Tuesday, June 16, 2015

moving house (or platform, rather).

Oh hey, it's me. The author of this blog. Me. Mattea.


I just wanted to pop in and let you all know that I've moved from Blogger! If you're interested, head on over to my current blog and follow me there from now on! It's nothing personal Blogger, you know I love you and will forever be grateful that this is where I got my blogging start. But it's time to move on.

I'll be eventually deleting this blog after I transfer all my drafts over to Wordpress. Yay for transferring things over. Time to get on that.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

that's all she wrote: an ode to freshman year.

That's right, folks; your girl did it. I successfully (while maybe not sanely) made it through my first year of college. I've officially packed up my things in my dorm, handed in my key, and moved back home for the summer. And it happened so quickly too.

And after finishing my last final today, I can officially say I'm no longer a freshman in college. While I'm excitedly looking forward to sophomore year, I just want to look back a bit on freshman year, and all the things that happened.

This year was great. And it was also shitty. But they balance each other out and my optimistic pest in me wants to just go with the fact that it was great. I, in a very cliche way, learned a lot about myself and who I am and who I want to be. I also learned how to drink wine, but that's a whole different story.

I found that I'm not sure what I want to do with my life. And I'm okay with it. Before, I would have shuddered at the thought of the unknown and not having a set plan. But going to school with hundreds of other college aged kids who are in the same boat has made me realize, 'Hmm.. I'm not the only one who hasn't figured it all out yet'. Hell, even some of my graduating senior friends are still like MEH, not really sure, I'll figure it out when the time is right. My fear of the unknown and unplanned hasn't totally subsided and sometimes I have a mini-meltdown when I think about my future too much, but college has definitely shown me that I'm not the only one trying to figure it all out. And it's okay not to know what you want to do, as long as you do something.

I had a lot of rough patches this year, particularly with my depression and anxiety. I had many times where I was up late at night, tossing and turning and trying to figure out how to calm myself down. I'd have nights where I'd cry myself to sleep. I pushed people away, got mad at people over nothing, and crawled inside of a hole that I wasn't sure I was going to get out of. And honestly, this was one of my biggest fears when I decided to go to college. I had suffered a lot through high school and had a lot of mental health issues that hindered my success. I was terrified that the same was going to carry over into college and that I was going to have to come home after my first year.

But in a way, being on my own and having to figure things out myself has really helped me. I was away from home and away from my rock, aka my mother, so every time I had an anxiety attack or a rough mental health day or I wasn't taking my medication like I should have (aka me being an idiot because I know the consequences and yet.. Still, I would forget to take it), I had to figure it out myself. Sure, sometimes I would call my mom late at night and cry to her for 40 minutes and tell her how much I hated life at the moment and wanted to come home and I would second guess my ability to manage. But in the end, it helped me discover new, healthy coping techniques and helped me discover how strong I really am. I always like to remind myself that I've had my fair share of bad days, and thus far, I've gotten through all of them, so I'm capable of getting through a bunch more. I've also learned that I'm not alone in that sense, that a bunch of my friends also suffer from depression or other mental health issues. And it's okay. I'm so grateful for my friends for also helping me through.

One of the most important things I learned this year, in regards to academics, was to ask for help when you need it. To be totally honest, I have nothing less than a perfectionist attitude. I don't like to ask for help because part of my brain apparently thinks that I should get everything 100% right the first time. It's an obnoxious flaw that I have and I'm consistently working on it because I'm sure you can imagine how stressful this can make things, especially when I'm trying them out for the first time. It's silly of me to expect to be perfect at everything, not to mention when I'm trying them out as a beginner. But it's always been a mentality I've had and I won't lie, it's pretty toxic. Because of this, I've taught myself not to ask for help, to figure things out on my own. But in a college environment where everything is taught at a fast pace and there's little room to catch up if you're behind, you have to learn how to ask for help. And this meant that I had to face my fears of asking for assistance.

I took a math class this past semester, and while I'm not terrible at math, it's definitely one of those subjects that you have be present for. And like everyone, I would get sick and I missed a few classes. This is when I realized how crucial being in class was. I ended up falling behind and cursing myself for letting myself do that and wondering how I was going to get back to where I needed to be. My mom pushed me to go to my professor and explain my frustrations, but this suggestion alone gave me anxiety beyond belief, so it was out of the question. But my school has a great tutoring program available through our library, free of charge, which is amazing since some tutors want to be paid, and for good reason too! I decided to try my luck, put my fear of judgment behind me, and sign up for a tutoring session because I won't lie, I was very lost in the material we were covering. I remember just sitting on my bed, trying to do homework and falling into a sobbing heap because I had no idea what I was looking at. I guess I'm very happy that I was desperate because it led me to appreciate the amazing student-led tutoring program we have. It also taught me that it's okay to reach out for help, whether it be academic, emotional, or otherwise. We're humans and we make mistakes, and sometimes even the most positive of us need to be reminded of that.

One of the hardest things I think I had to learn this year was that letting go of people who are not good for you is okay and you should do it, even if it's extremely hard at first or even if your friends are still going to be friends with them. Sometimes you will meet people who seem like they have your best interests in mind at first. But after a while, those people may reveal their true selves, whether it be they're actually selfish, rude, have no regard for your feelings/personal space/time, or any other number of reasons. You will meet people who do not actually care about you. They will call you their friend, they will portray themselves like this, but if you dig a little deeper or you get into a situation where you need them, those people may disappear and show you via actions what you really mean to them.

But this is okay. It is totally, 100% okay because you should be looking out for yourself and your feelings and your personal well-being, and if a person is compromising these things, they are not your friend. They do not care about you because friends do not hurt each other emotionally, mentally, and especially not physically. If you find yourself being treated wrongly by a 'friend', please do yourself a favor and walk away. It is hard, and sometimes your friends will be pissed off and be like YO Y R U CREATING DRAMA?!!~~, but disregard this. Your well-being should come first, not the sustainability of your friend group. Sure, it may be awkward for a bit and you may have weird run ins with this person, but these things will subside. I promise you, they will. You'll move on and even if that person does not, you can be the bigger, more mature person in the situation and forget about it. Some people are just not meant to be in your life and that's okay.

In a very cliche and totally typical way, I learned that I should always be myself. People will flock to you, no matter how weird you think you are. I found some of my greatest friends through my insane love of musical theatre. I also found great friends in the departments I'm apart of (communications/film studies and theatre arts double major WOOT!) because we all shared similar interests. I found amazing allies and girl friends through a feminist group that was formed at my school. And I also learned, through this experience, that I should never shy away from what I believe in. If people don't like you because you're open and honest about your opinions, whatever, it's okay. I'm sure there will never be a day where I'm not called a "crazy, angry feminist" but I'm totally cool with that, because I'm cool with who I am. The key to not letting people get under your skin is to truly know who you are as a person. If you know who you are, the things people tell you that you are cannot effect you.

So thanks freshman year. You've taught me quite a bit about myself and have brought me to a place where I feel extremely at peace and happy. I had times this year where I never thought I'd feel this inner peace, but here I am. It feels so gratifying to say that.

I'd also like to end this post with a bit of an apology. I've been taking some personal time off to deal with some personal issues that are going on in my crazy and hectic life. I've also been in the midst of trying to find a job for the summer because college is expensive and abroad trips don't pay for themselves and money doesn't grow on trees, blah blah blah. So I'm sorry I have not been a good blogger. I truly, truly apologize. But this summer and into next semester, we're going to work on that and make writing and blogging a priority! I wish you all the best.

Friday, March 6, 2015

the pill: a love letter.

Oh, birth control pill, how I love thee. Let me count the ways.

But no, seriously. You're the best thing that's ever come into my life. I'm sorry I didn't get to know you sooner. But you can't blame me, can you? Especially in a society where women are still looked down upon for being in charge of their sexual and reproductive health. I was a scared, unknowing 12 year old who only thought birth control was for one thing and was afraid of being labeled a 'slut' or a 'whore' for taking it. Oh how I was wrong and perhaps even naive. 

I'm sad that my inability to forget the stigma and stereotypes kept me from enjoying life a little more. You see, pill, you've changed my life in quite a few ways, and not in ways people usually expect. And for that, I'll always be grateful. 

Before I met you, shark week was a horrifying week of torture. All the horrible, excruciating symptoms everyone prays they don't have? I had them. All of them. The cramps, the heavy flow, the headaches, the severe mood swings, and mostly the fatigue, which was mostly my iron deficiency anemia (that you also helped with later on <3). Shark week was a nightmare in a literal sense, and having gotten my period so young (I believe my first menstrual cycle happened when I was 9. Freaking NINE YEARS OLD), I thought that this is how it was supposed to be. I didn't know anything else, and neither did my mom (holla at genetics for making things awful in every single way).

I was ecstatic when my doctor told me that you'd be able to help! No more would I have horrible cramping and a heavy flow. Soon my period would be normal and regulated, and hopefully not as life altering as it once was! I was so happy to know that my life wouldn't be controlled by shark week anymore. 

But not only were the shark week festivities awful and in full force. Oh no, there's always something else. Shark week would only make an appearance when it wanted to. So, it could come and then hide away for three or four months at a time. And then it'd pop in like an old relative and basically screw up my entire day (and then week). So you can imagine my relief when shark week started visiting on a regular, normal basis, all thanks to you. 

And there was also the issue of the cysts. If you're unaware, ovarian cysts effect quite a few women in the United States alone, and I'm sure even more around the world. These are super painful little sacs of fluid that grow on your ovaries and just make your whole day bad (Google at your own risk. It can be kind of graphic). These little demons just chill out until they're ready to make your life a living hell and decide to burst, causing extreme, breathtaking pain that feels like the equivalent of being stabbed (I assume. I've never been stabbed and hopefully never will be, so I'm not 100% on this but you get the idea..). And trust me, many ultrasounds have told me that these buggers love to hang out down there. 

But you, pill.. You've taken care of them! You've scared them away with your glorious hormone power and have helped me become stronger against them myself. And not only have you helped me banish those evil buttheads, you've also helped me protect myself against another villian; endometriosis (if you're unsure of what this is, it's basically scar tissue in and around the uterus. This is also very painful. I'm not an expert on this subject, so please google for more info!). 

This bug has plagued my mother for many years, and she's feared that it would get to me too. She has a good reason for being fearful; her endometriosis almost made it impossible for me to be born. Her doctors were almost sure that she would never have another child after my brother! But somehow I managed to get here, despite the odds. My mother has told me many times that she hopes I will never have the same issues with fertility that she had. She doesn't want me to experience heartbreak from being unable to conceive, much like she did for many years.

Not only do you help my physical health, you also help my mental health. Because I suffer from a condition called PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), my depression can be worse than it normally would be. Luckily, my psychiatrist (a super wonderful lady that I will be eternally grateful for) suggested I go on extended birth control, not only to help with all my physical ailments, but also my mental health. It regulates all the hormones in my body so that it doesn't contribute to my depression as much. It allows me to have fewer periods, which means less hormone fluctuation, which also means a happier me! And again, I'll be eternally grateful because depression is nothing to screw around with. 

So you see, I'm sorry you have such a negative connotation behind you. You're really a lovely, lovely person. You've helped me significantly, even before I became sexually active. And yes, you're definitely awesome for that too, but you've got a pretty great repertoire all around. You do so many things for my body at a time and I'm so glad you're in my life. And I know a lot of women also feel the same way! Hopefully our governing officials will also realize this, and end the war against women's reproductive rights. A women should always have access to low cost birth control because women deserve the right to choose and make decisions about their own bodies. I'll continue to stick by you until the very, very end, BC. You're worth it.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

harper lee and my mixed literary emotions.

Long time no see, blog. I've been thrown back into the life of college and have tried multiple times to publish something, but everything seemed boring and tedious and I hate those things so I drafted those posts and they may never see the light of day. I've been racking my brain about what to post because I didn't want to just be like LOL COLLEGE IS GR8 HI because that's lame and no fun and there's plenty of places where those posts exist (though I may do a series of posts about being a college freshman/things to bring to school/things to not bring to school/what to expect because I wish there were more posts out there about that stuff). I don't want to be one of those blogs. I digress, however. Let's talk about books.

I'll admit it; I'm a book nerd. I am a straight up literature enthusiast. I was disappointed when my AP English class wasn't assigned 'Anna Karenina'. Anyway, you get the point. Some news was shared today that was super exciting for me and lit people everywhere and we all rejoiced and cried a little and held each other and were a little frightening but it was super worth it. So let me share if you haven't heard already.. HARPER LEE IS RELEASING A SEQUEL TO 'TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD'. OAIJWEOIFJOIJD.

Okay, now that that's over. Of course, my initial reaction is to open the BuzzFeed article I was reading it from and flail a little as I scrolled down and tried to calm myself enough to make sure it wasn't a hoax because BuzzFeed can be a bunch of butts sometimes (luv u bb). Turns out, it's totally true and I've been excited all day and this is such great news!! 'To Kill a Mockingbird' was a great read and while I wouldn't cite it as the single piece of literature that made me passionate about social justice issues, it definitely helped when I was a wee freshman in high school. And while perusing an article about how much sleep young adults should 'actually' be getting (turns out 6 won't cut it and I need to go to bed earlier for my 8:30 a.m class because sleep is important), I found a related article on Jezebel that highlighted some reasons why one should be a little apprehensive about the new release by Lee.

Harper Lee is famous for being a recluse. She's also had a stroke and is apparently not very aware of what's going on around her sometimes. So as much as I'd love to be excited about this news, the Jezebel article has also made me feel weary about any new material that Harper Lee might be coming out with. Especially since her lawyer (who was also her sister) passed away three months ago. Seems a little fishy if you ask anyone with a conscious and logical thinking skills.

Why you gotta rain on my parade, shitty people of the world? Like, I'd rather not know about any potential Harper Lee content and be ignorantly blissful than be aware and have an internal ethical crisis about the book. She's an amazing author and I want this new book so much that I can't even comprehend it. Like, I've never been so excited for a book to come out and that's saying something considering I was a pretty big Harry Potter fan as a kid. I just don't know if I can support the exploitation of said author. There seems to be some super shady stuff going down. I guess time will tell whether or not the decision to release this book that's apparently been written even before 'TKAM' is a decision by Lee herself.

Speaking of literature, I have a whole stack of books in my room (dorm and home alike) that haven't been read. I'm terrible at making time to read, especially while I'm at school but I really should because books are great and they smell great and they feel great and I just really like books, okay? I definitely should get on that because Steve Jobs' face is staring at me every morning when I wake up like 'Read me Mattea, learn about my life!! It's super cool!!!! I designed your computer~~'. I'm sure it is, Jobs, but I have to do my philosophy homework first. I'll have to spend this weekend with some coffee and a book. That sounds pretty rad. But uh, yeah. There's some thoughts about Harper Lee and exploitation and sequels, kind of. Until next time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

messy living quarters and quiet hours.

So it's official; I'm back at college for my spring semester of freshman year. I actually have class at 1 p.m, but I'm still in bed and kind of groggy and contemplating on making a cup of coffee so I can survive through my stats class. We'll see where it goes.

I'm also currently living in a state of disarray because my stuff is everywhere and nothing seems to have a proper place right now, but we'll get there. First I have to get up, which is honestly the hardest battle I've ever had to fight (jk, that's a total lie) because doing nothing all break has warranted me totally useless, to be honest. But, I will admit, I'm very happy to be back on campus with my friends and living with my awesome roommate and being confined to a small space again because, weirdly, I love it. I've loved everything that has come with college, even the annoyance of sharing a bathroom with so many other people and shitty shower water pressure and the fact I can't have a toaster in my room (I'm really craving an English muffin right now). But it's okay.

I really can't put into words the excitement I feel about this semester. My love for learning has finally returned after being stolen by the public education system for four long years (oh drama, oh life~). I enjoyed certain aspects of high school, but I definitely didn't love it the way I love college. I guess the freedoms of living on my own and choosing who I associate with are only a few reasons why I love it so much. But I'm a huge fan of the rigorous courses and the fast paced learning. That's something I really craved in high school and I only ever found AP classes to satiate that kind of hunger. And now I probably sound like some poetic douche who's trying to assert their educational dominance. I promise I'm not, I'm just sleepy and kind of anxious about the first day of classes.

I will say, though, I definitely do not love the fact that the wifi here is the slowest thing to exist on this planet. It makes keeping up with my YouTube subscriptions difficult and watching anime even more difficult. It even causes my Pandora stations to skip sometimes which is incredibly frustrating when I'm trying to do something like clean my room. The kicker is that apparently they recently renovated and updated the wifi in my building. I beg to differ, school. I really do.

So, I suppose I should be done now. I need to take a shower and get my bag packed for class and look presentable and that's gonna take some time with how slow I am this morning/afternoon. Today's post was short, but I promise that I'll be back soon with more (hopefully) interesting content. Maybe. I can't promise I'll continue to be interesting and deep and sooper kewl.

Friday, January 16, 2015

back to regularly scheduled programming.

It's been quite a few days since I've posted something on here. I wish I could say it's because I've been busy getting things together to go back to school for spring semester, but truthfully, I've just been laying around the house in my PJ's and watching a lot of anime while occasionally listening to my records. Don't get me wrong, I have been getting things together little by little, but I should probably put more effort into it considering that I move back into my dorm in T-3 days.

I can't lie, though, I'm very excited to go back to college life. I've really enjoyed the break and being able to do whatever with little to no responsibility. I've also enjoyed sleeping until whenever because I can and not having to worry about making it to class on time. And I've greatly enjoyed spending so much time with my cats, because I really miss them when I'm at school. Now that I have two (I recently adopted a Siamese kitten) the cat feels are going to be twice as much while I'm away. I am, in fact, a bonafide cat lady.

But truthfully, there's something so awesome about living on your own in a dorm at school. I've really enjoyed having the freedom to do whatever (and then have to take care of my own problems, of course, but that's a whole different story..) and make the rules. Being away at school and being on my own, for the most part, has helped me learn a lot about myself and has also made me into more of an adult, I would say. And I've elaborated on this topic already, so we're going to move on.

I'm hoping that after I move back in and life goes back to being it's crazy self, I'm going to keep up with this blog. I'm really, really hoping. I've enjoyed doing this so far, even though it's been not that many weeks since I started again. But I really have enjoyed writing down things that go through my head or about things that spark my interest. Basically, I have to make my blog a priority when I go back to school and academic life. As someone who procrastinates a lot and tends to forget about things a little to easily, it's gonna be tough. But I'm determined to make it work because like I said, I've thoroughly enjoyed it so far. And I think it'll continue to be fun going forward.

In a related topic, I'm unsure of what I should talk about going forward. As I've said previously, I want this blog to be interesting and not just a running dialogue of what's going on in my head/a journal/a place where I complain all the time because that's not fun to read. I guess some major brain storming should take place and I should also probably write down the ideas I get at 1 a.m when I'm about to go to sleep but then have some random spark of genius. This happens a lot, especially with writing (I'm a writer, I suppose. I write poems and junk. It's casual) and then I wake up in the morning, pissed off at myself because I probably just let a really good one go just because I value sleep above a lot of things. This is yet another thing that should probably change. Yes, sleep is very valuable and something we need as humans to live and recharge and what not, but still. Sleep is not more important than my education or my money that's going towards my education. Because college is not cheap in America. Not at all.

And as a gentle reminder for all the people out there that read this and also go to college, don't forget to fill out your FAFSA!! It's very important that you do so you can be educated and do awesome things without going broke in the process (actually, let's be real, you'll still probably go broke in the process but I mean like, it'll be fun right? ha, ha hahaha HAHHOHWOFIHAOF)

Okay, well.. I should probably stop wasting time on the Internet and get up and do something. There's a imaginary laundry list of things that I have to get done today and I have done 1.2 of those things. Go me. We're getting somewhere.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

adulthood pt. 2 and the little things.

Today was an interesting day, for many reasons. It had equal amount of ups and downs, but I mean.. It's one day, so.. It's not the end of the world. I bought a new bedside lamp for my room (holla at Target for making cute AND affordable lamp bases and shades. You're the best, Target~), I finally got my battery replaced in my well-loved MacBook (holla at Apple for making computers that last five years before you have to get the battery changed. And thanks for cleaning it. I'm sorry I'm such a disgusting person sometimes. I'm really embarrassed. I seriously love you. 4 real), and I bought new candles. Oh, and free lipstick! How could I forget the free lipstick?! MAC is great and I love that they recycle their old packaging because I mean, I get free lipstick, I help the environment. It's a win-win for everyone, I do believe.

These things are such insignificant, little things that happened that made it an overall amazing day today. Sure, there were a few things that made it not so amazing, to say the least. But I'm a firm believer in making the best out of everything. I think that life is too short to worry about being judged for what you like or for getting excited over little things. Be a little immature and squeal when they get a new stuffed animal at the Disney Store (I shamelessly did this when they got the Rocket stuffed animals from Guardians of the Galaxy and promptly got it) or be stoked that a gas station has your favorite drink. Be excitable. Who cares? Life's too short to give too much of a damn.

I'm also a firm believer in a cycle of energy and vibes, if you will. Whatever kind of vibes/energy you put out into the world is bound to come back to you. So ultimately, you have a choice: either make it positive or let yourself emit negative vibes. Not only does this not benefit you, it can also dampen your life and that's not fun.

So I always choose to embrace the little things. And I'm sure a bunch of you are groaning. Yes, I get it. It's not always easy to be this way. Hell, I spent about 5 years of my life waiting for it to get better. But here's something else I've learned: life doesn't hand you anything you can't handle and it doesn't give you anything for free. You might as well learn to roll with the punches and learn how to make yourself happy. No one else is going to do it for you.

Going into adulthood, it scares me how many people who are significantly older than me don't understand that. How have you gotten so far in life being negative and grouchy and expecting life to figure itself out on it's own? Part of being an adult is basically learning how to deal with situations on your own and being responsible. It sucks, I won't lie. Especially when you're suddenly thrown into it. But it's all part of a learning process.

And yes, being negative happens. It definitely and totally happens. Because the truth is, life isn't so swell all the time. Sometimes it throws you curve ball after curve ball and it's just not fair and everything kind of piles up on itself. But like.. that happens to everyone. Everyone gets stressed out and sometimes it's really bad, or sometimes it's minor and easily fixed. But.. It can be fixed. And I guess that's the kind of thing that has kept me going, especially with my anxiety and depression. I can get so easily down on myself and think, 'wow, life really sucks', but it doesn't. Because coffee and candles and toddlers who sing Frozen exist. And my mom and I have a great relationship and I live in a house and have two beautiful cats whom I love very much. And even if I have these things, it's totally okay to get bummed. Everyone does and that's fine. It's just not okay when you're permanently bummed.

It's also kind of fun, learning how to deal with what life throws at you. Instead of hiding behind your parents all the time, they kind of step out of the way all of a sudden and it's like 'aw shit, time to put my big kid pants (or skirt, if you're like me) and deal with this myself'. I mean, it's not fun when you have to earn all your own money and suddenly your parents aren't paying for your groceries and you have to wash all your own clothes (in laundry rooms you share with 25 other people, I might add), but hey.. Learning experience, remember? It's chill, everyone has to do it sometime.

Can we all just take a second to laugh at the fact I got excited over a lamp? Let's just say, I think that the adulthood mentality is kicking in. First, I asked for socks for Christmas so my feet wouldn't get cold when I walked to class this semester, and next I'm in the aisle at Target, excited over a new lamp for my room. It's been fun guys, but I think I should go scout out some land down in Florida for when I retire. (I kid, I kid, I'm still young. But hey, it's never too early, right?)

So.. To quote a movie that I think EVERYONE should watch, not just for the zombies, but also for the redneck, Twinkie-loving character played by Woody Harrelson:
"Rule #11: Enjoy the little things."