Saturday, January 26, 2013

buttons, buttons, buttons (sponsor!)

Hey all! I've been tinkering around with my blog design a bit. One of the changes I'm making is button size. Oh, buttons. :) I want to show all your blogs off!

So here's the scoop: If you want to trade buttons with me, please send me a 250x100 button!

Click my contact button up top to e-mail it to me. :) I look forward to showing y'all off! And if you need help making a button, just let me know! I'm trying to find ways to kill time anyway. ;)

Only condition: you must be one of my followers. Sorry random folks! ;)

Friday, January 25, 2013

on waiting

If I'm being honest, I hate waiting. I am at heart a very restless person, the sort that jiggles her leg and checks her e-mail 20 times an hour, the kind who chews on pens and watches the clock. I have never been very good at waiting. Now, I find myself waiting for a lot of things. I'm waiting on test results and answers. This is the kind of waiting that makes me jumpy, scrutinizing every brief pain and scanning online forums in moments of weakness. I'm waiting on responses from graduate programs, a very different, wondrous, Christmas morning sort of wait. I'm waiting for February break. I'm waiting for the school year to finish, for the next step.

All this waiting has forced me to find ways of surviving, or even enjoying, this stage. It's something interesting when you've done all you can and now must wait for what comes. I sort of like this lack of control; it's a relief, knowing these things are out of my hands. Some pressure is released.

I'm filling time by keeping busy with things I want to do. Keeping my mind off the wait has meant an increase in my adventurous side, wanting to go and do new things. I'm reading more than I ever have. I spend more time with my boyfriend and cat, and I even talk to my parents more than every once in a while. Waiting, I've come to realize, is almost a blessing in disguise. It has forced me to find the joy in each day and to relinquish my desire for control. We'll see what happens in the weeks that come, but for now, I'm having a pretty good time. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

first semester: 2012

Thank you all for your sweet comments on my last post. :) It really makes me feel so much better knowing I have such a wonderful support system (spanning a number of countries!). You guys rock. :)

I developed a few pictures from my past semester, spanning from September of last year to this winter holiday. They include a lot from ice skating in Detroit. I had forgotten how fun it is to do wintery things. I was impressed by my ability to get away from the wall. ;) My dad was not quite as brave as I, but there's always next year! Holy moly was it cold, though.


Monday, January 21, 2013

keep on the sunny side

A couple days ago, I was feeling really down. The test results showed some troublesome developments and I was exhausted—tired of doctors, tired of being sick, tired of not knowing. I began worrying about what was going to happen next. I had every right to; the truth is, something is wrong. There's a mass in me and it could potentially be bad. I spent a lot of time crying.

What I've come to realize, though, is there is little use in worrying. I have an MRI coming up, and then a biopsy. Until then, I have no idea what's going on. There is no point worrying. What comes will come—I have to think positive until then.

Since my mini-revelation, I've been determined to enjoy myself. I dragged myself out of my depression and cleaned my room. I did a bit of shopping. I made things. I feel pretty darn good. No matter what happens with the test results these next few weeks, I know I'm lucky. All things considered, I still live a really nice life. I'm trying to remember and celebrate that more often.

So, anyways, here's what I wore to craft and run around Temescal today. :)

blouse: vintage ~ sweater: thrifted & DIY ~ both skirts: american apparel ~ shoes: vintage

I added studs to my sweater last month when I was bedridden; it was a fun craft, and super easy to do. :) I like adding a little bit of ~tough~ to my feminine wardrobe. But, alas, I am still a creature of habit; yesterday I went thrifting and picked up some ultra girly stuff. Such is life!

I've gotta say, the magnifying glass was a much-needed buy. Without it, I couldn't do this:

See? Incredibly important. Oh, and I didn't miss a waxing appointment or anything—if you noticed the 'stach, I got it for 50 cents in the lobby of a restaurant yesterday. Awesome purchase. 100% necessary.

And if you'd like to see one of my crafts from today, here's something I doodled this morning! :)

:) What have you been up to this long weekend?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

book one: never let me go

As you may remember (from this post), one of my resolutions for this year is to read 50 books. I am the sort of person who reads a couple books at a time (usually one fiction, one poetry). This is the first one I have completed this year!

I bought this book last year at a thrift store (for $1.98, as written on this lovely young woman's face). I'd heard good things and, for a couple bucks, figured why not? I picked it up again when packing for my trip to Michigan and put it in my carry-on.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is a sad, haunting sort of novel. There are many small mysteries woven into its narrative and, as it is told in the first person by the young protagonist Kath, things are made clear over time, as Kath discovers more about herself and Hailsham, the school she attends. I enjoyed reading this despite the decidedly sad undertone and appreciated the way it addressed some difficult questions about ethics and medicine. (My good friend Jonathan, who is studying medical ethics, would rather enjoy this book—if you're reading this, go pick it up!) All in all, a good first pick. :) If you like books about interpersonal relationships, "school days" sort of novels, or slight dystopias, check it out.

What are you all reading lately? How have your resolutions been coming along?

Monday, January 14, 2013

life lately

Hey all. :) Thank you for all your kind comments on my previous post! What a fantastic way to start the new year, hearing from you all. It sounds like we've got some ambitious goals. :)

Life lately has been pretty calm, which is surprising and, obviously, quite the relief. The most excitement I've had really has been e-mails from graduate programs telling me some part of my application didn't make it through, and me scrambling to get that taken care of. Everyone's been really nice, though, so even those sorts of things don't feel stressful. I'm just going with the flow at this point.

School's back in session, and semester one is coming to a close for these knuckleheads. It's crazy that in 6 months, my seniors will be out in the world. My health stuff has gotten rocky again, and I fainted yesterday evening, which was pretty scary. I have two ultrasounds this week. I really just want answers and a clear next step (or steps, if need be). I am very thankful that I've been able to more-or-less conduct my life as normal (popping pain pills when the need arises), but am ready to not have this looming over me, wondering when the next flareup will strike.

Anyways, that's about it! On the horizon for me are doctor's appointments, getting my kids to pass Government, and graduate school notifications. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best on all counts. I am also going to try and begin funneling my energy into this blog as my stress relief. :) Hold me to it!

And for your viewing pleasure: over break, my older cousin Jessie got married! Here are some pictures I snapped at the ceremony. :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

and our hopes such as they are, invisible before us, untouched and still possible

Happy new year! It is four days into 2013 and I am updating my blog for the first time this year. ;) I'll be honest, I was not sad to see 2012 go. It was an up and down year, with a much stronger beginning than end. I've, frankly, been pretty depressed these past couple months, with work feeling fairly oppressive and all these grad school apps I was struggling to complete (and god, the GRE!). I am ready for a fresh start this year. Time to snap out of my funk, you know?

So here's what's new: I've submitted nearly all of my graduate applications (15 down, 2 to go) and I fly back to California on Sunday. Woo! I'm a little anxious about school starting back up again, but I'm determined to keep my head up. I am also incredibly freaked out about hearing back from graduate schools; I've seriously spent my time making spread sheets of acceptance rates and total available spots and am generally driving myself insane. Ahh!

New year, and there is the very real possibility of some serious change. I have no idea what my life will look like in a few months, and that's exciting. Here's how I kicked off the start to the new year—in Saugatuck with Henrik. :) I put my fancy dress on (but didn't wear any makeup or do my hair, haha) and watched movies and cuddled with my guy. Couldn't have asked for anything more. :)

I don't know about you guys, but I love New Year's resolutions. I'm the sort of person who needs to set a specific (and public) goal to achieve it. I actually accomplished my big goal for last year—I drew in a journal every day for the entire year. It's pretty neat to flip through! I also drank more tea but slacked on the rest of my healthy lifestyle, and did not publish anything (apart from a poem on Writer's Bloq) but wrote a heckuva lot! You win some, you lose some.

I don't know what this year will look like, but I do have control over my goals! Here are my resolutions for 2013.

Remember that health debacle a few weeks ago? When I ended up in the hospital? And I'm still having a lot of ultrasounds because there's a mass in me and no one knows what is? 2012 ended on a scary health note, and while I'm feeling considerably better now, I realize how much more attention I need to give to my health. It seems most people are concerned with weight and appearance, but I'm interested in keeping my body and mind healthy. I'm actually pretty satisfied with how I look (woo for overcoming years of self-doubt!). I simply don't move around—ever—and I've been relying on a lot of frozen food during this grad school purgatory period. This year, I'm aiming to eat healthier, see the doctor more regularly, and keep active. Henrik and I are planning on joining a gym this month! Wish us luck! I'm also trying to keep an eye on my mental health. I need to be better about asking for help when I need it, de-stressing, and removing negative influences from my life. Let's get better about all this worrying, eh? :)

This one might seem intense, but hey—I'm a writer, and writers read. It's, like, in the job description. But seriously, this is something I feel is important to my growth as a writer and a person (not to mention, it's good for relaxing!). I'm aiming to read a bit more fiction this year, as I spent this past year reading overwhelmingly more poetry. We'll see if I get to some classics, too. ;)

Easy peasy. Like I said earlier, I did this last year and I loved it. I think including a bit of art into every day was really helpful for me. It was just enough to keep the creative juices flowing. Maybe sometime I'll post some of my doodles! :)

So I very well may be moving this year, possibly across the country. Before I do, I want to take a road trip! I have no idea where or for how long, but there's so much to see that I haven't yet gotten around to. You guys know me—I get my wanderlust jitteriness if I don't travel. And seeing as it will likely be difficult for me to find time to get overseas this summer, I'll have to substitute in a really bomb road adventure.

Blech. This goal is one of necessity, not pleasure. As some of you may know, I am terrified of driving. I have my license, but have not driven in almost 2 years. I get really anxious about highways and Henrik's car out here is a stick shift, so I haven't driven in California. My goal is to overcome a bit of my fear. I'm not aiming to love it or anything (I mean, come on, let's be reasonable here!) but I think I should be able to drive once in a while without turning the color of spoiled milk. If all goes well, maybe I'll even drive for part of the way during the aforementioned road trip. ...Maybe. ;)

What are you all hoping to do this year? Hope your year has started off right!


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