The Joys of Growing Up

I remember being in eighth grade, and it felt like I had the world at my fingertips – the universe was my oyster.

God, I was so young, naive and so full of prepubescent life.

I know, I am making myself sound so old now and I’m only twenty years old – granted, it feels like an eternity ago.

But you see, back then, I had my “road map” all figured out, and I can hardly recall a moment where I was even discouraged back then, not even a little bit. If I fell down, whether that be failing a math test or upsetting a friend, I got right back up on that horse.

Back then, I was on fire.

Being a pre-teen is that deliciously wonderful in-between period where you’re starting to know what you want, you’re presented with your first real responsibilities, but you are still clearly not an adult. In a shorter sentence: it’s exciting, full of youth, and experiences.

It’s kind of funny because most thirteen and fourteen year old don’t exactly know what they want at that time. All that is on their minds are soccer practices, games with mom and dad cheering them on, those middle school plays that everyone seemed to get into . . . and of course, those horrible dances where everyone would stand around awkwardly, staring at their first real crush from across the gymnasium floor hoping they would look back.

I’m not saying that those kids didn’t have dreams nor am I belittling them, but that’s the typical time frame when things are generally more . . . weird. And oh, things were weird for me, too, no doubt about it. But thing was, I was unstoppable Julia, and I had goals that felt far more wide and expanded than any other junior high, adolescent fourteen year old.

d49be715c02532c00d034493e321d0e0I continued to obtain those goals and those dreams as I transformed into my high school self, and those ambitions did not leave my side for one minute. I wanted to be a writer, a dancer, a film director, as well as a singer. Though I was fifteen, or sixteen I knew that I would have to work hard so I could make those dreams a reality and while some of the dreams dipped in and out like most teenagers’ dreams do, there was one that stayed consistent throughout the years – to be a writer.

I had the spirit, the drive, the never ending curiosity to succeed.

But as I grew older, specifically around the my Junior year of high school, these things started to feel unattainable. I found myself having to work harder than the average student to achieve the same results, and I was constantly dealing with something that was unfamiliar to me – lack of self esteem and confidence issues with my intelligence. I struggled specifically with math, and my difficulties with understanding the concept of the subject became ever more highlighted in high school. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of studying, tutoring, and tears I went through just to pass a math class and the whole time all I wanted was to get back to my golden era, as I like to call it, the time where I thought I knew what was going on.

But I was growing up, and this was the real world – as much as I hate that term, it stands true. I didn’t want to work harder than everyone else, I wanted to keep my active social life and I wanted to believe that I could make it through without math tutoring or staying up late nights studying for an anatomy and physiology test.

My friends at that time had outstanding grades or were constantly on high honor roll. They would talk about how they aced a test without studying for even a little bit. This definitely made me feel self-conscious and that feeling began to eat away at the part of me that had held my “spark”, my determination.

I could literally feel myself becoming weaker, and more discouraged.

When I was eighteen we discovered that I had a learning disability. I remember sitting in a conference room at my high school’s counselor’s office with tears welling in my eyes when we figured out why I had such a hard time learning certain things. The reason why it took so long to find was because I scored so high in English on my ACT, that the math score and science scores were overlooked. I was upset that it had taken this long, but nonetheless I was relieved, and slightly happy to know that English was still my strength, the one thing that I knew I could always use to get me by in life – my passion, the part of me where I didn’t feel completely ignorant. It was almost like it was all that I had.

But deep down, I knew that wasn’t true.

I just had to dig deep enough to realize I was smart, witty, bright and full of wonderful ideas. But like learning, it took awhile in some of these aspects.

As of today, I’m almost finished with my first year at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater as a transfer student. It has honestly been a crazy year, filled with discouragement, encouragement, anxiety, self-reassurance, lots and lots of tears, being stubborn, continuing to doubt myself and my abilities, and becoming one hundred percent, without a doubt, tired of being in a math class! There have been parts of me this year, especially the second semester, that doubted my major, English, and whether or not I wanted to continue to pursue it.

It is in these moments where that nagging, little discouraging, evil voice will creep into the good, ambitious part of my brain where my dreams lie and disturb my peace.

Sometimes I just want to scream and shout, throw something, punch something and curl up in a corner and pity myself.

But that’s only sometimes.

012c46d49ba8f86702ec88efee8f8915This year hasn’t been entirely like that, thank god. I’m trying to remember that there are parts of it that have been good moments where I should feel proud of myself. In fact there are a lot of those moments. They are moments where I found myself acing long gruesome essays, working long and hard on speeches, realizing the sometimes you may not receive the best grade, but taking pride remembering how hard I worked and the effort I put in, and learning how to go to people more often for help. I have to learn to hold onto those times where I can sit and tell myself I did a good job, instead of focusing on the negative.

It doesn’t come easy to me though, that’s why I am currently working on it right now.

And those are the two key words:

Currently,

Now.

– Jules

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The Other Side of a Breakup

f4e8d470098ed95900d354f9ef51f340Most say that breakups are one sided. Those people are clearly uneducated and/or never experienced a long winded relationship. The small ones that aren’t lengthy and have lasted only a few weeks to a few months are the easy kind that aren’t as difficult to overcome – so that is understandable in some cases. But, the ones that have been quite some time, the ones where you can list memory after memory – always seemingly picturing them in black in white or sepia because you can’t help but feel the nostalgia and sentimentality – those ones, those ones are precious. The ones that leave an imprint on your heart, mind and soul are the kind of break ups that are a completely unfamiliar story. Ugly or beautiful, special or not and whether they were full of hideous fights that lasted until 2 in the morning or full of love notes and thoughts of a possible marriage, there was still something there. Whatever that might be, only they will know.

What is the point that I am trying to make here? “He got hurt. She smashed his heart. After everything that he did for her. She didn’t have to go through anything. That evil fire breathing, spawn of satan, soulless bitch.”

It’s obvious. The girl broke up with the guy, and of course, after being in a relationship for, let’s say, two years, he is crushed. Why wouldn’t he be? I’ve had my heart broken multiple times and I can safely say that it feels way worse than how people actually describe it. It’s like taking an actual chainsaw and slicing it through your beating, bleeding heart. Once you experience it for yourself, it’s a completely different story. I’m not going to get into all of the gory details. (Like I haven’t already, right?) Either you know what I am talking about, and if not, well – you’ll find out someday and you can relate. But that’s not the point that I am trying to make.

What I want this to lead up to is to erase the assumption that only the “dumpee” gets their heart obliterated, because that is definitely not the case. I recently broke up with my ex boyfriend not too long ago because we were simply going down two different paths.

04-couple-with-distance-between-them-w724Sounds simple, huh?

No, it wasn’t. We weren’t connecting, or seeing eye to eye. We fought constantly and everything he did irritated me. I was beginning to realize that I didn’t get excited when I went to visit him. When he saw me away at college, we spent the day together and all I wanted was for him to leave.

Now that sounds pretty harsh, doesn’t it? But it was so true. He wasn’t growing up – and, I’m no saint either in the growing up department, but at least I was making attempts. It was as though he only cared about his band and said that band practice was him “going to work.” He was infuriating and pretty soon when he realized I was pushing away, he clutched tighter and that’s when I felt suffocated. It needed to end.

“Sounds pretty simple for you. Piece of cake, break up and move on. You got what you wanted, right? You malevolent, cruel and vicious woman, you”, is maybe something some of you readers are thinking. No, no. It’s okay, I understand. You would assume that it was a walk in the park for me, because from description above, he was someone I began to not stand and wanted to get away from. So, ending it all would solve everything and I could move on as if nothing happened, right? Well, you are wrong on that one if you think such. We had problems in the end, and it gave me clearity that our relationship was not meant to be, however, that didn’t mean that we didn’t have good times. I mean, that is why I took interest in him in the first place. Those were the euphoric days, the honey moon stage as some call it . . . the golden era. It was quite nice.

10bf872aed5f65b08ed2c157ad78f751He was my best friend, I mean that is how it started out. We hung out all the time, watched movies together, talked about music we were both passionate about, ate food together, made out, dressed up and went out to dinner, wandered to nowhere, talked about our future. He was – what I thought at the time – the best boyfriend I had ever had. Then things got serious. Things got rough. I broke up with him, and it was not, I repeat . . . was not easy. At all. I had felt so trapped and in deep for a month but I kept going on in the relationship in hopes that it would get better, and even when I knew it would, I kept it up. I didn’t want to hurt him or lose what we had. I didn’t want to lose my best friend and I was walking on eggshells everyday. Then I did it. It hurt like hell.

The dumpers – sounds so lovely, doesn’t? – can experience the same amount of pain. If not, more. Breaking up is not something we want to do, but know in our mind and gut that we have to do. It’s one of those mind over heart type of situations and yes, they suck. I certainly did not want to break up with my boyfriend at the time. I wanted to be in love with him and everytime I thought of us cuddling in his bed together, or jamming out to a song in his car, I cringed. It made the thought of breaking up with him harder, mainly because I was focusing in on the good times. I weighed the pros and cons and came to the conclusion that I was not in love with him anymore and that the relationship had deteriorated into something toxic and unhealthy. So of course, why would I want to stay in something like that? Of course it hurt me too. People assume that us dumpers call it off, go home, party, live it up – with the neon lights and smoke and all those lively effects symbolizing a “better life” – not even worrying about anything, as if we have a “feelings switch” implanted into our heads. Nope. When I broke up with my then-boyfriend, I walked in the house feeling as if there was a brick weighing on my heart along with the rest of the world. I had ended it; lost my best friend. In my heart I knew I had done the right thing, but it was still hard. My mom asked me how I was and in a strong response I said “I’m fine.” Two minutes later, I found myself weeping on my couch in the living room, curled up in a ball. 45af8a59c15fddb423e00618e4b768b3

The love is always there, but not in the same way. It dwindles and morphs into something else that makes us feel warm and sometimes humble inside. We can look back at the memories and reminisce.

What I’m trying to say is that . . . those songs dedicated to the people who got dumped, is also for the dumpees. Hey, I started singing along to sappy break up songs after I initiated the break up – no guilt. I think we deserve those songs, too. It hurts just the same, especially if you are caring and compassionate and did all you could to make he relationship grow and flourish. It hasn’t been the easiest for me. It stings here and there, but there have been worse break ups. My important point is that nobody should belittle ones feelings. 3cc28e5f2443b9bae49bb7dac465bc83Whether you were the one to break up with your partner, or you were the one who got dumped, it hurts both sides. We can all turn out to be emotional messes one way or another. We all have a story. We all have feelings and weird stuff going on that only we will be able to understand. And you know what? Sometimes, that is enough. 🙂

– Jules

Screening Sentimental Value

I can’t exactly recollect my every thought through out the film, but I came out loving it with all of my heart. Since seeing that movie, I tried to recreate my life story from the story itself as I mimicked quotable lines, admired the main character’s quick witted attitude about the world, and the relationship between her and the leading male’s (Paulie Bleeker) character. My life was starting to fall into place, due to the fact that that movie became such a prominent part of my life – and kind of emulated a love story. Silly, I know but and I will tell you just how that came to be.

42ba88c00710088fe16c7d9fe3f54101When “It all started with a chair” in the movie Juno, it all started with “Yo, yo yiggity yo” for me when I met my first boyfriend, Ian. I told him that I loved that movie, and I knew exactly what he was talking about when he quoted the lines. From then on, it was all history. No, really it was. Being the small independent movie that it was, not many people had heard about the movie Juno. So, him and I instantly clicked. And myself personally? I was in complete awe. My freshman year of high school, I used phrases from the film such as “Totally boss”, “Honest to blog” and one of my favorites, “You are the cheese to my macaroni.” I wanted to be Juno – minus the pregnancy thing of course. I looked up to her and realized that her cool, effortless nonchalant attitude was one of the most awesome things ever. What started out as a simple, naive friendship, soon blossomed into a unique, exciting relationship with Ian and I. The film literally weaved it’s way in and around our young fifteen year old romance.For our one month anniversary, I remember him buying me a small, cute ornament with beads on it that said “Whoa, dream big!” (Another quote from the film).

92518c1afb3274683cf047c11559b7ee It was the summer of 2010 that he told me that he loved me, saying, and I quote “You really are a part time lover and a full time friend.” I just about melted, I will not lie. For our one year anniversary, I wanted to put a bunch of orange flavored Tic-Tac’s in his mailbox just like Juno did for Bleeker towards the end of the film. Everyone at our high school was starting to identify us as the “Cute Juno couple” or even sometimes calling me Juno and him Bleeker. As dorky as it sounds, I ate it up; I absolutely loved it. For Halloween when we were sixteen, I wore a graphic t-shirt with balls of shirts shoved underneath to make me looked pregnant, a red zip up hoodie, ripped jeans with my hair in a messy pony tail, carrying around a giant jug of Sunny D. and yes . . . I had the infamous hamburger phone. Ian, of course, wore the red “Dancing Elks” sweater and track shorts with the sweat bands which he so cleverly made out of paper. The movie itself was not only beginning to impact my life, but the soundtrack was as well. In fact, for our high school talent show, we thought about performing the song “Anyone Else But You” by Kimya Dawson, which is featured popularly in the movie. Instead, we did another Juno favorite entitled “Loose Lips.”  At the time during our young love, Ian and I had our hearts set on making “Anyone Else But You” and Cat Power’s “Sea of Love” our wedding songs. Both tracks still make me weep. We were just . . . that one weird couple who really loved that one offbeat movie – a lot.

First romance with the boy who I thought was my own personal “Bleeker” was truly amazing, yes. Still, I cherish the movie for more reasons than the other sentimental ones involving my first love. No matter what, the movie Juno will always hold a special place in my heart. It especially meant a lot to me during my times of early teenage-hood, because a lot of important events and “firsts” were happening to me during such a time that I adored the film. First love, first kiss, high school days, new friends, old friends, and most importantly – I was starting to figure out who I was and as insignificant as it may sound, Juno taught me that it was always 100% okay to march to the beat of your own drum. JunoWhile watching the movie, I saw that stereotypes in high school were irreverent. The main character Juno, who was the uncanny strange girl, was best friends with the beautiful cheer leading ditzy girl, Leah. Nothing mattered. The movie taught me that whatever is, just is because it is. Nothing made me happier knowing that, and that is one of the main reasons why I will always have a deep attachment with this film. As for Ian and I, we had a long four year relationship that slowly faded away with time as we grew older, graduated high school and reached adulthood. There was a time where I couldn’t watch the movie Juno during the times we weren’t together and I have told him this. Surprisingly, he admitted that he had trouble watching it as well. Still, I hold a special place in my heart for him and now with a patched up heart, I can look back fondly at the memories of little, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen year old us – smiling humbly.

The next time someone asks you what your favorite movie is, don’t just tell them what they want to hear. Tell them what makes you laugh, what makes you cry, what brings you back nostalgic memories. Tell them that you are passionate about something. And hey, if that tough looking dude can have a soft spot for the Transformers movies, I think I can have an exception with loving Juno. 😉

– Jules

How To Deal With Terrible Bosses: For the twenty-somethings

hbos3At one point or another, we are all going to have to endure the horrible boss. And, it gets worse as we get older – or so it seems. They may be the cliché manager we read about or may vary from one end of the spectrum to the other. And now, it has happened to you. Welcome to the world of those superior to you who like to snack on small children while they dream. (I hope that was funny) It’s especially difficult when you’re an early twenty-something trying to make extra cash so that you can pay for those expensive college loans. (or any other early adult payments . . . oh joy.) When you are just starting out in the world, trying your very best to make ends meet, the nightmare from retail knows how to make it that much more discouraging. From obnoxious, pretentious, selfish, egotistical, weird . . . to downright rude – it happens. Dealing with a horrible boss isn’t easy, and sometimes, it’s overwhelming. But, with my following tips, being in the presence of the dragon lady (or man) will no longer be torturous and will also be less stressful. Good luck, young ones!

1. Do not give them satisfaction:

And I repeat, do NOT give them the satisfaction. It’s hard, I know. The first thing you want to do once you’ve had enough, is cry, scream, throw a fit (yes, I have wanted to do these things), curse at your boss or goodness gracious . . . walk out. But you have to remain calm. Remember – your evil boss most likely wants to see you suffer, and when they see that you are, they find satisfaction knowing that life is sucking for you – in the end giving them that horrid power. When they see you upset, they feed off of it and have more ammo to shoot back at you when you mess up. Cover up that frown – again, I know it’s hard – and get through the day the best you can not showing them you’re bothered.

2. Listen to upbeat music before your shift:

musicThere is nothing better than dancing to your favorite song, but it’s even better when you listen to it before work – because it is a confidence booster. People who have to deal with working in a hell hole can certainly understand this. Nothing can bring you down! Not even your witch of a boss! So go at. Turn up that Lady Gaga song and dance in front of your mirror like nobody is watching. Another great thing about this is it gets your endorphins going, which puts you in a good mood. Dance party before the 12 pm-8 pm shift! You’re going to need it.

3. Compliment your boss . . . without being a total kiss-ass

Your boss is probably under the impression that you hate them, because well, they treat you like the peasant that they think you are. This most likely gives them that satisfaction – knowing that you are under their control, emotionally. Pshh, don’t let that bother you. You know the saying “Kill them with kindness.” When they least expect it, compliment them. But, you want to make it seem natural, so that you don’t look like you’re being a smart-ass or even worse – a brown nosing kiss ass. Nobody likes the employee that sucks up to their boss. So, instead, compliment her outfit. Put a big smile on your face and tell her she looks “really pretty”, but then move on. If you keep trying to compliment her for over five minutes, she’s going to get the hint and end up being irritated. Just be cool. She won’t expect it, and she’ll be very surprised. Oh, the satisfaction for you.

4. Realize The Bigger Picture:

You have to remember that even though you are finally out of high school, into college and in the real world, you are still so very young yet and this is not going to last forever. You’re an intelligent, creative woman with goals like anyone else. You have great ideas, as well as a great personality that you try to contribute. When you’re working at a fast food restaurant, or a high class, snobby retail store that is way beyond your budget, you have to keep in mind that you are better than that. I’m not saying you should belittle these places that you are working at, but if they make you unhappy or are not for you, then they will not last. This is just the beginning endeavor to your life, and you are capable of so many wonderfully amazing things. This is just the beginning. Even though it’s hard to hear, we do have to do things that we do not always want to do just in order to finally achieve our goals in the end. Try and keep that positive note in mind, and work will not be so bad after all.

5. Do Not Take It Personally:

AnnYour boss may be intimidating. It happens. They might yell at you for not folding the shirts a certain way, moving “way too slow” in the kitchen, or anything else they can pin-point. Your first assumption is that they hate you. Again, as difficult as it may seem, you have to remember not to take things too literally. Your boss acts they way they do for a few reasons – and note that these are just my own personal opinions: They’re having a bad day . . .or a lot of bad days, they have self esteem issues and like to take it out on you, they may feel threatened by you (yes, it can happen) and the plain and simple one -that’s just their personality. You can’t change how your boss is, you just have to accept it and acknowledge the fact that you have to move on. You’re there to work, not win their approval and be their best friend – and that is okay.

6.Vent:

It’s honestly a wonderful feeling. There’s not much to say about this one except that it is self explanatory. 🙂 And not just verbal venting either. Do this: Pretend you are writing a long letter to your boss. Say everything that you have ever wanted to say to them, that you (of course) could never say to their faces. I’ve done it, and it does wonders! Happy writing!  ❤

7. And finally, with lucky number 7 . . . Breathe.

relaxI’ve been told by lots of people that breathing does wonders. I’m usually a very anxious person, so sometimes I forget to breathe and tell myself that everything is going to be okay. Usually, my boyfriend has to remind me of these things. When you breathe, it slows down your blood flow, and ultimately relaxes you. Yes, this tip is obvious and kind of lame, but ladies, it’s the truth. When you breathe, you’re relaxed. When you’re relaxed, you become more happy and calm. Work can be a stressful place and breathing is a reminder that everything is going to be okay. This might be a tough spot for you right now, dealing with mean, grouchy bosses, running around doing work errands, meeting expectations that seems to tire you, and spending hours wondering what the heck you are doing with your life. Just keep this in mind: you are a fabulous human being that can over come anything, even a crazy boss and a long shift. 😉

– Jules

How To Fight off Wanderlust Blues

This little town with its “small town” feel may not have been where you decided to plant yourself. You can thank your parents for that one. After childhood melted away, and you entered the teenage years, you probably started aching to detach yourself from your hometown, and go off and experience something new, bold, and exciting. Like myself, you are in the prime of your life. It’s time for something different and refreshing, a new chapter desperately needs to be written.

I’m going off to UW-Whitewater this fall and I am elated to finally be leaving Watertown—the place that I have been residing in for two decades. At age seventeen, I was bit by the “wanderlust bug”, making it difficult to settle for Watertown for just a few more years. Now, at twenty years old, I have realized that you might as well make your wait worth while. For some of you ladies reading this, it might be your summer before leaving the nest, and you are going through the same stages like myself or perhaps you had to return home for a while. Below is a list of exciting things that I have conjured up to do in your small town to hold you over until you reach what you have been craving. So go forth, girls. Paint your small town in your favorite color . . . it’s going to be a couple months.

  1. Find excitement in your town.
    (Obvious, but it’s good to establish that one.)
  2. Check out the local movie theater.
    Sometimes small movie theaters have a more homey atmosphere, and even though you’re trying to ditch the “small town” setting, it’s nice to get some “quality me time” with yourself and going out to see a cute indie film is just the way to do it. Who knows, maybe the main character of the movie is in the same situation as you and you can learn a thing or two from her.
  3. Go on a picnic with a group of friends.
    Who doesn’t like spending the summer’s day out with your group of girls. Fix up some yummy dishes, or look online for some creative (and healthy!) recipes.
  4. Skinning dipping at midnight.
    Cliché but worth it. Self Explanatory . . . especially if it’s not your first time (;
  5. Explore Your Town Thoroughly.
    Did you actually check out what your town has on it’s main street? Or did you underestimate it due to it’s size? You can find some interesting little shops. Are there antique stores buried in there? What about record stores, arts and crafts shops? Small towns are known for their hospitality and you could make it work with your “big city dreams.” It could be cute. 🙂
  6. Simple and Sweet:
    Grab your ipod and take a stroll through town. It’s healthy, good exercise and you can pretend that you’re in a music video, conquering your small town and ready to take over the world. It’s also a great pick me up that’s free, and a confidence booster. Hey, have a friend video tape it with the actual music in the background. Look out world, (insert name here) is on the way!
  7. Do some history on your town.
    It might make you appreciate it a little bit better and you might even find some interesting things that you can brag about to people that you meet in the future. (ex: “My hometown had the first alien landing. . .” you get the idea.)
  8. Spend time with your family.
    You’re going to be leaving them for college soon, so it’s good to get reconnected with them.
  9. d25cf225fa1202c97b956d482bf8aed6Take a bike ride.
    And look cute doing it.
  10. Camping trip in your backyard!
    How doesn’t this NOT sound fun!? Rally some friends up, pitch a tent . . . or even better, sleep underneath the stars, share some high school stories, (Ahh, the memories) munch on some snacks and reminisce before leaving once the summer is over.
  11. Make a summer reading list.
    Make it a goal to read all the books you have wanted to. There’s a WHOLE world of books out there that you just haven’t discovered yet. Make it your mission to try a genre that you wouldn’t expect to read. You might surprise yourself . . . plus, reading is a great way to escape the world, sometimes. 🙂
  12. Outdoor movie screenings.
  13. And finally. . . Think about college.
    Get things going. Did you go to Orientation? Have you found out who your new room-mate is? Did you get your schedule. All of these exciting things will hold you over until it actually happens. Planning for the new college year is beyond thrilling, and it will give you hope that just around the corner (summer, of course) there is a new chapter in your young life waiting to be written.

Meet the Author: Jules

10374032_10204034737697673_5598003358406081213_nBorn and raised in the small town of Watertown, WI, Julia Renee Busshardt- who likes to go by the nickname, Jules- is a twenty year old English Major who spent her first year of college at UW- Waukesha, and is transferring to UW-Whitewater. There, she will continue to study English, minor in film, with an emphasis in creative writing. Along side her infinite passion for writing- and day dreaming- Julia also enjoys ballet, tap and jazz, anything vintage, Portlandia, spending the day in the bookstore, drinking LOTS of coffee while enjoying conversations about life, meeting new people, going to concerts and . . . is a total movie junkie. A few of her favorite movies include Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Juno, and (500) Days of Summer. She’s also passionate about music. Her favorite bands include Foster The People, Best Coast and Death Cab For Cutie. Julia hopes to become a Creative Writing Professor, alongside with being an author. Extremely open minded and down to earth, Julia’s biggest goals are to inspire people and prove that having quirks is an okay thing that everyone should embrace.