Eat more Annie’s mac and cheese, people

I had a very typical New Year’s Day: I woke up crying because I was insanely depressed, all I wanted was a bagel but my dad wouldn’t let me leave the house, so I grudgingly ate a hot dog instead and slept for the entire day.

Since my day was completely shit for the first few hours, I decided to just say fuck it and text all my friends from school that I was transferring to UConn because why not make everything worse? Then I changed my school on my Facebook about page to UConn. Then I listened to Lana Del Rey and cried more and fell asleep for the entire afternoon.

I woke up to a lot of well wishes and a lot of people that were sad that I was leaving. I seriously thought no one would care. Even the girl I was supposed to room with this year that completely avoided me the whole summer because she was transferring and didn’t bother to tell me liked my post. It’s kind of nice. I feel like I’m actually leaving something behind that is worth missing.

The senior in my Spanish class first semester freshman year even texted me. As soon as I saw her name pop up onto my phone I was so excited. She had transferred to UVM from University of Maryland for her sophomore year because as much as she didn’t mind Maryland and made a few friends, she didn’t feel herself there. She’s graduated now and lives her best life hopping from European country to European country and wearing cool scarves. It gives me hope.

I have no idea where my life is going to take me. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel comfortable or happy or consistent, but I really hope I do. I hope I ride more planes and eat more boxes of mac and cheese and smile at strangers walking down the street. I hope I walk into Walgreens and have conversations with the employees about their days because they actually do care about stuff like that. I hope that three years from now I’d have gone on a life changing trip to somewhere I’d love to live one day. I hope I show up to my five year high school reunion really overdressed and get drunk off of half a glass of wine.

Maybe it’s my fault, but everything in my life feels really unstable right now. All of my relationships with people seem really hopeless and I know that it’s just my negative, small thinking but someday soon I’ll get the bigger picture. I don’t know what to expect from anyone or anything. Absence of expectations scares the shit out of me because I always have expectations. I had expectations for New Years Eve that fell short. I ended up looking weird not wearing a bra with my dress, my makeup looked terrible because my cheeks were flushed, and I cried more often than I intended to.

A lot of times I say things that I know are overly dramatic or send texts knowing people won’t respond or care. I don’t know why. I don’t know why I over complicate my life. I don’t know why I constantly cry over dumb things like not being able to get a Cohen’s bagel. I don’t know why I can’t just reassure myself that everything will be okay. That not everyone loves me. That sometimes I’m just too much for people. And it’s fine.

I hope in 2018 I can stop living in my head. It seems like I don’t because I’m social and always wanting to be doing something, but so much goes on inside my head that I don’t ever talk about. Mostly because it’s hard to talk about this stuff, because a lot of people I know wouldn’t get it. But I do know people that would get it. I hope I feel endlessly inspired regardless of how uninspiring I think the world is.

I knew 2017 would be hard and it was and now it’s over. I can’t put a word to how 2018 is going to be but it is going to be just that. A lot of warmth. A lot of becoming an adult. A lot of doing what I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

And I’m also going to pretend that January 1st doesn’t count. If today is any indication as to what 2018 will be like, it will just be filled with chocolate and sleeping in the middle of the day and eating pasta. Well maybe that isn’t so bad.

2018 Resolutions

  1. Maina, you have a 0.0 GPA right now. Please do not screw that up. Get over a 3.0 please.
  2. Spend money on your passions. Buy more paint, buy more used books, buy more pens when you run out of the ones you use for your journal. Buy more film cameras.
  3. You are already aware that you are special and beautiful and amazing, so stop trying to prove it to everyone else because they should already know.
  4. Make more mixtapes for your friends, and let them know you’re thinking of them often.
  5. Finally find some peace with your body. Go to the gym with Riley. At first you’re going to look dumb and fat but eventually you won’t.
  6. Improve the blog. Buy a domain name. Post bi-weekly. Whenever you’re thinking about boys or watching pointless youtube videos stop doing that and write a post.
  7. Make friends. Go up to random people and say hello. Pretend UConn is your senior year of high school. You run the place. Give people gum and compliment their shoes.
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An Argument: Let Time Dictate Your Life

Being snowed in alone is the ripest kind of bittersweet. I really hate being alone sometimes but ultimately it really reconnects me with how I’m feeling and who I am at this certain point in time. And, since I don’t really know what to make of life recently, today was very much needed.

I mostly sat with a bath bomb tucked underwater while reading a book I’ve had listed on Goodreads for 10 months, listening to Old Money by Lana Del Rey and staring at the snow falling outside from the big window in my room. All I’ve eaten is seven Dove chocolates. I haven’t brushed my teeth.

I’ve been meaning to make a big post about a big decision I’ve finally made, but it doesn’t feel that monumental. I thought about it yesterday, and everything I would miss, the snow, the solitude, the familiarity, but that’s the closest I’ve gotten to realizing the weight of what I’ve actually done. And if you know me, everything is a big deal. Which is why I’m confused.

I guess the closest I’ve gotten to making a big revelation was when I was emptying the bath and I made a post on Instagram of a few photos I’ve taken during great moments of 2017. A panoramic view of York Beach in Maine, Sylvan Esso during my favorite song of theirs in Brooklyn, walking down the street in Georgetown. And I started to think about how everyone will collectively agree that 2017 sucked. And it really did! In many ways. 2016 for me was arguably so much worse emotionally, but in 2017 I felt nothing. This year was a flatline, with summer slightly elevated through all of my travels and my one period of emotional stimulation.

In the back of my head when I catalog time, I always hear my friend Emily saying “Time is fake as shit.” As much as that is true, and empowering in a lot of senses, time still dictates much of our lives. I’m still in school. Semesters and due dates circulate around me for nine months out of the year. Breaks have beginnings and endings. My work shifts are in thirty minute or hour intervals. Birthdays only last twenty-four hours, and then what are you supposed to feel.

Time is fake as shit but it’s here and we have to make something of it within the confines that society created. For me, I know 2018 will be very different from 2017. With a whole new set of people, thousands of people, in a new place that I’ve always known existed and have been before. Familiar but unfamiliar. New routines, new walking routes, new starts and endings. Who knows where I will be working in the summer? Who I’ll meet in my economics class? Where I’ll live, where I’ll travel to? I’ll have a good idea of where (probably Shoprite, probably someone from a town thirty minutes away from me who knows my cousin, on campus, and somewhere within driving distance) but within those confines, there are still options.

So if time ever gets you down like it has to me, just remember there are options. Maybe your 2018 will look just about the same as 2017. Maybe you just realized your entire life is a flatline. Maybe you realized that you need a flatline year. Whatever it is, make a new year’s resolution, because they matter. And if you don’t stick to it, doing it for however long you did is still a change. Predictions can be accurate but not precise (tbt to high school science class).

Here is my callout post: Make a change. Make a big deal about that change. Put glitter on your face on December 31st. Wipe it clean on January 1st when you get out of bed, and feel like a different person, because it’s 2018 and you are allowed to.

Wine Renaissance Aesthetic

I have two #moods: shimmery and saturated. We can talk about saturated in March or something. Shimmery is the most important one at this time of year because the holiday time slowly intensifies it.

Shimmer \ˈshi-mə-riŋ, ˈshim-riŋ\

Intransative verb

  1. to shine with a soft tremulous or fitful light (glimmer)
  2. to reflect a wavering sometimes distorted visual image

At Thanksgiving, I usually stray away from shimmer. I wear brown eyeshadow and muted tones, MAYBE a forest green somewhere. Anything shiny comes from a Free People necklace or a polyester light-reflecting picture effect. But now it’s December 1st! And I can jump right back in.

Also I NEVER drink wine in the spring, summer, or fall. That is a very rare occurrence, only if I am somehow enticed by my cousin owning an expensive brand or something. I drink copious, copious amounts of wine in this month. I have finished two and a half bottles of Pinot Grigio since Thanksgiving. Which I also have decided is my favorite. And I think I’m actually going to buy champagne that does not cost thirteen dollars this year; let’s see how this goes.

Here’s a moodboard, completely taken from my tumblr:

I know, I know, there are very heavy Gossip Girl overtones; Blake Lively in particular. But she knows how to be shimmery! What can I say. Also, yes, there are about 4987203 pictures of Manhattan, but WHERE ELSE IN THE UNITED STATES IS THE HOLIDAY SEASON SO MAGICAL?! Maybe in a small New England suburb, but that’s a whole other aesthetic. You can’t really wear a shimmery dress to a suburban holiday party (unless it’s the coastal/metropolitan elite) and not get a few looks. I will do it anyways as I do every year.

And, of course, no curated aesthetic goes without a playlist:

doses and mimosas ~ cherub // warm water – snakehips remix ~ banks // memories feat. kid cudi ~ david guetta // it’s strange – whethan remix ~ louis the child feat. k flay // weight in gold – louis futon remix ~ gallant // what you need ~ bank & nika // my type – saint wknd remix ~ saint motel // bloom – lane 8 remix ~ odesza // automatic ~ zhu & alunageorge // you know you like it – tchami remix ~ alunageorge // never be like you feat. kai ~ flume // falling – whethan redo ~ opia // wasted on you feat. rozes ~ louis futon // help me lose my mind ~ disclosure & london grammar // january – kaytranada edition ~ disclosure // gemini feat. george maple ~ what so not // smoke & retribution feat. vince staples & kucka ~ flume

That playlist is pretty high energy and very Soundcloud, so I’d recommend listening to it when you’re getting ready alone because no one can judge you for being really extra. If I ever have a winter rooftop rager with a bunch of rich influencers in Manhattan or Los Angeles, I’d play this and require everyone to wear a fur coat.

I’ll close off this post with a note in my phone I’ve been filling for a few months. These are words that remind me of this whole #mood; enjoy!

fragmented shimmery silver and gold starburst whizzing frothy deep sparkling crystalline pearls champagne flutes sweet liquid honey dry luminous eye shadow big silk scarves middle part cat eye west village view from the whitney gray white brown metropolitan lucent fine art auroral tiny cities glossy lips sanguine roses lustrous waxy refined rich agleam sequined structured flowing glitter

(ALSO: FOLLOW @ONETHOUSANDLEMONS ON INSTAGRAM)

My November is ~right now~

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November is the pre-game to cold winter months. You experience snow, rain, sunshine, gray days, blue days, extreme wind, and humidity all in one. It’s the one month that is guaranteed to be a toss up besides the entirety of spring (fuck spring). Since I like this month and am feeling particularly cultured, here are some things that fucked me up in a good way. (LMK if you know the song the title references, so #trendy)

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  • Man Repeller is amazing. I had heard of Leandra Medine from Teen Vogue back in the day and even more so on Wanelo, back when I was a real ~social influencer~ (I want to write about that sometime soon; to be honest, that was my golden period). I’ve really been investing time in finding new blogs to read and Man Repeller is exactly what I needed. It celebrates the weird and the basic, which is something I try to accomplish in my daily life. It also has great advice for the future, because most of the writers are in their late 20’s. Best enjoyed with a hot bowl of soup and a bag of kettle chips.
  • I am really late to the pale pink and rose gold game. It’s recently been the only color I will wear besides denim and black. I also got a rose gold phone. But more importantly I got a rose gold faux fur jacket with faux suede.
  • Cooper Hewitt is a very swag museum (watch out for a research-based article about the “swag” renaissance) that I went to over Thanksgiving break. I have been delving more into my fashion side, as we saw a few posts ago, and figuring out what I like and do not like. It was a little bit of a spiritual journey and a very cool place to be.
  • Animal Crossing is back in the form of a very addicting app. My one quirky fact about myself is the fact I was a 12-year-old admin of the Animal Crossing Wikia.
  • A company on Amazon makes plus-size tube topsFuck the fashion industry because I am not plus-size yet I am buying plus-size items because the fashion industry HATES BIG BOOBS (POST ABOUT THAT COMING SOON) BUT IT’S REALLY COOL BECAUSE NOW I CAN WEAR THOSE KIND OF SHIRTS.
  • Filter I love: D1 on VSCO. It’s the one that makes everything purply and pink. That is my aesthetic for November and also for life.
  • I have started a sunglasses collection, and I have not looked back.

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  • The save feature on Instagram is like creating your own mood board and not as creepy as I thought it was. It’s the digital equivalent to taking a stranger’s photos and hanging them on your wall (which I also do, but I feel like if it was actual people’s Instagrams that would be strange).
  • “If you miss a beat, create another.” – Patti Smith, “Just Kids”
  • Watching people online shop in class is a form of gathering material and inspiration. It’s also aesthetically pleasing and I get inspired just looking at how other people organize their laptop space. Weird.
  • Studying abroad in America is possible! My dreams really did come true. A trip I can fund myself. What a concept.
  • You can hit someone with a backpack by accident walking in Times Square and they will get mad and call you names. Even though it’s Times Square. My inner thought was “I’m sorry that I’m a woman taking up space.”
  • Take Care will always be the best album of all time, and nothing can change that, absolutely nothing.
  • No matter how much you’ll tell yourself you’ll take videos for a montage, you will not. I need to tattoo “PRODUCE CONTENT” on my forehead or something.
  • If you needed another reason to love Playboi CartiSo proud of him.

 

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  • waves – Tame Impala remix by Miguel ~ Literally just so cohesive and smooth. It feels like a burst of color. The people of Tame Impala (it really can’t be just Kevin, can it?) are BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE.
  • Yung Gravity by Yung Gravy ~ Whenever I hear the beginning I want to cringe so hard, but it’s really catchy. “Yung gravity, I pull your bitch.” It’s a joke. I totally get it. I overheard this in the New World Tortilla line at like 4:58 p.m. on a Thursday. Also, his voice is really familiar sounding to me, maybe I know him.
  • Powerlines and List of People (To Try and Forget About) by Tame Impala ~ I think I really cemented this calendar year of 2017 as the year I came to accept Tame Impala as my true favorite artist. Their surprise drop of Currents’ B-Sides on Spotify was truly the cherry on top.
  • Sure Thing (Andrey Azizov Remix) by Miguel and I Fall Apart (Andrey Azizov Remix) by Post Malone ~~ Andrey Azizov is arguably one of the best artists on Soundcloud; his remixes are really crisp and glittery and high-energy in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you’re covered in sweat at an EDM festival.
  • Shuggie and San Francisco by Foxygen ~~ There’s a light holiday mood in both of these Foxygen songs, which is why I think I like them so much. But I also like dramatically singing “BUT YOU DON’T LOVE ME, THAT’S NEWS TO ME, THAT’S NEWS TO MEEEEE” in my car alone driving while bitter once again.
  • Dance for You by Dirty Projectors ~ I feel like this song would be at the end of a crucial scene in Gossip Girl, maybe where Blair kisses Dan (which I hated, but loved the song in the scene!). I love finding gems that Rory and Riley introduce me to, because now whenever I listen to it I think about them and how much I adore both of them. This song will pull me through to Christmas break, accompanying late night walks home from the library.
  • Affection by Cigarettes After Sex ~ Two people I work with are in love with each other and conveniently dating and the girl in the relationship plays this at work a lot. It was one of my November songs last year so it’s fitting! It’s depressing, yet warm and all about love.
  • The Weekend by SZA ~ I’m getting into more of CNTRL at the current moment but this song is quite the jam. I love this girl, what a great girl. Empowering. Beautiful voice. Makes me feel like men are interested in me.
  • Prayers Up by Calvin Harris, Travis Scott, and A-Trak ~ I am for some reason just always going to get behind Travis Scott and his high-pitched adlibs. This song is no exception. The wavy and piano-driven beat has been my month’s aesthetic.
  • Blue Cheese by 2 Chainz and Migos ~ The song of the month! The song of the season! The song of the year! (Goldlink should win that Grammy though.) I have been obsessed with this song and Pretty Girls Like Trap Music way much later than cool people who listened to this when it first came out but it’s fine. If there is one song I listen to every day it is THIS ONE! (Honorable mention: 4 AM)

Naive Melody

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Home is where I want to be, pick me up and turn me ’round. I feel numb, born with a weak heart, I guess I must be having fun.

The less we say about it the better, make it up as we go along. Head on the ground, feet in the sky; it’s okay, I know nothing’s wrong.

I’ve got plenty of time. There’s light in your eyes. And you’re standing there beside me, I love the passing of time. 

Home is where I want to be, but I guess I’m already there. I come home, she lifted up her wings; I guess that this must be the place.

If someone asks, this is where I’ll be.

Last semester I was obsessed with the song Home by LCD Soundsystem. Partly because it repeats the phrase “take me home,” which was very relatable at the time (and sometimes still is) and there is a built-in wake up call at the end.

If you’re afraid of what you need, if you’re afraid of what you need. Look around you. You’re surrounded. It won’t get any better.

While reading the Wikipedia page for the song one night, I discovered that the song This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) by Talking Heads was the inspiration for some of the lines in the song. Fittingly, this song has defined this semester. I added it to my fall playlist September 24th and rediscovered the pretty Kishi Bashi version over the weekend.

It may seem like I have an obsession with my home, but I’m really fascinated by the idea of place. It’s the focus of one of my final papers and the focus of my daily thoughts most of the time. I think about place when I dress for the weather or an aesthetic or where I am going to end up being in those clothes. I think about place when I buy a pack of gum after I eat soup for dinner, alone, and decide where I want to post up at the library. I think about place in obvious ways too, like on highways and trains. I guess that’s why I like public transportation; you don’t have a place, just an origin and destination.

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It’s so weird that we all have two or more homes at this age in life. I come home and find out new things about everyone, things that happen at their homes I have not lived through. Michael will tell me about Boston, Riley about Philadelphia, Marcus about Long Island. We all used to have variations of the same life; even all my friends at UConn lead vastly different narratives, with differing majors, clubs, sororities, dorms.

And if you think about it, at college we definitely do live variations of the same lives, but just miles apart from each other. Or maybe even feet apart, if you choose your own path. Yes, everyone studies and has tests and sleeps on a mattress topper, but the rest is really all up to luck and decision, both equally I would say.

I adore the line “I love the passing of time.” No one ever says that. If anything, people wish that experiences would never end. But we don’t talk about the sweetness in the passing of time. Yes, I love all my classes and professors right now, the crispness in the air is refreshing, I absolutely love the holidays, but as the time passes, soon I will be in an apartment, and the guy I have feelings for will break up with his girlfriend, it will be summer again, etc. The passing of time is the greatest gift we have. There is certainty in the fact that nothing is certain.

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List of People (To Try and Forget About) – Tame Impala

Past Life – Tame Impala

 

A Justification for Dressing Like Shit

“For the next thirty years or so I will be collecting material… If anyone asks me what I work at, I shall say ‘Collecting material.’ No one can object to that.”

This quote from Stella Gibbons surfaced on my Tumblr feed earlier this year. I saw it and instantly reblogged it because I felt really connected to it. I had no idea the context of the quote, who Stella Gibbons is, or why I held a strong connection to it. Now I can see that it was just fuel for my creative procrastination.

I read a lot. I always have, because it’s one of my favorite things to do and brings me joy and makes me think. But I think I am thinking too much using other people’s thoughts. And that’s why I’m having this identity crisis.

As my roommate so graciously reminded me, every young girl is experiencing this phenomenon. I see it in the fake-deep comments posted on all the blogs I read; empty, flowery sentiments that young girls use to try to convey their wrapping their head around other people’s realities that mirror our own. We are all having an identity crisis. Or, at least people like me are having it. I’m not sure what the common thread is between me and other girls who think way too much other than the fact we think way too much.

And when I used to think too much and create, it was fine. There was an outlet for those thoughts and I could feel proud of whatever song or Polly Pocket world I came up with. I could see the physical manifestation of my thoughts and that was really important. Now that I am thinking more than ever, I have way less time to put any of those thoughts into outlets. But I think that it’s really important to have these outlets and make time for them, because they are essential to sanity.

I used to think making playlists, watching youtube videos, and delving into a good book or blog post would suffice in my quest to find an outlet for my thoughts. This is a flawed way of thinking. The whole part of creating is actually using your own brain and words to get out a message. I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing anything I mentioned above but I need to stop using other people’s creativity to guise the lack of my own. I need to write more blog posts, journal entries, and responses to other people’s thoughts. I need to generate my own original opinions. I need to paint and draw and not try to make it like anyone else’s.

I will say one thing I need to keep doing is wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts every day because it makes me feel most myself: I am not confined to a personality when I am wearing navy on black and covered in college paraphernalia. I am also really comfortable but that’s not relevant here. But I think taking a break from wearing real clothes and just focusing on my mind and what’s going on in there has been helpful in easing my anxiety.

So fuck collecting material! I’m making my own material.

Realizing You Don’t Have a Personality (Help)

For a long time I believed strongly in astrology, and sometimes it seems like I still do. I have inclinations to believe things about people based on their birth chart. I understand that astrology can be full of errors, because people can easily mold themselves into who they want to be (which is basically the topic of this post), but I still think there is a level of truth. I see it as two types of personality: instinctive and distinctive.

The instinctive personality lies in people’s private inclinations; their first thought or reaction, the way they carry themselves when no one is looking, what they do when they are alone, their thought processes and inner dialogue. My private inclinations when first meeting someone are to assess 1) who they are as a person, 2) what they stand for, 3) if they are somehow cooler/prettier/better than me, and 4) how they carry themselves. Then I try to mirror it, relate to it, or instinctively present myself as distinctly different from them if I don’t agree with who they are.

I think this corresponds to my sun in Gemini and mercury in Gemini, or in other words, my sun conjuncts mercury. This aspect of my instinctive personality makes me want to win people over. If I don’t win someone over, I have a problem with it for several days straight. So, with my instinctive personality, I create a distinctive personality tailored to my setting or a specific person/group of people. This is why I think I find it hard to make and keep friends, especially in college.

In high school, everyone already had a reputation, so although some people definitely evolved and changed, no one really forgot who you once were. Since I couldn’t escape this, my distinctive personality had some limits, or at least some dishonesty if I was ever to present myself as something completely different than who people thought I was. In college, no one knows who I really am, and my instinctive personality really tries to use this to my benefit. For example, I met a girl wearing dirty checkerboard Vans, a Polo hat, rounded sunglasses, and an ironic graphic t-shirt at a Soundcloud rapper’s house party. I talked to her about certain kinds of music, certain kinds of people we mutually knew, concerts, city life, and hypebeasts. I could assess from the way she presented herself that these were the topics we could find common ground in. And while it seems like a normal thing I do, and it probably benefits me in the long run connecting with people, I can’t seem to get past this step.

I feel like people can tell that I’m insincere. But I really can’t help it; I have multiple personalities. Not in the concerning medical disorder way, just in the socially handicapped way. I made a friend similar to the one at the Soundcloud rapper party last year, and we Snapchatted back and forth and kept in contact. He started working at a campus restaurant, and I was unaware of it, so I ordered corn tortillas with sour cream one Tuesday afternoon wearing a preppier outfit than I usually wear and I could see the confusion in his eyes. Whenever I hung out with him I always wore clothes that matched a different personality than the one I decided to be today. The Maina that hung out with him was completely different than the caught-off-guard Maina that was ordering corn tortillas.

While I know people don’t think about it as hard as I do, I can definitely catch the drift from people that they aren’t sure what to make of me. Like I wore normal nice Connecticut-ish outfits to Spanish class a lot and this one girl from a few towns over always talked to me, and one day I wore distressed jeans, vans, and my huge multicolored Polo jacket over a sweatshirt with round sunglasses and she didn’t talk to me in class. It upsets me that I can predict how everyone else is going to act and what they might wear on any given day but I have no clue who I will be even two hours from now or even tomorrow.

I wonder if I’ll be this inconsistent for the rest of my life. Not even just with clothes; with anything. More importantly I wonder if I can ever get over my outward appearance affecting the way I treat people and life in general. I think in college it’s so hard to know who people actually are and you’re surprised a lot by what is actually going on in people’s heads. And I know here there is a culture of certain what people wear and what certain people don’t. There are groups that people fit into and I can’t bring myself to stick to any group. And that sounds all social butterfly-ish but it’s really not. In these four inconsistent and weird years people just want solid friends to rely on, and I am very liquidy and change randomly. It makes me freak out about random stuff, like I’ll get mad that my Instagram is too normal. It literally doesn’t matter and I know that.

From typing this out I learned and admitted to myself that I’m definitely unhealthily obsessed with image and sometimes it’s super detrimental, and I should probably just not care. But I’m not happy with the fact I’m inconsistent and it makes me feel inconsistent in general. I just want an identity. And I want people to see that identity and be like okay yeah I could vibe with this girl, and then be friends. It’s that easy.

I feel more like myself in private because my identity is only made up of thoughts, feelings, and daydreams/fantasies (brought to you by Psychology for Dummies). In public, I have no idea what is going on with my personality, appearance, and style. I feel like none of it is my own. It’s always reflective of what’s been inspiring me lately. I think I’m a walking blog, or mood board, or something. But not as cool as that sounds. Just a mess. How can I mold myself into who I want to be when that changes on a daily basis? I wish I could just not have a body and just be an amoeba. I would know who I was for sure. I can easily give people a spiel of who I am inside, but outside it’s a little difficult.

Maybe if I established solid friends at the beginning of freshman year, everything would be different. Or maybe it wouldn’t. Maybe this is just who I am, and I’ll never develop into anything solid. I apologize in advance.

How to Get Enough Sleep in College

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Remember how I claimed not to know a lot of things? And all those times I mentioned how lost I was? Well, ignore that, because now we’re talking about something I actually know quite a bit about.

DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT DRINK COFFEE. I do not require caffeine to survive. I’m so sorry if this makes you sad. I can’t help you. Maybe stop drinking it; that’s one of my tips, anyways.

Hitting “pay” on those tuition fees means a lot of things, some exciting, some not so exciting. Something not so exciting that comes with the college experience is the amount of sleep you can expect to get on a daily basis: not much. Between hard classes, tons of homework, nightly excursions, and maybe not the best food choices, it’s almost impossible to get enough sleep each night. Hopefully this post will help you make some lifestyle changes that can help you achieve the goal of sleeping more, because ultimately it will do wonders for your attention span and GPA.

The first step to take is to accept that you will never sleep as much as you would like to. Use those weekends at home to sleep! College is not the place to shut your eyes for 12 hours and eat breakfast at 2 p.m. Of course, we’re all guilty of doing that once in a while, and I can’t say I didn’t do that often freshman year. In general, oversleeping like that makes you feel worse and more lethargic. So, make it a point to get up early on weekends, a.k.a. definitely before 10 a.m. This gives you time to run errands, do work, nap, do work, eat, go out, sleep, and repeat. Likewise, during the week, set a limit for yourself on how long you can sleep. I like to get up between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.; it works for my classes, and I can either get up on the earlier side or late side if necessary. Setting windows rather than a specific time allows me a slower, more relaxing morning and feels less pressured.

Also, try to get the most sleep when it’s dark out. Like I said before, naps should definitely be a part of your routine if necessary, but if you take a five hour nap in the middle of the day, it will be difficult to fall asleep later, and it will mess up the following day completely. Also, our bodies are programmed to sleep when it’s dark out; it’s a routine we’ve been following for well over a decade. That being said: do not pull all- nighters. Just don’t. Get your shit done in advance; it’s not as hard as it sounds. Choosing to pull an all-nighter usually means you made poor sleep choices in the past few days.

Now that we’ve got our general outline for a routine, now we will address the common problems that come with maintaining a routine in college. One of these, especially for me, is simply not being able to sleep. I find myself laying down to sleep and not being able to, whether it be due to excessive screen time typing out a paper or overthinking. I have a few solutions for this issue.

First, never underestimate the power of music. I find that ambient music like Flume, King Krule, Frank Ocean, and artists that have more ~chill vibes~ help me go to sleep more than nature or ocean sounds. Listening to this music at the tail end of my homework for the night or while tidying up my room puts me in a mindset more geared for sleep. That being said, never underestimate the power of ASMR. I know a lot of people think it’s weird, and it definitely really is, but that shit is POWERFUL. I have been using it since junior year and a good video can knock me out in 5-10 minutes.

I also like trying to associate certain actions with going to sleep. For example, make tea, whip up a bowl of oatmeal, or write in a journal every night before bed, or at least on nights you have trouble sleeping. You may find that all you needed was a warm feeling in your throat or a mind dump to put you to sleep. Plus, these actions make you feel more cozy and that in general can put you to sleep. Put on mood lighting, like a small lamp or Christmas lights, and pick something to do. Even smoking weed sometimes does the trick. Find your local freshman boy and coerce him to go outside and give him $3 for a few hits. Instant sleep.

Going off of that idea, taking melatonin at night also helps. It regulates your sleep cycle and acts as a placebo, like less intense NyQuil. NyQuil should only be used as a last resort and only if you’re sick. One thing to stay away from if you have trouble sleeping is coffee. Coffee can be really bad for some people depending on your chemical makeup and I always find myself sleeping horribly if I have coffee.

If you think regulating your sleep isn’t the problem, excessive napping is, I’ve been there. The key to prevent excessive napping is simple: stop going back to your dorm during the day. Maybe if you’re older or wiser or something, you’re laughing at this tip, but freshmen especially do not follow this rule. I overhear freshman girls getting stressed out at their napping habits but it’s just because they don’t stay on campus and get work done! It’s so easy. If you’re prone to sleeping in public places, wear a semi-uncomfortable outfit, like jeans. I never fall asleep in jeans.

If you absolutely do need to nap, do not nap until all your classes are done. I am 100% more likely to skip a class if I wake up groggy 30 minutes before. Waking up with that feeling is HORRIBLE and not conducive to a learning environment. One of my professors asked me if I was drunk after coming to class post-nap. You are not your best self. Also, I feel like I’m the only one that needs this tip, but you need to remember that extra-curriculars are optional, and if you NEED sleep, choose not to go to them and take a nap or do work then. I always feel really bad about this but in the grand scheme of things it will not matter.

Lastly, you might be having the problem where you’re too hyped up or preoccupied at night and can’t sleep. I can say I’ve experienced this, and it’s almost more frustrating than any other sleeping problem. Two things that help: eating healthy dinners and going to the gym. It’s no secret that we all feel better when we eat healthy, so this will clear your mind and make you feel good about yourself. If you can’t force yourself to eat healthy, find some vegans and get dinner with them. They’ll pressure you into getting a black bean wrap or something. Also, going to the gym tires you out, so this likens your chance of going to bed a little early. I find sleep comes faster when I do both of these things.

If you get anything out of this post, please remember that if you are burnt out, just sleep. If you’re going through depression or any emotional issue, work on your sleep. It doesn’t matter that you’re behind on work; work on your mental health foremost. Get what you need done for the following day and lights out. Also PLEASE make sure you’re doing at least one fun thing a day. For me, this means seeing a friend, watching Youtube or Netflix, writing, making a video, painting, etc. Even if you’re super busy, make time for yourself. It’ll make so much of a positive difference.

I hope all of these tips helped, and shout out to Sophie for requesting this post. Sleep tight, ladies.

Some of my favorite Spotify playlists for sleep:

~Chill 420 vibes~

Nostalgic end-of-summer vibes

Doing work and concentrating but also getting ready 4 bed vibes

Fall night in Vermont vibes

Some of my favorite ASMR channels:

Gentle Whispering

ASMR Requests

Springbok ASMR

Anti-Sophomore Slump Club

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That’s the setup for today, ladies. I just cracked open a nice cup of locally produced maple yogurt and I am ready to get back at it.

I have been meaning to get back into OTL for a while now. During the summer, since there is no schedule that makes me want to procrastinate and hate my life, I generally don’t make time to blog. But now that I have ample amounts of time I can convince myself to waste, I have big plans.

Well, I had big plans. Considering my entire life plan didn’t work out and I am not a transfer student at any of the ten schools I stalked mercilessly during the entirety of last year, I am back in BVT. I saved up a bunch of money and came here with the intention of making the year way better than freshman year, but I have no idea how to accomplish this.

I joined a few new clubs and have been enjoying those a lot, and I’m involved in the officer committee of one. I like joining clubs and stuff like that because a lot of times I find myself super anxious towards the end of the day and have no idea what to do during that weird few hours between when you stop doing homework for a little while and dinnertime. I’m burnt out but simultaneously really scared because I feel like I should be filling my time with something other than sleep- that’s where either reading a book as a form of escapism or my club meetings come into play.

I was also super hell bent on joining a sorority. I feel like I am close to the idea of a perfect candidate for a sorority and many people have echoed this sentiment to me. I love large groups of women, Instagram captions, and buying new clothes. I genuinely love community service and cry out of happiness during most of it. But I just want to know why it’s so damn expensive. It would be literally the perfect thing for me to fill my time with and yes I can afford it this time but I would rather travel and be able to live my slightly expensive lifestyle with my money, honestly. This is probably one of the bigger internal conflicts I’ve ever had and also the most elaborate pro-con list I’ve ever made in my life (I would post it but it’s all of my inner thoughts in one and I’m just not ready for that kind of exposure yet). But I can finally clear my mind and say that I’m not going to use my hard-earned dollars for that. But don’t get me wrong, when I see cute formal pictures and bid day videos, my heart is going to break a little and I will wish that my financial situation accounted for that expense, because it’s so worth it to be that cute and have that much fun.

If anyone is wondering, my slightly expensive lifestyle accounts for coconut shavings in my oatmeal, the biweekly visit to the Urban Outfitters clearance section, Megabus tickets, buying used books on Amazon, and the current half-off sale at the North Face. Also, you can get your bottom dollar I’m going to D.C. this year; it just can’t not happen. It’s going to be a semesterly tradition ladies.

I am also entertaining a few other ideas this year: I really either need to stop my Youtube addiction or become a Youtuber myself, I want to live in a city and have an internship and a few jobs during the summer, and I want to publish a book. These are all things I have been telling myself I probably shouldn’t do for one reason or another.

I want to make a Youtube channel because it would be the culmination of my life obsession. I have been watching Youtube regularly since I discovered that the sound of people speaking in different accents puts me to sleep when nothing else does. I found this one woman named Amy who knows how to speak in literally any accent possible back in seventh or eighth grade, and ever since then I’ve somehow transformed that regular habit of Youtube into many phases that have heavily informed my life choices. I even applied to a college back in senior year because freshman year I watched a girl who went to that college and it seemed fun. I’ve watched a lot of random girls grow up and go to college and get cool jobs and it’s so weird but also kind of nice that I can do that. I want to write more about that and how watching Youtube is kind of a private thing that’s stigmatized but also a thing that we know we all do.

I want to move to a city and get an internship and a few jobs because I’m tired of cities being my destination for a trip, not my home. I want to finally live in one already. I also want to feel like my degree is going to get me a job and not just teach me about Socrates and anarchism for no reason. I want to have a gross, small apartment with posters as decorations instead of actual picture frames on a wall and only eat grapes for breakfast. I want to be poor with a purpose. Sounds weird but hopefully you can get what I mean. I also want to work as a barista somewhere because I feel like being a barista should be part of who I am and I want to randomly know how to make drinks when I bring people over my house so they think I’m cultured. But who knows, because at the same time I want my beach and my backroads and quiet farmers markets and Ashlawn Farm Coffee. How do you know when to leave your hometown?! Is there ever a right time? Let me know.

This might make me seem ~secretive~ and ~elusive~ which are two things I know I will never be, but I’ve been writing a book since last November. I wrote a few books when I was younger, mostly in middle school. It doesn’t seem like some big daunting project, but it’s always in the back of my mind. I’ll be doing something completely related to my linguistics class and get this lightbulb in my head about what’s supposed to happen to which character and have to stop everything and flesh it out. It’s really annoying sometimes because I feel like my book is pointless and should not take place over my academics but I don’t know, I can’t help it. And I don’t want anyone to read it necessarily because I’ve only ever told one of Michael’s college friends about it so literally no one knows about it and also I can’t write anything that isn’t extremely personal. Everyone knows I’m a little bit of a stalker and I’m super good at it so this book has my stalkerish personality written (literally) all over it. I’m just super interested in the girl social media culture we all live in and class divides and stuff like that so it’s about that. I want to finish it in the coming year and maybe do something about it. But out of all of these it’s the least likely to come to fruition, which is saying a lot over the summer internship thing.

I hope that satisfied the three girls that read this blog (hello ladies). Tell all your friends about this please. I’m ready to be known. I want my life to be broadcast over the internet. Hi, I’m Maina, and because I grew up in a small town and have a lot of freckles I think I’m special, and I can’t give it up. Welcome.

 

 

The Breakfast Ritual

Two years ago, I think in April when I lived in the beach house, I was messing around with ingredients on a Saturday morning. I had decided to give up eating poptarts, also known as my insatiable obsession in life, so I wanted to create a new breakfast. What was born on that day has never left my life since.

Half of the reason I love coming home lies in making this concoction. The amount of ingredients and some add-ins have changed over the years, usually based on whether I can convince my mom to pick up a $9 bag of chia seeds at Stop and Shop. Sometimes at school I didn’t have blueberries readily accessible so I stole strawberries from the dining hall and used those instead. Regardless, this breakfast will always have the same core ingredients, and last month I filmed myself making it so hopefully other people will give it a try. Personally, I don’t like a lot of water in my oatmeal so that’s why it looks like damp granola.

Enjoy!