It’s suddenly hit me

In roughly a month, I am going to be leaving undergraduate college.

Oh.my.gosh.

And when I say leaving, I mean it. Everything I have to get done, the papers due, the grades & credits rolling in to meet the requirements…. I. Am. Leaving. And I am dead set on that.

Since that has happened, the stress has pretty much wiped away. In place of it is determination. Cautious determination, yes, because I *do* still have an entire month to get through as well as a ton of stuff to do before then, but a determination nonetheless. Tonight I wrote over six pages of my senior thesis project that I’ve been seriously lagging behind on. I submitted my second draft to my advisor and am halfway finished with my third draft. (Not sure if he requires 3 or 4 drafts before the final draft, but whatever). I know what time I am presenting at the required conference school thingy (ugh). I have to submit some things to a few professors for my grad school application. I’ve begun apartment searching in Colorado (eek! omg! aaahhh!) and thinking about what it will be like to live on my own (holy crap).

And my mindset. Ah that determined mindset. It’s a strange, scary thing, that’s for sure. But there’s a path in front of me that I know I need to take and I will do it. I can’t let my fears stop me or my past mistakes and regrets slow me down. Take what is in front of you. Take what you want. It will be worth it.

Peace.

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Drive It Til The Wheels Fall Off

I can’t believe it is almost 2013. AND that I’m almost done with the post-a-day challenge. Not going to lie, when Ashley started her’s last January, I thought to myself, “That’s something I wouldn’t be able to do.” Looking back on that, I wonder why I thought that.

Looking back at my life, at how I was or acted at certain ages, makes me cringe. I see myself as being such a messed up child back then, up until four-ish years ago.

BetterThanYesterday

And it wasn’t until late this year that I started to *really* pay attention to myself. To myself as a person and how I fit into this world.

About a week ago I was in the Hy-Vee parking lot walking back to my car. I don’t remember what I got or who I was with. All I remember is seeing people going about their everyday lives: loading the car with freshly-bought groceries, buckling kids into car seats, talking on the phone while walking into the store. And I had a moment where I realized that all these people literally have their own lives and can do whatever they like. They make the decisions of what they do, where they go, who they interact with. Sure, we’re all part of our city, our state, our nation, governments give us guidelines on things. But each of us is an individual and even though I was thinking this in the context of other peoples’ lives, I was including myself with them.

This might not be news to some people, but it is to me. And it matters to me.

I mentioned a couple days ago on here, something about different wavelengths. I felt that again today, but in reality I feel it every day at different levels. Every single person has their own wavelength. Some people just don’t get along. Or maybe you know someone that you just don’t understand. Those wavelengths don’t add up, or mesh well. Other people we describe as ‘meant to be together’ whether it be in romance or friendship. Those wavelengths are similar. But where do our wavelengths come from? If I find that out, I’ll be sure to tell you.

I’ve been noticing that some people give the new year a name. Like, “The Year of Growth” or “The Year of Change” or “The Year of Self-Actualization.” I’ve never understood that, because I’ve never been able to consciously control that sort of thing. But looking back at this year, I’m almost tempted to give it the name of “The Year of Self-Realization.”

GiveLightToOthersGlowYourself

I don’t want to say that what I am now is purely because I consciously put effort into it. I feel like it’s been more than that. Motivational speakers and self-help books and websites encourage a positive attitude and trying to see the ups of a bad situation. What I’ve realized is that they’re missing a vital part of the process: the foundation. You can’t just “change your attitude” on a whim. You can’t just “see the bright side of things” when you’ve conditioned and rewarded yourself (that’s the dog trainer in me coming out) to be negative and condescending to situations and people in your disfavor. There’s a starting point you have to take.

I’m not expert; I’m only sharing my personal experience and thoughts on it. I think the starting point for me was the acceptance that my attitude on things sucked, that I had a ‘losing’ view on life, that I was always looking for the negative things in life. Acceptance. Where do you go from there? I went to where it just felt right. I let go a little bit and trusted myself, kept good intentions in my subconscious to fuel the path. I can’t say I had a complete and detailed image of who I wanted (want) to be as a person, but I had a general feel and outline, particularly that I did NOT want to be where I was then (now).

It’s a process. And I want to keep growing.

OpenEyesSeeBeauty

Peace.

One Keystroke At A Time

paperfuel

That’s what I’m saying to myself as I’m  s   l   o   w  l    y  making my way through the paper I have to write. I’m seriously considering pulling an all-nighter. That might not be smart. But necessary? Perhaps. I am reaching the last stretch of the semester. And all I have to say is, where the heck did it go?!? I don’t think a semester has ever gone so fast before. Now that I’m thinking about it though, I feel like the last four years of college have flown by compared to my four years of high school. My head is still spinning in the vortex of it all. Maybe I’ll come out alive.

Enough about school. No one wants to hear about that. I don’t think so, anyway. Speaking of that, I’m amazed that I have whopping 103 followers when I really don’t try very hard to entertain anyone. I blog for the sake of blogging, because I enjoy reflecting on my day of sorts, writing down thoughts, sharing photos, and stuff like that. Personal reasons.

That being said, I am on a search for what to do for next year. I’ve gotten one vote for themed posts. I’m seriously considering the 365 photo project, since it is on my 101 in 1001 list. Answering one question a day, about anything and everything (within limits of course)? So what do you all think? Seriously, help me out here followers! Even if you know of any challenges going on over the blogosphere, or any links where they have daily prompts or monthly challenges, send ’em to me please.rack

If I don’t get any suggestions or anything, I’ll probably just keep doing what I’ve been doing. Which isn’t a bad thing but I’d like to get a little taste of change. You know, spice things up a bit. (:

 

Peace.

Perspective

Each of us looks at life through our own lens. Our entire life is ran on manual. We choose what we want to focus on and what we want to blur out. We choose to stop and take a long look at things or to quickly glance over as we hurry on our way. We choose to look at things positively (up), negatively (down), or neutrally (straight on). Yet each individual perspective on life, is our own choice, our own doing. At any time we can choose to focus on something different, something out of our normal range of focus. We can choose to slow down and enjoy what we have now instead of worrying, wondering, and wishing about what will or will not come in the future. We can choose to take a different look at things, from a different angle.

It’s all up to you, to me, to us. We see what we want to see, and for the most part we believe that it is out of our control to change our perspective, or that changing our perspective is too much work to go through. The first view is incorrect; we can change what we choose to see. The second view isn’t correct either, depending on if you want to change your perspective.

What do you focus on each moment of every day? Is it what you want to focus on? And if not, why don’t you change it?

Peace.

The Dreaded ‘C’ Word

Change.

Change.

Change.

A couple facts about me:

1. I dislike change. More specifically, I hate adjusting to ‘new’ things after I’ve gotten comfortable with how things currently are. I have a hard time understanding why certain things need to change when they’ve been working so well.

2. I’m afraid to make mistakes. I’ve never been a perfectionist (not in my eyes, at least, and I’ve never been called that) but I’m afraid of social/public humiliation, especially when the pressure/expectations are high. This is why I’ve never been a fan of sports like softball and volleyball, which require one player at a time to be “highlighted” so to speak. Put on the spot. I hate being put on the spot.

3. I tend to put people on a pedestal and make them ‘more than’ human (or something like that). Seeing someone do something perfectly, or even making mistakes with ease, puts them as ‘good’ or ‘perfect’ in my messed up little head. For some reason, the mistakes they do make are minimized in my head. I see them do something so good, that who cares if they made one little trip-up? I guess you could say I compare myself to them, too, which is never a good habit and one I’m trying very hard to overcome.There is one thing I’ve been trying to get through my head for the past 2-3 years, since I finally grew a backbone and opened my eyes:

WE’RE ALL HUMAN.
(Wow, imagine that.)

[This is actually a sort of mixture between two posts I’ve had in mind (one from this weekend & one from tonight), so bear with me. Also, I’m running on too much mental stimulation for the day (not good, for an introvert) and not enough rest for my body. Not a good combination. Two reasons to forgive me if I don’t seem to make sense.]

 This weekend was probably the worst weekend I’ve had at my almost-4yrs long job (4yrs in August). The stress, the emotional ups & downs (mainly from angry to calm, over and over and over again, with frustration thrown in there to spice things up, oh and annoyance, can’t forget that. wow that is way too many commas in on sentence), the lack of respect and appreciation I feel from my managers, the idiocy of people – my temper & tolerance level has dropped far below what I even thought possible for me at this particular job, which I used to absolutely love. I’m not happy there anymore. I dread going to work. I get annoyed easier, faster. There’s too much change going on, and I just don’t feel part of the team anymore. Honestly, I believe I’m burnt out.

[See fact #1 above]

I think it is time for a change. As in, another job, another start, a new experience. I dislike the idea of starting out as ‘the newbie.’ I don’t like stepping out of the place where I’ve come to be comfortable in, that I know almost like the back of my hand, and that I made so many friends and met so many neat, interesting, inspiring people (and some unsavories as well). But nothing stays the same. Life goes on, with or without me. The difference is whether or not I’m happy, whether or not I decide what happens next, whether or not I decide to go on with it or stay in the past. And we can’t stay in the past, live in the past. I can wish all day and night for things to be back the way they were before, when my favorite manager of all time was there, and all the workers loved their job as much as I did, but the truth is: it’s not going to happen. The past will stay in the past. I can only look at what is ahead, even if it is a scary, dark, tunnel with some sort of illusion or truth of light at the end. To make a life worth living, I have to move forward. Because either I’ll be unhappy stuck in ‘what used to be’ or I’ll be happy I took the chance to make ‘what could be.’

Fact of life. Be thankful for what you’ve experienced and then move on.

 “Maybe it’s time to change,
and leave it all behind.
I’ve never been one to walk alone,
I’ve always been scared to try.”

“Nothing stays the same. Maybe it’s time to change.”

Peace.

Change your path, it’s not too late

Week 5: From a high angle
(I couldn’t decide on one, so here are a few.)

You can see why I had a hard time choosing. She’s just too perfectly photogenic. All of these – apart from boosting the contrast just a tad and cooling down the second one – are pretty much SOOC. I’m seriously loving this manual focus thing (thanks Tori!). It brings such a new dimension to my photography and I am in no hurry to go back to AF. I’ve never gotten such nice bokeh with AF either.

"A dog's eyes are windows to his soul."

"You will find no greater love than that of your dog."

I am 20 years old, nearly 21, and I am just realizing who I am. A weight has come off my shoulders, and I feel freer than I ever have in my life. I feel something changing. I don’t know what it is but for once I am letting go of control and enjoying it. From now on I’m living for me. Where life takes me, I’m excited to see. No more groveling, no more worrying about the little things. 

And I want to say thanks.

Thank you to Ashley, for being the bestest BB4L & unbiological sister I could have ever asked for and for teaching me to not take life so seriously and to find the humor in every situation – sarcastic and otherwise. :)

Thank you to Amber, for always being there when I needed to talk. For sharing laughs and tears across coffee and books and pretzels. For always believing in me no matter the doubts I have of myself.

Thank you to Dustin, for teaching me to stress less and live more. For making me smile any time of the day and always being on my side through all the good and bad. For making me realize how precious family and life is. For taking me on a journey that I wouldn’t want to share with anyone else.

Thank you to Mom and Dad, for being constant sources of inspiration and support and love. For always watching over me, giving me advice, and letting my make my own decisions through life.

And even though they can’t read this, thank you to Ebonie, Maggie, Mandy, Buddy, Violet, and Jayde. For always loving me, no matter what mood I am in. For teaching me to be happy at the little things. For teaching me that, even though people may be bad or rude, I can always find forgiveness in my heart because life is too short to hate or hold grudges. For teaching me to loosen up and enjoy this moment, as it’s happening. For opening my eyes to the meaning of happiness, life, and peace.

Thank you.