the process of becoming

a blog for twenty-somethings trying to navigate the world and follow your dreams

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when life gets the best of you

March has been a crazy month for me.

One, it is the time to scramble to submit applications, cover letters, resumes, and writing samples to all the publishing houses I have envied and admired for the past few months. I had been waiting for March to come for so long, I panicked when it finally got here. The pressure is now ON. And as time goes on, I am reminded again and again of how under-employed I am and how much I want my literary and publishing dreams to come true. I just need to keep telling myself that life will go on if I don’t get an internship, and I can find other ways to get my foot in the door.

Two, I was reminded by my lovely body of how my biological clock is ticking. That is sarcasm (but really I am totally fine with my body… this is just related to health things I can’t seem to control). I woke up with some serious tooth pain the day after we came back from being out of town. This just after I had researched dentists and picked one out–only to find out that she wasn’t in office on Wednesdays. So I Googled emergency dentists and found one close by that had great hours and specialized in people who just needed to get an issue taken care of.

Turns out, I needed an immediate root canal. Not only am I the biggest baby when it comes to dentists (hence why I haven’t been in a while–that and lack of insurance), but I am an even BIGGER baby when it comes to pain. I haven’t even had my wisdom teeth out yet! After it was over, I went through two complete weeks of mouth and jaw pain, trying painkillers that weren’t working, and all around just being miserable. Lesson learned: I will religiously floss my teeth now. And probably give this place a mixed review, because they didn’t take my pain seriously until after a week, and even now 3 weeks later I am still having pain. Not. Fun.

Lastly, as you may know, I am a caregiver at a very medical group home, so basically every day I am unsure if I will have to call 911, stay with a resident at the hospital, or deal with copious amounts of texts to the house nurse. I plan on doing a humor post about being a PCA soon because I am now at the point where I can laugh about how crazy my job is. But it doesn’t make it any easier.

But here’s what I’m learning: 

I am learning that it’s okay not to have it all together. 

My theme right around two years ago was trying to find a life that is okay while not being okay. (And then I fell in love with Looking for Alaska by John Green). It was when I realized that most of us are dealing with pretty rough things, but life doesn’t even slow down for us. We just have to push through. It’s okay to be honest about the pain you’re going through, but if it’s an every day thing, then express your hope as well. Even if that hope is just looking for the silver lining or enjoying the sunshine for thirty minutes.

I am learning the value in my job and the lives that I assist.

You can tell me that being a PCA is an under-employed filler job. It pretty much is. But there are people who make their careers in working with people who have special needs. I admire them even while I know it’s not for me long term. But instead of wishing I was an employed writer, I’ve decided to start writing about my work and about my friends and co-workers and clients and everyone who is affected by the special needs community, which is everyone. I just finished Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and am running through my head the ideas of the value of life and what makes a life valuable. Which leads me to my last point…

I am learning what life is about and how I want to live mine. 

Who I am, who I’m going to be… those are not questions that end when you find yourself an adult living on your own. Those are ideas I get to ponder my whole life, and I don’t plan on waiting. I’ve decided to stop being apathetic about spiritual growth just because I’m angry at my past and try to move on already. I’m learning that the meaning of life is maybe just to love (and hopefully be loved in return), which means selflessness is a thing that’s not just for the super religious or church enthused (the old me).

(Source: Tumblr)

(Source: Tumblr)

If you’re reading this, basically know that I am still in my 20-something funk, but I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. No… I take that back. I have no idea what that means because I’m pretty sure we never leave the tunnel. To think that one day everything is going to be perfect is a lie. This world is pretty messed up, humans are messy, but there’s beauty found in all of it. I am finding my hope.

When life gets the best of you, find a way to move forward. Floss your teeth, eat more fruit and vegetables, and read good books, all the while trying not to worry as much. We’re so young.


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what I’m currently reading

Lately, I haven’t been reading as fast as I was only two weeks ago. This is because 1) I went to visited family, which included lots and lots of social time and not very much reading time, 2) I worked way too much when I got back, and 3) I had an emergency root canal done on Wednesday, and the pain has been debilitating ever since. To the point where reading is annoying (and you know it’s bad when I’m like that).

Despite all the hold-ups, I still have had way too many books waiting for me at the library.

Here’s the typical me: I put books on hold at the library before I forget I want to read them, knowing there are long waiting lists for most of them. When I go to pick them up, there’s usually three or more waiting for me. But on my way out the door, I glance at the new releases the librarians have tempted me with on the end caps and usually pick up one or two of those (my library is special in that is it the only one in our system you cannot request their books on hold and have to physically grab them. Thus lots of new and popular books).

Anyway, here’s my long list of what I am currently reading:

me-talk-pretty-one-day1.  Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Excellent book of essays. Slow going because it’s located at my work and I can only read it to my clients occasionally. But I have enjoyed it immensely thus far.

2. The Maze Runner by James Dashnerthe maze runner

Of course I am reading this because I saw the movie. Basically, I want answers. And a friend graciously borrowed it to me but unfortunately then the slew of books came in. Another one of my YA-read craze.

unbroken3. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

So so good. On hold because, again, library books a’calling, but oh so good. My mom borrowed this to me maybe… right before the movie came out. I went and saw it about a month ago, even though I hadn’t finished the book, and the movie did not disappoint. But of course the book has way more depth and I am excited to finish it.

4. Things That Are by Amy Leachthings that are

Since I own this delightful Milkweed Editions book of essays, it is also on hold. But beautimous. (Yes that is a word). I hope to get back to it soon.

you-must-remember-this-web5. You Must Remember This: Poems by Michael Bazzett

Another wonderful Milkweed book, this time borrowed from a friend. So good. It has reminded me that I want to read poetry more often (:

6. On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Bisson immunity

This is a popular Graywolf Press book that just came out that I am super curious about. So far, it’s truly remarkable and fascinating. Definitely not as light as all my YA, but very insightful and interesting. Unfortunately I had to return this to the library yesterday, but I am about halfway through and can’t wait to get it again.

neverwhere7. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Decided to go with some adult fiction instead of YA! So far it’s super mysterious, so I’m having a hard time keeping up. But I do like it enough to keep reading.

8. Uglies by Scott WesterfeldUglies_new-cover

Another YA dystopian, but one that’s been around for around 10 years. I’ve been meaning to read this for about that long, but forgot about it with all the new releases that are catching my eye constantly. I’m halfway finished and so far I like it but not as much as others in the genre.

So that’s it for now! I’ll probably start another library book tomorrow though 😉

What are you currently reading? 

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7 best friends for fighting cold symptoms

honey-and-cinnamonLet’s face it. Everyone gets sick. Especially with those pesky cold symptoms, even if you got the flu shot this year.

When my husband told me he had a sore throat last Monday, after just having kissed me no less, I knew my time had come again. With the end of winter hopefully upon us, these may not be as applicable to you now. But keep these ideas in mind for the next time you get the sniffles. They certainly helped me this weekend! I cut my cold symptoms short by more than half their usual endurance.

I used to have a terrible immune system and get sick about once a month with symptoms continuing for sometimes weeks. Last year was bad as well. But this year I vowed to find something new. And I think they work. I’m already completely better!

Here are my secrets. No science, just what I’ve found to work for me. Hopefully these 5 things will be your best friends when you’re sick as well.

Note: These are not medications! We all know NyQuil is heaven for some people. But for some, like me, maybe you find that the medications don’t do a thing, and you’d rather try non-medicinal ways to get healthier. Start here:

1. Extra vitamin C. 

As soon as you experience that first symptom — the one that makes you go “oh no, here it comes” — take an extra dose of Vitamin C, either by eating lots of oranges, a vitamin pill, or an Emergen-C packet for your water. I take 1,000mg a day with lots of water when I’m experiencing cold symptoms. The nice thing is, if you don’t use it, you don’t need to worry about it building up in your body.

2. Lots of water. 

This is a must for everyday life, of course, but given that we 20-somethings don’t usually drink our recommended amount a day, it’s especially important for when we’re under the weather. Even if you’re running to the bathroom more often than you prefer, this is helping to keep your body hydrated and happy.

3. A humidifier. 

I didn’t use mine this time, but last year when I had a bad cough and felt really dry, I found that my humidifier was my life saver. Also, I’ve never tried it but Vicks makes products you can put in their humidifier to help relieve congestion (I’d love to know if it works!). Just don’t shut the bedroom door or leave it on too long.

4. Naps. 

Sleep may be hard to come by when you’re sick, but naps are a different story. My prime time was in the mid-afternoon in the bright sun while trying to read a book. Napping until there’s hot chicken noodle soup waiting for you? Dream come true. I hope you get that lucky, too. But either way, I feel so much better when I let myself fall asleep and leave fighting the symptoms up to my body.

5. Honey and cinnamon. 

I’m going to swear by this one! I read about it from multiple resources, and the honey I use is raw, so there’s really no harm in it besides the extra sugar. This has worked for me twice — and is what has cut my symptoms in half both times. Just eat plain or mix in hot water 1 tablespoon of raw honey (regular from the store is fine too) with 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (which is a lot!). It takes some getting used to, but I do this once or twice a day depending on how I’m feeling for the duration of my cold symptoms.

I mean, what can it hurt to try it? (Seriously, just Google this, I’m not kidding).

6. Smoothies. 

Eating well can be hard when you either have no appetite nor the strength to make anything. If you’re sick of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, try making a smoothie (if you can). Throw in any carrots, spinach, celery, or other antioxidant-rich veggies you’re willing to risk juicing and then add fruit (oranges are best!) and whatever else to make it taste good. I know that I feel better when I’m eating well while sick.

7. Netflix. 

What more can I say? Reading may be hard, finding friends willing to endure your nose-blowing impossible, but our good friend Netflix will never leave you. Marathon on, my friends! When you’re not napping, use the time to get caught up on all your shows.