Nov 30, 2012

Day 10/30: Most Embarassing Moment.

Do I have to talk about this? Seriously? Online for everyone to see?

I have seriously tried to find something, ANYTHING!, else to write about. I've had so many embarassing moments that surely I could just post one of those and you would probably never be any wiser! There was that time I screwed up the National Anthem (twice), that time I faked an injury (and got caught) because I wanted to ride the elevator at my elementary school, the great glove incident of third grade, the kindergarten graduation hat experience- surely I could just write about one of those and you'd never know the difference. I even resorted to reading dozens of other "30 things" blog posts by people trying to see how honest they were- none of them gave me much comfort (tripping in public, a wedding day that went array...) while I know they were quite a big deal to the people writing them.

Here's the thing- I'd know if I sugar coated the truth. That wouldn't be honest.  I strive to be honest and real. I don't want you to get some false perception of my life. I don't want you to think there is any such thing as a perfect life  free of arguments, stress, or-yes- humiliation because I think that occasionally leads to unrealistic expectations for your own life. That perfect stress-free life doesn't exist. The key, I think, to a "perfect" life is accepting that things will get difficult and just making up your mind that you are fine with that and "training your brain" to find something positive in every situation.

Yeah, okay, I'm procrastinating. I've got to just do this quick and get it over. Like ripping off a bandaid. Ugh. Here it is...

The Story Of That One Time Life Got Quite Messy (LITERALLY!)
Also, it involves a period (not the grammatical kind) so if that weirds you out then believe me when I say you do NOT want to read any further.

Oh, what's that? You're going to continue reading, anyways? Shucks! Are you sure? Really sure? Come on, now. Seriously? There is no changing your mind? Okay- fine. Just remember- I warned you.

So, I was in.... 8th grade, I think... and back then things weren't quite clockwork, if you catch what I'm throwing at you there. Anyways, I was in school one day and things became a little messy. Haha. That's the best I can do. I'm turning a million shades of red over here (my face! Ugh! Oh gosh, now everything is turning into a period joke. Apparently I think I'm funny...)

Anyways, here's the thing, I had to have the worst luck ever back then because 1. I was literally wearing the lightest, whitest pair of jeans I owned 2. I was supposed to be staying after school and 3. I am pretty sure I gave a presentation to my Science class that day or did something in Science that involved me turning my back to the entire class.

Seriously. Kill me now.

The mess was RIDICULOUS and I had NO IDEA! Now little 13 year old me- seriously- how did you not notice? But I didn't.

At one point in time a girl even came up and said "uh, hey, Destiny--- never mind" and as soon as I realized what had happened I knew she was going to tell me. But she didn't. Why are we always so scared to tell the hard truth? Even if it will save someone embarassment?

Silver lining time- First, thank God, this is the only time I remember this happening. Second, I'm pretty sure that since I didn't die of embarassment from that when I was a timid, shy 13 year old I probably can assume I won't die of embarassment from anything here on out.

Life lesson- Being brutally honest can be tough (I've learned this through both posting on this blog and through the person who didn't tell me when they could have) but sometimes it's exactly what is necessary. Don't get me wrong- have some compassion. There is a polite way to go about it- but at the same time, if you have something in your teeth and I notice- I'm just going to tell you nicely. Because I've been on the other side and it's always better to just say something and save that person further embarassment.

Also, we all embarass ourselves from time to time. Don't believe me? The whole time I was writing this I was thinking of that book I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell and how if that guy can survive his embarassing moment, I can easily post mine. Seriously. Read it. You'll die laughing. (Not for the weak of heart or easily offended, though).

So, I'm still standing. Phew. But if I can survive that (and live to write about it) then you can make it through whatever it is that embarasses you.

What is YOUR most embarassing moment? Feel free to message me if you aren't comfortable leaving it in the comments. I have to tell you, though, it's kind of liberating.

Nov 29, 2012

Day 9/30: 10 People Who Have Had An Influence On My Life

I am a firm believer that people are basically giant collages of life events, beliefs, and the people closest to them. Every person who enters your life has a purpose. Every obstactle you face has a purpose. Every triumph has a purpose. Yes, you, yourself, have a purpose. We are all growing and influencing and learning every second of every day. Now, that's kind of a scary but also really spectacular thought, right?

Day 9 of the 30 Things challenge is 10 People Who Have Influenced My Life. If you don't make the list, please don't think that you are not important to me or have not had an affect on my life. Each and every one of you have been a complete blessing (even those of you I haven't met). I've been affected by and learned from far more than 10 people but for the sake of this blog I am trying to narrow it down to the 10 most significant but know that no matter how small a role you have played in my life you are significant and I wouldn't be exactly who I am without you.

Alright, here we go. 10 People and the impact they've had on my life (in perfectly random order).

*If you are reading this you may notice that I refer to them by their title (Dad, Mom, Boyfriend, Little (sister), etc.) and not by name. This isn't to be rude. This is my place to share my stories and while I'm fine with sharing my thoughts online for anyone, they might not be. If you know us personally, then you will know them by name and if you don't then you won't. It's just my little way of protecting everyone's privacy. You know, just in case.

1. My Dad.
I've told you before that my Dad is basically a superhero but he's also a giant softie (Oops, sorry, Dad. Now everyone knows the truth!) He's always been that one person who isn't afraid to tell you if you are making a mistake but always support you and lets you make the mistake in the end if that is what you choose. He's the most open minded person I've met. He's also never afraid to tell you when you are settling for less than you deserve. He and my mom have been married for over 25 years and that just completely blows my mind! I definitely hold guys to a much higher standard because my dad has set the bar pretty high as far as my idea of what a man should be. Best parents ever? Yes I think so. He has influenced my life by teaching me right from wrong but also by giving me the freedom to make my own decisions with the knowledge that his love for me is absolutely unconditional.
2. Mom
She may kill me for picking that picture but seriously, is she not gorgeous? My mom has always pushed me to better myself (even when I didn't want to). She's always been that person who holds you to a higher standard and expects you to rise up and meet that standard.Of course there have been times when I thought she expected too much but she was always right. I was the one getting in my own way. If I wanted to accomplish something, I could. She's also one of the sweetest people I know and as a teacher she makes a difference in someones life every day. I feel like it's safe to say teaching isn't for me but I hope to be able to leave a mark on the
future just as she has. She's always been a strong role model for me and a huge motivator. She's also never afraid to be the bad cop and keep my sister & I in line.

3. The Little
There is absolutely no person in this entire world that I love more than my Little. That photo above was from her senior pictures (oh, gosh. I'm so not ready for her to be a grown up). She is the most creative, hilarious, outstanding person you will ever meet. People joke that we have some weird psychic connection and that's probably true. We're pretty in tune. I've always wanted to be a strong role model for her (whether I am or not you'd have to ask her). Obviously, I make mistakes but I try to set a good example. I don't necessarily want to teach her that she needs to be perfect or never fail. I want her to know that she has the freedom to be whoever she wants to be. Sometimes, though, I think she realizes that even better than I do. Little is exactly herself all the time and that is one of things I admire most about her. She's this nerdy, funny, beautiful free spirited person and she is truly such an inspiration to me. How did I get so lucky?

4. My grandma!

I consider myself to be insanely lucky because both of my grandmas are incredibly beautiful ladies (I'm hoping this means I'll age gracefully). My grandma is this insanely creative, talented person and when I'm around her I feel like I could be insanely creative and talented too. She's always been that person that made you feel gorgeous (she definitely brags on us and her house is filled with pictures of us) even when you feel like a hot mess. She says what is on her mind which I think is such an admirable trait because sometimes I think people (myself included) tend to sugar coat things almost to the point of dishonesty which is never my grandma's style. She's always been one of those people who I've admired and wanted to grow up to be like. She's basically the coolest woman in the world (hello! She taught me to roller skate on the roof!)

5. Boyfriend. 
Sometimes, I literally feel like the person I was over a month ago and the person I am right this moment are two completely different people. Okay, that's an exaggeration (sort of). But, before Boyfriend, I wanted very different things. I wasn't dishonest and I tried not to be misleading but I would date with no real intention of being in any sort of relationship. It just wasn't something I wanted. I hoped that my mind would change and someone would just "click" with me but no one ever did (in my defense, I told people up front I really wasn't looking for a relationship). Enter Boyfriend who I met while having drinks with some girlfriends at the place he happens to work. Apparently a friend of mine and a friend of his are friends (small world) and he was actually being set up with my friend but no one told me! Right from the get go he was this really easy person to talk to who smiled alot and laughed at all my lame jokes (turns out, he's quite the fan of lame jokes! He even has a few of his own!). In case you can't tell, somehow he got under my skin and stuck because even though I told him I was really hard to get, I pretty much knew I wanted to date him from the start. Of course, before we started dating I had a huge freak out with a friend of mine (to be on the list as well) about how I just didnt know if I wanted to be in a relationship at all because relationships are hard and opening yourself up to be vulnerable to someone is a really terrifying thing (what did I tell you about fears? They get in the way). Plus, you know, I was a strong, independent woman who didn't need no man. He's a helper by nature and I tend to prefer to do things on my own which sounds like a recipe for disaster but actually really works out well because we push each other out of our comfort zone and compromise- I clue him in and talk to him about what's on my mind, he tries to be supportive but give me the freedom to figure things out on my own. It's a pretty great mix. I'm sort of smitten. In case you needed more proof of his awesomeness when I said "Hey! Im blogging about you. Is that okay?" he said "Thats fine! I was actually hoping you would!" Hmmm, maybe there will be a Meet Boyfriend post in the near future!

6. My College English Professor
I have always loved writing. I have always hated school. Oddly enough, I usually hate writing for school, too. It just has never excited me. You can't write what you want and I always feel there isn't alot of room for personality in formal writing. I absolutely loved my Composition classes in college! First of all, my teacher was amazing and gave you fun topics to write about. He genuinely wanted to get to know you and read your opinions. He really made writing fun again. He made it a point to leave feedback on all your papers. Not just grammatical editing or a grade. If you made a joke he liked, he'd tell you. If he thought you could make your paper better, he'd give actual suggestions. If he was just in awe, he'd write about how you should consider trying to get published. He was incredible and really helped me find my voice and want to start writing for fun.

7. This girl.
She's one of those people who know every crazy little thing about me and loves me for all of it. She's taught me that it's okay for things to scare you but that sometimes you have to face those fears and accept that you are going to fail from time to time but it's worth it in the end. She's literally the strongest person I know and that has really inspired me to push myself and be a stronger person to. She has helped me to become much more open minded and accepting and has seen me through some interesting times. She is the epitomy of what a best friend should be. Oh, I'd just like to note that we don't always dress like crazies.Okay, well, sometimes I do.

8. This girl.
In my 20 Random Facts post, I told you that I get stuck in my comfort zone easily. Well, this girl is usually the one who forces me out of my comfort zone. My favorite thing about her (which she denies) is that she wants to be everyone's best friend the second she meets them. I'm quiet by nature (until I get to know you, then you may not shut me up) and she is much more social. She kind of breaks me out my shell and gets me to do things I wouldn't do on my own. Since we've became friends I have noticed a huge difference in how comfortable I am when meeting new people or hanging out in groups (things that would have caused me extreme anxiety in high school!). She's the goofiest, silliest gal on the planet and I admire her so much.
9. This adorbale girl. 

I talk alot about my family but I bet you didnt know that when I was in my teens I really didnt feel like I fit in with them. Now, that is completely self perceived. My family has absolutely always loved me and I have always loved them but I was a bashful kid and very quiet and I just felt like I didn't really relate. I was pretty content in my little shell where I didn't have to open up to anyone. Introduce this little goober who one day decided I was cool and my life has absolutely never been the same because somehow she brought me out of my shell and made me feel like I was such a cool big kid. She makes me miss being a kid in a million ways and reminds me that life is supposed to be fun and silly and not completely serious all the time.
10. That one ex.
Well, sort of ex. We dated in the phase where I wasn't wanting a relationship. He was not at all a bad person but he was in a weird part of his life. He put alot of limits on our relationship. He did not want to text me but he felt obligated to (probably should've realized we had a serious problem right there), we could only hang out one day a week, etc. I believe that every person you have a relationship with will shape you (some for the better, others not so much) and each is a learning experience and I only bring this up because this was a huge learning experience for me both positive and negative. It left me with a really weird fear that I would always just become an obligation and that every relationship would hit that point where it became a chore and really wasn't fun anymore. Now, I know that absolutely cannot be true but the fear is still there. Even though it really wasn't a huge deal, it made me question my own worth and I struggled in this instance. On a positive note, I actually learned alot about relationships from this person. First off, I realized you can't expect someone to want to text you all day every day and sometimes people need a little space and freedom (although, really, if they don't want to talk to you at all, you should just cut the chord). I also reevaluated somethings afterward and realized that I am worth more (which is quite the positive thing to realize). I wasn't going to be the girl someone settled for and I wasn't going to settle for someone who didn't really care whether they were with me or not. I went through a long phase where no one clicked because I had redefined my standards and not that they weren't great guys, but they weren't the great guy for me. Relationship wise, that's my best advice- don't settle just because you feel pressured to be in a relationship or dating. You deserve to be treated a certain way and you have worth. Never make someone a priority who will only see you as an option.

Everyone has a lesson to teach you if you look hard enough.

This post turned very relationship-py very fast. Definitely time for a break.

Nov 28, 2012

Day 8/30: 5 Passions.

Day 8/30 on Cherishing Hope's 30 Things is "List 5 passions you have" and I'm sticking to that topic today! It's always fun to talk about things you are interested in or feel strongly about, right?

I'm going to get a little deep here (or sappy, whichever!) and say my first passion is life. Seriously though, if you aren't passionate about the life you are living then maybe it's time to rethink some things! I'm a big believer in following your heart even if it doesn't fully make sense. I want to live fully in every moment and enjoy as many things as possible. You are far more likely to regret things you didn't do then you are to regret the things you tried (Somebody smart said something along those lines, right?). I don't like feeling like I've missed out on experiences and therefore I want to experience nearly everything possible. Nearly. I'll skip out on most of the felonies.

Another thing I am passionate about is planning. I've always been this way. In high school I wanted to always be planning things. I remember one time some friends and I had a sleepover (we literally had invited 4 people) but we had to plan it to a T. We had an invite list, a grocery list, a list of movies to watch. We knew who was bring what and what we were doing when. It's just something I've always loved to do. I love lists and ideas. I enjoy the creative aspect. I love taking that vision I have in my head and bringing it to life.

Obviously, I am pretty passionate about writing, as well. Funny though, I cannot for the life of me proofread my own writing. I will read something 500 times, it will seem perfect, I'll post it, read it 100 more times and then on that very last read through- WHAM! Everything is wrong. Great. However, what I really think I like about writing is that it involves a lot of planning! I waste countless hours thinking about what I want to write or eventual post topics. Sometimes I even make a list! (I love lists! Can list making be an official hobby?).

I feel pretty strongly about food as well. In fact, I am feeling super grumpy today for no reason at all. I'm just tired and feeling kind of exposed and just sort of blah. So, because I really dont like to feel so yucky, I asked myself- "Hey, self. What would make you feel better?" and do you know what I answered- "Nakatos" (that's a Japanese steakhouse for those of you who aren't familiar with it). Well. Alright, then. Now, I can't help but thinking you know you are officially mentally obese when you think delicious food will make all your problems go away.

I'm also pretty passionate about having time to myself and spending time with my family. Sometimes you just need some down time to recoop and recover. Today is definitely one of those days when I could use some down time. Darn school and the fact that next week is the last week of the semester. I won't lie- it completely snuck up on me. So, maybe, now that I've wrapped up this post I should start working on that marketing project (I'm selling imaginary aerosol spray that controls the mood of a room). Life would be so much easier if one of my passions were school.

Unfortunately, it just isn't.

Nov 27, 2012

Day 7/30: Project Bucket List

#64- Get a tattoo. DONE!

Day 7/30 on Cherishing Hopes "30 Things" challenge was supposed to be "Describe your dream job" but I just wasn't feeling motivated to write that post today (as fun as it may be). So, for those of you who you don't know, I am a business major who plans to minor in communications and eventually would like to go into event coordinating. I'm a planner by nature and have always found planning to be the most exciting aspect of a party or event (I enjoy the hype). See, this would have been the shortest blog post ever for me. So, instead, I am improvising and using Day 7 to introduce you to a new project I am starting on this here lovely blog.

Introducing: Project Bucket List
"Take your dreams and turn them into projects. Dreams have a funny way of staying dreams but a project is something that needs to be done."- The Buried Life
Maybe it's just the writer in me but I keep a hard copy of an actual Bucket List (you know- the list of things you want to do sometime throughout your life). I add things to this list constantly. Seriously, I'll be watching tv, browsing pinterest, talking to friends, whatever- and something will hit me that sounds fun- BAM! It's on the list. Boyfriend and I have a very similar "to do" list of all the things we want to do together someday (and if you are really nice, he may let me share that list with you, too). But I have my own little (okay incredly long) list and I'm turning it into a project for the blog.
You see, as I mark something off my list, I'm going to share the journey with you. Pictures, stories, my thoughts, whether it was as thrilling as I thought it'd be, etc. I'm hoping this will motivate me to do more on my list (especially once the 30 Thing challenge is done and I'm struggling to find writing material!) and also, hopefully, will be a fun journey for you as a reader.
Some of the things on the list I have already done. I will mark them and I will post stories about those experiences here in the near future. As I do new things, I will come here and mark them off the list and post the pictures and stories on the blog for you all to read. My goal is to eventually mark everything off my list (however it is going to take a very long time, I think my list is 3 pages long....)
So, here it is. The Bucket List.
Someday I want to ...
1. Get my belly button pierced (DONE! That one was easy!)
2. Visit a fortune teller (DONE!)
3. Go ziplining (DONE!)
4. Go parasailing
5. Go to Lollapalooza (I think this one is old, but I wrote it down soooo...)
6. Go to Italy
7. Reiki
8. Try a juice cleanse
9. Go skiing
10. Adopt a child out of foster care (obviously not tomorrow...)
11. Buy a house
12. Buy a prius. (Don't make fun! I drive a Chevy Silverado and it guzzles gas!)
13. Donate a month of my time to volunteering overseas.
14. Go an entire month without eating out.
15. Spend quality one on one time with EACH of my family members (wow, that's going to be difficult, there are a lot of them!)
16. Stop doubting myself.
17. Visit Spain.
18. meet Donald Glover.
19. Finish College (oh, Gosh! Yes, please! Tomorrow would be nice!)
20. Teach people about positive thinking.
21. Give back.
22. 10 concerts. One summer.
23. Spend a birthday in Vegas (in a penthouse suite? Come on, that just sounds fancy!).
24. New Years in Times Square.
25. Run a 5k.
26. Start a Blog (OH! Done!)
27. Learn to shoot pictures in manual.
28. Wakeboard.
29. Travel to India.
30. White water rafting.
31. Learn fluent sign language.
32. Get veneers (okay, that one is silly.)
33. Spa day with the girls. (That seems so glamorous!)
34. Swim with dolphins
35. See a Broadway show.
36. Walk in Paris in the rain.
37. Visit Brighton, England
38. Own a pair of LouBoutin heels
39. Start meditating daily (ALMOST!)
40. Say "I do". (Obviously, not tomorrow!)
41. Rent a cabin in the mountains.
42. Learn to surf (of course, I hate the ocean!)
43. Consistenly learn to conquer fear and do things that scare me
44. Take a trip with "the girls" every year.
45. Make new friends.
46. Learn to keep an open mind (I think I'm starting to get this one. Maybe?)
47. Take a cake decorating class.
48. Take food & water to a homeless person.
49. Make a difference.
50. Buy a house and paint the front door a fun color.
51. Visit all 50 US states.
52. Build a house with Habitat for Humanity.
53. Take a dance class (I halfway did that!)
54. Visit Petra.
55. Have an adventure.
56. Be on a tv show (yes, please?)
57. Audition for a play.
58. Watch a filming of the Ellen Degeneress show LIVE!
59. Get better posture!
60. Go to Lake Superior.
61. Throw Little the World's Most Awesome "Lord Knows What" (that will make more sense someday)
62. Compete in  a beauty pageant.
63. Write a children's book.
64. Get a tattoo (DONE... but I can make this "Get ANOTHER Tattoo?")
65. Give my wardrobe a makeover

I'm sure there will be more to come but so far this seems like a pretty great place to start! So, stay tuned folks! It may take me the next 20 years but I will make my way through this list someday!

What's on your Bucket List?


Nov 26, 2012

Day 6/30: Hardest Experience- The Story Of That One Time I Really, Really Screwed Up Big Time

Day 6 of Cherishing Hopes 30 Things is “What is the Hardest Thing You Have Ever Experienced?” If I’m being quite honest with you, I’ve been dreading this post the most out of the entire challenge. I’ve considered writing something less hard- maybe a break up or something that hurt me but didn’t make me question myself nearly as much. I feel like that would be false though and I don’t want to sugar coat anything here on this blog. Quite frankly, as much as I love you for reading this blog (and I genuinely hope you get something out of this!) this is my space to be real. I’m not perfect. I mess up. I make mistakes. Life is a journey & every day brings new learning experiences. I’d prefer to only have positive experiences and never ever mess up ever but then I wouldn’t be real. I don’t want to mislead you with some glamourized blog where I only post the good things. I want you to know that everyone struggles. So, I’ve decided to be honest and real and share this story with you. I’m so nervous to share with you because this is one of those moments I wish I could just sweep under the rug and never have to talk/think about again but life doesn’t work that way and sometimes you have to just admit when you are wrong. So here it is-
Photo by Meg White Photography
The Story Of That One Time I Really, Really Screwed Up Big Time, Acted Like A Complete Drama Queen, Still Think I Had A Point But Failed In A Really Huge Way And Was So Embarassed I Wished I Could Just Curl Up Under A Rock and Hide Forever-
A little over a year ago I took on a huge project working with some girls I had watched grow up since elementary school (they are in their late teens now). I had wanted this position for a long time. I took classes, made a huge folder of ideas, got competition information, ordered props/signage, wrote letter after letter begging for this opportunity. I fought hard and I wanted it so badly.
After countless emails and phone calls and basically annoying the crap out of the appropriate people, I was offered the position. I was elated. I was so sure I was going to succeed. Because, you know, if you want something that badly then you can’t possibly fail, right? Welcome to DestinyLand- where the world is all sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns all the time.
So, I embarked on a journey that at the time I thought was going to be this big, fun creative outlet but ended up changing me permanently and really making me question who I was and what I stood for.
I wanted to be a positive influence. I wanted to instill confidence and pride. Do you know the worst part? I really believed I could turn the defeatist attitude around. I was going to do this. I was going to be such a success not necessarily on the floor but in the mental aspect. I was going to help these girls grow and understand that you have to have confidence to succeed. I was going to make a difference. It’s tough dreaming big, you know that?
Anyways, I noticed one day that nothing I was doing was working. I wasn’t changing the attitude of this group. They weren’t more confident. They weren’t striving for success. They weren’t fighting through the fear of failure. This frustrated me. I heard “Gosh, we suck!” so many times that finally I just had it. I thought maybe I was going about this the wrong way.  I had tried to play nice and it just wasn’t working. I wasn’t there to be their friend; I was there to be a mentor. So I put my foot down. I lost my tolerance for fear. I felt like we had just given up. If we couldn’t get something immediately, we convinced our minds we couldn’t get it. Try as I may, I couldn’t motivate them to push past that fear.
So, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? I started to feel defeated. Maybe I should give myself the Biggest Hypocrite EVER award, right?!
The absolute last straw broke a few days before our big debut. I had worked really hard on a project for us (actually, we had done it as a team) and at the last minute the girls came forward and didn’t want to use what we had worked on. Not one of them, but all of them together. In hindsight, it wasn’t even that big of a deal.
Given the recent events though all I heard was DEFEATED. All I heard was “we are scared we aren’t ready so we don’t want to try”. I felt attacked that they all came forward at once (which, honestly, I can see why they did it. There’s power in numbers.) I felt disappointed in myself and in my group. I felt frustrated that I had worked on something and it wasn’t even going to be used. I felt frustrated that it was the absolute last minute to come forward. I felt angry with myself that I couldn’t motivate them-I couldn’t get them to try. I was tired and frustrated and disappointed in myself. So, naturally, I took it out on everyone around me.
I don’t know where I’ve heard it but somebody told me recently that “Hurt people hurt people” and I’ve thought about how right that is nearly a hundred times since then. I was hurt. While I can’t say I was completely wrong (maybe it’s just my hurt pride talking but I wanted them to work past that fear of failure and be confident in who they had become as a group), I can definitely say I handled it poorly. I informed them (in nothing short of true Drama Queen style) that they were wasting my time. I let them know that I was absolutely sick of the attitude, sick of hearing how horrible we are, and was most certainly not going to make the mistake of doing this again next year. If they didn’t like the way things were done, they could just leave. I was in charge. It wasn’t my job to be their friend. I was there to do a job.  I wasn’t going to apologize for putting my foot down and boy I sure did put my foot down- right into a big giant ole pile of manure.
Because they did walk out. Every last one of them. They didn’t return the next day (except for 2 of them who I am convinced are nothing short of saints and are probably the only reason I didn’t completely keel over with embarrassment right then and there. Even the girls who weren’t there when D-zilla attacked didn’t come back. Rumor had it they had decided to boycott because if no one came then I wouldn’t have a group so I’d be forced to step down and they could rebuild their group with another leader  (Whether that’s true or not, I guess I will never know and I would like to just take a second to say that that is complete hearsay and I very truly believe that every one of those girls  was such a complete blessing in my life and have shaped me in a million different ways and taught me more about myself than I would ever have imagined) and that is exactly what happened.
If you are reading this and thinking “WOAH! WAIT! You just gave up?” then first of all I’d just like to say BLESS YOUR LITTLE HEART for not thinking that I was just so out of my element that I didn’t stand a fighting chance at ever succeeding and that I’m the worst leader ever and deserve to be shunned for life! You are so sweet. And yes, I just gave up. I basically had 2 choices in this scenario. I could either beg the girls to come back to the project or I could give them exactly what they wanted and step down.
So I stepped down.
I fought long and hard with that decision. Pride is such a powerful thing and when your ego is bruised, sometimes you just want to stomp your foot up and down and yell “I’M RIGHT! YOU’RE WRONG! YOU can apologize to ME! I’m NOT sorry! I will NOT give you what you want” but I wasn’t completely right and they weren’t completely wrong. There is no black or white with a defined line that says “this separates the winners from the losers”. There are two sides to every argument. I tried to step back and see both sides.
At the end of the day, I knew I hadn’t accomplished what I wanted to. I asked myself if I thought I’d be able to accomplish it now after everything that had transpired and my honest answer was no. I was fighting against defeat and being defeated. The irony was certainly not lost on me. I wanted to try to turn this into something positive on both ends and stepping down seemed to be the easiest way.
I was in over my head. I couldn’t make a difference but maybe someone else can. Why not let the group rebuild and just keep positive thoughts out there that someone will be able to turn things around- someone who may not have as much on their plate or who doesn’t let their emotions get the best of them so easily?
I don’t know why it was so hard to force a smile and walk into that office and say “Listen, I can’t do this. I was wrong to take this on and I’m over my head.” Darn that stupid ego of mine! But somehow I managed to walk in and mutter out those exact words. Thank God that no one tried to argue with me because I was literally one smile away from hysterical bawling. I failed.
I was mortified at how public it ended up being. Somehow, I got turned into this raging monster who was walking all over my group. People commended them for their behavior and for not letting me step all over them like a doormat. Someone posted about it on Facebook and literally got dozens of likes from people who I thought were my friends. Comments like “I was just waiting for someone to have a problem with her!” came from people I felt like I had gone out of my way to be nice to.
Yes, I’m blogging this story now and basically insuring that becomes very public and here is why-
You can avoid judgment if you try hard enough, I’m sure. But this experience is a part of me and played a vital role in shaping me to be who I am today, in this moment. I don’t want to lock it away in my mind and never tell anyone about it out of shame. I want to revel in how human it is to fail. I want to accept that this is a part of me and that I’ve made mistakes. I sometimes run into people I know from around that time or who know some of my girls and I find myself thinking “Gosh, what they must think of me!” or “I wonder if they know what happened…” and you know what, now they know. Now you all do. Now you know that I’m not perfect and I’m human and I fail and life gets messy. That’s what I should have titled this blog because I say it all time and I mean it- life is messy.
The negative events in your life are growing moments. Surely we all have those moments that we wish we had acted differently. I can’t be alone in this, can I? Don’t fret over those moments. Forgive yourself for being flawed and embrace change. Don’t like that person you were or the decisions you’ve made? Vow to be better. I will tell you that this event has helped define me and change me in so many ways. I have learned so much through this experience and I am truly grateful for it.
Here’s the thing about judgment- if you are going to point a finger, make sure your hands are clean. There are two sides to every argument and so often we hear one side and assume we know it all. What you don’t hear is the feeling or the thought pattern of the other people involved. I’ve learned that everyone has a story. When we learn that and embrace that, it enables us to treat people with so much more patience and compassion.
I swear sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself.
We all have a story. This is mine. What’s yours? (If you want to share and don’t want to leave it in the comments you can contact me via the “Contact” button in the navigation bar!) I’d love to hear from you.  Let’s embrace messy life and mistakes together!

Day 5/30: Happiness.

The Little and I during her shoot with Meg White Photography.

Hello, gorgeous friends!

I apologize for the lack of posts over the weekend. I spent most of it traveling. We got back from Oklahoma Saturday and I spent the day out of town with Boyfriend and his family on Sunday. It was such an incredible long weekend filled with laughter and some of my all-time favorite people. Did you do anything exciting over the Thanksgiving break?
Today’s post for the 30 Things challenge is “5 Things That Make Me Most Happy Right Now”. I’m excited to write this one because it’s nice and upbeat. Which, honestly, is very helpful because tomorrows post is a little tougher for me to write and much more serious. I won’t give too much away but expect a lot of brutal honesty. I may start working on it today actually, it’s that hard for me to write.

In the meantime, here are 5 things that currently make me happy:

1.       It’s officially Christmas time! We put up the tree at mom and dad’s late Saturday night. We decided against a theme and just filled the tree with all the random decorations we’ve accumulated over the years which makes it a Dallas Cowboys-dinosaur-elementary school-angel-country kitchen-antique-bauble tree. Yeah, I know. I could hardly handle the awesome-ness myself! Afterwards we all gathered around and watched Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, which is my all-time favorite Christmas movie and a bit of a holiday tradition in our household. I felt just like a kid again.

2.       Boyfriend.  Seriously. I’ve smiled nonstop for over a month now! My face needs a break! It literally hurts to be this happy. I wish I could explain how much I appreciate him accurately but it just never quite captures the sentiment.  Sorry if this got too mushy- I like to think we’re cute sometimes. See?
WHAT?! You don't think we're cute? Blasphemy!

3.       Currently, I am very happy about the fact that even though I got approximately 2.5 hours of sleep last night, I am not even remotely tired. I like to think this is contributed to the fact that I took an impromptu, brisk run this morning when my dog got out and began to run straight for the busiest road in town (Thank heavens for Boyfriend who helped catch said dumb dog and returned him home safe and sound). Well, that, and maybe all that Dr. Pepper I have pumped myself full of this morning.

4.       My family. My family is amazing. Seriously. I have never met a group of people more loving and accepting. I had such an amazing time at Thanksgiving. It never ceases to amaze me just how much they make me laugh when we are all together. We are a nerdy bunch and I say that in the greatest way possible! Speaking of nerdy- the Little and I’s matching footie pajamas have shipped. I can’t wait to wear them to Christmas dinner! (We like themes around these here parts!)

5.       The possibilities for the future. Lately, I’ve been trying to figure a lot out. I’ve been contemplating moving, staying, roommates, jobs, switching schools- just a ton of huge life changes that are coming up quicker than I realized. It’s a huge thing to step out of your comfort zone and start over somewhere (or just to make that decision, even!) and sometimes I struggle with the unknown. My job now is amazing and the thought of ever leaving fills me with anxiety. I know it’s not like I’m leaving today but still! One thing for sure- the possibilities for the future are endless! That’s the greatest thing about life- those fun little positive curveballs life throws your way. I can’t wait to see how the future unfolds from here!

What are you happy about today? Whatever it may be, focus on those positive aspects of life today and even though Thanksgiving is over, be sure to take a few seconds to be grateful for all you have. You are amazing and there are wonderful things ahead.

Nov 23, 2012

Day 4/30: Dear 16 Year Old Me-

Day 4 on the 30 Things blog challenge from Cherishing Hope is "10 Things You Would Tell Your 16 Year Old Self". I've decided to write this in letter form.

 I can't find a picture of me at 16 (WHY?!) so here's me at 17. That's close enough, right?

Dear 16 year old me,

It's 2012. I'm you. I've hopped on a Tardis to deliver this special message just for you (okay, not really. Don't worry, you'll understand that reference someday). I could save you so much heartache. I could tell you what choices to make and which don't end so well- but I'm not going to do that. Every decision you make is shaping you to be who I am now and I think you'd really be proud of who you grow to be. I will tell you, even in your 20's you don't have your life completely together. That's okay. I'm starting to wonder if anyone ever really has their life together. So, instead of telling you which decisions to make, I'm just going to give you as much advice as I can to help you deal with your journey from where you are at 16 to where you will be at 24.

Most importantly, stop being so hard on yourself. You are beautiful. Sure, you are quirky, nerdy, awkward, and quiet. I realize that sometimes people misunderstand that and that is hard for you to deal with. Stay true to who you are. Understand that you have a lot working for you. You are the only one standing in your own way of success. You can do anything. The possibilities are endless.

Remember that hurt people hurt people and that goes both ways. Treat everyone around you with kindness. Someday you will look back and be embarrassed by the moments where you let your pride or temper get the best of you. Remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has some inner battle (be it confidence or just a bad day, etc.) that they are facing. Sometimes people will take that pain and aim it at you (you are guilty of this too). Don't take it on. Accept that they are struggling and try to face them with the patience they need.

You will fail. There will be times when you don't get precisely what you hope for. You won't always win. You won't always shine. Take these moments and treasure them. These are learning moments. Let them motivate you, not to give up- but to work harder.

Choose the path in life that feels right to you. Your life doesn't have to match the idea everyone else has for what is a "perfect" life. If it is right for you, it will feel right. Don't worry about the judgement of others. Just carry on. If you want to write, write. Don't worry if you are the best in your class or not. If you want to study psychology/musical theatre then ignore that mean old career counselor and do it anyways. It's okay to make mistakes. No one expects you to be perfect. Just follow your heart. You will get to wherever you are meant to be eventually.

There are people who care so much for you. I know you think that you cant be who you are really, but you can. You are blessed with a family that loves you. The friends that matter will stick around. You will lose touch with a few of them but they still care about you just as much as you care about them.

Basically, my best advice is get messy. Make mistakes. Have some fun, kid. Life is short. Don't worry about always being right. Don't worry about what people will think. Just be you. Because I've been in your shoes. I happen to know you are pretty darn special.

Keep in mind, you don't have to be successful to be happy. Be happy and the rest will follow.
Learn from everyone around you. Learn from every moment- the good and the bad.

You have a bright future ahead of you and I hope I've made you proud. Stay beautiful.

Nov 22, 2012


Playing around on Photobooth with my absolutely adorable little. 

Hello, gorgeous friends! I hope you are stuffed to the brim with delicious food and enjoying your amazing families. Regardless, today is a day of giving thanks so I've decided to take a break from the 30 Things and devote a post to thankfulness.

Really, I think every day is filled with reasons to be grateful but here a few things I am exceptionally thankful for.

I am thankful for...... 

...YOU (whoever you may be). This is my first serious attempt in blogging and in the past week, this blog has received almost over 300 hits. That's incredible! Thank you for the comments, the feedback, liking us on Facebook, or just coming and reading. I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude for each and every one of you! time. Since I don't live with my parents sometimes family time is a little scarce. The past two days have been such a blast. I've taken silly pictures with my adorable sister, cuddled with the family dog, Hot Rod, dominated at a game of Mad Gab, played Drop (Catch, unless you can't catch!), and just enjoyed the world's best company (aka- my dorky, quirky family).

...a certain boy who finds ways to make me smile 1,000,000 times a day.

...amazing friends. job which is paying me to sit around with my family today.

...chocolate covered cheesecake stuffed strawberries (oh my yum). menace of a dog, Yoda.

... life lessons.

...every trial and triumph I have faced. They shaped me into who I am.

... help (even if I don't like to ask for it) when things get tough.

... it is officially Christmas season now!

... the amazing opportunities that came my way this past year. I wouldn't have expected any of this had you asked me last year but I have been blessed beyond belief this past year.

... the courage to face fears.

... for chances.

... the fact that we are blessed enough to have a roof over our heads and an abundance of both love and food.

... forgiveness.

... hot tea.

... amazing parents.

... the worlds BEST little sister.

... laughter.

I'm sure there are a zillion more reasons but (as much as I love you and this blog) I have a family I am eager to get back to. Have an amazing Thanksgiving!

Don't worry. I'll be back to the 30 Things challenge tomorrow! In the meantime, what are you thankful for?

Nov 21, 2012

Day 3/30: My parents.

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Day 3/30 on the 30 Things Blog Challenge from Cherishing Hope is- "Describe your relationship with your parents".

The fam at Christmas last year (the theme was ugly Christmas sweaters- Dad didnt get the memo)


If I was writing this blog back in high school, this would be an entirely different post. My mother will tell you that I won the "worst daughter ever award" for about 2 years straight. She's probably right. I went through a phase where I called my parents by there first names. In my defense, I didn't realize it hurt their feelings until someone finally came forward and told me. I thought I was hilarious and, you know, I was a teenager so obviously I knew everything (or nothing. Whatever.)
Now, though, I can usually understand that my parents really care for me. Even when they dont agree with my decisions, they are just trying to look out for me and protect me. As I have gotten older they have also become more understanding of the fact that I have to make my own decisions and decide who I want to be and what I want out of life. Although, I'm still trying to convince them that I need more tattoos. They had a hard enough time with the first one.
I've always been convinced my dad was some hybrid mix of God and Superman. When I was little, my mother and I flew to California by ourselves (well, Brea may have been there. I can't remember). Something happened so that with our flight and, if memory serves me correct, without us even calling him, he had already made arrangements for us. That's my dad and his super human abilities for you!
If you ever have the chance to meet him, let him tell you some stories. He's been skydiving. He's walked on hot coals. He's studied with an Amazonian medicine man. Ask him about the cracks in time. Ask about his trip to Japan. He's literally the coolest, most adventurous Dad a girl could have. I only hope to someday be as adventurous as he is.
My mom is the more practical of the two. She thinks through everything. She has a heart the size of Memphis (that's pretty big, right?). She is the one who tries to buy you groceries when you go to her house complaining about being a broke college kid. She always wants to hear about your day and trade stories. We argue from time to time. Somehow we are exactly alike and completely different all at once. She likes to keep her feet on the ground. She doesn't like big crowds. I probably cause her a million heart attacks. She tells lame jokes and then thinks she is hilarious (oh! That's where I get that from!) She's kind of adorable.
Sometimes, I swear there are no 2 people more different than my parents. They seem to agree on one thing though- they sure care about Brea and I.
I couldn't even have dreamt up a better family.  
In other news, if you didnt see the link above you can now follow A Little Serendipity on BlogLovin. You don't even have to have a blog to sign up!

Nov 20, 2012

Day 2/30: 3 Fears

"Describe 3 legitimitate fears and how they came to be?"

I don’t know why this was so hard of a post for me to write this morning. What am I afraid of? It seems like the easiest question, right? I know what I’m afraid of, honestly, but the why is so much harder. Sometimes, your fears aren’t rational. Sometimes, you know you can’t do anything to avoid them. Sometimes, they don’t make sense. But they are still very real fears.
So, here is my very best attempt at explaining…
1.       Becoming numb emotionally (both on a personal and worldwide level)- I am a naturally emotional person. I have been my entire life. Movies make me cry. Books make me cry. Even a particularly heavy blog post can bring me to tears. When I was younger, I used to wish I wasn’t that way. I wished that the little things didn’t bother me. I didn’t want the kids to think I was weak, weird, or vulnerable- I wanted to seem tough.
Emotion doesn’t make you weak. Emotion makes you human. If you become numb to emotion you lose the ability to be compassionate or empathetic. What would a world without compassion be like? If no one cared about their neighbor or helped the underdog? All those feelings- the good, the bad, the overwhelming- they are shaping you. Every second of every day. They are helping you to learn. They are helping you to grow. They are helping you to understand. I think we all have those moments where we wish we could just shut it all off but we are better people because we feel.
2.       At first, I thought my second strongest fear was fear of failure, but that isn’t really it. My second strongest fear is judgement. Recently, I “failed” in what I would consider a pretty big way. Don’t worry, I’ll go into a lot more detail later in this 30 day challenge but for now I’ll just leave you with this- I had wanted to take on this project for such a long time and I fought hard to get this position. Only, it wasn’t what I thought it was (what is?) and I couldn’t cut it. It was very public and I basically had to just admit defeat.
I felt absolutely humiliated. I felt like people thought they knew more about me than they actually did. That somehow, because I couldn’t do this one thing, I had no worth to them. I was less than them.
Here’s the thing though- yes, judgment is scary, especially when it’s negative. But I’m just human. It isn’t an excuse- it’s liberating. I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. So why do we judge people for doing the exact same thing that we do by nature? We fail. We make messes of things from time to time. We learn and we get back up and try again.  
You can drive yourself insane trying to avoid judgment. You can try to be perfect. You can carry all that pressure on your shoulders. At the end, of the day, though – “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world but there's still going to be someone who hates peaches” (-Dita Von Teese)

3.       Lack of Control. We joke that this runs in our family. My aunt, my mom, my sister, my cousins- we all claim to have a hard time with this. Let me explain with my own personal example- I hate roller coasters. They terrify me. Oddly enough, it’s not the heights, drops, twists, or turns that make me uneasy. It’s the idea that for those 2 minutes I have absolutely no control of what happens to me. They strap you into a seat, send you into the air and you are at mercy of the roller coaster. If it wants you to go up, you have no choice. If it wants to spin you around 100 times until you vomit, well- hope you ate a light lunch!

I’m convinced there is no real rhyme or reason to why these things bother me. They just do.
But here is the funny thing about fear- If you let it, it can control your life. It can ruin every relationship you are ever in. It can stop you from attempting to reach your dreams. It can be the fine line between failure and success.  You are stronger than your fears. Face them head on. I think you'll find, it's really quite the rush!

Nov 19, 2012

Day 1/30: 20 (very!) Random Facts

Extra little fact for you: I'm not a morning person. Bet you never would have guessed, huh?
As a welcome into the word of blogging and an introduction to who I am and what I stand for, I have decided Cherishing Hope’s 30 Things would be the perfect start to this blog. In case you aren’t familiar with the concept- it’s 30 days, 30 writing tasks about myself. What better way to get myself used to posting regularly while introducing you to myself and my style of writing! I am so excited about all that is to come on A Little Serendipity and I hope that you are too. Hold on tight, folks! It’s going to be one heck of a ride!
So here we go! Day 1 of the 30 Things Challenge- 20 Random Facts About ME!
1.       My sister and I get mistaken for twins. A lot. She’s waaay more adorable though.
2.       I work full time and go to college full time- throw in my feeble attempt at having a social life and top it off with this recent adventure in blogging and that makes me one heck of a busy gal!
3.       I am addicted to hot tea with milk and honey, sushi, acoustic music, hip hop, peppermint flavored anything, BBQ, and buffalo wings.
4.       I live in the Midwest.
5.       I have a small Harry Potter obsession that I’ve had for as long as I can remember.
6.       My dog, Yoda, is a menace to society! Seriously! Everyone tells me! I love him anyways.
7.       Rainy days are my all-time favorite sort of days. When I was little I was convinced God made it rain just for me as my own personal reminder that he was watching me and understood what I was going through.
8.       I’m a business major minoring in communications. Ideally though I would really love to become an event coordinator (i.e. WEDDINGS!)
9.       I believe in the power of positive thought.
10.   I get stuck in my comfort zone too easily and have to push myself to do things that scare me or challenge me. I love the rush you get when you face a fear.
11.   When I was younger, I performed in a lot of community musical theatre. As I got older, I quit performing as much but my love for musicals never faded. I have an embarrassingly large knowledge of show tunes.
12.   I sometimes get embarrassed when people look at my TIVO! Sure I watch a lot of Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother but I also watch uber girly stuff like Hallmark Channel Movies (seriously, though- a girl just needs a sappy movie, a bag of Reese’s cups straight out of the refrigerator, and a glass of wine from time to time!)
13.   I am a bit of a bookworm.
14.   If you come to my house for dinner (and I cook) you will probably be eating one of 2 things- pasta or pizza. I love my Italian.
15.   My family is very close. We believe in Family Board Game nights.
16.   Sometimes I feel pressured to do grown up things like have kids or get married. My Facebook newsfeed is just plum filled with baby pictures and engagement announcements. How is it possible that my friends all have the cutest babies in the world? And I don’t even like babies! (They freak me out, another post for another day!) I think this is also fueled by my addiction to reading blogs and most seem to be about happy marriages and cute babies and wedding planning… but here is the honest to God truth, pressure or no pressure, I am just not ready. Someday, sure. But for now I’m just enjoying the slow ride.
17.   I’m not good at filtering my thoughts when I write. So expect a little brutal honesty. For the most part though I just want to fill this blog with stories of my life and college and work and all those little life lessons that tend to sneak up and bite me in the ass (Erm, I mean… enlighten me with joy and wisdom).
18.   When I was sixteen, I had an argument with my mother. I was absolutely hysterical about something (I to do this day cannot remember what started it!) and remember yelling at her- “YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ME! YOU WOULDN’T EVEN LIKE WHO I REALLY AM! I ALWAYS HAVE TO PRETEND I’M SOMEONE I’M NOT FOR YOU!” My mother said “Okay, so who are you really?”  My reply?  “Mom. I’m a ROCK STAR.”  I feel like she deserves a BEST MOM EVER award just for the fact that she didn’t die laughing right then and there.
19.   In my previous job, I was a waitress. So for all your servers out there- I get it.
20.   I consider myself to be a “work in progress”. I grow and learn and make mistakes and change each and every day.

Nov 16, 2012

Welcome! I love you already!

My adorable sister & I during her senior shoot with Meg White Photography!

Welcome, Gorgeous Friends!
Wow! You have no idea how happy I am to be saying that!
This is my blog. It's already like my baby. I'm completely obsessed. I don't think I've thought about anything else for months now. I know I sure haven't for the past week.
To start, let's give a HUGE thanks to Adorability Designs for doing the design for my blog. I'm sure when I went to her with only the idea that I wanted "leopard print and roses" and no real examples, she had to think I was off my rocker. But we've worked together for the past week and ta da! It's more amazing than I ever could have dreamed. Seriously. If you are a new blogger, you HAVE to check her out. She walked me through the entire process and put up with my crazy OCD (she'd send me 3 designs and instead of picking one, I'd combine bits of all three. Being a perfectionist and indecisive can be so difficult sometimes)! Oh, and it didnt cost me an arm and a leg! I'm smitten with her, I think. I just can't get over it. She must be psychic.
So- what's to come?
Well, this blog is my story. It's my journey through life and all the little life lessons I stumble upon along the way. It's everything. Funny tidbits, what I'm thinking, what I'm feeling. This is my place to be me. Hopefully through that you can learn something about you and be inspired to be yourself in whatever outlet you feel appropriate- because YOU are fantastic exactly as you are.
Yeah, I get sappy. I apologize in advance.
So, starting next week- the blogging fun begins with DAILY posts. To kick it off, I thought I would do Cherishing Hopes And Dream's 30 Things Challenge. Each day she lists a new topic for me to write about. Since each day of the challenge I mainly write about myself- what makes me tick, my loves, my insecurities, and my fears- I felt like it was a fantastic way to fully introduce you to ME! (While getting me used to blogging every day!)
In the long run, this blog will be filled mainly with stories, thoughts, and hopefully inspiration. I'm a complete bookworm so there will be book reviews as well (we'll keep them in a seperate area for all you non-bookworms).  It's kind of a just a big collage of fun and optimism.
Basically, I hope you love it because I so look forward to getting to know each and every one of you.
Let the adventure begin!