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.

New Semester Resolutions: Update

Almost a month ago, I outlined specific goals for the semester. Now that it’s underway and I’ve figured out my schedule, I want to share how I’ve accomplished these.

  1. Limit use of social media/your phone in general. This one was hard, but I definitely have spent less time on my phone/social media. This is in part to me actually enjoying my classes and also due to my effort to walk to classes and eat meals with friends, excluding the “need” for my phone.
  2. Don’t freak out when something goes wrong. I am trying not to freak out over the fact that I’m virtually unemployed right now!!! It’s been difficult but I’m putting in my best effort to finding a job. Overall, I’ve been more open to learning from my mistakes and embracing challenges now that I know how college works.
  3. Become more flexible about eating. Because I moved out of a dorm with a campus grocery store in the basement, I haven’t been super motivated to brave the cold and get a snack. I asked my parents to buy me healthy snacks before I moved in and now I’m stocked up on nuts, oatmeal, chips and guac. I still eat a lot, I honestly don’t think I ever won’t, but I’m more flexible about when I eat. Also, having meal points again helps (I spent them all by October last year.. yikes).
  4. Become more flexible about your appearance. This one was simple. I made it a part of my routine to pick out an outfit the night before. I missed doing that a lot!
  5. Don’t spend money on things you don’t need. I can’t even really speak about this one, because I have $12.33 in my bank account and it’s not even because I bought things I don’t need. The only thing I’ve bought at school was tickets to see Mac Demarco, and that was a necessity.
  6. Leave parties if they aren’t fun. I’ve been doing this. It’s not fun to walk home by yourself and get cat called but sometimes you’ve gotta do it. And I keep Ben and Jerry’s in my freezer just for this occasion.
  7. Interact with your professors regularly. I haven’t interacted with my professors a whole lot, I definitely need to step up my game with that. But I have been raising my hand in class often so that’s a step.
  8. Find a routine that works and stick to it. Routine has always bored me, I don’t get why this was one of my goals. Fuck routines. But my general routine for my MWF classes is getting up at 8:15, showering, eating breakfast with friends, and class. My T-Th schedule is getting up at 8:45, showering, eating breakfast by myself and doing work, and class. Getting up at those times has been good. It’s not too early or late. Honestly if I wake up past 9 I feel like a deadbeat.

I hope this life update was mildly interesting, and that some of this resonated with whoever reads this blog.

New Semester Resolutions

Tonight I will drive back to school. Hopefully I won’t cry at the Massachusetts border like I usually do. I could barely sleep last night, so maybe if I do cry it will be because of sleep deprivation. As much as I think New Years Resolutions are kind of pointless (at least, for me, because they’re more of intentions and I don’t like setting goals because I never accomplish them), I think that setting these intentions are important because I need to ground myself. Hopefully if you are a college student just getting back, or a high school student just ending midterms these inspire you too.

  1. Limit use of social media/your phone in general. This goes for when I’m studying, but when I’m out in public. I don’t want to use my phone in class, and I want to use my phone less on the bus. I feel constantly wrapped up in it when I should be interacting with others.
  2. Don’t freak out when something goes wrong. I am aware that I put my best effort into everything I do, and if I forget something along the way, it’s fine. I’m not perfect. Acknowledge your feelings and move on. Ask others for guidance or help if necessary.
  3. Become more flexible about eating. Between five classes, two jobs, and transfer applications, I’m going to have to become more flexible with my eating schedule. I have become reliant on consistent meals but I need to put that on the back burner as all of my responsibilities will be so demanding. Often I found myself unable to complete tasks unless I got my food, which made me procrastinate as I would spend hours at the dining hall on my phone (which will be prevented this time).
  4. Become more flexible about your appearance. There is simply not enough time in a day to pore over my closet and create an outfit. I either want to lay out an outfit the night before like I used to do in high school, or go outside in whatever I grab first. Of course, I should look presentable, but I want to be more functional and flexible when it comes to clothing choices and not put so much weight on what I’m wearing. I already wear nicer clothes than the average college student, so I’m good.
  5. Don’t spend money on things you don’t need. Maina, you don’t need that new shirt. You don’t need that pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. You don’t need a bunch of new candles or books off of Amazon. I want to put more money into experiences rather than things this semester.
  6. Leave parties if they aren’t fun. If you’re dying of boredom at a party, and feel like you have to get drunk or high just to enjoy it, then LEAVE. Who cares what your friends say. Call that Uber, take that bus, make that walk. Try not to go alone, but go if you have to. Do a face mask, watch Shameless, and go to bed.
  7. Interact with your professors regularly. Don’t be that guy that introduces yourself to the professor when they couldn’t care less, but ask your questions after class. Email them for extra office hours. Talk with them about things other than the class material. Professors are people, too, and I bet they’ll laugh at your roommate stories.
  8. Find a routine that works and stick to it. I know I already got this going at the end of last semester, but with new classes and a new job, I need to figure out what is going to work. I want to go to the gym at least four times a week, if not more, and take showers without having to walk outside immediately after (in Vermont, your hair freezes into icicles after .2 seconds outside) as often as possible.

I have a good feeling about this semester, although I don’t want to jinx it. I’m excited for my classes. I’m excited for my spring break plans. I just need to translate that excitement into some other things and I’m good.