- My first week of the semester is done. It’s been exhausting, exciting, and extremely stressful. Monday was horrible, Tuesday was fantastic, Wednesday was tiring, and Thursday was lovely. Luckily, I was able to get into the Tuesday afternoon class which is the best news of my week. I’m excited about this semester! I think I’m going to learn so much about journalism itself and where I fit in the journalism world. And I’m going to be tired. Very tired.
- I have applied to become part of my school’s newspaper. I don’t remember how many staff writers they’re hiring, but if I don’t make the staff position, I can be a freelance writer. It was really nerve-wracking to be in the meeting and hear people throwing out story ideas. Newspaper journalism is not somewhere I want to be but I think it’ll be such a great learning experience and also give my confidence a boost.
- I really, really want to redesign my layout for this blog. I know exactly what I want my blog to look like but I’m not HTML-savvy at all and have no idea how I would even begin to create my own blog layout. Any tips?
- The first week of my internship went really well. I didn’t do much this week but some amazing opportunities have presented themselves for next week. I really think this internship is going to help me have some belief in myself. I can’t wait to get more involved with the company!
- My weight loss efforts really stalled this week. I’m so upset with myself and I just want this year to be different and for me to finally start living a healthy lifestyle and drop the weight. I just need to stop making excuses. That is what this whole week has been – excuses. And it’s really hard to start each week, worrying about when I’m going to fail. Not if, when. It’s such a sad mentality to have.
- I’ve been doing fairly well on achieving my monthly goals. After my utter December failure, I’ve been really focused on them. I’ve started running and have made two brand-spankin’-delicious meals in the Crock-Pot. (Well, I made one and my mom made the other.) I’ve been working towards credit card payments and loved all the comments about paying them off. My balance on the cards are $300, $500, and $3,000 so it’s not going to take me long to pay off the first two. I’m hoping I can get them paid off by June. The third credit card is going to take a while to pay off but I will do it! Somehow, someway. Unfortunately, I’m still having trouble “finding” time for God. I don’t want to make it leftover time, as in “OK, God. I finally have time to sit down and talk to You! What’s up?” I want it to be meaningful and it might require me to fast something (i.e., TV, Internet) to make this time meaningful. And my 101 in 1,001 list is coming along fabulously. I have set aside some goals I want to start accomplishing soon, have a few in progress, and even got to complete my goal of getting 20 comments on a blog post! It’s happened TWICE! This excites me immensely. IMMENSELY!
Another installment of one of my favorite features: Ten on Tuesday. If you complete these questions on your own blog, head on over to Roots and Rings to link up! Also, since we’re talking about R&R, she’s having another awesome giveaway! This time she’s giving two lucky readers their choice of adorable calendars, be it a wall calendar or a desk calendar! Go here to enter.
1. Are you usually late, early, or right on time?
I’m either super early or super late. I hate being super early and I really hate being super late. I always get extremely tense when I think I’m going to be late somewhere but I’m almost never on time for anything.
2. What is your middle name?
3. What are the last 4 digits of your cell phone?
Yeah…I’m not going to answer that.
4. How big is your bed?
It’s a queen and I love it so, so much. It’s my favorite piece of furniture.
5. What are you allergic to?
Once, I took a dose of Nyquil and immediately broke out in hives and got so, so hot. I went to bed, thinking I would meet Jesus during the night but nothing happened. Since then, I’ve been way too scared to take any more Nyquil, or even Dayquil. I don’t know if I’m really allergic to this but I could be, so it kinda counts.
6. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
I turn off my alarm and take the dog out. And if I don’t have an alarm, I still have to take him out. And sometimes he sits on my head and licks my face until I get up and take him out. He’s quite the persistent little dude!
7. What was your favorite TV show growing up?
Growing Pains, even though I only started watching the show once Disney Channel start showing reruns. It was such a great show and I probably saw the entire season 3 or 4 times. My brother was 100% Mike and I was 100% Carol. Best. Show. EVER!
8. Will you, or did you, go to your 10 year high school reunion?
I want to! It’s not for another 6 years so I’m hoping to be a lot more slimmer and successful. The class I graduated was extremely small so we were a close-knit group, since we didn’t have a normal high school experience. I still keep in contact with a lot of them and some of them are oodles and oodles more successful than me already. But I can’t wait and think it’ll be fun!
9. If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?
My dad asked me this question once, when I was taking a psychology class. And I swear I thought of this question by himself. Naive little thing I am! Anyway, according to Merriam-Webster, a sound is “the sensation perceived by the sense of hearing.” So if there’s no one around to hear it, then no, it doesn’t make a sound.
10. What, in your opinion, is the greatest invention? (You know, since sliced bread…)
The Internet, of course! I mean, it fulfills all your needs: entertainment, news, recipes, tutorials, TV shows, movies, etc. There is nothing better than the Internet, I tell ya, nothing!
I have baggage. Internship baggage. And with this baggage comes some extreme anxiety and nervousness when approaching anything related to interning.
I start my fourth internship on Tuesday. And while it’s completely different from my previous three, it still has the label of “Internship.” And it still scares me to death.
My previous internships all took place in elementary school classrooms. My first one was in a first-grade classroom where I went one day a week for 15 weeks. My second one was in a fourth-grade classroom where I went two days a week for 17 weeks. My third one was in another fourth-grade classroom where I went five days a week and became a full-time teacher.
My first internship was smooth sailing and actually quite fun. I worked under a great teacher who really taught me a lot. I realized in this internship that teaching wasn’t as easy as it looked but it was fun and I enjoyed it. And I was super excited to start my next internship in a grade level I was more interested in.
My second internship was horrible. The teacher I worked under was kooky and so burnt out from teaching. She told me one day, and I quote, “Are you sure you really want to be a teacher? Because if I had to do it all over again, I would never have become a teacher.” Oh, how I enjoyed her pep talks!
Anyway, this was the first time I ever questioned whether I was on the right path. This teaching business was no joke. It was tough and hard and I wasn’t the best at it. I could make lesson plans that would rock your socks off. But executing them? I struggled. And it didn’t help when my supervising professor and teacher offered no support for me. While I could rock my education classes and had so much fun in them, I felt so lost in my internships. I was a fish out of water in the elementary schools as an intern.
My third internship actually managed to be even worse than the previous one. For this internship, I basically became a teacher. I worked in the classroom all day for five days a week. By my 4th or 5th week, I had to be fully teaching every subject. I also had two different teachers I worked under. In the morning, I started with Lady Teacher where I taught reading and writing. In the afternoon, I moved to another classroom with my students to Guy Teacher where I taught math, science, and social studies.
Honestly, I thought I was doing good. Lady Teacher and Guy Teacher never had anything bad to say about the job I was doing. I knew I wasn’t perfect and I was making a lot of rookie mistakes but wasn’t that what the internship was about? To prepare us for full-on teaching? I felt even more like a fish out of water as I never really connected with my teachers and felt that my supervising professor (who was the same one who “supervised” me in my second internship) was rooting for me to fail. I had a review about 6 or 7 weeks into teaching where I found out I wasn’t doing as well as they hoped, but that “many of their interns start out this way.” They didn’t seem concerned so I wasn’t too concerned.
Only they told my professor that I was doing an awful job. We had a sit-down meeting one afternoon, shortly after they gave me my review, and I bawled throughout the entire thing. I’m embarrassed to admit it now but I felt so dumbfounded by this information, since they had told me that this was normal! During the meeting, my teachers didn’t have that much to say and no real advice was given to help me improve. So I had to go at it alone, find out what I was doing wrong, and how I could fix it.
October 29th is the day that will live in infamy for me for a long, long while. It was the day I was told by my professor that there was no way I would pass my internship. ME! Who had flown through school, passing classes and acing classes like it was no big deal, was going to fail an internship. And not just any internship – my final internship. The last requirement I needed to graduate college.
I don’t have good memories of my internships. As much as I would like to blame my supervising teachers (although I do admit they are partly to blame), the ultimate responsibility falls to me. For some reason, I wasn’t good enough. It seems like such a simple thing – teaching. It doesn’t occur to you that you could be bad at it. And I am. It’s been really hard to admit that I was bad at teaching and even harder to write this blog post. I’m a fairly capable human being and school has been something I’ve always excelled at. So to fail an internship felt like the ultimate bomb to my self-esteem and emotions.
But I’ve moved on. I’ve discovered I don’t want to be a teacher. I don’t want to wake up every day with fear and trepidation of what the day will bring. I don’t want to arrive at my job with nervous anxiety of how I’m going to teach this subject or that subject.
I’m a journalism student. Writing is where my heart lies. Writing is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Writing is my escape and my serenity. And I have fallen so head over heels in love with my passion.
So next week, I will start my fourth internship. This time, it won’t be in an elementary-school. This time, it will be a media internship. And I am going to take all that baggage that’s been holding me back and place it in the hands of my Heavenly Father. He can shoulder my burdens and give me a fresh attitude to arrive at this internship as a new woman. And I’m thinking He’s pretty good at that.
I start another semester of school on Monday. Unlike last semester, I’m not very excited about this. Well, I’m a tad bit more excited than I was a few weeks ago. I think I’ve forgotten a little how hectic and crazy and stressed a semester is.
Last semester was my first time working 30+ hours while attending a full load of courses. And I’m not going to lie, it was intense. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so stressed out and tired as I did last semester, especially with a crazy move in the midst of it. But I managed through it and ended up with 3 A’s and an Almost A (it was an 89.96% and my professor didn’t bump it up to an A. He gave me a B+. But I’m calling it an Almost A because I was so close.)
I don’t feel settled about this semester yet. There’s one class I’m trying to get into and I’m on 3 separate waiting lists for the sections that are offered. On Tuesday, I received an e-mail saying they had opened up another class. (FINALLY!) So I shot off an e-mail to get the permit to take the class and I’m still waiting to hear back. If I can get into this class, which is on Monday nights, it would work perfectly with my schedule and I wouldn’t have to quit my job!
My other classes are set. (Although, if I do get into the above-mentioned class, I would drop one of my classes, to keep me at 12 credit hours.) I’m taking an internship, which will be my fourth one I’ve taken but seeing as my other three internships were in an elementary school setting, it will be much, much different. Two of the classes I’m taking are extremely close to my heart so I’m very excited about them. I think I’ll really get a feel for what I think I want to do when I graduate, so I can discover if it’s something I’m truly passionate about.
I’m having some major internship anxiety right now, something I’m going to talk more about tomorrow. I have a lot of baggage when it comes to internship, based on my past experiences.
So while the level of excitement isn’t the same as it was last semester, I’m still very excited about the possibilities and experiences that await me as I begin my third semester as a journalism student. And once I finish this one, I only have two semesters (and 5 classes!) until I graduate!
I was recently given three blog awards (and by recently I mean a month ago) by two extra special blog friends. And then I got caught up with the holiday season and end of the year recap posts and kept forgetting about the awards.
But I do have my faults and I love to brag and boast about my accomplishments. So, without further ado…
From Amanda at Teasingly Diverse:
I’m not sure what this award is about, other than the fact that it reminds me of fairies and mystical creatures, something I’m not familiar with at all.
The rules are as follows:
1. Put the logo on your blog/post.
2. Nominate up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link to the person from whom your received your Splash award.
6. Have F~U~N
From Michelle at Things I Said and Meant to Say:
How adorable is this award, by the way? It’s so pink and cute and has cupcakes on it. LOVE!
1. Copy the award image in your post.
2. List 10 things that make you happy, and try to do at least one of them today.
3. Then, tag 10 bloggers that make you happy! (I’ve got quite a long list over there on my left sidebar!)
4. For the 10 bloggers who get the award, link back to me and spread the happiness!
Ten things that make me happy:
1. My iPod Touch. I seriously underestimated how amazing this little piece of technology is. It’s a lot like having an iPhone…without the Internet coverage (I have to rely on wi-fi to get a connection), camera, or phone capabilities. But I still think it’s pretty great and it’s so much nicer than my crappy iPod shuffle that only held 137 songs. Pretty pathetic.
2. Old Navy. Not only do they have great, casual clothes but I bought a pair of size four skinny jeans there last week. Size four. I am not a size four. But in Old Navy land, I am. And that’s why I love them so much – they make me feel like a Skinny Person.
3. Blog comments. Seriously, I love them.
4. Blog followers. I love them, too!
5. Cleaning. My mom may laugh at this one, but it is true! I just have to be in the mood for it! When I get into the mood, I turn on some music and clean to my little heart’s content. It’s very relaxing, a good time-waster, and even helps to get some activity in! And the house always looks so much better when clean, don’t you agree?
6. Chocolate. I’ve probably eaten my body weight in chocolate in December. I lost any ability to resist it and I’ll admit I probably went a bit crazy. But a new year is upon us and I need to get back on track and lose this belly of mine. So I’m definitely drastically reducing my chocolate intake, which is going to be very hard and I really hope my body doesn’t go into shock.
7. My family. We had family come over to ring in the New Year and had such a fun time! We ate some good food, played games, laughed way too much, and just enjoyed each other’s company. And considering the fact that I’ve had two friends lose family members to cancer this month (one friend had her 12-year-old brother die while the other lost her father), it was so nice to see my grandma, healthy and happy this year. Last NYE, she was way too sick from chemotherapy to celebrate with us. We are so blessed that God gave us a “yes” when we prayed for healing for her.
8. Sleep. This four week break from school has been so nice! While I do still have to wake up at 5am for work, I have my afternoons and nights for myself. Lately, I’ve been getting off work at noon and I really haven’t been very productive over my break. I’ve been coming home to nap, fool around online, read. I haven’t been exercising or working on my novel at all. But it’s been nice to be a lazy bum. I only have one week left to do it!
9. Vera Bradley. It took me a few years to buy into this new style. I’ve been skeptical for a while, mainly because it seems people only buy one of her styles. But I went onto her website during the holiday season, looking for a gift for my sister-in-law and found a world of purses and accessories I had never seen before! I’ve ordered a laptop bag and a big tote for school, which I am so excited to get! And she has so many other cute things: wallets, binders, planners, eyeglass cases, beach bags, make-up bags… I don’t want to become one of those people who has all Vera Bradley stuff, but gosh, why not? They’re all so cute!
10. Goals. I love writing down goals, whether long-term or short-term. I love having something I need to achieve. It keeps life from becoming mundane and dry. And it always gives me something to push towards.
I’m supposed to name 5 things I like to do and give this award to 5 more bloggers.
2. Play “Sally’s Spa” on my iTouch. I’m addicted to this game now and it makes me feel like a little girl again.
3. Blog. Another addiction of mine. I love writing blogs, reading blogs, getting comments, giving comments, and every single blog friend I have made. This is such a fun community to belong to!
4. Watch football. Sadly, we just have 3 weeks of playoffs, the Pro-Bowl, and the Superbowl before it’s all over until August.
5. Starting the semester. By mid-semester, I’m so sick of everything to do with school but I love the newness of a new semester, new books, new classes, new school supplies, and a new schedule to get used to.
In December, I decided to start making small, month-long goals. Aside from New Years resolutions, I’ve never really sat down and written out goals that I could see myself achieve in the short term. I usually make goals such as losing weight, drawing closer to God, and graduating from college. And long-term goals are important. But so are short term goals. Short term goals map out how you get to achieve those long-term goals. So while losing weight isn’t a bad goal to have, my monthly goals help me achieve it.
A recap of my December goals:
1. Start running again. Not only did I not achieve this, I didn’t run at all in the month of December! Epic fail.
2. Stick to the program and lose weight. Another failure since I decided to stop attending Weight Watchers in December after falling so off-track during Thanksgiving. I hope to go back to WW but I’m waiting to see if I still have a job after mid-January. It’s all depending on a certain class. If I get into the class, I lose my job. If I don’t, I keep my job but there’s a good chance this (required) class may not be offered until next spring. Yikes! (And I need the job to pay for WW.)
3. Start writing again. Man, I promised myself once classes were over that I needed to get back to writing. I have all the time in the world yet I still haven’t opened that document in months.
4. Finish my 101 in 1,001 Days. Yay, complete! This was a monster to finish but I did get it done, just in time for New Years.
5. Start a strength-training program. Yikes! Another epic failure. Actually, I had planned to get together all my tear-out pages of Shape magazine of exercises I wanted to try. And then I spilled a Stouffer’s dinner on them and it was so yucky, I had to throw them all away.
That’s pretty bad. One goal out of five completed. Oh, well! New month, new year, new decade! I’m ready for some change!
Complete or start at least three items on my 101 in 1,001 list. I made the list, posted it, and now it’s time to get to work! I’m starting small with just three in the hopes I can actually achieve this. There are two goals I’m already working on but I would like to have at least one, if not two, of those goals marked off by the end of January.
Make one new meal a week. My mom and I have been in a cooking rut this past month. It’s been a crazy month so we haven’t felt like cooking too many times. We’re hoping to get back into the groove of things, start eating healthier, and cooking at home more. She was given a Crock-Pot for Christmas so we’ll definitely be utilizing it! We have a bunch of go-to dinner choices that we use frequently (spaghetti, Shake-N-Bake chicken, tacos, etc.) but we both get a little nervous to step out of our comfort zone and cook a new and different meal. But I think we need to.
Start running, using the Couch-to-5K running plan. I haven’t ran since Thanksgiving and I really want 2010 to be the Year I Lost Weight And Became A Runner. My goal is to run in the 5K Bay to Bay race on March 21st. This gives me a little less than 11 weeks to be in 5K shape. But it also gives me a goal and something to work towards.
Start paying at least $50 to Credit Card #1 and Credit Card #2, as well as paying something to Credit Card #3. For the past year, I’ve just been paying the minimum balance on two of my credit cards which is always less than $20. And then there’s the third credit card of which I have a rather large limit on and have gotten very behind on payments. So my minimum balance is quite high. But I want to start paying them something, just to show I’m trying. I really want to get rid of two of the credit cards and stick to the one my bank gave me. Credit card debt is never something I thought I would ever find myself in, especially seeing how my parents struggled with it. But I have and I’m ready to pay them off, get rid of the cards and build my credit back up.
Establish a time of the day to have quiet time with God. I desperately need to get back to having quiet time with God. It will probably have to be at night, since I have to be at work very early in the morning. But I need to map out the time, what I want to accomplish during that time, and start doing it. I need to get back to reading my Bible, praying, and seeking God more. I don’t do it enough.
One year ago yesterday, I traveled up to Lakeland to pick up this little bundle of fun:
He arrived a little less than 7 months after the death of my beloved Minnie. Minnie was a dog my mom picked out at the SPCA when I was in fourth grade and we had 11 years before she was diagnosed with lymphoma. We found out about her cancer in late April and we had to put her to sleep on June 8th. It was the saddest day of my life, I have to say.
It took me a while to get over her death but by November, my mom and I were ready for a new dog. I am most definitely a dog person and it was rough not having a dog jumping all over me when I came home.
And then Dutch came to us. My grandma’s sister gave him to us when she couldn’t keep him anymore. And a mini-dachshund is exactly the kind of dog I wanted.
Dutch has been such a blessing to have. He’s become such an integral part of my life. He sleeps snuggled up next to me. He jumps all over me and kisses every inch of my face when I come home. He curls up on my lap when I’m watching a movie or a TV show. He’s the ultimate buddy and I’m so happy he’s my dog.
Happy Anniversay, Dutchy-Boy! I love you more and more each day.
The Mission: To complete 101 tasks in 1001 days.
The Criteria: Tasks must be specific, measurable, and well defined. They must also be realistic but require some amount of work to complete.
Started: January 1, 2010
Deadline: September 29, 2012
Items Completed: 1/101
Notes with links
(Yep…I stole this from Chelsea’s blog. But, hey, I just gave some credit!)
1. Go on a cruise.
2. Get to my goal weight of 115 lbs.
3. Go to a bloggers meet-up.
4. Talk to someone about Christ, face to face.
5. Pay off all my credit card bills and get rid of my Old Navy and Target credit cards. (0/3)
6. Move my blog to my own domain name.
7. Go to NYC.
8. Ride on an airplane.
9. Run in five 5K’s. (0/5)
10. Run in five 10K’s. (0/5)
11. Complete a half-marathon.
12. Do a media internship and get good reviews.
13. Start scrapbooking my pictures.
14. Go on a short-term missions trip.
15. Become a day sponser for my local radio station.
16. Watch these 3 classic movies: Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, and It’s a Wonderful Life. (0/3)
17. Win a blog giveaway.
18. Graduate with my Bachelor’s degree.
19. Go on a hike.
20. Buy something off Etsy.
21. Save $500 dollars.
22. Get a massage.
23. Buy a kitchen table.
24. Eat 5 meals at the table, without the TV on or any other distractions. (0/5)
25. Buy a wreath for Christmas.
26. Give blood.
27. Spend a whole week, making meals from Weight Watchers recipes.
28. Stop drinking Coke for one week.
29. Visit a farmer’s market.
30. Have a Chris Farley marathon with my brother.
31. Eat at 5 new restaurants. (0/5)
32. Memorize ten new Scriptures. (0/10)
33. Write 25,000 words in my story.
34. Write 50,000 words in my story.
35. Write 75,000 words in my story.
36. Write 100,000 words in my story.
37. Finish my story!
38. Donate $10 to a charity for each item not completed.
39. Do “A Picture A Day” – take a picture of myself once a day, for an entire year.
40. Make a video montage of “A Picture A Day”
41. Get an article published in a magazine.
42. Read through the entire Bible.
43. Pay for the person behind me in the drive-thru.
44. Switch to using only reusable shopping bags.
45. Participate in the three-day breast cancer walk.
46. Do something spontaneous.
47. Unplug for an entire weekend.
48. Go to a Miami Dolphins home football game.
49. Donate hair to Locks of Love.
50. Have a girl’s night out.
51. Buy Photoshop.
52. Make and send Christmas cards.
53. Start a prayer list.
54. Send flowers to my mother’s work.
55. Reach 100 followers on my blog.
56. Get a manicure and pedicure with my mom.
57. Get a facial.
58. Do a Beth Moore study.
59. Go to a woman’s conference.
60. Buy a designer purse.
61. Send 5 people a “just because” card. (0/5)
62. Drink 70 ounces of water a day for an entire week.
63. Try a Spinning class.
64. Try a yoga class.
65. Get professional pictures done.
66. Watch the entire series of Friends.
67. Try out for a reality show.
68. Go to a concert.
69. Go to a Broadway show.
70. Buy presents for a needy child for Christmas.
71. Get 20 comments on a blog post.
72. Start a monthly feature of writing letters to my future husband.
73. Read all six novels by Jane Austen. (0/6)
74. Go jet-skiing.
75. Do something totally different with my hair.
76. Save $10 for each completed item.
77. Go to the zoo.
78. Take my twin cousins on a lunch date.
79. Do a crafty project for my home.
80. Buy salon-style shampoo and conditioner.
81. Consistently use facial cleanser and moisturizer for a month. (0/30)
82. Give platelets.
83. Go to a group fitness class with my mom.
84. Get blood work done.
85. See a gynecologist.
86. Watch the entire series of Gilmore Girls.
87. Run an 8-minute mile.
88. Get my bra size measured professionally.
89. Find a woman’s Bible study.
90. Floss everyday for a month.
91. Get my wisdom teeth out.
92. Volunteer at a food bank.
93. Say what I feel once.
94. Start tracking my spending.
95. Start a personal journal.
96. Host a game night with friends.
97. Reconnect with an old friend, face to face.
98. Apply to graduate school.
99. Get a full-time, “grown-up” job.
100. Celebrate my blogoversary on August 22nd by hosting a giveaway.
101. Make another “101 in 1,001 Days” when this one is completed.
I can’t believe this first decade of a new millennium is coming to an end. I won’t embarrass myself by telling you how much I bought into the Y2K hype. (Hey! I was twelve!) I have grown up so much in this decade, yet sometimes it seems as if I’m still the twelve-year-old girl I was when 2000 started.
In 2000, I was 12 and felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. My parents had finalized their divorce the September prior. I had no self-esteem to speak of and was scared to even look at a boy I had a crush on. I dealt with extreme insomnia. My mom battled depression. The one bright spot of 2000 was the week-long trip I took to Virginia with my mom, my brother, my grandparents, and my cousins. I saw snow for the very first time and experienced the thrill of skiing for the first time.
In 2001, I was 13 and experienced tragedy when terrorists crashed planes into a huge building. My dad went to jail for 3 months for stealing $2,000 from his mother. We lived in 4 separate places this year: a condo, an apartment, my grandparents house, and then had to move with them as they moved to another house. I still struggled with major self-esteem issues.
In 2002, I was 14 and really excited about what life had to offer me. I was excited to finish middle school, as it had been the most awful three years of my life. I couldn’t wait to start high school and have a fresh start. I was still incredibly shy and saw myself as fat and unwanted. My self-esteem was super low. I was extremely proud to be in a magnet school, even if it was in a program I had no interest in pursuing as a career (criminal justice). Still, I thought I was better than those “mainstream” kids. My brother started dating Jenny.
In 2003, I was 15 and immersed in the world of AIM and Xanga. I was addicted to the computer and playing on it every chance I could get. While I had friends, we didn’t spend much time after school together, aside from one or two sleepovers. I went to Homecoming on a date with a friend, and it was one of the best times I have ever had. This was a year I was trying to “find” myself and searching for answers in everything from religion to rock music. It was also the year an amazing opportunity passed my way.
In 2004, I was 16 and handed an amazing opportunity to spend the rest of my high school years at a charter school, where I would take college classes that would count as college and high school credit. At the end of my 2 years, I would graduate with my high school diploma as well as my Associates in Arts degree. I met a great group of girl friends who brightened my day. I was very family-oriented. After taking college-level Anatomy and Physiology (at the age of fifteen), I decided I didn’t want to be a veterinarian anymore. And so went the process of finding what I did want to do in life. I went on a date this year and had an “almost boyfriend” for about 3 weeks.
In 2005, I was 17 and floating by in life. This was the end of my junior year of high school and the beginning of my senior year. My guidance counselor was going crazy, getting us ready to apply for colleges. I applied to 3 colleges this year: University of Florida (denied), University of South Florida (accepted), and University of Central Florida (denied). I took the SAT and didn’t do so well on them. Life was mundane and nothing exciting happened this year. My brother graduated from high school and moved out in September to live with his girlfriend.
In 2006, I was 18 and a high school and college graduate! I spent the summer working for a movie theater, which was so hard but also a little bit fun. I left home for college (which was only 30 minutes away) and ended up hating it so much. I had a roommate that I clashed with. I spent a lot of my free time in the school bookstore to get away from it all. I was an elementary education major, something I absolutely adored. And I worried away most of fall semester that I wouldn’t meet the class requirements to get into the College of Education, because of two awful classes. (I ended up making an A in one, and a C- in the other.)
In 2007, I was 19 and lost 30 pounds. After a horrible year in the dorms, I came back home for good. I started working at a preschool and became a lot more adept at handling babies and kids. I joined Weight Watchers and lost those aforementioned 30 pounds. I was an intern one day a week in a first-grade classroom, which was a whole lot of fun but also very scary. I was excited about my future.
In 2008, I was 20 and lost my way. I was supposed to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree in elementary education in December but after a bad internship in the spring with a fourth grade class and then an awful one in the fall in another fourth grade class…I was told by my supervisor I wouldn’t pass the internship. I took a month off to think and decided teaching was not for me. I changed my major to journalism. I discovered I didn’t have any financial aid left to cover any more expenses. My dog of 11 years, Minnie, died in June from cancer. I quit my job in March to focus on school. I worked at a print shop during the summer, where I spent 90% of my time watching sitcoms and playing at my computer. We found out in May my grandma had stage IV colon cancer. My nephew was born in September. I spent November and December searching for a job to no avail.
In 2009, I was 21 and pursuing my passion. I excelled in all my journalism classes and for once, I was recognized at having talent at something. I started working at another preschool in February. I started blogging with a purpose and discovered an entire network of bloggers and friends. My grandma has been cancer-free for an entire year. We were given a dog, a mini-daschund, from a family member who has become an integral part of my life and one of my best friends.
I realize I spent most of this decade worrying. Worrying about money, worrying about my looks, worrying about what people thought of me. My hope for this upcoming decade is that I stop worrying so much. I learn to trust God and trust myself more. I learn to stop worrying so much about what people think of me and start looking internally for happiness. Happiness and acceptance will never be found in other people, something I did end up learning from this decade.
If I could sum up 2009 in one word it would be mediocrity.
2009 isn’t a year where that much happened. Nothing terrible or heartbreaking happened. Nothing incredible or exciting happened. I didn’t go anywhere on vacation. I didn’t meet the man of my dreams. No amazing opportunities passed my way.
Don’t get me wrong, some great things happened this year. Dutch, my adorable mini-daschund came to live with us and has become such an integral part of my life. After years of journaling online, I discovered this amazing world of blogging and in the later part of 2009, I have really tried to hone my skills as a blogger and have even developed a (very) small following.
I have spent 11 of these 12 months working at a wonderful job where I have gained amazing experiences, close friends, and an appreciation for work. I am hoping to spend most of 2010 at this job. It’s not my ideal job, or even a job close to the field where I want to work. But it is a job and I do love it.
My mom and I began the step to downsizing our budget and getting on our feet, regarding finances. We moved into a much smaller apartment where our rent is close to half what we were paying before. In March, my mom’s car will be paid off.
But it’s a year that’s been rife in mediocrity. I’ve attended school but haven’t come upon any amazing opportunities, either in writing or internships. (Until I was offered one in November, which I start in January.) I’m just amazed at how much other people in my program are doing. One of my classmates already has an internship lined up with Google! I’m hoping 2010 will be a year where I take advantage of more opportunities and try harder at school.
I’ve been mediocre in my attempts to lose weight and grow closer to God. I’ve been mediocre in my attempts to have a semblence of a social life. I’ve been mediocre in my finances. It feels as if I’ve been letting life pass me by, as cliche as that sounds. It’s such a boring and uninspiring way to live life.
I have high hopes for 2010. I’m not going to list resolutions this year. I never seem to achieve them or even keep track of what they are. I just list them, and forget about them by mid-January.
But I have very specific ideas of what I want out of 2010. And, sure, these may resemble what resolutions are. But I do see them as resolutions. I see them more of goals. I feel that they are so much more specific and closer to my heart than resolutions. (Plus, resolutions have such a negative connotation to them.)
In 2010, I am striving to…
- Become a healthier person. I am constantly striving towards this goal. I think most people are. Nobody wants to live an unhealthy life. We just don’t have the tools or motivation to change. I have to find the motivation to change. I don’t like who I have become. I don’t like myself when I look in the mirror. And every time I watch The Biggest Loser’s finale show, it’s so bittersweet for me. I want to become them. I want to completely change my lifestyle from someone who eats food mainly high in fat and calories to someone who eats an array of healthy foods and exercises because I want to. It’s going to be hard, but I have a lot of people who motivate me!
- Become a godlier woman. Yet another goal I am constantly striving towards. In 2009, I really fell off track and didn’t seek God in anything I did. Only when something awesome happened, did I sit there and thank Him. The funny thing I’ve noticed is how far the enemy has been when I haven’t been following God. Yet the minute I start seeking Him again, he’s back on the rampage and I’ve been getting attack after attack from him. But this is a goal I am seeking to the fullest. I want to a woman of God. I want to seek His face, and not just on Sundays.
- Get in control of my finances. One of my big goals for 2010 is to pay off all of my credit cards and get rid of two of them. I have three right now. One is completely maxed out and the other two have probably $10 on each. I pay the minimum balance on the latter two every month and my minimum balance for the first is just insane. I’m a little embarrassed to even mention it. My goal is to use the majority of my income tax check to pay the first one off. And I want to use half of my paychecks to start paying off these credit cards. Once I can get in control of these, I can begin to start saving money and building my credit back up. And I think I’ll be a much happier, secure person if this can happen.
When I think of these three goals I have, I just imagine the woman I will be if I can achieve all three. I think that’s the image I’ll keep at the back of my mind – thinking of how happier and self-assured I could be if I could become a healthier, more godly girl who is control of her finances. I am so looking forward to 2010. I am looking forward to fresh, new starts. I am looking forward to completely transforming my life. I want to look back on this girl I was in 2009 and just know I’ll never be her again. 2010 is going to be different. I can feel it!