// losing *power*

I tried to do work.

But my work involves a computer and the internet and so when the whole house exhaled with that depressing bzzhhhhuurrr sound that mainly only happens in the movies when a monster is on the loose or something, I was a bit disappointed.

But it was fine.

Being cut off from all that, I sat down with myself and realized “……oh wow.”

I had recently watched a video from one of my favourite vloggers/YouTubers and this one really spoke to me.

Financially? I feel stressed because the one paying my tuition/bills/etc. is me, myself and I. I’ve worked 2 jobs in addition to going to school full time to help offset this, and will be continuing to do so, adding on a TA position this fall. We’ll see how this goes. I’m also

Mentally? I feel exhausted, because I know there’s only so many hours in the day and sometimes I just spend them on the wrong things, or doing something the hard way when there’s an easier way that I didn’t see coming. This blog series has also [not gonna lie] started to cause me stress, as I felt pressure to kind of document *e v a r y t h i n g* and I know that that’s just not realistic. [In case you’ve noticed I’ve removed the day counts from the post titles and such– dream big, then realistically downsize, right?]

Physically? Oh lordy I’m so behind. I think it’s been 2 weeks since I last worked out, my eating habits may have hit rock bottom, and I haven’t been sleeping as well as I should be, I know for sure. I should probably shower after I finish this post.

BUT ANYWAYS.

What I set out to say is that the lack of power gave me a bit of quiet time. I looked at what’s flowing in [and what’s flooding out *sob*] and then sat down to try to make a realistic budget. This also included me obtaining two new *pretty awesome* financial apps, one is called PocketGuard and the other is Mint. Between trying to scrape up funds for the summer and tuition ALL in the midst of a new [used] car hunt, it’s been driving me crazy. But it was a really good time to just sit down and think on this for a bit, a nice bit of a reality check.

Later, I went on a bit of an outing with one of my friends here and she had a bunch of clothes and stuff that she didn’t need anymore, so we took it to the local Plato’s Closet with hopes to sell it to the store. I love and hate that store. I love it because it’s such a cute selection of clothes at EXTREMELY discounted prices. I hate it also because…it’s such a cute selection of clothes at extremely discounted prices and I could do some serious damage. Luckily, they had a sale going, buy one dress get one for $1 and I walked out of there with 4 dress/things for under $20. A STEAL. It really is one of my guilty pleasures. >.<

But it also made me realize that I honestly will never buy new clothes [for the most part, anyways.] Thrifting for me is so much more fun, at a fraction of the price.

A lot of the grievances against include statements like: “ew, but that’s someone’s old clothes. They’ve like, worn that before,” the disdain oozing out through their words like the clothing is diseased.

People, I own a washer and a drying machine for a reason.

But anyways.

That being said, between scoring this awesome deal [hopefully not completely nullifying my budget in one fell swoop] and taking the time to reflect upon everything, I was able to kind of re-gain that lost power. For me, I know it has to be in my head. The positivity, the hope, the willpower– I have to be mentally psyched to move forward, and I hope I can continue to do so.

xx

a reality check brought to you by the universe

It was about 3pm.

I had been up since 6:30am, miraculously I beat my alarm awake.

I had a final exam at 8am [I spilled coffee EVERYwhere at my seat upon walking in but walked out confident that I had ACED that little bugger of an exam] and had my next one at 1pm [I tripped up the stairs with the rest of my coffee to that one] and felt utterly miserable taking it [both of these had been writing intensive exams, I wrote a total of 4 essays so my hand was DEAD].

So when I was out, done, fed up, and waiting exhausted at the stoplight on my way home [my coffee thermos was now officially empty, no more accidents for me, hopefully] I almost didn’t register as the girl next to me started talking in my direction.

“Lovely weather, isn’t it?”

“Yes, honestly it is.” I wasn’t sure she was talking to me but I answered her nonetheless, taking a moment to look around at the pear and cherry blossoms making their way across the intersection caught in mini-wind gusts.

“You heading home?”

“Yes,” I said. “I’m exhausted and I haven’t eaten since 7am. I had two brutal exams today.” I was still angry that they had us take these on a Saturday.

“Oh man,” she said. “I’m a senior and I just got done with stuff too– I can’t believe I’m graduating next week.”

I told her she was lucky, that relaxing must be nice, and that I wish I were graduating so that I didn’t have to take anymore exams.

“What’s your major?”

“Media arts and design and German. What about you?”

“Oh, that’s cool! I’m a math major. Minor in English, though. I’m Katie, by the way.”

I told her it was a good convo of logic and art and was about to politely end the conversation, eyeing the light about to change, when she sprang this question on me:

“What are your aspirations in life?”

I paused, partially because I was trying to make sure I heard her right. But what the heck.

“To be happy,” I said after a few seconds. “And to make some sort of a difference, if I can.”

“That’s a pretty good aspiration,” she said.

At this moment the pedestrian man lit up, telling us to walk. We split at the middle of the intersection.

“Well, have a nice life,” she said, turning to walk the other way.

“Thanks, you too– and best of luck with graduation!”

I thought about how I would probably never see her again.

I thought about how I had answered her sudden question, and what that meant for me in terms of how I was going to proceed, that moment forward.

I thought about how cool it was, that the universe had granted me that moment, a brief, subtle reality check that forced me to think about all the ways I was hitting the walls between me and my own happiness.

My eyes followed her posture, her confident strides as she diminished down the sidewalk. Smiling, I followed suit back to my apartment.

xx

whoa there, april //

copy of lifeasoflatelyapril1

I completely missed March. Between the academic truckload that got dumped on me in March, my birthday, and all of Holy Week followed by the big culmination of celebration that was Easter, I was drained. And I was missing. Apologies.

BUT WE BACK NOW. 😛

Shall we?

read/reading // AHHHH tbh I haven’t had the time recently to pick up a book for pleasure! But I do have to read this one for class:

Image result for hiroshima book

writing // this post. Finally. I feel like I’ve been gone for eternity.

learning // to embrace disappointment, to make time for myself and myself alone, to choose my diligence.

doing / working on // 

-final projects

-turning 21 [BOY that is a STORY for another TIME I tell you]

-binge watching “Jane the Virgin” [technically, I finished the available episodes on Netflix today, but that’s only because my roommate got ahead of me and I couldn’t resist when she was watching it alone so I’m just gonna go back and fill myself in on the gaps later LOL]

-working. I get to take off one job for finals week– outside of that, 3 shifts left…. whoooooo

-translating things from languages to languages! [I’m perfecting a translation portfolio for a class and BOI that’s a lot of German….!

-conducting academic fraternity meetings pls help I have no idea what I’m doing ahhhg

-PETTING GOLDEN RETRIEVER PUPPERS!!! Okay so there was this fundraiser for a fraternity and I took Josh cuz he used to have a Golden Retriever and it was the MOST PRECIOUS THING EVAR because this one girl dog got all cozy with him and it was just so dakfjdakshfdkahfdksajfldjf; I couldn’t even:

-SWIMMING! Yes, miraculous isn’t it? So Josh, Trevor and I have developed a weekly ritual of working out by swimming at the rec center at least twice a week. It’s honestly super refreshing, and I’m starting to notice differences in my physical performance.

eating // mac and cheese, cookies, yogurt, pasta, so much cereal, the occasional Chipotle. My diet has officially descended into madness *deep frown*

drinking // not enough water WATER and dirty chai lattes. Bad combo oooooff

listening // to a lot of the usual —

-Fall Out Boy [basically everything off of Mania]
-Noah Gundersen
-Andy Grammer
-Lorde
-PANIC! AT THE DISCO [Their newest single Saturday Night [Say Amen]”
-John Mayer

laughing // ahhhhhhh not gonna lie I haven’t done that much laughing thus far but I think it’s due to the stress and buckling down for finals….

thinking // about the most random things… like how I want to take yoga classes when I’m an employed adult, how I need to pack a lot more of my stuff up, the course load for next year, what I’m going to do with my summer,

trying // to stay positive. I’ve been feeling under the weather recently, I got “we regret to inform you” emails from Fulbright AND from the internship I applied for. Sigh. Ah, well– just shows that He’s got something bigger planned for me this summer, even if it’s just cruising around my home town, lugging elementary schoolers around and working at my PA job.

hoping // that I can pull everything together before the coming week.

loving // the retreat I went on with my campus ministry this past weekend, the weather that existed for like, two days [it was 78 degrees! And then the saddest part– it snowed this morning/afternoon ): ]

praying // for patience, understanding, focus, the motivation to sit my ass down and actually study for some of these exams, for healing, for presence in these moments.

Once this week ends, hell week starts, and it’ll go up in flames and then poof– the smoke will clear and I’ll be home.

And then I’ll cross that bridge.

xx

hi january //

Copy of lifeasoflatelyjan18

It’s halfway through January and this post is just now going up. I’ll take that as an accurate depiction of life’s chaos right now. It’s fine. We’re fine. [-:

read/reading // Finished This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther, Lori, & Wayne Earl and an introduction by John Green! Really inspirational book, a giant compilations of the thoughts and creative geniuses of a beautiful girl who just happened to have cancer. 10/10 would recommend. She reminds me quite a bit of myself.

Related image

READING CURRENTLY: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey [re-igniting my self-help genre obsession! WOO!] No but honestly there’s some great truths in this book and I just finished reading a part about paradigm shifts and NO TRUER WORDS WERE SPOKEN I need to finish this so I can recommend to everyone I know.

Image result for 7 habits of highly effective people

writing // letters, TY notes, entries, major program applications [well, technically I haven’t started that yet] and SONG LYRICS [;

learning // to let the guard down, live a little, have more courage to speak my opinion.

doing / working on // 

-a scholarship songwriting opportunity! The Fish [lovingly, Josh] and I are tackling a jingle challenge for our university and I’m half done writing lyrics and his musical composition genius will finish it off for us, then we’ll record it. Crossing fingers!

-WATCHING “DARK” on Netflix. Holy crap it is blowing my whole mind.

-working!!!

-social activities!

-trying to have my phone silenced and out of reach more frequently, and take the time to do reflection every day.

eating // doughnuts, pancakes, PASTA and ice cream. Someone stop me.

drinking // water WATER tea and sub-par coffee.

listening // to THINGS. [:

laughing // at the fact that WalMart has a chant for its employees.

thinking // about the world and how it fits together, and also about my academic future… specifically if I want to pursue one path over another… HONESTLY so much of my deep thought comes when I’m walking to and from classes or when I’m in the shower it’s crazy. But I like it.

trying // to be more open and not afraid to approach people first.

hoping // that my textbooks get here soon because I was not prepared AT ALL and I have a lot of reading to catch up on now.

loving // my friends, my roomies, my place here and now. I’ve had a lot of moments in the past week that have given me pause, albeit good pause… but it just makes me aware of how incredibly lucky and thankful I am to be where I am right now, surrounded by the best people with so much laughter, love and talent.

praying // for patience, understanding, and the motivation to work out at least ONCE this week. Ha.

How’s your January been thus far?

xx

November. *squee!*

My goodness.

It is about high time I made an update. Crazy how much can change in a matter of weeks.

[Read/Reading] Room by Emma Donoghue– about a woman who was kidnapped in her teens, held captive in a single room for seven years and gives birth to a child in that room. The room is all the child knows in his first 5 years of life. No spoilers, I’m trying, but it’s rather riveting so far. Haunting, but would recommend.

Image result for room emma donoghue

Since I drafted this post, I’ve finished Room and have started All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and while I’m just in the very beginnings of this book it’s already a really gripping and vibrant depiction of WWII.

Image result for all the light we cannot see

 

[Writing] essays, papers, a packing list for things to absolutely not forget for Thanksgiving break (-:

[Learning] to be more self-sufficient, better with time management, and overall, more flexible with what is, what I cannot control… and learning to see things through different lenses

[Doing/Working on] THIS POST, getting through a self-prescribed reading list, crafting (my old friend!) hanging with new friends, and trying not to freeze in this rapidly dropping temperatures. OH and watching all of Stranger Things, posting too much, making irresponsible but uncontrollably fulfilling late night decisions…  (-:

[Eating] BETTER! Grapes, milk, yogurt, coffee, tea, eggs,n Subway cookies among other things.

[Drinking] coffee (oops), tea, milk, chai lattes (what am I becoming), water

[Listening] TO THINGS. Check it out:

PS. I know they say music can have profound links to experiences and memories and wow let me just say this music collection that’s been in my ears these past couple weeks have honestly been… such a nice refreshing pool of experiences and moments… falling in love with music to fall in love to? Is that a thing?

[Laughing] in the most genuine way, it feels like, for the first time in a hot minute.

[Thinking] about what to read next, about scheduling classes for next semester, about next year’s living situation, about how it is TOO EARLY TO BE SINGING ABOUT CHRISTMAS. Just wait til the turkey’s off the table, people.

[Trying] to get better about setting daily goals for myself and having a minimal to-do list of meaningful intentions.

[Hoping] to not step on any unnecessary toes this upcoming break. Thanksgiving dinner conversation is always something interesting to behold… I know I should probably prepare my “what I’m now doing with my life,” “how school is going,” “who I’m seeing,” “what my winter break plans are” answers… ha.

[Loving] the sweater weather, getting back into doing things I used to do all of the time, the fact that Thanksgiving is literally so close and my last day of classes before break is on Friday…. I could write a novel (:

[Praying] this prayer has just been echoing in my head this week, as I’m thinking about people in the hospital, family, and friends going through a lot right now:

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. 

💚,
steph

Herzlich wilkommen, Oktober.

I am practically 1/3 done with this first semester and I can’t exactly say I’m not relieved. I feel like all of the past weeks have blurred together into a single mess of sleep [or lack thereof], class, some crumbling of social circles, and not enough food.

[Reading] (and I’m being really lazy right now) the below, for a Humanities class. Interestingly enough, it’s one of the first accounts of the mistreatment of natives by European peoples. I don’t like how graphic re: the torture and mistreatment Las Casas gets, but hey, if you’re into that… be my guest.

Image result

 

[Writing] an essay for the aforementioned class. It’s the one class I get to do hard-core writing in, so I kind of enjoy it.

[Learning] More so than ever that easy isn’t always right, and what’s right isn’t always easy. Also learning how to take steps on my own.

[Doing/Working on] myself, quite honestly. There’s a lot of things I’m involved in, but one of them these past weeks have been me, and my well-being. One of my fellow blogger friends over at Simply Me talks a ton about this, about how self-love is such a vital part of who we are and all we can be. In fact, her latest post is a super great example of this.

[Eating] the randomest stuff. I had cheesecake for breakfast today, Pixi stix for a snack yesterday, and blue enchiladas for lunch today, if that gives you some idea of how messed up my…schedule is lately.

[Drinking] water, milk, coffee. God, coffee.

[Listening] to some feel-better songs. Take a peek.

[Laughing] mostly with my roommate.

[Thinking] about not thinking how the rest of the semester is going to turn out. I would like to not speculate and over analyse this time around.. and just see what happens.

[Trying] really really hard to practice some self restraint/control.

[Hoping] to be a bit more productive this week than last week.

[Loving] my favorite season. Everything in the world could be falling apart [ha!] but the vibrant colors on the trees that litter the mountains will forever give me grateful pause.

[Praying] for all of those who feel lost, alone… for the victims of the hurricane stampede, the victims of the Las Vegas shootings, for those who have voice in the legislature to help voice concerns about topics often overlooked, for close friends, for healing of hurt that seems bottomless and inescapable.

I woke up at the end of September, let’s see if I can stay awake to finish October.

💚,
steph

Annnnd it’s SEPTEMBER!

I am back and in black! [I just happen to be wearing a black top, lookie there]. Being back to school and somewhat settled in feels so good and I just want to dive into all the things that are happening.

[Reading] The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey. It’s a new school year and I absolutely am taking advantage of this refreshed outlook and renewed energy to put my life on a less shambly, straighter path. Unfortunately, I am only about 10 pages in because that’s all Amazon would let me preview until the book finally arrives in my hands… that is, IF it arrives in my hands… my campus still has not notified me of a package [AKA a super important textbook that I need!!!] that Amazon reported as having arrived 3 DAYS AGO…. Humph.

Anyways, I read about this guy’s crazy experiments with productivity on his blog and I really want to see what I can use from this book in my life. So far I’m at the “teaser” pages which are just telling me to read onward to “unlock” all the stuff he has to say. Needless to say I am sitting in anxious excitement for this copy to be mine.

Photo creds to Google and the guy’s website!

[Writing] Ideas down for a column I’d really love to add to my university’s mainstream publication. According to this guy who came into one of my major classes, he said that working for the school’s paper/website is practically a springboard into a career later, which, I guess would be nice to have.

[Learning] That it is possible not to be a hot mess all the time! Hopefully the above book will help me out, plus the fact that I decided to take a more “minimalist” approach to packing stuff for college this year will make things a lot less hectic.

[Doing/Working on] moar things!

  • 100 cards 100 days  [this damn project was supposed to be done by August 11th. Since then I’ve moved back to school, completed a whole card order for a local business near me, and now I have to get back ON TRACK to finish this. Another thing I want to get good at– finishing what I started.]
  • campus ministry involvement!
  • running to class [but not running late to class — how revolutionary!]
  • attempting to run
  • waiting for MY PASSPORT :D.
  • applying to study abroad next semester…?????

[Eating] 
– milk
– mac n cheese
– corn muffins
– OREOS. Birthday cake flavor [!!!] and otherwise
– cereal/oatmeal
– SPINACH AND PINEAPPLE [finally…?!!!]

[Drinking] Water. And coffee. Too much coffee.

[Listening] to songs that get me pumped:

[Laughing] at how many things I left at home and how my mother so graciously, on the way down to a college visit for my brother, brought said things I forgot to my new place (,:

[Thinking] about the to-do list, how full this week is, how I wish I didn’t have to move my hair appointment to next week because it is getting LONGER and I would like it to not be long.

[Trying] to start the conversations. To take charge, to get what I need and not be afraid to go after what I want, because I am my rescue and the only thing standing in my way [essentially] is myself.

[Hoping] to get outside more this week and reach a goal of running 3 times a week 😛

[Loving] my roomies and our new living situation. I honestly couldn’t have asked for better time.

 

[Praying] for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and trying to think of ways to send help, other than the obvious donation that you should totally make here. ❤

Let’s do this, September.

💚,
steph

…it’s still June!

[Reading] Another adult knowledge-y book: STRETCH by Scott Sonenshein— it’s about “Unlocking the Power of Less, and Achiev[ing] More Than You Ever Imagined” (according to the front cover. Picked up this book before I left for the beach [moar on that later!] and I’m almost through with it! It’s got some good stuff, but my favorite thing is probably how Sonenshein incorporates the stories of the lives of all these people he’s met who do their best every day to stretch their knowledge, their paychecks, their talents in order to use less and achieve more. Pretty inspiring and it’s making me regret a lot of things already! (-:  [this means it’s working…??]

Image result for stretch scott sonenshein

[Writing] a letter to me Irish pen pal. (:

[Learning] that keeping up is futile. I’m taking it at my own pace, bitchezzzzz [ha.]

[Doing/Working on] too much…

  • 100 cards 100 days  [Hey! I made it to DAY 50! WOOOOOOO]
  • Interning at my church on sundays (and maybe saturdays?)
  • Working at me job
  • Babysitting! 2 adorable kidlins.
  • Saving up for a trip to CALIFORNIA [moar on that later (;]
  • Writing my Irish penpal
  • Watching the sunrise

[Eating] 

  • sugar (cherry tarts, coffee laced with it, Gushers, ice cream, etc.)
  • seafood
  • moar seafood
  • tacos
  • boardwalk fries
  • italian food

[Drinking] not enough water, taaaaaaaangy lemonade, milk, my feelings

[Listening] to NEW MUSIC FINALLY. Oh, and music that accompanied me and my BFF on our 4 hour drive here. Take a peek:

[Laughing] at the fact that I was ambitious enough to attempt to make a VLOG for my entire 4 day vacation. God help me with the editing! Oh and because I thought switching between phone and camera footage was a good idea (-:

[Thinking] about what needs to change, how I need to “stretch”, and where I stand

[Hoping] to keep up my waking up early streak! it’s so nice to have a day feel so full.

[Loving] THIS MAGICAL PLACE CALLED TEH BEACH.

 

 

[Praying] I make it through today and tomorrow [guess who left her entire vacation savings at home!!? (-: ]

Oh look, it’s almost July.

💚,
Steph

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