Thursday, July 23, 2015

Change can be a good thing, and a necessary thing.

A friend asked if I had written a blog post recently. I know that I had not written for a long time, so I looked up this good old blog, and realized that I haven't written in almost 9 months. Not a bad thing, maybe a little surprising.

But I know why I had not written anything for months and months. Overall, this blog had the overarching theme of thinking positively, even when things may not be going your way. To be happy with what you have, and conscious of all the blessings in your life. Sometimes, how to get out of a funk or begin to think positively again.

The main reason I had the blog was for personal reasons, since with chemistry grad school, there are a lot of bad days, but some good days sprinkled in. It takes a lot of perseverance to get thru it, and go thru all the bad days with a smile on your face. This was my blank canvas, my emotional sounding board. But now I realize that I don't really need it. There's also the fact that there are only so many ways to help yourself to be happy before you just starting repeating everything over and over again.

So: what can you do whenever you reached your goal and are overall pretty dang happy with how things are going? You recreate and change your path.

So instead of positive thinking and happiness, I'm switching tunes and writing about something that gives me an unending source of joy: travel.

My thought behind the "new" and "improved" blog is to write about my experiences with travel, places I've been, places I'm going, and places I want to go. And, if anyone wants to "guest blog" about a place, they're more than welcome to.

So, overall, keep your head up, and find something you love to do. Once you do, hold on to it. Whether it's travel, shopping, cooking, exercising, collecting, etc., find what you love and do it. Life's too short not to.

Goodbye, The Power of Positive Thinking. Hello, This Looks Like a Good Place to Lose/Find Myself.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Enjoy the ride.

It's November, and I have not written a blog post in about 3 months. These past few months have been rather odd for me. I've been so very happy in most aspects of my life, but for some reason I reached a "post third year slump" this summer and going into my fourth year at school. Chemistry was still interesting to me, but I couldn't stand to be doing the work I was doing. I didn't want to spend any time in lab. When I was in lab, I was not extremely motivated or efficient, and then when I was home, I would feel guilty about not being in lab. It was a strange feeling that somewhat permeated into other parts of my life, making me somewhat unhappy in the rest of my life when I had nothing to make me feel that way.

Knowing myself, being somewhat unhappy is a huge deal. I try to see the positive in every situation, every event, every decision... and I couldn't do that. I couldn't see an end to grad school, I couldn't visualize myself getting to that moment in time. So: I tucked myself away and mulled on those feelings, mostly alone, but with the help of some people as well. Those who understood the hardships of scientific research and academia, as well as those on the outside who could give a different perspective.

And guess what? It took about 3 months, but I'm back. I'm motivated. I'm interested in my projects that I've started and am excited to hopefully wrap up my main project in the next 4-6 months. I'm excited to work to getting publishable data... not just idly sit in lab and hope that things work out. I mean actively working towards my goals.

I've been trying to eat healthy and get a good workout in 3-5x a week, just to keep up energy and not be lethargic (coffee helps too). I've been trying to really think of what is good in my life, and what I am thankful for. I've been visualizing how to finish projects, and how to manage my stress. I am seeing results in that I feel rejuvenated again to do what I came to UC to do.

I know that I'm not the only one who goes through waves of doubt, sadness, regret, aka all the sad feels. Sometimes we don't know how to get out of those times. A fb friend posted this article (13 Ways to Successfully Move Through Difficult Transitions) and it really resonated with me. If you're also not really feeling entirely like yourself, see if some of these can help.

Just remember that life is a journey, and we should be enjoying the ride, no matter what detours come along the way.

I hope everyone had a wonderful fall... I think it's getting ready to be winter soon. Enjoy the month of November, and remember all the good you have in your life. Be thankful for it. :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

... they see happiness as a journey...

Sorry, everyone. It's been a while, I've been busy (always an easy excuse when it comes to not blogging), things have been changing for the better, and I am pretty happy overall. I feel like I tend to write in this blog when I need a source or inspiration to go find happiness or chase after something that will, for the moment, make me content. So forgive me for not keeping up with this... it's just another thing that has fallen to the wayside that is life.

Funny enough, I don't need to find an inspiration for happiness. I'm still very happy, but that doesn't mean that I should stop writing. So: here goes.

Hi, again. It's been a while. While I'm in lab rotovapping off solvent or waiting an hour to add a reagent in to my reaction, I browse the interwebs and read HuffPost, Buzzfeed, theChive... really anything that my friends post or that I find interesting on said previous post, I'll look at. You name it, I'll skim it to see if it's "worth my time to purse longer"... some articles are, some are not.

I found one today that is really interesting to me: 7 Ways to Tell If You're A Truly Humble Person. Now. Most of the time, you think of other people being humble, but it's almost contradictory if you consider yourself humble. It's not humility if you think it so. So, how can you tell if you're humble unless someone else tells you so?

So, looking at the 7 ways, you really have to dig deep and see whether or not you're truthfully doing these, or if you just say you are to make yourself feel better. The one that really stuck out to me is way #4: They see happiness as a journey. Huh... that's mostly what I write about, finding that happiness, even for just a moment. But happiness as a journey? That's a tough thing for almost anyone to do. But I do like the thought behind this: "... we tend to achieve happiness more when we're not actually pursuing it." How often has that rang true? The more you try to find happiness, and almost force it to happen, the less likely you will actually be happy. But if you just live life, sometimes happiness just sort of happens.

... but then you read articles about "9 ways to make yourself a happier, healthier person" or something else to that extend. Where people are telling you things to do to make yourself happy and healthy. That's great, some people need some guidance when it comes to finding things to make them happy. But at the end of the day, just do what makes you happy. That's how you find happiness, is to just do what makes you happy.

If you're having trouble finding what makes you happy, then try new things, go out of your comfort zone for a while. Meet new people or revisit with old ones. Learn to cook, or try a new exercise class or routine. Lay on the grass and stare at the clouds. Take a nap in the sun. Go swimming or canoeing. Whatever it is you want to do, go do it! Or, look at articles that others write, and see if you can borrow some of their ideas. Some of the best inspiration comes from others.

Regardless, everyone have a wonderful weekend. I'm leaving school before the rain hits, but I'm pretty sure I'll be back this weekend in the lab. Gotta love bursts of motivation, especially when it comes to working more.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Why you gotta be so rude? Don't you know I'm human too?

I was going to write about the tragedy at UCSB, the #YesAllWomen tweets, and something in remembrance of Brogan Dulle, a 3rd year student at UC who was missing for a week before being found dead near his apartment. I was going to write about how cruel this world is, for taking away innocent lives that didn't deserve their fate. I was going to write about how the world needs to change its view on rape culture. I was going to write about the sadness the Cincinnati community feels with the loss of Brogan, even though we had never crossed paths.

Instead. I'm going to write about appreciating all the good that we have in our lives. It's awful that terrible events are the things that remind us of what is important, what is good, and really what a bad day looks like. But that's just life.

I know for myself, my family and friends are most important to me. They keep me going through everyday events. I am a very lucky girl to not have lost any person that I am close to, and I need to remember that. I don't always stay in touch with friends and family like I should, and this is a good reminder that I should do so. Tell the people I love just that, that I care for them and wish nothing but the best for them.

My education is extremely important as well, and as much as I bitch and complain about having to do work, so many people don't even get the opportunity to receive an education, or get to the point where I am. And that in itself is an amazing feat, but there is so much more to accomplish. I can't wait to see what happens next.

I appreciate every opportunity that has come my way, and I appreciate all the support in my choices. I know that it's not easy to be happy on a consistent basis, but I really have been happy for a long time now. It's so easy to take that for granted, and with these reminders recently, I know I will continue to work hard to stay happy, and to also help others find happiness through the day.

Even though I didn't know the Dulle family, or the people who suffered in California, my thoughts and prayers go out to them during this challenging and trying time.

Who do you appreciate? What things make you happy, and how can you show that you are grateful? When facing adversity, how do you rise above it?

Find something, small or big, that you are thankful for, and show your appreciation. Pay it forward. We are all  human after all, let's treat each other that way.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I swear when I grow up, I won't just buy you a rose, I'll buy you the flower shop and you will never be lonely.

Mood music: Fun. - The Gambler

It's been an interesting couple of weeks, to say the least. But I'm alive, and for that, I am thankful.

The 100 Happy Days challenge is still going strong, on day 44 today. I actually thought about quitting it, but I do like a challenge. I'm glad I stuck with it, there is always a silver lining in everything, even with sadness.

This past weekend, I was able to see one of my favorite friends, Emily. The last time I saw her was 2010, right before I graduated from Centre... it's crazy to think about. She moved out to Arizona for a few years to get her Masters degree in chemistry before moving back to Atlanta to work towards a Doctorate in chemistry as well. Such a smarty pants, no wonder we're friends :) It was so wonderful to spend even a short time with her... felt like we just saw each other the day before. Friendships like that are rare and a beautiful thing; if you have one like that, keep a strong hold on it. You don't find many people that you connect with on that kind of level.

Annie, Emily and me at The Devil Makes Three

The world is always spinning, things are always changing, people come in and out of lives... while it is a bit stressful at times, that's what makes the world a wonderful place. You really never know what will happen. All we can do to keep happy is to find reason and purpose in every event, every decision, everything. Things have a funny way of working themselves out when you're least expecting it. Be patient, think things thru. Whatever happens, you know that you have people that love you regardless. Make sure you let those people know you appreciate them. The world is too big to try to conquer on your own.

May is a busy month, not just for me either, but for most people I think. I hope I can take my own advice: get outside, enjoy the day. Go do something that makes you happy. Get fro yo, and take the time to sit on a bench and eat it. Leisurely stroll through a park, or a cool place in town. People watch. Make your favorite food. Life can too easily pass us by. Try to remember to take a break once in a while.

I want everyone to feel happiness, even if for a moment today. I think we all deserve it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Have you had your moment of happiness today?

My last post, I talked about the "100 Happy Days" challenge and how I was starting it that day. 23 days and going strong on that. As each day has passed, it's made me think about some things.

One of my most confusing thoughts was this: You can find something every day that makes you happy. It could be big, it could be small, it could be an object, a thought, a good deed, something you witnessed, a choice you made... whatever it is, there is something every day that could make you feel happiness. However, if you are only happy for that moment that you experience that "happiness", does that count as a "happy" day? Does your 100 happy days have to encompass the entire 24 hour period? Is it an overall happiness, or a stolen moment here and there?

Having candidacy for my PhD program is a blessing and a curse, somedays. My position within the program is mostly stable, and now I'm working to get out in a desired amount of time. It's wonderful and terrifying at the same time, hoping I meet time constraints, making sure data is accumulated while being efficient... it's really made me question my work like I never have before. Chemistry has been a part of my life since I was 16. I'm 26 now... that's 10 years that I've wanted to be a chemist. Never have I "hated", "despised" or been "uninterested" in my project, in my work before. Was it because of my project and how it was progressing? Or was it something bigger? Am I really meant to be a chemist, or have I been fooling myself for too long, and just figured it out now that I'm closer to accomplishing my most recent goal?

Those thoughts got me into a funk... and so then the question of "am I actually happy today?" came into play, and was it affecting other parts of my life that I was happy with. And it really made me think of this "100 happy days"... was I being hypocritical, saying that I had 23 happy days so far, though most of the time I didn't feel happy except for some moments thru the day?

My conclusion: I think it's impossible to be completely content and happy for a full day, every day. You do what you can to be happy in all aspects of life. You do the best you can. You explore what makes you happy, and if the good outweigh the bad throughout the day, I'd call it a victory. Some days you'll fall off the happy wagon, and you just gotta hang on and pull yourself back on it. But without sadness, we couldn't appreciate happiness.

So, for those doing the "100 Happy Days", I'd say if you can find something that makes you smile, laugh, etc., then that's a happy day. Or that's how I'm looking at it. Ultimately, it's up to you.

P.S. for the record, I've figured out that I was unhappy with the progression of my project. I decided to just push through it, do what I can to work towards the finish, and see what happens. And what do you know, Monday, I finally grew some crystals... something that I've been trying since summer 2012.

Keep your head up. Spring is on its way. :) :) Soak in the Vitamin D, and smile. You're alive another day.

Until next time, loves.

Monday, March 17, 2014

100 Happy Days: Could you do it? Want to try it with me?

Hello blog world,

I've been slacking on posting. Please forgive me. It's difficult for me to sit still enough to write down something (or at least that's my excuse), but I will definitely try to be better at this. :)

So, I'm not sure if you've heard of this concept, but there is a website (shared below) that gives you the challenge of being happy for 100 straight days. 100 Happy Days Overall, what you do is you take a picture/write a status/etc., and it has to do with something that makes you happy. It could be big, it could be small. It doesn't matter, because it's what makes you happy. You document these happy things for 100 days straight... sounds easy right? Since we all know that everyday is wonderful and amazing and yada-yada. It sounds very difficult, but I always enjoy a challenge.

I've seen some of my friends attempt this, and I want to do the same. It follows the main reason I started this blog: to remind ourselves to be positive, to be happy, even if it seems the world is against us that minute, that day, that week. Whomever came up with this idea is brilliant, and I want to meet them.

So: I start my #100happydays today. Will you join me?