My 3 Favorite Reads of 2016

So this year, my goal was to read 31 books. At the moment I have read 35* books (according to Goodreads 113% of my goal), is something I’m immensely proud of. Also, I just wanna add, thirty-four of these books I read via audio book. If you do the math that’s roughly four hundred and sixteen hours. 416. Okay, now that I had my #humblebrag, let’s talk about my three favorite books. (I’m not ranking any Harry Potter books in this. I want to make a separate post about rereading the series).

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Kinds of homesickness

I’m homesick. I’ll just come out and say. I miss my family an insane amount. In a different way than I did last year. I think I spent most of last semester scared and sad, but I was to caught up in all to miss my family in the way I do now. Last year I missed the comfort and safety of home. I was in a new and scary world, and I wasn’t sure if I liked it.

Now, I can safely say, I love UNT. I love my friends, I love the campus, and I sometimes even like the classes. But I’m comfortable here. I know who I am, where I need to go, who I should talk to. I’m making good grades, and working very hard to reach my goals this semester. Hell, I have goals. But I miss home in a way I didn’t last year.

I miss my job, where I loved my coworkers, I got to meet strangers, and I made good money. And yes, some days I miss the fact that I could con my dad into buying me a drink at Pak-a-Sak (slurpees add up ya’ll). But honestly I miss my family. I miss talking to my mom, in person, where if I was sad she could comfort me through touch. I miss my dad, and sitting down to watch TV with each other. Sometimes I even miss Madi and fighting about how I couldn’t video her.

I think last year, I missed home, and the familiarity of it, but this year I miss the people.

At the same time, I know I don’t want to go back. I know how burnt out I was at the end of the summer, how often me and mom would fight, how much I missed Denton. I couldn’t handle Dumas all the time.

But I do want make a trip home some days. And I sure do wish Denton was a bit closer.

That being said, this semester is going so well. My hard work is paying off. I’m getting involved, but only minimally. I’m growing as a person and as a student. I know that a little homesickness is worth it.

I’m currently reading: 

Syllabi

I’m currently listening to:

Apple Radio has a station called “Soft Pop” which I thought was gonna be slower pop music, but it’s actually pop music from the past. The Beatles, Elvis, Bee Gees, etc. I’m loving it.

Ear Biscuits – A podcast by Rhett and Link where they interview Youtubers and get deep into their story. I have cried multiple times, so that’s fun.

I’m currently watching: 

THE MINDY PROJECT IS BACK. And it’s all I care about. Danny + Mindy 4EVA

But also Project Runway so.

Until next time,

-Carey Grace

“Thanks, Mom”

Being on your own is hard. College is scary. For the first 18 years of my life, I was luckily enough to have food on my plate every night, someone to support me (emotionally and finically), and to get most of the things I wanted. For this I’m eternally grateful to my parents. They are the raddest people I know, and I miss them most days.

But when you go to college that all shifts. It’s time for you to take care of yourself.

And not that your parents don’t still help, but they have to let go a little. You have got let go a little.

When I showed up to campus my freshman year, I was for the first time in my life, alone. No family, no friends, no coworkers, no classmates I’ve known my whole life. I was a tiny tiny fish, who was so accustomed to life in her small tank, and then was suddenly dropped into an ocean.

I was so homesick. Not for Dumas, but for my family, and people I felt at home with. I missed it so freaking much.

And at first I struggled. A lot. I cried, I avoided social situations, I ate alone. I was under the impression that everyone’s friend group was formed by the first day of school and that I was destined to be alone.

And then I moved dorm rooms (AD ABP)*, and moved across the hall from three girls who frequently screamed at the results of America’s Next Top Model. I immediately liked them. They made fun of ANTM, but still loved it enough to watch it religiously. They screamed loudly. They were funny. They used condoms, not for their intended purposes, but instead to fill up with water and slap like a drum. They did not care what others thought of them.

I wanted to be friends with them.

The left their dorm open and I’d peak my head in to say hello. Then, slowly, the hellos lead to longer conversations, about things I can’t remember.

Somehow, after exchanging snapchats, a chicken express date, and learning how to say the name “Arely”, they let me in.

We developed (stupid, idiotic) inside jokes. We we’re constantly scolded for being too loud. They introduced me to their other friends. We bonded.

Through out the year, we met more people, made more friends, and grew up.

A year later, and we’re all still friends (somehow). We’ve fought, we’ve made up. We’ve talked things out. We’ve grown up. We have new (still just as dumb) inside jokes, but we still laugh till we’re sick at the old ones.

But more than friends, or a “squaaaaaaaad” we’ve become a family. People we’re at home with.

They’re the first people I talked to when I decided to resign from Kappa (AD,ABP)*. They held me while I cried, and then did stupid things to cheer me up. I’ve listened to relationship problems, and stories about shitty parents. We’ve seen each other at our best, and our worst. And we love each other more for it.

A week or two ago, we were taking a Buzzfeed quiz, and we were asking each other which quality they’d use to describe us. And they said “confident”. They said that I didn’t care what anyone thought, that I would do anything, or say anything. That I was unafraid to be myself.

Confident wouldn’t have been my adjective before I met them. Yes, to some extent, I’ve always been loud, and unafraid. But a year ago I would never have chanted “Bill Gates,” in public. Or danced on a picnic table in the middle of a busy area. Or danced at work. Or said exactly what I was thinking. Etc. Etc.

Lately we’ve developed a habit of saying “thanks, mom” whenever someone takes care of someone else. Arely bought me a doughnut? “Thanks, mom”. Melanie set a timer for me? “Thanks, mom.”

From the outside, it probably sounds like we’re joking, but I think it’s taken on a deeper level.

It means thank you. For taking care of me. For caring. For listening. For doing something you didn’t have to.

So I just want to say “Thanks, mom”. Thank you Arely, Melanie, Michael, Autumn, Karla, Stephanie, Kate, Anna. Thank you guys for being there. For letting me overstay my welcome, and sleep on your floor. Thanks for letting me shower in your shower because it has better water pressure. For doing the other half of the Troy/Gabriella duet. For still laughing our guts out over things that aren’t funny.

You guys mean the world to me. This one’s for you.

I’m currently reading: 

The Winners Curse by Marie Rutkoski – It’s alright so far

I’m currently listening to:

Throwbacks – Any song that takes me to another place and time. Included are anything by the Jonas Brother, Hilary Duff, and anything from HSM.

Until next time,

-Carey Grace

*AD ABP – Another Day, Another Blog Post

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Not all pictured