Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Before it goes down the drain

Its amazing how we can look back on life and wonder where the time went. Im only 30 and I do that often. I can only imagine what it will be like when I am 50...60....But its not just the time that I look back on, its the things that I have done with my life. I look at the younger generation, those graduating highschool fixing to begin "real life" and think about the things that I would have done differently if I were able to do it all over again. If only I knew then what I know now. If only I were able to go back to that point in my life.

Highschool was such an awesome turning point in my life. I really think it would have been differently had I not graduated with a class of 24, most of whom I had known my entire life. It wasnt like I was leaving a school behind, it was like I was leaving my family. We all branched out to new ventures. Some of us traveled far and others stayed behind in the small town that was always called home. I remember nearing towards graduation and wondering what I was going to do with my life. I knew I would go to college. To me, that was never an option. But I had set my goals high and had envisioned living in Dallas in a condo, traveling the world designing clothes and working with the best fashion designers in the industry. When I went to apply to the Art Institute of Dallas, reality set in that my dream may not come true. I simply couldnt afford it. No amount of loans or pell grants could make it possible for me to attend, so I decided to go to a local university instead and take classes in fashion merchandising because it was as close as I was going to get. After all my boyfriend was there and my family. I could catch up on my dream later, when I had more money and more time.

What I didnt know was that there would never be more money, because as a college student you are always struggling to make ends meet. Certainly there wouldnt be more time. Time is the most valuable thing we have. With every breath we take we are spending time that we cant get back. In the blink of an eye our lives can change forever. We fall asleep, we wake up and then one day look in the mirror and see a much older reflection. No matter how much plastic surgery you get, what car you buy or what clothes you wear, you cannot buy back your youth for any amount. That time is gone.

I look at where I am today, and to be honest, I am disappointed in myself. Being an overachiever and a goalsetter was what kept me fueled. I got distracted, lost sight of the future that I had spent my whole life looking forward to, and now I am exactly where I didnt want to be. To redeem myself, I want to point out that I adore my daughter and she has saved my life, literally, more than she will ever know. I adore my Eric, because he has shown me that there are men out there like my father who are genuine and appreciate and would do anything for the woman that they feel are the other half of their soul. I love my family, and I thank God for them, but there will always be a part of me that is empty and longing to acheive that goal that I always wanted. Im sure I am not the first person to think this. Life never really goes like we plan it, does it?

I think about what I would do, what I would say to myself 13 years ago. I would tell myself that I need to heed to the advice of those who have already lived that part of their life. They arent just nosey old know-it-alls. They are people that have had their experiences and want to give you the gift of knowledge and understanding that you can in fact live your life differently. So you can learn from their mistakes. I wouldnt worry so much about the pressures of having to pick a job and a major or minor in college or what I am going to do with the rest of my life. That will come in time. I would tell myself to pay attention to the things I want to AVOID instead. Its hard to come up with a life plan as soon as you are released into the world, but its damn easy to decide what things, people and plans you dont want in your life, so you know how to avoid them. If you let those in, you are sure for a doomed future or at least one that will stand in the way of the person you wish to become. I remember starting out on a track and then just graduating with any degree that would help me get out of college. I look back and think, what was the rush? Now I have a degree I cant seem to use and really dont care anything about. Im still paying for it, but I am not using it. What a waste of time and money. What alot of regret that I hold in my heart every day. Its stupid I know, but I feel like that part of me is lost. In fact I cant even remember much about that girl anymore. Now I just wake up hoping I can make it through the day.

Im writing this because I want the younger generations to look at this awesome new opportunity you have with fresh eyes. You think college is a breeze? Guess what, its not. Think you are gonna stay a size 5 forever? Guess what, you wont. Think you wont have that moment where you sit down and cry and think the world is crumbling all around you? Guess what, you will. Its inevitable that you will change. Everything changes. Like I said before, with every breath life changes. Take hold of a clean slate and set your sights on what you do and what you dont want in your future so you will have no regrets. Life will throw you curveballs, obstacles and challenges, but be prepared to face them head on. Dont let them determine who you are or what you want out of life. Be able to look back in 13 years and say "I did exactly what I wanted, or close enough". 

My favorite quote is from Ferris Buellers Day Off "Life moves pretty fast. If you dont stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it". Words could never be more true. Whether we are young or old, or stuck in between, make every day count how you want it to count before it all goes down the drain. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What we forget about under the rim..

I have developed a list of small goals. Every day I try to accomplish at least one goal. This is what has helped keep my mind busy and positive over the past couple of weeks.
Now when we think of goals, alot of times we think about things like getting a new job, cleaning out the garage or getting a new car. The problem is, those goals are harder to reach, and though they might be attainable, its going to take longer to get there, and cause more frustration and feelings of failure in the process. As a society we keep our eye on the prize, reach for larger acheivement and aim high because thats what we have been taught to do. Thats how we get ahead in life.  That is what I have been doing the past few years and that is what has driven me to feel the power of defeat. I feel like a lesser of a person because I want to sell my house and havent been able to do it in a year. I am not fulfilled with my job, and I can't seem to get out of it because there seems to be no where left to go. I feel doomed to stay where I am because anytime another opportunity arises, there is an obstacle that keeps me from acheiving that goal that I want so badly. As a matter of fact, i have had yet another let down just this morning on something I have been keeping my fingers crossed for.

Well what I have decided in my time off is how to rethink things, and re-evaluate my goals. Where I used to set my goals higher, Ive now set them lower. That normally would sound like a bad thing, but guess what? I have acheived three goals this week, where I havent been able to acheive one goal in several months. I have to say, it feels good to know I got it done. I feel like I am worth something.
One of my biggest small goals was cleaning out and reorganizing our closet. How many of us clean our house routinely--do dishes, sweep floors, etc.--but overlook things like our closet? I was able to go in and color coordinate all of my clothes, which told me that I wear entirely too much black. Maybe I could use a little more color in my wardrobe. I figured out half the shoes that have plagued me by falling off the shelf when I am looking for the right pair, needed to be thrown out anyway because I never wear them. I found a package of letters from college from Pam, Nanny, Kristie, and other people that influenced my past. i found my birth certificate and passport. I found some perfume I had been looking for for months. I discovered money in old purses. I found three gifts I had put back for my brother for his birthday in January. After the deep cleaning was complete, not only did it look better in my closet and did I get rid of a bunch of stuff, but I found precious treasures and I fet accomplished. I had reached my goal.
Because my blog deals with the "throne", I would like to point out that just because you cant see under the rim, it doesnt mean that it doesnt need attention when you are cleaning. Thats what our closets and pantries are like. They are hidden and of course, out of sight out of mind. Its also a job that most people want to ignore, but who knows what you will find when you face it head on.
The real purpose of this blog is not to tell everyone to go out and clean every nook and cranny forgotten in your bedroom, but that its ok to set small goals and work on those while you are waiting on the results of the big goals. It helps keep up your morale and hope. It reminds us that we are able to feel accomplished. Ive let morale get so low that I have given up on alot in life because nothing good seems to happen our way and hasnt for a while. I dont think cleaning my closet is going to change my disappointment in not being able to sell my house, but it will build me up until finally that day comes. It will remind me that I have a purpose. One goal was going to eat lunch with my daughter Tuesday, and her face when she saw me at school was well worth it. That made me feel a greatness I havent been able to feel for a long time.
Well, I could continue barking on but I do have a list of things to try to work on. We always hear the phrases "one step at a time" or "you cant build rome in a day". Maybe thats true, but I have learned and am still learning that its the little projects that make it all worthwhile until you reach your ultimate goal.