Stepping outside of my comfort zone: extreme sledding addition

Yesterday we had our first decent snow of the school year and it was honestly one of the best days I’ve had here at college. That’s saying a lot because I’m halfway through my sophomore so I’ve had 1.5 years worth of fun times. One thing that made yesterday different was I stepped outside of my comfort zone more than I have in a long time.

I’ve always been a huge sledding fan, surprising my family (who know I’m scared to ride roller coasters and usually a somewhat wimpy person) with my adventurous love for going sledding real fast off of steep hills. Not only did I willingly go off of the steepest hill I’ve sled on in my whole life, but my friend discovered a small ramp. She had no clue it was there, but she went flying. We then decided to build it up bigger for some more fun. On a whim, I decided to be a little adventurous and go off the ramp and I had a little bit of a rough fall but it was fun regardless. Then, some guys saw what we were doing and they couldn’t resist helping us build up the ramp. We all cheered each other on as we took turns going off the ramp, team building and bonding with guys I didn’t know.

Then, one of the guys found a really large ply of wood. Me and this other guy looked at each other and decided we had to use to make the ramp even more extreme. He said he overheard people at the hill say we were insane and that the ramp was not gonna work. We ignored them and packed a ton of snow onto it until you couldn’t even tell there was wood underneath. Contrary to their assumptions, the ramp worked very well and everyone had a blast going down it. “I’m not here to go off that one. The other ones were ok, but this one is insane.” I insisted to the others who asked if I wanted to go. All of a sudden, a part of me realized I should just go for it and that I was already sore from some rough landings and possible whiplash from previous rounds and that nothing worse could happen. Another guy was at the top of the hill too and we anxiously exchanged a few “you going? maybeeee…you should go” and he finally went first, but I took a deep breath, felt my heart leap, and went right after him. As expected I came down pretty hard and I googled it..I definitely have whiplash lol. But the happiness that followed was so strong. I felt the adrenaline and the sense of community, building ramps with guys I’ve never met. I would have never done that even a semester ago, and I wouldn’t have even been outgoing enough to talk to those guys.

So in conclusion, put yourself outside of your comfort zone and do something that scares the shit out of you everyday. You might get whiplash, feel scared, or regret it, but I’m a firm believer that you regret the chances you didn’t take and the words you didn’t speak way more than the chances you took. Because at least you’re trying and that is truly all that matters.

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Virginity is a social construct and not something you “lose”

I know this topic has been talked about a lot, but many people still don’t get that virginity is such a social construct! I hate the term “losing your virginity” because nothing is being lost, you’re just gaining experience. Nothing is lost from having sex (except some bodily fluids to be honest lol). Also the concept of “virginity” is extremely heteronormative, along with the concept of “first base, second base, third base, etc.”. If oral sex/anal sex aren’t truly considered “real sex” and don’t count as losing your virginity then that means non-straight people are forever “virgins”? I’d say if you are theoretically able to catch an STD you shouldn’t be considered a virgin. However, I believe that virginity should be defined by person to person and no one can invalidate your identity. Labeling someone as “pure” who hasn’t had intercourse and only recognizing PIV (penis-in-vagina) sex as truly “losing your virginity” is plain ignorant.

Say “thank you” instead of “sorry” sometimes

I saw someone talk about this concept on tumblr a while ago and it really resonated with me. I find myself being too apologetic at times. I say sorry too often and it evokes insecurity. This is not to say “act recklessly and without remorse”!!! But just catch yourself when you think you’re being overly apologetic and try to differentiate between times when an apology is needed and when you’re better off with a confident and appreciative “thank you” instead. One way to tell the difference is if they are going out of their way to do a favor for you. It’s important to recognize their kindness instead of seeing yourself as a burden.

Examples:

  • Someone holds the door for you from far away and you have to speed up your pace to get the door. Instead of apologizing for slowing them down, simply thank them.
  • You drop something and someone helps you pick them up. Don’t apologize for the mess, unless of course, those items belong to them, instead thank them for helping you clean.
  • You rant to a close friend about emotional problems you’re having. If you’re friends then that means they care about you and a good friend should be a good listener and helping hand. Thank them for their support instead of calling yourself a burden.
  • One example of when you shouldn’t apologize (but not necessarily owe a thank you either) is if you don’t look your best in an everyday scenario. If a guest comes over for a casual hangout and you don’t have makeup on, do not apologize, because that implies that your purpose is to be a pretty face, by society’s standards.
  • And some examples of when you actually do owe an apology is tardiness (I don’t think thanking someone for their patience is appropriate because punctuality is important because it’s crucial to respect others’ time. So lateness does owe an apology!) , if you involve someone in an inconvenience ¬†(ex. back to the door example, if you don’t get the door for someone because your hands were full then you should apologize), etc.

I’m back!

Hey guysss I kinda forgot about this blog/got busy/didn’t feel inspired to keep updating this. So some things have changed since my last update:

  • I’m 20 now! Still doesn’t feel like it…I finished my first semester of sophomore year. So after next semester that makes me half way done with college which is insane!
  • I talked of wanting to get into the sorority…I did ūüôā proud Gamma Phi Beta!
  • No longer president of the photography club. I realized I had too much going on in my life and I needed to make time for myself and simply didn’t have the time or dedication for it. I don’t like to be a quitter, but sometimes you have to put yourself first.
  • Still working at the pet resort for breaks! I only have one shift left this winter break. I really hope I can continue for future breaks!
  • I’m no longer friends with my ex, got rejected by another guy who I had liked on and off for a very long time, and now I’m somewhat on a boy hiatus and trying to focus on self-growth instead.
  • Still have my pet fishy but she has a bacterial infection so I’m surprised she’s still holding on ūüė¶
  • A lot closer with my college friends from last year ūüôā I feel like I’ve truly found my place in college.
  • No longer going to minor in anything because I couldn’t find something other than psychology that I’m super passionate about. But I’m officially a psychology major so that’s cool!
  • I can’t think of anything else, but most changes aren’t concrete enough to list. I think of life as constant change and growth. But yeahhh I’m back and I’ll try to post more regularly!

One year ago, if you told me what my life was like today..I would not have believed you:

Hey guys, sorry I haven’t posted in a while. College has been amazing this semester for the 3 weeks I’ve been here, but also quite busy. A lot has changed this year and I feel that if someone took me aside and had seen into my future of my sophomore year, I wouldn’t believe half the stuff they said. Also…why yes, yes I am basically bragging and talking about my accomplishments/why my life is great now. But I will admit that in senior year of high school I was¬†not¬†in a great place. I was¬†not¬†a happy, confident, warm person because I was going through a dark uncertain time and now that I’m surrounded by great people and way happier and stronger than I’ve ever been, yes..I do believe I have earned bragging rights!

  • If you told me I was going to have great friends at college who I see several times a week, I would’ve thought it was too good to be true.
  • If you told me I had spent last night being welcomed by my new Gamma Phi Beta sisters, I would have thought there was no possible way that I’d be in a sorority (before discovering how truly awesome my school’s Greek Life is!)..let alone get¬†in¬†to a sorority..
  • If you told me I was going to be president of a student org I would laughed and said there is no way I have the leadership skills.
  • If you told me I was going to be a vegetarian ukulele player I would have sighed and said “if only that was true..”.
  • If you told me I was going to make the Dean’s list my freshman year, I would have denied that I had it in me.
  • If you told me about the loved ones deaths, roommate craziness, relationship drama, and other hard times I was about to face in my 19th year..I would have been terrified and not believed that I had the strength to get through it.
  • If you told me that I was going to spend the summer getting paid to take care of dogs, I would have said “yeah right” and felt it was way too good to be true.

So in conclusion..I am not the same person I was when my parents dropped me off to college. Many people have noticed I’ve changed for the better and that my smile is brighter and I have a poised confidence about me that wasn’t really there before. I hope to continue making awesome memories, and having strength to conquer not-so-awesome memories my sophomore year.

19 things I realized at age 19:

I’m writing this as a almost 20-year-old (I will be turning 20 in about a month plus a week). I was gonna do “20 things I learned before I turned 20” but I thought that would be too complicated and I have only had this blog through my 19th year so it would make more sense to focus on this year.

1. The biggest thing holding you back is yourself:¬†I had wanted to be a vegetarian for many years but I didn’t think I could do it, I kept making excuses. I even talked about it with my ex and he was like (he’s a non-vegetarian) “yeah, go for it, why not?” and I realized I was the only one holding myself back. This goes for other things too. I decided to teach myself ukulele instead of just wishing I could play but telling myself I couldn’t. Don’t ever limit yourself!

2. Time and distance can make you see clearly: This one is too personal to elaborate on but basically this speaks for itself.

3. Success doesn’t happen over night:¬†This is in regards of me learning ukulele. When I first starting I was frustrated that I couldn’t learn songs instantly and that I could barely form a G-chord. But I was patient and realized that practice makes perfect and while I’m nowhere near an expert, I’m far better than where I started from and I had the determination to learn in the first place.

4. Being blunt and speaking your mind can be crucial:¬†For many years blunt is not a word I would have used to describe myself. I always put others feelings before my own and was reluctant to speak up about how I felt and kept quiet instead of speaking up. This year I learned how to confront people better, share my feelings, and realized that you have to speak your mind or your thoughts will devour you. I’m not saying disregard others feelings and say rude things aloud, but I’m saying sometimes it’s necessary to be assertive and rock the boat in order to keep yourself happy.

5. There are more than 3 sexualities (heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual..yeah there’s way more than that):¬†Not to mention various romantic orientations as well. And it’s 100% ok to feel unsure of your feelings and it’s also 100% ok to be proud of who you are…even if not everyone understands.

6. Getting a job is really hard:¬†People said getting a job was hard, but until I tried to get my own summer job I could never understand the frustration of filling out dozens and dozens of applications, scrolling on various websites, getting job rejection emails, etc. Eventually, I did end up getting an amazing job at a pet resort that I’m so thankful for, but it felt a lot more rewarding to get the job after seeing how tough it is to get a job.

7. Everyone handles grief differently:¬†Some people handle grief by getting irritated over little insignificant things (when their mind is truly elsewhere), some people seem like they have it all together (but you don’t know the thoughts racing through their mind), some people are criers but it’s ok when some people are not. It’s so important to remind yourself that just because someone copes differently than you, doesn’t mean it didn’t effect them any less.

8. You honestly can be friends with your ex: I know people think this sounds ridiculous, some people will never agree with me on this. But I truly believe that with maturity on both parties and under some circumstances you can and maybe your strong friendship compatibility is what truly what brought you together. Not all breakups have to mean cutting them out of your life 100% and avoiding eye contact when you pass by.

9. If you have to force it, it’s not meant to be:¬†First off, two jobs I had an interview to I felt like I was being fake as hell in my interviews and looking back I’m like “wow I so didn’t want those jobs I wouldn’t have been happy!” this applies to people too, if you feel like you can barely even keep a conversation about the weather going with them then they aren’t worth talking to. People can smell fakeness from a mile away. Fake smiles, fake laughs…just don’t try to force anything.

10. I will forever have an urge to be a pet owner:¬†Maybe it’s just my love for animals (which I already knew) but I realized this year that while some people jump from relationship to relationship, I’m the same way with pets. I have this constant urge to have a pet and I don’t feel as happy when I don’t have a pet. When my dog died, I bought a rabbit. When my rabbit died, I bought a fish. When my fish dies..well probably another fish then. I don’t know if this is a problem, but it’s not negatively impacting my life so…

11. You are not your grades:¬†If you’re studying at the library 10pm on a school night and you’re wearing 2 coats and still shivering from a fever please stop studying and take a break. If your GPA is lower than a 3.5 you’re not a failure and you’re still gonna get into graduate school. If you’re sitting in a lecture and you’re feeling like you’re on the verge of crying and or throwing up, leave. I still am in the process of balancing working hard with overworking myself.

12. Being healthier will make you feel happier:¬†I believe anyone can benefit from more exercise, yoga, and eating healthier. I’ve been eating healthier this year and exercising more and my body visibly has a more athletic build which I love and my skin is better too. This year I cut soda out of my diet and I feel way better, I don’t even crave it anymore and without all that sugar I feel grossed out even having a sip of a carbonated drink. My teeth will probably thank me too…I’m not saying cut out non-healthy foods entirely, but I think it’s better to have baked goods for sweets rather than processed sugar-packed candy.

13. Some people will never understand you and that’s ok:¬†I have a pet peeve of someone not understanding me, especially since I have strong passions and beliefs and one of my least favorite feelings is coming across as someone I’m not. However, I realize now that there’s some people that just don’t get you. They don’t get your identity, they don’t get your personality, they don’t understand you or your beliefs and as long as you can find some people who you connect with, it’s ok if others don’t.

14. Get off WebMD and go to a real doctor:¬†This is something I stupidly didn’t realize for many years. It’s so tempting to google your symptoms when you’re ill but you’re likely to get results for all these fatal scary diseases when it’s more likely that you just have a common treatable illness. I got quite sick this year and I thought it was like an infection, the flu, pneumonia, or worse..turns out I just had a month-long common cold. I held off going to the doctor for weeks when I should have just taken care of myself sooner.

15. You won’t feel like an adult even if you’re considered an adult by law:¬†Then again I don’t feel like a child either. I just feel like I’m young and I have a lot to learn in life but I also recognize that I’ve matured a lot. I feel like you don’t all of sudden “become an adult”. Even my mom says she doesn’t feel like an adult haha. It’s ok to not know what your plan is and to still be figuring your life out.

16. There’s a difference between being scared and not being ready:¬†(Self explanatory really..)

17. Your home is in your heart; home is more of an abstract concept, not necessarily a physical concept:¬†Once I realized that home is not necessarily your own house, it’s not necessarily four walls under a roof to call your own, it’s your own sense of wellbeing and your own security and internal sense of stability…this got be through a lot. My dorm was not always a place I felt comfortable. I grew tired of the noise, the clutter, and the strong smell of weed..but having a strong sense of stability within myself got me through it.

18. You’re far stronger than you think:¬†Self explanatory, but next time you’re struggling think of how you’ve picked yourself up and how you were able to keep yourself going when everything seemed to collide.

19. It’s ok to still need a hug from your mom even when you’re no longer a teen:¬†It’s ok to still be childish in some ways, it’s so ok to be having a hard day and turn to your parents for comfort, it’s ok to still sleep with a stuffed animal, it’s ok to not know some “adult things”. Youth has no age. As I said in #15, the transition into adulthood is a gradual process.

Opinion: Myers Briggs Personality Types

What is Myers Briggs Personality Type?

For those of you who don’t know, real quick, the Myers Briggs Personality Type is a set of 16 different personality types, each having four letters. For example, I’m an INFJ.

E=extroverted (someone who gets their energy externally, typically more talkative, outgoing and less introspective, more focused externally, seen as the life of the party) vs. I=introverted (someone who gets their energy internally, usually more quiet, introspective/reflective, soft spoken, they usually stay out of the spotlight)

N=intuitive (thinks in abstract concepts, thinks of “what could be” and thinks more future-oriented rather than practically and in the moment, loves analyzing and imagining. They prefer to know “why” rather than simply “what”. Sometimes they gloss over little details cause they prefer to think of the big picture. They rely more on “gut feelings” and “vibes” rather than procedures.)¬†vs.¬†S=sensor (They are straightforward and think in practical and concrete terms, they don’t spend as much time thinking of why something is the way that it is, they care more about details and procedures instead of being overly analytical. They also prefer to think of how something affects the present moment and day-to-day life rather than thinking idealistically or future-oriented.)

F=feeler¬†(thinks with their heart rather than their head, they tend to make decisions based on their feelings or others feelings. They are quite sensitive and good and picking up on others feelings. Sometimes they are seen as being too “soft” and glossing over logic because they are such empathetic people.)¬†vs.¬†T=thinker¬†(thinks with their head rather than their heart, they often make decisions based on facts and logic and tend to leave emotion out of the picture. They are more blunt than feelers and better at taking criticism, but sometimes they can be seen as “cold”.)

J=judging¬†(loves planning/organization/working with routines and deadlines, spontaneity doesn’t come naturally to them and they prefer to have a plan. This isn’t to say they never have a messy room but they tend to like to keep things in order. Some people may see them as uptight at times.)¬†vs.¬†P=perceiving¬†(spontaneous, laid-back, “go with the flow”, they like flexible and open environments rather than having things planned out to the T. They prefer to let others take charge. However, they are sometimes seen as having their head in the clouds and are more prone to forget deadlines.)

My old opinion about Myers Briggs Personality Types:

When I first figured out I was an INFJ and learned about all the types, I was beyond intrigued! I always have been interested in personality and human behavior and I finally found a label to my personality. It describes me very well and it interests me to make sense of the ironic parts of my personality (ex. how i’m a judging introvert..I love planning and organization and I take charge when needed, but I still am quiet and prefer to stay out of the spotlight.) I began to try to type others in my life just for fun.

My current opinion about Myers Briggs Personality Types:

I still am very interested in this personality theory and I am still astounded at how similar INFJ descriptions are to my personality.¬†However,¬†I now realize that not everything is so black and white. Some people aren’t necessarily “introverts” or “extroverts”, people can be spontaneous and miss deadlines but still make dozens of to-do lists and love organizing things, people can be aloof and make decisions based on the cold hard facts yet be very sensitive to criticism, and people can be imaginative and rely on “gut feelings” yet still think in concrete practical terms. I can even think of specific people in my life that I can’t pin down with this theory based off their personality. (For example, my mom is a cross between a thinker and a feeler because she’s very logical but also very emotional and seems extroverted but prefers to work alone.) What am saying is I feel that people are amazingly complex in their personalities..too complex to fit into 16 different types of personalities. So while I still am intrigued by this personality theory, I feel that it should be taken with a grain of salt and with the reality that people are so much more complex than introvert or extrovert, feeler vs thinker, etc.