Thursday, December 9, 2010

Building Back Up

Weak. Frustrated. Useless.

I think about the limits the last few years have put on my body and mind. I feel difficulty doing the things I'm doing now; my plate is more full than it's been since probably high school. I'm doubling up on my classes, I am working a heavy amount of hours at my job (for part-time), I am busy with church activities, and then being a 22 year old on top of it all. Figuring out the details in my life: What defines me? What am I good at? What do I want to do? Who do I want to marry? When do I want to start a family? It's the holiday season; more activities are popping up than usual.

I'm definitely reaching my limits. I'm tired. I'm not sleeping very well. I start to snap easily, and I'm pretty difficult to snap. I feel like I'm failing.

It's my very first test since I've gained footing again.

I have to stop and realize I couldn't do this one year ago. I couldn't do it two or even three years ago. I would have broken down, slept, made poor decisions, or hurt myself. A few years ago it was worse. But it slowly got better, especially with therapy.

And it hits me that it's done. As of next week, I'm done with therapy. It's been a long road, honestly, a road I never thought I'd see the light at the end on. It was dark and bumpy, then mountainous, then light, then dark, and then began to smooth out. As the road became more smooth, there was more light.

It is easy to get caught up in the feelings of the moment and to compare myself to those who didn't have those struggles. Heck, I know a guy in grad school and works two full time jobs (I never did compare myself to him, however!). They kept going and didn't have major problems weigh them down.

In the mean time, I just have to work my way back up to that point. I'm not by far a failure for not being able to be at the level I want to be. Through God, he has helped me get through this rough patch, and now I am more experienced because of it. In the mean time, I am going to use what I've learned the last few years to help others.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I reside in the great ol' land of MinneSNOWta... one of the most pleasant states in the country to vacation (except... minus the Twin Cities/Duluth/Boundary Waters... not so much!). I had the pleasure to spend the last three days in my nice warm house, under my nice warm covers, while my nice warm body (well, actually that part wasn't so nice) kept me shivering for multiple days. With my mystery illness in its last legs, I finally decided today would be an excellent day to get my butt out of my bedroom and start moving around.

So I hop online for a bit and start working on a paper (that wasn't due yesterday... nope!), chat with the dear boyfriend for a bit, and start figuring out my day. I knew that day I'd have to make the drive (I'm cat-sitting for my friend/voice teacher for the holidays) across town to feed and brush the cat. Read about the upcoming ice fiasco that's supposed to start tomorrow, got lectured by dad to be careful going to my appointment in icy conditions, sip coffee and munch on cereal. I finally finish my paper around 4:30pm, so I figure it's a great time to trek on out to the other side of town in my lovely Pilot.

I grab my Minnetonka Moccasins, my Aeropostle sweatshirt, and a pair of ratty jeans. I see the garbage was taken out today, so I figure I will grab the mail and the garbage/recycle cans before I hop in the car.


Somebody forgot to mention to me that it was barely only the in the mid 20s today. I quickly grab my Ugg boots, a coat, gloves, and a hat before I leave the house. Felt much better soon after.

It is amazing how quickly winter seems to come in Minnesota. It seems like it was only a month ago that we were enjoying highs in the 50s and 60s; in fact, we had an unusually warm March-Oct of 2010. The first day it was in the 40s last month, I knew I was in trouble! I decided to keep a coat in the car (just in case, ya know) and tough it out in mainly a sweatshirt to adjust a bit better. But in the three days I was confined indoors, it seems the atmosphere has changed a lot.

It's sad that we don't even enjoy a full 12 hours of sun, it's sad that it's going to get much colder before it gets warmer, it's sad that soon there will be ice and snow everywhere for extended periods of time, it's sad it will take 10 minutes for my car to run before I feel even an ounce of warmth driving home...

I cannot even begin to fathom why people enjoy living up north (to those of you in Canada or Alaska- kudos to you!). I joke with my friends the Minnesota seasons are: Winter, Winter, STILL Winter, and Road Construction. When it's not snowing and freezing cold, we have tornadoes, floods, wildfires, droughts, and nasty wind. During the winter the ditches are plagued with cars and drivers wondering 'wtf just happened, mate?'. Nobody wants to spend more than 10 seconds outdoors unless doing something fun or useful.

But then, I suppose most of us complain about our locations. I know friends down south who would love some snow and cold. I know friends up north who think we have it easy. And in the end, I still live here nonetheless. So I decided to come up with a list of why I love Minnesota.

In the winter- snuggles with hot chocolate (and marshmellows) by the campfire, skiing, throwing snowballs at your friends, watching people fall on their butts in the ice and laughing, ice skating, the enjoyment of driving to a destination without dying, the first snowfall, the way the Christmas lights sparkle in the glow of the freshly fallen snow

In the spring: Watching all the buds on the trees turn to full blown leaves, the sheer smell of spring, the final snow melting away as messy wetness, lilacs, watching everything turn to green almost instantly, the days growing longer, the first 60 degree day, the first over 32 degree night

In the summer: watching the peace settle over the sunset, the unpredictable weather, the beautiful storms, driving down the road with the windows down and the breeze to cool you, ice creams at the outdoor Dairy Queen, swatting the mosquitoes before they bite the living crap out of you, biking down the trails, playing outside with bare feet, flip flop tans, getting to wear shorts

In the fall: the brilliance of the reds in the changing trees, lingering last walks in the evening before it turns too cold, the first snowdrops flittering from the sky, the crisp color of blue on a sunny day, stomping through the leaves on the sidewalk

Hard to believe that I love you, Minnesota.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Strained Relationships (with flu on the side)

My last post is about being sick... and a few days later, I'm sick again! Aren't I just so lucky! I went to bed yesterday with a sore throat, and 24 hours later I have a fever, bad headache, chills... apparently I can't seem to catch a break. I'm hoping some more rest will do me well. I apologize if any of what I say sounds feverishly delirious, for I know not what I'm saying.

I am part of another really awesome forum about Myers Briggs (which I still have to do a post about) called Personality Cafe. I wrote a long rant/question/frustration about how my dad and I fight constantly and posted it. My dad and I are polar opposites when it comes to personality. Here is an example of what I wrote:

"... The housework issue is just god awful. I've gotten better about keeping most of the house clean, but with my bedroom/bathroom I really don't care. It is nothing against him whatsoever, but for me to clean is just not my nature. I don't think about putting something away after I've used it. I toss my clothes on the floor. My junk litters the bathroom counter. Keep in mind, we do not share a bathroom. So, unpredictable him says nothing half the time, and the other half he has these temper tantrums. He screams at me and orders to listen to his barking. He says if I don't clean or do xyz, he'll throw away my stuff. If I go into my room and lock my door, he screams loud and threatens me. He thinks everything I do (or don't do) is to piss him off. He thinks I don't clean my room to purposely piss him off. I just don't think about it!

I also feels like he values his 'stuff' more than me. If I break something or something gets messed up in the house and I can't provide a logical explanation of how it exactly happened, I get yelled at. For example, the sprayer on the sink got stuck one morning while I was making coffee. While trying to unstick it, it popped off. No big deal. I immediately called him and let him know so he wouldn't come home to a broken sink. He says it's fine. That night, he gets on my case about how it 'really' broke. He said he was sick of my friends messing around with his shit and breaking everything. Um, I was the one who caused it to pop off. I am not aware of doing anything unusual to the sprayer..."

Pardon the language, I was really frustrated when I posted part of this message. I know not all of you agree with your parents, in fact, I'm sure some of you have strained relationships with them. When they have too high of expectations, or try to control you, how do you handle it?

My experiment, in the mean time, is to read the books Safe People and Codependent No More (was suggested to me by another member, luckily I already had both of those books). Once I'm better, I will do a review on the books and tell you how reading them affected my relationship with my dad.

If you want to read the whole post, check it out right here!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My darn luck!

So, I thought you'd get a laugh out of something... weird, amusing, funny... that happened today.

I finished my blog post this morning after hopping out of the shower. I was actually feeling fairly productive, for I woke up at 9am and had to be at work by 11. A shower, breakfast, and a blog post in an hour and 45 minutes [15 minute drive to work].

So, today was day 3 in the jewelry section. I've been at my store now for about three months. I normally work in juniors/special sizes but they asked me to take a holiday position in the fine jewelry area. So I started a week ago from Sunday. It was actually very interesting learning about the different types of metals and stones... and fascinating to see how people can pay more than $2500 for a tiny piece of jewelry.

[If I had $2500, this is what I would rather spend it on: rent to move out of the house, a new laptop, savings for a car, savings for my road trip next April]

I had five days off between my next shift, which honestly felt like pure torture. On the plus side, it helped me get back to writing on here! I went in for shift number 2 on Saturday, this time with more people to help guide me. After a few hours, I noticed I was getting some splotchy, itchy red spots on my fingers and hands. They were uncomfortable and felt a bit raw, but I thought nothing of it.

So, I had a few days to forget about the incident when I go in this morning for shift number 3. After about 15 minutes I began to break out again. One of the ladies who saw me break out Saturday got concerned, so I decided to test the allergy. I took an earring and held it to my left wrist. Within about 60 seconds I broke out again.

It didn't take long before things just got worse. I immediately started feeling bad, extremely dizzy, nauseous, cold, shaky... my coworker called a manager. She got to me immediately and said we had to go to HR to fill an incident report. Now, my store is two levels. We went on the escalator and about halfway up I immediately get very dizzy and nauseous. I nearly pass out! I actually had to sit down for a bit before I could finish getting to the office.

We file the report, I have to call the Macy's nurseline, and the manager's determine that I cannot work in fine jewelry. So, I will find out tomorrow where I will end up for the holidays.

I was hoping I could keep working, but I was feeling pretty nasty after lying down in the employee lounge couch for an hour. I decided to go home.

I've been feeling on and off bad for the remainder of the day. I've seen my temp get as high as about 100, but mostly hovering in the high 98's. I'm wondering if I've got a bug on top of the reaction, or if this is reaction related. Anybody have any ideas? Mainly it's just a headache and stomachache.

So I finished school and now I'm just chilling. Lots to figure out in the next few weeks!

Have a terrific night!

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

I will warn you, I may not be writing as much over the next month or so. Retail is absolutely insane during the holidays. I also doubled up on my classes, so I have twice as much schoolwork (on average, I do one paper or project a week- sometimes more!). So I plan on writing, but maybe not as frequently as I'd prefer. Break starts December 20. I look forward to having two weeks off (with my school schedule, the only break they offer is two weeks in Christmas. Otherwise I'm going all year unless I request a week off). Pray with me that I can get a good schedule going and that I don't feel too overwhelmed.

I have to admit, I'm pretty pleased with the reactions to my last post. I have learned that if you don't judge others, they tend not to judge you.

Jesus says you should love your enemies, but unfortunately you still aren't going to like everybody that comes your way. Some people are overbearing, talk incessantly about topics that bore you to death, they stalk you, etc... God has presented me with an interesting challenge. The last few months I have been settling in a nice comfort zone, but God often wants you to get out of your comfort zone and do things for Him.

Last night, the challenge arose.

I mentioned I am part of a recovery group Monday nights (I also do bible studies that night as well). I get there at 4:30pm to do a practice for worship band, then 5pm is my study. 6pm we have a group dinner, and 7pm we have a large group where the worship band performs. I came down with a nasty headache last night right before supper. I assume it came from the little amounts of sleep from the nights before, and sleeping funny also put a lot of extra tension on my neck. Practice had gone well, but when I get my headaches one of the problems I face when singing is that all the instrumentals/vocals around me get separated and I don't perform as well. I got up on stage and I already felt a little stressed because of this.

Right as we started the first song, I looked out into the audience. And I saw him.

I have known him for many years. In fact, I was probably about five or six when I met him. It was in a kid's group at my aunt's church. There were a variety of kids in the group and he was in it. He is a few years older than me. I remember not liking him very much, for I thought he was a bit abrasive. He was nice enough, it wasn't like he was pushing me around or barking orders at me, but I just didn't know how to handle him. It wasn't too long before I was in foster care and that church became history.

God definitely seems to have a plan. He popped up in my life again the summer before ninth grade. My parents placed me in a summer volunteer group called Summer of Service (better known in my area as SOS). The kids in group varied from six grade through tenth, and every weekday for two weeks we went out in the community and did volunteer work. He was in my group. I remember he was very annoying. He was in tenth grade and he had a crush on one of the seventh grade girls. He would pester her incessantly and the rest of the group (including me) took a severe disliking to his antics. He would take popular songs on the radio and make up these really bizarre lyrics (to the point where it actually ruined a number of songs I had really liked). He was also very overweight, so he got picked on a lot by some of the boys. Once again, the two weeks came and went, and he was out of my life.

His name popped up every now and then in conversation, for he knew my birth family in the area and apparently would mention me to them. Said family would repeat messages for me. This didn't happen very often, but I just ignored them. I really didn't care.

Ok, I have to cut out of the story for a bit of a precursor. I decided about a month ago I really would like to be a leader in the recovery group. A lot of my recovery took place outside of the group so I am catching up on a lot of the principles. I figure this is a good idea because of two reasons: One, if I struggle again, I have additional principles to work with. Two, that way I am familiarized enough with the program so I can be an efficient leader. A lot of the people who attend the support group have chemical dependency, an issue I never really faced. If I become a leader, I intend to help those with codependency, depression, and anxiety. If I am to be a leader, I have to get to know everybody and treat everybody in the group with love and respect.

Cue back to story. A few days ago, I noticed his name on one of my friend's Facebook page (one from recovery group, actually). I glanced at his page, and then went on.

There had to be a reason for that, apparently...

So here I am, on stage with a nasty headache. Anxious because I know my performance will suck. And I see him. I am TOTALLY not prepared for that. When I get headaches, sometimes I do not act as rationally as I would prefer too. I pretty much avoided his gaze (he was looking right at me) and just tried to perform decently. After the first set, I ran back into the sound booth where my boyfriend was. I told him my headache was too bad so I decided to go back to his house and rest for a bit. I told him briefly I ran into somebody I wasn't fond with and that it upset me, but I didn't go into details.

This whole issue is on my mind now. I want to be a good leader, and I realize that as a leader I have to put my frustrations with others aside. I need to promote love and support to everybody, no matter what I do. I can't 'ignore' him or 'avoid' him like I would prefer to do. I have been praying about it.

I can't guarantee he will be back again, as I said, this is the first time I've ever seen him at group. He may have just come to see what the group is. He may never show up again. The thing is, I really need to sit down and think about how I can be a good leader. I can't let prejudice get in my way. I hope to find some bible verses to help me overcome this hurdle.

So, I need some advice. What do I do? [yes, that is a heavy question]. I really don't know. I have a high annoyance tolerance [for Pete's sake, I can be outrageously annoying too. But I try to control it and be serious most of the time]. But when somebody gets under my skin, it really gets to me. How can I get out of my comfort zone and handle anybody like this in a good manner?

Curly-Haired Confession #4- You aren't going to like everybody you meet. However, you should still be considerate and respectful. If they talk to you, listen and offer support. If they do something that interferes with your value system, you need to inform them nicely and do not get involved. Annoyance and harassment are two different issues. If they just annoy you, find a way to deal with it.

Have a nice Tuesday, everybody! :)

Oh and a shout out to the bf: Happy seven month anniversary! I love you lots!!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I'm such a procrastinator :P I should totally be working on school but I'm more in a writing in my blog mood over a writing a paper on my nutritional outtake or writing answers to my lifespan development worksheet mood. For some reason though, I don't think you mind (I certainly don't!).

As you see, I'm a member of 20sb [aka 20-something-bloggers] (it's a fun little community!) and you should check them out here. They cover a variety of topics that any 20-something has on their mind or deals with in life, in a forum setting of course! Some of the topics are kinda light and fun, while others are more serious.

I'll actually have to write a review at some point, but a few of the topics on there have been floating around my brain.

One of the guys [prefer not to provide names] writes very thought provoking forum posts, especially related to hate, judging, etc. The most recent post I replied was titled 'My religion is better than your religion.'

Ooooh, this one I have a lot of thoughts on!

What baffles me BEYOND belief is how so many denominations of Christianity insist they way they do things is right, and how others, well, do not. Um, what? God Almighty and Jesus Christ are the only ones who do things right. As for everything else, humans interpret the bible and/or other religious factors differently from everybody else. Humans are not perfect, nor do we know everything. [We like to think we do, however].

I can't provide you all the answers about Christianity, but I would just like to give you something to think about. Who are we to judge one another? Who are we to judge another's denomination? Who are we to judge our own? He will judge us when the time comes, and only His judgments are correct. I am not saying that what everybody does is correct, for the law does specifically tell us what we should and should not be doing. I gratefully accept Christian assistance, especially if I am straying from the truth. And a true Christian cannot be idle either; I am called to spread His word and His love to those who stray and those who do not believe. My goal is to do what His law expects of me.

We all sin on a consistent basis. We all know His laws, to an excruciating amount. The bible is full of them. The more we learn how many we must follow, the more we realize we aren't! "For no one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God's law, the clearer it becomes that we aren't obeying it." Romans 3:20. Jesus Christ has freed us from our sins by dying on the cross for us, and we should be eternally grateful.

I have no right to judge you for what you are, or are not doing. I am not perfect. I sin on a regular basis, and I wholeheartedly admit that. Because Jesus died for my sins, I do not consider this as a pass for my sin to be acceptable by any means. I am accountable for my own actions in the very end.

Therefore my challenge for you is when somebody says something that you blatantly think is wrong, re-evaluate. "And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye, when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye." Matthew 7:3-5. Change what you are doing wrong before you help another change their transgressions.

Curly-Haired Confession #3: I am NOT perfect. I sin on a daily basis, no matter how much I love Him and His law. My life is bound by sin. Before I focus on what other people are doing wrong, I need to fix my own wrongdoings.

The story of the adulterous woman in John 8 always comes to mind. Not necessarily about the woman, but the something that Jesus said we should apply before we condemn others.

"Let those who have never sinned cast the first stone." Matthew 8:(part of verse)7.

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I am ashamed of those things I do on a regular basis that go against what you expect of me. I humbly repent and you know my heart, that I would rather do anything before sinning against You and Your Word. I know other people sin, but I have no right to say I am better than they are. Give me the strength to help guide them to You instead of judging or gloating, and also to guide me into fixing my own transgressions. In Your name, Amen.

Friday, November 12, 2010


When I was younger, I always felt out of place with most of the people around me. Especially with those in my own age group. I had a few select friends who teased me because, while easy to read, I was hard to understand. Most of my friends were older or younger than I was, and for the most part I was perfectly fine with that.

I was in the car the other day with my boyfriend. I was feeling mildly upset because a friend of his invited him to go out of town to visit for some sort of event. I wasn't upset because I was worried he would do something that would upset me. I was upset because I can probably count on one hand the number of times somebody invited me (specifically me, that is) to an event. I opened up to him slowly, because I didn't want him to think I was upset at him (I wasn't).

I started rambling (because my thoughts are never organized... generally as I ramble I stumble upon whatever bothers me) to him that when we would go out to places, people would always show interest in talking to him. I told him that people might say hello to me, but that was generally the extent of conversation. It was brought up that generally when he spoke to other people, it was about what he was doing (he defines himself by what he does), generally about cars or work. What I am most passionate about is people. Sadly, most people don't find talking about personality and psychological theories for multiple hours interesting enough.

I realized that for the most part, I don't think like most people. ESPECIALLY people in my age group. The guys talk about partying, football, and what they find attractive in women (generally pretty shallow). The girls talk about fashion, mind-numbing TV shows, partying, and other things I find a bit on the shallow, boring side. Most of what they say, do, and think is influenced by their friends or the media. I don't do that. I do what I like.

Now, I'm not saying what most girls do is bad. I just can't relate to them. Same with guys, too. I have always found comfort in those who stray farthest from the norm. This is one of the reasons I love my boyfriend: he isn't like most guys, especially in our age group. He has his own interests and does not allow anybody else to control his likes or dislikes. Plus he is very passionate about his hobbies. For the most part, we think on the same page (with minor differences here and there).

I just have to remember I can't be bothered by the fact I am different. I love being different! I just wish I was an introvert because then I would be ok about doing things on my own most of the time. I'm an extravert, so I thrive around people. It just doesn't quite 'match' with my eccentric personality. For now, I just need to reach out to others and be a good friend to all. Just need a little more practice!

Curly-Haired Confession #2: Never be ashamed of who you are. God made you to be special in his eyes.

(Me and my uniqueness... I dressed up as Perry the Platypus for Halloween!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Curly-Haired Confession #1

Since you last heard from me (in July)....

-I got a new job
-I got my ham radio license (KD0MOE!)
-I joined a gym
-I've lost six pounds and four percent body fat
-I've joined (TWO) worship band
-I started a bible study
-I got my first drum lesson
-I gained a new obsession
-I successfully painted my toenails for the first time
-I watched my best friend from high school get married
-I got my first AA on expert mode in DDR
-I doubled up on my classes for school
-I began the process of grad school hunting
-I'm planning a fundraiser
-I have more friends

In the last four months or so, there have been a number of changes. Maybe it is because I have been going to college at home, or because the last few years of my life have not followed the 'norm' of my age group... but I am beginning to realize that my life is in a period of great change (as is anybody my age).

As I continue to lift out of my depression, I also am more capable of holding my own and initiating my own agenda. It scares me to even wonder about where I will be next November, because I know it will not be where I am now. But the coolest part is feeling confident that in the long run, I will end up ok. I know there are plenty of people in the world who love me and support me. I know I can make smart, rational decisions and be a good adult.

Curly-Haired Confession #1: Change is inevitable, no matter what.

Therefore, I will embrace my changes head on. It may never be graceful, and it may never be pretty, but I'm not going to hide in fear that the worst will always happen. Change may bring the bad, but it certainly brings out the good, too. I will support others when they need guidance during change. I will seek help when change overwhelms me. I will remember that I can get through anything. I have gotten through a lot already, and because I did that, nothing can hold me back now.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Make a Difference

In the last few months, I have thought LONG and HARD about the kind of person I aspire to be. I try to think… what am I good at? What defines me? What can I use to benefit other people?

I began a bit of a list… I am good with music, singing, writing, being a people-person, selling items, having LOTS of energy, reading, DDR, and being myself. Alright, so I have a random list of things I’m good at. So where does that bring me? Must think more!!!!

And then, it hit me! I figure if that last question is important to the type of person I want to be, I want to help others. I want to use my God-given talents to benefit other people, in any way possible. I talked to some friends for a while about what sort of things I could do to make a difference for others.

Finding a cause to work with was a bit difficult, because there are SO many problems in the world. It is nearly impossible to work for every single one. I wish at one point to be a Christian motivational speaker for teenagers, but I have a lot to figure out before I can start. I will call that a ‘long-term goal’. However, one problem that is dear to my heart is Mitochondrial Disease. I follow a few blogs about families who have a member (generally a young child) that suffers from the disease. If you do some research, it is absolutely heartbreaking. In very young children, it is often fatal. There is no cure.

I found UMDF soon after, which is the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. They have an option to donate, but I don’t really have a lot of money to spare because I only work part time. Trying to save on top of my bills is a bit tricky, but it’s important. There was a link there regarding hosting a fundraiser, so I looked through the different ideas for fundraising activities. Because of my love for DDR (Dance Dance Revolution), I thought hosting a video game tournament would be really awesome. I got a lot of friends to support the idea and actually add a few other things that would make for a successful fundraiser.

So my hope is to get a Mitochondrial Disease Research fundraiser going in my area. There are still a ton of details to work out, but I submitted a form to UMDF and had a representative contact me. I am waiting for a chance to get to speak with her over the phone. I want these kids to have a cure someday so they don’t have to suffer. I will update you on how the process is going!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Update :)

Wow, I let life get in the way and nearly four months pass without writing a single thing. I did warn you that I’m not terribly good with continually writing. I’m getting a bit better with keeping a consistent schedule, including (trying) to get up at 8am and actually make my day somewhat productive. That isn’t always easy. Now if I can master a consistent bedtime (or at least before midnight, regardless of the time!)… It’s a work in progress.

I actually haven’t stopped writing completely, but I keep a personal journal now. I figure now that I have a place to store my most personal and (extremely) detailed information, maybe I will feel less compelled to write about it here. I know I felt a struggle with my writing, because after a point in time, it just felt so superficial. I hope you can be patient with me as I try to figure out who I am and what I am passionate about within my writings.

I have done a lot of moving forward with my life, so that is good at least. I finally got fed up with my poor hours at my previous job and went job hunting in August. I was VERY fortunate and accepted a position within a few weeks. I was able to quit both the jobs I held over the summer due to the hours I picked up at my new job. I work at a national retail (mainly clothing) chain that specializes, as my manager put it, in ‘affordable’ luxury items. They care a lot more about pleasing the customer and making sure the employees are happy. I finally don’t have to worry about catty coworkers, incompetent managers, and a poor work environment. I have made friends…. GIRL friends… MY AGE!!!!!!! It is so nice to have girls to text and chat with at work! My managers are impressed with my performance and their kind words really help me thrive. In fact, after only being there a couple of months, I accepted a holiday position working in the fine jewelry department. I know they only ask a few employees to take the position, so I feel honored that they asked me. Currently I work in juniors and special sizes (petites, plus sizes). I will be going back to the department again after the holidays. Also- the incentives ROCK! The managers reward you greatly for doing a good job. Makes working so fun!

I can’t remember the exact dates, but right around the time of my last post I joined a Christian Recovery group. I am now participating in a bible study of sorts; using the Bible, prayer, and reflection to help me deal with my hurts, habits, and hang-ups. I am the background vocalist for the band at the large group session of the meeting. I also am now a background vocalist for the main church as well, performing 1-2 times a month. I have a strong passion to sing harmony, and it is really fun to get to experiment with chords playing against the melody. Most of my ‘work’ is impromptu- basically I learn the songs in practice, make up harmony, and master what I make up. It is a LOT of fun!

Boyfriend and I are still together; we just celebrated our six month anniversary in the middle of October. He has been a wonderful support and I am so appreciative to have him in my life. I was making progress before he came along, however his friendship has been a very strong influence to help me continue making good decisions. His family has welcomed me in like one of their own, which is really nice because I have not had much of a ‘normal’ family setting growing up.

Because of all my progress, I am happy (maybe a little sad, too) to announce that my therapy is coming to a close in December. It has been once a month since about July, but I continue to do well and deal with my emotional problems with strength, grace, and maturity (well, at least more than before…). I have been taken off my meds and I’m still staying strong! Life certainly isn’t easy by any means, but I have a lot more to work with when I am feeling down.

I’m feeling a lot more fit too! In August, I decided that I was starting to weigh a bit too much and that I needed to start working out on a more consistent basis and eat better. I joined a gym in my town that is fairly inexpensive and starting going a bit more frequently. I also purchased Dance Dance Revolution, the amazing work-out video game experience that I believe helped me drop nearly 40 pounds in my senior year of high school. I have only lost about three pounds overall since August, but I’ve lost a number of inches off various parts of my body and feel great! I still have a bit more work to do, but it’s nice to feel better about my body!

School is also a bit better. I am finally back to getting A’s and am hoping to double up on my classes starting next week. It would be nice to graduate by summer so I can get started with my ‘adult’ life (which includes MORE school!!!).

Anyways, so there’s the update. I will write again soon about something REALLY awesome that I’m planning. And other things, too :).

Monday, November 1, 2010


Intend to write tomorrow! I am alive and well. Lots have been happening since I last wrote and I need to get back into this... However it is 1am, I am EXHAUSTED, and I have work tomorrow (Oh, I have a new job too! :D). Have a good night!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

On Growing Up

Sometimes, life is just hard.

Sometimes, you just have to deal with it and move on.

It’s not always dealing with life that comes easy, however. Often it takes training and praying and working to make life worthwhile. I have been in therapy for over a year and a half; sorting through my past, learning how to make better decisions, finding better influences, and working through the depression are all things I’ve had to learn over the course of being with my therapist.

While I feel so proud and strong that I have finally graduated to once a month therapy (in my mind, I hear WOOOHOOO I NEVER THOUGHT I’D MAKE IT TO THIS POINT!!!), I feel really anxious about it too. All the changes that will be starting to take place, well, now I have to learn how to deal with them… on my own. Right now, medications help guide and clear my unhealthy thoughts, but within the next year those will likely be taken away as well.

It’s just me.

Only me.

Nobody else can fix my problems, nobody else can run my life, and nobody else can make my decisions.

It’s hard to believe where I stood not even two years ago: helpless, craving love and attention, seeing the world in black and white, harming my body, worrying my friends and family, shunning happiness, wishing for death.

And where I am now: loved, talented, happy-go-lucky, fortunate, blessed, wholesome, open to the world, street smart, intelligent, playful.

There are still areas I need to improve on: responsibility, financial security, hard-worker, focused.

This whole journey, as my therapist has pointed out, is basically growing up. I just got a late start due to family problems, my past, and other negative things. When I turned 18, I didn’t understand what my peers were going through. They were anxious because they realized they had to grow up and start doing things on their own. I was still acting like a child and making childish decisions.

While I feel better, and the depression is gone, the emptiness still consumes me sometimes. Worrying about the future keeps me busy, trying to plan grad school, realizing that I will eventually start a family, my career. Sometimes I just want to go back to that child I was and let other people control me, just so I don’t have to do it.

Growing up sucks.

Well, at least at this portion. I know if I keep my head up straight, make good and healthy decisions, and don’t let depression and anxiety consume me, the rewards will be great. Nobody feels wonderful all the time, and it’s normal to feel unsure at times. I might feel scared, but it’s not the end of the world. PEOPLE GROW UP ALL THE TIME!!! And they live!

It’s really nice to truly believe that I’m gonna be ok. And so can anybody else, if they put the right kind of time and effort to make sure they can get through the rough times to. Cause the rough times always happen. For better, for worse, it’s always best to be prepared.

On the plus side, what I’ve had to go through for life and therapy will be great material to work with as a therapist!

Oh as a quick side note, what do you think of the video blog? Are there any topics you’d like me to cover on one? I think I’m going to actually write a script and talk about some sort of topic for my next one!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Live Video Podcast Channel

I Really Am Bad At This

Hi all!

Sometimes, I feel a lot of difficulty because I don't appear to have the ability to keep up with a hobby for more than a few weeks before I feel like I'm flitting back to another one. Not that I really have one right now that's taking over my life (though I have been making some jewelry in the last few weeks, and that's been fun!), but I am not exactly the most focused person in the world. It also doesn't help that I find nearly every hobby and interest fascinating in some way. I suppose I can't get down on myself too much, because I still am writing, but I suppose that is my slight vent for the post.

I suppose I'm not terribly sure what to write about. I'm on my laptop, so I don't have my lovely list of blog topics readily available! However, one is a bit on my heart today. My boyfriend has a wondering sister who just visited from her state this last week. You actually can check out her blog right here (I got her started with one!). She lives fairly far away, but we met one of the first times I hung out with my boyfriend and we became friends over Facebook. While I have become close with all the members of his family, she has become especially close. We are able to talk about anything and everything together. We help each other with problems, school, and other things that fill our life.

Yes, the distance sucks. I spent at least a part of most of the days she was visiting here. Obviously we were just as close as we were online. We made each other laugh, we talked about life, and we got to share a few hugs. We joke a lot too, because we share the same name. I know it sounds really lame, but when the girlfriend and the sister/daughter of the family share the same name, it can get REALLY confusing. ESPECIALLY when 98% of the time, I'm the only one in the household regularly now who is called by that. Last night at Dairy Queen, we were talking to my boyfriend on the phone (through walkie-talkies; you will be getting a post on my new phone once I have a little more time to play and get adjusted to it!). She was informing him that we were hanging out together, and she said 'Oh, and this is ---!!!' I took a look at her and we cracked up realizing that my boyfriend could have thought it was either one of us. 

The main point of this post, I suppose, is to not let distance separate you from being close to the ones you hold dear. We have so many forms of technology that we can take advantage of! We have email and cellphones at the most basic. Facebook, instant messaging, and Skype are a little more intricate, but they are just more ways we can keep in touch. If you don't have technology, write a letter or send a care package (yes, snail mail still exists!). I have become closer to her primarily through technology, and it hasn't negatively affected our friendship in any way.

When I went off to college, I lost touch with many of my high school friends. I sometimes kick myself to this day because I did not go out of my way to keep in touch with them. I let distance become my excuse. It's difficult now to make up for that. My best friend from high school just got married last weekend. I love her like crazy, but it's difficult because I feel like I lost her. I could have done a better job of keeping up to date with her, but I didn't. It's really not hard to call somebody or send a message!

Anyways, to my friend, I hope you had a safe trip back and I look forward to our next visit... whenever it happens!

And my fellow bloggers/readers, I have a special treat! Because of my new phone... I CAN DO VIDEO PODCASTS!!!! So enjoy them as I start doing them more :).

Monday, June 28, 2010


Alright, so we had our first assignment this week! We were told to take a visual image and use our imaginations. I decided to write a short story on this photo:

If the image is too small, check out the URL here: My Guy

Anyways, tell me what you think of my first short story.


Kiryn looked out the window of her mother’s car, briefly staring at hundreds of trees rushing by. Her mother was busy driving and talking on her cellphone. She knew her mother was a lawyer and that she was very busy most of the time. Luckily, Kiryn was used to spending large amounts of time alone. Most six-year-olds would be bored out of their skulls, but she knew how to keep herself entertained.

“Kiryn?” Her mother called, pulling the cell phone off her ear briefly, “Do you need to stop for the bathroom? There’s a rest stop a few miles off the road.”

“I’m alright. Thanks Abby.” Kiryn mumbled while pressing the buttons on her Leap Frog portable gaming system. Kiryn had a strange relationship with her mother, more like the relationship between a child and an adult mentor. Her mother cared about her immensely, but work consumed most of her time and could not provide enough attention to her daughter regularly. Kiryn started calling her mother by her first name early last year, when Kiryn realized that she could not always gain her mother’s attention unless using her name directly.

“Ok then, sweetie. We should be there in an hour or so.” Her mother quickly resumed her conversation with a client. Kiryn rolled her eyes slightly in humor. She was aware her mother worked outrageously long hours to make sure they lived comfortably. She was appreciative, albeit a bit lonely. Kiryn resumed playing on her Leap Frog until the car stopped at a little red house out in the country. Large portions of field covered the land, with a cluster of trees scattered in the distance. She shoved her game into her kitten backpack and stepped out of the car.

The strong scent of lilacs filled her nose as her and her mother walked slowly up the steps and onto the white porch. Kiryn began to feel a slight weight in her stomach build as her mother rang the doorbell. It had been six months since Carson moved away to Pennsylvania. She snapped out of thought as a woman she didn’t recognize answered the door.

“Oh, you must be the Lyle’s!” The woman expressed joyfully. “It’s Abby, correct?” She asked while shaking her hand.

“Yes,” She nodded, “And you’re Elizabeth, Jak’s new wife? You’ve been married for four months now, is that right?”

“Five months tomorrow,” She corrected while leading the tired mother and daughter into the front area of the home. Elizabeth turned around and knelt down to Kiryn’s level. “Well hello there, dear! Carson has been looking so very forward to your visit. He has been talking about it for the last week straight! You guys can play, and read, and…”

Elizabeth’s voice faded away as Kiryn remembered the last time she saw Carson. He moved away nearly six months ago, with Carson’s dad going to remarry. That day was a slightly painful one, as Carson was the only child Kiryn could connect with. His mother died when he was three and her father died when she was four, both victims of pancreatic cancer. The families met at a support group soon after Kiryn’s father was diagnosed.

Carson and Kiryn understood the pain it felt to watch a parent suffer through the terrible illness. Both were unusually quiet and intelligent because of circumstances and it made it difficult for both to make friends with other children. They carried the same grave expressions most of the time, but shy smiles and mutual understanding of one another led to an unbreakable bond.

Luckily both her mother and Carson’s father realized it wasn’t fair to separate the children permanently and scheduled visits twice a year. This was the first scheduled visit.

“Hi Kiryn,” A soft voice carried through the room. She smiled as she saw Carson at the doorway leading to the kitchen. “Come on, I want to show you something.” He smiled as he took her hand and led her up the carpeted stairs. He led her into a room filled with racecars and pictures of him and his deceased mother. Kiryn assumed it was his room. He let go of her hand and picked up a little book made out of computer paper stapled together.

“This is for you.” He proudly handed her the book. On the cover it said ‘For Kiryn’, written in messy little boy handwriting. “The pictures inside are all the things I wanted to show you while I’ve been gone.”

Kiryn flipped through the book. She recognized a poorly drawn picture of the Statue of Liberty, and the Cinderella castle at Disney World.

“This is really cool!” She quietly exclaimed.

“Turn to the last page.” Carson urged softly. She turned to the last part. He had drawn a dirt road leading to many pretty trees and a creek. There were flowers and animals scattered throughout the drawing. The picture stood out from the others, more careful and thought out.

“Where is this?” She wondered. He smiled bashfully at her question.

“I can show you. But we have to be quiet. My step mom doesn’t like me going to it alone.” They tiptoed down the white, plush stairs. Abby was talking to Elizabeth in the kitchen, both sipping cappuccinos and filling each other in on what the children have been doing. They walked silently out the front door, where Carson proceeded to lead Kiryn to a clearing in the fields. The clearing slowly turned into a dirt road, leading into the trees Kiryn spotted when she got out of the car.

“You mean this place is here?” She asked in astonishment.

He nodded. “Just a few more minutes and we’ll be there.” The path led into the trees, where Kiryn saw flowers spotting the ground. Butterflies, bees, and dragonflies flew freely around the forest. Within moments, the creek came into view.

Kiryn gasped. “This is beautiful!”

Carson motioned to a large rock next to the creek. Sun was peeking through the leaves and left a picturesque glow through the area. They both climbed up on the rock covered in moss. Kiryn looked around a bit, then noticed Carson was staring at her. She blushed.

“I sort of have something else for you. I was watching a movie and a guy gave this to a girl.” He pulled out a necklace from his pocket. It was a simple chain, and there was a key on it. He looked away shyly as he handed it to her. “This is the key to my heart. I wanted you to have it.”

“I really like it.” She pulled the necklace over her head. “It’s pretty. So, tell me everything. What has happened since you moved here?”

They carried on conversation about life for over an hour. They talked about their parents, how they missed seeing one another, and school. The sun was beginning to lower through the trees, and the temperature dropped a few degrees. Kiryn started to shiver. She was only wearing a simple dress, exposing her arms and most of her legs.

“We should go back. It’s probably around time for supper. Did I tell you we are going to Hershey Park tomorrow?” He inquired.

“No. That sounds fun.” She paused for a moment, and then grabbed his arm before he started to climb off from the rock. She stared into his eyes intensely, carefully examining his beautiful face. Carson’s dark blue eyes and his long, thick eyelashes made him look like he was six, but the expression on his face made him appear somewhat older. She understood why. Kiryn leaned forward and kissed his pale pink lips briefly; expressing her feelings in the only way she could think of. Eloquent words of expression were years away from her vocabulary. She leaned back and saw a look of surprise wash over his face. He then leaned forward and kissed her back.

“I love you,” She murmured as he pulled back.

“Me too,” He beamed. “Come on; let’s go back before my step mom sees that we left. We don’t want to get in trouble.” He guided her off the rock and they began to walk down the dirt path back to the house. He put his arm around her as she shivered again, and she curled her arm around his torso in reply. They walked back to the red house quietly and happily.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What?!? You mean I actually have to DO it?!?!?

My evil course is finally over with! Apparently I wasn’t the only one struggling, however, I faired better than a majority of my classmates. Two of my team members actually disclosed they were failing and would have to retake the class. I know at least six or seven others dropped around week 3 and week 4. The worst grade I’ll get is a C+, so I suppose I really don’t have the right to complain. It might not be my best grade, but I’m glad I passed and I know I did my best.

Now I’m taking a Creative Writing class. Just started today, actually. I will be writing a lot of short stories, and I will most certainly share them with you all! I hope you like something a little different than my non-fiction blog entries, you know?

AND… On the plus side, I am now mobile for blogging! I just got my laptop repaired and it runs BEAUTIFULLY! Thank God for wonderful people that are willing to help a poor college student get her laptop fixed. Had I sent my laptop to Apple, I bet it would have cost me about $100 alone for diagnostics. Oy!

Now, back to this daily scheduled blog entry. Actually, with how busy I’ve been, it seems more bi-weekly, but that will change!

I’m sure a lot of you guys can empathize with me on being extremely disorganized. Might actually be one of the reasons I’m not good at keeping things up on a regular basis. When I do anything involving minor responsibility, like cleaning my room or doing my homework on a regular basis, I struggle. They occur when the inspiration, or the due date, comes around. I know it’s not a good thing to do at all.

What frustrates me most is that I know I’m not disorganized because I’m intending to be malicious. My dad and I have set many agreements stating that I need to keep my room clean, but I always break them. Naturally, he thinks I’m doing this as an act of rebellion. However, I’m really not. I just don’t think about cleaning. I see a little mess, and I think ‘It’s really no big deal’.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not super careless. I do have breaking points for cleaning and getting things done. I remember some of my friends from childhood, their rooms were literally COVERED in toys and gunk. You could not even see the floor! While my floor may be somewhat cluttered, you can still see it. I do not let it smell bad, either. When there is a due date for a major assignment coming up, I will work on it. I am not one of those people who can just clean up a mess as soon as I make it, or start working on a project little bits at a time for numerous weeks. My projects get done all at once.

In the mean time, I’m just trying to make any progress that I can. I have a calendar to track my activities and homework due dates. It helps me remember my commitments and stick to them more thoroughly. With cleaning, I’m just trying to not let the messes get so large before I clean them up. I suppose I would rather clean for only 15 minutes versus two hours.  I’m aiming to start projects when they are assigned to me instead of doing it the day before. There might be special tips or tricks for doing this (if you know of one, you are welcome to disclose to me (: ), but I just have to do it. Like the Nike commercials: Just Do It! There are dozens of things people don’t want to do every day, but they do them anyways. That means I should be able to accomplish the same thing.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bye bye, I'll catch ya later, anxiety!

I figured I’d get that last post up so you all didn’t think I’ve dropped off the face of the earth. I kid you not I am so looking forward to Wednesday night through Friday night being OFF from work, and not having a whole lot of school on those days on top of it. I should hopefully get caught up with everybody’s blogs that I’ve been following (and yes, at my last count there were about 30+) and feel good about it!

In the mean time, I just have to write about something. And no, school papers do not count! My last paper was about the central nervous system and the role of nerves and transmitters. This paper I’m working on for the Monday night due date (no, I don’t put things off, nope not me!) is on human sexuality. Oh boy. That should be an engaging paper! I just need to write about something important to me, which compels me to share with you all (of course!).

Just so you know my current class is called Biological Psychology. In the class we examine the different parts of the body (primarily the brain) and learn how they play a role in human behavior. It’s an absolutely fascinating course, however the book is contains too much scientific-speak to understand easily from just reading without lectures to guide on. I’m getting by, and the professor is the most difficult I’ve had to deal with in any of my classes at the University of Phoenix. She definitely keeps me on my toes, which is excellent because I always enjoy a teacher that keeps my wheels turning! Just for a bit of information, I just started at the University of Phoenix last August. I am currently enrolled in my eighth course and for the most part, am getting pretty good grades. Looking forward to my next class that starts on June 22, CREATIVE WRITING!!!!

It’s so crazy that I am doing school so well now. I feel extremely fortunate to be at a position in life where I am positively adjusting to my work, school, and social life. Not even 18 months ago could I claim to be half as effective as I am at the current time. I was pretty much failing school at that time.

Most of my life I have been suffered from pretty severe anxiety. I could not multitask in fear of falling apart, I was a chronic worrywart, and I could not go out in public without fear that every single person who observed me was attacking me in some way, shape, or form. Up until my high school graduation, a lot of my anxiety was repressed. Towards the end of high school I started making a lot of mistakes that negatively impacted my life and my anxiety began to surface. I think it all started about the time I broke up with my boyfriend of two and a half years and found out I was rejected to the college I had poured years of time and effort into getting into. The more careless I became about my life, the more anxiety crept in through the ever-widening cracks. For the most part, the anxiety controlled every aspect of my life and lead to severe depression.

My carelessness prevented me from thinking through the anxiety when it hit. When I felt nervous in public, I would automatically shut down. When a teacher stressed me out in class, I would break down in class with my classmates observing my every shriek and cry. When I felt a boyfriend was not giving me enough attention, I would do something stupid to make them run back to me and pay attention. The list goes on. I am not proud of these things that I did.

I feel fortunate that even though I was careless, I never felt like I was a failure and that my issues could not be fixed. I wanted, no, NEEDED help. I went through therapy off and on trying to desperately find the solutions to cure the anxiety. I was beyond function. I was sleeping 16+ hours a day, I could not perform well at work, and I couldn’t do any schoolwork so I flunked out of college. I don’t know how those with depression and anxiety just want to stay like that and make no change whatsoever. It’s not that I didn’t want to make the change, I didn’t know how.

So I started some therapy. My first two therapists were nice, but I never really felt much of a connection with them. However, one past therapist stuck out in my mind, and I expressed interest for that therapist to give me counseling (I had met the therapist in family therapy about 14 months prior). He videotaped the first ten sessions. He gave me challenges and things to consider regarding my anxiety. The main message behind every talk was ‘Don’t just react. Think about how you feel, get to the root issue of the problem, and reassess your behavior.’ He never gave me that broad of a message, but as his lessons started sinking it that was the core of all he taught me.

Figuring out what I was really feeling didn’t cure the anxiety, however, when I was able to rationally express my fears and concerns my therapist was able to give me guidance to work through my issues. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy became my best friend. The point of the therapy is to accomplish more accurate thought processes when faced with a problematic thought causing depression and anxiety. These were the steps I followed:

-Writing down an incident that causes me anxiety/depression

-Writing down my initial feeling (this would be the feelings that caused excessive anxiety)

-Rating my moods associated with the feeling

-Listing the reasons that would support my feeling being true

-Listing the reasons that would indicate my feelings being false (with these two steps, you learn how to identify incorrect thinking)

-Rewriting a more rational approach regarding the incident

-Rerating the moods that I feel regarding the more rational thought that I was able to figure out

At first I completed these by filling out charts, especially after my first hospital stay in May of 2009. Whenever something negative occurred, I immediately pulled the chart out and recorded everything. Within a few weeks, I was able to do the process mentally. Before too long, it just became an instant process when faced with an anxious feeling.

And I must note: CBT may not cure the initial sadness or negative feelings, you may still feel them once you’ve reassessed the problem. HOWEVER, it makes it easier to find something else to do that helps the feelings subside. I used to be very insecure in relationships, and CBT has made it possible for my current relationship to be functional and virtually worry-free. Every now and then, something said will make my anxiety begin to rise and I will feel the panic, and even after figuring out the root issue I will still feel a little bad. That’s normal. But the trick for me is not to let the negative feelings overwhelm me entirely.

If you suffer from anxiety, I highly recommend meeting with a professional who specializes in the use of CBT. It never hurts! Another thing I must mention is that the therapist cannot fix you. YOU have to make the EFFORT to make therapy WORK. If you do therapy for anybody but yourself, it will not be nearly as effective. It’s not easy, and it has taken me well over a year with my current therapist to be at the level I am at right now. I also know that if I choose to ‘give up’ and not do the things that help me be functional that I will revert back to where I started out at. If you have anxiety and feel like things are hopeless, they are not! I am living, breathing proof of that!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm Alive! I Promise!!

Oh my goodness. I didn't realize what I was getting into with picking up a second job while taking probably the most difficult class I've ever taken. All my free time died! Well, tonight, not so much... so I'm trying to work on a post! I hope you guys didn't think I was neglecting your blogs, but this is the first time in over a week I've been able to jump on Blogger! So hopefully into next week I can get caught back up on everything and the blog. Just to let you know!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Not Me! Monday

This weekend, I did not lose my pants.

Let me rephrase- I did not lose my pants in my room, when I had just seen them the night before. I did not proceed to spend about 30 minutes digging through my room to find said pants. I had to wear them to work, cause it was going to be a 90 degree day under hot lights.

I did not find them in the laundry room when I went to grab another piece of clothing. I did not remember that dad grabbed all my work pants and threw them in the laundry room.

And this morning, I did not misplace my car keys. I’m not disorganized enough to lose things TWO days in a row! I did not dig through my room AGAIN to find them. I did not cry in frustration. I did not call dad to ask if he had seen them, only for him to tell me that I would not be driving the car that those car keys belonged to. He had that car. I did not remember that the night before he told me that I would have the other car. And I did not spend nearly 45 minutes looking for car keys for a car that I would not be driving.

I did not make my room into a god awful mess. I would never let it get out of control. It is not one of the worst messes I’ve ever had to deal with. There aren’t clothes strewn all over and papers cluttering the floor. I have not tripped at least three times this morning over my crud. While I’m slightly disorganized, I’m not this bad.

I am not panicking over my group project that is supposedly due tonight. I am usually very much in control of all my school projects and don’t wait until the last minute to make sure my group gets it together to get it finished. I will not be up until 1am making sure it is completed. I did not call a coworker to cover half of my shift so I could get more done. I would never sacrifice precious work hours to make sure school is completed.

What have you NOT done this week? Mortified to admit those crazy things you’ve done? Well no worry… you DIDN’T do it! Link over to MckMama’s page this lovely morning and write about what you didn’t do as well. It’s NOT a lot of fun! :-)

Friday, May 28, 2010

I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys R' Us kid!

I am not ashamed to admit it, but I consider myself to be more like a big kid than an adult. Not that I have anything against adults acting mature and responsible (even I have to do this every once in a while!), however, I just prefer to get down and dirty and have as much fun as possible! I don’t let age limits stop me from participating in activities that I enjoyed even ten years ago. Plus, by having that childlike demeanor, I feel like I am able to take more joy out of everyday situations. Not that I’m naïve, but one thing I’ve always admired about children is that most are able to see the positive in any sort of situation. Bad things happen, but most of the time children are able to roll with the punches and not worry nearly as much about fears consuming their whole being.

When I babysit or nanny, I believe it is fully important to actually play with the child. I have to be honest in that playing with a child is a much harder task than it used to be. Children have such vivid imaginations! They see a toy and can instantly create a story that evolves into something magical. And it’s like a psychic connection that children have, they can come together and make two different stories (because honestly, not every child thinks on the same wavelength) combine into something that works for them.

Currently I babysit a cute four year old girl and her two year old brother. She has such a creative mind and I find it very difficult to keep up and ‘pretend’ with her. But by participating in her stories, I find that my imagination continues to expand and that I think out of the box much more effectively than before. In a way, it keeps me feeling young! I hope that I can still feel this way twenty years from now, when that ‘young feeling’ is much harder to grasp when needed.

Some of my hobbies and activities I enjoy are kid based too, and in this case, I enjoy them without the presence of children around. For instance, I LOVE CARTOONS! I’m sure you noticed on my last post that I had a picture of Patrick from Spongebob.

Spongebob is an adorable cartoon from Nickelodeon about undersea critters. It has been on the air for about 11 years now, so I enjoyed it quite thoroughly even when I was 11 years old! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found themes, jokes, and ideas that are actually more ‘adult’ focused. I believe kids enjoy cartoons for the simple story lines, the cleverly drawn characters, and the simple jokes. But beyond that, they involve a lot of laughs for adults to enjoy too.

Another great cartoon that is only a couple years old is ‘Phineas and Ferb’. Created with that touch of Disney magic, it tells the adventures of two young boys that live each day in summer to the fullest, and their older sister who is always trying to bust her brothers for their daily creations. Filled with clever puns, good music, an excellent storyline, and humorous characters, it easily warms into the hearts of both children and adults alike. Below is one of my favorite episodes, namely for the song ‘Squirrels in my Pants’.

VIDEO GAMES! Oh my gosh do I love me some video games! Now, I do play video games that are structured generally for the 12 and up crowd (minus the Wii games, which are amazingly fun as well!). It’s just so fun to get into a game where you are another character and you have to undergo adventures and quests. Pokémon is one of my favorites! You start as a ten year old about to receive your first Pokemon so you can go off and take a journey to become the best Pokemon trainer in the land. Currently I have my own copy of Pokemon HeartGold that I still need to finish, however I’m just so busy my life that I’ve been neglecting it! I also have a love for World of Warcraft! You start as a creature questing to defeat monsters, enemies, and finding important information that is crucial to your race. You join up with other individuals to quest, if you so choose. There are also fun games to play within the game, such as capture the flag. It’s very addicting! Too bad I have better things to spend $14.95 on a month.

Last but not least, I’m just crazy, goofy, and I don’t let other people tell me not to be fun and out of the box. It is always so nice to make your friends laugh while using funny voices, pretending to be like other people, and telling amusing (if not redundant) jokes. Even though I’m 22, I don’t let the stressors of finishing college and deciding what I want to do with my life control and overwhelm me (all the time, occasionally it makes me feel a little anxious!). I feel good about my life.

Don’t feel afraid to let loose. Don’t let age restrictions keep you from enjoying activities you’d like to participate in. Take in all the joys and wonders life has to offer. Use your imagination and don’t be afraid to be a little creative. In my opinion, it makes life just a little bit nicer!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Spongebob, I Got an Award!

Ooh, that is just an epic episode.

Anyways, I was just looking through the blogs I've been following.. and HOLY COW!! I got an award! I think that's pretty darn sweet! Apparently I'm an awesome commenter, and The Girl Who Loves to Whine over at I Know You Wish Your Life Was More Like Mine! says so! Thanks!

So, I guess there are some rules I have to abide by as a nominee.

1. Thank person who nominated me.

2. Copy the award. Paste it in my blog.

3. Link to the person who gave me this award.

4. Answer the 10 questions that come with the award.


1. Why do you blog?

I blog because I've always had a passion for writing and I know it is something I excell in. I could always write a journal, but I honestly believe that I do have a lot of important things to say and I want others to see it! I'm not ashamed of what I have to say at all!

2. What are your 3 best memories?

My first memory that I will talk about was of Christmas when I was about 5 years old. My mom was very poor and we lived on welfare. The Women's Shelter in my town invited us over and took us back into a room so the director could talk to my mom and I. In there, there were a TON of presents. They then told me they were all for me! I will never forget how happy I was. To this day, I want to volunteer because I want other people to experience the same joy I felt when that happened.

Another one of my favorite memories was when I was dating a guy back at Luther College. We had been dating for about a month when he decided to drive us to this cool little park at 4am. I hadn't been there before, but he had. There was a trail off the side of the park, and it led to this big stone tower we climbed up. It was a little rough, but the at the top it was beautiful. We stayed and watched the sunrise. It was only about 35 degrees, but it is a fond memory.

My last memory that I will talk about was my first airplane trip that I remember. My family went to Hawaii, and let me tell you... it was a LONG day. We got to the hotel at about 6pm after a busy and tiring travel day, and we walked out to the beach at sunset. It was incredibly peaceful, just a few people walking along the edge of the beach. It was the first time I had ever seen the ocean, and I remember the feel of the water on my toes. It was pretty sweet.
3. If you had to change your real name what would you change it to?

If I had to change my name? I'm not entirely sure, to be honest. I mean, Rachel is ok, but when I was a kid I wanted to be called Larissa (where in the world did I get that name??).

4. What are five things you can't live without?
1. My friends. I have amazing, incredible friends who support me, are there for me when I need it, and we always have good times. This would include my boyfriend, the only one I will name specifically. I have known him for about a year and what an incredible year this has been getting to know him. I know, at the very least, I want him to part of my life always... in some way, shape, or form.

2. My computer. Ohhh my goodness, am I addicted! I'm always on it, but that's ok!

3. Hugs!! I'm very much a physical touch sort of person, and I would die without them!

4. My therapist- without him, I would not have made the progress I've made today

5. God's love. When I am all alone, I remember that He is always there.

5. What are the 4 best books you've ever read?

1. How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk- John Van Epp. I was not able to date effectively until I read this book. I'm not in a perfect relationship now, but it's quite functional :)

2. The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins. No words to describe how AWESOME this book series is!

3. The Last Song- Nicholas Sparks. I'm a big Nicholas Sparks fan, and his newest book was just perfect. It was a mix of romance and emotional drama that would make some people cringe, but I just sucked it in.

4. Small Town Girl- LaVyrle Spencer. About a country star who comes home to take care of her mom while she's recovering from hip surgery. She realizes she was missing out after she left home, and getting to know the neighbor boy from her childhood shows to be quite memorable.
6. Tell me something unique and interesting about yourself.

I don't know what's really unique about myself specifically, but I really strive to be different from other individuals. I don't like being labeled and I don't put limits on my abilities. So I think that's kind of unique and interesting! :)
7. What do you love best about yourself?

My hair!! :-D

8. What is the best movie ever made?

I'm not really a movie watcher, but one of my favorites is 'The Little Mermaid'. I have a similar personality type to Ariel and I think it's one of the more interesting Disney movies in that it promotes an adventurous spirit for young girls. 'Mulan' is another excellent example.

9. If you had a "freaky friday" experience who would you trade places with and why?

Oh jeez, I don't know. Probably something as simple as my boyfriend, cause I would want to see what it would be like to be a boy. I never really felt the urge to be anybody else!

10. What's the best part about being a woman?

According to the Shania Twain song.. 'the perogative to have a little fun!' ;)

4. Answer the 10 questions that come with the award.

5. Nominate of few of your favorite bloggers for the award.

Well, my first shout out goes to Janae Moss at Pink Moss! We definitely come from different backgrounds, but she is an excellent commenter and she always has very nice and thoughtful things to say!

The second one goes out to Rebecca at Say What You Say. Met her from 20sb, she has a very refreshing writing style and she gives plenty of sweet comments that make my day!

Apparently she's popular, because I noticed on another blog she's been given the award before, but it's Ratz from What Can I Say!. She definitely is able to relate to a lot of my posts.
My last award goes to Rae at The Teen Blog. She seems to be another young lover of the internet and she just is too darn adorable!

6. Post links to the bloggers you nominate.
Alrighty then, that's what I've gotta say today! Thanks again, Girl Who Loves To Whine, you put a big smile on my face!!

Who Am I?

It seems like many blogs I’ve been starting to follow within the last couple of weeks have a lot of Christian values. Even if they are struggling to find their place in God’s eyes, they seem to take matters seriously. They know the bible and various bible verses. They know the songs. They participate in church. At first, I feel a little envious. And then I realize that God does not want me to be envious, especially in matters that come down to Him. He wants me to be myself and to do His will.

I am in the process of trying to find my identity within the Christian realm, and I’ll have to admit that it’s very overwhelming. I try to go to church. I try to read the bible. I pray, although I have a very bizarre way of praying. I try to look at all the different denominations and viewpoints and try to sort through which fits me the best. But I’m still very unsteady and unsure.

One of my biggest hurdles at the current time is I do not live in a college town. I am 22 years old, and the population of individuals in the 19-26 age range in my town is very slim. The church I attended throughout childhood all of a sudden started to feel very hostile because it felt like I didn’t exist. Not that I want to be the center of attention, but I want friends and I want to develop relationships with the other members. While I am an extravert, reaching out to specific individuals in such a large church was very scary.

So I decided to tag along with my boyfriend to his church. Immediately I felt much more comfortable because I was no longer alone, and the congregation was a lot younger compared to my other church. The goals of the church were clear: Accept Jesus, helping people to Become like Jesus, and helping people Contribute the love of Jesus to their world (the ABC method). The motto of the church is ‘Come As You Are’, which is extremely refreshing because I do not feel the need to fit into some type of mold to be accepted. I still wonder how my fit is though. While they have a great worship team, other individuals within the congregation don’t appear to get into the music. Sure, it might not seem like a big deal, but I best express my love and worship to God through music. I know I shouldn’t care what other people think if I choose to get involved with the music more than others, but I still feel extremely self conscious.

I have yet to participate in many of the church activities, though they do seem to be dying down for the summer. It’s very difficult to participate in a lot due to the fact the church is nearly 25 minutes away from where I live. My boyfriend participates in an activity called Celebrate Recovery, which is an event in where individuals with addictive, compulsive, and dysfunctional behaviors can come together with one another to experience God’s healing power and learn principles that help keep us from such unhealthy things. I think it sounds like a terrific program, though I would have to go to one much closer to my home and the thought of going alone is TERRIFYING! At a different church in town, one I actually attended my senior year of high school, they have a program for individuals age 18-35 to meet with similar aged individuals while celebrating God’s love with one another. Once again, it sounds terrific. But I feel so afraid to go on my own.

I read the bible occasionally, though even that I find is a struggle. Sure, I have my favorite books, verses, chapters, but I have yet to hammer through the whole thing. I don’t know all the stories, and I can’t spout verses to follow or inspire others. When I see other blogs taking multiple verses and writing thoughts about those verses, I feel like I know absolutely nothing. I just don’t find sitting down at reading the bible for hours at a time very fun. I also stink at creating and following study guides that help me sort through the bible more effectively. I’m hoping to join a bible study class when one is offered at my church.

I do pray, and quite frequently, but it’s a very strange way of praying. There are no words involved- God knows my thoughts and my heart. For me, it’s a quiet introspection time as I allow all the jumbled thoughts instead my mind calm down, so I can meditate and let God search my innermost being. The unique thing about this is that I have the ability to pray virtually anywhere I am. Ever since I started to do this, I find that I am finding answers for questions that I have been struggling with for years. My depression has diminished, I’m making fewer stupid choices, and I’m feeling better overall. It still doesn’t answer all my concerns, like the ones I’ve already posted, but I’m sure it will come in time.

At the very least, I try to go out of my way to show what Jesus wants us to show our fellow mankind: love. I am very accepting. I pray for other bloggers, friends, people I don’t enjoy, and family. I go out of my way to help others. I try to show people that I am there for them and that I care for them. Matthew 7 is probably one of my favorite chapters for it gives me extremely clear direction for what I need to do to be accepted into God’s Kingdom.

It’s just difficult. I want to understand my place in God’s eyes, and I want to do His will. I have no idea how to go about doing this in ways that I feel comfortable, though I know that’s an unrealistic expectation. Seeking God is not easy and likely will feel uncomfortable. I just have to push past my fears and anxiety and just do it. Go to the events. Read the bible. Continue to pray for guidance for myself and others. Spread God’s love to other individuals.

Hopefully things get better. I know if I try, they will. It will just take some time to get established. It’s like losing weight in a way. You establish healthy behaviors and habits to get the weight to come off. It’s a slow process, but eventually you reach the goal you desire. And you have to continue to work to maintain that goal. Same with doing God’s will. We have to do those things that are healthy to get to the goal we work towards, and we don’t quit when we get there. It’s a never ending process.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Staying Steady on the Balance Beam

Oh my goodness! When I started working on this blog, I was so excited and eager to get writing posts right away and developing all sorts of fun ideas to write about. I pushed life away and focused nearly 100% on my writing. I mean, sure, I did my other things but blogging took precedence

Then I realized I was slacking on work and school. Nothing extreme, but I was definitely losing focus on things that are a priority in life. My assignments were getting in late (actually, that might not be because of this. My statistics class was lame and the teacher was awful!), I wasn’t putting as much zeal into my work, and all that was on my mind was ‘What should I write next?’

If you know a little bit about me, I am very much a black and white thinker. All or nothing. There is no middle ground for me. This type of thinking pattern is very destructive for me, mainly in the form that I cannot appear to balance out activities I enjoy very well. When I realized I had to get back to my other priorities, all of a sudden I felt exhausted to think about blogging by the end of the day. My goal was to write a post every day, and constantly follow all the blogs I’ve been starting to follow.

Alright, within a matter of days, I realize that is obviously a daunting task.

There is a balance between keeping a blog and still living life. Unless one is actually making an income on their blog (which I am pretty sure there are not many), we have to realize that life does come first. Blogging is a fun hobby, for sure! But getting too heavily involved in any hobby can be unhealthy. A lot of the blogs I follow consist of authors that go to school, have a family, and have a career (if not a mix of any two or all three!). I can’t help but crack a smile when I see them talk about setting goals of getting their butt off the computer and getting other work done!

I pretty much live on my computer. This was already pre-blogging. I guess I do have the excuse of actually attending school online which means between 10-20 hours a week of time is committed to reading textbooks, writing papers and powerpoints, and participating in daily discussion questions. Besides school, Facebook and instant messenger are always one click away. I easily have three or four hour conversations with friends over chat. I skype with my boyfriend frequently. I have iTunes on in the background every now and then. I also play some video games, like World of Warcraft (used to) and Dream of Mirror Online. I read CNN and followed about 25 blogs and CaringBridge pages. I also Googled random topics that I found interesting and could read for hours. Wikipedia was both my best friend and my worst enemy.

On top of all that craziness, now I have made the commitment to write about things that are important. Some people can throw together blog posts quickly, but I approach things differently by thinking of topics and ideas ahead of time. I spent a lot of time concocting in my head how I want a blog post to appear. I have a growing list of blog topics that I plan to write about. I also have about four other half finished blog entries that I am churning out slowly.

As for the rest of my life, I’ve gotten quite lazy. Going outside on my own will has almost become a chore. I let chores go unfinished around the house, only to the dismay of my father who yells about how I’m not doing my part around the house. Besides spending time with my boyfriend, I haven’t been seeing many friends and spending time with them.

I obviously need to get a better handle on how to manage my computer time from cleaning, friend, work, outside, and sleeping time. I have been keeping a calendar for a while (thank you BJ!) and most of that is filled with work times and some other events that are going on. What I need to do weekly is set up time that I am devoting to doing all my ‘other’ online activities. I have tried going the other way around by planning times to honor my other commitments, but it only frustrates me because then I do not feel like I have much flexibility at all. In reality, I do have a lot of time to spare. It’s easier for me to put in ‘Ok, this Monday from 6pm to 9pm I am going to read my blogs, write any posts, veg out on Facebook and instant messenger, and whatever other junk I have subjected myself to obsess over’.

Ok, so I’m not going to churn out a blog post daily. I won’t be able to follow every single post to every single blog I follow (trust me, I’d like to, but I’d go mad since I follow currently about 40+ blogs). It’s very tempting, yes, but I have to keep myself happy, healthy, and depression free. I don’t want to feel exhausted if it’s 11pm at night after a busy day of papers and work to feel compelled to write something. There’s always a better and more appropriate time.

It’s all a delicate balancing act.

Now I just have to figure out how to make this work for me.

How do you guys balance blogging and life? I always appreciate comments and suggestions!


Friday, May 21, 2010

101/1001 Day Challenge

Well, I finally decided to look into this whole 1001 day project that I have seen so many other blogs talking about. Within seeing about five blogs doing the challenge, I hopped on Google and found a website that went more into detail about what the project is. After a while of getting the idea, I played around with developing my own list. I also read many different lists, and every single one was different in ways unlike another’s. I thought it was very unique!

So, after thinking about what my intentions were, I figured this would be an excellent project to tackle. And because I’m so god awful at staying consistent with a project, I decided this would be a good segment to add to my blog. That way I am not only fulfilling a duty to myself, but I am also fulfilling the duty to you (my readers) that I will keep at this going strong!

I realize the concept of the project was not to finish every single list. Instead, the list has us examine what our goals, dreams, and passions are, and to start finding ways to make those things possible. Obviously, not everything on the list is going to be earth-shattering. Some of my goals are actually to try new things, and others are to do things I should be doing more often.

I think actually having the list will help me have a better ability to focus on my goals, instead of just having them stew in my head (it would be pretty easy to forget if I were doing that!). I believe it will be a pretty cool feeling to put an X next to a completed goal; in fact, thinking about crossing a goal off almost makes me feel more motivated to complete the various goals.

Anyways, I suppose I don’t really have a whole lot else to add on the subject. Once some changes come to the blog, all my posts specifically about the challenge should be redirected to a different page entirely. Enjoy!

1. Ride in a hot air balloon

2. Go skydiving

3. Read 100 books (1/100)

4. Write a song

5. Graduate College

6. Make a list of things to do before I die

7. Get a promotion

8. Save $5 for every task I complete

9. Keep a dream journal

10. Go camping with friends

11. Send Christmas cards to family and friends

12. Travel to Japan

13. Get my ham radio license

14. Run a mile without stopping

15. Volunteer for a charity

16. Learn to play another instrument

17. Move out of the house

18. Inspire someone else to make their own list

19. Finish a coloring book

20. Join a softball team

21. Go trick or treating

22. Be in a play

23. Go to a Tim McGraw concert

24. Finish Pokemon HeartGold

25. Buy all the Phineas and Ferb episodes on iTunes

26. Go on a roadtrip out west

27. Get to 140 lbs, my goal weight

28. Get off all my medications

29. Go to Build-a-Bear

30. Get 100 people to follow my blog

31. Stay in a relationship for at least a year

32. Learn how to paint my toenails the correct way

33. Grow my hair to my butt

34. Try 10 new coffee flavors

35. Write a whole journal

36. Get in a bible study group

37. Make a new best friend who is a girl

38. Start writing a biography

39. Storm spot a tornado

40. Get something I’ve written published

41. Find a full time job

42. Get an A in at least five classes

43. Go on a 75 mile bike ride

44. Write at least one blog entry a week

45. Send a letter to a friend I don’t see anymore

46. Go on a weeklong Facebook hiatus

47. Visit my grandma in Florida

48. Make a fleece blanket

49. Meet a famous person

50. Meet a blogger that I follow (that I already didn’t know)

51. Go to a family reunion

52. Be an extra in a movie

53. Give a friend flowers anonymously

54. Have a reunion with my high school friends

55. Host a party

56. Make a scrapbook

57. Have a slumber party

58. Go a weekend without technology

59. Visit my family in Lousiana

60. Make a video documentary

61. Write a letter to myself to open in ten years

62. Go water skiing

63. Make a five course meal

64. Go a month without buying anything that isn’t a necessity

65. Win a contest

66. Join a roleplaying game

67. Write a love letter

68. Try out for American Idol

69. Write a short fiction story

70. Get into grad school

71. Pay for an entire date

72. Watch the sunrise and sunset in the same day

73. Try escargot

74. Listen to music nonstop for 24 hours

75. Give a coffee shop a ten dollar tip

76. Go canoeing

77. Meet a family member I haven’t met yet

78. Be a vegetarian for a week

79. Finish a rubik’s cube

80. Save all my change for six months

81. Get my managers a thank you gift

82. Buy something on Ebay

83. Run in a marathon

84. Take a photography class

85. Buy a new camera

86. Score a 300 in Wii bowling

87. Cook a romantic meal for my significant other

88. Become a fan of a new TV show I haven’t seen before

89. Sing in a friend’s wedding

90. Be a sober cab

91. Be a part of a bachelorette party

92. Buy a little black dress

93. Donate my hair to Locks of Love

94. Go surfing

95. Go on a road trip in my state

96. Have a Disney Princess Movie marathon

97. Redecorate my room

98. Mentor a young girl

99. Learn a song on a guitar

100. Write a Letter to somebody that inspires me

101. Clean the whole house