Struggling

During the past two weeks of college, in my last semester, I’ve had to write three essays that are personally revealing.

It’s difficult for me to know the tone of these essays?

I’m not even sure how I should go about writing them.

The latest essay I’m struggling with is a reflection on my personal growth as a leader with in-depth examples.  What’s awkward is most of my growing experiences occurred in really personal, depressing situations.

I’m not sure how to write about it… That’s really what it comes down to.

This writer’s block makes me think I need to write about something personal to break through, but even that leaves me empty and wanting to skip and go to sleep.

Maybe some coffee will help?

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Nigel (Scruffer)

I have some pretty exciting news! My boyfriend and I have adopted a cute little scruffer!

The search for a new addition to the family has been long lasting and far-reaching. We’ve applied to many rescues, but never had a lot of luck. In one case, a rescue turned us down because my current dog had never had a dental cleaning?

Either way, we found the perfect, allergy friendly companion last Friday.

After scouring the internet after our most recent letdown, I found a cute little image of a small terrier mix on the humane society’s website.

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I knew this was exactly the kind of dog my boyfriend had been searching for. The description was even more encouraging, reading something along the lines of “Quiet cute guy. Likes to play hide and seek with the volunteers.”
Guess who else likes to play hide and seek, is calm, and is pretty picky? My dog, Sam!
I instantly told Darien we needed to head out to the Humane Society the next day to make sure we could investigate and potentially claim him before someone else came, but I didn’t show him a picture of Nigel at first.

Since we’d had such shaky luck, I didn’t want him to imprint on a dog that we would potentially not take home again. Later on, I gave in and showed him a picture.

… He imprinted.

Then later that night I had a dream about Nigel… and guess what? I imprinted.

The next morning I woke up early in a flurry of activity. I do what I always do and immediately began planning. Where would he sleep? What would he eat? What precautions do we need to take with my delightfully messy apartment? Do I have the right grooming blades for him? The list went on and on, until my boyfriend woke up to me in FULL FLEDGED planning mode, while he still had sleep in his eyes (sadly, this is not too uncommon. I am a morning person, he’s a night person).

A few seconds of comprehension occurred, we made a few jokes back and forth about our failed attempts to keep from imprinting, and then he joined in.

Skip forward to 12:30pm. Food is cleaned up. Sam is packed in the car, and we drive a short distance to the humane society. I wait for a few minutes, found Sam a spot in the shade (don’t worry it was an unusually Fall-like day), and tiptoed inside after some other potential adopters.

Immediately I was greeted by familiar faces from past lives, and one of them graciously showed me to Nigel’s cage where I promptly forgot all of my manners and stuck my fingers through the cage with excitement. Thankfully Nigel was everything his description said, and politely handled my infraction. I sent Darien this picture of Nigel as he rushed over from class.

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Seeing how excited I was, and probably wishing to keep me from breaking too many rules, the familiar face let me take Nigel out to a courtyard to interact with him. He looked rough. Matts in his coat, scabs from various flea and tick infestations, and missing teeth. The familiar face told me Nigel was discovered by a staff member wandering the neighborhood. As far as anyone knew, he had at least been wandering for three days.

I’ve groomed a lot of rescues before, and used to volunteer at the same humane society… so I was somewhat acquainted with the roughness. It’s still so heartbreaking he ended up wandering while obviously such a sweet boy.

These pictures are from the first few minutes with Nigel.

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Shortly after meeting him this way, he rolled over on his belly for rubs. Nigel clearly was calm as other dogs walked by, and clearly seemed amicable. I had a good feeling about Nigel and hoped Sam would like him too.

My boyfriend walked through the fence to the courtyard not long after these pictures, and his eyes filled with water. It was clear he loved Nigel as much as I did. I looked up at him and said: “he’s perfect… and I’m not just saying that.”

A few minutes and an application later, we were approved for adoption. Sam met Nigel in the courtyard with a volunteer to be introduced. Nigel and Sam seemed mostly uninterested, Sam more upset that he couldn’t clearly see me than with any tiny dog. Once the volunteers and staff members brought Sam out to me, he began to show interest in Nigel. There were no rude words exchanged, and they seemed to get along well.

I took Sam back to the car and took him home to make sure he had enough to drink and eat. My boyfriend stayed for the adoption procedures. At first, we thought we wouldn’t be able to take Nigel home until he was neutered, but the Humane Society allowed us to foster him until his official adoption date.

Pretty much as soon as he came home I went ahead and bathed and groomed him. A lot of people may debate this with me, but I am a huge fan of getting it over all in one step. That way he can remember the day and us positively, instead of the only experience for that day is taken from his run and groomed before bed.

During the entirety of the bath and groom, he was as sweet as can be. I was prepared for a much harder dog than the one we have. He is so sweet and kind.  This is what he looked like after a bath, groom, and coconut oil treatment.

 

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Nigel in the foreground, Samuel in the background. 

 

Sorry is Gone

 

I’ve said this before, but next year is going to be awful for me. All of my favorite musicians are releasing albums this year, and I have to say this is one I am ecstatic for.

A few weeks ago Jessica Lea Mayfield came out on instagram stating she had been in an abusive relationship for some time now, and this song is related to that situation.

I heard the backstory first, and it’s impossible to separate the two for me. I identify with her so strongly on a regular basis, it’s pretty obvious I would identify with her now as she struggles with some of the same problems I was overcoming.

The line that drives home this whole feeling is “I deserve to occupy this space, without feeling like I don’t belong.”

 

 

 

Heaven Knows, We Belong Way Down Below

Today I wanted to talk about people that embrace their flaws vs. people who disdain their flaws. This is all relative to my experience, but I certainly think this is something valid to think about.

One of my business professors said all of the “bad kids” she was friends with in high school all have much more successful careers than the “good kids” she knew. I find that to be generally true as well. I don’t define myself as a “bad kid” in high school, but I was certainly myself. Many teachers stereotyped me as one way or the other, basically depending on how much I liked them. I was so outspoken that it was very clear when I didn’t respect one of my teachers. I was transitioning from being a very self-centered child who believed in hiding flaws into being the person who openly admits to my flaws. As an adult, I think this is one of the most paramount transformations I have endured, and one I think may make the “bad kids” more successful adults, especially in the business world.

Only admitting to perfection binds people to a consistently unrealistic standard, and can lead to denial or lack of self-awareness. By only admitting to your strengths, you deny yourself the room to grow past your flaws. “Bad kids” and I seem to have a greater realization for the negatives of their personalities, giving us the awareness required to grow past these negative traits.

So as you guys move throughout your day, remember it is human to have flaws. The sooner we all admit to them, the faster we can learn from our mistakes.

Feelings Suck

So, I got into a facebook argument despite my better judgment. Nothing the girl said particularly affected me, but the argument did bring up some painful memories.

There’s a lot of uncertainty in my life, and I guess there always has been. My grandmother clinically died three times before she finally left this world. I spent most of my life in the shadow of her fragile health. I’ve learned to internalize all of those struggles, and to cope with them quietly. As I grow older it’s hard to find time to cope with those feelings. The need for solitude always seems to surface when my schedule least allows for it.

That’s where the song comes in… For those moments I have to carve out solitude and make space for myself. Give it a listen, especially if you’re feeling blue. It feels good to have a tangible sound for the feelings in your heart.

 

No you won’t remember in the morning when I speak my mind

Another sleepless night, 

Another night up listening to music and fighting my urge to eat. 

I’ll probably make a pot of tea, sipping in the night tip toeing around so my s/o doesn’t wake up. 

I always struggle with these moments. How do I approach them? These private hours in the night… They define my reserved mind even in a relationship. Part of me still hides in the night when no one else is awake. My soul lies in these hours, just sitting around thinking about my life. Wondering why I’m here, glad I’m here, hoping I’ve fought hard enough, hoping the world feels my impact as much as I feel its impact (but hopefully in a positive way).

Maybe I’ll always be the person that lives in my own head.

Greenlight – Lorde

This song’s been on repeat all morning.

Lorde’s music has a way of bringing things out in me I’d forgotten. The way she phrases topics we’ve all heard before in a fresh new light always draws me in and keeps me.

This time I’m reminded of all of the heartache I remember, how I got over it. I burned a lot of items, watched the words written float up to the sky, ran from how I felt. That’s the only time I really struggled in my life. I lost three beings that had been the most important in so little time, the ebb and flow of my emotions lost me.

One of my go-to metaphors are rocks in a stream. The water is rushing around you, lifting me (the rock), carrying me miles downstream in a few minutes. The current slows, as does the speed of the rock, until gradually the current drops the rock to the riverbed. When I hear this song, when I remember that time, this is what I feel and hear. Varying currents, strides being made, losing momentum, wanting to be free of the rhythm.

I hope she found her green light.