Looked at memes.
Just kidding (but kind of...?).
It's been a crazy year. I feel like I say that every year, but given the fact that my life has been in flux for about three years straight its actually true. I haven't lived in the same place for more than 8 months since I was a sophomore in college (Ann Arbor --> DC --> Ann Arbor --> Chicago --> Charleston, SC), which feels normal to me now, which is weird. Sometimes, instability = stability. I'm just used to it.
I've barely had the energy to write on my personal blog in forever but here I am!! Sidenote: It bothers me when people say they don't have time for things, you definitey have time you just don't have energy. Big difference but whatever. Anyway, most days at work it feels so hectic that at the end of the day, I can't even remember what I did that day. So, this is my way of documenting my year before the early onset Alzheimer's makes me forget.
Things I did in 2016, in no particular order:
Now, time for me to get a little sappy. 2016 has been unbelievable because of all of the people in my life who have made it that way. Getting to spend part of the year with my best college friends as roommates, a few months with my best friends from high school, and the past five months with my new Ceterus family and meeting new people is something that I don't even know how to write about. I know I've written about it before, and I don't know how to say this without sounding like a hippie, but the more beauty you choose to see in others, the more their beauty will grow until you're overwhelmed by how beautiful the world can be. There are people who I miss dearly but I cherish the time I spent with them, and people who I am just getting to know better who I can't believe I haven't known my whole life.
2017, you have a whole lot to live up to.
Most people don't have a clear idea of where self-esteem comes from. The "self-esteem movement" that millennials grew up with told us that we were awesome, regardless of reality: everyone gets a trophy, because everyone is special! But self-esteem doesn't come from participation trophies or self-affirmations, and this practice indicates that neither millennials nor the baby-boomers that raised them have any idea of how to achieve self-esteem -- and that's a problem. Because of the nature of our modern economy, the demand for high self-esteem individuals has never been higher. In fact, to be successful, it is a basic requirement.
Writing is hard. Well, I shouldn’t say that. Writing badly is easy -- most of us learn to do that in school -- but writing well is difficult, and the best writers are the ones who make it look easy. Most people think that good writing includes lots of adjectives and flowery descriptions and words only an English professor with a hefty thesaurus would know, but that could not be further from the truth. If a reader can’t understand your writing, or is overwhelmed with the amount of words you use to describe something, they won’t read it, and if they do read it, they won’t be moved by it. Writing lengthy and verbose sentences is easy, writing plain, concise sentences requires restraint and focus.
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” — Lao Tzu
Recently, I put on an event that made me very unpopular on my campus. The event defended the moral benefits of using hydrocarbons (fossil fuels), and was based on the book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and featured a lecture by Professor Pierre DesRochers from the University of Toronto. People were quite upset by our advertising -- when passing out flyers, students would give me dirty looks, make snide remarks, and even rip up the flyers I handed to them. There were an onslaught of nasty comments on the event on facebook, on the article I wrote about it, and on anything posted about it, really. I was called stupid and a “PR woman for big oil,” to which I say, I wish I was paid to do this, sir, but alas, I did it for free because I actually love the benefits oil brings my life. As a side note, the internet is full of charming human beings.
“Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.” -- Ricky Fitts, American Beauty
I don’t think I could function in the world without seeing the good in it.
There have been some tragedies on my campus recently that made me think about life, death, and whether it’s possible to see beauty in it all. Too often, those who have a cohesive life philosophy are disappointed by what they see around them. All they see is ugliness. It’s hard not to -- having integrity and values means realizing that most of the people around you don’t. The bad news is, that’s life. Most people don’t have a philosophical view on the world around them, unfortunately for them. The good news is, it’s possible to overcome the pessimism that comes with realizing that the world is not the place you wish it was. The world isn't going to change, you have to change your own world.
I wasn’t really that organized before college.
I would do everything I had to do (which was just homework let’s be honest) the day before it was due. I would write it in my planner at school, go from school to practice, and then do homework every night at some point between dinner and going to sleep. Easy.
When I got to college, no one was there to plan out my time. I suddenly had a lot of free time and didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t know that many people, and talking to tons of strangers became exhausting. I had a smaller room than I did at home, and suddenly there were two of us living in it. I didn't know which problem to deal with first, or even how to deal with them. Help.
Do you know what everyone says about you? Hmm? They say that you're a homeschooled jungle freak, that's a less hot version of me!
That famous line is what Regina George says to Cady right before she gets hit by a bus in the movie that defined the early millenium, Mean Girls. If you live under a rock and have never seen this movie, it’s about a girl who is homeschooled until her family moves to Evanston, Illinois, and she is thrust into the abyss of high school for the first time at age 15. The opening sequence of the movie describes common conceptions of homeschoolers:
Anyone can be a morning person — if they have a mindful sleep schedule that they stick to regularly.
All it takes is commitment, and a blissful sleep oasis that reflects your intention to sleep soundly. Whenever I am creating an atmosphere, I like to use the five senses as a guide to curate that perfect experience. When it comes to creating your perfect sleeping oasis, follow these sense-based guidelines to have the perfect night of sleep, every night.
I used to think fashion was something reserved for those who only liked fashion. My fashionable friends shopped online a lot, talked about clothes with other fashionable women, and spent a lot of money on clothes. I envied their ability to put together outfits that emulated the current celebrity it-girl as I put on my leggings, boots, and sweater combo that I rocked six months out of the year (it’s either that or a Nike ensemble that I wear because I’m too lazy put on two outfits in one day). But keeping up with fashion seemed exhausting. Also, kinda shallow. Shouldn’t I focus on more intellectual pursuits?
Whether you want to admit it or not, there is probably something you would like to improve about yourself.And the best place to start is with—surprise!—some yoga. Yoga will not only improve your physique but will also improve your brainpower, giving the start of your new year with the holistic kick in the butt it needs to be your best year yet.