In Limbo

It’s difficult not to feel in limbo after graduation, whether it’s high school graduation or college graduation. As of now, I am still in the application stage of life, where I’m trying to figure out where to apply, setting up interviews, emailing people, waiting for them to email or call me back, and the list goes on. It’s difficult not to feel frustrated and dispirited about this stage, but it’s also pretty exciting at the same time. The main thing that I am most grateful for is the ability to spend time with my family that I’m not normally able to. And as far as jobs go, there are so many out there for the choosing. The fact that there are so many options out there for the choosing is also a downside. At times, I just wish that someone would present me with one and only job opportunity, I’d take it, and the rest of the year would simply fall into place. Oh, the joys of definite plans. But, many things have come up recently in life that have shifted my tentative plans career-wise and also where-do-I-live-wise.

So all around, I’m just one confused person who is taking it one day at a time. Thanks for stopping by.

Reagan Fleming

Harmonies and Melodies

“[This] is the music in [my Spotify account].” — Troy and Gabriella, circa HSM2.

I’m going to be really honest right now. This month, King Princess has consisted of 95% of my listening time on Spotify. But, I managed to only include only one of her songs on this playlist that I’m about to share with you. In addition to KP, I included songs from some of my favorite artists right now—Subtle Pride, Chad Valley, The Japanese House, Troye Sivan, Frou Frou, girl in red, Furns, and a lot more. Oh, and I threw in a little Fleetwood Mac in there too. Don’t worry, it’s pretty much a “great song for any type of scenario” song.

Now, much like a link to a Spotify playlist for Alice from Alice in Wonderland to click…

Reagan Fleming

I Am a Mother of Eleven (Plants)

October 1st

It goes all the way back to my childhood years when I would walk outside our sliding glass doors that lead to the deck, and I’d hop in the swimming pool—making sure an was adult present, of course—and do handstands underwater. Our home sits near a creek, so much to our dismay, some small creatures have been known to find their way into said swimming pool… thankfully, I’d find them either before or after swimming. (I assume it’s not pleasant to find these creatures while you can’t breathe and have to paddle away from them, but that’s just my guess.) I have always loved animals, and I wanted to be a vet as a kid, so I tried to save these little creatures at all costs. In my youth, I’ve found a scared newborn bunny, a chipmunk that took one step too many in the direction of the pool, a few salamanders, and a few dumb frogs that just thought they found an extravagant lake. I’d scoop up these creatures from our pool and try to revive them by either drying them off, feeding them, or simply providing them with a plastic container as their makeshift shelter. However, I was not very good at saving these creatures; the salamanders always ran away and so did the frogs, and that little bunny eventually stopped breathing, even after I fed it via a dropper. My claim to fame is that I saved that drowning chipmunk… but he bit me as a Thank You for saving him from his little adventure in the pool, so I flicked him from my hand, and I think he landed in the bushes—I did not see that little guy after that.

I was also the same way with my plants. Surprise me with a succulent? I’ll somehow dry it out. Find a cute cactus? You know, the plants that claim to be virtually impossible to kill? I have killed two thus far. But for some reason, living in a house my last semester of college has turned my life around, because I now officially have not one, but eight plants alive and well!

November 21st

I have lost a dear plant but gained four more! Long story short, I put one of my ferns outside for a few hours because the house needed to get sprayed, and I didn’t want my plant babies to choke on any hazardous fumes. Well, they didn’t choke, but they sure did suffer from a little something I like to call: direct sunlight. (My bad.)

Here is a list of my plants that are still alive and well:

  • Zebra grass spider plant — He was really suffering for a few days, so I took apart each sprig and its roots, and then put them all in a pot of filtered water. They all transformed into perky, bright green spider plants overnight!

  • A propagated zebra grass spider plant — Let’s just say that there once were three, and now there’s one. But, that one is thriving like no other. Apparently he just didn’t want to share the mug that I planted him in with two of his friends.

  • Two Hawaiian spider plants (one small and one large) — I transported these guys all the way from back home, and they are loving life.

  • Two propagated Hawaiian spider plants — They are loving life in small vases of water.

  • Snake plant, AKA the mother-in-law’s tongue plant — If I were an interior designer, I would say that this plant makes a statement… mostly because it requires a very large pot, so it takes up more room than my other ones.

  • Round cactus — Wow. This little guy has been with me since my junior year of college. If you remember seeing my picture of those three cacti on the shelf in my dorm room, he was the one in the terra cotta pot that actually lived. “The little cactus that lived…”

  • Crispy wave fern — I have this air-purifying number in a mini terra cotta pot on the side table by my bed.

  • A basket of laceleaf (Anthurium) with another mystery plant — My mom sent me this one on my birthday (a wonderful surprise) and these guys are still alive and kicking and looking beautiful while doing so.

  • Devil’s ivy - I just got this one a few days ago, and it’s now hanging from a wall mount. I read that they can grow up to 40 ft long or so outdoors and 6-8 ft indoors? Wow, what a dream come true.

  • Round cactus — Wow. This little guy has been with me since my junior year of college. If you remember seeing my picture of those three cacti on the shelf in my dorm room, he was the one in the terra cotta pot that actually lived. “The little cactus that lived…”

Since I am unable to have a dog at this time, my plants are like stand-in dogs. Even though they’re not furry or greet me when I get home, they make me happy. (And some of them help purify the air that I breathe, so that’s a plus.)

Reagan Fleming

Short Term 12

A good story, whether it be in a movie, song, book, or show, can have the power to make people feel something.

I recently watched a film called Short Term 12, which follows the life of a head counselor (played by Brie Larson) of a treatment facility for adolescents (one of which is Lakeith Stanfield from Get Out). The movie delves into how Larson's character and the rest of the counselors interact with each other and those that live there. Both groups deal with numerous ups and downs throughout the movie, which slowly reveal to the viewer (and the characters themselves) that common ground can be found between any two people. It was filmed in such a way that I, as a viewer, felt that I was merely a fly on the wall while they lived their lives. Time didn't speed up in certain scenes and slow down in others like movies often do; the movie just was. 

When I decided to watch this movie, it was only after I had spent 20 minutes or so scrolling through Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, looking at their options, and then another 10 minutes or so of watching trailers of said movies until I got to Short Term 12. The music is what got me at first; just by listening to the music in the trailer (and obviously watching the actual trailer itself), I knew that this would probably be a heart-wrenching movie—I was right. I enjoy emotional and/or inspirational movies because there aren’t that many out there. It’s pretty special when you stumble upon a really good one.

The way the movie was filmed, the beautiful soundtrack that I am listening to while writing this, and the impressive acting from both the adults and young adults allowed me to connect with the characters in the film. I was stunned at how each and every one of the actors was able to develop his or her own character and wrap me into the story so deeply and quickly. It seemed as if each little piece of the story was carefully planned out and nothing was in there without a purpose.

Short Term 12 won a few independent film awards as well as one at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival in the year 2013. Honestly, at first glance, the awards are what got me interested in watching this movie; I tend to trust movies that have those antler-like leaves on the movie poster that surround the words like “Sundance” or "winner of" or "finalist". Yes, yes, this makes me sound like a typical movie-fiend-faker, I understand. But, I know from past experience that these movies (at least the ones I've seen thus far) tend to be thought-provoking and leave me feeling something that I can't quite put into words, even after the credits start rolling. I love the feeling after I've seen a good movie, when the screen is completely black and the credits roll and all I can do is sit there, trying to make sense of what I just watched. But even while my thoughts jumble around, thinking up alternate endings and piecing together any loose ends or cliffhangers, I feel a sense of peace for some reason. I don't know why, but this happens when I hit the jackpot in movie-watching. 

In the above picture, Jayden (one of the at-risk teens at the facility) had just shared an original children’s story with Grace (Larson’s character). Grace later informs her supervisor about this story along with their conversation that proceeded it by asserting, “…last night, that girl sat next to me and she cried and she tried to tell me the only way that she knew how.” The thoughts and emotions rumbling around in Grace’s head as she listened to Jayden tell her the story was palpable. I would include a clip of this scene, but I think it would be more impactful to watch the movie from start to finish.

I had to include the clip that the above picture is referencing, because it’s too good of a clip not to. Lakeith Stanfield’s performance as Marcus is so good that it leaves not only Mason speechless (the counselor in the room), but the audience as well. Until this moment, Marcus appeared to simply be a quiet, yet troubled kid. In this scene, when Marcus shares an original rap with Mason, the said counselor, both Mason and the audience are finally able to peer a little bit more into Marcus’ head and better understand the reasons behind why he’s at the group home in the first place.

A lot of the movies nowadays, whether it be in the theater or on a streaming service, are not as substantive as they could be. Don't get me wrong, I love Hot Rod as much as the next person, but it's important to have more movies, books, and TV shows available that can help readers and viewers discover things they didn't know about themselves and/or those around them. I think that it would be fun to write movie scripts, because movies are another medium, like books, that can help people feel understood and simply feel something.

Here's a link to the trailer so you can decide if this film seems like your cup of tea. (If you decide to watch it, let me know what you think about it in the comments below.)

Reagan Fleming

I Have a Suggestion

Coming to you live from inside a Starbucks, where it feels like 40 degrees despite my comfy cardigan (well, my doubleshot on ice doesn't help matters). Nevertheless, I wanted to share what I'm up to these days.

Currently watching: 
I haven't been seeing as many movies as I'd like, even though I have a MoviePass. But, the ones I have seen are pretty great.

  • Last night, I started watching (for the second time) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1, which is also one of the books that I'm currently reading. I've seen all the movies, but this is my first time going through the books, so I thought I'd refresh my memory with the movie. (I'm sorry, Rowling, but I'm a little late to the HP game.) It was pretty humbling to watch up to the part where I read, which was about 3o minutes in, aka approximately 150 pages. 
  • Yesterday afternoon, my mom and I saw RBG, which is about Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Wow - let me just say that this movie is very empowering, and: what a woman!

Currently reading: 
Like I said, I'm currently reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but I'm also reading 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, all at the same time. Usually when I read multiple books at once, I don't make much headway in any of them; but for some reason, I'm killing it with all three. 

  • I'm reading HP because it's summer and I wanted a fun book to read by the pool. And, everyone knows that Rowling's an amazing writer. 
  • I'm using 13 Reasons Why as a primary source in my senior paper that I'll be writing next semester, so I obviously need to read it first. Essentially, I'm writing about the evolution of young adult literary works, and I'm arguing that YA books have gotten much, much darker in recent years. However, I'm also going to argue that the YA genre has always contained dark themes (i.e. The Outsiders, which was written in '67), but the genre has definitely gotten darker over the years. 
  • I'm also reading Brown's book, because I told myself that I wanted to read more non-fiction this summer. Brown is a research professor and a social worker who has dedicated her research to examine shame and the power of vulnerability. I would highly recommend this book.

Currently listening to:
I have posted many 'a time about my love for Troye Sivan's music. So, I will yet again say that I have been listening to his Blue Neighborhood album as well as his new tracks, "Bloom" and "My My My!" Please oh please go on tour, Troye.

I'm also enjoying some random tracks I've found on Spotify, like:

  • "Hunger" by Florence + The Machine
  • "Cool" by Soccer Mommy (interesting name)
  • "Only One" by Carlie Hanson (are you indeed related to the ever-so talented Hanson brothers?)
  • Dua Lipa

I hope that these serve as helpful suggestions of how to occupy your summer days. 

Reagan Fleming

Let Summer Begin

It was 2 am when I first decided to write a new blog post, just after I finished turning in all of my assignments and papers for my last ever spring semester of college! (Dancing lady emoji). To celebrate, as we all would have guessed, I am now sitting outside of a Starbucks, sipping a vanilla blonde latte, enjoying the weirdly muggy/breezy Tulsa weather. A lot of my friends will be graduating tomorrow, and it hasn't really hit me yet; I met most of these friends during my sophomore year, two years ago, but it just seems like we've been friends forever. And soon, this December, I too will be done with college! (Another dancing lady emoji). So crazy.

This summer, I will be taking two classes at a local community college back home and working at a bookstore until it's time to come back for the fall semester. What do I plan on reading over the summer? Well, funny you should ask! I really want to read books that I'm not used to reading (i.e., nonfiction). I mean, obviously I will be reading some fiction books, but I wanted to broaden my horizons this summer. 

Fiction reads:  

  • The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth. I mean, I have to find out what happens to Cyra and Akos. Although, I'll probably have to refresh my memory on all the Carve the Mark lingo. 
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling. I read the first six books last summer (and don't worry, I've seen the movies, so there are no such things as HP spoilers for me).
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. This is one of my required readings for a class in the fall, and I wanted to get a jumpstart on the readings. 
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. This is another required reading for the same course I'm referring to above. I'm especially excited to read this one, because (this may sound like a weird reason to be excited to read a book) the last line in the novel is so beautiful
  • 1984 by Geoge Orwell. Classic. And it's a classic.
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I read about half of this book pretty quickly for a book club, but I want to read it again and take my time the second time around.
  • Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. I know, I know, how have I not already read this? 

Nonfiction reads: 

  • The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan. This book looks incredible, and Marina sounds like she was an amazing person. This book is a compilation of essays and stories written by the Yale graduate that was published after she died. 
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. I know, I'm late to the game. 
  • Rising Strong by Brené Brown. I've already started this one and am only in the introduction (it's a long introduction, mind you), but I already know that it'll be a good read. 
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Again, I've already started this one, and it's kind of a tough read so far. But, I've really enjoyed her podcast and think her writing style is beautiful. 
  • On Writing by Stephen King. I have maybe 50 pages left of this book and it's SO GOOD.
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Well, I'm an introvert, so I'm interested in knowing more about my personality type. 
  • My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem. I recently watched a documentary that featured an interviewed with the author and activist, and I think this would be a very interesting read. 


As you can see, I have my work cut out for me this summer. I'll keep you all updated on which ones I actually read and what I think about them. Have a happy summer!

Reagan Fleming