Is everything made of shades of gray?

JaydersBday-4

What do you want in life?

How bad do you want it?

I’m only 22 years old. (Okay, not 22 officially yet, not until the first of April, but still.) Only – already. Funny, the difference between those two words. I have a lot to learn but I think I’m figuring some crucial things out. Like the difference between “trying” and “doing” – major differences, apparently. And what’s funny about it is that it’s all in your head. All in what you believe. I find it ironic that lessons come to me after I’ve gotten the gist of it, waaaaaay after I’ve gotten the gist of it. I thought my motto, “It’s all in what you believe” referred to something entirely different. I guess it still does, but I keep finding applications for it. Like the difference between “trying” and “doing”.

So how bad do you want what you want in life?

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Peace.

Just a few Monday thoughts…

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Mondays don’t bother me. Actually, I look forward to Mondays because it means I’m free from work and able to focus on school stuff without worrying about work. This past weekend however was also free from work and I didn’t really want Monday to get here. Read about my awesome weekend here if you don’t follow me on Instagram (@24Freak *hint hint*).

On March 13th, my girl turned 6 years old. Six! I still can’t believe she’s six already. Time goes by so too darn fast. Of course she was well spoiled. (:

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~

Amber is back in town for the week because of her spring break, and I am so excited for at least one get-together we will be having. I seriously have thee two coolest chicks for friends. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

Other news: Secret is officially a long term “foster” dog. Her real owner is having some personal issues and so I’ve stepped in as surrogate mama for the sweet rottie. (: Having her in the house, and Hawkeye, and Juicer all at the same time is honestly a bit overwhelming (as much as I love them all). They’re all very active dogs and it’d hard to keep them all stimulated and content with school taking up the majority of my time. But I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world!

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Speaking of school…. yeah let’s just not talk about that.

I have a lot to work on.

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Buddy has the right idea. (:

Peace.

Did Ya’ll Miss Me?

A wise person once told me… “The longer I don’t blog, the harder it is to blog!” I didn’t understand what that meant back then, but I do now. Unfortunately.

And I’m sorry. My blog has fallen to the wayside. Bad Heather!

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So much has happened. It’s spring break, graduation is coming up fast, papers are starting to stream in, due dates are looming, I had the flu, I took the GRE, my car needs 2 new tires + a few other expensive problems… Plus the schoolwork that I have yet to do/be assigned, like wrapping up my senior thesis project, papers & presentations, research to do. And looking towards the summer: Researching places to live in Colorado that’ll accept dogs (which, I’m told, is next to impossible) and getting money & stuff put away for the move (which looks to most likely be happening around August-ish when the term starts) to Colorado. Those are the two main things… I think.

I’ve never been one to look towards the future and plan for it very well. Sort of like this. The future – the unknown – scares the bajeebers out of me. I’d rather take things day-to-day and kinda sorta know what’s going to happen. But obviously that’s not possible. I might have gotten a little better at it, what with grad school applications and pondering career choices and all, but the idea of not seeing Ashley and Amber on a somewhat regular basis, freaks me the eff out. I don’t care if it’s “the normal course of life.” I get that kids grow up and move away from their parents, but friends are supposed to be around forever right?! I guess I haven’t wrapped my mind around it all yet, what moving to go to grad school means. Or maybe I just don’t want to accept it. I don’t know.

~

Day52

We had a snow day a week or two ago (I’ve lost track of the weeks, they go by so dang fast!). And the tradition in our household is to make play dough while we’re all stuck inside. We used to have lots of little hands to help mold and squeeze the flour and water together but this time it was just Haylie, the lone grandchild in the house. And she had so much fun with Grandma.

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Nerd alert: I got new pens and they are awesome. I sort of have an obsession with writing utensils, especially pens and mechanical pencils (which are the new “pencils” in my expert opinion).

Another thing that has been on my mind is a little of this and a little of that. I gave up drinking soda June 1st of last year, so a few days over 9 months total. Wow. If you could have seen how much pop I used to drink on a daily basis… that’s pretty impressive. I didn’t keep track of any weight loss because that wasn’t my goal; my goal was to challenge myself to stop drinking such an unhealthy drink – and I did it. And I want to keep doing it.

But enter problem 2, 3, 4, etc: My love of chocolate and desserts. And coffee. And weak self-control when it comes to portion sizes. And bad habit of not eating breakfast on a regular basis. Not to mention that I really don’t get the exercise I should. All of this has been on my mind lately. I know that a person’s metabolism begins to slow down mid-20s, early 30s. Since I’m going to be 22 in less than a month, that’s just three years shy of the mid-20s. Do you think I’m getting ahead of myself? Hmm…

Anyways, the point is. I am *not* a healthy person, eating or exercise-wise. They say you are what you eat? Well I’m a big dish of chocolatey & coffee-y goodness. So I’ve been contemplating the Body by Vi challenge. When I’ve mentioned this to my parents and a couple other peeps, the first thing out of their mouth is: “What do YOU need to lose weight for?!” So let me clarify this.

The people I’ve talked to that have done Body by Vi have encouraged its use not only for weight loss but for the creation of healthier eating habits as well. And that’s what I’d like to use it for. By having a shake for breakfast, it would keep me from skipping that important meal as well as providing a healthful breakfast instead of eating a sugary bowl of cereal or drinking big ‘ol cup of coffee. A shake for lunch would be beneficial for a college student like me because it would a) be healthy, b) be accessible, easy, and fast, and c) cut down on costs “grabbing a bite to eat” from Jimmy Johns or Chik Fil A. I also feel it would be harder to “cheat” and would help me build up my resistance to chocolate and other sweets during the day. And honestly, shedding a few pounds would not be alarming to me, seeing as I’ve gained some from the birth control I’m on. And of course, a diet isn’t a diet without exercise. So I also think the Body by Vi challenge would allow me to focus on healthier exercise habits.

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For some people this stuff comes natural to them. But for me, if I don’t have a plan laid out then I’m probably not going to stick to it reliably. So the Body by Vi challenge would be my center of sorts, towards moving to healthier eating and a healthier lifestyle. If I decide to do it, maybe I’ll take some ‘before’ pictures (and post them on here if I’m feeling brave enough).

~

Those are a few things on my mind. Keeping in mind that I haven’t blogged for almost a month, this post took me roughly two hours to write. Last year, the post-a-day challenge, each post took me roughly an hour to write. Seeing as this semester is so much more time-crunch than last year was, I can’t see daily blogging fitting into my schedule when I’m not on school breaks. But that’s a priorities thing, as I’ve mentioned. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with it more often after school is out (i.e. after I graduate?! omg).

My dog family says hi.

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Peace.

Design Your Dream {Reading & Writing} Room

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 I know I’m a little late on this but what the heck. As soon as I read it I knew I had to do it.

I absolutely love reading, and writing to a lesser extent. I’ve always loved reading. My next door neighbor and I used to come up with ideas of what our dream room would be like, with elaborate diagrams and descriptions, various gidgets and gadgets that we thought would be fun to have. And can’t forget the secret passage ways and cubby holes. (:

Needless to say, I think I could come up with an extremely long description of what the perfect space for reading and writing would be for me. But I’ll try to keep it simple.

First, design. I love love love natural light – and lots of it! – so my room would have to have some windows that let in lots of sunlight. These windows, however, couldn’t just look over anything. Mountain scenery and nature only , nothing manmade in sight. I also wouldn’t want an overly spacious room. I’ve always wanted a loft, too!

Second, decor. (: Oh man, I would have fun with this. Canvases of my dogs would be hung up on the walls in some manner. I would also drag some ideas off of Pinterest to display quotes that would be intermittently placed among the photos. Rope lights and Christmas lights would have to be implemented as well, hung on the walls, around door and window frames, on the railings of the loft.

Third, furniture. The loft would be the reading corner. And when I say loft, I’m thinking a nice big one that takes up at least half the size of the room. It would have lots of cozy, comfy, squishy, and soft furniture: big bean bags, fluffy couches, big arm chairs, rocking chairs. Plus fluffy blankets and lots of pillows. Lighting would be kept to a minimum (apart from the windows for during the day), with different colored lights for a darker, more relaxed atmosphere. Lights would be either stand-alone or out of the wall. Of course I’d have bright white lights, just in case I felt the need to use them.

The writing room would be the bottom half of the room. The walls would be busier than in the reading loft, with more photos and quotes on the walls. I really like this idea. And the colors of the walls would be more stimulating than the neutral colors I picture in the reading loft, maybe a checkerboard design on one wall, a sparkly painted wall for another. Obviously I’d need a desk or table of sorts. This is pretty neat but I think I’d like something more like #4 on this page, but with more color to it. I like lots of space to work with and spread all my crap out on. (: I would also somehow incorporate a cork board to put notes, reminders, random ideas, photos, and quotes on to. A couch or chair corner with a lamp and table would provide a comfier spot to sit and think if my thought process called for it. And somewhere in that area would have to be a music station. An iHome with corner speakers to stream either my own music or Pandora, most likely.

And you know what would be really cool? Clapper lights and voice activated locking for the door so I wouldn’t have to get up from my reading or writing spot to let someone in. (:

Yeah, this prompt was given on February 3rd, but I’ve given it some serious thought. That’s why it took me so long. ;)

This is my current reading corner. Don’t get me wrong, I do like it and it works for now. But maybe someday I’ll be able to get that room described above. (:

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Peace.

Thoughts on a Sunday

Day23

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”

~

Life has been hectic lately. It goes like that, in stages. Busy, calm, busy, busy, calm, busy, etc. etc. More busy time than calm time, from my point of view. It’s interesting what we can make time for when it’s towards the top of our priority list, like I did for post-a-day last year.

Coffee has been a motivator for me. And a curse. I think I’m too positivized to it. If that makes sense. Yes I know that’s not a word, but I just used it.

I’ve been cooking a lot lately. I think that’s taken the place of blogging. Which is okay, because I enjoy trying new recipes and messing with the ingredients. So far I’ve tried dinners for the family (including new side dishes), desserts, and a couple snacks. I’m thinking that I need to start a recipe box soon. Keep my favorites and throw out the rest. My mom has bugged me for years to start cooking and learning how she does things in the kitchen. I guess I’m a late bloomer in that, too. But hey, I’m doing it now and enjoying it quite a bit, so that’s what counts right?

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I’ve been reading quite a few books lately also. Well. I keep starting new books. Right now I’m reading three at once, and have four more waiting to be read, including one which I won off of Goodreads. And by “right now” I mean, a few minutes here and there whenever I feel like I deserve a break from school work or want to relax my mind for half an hour before bed. So I haven’t gotten very far on any of the three. But it’s nice to know that I have books to fall back on when/if I need them.

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Project 365 has been fun so far, although I’m kind of a slacker when it comes to getting them edited and posted on Facebook. Unfortunately. One of those priority things again, I think. As long as I *take* the photo…

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I finished my first paper of my last semester of college today. And it was of a genre that I’d never specifically had to write before: a memoir. The paper was for my Women & Religion class, an interesting class with an eccentric but fun professor. In this memoir we had to write about an experience that shaped our view of gender and relate it to religion, or vice versa, and then analyze that experience using two outside sources and one in-class source. Interesting experience. I couldn’t come up with a single thing in my religious background/upbringing that impacted, shaped, affected, etc. my own gender or even my view of gender. That was probably the hardest part of the paper. Once I figured it out, it went down on paper the computer screen rather nicely (for the most part). Interestingly enough, I’ve enjoyed this class so far this semester than I thought I would.

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Time for bed. A new week tomorrow. Oi. I got the stuff done that I needed to get done for tomorrow, so tomorrow I get to tackle the thing for Tuesday. That’s how it goes for me. Just keeping in step, never a step ahead, sometimes a step behind, but generally in step. Perhaps I’ll visit Starbucks tomorrow. I’d actually like to go to Caribou Coffee – for a change – but it’s a too far across town to justify driving all that way just for studying and coffee.

I can feel some little flickers of panic setting in for certain things, but I need to keep my head on straight. Do it. Do it. Do it.

Good night. Peace.

 

It’s All About You

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I’ve talked about how the only person that can help you is YOU. I’ve mentioned a little bit of how I’ve grown as a person and hope to continue to improve myself each and every day. These things have come as the crossing of lines, which I’ve mentioned before as well.

I was extremely self-conscious.

I saw myself as ugly, abnormal because of my facial structure.

I believed there was something wrong with me because I didn’t have a lot of friends.

I believed there was something wrong with me because I didn’t have a boyfriend by [insert age here].

I felt like I was constantly in the spotlight being judged because I wasn’t pretty enough, wasn’t fashionable enough, wasn’t skinny enough, wasn’t athletic enough, read too many books, didn’t play with (m)any kids on the playground during recess, didn’t have anybody to sit with at lunch, never got picked for a group or partner during activities in class, wasn’t talkative or outgoing enough…

I would lay in bed at night, absolutely dreading waking up to go to school. It’s not that I hated life, but I hated the people aspect of life, the interaction with my peers. Introverts aren’t anti-social necessarily, but that’s what I grew to be because I thought that’s what life was going to be like forever (you have to keep in mind my immature, naive mind I had back then, and still do to some extent of course).

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Enter high school graduation. Nerves. College applications. Not seriously or fully understanding what was going on in my life or how it would impact me and my future.  Going through the motions. Then telling myself I couldn’t live this way, I wasn’t happy, it wasn’t right. Gradually standing up for myself. Meeting Dustin, entering a relationship. Continuing what I’d been working on with myself.

I’ve learned a lot about myself in these years of college. And you know what?

It was all me. People can talk and talk and talk, telling you that you are pretty, are worthy, books and websites can tell you to stay positive, give you breathing methods and strategies for getting more happiness in your life.  It doesn’t do a lick of good though if YOU don’t do anything to help yourself. Because nobody gives a shit about you. #truth (yes, I did just use a hashtag. they should be universal. ;)) You can only depend on yourself.

~

This was more of a personal post, trying to collect my thoughts and what not. It occurred to me after a few things happened that, honestly, got me really kind of pissed off. So I got that off my chest, and you got to see a few photos. (: Win, win.

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Peace.

 

I Kind Of Miss Post-A-Day

Whadya’ll think of my new header & background? Pretty colorful, eh? Kind of different than what I had in mind, but I *really* like the colorful pawprints. It brightens it up a bit.

I’ve seriously missed blogging. When I was doing post-a-day, I made time to get a post up each and every day (obviously). Now that I’m not constrained by that, I let it slide. No big deal. I really didn’t have much to say over the weekend anyway, except that I’m going to miss Amberness until spring break. Hurry up and get here, March 2nd!

Oi.

So this semester is about 4 days in. And I’m already feeling the time restraints. Like bad. I don’t understand how I’m supposed to fit everything into my schedule, and have been thinking about my priorities. It’s tough. I’m afraid of spreading myself too thin and breaking down, because I feel like I’m already headed that way and at this rate I won’t make it to spring break with my mind in one piece. So accordingly, this was my photo for today.

Constrained Time

Constrained Time

I’m really trying to give my all to every single class. Get my papers done BEFORE the night before they’re due. Work harder at each class – visit professors, do extra credit, read every article/chapter for understanding and critical thinking instead of ‘just getting them read’, look ahead and NOT procrastinate on assignments. Really put my mind to each class and not waste precious time doing nonsense things like browsing Pinterest or staring into space (yes, I do that). That goes back to my (poor) time management skills of course.

One thing I’ve noticed that Project 365 is giving me something to ‘center’ on each day, kind of like post-a-day did in 2012. I wake up wondering what’s going to happen, what I’m going to come across that I’ll capture with a click. I look forward to it, and it’s only two weeks into the year! That’s encouraging, right? (Or it’s a warning that I’ve hit a high early and will crash into nothingness in another 2 weeks. In which case I’ll be screwed for the rest of the year. :P)

So you know that feeling where there’s something new in front of you, an opportunity to do something you haven’t done before, and your breath shortens and your mind frantically begins spilling reasons out of your ears why you can’t/shouldn’t/aren’t able to do such a thing? The feeling of stepping out of your comfort zone, where you just want to retreat into the known, the little bubble you live in every day, where everything is familiar and coffee with chocolate on the side? Yeah, I had the feeling today in the public library parking lot.

I checked my email on my phone.

I had an email from a new psych professor.

The preview began, “Hello everyone, and welcome to being a r…”

Holy crap, I thought. Wait a second, this wasn’t supposed to happen to me.

My advisor mentioned a professor who was doing a research project for this semester and was looking for research assistants. I jumped on it, emailed her for info, filled out the form, and sent it back to her. I did this all in a rush before I could tell myself all the reasons why I wasn’t qualified, wasn’t good enough, not ready do it, didn’t have time, etc. etc. Then I told myself, There are a quite a few other psychos filling out the form, most of which who are probably more qualified than me, so whatever. I didn’t think about it after that. Then I got that email. Yeah, she chose me. And after I talked myself out of emailing her back with some out-of-my-ass reason why I wasn’t able to do it anymore, I became excited, scared, apprehensive all at the same time. Excited to get research experience. Scared because it’s something new that I’ve never done before. Apprehensive because I already have enough on my plate – can I really add *more* to it?!

Oi.

Life might not be too fun at the moment, but at least it’s not boring. Coffee & Breaking Bad with my bestie tomorrow night! <3

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Peace.