One Day at a Time

journey

“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.

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.

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