May Goals

I skipped a couple weeks, but I’m here now. Hellloooo.

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It’s May! Honestly, where has the time gone? Why does it move so quickly?? What is the meaning of it all?!

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Anywho, now that that mini-existential crisis is out of the way, on to the main event.

MY MAY GOALS:

  • I am going to FULLY, REALLY, TRULY, SERIOUSLY get back on my 5am wake up schedule and study grind. I have been majorly slacking, and it’s time I kick my butt back into gear. This morning was a definite struggle, but tomorrow is a new day!giphy-downsized.gif
  • Find a good balance between going out/spending money and staying in/watching Netflix. If I do too much of either, I end up burnt out, or feeling guilty for neglecting my responsibilities. I can achieve this balance by really checking in with myself and assessing both my emotional and financial resources before deciding what to do with my time. Yay mental health and being responsible! happy britney spears yay following woot GIF
  • Follow through on promises I make–to myself and others! This one is pretty self-explanatory. It also goes along with keeping to my study schedule and such.

Those are the big three! When I try to tackle more than that it doesn’t tend to end well. It’s important to set goals and really strive to achieve them, but I believe one must also be aware of one’s own capabilities. I often spread myself too thin, and that typically leads to me half-assing a bunch a things.

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Okay, so it’s more than one thing, but still. You get my point.

Other things that will be going on this month:

  • continuing along my fitness journey (workouts & meal prep)
  • blogging (please love me by continuing to read my posts!)
  • dating (for the record I deleted all my dating apps, but more on that later)
  • my mommy’s birthday!
  • general all purpose adulting

I’m excited for another month! And I’m even more excited that it started on a Monday. It’s just so satisfying. Alrighty, time for me to hit the hay. (What a weird expression for a city girl.)

Until next time!

❤ Severn

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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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Adulting || Goal Setting

One of the things I’ve had to get through my not-quite-read-for-adulthood mind is that my goals have to be realistic. If they aren’t, I’m not only setting myself up for failure (which in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but I’m setting myself up to feel like a failure.

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Exhibit A: My original plan for post-graduation was to live with my mom for a year and then get my own place. I also set a specific savings goal so that I could pull from that fund for rent and utilities and stuff, while continuing to save from my income.

It’s not a bad plan, but giving myself only one year, at my yearly income, was not the right move. If I wanted to reach my goal I would have to put one entire paycheck each month directly into my savings, and that’s just not realistic.

I have other responsibilities: my car payment and insurance, phone bill, student loans soon. And since I don’t want to be a complete hermit until winter, money for going out/eating.

So I have to readjust my goal.

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And while it’s not ideal, I know that it’s achievable with minimal stress. My dream is still to be moved out by June/July next summer, but my goal is to be moved out by the end of 2017.

I’ve given myself some buffer time, and this goal now lines up with some others I have regarding my career. So my life at that point will be changing for the better in multiple ways.

Even if it takes a little longer than I first thought, I have faith that I am exactly where I need to be in life. I know that God has a plan for me, and ultimately He will reveal that to me and guide me as He sees fit.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your own plan! It just means that you should trust that if things don’t happen the way or the time you want them to, everything will still work out the way it’s supposed to in the end.

Moral of the story:

Be realistic.

Have faith.

Live happy.

❤ Severn

 

I’m Important

I normally try to keep the specifics of my problems with people in my life vague when I write them on here. That’s pretty much impossible in this case. Well, maybe it’s not. Let me try harder.

An important person in my life is basically purposefully neglecting me on a day we should be spending together. To be fair, he said we would spend some time together soon after this day, but still.

Sidenote: I can think of two situations this scenario can apply to. Vague enough for me.

How his decision makes me feel:

  • unimportant
  • like an afterthought
  • second-rate
  • neglected
  • like I’m not “worthy” of his time or love

I was very close to crying when he told me.

I told my mom about it–showed her the message, and of course she got upset. As soon as that happened, I was able to calm down. My mother’s anger doesn’t make me happy, but it’s so much easier to be strong for someone else than it is to be strong for myself.

That’s not ideal, but it’s where I am. I calmed her down by listing all the reasons this is actually a good thing. They felt like cheap attempts at neutrality, but they managed to convince her that I wasn’t as hurt as I was. And that made me feel better. Or more in control, at least.

I still haven’t done my therapist research yet, but once I find her I’m going to have a lot to tell her. (My friend Janie is going to refer me to her old therapist who will then refer me to people she thinks will help me!) Hopefully she can help me work through it all. In the meantime, I’m going to try and not let his decision dictate my feelings about myself. There’s also a few things my last therapist, Bristle, taught/told me that I think I would do well to remember:

  • My expectations of him others should be realistic so I don’t get too hurt or surprised (when things like this happen). People are only capable of what they are capable of.
  • My feelings are important. I shouldn’t feel guilty about any of the behavior I’ve exhibited that may have lead to his decision. I was doing what’s best for me, as he is probably also trying to do.
  • It’s okay to feel. Don’t run away from my feelings.

Also, I think if I were to tell her about this occurrence, she would ask me why I didn’t tell him how I felt. I know that I probably should have, but that seems so much more complicated. (This is why I need a therapist.)

Anywho. *Deep Breath*

Wish me luck with quest for a therapist!

-Severn

Adulting || A Place to Call Home

A couple days ago, I got a text from two of my cousins asking if I wanted to move in with them.

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I called them, they told me the details, and I agreed to think about it.

The Details:

  • four bedroom house with two full baths
  • my Godparents (their parents) own it
  • front and back yards
  • washer and dryer in basement
  • basement with kitchen and storage
  • porch
  • only $360/month + utilities
  • four other roommates
  • move in would be end of July or end of August

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I turned it down.

Yes, $360 is a steal if we’re talking about getting to live in a house. I would already know my landlords, and my cousins are pretty awesome. I was really excited when they first pitched it to me, but they asked me to think about it, so I didn’t say yes right away.

Here’s the thing: it’s a good deal and all, but that’s not how I pictured adulthood.

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At first, that didn’t feel like a good enough, but it totally is! An important thing I’ve learned (through therapy and self-help books) is that I have the power to make decisions based on what I want out of my life. No, I don’t always know what I want, but this–my future apartment–is one of the few things I know exactly.

Excerpt from a journal entry I wrote TWO DAYS before my cousin’s contacted me:

“It should be in Lakeview, that’s where I want to live. Two bedrooms, and there must be a bay window somewhere. If no bay window, then one of those small sun-den type places. I just want a place to read. I would prefer the third floor of a building, but second or fourth will also do. The kitchen should be its own space, not shared with a dining room. In fact, a dining room isn’t even necessary because the kitchen will be big enough for a table.

My room will have a large closet. Maybe not quite a walk-in closet, but close. The second room will be a library, and have lots of light. The bathroom doesn’t have to be big, but it should look clean, and no crazy tile colors. Unless they’re purple, or light green. Or maybe light orange, but that’s it! The tiles can have moderately crazy colors.”

All that detail, literally two days before.

No where do I see myself living with four other people.

At no point do I want to have to mow the lawn (until I own my own house).

Rent is not factored in to my budget for at least another 6-8 months.

This isn’t what I want.

But what’s more? It’s okay to say no. It’s okay! Because if they are meant to get that house, they will find a fifth person, and they will get it. And if they don’t get it, that’s not my fault!

Yes, I miss the independence of living on my own, and my mom’s condo is not my ideal adulthood home. But it’s just not time for me to move out yet.

I’m taking adulthood at my own, Goldilocks pace. And that’s okay.

Don’t touch the Wolf

Yesterday was not a very good day for me mentally. This was true on multiple levels, but the only thing I sort of wish I could take back about yesterday was the email I sent to Wolf.

Yesterday morning, after my water bottle opened in my bag and spilled all over my journal, and after a few hours of riveting construction documents, I decided I needed to do something. I’ve recently decided that part of my problem is that I don’t have many things going on outside of work (yet), and I’m afraid of becoming generally lethargic.

The obvious solution to this problem is to get something to do outside of work, yes? Yes. My strategy?

Subject: Random hello and a list!

Hello!

1. I hope you’re doing well and enjoying being a capital ‘A’ architect.
2. I wonder if being a capital ‘A’ architect actually really changes anything?
3. My new firm has 6 people and a dog. It’s… different.
4. Is summer softball still a thing? I think I need some softball in my life.
Also, this:
Chill, right? It’s me being my quirky self without being flirty, or talking about anything inappropriate (like I used to do ALL THE TIME). And I was legitimately trying to find out the softball schedule! (Okay, like 90% trying to find out the schedule, 10% just trying to remind him that I exist.)
But he didn’t answer.
And I sort of freaked out. Sort of.
THEN later he liked my #tbt post on Instagram. (Yeah, I know, I’m a 12 year old, let’s move on.)  Then I actually freaked out. Like enough to DM him. “Hi! Did you get my email earlier by chance?” And then after a minute of staring at that message, I freaked out further, and clicked “Unsend message” before he could see it. (Thank goodness IG has that option.)
Am I officially crazy yet?

Yes, but here’s why: He responded to my unsent message with “I didn’t even know you could send messages on Instagram.” to which I replied, “Yeah, it’s a thing.” Then, “is softball still a thing?” Then, “Sidenote: I didn’t think you saw my first message because I unsent it. [*straight mouth emoji*]”

Why am I so socially awkward?

Anyway, I made it a rule for myself a few weeks ago to not have any sort of relations with unavailable men. I think that also means friendships. Especially with someone I already have a history with. I should just let him be happy with his stupid really annoyingly cool girlfriend.
Note to self: DON’T TOUCH THE WOLF.

Almost Falling

Today after work my mom took me for burgers at this great place near our house. Aside from the delicious food, we had a great conversation.

It started with me stumbling over almost every sentence out of my mouth. (“I can’t speak words!”) When she asked why not, I said it was because I spend the majority of my day not talking. That got us on the topic of the culture at my job, what I like and don’t like about work, the communication styles of the people in my office, etc. I didn’t want to admit it, but I’m not a fan.

It feels like I’m not allowed to not like my job. And I mean, I’m sure there are various reasons I feel like this: I’ve only been there two weeks, so I don’t have a true idea of what it’s like; my desk isn’t ready yet, so (as my mom pointed out) not having my own space is taking its toll; I’m lucky/blessed to even have a job.

It’s not just my job, though. I just don’t feel… happy, I guess. My mom pointed out that there are so many new things going on my life–no more school, I got a car that I drive to and from work everyday, I have a permanent job (even if I don’t have my permanent desk, yet)–and it’s normal for me to feel a bit lost. She wants me to take charge of my life because “You shouldn’t be old and bitter at such a young age!”

I know that she’s right.

But.

I feel myself almost falling.

Today my eyes flicked to the time on my computer screen every five minutes until it was time to go.

I didn’t even attempt to pack my gym bag in case I had time to go after work.

I was going to cook dinner today, but the thought of it exhausted me.

I find myself wanting to keep my feelings inside because it’s just easier that way.

But easier for who? I obviously don’t want to worry my mom. She’s already sort of there, but no need to make it worse, right? What I really need is another therapist. I didn’t realize how much I was missing Bristle (and therapy in general) until this conversation today. After a rant, I said, “I feel like I’m talking a lot, sorry.” And my mother replied, “That’s okay, I think you need to talk!”

She’s right.

I think I might need a little more than just talking, like a routine, and general purpose/things that make me happy in my life, but talking is a start. My insurance doesn’t kick in for another 2.5 months, but I think I might look for a new therapist anyway. I can pay out of pocket for the first few sessions until I’m covered.

When I started writing this post, I planned to make it positive, with a lesson about growing into your adulthood, but really I just convinced myself that I’m not actually okay.

Hopefully I will be soon.

Adulting || Car Shopping

I bought a car! Well, more accurately I financed a car, and my mom gave me the down payment as my graduation gift.

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When my mom told me she was giving me a car for graduating college, I was super excited, but honestly I didnt really believe her. At that time, I didn’t have a job lined up, and therefore saw no need for a car. She had more faith in me than I did.

Then, I got a job in a suburb 20 miles from my house and BOOM. A car became necessary. My mom has driven a Toyota Corolla since I was 7, and I knew that’s what I wanted, too. That’s about all I knew, though.

Should I get new or used?

How much is a car?

How does financing work?

How soon do I have to get insurance?

What’s an average down payment?

Can I get a grad discount?

ALL OF THE QUESTIONS.

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So, I set aside a few hours and did a LOT of research. Roomie and my mom helped me out and gave me a couple starting points in terms of price and insurance stuff.

I knew I wanted a new 2016 Corolla, and I knew which dealership I wanted to go to. The first thing I did was look up the blue book value of my car, then I checked the dealership’s price. Lucky for me, the sticker price wasn’t THAT much more than the value. Plus (per Roomie’s suggestion) I checked Toyota’s website and saw they give rebates to recent graduates. *praise hands emoji*

The next thing I did was check two different financing services to see which would give me a better deal. A good deal has low to no interest rates, and doable (preferably low) monthly payments. The two places I checked were Capital One and Toyota Financial services.

My mom went through Capital One when she bought her car. Basically the way it works is you fill out their application, and if you’re pre-approved, they give you a check for a certain amount. You bring the check to an eligible dealer, buy your car, and make your monthly payments to Capital One. When I applied, I was denied. I assumed it was because I’ve only been at my job for a week, but they didn’t give me a reason.

That left me with Toyota Financial Services. (There are other places, but this was just the way I went.) This is the entity that creates those great deals you see in car commercials. “72 months for 0.9% APR!” The way these interest rates are determined has a lot to do with your credit. If you have a really high credit score, (my dealer said 750-800, but I’m sure it varies a bit) you automatically get 0% interest over 60 months or less. This means the price you agree to pay the day you buy your car is actually how much you’ll have paid when all is said and done 5 years later. Any interest rate above 0 means you are paying more at the end of your term. Thankfully, I have good credit, so 0% interest for me!

Next up was insurance. I’m not sure if this is true everywhere, but in Illinois, the law require that you have auto insurance before you drive your car off the lot. My mom told me to get a quote from Geico. It literally took 10 minutes, and if I had purchased right away, maybe 15. Those commercials are no joke.

Unfortunately, I didn’t purchase right away, but I was still able to do it quickly when I was at the dealership. Fun fact, even if you’re insured for a different car, your policy will cover the car you buy for up to three weeks (again, in Illinois), so you don’t have to get a new policy, or updates yours right away (but you should.) This is what I did. When I set up my insurance, it initially covered my mom’s car, because it’s registered to our home address, and that’s what popped up. It was an easy fix, though. I just called Geico the next day, removed her car, and added mine. (I could have also done this online, but I like to make sure everything is processed quickly and correctly.) My payment went up by like $30, but it wasn’t bad at all. The other option was to add another car and driver to my mom’s insurance, but we didn’t do that. No particular reason why.

Finally, after all of that, I had to go get my city sticker. Luckily, that was super easy. I just went to a currency exchange with my registration and bill of sale (and my driver’s license just in case), and asked for city sticker. The dealership takes care of the license plate and plate sticker when you get your car. And voila! My baby was ready to go!

A recap of some major steps and tips (a list!):

  • Do your research! What kind of car, cost, financing options, etc.? Also, factor in gas, maintenance, and anything costs you can think of. The responsibilities of a car do not end at the car note.
  • Make sure you have insurance!
  • Don’t say yes to everything the salesman offers you. I negotiated the price of an unnecessary, but awesome parts protection package from over $1000 to$300. (I didn’t talk about my actual experience in this department, but if you have questions feel free to ask!)
  • Make sure you have a city sticker and any other documentation necessary for your area.
  • It helps a lot if you have good credit.
  • Love your car!

Alright, that’s all for now, because I’m sleepy.

Goodnight my lovelies! I hope you’re all kicking ass at adulting. 😉

❤ Severn

Adulting || My First Day

Today was my first day working for my first post-graduate job. After discussing with my mother, I have determined that my first day experience clocks in at a 9/10.

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Things I did today at work:

  • Went on a field visit and measured stuff
  • Worked on the plans for that project
  • Started some construction document sheets
  • Visited the town’s city hall to drop off permit corrections
  • Sketched some townhouse units for some guy in Texas
  • Rode in a car with my boss twice

Mistakes I made (oops!):

  • Misread a tape measure (out loud to my boss)
  • Forgot to dimension a drawing (that I sent to my boss)

Things I feel good about:

  • The people in my office are nice, if a bit quiet
  • My boss’ dog loves me
  • My boss seems to like me
  • I get to sort of design a hair salon
  • I didn’t make any huge or embarrassing errors!

See? Overall a pretty great day. I did find myself missing my old firm. It was bigger, brighter, and in downtown, but really I think it’s the familiarity I miss the most. I’m trying hard to remind myself that this place has just as much, if not more, to offer me. There are only six people at my current firm, which means there are many opportunities to learn and gain experience I wouldn’t otherwise get. Change helps us grow. (It also helps knowing I won’t be here for more than, like, 3 years if I stick to my 5 year plan.)

I still feel a little weird. Probably some combination of nerves and fear, but I’m sure it will go away by the end of the week. I just need to establish a routine, some flow for my life. I know I sound a little mellow, but I’m excited!

And I’m glad I’m not dealing with depression on top of all this stuff.

I’m glad my life is going well.

Toodles!

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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