Thursday, January 30, 2014

Quick Check-In, More to Come!

I've been trying to update all week and the time just got away from me. I know that you guys are overdue for a big fat juicy exclusive on my life...but maybe tomorrow, because I am totally pooped and still have some stuff to get done tonight. To tide you over until then (because I know you've been awaiting my updates with bated breath): I am doing great! Busy, but great. Navigating the school/clinic/work rotation is a huge time suck and I am usually hovering right on the cusp of MAJOR STRESS, but mostly I'm enjoying it.

Just a couple good things from the past several days:
—An engaging/motivating/inspiring conversation with my advisor, who is going to have me present our current paper at a poster session later this spring
—My hip injury is feeling way better and I've been able to run without pain for about a week now although I think I sprained my wrist, but that's a story for another day.
—I just opened a new jar of peanut butter and got to experience the sweet sweet joy of dipping a knife into that beautiful, pristine, squishy deliciousness. Shut up. 
—Body image and weight concerns seem to get less and less important to me every day.

Nighty night, friends. Hope you are having a fantastic week.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday Rundown

Ahh, another week down! Yet again, it was crazy and I am both totally exhausted and totally fired up. I had my first clinic hours on Wednesday and Thursday, which was INTENSE. The health center is in a super low-income section of College City, so you get some pretty poor, sick, desperate people. In my first two days, I met with (among others):

- a meth addict
- a heroin addict
- a homeless pregnant 16-year-old

Unfortunately I am starting to grasp the dearth of affordable medical care for people, especially since College City is located in one of those icky icky states that rejected the Medicaid expansion last year. (Do NOT even get me started. It makes me sick.)

So, sheesh. I really gotta stop complaining about, like, anything in my life.

Today I slept until almost 8, which was pretty sweet because I've been having trouble sleeping all week. Every night I'd doze on the couch for a while, then make my way to bed around midnight or 1, and then wake up around 5 and toss and turn for a while before finally getting up. I always have sleep problems when I'm wired and stressed, so I imagine this is just an adjustment period. The nice thing is that now I have my work/class/clinic hours finalized, so I'm feeling much better about my schedule. Also, based on the sage advice of JS and Alie, I pushed back my GRE date by about a month, which is a huge relief. I am planning to devote a set number of hours each week studying until then, which will hopefully be enough to get me a good score and keep my stress levels in the manageable zone.

And best of all, I got PAID yesterday, so my bank account is no longer flashing red warning lights at me when I check the balance. I mean, it's still not bursting at the seams, but I've got enough to keep the lights on and eat and stuff. So that's nice.

Okay, gotta go get lunch and then I'm meeting up with a friend for a coffee/study date. Have a great weekend and stay warm, everyone!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Tad Overwhelmed

You guys—I don't know if this is just early-semester-panic, but I am totally stressed out. My schedule is absolutely insane this semester and I am actually not sure how to make it all work. I mean, I know I will because I always do, but right now I am completely overwhelmed.

this is not me ever

A big problem is that I don't yet have my internship schedule confirmed, which means I can't confirm my work schedule, which means I can't nail down my research schedule, which means I can't nail down my tutoring schedule, which means I can't nail down my, like, eating and sleeping and showering schedule. THIS IS CAUSING ME A LOT OF ANXIETY. I have my first day at the health clinic on Wednesday, so hopefully that will help, but still. There are only enough hours in the week for me to make this all happen, you know?

A related issue—and this is kind of stupid and ED-related—but exercise. I usually work out first thing in the morning, and use the days that I have early class as a way to keep me from working out 7 days a week. For example, last semester, I worked out every morning except Monday and Wednesday because those were the days I had early class; the rest of the week, I had enough time before work or class to exercise in the morning. Does that make sense? For the past couple of years, I've kind of used that as a self-regulating rule—I ONLY work out in the morning, and if I can't fit it in, then I skip that day. Plus, I like the routine of working out, coming home, showering, eating breakfast, and going on with my day, and not having to think about exercise the rest of the day. But this semester, it's possible that I'll be starting with either class, work, or my internship early enough almost every day that I won't have time to work out in the mornings, which kind of throws my whole routine into a tizzy.

Next issue: the GRE. It's in less than two weeks and my ability to study has been seriously hampered by the start of the semester. It's probably still better to be taking it in January compared to April or May when I'll likely be even more swamped because of finals and stuff, but right now it's just this giant thing hanging over my head. Plus, it's going to take up half a day that week that I do NOT have to spare.


And then there is my actual course- and work-load. I mentioned that my classes should be a lot more interesting this semester, but that also means there's more work, reading, exams, etc. And although I'm super happy about my advisor giving me more research responsibilities, that also means that I'm spending a lot more time struggling to figure things out, working with software I've never used before, playing with complicated data I've never seen's just a lot.

Finally, there are always random meetings and stuff that pop up, but unfortunately I have zero flexibility in my schedule and am having a hard time fitting things in. I still tutor two students who are getting totally neglected these days because I simply have no idea where to squeeze them.

Any advice on how to prioritize, manage my time, and not lose my mind is much appreciated!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Off to a Good Start

First week of the semester done! And I've gotta say, it was a pretty good one. Aside from that minor incident involving the universe trying to screw with me, things went well. I can already tell that my classes are going to be VASTLY better than last semester, when I didn't really love any—and even straight-up hated a couple—of them. I am getting to the point where I am allowed to take more specialized courses based on my interests, which makes a huge difference. Another random thing is that my professors are all male this semester compared to just one in the fall; I don't usually have strong opinions about this either way, but it should be an interesting change.

The biggest difference is that I am feeling engaged and inspired (whereas last semester I got pretty bored pretty fast...). It also helps that my advisor is giving me lots more responsibility and opportunities to get my feet wet and learn as much as I can. Basically, I am the type of student/employee/advisee who says yes to everything and then, if I don't know how to do it, will pull up The Google and put my dad on speaker phone and panic a lot and somehow figure out how to do it. Not always the most peaceful way to work, but it works for me. And it means that I am constantly learning more about more. I'm really grateful to have an advisor who lets me run with stuff like that.

Oh! I almost forgot—I'm going skiing tomorrow! Which will be an adventure because (1) I haven't been skiing in about 15 years, (2) It's supposed to rain, (3) I don't own snow pants or waterproof anything, really, which means it would be great if I didn't fall, which brings me back to my first point, plus (4) I am not very coordinated, and (5) I was never very good at skiing in the first place. SO all in all, an adventure. That being said, I was kind of proud of myself for saying yes to the invite and giving up my entire Saturday for a situation that will involve me skipping my usual workout in favor of something completely different and unknown AND will involve me having zero control over food. This kind of thing is totally outside my comfort zone, especially when I'm stressed about work/school/GRE studying etc...but here's to balance, right? Right?!?

So I'm totally exhausted and really need to sleep well tonight, especially before a day of shredding the mountains. Sleep tight, everyone! Happy Friday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

For Real, Universe???

YOU GUYS. This was too perfect/ridiculous/insane not to write about. Remember this crazy bitch from last semester who sent me nasty e-mails and made me cry and is generally an awful human being? Well. Just file that away for a sec...

So today, I got to school all chipper and psyched about life because I had just walked to campus (a little over a mile) with NO pain, the sun was shining, and it was warm enough for me to shed my scarf halfway through. I walked into my morning class to discover that the professor had already assigned us to groups for a semester-long project. Well, guess who was NOT ONLY in my class, but ALSO IN MY GROUP??


Fortunately I knew the professor because I took a class with him last semester. When he dismissed us for a break halfway through class, I asked to speak with him in the hallway, and explained the situation to him, and  politely begged requested a change of groups. And although he was super nice and understanding about it, Mr. Professor told me that it would be tough to change the groups around because they were based on surveys we had all taken last week about our interests, backgrounds, etc. and if he moved me, he would have to move someone else, and it would generally cause a big mess yada yada yada.

Well, luckily for me, there were several people in the class who had also been in class with Evil Girl and me last semester and knew the situation. A couple people actually went and spoke to the professor on my behalf...apparently one of them, who was originally assigned to the same group as Evil Girl and Me (in the new class), told him that she REFUSED to work with Evil Girl because of the horrible way she'd treated me last semester. Before I knew it, Mr. Professor had switched Evil Girl out of my group and someone else took her place. WIN.

But seriously. Two groups, two semesters in a row. This bitch better not follow me through graduate school.

Monday, January 13, 2014

First Day Frenzy

Sheesh. First day out of the gate and it was a doozy. In between work and class, I had to pick up my uncle from the hospital (rotator cuff surgery) and shuttle him around town to fill his prescriptions, buy more bandages, get groceries, etc. I just got home from class to discover a sink full of dirty dishes from this morning. DAMMIT KAYLEE when am I going to learn that no matter how long you leave them in there, they still never wash themselves??

On the plus side, my first class was awesome. The professor is somewhat of a legend in his field, and totally looks like one of those adorable nerdy professor types who wears tennis shoes with his Dockers and whose hair looks like it never quite gets combed all the way. Or maybe he's just going for the windswept look... Anyway, the class should be fun.

isn't he cute??

Ugh, YOU GUYS. I really need to get paid. My bank account is, like, approaching empty. I didn't work much the past couple of weeks because I was out of town, and on top of that I've had all these random expenses come up like property taxes on my car and a broken phone and groceries (less unexpected, but still obnoxiously expensive). Seriously, why the f does food cost so much? All the healthy stuff—veggies, meat, yogurt, cheese, nuts, etc.—totally wipes me out. Of course I try to spare no expense when it comes to food (my philosophy these days is: if it has calories and I will eat it, BUY IT) but surriously. This is one area in which the whole Poptart thing really comes in handy. You can get a 12-pack of those puppies practically for the price of a Luna bar.

Or, "Poptart Diet"

Okey doke. If I started this post with a purpose, it has escaped me. Just wanted to fill you in on my rad first day. Happy Monday, everyone.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Semester Ahead

Classes start up again tomorrow. I'm wavering somewhere between full-on vacation-end doldrums and excitement about having new courses that should be better than last semester's. Normally I like being busy and having a set schedule everyday but, I gotta say, these past few weeks have been SO nice and SO relaxing. I think being in a better place emotionally helps; I no longer feel like I have to obsessively fill my time to avoid being alone with myself in my head. At the moment, I am perfectly content to just sit with my own thoughts and not freak out.

I feel a little better prepared to tackle the craziness that is graduate school this time around, especially since I've got all the little stuff (parking, scheduling, expectations, grades, general atmosphere) figured out. And the little stuff tends to stress me out most, which is dumb but inevitably the case.

By this point, I also have a great relationship with my advisor and am super happy to be working with him. I LOVE the research we're doing and really believe in it, which is a definite difference in the way I felt about most of my fall classes. Plus, I am learning so much. Like, every time I walk into his office, I learn something new. So even if some of my classes this semester turn out to be duds, I've still got this source of intellectual inspiration, which is really important to me.

Along with the coursework and research, this semester I am also starting my internship placement. I will be working at a health clinic in a really poor section of College City, which should be a mix of eye-opening and depressing and informative all at once. And hopefully I'll enjoy it! It should be a nice change of pace from sitting in front of a computer all day.

If you're wondering when exactly I'm going to fit all this in (and don't forget my job, which is how I pay for, like, rent and electric and groceries and all that), you would be onto something. Right now I'm scheduled for 12 hours of class, 10 hours of internship, 10 hours of research, and 20 hours of work per week. I had thought that by dropping down from 5 classes to 4 I was giving myself a break, but somehow the hours have filled up again. We shall see how this goes...

Which brings me to my next dilemma. I haven't seen Dr. P in about a month because I was totally swamped the last week of the semester, then I was out of town, and then I got over-scheduled at work last week so I had to cancel again. I feel really guilty that Dr. P is saving me a spot on her calendar when I am totally NOT making therapy a priority these days, but lately it seems like there's always a headache involved in finding time to carve out an hour for an appointment. And the other elephant in the room on this issue is that I just don't feel super compelled by therapy anymore. I mean, I'm doing well, you know? I'm not even sure what I would talk about with Dr. P at my next appointment (whenever that ends up being). Eating/food is same ole same ole—not perfect, but to be honest, I don't know that talking about it much more will make a huge difference. Like I've written about before, therapy has never made a huge dent in the ED for me. As far as the recovery mindset, I'm there, and now I just need to keep chipping away at all the old bad habits day by day.

I still have anxieties and insecurities, but I'm not depressed or suicidal or anything like that. For the most part I am pretty happy. So, what do people talk about in therapy at this point?? I don't want to waste either of our time.

Random sunny Sunday facts to close:
—It is sunny AND over 30 degrees for the first time since I've been back in College City. Incredible.
—No rain or snow in the forecast for a whole WEEK.
—Four days into my self-imposed weeklong running ban, and my hip is definitely feeling better.
—Coffee. That's all.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Sup, friends. An update on my hip situation: it's still kind of hurting, but I think it feels a little better. AND, more importantly, I've taken the last two days off from running. It kind of helps that the weather has been so crappy around here, because it's a lot harder to resist going for a run when it's warm and sunny and beautiful. I am doing my best to stay cautious and rehab this injury completely before jumping back into the distance runs and risk having it turn into some nagging long-term thing.

It's kind of nice to see how much my mind has evolved since the last time I had to cut back on exercise due to injury. Ugh. Did I actually write that post?? What an anorexic FREAK. Glad to say that I now recognize how nuts I was back then, and how much I've changed in the interim. Obviously I'm not totally cool with having to take time off, but I'm fine with it. "Fine" as in I'm not obsessing about it, my body image hasn't taken a plunge in the toilet, and I'm still eating basically the same as before. Not EXACTLY the same, but close. None of those things were true the last time around.

So anyway, yesterday I overslept a bit and was just kind of lolling in bed thinking about how I should get my butt to the gym, but how maybe I shouldn't because of my hip, and how maybe this was a good test of my new healthy/non-anorexic self...and then I looked out the window and saw that the snow had stopped and the sun was shining, and I realized how much more appealing it looked to be outside rather than stuck in a sweaty gym. So I bundled up and headed out for a walk. Now, it may not seem noteworthy, but I have NEVER considered walking to substitute for exercise; I have certainly always tried to maximize walking because the compulsive side of me is still conditioned to believe that any calorie-burning is better than none, but I've never skipped the gym in favor of a stroll.

It really was a strolling-pace, although it included a fair amount of hiking over hills and through snow banks (College City struggles with the snowplowing issue). For an activity that I've always dismissed as wimpy and not real exercise, that walk sure was invigorating.


And while I was out there walking, I was struck by this incredible freedom that I have. For one, freedom from pain. I used to try walking a lot early in the summer, and almost always had to come home earlier than I would've liked because I was hurting so much. Yesterday, I had almost none of that, and it hit me again how incredibly liberating it is to live without pain.

But also—and this is the liberal social justice-y side of me coming out—I was free to wander pretty much wherever I wanted because (1) I'm white, and (2) I'm female. See, my neighborhood is extremely segregated by both race and socioeconomic class. I live right on the border, about one block south of a super rundown, slummy area and one block north of this idyllic suburban enclave. Naturally I steered my walk through the nice area because the houses are prettier, the streets are safer, and there's less trash to step over. After about half an hour of strolling mindlessly without any real destination, admiring the houses, I found myself thinking: Good thing I'm white, or else I would NOT be able to do this. Because how suspicious would it look if a young black guy with dreads and saggy pants were wandering through this fancy all-white neighborhood? Like, honestly—it would look suspicious. People would automatically assume he was there to rob them. The racial tensions in College City are ingrained and powerful enough that I guarantee someone would call the police.

And that made me really sad and frustrated and grateful for my own privileges all at once. I think I mentioned that I read this book in the fall, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, that is all about the systematic racism embedded in our criminal justice system. On a related note, I just started watching The Wire. Anyone seen it? I LOVE IT. One of the best shows I've seen in a while. I am only a few episodes into the first season, but the racial undertones are really resonating with me.


It's not just another cop show, I promise!! It's not on Netflix, but I tracked it down elsewhere online with no problem :) Anyway, the whole "War on Drugs" has taken on this new sinister significance once I started to really understand how racially charged it is individually, socially, and systematically.

My point is, I used to think that being in pain was the absolute worst thing in the world. Just like I used to think that gaining weight was the worst thing in the world. That I was totally trapped by my dysfunctional body, and reduced to some shell of a person. And yes it sucked and was horrible and I would never wish it on my worst enemy, but god. Other people have problems too; horrible problems that they have no control over. I am embarrassed by how much that still shocks me. Sometimes I think that being in so much physical and emotional pain over the last few years has stunted my emotional growth somehow, like I missed a few lessons here and there about how the world works. How it is unfair, and not just to me.

I don't really know where I am going with this now, other than that I feel kind of spoiled and stupid. I don't mean to minimize the effects of physical pain because they are real and devastating, but I'm still grappling to understand the myriad ways that people can be free or trapped, and how hard it is to compare them. Being in pain was by far the most horrible, traumatic experience of my life, but now that I'm feeling better, maybe it's time to start paying attention to other people's problems.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pain-Free Days, and an Injury

I am slowly getting back into civilization after being snowed in for basically two days. It was fun and cozy for about six seconds and then just boring. I am NOT one of those types who can cuddle up in my favorite pajamas and spend a Saturday in bed; I go totally stir-crazy.

Today was one of those relatively uneventful-but-nice days. I went to the gym in the morning followed by the DMV to renew the registration for my car; this errand had been hanging over my head and I am SO glad to have it done. Then I worked in a coffee shop for a few hours before getting an eyebrow wax (IT WAS TIME), and then stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner.

There are still moments when I have to pinch myself. I can't believe how much pain I used to walk around with on a daily basis. Like, gosh, for example: today when I went to pay for the wax, I realized that I'd left my wallet in the car. Six months ago, the thought of having to trek back across the parking lot to get it would have been overwhelming. Today, it didn't even faze me; I bopped back and forth across that parking lot like it was my JOB, even thinking how nice it was to be in the fresh air. Thinking how nice it was not to be in pain. Thinking: how did I survive that?

In other news, I think I've aggravated an old hip injury. Back when I was a wee thing of fourteen in my first season of cross country, I strained my hip flexor—the muscles connecting the thigh to the pelvis, in the groinal area—and it still acts up occasionally when I'm being lazy about stretching and stuff.


This time, I am actually unsure of how I injured it; I haven't been running much this past week due to the damn snow, so if anything my body should be THANKING me for all the leisure time it's getting. (Hear that, body? YOU'RE WELCOME.) I just noticed the hip flexor pain randomly the other day while puttering around my apartment, and couldn't figure out how it happened. I am kind of frustrated that I seem to be so injury-prone, but I guess what with the weight gain, increase in mileage, the cold, and the lack of basic injury prevention (I'm terrible about stretching and icing and all that). My hips seem to be my trouble spot running-wise, although I have to say that this type of muscle/tendon pain is almost a relief compared to the nerve pain, which was so frighteningly unpredictable and baffling. I don't know how else to describe it, really, except that running injuries make sense to me while the nerve pain was this giant, never-ending mystery. It's kind of nice to type in "hip flexor strain" to The Google and get a bajillion hits, rather than having to track down doctors in the remote corners of the earth (or, in the case of Dr. A, a densely-populated US city).

Anyway, if I had a point, I forget what it was. For now I am just icing and stretching, and hoping this stupid hip thing will resolve itself quickly. Even with all the improvements in my eating and body image and general food-related logic, it still drives me up the wall to consider taking a week off, although it may have to come to that.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snowed In

Ugh, I am SO OVER winter. The snow, the freezing temperatures, the insane heating bills, the ten layers of clothes just to get to my car...someone remind me, why didn't I pick a school in the tropics?


The sky is currently dumping snow on College City and I'm debating whether to venture out. I called my gym earlier and discovered that it is indeed open, which is kind of incredible considering the roads around here are NOT drivable (I live within walking distance). So I'm now debating whether to suit up and trek over there, because the thought of spending the whole day cooped up in here is not exactly appealing. Gosh, I miss the days of throwing on a t-shirt and shorts and sneakers and bounding out the front door. I suppose snow stopped being fun when I discovered that (1) the furnace-like body temps of childhood do not last into adulthood, and (2) universities don't do snow days. Additionally I now live alone in a 500-square-foot apartment, so getting snowed in a more claustrophobic than cozy.

Okay, I'm done whining. It's actually not a terrible day to hunker down because I've got lots of work from my advisor. Basically he got this new software that can run all sorts of new models on his data, but he has no idea how to use we discovered a how-to textbook online that I am supposed to work my way through and write up a data analysis plan for him. Have I mentioned that I am NOT a particularly tech-savvy person? So, this should be interesting.


Other stuff going on—I went back to work at the end of last week, which was kind of nice change to all the alone-time I'd been having since getting back to College City. For some reason the first couple of days back, I was feeling really isolated and bored and kind of sad. I guess after all the family time of the holidays, it was just a big adjustment to come back to my empty apartment. Plus almost everyone I know here was still out of town, so I didn't have a lot to do. Getting back to work and starting up a routine again has been helpful, although of course now that's all put on hold by this damn weather.

Whoops, slipped back into whining again. Funny how easily that happens....okay, I gotta get out of here. Going to bundle up and brave the winter weather. The gym is only about a half mile away—I think I can handle it. Peace, everyone.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Resolutions, Maybe?

I barely even think about making New Year's resolutions anymore because they're always the same vague things: eat better, exercise, get good grades, stop biting my nails, etc. It' shard to quantify a lot of that stuff. Correction: it's hard to quantify a lot of it because I am too wimpy to make concrete goals like Eat X calories per day NO MATTER WHAT or Run no more than XX miles per week or whatever. Plus, a full year is still a significant enough chunk of time and my life is enough in flux that it's hard to look six, ten, or twelve months down the road and plan exactly what I should be doing on a daily or weekly basis. Who knows where I'll be next December? Figuratively, I mean, since chances are I'll be exactly where I am right now (in College City, in my apartment, on my couch, wrapped in a fleece blanky, drinking coffee, laptop resting on my knees).

So...what's a girl to do? I guess I have some BIG goals that are worth writing down in the name of accountability and New Year's spirit:

(1) Work my butt off in school. This past semester was a tad disillusioning because the coursework involved a lot of busywork, jumping through hoops, and NOT much intellectual stimulation. But I still believe in my field and believe in the program, and have been promised by others that the first semester sucks for everyone. So I am not going to write the next 18 months off as a total waste, but instead find the worthwhile parts and DOMINATE THEM.

(2) Keep a positive attitude. If this sounds hokey and lame, well, shut up. You suck. Depression hit me like a ton of bricks to the chest last year, and it was the most horrible, miserable, lonely experience of my life. Since clawing my way out of that hole with medication, therapy, improved physical health, and lots of parental support, I've discovered the simple fact that thinking positively has a positive effect on my mood. Depression becomes like this awful habit where your thoughts go down the same negative pathways over and over again because that's all they know and it comes so easy. But once you get out of it, seeing the bright side becomes more natural. Obviously there are a lot of factors that have contributed to me feeling better, but it makes a difference for me to conscious focus on the upside of things, keep my anxiety under control, and to NOT allow my mind slip back into those dark places.

(3) Work on my relationship with my dad. My dad and I have a tricky history. We are VERY similar in all the tough ways (fiercely independent, competitive, disciplined, and completely unable to talk about our problems openly). When I was younger, we fought constantly. Over the past couple of years, we've been getting a lot closer, although sometimes it still feels unnatural. I talk to my mom several times a week, but usually only call my dad when I need something. But my mom let slip to me earlier this fall that once when I called Papa Bear just to chat, he was beyond thrilled and he was walking on clouds for days. So if that's all it takes for me to make my dad feel happy and loved, then dammit I'm gonna do it.

(4) All the obvious food and exercise things—although this feels less like something that needs to be made into a resolution, and more like something that has begun to get incorporated into my whole outlook and lifestyle. I wouldn't say that I have an eating disorder anymore, although I do think I still struggle with aspects of it, mostly related to rigidity, compulsiveness, and old habits dying hard. So I guess my goal in this area would be to work on that: wean myself off the calorie counting (although I have absolutely no clue how to go about doing this...) and make sure to maintain my weight.

(5) Give more. For so much of the past year or two with me being the miserable, sick, mean person that I was, it often felt like all I did was take take take. From my parents, my friends, my doctors, my professors, etc. I used them for whatever resources or support I needed and then went back to being feeling sorry for myself, holing up in my mind without a thought for anyone else. Now that the nerve pain is much reduced, my eyes are nearly 100% better, and the eating disorder is completely under control, I feel like I owe the world SO much. I couldn't see it before, when I was so miserable, but I am so incredibly lucky and blessed in so many ways compared to so many other people out there. The world gave to me when I needed it, and now it's my turn to give back. Whether that means going back to work at the food bank every Saturday, or bringing extra Poptarts each morning for the homeless guys on the corner, or hosting friends at my apartment more frequently, I haven't decided. But I think an attitude of generosity is a good way to approach the new year.

There are other little things like cook and clean more, quit biting my nails, take my vitamins every day, and all that, but those are boring and probably won't happen anyway. So, here's to a happy and healthy 2014, and may my resolutionary spirit last at least through the end of the month!