Hiiii My name is Gill (that's Jill, only spelled with a "G"). Well Gillian really, but s’all the same! I used to live in New Orleans, but now I live in The-Middle-of-Nowhere, NJ. I graduated in May with my Bachelors in Environmental Science, and I am currently serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer focused on improving watershed health. I'm looking forward to a new adventure once my program ends in July!


Ask me ANYTHING. Really.


Smile Saturday! I survived Friday the 13th, though I wasn’t sure I would. All of the middle school girls in this town love dropping twenties on frozen coffee beverages (why do they have twenties and I do not? !).  Literally,  all of them.  At the same time. 
Today, I hadn’t showered in the days and have some serious stress/ hormone break outs happening on my face (you can’t really see them in the photo,  but they are big,  red,  and uuuugly!), but I somehow still feel kind of pretty. Maybe because I’m feeling happier. I’d say that’s a win.
It’s been over a week since the break up officially happened, and I’m feeling pretty content with my life. Slowly but surely realizing that I am a much happier person without him. I feel lighter! Freer. Free to travel where I want when I want,  to spend time with anyone I want, to do things for me. It’s good. 
PS, to all of you that reached out in support about my heavy post last week,  thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart! Receiving heartfelt support from friends and strangers alike has made my personal struggle feel a lot less like a solo journey. One thing I never expected was to be contacted personally by so many beautiful,  strong women with similar stories of emotional abuse. It is so unfortunate that such topics feel taboo to discuss,  especially since reaching out to others is so important in moving past those kinds of personal struggles. To anyone who might be dealing with abuse of any kind,  please don’t feel you have to keep it to yourself. You’ll be surprised how much people genuinely care and want to help.
Today, I:
-hugged my momma tight for reaching 100 POUNDS LOST and for talking at her weight watchers meeting to a standing ovation (#prouddaughter)
-enjoyed breakfast with a lovely friend
-walked down by the harbor
-perused the farmers market where there were many doggies
-attempted to commit a bit more to an instagram lifestyle (loll)
-played with the pup
-showered
-will work at the nearby caffeinated beverage shop in the evening
Happy Saturday!

Smile Saturday! I survived Friday the 13th, though I wasn’t sure I would. All of the middle school girls in this town love dropping twenties on frozen coffee beverages (why do they have twenties and I do not? !).  Literally,  all of them.  At the same time.

Today, I hadn’t showered in the days and have some serious stress/ hormone break outs happening on my face (you can’t really see them in the photo,  but they are big,  red,  and uuuugly!), but I somehow still feel kind of pretty. Maybe because I’m feeling happier. I’d say that’s a win.

It’s been over a week since the break up officially happened, and I’m feeling pretty content with my life. Slowly but surely realizing that I am a much happier person without him. I feel lighter! Freer. Free to travel where I want when I want,  to spend time with anyone I want, to do things for me. It’s good.

PS, to all of you that reached out in support about my heavy post last week,  thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart! Receiving heartfelt support from friends and strangers alike has made my personal struggle feel a lot less like a solo journey. One thing I never expected was to be contacted personally by so many beautiful,  strong women with similar stories of emotional abuse. It is so unfortunate that such topics feel taboo to discuss,  especially since reaching out to others is so important in moving past those kinds of personal struggles. To anyone who might be dealing with abuse of any kind,  please don’t feel you have to keep it to yourself. You’ll be surprised how much people genuinely care and want to help.

Today, I:
-hugged my momma tight for reaching 100 POUNDS LOST and for talking at her weight watchers meeting to a standing ovation (#prouddaughter)
-enjoyed breakfast with a lovely friend
-walked down by the harbor
-perused the farmers market where there were many doggies
-attempted to commit a bit more to an instagram lifestyle (loll)
-played with the pup
-showered
-will work at the nearby caffeinated beverage shop in the evening

Happy Saturday!

I think the radio show went well!

For me at least. (Mom: You sounded great…. so much better than Jessica) (MOM!!! Shhhhhh.)(It’s fine. She has to say that, she’s my mom.)

Thank you to my dedicated listeners, Tridad, Brenna, MOM, Stepdad, supervisor, boyfriend, and other watershed ambassador friend!

I was super nervous beforehand, but I was put to ease as we met our interviewer, John, and I felt confident in what I was supposed to be discussing.

We had 4 calls, and all were people one or both of us knew! 1) Member of the Cohansey Area Watershed Association, 2) Fellow Watershed Ambassador, 3) Wife of President of Cohansey Area Watershed Association, and 4) My boyfriend, another watershed ambassador.

Anyway, that was fun! I like talking about watershed stewardship and protection.

As I was walking to my car, a man walked up to me and asked if I was just on the Richard Hoch Show— I guess he saw me on T.V. He shook my hand twice and told me it was cool how passionate I was. How weird!

Knoxville! I am in you!

Best friends hugs, best friend miles!

We didn’t go super far and we walked like half because of the hills and blazing afternoon sun, but it was plenty  fun and plenty sweaty. I think her pace is naturally a bit faster than mine, so it was cool feeling like I was being pushed a bit outside of my comfort zone- especially on top of the hills that still kick my ass.

We went through the UT campus- so pretty!

Raise your hand if you also get University lust? If I see a beautiful campus, my brain usually tells me- “STUDY HERE. You need to lie in the grass among these pretty buildings and rolling hills and exercise that brain.” Romanticized academia, I guess.

Anyway, I already showered this morning, so I refuse to do it again. Deal with my stank, TN!

Old friends, book ends.

I just got off the phone with one of my favorite people. She and I haven’t spoken for about a year and a half! Not for any sort of bad reasons- we just live far apart and have very busy lives!

She’s one of those friends with whom you can talk effortlessly, even after months and months of non-communication. We simply picked up where we left off the last time we saw one another, and everything about it came naturally. I love that.

I often find myself sad that there aren’t more people in my life with whom I share close bonds. Sometimes, I feel lonely because of it. I worry that people just aren’t interested in knowing me beyond superficial interactions because there must be something my personality is lacking. Maybe I’m boring, not open enough, too open, too talkative, not talkative enough, awkward, weird, etc. Why is it so easy for other people to make so many friends? Why aren’t people interested in getting to know me? (DON’T WORRY, THIS IS NOT A SAD GIRL POST. Just a little honesty about some insecurities!)

But it’s conversations like the one I had tonight that remind me that, while I may only really have a few friends, the ones I have are good. SO good. The best. And although very few of them live close enough for me to see them regularly, I am so lucky to have them in my life. I’m amazed that such cool people value my friendship and want to spend time with me, but I remind myself that I am worthy of their friendship, and they are worthy of mine.

My friend told me how she turns to a conversation that we had FOUR YEARS AGO and uses what I said as guidance in her life frequently. It’s funny to me that something I said could be so meaningful to someone else, but it makes me feel really good. Especially because this is a person that I love and respect so much.

I may not have people lining up to hang out with me, but I do have a handful of people who love me well, and that is MORE than good enough.

Anyway, it was just a simple conversation, but I’ll be smiling about it for a long time, I promise. I think it’s really important to tell people what they mean to you. I really like to verbalize my feelings to the people I love (because if you’ve got something nice to say that will make someone else feel great, then why keep it to yourself?!), so it was nice having someone do that for me!

This is my encouragement for you to let someone close to you know how much / in what ways you appreciate them!

I feel like I don’t have to post anything when Brenna is here.

She just posts allthethings, ya know? Kid lives for the internet; it might be unhealthy. BUT when she posts allthethings, there’s no need for me to be redundant.

In any case, the past few days have been weird in that 90% of my friends are no longer around. I wanted to stay in New Orleans longer because a) I love New Orleans, and b) I wanted to spend time with the people I love. The people I love have left me, though, so so much for that!

I did have dinner (and yes, ICE CREAM too) with one friend yesterday. And I’m having lunch with another today. I have these sort of engagements here and there, but most of the time Brenna and I sit around being sweaty. Or going through my stuff. Or playing Bop-it. [[I AM THE GRAND MASTER OF BOP-IT]]. There is an ozone warning out today that warns not to overexert yourself outside. Cool.

We’ll probably keep going through my stuff and putting things aside to donate. Gotta start paring down my life. I know she’s happy that she gets my hand-me-ups! Today, we’ll drop off 4 bags of clothing and shoes. I sort of had a little panic moment realizing that I was getting rid of most of my wardrobe— most of the things I wear are too big on me, but I wear them because that’s what I have. BUT I just got rid of them because they don’t fit me, and now I feel like I have no clothing.  SO we’ll hopefully stop at Old Navy to get things that actually fit me/ aren’t ratty.

And now, I’m going to photo spam you a bit! Because my friends are the best.

Hi friends,

Sorry I’ve been absent. It’s been quite the weekend. Graduated, hung out with family, said lots of goodbyes.

It’s been truly bittersweet. I had such a good time the days leading up to graduation, probably because I pretended that the post-graduation partings and goodbyes didn’t exist. I’m not ready to say all these goodbyes, but I guess I have no choice. My best friend just left this morning, and I tried not to cry [too much… I couldn’t stop ALL the tears, though]. [[SHOOT, now I’m crying again!]]

I said goodbye to some other friends last night, and to my freshman/sophomore year roommate too. There have been a lot of people that skidaddled before I had a chance to hug their guts out though (ahem, Trish!), and that makes me sad. It’s weird not knowing when I’ll see these people again. I don’t like that one bit.

It’s just now really setting in that it’s over. Everyone is scattering around the country, and the uncertainty of future hang-outs is making me weepy.

Anyway, I really just wanted to say thanks for all the congratulations and such! You’re all grand!

I need to get out of this house before I turn into a ball of sad! See y’all later!

I like how “We’re going to a concert” so easily turns into “Let’s just bum around and watch Sherlock on Netflix.”

Not even sarcasm. I love that my friends are just as lame as I am, and I am going to miss them like hell.

Today has been a good one.

This morning, my friends and I were finally able to redeem the Groupon we bought months ago! NOLA Paddleboarding! We went to Bayou St. John, and Jeff (the business owner I guess?) was there waiting for us, ready to instruct us. He taught us the basics, and then we were off to spend 2 hours paddling around the bayou. It was so much fun!

It was a little weird balancing at first, but we all got used to it. We had such a nice time because we were trying something new, the weather was perfect, and we got to explore the bayou and look at all the beautiful houses along the way.

Jeff had a water proof camera, and took this photo of L, me, A, and Roomie!

We actually didn’t stay out the full two hours because we all got dehydrated, but we were out there for like and hour and 45 minutes, so I was happy. I wonder if my back/shoulders will be sore tomorrow.

After we left, we went to Parkway Bakery to get Poboys! So much food, nomnomnom.

Good good day. Now I have to take a shower because I smell. I’m going to have a goodbye dinner with the little girl I have been babysitting for the past 2 years and her mom. It’ll be nice, but maybe a little sad. I guess I have to accept that I have to start saying a lot of goodbyes now.

Boot Camp Day IV

It was super hard to get out of bed this morning! I fell asleep really late because my mind was racing over the recent events, but I knew that heading to boot camp would be a good start to my day.

It was, too! Pushed my body as hard as I could, and I felt proud. I can feel that I’m getting better. Dem planks? Got ‘em! Dem sit ups? Better today! Lots of “dead lifts”- aka squats with a 15 pound kettlebell thingy. And overhead presses with the weight too. Next time, I’ll try for higher weight, but there were slim pickings. The men in the room pretty much got all the 20 pounders, and then there was one 45 pound bar- the men alternated with that too. I mean, it’s not a weight-lifting class, but I wish there were more choices! Still, 15 was good today.

Came home ravenous, and made myself some toast with almond butter, honey, and half a frozen banana.

I also found a note waiting for me from my roommate— today is her birthday, so L and I made her a birthday cake and left her some notes with it. She has a lot of work for finals/ her thesis due today and tomorrow, so we knew she’d be closing down the library, and we thought it’d make her happy to have something nice waiting for her to make her feel celebrated despite all the school work.

The note she left was so sweet- apparently she came home an hour later than she expected because she was doing work, and was planning to stay up until 4 am. Upon seeing the cake and notes, she cried because she was touched. So glad to know that she feels the love!

These are things that make me happy today.

As far as those other sad things, thanks everyone for the kind thoughts and empathy! I’m going to be as proactive as possible in making sure that I can get back to my kids. I’m going to write a letter to the people at Tulane, I’m going to call the teacher I work with to explain what’s going on, I’m going to make gifts for my kids (because I do this every year to say thank you anyway), and if all else fails and I can’t see them as a Tulane student… I am graduating in 15 days, and they will not stop me from going back as a graduate.