One Day at a Time

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“Fall is a season for change”…so cliché. But also true. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this whole “living-in-a-new-place-and-doing-everything-on-my-own” thing. It’s quite the change. It’s funny because I remember this time last year I was so damn anxious to get on with the rest of my life. I was having a blast being in school, not working (for once), going out with my friends 24/7, and actually enjoying my classes because I had time to study. But I was so ready to see where the next chapter of my life would take me. I wanted to know where I would end up living after graduation, which company I’d be working for, what my job would be like…if my degree that I worked my ass off for would end up being worthwhile.

And here I am. Approximately 1 year later and wishing more than anything that I could go back to my college days. I know, everyone says that. Everyone says “your college years will be the best years of your life”. I get it. But it’s so, SO true. At least compared to your first year working in the “real world”. And looking into the future only looks more stressful. Enjoyable and wonderful, yes. But stressful and expensive.

Don’t get me wrong, being in the working world isn’t all that bad. You make way more money than you did at your part-time college job. You (hopefully) get to do something that interests you every day. And…yeah that’s about it. Just kidding, it’s not that bad. Kind of.

I mean, let’s face it. 22 is such an awkward age. Half of the people I know from school are getting married and/or having kids at this point. And the other half are either still in school or focusing on readjusting to working in the real world….and some people have absolutely no idea what they’re doing with their lives. There comes a point in life where you have to stop looking back on the past and stop trying to plan for the future. There is so much beauty in focusing on the present…if only we were all a little better at that.

Speaking of he present, there are like a million and a half things I told myself I would have accomplished or started working on by now. I told myself that after college I would do some soul searching and “really find out what life is all about”. Yet we’re all always doing that and probably will be until the day we die. Let’s face it, no one really knows what the hell they’re actually supposed to be doing with their life.

Like, for example, I told myself that I would have taken up yoga by now and would go to 2-3 classes every single week – partly for the physical aspect of it and partly for the spiritual reflection. Nope, still haven’t done that, and actually stopped going to the gym every day like I used to because the real world gets stressful and sometimes a girl just needs to sit on the couch and not do a damn thing. I need to remember the sometimes part. J I also wanted to start playing piano regularly again. Problem is, I have my keyboard and no power cord or stand because it got lost during my move out here. So there’s that.

I guess I’m starting to realize that maybe putting a million things on my plate in addition to starting a new job and moving to a completely new place might have been a bit of a stretch for my personal psyche to handle. For now, I’ll just stick to getting through the workweeks and starting to work out again. There is a time for everything – we’ve got to give ourselves a chance to enjoy our time in the now.

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Traits of a “He’s a Keeper” Kind of Guy (In my book)

I don’t think I’ve ever written something as personal (or as sappy…sorry…) as this post. I have no real reason for writing it other than the fact that I am so happy and so in love – and after going through lots of experiences in the last 5 years, I think I’ve finally nailed down what I want (and need) in a relationship. Lucky for me, my man has all of these traits.

1. He supports you. In your personal life goals, your professional experiences, and throughout all of life’s highs and lows. He is there to tell you he supports your decisions and your actions whether or not he 100% agrees with them. Why? Because he loves you and wants you to be happy. He also knows how to respectfully tell you when you’re wrong or out of line – just as important in my book.

2. He intrigues you. It’s more than just a physical attraction or emotional satisfaction. You can have interesting conversations with him about intellectual concepts and ideas in addition to talking about experiences you’ve had together or day-to-day ramblings. There is something about the two of you that connects on a further level that makes your physical and emotional connection that much better.

3. He makes you happy. As in the kind of happy that makes you giggly and embarrassed because you laugh so hard you can’t breathe. Or the kind of happy that you forget everything else when you’re in his arms (especially on tough days). Or the kind of happy that makes you break down your guards and really get to know one another.

4. He respects you. He respects your decisions, your actions, and your words as long as they aren’t outrageous (which is never, right? :P). He wants to see you grow and succeed in any- and everything that you do; and he’s there to support you through that 100% of the way.

5. He loves you. He loves you in the way that he does things for you that he’s never done for anyone else before. He shows that loves you in the way that you need him to, even if it’s not his usual way of approaching things. He shows you he loves you by doing sweet and romantic things for you – not because that’s his natural personality but because he wants to show you in every way possible that he is committed. And (maybe most importantly) he shows you he loves you even when you’re at your worst. No explanation needed. That’s a big one.

I think I’ve found this guy. He knows he means everything to me and I’ve told him a million times before, but I love and appreciate him more than I could possibly put into words. Thanks for being a perfect example of the guy I’ve been hoping and waiting for, Kyle. There ain’t nothin better than what we’ve got when we’re together. :)

All Caught Up In Social Media “Bliss”

Well, my apologies for being MIA for almost a month. Moving will do that to ya, I guess. If you’re wondering, Colorado is a pretty amazing place to be. I absolutely love it here. The people are friendly; the scenery is breathtaking; the weather is phenomenal; and there is an abundance of sunshine giving off happy vibes at (almost) all times. How could one not love it here??

There is one thing that has been on my mind since I moved and I’m not sure if it’s a result from moving or if I’ve always felt this way and never taken the time to express it. It seems that I’m much more sensitive to how I choose to keep in touch with people since nearly everyone that I’m close to is now 500+ miles away.

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Do you ever wonder what’s really going on in people’s lives when you’re looking at social media sites like Facebook or Instagram? Or what people’s motivations are for some of these crazy posts that we’ve grown so accustomed to seeing day in and day out?

One prime example:

  • It’s your mom’s birthday. What’s one of the first things you do to wish her happy birthday? Some people are old-fashioned and will probably just pick up the phone to call her and tell her how much she is loved and make sure that she’s doing something enjoyable for her special day. Others, particularly those that are active on social media, will post some long extravagant post like such (please excuse and/or enjoy the over-exaggeration as I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of these posts before)… “Happy Birthday to the most beautiful, loving, honest, cheerful, intelligent, inspirational, blah, blah, blah woman I know. I am beyond blessed to have you as a mother and I absolutely can not imagine my life without you. You are THE best person in the entire world and I can’t help but ramble on about all of these things so that I can get a million likes on this status when everyone sees how much I love my mom.” And yet that person might not even take the time to call or, God forbid, spend time with his/her mom for her birthday. My point? What’s the true motivation for posting such an extravagant paragraph about how awesome your mom is when you could just tell her in person and enjoy some quality time together?

Here’s the thing. I’m all for showing everyone how much you love and care about your awesome momma on her birthday. I love seeing the pictures and it’s always a good thing to see that people have good relationships with whoever it is that’s having a birthday. But wouldn’t it be a better use of time to give that person a call or go spend time with them doing something they enjoy? And why in the world do the 500+ friends you have on Facebook need to see your birthday wishes for that person?

I completely know and understand that it has become commonplace to post about any and all events or holidays or birthdays or gifts your boyfriend got you or the million pictures from your wedding or a picture of your new Nike shoes on Instagram or…you get the point. But if you really step back and think about it, why are we sharing all of these things on the Internet? Is it to get likes on your status or picture so you know that people from high school still care about what you’re doing? Or so that everyone knows that your boyfriend likes to spend money on you? Or so you can show how beautiful your special event was to all the people you didn’t invite but are friends with on Facebook?

I think in today’s world it’s worth taking a minute to think about why we are posting things on social media. Many of us don’t think about it this way, but once it’s on the Internet, it’s up there for good. I’m guilty of posting tons of pictures on Facebook, mostly because that is where I store all of my pictures. But what I often don’t think about is how little most people probably care about seeing those pictures. And how little I actually care about sharing those pictures with a ton of people online who I never actually talk to or hang out with. Why can’t I just store them on my computer and print out the ones I like for my close friends and myself?

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Food for thought, anyway. I’m sure I won’t stop posting pictures on Facebook because I’m probably too lazy to come up with another way to store and share pictures. And I surely don’t expect anyone else to, especially with how common sharing almost everything on social media has become. But maybe we are focusing too much time and attention on staying “connected” with our social media friends and not enough time living in the moment and enjoying life’s beauty with those whom we love.

If you have thoughts on this topic, I’d love to hear them! Post a comment below if you’d like.

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! 

More Yoga, Please :)

Yesterday was great. I don’t know if it was the long yoga session, a much needed day of napping at the pool, or getting my beloved Chipotle for dinner last night, but whatever it was I’m out of my little funk that I’ve been in for the past few weeks. The combination of traveling non-stop since graduation, getting my wisdom teeth out, and a couple migraines had me down for the count as far as blogging goes. Not that I like excuses, but whatever. Bleh. 

Anyway, I spent a lot of time stretching and doing some yoga yesterday to get rid of some of my tension in my shoulders since it usually leads to migraines. I was looking up some yoga poses to relieve stress and I came across a bunch of hip opener positions…didn’t really think that my hips had much to do with stress. So I did some research and, surprisingly, we do actually store stress in our hips. I spent about 20 minutes doing poses that focused on relaxing the shoulders, and another 20 minutes on hip openers. Then I did another 20 minutes of some more low-key poses to have some time to meditate. The result? My headache was completely gone and I felt so refreshed! 

Here’s a few articles to help give you ideas for hip openers and shoulder relaxation poses :) 

http://www.shape.com/blogs/working-it-out/best-yoga-hip-openers

http://sprouthealthlifestyle.com/2012/06/13/carrying-stress-in-hips-shoulders-and-jaw/

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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?