g r a d u a t e d. 🎓✨

So 6 days ago I graduated from The Undergrad Experience™.

Today marks the 60-something day I’ve spent in my smol apartment quarantine.

I was blessed with clear skies and a friend with great artistry to help me document the moment in my grad regalia on a barren campus in 49 degree weather. She captured what felt like an hour of “normalcy” — normal grad pics, normal “culminating hoorah”. The bursting forth of joy for all of the love for the people, places, and experiences I’ve been so lucky to have for the past 4 years.

As I watch us all having our own celebrations… at home, with family, virtually… it’s hard not to be filled with a gratitude that extends beyond the normal huzzah hurray pomp n circumstance that comes with this rite-of-passage kind of ceremonial time.

My youngest brother is also graduating high school and I can’t imagine how hard this is. For people in these shoes who had planned for things to go a certain way, only to have the red carpet kind of yanked out from under them. But the joy and resilience and comfort and closeness that this time has brought us… I think, is, in a way, a grad gift of its own.

Not many will be able to tell their future offspring that, during a worldwide pandemic, they graduated anyway. Not many will be able to say that, despite this mass migration to online learning in classrooms over Zoom and WebEx that feel so foreign and cold and exhausting [esp. when you have one after the other!] but yet oddly comforting as you see the faces of others going through it like you… that you did it anyways.

The days feel like mini rollercoasters, blending together in a rush that feels like a lifetime but also a few minutes– some days are better than others, more creative than others, more positive than others.

And some are days where you just want to roll up in a ball and not do anything but binge watch your favorite series on Netflix for all 8 hours you’re awake.

Taking time to write down and document the present moment helps. Taking time to look around at all the *new* things, the new concepts and ways of life, the habits that you’ve come to cultivate, the practice you’ve had at giving yourself the time and space to actually heal with good habits, with a focus towards turning in & tuning in to what’s really going on.

This time has been a gift, and continues to be so— even as people throw around talk of “returning to normal” or “re-opening”– we’ve spent so much time re-doing, re-learning, re-imagining… I don’t think it will ever truly go “back to normal”. Which is a blessing, I think. So much of all this has transformed the way we think about public health, about the Internet [as a FRICKING UTLITY!], about our work-life balance, about how we treat eachother, how we “show up” for one another even if we can’t do it physically.

I think all of us graduated this year.
We’ve graduated from our old lives.

We’re walking across a stage that’s intimidating and scary with the fear of stumbling.

But we’re walking towards something greater than ourselves.

xx

we did it (:

the quarantine diaries: day 38 // the tassle hassle

So my cap n gown arrived in the mail today.

There’s only 17 days left til “g r a d u a t i o n” |-,: There’s so much left to do and the day seems to be shrinking instead of getting longer and this time by myself really E X P L O I T s my time management weaknesses (((-:

But alas. Patience. Patience with myself. I need to be reminded to have patience with myself.

I basically worked all day today but landed a summer job (????) with a good starting salary all things considering??? Thank the Lord [literally, it’s a church job.]

Annnd not a single ice cream sandwich was had
Until now [I’ve been trying to restrain myself– they’re now a staple of my every day life, along with Gilmore Girls and it’s associated late 2000’s revamp.]

What a time to be alive.

n o v e m b e r .

I think the last time I did one of these, I was just getting back from another country, all bright eyed and bushy-tailed for another academic semester to start.

It’s hard to unpack in a single post just how insane the past couple months have been, on all fronts; plus, this is a “november” themed post. Hmm. We’ll see what happens.

read/reading // I recently finished How To Be Here by Rob Bell and am *almost* finished with Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want by Peter Bregman. And yes, I do heavily recommend both!

writing // essays, resumes, cover letters, exams…

learning // to skip the worries about perfection. To skip the worrying over getting started. To create for me. To create for fun. To explore what fascinates me. To reflect more.

doing / working on //

  • mindfulness! I’m trying this thing where, at the top of my daily to-do list, before I have *ANY* bullet points, I answer the following prompts:
    • “Today, I am thankful for…”
    • “Today, I will focus on…”
    • “Today I will let go of…”
      kind of a nice way to get your mind wrapped around the day, I think.
  • exam finishings
  • wrapping up this semester
  • creative endeavors/new projects
  • apppppplicaaaations
  • FINAL EXAMS ugh

eating // turkey. cranberries. potatoes. all the good stuff ^___^

drinking // teaaaaaaaaa! and occasionally coffee [at strategic times]

listening // to so much wonderful music. The past months have blessed me with *ALL* kinds of lovely introductions to new things, new bops, new talent… you name it. It’s a lovely landscape out there:

being inspired // by the creatives around me!!! HOLY CRAP I know so many talented people, [a few of whom have a spot in the playlist above, so check em out!]

laughing // at the latest Twitter memes! I’m not often on Twitter…but when I am! I do forget how much I appreciate the witty interplay of text with image but also primarily text as it stands alone– being able to convey a feeling or an experience in 140 characters is kind of impressive.

thinking // about how I’m going to need to balance my time in the next couple of days– between extreme productivity, self care, physical activity, rest, and bursts of fun and novelty. I’m also thinking about how I’d like to do another YearCompass before the year is out! Apparently, the version for 2019 to segue into 2020 is out, and I’d recommend it to anyone.  A really great way to look back on the year, reflect, vent on paper, and then gradually say “goodbye” to the year.

trying // new things! New music, new workouts, new mindsets, creative techniques, and trying to be bolder and more sure with my words. ❤

hoping // for some more downtime in the coming weeks. The semester is almost over, and with that, I anticipate more time for reflection, discernment, and slowing down. I want a successful re-boot before spring starts up.

loving // the people around me, their blessed presence, and the time I get to spend with them!! Never underestimate the value, joy, and blessing of a good TRIBE and FLOCK ❤❤❤

praying // for my friends. For my family. For those who are in transition right now. For those who are going through a tough time. For those who are having trouble seeing past the darkness. For those who feel unworthy, under-appreciated, and unloved. For those who are working towards their goals. For good health, patience, and safety as I embark on these last weeks ahead, for patience. For those watching, for motivation, for a renewed sense of purpose in all I undertake. For tact! For resilience! For peace and a heart full of gratitude for all that’s been given to me.

xx

steph

july.

A little over 6 weeks it’s been, and it feels as if my summer has been transformed into something…something of the likes of a Slinky Dog– strangely elongated, but regrettably compressed at any moment, simultaneously.

I had waited and wanted for so long to get to Ireland-– and to write all about it [if you’re curious, I’ve hyperlinked my adventures]–and now I’m home again and it’s crazy, it feels like it was yesterday and yet 1 year ago.

I watched an interview with Billie Eilish on some YouTube binge recently– she tells her younger self to “never put your feelings on the internet. Ever. EVER.” Of course, I saw this *after* I had temporarily taken down this site, this space, littered with a variety of crap from the ages LOL.

But I’m thankful to have taken the time away. What a lovely time to learn big lessons– observe ourselves from the inside out trough the lens of a different culture… It’s very easy to be caged in and consumed with what’s here, what’s around, what’s immediate.

It was time for a break.

And being in a different country was a *huge* help, huge change of pace, lovely opportunity to learn new things and meet new people. And what a wonderful thing it was to step back, re-evaluate, and reconcile. And even scold myself a bit for unnecessary dramatics. #y i k e s

I also got a taste of “school stress” [it wasn’t just a tourism trip, after all], but I feel like I gained back a lot of the productivity that I lost, a lot of the passion I had lost, for learning, among other things. Finishing the “semester” with good grades again in a while felt good.

read/reading // 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson.
I bought this book [along with another one I’ll start shortly] at one of the big bookstores in Galway, Ireland. This is a *delightful* mix of “abstract ethical principles, psychology, mythology, religion, and personal anecdotes”. Right up my alley, in my genre of shame [nah, my genre of UN-shame]: The Self Help Book. This guy has absolutely NO chill and straight up disses Elmo. Among other things. I find his bluntness and personal anecdote style personally hilarious. I’m trying to work through a chapter or so before bed cuz a) good habits I guess but also b) a steadfast way to get through the book. And I don’t mean “get through”– it’s a great book. A page turner not in the way a fiction read would be, but more in a sense of “oh I’m excited to see what he has to say about this next” kind of thing.

writing // here! But also a bare-bones outline of a sermon. I was asked to say words about my “mission trip” at my home church and I have all these ideas and concepts and phrases and moments swirling around my head to touch on [maybe?] but they just need to settle, and work their way into coherent, somewhat English sentences.

learning // the art of seeking positive intent, the value of listening deeper to others [and generally talking less]. Also learning to slow down, to take time, as well as learning to pay closer attention to my body and emotions/thoughts that pass their way every day through my skull.

doing / working on //

  • getting my sleep schedule back on track! I know I’m past the getting over jet lag phase but like I need to stop sleeping at 1 am and still waking up early!
  • doing design for a multitude of clients, all which are slightly different mediums, so it’s a lovely and challenging variety I’ve got to look at 😀
  • Going outside more and trying to be healthy
  • Seeing John Mayer in concert again!! What an unreal experience. No opener, just pure Mayer. Perhaps one of my favourite moments was him shredding on the guitar for “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”. He’s honestly just so stupid talented. And then I find out for his NY show he just played through the entirety of the album Continuum…just because he could. What a Mayer thing to do.
  • shaping up my portfolio
  • looking into some re-arranging/rebranding!
  • trying to finish off my travel blogging series of my last weeks in Galway. It’s funny– Henry David Thoreau writes in his culminating thoughts in Walden:
  • “It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves.”

  • And I *felt that!* Well, before I left the US obviously… But even in Galway [!!! we were there for 4 weeks out of the whole 6]– I felt myself falling in, getting settled, growing used to a novelty that had previously shaken me upon arrival, and it reminded me– reminded me to keep writing, keep processing, even as I kept “adjusting” and getting “too comfortable” because it would be over soon.
  • trying to keep up with a daily gratitude Trello board as a budding mindfulness practice [because who am I kidding I suck at writing things down on paper sometimes!]

eating // yogurt! spaghetti! oatmeal! apples! and LOTS of PRINGLES LOL [so idk why, but being in Ireland, and being able to secure Pringles in Ireland just SET OFF a craving for them… the sour cream and onion ones, that is…WEIRD.]

drinking // more water. And coffee. I swear, I was dehydrated for 6 weeks, and I’m *just* now getting to correct it. Can’t mess it up now!

listening // to a whole host of things. A lot of GOOD music just dropped recently, and I think this playlist highlights at least a good chunk of it, mixed in with some of my older, guiltier pleasures that I treasured both here and abroad:

[https://youtu.be/23R7BcjWU_Y]

being inspired // by the memories I have from Ireland…now stored as photos, detailed stories, and academic work. I am also constantly inspired by the work people are doing around me–whether that’s philanthropic work, musical work, artistic work…Idk. Everyone, it seems, is falling into their creative grooves and I am HERE. FOR. IT. 😀

laughing // aloud at the newest horoscope meme instagram pages I have discovered. There are times where I’m reluctant to accept my Aries-ness but this page just seems to reinforce the nuances every. single. time I scroll through. It doesn’t help that my friends enable me too, sending stuff that’s too relatable. XD

thinking // about how some days are better than others. Some days it’s easier to just launch yourself out of bed and say “OKAY! Let’s DO THINGS! X, Y, Z, GO!”, and then some days are absolute balls of mud [whatever that means].

trying // to stick to my to – do list! Er, “accomplishments” list. Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change. I’ve started keeping a list of all the things that need to get done in one place, titled with the date and “accomplishments”. Somehow, “accomplishments” feels a bit lighter and more distinguished the slogging-through-the-day connotation of “to-DO list”. Ugh. Just sounds weighty. Accomplishments sounds so much more…accomplished? Idk. Just a new thing I’m trying.

hoping // to have the time and patience to catch up on all those uh…aforementioned “accomplishments”. There are a lot of puzzle pieces that need to fall into place before I can say I can start a successful fall semester… between the bills and my car being a pain in the patootie and the scheduling I am trying to make work in the next weeks– patience and discipline will be the key for these.

loving // the bursts of energy and semblance of a routine I’ve been able to utilize recently. It’s getting me pumped up and feeling ready to tackle senior year [!!!??!!howdidwegetherewowhelp]

praying // for my friends. For my family. For those who are in transition right now. For those who are going through a tough time. For those who are having trouble seeing past the darkness. For those who feel unworthy, under-appreciated, and unloved. For those who are working towards their goals. For safety as I embark on these next few weeks, for moving back to school, for patience, for those watching, for motivation and a renewed sense of purpose, for tact, and for resilience. And I pray for peace– that the peace I’ve found over the last months remains something light and easily carried.

xx

steph

may.

And just like that, I’m done.

When I say done, I mean primarily done with school. Exams have come and gone and BOY am I so thankful for that. This year kicked my ass (in a great way) and I’m ready for a new perspective, especially this summer.

I’m now toggling between life at home and packing up an apartment and it’s been pretty fun so far.

You don’t really realize how stressed you’ve been until all of it is lifted almost entirely at once. Sure, it hasn’t completely gone away, and there are a new genre of stressors to worry about (all the prep for going out of the country, etc.), but for some reason these are *insanely* preferable that those of academia.

read/reading // Finishing Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey, one of my all time faves. For a time that requires energized focus now more than ever, this book is getting me back on track.

writing // down my packing list. And trying to come up with a reasonable plan for what this space will hold in the coming months.

learning // that it isn’t going to be 100% all the time. You can’t be on all the time, you can’t be hot *all the time*, you can’t expect perfection. Sure, there are spikes of highs and lows, but what’s important is to be ever cognizant of where you are and how you’ll connect your current step to the next, and how you can do the best you can with what ya have (:

doing / working on //

  • packing! [my life up at school and bringing it back home, then from home for abroad]
  • doing design for an upcoming conference in October about teaching learning technologies!
  • PACKING for my STUDY ABROAD IN IRELAND THIS YEAR!! 😁😁😁🎉🍀
  • Going outside more and trying to be healthy
  • shaping up my portfolio
  • Recording instrumentation and vocals for the first time ever in studio for a university project [!!] I was able to work with such talented, committed people and I am so proud of the work they put forth and how it turned out!

eating // too much gelato [can’t complain!] Not enough actually healthy things. Can’t wait to get back into the flow of things before I ship out, cuz we all know that Europe may not put on the Euros but will put on the pounds *weak laughter*

drinking // yikes  Not enough water! Again! Wow! Surprise!, Peach (and lime) daiquiris, milk, and my favorite local mochas (((:

listening // to a whole host of things! Please see below: [*Disclaimer: I put the new Taylor/Brendon song on here almost ironically, let me know what y’all think, but it’s just too gosh darn catchy and I don’t know what to do now that it’s in my consciousness]

being inspired // by the weather, the art my friends are creating, and travel blogs [!!!]. Also by the athletic/fitness ventures of some of my people ^_^

laughing // at the weirdest videos I used to make as a kid.. just last night my best friend and I found some really OLD shit that I had created [for school and otherwise] and WOW what a trip down memory lane HAH.

thinking // that “life is far too simple to be complicated”. So I’m thinking that I need to simplify more. De-clutter. Drink more water. Eat less complicated things. Spend less time on social media. Not let people unworthy of your time live rent-free in one’s head. The usual. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

trying // get down to it! To re-align the goals, and focus on the positives ahead. There is so *so* much bounty right in front of me! Why let the past creep up all obnoxious-like if it’s just gonna be is detrimental to growth, to seeing the bigger and better that is the here and now [huh crazy]? And with a whole summer program and senior year ahead??

Come on Lily, get your head out of your ass.

We ain’t got time for that.

There’s a line straight out of the Compline prayer that has traversed my lips countless times:

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.

It’s like John Lennon stepped into the book of common prayer y’all and slapped some sense into the evening meditation, whispering words of wisdom:

We’ve been there. We know what we know. We saw the warning signs.

We know the patterns that will likely follow (sending prayers in advance), where the line of tolerance is, where facades of character broke down, what better looks like, and the better that lies ahead, and what we need to get *done*.

Letting it be is peace.

Letting it be is freedom.

hoping // to have the time and patience to amend my taxes, finish some leftover coursework, get some more time in outside running, get back into a blogging regimen and spend more time in the sunshine (:

loving // this somewhat consistent warm weather, the absence of academic deadlines [!!!] I’ve been able to run a lot lately and it feels. So. Good!!

praying // for my friends and family, for those who are in transition right now, for those going through a tough time, for safety as I embark on these next few weeks, for patience, for those watching, for motivation and a renewed sense of purpose, for tact, and for resilience.

Here we go, May. 

Damn, I’m excited.

xx

imposter.

It feels fake.

It’s funny— I just watched the respective parts of the Tati/James Charles stuff and it left me mentally and emotionally exhausted on their behalf.

And I just got to thinking about loyalty, respect, reputations, expectations, kindness, etc.

More importantly I got to thinking about what I want for myself in all of that.

I was lucky to have left my phone at home all of yesterday while I enjoyed Mother’s Day with my favourite people. There was a lot of clarity, heightened sensation, and just an overall sense of calm I hadn’t felt in a while.

Stark contrast with this morning, which featured me basking over my feed of my personal grids, featuring highlights and moments I’ve captured since the fall and beyond.

I look at past photos centralized around scapes, food, people and animals

And compare what was, with what seems to be, and what is

And it makes me disappointed.

To know that I felt like I was compensating

For not “being enough”

For not “offering enough”

For not “having enough value to pursue”

For not being the sweet end of some transactional deal and feeling a pressure to be “okay” with transgressions towards me that I know will probably just repeat themselves down the line, toward someone else.

And so my posts, I feel, have gravitated towards myself, my appearance, etc.

Vain, self-centered, overfiltered, disgusting. You can’t win.

Part of it, I tell myself, is that I went so long neglecting myself for others, and only now am I emerging from behind the camera.

Part of it, I partially want to admit, is part of an unabashed, grand, flex-scheme, like something out of Legally Blonde.

Part of it, I inwardly fear, is that I have taken on a new obsession with a desire to “prove myself” [something I very clearly do not have to do but feel like defaulting to anyways].

But all of it—I know—is all wrapped up in a burning desire to move forward, full force, full speed ahead.

I feel it tug on my conscience every day.

Why, oh why, am I so wrapped up in a mess of square by squares that do nothing but enable FOMO, provoke comparison, and steal joy, all wrapped in hits of serotonin and a need to feel seen?

Great question.

It’s social media not antisocial media.

And yet, sometimes I feel like it’s nothing but the latter.

…But.

When I re-examine, once I’ve dropped my temporary, overt pessimism, I see a host of memories, a collage of moments so near as dear to me that having them all in one place to peruse through from time to time fills me with so much love for the things and people and memories I’ve been able to accumulate in my time here, none of which are forced into an aesthetic “theme”— rather, raging with vibrancy and color, to mirror how I perceive them.

And I want to hold on to that.

But the other thoughts loom, still.

I guess it’s just a matter of finding a balance of the two.

hello, february

It feels like forever since I’ve put something in this space.

I’ve been busy, I’ve been distracted, I’ve been feeling, I’ve been doing, I’ve been dying, I’ve been thriving. But no matter how many things I’ve been “doing”, this still remains a nice little corner of solace amidst all of it.

Just a bit ago I saw a really accurate piece of art/words by Mari Andrew that resonated with me— January has felt like it’s lingered around so long:

[From Mari Andrew’s instagram. She’s a brilliant writer and artist too, check her out!]

So shall we?

read/reading // writing // here!

Reading these gems, Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey [still!], and Deviced!, by Doreen Dodgen-Magee

learning // the value of heavy silence, of mindful ignorance. The clarity of honesty. The futility of searching for something [someone] who never existed in the first place. That love contains folds and corners that, while are absolutely worth exploring, can be difficult to understand and navigate.

doing / working on //

  • self-care. It’s a continuing process. And I feel like I’m starting to make steady progress!
  • re-aligning, reducing, ans re-designing my life through increased good habits
  • furthering the hunger initiative at my university’s campus ministry
  • doing design for an upcoming conference regarding mindfulness in education, as well as design for a program series here at our university’s library
  • raising funds for my STUDY ABROAD IN IRELAND THIS YEAR!! 😁😁😁🎉🍀
  • trying something new! I got to pose for a couple sessions for friends of mine who are trying to build up their portfolios and it’s pretty cool! I’ve never done something like that before–normally I’m the one behind the camera, normally I like to be the one crafting the scene and making the edits–so it’s SO cool to be just able to chill on the other side and see what happens and their artistic choices come to life! 😀
  • Going to the gym. Ha. Who even am I LOL

eating // a lot better. I’ve made it a priority have *some* sort of breakfast when I leave the house, and the

drinking// coffee, trying to drink more water, milk!

listening // …to a lot of lovely, new music. Have a listen ❤


https://youtu.be/V4E1AvbNPg4

being inspired // constantly by the people around me. Sometimes you just look up and everyone is just killing the game and falling into place and it’s so exciting. Also being inspired by the topics and bits and pieces I get to read in the in-between moments.

laughing // more often. I think right now about the weather outside my window– it’s really 55 degrees in January, that’s crazy. I think about how much happier I feel in this warmth, in this sunlight, in these moments of bliss that could completely be overshadowed by some polar vortex in a day or two. I wish the weather didn’t have such a big impact on my mood.. and for the most part, it doesn’t normally; I’ve definitely had moments of pure joy and euphoria amongst the greyest, the coldest of days… but this is definitely a nice little pouch of delight to have at the moment.

thinking // about my financial responsibility, about the framework I still need to set for this summer, and how everything is going to work out. I’m also spending, admittedly, way too much time thinking about people who I can probably guarantee are not doing the same. Just this morning, actually, I was reminded about this curious phenomenon. In a lesson about how Jesus returned to his hometown to preach, how he was doubted, how he was turned away in the minds of those listening…and, most notably, how he left in peace. No pushback, no beating people over the head with what he had to say. It’s true, what they say about people having to be “ready” to listen. Unless the other party is fully receiving your words, there’s not really much you can do in the way of speaking, of convincing, or otherwise. Just something to think about moving forward, I suppose.

trying // my best to push forward, not according to the words of others, but according to what I am feeling, what I am meditating on, what I am perceiving to be the best course of action.

hoping // “zat ze weathzer stays zis mild!!” But honestly. It’s gorgeous. I’m also hoping to crack down a bit more on my to-do list so I can have room for the creative outlets, some of which I hope that I can use for a purpose, for a passion.

loving // all of the beautiful opportunities I’ve been blessed with. Sometimes it takes a moment of looking up and looking around in the immediate surroundings… and that’s when it hits, cognizance of the abundant that exists right. There. In front of you.

praying // for more clarity, more peace, more focus. I’ve felt it, I know I have. I’ve had a taste of what I can do, uninhibited and my focus laser sharp on what matters. However, I know there is still work left to do. So I’m praying for strength and patience, and mindfulness, too.

Happy February!

xx

// 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

 

here we go…!

These past 48 hours have found me feeling so sick and so dead– there is something wrong with my tonsils or lymph nodes I’m sure of it, and it’s creeping up into my ear making it hard to swallow.

The fun part? All of this is hitting at a time when I’m supposed to be getting “in it” again, re-energizing for school, re-aligning my goals, and getting back on track towards plans I can live with, plans that are ultimately my desire paths and will lead me in the directions I want to go.

I don’t like being sick partially because it means I have to kind of force myself to do nothing [if my body hasn’t already forced me to stop doing things, anyways], which is aggravating to me.

It also puts into perspective just how much I take my body for granted sometimes– this whole winter break I was around children and germs and wow my body has done nothing but fight that stuff off.

The highlight of my day yesterday was taking a shower– there’s something so great about taking a hot shower to temporarily relieve the pain. And it was in that moment where I stopped and I thought about the year ahead of me– the semester ahead of me– how beautifully full it was going to be and I just couldn’t return to moping around in bed after that.

It was meds and gargling and doing all I could to get my Google calendar in order. Sure, being sick you should rest and I *did* rest– plenty– but there’s a point where it’s like really? I sleep at night too. I don’t want to spend today a zombie– I already kind of did that a lot in 2018. Without being sick, though. Ha. Fun. 

So.

Tomorrow, all things considered, is a pretty easy day. I’m probably gonna be able to squeeze in a trip to the health center to figure out what’s actually wrong with me. (-:

It’s just funny because I think I put 2019 on a bit of a pedestal, something I’d reach for, something that was all shiny and new, and this sickness is bringing me a really interesting perspective on some things:

  1. our bodies are fragile, fricking BEAUTiful temples. We should love them for all they do for us.
  2. Just because 2019 has started out with sickness is humbling. It’s not how we end up with the sickness, it’s how we react to it. Me? I just scheduled a health appointment, I’m gargling on some saltwater, and chugging warm tea with *loads* of honey, and then– my school day starts!!

So onward and upward– and Happy Monday!

xx

this is what it feels like.

I fly

rebellious, jubilant, unabashedly

across four lanes

downhill in an affluent ghost town

the wind races through the hair that is woven tightly, threatening to liberate it

as I throw my arms out

like I’m at the front of my ship

the captain of my destiny, with my own Celine Dion soundtrack.

there is Jack-shit behind me.

Hovering above me are dots: gleaming balls of fire unencumbered by clouds

that I stupidly take for granted every single night

as I waste away

right on schedule

in front of synthetic blue light

searching for all that can’t be found

but I shove my world in my back pocket

until further notice

I am the captain of my time

the commander of my soul

and I give it

a much needed vacation.