True Colors

“What is the hardest part?” That is the question I am most often asked about living on our own. Some would say it is the lonely meals, picking up after yourself, learning to manage your time, the constant need for a hug from your parents? In my opinion the most difficult and strenuous part of living on your own, especially if you are living in a new place, is staying true to yourself.

It seems like a simple enough task, just be you. And it is, when you have friends that you have known for years and family that love you no matter what. But when you have to set out into the world and you have no one to hold your hand to tell you that people will love you, no matter who you are and what decisions you make, it becomes really easy to change yourself to find new friends or make new connections. They call this phenomena to acculturate or to assimilate.

TC cont.

Moving to Colorado, I was bombarded with a whole new culture. I came from a big city, where people’s idea of fun was to go bowling and see a movie. Here, everyone parties, every day of the week. When I first got here I thought the only way I was going to fit in was if I joined, but soon enough it became too difficult for me to keep up with my school work and sleep and it started to make me really unhappy. So I stopped, I told my friends that I couldn’t handle it any anymore and I wanted to limit myself.  My friends didn’t shun me or make me feel inadequate; in fact, they admired me for being true to myself. And soon after making this decision I really became comfortable, and started to enjoy it.

Always keep in mind that not everyone is going to like you, but they don’t matter. The only person who really needs to like you is you because you have to live with you.  Staying true to yourself and what you believe in is key to staying happy, and there will be people who accept you for the person you are.

The Rhetoric of Living on Your Own

As it has been explained to me and my peers, rhetoric is found in almost every situation and event we find ourselves in. We use our knowledge of audience, timing, credibility, language skills and many other traits to get our point across, and persuade our audience into believing what we have to say. We can apply rhetoric to our everyday lives, which helps when you are living on our own, especially if we are relocating or transposing to a new lifestyle.

            We can use our knowledge of rhetoric in all sorts of social situations, for instance, trying to make friends. The goal of trying to make a new friend is to persuade them into liking us enough to want to hang out with us. So we use our abilities of timing and knowledge of audience to pick people who have the potential to be your friend. Likewise, we use those same skills to pick out people whom we know we will not get along with or who will not like us. This is an important still to have when we live on our own because having friends is a good thing.


Another situation we can apply rhetoric to when living on our own is obtaining and retaining a job.  Not only do we use our capabilities of persuasion to get a job, we are constantly using them to keep it to.  In an interview our goal is to get someone to hire us, so we establish credibility by telling them why we are capable of the job. If we work on commission we use our understanding of audience and credibility to get them to buy what we are selling. In every job we use rhetoric in some form or another.

Using our ability of persuasion we can do everything from make new friends to get hired for a job.  Having a keen understanding of rhetoric and the many factors that make it up: such as audience, timing, and credibility, is and will continue to be useful and practical knowledge to have when living on our own.          

Mending a Seam

I have spent the last 3 days trying to describe how to mend a sea  in a step by step fashion. The one thing I came to through this process is that I will never be an instruction manual writer. Unfortunately, I  just had a really difficult time trying to explain it and have it make since in a way that someone who doesn’t know how to sew would understand. And I failed. But hey, that is just part of the learning process I suppose. So here is a great instructional video that explains it way better than I ever could. Enjoy!

Food for Thought

 How often do you think about other people on a daily basis, that doesn’t have to do anything with you? 10 times a day?7? 4?1?0? Do you care how they are doing? If they need anything? Are they sick? What is happening in their lives? Did their cat die? Did they break up with their boyfriend? Are they short on cash? Do they need a hug? When is the last time you said thanked you to them?

If you have, what is there relation to you? Are they your best friend? Family? Kid you met in class? What purpose do they serve in your life? Have they ever fed you? Clothed you? Bathed you? How long have you known them? Your entire life?  A year?  A month? A week? A day?

Do you ever do anything for these people? Do you hug them? Loan them money? Feed them Christmas dinner? Call them every day to check up?…… Do you want them to do that for you?

We sometimes forget that other people live their own lives.  We get into a rut of only being able to see ourselves and stop caring about other people, but in a twisted narcissistic fashion we expect them to think of nothing but us. It’s sad really, that we just assume other people will take care of us.  The only people I ever think about are the ones that are closest to me, but I almost never act upon it. I don’t call, or write, or communicate in anyway unless I am lonely. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t. I often find myself listening to the people I spend the most time with living on my own, and how they never speak of anyone but themselves. I am not excusing myself from this either, I do it too.  In fact, I suppose I am doing it right now. Do you do it too?

Oil Change

I was asked previously in a comment about changing the oil in your car. But when I moved here I did not bring my car, so obviously I don’t have a car to demonstrate on. This video is the one I used to teach me, so hopefully I will help you too.

If you have any questions on what type of oil or type of filter to get, consult your owners manual, it should all be in there.

Skip to 1:08 that is when the real content begins.

(Any other car related questions, I will be happy to do research on)


Forgiveness isn’t about changing the past, it is about changing the future.

I think the first and most important part of forgiveness that I want to point out is that- You will never be able to forgive someone else until you forgive yourself.

This is a hard subject me to talk about. I spent the majority of my high school career filled with this anger and bitterness toward a particular person who I credited with taking away my childhood at a very young age. I blamed her for stealing any chance I had of having a fulfilling and happy teenage experience. And I truly did think she ruined my life with everything that she put me through.

It wasn’t until my senior year, after a  chat with a man who I consider to be one of the most influential people in me life that I realized that, although she had put me though a lot, the only person who made my life hard and unhappy was me. And after a long thinking process, I came to the conclusion that the only way I was ever going to make it right was if I forgave her, and more importantly myself. I took so much of my own life blaming someone else for my problems, and I can’t go back in time to fix it. The only way to better myself was to change my future. So that is what I did.

Forgiving is not forgetting. If someone hurts you, don’t let them keep doing it to you. If you hurt you, don’t let that experience and how it felt leave you. But instead, forgive those experience and those people. Let them serve as a memory not a possession.

Living on my own, I often run into situations and people that could really hurt me if I let them. But, I find now that it is a lot easier to forgive, than to let those things bring me down. And I hope, that if you ever feel this pain, you will be able to forgive it too.



When you are living by yourself, anger can play a huge factor in you happiness. It is a burden and we carry it around with us, and when we let it get the better of us we end up not enjoying our lives very much.  I have been really fortunate in my life to come into contact with people ho have really helped me learn to understand and control my anger.

I’m not entirely certain how I ended up there, but in the third grade I stated going to counseling during my lunch hour, with a woman named Ms. Daily. I never learned her first name, I suppose my 9 year old self never thought to ask, and that is a shame because I have her to thank for a lot of the person I am today. At first, I didn’t particularly like going, I didn’t ever see my friends and her office was the size of a closet, lined wall to wall with pictures and stuffed animals, but eventually it grew on me and she let me invite my friends. I ended up enjoying so much that I ate lunch with her everyday until I left elementary school.–She was a great listener and she also gave me some really great advice. The the best piece of advice she gave me was a remark toward the way I handled my anger. She told me to ” count backward from 10, and if it doesn’t work the first time do it again, and again, until it does”. I know it sounds silly that I would retain such a dumb small thing but it really does work. I have been doing this since the third grade and I can honestly tell you that it works.

My second piece of advice isn’t really advise at all, its more food for thought. It came from a Lutheran Pastor by the name of Alan Field, at the time he was giving a workshop/bible study on the topic of anger.  He talked about coals as a metaphor for anger. Everyone has a coal and we keep it inside us, in the pit of our stomach. Every time we get mad or frustrated we burn that coal. And we are constantly caring around this burning coal with us everywhere we go, and we just keep lighting it on fire, and the burning get worse until there is nothing left to burn, until we are numb. I took this image home with me and processed it until the wee hours of the night, and came to the only conclusion I could. I have to let go! I know, obvious right? It isn’t though, because if it were, everyone would be happy. So, I have this motto now, and it goes like this “If it isn’t going to matter in a year, forget about it.”  You would be amazed at all of the things that you get angry with on a daily basis that are not even going to matter in a week, let alone a year. A year is a long time. Think about what you were doing last year at exactly this time… does it matter now?

These are not the only things that help me control my anger, but they are probably the most important to me. I can’t promise that they will work for you, but if you ever find yourself in situation where you are angry and frustrated, try them, maybe they will work for you too.


The Tool Kit

A big struggle a lot of people have with living alone is not knowing what sort of physical things to have besides the basics. So here is a list of things that might come in handy. (These are just suggestions, I’m not telling you to go out an buy anything!)

  • A first aid kit ( equip with, band aids of all different sizes, antibiotic cream, isopropyl alcohol, ibuprofen, some sort of antihistamine, a large bandage wrap, pepto bismal, and anything else you think you might need)
  • A small sewing kit
  • Daily Vitamins ( a multivitamin will do, but i would also have some sort of Vitamin C pill or E-mergency on hand, in case you get sick.)
  • Melatonin ( NOT TO BE USED FOR DAILY USE! It is a natural sleeping aid. Sleep is really important! I only use it on days when I can’t sleep and I know the next day is going to be important.)
  • Clorox Wipes
  • Scissors
  • Extra Pillow Cases
  • Misc. art supplies
  • Silverware or some kind of eating utensil
  • Bowls and Cups
  • Liquid to drink other than water( water gets really boring after a while)
  • Water filter( my roommate and I have a small Brita filter in out mini fridge)
  • Wall Hooks
  • Small cork board
  • Real Tool Kit

For a dorm:

  • Screw Driver with interchangeable heads( Flat,Phillips etc.)
  • Channel Lock
  • Vice Grip
  • Electrical Tape/ Duck Tape
  • 1/2 and 1/4 inch small socket wrench set
  • small tack hammer
  • small utility knife
  • small pocket knife ( less than 3 inch blade)

( IF YOU KNOW YOU CAN NOT FIX IT DON’T TRY! Just tell someone in charge, they will get it fixed. If you break it even more you are out of luck.)

For an Apartment/ Home:

  • Screw Driver Set
  • Channel Lock
  • Vice Grip
  • Electrical tape/ Duck tape
  • Socket wrench set
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
  • Pocket knife
  • Pipe Wrench
  • Crescent Wrench
  • Clamps
  • Pipe cutter/ Hand Cutters
  • Level
  • Small angle square
  • Cocking Gun- Liquid nail, silicone sealer

For a Car:( separate from home kit)

  • Jumper Cables
  • Flairs
  • Socket Wrench set
  • Reflective triangles
  • Tire gauge
  • Tire repair kit
  • Electrical pump( one that plugs into your cigarette lighter)
  • Blanket
  • water

( That is all I could think of right now, if you have any suggestions or something to add to the list leave a comment below)