Personal Update

I wanted to write an entry a day for all of April. I’ve been using the schedule system for that, writing when I have something to write about, but I feel like I’ve hit a wall. I’ve lost the will to do things. And that goes for everything, not just blogging. I feel like I’ve gone numb.

Yesterday a friend asked me to come with her to one of our uni campuses to sit and work from around noon, and I didn’t answer her because just the thought of working on my thesis made me feel tight chested and brought tears to my eyes. I feel bad for not working, but the thought of working sends me into panic, so what am I supposed to do? For now, I’m just avoiding it. When it came down to fight or flight, I fled. And I’m not proud of that. But I don’t know what to do.

I spent a lot of Easter watching Grey’s Anatomy and going on trips with my parents, visiting my grandparents and my great-grandmother, taking our car to a service shop, driving to a place in the middle of nowhere where someone’s made an American Diner where people come from far away to eat and see. And sleeping. A lot of sleeping. 8-10 hours a night of sleeping.

Since I got back to the city I’ve been hiding in my room, when I’m not out shopping. Yesterday I went and bought some stuff and walked around town for a while. After I’m done writing this entry I’m going to do that all over again.

I’m working this weekend, at the museum. And I’ve got two weekends in May, since a girl quit. I might as well sell tickets and glasses and books, and make some money, since I’m incapable of working on my thesis, right?

My heart hurts, and I don’t know why. My parents, uncle, and grandfather put my grandmother’s urn in the ground earlier this week. That might be a contributing factor…

How are you all doing, dear readers?

~ Julie


Student housing, room mates, and thoughts from a 5th year

I’m in my fifth year of uni studies. I moved out of my parents’ house when I started studying English, because it would have been too long of a commute, too expensive, and I wouldn’t have been able to do anything social with new friends. I spent some time looking for places to rent, and sent out a couple of applications. I didn’t hear anything from the student housing I applied for, but I did get a call from a private renter. He had converted the basement of his house into student housing and was renting out to three people, as there were three bedrooms, and a shared kitchen and bathroom. I moved there in August 2012.

I lived there for four and a half years, with 9 other girls, none of which stayed longer than a year. The landlord’s kids were loud, his wife was a yeller, and the house was on top of a hill 7 minutes from a bus stop, and the connections to the city weren’t great; if you stayed out past midnight it was expensive to get back there and the stores weren’t close enough. Everyone wanted to live walking distance from town and have to take the bus to uni, at least that’s what they said when they moved out. I enjoyed living walking distance from uni though. It was a nightmare in the winter when there’s snow, to walk the shortcut was nearly impossible, but they usually cleared the sidewalk by the main road early enough so that it wasn’t a problem. I walk a lot less since I moved, and I’m not too happy about that.

I became friends with some of my roommates. With a couple of them, we’d all go on grocery shopping trips together, getting the items on special offer from the different stores around, and watch movies, and sit in the halls and talking for hours. With others, we coexisted in total silence. Some resulted to slamming doors in my face so hard that the walls would move, because I put up a couple of notes with tape about turning off the lights and cleaning – nice notes, but I guess they were perceived as passive aggressive, or something. I have a lot of good memories at the old house, but I also have a lot of bad memories. The last semester was good, the year before it was really bad, roommate wise, but good in other ways – boyfriend wise.

All of my roommates at the old house were girls. Since I moved, I’ve lived with two guys. It’s a different experience in some ways. I put up a cleaning sheet on the fridge and a note on the door reminding everyone to lock it when they leave – but no one is slamming any doors in my face and we still sit in the kitchen and talk. Sometimes I get annoyed at dishes in the kitchen or loud screaming due to a football match, but I guess that’s always the case with roommates. But you deal with it because it’s a part of being a student.

I would love nothing more than to get a house, or at least an apartment, with a bedroom that I don’t have to be in for anything other than to sleep. I want to have a couch that I sit on when I watch TV, and to not have to sit at my desk for anything other than work that requires a desk. I don’t even like the desk as a piece of furniture, but I have this amazing desk chair. Perhaps I could get a proper computer, with Photoshop that doesn’t crash and where I can play Cities: Skylines with actual mods and assets without it taking ages to load. That would be a good use for a desk. But I hate sitting at my desk day in and day out. I want a couch and a coffee table and a TV screen that’s larger than 15″.

But that’ll have to be in the future. Slow upgrades, one at a time. I went from having a room in a basement, to a room in an apartment building. I still have 2 roommates, but I no longer live underground, and I have a personal sink in my room. In July, I’m moving again. I’ll still be in an apartment building, but on the 3rd floor this time. I’ll be living with 6 other people, so technically that’s a downgrade when it comes to the shared kitchen, but I will have my own personal bathroom, with a shower and toilet and sink that I don’t have to share with anyone, and I cannot freaking wait!

One step at a time. One dorm room at a time. The good thing about moving is you get to redecorate your living space, make it into who you are, and redo it all over again! And that, I am excited about. Room tour, anyone?

~ Julie

Heatless Hair Curlers from eBay

A couple of weeks ago I was eBay shopping and I remembered I’d seen these things that you pull your hair through and leave it for a few hours or overnight and when you remove them you have ringlets / cork screws, and I really wanted to try them so I ordered them! 

This is what they look like. As you might be able to see, the yellow and the pink ones go in opposite directions so for example if you want the pieces around your face to curl away on both sides you would use pink on one side and yellow on the other. 

The research I’ve done says to put them in when your hair is damp, but not wet, and leave it overnight. Some say they hurt to sleep on, but I guess that’s individual. Others say they need to be in for a minimal of 4 hours for curls to appear, so it should be possible to do your hair in the morning for an event at night, if you’re just staying at home or don’t mind going out with curlers in your hair! I also saw a video where the girl put them in and then blowdried them, I guess that’s worth a try too. But if you don’t like to use heat then it’s a safe bet you would need to leave them in for a while in order to get curls. 

So what do you do? First you have to put together the hook that comes with them. I did that – and now I can’t get it apart again. However, to get it through all of the curler you need to put it together. Then you put it through the end of a curler all the way through till it comes out the other side. Next,  you take a piece of hair, twist it a couple of times and hook it onto the hook. Then you pull it through and you get something like this:

I just did this on dry hair to see if it worked, which it did. I have to tell you, you need to brush your hair before you do this! I tried to do it without brushing my hair and that did NOT go well! And if you have a very sensitive scalp then this is definitely not for you, because it does pull quite a bit, even when your hair is just brushed. 

I’ve no idea if this will work, or what will work for me. I’ve decided that I’m gonna try it on a normal day when I don’t have any plans, in case it turns out disastrous. Perhaps I’ll try the different ways and take pictures to see if there’s a difference, and then write another post about that? ☺️ 

~ Julie 

Motherhood Thoughts and Fears

I’m almost 25, and my boyfriend turned 28 earlier this year. We’re adults. I’m two years older than my mom was when she had me, six years older than my grandma was when she had me. So if we go by years I still have two more years before I should have my first child. But that’s not how it works. 

The first girl who had a baby in my year in school was 16. Another followed close after. And in the last few years many others have had their first and second child as well. Last November my oldest friend had a baby. I’ve visited twice since then – in my defense I’ve only been home three times since she had him. With everyone buying apartments, having kids, upgrading to houses, having more kids… It’s easy to feel like you’re falling behind, when you’re almost 25 and still in school (master’s degree is still school), living with roommates that weren’t your choice, and the only jobs you’ve had are seasonal or weekends only. But a couple of weeks ago I found this quote on Instagram, which was really something that I needed to hear:

I visited my friend with the baby while I was home for Easter holiday. He is five months old, and when he wasn’t sleeping he was giggling and sucking on his fingers and we played airplane and with a stuffed elephant with toys on it and he was so incredibly cute! 

When I came home I had a message in a group chat with me and two other friends asking what we’re doing today so I said I just came home and was putting on laundry because I had some drool and spit up on me. One of my friends responded with a heart eye emoji. Both of the girls in the group chat are in serious want of babies. They’re a year younger than me. I’m not in the same want of babies. And I don’t feel like heart eye emojis at spit up and drool. 

Of course I’m gonna have babies someday. But is there something wrong with me when my uterus isn’t screaming for them, and I don’t feel like heart eye emojis at the thought of baby fluids at the age of almost 25? Hanging out with a 5-month old was fun, but I was a bit scared of hurting him when holding him, even now that he was much larger than the last time I saw him, when he was only 5 weeks old and so fragile I was scared to even touch him, and I couldn’t move him when he moved in my arms when I was holding him. Will this change, if the baby is mine? Or do I not have what it takes to be a good and loving mother? Is there any way of knowing? How do I put up with the not knowing until I know? 

~ Julie 

Hallelujah – You’re Home

Last week, I read Sophie’s entry on losing her nan earlier this year. I lost my grandmother on October 25th, 2016. I’m still struggling with it myself. I’ve never really lost anyone before. A great-grandmother when I was a child, but we weren’t close and I was a child. But I’m 24 now, and my grandmother and I were really close.

She died on a Tuesday. I didn’t really know how sick she was until the Friday before. She had been in the hospital for a while, but I thought she’d recover. I thought maybe we could go there around Christmas, so that I could visit her; I hadn’t seen her since May 2015, it’s an 8-hour drive to where they live. Tuesday morning at 8am my mom called me, saying my uncle had called Monday afternoon. Grandma had been asking for my dad, and my uncle said he needed to get down there now. My dad drove all night and arrived early in the morning, right before my mom called me and told me all of this. I lit a candle in the morning. It’s like I knew. Around 5pm my phone rang. I was sure it was my mom, but it was my roommate inviting me to a customers’ night at a hair and beauty salon. It was barely 5 minutes after that that my phone rang again. It was my mom, and I could hear it in her voice when she asked if I was home. And then she said “Now, grandma has died.”

The funeral was on the 4th of November. I went back to the city on the 7th. I had a month and a half before Christmas. And I was just supposed to go back to my life? Like nothing had changed? Like my entire world hadn’t just changed? I couldn’t do it. I still can’t do it. My life isn’t the same. Sometimes I forget that she’s dead, and I think I should call her. And then I remember that I can’t. I don’t even remember the last time I spoke to her. I know I called her a few days before her birthday in February, because I would be abroad on her birthday. There’s a possibility that we talked in the summer while my parents were on vacation, my boyfriend thinks I talked to her while he was here with me. But I don’t remember. And I feel so incredibly guilty, because that means I didn’t call her often enough. How can I forgive myself for something like that?

It’s Easter time of year. I spend Easter with my grandparents many times as a child. Once, we were woken up and ran all around the house looking for Easter eggs – which we ended up finding in our beds. My grandmother had a lot of tiny fluffy yellow chickens around the house. I walked around collecting them in my tiny hand once, they were all so squished they never recovered. It’s Easter, and she’s not here. I couldn’t call her to wish her Happy Easter, I couldn’t catch her up on what’s been happening in my life, and her telling me not much has changed with her. Meaning to hang up at least four times but not doing it because we remembered something else to talk about. I miss my grandmother this Easter.

There are many songs that make me think of my grandmother, too. Some of them don’t even have anything to do with her. This song came out too recently for her to have heard it, but a couple of weeks ago it made me cry on the bus on my way to uni, because it made me think of her. This song, is Supermarked Flowers by Ed Sheeran.

~ Julie

Feling Like a Failure

The truth is, only about 40% of people in my country finish their master’s degrees on time. That means 60% take extra time. I’m a part of the 60. That’s the majority. 6 to 4 majority. 3 to 2 majority. Two thirds majority. That’s not a failure. It’s common.

Then how come I feel so bad? It’s got to be because I don’t fail things. I don’t do things halfway. I never have. I once found out that I had to write a screenplay for the next day, something we could make a short film out of. My host dad told me I had two options: try like hell, or give up. So I spent the entire evening rewriting a short story I made once into a screenplay. We ended up not using it, because another guy in my group wrote one that was more doable, and we used that, but I was so scared of failing the assignment that I did it anyway. I spent all of Christmas break writing an assignment once, because the research required to do it in addition to the rest of my school work took all of fall semester, and it was due in January.

I don’t do things halfway. Not when it comes to school anyway, because all I’ve been told all my life is that school work is the foundation. I have to get good grades in middle school to get into the program I want for high school. I have to get good grades my first year because I want to go on exchange my second year. I had to get good grades there so that I wouldn’t get sent home. I had to get good grades my senior year to get into the study program I wanted in uni. I had to get good grades on BA level to be accepted into the MA program. I got good grades on all of my course work on MA level, and now I have to get a good grade on my master’s thesis to top it all off, so that I can get a good job that I will enjoy and be good at and deserve. But now, I’m not finishing it in May like planned. Now I’m not getting my degree until December.

But I’m gonna get it. I’m gonna figure out how to write 80 pages. I’m gonna figure out how to analyze my data. I’m gonna figure out how to finish the whole damn thing without suffering from panic attacks and depression and the occasional suicidal thought. I’m gonna do it. I’m not gonna be a failure. I’m gonna be a winner. Slightly delayed, but still a winner. I’m gonna do it.

Unpopular Opinion: Daily Showers

Do you judge people when they say that no, they don’t actually shower daily? If the answer is yes, you should stop. There are many reasons why someone might choose not to shower every day.

People say it’s bad, unhygienic, smelly… but daily showers or daily baths is a fairly recent phenomenon. People didn’t use to wash their hair daily, or shower/bathe daily. I’ve already talked about my decision to only wash my hair twice a week here. But I also don’t shower every day. I shower every two or three days, depending on what I do or if it’s hot or I’m cold or I feel like it. That’s not to say I am unhygienic. I clean myself, like most other people. I just don’t like to use soap and water all over my body. My skin has issues. It gets dry and itchy and patchy, sometimes it resembles fish scales, or I get rashes. Soap and water doesn’t help. Soap makes it worse.

Just like the natural oils your scalp produces is good for your hair, and daily shampooing strips the scalp of these oils causing over-production of oil, the skin all over your body does too. No matter how many creams or ointments you put on your skin, they are outsiders forcing themselves on you, and they cannot replace the natural oils your skin produce. At some point in human history, we went from never washing, to washing often enough to stay clean and healthy and hygienic, to obsessing over showering once or twice or three times a day! I met a girl on a field trip who showered and washed her hair twice a day: in the morning because she’s slept and at night to get rid of dirt and dust. I went to middle school with a girl who said she would shower three or four times a day on days when she had football (soccer) games: in the morning, after gym class, before the game, and after the game.

Over-washing is not good for your health, just like under-washing isn’t good for your health. And most people don’t shower four times a day. Once a day is normal in the world as we know it, and people tend to judge people if they find out they don’t shower every day. Some people might be lazy. Some people might not have time to shower in the morning. Someone might have skin condition necessitating not showering on a daily basis. Most of the time you’re probably surrounded by a lot of people who didn’t shower this morning, or last night, and you don’t even know it. Because most of the time you can’t tell. But once someone says it, it’s somehow “so gross”? Get over yourself.

~ Julie

Tell the people you love that you love them.

I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, “Kiss me harder,” and “You’re a good person,” and, “You brighten my day.” I live my life as straight-forward as possible.

Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.

But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.

And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.

We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.

We never know when the bus is coming.

~ Rachel C. Lewis

This quote was on my whiteboard for a year and a half. Because it’s such a powerfully strong piece of writing. Which is why I wanted to share it with you. Happy Easter!

~ Julie

My Little Hair Problem

People have a lot of complaints when it comes to hair. Their hair is too short, or too bushy, or too heavy, too thick, too thin… I don’t have any of those issues. Well, sometimes my hair is too thin to do some hairstyles, but hair stylists add clip-in extensions for thickness all the time, so that’s not my main problem. My hair is super straight, and main problem is that my hair is too silky.  It’s too smooth and silk-like. It’s smoother than my satin bed sheets, which is really frustrating.

Have you ever tried braiding hair as silky as mine? I promise, you haven’t. But if you want to try, get out a silk/satin ribbon, and try to braid that. It’s possible, if you braid it tight, but that doesn’t look good when your hair isn’t very thick, so try pulling it apart to add volume. Now that doesn’t work, does it? And if it does, I guarantee you it won’t last for more than a few minutes, an hour, top. That’s my hair.

Some people think it’s gross, but I hardly ever wash my hair more often than twice a week. Tuesdays, usually, because I usually attend a step class, and then either Friday or Saturday, depending on my weekend plans. I’ve trained my hair to not need washing every day, and I use dry shampoo in between, so I think it’s okay. It’s healthier for my hair, and it saves shampoo (I only use salon products) and time. And, when my hair isn’t just washed, I can do stuff with my hair. Like braid it, put it in a bun, or even just a ponytail! I can’t do that when my hair is just washed, because it is too silky. Too silky! Who ever complained about their hair being too smooth? Me. I could stop using conditioner, stop using oil in my hair, but then I’d get split ends and have to cut it off, which is what I’ve been trying not to do for the past three years.


What’s the biggest annoyance about your hair? 🙂

~ Julie

My First Bullet Journal 

Hi! Today I wanted to talk about this new project, my new hobby: bullet journaling!

Bullet journaling is basically a homemade planner/calendar book that you tailor to fit your own needs. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. The goal is to organize your time and mind and become more focused and productive. And also to have fun!

I first heard about this from a friend well over a year ago, but at the time I was perfectly happy with the planner system I’ve been using, which is pre-made and school year based, so they go from June until June the following year. Late last year I started voicing my interest in bullet journaling through, and my friend added me to a couple of Facebook groups. I’ve been scrolling and lurking for a long time, and my plan was to start this summer when my planner runs out. However, with the recent stress of applying for an extension for my thesis and my mental health in general I decided to start early. For a couple of nights now I’ve been working in this Nuuna notebook I found a while ago and fell in love with but never used because I thought it had to be saved for something special. Basically, with this post I wanted to show you my progress so far!

This is the notebook, it’s quite big, about two or three times the thickness of regular Moleskins, but it’s the same thickness as my last two planners so for me it’ll be fine. Isn’t it beautiful?

I made a very simple cover page, using faux calligraphy, on the first page which is always a bit weird in my opinion. I decided to go for a more minimalist style, as I’m not the most artistic person. I like writing, like creating letters, but I’m not much for drawing or doodling or anything like that. I’m adding some color here and there though.

I taped a key card to the inside difference the first page, with my symbols and color codes. A box is just for me (like my to-do lists), a circle involves other people (meetings, girls’ night etc), a check for complete, an arrow for migrated, an x for canceled. Red is school, blue is work, yellow is free time, purple is birthdays, and green is other (I’ve used it to underline holidays for instance). And then there’s my index, which I sat aside two double spreads for. I should probably start writing on every line instead of every other line though…

My future log. It goes from April 2017 until July 2018! I’m just showing you my first and last spread here. I made a calendar on top, followed by a list, and then there’s a section for notes at the bottom. As you can see, I mostly have stuff for this month so far, but because I do get some things months in advance (I’ve known about my work weekend later this month since early February, same with work training next month) I decided to make the spread for over a year into the future. It also lets me note down important birthdays! I could create a separate birthday spread but then I have to make sure I know them all in advance to get them in order (just a pet peeve thing). I made at least one mistake that I need to fix but I don’t have functioning white-out at my parents where I am in writing moment so I’ll do that when I get back to the city!

My next spread is a tracker. I’m currently rewatching Grey’s Anatomy, and I have them on my hard drive, got them from a friend, and it made it hard to keep track of where I am without having to go on imdb, so I made this! All the seasons are across at the top, the episodes go down, black means there’s no more episodes in that season, blue means I’ve watched the episode! Again, I decided to add some air in between the lines, but at the expense of space at the top, which I’m not too happy about, but lesson learned I guess!

This is my favorite spread so far. My blog spread! On the left we have my tracker for scheduled posts, but I learned from my last mistake and put the lines together. I also experimented a little with using different fonts, slightly more successful on this tracker than the last one,  I think.

On the right side is my ideas spread, for when I need to schedule a post but I don’t know what to write about. I kept a list from before, but because I’d done a few and I want to get rid of random lists lying around the place I wrote down the ones I’ve not done yet and I’m gonna keep adding to it if I get an idea but don’t have time to write the entry at that time. Any blog ideas for me? Let me know! 

That’s all I have so far. I haven’t added a habit tracker, because I’ve been doing that for 3 months and I  just feel guilty for all the stuff I don’t do on any specific day, so I’m skipping that for April. I’m going to start my spreads for April soon; they’ll be incomplete but oh well, the only way to start is to start, right?

Anyone else do bullet journaling? 

~ Julie