Paying Homage to 2018

A year ago today, I posted Paying Homage to 2017, where I took time to look back at everything that happened to me in 2017 that influenced me deeply. I said that I had an eventful year, and I was looking forward to 2018. However, I couldn’t have possibly been prepared for all that this year had in store for me. Let’s go ahead and look back at all that has happened in the past 12 months. Be warned- a lot more happened this year than last year.

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I celebrated the new year with my boyfriend, Zach. We started off at my God Mother’s house, then after a trip to McDonald’s minutes before the ball dropped, we made it to my house. I wanted this new year to be rung in perfectly, so I ran to the tv as fast as I could and got ready for the count down. We made it just in time to eat a few chicken nuggets before we shared our first New Year’s kiss.

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After working at Boys and Girls Club for about 5 months, I decided to resign. I’ll keep it professional and not go into too many details, but to sum it up, the employees were not kind to me and I felt that my voice was no longer being heard. It was extremely hard for me to do, as I loved the students I got to know. The smiles on their faces made all the hard work and sleepless nights worth it. However, I knew that I would continue to be treated poorly and for my mental health, it was time to go. I’m still very unhappy with how I was treated and how nobody really seemed to care when I told them, but it’s in the past and I just hope that things have gotten better there.

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The day before my last day of work, I came home to my sick hamster, Arodite. She had been looking sickly for a while, and I wasn’t sure what was wrong. She barely ate and didn’t drink much water. The only way I could keep her hydrated was by letting her chew on a wet washcloth. It was devastating. This day had been extremely hard for her. She wasn’t moving around much, staying close to her tower of bedding she created. That night, I was in the living room with my mother when we started to hear breathy cries from the room Arodite was in. I was too nervous to check on her, so I asked my mom to see if she was alright. She said, “oh, she’s crying.” Then, just as I got up to comfort her and give her some water, my mom corrected herself.

“No, don’t come in here. I think she’s dying.”

I know I should’ve ran in there immediately and held her in my arms, but I was so heartbroken that I couldn’t face her. I ran outside and refused to come back into the house until she passed. My father, who once worked at the county’s Metroparks, put my sweet Arodite down in the most humane way he was taught. I could hear her crying and gasping for air as I cried outside.

I’m so grateful for my boyfriend for coming over late that night to be with me while I cried. I was so upset that my fuzzy little baby had passed and there was nothing I could have done to save her. It was just her time to go.

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As some of you know, my boyfriend was a grade below me in high school, so he had his senior prom this year. I dreaded going because I wanted nothing to do with high school events such as this, but I was obligated. It was a nice time back with friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. Zach was the absolute sweetest to me that night. We danced for hours, then left a little early to get Wendy’s. After we finished our food, we headed to my house to relax. That’s when Zach gave me a book he made of reasons he loves me. Reading it made me cry like a baby. I was so sappy and lovey all night. All I wanted was to be cuddled up with my man. I don’t think anything has changed.

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A couple months later, Zach graduated high school. This was a special moment for him and I couldn’t go without sharing. I was so extremely proud of him, and as he walked across the stage to receive his diploma (from my dad, the V.P. of the School Board), my friends and I screamed and cheered. I ended up crying a few times too.

Being alongside him while he was working to get his diploma made it that much more special to me. I watched him get frustrated when he didn’t understand something, excited when he did, and relieved when he was on track. I knew he was ready for greater things and seeing him get that green light to do so was powerful.

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After a long, painful few weeks of bickering and disagreements, Zach and I broke up. I was devastated. But it had to be done.  Of course I was hysterical for months. I begged him to come back, but thankfully he said no. I say “thankfully” because we weren’t ready for each other yet. We needed some time to grow ourselves. Although there were many nights that I sobbed into my pillow and screamed until I lost my voice, I am grateful for our break up.

But here’s the thing- while we were broken up, we were still seeing each other. We wanted to maintain a friendship, since that’s where we started. He would come over and we would talk, or we’d go to the park or the lake to get away from everything. It was nice spending time with each other because he was such a huge part of my life for so long. It was comforting. So that is why we say that although we did not have the title of boyfriend and girlfriend, we were still “together.”

I felt the need to explain this to everyone because people were confused when we split, and even now when we say we’ve been together for over a year. Although we were not boyfriend and girlfriend for a couple months, we were still talking and loving each other just as if we were.  We like to say we never left each other’s side, so that’s why we say we’ve been together the whole time. We basically were. What’s a title worth anyway?

Since the breakup left me with many open days throughout the summer, I got to spend a lot more time with my friends and family. I got to go to my sister’s travel softball tournaments that were hours away, which was a great way to relax. Well, until my sister’s team lost, which was quite often. But getting away from the small town I felt trapped in was wonderful. I felt myself growing just from a weekend of being away. When we got back, my dad offered to take some pictures of me to boost my confidence and keep my mind off things. And that’s when this photo was taken. I really love all the photos he took of me because I feel so strong when I look at them. I see myself not letting things hurt me.

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My friends also deserve a huge “thank you” for all they did for me over the summer. They were always there for me no matter what. Whether I was canceling plans because I couldn’t gather myself enough to leave my room or shaking and crying in public, they understood. We got to make great memories together and I couldn’t be happier.

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I spent my last day as a teen this year. My 20th birthday was hot, exhausting, but so much fun. My best friends took me to the zoo and to dinner. I complained the whole time because it was scorching hot and my feet hurt, but the memories created that day were special enough to last forever. At this point, Zach and I decided to get back together, as we found it impossible to live without the other in our life. So I invited him to come with us to celebrate. Having all of my favorite people together was magical. It was a great way to spend my last few days at home before going away for college.

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On August 17th, I moved into my first apartment. I had never lived on my own before, so I was terrified. I know so many people who were nothing but excited when it came to moving out and that made me feel awful for the way I was looking at it. I thought I was babied too much and I was going to hate it, but after some getting used to, it was the best decision I had ever made. I love living by myself. I have so much more motivation to do things because nobody else can be held responsible for the end result- just me. Oh, I also went blonde that same day after battling with my dark hair for months. It came out sort of yellow, as to be expected, and it took months of toner and purple shampoo before I was able to get it to a subtle blonde. It isn’t the cutest yet, but it’s getting there.

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August 27th was my first day of school at Cleveland State University. I was extremely nervous because I had only one semester of community college under my belt and I had no idea what to expect. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get lost as soon as I got off the bus that morning. It was overwhelming, but after the first traumatizing day, I knew exactly where everything was. I was really surprised when I knew where I was going on day 2.

Now, with a semester at CSU under wraps, I feel amazing. I’ve made so many great friends in the short time I’ve been going here. I found myself exploring things outside of my comfort zone and realizing my potential while being in college. It’s crazy. Tom Hanks once said that he was “exposed to this world that [he] didn’t know was possible” and that’s exactly how I feel.

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Although this past year has been full of ups and downs, it has been the most influential. I got to see what I could and couldn’t handle which ultimately taught me life lessons. In the midst of it all, my love for my best friend grew and grew. Our relationship grew, too. After this rollercoaster ride of a year, I am very happy to say that Zach and I are as amazing as ever. We got through all obstacles life has throw our way with our heads held high. Our love for each other motivates me everyday, and something tells me it just might motivate me forever on.

2018, you were good to me sometimes…other times, not so much. But while I was going through my low points, I recognized all of my good points. I became grateful for all I had and all I would have. So thank you for giving me that ability.

2019, you’re going to be my bitch. I’m not holding myself back anymore, and 2018 taught me how to do that. I will learn from my mistakes, build off them, and prove how strong I really am.

Last year, I said that 2018 had a lot to live up to, but in all honesty, all coming years have a lot to live up to because I’ll only be going up from here.

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Meg on the Mic Ep.4- Blogmas Day 10

 

In this episode of Meg on the Mic, I’m joined again by my sister Rianna. We talk about her latest obsessed Supernatural, her college plans, and how we’re celebrating this Christmas. It’s a really confusing and jumbled up pod because it was so last minute, but I hope you guys still find it in your heart to enjoy it. It’s Christmas time after all.

Rianna’s socials:

twitter: @rrose2019

instagram: @ri.rosecrans

snapchat: roseycheekz

 

My socials:

twitter: @_megannlouise_

instagram: @meg.rosecrans

snapchat: megyloui

 

https://www.noradsanta.org

Christmas Memories | Blogmas Day 6

Today I decided to look back at past Christmas celebrations in preparation for this year’s festivities. My dad has always been the one with the camera since I was little, so I knew that I wouldn’t have to look too far to find old Christmas photos. He handed me a hard drive with albums that go as far back as 2000 (which doesn’t feel like too long ago, but it was literally 18 years ago and that’s crazy). I spent all day filtering through albums, often times getting distracted by other old photos from when I was little. But after getting fairly nostalgic, I narrowed down my favorite Christmas memories.

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When I was little, I was terrified of Santa Claus. Sure, he was great in movies and coloring books, but whenever I saw him in person I got extremely shy (as if I wasn’t already). My grandma worked at a bank that Santa would visit, and while all the other kids would go to Santa and sit on his lap, I would hide in my grandma’s office. This picture was taken when Santa came in to see me and just about make my little heart give out.  (2002)

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In preschool I was super shy. I didn’t like going at all. One day, we had a Christmas party and I was no at all excited. I guess this is the best picture my parents could get of me. I wasn’t really in the mood, I suppose. (2002)

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My parents used to dress my sister and I up and take pictures of us in front of the Christmas tree. We took pictures together, but I just wanted to show off my pretty dress. (2002)

 

 

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This year I didn’t feel like dressing up real nice for pictures. But I managed to keep this outfit on long enough to smile for a couple photos before I stripped all my clothes. (2003)

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery Christmas Eve, the family on my dad’s side would host a Christmas party. This year it was held at my grandma and grandpa’s house. It was full of food and gossip. At a young age, I wasn’t super interested and I had to take matters into my own hands to entertain myself. (2003)

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I loved my grandpa a whole bunch. This Christmas Eve I was throwing a little temper tantrum for whatever reason and didn’t want to open my presents. My grandpa sat next to me and helped me. He kept me pretty tame for the night. (2003)

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On my mom’s side, we would have a Christmas party too. This picture is super special for me to look at because it’s at my grandparents’ old house. I haven’t seen the place since my grandma moved away years ago. (2004)

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I couldn’t find many other pictures after 2004, but I did find this one from 2016. This Christmas was a really good one. I think it was my happiest one since I was a little kid. Everything just fell into place and I wasn’t stressed about anything.

 

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for College Students| Blogmas Day 3

Hi guys! So as you may have noticed, a holiday podcast was not uploaded today. I have some bad news…

Technology hates me today.

My laptop lost all of my pre-recorded podcasts. I didn’t notice until it was too late to re-record everything. And if that wasn’t enough to make me feel completely defeated, I also can’t upload the video for tomorrow. I’ve had the same page up for hours trying to get tomorrow’s video to load in order to draft it for the next day, but it seems like nothing is working.

I plan to leave the page up overnight in hopes that it will somehow upload by tomorrow and be able to be posted on time, but just in case it doesn’t work out for me, I’ll have a back up post ready to go up at the regularly scheduled time. I promise.

Since I can’t post a podcast today, I decided I could do a gifting guide. Then I realized I’m awful at that. So then I thought it could be fun to come up with some super inexpensive ideas for stocking stuffers. Stockings are always the first thing my family goes to when we wake up on Christmas morning. It’s like pregaming without the alcohol.

So here’s a list of stocking suffer suggestions from yours truly. Enjoy them, or don’t. It was a last minute idea so my feelings won’t be hurt too bad.

Candy

I think this one is a given. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t get some sort of candy in their stocking. Hershey kisses in those candy cane plastic tubes are super cute and festive. I love those. I don’t really care for regular candy canes that much, but they also serve as pretty cool stuffers too.

Movies

Walmart always has the $5 movie bins, so you could potentially strike gold and get some classics in the stocking! It’s always fun to watch a movie when there’s time off between classes and homework assignments, so getting a new DVD can also serve as motivation to get assignments done early.

Socks

Everyone knows you can’t go wrong with socks. I just bought some cute pairs at Walmart today- $5 for two pairs. It’s inexpensive and bound to contribute to many comfortable nights down the road. This is an especially good gift for those who are older because comfort is so much more important to us than flashy presents. Especially when we’re walking on cold floors and through 20 degree weather going to class.

Chapstick

Winter is infamous for drying out lips. If you think this is boring, you can always opt for cake batter, pink lemonade, or root beer flavored chapsticks. These may not be conventional, but they sure do come in handy.

Scrunchies

This one is definitely directed toward females, but it’s such a good idea I couldn’t ignore it. Scrunchies are coming back and they’re so cute! You can get so many different patterns and materials, making each one so unique. They’re perfect for days when you sleep in late but still want to make yourself look a little put together. They can pull so many outfits together, even when you forget to brush your hair!

Nail Polish

Getting new nail polishes can always brighten someone’s day. They’re so cost efficient and fun to get creative with. You could go with red, green and blue for the holidays, or you could pick any other color under the sun to add to someone’s collection! It’s so much cheaper (and more convenient) to paint your nails yourself than get them professionally done when you’re dealing with a student’s budget.

Gift Cards

If all else fails, gift cards are the way to go. My family usually goes for the iTunes gift cards that can be used for apps or music. For college students, perhaps gift cards for near by restaurants would be just as valuable.

 

These are just a few ideas of inexpensive gifts you can stuff in your college student’s stocking this Christmas. Keep an eye out for more ideas based on things they use a lot and could always use more of.

 

To Those Affected by My Anxiety

Anxiety is a bitch. It not only hurts me, but everyone around me. A lot of the time, it can scare others enough to make them leave. For those who stay, it’s an emotional rollercoaster. The struggles involved are draining on both ends. That’s why I’m writing this. This is for anyone who has been impacted by my anxiety.

I guess I should start off by apologizing. Sometimes it can get exhausting and I recognize that. It takes plenty of patience and practice to deal with me. Anxiety affects me in many different ways, some of which I have yet to master. I know it can get excruciating at times, and I am deeply apologetic for the amount of effort I require from others. There are times when I am fully aware of how ridiculous my anxiety can be, and how annoying it may seem to others. Trust me, I know I’m being a pain in the ass, but it’s not something I can handle. Irrational fears can swallow us alive. We need reassurance almost all the time, and I know for a lot of people that can take its toll. It’s a scary thing for those of us with anxiety. We often worry that asking for the affection that we need may start to feel repetitive to others and maybe eventually ruin the relationship. So for every chaotic moment that we have shared where you have questioned your sanity as well as mine, I am deeply sorry.

Although I’m sorry for the trouble I’ve caused and the seemingly unnecessary chaos, I am also thankful for your constant support. The reassurance from everybody helps more than you could imagine. I’d especially like to thank everyone who has taken time to research anxiety disorders and how to respond to them. I know that it can be scary at times, but having stable relationships with people is extremely helpful. I feel a sense of trust between us and it helps prevent attacks. I owe you all so much for watching out for me.

My boyfriend deserves recognition for his hard work in taking care of me. In our nine short months together, he has learned how to effectively calm down my breathing and get my attacks few and far between. He has become my second home, and even the sound of his voice can calm me down in my darkest moments. One night that I will never forget is when I had a panic attack in my living room. For those who don’t know me too well, I rarely go in my living room. There’s no real reason behind it, but I just feel more comfortable in my bedroom. Once my boyfriend realized that I was breathing heavily, he took action right away. He held me tight and told me, “everything will be ok. Do you want to go to your room? Let’s get you out of here.” I felt my body trembling as he helped me out of my seat. He helped me to my room, where he continued to assure me that things would pass. He rocked me back and forth and reminded me that I had beaten these types of attacks before and that I could do it again. He told me to remember my breathing, and then held me silently until I calmed down. If he hadn’t helped me get to a safer environment, I wouldn’t have moved and things wouldn’t have gotten better.

As I said at the very beginning, anxiety is a bitch. It’s something that I’ve been learning to understand and cope with, however, because without it, I may not have met many of the people that I have. As strange as it sounds, I am thankful for my anxiety and for the doors that it has opened for me. That was such a strange sentence to type. Optimism and anxiety in the same sentence? It’s kind of weird, but if you think about it, it makes sense. It’s taught me plenty about myself and others, and that has helped me grow. So for anyone who has been directly affected by my anxiety, I apologize, thank, and applaud you. You are the greatest friends I could ask for. Thank you for constantly believing in me and for encouraging me to better myself despite my disorder.

Photographer captures anxiety in a new light.