Welcome to An Aspiring Heroine! If you’ve followed along since this little blog was Learning to Thrive in 1455, thanks for joining me on this exciting ride! If you’re new to the site, thanks for taking a peek! You can find out a bit about me here, and I hope you’ll stick around.
To jump start this relaunch, I thought I would introduce myself (plus some of what you can expect to find on the blog) by sharing the ABC’s of Me. I’m a literary chick, and I’m also a visual person, so I hope you’ll enjoy this peek into my life!
A is for Austen
As in Jane Austen. I’ve read all of her novels; I love all of her novels. Here is my definitive Austen order, from good to best: Mansfield Park; Sense and Sensibility; Northanger Abbey; Persuasion; Pride and Prejudice; Emma.
B is for bellini
Peach puree, prosecco, can you really go wrong? I’ve had bellinis in Italy (and during my bachelorette weekend at Disney World), and I’ve had bellinis in my kitchen. No matter how you make ’em, they’re gonna be good!
C is for corgi
For our first Valentine’s Day, Spencer got me a tiny little stuffed corgi, and nearly 9 years later I still keep it by my bed. Basically that little anecdote was to show just how long I have loved (and wanted) a corgi. Maybe this February 14th I’ll get a new corgi…
D is for Disney
Full disclosure: I am a bit of a Disney nut. I love the movies, the music, the happiest place on earth, all of it! I’ve been to Walt Disney World more times than I can count, and every time is just as magical as the first.
E is for English
I was an English major in college, and in case you didn’t know, your college major defines you for four years. I basically lived in the English building, I loved all of the English professors, and I wrote an English honors thesis entitled “‘A Language Without Words’: Ireland Reimagined in the Plays of Brian Friel.” (Alright, so I guess that was really more Irish, but still.) And yes, the photo above shows about half of the books from my bookshelf when I started to move myself out at the end of senior year!
F is for French roast
You guys, I am such a fan of coffee. Now, I have to admit that I’m not exactly a coffee purist; I love lattes, flavored syrups, cool new K-cups. I even order Frappuccinos occasionally during the summer. So basically I like a little coffee with my creamer, and I feel no shame in that!
G is for General
I went to Washington and Lee University, named for George Washington and Robert E. Lee. And since both of these fine Americans were generals, we were… you guessed it, the Generals. The picture above is of one of my favorite places on campus: Lee Chapel.
H is for holidays
Fall is my favorite season because 1) it’s gorgeous, and 2) it marks the beginning of all of the best holidays! Halloween bleeds into Thanksgiving, which runs into Christmas, and then New Years follows soon after. I love decorating for holidays, buying gifts for holidays, gathering with family and friends for holidays. They are among my favorite days of the year!
I is for Ireland
If one day I woke up and could no longer live in the wonderful United States of America, I would immediately hop a plane to Ireland and live out the rest of my days on a little patch of greenery with a flock of sheep and a Border Collie named Fly. Not that I’ve thought this through or anything… All kidding aside, though, Ireland is my favorite country outside of the States, and the times that I’ve been lucky enough to spend there have been some of the best.
J is for Jabberwocky
As a literature buff, I was obviously going to incorporate some classics into the mix, but you perhaps didn’t see Lewis Carroll making the top of the list. I honestly can’t tell you what it is about this poem that has enchanted me since I first read it as a sophomore in high school. Maybe it’s the fantastic words like “bandersnatch,” “frabjous,” “vorpal,” or “snicker-snack;” maybe it’s the fact that it doesn’t make sense to anyone, including the author himself, so I feel justified in my wonderings. Whatever the reason, I love it.
K is for kittens
I do love dogs. I do. But there’s something about cats. One of my best friends just adopted two kittens, and all of the social media stalking for any glimpse of their tiny little paws and cute little faces reminds me singular the experience of being a kitten owner truly is. They’re adorable, and they’ll grow into your finicky, super moody, but ultimately loveable best friends.
L is for Libra
Why yes, I am one of the many across the world who identifies with his or her zodiac sign. I’m ridiculously indecisive, I can always see both sides to a story, and I love communicating with everyone and anyone through all different platforms. Also, my grandmother was a big proponent of astrology, so I’ve always been inclined to at least consider its validity.
M is for musicals
I basically grew up backstage in different theaters around my community. From age six on, I was a singing, dancing, acting machine, and I auditioned for everything that I possibly could. Some of my favorite roles from my childhood include Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the title role in Annie, Rumpleteazer in Cats, and Peaseblossom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
N is for nuptials
For those of you who have spent any amount of time on the blog, you’ve probably noticed that I just got married! And since wedding planning has now completely taken over my life, I figured it made sense to add it to the ABC’s! I also could not have imagined how finally being married will change everything about my life, so I imagine I’ll be able to keep it on here for a while. My nuptials to my best friend will always be an important aspect of who I am.
O is for One Night Only
As I previously mentioned, I am a Libra, which means I am indecisive, and therefore when I do find things for my “favorites” list, they tend to stick around for a while. This is one of those. I first found One Night Only when YouTube decided I needed to say the music video for their song “Say You Don’t Want It” because Emma Watson was in it, and I had obviously been watching too many Harry Potter behind-the-scenes videos. It’s lucky that I’m such a nerd because I love this band, and I’m so excited to hear all of their new music!
P is for poetry
Once upon a time (read: exactly 1 year ago), I was registering for the classes that I would take during my final full semester at college. As a creative writing minor, I had one more workshop class to take, and the only thing available was “Advanced Poetry.” I was crushed. I was not a poetry person, and I never would be, so why was I being forced to take this class?! Fast forward through a few months of drafts, professor office hours, and enlightening workshops, and I had a chap book filled with all of my own poetry. I’m now a poetry person.
Q is for Quattrocento
First of all, “Q” is hard, you guys. Secondly, this one is totally not a cop out because I have always been a huge history buff, and the Quattrocento is such a fun period to study. Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, all the other ninja turtles, they created works of art that people have considered worth keeping for centuries. Centuries! Would you paint over the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Take apart Florence’s Gates of Paradise for scrap gold? I didn’t think so. We owe so much to these Renaissance men, and I only got a peek of it while I was in Italy.
R is for Rome
I bet you read that and thought I was referring to Rome, Italy. While it is a gorgeous city that I plan to make it back to at some point in my life, I’m actually talking about Rome, Georgia! The largest city in Northwest Georgia, Rome is the small but charming town where I spent the majority of my childhood. It’s my hometown, and despite the love-hate relationship that I sometimes have with it, Rome will always be a part of me.
S is for sightsee
Because let’s be honest, while I love to throw off the tourist garb and really get to know the feel of a place, I’m also obsessed with taking in all of the “sights”: the museums, the landmarks, the cool cafes where famous literary figures had life changing moments. I like to leave a place knowing I got the full experience, touristy and all.
T is for tiger
Maybe it’s because my name begins with “T,” maybe it’s because tigers are absolutely the coolest animals in the world. Either way, I have always loved tigers, and I always will. When my student loan balance is $0, and my career takes off, I will begin giving every extra penny to help fight back against the practices that are wiping these beautiful creatures from our planet.
U is for urban
I may have limited myself too much by not choosing an “un-” word, but I’m actually pretty excited to be able to say that I’m living a more “urban” life now. The Shenandoah Valley was lovely, but there’s something equally magical about living in a city, and Cincinnati definitely has its perks!
V is for Van Gogh
You know how art is supposed to make you feel something? Well Impressionism might just be the only movement that consistently makes my heart leap. Monet is my all-time favorite, but Van Gogh also has a special place in my life (and on my walls!). We both have Dutch roots, and I used to have a “Van” in my last name, too! (I even saw his paintings up close in Paris.)
W is for Whovian
I feel like you guys already know this about me, but I am a bit of a Doctor Who fanatic! During my sophomore year of college, I made the mistake of starting from the (sort of) beginning with Christopher Eccleston over Thanksgiving break, and you really can’t expect someone to focus on exams when they could be watching Billie Piper and David Tennant instead. Matt Smith was technically my first Doctor, so it was a bit difficult to let go this past fall, but I have wholeheartedly embraced Peter Capaldi, and I look forward to many more wonderfully geeky seasons! (I once made fish fingers and custard, and I swear it wasn’t awful.)
X is for (E)Xceptionally Everyday
I’ve had a few different blogs throughout my life. I wrote them mostly when I was traveling and almost entirely for the benefit of my family and friends who were back home while I was abroad. However, I did have one previous foray into this kind of lifestyle blog, and it was called Exceptionally Everyday. Unfortunately, I started it without doing much research into what it actually takes to run a blog, and I was also in my senior year of college, meaning my thesis took precedence. I don’t have a screenshot of it, and I never got to the point where I had designed a legitimate logo, but here’s the photo I used on my About page!
Y is for yesteryear
How perfect is this word? Growing up, I was always what my grandmother called an “old soul.” It was very easy for me to feel connected to past generations, and I sometimes got the feeling that I had been any number of different people in past lives. Yesteryear encompasses nostalgia, and that’s exactly what I feel when I pick up some historical fiction or research a period of time.
Z is for zeg
Why yes, zeg is a real word; it just doesn’t happen to be English. I came across this Georgian word while perusing those great lists of words from around the world that we don’t have equivalents for in English, and I’ve loved it ever since. Zeg can be roughly translated to “the day after tomorrow” (not a fantastic movie, but such a great concept). I think it’s a perfect word for me because I tend to live in the future, always looking toward the day after tomorrow. Good for blog planning, not so good for being spontaneous and living in the moment. It’s something I’m working on!
So tell me, would you use this kind of list as a way to engage your blog readers?
P.S. I also did a post about the 12 things I learned in 12 months of blogging.