It’s Actually Happening

I’m in a daze. My brain is telling me that I’m just on break. From classes, that is. Like Easter break or Christmas break or something. It doesn’t feel like the “end-of-the-semester, see ya in the fall” sort of thing either. But in reality this is it. Four years of college have flown by.

I graduate tomorrow. I get my diploma, my degree tomorrow. Undergrad will be no more.

What is this that is happening?!?!?!

Like I said, I think I’m in shock, or disbelief, or something.

Bruce6

I’ve mentioned it previously. This summer, the move, the future, the uncertainties, the adventure, the risks, the unknown. It makes my heart pound thinking about it. It’s scary. And I’ve never been one to go toward things that I’m afraid of. But this one is different. This time I know it is the right thing, despite the intimidation, it is what I want to do and I know I have to do it.

This summer I’m going to work and save money. Any money I make from photo shoots are going toward my moving fund. I need every penny, every dollar, I can get. But I want to cherish these last weeks in my hometown as well. I want to enjoy time with Ashley and Amber. I want to take photos. I want to put this place in my mind as important, solidify it and not forget about where I came from. Okay, so that might cheesy. But it’s how I feel.

DogsMay6th-5

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m on the frontline, don’t worry I’ll be fine.
The story is just beginning.
I say goodbye to my weakness, so long to the regret.
And now I see the world through diamond eyes.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DogsMay6th-9

Anyway, tomorrow is going to be the end of my undergrad career. And I am so so so ready for it be over. I really didn’t think I’d make it through that last semester. But somehow I accomplished it, I pulled off good grades. And I think I’m finally starting to realize that I don’t give myself enough credit, and that I underestimate myself. I can’t believe I did it. I did it.

~

Other news. They’re thinking about bringing 24 back. As a limited series TV show on FOX. Well, they say it is official, that it really is coming back. But I don’t believe it. Maybe because it’s too good to be true. Maybe because I don’t want it to be true, because it’s scary: It can’t be like the actual show. And I don’t want a “limited series” (what the heck IS that, anyway?!) to *ruin* the show for me. Although that’s a dumb thought too because 24 is 24 and will always always always be important to me, in and of itself. But a 12-episode show of 24? That makes absolutely no sense to me. 24 is 24 precisely because of the number 24. Not the number 12. I guess they could crunch it somehow and make 2 hours of the show’s world into 1 hour of our world. But seriously? Agh it’s such a contradictory feeling for me! There’s no way I *wouldn’t* be able to watch it if it is really “coming back.” But…. idk.

Hope you enjoyed my mind vomit on that little issue. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on it later. For now…..

Peace.

I hate the weekends. Like really really don’t like them.

Interestingly enough, my dislike for work has changed: It’s not work itself that I don’t like now. It’s the fact that work gets in the way of studying and homework (or the time I could *coughshould* be doing that stuff.). I’m actually looking forward to this summer when I can work work work and make money money money. That is my plan: To work as much as possible and save as much as possible. But. Gotta get through the next few weeks first. Cross your fingers for me.

Now for some pretty pictures.

April Ice-7

April Ice-2

April Ice-3

~

I’ve started an acne treatment called the oil cleansing method. Sounds crazii, doesn’t it, rubbing oil all over you face to wash it? Yeah I thought the same thing. You can learn more here: The Oil Cleansing method. But for those too lazy to click the link, the oil cleansing method basically takes your body’s natural method (oil) to nourish, cleanse, and hydrate your skin (read: face). Sounds so counterintuitive that I almost slapped myself. I mean, acne companies tell you that oil is bad and keep away from oil and blah blah blah. But really, oil is good for your skin because your skin produces it naturally. So the trick is to get the right balance of oils on your skin (instead of drying it out with all sorts of lotions and wipes and washes) and letting your skin take care of itself that way. I found it on another blog that challenged me to try it for two weeks, and that’s what I’m doing. If I remember, I’ll update how it ends up and whether I’ll stick with it.

Another healthcare update: I finally bought myself a container of coconut oil and have been experimenting ways to use it. So far I’ve used it for skin and lips mostly. And a really yummy chocolate shell ice cream topping recipe. I’ve heard it is good for dogs but I haven’t given it too much thought to give to them (although the dogs really enjoyed what I gave them off of my finger).

And while I’m on this healthcare kick… lemon water, anyone? I need to increase my water intake (and probably decrease my coffee intake, too. :P)

~

DogsOutside-1

I have lots and lots to do this week. After my morning shift tomorrow I have to work on some research stuff (if I can get it to work), somehow make a poster for my Wednesday presentation, do a reading & reflection sheet, study for an exam on Tuesday, read & summarize three chapters, and revise the third draft of my writing proficiency paper. And I need to begin thinking about all the papers I have coming up that are due in two weeks.

All this stuff is stressful. And I’m worried about not doing my best, not meeting expectations, fearing what will happen if what I *want* to happen, doesn’t happen. And so on. But I have this outlook when I think of these things: Whatever happens, I will still be alive after the semester is done and over with. I will be able to work and make money. I will be able to think of and look towards the future. I will be able to adjust my actions to the necessity of what happen(ed) and what (will) happen. Just because the path I think I should/will be going down might not happen does not mean other options are not open.

Applause for you if you understood what I just said.

DogsOutside-5

Peace.

It’s suddenly hit me

In roughly a month, I am going to be leaving undergraduate college.

Oh.my.gosh.

And when I say leaving, I mean it. Everything I have to get done, the papers due, the grades & credits rolling in to meet the requirements…. I. Am. Leaving. And I am dead set on that.

Since that has happened, the stress has pretty much wiped away. In place of it is determination. Cautious determination, yes, because I *do* still have an entire month to get through as well as a ton of stuff to do before then, but a determination nonetheless. Tonight I wrote over six pages of my senior thesis project that I’ve been seriously lagging behind on. I submitted my second draft to my advisor and am halfway finished with my third draft. (Not sure if he requires 3 or 4 drafts before the final draft, but whatever). I know what time I am presenting at the required conference school thingy (ugh). I have to submit some things to a few professors for my grad school application. I’ve begun apartment searching in Colorado (eek! omg! aaahhh!) and thinking about what it will be like to live on my own (holy crap).

And my mindset. Ah that determined mindset. It’s a strange, scary thing, that’s for sure. But there’s a path in front of me that I know I need to take and I will do it. I can’t let my fears stop me or my past mistakes and regrets slow me down. Take what is in front of you. Take what you want. It will be worth it.

Peace.

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?

JaydersBday-8

Peace.

TGI……M

Yes, I’m happy it is Monday. Because the weekend is draining and no fun (although the money that I make is usually worth the exhaustion). One of the biggest problems I had with post-a-day was posting on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, because I was worn out from working and didn’t really have the mental strength to come up with anything substantial or worth reading. And I’m thinking that my 365 photo-a-day challenge will have the same issues.


 Day4 Day6

Day5

If you follow me on Twitter you might know by now that I started watching the tv show The Walking Dead, and have become slightly hooked on it, the characters. Honestly, when I first heard about it I thought it sounded stupid. I’ve never seen a particularly good zombie movie, and a whole tv series? They must’ve been dreaming. But I gave it a chance, and it is a good show. I’m sad there are only three seasons so far. Well two and a half. I’m watching the midseason finale of the third season tonight, and it doesn’t start up on tv again until February.

Anyways.

The bad thing about *this* Monday is that classes begin again on Wednesday. :/ I’m ready to go back – to get it over with, to graduate – and yet I’m not ready to sign my life away for the next 5 months either. It’s a bittersweet situation. I’ve been thinking about all that I have to get done, and I’m seriously not looking forward to my work load, which doesn’t even include actual classes yet: senior thesis research, writing, and revisions, grad school apps, developing my resume, balancing work & school to make enough but not fail classes. And all the little things in between like my 365 project and my dogs and this blog. Real life begins again on Wednesday.

Maybe someday I’ll reach the point where “real life” doesn’t carry a negative connotation with it. I hope so.

Other news: I entered a giveaway for a Canon 50mm f/1.4. I do own the 50mm f/1.8 but would LOVE to have the 1.4. I used it at the weddings I helped with this past summer and it was a dream. Here’s the link, in case you want to enter: http://cravemyphotography.com/blog/business-jump-start-giveaway/

One other thing. I challenged myself again this year to read 50 books on www.goodreads.com like I did in 2012. I didn’t quite make it last year, falling about 6 books short. (Honestly, 50 is pitiful compared to what I used to read, but then again life is much busier nowadays). 50 books means roughly a book a week. During the summer, this isn’t too hard but during the school year I can go months without reading an actual book for myself (textbooks don’t count, usually). I’m going to challenge myself this semester to practice tougher and more efficient time management skills, like I should have started four years ago. :P Too bad Jack Bauer isn’t around to give me a few tips.

I need to revamp my blog again before school starts (because then I won’t have any time to do it).

Peace. (:

Merry Christmas Eve (:

I was thinking tonight about when I “realized” Santa Claus wasn’t (literally) real, that it was really Mom and Dad putting the gifts under the tree each year.

I remember the denial I felt, trying to hold onto that magic I had felt each past year, and the disappointment and hurt that came with the realization those kind of magical things ‘just don’t happen.’ I felt the same sort of pain when I graduated high school.

The worst part of growing up is the loss of the childhood magic and view of life. 

But somehow I found it in my young, immature, and denying mind to face the fact that *that* stuff wasn’t and isn’t real, and that there are bigger reasons for the season: family, togetherness, love, joy, & gratitude – especially gratitude. I forced myself to be thankful for the things I did have, and to enjoy being around the people I love. Because that is what really matters.

There are deeper things in life then material things, then immediate reinforcement and rewards. And the realization that Christmas wasn’t the magical event my childhood mind led it out to be was a huge lesson in that.

Of course I still have my barriers and lines I have yet to cross. There are times I find myself jealous of the apparent ease others get what they want. There are times I get annoyed and angry that my family doesn’t have enough money to go on vacation every year. I’m only human, and I have many many weak points in my character. I am trying my best to strengthen those, to better myself.

~

On a lighter note, I have been baking up a storm the past couple of days and my artsy-crafty side of my personality has been revealing itself. Perhaps this is because of Pinterest. I’ve become slightly addicted to the DIY pins I find, and the recipes. It’s inspired me to attempt a few crafts (I made mom’s Christmas present – homemade photo coasters – from a pin I found), and to cook. Pinterest actually makes cooking and baking look FUN! For instance, I’ve tried about six new treat recipes in the past  two or three days, and even cooked dinner for mom and dad the other night. And tomorrow (tonight) I am making Crock Pot French Toast for our Christmas breakfast and Sweet & Spicy Cocktail Weenies for a pre-dinner snack. I never knew I was so into cooking until I started looking up recipes on Pinterest. Who knows, maybe I’ll start doing some recipe posts to share! (:

Merry Christmas Eve everyone. (:

Peace.

 

The Dreaded ‘C’ Word

Change.

Change.

Change.

A couple facts about me:

1. I dislike change. More specifically, I hate adjusting to ‘new’ things after I’ve gotten comfortable with how things currently are. I have a hard time understanding why certain things need to change when they’ve been working so well.

2. I’m afraid to make mistakes. I’ve never been a perfectionist (not in my eyes, at least, and I’ve never been called that) but I’m afraid of social/public humiliation, especially when the pressure/expectations are high. This is why I’ve never been a fan of sports like softball and volleyball, which require one player at a time to be “highlighted” so to speak. Put on the spot. I hate being put on the spot.

3. I tend to put people on a pedestal and make them ‘more than’ human (or something like that). Seeing someone do something perfectly, or even making mistakes with ease, puts them as ‘good’ or ‘perfect’ in my messed up little head. For some reason, the mistakes they do make are minimized in my head. I see them do something so good, that who cares if they made one little trip-up? I guess you could say I compare myself to them, too, which is never a good habit and one I’m trying very hard to overcome.There is one thing I’ve been trying to get through my head for the past 2-3 years, since I finally grew a backbone and opened my eyes:

WE’RE ALL HUMAN.
(Wow, imagine that.)

[This is actually a sort of mixture between two posts I’ve had in mind (one from this weekend & one from tonight), so bear with me. Also, I’m running on too much mental stimulation for the day (not good, for an introvert) and not enough rest for my body. Not a good combination. Two reasons to forgive me if I don’t seem to make sense.]

 This weekend was probably the worst weekend I’ve had at my almost-4yrs long job (4yrs in August). The stress, the emotional ups & downs (mainly from angry to calm, over and over and over again, with frustration thrown in there to spice things up, oh and annoyance, can’t forget that. wow that is way too many commas in on sentence), the lack of respect and appreciation I feel from my managers, the idiocy of people – my temper & tolerance level has dropped far below what I even thought possible for me at this particular job, which I used to absolutely love. I’m not happy there anymore. I dread going to work. I get annoyed easier, faster. There’s too much change going on, and I just don’t feel part of the team anymore. Honestly, I believe I’m burnt out.

[See fact #1 above]

I think it is time for a change. As in, another job, another start, a new experience. I dislike the idea of starting out as ‘the newbie.’ I don’t like stepping out of the place where I’ve come to be comfortable in, that I know almost like the back of my hand, and that I made so many friends and met so many neat, interesting, inspiring people (and some unsavories as well). But nothing stays the same. Life goes on, with or without me. The difference is whether or not I’m happy, whether or not I decide what happens next, whether or not I decide to go on with it or stay in the past. And we can’t stay in the past, live in the past. I can wish all day and night for things to be back the way they were before, when my favorite manager of all time was there, and all the workers loved their job as much as I did, but the truth is: it’s not going to happen. The past will stay in the past. I can only look at what is ahead, even if it is a scary, dark, tunnel with some sort of illusion or truth of light at the end. To make a life worth living, I have to move forward. Because either I’ll be unhappy stuck in ‘what used to be’ or I’ll be happy I took the chance to make ‘what could be.’

Fact of life. Be thankful for what you’ve experienced and then move on.

 “Maybe it’s time to change,
and leave it all behind.
I’ve never been one to walk alone,
I’ve always been scared to try.”

“Nothing stays the same. Maybe it’s time to change.”

Peace.