Thursday, January 7, 2010

When Dreams Come True...

Have you ever had a dream come true? I don't mean you dream about going shopping and then the next day, you do. I mean had a true desire of your heart that you wanted with every fiber of your being for an extended period of time and then one day, it comes true! If you've experienced it then you are probably grinning from ear to ear just remembering how it felt.

As I was laying on my aerobed spending my first night in my newly purchased condo I was trying to remember if I'd ever had another dream that came true. I only remember two real, legit dreams I had before wanting to own a home. One was going Florida State, which I ended up giving up to be practical and go 'in state' to Purdue University. The second was to win a Super Bowl (well, my Dad to win one, me to be there) and that came true a few years ago. In fact, that may come true again this year! The jury is still out on that one.

Back to my point here. I was a somewhat ambitious child and when I really wanted something (which was practically daily) I found a way to acquire it. It took me until late in high school to ever want something big enough it took more than a week to achieve. And I tasted defeat for the first time when my dream of FSU fizzled out.

But life went on and I channeled that defeat into a successful four years at Purdue which I then turned into job offers in Tampa, where I had been dreaming of living. When I moved here I set a goal for myself (a dream, if you will) to become a Florida homeowner within my first two years here. And as of Dec 21st, less than two years after my move here - I am!

I am overwelmed with gratitude to my heavenly Father and my earthly father for their parts in helping this dream come true. This has been one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life thus far and the journey has just begun.

For every situation I like to have scripture. Here are mine for my new life as a homeowner...

20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory! - Ephesians 3:20-21

15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." - Joshua 24:15

My hope for each of you is that you taste both victory and defeat in your lives so that you may find yourself, your need for faith, and a lifetime of grace! When your dreams come true remember to be grateful to the ones who got you here. And most of all, enjoy every day because no one is promised tomorrow.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Take a break.

One thing each of us faces at some point in our lives is the need to take a break.  Your 20s are for excelling in the workplace, wearing trendy clothes, having fabulous friends you travel the states to visit, etc but if you don't occasionally take a break you will be wearing your life on your face by 30.

I just finished week 2 of a new job and I was pooped by 5:00 yesterday.  New learning at work plus nightly commitments outside of work had really kick my butt.  I cancelled all plans and came home.  Lit some candles, plugged in a new Bath & Body works wallflower, took a long shower, and curled up in bed with a book.  Don't be afraid to give yourself a night in and maybe even go to bed before 10 every once in a while.

You may only be young once but I for one, would like to look young forever.

Your body knows what it needs so pay attention and when it's begging for a break, give in!  You may find, like I, that actually enjoy the occasional night in by yourself.


Monday, August 31, 2009

When things start going right...

By nature the three of us ladies who write into this blog (Alyssa, I'm still including you in this even though your entries are slackin!) are positive people. We've undergone an incredible amount of change in the last year with what I can only describe as grace. As Mer and I embarked on adventures in young adulthood in the Florida area, and she later moved back home - Alyssa has been planning her wedding to the love of her life back home in Indiana. A wedding I can't wait to attend next weekend, by the way! With the exception of a few bad days here and there we've kept upbeat go-get-em attitudes in this crazy post-grad year.

That being said, what happens when it things start going right? Not that anything in my life in Florida has been particularly bad or overly difficult but right now things are really falling into place. I spent a few months in limbo after finding out my current job may or may not have funding as of Oct 1st of this year I had put out some applications and put plans on hold.

I then went through a whirl-wind adventure of jumping through hoops to get a position with Child Protection Services. After completing months of lie detectors, interviews, and physicals I was offered a position! The hard part was, by then I knew it just wasn't the right opportunity for me. I knew the job and the benefits were incredible and there was no lack of feeling honored on my part to be given such an opportunity. It was the right job, it just wasn't my right job.

Back to limbo I went - playing the waiting game as I stayed in contact with a Director from a company I'd been dying to work for. We started chatting and they were entering a time in which they were going to be doing some hiring and she was interested in me for the position of her assistant. Honestly, I couldn't think of a more perfect opportunity for me. A company I love and a director I adore. I had that at my current job and so as I thought about moving on, my desire was to still to feel that way. I got both of those and the added security of knowing my job would be here to stay.

Throughout those months of limbo I struggled with feeling like my whole life was hanging in the balance. Not just this work decision and where I would be come Oct. 1st but also with housing. I want to buy my first home. I may have blogged about this in the past, I can't quite remember. But until I settled on a job, there was no way I could comfortably pull the trigger on buying a condo. So again, more limbo.

As I thought forward to the fall and holidays, how could I plan the rest of my year with the biggest contributing factor (my job) still undetermined. Do you see where I'm headed with this? My life was on hold. This is a frustrating feeling I'm sure many of you can related too!

Flash forward to present and I'm finishing up my last 2 weeks at my current job and preparing to transition to my new position in events with a non-profit organization that will put be planning, traveling, and helping execute events with professional sporting teams. Right up my alley. My own father being a professional football coach, I feel like these are my people! I will be promoting Dad's taking active roles in their kids lives. I've been blessed to have a Dad who went above and beyond to do this for me and my sisters. We have always been a priority.

So now, what happens when things start going right? That's the title of this entry and that's what I'm exploring now. My job fell into place and with it has come other progress. I've found THE condo and am waiting on Daddy dearest approval to place at offer. This weekend I went through my closet and analyzed my work wardrobe to see what I will need for my new position. I asked for a Kindle for my upcoming birthday, as I think I will love having it for my travels. I also bought myself a new camera to document as I see new cities!

Holiday plans are still in the works as I'm trying to best coordinate with my sisters who both live in different states from each other and yours truly. After months of being on pause my life feels as though it's in fast-forward. It's been less than a week since the ball began rolling so I supposed the answer is that I don't know yet what happens when things are going right but I'm enjoying the ride.

I wish the same for each of you. That after the hard times come some gut-retchingly exciting moments in fast forward. It is a good place to be in. A welcomed change from a long limbo in my own life.



Monday, August 17, 2009

The Art of Eating In.

Alright lovelies, I've taken on a new task. I'm committing to start eating in. Gasp, I know. As a 20-something with a career and a whole list of other weekly activities eating in has gone by the wayside. It is time to get back in the groove. In part, for my waistline. Eating out is not the new black when it comes to flattery! Also, it's time to cut back on wasted money spent stuffing my face and focus on furthering my financial savvy.

Kicking it in to gear last week, I committed to eat lunch at work. If you're like me, you see lunch time as your chance to escape. Whatever drama or lack-there-of your work day may be bringing about, you get to leave for one glorious hour. On bad days this is the perfect chance to eat your feelings, Mean Girls style. Well no more. Not for this girl. Time to crack down and eat in - even at work! Even on crappy days.

I'm hoping this will give me the chance to expand my mind by freeing up some of my lunch break daily to read, read, read! Thankfully, since I'm such a social butterfly that I hate spending meals alone, one of my coworkers and good friends is doing this with me. So we're lunching together - chatting & reading in intervals. What a help she has been.

Also, I'm trying not to dine on the go. I find that not only do I eat crap for food when I eat on the go but I eat too much of it. This tends to be my error around dinner time as I think of cooking and then having to clean up after myself. Usually I have to be somewhere again by 7, so why not eat in the car and save myself some trouble? This is murder on my wallet, and my health too I'm sure.

This includes morning Starbucks or McDonald's coffee runs. Sad. Oh, and Panera run ins for bagel. My wallet will thank me for cutting these overpriced morning treats out of my day-to-day and eating a healthy breakfast at home. Want to do the same and have it suck less? Tivo great shows and eat your breakfast in front of the tube. I'm finding that still feels like a treat!

As for dinners...a great way to talk yourself into eating dinner at home is to find a friend who will alternate with you. You feed them once a week, let them feed you once a week. It's really not any more expensive to cook for 2 than one. It's more fun, AND you get one night a week where not only does someone cook for you but you don't have to do the dishes. Score! I love the social aspect of having a dinner buddy too.

Parting advice for those of you looking to cut back your dine-n-dash money (and calories) is to buy stuff you will actually make and eat. It never fails that when I go to the grocery I tell myself that I should get all super healthy raw food and that if that's all that's in my house I'll eat it. Wrong. I will let it rot while eating anywhere but home...avoiding my fridge like the plague. This neither helps my budget nor my health. Time to be real...

Buy food you'll eat. Get meals that you won't have to slave over so that cooking isn't a horrendous chore. Make eating in fun, whatever that looks like in your own life. Better yet, cook enough to last more than one meal. When you live life on the go (like I), it's nice to have something waiting for you. This week for example I have something in the evening Weds, Thurs, and Friday evenings. So, if there's food all divided out for me at home, I can eat it before I have to rush back out to face the next task. And grab a different tuberware on my way out to work the following morning.

That my friends, is the beginning of my journey to master the art of eating in.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chase your dreams.

One of the greatest benefits to being 20-something is that you still have time to chase your dreams! M & I have had a great many conversations of this nature. Kiplinger magazine (if you're on twitter follow them @kiplingermedia) said that more people in our age range are taking chances to get the jobs they really desire now than even before the crash of the job market. So there you go, there's your justification.

I'm currently in the process of fighting for my own dream job and I'll let you know as that progresses just where I end up. As I was offered a great job two weeks ago I was faced with a choice, play it safe or gamble on getting the job I'm passionate about. You know from my previous statement that I'm choosing to take a gamble. It may just pan out for me.

Don't be faint of heart my friends - we can get what we want.

One thing I learned in college that has carried over into my young adult life well is that I learned early how good it feels to get what you want. Now I fight for it, tooth and nail. I challenge you to do the same, it's worth the battle.

Chin up loves!


Monday, July 13, 2009

If it makes you happier

What happens when you realize you thought you had it figured out, but actually have no clue?

My goal after graduation was to work for a non-profit because you learn how to do everything. You have to work really hard to get results and typically others in the non-profit world also work really hard.

I've found all of these things to be true. But it's not enough. So, where do I go from here?

As 20-somethings, we are goal-oriented from the day we are born. All we are told is that we should finish school and work toward a great career that will provide security and insurance. Hopefully, you love what you do, but the biggest thing is to make sure you're taken care of. I have all these things, and my job is fine, but I'm getting to the point where my job is simply paying my bills. As a non-profit employee, I think it's important to want to give 110% every day to ensure the success of your programs. Not even a year in and I'm already tired of giving my 110%. To be honest, I care a little less every day about my job. I still work hard, but it's because I'm supposed to, not because I want to. Is this what I spent my whole life working toward?

And what happens now that I realize this? Do I just simply quit? Do I look for another job, even though I haven't even been there a year? Or, do I pursue what really makes me happy at the expense of losing some of my current security? Would that really be a bad thing?

My fellow 20-somethings, I hope we are all brave enough to take a chance on our lives and strive for happiness, even if it goes against the status quo.

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's good to be young...

Here's a little encouragement for us 20-somethings and any 30-somethings reading this blog.  The recession has benefits for us.  You have to learn to take advantage of such things.