Portsmouth, NH | Durham, NH
College, Goofy

Symbiotic, Not Codependent

Since the beginning of our college careers, Hannah and I have been slowly morphing into one being. It started freshman year when ate lunch at a table for two in the dining hall every day of the week. Then we moved in together, and it escalated from there.

Now we’re roommates. We’re also co-writers of this blog. Instructors have taken to calling us “thing one and thing two,” in our yoga classes. Last semester we both got jobs in the same office on campus. Oh, and we’re taking a fiction class together right now. We’ve started to dress alike, and sometimes we say the same thing at the same time.

We’re working on it.

Recently, it has gotten to the point where people start to get confused when they see us apart. A few weeks ago I strolled past the windows of our office, all by myself. One of our coworkers shot up from his chair and called, “Hey! Where’s your other half?!” (For the record, I was on my way to meet her for dinner.) Last week I announced that I was going to the RedSox game with my brothers and someone gasped, “You’re going somewhere without the other one?”  We might just work with a bunch of wiseasses, but we’re starting to get the feeling that people think of us as being codependent. And I’d like to clear that up right now.

For the record, Hannah and I are not surgically fused together. We’re symbiotic, not codependent, and that is an important distinction. Allow me to explain.

You know those little fish that sort of hangout on sharks’ backs? The fish keep the shark’s skin clean, and the shark protects the fish. They each do something that helps the other, and this is how Hann and I work. (Since I’m the one writing this post, I totally get to be the shark. Suck it, Hann.)

This summer Hannah and I spent a weekend on Cape Cod. It wasn’t until I arrived and opened my overnight bag that I realized how severely I had under-packed. I didn’t even bring a towel. (As far as I’m concerned, if I remember shoes and my car keys then it’s a good day.) Hannah, on the other hand, was armed to the teeth with everything practical that one might need for a day and night by the sea. But as we set off for the ocean, Hannah turned and walked proudly in the opposite direction of the water. Head held high, confidently calm, and completely wrong.

This is not the first time this has happened. About once a week Hannah leads us fearlessly in the wrong direction, and I used to follow and trust that she had a plan. Folks, she almost never has a plan. She’s winging it, just like the rest of us. So now I’ve taken to ignoring her and walking the correct way until she notices and catches up. Works like a charm.

So while Hann approached traffic with her towel under her arm, I turned and walked in the other direction. She caught up to me a few moments later, laughing at herself. And at that moment, we realized something beautiful. She never knows where she’s going and I always forget everything.

“You know what? If you walk next to me and tell me where to go for the rest of our lives, then I will pack for you.” -Hann.

And that’s when we realized that we have a good thing going here. She’s the little fish to my shark, and the person I make fun of when she gets us lost. We’re soulmates, roommates, yoga buddies, and two halves of a whole idiot. I think the best part of college is finding your person who’ll pack for you.

And we’re symbiotic, not codependent.

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College, Goofy

Eating Like a Goldfish

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(Warning to my grandparents, extended family members, and Internet friends who might be offended by explicit language/prolonged use of the term ‘bowel movements’: This video is not for you. Proceed to the post below.)

“The meal is not over when I’m full. The meal is over when I hate myself.” –Louis CK

My lunch starts out as an innocent dining hall excursion. I’m still sweaty from yoga, and I really outdid myself with the high lunges in there, so endorphins are flying high. A hearty salad, I tell myself, piling lettuce and veggies and chicken in a bowl. Hummus is yummus, not to mention a great source of protein, so I add a big scoop to my salad bowl. Top the whole thing off with a little bit of roasted red pepper dressing and shredded cheese, and voilá, I’m sure I’m just a phone call and a photo shoot away from landing my face on the cover of Health Magazine.

As I leave the salad bar, I notice the loaf of fresh-baked oatmeal bread sitting on a cutting board nearby. I take a slice and slather it with butter, because everyone deserves a slice of fresh-baked bread after a good workout.

Then I pass the giant bowl of pretzels. I fucking love pretzels. I scoop some onto my plate next to the bread. And another little blob of yummus, just to keep the pretzels company.

Then there are the apples—they’re in season! I manage to balance both my salad bowl and my plate on one arm so I can reach into the apple basket with the other. I bite into the crisp apple, make a noise like an overeager customer in a Pizza Hut commercial (mmMMmm!) and add the apple to the quickly growing pile of food on my plate. Soon I’m sitting in front of my post-yoga feast—which in its final glory includes a glass of ice water, a glass of chocolate milk, and a double chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven—and I’m ready to eat.

I take my feast to the face over the course of about ten minutes. About ten minutes after that—when I’m walking back to my dorm room, still thinking about how awesome the double chocolate chip cookie was—I feel a little bit like I’m going to die.

It’s a subtle feeling of imminent doom, the post-feast-regret. You’ve eaten yourself into discomfort, but you can’t undo it now, you dumbass, so you might as well just go about your business. Usually I just take a few minutes to reflect on the situation, assure myself that next time, I’ll leave the double chocolate chip cookie out of it, and moan to Julie about how full I am. (She somehow refrains from punching me in the face.)

The balance between eating healthy and eating what makes you happy is a tough one to strike, especially in a college setting. Dining halls are enormous and the food is endless. With the right meal plan, you could conceivably eat nonstop for 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week. (This is not recommended by health professionals.) You can eat the same bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can put peanut butter on pizza and wash it down a glass of blue Powerade. You can skip the whole thing and boil some water to make Ramen instead. With great power comes great responsibility, Spider-Man, and unlimited swipes at a modern college dining hall carry a little bit of both.

So this week, I will be making a concerted effort to eat like a human being instead of a goldfish. (Julie told me once that if you keep giving a goldfish food, it’ll eat until it dies. I then googled “goldfish eating until they die,” like any self-respecting researcher would, and found that this fact isn’t totally supported by science, but the metaphor still works.) Balance is key.

I saw a thing the other day somewhere on the Internet that had a picture of Miley Cyrus doing that tongue thing she always does and someone had commented: MILEY YOU ARE MY SPIRIT ANIMAL. I do not know this someone. The term “spirit animal” always makes me think of 1) Hermione Granger’s otter Patronus, and 2) the fact that an online quiz once told my friend Annabelle that her Patronus would be an elephant, in that order. (Imagine an elephant fighting Dementors! The logistics! The noises!)

My point is, I’ve never really thought of myself as the kind of person whose spirit would manifest itself as an animal. But if it did, that animal would probably be Louis CK.

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College

Hannah and Julie 2.0

If you’ve been reading for a while, you may have noticed that a few things have changed. We’ve done some spring cleaning if you will, except it’s not the spring, and we didn’t actually clean anything. (Frantically waving a scrubbing bubbles toilet wand in front of your laptop screen does not ‘clean up’ your blog’s home page. We tried.) We have a new look and a few new ways to make it easier for YOU, our darling twelve readers, to keep up with our college adventures:

Like us on Facebook! 

Follow us on Twitter! https://twitter.com/hannahandjulie

Tell your friends about our Facebook and our Twitter! Tell them you’ve been one of the twelve from the beginning!
If there’s something you want us to write about, tell us. We accept Facebook posts, Tweets, and notes delivered by carrier pigeon.

So, with that, we blog on. This new template has bigger font and better pictures and perfectly fits our straight faces in that little oval at the top, but the pages where we previously posted the “About Hannah” and “About Julie” sections are a little hard to find. So we’re bringing the About Pages to you.

About Julie (by Hannah):

She is a bendy person. I know I should probably start with something else, like how she understands Neurology and is able to use words like ‘arcuatefasciculis’ in the correct context, or how her full name is really Julianne because her parents wanted her to be a Supreme Court Justice someday, or how she took five children to the beach this summer and managed to keep all of them alive. But she can bend down, grab her heels from behind her heels, straighten her legs, and press her forehead into her shins. Without dying. It is both inspiring and a little bit disturbing to witness. “Hey, Julie,” said one of our favorite instructors as we left the sweaty Bikram studio one night this summer. “You know we compete, right?”

So Jules has the potential to become an award-winning bendy-ass person. That’s probably the first thing you should know. She also worked her butt off this summer to save for a semester in Ireland, where she will be studying this spring. She has a lot of hair and she likes taking the scenic route home. She always sleeps on top of her comforter. She has this magical ability to teach kids and make them love her at the same time—it’s like she’s half Mary Poppins and half Jack Black’s character in School of Rock. Someday, after she gets her undergraduate degree in Communications Sciences and Disorders (with a minor in Creative Writing) and then her graduate degree in Speech Pathology, she is going to be the best damn speech therapist the world has ever seen. And she still wears a lot of black tank tops.

About Hannah (by Julie):

She answers to many names. First and most often: Hannah. Also, Hann. HD. Occasionally, “you doofus,” when she confidently walks the wrong way on campus. She spent her summer writing a fantasy novella and sweating profusely next to me in yoga. This semester she’s taking classes that have her up at all hours of the night reading medieval Spanish poetry. She’s nuts. Hannah went from having no major to having all the majors, and she’s settled on English and International Affairs with a minor in Spanish, which is a mouthful. One day she’s going to publish her Young Adult novel and I will be the first in line to buy it. Her likes are chocolate, elephant puns, and that song from Ice Princess when Michelle Trachtenberg keeps falling down. She’s an impressive yogi and an even more impressive writer. And a doofus.

We’re just going to assume that you’ve been missing our weekly doses of wit and wisdom, or at least the goofy pictures we post of each other when they pop up on your Facebook feed. Probably more of the last part, but let’s just pretend that neither of us know that. We’ll be posting every Monday again, starting with Hannah next week. We’ll see you then, lovebugs.

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