Sunday, December 27, 2015

Songs My Mother Taught Me

The other day I looked in the mirror and lamented my weight. I frowned at the way my stomach rolled when I stood up or sat down or moved or breathed, I cried because my favorite pants didn't fit anymore, and I pinched at the fat under my chin. I hated my reflection, I hated myself. I wondered when I had gotten so large. Why I suddenly took up so much space. And then I remembered being a little girl and watching my mother do the same thing.

I do not admit this often, but my mother influenced my life a lot. After all, I lived with her for 13 years. How could she not? But sometimes, I feel her essence in the way I speak, or the way I look at the world, and more importantly myself. My mother had a hard life. She still has a hard life. I hope some day her life is better. She taught me that sometimes you cannot escape your sad reality. She just lives her life, does she think her life is good? I do not know. But watching her struggle and not work and fall into an endless cycle of depression and drugs taught me one thing. I never wanted to be her. I never wanted to be like her. I would never be content with just existing in my circle of hell. I grew up competitive because I grew up needing to know I was succeeding. Succeeding in ways my mother never would.

My mother constantly changed herself for men. She because skinnier, louder, more quiet, wore more make-up, went without make-up, dyed her hair, did different drugs, ignored her kids, loved her kids, made more kids, it depended on how the guy she was with wanted her. I hated her for it. I never knew the mother I was going to get. So I stopped needing a mother. I taught my brothers not to need a mother. We taught each other how to read, how to tie shoes, ride bikes, cook simple food, do math, write thesis statements, remove lice, wash clothes without a washer or dryer and only a sink. My mother taught me to never want children because I was terrified I would never be able to provide them with love that mothers are supposed to give their children, because how was I supposed to know what that looked like?

I didn't learn to eat fruits and vegetables from my mother, or that you should brush your teeth twice a day, or even how to braid my hair. She taught me that escapism is the solution to a shitty life, parents pick favorites when it comes to children, and men are more important than family. She taught me that fat isn't okay, that to lose weight you should do drugs or diet dangerously, that school isn't important, that children don't deserve fathers, that no one cares about good grades.

We leave marks on peoples lives that we will never know about. I doubt my mother knows she taught me to hate looking out the window or to be afraid of commitment, but she did. I doubt Rose knows that she is the reason I proclaim myself a failure before anyone else can, or that I am a perfectionist to the point that if it isn't perfect, I hate putting my name on it. I cry when I can't learn dances, or songs, or new skills, because I hate feeling like I'm heading down her path. She doesn't know she did this to me, just like I don't know how I have affected someone else's life.

What are we teaching our sons and daughters and mentees? What are we leaving behind?

What songs will they sing about us?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Random Thought Spill

1. Whenever I pass an ex's house or somewhere we used to go together, I get the urge to march up there and tell them how much better I'm doing now. I want them to see that I've become better since I've cut them out of my life. Look at me, accomplishing things I could never do with you. Look at me, challenging myself, facing my fears, finding myself.

2. I always thought that by this point in my life I would be farther along into a career, teaching kids about books and proper sentence structure, while becoming an actress on the side. Now that I'm here and I'm a bank teller and not a teacher, I can say that not accomplishing your dream isn't as bad as you would think. But don't think I'm content with where I am in life. I'm going back to school. I will be a teacher. Don't worry. Never worry. Good enough isn't where I want to exist.

3. When I was younger I always sat in the window, silently waiting for my dad to come home. Now I never open the curtains. The light hurts my eyes.

4. I held my grandmothers hand when we went into the store until I was 14. I was terrified of the crowds. Now I'm 22 and I don't go to Wal-Mart without my boyfriend because the crowds are still there, but my bravery still hasn't appeared. 

5. Boys used to look at me like I was someone to help them grow as a person. Like they could one day say to a different girl "Yeah, I'm sensitive, you should have seen the girl I used to date. I used to hold her after every nightmare and flashback and I didn't even complain. Of course I can handle a few tears when your dog dies". Now I demand they look at me like I'm a force to be reckoned with. I'm more than a stepping stone. I am a destination. 

6. When I was in high school I just wanted to be popular. Now I just want people to appreciate me for who I am, and listen to my opinion. I really like being liked, though. 

7. Most of social media is a lie. I posted on Instagram today that a cupcake made my whole day better. It was a lie. I had a shit day. Most of my posts are like that. Most of your posts are probably like that. We try to have these lives that are effortless, perfect, snap-worthy. No one has a life like that. Yet here we all are, pretending, editing, filtering photos to present our lives in the best light.

8. Drinking hot coffee and/or tea while wearing a baggy sweater over some leggings is a fantastic way to spend an entire day. Or 7 days. Or forever. Why get out of bed, really? 

9. The whole "live authentically" movement is bullshit. If you're trying to do something for something's sake, you're not really doing that thing. You can't be authentic for authenticity's sake. It doesn't work that way. Don't be a poser. 

10. Being on stage alone with a single spotlight and only the orchestra to accompany you is a fantastic place to spend five minutes. Having the stage to yourself during a show is breathtaking. 

11. Sunrise, sunset. The two most beautiful realities in life. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Dear Younger Me

If I could back in time and tell myself something, I would go back to 1995 and tell two year old me to hug my daddy tighter, to ask him to hold me more, to try to tell him how much I would need him 20 years later. I would tell Baby Alexis how someday she would be singing Over the Rainbow in rehearsal and someone would ask her what her "over the rainbow" was and she would think how it was that time, when he was there, with you, and he loved you more than anything, and you would realize you would never get your "over the rainbow" because that would be like reaching into the void and bringing someone back from whatever lies beyond this life.

I would tell 13 year old me that its not her fault her clothes are too big and smell bad, its not her fault mom uses drugs, there's nothing we can do to stop her. I would tell her not to let that boy kiss her in
the stairwell, to raise her head high when that girl calls mom a crack whore. I would tell her that soon her days will shine a little brighter, but no matter what they say she doesn't deserve any of the horrid things she has to endure. This is not karma from a past life, this is not atonement for sins, this is a horrible sequence of events that she didn't get to choose. I would beg 13 year old me to ignore everyone that called her anorexic, it is a synonym for malnourished, not beautiful, you do not need to strive to hear it everyday.

If I could go back I would tell 15 year old me that just because dad was a cross country superstar and apparently a genius doesn't mean that you have to be either of those things. I would tell myself there is life after not making football cheer freshman year, and to not let that girl do your eyebrows in the locker room between classes. I would explain that anxiety is normal and should be addressed the moment the walls start closing in and the lights go dark and you feel that roller-coaster stomach feeling, just because someone asked you to demonstrate something for the class. I would tell this wide-eyed 15 year old to cherish every friend, every joke, every embarassing moment, every carefree laugh, chance encounter with friends, and smile that experience while in Oroville, soon your whole world will be flipped upside down.

Honestly there are so many moments where I wish I could tell myself to laugh louder, hug longer, speak up more. I wish 19 year old me kept her promise to call Carissa, because 22 year old me

remembers every cancelled coffee date as a regret, a chance to say "I love you, please don't leave me" one last time. Current Alexis wishes 13 year old Alexis told mom how much high school Alexis would need her. Fourteen year old Alexis should have ran back and said goodbye to Uncle Dean before she left for school that day. 22 year old Alexis misses her dad just as much as 20 year old Alexis playing Dorothy did, and just as much as 9 year old me missed him at every ballet recital and every play through the years.

We take so many things for granted.
I took so many things for granted.

Monday, September 7, 2015

I'm Feeling Twenty....Something.

Recently I celebrated my 22nd birthday. While 22 isn't a birthday of note, like its predecessor 21, for me it was a turning point. No longer will people look at my ID and laugh at the newly minted legally drinking adult. No, that is a thing of the past. Yes, people still triple check my ID. Especially since I've colored my hair and started make-up regularly since the photo was taken a week before I turned 21.

21 was a big year for me. I learned a lot about limits, both in regards to alcohol and my life, and developed a love for wine and learned about the magic a Jack and Coke holds while also being educated on the evils of Tequila and Fireball, not counting the taste.

I started my 21st year by leaving Washington, DC and my wonderful best friend/sister Nadia to hop on a plane and come back home to little old Omak. I sat next to a soldier named Travis on the plane and we celebrated our birthdays together (his was September 3rd) by drinking wine and whiskey. It was pretty cool, even if I got stuck in Denver for an hour and didn't have any Seahawks gear on hand to really make it fun. I did, however, pay for wifi, so there was that.

Once back in Omak, after taking a plane, train, and bus to get there, I went back to work, and got fired. Yeah. It was embarrassing, it hurt, especially because I had been wanting to quit but hadn't found a new job yet. Don't worry, I had another job within the week. But still. So my first lesson came quickly. Never get so comfortable in a job that you quit watching out for yourself. I will contest the reasons I was fired for until the day I die, but the fact is, it happened. I got lazy and quit making sure that I was looking after myself professionally. I cried for a couple hours, laughed in spite of it all (with some help from my "Big Sister" Nicole), updated my resume, and moved on. By the next day I was primped and ready to find a new job.

And I found a great one in The Corner Bistro. Unfortunately, I quit to work at a big box improvement store and regret that move to this day. Here's the thing, I quit because I needed more hours to pay bills. However, had I stuck it out, I would have started getting more hours at The Corner Bistro, I was told just before I quit I was getting an extra day, which would have been just enough hours to make bills work out. And while I'm thankful for the job that led me to meet my boyfriend, I will forever regret leaving The Corner Bistro family. So, sometimes it pays to keep your head down and move forward until you come out on top.

I also gained weight while being 21. A lot of people don't admit to gaining weight. But a lesson came from me uh....filling out. Yeah, that's what we will go with. When I was in high school I was currently on the move. I was in plays, I was on two cheer squads, and had a ton of other extra-curriculars to keep myself busy. I ate healthier because I couldn't afford to get sick, and because I wanted to be the best physically I could be, so I could push myself harder. My fast metabolism had a lot to do with my average weight, but after 4 years of not doing any of those things, your metabolism slows down, and eating fast food every day tends to cause weight gain. So the day before I turned 22 I started working out again. Now I'm on a road to being in shape and a healthier human. If you don't take care of yourself as a person, you won't be happy with who you become. This is a physical and mental/spiritual truth. Keep yourself in shape in every way and you will be happier in the end.

In my 21st year I've been an assistant cheer coach and watched a group of girls start out at the very bottom of the progress pyramid and end up at the top and even go to competition, against almost all odds, and learned that sometimes you just have to sit down and shut-up and watch Head Coach/Mama work her magic, because delivering constructive criticism super positively can be hard sometimes, but working with a group of amazing women to make your dream come true is an amazing feeling. Thanks Mama Jen, for letting me be the note taker, the Candy Queen, the assistant and making all my cheer dreams come true.

I learned the importance of building your own family, and only allowing those who make you feel good about who you are as a human while holding you to a general standard of goodness in. So Thank you Leeses, and of course Clicks, and the Flores family, and all my close friends, and the Miller-Mercados and Vanessa and Makisha and Emma, you're all so incredibly important to me.

Before and After. Look at those brows.
I also learned the importance of good/filled in eyebrows. This is how I'm wrapping up, I'm not even kidding. Okay, so I've plucked my eyebrows for a very long time (starting with the infamous incident in 8th grade where a friend plucked half my eyebrow out). But recently I had my eyebrows filled in for the first time since my Aunt Crystal (my first MUA) did them for a dance in the 9th grade. While I've always been proud of my eyebrows (one friend described them as perfect) I didn't know how godlike one could feel when the arch and definition of their eyebrows were on fleek. I looked in the mirror and thought "this is what Beyonce feels like every day". And while I still don't fill in my own eyebrows, because I'm terrified to, I have a best friend who will gladly do it for me and she makes them look perfect, and more importantly makes me feel like SuperWoman. So if there's one thing you're afraid to do, but know you'll feel better for doing it, do it.

Now I'm 22, and there's a whole new year to learn more crap about myself, especially my age. I still stutter when people ask how old I am. "Oh yeah, I'm twenty-wo...two. I'm twenty-two. I know how old I am, I swear".

Alexis Olmstead is a 22 year old blogger, photographer, and stage extraordinaire who is training, living, and working out of Okanogan County, Washington. When she isn't singing along to everything (much to her cats chagrin) she is coaching cheer, working behind the scenes or onstage on theatre things, and reading. For more posts about this, that, or the other thing, check back semi-regularly. 

P.S. Alexa Gee does all my make-up. Check her out on Twitter, Instagram, and at her Younique website. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Alexis Attempts Baking

Today I tried to make cookies. Just in case you were wondering, baker I am not. But lately I've been trying to find new ways to entertain myself as I sit at home and ponder my existence. So after watching a super cute video of these adorable heart cookies being crafted, I decided to try my hand at making something colorful and happy and seemingly medium in difficulty.

So, after watching the short video like, 1,000 times, I went to the store and got everything I needed. 

-unsalted butter
-confectioner's sugar (also known as powdered sugar)
-vanilla extract
-cake flour (unfortunately, I couldn't find cake flour anywhere, so I used all-purpose flour)
-food coloring 

Then I got to work. It wasn't until I was sitting down to write this blog post that I discovered that there was actually a website with complete instructions. I literally just got all my instructions from the video, so there were a couple of key points, like whip butter into mayonnaise-like consistency that I skipped. There were also helpful hints like "all-purpose flour and cornstarch mixed together make cake flour" that were included that I could have used had I known about the site. AUGH, tumblr, you failed me. 

Also, Wal-Mart failed me, because my Wal-Mart only had flower cookie cutters, not the cute little hearts shown, which made my life way more difficult. 

So after layering the different colored doughs with a egg-white and water paste and letting it set for an hour I was ready to cut the flower shapes out of dough and stack them up and glue them together, again using egg-white and water. Because my cookie cutter was longer than the one in the video, I should have adjusted the number of layers accordingly, but I did not, and ended up having to stack two of the color stacks together to make it work, but it didn't affect the size of the cookie dough log in the end, so it was all worked out. But then came the hardest part. 

To make the log circular and able to be rolled in sprinkles, each of the spaces between the petals had to be filled in with dough and then wrapped in dough again to create a log. One of the tips I wish I had known before was that vanilla butter dough is insanely sticky when warm and if it gets TOO sticky, it should be refrigerated for an hour. BUT I PREVAILED, and got the whole thing surrounded in vanilla dough and covered in sprinkles, which is a lot harder than I initially thought it would be. 

But, after washing my hands a zillion times and literally just dumping sprinkles on the thing a couple of times to fill in holes, I was ready to cut the dough into cookies and bake. There is nothing exciting about that part of the story, except that the bottom started to look flat from the pressure so I had to roll the cookie log a couple of times to restore the circular shape. So half my cookies look like the letter "D". 

At the end I had a lot of scrap dough from the colored layers that I didn't want to waste, so rolled it into a large sheet, cut out some more flowers from it, and made cookies from the scraps as well, just an easier, more tie-dye variety. Oh, and the cookies are SO GOOD. I've never used that recipe before, because as I said, baking is a no-go for me. Normally I get the hankering to make cookies, buy a tub of cookie dough, and eat it out of the container in a fit of laziness mixed with impatience. 

If you're gonna make these cookies, and I totally suggest you do because they are so cute and so good, make sure you let everything set in the fridge for an hour between steps. That's 4 hours of prep work, but like, the easiest prep work ever. I've watched almost an entire season of The Mindy Project while making these cookies. So, not a horrible process. I would also say to be prepared to use a lot of food coloring. They suggest using gel food coloring, which is what I did, and it works really well, the color is very vibrant, but it also gets all over your hands, and incidentally, my face. Yeah, I wiped my face with my food coloring hand and it was awesome. 
It is safe to say that I am still not the worlds best baker. But maybe with some practice I'll get to be at least okay. 

Photo by Shakanna Inman
Alexis Olmstead is a 20something living in Middle-of-Nowhere, Washington, trying to make herself better one teeny tiny step at a time. She doesn't have anything figured out in regards to "the big picture" but hey, her eyebrows look good, so that's a start. For more rants, raves, life experiences, and opinions, check back semi-regularly. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Alexis Reads: "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn

I finished "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn in a candlelit room, the sickly sweet smell of caramel candles filling the house, lying on my back with the flashlight of my phone, which was held between my chin and my sternum, aimed at the quickly dwindling pages of the book. 

I've owned the paperback copy of this New York Times Bestseller for quite a few months now, but moving, starting a newish job, playing part-time actress, part time assistant cheer coach, and a recent addiction to Sid Meier's "Civilization: Beyond Earth" has left me little time to read. And that is a shame. Because as soon as the power went out and I settled down into the corner of my couch armed with "Gone Girl" and pure resolve to finish the book before the day was done, I immediately remembered why younger Alexis was such a bookworm. Books are AMAZING, people. Instantly I forgot that I am in a county being ravaged by fire and that I had no power, because I was in this tantalizing world of absolute insanity and there was no possible way I could leave until I had soaked up every last page. 

Nick and Amy Dunne are far from the perfect couple, a fact that becomes more and more clear as the investigation into Amy's disappearance on their fifth wedding anniversary goes deeper and deeper.In what I decided to call "tag-team storytelling" the reader gains valuable insight into both sides of the disappearance through the point of view of both Nick and Amy, who is mostly represented by past-dated diary entries. Through this diary we see Nick and Amy's first meeting, their first kiss, Amy's constant wish for Nick to be something more, her fear for their marriage, her anger at having to leave her luxurious Manhattanite lifestyle to move to Missouri when Nick's mother falls ill. Through the course of these interchanging narratives we begin to question ourselves more and more. Has Amy simply disappeared, or did something more sinister happen? What exactly is Nick's involvement in everything? Just like every true crime show, book, or movie, the husband is the prime suspect, with a trail of evidence leading directly to him, including wickedly clever details that not even he remembers or thinks of when speaking to the police. OR DOES HE?

Basically me, the entire book.
Gillian Flynn's writing is hypnotic at best, and thrill-inducing at worst. The whole book, which is
split into three parts that all end with the reader's mouth agape, eagerly turning the page to continue this story that has them reeling in disbelief, is clever, and perfectly thought out. As the story went on, I began to try to think two steps ahead of the narrator, searching for a flaw in all of these perfect plans, and I didn't find one. And where I  imagine the one plot hole, there was later a careful explanation and a few precautions previously taken to cover the necessary tracks.

Seriously, "Gone Girl" is such a smart book. It is full of twists, turns, pure insanity, and minute details that come back to haunt the reader later, but never for a second does this book let its guard down or let the reader out of its vice-like grip. Honestly, I didn't eat for 11 hours yesterday, because I forgot to, and honestly was a little scared that this book would get mad at me and exact its revenge if I put it down, even for a moment. 

I absolutely recommend this book, more than any book I've reviewed so far here on "I Am Unwritten", and I cannot wait to get my hands on Flynn's other two books, "Sharp Objects", and "Dark Places". 

Before I go, I would like to take a minute to thank all of the hardworking men and women that are out there fighting fires here in Washington state. This week three firefighters lost their lives protecting ours, and that is a sacrifice we, as a community, can never truly repay. So thank you to all the firefighters, from all of us.

Alexis Olmstead is a bookworm, actress, assistant cheer coach, and the mother of three fur children, Scout the Cat, and Haida and Brego the Huskies. She enjoys long musicals, anything involving Idina Menzel, Meryl Streep, or Anne Hathaway, spending time with her family and friends, and a good glass of whiskey. For more rants, raves, and reviews, check back sporadically. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Let Us Talk of Love and Things.

I once had a family member tell me that I abuse the power of internet to the point of over-sharing, to which I rolled my eyes and snarkily replied "duh, I have a blooogg". I will not lie, sometimes I feel like because I have a core group of like, two, who I know will read everything I link to, I have a responsibility to not waste your time with pointless details about my life. But then I remind myself that this is MY blog and I will post whatever I want on it. This isn't one of those fancy "themed" blogs, this is one of those "random-rants-posted-at-three-in-the-morning" blogs. As such, it is currently 1:45 in the afternoon and I'm about to talk a lot about my boyfriend. So if you're not into that, go ahead and close the tab. I'm okay with it, really.

I have been with my boyfriend, Cory, for almost three months now and since we have already put the words out in the universe in our quiet little safe spaces, I'm just going to publicly announce that I'm very much in love with him. I know that putting it out there in such a public manner is a risk that could be easily regrettable if things go south in the future, but unlike any relationship I've ever been in before, I'm quite secure in the fact that we are going to last for a pretty long time. And if this wonderful, dizzying, beautiful relationship doesn't last, I won't regret it one bit. Because I am having the time of my life with this boy and all we really do is exist near each other.

Guys. I've posted before what I thought love would be like, it would be this cold lemonade on a hot summer day type feeling, to quote my younger self (hahahaha I'm only 21), but love, I found, while refreshing, isn't everything you need in life. We don't perfectly compliment each other. I mean, I think Cory is the yin to my yang, but there is a lot of tolerance that happens between us. He tolerates me singing show tunes on repeat every time I drive, and I tolerate his unexplainable love for the absolute dribble that the tv show "Rick and Morty" is.

This boy, guys, this boy makes my heart beat faster, and my knees go weak, and in one breath can tell me how much of an absolute diva I am being about not getting to watch "So You Think You Can Dance" while we eat dinner, and assure me that there is nothing wrong with me, except for maybe my compromising skills. He allows me to be my silly, sad, outrageous, obnoxiously loud self, and accepts me for all of those things, and tells me he wouldn't have me any other way. He tells me he loves me when my hair is all tangled and messy and in a knot on top of my head and my eyeliner is all smudged because I slept in it, and he tells me he loves me when I've just spent an hour trying to get my contouring right and braided my hair into a totally fabulous bun. He tells me he loves me because I am Alexis. I am who I am, with or without make-up and fabulous hair, and I love him because he is Cory, and he allows me to be lazy and not wear make-up or to be vain and put on all the make-up.

Plus he indulges my need to selfie. 
It is scary to think that I am 21 and have found the person that I know I was meant to find in this world. I don't care if anyone believes I can do better, I think he is perfect, and to me, there is no one better. Even after our first big fight, and our subsequent smaller ones that all ended with us laughing and drinking wine out of the bottle and giggling about how silly it all was between kisses, I still think he is perfect.

Cory isn't afraid to ask "what if"? Cory isn't afraid to go out and do things, he doesn't care what the world thinks. Cory is available to adventure with me into the great unknown and when I start planning extravagant travel itineraries, he is there right beside me, saying of course he will be there, but can we make sure to stop in such and such a place as well? Cory is my joker, my audience, my travel-companion, my guy who indulges my crazy fantasies and encourages me to make them realities, the guy who challenges me to think outside of my very small box, and my #1 fan.

I don't know what I am to Cory. He tells me he loves me, and of that I have no doubt. But I can't tell
you all the superlatives he has given me. I want to be his fangirl, his ever supportive girlfriend that challenges him to think about things from a different perspective, the girl who keeps him humble but never questions his character or how great he is, because c'mon folks, he is pretty great, and the person that he spends the rest of his life with.

So there it is guys, I am Alexis Olmstead, and I love Cory Forgaard, and that's the beginning and end of everything.**

Alexis Olmstead is a 20something living and working in Okanogan County, Washington. She spends her days scrolling through Instagram, playing with her new cat, Scout, and belting show tunes to her boyfriend and his two dogs. For more rants, raves, and opinions on life, check back irregularly. 

**original quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald "I love her and that's the beginning and end of everything".

Thursday, June 25, 2015

For Future Reference

Awards season has come and gone, and here I am without an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, or the Tony that I have dreamed for ages about winning. Not that I've been in any movies, television shows, or Broadway shows, and I definitely haven't put out any albums this year. Nevertheless, a girl has got to be prepared in case a random award is bestowed upon her, and this girl has a lot to be thankful for. So, here goes.

I would like to thank the Academy for bestowing this honor upon me. For as long as I can remember, I have been dreaming of standing up on this stage and accepting this honor. I would like to thank my high school drama teacher and lifelong friend, Nicole Leese, you saw a immature girl with bad posture who dreamed of being on a stage and you put her there. Over the years you have given me the tools and the guidance to be not only an  amazing person but the actress I've always wanted to be. Don and Lynn Pearce, you have given me a voice to be proud of and the technique to continue improving far into the future. And to Doug Leese, thanks for the bluntness. Thanks for the encouragement. Thanks for being worried about me and along with your wife, Nicole, and your two gorgeous children providing this weird sort of family that has gotten me through many a tearful meltdown at rehearsals, or a moody period for which no one has any explanation. You are all truly the best.

Aunt Crystal, thank you for all the laughs, thanks for being an Aunt, a sister, and a best friend all in one, and for teaching me the importance of coffee and good eyebrows. To my OVOC family, thank you for supporting me through aches and pains and stress and rehearsal and letting me into your group, despite being a scared newbie who had no idea what she signed up for. Thank you especially to Janelle Cutuli for getting me back onstage, Ugo Bartell for always having a joke and a smile ready for everyone you come across, especially when we need it backstage, Jim Richards for all the foot rubs after spending too many hours in character shoes, Besty Rainsford for being the sweetest witch I've ever known, and Judy Johnston for having to go through the struggle of teaching me how to sing Over the Rainbow and then letting me into another musical. Thank you to Susan and Bonnie for creating magic out of material and then helping with some of the fastest quick changes ever, Reese and Corina for being my falsie applying make-up gurus, and to every audience member that has ever supported a local theatre production. Getting onstage and performing is a gift to you, the audience, for supporting our endeavors to change lives through make-believe.

Thank you to anyone who ever told me that I couldn't make it in the world, and to everyone who told me I could. Every time I step onto a stage, it is for all of you. And to all the kids at home who wish they were up here right now, all I have to say is this: If the daughter of a drug-addict from Oroville, Washington can make it here and accomplish this, you can to. Prove them wrong, and make it effing happen. Thank you all.

Alexis Olmstead is a 20something living in Okanogan County. She obviously aspires to large things in life and can't wait to get out of this little town and get on with her life. She hopes to pursue an English and Theatre degree, go to Cosmetology school, win a Tony, and one day push for education reform in the United States. For more rants, raves, and award speeches, check back often.

Monday, June 1, 2015

When You See Your Ex at A Bar

So, as you all know, I have an recent ex in my life. And normally, I let sleeping exes lie, or some other cliche about trying to stay the ef away from them so as not to incite drama. But sometimes, sometimes, you're at the bar with your new boyfriend and your best gal pal from middle school and you just got your hair done and you maybe have pounded like three jack and cokes because ohmygod they are delicious, and you walk back in and there he is, sitting at the only open table in the whole place and you make a poor decision. You talk to him.

and he's good with kids
Now you may be thinking to yourself, "Alexis Marie Olmstead, you are a 21 year old woman who is more mature than that. You do not need to degrade yourself to talking to exes in bars to prove how happy you are with your new boyfriend. Also, gurl, way to go on your new boyfriend #areyoudatingamodel?" In which case I would say to you, please don't say hashtag out loud. It is embarrassing for all of us. And also, ohmygosh thank you! I think he's pretty as well.

Okay. Back on topic. I did the dumb thing and tried to make him jealous. Like, we sat four feet from him and danced four feet from him, and uhm....#notimpressedwithmyself. Then when I was closing my tab I ended up standing literally right next to him at the bar. So all of a sudden I decide I care what he thinks and stuff. I don't care about this guy, he's my ex! But like, I totally care. And I'm mad that he didn't fucking fight for me to come back. He just sent me forty seven text messages that said the word "please" over and over again. I can't be with someone who won't fight for me and won't stop fighting with me and who calls my friends banal! Yeah, I literally had all these thoughts over the top of each other and then the room got all spinny and I had to go puke in the nasty bar bathroom. Is my life a sitcom? Am I living in some weird "Truman Show" universe? Please tell me that's what it is and that's why I keep making such shitty decisions and always feel like I'm being set up.

So I talked to this guy, my ex, in the bar and made a lame attempt to make him jealous. And you know what it led to? Nothing good. My best friend came to town to watch me try to make a guy jealous, and my boyfriend was a side player in a weird revenge plot. And then this guy kept making all these accusations, like, "you're totally still into me, and you're regretting your life choices and you're an idiot". But here's the thing. I don't regret leaving a guy who shows up to a bar that he hates but he knows I like, just so he can sit there and make me feel guilty for taking a healthy step in my life. I refuse to be made to feel guilty about things that I do in the search for self-fulfillment. Sometimes that search involves me drinking 8 jack and cokes that I'm pretty sure were doubles and having the worst hangover I've ever had and puking three times on the side of the road while taking a five minute drive to get home, but eventually, that search will end.

So here's the moral of the story: if you see your new-ex in a bar don't talk to him. Nothing good happens and you'll end up with a shame hangover.

Alexis Olmstead is a 20something living in Okanogan County and making questionable life choices. She's pretty happy she started this blog, though.. For more overshares, rants, and pointless opinions, check back often. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Confessions of A Boyfriend-Hopper

Yup, I jumped from one boyfriend to a different boyfriend within a week. I used to tell my friends never to do this, to take time to reconnect with yourself between boys and get to know yourself again. In fact, at first I was so embarrassed by what I viewed as hypocritical actions that I almost didn't post this. I was told that by posting pictures with my new boyfriend so close to the break-up with my old boyfriend that I made myself look like a not very good person.

But here's the thing. I didn't cheat on my ex-boyfriend. And I broke up with him so that I would be happier, which I told him. Being with Cory makes me happy, and the entire time I've known him and talked with him and now dated him, I've been nothing but happy.

Here's the thing. Being with someone helps you learn about yourself in other ways. I've learned that I absolutely cannot be with someone who doesn't want the same things in life as me. I've learned that I'm a hopeless romantic and don't want to date anyone who isn't. And I've learned that I'm seriously serious about all the relationships that I'm going to take part in now, and I can't be with someone who isn't. I know that I have a lot of personal growing left to do, and I have to learn to be on my own. But at the same time, I am happy. And I am going to continue to be happy in this new relationship as long as I am in it.

I would also like to say that my relationships that are nobodies business, but as a member of the online community, being on the internet and posting photos on the internet means that my relationship is definitely other people's business. When you can comment on and see every detail of a persons life, it becomes hard to keep anything private. So yes, my relationship is the business of every person that sees it on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, or this blog. But while I choose to share a lot of things with the online community, there is a lot I don't share, because the parts of my life that are unhappy, or filled with arguments, or falling apart, are the parts that I'm not going to blatantly post on the internet for outsiders to see and comment on.

So yes, I went from a relationship that seemed amazing online to all of you viewers at home, to a relationship that is amazing on and off Facebook. Yes, I might seem like less of a person, I might seem like an unsavory woman, or whatever you want to say. But I'm happier, and feel better because of it, and I'm going to continue to live my best life for me. You're invited to watch.

Alexis Olmstead is a 20something  that is just trying to figure life out and is learning to drive. Yeah, she isn't kidding, she just learned to drive and she's terrified. She watches too much Parks and Rec and loves every minute of it. For more opinions and rants, check back often. 

P.S. That's her smokin' hot boyfriend. You like him, trust her. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

On The Road Again....

Lately I've been horrible about updating. I also haven't really been inspired to post anything. I've been so busy with Into the Woods, work, and trying to learn to drive, that I haven't even thought about it.

But recently, all my friends graduated from college, and a bunch of them landed sweet new jobs. I'm gonna start by saying congrats, guys. If you're reading this, I love you all so much and I am so proud of everything you have accomplished.

However, seeing all these posts about graduation threw me into a weird young-adult crisis. I should be graduating with those people. I should be walking across a stage in front of a ridiculous amount of people and posing for group pictures with my friends. If I only I hadn't messed around so much in college, if I only I had actually gone back after a year like I promised myself I would, if only I wasn't so scared to go back, if only if only if only.

But here's the thing, I believe that some things in life happen for a reason. And if I'm going to be stuck in Omak I might as well make the best of it. Maybe I'm not meant to work at Home Depot forever (I am definitely not meant for that), but maybe I was meant to work there and meet someone who will help me accomplish everything I've ever wanted to in life.

I have to believe that there is some higher purpose to my life and that I'm going down a road that will lead me to ultimate happiness. I mean, maybe I wasn't meant to be at Whitworth and that's why I didn't stay. But I met people there that will always be a part of my life, no matter where I choose to go back to school. I've stumbled and gotten lost more than once over the past three years, but I feel like I'm starting to figure it out.

I can't give up on my dreams just because I occasionally get discouraged by seeing all my friends accomplishing wonderful things in the world. If anything, seeing them graduating and going off to all corners of the world should inspire me to make a move in my life so I can do the same thing.

Here's to a better future. #nowheretogobutUP

Alexis Olmstead is a 21 year old diva living and working in boring Okanogan County. She spends her days watching too much Parks and Rec (is there such a thing?), crocheting, and staring obsessively at her phone. For more updates as she learns important life lessons, check back sporadically. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Moving Past an Awesome Year

Unless you're in suspended in time in some hilarious Groundhog Day type situation, you're alive and well in 2015. How was your 2014? Did you pet lots of dogs? That's actually important, dogs are important, and you should make it your mission to pet as many as possible.

My 2014 was actually maybe my best year yet. I learned a lot about myself, and feel like I started this new year happier, healthier, and more sure of myself as a person. I know that many of you think that I'm completely sure of myself, but really I question my actions quite often, as one should. It helps in the personal growth department.

I learned that sometimes you have to cut people you care about out of your life because they just aren't healthy for you to be around, whether that is a physical, emotional, or mental thing. It can be hard letting go of people you care about, but in the end, if they aren't supporting you as a person or helping you grow, you don't need their negativity.

I learned that I should not drink tequila (I literally just shuddered thinking about it) because I will drink too much of it and end up sleeping on the bathroom floor. I learned that a whiskey and coke after a long day is much more relaxing than the much too strong vodka and lemonade I drank as a 20 year old and freaked out about because I was certain I was going to get arrested. For the record, I was in my house with one other person who was definitely 21. I'm just paranoid (with good reason. Don't drink underage, kids).

I learned that sometimes you should embrace your inner traveler and do something for yourself, like fly across the country and visit your best friend. Yes, I could have used all that money for school, or something else that others may have viewed as more valuable. But in my opinion, learning about the world, or in this case other parts of America, through firsthand experience is one of the most valuable things a person can do. And I came back from my week long adventure completely sure of what I wanted in life.

I learned that while some goals are a little far-fetched, they aren't unattainable. Remember that 2014 goal list I posted? Well guess what? I didn't finish it. I never actually cross everything off of those lists. But that doesn't mean I don't try! This past year I crossed off of some the more outlandish items off my list, which means in 2015 I can dream and achieve even bigger things!

I went to New York, saw a Broadway show, starred in a musical, perfected my eyeliner game, finally
figured out how to paint my nails and only my nails, volunteered (a lot) and was featured in the paper! I mean, there were cool things that I did this year that didn't make it on my list, like becoming an assistant cheer coach under the coolest and loveliest head coach ever (I love you, Mama!), was in my first readers theatre production, perfected my crochet skills, built a shelf, made a ton of new friends, shot my first engagement session,and flew to DC and back by myself. Seriously, I feel like I did so much, and I have still have so many things to do in my life! Maybe there are things that I'll never get around to, like conquering a back handspring or getting my phone screen fixed, but there is so much I am going to get around to, like traveling more, worrying less, and working on maintaining a less bitchy demeanor in general.

I also got to celebrate major things in other peoples lives, my brother and several friends graduated from college, Doug and Nicole (my housemates) had a baby, who is the sweetest and most precious baby I've known, but I might be biased since I live in the same house as him and babysit him often, my little brother kicked butt in football and basketball, Nicole landed Cinderella in our upcoming spring musical, the Seahawks won the Superbowl, and others simply made it through the year alive and well, which is harder for some than it is for others. I'm proud of my friends and family, and was so glad to sit on the sidelines and be the cheerleader to all these kick-butt awesome moments.

I am literally just so excited for this year. 2014 was sufficiently conquered, and left it with no major regrets, which is why I wore a "mischief managed" shirt on New Year's Eve. This year I'm going to do even more. This year I'm going to stop looking back on all the past things in my life and constantly being nostalgic, and look to the future and all the wonderful adventures it has in store. Will I find love? Will I find adventure? Will I go to places I've never gone before (literally and metaphorically)? I can only hope.

To end this post, I now present my 2015 goal list. I know there is some carry over from last year, but some goals I'm going to keep striving toward until they actually happen. Happy New Year, everyone, thanks for yet another year of reading my blog posts and here's to adventures in our future.

  • Learn to play guitar
  • Finish NaNoWriMo
  • Take at least one class
  • Fix my knees
  • Run 3 miles without stopping
  • Be more involved in theatre
  • Learn to drive
  • Visit a different country
  • Move out of Omak
  • Learn a different language
  • Sing more
  • Make a short film
  • Go back to writing poetry
  • Get new glasses
  • Save $1,000, then save $2,000
  • Stop eating fast food
  • Learn to knit
  • Donate all my old clothing
  • Go to a concert
  • Attend a protest
  • Freelance for a newspaper
  • Get my back walkover back.
  • Get my flexibility back
  • Learn how to do a back handspring
  • Perform 22 Random Acts of Kindness on my birthday
  • Be more open minded
  • Get an autograph
  • Go to Disneyland
  • Buy my own DSLR

Alexis Olmstead is a 21 year old waitress from Okanogan County, Washington. She spends most of her days attempting to think of witty things to post on her blog and failing miserably. She enjoys reading and is currently working on Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. If you have any book recommendations, let her know. When Alexis isn't working, sleeping, or procrastinating the cleaning she is supposed to be doing, she coaches cheerleading and annoys the crap out of her boyfriend by playing Sims and Skyrim instead of interacting with the real world. For more useless updates on her life, rants, reviews and random thoughts about the world, check back often.