Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ahead.


So, I'm a senior this year (ah. Still processing). And, guys, I'm so excited.

I have a really good feeling about this year. Things have lined up rather nicely, and lack of life-updates on the blog has not meant lack of excitement. I've had a lot swimming around my head that I've wanted to tell you guys; I've just been waiting for a coherent thought process to do it. Here goes.

+Remember when I got real about skating? Well, I made that team. Come this September, I'll start weekly practices with Theater on Ice of Boston's junior team, Ovation. I'm really, really happy about this, people. I've wanted to compete with a TOI team since I was 12. And for those of you who've been around and read multiple posts about disney, consider this a MAJOR step in the right direction.

+I've worked a lot this summer. Unfortunately work's been a bit up in the air as of late (loooong story...meriting an entire post!), but things are looking up! I worked 20 hours a week for most of the summer, and I'm hoping to get 10 over the school year.

+I did some major goal writing the other night. I went right down the list with deadlines and dates and everything. I'm going to share that process in another post, but let me say this: it left me completely revved up for life in general.

+I'm going to be testing Novice Moves in the Field soon. I'm ecstatic about this, because if I pass, then I only have two more Moves in the Field tests left! For a girl who's not naturally good at footwork, that's really exciting. And, my axels are getting closer...hopefully I'll land one soon!

+School should go well. It really should. Going through my credits, I've put myself in a good place for a challenging, but not dreadful, senior year. I'm taking French 2, Brit Lit, Personal Finance, Sociology/Psychology, and finishing up Economics and Chem from this summer. I'll probably add in another half year course for the spring semester, but I'm not sure yet.

+There's lots of smalls, too: finding the perfect jeans, organizing my room, discovering coffee shops (and making coffee shop plans with skating friends), gift cards to spend on books, coming up with a life mantra (always wanted one!), and this overwhelming feeling of opportunity.

^^That's why I'm excited for this year. Life ahead just looks like one wide expanse. I have so, so many ideas for what I want to fill that canvas with. I feel a direction. But, for the first time, I don't feel limited. Or like I have to wait. I feel like I can start doing things and moving forward right now.

And it feels awesome, exciting, and completely grown up. But it also feels really scary. I honestly can't tell you what I'll be doing this time next year...and while I suppose we could  call that exhilarating, it's also terrifying. I've had anxiety attacks for the first time ever this summer, as well as bathroom-floor-crying moments. I'm still stressed, especially thinking about getting to Boston, work, testing, balancing school, and whatever it is that happens after graduation. But I also have this amazing feeling that I'm on the edge; that if I stretch a little more and spring a little further I'll topple over onto something really good. I feel like every good idea I've ever had can be put into effect. And I feel like I really could accomplish half the things I've ever wanted to. It's terrifying...but I suppose new things are supposed to be terrifying. You do things before you're ready for them, right?

So that's where I'm at right now! As always, thanks for reading! I can't wait to keep up our weekend chats here on the blog...I've got lots of ideas for posts spinning around! Readers are the best, I've got to tell ya. :)


Saturday, August 16, 2014

If I've Learned Anything...

We had a pioneer day!! And I wore a dress with chickens on it! #homeschoolmoment
This fall, I'll have officially been homeschooled K-12. And if I've learned anything, it's that...

*Nothing is ridiculous. There are no rules. So create the life you want, and don't hold back.

*Out of all the things you're supposed to be, the most important is being yourself. Bonus points if you can be the type of person who make others feel happy to be themselves.

*The moment you do something outside the norm, you'll get nothing but sideways glances. Don't worry about those. They're given by people so afraid of uniqueness and sweat and victory that they can't imagine purposefully standing out.

*Even homeschoolers can't do it all. Remember how supergirl doesn't actually exist? Well, it applies to homeschoolers, too. Believe it or not, it took me the first two years of highschool to realize that.

*In fact, doing it all is probably the biggest inspiration drain a person could find. 

*If a friendship dies because you don't see each other daily, don't worry. Sad as it sounds, it must not have been that strong a friendship to begin with.

*You're never 'too young'. Push yourself and listen to your gut. Most people could use a lesson in judging based on capability, rather than numbers.

*The most insecure person in the room is almost never the quiet girl, or the nerd, or the genuine weirdo--it will almost always be the loudest, shrillest, cockiest, kid in the room. And no, you don't have to like them. But it's a fact worth keeping in mind next time they're annoying you.

*Coffee really is a gift from God. I tried it in freshman year, drank it sporadically through sophomore year, and became addicted in junior year. I'd be lying if I said it didn't completely change my life.

*Smarts aren't measured by grades, SAT's, or acceptance letters from Ivy League schools. Memorizing can totally get you A's, but it's the ability to discuss, and debate, and explain simply that measures your understanding. I'm not saying cramming doesn't have its place (hello, chemistry...), but if it's something you actually care about--it's worth having a good, working knowledge.

*Family's actually pretty great. Maybe I completely lucked out or something, but I've never gotten the whole MUST COMPLAIN AND PLAN TO MOVE FROM FAMILY thing. Yes, we fight and squabble and I dream of my own apartment. But I still always want to talk to Mum, go on walks with Dad, and watch TV with AJ or the cousins. Family's awesome; it's everyone else who has it wrong.

*Balancing everything and keeping a really rigid schedule is good. But the ability to relax is a virtue.  So I'm really OCD (in case you haven't noticed), but my mum is super laid back. Usually, I'm running around writing goal dates and stressing over to-do lists and worrying that I've somehow failed homeschool if there's lab reports left undone or an extra study sheet I didn't complete. But Mum's always known how to relax. When I was little, she was okay with spending the entire day reading The Lord of the Rings. I learned my multiplication tables with Malted Milk Balls. And even now, she's always game when I suddenly look up from reading Economics and want to discuss the news, or Capitalism, or witticisms about society.

But the number one thing I've learned? Is that homeschooling's awesome. And that awesomeness springs from going against the grain, keeping families close, and making priorities on the individual level. Sometimes I think about what I'd be like if I was a 'normal' student. Honestly, I can never come up with a satisfactory answer. But what I do know, is that homeschooling's played a large, positive role in who I am now.

Bring it on, year 12.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Doing It All


Guess what!

You don't have to be good at everything!!

No, seriously. 

I have a natural penchant for wanting to do everything. And in a way, blogging's intensified it. I'll find a new blogger that I absolutely LOVE...and suddenly I'm whisked away, inspired by her life to completely change mine. 

There's this blogger; I'm sure you've all got your own version of her. The Perfect One. She has a million children, a cute husband, and is insanely fit. She's got the best hair, wears heels in literally every outfit post, cooks, bakes, crafts, gardens. Plus, she runs a pretty successful blog and seems to have endless cash to buy the newest makeup products and clothes.

Honestly, reading her...I get a little bit of the green eyed monster. Why can't I be completely awesome and on top of things??

But here's the thing: Superwoman doesn't actually exist. Technically, there was Supergirl, and there was Wonder Woman, but no actual Superwoman. She literally does not exist.

So we get caught up in the thinking that such a thing is attainable, when it's completely not.


Recently I wrote a post about just being yourself. In it, I mentioned that being your authentic self is about embracing your good points, and your bad points (funny how no one ever talks about that last one).

Part of not being like everyone else is accepting that we will not be perfect. Because if we were perfect, we'd all be boring clones. And nothing interesting would ever happen.

This past year, I made the definite decision that skating was not only what I wanted most, but also something I had to fully commit to. That's meant a lot of things, but mainly facing the fact that I can't do everything. Or at least, not do everything and expect to be good at anything. You have to make two combined decisions: what to do, and what to not do.

That face...
So, in that spirit, here's a list of things that I can't do. Someday I might. But for right now, I'm terrible at these, and am choosing to be okay with that.

1. Knitting. I've been knitting my current scarf for 2 years, with a plain old boring knit stitch. And many mistakes.
2. Sewing. I always end up crying. And with so much anxiety it's stupid.
3. Cooking dinner. I've always wanted to have a day of the week where I cooked dinner. But we don't, because scheduling is a nightmare and I should probably just do schoolwork. Oh, and I can't cook.
4. Have gorgeous handwriting. I'll never be one of those Instagram-ers with witty handwritten quotes on post it notes, that's for sure.
5. Actually have an Instagram. I love the idea of it...but, lack of smartphone=lack of insta-posting=pointless INSTAgram account.
6. Crafting anything. I stink at crafts. Like, legitimately stink at them.
7. Put my hair in a bun with one hair elastic. HOW IS IT DONE? I'll probably never know.
8. Read a book a week. Unfortunately, the time just isn't there (right now).
9. Blog for a living. This is a big one. I've really had to step away from the whole GROW, BLOG, GROW! mindset. Right now, it's not what I need (but hopefully someday!).
10. Go to more estate sales, yard sales, and thrift stores. I'd love to spend weekends just driving around buying junk. :)
11. Make up recipes. Especially baking recipes.
12. Learn to swing dance, and actually go dancing. How awesome would that be?

What's interesting to you, but something you have to say no to right now?

Outfit Details: top //  hand-me-down, pants // old navy, belt // thrifted, bandanna // walmart, flats // payless, sports bra //  kohls.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Finding Focus


Lately, I've found myself just craving focus.

About a month ago, I honestly thought I was going crazy. My head was constantly buzzing. I made lists and then never accomplished anything on them. New thoughts and ideas were fluttering around in my head...but I couldn't do anything with them. I couldn't articulate them, or act on them. I couldn't settle in and work.

It's not the first time it's happened, either. I usually get like that when we're really busy, or I'm coming off of being lazy with no real 'routine'. It's just a result of being bored and being overwhelmed at the same time. While definitely annoying, it's the kind of thing you have to learn to work through. Yes, it might be easier to just curl up and do absolutely nothing....but that's not really going to help. Learning how to deal with this is a constant struggle, but I think I've finally hit on what works for me.

one // Pray. This one's a game changer to me. I sit still and just focus on telling God exactly what the problem is. I talk it out forever, and by the end, I feel such a release. It's not my problem any more. Praying never fails to give me some perspective so I can be okay with what happens next, and just focus on making the most of the situation at hand.

two // Take a walk. I love walks (especially in the fall and winter!). The fresh air and exercise is a great mood booster anyway, but for me, it always seems to stimulate a better attitude in terms of what work I have to do. Walks are a great time to talk yourself through problems, or simply let your mind wander and stop feeling so 'cluttered'.

three // Drive (with no radio). I once heard Glenn Beck say that one of the largest problems in our society is that people are afraid of silence. Our society is over-stimulated...we've got our phones, emails, playlists, texting, all the time. While there's something to be said for multi-tasking, sometimes just turning off the noise and letting our brains think is the better solution. After a twenty minute drive of quiet contemplation, I show up at the rink with a clear mind that's ready to go!

four // Journal. Just write it out!! Getting anything on paper, at the very least, gets it out of your head. Plus, you're more likely to end up with a plan or a new idea, which will let you get back to work even better than you were before.

five // Clean and organize. Most of the time, my mental clutter is the direct result of my physical clutter. Folding laundry, making my bed, or (gasp!!) cleaning off my desk is a gateway for inspiration and motivation. Plus who doesn't love a productive break?!

So there we have it! My five favorite ways to clear my mind and find focus.  As the school year approaches, I know I'll be putting these into play pretty often (and let's be honest, I've really needed them this summer, too!).