Meet Shannon– My Reproductive Syndrome

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This has been the longest, most painstakingly drawn-out summer of my life. Right now I’m sitting with a mug full of hot tea on a brisk day near the middle of September with two weeks until my first day of classes and not a whole lot to show for it. Actually I take it back. I went a few places. I did a couple of things. I talked to people in those places— when my foot wasn’t in my mouth. There was even a very exciting encounter with a bear, at least I think it was a bear. The point is, I had an arduously fulfilling summer all thanks to friends and family who let me tag along on mini trips to where the bears live (Tahoe), where the sun lives (Los Angeles), and where the Mormons live (guess) and thanks to Shannon.  On every trip, and during every dull day between, I was accompanied by Shannon. This post is dedicated to her.
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“It’s like a fat lady is sitting on one of your ovaries” my Gynecologist told me a few months ago. So I named the fat lady Shannon because why not. Shannon = my Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and the symptoms that come with it. In a nutshell, Shannon exists to make my life hell by causing me various biological inconveniences through way of hormonal imbalances that I’ll have to holistically supplement and treat for the rest of my life because as of today, there is no cure for PCOS. Dope. So now what?

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or in other words…
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 Shannon’s palette of side effects includes anxiety and depression. Hearing that was a relief. I’ve stopped counting the late mornings, absent conversations, and petrified phone calls I’ve made… let alone the number of times I’ve submitted to destructive feelings of inadequacy.
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Now I had someone to blame, it was Shannon’s fault. Not mine. A medical professional said so, even if she used a really shitty analogy to explain it to me.

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Shannon in all her snoozing glory …….
Understanding the separation between my essence and my emotions has been another subsidiary soundtrack to this summer. Shannon’s presence in my life has made me asses my emotions like I’ve never had to before. Shannon sometimes makes my mood unpredictable, so to help prepare family and friends for what’s coming on any given day, I came up with a morning mood rating system which goes as follows:
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screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pm– Puddle of emotion, vacuum of inspiration, tired, doubtful of my own abilities, 100% emotionally paralyzed
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screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pm– Anxious, mind is like a hamster running in a wheel, doubts, worries, pressures, fears all circulate, 75% emotionally paralyzed
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screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pm– Pacing, somewhat anxious but feeling more helpful and trying to wake the hell up 50% emotionally paralyzed
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screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pm– My mind has slowed significantly, good night’s rest, still on my toes but excited and only 25% emotionally paralyzed
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screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-36-56-pm– THIS VIDEO ENOUGH SAID.

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It’s Shannon who is my biggest handicap and Shannon who’s given me what no one else could. She’s taught me to grant myself allowance on the 1 star days and how to really get hyped on the 5 star days as rare as they are.
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In the middle of a 300+ member family reunion in Utah my anxiety levels were so high I literally felt like I was drowning. It had nothing to do with the toddlers and grandparents in matching reunion t-shirts around me but I felt grounded by guilt at the thought of leaving the festivities. It was Shannon who made the switch from fight mode to flight mode, and without realizing it, I had called a local friend and asked her to pick me up. It seems like a lot of over thinking for such a small thing but if that hadn’t happened I would have missed out on one of the best nights of the summer.  We cruised through Sandy, windows down and in a comfortable silence, against the backdrop of the purple mountains down for hours and hours and I’ve never felt more free in my life.
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Shannon taught me that there is a severely under appreciated art to accepting offers of services from others. It took having a panic attack on the side of the road to realize that I had a small handful of genuine friends who had all stated previously, “Call me anytime if you need to talk”, whose offers I had never taken up. One friend picked up, (you know who you are), and I can never pay back that person for talking me through the process of driving myself home that night. They never asked to be paid back. That’s what friends do.
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Sometimes when others aren’t there to listen or offer assistance, Shannon taught me that sometimes you’re all you need. Honestly ask yourself, “what do you need in this moment, right now?” If it’s a drive, get in the car. If it’s chocolate, go to the grocery store. If you don’t know, take a moment to lock the door, and breathe. Sometimes it’s the little rules we invent along the way that get in the way. Screw those. You’re allowed to get up in the middle of the night and eat something if you’re hungry and you can’t sleep. You’re allowed to walk away from social situations where you feel uncomfortable. It’s okay to not reply if you don’t know what to say. Venting isn’t pretentious or privileged.

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other days you just gotta hide in your hotel room and belt Coldplay on the uke
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If you need someone to tell you that you are allowed to feel what you feel, I’ll be your girl because you are.
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So that’s all I’ve got so far. We’ll see what the upcoming year brings besides another season of Stranger Things and a new President. Looking very much to one and not the other. Please be kind to yourselves and know that I’m here to talk if you or someone you know deserves a home makeover  is struggling, my email can be found in the “Welcome Mat” tab on the left. Lastly, thank you as always for lending me your time dear reader.
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Long live Barb.
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-SJT
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“Sale” Signs are My Favorite (My College Decision)

(If you’re a friend of family member wondering where I’m going to college and you’re here for the short answer, follow the fl✿wers and keep scrolling honey. If you’ve got a second and love a seamlessly incorporated animated disney expression gif or two you might want to stick around for the long answer. Either way, thanks for stopping by in advance dear reader, have a beautiful day)
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Imagine,  on the horizon, your neighborhood department store you go to normally for all your basic clothing essentials. You walk in. You look out over the sea of colored items on racks and just out of curiosity you peek at one of the price tags.

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You check another shirt, another pair of jeans, another shirt,

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Nothing costs less than $100, and you feel a little lost.

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You dig a little and come to find that the reason for the exploding prices in this warped and god-forsaken metaphorical world is because your ex- favorite department store has teamed up with hundreds of other big stores across the America to raise prices together under one agreement to juice out their consumers. Because they’re all doing it, there’s nowhere to get a shirt around town unless you have $100 dollars in your back pocket. You don’t have that kind of luck.

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You walk outside and press your nose up to the glass sullenly looking at the gum-spotted sidewalk. Cars swoosh by. You stare at the dumb paper mannequin’s inside. It’s wearing your clothes and you hate it in all of its paper arrogance.
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Then, the faintest glow appears in the back of the room. It flickers and fades, although you’re not sure if you saw it clearly. It returns again brighter, and it’s light grows and spreads in it’s corner. It goes out. You were hoping it was a sign. Suddenly, an employee appears walking briskly around the corner with an awkwardly shaped object tucked under her arm. It’s a sign! A neon sign! She sets it down, climbs up a footstool beneath the window in front of you, and installs the thing right above your head. Then she plugs it in and in an instant of a flicker, there it is. You step back to get the full view.

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“Sale items at least 90% off!” you gasp.

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You book it.

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 “WELL WOULDJA LOOK AT THAT!” you say,
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The shirts on the sale rack only cost $3-$10 and feature some of the highest quality basics you could ever need and/or want. That’s all you needed! Imagine yourself grabbing as many as you can hold in your arms and head to checkout, your total comes to $11.

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“Yussss” you think to yourself as you begin walking away.

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As you’re walking, an even stranger phenomenon begins to occur.  You hear raised voices coming from small crowds of people gathering. They’re some of the ones who had $100 bills and credit cards and bought clothes from the expensive racks, but instead come out with what appears to be discreetly ripped and subtly soiled linens. First appearing to be an overpricing problem, now looks like a rip-off scheme. People run back to the counter yelling, “This isn’t what I paid for!”, only to have “No Refunds” signs flashed in their face. There are riots outside, and yet the quietest ones walking towards the parking lot are the those who you suspect are just like you, the frugal winners of the department store race.

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If you figured out at some point that this whole story is my crazy way of making a point somehow, you’re right. Metaphors are fun. Almost as fun as finally using these aladdin gif’s I’ve been saving for months.

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 The Department Store might demonstrate the behaviors of the College Market and the sale rack could represent your own local bargain that is community college or junior college. Why? Here’s my experience, and I’d love to hear what you think at the end in the comments section.

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I found the perfect blouse at this secret sale rack; great color, fit perfectly, was simple enough to go with everything, and was miles below my budget. I found a community college with a lively campus, stellar reputation, and with an incredible film program. As if things couldn’t get any better, the whole box of glittery jubilee is on sale, a 90% mark down from the average private and state school, the kind of sale a girl can only dream of finding in an actual department store.

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It’s the best kept secret in the American Education System, which I think personally is a crying shame. It breaks my heart to think that there are kids under hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt that if given any other option would have gone the community college route, but instead are stuck spending the next decade or more spending their starting paychecks on loan payments when they could have gotten the same if not better education for one mammoth markdown.

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CC’s are nothing fancy or distinguished, but attending one for two years will be just what I need to complete essential general education and get my AA degree in Film Production. During which, I like so many others of my classmates may actually be able to make an income surplus by working through school. Flexible class scheduling is another great plus which would allow students to work a part-time job and gather those real-life adult experiences. Working and saving money will help make the cost of the last two years at a university after transferring several pounds lighter too. From what I’ve heard, being in debt doesn’t sound like any fun, and neither does not being able to drop classes without thousands of dollars go spinning down the drain… yet another plus to cost-effective education.

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This great article that Tom Hanks wrote for the New York Times is one of the factors that changed one of my parent’s minds (I won’t disclose which parent), but I highly suggest you dear reader take a one-click journey if you want to read more on this awesome topic.

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Both Tom Hanks and the input of other’s I’ve heard have made me believe that a thrifted education at a CC is a great option, and the perfect blend of humility and brilliance. I’ve heard some of the best, most passionate professors teach at cc’s because they’re simply more fun.

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My plan is to go to a community college for two years, maybe get an apartment with friends, work part-time and find media internships along the way, graduate with an AA degree in Film Production, go on a mission for my church for 1.5 years, and then finally come back and transfer to a bad-booty Film School and go from there.  The goal is to be debt-free in ten years so that I can be free to travel and work with no recurring green money monster nightmares at night, and Community College will help me get that head start.  I also want the best possible education in my area of interest (Film), and attending a cc gives me a second chance at finding the right film school that I didn’t have a chance to apply to during high school.  I couldn’t be more excited for this chapter of my life that is so close to beginning I can smell the decaf coffee from here.

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If you or someone you love is looking to expand their academic horizons and for whatever reason is hesitant to head straight for the big or Ivy leagues, feel free to pass along this post or any questions you/they might have.

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Stay classy not sassy,
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-SJT

To Express Junior Year Thus-far

…in 34 Gifs. Ready, go.
Everyday in Trig-Precalc:
When the counselor took over 5th period to have the “Scary Junior Talk”:
When our Spanish teacher has random outbursts that are borderline socially unacceptable:
When I picked a song I really liked the night before to be my alarm in the morning and woke up hating it for waking me up. (If that makes sense) :
Seminary at exactly 6:22 am and teacher’s telling that cop story we’ve already heard twice:
Getting all the Physics homework right because it’s about gravity and gravity makes sense:
Me at to kid who went to Chipotle for lunch and isn’t sharinggg:
Seeing that kid walk by who you know is taking 5 AP’s and is captain of the Football team AND has a girlfriend:
The computer jocks in film who claim PC’s are superior to Macs:
That lovable weirdness that resides in all my friends:
When teachers don’t realize that together they’re giving us 7+ hours of homework per night. TALK TO EACH OTHER FOR CHEESE SAKES YOU ALL SHARE A BREAK ROOM DO YOU NOT?!
Every single single boy my age:
“So does anybody have any questions?”:
When parents say that these are the best days of our lives:
Having my dad as my APUSH teacher:
When sweater weather knocked on our door yesterday:
Trying to put kids to bed babysitting:
Turning on my phone to iOS7 after it downloaded all night:
Haring tiresome words like, “SAT”, “PSAT”, “ACT”, “College Visits”, “CCC”, “Letters of Rec”, “hashtag yolo swag”:
That time when I was walking back onto campus at the end of Friday tutorial with Starbucks in hand and saw the yard duty marching towards me shoulders hunched pink notepad in hand:
When film teacher asks who can storyboard:
Freshman. Just all the Freshman that are everywhere:
“Frieeeeend, can I have a nibble of that delicious-looking Luna bar? Pluheez?”:
“Hey Syd, how was school?”:
How the people who make those amazing vines circulating Facebook must feel:
The american educational system:
“Syd syd syd let us go say hi to cute boy over yonder”:
“Ooh I love the way ^^ooh I love the way you make me feel I love it I love it” 
Being a teenager having to cope with other teenagers
Friends and our addiction to snapchatting during lunch:
Seeing any sunset, puppy, puddle, or rainbow:
In summary of Junior year thus far:
as expressed in gifs :) Thank you Mr. Wilhite

Lessons in Chemistry

Beyond a curve, a roller coaster of learning this week has been… and it’s only wednesday!

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How interesting. I find a recurring theme amongst my troubles.

Chemistry. I’ve had crash-course sessions in both the tedious type you learn here in the jungle and the… uh… romantic type. Here goes.

My Chemistry teacher ran the Boston Marathon over spring break. So as you can imagine, our normally structured lesson plan disintegrated in a beaker of HCL as my teacher nursed her jet lag and told us what bomb shock feels like.

“Had I finished 5 minutes sooner…”

Our class was silent.

Catastrophes are reality shakers. How petty of me to worry about the dumb things I worry about like boys when I could have lost my teacher over a weekend. But it was worrying about the boy that brought on the second lesson in Chemistry, taught by both Ms. N and my mom.

Perfecting the art of dating people includes an extensive knowledge of Chemistry. The lovey-dovey kind you’re thinking of can be defined by Oxford as, “the complex emotional or psychological interaction between two people”. Yes. It’s so complex, math and actual chemistry can be used to demonstrate it.

(Sorry, analogy queen had to.)

Let’s say that people are substances. They are each completely unique containing varied traits, ingredients and polarities and as such obtain specific compatability levels when it comes to other substances.

Some substances work perfectly together and become one unit that can never be filtered or settled apart except “by evaporation do us part”.

Ex. Sugar Watervia tumblr

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Unfortunately, a more chronically common case would be substances that truly believe it’s going to work out but don’t. It’s nice, it’s prospects look positive, but something triggers a change in compatability. Separation occurs.

Ex. Chocolate Milkvia niydaily

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Some substances are good friends on the shelf, but would never choose to mix because  explosion would surely follow.

Ex.Baking Soda and Vinegar

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So the crux is thus: You gotta let people have their chemistry. You’ve got to value other people’s uniqueness, and when Johnny likes Sally more than you just try not to get too…

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-SJT

Like funny gifs and pictures of ice cream?! CHECK OUT MY TUMBLR.

The Stupid Cup Song.

“The Cup Song” came from “The Cup Game”. Let’s make that crystal clear right now. “The Cup GAME” is basically a hand tap-dance or like a self-patty-cake done in sync with a table-full of others sitting in a circle passing along the cup. It’s been around since summer camps and family reunions were invented and if still you haven’t heard of it, some little girl you know under the age of 14 has. Duh, like… the Turner girls?

Once “The Cup Game” is mastered it becomes something one finds him or herself doing in public whenever they are blessed with an empty cup bestowed upon their table {or in many of my sad cases, what only seems to be an empty cup}. They are suddenly the star of a small-scale percussion show and surrounding tables applaud their performance when they finish. Go ahead, take a bow.

Well “The Cup SONG” was more recently made famous by the movie Pitch Perfect which came out earlier this year. In the movie, “The Cup Game” is put to cute lyrics by Actress and Singer Anna Kendrick and people all over the world have attempted to duplicate her fabulous results on YouTube calling it “The Cup Song”. It’s pretty incredible actually.

And then there’s me. Pitchy-Perfect-and-therefore-silent and frustrated mallet welding me.

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Have a fabulous weekend folks!

Shortest Horror Story- School Tomorrow

Gosh it’s been a great break. Extremely long and full of good things like chocolate and fireplaces. Gorgeous memories with friends and family. It was all I could have asked for. Then suddenly, all the teens in America woke up this morning with the crappiest feeling.

School tomorrow.

ew, blech, i'm gonna barf, school tomorrow, pirates of the caribbean jack sparrow tongue blech

The wonderful amounts of sleep and food we’ve been getting are soon to be forgotten when we go back to the Zoo called High School. Remember? That awful place growing on mountains of books and crawling with fire-breathing teachers handing out assignment after assignment, not to mention the other kids battling for survival along with you.

Ice cream calms the nerves.

Ice Cream is a comfort... It really is
“Eating Ben and Jerry’s eternally gives me brain freeze!”

Here’s the ray of sunshine people. Nicki Phillipi, this neat chick-Vlogger who I follow on the Tube of  You, has some general tips on how to be happy. Something I feel like is important to remember when crawling back into the Jungle/Zoo.

The Gist of How to Be Happy

By Nikki Phillipi

• Exercise

• Eat right

• Take care of yourself (hygiene)

• Express yourself

• Maintain a clean and happy environment

• Let your blessings flow

• Love other people

• Keep growing

And a line that I especially like and that I’ve been thinking a lot about IS, “Don’t get sucked into your own vortex”

Seriously.

That’s positive social media right there guys.

So when life feels like a Jungle, remember how to be happy. It’s more than possible :)

(Inspirational picture of a Macaw)

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“I can see clearly now, the rain is gone” :)

The “I Passed My Permit Test” Dance

uh huh! uh huh! it's my birthday! we're gonna party!

… this is how it’s done. (Thanks Miley)

The big day commenced as such: Madre picked me up in the getaway minivan two seconds after school got out Friday. We pulled into the DMV twenty minutes early to our appointment and waited in line with the following in hand:

• Birth Certificate

• SS Card

• Pink Slip from Driver’s Ed course that I took at school (many people take it online though)

• Drivers license application that we requested over-the-phone

• Madre’s ID

In preparation for the test, I downloaded the driversed.com app for my iPhone and did as many practice tests as possible in the car. This could be considered cheating because half of the answers would whiz by the window.

Nowadays, you take your first driver’s license picture when you take your first permit test. Some tips I found on this here web:

dmv driver's ed picture tips california

 

Took the test, made a friend while waiting for it to be scored, heard my name, and found out I missed eight. That’s the most you can miss to pass. But it’s passing. I wouldn’t have to come back again for six months (when I take the behind-the-wheel).

Yesssssss...
Yesssssss…

Now time to get behind the wheel lessons,

and then tell my insurance that we have a teen driver in the house…

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Scary stuff man.

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(I’ll show you dear reader the test itself when I find it…)

Until then… Merry Christmas!