The Most Magical Adventure

When you have the opportunity to go on a trip to Disney World the week before Christmas and you find out three days before the flight leaves and have an hour to make your decision, you may panic a bit.

But you’d better say yes, because otherwise, you’re missing out on the most magical of adventures.

I never in my life thought I’d actually get to go to Disney World, let alone have such an incredible opportunity to go during such a wonderful time of the year. But that exact scenario happened to me this past holiday season, when my boyfriend’s family, who were heading out on a family vacation, suddenly had an open spot they needed filled.

I was floored–and honored and humbled and elated–that they wanted me to join them.

I could write a novel about all the adventures that took place (and looking at the length of this post, I nearly have), but I’ll just try (read, fail) and stick with some of the highlights.

I Have A Bug Bite?

One of the most surreal things was stepping off that airplane and immediately taking off my jacket, wearing a tank top and yet still be sweating, in December. I know I was at the most magical place on Earth, so this is a silly thing to highlight, but this little fact floored me the entire week; how back home, it was below freezing, yet I was out and about, wearing tank tops, sweating, wishing I’d brought some capris instead of only jeans, during Christmas time. It was almost foreign, seeing these gigantic Christmas trees everywhere and all these lovely decorations, yet still being able to feel my fingers.

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Oh, and I did come home with three total bug bites.

In December.

What.

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

So, I’d been to Epcot once before, during a work trip, but I counted this trip as my first time at Disney. Edward loved pointing out how “extra” the staff was, from silly puns to describing buying an animatronic dragon as having an “adoption fee,” rather than a price tag. Not in a bad way, by any means, but he loved to point out how much everyone tried.

Yet I don’t think anyone was as extra as me.

I was your ultra tourist. I can’t tell you how many times I rushed to go and take a picture (or how I made us stop at every photo person to take another cheesy photo) or jumped up and down in excitement or my grin was a little too wide. I was ridiculous when we first saw the castle, lit up with Christmas lights during the night sky. Or how I was constantly squeeing the entire time we were in Animal Kingdom, my favorite place. I was always buzzing, asking Edward questions or asking if we could do X thing or stopping to look at Y shop. I was awed the entire time and it was just so incredible.

I’m not even ashamed.

I Would Walk 500 Miles…

We definitely got the full Disney experience, too. From the 90 minute wait times for rides to the 22 hour day we pulled on day one, walking 25,000 steps and a little over 11 miles (and averaging 9 miles throughout the trip); to hitting up every park and staying out from open to close almost every day. If we didn’t get thighs of steel from that trip, then I dunno what to tell you. Yet for every blister, every moment when we felt like we were going to collapse from exhaustion, every time we’d tell ourselves, “We’ll take it easier tomorrow,” only to add another mile; it was all worth it, because we couldn’t stop laughing, smiling and enjoying everything Disney had to offer.

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But we didn’t just walk.

One day, we were waiting for a bus to get to Epcot, but it was going to be a hot second. And buses to the Magical Kingdom were showing up left and right. So we thought we’d hop on a bus, go to the Magic Kingdom, and then jump on the monorail to get to Epcot. We ended up, somehow, also including a ferry ride (since we showed up on the wrong side of Magic Kingdom for the Epcot monorail), so we literally hit up every form of transportation possible, just trying to reach Epcot. Waiting for the bus definitely would have been quicker, but it wouldn’t nearly have been as much fun.

So-fari, So Good

Like I said, my favorite place was Animal Kingdom. We actually did get to go on a safari, which was probably really annoying for Edward, as I clung to his arm and pointed out every animal we saw right after our tour guide did, as giddy as a child (as if he couldn’t see them himself). Seeing the Tree of Life was incredible. Walking through Pandora was really amazing, too. Even though we didn’t get to ride one of the rides there, we did get to do the Naav’i river ride (twice) which was way too freakin’ cool. And we saw the two little tiger cubs and I may have made us watch them play with their mom a little longer than anyone really should have. I also had a weird fascination with all the ducks around (and saw ducklings!!), because I’m that much of an animal nut.

Animal Kingdom

What’s a Fast Pass?

When I think of Disney, I think of the iconic landmarks, like the castle. I don’t think about the fact that it has a ton of rides. And roller coasters. Which I, uh, don’t do, because they freak me the frack out (which Edward learned really fast when I actually started crying slightly at Hollywood Studios because I was so terrified to go on Rocking Roller Coaster, where you went upside down, three times; he didn’t make me get on it, the gem). Yet I did try a couple, because Edward has a great knack (and I’m being 100% serious here) of knowing exactly when and how much to push me out of my comfort zone.

So we rode Everest (I only squeezed my eyes shut once!), which I enjoyed, but was definitely shaky, afterwards. We did the Naav’i river ride, the water ride (which was way too much freakin’ fun); Soaring, Test Track (and my car didn’t fail as horribly as I thought it would) and Mission Space, all twice and all incredible. We went through the globe at Epcot, the Dinosaur experience, Pirates of the Caribbean and even did a few rides at Universal, too! Though I was nervous, it was really fun and I’m glad I pushed my boundaries a little bit.

You’re a Blizzard, Harry

HP

We did get to do two days at Universal, which basically, for us, equated to an afternoon at Jurassic Park and then the rest of the time spent drinking Butterbeer and wishing we were wizards (at least, I was). I don’t think I can accurately describe how incredible the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was. When we stepped around the corner and into Diagon Alley, I was literally so excited, I may have punched Edward, accidentally, in a not so pleasant area, to which we then had to pause for five minutes so he could recover.

Oops.

But, it was so incredible, the attention to detail, the soundtrack playing everywhere, eating at the Leaky Cauldron, all the people wearing their house robes. It made me wish the wizarding world was all the more real, more than I’d ever had before.

It’s Not the Trip, It’s the Company

As you can see, the trip itself was pretty amazing–and that’s just a mere glimpse, not including so many other highlights, like literally taking all modes of transportation to the Magic Kingdom just to get a footlong chili cheese dog, wishing we got a free puppy when we stayed a 101 Dalmatians-themed hotel room, the fireworks show, eating at a space-themed restaurant and getting prime seating, or doing a focus group while we waited our ride time. There are just so many amazing aspects of this trip that I can’t even describe them all.

But the best part?

The people.

Dating an extrovert led me to meeting a lot of really amazing people that my shy self normally wouldn’t have talked to: a dad and his daughter, who was scared to ride Mission Space with us, yet halfway through the ride, screamed “THIS IS AMAZING,” which had us all cracking up. A boy who rode with us on Test Track, doing drive number eight in a row. Parents and their son who talked with us while we waited the first time for Test Track, gushing about how much they love Disney and reminiscing about what the park used to be, way back when. A single dad and his daughter who’d just arrived the day before, yet were already killing it at the parks, same as we did, never taking a moment to rest, because there’s just too much to do. It was so neat, to meet so many different people, even for a short while.

Then, there were the family dinners we had (almost) every night, which I enjoyed tremendously. It was great to get to know his family better, hear about their own experiences from what they did that day and just trade stories while getting really freakin’ fat on good food (gosh, don’t even get me started on some of the food we had while we were there….).MK_MSCINEMA_20171219_407270787580

But, the best company was the man who traveled right alongside me.

That was absolutely my favorite part, hands down. We could have sat in the hotel room and just binged watched the Weather Channel while eating mozzarella sticks and french fries (which may or may not have happened one evening) and I still would’ve had such a wonderful time, because I was with a person who understands me so well and just makes me so incredibly happy.

Thanks, babe, for putting up with my touristy nature, only making fun of me a little bit when I grinned too hard any time one of the photographers asked us to kiss in a photo, pushing me out of my comfort zone and creating memories with me that will last a lifetime. I couldn’t ask for a better person to go on adventures with.

I’m absolutely ecstatic for all our future adventures to come.

Cheers.

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Quest for Discovery: Week One

Hello, fam!

It’s really weird, getting into the groove of being productive again. The holidays always have a way of upending any routine I once had and disrupting the flow, so it always feels a little weird–not to mention intimidating–to get back into the swing of things once again. All morning, I’ve been bouncing back and forth between 20 different things and while it feels good to start working towards my goals again, at the same time, I’m also trying to not get stressed out and overwhelmed.

You know, like how this post was meant to go up on Sunday and it’s, ah, Tuesday.

*shrugs*

But, I’m excited. I’m invigorated from the rest and relaxation. I have a lot of goals I want to accomplish this year and I’m ready to get started.

So, let’s, shall we?

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Writing
Long-Term Goal: Write two new books and edit two books. Enter the query trenches.

Weekly Goal: Map out an online of the second narrative arc (namely, pick tropes I want to twist). Pick out some steampunk reads.

Reading
Long-Term Goal: Read every day, finishing up some old series and keeping up with new ones.

Weekly Goal: Finishing Age of Assassins. Read during my lunch breaks. Write review.

Fitness
Long-Term Goal: Continue living a healthy lifestyle and shaping a body I love and am proud of.

Weekly Goal: Do body exercises 3x. Log food.

Financial
Long-Term Goal: Learn to have a healthy relationship with money and build my savings.

Weekly Goal: Reevaluate budget and get it to a manageable state.

Spiritual
Long-Term Goal: Reconnect with God and grow personally to live more like Jesus.

Weekly Goal: Look up some different devotionals and find one I like. Discuss with Mom and make a game plan of when to touch base (because she’s doing with this me *fistpump*).

Carpe Diem
Long-Term Goal: Find a reason to smile every day and something to get excited about weekly. 

Weekly Goal: Get to Meridian in Horizon Zero Dawn. Have a blast catching up with old friends and at the fantasy football party.

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Want a boost of happiness or inspiration? Here are 26 inspirational quotes to change your life. Happiness quotes. Self-love quotes. Best quotes.

Looks a little sparse, this week, considering we’re just getting started and there are no goals to report progress on from the week before, but I feel like these are some manageable goals to start out with. I’m trying out a new layout, too, of how to write out these goals…still trying to figure out how exactly I want to do that, so we’ll see if it sticks or if I change it up.

For now, here’s to 2018 and trying to discover–by creating–a better version of myself, one day at a time.

Cheers.


Introducing My Quest for Discovery

Friends.

You followed me on my Quest for Happiness. It had roadblocks and stumblings, wrong turns and backtracking, yet also was filled with learning, success and forward progress. It’s a quest that doesn’t end, but instead, continues in new forms.

This year, it’s time to continue on that quest. It’ll feel familiar, yet also different. It’ll be challenging, but also rewarding. I’ll always quest and strive to create happiness, but for 2018, I thought we could take on a new name, a new focus, that expands on all of the foundations my first quest built, while matching the shape of what I hope to achieve this year.

This year, I embark on the Quest for Discovery.

The layout is the same. Every Sunday, I’ll post goals to help mark the map of how to get from Point A to Point Z. It helps me stay accountable and provides a paper trail to show where I started and where I’ll end, highlighting all the failures and successes that got me there.

Without further ado, here are the long-term goals I’m hoping to accomplish, with a few highlights to describe my vision of how I think I’ll get there.

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Writing: Write two new books and edit two books. Enter the query trenches.

  • On good writing days, I average roughly 1,500 words. So, if I wanted to write (almost) every day and get a first draft of (roughly) 80,000 words, it was take (practically) two months to write. So, add in some missed days, some unproductive sessions and time to outline and panic, and I think it’d take roughly three months to write a new novel. Same for editing (though I can prolly edit in a month, depending on the weight of the edits). 12 months in a year, so four projects to focus on. I like this idea. It feels breathable, yet challenging.
  • Editing wise, I’d like to tackle the NA trilogy I wrote. I have at least one major change I want to make to book one (I lied, I can already think of two) and though it’s been on the shelf for a while and has a lot of issues, I still think this series has hope. So I’d like to get through the first book, definitely, and start working on the second book, if I can.
  • Writing wise, I want to write book two in Artemis’s series. I think I’ll spend the first two weeks of January trying to get the book outlined (out of the double narrative within it, there is one mapped out and one still needing to be fleshed out) and then start writing on January 15th. Then, have a draft done by March 31st. I also really want to reattempt writing the first book I shelved last year, during the fall.
  • To achieve this, I’m going to use an amazing app called WriteTrack to help plot when I should be writing and goal word counts. I first tried this with the sci-fi project last year and even though I shelved that project, I really loved that app. It was helpful to schedule days I knew I wouldn’t write (like Saturdays) or change the weight on the days I was writing, so my goal word count changed. And the progress bar is always wonderful. My goal is to work on writing related things Sunday through Thursday every week.

Reading: Ready every day, finishing up some old series and keeping up with new ones.

  • I’d like to start reading during the lull moments of the day. Random 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, because it really adds up. Also, reading during my lunch would be awesome, as well as the hour before I go to bed.
  • Carry a book with me everywhere.
  • In early January, I’ll prolly take an afternoon to look through all of my books that I own and highlight some series I really want to finish this year, as well as some single books I’m really feeling. Who knows, maybe I’ll even write a blog post highlighting them and then write a couple updates throughout the year of how I’m doing.
  • But, ideally, the goal is to finish a book every two weeks (but, for Goodreads, I’ll round up to 40 books for the year), if not more, and then write a review for each book I read.

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Fitness: Continue living a healthy lifestyle and shaping a body I love and am proud of.

  • Main goal is to lose these last 10 pounds and reach my goal weight of 160 lbs.
  • I’d really like to tone up some areas that are still a little flabby (lower back, hips, thighs, ass, arms) and focus not only on cardio, through running, but also add in some strength training. I’m not sure how that’ll look yet.
  • Ideally, I’ll run four times a week–either Monday through Thursday or Monday through Friday, with Wednesday being a rest day. After running, I plan to stretch and incorporate whatever strength training I’ll add in. I’ll prolly stick with running 30 minutes per day or roughly 2 miles.
  • ^^ With this, though, winter is always really hard, with crappy temperatures, bad trail conditions and a different work schedule. So I’ll probably wait to try and implement this until January 15th, when I’m back on my normal work schedule, and then play it day by day until spring comes.
  • Food wise, just want to continue using the principles of Naturally Slim to keep myself eating a healthy amount of food, without sacrificing the carbs I love so much. Would really like to increase my water intake and protein consumption, though.

Financial: Learn how to have a healthy relationship with money and build my savings.

  • First off, in the first week of January, I’m going to reevaluate my budget, based on my spending last year and also incorporate putting money into savings every month. My savings account will not only serve as a backup nest, but also as my (hopefully) travel fund. The goal is to put in $100 per month into savings, starting in January.
  • I want to figure out a way to become less stressed in regards to money. I don’t want to break out into nervous sweats whenever I spend any or constantly feel like I’m behind. Though I know there are some challenges ahead, especially when I go on my own healthcare plan after this year, I am also doing okay and I need to recognize that.

Spiritual: Reconnect with God and grow personally to live more like Jesus.

  • This goal I’m actually the most nervous to have, because my spiritual relationship with God is one I don’t mind talking about, but it’s also personal, so writing about it weekly will be a different experience with me. But I’m not as close with God as I feel I used to be and I want to remedy that, through incorporating more prayer and perhaps a devotional or online weekly service.

Carpe Diem: Find a reason to smile every day and something to get excited about weekly. 

  • This goal, I’m substituting my Relaxation Goal for, and expanding upon it a little bit. I enjoyed tracking how I wanted to relax each week, because it reminded me how important that was to purposefully plan to relax and make time for myself (or family and friends) every week. I want to expand upon it and make it more general; not just relaxation, but general happiness and enjoying every day.
  • I’m also hoping, through focusing on this, that I can lessen some things I struggle with, like my anxiety and depression, as well as overthinking everything, getting overly stressed out, confidence issues, self-doubt, jealousy, plus loads of other things I wouldn’t mind improving/erasing/managing.

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My Quest for Discovery is focused on a lot of things, as you can see. It’s mostly focused on discovering how I can be the best version of myself and what that woman looks like (as well as putting in the effort becoming her); as well as what stories I can discover and how I can dedicate my life to writing them. I have no idea how this quest will go, but at the moment, I’m feeling excited and invigorated, because instead of feeling like I’m setting up impossible resolutions doomed to fail by February, I know I can do this. I’m proved it before. I can prove it again.

Welcome, friends, to 2018 and my Quest for Discovery. I can’t wait to see what you discover about yourselves, too.

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Reflections

Hello there, lovelies.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been able to write on this blog and let me tell you, I’ve actually really missed it. But, I’m sure you can understand the craziness of the holidays. I’ve been really lucky to have a wonderful family to spend it with, plus a lot of friends and an amazing boyfriend to pull me away from the virtual world and have me living in the actual one (not to mention a surprise trip to Disney World, which I’ll write a post about here soon).

But, I return to the blog to write the first post in a two part duo.

About resolutions.

(C’mon, friends, cut me some slack. You knew this was coming.)

If you follow this blog, you’d know that I actually posted every Sunday, tracking my resolutions and the goals I made to follow them, in a series of posts titled “The Quest for Happiness.” I’ve always been a pretty happy person, but I knew, if I focused working towards the goals I wanted to achieve, in the areas of my life most important to me, I was bound to stumble across happiness, if not create it myself.

These were the long term goals I quested after:

Fitness: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
Writing: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
Reading: Read 60 books.
Relaxation: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
Blogging: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
Financial: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.

Here’s how I think I did.

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Fitness: I think this was the biggest goal I achieved in 2017. I technically started it in 2016, in November, so I’m just a little over a year in to changing my lifestyle in order to be healthier and more physically fit.

Though it didn’t start off that way.

Last November, I was ghosted by a guy I’d gone on a few dates with on my birthday and I was both pissed and sad about it. So I started running, as a way to get my emotions out. I found I enjoyed running and the way it helped not only manage my emotions, but how, by continuing to run week after week, I started seeing subtle results, noticing progress; things like shaving off a 10 seconds of my mile time or running half a mile more. So, I wanted to keep going.

Then, I was lucky to apply for and get into a program through my job called Naturally Slim. It taught me how to eat better, without sacrificing the foods I love or becoming a strict calorie counter–both aspects which made dieting an inevitable failure for me, every time I tried it. It took a while for the principles of the program to stick and I still mess up following them, at times, but they are solid foundations I know I can implement–and I enjoy doing so.

A year and two months later, I’m 30 pounds lighter, hitting the 170 lb mark. That’s less than what I weighed in high school and only ten pounds short of my original 40 pound weight loss goal. I’m drinking a lot more water, my body is a lot stronger and I can run, at max, four miles without stopping (though I usually average 2.5).

This is the most awe-inspiring accomplishment, to me. This is a goal I’ve had since middle school, when I was what, 15? 10 years later and I’m finally taking my health into my own hands. I’m shaping the body that I want, creating my own confidence, relearning what it’s like to look at my reflection and like what I see.

I’m nowhere near done yet.

Writing: This was my biggest struggle and will probably be my biggest focus next year, because I hate how much I struggled with this.

Between getting ghosted on and the results of the election, depressed is one way to say how I started 2017 emotionally. 2016 was my best year to date, writing wise–four finished novels (though technically three, as I had already started one), so I wanted to continue that momentum. It wasn’t like I’d run out of ideas and I’d proven to myself I could write every day and stick to a routine. So, originally, I created this long-term goal for 2107: Edit three books, write four new books and query at least one.Image result for cowboy bebop gif

Yet depression rears an ugly head.

And it’s a bitch to creativity and confidence.

I started a new novel that I was really excited about, but got 60 pages in before I restarted it, not liking where the novel was heading. I got 50 pages in before I shelved it for a later time. I’d sent out two of the novels for beta feedback. One I got back and then did minor edits, before sending it out again. The other was so bad that it shouldn’t have been sent to other eyes in the first place. So I thought, hey, I could start that one over and see how that goes. So I made a bunch of outlines and got the vision I wanted. And I was really excited.

But then got 50 pages in and gave up, tabling another novel.

Got feedback once again on Artemis. Edited it again, feeling invigorated and excited. Planned out, roughly, the other four books in the series. Ended the year on a high note, which was really exciting, considering how shit I felt the rest of the year, trying and failing to write the books I wanted to; how I changed my original goal, after knowing I couldn’t meet it, and then failed to meet the editing goal I made for myself, too.

Yet it was an important experience, I think. I learned what it was like to struggle as a writer and I know that struggle isn’t going to just disappear. It’s something I have to learn to recognize; learn to differentiate between the struggles I need to push and work through and the times when I need to take a break. It also, in a roundabout way, reaffirmed my desire to be a writer. Because not writing much throughout the entire year? Yeah, that really sucked.

And I don’t want 2018 to be a repeat of that.

Reading: Definitely didn’t read as much as I wanted to or in the way that I wanted to. I’d read in large spurts–hours at a time–and then not read at all for weeks. Which sucked, because reading is one of the major ways that I de-stress–not to mention I have so many good book series I want to read and never enough time to read them. But, the books that I did read, I really enjoyed. And I kept up with writing reviews, as well, as quirky as they are. So it’s a start.

Relaxation: This was a goal I added in halfway through the year, thanks to the advice of a friend. Everyone said I had a lot of goals on my plate–maybe too many–but I couldn’t see myself not working towards any of these things. They are all too important to me. But one friend mentioned that maybe I should also track how often I’m doing something fun or taking time for me, making that a priority as well.Image result for cowboy bebop gif

It was a weird thing to track, because sometimes, I wasn’t sure what to say, or how to write it. But it was also fun to track, because it helped me remember that, even during the weeks where I didn’t have anything specific planned to help me relax or enjoy, like date night or a DnD campaign, there were a lot of little things spread throughout every week, too: like reading outside when the weather was nice or grinding on the latest video game I loved. And those are important to recognize and embrace, too.

Blogging: I think I killed this goal, particularly with this blog. I definitely increased my posting output and I love that. I tried posting on a schedule (posting X type of content on Tuesdays and Y type of content on Fridays, for example), but found that didn’t always work the best for me, so I had to be a bit more flexible. Instead, it became trying to post twice a week on this blog, not counting my Sunday Resolutions posts. It also entailed learning to forgive myself on the weeks when I didn’t have time or didn’t have the ideas to write twice a week.

I will say that I didn’t post nearly as much as I wanted to on Erlebnisse, my book review blog, which is tied into not reading as much. Hard to write book reviews if you’re not reading books. So I think next year, tied into my focus with reading more often, I’ll try to write more reviews, as well. And, because I believe I learned this skill so well, I don’t think I’m going to be tracking blogging, like I did this year–but more on that in the post two.

Financial: This was both a win and a struggle. Looking at my goal, I actually did really well. Downloading Mint and creating budgets on there really helped me manage my money with a lot more awareness. It blows my mind how I used to not even check my bank account for months, back in high school. I can’t imagine not checking my account weekly, now. Also, having all of my bills managed online is super helpful, through my bank. I feel like I have a lot of control, which is awesome. I started a retirement account, which I stressed about and am proud I got done. And I do have a savings account–which was started to fund London and has since been drained to the minimum balance required, so my main goal next year is to replenish it and fix my budgets so I’m not living so stressed out, financially, and I learn to live based off of my actual income, not my desired income.

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Oof, that turned out to be a really, really long ramble. But 2017 was a really eventful and challenging year for me, but personally and professionally. Considering it was the first year I made resolutions and stuck with them, I think an extra long post is forgivable, if not necessary.

Stay tuned to part two of this post, which contents I’m sure you can guess. 🙂

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Forty Nine

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Actually make an indoor workout plan. Eat well. Stay forgiving.
    • Status: Negative. Well, I did find some workouts to do indoors, but did I do any? No. I did pretty decent, food wise, and I’m really just trying to stay forgiving, at this point, and realize that I can–and will–pick this back up again. Just maybe after the holidays.
  • This Week’s GoalMeet my step count each day.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Edit short story. Potentially map out book two of Artemis?
    • Status: Success! I edited the short story, but didn’t map out anything. Since mapping anything out was more of a potential goal rather than a hard hope, I’m counting this week as a win.
  • This Week’s Goal: No writing this week, since I’ll be on an unexpected vacation!

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: FINISH THIS BOOK.
    • Status: Success. And finished another book, to boot.
  • This Week’s Goal: Enjoy vacation. Potentially read while there?

Relaxation:

  • Long-term Goal: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Get to writing and mailing those Christmas cards. Plus, WRAPPING PRESENTS.
    • Status: Success! And only, what, three papercuts on the tongue? Not too shabby…
  • This Week’s Goal: Enjoy a very unexpected drip to Florida and Disney World!

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Blog once and write review.
    • Status: Success! 
  • This Week’s Goal: Taking a week off blogging.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Force myself to buy a coat, because winter. Then, stay frugal.
    • Status: Negative. Still didn’t buy a winter coat. And now that I’m going to Florida for a week, money is the biggest stress on my mind. Going to have to seriously look at second job opportunities after Christmas…
  • This Week’s Goal: Get some cool souvenirs, but don’t go mental (yet don’t stay anally frugal, either).

Killed it, reading wise. Did okay on everything else. But this week is traveling and making memories and next week is Christmas, with even more memories and awesomeness. So while all these goals are really important to me, they are definitely going on the back burner, in exchange for time with family and friends.

But watch out, 2018. I’m coming at ya and you might not be prepared with all the awesomeness I’m throwing your way.

Cheers.


This Post is Definitely All Over The Place

I’ve written about my brain before.

Sometimes, my brain really sucks.

You know, like how it always goes to the worst case scenario whenever a situation pops up. Or how I overthink every little thing, to the point of exhaustion. Or how the combination of these things makes life just a little more complicated than it needs to be and even though this happens over and over and over again, I still repeat the same cycle.

Let’s go on some ramblings, shall we?

This year, I met a really wonderful guy. I fell for said wonderful guy and I’m very elated to be his girl. I’m hoping it stays that way for a long time, if I’m being honest. It’s the first relationship I’ve ever been in and, needless to say, that comes with a lot of firsts. Yet it’s also the first time I’ve really experienced a lot of the…more complicated aspects of being in a relationship, I guess? I’m not exactly sure how to describe it, but I’ve certainly learned a lot about myself.

I realized I have jealousy issues, so that’s fun. Fear of abandonment, thanks to all the guys who liked me, but choose a different girl instead. Super rad. Still got those bouts of confidence droughts that have followed me since middle school, which is every guy’s turn on, right? Sometimes, I struggle to open up to him about how I’m feeling, just because I care about this man so damn much that I don’t want to lose him over being a crying emotional mess, which, in turn, makes whatever I’m struggling with, build up and up and up until I break, and I end up being a crying mess, anyway (which, btw, if a guy is willing to leave you because you’re human and you feel things, maybe he isn’t the right guy for you? Luckily, my human is the exact opposite and is one of the most empathetic, patient souls I know).

Oh, and I really struggle at balancing things.

You see, this morning, I got a really surprising offer: to go on vacation with his family. Next week. To Disney World (I know, right? I’ve never been to Disney World *cue excited screaming*). Last minute, sure, but super exciting. Honestly, a trip of a lifetime.

Yet what’s the first thing I do?

Panic.

Can I even get off work? Do I have enough vacation time? How am I going to afford it? Will I piss off my family, being gone the entire week before Christmas? What about changing my eye doctor appointment or my phone call date with my friend?

the incredibles slapping GIF

Which then began the spiral of anxiety and overthinking that related to that balancing struggle I mentioned above. You see, ever since I started seeing him, he quickly became a really important aspect of my life. I want him to stay that way. My life began to become more busy, with dates and hanging out with his friends, things like that. So, some things, that I used to do when I was single, have sorta stopped happening. Like having an abundant amount of free time, not leaving my apartment for three days in a row, playing my PS4 way too much…

Seeing my family.

This has been bothering me for a while. Between working nights five days a week, having two different DnD groups that take up two large chunks of my weekend and then a man who actually wants to spend time with me, for a change, and suddenly, my family has been put on the back burner. Which really isn’t okay with me. If you know me, you know how important my family is to me, so the fact that I’m going a month–if not longer–between seeing them when I live less than an hour away, is really not working.

Then, you add in the changes that I’m experiencing for the first time, mainly the “being-in-a-relationship-during-the-holidays” shenanigans. Balancing two Thanksgivings and two Christmases has been something I’ve never had to do and it’s been a challenge for me personally (though this is a challenge I’ve always wanted to experience and I couldn’t have found a better man to experience it with). I want to spend time with my man during the holidays, obviously. I want him to be able to see his family and I want to get to know them better. But, my family is everything to me, so I want to spend time with them, too. Yet there’s still only so much time in the day, especially during the holidays.

Cue stress and anxiety.

Especially when I don’t tell anyone involved about any of these feelings.

Which results in bawling your eyes out in stress, fearing that you’re going to piss off your family to go on a vacation you really want to go on with your boyfriend, while also trying to figure out logistics of said vacation mere days before it happens while being a Type A planner, and oh, you’ve been on your period for over a week now.

You might be getting a mental picture of where I was at, this morning.

There are a few important things I’m missing, here.

One: I must stop worrying about what everyone else thinks.

Though I have gotten better about this, I do really need to take this advice to heart and follow it like it’s my religion. Because at the end of the day, this is my one shot at living the best life I can and the happiest life I can. If I want to take a day off work to do something else, I can (without worrying that my boss is suddenly going to think I’m lazy). If I want to spend the day with my man, I should do that (without feeling guilty it’s been a few weeks since I’ve hung out with my family). If I want to go and have dinner with my folks, I should do that (without stressing that my man is going to get irritated that I love my family so much).

I’ve gotten a lot better at being true to myself: being that nerdy, LOTR-obsessed, quiet, introspective, passionate, straight-edge, hopeless romantic I’ve always been, but sometimes too scared to stay true to. Now, I’ve got to also give myself permission to do what I want, as well, without considering every other party before I make a decision (because half the time, my anxiety is giving them untrue opinions/reactions to those choices to being with, which just makes everything unnecessarily complicated).

Two: Perhaps throw a little trust around, eh?

I have this ingrained fear of pissing people off. My friends, family, boyfriend, all of them are included in this fear, no one is exempt. I can’t really describe where this fear comes from, but it taints a lot of my thoughts and fuels a lot of my anxiety and my decisions. Yet it’s also wrong, because none of those people have ever given me a reason to doubt them or my relationships with them–not to mention the strength of those relationships, which I’m very lucky to have strong ones in each regard. I need to start trusting in that strength and the people that I care about; trust that their care for me is genuine and it’s not going to dissipate the moment things get rocky.

Three: The people I love can’t know what I’m thinking/feeling/needing if I don’t tell them. 

Self-explanatory, but apparently something I really struggle with. Gotta love the introverted shyness coming out in me, forcing me to resort to writing letters or long texts or hiding notes or passive aggressive blog posts to communicate how I’m feeling about something; causing me to wait until whatever’s concerning me has reached the boiling over point and I become the crying mess I was this morning. A mess who was answered by an understanding family, excited that I’m going on an awesome trip, instead of being angry or feeling jipped, like I feared; and a boyfriend who doesn’t understand why I’m not hanging out with my family more, because he knows how important they are to me–and isn’t going to go anywhere, if I do.

*sigh*

It’s safe to say, friends, that I’ve still got a lot of learning to do: in life, in love and in learning how to balance the two.

 

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Forty Eight

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Figure out an indoor workout routine to still do something as winter hits. Log food.
    • Status: Negative. 
  • This Week’s GoalActually make an indoor workout plan. Eat well. Stay forgiving.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Edit 5x and stay on pace to have edits done by the end of next week.
    • Status: KILLED IT. When you get your edits done 10 days early and get a draft of your short story done.
  • This Week’s Goal: Edit short story. Potentially map out book two of Artemis?

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Read every day and finish The Iron Hound.
    • Status: Almost.
  • This Week’s Goal: FINISH THIS BOOK.

Relaxation:

  • Long-term Goal: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Play Curse of Osiris!
    • Status: Success. 
  • This Week’s Goal: Get to writing and mailing those Christmas cards. Plus, WRAPPING PRESENTS.

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Blog once and write review.
    • Status: Almost. Blogged twice, but haven’t written that review (since, ya know, you gotta finishing reading the book first before you can write the actual review…)
  • This Week’s Goal: Blog once and write review.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Check in on all my accounts and double check bills are paid.
    • Status: Success! 
  • This Week’s Goal: Force myself to buy a coat, because winter. Then, stay frugal.

great writing week, last week. I’m really stoked to have the latest draft done for Artemis and excited for the future of that novel and series. I need to get my reading game on, since I have so many books I want to read and haven’t nearly been reading enough. Also, I’ve been maintaining, weight wise, which is awesome. Yet I’m getting that itch. I really need to start working out in some capacity, especially as it’s getting too cold to mess with that outside nonsense. But, it’s also two weeks until Christmas, so…it might be getting a little hectic and goals might not get met, because I also want to enjoy the end of the holiday season.

So, most important goal: stay forgiving and enjoy life.

Cheers.