Major Life Updates!

The last several months have been a tremendous period of growth in my life, and I’ve finally hit a point where I feel like I’m able to update everyone about what has been going on.

On the 4th of July, I left a severely toxic relationship, assisted by my dad and a friend of mine. Just over a month later I left my job of a year and 10 months for a lot of reasons, including concerns for personal safety, and the deep-seated feeling that it was time to move forward from that in a somewhat scary way.

What I mean by that is that I quit my job with nothing lined up to replace it. I had a lot of long conversations with my parents, brother, and others closest to me, and all were supportive of my decision. Since leaving that job, I have been able to begin to really process everything that has been going on the last few years. Some days were easier, and others were tremendously difficult.

With all the changes, many other plans in my life had been on hold/up in the air. Thankfully, my initial ideas for moving forward in life didn’t work out, and life pushed me in a different direction (read: the right direction). Starting about a month ago, actual tangible decisions regarding moving forward were made. Those simple decisions started a chain reaction that caused every other aspect of my life to sort of fall into place.

At the end of September, I moved out of my parent’s house and into a place with Ryan & Brandon – 2 of the most wonderfully supportive people in my life – which had been in the works since March or so.

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We went into our apartment search with the intent to just view a place on the Tuesday we started physically looking. After seeing it, we realized it was perfect, decided to apply, and were accepted not 2 days later. That Saturday was moving day, which we all made work, despite being out of town the week leading up to it, having no real plan for moving logistically, and having absolutely nothing packed. The 3 of us had planned to move in together sometime in fall of 2018, but it was a whirlwind.

When we moved in, we started with just beds and 2 rolls of toilet paper in the house (thanks dad *facepalm*). Thankfully, I still had all of my kitchen stuff from my apartment in Colorado in the barn, so that came in the next day. In the first week, we had a fully fleshed out cable & internet setup, as well as most of our clothes and “important” things moved, and we established a base pantry stock. We also had our base set of cleaning supplies almost immediately.

From the beginning, Ryan wanted a Roomba so that he wouldn’t ever be stuck with the task of vacuuming. No one wanted to pay for a Roomba. By some miracle, we ended up getting a Roomba from someone that hadn’t been used in awhile; all it needed was to be cleaned and get a replacement battery. $25 and 2 hours later, Ryan has his Roomba!

Within 2 weeks, we pulled just about everything together – got a new couch, moved my bedroom set from my parents, have a kitchen table, have the guest room put together, and I just finished re-staining and re-covering chairs to match the table (barn finds!). We still have a few odds and ends to put together, but they are small convenience pieces.

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Ryan already had a job in town, which was a main driver for the move. Brandon found a job in town within a week of the move, and just finished his last 2 weeks of commuting to work.

At the beginning of this month, I spent a few weeks interviewing for a company that offers career opportunities that excite me. This last week, I got a call offering me the job I had been interviewing for. I was ecstatic!

I still have difficult days, but they are few and far apart now. Part of limiting difficult days is restricting social media. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately considering my use of time on my phone, the way I maintain various social media accounts, how effective I feel certain platforms are, etc.

When I started blogging, I knew the day would come that Facebook would become obsolete for me, and my use of it the last year has felt somewhat forced. Please, be advised that Facebook is getting minimal time from me, and that almost all “updates” will be posts shared via this blog & my Instagram.

For those of you who are interested in staying connected in a “social media” way, subscribing to my blog is a great way to do so. To do that, simply scroll past the Archives and Tags widgets on the right hand side of any post or the home page. Below those sections there are options to either follow via WordPress or simply receive email updates about new posts. I also want to take a moment here and thank everyone who already follows or is subscribed!

If you choose the email route, I highly recommend clicking to open the posts in a browser page as the emails don’t show the formatting correctly.. If you don’t want the emails, bookmarking my home page is another solid way to keep tabs on my blog posts.

Also on the topic of the blog, feel free to leave comments on posts. To avoid spam, I have it set up so that I have to approve comments from new commenters to the blog in general. I approve basically everything, so don’t worry if you don’t see your comment immediately.

I’m grateful for a lot of new beginnings: new living situation, renewed relationships with my family members, a new job that I want to make a career of, a new relationship, and new adventures.

As grateful as I am for all the new, I’m thankful for those who have been there and been supportive – the steadfast group that stayed with me even through the worst.

I have made some progress, but there is still a lot more to come. Here’s to the start of getting back to me – more diligently writing, spending time with the people close to me, and finally starting the Colin quilt(s).

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2016 – A Year in Review

2016 was one hell of a year. From start to finish I never quite knew what was coming around the corner, and for some of that I am thankful.

I will start with the bad that the year brought, because I don’t believe it should be skated around. This year took 2 family members from us, and both were shocking. In late July, my late grandfather’s wife died, and the beginning of November took Colin. I lost others in my life this year, but in grossly different ways. This year was also the year I had to leave Colorado, a state I fell in love with.

The bad of 2016 was pretty bad. There is no way to sugarcoat it. It would be very easy to write the whole year off as a loss. Despite that, there were some great moments.

I completed a 10-week senior thesis with my sanity intact and I graduated college with University Honors. Course schedules brought a long-time Facebook friend and I into each other’s paths, and our friendship is something I am so grateful for. I got to spend a few short months with some people who made the bulk of my last semester in college tolerable. I got to stand by one of my best friends as she married her best friend, and I got to see a life-long friend get engaged as well. I got to meet extended family members whom I might not have otherwise met, and reconnected with others I hadn’t seen in nearly a decade. Better yet, a cousin that lives out of state got to visit because she wanted to, not because she had to. This year gave me a very real look at the people in my life, and I gained a new appreciation for those who are by my side. There were also a lot of new relationships that formed and opportunities that presented themselves, and they have paved a road that I am excited about continuing down. I was fortunate enough to travel quite a bit as well. I got to finally take my family to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. More than that, I got to go to Redwoods National and State Parks for the first time, and I got a Yosemite National Park annual pass which I have been taking advantage of.

2017 is sure to be another year with highs and lows, and I am ready to see what it has to teach me about myself and those in my life.

 

Changes

Thanks to Pinterest, I come across hundreds of quotes a day. Many of them I agree with, but few as strongly as this:

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I think back to what my life looked like a year ago, and it was dramatically different than it is now. One year ago, my dad was about to retire for the second time, and his long overdue knee replacement surgery had been completed (little did we know, he was going to be having a second one in the coming weeks). With all of this, I was looking for an advisor for a thesis topic I thought I was sold on. Thanksgiving 2015, Colin provided the turkey for our family’s dinner and we actually got to have our family gathering on the federally recognized day. Sounds like a lot of great things, doesn’t it?

Well, one year changed everything.

I watched my dad fight a horrific staph infection that required him to have a PICC line put in so he could receive Nafcillin on a drip for 20 minutes every 4 hours for 6 weeks, and (fortunately) make it out of that strong as ever without needing a third surgery. After seeing my dad flawlessly go through at least 7 other surgeries leading up to this, I hadn’t been more scared in my life with what happened (which was 100% not the fault of his replacement surgeon nor his orthoscopic surgeon preceding that).

I picked a completely different thesis topic than originally planned, and it turned out beautifully. My original thesis idea was not anything I was passionate about, and I would have hated every minute of the process with that topic. My advisors were tough and that entire semester was trying, but they pushed me to ensure the finished product was the best it could be.

This year, we effectively cancelled Thanksgiving. My Thursday, November 24 consisted of work for the bulk of my day, followed by pumpkin cheesecake and hard liquor.

I’m not meaning to sound tragic, rather, I want to emphasize the importance of being thankful for what you have while you have it. As difficult as some of it has been, I have learned so much about myself and others; I’ve had people walk out of my life I thought would be there, and I’ve had others that I was certain were gone unexpectedly walk back in, I’ve been blessed in ways that I can barely fathom, and I have experienced some of the greatest loss I’ve known in my life to date.

There is only one thing I can guarantee – my life this time next year will once more look completely different than it does right now.