Friday, January 29, 2016

Why We All Need A Snow Day

This past weekend, New England has experienced it's first real snow day, a day where you are basically confined to your house because it's too dangerous to do any traveling. So, I had used the time to read "It's Kind of a Funny Story" by Ned Vizzini and get ahead of my articles and work. It was a relaxing weekend.
Through out my lifetime, I've experienced many different types of weather related days where you can't go anywhere or do anything for any length of time. Due to this, it gives you time to do your homework, get ahead or even time to do a hobby. Of course, Netflix is a must, giving you an opportunity to catch up on all of your favorite shows. This gives you a chance to just relax, as the world throws snow around like it's a real life snow globe. However, because you're confined to your house, you're able to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the real world.
While snow days are something that only happens in the winter and in certain areas of the world, I think that we should take a bit of that inclement weather mentality. Sure, snow is annoying, but it forces you to just take a break from everything. You can get ahead of your work, you can read a book that you've been wanting to read or even just breathe. Ahh, free time. It's so nice, but a fantasy due to the many things you need to get done in the week.
I think that we need to apply that mentality, maybe not a full day, but may be for an afternoon. Everyone needs a day to themselves, whether you're in college, or in the working world. The point is that the world needs a break, some time to just focus on you. In a world that demands a 100 percent of your attention 100 percent of the time, it's crucial that we focus on making time to do so. Even when there's no snow on the ground. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

An Open Letter To My Anxiety And Depression

Dear Anxiety and Depression,
            You have caused me to feel like I’m just a hopeless mess, someone who wasn’t good at anything or worth anything. If my ‘to-do’ list was haunting me, you were there to remind me that I wasn’t enough to do anything. You would eclipse me into a dark black hole, a reminder that I would never ever be rid of you, as my panic attacks came through like a thunder storm on a summer’s evening.
You’ve taken over my life. It was like one day I was fine, and the next I had to deal with a storm of emotions. And when the storm finally left, I was left to pick up the pieces all alone.
But, I’ve had enough of you. I’ve had enough of the tears, enough of the moments I can’t breath or think straight and enough of feeling like I couldn’t get up from this.
I’m coming to fight you. And I’m not going to stop until you’re dead on the floor gasping for air.  I’m going to learn how to beat the panic attacks, through therapy and through changing my behaviors and environments to create a better outcome. Sure, I can’t control everything. But, I can control you. And that I will. I’m done with feeling sad. I’m done feeling like my world is spiraling like a car losing control in a snowstorm. I’m taking the damn wheel, and I’m in control now. So, move over.
I may never fully beat you. Maybe, you’ll be that ghost in my closet that comes out on rainy days. I value myself, and my happiness more than the tears of loneness and the empty feeling in my chest when I’m all-alone. All of these things are thanks to you.
Thank you for coming into my life, for you caused me to become strong, to learn more about myself and to aspire to do what’s best for me. You may think I’m weak, but I’m strong.
            Basically, what I’m trying to say is you’re not going to be there forever, so I suggest you don’t get too comfortable.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Book Review: The Rosie Project

One week into the semester, and I already can say that I can cross one book off of my semester reading list. This book is called "The Rosie Project."
"The Rosie Project" is about Professor Don Tillman, a genetics professor who is smart intellectually, but not with personal relationships. Don is exact with everything, from how he spends his week to week schedule, to what he eats on a specific night. But, Don lacks a wife. So, enter the Wife Project, where he figures is the perfect solution for his predicament. That way, he can rule out the vegetarians, the smokers, and the people that just weird him out.
Enter Rosie.
Rosie is the exact opposite of what Don thinks he wants. However, she's on the search for not a mate, but for her father. Don is instantly drawn to her, and agrees to participate in her search to find her father.
Throughout the search for Rosie's biological father, Don begins to fall in love with Rosie. He abandons his routines, and at long last, finds his partner.
I enjoyed the book immensely. I had heard a number of good things about this book through co-workers and friends, and I am always on the lookout for a good chick-flick novel. This book definitely does the trick. I loved seeing Rosie and Don begin to fall in love with each other, and I especially loved how Don was willing to change his day to day life just to win the girl. Don reminded me a lot of Sheldon Cooper, with his routine, however, he just wants to fall in love.
If you're a fan of "Me Before You," or any other chick lit, you must read this book. However, this book is also a great read for anyone, as I recommend it for anyone whose out there looking for a great book. I definitely will want to read the second book, "The Rosie Effect," soon. But, before I do, I will be reading "It's Kind of A Funny Story" by Ned Vizzini. (It was not on the list, but I saw it at work, and wanted to read it.) 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Shows I Need to Watch On Netflix

It seems like lately I have been far behind on my TV shows for whatever reason. However, as I head back to school and the constant chaos it ensues, I know I'm going to be needing some down time. Therefore, I know that I'm finally going to cross these shows off of my list, and making sure I get the most of my money using the subscription service. Here's what I'm planning to watch (in no particular order):
  •  "New Girl," Season Four
New girl season 4 2

  • "Sherlock"

  • "Friends"

  • "Everybody Loves Raymond"

  • "That '70s Show"

What is on your 'to-watch' list?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Expectations, The Pressures, and The Roles

I hate the fact that there's a bunch of "shoulds" and expectations in life. I hate that you have to measure yourself in numbers, such as how much money you have, how many likes you have on your selfie and how high your GPA is to measure success. I hate that as a woman, I'm expected to fill the role as a homemaker and mother or fill the role as a bitchy boss with no in-between. I hate that if you don't have sex than you are considered to be a prude, but if you do than you're an automatic slut. I hate that boys will be boys when they do something stupid. 
There's so many expectations out there that it makes my head spin. As a woman, I'm expected to be a certain way. And, it's a lot of fucking pressure. I want to talk about the pressure of relationships, as it seems to be a prominent one. Some people expect you to wait until you have a ring and a cupcake looking dress to lose your v-card. But, what if I don't want to get married? What if I want to have a partner, someone who I live with but don't share a last name or a legal right to? Does that mean I should never, under conservative view points, never have sex? 
Society is changing, but still we romanticize relationships and weddings as being the ideal goal. We still view marriage as being an ideal goal, but we don't know what that little expensive rock entails other than forever love and happiness. We've grown to have expectations for what marriage is, what it means and what will happen when we are married. The same goes for a boyfriend. We expect to be happy, the label means that you're one of the cool kids. 
However, the unofficial relationships, the kids who are out there committed to each other but don't label it, are the ones are even better. They are the ones who are two people who think they are special, they love and care about each other, yet they don't say what the relationship is. In some ways, those are viewed as cheap relationships, because the couple is viewed as being screwed up because they couldn't commit and make the label work. But they are the ones who are making things work their own way. 
Success is also measured in numbers. How many likes did you get on the last selfie you posted? Did it make you sad that you didn't get as many as your friend? Or, what about your GPA. Did you make Dean's List? If you didn't, but still got a 3.0 GPA or higher, that means you've failed. And that's fucking stupid. 
I think relationships, numbers measuring your self worth and trying to live based on what other people want you to be is just dumb. In life, the only person you have to please is yourself. Not your mother, friend whose outspoken or your grandparents. People will have their own version of you, and therefore give you their opinion to do what they think makes you happy. However, you're the one who has to live with it, the one who has to look in the mirror in the morning and like what you see. So fuck them all, listen to your heart and remember that sometimes the only voice that matters is the one you have internally. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

2016 Semester Goals

The new semester is fast approaching, and it's hard to believe that it's my second to last semester as an undergraduate student. Currently, I'm still debating about whether or not grad school is a good fit for me, so this might be my last year as a student. However, as this semester approaches and I have to learn how to balance several roles, I aim to make this semester the best one I can make it. Here's some goals that I've set for myself to accomplish through out the semester.
  1. Make positive friends, and actually hang out with them. After all, you are who you surround yourself with.
  2. Spend some time taking care of myself: getting nails done, etc. 
  3. Spending some time at night writing in a journal and reading a book for pleasure. 
  4. Know when you need to take a break. 
  5. Try to go to campus events with people. 
  6. Try to get anxiety under control. 
What are your goals for the semester? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, January 15, 2016

New Haven Adventure

Gabu and I
Last Friday, Gabu and I kicked off the weekend by going to have an adventure in New Haven. We needed to go to the Book Trader Cafe so Gabu can sell some books to make some extra cash. We deiced to make a day of it, and also get Starbucks in the process.
Tree, a picture taken while walking by. 
When we arrived to New Haven, the first thing we did was park. Parking in New Haven can be tricky, however, we were lucky to snag a decent spot. Once we parked and gathered our books, we dropped the books off. On our way there, we spotted the Tree in the New Haven Green. I told Gabu we simply had to take a selfie in front of it. Since we weren't sure of how long we would be, we decided to hold any selfie taking until we actually had time.
I love this picture of us and our tea!
Once we traded the books in, we headed to Starbucks. Gabu got a chai something, and I got Passion Iced Tea Lemonade. I also got a cake pop, as I am so obsessed with Starbucks' new cookie dough cake pop. It's one of my favorite things to get there.
Got my tree selfie! 
Then we headed back to the car, and realized we had more time on the meter. So, it was selfie time! After we took several selfies and pictures of the tree, we headed to the car, and headed home. Overall, it was amazing way to spend a Friday night, and it's always fun to have an adventure with your best friend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Spring 2016 Semester Reading List

This past semester, taking two literature classes gave me no time for reading for fun. However, this semester, I'm taking no literature classes, therefore giving me enough time to devote to reading for fun. I'm sure that this semester will still be stressful, however, it's nice to know that I'll be reading books that I enjoy, versus books that I was assigned.
Over winterbreak, I read "Since You've Been Gone" by Morgan Matson, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll and am currently finishing up "The Greatest Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Doyle. However, as the next semester approaches, I plan to devote some time to relax with a good book. Here's some of the books that made my semester reading list. Like in the past summer, I'm going to review books I've read as much as I can!

  1. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West 
  2. Wicked by Gregory Maguire 
  3. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks 
  4. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas
  5. Every Day by David Levithan
  6. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  7. Rocks by Joe Perry 
  8. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison
  9. P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
My goal this semester is to at least read 2/3 of these books. Stay tuned as I go through the semester and check a few of these books off of my "to-read" list! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

An Open Letter to My Dad

Dear Dad,
I shouldn’t even grace you with that title, as the term “father” applies to someone who was actively there for his daughter. You were not. You left me, along with my mother, when I was two years old, and traded us for an entirely new family kind of like someone would trade in their car. This trade was complete with a new trophy wife, and two new children (one your own, and one was your stepchild). There was no room for me, your daughter, despite your constant invitations that never went fulfilled.
There were times when I would go for weeks or months on end without hearing so much as an “hello” from you. There were months when I never saw you, and whenever I did, I felt like I was the odd one out. You neglected to call me when you said you did, and whenever you did it would feel like Christmas. You were never there for me growing up. You never saw me go to the prom or graduate high school. You can blame me until you’re blue in the face, but I’m old enough to know that you were the one in the wrong.
Psychology often blames the mother for their shortcomings, but I blame you for mine. I blame you for me constantly worrying that people are going to walk out on me, just like you did to me. How am I going to expect someone to stay and be there for me, when you couldn’t stay with me through my terrible twos? You were supposed to stand by me, not try to tear me down.
Growing up without you hurt, but as I enter my 20’s, I realize that you are the one that missed out. You could have been there for me, through high school concerts and watch me graduate high school. But you weren’t, and you never tried to be. Fathers are supposed to be there for their daughters, that’s part of their job. But, you never did your job.
I guess to you I’ll always be the black sheep from your failed marriage. I guess to you I’ll never be in that perfect suburbia paradise you call home, and that’s okay. You were the one that lost out, Dad. You were the one who will never know me, which is your loss. You’ll never give me away, nor see my college graduation.
Dad, I hope you’re happy in the choices that you made, however, I also hope that you’re haunted by what you gave up when you made them. You sacrificed me, your only daughter, for a new life and a new wife. I hope that it was all worth it, because you lost something great.


Your Only Daughter

Monday, January 11, 2016

Things to Do When You're Anxious

Having panic attacks is one of the worst things that I have ever experienced. What I've learned is that there's something you can do to get through it, and you can get through it. Believe it or not, there are steps you can do to help combat anxiety and make it through a panic attack. Need some ideas? Look no further. Here's somethings you can do to fight a panic attack and fight anxiety. Remember, you're pretty awesome, no matter what you're dealing with.

  1. Go for a walk or a run. 
  2. Listen to music. 
  3. Write in a journal about your feelings. 
  4. Pet your dog. 
  5. Call your friend. 
  6. Take deep breaths. 
  7. Drink tea. 
  8. Eat a cupcake. 
  9. List all of the good things in your life. 
  10. Watch a favorite television show of yours.
Do you have anxiety? Let me know in the comments below how you deal with it. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Haven Adventure

Last Friday night, I found myself hanging out with Gabu, as is the usual occurrence when they are home. This Friday night, we were headed to New Haven, Conn. to head to the Book Trader Cafe so Gabu can sell some old books to make some extra money. So, I being the person always wanting to go to New Haven, decided to offer to take the ride with them. (That, and I was being promised Starbucks.) So with that being said, we headed to New Haven.
We parked my car on a side street and then made our way to the bookstore, carrying several bags of books. It was severely cold out, however, on the way we stumbled across the fact that the tree for Christmas was still up. We made a mental note to come back, seeing as we were struggling to carry the books that we were carrying.
Of course, Gabu and I had to take a selfie in front of it.
Once we dropped off the books, we got our Starbucks. Gabu got a chai latte, and I got a Tazo Passion Iced Tea along with a cookie dough cake pop. After getting our goodies, we headed to the Tree, where naturally we took a few selfies. After that, we headed back to the car, and headed home.
Posing with some coffee!
Overall, it was a fun outing. It was nice to spend some time with Gabu, which I will surely miss as they head back to school next week. We had a fun night, and hopefully will have a few more before they head back to school.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Society and the Single Girl: The Correct Way of Falling

Love is something that is strange. Everyone on this Earth carries a love story in their pocket. Some of their stories ended in tears and tragedy, while others ended in joy. Every story, however, is different then the next. It varies in cast of characters and situation. However, they all have the common bond which is love.
As a clueless teenager who didn't know anything about love, I would read magazines such as Seventeen and Cosmo! I would use them as bibles to tell me how to talk to a guy and flirt with him effectively so that he would ask me out. I would read over them intently, memorizing their content better than I ever did for any exam in high school. I thought they contained the answers on how to score a boyfriend, but I ended up spending most of my high school time being single. All of those magazines would say different things about relationships. Some would say to jump into it without thinking about, while others would say that you need to test the waters before jumping in headfirst. Needless to say, the teenaged version of my was extremely confused as to what was the "correct" way to score a boyfriend. None of the flirting concepts felt right, and none of them ever felt like me.
Disregarding the matter of whether or not I needed a guy by my side to rule, I don't believe there's a correct way to get a boyfriend. Everyone has a love story, and it's not written according to the rules set by someone in a magazine. Some people fall in love with their best friend. Others fall in love with their neighbor. Some people go online to meet someone whose the person whose right for them. My best friend Gabu met their boyfriend online while they were studying abroad. Their parents met when they were in college. An old friend from high school met her boyfriend in college. Former classmates of mine met in the halls of my high school. See? Everyone's story is different, but it's still beautiful. As I still search for Prince Charming, I wonder what my story complete with a happily ever after will be like. While I believe that it's a question of fate and being at the right place at the right time, I also believe that it's up to you as well. You could search left and right to find someone, and not find anyone. You go on Tinder with the belief that it's going to find someone. But, unless you go out with that person who you gave a green heart to, you're not going anywhere and your relationship status won't change. Sure, you found a cute guy to talk to, but it doesn't mean anything because you didn't get his number or ask him out to coffee.
So, to the younger version of myself and those who credit their education of the opposite sex to a stack of magazines, here's my advice. I believe that you should throw out the magazines, and do whatever your little heart desires. Talk to that person, do things your way. Don't listen to others, and try to ignore the rules that others believe is right. In love, there's nothing right other than what is right for you. If you find someone who takes your breath away, talk to them and see where it goes. There's no correct way to find someone and to fall in love. It's 2016, you can ask a guy for his number. It happens to everyone at different paces. Sure, the magazines may be helpful, but the editors don't know you by name and story. So, do yourself a favor and listen to your heart. I can vouch that it knows you better than you know yourself. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Why Out of the Woods By Taylor Swift Holds A Special Meaning to Me

Ever have a song that when you listen to it, it just reminds you of a person or a time in your life? It's like one second you're fine, but the next minute (when the song comes on usually), you can picture that person or thing you're trying to black out. Sometimes it's a person. Sometimes, it's a memory such as nostalgia.
One song that does that for me is "Out of the Woods" by Taylor Swift. The song, when it came out, instantly reminded me of my now ex fling. When I listened to it the first time, it exactly mirrored how I felt about him at that time. We rarely talked then (and we rarely do now), and a part of me still questioned what happened. It bought back those emotions, and I thought "hey this song reminds me what I feel about this person." The song is a beautifully written song about the fragility of relationships, and how fragile the people in them are.
Lyrics such as "Remember when you hit the brakes too soon/20 stitches and a hospital room/you started crying and I did too" and "looking at it now, last December/we were built to fall apart and fall back together," both resonated to me. We had gotten closer to each other in December. We began breaking when he had a panic attack in front of me, because I freaked out due to the fact I didn't know what was happening in front of my eyes. I was scared, of his panic attacks and of falling for him. I was scared, so I began to ran. I remember what sent me in a sprint-he felt freaked out about someone.
The reason why my ex-fling and I never got together was because of fear. I was afraid to tell him I wanted to be his girlfriend. I wasn't sure how he felt, so I didn't say how I felt. We went on dates, and he did nice things for me. But, nothing ever happened. Two years later, I am content with that. I moved on to better things, and as for him, I don't know what he's doing. All I know is whenever I talk to him, I think "how did I like this person?"
But, when I listen to the song "Out of the Woods," I am taken back to a cold Dec. night, when his touch and kindness made me weak in the knees. I remember going to a movie, and wondering if he was going to kiss me (he didn't.) I guess I'll never fully get out of the woods, and that's okay. The song itself is a beautiful one, and one of my favorites. However, I will always be reminded of him, even when I'm married. And a memory is something I am content with. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Why I Shared My Grades

Recently, I read this article on the Odyssey about why you shouldn't post your final grades on social media sites. And while I agree with the author's points about it adding to the culture of comparing ourselves through others through social media, I'm going to have to disagree with her about why we shouldn't be posting our final grades. Especially since I posted a screen shot of my final grades in the last week.
I usually don't post pictures of my final grades, because I don't think it's something that people should know. However, this semester was the hardest for me, because I was working three different jobs. I also was dealing with anxiety. When I got my midterm grades, I was discouraged, because my grades were nowhere near where I thought they should be. I panicked, because I was worried that I would lose my place on Dean's List. But, with all that I was dealing with, I was going to have to come to terms with the fact that I may lose my spot.
But, somehow, I managed to not. Instead, I got a 3.67, which is 3 As and 1 B. I was astounded, as I was anticipating for much lower GPA. I couldn't have been more proud of myself and for my success. I struggled throughout the entire semester, and somehow the panic attacks and the tears became worth it. So, I decided to share it with my friends and family, because I was proud of myself. I worked pretty damn hard for my grades, so why not share them with the world?
However, the point the author makes in the article is pretty valid. Everyone has their friend's day to day lives in their pocket, there to look at whenever you feel like it's important. Because of this, it's easy to compare ourselves to others. It's easy to feel jealous, and not feel like we're good enough. Why aren't we on Dean's List like them? Why can't I have a boyfriend, like that person does? Social media adds fuel to the fire of our insecurities and causes us to feel negative about things.
So here's what I say about posting your grades. To those who posted them on social media, because they are proud of them, good for you. You worked hard for those grades. And for those who didn't make Dean's List, you still worked really hard. This is only my second semester on it, and I understand how it feels to be close or to work really hard without the reward. You still worked hard, and no matter what is posted on social media.
Either way, it's your decision to post what you want to post on social media platforms. You're friends with someone on Facebook for a reason--they should be rooting for you instead of dragging you down. Therefore, post your final grades if you're proud of them. I'm sure you worked pretty damn hard for them. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Resolution: To Be Happy

I have a love hate relationship with resolutions. Usually, it's a hate one because I never remember my resolution more than a week after I make them. So, now that 2016 is here, I'm going to make one, and actually try to stick to it. Wish me luck.
My resolution for 2016 is to be happy and healthy both mentally and physically. 2015 was a good and successful year, in terms of academics, work, and life in general. I made Dean's List both Spring and Fall 2015, I got better jobs as time went on, and I even did a bit of traveling. However, I will look back at 2015, and remember something else. Anxiety. Anxiety, that cold little ghost that lies in the back of my closet, ready to spring and haunt me at a moments notice. Anxiety, paralyzing me from doing anything other than want to grasp onto anything that will offer me an ounce of support. Anxiety can make me want to burst into tears, despite having a good day otherwise. I hate that stupid anxiety, and 2016 I am going to devote to making sure it tries to stay away.
In 2016, I'm going to try my best to be happy. I'm going to try to not worry so much as I go back to school, and am struggling to stay sane as the homework piles up. I'm going to try to do more things for fun, and more things to look foreword to. I'm going to try to not worry that I'm not going to do well, and try my best. I think that's the best medicine to keep the anxiety infection away, and the right steps to take as I look to take care of myself. I think that's what I want to spend 2016 doing. Hopefully, it will equal happiness, but we'll have to wait and see.
So while everyone around me pledges to lose that last bit of unwanted pounds, or do something else that seems out of reach, I'll try to better myself. I think that's the best kind of resolution out there, if you ask me.