Posted in feelings, friendship, rambling

Happy Always Comes Later

I’m sitting down after a Catch-Up Session with one of my best friends and I know I haven’t written in awhile and WEDA was a failure but I kind of just want to talk.

Catching up with my high school friends is always nice for so many reasons. We don’t go to school together and we’re getting old enough that we work, or we’re busy during the breaks, or our breaks don’t line up. I’m lucky if I see my friends twice a year.

The past few months have been full of friends making decisions I don’t approve of. But, the friends aren’t living MY life and they aren’t my decisions. I let the friends make the decisions and I support them unless I think they need help.

Today I found out about a decision a friend is making, and I approve. And maybe capital-G God doesn’t, but frankly I doubt that.

I’m emotionally intelligent. For as bad at empathy as I say I am, it’s a total sham. I get people. Almost all people. Often.

I keep thinking about all the things she’s not saying that she’s feeling.

The fear, uncertainty, sadness, disappointment. I want to tell her that it will be okay, but I don’t think she’s ready to be told that yet.

I find myself doing that with a lot of my friends lately. Waiting to tell them that Hope is the Thing With Feathers and that Fear and Sorrow Pass and that Joy Cometh in the Morning.

Sometimes you have to be sad first. I’ve done a lot of being sad first and I’m finally in a place where I’m not, but being sad first is an important part of being happy later.

If there’s anything I’ve learned, with all the loss and the awful and the trauma, it’s that happy always comes later.

So if you’re reading this and you need that reminder, that pick me up–I’m here to tell you:

Hope is the Thing With Feathers

Fear and Sorrow Pass

Joy Cometh in the Morning

Happy Always Comes Later

-HH

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Posted in body image

WEDA 17: Yes to Yoga

Today I did yoga for the first time in probably over a month. It took a lot for me to get on the mat, I’ll be honest.

I just tend to be filled with a lot of self doubt. What if I don’t get anything out of my practice today? What if I can’t do a pose? Should I really take time out of my day for this when I could focus on something else?

Yes. The answer is always, invariably, yes.

The Big Girl in me knew that, and I told myself, “The hardest part is getting on the mat.”

And then I got on.

Today’s practice wasn’t hard. At least, probably not for most people. But I struggled with the poses, with not faltering, with maintaining my breathing. I struggled with staying present as my thoughts tried their damnedest to not focus on my body.

But I did the poses. I felt more connected. I got something out of it.

Today I am doing everything I can to jump back on a positive track of better eating, better doing, better being.

And maybe tomorrow I will do less well, but today I did okay and that’s enough for me right now.

-HH

Posted in boyfriend, rambling

WEDA 14: Wedding Wondering

Well Writing Every Day in April definitely didn’t work. But there are two more vowel-starting months I can attempt to initialize and write through, so I’m hopeful. I’m betting August will be the winner.

It’s hard to write every day as an anxious, full-time college student who, until very recently, was constantly doing duties as the Maid of Honor.

My sister’s wedding was beautiful. The decorations were perfect, the day largely stress-free, ceremony flawless, reception hilarious, food delicious–all things a wedding should be/have. I learned that Traditional Maid(s) of Honor have a LOT of duties before, during, and after a wedding. For example, I learned how to bustle a dress and snap duties at people. I also learned that the Bride gets a Night of Amazing, the Guests get Night of Fun, and the Bridesmaids gets a Day of Work. Hair and makeup started at 9AM for my sister’s 7PM wedding, and I think at any given point in the day my most-used phrase was, “I’ll take care of that.”

Frankly, I don’t get the big deal about weddings. Marriage was intended to be a business deal, and in a lot of ways it still is. Example: my mom’s childhood friend refuses to marry her partner of like 20 years because, “I don’t want to take on all of his debt!” For my Boyfriend, our Marriage will be about our commitment to each other in front of God.

Personally, I think our commitment to each other comes from not leaving even when we want to, when times get tough, when the tough get going. I don’t need a piece of paper, a commitment in front of a hundred of my “Closest Friends.” I have him, and he has me–and that’s all I need. Frankly, no one in my family has ever actually committed to a marriage, so the idea that it’s an eternal commitment is nice, but just not accurate. People get divorced all the time. Marriage is not forever. Should it be? I think so. But is it? No. And for good reasons! But the idea that Marriage is the End All Be All of a Relationship is a dated idea.

I like the thought of marriage and want to get married, don’t get me wrong. I think my feelings mostly surround the Wedding.

I can legally bind myself to this person I love, and understand all of the legal benefits and (in some cases) necessities of doing so. What I can’t get behind is this huge, public ceremony to do it.

Marriage is sacred. It’s intimate. It’s two people committing to each other for Better, or Worse until Divorce/Death do we part. I couldn’t give two Craps about who was there, as long as the person I’m committing to is there. I just don’t understand why it matters.

My parents aren’t paying for my wedding. They aren’t giving me away (which is an antiquated practice I don’t even care to discuss). So why should they be there?

Why do I have to wear a white dress? I’m not a virgin, so it’s not about purity.

Why do I have to have a wedding party? They’d be a bunch of strangers to each other and have no idea what to do or how to do things like a bachelorette party (which I don’t even want).

Tradition is your enemy. And I’m a firm believer that a tradition’s history is incredibly important. There aren’t a lot of wedding traditions I actually agree with.

But what do you do when the person you want to marry only knows the traditions, only wants to do those, doesn’t understand why you don’t just give in to it all?

Do you wear white? Are you given away? Do you have a night where everyone but you gets drunk and the straws are shaped like penises?

I don’t know. It feels wrong to a bunch of things I don’t agree with just to make someone else happy. Is that what marriage is about? Is it wrong of me to ask him to compromise so that I don’t have to? How do you decide if a thing is incompromisable or not?

I try not to think about this too much. I’ve got a few years but I really have to worry about a wedding.

-HH

Posted in college, rambling

WEDA 4: Ladder of Faking

Well, this Write Every Day in April thing is already off to a great start. I blame my Sister’s Wedding. I never knew someone else’s Big Day could be so Time and Money Consuming, but boy have I learned.

Falling off the Bandwagon is hard, especially when you Stay off of It for almost a Month.

March was difficult for several reasons, but it reflected itself in a lot of unhealthy ways. I ate out all the time, spent a ton of money, never checked in with myself physically or mentally, and gave up maintaining any of my normal organization. I spent a whole week in bed–partially depressed, partially in severe pain. Basically, March took all the Success I’d been feeling, and threw it in the Garbage Disposal.

Coming back from Spring Break, I feel relatively unmotivated (because Disney World is WAY cooler than College) but I also feel surprisingly positive. I didn’t have a great first day back, I admit, but this morning I feel positive. I’m sticking with my bullet journal, and I’m getting homework done, and I’m trying wholeheartedly to build a ladder and climb out of the hole I dug myself and then burrowed under.

For me, that means small things that have huge impact. For example:

  • daily skincare
  • drinking a lot of water
  • creating daily to-do lists
    • forgiving myself when not everything gets done
  • sleeping when I’m tired, even if that sacrifices other things
  • saying yes more
    • knowing when to say no

These things may all seem small, but I tend to take on too much or do nothing at all. I’m very All or Nothing, and right now I feel Nothing, but I’m trying to be All.

It’s all very metaphorical and Fake it Til You Make It. But aren’t we all?

-HH

Posted in boyfriend, faith, religion

WEDA 1: Easter Fool’s Day

I know, I know. I disappeared. March was really rough on me, and then Spring Break was exactly the breather I needed. We went to Disney World–don’t worry, there will be at least 4 posts about it. I’m going to try a Write Every Day in April. Hopefully I’m at least 50% successful.

I’m not going to talk about Disney right now, though. Right now I want to talk about Easter.

I’m sitting in my car, windows rolled down (thankfully it’s a nice day out so I’m not ruining my car battery), waiting for my Boyfriend to get out of Mass. I was also in Mass until like five minutes ago.

For the majority of my life I have been an atheist. Some days I still am. Some days I’m a Christian, others I’m a deist. Faith, I am learning, is not linear.

Easter happens to fall on April Fool’s Day this year. The Priest, in his resounding wisdom (which is sarcasm, and probably offensive, but I don’t care), made a joke about atheists being fools. I didn’t find it funny.

The few Christian friends I have, whom I have discussed religion with before, are always incredibly welcoming. Even if we don’t agree, in the end I know they respect me. I expect as much from a Priest. From a Priest I expect to feel welcomed and encouraged to find and build a relationship with God. Today I do not.

I’m told it’s supposed to be a day of celebration of Him, so that kind of puts a damper on things.

Today I am disappointed in my Boyfriend’s religion. Days like this make me question our relationship. How can we have a successful relationship if he’s very Catholic and I’m Barely Religious? How do we have a family?

On days like this, I don’t think we can.

I need advice from someone who has successfully existed in a happy relationship alongside someone with drastically different views. I need to know that it’s possible because I love him but that can only get us so far.

-HH

Posted in boyfriend, rambling

Are you Sure you Want a Piece of Me?

Boyfriend and I have been fighting a LOT recently. Don’t worry, I think we’re fine. I think the stress of Midterms has just Overwhelmed us both. But there is an end (to Midterms) in sight! During one of our recent fights, though, I talked about something I can’t stop thinking about.

When I love someone, especially as much as I love him, I learn to love all the Things he Loves. Like video games, books, topics. This is definitely not a bad thing! I genuinely enjoy the things he enjoys, although I would say I learned to love them because he loves them.

The problem comes when I feel like I lose the things I love. This isn’t at all his fault. It’s because I’m an All-Or-Nothinger. At least, that’s how it feels sometimes.

The more I think about it, though, the less simple that seems.

My interests and my for-funs tend to be solitary things. Yoga. Bullet Journaling. Face Masks. Cooking/baking. Those are things you can do with other people, but for the most part I like to be by myself and do things on my own. He facilitates those environments for me–cleaning spaces so I can be calm and stretch, running my baths, fetching pots and pans, and giving input on every bullet journal spread I make.  But his things involve people, like DnD nights, or playing video games with friends. So when he does his things, I feel like we do things for him. But when I do my things, I do my things and he gets to do his own thing.

I guess now I’m wondering how much of my identity is my own, and what I’m going to start defining myself by. It used to be my intelligence. Now I feel like identities may be more complex than I thought.

I think I can use a lot of things to identify myself:

  • Introvert
  • Hufflepuff
  • History Major
  • Brother
  • LSU Tiger

These things are huge parts of who I am, and they don’t even feel like the tip of the iceberg.

You would never know that I’m a skincare enthusiastic. Or that I have health goals I’m always trying to meet. You wouldn’t know I love dark chocolate and hate tornadoes. You definitely wouldn’t know that I have an incredibly messy car and that I organize my life in notebooks.

I thought because I didn’t have a club to hangout with that I had somehow given my identity to my Boyfriend and he had taken it, left it out to dry, and gone on to be his own person. But really, learning to love what he loves is just a part of who I am!

I give pieces of myself to people, and explore new interests and parts of myself because of it!

Because of my boyfriend, I now like Dungeons and Dragons! And I play Minecraft! And I’m still as interesting, intelligent, complex, and awesome as I was before I gave pieces of myself to him.

I’m just a little nerdier now.

-HH

Posted in college, greek life, rambling

Spring 2018 Midterms Week

Midterm Stress is basically the Worst Kind of Stress Ever. Except maybe Planning for Disney World Stress.

It doesn’t help that I’ve got 4 events for my fraternity this week and an extremely busy weekend ahead.

I’m dealing with it One Thing At A Time–which, includes, dropping one of my classes.

I used to think dropping a class was shameful, or a sign of weakness. But mostly now I see it as Prioritizing Properly.

When I take only 12 hours per semester, my grades are significantly better than when I take 15. If that means I have to supplement with summer classes, then so be it. I would rather have shorter breaks, graduate in four years, and never worry about failing a class again–because with only 12 hours in my pocket, failing a class is basically out of the question.

In other News this week, I got my Littles last night! Matching was long and stressful, but I now have Twins. It’s exciting, but also a little bit stressful; I have to get them their first bout of gifts for Thursday.

If there’s anything I’m learning from this week, it’s that Meal Prep is basically impossible in the face of Midterms.

I’ve got four recipes I want to try, none of which are in the works to be made. I pulled out all the spices to season chicken, but then I realized I was behind on my Bullet Journaling and blogging.

I’m not sure if I’m struggling because of midterms or because I’m trying to track too much, but I haven’t been prioritizing BuJo’ing the way I normally would.

Think it’s time to take a step back and focus on maintaining my Habits. My Goals this Week are simple:

-Go to All my Classes (Successful so far!)
-Do Yoga M – F (Not successful so far)

Short list, small accomplishment, slowly steering myself back in the direction I need to be.

Progress and success are not linear.

Neither are Midterms, it seems.

-HH

Posted in bullet journal, faith

Journaling and Jesus

Hi friends!

So I somewhat recently started opening my heart to Jesus, right? [I feel like I should say this now: I’m having a Bad Brain Night. Sleep is not in my future.] Well originally, I thought I would read through the entire Bible and That would be That.

Nope. Not happening. I tried, briefly, and failed, spectacularly. So I’ve been working my way through devotionals and plans on Bible App to sort of work my way through Getting to Know Jesus and What He Means to Me and all that Good Stuff.

I’ve also started Bullet Journaling. My March spreads are up and ready (and I am SO READY for February to over (also PLEASE comment if you’d like to see my March spread! I’m really proud of it)), and occasional blank pages between spreads are slowly being filled with two things: grocery lists and Devotional Spreads.

They look like This:

I wanted to show them off because Christian Bullet Journaling is A) a Niche inside a Niche and B) Pretty Hard to Find Inspiration for! I chose to do spreads for ones which are only five days, but if you wanted to make them longer I’m sure there are different ways this could be adapted!

A fresh page just has the title, its author, and some taped-in scrapbook paper in the right corner. Each day, I signify the day with a different color Title, and then I read through the devotional and the Scripture for that day. I jot down any thoughts on either in a few sentences, and document which verses were read on the scrapbook paper. At the end of it all, on the bottom half of the scrapbook paper, I do a small reflection of the devotional as a whole. I found this helpful because people write devotional plans all the time–and if I really liked one, I can find more written by that person!

I can get into what the actual plans were about if you’re interested, but if you want to check it out for yourself–the Bible App I use is by YouVersion. The plans are “Breathing Room” and “Love that Lasts” if you’d like to check those out yourself as well. Hope this was a little bit helpful, and if you have any Bullet Journal Inspiration you think I’d like, please share!

-HH

Posted in college, greek life

Forgiveness

If there’s anything I’m learning, right now, it’s that forgiveness is damn-near impossible.

There are a lot of people I haven’t forgiven:

  • My dad
  • My ex
  • My fraternity

And I don’t know what’s holding me back from doing so. In some ways, I think it’s because their affect on me is still relevant. But am I supposed to forgive them in some indeterminate amount of time, when all of the things that have been done to me or that trigger me or upset me finally stop doing so?

I don’t think so. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to forgive them in order to get to a place where I’m not upset anymore.

I went out on a girls’ night last week and when I talked to my Friend about my frustration with forgiveness, I said a lot more than I thought I would: “How am I supposed to forgive someone–how do you just do that? How do you forgive someone who isn’t even saying sorry? How do you forgive someone who isn’t even here to hear it or respond to it?”

She told me that forgiveness isn’t about the other person. That forgiveness doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten, nor does it mean you want to be friends with your Offender. Forgiveness “is saying, ‘You don’t control me anymore. You don’t affect me anymore. I am letting this go.'”

She made is sound really Simple and Easy. She went on to clarify that it isn’t, and that sometimes forgiveness can be impossible or take a lot longer than you expect.

It’s been my experience that time allows me to forgive more than anything else. It took me almost 3 months to forgive my Sister for something awful she did, but I’ve forgiven her. I didn’t have to talk about it with her, I didn’t have to rehash things or cry or anything. I just took a lot of time, and went through my feelings, and stayed away for as long as I needed.

The problem is that some of these things are a lot harder to get away from than others. Particularly my frat. I have requirements to my fraternity that I’m obligated to fulfill.

I’m trying to get to a place where I can focus on the event, and what it means to be a Brother, and focus less on the people there and what they’re doing that makes me feel unwelcome.

So right now, I guess forgiveness looks like waiting. Waiting and focusing on other things.

-HH

Posted in college

Study Tips from a College Junior

Despite contradictory evidence from previous blog posts, I’m a very good student. I went to an academically challenging high school, I was (briefly) an Honors College Student. I have a pretty good GPA. It’s not a 4.0, but I’m not ever worried about being put on Academic Probation. Over time, I’ve developed a few things I think help me in terms of being a good student/staying on track. Further, I’ve recently discovered things that help me continue being a good student while also being able to not destroy myself in terms of mental health. [It’s a hard thing to do, especially in college.]

I have often googled “Study Tips” and tend to find the same, broad ideas repeated. I tried to avoid that, and instead make these a little more direct. Hopefully something here is something you’ve never tried before–and if you do try it, I hope it helps!

  1. Distribute your work
    I cannot stress this one enough. Avoiding all nighters is completely achievable! I think distributing work evenly over a series of days is the best way to do it. An example: On Monday, if you are assigned to read Chapters 1 & 2 by Wednesday, then read Chapter 1 Monday night, and Chapter 2 Tuesday night. If you have a large homework set, split it in half! Don’t wait to do it all the night before. Small bouts of various topics is way less draining than doing one thing for hours on end.
  2. One Thing at a Time
    I’ve recently changed up my way of distributing things, and I’ve found it incredibly helpful in terms of productivity. I used to distribute my work a month at a time and panic to keep up with the distribution. I’d end up re-working my schedule four times in two weeks, which I found incredibly counterproductive. It was also a lot harder to see my accomplishments. My new system is great! I have deadlines listed on the spread for that week, and then I distribute my work each morning. Homeworks have been shifted around a lot this semester because of weather problems, amongst other things, so every morning I check my list from the day before, check off what I completed, move or remove what I didn’t, and write out my to-do for the day. It’s allowed me to be a lot more realistic about what I can do in a day. I started this system because of a YouTuber from Boho Berry.
  3. Be Realistic About Distractions
    Don’t study at home if you can avoid it. Home is like the Pennacle of Distractions. I recommend a library; it’s meant to be quiet. Bring everything you could need for a long, extended work session if you need it! Laptop/phone chargers, blankets, earbuds, comfy clothes–and also, food!
  4. Eating
    Food is so important when it comes to studying. First off, you wanna make healthy decisions before you even start getting ready to study. Unhealthy foods can make you sluggish, grumpy, and fatigued–not a great start to a productive day. But you should bring snacks that will keep you full, are yummy, and won’t drain you! Some possible ones: nuts, fruit, jerky [protein keeps you full!]. Personally I like crackers, or pretzel chips. I also, on a really long night, will bring a yummy soup to heat up in the library that way I don’t have an excuse to take a two hour break to go out to eat!
  5. Music
    I find instrumental music the best. Personally, I like a lot Vitamin String Quartet. I also love two playlists from Spotify: Instrumental Study and Brain Food. A good one with music with words is Study Zone. If you don’t care for music but don’t like the silence of the library or there’s noise around you, I really recommend thunderstorm sounds. I thought it would be weird, but it’s incredibly calming and helps with relaxation/concentration so much.
  6. Listen to Your Body
    When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re thirsty, drink (I cannot stress a Water Bottle enough! So important for a productive work day). When your back hurts, or you feel antsy, or you need a break–take a walk. Your body can handle what you’re putting  it through, and so can your brain, but you have to listen to it. Sometimes that means a ten minute break, and sometimes it means completely changing where you’re working. Either way, listen to your body. It knows what it’s doing.

All of this comes as a result of me, wearing my Big Girl Prioritizing Pants, spending Mardi Gras break doing work (somewhat?) instead of Mardi Gras-ing.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

-HH