You know when You have Thoughts and then those Thoughts keep going…

It’s one of those things I have started to wonder about, now that I’m getting into the second half of the first year of a serious relationship. You know, wonder about the future, wonder how long the giggly honeymoon phase lasts, wonder if this will really kick off or is something else going to come up, and wonder about that pesky L-word. Some people take the idea very seriously, while others just let the feelings and the time flow.

I usually consider myself as the latter choice, because I don’t believe allowing myself to stress/overthink emotions is something practical or even necessary to do. You feel what you feel and just go from there, right? On the flip side, I’m older now; any relationships/flings/romances/relations I had in the past were from a time where I was younger, less mature, less practical, less serious. I let by-gones be by-gones and I never held on to anything with serious intentions. I always told myself that if things didn’t work out, move on to something else.

I still think that for many things now, although I have learned to put more serious and focused work on things that matter NOW. My career attempts, for example, is a goal I feel very strongly towards, now that I have found a field I enjoy and desire to develop within. Quite frankly, I almost stumbled on the idea by sheer chance, but I wouldn’t change the moment for anything else. I also take living and caring for myself much more seriously; I have change my dietary menu (vegetarian), I have learned to shop and save with or without coupons (Aldi’s and Costco also helps), I have learned to take care of bills, charges, taxes, making appointment, tending to car maintenance, fixing things in the home, etc. I have learned to live like a proper adult and take responsibilities as expected, so in that aspect, I consider myself doing a job well done!

*pat on the back*

Back to my original thought, the whole relationship factor. This time, after some flops in the past, I took a different route based on advice from a friend: online dating.

Whoa.

Anyways, I figured the worst that could happen is… well, a lot of things honestly, but I went ahead and chanced it. After some trials and fails, I landed a rather likable male who was suited according to my interests (omg he knows how to make conversation, omg he has a real career, omg he pays his own bills and owns a car….), and 6+ months later, it appears to still be working out pretty successfully. I like this guy. A lot, probably.

So that L-word. I went around and ask some friends when they started dropping it to their significant others and the average result I got was 4-5 months into the relationship. I questioned my findings and pondered on people’s desire to say the word with the right meaning behind it. I was curious what made people make the change from like to love, and I listened to stories of newfound loves and tragic romances (typically not by choice). I, then, took a look at myself and what I had going on.

I didn’t really come to a solid conclusion on myself, but I know what I have going on is something special and quite frankly, rather dear to me. I like where things are going and I am just going to keep it at that.

The Space

I’ve been working on the same easy project for months because either one, I didn’t have enough time to finish it in one go, or two, I was just simply never home. I live in a duplex with another friend and since my bedroom is entirely too small for me to do anything in it, I decided to make use of the basement by transforming it into a craft work station. Since it’s an older home with very little upkeep, there isn’t a whole lot I can do to begin with without having to spend money on things I obviously wouldn’t get to keep (since I’m renting), I decided to just work with what I had on hand.

When I first encountered this to do business

When I first encountered this to do business

P.S. All pictures are pretty awful. I have an iPhone with a slight mark in the camera lens, bear with me.

There are a set of poorly done shelves against the wall, which aren’t really fixable unless I take the whole thing apart and rebuild it, which in reality, if I hopefully only stay in this place for one more year, it’s not really worth the trouble. It does hold my crafts supplies and other materials well enough though, since I don’t have anything particularly heavy. I did start repainting the shelves with the paint that was already there, just to make it bearable to look at. There is an additional cupboard in the back-end of the section, which I will also repaint when it’s not negative degrees down there (C’mon spring!)

This is the up close, painted versus awful

This is the up close, painted versus awful

On top of all that, I got some free rugs from the boy, who had them leftover, and I got a sturdy small desk for $5 at the Construction Junction warehouse! All in all, working with what I had on hand has been going pretty smoothly for an amateur work station and definitely gives me better ideas for future spaces when I move. The best and worst part of what I ended up doing the desk made me ridiculously happy, and other people weren’t impressed. I came across some Hard Cover Mod Podge that is used for furniture, and decided ‘Why not just redo the surface of the desk with book pages and color pictures of inspirational things?’ I got some super cheap old books for a couple bucks at the PGH Creative Reuse Center and begun my project by tearing out pages after pages of things I liked.

Rip, rip, glue, rip

Rip, rip, glue, rip

This part took the longest because to apply the Mod Podge, it was recommended to do at least 5 layers with a 15-20 min break between each, wiped, sandpaper with super fine grit, wipe again, steel wool down, and wipe again. I finally did all of this last night, and it did take me a few hours to finish it up (as well as finishing BBC’s The Office Xmas special so I could move on with my life past Tim and Dawn). I’m pretty satisfied with the end results, especially for my first real desk I was able to play around with. Obviously in the future, I will look into getting a better looking one that has drawers, but I foresee this desk having a special place in my heart for quite some time.

Vintage finished Up close

 

I look forward to seeing what creations come out of this.

Aside

Chances

It’s 2013 and honestly, I feel as if I have a lot of things to look forward to. This is the year that I wish to make an advancement in my company and hopefully end up with a new position that is truly worth working for. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities that my current position and location allows me to take advantage of, and even more so grateful for the support I receive. This is a company I would love to grow and develop my skills over a long run, and hopefully this will lead to greater things down the road.

It is a little strange, in that I would love to stay in my position and do the things I am doing, but since it’s very little money,

Write something good that happened to you every day

Write something good that happened to you every day

I know that I must move on further in order to make anything of myself. We live in the times where if you don’t have any internal connections and/or prove your worth by killing yourself to exhaustion, you better start liking the change in your pockets and the cheap ways to everything (which, admittedly, are neat to find when it comes by).

However, this isn’t a post about jobs or my company in particular, this is just a post about life and making the most of it. When a new year comes, it’s always exciting to think about the possibilities that will come your way. Will you take the chance or will you pass it up for something else?

Last year, I took a business-oriented purpose and started a MeetUp group in order to attract a larger audience of people in order to increase attendance for my work’s programs. Now, MeetUp is a website whose intentions are to allow people to meet and hang out based on similar interests, and make friends in an alternative way (via internet). It’s not exactly uncommon for people with more business intentions to take advantage of this though, as you are generally

giving people an opportunity to explore something new (and my promoted programs are typically free, so everybody wins), but it somewhat takes away from the social aspects of the group. I didn’t really explore the possibilities of really getting to know people in my group until a few months in when it seemed like I was getting a more steady, consistent group of people attending.

I suppose my point is that I didn’t think of myself actually getting to know and making friends through the website, as I initially treated it as a business opportunity to show my company the advantages of reaching out to another audience and allowing us the chance to actually try more things for those said people. Now that I have actually attended to some events outside of my work with those meetup people, I feel more included in my own group. It’s strange, right? I wanted to take the chance of getting to know people though, and this was one way I figured would be most comfortable for me, and I’m definitely glad to be doing so.

On a more personal note, I’m taking another chance of getting to know about those friends as well as my coworkers’ and my boyfriend’s interests in order to get to know what other people are getting into. I wish to be open-minded about as much as I can find out and allow people to express themselves comfortably without feeling as if they will be judged. Really, this is an outlook I think everybody should live, but we don’t have much control over that.

Roll with what you can manage, right?

There’s so many ways to attach “Bro” to something: Brobama, Bronasaurus Rex. Brotato Chip…

I confess.

It’s been a very long time since I have done any blog postings on this website. I went through the whole sch-deal of being a standard 20-something girl: Getting involved in my job, getting a boyfriend, getting into new side activities, doing additional programs, having a sort-of-there social life, etc etc. Don’t get me wrong, everything has been super lovely and exciting. I still seem some interesting hurdles ahead of me that will prove my ambition to get somewhere with success (varying on my energy with correlates with my coffee intake). I started a Crafters group on a social website called MeetUp.com to meet and craft with people in my area. I’m applying for a higher position in my company and I have graduate school to look into in my future (after I take the GRE’s, then apply, then try to get some scholarships…). I don’t want to forget about this though!

I’m just going to throw out a couple key thoughts of things that have been running in my brain. Small exercises that will lead to larger things.

1) “Portlandia”

I’ve never been so conflicted on my liking for a television show. Mind you, I don’t even have any form of cable at my home (I depend on people’s Netflix when I visit or DVD rentals at work) and yet, I came across this show somehow. It spoke many things, mostly confusing feelings and uncomfortable laughter at understanding (usually some of, and occasionally most of) the jokes. They recently released a “Welcome to Portlandia” guide book (check your new non-fiction titles at your local library *winks*), which I, of course, checked out. When I read it, I will possibly write more about it.

2) Libraries

They’re awesome, right? I work in one and it’s awesome. I never loved going to work as much as this job. I’m currently looking to advance my position while looking into graduate school for library science (but specifically for “archival studies”), so my argument is a bit biased. However, they’re useful. They got all sorts of free stuff for rentals (books, movies, audio books, cds, comics, mangas, reference, health books, children’s stuff, video games, etc etc). Unless you live in an unfortunately tiny, desolated are where the nearest library is about 20 miles east of the white barn on your right, I highly suggest you should take advantage of your local spot. There’s probably a coffee shop nearby, so it’s like a double whammy of wins. I like wins.

3) Books for Young Adult/Teens

Admittedly, I generally dislike most “teen reads.” They’re usually overly emotional, heavily clique-y, typically take place in high school (honestly some of my less than favorable years of living), and at times, a little too uneducated. However, I have come across some unusual gems as of late. Books with a bit more realism, characters that are strangely more believable (and relatable?!), and doesn’t take place in the back of the movie theater or your parent’s basement! Amazing, right? They’re quick reads to boot. 

4) Do-It-Yourself. DIY. Seriously, just make it.

In the past year, I’ve picked up on the crafting trend. Yes, I have my times of laziness and “yeah whatever, I’ll just buy it cheap somewhere” (believe, it’s never really cheap), as well as stare listlessly at etsy/pinterest/craftster/thisiswhyimbroke/etc for ideas, then immediately list those other things I need to do in my head.

This is the part where I get a beer and watch Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. If you haven’t watched this in Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim’s glory days, you’re missing out bad

Anyways, I have my basement halfway turned into a workshop AND I have also started a crafts program at work for adults to get together with their genius ideas. There are good and bad days, naturally; I consider it a work in progress. I’ve made things I’m pretty happy with and things I know I could have done better. But I’m still making them.

5) MeetUp.com

This website was a big turning point for me. It introduced me to additional ways to reach out to people based on interests and events, but it also showed me how flaky people can be, even online where the website gives you the option of saying Yes or No to any event that has ever been created and you have zero obligation to attend (so saying “yes” out of sheer politeness or laziness (??) is just wasting everyone’s time, including your own). End rant. It’s an interesting website. I gave the create-a-group option a shot (because it let you do a 50% off for the start up price), but I’m not sure if I see it going past the 6 months. I certainly learned a lot in reaching out to people though and how to connect on interests.

6) Write Something Happy Every Day

There are two things I make myself do every day before bed. Write on a slip of paper about something good that happened that day and put it in a jar, then write in my trendy-looking daily log about what happened that day. One reason is motivation. It makes me want to write something good on that damn piece of paper so I can reflect on it at the end of the year, and be all like “Heck yeah, I was awesome this year.” 

The other reason is that I really do have terrible memory. I just simply forget things instantly that I have to get in the habit of writing down ideas, lists, events, dates, etc. to keep anything in mind. I used to try to update my Google calendar for upcoming events, but it became an ordeal so I really just have been trusting my brain to keep things on the ball.

7)  Vegetarian Lifestyle

In a little over a month, I would have been living the veggiesaurus lifestyle for a year. Now, I have eaten seafood here and there, especially considering I just went into the vegheads cold turkey. I didn’t ween or go through my colored meats like baby chicks.

I just stopped altogether. It was interesting. I learned to substitute other things and in general, I just learned to eat healthier. I pretty much drop all of the fast food and rarely eat out much because I’ve been enjoying cooking at home and trying to make new things. Granted, my lifestyle is a bit of a rarity among friends and I prove to be a difficult person to please when out to eat (if the restaurant doesn’t even offer any seafood options, they’re doing it wrong to begin with). On the flip side, the veggiesauruses in the city have proved to be numerable and the options of places to eat out has substantially increased in recent years. I’m really not that difficult, honestly. I eat what the “normies” eat, just take the meat out of it. No harm done.

8) Music- Like the dubstep, house, rave kind

My music tastes haven’t really changed, I just haven’t listened to it as much as I used to. I still enjoy a show here and there, and I play stuff in the card. However, now that I stopped downloading AND buying music altogether, I just listen to whatever I already have on hand, and then do the Spotify/Pandora/WTFSILTN (http://whatthefuckshouldilistentonow.com/) for further interest. However, I have noticed an increase of the dubstep/house music creeping in my clicking around. It’s interesting and keeps me moving, but is it considered real music? I don’t have a real answer to that.

9) Moving

Last year, I moved into a cheap duplex with a college friend. We’re your standard 20-something female roommates who are trying to figure out what’s worth living for, adapting to real world policies, and making a name for ourselves (in whatever format). We have different interests, ambitions, views, habits, and everything else, but we manage to be decent roommates to each other. And seriously, the place is a goldmine for cheap living. it was an exciting time and it was the first I really, REALLY felt I was going on my own.

Ermagherd, I can decorate however I want? I don’t need stupid movie poster, I’ll paint something! Ikea bookshelves! Crockpots! Decorated washi-styled tape to put on the edges of shelves to make them look awesome?! You got it!

Don’t judge me.

10) Blogs

I still read some randomly. Some are funny, some are inspiring, some are creative, and unfortunately, some are dull. I’m certain this falls under the “dull, stupid, waste-of-my-time, omg-get-a-life category, but who cares? I enjoy it enough. 

Life update. Check.

Things You’ll Never Catch Me Doing on Facebook

So true… I’m guilty of one thing on the list (connected to Twitter; however, I never use my Twitter so I think I’m safe haha). C’mon Facebookers, let’s be real here.

Adorably Caffeinated

 

Here’s the thing about my Facebook: I don’t really contribute to it anymore.

In college (when Facebook was new and cool instead of something that I can’t bring myself to get rid of) I would be writing on friends’ walls and commenting on photos constantly. I’d update my status once or twice (or 3 times, don’t judge) a day. Now, I barely update my status once a week. I use Twitter instead, to post my random thoughts, or photos, or links to articles. I use Facebook to stalk. Don’t judge, you know you do the same thing. When the Newsfeed came out, everyone was outraged. But then we saw the value. It was all right there, laid out in chronological order, ready to click on, every juicy morsel. When people added photos, when they changed their relationship status, every little thing they did, we knew immediately. We knew if…

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Epic Struggles of Choosing a Book

New post update from the other blog! 🙂 Please read and share your thoughts if you would like. Thanks!

Scenes from a Book Nerd's Happenings

Upon finishing one of the biggest books in the past year, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (I know, I’m way behind on the times here) and now finally picking up The Hunger Games (double fail on the upkeep) to give it a try, I realized how poorly I have been doing with my reading list. According to my horribly incomplete Goodreads account (I honestly tried to think of every single book I’ve read in my life, but it’s impossible to find them all), I have about 70 books under the To-Read shelf. However, that’s just a starting point because I just rediscovered my account on there recently, so I’ve been in an ongoing, non-stop process of updating it. Add that with my job in the library… if I remember to keep up with it, it’s going to get blown to pieces with all the books I come across.

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Father Time Is Here to Beat You.

Time.

Time is something that I realize will continue weighing heavily on my mind for the rest of my life, starting after I graduated from college two years ago. I always seem to find myself speaking with the starting phrase, ‘Back when I was… (insert place, age, reflective memory, etc)’ in response to another person’s story. Honestly, I don’t even think about it when I’m saying it either.

For example, with my part-time (the other job), there’s a younger girl there who was talking about how excited she was to start college this coming fall. I immediately got excited because college was such a fun experience with so many happy memories for me; I started my response (again, without really thinking about) as, “Oh, I remember back to my first semester at college!” and carried on with some of my personal advice on how to keep your head afloat and don’t do dumb stuff, but you probably should accomplish some dumb stuff so you’re aware that it’s dumb.

Drinking 3 beers with 10+% alcohol content is sometimes dumb. Especially alone. While your companion drinks one beer that’s 5%. Jerk.

In the midst of my reflective ramble, I suddenly realized that I was speaking of an event (leaving for college) that happened almost six years ago. To some people, I understand this may not seem like a long time, but someone like myself… it’s a little rough, haha. As I steadily cruise through my 20s, I understand that I’m in a crucial period of making it or breaking it. Of course, anyone can make any changes they want at any point of time in their lives, but let’s face it: You run through elementary and high school like it’s nothing major, jump in the college boat for a couple of years to grab a degree in something, and then once you get off the boat into a ‘New World’… suddenly, you’re actually truly, positively on your own.

Dinner will be waffles! With nutella! And strawberries and bananas! This is what adults eat, right? RIGHT?!

In the past couple years, I learned how to not only take on all mandatory and extra forms of responsibilities, but also how to create myself into the type of person I really would like to be as I continue to age. This is your chance to be the person you want to be, you just have to do what it takes to get it. Everything worth having usually takes some effort on both sides to make it work. I wanted to work in a library real bad but had zero experience, so I decided to volunteer while working two jobs and finally score a job in the midst of that, allowing myself to replace one of the jobs. Just recently, I was upgraded into a better position at a separate branch with much more responsibilities and as well as room to continue learning more. This ordeal took about a year, which might seem fast for some, but it definitely took a lot of effort and networking on my part to get where I am right now.

I also grew my hair long, drastically updated my wardrobe (still a continued process), lost some of that good ol’ college beer gut, switched into a healthy, slight organic vegetarian diet, and finally got myself to read, blog, and draw! I feel much more like myself and who I have wanted to be now than I have in a very long time.

Love, happiness, and Battleship

However, back to the time and age issue. The reason this cropped up into my mind today was because of a certain website called Buzzfeed. If you are not familiar with this media website, it’s essentially a social content website with various posts on… well, anything! Like, Dogs that Look like Pandas, Animal Photobombers or Things that Don’t Make Sense, to name a few.

The one… THE ONE that got to me was this: 48 Things That Will Make You Feel Old. Now, about this particular post, it might be specifically applied to those who fall under the ’90s kids’ generation A.K.A. primarily those in their 20s right now (such as myself). However, the concept of it can be applicable to all ages; so if you were to compile a bunch of items and events that occurred in the 1980s and showed them to all those in their late 20s and 30s, it would more or less have the same effect.

One example in the Buzzfeed post, The Spice Girls’ album, Spice, was released 15 years ago in the U.S. during early 1997 when I was 8 years old. I specifically remember how much of an effect  the Girls had on me though in ’97 and ’98, as they were the powerhouse for ‘girl power’ with myself and other girls at the time, which is why saying this occurred 15 years ago suddenly seems like a punch in the gut. This memory that seems so strong and unforgettable happened that long ago?

N*SYNC went on ‘hiatus’ 10 years ago. This was a band that cruised through and took over pop music (alongside Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, Boyz2Men, and other groups) since their formation in 1995 up until their hiatus in 2002. For myself, the late 90s and early 2000s were my teeny-bopper, preteen, and start of teenage years so you can guess that I was madly-stupid-crazy into boy bands (and Spice Girls) at the time. They were good-looking! They could sing and dance! Sometimes they were similar outfits! They were good-looking! I still remember their videos and appearances on MTV’s TRL afternoon line-up… you know, back when MTV still played music?!

I hope you just got whiplash from all these flashbacks I’m throwing past you.

Too intense… confusion and distraught! MADNESS!

Times carries on and things change, music change, clothes change, attitude change, people change. I’ve always accepted this, certainly, but I couldn’t hide the fact that I was experiencing some serious nostalgia for my dear, sweet, innocent childhood days of questionable pop music. Rihanna is a nice singer and all, but I understand too clearly what she’s looking for… anybody can get it.

This is my advice to those struggling with the flow of time and gaining a year: Just grow with it. As you age, you continuously have the ability to make the changes you desire and carve yourself into a better person. You might be getting a little older, but is that going to stop you from accomplishing what you want? NO! I used to spend all of my teenage years drawing, painting, crafting all sorts of things. I took every single art class, in additional to community art classes, all through high school and one additional one in the first semester of college, where I feel I completed some of my best work.

Piece of a metamorphosis project. Only a fond memory now…

After that, I stopped. Why? I got too caught up with the college lifestyle, with the stress of major classes, with the excitement of moving to the main campus (it’s huge!) with all my friends in year three, with my social life and the ability to do anything I wanted. After I graduated, I moved to the big city and realized that I needed to work, and work hard to make money to pay for everything. After some initial struggle, I ended up with two jobs I didn’t like (nothing to do with my major, of course) and volunteer work (that I loved). As I explained earlier in this post, in the past year turned into what I have going on now (one job that I love and one that is kind of eh).

My Beautiful Other Home

So what happened to my passion for art? Well, I’m bringing it back! I have all of my supplies from high school in a big box for me to use, I’m going to my city’s big Arts Festivals (there will be a post for this, I’m sure) in the next month, I bought a pair of coupons to do a painting class with a friend at a bar (clever, methinks), and finally, I signed up for a kind-of-pricey drawing lab class for July and August. It’s going to be a little rough to get back into, but I’m not letting time remind me of that. I fully intend on grabbing back my original passion for it and bringing it together full force.

Halfway session of a Round Robin Canvas Pass-a-long

I will also say that this blogging adventure I’ve been trying to pursue has also helped with bringing back my creativity in all forms: art, writing, and reading. I’ve read so many blogs and posts of such inspiring thoughts and ideas and I continue to crave more. 🙂 These are some of my favorites so far (forgive me, I’m still looking for so many more to read!):

A Beautiful Mess (Crafty, cute, fun!)

Books and Bowel Movements (The love for reading… ahh, I love it!)

into mind (Fashion and thoughts)

love library and Lupine Librarian (Librarians! My dream!)

bornattwentyfive (Inspiring about life and happiness! So sweet!)

The Shy Comedian (Oh my goodness, I can’t tell if this girl’s humor strives from unfortunate events or what, but she is so clever and witty with her views… so funny)

Photoblog by Jay J. Manalo (A cute photoblog, something I wish I was better at… I’ll keep trying!)

What About This? (Just things in life and having fun, but I love the Friday’s Fresh Five posts, she lists so many great things!)

My only real goal with blogging to eventually come to a point where I will be able to share something that will inspire another. I understand that this blog is super young, unformed, unorganized, and needs a lot of legwork to make it something readable, but I’m willing to make it happen.

I support you in your turnip-y dreams

Will time let me achieve that? Of course, because I’m not going to let it drag me down. 🙂 Thanks for reading and many thanks for each one of you for being inspiring individuals.

Please, if you would like, share with me your thoughts in the comments below on time, flashbacks, and what inspires you to achieve what you want, no matter what age you are. What are some things you may have forgotten, but have been wanting to bring back?

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