Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I'M CALLING IT

It's been a good run, folks. We've had 8 years together, can you believe it? But I think, it's time for me to move on. I haven't been a good and faithful blogger lately and I think that means that for me, it's time to start over.

I've dabbled with the idea of just starting a completely new blog, so you might look for that in the future. But for now, I'm taking away the guilt of never posting anymore and simply just signing off.

Have a fantastic life, kids. I'll see ya on the other side.

Friday, March 11, 2016

ON BEING AN ADULT

I was in the shower the other morning and having incredibly deep and philosophical thoughts, like you do, and I was thinking about adulthood.

Adulthood and I have had a very interesting relationship. I used to think being an adult was the dumbest thing I'd ever done. And slowly I adjusted to thinking that maybe being an adult wasn't actually that dumb after all...and then I lost my job and went right back to thinking being an adult is completely stupid.

But you know what? It's not really. I got a new job. I was able to pay my bills. I didn't end up living in an old refrigerator box in the back alley of somewhere, as is my worst fear, and life kept going. Life didn't suddenly stop and turn completely on its head like I'd always imagined it would if something catastrophic happened to me.

It's a weird thing about life, how it just keeps marching forward. I know that when I was little I knew this, but I didn't really comprehend it until I was much, much older. I used to think if something went wrong that that was just the end of it. That there was no coming back from that, it was just over. You missed out. You lost. Time to head another direction. And really, that isn't the case. I'm so glad I know that now, but I'm still not sure why I didn't really grasp that then, you know?

Whatever.

So anyway, back to my shower thoughts. Because that's what we're here to talk about anyway, right? Right.

I was washing my hair underneath the steaming hot water in which I have to be surrounded by or else I somehow feel...cold. And as I lathered the suds into my scalp, it occurred to me that I am not really a real adult. Because occasionally I still feel like I'm just a little girl playing pretend at the adult thing. Sometimes I find myself in situations where people think I'm this grown woman, when really I feel like a six year old flailing around down inside me screaming "I'm too young for this!"

And you know what's crazy? I'm not a little six year old girl. I'm actually a pretty well adjusted adult...but then again, fake it until you make it, right? I wonder if I will ever feel like an actual adult and not like a little girl at a masquerade ball.

I'm sure that as time goes on, I'll feel like a more adultier adult, but I guess that just like all things in life, it just takes practice. And then I read Stephanie's blog post about being the one that actually makes your dreams happen and my mind exploded.

You see, even if I am just a little girl pretending to be an adult, I still get to do all the things I want to do. Talking to Nathan, our plans for the future seem crazy to me still. Like, am I really old enough to talk about buying a house? Am I really old enough to move across the country if I wanted to? Am I really old enough to get married and travel and do all of the things that Little Natalie dreamed for Big Natalie to accomplish?

And the craziest part is that I totally am. I am able to make these things happen. I just have to be willing to put in the work and file the papers and do whatever else it is I need to do to make things happen. I tend to let myself get overwhelmed, but if I just take it one step at a time, before I know it, when I look back at my life, all the things I want to do get done.

And that is what I love so much about being an adult. It's more than just making my own bedtime and prioritizing my budget so that I can pay rent. It's the fact that I get to make my own dreams come true. I am the master of my fate - in a manner of speaking.

Plus, to have a partner that has the same goals and plans for the future that I do, it just makes me more excited to keep going. So, yay for being an adult and things. Yay! Confetti! I can do whatever I want!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

THE SPECTRUM

YOU GUYS!

You guys have been doing a thing and I really REALLY need you to stop doing the thing anymore. If I catch you doing the thing, then I'm going to smack you upside the head and give you a list of websites to check out and books to read.

If you're confused, let me clear a few things up for you, okay? Take a deep breath and get comfy, because here we go.

Introverts have a bad name and it hasn't stopped yet because people keep perpetuating the stereotype and no one has really put the real research out there, although plenty of people have tried. There is still this notion going around the introverted people are socially awkward, shy and antisocial. THIS IS AN UNTRUTH!

The real difference between introverts and extroverts is the way in which those people gain and release energy levels. Extroverts gain energy from people. They tend to feel more energized and pumped up after hanging out with their friends, going to a party, spending time in a crowd, etc. Whereas on the flip side of extroversion, introverts gain energy by spending time alone either watching a movie, reading a book, or completing a project, etc.

When extroverts are full of energy, spending time by themselves may be a nice reprieve. When introverts are full of energy, a night out with their friends might not be something they are dreading or loath to do. Ya feel me?

I keep seeing these articles about the "extroverted introvert" which just annoys me to no end. No person is a true introvert or extrovert based on the stereotypes of either being constantly inundated with new people or hating social interaction of any kind choosing to spend a majority of time with your nose in a book. And I'm SICK OF IT. I'm so tired of people perpetuating the stereotype that introverts can't be social creatures.

JUST STOP SPREADING THE INSANITY.

If you find that you feel more energized after you've spent a couple hours reading your book and you would like to go out and pub crawl Friday night with your friends doesn't mean that you're not introverted. It might even be shocking to learn that introverts even process a lot of social prowess and may even have a nice circle of friends instead of just one or two.

I know, your mind is blown, isn't it?

But seriously. Everyone falls on the spectrum of intro/extroversion and while some people are more on one side or the other doesn't mean that people don't also fall in the middle. There is such a thing as an ambivert, actually.

I'd like to challenge you to help change the dialogue surrounding introversion and extroversion. If we start changing the way we speak and write about it by realizing that it's a spectrum instead of a black and white issue then we can better understand our fellow humans.

Remember that it's not about how shy a person is. Shyness has nothing to do with introversion, it's merely a term for the fear of social judgement. Whether you gain or give energy by being around people or away from people is what gives you your introvertedness or extrovertedness.

Now go forth and turn the stereotype on its head!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

IMPATIENCE

What even is blogging these days anyway? I mean, who even does that. Not me. Didn't you know? Because I am the worst at it apparently.

And you know what? I don't even have a good reason. Not a one. None. Nothing. Because I'm currently laid off while I wait for the photography season to pick back up and I have all the time in the world to write blog posts. Plus, I mean, with all this time I do lots of interesting things. Like watch stupid reality trash television like Dance Moms. Betcha never saw that one coming!

But in all seriousness, I have done some cool things. I mean, I've been watching a lot of Food Network shows, so I've really stepped up my game in the kitchen. I made lamb burgers with homemade tzaziki sauce and it was amazing. Recently, I've started using my croc pot as well to cook pork shoulders and it's been fantastic.

In addition to the trash TV and the food prep, I've been doing a lot of artwork as well. I've been creating all these custom mugs for my friends and family. (If you want one, email me!) And it would be great if I could turn it into a legitimate business, but that will take a lot of time to really take off enough to support me. I'm currently drawing up designs for mugs though, for local souvenir shops - just to get my name out there. Exciting!

I'm designing a new updated logo for the business my mom works for. It's been a lot of back and fourth and nothing is finalized yet, but we are getting close I think. I've spent a few hours working on the design and revitalizing the old one. Different shapes, different fonts, abbreviations or entire business names? It's really been a big journey. Actually, the experience is phenomenal and I would love to work with other businesses for logo designs, etc. This is the nerdy stuff I live for!

But if we're to take a break from my monotonous life update (that I know you are all SO THRILLED to be reading) I would have to tell you some other things and feelings I have about stuff.

Since I graduated from high school, it has been a lot of non-stop with classmates and friends getting engaged and married and popping out kiddos. And I've mostly (mostly!) been able to stomach it without too much constant jealousy of their impeccable diamond rings. Mostly. But recently I've found myself having to work harder and harder to stuff down the green monster.

It's not that I'm super stoked out of my mind for all my friends. Really, truly, honestly, I am beyond happy that their lives are going in that direction. It makes me believe in marriage and that people really do care about committing themselves to another person for the foreseeable future and beyond. In a culture that hates on marriage so much, to have my Facebook news feed constantly bombarded with so-and-so is engaged/married to so-and-so, it's really nice.

And on the other hand, my stomach sinks a little. I wish it was me. I wish it was me. When it really hit me hard was when one of my old students got engaged. That was the toughest one to get over. Because, why. Why? I have an amazing relationship with a phenomenal man who loves me an incredible amount. We have talked a lot about marriage and the future and our plans for life. We are a wonderful team and we balance each out very well.

So maybe that's what makes it so hard. The fact that I know it's coming but I don't know when. The fact that these girls (and guys!) don't have to wait any longer and I'm over here forced into continued patience. It stings a little, down deep in my soul, to see all those others flaunting their rings all over social media, while I'm still here bare handed.

It won't be forever. My time is coming. I know that. I'm just tired of waiting. So tired of waiting. And yet, I'll keep on waiting. As long as it takes. Impatience gets you nowhere and worrying does nothing to change a situation. But sometimes ya just gotta vent, amiright?

Monday, January 4, 2016

FAMILY FOTOS


We had family pictures taken earlier this December, and I love every stinkin' one of them.
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