2 years of veganism

Wow. 2 years of veganism. 2 years of being plant-based. Looking back on my past 2 years, I can’t say that they were all vegan. Especially at the start. I can’t say exactly how long I’ve been vegan, but I know that in these past 2 years so many animals were saved.

2 years ago, my roommate at the time, Delaney, showed me a video that forever changed my life. It was a video of a slaughterhouse somewhere in Europe (I believe Sweden) and these cows were being hung from their ankle on a conveyor belt as a man sliced their throats. I can still vividly see that image in my mind and I think it engrained there forever. It is the reason I stopped eating meat. And more videos just like that are the reasons I stopped consuming dairy.

These past 2 years have been rough. They have also been enlightening. But most of all they have been life-changing. I have done happy dances in stores when I found vegan chicken nuggets, vegan cupcakes, vegan macaroni and cheese, and so much more. I have binged on copious amounts of dairy-filled sweets, chocolate milk, and cheese.

I have changed so much as a person. I feel that veganism is truly a part of me and it has helped me morph myself into who I truly am and I sometimes wonder who I would be today had I not discovered veganism. My friends often ask me, “would you still have gone vegan had you not gone to San Diego?” And the truth is, I cannot answer that. I hope the answer is yes, but had I gone to school in Texas or Alabama, I really don’t think I would have.

It is so crazy to me how one decision can impact your entire life. In my last post, I said that I wished I had thought of Athens sooner, however, if I had started my freshman year at OU, odds are, I wouldn’t be vegan today. So, do I sometimes wish life was different and that I bypassed the stress of transferring, yes. Am I undoubtedly grateful that San Diego led me to veganism? Also yes.

Alicia

8 down. 8 to go

Hi all, today marks the end of my eighth week in Ohio. I moved in literally 9 weeks ago today. Isn’t that crazy. It feels like I’ve just started yet we’re halfway done. Yet here I am, 9 weeks since that fateful night I was rethinking every aspect of me coming here, how I could transfer again, how I would make my dad drive 7 hours back to Ohio to pick me and all of my things up and head back home.

I had a really deep conversation about this with my roommate Wednesday night. Her friend is transferring to OU next semester so we were discussing our experiences and what we wish we knew, etc. She reassured me that she has also cried since being here. She cried about feeling alone, about credits not transferring, about not knowing what to do, etc. It made me feel so much better about my situation and wanting to go home and not thinking Ohio was the right place for me.

Olivia and I both agree that we haven’t made too many friends. CHAARG has helped immensely as have class and work and I’m making baby steps towards those ‘life-long college friends.’ But it’s hard.  It’s hard being singled out as transfer students. We aren’t surrounded by freshmen (people who also need/want friends) but we are surrounded by other transfer students (I can assure you that Olivia and I got the short end of the stick when it comes to the pick on our floor) and 2nd year students who have already found their niches on campus. Like I said, baby steps.

So, is school still weird? Yes, but a whole lot less weird. Ohio is beautiful and I love all of the people (minus those in Make America Great Again shirts). I truly believe that Ohio is the place I belong. Sometimes, though, I just wish I’d thought of Athens Ohio 3 years earlier.

Alicia

Dorm Tour | ’17-’18

Hi everyone, I had planned on making this post weeks ago but after a finishing touch on my room was finally delivered today (I ordered it in August) I decided it would be the perfect time to show you my dorm. I have decided not to show my bathroom and sink area because…  there is nothing personal about it except a $4 soap dispenser and who doesn’t know what a bathroom looks like??


When you first step into my room, you are greeted with this adorable welcome mat that says “Home Sweet Home.” My roommate and I both loved it and we incorporated the vine theme above our beds. Stay tuned

Next is just an overview of my bed and study area. I figured I would show you all the big picture before I delved deeper into each section

Onto my bed area. Above my bed is the vine theme with some fake flowers surrounding my initial. My roommate’s is identical except her letter is an ‘O’ for Olivia. We DIY’d the heck out of a fake plant, fake flowers, and some wooden letters. On my wall are just some pictures of me with friends and family, alternating with navy patterned triangles. I got them at Michael’s to match the Triangles on my comforter. My bedding is from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and it came with 2 sets of sheets, 2 sets of towels, 2 washcloths, a mattress pad, a pillow, a throw blanket, and the comforter, obviously for only $129.99. I’m thrilled with it and it’s very cute. I got the remaining pillows from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and the little white pillow in front says “calm.”

Onto my desk area. My desk itself has all of the basics, books, laptop, water, hand sanitizer, air fresheners, office supplies (I love how my desk this year has drawers because the one at San Diego did not :/) etc.

 

However, above my desk is my absolute favorite part of my room. Starting from the top and working my way down: these 3 posters I think are so cute and the “She designed a life she loved” is one of my favorite quotes. The “Maybe swearing will help” is sort of an inside joke between my roommate and I and the “Let’s GO” poster is my little blip about how I love to travel. I also adored the color of it.

Below that are just some super adorable pumpkin lights that I got at Walmart for like $5. And at the bottom is my cork board with has my schedule at the top and some pictures from home and San Diego below it, which is surrounded by my dry erase monthly and weekly calendars.

Now moving onto my closet and the random crap section of my room. I have a closet, which is filled to the brim on the right side, a built-in shelf unit with storage and pictures on top, my children in the middle, and a shitpile ranging from lipstick to forks on the bottom. Underneath my built-ins are 4 drawers, which I keep my delicates, pajamas, pants, and t-shirts in.

I just figured I would show in my closet. Like I said, filled. Also, that shoe rack on the bottom is a total lifesaver. Behind the rack are boots which I have yet to bring out

Next, I figured I would show my fish tank. Olivia and I are working on our 3rd, 4th, and 5th fish (the first two were flushed) and our first snail. We named our first fishes Adam and made these cute mini chalkboards with their initials and we didn’t want them to go to waste, so for our current family, each of them has their initials on the board (A, D, A, and M). We have Mada the snail (Adam jumbled), another Adam (all orange), Dot (has a dot on her head), and Antoine (black and orange). We are quite the happy family and these guys and gal have lasted longer than the others (knock on wood).

Finally, I wanted to show off our window. Olivia bought these curtains because our pull down blinds sometimes don’t work and I bought twinkly lights to go behind them. It always looks super cool at night and we get compliments on them all the time.

Hope you enjoyed our room.

Until next time

Alicia, Olivia, Adam, Dot, Antoine, and Mada

Change

Good afternoon everyone. I am currently supposed to be reading a chapter for my  Intro to Education class, so naturally, I thought I would sit down and write something.

For the past few weeks, I have been doing a lot of reflecting… and a lot of homework, but let’s not discuss that. Something that always makes me anxious is change. However, all of my best memories came from when I made a big change. Going to San Diego, going vegan, taking a year off of school, going to Peru, transferring to Ohio, joining CHAARG… I could go on. So, then why is it that change makes us so anxious? Why is it that that cancel plans, don’t start new projects, and give up on goals when those are the things we know can/will be in our best interest. Change is so good for us, for our body, for our mind. So good. Why do we fear change?

Today is the start of CHAARG’s fall fit plan and I woke up bright and early at 630 to get to the gym by 730 and get that workout in before my day started. It is also the start of the second half of the semester (seems like just yesterday I was crying in Baker’s 5th-floor bathroom) and I have realized something, I need to stop hating change. Change is hard, change can be messy, and change can be scary, but it can also be incredible, exhilarating, and well worth it.

I am going to try to make a few changes in my life and I will be trying a new change each week of the fitplan (fitplan is 6 weeks so 6 goals).

My goal for this week is to eat at the dining halls… ALONE. Something that has always made me so anxious is being alone. I don’t want to seem like a loner. I feel the need to call someone every time I’m walking alone. If I can’t walk alone… how can I eat alone? In my 7 weeks at OU, I have eaten at a dining hall 5 times… each and every one of those times I was with at least one person.

This afternoon, I walked into the dining hall, alone, and I got food. I got the food to go, mainly because I had homework to attend to but also because I was uncomfortable, but I swiped in aloe nonetheless. I am trying to go to the dining hall daily for lunch (except Tuesdays because I work during the lunch hours) and sit in a little booth, alone. I can work on homework, fiddle on my phone or just simply sit, but I need to be able to be alone, comfortably, in public.

Alicia

World Mental Health Day

Today is world mental health day. One year ago I made a post called “Society Told Me.” Today, that post still rings true and still hits close to home. Today I want to share that post again but change it up a little bit to share how I have changed in the past 365 days. I hope you enjoy.


This year, World Mental Health Day has once again exploded on Twitter. My friends, acquaintances, and social media influencers near or far remarking on their mental health struggles. Each time I see a tweet, or a photo, or a comment about any mental illness it makes me smile knowing there are so many people of all shapes, sizes, and colors from all corners of the Earth that struggle with the same issues that I do. I admire each and every one of you for speaking out about the struggles you face on a day to day basis, despite society constantly dehumanizing us for having them.

Mental illnesses have always been something I struggled with. Although when I first started struggling I didn’t know they were called mental illnesses and I merely thought I was some emo freak who wanted to die for attention, because that’s what society told me.

I can remember the first time I ever thought about killing myself in seventh grade and how I thought I would never be happy. I remember thinking that I belonged in an insane asylum which is why it showed up in every single one of my seventh-grade art projects. I laughed it off but secretly thought I belonged in one, because that’s what society told me.

I can remember the first night I self-harmed and how I had to cover my arms and legs and stomach at all costs in fear of someone calling me out for being a freak and ostracizing me, because that’s what society told them to do.

I can remember defending one of my friends for cutting and saying she was just like us. Each of them told me I was “as crazy as her” for saying something like that, and they were afraid she would kill herself because of the cutting, because that’s what society told them, that everyone who cuts is emo and will kill themselves.

I can remember when I last had a self-harm relapse. 306 days ago. I can remember thinking that I would never be clean again and that I would hurt myself forever. Because that’s what society told me.

I can remember being happy. How everyone said, “you’re smiling, you aren’t depressed.” people who have depression aren’t happy. They don’t smile. That’s what society told them.

But guess what. Depression doesn’t have a face. You can smile with friends during the day and cry yourself to sleep at night. I will say it again: Depression does not have a face. Mental illness does not have a face.

Here I am, 8 years after I wanted to kill myself for the first time. I’ll admit, I still do sometimes… yes even now. The feeling sometimes passes quicker than others, but I know it won’t make everything better.

Today I want society to piss off. Mental illnesses are normal. 1 in 4 people have them. Mental illnesses have no face, people who live with mental illnesses can function in everyday society just like those without. I  want society to stop romanticizing mental illnesses. Depression isn’t cute. Anxiety is not a trend. Suicide is not a good idea, no matter what society tells you.

The last thing anyone wants to hear is that it gets better, but the one thing everyone needs to hear is that you are not alone. I needed to hear that 8 years ago, I needed to hear that last night.

This day exists so that can be visible. We may feel alone often, but we aren’t. If you are struggling, get help, no matter how hard it is for you. I waited 5 years and every day I wish I had gotten it sooner. Get help before it’s too late.

Society has dehumanized people with mental illnesses and this is our day, to show that we are humans and we are just as capable. Everyone fights their own battles, mine just take place inside of me.

Exhausted yet content

Howdy friends,

I just said howdy… Ohio is changing me. Just figured I would give a bit of a life update on this fine Monday night. Mainly because I want to do something but my brain is too fried (will get to why in a minute) to do any homework. Thank the grammar gods for Grammarly and spell check because I can that without them… I would not be able to be posting right now.

Anyway, this weekend I was able to go home for the first time since school started! It was Homecoming but that didn’t stop me because I can honestly say that cuddling with my dog for 3 days is much more fun than getting blackout drunk.

I left bright and early Thursday morning at 5:15am and made it to Chicago at around 4:30pm. From there I went home, cried upon seeing my dog, and just recuperated from the long day of travel.

Friday, I had a doctor’s appointment, then I didn’t… but then rescheduled it for the next morning. After my doctor mishap, I was able to drive to my grandparents’ house and surprise them. Seeing the two of them was great and they both cried when they saw me. After talking for a few hours about school and life we went to dinner because I hadn’t had a good meal yet. I missed PASTA. They are both doing good and kept saying how lovely of a surprise it was to have me come home. It’s the little things. 🙂

Saturday morning I finally had my doctor’s appointment with a VERY ATTRACTIVE doctor that I’d never seen before. I went in for some ear pain and a fluid feeling but apparently, there’s no infection (always good) so I got some Flonase and was told to hope for the best.

Post-doctor appointment, I got my dad and I Dunkin Donuts. I MISSED GOOD COFFEE. Starbucks is always good but I missed Dunkin. I then showered, made myself look less ugly and my family and I ventured to the city to go to the Art Institute. We had lunch, saw some art, tried not to kill all of the tourists in the city for the marathon and had a grand ol’ time until I decided I wanted cupcakes. This prompted the 25-minute drive to Swirlz for some vegan gluten-free deliciousness.

The rest of the weekend was a bit of a blur, filled with homework, shopping trips, dinner with my grandparents again, and spending as much time with Poppy as I could before I had to leave again last night. I had a 12-hour journey from Chicago to Indianapolis to Columbus to Athens to my dorm and let me tell you, I am exhausted. I napped on and off on the bus while simultaneously trying to ensure that none of my belongings got stolen.

Nonetheless, I made it back home to my dorm, unpacked, showered, and have been living my life as if that weekend hadn’t even happened.

I’ll be back in 6 weeks Chicago

Alicia

PS I’ve never felt such a sense of calm and fear as I did in a bus station at 430 in the morning

Fall Mixtape

Hi everyone! We are back in action with another Playlist. It’s finally starting to feel like fall (not the weather but there are leaves on the ground and I’m wearing sweaters in the blistering 85 degrees because it is October for Pete’s sake. So, for my fall playlist, here we go

Not too sure why most of these were like love songs… maybe I’m in the lovey mood. COUGH COUGH WINK WINK ANY BOY LOVE ME

Happy fall everyone

Alicia