thoughts of africa.

it's been awhile since my last post {i feel like i am always saying that...}, but there's a reason. as always.

i'm currently in harare, zimbabwe, with my best friend and her sweet family. it's strange. my first time out of the country has also coincided with a trip to africa, a place that i never thought i would visit. in all honesty, i'm a bit excited that this was my first experience on my own. i didn't go to london or paris or rome. i didn't take on the beauty of another first-world country, didn't pace the streets of italy or switzerland, but went somewhere that's different. real. i ran straight into the fire {as everyone here keeps saying}. part of me, even now, can't believe i actually did it. i always thought africa was too exotic, too strange and far-fetched. i thought that life was so radically different that there was no way a born and bred california girl would ever be able to relate.

ah, yes. isn't it great when our preconceived notions are smashed to little bits and pieces? today marks my tenth day on an entirely different continent, and i must say.


sorry for the lack of embellishment. putting 'africa' into a string of sentences and jumbled up letters is proving to be one of my most difficult assignments. it's as if the paper is insatiable, it eats up my words with a ravenous, gaping mouth that always waits, ready for more. there aren't enough words to explain the poverty and the pain, the huge smiles and sweet baby faces. food prices that are sky high and yet glean so little, and the strangeness of a country whose government, quite simply, doesn't work.

africa isn't just 'the lion king' or, 'cry, the beloved country.' it's green and huge and the skies stretch for miles. the dirt pathways along the roads are packed with children and businessmen and mothers holding laundry and babies on their backs, wrapped up snug and tight. africa is a sprawling flea market and smells that make me wrinkle my nose and pirated dvd's that make you want to laugh and cry at the same time. handcarved everything, mismatched clothes and checkers games played with a few odd coke bottle tops.

it's strange to come from america and realize how blessed my family is. just because of a life lottery, i was born to parents in one of the most beautiful states in the land of the free. i have always been taught to dream, and to fight. don't have the money? get another job. want to go to college? work hard, get a scholarship. in zim, there is no opportunity in your work. there is no chance. your life is determined by your parents and your place of birth, both of which are extremely stringent. you are either white or black. rich or poor. you take the lot that you're handed and make the most of it. sell fruit in the streets, fake a disability. beg for money that will put food in your children's mouths, if just for one more night.

just this afternoon, i was watching a young girl, maybe five or six, lead her mother along the dangerous meridian of a busy road. the woman was {supposedly} blind, and they were begging for money, next to a man with cell phone airtime stuck in the papery bark of a tree branch. i asked my best friend {shannon} how people could live like this. with no hope for something better, no dream for a life beyond zimbabwe. i felt claustrophobic, almost, and my heart broke for this sweet little one, working when she should be painting pictures and laughing on the playground. shan told me, quietly, 'megs, this is their life. you don't have to hurt over it, because they aren't. this is their life, they work their job, they struggle and overcome, and they're happy. just because it's not your life, or the life that people have in the states, doesn't mean that it's not a good one.'

africa is family, pain, love, anger. it's high fences and no electricity. distrust, hard work, a lack of hope and sense of closeness. africa is abstract and ugly and beautiful and heartbreaking. it's someplace i couldn't create any expectations for, because it simply supercedes them all.

africa is.
africa, isn't that different.

four on friday.

 {early morning light}

yay! it's time for four on friday! i haven't done this in awhile, so i'm kinda psyched. this week, i thought i would regale you with the millions of instagram pictures that take up residence on my super cool new iphone. (i know, i know. i followed the crowd. sue me.)

here are some photos from this week/lastweek/lastmonth. i haven't been on here for awhile, so cut me a break! ;) hope your week was absolutely fantastic, and have a happy weekend. i'll see you all on monday. (ps: i will not say ya'll, i will not say ya'll...)

 {school+converse just go together. right?}
 {freshly painted nails and a new book.}
 {an old photo of mine edited with fun!}

hollywood hills.

if you guys have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that i love my little home in LA. when i first moved down here a couple years ago, though, i was a bit more hesitant to enjoy the smoggy place that's home to movie stars, high taxes, and sunny days galore. honestly? i'll always be a san francisco girl at heart. you can't get past the nostalgia of childhood, and the sweet memories i have there are priceless.


that doesn't mean LA hasn't squeezed it's way into my prejudiced heart. i'm really struggling with the idea of leaving...and it's hard to think that i won't be able to pop down sunset blvd whenever i want to.

i love the hollywood hills and mulholland drive, brentwood and tiny coffee shops and adventures with the crazies on the streets. i love driving down hollywood blvd late at night and looking at the lights and laughing with friends. i've gotten stuck in oscar traffic and visited studios and film sets. i've spent the morning in hollywood, the afternoon on the beach and the night in downtown, run into celebrities and driven a stick shift up hills that rival my city by the bay.

i laugh at tourists (sometimes) and know all the back roads. i've attended book signings by my favorite authors, been stuck on the renowned 405 freeway for hours and can recite hollywood trivia with the best of them. this is my home. yeah, you can criticize california for our ridiculous amount of debt and crazy-daisy politics that keep us bound to high taxes and expensive living.


it's in LA that i've really bolstered my love of writing, where i met people that had a sweet bit of faith, and told me it was possible. newfound friends/professors encouraged me in the smallest ways, and people here work hard.

you come to LA with a dream...mine was to be a writer. to gain experience and find a story to write. in a place that's made up of artists, it's not difficult to find inspiration. i came to LA with a dream (like here and here), and with a couple rejection letters, sturdy criticism and the hardness for heated debate, it's well on it's way. this is a city of dreamers, and you can't get out untouched.

i'm leaving, but maybe you aren't. and all i have to say to you?
welcome to hollywood. what's your dream?

{drivin' the back roads}
{my pretty best friend on our favorite route in the hills}
{hollywood hills}

birthday in the city.

a couple of weeks ago, i celebrated my twenty-first birthday. with a whole lot of family in nashville and friends that are far away, my dad decided to make his way down from northern california to celebrate. to say the least? i was excited. it's nice to drive around los angeles in a bmw instead of my college kid jalopy, and i got to show dad all of my favorite places in the city.

dad treated at the bonaventure, where i had my first drink (a lemon drop martini!) and got to patter around in my favorite sky high heels. the hotel is gorgeous, by the way, and stuck right smack dab in the middle of downtown. i have an old friend who always wanted to go, and they spoke of it highly. when i realized that there was a restaurant, i just couldn't resist. the cocktail lounge slowly revolves, so you can see the whole of the city. it was amazing. sweet and simple, just the way i like it ;)

i'm very thankful my dad decided to take a whole weekend off of work to spend time with his displaced daughter. this california girl is now excited to see the whote family again, when we can all hang out together in that place called nashville. such a sweet daddy, huh? :)
{dad's a big fan of hollywood...}

{we clean up pretty good, hey?}

it's autumn in LA!!

 {there's a storm a'brewin over my pretty city}

los angeles is a very sunny city. It's bright and big and crazy, wacky and hysterical and eclectic...and it also finally welcomed autumn in december. crazy, hey? as you can tell from this post, i was a little frustrated way back when because it was much too hot. well, november just had to die a slow, heated death to give way to the pretty-ness that is: december. 

is it still fall in your neck of the woods? i'm seeing pictures with snow/christmas trees, and i can hardly believe it. time really does fly. i have nine days to soak up some rain, some pretty la sunsets and hollywood crazies, before my life gives way to summer again, all the way over in africa. a bbq for christmas? bring it on.
 {love love loving the dark clouds}
{proof of the rain in the 'ol 90210}

i'm baaack....

oh my heavens. oh wow. i haven't blogged in two weeks...and it feels sad. there's nothing up on this little piece of the internet other than a picture of my hands on a keyboard.

um, not fun.

that's why i've planned a bunch of neat posts for the rest of december. (can you believe it's december?!?!) there's going to be some dreaming, a little DIY, packing heart attacks and an impending trip to africa. christmas is coming and i'm leaving the country for the first time and leaving my pretty little california. needless to say, there's so so much going on in my life. you're going to hear lots, so get ready! ;)

i can't wait to revive my teeny-tiny place that i love.
see you tomorrow!!