2019 · Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · Health · New Year · Resolutions · Uncategorized

Carmen’s Thoughts – New Year

There is a trend of coming up with “New Year’s resolutions”, and normally I think of a few (always lose weight), but this year, I’m doing things a little differently. Rarely do I actually stick to my resolutions, so I decided that if I modify them to be more broad and realistic, I might actually follow through.

Instead of just “losing weight” for the sake of it, I tried to get down to the root of WHY I want to lose weight. Sure, I want to fit into clothes from a few years ago, but now it’s more of a health issue. I’ve been eating (and drinking) way too much, and it shows. Walking upstairs is starting to become a workout when it hasn’t been before. So instead of “lose weight”, “get healthy” is my resolution. That means more clean eating and going out less, walking more, and being more aware of what I’m putting into my body.

The second resolution is also related to being more “green”, which is reduce my carbon footprint. I didn’t realize how much energy and resources I was using until I started paying utilities (ha). I’ve got a lot of handouts and notes from the past semester that I won’t need since I graduated (yay), so I have an incentive to recycle. I’m hand washing my dishes instead of running them all into the dish washer, since it doesn’t take too long.

What are some “resolutions” you’re making for the year? Or some changes for self-improvement?

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accomplishment · Affirmations · Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · encourage · family · LSU · Uncategorized

Graduating

After 7-ish years, I am FINALLY graduating with my Bachelor’s degree. It hasn’t quite hit me yet that I don’t have to worry about scheduling classes or studying for exams (unless I go to grad school, but that’s not happening for a while).

I’m very torn in how to feel about graduating and going off into “the real world”. I’ve been working since I was a teenager, but now I’ll be a full time employee. I can go home after work and do absolutely nothing. I’ll be making money for bills and student loan payments (ugh) but also to explore some hobbies.

I’ll miss seeing my college friends almost every day, and all of the social events I was able to enjoy. But, that won’t stop after graduation. It just means more effort will have to be exerted to stay in touch and get involved, but it’s worth it, right?

I’m excited and terrified to start this new journey ahead of me. It’s going to be difficult, but also enjoyable.Bring it on.

P.S. by Jerry Ann

I am so incredibly proud of this lady.  She has fought through so much.  I can’t wait to see what the future brings for her.  Blessings.

Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · Changes · college · Uncategorized

Packing and Moving

I’m moving from a five bedroom unit at my apartment complex to a one bedroom, and I’m so excited to have my own space and control over the cleanliness and silence. But before I get to the new unit, I have to pack up my stuff at my current one.

This makes me think of the part of the Incredibles where Helen is talking to Bob on the phone about unpacking and she says “why do we have so much junk?”. This line sums up my thought process during packing. Seriously considering donating half the stuff in my room (not really but it would make moving so much easier).

The big plus-side to all of this is that I’m not moving to a new state, or across town, so I don’t need to meticulously pack the breakables and all of that. My winter clothes and purses and soft things are literally in trash bags just so I can easily transport them.

I’ve also recruited some friends to help me move, because my family has to work or something lame like that. Since there’s no furniture involved, technically I could do it on my own because I’m #independent, but there is no way I can get my mini fridge from my upstairs room downstairs. And it would take me 12 hours to move, but with help it might take one.

When I think about moving in the middle of August in Louisiana, I sweat. But then I think of my how happy I’ll be once I’m in my one bedroom apartment, and the air conditioning it will have.

What are your thoughts on moving?

Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · Changes · college · family · Uncategorized

Carmen’s Thoughts – Tiffany Blue

During what seems like ages ago, back in junior year of high school, I got tired of the yellow-beige color of my room that came with the house when we moved in. So I took the Tiffany box I had to Lowe’s, matched the color for wall paint, and bought the supplies I needed to paint my room. No one in the family would help, no matter how much my 17 year old self tried to convince them to (I’m sure that went professionally). It took a few months of moving furniture and sleeping on the couch, but I painted my room all by myself #grownup.

Fast forward to present day. Stephen is living in my room, and it’s actually kind of funny to see his gaming stuff and clothes in this Tiffany blue room. Well, he’s moving out again, and I was just starting to think of visits home in MY bed in MY room, NOT on the comfy air mattress (not sarcasm – it’s actually really soft), when Mom said that they’re painting it grey (excuse me?!) and putting my stuff in the attic (NO).

Mom already painted Stephen’s original room grey for the craft room. Help me keep my Tiffany box room alive, and stop Mom from painting the house grey. One room is just fine. The whole upstairs? No.

My parents want to make my room a guest room, but I’m their only guest…? Can’t I just take my economics class in peace this summer? I feel a flail coming along.

Disclaimer: I’m going to be okay with this. I don’t have to help my brother move out, and Mom said they’re moving my stuff in the attic. Didn’t say I had to do it. Or paint the room again. As long as I’m welcome to come home and my stuff isn’t on the lawn, I’m happy.

Carmen's Thoughts · college · encourage · Random Stuff · thoughts · Uncategorized

Carmen’s Thoughts – Comfort Zone

I know that if I step out of my comfort zone, as safe and secure as it may be, I’ll grow as a person and learn more things. One of my professors is not only having me add people in my potential career field that I don’t know on LinkedIn, but also message them. And ask them to get coffee and chit-chat. Basically, “network”. I LOVE talking to people, but not when there’s pressure. This person may get me a job? What am I going to talk about?? What if I talk too much about myself or make too much eye contact and they think I’m weird??

This exercise is going to help, I know it is. I need to get over my somewhat irrational fear of thinking that I’m bothering someone when I don’t even really want to ask about potential jobs (note: it would be cool and I am accepting offers post-grad), but honestly I just want the information about what they do and how they got there. But they have no clue who I am or why I would care, so I’m going to have to make the first move.

Wish me luck, and feel free to give me some networking tips, or times you stepped out of your comfort zone for the better!

(Note from Mom: she can so do this!)

Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · college · encourage · family · Uncategorized

Carmen’s Thoughts – Parent Appreciation

When I was in nursing school, the majority of my classmates were older than me, and of those people, they were mostly working parents trying to get a degree to better theirs and their family’s lives.

Once school gets in full swing, plus work and anything else I’m involved with, my schedule gets really busy and I can feel overwhelmed. Then, once I calm down, I start to think of the parents that are also in school (shout-out to Mom to taking two classes again!). The student-parents do everything I do, plus take care of a family, sometimes all on their own.

Some of these parents aren’t that much older than me, but it all blows my mind. I can barely take care of myself, let alone a tiny human. I look up to these strong people who do what they can to make their children’s lives easier in the long run.

If you’re a student, parent, or both, you are amazing. You do what few people can handle. You are strong, and deserve to be recognized.

Carmen

Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · college · Uncategorized

Carmen’s Thoughts – Finals Week

I have one year of school left before I graduate with my bachelor’s degree, and finals week always stresses me out. It stresses all students out. I’m borderline between grades in most of my classes, and there is never enough time in a day to get everything done. Add studying and homework on top of working at an online retail company (where people call and get really mean). Ugh.

But with some coffee, and maybe some yoga if I can squeeze it in, I can get through it. Just a few exams stand between me and a break. That, and some of these classes I’ll never have to take again (as long as I pass – I should, but still).

Good luck to anyone else going through finals. We can do it.

Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · Craft · Knitting · Uncategorized

Carmen’s Thoughts – Knitting

I love hobbies that keep me busy. Kayaking, dancing, Nancy Drew (keeps my hands busy so it counts). This past summer, I helped out with a knitting class as part of the Kids on Campus summer youth program at Northwest Florida State College. I finally learned the basics of knitting!

I remember watching my family friends knit in awe, moving one thread around and making something bigger, like a scarf. After I learned the basics, I made a beanie. Once that was done, my ambitious self went to Michael’s, saw this magical soft grey yarn and the blanket pattern with it, and thought “next project”. It took me at least three times to count the 150 stitches to cast the darn thing, and I had to Google how to count rows because the pattern makes boxes within the blanket of 20 rows (I didn’t count correctly and my box looked like a scarf within a blanket). But now, I bought more yarn, and this blanket intended for a baby will probably be finished when the kid is three, but it’s keeping my hands occupied when I’m bored.


After this project, I might go back to something simple. Probably not. So if anyone wants a blanket, let me know.

If you ever wanted to knit or crochet but were too intimidated, just know – if a seven year old can figure out how to do it, so can you. Just remember to breathe, and don’t panic. Everything can be fixed.

Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · Uncategorized

Carmen’s Thoughts – Joys of Adulthood

The internet hates adulthood (or “adulting”). It means that we are leaving our beloved childhood behind for responsibilities like our own laundry, paying our own bills, and cooking food that doesn’t have the word “instant” on the packaging. But, there are a few things about being an adult that I’ve picked up on so far that are actually kind of awesome.

My family and I have always been close, but we’ve gotten so much closer since we’re all adults now. It would take an act of God to get my brother to answer his phone when I called when he was in high school. Now, he calls me, and we have typically 15 minute conversations. Most of it is about nothing in particular, some of it is general ranting and unsolicited advice-giving. I call my parents (mostly Mom, every day if not more) regularly, and when I ask for their advice, I try to take it instead of rolling my eyes and sighing like I did as a teenager. I’ll admit, they’re right 99% of the time. We can all have actual conversations with each other and enjoy our time together. It’s pretty cool.

Another hidden benefit of “adulting” is seeing the good consequences from your actions. Instead of going out to eat/drink every other day, you spend that money getting groceries to prep meals for the next few days. It takes more time, but my bank account likes it, which makes me happy. Instead of stuffing my face with butterfingers and various forms of Mexican food when I’m stressed, I take a walk outside or do some yoga in my room (exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy – Elle Woods, Legally Blonde).

These things can be done before you become an adult, but from what I’ve noticed in the relatively short time I’ve experienced adulthood, you truly come to appreciate the little things more. The sunny day on my day off? I’m going to the beach because I can do that. I’m excited about something at school or work? I’m going to tell everyone I care about because that rarely happens! I have enough money in my bank account after paying rent and other bills? I can go to that concert with that band I’ve always wanted to see!

Enjoy the good moments, breathe more, stay positive.

 

Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · kids · Random Thoughts · Uncategorized

Carmen’s Thoughts – Decisions

Life was so much easier when people made my decisions for me. Except nowadays when people try to tell me what to do, I get upset and don’t want to do what they tell me to do. Is this adulthood?

I have always been a people-pleaser. When I was a kid, I was a teacher’s pet every year, so my grades were amazing (and I rarely stayed in trouble, which was a huge plus). But even then, I spent more time trying to get everyone around me to like me, instead of figuring out who I was. Being told that you’re not good enough for someone is terrible, and assuming it because of how they treat you is almost worse.

Now that I’m an adult (kind of), I still try to get people to like me (because I’m awesome and everyone should like me), but I also try not to get fixated on if someone approves of me or not. It’s upsetting and disappointing, but I’m getting too old to waste my time being around people that I don’t actually want to be around me, or vice versa. Same thing with social activities. I’m going out a lot less than I was because I started to see my grades decline and my scale incline, when I’ve wanted it to be the other way around.

I’ve NEVER been the decisive kind of person (Mom will agree to that), but it is something I’m working on. I need to take charge of my life, and part of that is saying “no” to things that I really don’t want to do. It’s not easy, but decisions rarely are. Dad would tell me, “A bad decision is better than not making a decision at all”. I’d rather make a good decision, but taking action in general is better than watching your life go by and going with the flow because you’re too afraid to decide for yourself.

Take action. Unless it is harmful to you or others.