The Experiential Library

The Experiential Library

Cataloguing life, one experience at a time
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I’m weird with trying things, and I’ll admit that freely. Sometimes I’ll want to watch a movie, play a game, or read a book for years before doing it, just because I’m waiting for the right time. The problem is that this “right time” is extremely vague at best. There’s no exact set of conditions to qualify for a time being the "right time” to watch a new Ghibli animation or read the chapter book adaption of Assassin’s Creed III; it just comes along entirely arbitrarily and then I get the feeling that I can allow myself to enjoy what I want to enjoy. Other times, I’ll have the free time to do something but I just won’t because it feels wrong.

This isn’t healthy.

Because of this I’ve been trying something different for the past year or so, and I think it’s working. I call my strategy the “Experiential Library”. Basically what it involves is this:

Every time I, for example, watch a movie, I add the name of the movie and the year of the movie’s release to a list that I’ve typed up on my laptop. I have a list of hundreds of movies that I plan to eventually watch and I choose from that when I feel like watching something. And that’s it, that’s my entire strategy.

Now I know that sounds odd. It’s such a simple little thing and it doesn’t seem like it would make a difference, but it does for me. Framing something like watching a movie as a goal-oriented task and allowing myself to add it to a list at the end is just enough to break the mental wall keeping me from trying something new, and it's just enough incentive to make me follow-through on it.

This also comes with a bonus; because I'm logging my experiences, I can look back on what I've seen, read, played, listened to, and so on, and bring back memories associated with these experiences on demand. This is why I call the idea a library of sorts- I can check out what I want to remember whenever I want, and keep track of it all without forgetting anything over time. So far, I've started logging games played, movies watched, books read, and songs listened to, and I plan on adding more categories as time goes on.

Is this a good thing? I think it is, but I recognize that it's not for everyone. Some people, most really, will probably just want to do things without having to type them up afterwards. Still though, if you're like me and you need a good kick in the rear to get going sometimes, this might help you like it has helped me. It's worth a shot, right?

Cover Image Credit: Reactionary Times

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12 Things Only Low Maintenance Girls Understand

I promise we aren’t lazy, just easy going.
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Sometimes low maintenance girls are looked at as lazy or sloppy. But in reality, I think low maintenance girls are just so confident in who they are that putting in that extra effort isn't important to them.

Here are 12 things that only low maintenance girls understand:

1. Leggings or sweat pants and a t-shirt is your normal everyday outfit

Why spend the day uncomfortable in some tight jeans or mini skirt when you can lounge around in some comfy clothes. We aren’t here to impress anyone, we are just trying to sit back and chill.

2. Makeup is a special occasion

If you catch a low maintenance girl with makeup on, take it as a compliment. We are trying to touch our face and rub our eyes as much as we'd like without makeup getting in the way. Not to mention, we wouldn’t dare spend over $15 on some foundation.

3. We would rather stay in with a movie then go out for the evening

Something low-key and low stress always sounds better than spending the time, and the money, for a night out. I am perfectly content with taking advantage of my $7.99 monthly payment for Netflix.

4. You’re always the first one ready

While your friends spend hours doing their hair, makeup and then finding the perfect outfit, you sit around and wait. Your 10 minutes thrown-together-look gives you time to nap while everyone else takes their sweet time.

5. When you say you "don’t care what we do," you really don’t care

Seriously, a date night off the McDonald’s dollar menu is fine by me. I am not expecting you to wine and dine me on a big extravagant evening, I’m just trying to get a Big Mac in my mouth.

6. Your messy bun isn’t a fashion statement, it’s actually just your hairstyle

We aren’t about to spend time curling or straightening our hair everyday. Every day is a good day to throw your hair up into a ponytail or bun.

7. The extent of your jewelry collection is one pair of earrings and maybe a necklace

Who needs more than one pair of earrings? Diamond studs match everything…right?

8. And your shoe collection is even smaller

Should I wear flip flops or converse?

9. Shopping isn’t exactly your favorite thing to do

Who has patience for finding the perfect designer brands or finding the best fit? I am perfectly content with my t-shirts and leggings. One size fits all.

10. Your favorite gifts are the sentimental ones, not the expensive ones

A homemade card or a small gift that makes someone think of you is forever better and more meaningful than an expensive present. I don’t want your money, I just want to know you thought of me

11. You don't put in the effort to chase after a guy

I'm awesome and I know it. If a guy is worth it enough to be in my life, he can come after me. I am not down for any games or players. Just someone who embraces my low maintenance qualities.

12. You are always the first person to help someone out

Giving your friends a ride or lending them two dollars isn't a huge deal. Just helping someone out gives you peace of mind. Everyone should have time to help a homie out.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.cosboots.com/sale/christmas/christmas.html

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To Love a Broken Vase — An Ode To Valentine's Day

"To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides." --David Viscott, How to Live with Another Person, 1974

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I remember an anecdote my elementary school teacher told us in the fifth grade. When a mother is pregnant with a child, they feel comfortable in their flesh. Provided with everything they needed to survive, they don't have to worry about anything. It's not until after they are born and the umbilical chord is severed that they realized they were not good enough, and insecurities fester.

I went through a similar process when I was growing up. Contained within my family and books, I felt like I held the world in my hands. It was not until high school where I seriously sought out others for company and wanted to apply myself to the social universe. And I saw myself changing in not only my behaviors, but how I see myself within the world.

With working hard to get good grades, with trying to get my driver's license, and becoming a better person overall, I realized the process involved a lot more effort than I ever had expected. And I found myself unprepared for the slow drudgery of it all. While I once pushed through to get things done, now I find myself giving up on projects while coming up with new ones. I frequently turned to my laptop for solace, as it kept my fantasies alive, but it also stole time away from me.

These behaviors showed in my relationships: I found it hard to meet up with friends, and my parents started worrying about what would my future look like. With the latter, I've had multiple conflicts with them, with me asserting I wanted to be free from everything, including accountability. Of course, that perception was quite unrealistic — to love and be loved, as well as to succeed, there has to a tug to know when you're doing something wrong.

***

A year ago, I wrote an article about how I saw romantic love from somebody who has never been in a relationship. Many things still apply today — I'm better off working towards my educational and career goals than seeking out love, though with Valentine's Day, it still fascinates me on whether or not I could be loved from somebody else.

From what I've heard from others, they would be charmed by my intelligence and kindness, neither fulfilling the stereotype of a nerd nor the perfect angel. However, the naivete would also put someone off, and potentially puts them in danger. I also see myself as the spontaneous type, but to the point where I forget where my priorities are, again making them worse than they really are. I imagine they would be intrigued by me as a friend or a lover, but end up breaking away after a short amount of time.

I don't imagine finding myself loving other people in the short term; however, I find myself open towards others. And that what makes me more afraid about how people view me--will they not be able to see the positives in myself when the time comes? Will they be just as capable of forgiving me the same way my family does?

At the end, I should take my friend's advice for Valentine's Day — love oneself. And take actions to make sure that I can love myself deeper and further.

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