All posts tagged: Life

I’m Not a Brand

When I started my blog around six years ago, this world of writing and putting my thoughts out onto the internet was so new and exhilarating. Around the same time I also joined Twitter, which continues to be my favorite social media platform because, at its best, Twitter fosters creativity and authenticity. In my mind, Twitter is the cool girl who’s into politics and memes and sometimes makes mistakes, while Instagram is the so-perfect-they’re-unreal prom queen valedictorian star athlete who’s also really great at taking photos. Maybe I’m just jealous of the Instagram chick, but I also don’t want to have to look at her perfect pictures all the time. Excuse that tangent, but I was just at a social media conference so these things are on my mind. Now, back to the point… This blog was born out of my boredom and unsureness post-college-but-pre-job (I’m clearly really into using dashes-like-this lately) during the summer of 2013 when the high in Tucson reached 111 degrees Fahrenheit. At that time I wasn’t so sure where the …

Dogs, Doodles, & Other Things

It’s been a few months since my last post, and I finally felt like checking in again. After losing my dad, I didn’t have the energy or desire to work on Catch-all, so I posted a few times and took another much-needed break. But as time has passed, and I’m finding joy in things like blogging again, I’ve decided to give Catch-all another shot. Since my last blog post, a couple of major things have happened. I married the love of my life in a small ceremony at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, and we entered a new chapter together in this ever-changing and always unpredictable book that is life. Towards the end of December we adopted two adorable little dogs, who were found as strays together and never claimed by a guardian. They’ve both brought so much joy into my life and I like to think of them as gifts from my dad. Here’s Joni and Murphy healing after being spayed ❤ Last February I wrote about Lady Bird and how that film reminded me …

Millennials & the Age of Social Media

For the first time in U.S. history it’s been predicted that the current crop of young-adults (also known as Generation Y or Millennials) won’t be more successful than their parents. As a middle class millennial gal, this information is especially concerning for myself and my peers. Isn’t doing as well as our parents (if not better) the epitome of the middle class, American dream? Our grandparents worked hard to give their children more than they had, and our parents went on to do the same. Some consider millennials to be a notorious group of entitled jerks (and many of us are), but I can’t help but feel affected by more complicated issues than generational narcissism, like the current demands of the economy, our broken education system, and the consumer-driven values of society at large. I also feel that the internet has propelled us into a bunch of “chronic comparers.” Though oftentimes unknowingly, we are constantly comparing ourselves to the online facades of others. Just one look at an Instagram feed and you can see images of your peers attending Harvard or vacationing in Hawaii. Online, everyone (including you and me) is …

Words of Wisdom from the Wisest of Them All, Oprah Winfrey

Today marks the 30th anniversary of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which premiered on September 8, 1986. The series, which is considered by many to be the best talk show of all time, lasted 25 seasons, running nationally from 1986 to 2011. The show’s host, Oprah Winfrey, is an icon and a national treasure whose wisdom, generosity, intelligence, and strength shines through all that she does. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of her talk show, here are just a few of Winfrey’s greatest quotes: “Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” “It does not matter how you came into the world, what matters is that you are here.” “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” “The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.” “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” “The biggest adventure you …

Embracing Failure

When I first started this blog (once upon a time called juliavanvalkenburg.com, ha!) I wrote a post about embracing failure and why making mistakes is essential to our personal growth and discovery. That post was deleted during an overhaul not long ago, but I decided that it was a topic worth revisiting. What is failure, anyway? When I first wrote about failure, my approach to the topic was far less nuanced. Now, I no longer subscribe to using that word. Beyond getting an F on a paper or exam, can someone even objectively fail? We don’t fail, but we certainly mess up. We realize something isn’t right for us and we move on. We react. We make a mistake and respond by shifting our approach or perspective. We hopefully make decisions that are better for ourselves and others as a result of our mishaps. This isn’t failure, this is growing. So when I do use the word failure, I don’t mean it in the objective, pass or fail, hyper-success-driven American way of thinking. I mean hitting a wall and realizing there’s another path around it. …

The Burden of Being Aware

As I become more knowledgable about a number of topics, I’ve found myself getting a little down. I believe that being open, aware, and working to expand upon one’s knowledge of our complicated world is of the utmost importance. But, as necessary as it is, it can also be extremely painful. As I continue to accept that our world is severely flawed, I’m growing into my awareness one step at a time. I can’t image the toll this takes on activists, who constantly burden themselves with the troubles they are working to alleviate. It reminds me that we all need to laugh, dance, and cry, and we must never take the fragility of our emotions for granted. In the words of Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks, “every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it; don’t wait for it; just let it happen. It could be a new shirt in a men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black, coffee.” No matter how difficult it may get, you should never stop learning …

Video of the Day: Success

We all seem to be constantly striving for success, but what does it truly look like? This charming short film animated by Lara Lee and narrated by Alain de Botton provides an enlightening way to look at success and what that may mean for you. Success was featured on The School of Life, one of my favorite educational YouTube channels. Be sure to check out their channel when you have the chance!

Summer of Independence

The summer I attended the Cannes Film Festival and spent three weeks in Italy was definitely the best of my life, but this one turned out to be pretty interesting too. I didn’t see Brad Pitt, and I didn’t climb to the top of a castle from the 10th century, but I did learn a lot about myself. These past few months were all about settling in to a new city and experiencing as much as possible before starting graduate school. I had a lot of fun, and I feel like I’ve definitely grown up a bit. As I get older, I find that what’s most difficult is that I’m constantly learning and adapting my world view, and sometimes, it’s hard to keep up. This summer I worked at a store in Beverly Hills, went to my first improv show, attended a Hollywood premiere, rode the subway, volunteered at a film festival, interned at a film festival, roamed the streets of downtown Los Angeles, rediscovered Disneyland, explored museums, showed my mom the city, visited home, and found myself just a little bit closer to becoming the woman I aspire to …

Moving Away From Home & Easing the Transition

It doesn’t matter what point in your life you find yourself, moving away from home can be extremely difficult. Although I’ve been in Los Angeles for four months now and absolutely love it, I’m still dealing with the complications of a transitioning lifestyle. I thought moving to California would be a simple change because I came with my boyfriend, already knew a few people in the city, and am just a quick flight away from home. I visited often enough to be absolutely sure that I wanted to call Los Angeles home (thank goodness I didn’t move and discover I hate it), but I completely underestimated the fact that such a substantial change would come with a few bumps in the road. No matter how old you, where you’re going, or where you’re coming from, uprooting and forging a new path can be complicated, lonely, and stressful. Based on my experiences thus far, here are a few tips I have for anyone moving away from home: 1. You will probably be spending more time alone, and that’s okay. Before moving, and especially during college, I was …

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Love, Life, & Greatness

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” “Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.” “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.” “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” “Beauty without expression is boring.” “Earth laughs in flowers.” “In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.” “He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” “Every artist was first an amateur.” “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” “There is an optical illusion about every person we meet.” “To be great is to be misunderstood.” “Who hears me, who understands me, becomes mine, a possession of all time.” “Money …