just another shameless Parks & Recreation reference.

I really love Leslie Knope.

I think my issue with making friends stems from what I like to call my Leslie Knopespectations. I want to find people that are passionate about me & the things that mean the most in my life. Passionate in the way that they care about the little things I say, and make me waffles all of the time. I want a friend that remembers my birthday weeks in advance, and throws a party suited just for me.

A part of me really wants to be locked in a room with my favorite movie, a steak, and a glass of Riesling. On the other hand, I’d love a bouncy house, and to be called a beautiful tropical fish.

A part of me is Ron Swanson.

 A part of me is Ann Perkins.

And sometimes, when I’m at the gym, I like to work out on the treadmill and pretend I’m Chris Traeger.

But more than anything, I want to be a Leslie Knope.

I want to be just as: kind, caring, intelligent, strong, persistent, and passionate.

And I want to be that friend that is passionate about other people, and throws them unforgettable birthday bashes.

Today I found this, which was the inspiration for this post:


As this summer comes to a close, Senior Year is fast approaching.

Hopefully, by the time 2016 rolls around, I’ll have my teaching degree, and we’ll be getting ready to say goodbye to: America, the YMCA, our tiny (yet perfect) apartment on Parkview Drive, friends, family, and possibly our cat.

We’ll say hello to: traveling, Korea, lesson planning, English Language Learners, an even tinier apartment, hard days, lonely days, adventure-filled days, and strange squid treats from the Family Mart across the street.

In all of this I want to be excellent.

I want to be the friendliest American in Seoul / Busan / whichever city we are assigned to.

I want to make my students feel inspired, significant, and empowered.

And I so desperately want to make some sort of impact, wherever I go.

At the same time, how does one accomplish this? How would someone like me, become the Leslie Knope of whatever endeavor I am currently pursuing?

 I think the key is not wasting time on meaningless things, yet still finding meaning in the ordinary. It’s about knowing when to say “yes,” and knowing when to say, “I need a break. Get out.” Not everything/everyone deserves my time and my devotion, and that’s okay.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am not good at everything (the perfectionist inside of me is screaming right now), but I will put the time and effort into perfecting what I do excel in.

Writing. Reading. Teaching.

I’ll even try things again and again, despite obvious and disappointing failures.

Knitting. Crocheting. Exercising. Baking a custard.

It’s not about perfection, but about putting in 100% even when you know there’s a great chance that things will crash and burn. Literally.

What do you want to be the Leslie Knope of? What does that mean to you?