Tag Archives: learning

Easier Now

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All of my life, I have struggled with the fear of becoming overweight again, because as a child, I suffered immensely from being the chubbier kid. I wasn’t confident, happy, or satisfied with my quality of life. This is not to say that if you are confident or happy at this size or any size, you shouldn’t be. I just know that, in my experience, I spent so much time, too much time, agonizing over how I could be different and how I could be better. I just couldn’t see the beauty in myself. Something destructive had stuck with me and had no intention of letting go. At such a young age, those kinds of feelings have a deep imprint on your soul. I know they did on mine. But this time around, at 21 years old, as I am not overweight but still trying to keep in shape and stay healthy, it’s easier. Everything seems….easier.

I’ve noticed the change. I’m not looking in the mirror as much, grabbing at the visible fat on my sides or tummy, or scowling at the figure that stands before me, disappointed by what I see. She’s a beautiful person and she has carried me through 21 years of life, 21 years of experience, growth, love, failure, and triumph. She is the portal in which I have navigated the plane of life and she is the woman I will be until the day I die. She will change, physically and mentally, as she moves forward, but there should be no reason why I should look upon her with judgment. Her body has been through injuries, sickness, heartache. She’s fought through loss, anxiety attacks, hurt. I no longer look upon her, the body that housed and loved me, like she is wrong and needs to be changed. I’m guiding her in the right direction, a healthier path and state of mind.

I’ve grown to adore this changed perspective towards my body. I’m not judging myself like I used to. I can look in the mirror, smile, and know that that smile is genuine. I do love myself, and I love my body. There will be times when I come down on the beautiful girl in the mirror, the one that looks back at me and reflects the life that I’ve been living and the experiences I’ve gathered, but I know that those times will be fleeting, and will not house themselves permanently within the corners of my mind, waiting for their next moment to swallow the spotlight. Self judgment is no longer welcome in my heart and I’m determined to keep it that way. From here on out, everything feels… easier.

xo Amanda Cramer

Mandirito.com

Final Thoughts of 2014

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Confronted with the past, we often stand down. We let it consume us, devour the current day and age with regrets of moments we can no longer change. Moments that have passed us.

I won’t stand down. I won’t cry, or regret, or reminisce about the “good ol’ days”. I won’t second guess myself or humor myself with a different outcome that could’ve potentially changed the course of my memories. Today is today, and holds its own potential.

There are moments in my past that I wish I would’ve appreciated then, as I cannot appreciate them in the same magnitude as my memories begin to fade and distort with time. What music was playing at that moment? Who was there? What were their facial expressions? Were they happy, hurt, longing, anxious? Do these little details even matter anymore?

They matter when you think back, but in the moment of the experience, you’re drawn to see the big picture. The details fade into the backdrop and become minuscule, only to arise to the surface in bits and pieces later on, often in unwelcome nostalgic spurts. The concepts are still alive and well and the meaning behind the memories of our past still stands but I’m choosing to pack up these boxes and dispose of the feelings that once gave me happiness but have lately weighed heavily upon my soul. I’ve been progressively releasing my attachment to these moments as they don’t serve my life positively anymore.

I choose to live in the now, but that’s not to say that the time I spent prior to the current day is inconsequential, the experiences I’ve gathered are meaningless. They matter, however some things you cannot change once all interaction has been exhausted, connections have been tampered with and broken, and the passions that you had grown to love, that had once lingered and given you comfort, have grown stale. I’ve grown to accept the shortcomings, regrets, hurt of my past and hope that the future holds better days with even greater joys.

Here is to life, to a new year full of opportunity and lessons to be learned. Here is to new laughs, triumphs, friendships, experiences. To growth, improvement, realizations, creativity, and an awakened zest for all the little things life holds in store.

May this year bring change that exudes confidence towards an even more exciting and fulfilling future, and may the skeletons of our memories be laid to rest. It’s time to move forward.

Grateful and Guilty – Barnes & Noble: The Scene Before Me

Grateful and Guilty – Writing Prompt

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Note: The prompt asks the writer to discuss a guilty pleasure. If you haven’t guessed, my guilty pleasure is spending my free time in Barnes and Noble, preferably in the seated cafe area, and soaking up the environment. There’s so much more to learn beyond the books that line these aisles. Following this statement is my description of the scene before me on today’s trip to Barnes and Noble. I hope you enjoy it.

As I sat on the floor of my local Barnes and Noble accompanied by my purse and laptop, the building swamped with locals taking shelter from the rain, I took a good luck around at the faces present among me at the filled seats. Students, potentially from my university, families with small children giggling at the sight of a new picture book, middle-agers catching up on the latests magazine publications, hot coffee warming the palms of their hands. There’s a lot you can learn about the people you see around you just from observing their choices. What do I mean by that, you ask? What they’re eating, what they’re dressed in, how they present themselves among the crowd. Do they smile back when they catch your gaze? Are their faces buried into a novel, concealed? There are so many factors that come into play when you’re evaluating strangers. I often do this before I sit down, if there are choices to be made between seats. I like to scan the area and make mental notes. Who could I see myself talking to? Who seems to have the same interests? Are they reading that psychology book for study, or for pleasure? Do they look intrigued, bored, indifferent? Are they accompanied, did they bring their work from home?

This time, however, there are no seats. I begin fiddling with my fingernails, picking off the remnants of my icy blue nail polish. I can feel my leg falling asleep, and shake it out from under my other leg, stimulating the blood flow to my dead limb. I look up to see a woman packing her work in a rushed manner, the individual on the other side of her phone line consuming her thoughts. Purse and laptop in both hands, I wait for my approach. As I wait, I catch a glimpse into the conversation of the woman sitting behind her joking with the cafe cashier about prioritizing the production of the pumpkin spice latte. I feel like gagging at the mere thought of pumpkin. She evacuates, and I claim the table before anyone has the chance to grab it first, a little table in the center of the room. The room has grown silent, aside from the scattered orders at the cafe every couple of minutes. An increasingly apparent chatter has grown with the expansion of the cafe line, attracting the attention of the readers. They seem agitated by the sudden introduction of noise. And that is simply what it is at this point: noise. Words exchanged between the ten individuals are essentially indecipherable. Even with such a diverse audience, such a broad spectrum of types of people, Barnes and Noble still captures the essence of calmness, focus, productivity. It’s an environment that sparks and nurtures my creativity.

What would you say is your guilty pleasure?

Comment below.

If consistency isn’t implemented…

….how can one get punished for not following the guidelines that have yet to be permanently determined, that are relevant to one day but not to the next?
Where is the line being drawn, and why am I not the only one who can’t see this?

Collegiette Clue-Ins: 5 Ways to Be An A+ Roommate Without Being Asked to Step Up Your Game!

Being in college provides many more challenges beyond the educational spectrum that require plenty more than booksmarts. I’ve compiled the lessons I’ve learned living in a college dorm and an on-campus apartment to provide you with some insight on how to be a great roommate to your new roommate and tactics to avoid awkward and uncomfortable situations in your new home! images

1. Take initiative to clean, even if you know that all the crumbs on the counter are from your midnight-munchin’ roommate. And DON’T be a jerk about it. It’s gross, it’s a hassle. I get it. But it can be a difficult thing when there are four people living in such a small apartment (thankfully this fall, it will be reduced to just one roommate!). Even if you all have your own bedrooms, there’s going to be some overlapping in the common areas (inevitably), and with that comes headbutting over where items should be placed. You’re not all going to come into the apartment with the same kind of living style in mind (that would be too easy!)! You’re not always going to have time to clean up after yourself if you’re in a rush to get to that exam you forgot to put on your calendar, but taking the time to clean up, even if it isn’t always your mess, shows your roommate that you’re happy and willing to put in the work to keep the space up to par. They’ll be thankful that you’re avoiding a roach infestation as much as they are (usually). Nobody’s saying you should follow your roommates around with a mop and scrub behind them, but if you see leftover crumbs and dirty spots, wash it down. It’s two extra seconds of your time, and even more importantly, a month without cockroaches! 

Tactics:

  • If the mess is a recurring problem, try to sit down and discuss it with her rationally. Without yelling, throwing things, accusing, instigating, holding a grudge, or talking smack. Keep it chill. Don’t use accusatory language, and if you’re upset about the issue, wait until you’ve cooled off before you confront her. Open communication starts with listening, and if you’re angry, you’re not going to hear her out and be able to reach a conclusion.
  • Keep cleaning supplies in or near the kitchen for quick cleanup.
  • Set an example. If you’d like her to keep her dishes and other items in the common area clean, make sure that your stuff portrays that. Often just setting an example helps avoid the situation altogether.

things-are-getting-steamy 2. Consult (or warn, if need be) your roommate if you have the full intention of stumbling into the apartment with a dude. I’m going to be honest. The walls in college apartments are like tissue paper. I can practically hear you blink. The sounds that you make, no matter how loud, can probably (very likely) be heard from the apartment next to yours. It’s important to voice when you’re going to invite someone in the apartment so your roommate doesn’t end up having the awkward encounter of confronting the dude in a towel or quite possibly running into him, butt naked, in your shared hallway. Who knows, the heads-up might give you the apartment all to yourselves for the night or at least for a few hours. She’ll appreciate the courtesy call you gave her beforehand tomorrow.

Tactics:

  • No last minute warnings. Be courteous and don’t spring it on her.
  • Have a conversation beforehand, like way beforehand, discussing bringing people home. She may be uncomfortable with it, so it’s important to discuss and compromise before the situation arises. You don’t want her to feel like an outsider in her own home.
  • I feel like this is common sense, but let the guy know that if he’s going to use anything or eat anything out of the fridge, it’s going to be something of yours. That would be a major line that shouldn’t ever be crossed unless stated otherwise.

friends_cooking 3. Offer to cook some of their food for them as a treat! College brings on more challenges than you’d think (aside from the endless homework, excruciating exams, and involvement in clubs), and after a merciless day, nothing tastes better than a home-cooked meal (aside from Chipotle, which is always a nice alternative if you’re a “toast burner”). When your roommate sends you a down-in-the-dumps text, take that as a queue to be her superhero and do something nice for her. And if you can’t cook, don’t worry. I bet the ramen noodles you’ll make in the microwave for her for when she gets home will still be highly appreciated. At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts. Make the thought worth it!

Tactics:

  • Fillet mignon doesn’t have to be on the menu (unless that’s your best dish. Then you’re obligated. Kidding!) She’ll appreciate whatever you make her (as long as it’s not something you made consciously knowing she’s allergic to it).
  • Brownie points for preparing dessert, too! Maybe have a sundae night in with her? How cute would that be?!
  • If you can’t cook for your life, give her a listening ear. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to hear you out. I know that on a really bad day, there’s nothing that comforts me more than getting to say what I’ve been thinking about without getting automatically judged. Good friends are hard to come by, so do what you can to be that genuine person she can confide in if you feel like you guys could be on that level.

happy group of young people at a university college 4. Introduce her to your friends, family, boyfriend, whoever. It may seem silly (and a little awkward) at the time (you haven’t even taken her on a date and she’s already meeting your family?!), but it’s important for her to know her roommate (yes, you’re HER roommate, too!) well enough to be comfortable at home with you. It’s a significantly strange feeling to arrive on move-in day, piles of boxes in hand, and introduce yourself to the person that you will be cohabiting an apartment with for the next year, or maybe even two if it works well between the two of you. That’s a lot of pressure for a good first impression. But if you start off friendly right off the bat, that’s what she’s going to perceive of you. You’re friendly, sociable, and open. Giving her the opportunity to meet the people that are closest to you (and that are probably going to be helping you move in) will make her feel like your new apartment is more like a home. It will feel more inclusive, and she’ll probably be more inclined to be open to you as well, and willing to accept you enough to introduce you to the people she holds close. And, if she’s awkward and doesn’t want to be a part of that whole socialization process, then at least you know that you put your best foot forward.

Tactics:

  • Hugs almost always work better than handshakes. She doesn’t want to feel like she’s going into a business deal when you arrive. The first thing I always say is, “I’m a hugger, not a shaker” and I go in for a hug before it gets weird. It usually breaks the tension pretty nicely.
  • Keep it casual. Don’t push yourself on her. Remember, friendly and sociable, not pushy and obsessive. You know?
  • Make her feel like a friend, not a stranger. She’ll be a stranger at the time, but don’t make her feel like she’s outside of the bubble while you have everyone in your little group going in and out of the apartment unpacking your things. Include her in conversation if she’s up for it!

food-sandwich 5. Don’t eat her food or use any of her stuff without asking her. I can’t stress this enough! Nothing is worse than a roommate that just digs through your stuff and picks out what they want. More often than not, when I’ve been asked for either in the past, I’ve often said “yes”. It’s all about communication. It’s your home that you share. I doubt that, at your “home home”, you have to hide your stuff, so treat this new place in the same way. Anything she keeps in common areas has the same rules as the items you leave in the common areas, unless stated otherwise!

Tactics:

  • If you buy some of the same foods, either label them or have both of you pitch in to get the food to share. If food goes unlabeled, how is she supposed to know whether it’s hers or not if it’s something she buys, too?
  • Bring a mini fridge if you don’t want to share fridge space or would like to keep some stuff in your own room. There’s no problem if you have your own space for some stuff, but I wouldn’t suggest taking up the shared fridge’s space, too. Just be courteous.
  • If you borrow anything (after given permission), return it in the same condition.

 

Do you have any tips for first-time roommates? Share them below! 🙂

10 Things That It Would’ve Been Really Cool to Know Before I HAD to Know Them

1. ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER. I can’t stress that enough! I was devastated when my computer crashed, but luckily, I was able to back some of the most important stuff before the hard drive was replaced. Please, for the love of all things, do yourself a favor and back up your important document at least. I’m surprised my hair didn’t fall out from the combination of Final’s Week, a broken computer, and online exams that I couldn’t take on my own laptop. Just no.

2. Wear sunscreen for the sake of wearing sunscreen. I know it’s sticky, uncomfortable, messy….blah blah blah. I’ve heard the excuses. But you know what else it does, besides drive you crazy? It protects your skin. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to my skin to look like a leather purse when I hit 40. It’s some good advice, especially for those of us who are lucky to live in the Sunshine state. Protect it!

3. If you like a vegetable, don’t question it. Just eat it as much of it as you can. As a kid, I never used to like vegetables, just because they were good for me. But now, for some unknown reason, not only do I like vegetables, but I’m kind of obsessed with broccoli and lima beans. I eat them like candy. I am not questioning this, and neither should you. Stay healthy, my friends.

4. If you feel pain when working out, give it the time to heal. This may sound self explanatory, but working out on a pained muscle is like expecting a computer to update when it’s shut down. It just doesn’t make sense. Like you, I always want to be instantly gratified. I want things to just magically get better, but I also know that most of the time, that gratification won’t come soon enough. Just sit on it, but please, if it’s your leg or foot or something, do not do this literally.

5. Don’t buy clothes that don’t currently fit. You see this gorgeous dress, right? But they only have the size below yours. Bummer, yes. But should you make the spontaneous purchase in the hopes of it being a good choice, and a goal piece? Hell no. Do not do that. Unless you’re already on your way to a slimmer figure, it’s best to just buy for your size. Wear and buy what feels right, not what will feel “right” in the future.

6. Coffee is the blood of the gods. In high school, or at least the beginning of high school, I kinda just laid low on the coffee front, mostly because I was afraid that it would have the same effects as red bull. Crazy right? But you can’t blame me. Red bull gives me all kinds of shakes and shudders. But see, once I discovered coffee….the sunshine of my life came crashing through my eye balls. I could finally stay awake FOREVER. Hours upon hours of applying my energy to whatever I want or whatever I need to do! It’s hard to believe that this realization wasn’t in my grasp sooner!

7. If things don’t go exactly according to plan, or they blow up in your face, learn to take a deep breath. I could’ve used this advice in the instances before in which I had no control over how I felt BECAUSE I was stressed. See, it’s easier said than done, but once you know how to keep your cool when times get tough, it’s smooth sailing. I’m learning an relearning this every single day as a sufferer of anxiety, but it’s given me perspective that allows me to move forward effectively.

8. Magazines can’t tell you what you need to look like. If you’re comfortable in your skin, good for you. Most of us aren’t, and sometimes I even struggle with this still. It’s important to realize that the images portrayed in magazines ARE NOT REAL. I repeat, THEY ARE NOT REAL. They are images that have been idealized. Look at them like they’re art, but do not look upon them like they are what you should be. Not even the MODELS of those images look like that! THEY can’t even measure up to their OWN standards. Be you, because you’re hot and fabulous. But seriously.

9. Discouragement should make you work harder. People will shoot their discouragement at you like bullets. Build a thick skin, and when they think that you can’t do something, gladly prove them wrong. They don’t know who they’re messing with, but I know you can show ’em.

10. Life gets better. I know it may not seem like it. Car broke down? Boyfriend or girlfriend decided that it was time to call it “quitsies”? Exam grades bombed? Life feels like it’s constantly taking headshots and not giving you any time to retaliate? Life does get better. It may not seem like it now, or tomorrow, or the next day. But it WILL. Inveitably, something will happen that will put the ball in your court. Get ready for it.

I hope you guys enjoyed my 10 pieces of advice! These are the little things I have accumulated throughout my own life that have given me perspective for my future endeavors, and I thought they could come to use, maybe, for someone else. I REALLY hope they do.

Do you have any of your own advice?

Living In Two Cities

Every time I come back to my hometown (er…home CITY), it’s a different experience. I think the reason is that I’m gaining and losing friends from here all the time, so I never have the same memories, because I’m spending my time with different people each Summer. People write me off because I’m away at college and am not an exceptional texter, or because they don’t think I have the dedication to the friendship necessary for long-distance friendships. Whatever the reason may be, they practically weed themselves out without me having to do anything. The closest friends I’ve made in my home city have stuck by my side through and through, so I have no doubt about the ones that are willing to wait a bit for a text response and continue to update me on the happenings of their lives. I never used to be comfortable or okay losing friends, but the ones that have been most important to me, at least most of them anyway, have proven and proven again that no distance, no lack of contact, and no argument  could ever break us apart. I’m not so distraught when I lose friends anymore because now I know who is willing to stay and continue to be good listening ears, shoulders to lean on, and sources of happiness, rather than stress. Does anyone else feel this way when they come home from college?