Wow has it been a busy few weeks.
Finishing this semester feels almost surreal. I only have one, yes one, semester left of my undergraduate education. All of the studying and exams will be permanently over soon. I have such mixed feelings because after all, school is all I’ve ever known. What if I’m no good at the real world? Job searches, owning a home, paying unending bills; it’s a bit overwhelming when I ponder it too long. For now I’ll just be thankful for the month break I have before a semester of hitting the books and then adulthood (the type of adulthood that is more than just your 18th birthday).
Tomorrow I pick up my boyfriend at the airport. It’s been three months and I can hardly contain my eagerness at work today, though I’m not the only one. I love the holidays on the last day or two of work when everyone is bristling with excitement, leaving a few hours early, and bringing in goodies to share. There is something about the Christmas spirit that brings out the little kid in all of us.
The only bummer about the holidays this year are all my college friends who are returning to their homes and then going to study abroad. Six of my good friends are spreading out across Spain, Germany, England and Venezuela. I’m so excited for them, but also bummed that I’ll be here without them and then I graduate and I’m off to…well I’ll figure it out in May but I can guarantee it won’t be Minnesota.
Life is starting. The real world is looming and it’s the scariest, most exciting opportunity I’ve ever been given. I just couldn’t be more thankful that I have my amazing boyfriend to help me adjust, vent, and cope every step of the way. He’s been incredible and I know will continue to be as I find my place in this big ol’ world. I don’t know what I’d do without him and the fact that he’s flying in tomorrow makes my heart (& stomach) do somersaults.
Besides all the big, exciting things going on there’s something small I wanted to share that I hope everyone is taking part in. #26Acts started by Ann Curry is the most amazing movement. After the horrible Sandy Hook tragedy taking the lives of 20 students and 6 teachers, Ann Curry urged the world to do 26 Random Acts of Kindness in their names. I started last night and although I’m still unsure of what I’ll do for all 26, doing just a few made me feel so united with the rest of the country. I’m a poor college student so by no means can afford to donate $10 26 times, but I can do little things. We all can.
Holding doors, offering compliments, paying for people’s drink behind you in line; all simple things we can do in the name of these angel’s beautiful lives.
Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
– John Wesley
Despite being in college, I like to think I eat relatively healthy.
I don’t just mean salads on salads on salads either. I mean I try to choose natural or organic foods from the grocery store and never buy things like frozen chicken nuggets (as much as I’d like to). I’m more worried about about preservatives than I am the scale thanks in part to all the home cooked meals I had growing up. We had frozen dinners so rarely I could count it on one hand.
But I have come to the conclusion that there are certain foods you can not buy organic or “natural”. Some foods just need to be eaten in all their glorious fat, sugar, and *gulp* preservatives.
1) Peanut Butter
You can NOT buy certified organic or all natural peanut butter. It is horrible. I am not even going to sugar coat this. First you get to stare at a thick layer of oil on the top that starts to churn your stomach before you even take a bite. Then you get to go through the pain staking process of mixing it altogether which I kid you not I have witnessed my parents attempt to do this with a mixer they ended up almost burning out. Plus, it tastes awful. You can pretend that it tastes like health or your body is being benefited etc etc etc. No. Stop. Just buy the Skippy brand that pretends to be natural if you’re searching for a slightly healthier alternative.
2) Soy Milk
Can’t. Can’t do it. I’ve heard all the stories about cow’s milk, even skim, being unnatural for our bodies and too fattening but I literally can not digest soy milk. I can’t explain this one outside of drink it for yourself. I’ve tried it in cereal and in a glass and it was bad. Almond milk falls into this same category. For the people that are lactose intolerant, I am glad you have an alternative! Fortunately I am not. I’ll have a giant glass of skim milk, please.
3) Plain Yogurt (or Greek Yogurt)
I have tried it with granola, honey, fruit, oats, peanut butter…and I can’t convince myself to like it. I can tolerate it, but why do that when I can just buy Vanilla Yogurt and eat it plain? In all honesty the consistency of yogurt kind of grosses me out sometimes, so if I’m going to force myself to eat it at all, I’m eating the Yoplait Dessert line. Sorry, not sorry.
Also unpopular opinion of the year: I KNOW Greek Yogurt with all that added protein is just wonderful for you or whatever, but I hate it. Its consistency is so thick it’s too much for me. I’ll get my protein elsewhere.
4) USDA Certified Organic Oatmeal
Story time. In the fourth grade in our science class we had to raise a meal worm from hatching (I’m not even kidding) and the little container we kept them in was filled with oats that they could eat and frolic in because apparently that’s all they need.
Well regular Quaker oatmeal when cooked is fantastic, but organic oatmeal in all its glory not only tastes atrocious but for some reason is the only oat related food that brings back memories of meal worms. The combination of those two factors meant the only time I ever even attempted to cook this and I took one bite, I proceeded to throw out the entire box of oatmeal packets.
Outside of just my weird memory though, it tastes nothing like regular oatmeal. I would argue this could be worse than the peanut butter thinking back on it.
I would like to point out that there are plenty of foods I personally find taste better organic or all natural. Most cereal and granola bars I prefer natural, not just for the health benefits either (Go Kashi!). Annie’s anything is amazing, whether it’s Mac n Cheese, fruit snacks, or cheese crackers. Fruit, vegetables, and meat from farmer’s markets or local farms are also always better than the grocery store.
“Eat Clean. Train Mean. Live Lean.”
The inspiration for this post is not my own, but from one of the newest Freshly Pressed blog posts via The Green Study. His post regarding what we call ourselves when no one is listening is really interesting to me. We are all human, and because of this we have a horrible tendency to consider mistakes failures and define ourselves based on how other people perceive us.
So when no one is looking, what do I call myself?
Well it depends on the day. Sometimes I’m a strong, beautiful, charismatic writer, traveler and lover of all people. Other days, I’m a failing, insecure, incapable girl who can never be good enough for anyone. It’s ironic considering I have a wonderful family, best friend, and boyfriend. I’m obviously good enough, right? Not everyday. No, some days I definitely feel I don’t match up to the amazing people in my life.
It’s so easy to get caught in that line of thinking, too. To just declare yourself a failure means you can give up on anything you’d like. When you consider yourself insecure and awkward, it’s easy to stop trying to be confident. Negativity and cynicism is a nasty cycle. You end up exactly like the adults he describes as “shit magnets filled with tales of injustice, transgression, and bitterness”. I know a handful of people like this. They’re really not fun.
So most days, I choose to be the strong, beautiful, charismatic woman. I like her much better. She makes for a much lovelier person to talk to, a much more beautiful soul inside and out, and easily makes the choice to be optimistic and not let negative thoughts bother her.
I think we all have the two types of people we call ourselves when no one is looking. Besides the “shit magnets” of course. The rest of us have hope though. The rest of us can choose to be the optimistic person with talents and strengths each and everyday. I think of it like this infographic:
It’s really quite simple.
Just decide to call yourself all your favorite things when no one is listening. Your mistakes and other people’s opinions of you don’t define or label you. You define you.
This, this is what I needed today.
“A couple of hundred years ago, Benjamin Franklin shared with the world the secret of his success. Never leave that til tomorrow, he said, which you can do today. This is the man who discovered electricity. You think more people would listen to what he had to say. I don’t know why we put things off, but if I had to guess, I’d have to say it has a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejections, sometimes the fear is just of making a decision, because what if you’re wrong? Still sometimes we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today’s possibility under tomorrow’s rug until we can’t anymore. Until we finally understand for ourselves what Benjamin Franklin really meant. That knowing is better than wondering, that waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beat the hell out of never trying.”
– Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy)