Wednesday, November 20, 2013

or, we could be thankful.

life is hard, you know?

I'm sure you know. we all have our worries, our demons, our fears and our problems. every last one of us. I don't really believe anymore that life is about pretending we don't. I think what I'm learning is, it's about embracing that we do.

we could spend a lot of time dwelling on all of that. or, instead of dwelling/yelling/blaming/fighting/losing hope...we could be thankful. it's seems like an impossible feat, to forget our problems, that is. incredibly, it's a lot easier than we let ourselves believe. just decide. decide there's way more to life than dwelling/yelling/blaming/fighting/losing hope. decide there's way more to be happy about than there is to be worried about. decide life is way too short to be anything but happy & thankful. do we live in Utopia? I there will be days when your worries/demons/fears/problems just seem far too overwhelming. those days, take a nap. then decide. make a list. if you can't think of anything, state the obvious. you are alive & you have today. you're probably thinking, "that's too obvious and frankly, that's pretty cheesy". but take a second, sit down...maybe even close your eyes...and really just think about what that means.

that was mostly all a preface to what I really wanted to do with this post. I want to do something a little different. I want to compile a list of things I'm thankful for, that at first glance, I'm convinced I'm not.

1. student loans; in my day-to-day life, these stress me out more than anything. but giving it a closer look, those loans represent some of the best decisions I've made in my life. they represent the blessing of me being able to attend a University that shaped the person I am. the place that also introduced me to foreign missions, Honduras and my sweet family in Catacamas. where would I be if I didn't attend Harding? I don't particularly want to find out. so, while they stress me out, they also represent a blessing so much bigger.

2. living at home; some days, I just don't like living at home. it's not my family (most the time ;)), it's the inadequacy that I feel sometimes. no college grad dreams of returning back home after college. the dream, generally speaking, is to finally be out on your own. but the thankfulness I feel for this one is lots of times very apparent to me. a; no rent. refer to previous unconventional thankfulness for why that's great. b; family time. I've been able to hang out with my sister for the first time in three years, attend my brothers college football games and hang out with my mom. all things I couldn't do 1,200 miles away. so yeah, even on the most inadequate feeling days, I'm thankful.

3. snow; it's cold, wet, slick and dangerous and I'm kinda dreading it's arrival. fun fact, I live in the snowiest city of the country. shout out to YOU, Syracuse! it means I need to buy new tires for my sweet Penny (my car) who has never lived through a NY winter. it means I have to wake up 20 minutes earlier to allow time to clean off my car and drive super slow and still be at work on time. but, it's also about as majestically similar to living in a snow globe as anything could be. snow is downright beautiful. period. having gone to school in the south and missing out on snow for three years, there's something wonderful about a snowfall. and I'm genuinely sad a lot of people don't get to experience it. is it dangerous? definitely can be. but it's also beautiful, and a great excuse to curl up with hot chocolate and a book.

4. being tired; currently working three jobs. it's kinda tedious and sometimes I just don't want to go (minus my little Lou bug, I love her) cause I'd rather sleep!... I'm fairly certain I'm not alone in that feeling. but I'm finally getting pretty good at stopping myself from being a Debbie Downer and focusing on how lucky I am to be tired. it means I have a job and am bringing in money to pay my bills. which, that in itself, is everything to be thankful for.

5. distance; 1,292...1,146...88... the number of miles that separates me from each of my best friends. it's really, really hard to find the thankfulness in this one on most days. a girl just needs her best friends, ya know!? but it's there. when we talk, our conversations mean more. when we are reunited, it's even more exciting. distance isn't that great overall, but it does make you appreciate the people you have and remind you how lucky you are to have them.

so those are my top 5, fairly unconventional, things I'm most thankful for. I could make a significant length list of things I'm thankful for that would include things like family, my church family, my friends, etc. don't get me wrong, I'm extremely thankful for each of those. but sometimes it's refreshing to surprise yourself & discover the unconventional things you didn't even take the time to realize you were thankful for.

after all, thankfulness can be found in everything if we just decide.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I cry a lot these days.

in one of my writing classes somewhere along the way in school, I learned that in order to get an audience to read your writing, you've got to hook them with your first line or you're likely to lose them. in this case, the title of the post.

to elaborate, with age I've become quite an emotional person. I've always been super sentimental, but recently, any sentiment at all draws tears. I can't explain it other than to say, I'm becoming my mother.

there have recently been a few videos circulating that have really hit me.

this one I saw a week or so ago;

this one I saw today;

and both of them, obviously, struck a chord. they got me thinking. I have so much to be thankful for. these kids are sick, living in a hospital and still happy. they're fighters and they're inspirational and I need to CHECK myself. 

I saw a saying recently that read;

I'm in the process of changing my lifestyle on multiple levels and no matter how bad I WANT for something, I'm trying to remind myself that I already HAVE so much. so, so, so much to be thankful for.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

to you, my fellow postgrads.

I believe I just had a revelation.
at least, I think that's a good label for what just happened.

I don't blog often, which is strange because I like blogging. but mostly i'm not surprised because, as i've mentioned before, a blog is basically just an online journal...and i'm a PITIFUL journalist. but when I do blog, it's usually when I have [or think I have] something worth saying. today, I have something to say.

as I've mentioned in a few posts before, i'm a college graduate. and as glamorous as that's really not. a giant black trash bag with a matching cap and a piece of laminated paper are [basically] the only things that separate me from being a college student and me being a college graduate. in these past few months since graduation, until recently [within the past 3-4 weeks], I haven't had an opportunity to process where I really am in life. the day after graduation I left for a Florida vacation, a week after that I left for a 6 week trip to Honduras, a day after returning from that trip I left to direct at camp and two days after camp ended I started my nannying job. my first month of so of nannying was just getting used to having a full time job and getting to know the behaviors and routines of a precious little baby. so here I am on the other side of being a college student, really and truly. i've had a few weeks to process where I am in life and it's been a roller coaster let me tell you. my mom especially can attest to the fact that I'm 100% confident I went through each of the 5 stages of grief. I isolated myself for a few days after camp [like, a modern day hermit crab if you will]. I was angry over nothing, for who knows what reason, for a few days. I bargained over everything from coming home to finding a job to my degree. and until today, I was stuck in a slight bought of depression. let me first say that it is entirely possibly to be happy and sad at the same time. BUT, i'm happy to say that today I conquered stage 5, acceptance. and that is where my revelation comes into play.

I got my degree in education and [as soon as my license arrives in the mail (I owe part of not having my license yet to being in total denial)] i'll be licensed and certified to teach young minds. but guys, i'm not teaching this year. i'm nannying a precious, precious little [almost] 5 month old baby girl. and I LOVE IT. I love being able to watch her grow up, being able to see her hit milestones and just being able to be involved in her life. but i'm no Mary Poppins and not every nanny can be paid a bajillion dollars, and THIS nanny runs out of "Grace Period" in Novermeber [SUP loans]. so I got a second part-time job at Kohls [I start tonight so the jury is still out to see if i'll love that.] well then there's the fact that I'd like to not only be able to pay my bills & loans, but I'd like to have some spending money for when I do have time to be social. so I also work part-time for my moms company. so in total I have a full-time job and two-part time jobs. [we still haven't quite gotten to the revelation yet]

being a college grad, the first question I get from allllmost everyone is, "so what are you doing now?" and then I say nannying and they say something like "oh that's great! so when are you going to start looking for a teaching job?" and then, usually instantly, I feel [FELT] really inadequate. [I bracket felt because that's where my revelation comes in.] I understand that is a normal conversation for me to be apart of. I also understand that my reaction, while it may seem dramatic, I doubt is uncommon among my fellow graduates who haven't jumped IMMEDIATELY into their career. [my fellow graduates that HAVE jumped immediately into their careers, seriously, YOU GO!! that's so exciting for you and I couldn't be happier for you :) truly!! :)] jumping into my career just wasn't where I thought God wanted me to go right then. and my stages of grief made me question that decision almost everyday for a couple weeks. until I got that question today and didn't, for the first time since graduating, feel inadequate. no, I'm not teaching. but I am not NOT working. I'm working my tail off every day. no, it's not what I went to college for. but it's what I'm happy doing. i'll be a teacher someday. next year? probably. but if not, i'm 23 years old. the reality is, i've got time. i'm not entirely confident we college grads get enough credit for the major life change we go through after graduating. we're not looking to be praised for graduating, just let us know you're in our corner while we do our best to figure our lives, and ourselves, out. and if I want to nanny a sweet baby another year or if I want to work hard at three different jobs to pay off my loans so I can skip the country to live in Honduras or if I want to teach, it's my decision. if my loans & bills are being paid and if i'm doing my best to listen to Gods direction and if i'm genuinely happy in the process, isn't that really all that matters?