I spent countless hours over the weekend visualizing the future career plan I am currently interested in, which many of you have already heard about. As I said, I’m interested in working with animals, having a farm, and helping people in any way that I can. I also scored very high in the “business management” industry on my career assessment, so I started critically thinking about that as well. On Sunday, I was bustling with ideas and immediately started recording them down and even crafted a fake brochure for my business. Who knows if this will actually happen, but as of right now, this is what I’m getting excited about:
I would like to rescue a multitude of different farm animals, including cows, chickens, goats, so I guess the easiest way to characterize this would be a sanctuary. However, to have more interactions with the public and commercialize my business, I’d also like to offer a variety of services. One thing I’d like to incorporate is a wedding barn, and rent it out as a rustic venue for ceremonies and receptions. I’d also like to offer some sort of bed-and-breakfast wedding suite in my farmhouse, probably as some sort of wedding package deal. I’d also like to offer different events and classes that allow people to interact with the animals, such as cow cuddling, goat yoga, and “pick-your-own eggs.” The welfare of my animals is obviously very important to me, so many of these services would be by-appointment to prevent them from getting overwhelmed with visitors.
My main goal here is to teach people how to love animals, especially cows. Sharing the love and kindness of animals is one of my favorite forms of advocacy, and additionally, I think this is a business that would really lighten up people’s lives and hearts. As long as I can work from home and be my own lady boss, I’ll work fourteen hours a day if I have to,
Obviously this is just a rough sketch of my dream, so it’s subject to change. However, I am so excited to get started on this idea. I have no idea how someone even gets started with a farm business/sanctuary, especially without money. I suppose I’ll just have to see what happens, and roll with whatever options are available to me.
Wednesday, October 2
My week has been pretty mundane for the past few days, but exciting (ish) things are coming this weekend. On Friday, I’m interviewing an app for a magazine spread I’m working on. Then, on Saturday, I’m going back into Boston to do some grocery shopping, Target shopping, and then, I’m going to visit my friend at Fenway!
Friday, October 4
Today is the beginning of my subsequent fun weekends, for the rest of October! Tonight I went to see Nick Colletti perform stand up for a school-sponsored event, who I’d never heard of before tonight. He was actually pretty funny, and I ended up really enjoying myself. The night was still pretty young afterwards, so my friends and I drove into Boston and went to a really cute burrito place. It was the kind of night where we laughed so hard and so much, we probably looked like idiots from across the restaurant. I love driving into Boston with my friends, especially with a super-loud car karaoke session. I also got some groceries delivered today, so if you’re interested in what types of vegan foods I buy on a budget, I’ll consider making an article about it!
Saturday, October 5
Today I went into Boston to visit one of my friends from high school, who goes to the very lovely Berklee College of Music. We decided to meet at Government Center Station, which is usually a straight shot for me and takes less than an hour to get to. Usually. The trek over was more difficult than usual because there’s some construction on the tracks, so I had to take the shuttle bus for about half the trip. Because of traffic and the general slowness of the bus, what normally takes me 50 minutes took two and a half hours!
Anywho, the plan was originally to meet at 2pm at the Fenway Target, but instead we ended up meeting around 4pm on Newbury Street. I did get my candle, which was on my list, but then we decided to get some dinner at Wagamama, which was not on my agenda. I was trying to save money, but that pretty much went down the drain this weekend. Getting groceries, burritos, paying the train fair, a candle, and Wagamama really put a solid dent in my wallet. After dinner Alix invited me to see Joker at Regal Cinemas with her friends, and I know, I should have said no and saved my money, but I couldn’t resist. It sounded too fun! I also gave the rest of my dinner to a really nice homeless man on the street, partly because I knew I couldn’t bring my food inside, but also mostly because I feel terrible walking by the homeless and not doing anything about it. It would have plagued me all night if I didn’t stop to help, especially since he had two dogs with him.
Back to the movie. I’m a huge Joaquin Phoenix fan, stemming from his leading role in The Village, so I was really excited to see the movie. I actually made an offhand comment on the train about a man who looked just like M. Night Shyamalan, so it was a fitting movie to see on a chilly Saturday night. I normally don’t like going to the movies because I get bored, but I actually really liked this one. The combination of the music, the dialogue, and the visuals was very powerful and almost surreal. I’ve never seen any comic/superhero movie before, and heck, I don’t even know the difference between Marvel and DC, but I’m interested now. Definitely going to recommend it to my other friends!
It’s Sunday afternoon now, which is homework day. I’m working on this (obviously), my school papers, other blog articles, my Nevin’s Farm story, and my magazine piece for a local publication. My fall candles are burning, the seventies acoustic classics are playing, and I’m feeling very fall right now. Looking forward to the week to come, and the rest of my fun autumn weekends!
It’s unbearably hot in Massachusetts right now, and the flimsy window fan in my room isn’t helping. It looks like the rest of the week is going to be just as hot, so I’m trying to brace myself for that and seek out all the AC’s placed on campus.
Over the weekend, I spent a lot of time thinking about my future, and what type of life I would eventually like to fall into. One thing I know for certain is that I do not want to become a corporate drone. I do not want to wake up every day and dread my useless 9-5 life. I know that nobody enjoys working boring 9-5 jobs, but I would especially despise it. In order for my life to feel meaningful, I need to do work that matters to me and sparks passion. It’s my ultimate goal in life to help people, and lessen the emotional burden we face in the stressful environment of my country. I want to make people laugh, smile, and relax, in any way I can. Even if it means I’m working 14 hour days and just scraping by, I will work those hours tirelessly and with so much joy in my heart. All I want in a career is to be my own boss, make my own money, and do what makes me feel meaningful.
I’m also very focused on working with animals. I adore ALL animals, with the exception of bugs and other creepy-crawly insects. But everything else? I am READY to devote my life to you. As a sensitive person, I’ve always felt extremely connected to animals and wanted to spend time with them. I volunteered for a short while at a farm over the summer, and then spent the rest of my time pet-sitting in my apartment building. My life goal is to have a pet cow; not even for agricultural purposes, I just want to have a cow to hang out with and take care of.
This is a really long-winded way of saying I want to live somewhere with tons of animals: cows, goats, horses, chickens, dogs, cats, and small animals, like rats. I’m reluctant to call it a farm, because like I said, I’m not using it for agriculture. But I want to open up my land to the public, and allow guests to get close-up to the animals and learn how to handle them. I want to open up my land to cow-cuddling, so people can learn how affectionate and gentle these creatures are. Obviously, I would have to monetize this business to get by, and I would also want to blog about my animals, sell merch, or open up a Bed-and-Breakfast. In a nutshell, I want to start a community where people can come and just spend close-up time with animals. I mean, it would be the best of both worlds. I get to hang out with animals, and, I get to help people while working from home! (Future wife: I hope you’re on board with this.)
I recently re-took an assesment on MASScis called Career Cluster Inventory, which is a resource I’ve been using for years now. It’s free and extremely easy to find, so I highly suggest it to all of you. Basically, you are provided with a list of activities, and rate how much you would be interested in each of those activities. At the end of the assessment, the website generates which industries, in best-to-worst order, are ideal for you. My number one industry is Business Management, my second is arts, and my third is human services. I just wanted to throw that tidbit in there for you guys, because I think it’s a really amazing resource. I’ll leave the link to MASScis at the bottom of the page, if any of you are interested in that.
By the way, I am still using a lot of my Fab Fit Fun products regularly! I used up all of the delicious-smelling sugar cubes, and today I used my lunchbox to carry my food. More to come on that tomorrow!
Tuesday, September 24th
Like I said, I’ve been using my lunch box frequently since I received it in my Fab Fit Fun box. Because my diet is very specific and somewhat limited (my choice), I do have to make time in my schedule to order groceries and prepare meals. I have free delivery from Whole Foods because I’m an Amazon Prime user, so that definitely helps me tremendously. I prefer to have my groceries delivered because I don’t have a car, so literally walking to the grocery store is a hassle and a waste of time. I feel lucky that I live relatively close to a Whole Foods (within four miles), so I can have my groceries delivered within two hours.
This week I ordered some kitchen staples, like vegan Deli meat and vegan cheese, to make sandwiches with. The packages are small and compact, so they fit in my fridge perfectly, and one pack can last me up to a week. Every night I swipe a couple of pieces of bread from the dining hall, and assemble the sandwiches in my room before bed. Then I pack my sandwich in my lunchbox, and stash the whole bag away in the fridge until the next day. It’s convenient to have a meal to take with me, especially one high in protein and fiber.
I also got a couple tubs of vegan cashew yogurt, which tasted surprisingly authentic and delicious. I was only able to buy the unsweetened variety, so I swiped a few teaspoons of sugar from the dining hall and added it to the tub to sweeten it up a bit. This is what I’ve been eating most mornings, usually while I do my makeup and get ready.
I also ordered a few other comfort foods this week, as my college obviously does not provide dairy-free and meat-free alternatives for things like that. I let myself buy a pint of dairy-free ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s (finished immediately), and the best vegan boxed macaroni and cheese I’ve EVER had. Seriously, if you’re looking for amazing vegan mac-and-cheese, you have to try the cheddar style by Modern Table Meals. I’m definitely buying that in bulk the next time I order my groceries!
Anyway, that’s pretty much what I do to get by here at college and still enjoy food that tastes good. Although it may not sound like much, it really is enough to get me through the week until I order groceries again. It’s expensive, yes, but that’s the price we have to pay for having specific diets. I’m hoping in the future my college will expand to offer more dairy-free staples, like vegan cheese and almond milk. I’m getting pretty tired of drinking my hot coffee black in humid September.
Moving on, today has already been quite busy. I had to leave my Human Services class early because my professor started talking about lobotomies, and I do NOT fuck around with that kind of stuff. Especially since I hadn’t eaten anything yet, I was feeling really squeamish and didn’t want to risk passing out in class. I’ve been pretty tired since then- panic always makes me feel lethargic for the rest of the day. It must use up a lot of energy.
I decided to go ahead and write for my school’s fashion/lifestyle/culture magazine, so the rest of this week will probably be spent focusing on that. I love having writing projects and deadlines, so I’m looking forward to it! And, of course, I’m going to be working hard to punch out three articles a week on here, plus my weekly catch-up. This is the kind of work that makes me feel happy and fulfilled, so I’m really excited to tackle these various projects. I would say I probably spend 2-4 hours per day writing, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Wednesday, September 25th
My anxiety has been somewhat heightened for the past few weeks, and it seems to come in waves. Sometimes I am able to keep it under control, because I’ve learned a variety of coping mechanisms along the way, but other times I just have to ride the wave.
I had two instances of bad anxiety yesterday; the first was in my Human Services class, as I said, but I was able to leave the situation and go take deep breaths outside. Last night I had another bout of anxiety, but this one wasn’t the direct result of anything in particular. I was watching a show (a murder mystery actually), which obviously heightened my emotions and kept me on the edge of my seat. But then I suddenly started to feel a little anxious. And then, it just snowballed from there. Having anxiety at night can be the worst because there’s no one you can call or talk to; in this case it was 2:00am and everyone is asleep. I was extremely lucky because one of my friends happened to be awake at that time, and I chatted with her on the phone until I was calm again. Now that it’s the next morning, I’m absolutely exhausted. I do owe my aromatherapy rollerball some credit, because after I added some drops to my pillowcase, I started to slowly calm down and get sleepy. It’s never fun to have serious anxiety, but when it interferes with sleep, that’s especially not fun.
I also had some weird dreams; not quite nightmares, but tense and anxious in nature. I’m sure it’s all connected in some way. The good news is, I woke up today feeling fine (albeit tired). I have three classes today, so I’m hoping they go by relatively fast.
Friday, September 27th
I didn’t get any writing done yesterday, not even for classes or homework. My mom and my dog came to visit, so I was primarily preoccupied with that. We sat in the grass and I caught her up on all of my life happenings, and in general, it was just really nice to see her. We’re also planning on getting dinner next week with my brother, so I’m looking forward to that!
Afterwards, I felt pretty drained, so I didn’t end up getting any work done. I don’t think it has to do with the visit, I think it’s because I’m approaching my 4th week in my pill pack and I’m generally fatigued around that time. I’ve gotten a lot of texts from distant friends, but I haven’t replied to many of them. I feel like I just needed a little break from talking to people and helping them with their needs, so I could focus on my own needs for one night.
Saturday, September 28th
Yesterday ended up being really fun, but I didn’t end up writing any more because I was actually off campus! My good friend and I went to Playa Bowls in Boston for an early dinner, which was a lovely time and the banana bowl I got was delicious. If I had a steady income, I would be spending my money at Playa Bowls constantly! Afterwards we went to the Museum of Science to use the telescopes (also in Boston), and finished off the night at The Cheesecake Factory. It was a long night with a lot of walking, but we had tons of fun. Lily is someone I can laugh with all day, all night, and her personality is so vivacious. By the way, for those of you who don’t know, The Cheesecake Factory has the Impossible Burger!
I’m so happy that more restaurant chains are offering more plant-based options, including KFC, Subway, and Burger King. I will say that I’m not a huge fan of Impossible Foods due to their business practices, but if that’s the only thing on the menu I can eat, obviously I’ll take it. I respect Beyond Meat a lot more as a company, and love that you can even get their products at the supermarket! What are your favorite vegan menu items? I’d love to try the vegan chicken being tested at KFC, but it hasn’t caught up to New England yet.
I’ve been focusing a lot more on internships lately, because I need one to graduate in May. I will almost definitely be taking on a Spring internship, and it’s surprisingly hard to find something that appeals to me. Like I’ve said many times before, I’m not a corporate-oriented person. I’d love to find something that allows me to be creative, oral, and visual, rather than feel like a drone or a personal assistant. The unique thing about my degree (Digital Media + Social Justice) is that it applies to almost all industries, so hopefully I will find the perfect fit somewhere!
I’ve been feeling really great and calm for the past four days or so, and I’m expecting it to last for the rest of the week. However, once I reach the 3rd week of my pills, pure havoc is definitely going to break loose on my hormones. Better appreciate the calm before the storm while I can.
I was able to sleep in pretty late today because my Monday morning class only meets once a week, and the rest is done online. I got up around 11:30 and did a full face of makeup, had a sit-down breakfast, and now I’m working on some writing before my 2:00 class. I was able to sit and chat with one of my favorite professors today, and catch her up on all of my life happenings.
Today I’m working on my book gift guide and my Fab Fit Fun review, which will be out next week. I like to push about a week in advance when writing articles, at least. I love having something to constantly look forward to, something to constantly write.
Wednesday, September 18th
The work is starting to pick up a bit, which is good. I haven’t really been up to anything exciting, now that the initial chaos of my first week is over. I’ve definitely established my routine, and I still have extra time for self-care and adequate sleep. Maybe I’m just a fast worker, or maybe my workload just isn’t that heavy. It’s hard to say. I also feel like my temper is a bit more fiery than usual, but that comes and goes regularly.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately that I wish I had more friends, but specifically, more older, nerdy guy friends. Being on a college campus, of course, I’m surrounded by men and women in the 18-22 age range. I know this makes me sound arrogant, but I can’t stand being around most people in that age demographic. It’s especially annoying at my particular school, where cliques are rampant and drama spreads like wildfire.
18-22 year-olds are inherently selfish, and they should be. You’re still figuring yourself out and what you want to do with your life- it should be all about you. But being selfish makes it easier to hurt other people’s feelings, willingly or not. I prefer to spend my time with older, wiser, more experienced people, who (more or less) have their immediate life figured out. I like to hang out with people who have cars, apartments, and money, who are more inclined to talk about capitalism and American politics instead of trivial matters.
I know that this is what I prefer, because I’ve already formed these types of friendships in my young adult life. One of my best friends is a thirty-one year-old straight dude who lives in the Boston suburbs. I generally get along better with my professors than my classmates, and I’m sure many of them would attest to that. Drama really just seems to follow me when I start associating with other kids my age, especially catty girls.
I feel like it’s really not unheard of for lesbians to have more dude friends than average. I mean, what could be better than playing video games and talking about how hot girls are over a greasy bag of Burger King fries? Sounds like a pretty good gig to me.
I’m a little worried about my Micro-economics class. You may remember me saying last week that I was sure the abstract, big-picture ideas would go right over my head, and that’s exactly what’s happening. I’m trying to memorize the steps of the math, but in all honesty, I have NO idea what I’m doing. Thank goodness my professor only assigned four homework assignments for the entire semester.
Thursday, September 19th
It’s 11:59pm, and I’m sitting cross-legged on my bed with my computer in my lap. This week in general has been pretty uneventful, but I do have some exciting updates for the future. For one thing, I am going to see The Lion King musical with my family in about a month, per courtesy of my school’s uber-cheap tickets. I miss my mom and Mark a lot (even though he’s not my biological dad, I refer to them together as my parents), and I especially miss my dog. I don’t mention him a lot on here, but you can find pictures of Duke peppered throughout my social media!
I’m also considering joining my school’s fashion/beauty magazine, and it’s pretty much a done deal at this point. One of my classmates, who is a lovely friend, reached out to me and asked if I wanted to write for the magazine. From what she told me, the articles I would be writing are exactly the type of content I already love to put out. I’m very passionate about fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, especially when it’s creative and unconventional. I’m looking forward to this opportunity!
Like I mentioned a bit earlier, I usually refer to Mark as my dad now because I am estranged from my biological father. I’m not sure if that’s something I mentioned before on here. I obviously think it’s important to keep some parts of your life private, but I would like to open up about that more in the future if it’s something that became relevant to my viewers. Especially if there is a young man or women going through a similar broken relationship with a parent, I want to be a voice for you and share as much of my story as I can, because I think it’s important to talk about these things. Even though the damaged relationship with my father is not my fault, I still feel a lot of guilt as a result of his manipulation and gaslighting. If something tragic ever happened to him, I would probably feel responsible for being a bad daughter. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot, but like I said, I seldom tell people about that situation unless I feel it’s relevant or helpful.
Besides that being on my mind from time to time, I’ve been staying positive lately. I’m still working on finding the best treatment for my PMDD, but it might be something I have to take care of when I go home for my next holiday break. Many of the clinics and offices in my current location are booked out until the spring, so I might as well just talk to my primary care doctor when I go home instead. Or, best case scenario, maybe I’ll adapt to my current combination birth control pills sooner than later and I won’t end up needing to add another pill into the mix. That would be ideal, because I really want to get a cocktail on my 21st birthday and I certainly can’t do that while taking an SSRI!
Coming up this week
9/23- Gift Guide: The Perfect BOOK for Everyone on Your List
9/25- Gentleman Jack: A Celebration of History and Feminism
I had an idea a while ago to add a new “lifestyle” tab to my blog. I write quite a lot about my opinions, purchases, and commentary on certain subjects, but I very rarely update you guys on the daily happenings of my life. So, that’s what Sarah’s Weekly Catch-up is going to be: something of a weekly diary where I keep you updated on my school life, routines, and general fleeting thoughts. I do love to write detailed, researched, fact-based pieces about social issues and media, but it’s also nice to write something more relaxed, like a weekly letter home. But instead of home, it’s a weekly letter to…the internet?
Anywho, I decided to start writing today because I’m moving back into school on Sunday. I’ve had a mostly great summer, filled with tons of sleep, dog-walking, writing, and even some working out. I was happiest at the beginning of the summer, because I was so sick of school by April and desperately needed a break. Around August is when things started to falter a bit, because I finally got off an anxiety medication I’ve been taking for three years (as the side effects were starting to interfere with my daily life). I knew it would be hard to wean off -and it some ways, it was easier than I thought- but physically, the process destroyed me. When you withdraw from a medication that literally alters your brain chemistry, such as an SSRI, your brain sometimes gets confused and sends confused bolts of tiny electricity through your head as it tries to re-group. This is a real thing called “head jolts”, and it more or less dominated my life for about 3 full weeks. Eventually it did go away as my brain adjusted, but there was a time in that three-week period when I had to crawl around my apartment because my head was absolutely spinning.
I sadly fell out of working out while all of this was occurring, because I was exhausted and disoriented and simply lost my drive. One of my goals for this school year is to get back into exercising, potentially with yoga and frequent walks. I’d also like to work on improving my diet, because while it is fairly healthy now, I think it could be better.
Another frustrating thing that happened in August refers to some drama I had with my college, but that literally happens every semester. I know that no school is perfect, but I’ve been repeatedly shocked by how unprofessional and nonsensical my particular college is. I’ve taken to printing out copies of the emails they send me and filing them away, so that I can whip them out in situations when receipts are needed. It’s a pretty complex story, but in a nutshell, my school cancelled a MANDATORY class I needed to graduate because they couldn’t find an instructor, and left me scrambling by myself to put the pieces of their shitty error back together. Luckily, I have an amazing academic advisor, and he has more or less helped me sort out this mess. I’m fully anticipating more school chaos to come hurtling my way, because something always goes wrong along the way at this institution.
Anyway, those were the low points of August, but I’m trying to focus more on the high points to be celebrated in my life. I’m genuinely someone who loves learning, so I do look forward to starting new classes every year. Like I said, I am also interested in adding in some new lifestyle changes as well, like exercising again and taking better care of my body. My appearance has been subtly changing as well, and I’m taking on much more of a butch style. I don’t like to say “masculine” because I feel like it implies you’re wearing clothes designed for someone else. Like, I don’t think a woman wearing a suit means she’s wearing clothes designed for men. Maybe a suit to her makes her feel more like a woman, and to me, that’s femininity. I love having short, cropped hair, button-downs, and oversized tailored jackets. It’s not “masucline” to me- it makes me feel womanly. It makes me feel feminine. Same goes for a man who feels confident in a dress- if that makes you feel like a more powerful man, than you ROCK that dress, sir. Clothing, in my opinion, is inherently gender neutral. The beauty of personal style is that you can make it whatever you want.
Anywho, that was a bit of a tangent, but I wanted to update y’all on the direction of my style. I’m super inspired by 90s butch lesbians, like Ellen DeGeneres and of course, k.d. Lang. It’s such a beautiful expression of female energy, in a societal non-traditional way. I love women who push the boundaries of social acceptance, and that’s the kind of woman I’d like to be.
As I mentioned before, getting off my medication has kinda rocked my world and set me back physically/emotionally, but I’m working on hitting the reset button and building something better for myself. I know I deserve happiness and success, but it’s a constant battle and we all have to try our best to love ourselves and practice self care. Don’t ever deprive yourself of self-care, because it is a necessity, not a hobby!
Speaking of self care, I’m going to take a bubble bath and watch Modern Family.
Monday, September 9th
I don’t usually feel homesick while I’m at college. In fact, I was hardly homesick at all my first year- I think I missed home for a day or two, tops. I’ve never been good with change, though I tend to perk up once I fall into a routine. That’s something people seem to forget about folks with ADHD- having consistency and a solid plan can often be pivotal to our moods. That being said, I’m already feeling much better than I was yesterday. I felt almost as if I was moving in a gray glob of fog, and everything was slow and unfamiliar and strange (even though this is my third year going to college, and my last).
I’m also living in the same room as last year, which is nice. It’s large for a standard single, but I didn’t bring much *stuff* with me anyway. I really tried to only pack the things I know I’ll use on a weekly basis- bedding, toiletries, snacks, clothes, and my laptop. Last year I decorated my room to be super cutesy, and brought along things like flower garland and crystals, but this year I kept it simple. The only decor I really brought was my lesbian pride flag, which, ironically, isn’t hung straight. I don’t even have anything to store under my bed, and it feels so good to have a clean, minimal room!
I struggled a bit to fall asleep last night, because I’m used to having a mattress on the floor and feeling close to the ground. I have some new housemates, and they all seem lovely thus far. As an introvert, it shocked me that someone would come to my door, knock, and introduce themselves. I could never!
I’m still feeling a bit sluggish, like it’s taking me twice as long to do things here that would normally be fast at home. Nonetheless, I think I’ll be able to re-adjust quickly. Next on my agenda is to sort out all of that academic tosh my school threw onto my plate last month. Hopefully, my new major and class rank will be registered and complete by the end of the month, and somebody will finally answer my emails. We’ll see!
Wednesday, September 11th
It’s been a turbulent few days, but none of them have been completely good or bad. There is some good news straightaway- my individualized degree is in the process of being finalized, so I no longer have to worry about my graduation date being pushed. The only unexpected change is that I now have to take a micro-economics class, and I’m painfully realistic about the fact that I very well may hate it. I struggle with abstract ideas and numbers, and can only comprehend math up to about a sixth-grade level, according to my neuropsych results. Nonetheless, I’m trying to stay optimistic, and I’m currently working on informing my professors about my learning disabilities.
My anxiety has been coming in waves, but I’m generally externally calm. Part of college is figuring out who you have beef with, and there are definitely a few people who have made it clear they’re not happy I’m back. At this point, though, I know who my good friends are, and those are the people I’m sticking with. My primary goal and my purpose for being here is solely to earn my bachelor’s degree, and then put this chapter of my life behind me.
Another noteworthy update has to do with my recent social commentary article, “Should We Be Worried About Julia Zelg?”. I was expecting heightened traffic, for sure, but I didn’t think it was going to appear so high in the search bar and receive so much attention. I’m sure Julia has read it, and Eileen probably has to. I was nervous that my article would be received as hate, but the general consensus seems to be positive. The people who have expressed anger towards my article are apparently unaware of what a “blog” is- a place where one can freely express their thoughts and opinions, and give my two cents on what I find interesting. “Get a life” isn’t an adequate comeback- covering social issues and writing opinion pieces IS both my life and my work.
Anywho, I just wanted to express my surprise that the article garnered so many clicks, and I’m honestly relieved that other people felt the same way I did (for the most part). Part of my work as a writer is to vocalize opinions and feelings that other people may struggle to put together on their own. Obviously a “gossip” piece or a social commentary essay is trivial, but I also love to expand my voice into advocacy, criticism of bigotry, and generally delivering justice with words.
I’m only three days into school, but the classes I am most excited about are Human Services and Communication Research. The latter has actually garnered a number of groans and complaints from my classmates, but hey, I LOVE that shit. Research and writing, again, is what my life’s all about. I’ve also taken a class with this professor before, and know him to be strict but fair. I’m looking forward to writing my twenty-page research paper at the end of the semester.
Thursday, September 12
I’m a shower thinker. I was reflecting today about the root of attachment and how that can contribute to suffering, so I mused on it for a while and decided I ought to write about it to filter out my mind. It’s going to be long-winded and all over the place, but that’s usually how my thoughts go.
There is a distinct difference between love and attachment, but unfortunately, the media and our environment can cause us to get them confused. Television and music loves to romanticize attachment- especially when it comes to convincing young girls they need a man to be happy. That certainly doesn’t help when you’re already suffering from attachment issues, especially with a father figure, or if you’re a lesbian, struggling to figure out your identity.
A lot of women who eventually come out as lesbians have dated men in their earlier life. I’m one of those people- I first said I was straight, then I was bi, and then, I finally fully accepted my homosexuality. Like I said earlier, attachment can very easily be mistaken for love because of the way we are conditioned to feel. When I was growing up, I felt so ashamed and distraught about being a lesbian, I made a consistent effort to shove that part of my identity away. To fill the void I felt where my father should have been, and because I struggled to feel accepted by a male figure, I quickly became attached to the idea of having a boyfriend as soon as I reached relationship age. If I didn’t have a boy to give me attention, I felt like a worthless girl. I especially struggled with feeling jealous of my friends who did have boyfriends, and constantly felt stressed that I would never be good enough.
I’m not completely blaming my dad or the media, but I do know that with different circumstances, I could have explored my homosexuality much sooner and avoided so much attachment, obsession, and pain. By the time I was in college, I had more or less began to let a little bit of the truth creep in. I allowed myself to open up to women, but still, a part of me felt very attached to men and I was obsessively convinced I needed one to feel complete.
As my romantic and sexual experiences with women blossomed, I was finally able to distinguish the difference between attachment and love. Love has no competition, no jealousy, and no urge for validation. The best way I can describe this revelation is when you THINK you know something is the best, until you experience something even better that replaces what you previously thought. With exploring my homosexuality, I discovered that this was the real, selfless, authentic love I had been searching for, and what I previously had coined as “love” was a coping mechanism for my attachment issues and compulsory hetersexuality. I’m not saying I didn’t think I was in love when I was fourteen, but in retrospect, I can confidently say that what I actually felt was socially-enforced infatuation.
I still sometimes struggle with feelings of jealousy, especially when my friends have partners and I do not, but I am working on letting that anger go. It doesn’t matter the sexual orientation- I simply just get jealous that somebody else is loved, and I am not. This does tie in with the attachment issues I am continuously overcoming, but the more I accept these issues, the more I can separate them from love and acknowledge them as a toxic behaviour.
I was reminded of this today. About six months ago, when I was still trying to hold onto that last bit of “I-like-men” security blanket, I was hooking up with a guy I met on tinder. At least, I was trying to hook up. As I became a lesbian, my BODY was literally rejecting him every time we tried to hook up. It was like my vagina just slammed shut every time he tried to get near me, until finally, I had to own up to him that I was pretty certain I was gay. What’s funny is, I never actually found sex with men that appealing. It was more so something, again, I felt I HAD to do in order to reach some form of self-actualization. Straight sex was something I tried to convince myself I could “learn to like”, but eventually, I just allowed myself (and the guy) to know that I found it kind of painful and nauseating.
He knew it was coming, too. I had been expressing to him for a while that I had always leaned more towards girls than guys, and the older I got, the more I leaned. Even though we got together primarily as friends with benefits, we ended up developing a friendship that went on even after our sexual relationship ended. To this day, he’s one of my best friends.
I was bothered today because I saw him for the first time in a few months. He has a new girlfriend, and like I am with all of my friends, I felt instantly defensive and jealous. There was another added element of attachment, because like I said, I had really used him as a security blanket when I was confused about my sexuality. Even though I’ve come to peace with it now, I still felt uncomfortable with the fact that a person I was once attached to had replaced me. It caused me a lot of distress today, because, in a way, it made me feel like a bad lesbian.
But I’m not. And that’s why I’m writing this article- there is a huge difference between love and attachment. I felt attached to him because he made me feel safe, but I never loved him. And that’s why so many lesbians, including myself, struggle SO MUCH to accept out homosexuality. We are constantly papered with the romanticism of attachment, and the social construct that all women need men to feel complete. I feel like it’s something that isn’t talked about nearly enough, and in turn, it contributes to homosexual people feeling like they have “failed.”
If you’re reading this and you’ve felt a similar way before, I just want to say that you’re not a failure. Human psychology, sociology, and sexuality is such a complex, intertwined cluster of subjects. And it’s high-time we start tackling the expectations put on women in a society so focused on attachment, especially for those trying so desperately to just figure everything the fuck out.
Saturday, September 14th
This has been my first real day of doing “nothing” since I arrived at school last Sunday. Because my weekdays are very checklist oriented (“do this, then do this, then do this”), I allow myself to have NO agenda on Saturdays. I thoroughly enjoyed laying in bed for the majority of the day and playing The Sims. Who here is SO EXCITED about the new Realm of Magic game pack? Because I sure am!
I also had an opportunity to really test out the goodies in my Fab Fit Fun box, which came in the mail yesterday. I have a review of the box scheduled to post for September 23rd, which will give me plenty of time to test out the products and form a fair opinion about them. I’m already loving so many things I received, and I’m looking forward to putting together that article.
Update on PMDD: Like I said, I recently got off Lexapro after being on it for nearly three years. The wonderful thing about SSRIs is that they tend to keep your mood stagnant, and now that I’m not on one, I definitely feel a little chaotic and all over the place. I’m constantly striving to take care of myself and prioritize my health, so I’m actively looking for some new treatment to help me with my returning PMDD symptoms. One thing I might do is get back on Lexapro, and add Wellbutrin to combat the side effects. I would rather try a more natural approach before getting medicated again, so another thing I am considering is CBD oil. Weed has never been my gig, and I’ve never smoked it, but my impression of CBD is that it’s an entirely different thing. I probably will try a multitude of different treatments, and see which one works best for my life and my body. To anyone who is struggling with mental illness or a debilitating disorder, don’t give up! There are people designated to helping you and supporting you on your journey, so never hesitate to reach out to them. I have never regretted for asking for help with my PMDD, and because of that, I know I have these versatile options for managing it. Fellow women with PMDD- what are your stories and self-care methods?
Anyway, tomorrow is going to be a work day. I’m posting this, for one thing, and then I will be chugging through some schoolwork for the rest of the evening. I’ve really enjoyed writing in a diary-style format, and hope to continue sharing my personal experiences of my daily life (though maybe not too many, because I’m pretty sure some faculty members at my college read my blog). Thank you for reading and catching up with me!
Coming up this week:
9/16- What’s in Season in September?
9/18- My Numbers Have Colors: Synesthesia
9/20- Gift Guide: The Perfect BOOK For Everyone on Your List
With the beginning of my senior year of college approaching *monotone screaming*, I’ve been thinking a lot about time management and organization. It may surprise you that I’m actually a very organized person, despite being the poster child for ADHD. Part of that is because I’m very forgetful- I have to write things down, otherwise it goes in one ear and out the other.
You don’t have to buy a fancy planner or a million folders, but I personally just love all that stuff. When planning becomes fun and crafty, rather than just a chore, it motivates me to plan even more! In preparation for the school year, I bought this really adorable spiral planner from Amazon, and a large weekly notepad. I love this planner because comes with a lot of other fun features, like stickers, a built-in calendar, and (my favorite part), a budget planner!
If you’re someone who easily feels overwhelmed, especially with your college workload, I can’t stress a weekly notepad enough. No matter how much work I have to do, I feel much less frazzled when I put it all on paper in front of me. Visually displaying your weekly commitments can also make it easier for you to find time for other, equally important things- like self care. And “you” time.
One way I like to enjoy “me time” is by taking a nightly shower rather than a morning one. For one thing, it means you can sleep in just a little bit later before class. Secondly, it can make showering feel more like a pampering experience, instead of just another thing you have to rush through in the morning. I personally love looking forward to a nice, long, hot shower at the end of every day; it’s a chance for me to really spend time on myself while also unpacking all of the mental baggage of the day. It’s also a great way to relax your muscles at the end of the day- something you’ll definitely need after carrying around a literal heavy backpack.
Another way to utilize your time is to really take advantage of those random 30-60 minute free blocks scattered around your day. Even though I’m taking six classes this semester, I still have a lot of empty spaces spread around throughout my day. Sure, you could use that to take a nap or stare blankly at a cinderblock wall as you question your life choices (we’ve all been there), but why wouldn’t you use that time to get some work done? You’re already in that work-mode from scuttering around classes all day, so might as well get as much done as you can now so you have less to worry about when you go back to your room that night. If I have the time (which I’ve found I always do), I make a point of trying to get all my work done before dinner, which is usually 6 or 7 pm. I’m not saying you shouldn’t take breaks throughout the day, but if you realistically have 60 minutes to spare, do you really need to sit and do nothing for that long? I prefer instead to take a 10-15 minute break, grab a snack, scroll through Instagram, and then settle down somewhere quiet to do some work on my laptop. Before you know it, you’ve killed an hour, and that paper you were fretting about is already half done.
I think the biggest anxiety incoming freshmen have about college is learning how to balance their time. Realistically, you’re not going to get everything done in one sitting. You have to stagger yourself. Get a little done in the morning, a little at noon, and a couple more things at the end of the day. Don’t work yourself to death trying to stay up until 3am, because that’s not good for your body or your mental health. Make a list of your daily priorities, from most important to least. If you don’t get around to the last couple of things, it’s not the end of the world. Put it on the list for the next day. Most college classes only meet twice a week- some only once! If you don’t think you can get it done the day it’s assigned, just push it to the next day.
I can’t stress this enough- you need at least one day off a week from classes, work, and internships. I understand it sounds nearly impossible to completely free up one day, but YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IS SO IMPORTANT. I spent the majority of this summer saving over $1,000 so that I wouldn’t have to go back to my campus job, because I’m going to have a mandatory internship in the spring (and it likely will not be paid). I would rather have busy weekdays, work/internship on a Friday or Saturday, and then Sunday free to myself just to catch my breath. For you, it might be something totally different. Maybe it just so happens that you don’t have any classes on Tuesday, and you work both days every single weekend. Congratulations, Tuesday is now “you time” day!
I’ll give you an example of how I would divvy-up my time with this schedule. Like I said, I’m not working a formal job this fall (with the exception of some dog walking on the side), and I’m not starting an internship until the spring. As you can see, I have large chunks of available time dotted throughout the week, and I’m especially open on Tuesdays and Fridays. If I wanted to, I could punch in some volunteer work, a part-time job, or join a club on those days, and still have my Saturdays and Sundays free. If not, I have more than enough time to get all my homework done before even dinner time, and then I’m free to go out with my friends whatever night of the week I want. It’s actually really fun to sit down and re-work your schedule in a way that fits your physical, mental, social, and emotional needs.
I don’t want to deflect the fact that some people do have to work full time while in college to support themselves, and their schedule likely looks very different than mine. It’s all about finding time that works for you. Even if it’s just a half hour to yourself every day, make the most of that half hour. Because trust me, time flies, and nothing goes by faster than college.