Sleeping Beauty and the Princess Diaries 

Last night, I had trouble falling asleep. The air was thick and moist and I had a lot on my mind! 

I finally started dozing when someone in the neighborhood shot off a bunch of firecrackers around 1 in the morning. I woke up with my heart pounding and clutched Princess to my chest. I finally calmed down and was able to fall asleep around 2am with her little brown body pressed against me and her gentle purring. 

My alarm first went off at 6am. It’s a song that I used to like but now find annoying. I hit the snooze and laid back down. Princess curled up against my stomach and we went back to sleep. 

I woke up with Princess licking me furiously and crying “MEOW MEOW MEOWWW”. I laid her back down and snuggled her. She kept licking my face and eyes. I finally had enough so I grabbed an extra pillow and buried my head under it. She started digging into the pillow so that her head was under and BIT MY HAND. She was howling by now. “YEOOOOWWWWWW”
I jerked awake.
It was 8am! 
Princess started to jump around and yelled at me. “MOM MOM MOM MOMOOMMMM”

I leaped out of bed and started to run around. Princess chased me around the house and I got ready in 15 minutes. 
After she ate some breakfast, I picked up her and hugged her. She purred but after I put her down she continued to follow me around yowling. “YEOooWWWWWWW”

“BYE PRINCESS LOVE YOU” as I quick grabbed my stuff and shut the door. 

She stood on the stairs looking at me with her green eyes.

  

Yeah, I know she woke me up because she was hungry. However, I like to think she knew I had to get up…

  

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The First Four Years.

I’ve had this blog for 4 years.

4 years ago I needed some help. I needed help to work through things and to channel some of my worries and fears.

June 2011 I experience a painful breakup. I was heartbroken, lost, and depressed. I was heading into my sophomore year of college and I was worried. I was worried about what life would be after I graduated, I worried if I making the best decision by being an English major (F YES), I worried about paying for school.

I also worried because I had struggled with depression on and off the past few years. I was concerned if I didn’t meet my goals or feel like I was doing the right thing I could slip into a dark hole. At that point I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get myself out of that hole.

My first post is hard for me to read now! I remember tearing up as I hit publish and ran from my computer. Tears from doing something scary and writing it all out on a public blog on the Internet. I felt better when I went back to my computer and saw a positive response from friends on Facebook.

I kept posting.

It helped me.

Through the posts I worked through my sadness, uncomfortable (and awkward) situations, and I shared a piece of myself with the Internets.  Through these last four years I’ve achieved many wonderful things. I graduated from St. Norbert College in December 2013 with a degree in English, found a job, and am going the marry one who infected me with love and happiness.

I achieved everything I was so worried about in that first blog post.

Now I have new challenges! Being a damn adult is hard work. The transition hasn’t always been easy, (I think I’ve only called home crying once or twice..) but I am here.

Now it’s time to start the next chapter!

What am I worried about?

I start to list out my worries in my mind and remember all I’ve achieved since my last list of worries.

I can do anything.

Stay tuned for the next four years.

The sunset from our campsite in Peninsula State Park #doorcounty #nofilter #wi @midwestlivingmag

A post shared by Claire L. (@clouise28) on

5 Tips for Entering Adulthood

Last Sunday, I walked.

Graduation

 

I graduated in December, but the ceremony was this past weekend.

I’ve already been out and about in the real world working at a real job for a few months now. Here are my 5 tips for surviving your initial months into adulthood.


1.) Make eye contact with your student loans.

If you don’t have a loan………………that’s great. If you do, make eye contact with it. Quietly weep at your debt and make a plan. Save your money! The only way you can get out of paying your student loan is if you die! Dramatics aside, a lot of people have a loan. It’s okay. Plus, if you can make a payment during your grace period you’ll save on interest.

2.) Start a hobby.

I started to do yoga (I highly recommend) and knitting. I’ve also been better at eating healthy, fresh food.  After working a long day, don’t just sit and watch Netflix. I did that for a few weeks. It just makes you tired and grumpy.

3.) Look at your accomplishments.

Starting a new job is HARD (or starting any new phase). Take a second and realize what you’ve accomplished! You rock! You’ve entered adulthood and you’re going to do fine!

4.) Spend time with your parents!

Remember those people? Those peeps who have taken care of you your whole life? Who always support you? Who send you treat money for Shamrock shakes “because you deserve it”. Get to know them. You might make new friends 😉

parents

5.) Learn to deal with stress…

Whilst in school, you put that off. You think “I’m a student! Of course I’m stresseddddddd!” Well, learn how to relax now!!!!! School stress is a joke. Real stress is coming up. Learn to let stuff go and feel calm. Yoga, meditate, write it out, whatever you need.

 

Oh, and congratulations!

photo1

 

 

I’m So Jealous of My Cat.

Today, I was thinking about my cat.

Well, I think about my cat every day, but today I was thinking deeper a thought about my cat.

I’m so jealous of her.

Lately, I’ve been having two strong feelings: stress and boredom.

 

Boredom:

Wisconsin is definitely not as exciting as England. No fun travel plans, no new people from all over the world, and because I feel like I’m doing the same things over and over again.

I’m washing the same three dang mugs.

I’m reading the same dang things.

I’m sharpening the same two dang pencils.

I’m wearing same two dang coats.

I wake up in the middle of the dang night to stick my dang feet out from the covers because it’s too dang hot in my room!

 

Stressed:

I’m stressed out because I feel like I don’t have time to do anything anymore except get through each thing to get to the next thing.

There are too many things! How did I let this happen again?

I need more sleep.

I need to read lots.

I need to practice flute.

I need to poop once a day (isn’t happening right now).

I need to figure out life.

I’m eternally hungry.

 

 

Back to the cat:

Little Zona just eats, sleeps, plays, and poops.

Zona sleeps to play.

Then she plays to eat.

Then she eats to poop.

Then she takes a nap.

What a wonderful, glorious cycle.

Isn’t that basically our cycle?

I sleep to study.

I study to eat.

Wait, I don’t eat.

I read the 100+ pages a night of reading.

Then I stress out over flute.

Then I watch an episode of Downton Abbey.

Then I write a story for my fiction workshop.

Then I feel bored.

Then I read a book for fun.

Then I stress out.

Because I should be studying or practicing flute.

Then my stomach hurts because I’m nervous.

So then I finally eat.

Then I try to grab a few winks of sleep before repeat.

 

I wish I was a cat.

Specifically orange.

I wonder if Zona likes Downton Abbey.

babyzona

You Don’t Need to Upgrade Nature

In this time and in this place it’s gimme gimme gimme gimme.

We always want the next best thing.

We always want the next upgrade.

I want this.

I want that.

I want.

Give me.

Oh please….

——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

I can understand those crazy “nature people.”

You know who I’m talking about.

Those people with cars covered in bumper stickers that say “coexist” “Tree hugger” “NATURE” and they are always outside with

nature.

They enjoy the beauty of the Earth.

They don’t care what kind of phone they have.

They don’t need to check email and Twitter.

They bask in the beauty of this Earth

——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

I’m sitting here staring at our Earth.

Our Earth.

It’s amazing.

Have you explored it?

No, I don’t mean have you been to Vegas or Miami (though they are cool to check out). I”m asking if you’ve explored Earth.

If you haven’t, then DO IT!

We live on a beautiful planet.

The Blue Planet.

Here there are mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans, deserts, valleys, forests, tundra, and so much more!

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Forget humanity for a second.

Forget all it’s constant demand and go back to nature for a second.

I want you to realize what a beautiful, fragile planet this is.

Besides,

You don’t need to upgrade nature.

 

Happy One Year.

Today, I was lurking on Facebook.

Doing the classic scroll to the bottom of the newsfeed looking for something interesting.

There wasn’t.

However, I found myself reading statuses and wondering:

“Why does X have a blog…”

“Why doesn’t X blog ..I’d love to hear X’s thoughts.”

Then I found myself thinking:

“Why do people blog?”

“Why do I blog?”

“What exactly is a blog?” (Yes, I’m aware of the definition of a blog – A Web site on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.)

etc.

What is  the etc.?

I think I could define my blog as ”etc.”

Completely etc.

I like to think of my blog as my way of rationalizing who I am to the world.

When I first thought about starting a blog I was scared. Scared as hell. Who was I to babble my thoughts on the interwebs? Nobody cares.

It took a painful time in my life to finally just do it. Feeling lonely and sorry for myself I found a voice in my head yelling at me. “Get up!  Just do it! You’re embarrassing!”

I typed in the WordPress web address, created an account and stared at my dashboard.

It took me a few minutes to figure out WordPress and I hammered out my first post.( http://clairewestlie.com/2011/06/09/just-me-and-an-orange-cat/)

I clicked publish.

My heart was racing.

It’s a terrible post.

I actually shut my laptop and scampered away. (I still do that sometimes after I post a blog. I shut my computer and I dart away.)

After that post, they just started flowing.

Something will inspire me and I’ll just hack out a post.

Simple.

They flow from me like my own blood.

It is, you know.

Each post is a little piece of me that I plaster on the Internet.

A little piece of me for the whole wide world to see.

Happy one year anniversary, bloggie. I look forward to many more years together.

I’m Not a Napper

Come on.

I’ve been very tired this week and I finally have an hour to relax and close my eyes.

However, I am crazy and crazy people can’t sleep.

My mind is full of so many things, I couldn’t possibly sleep.

I’m not even in school anymore.

I’m just trying to work and be poor.

Yes, be poor.

Being poor is a lot of work.

You have to keep your eyes peeled, your brain on and your energy levels high. Being poor has it’s fun moments.

The other day a few friends and I made a plethora of food that we found left behind in an apartment.

It was actually really fun.

Anyways.

The other reason I’m not a napper is because I always try to use my time wisely. Usually, the second I lay down I remember 32,434 things I could do instead of sleep.

 

I’m a crazy person and crazy people don’t sleep.

 

Am I right?

 

 

Can You Give it a Second?

Does anyone have patience?!

 

I consider myself an impatient person and am trying to learn the art of being patient.

People (along with myself) need to learn to give it a second.

Seriously.

 

I’ve watched people scream at their computer because the internet did not load something instantly.

You can honestly wait 5 extra seconds to watch a stupid YouTube video which you don’t really need to watch in the first place.

 

I’ve seen people shout at their cell phones because a message or picture did not send right away.

You send 6,343 messages a month, so if 1 fails to send I’d say that’s not too shabby.

 

I’ve glared as people pack up early from class.

You stupid, brat how could you be so rude!? Oh geeze, the class lasted 71 minutes instead of 70. Someone call the firing squad.

 

I’ve been hassled by a department at my school for additional information.

Chill out. I am painfully aware I need to get additional things to you, but there’s only so much I can do. Besides, I don’t really know what I’m doing and was not given any help.

 

I’ve seen (and been guilty of) people furiously texting their friends who are late for dinner.

Dinner plans were at 5:30pm.

It is 5:31pm.

Relax, your friend is coming.

 

Just give it a second.

 

 

I Have Kitchen Supplies

This is real.

This summer I will be living in an apartment with two other girls from school.

Claire Westlie: living on her own.

I  was fully aware I would be living in an apartment, but now that my mom brought me kitchen-y stuff it has become real.

 

In one of the boxes there was pasta and pasta sauce.

“For your first meal,” my momma said as she handed me the items.

Holy crap.

I have to think about meals.

There was another item in the box.

“My Claire must have her cookies,” my momma said as she handed me a pouch of cookie mix.

I can do that this summer.

I can just make cookies when I want them.

 

As my momma and I were talking about this summer, she looked around and asked if I wanted her to take anything home.

But I honestly don’t have many things.

Some clothes, tv, some kitchen stuff and a bunch of desk stuff which I’ll have to figure out where to put.

I don’t even have a bed. This summer I’ll be sleeping on my dumpy futon.

I gave her two of my three winter coats and her Bible which she had lent me.

 

As I walked my wonderful mammy to her car, we started our always sad goodbyes.

“Well,” I said with a glimmer of a tear in my eye, “I’ll be home on June 16th for sure, but I don’t know if I’ll come home any sooner.”

“Oh,” she said, “Maybe we can meet halfway for dinner or something.”

After a fierce hug, we parted ways.

I regret she couldn’t stay longer.

 

I darted off to RA training with a somber attitude.

 

After RA training, I went to my room to work on stuff, however I couldn’t help but stare at my boxes of kitchen stuff and feel a nervous tummy.

Overall, I’m pretty excited but I still have this weird feeling

.

I’m not going home for the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe I’m Just Crazy

Well, I am crazy.

 

I’m working on an paper for school.

One of the requirements state:

“Use a maximum of one Internet source (should not contribute to the bulk of the information)”

 

Okay…

First of all,

Why does an internet source have any less merit than an physical book? Basically, an article published online to an accredited scholarly archive is not as reliable as a physical book?

What if the book I’m using is from 1990, but the article I found online  is from 2008?

Which information is more accurate or up-to-date? Which information is better for my thesis?

What if the book is published through a university on the east coast, but the archive where I found the online article is a global archive?

Not to say the book or whatever from the university has any less merit than the global archive, but if I’m trying to write a well-rounded critical article on a subject I think I would like to make sure I understand the issue globally.

 

Right now, I’ve already found several great online articles which are packed with specific information for this paper, but I can only use one of them.

Also, my school’s library only has a few books with a few vague pages on the subject I’m writing. The books are from the 90s and early 2000’s.

I’m aware of the inter-library loan, so I can have books shipped in from other schools for this paper.

However, I cannot look through the books before hand to make sure they have exactly what I want.

 

Here are my options:

Stop complaining and just write a vague paper with slightly outdated books and probably get a B paper with comments like “be more specific” “more” “expand”.

Or:

Write this paper with solid, up to date sources from the internet and probably get a B paper with comments like “too many internet sources”.

 

Crazy.