letting your hair down

Remember that moment as a kid when you became ‘self aware’? You probably don’t, but i’m sure your mom does.

My Aunt recently wrote an instagram post about how her sixth grader son took off his heelies and handed them to his younger brother after passing a group of girls from his school at the mall. In one instant, it was as if he suddenly became aware of what other people thought of him, or what was considered ‘cool.’

Kind of adorable, kind of heart breaking right?

I remember being little and my best friend saying to me “Indy. Did you hear? Kylie doesn’t like to play pretend anymore.” My jaw dropped to the ground. Kylie was two years older than us, but we were dumbfounded. “What do you MEAN she doesn’t like to play pretend?!!!!??!?!?!” I cried out, in utter disbelief - as if my favorite barbie had just been thrown away.

But it happens. To all of us. Eventually, pretending to be mermaids just doesn’t feel the same as it did when you were seven.

It took a little bit longer for me, though. It happened eighth grade. One night we were at my friend Haley’s grandmas house and her older brother pushed us both in the pool with all of our clothes on. We were laughing and having a great time, egging him on, trying to get him to throw our other friend in. She was screaming “NO NO NO!!!” which made the chase even more entertaining. We were cheering and chanting “throw her in, throw her in!!’ all the while she screamed and begged him not to. When he finally got her and held her face inches away from the water, we realized she was crying. “Please don’t!!!” she yelled. “i have makeup on!”

Haley and I looked at each other confused. “So what?” We both shrugged. He threw her in anyway and she was upset the rest of the night. But for the life of us, we couldn’t figure out why. Our eighth grade minds couldn’t comprehend why wearing makeup would prevent you from jumping in the pool. She told us later that it was because she didn’t want wet hair and smeared mascara in front of Haley’s brother and all of his cute friends. She was embarrassed.

And suddenly, I was introduced to a new world I didn’t even know existed.

When she told me that, I questioned everything. “Oh, you’re NOT supposed to get in a pool if you have makeup on? Guys DON’T like when your hair is wet?” I felt like a fool! How had I not known this?? It was very simple, but in the way my cousin realized heelies were lame (which. ahem… they’re not.. right??? or should I return mine??) and in the same way as my friend Kylie realizing big kids don’t “play pretend”…I was instantly aware.

From then on I was aware of what people thought of me, or how I looked. What people were saying about me. Never again would I be as innocent and careless as I was that night in that pool with all of my clothes on, laughing without wondering for a single second of what anyone in the room thought of me.

That mentality, of “is this cool?” “do they like me?” “what do they think of me?” stays with us as we get older. Some, more than others, and to be honest I always thought that I was one of the “others.” The ones who didn’t care as much.

But the truth is, we all care a little too much.

Especially with social media.

I can’t even imagine how much earlier that night at the pool would have happened for me if we all had cell phones and snapchat. I would have likely became self aware much much sooner.

For the last couple of years, i’ve had an online presence. It’s no secret that the internet is just an online cafeteria and instagram is the table of mean girls. It’s tough out there. But for the first couple of years I was on instagram, it really didn’t effect me. The “pressures” that is. And I truly mean that! I never, I mean NEVER checked my “likes'“ or even my follower count, and especially not who was unfollowing me. I posted pictures and videos, and it was fun. That was it. My worth, didn’t come from the internet.

And then, kind of in the same way a little kid becomes aware… I became aware all over again. With social media, we’re almost forced into being aware. Being aware that your waist isn’t the size of *insert instagram models name here* or being aware that your house isn’t as big and gorgeous as *insert mommy bloggers name here* or being aware that Justin Bieber chose Hailey Baldwin over you, You know? Who likes your post and who doesn’t, how many likes you get versus one of your friends. Being aware of literally everyone else’s lives, and how yours adds up.

And this is what happened to me. It was like the pool all over again. I questioned everything. But instead of deciding to wear more makeup, and deciding not to get my hair wet, I decided I needed to post better photos, travel to cooler places, write better captions, get a better body, gain more followers.

And listen. I’ve always prided in myself for not caring about my online image as much, so it makes me feel so gross and weird and embarrassed to even talk about this, but it’s necessary. I gotta tell you guys. I gotta come clean to my girls.

I cared so much.

At the beginning of 2018 I was traveling like a maniac. I was busting out content like a white girl at Coachella. I went to the Bahamas, Hawaii, LA, Florida, India, Turkey, I even flew to Arizona to get my hair done. All of this by MARCH! And it really was the time of my life. But so much of it was spent taking photos and editing photos and posting photos, and then checking on photos to see what people thought of the photos, blah blah blah.

I bought every preset I thought would make my photos better. I would post only during times of day that my followers were most active. I would buy outfits for instagram pictures, and never wear them again. I would check every day to see who was unfollowing me. I would compare my engagement on different photos, and I would be disappointed if it was lower than before. Every single one of my photos had to be taken with a DSLR, and it had to be edited to perfection. It. was. exhausting.

And then in April, I went to Bali with some of my best friends from high school.

I hadn’t been home longer than a week in months, but my intense case of FOMO refused to let me miss this trip. And I’m forever thankful that I went.

I usually travel with people who do what I do, create content for a living. And thats because they’re the only ones who can up and leave for two weeks. Most of my close friends have jobs that are hard to get away from, or I would bring them every time. The thing about traveling with content creators however, and something I was used to, was they got it. They too, were aware. We were constantly taking photos of each other, they knew the best angles, or camera settings, we shared edits, it was like one big social-image-creating-machine.

This trip on the other hand…was different.

The friends I was with didn’t care about any of that. They had their snapchat out once in awhile, and asked me to take pictures every now and then, but it was natural. It wasn’t “go find a cool waterfall for a picture” it was “oh this waterfall is sick, can you take my picture?” does that make sense? It reminded me of how I used to travel. I used to never seek content, I would just take cool pictures as they happened. Capturing real moments instead of curating them.

It was towards the end of the week and we had been out in the sun all day. We headed down to this beach to watch the sunset, and everyone ran in the ocean. I felt a lump in my throat. I hadn’t been IN the ocean, like waist deep, hair submerged - the entire week. I have a TON of hair, plus extensions and so getting it wet would mean at least an hour of brushing it out that night plus an hour at least just to wash. It’s a task in and of itself and I avoided it at all costs on trips. Dry shampoo was my best friend. But why? For WHAT? I thought to myself. Was it seriously just so my hair would look good in an instagram picture? I got angry with myself. Seriously. I had flashbacks to eighth grade and my best friend crying over the idea of getting her hair wet. She missed out on such a fun memory, such a carefree moment because she didn’t want her mascara to be running in front of cute older boys. I remember being so annoyed by that, but here I was, 20 years old, missing out of a fun carefree moment because I didn’t want to get my hair wet.

I hopped up immediately and ran as fast as I could into the water, diving headfirst into a wave before I could even talk myself out of it. And you guys.

I cried.

It was one of the best nights of my entire life. The water was warm, the sky was orange and pink, and I was surrounded by some of my closest friends. The salt stung our eyes, we were getting destroyed by waves, but it was perfect. Seriously, perfect.

Remember when you were a kid and you just swam all. of. the. time?? There was nothing in the world better than going to the local pool and diving for rings I mean come ON!! Marco Polo was my shiiiit!! And then as you got older you would go to the pool and you’d sit in a tube or lay out and tan, or stick your toes in. But when was the last time you just SWAM? for fun? Like you did when you were a kid?

That was this night for me. We just swam. Like we were nine years old again. We were out in the ocean for hours. Way past the sun going down. We never wanted to leave. I remember thinking to myself “I want to stay here forever.” It was like for just a moment, I was that eighth grader swimming with all of my clothes on, with zero thought or care of what anyone thought of me. The awareness was stripped, and I was in my happiest, purest state. Thats how I think we are when we strip down the pressures and expectations we get from social media. I think that is when we are the happiest.

I decided then and there that I never ever ever again wanted to miss out on a moment or a memory because I was worried about what other people thought of me. Being aware is good, but the power comes from being aware and deciding not to care.

My view on social media changed after that night. I obviously still use it, and in fact I really love it. And I think it’s because i’ve removed the pressures and expectations. I have a better relationship with it now. I’ve even accepted Hailey & Justin. It’s all love. Since April, I stopped doing sponsored posts almost all together. I started taking more photos with my phone and in fact I would say 90% of my photos since then are from my phone. I don’t even filter them most of the time. And even if they are beautiful travel photos taken with a professional camera, they’re authentic. I don’t actively seek content anymore. I post a picture if I like my outfit, or if I did something cool that day. I post at 2 am, I post three times a day, I even posted a photo directly out of surgery when I got my nose job. The point is, I post whatever I want, whenever I want.

And you know what? it feels good. Almost as good as getting your hair wet.

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Indy goes west

I always loved going to LA. Ever since I was a kid who practiced her “Hi my name’s Indy and you’re watching Disney Channel” in the mirror every night before bed. I grew up idolizing Mary Kate and Ashley and performing self taught monologues to my stuffed animal audience. Hollywood was my first WORD.

I finally convinced my parents to take me there on one of our designated “beach days” during our Disneyland trip. I was absolutely giddy and wide eyed the entire drive up. Never mind the graffiti, or homeless men trying to get in our cars or the fact that there was not a single Jonas Brother in sight. I was on the walk of fame! Posing with Michael Jacksons star!  IT WAS MAGIC BABY!

In the years to come, I still loved LA. There was always that innocent excited feeling I got every time I drove into the city. And I remember as I got older, thinking I was supposed to hate it. In the same way that all New York snobs hate Times Square (which I also love lol) I was supposed to hate LA. You never met a hipster from Southern California who didn’t gag at the mention of it.  And I probably pretended to hate it too. But deep down I just couldn’t play. I couldn’t lie to myself. My pop culture loving heart just ached to be there.

I remember on one specific time after I had graduated high school, I was ubering into town from LAX and I had a really life changing conversation. I had this fantastic Uber driver who was this 69 year old British man named Peter. His quick wit and hilarious one liners were enough for me to pull out my phone and start writing down everything he was saying. To this day I refer back to the page in my journal titled “Wise words from Peter the Uber driver.”  (One day I’ll write a book of all the life advice I’ve gathered from various rides around the world.)

I asked him why he came to America and this is what he told me,

“I came to America to fall in love. And I did. Not with a person mind you, but a place. Los Angeles. 40 years ago it was so… romantic even. So untouched. It’s the greatest city in the world.”

And the way he said it, completely enchanted me. I was sold.

I’ve lived in Utah my entire life and it’s home for me. The mountains welcome me with arms wide open, and part of me never thought I would leave. I loved my life here. I loved my friends, and my family and the close knit community. But for the last couple of years, even though I had been traveling the world and accomplishing so many “dreams”… there was a part of me that refused to acknowledge another dream of mine.

Moving.

Moving out of state to California always seemed like a good idea, but the idea itself also terrified me. I’m not an actress or a model and I don’t even have a podcast. HOW would I ever fit in?!! In Utah I was comfortable. I was established. I ran my own show. I was the big fish in a little, conservative, “no bikinis allowed” pond. I convinced myself that life as the big fish was better than life could ever be as the little one.

The rest of the ride into the city, Peter told me that he had dreams of having his own youtube channel. He told me he felt silly telling me this, as he hadn’t told anyone before. But he wanted to start an online series from the point of view of an Uber driver in Los Angeles, interviewing all of the interesting people he met. It made my heart swell! This is what I loved about this city. Everyone here is making things happen. Even at age 65, my boy Peter had a dream. He had a reason. Everyone in Los Angeles has their reason.

And thats exactly what was stopping me.

I didn’t have my “reason.”

I didn’t have a goal in mind. I wasn’t set out on this journey to “become” someone. (Except I’ll cant act like I’m not going to camp outside of Nobu to get a glimpse of a Kardashian) Moving to LA really had nothing to do with fame or success or anything of that sort. (My priorities had drastically changed since my “you’re watching Disney channel days.)

The truth is, just like Peter… I had simply fallen in love.

But I didn’t know if that was a good enough reason.

The thought really would haunt me. Because even though I was living a life I was extremely proud of, I was always worried deep down that I would be disappointed in myself if I never really tried. I wouldn’t even entertain the thought.  And I don’t even know why. That’s not my personality at all. But the only way I could explain it is that whenever the thought would come to my mind, I would immediately justify why staying in Utah for the rest of my life was a perfectly fine scenario. And I half believed myself too.

And then… (sigh)… ‘La La Land’ came out.

it was as if Damien Chazelle directed that movie JUST to light a fire inside of me. shout out to you baby. 

The night after watching that movie for the first time, I could no longer keep the thought in the back of my mind. It was right at the forefront, screaming to be acknowledged.

In fact, here is an actual journal entry I just dug up from December of 2016:

”I just saw La La Land with Jessie. The whole movie had me mesmerized. I was so aware of how beautiful the film was, but I was even more aware that it was more than just a film. “Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem”

It occurred to me that the rest of the world does view dreamers as foolish. And I’ve never really seen it that way. I’ve never felt foolish for wanting to grow up to be a movie star at age six. Or a fashion designer when I was fourteen. Or a band stylist at age sixteen. Or a vogue journalist at age nineteen. I’ve never felt foolish. I might be naive, and I’m quite sure I’m getting ahead of myself, but I feel like I have the world in my hands and it wasn’t until seeing that movie that I realized something.

I was driving home alone on state street at one in the morning (my favorite) and I was listening to ‘Come What May’ from Moulin Rouge. It is such a powerful song and even more powerful when you’re driving alone in the middle of the night, emotionally vulnerable after having watched Ryan Gosling tap dance for two hours. I even missed the turn to my house because I was so caught up in the moment. The volume was all the way up, and I was screaming “IIIIII WILL LOVE YOUUUUU UNTIL MY DYING DAYYYYY!!!” And I even had tears running down my cheeks. It was so pure. That song had nothing to do with La La Land, but it was the song that was playing when I finally understood. I finally understood what that line from the song meant.

“Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem”

It’s not the dreamers that are foolish. It is the dreamers who don’t do anything about their dreams. They are the foolish ones. And as I pulled up in my driveway, I realized that I was the foolish one.

And that was the night I decided to move to LA.”

And as of tonight, two years later, almost to the exact day… I finally did.

Dream big, little fishes.

Love,

The newest tiniest babiest fish in the biggest baddest pond

 

nobody really cares: a guide to social media & life in general

Do you remember the moment you realized the world didn’t revolve around you?

It’s usually at a pretty young age. (OKAY FINE I JUST BARELY REALIZED IT OKAY FINE)

it’s alright to admit that humans are selfish creatures. It’s in our nature.

When you’re born, there’s no orientation into life. Theres not a sit-down meeting, where you are explained what is about to happen. There’s no instructions on “being a human.” And even if there were, by the time you were at an age to understand such an introduction, you would have already lived for several years.

Therefore, you grow up in your own little world. Naturally, and subconsciously… selfish. 

Almost like the Truman Show. You’re the main character and everyone else is just ‘participating’ in your life.

And then one day it hits you. Does everyone think this way? 

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the content your favorite instagram model won't provide

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

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.

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!!!!!

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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.”


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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.

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Things I learned in 2017

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. 

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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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