Here's some fun for a "wild" Saturday night! A Girl & Her Mutt posted this from Lauren over at The Little Things We Do who has a Fill in the Blank Friday....so I'm just a little late. Also, my fabulous friend, Amy, has also filled in the blanks so now it is my turn!
1. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is, tidy the bed up and then take my gummy multivitamins.
2. I can hardly wait for graduation and my next career position. Waiting on pins and needles here!
3. The quickest way to my heart is sending me a little note because it tells me remember that someone is thinking about me!
4. A little known fact about me isthat I sleep with my childhood teddy bear.
5. The best part about my job is that I get to work with students to help them navigate their education. It's a pretty awesome position to be in. Bonus: student affairs people are awesome!
6. Something I just couldn’t live without is well, I can't quite think of anything. Something materialistic might be my hair straightener or my camera. Non-materialistic? Hugs and laughter.
7. Something useful that I wish I knew how to do is fix computers. Seriously. I would like to not be afraid of my computer!
I found my Carrie shoes. These shoes are so spectacular that I had a hard time taking them off in the store or rationalizing how I could wear these high heeled black ruffled shoes on any given day, especially to work.
They are so pretty and wonderful and lovely and feminine. They are also $50. This girl doesn't have a consistent paycheck just yet so this girl went home empty handed. One day, my friends. One day!
I'm not always sure how such amazing people have entered my life but I always take time to reflect on the fact that they exist. The last few weeks, I have been getting used to the idea that come graduation and then the eventual move to a career position will mean that I won't get to see the people in my program as much. As I chatted with a friend the other day, we said "I'll see you" and then.....we didn't know when the next time it would be. It made me incredibly sad. I did my exit interview for my program and couldn't help me struck with the feeling that I need to learn more! Know more! Be around people that inspire me! Have people to hang out with!
Night out in Detroit with the HESA group
My mom and brother have been immensely supportive through this whole thing. I know that it is difficult for them to not see me often or be part of this life here but I know they are proud of me and encouraging me every step of the way. I keep kidding that the better this program and eventual job procurement goes, the better they will be taken of later in life! I don't need too much to be happy so I can start my retirement/taking care of family members fun sooner than later. My mom laughed when I got my parking pass paid for the summer and I considered that pretty awesome!
Graduation is in three days, Sunday, April 29th, and I haven't quite wrapped my mind around it all. Life isn't changing drastically just yet as I will start working full-time at a great wage until I get a job or wear out my welcome at my current position. I'm trying to take all of the compliments and changes in stride and bonus, I get fun presents:
I don't know how I got to this point in my life but thank goodness for those that give me boosts, encourage me to do my best, and always make me laugh.
You had to take the test before you got a chance to study more than a
couple of the lessons. Does that seem fair? Hell, no. That's the bad
news. The good news is that this test was merely a rehearsal for a more
important and inclusive exam, which is still some weeks in the future.
Here's even better news: The teachings that you will need to master
before then are flowing your way, and will continue to do so in
abundance. Apply yourself with diligence, Aries. You have a lot to
learn, but luckily, you have enough time to get fully prepared.
Sometimes it's a challenge to try to figure out what's important and what's not important. I have things that I hold to be the most important in my life. My sanity. My happiness. My love. Currently, these things are struggling to come to an amends on what I want my future to look like. I feel like this is the true challenge; you get through graduate school and have all these amazing skills...now find something to do with them! There is a tremendous amount of pressure put on me right now (all my own doing, of course) and my head is heavy and clouded with images of what my life would look like and in what city it would be in. I still am wrapping my head around the fact that I could end up anywhere. There isn't necessarily one place that is off-limits although anything in "Tornado Alley" isn't looking too good.
When there are too many choices, how does one figure out the best? What if your intuition isn't help this time around?
What a great weekend! It has been a whirlwind 24 hours but it was a great way to spend my very first weekend in my 31st year.
My friend Emily and I go way back. 2003 way back! We did Americorps National Civilian Community Corps together and although she wasn't able to finish the entire program, we still stayed in contact all these years. Thanks to Facebook, we have been able to communicate even better over the last few years. She lives in Pennsylvania but lucky for me, she has family in the area. We finally (!!) were able to coordinate a weekend where she could come visit. I mentioned that I had already signed up for a 5k the same weekend and so instead of rescheduling, she signed herself up for her very first 10k!
Got my fancy gear on!
Last night she got into town late and after catching up, we decided we should probably go to bed since we had a wake-up time of 6:30am. Morning came far too quickly! The rain was also pouring buckets and there were thunderstorms every so often. If it would have just been me, I'm not sure I would have gone but thank goodness we had each other so we could be equally freaked out of running in the rain (our first times). After some frantic Googling of "beginner running in the rain," we figured out the best clothing to run in and how to protect our various electronics. Thank goodness for Google!
After some coffee, banana, minor freak outs, and pep talks, we headed out. I dropped Em off at the start for the 10k while I went to park the car since I had some time to kill until my start. The rain poured, the wind blew, and I waited in the car til I felt like I just couldn't wait anymore. Within about three minutes, I was soaked! But it's all part of the fun so I just sang a jaunty tune in my head and tried to bounce around to stay warm.
I got very, very lucky as the rain ceased once my 5k started. Pour Em ran most of her race in the rain but just makes her better prepared for the future! I felt good through most of my race and played little games with myself to encourage more running in between the walking pace. I thought I would have done better but I was 20 seconds slower than my first 5k. I blame the hill! Trying not to beat myself up too much about it and will prepare better for the next one. Overall, the race was so much fun! Everyone had great energy and the coolest thing about the end of this race is that we get to run through the tunnel and into University of Michigan stadium to cross the finish line. It felt so cool to end there! I saved up my energy so I could run through the tunnel and across the finish. Em was there to cheer me on til the end!
After trudging (ow, ow, ow) up a huge flight of stairs to exit the stadium, we grabbed our bagels, bananas, and cookies and then headed back to the car. A quick stop for coffee at Starbucks on the way home and we could not wait to warm up and change clothes! Lots of stretching and talking for most of the afternoon before we finally hit up Sidetrack Bar & Grill for lunch. It has to be one of my favorite places in Ypsi. We had some seriously strong Bloody Mary drinks to celebrate! After lunch, Em had to head home but we made plans to meet up again before I make another big move to another crazy part of the country. TBD, of course.
It's my birthday...in case you didn't know! This one is isn't all that particularly grandiose but is instead a typical Friday where I had some other stuff that needed to get done first before I could truly relax and enjoy the day.
Last night I had an impromptu venting session with a very dear friend. To say that I am thankful for her is a big understatement and I so appreciated her lending a very sweet listening ear. In addition to a little emotional detoxing, I also enjoyed a shandy which is now my new favorite drink. I drank a little more than I had planned ("don't let me drink more than one drink" I said) but it was definitely needed!
Tomorrow I have an old friend coming into town. We have a packet pickup for the Big House Big Heart run on Sunday but I plan to show her around Ann Arbor a little bit. I always love hitting up the farmer's market so this will be an excellent excuse to go plus we might swing through Zingerman's as well. I am praying the weather holds up for the weekend festivities though.
My Facebook was inundated with messages today! It was so sweet and although I know it is the easiest thing in the world to post on someone's wall "Happy Birthday," it doesn't take away the fact that people noticed and decided to say a quick hello. I also got a few text messages and one phone call so I say that is a pretty decent day. I still have presents to open!
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
Yesterday was a fun snack day at work. In addition to the million sweet treats and appetizers, the office also bought a cake for all of the student workers and graduate assistants that are graduating. There is a lot of us! It was tasty, too!
Now that I officially finished my graduate portfolio, the only hurdle between me and my degree is a portfolio interview that happens next Friday. This is where we are presented with a series of questions about our comprehension of issues and theories relating to student affairs and also our professional goals and development. I swear, most of the papers I had to review for my portfolio I couldn't even remember writing. Thank goodness I saved them all. The next few weekends are going to be pretty busy but at least there isn't any homework to procrastinate on!
“Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it sure has earned a lot of people graduate degrees”
So it may not seem like it but I love going to sporting events. Love them. There is something so addicting about the energy and the intensity. So far, I have been to wrestling, lacrosse, soccer, rugby, basketball, baseball, hockey, arena football, and motor cross. One of my goals while living here in Michigan was to go to one hockey game (at least) and one baseball game. When I was in Orlando last summer, I also made it a priority to go to a Tampa Bay Rays game which was pretty awesome. I was the most excited to get to a Red Wings game because I consider hockey one of my favorite sports to watch and because this team is one of the best teams in history. One of my dearest friends here made it a point to help me out with my little wish. It turned out to be an AMAZING game and a great night.
I can't be more thankful that I have met people here that unconditionally love my quirkiness and will talk smack in parking garages when we are sitting on the fifth level after an hour of waiting to get out. Let's just stay my stomach hurt the next day from laughing so hard. Here are a few pics to document this momentous occasion from last month's game!
I am in a wee funk. That shall end before my 31st year begins though!
Here are some lovely and happy things for today:
Perhaps my new favorite Easter candy? It is deceptively delicious.
Living off veggie frittatas. Easiest dinner/leftover next day lunch. Also the easiest way to clean out the freezer.
Going through the car wash. My car is clean and we are both a little happier afterwards.
Sending out awesome mail. My mom's birthday is this weekend so I had
to rush to get her present out. Two words: chocolate wine. Another
three words: Happy Birthday pasta.
Free stuff. Today I took
advantage of a free entree from Moe's Southwest Grill and Starbucks.
Can't wait to get a few more birthday freebie emails!
Finally getting the tickets for my first Detroit Tigers game! There will be 14 of us going next Friday to the game as part of our end of the year celebrations. Super excited to relax and hang out with everyone!
And the last one. Planning a lunch date with the other graduating GA and my boss....at Red Robin! I have a serious love of their french fries and I don't get go very often so I can be oddly excited by this one.
Some people misunderstand the do-it-now fervor of the Aries tribe,
thinking it must inevitably lead to carelessness. Please prove them
wrong in the coming weeks. Launch into the interesting new possibilities
with all your exuberance unfurled. Refuse to allow the natural energy
to get hemmed in by theories and concepts. But also be sure not to
mistake rash impatience for intuitive guidance. Consider the likelihood
that your original vision of the future might need to be tinkered with a
bit as you translate it into the concrete details.
All ready for some tinkering of my future! Now, just need a few hints at what may come so that I stay motivated and excited.
I have a birthday coming up! Normally, I am just mildly excited but this week was not only Easter (i.e. the holiday with the best candy) but I will also be completing my graduate portfolio! Lots of good stuff to look forward to.
Just today alone, this is what I came home to:
Left to Right: April Birchbox delivery, big ol' box from my mom, and an awesome t-shirt from my dear friend Jenn. Here is the close-up of the shirt:
Love it! Not to be outdone, my mom decided to unload an entire Easter candy aisle into the birthday box:
And yes, a majority of this will be brought to work. So excited to get some sugary peeps this year! Another fun surprise is that an old friend from my Americorps days is coming this weekend and she is participating in the Big House Big Heart run. She'll be doing the 10k to amp up for a huge half marathon next month but I will be cheering her along after I finish my 5k.
Janetha over at Meals & Moves Blog created a great challenge, Adventurous April:
"April is dedicated to being adventurous! trying new exercises, eating new foods, testing different trends, making new friends, and anything else that is a NEW adventure for you."
In the spirit of the challenge, I decided to push myself on the treadmill. It may seem like something small but it was actually related to something much larger, the confidence I have or lack within my own physical body. Ever since I was little, I was never very active or athletic. I got nervous during gym that I would make a huge ass out of myself and constantly found ways that I could sit out or be part of a more athletic crowd that would do the challenge themselves. I remember times where I was so nervous, sitting third in the row (always third), waiting for my turn on the roller carts or my attempt at running the obstacle course praying that I didn't put my team behind. I am all about the team as long as I can support rather than participate.
This childhood issue even stems into my normal life as an adult. If you saw me on a slick surface you would see someone who instantly goes stick straight and inches along as if one loose move would cause me great harm and hurt. As I have been losing weight over the past handful of months, I notice that after a hard workout I feel like I "own" my body. I can feel my muscles and although there is still much flab to be rid, I feel the power that my body does have and will have. The other day, I ran on the treadmill. It was only for three one-minute bursts in an hour workout but for each minute, I felt stronger and stronger. The last minute was towards the end and although I felt tired I also wanted to see if I could do it. I challenged myself. I succeeded.
I have a 5k next week for Big House Big Heart in Ann Arbor. Before I move in a few months, I wanted to do at least one more 5k while I was here. Success! This one ends in the University of Michigan football stadium and I think I might have a friend or two joining me. I am super excited!
Please study this testimony: "Born in a rancid, bat-infested cave at the
base of the smoldering Sangay Volcano, I was raised by the half-bear
demon princess Arcastia. At the age of four my training as a ninja
shaman began when I was left naked and alone next to a stream of burning
lava with only two safety pins, a package of dental floss, and a
plastic bag full of Cheerios. My mission: to find my way to my spiritual
home." Now, Aries, I'd like you to compose your own version of this
declaration: a playful, over-the-top myth about your origins that gives
you a greater appreciation for the heroic journey you've been on all
I grew up alone. My mission was to figure out the world strictly armed with my wits and charming smile. I slept in the tree tops of rainforests with monkeys and wild cats. I wore bed sheets made in days that I was not yet alive. I lived off bread, butter, and wine and for days, I went without sleep instead preferring to stare into the moonlight and gaze upon the stars. I took naps in the hollows of the trees, covering myself with moss and dark green leaves. Everything smelled like fresh sun.