Thursday, March 7, 2013

Change of course

I get it guys, I've been slacking. 

To get a new start, I'm officially moving this blog (and all of the seemingly random, disparate thoughts it typically includes) over to

Did you see that? 

I have my own domain! I know this officially makes me a geek, but I'm pretty excited about it. 

So while it's been months since I've posted here, I'm hoping to ramp up and restart over at

See you there!


Monday, August 27, 2012

On trying, testing limits and taking a break

When I was researching whether to go to grad school, my queries were mostly centered around what type of program to choose, which school to attend and what it would take to get in.

I knew why I wanted to go back - or at least, I thought I did. I wanted a better chance at getting the jobs I had thought I'd prepared for in undergrad, but hadn't yet landed. I wanted to join the more elite ranks of those with Masters degrees. I wanted more than what I had. 

So, I studied for the GRE, got the scores I needed and got into accepted into a graduate program.

And that's when the whole thing went to hell.

I should have known from the start that I wasn't happy. I chalked it up to starting a new job at the same time. I attributed it to taking two classes at once. I gave in to the idea that I wasn't as smart as I always thought I was. I ignored the fact that I left every class either in tears or enraged and I dismissed the nagging feeling that I wasn't getting any value out of them.

In fact, I did what any normal human being would do in a situation that causes such misery.

I stuck it out for another semester.

But it was somewhere in that second semester that my grad school related searches started changing. I searched about transfers. I searched about quitting and I stumbled across this post, which - not to be overly dramatic - more or less changed my life. I started wondering whether I wanted to finish classes, but decided I couldn't just quit.

I'd told too many people. I'd spent too much time and money. I wouldn't be alone because my husband was starting classes this year.

But perhaps most of all - I do not quit things.

So I registered for classes, took the summer off and prepared for another year.

But summer brought more than a few relaxed evenings - it brought a long sought after job change. It brought perspective and it brought me to the realization that I couldn't see the point in wasting one more minute being miserable, just because I was afraid to quit.

Last week, the fall semester began. I dutifully went to class, took notes and braced myself for the readings ahead.

And then I saw this video, and it reminded me that I'm supposed to be doing this for me. I'm supposed to be doing this because I want to. That I shouldn't be wasting another minute working too hard on something I care too little about, just because I think I'm supposed to.

So today, I withdrew from classes.

I quit grad school.  

I quit grad school and I feel relieved and scared, happy and terrified from one minute to the next. I suppose only time will tell if I feel the same as Jessica Ogilivie did in her blog post, but right now, I know this is the right choice.

I had to try. I had to go to grad school or I'd always be left wondering. I may try again or I may try a different program. I've tested those limits. I've seen what the stress and anxiety does to my life and my relationships and right now, I don't want to test them any further. I'm taking a break - and I'm doing it because I want to.

Not because I told anyone I was going to. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Expectations and Motivations of a Twenty-Something.

Growing up, we're all given expectations.

Brush your hair. Do your homework. And for God's sakes please do not jump in any puddles when you're dressed for church.

Well, I'll be honest. I hated brushing my hair. I was chubby and my little arms never could reach to the back of my head, leaving me with an almost unmanageable nest of twists and knots that would seemingly never be unraveled.

And I really, really liked jumping in puddles. Saddle shoes and poofy dresses always seemed to have that effect on me.

But as I mentioned last time, I feel like I more or less met - nay, exceeded - my parents' expectations as a child. And as such, they spurred me on to continue making a positive impression on those I might meet even after grandma's handmade dresses went out of style.

If they ever were in style. I'm not sure.

I suppose that's neither here nor there. But now, as I'm stumbling through my mid-twenties, I'm realizing that it's not others who are holding expectations for me.

It's myself.


But let me explain. I'm writing this post after watching a couple episodes of The Conversation. And while I realize the amount of ridicule I'm opening myself up to by writing a blog post inspired by a show that airs on Lifetime, to me, it's worth it.

And if you've ever seen an episode, you'd know why. This show is entertaining, inspiring and to be honest, downright frustrating. To insert the old adage of "you'll laugh, you'll cry" is a bit of an understatement, although not untrue. This show makes me think, makes me reflect and makes me wish I was just a little older so that maybe, just maybe, some of the wisdom these women have learned over the years would seem more applicable to myself.

I guess you could say that's exactly the point. It's supposed to show all of us who are still stumbling and bumbling around that we'll eventually get it. That we'll eventually see life is one big wonderful party and all we have to do to attend is put on our happy faces and go.

But I think more than anything, it's showing that I still just don't get it. Which is precisely why I'm writing this post.

I honestly do not think that any woman, in her twenties, really truly gets it. I think that some women are better at riding the waves. I think that some are better at rolling with the punches and making opportunity out of obstacles. But in the end, none of us really get it.

And it reminded me of exactly what I said when I started this blog in the first place. That there's a great big pile of unknown out there and we're all just sort of hanging around here until we figure it out.

And more importantly, I need to remember that's OK.

That not knowing is part of the game. That when we're children, our mothers tell us what to do; when we're older, we tell our children what to do; but it's in this middle ground, in this place where I'm not someone's mother or someone's daughter 24 hours a day, that I genuinely have no idea what's supposed to happen.

And that's exactly how it's supposed to be.

There are a lot - and I mean A LOT - of sources out there where you can find all the tips in the universe about how to be a better ______. How to be stronger, faster, skinnier, smarter or a better wife and mother. There's Pinterest to lead us to believe that in order to be a good mom or wife, we have to learn how to make everything clean, everything tidy, with cute organized labels, all while baking the perfect pie and serving dinner on coordinated platters.

Please. I'm all for improvement and things looking nice, but come on. We all remember that Martha went to jail, right?

If Martha can't do it, how are the rest of us supposed to run the perfect household?

The honest answer? We're not. Twenty somethings are going to question every decision they make. Mothers are going to question whether they are being the best version of themselves for their children. Business women are always going to wonder whether they're undervalued.

And we're all just in it here together.

So it's important we keep ourselves (and each other!) grounded, fighting our own battles and recognizing that no amount of crafty DIY ribbon can wrap up our life and no perfectly flaky pie crust can make us into better women.

For me, I need to recognize that these outlandish expectations are a product of my own mind and no one else's. In fact, I hope that others will realize that we're all our own toughest critics, that none of us really know what the hell's going on, and that we'll all figure it out eventually.

We'll all get where we're going when we get there. We should probably just lighten up about it already.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Dream Drain

At least, that's what this place feels like.

I can't tell you all how often I open up this site, intending to write something - anything - but leave with the cursor still blinking over a blank page.

I write over here for school of course, but so does everyone else in my class. I post my articles over here, but I don't particularly want the depressing research I've been doing on animal rights and other topics to clog up this page.

So what's up with the whiteout over here?

20-Something Mind Games

Mostly, I feel like I have no idea what direction I want to lead you in.

Heck, I don't even know what direction I want to lead myself in.

I don't know what to write or what to tell you because it seems like everywhere I look, I see people who are following their dreams and making things happen. They're off finding careers, finding their callings or simply finding themselves. People have what would appear to be the job I've been searching for since graduation, leaving me to wonder exactly which step I took was the wrong one.

Granted, I have a wonderful life as-is; I have a husband I love very much, who still laughs at all of the weird things I do from day to day. I have a family nearby and a new(ish) nephew who - when he's not spitting up on me - is just about the cutest thing to ever lay in his own poop. 

And I'm lucky enough to be employed and own a home when so many people in this world do not. Don't get me wrong. I realize all of these blessings and I'm thankful for them every day. 

But here I am, four years later without so much as one position with the same title as subject printed on my degree, while people I know are running off being artists and photographers, doctors and lawyers and discovering their dreams and pushing them to reality. 

And me?

I feel like I was out sick on "discover your dream" day in elementary school

(And did I mention I had excellent attendance almost every year?) 

The Curse of the Over-achiever

I should mention, of course, that I realize I'm only 26 and that I should chill out. But if that's your advice, you can go ahead and leave it somewhere else. Why?

  1. Because I did what I was supposed to do through school, getting good grades, carrying a part-time job and earning the respect of my teachers, professors, employers and peers. 
  2. Because I'm really, truly smart and a hard worker and those are supposed to be my keys to opening whatever doors I so choose.
  3. Because this is my blog and I'll complain if I want to. 

OK, you probably didn't need that third one, and I really don't mean to complain, but let's be honest - when you grow up hearing you can be anything you want to be, you kind of start to believe it.

Maybe it's because everyone in my generation was told the same thing, and we need to realize we really aren't that special. 

Maybe it's only those who have a true, live-or-die-by-it passion can really make something of themselves. 

Maybe some are just luckier than others. Or maybe in this über-connected world we just see more of the bright and shiny sides and it's hard to remember we're all in this messed up world together.

But tell me: how are you doing it?

How did you know what you're doing is what you're meant to be doing? Or are you like me, wondering when that big, fat, passionate something will come around and smack you in the face?

In school, problems have solutions, questions have answers and there's a right and wrong way to do things. In life, we're not that lucky. 

I'm just hoping to figure it all out someday.

'Til then.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dog Parent? Then you should read this.

Last week marked the final week of part one in my PR Features Writing for the Web course. I know I haven't been posting much here lately, so I wanted to share my last feature with you. 

This feature is on a topic very near and dear to my heart - dogs. You know I love the little pups I have, and I try to do my very best at keeping them healthy. In this feature, I focus on the importance of understanding what is in your dog's food - and how to determine whether what you're buying is as good as it sounds. 

Go over and take a look. It's a bit long, but I think you'll find the information helpful. Let me know what you think!

And I hope to get back here more often as the semester winds down ... hope this holds you over til then!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


In case you all missed it - I'm in grad school. 

I know, you had no idea, right? Right. 

Anyway, this semester I'm taking PR Features Writing for the Web. The class just started two weeks ago and we discovered that (ready for it) - we have to write ... on the web. 

That's right folks, our entire class will be leading discussion on the web, right over here at our handy-dandy Wordpress site. There we'll be discussing all of the earth-shattering, mind-blowing topics you can handle, from the perspectives of about 10-15 different people.

At the very least, everyone will be showing up to hone our writing skills at the mercy of the Interwebs. 

(You're the Interwebs. Please show us mercy.)

Anyway, join us, won't you? I would LOVE it if you'd travel over there and give us all some open and honest feedback, both about our subject matter and our writing styles. In fact, it's part of the assignment to get visitors to the blog, so if you could just hop on over, that'd be great!

You're not going to make me beg, are you?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It really does happen!

For all of you who thought using "the dog ate my homework" as an excuse was too cliché, rest assured - it does happen!

Found this little gem this morning when I was just about to hop on the treadmill. I heard a very distinct crunching noise coming from the living room and, alas! There it was! My dog, trying to eat my homework!

If I would have thought of it in the moment, I could have snapped a photo of the little guy at work, but let's face it - 6 a.m. comes awfully early for just about all of us, right?

Good job, Lambeau. In my state of half-awakeness, I failed to document you in the act. So for now, I suppose it's my word against yours. 

Good thing I'm the one that makes the rules around here.