Somewhere In Between

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Start dating someone new. Graduate college. Adopt a puppy. Watch my friends move away to their new-job locations. Grow closer to God. Pick up a laid-back babysitting job for the summer. Lose friends “due to distance”. Make new friends based solely on a common denominator: moving to Denver soon. Work toward a real estate license. Receive a hateful “love” letter from a long-ago ex in the mail…yeah, that one’s a long story. Grow further from God. Meet up with old friends. Go on a week-long “vacation” and end up buying $1,000s worth of furniture for my new Denver apartment (ouch to my I-haven’t-started-my-big-girl-job budget). Meet someone from New Zealand and reflect on the most beautiful trip I’ve ever taken in my life – see pic above. :) Reconnect with good friends. Pack my life up into boxes. Take time to reflect. Grow closer to God.

The last few months have been full of…well…^^ that. And many other little things not mentioned. In today’s modern society, I think a lot of us tend to rush through life without taking the opportunity to sit back and reflect. Reflect on our relationships with others, our accomplishments and our failures, and how we’ve grown and changed as people from the things we have gone through. We spend too much time stressing out about whatever situation we’re currently facing. Too much time planning for whatever future event is coming up next. Too much time focusing on the problems we run into instead of just focusing on the present.

I can’t say that this summer has been good or bad overall (thus far), but I can say that I’ve learned a hell of a lot about myself in the past few months. I’ve learned to love deeper than I ever have before – that includes myself, my friends, my family, and even strangers (thanks to an angel that’s been watching over me since April and has forever changed my outlook on life). I’ve learned to take other people’s hateful or insulting words with a grain of salt. That one’s a big one for most people, I think, whether or not we’re all willing to admit it. And I’ve learned that this beautiful little life we live here on earth is much too short to take for granted. Time to stop and smell the roses, just as the saying goes.

Have a good weekend, everyone! Take time to be in the “now” and spend time with those you love! 

Summer Reading List (thanks to Lauren Conrad)

Lauren Conrad posted an awesome summer reading list on her blog a few days ago. I just started reading #GIRLBOSS and I love it already! As a recent college graduate and a soon-to-be newbie in the workforce, it’s so refreshing to read about a real woman’s ambitions and accomplishments. Especially when it doesn’t involve a bunch of freebies and money being handed to her from Day 1. Sophia Amoruso is fearless, quirky, determined, and outrageous wrapped in one…and I’m loving every second of it!

“A #GIRLBOSS is someone who’s in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it…You’re a fighter –you know when to throw punches and when to roll with them. Sometimes you break the rules, sometimes you follow them, but always on your own terms…You take your life seriously, but you don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re going to take over the world, and change it in the process.” – from page 1 of the first chapter in Sophia Amoruso’s book, #GIRLBOSS. If that doesn’t inspire you to keep reading, I’m not sure what will.

Big Changes Ahead

The last couple weeks have been a roller coaster of feelings ranging from excitement and joy to stress and exhaustion. Funny thing is that all of these emotions come from the same two occurrences: getting a puppy and graduating college. Yikes. Not to complain…I mean, I knew the whole puppy thing would be a bit of a stresser, which is why I decided to get her now so that I have the summer to train her before I start my full time job in September. I won’t get into it any further than that (I’m sure you can imagine all of the fun and not-so-fun things I’m experiencing with Miss Riley). I’ll keep my head up and post an update on our progress at some point.

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As for this whole graduating college thing, however, it isn’t as easy to just push aside the bad stuff and move on with the challenges. I honestly don’t think that it has actually “hit me” yet that I’m done with school, but I’ve already started to see changes taking place. It’s particularly noticeable since I’m still in my college town for the summer. Since graduation a little over a week ago, I’ve watched the majority of my friends move away – some have moved on to their new life with their new big kid jobs and others went back home until they are able to figure out what comes next. I’ve also had to start dealing with things that my parents always took care of for me during college, like figuring out how to move all my crap across the country to Colorado and buying new furniture on a new budget. But more important than figuring out the intricacies of coordinating a new “grown-up” lifestyle after college is the realization that my life, as a whole, is about to change. Big time.

Yes, gone are the days of drinking our faces off until the sunrise on a Wednesday night and sleeping off the hangover until 2pm the following day. Gone are the days of skipping a class just because I didn’t feel like going and choosing to take a nap in the student center instead. I can no longer show up to my morning classes in yoga pants and my boyfriend’s sweatshirt with my hair on top of my head and sit in the back row so I don’t have to deal with answering questions in class if I don’t feel like it. And at some point, I’ve got to admit that gone, too, are the days of eating El Rancho after bars on a Thursday night with the intentions of having a kick-ass workout on Friday since I don’t have classes to deal with. No more awesome student discounts, choosing a laid back class schedule, workouts at 10am, or study sessions at Pershing until 7 in the morning.

More than all of these things, though, is the essence of who I am and what my purpose is in the world. No longer under the guidance of teachers and classmates, organizations and tons of close friends, I want to find what I really want to do with my life. Yes, I have an awesome job starting in a couple of months and it happens to be in one of my dream locations. That itself is an accomplishment on its own. I realize that. But what about the changes I want to make in the world and the things I want to see happening 10, 20, 50 years from now?

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I want to find a way to make a difference in the world. I want to be passionate about what I end up doing with my life, and I want it to make a difference. Whether that comes through my career, volunteer opportunities, or simply sharing my thoughts on my silly little blog, I want to live my life with a specific purpose in mind. I’ve been praying that I might discover that purpose someday soon. Until then, I guess I’ll continue to focus on being a puppy momma and preparing for my big move to CO. The rest will fall into place. It has to, right?

18 Days.

She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans <3

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Well, folks, it’s already May. May 2014. As in the month that I graduate from college. The month I’ve been looking forward to and dreading all at the same time. This month brings so much baggage with it. So many goodbyes, so many people moving away, the end of my college career (for now), and the beginning of the end of this crazy, laid back college lifestyle that I’ve been taking for granted for nearly four years now. But this month also brings many wonderful things with it, like the end of studying for hours on end and cramming for tests. The start to one last summer spent in Columbia with one of my best friends before I start my ‘big girl job’. And the start to an awesome new chapter in my life.

There are eighteen days left until graduation, and time couldn’t be flying by any faster. I’m getting to the point where I’m not quite ready to leave all that I’ve known for the last four years, but I also can’t wait for the new life I have waiting for me after college. My world and everything I’ve become accustomed to is about to be turned upside down. No more conveniently working out at a different time every day depending on my mood and my laid back class schedule. No more going out to bars until 2am on a weeknight when everyone else is going just for the hell of it. No more sleeping in until 11am on Fridays because I don’t have classes. No more luxurious several-hour-long Sex and the City rerun marathons in the afternoon with my roommates because we have nothing better to do. (This might be the worst one. It’s an obsession!)

The funny thing is, though, that when I take a step back and really think about it, I can’t help but be excited for the future. I can’t wait to start my new job in the industry that I love and the city that I dream about all the time. I’m excited to live downtown in a new, unfamiliar place and to go out and explore life on my own. And I certainly can’t wait to be surrounded by mountains and an outdoor lifestyle 24/7.

Sometimes I think we tend to get too caught up in analyzing our future and what we might be leaving behind. As a soon-to-be college graduate, I think I speak for most of my friends when I say that it’s almost all I can think about lately. But to live in the moment and just enjoy life as it’s handed to you – that is where true happiness comes from. It might be time to move on to a new chapter in life, but those memories will travel with you wherever you go. And that’s what really matters.

Jamie Eason Live Fit Trainer

With all of the craziness going on lately I’ve admittedly lost track of my regular fitness regimen. I’m usually a ‘hit the gym 6 days a week’ person, but lately it’s been more like 4-5. In need of some motivation, I started doing Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer series. I completed this program two summers ago and got amazing results, so I thought why not do it again? For anyone who isn’t familiar with Jamie Eason, she’s a fitness model and personal trainer and has won multiple figure pro competitions. I wouldn’t say that this trainer series is the easiest to complete if you’re not an avid gym-goer, but she has great videos to show every exercise and some yummy recipes too!

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You can find the Live Fit series here if you want to learn more about the program. It’s a 12 week program that is based in the gym and is made for people who are looking to get in shape, lose fat, or build muscle. I hate to say that this program will help you “build muscle” because it scares most women away. When I was first introduced to this program, I had zero experience lifting any sort of weight in the gym besides body-weight exercises and cardio. If you look at pictures of Jamie, she does not look masculine. At all. Yes, she has muscle. But it is nowhere near masculine looking. I can speak from experience. When I completed the program two summers ago, I was looking to lose about 10 pounds. After 6 weeks of the program I had actually gained 15 pounds in muscle, but lost inches in my stomach, thighs, and waist.

Anyway, not trying to market for Jamie’s program. Just trying to help anyone out there who might be looking for some inspiration to get in the gym! Who wouldn’t want to look like this, anyway?? Oh, and by the way…everything about this program is FREE! :)

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Here are a few other people who tried the program and got great results. Enjoy!

http://aleshahaley.com/2013/11/04/jamie-eason-final-recap-week-12/

http://www.farrcleanerlife.com/2012/06/self-high-five-and-chest-bump.html

 

“45 Life Lessons Written by a 90-Year-Old Woman”…But Not Really

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I read this article on savvysugar.com and had to share it. This woman, Regina Brett, wrote a beautiful list of 45 life lessons. She wrote the list on her 45th birthday after being diagnosed with breast cancer, which is a situation near and dear to my heart. She is now 54 years old and her list has gone so viral that somehow the story changed and people were sharing her list saying that she was 90 years old…so they must be some pretty good life lessons if she gets that kind of life-credibility, right? Yep. Beautifully written with heartfelt thought and specific intentions, this is probably one some of the best life advice I’ve ever read. Enjoy :)

This list was taken from the original article, which you can access here: http://www.savvysugar.com/45-Life-Lessons-Written-90-Year-Old-Woman-34209890

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
  9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  12. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
  16. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
  17. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  19. Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  20. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
  21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  22. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
  25. Forgive everyone, everything.
  26. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  27. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  29. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  30. Believe in miracles.
  31. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  32. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  33. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  34. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  35. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
  36. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  37. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  40. The best is yet to come.
  41. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
  42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  43. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

If you can’t live longer, live deeper.

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It’s been too long since my last post. Life has thrown several curveballs my way throughout the last few weeks so I haven’t been in much of a blogging frame of mind. In light of those recent events, despite how terrible and chaotic they seemed at the time, (which I will post about at a later time) I have come to realize that life is short. And beautiful. And unpredictable.

Because of one event in particular, I’ve spent a lot of time during the last several days just thinking. Thinking about the people I have in my life, the things I have accomplished, the dreams I want to turn into realities, the way that I affect the people around me. The most important of these thoughts and the one that I couldn’t shake was this: the way you choose to live your life is the legacy you leave behind once you’re gone. When you think about life in that context, it seems to simplify things quite a bit. Studying for college exams suddenly doesn’t seem like such a daunting task. The complaining thoughts and comments about studying for those tests seems silly and childlike. Things like being in a rush to get to class or getting annoyed when a homeless man asks you for spare change…again, insignificant. In the same sense, the small, good things in life suddenly have such a meaningful impact on you. Seeing that homeless man smile from ear to ear because he has 50 cents to ride the city bus and because you were kind enough to stop and listen to him. Paying a random compliment to the grocery store cashier and seeing her smile because you took the time to have a simple conversation with her instead of sliding your card and walking out of the door without saying much more than “thank you”.

I’ve tried to find a way to remind myself of this every day because I really do think it can change your life. The beauty of this mindset is that when you choose to slow down and really enjoy life, you start to take notice of the little things, you are more equipped to handle the bad, and you can have a positive impact on someone else’s life rather than simply living day to day for yourself.

The beautiful angel that inspired this recent change in my life will forever have a special place in my heart. I hope to honor him and his legacy of being kind to people as I go forward in my life. I hope anyone reading this can do the same. <3