Today, I went to go take pictures of a family friend’s daughter. She’s an ice skater, and I’ve always loved watching ice skaters because what they do seems incredible. They’re so graceful, too. It’s really, really neat to watch them. She was only practicing, but I wanted to take pictures of her anyway. The mom asked me if there was any particular theme to my assignment, and almost without thinking I said, “I enjoy people in motion.”
One of my friends in from my floor last year created a “college bucket list” club, or something similar. This got me started on what I wanted to do before I graduate college. The first year, I had no aspirations of doing much besides surviving. But now, I want to do things. I want to know what Utah and life has to offer me, a college student looking for where she belongs in the world.
1. Go rafting. I’ve had two people in the past month say they’ve gone rafting were going to go but work got in the way. And it sounds like a fun thing to do. Plus, who doesn’t want to raft down a cold river in the middle of summer with a bunch of friends (and likely get a tan?).
2. Go kayaking. Same reasons as above. Different friends, but people have said it. I think it’d be a whole lot of fun. MORE WATER. Also, with friends, in summer.
3. Swim in a lake. This is on my actual bucket list too. I want to jump into a lake and just swim around in it. Not like Lake Mead. Lake Mead is nasty. Nah, I want a nice lake. And it’s more reasons for me not to wear my one-piece swimsuit. That’s why I haven’t gone swimsuit shopping in forever for a new bikini. I don’t ever use one and I want an excuse to use one.
4. Road trip with friends. To the beach. BECAUSE WHO DOESN’T LOVE THE BEACH?! Also: it’s probably way nicer to be on the beach in California than up in the mountains in Utah.
5. Road trip with friends. To wherever. I just want to road trip with friends. Throw all our crap into a car and drive wherever strikes our fancy. I kinda want to go north. Probably Seattle or Portland or someplace. So northwest? Anyway. Road. Trip. Anywhere.
5. Attend concerts. Salt Lake’s small, but it’s got good concerts. Maybe I’ll attend more now that I live here. Only problem? Car. I don’t have one.
6. Visit Japan on a study abroad/internship. I’m going through some hardcore nostalgia. I just want to go back to Japan by any means necessary. Study abroad, internship, living with my grandmother, you name it. I will take any way to get back there.
7. Learn how to dance. Okay, so this was a goal of mine at the beginning of summer. That, be more social, and speak Japanese more. It’s still a goal. I signed up for a modern dance class for the fall and I think I’ll take a ballet class in the spring (and one of my friends may take it with me!). If I like either enough, I’ll keep going with it.
8. Improve my times in swimming. Right now, my times for a 50yd free is about 40 seconds and about 1:30 for 100yds. I know I can swim about 600yds in 10-11 minutes. I want my 50yd to go down to about 30 and my 100 to maybe 1:00 or 1:10. I also want to swim a faster breaststroke.
9. Be social. And by this, I mean navigate social situations appropriately. Not feel awkward when I first meet people.
10. Work on strengthening my friendships. I have more friends than I did in high school, which is a success. But I want to be able to concentrate on keeping the high school friendships I had and on strengthening the ones I made in college. That’ll be kinda difficult because everyone will be so busy in the fall, so the likelihood of me seeing them often is low. But that’s what facebook is for, right? Sending messages to people, asking how they’ve been? …Just got to get over my fear of messaging people on facebook.
11. Drive to Moab and do something fun there. Like a hike. I hear Moab is a beautiful place and I really, really want to go. I’d likely go for hiking, but there’s kayaking too, so that’s also an option.
12. Climb Lisa Falls again WITHOUT panicking. I climbed Lisa Falls earlier this summer with a bunch of friends. The places I got hit the worst still have marks. The reason I panicked? I’m bad with heights and I was not expecting bouldering. Next time, though, I know what to look out for and I’ll swallow my fear of heights to go. That was gorgeous.
13. Play zombie tag dressed as a survivor or a zombie. I’ve played the university’s zombie tag both times. The first time I stopped playing halfway through because I skinned my leg and my elbow. Also: knee brace was present. Fantastic. The second time, I became a zombie. That was the day I decided to dress up because why not. It’s fun to dress up. I want others to do this with me. It’d be so fun to have a group of friends go all L4D or something at a game.
I decided last night to dye my hair. I didn’t know what color, but I wanted to. I eventually decided on dark auburn.
Except now I’m having second thoughts. If I dye my hair, it will damage it. Plus, the shade’s not my usual hair color. My hair is dark brown. My thing is… Do I want to keep up with dyeing my hair? Not really. I like my original hair color. I want to be able to have it wash out eventually, so temporary dye is the way I want to go. But I don’t know where to get it and have it not be spray on. The Smiths close to my place used to have temporary dye, but no longer. I wonder what I can do? I don’t want to permanently change my hair nor do I want to have to wait to grow it out… I’m going to really have to look for temporary dye or my friend will be disappointed she won’t be able to dye my hair.
I went to the local thrift store today for a few little things for a photography assignment. I did find several cute little teacups and a nice mug with my favorite tea on it. What is that, you ask? Chamomile! I also found several little knick-knacks which I could drop in club soda. That was fun.
I walked past the clothing section on my way to the back and saw a jacket that looks very similar to the one that’s worn by Hatter in Syfy’s Alice. The material was wrong, but everything else looked just about perfect. After I got my cups and knick-knacks, I saw for at least twenty minutes debating whether or not to get it. I also tried on several shirts that were similar to Hatter’s. As time ran out (I had class in an hour and a half), I caved and got it. Why? Because when am I ever going to find something like that again?! It was an amazing find!
Moral of the story: go thrift store shopping if you want to dress up as characters. You never know what you’ll find.
That’s what I tell everyone in my letters. I am anonymous. A stranger writing a letter to a stranger, hoping to make their day. I have come to the conclusion that I write these uplifting things for two reasons.
1) These are the things I’d want to hear if I got an anonymous letter.
2) I don’t want people to fall into the same feelings I had and keep having.
I don’t want others to feel inadequate. I don’t want others to feel unloved. I don’t want them to feel alone and stressed out. I know what it’s like when your brain turns on you and tells you things, true or not. Everyone needs reassurance.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” -Buddha
So smile. If you smile, someone else will smile, and that smile will keep spreading. Find your reason to smile. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. It can be as simple as a silly picture. Your pet. Nature. The weather. No homework. Doing a hobby that you love. Anything. Keep that reason with you all day. When you feel like you’re going down, bring that reason to the surface and smile.
Love yourself. It’s the most important thing you can do.
My planner that I’ve been using for the past year runs out this week. Most of the planners I’ve found (and liked) don’t start until August. So, basically, I’m stuck using a little notebook as my planner. Not that I’m complaining. I got the chance to split everything into four sections and now everything’s neatly organized. Well, as neatly organized as it can be. There’s still quite a bit of mess in there.
I’ve got a neat little thing to help me figure out which credits I still need to take to graduate. Let me tell you, that was frustrating because I had to look up classes and figure out what sounded interesting and what didn’t. I’m still hoping to take the classes that’ll help me teach ESL, but if that doesn’t work, I’m not crushed. I can still take sociolinguistics, which is awesome. I cannot say the same for my Japanese major, though. The classes I do want to take haven’t been listed in the past two years. Which upsets me because they say, “You can take classes from this list!” but only two of them are actually up there. What the heck, school. What. The. Heck.
And in addition to all of this, I finally created a facebook page for my shop. I didn’t tell you I had a shop? Here it is! I created the facebook page to take commissions, too. Any kind of commission is going to help me at this point. I really, really need commissions. Basically, I need money. I’m starting to develop an interest in too many things and my income is not supporting it. Especially since two of them (a 3DS and a camera) do not come cheap. I have a rule where I don’t buy a new game system until my old one is completely trashed and inoperable, but I haven’t touched my DS Lite in forever. Yeah, I’m that far behind in the DS systems. The 3DS I’m eyeing, though, is a steal. I’m tempted to alert the person and tell them I’ll take it, but they have to mail it to me. I’m also 100% willing to pay for shipping because that person lives past Provo and I don’t have a car. The camera is my roommate’s. I’m probably also going to buy all the accessories she has with it, if that’s included. I just have to see what she has. I know for a fact I want the lenses.
I also created another blog for my hobbies! So this blog will exclusively be for my thoughts and little updates. The other blog is called Penumbra. There isn’t much on there, but it’ll come together and highlight my artsy pursuits.
So today was a frisbee today. Every Friday! And I actually got beat today. First time I took that many hits in one game. I ended up getting hit in the head with the frisbee (because my own teammate kicked it and it hit me) and I ran into someone while trying to block. That guy was dense. Hitting him was like hitting a stone wall. I’ve been limping around because my left leg hurts and I know I’m going to get a bruise later. I’ve run into/been tackled by two guys before, but this was something else. However, it was fun. I pushed myself past what I thought possible (running on my hurt leg) every once in a while. Today is the day I’ve been doing what I didn’t think I could do.
I went grocery shopping with Jonathan because I needed to pick up more granola bars and Gatorade for when I decided to pull a swimming-then-frisbee day. And I actually got to articulate my thoughts.
I found that how I interact with specific people will depend on the situation I first meet them. If I talk to people and the situation is uncomfortable, I’m less likely to try talking to them again. But if it’s a good environment and it’s easy for me to talk to them, I’m more likely to talk to them and consider them a friend. I told Jonathan that I have horrible social skills- something he never would’ve suspected because I’m talkative. The thing is, I’m shy with people I don’t know. Once I get to know a person, I become loud and friendly. I told him I’m almost positive the frisbee guys are helping me be more outgoing. There were a few people I likely would’ve never bothered to talk to if it hadn’t been for frisbee because they weren’t the people I would’ve talked to normally.
Here’s a funny story: Apparently, usually when a girl’s invited, she comes, sees there are no other girls, then don’t show up again. He expected the same from me. Show up, never show up again. It was a surprise to him I kept coming back. (Honestly, I’ve hung out with guys a lot. I like hanging out with guys.) And according to Jonathan, it’s not me that looks scary. I’ve get this aura about me that is scary. Which rocks in a variety of situations.
For the longest time, I’ve held the belief I’m an unlikeable person. Whenever I express surprise that someone likes me, it’s genuine surprise. But I’m starting to feel more and more accepted. First with my dorm friends, now with the frisbee guys. Here’s a situation: A week or two ago, Jonathan had said we were going to split up into teams without flipping (flipping is the usual method of picking teams). The team of four got me, then there was a team of five. One of the guys, Forrest, said, “Pft, no, I want to be on Jess’ team.” Which made me think, “Wait, why? I can’t do anything!” But in retrospect, I liked that, because it made me feel like I was likeable even though I sucked. I don’t really suck at frisbee. I’m a decent defender. But when you’ve had low self-esteem for a long time, it’s hard to think, “Hey, people like me!”
When I mentioned all this to Jonathan, he was surprised. He didn’t know that the frisbee club could have that kind of impact on someone. It has on me. As I mentioned in this post, I hate missing frisbee. Not only does it help me release a lot of accumulated nervous energy and a lot of accumulated anxiety, but it and the people help me a lot.
I’m really grateful I’m going to university where I am. I’ve met a ton of people who are helping me get over my fears and anxieties, even if they don’t know it. I’m extremely grateful to everyone I’ve met. I may not have the widest social circle, but the social circles I do go among are the best ones I could ask for. A big thank you to them for doing so much, even if you aren’t aware of it. All of my dorms friends, lifeguarding coworkers, and frisbee buddies. They’re all awesome.
That’s all I can say.
I’d write about it, but the internet doesn’t want to hear about my problems.
Something I complained about half-light-heatedly and half-seriously: My boss scheduled me to work all day next week Thursday. I’m going to bring enough food for an army and a lot to do.
I’m also looking forward to the Utah Arts Festival in two weeks. I think it’ll be a blast.
I’ve recently started wanting to do a lot of things I never had the desire (or strong desire) to do before.