Currently…

happy

Loving… the simple things. An extra tasty sandwich. A positive email from an actual person. Fun things in the mail. Drawing. Hugs.

Hating… That I my last post was last week’s Currently list. I need to write more, but it’s so hard lately considering not much goes on. I always tell myself I’m going to turn into one of those people who does the “just write something, anything, every day.”

Playing… Gone Home. Well, I was playing Gone Home. It sounded like it had a good story and was on sale on Steam and, when I asked Luke about it, he said it’d be fine to get. Reviews even said it was non-violent and not scary. 40 minutes in, I have to close out of the game because I got freaked out. When Luke found out I got scared, he was like, “oh, THAT game? Yeah, that’s like, totally a horror game.” Way to look out for me. Whomp whomp. Fortunately, Steam has a family sharing option so he’ll get to play it, at least.

Hoping… for lots of things. Time out of the house, a new job I actually enjoy, to actually get everything I feel like I need to get done done, to make actual friends with some of my fellow blog ladies, etc…

Anticipating… a family picnic our family has planned this Saturday. I’m excited to get out of the house and be around people! Yay!

Yeah, there’s not much going on right now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to actually do more with my blog when I get things going on.

10 Things College Has Taught Me (Wednesday Things)

(Today’s Wednesday Things post comes to you in the form of actual blog content! Yay!)

Yesterday, I turned in my final exams for my entire undergrad education and then my Momma and I booked it on the road to Pennsylvania, where I get to hang with a best friend (and go shopping with her, naturally), see some family, and actually meet the lovely lady I’ve been writing for online in person! So far it’s been a wonderful getaway right before the wedding, and when I get home for this weekend, I walk in my graduation commencement ceremony on Saturday!

Appropriately, here is a list of things I’ve learned throughout college:

  1. I have learned just about every in and out there is to know about doing research, and I am really darn good at it, too.
  2. It’s not just something people say – it actually is all who you know.
  3. I’m a serial Rick Roller. It’s my favorite, and that’s about as crazy as I get. The worst it gets for anyone is that some one feels a little bit dumb. This year, a girl somehow got a hold of the list address through which to email every single undergrad student in the entire university, and when people “reply-all”-ed we learned that we could all communicate to each other like some big, university-wide forum. Some people got angry, the better people enjoyed the heck out of it. Some one even copy+pasted the entire text of War and Peace. I Rick Rolled the entire undergraduate class and also spammed everyone with some doge/shibe memes. I may be getting my bachelor’s degree, but my participation in this event is also an accomplishment I am uber proud of during my high school career. I even got recognized in the school paper’s list of the best emails of what I affectionately call “the OU email fiasco of 2014.” Good times.
  4. A very personal and important thing I learned is that I could have walked back into being a voice performance major when I transferred to Oakland if I wanted to. (Read this post to find out why this is a very big deal). My fear and anxiety distorted my perception so significantly, and I am back to owning myself and skills more than ever.
  5. I made the right choice by transferring back home. I originally started at Grove City College in Grove City, PA as a voice major but changed everything and came back home after one semester. I’ve always known that I don’t regret starting here (a list of what I learned in my time here is a whole post for it’s own day), but every time I come back and visit for a few days I’ve always felt like I’m in some alternate dimension where I stayed, and part of me has always wondered “what if.” Even though this trip out here has been wonderful, it’s been the first trip that has left me certain that I made the right choice by coming home.
  6. It’s okay to have friends that aren’t super close. My best friends have always some how ended up living very far from me, and that can really suck when, say, you’re engaged and can’t have a proper bachelorette party because all your girls are in separate states or when you just want some one to hang out with in sweatpants and each doing your own thing. But this is okay, because I’ve learned that I have a lot of great, not-super-close friends in my life and how to reach out to them to spend time together. It may sometimes mean leaving my comfort zone (omg: one-on-one conversations?!) but it almost always pays off, even if it’s just because it was something different than sitting around at home. College has definitely taught me how to utilize and enjoy this dimension of socialization.
  7. College is seriously so much harder than high school. I mean, duh, and we all already knew this going into it, but in high school the biggest single assignment I had was a 10-page paper that we spent all semester on and wrote in segments. In college, I’ve had to write multiple 20+-page assignments in a week or less, and especially in one night thanks to procrastination.
  8. Ask for things. There have been so many times that I or my mother have gotten something just because we’ve asked. Like, real things. Like jobs and discounts and opportunities. For example, I got my new favorite writing gig because I shot the website’s contact email asking if she could use any help. Especially in situations where asking for/about something involves have nothing to lose, I say ask.
  9. There are more important things than whichever test or school assignment you’re killing yourself to try and get a 4.0 through. Your GPA, especially in college, is not worth being bad to your body, mind, or spirit. Mistreating yourself by getting zero sleep, refusing every offer of socialization, chugging 5-hour energies (which are to high school students what Monster energy drinks were to high schoolers in my time), and never allowing yourself any down time is so not worth it.
  10. Being busy is not cool, nor is life a competition about who is busiest. Seriously – “busy” should not be a response to “How are you?” Have you noticed how people turn conversations into competitions about who’s busier than the other? Being super busy should not be a life goal. Enjoy your downtime – it’s good for you.

What Healthy Living Means to Me

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts, claims, and opinions do belong to the original author and no evil marketing ploys or tricks are being ulitized!

What healthy living meant to me in High School

  • Basically, “running and broccoli”
  • Being a gym rat or on the track and field team
  • A diet consisting of things like kale, chia, quinoa, dragonfruit, etc…

What healthy living meant to me my freshman year of college:

  • Watching portion sizes
  • Weighing yourself regularly
  • Lifting weights and running
  • Inspiration boards!
  • Never feeling stressed
  • Routine

What healthy living means to me now.

  • Wellness
  • Treating your body right – by moving it more, nourishing it better, and listening to it.
  • Doing research before considering jumping on a new diet or health fad
  • Mutli-Dimensional (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental, social)
  • Saying “no” sometimes
  • Self-love (or at least practicing it!)
  • Knowing it’s okay to be stressed out, and learning effective stress management methods
  • Improving cardiovascular health, muscular fitness, and flexibility in your training
  • Learning that health and wellness is a spectrum, and you’ll be balancing your way along his spectrum througought life. You will probably (almost definitely) never reach a state of perfect or “ideal” healthy living.
  • Along those lines, learning to let go of a pursuit of perfectionism
  • Taking time to meditate, or at least allow your body and mind quiet-time on a regular basis
  • Learning when relationships are unhealthy, and finding strength and support to get out of them
  • Knowing what you like. You don’t know whether or not you hate a food you’ve never heard of. Do you pay attention to what topics and fields of study really pique your interest?
  • Knowing your learning style/how you learn things best.
  • Caring for your brain – turn off the constant notifications, feed it information, let it play, write whatever you want, read books and articles, do puzzles!
  • Follow impulsive urges. If you see an easy DIY project, try it! 
  • Allowing yourself to indulge sometimes, in moderation (sweets, watching TV, retail therapy)
  • Being friends with your family and putting effort into your relationships.

This post was sponsored by Alomune (http://Alomune.com), a daily pre-biotic supplement that helps you stay strong all year long.  For more healthy living ideas & inspiration, please visit the Alomune Healthy Living blog (http://blog.alomune.com), their Facebook page (http://Facebook.com/alomune), Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/alomune) or join the conversation on Twitter (http://Twitter.com/alomune).

 

Wednesday Things

  1. I know you’ve heard this a million times this week, but it snowed this week! Like, a real snow that stuck around till morning and everything! It’s gone now, but it means that I have a lot of stuff to start getting productive with.
  2. Speaking of, I have like, three weeks left of this semester. I just can’t believe it’s already halfway through my senior year. I just started! I’m terrified of next semester because it will be my LAST semester before I graduate! Part of me does and part of me doesn’t want next semester to go by as quickly as this one has.
  3. I have a problem. A couple weeks ago, I ran out of shampoo, so I stopped at the drugstore and picked up a bottle. The next morning, in the shower, I realized it was conditioner. Awful morning. So I stole some of my mom’s for a day or two and then went and got another bottle of shampooBut it was conditioner too. I have no idea how or why this keeps happening. I even double check the bottle before I buy it. LITERALLY yesterday, I bought some matching set of shampoo and conditioner, and this morning I realized THEY WERE BOTH CONDITIONER. I am completely dumbfounded. I have no idea how or why this keeps happening or what I did to put off the shampoo gods, but I now have a corner of shame in my shower with four or five bottles of conditioner on it.
  4. So I went to an informational meeting about the Masters of Public Health program at my university, and somehow, for some reason, I’m actually really excited about it.
  5. I beat Pokemon X! I defeated the Elite Four and the Pokemon Champion. I’m basically just saying this to you because I’m really excited about it myself.
  6. There’s a girl in my degree program at school that I am just loving being partnered up with. She’s great. Plus, I know she and I are going to stay pretty good friends because she perfectly aligns to my curse. Yep, I have a curse. It’s where I get to be good friends with a girl and then she moves really far away. This one is going away soon to wherever her boyfriend wants to do grad school. This is a real issue. Any of my best friends have moved at least 450 miles away from me, including Kaylee, who I just met last year. She’s in Pittsburgh now. Sigh.
  7. I love subscription boxes. I currently get both Beauty Army and Birchbox monthly subscriptions. But I also just signed up for this, which I am more than excited to start getting (I have to wait until December for my first box! Ahhh!). This came about because I kept finding new boxes I wanted, from accessories, to clothes, to jewelry, to exercise stuff, to food, etc. I just couldn’t handle it (and neither could my wallet). But this POPsugar Must Have box has a little bit of absolutely everything. They’ve only been around for 15 months ish, and I may or may not have gone through what was in every single box they’ve done so far and I wanted all of it. I’m stoked.
  8. I finally reformatted my computer! It was being slow and the hard drive was full and my libraries were tragically corrupted and I’m sure I just had a ton of stuff bogging it down, so I got it reformatted. The problem now is that I forgot about reinstalling Microsoft Office and today was going to be my productive schoolwork day, but since I don’t even have Word or PowerPoint, I can’t (I’m obviously just so very upset abut this). Oh, well. I guess I’ll just have to have some me time instead!
  9. One last thing – one of my teachers just cancelled class tomorrow. It’s the only class I have on Thursdays so I get a whole day free! Yay! The latter half will probably be spent waiting in the cold with my guy for the PS4 release, but I’m sure we can still make it a fun time. =]

.

College, in Chapters

Chapter One: Freshman Year (2010-2011)

This year is the year of confusion, depression, and misunderstanding, all wrapped up with a ribbon of neurosis. This is the year I move away from home. This is the year I get really lonely and distressed all the time. This is the year of zero perspective and lots of timidity. This is the year everything I really knew about myself changed.

Freshman year is the year I realized that life rarely ever goes as planned. Basically, it never goes as we have it planned. My freshman year still teaches me things about myself when I sit and reflect on it. A big thing I learned is that I want to be grounded and settled in a home (rather than living the inconsistent and competitive life of a vocal performer, which is what my major started out as). I was still struggling intensely with perfectionism (and the guilt that goes along with striving constantly for perfectionism).

I crashed a little bit. I moved home and changed my major to Linguistics. I moved on.

Chapter Two: Sophomore Year (2011-2012)

This is the year I walk off stage from my own life. I wrapped myself up in grades and working, and aimed to stay out of the spotlight and remain generally inconspicuous. My previous self – the one driven by performance and social interaction and theatre and appearances – took a nap. This self would get irritated and angry when I (or anyone else) tried to wake it up. The part of me that was left was quiet, robotic, and a little apathetic. I wasn’t singing. I wasn’t acting. I couldn’t even bring myself to sing for fun (and maybe even had a mini-meltdown at little things like when friends insisted I sing for Rockband at a party). I just couldn’t bring myself to be who I had used to be, or who I wanted to be again. I didn’t have the energy and I didn’t have the grit. I still didn’t quite understand what had happened in chapter one, but I was drifting along.

I changed my major again, this time to Health and Wellness, and I kept going.

Chapter Three: Junior Year (2012-2013)

This is the year I healed a little bit. This is the year I confronted my napping performer, and forced her to get back to my voice teacher, and I even signed up for an acting class. These two things forced the apathetic and sufficiently functional part of me and the pure energy/vitality part of me to talk things out and cooperate. That acting class was therapy. It was a small, intimate group, and it was good to have a class that involved more than sitting in the back of a lecture hall and then slipping out quickly to drive home. I had people to talk to and open up to, I had monologues for which I soul-searched and reflected to find inspiration. My voice teacher helped me come to terms with the concept of meeting myself at my own level, regardless of where any past me had been; I learned to come back to basics and fundamentals, and rebuild on that.

There is a moment I could pinpoint as a break-through of sorts during my acting class, but ultimately it was affirmation that things were getting back on track inside of me. The following summer, my social life improved (and by that I mean it actually existed again), and I saw a huge upswing in the health of all of my relationships in general.

Chapter Four: Senior Year (2013-2014)

This year is (obviously) still happening. But I’m back. I took a huge opportunity to audition for my university’s top choir, and I made it. Just this was a significant victory for me with all of what I had been through with confidence, and losing my voice and ability to perform. I knew I’d enjoy just singing with people again, but didn’t anticipate the flat-out music therapy it would actually be for me. Without the music, the socializing, and the emotional support that comes with being a part of this kind of family again, I’m convinced my college years would be ones that leave me with very few people I care to even check in with past graduation; I would never reminisce on the days of quietly sitting in lecture halls and only having friends during the course of each class for the sake of getting notes when I miss a day or two; and I would never have healed as much as I have so far (And we’re still less than halfway through this chapter).

I’ve come to a point where I am really very happy with my life for the first time in… Well, if we’re being honest, ever. This year has also thrown a lot at me, and I know myself, and I know I would plummet emotionally without having reached this level of awareness, stability, and contentment.

I’ve learned some pretty significant things so far this year, as well…

  1. For so many years, I’ve been striving for “balance.” For goodness sake, that’s what my whole degree is about. But I know now that I don’t believe that people ever really have every dimension of wellness in a happy equilibrium at one time, all the time (those dimensions being physical, emotional, social, occupational, mental, spiritual, and environmental wellness). Wellness is a continuum that requires being present and self-aware, and being able to know what part of your personal grass you need to water to make it as green as you want it.It’s a process; it never ends. But this means I don’t have to try and be the perfect, calm, well-balanced girl who wakes up early every morning, is satisfactorily productive each day, is always up for going out with friends (or even always has friends to go out with), never says the wrong thing, spends time meditating, working out, and doing yoga, and also has a dream job through which I feel transcendentally fulfilled and enlightened.  And without this pressure, I can enjoy and appreciate the current state of my life, knowing that it will never quite be exactly like it is right now ever again.
  2. Between actually having friends that don’t live 400 or more miles away from me this year and a recent sudden and tragic death in my family, I’m realizing just how important people are to me. Three years ago, I would have definitely said that I’m an introvert. I laugh at this idea now, and thrive knowing that I’m actually loving living outside of my comfort zone and jumping into social situations that would have terrified me at any other point in my life.I’ve always been okay with the distance (physically and emotionally) between me and my extended family, as they all live a couple states away from me; but now I see them really as an extension of my family. I know that sounds like a stupid and redundant way to put it, but there are so many definitions of family: one of them is the kind that lives where ever and maybe you get Christmas cards updating you on their lives and you just get used to not really having them around or involved, and the one I’m intending now is the family that means that there are people rooting for you and that you get to cheer for and embrace, no matter where they live. Hey, my little cousins are the closest things I’ll ever get to little siblings and I can be a person that encourages and helps them feel better about themselves and be better people! And there’s no one else in my life I could really get that opportunity with.
  3. Friends are important. Accepting that you can be perfectly happily friends with some one else without being their bestfriendeverinthewholewideworld is more important. Everyone in your life is different. Each relationship you have is completely unique and has something so individual to offer. You don’t have to text people everyday, or be the most important person in the world to some one in order to enjoy doing things with them. People are like books to me: they have their motifs and themes, their memorable moments and quotes and experiences, unique feelings and perspectives that only each one can give you. And, you don’t know how little or how much you want to get involved with a book just by, well, merely looking at its cover (cliche alert: my apologies).
  4. Ultimately,

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” – Aaron Rose

…and it’s up to you to keep yourself open to finding this light, and recognizing this time. Enjoy Appreciate what you have and what you’re going through right now, in this moment.

Oh, and I changed my major again. This time, I made my own (thank you, Integrative Studies). I settled on a curriculum for my degree entitled “Wellness and Personal Development.” I even get to keep my previous degree plan in the form of a minor, so I didn’t waste any time at all.

Things work out okay.

Haters Gonna Hate

I got a new job about six months ago at a very nice restaurant and I actually enjoy it sometimes. I consider a couple of my coworkers friends and I mostly dig my management staff. One thing I’ve appreciated is that the servers have all been pretty drama-free.

Silly me.

It’s never that awesome. Of course, one of my actual friends filled me in on some things people have been saying about me. And this totally bummed me out. As much as anyone can claim they don’t care what other people think, I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t feel a little hurt or sad upon hearing that there are rumors going around about them. This especially bothered me because I make a huge effort to be very nice to absolutely everyone even if I don’t feel like it or even like them, and to not talk anything about anybody to anyone. I feel like I should totally have some positive karma built up, at least in this category. It’s just too bad we can’t all be adults.

Anyways, there are some important things to remember in situations like this.

  • The people who know me/matter to me aren’t the people who are talking crap about me
  • We are not defined by the opinions of others.
  • Haters gonna hate. There are people who either don’t have anything better to do with their time than gossip, or who don’t really know how to interact with other people in interesting or meaningful ways so they start rumors, or who don’t know how to feel good about themselves and build themselves up without tearing others down. Feel sorry for these people. They must be really sad and bored. Poor them.
  • Other people can’t control you. Just because you know these people are saying something about you doesn’t mean you have to subtly alter your behavior so that they change their minds or start liking you or thinking differently about you. Nope nope nope. First of all, they’re sooooooo not worth the effort it would take to consciously make these efforts and changes. Secondly, You’re wonderful the way you are. Don’t change in any way you wouldn’t like to.
  • Tagging along from the last point, there’s no version or alteration of yourself everyone is going to like or respect or want to be friends with. See #3 again. And you don’t need everyone to like you. Do you want to know what happens when people don’t like you?: nothing. Nothing actually happens.
  • In the words of Kid Cudi, “I’ll be up, up, and away ’cause they gon’ hate me anyway. So, whatever.”
  • So, whatever.
  • There’s a  really cool saying I love that says “Harboring anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” I love love love that. And the same concept can be applied to situations like this. A little bit. In as much as the fact that your reaction to a situation like this – be it anger, embarrassment, or insecurity – isn’t going to hurt or effect anyone but yourself.
  • To refer to another quote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So don’t consent to letting others make you feel any way you don’t want to feel.
  • The energy you are spending worrying about what people are saying about you the second you leave the room could be spent writing something, creating something, lifting some one else up, thinking, reading, imagining, wondering, or – in my case involving my workplace – making more money.

The Thought Catalog has a piece that is just awesome and also a great supplementary read on this topic. Click here to check it out.

Forget it all. F5.

Maybe the reason it seems that almost everybody wants some one else’s hair, or wardrobe, or singing voice, or body, etc. is because we’re bored.  

I wonder what would happen if we could forget about what we look like, about what clothes we have in our closets, forget how our voices sound.  What if we woke up tomorrow, seeing ourselves and what we have in new eyes? Instead of getting up and looking in the mirror and thinking, well, I look the same as I always do, what if we could rediscover how we look?

I don’t think I mean anything like a spritual, existential, find-myself-journey. I mean literally.  I want to forget about myself and see it fresh.  Would we be bored with ourselves, or expecting that we’ll look the same way every day, or take ourselves for granted?

I do not want to forget my life. Not my life, my friends, my past. Just myself. I wonder what would happen if we just forgot all the things we’re not happy with and all the things we notice because we’ve lived with ourselves for all our lives. Erase all that from our memories.

Maybe we wouldn’t even notice a lot of them the second time around.