The Evolution of my Hair

I have dyed, cut, and styled my hair more than anyone should in their lifetime (I’m only 22 mind you)!

Here’s a¬†photo compilation in chronological order starting from middle school:

The confusing
The confusing “curly hair, straight bangs” combo (Spring 2008).
Straightening this hair took FOUR HOURS (Homecoming 2008).
Straightening this hair took FOUR HOURS (Homecoming 2008).
When I regrettably chopped all of my hair off (Summer 2011).
When I regrettably chopped all of my hair off (Summer 2011).
The darkened and straightened bob (Senior Homecoming 2011).
The darkened and straightened bob (Senior Homecoming 2011).
Curly bob (Prom 2012).
Curly bob (Prom 2012).
Freshman year of college (Fall 2012).
Freshman year of college (Fall 2012).
” (Fall 2012).
” (Winter 2012).
IMG_4670
Natural-colored puff ball (Summer 2013).
Awkward ponytail (Winter 2013).
Awkward ponytail (Winter 2013).
Study abroad in France (Summer 2014).
Study abroad in France (Summer 2014).
21st birthday in Chicago (October 2014).
21st birthday in Chicago (October 2014).
Habitat for Humanity trip (Winter 2014).
Habitat for Humanity trip (Winter 2014).
Slightly red ombre (today).
Slightly red ombre (today).

When You’re Feeling Down

Hello everyone, I’m feeling down today.  I know it’s a weird thing for me to say/admit, but it’s true.  I haven’t blogged in awhile or wrote anything worthwhile in a couple weeks.  It’s not about the views or the likes for me; it’s about how I feel while I write.  But I haven’t felt the need to write recently, and now I feel as though all of my thoughts are bottled up inside me.

Here are some things I’ve been feeling lately:

  1. Stressed
  2. Frustrated
  3. Not myself
  4. Afraid

I feel these emotions and feelings are quite normal, but I need to combat these feelings.  As an aspiring Buddhist, I believe acceptance and embracing is key; however, I don’t want to be “okay” with feeling blue.

Here are some things I am going to try in order to ease my anxiety:

  1. Take things one minute at a time
  2. Stop comparing myself to others
  3. Remember what I enjoy doing
  4. Live in the moment rather than in the past or future

I have two exams next week, on top of having to clean my room, my hamster’s smelly cage, packing for a trip up north, and having two jobs to hustle through.  Let’s just say that next weekend cannot come soon enough!  I need to just face facts and realize that my two exams are important, but will not make or break my life (although they may do that to the grade in my class).  I have always been the type who is stressing over exams and sweats the little stuff; I need to be my type-B self when it comes to my education.  Exams are exams, and exams are tough, but that shouldn’t define the day or week I’m having.

On top of the stress associated in school, I cannot stop comparing myself to other people.  Many of my friends have recently announced engagements or marriages, while I’m over here bickering with my boyfriend of almost three years like an old married couple.  We’re both stressed about work and classes, yet while we spend any amount of time together, we take that stress out on each other.  It’s not fair for either of us.  Also, many of my friends are graduating this May (I guess I “should” be, too).  I keep feeling like I’m struggling or something…?  I can’t really explain the feeling I have about it.  I guess my point is that I need to stop comparing myself, my grades, or my relationship with other people because I am my own person.  I know there are things that people think about me that they find impressive (hopefully).

Aside from writing, I have other passions believe it or not.  Maybe if I dig into my passions I won’t be comparing myself to others as much (it’s human nature – it’s bound to happen).  I really enjoy photography, playing the piano and the flute, as well as golfing.  I took homecoming photos for a good friend of mine who is running to be on court, and it made me realize that I really miss photography.  I started my own photography website via SquareSpace, and I will be publishing that live within the next few days or so.  Whenever I travel, I love capturing what I see because it brings back whatever I was feeling in that moment.  I need to keep up with that.

I have also been listening to a lot of Regina Spektor and Stromae lately, which has inspired me to play musical instruments again.  I took piano lessons as a child and I had the ability to be a concert performer, a music major, maybe even play for a living.  I turned it down when it became too challenging – I gave up on it.  But really, I gave up on myself.  I did the same thing with the flute; I was really good, but I couldn’t handle the competition.  We had to compete for “first chair,” where the best performer sat closest to the instructor.  I don’t want to be the best, but I want to be my best.  I want to play for me, no one else.

Looking on my past is both inspiring and depressing, and I mean that in the best way possible!  I look at things that I would have done different, but I would not have changed a single thing.  I am leaving for Sweden soon, which inspired me to look at a few photos from my previous study abroad adventure:

Lyon, France

Nice, France

Fourth of July, France

Lavender Fields, France

These photos bring me hope; they show me that happiness is real and that this is just a dark time right now.  I hope that I can feel like myself again soon, because I miss it when my cheeks hurt from smiling too much!  It’s always darkest before the dawn.

Market Dog, France

Aix, France

Lyon, France

Guise, France

Picnic time!

That’s all for now!  Sorry about the photo spam (not really)! ūüėČ

Hamburg, Germany in Photographs

During my junior year of high school, I met a foreign exchange student named Saskia. ¬†Saskia grew up in Hamburg, Germany, and never once did I imagine that we would become best friends. ¬†It was hard parting ways with her; however, I knew it was not goodbye (just “see you later”).

Rather than having a graduation party the summer after, I decided to go on a three week trip to visit her and her parents. ¬†It was the first foreign city I have experienced…and it sure hasn’t been the last! ¬†Hamburg holds a special place in my heart, which has inspired me to travel even more.

These photos are not the best and are not edited whatsoever.  The few inserted in this post are some of the only photos I have on my desktop as we speak.  I wanted this post to feel immediate and as true to my feelings as much as possible; I miss Germany and I miss Saskia way too much.

I hope this post inspires you to look back on distant memories and own them; it is better to “feel all the feels” instead of masking your true, raw emotions.

My friend's home in Germany.
My friend’s home in Germany.
Petting zoo outside of the city!
Petting zoo outside of the city!

IMG_1876

When the monkey tried to steal my chapstick...
When the monkey tried to steal my chap-stick…
My German family
My German family
Uptown Hamburg, Germany
Uptown Hamburg, Germany
In the shopping district!
In the shopping district!
Hamburg nightlife!
Hamburg nightlife!
Alterhaus
Alsterhaus
Last night in Hamburg
Last night in Hamburg

Hopefully one day I can visit Hamburg, Germany again! ¬†I also hope that you can revisit your favorite spot, or relive your most cherished memory…