Monday, December 19, 2011

A New Blogventure: Adding Joy and Making Purposeful Change

I love my life.  I have a good family, job that I love, and friends that mean the world to me.  I live in an apartment in my favorite city, drive a reliable car, and have enough money each month to pay my bills, get groceries, and have a little fun on the side.  I am an incurable optimist to begin with, but I'd say I'm very blessed.  Although I am very satisfied with who I am, I will always believe that every small change made to improve my health, perspective on life, and overall happiness can make a huge difference.  Which brings me to the purpose of this post...

For the past few months since I got this blog, I've been looking for my niche--something I could blog about on a regular basis that is actually interesting and attracts the bloggers out there to come back week after week.  Have you ever heard the term, "go 100 mph for 100 yards?"  Well, that is me.  When I get a new idea, I tend to get really excited about it and jump right in, but quickly lose interest.  This of course held true when I got the urge to blog.  I think maybe I've posted five times on here since March.

Well, believe it or not, I have decided to make a commitment to "Just My Type!"  I have an entire year, yes an ENTIRE YEAR of blog posts lined up for 2012!  All thanks to one of my favorite women of our time, Kathleen Passanisi.

I had the privilege of attending a women's health seminar with my mom this fall, and Kathleen was the keynote speaker and I instantly fell in love!  She is an amazing woman and I encourage all of you to check out her website and her books.  I will be telling you more about Kathleen as the year progresses, but let me just tell you--you are all in for a treat.  She is an amazing woman--did I say that already?

Each week I will be taking one of Kathleen's tips--either from her "Adding Joy to Life" or "Passanisi's Pointers for Purposeful Change" and challenge myself (and sometimes my friends and family) to take some of Kathleen's advice in an effort to improve our lives. 

Look out for my weekly happenings in 2012.  I am very excited to start my new blog-venture.  Until then, head over to Woodn't Ya Know It or The Cheese Thief (two of my favorite blogs). 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kids, Stay in School

 For those of you who don't know, this week has been my first week at my new job.  My first day was a little crazy...I left feeling scared, nervous, and very unsure.  However, my second day was a true success.

Today, as I was sitting at my desk workspace, I had an overwhelming emotion come over me.  It wasn't one of those creep up on you kind of emotions, nope- it hit me so hard I thought I was going to fall right out of my chair.  This emotion was quite unique when considering the other emotions that go along with the first few days of your very first job; or at least not an emotion I anticipated feeling.

Today I felt proud of myself.  As I sat down in my cubicle workspace, checking my emails, studying up on the mile high stack of booklets and papers that really tell me what I've gotten myself into, and just absorbing this new title that I hold behind my name, I caught a glimpse of my diploma.  Yes, its only the second day and I've already decorated my office workspace.  And yes, the first thing I put on my shelf was my diploma.  Thank goodness I did because as I looked up at my diploma, the feeling I got is one that I hope I will always remember and one that I for see getting me through these next few weeks of brutal training, and probably other rough patches in my future as a career woman.

I remember countless occasions where I was ready to give up on school.  I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I was spending thousands of dollars on a "piece of paper" that I was sure was going to get me nowhere.  Now, I had some AMAZING mentors in my college years.  Advisors, professors, bosses...I wouldn't have made it through college without them.  They all warned prepared me for a lot of those times in life that I would have otherwise said, "I wish someone would have told me this was going to happen."  However, no one ever told me how proud of myself I could be for what I have accomplished.  (Probably because they were always so busy telling me how proud of me they were).

A lot of people complain about having to grow up and move on from their college years.  "Life in the real world and all the things that go along with it suck."  However, the optimist in me is loving it and soaking it all in.  For example:

Waking up early:  my roommate bff who is letting me take over her basement as my living space for the moment and I have started working out together every morning at 6 am!  It's a great way to get ourselves going in the morning, and there is nothing better than having someone to share that with.

Traffic: okay, so maybe my car doesn't have AC and I sit in stop and go traffic for 45 minutes in 90 degree weather.  So what?  At least I have a car that gets me there.  Plus, its perfect time to listen to my new favorite station, NPR. (Insert completely inappropriate hash-tagged comment: #lookatmeallgrownup)

Working: as much as I am already missing my daily routine that always included a nap, the feeling of having a great job with great people around you who encourage you is irreplaceable.  On another note, I am luckier than most to have found a job right out of college-and that is something to be proud of.

I'm a pretty lucky girl, I'd say.  I am 23, living in my favorite city, and am in the first week at my dream job.  This makes it very easy to be so optimistic.  I love my life.

Song of the day: "Collie Man" by Slightly Stoopid


Friday, May 6, 2011

How I Got to Where I Find Myself Today: Inspired by Calvin and Hobbes

For those of you who have never read a Calvin and Hobbes comic, I highly suggest you do so immediately.  Not only will you be expanding your cultural diversity, but you will learn a few good life lessons in the process.  Some people consider it the best comic of all time, while others rate it #7 on a top 100 list.  For those of you who are a fan like myself, I hope you can appreciate this post.

Before I get started, I would like to apologize for my lack of blogging in the past month.  Some of you might understand when I say that the last  month of your college career isn't an easy one.  But I'll get to more of that later.  Anyway....

Yesterday, my senior seminar class and myself were at an elementary/middle school waiting for a staff meeting to end so we could give our final presentation.  We were waiting in a classroom that had one of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes books:  The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes, a treasury of Bill Waterson's best work.  It opens with a poem, one that is especially moving at this particular moment in my life.  It goes like this:

I made a big decision a little while ago.
 I don’t remember what it was, which  probably goes to show
 That many times a simple choice can prove to be so essential
 Even though it often might appear inconsequential.

 I must have been distracted when I left my home because
 Left or right I’m sure I went. (I wonder which it was!)
  Anyway, I never veered: I walked in that direction
 Utterly absorbed, it seems, in quiet introspection.

 For no reason I can think of, I’ve wandered far astray.
 And that is how I got to where I find myself today.

Pretty good, right?  Maybe it doesn't strike the same chords for some of you who aren't in the same transitional phase of you life like I am, but I am hoping some of you can relate.  

The reason this meant so much to me is because in 2 days I will be graduating from college.  After 5 of the most amazing, yet most difficult years of my life, I have finally finished my degree.  I can remember other transitional times in my life similar to this one--my transition from high school to JCCC, and then my move to the middle of Missouri for William Woods.  I'm never been one to hate change, and I am always up for a new adventure.  I am so thankful that I made the decision to choose those two schools, and I would never trade one minute of it.  I just wish I could go back to my then 18 and 20 year old brain and remember what it felt like to be so carefree.  Back then I would have traveled with the circus if the opportunity was presented to me and it sounded fun.  My brain wouldn't have been flooded with worries of bills and family and friends and a significant other.  

I have a few job interviews coming up and I am so excited for this new adventure in my life, but I am getting so nervous!  In the next week, I will be making some pretty substantial life decisions and I feel like I am being dragged by my mother by the back of my shirt with my feet dragging behind me through gravel.........I don't want to make a decision! 

Wouldn't it be great if when we were faced with important decisions in life, we could choose them all and live in 2 or 3 separate universes until we figured out what we wanted?

I know some of you are thinking I am absolutely crazy.  You are probably sick of reading about me complaing that I have jobs to choose from and I can't make a decision!  I am completely aware that in today's world, I am lucky to even get one interview or one job offer--And I understand that and feel beyond blessed that in a week I might actually have some jobs to choose from!  However, that doesn't change the fact that I will be facing some pretty important decisions very soon... 

Hopefully with the newly acquired free time I will have soon, I will find more time for blogging.  Just simply having a blog with more than one post is a huge accomplishment for me so cut me some slack!  If you are looking for a blogger who posts frequently, with a lot of hilarious stories--go here.

Before ending this, I'd like to thank everyone who has helped me get through these past 5 years.  I don't know how I would have gotten through it without you!

Mom, Dad, Stef, Brian and the fam--thanks for always encouraging me and supporting me even when my dreams and ideas seem outrageous.  Its the best feeling in the world knowing that I have such a great family to come home to.  I love you all so much.

Sarah--thank you for being my best friend in the whole world.  Our first 2 years of college spent together were the best ever.  From signing on the playground, afternoon bike rides, living with possibly the world's worst roommates, to 6:3o a.m. phone calls, I can always count on you to be right by my side.  Even though I'm the worst at returning calls and being 2 hours away, I am so lucky to have a friend like you.  I can't wait for you to get here tomorrow and help me celebrate such a big weekend :) I love you!

Homies--thanks for being my constant group of friends to come home to over the past couple years.  From hours of playing spoons, munchkin, that fun zombie game, pit (1!  3!  2!  1!  4!!), Are you the traitor, and even Risk and Trivial Pursuit, I am never disappointed in the amounts of fun and random shenanigans we find ourselves getting into.  Can't wait to be home and have more YouTube nights, emarrassing act bets, and random food and drink challenges.  You guys are the best!  And special thanks to Brian for encouraging me not to drop out of school.  

The Alpha Chi girls--you all make me want to stay in college forever, I even stayed an extra year just to be with all of you! :)  I have made the most incredible memories with you all and even been lucky enough to travel the country with some of you.  Thank you for showing me that I can do anything I set my mind to, and for always bringing out the best in you.  You all have something really special and I can't wait for future reunions!!

Sharon, Scott, Casey, and Mysti--my career counselors!  Thank you all for your advice, counsel, direction, and encouragement over the past year.  The words of wisdom I've gotten from all of you is INVALUABLE.  I am a better person because I have been able to work with all of you.  

To anyone else who is feeling offended that I didn't mention you but I probably should have--thank you for being a part of my life up until now!  I know for a fact that everyone has been put into my life for a reason and has helped make me who I am today.


Enough of the sappy stuff, I just wanted to give the long, overdue credit to those who deserve it.  I'm going to call it good on this blog post, I don't even want to see how long it is.  So from Calvin and Hobbes, to my rant about choosing a job, to my random list of thank you's,  thanks for taking the time to read this.  Hopefully the next blogpost will be my new job description and location.  

Time to pack up some more boxes...

song of the day:
--an album I've been listening to non stop for the past few weeks

Monday, March 28, 2011

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not."

For the past few days I've been crafting with one of my favorites, Lucy.  For those of you who don't know, Lucy and I are currently working on plans to open a small business after graduation where we can sell our handmade goods.  Now, you may be laughing already but we're totally serious about this.  I am completely aware that my life is made up of endless pipe dreams, however, this is not one of them.  As one of my other favorites, Jessica, quoted tonight, "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not."

So here's the plan:  We are going to start on the web.  We're working on building a base of products that we have crafted so that we can get pictures of them up on our soon-to-be website.  Besides just creating things that we already know how to make, we also want to be your "go-to" crafters.  How many times do you see something cool and think, "I could make that," or "I wish I was creative enough to make something like that," but you know you'll never attempt it.  All you have to do is call up Lisa and Lucy and we will make it for you!  Turning your dreams into reality--one craft at a time.

Lucy's specialty is sewing--especially bags and purses.  My specialty is--well, I don't have one yet but I'm working on it.  For the past few days I've been on a "paper rolling" kick and here is what I have come up with so far:

Rolled paper picture frame and wine bottle vase--this picture does them no justice, but you get the point

These crafts seem a little elementary when compared to Lucy's wonderful bags, but I'm still pretty proud and am currently taking orders for anyone wanting some of these masterpieces.  I dare you to take a guess at how many hours were spent rolling strips of magazine paper to create just these two items...

The next craft to try on my list is silk painting, a skill that I aquired my senior year of high school and won "Best in Show" for in the 2006 State High School art competition.  I'll let you all know how it turns out.

For those of you who took me up on my dare, I think I spent about six finger aching, paper cutting hours total rolling magazine pages to make enough for these two projects.  Besides my now heightened risk of developing arthritis, this is a very theraputic task.  Rolling up magazine strips for hours really gives you the opportunity to let your mind wander, and as my mind wandered these past few days, a certain phrase seemed to echo in my head pretty regularly: "I should blog about that!"  For those of you who know me well at all probably can guess that even the most simply thoughts that were deemed "bloggable" quickly escaped my brain and now I can't remember many of them.  Oh well, I'm sure life will throw me some new ideas tomorrow.

I've spent a little time researching, and for those of you who are still doubtful of Lucy and I's future plans, here are just a few businesses that became when someone chose to act on his or her idea:

JoAnn Fabrics:  founded in 1943 when Hilda and Berthold Reich, and their friends Sigmund and Mathilda Rohrbach, opened an imported cheese store in Cleveland, Ohio.  Eventually, they removed the cheese and added fabrics and opened the first Cleveland Fabric Shop. Expansion in the 1960s led to the company's new name, Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Men's Wearhouse:  George Zimmer began by selling polyester sportcoats out of the trunk of his car.  Just a few years later, he and his college roommates opened up the first store.  They couldn't even afford a cash register and stored their money in a cigar box.

HP-Hewlett Packard: William Hewlett and David Packard Started their company in a garage.  Know who else started in a garage?  The inventors of Google and Apple.


Don't get me wrong, I don't think our small crafting business (that we plan to name "LiLu's") will make us millionaires.  If anything, it will just be a little something to help us pay off our student loans faster.  But we are young, talented and posess the drive to turn our dreams into reality, so why not try it out?


 I hope you enjoyed my second blog post!  I think I've procrastinated studying, job searching, and sleeping long enough.  


Song of the Day:  "Dance With Me Baby" by Ben Rector 
-Shout out to lovely Andrew who is just too far away right now.  Miss you tons and can't wait to see you in 53 days! 



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The first song for my mixtape

I've always sworn against blogging, but after a weekend with my homies in Kansas I've had a revelation. I am TERRIBLE at keeping in contact with people and this seems to be a great way to do it. So, here I am. Blogging. Now, I don't claim that this will be even mildly entertaining for most of you. If entertainment is what you are looking for, head on over to Woody's place to read about his Arkansan adventures--they are always pretty funny.  This blog currently doesn't have a mission statement, but if it did, I'm sure it would include the purpose of giving you all a look at the world from my point of view (which is usually pretty backwards), random rants, and to document my life in this pivotal time.  I don't have the best memory, so I guess this is doing my life a great service.  I think I'll even end each post with a Song of the Day, just so I can look back in years to come and remember the great music of my past.

So stay tuned for what's ahead.  In the future, you will be following me on my journey in the world of job searching (which was described to me today as a "full-time job in itself"--so true!) and the emotional journey that is quickly approaching as I get closer to entering the real world.  Hey, I might even talk about my handsome boyfriend Andrew.  He's the tops.

Lastly, is it breaking blogger code to do one of those survey things on here that we used to cover our myspace and xanga pages with?  Well, my good friend Lucy showed me this one and I really like it and guess what--this is my blog and I'm gonna post a survey if I want to.

Choosing only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 15 people you like and include me. You can't use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think. Repost as "my life according to (band name)"

Pick your artist: Saves The Day

Are you a male or female:

Describe yourself:
"Through Being Cool"

Describe where you currently live:
"I'm Sorry, I'm Leaving"

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
"Where Are You"

Your best friend is:
"Coconut" --HAHA

You and your best friends are:

What's the weather like:
"Don't Go Outside"

What's your favorite time:
"Anywhere with you"

If your life was a TV show, it would be called:
"All-Star Me"

What is life to you:

Your current relationship:
"I Melt With You"

Your fear:
"All I'm Losing Is Me"

The best advice you have to give:
"Shoulder to the Wheel"

Thought for the day:
"Seeing it This Way"

How you would like to die:
"Sell My Old Clothes, I'm off to Heaven"

Your soul's present condition:

Your motto:
"Tomorrow is Too Late"

Song of the Day: "No Stress" by Laurent Wolf
-I first heard this song playing in my favorite store in Washington DC this summer and its my theme song of the week.