One Big Announcement & February Goals

Remember when I said I’d only self-reflect like this about once a month? Well, it’s February 1st. Your rent is due, and it’s time for me to look ahead a few weeks and set some personal goals for February. More on that later. First, to catch you up on my January: In a nutshell, I have never experienced so many emotions in such a short time.

The breakdown:

Jan. 6 – Approached for a possible job by an old friend.

Jan. 10 – Landed an interview with a different job that I applied for in December, scheduled for the 23rd.

Jan. 18 – Had a great but emotional conversation with a family member about what we both can do to improve our relationship. New year, new us, ya know?

Jan. 20 – Caught my ex boyfriend breaking into my car on camera. For no known reason. Knew he had been doing this repeatedly.

Jan. 20-22 – Called police. Filed a report. Got a fancy alarm on my car. Bought pepper spray. Changed my apartment locks. Cried some. Got really angry. Spent the weekend hiding at my parents’ house. Drove myself crazy wondering what he was doing and why and what I should do. Spent too much time thinking about how I could have prevented this. Didn’t really prepare for the interview as much as I would have liked. (Side note: I knew I wouldn’t make it more than two blog posts without oversharing.)

Jan. 23 – Had the job interview via Skype as well as an editing test. It went well, I guess.

Jan. 26 – Was offered the job. (!!!)

Jan. 30 – Interviewed for the job from the old friend.

Feb. 1 – Decided to accept job offer #1. Told my current employer. And now I’m telling you.

Talk about burying the lede, right? I am ridiculously excited to move back to what feels like my second home, Columbia, Mo., for an editor position with Mizzou. I’ll be editing materials developed from MU’s faculty research for the general public to use as a resource through MU’s Extension office. My office will be on campus. IT’S ALL HAPPENING, YOU GUYS.

While I’m so thrilled for this opportunity, I’ve really loved being in Dallas. My apartment and who I share it with has been the joy of my life for the past three years. I love being close to family, and I’ll seriously miss all of Dallas’s delicious restaurants (Eating is just what you do here). My first job, apartment, and city were the perfect places to navigate the first few years of post-grad life, but this move feels so, so right.

I can’t wait to do all the bucket list things I never got to cross off while I was there. Chief among them: Riding a bike on the MKT to Les Bourgeois winery in Rocheport. I’ll also finally get to see a lot of films at this year’s True/False fest. I’ll hike the Pinnacles. I’ll eat at some of the classic restaurants I missed my first time around. I’ll sit on the alumni side of a football game. It’s gonna be good.

And this brings me to February. Last year off and on my little nerdy self would write down actionable goals for each month. (Read two books, make a dentist appointment, work out at least three times a week. I aim real high, y’all.) I liked it. I’ve decided I’ll do it this year, too.

My biggest February goal: DO NOT DIE.

Others include:

  • Get pre-approved for a home loan before moving.
  • Buy a couch maybe.
  • Let myself cry as many times as I want to. Moving = all the feelings, all the time.
  • Make time for alllll of the proper goodbye lunches, dinners, and happy hours. Packing can wait.
  • Visit my Texas grandparents one time before I go.
  • Make sure my current employers like me when I leave by getting all the things done to help with my transition.
  • Continue to be a nice person even while very stressed.

2017 has been a bumpy ride so far, to say the least, but I’ve already seen how the bad was a blessing in disguise and there’s been SO MUCH GOOD, too. Columbia, I’m comin’ for ya.

 

 

 

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In 2017 I …

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All posts are better with a photo right? Here’s a semi-pensive one you’ve already seen before.
  • Would really like to surprise myself. I want to do a scary thing, accomplish something I never thought I would. Marvel at my body for lifting heavy or running far.
  • Want to continue to spend more and more time outside.
  • Want to do all the usual things: save more, travel more, exercise more, social media less, read more, write more, travel more, cook more, learn to code, take over the world, etc.
  • Won’t text him.
  • Am looking forward to a non-election year. (Aren’t we all, amirite?)
  • Want to do a much better job of contributing. I’ve kind of gone through the last couple of years as this bumbling post-grad, thinking it’s cute and fine to not have a clearer sense of direction. And maybe it was fine for a while, but not anymore. I am smart. I can work harder. It’s time to.
  • Want to stop and take note of and be grateful for my health and my family’s health a little more often. Or at least, not only as a reactionary feeling upon hearing about someone else’s health struggles. No one I am close to has cancer, or chronic pain, or symptoms with no explanation. So many others are not so lucky.
  • Vow to only spend roughly 12 days of the 365 doing this much self-reflection. Thinking about living a good life and planning to live a good life can take up a good chunk of time and distract us from the actual living of our lives. And, you know, side note: I would do well to remember that even having the means to do this much strategizing about 2017 comes from a place of privilege. Do you think people who are stressed about feeding their kids between now and payday are really having a goal-setting session with their family this January? I’d be willing to bet that they have bigger fish to fry, like just getting through the next couple of weeks. It bears repeating: I. am. so. lucky.
  • Will call my grandpa more often.
  • Vow to never stop searching for truth. In all things. Even though the election is over, and the news makes me weary, confused, and frustrated. I must, I must. I must keep watching, keep learning, I must keep my mind open but sharp, viewing everything with a healthy dose of skepticism. Staying engaged even when it’s uncomfortable is a small but important part of activism.

If you’re reading this, I wish you a happy and healthy 2017. May we all surprise ourselves just a little bit.

In 2016 I…

  • Finally started using my reusable grocery bags consistently. You’re welcome, earth.
  • Visited two new states. If you ever get the chance, do visit the Pacific Northwest. I know I’m glad I did.
  • Learned that I’m mostly aware of my singleness as a negative thing only when I’m struggling to open new salsa jars. I keep hearing marrieds say that marriage is cool because you have this helper for life, and I always think about this as I’m getting hand cramps trying to open stupid salsa jars. All the sudden I’m in total despair for a helper, or at least, a pair of hands stronger than mine. It would be cool I guess if those hands were attached to man who also loved me, but the SALSA is what’s important here. Then, using the warm water trick that my mom taught me, I inevitably open the jar myself, and think “Who needs a man? Certainly not me.”
  • Came out publicly as a Democrat.
  • Felt guilty for all the times in the past I’ve bumbled through earth thinking I knew anything for certain. Because now I’m never so sure.
  • Let the above uncertainty get to me a little too much at times.
  • Turned 25, which is the age that, for me, meant I became mature enough to know the decisions I was making weren’t always the right ones, but not mature enough to stop myself from doing them. This was hard and painful. I saw the person I was becoming as ugly for the first time maybe ever. At times I much preferred the immaturity of 20-23.
  • Failed at something kinda major. The fall-flat-on-your-face type of failure that people say will help shape you for the better. I’m not sure yet that it will shape me for the better, although maybe that’s up to me.
  • Held a newborn baby for a few hours. I breathed in her baby scent and as she slept, I dreamed for her about what her life would be like in the years to come. What would she grow up to do? In those moments, I felt a fraction of what her mother feels 24/7. All the love and all the fear, simultaneously. It was a rush, but one I know I’m not even close to ready for.
  • Appreciated several sunsets and not near enough sunrises, although I’m slowly letting go of the idea that a “morning person” is a thing everyone needs to be. Yet I still think that maybe I have it in me. We’ll see in 2017.
  • Felt stupid when I teared up at a Mizzou homecoming video as I watched it on the jumbotron at Faurot Field in Columbia. Maybe it was just the combination of the beautiful weather, the golden hour, and the beer, but that weekend I allowed myself to actually want to come back there to live, should the opportunity arise. There are worse things, right?
  • Went on a couple hikes and a couple movies by myself and wondered why I haven’t been doing such things my whole life.
  • Lost my grandma. I felt a lot of pain for my father and even more for my grandpa. But since this spring, I’ve also admired my grandpa for still being pretty dang happy, while also acknowledging that his marriage to my grandma was one of the best parts of his life. It’s the small things, you know? Like learning how to stream video clips from the MLB app to your TV from your iPad.
  • Went on a road trip for a week, visiting two friends in two different cities. So, add Nebraska to the new states list. Three. I learned I love driving by myself a whole lot. Spotify subscriptions are worth every penny.
  • Loved Miranda Lambert’s new album so much I contemplated moving to Nashville to write about country music. How could someone write so specifically about her divorce while not actually writing about her divorce, and with words that I felt like I could so acutely relate to, even though I’ve never really loved and lost? She’s a genius, folks.

Hey, y’all!

I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a blog for close to a year now. I keep coming up with a thousand reasons why I shouldn’t start one, but they all boil down to this: I’m afraid. I’m afraid of looking stupid to my journalism friends, I’m afraid of being an over-sharer, I’m afraid of grammar mistakes, I’m afraid of not being “on-brand” enough. I’m afraid I won’t be consistent. The list goes on. I only want to come off as the most smart, poised, eloquent writer a 25-year-old can be.

To be so cliched: I’ve let the fear of striking out keep me from playing the game. And frankly, I’m tired of it. So, here I am, in the arena. Bear with me while I work out the kinks of this page and try to establish what works for me. Lord knows there is going to be some trial and error.

Bailey Jean at Brave Love Blog has been hosting a September blogging challenge, where she has a writing prompt for every day this month, and she’s been so kind as to include a link-up at the bottom of her posts each day. I figured this would be a great way to meet some bloggers and get some easy posts out there quickly. Clearly I’m behind, and I won’t catch up with all of them, but day 1 was to introduce yourself, so a few bullet points about me:
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  • I live and love in Dallas. I grew up in a suburb about 25 minutes north of downtown, and now I live in a little apartment that I’m obsessed with, with my roommate and her super cute pup.
  • I’m a little too obsessed with my alma mater, the University of Missouri, also known as Mizzou. It was such an incredible place to spend my college years. You’ll hear me talking about it on here often, I’m sure. This is a photo of the iconic columns on the quad. I spent many afternoons sipping coffee while studying either in the journalism buildings on the quad’s north end, or when the weather was nice, on the columns themselves. It was just as picturesque in person as in this photo. I can assure you. screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-3-48-57-pm
  • I have a really close-knit group of friends from high school. Most of us know each other from marching band (we were the coolest), and about once a year we try to take a trip to a new city together. This spring we visited Portland, Ore., Mount Rainier, Wash., and Seattle. I’m proud to know them, and I’m so proud of us for keeping in touch through the years even though our lives have put us in a few different cities and states.
  • I’m really passionate about personal finance. I am one of the lucky few whose parents paid for my college tuition, meaning I graduated debt free (HUGE BLESSING. THANK YOU AGAIN, MOM AND DAD), and I want to stay as close to that as possible. Even though I’m single, I have the very real goal to save for a downpayment on a house or condo in the next few years, and slowly but surely, I’m making it happen. Mint.com is my FAVORITE budgeting tool. I can talk about personal finance for hours, so I’ll spare you now and probably write a post on it later.
  • I majored in magazine journalism and am lucky enough to work in that industry post-graduation. I love words and stories and how powerful they are in every aspect of our lives.
  • SEC Football gives me life.
  • Recently I’ve gotten into hiking/backpacking/camping. I went on my first backpacking trip last October to Caprock Canyon in West Texas, and it was magical. I learned so much about myself during that trip, and I’ve been dreaming about my next one ever since. I’m happiest when I’m outside. screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-4-10-27-pm

 

That’s all for now, folks! Thanks for reading.