Wow. What a difference that a few weeks can make. Life got busy, and I fell behind on my commitment to myself this month. Nevertheless, I’m back with a new planner to keep track of my life these days and I hope to get into my personal blogging groove again.
Where to start off from? At the beginning of the month, I finally graduated with my Bachelor’s of Communications from Colorado State University. Holy cow, there’s almost no words to describe that feeling. School had always been so easy for me before the college years. I was in all the clubs and honor societies. I singlehandedly worked to make girls lacrosse in my school district. My senior year, I wasn’t even really in high school because I qualified for early college credits. Everything was supposed to work out in my favor when I headed off to the University of Michigan to study nursing like my sister had done. Of course, that wasn’t my case. It took me 2 and a half years to figure out that I wasn’t supposed to be feeling that feeling of dissatisfaction in my college years. I wasn’t enjoying my classes, and towards the end, stopped going and learned from the online videos that professors posted. I got a tech job at the U of M hospital on several units after my sophomore year and met a young patient who completely changed my life. As I helped him during his dying months, he gave me something in return. He helped me realize who I am, and who I want to be. I learned that nursing wasn’t even close to my passion, and though I wanted to help people, doing it in such a capacity wasn’t for me. Nurses get to feel compassion and empathy, but they don’t get to truly show that. There is a guard that must be up, as all health care workers are required to have, between care and emotions and feelings. I live off of my happiness, off of my smiles and laughter, and the ability to pass it on to other people. I knew that I wanted to be in that direction, and I knew that the University of Michigan wasn’t going to provide that for me. Everyone has a different story, but I will tell you that I full heartedly believe in young people having a gap year after college. I know it works for some people, but it’s foolish to force young people to know what they want at such an early age, with no life experience behind them. I ended up taking a year off, where I worked at an organic farm in Ann Arbor and got to delve into my passion for sustainable agriculture and the great outdoors. Eventually, I came to the realization that the communications field was the right fit for me, and finished off my bachelor’s degree online while traveling the world. And in 2017, I obtained my degree, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
To celebrate my achievement, my mom took me to the Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival, where we explored TC and drank a lot of delicious beer while dancing to great music. It was an awesome night, where I learned that my mom can definitely outdrink me (who knew) and that the best way to celebrate my biggest accomplishment was with the person who had been there with me from the start. And really, that beer, though.
Not long after, my dad was diagnosed with pneumonia while my mom got the flu. Of course. I ended up helping to take care of them, and of course, in the same week, I got a sinus infection. We were all pretty much useless on the couch for an entire week (because duh). I also missed Ice Fest 2017 (#conradanker) due to this, so all in all, what a crappy time that was this year.
As I was laying in bed all of last weekend, I really got to thinking. Have you ever held on to a memory for so long, because it felt like such a highlight of your life? That the memory was so great, and still felt so real, that you wanted to go back to that place? That you would do whatever it takes to get back there? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. But last year, Marquette taught me that it is possible to feel a real connection to a place. That the people who exist in a place, the nature that exists in place, can really help you form a connection. I fell in love last year with moments in Marquette, Michigan. I felt happy and excited, and I always wanted to try to get back to that place where happiness existed because my memories were full of hope and excitement. Unfortunately, after a few months of trying to get back to that place before I move to Alaska this year, I gave that dream up. And honestly, it felt like a real blow as I laid down sick. But the more time I spent thinking, the more I came to the realization that my memories belong where they exist, in the past. I will be the first one to admit that people and places change. I’ve been at my cabin or at my parent’s house, working on school, since September (except for my month in Europe). Which is great and all, I truly love being in northern Michigan, but I didn’t realize how disheartening it can be to not be around friends for an extended period of time. I thrive off of social situations and getting into the outdoors with others. I get the motivation (and drinking buddies) that friends can provide to life. And in case you are wondering, if you’re trying to make friends in northern MI in the winter time, you will not achieve that dream. It felt hard, and sometimes I really felt alone. This time has honestly taught me who is important and worth my love, which I am grateful for. I was doing some reading the other day, however, and I was reminded how vital it is for women to be okay with being alone. There is something about feeling that loneliness, and welcoming it in, that helps women learn to be okay by themselves, alone. And that you really, really can’t fully appreciate everything in life if you can’t first learn to truly love and be okay with only yourself. It’s valuable knowledge that really kind of opened my eyes. I’ve always surrounded myself with other people, in a social group, that I didn’t really understand what it would be like when I took that aspect away. It was hard, but man, am I coming out of this feeling eternally grateful. I learned what it’s like to be alone, and how to be okay with it and not beat myself up over anything. I’ve started to take each day by day, and welcome a slower vibe to this winter, and I’m not sure when I’ll get such a chance again so I need to soak it in while I can. In the grand scheme of things, this period of alone time is so small, and instead of feeling alone or freaking out, I can adore myself and be selfish for myself. I can say yes to that, until everything changes in the future.
Going along with this, I got a real job. My first job upon college graduation, so it really means something. I work for The HOTH, an SEO marketing business based out of Florida. I am a remote writer and I ghostwrite blogs for our clients, based off of a wide variety of topics and requirements. I get paid twice a week and I can write how many assignments I want each week. Honestly? This is INSANE. I get paid to work remotely, from home or in public, and get to learn about new topics every time I write. It’s awesome, and I wouldn’t have received such an opportunity if I hadn’t had this blog to promote. I am glad that I got out of my comfort zone and pushed myself into this public form of writing because I get to work on this new accomplishment and add publication work to my resume. I’m finally starting to feel like an adult, whatever that means.
On to my last little bit, which is about my newest passion, cross country skiing. When I was down south, my parents gave me my very own gear for a graduation present. Luckily, we were in a heat wave in the middle of February, so skiing gear was on sale everywhere. Also unluckily, however, because it took forever for me to even get to use my new skis. I would take the most extreme winter weather any day over 70 degrees in February, and luckily I kind of got my wish. It’s been snowing with several advisories over the past few days, and though it took more time than I was expecting, I’ve been able to get out on the trails. I still love the feeling, of working towards a goal and enjoying the rest of winter. Just in case you’re anywhere in northern MI for the next month, I’m probably the black haired beauty still adjusting to her new skis that go much faster than she’s used to (and probably the one who fell in the snow multiple times).
So there you have it, a life update for me on the month of February. I’m excited to see where March leads me, and what new adventures I will embark on. For now, I’ll be adjusting to my new job and devoting time to skiing and yoga. See you on the trails (or in the breweries)!