breathe

Real talk, guys.

I’ve been really stressed lately.

I’m becoming a lot more anxious and paranoid than I’ve been in the past.

I jump at every little noise.

I’ve noticed that my fear of the dark is worsening.

When I’m at work alone at night, I keep imagining horrible things happening to me.

Sometimes when I get sick and my sinuses are congested, like now, I have a difficult time breathing. It’s something that just started happening to me in the past year, but it makes me anxious every time it happens. It’s not even that bad, but it’s still scary. I start to panic a little, and I have force myself to take deep, even breaths.

I’m making this all sound way worse than it really is. I’m fine, really. I’ve always been a high-stressed person; I just feel like it’s just been worse so far this year. College, as much as I love it, takes up most of my time. I work at least 20 hours a week. I’m involved in different activities/groups outside of school. I’m looking for apartments for next year.

And the internet…the internet consumes me.

I’ve just been frustrated lately, which has led to stress. I’m frustrated with myself because I’ve become so obsessed with mindless internet browsing. I’m frustrated because I’m blaming myself for never having free time because all I do is sit on the internet, which is partly true, but I also need to give myself a little more credit. I do have a lot of homework. I am busy. It’s not completely my fault.

I need to acknowledge that. But at the same time, I do need to recognize that I could be doing so much more with my time that just watching Buzzfeed videos.

I’ve been watching a lot of WheezyWaiter’s videos lately. If you don’t know who WheezyWaiter is, then…I’m sorry??? He’s great. I’ve been watching his videos for several years, and he still remains one of my favorite YouTubers to this day. Anywho, he’s recently been making videos talking about how he’s trying to improve his life, and they’ve been really inspirational.

 

They’ve also made me realize something…I want to get off the internet. I need to get off the internet. And before you freak out, no, not completely. Obviously. I love the internet. I still want to check in on Facebook, and pin recipes on Pinterest that I’ll never cook, and, of course, keep up with this blog. I also love YouTube. I’ve been wasting a lot of my time there. And to be honest, it’s because one Buzzfeed video always leads to another…and another…and…you get the idea.

I need to take a step back from the internet though. It’s making me feel like I’m suffocating. So much stuff is being thrown in my face. It’s overwhelming.

I need to be able to breathe again.

Basically, this rambling nonsense all leads to my main point: I’m going to try to cut back my time on the internet. This means that I will need to be conscious of when I start to fall into aimless browsing. It means that I’ll need to force my finger to click the red ‘X’. It means that I actually need to put in some effort.

I know it’s not going to be easy, and sometimes, I will waste time with mindless browsing. It’s bound to happen. But I’m sick of the way I’m managing and spending my time now, and I want to change that. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the reasons I’ve become more stressed, and I want to see if cutting back on the internet will improve my mental state. Not only that, but it will allow me to find more creative ways to fill my time. I might become more motivated. I might actually get better at completing my homework more efficiently. It will also give me more time to focus on this blog, and figure out what I really want to do with it, because frankly, I’m not quite sure. I need to decide what kind of content I want to include/write about it. I want to post more frequently than what I’m doing now.

For all I know, this could be a fail. Maybe I won’t be able to tear myself away from the internet. But I want to try.

need to try.

I need to breathe again.

So thanks for sticking with me through this gibberish. I’m not even sure what I just wrote…I’m sure it’s confusing. So how about this – I’ll leave you with a song from Imagine Dragons that kind of relates to what I’m feeling:

 

Until next time,

Erin

10 Books I Want to Read This Year

My reading game has gone down the drain over the past couple years. Last year, I only read about 15 books.

Yikes.

While I don’t have high hopes that I’ll do any better this year, I do have quite the list of books that I really want to read. It’s just finding the time and motivation to read them that’s the problem…

But anyway, I thought I’d share 10 books that I want to actually try to read this year. So here we go.

10 Books I Want to Read in 2016

1. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer

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I just started reading this today, actually! I had a hold on it at the library FOREVER. It’s due in two weeks so I’m really hoping I can finish it before the due date. I NEED TO KNOW HOW THE SERIES ENDS.

2. The Martian by Andy Weir

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I am so mad at myself for not finishing this last year. I got halfway through it but then had to return it to the library. And like Winter, I’ve had a hold on this SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME. I can’t get it back, and it makes me sad. I was enjoying it so much.

3. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

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Again, I started this book last year, but didn’t have much time so I only got through the first 30 pages or so. A couple of my friends rave about it, so I need to read it! I have it checked out right now, so we’ll see…

4. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

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As a huge fan of Tolkien, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read this yet. I’ve just heard that it’s a difficult read, so I think that’s why I haven’t picked it up yet. But people have told me that it’s really fascinating, and plus, it’s Tolkien, so I must read it.

5. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. 

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Fun fact: I saw Patrick Rothfuss a couple months ago at a local coffee shop in my (and his) hometown. Even though I haven’t read any of his books yet, I geeked out a little bit because HELLO he is a well-known, semi-famous author. You don’t meet people like that every day. Anywho, I’ve only heard amazing things about this book, so I’m excited to read it.

6. The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

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I mean, I know already that it’s basically going to be Percy Jackson but with different characters and a slightly different plot, but I’m not going to lie, I enjoy almost all of Riordan’s books. And I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one as well.

7. The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Ahdieh

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OMG. KILL ME NOW. I read the first book last year and it absolutely BLEW ME AWAY. It quickly became one of my favorite books. I need to get my hands on the sequel now. I CAN’T WAIT TWO MORE MONTHS.

8. UnBound by Neal Shusterman

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The Unwind Dystology is up there on my list of favorite book series, and when I heard that this book of short stories was being released, I squealed. BRING IT ON.

9. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes 

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I wasn’t excited for or planning on reading this book…until I saw a trailer for the upcoming movie. And I can already predict that I will cry at least 2 gallons of tears during the movie. But I need to read the book first, since I’m that type of person. I will probably cry during the book too…

10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

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YEAH OKAY I KNOW I HAVEN’T READ HARRY POTTER YET. But newsflash: not everyone was allowed to read it when they were younger…But now that I’m an adult (I mean, at least legally), I figured it’s probably time to see what all the hype is about. I’m going to try to marathon the whole series and movies over the summer, but if that doesn’t happen, I want to at least read the first book.

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So there ya have it. What do you think of my choices? What are some books that you want to read this year? Let me know!

Until next time,

Erin

 

 

The Same Post – But Better!

I really must apologize for disappearing for a bit. I was busy with finals, Christmas, work, spending time with family/friends, and laying around watching TV/playing video games. So all important things. And then just this week I got struck by a horrible cold that I’m still trying to get over. I went to the doctor thinking that I had strep, but turns out I just caught a virus that gave me a nasty sore throat and caused my tonsils to swell up like balloons. Thanks body! Love you too!

After spending the past couple days doing nothing but groaning and sleeping and blowing my nose and watching so much TV I thought my eyes were going to explode, I got bored. Soooo I told myself that I should finally write up a blog post.

And guess what! It’s that blog post! That same one that the majority of bloggers write every single year. You know the one, where I state all of my goals and resolutions for the new year, none of which I’ll actually remember when December 31st rolls around. But hey! It’s the thought that counts. And it makes me feel better about myself…for right now.

But in all seriousness, I would like to actually put in some effort this year with achieving these goals. Yes, I say that every year, but…this year will be different? *fakes confidence*

Anywho, I’ve kind of divided my goals into categories, cuz that’s how I roll ’round here. Let me know what you think of my goals, and tell me about your goals for 2016 in the comments!

Personal Goals

  • Walk more. Okay, so every year, one of my goals is always “get fit” or “run every week” or “Omg can you exercise for at least 15 minutes a week you lazy rat”. And guess what. I SUCK AT EXERCISING. And I’ve finally embraced that. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I just have zero motivation to exercise. It isn’t a hobby of mine, and I don’t enjoy suffering on that torture contraption called a treadmill. But, I do know that exercise is so very important for your health, so I want (and need) to start small. I like leisurely walking, so I’m going to start there. Not only do I get some exercise out of it, but it gives me a chance to clear my mind and get outside for a bit. And no, walking more doesn’t include stress walking to class, hoping that I won’t be too late…Walking more for me means trying to walk for a little bit every day, or as often as possible. This should be easier to do once it warms up outside and winter’s gone.
  • Earlier bed time. AHAHAHA. This one will be hard. While I enjoy mornings, I am definitely more of a night owl. I stay up way too late most nights…And I can tell it’s not good for me. I always wake up feeling exhausted, no matter how much sleep I may have gotten. So I’m really going to try to go to bed even just a little bit earlier than what I’m doing now.
  • Pray more. I feel like I’ve become so bad at finding time to pray…I always seem to come up with petty excuses. I need, and want, to get into the habit of praying throughout the day, even if it’s a quick little prayer. More specifically, I want to find time to pray in the morning and at night before bed. As someone whose faith means a lot to her, I’m kind of ashamed by how little I actually pray…I need to do better.
  • Learn when enough is enough. One problem I had last semester was that I took on way too much. I mean, I got through it, but it wasn’t ideal. My GPA dropped a bit because of it (not drastically – I’m still doing really well, but it was hard to say goodbye to my 4.0…), and I was always doing something or going somewhere and it got exhausting. This year, I need to learn how much I can handle at a time without going insane. This is already relevant, as I need to decide if I want to keep or quit my second waitressing job once January is over…
  • Get a haircut. So this one seems a bit silly, but I haven’t gotten a haircut since I was like, 13 (I mean, I’ve gotten it trimmed – not the same thing). I want to donate it, but that would mean that my hair would be pretty short. And again, this sounds silly, but I’m kind of scared of having short hair again. I love my long hair, and people have told me it looks really nice on me. What if short hair doesn’t look good on me? What if I regret everything?! Regardless, I’m going to get it cut. Gotta try new things, right?

Reading Goals

  • Read 15 books this year. I know, I know, 15 books really isn’t that much. But…well, I haven’t been so great with reading the past couple years, so I wanted to keep it simple and doable. Who knows? As the year goes on, I might increase the number. We’ll see.
  • Read for at least 15 minutes a day. This’ll be good for me, and I think it might help me get past this super-duper long reading slump that I’ve been forever…

Writing Goals

  • Start editing Music’s Curse. Yup, I want to tackle the disastrous first draft of MC. I’d really like to get a solid draft put together so I can at least have my friends read it without being utterly confused. I don’t know how far I’ll get in editing it, but I’d like to start. I’d like to blog about my editing journey, too!
  • Do CampNaNo and NaNo in November. I’d really like to continue working on the story I started halfway through November, and am thinking that I could work on it for one of the Camps (Camp takes place twice, right?). Or maybe I’ll get started on the sequel for Music’s Curse…We’ll see.

Blogging Goals

  • Get back on a schedule. I’ve been posting sporadically, and probably will keep doing if I post anymore while I’m on break. But I’d like to get back to posting on Fridays, preferably every Friday if I can manage.
  • Comment more. I am so bad at commenting on other people’s blogs! I’m just lazy. I love it though when people comment on my posts, so I want to try to get better at commenting on other people’s posts.
  • Follow more awesome blogs. This might be surprising, but I really don’t follow many blogs. I used to, but most of the people I followed are now long gone. I want to find more interesting and fascinating people!
  • Share more original works. This includes pictures, writing, music, artwork, etc. I want to share it with you guys! I like seeing what other people think of my stuff.

The list could go on and on, but I’m going to end it there. I know if I set too many goals for myself, I won’t be able to meet them all, and then I’d be disappointed at the end of the year. This is already a pretty hefty list for me. But I’m optimistic about meeting most of these goals!

Classes start up again for me on the 25th, and you can expect to hear from me before then. I’d like to take a look back at the movies, books, TV shows, music, and such that I experienced during 2015. I’d also like to write a post about the things I’m excited for in 2016!

Until next time,

Erin

OhNoWriMo

Welp. I didn’t do such a great job in the past couple weeks blogging. I apologize. It was midterms for me, which meant days of stressful studying for exams and writing papers. And when I finally had a moment to relax, I didn’t really think much about blogging.

BUT HERE I AM. So it’s all cool now.

And yes, I’m blogging on a Tuesday. Why? Because I didn’t think I should wait until Friday. Something started a couple days ago, and I felt like I had to give an update.

GUYS. IT’S NANO TIME.

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is then you really need to get a life. Or just grab your phone and ask Google what it is. Come back when you know what it is. I’ll wait for you.

*sips coffee patiently*

Hooray, you’re back! Now we’re all on the same page. Literally!

So here’s the thing about NaNo this year: I almost didn’t do it. I wasn’t really feeling it, and I didn’t think I could handle it with school, two jobs, and a social life. But then when a co-worker excitedly asked me if I was doing Nano this year, I realized…

I had to do it. Not because I felt like I was being forced into it, not because I was afraid I wouldn’t be “a real writer” if I didn’t do it, but because I realized that I really, truly wanted to do it.

November is Nano for me. It’s been like that for the past five years. Without Nano, November is just…November. Just another boring month. But it’s gotten to the point where when I list the months in my head, I’ll go, “September, October, NaNo, December…”

Does NaNo stress me out? Hell yeah. Do I get sick of it after those 30 days? You betcha. But to me, that’s what makes it enjoyable. I love the challenge. I love the NaNo experience. I love the late nights of frantic word wars, the crazy, nonsensical chat conversations, and the struggle to contain your Inner Editor. I especially love the feeling of finally hitting 50K words.

However, all that said…I’m taking a bit of a different approach this year. I realize that I’m really busy right now, more so then I’ve ever been. So while I am doing NaNo, I’m going to relax things a bit. While I am still aiming for 50K words, I’m not planning on writing 50K. Does that make sense? Basically, if I think I have the time, I will try my best to reach 50K, but if it starts getting in the way of work and school and causing even more stress (not good stress), then I’ll pull back a bit. Basically, I’m doing this so that I don’t feel disappointed if I don’t hit 50K. The past two years, I was mad at myself for not getting to 50K because I had set that as my goal. This year, my goal is just to write as much as I think possible without getting in the way of other, more important things.

So what am I writing for NaNo? Well, I have decided that before I start a new novel, I have to finish Music’s Curse. I am so close! I meant to finish it in August and lol that didn’t happen. I’d say that I only need about 5K more to go and then I can finally say “SO LONG PARTNER” to the novel I’ve been working on for the past three years.

That is, until I decide to edit it…*shudders in fear*

After I finish Music’s Curse, I’ll be starting a new story for the rest of NaNo. It isn’t named yet, but I have a vague idea of the plot. I know it’s going to be steampunk fantasy with Persian undertones. I’M SO EXCITED TO START THIS. It’s gonna be great.

As for blogging during NaNo, I probably won’t be sticking to a set schedule. I’ll just kinda randomly pop on and give you guys updates. Things may get a bit…crazy. Don’t be surprised. Strange things happen during NaNo.

So how’s everyone else doing on their NaNo novels?! Still going strong, or ready to give up? Let’s be encouragement buddies, guys!

Until next time!

Erin

(P.S. Not proofreading this. No time for that. Gotta write my novel!)

Fall Bucket List

GUYS. IT’S OFFICIALLY FALL.

FALL.

I love fall. It makes my heart want to explode into a gazillion colorful leaves that I can rake up into a pile and jump in. There’s just something about this season that makes me really, really happy. The temperature is perfect, everything is so cozy, the smells of pumpkins and coffee are everywhere, and I can wear sweaters and leggings again. I just love everything about fall.

Since fall is my favorite season, I decided to put together a fall bucket list of things I want to do during the next couple months and share it with you guys. I already did some of these things, so I’ll bold the ones I’ve already completed!

Erin’s Totally Awesomesauceome Fall Bucket List 

  1. Make an insanely huge leaf pile
  2. Buy a fall-scented candle for myself — I actually don’t own any candles?? WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT.
  3. Go to a corn maze — Corn mazes are so much fun, but I didn’t go to one last year and that made me sad.
  4. Make a pumpkin pie
  5. Drink a homemade pumpkin spice latte — Did this! It was delicious.
  6. Drink apple cider — This was also delicious.
  7. Bake something autumn-y — I made pumpkin cream cheese muffins and yes, they were delicious.
  8. Do a Fall Cleaning of my room — What? I want my room to be nice and clean for winter/Christmas!
  9. Crochet/knit something awesome
  10. Talk lots of nature walks/visit places with great fall views
  11. Take lots of pictures
  12. Make fall-related art
  13. Treat Yo Self to new fall clothes
  14. Watch a scary movie — I HATE HORROR MOVIES but I’m actually really interested in seeing Crimson Peak when it comes out. I’M JUST REALLY SCARED.
  15. Make caramel apples
  16. Carve the best pumpkin ever
  17. Dress up for Halloween — I don’t do Halloween parties and stuff but I still just want to dress up anyway. Honestly I just really want an excuse to try doing some super cool makeup.
  18. Eat lots of Halloween candy — A.K.A., steal all the brothers’ candy and eat it.
  19. Snuggle up with a blanket and something hot to drink and read a good book
  20. Snuggle up with a blanket and something hot to drink and watch TV — I’ve been binge-watching Parks & Recreation and drinking apple cider.
  21. Wearing ridiculously awesome clothes and look fabulous — Please, I do this all the time.

So that’s my fall bucket list! We’ll see how many of these I can accomplish before fall is over.

Does anyone else have a fall bucket list or just some things they want to do this fall? Also, how do people celebrate Halloween in the Southern Hemisphere?? Is it still even celebrated on October 31st down there??? Please, if someone knows comment below because I’ve been thinking about it for a while and it’s killing me.

Until next time!

Erin

College Lyfe

It’s that time of the year again. College classes have begun! Except this time, I’m at a new school, and even after just a week, I’m loving it! It’s so weird to now be one of those university kids who I used to watch for years, who walked from building to building with heavy backpacks. It’s just such a strange feeling.

But anyway, now that school’s a week in, I thought it would be fun to do “A Day in the Life” post. I’ve seen other bloggers do this and always wanted to, but alas, most of my days are incredibly boring. But I’m going to do one now — in fact, I’m going to share two of my days since my class schedules vary. Hopefully this doesn’t turn out to be too boring…

Wednesday, September 9th

7:30 — My alarm goes off. I hit snooze and sleep for another 40 minutes.

8:10 — I get up and get ready for the day. I have coffee, eggs, and toast for breakfast (I am a strong believer in breakfast — EAT BREAKFAST PEOPLE). I also have time to pack a lunch so I don’t have to eat out. I make myself two tacos with my mom’s homemade salsa.

9:10 — I leave for class. The guy in front of me did not know how to drive.

9:25 — I park at the movie theater where I work since it’s close to the university and I don’t want to pay for parking. My first class, Marketing, starts at 9:35 and I’m running a little late, so I rush to the right building. I make it with four minutes to spare!

9:35 — Marketing! I still don’t know how I feel about this class. It’s too early to tell. I don’t think I’m going to hate it, but I don’t think I’ll love it. I also don’t know how I feel about the professor. He’s…interesting. But at least he seems to know what he’s talking about. We have our first quiz which I do pretty well on.

11:00 — I walk all the way across campus to get to my Intro to Arts Management class. I LOVE THIS CLASS. The professor is amazing! He makes us all rearrange our chairs into a circle to form a more inviting atmosphere for conversation. And we had some great discussions about the arts/arts management! Also he loves using chalkboards which makes me happy because I love the sound of chalk on the board! I JUST REALLY LOVE THIS CLASS.

12:15 — I walk back to my car and eat my tacos. I listen to the Smoke + Mirrors album by Imagine Dragons because the radio doesn’t play good music.

1:00 — I go to my Orientation to Arts Management/Communications class. There really doesn’t seem to be a point to this class? It just talks about requirements for the majors in the Comm. department and such. It’s kind of boring, but it’s only 1 credit and it ends in October, so whatever.

2:00 — I drive back home. I finish some homework for my online American history class (which wasn’t my first pick for history, but I couldn’t make any of the other history classes work), and then watch some Youtube videos.

6:00 — I’m helping with religious education at my church this year like I usually do, so I leave to attend a preparation meeting for that.

8:30 — I come home, shower, and play some Skyrim (which I’ve been playing for about a year now, and I’m still obsessed with it).

11:30 — I reluctantly head to bed.

Thursday, September 10th 

6:15 — My alarm goes off, but I sleep for another 20 minutes.

6:35 — I force myself to get up. I pack a lunch of cucumbers, a bagel, and cream cheese. It was all I could find.

7:30 — I leave for my 8:00 AM Astronomy class.

8:00 — I go to my hour-long Astronomy lecture. I find Astronomy so fascinating, and I think that I’m going to like this class. But I was so tired, it was hard to pay attention.

9:00 — I walk to the university center to do some studying. I took a mock French placement test, since I was planning on taking the actual test today. However, while I do okay on the mock test, it wasn’t enough to test out of French 101 (which is my goal). I decide to wait until next semester to take the placement test so I can study some more. I was also going to do some of my online History reading but the WIFI sucked.

10:30 — I go to my favorite resale/antique shop downtown instead. I looked for some CDs, but I couldn’t find anything I liked. I bought a cool-looking scarf and some earrings instead.

11:30 — I go to the Wisconsin River, find a nice quiet spot, and eat my lunch.

12:15 — I drive back to the university to practice my symphony orchestra music.

1:00 — I go to symphony orchestra practice! It feels so good to playing in an orchestra again! The professor is great, and everyone is so talented. And I get to play 1st violin! Thank goodness; I strongly dislike playing 2nd violin. However, I still don’t know the music very well…

3:00 — I drive back home. There are so many reckless drivers on the road! Almost as bad as the FIBs.

3:30 — I play the piano for a bit but then basically do nothing for about three hours.

6:30 — Dinner! Potatoes, chicken, and green beans!

7:30 — I blast some dance music and my baby sister and I shake it off, shake it off.

8:00 — I get around to reading my history…but then get distracted and download some music from Amazon, like the latest Imagine Dragons single.

IT’S SO GOOD.

10:30 — I get bored of reading history so I watch two episodes of Parks & Recreation. I’m started to get hooked.

12:00 — I really don’t know what I do but I do something for 45 minutes.

12:45 — Bed.

So that’s a little taste of how my days are going! Maybe I’ll do some more of these later on in the semester (you know, when I’m more stressed and ready to tear my hair out).

Peace out,

Erin