iac international bazaar

October 4th, 2018

This morning, just after class, I went to the International Advisory Committee’s International Bazaar. The IAC has this event a couple of times a year, where different international students in different international organizations are able to set up tables and share their country and pride with others. I spoke with a girl from the Iranian Student Association who was selling handmade and hand-painted Iranian dishes. Her friend is the artist, and she hand draws a mandela-esque (think symmetrical and geometric) design onto a shallow bowl. Then she uses colorful shiny paint that creates an intricate, beautiful design on the piece. She also hand painted a vase as well. They were beautiful pieces that I could not afford, but it really cool to see a way that someone is able to remain in touch and close to their culture and who they are through this art.

Then I met two girls from the Turkish Student Association, and one of them was wearing a fez. I got a bunch of trivia about Turkey wrong, and then they offered me some food! I had some tea and a cookie. There is so many different student associations that I honestly had never heard of. The Ex-Yugoslav Student Association gave me some candy, I talked to a guy from the Peruvian Student Association. There were representatives from the Indian Student Association that danced in front of everyone, and Focus Africa was an African Student Group that emphasized rethinking Africa. I talked to a guy whose favorite event just happened recently on Empowering Women in Africa. It was fun to hear other students hold onto their culture through their student associations and this bazaar. I loved feeling their pride in who they are and know they feel comfortable expressing that pride on campus.

learning how to fill the seconds

9/4/18
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So I’ve always been very into “knowing myself” and being an introspective person, but in all honesty I have not been my best for a while. I had a rather taxing sophomore year. It’s been hard to recover, and come back as fierce as I would like to be. I feel a little less motivated than how I would generally see myself, and I have been already slipping up when it comes to schoolwork and deadlines—ALREADY. It’s the second week of school, and I’m feeling the repercussions of last year and never really addressing any of my poor tendencies or problems.
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So that I could get everything done that I had to last year, I would stay up just about all night, and then I would “nap” around 3:30AM-7:30AM until I had to go to class. Needless to say, it was not a super healthy lifestyle. And then my spring semester was just a hot mess to say the least. I had studying problems, commitment problems, motivation problems, mental health problems, time management problems, and self-awareness problems. I got through that time in my life of lots of self-destructive motions and fatigue, but I never dealt with any of the poor habits that I perpetuated by making up excuses for myself.
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My fifth strongest strengthfinders trait is “restorative”. Which means refers to the ability to solve problems and sometimes more of a proclivity to seek out solutions. This is the strength that I have always had problems identifying more with. I never have really saw myself this way. I’m a more timid person than I would like to admit. I don’t like conflict, and I tend to avoid it at all costs. This means lots of problems are left unsolved in my life, especially the ones that are mine own.
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This weekend, I did a lot of self realization with the help of Conner, my boyfriend. I was more thoughtful than usual, making myself feel more myself. And it was good. It was great. I felt like I was being more honest with myself about the person I was, and I had more time to consciously think about the choices I make and things that I do that may not be the best of choices for my wellbeing. I put things off until the last minute. I let myself feel unmotivated. I do not prepare for things, and I am just not super great at working ahead. I let myself nap and do unproductive things when I could be getting thing done.
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But I started making some conscious changes this weekend. I bought books! To keep my mind active even when I’m bored or done with homework. And on the car ride back, I finished one of my books before we made it back to Norman. I felt so good. I stopped myself from falling asleep, and instead chose something more meaningful, productive, and beneficial. I made a budget for myself. I looked over my expenses, and thought about what was an appropriate amount of money to spend on things, and being thoughtful about how I not only spend my money but what experiences I am getting by spending. I paid my bills too!
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I’ve been joking to Conner that I have been adulting lately, but I think about after a restful weekend, I’ve really been able to think a lot about how certain choices to be productive or not be productive have affected my mood, outlook, and well being. I’m going to make more conscious decisions to be on top of things. When I have free time I need to spend it doing something productive and meaningful. I am putting that restorative strength to work, giving myself the opportunity to do so. Someone I know once said that they measure time in moments–in how fast that time goes by. When you’re having fun, time flies. But in moments, the ones that matter the most, time seems to stop. I wrote about time stopping a while ago. But I think that those moments are not things that you just stumble upon naturally. Sometimes they are, but most of the time, you get out what you put into something. I want to work harder to make moments happen and just feel like I am filling my time with something better than taking a nap because I’m bored. The person that I am and will become is best measured in what I choose to take part in and do in those moments.
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