So this week, I actually had to cook for myself!
Yeah, yeah, I know. It's really that big of a deal. But I've become accustomed to the on-campus dining and not having to do more than swipe my card and grab some food. But this week (because I decided to return to campus a week before it actually reopened) I had to cook everyday this week just to survive!
But I made some pretty good food. Check it out.
Monday, Jan 6
Spicy one-pot jambalaya. Andouille sausage, white rice, skinless chicken breasts, all in one big pot to create a blend of savory cajun flavor.
Tuesday, Jan 7
Bacon, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, and mustard. Along with homemade potato fries. Simple but delicious.
Wednesday, Jan 8
Easy baked tilapia flavored with fresh lemon and Italian Garlic. Along with slow cooked wild rice and broccoli mac & cheese. One of my favorite dishes.
Thursday, Jan 9
Thin noodle spaghetti with smoked sausage and savory tomato sauce. Served with a garden salad and cheesy biscuit cookies (namely because I messed up the recipe and it turned into a cookie more than a biscuit).
Friday, Jan 10
I went to the movies. My boyfriend dragged me into watching a period piece called 1917. About a series of events of two British soldiers, Schofield and Blake, when they impossible orders to race against time.
It was really good, to my surprise. But I eat at the movie. Had some nachos and gobs of popcorn.
Saturday, Jan 11
Half and half baked wings. Honey barbecue and buffalo baked in one tin and cooked alongside a cheese loaded baked potato.
Sunday, Jan 12
Lemon and garlic buttered salmon seasoned with salt and pepper and baked with brussel sprouts. Served with slow cooked wild rice and salted tomato slices.
I think I know myself pretty well. I have had 19 (nearly 20) years to study, after all. And I know I have a fragile heart. I know when I fall, I crash. But my heart is like the last domino in the line. So many things have to fall into place within me before all of me goes crashing down. I mean, I have myself guarded up tighter than Fort Knox.
So these words have always been so hard for me to say. When I meant it anyway. When I didn't it just kind a rolled off my tongue. "Oh girl, I love you!" "I love you! You're so funny!"
But in the context in which I'm opening my heart, it always making me nauseous. Not because I didn't mean it or didn't want to say it. It's the fact that I'm actually exposing myself.
It's like your teeth. You munch and munch on them all day without a care. Then you get a cavity. At first it doesn't hurt so much. Just with sugary foods. Then with all foods. Then whenever you move your jaw. But by that point the nerve ending is exposed and you start to favor the other side of your mouth. Or if you are hygienically wise, you go to the dentist before it gets that bad.
It's the same way for me with those words. As they become more real, the harder they are to say. So I start saying other things that imply or allude to what I'm trying to say and still get the job done. Backwards, I know.
But now I've come to like it. In this way, I know it's real. I mean, I still have trouble telling my mom I love her and I've been doing it for nearly twenty years. It just feels weird in my mouth. So when I feel this nausea - as scary as it is - I'm more incline to just say it. Because it's true. I've got only one life and it's a pretty short one so I'm not gonna waste my time not telling my truth, not telling my feelings.
Yes. It is just one phrase. Three simple words, I know. But to me it is the second most important phrase a person can say. When it's true.
I know for a lot of people school has been going on for a month already. But for me, I'm just starting into week 3. One might think that I've been coasting so far. Just chilling in the start of the year. But false. In the last two weeks I've had 9 homework assignments due, 7 quizzes, a full book to read along with 9 full length textbook chapters, and I have a job.
No rest for the wicked.
But don't mistake this for me complaining. I love it. Sure, I have a full schedule with 19 credits and a job that I go to immediately after class, and homework that I need to attend to as soon as I get back... Wait, I wasn't complaining? No, because I have only one class on Friday and I don't work on that day or the weekends so it's like I have a three day weekend every week. Plus, my friends are the raddest cats. They're not cats. They're cool dudes. And every single weekend they have something new that we need to. Something fun to break from the intensity of a lecture filled week. And it works for me. If didn't, I wouldn't be feeling so light right now.
Now don't get me wrong I do have a pretty heavy load to deal with. But I'm dealing, you know? Look at it like this. I get to have a break. I get most - if not all - of my homework done over the week so when Friday rolls around I can do whatever in the Bloody Mary I feel like doing. This morning, I pulled the doors off of my closet so I could see all of my clothes. Honestly, don't ask why I thought that was the best way to go about that. But I could. Because I have the time and energy. I just got to keep pushing myself to get where I want to be and I'll always find myself there.
That's my motto in life. "If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk then crawl. Just get to where you wanna be."
A few months ago, way back in April, my boyfriend and I went on a drive around the city. It was one of those slow laid back days where we didn't want to do anything but we didn't want to stay inside. It was getting kind of late in the day when we decided to head back to campus but the sun was still out. And on that drive back a woman started honking and rides up on us. Then she pulled around us, screaming and shaking her fist out out the window. When she saw me, shock took her face briefly before returning to anger. For a moment, I thought that maybe we cut her off, or was driving too slow. But that couldn't have been the case.
Now, what I failed to mention was that my boyfriend is a proud Trump supporter. He has the hats and the stickers and any other memorabilia he could get his hands on. Including bumper stickers. We later put together that's where the woman's sudden anger and hatred stemmed from.
Then, not even a week later, my boyfriend decided wear his MAGA hat around campus with some of his friends. It was a great accessory to his outfit, if I do say so myself. But that's beside the point. The point is that because I was holding his hand, I received a lot of disgusted, sad and even angry stares. Me, a very brown girl, with a Trump supporter. How degrading! How repulsive! How deplorable!
No, what was deplorable was a group of girls, stopping me at the salad bar to ask if I was okay, as if to suggest that I was in some undesired captive relationship. I know, it's a big step from "are you okay?" to "is he holding you hostage?" But their line of questioning would prove their intent. Questions like, "how long were you dating before he told you?" "Would did he say to make you okay with that?" "Does he let you watch the news?" Does me let me watch the news?!? How was he gonna stop me? It's not like he had me tied up a basement and sang to me about the wonders of Trump. Not to down play such situations. Except, they overplayed mine.
I understand that people are not really big fans of Donald Trump right now. I understand that some things that he says and does are not going to make everyone happy. But someone put him in office. A lot of people wanted him there. A lot of people want to keep him there. I might not agree with everything my boyfriend does in relations to politics but he hasn't once disrespected me, my moral standings, or my ideologies. And he isn't going around grabbing women's yahoo either.
Now, I'm not trying to sway anyone into living a life like my own or glorify dating someone with opposing views, because sometimes it's hard. But I am just asking that we just respect each other's lifestyles.
Also a co-worker of my mine, from the Lumberjack Newspaper, wrote a great article about her relationship. And another co-worker did an illustration of me and my boyfriend for the story. You can check it out and read the article, here.
I came to this university for the sole purpose of seeing snow. I didn’t look at the academic programs, the student atmosphere, or even the tuition costs… and that’s why I’m in debt. I literally left my toasty home to come to the freezing mountains with no preparation or forethought. I just threw my stuff in a bag and bounced. Those from southern Arizona know how sticky hot it can get in August. It’s like a sauna everywhere. So, the 80s and 75s here, were a welcomed abnormality. And for the first couple of months I was content. Well, aside from the raging homesickness, I was content.
Then winter rolled around. This year, first snow was in late November. The 28th to exact. Oh, why do I remember that day? Good question. I remember it being that day precisely because my mom had called me that morning. She had been working on convincing me to transfer to the university back home. I won’t lie, by that point I had really been considering it. I had already gotten a taste of living in a four-season city, and I was not fond of it. Moving here, allotted me the understanding that I don’t like the cold and that I find my bones freezing dangerously uncomfortable. The thing is, I was sourly unprepared for a “real winter.” I didn’t have snow boots, still don’t, or an effective jacket.
So, my mom’s call came with the advice that I should sit down with my advisor and look at the next steps to out of here. I did. But on my way there, I realized how little traction converse have. I slipped and ate it. Hard. Just outside the Student Success Center. I even cut my knee on a random piece of ice, ripping my jeans, my favorite jeans. And had my ignominy not been enough, some guy standing outside started laughing. Laughing so hard, even, he had to walk away, shaking his head in belief. I went into that meeting with a new determination… and blood streaming down my leg.
Fortunately, I was confronted with the news that I wouldn’t be able to transfer the next semester like I planned. My financial aid wouldn’t allow it. I was going to have to wait until the following fall, unless, of course, I planned on being buried in my debts instead of a coffin. So, I buckled down.
It was about a week later and it had just snowed. Again. I was walking back to my dorm from the movie theatre with a friend of mine. It was late and it was cold, and we thought we heard screaming. We had. As we rounded our street, we saw ten, maybe fifteen, dudes rolling a massive snow ball across the street to the field. We couldn’t just leave then. So, we found ourselves hanging out with them. Five of them had been friends prior to this event and we were standing outside, in the cold, for a about three hours with them. Why we didn’t just go into we were standing in front of? I don’t know. But standing there I realized that I was chatting with the guy who had mocked at me a week before. So, I confronted him.
“Hey, you’re the guy who laughed at me for eating it out outside the Student Success Center.”
He said he didn’t remember that, and even now he denies it, but I know it was him. By the end of the night we had exchanged contact info with everyone and through the rest of semester we continued to hang out with them. We found that they were not a typical group of men. In the traditional sense they are rowdy and somewhat annoying, and generally ignored the fact that some things just shouldn’t be done on a college campus. But they are also the coolest, wildest, smartest dumb shits I have ever met; and just before winter break, we had officially infiltrated their group.
Whilst on my break I found myself looking forward to my return. Don’t get me wrong, I needed the time off, but I was excited for what was in store for the next semester. Having done no research prior to applying, I pleasantly surprised to find that the writing programs here were going to serve me well. Being a Creative Writing major was looking like it going to have a large pay out. So, I was thrilled to head back and trudge through the snow again. And upon my return I saw my rowdy boys.
Which brings me to last night, when I was again, hanging out these extravagantly weird dudes. We were playing Cards Against Humanity and I’m not sure why, but I looked up at my best friend who was laughing like an idiot, at my roommate who was disappointed with her hand, and at the rest of the rambunctious group, and I regretted nothing. Even today, on this very snowy day, I’m glad I decided to come. And I’m glad I decided to stay.