Long-Distance Relationships

Happy Valentine’s Week! I hope you are spending it with anyone who makes you happy. This week I will be spending Valentine’s Day on Facetime. My S.O. is 500 miles away finishing up his degree. To be fair last year we celebrated at the hours I had off from stage managing the Vagina Monologues but we were at least together.

Long distance relationships are a pain in the butt. I am in a long distance relationship with everyone I care about S.O. and best friends.  With best friends it’s easy we’ve been together so long. My best friend in the world lives another couple hundred miles away in Arkansas. We keep our connection through weekly newsletters, filled with what we did this week, what books we read, annoying things people said to us, etc.

With my partner things are a little harder. Technology helps. Snapchat allows for a daily viewing of the face you miss. The Showgoers extension on chrome allows you to watch Netflix at the same time on different devices. So date nights can still continue as long as your partner does not pause every other second like mine does. We have found that it’s important to keep up communication while far apart to make sure the other person still feels like they are a part of day-to-day operations. Developing traditions around the long-distance like saying goodnight every night and making sure the other person ate lunch.

Anyway long-distance sucks but love rocks and it has become easier to make it work.

Spend this week with people who make you happy.

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Breaking Resolutions

So for the last two weeks I have broken my resolution to write a blog piece for this site once a week before midnight. It’s just so easy not to do something versus actually doing it. So I took so unintentional and then some intentional time off because I didn’t really have anything to say and I felt guilty.

Then I was like why should I feel guilty it’s a promise I made to myself and it does not hurt anyone else. Also it’s not a huge deal as it is not as though I am giving up on my blog or my writing. Actually a lot of the reasons I took a break is because I was so focused on my other resolutions. Also, I got really sick.

My baking resolution also had to change slightly because we recently found out my grandmother is pre-diabetic. So instead of practicing my meringues I have been practicing my sugar-free baking.

I think that is okay to press pause on a resolution and not feel bad. As long as the goal is given up on but only made to work with current life situation. Resolutions are should make you feel better and improve your life. It should not make you feel worse or push your life in ways that do not make you feel good.

Long story short. I am keeping up with blog I just think it’s okay to take time off.

Changing Plans

I had a plan. To be fair I have had lots and lots and lots of plans. I’m pretty sure that my long and short term goals have changed like 20 times over the past 5 years. Even in the past month things have changed from the initial plan that I had when finishing my degree.

Plan A: I was rejected from. Rejected is my least favorite feeling and it definitely has put me in a moving forward slump out of new fear of rejection.

Plan B: I figure out is not what I wanted when I had to consider it seriously. Which was a bummer, I think but it would have been more of a bummer to actually go through with it and be completely miserable and not making any money

So it took a little step back and am letting myself be a little lost. I am still working/free-riding and working while gaining experience. So my currently plan is a large amalgam of back up plans while trying to figure my life out. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT! This is largely keeping me from wanting to do anything or move in any particular direction.

Right now I am staying put until June I have a position until the primaries here in Maryland in June and then we (me and the candidate and my family) are re-evaluating. However, a lot may happen between now and then, my family may move away. We will see.

Plans will probably change a lot again likely soon. I am learning to accept it even though I really really hate it.

Monthly Recommendations: Best First in Series

Happy New Year and beginning on another year of monthly recommendations. Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads group that picks a topic every month for lovely book nerds such as myself. This month we will be talking about ways to start of the new year right with brand new book series. As a disclaimer I am not including Harry Potter because whether or not you chose to continue the series I expect you to have read at least that one.

Children and Middle Grade 

Book of Names by John Peel (Diadem: Worlds of Magic) – My favorite series that no one has read. This first book starts off with three outcasts, Helaine, Score, and Pixel,  who come from different worlds, literally,  are brought together on the Inner Rim to be taught the art of magic.

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (Enchanted Forest Chronicles) – A princess who doesn’t particularly like being proper or the idea of being married off runs away to become a dragon’s princess. There are wizards with magic sucking staffs, witches with crepe pans, stone princes, etc. Everything one could want in a fairy tale adjacent fantasy.

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Shadow Children) – In a dystopia where only two children are allowed per family, Luke is the third. A political thriller series that is written for a younger age group and one of my favorites. It’s also the first series I read where there were consequences for the main characters. Warning: tears happen. 

Young Adult

Legend by Marie Lu (Legend Trilogy) – Most people have read this but everyone who I have recommended it to has loved so if you haven’t yet read it. This dystopian trilogy follows a prodigy of the Republic, a police state, and a young unparalleled criminal mastermind. Also there is a plague. It is amazing and slightly scary and sad and perfect. Go!

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Fire and Thorns) – Oh no, another fantasy series about a chosen one, no trust me it’s actually unlike anything I have ever read. In this Latin America inspired fantasy world the series delves deep into political intrigue and religion. Elisa is one of my favorite protagonists of all time and the story goes nowhere a reader expects it to.

Adult

Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon (The Deeds of Paksinarrion) – Let’s see if I can mention Paks at least once a recommendations post until someone complains. This first book see Paks join the Duke’s recruits and join the army. It is an easy introduction to a fantasy world that is full of fighting and destruction. It’s great fantasy for those who don’t like magic because while this occurs in a fantasy world Paks herself only interacts with magic users, healers, gods, but is not one herself.

Another Fine Myth by Robert Lynn Asprin (Myth Adventures) – This long and epic fantasy series starts off in the normal way Skeeve, a magician’s apprentice, watches his master killed by an assassin shortly after summoning a demon, Ahaz. Ahaz and Skeeve must then work together. It amazing and hilarious and has one of my favorite dragons. Gleep. 

Looking forward

2017 was a weird year. There was a lot of good things: I finished my bachelors degree, I interned for a mayoral campaign, I lived and worked in Boston, I vacationed with my friends and boyfriend, I started reading and writing again.  There was also a lot of really bad things: the loss in my family, my mental health was bad and had significant relapse, I had to let go of friends that turned out not to be positive people in my life even though I thought they would last a lifetime.

2018 will be better. 2018 must be better even though it will be significantly harder than I would like transitioning into life after college, a long distance relationship, and still coping with lose and mental health. So I have some goals to keep progressing in my life.

Writing Goals:

  • Post on my blog once a week, deadline before midnight on Sunday (better than keeping track of 7 days)
  • Finish draft one of the novel I started at the end of 2017.
  • Enter 4 writing competitions for short stories or poetry

Reading Goals:

  • Read 100 books again this year:
    • including 5 books that come out in 2018
    • Read 5 new to me authors
  • Keep up with non-fiction reading that applies to my field (Political Science) now that I have left school — two courses of reading

Personal Goals:

  • Finally get a credit card because debit cards have kept me from ever over-drafting but also I need to build a credit score
  • Get a job, this is already underway I am working on a campaign for free but am not doing anything for money which currently am trying to fix. It would be fine with me to get experience for no money as long as I can build up savings at the same time.
  • Get better at technical baking,  I would like to learn how to make the different types of meringues and sponges (The Great British Bake Off changed my year)
  • See my now long distance boyfriend in person at least once, stretch goal is three times but this is probably not going to happen.

 

The First Holiday without a loved one

As you may no from my post on ambiguous loss, this past fall my family has been separated and we have in a sense lost my brother. This was our first holiday season without him. It has not been easy. In fact it has been incredibly hard. There was no fighting over who would light the candles or vigorous bets on which candle could last the longest. We didn’t watch his favorite Christmas movies, yes the Santa Clause is cheesy but this is the first year it did not graze our screens. My sister and I weren’t woken at 6 and then 7 and then 8 which is when we can actually come up to enjoy presents and stockings. Passing around presents went faster than it ever has. It is quiet. I don’t know if I like it. I suppose the only way to get through the holidays is to miss them and know that you miss them and not pretend that things are the same. We tried that for a while and my mom cried through Elf. Needless to say it didn’t go well. So for Christmas my mom framed one of his pictures and I gave my parents a framed photo of the whole family at my sister’s first Christmas (she is the youngest). It is so hard to know how sad you are supposed to be especially on a holiday where in all reality it should feel joyous.

Hanukkah was mostly easy because I was at school for all but the last night and could celebrate with my friends there and did not have to think about my family not being together, as I was states away and couldn’t be with them anyways. This has been harder because it is clearer that someone is not here, that there is a part missing. Hopefully it gets easier as the years go on or at least as we start to move away from this crappy year.

If you have any tips to make it feel any better please let me know.

What ever you are doing today celebrating or not, have a safe and happy time.

Final Finals

You know I had to. If I pass all my classes I will be done with college. This is my last 2 weeks of cramming and no sleep and over-caffeinating and crying in the shows because it’s the only free time. I still have classes right now so it is not technically finals week but… I have papers due for everyone of my classes before finals week. One of my classes will be completely done by next Monday.

Things I hate about finals week:

  • Everything is due at the same time, I have 3 finals due on the 14th! I mean why?!
  • No one is free for things like coffee breaks or getting lunch which extra sucks this year because I’m leaving
  • There is no time for sleep when you need it the most
  • Because everyone is stressing out there is an overwhelming feeling of stress and failure

How I don’t die during finals week:

  • I don’t (hahhah)
  • Taking naps, especially if you are staying up til 2 am, taking an hour nap at 4 pm is totally fine and will give you a boost for the back half of the day
  • Try to keep to a normal sleep schedule wake up at the same time go to bed at the same time, it will feel less like you are over extending yourself even though you are only getting 5 hours of sleep.
  • Self-care is so important because you phyically feel less like dying
    • Shower so you do not feel as gross
    • Eat 3x a day to keep up strength even if you some of them are only snacks and desserts
    • Drink as much water as you do caffeine, once again try not to die.
    • Take breaks to talk to a fellow human being that is not doing the same finals as you and will not just talk about work (this is important

Good luck getting through the next weeks to me and everyone else.

Happy Finals!

Monthly Recommendations: Books I am thankful for

November (yes I know I am a little late)’s recommendation topic is books I am thankful for. There are lots of ways that one can be thankful for a book: made me the reader I am, connected to a happy memory, got you through a hard time, etc.

  • Harry Potter by JK Rowling: I think this is an obvious one for most people. It sparked my love of magic and obsessive love of Harry Potter. This is also the book my dad brought home when we adopted my baby brother.
  • The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: So this is a series that came to me at the right point in time. I was going through such a hard time and it made me feel there was where people like me and who cared about me. I read this series with my friend who became my best friend.
  • She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb: Once again a book that showed me that you can be fine no matter what else is happening. This is also the book I was reading when a real professional author, of this book, told me to keep writing and that I had talent. So grateful for both.
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner: This was a book that I read with my 2 best friends in high school and we made a hilarious book report with it (it was on a pumpkin). I really just had such a great time reading it and it made me much less afraid of classical literature.
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: I read this book my freshman year of college and it just got me out of reading slump and my stress of school and it was such just a bright fun read.
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown: This is the first book series I read with my boyfriend and we still talk about it all the time and it’s so much at the root of our friendship.

Applying to jobs

I need to do something when I leave school. This is fine and I like working. What I do not like doing is actively pursuing something (a job) that may not be mine. I am so scared of the rejection I know is coming (on average it takes 5o applications for 1 interview). It has not been a fun time.

I am starting with applying to Americorp. It is a year of public service with a living stipend and a grant for school once the service is completed. It’s both the field I want to go into but it also doesn’t tie me down to one place for more than a year. Unfortunately, it is also very competitive. I cannot put all my eggs in this one basket and need to apply to other jobs as well.

Where? What? How much? I honestly do not know.

There are so many job sectors that fit into Political Science (my major) let alone more individual groups and corporations that I could apply to it’s hard to know what to do or what I want. Right now the plan is to apply everywhere and see where the cards fall. It is hard and it sucks. I wish there were more people that could just tell me what to do or where to apply so I don’t have to apply to 50 jobs and get all the rejections that are for sure coming my way.

 

Making the best of the end

I have 6 weeks left of college. Actually probably less than 40 days at this point. It is terrifying. This school has become my home for the past 3 and a half years and it’s going to suck not to have it around or the friends I have grown to rely on. However, college also keeps me from having to be totally responsible for myself from becoming a “real” adult. My goal in my last couple days is to make the best of my last days of undergrad.

A) Yes I am and always have been super nostolgic about everything… even things that were really bad for me when they are going away

B) I am trying not to mope but make the best of it.

A lot of it has been really hard because this has been one of my favorite semesters yet. I am taking classes with professors I really like. My apartment mates are fun. And I have made more friends than I had expected this semester. So I am making the best of it. I am setting time aside to go to plays and have weekly lunches with old friends. I even went to a few parties I haven’t been to in a long time. Hopefully my last few weeks at my school will be happy ones.

Fingers Crossed.