Kissing

1470197_10202640113629853_839451556_n

Hello my dearest E,

I love this video (and kissing!) 20 strangers sharing kisses? Idk why it made me so happy. Maybe because all the couples were so different or because they didn’t know each other at all 10 minutes before…..it’s crazy how easily someone can walk in and out of your life. Anyway I felt like this video captured first kisses fairly well…..they can be awkward, fun, magical, “really good”, meaningful, meaningless, passionate, dull, sweet, painful, scary, intimate…..or you know….all of the above.

Happy kissing! Miss you and love you ❤

P

 

Advertisements

Vulnerability in Frozen and My Life

“Life is going to present to you a series of transformations. And the point of education should be to transform you. To teach you how to be transformed so you can ride the waves as they come. But today, the point of education is not education. It’s accreditation. The more accreditation you have, the more money you make. That’s the instrumental logic of neoliberalism. And this instrumental logic comes wrapped in an envelope of fear. And my Ivy League, my MIT students are the same. All I feel coming off of my students is fear. That if you slip up in school, if you get one bad grade, if you make one fucking mistake, the great train of wealth will leave you behind. And that’s the logic of accreditation. If you’re at Yale, you’re in the smartest 1% in the world. […] And the brightest students in the world are learning in fear. I feel it rolling off of you in waves. But you can’t learn when you’re afraid. You cannot be transformed when you are afraid.” Junot Díaz, speaking at Yale

Dear P,

I’m sorry about your computer troubles. I hope you can get everything up and running again soon. Also, I hope everyone reading this is safe and warm.

I spent May of 2013 at my aunt’s house in Georgia. I lived in the basement and spent a lot of time reading Murakami and Ian McEwan, listening to Joni Mitchell’s album “Blue” and hanging out with my two-and-four-year-old cousins.

That month I dealt with a lot of shame. I made awful grades my freshman year of college. I was in this program where I could have been pre-accepted to either of two Texas medical schools, but because of my grades neither let me in. I knew my GPA was below my honor program’s standards and wondered when I would get the email that I was kicked out. I had enormous opportunities offered to me and I wasted them. I felt like I had managed to mess up my entire future in my first semester of college and that the repercussions of my failures would soon set in.

I felt the same way Elsa feels in the beginning of Frozen after she curses her sister. She feels the shame of hurting Anna and the fear of what will happen if Anna and the rest of the world find out about it. Elsa worries that something crazy-awful will happen to Anna’s brain if she learns her secret because the troll-magician told her Anna shouldn’t know about any sort of magic.

Back to my aunt’s house, where I was listening to Joni Mitchell and awaiting my impending doom, too scared to talk to anyone except my mom and eventually my aunt about my situation. The storm never came. It stunned me to realize that, though I had made bad grades, life continued. I had one beautiful day after another. Life didn’t suddenly lose all of its precious moments: I continued reading and playing and working on weird projects (I was trying to come up with the solution to Australia’s cane toad infestation). In other words, I didn’t lose E when I lost her impeccable GPA. I didn’t feel dumber and the word “failure” didn’t brand itself on my forehead. I will always be me, always be resourceful, even if it took me a little while to learn how to make A’s in college.

My shame was blocking me from doing better. During my freshman year, I was embarrassed to talk to professors and ashamed to ask my friends for advice. I felt like the grades gave me a shroud of stupidity that kept everyone from respecting me and my ideas.

My transformation from scared girl to fearless diva has taken a lot longer than Elsa’s. I still make decisions out of fear some days. Grades are powerful. They have bolstered us up for our entire sentient lives. What happens when they no longer back us up, whispering yes, this opportunity is yours, you earned it, you’re smart, you work hard, your ideas are valid?

Only you hold the answer to that question. Rip off the band-aid, pick off the scab, let as many people as possible know about it. It’s the only way people can help you and, more importantly, honesty is the only way to help yourself. Grades are not mysterious, undeniable measures of self-worth. You can easily improve them, and I have.

My mom asked me today if I knew who Brené Brown is and I said, “Yeah. She’s the anti-shame vulnerability lady.” It clicked to me that shame is what I have slowly been shedding since May, shame is what was holding me back, and shame is why I identified so deeply with Elsa. I no longer learn for the grades and I no longer write for the accolades, and because of that I am free from the fear of not reaching them and the shame of not having them.

Since I read your post about choosing one word to think about this year instead of resolutions, I’ve been considering what word I want to base my life around this year. I chose the word “brave” today. I want to move beyond the fear of failure, the fear of feeling like I’ve disappointed the people I love, and the fear of traveling to unknown places. I want to live my life so mindfully I have no mental room for fear. When I feel fear and shame I want to tell people so they can help me, love me, give me advice and know that I have failed.

Bad things happen and life usually turns out okay. Some of it doesn’t. My mom, after she asked me about Brené Brown, told me that her friend was taking a course based on Brown’s teachings. My mom’s friend has experienced a devastating amount of tragedy in her life. Such sadness put my problems in perspective and reminds me of a quote from Dear Sugar:

“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.”

So unclench your shoulders. Take a deep breath. Say some prayers for people you love. Create something, like Elsa created her magnificent ice castle. You can fail miserably and still have a brilliant life. In fact, you can’t not fail miserably and have a brilliant life. Shed the fear and enjoy yourself. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.

Yours,

E

What Makes You Feel Beautiful

Hello my dearest darlingest E,

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while! I shall have to update you about SF soon, but as you know I don’t have internet in my apartment and I literally did not have a spare second this weekend to go to our little cafe with free internet, so the posts have been sporadic.

I stumbled upon this beautiful video while looking for interesting designers on tumblr (for my job.) I love the message of this video. We’ve discussed body image and body acceptance many many times on this blog and in life, and we will probably continue to discuss it as needed. I find the statistics at the beginning of this video absolutely appalling and kind of horrifying, but this is true life E.

I found myself smiling with my entire being at a lot of parts in this video. Occasionally when I look in the mirror I find that I am tearing myself apart. As you know, to me my mind and my heart will always be my number one assets. I never feel like I’m trying to “fix myself” when it comes to these things. I always want to improve myself, there is no doubt, but it’s so different. I just want to devour books like there is no tomorrow and learn all of the things and there has never been any doubt in my mind that I can fit love and acceptance for another new person in my heart. But when it comes to my body and I look in the mirror I always think “I would be so much hotter if I just lost 15 pounds, once and for all” or “I wish I had clearer skin” or I sometimes look at pretty pictures of myself and wonder if I actually look like that in real life. I don’t know why I do this to myself when I am so forgiving of other people—I can find beauty in almost every face or being and I think every person has something you can fall in love with. I don’t know E, I really just don’t know. Sometimes I feel like a goddess/warrior/superheroine/sparkling human being and sometimes I feel like I’ll never be skinny enough, pretty enough, “fuckable” enough.

I feel most beautiful when my heart hurts from how beautiful life is—a conversation that forces me rethink how I feel, a book that inspires something within me, a view that steals the breath from my chest, my favorite people (like you E, or my little brothers who would die of embarrassment if they ever saw this.)

How could a body that holds all of this not be beautiful?

Sending you love and sunshine from Cali,

P

Kissing Summer Good-Bye

“No summer ever came back, and no two summers ever were alike. Times change, and people change; and if our hearts do not change as readily, so much the worse for us.”

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

Dear P,

Isn’t it ridiculous how our lives keep getting better and better? I thought that summer 2012 would be un-toppable, but it looks like we’ve done it again. We both hung out with fun, joyful people, had the opportunity to give science-ing a try, and read a bunch of great books. My summer involved some great music and poetry, going to the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, lounging at Barton Springs, and getting splattered with bodily fluids while volunteering at the hospital.

I’m so glad I got to see so much of you this summer, P. Let’s start planning to make next summer even better.

Love,

E

Let the Summer Reading Commence!

 

image

 

Dear P,

First of all, I have read this interview with Emma Watson about four times. It is my favorite post ever on RookieMag. I hope your journey home to Texas was smooth and that the hometown is just as flat as you remember.  Send my love to your family and our friends for me. If you feel like dropping by Grandad’s house he’d probably give you some watermelon.

I wanted to take today to review my summer reading list:

Read so far:

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami- I wish I could read this book with a class. I feel like I picked up about a tenth of the symbolism, but the dark imagery still made for an interesting read. I suppose I’ll just have to read it ten more times.

The Daydreamer by Ian McEwan- A charming collection of stories. It would be great bedtime read for kids.

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan- Abandoned halfway through due to boredom. This book lacks McEwan’s luscious gothic style found in Atonement and The Daydreamer.

WomanCode by Alisa Vitti- Changed my life. Watch Vitti’s TED talk here.

Currently Reading:

The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee- I’m only a few pages in, but I’m completely enraptured by this book. Mukherjee is a brilliant science writer.

The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan- JFV borrowed this and read it on the plane to Vienna (I had barely started and was preoccupied with other books). He gave it the thumbs-up and Michael Pollan is one of my loves. I can’t wait to read it.

To-read:

So many, P. This is just scratching the surface.

The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin- I first read about Grandin in one of my favorite books of all time, An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks. She is the anthropologist. Since that book, I have read a few articles by Grandin and I can’t wait to read this book.

The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley- The most interesting-souding of the four or five business books James Altrucher recommends. I aim to read at least one business book a summer. Last summer it was The World is Flat, which completely revolutionized my worldview.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed- Dear Sugar broke my heart in ten thousand exquisite ways. Strayed is one of my favorite writers.

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid- The novel everybody’s talking about.

The Mind’s Eye by Oliver Sacks- I still haven’t read everything by my hero, Oliver Sacks. He is so prolific.

Frida by Barbara Mujica- Frida Kahlo has fascinated me since we learned about Diego Rivera in Acadeca. It was a difficult and interesting time to be an artist and a woman, and Frida thrived.

The Creation of Anne Boleyn by Susan Bordo- Another interesting-sounding biography.

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran and Bossypants by Tina Fey- These both sound brilliant.

Happy reading!

E

Flashin’ Fashion

image

image

image

image

Button-down: Rugby by Ralph Lauren

Shoes: I want to say DSW but I can’t really remember

Khakis: F21

Bracelet: Tory Burch

Watch: Michael Kors

Dear E,

Hope your summer has been great so far! I love all of the cute snapchats of Grant and Blake. They are SO adorable!!!! I’m busy studying for finals. Four days and it will be summer. Hopefully my brain won’t melt into a big puddle of mush before then.

Love you loads,

P

Making Mondays Sunny

P’s Quote

“The world will knock you down plenty. You don’t need to be doing it to yourself.” -Elizabeth Scott

Things I Love This Week

For some reason I’m having trouble thinking of the things I love this week, so I guess I’ll revert back to the things I always love in life

My family, texts from my little brothers, my best friend E, sleeping, being alone, going to the library (the Boston Public Library is absolutely beautiful), texting C all the time, yoga, free smoothies, how helpful people are here all the time, the flavor pineapple surf, and the fact that summer is almost here and school is almost freaking over, and the thought of being back home in t minus 3 weeks

Things to Make This Week Sunnier

study really really freaking hard

eat some froyo

work out as much as I did last week (I really went at it)

study some more

go to the movie theater

hang out with people I don’t usually hang out with

study study study

My birthday is coming up soon! At this current point in time I can’t say that I’m really excited for it. I’m not really looking forward to it and it’s my first birthday away from home, which is sad. It’s also on Wednesday, which is humpday, making it exponentially lamer. I guess 19 isn’t really a big one, except for that you know it’s your last year of teenagedom, which is both exhilarating and sad.

Here’s for hoping that next week is a good one.

image

Surgeries in the OR

image

image

Pics from Macklemore with K and A.

Much love,

P

Sorry, P! I got so sucked into studying yesterday that I completely forgot MMS!

E’s Quote

“What a joy it must be to be a truly great writer, even if it means a shotgun at the finish”
-Charles Bukowski
I’m sorry this is a depressing quote. I don’t believe you have to be suicidal to be a truly great writer, but lately I have been investigating the ties between mental illness and creativity. I think Bukowski sums this correlation up with his usual grit.

Things I Loved This Week

The weather in Austin. I can’t imagine anything more perfect.

Eating Indian food on top of a hill Saturday night.

My dorm had a festival Saturday. It involved a lot of bouncy contraptions, bubbles, ice cream and a climbing wall.

Making pumpkin muffins with A squared while watching “The Lion King 2”

The hunt for the perfect overalls with I. I still haven’t found them yet.

Eeyore’s Birthday.

Getting glamorous Friday night. Then traipsing home early enough to indulge in a music-sharing and freestyle fest.

Snapchats. Snapchats. Snapchats.

Quizlets, Koofers, and chai tea lattes: the three ingredients to actually studying.

I’ve just been feeling a lot of love this week, you know? I’m so grateful to have you and T and A and I. It makes me tear up to think of how lucky I am.

I wrote James Atrucher and JAMES ALTRUCHER WROTE ME BACK. It was the most exciting thing ever. We’re basically best friends now.

Things to Make Me Happy This Week:

Ace my finals

Keep following Altrucher’s “Daily Practice” (laminated for me by I’s mom)

Sending you lots of love, P! Keep on keeping on, and you’ll be home in Texas soon!

E

Making Mondays Sunny

P’s Quote

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news my mom would always say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’  To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mothers words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.”

I know I already used this one this week but it’s so good I’m putting it on here twice. It was also really conducive to the week I’ve had.

Things I’m Grateful for This Week

Boston strong, the unity and community of this beautiful and strong city, police officers like Sean Collier, the BPD, the reactions to the bombings and shootings, how lucky I am to be alive and safe, that all of my friends are okay, and that fate somehow chose us to be the lucky ones.

I’m grateful for the millions of texts and phone calls and facebook messages I got from friends and family from all over.

I’m grateful that this week is over and that Boston and MIT are on their way back to how things used to be.

I’m thankful for the ability to move on from this, for impromptu dance parties in the thunderdome, for golf parties, for running across the Harvard bridge in shorts and sandals with the wind blowing in my face, for the amazing celebrations after the shooters were caught, the stunning view of the Boston skyline I have at all times, for the trees and flowers blossoming everywhere, the fact that p-setting is fun when you’re doing it with friends, jam sessions while studying, Sporcle, throwback Disney songs, throwback chick flicks that I watched with my friends this week like John Tucker Must Die and A Cinderella Story, my family, blogging, going to record stores with S, buying AWESOME records, the restaurant Veggie Galaxy where I had one of the best omelets I’ve ever eaten in my life, wearing hats, wearing bows, instant coffee, my tests for this week being done with, the feeling of finishing a pset, my absolutely hilarious friends, selfies at 4 am, talking to S until the wee hours of the night, delicious food at frat houses, dancing at the Estate, back massages late at night, B52 shots, polaroids, snuggling with your favorite people and froyo being delivered straight to your dorm.

Things to Make This Week Sunnier

Yea, this week is going to be sunnier no matter what I do, so I’m just going to enjoy the good weather, try to go running a lot, and explore the city as much as possible.

My thoughts will be with the affected individuals and families.

I love you so much E and I miss you and C loads and loads.

-P

Quotes:

“But stupidity is one of two things we see most clearly in retrospect. The other is missed chances.”

“I told him he was certainly welcome to his opinion; like assholes, everybody had one.”

“Artistic talent is far more common than the talent to nurture artistic talent.”

-11/22/63 by Stephen King

image

Things I Loved This Week:

That twitter exists so that I could see all the times you were still alive this week (I still frantically called you- sorry, P), getting to home to see my mom, little bro, and grandparents, that I’m going to have an awesome summer, a great opportunity in the form of a summer fellowship, the perfectly ripe avocado I am currently devouring, and going to see the Lumineers with my friend J. Their opening act was called Shakes and Ropes and they were good, too – you should look them up. I’m grateful that my mom wasn’t even mad when I woke her up because I was crying so hard at the movie “My Girl”- it’s so sad, P. Only watch it if you are prepared to ball your eyes out. I’m grateful for my brilliant UT advisor who has helped me navigate my confusing and constantly changing schedule this week. I’m grateful for my massage yesterday and that I finished 11/22/63. I was a little disappointed at the ending, but, you know, we can’t have everything in life. I am grateful for the blogger James Altucher, whose stunning honesty makes his work absolutely groundbreaking. I’e been steamrolling through his fresh and interesting eBooks. I don’t completely agree with all of his ideas, but I like the gist.  I’ve been trying for total honesty this week, and so far it’s been very cathartic and no one I’ve talked to has been offended. We don’t even realize how much we censure ourselves.

Things to Make Next Week Sunnier

Follow Altucher’s rules on “How to be the Luckiest Guy on the Planet in 4 Easy Steps”, found here. I’ve been struggling a lot with the sleeping schedule, but I like the idea of going to sleep early so you can wake up early.

I’ve made plans to volunteer with kids twice this week! I’m so excited- I love chilluns!

Go through my full skin care routine every single night.

Keep up the momentum we’ve gathered on the blog this week! Your post was so moving and beautiful, P!

Bake night with I tomorrow!

image

I hope you have a super-fantastic week, P! Happy Earth Day!

-E

One Hundred Cheerful Things to Do

This week has been hard on everyone.

image

Here are E and P’s suggestions on ways to cheer up this weekend.

1. Pet a puppy

2. Curl your hair

3. Sing a Disney song. E’s favorites are The Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea” and all of the Beauty and the Beast: “Be…Our…Guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test!” P loves “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan as well as “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story.

4. Eat ice cream. Outlandish flavors like Phish Phood and Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie Galore are even better. Our favorite is Green Tea!

5. Hula hoop

6. Buy a bouquet of flowers for yourself

7. Jump rope

8. Kiss a frog

9. Take a bubble bath

10. Read modern fairytales. I love Gail Carson Levine.

11. Go to a museum

12. Paint a watercolor masterpiece. Just remember, put the colors on lightest to darkest.

13. Read a religious text. You should probably skip out on Revelations, though.

14. Read Eat, Pray, Love or The Happiness Project

15. Eat chocolate

16. Take a long, hot shower and then lather your entire body in lotion

17. Watch a show that makes you giggle, like “New Girl”

18. Make a root beer float

19. Babysit a kid younger than two

20. Braid your hair

21. Do your eye makeup in a new and interesting way

22. Change your hair. Dye it or get a new haircut.

23. Make your bed while rocking out to awesome music

24. Eat a peach- naked.

25. Sing in the shower. Also naked.

26. Make pancakes to bring to someone for breakfast

27. Write your grandma or another elderly person close to you a nice note

28. Get yourself a new pair of shoes.

29. Give someone a hug

30. Slip a note to someone telling them they’re beautiful

31. Slip ‘n slide

32. Go to the library

33. Make brownies

34. Go to the zoo or aquarium

35. Try yoga, meditation, and general mindfulness through breathing

36. Make a pet rock

37. Blow soap bubbles

38. Embark on a quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe

39. Watch awful, b-rated movies with friends.

40. Sleep. Just bask in the most natural of de-stressors.

41. Fly a kite

42. Go scuba-diving

43. Buy a pet fish

44. Form a back-rubbing chain (but not in a weird way)

45. Play twister (in a weird way)

46. Tell someone something you’ve never told anyone else

47. Get hypnotized here or here

48. Call your mom

49. Have a good, long cry. Possibly induced by “The Notebook”

50. Watch Amanda Bynes movies while reading her twitter

51. Go running at night time.

52. Watch old chick flicks like “John Tucker Must Die” and “A Cinderella Story”

53. Have communal snack time. (Everyone brings down snacks and then everyone shares. Its just like kindergarten all over again.)

54. Paint something.

55. Take a ridiculously and absurdly long bubble bath whilst drinking champagne and listening to Regina Spektor.

56. Write in your journal. Or cut up magazines and make sick collages.

57. Take photographs of pretty things like the clouds or flowers.

58. Just sit outside and let the wind blow in your face.

59. Take selfies.

60. Do anything except study.

61. Be grateful for how freaking lucky you are.

62. Think of clever tweets and then tweet them.

63. Go sailing.

64. Sit with your friends and let the crazyness ensue.

65. Play drinking games.

66. Sing songs while drunk at the top of your lungs.

67. Have mini races and sprint against all your friends.

68. Cuddle in bed with your favorite person.

69. Wear a baseball cap, backwards.

70. Buy stickers and then give them out liberally.

71. Buy a disposable camera and then take really epic pictures.

72. Go to Costco and buy ridiculous amounts of you favorite gum, your favorite dried fruit, and your favorite chocolates.

73. Spring clean your closet.

74. Hold a fashion show for all of your friends and try on all of the fabulous clothes and shoes you already own.

75. Discover wonderful playlists on grooveshark and 8tracks.

76. Get your inbox down to zero. (This always destresses me)

77. Kiss someone you like.

78. Nap as much as you please.

79. Decorate your office supplies with stickers or rhinestones, etc.

80. Chalk your walls! The walls in P’s dorm are brick so we can write and draw things everywhere.

81. Unpack all of your summer clothes! It’s time the shorts and tanks come out to play.

82. Lay out on the roof and soak up the sunshine.

83. Read all of your favorite blogs.

84. Give yourself a facial.

85. Paint each others’ nails.

86. Make gingerbread cookies (YUM)

87. Tend to your garden, which in my (P’s) case is a wine bottle filled with daffodils.

88. Take your vitamins!

89. Brush your teeth. I always feel better knowing I have a clean mouth.

90. Experiment with making different kinds of coffee and using different grounds/coffee mixes/amounts of milk/sugar, etc.

91. Go exploring in your city.

92. Dress up and then go out and get coffee. (P loves coffee in case you can’t tell.)

93. Take polaroid pictures.

94. Do some serious online window shopping.

95. Do jumping jacks.

96. Go to a record store and look through old music.

97. Learn to ride a skateboard.

98. Make tiny gifts or cards for everyone you love.

99. Go to a used bookstore.

100. Remember that everything happens for a reason.

Much love and happiness,

E&P

Fighting End-of-Semester Inertia

Dear P,

One of my friends wrote an interesting article this week about the Yerkes-Dodson Curve, which describes the relationship of stress and performance. The article is here and the Yerkes-Dodson curve looks like this:

image

Lately, I have had trouble trying to motivate myself to do things. With my midterms over and the semester lagging, my adrenaline is at an all-time low, and I am having trouble fighting my own inertia. While Scott focuses on how to reduce distress, I have been trying to find ways to super-charge my calm so that I can remain productive at non-urgent tasks, like getting a head-start on finals.

I have approached this problem from two different angles this week. The first involves changing myself and the second hinges around changing my surroundings.

There are many ways of changing yourself. Everyone plays with their brain chemistry every day, through food, caffeine, alcohol and exercise. To make myself more productive, I try to limit the amount of carbs that I eat, while maximizing protein, fruits, and vegetables. I realized that I have not been getting my necessary serving of fruits and vegetables, so I stocked up this Sunday at HEB on gala apples (the best!), kale, avocados, and carrots (the big kind- baby carrots have significantly less flavor and I hate how unnatural they are). I use one tea bag’s worth of Earl Gray tea every day. I’m sensitive to caffeine, so this keeps me super-charged without affecting my sleep. I have made a conscious decision not to drink, mainly because it messes with my REM sleep (see “My Sleep Obsession”) and reduces my productivity for several days. I like to sleep eight or nine hours a night. Last night, I fell asleep at eight and woke up at five. I was slightly more productive in the morning than I would have been at night and I am going to try to do this for at least the rest of the week. Since my marathon, I have not been as vigilant about my exercise regime. I have stepped it up again this week, biking as well as running to reduce wear and tear on my body. I know swimming is excellent exercise and gentle on your joints, but I just can’t bring myself to get in the cold, wet pool in the morning. Maybe I will work on that minor stress in the future.

image

Studying in my room is very tempting, P. Since I am an introvert, studying with people around makes me slightly more stressed. However, I have found that this stress increases my attentiveness to my work and prevents me from browsing the internet, especially if I think people can see my computer screen. I have also found that changing up the places where I work can help me keep my edge. Earlier in the year, I was very vigilant about scheduling myself: since, I have gotten more slack about it. iCalendar is an amazing thing: I can put an event in my computer and it will automatically sync to my phone and remind me do it ten minutes beforehand. How could I not take advantage of this great technology? I am accountable to my calendar and it helps fight my inertia. If you still have trouble staying on task, sharing your calendar and goals with a friend you respect may help. I have also found that talking to people that intimidate me slightly helps me to stay focused. This mainly involves going to office hours and talking to my professors and TAs. Lastly, I reward myself frequently, usually with dark chocolate and time with people I love. I do not recommend that anyone eat the obscene amount of chocolate I do, so you should probably vary your rewards according to your tastes.

image

The perfect person would be able to do all of these things AND keep up the relaxing, fun activities Scott recommends. When I manage to do that, I feel great and get a lot done. When I slip, I’m not as productive, but I’ve learned to be easier on myself. The world doesn’t rupture just because I haven’t gotten everything on my “Goals” list done.

I miss you and I hope you’re doing well, P!

Love,

E