Me, at 19 and a Half (almost...)

Well hello there! My name is Claira Jean Eastwood, I am nineteen years old, and I have been for almost six months. Here is a picture of my face… with coffee, of course.

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I am in my Freshman year of college at a school in Washington, and I live in a dorm room filled with brick and Christmas lights. I sleep in a typical twin sized college bed, but I brought a mattress topper with me from home so I’ve never had problems sleeping. I have a blue and white comforter, and the weird bed chair thing also followed me from home. I still sleep by the window, which I love because when it’s open a little bit I can fall asleep while breathing in fresh air.

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I can often be found in one of three places: my dorm room, the building across from the dorm that houses the drama department, or the black box where I have my acting class and rehearsals for A Wrinkle in Time. Speaking of rehearsals, they happen two hours a day five days a week. Much of my time is spent memorizing lines for AWIT and for my acting class. When I’m not memorizing or doing homework for one of my other three classes (Research Writing, Communication & Languages in a Global Society, and Privilege & Oppression), I can be found having game nights with my friends, having random Monday night conferences when something odd occurs in one of our lives, or (sometimes!) reading a book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time.

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I wake up between 8:00 and 8:30 in the morning- depending on if I have my 9:00 a.m. class or not-, make coffee to go, and get dressed (yeah, in that order). I’ve been really liking wearing colorful jewelry lately, so my bright blue earrings or hoop earrings with bright flowers have been making regular appearances. My mom gave me a necklace with an arrow on it for my graduation, and I haven’t really taken it off ever since, along with the arrow ring she gave me for Christmas. The arrow has a story behind it that I will inevitably tell eventually. Over spring break we were in Vancouver for a couple hours, and I got a necklace with a tiny giraffe on it, and that has also stayed around ever since.

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My clothes depend on what my day is going to look like. I tend to dress up more on Tuesdays and Thursdays just because I don’t have many classes and I’m not super tired yet. I have my acting class on Mondays and Wednesdays, and it has affectionally been dubbed “P.E. for actors” since it involves so much physical activity. Those days are a constant stream of “go, go, go” until 4:00, and then I have rehearsal at 8:00, so I tend to wear leggings instead of jeans. Everyday I use my perfume that smells like peaches, and for shoes I still go back and forth between my knock-off Toms and my knock-off Birkenstocks (I’m still cheap and I still like my feet to be fashionable… sort of). After having to wear more makeup than usual during the Festival of Shorts, I kind of avoid it when I don’t have to wear it, just to keep my skin sane before tech week and performances of A Wrinkle in Time.

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I call my mom on a daily basis, and text my brother often. I Skype my England grandparents some Thursday mornings and text my California grandparents every night. I don’t doubt that I made the right decision in moving to Washington for college, but I do miss my family and it is definitely strange to not see them every day or be there for birthdays, Sabbath afternoons, and Wednesday dinners. I love and miss my family very much, and there is always a part of me that can’t wait to go back home.

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My days are simple, but exiting. I go to my classes, have lunch (and sometimes dinner) with my friends, do homework, go to rehearsal, and sleep. On weekends I spend lots of time with little kids, have game nights with friends, sometimes go swing dancing, and clean my room as much as possible so I don’t go insane during the week. I spend my time with artsy people and sciencey people (that is the correct terminology), and because of that I am never able to see things just one way. I listen to music and read articles and write blog posts. I laugh and talk and dance and love every day. 19 has been really good to me so far, and the next six months (and two days!) have so much in store. I’m so excited to see what happens next.

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365 Things I Was Happy About

In August of last year, I bought a book called 14,000 Things to Be Happy AboutI started reading this book every so often, and I still go to it on bad days. This book mixed with my own personal philosophy of finding things to be thankful for every day has led to this post. In January of 2018, I started thinking of one thing I was thankful for and then writing it in here. Obviously, there were some days where I found more things to be happy about, but I had to stick to my system, and here is the product of this project:

1. Friends who make you feel good about yourself
2. Lattes
3. Eating Olive Garden pasta while watching Gilmore Girls on the couch
4. Staying up until 2:30 in the morning with your favorite people. 
5. Tulips
6. German lasagna
7. Happy people at Starbucks
8. The feeling once a meeting you were dreading comes to an end
9. Green shirts
10. Avocados
11. Voltaire
12. Friends who make sure you're okay when you're stressed out
13. Sleeping in on Saturday mornings
14. River otters
15. Bagels and coffee with good friends. 
16. Origami dragons
17. The line "What is life without a touch of poetry in it?" from Pirates of Penzance
18. Friends who give you grace
19. Classes being canceled
20. Homemade lunches after a long week. 
21. Black sweaters with floral designs. 
22. Listening to The Greatest Showman during Journalism
23. Remembering you packed a good lunch. 
24. The people who make your bad day better. 
25. The TV show White Collar
26. Staying up until 1:00 in the morning writing after a bad case of writer's block. 
27. Randomly buying donuts on your way home. 
28. Sunset walks before musical rehearsal. 
29. Getting lots of work done before noon. 
30. Being complimented on a shirt you weren't sure about. 
31. Knowing you're in a better place than you used to be. 
32. Quitting the job that you knew was bad for you.  
33. Feeling capable. 
34. Nature documentaries. 
35. Daffodils
36. Sweet smelling sunshine air. 
37. Seeing the people you love be happy. 
38. Laughing during interviews for Journalism. 
39. Helpful therapy sessions. 
40. Talking to one of your best friends (who lives five and a half hours away) on the phone.
41.   Sleeping in after a long week. 
42. Getting coffee and flowers with your best friend. 
43. Writing essays while listening to The 1975
44. Editing articles in Journalism with everyone sitting around one table. 
45. Basketball games.
46. Good teachers who listen to you and can offer advice about stuff unrelated to homework.
47. Writing website posts while sitting in the sun. 
48. Getting all the cleaning done early in the day. 
49. Brunch with your best friend's family. 
50. Watching Last Week Tonight 
51. Teaching twelve year olds who love to talk. 
52. Jean jackets. 
53. Walks in crisp, February air. 
54. Subtle closure. 
55. Edamame. 
56. Being really productive all day. 
57. Writing a lot of posts in advance. 
58. Feeling confident in a meeting.
59. Giving your twelve year old self closure.
60. Going into the day with a positive attitude and having it be better than you'd expected. 
61. Days off
62. Playing air hockey and losing, but losing happily
63. Learning dances during musical rehearsal
64. Hangman
65.  Seeing what your life could have been like if it had worked how you'd wanted it, but knowing that you're happier now. 
67. Haystacks (the food)
68. Flights that have You've Got Mail
69. Seeing people you love for the first time in years
70.  Drinking coffee while reading stories to your baby cousins
71. Being referred to as "poet" 
72. Doing something that scares you
73. Seeing your mom after being away for a while
74. Being welcomed back
75. Being brave enough to share your story. 
76. Singing softly in the car with two of your friends as they drop you off at home. 
77. The first morning of Spring Break. 
78. Pajama pants with lemons on them. 
79. Getting lots of writing done in the morning as soon as you get up. 
80. Having your hair in a french braid.
81. Getting up and going for a walk in the brisk morning air. 
82. Dennys. (it's an inside joke) 
83. Downtown Disney at night
84. Griffith Observatory
85.  The feel of your own mattress
86. Getting back into a routine
87. Musical dress rehearsals
88. Dead Poets Society
89. Teachers who are there for you even when they have no reason to be. 
90. Opening night of musicals. 
91. Floral printed quilts. 
92. Watching random netflix movies on a Monday afternoon. 
93. Having random days off from school. 
94. Talking about your favorite books with your favorite teachers. 
95. Having friends who love and support you. 
96. Balloons in small spaces
97. The feeling after the curtain closes after an amazing performance
98. Getting your room clean for the first time in a while
99. Finding a new TV show that you like
100. Being appreciated for your poetry by complete strangers
101. Peaches and cream yogurt from Trader Joe's. 
102. Substitute teachers
103. When teachers give you extra copies of books they love. 
104. Baby geese.
105. Talking to family you don't see very often over Skype. 
106. Garlic hummus
107. Being told that your ideas have value. 
108. Being given the gift of time. 
109. Falling down on your bed after a long day. 
110. Knowing that therapy is helping when you notice yourself becoming a stronger person. 
111. Spinning in a green, medieval-looking dress.
112. Getting home at 1'AM
113. Finishing all the work you need to do before going to sleep. 
114. Smelling the sweet, flower filled air while running through your neighborhood. 
115. Listening to music while on a long bus ride. 
116. The San Francisco Symphony
117. Kayaking. 
118. Pizza on the beach
119. Spending time alone after being with a lot of people for a long amount of time. 
120. Getting surprise letters and gifts from your faraway friends in the mail. 
121. Using your own bad experiences to help someone else.  
122. Starting to move past awkwardness. 
123. Silence. 
124. Chess.
125. Good lasts. 
126. The Imitation Game. 
127. Eliminating anxieties over the next school year. 
128. John Mulaney's comedy specials on Netflix.  
129. Staying up late and talking to your mom. 
130. Knowing that you can trust someone's opinion. 
131. Working hard to make an event as beautiful as possible, and seeing it come together. 
132. Having a break after three weeks of constantly going. 
133. Mother's Day. 
134. Trying on a dress and loving it right away. 
135. Breadsticks. 
136. Finishing all the work for a class. 
137. Being done with math for the school year two weeks early. 
138. Letting yourself do nothing for an afternoon. 
139. Getting the chance to express how thankful you are for something. 
140. Taking funny selfies with your favorite people. 
141. Really good pickles. 
142. Being told you were your favorite teacher's favorite student. 
143. Good conversations in the sunshine. 
144. Getting the chance to have a real break.
145. Face timing with your best friend. 
146. Being invited to things, even when you can't go. 
147. Meeting someone who recognizes your name from something you've written. 
148. Going for a run and smelling the sweet, summer morning air. 
149.  Funny typos. 
150. The wash of relief when everything you were stressing about is finally done and over. 
151. Seeing family you haven't seen for over five years. 
152. When an entire room of people is connected through one thing. 
153. Seeing your friends commit to something they believe in. 
154. Your own high school graduation. 
155. Breakfast quesadillas. 
156. Buying plants and candles and putting them in a freshly cleaned room. 
157. Having super short hair for the first time in years. 
158. Driving home in comfortable conversation. 
159. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
160. Watching a director direct. 
161. New music. 
162. Pineapples.
163. Summer morning runs.  
164. Lentil tahini wraps from Trader Joe's. 
165. T-shirts with your University's name on it. 
166. Evening conversations with your family. 
167. Old treasures.
168. Lavender Lattes
169. Organizing props and costumes.
170.  Writing out a memory in the form of a story. 
171. Bossypants by Tina Fey.
172. Making new friends. 
173. Baby mourning doves. 
174. Riding a stationary bike while watching The West Wing. 
175. Stickers
176. Swimming with goggles in a pool with lanes. 
177. Tech people.
178. Drawing on sharpie tattoos. 
179. Confidence. 
180. Making plans that make you excited for something you were initially nervous about. 
181. Creating your resume. 
182. Doing something scary that you know will pay off in the long run. 
183. Sunsets. 
184. Arrow stickers. 
185. Pickles. 
186. The song Ooh Child 
187. Curling your short hair. 
188. Cantaloupe
189. The Newsroom
190. Saving money. 
191. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
192. Salt water pools.
193. Colorful waffles.
194. Sports Night
195. Jean skirts.
196. Candles that smell like moss and thyme. 
197. Knowing where a costume piece is and being able to help. 
198. Last days. 
199. Paninis.
200. Pedicures. 
201. The Music Man  
202. Breathing in evening Summer air
203. Leaving for a brand new country. 
204. Showering after being on a plane for a long time. 
205. Climbing the Eiffel tower. 
206. Calming walks through art galleries. 
207. Train rides.
208. Marseille, France.
209. Markets in the south of France.
210. Finally feeling prepared for a new life chapter. 
211. Fruit gummies in airports
212. Arriving back home after over 24 hours of traveling. 
213. Helping a friend pack for college while catching up on everything you've missed. 
214. Tofu wraps. 
215. Getting up early and drinking coffee outside
216. Blueberry dessert. 
217. Mary Oliver's poetry
218. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
219. Having a super productive day
220. Face masks in the morning
221. National Book Lover's Day
222. Reading before bed. 
223. Writing fiction
224. The Weepies
225. End of Summer BBQs with people that you love. 
226. Buying new fiction books. 
227. Spontaneously meeting a friend for coffee. 
228. Writing in a new journal. 
229. Passing tests that you've studied hundreds of hours for. 
230. Colored pencils. 
231. Non-denominational churches.
232. California Pizza Kitchen.
233. Being welcomed back to your high school campus. 
234. Writing while watching murder mysteries. 
235. Really good instant coffee. 
236. Talking to people after spending a few days alone. 
237. Ordering stuff for college that makes you feel like an adult. 
238. Doing laundry
239. Reading for hours just to finish the story. 
240. Getting some of the stuff for college
241. Almonds.
242. Waking up earlier than usual and getting more done in the day. 
243. Reading outside while your dog runs around.
244. Hiking near waterfalls.
245. Asiago bagels with jalapeño salsa. 
246. FaceTiming friends about your qualms. 
247. Using a new body wash. 
248. Sweaters with lace. 
249. Solving qualms. 
250. Kittens.
251. Chocolate milkshakes
252. Starting the process of packing for college.
253. Soul Pancake retweeting something of yours.
254. Miracles.
255. Receiving a job offer.
256. Eating at The Spaghetti Factory.
257. Road trips with your mom.
258. Watching Gilmore Girls with your mom.
259. The beginning of a new chapter.
260. Being able to call your mom after having a bad day.
261. Feeling ready for college after having a couple of bad days.
262. FaceTiming your faraway friends.
263. Reading poetry at the open mic in a small (but very full) coffee shop.
264. Seeing a kind, familiar face when you really need one.
265. Spending the first day of Fall in a coffee shop with a cup of chai.
266. Meeting people who are passionate about the things that you’re passionate about.
267. Starting an acting class.
268. Getting laundry done after it’s been too long (far too long)
269. Being given advice from a credible source.
270. Doing something that’s scary but that you know is good for yourself.
271. Being given what you need exactly when you needed it.
272. Going inside and putting on a warm sweatshirt when it’s cold outside.
273. Doing homework in a coffee shop.
274. The first morning of October.
275. Waking up to the rain.
276. The song So Will I.
277. Feeling like you have something to contribute to a conversation.
278. Taking the long way home because it’s peaceful to walk in cool air after it’s rained.
279. Swing dancing.
280. Studying for hours in a coffee shop.
281. Spending lots of time in the quiet corners of a library.
282. Expanding your family on your own terms.
283. Finding friends in acting class.
284. Granola bars and coffee for breakfast (not super filling, but very delicious).
285. Analyzing literature with a whiteboard in the library.
286. Halloween parties.
287. Spending an entire day preparing for the next week.
288. Laughing a lot during acting class.
289. Spicy chai.
290. Being told to set up a scene and then doing it correctly.
291. FaceTiming for math help.
292. Calling a faraway best friend to wish her a happy birthday.
293. Writing a letter to digest your thoughts on a situation.
294. Spending all day in the library getting work done.
295. Having an interview for something exciting
296. Going to an evening vespers and getting exactly what you needed.
297. Receiving good feedback after a scene performance.
298. Having a meeting go better than you thought it would.
299. Seeing your mom for the first time in over a month.
300. Target.
301. Not having to work on a Sunday for the first time in over a month.
302. My 19th Birthday.
303. Having people who don’t know you personally rush to your defense.
304. Breaking in the neighborhood with an early morning run.
305. Making a new friend and talking for hours on a random Thursday night.
306. Vegan pizza for dinner.
307. Talking to someone for four hours straight.
308. Getting to wear a headset while helping backstage with the play at the last minute.
309. Listening to Pride & Prejudice while at work.
310. Crème Brûlée after a scene rehearsal.
311. Walking around the library at night.
312. Having a feeling that it will be a really good month.
313. Being especially thankful for Friday.
314. Eating vegetables and watching Friends.
315. Working backstage and sitting with new friends during breaks.
316. Performing a scene that took lots of emotional energy.
317. Waking up early to get some extra work done.
318. Being assigned a new scene for acting class.
319. Staying up late studying for exams but feeling better once you’re done.
320. Flying home for Thanksgiving Break.
321. Seeing Grandparents for the first time in two months.
322. Sleeping in on a day you’d normally be working.
323. Finally figuring out what you want your major to be.
324. Becoming by Michelle Obama
325. Friendsgiving
326. Watching A Muppets Christmas Carol
327. Burning candles (when you’ve gone weeks of being unable to).
328. Sabbath naps.
329. Decorating your dorm room for Christmas (!!!)
330. Friends who sympathize with weird problems.
331. Drinking coffee out of a new mug.
332. Affirmation from people you admire.
333. Going to sleep with freshly cleaned sheets.
334. Seeing Arsenic and Old Lace as a play.
335. Getting into a writing flow.
336. Random days off from work.
337. Feeling like people understand what you want to do with your life and why.
338. Changing your major and finally feeling excited about what you’ll be studying.
339. Playing improv games to avoid saying goodbye.
340. Shakespeare being the last poet you read as an English major.
341. Christmas concerts.
342. Walking through falling snow.
243. Random answers to prayer.
244. Rehearsing for a random play.
345. Having an extra day to study for finals.
346. Talking to new people who you can tell will be important to you.
347. Hours of sarcastic, flirty banter.
348. Catching up with people you love.
349. Stroopwafel.
350. Seeing high school friends for the first time since graduation.
351. Long, in-person talks with your mom
352. Revisiting songs you wrote at 15.
353. Candles with wooden wicks.
354. Fredrik Backman novels.
356. Falling asleep with a dog at your feet.
357. Reading a murder mystery.
358. Christmas episodes of Friends.
359. Dinosaur pajamas.
360. Homemade enchiladas.
361. Continuing old traditions.
362. Getting headshots taken.
363. Gingerbread chapstick.
364. Creating new recipes.
365. Drive-in movies with good friends.

The Teenage Years

I turned nineteen on Monday, which means I only one year left of being a teenager. I'm not upset about that fact, since the teenage years have been quite a rollercoaster, but this realization has still put me in a very reflective mood (as most things do). With that in mind, I've summarized ages 13-18, and if you're interested, just keep reading. 

Thirteen Years Old


My first year of teenage-dom was... interesting to say the least. I was in seventh grade, and was in a school that wasn’t necessarily the best for me. Sixth grade was when my perfectionism started to affect my school work, and seventh grade was no different. I had a backpack that was filled to the brim with books, and during lunch I could often be found sitting in the locker room studying for afternoon tests and quizzes. For our spring concert, we did an abridged version of Les Mis, in which I sang a solo for I Dreamed a Dream, which still remains one of the coolest singing experiences I’ve had even though it was almost six years ago. The summer of being thirteen found me at Camp Wawona, where I spent many summers growing up. This was actually the last time I would go, and it was one of the best experiences I had there, complete with spending the last night on the outdoor stage in sleeping bags watching shooting stars.

Fourteen Years Old


When I was fourteen years old, I was three things- a swimmer, an insane perfectionist (yeah, I was worse five years ago), and a writer. I went swimming on Mondays and Wednesdays, wrote lots of short stories, and took lots of selfies in an attempt to improve my smile. I took guitar lessons for a little while, tried running and hated it, and went on my 8th grade class trip (which, honestly, should be an entire post in itself). I spent days at the beach, went hiking sometimes, and once a month visited my dad. I graduated 8th grade (haha, a funny sentence), and then went to Camp Meeting with my dad and met some new people. Once I got back, my mom, brother, grandparents, pets, and I moved to the Bay Area.

Fifteen Years Old


At fifteen, I had officially moved from the only place I really remembered living, and I was in my Freshman year of high school. I remember studying intensely for a test on Romeo and Juliet, and I remember being very proud of the grade I received. I started to form really good friendships, and would occasionally go on runs with my mom (spoiler: running was still not one of my favorite things). I spent early school mornings reading in the cafeteria before starting my classes, and listened to a lot of Sara Bareilles. That summer, I spent a couple weeks in England, Wales, and Scotland and met two of my little cousins for the first time. I returned to California and spent the rest of being 15 reading books, writing stories, and preparing for my second year of high school.

Sixteen Years Old


At sixteen, most of my time was spent writing songs in my bedroom. I assumed I was the only one who could hear them, but alas bedroom walls are thin, and now I’m pretty sure my grandparents heard every word. This was the year my dad had an odd habit of adopting every animal that came to his doorstep, and the dog pictured above was my favorite. He stayed around for a while before he ran off again, and I like to think he found a nice home. During finals week, I’d walk into downtown Mountain View, CA with some of my friends and we’d meet for bagels or coffee and quiz each other (for a little fun fact, I got an A- on my Biology final second semester). I took classes that I loved, especially my World History class. The summer after my Sophomore year, we all moved again. I started at a new school, and a few weeks before my seventeenth birthday this website went live.

Seventeen Years Old


By my seventeenth birthday, I was starting to find a place at my new school, and I already hated chemistry. I took two English classes, wrote lots and lots of essays, and started to form new friendships that have affected my life deeply. I also took six Kung Fu lessons, which is something I forget about sometimes. For me, seventeen was the year for learning more about myself, what is really means to be a friend, and how important it is to have good communication with the people around you. That year, I met some incredible people, most of whom I stayed friends with and really miss now that I’ve moved away.

Eighteen Years Old


I know, I know, this was really only three days ago, but the beginning of being eighteen feels like forever ago. Being eighteen was actually really wonderful. I may have had some months of serious anxiety, but I still had a really great time overall. I was taking great classes, I was writing a lot of poetry, and I had an excellent summer where I cut my hair, worked in a theatre, went to France, and got my driving permit. My dad got married, I traveled a lot, and I tried to force myself out of my comfort zone more than usual (so, maybe three times). Eighteen was a really good year for me, and while I was pretty sad to leave it behind, I’m thankful for all the things that happened in those twelve months.

Nineteen Years Old?

(a picture of me and my mom on my birthday because I don’t have any pictures of just me yet)

(a picture of me and my mom on my birthday because I don’t have any pictures of just me yet)

Now what? I live in Washington, I'm a Freshman in college, and I spend most of my time preparing for my acting class, meeting new people, and making plans for what the rest of this year will be. Eighteen was a great year in itself, but lots of the things I did were in preparation for what I want nineteen to be. I have a lot of really cool things in the works (most of which I’ll be talking about soon), and I’m really excited for the next twelve months!

So, would I go back? I've been thinking about this a lot, actually, and I've settled on a definite maybe. There were parts of my teenage years that I loved, and there are some moments that I would really like to relive, but so far I'm really liking college and getting a taste of what being independent is like. The jump from eighteen to nineteen didn’t seem too big, but the jump from nineteen to twenty feels like it’ll be huge. I have a whole year to get there, though, and I have a feeling it won’t feel as crazy once I’m there. The teenage years have been a rollercoaster, and while I’m glad to not be leaving them behind quite yet, I’m excited for what the future has in store.

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: 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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