Category Archives: Tales

Iceland: the land of many layers.

Have you ever made a really quick, possibly financially foolish decision in under a minute? When that happens you immediately try to come up with any and every excuse to justify your choice. I made the decision to go to Iceland on an absolute whim. I didn’t know anyone that was going, the trip was scheduled the week before my spring break, I couldn’t convince my friends to go, and the trip was smack in the middle of an over-packed semester.


So here it was, a great opportunity to go to Iceland (with AIGA members) in the name of design while also partaking in other incredible and unique Icelandic experiences and all arrows pointed in the direction don’t go.

In under a minute I decided that for all of those reasons, I should go. This was a huge networking opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up, especially with graduation around the corner.

The adventure began with an overnight flight to Iceland. Once there, the entire group partook in tired introductions and we were shuffled off to breakfast. The restaurant wasn’t typically open at that hour, but a favor was called in for our group. This happened several times throughout the trip. The perk of a really small country is that just about anything you need is a phone call away.

At breakfast, we were briefed on what the week would look like, how the design conference would fit into the schedule and how often we’d squeeze in a soak in the geo-thermal pools.


It was a whirlwind of a week. Each day we woke up early, donned many layers (Iceland’s weather changes every 5 minutes), equipped ourselves with lots of camera gear, and were on our way. We soaked in three geo-thermal pools, Blue Lagoon, the (not-so) secret Lagoon, and a city pool. We visited sustainable farms and greenhouses in which we had the most delicious food, drinks, and treats. We hunted the Northern Lights and found them. We walked on black sand beaches, weaved in and out of old-style homes, ATV’d through lava fields, bar/design crawled through Reykjavik, gushed over design, and learned about each other. We had lots of laughs and lots of incredible food. Every turn we took, Iceland became more beautiful. The people of Iceland are welcoming and kind. It was an absolute pleasure to learn about their life and their perspective of the world and design.

This trip was beyond needed. Getting out of New York and meeting new people that have been practicing design for years in a multitude of settings was reaffirming. Graduate school is challenging and it makes you question all you know about yourself and what you’re doing. It makes you unsure of your future and who you’ll be. But this experience wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for my choice to pursue this field. I’m glad I went, even though it might seem like a foolish choice to most. I met incredible people and saw the most beautiful things with them. This trip gave me perspective on a lot of things in regards to design, and I’ll be forever grateful.



I don’t know about you, but I don’t know if I like being 22

It’s this incredibly vague area where everyone agrees it’s time to grow up and its acceptable to make mistakes…so long as they aren’t deemed overly immature or irresponsible because you’re 22 now so you’re supposed to be getting your head on straight.

Or something like that?

As T-Swift (or T-Swizzle, as I like it) has proclaimed “we’re happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical”…oh no. Miserable, I’ll agree…magical, not so much.  I can’t even pinpoint how I feel at this stage of my life because I’m so damn overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions and plans.

You know how you catch yourself pondering life on almost every vacation you go to?  I’m not sure why this phenomenon takes place, but I feel (at least for me) that it happens every time I stay in a place for a few days that isn’t my home.  So, try to imagine what the hell I’m going through at this point in my life.  I’m 22 with no idea who I’m supposed to be and I just moved to a place far away and I’m not busy anymore.  I’m constantly comparing everything I’m experiencing here to everything I’ve experienced in my short 22 years of life.  I’m also trying to soak in much more than the sun down here, but its overwhelming as all hell.

I guess I’m whining because I really have no idea what’s going on and I can’t determine if that’s okay or not.  I’m trying to gauge if my peers are in a stable part in their life, but I can’t tell if they’re bs-ing the interweb or just avoiding the truth of life as well.  Wah, being this whiny is for the birds. I just want to have life figured out because I LOATHE this learning curve bullshit.

Until next time ;]
Miss Enlund

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Four guys and two little ladies

So more on my current living situation

I’m 22, just graduated from college and I live with one of my best friends and four other guys. The thing is, three of those guys are over the age of 65 and are committed to religious life.

Now one might ask, “Why in God’s name are you living with 3 OLD MEN?!”

I am one of the proudest alumnus of Iona College (Class of 2013), which is a small private institution that was founded by the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers.  For a long time Iona was run by the Brothers and almost every one of them have studied at Iona.  A few still teach and many of the Brothers still live in community around the campus.  This is how I was introduced to this congregation.

I wanted to do a year of service (specifically in New Orleans) after I went on a Mission Trip through my school in 2012. The city is unlike any city I’ve been to and the people are so…there just isn’t a word to describe the wonderful people of Naw’lins. While on the trip, we visited the house that I am now living in.  We learned that the three Brothers open their home and life of community to three volunteers each year. I knew that evening we’d met them that I would be a volunteer in that house one day.

So now, here I am.  The other boy I live with is also an Iona grad.  In fact, he was my Mission Trip leader and he moved down here last year to volunteer.  He loved it so much so that he stayed for round two.  Most of what I’ll be talking about from now on will be anecdotes of life with three Christian Brothers, the service that I’m taking part in, trials and tribulations of living on the Big Easy, and (of course) mentions of Justin Timberlake.

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Two months after graduation and I’m sitting on my bed room floor (crawling the interweb) and pondering life.  I’m trying to make necessary steps for my future but right now its in the hands of someone else.

Insert twitching convulsion here.

This is by far the worst part of anything.  I have most definitely learned that I prefer to have the control in situations.  One may choose the phrase “control freak” to define my anxiety in times like this.  Well one, I guess you’re right.  “What in the hell is wrong with being a control freak?!” is my retort to you!

I’m the type A personality in that respect.  I prefer to do things on my own because I know they’ll get done right.  If they get done wrong, well then no one has disappointed me but myself.  I enjoy taking risks but not gambling? I’m impulsive with some things and I take my sweet time with others. Gah, will the rest of my 20s be this?! This constant reflecting/soul searching bundle of confusion?

I’ve come to terms with this whole control freak thing.  This has been validated through those moments of trying new things and realizing that they just aren’t my cup of tea.  You know what pisses me off more than not having control? Being told I need to lighten up.  Word of advice?

Don’t tell a control freak to lighten/loosen up or to relax.  We’re pretty aware of the fact that we need to relax, we know how to relax, and we have it scheduled in our planers just how, when, where, and why we intend on relaxing.  We don’t need your command or your suggestion of what is relaxing. See yourself out, thank you.

Now if only everyone else around me will accept this fact and let me be my controlling self.  I feel that people should treat this trait of mine as if it were a religion. I accept this as a way of life. If I’m not imposing it on your life, kindly let me live the way I choose to.

Forgive the rant. I just hate that decisions are currently up in the air, waiting for someone else to return for their vacation and act on them. Instead, I sit here silently freaking out, distracting my mind with crafts, my cats, and the pool that awaits me.

Le sigh. Someone just hire me.

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Forgive the absence

It’s been over 90 days since my last post, my sincerest apologies!! In those 90 days my yearbook made its debut, several school-hosted events were planned and executed, unforgettable night-outs took place, last minute bonding sessions with any and everyone, nailed a summer job, a real job offering surfaced, I graduated college, moved back home, re-fell for the guy from high school and re-moved on in a matter of 24 hours, and I got a tattoo!

Needless to say these last 90 days have been the strangest most intense mix of emotions.  EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT has run rampant through my mind.  Some assumed questions: “What would have happened if…”, “I wonder what so and so is doing now…”, “Do you think we’ll stay in touch?”  Some unexpected questions: “Will the bus leave without us?! If so, HOW ARE WE GETTING THERE?”, “Who shall I bring with me if I win the JTs Biggest Fan Contest

Oh..side note.  I entered myself into a contest to determine if I am Justin Timberlake’s Biggest Fan via z100. It’s a two week contest in which I have to get people to vote for me each day.  So reader, whomever you are, please vote for me! Visit this link to vote .  If you’re really spectacular, you’ll vote for me every day.  Now, I recognize that 140 characters just isn’t enough to determine if I’m the biggest fan or not so feel free to check out my other blog or following my hashtag #ErikaisTHETNKid    The winner gets flown out to London and gets tickets to the Legends of the Summer Tour at Yankee Stadium.


Decked out for Graduation!

Graduating college was the strangest and coolest day of my life.  The event was BEAUTIFUL and the celebration dinner at JTs restaurant was great.  The emotions, though, were indescribable.  I was stressed out because I had no control over the event (control freak alert), I was excited because I was about be a COLLEGE GRADUATE, I was crapping my pants because I was about to be a COLLEGE GRADUATE, I was sad…so sad… because I felt like I was breaking up with every relationship I had established from friend to foe, and I was so nervous that I would trip on stage…at Radio City Music Hall.  I was overwhelmed with pride.  I was so proud of my friends for all that they’ve accomplished in the last four years, so proud of my residents and their growth, and really proud of myself.  It’s really crazy for me to take that step back and realize that I’m the only person in my nuclear family that went to college.

Either way, I apologize for the absence.  I haven’t had a serious moment to sit down and commit myself to writing in the way that I’ve wanted, but I have been brainstorming ideas.  I’ll probably do a case study on myself (lame I know) and my social media campaign to get votes for the JT contest.  Although it’s in- house, the best person to promote is yourself because you know yourself the best.  From a social media standpoint, I think I’m doing a relatively good job.  I wish I could just get my hands on the metrics that z100 has.

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80 some odd days ’til it all begins

There really is always sunshine after the rain.

Uber cliché, I’m aware.  I was having a really off week for no apparent reason.  In between all of the things that weren’t working out, there were little flecks of amazingness.  Since the storm has passed, I’m able to absorb the wonderful things that have occurred and be grateful for them.

I reached out to the Digital Media Director of my school to pick her brain.  She’s young, good at what she does, and seems to be enjoying herself. Now, when I say young, I mean she graduated college when I graduated high school.  She’s only a few steps ahead of me, so I just HAD to harass her with questions of how she got to where she is. We met for coffee (we’re both addicts apparently) and had such a great conversation.

To put my life into perspective: I’m graduating college in 80 some odd days and I’m a wee bit overwhelmed by all of the possibilities in front of me.  In this regard, I’m no different from thousands of people approaching this milestone.

But I am different.

I have a lot of different types of skills and interests.  I’m also pretty passionate about communications.  I believe in the power of words, tone, messaging, branding, designing, social media, REAL LIFE social networking etc. I’m in awe of it, really.  People blow my mind every day.  There are too many stories to hear and to tell.  I’m just excited about life and often times, I feel like I’m one of the few who realize just how exciting this really is.

The coffee date was great.  She gave me a ton of advice and some serious affirmation.  I guess I needed the confidence boost from someone who knows me but doesn’t deeply know me.  It’s just different when you hear kind words and praise from people outside of your family (hi mom….and grandma). She also said two things that make SO MUCH SENSE.

1)      This is just not the work environment that your parents worked in.  I’ll be lucky if I’m with a company (that isn’t my own) for more than a decade.  Our generation just doesn’t DO that.  It’s normal and almost forced to have several jobs.

2)      The internet is more miraculous than you realize.  You can do…or connect…with just about anyone.  It’s also a place where you can formulate ideas and sell them.  SELL THEM!  There are so many things I can do that I can sell from my adorable, outdated HP while I find 18 other means of income (at once).

And then, life tapped me on the shoulder at my favorite place around my campus.  I was having lunch with my roommate when we over heard a woman talking to a man about how she “couldn’t believe they graduated from my school seven years ago…”

At that moment, I realized I was looking at my future self.  I shamelessly looked at her, interrupted her conversation and admitted that I was graduating in 80 some odd days and I was freaking out.  I couldn’t imagine what life would be like a year from now, let alone seven.

She told me beautiful things such as: take a break from education, finding what you don’t like is important too, and you can do anything with a little drive.  She proceeded to tell me all that she had been involved in.  Home girl dabbled in a bit of everything, kind of like myself.  She explained that she got bit by the travel bug and never wanted to give it up.  I didn’t get her life story, but I got enough to be completely inspired by who she is.  She was just so damn relateable and driven.  She has since turned her love for traveling and her skills in broadcasting and created her own, online social network of travelers.

Speaking with these two women really inspired me and calmed my anxiety.  I really think I’m going to take the uncharacteristic step after graduation and follow my heart.  This is about to be the best 80 some odd days and I can’t wait.

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