… Another Will Open.

Confession: I’ve been singing. A lot.

Now I’m not claiming to be great at it by any means, but I’ve been absolutely enjoying singing almost every day for the last month or so. In the shower, on the road, even while I’m walking to my classes, I’ve been singing. I found that not only does it help me alleviate some of the stress I’ve been dealing with, but it has also helped to take my mind off of the recent breakdown of a friendship I thought I’d always have.

And most importantly, singing just makes me feel HAPPY. I’ve been having the most difficult time these last few months trying to keep myself afloat with all the work and responsibilities I have, and it’s so nice to have something to help remove myself from it all. Even if I forget about everything just for a little while, I always come back feeling confident and reassured that the things that trouble me will turn out alright after all.

And now for the part I was not expecting:

Somehow, during all this craziness in my life recently, I managed to make a new friend. We have so much in common, if I tried to elaborate just how similar we are, you’d probably think I’m just making it up as I go. After discovering our mutual loves for Breaking Bad, classical music, snail mail, Miley Cyrus, Italian food (and cooking in general), stuffed animals, bad puns, old-school video games, and other general geekery, naturally we hit it off straight away. And of course, like me, he also enjoys singing (although he is infinitely better at it than I am) and our voices couldn’t fit more perfectly when we sing together.

I really don’t remember the last time I clicked with someone this well. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense to me how we became friends so quickly, but I suppose it doesn’t need to make sense. It just works somehow. And I’m totally okay with that. I usually go between feeling baffled and amazed at how I even managed to meet him in the first place, while feeling immensely grateful that I did at all.

Even though it was completely by chance that we met and became friends, I still can’t help but wonder if everything really does happen for a specific reason. Or if those silly paper fortunes really can pull through from time to time…

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Baby Steps

Since deciding last week to go through with my little experiment, I’ve felt considerably less stressed out :) I haven’t been doing something crazy different every day, but just making the small changes here and there I think are a great first few steps in the right direction!

On Wednesday, I had two classes in the morning and then had a work shift scheduled for the afternoon. It was such a beautiful, warm day that day, and I had some time to kill before having to leave campus for work, so I decided to spend about half an hour lazing around on my university’s horseshoe area.

ImageThere were very few people walking around the horseshoe while I was there, so it made my experience even more peaceful and relaxing. Even though the day turned out to be quite warm, the grass in the shade was nice and cool and perfect to lay down on. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for too long, but I hope to make more time this semester for some extensive horseshoe relaxation.

On Thursday, I woke up at 7am and proceeded to spend almost 10 hours on campus doing nothing but classes and studying. After I finally got out of my lab at 6, I changed it up a bit and worked on some homework in a cute little coffee shop called Cool Beans near campus. I absolutely adore this little coffee spot because it is the only one of its kind in Columbia, and the coffee is absolutely delicious! There is also a cafe downstairs that serves breakfast and lunch during the day, and the food there is so great that I have yet to order something from this place that I haven’t completely enjoyed. I used to go to Cool Beans all the time during my freshman year of college but hadn’t really been since, so I figured I may as well go back at least for old time’s sake :P

ImageI was able to get some serious amounts of work done, including some reading for class and making great progress on a t-shirt design I am doing as part of my new PR position. As I was leaving Cool Beans, I was excited to see that they actually stay open until midnight during the weekdays and pretty late on weekends. I love finding new places to study that stay open late (and that aren’t the library), so I will definitely be sure to keep this place in mind for next time!

As for the weekend, I kept it pretty low key. I spent a good deal of the weekend recouping from the long hours at school and work (read: sleeping and generally being lazy), which may not be anything exciting, but it was most definitely what I needed.

I’ll be posting again in a few days so stay tuned :P

(Re)starting Fresh

Today started my second full week of being back in school, and I’m already feeling a little overwhelmed. So far, my 15-20 hour work weeks combined with my 18 credit-hours of classes this semester are starting to make it near impossible to plan anything extra in my spare time, be it some personal quality time or plans with my roommate/boyfriend/other friends, etc. As it is, I’ve already skipped a few of my classes due to pure fatigue from staying up late the night before either studying or working (or both).

The fact that I’m feeling this exhausted and burned out so early on in the semester is definitely something of concern to me. Two weeks in, and I already need another chance to start fresh. Unfortunately, since my classes have already been paid for, dropping a class is not really an option, nor is working less hours at my job… unless, of course, anyone knows of a fairy godmother who magically pays college students’ bills out of the kindness of her sparkly little heart.

fairy godmother

Yep. Didn’t think so.

I am trying to stay optimistic though. Yes, I’m over half way through college. And yes, I’ve only got two more of the “best years of my life” left to experience until I am thrown, full-force, into the real world. But that’s also two more years that I should make the most of and discover new hobbies, make new friends, and go on some great adventures along the way. Why not take advantage of that?

So, I think one of the best ways I can prevent these next few months of school from swallowing me whole involves conducting a bit of a personal experiment on my part:  I am going to try to do one thing different each day that I wouldn’t normally do. It’s not always going to be something big or major, or even that interesting to talk about, but regardless, I want to try to have a minimum of one unique experience each day that I may not have otherwise done.

I’ve reached a point in my life where even though I should know what I want, I still have not a clue what to do with either myself or my life at all. I’m trying to figure it all out as soon as I can, but it’s harder than I thought it would be. In the meantime, I’m open to exploring all sorts of different things while I still have some extra time to spare. I think this “experiment” will help me find some new loves of people, places, and interests, while also helping to make sure this semester doesn’t quickly become a monotonous cycle of school, work, studying, more school, more work, and more studying.

I have faith that this is going to be a good year. :)

Back From the Dead

Today is August 15th, 2013. I don’t remember the last day I posted on here, but I can try to fill in some of the blanks regarding what I’ve been up to since my last blog post. You know, in case any of you actually care or are still interested in/reading my blog.

Life has been pretty hectic lately, but mostly in a positive way. I’ve just been busy nonstop for weeks… I worked like crazy at my job right up until I had to drive up to my college town and move into my new apartment. Then, I turned around and headed home a few days later, spent the next three days hurriedly finishing up my horrible summer World Lit class, and then left the next morning for a week trip to the beach. The beach trip was lovely and all, but the day after returning home, again I left to go back to my college town and sort out my job situation over there… only to come back home two weeks later just “for the weekend” which ended up being an entire week instead, and now finally today I am headed back up to school once and for all. Well, probably until Labor Day weekend when my family will want me to come home yet again. Sigh….

Because of the constant busy-ness and running around like a crazy person, my summer break hasn’t really felt like a “break” at all. I had some pretty high hopes as far as things I would get done this summer, but as you can imagine, I eventually just ran out of time for everything.

But while I may not have done EVERYTHING I had hoped to accomplish this summer, I still can’t really complain. I got an easy, 3-credit English class out of the way while working a ton at my job and making some pretty good money. I’ve got a better idea of what I might want my major/s and minor to be, but I still think I should take the introductory business courses in finance, marketing, and management science before I make a final decision. I got accepted for a PR position in a club that I’m currently involved with at school, which is really exciting because it’s a year-long position and will also help me determine if that may also be something I’m interested in. And in regards to my social life, I was able to see most of my friends from back home in one way or another, and was also able to see my boyfriend a good 4 times this summer (can’t wait to stop the long-distance in a few days!) I also made a few new friends this summer as well :)

And of course, the overall process of moving into the new apartment certainly had its moments, but I am happy to say that I absolutely LOVE this new apartment! My roommate Katherine and I are almost finished putting the final touches on the decorative and organizational aspects of the apartment. I can’t wait to officially be settled in because not only will we be able to finally relax in our new space, but I’ll be able to snap some photos of the new place and share some of my decorating and DIY projects I’ve done around the apartment so far!

So… It’s been really busy lately, but now that things are beginning to settle into a more predictable routine of school, work, blogging (hopefully), extracurriculars, etc., I’m feeling much less stressed and more prepared for this upcoming school year. I’m pretty excited to see what my junior year of college will bring. I really do hope this year will involve a little less studying 24/7 so that I can make some more free time for myself and actually enjoy my second to last year in college :)

In the meantime, I’ve got one more week of summer break to enjoy before classes resume for the fall semester. I’m going to make every one of these next 7 days count :)

Prologue (Part II)

With just a few short weeks of my fourth semester of college left to go, I’ve noticed my focus beginning to wear dangerously thin, and I feel constantly distracted by anything and everything that is not school-related. For example, at the present moment I would probably be better off studying for my test in Economics or working on my presentation for communications class than typing this. Oops.

Thankfully, I am not the kind to let these distractions get too out of hand, but they’re still annoying to deal with, especially with so much left to do before I can head home for summer. Normally, I’m able to control my slipping work ethic, but for whatever reason, this week has been particularly difficult to handle.

You see, when one looks and sees the bright, shining light of summer’s freedom not too far from the end of the outrageously long tunnel of a college semester… well, I can’t really be blamed for my lack of focus on final exams and projects and other various forms of schoolwork which do little more than suck out what’s left of the free time within my schedule, right?

Ah, free time. Sometimes I forget how it used to feel having tons of it just sitting at my feet, waiting for me to take charge and make the most of it.

The messed up part of it all is that as busy as I am from week to week, I don’t feel like I actually do much of anything these days. I mean, I’m doing things all the time, but I’m not really doing anything. I’d much rather be doing a whole lot of something instead; I just don’t know yet what that something should be.

With just a few short weeks of my fourth semester of college left to go, I can’t seem to decide whether I think the glass stands half-empty or half-full.

I only have four semesters of college left. Four semesters left to do some serious soul-searching and try to figure out what exactly it is that I was put on this earth to do. Four semesters left to explore all of the things that I want to learn about and that interest me. Four semesters left until “real life” begins.

I need to make them count.

Prologue

One day last July, I woke up with the burning desire to create something. I wanted to paint.

I’m really not much of an artist per se, but I can be pretty creative and crafty when the moment strikes. And I really just love to paint; I find it to be very therapeutic and relaxing. I gathered my materials, set up shop in a small corner of my room, and soon my paintbrush was hitting the canvas without any prior planning or thought as to what I actually wanted to end up with.

Fast forward a few hours, and this is what I ended up with: An 8.5×11” canvas with the words “DO EPIC SHIT” painted neatly in large black letters over a beautiful blue ombré background. It was one of the best paintings I had completed in a long time. In fact, I was so proud of my creation that a month later, I hung it over the front door of my new apartment, with the hopes of using it as a daily reminder to do things that are fun and exciting and different and spontaneous.

—–

About a month ago, an old friend of mine drove down from North Carolina to visit me for the day.  Upon arriving, I gave him a quick tour of my apartment before heading to lunch, and on our way out I noticed that he looked up above the door at my painted sign, just for a moment or two, before we left.

When we returned a few hours later, he finally acknowledged the blue sign, then turned and asked me, “Okay. So ‘do epic shit’… What kinds of ‘epic shit’ are you referring to?”

I’m embarrassed to say that after a few moments of trying to figure out how to respond, I couldn’t really give him a straight answer. Of course, I know what those three words mean to me theoretically, but after months of that sign hanging over the door, I could not think of a single day where I had really taken those words to heart and done anything fun or exciting or different or spontaneous. Kind of depressing, right?

Just something I’ve been thinking about lately…