NaBloPoMo

Brave

Today’s prompt is: When was the last time you did something brave? What happened?

BRAVE   |   brāv/
adjective   |   ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.
synonyms: courageous, valiant, valorous, intrepid, heroic, lionhearted, bold, fearless, gallant, daring, plucky, audacious; unflinching, unshrinking, unafraid, dauntless, doughty, mettlesome, stouthearted, spirited

What makes me brave? In my everyday life, when was the last time I showed courage?

It’s kinda a loaded question. I get up in the morning and I do what I need to; I go to work or the store. I cook when that needs to happen. I clean when that needs to happen. Does any of that seem brave to you?

I do all of those things, but I don’t really have a plan.

When I graduated, I wasn’t 100 percent sure what my next steps were going to be. My whole life had been about achieving this one goal and I was about to do it and what was supposed to happen next. The beauty of that is that I wasn’t stressed about it. I was stressed about lots of things surrounding graduation, but what was going to happen next wasn’t daunting for me.

Some people might say that’s thoughtless, naive, stupid even. But I call it brave, I guess. I have faith that my life will work out the way it’s supposed to. That’s not to say that I don’t work for the things I have, but there are things in life out of our control. I think having faith is brave.

Faith in life to work out. Faith in people and kindness and generosity. It’s easy to be cynical. It’s easy to write the world off. It’s brave to build relationships and learn about people.

Bravery isn’t just about heroes who beat villains. Bravery happens every day.

 

NaBloPoMo November 2016

College Lessons and Things

Nostalgia

As I sit here tonight, knowing in less than 48 hours I will walk the stage, I look around my room and can’t help but laugh. It’s a disaster and my dad will be here tomorrow to help me move and I couldn’t even bring myself to start packing today. I couldn’t even start the tidying-up process. I have shoes and clothes everywhere. I didn’t do laundry yet. My kitchen isn’t clean. There’s paperwork all over my table that needs to be sorted through (and probably thrown away). And it occurs to me that as silly as it is, maybe I didn’t do any of those things today because I don’t feel like I’m ready to leave.

I’ve spent the last four years living on this campus. I spent the last four semesters in this apartment. This has been the place I’ve called home for the better part of four years. And tomorrow (or today, because it’s the crazy late middle of the night) I’m moving most of my stuff into a new home.

This week didn’t go like I planned. Today didn’t go like I planned. Like the rest of life, the last four years have come with their own set of trials and tribulations, but it definitely wasn’t bad.

This week I was talking to a friend, a guy I met in College Algebra freshman year many, many moons ago, and we were laughing about the crazy professor we had. The stories he told us, in the middle of his sentence explaining the math problems. The random ramblings of a crazy man who stuck a wrench in a freezer at Walmart. And we laughed. Hard. I remember how much I hated that class because I was so bored and it was at 8 a.m. and no one wants to do math, even if they are good at it, at 8 a.m. But he was right when he told me I’d miss those days.

In four years, I’ve grown. I’ve grown to make mistakes and learn from them (or in some cases, just learned how to better deal with making the same mistake over and over again; it’s part of my charm). I’ve grown from a goofy high school kid to a goofy almost grown up. I’ve grown to learn that sometimes you just need to call it good for the night and try again after sleep. And I’ve grown to learn that my decisions are my own.

UMHB, the campus, my apartment, has been a home for four years. And now I’m ready to make a new place a home. But before that, tonight and tomorrow, I get to feel nostalgia for the memories I made and the friends I shared them with.

College Lessons and Things

And there it goes…

It occurred to me last night that I am not only into single digit class days, but I only had to attend three more classes before graduation. I can count those on my fingers. That’s how close to graduation I am. And then this morning I went to one of those classes. So now, I’m down to two.

Graduation is terrifyingly close, but it’s so exciting at the same time. And then I wonder what happened to my college years. Where did they go?

Four years ago, I was preparing to graduate high school. I was thrilled to begin college. I was ready to be done with petty high school drama. I was nervous, of course, because college was a totally different beast, but this is what I spent 12 years of school preparing for. I was ready.

Three years ago, I wondered where my freshman year went. I was thrilled to begin my summer vacation a month earlier than my family. I was ready to live, if only for a semester, with my best friend. I was nervous about the prospect of studying in London six months later, but I was ready. I just did a whole year of college on my own. Could three months in London really be that different? I was ready.

Two years ago, I came home from London, changed for the better. I officially decided to declare my major. I was thrilled to come back to a job I loved in the fall. I was entering the second half of my college career with no idea what my plans were, but that didn’t phase me. Life was going to sort itself out and I would be ready.

One year ago, I realized I needed to start figuring things out (like getting a driver’s license) so I could get things together in terms of internships to graduate because all of a sudden, graduation looked much closer than it had. So I spent the summer working on that because that was step one and I wanted to be ready when fall came.

Half a year ago, still without a driver’s license, I was pretending everything was fine. Graduation is still a long time away. Plus, there were only nine hours left to complete my degree. I’d take those, I’d do my three internships, it would all work out fine and I would be ready.

And today. Today, it did work out fine. I am taking the nine remaining hours and I am almost done with my internships. But today, I also wonder where the last four years went, because I don’t feel ready.

Real grown-ups always talk about how life just passes you by if you let it. They talk about enjoying every day. When you’re a kid, you don’t really understand. Every day seems like a lifetime. And then you start college (and enter a time warp) and all of a sudden you get it. All of a sudden, the years just pass you by. One day it’s January and the next it’s April. And you’ve blinked, and there goes college.

Time for the real world. I’m [almost] ready.

NaBloPoMo

I am here, counting the stars.

I know I’m like a week late on the posting, but this month, I’m participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). I just want to get back into writing and it’s hard to find time that coincides with inspiration. But I’m gonna try. Today’s post is in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other.” The prompt was to write a six word story about what the future holds and then expand it.

So, basically, for me, the future is a black hole, full of possibilities, which is a thing I’ve said before, and I stand by it. Not knowing what I want to do is definitely a scary thought if I think about it too hard. But, I know that when I graduate in May, I will have the opportunity to do anything I set my mind to. I don’t really know what that’s gonna be yet, but I do know I’m excited by that possibility.

Everyone keeps telling me to enjoy my senior year, and that’s definitely the plan. Apparently, when I graduate, I have to be a grown up or something. So this year I started doing cool things I didn’t even know I wanted to do. Plus, I’ve started working on getting all the appropriate things together so I don’t have to pull my hair out come May.

I got involved with the new UMHB chapter of Student United Way on campus this semester and getting the opportunity to meet the wonderful souls I have is amazing. I’ve made some really wonderful friends through the organization. Plus, since it’s a service based organization, we get to do some really awesome service projects (like Operation Christmas Child), and that’s super fun too.

I took the Myers-Briggs test (admittedly for a class) that told me a bunch of things I already know, like that I’m introverted and that I’m loyal and I have strong core values. So, it’s cool that I now have a term for my particular brand of crazy.

I’m here. I’m doing the living in the moment thing (mostly). I’m going to enjoy it while I’ve got it. And when the future does get here, I’ll be ready. It’s the start of a great story; I can tell.

Daily Prompt · Writing 101

Sink or Swim

This started as a draft two years ago, apparently. Our challenge yesterday (because I’m continuing to not do well with the blogging daily) was to “mine our material.” So here it goes with the starting a new post from an old draft (which is in bold).

Today’s Daily Prompt is to write about a time when you were left to fend for yourself in school, work, or at home.

I remember junior year in high school I started taking AP classes. These were the first college level classes I had ever taken. Now, all my life, I was in the advanced classes. Pre-AP, Honors, all that jazz. If there was a regular class and more challenging class, I was taking the more challenging class. And, honestly, it was fine. I never really had a problem with it. Most of the time, I was bored because pretty much anyone could take Pre-AP classes.  Anyway.

I remember my AP English class junior year and my teacher told us she was going to “throw us into the deep end, but we’d be okay.”

Evidently, that stuck. It’s now my senior year in college and I still remember that day. I remember how scared I was when she said that. And I had a fabulous internal visual of essentially drowning. I’m a strong swimmer and that’s never really been a thing I was concerned about, but you know how it is in the movies where someone slips in the water and is flailing around and can’t breathe? Yup. That’s how my first AP English class felt. And how senior year felt. And how college feels basically all the time.

However, we did make it. All the way to graduation. And now all the way through the third year of college. And the first five weeks of my senior year. And while I’m terrified, I know I have a support system that is going to continue to help me, and I’ll be just fine.

Writing 101

An Update Over Coffee

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you about school. Classes are going well. I’m a little overwhelmed with three PR classes taught by one teacher, but that’s okay. I’m making it work. I’d tell you about how miserable my leadership class is. My group is…interesting, to say the least, but that’s okay. I’m making it work. You’d be proud.

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you I graduate in May and that I wish you could be here to watch me walk. Sometimes it’s like a looming dark hole, but sometimes it’s a bright shining door. I’m really excited. College was good for me and I’ve grown, but I’m ready for the next adventure.

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you about my big plans, where I wanna travel. I’d tell you the stories from travelling in London and Italy, and I’d tell you that I wish you’d been there.

If we were having coffee this morning, when I’d finished my rambling stories, I’d thank you for everything you’ve done for our family. I’d thank you for the legacy you left for us before you got sick.

And you’d tell me how proud you are of all of us.

Today’s assignment was to present an “update” over coffee. I started writing and then I realized who I was writing to. My mom’s dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about seven or eight years ago. The last family trip we took was to Paris in the summer of 2008. I have a lot of good memories with him from long before that, playing in his garden at the home he and my grandma shared in New York until he was moved to a nursing home a few years ago. It’s been increasingly difficult for all of us to go visit him because it’s so sad to see such a strong man become a shell of himself. Some of the most recent memories I have of him are sitting at breakfast making him coffee. Once he had me put something like 11 sugar packets in his cup. That was before I started college and before I started drinking coffee. I treasure the memories I have of him and I know he’d be proud of me and wherever he is mentally, I pray he’s happy.

Writing 101

Procrastination: Part of the Process

Today’s assignment was to find inspiration in social media. We were given some options, or told to pick our own. Since I already did a post about grammar, I opted to use one of the provided options.

tweet for WP

I’m one of those terrible people who has to have some form of pressure to make me actually do things, be it a group who’s counting on me or deadline or a grown person breathing down my neck. And I’m working on it. Well, I’m trying. For me, it’s just really hard to decide to do something far in advance when I know I could be doing something more fun. Like, Netflix or essay that’s due at the end of the semester? Netflix is going to win every time (up to like three days before the due date. And even then, it’s still a toss up).

Procrastination is one of my greatest weaknesses, up there with stubbornness and lack of patience. But it is something that I have accepted that I will struggle with for the rest of my life because I’ve tried the planning weeks in advance thing and it never really worked, especially for my papers.

I always write better when I don’t have as much time to mull it over and change things. When I edit my essays for class, I’ll change the sentence 12 times, only to actually put it back the way it was the first time.

And then I discovered that’s when I do my best work. When I don’t have time to make it super perfect and spend days wondering if it’s good enough.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Making things look polished and neat, like essays is always a good thing. And you should never turn something in with stupid typos, like missing words and stuff like that. I always proofread (not always well, because I’m in my head and sometimes my brain forgets that not everyone knows which word is supposed to go wherever to make that a complete sentence) my work. But if I don’t have time to think about which of the other 12 ways I should write something, I usually find the best, most concise way to say what I mean. Then, while I may have spent that last 24 hours before my paper was due writing it, I spend less time than if I had started months ago, because I would have been staring at blank page for ages before actually putting anything on it.

I think that everyone has their own process to creativity, and procrastination is definitely part of mine.