The Month of Halloween

Two months between posts isn’t the worst I’ve ever done. I wish I could blame my absence on something, but in reality it has just been my poor time management skills. So, rather than go on about how time is important, make sure you don’t waste it, I’ve learned my lesson, blah blah blah, I’m just gonna pretend like this is a regularly scheduled post by a regularly scheduled individual. 

This is the first time I have been loving fall. Taking a break for the fall semester was one of the best decisions my broken wallet has ever had. Instead of taking every morning to roll out of bed, rush to class, skip lunch in order to make it to work on time, and spend the evening cramming in homework, I’ve been able to enjoy the changing color in the leaves. I’ve been able to rest when I need it, spend free time doing fun stuff I’ve wanted to do. I’m actually writing again pretty regularly outside of the internet. Unfortunately, my job doesn’t allow me to do anything in the evening and my weekends have been packed, but I don’t really have any reason to complain. I still get to enjoy my mornings without the threat of a homework deadline. I’ve also been working out on a regular basis, as I had hoped I would.  

My favorite part of October is definitely pumpkin carving. I grew up in a house where all things Halloween were considered Satanic. I still remember October 31st’s spent hiding behind couches with the lights out as young children dressed in costume came to our door. Later, we had Halloween alternative parties where we received candy, which made me just as excited for the day as if we actually celebrated it. Kind of a loophole to enjoy the day without feeling guilty. Now that we’re all older, we’ve put away our fear of the Holiday. I am not here to give a list of reasons why there’s nothing wrong with Halloween, or to start an argument about the religious implications of the Holiday and that all of the holidays we celebrate today are from pagan origin (check out Easter. The Easter bunny makes a lot more sense now). I’ve had enough debating this year to last till way past November 8th.

What was I talking about? Right, pumpkin carving.

A few years ago, I finally started a yearly tradition of pumpkin carving. Mine have included a Totoro, Navi from Legend of Zelda, and a Companion Cube. I’m still trying to think up one for this year. While I’ve failed this year to go pumpkin picking, go through a corn maze, or go on a hay ride thanks to time restrictions, I refuse to miss out on carving a pumpkin, dang it. I will not be robbed of my childhood any longer.

So this post isn’t a complete waste of your time, I’ll give you an update about my New Year’s resolutions. Nope, I haven’t forgotten about them. Here they are, as copied and pasted from my January 1st post:

1. Keep up my blog (AKA don’t go months between posts)

2. Take lots of pictures (enough to fill a photo album)

3. Keep a jar of good things from throughout the year (I have done this the past two years. I’m very forgetful of it, but it still manages to get full)

4. Make music with my friends

5. Read. A lot.

1. Well, I don’t think it was a complete failure. I have posted more than twice this year. 

2. Eh. I didn’t take them with a camera like I had hoped to, but since I didn’t put restrictions on it when I wrote it down, I’m gonna say photos taken on my phone count.

3. Nope. Didn’t even try. My jar from last year is still sitting full on my desk. Maybe next year…

4. Sadly, adulting has gotten in the way of this one. My fellow ukulele player/band mate has been just as busy as me. But the year is not over yet, so I guess there’s still hope.

5. Depends on your definition of “lots”. I’ve read several books, some of them pretty long, but definitely nowhere near as many as I read when I was in high school and didn’t have a job or social life. But I completed at least two books, so I’m checking this one off my list.

Odds are you’ve had a more productive year than I have. My plan for next year’s resolutions is to think up stuff I already do and make that my resolution so I’m pretty much guaranteed to be successful. And carving a pumpkin in October will be one of them.

Happy Fall! 

A Hairy Situation

It all started as a young child.

I had dreams of growing my hair out long, but then every time my mom took me to the salon, I decided I wanted my hair cut like my oldest sister: past the chin with bangs. Every time, without fail, I hated it on me. But when it was time to get my haircut again, I had forgotten my hatred and asked for the same thing. This went on for a while.

My hair stayed around shoulder-length, with me alternating growing out bangs and getting them cut (*shudder*). My mom always preferred me with short hair, though, so when I was supposed to go to Ireland when I was 14, she made both my sister and I get our hair cut. This is a choice both my sister and I regret to this day. hair Just look at those bangs. Ew. I need to go back to Ireland just to retake all of my photos. My hair was just too bad. In my naive mind, I thought this haircut was perfect, and kept it for several years. This mohawk-esque look only got worse.Finally, I decided to grow my hair out, but every time my mom took me to get it trimmed, the lady ignored my requests and gave me the same cut again and again. Needless to say, I was very frustrated.ew

Gah. Make it stop.

Thank the good Lord I finally grew my bangs out. For a little while, my hair was actually pretty decent. The world was an okay place. I decided to grow my hair out super long, possibly to the middle of my back. I had never had long hair before, but this was my chance. I stopped going to the salon for a while so that she didn’t have a chance to undo all my hard work.better hair

But that’s when tragedy struck. I went to the hair stylist to get a trim, and decided in a split-second of foolishness that I wanted to go short. I got an actually pretty cute cut, below my chin with some cute layers and side bangs. So far, so good. But then, when I went back, that was when everything went wrong. I made a terrible decision to cut off all of my hair into one of the worst pixie cuts I’ve ever gotten. pixie cut

(I kept the full picture because oh my goodness, look how cute my nephew was 5 years ago.) Alright, so that wasn’t the absolute worst it’s been. At least, there have been worse pixie cuts on people, right? But this wasn’t the worst part. I foolishly bought a razor comb and, you guessed it, chopped off more. How much more, you ask? Too much.

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I don’t want to post a picture of this one because it’s so bad. I remember someone walking up to me at church the Sunday after and they said, “It seems like every time I see you, your hair gets shorter.” I laughed, until they said, “I don’t think you should go any shorter.” I quickly said I wasn’t, but was embarrassed and a little ticked off at them for being so bold as to tell me what I should do with my hair. But they were so, so right. My hair was a mess. I thought I looked so cool with my shaggy pixie cut and short bangs. I shudder thinking back on it. Out of all my hairstyles, I regret that one the most. I think it was during that time that I got purple highlights in my bangs done by a friend. I love her dearly, but it was not working with my haircut like I thought it was back then. After that, when my hair grew out a little more, I had red highlights throughout my hair when I worked my part time job at Kohl’s.

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That’s the face of a girl who regrets all her life choices. Why, why, why did I do that to myself? After that, I began growing out my hair again. For once, I successfully stayed away from scissors. My only hair cuts were to get a trim, but they were few and falong hairr between. Things were going great.

Ignore my expression. I still haven’t learned how to pose for a camera. My first year of TCC, when I told a friend I had a pixie before, he couldn’t believe it. He thought it must have looked bad (rightly so). My hair was full, thick, and beautiful. It reached the longest it has ever been, with only my natural color.

I hated it.

Every time I looked at it, all I noticed were the split ends. There were so many, I would take a pair of regular scissors and cut them off whenever I noticed them. But it was too much. So, after a stressful day of classes in my second semester of college, I cut it. Not terribly short, just to my shoulders. Still, it was a relief. But it wasn’t enough. I went back later and got a pixie cut. Still not enough. I was frustrated with the sides and how they looked. When I showed my hairstylist a picture I had found, she did something with my hair I never would have thought to do. She shaved half of it.

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I loved it. Later, I got peekaboo blonde highlights through it. Then, in a bad move, I dyed it red for the fall. My bad. Not my best look (but not my worst, clearly). After, I dyed it dark brown with a streak of red. Then, after a while, I got the blonde re-bleached. I made another bad decision (what’s new?) and decided to grow my hair out. I missed my gorgeous long hair, after all. I was hoping to marry my boyfriend in the next few years and wanted to have plenty of time to get it long before then so I could put it up for the wedding. A year lasted with this thought process. It almost reached my shoulders. I could put it up in a ponytail again.

So then I chopped it off again.

final hair

That’s the face of a girl who knows she has a haircutting problem but doesn’t care anymore. I can’t grow out my hair any more. Pixies for life, for me, apparently. I’m just thankful I finally found a style that looks cute on me. If I ever decide to grow out my hair, you can rest assured that within a year, it will be back to pixie again. I have no patience for hair care in the morning, and hate spending a long time washing it. When it comes to hair, I like to do the bare minimum. It helps when there isn’t a ton of hair to worry about.

 

 

I’ve Run Out of Titles

So, the summer hasn’t been as relaxed as I originally thought. I’ve been working lots of extra hours (with a minimum of 30 kids to help watch and entertain) which means my posting might continue to be erratic until the fall. If I had known how much work adulting was, I wouldn’t have complained so much in middle school. I miss the days of not being in debt to college…

Over the years since high school ended, my life has changed rather drastically. I’ve written posts (most of them a little on the sobering side), about the many things I’ve gone through and struggled with. It’s not fair to present my life as if it’s been all doom and gloom, though. During my years at community college, I met the love of my life, I learned what I wanted to major in and do for the rest of my life, I met new, amazing friends. I’ve learned to truly appreciate my family. I have been working on standing up for myself. I’m happier than I have been at any other part of my life so far. And now that I’m getting a little better at not dwelling on the past, I’ve been able to look forward. So, without further ado, a very short list of future goals and aspirations:1. Race a lot– I ran my first 5k about a month or two ago and learned how fulfilling it is. I want to build up my endurance to do a 10k, and eventually a triathlon. This summer heat is kicking my butt, unfortunately. Come the cooler weather, I’m going to get back into working out.
2. Travel– I got to go on a few trips out of country (Mexico, Bahamas, Ireland) when I was younger, but now that I’m older I want to see the world with a better appreciation for it (and a better camera). Whether it’s across the country, or across the world, I just want to see different places. I would love to go to: England, France, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Scotland, back to Ireland, Hawaii, Washington, and really anywhere that I would be able to go. 

3. Volunteer– I wasn’t huge into volunteering when I was younger, but now I’d love to help out with an animal shelter, play music in retirement homes, and help out with more charities. 

4. Write– I know I’ve mentioned before the series I’ve been working on for years. I would love to actually finish a book, no matter the subject. I’m having a difficult time deciding whether that means I should at last give up and move on to something else, or see it through to the end. 

5. Have an extensive library– I have loved reading since middle school. When I finally have my own place, I want there to be bookshelves everywhere filled with (almost) every genre. Books are one of my favorite ways to learn, so I’d love to expand my non-fiction section. All that to say…

6. Know a little about a lot– this is kind of a big net to cast, so I’ll explain. I want to be one of those people who is well-rounded. Not a know-it-all, just knowledgable. I admire people who have a wide range of interests and even know some about things that don’t interest them. Being the lazy person I am, I haven’t ever put much work into this, but now it’s become a high priority. 

I know it’s a pretty short list, but that’s all I have for now. Maybe I’ll update as more stuff comes up. There’s definitely other things as well, but I would rather not bore you with all the stereotypical, “grow as a person, blah blah” stuff you’ve heard over and over again.

Of course, if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. 

Words from a Carnivorous Vegetarian

Can you believe it? It’s Monday and I’m actually posting again, unlike my average two month hiatus. I mentioned in my previous post several topics I would be writing on so we could get to know each other better in a very one-sided manner. The first one I’ll tackle is my insane love of animals.

Oh. My. Gosh. Animals. They are, in my opinion, one of God’s greatest ideas ever. People who do not like animals I will never understand. If I go down because a huge Bernese Mountain dog tackles me, so be it. I will gladly accept that fate. (Yes, that was a joke. Mostly). Little wild bunnies that pop up everywhere during the early summer? Heck. Yes. I am all about that. When they sit there in the grass thinking they’re invisible, wiggling their little pink noses, paranoia in their huge, black eyes.. So cute.

If you’ve spent any time with me, you would know it is my job to point out and announce whatever animal I see. No, it’s not an OCD thing. I just want people to share in the blessing of seeing the adorable deer or puppy that was walking past. If you took a survey of my life, I’m almost positive the answer to “what is Kelsey’s most frequently asked question?” it would be “may I pet your dog?” Seriously, every time I’m in public I debate things like distance, friendliness, cuteness rating of the dog, etc. If the formula checks out, I go ask. No, I don’t go running an awkward distance away just to pet a dog. I will, however, make sure my stroll looks casual enough when I try to get close enough to ask to pet it, though. It’s the struggle of my life.

This is my sweet puppy. By puppy, I of course mean my full grown nine year old whippet, Riley. He may look like a snuggle bug, but don’t be fooled. While I think he is absolutely adorable and I love him dearly, it’s hard to call him a real dog.IMG_2005.JPGAll he wants to do all day every day is play fetch. It doesn’t matter if it’s an actual toy or a scrap of used paper towel roll. He is obsessive about it. Ask anyone who has been over my house. When they come over, they think it’s cute how he immediately brings them a toy to through… for the first hour. After that, it is annoying. He doesn’t want affection, he doesn’t want to snuggle, he doesn’t want to play wrestle. He has one purpose, and one purpose only: fetch. It’s like there’s a malfunction somewhere in his brain that makes him forget to do anything else dog-related other than play “you throw this slimy, smelly stuffed toy and I’ll catch it and we’ll do that every second of every day till I die.”

I’ve already made my (wonderful) boyfriend promise once we’re married and have our own place, he’ll buy me a dog. Not just any dog, though. A Bernadoodle puppy. What is a bernadoodle you may ask? It’s only the cutest dog ever.

bernadoodle puppy.jpgLook at its adorable face! and then it grows up into this:bernadoodle.png

Just look at all that fluff. I want one so badly. It has all the hypo-allergenic perks of a typical doodle, with all of the insane perfection that is a Bernese Mountain dog. This, my friends, is my new favorite breed.

Now, this post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention my favorite animal of all time. more red panda.jpgred panda.jpgred panda sleeping.jpg

The red panda is more than just a panda. In fact, it isn’t even a real panda. Look it up, its in its own family. The red panda is a fluffy, cuddly, playful, sleepy baby that needs protection. The red panda is endangered because of their beautiful tails that poachers desire, and their helplessness that makes them an easy target for predators. These cute little red fluff balls deserve so much more. Rather than flood you with more pictures, I’ll give you a short inventory of all the red panda related items I own: red panda earrings, necklace, t-shirt, pillow, two stuffed animals, three paintings, phone lock screen, phone charm, and there’s probably more I’m forgetting. Like I said, I really like red pandas. It’s not an obsession. At least, not until I carry out my plot of how to break into the zoo and steal one.(Again, this is a joke. Please don’t take me away, cyber police!)

So there’s just a small glimpse into my love of animals. At least I didn’t include charts and bar graphs. If you still aren’t convinced, come spend fifteen minutes with me at the nearest zoo. Then, you shall learn. Alright, I did mention I’d explain why I’m still not vegan, despite how much I adore all cute animals. Here’s the long and short of it: I like meat. That might sound harsh and shallow, but it’s true. I’m not going around eating baby red pandas. My preference is turkey and chicken, however if there are no other options I will eat beef, and ham only in extreme cases of hunger. Not that you asked what my dietary habits are. But vegans get to tell theirs when not asked, so gosh dangit, I deserve the same right.

Did I mention I really like animals?

Take 4?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any sort of update. While I’d like to blame it on having no time to write, it’s really been a lack of something to write about. My life has been about the same since my last post. The only difference is that I’m a TCC graduate newly accepted into ODU for the spring of 2017. I know, after the hatred I spewed about college, it’s pretty surprising I actually want to go back for a Bachelor’s. I guess that goes to show me I’m not as constant as I like to think I am.

So, I’m back again to the blogging world. Does that make this take 4? Or 3.5? I am starting to not care. Either way, I’m renewing my New Year’s Resolution to blog. While normally I just wait for inspiration to hit on big topics, instead I’ll be taking the traditional route of writing about some stereotypical, light-hearted topics. I think I owe it to myself after the soul-searching I’ve been doing. Not every sentence has to be a revelation, right? That takes off a lot of pressure. This post is to simply to help me get my thoughts together and to let you know where this blog is headed. I’ll be expanding my horizons while also letting you get to know me a bit better. I swear I’m not always as pretentious as I sound (if anything, I’ve been hit by the humble train a few times since my last post).

Below are some topics to expect from me in the coming weeks:

My outrageous love of animals (and why I still can’t bring myself to be vegan)

Future plans and aspirations

A (painful) history of my clothing choices, and where I am now

Lists. Places to visit, inspirational quotes, books that have influenced me, etc. I’m a pretty big fan of lists

My fitness journey (routines, milestones, college life)

Places I’ve visited and crazy things that happened there

The ever-changing journey of my hair (it’s a little more interesting than it sounds)

And I’ll hopefully think up more before I’ve finished all those topics. A lot more light-hearted than my previous subjects, you’ll notice. My mom wants me to be more positive (hi mom!). I can be a grump, so it’s probably for the best. But don’t think you can get far into this blog before another philosophical post shows up.

Until next week.

 

Back to Work

I know, I know.

It’s been quite a while since I posted last. I wish I could say I have been planning a huge post for today, something extremely special, but that unfortunately is not the case. Life has simply gotten very, very busy.

It’s my senior year. Yay me! As graduation approaches, I’ve been avoiding the idea of going back to school in a few semesters to get my bachelors. The thought of freedom from TCC is just too good. My boyfriend attempted to ask what my future plans were after graduation, poor him. I shut down at the thought of spending more months inside a classroom surrounded by people I wasn’t fond of and teachers who didn’t know how to teach, and all the darned homework (Sorry, babe!). You may or may not have picked up on my ‘I Hate School’ vibes, but be assured, they run parallel to my veins.

It took a while and several suggestions from him of what I could do instead before he struck on an idea I have actually been turning over in the back of my mind for a few months. Fitness instructor.

Now, before you start lecturing me about jumping on the bandwagon, I think you should know that at the end of last year I got into fitness and since then I have adored it. I was working out every day of the week, going to fitness class twice a week, and eating healthy, before I came down with my month-long plague. It took a while to catch up on homework and work, but now that my schedule is back on track, I’ve been jumping back into fitness just as eagerly as before. So, the idea of actually helping people achieve their goals and improve themselves is pretty cool to me.

I’ve been in the Martial Arts for going on nine years now. I’ve worked one on one with people, in groups, and even taught a class or two. While I enjoy it, I never could see myself being a Martial Arts instructor the rest of my life. I prefer working one on one with people. But the idea that these past nine years have been preparing me for something I genuinely believe I would enjoy doing is pretty exciting to me.

So, starting this fall, your girl is going to begin studying for her personal trainer certification.

I still love writing and I’d still love to be an English major, but for now it’s going to be on the back burner. At least until my hatred of school and student loans have simmered down. Until then, I plan on improving myself and my lifestyle through fitness and healthy eating. Will I get tired of the idea of making it my career? Maybe. Maybe I’ll come back in a month with my tail between my legs saying now I’ve decided to be an animation major again (unlikely). I don’t think this will be the case. I might just be trying to reassure myself, but the more I’ve looked into it, the more I believe being a personal trainer could be for me.

Call me stereotypical, but I love the healthy lifestyle. You already know if you read my last few entries how I fall into a rut if I don’t staying moving. Working out regularly has helped keep the depressed thoughts at bay and even improved my self-esteem. I’d love to be able to share that with others. I’d love to use it as a way to develop deep friendships and influence people’s lives for the better.

I’ll let you know in a month if that changes.

 

 

Oops

Well. This is embarrassing.I’m not even going to check when the last time I posted was, but I know it’s been a few weeks. To be fair, though, I’ve been busy and posting once a month counts as regularly. So, technically speaking, I haven’t broken my new year’s resolution yet.

Side note: Murphy’s lesser known law states that when one has time to write, they have nothing to write about, and when they have something to write about, they have no time to write. Or, at least that’s what his lesser known law would have said if he thought it up. You can’t say I’m wrong.

Since I’ve mentioned it already, I’ll talk about busyness. The past few weeks, I have stuffed every minute full of running around, making sure I never have a free moment. Probably not the best thing for someone recovering from Pneumonia and navigating sickness season. I’m also leaving for a week in Tennessee in two days with my boy friend’s family and some friends. So, with the ever-present threat of falling ill again, I’m still sacrificing rest in order to keep moving.

I never really knew why I liked being so busy since I’m such a strong introvert and quickly grow tired of socializing. I can spend a few hours with people and then get the desire to curl up in a chair at home with a book. So, while the prospect of being sick for two weeks was awful after my diagnosis, I was a little relieved to get some time to myself. And then after only a few days, I remembered why I stay busy.

Whenever I spend too long not doing anything, a deep sense of loneliness hits me like a train. It makes it difficult to stay motivated, to want to talk to people, or even to get up and move. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, and objects at rest tend to stay at rest. That’s me. Once I fill up my schedule, I need to keep doing something because as soon as I’m alone I start questioning the purpose of things and I end up not wanting to do anything at all. So, I choose to keep every moment occupied. I need to be around someone, but I also need that person to be able to go hours without talking while we’re in the same room. Maybe I really am an extroverted introvert.

This worried me for a while when I realized I actually did need to stay busy in order to keep away from those thoughts. I wondered if my faith wasn’t as strong as I thought it was, or that I was running away from my problems. I doubted myself and wondered whether I was just filling my time to avoid my issues. After careful thought, though, I realized something.

I’m not unhappy. I feel that’s important to mention. I’m not depressed. In the quiet moments, I am thankful. I recognize on rainy days that the sun is still there. I can spend a few hours by myself and be content and joyful. I love the Lord and prayerfully bring every dark moment to him and ask for his help.

 I was made to get up and do stuff. I know that I am happiest when I’m investing in friendships, getting things done, and using my day to do something other than lie around. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Before I got sick, I invested in my own physical health and used my time to exercise frequently. I was proud of myself and the accomplishments I had made. Suddenly being unable to do that for so long, I wasted days on the computer and doing things without meaning. My fitness routine has been on hold, but I’m hoping this month I’ll be getting back into things and get back to the place I was before I was sick. Until then, I’ve been trying to avoid sitting around doing nothing. I want to do stuff that matters. I want to act, not just say empty words. I dont think that’s a bad thing. I’m not trying to avoid anything. I just want to do something that matters.

On Saturday I leave for Tennessee and I am so excited to see the Smoky Mountains for the first time. I’m hoping it will be a good chance for me to reflect on some things and learn to love the quiet days. But I fully intend to not waste a day. 

So, there’s your update. I’m sorry this post wasn’t about something deep and thought-provoking, but if nothing else, I hope the people who need it know I feel the same way sometimes. Feeling loneliness isn’t weird or abnormal, even if you have many close friends. This world is fallen and we are fallen and we will struggle. But there are ways to overcome it. As cliché as I’m about to sound, I mean it when I say don’t give up. 

You aren’t alone.