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A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma...

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    Change is the Worst (and the Best?)

    Change is the Worst (and the Best?)

    The months of May and June—well a solid portion of 2018, for that matter—have been marked by a whole lot of change. My sister graduated from high school, making my parents empty nesters. Dear friends and roommates have moved away. New roommates are moving in. And that’s just the beginning.

    I hate change, like really hate it. As a creature of habit and lover of routines who is severely lacking in spontaneity, change is the enemy, and I typically don’t handle it well—God bless my parents for graciously answering their phones to listen to me process it all. For the past…

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    Lessons on Prayer from the Cast of Jane the Virgin

    Lessons on Prayer from the Cast of Jane the Virgin

    When I found out that Netflix added the most recent season of Jane the Virgin to its streaming repertoire, I knew exactly how I would spend my weekend. I may or may not have watched all seventeen forty-minute episodes in about 72 hours, complete with a rollercoaster of emotions as I walked alongside these characters, whose rich development made me think I actually knew and loved them, as they experienced the joys and sorrows of life. But mostly I cried. A lot.

    (Some spoilers lie ahead.)

    Jane the Virgin, set in Miami, is The CW’s adaptation of a Venezuelan telenovela about a…

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    Where He Knows Your Name

    Where He Knows Your Name

    Over the course of the past few months, my three roommates and I have all gotten hooked on the 1980s sitcom Cheers. At any given moment, you will find at least one of us binge watching the show somewhere in our house, laughing out loud at the gang’s latest antics and probably singing along to the catchy theme song.

    If you’ve never seen or heard of Cheers, I can almost guarantee that you’ve heard the theme song, especially the chorus:

    Sometimes you want to go
    Where everybody knows your name,
    and they’re always glad you came.
    You wanna be where you can see,
    our troubles are…

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    Yep, Still Crying About This Is Us

    Yep, Still Crying About This Is Us

    You would think that after almost two seasons of This Is Us (and writing about it a lot), I would be able to keep my emotions in check for an hour every Tuesday, remembering that these are fictional characters. But alas, I find myself, week after week, staring at my television with bated breath and tears rolling down my cheeks. And this week was certainly no exception.

    Minor spoilers ahead but nothing major!

    So many posts could be written about this week’s episode—forgiveness, hope in broken relationships, second chances—but one plotline in particular stuck out in which we see the unconditional love…

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    When Whitney Houston Writes Your Prayers

    When Whitney Houston Writes Your Prayers

    It’s that time of year again! Oh, you thought I was talking about the holidays? Nope, I’m referring to the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, known as Engagement Season: the month and a half where your social media feeds seem to consist solely of diamond rings and “YES!!!! I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend!!!! #helpweneedaweddinghashtag.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love engagements and weddings, maybe a little too much. I will stop whatever I’m doing to scroll through engagement photos or watch a wedding video, and I’ve been planning my own imaginary…

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    BYOTissues: This Is Us is Back

    BYOTissues: This Is Us is Back

    Obligatory *spoiler alert!*

    On Tuesday night, the Emmy Award winning drama This Is Us returned to NBC, and it did not disappoint. I absolutely anticipate that I will be reduced to a puddle of tears every #TissueTuesday—yes, that’s a thing—this fall as the storyline repeatedly rips my heart out.

    Our reunion with the Pearson triplets began with their thirty-seventh birthdays, harkening back to the season one premiere, and a lot has happened since we last saw them. Kevin and Kate have moved to LA to pursue their acting and music careers, respectively, and Kate is still engaged to Toby. Randall remains on…

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    Dancing Pandas and The Search for Everything

    Dancing Pandas and The Search for Everything

    “And that’s how John Mayer ended up with dancing pandas.”

    It’s not every day that one reads such a sentence in a New York Times piece, but when it comes to John Mayer, is anyone really surprised?

    Mayer has made quite the reputation for himself, not only as a talented musician but as a man who can’t seem to control his “stupid mouth” in a number scandalous interviews. In the aftermath, he escaped to Montana, where he moved toward redemption, apologizing for many of those wrongdoings in Paradise Valley (2013), identifying many of his shortcomings (“I Will Be Found”), and promising maturity…

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    Confessions of a Foodaholic

    Confessions of a Foodaholic

    During the summer following my junior year of college, I attended a handful of Overeaters Anonymous meetings. I was plagued with compulsive overeating, binge eating, whatever you want to call it, starting in high school, having been off and on diets since age 14, and it reached its height in college; hence the infamous rock bottom that lead me to OA. OA is based on the same principles and twelve steps as AA, simply replacing alcohol with food, and it was not until OA that I faced or even recognized the depth of my problem. Anything you associate with an…

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    #allthefeels: Trying to Control Emotions in a World of Chaos

    #allthefeels: Trying to Control Emotions in a World of Chaos

    NPR’s fascinating podcast Invisibilia is back for its third season, and all is right with the world. Now we can all geek out about the strange ways our minds and bodies work and have everything we thought we knew about ourselves turned on its head.

    The first episode is a heavy hitter, covering a few stories and research discoveries that reveal different facets of human emotions: where they come from, how they affect us, and whether we can control them. The hosts spend most of the episode discussing a Missouri supreme court case that resulted from a fatal car accident. In…

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    The Gospel According to Gandalf

    The Gospel According to Gandalf

    It’s no secret that J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is full of Christian imagery, but upon diving into The Fellowship of the Ring, I soon realized that I had vastly underestimated the extent of said imagery. I was so taken aback and borderline giddy by the powerful, convicting metaphors I was reading that I started underlining and writing margin notes, a practice formerly saved exclusively for academic reading but never ever done when reading for pleasure. One passage in particular stuck out to me.

    Towards the beginning of Tolkien’s narrative, Gandalf explains the dark history of the Rings to…

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    Hopelessly Devoted: Psalm One Hundred Three Verse Fourteen

    Hopelessly Devoted: Psalm One Hundred Three Verse Fourteen

    If you imagine God looking at you, what expression does he have on his face?

    This question was posed by a Bible study curriculum I did in college, and it has always stuck with me, convicting me of my inaccurate perception of my heavenly Father.

    If I’m honest with myself, my default answer would be that God looks at me with frustration or disappointment, wondering why I can’t get my act together, why I can’t get a grip on that sin that just won’t go away. My perception of God is tied so closely to how well I think I’m fulfilling the…

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    The Gospel According to Beauty and the Beast

    The Gospel According to Beauty and the Beast

    Well, Disney, you did it again. You brought yet another animated classic to life with stunning costumes and incredible effects, transporting every audience member back to her childhood.

    I am referring, of course, to Beauty and the Beast. Although a more seasoned film critic might find fault with aspects of the movie—yes, parts are slightly hokey and some of the acting is off—I would advise against arguing about the quality of the movie with a 90s kid who grew up on this story and was thrilled at the idea of enjoying it again. I loved every minute of it. I laughed. I…

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