Twelve Little Things I'm Going to Miss

In ten days, I'll be on my college campus getting ready to start the new school year. It's coming up really fast, and I'm starting to notice all the little things more than I have before. Because of that, I thought it might be nice if I made a list of all those little-but-still-big things that I'm going to miss once I leave home. 

1. Driving in a car and hearing my mom laugh. 
2. Weekly Sabbath lunches at my grandparent's house. 
3. Meeting my friends for coffee at the Starbucks near my house. 
4. Taking a shower without wearing shoes. 
5. Taking naps on my grandparent's couch under one of the many blankets. 
6. Watching West Wing while using the exercise bike. 
7. My mom bursting into song (whether made up or one that she somehow remembers from her childhood) at any random moment. 
8. Getting up early and drinking coffee in a quiet house. 
9. Eating tomatoes that grew in my grandparent's garden. 
10. Listening to my mom play her piano. 
11. Seeing the colorful sunsets out of my big bedroom window. 
12. Going into my mom's bedroom and sitting on her bed while she works. 

Obviously, I'm not leaving these things forever. I'm still going to visit and spend a good amount of time with my family, but my life is about to change in a way that is irreversible, and that's kind of sad for me. But, as I've been reminding myself all the time, I'm about to find a bunch of new little things that I will one day miss. And that, my friends, is a very exciting thing to think about. 

 I'll also miss running in my neighborhood during the fall. 

I'll also miss running in my neighborhood during the fall. 

Me, at Eighteen and a Half (...almost)

Hi, my name is Claira Jean Eastwood, and I've been 18 for almost six months. Here's what I look like, in case you don't see me every day and you've forgotten: 

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In the past seven months since I made a post like this, a few things have changed. I still sleep in a twin sized bed, but my bedding has changed to a quilt with a red, yellow, and blue pattern on it with flannel floral patterned sheets (can you tell I'm really into the whole floral thing right now?). I have a weird bed chair thing that I use for writing these things because even though my desk is great for homework, I like to be a little more comfortable when writing for this blog. And, of course, I still have my moose, along with Dumbo and Peter Rabbit. 

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Often I can be found wearing my pajama pants with lemons on them, or my gray sweatpants. My NASA t-shirt is a current favorite, as is my gray and black baseball tee. My hair is down in it's natural state 80% of the time and in a french braid with a headband the other 20%. Most of my time is spent reading poetry, writing poetry, and watching random movies and nature documentaries I find on Netflix. 

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I've been waking up between 6:45 and 7:00 since the end of February, and I've noticed a significant difference in my mood. Since I'm up earlier, I get a handle on my day before I have to start getting ready. I drink my coffee (the whole chai/earl gray thing went out the window once I hit second quarter of my senior year), read a little bit from whatever book I'm currently reading (right now it's Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris), and sometimes watch something on Youtube. I've been using my Dumbo mug a lot recently, as well as my green polka dot one that my friend Mary got me for my birthday last year. 

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I start getting ready around 8:00 and the first thing I do is turn on Up First, which is an NPR podcast that catches me up on the news for the day. Each one is only about 12-15 minutes long, which is perfect for me. I get dressed (usually in my capris jeans, a t-shirt or sweater, and my knock-off birkenstocks or knock-off toms, because I'm cheap but like my feet to look fashionable) and then do whatever kind of makeup I'm in the mood for. I've been using eyeshadow a little bit more recently, and I use this pinkish brown color from The Body Shop. I have a tiny collection of lipsticks that I really like, and usually I pick one of those, but sometimes I just go with chapstick. It really does depend on my mood. I put on my gardenia and palm perfume because that's my favorite, and then I look in the mirror and try to tell myself something positive. Cheesy? Definitely. Helpful for positive thinking? Absolutely. 

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I like keeping flowers in my room still, and most recently I've had some purple ones that Annaliese got me after I did the poetry open mic. They sit by the orchid I'm trying to grow again after I watered it too much last year and it died. My favorite candle right now smells like oakmoss and sage, even though my mom insists that it smells like laundry detergent. 

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My days consist of going through my ten classes, reading whenever I get the chance, and writing posts for this blog. My favorite class is Film Appreciation, because it's giving me the chance to watch all the movies I've heard of my whole life but never got around to watching (Life is Beautiful, an Italian film, has been my favorite so far). I've been listening to a lot of musicals recently, mainly Amélie and Waitress, though Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen still make their regular appearances. 

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I love having time by myself in the mornings, and going to class vespers and get togethers on Friday evenings. I love driving with Annaliese and sitting next to my friend Joe in math and Economics. I love adding commentary to the movies we see in Film Appreciation with my friend Hailee and hearing our teacher laugh at our comments. I love writing for this blog and talking with my teachers. I love going for walks with my mom and sunset runs on random Tuesdays. The last six months have been really great. Normally by now I'm at the point where I'm ready to get to the next to stage of my life, or just the next age. But right now I'm genuinely happy with being 18. I'm happy. I really am, and that's really good for me. I am currently very content with my life and all that it has going for it. 

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50 Things to Do When You're Anxious and/or Depressed

The other day I wasn't feeling the best. It wasn't because anything was particularly wrong, and it wasn't that I was dreading something that may be wrong later. It was simply that I wasn't feeling the best. I go through bouts of anxiety and depression every once in a while, and it always really sucks. So I made this list a while ago that I go to when I'm feeling particularly bad, and I take a few things and do them. The following is a list of 50 things that I personally have done and can say that they work, at least in the moment, which is sometimes enough to get you through the rest of the day. 

1.  Go to sleep a half hour earlier
2.  Get up a half hour earlier
3. Drink a tall glass of water
4. Take a shower with your favorite soap or body wash, and then use your favorite lotion
5. Read a book
6. Eat a salad  
7. Or a pizza
8. Go for a walk
9. Or for a run
10. Light a spring candle in the fall or a fall candle in the spring
11. Paint your nails
12. Dress up for literally no reason
13. Wear your favorite sweatshirt
14. Sit outside and breathe deeply
15. Meditate
16. Color in a coloring book
17. Learn to make origami dragons
18. Watch Friends 
19. Watch The Office 
20. Clean your room
21. Clean your kitchen
22. Wash your sheets
23. Journal
24. Shave your legs
25.  Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while
26.  Buy flowers
27. Hug your dog
28. Watch Queer Eye
29. Get a hug from your mom
30. Put lotion on your feet and follow with fuzzy socks
31. Do something spontaneous
32.  Create a morning and/or night routine
33. Look at the stars on a clear night
34. Change around the decorations in your room
35. Drink some tea
36.  Use a face mask
37. Use a hair mask
38. Write something
39. Vacuum
40. Do your laundry
41. Look up inspirational quotes
42. Clean your bag or backpack
43. Clean up your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram
44. Eat lunch outside in the sunshine
45.  Watch clips from The Graham Norton Show (bonus points if it's red chair related!)
46. Watch interviews with Emilia Clarke
47. Watch You've Got Mail
48. Read some poetry
49. Dance around your room to Hamilton 
50. Dramatically lipsynch to Oh, Darling by The Beatles

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25 Facts About Me

1. When I was seven, I got kicked out of the Vatican. Twice. In one day.

2. I learn the words to the fastest songs I can find just for fun. I rarely tell people this, though, because when I’m asked to prove it I freak out. 

3. By the time I graduate, I will have gone to two different high schools. 

4. I write spoken word poetry

5. I won a writing contest when I was sixteen 

6. I can’t pronounce “peculiar” 

7. I fully believe in time and all that it heals

8. I have fully written essays for this website that I will probably never post. 

9. I took six classes of Kung Fu my Junior year 

10. I used to absolutely detest poetry (detest

11. Spring is my favorite season and March is my favorite month. 

12. I’ve lived in three states, but only really remember the third. 

13. The first time I ever had a crush on a boy, I was in preschool and the only way I could think of to get him to talk to me was by pretending to forget his name so he’d have to introduce himself almost every day. 

14. LA and Seattle are tied for my favorite city, but Edinburgh is a close second. 

15. I still haven’t learned how to ride a bike

16. I used to write songs, but haven’t done that since I started writing poetry. 

17. I have had my heart thoroughly broken exactly five times in my eighteen years.

18. I take criticism badly, no matter how masked in compliments it is. The sandwich method of compliment + criticism + compliment doesn’t work for me. 

19. People have read my poems in front of me without realizing it was about them.

20. I have five books in the works right now. 1 of poetry and four novels. I have no idea what I’ll do with any or all of them once they’re finished. 

21. I have been to England four times, and in about a week I leave for the fifth visit. 

22. I have written in journals since I was eight years old. 

23. My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird, which I read for the first time when I was sixteen. 

24. My eighth birthday has been my favorite so far. 

25. I am a perfectionist who tries very hard to follow all the rules…

25.5 But sometimes rules are meant to be broken, and I’m working on realizing that more. 

Things We Need More of in 2018

This year, we need more of the good stuff. 2016 and 2017 were both really weird years, and while they had their good moments, 2018 still needs to be different. With that in mind, here are 10 things I think we need more of this year. 

1. Long conversations with the people who mean the most to us. 

2. Kind honesty. Saying what you think and believe but not doing so in a cruel manner. 

3. Houses filled with music. 

4. Listening to someone with a different opinion without thinking about you're going to prove the wrong. Listening to understand, and then trying to be understood. 

5. Long walks outside when the air is the perfect balance between windy and still. 

6. Underdogs. 

7. Coffee in coffee shops and tea in window sills. 

8. Ideas that seem crazy and unrealistic. Because those are the best ones. 

9. Doing the thing that scares you when you know it'll be worth it. 

10. Creativity 

Resolutions

I know, I know. Last week I literally said I didn't necessarily like making New Year's Resolutions, but that's why I came up with my own system. Instead of making a set of resolutions for the whole year, I've decided to give myself until the end of June. I'm still giving myself the full year to accomplish each resolution (really they're more like goals/things I want to do or accomplish, but whatever), but I'm going to give myself until the end of June to see if each resolution is still important to me. If it's not a priority anymore, then away it goes. There's no point in holding on to a resolution if I'm going to stop caring about it and then feel bad about that at the end of December. With all that said, here are my 9 resolutions for 2018:

1. Read 20 books (I'd also like one of these books to be Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen) 

2. Run a 5k.

3. Finish this blanket I've been knitting for about a month now. 

4. Buy hermit crabs. 

5. Go back to therapy. 

6. Be nicer to myself and change the way I think about myself. 

7. Have a summer job. 

8. Be able to read children's books in French. 

9. Do as many things to open as many doors of opportunity for myself as possible. 

As some of you may remember, I set 9 goals for myself to accomplish before I turn 19. Those goals and these 9 resolutions are all the things I hope to accomplish in 2018 (9+9=18, get it? Ha.) The idea of not continuing with a goal when it stops being a priority also applies to my 9 goals before turning 19, so I'll be checking in with myself in April about all of those.  This is all because while I want to accomplish new and exciting things, I also don't want to put negative pressure on myself that will only make me feel bad later. 

I really want this year to be good. I'm trying not to put too much pressure on it to be amazing, but it definitely needs to be better than last year. I'm hoping that by making these resolutions I put myself in a good place for making this year good for myself.