On Treating Thyself

Hi friends!

Through a strange and wonderful series of events, I stumbled across this amazing, amazing post by an empowering and down to earth woman named Cait. She first started her blog as a way to keep track of her journey out of debt, but it has turned into so much since then. Her blog is an absolute gem of wisdom and deep thought, and I couldn’t help but be intrigued by her post that essentially deals with the Twitter-famous mental-health quick-fix saying: “treat yo self” (well, minus the slang).

But she’s got so many valid points.

The past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster– a recent death in the family, a transition into more responsibility at work, spring break, school work coming down hard and fast, not to mention a constant pressure to go, go, go, do well, do effectively, do discreetly, do acceptably.

I knew the college experience would be a transforming one, but I wasn’t quite sure as to what degree.

The freedom I have been able to undertake is enormous and I’m grateful for it every day, but there are some times when I wish I had someone older and wiser than me pulling on my reins.

I have to put good food in my body. I have to use said body and give it exercise. I have to put said body to rest at a decent time. I should use my body and skills for good. I have to pay bills. I have to do taxes. I should be financially responsible. I should be socially responsible.

There are lots of have’s and should’s that add up to a lot of stress. On top of it all is the constant battle with adjusting and “fitting in” and figuring out, my life right now and that which exists on the screens so seemingly in everyone’s faces.

And in these past couple of weeks it is more clear to me now that all of this stress and battle fighting has made me susceptible to falling into old grooves, old paths, old habits. It seems as if all the work I have put in for ways to support myself find a way of leaking out, and I realize it’s a problem. It’s self-medication, and it’s harmful.

I shouldn’t be bargaining with myself, talking myself into, or justifying to myself why I “need” something or want something every time I walk into a place where I could potentially have it. My brain feels split down the middle: I know that the life beyond worldly possessions is worth far more than anything I could ever put a price on. …But in a world where a glamorous life is… well, exactly that, and there are pressures to be a certain way, to have certain things, it’s all to easy to succumb to those same detrimental behaviors.

And that’s why I’ve decided I’m going to pull a Cait Flanders.  She flipped her life upside down with a minimalist life style, cut unnecessary shopping/impulsive consumption completely out of her life, and made room for the things that were really important.

That’s what I’m hoping to do.

And it’s after reading her words that I can’t help but think of Matthew 6:31-33:

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

All the things we worry about… think about… think we need… It feels like an illusion. Why do we binge on fruitless desires (that are oftentimes unrealistic?) instead of analyzing, facing, and dealing with the core problem(s) at hand? Why do we obsess over surface things when we could be concentrating on our service, our purpose, our duties to other humans and our love for God? A verse goes on to say something about how “I think the clothes are less important than the body, are they not?” That’s the mindset I need to have.

That’s what I’m trying to fix.

When it all comes down to it, it’s who we love. Who we are. Who we connect with. Not what we wear, what we drink in the morning, what movie we we, what brand we love.

I turn 20 today, and I am gonna go back on my word here a bit– I am going to treat myself. But I’ll be doing so with a “new” plan. This week marks the first steps of a journey down a minimalist path.

Welp, here goes.


The Cutting Edge of my Competency

Hey all!

No, I haven’t fallen off the edge of the earth (quite yet, anyways). I’ve just been drowning in the waters of Every Single Professor Decided To Make Everything Due This Week and Last Week Land.

But anyways.

In my History of Education class, I was faced with these words:

And I just had to take a minute to think and reflect. 
Isn’t that the main way we grow?
I think about where I am now and what I’ve done and been able to do. A year ago today, I was stressing and apathy-ing towards college applications and college visits. 
A year ago today I was in a rocky place in my relationship.
A year ago today I was learning my place and my worth in the masquerades (or lack thereof) of the online world.
A year ago today I was in Disneyworld hugging Chewbacca and meeting Kylo Ren.
A year ago today I had no idea I’d have a well-paying PA job lined up.
A year ago today I didn’t know who I was living with (all of them, anyways).
A year ago today I had different political views and a different caliber of knowledge on political, social, and environmental issues. 
A year ago today I didn’t know what hard-core independence looked like.
A year ago today I couldn’t file my own taxes.
A year ago today I had no idea what HTML/CSS was.
A year ago today I didn’t have a virtual art portfolio.
A year ago today I didn’t know my writing would be nominated for an award.
A year ago today I didn’t know I would be staying up into the wee hours of morning working on a stop-motion whiteboard animation project just for a shot at winning a scholarship.
A year ago today I wasn’t as close to Him as I am now.
A year ago today I didn’t quite grasp the importance of being oblivious and cautious about people’s “opinions”.
Fact of the matter is that I have indeed been pushed to the very cutting edge of my competence. While it is tempting to dwell on the insecurities and all that has come with falling on my face, Madeline Hunter has the best tidbit of advice.
I can say for sure I haven’t known what the hell I was doing for many hot seconds this year, but each and every one of those times was an opportunity to grow, an opportunity to learn, and opportunity to tuck in my pocket, check off, and say “alright, now what?”
The book I’m finishing up right now talks a lot about how crucial it is to make friends with ambiguity. How crucial it is to revel in that ice-bucket-challenge- like shock, if for only a small amount of time, in order to finally settle in and start the process all over again. 
Wherever you are right now– the comfort zone, the deer-in-headlights shock, the I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-this-is-but-I’mma-follow-it– whatever stage– just know:
Sitting on the cutting edge of your competency is the greatest and most rewarding challenge you’ll ever undertake. 

my, oh media

I Don't Want To Like Your Pictures


A couple of weeks ago, I decided to get Snapchat and Instagram out of my life. Simple, right?
Less checking, less “likes”, less “views”, less worrying about what I put up, how I appeared, what people knew. I enjoyed a privacy that came from the “not knowing” and “not checking”. I thought, “let people wonder what I’m doing”. Except that’s probably not the case, because let’s be real, everyone is mostly worried about themselves. It’s the spotlight effect.


After about a month of not having the apps on my phone, I re-downloaded Snapchat just a day or two ago because I heard my brother had it, and I wanted to add him as a friend in case I ever decided I wanted Snapchat back again.

However, even after having it a brief time, it felt foreign. And you don’t realize how easy it is to compulsively check Snapchat until you’re “bored” and have nothing to do.

So while I tried to go through and purge my current state of “leaving people on red”, it was far too easy to then scroll endlessly through people’s stories and compare their glamorous spring break pics to mine. But I had to remind myself. Snapchat harbors a lot of highlight-reeling, (even when you’re on a beach day drinking in Mexico, you can’t always be having that much fun, right? I mean, there’s gotta be some painful hangovers and hotel complications and sunburn in there somewhere, right…?)

It’s complicated, because I teeter on a fence between wanting to eradicate it from my life completely and wanting it back so I can make a farce and go filter-less and use it to promote good things, such as community service or body positivity or cute things to brighten someone’s day or thought-provoking messages instead of promoting myself, my material goods, and/or my social status.

I teeter because there is cognitive dissonance.

As much as my parents or friends claim me an ENFP, there are some things I’m inherently shy about. Standing out, as fun as it is sometimes, draws attention and sometimes the pressure of having all eyes on me (how oh how on earth did I do theatre, then?) is too overwhelming. Like I talked about in my earlier post about speaking in “plain English” and raising my hand in class, there’s still some discomfort in being the first to speak, the only to speak, to have all attention turned instantly from one stimulus suddenly to my face, my being. My comfort zone has always sort of existed in a realm in which I excel quickly, quietly, subtly, in the back of the room with little attention. Confronted with attention-seeking individuals I retreat into my shell, completing whatever task asked of me privately, to my best ability, meekly retreating only to submit the work I have done. Compliments have felt weird. Standing out has felt weird to me. When I was about 10 or 12 I remember a verse striking a chord with me when I did community service with my church.

It comes from Matthew 6:2:

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

This idea, I believe, is not limited to community service or “feeding the poor”. In my eyes, one doesn’t need trumpets to proclaim they’re doing good, the attention of the media, or the satisfaction of likes or favorites or retweets.

The idea behind this verse at is probably the biggest reason I prefer not to live my life excessively out loud, especially through social media. And one could say “but Stephanie, you have a blog that’s all about you. You have/had an Instagram, a Facebook, a Twitter….” etc. And I will say that yes, I have/have had all those things, but it’s not been the best thing ever. A less mature, angsty-er me  sought those things as refuges, places where I had a chance at being slightly noticed in a world where I perceived everyone else was getting a say.

But it’s so much more than that now. It’s so different. I don’t want to share frivolously. I want to connect, I want to share, I want to enrich. I may have some complaints here and there but I know that for the most part, I want to share that which is upworthy. And I don’t mean pictures of cute kittens or thebomb.com fashion looks.

Rather, I want to share that which challenges people, that which nurtures minds of all who read it, that which is impactful, that which promotes truth and goodwill, that which helps make me a step closer to the person I want to be. There’s so much negativity flying around lately– be it the aggression that exists still over the presidential election, the snide comments towards people who aren’t like ourselves, the microagressions towards those of different faiths, nationalities, genders, or ideas.

For this reason, I know social media is not all bad. Not at all. So many valuable and meaningful movements have emerged as a positive result. I just don’t want to get consumed or make it all about me. Therein lies the dissonance. But therein lies a potential for great personal change.




stephanie scribbles: new site + info!

Hey y’all!

Super pumped as I’m writing this post because I’ve *finally* gotten around to creating a digital portfolio for the random creations and art that happens wherever I happen to be with scissors, paper, pencils, and sharpies!

The new site, called “stephanie scribbles“, is just a virtual dump for all things I create and feel like sharing with you guys! I’m also trying to open it up so I can send people art if they’d like, because there’s no better feeling in the world than creating something with your hands and giving it to someone else.

I hope to update the site often, with inspiration, artwork, and interesting DIY things I find. :3 I also hope this site holds me to one of my New Year’s resolutions, which is to create more things with my hands. Perhaps knowing I’ll be able to dump it in this virtual portfolio will serve as some motivation!

I had a ton of fun building this site and getting it ready! I’d be ever so grateful if you gave the above link some love, and I hope you guys enjoy!!



Taxes and Turnarounds

Last night, I was trapped in my dining room filing my federal taxes.

The site wasn’t cooperating, I was losing focus, my motivation was plummeting, and movement detected out of the corner of my eye told me there was a giant spider on the part where the wall meets the ceiling not far from where I was sitting.


I had to cancel plans with my best friend because I’m home, I’m supposed to do taxes while I’m here, even though I could probably have done them while I was away at school.
Perhaps the most valid excuse for only doing them now, while I’m home, is so that I have my father as a life line for doing them, and all my needed tax documents were at home. 
Yes, my personal tax documents were here at home, but this time… I didn’t really get much help. I struggled through them on my own, for the most part. The lesson learned? Make sure line 9’s two little left boxes are BLANK lol  Take all tax history in digital form to school, opt for digital W2’s / take pictures of them before I leave, and do it all myself before my parents can complain. 
The benefit of having gone through it alone? I now know, somewhat, how to do it. 
Even though they got rejected by the IRS the first time, I now know what to expect and how to combat problems. 
There was a point where, while I was trying to enter all of the information on a form, the site stopped working, my tablet computer was depleted of memory, and a message reporting the “maintenance” of the site popped up. I wanted to throw my tablet (or Lapplet, as my roomie likes to call it) against the wall. 
But I had to realize…
-I’m lucky to be filing out the EZ forms right now (literally). Later in life, I’m going to (hopefully!) earn much more and therefore have more complicated forms to deal with. So every year, I’m going to have to sit down and figure shit out. Though, I do imagine my adult self having this cute crate of file folders that will hold all of my important documents so I’ll not be as scattered between locations as I have been this past few times.
-I’m lucky to be getting refunded by the IRS, and not owing anything.
-I’m lucky to even be getting tax forms because it means I have a job and income. Some are less fortunate. 
I had to be thankful. 
…Even as I got that rejection email.
So at this point, this has been a petty post about federal/state taxes brought to you by Yours Truly.
The takeaway?  Be thankful for your taxes, no matter how many tears of frustration you cry, and live these moments where part time jobs make your process so so  much EZier. 

Life as of Lately: Welcome, March!


Skipping the apologies because we all know I’ve fallen behind like that moment in Mulan where Mulan is trying to keep up carrying the water buckets on her shoulders and all the guys pass her.

MARCH! Here we are. And never in my life have I been so confused as to what season it is. One day it will be 70 degrees, and then it will snow the next day. Not kidding. I knew living in the mountains for school would warrant some extreme cases of weather, but never did I think I’d be fooled so hard (or my emotions so roughly played with) by a short bout of summer followed immediately by a polar vortex. 
Anyways. I love March because it’s psuedo (or supposed to be)- spring and it means green and birthdays (esp. my own XD) and spring break… It’s just a lovely lineup. 
Shall we?
[Reading] Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter (though I finished it yesterday, just wanted to keep y’all in the loop!) and just starting Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes.

These books are both non-fiction, with Drunk Tank Pink exploring the shade of pink’s (known as “drunk tank pink) unconscious effects on human behavior. This book also highlights a ton of other unexpected factors within ourselves and our environment that affect us, and it was interesting to look into how subtly things like the weather, floor of a building, color of a room, or view (or lack thereof) of nature has on a person’s ideas, thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

The book Nonsense is about how humans deal with ambiguity and the benefits of harnessing it (or not!) to our advantage. It’s a neat look into how capable the human mind is and how we can tweak subtle things in our environment to better equip us to handle the unknown.

10/10 would recommend both of these books if you’re just interested in how humans function or are looking to better any of these aspects of thinking for yourself!

[Writing] Letters! To both my friend in Ireland and my grandmother. Trying to also round up addresses because March is a big birthday month and I want to send people letters because I love stationary and envelopes and the satisfaction of stamping something and physically putting it in the mail!

[Learning] more coding! Trying to get through courses on codeacademy.com when I have the time because it is fun, and I want to be able to get to the point where I can put my own personal tweaks on my blog layout! (Also because learning CSS is hella cool and I can’t wait to use it XD)

[Doing] …not much of anything structured right now, because it’s spring break and I’m home for a week! But in the past week or so, I’d say I’ve done some crafting here and there (;  Esp. when it comes to birthday cards! Check it out:

For my suitemate!
For my grandmother– ignore the pencil lines and my sad attempt at good calligraphy–
(something I’d like to learn better!)

I’m also on the road to doing more hands-on work for my personal assistant job, trying to scout out on-campus job possibilities for next year, designing weekly email templates for my campus ministry, and petting my puppies voraciously.

[Eating] a clementine! I know a lot of people can’t stand the citrus smell *coughJ* but I kinda love it. Also gotta get that citrus in because everyone around me seems to be dying of sickness.

[Drinking] water and milk! In my kinesiology class, we’re supposed to track our food intake for about two weeks and while I’m already out of the soda-drinking habit, I’d like to minimize coffee intake so writing it down will probably discourage me from drinking it. Sooooo water and milk it is!

[Listening] to a lot of music. Some throwback, some not. But good music nonetheless!

[Laughing] at how much my puppy reminds me of my first dog– and how my first dog once, after being told to “get the mouse!” (there was no mouse), emerged from our office area carrying a felt mouse toy in her mouth XD

[Thinking] about how slow the national government is with paperwork. Like UGH can you PLEASE not take forever on something that impacts my college financial future.

[Hoping] for the 50-60 degree weather the app on my phone keeps promising me, so I can go running again (!)

[Loving] the temporary getaway from campus. Sometimes you just have to get out, you know?

[Praying] for my god sister, no political dinner conversations while home, relaxation, and determination to get stuff done.

How’s your March so far?