"these are my hands...these are my faults...these are my plans...these are my nasty little thoughts...i wrote them down for you to contemplate..."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Impatiently Struggling To Be Patient

You know that saying, "Patience is a virtue"? Well, I'm not exactly sure how many virtues I have, but patience certainly has never been one of them. When I was little I was the child that scoured closets and searched under beds for Christmas and birthday presents. As I got older it didn't get any better...I remember snooping through a boyfriend's bureau drawer to find my Valentine's Day present. It was the night before Valentine's Day and my impatient self could not wait a whole 16 hours for my present. He was both shocked and insulted by my actions. I have to give him credit though, for the next 3 years that we dated I never found one present from him. I have no clue where he hid them, I'm pretty positive he hid them outside our apartment. I looked everywhere for my presents...and never found one. I've always been the type of person that you can never utter these words to:"I'll tell you about it later". NO YOU WILL TELL ME NOW!! I start getting annoying with my questions..."What is about?", "Why can't you tell me now?" and "Is it bigger than a bread box?". I don't know how my family and friends have put up with me. They all might be eligible for sainthood just for dealing with me. My impatience quickly became worse once I started having really bad panic attacks. I feel like my anxiety issues were like throwing gasoline on my fire of impatience. I lost the tiny bit of patience I did have. As time went on and different situations arose, my anxiety just got harder to manage. Then I started developing a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, suddenly everything had to be a certain way or all hell broke loose. Dealing with all these emotional problems made it impossible for me to learn to be patient. Long story short, I finally reached a point where I could clearly see the negative effects of living like this. I decided I didn't want my anxiety and my OCD to completely run my life. I took baby steps. But, I started to gain control over my issues. I began dealing with things. Unfortunately, I was still impatient. I hate commercials, I hate red lights...I will yell at cars in front of me even though they can't hear me. I frequently yell at inanimate objects. If someone says "I'll call you later" or "I'll text you later", I need to know when later is. Then one day, not too long ago in fact, I decided I wanted to learn how to be patient. I got inspired by someone...well, it was a combination of this person inspiring me and the fact that I'm 30, and if I don't become patient now it's probably never gonna happen. Changing years of a certain behavior is really tough...I'm not gonna lie...I am a work in progress. I still am really neurotic and edgy. Just today I had to put my new patience skills to the test...and they worked. I'm proud of myself because if this certain situation I'm in had occured a few months ago I would not have acted the way I did today. Confusing I know, but bear with me, it felt good to be patient. Finally, that saying "Good things come to those who wait" had some meaning to me

Friday, March 18, 2011

From My Quote Collection...

Silly Quotes: "I lift things up and put them down" ~from the Planet Fitness commercial

                     "I may be small...but I will attack you like a squirrel monkey"~Snooki, from 
                                                                                                                                     'Jersey Shore'
                         "It's just a big ball of fuckness. That's a new word:fuckness"~Snooki, from
                                                                                                                                      'Jersey Shore'
                          "Can't play a player and you can't fool a ho" ~Kerri in a drunk and babbbling state

Quotes That Make You Think: "What starts in chaos, ends in chaos"~Helena from the TV
                                                                                                                                  show 'the L word'         "We can not change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand"~Randy Pausch
             "Sometimes an everyday object is changed by the person using it.Every so often, a person is changed by the object"   ~Unknown                                                                                                                                                                        
            "Everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him. It is the moment
             when his emotions achieve their most powerful sway over him, and afterward when you say to this person "the world today" or "life" or "reality" he will assume that you mean this moment, even if it is fifty years past. The world, through his unleashed emotions, imprinted itself upon him, and he carries the stamp of that passing moment forever"
                                                                                                                               ~from the book
                                                                                                    'A Separate Peace' by John Knowles
Quotes To Help You Get Through Life: "Smoke. Drink. Never Think"
                                                                                                    ~Billie Holiday
    "I will not be nice, I am never sorry, I have no  regrets:what is before me belongs to me" ~Elizabeth Wurtzel

 "Sometimes we all are players...Sometimes we all are pawns..." ~from the song 'L Train' 
                                                                                                              by Shootyz Groove
  **Stay tuned for more quotes that just might make you laugh, make you think, and help you get through life...**


Thursday, March 17, 2011

"We're Adults...When Did That Happen And How Do We Make It Stop?"

The above quote is one of many quotes I have collected from watching "Grey's Anatomy". I am Meredith Grey, well when she was in her dark and twisty phase. Oh, and I'm not a Doctor, but I find myself relating to her A LOT. But, I digress...this is supposed to be about my frustration about becoming a little old lady...and the fact I never even saw it coming. I turned 30 in September, but looking back,  think I developed "Little Old Lady" syndrome when I was 27. It began with clipping coupons, reading the food shopping flyers, and on Sundays scouring through the CVS and Walgreens flyers. I began comparing prices between stores. When I did go food shopping, I was...and still am the old lady with a food shopping list, an envelope full of coupons I am possibly going to use, and another envelope to put the coupons I am using in. Then I began bringing a calculator with me to the grocery store. On Saturday, which is the last day of listweekly sales for CVS and Walgreens, I would go and buy things like hair color and vitamins, which of course I had coupons for. At the time, I had no clue that I was on the verge of full fledged adulthood. Now when I go grocery shopping I can make a list and have the items in the exact order where they are located in the store. I have the layout of Shaw's on the West side, Stop and Shop on the West side and the North side, I know the layout of Price-Rite...I also know the layouts for the CVS on N.Pearl St, the one on Oak St., and the one on the East side. Same thing with Walgreens...on Pleasant St, Oak St, and the one on Centre St. I'm like the Rainman of grocery shopping and pharmacies. My second symptom of "Little Old Lady" syndrome effected me the most. It actually frightened me. I have already uttered the words, "When I was your age..." One time the statement was, "When I was your age gas cost 99 cents a gallon" There was the time I said, "When I was your age cigarettes were between $4.50-$5.00 a pack". I vividly recall rolling my eyes and thinking that whoever was making the statement, "When I was your age...", was old and boring. I told myself I would never say something like that. The moment those words escaped my lips a little under a year ago, I was mortified and embarassed. I thought it would be only a one time thing, but nope...at least once a week I say..."Well, when I was your age..." My third symptom of "Little Old Lady" syndrome occured just this past week. Never in my whole life has Daylight Savings time effected me, sure I was a little tired. But, Ohmygod...losing that 60 minutes this past Sunday has seriously done some damage. Here it is Thursday and I'm still feeling the effects. I'm not the only one, a couple of my friends feel the same way. So, there it is, I'm a little old lady. I never saw it coming. I have lost my youth. I use anti-wrinkle cream under my eyes. Now, does anyone know how to make it stop?!?!?

The Quest For Balance (Part 1 and Part 2)

The Quest for Balance
 Kerri Guillette
Do you ever feel like you are walking a tightrope? Or, being pulled in a million different directions? Do you crave silence? If you answered yes to any of those questions you are not alone. You join the ranks of college students all over the country who struggle everyday to maintain balance within their academic and personal lives.
I sat down a few days ago to write this article on how to balance school, work, a social life, etc, and a thought crossed my mind. How can I write an article on the topic of balance, when I don’t even have balance in my own life? For the past week I have been working two jobs, learning how to run a newspaper, and keeping up with schoolwork. As for my personal life, there is only one word to describe it: chaotic. I made the decision to go and search for this mystical idea known as balance.
The very first place I went to look for balance was where everyone goes to look for things these days, the internet. I typed, “How to Balance an Academic Life with a Personal Life”, into a search engine and in seconds, online articles were at my fingertips. I felt a rush of excitement flow through me.  I was on my way to finding balance! I was positive these seemingly helpful tips were the keys to unlocking the secrets of becoming balanced. I chose to visit the web site mycollegesuccessstory.com first, because the name sounded so promising and gave me some hope. The site offered me “10 Tips for Finding Life Balance”. In ten easy steps I would have life balance.  Steps 1, 2, and 3 had me hooked; set realistic goals, learn to study effectively, and learn to better manage your time. These were all things that seemed easy to conquer. But, once I read steps 4 and 5 I began to grow a little wary of the validity of these tips. Eat well? Exercise regularly? How would eating a grilled chicken salad and going to the gym balance my life? I quickly scanned through the next few tips. Once I saw the word “simplify”, I exited the web site. Obviously I need to simplify my life to give it some balance…but how do I do that?? Mycollegesuccessstory.com was a bust. Sure, the website offered me tips on finding balance, but did not lead me to balance. I was not giving up though; it was on to the next website. Examiner.com provided me with “Tips for Students on Balancing School and Other Obligations”. Unfortunately, the first tip on the list immediately diminished any hope I had of finding balance here. The article instructed me to write out everything that needs to be done for the day. Apparently, seeing my tasks would make everything seem more manageable. Are you kidding me? Writing my daily to-do list and then looking at it would give me a panic attack. The tips continued to go downhill from there. For example, one suggested in order to find balance I should “Just say NO”.  That would certainly not work in real life. “Oh, I am sorry Professor; I am going to have to say no to reading Chapter Four tonight.” Or, “I’m saying no to doing those five loads of laundry…Even though I have no clean clothes to wear”. Suddenly, I found myself even farther away from finding balance. These online articles were like fairy tales, and I needed reality. I continued my quest for balance by going down a different path. I would talk to some college students. They were the people actually leading busy lives; trying to juggle school, work, and some raising children. I wouldn’t be reading tips on how to find balance; I would be able to see balance with my own eyes. I was absolutely certain that this was how I was going to find balance.
I chose two women who I have had the pleasure of becoming close to during my time at Massasoit. Jackie Cusick and Chyvonn Miller are both hard working students juggling not only school and work, but are also raising children. I was convinced that these two women held the key to finding balance, and that my quest would end with them. The first question I asked Jackie and Chyvonn was to use one word to describe their life as a college student who is juggling work, school, a personal life, and also raising a child. Jackie answered, “Exhausting and overwhelming,” adding, “One word isn’t enough.” Chyvonn used the word, “Difficult”, to describe her life. I was not surprised by their answers to my first question. I still remained quite confident that these two women were going to introduce me to balance. My next question for Jackie and Chyvonn was, “How do you balance your personal and academic lives?” This was the question whose answers were going to bring me another step closer to finding balance. I was on the verge of obtaining the elusive idea I had been yearning for and I felt relieved that my search for balance would soon be coming to an end. But, once I heard Jackie’s answer, doubt of the existence of balance crept in; she gave me a wakeup call.
“There is no personal life! I’m a single mother and I just do not have time for a personal life. I am a full-time day student, but also am part of the work study program to earn extra money.” Jackie went on to describe in vivid detail her daily schedule for not only herself, but for her five year old daughter Jocelyn.  Jackie is constantly on the go, starting her day at 6:00am. Between classes, work, and spending time with Jocelyn, Jackie doesn’t even get a chance to look at her homework until 9pm. She explained to me that even her weekends are busy, filled with food shopping, laundry, cleaning, Jocelyn’s dance class, and other errands. My mouth dropped open in shock while Jackie described her life to me. My own personal quest for balance paled in comparison to her need for balance. Finally, Jackie shared, “I’m usually the girl that is up all night doing any papers that are due for the next day and coming into school with maybe an hour of sleep.”
An equally busy Chyvonn took the time out of her weekend to tell me, “It’s all about scheduling. If you can manage your schedule and priorities, then everything can and will fall into place.” This is wise advice from a woman who is a full time student and working to provide for herself and for her three year old son, Angelo.
The very last thing I had to ask Jackie and Chyvonn was a question that had begun to worm its way into my mind since I began this article. I needed to know if these two women believed that balance existed. Personally, I was beginning to have my doubts. Jackie told me, “As a single mother, I do not. I have too many things that need to be done and absolutely no time to do it, let alone take a night off and try to go out and have fun.” Chyvonn’s answer was just as honest as Jackie’s, yet also showed a little of her comical personality, “No, I believe the idea (of balance) is nice as a thought, but it’s really a schedule, not balance. As you grow up you learn the only thing you can balance is your weight.”
Before I ended my search for balance I had the opportunity to sit down with one more person.  I was hoping to get a different perspective on how to find balance from someone who was a full-time student, balancing a personal life, yet did not have any children. Jason Dotoli had also just assumed the task of being Assistant Editor-in-Chief for the Massasoit Student Voice, thus adding another thing to his already busy schedule.  I was optimistic that perhaps Jason knew how I could find balance, or at least point me in the right direction. I asked Jason for one word to describe his life as a college student juggling an academic life and personal life, and without hesitation he answered, “Hectic.”  Jason then explained to me how he balances his personal life and academic life while I sat eagerly anticipating all the answers I had been searching for. “Organization. I need to make sure all my assignments are planned out. I am unemployed so it makes it a little easier, but at the same time I am looking for a job. Between school work, looking for a job, and having a personal life...It’s all about organization and managing your time.” I thought a lot about what Jason had said, I considered myself organized, well if you count post-it notes strewn everywhere organized. As for managing my time, I’m not very good at that. Finally, I asked Jason if he believed the idea of balance existed. “To a point”, he replied, “I believe that you can set a goal and give yourself a time frame to accomplish it.” Jason further emphasized that, “It’s all about organization and time management.” Although I did not find balance when I spoke to Jason, his words stuck with me. Perhaps if I became more organized and learned to manage my time a little better, I would be one step closer to finding balance. But, for the time being balance had eluded me.
I started my quest for balance curious, confident, and determined. I ended my quest for balance still curious, yet also confused, and slightly defeated. I did learn a very valuable lesson though; I am not alone in my search for balance.  Searching for balance is like searching for a unicorn, or a mailbox, or even a pay phone. It’s out there somewhere; you just have to look really hard to find it. I wish everyone searching for balance the best of luck; you’re going to need it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Using A Song To Say All The Things That You Can't

Hi, My name is Kerri...and I'm addicted to YouTube. I'm sure if we are friends on Facebook you seem my constant links to songs, videos, etc...I do apologize, but what can I say? Youtube has got me hooked. 85% of the time the songs I put up are songs that I miss hearing on the radio, songs that I wanna hear but am too lazy to get up and turn on my Ipod, songs that aren't on my Ipod, songs that I hear on a television show or on a movie...I think you get the point. But, 15% of the time there are hidden messages in my song choices. I'm not talking about subliminal messages, like "Buy me a penguin" or "Give me all your money", I am talking about the words I can not say and the feelings I can not express. I never want to say the wrong thing, most of the time I'm too shy to actually say the words...so I hide behind music. I hear songs and they remind me of someone...or evoke to emotion so perfectly...and I do want to pick up the phone to say, "Hey, this song reminds me of you". Then this little voice inside me yells, "Hold up! Slow your roll! Think before you dial!". I instantly start to doubt my decision and go to Plan B. I put the video up on Facebook and hide behind a song. Sometimes I worry that the person the song is intended for will figure out that the song is for them. Maybe in some way I want that to happen ;-) And, who knows, if people actually read my rambling, suddenly everyone will think certain songs are about them. Like I said, this happens 15% of the time, it's very rare. I am just a YouTube addict, plain and sinple. But I digress, the point of this post was to talk about why people hide behind music or maybe even the power music has over our emotions. I've always wished I had some sort of musical talent. I can write lyrics, but have nothing to put them to. I have considered taking up the tambourine or the banjo...but I'm pretty sure it would be a hot mess of a musical disaster. If my parents were Stevie Nicks and Bruce Springsteen maybe I would stand a change in creating a musical masterpiece. Instead, I live through the music of others. It's not so bad, but sometimes I get jealous when I hear songs...I wish that I had just a tiny bit of their talent. To me, music is life....and to quote Nietzsche, "Life without music is nothing". Music is created to be appreciated. The artists also create their music to say express their true feelings. I hope they don't mind that I use their songs to express my feelings...to say all the things I can not say...