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  • Listlessness and Other Mortal Sins

    Good morning! Good evening! Good afternoon! Good whenever-you're-reading-this! The last time we spoke, we were coming out of the haze of the Major World Event That Shall Not Be Named. It was a weird time to be sure; one full of strange hobbies and hyper-fixations, none of which shall be mentioned by name either. Since then, I graduated from college with an actual big girl degree and have found myself, once again, in the midst of a Weird Time. It's the in-between time. I deem this the "Time Between Times". You see, dear void, I (along with many other recent college graduates) am embarcing on a fantastical journey. A journey filled with possibility and adventure and promise.... and strife and grief and resentment; a journey where one must face both conquest and defeat. Yes, you've guessed it. I'm talkin' about the ever-present, all-consuming Job Market. [Insert dramatic sound effect here]. For those of you who don't know what it is like to be a recent college graduate seeking a job, I'll tell you. It's grim. So grim, in fact, that many have lost hope for any sort of employment. They've resigned themselves to the limbo of listlessness. They sit at home in agitation, with fiddling hands and shaking legs, riddled with the anxiety of the unknown. Their inboxes are crowded with job recommendations from LinkedIn, Indeed, and the like; serving as a constant dreary reminder of their unemployed status. They battle parental figures breathing down their necks, like a foreboding manifestations of all of their fears. "Yes, mom/dad, I've been applying to jobs." "No, I haven't received an offer yet." "I don't know what to tell you. I've edited my resume 4 times in the past four weeks." "Well, I might as well work at a gas station if nobody's going to hire me." "No, that was a joke... I'm not going to work at a gas station when I have a college degree." Envy runs rampant during this time period, turning even the most happy-go-lucky of individuals green in the face as they hear of friends and acquaintances accepting job offers and opportunities. "Why haven't I heard anything back?" they might ask themselves. They might even scoff as their once-slacker peers rattle off their new job descriptions. And as they perform interview after interview, wearing whatever business attire they can scrounge out of their post-college closet, their determination begins to dwindle. Insecurity sets in. They look back at the last four years and wonder if they made the right choices with their major, their part-time jobs, and even their universities. They might even look back and kick themselves for not studying harder for the SAT. It is a rather dramatic time for us new alumni. So, what hope is there? If you asked me this question just yesterday (mid-crisis), I would tell you that there is little to none. However, when I'm not in my moments of weakness, I consider myself to be a positive person with a positive mindset. I believe that when you open yourself to the possibilities, then opportunity will follow. "Stay the course," I tell you and myself, simultaneously. If not today, then tomorrow, next week, or next month you will find what you are looking for.(Ironically, just after I started writing this post, with all intent to complain to you about my lack of prospects, I received a job offer to my top choice. So, after all this ranting and raving, not all hope is lost.) In all honesty I must admit to you that I, too, had lost hope, having applied to an average 4 jobs a day over the past month and a half. I, too, heard nothing back for weeks and weeks on end. I, too, had multiple panic attacks about my future. And I, too, have no idea what I am doing. As the title of this blog says: I am not in my element. With that being said, I am an educator by nature. "Unsolicited Advice" is my name and "Anybody Who Listens" is my game. Therefore, dear void, I shall give you all I have learned this past month about how to avoid the mortal sin of Listlessness during the Time Between Times. Let's get right into it. Tip 1: Avoid thinking about it too hard. Overthinking is a symptom of the modern world. And while I believe it is important to be intentional about your job search, I do not believe that overanalyzing each job you apply for is conducive for a successful job hunt. Freaking yourself out about each potential job will not help you land said potential job. Take a breath and click "Apply". Tip 2: Cast a wide net Maybe you aren't qualified for a certain role. Or, maybe you don't know if you want to be a Content Writer or a Technical Editor. Who cares? Apply anyways. You never know what might open up for you if you do. And even if these roles don't work out, you'll know a little more about what you want and what you don't want. (I had this moment only a few hours ago, so you know I'm profoundly wisened on this topic.) Tip 3: Preoccupy yourself with other things Personally, I am not good at having nothing to do. It stresses me out more than having too much to do and leaves me pacing my house looking for something, anything, to make me to feel productive. Boredom is not good for mental health. Read that book you've been putting off reading. Test that recipe you told yourself you'd try out. Go on that hike that you've had saved on your TikTok likes for months. At the end of the day you can say to yourself "I applied to 3 jobs AND I finally wrote a post on my blog that I accidentally spent $200 on just to keep the URL even though I haven't updated it in over a year." Just me? Okay. Moving on.... Tip 4: Don't be afraid to ask for advice Pride, after all, is a mortal sin. Don't let it get in the way of learning something useful. It is true that your parental figure might not been on the job market since Clinton was in office. But between the slightly unhelpful, the stressful, and the dated advice, they might be a crumb or two of wisdom to offer. I, myself, have since endured hours of semi-lectures via phone call from my parental figures, many of which ended in tense "goodbyes", some even in tears (not my own, obviously). If you don't wish to brave the Battle of Hard Conversations with Parents, you can also ask your friends for advice and guidance because they're either going through the same thing as you or have just gone through it. Finally, Tip 5, and the cheesiest of all: Be yourself and trust your gut Stay true to your goals even in the face of hopelessness and continue to aim high. The world is so filled with people who regret following the money over following their passions. It is my greatest fear to be one of those people and I pray that you, dear void, do not become one of those people as well. If you don't yet know what your passion is, follow what sparks your interest and see where it leads you. You may just find that you do, in fact, love the world of commercial real estate, or sales, or pharmaceutical research. You are not your job; it is simply something you do, not your whole identity. Finally, dear void, know this: that while you don't exactly know where you are going, you are on your way. Good luck!

  • Here Lies My Sanity and Other Confessions

    I have a confession to make and it's so embarrassing. I have recently picked up a new obsession. OH how the mighty have fallen! Grieve the loss of my intelligence and literacy please because they're both long dead and buried, flowers withered and dried, epitaph long since been carved into a marble headstone: Here Lies Isabella's Intelligence and Sanity 2000-2021 "It was good while it lasted" My confession, you ask? Well, dear reader, I have found my self ardently and neurotically consumed by romance novels. The worst part is that they aren't even published, edited, and critically acclaimed books. No, no, no. They are the worst kind of book. The Amateur. The Unpublished. The Cliche. Gross. Not only that, but they're really bad. Like, really really bad. The kind of books that make eyes bleed, brains shrivel, and stomachs clench with disgust. I'm embarrassed. I'm embarrassing. So naturally, I had to confess my sins to you all. I don't know how this happened, or where this obsession came from. But like all obsessions that grip me, it was thrust upon me like an unplanned pregnancy and I had no choice to ride the wave and see where the journey took me. So here I am. Expectations for romance: significantly higher. Contentment in my life as a single woman: slowly waning. Sanity: went on a trip to Mexico and never returned. There I was, claiming to be a future writer, hungry to consume the written word, and desperate to escape my existence, when I stumbled upon an app on the App Store claiming to have tons of free books. I thought to myself, "Wow! Free books!" because like all twenty-somethings, I live by the motto of "if it's free, it's for me". Innocent little Isabella, I had no idea the abyss I was about to dig myself into. The app, which I fail to mention to my many friends and loved ones is called Wattpad. I cringe just typing the name for shame and fear of damnation. The app burns a hole in my phone, hidden away from my Home Screen, tucked in the App Library that nobody ever looks at. It beckons me to read and revel in countless imaginings of lonely women. I'm ashamed and I might as well wear a scarlet letter A on my chest. If you don't know, Wattpad is a social media website that allows writers to publish their writing to be read for free. It has upwards of 90 million users. Sounds intriguing enough. I wanted to read more amateur writing and see what other people like me were doing. I assumed I'd be reading short stories, creative pieces, and poetry (all of which is included on said website). How wrong I was. How naive of me to think that I'd be expanding my mind and my creativity. The MAJORITY of what's published on this hellhole of an app are trashy, horribly written, and cringe-worthy romance novels that follow the same exact plot with different characters, settings, and background stories. What's WORSE is the abundance of... of.... f-f-f-fanfiction. (Pause for dramatic shuttering). The kind of writing that I avoid like the plague. It makes my lip curl just thinking about f-f-fanfiction. Harry Potter. Harry Styles. Marvel. Game of Thrones. You name it? Somebody's twisted mind has revamped, reworked, and rewritten it. It makes me sick. Fanfiction is like eating a wonderful meal at a restaurant, taking the leftovers home in a to-go container, and adding copious amounts of celery salt (the worst of all flavored salts) and then proceeding to gorge yourself like a bulimic on a binge. The end result is that it's never good, it's always worse than the original, and it leaves you feeling disgusting and bloated. I, on the other hand, have taste. I love good food. And I love to go to a nice restaurant and eat food prepared by talented chefs who are masters at their work. I also have recently acquired a taste for food prepared by people who spout things like, "I didn't study at to Le Cordon Bleu, but I did look up this recipe for hollandaise online and I think it's pretty good" or "My friends say that I can make butter cake better than Mastro's". The truth is, it's never as good as the Masters, but it satisfies the appetite. The same goes for my reading appetites. Sometimes I don't want a five course, masterfully prepared, and thoughtfully plated meal. Sometimes I want a burger and fries that have been slapped on a paper plate and that's okay too. I am picky about what I choose to read because like anything, there is an abundance of writing that is cliche and unsatisfactory. The hidden gems that I dig up after hours of searching, the ones that I fall into and forget the world around me, those make all of this worth it. To me, these stories aren't just some trashy imaginings of a novice writer's mind. They are poetic and beautiful. They are rich and filled with the inspiration of life. They are about overcoming adversity to find love and finding peace in chaos. They are about people living their lives, desperate to find happiness despite their past or the misery of their present. Most of all, these stories are about people throwing caution into the wind and finding themselves along the way. Sometimes you find yourself seeking comfort in the fictional because the world around you is too real and too harsh. It takes a good fiction story to remind you of the beauty of life. That one person can achieve their own happy endings, no matter if there's a sad beginning, or an angsty middle. Happy endings are not necessarily the "end" either. They are the start of a new season a rebirth of who we truly are unburdened by the brutality of our world. I hope to find my happy ending someday soon, when all of this nonsense is over. That I can place my book aside and see that my life is just as good as these stories albeit less dramatic and sappy, but a happy Disney fairytale ending nonetheless. (if you want recommendations let me know)

  • The 5 Month Check-In

    Hello everybody! How are you all doing? Good, I hope. As good as anyone can be I guess. Me? Well, I have a confession to make: I'm sick of this shit. Absolutely, positively sick of it. What started out as a one-two month endeavor has turned into an all-encompassing lump of shit that has taken over my entire life. COVID-19 is like a helicopter parent looming over me and controlling all of my actions. And I can't even sneak out to be rebellious without the gut-wrenching guilt I'd feel. Alas, like the rest of the world, I am stuck inside. Not only that, I am still in my childhood house. A few weeks ago, I went back up to my beloved San Francisco and packed up my entire adult life into a series of boxes, wept for the death of my independence, and drove back to Los Angeles. Now the relics of my past (6 months past) sit in the attic, where they will collect dust (much like my hope for this to ever end). I am fed up. Over it. Donezo. Ready to MOVE ON. I'd like to cite David Bowie's 1983 hit "Changes". Listen to the lyrics very carefully and you may find that they have a new sort of relevance to our current times Wow. What a good song right? I think it is safe to say that we are in a strange time, full of changes. Our very way of life has completely shifted, and while most of us have adjusted and "turned to face the strange", it is still shocking when we think about just how much has changed in the past few months. Not only has the world been facing this massive shift, but we as individuals have seen dramatic changes in our lifestyles, future plans, and attitudes. I am no preacher, nor am I an expert at coping with these changes, however, I am going through them with you. Know that I feel for you. I watch the ripples change their size But never leave the stream of warm impermanence and So the days float through my eyes But still the days seem the same Permanence is a thing of the past to me now. Everything that I expected out of this year has gone completely out the window. I am currently at home and will be living at home like a big adult child until next January. One year of college out the window and all because of a microbe that decided to fuck us all up. Can I say this? FUCK a BITCH named CORONA. I raise my glass to all those canceled 2020 travel plans, to the weddings that had to be rescheduled, to the first-years who will be stuck at home for much longer than expected, to the extroverts who are relearning what social interaction feels like, and to the memories we might have made had corona not come knocking on our doorstep. Maybe there are some well-adjusted introverts out there right now who are enjoying this alone time, who actually feel energized by the lack of social interaction. But there is also a great portion of people, like me, who are simply drained by it. I've said in a previous post that I like to ramble and talk all day long. I enjoy social interaction and meeting new people. I enjoy a good night out and a nice dinner. I even miss movie theaters. Simple things like shaking hands and hugging people when you first meet them. I mourn their loss and wonder when and if they will ever come back. I don't know about you, but I think I've gone slightly insane. Not the looney-bin kind of insane, but the kind of crazy that sits just below Well Adjusted Person. I can't quite put my finger on it and the only way I can describe it is the feeling of forgetting a word mid-sentence. I pace my room back and forth and back and forth. I scroll through my phone on and on and on. I fold my laundry, trying to find that missing sock. It's on the tip of my tongue and I don't know what it is. I feel like I've lost something but I don't know what I lost. Oh yeah, maybe my motherfucking entire life. Time is weird right now as well. It's already July, when I'm still processing April. Pretty soon it'll be 2021. Oh god, I feel old. I turned 20 last month. And while I always consider myself to be a teenage-grandmother, I now must reshape that identity to be a middle-aged 20-year-old. There's added responsibility for me to be doing something with my life. Figuring it out. But how am I supposed to "figure it out" when I can't go out and BE twenty. Maybe my job right now is not to figure out my path in this world but my place in it. We all can reflect on our roles in history. Lin-Manuel Miranda said it best when he wrote "History has its eyes on you". I, along with many other people feel this sentiment. History does in fact have its eyes on us. What will we do with this responsibility? Will we be idle and let time pass us by? No, I don't see us doing that at all. And these children that you spit on As they try to change their worlds Are immune to your consultations They're quite aware of what they're going through There are people out there right now trying to change the world for the better. With all this extra time we have, people have been taking the reins into their own hands. Molding their own future. Hoping that we can all come out of this to a better world. It's a noble cause. There is honor in the selfless sacrifice of time and energy to making the world a better place. I only have two things to comment on the current political climate. To our current youth revolution: We will be fruitless if we do not first look inward into our own souls and change our perspectives to show LOVE to one another. To the older generations: Trust that you have raised good, smart, kind people and allow them to join you in the pursuit of happiness without judgement or condemnation. Time may change me But I can't trace time I find that this is the most profound lyric from the entire song. As our world changes as time goes on, we are unable to trace the path that time takes us. Now, I'm not the most intelligent person on the planet. I don't have a degree in philosophy, nor am I the most well-read individual. This is not a false sense of "deepness", but an acknowledgment that we must accept changes as they come. I may not be doing the best job, I am only human. But at the end of the day, we are all moving along through time together. The changes that are happening in this pivotal moment in history will ripple through the ages. This doesn't just have to be a political movement. It can be the spark that lights up all areas of our lives. From intellectualism to art, culture, fashion, and popular media. The Revolution of the Millenia: where we look at our world from a new perspective and cultivate it, rather than destroying it.

  • On Regression

    Hello everyone (all zero of you). How have you been? You thought I forgot about you? Spared you from listening to my nonsensical ramblings? Well, you thought wrong. I'm back, baby. I may not doing better than ever. But I'm back, nonetheless. I mean, what can I say. Precarious times. *shrug* Let's dive right in, shall we? I recently realized that I'm going through a crisis. No, this is not the global pandemic type of crisis. This kind of a personal crisis. A crisis of the psyche. I believe I am suffering from what many experts call Regression. We've talked about what it's like as an adult to come home for the holidays in a previous post, but this time, the feeling is much different. Before this, I knew I'd be returning to my adult life in a given timeframe. There wasn't enough time for the ghost of Isabella's past to completely take over. Before, she and I had slight brushes. A memory here, a personal trauma there, but we would pass each other like an acquaintance you bump into at the local Subway. We'd acknowledge the existence of the other but go no further than a courtesy nod or smile. Now, well, now, I can't get rid of the bitch. Her angst haunts every drawer of my childhood bedroom. Oh, she's more than taken the reigns on my Mental Intercom System. Every hour she yells something rude into the microphone and attempts to take control of the Joystick of Decision Making, to which the CIA: Commander in Adulting, has to arrest her. Here are some of today's mental breaches: "Ding dong, bitch! You haven't had a boyfriend yet because you were so focused on the drama in your family life that you had no time for any in your personal life. Now, you're almost 20 and don't even know how to date" "Hey, I have an idea! Let's ruin all that progress you made in the past year and return to all your destructive habits. That'll be fun." Like shut the fuck up. We get it. Tell it to the DSA (Department of Self-Actualization). Regressing and being home for this long have also caused a bit of a syndrome many call Nostalgia. It is physically impossible for me to consume any sort of media that I haven't already read, watched, or listened to. I've recently been binging Avatar: The Last Airbender, reading all of the Harry Potter books, and jamming out to Taylor Swift's "Fearless" album. (Which reminds me... where's my Taylor Swift woven blanket I got at her concert in like 2009?) 10-year-old Isabella is thriving. Pretty soon I'll be putting on my fingerless gloves, scrolling through Tumblr, and dreaming of getting a feather tattoo. I wonder if Justice just dropped the new Webkinz. I hear that the Gem of the Day at the Curio shop is a rare one. So many memories have come flooding back over the past two months: Did you know that my Club Penguin username was Moonsurfer? I made it in 2006 when you didn't need numbers after your username. I was also obsessed with tipping the iceberg. I never tipped the iceberg. I also just remembered that I was the first one to complete Run 2 on I was in homeroom in 6th grade. Tensions were high. It was me and the boy I had a crush on, head-to-head, but I came out on top. It was 60 seconds of fame and it went instantly to my head. Come to think of it, my entire ego is built on the fact that I finished first. I used to cake on a Mac Studio Fix foundation every morning and swipe on the MegaPlush Volum' mascara every day. The color was much too light and the mascara was super clumpy. I thought I looked good. I did not. That feeling came back, too. Teenager-dom. And the wave of annoyance that you get when you're being bossed around by a parent. It's always worse when your mom or dad asks you to do something that you were already planning on doing. Like, yes, sure, my laundry has been sitting in my room unfolded all week. I can't argue with you there, but I was planning on doing it today and when you told me to do it, I just couldn't shake the immediate aversion I had towards any sort of laundry folding. And yes, I know that I haven't worked out all week. I was thinking about working out starting tomorrow, but now since you're telling me to, I won't work out for the next month. I think it's an independence thing, but I hate that my teenage rebellion is starting to surge back. As I have a compulsion to be as independent as possible, anything that disrupts that independence sends red hot fury into my bloodstream. The classic eye-roll is back, too. It's really just an unconscious thing at this point. Teenage Isabella is fighting to make a comeback. But if we've learned anything from Lindsay Lohan's failed comeback on Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club, it's that bad attitudes are out. Self-actualization is in. Really what's to blame here is the lack of control. Do I have to ask permission for my friends to come over and if I can turn on the A/C? Three months ago, the only time I was asking permission was if I could be in the next round of a "That 70's Show" style Circle (if you know what I mean). Nothing was off-limits unless I said so. I could stay out as late as I wanted (or come home as early as I wanted [which happened just as often as the late nights]). Now, if I'm gone for 30 minutes to get Pizza, my dad will call in a worried panic as if I'm off galavanting with the local drug dealer. First of all... really? You can't just leave me be for 30 minutes? Second, I'm not a dumbass and calling me in a worried-panic discounts any trust you might have in me. To sum all this up, I think I'm feeling restricted. My independence has Regressed to that of a 12-year-old wanting to go to the mall with her "guy friend". I want to go outside and live a real life. And since there's only so much knitting one can do before going actually insane, everything better be opening up soon. This whole thing has made me endlessly grateful that I'm not 16 anymore. I like 20-year-old Isabella so much more. I've genuinely thought about it, and I don't think I'd be friends with 16-year-old Isabella. She kinda scares me. I think she'd be mean to me, honestly. She'd give me those Mean Girl eyes, look me up and down, and go "ugh, nerd". Being a nerd is cool now, Isabella, get with the program. You have an attitude problem, missy, you ain't hot shit. I think that liking myself more now is a sign of self-growth, isn't it? A part of maturing is evolving into a kind of person that you like. I suppose life is a bit like getting to know someone. But that someone is yourself. And the more time you spend with that someone, the better you know them. Does that make sense? Anyways, what about you all? I'm curious, has been stuck at home made you regress too? How is regression taking form for you? What are your insights into your past self? What changes have you made to improve yourself over the past 4 years? What do you hope to change in the next 4 years? Let me know. That's all for now folks. I pinky promise that I will post more now. Especially because I can't use schoolwork as an excuse to slack off. Until next time, stay safe and healthy and yada-yada.

  • On Writing and Reading

    It's the perfect morning. I stretch, get out of bed. The sun is shining and the coffee is brewing. The Today's show is playing on the TV. Everything feels just right. I had planned to spend this morning writing, thinking that I'd be bursting with ideas at the sight of a fresh day. I crack my knuckles and open my laptop, open up an empty document. The blankness of the page engulfs me. I feel like Spongebob that time when he had to write an essay and wound up with a very fancy "The". Where the fuck are all my ideas? It's strange. Sometimes, I feel like my ideas burst out of me like a purge. The some are great, some are just okay, but the steady flow of ideas is the important part. But sometimes, when I stare at that blank page, 19 years of familial trauma washes over me. I'm inspired. Often it's when I'm in the shower, or in class. Mostly in class. You see, my inspiration and ideas often come to me when it is the least convenient. I'll be buying my nonfat cap in the library, rushing to my 8:00am, and suddenly a story or phrase will pop up in my head. Then, I'm obsessed. I can't stop thinking about it is ejected through my brain. I wish I was at that point in my writing career where I could spout endless advice to people like me who are aspiring writers, journalists, bloggers, etc. Mostly all of the time, I'm insecure about my writing skills. If someone I don't know well asks to read my writing I think I'd go catatonic. When I read stuff by Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird, I can see how she so confidentially shares her own expertise on the matter of writing and the mentality behind it. She is so skilled and I'm jealous of her work. She talks about the Shitty First Draft and how she wakes up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, fearing that she'd die before she could edit her draft. Relatable. If any of you saw the first draft of these blogs before they came out I'd probably die of embarrassment. You know what else is embarrassing? The fact that I've had this lovely post sitting in my drafts for a month and a half, having lost my own inspiration and filled with self-doubt on my ability to finish what I've started. Occasionally, I've clicked on the post and re-read it allowing my brain to gather its inspiration powers until, like a whoopee cushion, they deflate anticlimactically and leave me feeling frustrated. Will I ever finish this blog post? The world may never know. Ah two months later and I'm back, relating more than ever to my own words. I can't be distraught, however, I have spent my brief hiatus lounging in the East Asian sun, starting a workout routine, and most importantly: reading. Let me be your mother/teacher/mentor for a second. Respectfully, with the utmost love and kindness I say to you: if you do not read, close this blog immediately and drive to your nearest book store or open up Amazon and pick out a book. I don't care if you "hate reading" or "don't have the time" you do have the time, damn it! I'm taking 18 units and I still make the time. If you don't read you loose 4 respect points from me, immediately. Any student, business-person, friend, user-of-the-english-language needs to read more. And no, I'm not talking about reading CNN's newest headline. I'm talkin' deep diving, all-in, consuming your thoughts kind of reading. I don't care if it's fiction or non-fiction, a self-help book or a memoir. Consuming thoughtful words on a daily (or every-other-daily) basis helps strengthen our use of the most important thing we have at our disposal! Our ability to communicate. (ohh here she goes, the communication major going off on how communication is a symbolic process where the users create shared meaning) "We get it Second-Year, we've taken Group Discussion too you know" Okay, okay, but hear me out. All my research about writing has told me one thing: you gain your inspiration for characters through observing and analyzing the people around you. I agree. But I raise you: How can we write in general if we don't pay attention to the words and conversations and written language around us? How can we write if we don't read what has already been written? That's like trying to play hockey when you've never watched a game. This is why I felt like I had to take a break. I needed time to consume words and stories and information. I've read and read and read and I'm read-y (hah) to be back. {side note: this is all a long-winded way for me to make an excuse for not writing on here for two months} That's all for now folks, now go pick up a book!

  • Coming Home For the Holidays

    Am I a time traveler? Did I actually just travel through time? What day is it? November 21st!? What. The. F*ck. I don't know about you, dear reader, but this year went by at the speed of a court stenographer's WPM rate. I feel like I blinked and suddenly its Halloween, then Thanksgiving again. Pretty soon I'll be buying my first CVC pipe, filing for tax extensions, breaking into my 401K, and keeling over on the way up my stairs and dying a quick death with my freshly baked pumpkin loaf spilled over my chest, fingers twitching, limbs splayed on the floor. Okay that's a bit dramatic, but this year has gone by quite quickly. So now I have come upon a prospect that hasn't been in my mind for some time: Visiting home for the holiday season. It's a stress that many of us have. There's something about going from a place where I answer to No Man, to having to my parents question my choice to go out on a Tuesday night after chugging three tequila sunrises. I will be as delinquent as I want to right now, mom, you were just as messy when you were my age and you know it. Not only that, but having grown up in a divorced home, I spent my entire childhood bouncing from one house to the other. Now that I have a consistent home in SF, I finally have something I've wanted my entire life. When I go home, 19 years of familial stress comes flooded back into my consciousness. I'm suddenly 7 year old Isabella again, confused and stressed and trying to find a balance between her two parents while trying to appease both of them. You see, my parents don't like each other. No matter how much I TRY to keep their conflict as a nonissue, as something that shouldn't effect me, it still does. However, I don't very much like talking about these things, so I'm really going out there by talking about this on my blog. (OVERSHARE OVERLOAD... REDIRECTION OF TOPIC INITIATED,,,,,,,,,) But going home brings up all those familial qualms you have that you do your best not to think about while you're living your day-to-day life. But what are the benefits of coming home for the holidays? Well, for one, there's free food for a week. You get to see all the people you love. I can't think of anything that's better. Having said that, it is important to note that coming home from the holidays reminds you of who you are and how far you've come. Memories that you try to forget come flooding back; it's humbling. You were not always this awesome human that you are now. You were not as cool in high school as you tell your coworkers or friends. There are still family dynamics to sort through, bonds to be strengthened and grudges to be dissolved. Coming home for the holidays is important because we get to touch base with our roots, an aspect of ourselves that we can either embrace or disregard. You guys guess which one is healthier. I'm a fan of always pushing yourself and going out of your comfort zone. In theory it's always easier. In practice, going out of my comfort zone is met with resistance from my psyche. I don't want to leave the comfort of my little apartment in the City and traverse deserts and mountains just to be forced back into an existence where I am told what to do. So, going out of my comfort zone could involve taking the dive and creating this blog. It could also involve disrupting my schedule to go home. At the end of the day, I'm glad to be surrounded by the people I love. Familial bonds are for life, and I'm grateful for my crazy messed up family. No matter how weird it is.

  • On Inconveniences

    Imagine this, if you will. It is a normal work day. You wake up late, rush while getting ready and accidentally hit your shin on the corner of the coffee table. As you make your coffee, you realize you forgot to wash your only travel mug. Great. On your walk to class, you realize you also forgot your headphones. Double great. You go about your day on edge, the muscles in your shoulders are slightly tensed and your friends and coworkers ask you if you're okay. Yes, I'm FINE don't ask. You're so okay that you're one mishap away from breaking down in tears. It's just not your day. What I just described to you, my friend, is a series of unfortunate events. Rather, a string of inconveniences that make an already shitty day even shittier. We all have them every now and then, and they suck. I could get preachy and put on my guru hat and say that the best show of character is how one deals with these inconveniences, but I'm not feeling up to it right now; ask me another day. Today, at least, I want to complain. A Mundane Night that Inspired Me to Write This Post For Some Reason: So, for lack of better words. This evening tested my patience. It started with the prospect of alone time. Something I'm very on-the-fence about. On one hand I can do all my hooligan shit that I can't do when other people are around, like leave socks on the ground without picking them up (some call me a bad girl). On the other hand, I have a perpetual and compulsive fear of being alone. As described in a past post, I have lots and lots of thoughts that float through my brain. Who am I going to bounce them off of when there's nobody for me to attack with my words? Also, as a woman, being alone is scary. This fear-of-imminent-death might be aggravated by my brain's tendency to think of the Worst Case Scenario. But tonight on my neighborhood app, people had posted about seeing a man try to look into their windows. Freaky right? A normal person would probably think "okay right, that person won't come to my house because all the lights are on and if they do I have a weapon". HA, if only it were that simple. My brain went full schizophrenic mode and I was full-on peeking out of all my blinds with a kitchen knife in my hand. Awesome, my crackhead behavior is starting to become more crackhead-crackhead than the cute-crackhead. To top that off, after spending an ungodly amount of time shrinking my brain by scrolling through TikTok, I finally decided to get ready for bed. I turn on the shower and lo-and-behold our water heater is dead. A-mazing. Just peachy. Now, I don't know if you are like me, but I have a borderline obsessive-compulsive habit of always showering before bed. The prospect of not being able to shower sends shivers down my spine. I feel every speck of dirt, my skin crawls. Ugh disgusting. Must. Shower. How can I heat up water? ...... By boiling it! So I prepare for the task at hand. Picture: Me wrapped in a kimono, boiling water on the stove, in my kettle, and in the microwave at 2:30 in the morning, constantly checking the windows to make sure nobody is peeping in with a crowbar and a flashlight. I make multiple trips back and forth, the tub is less than a quarter filled. I look down at my meager supply of heated water in agony. I feel like a medieval woman, waiting to bathe after 8 long months. The tub has been used by my husband and son before me. I have no hope. Then, from the depths of my brain box I remember that something called Google exists. I quickly type in "how to take a hot bath with no heated water" and get a strategy for making the water hot as quickly as possible. (1) Fill the tub halfway with the cold water (2) dump boiling water into tub until desired heat is reached. Voila, I have a hot bath. Mind you it's kind of small and my body doesn't really fit but it works. Ah, the joys of being an adult. So kids, the moral of the story is: appreciate what you have, because when it's gone you'll have to boil water for an hour just to enjoy a hot bath. My water heater still isn't fixed and I'm fearful of the future of my shower situation. I'm also hopeful that everything will be okay, mainly because I sent a strongly worded email to my courtyard's residential advisor. That's all for now.

  • My Thoughts on 'Heathers' (1988)

    First of all. Winona Ryder is hot, I wish I could have looked that good in shoulder pads. Second. Wow. That was not what I expected... What I expected was a Clueless-esque Proto-Mean-Girls dramedy. What I got was an angsty peer-pressure ridden chaos high school where suicide is the punch line? Common Sense Media's Maria Lull claims that "The odd and often uncomfortable world of teen peer pressure is no stranger to any of us, and this dark comedy zooms unhesitatingly into this pressure cooker." I couldn't agree more. I want to say that it was terrible. But it wasn't. Veronica's blind acceptance of JD's deranged plans, pissed me off into oblivion. I understand the lesson: Teenage peer pressure can lead people to do terrible things. Extreme method of execution? Yes. I have to admit I was grinding my teeth for the second half of the movie when I finally realized that this was not the kind of movie I had expected to watch tonight. I can't help but say that it was successful at doing what it wanted to do. Although I can't exactly place my finger on what that is, other than make me afraid for my life next time I'm sitting on bleachers. But what I think is this movie's biggest drawback is that is a satirical commentary on the media's obsession with teen suicide, while also continuing that legacy. Think of 13 Reasons Why, Virgin Suicides, etc. I don't know. I didn't watch 13 Reasons Why first of all because I don't really care to watch a fictional girl kill herself. And secondly, what the fuck. Who makes these movies? Who decides that, yes, it's a great idea to plant into teens minds the idea of ending their lives? I can tell I'm getting angry, back to the review. Honestly my favorite part of this movie was the beginning when the Heather's all addressed themselves as Heather. Pure comedy. I want a group of friends whose names are all Isabella. "Isabella?" "Yes, Isabella." "Shouldn't we tell Isabella about our plans" Classic. I of course would want to be the red Isabella. The main bitch. But knowing me I'd end up at blue Isabella, whose croquet ball get flung behind the fountain. That Isabella is a real nasty bitch. Okay, wait hold up. Is it just me or did that JD kid remind you an awful lot of the Joker? It might be because the Joker movie came out this past month, but even his body language and the way he talked and the way he was an AGENT OF CHAOS. Don't tell me my dearest Heath got inspiration from JD for his portrayal. It would make sense, the way that he just wanted to cause destruction and eventually used explosives. On another note, want to see my favorite picture of Heath? I'm going to show you anyways. I don't know if I have much else to say. All I know is that I regret watching the Heathers alone at a time when I was tired and just looking to watch something like Under the Tuscan Sun. Fun fact: the author of that book went to my university! Anyways, that's all I have to say about that. I hope that you enjoyed my little rambling.

  • A Formal Apology

    So I thought I would start my first official blog post as something grandiose and fantastical. However awesome I imagine my life to be, it is also entirely average. So here comes an entirely average blog post. A formal apology to anybody I've ever given directions to: This morning, I was walking from one side of campus to the other. I had my hustle face on and my nonfat cap in my hand when a group of children wandered into my line of sight. They looked utterly lost. So lost that they looked at the building's directory. GASP! This is unheard of. Looking at the directory is like stripping down naked and running through the building screaming, "I DON'T KNOW WHERE I'M GOING!" Ah, but I'm a nice person. I work on campus so I feel obligated to represent my dear college and help visitors find their way. I took a step away from the elevator that I was waiting for (the HUM elevator's lack of respect for my time the subject for another post) and asked them if they needed help finding something. They looked up at me and I felt like I was in a movie. The angels were singing, the clouds parted, I descended from the heavens as their savior. "Um, yes, we're trying to find," they looked down at a sheet of paper in their hands, "the study abroad office?" Yes. The power was in my hands now. I was the bearer of all the answers. I stood on mountain high with my superhero cape billowing in the wind... but then it came to giving the directions in words. Record scratch. "Oh yes, just go around the corner to the white building. Not the first left, the second one. It'll be a sign that says 'Why are you still here?' and the entrance will be close by." I came back to my body. Blank stares. Shit. My ego shrinks to the size of a peanut. You have to look like you know what you're doing. I employ a new tactic. Show them. I use my belly voice, "follow me, I'll show you where to go," I take a few steps out the door of the building and point them in the direction they need to go, "just walk towards that building and turn left after you pass the first line of offices, there'll be a courtyard and in that courtyard to the left will be the office." Success! They waddle away with less-confused yet still confused expressions on their faces. Even now I wonder if they ever made it to their destination. Probably not. Even so, I thought deeper, of all the people I'd ever given directions to. I feel bad for them. I am not good with directions. Maybe that's the lesson here, someone (like me) who is not good at giving directions should not give directions even if it comes from the most well-meaning of places. Run away if they ask you, never to return. Throw down a smoke flash and disappear into the night. So in short. I wanted to apologize to those kids who I attempted to help this morning. I hope you got to where you wanted to go and I hope that I didn't confuse you too much. That's all for now. Stay in touch folks

  • Why am I here?

    Sometimes, when I lie awake at night the bitter creeping of the existential reality sneaks it's way into my consciousness. Why am I here? What is my purpose? The quiet moments when my autopilot mode pauses are like rising from a waking dream. I suddenly sit up, gasping and realize something quite obvious; like the fact that I have hands, not just appendages that do all my typing and writing and grabbing of coffee. It is a very Kafka-esque moment, except I'm not a giant disgusting bug, but a giant disgusting women-girl-human. I probably lost all of you by now, but bear with me. This blog won't all be about some lucid-dream reality that I find myself in. What I mean to do by this overly-dramatic introduction is to say is that I can't answer these questions about myself, or really even fully comprehend reality and such and such. But what I can do, is tell you why I've made this blog. I will present it in a convenient listicle format: 1. I have a lot of thoughts Some of them are very profound or funny or entertaining or insightful. Some are not. However, I have this strange urge to always share them. A housefly trying to escape will throw itself against the window repeatedly until it dies. So too do my thoughts drift around in my brain-box throwing themselves onto my frontal lobe until my motor cortex lights up and my mouth just verbally diarrheas it all out. By creating this blog, I hopefully will not have to call every friend, relative, or acquaintance every time I'm alone and need to get something off my chest. 2. I have NO idea what I'm doing It's true. I may have taken the age-old saying of "fake it till ya make it" (however I've come to realize that that’s A-OK) to a whole new level. I feel like a little kid in an adult's clothing, pretending to be an adult. I don't know what I'm doing, where I'm going, or how I'm getting there. But I've gotten this far off my wit and luck, and I plan on getting even further banking of that. Basically what I'm saying here is that I follow my intuition. And my intuition led me here to start this blog. I have NO clue if it will be big, or if it will just be a way for my coworkers to check if I'm doing alright in the head, but I'm here now and I plan on staying. 3. I like to write Ugh, I hate saying that because I feel like a high school student who was told their whole life that they were a good writer, only to turn in their first college essay and end up with a big fat C-. But, it's a fact. I enjoy the process and I plan on getting better. This can be my way of "getting my work out there" and be a way to force myself to write something other than essays for class or depression poems at 3:00 AM (you might see some of those up here if it really comes to that. Stay tuned). 4. You might be entertained I could do something crazy like entertain you, make you laugh, make you cry. Shit, I don't know. I could be your favorite blog or writer (highly doubtful), or I could be one of many writers you read to get inspiration (that would make my day). Basically, I want to be something you can turn to to make your day a little bit brighter. Man, the world out there is a scary place, hopefully, I can bring a little light into it for you. If you've gotten this far in this post you might as well stick around for my next post. Which will be posted in approximate whenever I get to it. Stick around, grab some coffee or tea, and enjoy the ride.

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