I’ve been struggling recently with the state of my life. I’ve caused a lot of problems and made a lot of mistakes in my life, but things have always worked out for me. My parents are exceptionally accommodating and beyond understanding. Every time something goes wrong in my life, they seem to know what’s wrong before I even tell them, and they already have a solution planned out. I’m so lucky to have the parents that I do, because I honestly don’t know where I’d be without them. The only problem is, I’m nineteen years old and I still rely on my parents to solve my problems. It’s not that I necessarily rely on them to fix things, but they’re so good at it, and so ahead of the game, so before I even have to worry, everything is taken care of. I would never wish for something bad to happen, or to be in a bad situation, but sometimes I wonder if I’d even be able to handle things myself or survive on my own if it came to that. (I just mean if they wouldn’t help, not that that they wouldn’t be around.) I appreciate everything that they do for me and I really am blessed with amazing parents, but sometimes I feel babied and unable to solve my own problems, and I can’t help but wonder if I’d even get through on my own.

That brings me to the title of this post. Identity. Who am I? I don’t know if I’m even capable of being on my own, and on top of that I don’t know who I would be if I was on my own. If I had to make every decision on my own, what would my life look like? If I didn’t have help, would I ever reach happiness or success in any area of life?

I know who I want to be. I know that I want to be independent and strong. I want to be confident, simple, loving, helpful, focused. I want to be someone who has their shit together. Right now, I’m far from that. I am a very loving person at heart, and I truly do care about people. However, I’m also judgmental and sarcastic, traits that outwardly project hostility and make me seem rude to those who don’t know me. I’m also an extreme exaggerator, so those traits get played up a ton. I love simple clothing, but I feel a need internally to impress others and it seems like you can only do that with designer names and over-the-top purchases. I want to be strong and solve my own problems, but like I said, I rarely get the opportunity — and I’m not going to turn down my parents’ help. I want to be a powerhouse at school and work, but I’ve been struggling with lack of motivation and slight depression for the past couple of years which has seemingly blocked my ambition.

I know exactly who I want to be, and where I want to end up, but I’m not sure how to get there. It seems like every time I try, it get’s ignored, or it’s not enough. It’s hard to change people’s idea of you and to have higher expectations of you, and I’m struggling with that. I know that it takes time and effort, but it’s extremely frustrating. The two things I definitely know about myself are that I’m impatient, I want my life to come together in an instant, and that I definitely care about others’ opinions; not traits that I necessarily admire.


Some things can progress over time and grow so slowly that it’s hard to notice a change. Some things happen so fast that it seems impossible. Things like bone tumors. My wonderful baby girl, Nugget, is the only do give ever had. We got her from a friend who had rescued her from an abusive home and we’ve loved her every day since. It’s been about 10 years since we got her, and she’s been my best friend through it all. When my mom and dad thought she smelled or my sister thought she shed too much, I would lay with her and pet her until she knew she was more loved than any other dog in the world. I told her all my secrets and all my stories, and I asked for her permission every time we got a new cat. She’s been through all of life’s big changes with me, and I’m honestly so scared not to have that anymore.
She seemingly injured her front leg about a month ago, and when we took her to the vet they said she had tennis elbow (in a dog?!) and that she just needed to take anti inflammatory pills. That didn’t help, so blood work was done, but nothing abnormal was found. Then, yesterday she had x-rays taken. There is a large, extremely aggressive tumor in the bone near her shoulder, and it is causing her excruciating pain — pain that a human would find intolerable. She still walks around, just with a limp, and she acts like it’s just a hurt paw or something. She’s so strong and brave, and in so proud of her, but I feel so, so guilty that she’s had to live with this pain for so long without help. I wish there was something I could do to show her that it’ll all be alright, and that I’m sorry, and that I really do love her, but I’m just praying that she already knows all that. Although they could amputate the leg very high up and give her chemo, the result would only give her about a year, during which she would still be in extreme pain. That solution is more for us than for her, and that doesn’t seem fair. I can’t imagine living with the pain she’s in, and I think it’s only fair to her to give her a calm, peaceful ending that sends her into heaven, walking on all four legs. I don’t know how I’ll be able to sit on our dock and watch the fish that she loved to chase without crying, and I don’t know how I’ll be able to live in a house without four million yellow hairs, but I need her to be happy. I need it to be fair to her, and keep her in the most comfort we can.
I’m falling apart just thinking about Saturday, and my heart is destroyed thinking about life without Nugget.
I love you, Nug. Now and for forever.


With the endless opportunities available to a young woman in Los Angeles, California, you’d think that a month vacation would be nothing short of amazing and packed full of crazy memories. For most cases, you’d be right. Not for me. I came here with a bunch of plans and I’ve executed some of them, but failed to attempt many. With one week left in this city, hopefully I’ll be able to fill each day with new experiences and SoCal specialties — or at least get a tan. I’ve become insanely homesick the past couple days, and even though I’m with my sister and I’m in constant contact with my mom and dad, I’m still ready to return home to good ol’ Connecticut. I’m ready to sit around a bonfire with my parents and laugh with (but really at) them. I’m ready to sleep in insanely uncomfortable positions because my cats lie down first and I don’t want to displease them. I’m ready to drive down back roads with the windows down in my beloved Dora the Ford Explorer, country music playing, Dunkin Donuts in hand, and my dog by my side. I’m ready to hate babysitting two little rascals after the second day of work. I’m ready for weekends spent with my friends or cousins or grandparents. I’m ready to wander aimlessly down my road and those around it feeling safe and comfortable and in the know. I’m ready to sit in my backyard and throw a tennis ball twice before my dog gets disinterested and rolls around instead. I’m ready for kayak, paddleboat, speed boat, and paddle board, and pontoon boat rides around the lake every night. I’m ready to be home, and not a temporary home like my dorm or my sister’s apartment, but the real deal, my home sweet home.


Today, I got my first grade back on a final exam for the semester. It was a 91. Instantly, I was happy and proud of myself, but then I got to thinking. Freshman or sophomore year of high school I would have been frustrated to see a 91 on the top of a test. I would have gone through every single answer and tried to figure out how I could have possibly gotten so many points off. Now, I’m happy with a 91. Of course, freshman year of high school is very different than freshman year of college, and the exams are different, but either way I could have done better. I should have done better. 

Everyone always tells me that I have high expectations, and I need to lower them. I’ve always had huge ambitions in every aspect of my life, and I have no intention of settling. That’s what I tell myself, at least.

Junior year of high school was a very difficult time for me. A lot of my friends were starting to shift focus from hanging out and watching movies to hanging out and drinking vodka. I never made that transition, but I did worry about the fact that not being interested in alcohol would pull me away from my friends. I was focusing on keeping up my friendships more than I’d ever had to, and at the same time the workload was increasing at school. I definitely didn’t balance my energy well and soon after the year started, my grades were nowhere near where they had been before. However, it all worked out. I clearly remember AP US History; my first test score was a 54. FIFTY FOUR. Out of 100. I was distraught and lost and confused. However, there was a retake, and extra credit, and I did well enough on other things to make up fore my mistake. I still got an A in the class. I got As in all of my classes the first quarter. So, the next quarter I put a little less effort in, and then again, and again. By the third and fourth quarters, I was getting an even split of As and Bs, and it didn’t really bother me that much. Mom and Dad were disappointed, but not so much that I was in trouble. I was still “above average” according to the school charts, and that satisfied me. That’s when my expectation dropped from 90s to 80s. I was satisfied with Bs, and my stomach didn’t flip when I saw that grade on a test.

Of course, senior year is notorious for “senioritis” and it’s acceptable to put in less effort. Not in my house. I could have fun and be a senior, but I had to maintain my GPA and make sure I could still get into the University of Texas for Fall 2013. However, at some point in the year I started slacking after seeing all of my friends do the same, and I received a C+ in a class. Disaster. The rest of the year was a very even balance between maintaining my grades and having the maximum amount of fun as possible without getting another C. I managed to get through, and of course got into UT. My GPA was boosted enough from my previous grades that the final number was still higher than most and I was still in the top tier of my class.

Then, college. My expectations carried over from senior year, rather than refreshing to those of freshman year. I received a mixture of As and Bs, and that satisfied me. Now that it’s the end of Spring semester and finals are in full swing, I’ve been thinking about it all a lot. This is the first semester that I may or may not be getting any As at all. I haven’t yet dropped down to Bs and Cs, but I’m scared that it might come to that if I don’t make a big change. My RTF class is right on the edge of an A-, but I won’t know until grades are final and there’s nothing I can do about it. I might get all Bs. For some people, that’s an awesome accomplishment, and that’s something to be proud of. I’m not one of those people, and that’s because of my lifelong tendency to have very high expectations.

Seeing my GPA from first semester and being disappointed in it, and then knowing it will drop even lower once this semester’s grades are finalized, destroys me. I have a friend who was proud of her 2.5 GPA in high school. I would never tell her to her face, but if that had been me, I would have been not only upset, but ashamed. Thinking about that, and knowing that my college GPA could be heading in that direction soon, I know that I need to make a drastic change.

There are a lot of areas of my life that I would love to be able to press a button and have them resemble the past, but my grades are the top priority. With good grades come great opportunities, and those opportunities lead to the changes I want in the rest of my life. I need to stop trying to fix everything at once and just get down to the basics. I need to expect As. I need to work hard for those As, and I need to be pissed off when I receive anything less.

I know that it’s impossible to be perfect, but I used to be pretty damn close, and I will do anything in my power to get that back. Starting now.

So Close.

Times are really tough right now. It’s finals week, and that means classes are over, yet school buildings are more packed than ever. My finals are pretty evenly spaced out; Wednesday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, so I should be able to study enough for each of them. If only I can get some motivation and quit procrastinating long enough to cram some information into my mind. My emotions have definitely gotten even worse lately, worse than they already were. The more I think about summer and being with my family, whether that be in California or Connecticut, it makes me want to avoid this place like a black hole. I think about coming back next year and it makes my stomach knot itself so tight that it makes me feel sick. I get so sad and angry about it all, and that stresses me out making it even worse. I know that a lot of my unhappiness is my own fault, but I can’t help my personality. I’m not the type of person who is willing to walk up to any random person and strike up a conversation, and if someone asks me a question I answer it and move on. I’m happy doing my own thing, and it doesn’t upset me that I’m alone, it’s just stressful that there’s nobody within 1500 miles that knows me or considers me a friend in any way. And even if I did really need them, there’s no way of getting to them. I have no control over my whereabouts without a car, and it’s not a good feeling. Of course there are zip cars and car2go vehicles, but I can’t bring myself to pay those excessive prices when all I need is an escape. I honestly feel trapped. Trapped in a state of anger and sadness, and I know that the only way out is to leave this place. I love Texas, and I love the way of life they live here, and I love the school as a whole, I’m just not sure that I fit in here - at all. I’m trying to find positives, but it’s getting really hard. Every day is one day closer to family and happiness, so that’s what I’m constantly thinking about lately. It’s very hard to study for these 4 exams, and finish my research project, when all I can think about is being gone. I’ve never felt like this before, and I’ve felt some pretty deep sadness before. I think part of it is the options for my future. Of course, if I tell my mom how unhappy I am here, she’ll immediately suggest switching schools to somewhere where I feel happy. But, I do feel happy here. I genuinely like the RTF program here - in fact, I love it - and if the point of my college education is to get a degree and experience with film, then shouldn’t that be all that matters? This is the place where I’ll benefit the most for my future career, but not necessarily for my friendships and happiness and life skills, and isn’t that important, too? Plus, all I’ve ever talked about is coming to UT and how much I love it and all the positives, so I feel like I have something to prove. I’ve never been a quitter, and I hate the idea of leaving something I started, so I just don’t know if I could bring myself to transfer. It’s just a lot to think about, and I know that once I’m done with this summer, I’ll be dreading my return - I’m already dreading it. There’s a lot to think about, but thankfully I do have a lot of time. Unfortunately, this year my depressed moods have taken a toll on my grades, and they’re continuing to do so this finals season as hard as I’m trying to combat it.Those unfortunate grades also restrict my options, so there’s that to think about as well. I’m honestly just done, and I hate that saying as much as the next person, but that’s the only way I can seem to put it. I am completely and utterly over being here, and I don’t think it’s good for my mental health to be here and in this state any longer. Thankfully, in eight days I’ll be able to take a four month breather. Hopefully I’ll be able to find myself again in that time.

The Worst.

Today I got to thinking, as you do, about my life and where it is and where it’s going and how I feel about everything. That was a bad decision. That got me thinking about school, which got me thinking about the nearing end of the semester, and soon after I was quickly searching my syllabi for details on the weights of grades and then calculating exactly what grades I’ll get in each class for each possible scenario on each assignment left. I am going to get straight Bs this semester. That’s never happened to me in my life. I’m completely distraught, and I don’t even know why. I’m obviously disappointed in myself because I know exactly where each point was deducted and I know for a fact that I could have done better in certain classes. I’m horrified to tell me mom, and conflicted about when I should tell her, or if it’s even entirely her business to know. I don’t know if I want my sister’s help, because sometimes she is the absolute best confidante and has the perfect advice, and other time she acts like a helicopter parent that yells and critiques and I can’t stand it. I already know the exact reaction my father will have, disappointment. He’ll feel exactly like I do, which breaks my heart. The opinion that matters to me more than any other one in the entire world is that of my dad. I can clearly picture the exact moment he told me that I was “chubby” for the first time, and the time he called me a “failure” after some of my worst decisions. I can tell you every detail, from the most broad and basic, to the specifics that I wouldn’t even know about the best days of my life. I love my father, and I think what hurts the most is that I agree with everything he says or does, but when it’s about me, I know then that it’s real. And I hate that. I also told myself that my goal for this semester was to get my GPA to a solid 3.5 instead of the 3.4 it was sitting at, and all that I did was fail myself, and make it even harder to get to that 3.5 that I so desperately want. In high school, I was disappointed when my GPA dropped to a 3.8 and I can’t help but think “what has my life come to?” I literally used to be a perfect child, in my parents eyes and my own. I miss that more than anything. I hate being a disappointment, all I want is to please people.

I can’t help but reflect on life when I get into these moods, and one thing that repeatedly flashes through my mind is my age. I’m 18; I’m the age that people sing about and tell their happiest stories about. This is supposed to be the best time of my life, my senior year of high school, transitioning into college. College! I’m supposed to be breaking rules, partying, meeting people that I’ll remember for the rest of my life, falling in love, experiencing freedom for the first time, and living life happily. I’m not. There is literally not one of those things happening for me right now. Let me just tell you about my life really quick. I can legitimately count on one hand the number of parties that I attended through all of my senior year, the following summer, and my freshman year of college thus far. One hand. I don’t mind spending time alone, I actually really like it, but it is a human basic instinct to interact with people - and that doesn’t mean texts, phone calls, and FaceTime chats with my friends and family from back home. Class doesn’t count either. I just know that I should have been having the time of my life these past couple years, but for me they have been two of the worst years of my life, if not the two worst years. I currently have no friends within a 1600 mile radius, have nothing higher than an 85% in any classed, and can’t even motivate myself to lose the extra weight that’s been bothering me for 5 years. I have no motivation to do anything that I’ve been complaining about, but I can’t help but complain.

I’m just frustrated with my situation, and with myself. I can’t name one area of my life that I’m happy with, and there’s so much that I haven’t even mentioned here. I’m just feeling very down lately, and very depressed, and I don’t entirely know what to do, or where to turn. It’s really hard for me. I just have to flip a switch and gain the motivation that I used to be overflowing with. I used to have nothing other than positive energy wanting to get things done, and be the best at everything. I wouldn’t quit a single thing in my life, and I definitely wouldn’t lose, no matter how hard something was. I was unstoppable, and now I can’t even find the starting line.

This weekend, I went to the ACM awards in Las Vegas. My sister has been working with the Academy of Country Music for the past three years, and this year I joined my mom, aunt, uncle, and two cousins in Las Vegas, Nevada for the 49th annual awards show. We had a blast, spending the first three days watching rehearsals in the mornings and going to the Party for a Cause Festival in the afternoons/evenings to see some amazing performances. Then, on Sunday we spent the morning at the pool and laying in the sun, before getting ready and attending the awards show. Monday was another pool day followed by the ACM All-Star Salute to the Troops taping that will air on CBS in May. We had the best VIP treatment the whole time, with a lovely room at the MGM Grand and Backstage Passes to every event. I went last year with my mom, but having some of my extended family join us this year made it that much more fun. I love country music more than anything, except maybe live concerts and festivals, so this weekend was my idea of a perfect time. They also announced that next year, for the 50th anniversary, the show will be in Dallas, Texas at AT&T Cowboy’s Stadium, so I can’t wait! I’ll be able to do a road trip to get there, and I’m sure everything will be bigger and better (it always is in Texas)!

The only downside to this weekend was that I missed all my classes Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, so I have a bit of catching up to do. My teachers have all been really nice about it (I told them I was ill), so I have a bit of time to get back into the swing of things, but I’m still stressed out. I hate not knowing what’s going on, and that’s how I feel in every single one of my classes right now. The rest of this week, and especially this weekend, will be entirely devoted to sorting out my school work.

Five weeks from today, all my finals will be done, I’ll no longer be a college freshman, and I’ll be on my way to Los Angeles to celebrate my sister’s college graduation and spend some extra time with her before I have to go home and work in June. I’m very, very excited, to say the least.

An indefinitely vast number.

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