On My Mind

Happy Monday, y’all! We’ve made it through more than half of the work day; I promise that if I can make it through, so can you! While I would love to do a weekend recap for everyone (cause I know you are just that interested in how I spend my days), it really just wasn’t all that extraordinary on paper. Here’s how it goes:

-my car broke down on Thursday

-I went to Target with my mom on Friday to get a nice flannel scarf (I heart plaid).

-Saturday started at 8 am with Zach and my dad trying to fix the car…and further breaking it.

-Sunday included relaxing with the future in-laws, hitting up the new H&M, and ended in a freezing rain while trying (and failing) to fix my car.

Not so exciting, right? But it was just what I needed. We really got some time to relax in between the car mishaps, and it was awesome! Instead of dwelling on the weekend today, I just wanted to put my random Monday thoughts down on the proverbial paper.

monday on my mind

// I am trying to get the blog self-hosted on wordpress.org, and am struggling. Does anyone have any tips/advice/good resources I could use to help with the transition? I am super computer illiterate, but am ready to learn make this space my own.

// My MOH and I threw around some premature bachelorette party ideas this morning. I am loving the idea of a mini-getaway with my 21 and over maids for a party weekend in a nearby city. Nashville, Cincinnati, somewhere! I’m getting excited 9 months early!keep-calm-and-wait-for-the-bachelorette-partyvia.

// I love planning. So much. Not just in wedding land, but in my life. I currently have three planners on my desk and I’ve just been going through and updating them all. Makes my heart flutter!

// Speaking of fluttering hearts, my fiancé has been super awesome, especially after a hard weekend of slaving over my dumb car. He ROCKS.

// I maybe started listening to Christmas music in my office today…NO SHAME.

// We’re making Thanksgiving plans with our sides of the family this week and I am super pumped to eat like a boss. Plus I’m excited for our mini-Thanksgiving party for two next Saturday!!

// Which also brings me to one issue…I haven’t been to the trainers in weeks. I really need to go back (once the doc OK’s me!).

l-Pug-Puppy-Working-on-High-Fivevia.

// I’ve been thinking about puppies lately…too bad I won’t get a little puggle wuggle for my house until next February at the earliest!

// I’ve been on a closet overhaul/online shopping extravaganza lately…and I’m not hating it. But my wallet is.

// Speaking of my wallet, I really need to get this assistantship I applied for last week. Send all good thoughts this way! Nothing like making money and getting great experience for my future career!

hello-monday-naturevia.

Now, I’ll let you all get on your merry Monday way! What’s been on your mind today?

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Wednesday Talk

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[one] Yesterday I found out one of my two finals was optional. Which leaves me with an A in the class. Win? I think so.

[two] My Italian oral exam AND final are still remaining, and I am thoroughly freaking out. The only thing in my mind (and in my nightmares) for the past two weeks have been these two exams. Can it just be done now?

[three] In under two weeks, I will be in Florida soaking up the sun with some great people. Unfortunately, Zach is not one of those great people, so I will be missing him. But…I mean…Florida. Sun. Sand. Water. I’m ready.

[four] I have been doing something exciting with my free time lately…online shopping. New hobby or bad habit? We shall see. I’ve at least laid down the law for myself and set a shopping budget, and it has to be something I need or need to replace. SO I’m being kind of responsible, right?

[five] May is tomorrow. What?! I don’t even think I hit half of my goals for the month…eep!

[six] The trees are finally blooming, and let me tell you: I am feeling it, BIG TIME. Allergies, ahoy!

[seven] I have been anxiously awaiting the weekend, and it is still not here. How is it not here yet? I guess I’ll just have to try to enjoy the hump day.

[eight]…and I’ll have to enjoy the Baskin Robbins that I will be treating myself with in t-1 hour! Yummy. The Spiderman 2 seasonal flavor is pretty awesome. Don’t judge though, Zach took me to get some a few weeks ago and he called me a little kid the whole time. I just enjoy the fun things!

[nine] Yesterday I sat down and scheduled out my entire summer. Working three jobs. Over 60 hours a week. I should be excited about the money, but looking at my calendar now exhausts me. Oh buddy.

[ten] Exciting moment of the week: We have birdy families! Our entire house/yard has been taken over by nesting birds. We have one nest on the pergola out back, one in the tree outside my window, one in our bird house, and…one in my roofing. Yes, that is right. The birds ripped part of the overhang by my room and decided to nest in the wall. Yay for babies, boo for interrupted sleep.

Wednesday Talk

Today’s chat is going to be a little more than just bullet pointed highlights of my week thus far. I know how much you all thrive off of knowing what I’m doing every day…or not. Today I want to talk about something I’ve had on my mind for a few days after seeing this little picture pop up on my instagram feed.

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First off, forgive the language; obviously, it’s a bit extravagant for the message this person is trying to convey, and yes, I use this language from time to time (too many times), but I digress.

This picture fills me with rage, too much rage for me to even describe, but I somehow managed to put some magic spell on my lips, and I haven’t said a word about it. I have some deep part of my mind where my opinions stay; it’s definitely not a pretty side of me, but I do it for a number of reasons. First being, everyone has their own opinions, and I run with the school of thought that says “don’t go around telling other people they’re wrong just because their opinion differs from your own”. I’m not really sure what school of thought that is, but I’m pretty sure Gandhi would have agreed.

The second reason that I seem to keep this all in is, simple enough, I don’t want people to pass judgement on me. My opinions differ WIDELY from those of some of my closest friends (of whom know my opinions already, so they can judge all they want), but my opinions would be straight out shunned by some of my family members; you know, those people who are supposed to love me unconditionally. Now that I have those points out there, let’s head back to that image above.

I will bet you ten dollars that the person who made that new, super-cool “meme” has never, will never, and could never even try to speak and personally know Marilyn Monroe. Straight up, she has been dead for how long now? 52 years? Yeah. Pretty sure this person is not over the age of 50, as most 50-year-old people have no frigging clue what a meme is. My dad just thinks they are funny pictures. If I asked him what his favorite meme was, he would give me a blank stare. Why would someone feel the need to pass judgement on somebody who they have never, not even in their wildest dreams, met? What would make them think they know enough personal , private information about this person that they could have the right to pass judgement on her? I just cannot fathom the response that this person could have, and yet I just want to shake the answer out of them.

This person is one reason why this world is so screwy, so wonky, that people feel the need to hide their own actions and decisions. My teacher in middle school once had a poster in her classroom that read: “If you wouldn’t do it in front of your parents, you shouldn’t do it”.

What?

I mean really, what?! Who in their right mind would teach this kind of response to middle school children? Children who are going through the most difficult transitioning period in their life? This way of inadvertently shaming people who should have the right to do whatever they damn well please  is killing individuality. It is killing respect, opinions, and safety in people who should feel safe having sex with their partner without repeating in their minds “I wouldn’t do this in front of my parents; am I a horrible person?”

I won’t lie to you and say this thought has not passed through my head in my adult life; instead, I’ll explain how the only person I feel safe talking to about my sex life is my partner. I know I can talk to my best friend about it because, hell, she’s my best friend! But I could never even say the “s” word around my parents, let alone allude to the fact that I like the “s” word. For two whole weeks last January, I was a nervous wreck; Zach and I had talked about moving in together, and we both decided that it was a pretty good time to do so. I was in transition between houses, I was a grown woman, and in a year, I would be out of college. However, I just knew it wouldn’t be happening, not yet anyways. My parents are strict as is, but even the idea of me living with my long-term boyfriend was a big ol’ red “x”. There was no chance in hell, and they made sure to tell me that straight up, even after I rehearsed the conversation in my head, making sure to be adult, clear minded, and to give them many (three notebook pages) reasons why it was practical, OK, and a good idea.

They said I could do what I wanted, but I would have zero financial help from them, and they would not visit my house until I had a ring on that special finger. So, like any child who fears their parents disappointment and shame, I chose to live with them instead. I gave up my one adult decision in order to please someone else.

While I now understand that this was probably a damn good idea (Zach and I had some growing up to do, and a lot more to learn about each other), I also now understand that, no matter the age, and no matter the years I have spent with my partner, my parents will never be OK with us living together until we have signed a marriage license.

This whole topic of shame – slut-shaming, religious-shaming, body-shaming, and the tens of thousands of other kinds of shame – is going beyond the limits of humanity. We, as a society, cannot impose our thoughts and choices on the lives of others. Everyone has a different mind, different choices, a different body, a different sex life. No matter what choices they make, they are still human, and they still deserve respect.

The magazines I read (Cosmo in particular) cover shame topics constantly, and I truly appreciate them for bringing light to the subject and the harm that it can bring to people around us. One story in this month’s issue highlighted one woman in particular, a woman who made the choice to be a stay at home wife. I can only imagine the responses that this young woman received when she told them her choice; her husband made enough money for them to live comfortably, and with both of them working, they never got to have any quality time together, and they would both just be drained at the end of the day. After reading her story, I completely understood her decision, and I completely respect it! Each person needs to make decisions for themselves, not for the approval of others, but if we don’t stop the shame now, when will it ever get better? When will people feel comfortable enough to talk to their friends about their sex life? When will children feel comfortable enough to discuss their relationships with their parents? When will women feel comfortable enough to wear the clothes they want to wear without having a stranger on the street call them out? When will men feel comfortable enough to show emotion around their best friends?

It’s time for everyone to stand up and stop imposing their lifestyles on others. Every human being is a different person from the next, and if we try to change that, what will come of us?

 

Wednesday Nightcap

Well, here goes the idea for a recurring blog post. I never make it on here in time for coffee-drinkable hours, so I think it’s time for a nightcap instead.

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[one] I took the day off today. And I mean I took the day offff. Granted it was because I had to take the MAT, but with the sun following me south to the testing location, this was a well-needed personal day of sorts.

[two] Speaking of the MAT…I passed! This means that I am officially an EKU Colonel come August 2014. Whoa, grad school, when did you get here?

[three] I have been absolutely missing my family/friends from Ohio! I get to head that way in a little less than a month thankfully, but it’s already been too long. Is it silly to want to add a day to my trip so I can stretch out the quality time?

[four] My planner. Man, I seriously fall in love with it every time I see it. I’m obsessed and I don’t care who knows it!

[five] I’m just about thisclose to leaving my current living situation and finding a random to live with. Although Zach would probably have a mild heart attack if I did so. Lets just say I will not be the millennial who lives at home until they’re 25 because of a lacking job. I will work at McDonald’s full-time smelling like cooker grease just so I don’t have to be under the same roof as my parents again. I love my parents and their generosity; but this was just not meant to happen after three years apart.

[six] I have a love-hate relationship going on right now with my workouts. I LOVE the elliptical. I hate the weights. But I know that weight training is necessary. HALP.

[seven] I have a magazine addiction, and I’m not afraid to admit it. Problem is, it’s a hard habit to break. hence the Martha Stewart Wedding magazine sitting on my book stand. (No, I’m not getting married soon; but who doesn’t love to look at the pictures! Plus they featured Kate Bosworth’s wedding. SO AMAZING.)

[eight] I’m dying to have a puppy at home with me. But Zach says no, and the landlord (El Daddio) says no. So for now I have to live 5 days a week without my cuddle bug. Such sadness.

[nine] Eggs. They have become my go-to meal for a long day. One egg, egg whites, diced ham, and a slice of Kraft Big Slice Chipotle Cheddar. YUM.

[ten] The one thought racing through my mind today? New chapter. it’s about time for a new chapter to open up. A the same time as I am racing towards August, I want to make sure that I am enjoying the last moments of my “childhood”. Is it weird that at 22 I still think of myself as a child? I hope I feel that way until I turn 90.

Back to the Basics Means Back to the Books

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This is a lifestyle blog of sorts…ya know, in the way of me posting whatever is on my mind when I decide to write. Obviously some of you have become interested because you’re here and reading away, even though I have no idea why you’d be interested in my ramblings (really though, I bore myself quite often!). So here’s the topic on my mind today: books.

Obviously, I LOVE BOOKS. If I’ve written anything about myself and my interests on this blog, reading has been thrown out there. I’m an English major mainly because I love to read. Well, pretty much only because I like to read…but I’m a decent writer when it comes down to it, so that helps as well. Any who, I’ve decided that while I love to plan and organize and give myself life goals, it’s high time to give myself a required reading list (or recommended, just depends on how crazy the semester gets!). I wanted to read at least two books over my break, which turned into me FINALLY reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (amazing, amazing, AMAZING! You all have to read that novel. Blew my mind), and then simply buying The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Sadly, the only reason I have yet to read TFIOS is because I don’t want to be sad. Is that pathetic, or what?! I’ve heard nothing but fantastic words about the novel, and I was ecstatic when it finally found its way into my hands, but I just can’t bring myself to crack it open. Maybe I’ll tackle it this weekend.

One reason I want this list to happen is I have to rediscover my love for reading. School has seriously disenchanted my avid reading lifestyle, and that CANNOT happen. I have to keep my hobby alive! Another is, I’m kind of a text-to-film snob. TFIOS is coming out in theaters this year, and I adamantly refuse to see the movie before reading the novel. This list includes many novels that have film adaptations coming out this year, and genuinely interest me, but some are just loosely recommended by various bloggers, websites, articles, what have you. So, without further ado (and serious ranting…where did all of those tangents come from?), here is…

The Ultimate Reading Experience, 2014 Ed.

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green [heard nothing but amazing reviews, film adaptation expected 6/6/14]

2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn [new favorite author for sure, film adaptation expected 9/1/14]

3. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway [I’ve always been captivated by his history, why not his literature next?]

4. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert [Eat. Pray. Love. Need I say more?]

5. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri [I’ve only read a short story of hers, but it was stunning.]

6. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson [Simply put, the plot sounds captivating.]

7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman [Stardust was my childhood, so this should be my adulthood, right?]

8. Atonement by Ian McEwan [Loved the movie…never read the book. Oops.]

9. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer [thank you, Cosmo book suggestions!]

10. Midwives by Chris Bohjalian [My interest requires a pretext. I watched “The Business of Being Born” and became obsessed. Future blog post? I think so.]

11. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach [Sex made scientific, historic, and hilarious? Count me in!]

12. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn [See #2 above.]

13. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman [Angsty book about a “sensitive guy”. I’m down.]

14. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt [Nicknamed “Harry Potter and the Priceless Work of Art”. Um…YES.]

15. Bossypants by Tina Fey [LOVE TINA FEY. ‘Nuff said.]

At 15, I think I’ll be well stocked for the next few months. Reading is my passion, and I think that passions need reigniting from time to time; for me, that time is right about…now! No matter where I go in life, reading will always be my dependable happy place, so I think I can find time to keep it close by. For now, I think it’s time to start the challenge.

I love to read, and I love to hear about new books so PLEASE feel welcome to give me all of your suggestions! 

Realizations

I’m realizing now (during my busiest week of the semester) how little I’ve tried in the last few years. I don’t mean the effort I’ve put in; I’ve kicked some serious tail in school and I’ve made sure to work as hard as possible to get somewhere in the future. But I haven’t tried new things. I have my main hobby, reading, that I’m turning into a somewhat-career, but after that I stop dead in my tracks. I started the gluten-free thing because I had to. I started to get up earlier because I had to. I do my homework on time because, well, I have to! But I don’t try things. I want to make a habit of practicing yoga; not just a half-assed attempt at going once a month, but going to that peaceful place at least twice a week. I can just imagine the relaxation that the art could bring me. I want to take pictures. There has to be a big book of photographs that I’ve taken from the most random moments in life that I can open up and look at and say, “Hey, remember this?”. I want to remember that, and so much more. I want to cook dinner every night, I want to pick up the guitar again, I want to learn something new. Not because my career depends on it, but because I want to. I need to do things for me, not the me today whose only thought is “how am I going to finish that paper by tomorrow?!” but the me next summer who is settling into a new routine and needs some new interests. Time to make some changes, but for the better.