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The Mood is in the ‘Tude A.K.A. The Post that Should Have Been a Memoir

I am a great giver of advice. I can’t, however, claim to be a good taker of advice, including (especially?) my own. It’s so easy for me to see the good in others, to validate them, to reassure them. But, I am not all to kind to myself.  When others do those things for me, I’ll admit that it often goes in one ear and out the other. Not because he or she isn’t giving good advice/compliments/suggestions/constructive criticism, and not because I don’t appreciate his/her caring, but because some part of my brain vetoes it. I have a cranky guard at the gate of my self-concept, who lets in select few deliverers of positive messages, and only when he’s in a good mood (and isn’t hungry). BUT, I’ve started to outsmart my bad habit of thinking I’m a big loser who comes off as a naïve airhead and makes no sense and has cellulite on my thighs and looks terrible in most jeans and skips out on my cardio sometimes and does a lot of planning and pining and not a lot of doing. This habit is just as unhealthy as smoking. Sure, I can survive this way for awhile, but it will ultimately consume me if I don’t cease and desist and take measures to undo the damage. I almost know I am being illogical when I put myself down, or counter-productive at the least. So, I have been training the angel on my shoulder for awhile now and I’ve started to notice him beating the devil on my other shoulder a lot more often lately. There’s a point to all of this.

I do have issues, but don’t we all? Especially at 21. I know what my problems are, and I either need to do WHATEVER it takes to fix them, NOT stall when one solution doesn’t work, and if they aren’t fix-able, accept them and change my attitude. And, because the curiosity’s killing you, I’ll be real and tell you what some are. I’m sure I’m not the only one with these dilemmas(maybe one of the few who has them simultaneously) and maybe we can give one another some insight.
-I’ve had eating issues for a long time. I’ve been pretty close to both extremes (eating nothing and getting skeletal for awhile, and more recently impulsively/compulsively eating too much, THEN either over-compensating with exercise or feeling like I should and being plagued with guilt when I don’t). I know a ton about nutrition (*disclaimer: I do not have any nutrition credentials, I just read a lot and have informal knowledge and opinions to offer) ; the will to put any work into my regular diet is the challenge. My stepdad always said, “Don’t make excuses, make improvements.” I am reminded every day of more things about which my parents were right.
-I have suspected for a long time, and have recently had all-but formal confirmation that I have a moderately severe attention problem/disorder. It makes things like getting groceries, picking out my outfits, remembering (normal, should-be-automatic-by-now) things, and having realistic expectations/concept of time. Even holding a conversation is difficult if I am caught off-guard. My health insurance is basically a really expensive, useless card to carry in my wallet and doesn’t cover mental health. But, where there’s a will there’s a way, and where there’s a dilemma, there’s a cliché.
-I am plagued/daunted/perplexed (I love synonyms and have a thesaurus app and I don’t care who knows it!) by choice. Not by decisions; those are easy, IF there are only a few options, and probably only because I am a very intuition/romantically-driven person. This, I have recently discovered, is a common way that ADHD manifests, especially in adult women. Now that I know that, sometimes I can halt myself in my tracks before I get myself into a situation that makes me anxious. (“No, Courtney, you will not try on more than 3 outfits, and if you do, you must wear a black shirt, grey jeans, and converse.”)
-I fall out of touch with people that are very important to me when I get busy and overwhelmed, and then feel even more overwhelmed, because it becomes a “thing” and I irrationally let myself believe that they will hate me for it and I will have to explain myself and grovel but have no excuse that sounds legitimate when I say it aloud. Okay, yes, I know, just pick up the phone and imagine them in their underwear (whether they yell at me or not this is probably a great coping mechanism–I think I solved my own problem).
-My last, but most obvious worry, is my complete failure to budget my time, do things in a logical sequence, or accomplish intended goals (that’s not to say I accomplish nothing–I just often end up doing something really well that, well, shouldn’t be on the “front burner”). As I write this, I have quite a bit of homework. But, some part of me says that this post is a beneficial use of my time. (I’m calling it a warm-up to my American Lit paper on T.S. Elliot. I think I am a rarity in the realm of English majors, since poetry doesn’t do it for me at all. Yet?) Writing lists for everything, helps me most of the time. When I forget my list, I am like a lost child. Anyone who knows me well is rolling his or her eyes because he/she has seen the dry-erase to-do list on my closet mirror, my lists for homework, groceries, and bills in my Wunderlist app (which is great-you should download it), and my wrinkled index cards and Post-Its with workouts scrawled in pen or highlighter that I clip into my stopwatch at the gym. It’s an actual cause for conern, though, because I will inevitably have occasions when I can’t pull out a checklist or reference sheet. When I figure out a coping strategy, I’ll let you know. For now, all I’ve got is… wear long sleeves and write the list on my arm.

Phew. So, there’s the tip of the iceberg. Now I can take a deep breath and a scoop of pre-workout (haha, at least I think my fitness jokes are funny) and start paddling in the other direction with a purpose (pun intended!)

I know deep down that I am not a loser (at least not in the failure-at-everything way). I know I’m not fat, ugly, stupid, boring, or insignificant. I am a capable person with potential, and the things that I don’t like about myself can be fixed. I am fortunate for that. I could be one thousand times worse off than I am, and still have blessings to count. To my family who (I think) thinks I forgot them (but may well not think that at all–maybe they have felt just like this once upon a time), I still love you and think about you, and have a phone. I will pick it up one of these days and start checking off the people on my list whom I want to know what I am doing with my life. To my friends (because I do know that I have you and will stop, even jokingly, saying that I don’t have any), I enjoy every minute with you and wish I had more. Send me funny pictures when I’m at work, which is always. To me, get your shit together! What are you doing still getting warmed up when the race is about to start? Get your large fanny to the starting line stat. I sure hope you all like my jokes and analogies. Wait, who am I kidding? I am the only one who gets more than mild, eye-rolling amusement from them (the only one who guffaws instead of snickers–thesaurus again! You’re welcome!), but that’s all that counts. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again–I should be on SNL. IF anyone from SNL is reading this, I only have one more year of undergrad and am planning on getting a journalism grad degree, so, yes, I would love to write some comedy sketches for you if Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, and Keenan Thompson will be in them. But if Andy Samberg wants to, I will allow that.

In other news, I finally joined Instagram, and I would have linked my account to the word “Instagram” if I knew how. If you know how it works, my username is CourtM413. I feel awesome taking pictures with my huge iPad, but they are very exclusive because I can only use my iPad wherever there’s wifi. Here are some of my recent gems:

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This was once a “protein mug cake” and looked delicious in the Pinterest picture. I didn’t cook it long enough and there was still some almond milk glop when I took it out of the mug, so I put it back into the microwave and it had a breakdown.

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This is me showing how much of a positive influence vegetables have on lives.

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This is me attempting the pre-workout selfie without much poise and with much dorkiness. See the phone? Samgsung Brightside. It’s my upgrade. Some of us don’t have data plans and too much attention-deficit to have internet ever-available, okay?

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This is the boyfriend and I dancing the “waltz-square-dance-two-step-with some foot squishing”. Everyone stepped back to applaud and be inspired.

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This is my water jug after I finished it (really!). That fit life, yo.

You can see the other photos I have posted to Instagram if you search me on Instagram, I believe. I didn’t actually post the workout selfie, though, so consider yourself an insider!

Oh! And, as if this post is not long enough, I almost forgot:

1. Something I learned today: I learned that there are people in the world that don’t consider carrot cake to be what food in Heaven must taste like. (I brought a carrot cake–from an actual bakery, not a box–to my sorority event, and only one piece was missing. Luckily, my boyfriend is a sensible man and took it home to his family lest I devour it myself or waste a valuable baked good.) Just kidding, that isn’t the one I’ll count. I learned also that sometimes realizing your faults solves some of them, and that you don’t have to feel guilty about things that make you imperfect. Once you stop feeling ashamed, fixing the problem seems like a desirable quest, instead of a potentially painful undertaking. I can start with being stricter on my diet and not seeing treats as a seductive, forbidden indulgence. Then, I will tackle one of my time issues and acutally calculating exactly how much I need to work each week, and since I know I am exceeding that, let myself turn down an extra optional day of work so that I can give a little more to my relationships.

2. Something I did for someone else: I snagged my boyfriend some pineapple and Rice Krispie treats from the AXD event and even if it only changed one person’s life, I did provide a carrot cake. Sometimes my good deeds don’t involve offering people food.

3. Something I did for myself: Said, “what the hell” and wrote this post. Okay, Courtney, enough, T.S. Elliot awaits!

4. And, something I am thankful for is: Spring Break coming up next week and my trip that I confirmed today–a dear friend and I are taking a trip to Washington D.C. to see my sister and her fiancé! I am very excited, but the ecstasy never really kicks in for me until the moment of departure. I have to conquer midterms first!

Have a superb weekend, and I will catch yeese soonish!

–Courtney

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