Monday, January 29, 2018

Just keep swimming

Do you ever look at your life and try to see it from the perspective of your younger self?

Mainly because you remember how you used to look at people your age and how much awe and respect you had for them... So old and mature.

Is that really where you are? You don't feel any different...

One minute you're 8 years old looking up at the twenty somethings then BAM everything is happening so fast!

College, career, marriage, babies... (or any combination and not necessarily in that order).

When I asked my grandmother (who is in her late 80s) when she started noticing that she was aging she responded that it wasn't until her husband, my grandfather, died a few years ago. 

That baffles me. 

In some way or another we stay young inside, unaware that time has passed and changed us (physically, mentally, emotionally).

We forget that we ever didn't know how to function as adults (but be aware that I use the term "function" loosely).

Let's face it, "adulting" didn't become a thing because it's easy.

Think for a second, though.

Can you really believe how far you have come? Just look at you! Succeeding and stuff. You rock.

You have made it this far, really you can do whatever you put your mind to. Sure, there are learning curves, monetary barriers, relationship troubles, and other things that make life more difficult. But haven't you made it this far?

The past may not be pretty but it IS in the past. Over. Done with.

Look to the future. 

Improvement and success don't have to happen immediately. It took your whole life to get where you are today and you're not done yet.

Just like when you were a kid imagining what it would be like to be where you are today, someday you'll think back to where you are now.

Be proud; if not of the success you've already had, of the success you will have.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Perfectionism: The Secret Monster

Perfectionism. It's blessing and a curse.

Mostly a curse.

I am finding it slowly creeping into all the crevices of my life. It's perfectly painted finger nails digging into my brain and sending impulses to nit pick at everything.

I have discovered that my need for perfection is creating an obsession with contingency plans for all possible scenarios. Unfortunately, this makes me feel like I need to plan for everything that could go wrong before I can do anything at all.

I need to loosen up. I'm starting to feel like a real stick in the mud.

I especially can't handle when plans change and I didn't make any plans for it. 

Two words.

Worst. Nightmare.

My brain scrambles to reassess the new situation and go through the entire process that I had taken at least a week to think through before.

I can no longer register emotion on my face because my brain can only do so much at once. For the next 5-10 minutes I'm stuck with only responding in "okay"s and "no, yeah, I'm fine with that"s.


I'm not fine with it.

I need notice!

Planning isn't the only area of my life that perfection's perfect teeth have smiled over.

School has also felt the effects. 

You may be thinking, "School? Well isn't perfectionism good to have when in school and trying to do well?" Not really. In fact, it makes doing well an ultimatum. 

Either I do it perfectly, or not at all. 

Very quickly perfectionism turns into the looming monster of procrastination.

Of course my brain reasons that if I save something for the last second then my only option is to finish it without obsessing over it being perfect. Then, ultimately, it saves time.

Unfortunately it doesn't save stress. I got stress to spare because of how close I cut it to my deadlines. 

Perfectionism has put me under so much stress that my trust in other people is tainted too; in a "no offense but I've thought about this much more than you" sort of way. 

So here it is. My confession. 

"Hi, my name is Joy, and I'm addicted to perfection." But 2018 is my year, and I'm going cold turkey...

Okay so probably not cold turkey, but I want to learn how to roll with the punches, submit assignments in a timely manner without obsessing, and trust other people to make decisions without questioning them.

Is that so much to ask? 

By the way, as my first act of non-perfectionism, I'm submitting this post without re-reading it over three times. Look at me go!

Monday, January 22, 2018



Highschool, college, or the kind with dentures, all have the same look behind their eyes.

Done with trying too hard and kinda bored.

I am in my senior year at college and I feel it, I see it, I could recognize it anywhere.

I look at the freshmen, their bright eyes and anticipation, down my nose but with just a smidge of jealousy.

They are so put together. They plan their outfits, shower in the morning, put on makeup, maybe even do their assigned reading.


I wash my hair twice a week at most. Not to be gross, but dry shampoo is my savior, and baby, I'm a believer.

I used to wing my eyeliner every day my first year in college. Every day. People ask me now how I'm so good at it and I just look back at how many makeup wipes I went through and how early I had to wake up... Think about how many times I could have hit the 'Snooze'... (sigh)

Now, I'm lucky if I put on mascara yesterday cause at least I'll have some leftover for today.

On the scholastic side of things I've declined too. I'm not worse off but I definitely don't try so hard.

I used to do the whole thing: notes, colored highlighters, sticky notes, reading...

Now, "studying" means maybe skimming the chapter, or googling someone else's quizlet to look over on the drive to school the morning of the test.

Outfits have transitioned from blouses or dresses with coordinating jewelry to t-shirts and jeans or leggings. One school day of freshman year past I even wore heels. Woah.

Of course there are other factors that contribute to indifference as we transition out of these phases of our lives.

I have found myself in a serious relationship and already know, or know of, most people at my small, private university. There aren't many people I care to make a certain impression on anymore in my school environment.

I also value sleep a lot more than beauty these days. Although I could say that valuing sleep is, in it's own way, valuing beauty... sorta. (beauty sleep? is that really a thing? I never manage to wake up more beautiful than how I went to sleep)

So maybe seniors are too complacent about how much we don't care anymore. Maybe freshmen try too hard. Maybe it's not a problem just a phase of life. Whatever it is, I'm not gonna worry too much.

Senior year is usually only that. Just a year. Then on to our next adventure.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Let's go around and introduce ourselves!

It's the same every semester in a new class with new people.

"Let's go around the room and everyone introduce yourself, tell us your major, and one other fact about yourself."

The statement that makes just about every college student roll their eyes into the back of their brain and start to scrape the barrel for an appropriate fact.

It's the conundrum of trying to not sound like everyone else. Not everyone can say they like to binge Netflix. That get's a little old after the second and third person. You can't say you like to get out in nature because the girl a couple people ahead of you just said that. You can't say you enjoy nights on the town drinking because... well, you probably could, but I can't cause I'm at a Christian college that would frown on me for this popular pastime.

*Side story: I once got a giant wine glass as a secret Santa gift and my professor just about passed out over it.*

Don't sound too much like other people, but also don't sound super different from everyone else or you might get labeled.

Geez, we can't leave these worries in the past, even if we mature. Our brain still worries about them if we're trying to make some sort of impression (but not too much of an impression).

Well, I'm generalizing, but my brain definitely overthinks it.

In my mind, an impression is all we have. It's not so much who we really are inside, it's how we are perceived and how we present ourselves to form this perception.

On the bright side, we can be transparent and have ourselves perceived how we are on the inside, but that is a vulnerable position to take. If we are judged on how we form the perception of ourselves to others then we don't have to take so much offense since we can tell ourselves, "well, they just didn't really know me."

But really, whose fault is that?

In contrast, if we are transparent and judged for who we really are, the sting is much worse. We may begin to doubt our character and qualities.

To be honest, in some cases, we probably should. But this is not true for all cases of judgement by any means.

Sometimes people judge merely because they are self-conscious of their own shortcomings. So even if we are judged when being honest and transparent about presenting ourselves we should not let that stop us from doing so.

As opposed to changing how we are perceived, perhaps consider changing how you actually are if you are so concerned about it.

Afraid people think you're a bitch? Maybe stop being a bitch. Stop word vomiting and consider what you say before you say it.

This applies to men too. Don't be a jerk. Show some chivalry once in a while and remember your "please" and "thank you"s.

I digress; Now back to the classroom. I understand the feeling you may get when being called on to answer those simple introduction questions.

Do I even do anything? My hobbies really are naps and Netflix...  As a student I don't have much time (or more importantly, money) to do anything else.

My solution?

I don't have one. But don't underestimate yourself (or your creative power) ;) Not that I'm telling you to make it up or anything...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue...

Ah the ever discussed, loved, and hated discussion of Valentines Day.

Honestly I don't hate it despite the fact that I've never been able to really celebrate it with someone special. I look forward to that aspect of it in the future.

In the meantime, I will ever celebrate the day AFTER.

February 15th.

Chocolate Discount Day as I have so named it.

But, for now let's rewind back to the actual day.

Yes it's mushy and overly publicized and I don't think that sweet gestures like the things people do on Valentines Day should only be confined to one day but it's nice and I enjoy seeing the love being shared.

Yes, yes I'm a romantic.

Sue me.

However, I do have a single pet peeve (Pun intended).

So, every week we get fresh flowers delivered to the office where I work. They brighten the place up and they smell pretty so I enjoy having them around.

Unfortunately, since Valentines Day is at the end of this week we got a BIG bouquet of a dozen roses.

Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely gorgeous.

But it's only Wednesday and I've already lost count of how many old people have asked me things like...

"Ohhh how lovely, who got these???" *Twinkle in their eye and figurative teasing elbow jab*

"Are these YOURS???" *Kindly smile that says "Ah young love"*


No no no.

And eveytime I say, "No they're for the office" I get one of these numbers...

"Oh no I can't believe that. They have to be for you."

Um, no they don't.

But I've found that mentioning the "S" word (Single) to older folks evokes a sort of response as though you have a problem that can and must be fixed.

"But you're such a catch!"

Yes, but I'm not a fish.

I love being single. Sure I look forward to my future and whoever that includes but for right now they haven't made an entrance yet and I'm perfectly happy "wild and free" so to speak.

Valentines Day doesn't have to just be for lovers. Tell your family and friends you love them. Tell yourself. Tell Jesus :)

Have a LOVEly day!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Introverted Extrovert

Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?

One little question we ask ourselves or get asked whenever we are curious about self discovery.

Our human minds are always seeking things to associate ourselves with whether it have to do with mind, body or soul.

Introvert or Extrovert. A simple 50/50.

Or not.

I don't really believe that people can be 100% anything. We are a beautiful rainbow of traits and characteristics that cannot be copied.

So back to the question.

I'll answer is for myself but first let me tell you a little about me and how I operate.

I find it hard to gather the motivation to purposely place myself in a highly stimulating social setting.

Once I'm out someplace I can play the part of "Happy to be here" and may even enjoy myself but believe me when I say getting home and winding down will probably be one of my favorite parts of the evening.

It's not that I'm antisocial.

I love people! 

Put me one on one with someone and I will talk life for hours. I'll listen and respond accordingly and give encouragement and empathy with all my heart. 

When I ask "What's up?" I mean it. It's not just a friendly greeting. Please, tell me what you are up to. I'd like to know because I care about you. Nothing pains me more than hearing (or reading) the response "Not much." I know I shouldn't take it personally but sometimes I do.

Same goes for "How are you?".

What does it take to convey to people that I genuinely care.

Looking at it from the other end...

How can I trust you to care about me when I answer such a question honestly?

The doubts run through my mind. 

"They just asked how I am and honestly, I'm doing terribly. Today has been the worst and I'm going through a bunch of stuff lately. Would they even care about that?"

So instead we answer,

"I'm good, how are you?"

It's difficult from both ends.

So, instead of going to a gathering and starting a whole bunch of small talk to meet people I stand quietly by and observe the interactions around me, feeling out the personalities and mannerisms of those I am surrounded by at the moment. I then dial down my real personality according to the set standard placed by the attendees. 

Chameleon status reached.

Am I an Introvert or an Extrovert?

I am both. 

No doubt my scale leans towards the "Introvert" end these days but those who know me are well aware of a crazy and wild side I enjoy showing when I feel completely at ease.

The truth is...

I am quite decidedly an introverted extrovert.

I will stay inside my head until proven that it's safe to come out and be myself.

I do believe a lot of people can relate to this. Unfortunately society has set standards and although they tell you it's okay to just be you what they're really saying is," Be yourself as long as you are like this."

That is so freaking hard. Trying to have my personality fit society's standards burns me out. Nobody should have to dial down what beautifully unique personality they have to become accepted.

We all have to get to a place where we are comfortable showing people who we really are.

And I know it's hard. Trust me. I don't think I'll be changing drastically anytime soon. It's definitely something I aspire to though!

And know this. I wrote this for myself and if it applies to you GREAT! If not, at least you'll know a little bit about how my personality type seems to operate.

Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Adulthood? You're not welcome here.

I can't tell you how many times over the years in grade school that I wished for a life that consisted of ANYTHING other than school. Day in, Day out. You see, I was homeschooled so it's work at your own pace. Unfortunately, being the natural procrastinator I have always been, school was rarely only a few hours and many things would just continue to be carried over for days and weeks.

So many years of grade school.

And yet...

I am now employed full time. 9-5.


I took a semester off college to figure out what I want to do exactly. Which I have successfully done.

This time off has made me realize something very important.

I miss it!

There. I said it, Mom.

I miss school.

Wasn't sure that would ever be possible.

It's just no fun to be that one stick in the mud of a new found adult life while your friends are off at different universities meeting new people, doing new things, and progressing towards a degree.

It's hard.

I'm definitely gaining real life experience which, let's face it, college doesn't really give you. This has helped me in determining the route I plan to take for college, and although it's nothing spectacular it will give me what I will need in a career in the future to support myself.


That really is one of the most important things to me.

What will I be doing? Well, in February I begin a 5 month program to become a certified Esthetician.

(a.k.a. Facials specialist)

Pretty much all things facial beauty.

It will be a small night class consisting of 14 people that will meet 3 nights a week. If I'm lucky maybe there will be a gay guy to keep things interesting.

Now, I'm getting that certification just because I want it, not necessarily because I think i'll be able to make a lot of money with it.

My real degree starts this Fall. It's a two year degree for Opticianry.

The professional practice of filling prescriptions for ophthalmic lenses, dispensing eyeglasses, and fitting contact lenses.

In other words, it's in the medical field so it will always be needed but it doesn't actually involve me doing anything doctor-y. It's all technical basically.

One thing I keep asking myself, however...

How did I get here?

I find myself making the big decisions by myself. Part of that was necessity but part of it was also maturity and growth.

I feel like I'm somewhere that I don't belong. Like I'm still supposed to be dressing up like a princess and torturing my brother when he's stuck babysitting me.

A part of every single person in the world is still a child and I want that to always be true. 

As our minds and bodies mature and gather understanding and wisdom our hearts still hold onto the small child that just wants to wear their heart on their sleeve and play to their heart's content. We desire the innocence we have already lost. 

With adulthood comes responsibility upon responsibility and I realize that we tend to lose sight of the small things we were so sensitive to as children.


What if you greeted the adults you see like you greet a small child. Not in a patronizing way just full of genuine care. 

"Good morning! Wow your dress is so lovely today, is that new?"

"Hey, thank you so much for bringing those papers to me! That was so helpful."

"That was so nice what you did for that other person just now, you are very kind."

I have found it can be harder to get a friendly greeting from a busy adult than from an introverted highschooler. 

So no. Adulthood is not welcome here.

Maturity and kindness, yes. But adulthood? Nope. You can keep your grouchy, selfish self away from me :)

K thanks.