2017 Goals, Part Uno.

Well, here we are. We are approaching the end of the first week of 2017.

best-happy-new-year-pictures
heihei

2017. MMXVII. Twothousandseventeen. 2k17. There’s plenty of ways to refer to the year of the rooster. However, we can all agree on one thing. It’s new, and it’s here for 365 days.

Some people make “New Year’s Resolutions”. Some people believe in the philosophy of “New Year, New Me”. Personally, I’m not a fan of any of those things. To those of you who do, good luck, you can do it, you’re great.

For me: I’m going to try something new. Goal setting!

Okay, okay, so maybe it’s kind of like a new year’s resolution. But, there’s a catch. Goals can be made at any time. Goals can be long term and short term.

I’ll be posting my monthly goals and updates from the past month in the first week of every month.In the last week of 2017, I’ll be summarizing. But- we’ll get there. One day, one week, one month at a time.

I’ll start my goals with my 2017 goals. Here we go.

My Goals for 2017

  1. Love myself and be happy. Do things because they’ll make me happy.
  2. Go to college and study where and what I want.
  3. Achieve at least C/Lt Col in the Civil Air Patrol
  4. Learn to stay calm and manage emotions, as well as being able to express these to others. (This one may not make sense to you as the reader, but it does to me. I’ve already started working on it!)
  5. Learn something new. Whether this is learning a new language, something about computers, anything.
  6. Make money. Save money. (Already working on the saving money! #AdventureFund)
  7. Stay hydrated. All year.
  8. Read my whole James Patterson series.
  9. Travel.
  10. Write more. (Whether this is blogging, letters, cards, journaling, it’s going to happen!)

Some of these are bigger than others. But to me, they all matter. I’ll post occasional updates here as to how those goals are going. (I swear I had a water bottle around here somewhere…)

Alright. Monthly goals. I’m not making a set number for these, it’ll change depending on the month. Here we go.

My Goals for January 2017

  1. Find a routine. A schedule. A purpose. Normalize my sleep.
  2. Eat healthier.
  3. Walk/bike more. I won’t put running, because I know myself too well for that and I likely won’t run in January. But- if I get in the habit of going for a walk, who knows what February will hold!
  4. Clean up my room and hang up my framed belongings.
  5. Find a job.
  6. Keep my email organized.
  7. Learn to drive in the Netherlands.
  8. Become comfortable interacting with other people in Dutch.
  9. Wear clothes because I like them, not because I want to fit in. (Honestly, I think I can add a scarf to ANYTHING and I’ll fit in…)
  10. Overcome my hatred for odd numbered lists. (Okay, this one won’t really happen. But, it’s a pleasant thought)

Allllrighty. I’m going to go finish my NCIS episode (Canary). Apparently it also snowed. Intriguing. Enjoy a picture my mom just sent of the snow!15909691_978465505587476_1454366300_n I’m half impressed that it does actually snow here.

It’s a little bit late, but guys, have a happy new year.

 

Talk Less. Smile More.

~E.♥

Countdown- 10.

10 days until I’m 18. 

14

This picture is from when I turned 14. A group of my friends threw me a surprise party at a local pizza shop. The “leader” of the group’s sister worked at that shop, and they organized a whole table, pizzas, and even a cake. 8th grade… those were the days. I had two different groups of friends. The girl who was holding my eyes shut in this picture- we’ll call her Brooke for the purpose of privacy. Brooke and I had been friends from the day I moved to America in 2nd grade. We were friends until the end of junior year. We shared so many memories. Brooke is now a Soldier in the US Army. We don’t talk anymore, at all, but I really do wish the best for her.

Anyway, Brooke wasn’t really a part of the friend group that threw me the party, but they included her because they knew she was my best friend. I always appreciated that. That friend group has gone many different ways now. Many of them don’t talk to one another anymore. When High School hit, some people ended up “popular”. Some people went full “nerd”. Others were punks or jocks, and honestly I’m surprised one or two didn’t drop out of school.

Who was I in 8th grade? Time to look back to an awkward time of teenagerness. I wore not two, but one glove. I also wore a fedora more often than not, and people recognized me because of it. I was ridiculously punk because of it, or so I thought. Lookmjing back, I understand why some of my friends called my Michael Jackson. The summer between 8th grade and freshman year, I “dyed” my hair purple with a Sharpie at band camp. Given, it was only a streak, but it probably looked so dumb. I’m still surprised seniors actually wanted to associate with me. I ran the mile in track, and I played soccer at the local Youth Soccer League. I got made fun of for that often, because most others in my grade were too old to play and found it childish that I played. It was actually downright bullying looking back, and as a result gym class (and the people in it) made me want to murder someone. I was an awkward trumpet player, not really good but also not really bad. I was third chair- back in the days our school administration allowed seating. They “outlawed” it sophomore year because it made other people feel bad about their seat (well no crap, that’s kind of the point). Other than that, I was your stereotypical young teenager. Worried about my weight (even though at the time I probably weighed around 115 pounds and I was 5′ 4″… I’d love to go back to that), worried about one pimple here and there, and I wore way too much makeup; dark eyeliner and sparkle eyeshadow from Claire’s. This was absolutely my “scene phase”. I’m not sure what stopped me, but I always wanted to cut my hair to have really thick bangs that mysteriously hung in front of my face. I drew on myself in Sharpie.

There was also the day my friend in science found the pyromaniac in me. He had a lighter with him, and I found this the coolest thing. He was a bit of a popular “badass” with a reputation for doing what he wanted. If you were his girl, you could be anything. I never wanted to be with him- I wanted to be him. Anyway, he had this lighter and it was shaped like a hot dog. It was actually incredibly dumb. We were sitting in science class, and the teacher was talking. I was always the “teacher’s pet”, especially in this class. She was the Student Council adviser, and an amazing teacher. She never really paid much attention to me, she trusted me. I never really messed around, but that day was different. My desk was next to his, and we were by the window. He takes out his lighter and shows it off. He lights it inside his desk. He hands it to me. I light it. I hand it back. He lights it, and he thinks it would be a smart idea to light a piece of paper on fire. To this day, I have no idea how the teacher never noticed, but this kid caught his desk on fire and successfully put it out in the middle of talking about microorganisms. The teacher retired two years later.

Sometimes I think about the days where walking to Taco Bell after school defined your popularity and the amount of glitter you wore decided who talked to you and wish life was that simple. Although… I never really was a fan of Taco Bell. I’m kinda glad we all grew up.

These days I wear less makeup, and thankfully I ditched the gloves and fedora somewhere along the timeline. I also lost most of that friend group (thanks high school), but I’m glad I know who my true friends are.

Life is weird, growing up is weird. But, there’s ten days until  I’m legally responsible to adult. Let’s embrace that. I’ll be here all week with your nightly reminiscing of my youth.

Here’s to growing up.

-E.

 

 

Breathe…

Your chest starts to tighten, and you feel yourself getting colder. Your hands are clammy and you feel weak. You don’t feel the tears anymore, the ones streaming down your face. You think about everything in life you’ve ever done and you wonder what would’ve happened had you acted differently. You sit down on the ground against a wall, you feel yourself pushing into it… but you don’t realize it. You can’t stop it. You don’t fully understand what set you off this time, but it was probably something small. You usually keep everything bottled up inside. That’s not good, everyone tells you. Random parts of your body start to hurt. You want to cry out for help, but you know you can’t. Or you know what they’ll say. You get tired.. and you lose motivation to do anything. You try to breathe but your lungs feel like they’re filled with water. This goes on for at least 10 minutes…

If you’ve never had a panic attack or an anxiety attack, you may think this is just a poem. Maybe a short story excerpt. It’s not just a poem or story. It’s what happens to me and so many others when you get so stressed… so anxious, that you just can’t function.

So yeah, I am happy, and I am fine, but this just happens sometimes. You learn to deal with it. Sometimes you share with a friend what’s going  on. Sometimes you sit all alone. Sometimes it’s only 10 minutes. Other times it’s a whole day. Everyone and every time is different. Sometimes you don’t even know why you’re “over-reacting” so much. You can’t control it.

I wish I could control it. I’m trying… Really.

Stay strong, guys. Breathe. ♥

-E.

Good, good, great!

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I considered posting happy thoughts. (Side note: I just got distracted trying to find a specific Fetty Wap song that was stuck in my head from sophomore year. I don’t even like rap. I guess I really don’t want to type happy thoughts).

Think happy thoughts.

  1. Soccer. Soccer was cool today. I taught a ten year old, and she was really cool. It was the first human social interaction I’ve had with someone around my age in two weeks. And she was 10.
  2. Food- as much as it hurts my stomach and gives me heartburn, it does taste good and I’d missed a bunch of it.
  3. Healthy. Healthy? Healthy! Bike riding here will help me lose weight or something.
  4. Uh, well, drinking is legal here at my age… I can make fun of 16-year-olds getting smashed. And that’s about the extent of that one.
  5. I’m really excited about the house we’re getting. And my room. I get to do it however I want and that’s really awesome.

Oh man- interruption! Just Skyped with my CyberPatriot team and had a Cadet Advisory Council conference call. Now I’m procrastinating on this post…. Don’t believe me, just watch. Crap… now the numbered list starts over. Oh whale. 15 more.

  1. Family. I love being close to my family.
  2. I can make money here on my year off from school.
  3. I get to play with big boy cameras here. That one’s fun. Shout-out to my grandfather.
  4. I haven’t gotten a mosquito bite here [yet]. That’s a positive.
  5. My brother is enjoying it. He already has a few friends.
  6. I have time to write blog posts!
  7. I get to see things I don’t really remember from when I was 6.
  8. My cat is here! ♥♥
  9. It’s fun to go places, and absolutely no one knows you. It’s weird running in to people who recognize you but you don’t recognize them, though.
  10. This has brought me and some of my friends in the US closer together. I found who my true friends are and who cares about me.
  11. You can drink tap water without wondering what’s in it (chlorine wise.. or chemical wise… or anything). It’s neat.
  12. It feels like things are cheaper here. You can go to the grocery store and buy 2 days worth of food and drinks for about 8 Euros. I could be wrong but it feels cheaper. I don’t know. Let me think it.
  13. I can completely avoid all the asshats in the US here!!
  14. I can get some cool clothes here. And I already got pants!
  15. There’s Cat Cafes here. Like literally; Coffee shops with cats.

And, I mean, I have lots of time to plan my return trip in December. And June. Heh…

Well, that was my effort for today’s blog post. It’s 0350 and my chest hurts. Maybe I should sleep.

Good night guys, and keep finding reasons to smile.

-E.

The one about feelings, anger, and frustration

Everyone deals with it. Anger, sadness,  stress, frustration. Sometimes jealousy. I try not to blog about them, but I’m going to be brutally honest- sometimes ignoring your emotions takes a toll on you. There’s been one other rather upset blog post with lots of feelings; the annoying one about me getting dumped. Normally, I feel horrible posting my feelings online, and as you could see in the post after it, I apologized. This time… I won’t apologize. My feelings are my feelings, and honestly if you’re reading my blog, you sort of care about me anyway (or you’re just amused at my misfortunes; but that’s alright too).

I’m having a really shitty time adjusting to this country and the people in it. I’m trying to do my best, trying to hold on for my mom’s sake. She’s so stressed as well, I feel like whenever she sees me be happy, it makes her happy. So I’m really trying. I love my mom, and I hate seeing her upset- especially now coming to realize that she’s actually a cool parent- and has been, but I just didn’t see it (ouch, did I just say that out loud? Online, for that matter?). I just need to find a way to get my frustration out. This blog is helping, but I’m not sure how much longer. I miss my late night drives, in my car, by myself. I miss seeing my friends, being able to just crash on someone’s couch and maybe wake up in the morning, maybe in the afternoon. I miss being able to do “stupid” stuff like drinking a few too many energy drinks or walking over the train tracks or walking through the woods alone or even driving a little too fast sometimes (heh).

Anyhoo, this country. This country, man. No, it’s not all bad. I really enjoy some of the things, but that’s for happy blog posts. This is not a happy blog post.

  1. UGH I MISS MY HOODIE WEATHER AND PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. It skipped straight to winter coat and where the f*** is the pumpkin in this country?!
  2. If people could stop interrupting and/or ignoring my brother whenever he talks, that would be cool. Just because you don’t see the enthusiasm of the little human doesn’t mean no one else does. Weird.
  3. I want food that doesn’t give me a stomach ache. I mean, yay! All natural whatnot. I mean, damn. Does my body have to reject it? I got less sick from a McDonald’s Buttermilk Crispy Chicken sandwich…
  4. Speaking of stomach… MIDOL. How do females here even survive shark week?! And tampons, dang, I just paid nearly 8 Euros (Which is around $8.40) for a box of like, 15 normal tampons. This is an issue.
  5. “How rude”. People here are legitimately the most rude human beings I have ever seen. You can stand in a store looking at something, and before you know it (without an excuse me) you have a Dutch person all up in your jacket (because it’s -100° or something in stores) looking or grabbing something from in front of you.
  6. Oh my goodness… and the government. They track pretty much everywhere you go. Apparently there’s this whole WhatsApp security crisis that’s got a bunch of people’s panties in a twist. But aside from that, as a seasoned and free American citizen, I find it uber creepy that the government has to know in what house you’re living, and with who, and all the kids, and they have to see you, and it’s just freaking me out. (Oh, and I miss my second amendment).
  7. I can’t carry my knife. It’s apparently frowned upon or illegal or something. I haven’t done too much digging, but from what I’ve seen it’s illegal (please correct me if I’m wrong).
  8. Number 8 has been removed for… reasons.
  9. Hamsters here. Oh my, the poor hamsters here. This will likely turn into a blog post on its own- but for now… the wheels the pet store sells for hamsters are so incredibly bad for them. Please, if you have a rodent of any sort, do NOT get a metal wheel. It will hurt your pet.
  10. Number 10 has also been removed.
  11. Oh man, here comes the stomach ache (just ate dinner oops)
  12. The time zone. Why the time zone?! I miss my friends. I miss talking to people. I miss attending Civil Air Patrol. I’d missed nine meetings in my cadet career (including encampments and NCSAs) and that’s up to 11 now. It pains me a little. And the whole… messaging people. Yeah- I still can- but it’s at weird times. *sigh*.
  13. This entire country is pretty anti-american and pro-american stereotyping. It’s a tad frustrating. I mean, I suppose America is the country with the highest obesity and the most junk food- but so what? That doesn’t really mean you can profit off of making fun of me. Or Americans in general. (I’m still pretty patriotic even for not living in the country. I’d be flying an American flag if it wouldn’t get my house vandalized. You think I’m kidding).
  14. WHY are my clothes losing color?
  15. We still don’t have [working] phones over here. That is a little ridiculous- especially since my brother is in school. What if an emergency happens?
  16. I really want our house. But it isn’t ready until November 1st. Oh man, I’m going nuts.
  17. I WANT MY FACE WASH AND MY CHEAP RITE AID PERFUME. This boat can kindly floor it across the Atlantic.
  18. Number 18 has also been removed.
  19. Hey look, it’s my favorite number. Well, this one is about my birthday. I am turning 18 this year (oh no, I just gave away my age on the interwebs) and I had planned on becoming a legal adult in the US of A. Yanno, buying a lottery ticket legally because I can. Maybe buy some dry-ice, paintballs, pepper spray, and a new knife while I’m at it (hoorah for ridiculous rules). Aside from all of those things, “becoming an adult” seems so much less complicated in a country you’ve witnessed other people do the thing you have to do before you. “Becoming an adult” seems so much simpler when you know the language and grammar (and a couple of curse words) without even having to think. I’d prepared myself to become an adult in America. I was ready for adult life there. How am I even supposed to choose health insurance here? I barely know all the big words for body parts here. How would I even know what doctor to go to? *sigh* I can’t adult.
  20. And the power here. This is more our fault- but I don’t have enough power cables to keep all of my electronics charged. My mom and I share a computer cable, and my laptop dies when it’s not plugged in (thanks, hp battery recalls). This is driving me nuts.

Well, there’s 20 complaints I have. Maybe I’ll post twenty positives soon. It’ll be fun to try and think of in depth arguments for why I like it here. Oh well, I feel better after this long rant. Maybe I’ll go take the Dutch version of ibuprofen and try to sleep.

Stay strong guys, and don’t let others change who you are.

-E.

 

Oh my, the month went by!

Hello, lovely readers!

Some of you have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while… a month exactly. I’m not necessarily about excuses, but, there is a legitimate reason.

I used to reside in the delightful state of construction work and bipolar weather, however, I have since moved to the other side of the world! (And let me tell you, I’m pretty sure this is the country of construction work and well, rain).

water-in-the-dark

The picture is of the city near my hometown here in the Netherlands. If you look to your right, those boats are actually peoples’ houses. It’s pretty neat. The lights and the sky and the water all look incredible, and honestly, I only noticed that in the picture… not even in person.

The Netherlands is like a whole different world to me. Yes, I lived here until I was 7- but that means very little. I knew as much of the language as any seven-year-old does of their language. I’d picked up enough to get by in years after that, but now I’ve started to realize that the language barrier may be greater than I thought. I shy away from speaking Dutch because I know it likely won’t be grammatically correct. Maybe I’m not using the correct tense of the word. Maybe I’m just creating a word altogether. It’s a little stressful. Everyone back home says “give it a month” or “go make friends”. That’s so much easier said than done. Yes, I may have been incredibly social in America, but that’s different here.

Here, I feel insecure about what I wear. I don’t know the norms here. I never see anyone wearing a simple graphic t-shirt here. I felt awkward going into a store yesterday wearing my Paramore tee, black cargo pants, and Timberland boots. I felt like I stood out. My pants weren’t tight. My shoes weren’t “cute”. Who wears a shirt with writing on it? It’s probably all in my head… but that’s bad enough. Here, I feel awkward even talking. My voice sounds weird to me when I speak a different language.  When I’m with my mom, I let her do the talking and I awkwardly stare. Yes, usually I can follow conversations. I just don’t feel like I have enough words to choose from to be relaxed enough to participate. I’ve wished more people here would speak English to me, but then there’s the accent that bothers the living hell out of me and the reversed language barrier. I guess maybe I’ll learn soon enough. Maybe I should try harder.

My body isn’t used to the time zone yet. I’ve never had an issue with jet lag. Back in America, I had a hard time sleeping. Throw me in a country whose time zone is Eastern Time +6… I’m screwed. I have yet to fall asleep before five o’clock in the morning, and I’ve been here 8 days now. And yes, I have indeed tried putting down all electronics. I have slept through the days, though. Side note: that’s a really good way to avoid humans.

There’s not a whole lot else to blog about- since my days have recently been spent sleeping and avoiding people. I signed up to referee soccer for U11 and U9 leagues. I was the only girl in the room. It was a tad awkward.. especially because the club then posted on their website that they appreciated the “boys and fathers” that came out to the meeting. Well, I’ll show them. I guess female referees are seldom in any sport. I’ll smash the patriarchy in their face before they can even think “why is there a female ref?”.

So, yeah. I’m alive. I’m hanging in there. I’m trying to look at this like an adventure. Most people in the US would kill to spend time in Europe. Even though my situation wasn’t exactly planned… or my choice… I’m trying to be positive. It’s going alright.

-E. ♥

10 Word Writing Prompt (Catcher in the Rye)

Last year, I did a writing prompt where you flip to random pages of a book I was reading. This book was The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. I wasn’t really a fan of the book, but it made me think about… life.


 

The words I ended with for the prompt were:

  • Kills
  • Left
  • Carrying
  • Lousy
  • Shaking
  • Voice
  • Cry
  • Apologizing
  • Room
  • Hell

With no further ado, the poem I wrote-

I’m in a room.
Crying.
I’m in a lousy mood,
My voice is shaky.
I have nothing left,
Except for what I’ve been carrying on my back.
I keep apologizing to myself, to my demons.
I’d never knew I’d be a killer.
A killer of hopes, dreams, love.
Never thought I’d be capable of being one who kills.
I’m going to hell.
I should’ve never left her.

I honestly forgot I wrote this. It must have been during a darker time of last year. Probably spring, I don’t much like spring.

Going back, reading this poem, feels odd. I can still feel the feeling I put in to the words. I can still feel the teacher questioning my sanity.

But then again, who actually is normal?

-E.