I am So Glad I Don’t Have to Go Back to School

I have always loved school in a nerdy, overachiever, going-to-destroy-you-all-with-my-grade-point-average kind of way. Since I was a child, back-to-school supply shopping has literally been second best to Christmas for me and, I would eagerly wait each August for the Target back-to-school section to pop up like a traveling circus of glue sticks, mechanical pencils, and white boards.

That’s why I am a little disoriented by being so excited NOT to go back to school this semester (or ever again if I choose it).

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When I graduated college in May, I pretty much crawled across the graduation stage. In my usual overachiever way, I had completed my English degree requirements when I finished my junior year so, my last year of college was more of a formality than anything else.

Deciding to use the time to the fullest, I studied abroad in England in the fall of 2013, which turned out to be a tough yet worthwhile, fantastic, and life-changing experience.

However, when I came back to finish my last semester at my home university, I ended up feeling kind of bitter about it.

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It seemed like I was being forced to waste time, energy, and money by fulfilling an arbitrary minimum 120 credit graduation requirement even though I had already fulfilled my general requirements and my degree requirements. At the same time, my university seemed to be trying to make my last semester my worst, with various offices on campus making my life a living hell.

I spent so much time and energy battling with so many different departments on campus during my last semester that by the time that I finally said my goodbyes in May, I was half tempted to flip the bird as I drove down the road.

After such a tumultuous last semester, it’s not such a surprise that I feel sour towards the education system that used to be my bread and butter.

I wrote a few weeks back that post-grad life is better, and I am still standing by that statement. Knowing that I am not returning to college next week is a big sigh of relief for me. I have always thrived on permanency and routine, and college is the exact opposite of that – it is always changing, pushing, and disappearing.

College never felt like a good fit for me, something that didn’t quite click until I realized how much happier I am outside of university system, and that’s not to worry the freshman and upperclassman who will be returning to school come fall but rather to serve as a reminder that whether college is your salvation or your own personal hell, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel waiting for you to find it.

I Forgot My Phone

I have never felt overly attached to whatever hunk of plastic that is my current cellphone however, whenever I forget my phone at home, I begin to feel twinges of anxiety. What if I get a flat tire? What if there is an emergency? What if Cara breaks up with her boyfriend and, I miss her text message? What if Bobby says hi and, he thinks I am blowing him off because I didn’t answer?

It is without my phone beside me that, I realize how much I unconsciously reach for it. I don’t really use my phone much except for email and texts but when I don’t have my phone with me, I realize the ridiculous amount of times per day that I click the unlock button just to check whether something needs to be responded to.

Five minutes. Click. Twenty minutes. Click. Five minutes. Click.

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It’s like clicking the unlock button has become entwined in every part of my life. First thing when I wake up. Click. Leaving for work. Click. Sit down at my desk. Click. Come back from a meeting. Click. Click. Click. Click.

I have always been very conscious of avoiding the “phone security blanket” phenomenon and because of that, I always try to keep my phone away even in the most awkward social situations when scrolling through a screen seems easier than making eye contact or striking up a conversation.

However, despite this, I still feel anxiety when I leave my phone at home as if, despite being surrounded by other people, a landline, and a computer, I am stranded on a deserted island. It’s like when I unconsciously forget my phone (versus making a conscious decision to leave it), I feel like I am missing something important like an earring or a shoe.

Why is it that I feel such an attachment to this hunk of plastic? What causes us as humans to tie our emotions to such an easily replaceable piece of technology? Is it the idea that we are never really alone with this piece of plastic in our hands or does it point to something deeper about our growing hunger for instantaneous information?

Either way, a day without a phone can feel both anxious and liberating, reminding me how much power I unconsciously assign a hunk of plastic.

Gold Smokey Eye Tutorial

This gold smokey eye look is a little less intimidating than the traditional darker smokey eye and, can be easily worn for day and night.

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1. Prep your lids by applying concealer under your eyes to brighten any circles and, apply eye primer to keep all the shadows we will be applying in place.

2. Using an angled brush, apply a dark brown shadow to your upper lash line, winging it out.

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3. Apply a golden shadow to the inner 2/3 of your lid.

4. Apply a dark gold shadow to the remaining outer third of your lid.

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5. Apply a dark shimmery brown shadow in the crease and blend it out. If you don’t blend, the shadow is going to look heavy and overly dark (i.e. racoonish).

6. Use a brown liner to tightline your upper and lower lash line.

7. Apply mascara (I am using brown mascara here) to your lashes and, highlighter to the inner corners of your eye and your brow bone.

Meeting My Nephew!

Yesterday, I journeyed to Towson and back to meet the new bundle of joy that is my nephew, Greyson. At 8 pounds 12 ounces, he’s on his way to being a linebacker, but even though he weighs more than a gallon of milk, everything about him still seems so tiny.

Greyson is now one of three nephews and one niece that I reign supreme aunthood over and having been in the aunt game since I was eight years old, I have long gone pro status.

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Greyson is the first niece or nephew that has been born in my adult life, and I can’t help but marvel how much different it is to meet a new child now that I am no longer a child. When my oldest sister had my niece, I was still in elementary school and, I remember holding this tiny baby in my arms and thinking – I am an aunt! Oh snaps, I am going to be the coolest person in the third grade. I wonder if Digimon is on tonight.

However, as an adult, it was a much different experience to hold my nephew in my arms.

For the first time in my life, I saw the briefest glimpse of what it means to be a parent as I felt an unmistakable spark of fear when realizing that this tiny human in my arms will soon grow and grow, only to eventually walk into the world on his own.

I also felt the biggest sense of elation for my sister and her husband. There are some people and couples that you know will make great parents, and from the moment my sister told me she was pregnant, I knew she and my brother-in-law were going to raise an amazing son.

I really can’t wait to watch Greyson grow up. But, if there is one thing that has made me realize that I too am growing older, it is watching the infants that I once held in my arms growing along with me.