College: A Coming of Age Story

“There’s nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons.”
― Stephen Chobosky

“It always shocked me when I realized that I wasn’t the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things.”
― John Green

“Just remember this- weird’s good. Embrace the weird, dude. Enjoy it because it’s never going away.”
― Tim Tharp

All of these are pretty recognizable quotes from popular books about growing up and change. Friday marked the end of the first week of sophomore year. This has easily been the most uncomfortable week of my life. Everyone told me that this would be a huge change for me, but I don’t think I was really prepared. It’s strange how college fits every stereotype created in those indie coming of age films.

In this past week I have felt so many emotions, such as fear, sadness, anger, confusion, joy, and happiness. College can be a very lonely place, everyone has crazy schedules and very rarely do they fit together. The first couple of days were really though, at one point I seriously thought that I had just made the biggest mistake of my life, but after the initial fear disappeared and I came to grips with being homesick I decided to reach out to others. I began to make friends really quickly, I realized that I am not the only person who feels this way.

College can also be a very awkward place. It is a place where people learn and grown and change. I have already noticed things changing about myself: I have become more environmentally conscious, I have been more observant of others, I have had my eyes opened to new music and food, and I have learned that it’s okay to be uncomfortable and to take risks. It’s nice to not feel special, knowing that a lot of people are experiencing the same things I am makes me so much more confident in all the falls I have and will take (literal and metaphorical, that Den booth was out of my sight line).

My favorite part of college so far has been the people I have met and bonded with. I am so lucky to be a part of such a welcoming yet tight knit department. I have a small group of friends and we all just happen to very similar schedules. They are all so fun and friendly. I also have a group of girls who I bonded with instantly and they are so empowering and I genuinely feel like I have known them my whole life. My old friends are also just as wonderful and they have been introducing me to even more people who are equally fantastic.  The memories and relationships I have been forming are so beautiful and all of these people hold a place in my heart.

The first week of college is done, I have three more years. I can already tell that they will be the best three years of my life. To find a home in an unfamiliar place is going to be an adventure for sure. Here is to the unknown and awkward and uncomfortable that is making this experience so magical.

Sincerely, d.h.

P.S. This weeks album suggestion is the Paper Town’s Soundtrack

Birthdays and Chocolate Pies

Today is my 19th birthday, a whole new year on this planet full of new experiences, people, places, and adventures. It is all so exciting and refreshing. Its odd how how short years become as you grow older and things get busier.  Its also funny to look back on birthday wishes, as a child i would ask for things such as bikes, ponies (Which I actually got one year, thanks dad!), and toys, but this year I wish for happiness and clarity.

As I get older the sense of mortality is something I am coming to terms with. In light of that realization I’ve started spending more quality time with my friends and family. If you know me well you know how much I love my Nanny and how much I have learned from her over the years (expect a blog post about that soon). Well last week she asked me what kind of cake I wanted for birthday, and me not being a huge cake person asked for a chocolate pie. Let me tell you this woman loves me, she made me not only one chocolate pie from scratch but three!! I sat in the kitchen as she finished up the first two pies, and when she started the third one I asked her if she would teach me how to make them just like she does.  Of course she agreed, we made the final pie and cleaned up and then she agreed to let me share the family recipe  with all of you, but I think a bit of backstory is important.

This chocolate pie recipe is originally my great great grandmother,  Naydine Robertson’s.  Naydine was the mother of my great grandpa, John Robertson. This recipe is published in the Cherry Mound Gourmets, a cook book that was published by the local home demonstration ladies club. My aunt Betty, John’s sister, gave this to my nanny many years ago and today she shared this chocolate pie recipe with me and now I am sharing it with all of you.

Naydine Robertson’s Chocolate Pie

you will need:

2 jumbo eggs

2 cups of sugar

2 cups of milk

3 tbs of butter

3 tbs of self rising flour

3 tbs of unsweetened cocoa powder

“A good squirt” of chocolate syrup

1 tsp of vanilla

1/8th or a “good shake” of salt

1st. separate your eggs reserve your whites for meringue and add your yolks to the pot

2nd. lightly beat the yolks

3rd. measure the dry ingredients and mix them in a separate bowl

4th. add the dry ingredients to the eggs and mix while adding in your milk

5th. move mixture to the stove top and cook until thick while stirring continuously

6th. once thick add your butter, sugar and Hershey syrup and mix well

7th. set aside and cool until while you make your meringue

Meringue Recipe

2 egg whites

5 tbs of sugar

1 tsp of vanilla

1st. beat egg white until light and fluffy

2nd. beat in sugar 1 tbs at a time

3rd. add vanilla

4th. beat until stiff peaks form

5th. spread over the pie and place in the oven at 375 or until browned

6th. let cool (if you can wait) and enjoy

Take some time to enjoy genuinely present time your friends and family. Tell them how much you love them, play a game, sing a song,  bake a pie and share some laughs. These are the memories you will share as time passes.

Sincerely, d.h.

P.S. The album suggestion for this post is Petaluma by This Wild Life

The Law of Attraction and Manifestation

Most of you have heard the quote “She believed she could, so she did” by R.S. Gray. Up until a few days ago I wrote that off as just a cheesy quote that people take too seriously, that was until I understood the law of attraction and the use of manifestation.  The law of attraction is defined as the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life. In order to better understand the logic behind the law I recommend watching this video by Margot Lee (she also has a blog post about this, the link is in the description of her video)

Manifestation is the practice of the law of attraction by speaking things into existence within your life, for example saying “I will travel more and experience new things”. It is extremely important to use “I will” in place of “I want to” in order to make the phrase intentional by using positive wording. By saying these things out loud it will not only hold you accountable, encourage you, but you will also realize that the reason and method behind your actions are now done with the clearest of intentions in mind. Once you have a clearer mindset you begin understanding what you have to do to attain your goals and in turn you work harder and take bigger risks, because the best things happen outside of your comfort zone.

Now with all of this in mind lets think about some successful manifestations that have already happened in our lives. I have always talked about going to WKU (11 year-old Des had decided that she would go to WKU as a psychology major, as a theatre major I deem the two close enough lol) 8 years later I am preparing to move in as a sophomore.  From a super young age I wanted to be involved with theatre, since freshman year of high school alone, I have been apart of 12 shows. Think about your own life and the successes you have had just by talking about doing something, think about the paths of the manifestations, the struggles and triumphs you experienced along the way,  as well as the gain, was it spiritual or physical?

Personally when I think of the things that I have received out of life I think of the people and events that got me to those places, if it was from moral support, a physical helping hand, or an experience that drove me,  I am thankful. “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction”  a quote by Erich Fromm that I think everyone should live by. I have been raised to be a firm believer in karma, and I think that universe has a mysterious way of working. If you are not being pure about your intentions and are using manifestation for greed driven reasons the universe will take that into account, therefore meet success with a thankful spirit and a gracious heart.

I am obviously not an expert on the law or the practice but I am learning day by day. I started practicing this a week ago and have noticed massive changes in my life. Margot’s video and blog really opened my eyes to this whole practice, I linked the video at the top and I’ll link her blog right here, Not only is it a lot more in depth it has lots of helpful tips and resources as well. As my life is changing and I am growing I am working on becoming more mindful every day, hopefully this will encourage you to do the same.

Sincerely d.h.

P.S. This post’s album recommendation is “In Between Dreams” by Jack Johnson