One of my intentions for the new year was to develop a stronger relationship with God. I thought that, in addition to attending church more regularly, I’d devote at least five minutes each day to reading my devotional. Using my YouVersion app, I decided to start a plan called “Love Greatly: Broken and Redeemed” not because I’m ‘broken’ or anything at the moment, but sometimes you need a reminder for when the time does come–and it will, eventually. As I started reading the first and second devotional, I realized it focused on Naomi and Ruth. If you’re not familiar with their story, that’s okay. If you’re not Christian, that’s okay too because at some point or another Naomi is all of us. A woman who was happily married with two sons of her own, Naomi lost everything in, what feels like, the blink of an eye. First, her husband died and ten years later, she lost both of her sons. Left with only her daughters-in-law, Naomi was angry. Her spirit was broken as she felt helpless and forgotten. She fought with her daughters-in-law and tried to convince them to leave her be. In the end, Ruth stays with her, but so hurt and destroyed, Naomi focuses on the weight of her sorrows and misses the bigger picture. She felt so alone and heartbroken, she ignores one simple truth: she’s not alone because when her husband and children died and her daughter-in-law left, Ruth stayed. Naomi is so blinded by her pain, she forgets to look around. How often are we so engulfed in our own misfortune and sadness that we, too, forget to look around?
Happy Monday and Happy 2018, friends! I hope you all rang in the new year safely and surrounded by love. I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out what words of wisdom or advice I could share that hasn’t already been said about how we can be more purposeful with each new year, and I can’t help but wonder what you’re hoping for in 2018? Is this another “New Year, New Me” personal promise? Maybe you’ve mapped out your goals for the year and have created a beautiful vision board? Perhaps you realized today is also a supermoon, so you set some serious intentions and followed specific rituals? Did you clean your house? Smudge your space with sage or incense to rid each room of negative energy and make way for positivity? Created a habit tracker in your bullet journal to make sure you reach your goals? Severed ties with people who don’t deserve you? Practiced yoga and meditation for reflection? Ate some greens for prosperity and black-eyed peas for luck? Or maybe 2017 was so rotten, you’re just excited for this fresh start and did all of the above? (I know I did!) Continue reading
Merry Christmas and happiest holidays to you, friends. It’s been quite some time since my last post, and to say my first quarter of graduate school was a whirlwind is an understatement. When I wasn’t reading nearly 300 pages a week or completing several assignments at a time, I was interning as a school social work intern or working in the admissions office at my graduate school. What little free time I had left was devoted to resting and relaxing and not much else. It doesn’t mean I didn’t think about you or have anything to say. On the contrary. This year, I leave 2017 with more wisdom and self-awareness than I thought possible. My only regret is leaving this realization to the very end–I mean, this is literally the last Monday of 2017. If I’m being honest, I think we oftentimes leave reflecting for this time of year, and that’s for better or for worst. Continue reading
Happy Labor Day, friends! Hopefully, you’ve spent today lounging around instead of laboring away, especially since it is the last unofficial day of summer. That’s right! For so many of you, today is likely the day before school resumes and vacations end. It’s likely the last day you’ll get to sleep in and spend more hours than you’d like to admit on the couch binge-watching your favorite series. And it’s likely the last day you’ll get to swim in the pool before it closes for the year. Today marks a lot of endings and quite a number of beginnings, namely the start of a new chapter in your life. Whether you’re going back to school or heading back to work, this next phase brings with it a host of excitement and maybe even anxiety. Just getting closer and closer to my own first day of graduate school, I can’t help but feel those same first day/next step jitters. I think it’s normal when you enter the unknown–a new space filled with some new people, new challenges, and new celebrations, all of which you can’t even fathom. It can be frustrating, uncomfortable, and maybe even scary. Maybe you’ll start to doubt yourself and your ability. Question whether or not you belong. Wonder whether or not you can handle the rigor, the professors, the peers, the colleagues, the boss, the work itself. I know I have.
Happy happy Friday, friends, and what a glorious day it’s been! Today I had a chance to stop over at my old school and see some of my favorite former students as they prepare for their first day of school this coming Tuesday. So many bright faces and so much energy filled the halls as they set up their lockers. I kind of miss those days, or at least the idea of a locker space–a place to call your own and store your belongings so you’re not lugging your entire life around with you wherever you go. Cherish it, people! I imagine the closest thing to that would be having an office, but what about those college and graduate students who don’t have such a luxury? I suppose we have no choice but to bring our essentials, and today, I’m sharing my own! What are yours? Comment below!
Happy Thursday, friends! It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since I’ve been a student, and since graduating from graduate school (the first time around), I’ve now spent those five years in between on the other side as a teacher. With every new school year there comes a similar level of anxiety and excitement about what it will bring, and in those moments, I can’t help but ask myself: Will I get through the curriculum? Will my students enjoy themselves and learn the material? Will I finally strike that work-life balance? And while I’m just a few short weeks away from returning to the classroom as a student, I find myself asking similar questions: Will I learn a lot? What kind of learner am I? Will I form meaningful relationships with my professors and peers? Do I remember how to study? Will I finally conquer procrastination and complete my assignments to the best of my ability? It’s so easy to get bogged down with feelings of doubt, fear, and anxiety. After all, change is never easy. Luckily, there are things we can do to help ease the transition. Here are a few tips I’ve shared with students in the past as a teacher and will now be reminding myself of as a student. Hopefully, they’ll help you, too!
Happy Monday, friends! You know those moments when something overwhelming or ridiculous happens, and people spout the phrase, “I can’t even”? Sure, there are the funny and outlandish times that elicit such a response–oftentimes said through tears of laughter– but then there are more serious things that happen and we respond in the same way. I’m guilty of it, and have actually started thinking a lot about the things I avoid because they’re difficult or stressful. What are my “can’t evens”? Sometimes it’s feeling like I can’t be bothered to work out any more than I already do because I’m not seeing the results I expect. Sometimes it’s feeling like I can’t sit and write a blog post because I don’t see the fruits of my labor. Sometimes it’s choosing not to speak to someone because past interactions have proved to be challenging. But when I choose to avoid engaging fully and believe that “I can’t even,” it actually does more harm than good. By disengaging, I’m missing out on really living and growing. What’s more is that it’s also a form of succumbing to pessimism and negativity.
So, what if instead of saying “I can’t even” we said (and believed), “I can”? How might we approach life and the circumstances it throws our way? Would we feel more empowered? More optimistic? More prepared to conquer? More willing to at least give it our best shot? When we shift our thinking and attitude and start to believe in ourselves and in our own power, incredibly amazing things happen. Maybe life doesn’t get easier, but you sure do get stronger, things feel lighter, and you are happier. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a life worth living. Challenge yourself to “can even” this week, especially for those heading back to school and work, and see what positive changes come your way!