The Only Way Out is Through

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Being an adult means doing things you don’t want to do.

That’s been a hard truth to come to terms with. Especially when doing things you don’t want to do means tackling your fears head on, which is something I’ve had to do weekly this semester.

And I know logically that I’m not actually climbing Mount Everest and that I almost definitely will survive the year. But having anxiety makes it very very hard to think logically.

The only way out is through.

I saw that phrase on a friend’s instagram post and surprisingly it’s given me a lot of comfort this year. It’s true. I have to do something I don’t want to do, but it’s an ends to a means, a way out. It’s a necessary obstacle before I am free and not limited by the bounds of my major and classes, but I can truly explore things I’m actually passionate about.

So, do the thing. Even if you really really don’t want to.

Even if you’d give anything to not have to do it.

Because on the other side you’ll be a stronger, wiser, better person and you can explore the realms of creativity and do whatever you heart desires.

Hopefully.

On: Technology and Unhappiness

I recently read an article that said, “Teens who spend less time in front of screens are happier — up to a point, new research shows” Which got me thinking. Sure, that jibes, in fact I would almost come to expect it. Some of my happiest moments are definitely not tied to my phone. For example, Christmas morning, I definitely am not on my phone. Hiking with my family in Acadia National Park, I only used my phone to capture photos. But times when I am glued to my phone? When I’m anxious, when I’m feeling introverted, when I’m bored, when I’m feeling particularly avoidant. (Now I’m not saying that’s the only time I use my phone, but bear with me here.)
Last night, I was feeling very anxious. I’m taking a class that stresses me out a lot because it really puts me out of my comfort zone. And when I’m feeling anxious I go on my phone to distract myself. I watch funny videos on YouTube, I scroll mindlessly through Tumblr reading funny memes or looking at gifsets of whatever fandom I’m interested in at the moment. It helps me feel better.
The article stated: “It also found that adolescents’ psychological well-being decreased the more hours a week they spent on screens, including the Internet, social media, texting, gaming, and video chats. The findings jibe with earlier studies linking frequent screen use and teenage depression and anxiety.”
Now my question is, this link here, is it perhaps reversed? Are teens who are already anxious and depressed on their phones more, or are phones themselves making the teens anxious and depressed? Because like I said before my phone and computer are frequently a way for me to escape, to avoid whatever is causing me distress. (Yes I know this is an unhealthy avoidance tactic and I would be better off exercising or meditating, I took Abnormal Psych, I know.) BUT, I’m just putting it out there, that when you read these articles, see these headlines, and immediately jump into the “AHH! Technology is bad! I need to throw away my phone and escape into the alps.” Maybe, it’s not the technology, but you.
I’ve been thinking about my dependence on my phone for an escape a lot lately, and while I know I can’t quit cold turkey, I do want to endeavor to rely less on my phone to distract me and try a more healthy alternative.
Food for thought.

Twenty Eighteen

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Today is my birthday! It’s also the start to the New Year. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to be more consistent with updating this blog. And before you roll your eyes at another New Year resolution that will probably go unresolved know that I have a little bit more motivation than it just being a new year. It’s also my last year as a college student.
​This new year is going to hold a lot of new experiences and challenges for me. And at the end of it I’ll be a college graduate.  So here’s me making a conscious effort to document that year. Happy Birthday to 2018! (and to me!)

Wanderlust

I was sitting at my desk, procrastinating, and scrolling through my phone looking at the hundreds of photos all of my friends have been posting on Instagram. Nearly every single one of my friends or acquaintances are currently travelling or studying abroad. As much as I’d love to currently be in Russia, or Paris, or Amsterdam right now, it occurred to me that I really shouldn’t be feeling sorry for myself. I’m working hard in Gainesville studying and hopefully I will be able to graduate a semester early because of it.
You may also be feeling un-content (is that a word?) with where you are in your life right now. Days could seem monotonous or boring, but if you work hard now your work will pay off.
Sure I’m stuck in hot, swampy, Gainesville taking math, public speaking, and economics currently. But there will be plenty of time for me to travel and see the world. And I know my time to experience all the world has to offer will come. But for now I should count my blessings, be happy for my friends who are travelling, and work hard where I am, because I am infinitely blessed to be where I am and to have the opportunities that I do.

End of Semester

Well, I’ve almost made it. The hardest semester — hardest year really — of my life is finally coming to a close. In some ways it feels like it’s taken forever to get to this point, but in other ways it feels like it went by so fast.

This semester has been incredibly challenging for me. As it comes to an end though I can’t help but feel grateful, not just that it is ending, but that I have learned so much.

Not only have a learned a lot academically, but I’ve also grown as a person. I feel as though I am different from how I was at the beginning of the year. This school year has forced me to face so many of my fears and honestly, learn more about what exactly it is that I am afraid of. (But that’s a story for another blog post.)

Of course, I have some regrets, but overall, I am incredibly proud of how much I have accomplished this year. I will still be in Gainesville finishing up those pesky gen-ed requirements, but then this fall I will be taking classes that I am truly excited for.

I’ve also discovered new passions, such as my passion for creating and editing YouTube video which honestly, came out of nowhere, but I adore doing now. And of course, I’ve continued with my life-long love of writing and story-telling.

This year has been hard, yes, but it’s been a learning experience and for that I feel blessed.

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I’m currently taking a class called Personal Branding and it centers around the idea of cultivating the “brand” that you, as a professional, want to present to the world.

According to Wikipedia, Personal branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization.

For me, I’m working on “my brand.” I’m working on figuring out who I am, who I want to be and where I want to go. College can be simultaneously frustrating and inspiring because you are surrounded by so many young people doing amazing things, internships, research, projects, all thing that you would love to do too, but aren’t.

I constantly struggle with what I want to do. The kind of person I want to be. The career I want to have, the “brand” I want to present to the world. It isn’t easy to figure all of that out. I’m envious of the people who appear to have figured it all out.

I understand that I am young and I have plenty of time to figure it out. But I also am a very ambitious person so I look to the future a lot. I look to the time when I have it figured out. I don’t want to rush my time here at college, but occasionally I really find myself longing for the day that I have a cute apartment in a city I love with a job that I am passionate about.

​For now, I’m working on it.

Stream of Consciousness

I’ve always loved the idea of stream of consciousness writing. Where you write with little regard for punctuation and just let your thoughts fill the page. So that’s what this blog post is going to be about. Since I haven’t written in eons. LIterally eons, I know, I’m sorry. I warned you that I’m terrible at keeping up with things like this. But I don’t want to quit so here I am. Being a college student is hard. (See? Stream of consciousness switching topics at the drop of a hat) You’re constantly surrounded by other people doing a lot of amazing things. I guess that’s just being a human, but in college it feels particularly local. I overhead a girl talking about starting a journal and it reminded me of how I haven’t written in my journal since…. let’s see…. *imagine me taking out my journal and checking* …December 1st. Wow. That’s pretty bad. It also reminded me that I haven’t written a blog post. BUT I have started a YouTube channel… and that’s kind of like a blog. Vlogs, I believe, are what the kids are calling it these days. But yes. This blog post does have a point other than me wanting to write “stream of consciousness style” I wanted to talk about creativity and complacency which are topics that have been weighing on my mind lately. And yesterday a tweet spawned me into thinking about it again. It’s hard to phrase this in a way that makes sense so… here’s the tweet:

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I mean credit to the above twitters for their content? I don’t know rules about posting tweets on your blog.
But I just really identified with dear Amy’s tweets. Especially with the bottom one. I never want to be content with complacency, but I often am. Hence, my youtube channel that I made: youtube.com/c/loliviag
I do want to write more. I need to write more. So I guess, expect to see more posts here from yours truly. But right now, I need to pay attention to my Reporting lecture, so au revoir!