Tuesday, December 1, 2015


In the basement of our dorm building there is an itty bitty community kitchen. There's an oven and a microwave; a fridge and sometimes a spatula. On a good day there may be a lone knife and a semi-clean cookie sheet. I'm oh so grateful for this tiny, dark (likely unsanitary) cooking space, but I would be lying if I said I didn't I miss the comfort of spending the day in a real kitchen. A kitchen with piles of dishes in the sink and sunlight streaming onto the granite countertops. And so I binged. While I was in California I spent nearly three full days in the kitchen. I baked and cooked and baked some more.

My mom is an amazing cook. Every night growing up we had a homemade meal on the table. She always wanted to experiment with new foods. She may not be gourmet, but she is incredible at what she does. Anyway, her specialty is pie crust. Throughout my childhood I watched as my talented mother won multiple awards and ample praise for her perfectly flaky, golden-brown pie crust. And so whenever I needed to make a pie, I asked my mom to make the crust for me. It was a simple understanding. If there was pie, there was also my mom.

Except now I'm in college. And my mom isn't here to make the pie crust for me (or clean my room or make my dinner). So I decided it was high time I finally learn how to make my mom's world famous (because I said so) pie crust and apple pie.

I was pretty proud of myself. (Though I won't pretend it was as good or pretty as my mom's)

Madeline was helping every step of the way. I'm quite certain I found a very talented future baker.

My aunt's neighbor, Dublin also came over to help with the pie making factory. (thank goodness) By the end of Day 2 in the kitchen we had collectively made 12 pies. *Drops the baking mic*

At the end of the day, 36 (ish) people showed up for Thanksgiving dinner and there were plenty of mouths to consume the plentiful pies we made. I'm so grateful that even though these people were mostly strangers, Thanksgiving still managed to be relaxing and filled my heart with love. Thanksgiving is about good food, good people, and being thankful together; even though I'm sad I couldn't be with my family in DC, this Thanksgiving certainly fit that bill.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Chemistry and California

Welcome to my Monday morning.

Above was my view as I walked towards my imminent death. The mountains were invisible behind the smog, and the cold settled on my skin like an icy blanket. I approached the spacious building, cloaked in dark clouds and swirling snow, preparing for my destruction. 
Then I remembered it was only a chemistry test and the chances of death were likely rather low.
What can I say? Melodrama is a talent of mine.
As I emerged from the building (very much alive) I breathed a normal breath. A smile spread across my numb face. Hardly able to contain my excitement I sped back to my dorm--only stampeding into 2 innocent passerby in the process. Why the sudden change of emotion, you ask?

Something about California just feels right. It's impossible to put into words, but every time I go to California I feel at peace with the world. The plane was tiny. The 72 year old lady sitting next to me talked the entire 2 hour flight about her ex-husbands and perfect grandchildren. Make up was nowhere near my face. All the textbooks and quizzes were left out of sight and out of mind. Everything was just as it should be.

It was 4 days of pure bliss. My aunt took me to cycling and zumba, we walked to the beach, and I spent an obscene amount of time in the kitchen (but more on that later).

Of course the day we decided to embark on the 10 mile hike to the beach was the only rainy, cool day of the entire year in Southern California. While I thought that might tarnish the experience, the imperfect weather ended up making the adventure that much more perfect. 

With the sand between my toes I watched in awe as the rain and the ocean came together as one. This world we live in is a real wonder. (as opposed to a fake wonder, of course)

 Perhaps the best part of the entire trip was spending time with my amazing aunt.  Kristina is one of the easiest people to talk to, and has a talent for creating interesting conversations that are the perfect balance of serious and funny.

Also my adorable cousin Madeline is growing up so fast I can't handle it. Last thing I knew she was "the cutest baby I've ever laid eyes on" and now suddenly she's a helpful, hard-working girl who finally lets me hug her. (a fact which I'm extremely thrilled about)

Conclusion: Southern California is about as close to perfection as it comes and was the perfect getaway before finals. Shoot... I should go study for those.

 Until next time, California. ily.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Deliberate Adulthood

Yesterday I sat in the Salt Lake City airport waiting for my flight with my hands shaking and my knees bouncing. I was there early with time to spare, I was totally caught up on my schoolwork, and I'm not afraid of flying (in fact one of my favorite pastimes is jumping out of planes)... so why on earth was I so anxious? I checked Instagram in an attempt to distract myself. I went over everything I packed, convinced I had forgotten something. Phone, camera, wallet, keys. The longer I tried to figure out why I was so nervous the more confused I became. I looked up from my worry to see a guy about my age walking up with his mom.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

I wasn't nervous because of where I was, I was nervous because nobody knew (or particularly cared) that I was there. I've flown by myself before but my mom had always dropped me off at security, made me call her when I got to the gate, when I was on the plane, when the plane landed, and when I was at my final destination. Even since moving out of my parent's house three months ago, nearly everything I do is with friends or on campus surrounded by other students. I've never experienced the panic of nobody knowing where I was. 

I think that's the reason that up until this point I've been able to remain in blissful denial. Denial that I've actually entered the big, scary stage of life known as adulthood. 

"I can't believe I'm already 30"
"Time flies, before you know it you'll be out of college and in the real world"
"I don't feel old enough to be my age"

If you haven't heard any of these things said in the last 2 seconds you most likely live under a rock because they are about as common as dirt. Until now I've always been perplexed by phrases like this. I always assumed that they were partially made up. Surely someone who has been alive for 30 whole years feels like an adult by now. Surely they're only saying that to reassure themselves that they are still young. Surely they realize that they are in fact old and are probably just trying to make me feel better about my current situation by saying I'll grow up quickly.

Now, I think I finally understand them fully. Probably because I've started to catch myself uttering the very words that used to confuse me so. I hear myself assuring high schoolers that "graduation will come before you know it" or lamenting with my friends "how crazy it is that we've been alive for almost two full decades." 

I say these things because I don't really feel like an adult. Like at all actually. I live without parental supervision, I do my own laundry (sometimes...), I take myself to the doctor. And yet, every time I start to feel slightly grown up, I mentally shut myself up and make myself feel like a kid again. It's not socially acceptable for an eighteen year old to feel like an adult, and definitely not an eighteen year old named Cami Goold.

There's this thing called imposter syndrome where you somehow convince yourself that you're not a legitimate human being and eventually the whole world will figure it out and call your bluff. 

That's how I feel about being an adult. Someday soon everyone is going to figure out that I'm still a child and they'll force me to move back in with my parents and admit that I can't do anything for myself. Obviously I realize this is an irrational thought process, but until now I've let myself avoid adulthood by telling myself that I'm just an imposter.

 I had convinced myself that in reality I'm just a kid who's playing adult while I'm at college.

After my experience in the airport, feeling the weird anxiety that comes with independence, I decided that I don't want to live my life in anxious ambiguity. I don't want to reach 25 and ask myself if I'm finally allowed to be an adult. I've decided that right now I'm embracing adulthood. I'm making the deliberate decision to enter this stage of my life with open arms. 

This decision doesn't change anything about the way I act or think, it only changes the way I view myself. It means that as I start down this long journey of ever so slowly figuring out my life and learning the many many things the world wants to teach me, I view myself as a legitimate adult who has a loooong way to go, rather than a teenaged imposter who's only pretending to be a grown up.

Don't get me wrong, I know this is the very beginning of an era. I'm definitely not saying that because I'm an adult I'm somehow magically more mature or expected to make smarter decisions or become fully independent overnight. I still need to call my mom at least once a week. I'm still financially dependent on my parents, I'm still going home for Christmas, I still have a lot of school ahead of me before I can get a "grown up job." I still have miles and miles to go. But instead of looking back in 10 years and asking "when did all this happen?" I'm choosing to deliberately enter my years as an adult right now. By making the intentional decision to enter this stage of life I'm allowing myself to be  actively present throughout my adult years, rather passively watching the years go by.