Yes, it’s 100% true that this is not where I pictured my life going.
And yes, most of the time, I’m ok with that. I trust that my life will turn out as it is meant. This isn’t to say, however, that I don’t have moments of doubt, worry, and absolute panic.
I worry about where I’ll be next year when my service commitment is over. I worry about where I’ll be 6 months from now in the midst of my second year of teaching. Heck, I worry about a month from now when I’ll be into the school year and hanging out with my students and doing grad school stuff at the same time again.
I sometimes doubt that I’m in the right career.
I doubt that I’m taking the right steps relationship-wise that will lead me to be the most fulfilled.
I wonder if I really can have it all.
I panic when I think about 5 and 10 year plans. (Spoiler- I don’t have one!)
What I mean is that this is all a part of it. Despite the worry, the panic, the doubt- in the end I have to tell myself that it will all work out as it should.
I may not have my life planned out. I don’t have a timeline.
I took this picture a couple weeks ago in Aruba! It was so beautiful! More on that later.
I’ve been traveling a bit these past few weeks so I’ve been absent from a lot of things lately. This week, though, I’ve been relaxing at my parents house and I still have a few more days before I head back to Chicago and back to real life.
Mondays are for setting goals and I have A LOT to get done this week so let’s get to it.
1) Finalize travel arrangements for my cat to come with me back to Chicago. Mostly this is taken care of, I just need to pack a carry on that I can carry while also carrying him. I’m excited to have my baby with me in the big city! #CatLady
2) Take care of some grad school paperwork so I can start this second and final year!
3) Doctor, dentist, etc. while I still have the time and familiar providers here at home.
4) Lesson plan like woah. I’ve gotten a lot don already but it still seems like there is SO MUCH to do. Always.
I’m going to leave it at that for this week. What are your goals for the week? Let me know so I can cheer you on from here in Idaho!
Let’s have a little fun today, shall we? After all, it’s FRIDAY!
Now, I don’t claim to be a fashion blogger. There are some incredible blogs out there for that, this just isn’t one of them. However, I am a 20-something woman with opinions on fashion! Now and again, however, there are some things I really don’t understand. Maybe someone can help me out here. Then again, a couple of these I don’t think I want to understand.
I actually saw a girl wearing these downtown the other day. WHY? Just why are we blending athletic shoes with wedges? In what world is it a good idea to play a sport or work out in that high of shoes? What am I missing here?
Ok, I’m not going to include a picture of this one because… I just don’t want to look at it. And I don’t want to force you to either. Feel free to google if you really feel like it. But are we really getting to the point where this is necessary? I’m all about owning and rocking whatever you feel comfortable in, but this one I just don’t understand. WHY?
I KNOW, I KNOW. I may be the one woman on Earth who doesn’t like them. I don’t get it!
I feel like I have yet to see one that is flattering on anyone. I really wanted to like these because, how fun! A comfortable length and I can still show off my cute sandals! Maybe this is just me, but I feel like they hit at a place just perfect… for making legs look shorter and fatter than they are.
Ok, well, this one I understand, but I’m really totally jealous of. How are you not afraid of sitting somewhere dirty? How do you not spill on yourself? How are you walking through the city and keeping clothes white? How? Fill me in!
Linking up with Karli for a little 5 on Friday action today!
Throughout my teenage years, I had a few different versions of where I thought I’d be at this point in my life.
There was option A: The one where I get married young.
I’d stay home with the kids for a few years. This one is what is common where I grew up in small town Idaho and it works out great for some people.
Option B: The one where I traveled.
See, at 18, I didn’t know what it meant to stay in the United States for more than a year at a time. Post-college, I saw myself continuing this pattern.
Option C: The one with the fancy job.
I’d be working at a big important job by now as a leader in some big industry.
Along with each of these options came a similar timelines. Get a job, get married by 27, baby by 30. Stable. Secure. Settled.
The thing is though, I didn’t plan for setbacks or mistakes. I didn’t plan for life to get in the way. I didn’t plan on learning more and having my eyes and heart opened to new possibilities. It’s funny, because we can plan and plan as much as we want. In the end, the universe gives us what we need and takes us down paths we never imagined.
I never saw myself where I am now. I never thought I’d be single for over a year, much less by choice (another post for another day).
I never saw myself feeling so fulfilled by my work that seems so simple from an outside perspective, but means so much and matters in this world so much to those of us involved.
I never saw myself living in Chicago. Alone.
I never knew I’d be this content with NOT knowing what comes next. And that’s the thing I’m learning most- it’s ok. Not too long ago, I would have been terrified of not knowing what comes next. Now, though, I know that things will turn out as they are meant to. I know my life will go down the path it is supposed to, because I will continue to grow and learn just what it is I need to get down that path.
This week marks 8 years since I studied abroad in Mexico. Timehop so lovingly informed me of the statuses I posted about my homecoming after a year away and the roller coaster of emotions that I broadcasted on Facebook because, hello, I was a teenager.
It got me thinking though, about how that was what really got me started with being comfortable traveling alone and made me so much more confident in myself. At 16 and didn’t know a whole lot of anything, but I knew more about myself then and had more confidence than ever. This was before a lot of insecurities about the future had set in (college? five year plans? marriage? TEN year plans?) and my only real focus was getting through high school, spending time with friends, and figuring out what it all meant.
After my year abroad, a year has hardly gone by that my passport hasn’t gotten some use. And I am so grateful and so blessed to have had so many opportunities and people in my corner helping me make so many travel dreams a reality. Thanks Mom and Dad, you guys especially! These past couple of years, though I’ve largely stayed in the States, a couple cross-country moves had taken place, I’ve started and quit perfectly good jobs because another city and another opportunity called out to me. That need for newness and adventure never left.
This week, after reliving the days of my international travels through pictures and talking to a few friends from those days, I couldn’t help but realize that I’m not exactly about to move to another country any time soon. But what happened to the girl who was always scheduled on some kind of adventure? When did I become so… normal? Which brings me to a change in mindset.
This whole life is a journey to be explored, regardless of where I am. It may be in the United States, but my goodness does it feel like a different world sometimes. This is still where I feel called to be, and I still feel like I am making a difference here for others, and I know I’m growing and helping myself. My point being, just because I’m not on living abroad or jaunting around now doesn’t mean my life and what I are doing is any less- any less worthy or important or valuable.
And this goes for anyone who may be wistfully reading travel blogs or wishing that that life was your own. Where you are right now is important too. Normal isn’t boring or bad. And really, there’s something different, exciting, and completely not-normal in each of our lives that keeps us all going. This life is so good, right here, every day.
This isn’t to say that I’m done traveling. I’m still breaking out my passport later this summer and plan to more next summer, but where I am right this minute is perfectly great too.
What do you think? What adventure are you on right now? Every day life is pretty cool, isn’t it?
Jumping back into the blogging game means jumping back into setting weekly goals for myself. I thrive off of having some direction and goals to meet throughout the week. Lately, since I’m not working this summer, I’ve been especially dependent on my goals and to do lists! I still have so much to get done this summer that I need to stay focused! I’ve been finding myself increasingly distracted if it’s a sunny day, because I just want to be outside. However, I know there is work to be done. It’s storming this morning though and rain is in the forecast for most of the week, so hopefully that means I’ll be more inclined to get things done!
On to the goals!
1) Find a place to live. This is priority number one because, ya know, my lease is up in a couple weeks and it’d be nice to not be on the streets. I have to either find a new roommate to stay in this apartment, or decide if I’d rather live alone and move! I’m leaning toward moving, but we’ll see. I really love my current apartment.
2) House cleaning. The laundry, dishes, clutter clearing kind of cleaning. The house isn’t really that messy, I just don’t want to do it. Hold me accountable, please!
3) Blog at least 2 times this week. It’s going to be a struggle to come back into blogging, but I’ve missed it so much. And after such an overwhelmingly positive and supportive acceptance of my last post, I’m ready for this.
That’s all for this week!
What are your goals for this week? Let me know in the comments so I can cheer you on!
I’ve been quiet in this space for a while, taking an unintentional hiatus through the last months of this school year. I think I’ve had such a hard time writing anything because in my heart I knew the words I needed to write, but I was too afraid to let them go out into the world. Today, it’s time.
I moved to this city in a mix of excitement and feelings of absolute terror. I was lost in the beginning stages of a completely unhealthy relationship. The “I’m so sorry” and “It’ll never happen again” sayings were plentiful and I believed it. I didn’t see the push to move here as the isolating move that it was- I couldn’t have. And I was silent about it, unable to tell anyone what was happening. In public we had the perfect relationship. In public, he treated me like the only woman in the world. I felt ashamed of myself and it got worse as time passed and his words and actions made me feel more small and insignificant.
After moving here it all became more frequent and more severe. He became a man I no longer knew, but would fight for all the same. His actions became unspeakable, and yet I stayed. I stayed and fought for too long. And he controlled and hurt again and again until I finally was able to stand up. To drive away and not go back. To tell small pieces of what happened to close friends. To live again.
Now, I refuse to live in the shadow of his abuse. I refuse to live in this city in fear or seeing him or being reminded that he had that kind of control. He doesn’t have it anymore.
I moved here because of one of the greatest opportunities I could ask for. A prestigious program that allows me to get this master’s degree while still teaching the children that I love. I am in a city full of beauty and culture and am surrounded by people who I love and who love me back.
I may have come to Chicago partially under the worst of circumstances, but now, a year later, I’m ok. This city is not his. I am not his.
Join me for a bit, won’t you? I suppose it’s time for a coffee date to do some explaining and some chatting. As I sit in this airport on my way from Atlanta to Idaho, I could use a good cup of coffee and some time sitting comfortably, so let’s just imagine we’re there instead, ok?
If you follow me on social media, you know I’m on Spring Break right now (teacher perks!) and I took some time to travel to Atlanta to visit friends and today I’m heading home to Idaho to see my family for the rest of the week. Then I’ll be heading back to Chicago to finish out the school year! This trip has already been a whirlwind, and it has been the most healing, healthy thing in the world for me. After being sick for almost a month, I’m finally feeling like I’m on my way to healing and feeling better.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that being busy is nothing new for me. I thrive off of being busy, but maybe I’ve taken on a little too much lately. I’m now working 6 days a week teaching. I absolutely love teaching and working with all my kids, but of course, this is a job that doesn’t end when the time clock officially says it does. It begins at least an hour beforehand and usually allows me to leave about an hour after- only to go home and continue the planning and preparation there. It is the best job, and I know I am lucky to have it, but oh, it is exhausting. Pile all of this on top of grad school classes and attempting to keep up with that, and I’m wiped.
If we were having coffee, I’d admit that I’m feeling like it’s all a bit much. Emotionally, it is tiring because as much as I do and as much as I feel like I am working as much as I can, there is so much more to be done and so much that I simply can’t do. There is a certain type of guilt that comes along with that that I try to ignore and logically know shouldn’t be there. Then again, we all know that sometimes feelings don’t follow logic.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that being in Atlanta these past few days has left everything in me pulling me back toward this city. From the climate to the culture, this is my city. This is where I became an adult and while I am grateful for the opportunity to be living in Chicago now, I’m just not convinced that Chicago is for me long term.
If we were having coffee, I’d let you in on the fact that I’ve been thinking a lot about the different relationships in my life lately. I’ve been in my element with my people here in Atlanta, and it has been beautiful. These are the people that I can skip the small talk with and get straight down to what’s on my heart and what I need to talk through. These are the people that get it, and get me on every level. Of course I have good friends in Chicago that I love dearly, but it’s not quite the same. My Chicago friends are some of the best people I’ve ever met and I am lucky to have them, but again, it’s just a little different.
Now, it’s important for me to know what’s going on in your life as well. How are you, really? What’s been on your heart lately?
Especially for women, it seems everyone always has an opinion about our lives. From our money to our bodies to our feelings, the general community seems to think we own them an explanation of our actions and decisions. The thing is, these decisions and actions are ours and ours alone, and we just don’t have to justify them.
We don’t owe anyone an explanation.
1. Your definition of success/ your career choice. It’s yours, not theirs. Just because success to some means a corner office and a downtown high rise apartment doesn’t mean you can’t be just as successful in your one bedroom apartment doing a job you love.
2. Not looking perfect every day. No need to apologize for not having on makeup or not getting dressed to the nines all the time (or any of the time, for that matter). Sometimes makeup and real outfits just aren’t going to happen. It’s ok.
3. Your relationship status. Single and lovin’ it? Yay! Single and minglin’? Yay! In a relationship and so in love? Yay!
4. Crying. You know what? Your emotions are valid. You’re not crazy for crying; you’re not over-emotional. It happens, we’re human.
5. How much you are eating. You’re hungry? Great, eat something. Feel like a burger? Great, eat it, even if the girl next to you is ordering a salad. Feel like a salad? Awesome. Eat it, even if the girl next to you is chowing on some wings. As long as you’re not hurting yourself, you’re good!
6. On that note- your weight. I’m all about the body positivity around here. Skinny, fat, in between, whatever. Own it. Work it. You’re awesome.
7. Being a basic ….. you know the rest. I could write a whole post solely on why this whole hating on women for liking the same things as other women is dumb. Especially because many of the things that are considered “basic” are things that make us feel good- like Starbucks, manicures, and leggings and oversized sweaters.
What other things can you think of that we just don’t need to justify to anyone anymore?
Now, I know I can and should make a really good excuse for why I’ve been away from blogging for a while but the absolute truth is that other priorities have come up and blogging has just fallen to the wayside. Busy is an understatement. Tired doesn’t even come close. But content- yes, content works. Things are going. Life is moving. And while some things are difficult, I am happy that I have been given this life to live. I can’t promise that I’ll be back to blogging steadily now. I will say that I’ll try!
This past weekend was the most wonderful. I traveled down to Kentucky to visit a college friend and had fun brunching, getting our nails done, and celebrating St. Patrick’s day with her co-workers there! Now I’m back in Chicago and ready to go back to work tomorrow. Only a few more weeks till Spring Break!
Anyway. Goals, right? Let’s set some.
|ONE| Blog at least one more time this week. Starting with something!
|TWO| Get to the gym 3 times this week! I only went once last week because I’ve been sick but I feel like I need to go to kick out this last bit of sickness!
|THREE|Take my vitamins every day. I slacked off on these too while I was sick (counter-intuitive, maybe) and lost the habit, so I need to be better about this again! I always have more energy and feel better in general when I take vitamins.
I’ll keep it at that for this week.
What are your goals for this week? Let me know so I can cheer you on too!