Renewing My Enoughness

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Me, as of Oct. 19. In case you were wondering.

Usually at the end of every two months, you all get a blog post about how Sierra Boggess’s words of the month pertained to that specific month for me, but with my life recently and the words for September and October being “renew” and “enoughness” respectively, I thought I’d take it in a little different direction this time around. These past couple months have taught me about renewing my enoughness (which Sierra fully acknowledges is not a real word, but we’re rolling with it).

I also recognize that we’re a week into November so maybe some of this should technically fall into whatever my November/December blog is (November’s word is light, by the way!) but I think the lessons I’m learning have fallen into the beginning of November a little bit, so I’m going to be a little flexible, and not just because I’m late with writing my September/October blog.

Hey, it’s my blog. I make the rules. Don’t like it? Start your own blog. You can make the rules there.

September was relatively uneventful, other than navigating what being in a relationship is like again (who’d have thought I’d find someone to like me? Life’s wild) but I felt like I was put to the test once October started to come to a close. Around the end of the month, my mental health had its first dip in well over a year, and I had to figure out how to navigate a depressive episode while being a working adult.

It was scary because I hadn’t felt that low in such a long time. It was also a lesson in just how low I had felt for so long before I started to take my mental health seriously. I love my job, but I started to dread going to work. Getting out of bed was a challenge. I thankfully didn’t reach a point where I wanted to hurt myself, but I could feel myself shutting myself off from the world. Thankfully, I reached out to my counselor and worked out a solution and was able to fix things pretty quickly.

Then the first week of November hit, and I realized how thankful I was I’d taken care of my mental health before this week. For those that don’t know, I suffered a trauma as a child. I don’t discuss the details too publicly due to the context, but someone hurt me and it’s a weight I’ve carried for most of my life. There are times I wish I could just blurt it out to the world, or write a blog about it, but for now I know that’s not the best option for anyone involved.

I’ve been clinging to the hope of reconciliation with the person that hurt me these past few months. With how well things have been going in other aspects of my life, I thought if I could fix this one other thing, it might help me feel more at peace. I’ve spent the past few years praying to be able to forgive them, and all I’ve asked for is an apology. Unfortunately, I learned this week the only way they want to fix things is if I say I lied about what I’ve been through, and I apologize to them for falsely accusing them.

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My picture from last year’s Dear World photo shoot at Ball State. I was starting to feel stronger in relation to my trauma specifically at this time.

These past few days, I’ve felt so lost, like I’ve been wandering around with no destination. I’ve reached out to a Facebook group I’m a part of for strength and prayer (Catholic ladies, look for your local Blessed Is She group. It’s the bomb.) as I’m trying to find the strength to continue to pray for them, but it’s such a struggle. I’ve dealt with so many roadblocks life has thrown me, I’ve even dealt with wanting to be dead; This is a whole new kind of battle, though, as my hope for peace feels like it’s been slapped in face.

I’m not sure why I felt compelled to write about this when this is a struggle that’s been present in my life for so long. It’s likely that the impact of this blow has just knocked me off my feet so badly that I’m really scrambling here and I need people to understand my thought process a little more. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll feel compelled to share my full story publicly, but that’s not the solution for now–not when I still have to carry the hope for reconciliation, even though hope feels lost right now.

So I’ll keep repeating it for all of you as I’ve had to remind myself of it so many times in these past few weeks,

“YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE SO ENOUGH. IT IS UNBELIEVABLE HOW ENOUGH YOU ARE.”

Keep being strong. Keep being you. You are loved.

July of Support and Flourishing in August

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With my old roommate, Taylor, right before she moved out of our college apartment in July

Continuing on with using Sierra Boggess’s words of the month for blog prompts, her word for July was “support,” and truthfully, that didn’t mean too much to me when I looked at the email and the blog post at the beginning of the month. I must have jinxed myself, though, as my July quickly turned into one big lesson for what support really means.

July started with an event that ended up being a lesson in support in many ways. I wanted to jump in and support those that I love 100% and give my all, but quickly learned that it was a situation where I would become a risk to myself if I did. This brought on a whirlwind of guilt, sadness, grief and so many other emotions I couldn’t even put a name to. Every part of it was devastating. In that, though, I learned I have more people in my life that understand my story and my brain (and what a task that is) who knew I wasn’t being selfish–I was being careful. I learned that by simply sending out love, I can be supportive. That was new for me, as I’ve always tried to be a “fixer.”

July also taught me that I can choose who I depend on for support. This month really showed me that sometimes people that have only recently come into my life can be more supportive than people that are supposed to be there all the time. I’m so grateful for the people I’ve met in this past year because they’ve proven to be some of the greatest people and I truly don’t know what I would do without them.

39987986_10215525405300833_5093169633473593344_nMoving onto August, the word for the month was “flourish” which, as usual, seemed to fit perfectly. August holds the year’s signature event at work, and I felt like that gave me a good opportunity to flourish at work and show what I was capable of. In only a couple short weeks, I learned so much about planning and executing a large event and took charge of some of the smaller components.

In August I’ve also been putting myself out there a little bit more, which has helped my confidence in ways I can’t even explain. I’ve been pretty shy and introverted my entire life so this has been a big step for me. I’ve also been getting settled into my new apartment, and navigating being a real adult for the first time, which has been a truly exciting journey.

I’m excited to see what September holds for me, as I woke up to an email saying September’s word is “renew.” As always, I’m looking forward to the lessons I’ll learn as time goes on.

 

We Could All Be A Little More Like Emily Charlton

It’s no secret that my favorite movie is “The Devil Wears Prada.” I watch maybe once a month. Maybe more if you count when I put it on for background noise. Different websites have done articles about why Andy’s friends suck (they do), the fact that Andy’s boyfriend is the worst (he is), how irritating Andy can be (oh she can) and even how amazing Miranda is (duh) but my favorite character seems to get overshadowed. I’m of course talking about Emily Charlton, assistant extraordinaire, portrayed by the spectacular Emily Blunt.

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Image from 20th Century Fox

Along with loving the movie, I also adore the books by Lauren Weisberger, so when she announced she would be writing a third book where Emily was one of the main characters, I was ecstatic. We got a chance to look a little more into Emily’s personality and learned more about who she is. It also solidified the fact that she is absolutely my favorite character in “The Devil Wears Prada” universe and I truly think we could all stand to learn a lesson or two from her.

She’s dedicated. Like, really dedicated

One of the first tasks Andy takes on at “Runway” in the book (sorry to reference the book and not the movie here!!) is that her and Emily have to wrap Christmas presents for Miranda. While Andy (unsurprisingly) finds this ridiculous, Emily accepts it as part of her job and understands it as part of paying her dues. She is seen as a brat sometimes in the movie, but if you truly cared about your job and had to work with someone who really didn’t, how would you not come off completely and utterly frustrated? She’s not bratty–she cares. A lot.

She’s career-driven

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Image from 20th Century Fox

In “The Devil Wears Prada” we see Emily working as an assistant to the most powerful woman in fashion. Before the movie, it’s understood that she was originally doing Andy’s job, which was centered around running errands and grabbing coffee. She was able to get past how dull that would be because she knows the end goal: getting a job that she really wants. In the third book “When Life Gives You Lululemons” she’s a famous publicist  who answers to no one. That changes throughout the course of the book, but career remains a priority for her. She knows what she wants and she goes for it.

She speaks her mind

One of my all time favorite exchanges in “The Devil Wears Prada” is when Andy has to try to get the “Harry Potter” manuscripts and she’s talking to Emily right before she leaves.

Andy: Wish me luck!

Emily: No. Shan’t.

Emily knew Andy was only in that dire of a situation because she hadn’t listened to the instructions that Emily had given her, so she wasn’t afraid to let it be known she didn’t care if Andy succeeded or not. While Emily sometimes is downright mean while talking about Andy’s clothing choices in the beginning, there’s never a point where she has a filter. She’s unapologetically herself, and I know that’s something I’m working harder at.

Let’s be real: She’s fabulous

She’s also just absolutely fabulous. Maybe it’s because she’s portrayed by Emily Blunt so that’s the image I’ll forever have in my head. Maybe it’s because she’s a character that works in fashion and characters that work in fashion seem to have glamour that surrounds them. Maybe it’s because she’s just such an underrated character and I love her that much. Who knows. But she’s fabulous.

So while I don’t think I’m going to magically become a movie character anytime soon, publishing this is letting out the secret that Emily Charlton is one of my inspirations for how to be. Whether you take that as a good thing or a bad thing, I think it’s fairly spectacular.

Celebrating May and Committing to June

“Write blogs based on Sierra Boggess’s word of the month,” I thought. “It’ll be a great writing prompt,” I thought. I opened my email the morning of May 1 to find that the word for May was “celebration.” I figured that was fitting. Plenty of great things would happen in May, starting with what was sure to be an anxiety-settling counseling appointment.

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Gotta love Indiana.

On the way to that appointment, I hit the mother of all potholes and got a flat tire.

Cheers?

Granted, I found a way to give it a positive twist (I have a degree in public relations, don’t I?) and turn a bad thing into a good thing. I wasn’t hurt, I didn’t do damage to the actual wheel, and my tire was still under warranty so the only thing I lost was my time. I even made it into work on time.

Another thing I could celebrate in May is that I really started to find my feet at work. I started to find my groove and learn what works in my routine and how much I can fit into certain days. I even wrote my first news release for Hoosier Park as a professional and not just an intern. I’ve also been so much better with saving money, which is something that I struggled with when I started college.

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I don’t have a picture for commitment, so here’s a selfie from Belmont Day, June 9.

To save time (and make for hopefully better blogs) I’m going to cover two months at a time. June’s word was commitment, which is something that I take very seriously. When most people hear commitment, they tend to think of romantic relationships. While I’m currently not in a romantic relationship, I take all of my relationships seriously and commit to them fully.

I commit to tasks until they are complete and even for some time after. I commit to plans to help someone when I know they need it. I commit to my faith even when it’s hard. I commit to being myself even when it’s not the option that everyone wants.

Committing to being me has been the most confusing thing as my life has been in transition. I feel like I’m walking a tightrope (cue Michelle Williams singing that song from “The Greatest Showman”) of trying to figure out “Is this a part of the new me that I want to bring into my life?” or “Am I simply mirroring what’s around me to be liked like I did when I was 16?” It’s an odd balancing act that plays with my commitment to myself but I know I’ll figure it out eventually.

June isn’t over yet (look at me being productive) but it still feels so unreal that 2018 is about halfway over. As always, I’m looking forward to what’s to come, in all aspects of life.

Adventurous April

 

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From my dorm room my freshman year at Ball State (2015)

Most people that know me know that ever since I discovered who Sierra Boggess is, my outlook on life changed pretty dramatically. The first time I heard her “You Are Enough” quote, I had been in a dark place in my life, and her words had given me a new awakening of sorts. Sierra launched a website a few months ago that’s centered around her message of “You Are Enough,” and I love it more than words can express. Again, as many of you know, her quote “You are enough, you are so enough, it is unbelievable how enough you are,” has been a huge part of my life.

 

Now you’ve made it this far, so you’re probably wondering: This blog is about adventure, but she’s writing about Sierra Boggess? What’s the point here?

Well, my dear pal, every month Sierra picks out a word for subscribers to reflect on and April’s was “adventure.” I’ve been planning on using her words of the month for blog prompts for some time now, but with how my April has turned out, I really can’t pass up the opportunity to write about adventure.

31389705_10214609420001773_1462265385295686769_nOn March 29, I got the phone call that I got the position I was hoping for at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. It’s been a little over a month, and I still can’t fully express how blessed I feel that the first job I got after graduating is the one that I wanted. My first day was April 3, so right off the bat, my April was full of learning new things, meeting new people and taking on new tasks.

I took another grown-up plunge and found my first post-college apartment. Searching for it was overwhelming, and incredibly frustrating at times, but I did my best to not let the process get me down. I found a nice little place in Fishers, and right now I’m just hoping a place opens up before my current lease ends.

I’ve learned to speak up in different situations, even though I’m inexperienced. Even though I’m new, I still have important things to say. Figuring this out has been a particularly difficult adventure, but it’s one that I’m looking forward to continuing as time goes on.

Each new step I took in April was one of the first steps of my adventure as a professional, and it’s terrifying and exciting all at the same time. I can’t wait to see what’s coming.

May’s word is celebration, and since I started my May off by hitting a pothole and getting a flat tire (I found a way to turn it into a celebration!), we’ll see what else there is to celebrate about this month.

3-26-2012: The Worst Day of My Life

Content warning: Self harm and suicide

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I get chills every time this tweet comes up in my Timehop. It’s eerie.

6 years.

Un-freaking-believable.

Those of you that have been Facebook friends with me for more than 365 days have heard this story before, and are used to seeing it in the form of a lengthy, emotional Facebook post. Since the purpose of my annual post (and me sharing my story in general) has always been to A) raise awareness about mental health and B) show people that you never know what people are battling on the inside, I decided I’d use my blog to try to expand the reach of my story.

Opening up is scary, but it’s also a huge relief.

So here I go.

You are enough. You are so enough. It is unbelievable how enough you are.

When I was 16, you couldn’t have gotten me to hear those words no matter how hard you tried. I hated myself. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for honestly as long as I can remember. It made life really difficult for me, especially on top of the stress of high school. I struggled with self-harm for awhile. It was bad.

What makes today so significant? This day six years ago was one of the worst days of my life. On March 26, 2012, I decided that I didn’t want to live anymore. I made the decision that night to take my own life so I didn’t have to deal with the pain anymore. I’d worked out the details in my head, and turned to self-harm in the meantime to hold myself over.

That’s how bad I was: To hold myself over.

Thankfully, my mom found me in my room before anything too bad could happen, and about an hour later I was in the car with my parents on the way to Community North Hospital to stay in their teen psychiatric ward for a few days.

Even though I was only in there for a few days (I was focused on recovery and the doctors described me to my parents as “one of the most compliant patients they’d ever seen”) it was a terrifying experience that still haunts me to this day. My triggers from it are less severe, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still panic a little when I get a hospital bracelet put on me (don’t even get me started about the smell of hospitals).

Why am I talking about this publicly though? Well I want to start by saying that I don’t want anybody feeling sorry for me (Very important, I don’t want pity). I simply think that education about mental illness is extremely important, and it will be easier to talk about the less we make it into some giant taboo. I don’t want people thinking I’m weak for what I’ve gone through and what I struggle with; I want those in similar situations to know that it can, and it will get better. In fact, here’s some great things from the past six years of my life that I almost missed out on:

I finished high school with fond memories. Would I go back to high school? Absolutely not, but I got to student direct a musical and have a leading role in a play. I survived a class that challenged me more than any class I took in college. I made friends that I still talk to today.

25398641_10213559728440140_5710372130790371030_nI graduated from Ball State–a semester early. I had some major mental health lows during my time at Ball State, yet I still managed to graduate in December 2017, a semester early. During my time at Ball State, I had the privilege of being a part of Cardinal Communications, which even interviewing for was a huge step. I also served as the PRSSA secretary for Ball State’s chapter and even attended the PRSSA 2016 National Conference.

I’ve been working with kids while on the job hunt. I know my last blog was about how I’ve been substitute teaching, but I’ve also been working with the Just Be Kind Club that started here in Plainfield. I’ve learned so much from these kids I spend time with (and I like to think I teach them something too) and all of them are truly a light in my life.

22815367_10213164096309584_1148006837614663470_nI had an internship that I loved. If you know me personally, you know you can’t get through a conversation with me without hearing about my time at Hoosier Park. I applied knowing nothing about horse racing and fell in love with the sport during my eight months there. I made lifelong friends and I know I’ll truly never forget my time there.

I’ve gotten to lead thirteen retreats with Saint Susanna. 23376479_10213223308589854_3579352143549115471_nSaint Susanna, my church, has always been another home for me, and leading retreats has always been something I’ve loved to do. Something about leading as an adult (okay I was really a college leader up until this most recent retreat, but I always felt like I was treated like an adult) really made the experience more fulfilling and I felt like my eyes were opened to more of what was going on.

I’ve learned to love myself. I’ve always considered myself an acquired taste; You have to spend a bit of time with me to realize that you like me. But I’m comfortable in my own skin (most of the time) and I’ve learned to love me for me. I surprised myself when I ended my last relationship, because I had put all of my worth into being with somebody. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be alone, and it’s almost more fun. I also discovered the “You Are Enough” quote from Sierra Boggess, which has been huge in my recovery process and even in my life as a whole.

There are so many more great things that have happened, but I think these are the big ones. Would I like to say that I’ve been perfect and say I’ve never had self-harm relapses or thought about suicide in the past five years? It would be nice, but I’d be lying. It has been over a year since I’ve last hurt myself, though, because this past summer I really started listening to my counselor about how to manage my mental health.

Again, I don’t want people feeling sorry for me. I just want to stop the stigma about mental illness, and also I want people to know that they are not alone. If you or someone you know is struggling, needs someone to talk to, or has any questions about anything I’ve talked about, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Having a support system for things like this is important, and I don’t want ANYONE feeling alone like I did.

So now again, everybody say it with me:
YOU ARE ENOUGH.
YOU ARE SO ENOUGH.
IT IS UNBELIEVABLE HOW ENOUGH YOU ARE.

If you or someone you know is struggling, there are options. The suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255, or if you’d prefer to text someone instead of call, you can text CONNECT to 741741. You don’t have to go through this alone. There are always people that will listen to you.

“If You Can Sub, You Can Do Anything”

IMG_5049These past few weeks, I’ve been working as a substitute teacher at the middle school in my hometown. While I was genuinely excited about the idea from the beginning, it really only seemed to be just something to hold me over and keep me busy until I found a full-time job of some kind.

I’ve always liked working with kids. I work with kids in a club called Just Be Kind, and part of the fun of subbing is running into them in the hallway and in some of the classes.  I also love the conversations I have with the students, my favorite still being,

Student: So you’re still a miss?
Me: Yup. Not married.
Student: Well do you at least have someone that you love, or even like?
Me: No, not at the moment.
Student: Well that’s sad.

I was reluctant to add this experience to my LinkedIn page at first, honestly because I still felt a little bummed that I wasn’t working in public relations or something like it just yet. While eating with a teacher I was working with one day, though, she said something that stuck with me after she asked me about my story.

“Well if you can sub, you can do anything.”

It hit me that I’m learning important professional lessons while working with these students. I’m learning so many things from the incredible teachers around me. I shouldn’t be too bummed about the fact that I’m substitute teaching until I get a full-time job; I should be so grateful

I’m learning to be flexible

On the first day of my second week, I was set to sub for a gym class. I showed up to the building wearing yoga pants, a t-shirt and my running shoes. While waiting for the morning announcements to start, the sub caller came into the gym and said an English teacher called in at the last minute and they couldn’t find a replacement. So I stood in front of a few classes of eighth graders, attempting to be an authority figure while I was dressed like one of them.

It was weird, and a huge part of me wanted to run home and change because I only live two minutes away, but I simply walked to the classroom with my badge being the only thing showing that I wasn’t a student (for those of you who don’t know me, I look young).

I’ve learned to go with the flow at this job now more than ever, and that’s something I’ve always struggled with.

IMG_5013I’m learning to trust my gut

No, I didn’t just add this because I just started rewatching Scandal. I want anyone reading this to think back to your days in school, and think of how many times you saw you had a sub and thought “I wonder what I can get away with today?” A kid literally saw me in a class one day and started chanting “Sub! Sub! Sub! Sub!”

“Oh he always lets us listen to music.” “She lets us move seats while we’re working on homework.” “Yes, these are our assigned seats.” Some of these things, I’ve learned, are totally true. Some, however, are lies the students are using to test me. I’ve learned that 9 times out of 10, whatever my gut is telling me is usually what’s true. Even though I’m not Olivia Pope, this can be an important skill for the professional world.

I’m learning to use my voice

I’m a small person. I’m not a very loud person. Usually when I’m put in charge of people, I have to have someone who is loud get everyone’s attention for me. But I firmly believe that everybody has a voice that they need to use.

In the professional world, I probably won’t be saying things like “You all need to be quiet, there are still people working!” but working up the nerve to say things like this rather than sitting quietly at the desk is going to help me in the long run. I’m still finding my specific teacher voice. Maybe I’ll pull it out in a meeting one day.

I’m learning sixth-grade math

Mostly a joke. But not really. I felt genuine pride when I could solve an equation.

Most importantly, I’m re-learning how important it is to listen to young people

In high school, I rolled my eyes at middle school students and in college, I did the same to high schoolers. While I was a student, I wanted so badly to be heard, but I didn’t grant that same respect to those younger than me. I was always respectful to the kids I worked with in the Just Be Kind club, but I didn’t realize just how important this was until I started subbing.

Young people want to be heard. Students would just walk up to me and start telling me random stories or ask me questions. One of them even told me that part of why she liked me is because I took the time to talk to her. I was floored. It reminded me of the importance of listening.

So until I find a full-time job, I’m so happy to keep subbing. It’s been an unlikely adventure and every day is so wonderful. Just today, some kids said that I was a good sub. Granted, when I asked them why they said it was because I wasn’t old and cranky, but I must be doing something right.

A Letter to 18-Year-Old Me

Last week, I sat at the first freshman retreat planning meeting for 2018. A few of the seniors started to talk about how they were looking forward to senior retreat. I suddenly (or not suddenly, this happens frequently at these meetings) felt kind of old. I realized it’s almost been four years since my senior retreat. I remember being excited, but also being absolutely terrified because I didn’t know what to expect. Looking back, I realize that’s a funny parallel to how I felt about life post-high school, so I thought it might be a fun idea to send past Rose some wisdom.

10246480_10203189726276567_8000891953015640265_nDear past me (oh that was so cheesy),

I’m not going to give you the answers to everything, because I don’t have the answers to everything. I do want you to know that you are loved. I also want you to know that (and you are going to learn this quote on your own in a few months) you are enough, you are so enough, it is unbelievable how enough you are.

I know you think life seems so difficult now. I know it seems like you’re trapped and there’s no escape. It’s like you’re shouting that there’s something wrong but no one is listening. It. Gets. Better. It really sucks for awhile, but you’re going to come out of it even stronger than before. You even learn something that you didn’t expect: Forgiveness. You learn how powerful it is and how light it can make you feel to truly forgive people.

Jumping off of that, you obviously don’t stay friends with everyone you’re friends with now. Some of that is just because you grow apart, but some of it isn’t so pretty. Because you’re 18, you so want to be angry and hold on to resentment and grudges, but give it a few years. Forgiveness and understanding are so powerful. You’ll be surprised where you end up. You’ll also love the new friends you make when you finally decide to leave your room and branch out. There are wonderful people out there. Meet them.

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Me on my senior retreat with my friend Jamie

I know what you’re on the edge of your seat, wanting to ask me: You want to know if Andrew and I are still together. Well we’re not (I’ll give you a minute to freak out, like I know you absolutely are right now) but that’s okay. People grow. People change. I know you’re probably getting ready to write a “Dear future me” post about how people do marry their high school sweethearts, and yeah, people do. You don’t. And that’s wonderful because neither of you need that.

Don’t get too emotional leading freshman retreat this year. I know you’re thinking, “But it’ll be my last retreat!” Oh no. You’ll keep coming back. You’ll even decide you miss the planning meetings and you’ll start driving back for those. You start scheduling your classes based on retreat and planning meetings. Your Saint Susanna family is still one of your biggest supporters. I’m writing this to you in the midst of freshman retreat planning, which is your first retreat as an adult leader. Yikes!

You’re going to grow into a person that you truly learn to love not because she’s perfect, but because you learn that self-love is the way to survive. In fact, in July, you’ll decide to watch Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall on Netflix and discover Sierra Boggess playing Christine. You’ll decide you like her, and purchase a recording of a live show she did at 54 Below. While listening to it, and starting to think that you maybe shouldn’t be alive anymore, you will hear some words that will change your life forever:

“You are enough. You are so enough. It is unbelievable how enough you are.”

You truly are enough, past Rose. Live and learn. Take everything in.

Learn to love yourself.

P.S. Here are several pictures from senior year because I couldn’t pick only two favorites

 

 

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When Your Counselor Goes Into Labor Right Before Graduation

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 5.05.46 PMI’ve been open about my struggles, so I think it’s also important to note that I have some healthy coping mechanisms. Like seeing a counselor on a monthly basis. In the spring of my sophomore year, I started seeing Ashlee regularly, and I really learned that everything can change when you’re seeing the right counselor. I always look forward to my appointments (my Instagram and Snapchat followers know when I’m there because I always post a picture of this circular shelf in the waiting room that I’m obsessed with), and I know when things come up I can always schedule an extra appointment in between.

She’s one of my rocks. Naturally, when she told me she was pregnant over the summer, I was so happy for her. She mentioned she was due in December, but it was summer then! I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I graduate on December 16 (you know, tomorrow) and would be frantically applying for jobs at that time. I was excited for her! How amazing!

Flash forward to Thanksgiving break, when the panic of the real world started to set in. As I lay on my bed, my mind spiraling, I remembered at my last appointment I was told my next one was scheduled two days before her due date. That hadn’t worried me at the time, but it was making me feel uneasy now. Was I going to get insight from Ashlee before graduation? Would she settle my nerves?

The when I woke up the Monday after Thanksgiving, I had decided that I needed to move my appointment forward. It seemed like the responsible thing to do. I started to get up and get ready to drive back to Ball State. Not a half hour after I woke up, my phone rang and the caller ID flashed “Indiana Health Group.” My stomach dropped a bit as I answered.

She’d gone into labor and I needed to either cancel my appointment or schedule one with someone named Laurie who was filling in for her. I was so happy for Ashlee, but this felt so overwhelming.

We scheduled the appointment and I sort of stared off into space. I’m getting ready to graduate! Applying for jobs has been so stressful! The internship that changed my life just ended! My whole world is about to change! What am I supposed to do?

As I sit here typing this, I wonder: Is this a sign to be open to new things? Is this actually a hidden lesson about making sure I can stay flexible? Is this just one big metaphor for life?

I went to my appointment with Laurie even though I was so nervous and I knew it was going to be a little awkward because I was going to have to revisit a lot of stuff. Once we got past the initial weirdness, though, I felt really comfortable and was able to really open up. When I mentioned one of the ways I was coping with stress was by rewatching “Friends,” we started talking about how much we loved the show.

I know life is always going to throw me curve balls like this one, especially when these next few months are essentially a big question mark. Maybe now I’ve learned to be more prepared for them.

Slow Down

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Greetings from Big O Tires!

My dear readers,

I’m writing to you from the waiting area of Big O Tires in my hometown of Plainfield, Indiana. I wasn’t supposed to be here today, as I worked last night at Hoosier Park and I have to be back at work at 5. My car was being a little funky and my original plan was to come home after work on Saturday, but the fact that my passenger’s side floor was soaked with liquid yesterday caused some alarm. So I woke up at 7:30 a.m. and drove an hour and a half to get to my family’s favorite auto repair shop.

Pretty much everyone who knows me knows that situations like this can turn me into an anxious mess. When I was trying to plan this, I literally burst into tears while talking on the phone with my dad. “What if my car breaks down on the drive back? What if I’m late to work tonight? What if I don’t make it back to work at all?” I was spiraling and quickly feeling like I was losing control of my life.

Even as I sit here, laughing at myself because I forgot the one textbook I needed to bring, I can’t quite shake the sense of panic because I don’t know how the rest of my day is going to go.

I have to keep reminding myself: Slow down. Things will work themselves out.

I think that’s something we all need to remind ourselves. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in our non-stop world. Sometimes we have to sit back, sip our coffee and listen to the people waiting with you at Big O Tires talk about how robots are going to take over the world.

Everything will work out fine.