We are officially full-fledged house hunters. Wahoo! We applied for a mortgage early last week, right before the holiday so it’s still being reviewed, but we have been searching the internet for houses! We’ve driven around our local neighborhoods, scouring for “for sale” signs and turning our noses up at quite a few homes that look WAY better online than in person. We’ve seen multiple foreclosures that clearly had pissed off owners; broken windows, spray painted walls, ripped up flooring. -_- Playing the waiting game (AKA obsessively checking my email for notifications!) is difficult for me, the world’s most impatient person, but it’s also a really exciting time! We’ve found a small handful of homes that we are really interested in, sans spray painted, and I can’t wait to start the process of actually touring them!
I’m not 100% that we will be taking the plunge into home ownership; there are a ton of factors that we need to consider first. It’s definitely an awesome time in our lives, though. Just to know that we are capable of taking that HUGE next step is a great feeling. I’ve been watching HGTV a lot more, too. 😉
I have to say that potentially buying a home is a really great way to cut down on senseless spending. You know what I’m talking about. The $15 sweater you don’t need. The $20 movie. The $10 clearance shoes. The chapstick value pack. The this, the that… it’s all unnecessary, random, CRAP. Now that we are waiting on our pre-approval to come through, I feel guilty every time I go to buy something that I don’t “need”. (Other than the $7 Christmas rug I got at Kohl’s on Black Friday. I NEEDED that. Duh!) It’s definitely been padding my bank account.
I’m looking forward to this next chapter of our lives. I really hope we are one step closer to that finished basement, wrap-around porch, fenced in backyard dream that I’ve had for as long as I can remember.
Today is an ordinary day. I woke up, tired still and not quite ready to face the rest of the world. I am going into work later than usual today, so I drink my coffee and watch talk shows. I peruse on Pinterest. I read the news. I am content here on my couch. Soon, I will get ready for work like I do every day; albeit, with a bit more enthusiasm as it is no longer dark outside. I will go to my office and stare at the paperwork mountain on my desk, the motivational quotes on the walls. I will work with youth; we will discuss domestic violence prevention today. We will listen to stories of battered women, scared children, families affected by violence. We will talk about what we can do to curb violence. I will come home and wipe off my kitchen counters. I will throw a load of laundry in. Maybe I will paint. Maybe I will stay up late reading because tomorrow is Friday.
No, there is nothing special about today. I’ve lived this day many days before, in fact. Slight changes, of course, maybe I had tea instead of coffee. Maybe I took kids on a college tour, or listened to someones story of their multiple foster homes. But this day is familiar to me. It is comfortable, even, like a favorite sweater on a chilly day. This day is mine, this life is mine. This is what I have created for myself.
I will love it, all of it, for that reason. This life is my sunshine.
Working with older youth, it’s common to discuss goals. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten? What kind of education will you seek? What kind of career do you want? What is important to you?
Five years? They’ll say. I don’t know where I’ll live next month, let alone 5 years.
Ten years? They laugh.
Education? I don’t know. I want to make something of myself.
Career? I want to make good money. I want to provide for myself.
What’s important? Family. Happiness.
The answers are so vague, yet so clear. These kids want what we all want, I think. When it comes down to it, we all want to be loved. We all want to feel like we have succeeded in our accomplishments. Whatever path we take with school and work, we all just want to look back and say “I am happy”. Sure, we want the nice paycheck and a lavish home to go to after a long day at work, but that’s not what really matters. What matters is that when we lay down to bed at night, we can say that we are healthy, we are happy, we are grateful.
Sometimes life can seem overwhelming. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what path to take. Sometimes it’s easier to take no path at all; to succumb to the “I can’t” attitude. Sometimes, though, all it takes is a gentle reminder that the every day subtleties; your morning cup of coffee, your favorite song on the radio, a night in with your family… those are enough.
This life is enough, even if you haven’t got it all figured out just yet.
Do you ever think about just how big the world is? The endless possibilities, wonder, risk; the beauty and terror of it all? We spend our entire lives preparing ourselves to enter adulthood; what kind of personality do we have, what interests do we possess? All of the pieces of the puzzle are slowly but surely collected so that we can be “successful”. So we can “be adults”. What is success, exactly? What determines when a person has become the epitome of what that they have been preparing for?
What is the purpose of this life? Do we really spend the majority of our lives worrying about what school we’re going to only to subsequently worry about what job we’re going to get? Then we move on to worrying about if we’re doing well at our job. If we’re going to get promoted. We compare fringe benefits with our friends and discuss whom received the better interest rate on their mortgage. We get burnt out. We count down the days until retirement.
Is this it? A string of responsibilities followed by more commitments, more stress, more man-made obligations?
What is the alternative? Money makes the world go ’round. Money affords us the pleasures that we enjoy in between the obligations. We are dependent upon it. To live. To let loose.
Work and responsibility equal self-worth. You work; good. You work more; better. You’re stressed? You’re busy? You don’t have time for the things you enjoy? Good. You’re doing something right. You’re motivated. You have work ethic.
Why are these things intertwined? Can one not be mature, responsible and driven without succumbing to the traditional American dream/lifestyle? Why can’t we be passionate, spontaneous, artistic, free-spirited? We can; after 5pm. After cooking dinner. After errands. After the laundry. After something.
We are the land of the free and the land of the confined in the same breathe. We are confined to these pre-determined paths that are neatly laid out for us before we can ever really choose for ourselves.
School. More school. Work. Work. Work.
We work 50-51 weeks a year with one week that we can enjoy (mostly) uninterrupted by obligation. We offer up 40+ hours a week of our lives to these obligations that forced themselves upon us only to have seven days to ourselves?
I call bullshit.
You want the things you’re saying, doing, planning, dreaming about, to matter. You want to believe that there is all some bigger purpose to life than the day to day monotony. Surely life isn’t all 8-5’s, health insurance premiums and pension plans, right? Everything that you do all year; the stress, the extra hours at the office, the anxiety over raises and promotions… is it all for one week of vacation? Is your life a waiting game for that one little slice of time where you allow yourself to “let loose”, to do the things you really want to do, to be truly happy? Not “oh I found this really inspiring quote on Pinterest that I’ll post on my Facebook and subsequently my Instagram (with a selfie)” happy, but legitimately happy. That logic is really hard for me to wrap my head around.
I mean, what is it exactly that we are all trying to do here? I understand the materialistic side of things, I really do. I want the clothes, the car, the house, the level of comfort that having money provides. I also understand hard work, dedication and a sense of responsibility. I subscribe to all of those beliefs and find them to be important qualities for the general population to pride themselves on. BUT… is that what life is? It’s really sad for me to think that my life up until this point has been geared 100% towards obtaining some kind of skill/education that allowed me to begin a career. Now that I have that, the rest of my life is just planning for retirement? I know that we’re supposed to be thankful for the little things. I should be grateful that I’m lying in bed on Sunday night typing away in bed. I have a candle lit (a lovely soy candle called “sunshine” that I bought in Sarasota, Fl. this year on vacation), my tummy is full from dinner and I have a job to go to in the morning. I’m grateful for all of those things; but, can’t I be both grateful and still want for more? Maybe I don’t want for “more” but for “different”. I want spontaneity. I want crafts. I want travel. I want love- the ache in your stomach when they walk in the room kind of love. I want French-pressed coffee with whip cream and I want possibilities. I feel like I can have all of those things if I let go of this traditional way of living that everyone is so convinced they MUST live by.
You can be a cliche and note that you only live once; but I prefer the add-on to that saying. “But if you do it right, once is enough.”
So the question you have to ask yourself is, are you doing it right?
I haven’t written in awhile and I’m creepin’ up on my self-set bed time (gotta get those 8 hrs of Zzz’s!) but here are a few of my recent goals I’ve set for myself. I’ve been feeling rather creative/inspired lately but I haven’t been able to find an outlet for it. I know that I want/need to make changes, but I’m not sure where to start. Here are some vague ideas of where to start…
Yoga Every Damn Day! (I’ve been slacking lately).
Disconnect more from social media- I have a slightly addiction to Instagram & Pinterest. I need to stop scrolling through pictures of other people’s lives and start living mine!
QUIT SMOKING. While being social. While driving. Just quit, sheesh. (36 hours into attempt # who freaking knows.)
Go back to the gym. I was going 4-5 days a week and while I have been doing work outs at home instead… I’m wasting the $32/month. Locked in for a year, so, may as well use it! Orrr suck it up & spend the $70 to cancel.
Be more frugal. Between paying for student loans & a car payment on a social worker’s salary… I am strapped for cash! I need to really sit down & look at my bank account to tally up all those random “small” expenses to see how much they add up! At least if I can ditch the cigs I’ll be saving $6-7 every time I DON’T run out and buy a pack. So far I’ve saved $4.89 according to my quitting app. 🙂
And the famous last words of every blogger, blog more. Seriously. Blogging is one of my favorite things to do; it only makes sense that I dedicate some time for it.
I’ll write a full post soon (promise) but now it’s time for some yoga & an organic sugar face scrub before bed. I’ve got quite the to-do list to tackle tomorrow!
“Each day, you have a decision: make progress, or make excuses.”
I quote Mean Girls like it’s my job. And drink lots of coffee (and then talk a lot). I love to read. I love Jason Reeves, Christina Perri and Kina Grannis but I also love Drake (though he will always be Jimmy to me. I ❤ Degrassi 4ever) and Lil Wayne. I have a weak spot for boys in sweater vests and bow ties; my boyfriend wears camo and Harley gear. I love to stay up late and get up early, but I also love naps. I love writing but I have the attention span of like, a gnat. (Hence why you haven’t read the 10-15 novels I’ve started and likely never will). I love nail polish and hair products but I hate taking the time to apply them. I love driving back roads and listening to music but I hate highways and get major anxiety if I feel “lost”. (Sidenote: I’ve gotten lost on many occasions WITH Google maps telling me where to turn. HOW FAR IS 750 FEET?! Oh, missed the turn. Cool.) I love babies/kids but the though of deciding one day “okay, time to start having kids!” is TERRIFYING. I have weird habits in almost-but-not-really OCD kind of way. Example: Every single morning as I’m walking out the door, I turn around and walk back upstairs to make sure I turned my hair straightener off. It’s very annoying. If I can’t find my keys there is a 99% chance they are still hanging in the door. (But I ALWAYS lock my door at night and have a loaded gun so break in at your own risk, creeps). I have strong views about a lot of things but you’d probably never know it because I wasn’t the raise my hand in class/blurt things out kinda girl. I can be really opinionated but it’s usually behind a keyboard so I can collect my thoughts, otherwise I just babble nonsense. I think of my friends like family but the same rule applies to both: I don’t like hugs. I mean, I’ll do it, I don’t have a weird phobia of hugs I just generally think it’s awkward. High five, anyone? Speaking of awkward: I. am. so. awkward. I am also super anxious. Awesome combo. -_- (Also really sarcastic, if you didn’t pick up on that). If I say something stupid I will likely play it over in my head a million times. Example: Today when I got home, the mailman was there. Usually I just pass him and pick it up later. Instead, I stopped and say “Hey, can I have the mail for *Insert Address Here* or did you already shove it in there? -Awkward giggle-” Shove it in there? REALLY. Ugh.
Point is, I’m a walking contradiction. I’m awkward. Anxious. Loud. Quiet. Outgoing. Shy. Depends on who you are and how long you’ve known me. (And how much coffee I’ve had. I also apparently really love parentheses).
A lot of people call me “weird”. Multiple this week, actually. But hey, what’s “normal” anyways?
Your life is more than just a string of Friday nights. Who decided that the only worthwhile memories have to be made on a time frame? Your life is right now. Your life is happening at the grocery store, at work, while you’re cleaning the bathroom, while you’re drinking paying bills, running errands or cutting the grass. Your life is more than just the good moments, the exciting ones, the breathtaking ones. Your life is mundane, it is repetitive, it is sometimes exhausting but it is all yours- every single moment of it. You hold all the power and you have the freedom of something so beautiful… choice. You make concrete choices every day; whether they seem big or small in the moment, they are all connected and pieced together, they form a portrait of your life. It may not seem like much when the alarm is blaring in your ear at 7:00 AM or when your bank account is low, but this life is yours and you only get one shot at it. Are you unhappy? Figure out why. Develop a plan to make changes. Set goals for yourself. Find a hobby. Talk to a friend. Spend quality time with yourself. Journal. Do yoga. Do anything. DO SOMETHING. Stop looking forward to your next day off work, your next vacation, your next whatever. Those days will come regardless whether you wish the present away or not, so why rush the minutes away? Stop treating life as if it is simply the tick of a clock, or days on a calendar. Life is happening right now, my friends. Enjoy it.
Your life is more than just a string of Friday nights. Your life is more than…
I’m baaaack! Hello, long lost readers of Girl Meets World. Are you still out there? Oh my goodness it’s been over a YEAR since I’ve written on this blog! I was scrolling through the archives and what a walk down memory lane. Around this time last year I was still in college, waiting to begin my internship. I completed my internship and graduated with my Bachelor’s in Social Work! I DID IT GUYS! My signature now has a very pretty BSW after it which, six months post-graduation, still makes me a little giddy. I mean, come on, it took me 4.5 (okay, 5) years to get that degree; I’m proud! I also happened to land a job at the agency I interned at- get ready for it- before I even graduated. Fast forward to today and I’ve been working my first professional job for 6 months already! Where does the time go?! For those of you who attended some kind of technical/business/traditional college, you also know that that 6 month mark means something else. A dreaded, expensive “something else.”
Student loans. Oh, how I loathe student loans.
I could go on and on about the woes of student loans, but if Yahoo! Finance* is correct, then about 1/4th of college grads complete their schooling with roughly $29,000 in debt. So if you’re in the 1/4th with me, then you know my pain. If you’re not, Google “student loan statistics” like I just did and weep for us. P.S: I really like how “Google” is a verb now. P.P.S: No one tells you this, but you don’t really need to retain all that information from college. You can just Google everything. It’s a widely accepted practice in the office. You’re welcome.
Anyways, I digress. It’s been a pretty great year. It’s been so great, in fact, that I think it’s time to get back to blogging. You know, share the greatness with the world. (I’m exaggerating just a little bit; I’m a social worker, not a world renowned artist or something). It also dawned on my while writing this post that the Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World is airing soon and has no correlation with this blog. However, maybe people will Google the show and end up here.
If that’s you, I’m sorry. You were probably looking for adorable pictures of Cory & Topanga and you just got an earful about student loans and search engines. Wow; that just made me realize how yawn-inducing this post probably was. Seriously guys, it’s been a year, give me a break!
[I tried to insert a picture of Cory & Topanga but I kept getting an error message. I swear. Maybe it’s a sign that you were meant to be a loyal follower of this blog? That seems logical. Better trust the internet Gods on this one.]
Come back soon,
*Not necessarily from Yahoo! Finance. Maybe even Wikipedia. I’m not in college anymore, I don’t have to cite this crap!
“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
― Thomas Jefferson
Ok so I kind of went M.I.A there for a little bit, but I’ve been really busy with school. In fact I’m taking a break from the paper I’ve been attempting (and failing) to write all day. I’m on page two of fifteen… baby steps, right?
So, for once I actually have different things going on other than the mundane response of “work, school, you know.” I landed an AWESOME internship at a foster care agency and I couldn’t be happier! There were 3 places that my advisor was looking at, and the one I ended up meeting with was my top choice. 🙂 It’s going to be a really great opportunity that allows me to explore all types of different programs within the social work community. Hooray!
I also cleared up an issue with my transcript that was going to prevent me from applying for graduation next semester. I’ve been trying to get this resolved for around 4-5 months, so this is another HUGE hooray.
Basically, things are going great and I am so glad that I stayed committed to getting my education despite the many times it would have been easier to throw in the towel. I remember very clearly being 18 in my first shitty apartment, making less than $8 an hour at Joann Fabrics, thinking that my “real life” was so far off. I was so incredibly impatient and I wanted the house, the car, the kids, the marriage right now. Brandon would tell me all the time that “we will get there” but I didn’t believe him. I thought that I was going to be forever stuck in my awful apartment with forest green carpet and coin-operated laundry. Now, albeit 5 years later, things are finally falling into place and I realize more than ever that hard work pays off. These things didn’t happen just because time passed and I got older; they happened because I worked for them. I put myself through college, I decided that I wanted a career rather than a job and I made it happen.
It might sound self-centered and braggy (I don’t think that’s really a word) but damn it, I’m proud of myself.
& I’m going to try to stop being so scatter-brained and write more than once every other two weeks, promise.
If you’re feeling like your goals are too complex or are too far-reached… just keep going. You can do it.