Today

Tackling my messy desk

Afternoon friends,

It’s been a lazy morning thus far: slept in, watched some Smallville over breakfast and then watched some more without my breakfast. Haha.

Past few days I’ve been concentrating on helping my parent’s spring clean, job searching, and starting blog drafts of ideas I’ve been having (Coming Soon! haha).

Because I’ve been distracted, I’ve let the surfaces in my bedroom become catch-alls and things have gotten pretty cluttered- especially my desk/ work space. Today the goal is to declutter, organize, and take care of things that are there to ‘deal with later.’ No use putting them off anymore!

Here’s a before picture:2017-08-15 12.28.49.jpg

I’ll come back later to post the ‘after’ photo!

Update (about 3 hrs. later):
Hello again!

I really took care of stuff instead of just putting things away to deal with later so the space looked clean. I redid and went through all my files and ended up with a stack of recycling (I had the warranty information from a Dell laptop I don’t even own anymore!) and more room to store the files I actually need.

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Not sure why I tested the pencils…

I also tested all the writing utensils on my desk because I knew some didn’t work, which is why the word ‘works’ is now written 20+ times in my sketch book. To scale down the clutter I also put away the duplicates and extra office supplies I had, there’s no reason I needed five or six highlighters and a box of extra staples out on my desk.

Hell, I even plugged my printer in for the first time since moving back! I’ve been using the one in my parents’ office instead and allowing mine to just collect dust.

So here it is, the after the photo:

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I mean, it wouldn’t be featured on a fancy website or magazine, but it feels like I can use it again!!

Anyway, I’m going to go shred a bunch of old documents now, enjoy this post!

EJ♥

Today

Mini Changes, Massive Pay Off

Afternoon friends!

I would have been posting earlier today, but my laptop needed updating and it took waaaay longer than I expected!

So the past two days I’ve been a bit lazy and ill, BUT the week before that I managed to get myself on a not-nocturnal schedule and was being super productive!

I wanted to share the things I started doing in those days to boost my productivity and keep myself feeling proud and motivated to keep going, instead of curling up in front of Smallville (because I finished Gotham Monday, haha) all day and night.

1. All the advice you’ve ever heard before.

“Oh, thanks.”

I know, I know, I’m a revolutionary full of new ideas.

Seriously though, most of what I’ve done the past few days are implementations of things everyone tells you will change your life for the better like eating three meals a day, drinking lots of water, sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night, not sitting for extended periods of time. And those are four of the things I’ve started doing that have made me feel a hell of a lot better.

I was in the worst habit of eating one meal a day and snacking on popcorn or sweets when I was hungry the rest of the day. It was shitty, I’d have sugar crashes and always felt hungry, so I started forcing myself to eat three meals a day. A huge breakfast, a moderate lunch, and whatever my parents were having for dinner.

I also started drinking a bottle of water (from a reusable bottle, of course) with every meal and trying to do the same between every meal as well. This kept me needing to pee every hour or so which made it hard to nap, meaning I was ready for bed at like 8 PM. Lol.

As for staying active, since I was waking up early I started walking my dog first thing in the morning and again about an hour before bed. Now she’s gotten used to it and has basically become my alarm clock! I also started playing music almost constantly, in the shower, while I cook, and clean. I put on music I know I’ll dance to, it gets my heart rate up and helps me get my steps in during the day. It also prevents me from turning on the TV for background noise, slowly getting sucked in, and accidentally watching two hours of cartoons.

2. Making my bed.

My mother would be so proud I’m recommending making your bed every day as something to help you stay motivated. It helps me in two ways: prevents procrastination/ naps, and creates a space ready for work. Surely, I’m not the only person that procrastinates with cleaning? I used to do it a lot in college, a few days before a big test or project due date is the time our apartment would be deep cleaned and I’d do all my laundry. I’m still doing the same shit in grad school, except the house is bigger. Making my bed every morning makes my room look cleaner and makes me feel like I can sit at my desk to work without being tempted to nap or randomly stripping the bed to wash my sheets.

3. Keeping a schedule/ a to do list

Like my first blog post, I’ve been making a to-do list everyday and doing my best to accomplish all the tasks. However, my first priority last week was to get on a better sleeping and eating schedule so I could be productive during the daylight hours instead of knocking out my to-do list between midnight and sunrise. To keep myself from remaining nocturnal I created a schedule with all the things I wanted to do in a day. I knew I wanted to walk Sadie twice a day and eat three square meals, I knew I needed lots of internet time for school work, job searches, and side hustles, and I knew that, since I’m still the unemployed one, I’m in charge of the majority of the housework. I scheduled my mornings and evenings accordingly: wake up, walk Sadie, shower, eat, chores, work, eat, work, chores, chill, eat, walk Sadie, shower, and bed. Most of my day is free to do whatever, but my goals for food and exercise are easily reached when sticking to that schedule.

4. Not beating myself up.

It’s such a privilege to be in a situation where finding a job is not life or death and to only have my education to really worry about during the day. Regardless, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the pressure around me to be doing well in school and looking for/ finding work. A lot of the pressure is from my parents, I know they mean well- they’re worried about money for me and for themselves. Most of the pressure is from myself though. I want to be excelling as a student, especially after the stumble I had this past summer. I want to be a professional, but I want to find a job that feeds my passions and challenges me, where I can contribute to my community and the world, but also make good money. I want to be out experiencing my community and the world without worrying about taking too much time off from my studies or (finding) work.

But, you can’t be actively working toward your goals every second you’re breathing. Taking care of yourself by staying in bed when you’re sick or taking a day off from work or school to hang out with someone you love or to clean out your garage can be just as important for achieving. So when I don’t get everything done in a day or I watch an extra episode of Smallville after breakfast instead of doing the dishes, I don’t beat myself up- I reflect on why it happened and remind myself I’m not perfect.

EJ♥

Today

Surprise, I’m a DC nerd.

Afternoon, friends.

I don’t have any thing in particular to say today, but wanted to get online to keep myself in the practice of posting so we don’t have another many month absence. (Again, whoops.)

I’ve spent the past few days getting ready for the Fall semester, bingeing Gotham, and helping my parents spring clean. Nothing spectacular. Well except Gotham, which I have grown very passionate about in the few days it’s taken me to get to the start of the second season. I’m sufficiently sucked in.

I’ve been a DC fan since I watched the animated Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited as a kid visiting the States. I never had comics available to me, so I guess some would say I’m not a “real” fan, but I have been like a kid in a candy shop with the recent boom of superhero movies and shows that are being released. I think I love Gotham though because it’s not focused on Batman, as much as I love him. It’s like the most detailed and immersive origin story, but not for any one character, for an entire city and all its characters. I love it!

Anyway, that’s all for today. I’ve been working on finishing/ editing some drafts I have from around April/ May so I’ll have better stuff to post than this on boring days. Lol.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

EJ♥

Do you like superhero media? DC or Marvel? What’s your favorite movie/ show? Let me know!!

Today

Today, the first one II

9:22 am

Well I’ve at least got some housework done (“Gimme the points!”).

Before leaving for the out-of-the-house tasks, I was fucking around on the internet again, nothing as good as Zoella or Superwoman though.

Yesterday, I was listening to an audio book version of Girl Online and the main character Penny talked about going online to look at things she knew would upset her, as if compulsively. She called it something along the lines of a self destructive path. And that’s what I felt compelled to do this morning waiting for the bank to open: self destruct.

My junior year of college my best friend and I had a severe falling out. I don’t know her side of the story because she stopped communicating as soon as she figured out that I knew she was lying to me. I was heart broken and felt incredibly vulnerable and raw. I had panic attacks so harsh campus emergency services were called to help me breathe. I was terrified of her, I skipped classes and ate in my room- or just didn’t eat. I stopped going to social things, except to drink nearly every weekend because I knew she didn’t go bars. I would burst into tears randomly and uncontrollably in public. I was miserable and afraid all the time, I felt as though she had turned every one in my life against me. It took me months to feel normal again, and even a year later I’d get panicky if I thought I saw her somewhere.

She has a blog and sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly low, I get overwhelmed with the need to see how or what she’s doing. Maybe today it was a mix of exhaustion, frustration and fear that made me search her blog title. I don’t know. But two of her latest updates really shook me to my core and I felt the same old prickly heat and shivers that preempt a panic moment, my vision spun out of control and I felt sure I would throw up.

It’s in those moments that I think about all the terrible things that happened to me because of her, either because of lies she told me or people in my life, or because of my reactions. I think about how I would spend nights and days staring at my ceiling wondering how long it would take me to pack all my shit and leave Bonaventure and if my parents could afford a flight on such short notice. I think about how many people walked past me while I sat on a curb with an oxygen mask on my face, tears streaming down my cheeks, limbs limp, but lungs and chest so tight I thought I was going to die the first time I had a panic attack. I think about the pangs of hunger followed by the waves of fear and isolation when I started skipping meals to escape the possibility of more confrontation and panic attacks in the dining hall. I think about the people that started avoiding me, not because of any thing she had said to them, but because I was just too miserable to be around. I think about how many times I would put on my party girl face and get drunk so I could use ‘hungover’ as an excuse for staying in bed the whole weekend.

But normally, just before all the memories and heartache send me over the edge into the darkness and isolation, I remind myself that I lived through it! I tell myself that if I survived it, I can certainly survive the memory of it all.

Today though… it just doesn’t feel as easy as that, because I’ve been pretty low lately. And when you’re low, the people that you see as enemies or villains aren’t allowed to be happy and successful. At least that’s how it feels. My head is telling me that no matter how well she’s doing or what incredible news she’s writing about, I’m still allowed to succeed, I’m still allowed to be happy. But it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like a race, it feels like there can only be one winner. It feels like as long as she’s doing well I’m never going to accomplish anything or lead a good life.

And that is so fucked up.

Anyway, I think the bank’s open.

Today

Today, the first one.

4:45 am – the plan

Good morning! I’m lying, I’ve been up all night because I’m on a really shitty schedule and feel like I have nothing to do, which isn’t true! I have things on my to do list that I’ve been putting off because I’m too busy feeling sorry for myself and sleeping all day and reading or fucking around on the internet all night.

Some of that fucking around includes watching YouTube videos (hello, why do you think I wanted to start a blog, I’m obsessed with Zoella, whatever, get off my back, she’s a God damn gem). One of my favorite vloggers to watch is Lilly Singh, aka Superwoman. She’s someone I’ve heard of a lot in my YouTube binges, but only recently started watching. At the start of her vlogs she lists a ‘mission’ and then gives her self points through the day as she accomplishes what’s on the mission.

Like… how simple and effective is that? Then you think about it, and you’ve heard it your entire life: set goals, plan your day, etc. etc. However, I like her way of doing it better than the flashbacks I’m having of some mustached middle school teacher telling me to pick out my clothes the night before and list daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals in my school issued agenda. I mean, her’s has a rainbow…

Anyway, in an effort to motivate me to blog everyday, or at least more regularly, I’m going to adopt Superwoman’s style of documenting her days by listing my goals at the start of them and updating the post as the day passes.

Here’s the mission:

  • Post Amber’s box
  • Take recycling
  • Drop off magazines at library
  • Bank
  • House stuff
  • Email LSUS/ULM
  • Call vet

I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but for someone that has had trouble getting out of bed the past four months and who has been basically nocturnal for two of those months, it feels like quite a feat.

 

Today

Fresh Start

Here’s the gist of the thing:

In February I got all inspired and excited and wanted to start a blog. I imagined it was going to be this incredible experience of getting my thoughts out and connecting with people over amazing adventures and mundane life stuff and emotional struggles. I pictured meeting kindred spirits on the interwebs and growing up to be invited to their weddings and sending their kids money on their birthdays and getting Snaps of their pets every once in awhile.

I dreamed up this website that reflected all the best parts of me: exercising every day, taking weekend trips, exploring my home town, making smoothies, basically just doing a ton of extremely Instagrammable shit all the time so people would like me.

Turns out, as you can probably guess, I wasn’t just dreaming up an incredible blog, I was creating an ideal self, a version of Emily Jo that doesn’t exist. This EJ is the type of person that never procrastinates or skips class and she does everything she’s ever planned to do and she’s hardworking and she’s never lazy and is incredibly likable.

I’m not her, I haven’t ever been her. I skipped class so much my freshman year I failed two classes and developed a reputation. I work hard, but it’s in-between long phases of procrastination. I have an unreal temper- especially since graduation. I hold grudges and burn bridges in an instant. I don’t like to communicate with those closest to me, hoping they’d either leave me alone or read my mind. I’m really not all that likable.

So why did I want to create this pristine image on the internet?

Lots of reasons really, which I just typed and erased about 20 times hoping for something that didn’t sound pathetic.

The truth is I’ve had a really hard time finding my place since I graduated college. I feel like the rest of my graduating class is working or travelling or studying and becoming the people they were meant to become. But I’m not and it feels really fucking lousy. I tell myself it will get better when I’ve found a job or finished this Master’s program or moved out, but why do I feel like I need to wait? Why can’t I figure it out now?

I don’t know.

 

So it’s been a few months of reflection and learning and feeling shitty about not blogging after being so excited about it and I’m ready to restart! This time without a real plan and without the “ideal” Emily Jo pressuring me to make this something it isn’t.

Wish me luck.

PS: I Googled “gist vs jist” at the start of typing this because I literally had no idea which was correct. Lol.

Today

What I’m Doing for LENT

Please remember that I speak only for myself and not for all Catholic people.

Goodbye Mardi Gras, it’s Lent!!

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Most of my friends know that Lent is one of my all time favorite seasons. To non-Catholic/Christian people that probably sounds a little strange, but at the end of Lent as we enter Easter I always feel renewed in my faith.

Basically, Lent is a 40 day season that starts on Ash Wednesday (today, the day after Mardi Gras) and ends before Easter. It’s a season of repentance, prayer, solemnity, reflection, and fasting. There is a lot to the season of Lent and of Easter, much too much to get into here! If you’re curious this is a great resource for the basics.

A lot of people know Lent as the time that Catholics aren’t eating meat on Fridays or are “giving up” something. Quite often people will also take on a task or practice for their Lenten journey. In the past I have taken on going to daily Mass, praying the rosary a certain number of times a week, or adding 15 minutes of prayer to my morning and evening. When I was a kid I’d give up things like fighting with my sisters, candy, or staying up too late.

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Old City Har Habayit by Beggs. License. No changes were made.

One of the many things emphasized during Lent is the resistance to temptation, hence the “giving up” of something dear. Personally, when I’ve given something up, whenever I miss it or stumble I am reminded of why I do it: to fill my life with Christ instead. This is also true for me when I take on something.

I wanted to share how I am celebrating Lent and what it means to me, but it is a very personal and reflective time so this is the only post I will be making about Lent.

Here is a list of what I am giving up and taking on for Lent this year:

Giving Up

Fasting

While fasting is generally (to my knowledge) only required on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Fridays during Lent, there are little fasts I want to add to those.  These include beverages other than water, fast food, and microwave popcorn. Those three are things I have found myself becoming quite gluttonous with lately.

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Angry Cow by László Bácsi. Resized.

Anger

Part of the reason I created this blog was to help me deal with the feelings of frustration and lack of control I have been letting rule my life since moving home. Lately, those two things have been manifesting themselves as lack of patience and anger. My girlfriend and parents have spoken up about how I am more short-fused than ever before.

Laziness (Sloth)

This makes three deadly sins! *nervous face* I let things that are not immediately important pass me by either completely or until the last moment. I make up excuses to not do things or to only do the minimum required. Having done some introspection in the past few weeks, I have recognized that a lot of these feelings stem from feeling I have no control and wondering if it’s really worth it. So… this may be harder to tackle than just not procrastinating.

Taking On

Going to Mass

I went to a Franciscan-Catholic University for my undergrad, so making it to church every Sunday was easy. One year my dorm room was even in the same building as the Chapel!! I loved my community, I loved the priests, I loved the choir, I loved going to daily mass, I loved everything about it. Now that I’ve moved home, I can’t stand going to the church my parent’s attend. I couldn’t connect with the priest or the choir and at church events the conversation was always about drama and complaints. I’ve let that discomfort keep me from going to Mass the past six months, but that was only one of a ton of Catholic churches in my area! I’ve been lazy!

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There are so many Catholic Churches in my area, I have no excuse! Courtesy of Google Maps.

Praying the Rosary

One of my all time favorite things about Catholicism is the fact that it is universal. Any Catholic church, anywhere in the world will have the same readings, same responses, same vestments. I love it- my faith is a community. Praying the Rosary makes me feel connected to that universal community- my universal community. I find myself asking, why aren’t I doing more of something that makes me feel so great??

There you have it! Let me know in the comments where you’re giving up or taking on for Lent, or if this is the first time you’ve ever heard of this “LeNt.”

Y’all have a good one!

♥EJ