So what’s up with me // August

RELATIONSHIPS & DATING
The guy that I’ve been dating off and on for five months now is still someone I’m dating off and on. I got upset with him last week over something, and I ended up calling him out on it. I was expecting him to get angry at me in response, but he surprised me and said that my expectations of him and our relationship were fair, and those expectations were something he would be willing to meet. After the conflict was resolved, I realized that it had been the first time I had ever brought up my upset feelings with someone I share a romantic relationship. Typically I’ve ghosted people or I’ve swallowed my anger because I’ve been afraid that they will take that chance to leave if I ever bring it up. The fact that I willingly confronted him about something I was upset about I think is, weirdly enough, a tell on how much I trust him. It was an interesting experience, and we ended up resolving the issue.

READING
Like I’ve mentioned before, I love reading, but my absolutely insane schedule makes it so I don’t really have a lot of time to sit down and physically read a book. I heavily rely on Audible for audiobooks that I sneak into my day whenever I find time. I usually listen while I’m getting ready in the mornings, while I’m driving in my car, and typically I’ll put the sleep timer on for 8 minutes as night, and I’ll fall asleep to the story too. My subscription isn’t terribly expensive– $22/month– but I’m not sure it’s something I’ll be willing to continue one I graduate and finally have more time to read books.

Annnnnyway, right now I’ve been listening to the Harry Potter books as read by  Jim Dale. I own the hardback set as well, but listening to them has been a fantastic experience. I’m a very fast reader to a fault, and I often miss small details in stories because I either skim over them or don’t commit them to memory. I’m about a quarter of the way into Order of the Phoenix right now. I rushed through the first four books, but now I’m trying to savor them. The fifth book is my least favorite of the bunch, mostly because Harry is so angry, but recently someone told me the reason he’s so angry is because he has severe PTSD from watching Cedric’s murder only two months before his fifth year started. I have so much more sympathy for him now, and although we just met Professor Umbridge, I am totally looking forward to reveling in my hatred of her too.

Right before I started Harry Potter, I briefly started Something Borrowed. It seemed like an easy, fluffy read, but I really loathe the main character, so I’m not sure I’ll pick it up again after I finish Deathly Hallows.

I also just started reading Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul. I have to read it for my Public Relations Case Studies class, but I’m really enjoying it. If you like reading about business, or if you really like Starbucks, I say have at it. It’s written by the CEO, and it’s not a dry read at all.

WORK
My job is as busy and demanding as ever, but they are working around my school schedule so I can still get my 40 hours/week and keep my salary instead of switching to hourly pay. I originally thought I would have to work part-time my last semester of school, but it’s looking now like I’ll work full-time throughout my entire UVU career.

SCHEDULE
I suspect this will be the most challenging four months of my life, as far as balancing multiple important priorities goes, but I’m up for the challenge. I think that’s a good marker that I haven’t overdone it– I’m still feeling optimistic about the semester, and I’m feeling like I will end 2016 tired, but rewarded.

I’m also doing my best to have a semblance of a social life this semester. I’m trying to be that outgoing, bubbly girl in my ward and in my classes. Being outgoing and bubbly is not a foreign concept to me– it’s very easy for me to slip into that persona most of the time. That said, being bubbly and outgoing with large groups of people I don’t know is absolutely exhausting and takes a lot out of me. Being naturally bubbly and outgoing is the biggest reason why I didn’t realize I was an introvert until I was 21, but constant interaction with people is draining, so I’m doing my best to manage my emotional needs of now with my desire to have a bunch of friends in my ward later on.

NaNoWriMo
It’s that time of year where I star getting delusions of grandeur, and decide that I’ll take on writing a novel in November. I know I said last year that I would not do it again, but it’s such a fun challenge, and I don’t think I can help myself. This year I’m planning on writing a memoir instead of a novel, so I think it will be easier. I’ve gotten out of the habit of regularly recording my life, and between writing in journals and writing in blogs, I’ve had a fairly in tact record of my life up until this point. So look out, kids! I’m probably doing NaNo again.

So what’s up with me // School edition

I started school on Monday, and even though it’s only been a week, I am already up to my neck in homework and projects, and I’m not super thrilled about it.

Originally I was planning on taking 21 credits, but ultimately decided that graduating four months sooner would not be worth the significant sacrifice to my quality of life, and so after meeting with my counselor and talking to my parents, I felt that it would be best to take 15 credits (5 classes) this semester and then the remaining 6 credits (2 classes) in the spring. I’m still pretty grouchy about not graduating at the time I was supposed to, but I am still able to work full-time while taking 15 credits and would have had to significantly cut my hours at work to make the 21 credit thing work. Because of that, I can still pay for this semester out of pocket. Also, it’s pretty telling to me that the the sheer volume of work I already have with 15 credits means that I’m not sure I would survive if I was taking 21 like I had originally planned.

In the past, I have been a pretty big supporter of paper planners, but I decided to switch to online calendaring for this semester to see how it does for me. So far, I absolutely love it, because not only can I visually plan out my days, but I can also put due dates for readings, quizzes, tests, and projects, and I can easily move them if necessary. my schedule

That’s what my schedule looks like for the following week thus far. I’m anticipating that this semester is going to ask the most of me, so here’s to hoping I don’t kick the bucket before December 17th.

I also live and die by my to-do lists, and so right now I’m playing around with the best way to keep a running list of the assignments I have to do mixed with my own personal, non-school to-do list. I keep my work to-do list completely separate, and that tends to work best if I write things down as they come to me. I’m playing around with the Tasks feature on gCalendar, and I’ve also been playing with the Any.Do app on my phone and on my MacBook.

Media Ethics // Okay, first of all, I was on the waitlist for this class since April 14th of this year, and I was only able to add it literally 2 hours before the first class of the semester. I wasn’t quite panicking, but this was the only section this class offered, and other class I could take in its stead would have been at a super inconvenient time for my work schedule. But I was able to add it, and I’m so excited! I suspect this class will be the most difficult of the five, but I find the concept of what is or what is not ethical and why to be absolutely fascinating, and this professor promotes a lot of discussion.

Theories of Communication Culture // I still don’t know really what this class is about, and I’ve never had this professor before, but she’s spoken in a couple of my other communications classes, and I absolutely love her. I actually specifically chose to take this class MWF instead of TTh so I could take this class from this particular professor.

Communication Research Methods // When I saw that I had to take this course to graduate, I wasn’t super psyched about it. I took a research class before, during my time at BYU-Idaho, and it was dry and did not leave a lasting impression on me. For that reason, I chose to take this class from a professor I had in the spring who I really liked. I could have taken this class TTh as well, but I also chose to take this MWF so I could take it from a more relaxed professor with whom I already have an established relationship.

Public Relations Writing // I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be my second-hardest class during the fall. The professor has straight-up admitted that he’s extremely tough about grading our papers, and I am absolutely psyched about that. I’m am a great writer already, and in the last six years, I have not had any classes that assign writing that I really struggle with, and I have not had any professors who make me stretch as a writer. I think the class might be a little boring, but if the professor is going to tear up my writing as much as he says he will, I think that’s fantastic.

PR Case Studies // This is my only online class this semester, and it’s going to be a ton of work. I actually was originally signed up to take this class last fall and I panicked and dropped it last year, so I jumped on the online class train as soon as I saw it was available. I’m okay if this class asks a lot of me, because I don’t have to commit to the 3 hours of class time on top of everything else.

So there we go. You’re all invited to my funeral if I die.

053. Be at Tanner’s missionary homecoming // 27 July 2016

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Here we are in 2014. We said goodbye at my work, and I wasn’t wearing any makeup that day, so this gets to be the picture that is immortalized as the Official Pre-Mission Picture.

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And this picture was taken on July 27th, 2016 at about 1:15 p.m. Pacific time. I flew to California for a couple of days so I could be at his homecoming, and while Tanner knew I would be there when he got off the plane, he didn’t know that since my flight would be arriving an hour before his, that I would surprise him behind the gate.

I spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to surprise

 

059. Raise my credit limit // 5 July 2016

I have been meaning to raise my credit limit for a while. I paid off my car in February of this year and I also have had a raise since then, so my credit limit has been a little low for my income level for quite a while now. I’m fine with this because I use my credit card for all of my monthly expenses other than rent, and then I pay it off whenever I get paid, which is twice a month. I never carry a balance from month to month, and I have never been even remotely tempted to enter the world of credit card debt.

Many financial institutions recommend that you utilize no more than 1/3 of your available credit at a time. Meaning, if your credit limit is $1,000, you should utilize no more than $333 at any given time. If your credit limit is $3,000, you should never utilize more than $1,000 of it. Because I pay my card off twice a month, this is never an issue, but the more money I make, the more I slowly notice the amount of money I spend increase as well. Sometimes I’m closer to that 1/3 mark than I am comfortable being, and so it was time to look into raising my credit limit

I am also looking to increase my credit score. Right now, my credit level hovers at around 700. That’s okay, but it’s not fantastic by any means, and I have my eyes set on purchasing a home in the next five years. Because I do not have a mortgage or a car loan right now, having an okay credit score is fine, but when it comes to buying a home and undertaking that amount of debt at one time, it will save me tens of thousands of dollars if I can get the lowest interest rate.

One way I was told to increase my credit score is to either open more lines of credit (i.e. a second credit card) or to increase my credit limit on an available credit card, because it lowers my utilization ratio. I have plans to open a second credit card sometime in the next year, but for now I am very comfortable having only one card with a higher limit.

On July 5th, 2016, I called my bank and requested a credit limit increase of roughly 33%. They ran my credit history and said they’d call me back within the day to let me know if they could approve that, and all systems were go! I was approved, and now nothing has changed except my bank says they trust me to spend and pay back more money. Yay, adulthood!

 

095. Kiss someone I care about // 03 July 2016

I have not made it a secret that I struggle with vulnerability and that I really struggle with the vulnerability dating brings. I have not kissed a lot of people by any means, but to give you a rough idea, I couldn’t show you the number just using the fingers on both of my hands. However, if you asked me to show you how any of those men I’ve kissed that I have had genuine feelings for, I would only need one hand. I’d also have extra fingers left, not including my thumb. Also fingers is plural.

For a long time, I used physical intimacy to replace true intimacy, and it did a lot of damage to my spirit. I don’t think that this is true in every case, and I don’t think people that are physically affectionate with many other people are damaging their spirits, but in my case and for the reasons I did it, it was crushing. About a year and a half ago, I decided to call it quits on that, because I needed the chance to pick up my pieces of my broken heart and broken spirit, and I needed time to try to mend myself. In that year and a half, I went in the complete opposite direction and avoided all types of intimacy at all– at my most devastated, I even avoided eye contact with others, because I found it too taxing.

But late Saturday night turned into early Saturday morning, I finally got to kiss a particular person I care about. His presence in my life over the past two and a half months has been a lot of good things for me, but the first word I always think of when I think of my relationship with him is healing. I have many scars from many people, and I came to him very damaged and fearful. I am still damaged and I am still fearful, but because of him, I am less so. I trust him so wholly, and it relieves my soul to have that quiet confidence that he cares about me because of my greatest strengths, but also because of my greatest flaws. He doesn’t tolerate my favorite qualities about myself that so many others can barely manage to do even that. He is respectful of my boundaries like many others have not been. He doesn’t demand things of me– he lets me come to him at my own pace, and when I apologize for my caution and my fear, he adamantly tells me that those are things I should never need to apologize for, and he also tells me that he is sorry that others have made me feel like I owe them something because of it.

Late Saturday night in his car, I touched his face in the dim moonlight, and I suddenly felt overwhelmed with conflicting emotions. He cares about me. At that moment, I could see in his eyes that he wasn’t using me as I often fear men are. The more of myself that I reveal to him does not make him run away in terror. He welcomes my bad traits with my good. He is a wonderful man, and I am deeply grateful for him.

I have mentioned him briefly here and here. I don’t know that I will mention him again, but I also don’t know that I won’t. Just know that his presence in my life is one of the most healing relationships I have ever allowed myself to have. And also know that I have now accomplished my second goal in my 101, “Kiss someone I care about”.