New Year’s Resolutions 2016

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I have been waiting for about a month to talk about my New Year’s resolutions. I started carrying through some things I wanted to work on around Thanksgiving and so I am so excited to share the things I’m working on with you.

  1. No shopping until June. My husband and I have been doing a ton of shopping in the last six months or so and are desperately approaching a much-needed hiatus. We have taken a shopping fast before as a build up to our wedding. The only things we exclude from it are necessities which includes food, shelter, and things we must buy like bridesmaids/groomsmen clothing for important weddings in our lives.
  2. Which leads me smoothly into my second point. Use this space as more of a style guide and less of a vehicle for consumerism. Less “buy this, buy that” and more “this is what I look like, this is what I dress like, this is what I paired this with” instead of “this is 40% off.” I will still tag where I purchased things but with more item tags that say similar instead of exactly where I purchased the original item since I plan to shop less.
  3. Closet and house purge of unnecessary things. We have just accumulated too much stuff. So the rule is anything that hasn’t been used in two years or anything that won’t be used within a year, will go.
  4. Incorporate fitness daily. I have to get back to a space where my life isn’t so sedentary. I have used my job as an excuse but a year in and it is no longer new to me. Even if it’s just a 15 minute walk with the dogs in the evening, I have to do more to be active. I am going to start by participating in activities that I enjoy. Restarting a yoga practice, continuing water aerobics and running more are on the list. participate in activities I enjoy.
  5. Follow the impulse. The other day I decided to go to the beach and so we went. If I have an idea that deviates from my normal pattern of behavior, I usually shy away from it. This year, I am going to start living my life as though I’ve imbibed a daily bottle of felix felicis and I am going to follow the impulse.  Rare is the occasion where my gut reaction steers me wrong and I am going to just roll with it.
  6. Post regularly. I am not a blogger but I do get a sense of satisfaction from blogging. I have had this space for years and have never had the consistency to post on a regular basis. I am going to give it a shot if only because I love the idea of chronicling the entire year in post and thoughts. So even if it’s just minutia, I will try to update here at least three times a week. I will also make an effort to spruce up the appearance around here as well as categorizing everything so it’s easier to look back.

So let’s hear it, what are you working on this year or are you a conscientious objector?

XOXO Prepford Wife

A Year In Review: 2016

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I’ve had a wonderful year. There’s that quote from One Tree Hill where Nathan says “One day you’re seventeen and planning for someday. And then quietly and without you ever really noticing, someday is today”. I feel that way about this year. One day I was planning for it to start and just a day later, I’m chit chatting about it ending. In between there, I managed to accomplish a few things that I feel good about.

No. This is the year that I finally learned to say no. If I didn’t want to do it, I passed. If the dress didn’t fit properly, I took it back to the store. If my feelings were hurt, I confronted them. This was just a year of saying no to displeasure and I feel better for it.

Stretch. In addition to saying no, I have really been making an effort to stretch myself. Last December, I started a new career path which has challenged this self proclaimed introvert. Each day I’ve stretched to perform a little better, do a little more, all while making sure that I stay true to who I really am. This is a concept I have been applying not just at work but also in my day to day life. If I can be a little kinder, I am. If there is a show that isn’t necessarily the genre I would usually enjoy, I at least try to give it a chance. If I can go to the gym, if only for twenty minutes, I do.

Or. It’s also been the year of the ultimatum for me. According to every skill finder test ever, I am harmonious. I try to create harmony and peace where ever I am. This often means that I people please and in pleasing others, I rarely please myself. This year I have been doling out a lot of the word “or”. I would like to be treated this way or we can not continue this relationship… You need to pull your weight by this date or I can no longer help you… I demand this kind of love as demonstrated by… or I can no longer engage. You would be surprised at how easy it is to be met half way when you make your intentions both known and quantifiable.

Fear I feel like I’m playing double dutch in life, standing on the sideline, constantly trying to figure out when the best moment is to get in. And fear gives me such a hard time getting in. This year, I have really thrown fear out the window. If there is something I had a tingle of wanting to do, I did it and those are some of the moments I remember best.

Love. It seems all of our closest friends got engaged this year and it’s really got me thinking about how I love and how I like to be loved. This year, I have loved better than ever before especially in my own home within my own marriage. It seems my husband and I have hit our stride. Our relationship has hit this gentle streak where we are able to just coast and its wonderful.

There are tangibles a plenty from this year but like every other year, what I am really working on are the intangibles. What did you work on this year, even if you didn’t realize you were working on it at the time?

XOXO Prepfordwife

 

 

 

Holiday Energy Charge

 

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Pajama set (long sleevetipped, striped, great deal)

Tis the season to be… stressed. I always find myself on the brink of a break down around the holidays. It’s the fourth quarter. The weather is shifting back and forth in the South and my body is trying to decide if it wants to be sick. Christmas parties, seasonal traveling, people wearing these shoes in my house (a tidy introverts biggest woes). Compound that with the fact that I can never quite seem to get all my gifts together in time and you have the recipe for disaster.

I am learning to realize that I can’t control everything and to just breathe through the moment. Here are some things I’m doing to recharge during the holiday.

  1. More running. All of holiday eating and no sun makes me incredibly sluggish. I am using this time to make sure that I am keeping to the activities that I know make me feel good including running. I’ve also picked up water aerobics. I know it’s for the elderly but as someone with a history of swimming and bad joints, water aerobics is helping me acclimate to being in the pool and not kill my knees in the process. Plus the women are soooo sweet.
  2. Ignore the phone. If the phone rings and it isn’t a work call, I’ve been learning to say no. People will leave a voicemail if it’s important and if its just another “Happy Holiday” call, I call back when I feel comfortable (I try to do this within 48 hours).
  3. Skip the holiday parties. Unless its mandatory, I am skipping holiday parties and traditions that I don’t necessarily look forward to. My favorite thing about my husband is that he doesn’t mind just sitting home with just us and the dogs.
  4. Expedited shipping. If I can help it, I am not shopping. The mall sends my nerves into a frenzy and this time of year. I am only shopping in store if I can guarantee there won’t be a crowd which is darn near impossible this time of year so mostly I am shopping online and pay those extra few dollars to make sure my purchases arrive in a timely manner. So far so good.
  5. Eat the second cupcake. I refuse to stress about my weight this holiday season. I am just eating as well as I can and indulging when I feel the need. If I want the second cupcake, I have it.
  6. Staying spiritually in tuned. Whatever I do by way of spirituality, I am making sure that I keep to it. Whenever my life is a disarray, I can often chart it back to a lack of prayer and meditation so even with all the frenzy, I’m making sure to still to my plan.
  7. Delete the emails. I get so many sale emails and I am deleting without opening. Unless of course there is something I have already had my eye on. If there is an item, I already needed I open the email for the coupon code. Besides that, promotional emails just mean more clutter.
  8. Wearing clothes that feel good. I’ve vowed to only wear clothes that I love. If it doesn’t fit or doesn’t make me feel like the best version of myself, it can stay in the closet this season. I know my feelings of self are closely tied to my outward expressions so I am making sure to take account of that.

I think if I stick to these things, I can make it through the holiday season with my sanity intact. What are you doing to stay sane this holiday season?

XO Prepford

Birthday Resolutions!

Today’s my birthday (at least it is if I’ve posted on time). Each year for my birthday, I reflect on the year before and set some resolutions for myself. This year, all of my goals revolve around who I want to be instead of where I want to be. In the past, I’ve focused on the careers I want, the things I want to obtain, but the year, I want to focus on the type of person I want to be. This year, I’m resolving to be:

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  1. First and foremost, kind to myself. I have been messing up lately both small and large. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to do anything (read: everything) right. If this were anyone else, I would sooth their fears, tell them it’s okay and that people make mistakes, and then figure out how to work towards fixing those mistakes. But when it’s me, I don’t allow myself that same sense of grace. I am hurtful and unkind to myself in a way that I would never ever be to someone else. This year, I am allowing myself the space to be kind to me.
  2. Fit. I recently started a job where I lead a sedative lifestyle. I am so accustomed to being up and engaged and on my feet and this new job is really taking a toll on my personal fitness. This year, I’d like to commit myself to at least three hours of physical activity each week. Whether I continue to practice hot yoga or run, I need to get up and move more.
  3. Well. I am 26 which puts me over the hill of youth in my mind. This year, I want to be better about minding my wellness. From eating the “correct” number of vegetables servings to actually booking that doctor’s appointment that I’ve put off, I am vowing to take better care of myself.
  4. Bold. I have a hard time speaking up for myself and in my job and almost all of my closest relationships, I am an introvert floundering in an extrovert’s world. This year, I want to do a better job of showing up for myself and bringing who I am internally forward so that other people can see her. Will I be exhausted? Sure. But it’s worth the risk.
  5. Consistent. I have really high highs and really low lows. What that means is that a large portion of time, I find myself waffling somewhere on the line of mediocre just because I can’t seem to channel the energy to make myself great. This year, I am challenging myself to bring greatness when I’m having high days. When I feel moved to blog, I will actually create the content. When I feel inspired to work, I will do the work. That way, when it is actually time to show up, I will have a completed product. So expect to see more regular posts here.

What are you working on in your life that demands your attention? What are you resolving to do?

Planner Season

It’s my favorite time of year. The time of year when some of my favorite companies start rolling out planners and agendas in anticipation of back to school time. Ah Planner Season. (That’s a thing right?) Anyway, nothing makes me happier than a brand new and ready to use agenda except for an already filled and completely scrapped one.

I am currently using the Bando 17 month planner which has one of my favorite prints to date. In a job where I do a lot of idle chit chat, this design has been a cute little icebreaker a number of time over. Each year, I try to do something and say something a little different with my planner. Since it’s a book that gets such heavy usage for me, I try to go for one that is not only cute but also sturdy and high quality. I really put the Bando planner through the ringer and it has held up even better than some of the more expensive planner I’ve had over the years. It’s a great price and I am also willing to pay a little bit extra for celebratory stickers. For some reason I am a sucker for stickers.

Here are my top picks for planners this season in a pretty decent range of prices, a few are even personalized. I apologize in advance because apparently all I care about this year is pink, gold and stripes. Happy hunting for your own planners.

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Being On When You Feel Off

I am a stone cold introvert, which is not to be confused with someone who is shy. I’m outgoing and I have little to no problem smiling and conducting small talk with the very best of them. But once it’s over, I just want to find the nearest blank wall and stare at it. For an hour. Alone.

As an internal private bring, there are a ton of days where there is just too much going on around me. I found this being particularly relevant when I found myself at a conference this week of over 700 people and could not seem to break away from the constant inundation of people. On these kind of days, I specialize in the personal mini mental vacation. If I’m out with friends or at a work event, I will spur up a conversation and then once it’s up and running between others, I will find shelter in my mind and regroup while others chat.

I also find an advocate in every social group. I spend a great deal of time at work functions now and a college friend works with me. She networks on my behalf so when she meets people that she thinks would be beneficial for me long terms, she suggests I have a conversation with that one person which I can totally handle. She also handles introductions unless I am introducing her to someone. This is totally possible to do in any circle. Find someone who is extroverted and has your best interest at heart and then hold on to them.

Seek refuge where you can. Got an event? Ride there alone or with your nearest and dearest. Whatever it takes to bolster yourself for an onslaught of interaction. I use this method for work each day when I know I will have to put on my shiniest face.

It’s also important to know how much you can handle. I know that I can handle, six hours of work and three hours of social interactions before I am drained. I leverage those moments where I feel “on” to balance out the times where I know I will be off so that when I need to slip away, the people won’t think I slithered off because I hate them. It’s important to make it clear that this is who you are and that you are not just responding this way because you aren’t friendly. This is important to me because my coworkers are actually wonderful and I wouldn’t want them to think that I dislike them.

If you are an introvert or just someone who finds themselves in a slump, what do you do to make it through the off period?

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101 in 1001

Almost Husband and I have been doing a list of 101 things we’d like to do in 1001 days. We have seen this kind of list featured dozens of times on blogs including on Design Darling’s. We’ve been doing it for a while now and so I decided to post it here so that a lot of my future post make sense, as they will demonstrate me/us working towards tackling some of these guys. It’s a list of 101 Things we’d like to do in a 1001 Days (2.75 years or 2 years and 9 months).

1. Create a blog as a couple. 10/7/2013 Yup, 2 Yuppies Just took us a while to publish *sheepish face*
2. Grown my hair to bra strap length. {HER}
3. Watch all of Pulp Fiction.
4. Work up to Pincha Manyurasana (headstand) {HER}
5. Redo our DIY nightstands in our bedroom. 4/29/2016
6. Run a 10k with no walk breaks.{HER}
7. Visit 3 new states.
8. Visit two countries outside of the USA.
9. Go to a music festival.
10. Purchase a brand new car. 12/15/2015
11. Make 10 good oil paintings. {HER}
12. Sell 3 oil paintings. {HER}
13. Open a small etsy shop to sell art and DIYs. {HER} 10/15/2015
14. Buy and learn to apply 2 make up products. {HER}
15. Go to a church service and find a church home.
16. Decorate for Christmas and Autumn.
17. Visit Harry Potter World in Universal Studios and Studio tour in London.
18. Rescue another dog and name him Remus Lupin.
19.Visit the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art).
20. Start G.O. G.I.R.L. Program {HER}
21. Obtain a rewarding job in global health. {HER}
22. Be proficient in photoshop and graphics. {HER}
23. See Cirque du Soleil performance.
24. Get conceal to carry license.
25. Camp
26. Complete P90X. {HER}
27. Be workable in Spanish.
28. Go to In-and-Out-Burger.
29. Finish planning our wedding.  10/17/2014
30. Get married.10/18/2014
31. Go to a concert. 10/17/2013 Janelle Monae
32. Sign up for MCAT course. {HIS}
33. Get into medical school. {HIS}
34. Go white water rafting.
35. Go to an NFL game.
36. Get a bonsai tree and care for it. {HIS}
37. Run a mile without stopping. {HIS}
38. Teach Sirius to jog off leash. {HIS}
39. Put 3 months worth of income into a saving account.
40. Find a doctor and a dentist and visit them every six months.
41. Go one month without buying anything unplanned and intentional. {HIS}
42. Learn to change car oil {HIS}
43. Go on a weekend trip and pretend to be someone else.
44. Sew a complete dress alone. {HER}
45. Medical volunteer trip. {HIS}
46. Buy a new set of living room sofas.
47. Go deep sea fishing.
48. Buy a house.
49. Donate blood.
50. Win a sweepstakes {HIS}
51. Plan a spontaneous day trip where we utilize our bike rack.
52. Give someone a make over. Personalized episode of What Not to Wear {HIS}
53. Have a successful yard sale. March 21, 2016
54. Learn to ride a horse. {HER}
55. Find a mentor. {HER}
56. Find a suit. {HIS}
57. Canoe with Sirius Black (our giant schnoodle, not the Prisoner of Azkaban)
58. Find a pair of wing tip shoes for under $400 {HIS}
59. Do 5 RANDOM acts of kindness {HIS}
60. Visit three natural landmarks.
61. Read the entire Bible. {HER}
62. Get a new Mac computer and become savvy with it. {HIS} 12/25/2015
63. Go vegan an entire month. {HER}
64. Care for and soften beard. {HIS}
65. Watch all of the Star Wars. {HIS}
66. Start a small business. {HIS}
67. Effectively organize our home.
68. Set a workout schedule and follow it. {HIS}
69. Make blessings bag.
70. Convince 10 people to make blessings bags.
71. Create a plant collection in the house to maximize on oxygen {HIS}
72. Create organic garden. {HIS}
73. Make a compost pile.
74. Learn to make a difficult signature dessert. {HIS}
75. Go one week without eating meat. {HIS}
76. Find a signature hair style. {HER} Two Goddess braids
77. Pay off $30,000 in school debt {HER}
78. Go paintballing.
79. Ride in a hot air balloon.
80. Help a complete stranger in trouble.
81. Pick a homeless person, give them $50.
82. Visit 4 places in the world name Victoria.
83. Go to Niagara Falls.
84. Sleep under the stars.
85. Get into Mensa
86. Learn a magic trip. {HER}
87. Visit a major headquarters of an industry we love. (Google, Lilly Pulitzer, J. Crew etc) J. Crew warehouse sale. 4/3/2016
88. Witness a solar eclipse or a comet.
89. See the Macy’s Day parade.
90. Help someone cross something off their bucket list.
91. Ride a mechanical bull. {HER}
92. Fly first class.
93. Finish decorating our bedroom. 4/27/2016
94. Go one month without buying anything from J. Crew. {HER}
95. Take a photo of all of the Ellis-Ford siblings.
96. Frame a non-Iphone photo of us.
97. Get something signature from Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and West Elm. {HIS} 4/24/2015 night stand cups
98. Spend a semester without relying on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
99. Open a joint bank account.
100. Create a new 101 list.
101. Open a savings account and save $10 for each goal completed

As we cross off these things, we’ll post about them in our respective sections on the site. Do you have a 101 in 1001? Let us know what you guys are gonna do. We would love to see them.

Missing Myspace

Kids these days really think they have done something new with all of this new fangled Instagram, Kik, ask.fm. But little do they know that we have been social media obsessed since the days where computers dialed up with that completely irritating and unnecessary modem with the free 90 day AOL disk. There was AOL chat rooms, livejournal, xanga, AIM but most of all Myspace. For many people in the 22-35 age bracket, Myspace was an era. A simpler time of Tom, Top 8’s, colorful background, duck face selfies and online marriages. In honor of my sentimentality, I decided to do a good ole fashion 17 question quizette, very popular during the Myspace times.
  1. The meaning behind my url: It’s a clever little play on StepFord Wife that includes my role as a stepford wife (includes the preppy lifestyle, clothing and crazy plot twist) and future last name, Ford. All creds to my almost husband for this gem
  2. Weakness: Wanting to say ‘yes’ to everything and every one and not realizing where my limits are, ebay, eating in bed
  3. Why I love my best friend: She understands me because she was there for all of the important moments. K allows me to be myself and not try to take that for herself. I never feel like she wants to morph into a carbon copy of me. And we laugh. K and my sister are the only people who really get my jokes. 
  4. Last time I cried and why: I’m pretty sure I cry everyday. It’s a byproduct of me being a jerk in my younger years. Cosmic karma and all that. I think the last time I cried was earlier today when reading a blog post about someone else’s happiness. I feel other people’s feelings deeply and I was overwhelmingly happy for her. 
  5. Piercings i have: Two holes in both ears. 
  6. Favourite band/s: Outkast. 
  7. Biggest turn offs: Loud noises and people. Show boating. Judgmental religious people, judgmental atheist. People who think they know what’s better for my well being that I do. 
  8. Tattoos I want: Trying to talk Marcus into matching “Mischief Managed” tattoos for the day after our wedding, “i.iii.66-71” with K from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Act 1, Scene three, lines 66-71, Giving Tree, Small Deathly Hallow behind my ear.
  9. Biggest turn on: Open hearts and minds, kindness, dorky sense of humor, Harry Potter love, facial hair
  10. Age: 23
  11. Ideas of a perfect date: Laying in bed with the fiance eating popcorn and watching netflix on a projector or kayaking and picnic date. 
  12. life goal(s): Michelle Obama. (See her career path and current status and Head Chick in Charge)
  13. Piercings i want:I’m good actually.
  14. Relationship status: Almost Married.
  15. Favourite movie: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Tangled, Just Friends, Beloved.
  16. Phobia: Double mastectomy *shiver* and the unknown.
  17. Middle name: I usually just go by Kay although it is just my middle initial. 
 
In honor of today’s Myspace Quiz, here is my profile picture from Myspace many, many moons ago. Seventeen year old me secretly loved a selfie just like everyone else.
 
 
 

New Year, Old Me

Unlike the rest of the world, for me the New Year is never an opportunity for renewal. I always use my birthday as the point in time where I make resolutions and plans for who I want to be in the New Year for a myriad of reasons.

For one it keeps it personal and I don’t have to compete against everyone else’s resolutions. I’m essentially wearing blinders and just running my own race. This year, my resolutions really focused on honing in on who I am. I want to be the best version of myself from August 2013 to August 2014. I want to look up and be like “The Victoria from October 2013? She was on point.” In an effort to do that, all of my resolutions this year were intangibles. Nothing that I could go out and do and hit a mile stone for, just general growth.

1. Don’t allow myself to regret not going to medical school. I made the outright conscious decision that I can not be a doctor. I don’t have a heart for it. I think God’s calling for my life is to effect the most people best way that I know how and I don’t think one on one clinicals is that. So I decided for myself not to go to medical school. Every now and again, my ego starts to regret it and I have to remind myself of my purpose and my life mission statement.

2. Have a profound musical experience. This year is the year of music for me. And while I too was riveted by Beyonce’s 12:01am release of Beyonce, that is definitely not what I am going for. You know that moment where you have heard a song fifteen times and you hear it in the car one day and there is a lyric that you have never heard before? You hear that verse and its so freaking real to where your life is or has been that you almost have to pull over (see Frank Ocean’s Bad Religion). That’s what I’m talking about. Those are the kind of profound musical experiences I’m after.

3. Find God where I am. I outright refuse to go to anymore church. Maybe that will change in the future but there was one summer where Marcus and I literally went to a different church Every. Single. Sunday. I think I was just searching and looking and pursuing and chasing after God. I felt like I just could not find him any where I looked. And you know where I found him? In the privacy of my own home; In the intimate moments that I have shared with my siblings; In the look of comprehension I find in my students’ eyes; In the hug that a woman gave me after I held her hand through her HIV test.  So this year, I am choosing to pursue God where I am through my actions, words and love for his people.

4. Be Kind. I am nice. Especially surface level but you know what? That is not enough. From anyone, really. I want to be better at being kind. I want to be more understanding of people and their life circumstances on a deeper level. And most importantly I want to be kind to myself. I am so critical of my every thought, action and move that some days I actually have to calm myself. Recently though, I have been able to look in the mirror and I look exactly the way I want to look and feel exactly the way I want to feel and that’s awesome.

5. Feel healthier. This is the only one that works toward an actual goal. And you know what that goal turned out to be? Hedonism. I was so rigid and uptight a lot all the time. I tried to be perfect in all aspects of my life so that no one would ever have a reason to yell at me. All of this tension was rapidly leading to an ulcer. So this year, I decided to loosen up a little. I eat what I want even if it has a whopping amount of calories. I say what I want, within reason. I go where I want and I sleep when I want. This year, I had a final in a class and I went to sleep the night before. No studying, just went to sleep. Woke up at 7am and studied. And you know what? Still passed with flying colors. The world did not slow to a stop because I chose not to study. Sure, I’ll have leafy greens, run and be accountable to my boss, but no longer will it be at the expense of my health. I needed to sleep, so I went to sleep.

How me and this guy spent New Year’s Eve

Facebook: The Highlight Reel

As you know by now, I had to take a little break from social media. I’m not one of those people who is obsessed or anything. I wasn’t on twitter every moment of the day. I wasn’t consumed with the fierce need to pin on pinterest while on the toilet. I didn’t check facebook every ten minutes while allegedly studying for a test. But what I did was much worst. I internalized things that I saw and read on social media.

Thanks to my parents. I have a healthy self-esteem. They made sure that all of my needs were met as a child. Not just physically but also emotionally, spiritually and mentally. They made sure that I was confident in my own skin, endorsing the concept that my black is beautiful, my mind is sharp and my value is not in my looks.

So imagine my surprise, when I began to feel bad about myself while engaging in a social network. People in my life were graduating, getting new jobs, spouses and having kids and I felt like I was stuck in metaphorical limbo. I felt like my life was never as exciting as the lives of people on social media. I didn’t plan enough for my dinner like pinterest, I didn’t take filtered photos like instagram. I didn’t wear beautiful outfits like tumblr. I didn’t document life milestones like colleagues on facebook. All this left me with was a feeling of not being good enough. I am not enough for social media.

Don't compare your behind the scenes life with other people's highlight reel! by daniela.fuchs.144

The moment I thought that thought, I realized, I needed to step back and reevaluate my priorities, especially since my life is in fact moving forward. I have gotten multiple jobs and degrees in the last two years. I am engaged but not married (entirely by choice). I have an excellent wardrobe. And I am child free, thank you Jesus (a kid would put a cramp in my irresponsible spending habits).

I spent a lot of time worrying about appearances which is not usually like me. I decided to take action. With a semester off of social media. During this time, I have centered myself and found peace, clarity and focus. Without the constant bombardment of sad news stories, life highlights, buzz feed articles and birthday comments, I have really been able to decide who I am outside of the influence of http://www.insert website title here.com. Now that I am back, I feel better able to prioritize. Now I spend less time online surfing just because I’m bored. I don’t feel pressured to stay online and continue a conversation with anyone into the wee hours of the morning and I don’t end up stressed during midterms and finals because of other people’s anxiety. I feel like I am closer to being the quiet spirit that I used to be and the woman that God wants me to be.