Obligatory New Year Post

I was going to do a “2016 in Review” post, but after I wrote it, I didn’t want to share it. I learned and experienced both great triumph and heartache. Right now, though, I want to focus on what’s to come.

My theme for 2017 is Self-Love.

Every goal I set for myself this year will be geared toward becoming the best version of myself possible.

I’ve always struggled a bit with self-love and happiness. However, I just finished reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck (review to come) and one of the first points Manson makes is this:

The experience of seeking happiness, success, and a positive lifestyle is inherently negative. Mostly, it helps us internalize the fact that we (think) we are NOT happy, NOT successful, NOT positive people.

The moment I read that was the moment I stopped thinking of myself as unhappy. It was like magic! And along with that realization, I decided to love myself and everything I am!

BUT

That doesn’t mean I can’t improve some things or work on bettering myself and my life situation. It just means that I’m seeking all that from the healthy place of self-love, not the dangerous place of self-hate.

So without further ado, my biggest 2017 goals:

– #ArchitectBy25

– Be comfortable in my own skin

– Apply to grad school

– Be more creative and leave my comfort zone more often

– Buy a condo

These are some huge goals! They will require major focus, dedication, and perseverance, but I know I can do it

So you have a theme for 2017? What are some of your goals? Let me know in the comments!

December Goals

1. Catch up on studying.

I am way behind, so getting back to where I’m supposed to be (according to my handy schedule) is top priority.

2. Go to the gym!

I’m shooting for 3x/week, but I will settle for two. I am so incredibly uncomfortable with my body, so sculpting it into what I want is key to my happiness. Also, I may be signing up for a training plan, so yay!

3. Self-Love

I’m not happy, and I spend a decent amount of time putting myself down. Admonishing myself for the thoughts I have, being mean to myself about my body, telling myself I’m not doing enough to live the life I want… deep down believing I don’t deserve the life I want. Well, I can’t promise that all that will stop–chances are it never will–but I can at least add some self-love to the mix to balance out the negative. And then maybe one day the love will overwhelm the rest.

Finish the year strong! What are you December goals?

 

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November Goals

Three days late is better than never!

1. CHOOSE TO BE F*CKING HAPPY!

eric andre fuck yeah fuck yes fuck ya reactions

This is literally my only goal this month. Yes, I know it breaks the cardinal rule of goal-making: be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound). Okay, so it breaks the “SMA” rule.

BUT.

It’s the only thing that matters to me right now. My life feels so up in the air. The only thing in my life that makes me truly happy lately is Beau and our relationship. And that’s not healthy–I know that’s not healthy. It’s not his fault, it’s not anybody’s fault. It’s just the way my brain seems to be wired.

I don’t want to feel like this, unsatisfied with my life. Every time I start to feel myself falling I try to remind myself of all my blessings. And there are a lot! They are objectively really awesome, but I still feel like… like I’m not doing enough.

I’m not deserving, I’m not good enough, I’m not really doing my best. I keep listening to all these personal development books, having deep talks with Beau about what I want to do with my life, and praying (no where near enough, but still) in the hopes of making myself feel better. And that all helps in the moment, but it never lasts.

Part of the reason my relief is so fleeting is because I’m constantly thinking about what I need to do to get where I want to be, to look how I want to look, to live the life of my dreams. I need to stop spending so much money, to work out more and eat healthier, to study harder so I can pass my exams, to stop getting distracted at work. I just feel so unequipped for this life of mine.

Part of me knows it’s normal to feel this way because I’m a 23 year old woman, but that doesn’t make it any easier to handle. I’m sick of feeling helpless, so instead I’m going to put all of my energy into being happy.

Image result for i stop feeling sad and be awesome instead

Easier said than done, I know, BUT I’m still going to try. Because I haven’t fallen so far down the depression hole that I can’t bring myself to at least give it a shot.

Okay, maybe one more “subgoal” if you will:

1a. Forgive myself when I need to, and remember that it is okay to feel things other than happiness.

Wish me luck, y’all. I need all the positive support I can get. 🙂

❤ Severn

 

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featured image source: http://quotesblog.net/hello-november/

October in Review

Let’s see how I did with my goals this month!

1. Create a concrete study schedule a stick to it.

I definitely created the schedule, but I could definitely improve on the sticking to it part. The good news is that I’m on track! I start studying the next section in my review book today, and I’m excited. 🙂

2. Keep to a specific schedule/routine for dividing my time.

Success! My mom and I have set a day that we always spend together. Originally it was two, but she told me she was happy with one and on that day we have dinner together and watch our television series. Beau still gets Wednesday’s and half my weekends. The rest is what Barley and I like to call time with the freedom of choice. A.K.A. I do what I want time!

3. Bring lunch to work everyday, and only eat out for dinner once a week (where I pay).

Eh, I will estimate that I brought lunch to work about 80% if the time. Not quite my goal, but still pretty good!

Why is time moving so quickly?!

Look out for my November goals later today 🙂

❤ Severn

Who Am I?

Sometimes I feel like I don’t do enough. I work, I hang out with my boyfriend, I spend time with my mom, and that’s pretty much it. I think I tell myself that there’s little time for anything else, but that’s just not true. I could do things after work, I don’t have to spend my Saturday days with my mom, but that’s what happens.

The guilt of not spending enough time with her shapes my weekly schedule. Know who else I don’t see? The rest of my family. I can’t remember the last time I saw Mom, Grandma has all but given up the idea of seeing me ever. And I do feel bad, but apparently not bad enough to change anything.

It seriously makes me question myself as a person. Like, I’m not being a good granddaughter, but at a larger scale, I’m neglecting people who care about me, so overall I’m not a good person.

That struggle to figure out who we are? Does that ever stop? I’d like to think that at some point I’ll know, but it just doesn’t seem possible. How can anyone truly know who they are? Especially because we are constantly evolving beings. Or maybe we’re not actually.

There are two schools of thought, right? People are who they are at their core (and can’t change), or people can change. I don’t really know which one I believe. I can’t think of any instances where a person really, truly, changed who they were, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I think believing one way or the other goes hand in hand with what one thinks about humanity, and whether we’re born with inherent traits. Like the question “Are people inherently good or bad?” Who the fuck knows?! And more importantly, who the fuck cares?!

There is probably not one single person alive who remains untouched, unshaped by the world. Whether we were born good or bad, that’s covered now, by the things we learn as we live our lives. We’re influenced by what we learn in school, by TV, even by our day to day interactions with other humans. It’s so hard to find who we are and to stay true to that person because in just living our lives we are bombarded with things that are “other.” These things just aren’t a part of us, and so become other, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t strong enough to cloud what we think of ourselves and how we act.

I don’t know who I am. I know what things I like to do, what I believe in, how I prefer to interact with people, but that’s not who I am, that’s how I am. Maybe I’ll never know.

 


Featured image source: http://risenmonk.com/?p=156

Life Update

The MBTI stories are hard. I think I forgot that fiction writing isn’t easy. And revealing a character as an INFJ (which is what I am), even, is going to take a lot of time. So I finally have the first installment for you (next week), but know that the whole process will require your patience. (And thank you for that!)

In the mean time, let’s talk about what’s going on in my life.

Therapy

I realized I never told you all that I found a therapist. Well I did, and she’s pretty cool. Honestly, I miss Bristle, but Barley has her own set of strengths. We’re only like 4 sessions in, but I still don’t feel 100% comfortable with her. I think it might be because she’s a lot older than me/in a completely different stage of life. I mean, that obviously has its benefits, but I kind of liked how Bristle was clearly only a few years older than me.

Anyway, my appointments are bi-weekly. I’ve cried once, but mostly my sessions consist of ranting/complaining about all the tings I feel. Guilty, for not spending enough time with my mom, family, and friends. Overwhelmed by the fact that money will be tight once my student loan payments start. And that means it’ll take even longer to move out. And I love my mom, but I need to move out. Barley gives me advice on how to handle these things.

Relationships

It’s hard to stop myself from falling into the old habit of Mommy-pleasing. Barley tells me that now is the time in my life when I should be spreading my wings. Wanting to go home to keep my mom happy (because she feels like she never sees me) isn’t bad, but I need to maintain a balance. I’m also trying to be more open with my mom. Expressing my feelings, rather than burying them so I don’t rock the boat is no longer an option. Sometimes she’ll get upset, I might even unintentionally make her feel guilty about things, but living there won’t be any easier for me if I don’t do this. And hopefully by role modeling this, she will start to follow my lead, and our relationship will improve.

Things with Beau are absolutely wonderful. Our relationship is unlike any other I’ve ever had–romantic or otherwise. Beau is the only person I feel 100% comfortable expressing all of my true feelings to. Sometimes I still get a little anxious when I feel like we have something more serious to talk about, but I’m never afraid to talk to him about anything. I don’t think, “What if this makes him want to leave me?” “Am I just being crazy?” “I’m overthinking! I should just leave him alone!”

With Beau, I have a thought, then I say it. We talk about it, or he says, “No, I wasn’t thinking that at all, babe, don’t worry!” and we move on.

love amor peanuts hearts in love

The other amazing thing about us? We are constantly pushing each other to grow and be better. We talk about our goals, we come up with plans to reach them, we hold each other accountable, we listen, we give advice, we adjust as needed. He wants to see me succeed no matter what that means for me, and I want the same for him. We are working hard to become the most badass, happy versions of ourselves. And not only are we doing it because we think it’s what we deserve in our lives, but we want to be our best selves for each other, too.

Okay, I’ll stop gushing now.

Adulting

Part of me wants to stop using that word, because it’s sort of a symbol for the dumb millennial who doesn’t know how to do anything. But it’s a buzzword, and it has it’s benefits/good aspects, so it stays.

Anyway yeah, so far adulthood hasn’t been half bad. I pay my bills on time (thank God for autopay), and I go to work everyday…

Wow, I don’t really have that many responsibilities. Am I doing this right?

My biggest concern is saving money. If I’m ever going to get my own place–if I’m ever going to own my own place, I need to save money NOW. Plus, not having to live off social security checks when I’m old will be nice, too.

Alright, folks, that’s all I’ve got for you today, I would apologize for being so absent, but I’m out living my life, so I’m not sorry.

Toodles!

tipton analeigh

October Goals

Create concrete study schedule and stick to it.

I’ve decided to postpone actually taking my exams until 2017. I think I would do best to spend the next couple months really learning all of the material. Then I can focus on specific test content and review before each test. I plan to start testing in late January.

Keep to a specific schedule/routine for dividing my time.

Barley (my new therapist) told me she wants me to have more me-time. I’m always trying to navigate between Severn-Mommy time and Severn-Beau time. Rarely does she ever hear about Severn alone time. She’s right, I don’t do it enough.

So I talked to my mom about picking a few days a week to designate “us-time.” I already have days with Beau. I think I’ll make the remaining days and nights flex days, where I can decide if I want me-time, or if I want to do stuff with other people. As long as I have one solid defined day to myself, I think this will be a good balance for me.

Bring lunch to work everyday, and only eat out for dinner once a week (where I pay).

This goal has multiple purposes. First, I need to save, save, save! If I succeed in bringing lunch to work everyday, I’ll save at least an extra $200 a month. I spend so much money on food, it’s terrible. Second, homemade lunches tend to be healthier! (Provided I don’t bring frozen pizza all the time.)

YAY

Those are my main three goals for October. Anything else I do is just extra, and that’s okay with me. I’m excited!

What are your October goals?

September in Review

Career

– Gain ARE eligibility.   DONE! I thought I had to send a transcript request to my school and have them FedEx it to NCARB and it seemed like a lot. All I had to do was get CMU to send NCARB an electronic copy! They had it for a about a week, so I called customer service. The guy approved my transcript right then over the phone, and the next day I was eligible to test! Yay for being proactive. 🙂 (Also shouts out to Fairy for all gaining eligibility #killinit)

– Stick to study schedule for ARE tests.   Sort of done? I still wake up at 5am everyday, but I’m not studying anywhere near 13-15 hours a week. Part of the reason I didn’t follow through on this goal is because I had a generic study schedule in terms of times to study, but nothing specific on content to cover. I’ve adjusted for going into October.

– Schedule ARE test for mid-October.   NOPE! See #2.

– Take more initiative at work.   Uhm… I still haven’t figured out what this means. I don’t think I did it.

Personal Development

– Meatless Wednesdays.   YES! Every Wednesday this month was a success! I almost caved once, but I stuck it out. I’m going to continue this one.

– Read the Bible everyday.   NOPE. I just haven’t made time for it. It’s that simple.

– Workout 3 times a week for at least 45 minutes.   NOPE. Once my personal training sessions stopped, I started slacking. We’ll see what I can do for October.

Financial

– Save 30% of Income.   Eh. I think it was more like 20%.

– Learn about stocks. NOPE. I honestly forgot about this one. Which is funny because I wrote it down twice.

– Figure out ONE budgeting system.   I… no not really.

– Read 21 Days to a Better Budget.   Read it… remember nothing.

So yeah! September has come and gone. I got at least one(ish) from each category–not too shabby.

I think what I need is to pick 3-4 main things to focus on. Maybe even cut it down to 2 or 3. I tried to take on too much, and that just led to lots of goals not being accomplished. And that’s lame.

Tune in in like 10-15 minutes (lol) for my October Goals!

❤ Severn

How did your September go?

Book Review || You Are a Badass

In my new-found adulthood I have decided to continue reading self-help books. I want to be the best me I can be, and I am self-aware enough to know that I will need a little help along the way.

I just finished this book:

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And it’s awesome!

Jen Sincero is a success coach, and she has wonderful advice for anyone who wants to start living their life on purpose. Her writing is funny, informative, understandable, and generally pleasant to read. Her advice is good whether you’re trying to make more money, lose weight, start a new business, or figure out how to travel the world.

The book is broken up into five parts, starting with “How you got this way” and ending with “How to kick some ass.” I want to fill you in on everything I’ve learned from this book, but literally each chapter is full of golden nuggets. Instead, I’m going to encourage you to buy it and give you some of my most favorite lessons (a list!).

Your subconscious is a lot stronger than you think.

Most people live life listening to and being guided by their conscious minds. This is the part of you that makes decisions and processes information. The subconscious part, according to Sincero, believes everything, and is led by instincts and feelings. We store a lot more in our subconscious than we know, and those things we store can seriously effect us. For example, if your subconscious believes money is evil (maybe because as a child you saw that money was the cause of all your family’s arguments), no matter how much you say you want it, you will self-sabotage so you don’t get it. Sincero teaches us,

“[W]hen our subconscious beliefs are out of alignment with the things and experiences we want in our conscious minds (and hearts), it creates confusing conflicts between what we’re trying to create and what we’re actually creating [italics mine].”

It’s so easy once you figure out it isn’t hard (Chapter 17).

This chapter reminded me a bit of Wolf of Wall Street–that whole quote about the stories we tell ourselves stopping us from reaching our full potential. Sincero simplifies it to:

“What you choose to focus on becomes your reality [italics mine].”

There are so many people harboring negative stories about themselves. These beliefs are easily identifiable because they start with phrases like “I always/never…” “I suck at…” “I wish…” “I’m trying to…” (as opposed to actually doing). Once you figure out what your stories are, you have to identify what it is you think you’re gaining from them. Is saying you never have time for the gym allowing you to feel comfortable watching TV on your couch for three hours a day? Is saying you can’t make money letting you play the broke victim? Get rid of your stories!  Or better yet, rewrite them.

Sincero’s list for accomplishing this:

  1. List off your old stories that you’ve gotten into the habit of thinking and saying.
  2. Journal about the false rewards you get from them.
  3. Feel into these false rewards, thank them for their help, and decide to let them go.
  4. Take each false reward and write a new, powerful story to replace it with.
  5. Repeat this new story, or affirmation, over and over and over until it becomes your truth.
  6. Behold your awesome new life.

“The people you surround yourself with are excellent mirrors for who you are and how much, or how little, you love yourself.”

This resonated with me so much. I used to say the phrase “I hate people” every single day. Obviously it’s everyone else with the problem, right? *rolls eyes* Sincero points out that whenever we are bothered or annoyed with another person, it is because we see something of ourselves in them. For example, in church yesterday there was this woman behind me who was super into everything. She was praying loudly with the priest, singing at the top of her lungs, and generally grating on my nerves. I was trying not to be a jerk about it (because I was in church and I had just read this part of the book), so I took a step back.

“Start noticing the things that drive you nuts about other people, and, instead of complaining or judging or getting defensive about them, use them as a mirror [italics mine].”

Ask yourself if you also do that annoying thing, or if it reminds you of something you try very hard not to do. Figure it out and shut it down; figure out how and who you need to be in order for this thing not to bother you. For me, I realized I was getting annoyed because I really want to strengthen my faith and my relationship with God, and her enthusiasm was just reminding me how weak I still am in that department. After that, I tried to appreciate her way of praising, and even hoped I could reach her level someday. BAM, feeling of annoyance gone, happier me.

I could go on and on about this book, but I really think you should just get it and read it for yourself. Especially if you are in a place in your life right now where your self-awareness might be lacking. In my opinion, self-aware people are some of the best.

Thanks for reading, everyone!

❤ Severn

23 Revelations I’ve Had by 23

In no particular order, here are some things I’ve learned over the years. I’ve still got lots of life to live and lessons to learn, so I’ll probably do another one of these in a couple years (when I’m having my quarter life crisis!).

  1. Having a clean room/apartment/space really does help me be less stressed out and overwhelmed. (Something I used to think was total BS.)
  2. Going to church makes me feel better about myself and my life.
  3. My mother is literally one of the most important people in my life (if not THE most important) and I am so lucky to have her.
  4. Hating people doesn’t make them want to change, so it’s energy wasted.
  5. Sex is fun and all, but I actually want to wait to fall in love before I do it with someone again.
  6. Therapy is a Godsend.
  7. Excessive amounts of alcohol should be avoided, if not because alcoholism runs on all sides of my family, then because it makes me slutty.
  8. It is okay to look for happiness in others as long as I don’t SOLELY rely on them for that happiness.
  9. Not everyone has a support system in their lives, treat them as such.
  10. It’s actually really easy to not spend money when you focus on that as a specific goal (aside from bills and such).
  11. I don’t need to check my phone every three minutes. (I mean, I do it anyway, but I know I don’t have to.)
  12. My birthday is as much about my parents as it is about me.
  13. Excessive amounts of nostalgia prevent growth and character development.
  14. Every relationship (romantic or otherwise) has the potential to teach me something.
  15. I have to remember that it is okay to let myself feel my feelings even if I think they make me weak. (They don’t.)
  16. My parents were not adults when they had me, I have to remember that they were growing up at the same time that I was, and forgive them for it.
  17. I want to see the world.
  18. Holding myself accountable (for ANYTHING) feels better than someone else holding me accountable for it.
  19. Flossing is not as annoying as I once thought.
  20. Architecture is not my passion, writing is (though I still love architecture).
  21. My actions matter to people other than myself.
  22. I would be unable to settle down for the rest of my life anywhere but Chicago.
  23. Actively living my life and not succumbing to the weight of my depression feels absolutely amazing.