the content your favorite instagram model won't provide

So… I got a nose job.

I tried to be cute about it, and think of a fun quirky intro, but I decided to just be straight with you guys. As straight as my brand-new perfectly aligned septum. (There it is)

And while this is all rather exciting to me, I realize we live in a culture that loves drama and rumor and scandal. 

If Utah Valley had a gossip magazine, this would surely be front page news. The paparazzi would be camped outside of my house, begging for a shot of my swollen face taking the garbage out.

But, it’s 2018. So instead, I’ll just give my haters some time to send a text to their “we hate indy blue” group message about the big announcement. 

Good? Finished? Ah, you guys keep me young.

There are several reasons why I am talking about this publicly, and we’ll get to all of those reasons. But the main one, is just that I don’t think it’s anything to be embarrassed about! Plastic surgery has such a bad reputation. But I think we should own it, in the same way that we do when we show up to school, licking our teeth and flashing our pearly whites in the direction of our hot student teacher after getting our braces off in 8th grade.

So let’s talk about her then. My nose. The star of the show.

I had always been a confident kid. Maybe a little too confident, actually, which is why I think Mother Nature decided to send a softball flying through the air at full speed, hitting me directly on the bridge of my nose at age 14. To take me down a couple notches. To bring me back down to earth. - literally.

In High School, I was a cheerleader, and this really needs no further explanation. I can confidently say I had a solid 3 more nose breaks during those years. In other words, I’ll be sending an invoice to all of my flyers that I based throughout high school. Y’ALL ARE SIGNING THIS CHECK NOT ME!!!!!

We’ve been through a lot, my nose & I. But It wasn’t until the end of my senior year that I actually noticed how much it had actually changed. I mean it took that long to even realize there would be physical consequences to repeatedly getting kicked in the face :’) But once I noticed it, I couldn’t unsee it.

It was crooked. Totally crooked. Completely pushed over to the right side. My profile, was awkward and bumpy and I knew if I wanted any sort of career selling fitness tea on instagram someday, I needed to fix it. 

All of the sudden, my nose was my biggest insecurity.

But it wasn’t all that bad. Being ugly means you’re forced to develop a personality and sense of humor. Wooo! Character development!!!!

And if you've followed me on instagram or twitter, you'll know that's exactly what I did. Masked years of childhood trauma with sub-par humor. 

indys.jpeg

But that’s all I really ever thought of nose jobs. A joke. A nose job was a privilege reserved for the likes of the Kardashian-Jenners of the world, not the simple folk like me. I needed at least a three year reality tv show contract or a scandalous publicity stunt to qualify for a face altering surgery… right???

Wrong.

Last summer, I moved in with Kate. Kate the roommate, you guys remember her right?

While all I really knew about nose jobs were what it could do for a girl like Bella Hadid,

Screen Shot 2018-05-20 at 11.51.57 PM.png

Kate knew everything. She knew the in’s and outs. The best and the worst surgeons around. She could spot a nose job from a mile away, and I’m convinced she knows the game so well, she could have performed my own surgery with a steady hand.

And she's the one that informed me that nose jobs weren’t just for celebrities. Anyone could get them. Anyone with a fat stack of cash in their wallet that is, but it was still comforting knowing I wasn’t going to have to become famous off of a sex tape first. 

She started naming people I knew that had nose jobs, and the number was just mind blowing.

“Wait… SHE does?!”                                                                                                                            “And her?!!?”
“AND HIM???!”’

It was both relieving and upsetting to know that so many people I knew had plastic surgery. Relieving, because I felt like I wasn’t crazy. I felt like I wasn’t alone in my insecurity, and there were people that had gone through the same thing as me. It was almost hopeful to know that a girl my age who wasn’t rich and famous, was able to fix her insecurity and be confident in the way she looked. 

The upsetting part… was the fact that no one talks about it.

I felt like I had to sign an NDA after Kate exposed all of our acquaintances with secret surgeries! Why was this so private… so confidential?

I tried to get to the bottom of why plastic surgery is so taboo. What makes fixing your nose any different than getting braces so your teeth are straight? Or even working out because you're insecure with your body? Why must so many women out there feel the need to LIE and hide the fact that they went under the knife??

Its like all the hot blogger moms I follow, going to war with their instagram trolls claiming that their perky double d’s after 4 babies are sent from god above. I. just. don’t. get. it. OWN IT GIRLIE!! Show them off in your brand new #revolve swipe-up-for-the-link bikini! But don’t deceive your followers to protect your perfect social image. 

And I think that's it. Right there. It's protecting the image. 

It’s the celebrities, and the bloggers, the instagram girls who look, from all perspectives, perfect. And they cling to that perception, too.

These people would rather tell you they voted for Donald Trump than admitting to had plastic surgery.

And from that outsiders perspective, it's a lot to handle. It's hard not to compare yourself. But what we don't see on our instagram feeds, is that these people we look up to and follow online have insecurities too. (stars, they're just like us!!!) Only, they have the money & resources to fix those bigger insecurities. Does that make them bad people? Of course not!! I don't think they should be shamed for taking advantage of those opportunities. We all would if we could. But what if we broke down that desperate need to protect our perfect social images??

What if.... What if the Kardashians -- and I say this with all the love in my heart, HI queens!!-- finally admitted that their booties weren't just a result from a couple squats before bed??

 Kim, you're doing amazing, sweetie

Kim, you're doing amazing, sweetie

What if our idols and influencers started being more open and real about their bodies, and their insecurities-- and even, how they fixed them or became more secure with them?

I think it would change history, to be honest.

Nations?? At peace. Global warming?? Reversed. Tupac?? Out of hiding.

So yes, with all that said, I was nervous of the reaction I would get to getting my nose fixed. I definitely stopped to think of what people would say, I knew they would call me fake, I knew they would call me a bad role model.. I knew it was coming.

But I wasn’t going to let the fear of striking out (haters saying its fake) keep me from playing the game (stunting on my adversaries)

So... I decided to get one.

And I decided not to keep it a secret.

But first, I needed a plan.

  • Step 1: get that coin
  • Step 2: find a surgeon
  • Step 3: consultation
  • Step 4: PUT. ME. UNDER. DOC.

Let’s just say, once my septum got it’s shit together…it really would be over for you hoes.

By April of this year, I finally had enough money saved for the surgery. (We love a self employed girl boss!!) and the second I was financially secure, I made the call. 

Find a surgeon and schedule a consultation: CHECK AND CHECK!

My consultation was scheduled the first week of April, right before I went to Bali. I was really nervous. I had a couple people tell me that they had been turned away at their consultation, and their surgeons told them their noses were fine and they wouldn’t perform surgery on them. This was my biggest fear.

When I told friends and family I wanted a nose job, it was always met with the same response:

“You don’t even need one! Your nose is fine! What are you talking about?”

I knew that my crooked nose wasn’t obvious to everyone. But we all have something like that right? An insecurity that only we see with our eyes? When we admit them to the world, everyone is confused. What you see glaring at you in the mirror every day, is something that your own best friend hasn’t noticed. I was worried my doctor would say the same thing, and turn me away, crushing my dreams of a Blake Lively transformation.

 honestly iconic

honestly iconic

To my delight, my doctor walked in and pointed out every single thing I hated about my nose.

I love a man who gets you nice and vulnerable up front.

It sounds harsh, but I could have cried tears of joy at that consultation. I was finally validated! I wasn’t crazy after all. In fact, YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN LYING TO ME THE WHOLE TIME TELLING ME MY NOSE WAS FINE WHAT KIND OF FRIENDS ARE YOU

The best part though, was after the x rays, he confirmed just how royally fRICKeD up the inside of my nose was. So we scheduled a surgery for May 14th. He was going to fix everything on the inside so I could finally breathe normally, and on the outside too, so I could finally go on the bachelor.

And here we are. May 27th.

I had my surgery two weeks ago and it went great!! Here’s what happened: 

  • It was my first time on anesthesia which I thought was the coolest thing…ever??? Like drifting into unconsciousness for a couple of hours and waking up with a new face? Im down??
  • The nurses said I woke up crying, thanking every person who walked past, which is really cute if you think about it. It shows you how bad I wanted it haha :')
  • Recovery on the other hand, was the worst thing ever and I wouldn’t wish that pain and discomfort on anyone. Not even on my worst enemies, Halsey & G-Eazy
  • I took a short break from social media because I had two full weeks of laying in bed doing nothing, and I knew how bad scrolling on instagram, comparing myself to all of Harry Styles ex Victoria Secret model girlfriends would be for my mental health. So for those of you wondering (grandma, sup girl) that's why i've been absent on the gram.
  • And finally, I got my cast off! To my surprise, I didn't transform into Cara Delevigne overnight. But I cried real happy tears when I got a glimpse of my side profile for the first time, and that is something i've been insecure about for YEARS. Swelling is slowly going down, and i'm starting to love it so much.

And that’s where I’m at. Slowly but surely emerging as new, more confident woman. I’m still the same girl, in fact I hardly look any different at all. But this wasn't really for anyone else, than myself. (sorry to my future kids who are going to be hella confused when they're born with big crooked noses!!!! mom can't relate!!!)

but anyyyyywaaaay. I chose to share this, because that's what I do. I share my life online, and I’m choosing to show all aspects of it. The highlights, and the less glamorous moments.

Its those less glamorous moments that are hard to share, though. In fact, I am indeed braver than a U.S. Marine for posting that photo to my instagram, completely destroying my aesthetic... but if it were easy, everyone would do it. We’d all post pictures without make up on. We’d all talk about our bad days, our struggles, or what makes us self conscious. The problem is, the second you do that, you open the door to criticism and judgement, and hate. And thats why it’s hard. No one wants to feel judged or criticized especially during a hard time and that's why it's easier to show your good days, and keep the bad ones to yourself.

But as someone with a larger audience, I’m opening myself up to the criticism and the judgement and the hate because it's silly. Who caaaares? I’d rather have you know that I’m not perfect, and that I do have insecurities. I’d rather have you know that self confidence is a personal journey, and you have to do whats right for you. I would rather inspire you to own your truth, and not care what anyone else thinks.

And above all, I want you guys to know that there is magic in being real. 

all of that, AND TO SHOW YOU MY BOMB BEFORE AND AFTER PICS AYYYYY!!

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So there you have it. I got a fake nose but im going to be real about it. REAL IN THE FAKNESS 2018!!!

And THANKS YOU GUYS!!! If you have any questions about the surgery or recovery, price, surgeon, ANYTHING! Slide in my DM’s.

love u allllll!

xx

A LIFE TO BE PROUD OF

I’m sitting in an airport, somewhere in the middle east, all alone, waiting to board a flight to India. 

That’s pretty cool right??

I thought about the younger version of myself, and what she’d think of it. I came to the conclusion that she’d be thrilled, no doubt, but surprised?? Hardly. 

You see, the little girl version of me had BIG plans.

Since the day I mumbled my first words, “Hit Me Baby One More Time” I knew I was destined for stardom. Fame was all I wanted.

In seventh grade I met with a school counselor, and together we filled out a paper discussing my goals, and future career paths. She asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I told her point blank, 

“I want to be famous.”

(Think, the little girl from vine, eating the chip, but with braces and acne)

“For what?” My counselor replied.

I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know, I just want to be famous”

And she laughed.

“Thats not a job, sweetheart.”

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE MS. STEINFIELD TELL THAT TO 5 YEAR OLD ME, WITH CRIMPED HAIR, GLITTER LIPSTICK & PLASTIC MICROPHONE IN HAND, WALKING INTO KINDERGARTEN ON CAREER DAY.

Yep. Among a sea of veterinarians, police officers, fire fighters and chefs, I walked in dressed as a rockstar. I came to school equipped with two songs from my latest EP. The first was titled “Greatest girl in the world” (maybe a little over confident? Maybe just building my brand from a young age??)  and my next single, “You’re lookin so fine.” 

 

But when Mrs. Reese decided to kill my 5 year old dreams and DENY me of performing in front of the class, I decided I needed more options. 

I had a flair for the dramatic, so naturally I took up acting. I’d memorize monologues in my room and recite them to my loyal, and brutally honest, collection of stuffed animals. When Hannah Montana came onto the scene, it nearly killed me. I couldn’t believe a young girl that wasn’t India Blue Severe had her own Disney Channel show. Did they not know that I had been practicing my “Hi My name is Indy and you’re watching Disney Channel” mickey mouse ear drawing special effect sequence for the past four YEARS??

I knew right then and there that I was running out of time.

I was also 8 years old. 

My powerpoint presentation of why my parents should move me out to California to pursue my dreams fell on deaf ears. Apparently they couldn't just “pick up and leave” even if I had already arranged potential buyers for each of my other siblings. 

It was also around this time, where I discovered the devastating news that fame required talent. 

What a buzzkill.

I had spent my whole life rehearsing my first interview post-Oscar win, only to realize I actually had to be GOOD at acting to be nominated for an academy award??? What a joke.

I didn’t give up though. This new revelation narrowed my list of potential careers, for sure, but I was pretty confident in my plan to launch myself into the spotlight. The good news? It required hardly any talent at all. Just a hood mentality. 

THE NEW AND IMPROVED INDY SEVERE - 3 YEAR PLAN FOR FAME AND FORTUNE:

 

  • Make it to the Top 4 on the Bachelor (take the shy & ‘not good enough for love’ approach. better for endorsement deals) 
  • Stay relevant enough to appear on Dancing with the Stars
  • Stage a scandal with your hot ballroom partner
  • Write a “tell all” exposing all of your enemies
  • Somehow have a child with Drake 

As I was writing this down, I was reminded of my 7th grade self writing down “famous” under the column “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

And remembered the conversation I had with my school counselor.

She asked me what I wanted to be famous for, but she never asked me why. No one did.

I didn’t even know why.

And it’s been years since I walked into career day, with a plastic microphone, dream and cardigan in hand. It’s been years since I put on a blonde wig and performed “Best of Both Worlds” for my third grade talent show.

 

It’s been years since I begged my parents to ship me off to Hollywood. And it’s been years since that day in the counselors office. But it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the why.

I was desperate to be remembered.

I was/am absolutely terrified of leaving the world, not having left a mark on it. 

It dawned on me that I simply wanted to live a life good enough for other people to care, and notice. Which I realize, isn’t a good way to live your life, but I'm getting to the bottom of my ChIldhoOd PsYchoLogicAl IsSuEs KAREN!!!! SAVE YOUR CRITICISM FOR THE END

In my little girl brain, the opposite of living a mundane life, was being famous for something. Writing a book, organizing a movement, directing a play, exposing Taylor Swift on my snapchat story, saving a kitten from a burning building, getting blocked by Donald Trump on twitter, ANYTHING to solidify my place in history.

I wanted people to tell my story, long after I was gone. 

Well, here’s the thing.

No one was coming up to my door, begging for the rights to make a successful movie about my life. (But like, when that day comes, I’m contractually obligated to make a cameo at some point, and it must be a love scene with Timothee Chalamet)

No one was emailing me, begging me to give a ted talk. Offering me a book deal. Inviting me to speak at Women Of the Year award show. I realized, a couple years ago, that it was up to ME to live a good life, and it was up to ME to tell my story. 

And that, my beautiful, supportive, angelic, blog readers,

That is why I film. 

It’s pure storytelling, putting together a sequence of real moments, of real people, of a real life, MY real life, and I’m in the directors chair. I have full creative control. 

It started as a hobby, but I was soon aware of how special this talent was. My videos, are essentially, my mark on the world. They’ll be here long after I'm gone. My grandkids friends will pull up my Bahamas video someday, and say “damn your grandma was thick” and thats all I can really ask for.

I think the ultimate goal in life, for all of us, is not only to create the life we want to live, but to create a life we’re proud to live. 

My passion for video, my desire to tell stories and document life, was now taking me around the world, and I was actually making money from it!

This weekend, I flew into Florida to film a wedding. I was filling out some paper work with the front desk at the rental car garage, and the agent asked me who my I worked for. 

“Oh, I work for myself.” I said, fumbling with my drivers license.

He took it from me, looked at the 16 year old girl on the license, looked at me in real life, squinted his eyes, raised an eyebrow and said, “And how old are you?”

I told him I was 20, and he looked even more confused. “What do you do?”

“I’m a videographer, and I’m here to film a wedding this weekend.”

He looked impressed, but still confused. “And how long have you been doing this?” He asked.

“Three Years.”

And when I said that, his jaw hit the floor. “You’re telling me, you’ve had your own business since you were seventeen years old?? Sure. Okay.”

And I beamed with pride. “Yep!” I said happily. I loved when old white men underestimated me. He laughed to himself, sure that I was messing with him.

So I flipped my hair, told him his mom was a hoe, and drove off in my mini van rental car.

My point is, sometimes it doesn’t hit me, how far I’ve really come. And today, it hit me as I sat in the Qatar airport, waiting to board my flight to India where I’ll be for the next two weeks, playing with local kids, and raising money to build schools for them. 

My life didn’t really turn out how I envisioned it, sitting in that office with my school counselor 9 years ago. I’m not a rockstar. I’m not an actress. I’m not a former Disney Channel star with a drug problem.

But I'm traveling the world, telling important stories. Stories that will be remembered forever.

And I have a feeling the little girl I used to be, would be really proud.

 

THE SECRET TO LOVING YOUR BODY

Before I begin, let's get on the same page.

this is not a 'how to'.

there are a number of subjects I feel qualified enough to give tutorials, or "how to" articles on.

"How to use your infinite One Direction knowledge to score you your dream job" - A true passion of mine I wish to share with the world someday.

"How to become best friends with Paris Hilton" - another title I've dabbled with.

And "How to reach the smallest degree of internet fame to the point of being consistently talked negatively about in local group messages around your hometown" - a class I've dreamt of teaching for years. 

But "How to love your body" is a topic not included in my repertoire of step-by-step guides.

because... I'm simply no expert.

All I can do is share my thoughts and experiences, and maybe inspire you to stop sending Kendall Jenner hate mail for her god given flawless bone structure.

We good? Let's go.

As a kid, I was wildly confident. I'll paint you a picture.

  • Skinny as a rail                                                                                                                                         
  • Living on a steady diet of fruit snacks and doritos                                                                                   
  • Role model: Britney Spears             

I was naturally small, working out daily (kissing tag at recess was my preferred method of exercise) And above anything else, I was just blissfully ignorant. Confidence ran through my veins, but I didn't even know what that meant. 

It lasted awhile too. One time, during my sophomore year, I came downstairs for a costume party in cheetah print leggings. My sweet, sensitive, charming older brother pointed out that I was "too fat to pull off that outfit." Now, in normal cases, this is the type of moment that my therapist would circle back to being the root of all my problems, someday years from now. But, it didn't bother me. Seriously. I knew I wasn't fat, and I knew my outfit was cute, so I shrugged it off, and probably roasted him into another dimension, but THE BOTTOM LINE IS I WAS CONFIDENT. That was my state of mind, and it was beaaaautiful. I wish so badly I knew how powerful it was. Because it didn't last forever. 

I'll never forget, that same year, a friend of mine at lunch saying "Ugh I really shouldn't eat that cookie."

I was genuinely confused. Did Hailey already call dibs on it?? U lowkey allergic to dairy, sis? 

I couldn't figure out why she said that, or why it was a big deal to eat another cookie. I asked why, and she replied half jokingly, "I want to fit in my cheer uniform tomorrow."

I was mind blown. I didn't know girls my age counted calories. I thought that was just a thing for middle aged women fresh out of a messy divorce. Was I supposed to be watching what I ate... already???

And suddenly, without realizing it, I was introduced to a new world. 

A world that most women and girls are already well acquainted with. The world of BODY ISSUES.

I was suddenly aware of everything I was putting into my body. I saw an entirely different person in the mirror. Finally, after years of truly believing I was beautiful, I was cut down to size in an instant and all of that natural confidence I had lived with for years, was thrown in the garbage right along with the half eaten crunch wrap supreme (with no tomatoes)

That was 5 years ago. Clearly, you're reading this post thinking that I've come so far in the last 5 years and I'm here to give you the secret on how I overcame my self consciousness.

But nooooope. It's been a rough relationship over the past 5 years. Issues with dieting, body dysmorphia, and just overall not being comfortable in my own skin.

And Let me just say, this is one of my most requested posts. And I have started writing it, countless times over the last two years. (seriously! two years!) But every time I get going, I'll end up stopping half way through, screaming at my computer screen: "HOW CAN I SIT HERE AND WRITE ABOUT BODY CONFIDENCE WHEN I'M NOT EVEN CONFIDENT IN MY OWN BODY!! IT WILL RUIN MY BRAND!!! I'll BE A FRAUD. A JOKE.  IT WILL GO AGAINST EVERYTHING I STAND FOR!!!" So I walk away from my laptop, promising to finish the post someday, when I've discovered the secret to loving my body.  

but screwwwww THAT.

I did the vulnerable thing. I finished it anyway.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not always soul crushingly insecure. Some days, I'm totally feelin' myself.

Some days I look at myself and say "DAMN SHE THICK." 

Some days I touch my own butt, because I can.

Some days I post sexy mirror pictures of my abs, making my mom wish she had given me up for adoption.

And some days (today) I sit in the bathtub, counting my stomach rolls, wishing I still fit into the swimsuit that I wore in Dubai two months ago. 

But if anything, that's the secret I've learned.

being "body confident" is not a permanent state. It's a constant work in progress. 

We work so hard to love our bodies, as if it's to reach an ending goal. As though someone will hand us a certificate someday and say "Congratulations! You're officially confident in your body!" and we'll never compare ourselves to a Victoria's Secret model again. 

But that's just not the reality of it, and I want to be as real as I can with you guys. Especially you youngbloods. The junior high/high school girls. My little tiny's. (How's Logan Paul by the way? Is he still a piece of garbage?? lmk) I could go several angles with this post, but I know there are impressionable minds reading, and I know I have a platform and I want to use it to share stuff that you can't find in 'seventeen magazine.' 

First and foremost, whats up. you're not alone. And that's freaking cool. It's sad, but weirdly comforting to know that pretty much every girl to ever live, in the history of the world, has insecurities. Selena Gomez has them. Your mom is does. Your ex boyfriends hot new girlfriend does. I BET EVEN RIHANNA GETS INSECURE SOMETIMES. (too far? yep. thought so too.)

So please let it reassure you that indy blue underscore, that self deprecating girl you follow on instagram who always makes those videos twirling around in slow motion, she's insecure too.

Next, Having a healthy relationship with social media, is so crucial to having a healthy body image. 

  • Be careful of the media you're consuming. If you scroll down your feed, and a picture makes you feel bad about yourself in any way... say it with me... UNFOLLOWWWW! Unfollow me if you have to! If I annoy you, or make you feel bad about yourself AT ALL, unfollow me. It's just not worth it.                                                  
  • Remember that people are posting their best photo, and theres probably a pile of 87 rejected selfies in their recently deleted folder. Or 887 if you're me.         
  • In fact, just don't compare yourself to me. At all. I have a friends with nice cameras and insane editing skills, and I need to be better at posting the real me. The candid photos, and the raw moments. Don't compare yourself to my pretty "set up" perfectly edited travel photos. I'm guilty of this and I promise to be better.
  • Don't body shame!! I could spend an entire post on this, but as girls, we know how hard it is to well.... be a girl, right? and we've already discussed how every girl has insecurities... righhhht? So don't body shame. Build her up, and put those insecurities to rest instead. 
  • Let Instagram be a place for you to catch up with friends, to be creative, to gain inspiration, and to document your memories! That's all it should be.                                     
  • Last but not least, just because Bella Hadid is super hot, doesn't mean you're not.                                                     

And finally you guys, the final point that took me so long to figure out, but changed my world once I did:

You have to work at self love. Every single day. 

Treat this like your new job. 

In fact, I relate it to my very first job, lifeguarding at the Lindon pool. It was a good job. Mainly because it was the only place that would hire a 15 year old, but also because my supervisor was way hot.

It was a good job, but a HARD one. You had to go through a series of tests to even get into a training class:

  • Tread water for 5 minutes                                                                                                                               
  • Dive to the bottom of the pool and retrieve a heavy brick, keeping it above water as you swim on your back to the other side                                                                                                           
  • Swim a 300

When you have the endurance of an 85 year old woman and the body strength of a 9 year old boy, this was nearly torture.

That was bad enough, but it was just the beginning. Now we had to actually train to become lifeguards. So I spent another two weeks treading more water and carrying more bricks. (On the plus side I think I really helped the other trainees by almost drowning every 10 minutes.)

After our two week certification training, we still had to try out to be lifeguards. WOULD THIS EVER END?

Tryouts were brutal. However, swimming down to the deep end and retrieving a brick was my specialty at this point. I passed the test, and was waiting for them to hand me my high cut bay watch swimsuit, and officially give me the title of "lifeguard."  Instead...they just gave me our training schedule.

MORE. TRAINING??! SERIOUSLY?

Yep! For another month before the pool even opened, we trained four times a week, for 3 hours a day.

NOT EVEN MY HOT SUPERVISOR WAS MAKING THIS WORTHWHILE.

I had been constantly, working for this, non stop, and I still had never even experienced a real day on the job. All the training was making me more and more confident in my skills, but I was anxiously looking forward to the day where I could finally stop training to be a lifeguard, and just be one. But in a way, that day never came. Yes, the pool opened and I wore my basketball length swimshorts with PRIDE (I'm from Utah. Pamela Anderson is a dirty word here.) But even with a whistle around my neck, the training never stopped. (I guess it's important when you're in the business of sAviNG livEs~~ or whatever.) Once the season began, we had weekly tests and trainings to make sure we were up to date on our skills. Not to mention we were constantly being audited. Basically, a supervisor would test us randomly throughout the day. They'd throw a bouncy ball in the pool, and publicly humiliate us depending on how long it took us to notice. They'd bribe punk kids to pretend to drown so they could assess our reactions. It was the most stressful work environment. For three summers, I never felt like I HAD a job, just that I was actively trying to keep it.

So how does this tie in? Sure, I got my certificate. I got my whistle. I was on the payroll. I was in all ways, an employed lifeguard. But I had to train to keep that title, every single day. And it suuuucked.

It's the same thing with body confidence. 

Self love is your new job, remember? With every job, comes training, just like my lifeguard training, its going to take a lot of work. This time, with our minds.

We need to be constantly training our minds. We need to train our minds not to bully our bodies. We need to train our minds to think positive thoughts when we look in the mirror. To stop putting our worth into our physical appearance. To treat our bodies, how we would treat our loved ones. To stop comparing them to anyone else's.

And once we think we've got it, once we think we possibly can't train ANYMORE, our minds are going to audit us, test us, and make us insecure for not looking like the latest instagram model. Or remind us of what we used to look like. Or convince us that our bodies are the reasons why boys won't date us, or why companies won't hire us, or why any specific situation in our life isn't going our way. 

And some days we'll fail. We'll give into the negativity, And it's gonna suck. No amount of 'training' is going to prevent bad thoughts, or bad days. I want to make sure this part is clear, and I want to make sure that you know that it's okay to have these bad days. It's even okay to have negative thoughts. It means you're HUMAN. Just go back to square one with training your mind, just like you would train to be a lifeguard, or an olympian, or Kim Kardashian's surrogate. 

Because that miserable training will be so worth it, for the days that we WIN. 

For the days that we celebrate our bodies as the houses that we grew up in. For the days that we recognize them as the vessels for our SOULS, and the incredible things they are capable of. For the days that we see our bodies as our friends. 

I know it's not going to come overnight. Being secure in your physical form is really hard work. But let me scream it from the rooftops that IT WILL GET EASIER! It will get easier to love your body, and it will get easier to forgive yourself on the days that you don't.

I mean what do you think happened after three years of me working at the pool?

Two things. I got really good at swimming. And I finally kissed my hot supervisor.

TRAINING BEGINS NOW.

Things I learned in 2017

 

This was the year of hurting so bad, but living so good. I compiled 10 of the most important lessons I learned, and the stories that changed me. But in true indy fashion, I took 5 lessons and turned it into a short novel, so with your best interest at heart, I'll save part 2 for later this week.

1. You have to teach your heart to accept what it cannot change

This was the year I finally let go of my first love. I had spent the last four years loving him, and hating him. Things weren't good and they hadn't been good for a long time, but I held on. Over the years, we had changed so much. We loved each other, but that was about the only thing we had in common. And I believed with all my heart that 'love' was enough. It didn't matter how many times we fought, or how many times I drove away from his house crying.  We loved each other, and for that reason alone, I still. held. on. 

I remember reading the quote "Teach your heart to accept what cannot be changed"

And it hit me like a train. I spent so much time wishing things were the way they were when we were 16 and stupid in love. I wanted him to fight for me. I wanted him to love me. I wanted him to change. 

And once I realized that I could not change him, I could not make him fight for me, I could not make him love me...

I let go. 

2. INVEST IN PEOPLE WHO INVEST IN YOU

Last year, I learned so much about friendships. Here's what I discovered:

- It's okay to grow apart!   I wish I had realized this years ago. I had spent two full years, desperately trying to stay close to my high school friends. The problem was, they all had new ones. They were all moving on, and meeting new people, and we were naturally, drifting apart.  I, of course, saw this as the end of the world, and felt personally victimized when they didn't put in as much effort as I was putting in.  We had all changed, which was a totally normal thing to have happen, I just took it personally, when I shouldn't have.    I was simply putting in the time and energy to these friendships, because of the history we had. And that just wasn't helping anyone. So I stopped. I stopped reaching out, and once I stopped trying, communication stopped all together.  And its. okay.  I still love these people to death, and our history is still SO IMPORTANT TO ME!  But my happiness doesn't rely on that anymore, that's all.  Once I accepted that growing apart is just a part of life, I was so relieved. My feelings of jealousy turned into genuinely being happy for these friends. And once I did that, it was so much easier to focus on my friends who were present, and investing in me. 

- Keep your circle small.                                                                                                                     I remember being in seventh grade, on my first yearbook day, going absolutely mental on signatures. Abby S. from social studies? Did we ever talk? No. Did we ever make eye contact? No. Did I get her signature? Damnnnnn right!! I guess having a filled yearbook was my way of convincing myself I had a lot of friends. Growing up, I think thats all I ever wanted. I wanted friends in every clique, in every grade, in every club. Now, I'm 20 years old and I can count my good friends on one hand. And I'm happy! My circle is small. My heart is full. -- And so is my bank account. (having a lot of friends is expensive, i'm now remembering. being a loser around the holidays is much more affordable.)

- AGE IS JUST A NUMBER!                                                                                                                  Once upon a time, I was fresh out of high school. I was hanging out with a girl a couple years older than me, and she was taking me to a party. As we were walking in, I remember her saying, "If anyone asks, tell them you're 22." I was confused, considering I already looked like a freshman in highschool who had just gotten their braces off. "Why?" I asked. She said to me, "Well, what if you were my age. Would you want anyone knowing you hung out with an 18 year old?" In my head I was thinking, "Ummmm yeah?" but instead I just rolled my eyes, and put my tamagotchi back in the car.

I always remembered that though. Because, to me, we're just people. And we're all just big kids really. It didn't occur to me that I couldn't be friends with someone because of my age.

Last year, I messaged a girl I followed on instagram, and asked if I could film a video of her and her family. I was a total stranger, but she immediately said yes, and offered us a place to sleep while we were in town. We got in to California late one night in the summer, and as we were walking in to their house, that thought came into my head. "If they ask, tell them you're 22." HA! I had been so insecure, ever since that day, that I couldn't be friends with anyone who wasn't my age. Long story short, we sat in their living room that night and talked for hours.  I told them I was 19, and Tristen told them he was 18, and they didn't even bat an eye. 

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That was six months ago.

Last week, tristen and I spent new years with them. They are almost exactly 10 years older than us, but some of my closest, and dearest friends.

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So if anyone asks how old you are, tell them AGE IS JUST A NUMBER!

 

3. THE ART OF "FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT"

At the beginning of 2017, Tristen and I were eager to travel. He had never been out of the country, and I had only been to Thailand, but we were dead set on crossing some items off of our bucket list. The only problem was... we were broke. I scraped the bottom of my savings account to afford a $400 round trip ticket to Milan (how do you pass that up??! you don't. that's how.)  and he did the same, and then all of the sudden, we were two broke kids with plane tickets. 

We needed a plan. 

A couple months earlier when I was in Thailand, I successfully acted like a famous fashion blogger at the four seasons, and was given a tour of the resort in a private golf cart, and treated to drinks and snacks on a remote beach. It was just a joke I never thought would work,  but I ended up with a newfound confidence. Confidence that would later help us out.

I said to Tristen, "If they were that willing to give an unknown fashion blogger the VIP treatment, theres got to be other hotels that are to as well."

So we emailed.

and emailed. and emailed. 

Keep in mind, "influencing" really took off in 2017, but no one was doing this yet. No one with under 1 million followers at least. We had no idea what we were doing. We just crafted an email, promising social promotion as well as providing them with a video that we would film for their own websites, in exchange for lodging at their hotel.

We probably emailed every single hotel in Italy. My theory was that if we emailed 200 hotels, at least ONE was bound to say yes, and thats all we needed.

And that is exactly what happened.

We arrived to Milan late at night, still in sweats, and messy buns, absolutely BEAT from a 15 hour flight. But it was go time. It was time to fake it.

I took my 50 pound suitcase into the airport bathroom, laid it on the middle of the floor, and dug through, looking for something nice and respectable to wear. Something a level 10 influencer would wear. I put on a pink top with fur lined sleeves, threw on some heels, and winked at myself in the mirror. I was ready.

I walked out of the bathroom, the same time Tristen did, who had also transformed into a suave GQ looking model who probably had a hot girlfriend and 3 houses in southern france. We nodded at each other, and called a taxi.

I'll never forget walking up to our hotel, and saying to each other, "okay, we need to act polite and grateful, but not TOO grateful right? Yeah, yeah, for sure, because we're doing THEM a favor. Yes. Act like we do this all the time."

(Now. I have to give us some credit here, writing this story an entire year and several collaborations later. We weren't "faking" anything, to the point of being dishonest. We were very professional and gave the hotel what we promised, and worked really hard to provide quality content for them. But like I said, at this time it was only big bloggers and celebrities working these kinds of deals, and we felt so inadequate, we wanted to seem as prepared and experienced as we could... which is where the "faking it" came in.)

We met the hotel manager, greeted him with our best italian that we had learned from google translate in the elevator up to the lobby, and followed him to our room.

He opened the doors to the presidential suite, and I thought for sure there had to be a mistake. He would quickly realize who we were, and throw us in the hostel next door where the level 3 influencers belong. But we kept our cool, nodding, smiling softly, all the while mouthing profanities at each other every time he turned his head.

"HOLY S!(@)*#&$&^*$!#$ IS THIS OUR ROOM???"

He pointed out a massive vase filled with tulips we had asked for, robes and slippers to use, and informed us that room service was available at all hours of the night, 100% complimentary. 

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We thanked him, and as soon as we heard the door shut behind him, began squealing like 5th graders at a jonas brothers concert. We were just KIDS! How did we find ourselves here? How did we do it? I'll never forget, opening the door to the our balcony and Tristen just hugging me saying "we did it! we did it" 

and we did. we made it.

 Outside our balcony. Caught in a moment of complete awe.

Outside our balcony. Caught in a moment of complete awe.

 At our 5 course meal with the Hotel manager, pretending I know how to pronounce the dish I ordered

At our 5 course meal with the Hotel manager, pretending I know how to pronounce the dish I ordered

4. BEAUTIFUL THINGS DON'T ASK FOR ATTENTION

I have a lot of days where I later look back and think "that was the best day of my life." But few, where I think so, while I'm actually living it. But on this day, in bali, I knew. Oh boyyyyy, I knew. 

It was towards the middle of our two week trip, and we were pretty exhausted. I hate to stay put when I travel, and I get so anxious about everywhere I need to go and see in such a short amount of time. In planning this trip, Nusa Penida was at the very top of my list.

We had to bargain for a good price on boat tickets. It was hard, but luckily we didn't have to sell nicole to be the boat drivers wife. He gave us a good deal and we were on our way. The cool thing about this island, is it's an island. It's the island you hear about in stories and movies. Covered in jungle, inhabited by locals only, no paved roads, no restaurants or hotels, and only one gas station for scooters. It was absolutely amazing. The only downside? No wifi.

NOW BEFORE YOU BRAND ME A CLASSIC MILLENIAL WITH NO SENSE OF ADVENTURE---- The wifi wasn't for me to post a fire snapchat puppy filter selfie. It was so we could look up directions for our air bnb. (but like, I was also depriving my followers of a good selfie) We forgot to do that before we left, and now we were stuck, quite literally stranded on an island, with no direction. We dragged our suitcases through the gnarliest dirt road for what felt like miles, until we found someone to rent us scooters. We then rode our scooters for hours with our heavy luggage piled on top of our laps, through the jungle, asking any local we saw if they knew where "air bnb" was. Im quite positive we were staying at the only air bnb on the island, because the local people knew exactly what we were talking about and would smile as they pointed us in the right direction.

We finally get there, 4 hours later than planned, and we realize there is no food in sight. No stores, no restaurants, and we hadn't eaten since 8 that morning. My legs were bruised from the suitcases, the sun was about to set, we hadn't done anything, and I was pissed. I was seriously in the worst mood, ask anyone there. they were terrified. 

Almost as soon as we got to our villa, we got back on the scooters to try and get to Kelingking Beach, before it was dark. Our air bnb host said it would take us hours, which only made me even more mad, but we were determined to get there.

The first half of the ride up there, I was still feeling sorry for myself. I was so annoyed with how the day had gone, and how hungry and uncomfortable I was. I was making myself miserable.

I was always on the back of Cru's scooter, and despite my bad mood, he was so fun to ride with. He would always honk at the local people and they would always wave and cheer and smile as big as they could. 

He started singing high school musical songs, at the top of his lungs and I eventually started laughing so hard that I joined in. The sun was peeking through the palm trees, and it hit me all at once, how BEAUTIFUL everything was. Everything! And I began to cry. We were going so fast, and my tears were flying off my face in the wind, and I was smiling, and laughing and I remember thinking "i've never been happier in my entire life." when minutes earlier, I was feeling the complete opposite.

All it took was turning the corner and seeing the ocean, or noticing the monkeys in the trees, or just looking behind me and seeing 6 of my closest friends on scooters following us, in BALI. WE WERE IN BALI. WE WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD IN A REMOTE ISLAND THAT PEOPLE DAY DREAM ABOUT. THAT IS BEAUTIFUL!

 A screenshot from a video I took on this exact ride I'm telling you about. I wish I would have filmed longer, but I think part of me knew the moment was too good to film and I needed to soak it up in real life. I'm glad I did.

A screenshot from a video I took on this exact ride I'm telling you about. I wish I would have filmed longer, but I think part of me knew the moment was too good to film and I needed to soak it up in real life. I'm glad I did.

And I realized that it had been beautiful the whole time. Literally, nothing had changed in the last hour, except my perspective. My surroundings didn't just magically become beautiful and exciting. It was there the whole time. I was just so focused on being negative, that I was blind to it all. But thats the thing about beautiful places. And beautiful people. And beautiful things. They don't ask for attention.

We have to be ready to see them. Whether its cliffside in Indonesia, or it's 3 am driving to mcdonalds with your best friend. Life. Is. Beautiful. Always.

We just need to open our eyes.

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5. 'THERE ARE SYMPHONIES THAT ARE SCREAMING IT IS GOING TO GET BETTER. LISTEN TO THE MUSIC.'

2017 broke my heart. And if you've had your heart broken, you knooooooow it hurts like hell. when your heart breaks, your heart really breaks, man. And It's hard to ask for help when you need it. It's even harder to accept it when it's offered. Hearing "it's going to be okay" after brad just crushed your 19 year old little heart JUST KIND OF REALLY SUCKS OKAY MOM????

But moms are always right. 

It is all going to be okay. And as your honorary internet mom, i'm required to tell you this as well.

One night, several months ago, I was filming a wedding and I ran into an old friend from high school who pulled me aside to tell me about a rumor an ex boyfriend had been spreading about me. I went outside and called him, and nearly fell to my knees when he admitted to saying these terrible things. Everything from that night was a blur. Tristen, was assisting me at the wedding, and I texted him saying I needed him to finish filming for me. After that, I basically laid on the golf course of the reception venue, and cried. Like Kim Kardashian ugly crying.

After the wedding, I'm driving tristen home, trying so so so super hard not to cry infront of my boy best friend and make things awkward, but he knew something happened. I finally told him what was wrong, and he said to me, "I know you don't want to hear this, but it will get better."

I got home that night, and fell into Kate's (my roommate) arms, and just cried some more. I was laying on her bed, telling her the details of the night, vowing to never love again, when I get a text from another boy.

"Hey, I'm on my way, i'll be there soon!"

GREAT. I completely forgot I had a date that night. A first date. The first date I had been on in four months, at that. It was practically a blind date, even, and I could not, would not, under ANY circumstance go on a date that night. Not in that state. Not after all my eyelash extensions had fallen out. No way.

But Kate, doing her roommate duties, forced me to get up and get ready. She threw me a makeup wipe and said "it's going to be okay." and I wanted to hit her in the face for saying that.

But I think I knew she was right. 

The rest of the story is that I went on the date. It was a first date. Practically a blind date. The first date I had been on in four months. But I went. And it was good.

His name was Landon, and everything is okay.

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FALL PLAYLIST 2017

Fall is my time of year.  It's where I shine.  My powers get stronger, in a sense. The smells, the sounds, our world around us truly changes.  And with the colder weather brings more layers, seasonal depression, and a good old fashioned PSL from starbucks.

If you know anything about me, it's that I hate being cold. But I wouldn't trade this weather for ANYTHING! I've been bundled up all week, which is not only a blessing to me, but to anyone who frequently discuss the "scandalous" bikini pictures I post on Instagram, and my imminent "downward spiral."   WELL GUYS, THE BELLY BUTTON IS PUT AWAY, I WENT TO CHURCH TODAY,  AND I DONATED TO HURRICANE RELIEF.  Can we still be friends Aunt Helen :(

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why high school is kind of actually, definitely, absolutely the worst

things I was in high school:

1. late. as in, every single day late. as in, the office ladies and I were on first name basis, and they gave me balloons and flowers on my last day of attendance school. Miss u Barb. 

2. ugly. haha, okaaaaaayyyyyy maybe that's a strong word. But I look at pictures from those days and think "WOW, why didn't anyone tell me to get ready in the mornings?" And then I remembered. It's cause I was always late.

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5 THINGS

 have a lot of new faces to my little corner on the internet, and my faaaavorite thing about blogging and Instagram, and all that is getting to know people. Not your favorite color, not your favorite Jonas Brother, but the good stuff. The stuff you keep off your tinder profile. So, I'm gonna start. Every month, or just whenever I feel like it, I'll just feed you guys 5 random facts about me. Sometimes they'll be short statements, like "I love dinosaurs." and that will be that. And sometimes, we'll go into stories, and experiences and embarrassing photos of Facebook's past. And each time I want you to comment 5 random facts about yourself. Deal??? K let's do this.

1. I love rap music. Like way more than a skinny white girl from Utah County should ever love rap music. I want to think it's always been apart of me. I got my sense of rhythm from my dad at an early age and ever since I can remember I've always had a thing for a dope na$$$ty BEAT. However, I fought those natural gangster feelings, because as a young innocent child, I was conditioned to believe rap music was of the devil.

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THE GREATEST SPRING BREAK EVER PART 2

I like my fair share of adventuring, exploring, making a fool of myself, but all of that is pretty exhausting. And Zach is constantly on the go. When we first met, I asked him if he was religious, and he said that his religion was "Fun." He seriously does. not. stop. Most of his favorite activities involve something dangerous that will most likely land one of us in the hospital. Dating someone like this is thrilling, it's exciting, it's refreshing. But all of that means nothing to me if you can't appreciate a good nap.

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THE GREATEST SPRING BREAK OF ALL TIME PART 1

a couple months ago, when Zach was in India, we were facetiming one night and decided to plan a trip for spring break.

I'm a huge believer in spring break, guys. It's almost religious. I think its so necessary to take a break (I probably take more than I should) and just relax and de-stress somewhere sunny and warm and drink pina coladas (and by pina coladas I mean sprite) and just love your beach goddess self for a week. Last year I went to Hawaii, and the year before that I went to Thailand, so basically, I set the bar pretty high for spring break. So this was the ultimate boyfriend test. to see if he could hang. And I think our conversation went something like this:

"How about we go to Iceland?"

"They have beaches in Iceland right?"

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