Here it is. Again. Damn.

This blog has been anything but a consistent thought in my life this year. 12 months ago I was an eager new blogger waiting for all of the adventures I could share with you. Well, news flash, my life is pretty boring. And by pretty boring, I mean boring as fuck. I have never really gone off the path that was laid out for me a short 22 years ago. No, when I was born my parents did not hand me this massive binder with my life all planned out, but that would have been pretty nice. And honestly, if you asked them, they would probably say I threw them a few curveballs. But curveballs from where? Left field? Is it really surprising that I ended up where I am today? Not really. I am pretty much where fate decided I needed to go.

No, this isn’t a whole “finding myself” post that other 22-year-olds would force feed you. This isn’t a post about me finally giving into the idea that the universe had a plan for me and me deciding it’s about damn time to give in to it. This is a post about me realizing that I am not any different than any of you. I might not do things on a whim, I may be the master of lists (learning from the best, of course, thanks momma), and I may have followed my path, dotting all my i’s and crossing all of my t’s, but don’t we all?

Now, before you tell me of this outrageous summer you had before junior year where you really found yourself. All the times you hung out with the stoner next door and how you were high more days than not. Who said that wasn’t written into your story? Who said that wasn’t exactly what you needed to realize that going to business school like your mom pushed wasn’t really for you? I am not saying that there is some higher force playing Sims with our lives, but I will say I have had a nightmare or two about exactly that. I’m saying that our paths are laid out for us, and honestly, we just follow them. Just because the path isn’t nice and pretty with pathed paths and handrails for the bumpy parts doesn’t mean it was not written to be exactly like that. Unpathed and bumpy.

This year has been a learning process for me without a doubt. I went into 2018 with the mindset that I was going to kick ass and take names. Don’t get me wrong, I did kick ass and take names, I did graduate cum laude a year early with my bachelor in social work. I did have a killer summer position with AmeriCorps. I did get into all four of the grad schools I applied for, including the best school in the nation for a master of social work degree. But I also got my ass kicked. I moved to a new city, I left all my friends, I lost an apartment the day I was supposed to move in. I cried, hell, I’m not going to sugar coat it, I ugly sobbed, for hours, on multiple occasions. I almost dropped out of grad school, twice. But I also learned my place. And not in the misogynistic, I found my way through a kitchen kind of found my place. I found my niche in my career, and I am absolutely smitten with it. I found exactly who I want to spend the rest of my life with. And I found out that looking for apartments on a strict time crunch leaves you without a stove for 8 months. But you live and you learn, you know?

I know this post has been all over the place, but hear me out here. I did not plan for any of the bumps in 2018 to happen. I mean who plans on a vicious dog breaking three windows downstairs while you are trying to move into your first solo apartment? You get me? Good. But I also didn’t plan on the good things happening either. I did not plan on falling in love with my job over the summer, or sobbing as I left the town I called home for the past three years as I moved on to bigger and better things. I did not plan on falling hopelessly in love with my significant other. I didn’t plan any of it. It was bumpy at parts, unbearable honestly, but it also gave me the opportunity to see where I am in my life and just enjoy it. It allowed me to walk out of T’s apartment to a sunset over the mountains, and fall in love with my undergrad town all over again. I allowed me to realize that the vicious dog from the first floor allowed me to move to an amazing neighborhood. 2018 was anything but easy, but it was always interesting, and exactly what I needed at that moment in time.

Now, if you are still here, following this cluster fuck of a word vomit post, I wish you the best of luck in 2019. I wish you the bumps and the cracks, but I also wish you the sunsets and the unexpected pathed paths. I wish you the best and hope you are able to claw your way out of the worst. I hope and dream that you have the year of your life, while I also extend an arm when you need a lift. Know that whatever is thrown or gently tossed your way this year is exactly what you need and that you will find your way on the path eventually. It might not make sense now, but it never does at the moment, this is life after all.

From my walk to yours, enjoy the journey.

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I’ve had enough.

I have had so many conversations about gun control throughout the past few days and I have had enough.  There are a few things that I want to make VERY clear about my argument, and very clear about the people I am having these conversations with. First things first, I am not asking to take away your guns, that never has been and never will be the basis for my argument for gun control. I am asking for control and regulation not dictatorship and authoritarianism. I believe guns can be used for good. I was raised in a family that was big on shooting before my grandpa passed, I was raised in a community that is still to this day big on hunting. Guns are not bad. So no, I am not going to go into your house and steal all of your guns, that is not what I am after, and honestly, I have no interest in taking your guns. The only interest I have is making guns harder for people to obtain. I want more regulations, I want more guidelines and laws. I want to be turned away from a gun shop because I do not have the proper licensing or training. But I do not want to take your guns. If you are willing and able to take the necessary courses and pass the required tests and checks, then by all means, own a gun, use a gun, hell, carry it on your hips for all I care. Just do it legally and through restrictions and regulations.

I am so tired of people using mental illness as an excuse to not enforce gun control. Fun fact, mental illness has the same prevalence rates globally, the United States is not special in this area. Mental illness is happening globally, mental illness is everywhere and does not discriminate based on any demographics. What is special to the United States is the number of mass shootings we blame on mental illness. No other country experiences the amount of domestic mass shootings that the United States experiences day in and day out. If you are going to use mental illness as a scapegoat for the violence that we are seeing in this country then I better see you voting for the representatives and officers that are fighting to increase support and resources people living with mental illnesses; without this your argument is completely invalid. You are seeing a problem and choosing to do nothing about it. Other countries are not seeing the high numbers of mass shootings as the United States because they saw a need for reform and regulation. They have gun control, they have support and resources for mental illness, but no, that would never work in the United States, you’re right.

If you are against gun control I am truly and dearly interested in why you think that something that is created to harm and kill should not be regulated. Why something that is capable of ripping lives apart and shattering any sense of safety should be easily and readily available. I am interested in why you refuse to hear my argument but simply scream that I can’t take your guns away in my face. I am dearly concerned about how you can look at the destruction it has caused in schools alone, and tell me that your right to own any gun you want is more important. These children from Florida are taking to social media, their communities, and their government to change something they so adamantly support, and you are telling them that it will get better. They lost their friends, their family, their teachers, and they are fighting for what they believe in, and you are standing their telling them your guns are more important.

 

 

 

Dazed and Unmotivated

We all know that feeling, you wake up and something is immediately wrong. You can’t put a pin on it, or come up with a reason, but you’re simply just not feeling yourself. Throughout the day you just feel more and more unmotivated to do anything, which isn’t uncommon for the average college student, but is particularity dangerous on this specific day. These days happen, we can’t deny it, and and we can’t avoid it, but we can push though it.

When I wake up feeling like I just don’t feel like me, it’s hard for me to get through the day. Classes seem to drag on for hours, work seems to be more daunting that yesterday, and everything gets under my skin. But this isn’t a productive place for me to be, or anyone really, but what is actually going on? Some people like to claim that it just happens, there is no reason, but I am a strong believer in the mind having more control over us than we like to think. And before you start thinking that this is going to be a weird sci-fi kind of post, I promise I’m not talking about brain washing or our bodies taking over the world. I’m simply suggesting that our bodies and minds tell us more than we are listening to.

Self- care is a really important practice that not a lot of us partake in, I’ll be the first to admit that I am the worst at self-care. Often I do all I can to avoid it, which sounds ridiculous now that I have finally typed it out, but it’s true. I hate taking time for myself. There is always something that needs to be done, an upcoming due date, work to go to, all of these endless, time consuming tasks that I cannot even fathom pushing back to take care of myself. This is where I believe the dazed and unmotivated days come into play. You can push and push all you want, but in reality, we can only go so far. You can have all the due days in the world coming up tomorrow, but if you are not in the right mindset, anything you do is going to be trash. As harsh as it sounds, we as humans, cannot produce nonstop. We have breaking points that we like to think we can push past, but in the end they are just going to pop right back up, but with more gusto and force.

So, instead of getting to that point of no return, listen to your body. If you feel off for what you think is no good reason, I promise you, there is a reason. Listen, hear it out, take a break, practice self-care. My favorite, least favorite thing to hear is that you can’t pour from an empty cup. You might have the wonder woman complex of a goddess, but when your resources are dry, they are dry, there is nothing else to it. Replenish yourself, take a bath, go for a run, sleep for a few hours. Whatever relaxes you, do it, take it all in, then you can go back to being your bad ass self.

Don’t Forget the Past

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a little bit of a nerd about planners. I get way too excited about picking them out, and even more excited when they get delivered and I actually get my hands on them. This might be why New Years is one of my favorite holidays, it’s all about new beginnings, and using my new planner of course.

The New Year isn’t all about new beginnings though, it’s also about looking back at what had happened the previous year. One of my favorite parts about the new year is looking back at my planner from the previous year. Not only am I looking at all of the amazing things that happened over the year, but the struggles as well. I’m not going to pretend that every year is full of rainbows and butterflies, because they rarely are. Things go wrong, weeks are busy, stress is high, relationships end, semesters come and go. But each year is a journey nonetheless. A journey that makes you the person you are starting the new year as. No, this isn’t the most glorious tradition that I have, this isn’t all glitz and glam. But it was a year of growth, rainbows, thunderstorms and all.

So, even though we are three days into the new year, this is how I’m spending my Wednesday. Looking through all of the things that happened in 2017 that made me who I am walking into 2018. Whether you’re a planner fanatic, like me, or a person who somehow manages to live day to day without writing everything down, consider looking back at 2017. Look back at the year you had, all the things that made you who you are. You overcame a lot in the past year, don’t give up. 2018 is going to be your year.

Don't forget the past

This is it.

It’s finally here. 2017 came to a close and 2018 came in with a bang. We’ve all said it before: “This will be my year, this is the year that everything changes.” And we’ve all cancelled the gym membership three weeks into the new year. I’ve been telling people for the past week that 2018 is going to be lit. With the lame wording aside, I am determined to make 2018 my year. I’ve heard everything from “it better be” to “we will see,” but I really am going to make 2018 the best year yet.

I’ve learned that talk is half of the battle, if you keep saying something will happen, odds are, it will. It’s kind of like this mind game you play with yourself, you keep telling you something is so until it is. It sounds crazy, I know, I get it. You aren’t the first one to tell me this. Yes, I am aware that there might be some things that will happen in 2018 that will not be so awesome, but I’m ready for them, and refuse to let them bring me down. 2018 will bring me a degree, new relationships, new experiences, new living arrangements, new everything. No, it will not be easy, but yes, it will be worth it.

So, here’s to 2018, the year of changes, the year of opportunities, the year of awesome things and not so awesome things. I hope you adopt the “2018 is going to be lit,” saying and live to it’s full potential. There is so much that can happen this year, make it your year, and don’t let anyone push you down.

Finding Home

The journey of finding my home is not a usual story, it’s not a place or a group of people, it’s not constant, but it’s not unreliable. Throughout my life I have been searching for what everyone calls home, but I have failed time and time again to stick a name to the feeling. No, this is not about me feeling like I don’t belong anywhere, far from it actually, this is about me finding my place, my place in a peculiar fashion. Calling my birth place home is only slightly an option for me. Living only ten months in the place I was born makes it hard to build strong emotional ties to a place. I have struggled to call my hometown home for a number of reasons, I cannot relate to the people that live there, and there are little to know areas of growth for my professional self. My college town is great, but again, there is not room for the amount of growth I strive to obtain for myself in this small Southeastern Ohio town.

Home for me is not the place I was born, the place I was raised, or even the place I attend college, though at different points in my life I claimed all three of these places as home. Home is not a group of people, home is not my parents, home is not even my cat or dog. Home is me. Home is where I know I can rely on someone without fail, where I have the right to make the calls that are best for me. Home is where I make it, where I take it, and home is what I do with it. So no, home is not one singular place, but all of the places; home is not a group of people, but me. Home is not constant, but also not unreliable. Home moves where I move, and becomes what I make it. People and places and find their way into my definition of home. But as I sit here looking at a gift from my sister claiming Athens as I home, I  can’t help but to smile. I smile because people may not understand what home is for me, and that’s okay, that is why it’s my home and not yours. What I claim as home today is not guaranteed to be home tomorrow, but home is home.

Home is something that will change, but something that can always and will always be a place of comfort for me. Change tends to scare me, but I welcome the change of my definition of home with open arms. With changes in definitions comes changes in myself, in who I claim to be, and what I claim to be.