Heading Into the Holidays With Good Intentions

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Photo by Jed Villejo on Unsplash

Without Friday classes today, this is the official start of my Thanksgiving break. Working here on campus means a lot of things, including having to work one of our breaks; looks like Nick and I are sticking around here until Wednesday. As much as I love being able to go home and get out of this place for a little while, there might still be a bright side to being here.

Because without the distractions, the friends, or the classes, I’ve made myself a goal— by Wednesday, all my final papers, projects, and homework due by the end of break will be done. At least that’s the goal.

As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions right?

Speaking of good intentions, remember when I said I’m doing NanNoWriMo?

Well the goal is to get to 50,000 by the end of this month, and well… I am about 15,000 words behind as of today. Sure, I plan to catch up over this break and put in a lot of hours at my computer, but that is a really high deficit right there. With the month already halfway over, it’s a pretty daunting task to try and catch up at this point.

So what do you do when you’re crunched for time and there’s almost no way to make it?

You start from where you’re at.

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Photo by Mikito Tateisi on Unsplash

It’s like trying to get over a cold or the flu, recovery won’t happen in a day. It takes a lot of sleep, medicine, hydration, and time for your body to catch up. Getting through all my work this break will take about the same, plus some real motivation to get back to where I need to be. Cause let’s be honest, there’s a lot to do and only about 5 days to do it all.

The older I get, the more I seem to remind myself that a break from school isn’t really just a break anymore—it’s extra time to fill with all the things you’ve been meaning to do on top of all the things you should have been doing in the first place. It’s the time for fun and the time for productivity, mix in a little bit of family and travelling and well… That sounds like break to me.

There’s this balance I’ve been trying to find, between working hard and fun/self-care. I definitely haven’t found it yet, but I’d like to think I’m getting closer. At a certain point, self-care truly just means using your time wisely and setting yourself up to succeed with whatever you’ve got on your plate. Even if that means sleeping at a more reasonable bedtime than I ever do and actually managing my time properly.

Moving into Thanksgiving break here, I’m hoping to find a better way to move forward with my work and responsibilities. As of this week, I just committed to something huge for the rest of the school year involving Orientation Team; on top of my own personal goals along with the homework and my grades, I sometimes question whether or not I can handle what’s coming next.

I guess the only way to find out is to take it on head first and go from there. For now, I plan to settle into this next week of no classes and try to set myself up for success. Hopefully these good intentions lead me to something good.

So happy Friday, and I will see you all next week. For those of you travelling, be safe and I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I’m thankful for everyone who keeps up with me every week. So thank you and happy holidays.

A Lost Life Isn’t Lost Love— A Dedication

34124953_1563548653771896_7372034991028436992_n.jpgHave you ever stopped to consider the amount of people we meet on a daily basis and how those numbers add up to this moment? Classes, sports, work, colleagues, coffee shops, friends of friends… Take a moment to stop and think about that.

Thought about it?

I graduated high school two years ago and the world got a little bigger once I left home. Before coming to Cal Poly, I had never considered what might happen once I got here– I was so focused on getting in that I didn’t think about what happens next. But I integrated myself into the school, found friends in my orientation group and classes. I discovered little pieces of home in this place last year, and in one quarter, I probably met as many people as my high school graduating class.

And I realized, some homes we make, others we are lucky enough to find ourselves in without even knowing how it happened in the first place.

Tower 7 was that home for me last year. For those of you that don’t know, I lived in 3-story dorms last year, each floor containing maybe 40 rooms each give or take a few. The amount of people I met was astounding to me, there were just so many new faces. jian-xhin-281513But lucky for me, I made my spaces a little smaller and spent the majority of time in the third floor common room or over in Nick’s Tower 7 dorm– each floor had about 12 rooms. As much as it wasn’t even my living space, floor 2 adopted me all the same.

I’m even more thankful for it now than I was then.

Like I said, we meet a lot of people in our lives, but there are some groups of people that really change us. Maybe it took me a little while to see it, but I got lucky to have two homes last year.

In the last few months of my life, from my job to my friends, I’ve come to understand how fragile our mortality really is. It’s one thing to know that we don’t live forever, it’s another thing for the world to hand you proof.

Losing Bryce Adams has brought Tower 7 back together again, not only to miss someone, but to love everything he was and left behind. In the memories, photos, videos, laughs… It’s all there, everything that needs to be. And it’s been a beautiful thing to be welcomed into; to be allowed to feel a loss but also to appreciate a life. I know it sounds cheesy, but at my age I think it’s important to understand how to do both.

Too many of us don’t know how.

34067493_1563548540438574_3374910598830620672_nIt’s a reminder that we have to live while we’ve got the time to do so. We need to make time. Have a coffee date with an old friend and take a moment to forget about the grades or the schoolwork, take advantage of the youth that people keep telling me won’t always last.

It’s a process– figuring out who we are, navigating changing relationships, or even learning how to let people go. It’s something we learn along the way. Even though that’s one thing I’ve been trying to understand this year, just as I think I’ve got it down, life reminds me that I really have no clue what I’m doing.

I’m starting to see that none of us do.

Remembering someone and being okay with a loss, it takes time. It’s different for everyone, but we don’t talk enough about the ripple effects grief can take through things like our groups or friends or hearts or faith.

Because things will change.

It’s all a part of life and if you think about all those people you’ve met, they’ve all been through it at some point. Every single one of them is living their own lives carrying their triumphs or struggles or smiles. And that’s okay, whatever it takes to get back to where you need to be, it’s okay to do it.

I think of the people Bryce met, through wrestling and high school before the dorms and freshman year here, and the concept of that impact is beautiful to me. Tragic, but beautiful. And I am thankful to have been one more person to know him.

Like I said back in October, “Stop, take a moment, maybe two— take as many as you need— and you hold on to the blessing it is to know someone like that.34108605_1563548620438566_8022201359270936576_n

You hold on to the love they left behind for you.”

So if you will, live a little for me today, hold onto the love. And as much as I don’t like how many times I’ve said this in the past year, I mean it wholeheartedly:

Rest easy Bryce. Here’s to whatever happens next. 

The Open Arms of Change

All great changes are preceded by chaos.
–Deepak Chopra

mira-bozhko-456983Do you want to know something about 2017? Well, if you take a recap from last year, I turned eighteen, graduated high school, committed from one great college to another, published my book, and started my freshman year.

But this year has been something I can only describe with this: Absolute chaos.

From class registrations to life celebrations, this year has held a lot of things that I couldn’t plan for. It’s funny, living in Folsom, I always had such a solid schedule— get up, go to school, go to practice, come home and do homework, sleep, start over.

My routine used to be a rinse and repeat. But this year I’ve started running after buses, changing schedules days before classes start, and truly hoping for the best when someone says 7ams or 8-10pms are likely… 

Clearly things aren’t as simple anymore.

Yet somehow, amongst the chaos and the stress, everything I could have never seen coming, I’ve learned a whole lot more than I would have with a regular routine.

I’m starting to see things change. And no, I don’t mean the fact that the world is so much more colorful here in NorCal than it is in San Luis Obispo— I mean this life and the people in it. Everything is growing up, little by little. And I think it’s because we are ready for something that everyone seems to be so scared of:chris-lawton-154388

It takes a new calendar year for someone to decide to take their health more seriously.

It takes loss for people to realize how much what they have really matters to them.

It takes the hate, the bad and the ugly, for people to see the love, the good and the beauty.

When in reality, all we really need to do is open our eyes a little bit more. To welcome the change.

We are only three days away from Christmas now and if that spirit isn’t hitting you, turn up the holiday music; sometimes it takes effort to get back into it, that doesn’t mean you can’t.

Because just as the world around us in this life keeps shifting, so do our mindsets. With plenty of things beyond our control, from the net neutrality voting to a possible drought on the way, the one thing we should always be able to count on is ourselves.

I know it’s been a long year, maybe you lost yourself and a couple other pieces along the way. But today has been another day, one that you have made it through, and you’ve worked hard enough to appreciate that. Hold on to the fact that if you’re looking for change, you can make it happen. Sure, maybe you’ll need a little help along the way.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for it.gareth-harper-175342.jpg

And speaking of help, there is never anything wrong with giving in to the mayhem a little bit too. Whether you still need to go Christmas shopping or simply need to slow down, sometimes a change in mindset and just a hint of positivity can go a long way when you need it.

You never know, maybe what you’re looking for is still hidden in the chaos that is yet to come. All you can do is open your arms and accept it.

Happy Holidays everyone 🙂

 

Road to Recovery: 5 Ways Back to Okay

anton-darius-sollers-217869You know those jokes that are so funny to you at the time, but when you tell someone else, it’s just not the same— like you kind of had to be there?

That’s a bit like life.

From the lessons we’re learning to the people we’re going to be, in the end it looks like we’re going to have to figure some things out on our own. We all have to get our hearts broken or cram for a big test to understand what we need to do better next time. It’s probably not the first time, definitely not the last. But we learn from it all the same.

Just like we learn from our own mistakes, we also learn from the places we find ourselves in and how we find our way out of them. Maybe you’re not quite feeling 100% these days or maybe you really just want to get back to where you were. Easier said than done, I know. But if you need some ideas on how to get back or simply a reminder that you can, here are 5 ways to pick yourself back up to being okay.


One

arnaud-mesureur-132213Get up and get out. With the weather growing cold and the rainy season just beginning, now is the prime time for excuses as to why we don’t go outdoors or cozy up all day instead. Don’t let yourself keep making those excuses. Sometimes, all you need is a little fresh air and a breath of life to remember that you’ve got a whole lot of living to do. Get out there and do it.

Two

Hold yourself accountable. Have you ever heard that if you do something for thirty days straight, it becomes a habit? Well sometimes, all you need to do is introduce yourself into a new habit— one that you’re doing for you. Whether it’s reading, going to the gym, or something else entirely, commit yourself to finding something to look forward to every single day.

Three

glenn-carstens-peters-190592Get going on that bucket list. Do you have a list of things that you know you want to do before you die? Why not get started on it? Nothing reminds you of what you want or who you can be like crossing things off on a bucket list. It’s about the living, the time, the effort it takes to be happy. And if you don’t like where you’re at, find a new direction to go in. Take control of where you want to be.

Four

Music. I feel like this one explains itself, but music really can be the key to feeling good. If you need to turn up the playlist called “down in the dumps” for a little while, do it. And if you need to take Allstar by Smash Mouth and turn it all the way up, you can do that too. If you’ve ever seen Grey’s Anatomy, then you’ll understand what I mean when I say that sometimes, you just have to dance it out. Cut an LVAD wire today? Or maybe you got yelled at by your boss for something you knew you shouldn’t have done. No matter what it was, put some headphones on and dance it out to a little Tegan and Sara, Where Does the Good Go.

Five

ornella-binni-224982Someone out there loves you. Whether you lose sight of them sometimes or you’re surrounded by the people you care about, just remember that people love you and that you matter to this life. Hold onto the idea that “I love you” is one of those things you can’t say too many times. So say it, do it, and hold onto it. Someone out there loves you today and if that’s not enough, I don’t know what is.


 

 

 

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