Cigarette Daydreams

Cigarette Daydreams

My odd fascination with cigarettes
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Hi, my name is Janina and I have an odd fascination with cigarettes. Now, disclaimer, I have never touched a cigarette in my life, let alone any other drugs.

I grew up having the facts of how terrible cigarettes and other drugs are practically drilled into my head; from countless health class projects to specialist lectures. My mother works with cancer patients and my stepfather has been smoking (and has tried pretty much all sorts of tobacco/nicotine products) since he was 14.

I know how terrible cigarettes are and how they, by scientific fact, will destroy your health. I grew up with people around me telling me that cigarettes aren’t cool and don’t look cool. There was never a moment that I can remember that cigarettes were portrayed in a positive light.

However, there are specific times in my life where I can remember being drawn into the captivation of cigarettes. One of the first was when I was Googling photos of cigarettes for a health poster project in middle school. I stumbled across a DeviantArt piece of a girl with headphones on, staring at a computer screen in a dark room, looking bored, her hands supporting her head; a lit cigarette dangling from her lips; an ashtray on the table. I have a crappy memory, but I remember the drawing so clearly. I had such a strong fondness for that drawing, that I cut it off of the poster after the class and saved it.

Another time, when I was 13 or 14, after an art camp during the summer, I would walk through the Washington State Convention Center to get to my mom’s work so I could drive home with her; I found a photograph on the wall there that particularly interested me. It was called “Dante Monument, Naples”, from Stan Raucher. Whenever I could, I would take some time out of my trip to go visit that photo hanging on the wall. It just made sense to me. It resonated with me. A couple months after the art camp program ended, when I was visiting downtown, I was disappointed to find out that my favorite photograph had been cycled out and replaced.

It wasn’t until 2014 that I had begun to consciously realize my odd fascination with cigarettes and smoking. My family and I were visiting relatives in Austria; there was some type of festival going on. One of the vendors there carried gum cigarettes (like candy cigarettes, but they were made out of bubblegum), and I bought two boxes without second thought. A bubblegum-cigarette dangled from my lips for the rest of the night, and it sounds silly, but it felt relieving and almost natural to have it in my presence, fiddling with it when it wasn't near my mouth. Of course my siblings gave me crap and keep pulling the “Mom, Janina thinks she’s a smoker!” bit. I still have the majority of the second pack camping out on my desk at home.

I’ve also attained the “skill” of being able to tell the quality of cigarettes just by the smell. Most cheap, American cigarettes are gross to me. The good ones are European. Every now and again, lurking the halls of Chinese international students, I will get a whiff of the best smelling cigarettes and I find myself standing outside of the door of a certain apartment for at least 5 minutes before I realize I need to snap out of it and keep moving. It’s a comforting smell to me, especially when I’m stressed.

Now that I’m in university, every now and again when I become really overwhelmed, and I get a whiff of the “good stuff”, I feel drawn into the scent and I just want to stand next to the smoker and enjoy the second hand smoke. Either that or I think about buying a pack for the next hour or so.

I have racked my brain countless times, trying to find the reason why I have this attraction and fascination with cigarettes; where did it come from, why do I have it? I probably won’t touch them anytime soon, because I feel like if I do, there is no going back. Also I have to keep reminding myself that if I start smoking, then basically I waste my money on smokes rather food, which as a foodie, is a very unappealing idea to me.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj_89L_ovrRAhVP92MKHeTNBBsQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnomirar.deviantart.com%2Fart%2FXI-Coffee-and-Cigarettes-105308838&psig=AFQjCNGzj2O3zuipQOMWD9ns5poT-FP_tA&ust=1486429314172740

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25 Things To Do After 1 a.m.

You never remember the nights you went to bed early.
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I'm a night owl, and at a clean, Christian university, it gets a bit rough trying to find things to do after one in the morning. If your adrenaline's pumping with or without friends, here are some things you can do for free or using that crumpled twenty dollar bill in your pocket.

1. Dick's.

If you're feeling frisky in the wee hours of the morning, head to Dick's with some friends.

Or if you're looking for something more adventurous...

2. Watch a movie.

Reserve a time slot at the movie lounge in your dorm, pop some popcorn, and watch your hall mates cry at your favorite tearjerker.

3. Go on a walk to nowhere.

Without using a map, just walk with no destination in mind. Try to find your way back without any assistance. Of course though, be safe.

4. Jam out.


Bust out someone's guitar or triangle and go to town. If you don't know anyone who plays an instrument, borrow a speaker and blast a good tune.

5. Cards Against Humanity.


People get weirdly inappropriate when they're tired, this makes it the optimal time to play Cards Against Humanity.

6. Gasworks Park.


I swear the park is more beautiful at night when no one's there. Plus, nothing beats the adrenaline rush than when geese surround you on all sides.

7. Late-night drive.


Go for a scenic drive like the one shown above.

8. Go somewhere that's usually full of people and see it empty.

It's hauntingly beautiful to see somewhere that's typically crowded and see it completely empty. It's a private moment that you'll get to remember every time you go back.

9. Watch something in your queue on Netflix.


Hey, you put it there for a reason.

10. Learn that one thing you've been meaning to.


Whether it's a new skill, language, or hobby you want to pick up, learn it now! There's no time like the present. Or, surf some Wikipedia articles and jump from one related article to the next.

11. Scooter races.


Find out which of your hall mates will do anything to win.

12. Table topics.

If you want to find out more about your friends, but the only question you can think of is, "How do you feel about Dick Cheney?" Table Topics are perfect.

13. Retail therapy.

Or, you can do what I do and add everything to my basket and then cry when I see the total.

14. Watch the airplanes fly in.


Knowing that each airplane holds dozens of people who have their own lives and are off on adventures or returning home is so humbling. Also, airplanes look like shooting stars if you squint.

15. City wide Fugitive.


Basically Cops and Robbers, there are two groups of people. Group A tries to make it from Point One to Point Two (we had everyone meet at a park and try to make their way back to campus) without being caught by Group B. Group B is usually dispersed into cars and they flash their headlights at someone from Group A if they're seen.

16. Beth's


Who isn't down for breakfast food at two A.M.? Any 24 hour diner will do, but Beth's is the best.

17. Pinterest baking party.


Even if you don't succeed, it'll make for a good photo (and hopefully still taste good).

18. Salsa dancing.


Or swing dancing. Or learning how to do the latest dance. Dancing is the perfect way to bond by making fools of yourselves. Plus, it might lead to a vicious dance battle between R.A.'s.

19. Picnic on a roof.

Preferably a flat roof that you're not trespassing on, but make do with what you can.

20. Stargazing.

Stargazing is my absolute favorite way to pass the time using the Planets app on my phone. If you're having some trouble identifying the stars, Star Chart app is super easy.

21. Watch the sunrise.


Just pull an all nighter to see the sunrise. It's way more rewarding compared to seeing a sunset.

22. Get a tattoo.

If you just want something simple and know someone who has experience, get a stick and poke tattoo. Even though stick and pokes tend to not last as long and don't look as clean as a professional tattoo(you have to go over it a couple times), it's still a tattoo! Make sure the needles are sterile and you're using the right ink.

23. Skinny dipping.

Maybe not during this time of year in the Pacific Northwest, but spring has to come around sooner or later.

24. Karaoke.


Hit up a karaoke bar with some friends and sing your troubles away. Boxcar Ale House, Ozzie's in Seattle, Crescent Lounge, and Hula Hula are open until 2 a.m. while Seattle's Best Karaoke is open until 3 a.m.

25. Sleep.

As my roommate always says, "Nothing good ever happens past 2 a.m."

Cover Image Credit: Teresa Tsang

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To The Girl Who Gives Until There’s Nothing Left, It’s Time To Focus On Yourself

Sometimes, you have to finally put yourself first.

parek1
parek1
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To the girl who gives until you can't, I know you. I know you because I am you. I have been in the same shoes you have, and I have given myself to others until I couldn't anymore, and it still wasn't enough for those around me. And you know what? That's ok.

You see, we give and give and give because we care. We put others needs and wants above our own, and we do this because we want the people we love and care about to be happy and to feel loved. In the process though, we can sometimes lose ourselves, and I'm no stranger to this. I've played the part, in my relationships and friendships, I've made excuses for people and seen their lack of reciprocation of care as a mistake, not an outright disrespect to myself. And I've done this until I can't anymore. I give myself to a person until who I am has been decimated to making them happy. But I've realized that we can only give for so long. We finally reach a certain point in our lives when we can't give anymore, and we have to rebuild ourselves on the idea that it is finally our time to be happy.

Your happiness is what's going to get you places in life. We have only one life to live here on Earth, so while we have this short time, make yourself happy while trying to make others happy. For those who truly love you and who care about you as much as you do them, they will want to see you just as happy. So girls, whether it be in your romantic relationships, or your friendships, or even your familial relationships, just know this: You will reach a point when you can't give any more. You will be broken, and you will have a sense that you have lost yourself. Just know, you can and will pick the pieces up and when that time comes, that is your signal that now is the time to focus on you and your happiness.

It will be ok, and you will be ok. You've given so much to make others happy, now it's your turn to make yourself happy. It's time to find the things that make your heart warm and your insides tingle. It's time to find the little things in life that bring you joy. It's time to make your life about you. So go get lost in the sound of the ocean waves. Go to that art show you've been dying to see. Take that class that you're interested in. Find the things that you feel make your life meaningful and happy.

Take care girl, because I speak from experience when you make your life about the things that bring you happiness, everything in your life becomes more worthwhile and has more meaning. Life becomes golden when you pursue your own happiness.

With loving sincerity,

A girl just like you

parek1
parek1

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