Ordinary…Yet Not So Much

December 27 – Ordinary Joy Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

There have been a lot of moments throughout my lifetime where I feel as though my memory records them down to the smallest aspects; that it turn is why I say that I have a photographic memory, not to mention I can recall things very easily. But I know something brings me joy when I almost literally have “happy tears” welling in my eyes. From being able to hug a close friend after not seeing them for the past two and a half years to just sitting on my swing-set by the lake, giving thanks for what I’ve been blessed with in my life. 

There have also been many in 2010, but there are two in particular that stick out to me. The first was when we were in Colorado this past July (read about that trip here). It was our last day and we had just finished driving fourteen thousand and something feet down Pike’s Peak. Spotting a resevoir on our way out, my parents thought it would be a good idea to stop and rest a bit before we began our seventeen hour drive home. While my Dad and brother did some fishing, us girls decided to do a little sight-seeing on our own. 

We came upon a small lake/cove area not too far from the boys; although I had pondered this question time and again throughout the last four days, especially a clear one such as that. I looked around in awe, wondering “how in the heck could something like this just pop out of nowhere? How does anyone look at something like this and question whether or not God actually exists? 

It was an incredibly beautiful moment; one that sent chills up and down my body. I realized right then and there that there is so much to see and experience beyond the beaches of Florida or Mexico. So much to experience, taste, hear, etc. And that one shouldn’t allow their own fears or inhibitions to keep them from doing so. 

It also dawned on me that there are a lot of things about life that are just too powerful to comprehend. We as humans ask for “proof” of certain things: proof of God, true love, and other various miracles. Yet, everyone sees such things in different ways, and full on proof would probably be so powerful to where we’d die in the process. And that’s how I’ve come to the idea of belief, and why the concept of belief exists; there are some things that we’ll never be able to “see” per say…they are better off as things that we feel. 

The second moment took place only just recently, a day or so after I had come home for break: my mom, sister and I were baking cookies in the kitchen. Well, I spent more time trying to sneak raw cookie dough out of the bowl than anything else. My sister and I put flour all over our faces and began taking candid pictures of whatever we were doing: baking, my two dogs, hanging my school ornament that I had just bought on our Christmas tree. It’s true that we had done stuff like this before, but this time it made me grateful to be home. 

I sat down on the couch while we waited for the spritz cookies to bake in the oven. A Disney Christmas CD was playing softly in the background, the dogs had fallen asleep on the floor and the newly-decorated tree (the one that my family had waited for me to come home in order to decorate it) shined brightly by the stair case. Again, it was quite the sight to behold. I found it difficult to keep the tears at bay, because I had a feeling that neither my mother nor my sister would understand what I was  feeling; that with each day, there is something meant to be savored. And the only way that one can do that is to just slow down, maybe even stop whatever they’re doing, and take it in. 

I used to complain (pretty frequently) about how I wasn’t in sports like my siblings, and how it was unfair that they were getting awards and achievements and I wasn’t. But now a days I find myself giving thanks; while I may not have near as many trophies to display or wins to brag about, I have an incredibly outlook on life; an outlook that I probably gained from not constantly being on the go all the time. When one is “busy mode” I believe they overlook or forget about the little things; there’s always something that needs to be done, deadlines to be met, etc. And that is true for most people, but does that mean you have to do it right away?

My brother will be going into the air force this coming June; and after he leaves, I’ll only get to see him a couple of times out of the year. We used to fight like hell, but I’ve learned to pick and choose my battles knowing that he’ll only be around in these next five and a half months. 

When you have a screaming baby in your arms, close your eyes. You’re probably tired and aching for more than an hour of sleep…but that baby won’t be a baby forever. 

When you get stuck with your family and would rather be with your friends…just go with it. I’ve done that, and those times have turned out to be some of the best memories that I have. 

When it’s raining outside, don’t hide under the covers and sleep the day away. Go splash in the puddles. 

With every moment that you have…stop and take a picture. Out of everything, there will be something that you’ll continue to remember.

Baby Don’t Worry…

…about a thing, because every little thing is gonna be all right!

This was meant to be for yesterday, but I didn’t have enough time to type it all out

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? 

There wasn’t exactly a defining moment, so to speak. It was after my senior prom, and although it was one of the best nights of my life (probably the best dance that I’d been to in my high school career) I was honestly relieved that it was over. As it is with any formal night out, there was some amount of stress in the weeks leading up to it, and it was nice knowing that I could now relax and look forward to graduation and later going away to college. 

Over time, I would come to realize that everything really does work out in the long run. That what doesn’t kill you, really does make you stronger. That a lot of things in life are beyond our own comprehension, and often it’s best to just let go and allow God to take care of the rest. 

I used to look for signs in regards to the ending of particular hardship; sometimes it would be a glowing red-orange sunset over the lake. Occasionally, it would be a butterfly. Yet, there were also times when I wouldn’t see any sort of sign at all. And than I would wonder if I was being punished for something and if I would come out of this tunnel unscathed. 

I’ve been through enough where I’ve learned that regardless of how something painful is, or how long that hardship lasts, you eventually do get through it. It may take months, even years for you to feel “ok” again; but eventually, you will. 

As I’ve grown up, I’ve come to the conclusion is that if we can take anything from the difficulties we face, it’s growth. I would not know what I know now, nor would I be the person that I am today had it not been for the “downs” in life. I believe that’s how we appreciate it; through not experiencing joy and happiness all the time. You have to have things taken away from you in order to learn not to take anything else for granted. 

But as the saying goes, everything will be ok, in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.

An Old Past-Time and a Wayside Dream

This post relates to the Reverb10 prompt that was given a couple of days ago (What did you not do in 2010 That you would like to do in 2011?) At the time I couldn’t think of anything to write about; and since I feel that I have nothing to say in regards to today’s prompt, I suppose I’ll write about something else.

I used to love to sing; when I was a little girl, that was my passion. I used to mimic Britney Spears and the Spice Girls back in their heyday, and always tried my best to sound like them. When people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I enthusiastically replied “a singer!” My relatives always added their input in various attempts to steer me in a different direction; they frequently suggested that I should go into some form of writing, preferably journalism. But as a seven to maybe a ten or eleven year old, I would not be swayed. 

My Mom always aspired for us kids to have some kind of musical knowledge; from kindergarten to second grade I took piano lessons, mostly for the sake of strengthening my hand muscles. In fifth grade I expressed an interest in taking voice lessons, and from seventh grade to sophomore year in high school, I sang in the school choir. 

There was also making up random songs as I went about my day; whether it was walking to class or doing chores around the house, I always sang at very random moments. It was due to this that my classmates gave me the nickname “the boombox” I believe there was a brief period where I spent more time singing than I did talking. 

As I got older, that dream began to slowly fade; I suddenly began to notice how terrified I would get whenever I got up on stage to perform; my leg muscles tighten up when I get nervous, almost to the point where I start shaking. In turn, that always made focusing on the music very difficult. I also became insecure at how my voice sounded in the microphone (as it sounds over any type of electronic device); it was very squeaky and nasally, and I thought I sounded horrible. 

Toward the middle of my sophomore year, I decided that this was as far (musically-speaking) as I was going to go; it just simply wasn’t fun for me anymore and it felt like too much work. At the time, I vowed that aside from singing along to the radio and in passing, no one would ever hear me sing again, much less perform. 

But there are times where I miss it; not necessarily the grueling practices or the vocal exercises. I definitely don’t miss the butterflies tap-dancing in the pit of my stomach before every performance. But just in general, I miss it. And in 2011, there is a part of me that would like to face my fear and get up and sing just one more time. Maybe it’ll be in a lame kareoke competition. Maybe it’ll be at a random time in a random place. I really don’t know; but what I do know is that I would like to sing again in front of my college friends, if only just once. 

But in a more serious aspect, I would like to focus on my literary career…

I love to write, but I would love to also have my work published somehow; if you ask my friends, they’ll tell you that I already have. But personally, I don’t consider online to really be “published” It’s not much of an acclaimed literary magazine, much less an acclaimed website. 

I have submitted my stories to various contests, many of them yielding heavy-duty cash prizes as well as publishing your piece(s) in their magazine. The only quip I have with these things is that they cost fifteen, twenty, sometimes more bucks just to send something; and although I don’t consider myself a “poor college kid” I just don’t know if I can, or if I would even want to shell out that kind of money all the time. Perhaps a realistic goal would be to enter at least one contest each month? Yet I wonder just how much that would stack up eventually…

There is also a part of me that feels like I’m not fully equipped to be published just yet; I would like to take some writing classes and gain some more knowledge about the publishing industry in itself before I attempt to do anything major. And not only that, but I would prefer to start small and work my way up; just send in short stories to various literary publications and see where it goes. I do plan to turn those stories into novels, but as of this moment I’m not sure how. As I said before, I would like to better my craft a bit more. 

However, I remember a conversation that I had with one of my high school english teachers awhile back: That when it came to taking the path of least resistance, I always hit the breaks because I got scared of taking on a challenge. It was a very painful thing to hear, but she was one hundred percent right. Regardless of what it is, I often avoid challenging myself for a fear of working my ass off and breaking my back will yield no results. In this case, I’m afraid of spending years and years writing and trying to publish something, only to receive repeated rejection. 

I’ve been told that I should go into another field…and before I applied to any schools or universities, I thought about it: Psychology? I’m not a very patient person. Marketing and/or economics? I despise anything having to do with numbers. Teaching English classes? I don’t like getting up in front of people and talking, and I honestly don’t want to be standing up there teaching kids how to do something that deep in my heart I know I want to be doing. Marine biology? I’m in no way a science person. The list goes on…

When it all comes down to it, writing is the only thing that makes sense to me. Yes, I do want to be able to support myself financially; but what good is it to make money if you hate what you’re doing?

I thought about possibly waiting a year to see what kinds of opportunities come up; yet, I’ve learned that sometimes there is no particular “right” moment or opportunity; you just have to do it and trust that there is something good to be found on the other side. 

My biggest problem? Knowing where exactly to start.


Future Self

December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?

In 2011…
Stop taking yourself so damn seriously; you’re constantly wondering what kind of impression you’re giving the people around you; you want to be “different, but in a good way” and yet you feel the pull that most people your age feel when it comes to trying new things. There’s no need to feel guilty about it, because chances are everyone goes through something like that. And by focusing too much on how you act around others, you will blindly start becoming someone you’re not. Why? Mostly because you’ve done it before. So no matter what happens or whomever comes into your life, just be exactly who you are. Some will love and appreciate you for it, some won’t. Keep being the sweetheart that you are and just live. 

Don’t worry about what may or may not happen in the coming year; Take each day as it comes and cherish things for what they are. Allow yourself to have bad days and to cry if you need to. If something is on your mind, let it out; the people that really matter will be there to listen and put their arms around you and take care of you. Be open to change; some things turn out to be better than you expected. 

And now for a bonus, I will write a letter to the person that I was four years ago. I was fourteen/fifteen and a freshman in high school

Dear Fifteen year old self, 

You’re just coming from the top of the middle school totem poll and will now be at the bottom of the food chain once again; but this time it feels so much scarier because you’re going to a different school than the majority of your friends, and you don’t feel very confident in your decision to do so. You have found an amazing faith in God and are involved in a great church, yet your experiences that took place a couple of years ago are still holding you back and clouding your mind. And as much as I hate to say this, it will be part of the reason why you won’t feel like you’ve gotten very much out of the next four years; because when it comes down to it, you’re terrified of trusting new people. You still feel a sense of loyalty to your old friends and will spend most of this year and the next going back and forth between them. Don’t stress out over it; allow yourself to get to know your classmates and stop worrying about the others. A good portion of them will continue to be a strong presence in your life, despite that you’ll rarely see each other and won’t exactly talk all the time. There are going to be so many people that come in and out your life that will make such a positive difference. 

You’re going to meet plenty of boys, I assure you. Sadly, a lot of them are going to focus on the superficial crap and not really pay all that much attention to you. Either that or you will become really close to them, only for them to walk out of your life somewhere down the road. You’ll wonder what you did or said to make them do this, but it is not your fault and it never will be your fault. It’s not that they didn’t or haven’t ever cared about you, its just that a lot of them make better friends than boyfriends They see that you’re very mature for your age and may or may not be ready for that kind of relationship. Mostly, they probably don’t know how to love you the way you want to and/or deserved to be loved. 

In order for someone to love you, you have to first be able to love yourself (both the good and the bad qualities) you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and recognize that you’re beautiful…because you are, without a doubt, both beauty on both the inside as well as the outside. It will take a long time for you to come to that conclusion; but nevertheless, you will get there

If there’s one thing you will learn, it’s to not think along the lines of “well, once this happens, things will get better.” You have to realize that you cannot depend on your friends to make you happy; YOU have to be the one to make you happy. You have to be able to find the joys in each day and within yourself. 

You will experience and equal amount of joy as well as pain; there will me moments where the feelings of depression will start to hit you again, and your self esteem will hit several lows. You’re going to have your heart broken, mainly by the person that you considered to be your best friend, and someone that you had a real connection with; but it’s not going to have anything to do with you. It will mostly be because of issues that he will deal with personally, and such issues that are beyond your help or control. Just know that God is going to take care of the both of you and everything will make sense in time. 

You will grow in so many ways from all that you face in the next four years. Your hard work, determination, faith, and somewhat stubborn personality will eventually bring you to a place of peace and contentment. It will be a place where you feel free and full of life. 

So no matter what happens, never forget to enjoy each moment that you’re given and make the most of what you have. 

All my love, 
Your Current Self

Healing From The Past

December 19 – Healing What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? 

There have been a lot of people that have told me how much I’ve changed since I’ve been away; they hear  it in my voice, they see it in my face, and they know from what I write on this blog. Someone who once said that I wouldn’t survive my first semester recently told me just how proud they felt at the strides I’ve made. Even I look back in amazement and think “wow, I really am different, aren’t I?” 

About five or six years ago, I went through a pretty rough patch in my life; it took a huge toll on my self-esteem and had a negative affect on my attitude. Granted, the troubles in themselves only lasted from sixth to eighth grade, but the pain, anger and loneliness continued on through high school. It was something that felt impossible to rise above; I began to accept that maybe I would always have to deal with it, and that it would never go away. 

I realize that I say this pretty frequently, but I whole-heartedly believe that going away to college was what turned me around. During the first three or four weeks, it was as though I could finally breathe; I could get to know people without having to explain myself or have them look at at me like they didn’t get what I was talking about. There were so many opportunities and things to do that I wasn’t able to do back home. I just felt…free

It wasn’t something that I thought about constantly, but I guess over time I began to let go of those negative thoughts; I hated feeling like I couldn’t fully trust anybody, along with being a complete pessimist. I can’t over-emphasize enough that the way you look at circumstances and the way you handle them really does affect the way you live your life. I was in a new place with new people and I didn’t want them to see me as an “Eyore”, basically (that’s what my Mom used to jokingly call me when I was having a bad day or in a bad mood). 

That’s where I have experienced the most healing this year; I had broken the chains years ago, but for the longest time I felt as though I couldn’t completely shake them. And I guess for some people, you have to be able to get completely out of town, or completely out of state for that to happen. 

I’ve come to see that it’s a day by day, sometimes moment by moment process. It’s not my main focus when I wake up in the morning or go to sleep at night, but I do catch myself occasionally wondering if certain people really care about me or just simply slipping back into that old mindset. To keep me from doing so, I limit my time on the computer and don’t really carry my cell phone with me unless I have to. I write in my journal or work on whatever story project I have in mind. I read and I exercise. I pray. I ultimately get out of my room and keep myself busy. 

My current struggle right now is not beating myself up when I have a bad day, or going to someone and venting it all out when I need to. Due to what I’ve experienced previously, I sometimes tell myself that I should always be happy, despite knowing deep down that doing so isn’t possible; there is just no way of avoiding the “downs” of life. In retrospect, it’s all about how you deal with those difficult seasons. 

The other thing is being able to go to someone and talk about it; or if I can’t talk about it, just ask them to simply give me a hug (honestly, that tends to do just enough; maybe even more than talking). Again, I want my loved ones to see me as a light-hearted, bubbly young woman. There are certain friends of mine as well as family members that have seen me at some very difficult lows; I feel bad going to them because I feel as though I’ve put them through enough already. In essence, that’s why I’ve rarely called my Mom if I’m upset while at school; she worries about me enough as it is. 

But in hindsight, that’s how we develop relationships; we bond over laughter as well as tears. One can only carry a burden (or multiple burdens) for so long on their own. Eventually, you have to ask for help. 

I don’t think “healing” is the right word for 2011; however, I would like to continue to grow and blossom as I’ve been doing thus far in 2010. That, and not take myself too seriously. 

Someone once asked me “Whatever happened to that happy, giggly girl I once knew?”

Well, it took awhile…but I’m back. And feeling better than ever!

Taking Chances and Taking Time

December 17 – Lesson Learned What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned (so far) is that if you want something, often times you have to go get it. And in order to do such, you’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone. For me personally, it can be both terrifying as hell, not to mention difficult; I have a bit of an (over) active imagination, and there are times when I will sit there and stew over the “what if’s” and possible outcomes rather than just finding out for myself. The key thing is not constantly thinking about it; just do it and realize that regardless of what comes afterward, you’re going to be all right. 

I can recall a lot of things that have taken so much courage, that at times I wonder how I actually did it: going to a high school without knowing very many people. Learning how to drive a car. Asking someone to go to prom with me. There are a dozen other things that I’ve done since going into college as well; things that I’ve never really thought I would do. 

I’ve realized that the reward doesn’t come from what happens as a result of a taking a chance; it’s what we learn and gain in the process. When you start letting go of your inhibitions, you get used to it and therefore, become more comfortable with doing so. I, personally, have gained so much confidence from the experiences that I’ve had thus far; I’ve also learned that you really aren’t going to accomplish anything or get what you want if you don’t have confidence in yourself. 

It has made me feel confident, fierce and dare I say it? rather attractive (and that’s putting it appropriately). I’m slowly getting to where I feel as though I can walk walk into a room and own the place. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m getting there. 

It’s true that there are things in life that happen on their own. I firmly believe that there are certain things that you can’t exactly force (love, for instance), but there are opportunities to find out if it’s there. If you see someone that you feel undeniably attracted to; there’s just something about them that for some reason you cannot get them out of your head and you always want to be around them….well, go find out if it’s actually there. 

There is such a thing as timing, but there is also opportunity. You will only get so many of them, and unfortunately it seems impossible to know when it’s right. The only thing you can really do is trust your instincts; if you hear a small voice telling you do it now, you probably should. 

Sometimes you have to do things that completely scare the crap out of you; if you don’t, you’ll never get anywhere in life.

Which leads me into my second point; that the most worthwhile and beautiful things in life are the things that take time. Sure, you’ve gotten off your ass and actually introduced yourself, but now you have to get to know them and ultimately build a foundation. You may have taken the first step on your career ladder, but there are still many steps to go. It’s going to take time and a lot of effort, and it may or may not be as easy as you think. That in general can be frustrating to me, because I’m not a patient person. When I set a goal for myself, I often think “Ok, let’s get the ball rolling here!” but in reality, most things don’t just happen overnight. 

The most beautiful things in life: love, friendship, whatever purpose we have….it takes time. And by taking time, you allow yourself the ability to grow, to cherish, and to always remember for the rest of your life.

What Friendship Has Taught Me

December 16 – Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

To be honest, there wasn’t, nor has there been any particular person thus far that I can think of; but in general, I have learned quite a bit about friendship this past year. The first big lesson was before my high school graduation, when I began to realize just how many friends I  subconsciously put on the back-burner for so many years, especially when we got into middle school. I spent so much time either trying to manage or salvage relationships that just weren’t there anymore. Admittedly, the ones that were there throughout that difficult period were the ones I brushed aside and wound up taking for granted. Before we went off to college I wanted to make sure that they knew how much of a blessing they had been to me; and I hope that they still know that now. 

It wasn’t until I got into college, mainly during the last couple of months, that I really learned a lot about letting go. I’ve always been fiercely loyal to almost everyone in my life, and for years had this notion that if someone came into my life, they would be in it forever. Unfortunately, I’ve had to learn a least a half a dozen times over that that is not always the case; as the saying goes, “people come into your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime…and you just have to appreciate whatever time you have.” It can be a sad and difficult truth to absorb, but a truth nonetheless. 

Whether this be habit or just denial, I often forget that God has the ability to give as well as take away; and when a person suddenly stops talking to me, calling me, or acts stand-offish, I used to take it personally. Now I know that most of the time it’s either because they’ve served their purpose, or perhaps they shouldn’t have been a part of my life in the first place. In some cases, it may be due to their own personal issues that are just too big and complicated for me to handle. 

But there comes a point where you have to simply let them go; and as hard as that may be, there is a certain freedom to it. You no longer have to put so much time and energy into something that may not be there anymore. Maybe you were only seeing what you wanted to see, and them walking away was the only way you could see what was there all along. You enable yourself to focus on what you do have and what you can have with others, and to stop living in the past. 

And it’s also rather interesting to see what new doors can be opened after the old ones are closed. 

However, the most peculiar observation I’ve made is meeting new people and forming new friendships. There is so much beauty in meeting someone for the first time as well as getting to know them. Some of my most cherished memories with loved ones are simply the times that I sat down and talked with them. There is so much one can learn through a single conversation. 

Even better than that, while doing such I’ve had the ability to experience a sense of authenticity between myself and those that I’ve become close with these days. I believe it’s because I’m not carrying as much baggage as I used to, and I no longer feel so easily distrusting toward others. No, I don’t go spilling out my life story the second I learn their name; but at the same time, I don’t feel the need to hide who I am. There are those that become taken aback by that, but the way I see it, it’s my chance to shine. 

The most powerful lesson, in my opinion, can only be summed up through this saying:

true friends are not the ones that you always see every day or tell all your secrets to; they’re the ones that will be happy when you laugh, hold you when you cry, and regardless of what happens, will look at you and say “I love you EXACTLY the way you are

For this, I am grateful

December 14 – Appreciate What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

In just a few hours I’ll be taking my last final, and therefore officially ending my first semester as a college student. It’s odd to think about how the last four months have gone by so quickly; it felt like only a short time ago that I was moving into my dorm for the first time, and now I’m preparing to head home for about a month. But at this moment, I’m taking some time to think about those one hundred and twenty or so days, and what they’ve meant to me. 

I don’t know if I could pick just one particular thing out of this past year that I appreciate; but if I could pick a season, it would definitely be this one. Why this, other then my last semester in high school, I can’t be sure of: maybe because it’s the first time that I’ve felt genuinely happy in a very long time. Maybe it’s because for once, I’m not saying to myself “I just have to get through this and things will get better.” The time that I spend at college is not just a means of getting a degree or partying until I burn out; it’s about being able to experience different things, learning how to live as an adult, and not taking it all for granted in the process. 

In regards to appreciation, the first thing that pops into my head is my family. Let me tell you, if there is one thing that will without a doubt come to miss when you’re away from home, it’s your family. Yet, I feel like I’ve become a lot closer to them because of it. I have a much better relationship with my parents especially, being that I am no longer just their child and am growing to an adult. There’s more of an open-ness and authenticity, and it’s one of the things that helps me stay grounded. If I hadn’t shared certain things with them, I don’t know if certain difficulties would have worked out the way they did. 

Secondly, I appreciate the people that I’ve met and developed close relationships thus far; I have a lot of interesting adventures with them, both good and bad: from staying up talking about various subjects until three o’clock in the morning or walking all the way across campus in ten degree weather trying to get a party (only to not get in). There are people that I’ve disagreed with and at times felt as though each of us were seeing specific situations in a completely different way. But nonetheless, I’ve come to love every one of them and thank God for allowing them to be in my life. 

It’s hard for me to show those people that I appreciate them without getting incredibly sappy about it; hopefully they know that I am grateful for them when I hug them or when I simply say “I love you.” I do cry at times; not from tears of pain, but rather unexplainable joy and gratitude. I know that I will not have all of this forever, and I don’t want to look back on it wondering what I could have done differently.

I probably sound like someone that’s way older than eighteen and a half when I talk about this kind of stuff. Honestly, I wonder if some people read my posts and wonder what in the heck I am talking about, because I probably don’t sound like you’re average college girl. But the thing is, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not just an average college girl, and I don’t want to be like that. I’ve gone through seasons of life where I’ve taken every single day for granted, and I’d rather not do that either. 

I don’t see myself as someone that is lucky. I see myself as someone that is blessed. And those blessings, both big and small, will not go uncounted.

Stop thinking and start doing!

December 13 – Action
When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?
I’m very much a dreamer; I go for hours, sometimes an entire night thinking about something that I want to accomplish (especially if my Ipod is on). My biggest problem is that I’ll often just think about it and do nothing else; but what I’ve learned is that in a lot of cases if you really want something, you have to turn the music off, get off your butt and go get it. 
As I discussed in my previous post, I’m a writing major, yet haven’t exactly felt as though I’ve had enough time to sit down and put my pencil to paper, shall we say (Ok, more like my finger to the keyboard these days). Once finals are over and done with, I would like to be able to actually sit down and write; I have various ideas in my head, so I think the hard part will be trying to decide which project to tackle first (maybe I’ll do both). There is one that I envision to be a fictional piece; a love story that takes place in a different decade and will ultimately take some research. 

The other idea is a personal essay; not so much for a particular class, but something that I’ve been wanting to write about for a few weeks. Yet, it has a lot to do with a particular issue that has tends to come up constantly between my friends and I, and I don’t want them to view it as a personal attack; when it comes to personal reflective writing, I never mean to attack anyone, but rather try to make a point. Again, that will take some time, as well as a lot of editing. The good news is that I believe the title might just be what I may call my memoir someday; that is, if I ever choose to write one. But right now, I don’t feel like I’ve had enough experiences to actually write about something that will matter. 

Some other goals have a lot to do with just getting out and trying new things; I would like to start meeting more people, and getting to better know the ones that I already have met. Another thing would be getting more involved with the community; admittedly, I went to a couple of meetings and didn’t completely follow through with getting involved in some organizations. Perhaps if there is a way at this point, I would like to start volunteering somewhere; I’ve always enjoyed being around older people, and I believe there is a senior center around here on campus. And although I can’t actually make this happen, but if it’s something that’s meant to be, maybe I can possibly join a sorority chapter of some kind. 

If I could put my hopes for the second semester into one word, it would be ambitious. Ambitious in the sense that I may not just think or dream, but actually do and accomplish. 

Going My Own Way

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

No matter what I told anyone, my hopes for my future college plans were always met with skepticism and uncertainty; “are you sure? It’s such a big school!”
I would look that person straight in the face and answer with a simple “yes I’ve never been more sure of anything in a very long time.” And that was the truth. 

For months I had been debating this, both with family members, friends and within my own mind. Deciding what college to go to wasn’t a decision that I was taking lightly; it would involve a lot of financial sacrifices, and I didn’t want to have to constantly be wondering if I made the right decision (as I did in high school). It was something that I researched, prayed about and thought about daily. 

And despite the responses that I was getting for my impending decision (I had one person tell me that there was no way in hell I would survive there), I knew in my heart that that was what I wanted; heck, I had been wanting to go there since I was a sophomore. It was just a matter of ignoring all the self-doubt and tuning out the doubts that were coming from others around me. 

So when I received my acceptance letter (well, more like looked online) it took me all but five minutes to officially decide where I would be going to school for the next four years. Since then I have not looked back. 

The wisest thing I did this year was not listen to what everyone else was saying, and instead  I followed my instincts. I guess that’s probably the wisest thing for anyone to do in general, but for me it was more of a triumph then anything I’ve done up to this point. Up until my senior year in high school, I had always allowed myself to be influenced by someone else’s opinion (or multiple opinions) when it came to making decisions. When I was very young, there were decisions that were made for me. I never really felt satisfied by those choices because I was doing what I felt I needed to do, not what I wanted to do. 

But this time, it was different. For once, I would be doing something that was going to make me happy. I was walking on my own path and whatever anyone else said at that point would just go in one ear and out the other.

Today, I feel as though I have more joy in my life; it has changed me in ways and given me opportunities that I never thought to be possible. More so, it’s proof that if something is meant to be, it will be. 

Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy; there have been struggles that I’ve had to deal with, and I don’t always make the healthiest decisions (physically or emotionally). But you know what? I don’t regret any of it. Everything that you experience in life will affect you one way or the other; but it’s up to you to choose what to do with it. 

I have defied so many odds since the moment I was born; I believe that if I work hard enough for it and if it feels right, it can happen. I once read in a book that you don’t face obstacles just to keep you from doing something; obstacles are there to help you see just how badly you want something. I’ve run into plenty of walls and will keep doing so as time goes on; but just because it might take awhile doesn’t mean that I won’t eventually kick them down.