New Year, New Goals To Achieve

New Year, New Goals To Achieve

Goals I want to achieve in this new calendar year.

I count myself among the millions of people who don't buy into the New Year's resolutions phenomenon. However, I do think about goals I want to achieve within a new calendar year.

1. Educational

I only have one semester left of my bachelor's degree, so if I can attain my financial goals, I can graduate in May of this year.

I hope to take and get a good score on the GRE so I have my choice of schools to move on to pursue a Master's Degree in Library Science (MLS) starting this fall. My first choice school to pursue the MLS is Kent State University.

In the fall I also hope to be accepted into the Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in the creative writing program at Cleveland State. The MFA at unique in that it allows to choose from four different Ohio campuses to take courses -- yet be rewarded the MFA from the school you apply to. One of the universities that participate in the MFA program is Kent State. So I will take my MLS and MFA courses on Kent State's campus, but my MFA will be from Cleveland State.

2. Financial

I want to start my final semester of my bachelor's degree with at least $10,000 in scholarships. Not only will this cover my tuition, but it will cover books and materials, fines owed, my Graduation Application fee, bills I'm backed up on, and personal loans I owe.

If I receive the financial help to get through this last semester, I can use my income tax refund to FINALLY get another car.

3. Occupation change

If all the above comes to fruition, in June I will apply to secure a job in a library environment to prepare for my future as a librarian.

4. At home

I want to get another cat-- my baby cat is very lonesome due to the recent death of his brother. His happiness is first and foremost my priority, and I have lots of love to give another cat in addition to him.

5. Vanillerotica literary ezine

I would like to find some volunteers/interns to start putting out issues of my magazine again. As much personal satisfaction as I get from working hard and putting it out on my own if everything I want to achieve above happens, I won't have the time. Plus, I still really want to believe my magazine has a place in this world, and I refuse to give up on that possibility.

6. Intimate education

In high school, I didn't receive proper sex ed. Not that I plan on acting on anything, but knowledge is power, and the more knowledge I have about sex and interpersonal relationships, the more I can make informed decisions. Which is why I want to find a Planned Parenthood to assist me with this education. This is a BIG step for me - not only for finally embracing my bodies' sexual autonomy after years of living with the emotional aftermath of my sexual assaults - but also because I am Pro-Life, so choosing to patronize a place that is Pro-Choice is a bold move for me.

7. LGBTPQ+ activism

As I do every year, I plan to spread awareness about bisexuality through journal clips in the popular Bi Women Newsletter, community groups, and my organization-- the Bisexual Initiative of Greater Cleveland.

8. Writing

Towards the end of last year, I found a publication that publishes what I write. So I want to start putting my stories out there as well as my journalism clips. I also want to finally publish my first poetry book as well as some of my longer short stories in order to prepare everyone for the eventual publication of my short story anthology. I'm going to be a legitimate author soon dammit!

So here's to another year of good health, hard work, and hopefully goals being reached. Happy New Year's everyone!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.


I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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