve Madden “Banddit” boots.Image

No One Cares

I am going to be honest and I am going to get some heat for this…

No one cares.

I know that sounds harsh and cynical, but hear me out.

Take your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram friends. Look at how many “friends” you have on each. How many of those “friends” do you actually communicate with on said social media site (likes, comments, private messages, replies, etc.)? How many of those “friends” actually communicate with you?

So why do you feel this need to share every single detail of your life with acquaintances who do not care for the details, many of whom you have never met? Call me old school, but I think certain things are best kept between your closest family and friends.

Sure, there are events that are understandable to share like a status about your engagement, marriage, pregnancy/birth of child, or new job. However, there is such thing as sharing TOO much.

Here is the difference between a sufficient amount of information and TMI:

An acceptable status:  “Billy Bob and I are having a girl!”

A TMI status: “Ugh, the third trimester sucks. Thankfully, I have the sweetest hubby who went out and bought me some of my favorite ice cream:  STRAWBERRY! How sweet is he? Baby girl is kicking! Here are the latest ultrasounds! (insert picture here)”

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If I care at all, I only care enough to know that you and Billy Bob are having a girl. I do not need a mental image of your pregnancy. And, honestly, I could go the rest of my life without seeing an ultrasound of your baby…inside of you. Same way I only care enough to know you were recently engaged or married; I do not necessarily need to know your wedding itenerary or if you are going to use baby’s breath or roses. When you go on your honeymoon, I do not care to see 10 different pictures of your mojito, glued to your hand, and seems to travel around Cancun with you.

Be mysterious. Let people actually be excited for you when you tell them the details in person. Here is a shocking idea:  SURPRISE PEOPLE!

21 Signs You are No Longer 21

21 signs you are no longer 21, from a going-on 23 year old perspective:

1. You forget your age. “I’m in my 20’s,” covers it.

2. You rarely type statuses or upload pictures to social media; instead, you log on just to see who was recently engaged or married.

3. HGTV is one of your favorite channels.

4. Reading no longer feels like a requirement.

5. You have accepted your transition from the “Juniors'” to “Misses” department.

6. Your style icon is Kate Middleton.

7. You listen to singer/songwriter and alternative music rather than hip-hop and pop.

8. You still drive your car from high school because it gets good gas mileage.

9. You are a coupon clipper.

10. You realize $5 mascara from a drug store works just as well as $50 mascara from a department store.

11. You love spending time with your family rather than constantly hanging out with friends.

12. You do not feel the need to go out every weekend.

13. If someone is no longer interested, you do not get upset.

14. You do not feel guilty when you outgrow friendships.

15. You do not feel the need to reply to every text message or return every phone call.

16. You save more of your paycheck than you spend.

17. When people excessively brag about themselves, you do not get jealous or defensive; you just feel bad for their need to be better than everyone else.

18. You have a designer clothing item from Goodwill for $5 rather than the regular priced $150. Who is the real winner here?!

19. You stop focusing on what you do not have, but rather appreciate what you do have.

20. Your hobbies may include one of the following:  knitting, crocheting, sewing, gardening, or baking.

21. You are glad you are no longer 21.

The Kate Look

I have learned as you grow older, your style [hopefully] evolves. Sure, it was fun to wear trendy clothes like high-low skirts/dresses, cartoon tshirts, leggings, and tribal print anything. However, at some point, you should step back and ask yourself if your clothes are appropriate for your age.

What girl has not shopped, or at least browsed, Forever21? The prices are appealing to a modest budget and they keep up with the latest trends. I think the store name says it all:  meant for 21 years old and younger. Trends are mostly targeted to younger customers and tend to only stick around for a couple of years before they are dubbed “last season.” However, F21 has CHEAP jeans and basic tshirts that I will not pass up.

What should you do when you are over 21 and looking for a mature look that does not make you look frumpy?

It is hard to let go of the “Junior” department when you still easily fit into its clothes. You might resist shopping your age because it means you are accepting that you are getting older. I will be honest, I am going on 23 years old and could probably fit into a child’s XL from Old Navy or Gap. Does that mean I should shop in the children’s department…just because it fits? NO!

Learn to say NO.

There is life beyond F21 (and similar stores). In fact, you might be surprised how much you like a more sophisticated and polished look. Stores that carry more mature styles will probably be a little more pricey. The key is to shop sales and clearance.

Just because I can afford an expensive dress, does not mean I am willing to buy it. My mom instilled in me an eye for fashion. There is no way I would pay more for a clothing item that my mom can make cheaper and with better quality. I rarely shop Dillard’s because most of their clothes are not truly worth their price. You are essentially buying the tag (Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, etc). When I heard Dillard’s was having a huge sale (extra 50% off pink tags), I had to check it out.

I found a regularly priced $129 [Daniel] Cremieux midnight navy sheath dress…for $38. It was a bargain considering the original price and quality. After purchasing the dress, I immediately ran home to try it on with my $22 nude-color pumps from Payless (compare that to the $50-130 pumps found at Dillard’s)! I paired it with a pearl necklace from Macy’s that I have had since early high school.

I call this, “The Kate Look.”

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(My Version) of 23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23

My friend and I began a tally of people we knew who were engaged as of the Christmas and New Year’s season. I think he reached about 6 couples, and I counted about 4. It does not help that every time I log onto Pinterest, the bride-to-be has mapped out the entire wedding.

I understand. Though many people may consider me the single cat lady, I too would like to get married some day…but not right now.

Let me tell you what I was like during 2013:  During student teaching, I decided I realllllly did not want to teach. Ever. I graduated with a degree that I no longer wanted. However, I found a Master’s program that I am absolutely in love with. Until recently, I was glued to my cell phone like a teenager. I probably had a “crush” on at least 8 guys. More than once, I was determined to cut ties with some “friends” (but never did). At 22, I finally found the sport in which I am talented:  archery. I acted like a 22 year old during 2013.

Though I am pursuing my Master’s, I have no idea where it will take me. At least 50% of the time, I have no idea what I am doing. I still live with my mom and dad. I do not even know what tomorrow will hold for me. And that is exciting and beautiful. It makes me feel young (which I am)!

I am really confused. What is so great about being engaged/married before or at 22/23 years old? Maybe being engaged/married so young is enticing to my age group because it is like playing in The Hunger Games; Effie may be cheering the young couple on, but let’s be honest, the odds are not really in their favor.

I will admit, all of these engaged/married couples make me question myself. “Why am I single? Is there something wrong with me? Is my window of opportunity gone?” Then, I quickly realize how silly I sound. I am awesome. I am pursuing my Master’s, I am independent, I still get to hang out with whoever I want, I do whatever I want, I made a career/degree change to make myself happier, I work with WKU athletes, and the list goes on.

I am living MY life.

I agree with Vanessa Elizabeth in “23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23”

     I can’t help but feel like a lot of these unions are a cop-out.

     It is a way for young people to hide behind a significant other instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows on their own. It’s a safety      blanket. It’s an admission that the world is just too big and scary to deal with it on your own; thus, you now have someone that is          legally obligated to support you till one of you dies or files for divorce…

     If your love is truly eternal, what’s the rush? If it’s real, that person will continue to be committed to you 2 months from now, 2 years      from now, and 2 decades from now. Grow, learn, travel, party, cuddle, read, explore. Do. Freaking. Something… other than “settle      down” at 23 with a white picket fence.

 Because you owe it to yourself.  You are a human being that deserves to thrive inside AND outside of a relationship.

I will get some heat from Bridezillas on Facebook and Twitter. They will probably delete me as a “friend” and compile a list of reasons why they are so much better than me because they are engaged or married. So while they fret over which shade of blue they will use on their wedding invitations, here is my version of 23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23:

  1. Pursue [even] higher education
  2. Take up a new hobby
  3. Learn to play an instrument
  4. Work a fun part-time job or begin the job of your dreams
  5. Adopt a pet
  6. Go to Hawaii
  7. Create a blog or YouTube channel
  8. Watch the entire How I Met Your Mother series (9 seasons)
  9. Take selfies like no one is watching
  10. Cut ties with “friends” that are not making you happy
  11. Have a designated tea or coffee time (mine is 4pm)
  12. Discover your style (I personally gravitate toward Kate Middleton’s style)
  13. Hang out with friends of the opposite sex
  14. Hang out with your parents whenever you can
  15. Figure out what issues are truly important to you and fight for them
  16. Learn more about U.S. History & Government so you may be a more educated citizen
  17. Enjoy the silence
  18. Create a Vine account, and make vines that you think are funny, but are really not.
  19. Watch the following movies:  Shawshank Redemption, The Last of the Mohicans, Legends of the Fall, and the Robert Redford version of The Great Gatsby
  20. Read the following books and/or book series:  The Hunger Games, the Divergent series, The Great Gatsby, and a biography about your favorite celebrity or historical person
  21. Paint something, even if it turns out horrible
  22. Go to as many sporting events as possible
  23. Learn to be independent

Why Did I Just Watch That?!

As I was trying to think of a topic to write about, one just fell into my lap.

While on Facebook, one thing led to another and I stumbled upon Miley Cyrus’ new music video for “Adore You.” I am not a MC fan. I watched the awkward video to see what bizarre thing she does next; it made me uncomfortable. Not straying from her latest trend, she was as nude as she could get laying on a bed, and from here on you can guess what happened. I made faces, turned my head, and squinted my eyes. 

We have two groups when it comes to MC:  avid fans and people who are appalled by her behavior. If my blog were more popular, I imagine the MC lovers would begin relentlessly defending her now. I have said time and time again, people knowingly make their own choices. In my opinion, MC cares less about her lyrics and their meaning and more about shock value:  “How can I get people to watch me…talk about me among their friends…etc.” 

Then, as if I were not already alarmed enough, I realized her video is not age restricted on YouTube. If you watch it, think about it. Think about how, especially today, young children have access to the internet. Like what happened in my situation, one thing leads to another and that child discovers the video. Without having to enter an email and password to “confirm” they are 18+ years of age, they watch the video…as impressionable young children. They begin asking their parents, friends, or even researching what MC is “doing” in the video. Now, at a young age they know. It makes a child cursing seem not as bad. You have to wonder, will this video (among other artists’ music videos) encourage young children to think about and act upon sex at an even younger age?

Another alarming thought:  how many of her songs, music videos, and Tweets will be about a previous relationship? Not realizing it, we are teaching people that dwelling on relationships (past or present) is a good, healthy way to cope. It is not. Sure, we need our outlets to cope:  running, talking, baking, writing, singing, and so on. However, I believe we need to cope in a way that pushes us to move on. Multiple documentaries and books tell the story of when William and Kate broke up; Kate’s mother told her to come home, mourn for a couple of days, then pick herself up by the bootstraps and move on as a stronger woman. That is exactly what Kate did, and William noticed. I believe her strong demeanor attracted William and look where they are now:  married and with a new addition to the family. Maybe it is just me, but I believe MC’s obsessiveness over a previous relationship is not only creepy to that ex, but to any guy she might pursue in the future.

Most of all, I blame myself. I had a pretty good idea what the video would portray. I knew it would make me uncomfortable, yet I still watched it. MC (and other artists like herself) are winning. No matter if a person likes the song or music video, they are still getting millions of viewers. They will continue to release songs and music videos that are risque. I am not attempting to be the “Music Police.” However, I think websites, like YouTube, should be more considerate and careful when uploading content that could potentially be accessed by young viewers. When wanting to see a change, we must start with ourselves. If you are not a MC fan (or any other similar artist), stop listening to her music, stop watching her music videos, stop following her on Twitter. 

So from here on out, I am done. Done listening and watching her. The only way I will “hear” anything about her will be if anyone brings up the latest, crazy thing she says or does.

Merry Christmas

I hope you are having a Merry Christmas!

My Christmas was full of Burberry, Richmond Tea, and Kate Middleton books. To complete my British-themed Christmas, HLN is showing documentaries about William and Kate!

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Me, Myself, and I

I could not come up with a topic for today’s post, so I suppose I will formally introduce myself via blog.

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(Picture is from Honolulu, Hawaii)

By now, you have probably caught on…my name is Hannah. I am 22 years old; although, many people mistake me as a high school student. This makes me hopeful that when I am 50, I will look like I am in my 20s or 30s.

This past May, I graduated from Western Kentucky University with my B.A. in History & Social Studies with a concentration in Secondary Education. However, I decided I did not want to teach. That was a great epiphany to have months before I graduated (sarcasm). Thankfully, I found a Master’s program I absolutely love. Now I am pursuing an M.S. in Instructional Design. When people ask what I am getting my Master’s in, I get the same look:  the “I have no idea what that is, but I am just going to nod my head and sound impressed” look. In short, Instructional Design entails analyzing an educational or work setting, addressing the performance needs of students or employees, and developing strategies or products to address needs (i.e., training materials). It is a pretty broad field, but my dream job would be to work as an instructional designer for the NCAA.

Currently, I work as an athletic tutor for the Student Athlete Success Center at WKU. I love my job so much. I work with WKU’s athletes, get to know them really well, and watch them succeed off the field, as well. 

Other randoms:

  • I have one older sister who is married
  • I have 3 cats, but only 1 is my favorite (Molly)
  • As of July, I have taken up archery (and love it)

I believe that is enough about me!

Love,

Hannah