Sitting here at my desk, 2549 miles away from home, I’m less homesick than I was when I was only a 90-minute drive away. Strange.

I was the kid who went home every single weekend during college. I don’t think I stayed on campus even a single weekend during freshman year, but I might have stayed once a month by senior year. Or am I being too generous with myself? I lived alone in my apartment and, shocker, I wasn’t the hub where people came over all the time. I was so lonely most of the time that I went home solely for the comfort that another person would definitely be there.

I’ve already mentioned it before, but I was so nervous that homesickness and depression would overwhelm me when I moved out to LA. Now, it’s only been a few days out here on my own so time will tell, but I’m managing it pretty well. No doubt I’ve been bored and want of company, but I haven’t called my mom crying in the middle of the night asking her to buy me a plane ticket. Knowing my mom and recalling how much we both broke down when she left, she’d quickly whip out her credit card and get me on the next flight. When I was still a senior in college discussing grad schools with my advisor, she immediately USC and the west coast, to which I immediately responded, “No, no, I could never move to the west coast. Not an option.” Yet, here I am.

I don’t know why I feel so differently  about being alone and away from home now. Maybe it’s that I’m more prepared for it this time. Maybe it’s that college wasn’t initially my decision, it was something I had to do, and leaving home felt like it was forced on me. Maybe it’s that grad school is something I’ve worked toward for close to two years and the accomplishment is enough to drive out any feelings of wanting to go back to the way things were. Of course, I miss my friends (the both of them), my family, and the ease of being in my hometown. It’s less of a homesickness than it is a feeling of being disconnected. I’m out of the loop and that’s a bummer. I can still go to Target, I have the same comforter and pillowcases, and I watch the same TV shows, so it’s not a complete change from my usual normal. But I do have to turn on the GPS just to leave the house, think about what time it is on the east coast before calling family, and consciously try to stay involved in my friend’s lives. Being away from home isn’t as much sad, as it is difficult.

Best Advice

Around the time I turned eighteen and had to start dealing with paperwork, and important phone calls, and bills all by myself, my mom started tossing out this cherub of a phrase: No one will take care of you like you do. It’s become more refined over the years, and now it’s like my personal motto to psych myself up.. Whenever I have to call someone about a job, or speak up when a service isn’t up to par, or ask for help from someone I don’t know, my first reaction is to panic, clam up, and completely avoid the situation. But when I remind myself that no one will take care of me like I will, it’s like the extra kick in the ass to woman up and go after what I need. When I need help, no one is going to read my mind and magically solve a problem for me. And if something isn’t right, no one is going to know unless I say it. “No one will take care of you like you do” isn’t about being a bossy bitch or standing up for yourself, it’s about knowing that you have the sole responsibility to take care of yourself and your issues and having the confidence to do it.

Like today. I have to get my student loans deferred, but to do that, I have to talk to the program coordinator of my department to see how to fill out the paperwork, which I also need her assistance filling out. I finally sucked it up yesterday and made the call, but I was only able to leave a voicemail. I’m not so patiently waiting for her to call me back today, as I’m panicking that I waited too long and ran out of time, that the program coordinator has forgotten who I am, or that I said something wrong in my voicemail and now she’s mad at me. They all seem ridiculous as I type them out here, but anxious thoughts aren’t rational.

Making that phone call was nerve-racking for me, but repeating that little mantra got me through it. And singing this song:

August – Me Updates

In January, I posted about New Year’s Resolution’s and status updates on meself. Let’s see how I’m doing now that’s it’s August. (How is it August already?)

GRAD SCHOOL

Grad Schools Applied to: 5
Grad Schools Rejected from: 2
Grad Schools Waiting On: 0
Grad Schools Accepted To: 3 (USC FTW!, NC State and Georgia State University)
Grad School Officially Attending: USC for Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts

BOOKS

Um, so I need to read more…

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MOVIES

I stopped keeping track of the movies I’ve watched this year when I abandoned my blog back in March.

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TELEVISION

#OITNBSEASONTWO. Holy fucking shit Rosa.

I also have a subscription to HBOGO now so I’m going to try to find time for Game of Thrones and The Wire. Emphasis on try.

JOB

I had a job at Old Navy for a few months and I loved it. Well, as much as you can love retail. And I had a crush on a manager so that helps you not hate going to work. But I left it when I moved out to LA. I was thinking about transferring to a store out here just so I could stay on payroll and work when I go home, but the closest ON is almost ten miles away and I’m not battling through LA traffic for a part-time job.

Especially when I have a new part-time job on campus! I found out a few weeks ago that I was hired as an office assistant in my department. Perfect job for me. Gah, I love when everything falls into place. Hopefully I can start working sooner rather than later because poor.

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DIET

Hahahahahah. HA. HAHAHAHA.

Okay, so I was doing so well. The lowest I’ve seen on the scale has been very close to a big goal, but not quite there. All in all, I was averaging about twenty pounds lighter than the heaviest weight I remember. Which is huge.

But then I drove across the country for a week and ate nothing but fast food and now I feel like I weigh 1000 pounds. I don’t have a scale here, and I really don’t plan on getting one because I don’t need that kind of pressure to look at it. I’m going on a baked chicken and salad kick to try to get rid of this fast food grossness. It’s not even the extra weight I probably gained, I felt so sick eating all the greasy food. It’s certainly noticeable how bad that food is for you when you stop eating it for awhile.

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RESOLUTION PROGRESS

Check out my resolutions, here.

1. Exercise: I bought a yoga mat and some 2 lb. weights. That’s enough for now. Maybe another two months and I’ll start using them.

2. Watch all the movies in my Netflix queue: Not even close.

3. Watch the acclaimed TV series: Last time I did this I was in the middle of Parenthood. It was good but I stopped after season 4 because I knew so many spoilers from the current season.

4. Reading: Like above, whoops.

5. Be more neat and organized: Moving certainly made me cut back on the amount of stuff I have, so my apartment is amazingly clean and organized. Everything has a place and right now, it’s in it.

6. Lose weight: Lost some, getting back on the wagon.

7. Stop eating out so much: Well I’m broke right now so that should be pretty easy.

8. Budget: I have an extensive color-coded budget of my expenses and income for the entire semester. I think I’m gonna be able to manage it.

9. Wear all the clothes in my closet: I have to pay $2.00 to do a load of laundry in my building, so I’ll probably be cycling through the back corners of the closet a bit more.

10. Coloring Book: I did bring it with me. Forgot the markers though.

I moved to Los Angeles!

Los Angeles, L.A.,the City of Angels, Tinseltown…home.

Today is my fifth day in my apartment, but my first day on my own. My mom had been with me since Aug 27th, driving out here from North Carolina, helping me move in, and buying me everything under the sun, but I drove her out to LAX this morning. I don’t like to cry in front of people, but we both lost it when we hugged goodbye. Right before she turned to leave she told me, “You’re making the right decision,” and I swear I could cry all over again just thinking about it.

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I’ve been worrying that being alone here would send me into a whirlwind depression, but so far that’s been cushioned by the fact that I’m in love with my apartment. It’s an old craftsman home that’s been remodeled into about a dozen units, and mine is filled with every Ikea product known to man and the cutest little desk you’ve ever seen. My windows are enormous and my balcony makes me feel like I’m in a treehouse, so no complaints there. Here’s to hoping sunset only brings on the night-time snacking and not the night-time sadz.

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Officially, I don’t have to do anything school-related until August 18th, save for some orientation and paperwork things. That’s when TA training begins, and then classes will start on the 26th. I guess I should mention that, *officially*, I’m going to grad school at USC for Critical Studies in Film. Until then, I’ll be spending my days reading all the things I should have been reading over the summer and trying not to eat all the food my mom bought to stock me up for the next few weeks. #thelittlethings

Day 3: Awkward.

3. Post a picture of you during an awkward phase and a picture of you now (like a before and after).

I’m using this post as an excuse to post pictures of my face, because I’m only slightly conceited. The only hitch being that I also have to post a picture that I’ve tried to keep hidden, repressing awful memories of pre-teen awkwardness. Ugh, here is one of the most embarrassing pictures of me. (I guess it’s not totally awful, I was just a kid, but I get embarrassed just thinking about it, because I know that was generally me for the next few years too.)

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Yes, it’s a phone picture of a picture because I’m lazy, but that’s me in the white jacket. I was about eleven or twelve I think, and clearly, I wasn’t the only one suffering from tragic fashion that day. My madre and brother would probably be mortified by this picture too. It’s a constant reminder to never wear my hair in pigtails ever again. My head looks gigantic and I had just gotten my first glasses not to long before that. Also, I guess I forgot to smile. Or maybe future me was seething inside, knowing how ridiculous I looked at that moment. God, I should dress up like that for Halloween.

And now on to pictures I really like! It was about my sophomore year of college when I stopped feeling like an ugly ducking. I guess that can happen when you start wearing make-up and making friends. These are some of my favorite pictures of me over the last few years, and generally, what I look like now.

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Yeah, I cropped a group pic.

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I remember being in love with my hair that day so I took a ton of Instagram pictures

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Me and Kristi

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Madre and me at some fancy work dinner. Eyeliner game too strong.



February Me-Updates

In January, I posted about New Year’s Resolution’s and status updates on meself. Let’s see how I’m doing!

GRAD SCHOOL

Grad Schools Applied to: 5
Grad Schools Rejected from: 2
Grad Schools Waiting On: 2
Grad Schools Accepted To: 1 (USC FTW!)

I thought I’d been overwhelmed before, but it’s nothing compared to making decisions about grad school. It’ll be a few more weeks before I have all the necessary information to make a decision. For now though, all the “what-if” scenarios are stressing me out more than I could have imagined. 

BOOKS

I recently found Sarah Addison Allen and read her first book, Garden Spells, in practically one sitting. Just couldn’t put it down. For a rough decription, it’s a mixture of Practical Magic and Big Fish. Allen writes magical realism with a southern twist, and all of her books are set in the Asheville, NC area, a magical place indeed. I have seen criticisms that GS is too similar to Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic. Those claims aren’t entirely invalid, but Allen does magical realism much better that PM. IMO, PM is more fantasy than magical realism, which isn’t a bad thing, they’re just different. If you’re looking for southern magical realism, Sarah Addison Allen is fabulous.

Also read Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. Started reading Gone Girl but I wasn’t into it and currently reading more Sarah Addison Allen.

MOVIES

I finally posted about all the movies I’ve seen over the last month over on my Movies of 2014 page! You can check out my mini-reviews hereThe Lego Movie is my favorite of the year so far, meaning movies actually released in 2014, not the 2013 holdouts. Worst, without a doubt, was That Awkward Moment. So, so, so awful.

TELEVISION

The Olympics have taken over my television for the last few weeks mostly, although the summer olympics are more fun to watch, I think. Oh, and Jimmy Fallon! I’m so excited for him and he’s been doing a great job so far. And with Seth Meyers starting Late Night tonight, it’s a whole new generation of late night talk shows with two of the funniest men on television. 

And I have to mention House of Cards. In the middle of season two right now and it’s not holding my attention like season one did. There’s a difference between drama and sensationalism, right?

JOB

Still no job. I do have a pending application at a local bookstore!

DIET

Dieting is not easy. I’ve been trying to eat healthy more than diet, but portion and snacking have always been big problems for me. Somewhat happy to report though: I’ve lost 7.2 pounds on my own since the beginning of the year, just by changing my eating habits. Woo-hoo me!

RESOLUTION PROGRESS

Check out my resolutions, here.

1. Exercise: Yeah, so that hasn’t happened yet. Big surprise.

2. Watch all the movies in my Netflix queue: Hahahaha not even a dent.

3. Watch the acclaimed TV series: Not yet, but good intentions. Started watching Parenthood and finished Dead Like Me again. I think I want to start Pushing Daisies next.

4. Reading: Making progress. I’ve read a handful of books already this year thanks to free library books on my Kindle.

5. Be more near and organized: I’ve been doing well with this one. My madre and I have a saying about me: You can always tell when I’m most stressed out by how clean the house is. It’s how I relax myself, by organizing my surroundings. Maybe it’s a control thing, and a little bit of procrastination. So yeah, I’m not sure I’m proud of this one, but I am staying more organized.

6. Lose weight: Already talked about this. I’m doing okay, but I’d like to be doing better.

7. Stop eating out so much: Madre and I are still each other’s worst enemies with this one. It’s a hard habit to break, but we’ve been doing better than normal.

8. Budget: If I had money to budget…

9. Wear all the clothes in my closet: Um, I can do better with this. But I’ve hardly been going anywhere outside of the house, so it’s hard to judge my success rate.

10. Coloring Book: Oh wow, I can’t believe I forgot about my coloring book! I was so excited about this. Maybe I’ll color a page today.

Day 7: Post a photo that makes you smile

When I started thinking about post yesterday, I had a completely different photo in mind. The first thing I thought of was this Photo Booth picture of me and Kristi after several too many hours spent procrastinating in a library study room: tumblr_mpabe2tpkZ1qgskmqo1_500
But then I got the urge to go through the giant loose photo bin in the attic, and down the rabbit hole I fell. I know I’m kind of breaking the rules with today’s post, but I’m so in love with this photo I have to share it:

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This is my mom holding me, from 1991. She looks so happy here. I’m not usually sentimental like this, but I can’t help it. The photo does something to me, I think it’s because when I look at it, I feel like little-me is staring back at present-me, trying to ask or tell me something. Maybe I’m just a narcissist.