the Selfish Years

selfish years (1)

I found this while scrolling along in my social media sphere. The first sentence caught me off-guard, and for a minute I didn’t quite know what to think.

I thought about how I’m in school, trying to do all of the things I need to do to advance my skills and graduate with a flippin expensive piece of paper.

I got lost in the thoughts of my obligations– going here, doing this, leading this, submitting that, wishing that if there were just a little more time in the day I could do each thing better, fuller, with more love.

I thought about leaving my house so many times a couple years back after school, in the evenings, just to get away and do and see and overcompensate for not having my own set of wheels (or a license, for that matter).

What if my entire teens have been selfish?

The thought. It just sits there like a dirty pile of laundry at the back of my head.

But I think about the growth. I can’t possibly capture in one post the ways that I have felt this train moving forward, despite the missing railroad ties and obstacles and late schedules.

am immersing myself in everything possible (perhaps to my detriment but here we are lol).

I’m getting more selfish of my time every day, it feels like. But not in a way  that’s like, hoarding a pile of money. It’s in little ways, like learning to say “no” to things that aren’t in my sweet spot of worth for time and energy investments, choosing importance over urgency, and having the courage to draw that boundary line between myself and the “emergencies” of others. It wasn’t easy. Heck, it still isn’t. …But here we are.

FRUCK I want to travel again. I applied to a study abroad program I know I won’t be able to afford (and promptly headed right over to apply for the scholarships).

I’m trying to let myself explore new things. Inside and outside the classroom, new habits (like being on time LOL “how’s that working out for ya steph?”, new routines, new music**… ) It’s a very dynamic time.

**the end of this post shall feature some new music that’s been on my heart lately 

I feel like my love is a rubber band, stretching out and relaxing, ebbing and flowing with every interaction but the important part is that it’s being regulated, held closer to my chest.

Not touching the ground is quite the attractive thought. Easy to do when you’re constantly running place to place. But what if, in some instances, you wish to be grounded, solid in your footing and certain in your next step?


october has too many birthdays

Simply put, I do not know where the time has gone.

Between 19 credit hours, 3.5 means of employment, leadership roles, an almost hurricane, and dealing with all of the pitfalls [insect-related or otherwise] of this stupid apartment I have not been able to sit in a hot minute and spew words into this space as freely and as frequently as I have in the recent past, a past that feels more distant than last Christmas.

As the storm of these weeks has passed/passes overhead, I have made some observations, realizations, and decisions about my personal growth, wellbeing, and other uncategorized things.

I felt myself drawn back to picking up the book The Productivity Project, and reading excerpts of it on the bus to and from work and class. I found myself saying “no” to things that don’t appeal to my interest or concept of value more than 90%.

I found myself attending a workshop entitled “Success or Burnout” in the hopes that I could learn something useful about the dangerous line I walk between being productively busy and spread way too thin. I did learn something, and it’s something I think about every day— it’s about not living your life in a constant state of urgency [as I often do] and being aware that you have the choice to do what you want to do.

You get to choose between the important and the urgent, and you get to discern: what’s urgent is not always important, and vice versa.

I thought this served as a really nice, gentle wake up call. It made me add due dates to my to-do lists so I’m not running around completing tasks like a headless chicken lacking context in my work.

And I found myself taking the extra steps at night to make sure I was ready for morning, drinking more coffee [but then realizing I was drinking too much coffee and trying to scale back to tea,] and fitting in more time to read.

I found [find] myself constantly wondering if I’m taking enough time for myself [I know I’m not] and putting study time in multiple hour blocks on my calendar for Saturdays.

And then I find myself not eating enough, not feeling hungry, not having time to eat, and essentially falling into a whole vicious cycle.

I find myself showing up, because according to whoever, “showing up is half the battle!” Yeah well so are weapons and game plans and armor that make up the other 50% of the battle but those, conveniently, get swept under the rug, hidden away so all that’s left is caffeinated evenings and droopy eyelid distractions amidst a sea of pseudo-engaged learners, and feeling the passion slowly leave your fingertips as the worries of the day chase you around your head.

I find myself thinking “if only this week could be over *THEN*…” maybe JUST then I can catch up, I can “get my life together”, I can devote more time to this, I can afford this bill, I can reach that goal, and it just goes on. In an upward climb that’s a losing battle.

And then I step back and think “well heck! That’s no way to live!” And I make to-do lists and watch Ted-Talks and read books and then it fades. A week later, it fades like fake watercolor pigment that a child gets for Christmas on sub-par printer paper.

It’s a feeling of feeling temporarily stuck, tires spinning in anticipation of AAA to show up.

You feel?

that time we found out we had bedbugs

I’m pretty sure we discovered them by accident.

For a little over a week and a half I had noticed itchy red bumps covering my arms and wrapping around my torso and lower back.

Oh, it’s poison ivy! I thought.


Oh, it’s just some flea bites from my boyfriend’s roommate’s flea-ridden dog long overdue for flea medication!


Nonetheless I took proactive measures and washed my sheets. When I took them out of the dryer, a few bugs fell out on the floor.

Gross, I know.

I thought they were dead fleas.

Yay! At least I killed a couple in the wash!

It wasn’t until we went to Walmart to get insecticide for fleas and ransacked Google for DIY remedies safe for dogs when we saw the image of a bedbug on a black and purple spray can. I had never seen a bedbugs in my life, mind you. But here we were, nonetheless, staring at a purple can of bug poison and that’s when it hit me that the picture I was staring at was *not* a flea I had seen on the floor.

Fast forward to arriving back at the apartment and inspecting the mattress and box spring, just for kicks.

Little brown dots and creepy-crawly bedbugs of varying sizes and stages in the life cycle wandered around aimlessly around the rims of the box spring, clearly disturbed by all of the commotion.

“Oh my god,” my roomies and I said in unison.

Well, all of us except one of us.

My other roomie, who is 1000% averse to any kind of bug, was still at work. We had yet to break the news to her. We wondered just how we would do that. She was going to flip the duck out.

We came up with the idea of making her some chicken nuggets and having a stiff drink waiting for her when she opened the door.

We raced around the apartment, tidying up, cooking frozen chicken nuggets in the microwave [because our stove was broken. That’s…another story altogether. There’s a lot of things wrong with where we live], and downing a couple shots [you know, for quality control].

We hung a sign on the front door that said “please ring doorbell” and threw the safety latch on the door so we would know when she was home and so she wouldn’t be able to get in right away. She arrived 2 mins before the nuggets were done.

“UM you have to wait two more minutes!” Liana yelled out as the doorbell rang.

When the nuggets were done [first and fore-mostly] we let her in, and didn’t let her cross the threshold until she’d taken a drink.

It was when we were all huddled in the kitchen, conversing [albeit a bit sloppily—my other roomies and I had already been a few drinks ahead], and me recording the whole thing on my camera, that Liana broke the news:

We raised our glasses in a toast:

“CHEERS TO BEDBUGS!!” yelled Liana.

“CHEERS TO….I’m sorry—what….?”

The look of disbelief on her face was both golden and ultra depressing, and, also a really foreboding glimpse into weeks of terrible communication lapses with our property management, sleepless nights in beds other than our own, and money leaping out of our wallets to cover the expense of pests that don’t even discriminate by level of cleanliness….

…all in time for midterm exams. (-: