These Days

We’re entering the dark days.

No, but literally, the days have become shorter by the hour and even now it seems like night time might be right upon us along with the threat/anticipation of snowy weather later this week.

We’re entering the point of the year where I become much better at editing my Spotify playlists than my papers. I transform into a barista constantly pouring coffee into a mug, wondering when it became possible for my body to consume this vast amount of caffeine in one sitting. The season where I see more live music than my bank account should allow for, where I become indiscernible to the naked eye because I won’t leave my apartment with an inch of skin bare. I am becoming introverted yet overly outgoing all at the same time, meaning I am out of my element – mostly meaning I am the ultimate HBO Go consumer. Meaning yes, winter is coming.

But for this season, these days of dark and cold and bitterness and yet still ultimate joy, I’m planning to fully embrace these oddities I have developed these past four years. It has truly begun to hit me that this is my last full year of school and my last opportunity to behave as such. This is the last run before true adulthood has to set in. This is really happening.

One of my roommates is in her sophomore year of school and I am truly envious. She has so much more growing to do and so many more lessons she’ll learn, and she doesn’t even know it. It’s in these days that I look at her and think wow, if I could even for a minute give you the knowledge that I have now, I could save you so many potential disasters. I could tell you so much about what you will learn from yourself. I could show you how I would retrace my steps and maybe make life a little easier, how I would change things given the chance. And at the end of it all, your senior year almost over, how you’ll look back from the top towards the landslide that was your college career below you.

But… that wouldn’t be true. Not fully. I can’t tell her that from each of these hurdles came the moments where I felt the most at peace, the most myself. I couldn’t show her that from those difficult classes or that disaster of a relationship would come something even more beautiful – that you may be at the tip, the end of one of the greatest chapters of your life, and you may see landslides and destruction and those “how could I have done those betters”, but you’ll see the landscape. You’ll see the most beautiful visual of these years spent with some of the most perfect people you could ever hope to inhabit your life; you’ll see all of these insanely pleasurable moments that transform your distress at leaving into a feeling of ultimate peace, knowing you’re embarking on a journey that only these past four years could have prepared you for.

And she’ll learn that. She’ll look at an underclassman the same way I look at her and she’ll think “if only I could show you…”. But then she’ll realize that this is what being a senior is really about – the fear, the excitement, the desire to be fully encapsulated by the outside world yet totally in awe of how it works. That’s where I am.

For now, in this time I have left within the comfort of knowing I have months before I make this transition, I am entering the dark days. Wondering yet again how I’ll survive this brutal winter or, more importantly, how my car will. And this season which is filled to the brim with school, work, volunteering, work, school, did I say work? I know it’ll be worth it at the end. I may be fully entranced with the idea of switching my schedule to only online classes for spring semester and I may be planning too many road trips than could ever be logical, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. And behind it is light, too. Because each moment so far has been so ridiculously good, even when it hasn’t been.

 

And to that, I can’t be envious or reminiscent on past days. I can only focus on these days.

 

x.

 

When the Leaves Become Crisp in the Fall…

Wow, it’s been quite a while since a blog post has happened. Where did the time go?

 

As per usual, this summer swept me up in hours of work, classes, and limited free time. At the end of the day a blog post seemed to be the furthest thing from my mind, but wow I’ve missed it!

It is also shocking to me how many of you read this little homemade blog. I can’t explain how appreciative I am each time someone asks me when I’m posting something new, what happened to me over the summer, or suggestions on what I should write next. I love knowing that this is a project that I’m passionate about and that others are benefiting from it, too.

So, where to begin after it’s been so long?

 

This summer was spent on the coast of Mississippi as it typically is. This summer started much earlier for me after an unfortunate incident led me to break my ankle. After attempting to hop (literally hop!) up and down three flights of stairs each day, while also trying to keep up with my job as a nanny, and make it to classes, I finally said enough. I moved down to Mississippi and began my summer finishing up classes from the comfort of my parents’ home, which honestly was not the worst way to start a summer.

When the boot finally came off and the knee scooter I’d been using as transportation was returned, even AFTER it was run over by a truck, I started back at my old summer job of serving for a family owned restaurant on the coast. This shortly became my life for the next four months, which was one of the most fun experiences of my life. One of my closest friends lived with me for the summer and we both worked at the restaurant while hitting the beach in our free time – who can complain about a summer like that?

Coming back up to Michigan, though, was a struggle. I may be a senior in college, but it never gets easier to leave your family.  That being said, it may be hard to leave your family, but it’s insanely easy to move into a new apartment where you FINALLY, after three years of sharing a room, have your own space to decorate and sleep in as much as you please.

My new apartment, although it may be far from campus and there may or may not be a family living across the hall, is perfect. I may just be saying this due to the fact that I have my own room, it’s decorated to my exact tastes, and it’s ridiculously comfortable – but whatever. Being a senior to me meant that all of the things I’ve been doing without for the past three years would be fulfilled this year, even if it meant having to take the bus to campus.

 

Now, after weeks of settling in and running around seemingly non stop, I’m finally settled in for my last year at MSU.

Looking forward to many experiences, many posts, and many, many good times to be had during these next months. I’ll be sure to post as often as once a week. In an effort to try something new, I’ve decided to start doing a project of “Let me try…” where I’ll go to any place around EL and check it out. This can be bars, restaurants, your lecture that has the insane prof, a show, an apple orchard … wherever. If you have any ideas on where I should head off to, comment or message me and I’ll be sure to make a stop at that location at some point throughout this year. Be ready to explore a little more of MSU than Wilson to Albert!

 

Can’t wait.

 

x

 

Far Better Things Ahead

(Originally posted January 12th, 2014)
I think there are far better things ahead, but I’m not sure if I agree that they’re all better than what we leave behind.
2014 is going to be an exciting year with so many new chances to take, memories to create, more dumb, youthful decisions I’m sure will be made. But, as I look back on 2013, it’s not with a heavy heart. 2013 was an extremely difficult year where my best was not anywhere near what ‘best’ should be but… I survived. I learned. I made decisions that changed my life, my ideas of the world, my philosophies on being a college student.
Last year I packed up everything I owned and left for the south, determined to not come back. I jumped in the Red Cedar. I ate ungodly amounts of popcorn. I took chances. I lost some friends, gained some. I listened to probably way too much Florida Georgia Line. My grades were sub par. I let little things bother me too much. I decided to quit all my jobs and become a nanny. I decided to stay in the arctic that is Michigan. I made lots of up and down decisions. That was 2013, so now…
For this new year, I want to right the wrongs that I was so adamant about in the previous year. I want to better myself. I want to realize my potential and succumb to the desire to reach it. I want to be a better person for those around me, for myself.
So, everyone makes new year resolutions. Right? I’ll go to the gym, I’ll stop procrastinating, I’ll remember to pay my bills on time, I’ll stop drinking.
But I think, for a year as potentially demanding as any year has been yet with school and work and the potential of having a social life, the resolutions shouldn’t be just a “resolution” but a resolve to finally be real with ourselves. To stop brushing things under the rug and deal with them head on before another year passes by and we wish we had listened to the promises we made the year past.
This year, I promise, I really promise – to every single thing in life that you ever wanted to change, improve, apologize to. Remember those moments and promise to them this year will be a vast, dramatic improvement. Because you owe it to those good and bad memories, because they’ve made you what you are in this new beginning.
This year:

  • I’ll drink more water
  • I’ll stop listening when opinions can harm, not hurt
  • I’ll remember to call my family more
  • I’ll remember to call my friends more
  • I’ll apologize
  • I’ll stop being hard headed
  • I’ll go to the gym (I’m being serious!)
  • I’ll do more things that I’ve wanted to do instead of acting like they’re impossible
  • I’ll be more open to ideas
  • I’ll be more me than I’ve ever been
  • I’ll remember how much I like country and I won’t deny that all I want to do is have a beer and listen to Alan Jackson when people ask what my idea is of fun
  • I’ll try and work more on what fun means to me
  • I’ll stop swearing….. as much
  • I’ll get in my car and drive anywhere I want on any given weekend because I can and a vacation every now and again is beneficial
  • I’ll think from other’s perspective
  • I’ll speak up when I’m not okay with something, rather than letting it slide
  • I’ll stick up for myself
  • I’ll remember to say I love you
  • I’ll remember that you can’t always say sorry and have that be that – sometimes you need to work harder.
  • I’ll realize when things are a lost cause
  • I’ll be more understanding, less impatient, more appreciative, less closed off
  • I’ll eat chocolate because I love it
  • I will not attempt to go running because I will not have that. I will just not have that.
  • I’ll stop setting stupid, ridiculous goals that I’ll never achieve and instead appreciate what I did accomplish
  • I’ll write more
  • I’ll sing Erica more of my infamous songs I make up for her
  • I’ll appreciate my roommates and friends more
  • I’ll stop saying no when I’m afraid
  • I’ll make better grades
  • I’ll take all the opportunities that I can, because why not try?
  • I’ll stop being afraid of math and econ and statistics and biology
  • I’ll still be afraid of spiders
  • I’ll stop resisting the urge to say what I want, especially when I know it really matters – it’s worth it

So there’s what I’m proposing. It’s nothing hard to accomplish, but it will be an effort. I think it’s exciting, though, to venture out as a person with a new mindset. It’ll be amazing what little changes can do for a whole year. Looking forward to it.
x.

I truly love…

(Originally posted September 25th, 2013)
Unapologetic people. The way people take their sharp intakes of breath when an unapologetic person speaks is the rarest form of art to me. Maybe it’s because it is so rare that when I meet someone like this I can’t help but idolize them for their sincerity because that lacks so much here in the world.
Not that I appreciate rude people, because I truly don’t. But people like Amy Poehler and Kristin Wiig, even Chelsea Handler, make it so easy for our generation to provide an outpouring of confident women.
So many women, and men, are so obsessively conscious of their actions. How they speak, what they do, who they’re pleasing. And, I think, it must get so tiring that need to restrict yourself every moment. And I know, because I’m sure I do it, too.
Then I see these people, the unapologetics, who just know who they are. And you laugh at their jokes and blush and think, “They’re so brave, I could never get away with that!”… sure, why couldn’t you?
My roommates are probably the prime example of women, in a realistic setting, that fit in with these unapologetics. I thought I was a handful until I met them. Crude from Chelsea Handler doesn’t compare with these girls, humor alone could promise them anything, and if we’re talking about first impressions these girls impress before even opening their mouths. Unapologetic in every movement.
Because, truly, that’s what the quote above means. SIlly, yeah. Amy and Kristin and Chelsea and my roommates, they’re silly. But there’s more to it than cracking a joke or being a little bizarre – truly believing in yourself and in your ‘silliness’ is so incredibly powerful that by merely walking into a room, you can silence any negativity that you, your self conscious sub conscious, could have brought on.

You are the most powerful when you are you.
I love that.

x.

I’ve been back…

(Originally posted September 23rd, 2013)
For a while now.
Michigan hasn’t changed since I left in May and came back in July, but I did. And that’s good, for how often we feel threatened and worried by change.
When I left for Mississippi, I was unlike myself in every way possible. The two months I spent back home was like a therapy I had never thought would revive me the way it did, and although I was sad to leave once I decided to come back to State, it just seemed that I had finally reached the time that I felt good again – like myself.
When we come to college, we leave everything behind. Family, friends, rituals, work, ideals, goals, likes, dislikes, they all seem to change. Which is good and it’s fine, but it becomes wild to think that you’re still barely an adult and you’ve changed so much. To some, the process is nothing. But, to me, it was everything.
I was so annoyed with myself for my second year of college because I didn’t understand why I wasn’t being myself. Why I was always upset or why I couldn’t get motivated or why I had no interest in anything anymore. I am an ambitious person, usually driven and full of desire for what I can achieve. I didn’t talk about it with anyone, and didn’t feel that it was abnormal.
Now, looking back, I want to talk about it. I want it to be known that this “sophomore slump” happens, even if it’s freshman through senior year. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

When I left Michigan, I never planned on coming back. Everything that I disliked I thought resonated within this campus and within this major, never considering that maybe my feeling could change if I had some support. And I did feel better when I left, instantaneously. But what I felt better about was having my family around me; my support system.
After taking my first month to relax and try and sort out what my next step would be because, as many of you know, I decided to move without giving it a second thought, I finally realized what I was missing.

I wasn’t supporting myself.

I disliked myself so much that I had driven me, my biggest supporter and advocate and friend and therapist, into a hole. And what’s bizarre is that this happens to college students ALL THE TIME.

I had never realized that depression affects close to 30% of college students so intensely that they find it “difficult to function”, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. I felt alone in everything I was experiencing, scared, and not willing to speak up about it.
Every morning was a struggle to leave not only my bed, but my room. I could wake up and go right back to sleep on the couch. My body ached, I hated going to class. If I ate, it was something hastily prepared. And when I ate, I ate so much. Homework made me want to cry, conversations drained me, and I’ve never worn sweatpants so often in my whole life.
This was my life, for an entire school year. And looking back, I can’t believe that was me. But that feeling affects you so intensely, you don’t really realize it’s happening, and that’s scary.
I couldn’t tell you why I felt like this. Maybe my family moving, maybe because it was winter for what seemed like forever, maybe because I tried to go vegetarian for a week (I’m just kidding). But, whatever caused it, really took its toll.
Now, entering my junior year of college, I’m feeling much more alive. Yes, it’s hard to have family living half a country away. I hate missing these years with my younger brothers. I miss my parents. I’m so fortunate to have family here up north, and these are the things I think of whenever college gets too weird and lonely. I have great roommates and a major I’ve been going after since I was a kid. And, yeah, sometimes I’ll feel those old things again. But, this time, I’m not afraid to say no, that that’s not me.

I’m not embarrassed of those feelings and I’m not embarrassed to share. I would like to express to anyone who does feel these things to remember your support system, be it your family or your friends, and share with them your feelings. Remember who you are and what you love, who you love, and what you loved so much you decided to come to college for it.
I couldn’t imagine not living in Mississippi for the summer. Being back where family is everything reminded me that, no matter how much may change or classes I don’t excel in or how stressed out I am, my family and my friends will always be there. And I, no matter how much I may try, will never treat myself like that again. There’s so much more going on in life and it should be really, truly, fully, lived.

x.