// forcing habit

It’s been a week!

I guess I can write this now!

So. In my earlier post about saying no to things so you can say yes later and whatnot I referenced a few things I was doing to kind of get myself back on track and pave a smooth way for the semester.

And I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot during that process.

So! A recap!

This week, I:

Said “no” to coffee, and “yes” to water and tea.*
I woke up with a cup/glass/or water bottle every morning this week, because I want to embrace the positive effects a hefty dose of water can have on your metabolism in the mornings.

Some observations, though:

  • It kinda threw off my body’s schedule LOL
  • I’ve noticed a small difference in my ability to focus and in the quality of my skin. [I had headshots taken yesterday so this has been a mild blessing!]
  • It has made me aware how little I drink water now. Because I start my day with it, and because it seems to be a memorable part of my mornings now, I think about it more. And I also seem to have a subconscious thought of “oh, welp! That’s your water for the day!” So I’m hoping to override that.
  • I did break my non-coffee regimen 2 times this week though [1.5 if you wanna get technical about chai tea lattes]. I will say though! These “breaks” were backed with purpose–
    • one “coffee” event was spent getting through a difficult, yet rewarding as hell conversation
    • the other was a purposeful consumption of an espresso iced coffee to power through a video editing session. I totally got in my “flow” state and absolutely reached hyperfocus as a result.
    • [EDIT: annnnnnd whoops technically I guess I also had a break today I totally forgot about–I ordered a Matcha latte at work today because I’d never had one before and I wanted to see if I’d like it. Does that count? LOL]
  • I guess the biggest thing for me with regards to the coffee is that I wanted to consume it more mindfully, and more purposefully, rather than just having it be my “given” for the day. And on that front, I think I succeeded. [:

I said “no” to notifications, and “yes” to waking up more mindfully.
I don’t think I really realized how much my mind raced in the morning until the end of last semester. Over winter break there wasn’t quite as many commitments, so I was able to wake up with notifications and skip the mind racing, *but* I was then able to fall into the trap of endlessmindlessscrolling (I didn’t have a class to race off to, so of course I was able to just sit and absorb. At least, I told myself I could). So. By keeping airplane on all night, I knew for a fact that nothing would be able to get through.

Some notes though:

  • I did violate my rule once this week because we were expected to get a ton of snow, and, let’s be real, I didn’t want to miss the university closure texts.
  • This habit MAJORLY helped in that it gave me a clear mind for the morning to breeze through my other tasks, such as drinking water, making myself a smol breakfast, and getting ready for the day [I should time myself on all those things, actually, just to see how long they *actually* take and now how exacerbated they are when interrupted with screen time! :D]
  • It also just gave me a nice…buffer? I guess? A little extra time between being asleep and immediately “on” and awake.
  • I’m able to more accurately process my mornings!! I am here, writing this post because I *remember* my mornings– not just as a rushed blur of mundane, but as a little more *mindful*! That’s exciting!

Said “no” to “checking in” and working right away, yes to observing my breathing and bringing back my wandering thoughts.
I was probably worried the most about this one.  Mediation, I knew going into this, was going to be the one I was most averse to for this week. I didn’t do that well in terms of setting aside a solid 5 minutes to watch my breathing. Rather, I made some observations:

  • I traded sitting cross-legged on my floor or on my bed for walks to work without headphones.
  • I declined music in the shower, opting instead for a 5 min timer and just embraced the fact that my mind was going to wander and made an effort to enjoy it.
  • I did a few brain dumps. On paper. For me, this is highly meditative for some reason.  I started with a blank sheet of paper and by the end of 10 mins or so, I had built a complete list of thoughts and notes and “to-do”s and by the end my head just felt SO MUCH BETTER. Chris Bailey quotes a lot, “your brain is for having thoughts, not holding thoughts.” That’s what the meditative brain-dumps are for [;

There were a few other things I did pretty consistently this week that I hadn’t intentionally set out to do,  though, and they surprised me!

I made my bed every morning.
Anyone who has seen my room knows I’m pretty scattered. But I’m actually super proud of the way I’ve been able to keep it tidy over the past week. Among my morning hustle, I try to make my bed look made just so I have a good thing to come home to. But also because it’s hard to lay out clothes and spread out what I need for the day on a mangled up tangled ball of blankets :B

I made myself breakfast every morning. 
The routine as of late? Oatmeal + egg and cheese. I whip up the oatmeal [it’s instant, we’re getting there LOL], and then make an egg with shredded cheddar to get that protein in. I cannot TELL you how many times I went last semester [especially towards the end there!] without eating a single thing in the morning. [Well, I did have a single thing– and it was coffee. #yikes] If I was running late, I opted for something more portable [I think that only happened once this week] like a granola bar of piece of fruit. Otherwise, I carved out time for breakfast. And, on super late nights like last night, I did the prep work in the evening so I could be prepared and get the extra sleep in the morning. [I know it all probably works out to be even– the time I spent prepping was taking away from my sleep time, but in my head this makes sense and it *feels* like I get to sleep more, LOL].

I did all of the above with the help of a “Gmorning” checklist! 
I love lists. I don’t know where I would be without them. What started as a way for me not to lose track of all I had to do in the morning turned into a daily event. I would take a piece of paper, write out my tasks for the morning, and write something encouraging on the top of it. The cherry on top? Leaving Lin Manuel Miranda’s book, “Gmorning, Gnight!” right on top of the list so I could flip it open to a random page to be inspired. I think positive self-talk, especially early in the morning, is super underrated. I’m not quite to the point of confessing love for myself in the mirror yet LOL, but I am finding that reading just a blurb of something positive each morning has a really nice effect on the day.

The crazy thing? There were points this week where I felt myself pushing back on all of this. Where I wondered, what’s the point?  Heck, today I saw someone reference today as “Ditch All Your New Year’s Resolutions Day,” as if we’re supposed to just up and lose motivation on the 15th of the first month of the year.

But the funny thing about routines and habits– you come to expect them. You come to think about them during the rest of the day, and even look forward to them. So much so that when you feel like you’re starting to veer off the tracks, you seek solace in them again. And it’s like come on we just spent so much time getting this together. Why stop now?

…And when you see that they’re starting to work, starting to pull you up and help you rise, you’re inclined to give them another chance every time the sun rises. [:

What about you guys? What 2019 energies are you keeping up with?

xx

 

the courageous task of saying “no”.

Ahahah so it’s crazy. This post [rather the thought of writing on it] has been taking up a lot of headspace recently. So here we go.

I am an ENFP [“the campaigner”], my Enneagram puts me as a “Helper” as my paramount personality trait. [If you’ve never heard of this or tried it for yourself, I highly encourage it! It’s very cool to see the results.]

I love challenges, I love helping people, I love being busy.

I don’t like inconveniencing others, I don’t like living up to expectations, and I definitely don’t like confrontation, and things like saying no. 

Oof.

If there’s anything that 2018 taught me, it was that it was busy.  It was packed. Why?

Because I consistently didn’t say “no” to things. 

I like feeling like I can do and give for everyone but WOW that’s so mentally taxing, and emotionally exhausting. I think I only realized this in the past 3 months. Taking time for myself was still a foreign concept, and I couldn’t fathom “letting people down”.

What I’m learning, however, is that part of the time it’s like being on an airplane. When shit’s going south and things are nosediving, you do have to put the mask on yourself first in order to help others.

I don’t like thinking about this, partially because it feels like I’m neglecting others by doing so. But it’s true. Sometimes, you just have to barge forth and make that call to take the time for yourself that you need.

Chris Bailey [YES I KnOw I reference him so much he’s my idol sue me] suggests this pretty golden rule for determining whether something is worthy of your “yes”. You can think about how every “no” you throw out is actually a “yes” for something later on, or you can think about how every “yes” you commit yourself to is a “no” to something else later on.

It is this train of thoughts that makes me think about all I’ve said yes and no to. Some things are an obvious yes– visiting with family I haven’t seen in 5 months or more over the holidays when I could be working? For me, this is an obvious “yes.”

Following up on flaky plans when the other person has no real interest in making time for aforementioned plans? Tough. As badly as I’ve tried to make this work in the past, it just doesn’t. It also has led me to start thinking about the fact that I actually may be someone’s “back-up plan”. Yikes. That’s gonna be a “no” from me, dawg.

[I’m still in the works of trying to release some big things in the next weeks related to this specific topic of money and stufffff buuuut….!] Spending money on impulse for the instant gratification and to feel “one of the group”? So so tough. But it’s gotta be a no, because I have to think about the “yes”s I want later. Like paying tuition. And my rent. And being able to afford food and gas.

And it’s crazy! I kind of stretched out writing this post across two days– the second day I’ve spent on this post has actually found me feverish, throat sore, and chilled to the bone even with masses of sweaters, coats and blankets [greetings from my blanket cave, as I do my best to balance under all this weight on my chair and just get thoughts out].

After the trials of today, I get a text. One of my friends asked to hang out.

My brain immediately said yes. Yes! I leave to go back to school in less than 48 hours of *course*! But my body put the brakes on that. It was all I could do to get up this morning, sit like a potato at the DMV, and then drive to my nanny gig. When I got home I was *robbed* of energy.

I revisited my brain’s talk. Come on, it’ll just be for a bit, you need to see her before you leave, you can sleep and finish work later! Enticing, right?

But alas. I’ve been *super* super harsh on my body in the past month [one of my 2019 #DoThings I’m working on yike] and it was screaming at me to stop. And also not to get my friend sick *sob*

So I listened. And promptly made some mac n cheese and green tea and headed for the blanket cave to embrace the minimal arm movements I use for work and for writing here.

And this handy-dandy “no” thing doesn’t just apply to seeing friends! My goodness– these “no”s apply to *EVERYTHING!*

It’s 2019, I’m trying to start new, and make micro improvements to my lifestyle.

I picked 3 to concentrate on this morning [bold, I know!] and they were, essentially, 3 little “no’s”:

No to coffee, yes to water. The first of those micro-improvements was waking up and immediately downing a glass of water. Sometimes my desire path is quite literally down the stairs and to the coffee, without the notion that maybe, just maybe, that’s not what I actually *need* right now.

No to notifications, yes to waking up more mindfully. The second of those micro-improvements happened the night before, actually, and I honestly *need* to keep doing this– I set my phone to airplane mode **NOTE: NOT “DO-NOT-DISTURB”, I repeat, not that little moon setting that’s so handy when you want to ignore people lol]  The reason why is because I use my phone as my alarm… [I’m actually thinking of going back to my old-school alarm clock with actual buttons and dust on the unnecessary sound ridges atop the faux wood casing] …and I wake up and I shut it off and I am immediately aware and flooded with notifications.

Like ugh it’s like rush-hour just seized my brain and I can’t enjoy those blissful moments of removing myself from sleep. I also have this really bad habit of scrolling, mindlessly and like the wind through Instagram [*addict right here, raises hand*], and lingering for *far* too long, and then proceeding to do that Social Media bounce between apps to catch up on what pretty much is non-existent because most of my pals were sleeping.

No to “checking in” and working right away, yes to observing my breathing and bringing back my wandering thoughts. The third micro-improvement I tried today included a brief bout of mediation. Last night, I woke up randomly at 3am because I had crested over into being feverish and then decided to take medicine and then I think the medicine was doing weird things…..so I decided to read. [Can you guess my book of choice? LOLOL] In said book *coughTheProductivityProject* , Chris writes about how focusing on your breathing for a certain period of time can do *wonders* for strengthening your “attention-muscle”.

So I woke up [to no new notifications! #orgasm], drank a whole thing of water, stretched, and sat on my bed to breathe for 5 mins. [I think I may revise this to doing it in the middle of my working hours, cuz I realized at the end it seemed kind of silly to go from a really relaxed state [sleep] to another. Noted for tomorrow, I guess. [; ]

Being disconnected, away from the urges to check and reply […and check and reply again] and wakening my metabolism with the water was such a radical thing in my morning routine, that I remembered it. Lol maybe my memory is just bad but this is yuuuge for me guyyyss okay

But seriously. How often can you not remember your morning before you start your commute and the routine of the day?

For me, it’s definitely something I just hurry through, and then scramble late away from, and forget for the rest of the day.

So this? This feels nice.

Until after airplane mode,

xx

 

 

pitching perfection

2018-06-27

I like to live in a Depression mindset.

No, no no. Not the drop-everything-and-dial-a-hotline depression you’re probably thinking of. [Though I won’t lie– those bouts of elongated sadness do rear their heads occasionally. *weak laughter*]

Nah, I’m talking about the historical Depression, the one that booted so many out of jobs, out of homes, out of their comfort zone. The mindset that what you have today may be totally gone tomorrow. The mindset that you need to use everything around you to your advantage. The mindset that commands your attention to details, and the constant use of creativity. My grandmother grew up through this time, and for her, living the inventive, penny-pinching, ingenious life was how you survived.

Luckily, my grandmother passed down her frugality to my mother, which has so obviously rubbed off on me. While I know I’m not as good at these frugal habits as my mother [I’m very impulsive, I’ve got lots to learn, and I have an expensive taste >.<], I do understand the power of using “every part of the buffalo”, having minimal waste, and being forced to think outside box and draw outside the lines.

I thought of my grandmother today amidst my planning for the next month– life has been insane with getting my Etsy shop started, figuring out this hidden treasure trove of skills I want to learn, working two jobs, and packing for a vacation in the meantime. My planning, albeit a bit scattered, is part of what gets the shit done for me. I recently stumbled across a certain strategy in the book The Organized Mind, by Daniel J. Levitin [which I know I’ve mentioned here so many times before, it’s such a good book you need to read it okay end rant].

What you do is take a big board (I use a whiteboard, this could easily be done with cork and made way cuter, come to think of it!) and divide it into 4 sections, labeled
“TODAY”
“THIS WEEK”
“THIS MONTH”
and my 4th category is “MISC”.

In these sections, you’re supposed to put sticky notes with tasks on them, according to when you’d like them completed, giving you a really helpful, visual representation of your otherwise formulaic, overwhelming to-do list (though if to-do lists are your thing, that’s great too!).

I didn’t have sticky notes, though, [and this is the part that made me think of my grandmother] so I ended up cutting up strips of paper I’d written on, fastening the strips to my organized board with the remnant outlines of sticker paper, the sticker paper excess that had come from my recent craft order.

After putting everything together, I admired my handiwork. It was messy, it was disgruntled, it was less than perfect. I thought about re-arranging the notes of paper on the board to look more aesthetically pleasing. I thought about re-writing all of the tasks in fancy calligraphy to make it more “instagrammable” [I hadn’t posted anything yet for my art Instagram so I was looking for something to post!].

But then I stopped.

What was I doing?

Over the past week or so, I’ve been submersing myself into the work of others, the feeds of others, the blogs of others, the copy of others. Unfortunately, my mind would fall into mini-comparisons. Oooh why can’t I have these gorgeous mock-ups? They have so many likes?? How? This Instagram feed is so UNIFORM omg why can’t mine be like that? If only I had that many followers…UGH if only I had this [software/fuzzy white rug/piece of machinery/shiny camera] to better boost my work!] and other relevant chips away at my self esteem, yada yada etc.

…And those naggy bit of thoughts would just race around the inside edges of my head, until I had a sit-down with myself. I recalled a snippet I’d heard from a friend not long ago:

Goddammit, Steph. Comparison is the thief of joy.

I needed to step back and take some inventory. Everything I have right now [artistically, personally, and financially speaking…] at this moment of time…. I made that.

Whether it was with my own two hands, whether it was something I thought up, something I designed, something I just decided to get up off my ass and finally complete?

Yeah, did that. 

So often I think we get caught up in what’s missing, what’s wrong, what we need to change, how we’ve failed. We don’t take a minute to appreciate what’s left behind us in our wake, the awesome creative havoc through any mess that has happened that has led right up to this moment.

Now, the goal of this post isn’t to just rant about success or the path towards it, but rather to remind you [and myself!] to take a minute from time to time to give yourself that pat on the back, that moment of pride. That moment when you look around with a dumbfounded budding grin, like “oh shit, did do that? Something a year, a month, a week or two ago I never thought possible? YEAH I did.”

And I did do it. All teh things.

Like this planning board. It may not look super sleek or super shiny. It may not be killer Pinterest content or Insta-ready. It may not be awed and adored by every person who trips over it, or be perfect in any capacity– but that’s who I am. I’m not completely together [I don’t think I ever will be, LOL!]. I’m not super neat [just ask my roommate *sob* sorry son, I love you]. And I’m sure as hell not perfect.

So why should my content be?

xx

//re-boot: how to be *actually* productive

I did it. I can’t deny it.

I think I actually hit rock bottom a day ago.

In one of my last posts I talked about how run-down I felt. I had no energy, I felt disgusting [just in time for #nationaldoughnutday, lol], and I was mentally exhausted. The next morning, I realized something had to change. So I set out on a mission to re-fuel, re-energize, and re-orient myself for the day, taking in all of the “productivity” hacks I’ve collected throughout the years and just try to set out and do what I needed to do.

One of my all-time favourite books, The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey [I can’t praise this book highly enough], notes that productivity is not a measure of how we can get the most done, but rather, how much we can get done that we actually set out to do in the first place. 

So I made a list.

I had to babysit that day, so that would take up a fair amount of my time. But while the amazing baby was sleeping, I sat down and pressed “go” on a bunch of buttons I’d been waiting around to push.

I know there’s TONS of productivity tips out there– it’s almost overwhelming, and sometimes it’s almost too easy to get lost in just reading about all this productivity instead of actually doing something about it! So. Without further ado, these, I find, are my favourite tips that I’ve been able to put into practice successfully, and will continue to do today because boyyyy do I have a lot of work to catch up on!

//MAKE A LIST. A realistic one. Before you set out to do what you wanna do, make a list. From what I’ve read, it’s recommended that you only have 5 things on the list– this is so you don’t get overwhelmed by a list that’s longer than your arm. It’s okay to take baby steps. Remember, productivity is all about getting done what you set out to do. And checking off 5 reasonable tasks is a whole lot easier than attempting 10 bigger ones. That being said, if you finish all 5, make another 5-item list, and keep chuggin, man!

// TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. Or at least put it on “Do Not Disturb”. I like to put mine off, or on do not disturb across the room from me, so I’m not tempted. All that buzzing and notification noise for who last liked my Instagram post is just going to derail the productivity train.

//GET COMFORTABLE. This includes settling into a comfortable chair, bed, etc. Also do not forget the importance of good posture and hand position [especially when your work often involves your hands slaving over a keyboard, like mine does!] It’s a lot easier to focus once you know you’re physically well taken care of and you’ll be able to stay at it a lot easier.

//DRINK WATER. All day, preferably. Have it next to you and sip often. Your brain needs it to function. As I type, I’m drinking coffee. You can also drink coffee, don’t get me wrong! I am a coffee lover from way back but always make sure to sandwich the coffee break with a water break!

//SLEEP. I feel a bit like a hypocrite because I only JUST got my sleep back on schedule. I’ve been trying to go to bed between 11:30pm and 12am and wake up at 8:30AM so I know I’ve gotten my 8 hours. Honestly though, it’s such an overlooked part of productivity and general wellness. I used to be that person who bragged about “I was up til 4am finishing this blah blah blah”. Yeah, well I also conveniently forgot to include the part about being so sluggish and down-and-out the next day…

 //MUSIC. This one’s a bit of a hit-or-miss for me– some days I’m feeling it, sometimes I’m not. But when I AM FEELING IT NOW MR. KRABS   am feeling it, I try to stick to something that I can have passively play in the background. Unfortunately, this rules out discovery playlists on Spotify, unfamiliar songs, and stuff that’s super lyric-heavy. I can do classical music [that’s gotten me through MANY finals studying sessions!] and I can do some music with lyrics as long as it’s stuff I’m familiar with and can kind of tune out easily. Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE proponent of active listening, especially because I love being mindful about what is going into my ears but sometimes I just need noise. And, if music’s not your thing, no problem! There’s this nifty site called “Coffitivity” that literally just lets you play background noises/buzz from inside a coffee shop. Pretty awesome, right?

//EXERCISE! The first thing I did when I woke up besides getting dressed? I went for a run. After being almost a week out of commission I decided I needed to be active and pronto. I finished about 3.11 miles and felt deliciously sore afterwards, and didn’t feel my usual afternoon-sluggishness later! It’s really true what they say, that baffling mystery about how exercising actually gives you more energy. Weird. Gonna keep doing this one, even if I only go for a brisk walk or do some pushups in my room. Anything that gets the blood pumping is worth it.

//TAKE BREAKS. Oof, I’m low-key the worst at this one because I: A) forget to plan breaks into my work regimen OR B) take my breaks for faaaaaaaaaarrr too long lol this post was supposed to happen during a break and it’s taking me a bit longer than expected but it’s fine cuz this is truth that needs to be SPOKEN amirite? But honestly, it’s a lot easier to sit down and focus your mind when you know you’ve got a break coming up wherein you can satisfy your cravings. My breaks include eating sourpatch, doing personal things [like blogging or educating myself on the importance of SEO, taking a sketch/design break, getting a real food snack, a nap, stretching, etc.] ALSO IMPORTANT: give your hands a break. Right now, I can feel my left wrist is a bit tense from typing this post so intensely! Be kind to your hands and give them a break as well when you take a break.

It’s hard because I’m really stubborn and often have to try things before I realize their value, but these are the things that I find help me the most and my productivity throughout my work day, and I hope they do the same for you! I challenge you to try at least one of these [the water one is definitely probably my recommendation (; ] today and see what happens. Or you could also take a break and go order The Productivity Project off Amazon for like, $12. 

Happy productive-ing!

xx

// that time I tried doing YouTube

So with the “adventure a day” mindset, and having this rare boost of energy I don’t normally have, plus being inspired by one of my favourite vloggers/YouTubers [IamJustOlena] I decided to give doing a YouTube a shot.

So LOL, here’s a really shoddy attempt at a makeup tutorial:

Is this something I’ll do in the future [makeup related or otherwise]? Who knows! All I can say is that I *did* have a ton of fun making it and ESPECIALLY the editing [: Just trying to get my video editing skills to a good level before I start uni back up in the fall.

Thoughts?

xx

[deleted.]

So today I decided to take the reins.

I deleted all of the social networking sites off of my phone, barring one: Snapchat.

My reasons behind this?

I got tired. It was beginning to get to me. I mean, research has even proven that social media is a trigger for depression. After watching people day in and day out… post their lives, take pictures just to post later, sit on their phones with other people around {guilty as charged…}

It just
Made me realize what a huge lying trap it is.

I have felt so unhappy lately. And while part of it may not be directly related to social media, I think subconsciously, some of it was.

And I just grew sick of everything being so fake. On my Instagram, I’ve tried to keep it real… I posted pictures of what I loved, things I found funny, people I loved, and capped them off with clever captions. I detested “basic” posts or the “typical” Instagram routine, but I was just falling into it. The same went with Twitter.

But then it hit me.

Why on earth
Do I have to prove my life to people?

What is this, a competition?

I want friendships and connections, not likes on a screen.

So I just decided to let it all go.

Deleting things was easier than I thought– A few taps and temptation vanished.

Afterwards I decided to clean my room, and get rid of all negative and cluttered energy within my space that was subconsciously causing a booby trap of a life style.

It was funny– On Halloween I went with a group of German students for a state-wide organization meeting at Busch Garden’s Hall-O-Scream. I ended up losing my phone.

LOL I recovered it though, by some miracle… But even when I got it back, I didn’t take pictures or use it all that often. Mostly because I was lacking space on my device.

However, it made me realize
how much better it is to just experience. You don’t have to record/snapchat/post EVERY FRIGGING THING around you.

It’s soooo much more enjoyable that way.

Another reason I decided to abandon Social Media ship is because of excess expectations and judgement.
It’s like
Dude, I’m on my own track of life now.
I don’t need you
Or anyone
Judging
My life decisions
My favorite things
My dreams
My goals.

So I quit.

And I was left with Snapchat. I was debating whether to delete it when I created a 4 minute long Snapchat story basically illustrating my lack of time for things I love anymore due to a social media vaccuum. {I may post that story here once I figure out how to convert it to a usable vid file….}

***{I think I got it!}***

 

But anways.
Because Snapchat is fleeting in nature and not permanently hanging around for people to see forever, I think I’ll keep it. But everything else? Gone.
It’s the free-est I’ve felt in a while, and honestly, I think I won’t turn back.
xoxo

Pearls of Wisdom from my Economics Teacher

We’re at that point of the school year where classes are uneventful pointless, and everything is due before exams, making it both crazy and hectic.
In my Economics class, however, my teacher shared with us (he was feeling generous) a couple bits of advice for college and the real world, which I found rather humorous.  I wrote them down, and thought I’d share them with you.

Prof. W’s All-Purpose Words of Wisdom to Survive College and Life
  • “You are not a special snowflake. No matter how special and unique you think you are, there will always be someone just like you, even better than you.” Seeing that Prof. W’s humour is very dry and sarcastic, I took this to mean “don’t be overly cocky and think you’re the shit,” because nobody likes someone who is like that.  That being said, embrace you for you and don’t fall into the all-consuming trap of comparing yourself to others.
  • “Do the work, no matter how genius you are.” Again, assuming you’re being cocky, prescribing yourself as a genius who doesn’t think doing the work is required, he’s telling us to calm down. In order to be a special snowflake, you have to work hard and earn it.  No one likes fake snowflakes.
  • “Be nice.” Duh. Short and sweet, and probably the most important and basic things to know.  Be nice to others, be kind, and people won’t hate you.  It’s not hard.  Plus, being able to get along with people is a precious skill in the workforce.  Might as well do it in school and in college, and just everywhere you come in contact with people.  Which is everywhere.  All the time.
  • “If you can’t be nice, be funny.” This is Prof. W’s humour again.  You should always strive to be nice, but he reasons that if you’re funny, you can most likely at least disguise your less-than-pleasant attitude towards people.  However, different from Prof. W’s advice… being funny is different than being good-humoured.  Pick comedy and people may regard you as an asshole, depending on how you pull it off.  Pick good humour and people will find you easygoing and nice to be around. You shouldn’t use humor to cover up your assholiness, just…. work on it (;
  • “Follow your dreams, but always have a plan B.” Man, he sounds like my mother ranting to my older brother.  But it’s true! Do not, for a minute hesitate in chasing your passions. However, that does not mean that you should abandon all sensibility either.  Prepare for change, and have a flexible counter plan handy just in case you don’t happen to get famous, be president, or get a record deal.
xx

10 Things I Learned at my Junior Prom

Hey guys! Sorry it’s been forever since I last posted… but I am back baby and I am going to write this post as if no time has gone by!

Anyways.

As you may know, this month and this past month are prime times for high school proms.  Ours happened to be one of the latest ones in our area and it all went down last night.  Our SCA rented the ballroom out at a Marriott near the airport and it was really nice.  But what made last night really special was what I learned during the course of my first big, legit, school evening.

1. Getting there on the early side will be awkward.  Hence, why so many people showed up like an hour past when it started… But even if you get there early, embrace it! Check in with people and say hi, not to mention that it’s the prime time to request a song because the band/DJ hired for the event will be getting settled and there won’t be mountains of song requests ahead of you. When I saw that people were just sitting around at tables and not really doing anything, I grabbed one of my friends and we made a fool of ourselves on the dance floor. After people had their laughs, they joined us and we walked off feeling accomplished. Don’t be afraid to dance (outrageously) alone. (;

2. Wearing heels greater than 5″ will be rough.  I know, because I did it. They were, great, but man… PAIN.  I’m short and I love embracing heels (being 4 feet 11.5 inches I can wear whatever height I want) but know your limits, lol.  Halfway through the night those shoes were outta there.  Kudos to the people I saw wearing cute short heels, chunky heels, and gorgeous dazzly flats.  I admire you. And your comfort level.

3. Every girl is a princess and every guy is a prince. In a classy environment, everyone looks stunning. I was scrolling through the aftermath of instagram and twitter and facebook and DAMN everyone looks good.  I dunno if there are those people who are like “I must be the most stunning at prahhhm” (verbatim) but just a bit of advice to those overachievers– that’s hard to do. When everyone’s suited up and dressed up, putting their best glossy toes forward, everyone shines.  And I just wanna say I was surrounded by beautiful people the whole night.  It was fabulous.

4. Someone will spill a drink (or something) on someone else’s dress. I would know because I was that someone.  For those of you with that bit of clumsy gene in you… Be careful, and be gracious lol.  It wasn’t my fault per se, I was standing in a perfectly fine punchline zone, when someone opened a door behind me and pushed me forward, thrusting half a cup of bright red punch on a friend’s baby blue prom dress.  Needless to say I whirled around to face her and apologized profusely, offering to go help her clean it.  To my surprise she said no, it was fine– she was smiling like it didn’t even bother her that much.  She just adjusted her ruffles, we laughed, and the night went on.  But it coulda been worse… It coulda been a bitchfight or something, haha.  So just be careful. And don’t drink red beverages.

5. There will be some people coming to the dance under the influence. Even though the principle has warned and explicitly told them not to.  Needless to say, be wary and be safe.  No one likes it when people are high or drunk in the middle of the dance floor. Keep it classy, y’all.

6. Teenagers are actually capable of putting their phone down for four hours. Believe it or not! I recall looking around the dance floor and not seeing one phone in the air or in people’s hands.  I felt REALLY out of place when I was taking pictures with some people because I had mine out.  It makes me happy that we can abandon those little bricks of technology for a while for some good, old fashioned socialization and dancing. Yay my generation! You’ve come a long way, I’m so proud *sniff, sniff*.

7. There will most likely be some low-key drama. Sadly, I don’t think a prom goes by where there isn’t some. So if you see someone sitting alone or kinda sad, smile.  And walk up to them. Ask them to dance.  It’s a special night and you want them to feel happy and special. Doing this helps to take their mind of of things so they can just have fun.  I did this, and I made a friend. I also like to think I made their night just a little bit better with my ridiculous dancing….

8. There will most likely be some extremely low necklines. Were their mothers aware? Lol. I understand that for some, the dress if their dreams is super low cut and a little lacking at the bust, which is… Fine. Expressing yourself is great, but please do your best to have the girls stay where they belong. Plus, you’ll be more comfortable dancing and you won’t have to adjust yourself so much.

9. It is okay to just do you. Who cares what the “norm” is for prom? For a little bit, J and I were being strongly pushed towards being in a group.  For me and my experiences, groups have always been… Not the most fun (though there was one exception my freshman year for homecoming). Just know that whatever your prom plans are, be it out with a group or just with your date, just concentrate on what will make you happiest for that night. J and I ended up staying at his house, cooking scallops, broccoli, and pasta together, watching Netflix and just casually hanging out before we went to the actual dance. As for dress? Do what you feel best in.  Wanna rock a high-low dress? Go for it.  Wanna rock those 5″ heels? Have at it. It’s your night, make it special!
10. Prom is what you make of it. So make it fun! It’s not guaranteed that everything will go to plan. Dinner reservations could be rocky, you may spill something on yourself at dinner, you could forget to give him/her flowers.. It’s not the end of the world. Just enjoy the night.

Here’s to wishing you a happy prom and more to come (:

Love always,
Steph xoxo