Where I am – 2017 Solar Eclipse

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When I came into work this morning there was an old news article sitting on the table. “Eclipse plays peek-a-boo” written by Times staff reporters on February 26th, 1979. The day the last solar eclipse took place in North America. 38 years ago.

My boss brought this in and said it was an article from the paper her family got when she was a kid. She remembered exactly where she was and what she was doing the day of the last eclipse. She told me the story as if she was watching it unfold herself all over again. She will be in her 80s when one of the next eclipse happens in the US, and she remembers thinking 38 years ago that that sounded so old and wondered if she would even be alive to see it that many times. As I was sitting at my desk listening to her ponder in her memories, I couldn’t help thinking about me.

Where will I be the next time the eclipse happens? Will I be married? Have kids? Be an author? Reporter? Actress? Will I still be living in Colorado? Wyoming? Australia? The skies the limit, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.

No matter where I am or who I am the next time I see the eclipse, I want to be able to look back and remember where I was and who I am today. August 21st, 2017.

So, here I am. 20 years old, heading into what is hopefully my last year of college at UW. Sitting at my desk at Peace With Christ Christ Christian Church working on my internship. I leave back for Laramie in 2 days to move into my new apartment with my new roommates, Ashton and Jory, and I can’t help but feel bummed as I know I am not in Wyoming on this historic day of the eclipse. The path of totality crosses through Casper, and even in towns like Laramie and Cheyenne they will see a magnificent show. I have my special glasses sitting here next to me that I stood in line for at Grease Monkey praying they wouldn’t run out before I got to the front. At the time of the eclipse passing by I will go outside with the kids and witness history.  I never want to forget this day. I want to be able to look back at this exact moment and see how far I have come.

I saw an ABC News clip from 38 years ago regarding the events of today. The anchor said something that has stuck with me, and that I can only wish for, for the next time the eclipse happens in the US.

“So that’s it, the last solar eclipse to be seen on this continent in this century, and, as I said, not until August 21st, 2017 will another eclipse be visible from North America. That’s 38 years from now. May the shadow of the moon fall on a world of peace.”

Unfortunately, this time around, the shadow of the moon is not falling on a world of peace. How you deem the current world is up to the individual, but today, August 21st, 2017, the world is far from at peace. We did not live up to the hopes and expectations of 1979.

After today, the next solar eclipse visible from the US will be just 7 years away on April 8th, 2024. Though not as long of a wait, a lot will change in those 7 years. And on that day, 7 years from now, April 8th, 2024, “may the shadow of the moon [finally] fall on a world of peace”.


 

The aftermath:

The peak of the eclipse has now passed and our lives may resume to normality. The event itself was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I sat outside of the building on the grass by myself and watched the show. Every once and a while a teacher would come out and take a peak. It didn’t get as dark as I thought it would, but the environment definitely looked different. Creepy in a way. Not dark like in the evening time right before the sun sets, but dark in an eery way. Even sitting in my office the light seems creepily strange. Not totally dark, but a different kind of dim. The most dramatic change I noticed was the temperature. I sat outside for about 20-25 minutes and I noticed a huge drop in temperature. The air felt cooler in a blink of an eye and that’s when I knew it was at it’s peak. I thought I may go enjoy the event with the kids at the school but instead I chose to watch on my own. To reflect and remember by myself. The next time we see this, who knows where I will be and what I will be doing. I just hope that I can look back on this day and be able to say, “I was there. I took it all in”.

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“They’re just feelings”

You can probably tell by now that I hear a lot of interesting conversations take place in this little office that I’m interning at this summer. One of which took place just last week that struck me as kind of odd; and I don’t know how I feel about it.

One of the teachers from the school came into the office and was discussing with the director about how some children are showing some signs of regression. It’s totally normal for early learners to be feeling nervous or stressed this time of year, especially if they are transitioning into kindergarten soon. Anyway, I tuned in on this conversation when a comment made by the teacher caught my attention. She was explaining how she was dealing with a student who was showing regressive behavior. She said that she was trying to show him that what he is feeling and going through is ok (which I agree with), but then said that his feelings are just that. Just feelings. That his feelings have no power. Essentially that he should try to ignore the feelings he is having and not let them control him.

Maybe you can see why this struck me as somewhat odd.

I sat and thought about what this teacher had said for a few minutes and went over both sides that could be taken from this argument.

I can see where the teacher is coming from. Feelings are just emotions built up by ourselves that are easily able to be changed just by our attitude. Any feeling that we have – may that be sadness, nervousness, happiness, excitement – are choices made by us that we have the power to control. So if a student is feeling nervous or scared about a change in their life such as transitioning into kindergarten, it is possible and up to them to change those said feelings. No one else has the power to do that but themselves. Feelings are not a tangible thing that one can physically touch, so these emotions are things that are easily changeable if we have the will to do so. This teacher was obviously trying to make her student feel better about what he or she was feeling, I get that. But was this message appropriate? Trying to instill the thoughts that our feelings are pointless and should be ignored?

Here’s where my other argument took over.

As an emotional young woman, I have a lot of feelings. Everyday I experience every kind of feeling in the book. I may wake up happy and eager and within 5 minutes of my hair not looking right I get grumpy. Then I may forget all about that and feel tired as I’m at work typing my little fingers away. I may feel nervous when I get emails from my University or my landlord that mention things like rent and tuition. I may feel excited when I talk to my roommate about moving into our new apartment together. All of these feelings happen in just a matter of a few hours. And these feelings are what shape my mood and view of my day.

Feelings are also what define us. How our mood is like is how people gauge us as individuals and tell them how to act around us. If we seem like we are eager and outgoing, others may feel more inclined to talk with us. If we seem shy and upset, others may leave us alone.

There are so many different reasons why our feelings shape and affect our everyday lives. So to just “ignore” them is essentially saying that we should ignore how we choose to live everyday.

There’s that word again. Choose.

Yes, we choose our feelings. We are the one who is solely in charge of how we feel and act on those feelings everyday. We may choose to feel happy even when we are actually sad. We may choose to feel adventurous and do something crazy even when every bone in our body is yelling at us not to. We choose how we feel, we choose how we act, we choose how to live our lives. We don’t just ignore the feeling of being hungry or thirsty just because they are an inconvenience to our lives, do we? No. So why ignore our feelings that are there to protect us in our emotional lives. We should embrace them just as we embrace the food that’s been put in front of us when we are feeling hungry.

I believe in the importance of our feelings, and not just because I am a young woman with a lot of them. I think it is important to teach our children that feelings are a natural part of our lives and that we shouldn’t ignore them. We have feelings for a reason. They are there to protect us. And to ignore them is to ignore the most personal and important part of ourselves.

I understand where this teacher is coming from, I’m just not sure if she took it with the right approach when talking to a young child who is still trying to figure out who they are. Am I wrong? I want to hear what you think!

College Distance

Let’s talk about something scary.

Distance.

Whether that may be from your friends, family, significant other, or dog…distance can be a truly unsettling thing to think about in the world of university.

I wouldn’t consider myself an expert college student by any means, but I will say that I have had my fair share of times of distance in my years as a student. So I can say with confidence that you can take it from me if you are an upcoming or current college student worried or struggling about the distance that is hitting you in the face as of now. Not to brag or anything, but I do tend to give some great advice.

So, here’s what I have to say about distance…

It’s awesome.

What? Not what you were expecting? Well of course not! It’s been engraved in our heads our entire lives that distance is usually associated with bad things. As much as we would probably like to think that the distance from our normality is going to be good for us (that’s the point of college anyway, right?), the thought of it always tends to hit us like it did with this kid when asked if he is going to miss his mom in kindergarten…

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What am I going to do without my parents there? What if my car breaks down? What if I can’t cook spaghetti by myself? What if I have this weird rash on my arm and my mom can’t diagnose it by just a text picture? What do you mean I won’t see my boyfriend for months at a time? GROCERY SHOPPING??

Here’s what you’re going to do…

You’re going to figure it out.

News flash! 18 year old recent high school graduates don’t actually know everything. Hell, 22 year old senior college students don’t even know everything! But you know what they’ve done these past years to get through life without knowing it all? They just figure it out as they go. And they realize it’s actually quite awesome living that way.

Here’s where I’ll finally start talking about myself (I know you were wondering when that was bound to happen).

When I was dropped off at college in a completely new state with not one friend but my blankie that I’ve had since birth, I was terrified. I tried so hard to be strong when giving my parents a hug goodbye. I held back my tears until I couldn’t see their car driving away anymore and then that’s when the distance really hit me. Up until this point the thought of being away from home was merely a fantasy, and now, here it is. It’s just me.

I’m now entering my third and final year of college (yes, it is possible to do it in less than 4 years and I highly recommend it), and being in the middle of it all is how I can say that the distance from home has been awesome.

Not everything about my experience has been a walk in the park, but I can proudly say that what I have learned about myself and the world has been what’s made the distance so cool.

Just two years ago I knew nothing about living on my own. I knew how to cook some things and wash my clothes, but I didn’t know what it was like having all of the responsibility on solely myself. I didn’t know what it was like to pay rent. I had never made appointments and went to the doctor and meetings by myself. I even had to go through a surgery without my mom there! Can you even imagine??

While going through these experiences was the most challenging and confusing times of my life up to this point, look at me now. I’m alive! Broke as hell, but living. I can now easily meal prep for an entire week with nothing but $10 and some noodles. I can call anyone and schedule anything without having to rehearse what I will say 50 times and then stutter when it’s my turn to talk. I even know how to call insurance companies and schedule claims for doctor visits and surgeries and go through the entire procedure all alone. If that does scream “adult” I don’t know what else does.

The point is, being distant from home and from your parents is terrifying in the moment. I won’t sugar coat that. You will make more phone calls home to your mom and dad than you ever have in your entire life. There will be nights when you cry and cry because all you can think about is how good your home smells when the laundry is going. How it feels like home on a Sunday afternoon when football is on the TV and everyone is in a different chair taking a nap. You will miss these things. It will be hard. But you will come out of it a much more independent, strong, and knowledgeable individual because of it. I truly believe that you do the most growing up between the end of your senior year of high school and the end of freshman year of college. And it’s all thanks to the distance.


Now, distance in a relationship.

This may not be relevant to everyone, so if you aren’t in a distance relationship then feel free to stop here. (Thanks for reading!)

But, if you are someone who is soon going to, or are currently in some kind of distant relationship in college, listen up.

This shit, is hard.

I’ve been with my current boyfriend for almost four years now, and for three of those years, it’s been at a distance. 7 hour distance to be exact. Different states if you want to get really technical.

I remember so clearly the night that we said goodbye to each other when he was going to college for his freshman year. That was one of the hardest goodbyes I’ve ever had to go through. Not knowing the next time we’ll be together, and knowing that he was off to much bigger and better things for his life while I was stuck in the same town at the same school doing the same old things for another year. That first year away from each other was the hardest. There was fighting and jealousy, yet more love than I’ve ever experienced in my life. You couldn’t give me all the money in the world to relive that year.

The second year was better. For me. Now it was my turn to go somewhere new. Now it was my turn to make new friends and go to parties for the first time and discover who I am as a young, irresponsible kid in the real world. There were more fights and more jealousy and more love. But this time, we were both in the same crowd.

This past year was the best for us. Now that we’ve both gotten past the newness of college and have started to settle into a more mature college student, we’ve done better. Though this year was the easiest for us, it also proved to be somewhat the most difficult. The freshness of college and being alone had worn off and now we both are getting to be sick of the distance. Not just because we miss each other, but because we know that the end is near and it’s time to start thinking together. Yes, there were still some fights and jealousy, but this year as a whole was the best. And now that it’s over, I’m realizing the benefits of being apart.

If you are able to, I strongly recommend doing a distance relationship in college. These years have been the best of my life, and even though I think it would’ve been awesome to spend them with my boyfriend, I know that it’s been more beneficial to me, and him, that they were not spent together.

No matter how long you’ve been with someone, I believe in the importance of spending time apart. I believe it is crucial to have your time “single living” (while together, of course), because that gives you the opportunity to grow into who you really are. With these years apart from my boyfriend we were both able to live our separate lives for a while and in a sense, get it out of our system. Don’t get me wrong, there was no cheating or “hall passes”  during this time, that’s not what I’m suggesting, but what I mean is that we got the time to have our own friends, own hobbies, own schedules, own lives…while still together. It was like being single, but committed. It made us both value our relationship and time together even more, and it gave us even more to look forward to when this is all over.

Though the distance sucks the most when in a relationship, this is the time that the distance proves to  be on your side. Consider it, embrace it, don’t be scared of it. If your relationship is really meant to be, the distance won’t make you crack.


If it sounds like I just rambled on about nothing it’s probably because I just did, and I’m sorry. But if there is one thing that I think all readers should take away from this, it’s this:

Distance is awesome. From parents, home, familiarity, and even significant others, it’s worth it. This opportunity gives you the best chance to learn about who you are and help shape you into the person you will be. Embrace this distance, know it is temporary if you want it to be, and remember that your mom is just a phone call away.


I’d love to hear about your experience with distance in college! What was your time like? Any advice for me for my final year, or for others about to enter this stage of their lives? Did distance help or hurt you?

The Little Things

If you’ve ever read the book “An Abundance of Katherines” by John Green, you know that the main character, Colin, has a weird habit of anagramming words. He can do it on the spot, instantly, with any word or phrase thrown at him. Weird, but also awesome at the same time, I think.

Though I don’t have any special talents like anagramming words or discovering theorems for “Dumpers” and “Dumpees”, I do I have a quirk that I’ve been doing for a few years now. I notice idiosyncrasies.

I’ve always been fascinated with humans. I like to watch, study, and think about individual people who I find interesting (and no, that’s not weird). In my head I notice little things that they do. I notice their idiosyncrasies.

For those who may not be familiar with the term, an idiosyncrasy is a behavior or thought that is peculiar to an individual, kind of like a strange habit. For example, when I first learned of this word in a psychology class, the instructor told the class that she had an idiosyncrasy of counting to 5 whenever she went up the stairs. She would number each step, 1-2-3-4-5, and then start over until she reached the end of the stairs.

Since learning of this, I’ve kind of grown to be obsessed with people’s idiosyncrasies. Again, not weird.

The more I get to know someone, the more I become aware of their peculiar habits. For example, I’ve been working in this same office for a little over 2 months now for this internship that I have, and the more time I spend in the same room as my supervisor, the more I notice she does funny things without even knowing it. For one thing, she reads aloud. No matter what it is she is reading (email, text, Facebook post, etc.), she reads it aloud. Luckily, this doesn’t bother me because I prefer not to work in silence, but it is funny to pay attention to sometimes. She also makes noises like “hmm” when she’s working. It’s like whenever she reads something (aloud) and thinks about what just happened, she comments on it to herself with a quick, “hmm”. As if to pause and let what just happened sink in.

Though I pick up on idiosyncrasies with a lot of people, the one person I have picked up on the most is my boyfriend. I’ve spent a lot of time with him in our 3 and a half years of dating, and he is one of the most interesting people I know. And I’m not just saying that because he’s my boyfriend and I have to. While some idiosyncrasies that he has are cuter than others, every little thing that he does without even knowing it I like to pick up on. I watch him when he’s not looking because I want to remember every little thing about him. We live apart as we go to different colleges in different states, so when we are together I try to burn memories of him into my head to save for a rainy day. I’ve always thought that I should put these things in a list to keep as a record, but I’ve never put my thoughts into action. Probably because there is a little part of me that knows this is slightly creepy, but I guess one of my idiosyncrasies is that I just simply like to notice other’s.


Idiosyncrasies of my boyfriend:

  • When he used to drive a manual Jeep, he would hover his hand over the shifter-doodle-thing before shifting.
  • After shifting, he would have to reposition himself by sitting up straighter because he is a slightly short human being.
  • He chews on the inside of his cheeks. A lot.
  • He sniffles. A lot. (And not because he has to)
  • He sticks his tongue out when he is concentrating on something.
  • When he is scrolling on his phone, he doesn’t use his thumb like most people, he uses his pointer finger.
  • When he cuddles he makes groaning and moaning noises as he shifts positions. (I like to tease him by telling him to “stop growling at me”)
  • When he sings he squints his eyes and tilts his head slightly up.
  • When he is is talking about something in a slightly sarcastic tone, or trying to make a joke, he bobs his head side to side, just like his dad does. (As a way of being proud)
  • When he’s seriously trying to describe or teach something to anyone, he takes pauses and swallows.
  • When he eats ice cream he flips the spoon over in his mouth before pulling it out (we both do that, actually, and our love grew by 10 miles when we discovered it)
  • When he eats french fries he doesn’t finish chewing one before popping another into his mouth. It’s one single motion of chewing, swallowing, and popping all at once. You have to be there to understand.
  • Every time he puts on a hat he squeezes the bill together with one hand.
  • When he throws a ball he purses his lips together into a straight line.
  • He only uses his hands to talk when he’s telling a story.
  • When he calls his dog’s name (Jersey) he says it like (JAR-sey).
  • Whenever I laugh at him he always says, “what?” because he likes to hear me say I think he’s funny.
  • He shakes his head and goes “brrrrr” when he eats something strange/intense or when he gets a chill. (Just like his mom)
  • He always misspells “good morning” he makes it into one word. (Yes, this bothers me. (“Good morning” is just like “good night”. 2. words.)
  • When we haven’t seen each other in a long time, he approaches me with slow movements and a closed smile. But with the kindest eyes you will ever see on a boy.
  • When he hangs up the phone he says “buh-bye”.
  • He never goes down the stairs slowly. It’s always fast and with high knees.
  • He wakes up with one eye open and the other closed.
  • He jogs with his hands low.
  • He never takes sips of anything. It’s always a chug.
  • He drives with his left hand on the top of the wheel. Usually to hold my hand, but no matter what.
  • Every time he sits up or sits down he sighs.
  • He never unties his shoes to take them off or put them on.
  • He tends to sleep with one hand under his face and one in-between his legs.
  • He snores even when he’s awake.
  • He answers the phone “yyyeeellow”.
  • His casual movements are slow.
  • “Hiya!”
  • “Bye-cycle!”
  • When he hangs up the phone he always says, “bye, I love you” instead of the usual, “I love you, bye”.
  • He hugs with his fists closed.

There’s probably countless more that he has that I have yet to pick up on. But by the time we’re old and gray, I expect this list to be full. I want to know every little thing.

 

Through your eyes

This morning whilst going through my typical morning routine of coffee, muffins, and the TODAY Show, I got sucked into an interesting conversation that my parents were having.

If blind, would you rather have lost your eyesight overtime, or have never had it at all?

Dad said he’d never want to have had it at all. It would be too devastating to know what you once had and then to lose it.

Mom said she would want to have had it, but then lose it. She would want to know what people are talking about when describing things to her. She would want to have an idea of the world around her.

Mom’s opinion got me thinking.

What if I had a friend who was blind (from birth) and I were to try to describe the world around us to them. What would I say? How would I even start?

How do you explain something so great as the mountains?

How would you describe what colors are?

The ocean?

A puppy?

A tree?

How do you even begin?

Here’s what I think I would say:


The best part about living in Colorado is that no matter where you are, when you turn your eyes to the west, you can see the mountains. All across the horizon are these monstrous humps that seem to stand over the rest of the state demonstrating their beauty and power. The sun sets behind them and casts a shadow that radiates their glory across the sky through the clouds. As you get closer to them their details start to show. It’s as if the ground gets taller and taller and steeper and steeper until the earth meets at a point in the sky. Perspective on life changes as you get deeper into the mountains. Your life doesn’t seem so big anymore as you look up at the landscape before you. Your bubble that you live in daily opens up into something far greater than ever imagined, and you don’t even need to see it to feel it. The air feels bigger, the sounds are further away but yet hit you closer. The wind blowing through the trees, the clear sounds of birds and bugs as they sing their songs with no interruptions. Flowing water that cascades through the earth, free of obstructions. The feeling of the cool earth beneath your feet, and the mixture of warmth and shade as you walk through the ever-changing scenes. You don’t experience the same thing twice. No mountain is the same. It’s something unlike any other place in the world. And the best part is that feeling it is even better than seeing it.

 

The ocean is bigger than anything ever imagined. It’s the one part of Earth that seems endless. Standing on a beach and looking out onto the sea there is nothing but water until it meets the sky. Just by hearing it you can feel its endless wonder. Even while looking at it it’s a mystery. No one has seen every part of the ocean, and even the creatures that live underneath the surface live in the wonder. Being submerged in the middle of the sea is like entering another world. Everything becomes still yet the life below you is busy. The fish and plants move in such mystical movements that you find yourself swaying to the rhythm of the water without thought. You hear nothing but silence when you are in the water and you feel weightless. Blind it may feel as if you’ve just being launched into space and theres nothing around you. No feel, no sound, no sensation. But with sight it’s a world unimagined. More colors and life than you’ve ever experienced before. Creatures that can only be described as alien but they’re yet the most beautiful life you’ve ever witnessed. And when you pop your head above the surface of the water it all disappears. The ocean is a silent world that lives loud all around us.

 

A puppy is the most selfless soul on Earth. Imagine the stuffed animal you’re holding filled with life and curiosity. No matter what they are doing, they seem to do it with a smile. I like to describe all dogs as the only creatures on Earth who are always ready for a party. Puppies never stay in one place for longer than a few seconds when awake. They are always wondering around looking for something new. They get distracted easily by the wind. Simple sound like a toilet flushing or a phone ringing are strange to them and startle them. They put everything in their mouths similar to a human baby. They want nothing but to love and be loved and it’s the most innocent and precious thing one could witness. When they sleep they like to be close. They want to feel someone or something they love close by. The way their little tummies hover up and down is the softesst movement witnessed by man. Their eyes light up the world around them as everyone, no matter who you are, stop to swoon at the new life. Puppies are a true gift from God, and a joy in life that we don’t even deserve.

 

A tree is a symbol of life. They stand tall and give life to those around it. They start at the ground as a hard wooden trunk. Some small, others big. Some house creatures, others just there for their simple beauty. At the top flow out branches and leaves of all shapes and sizes. They sway in the wind and shine in the sun, and throughout the year if you’re lucky enough to live in a place of seasons, their character changes. Though it’s their time of death, they give life to the world around them. Yellows and oranges and reds of all shades signaling the approaching end to a year and a start to another. Though lifeless in the winter, the spring proves their resilience. Life flows back through their roots and sprouts of green and flowers and fruits lay before us. When you’re walking down a road and all of a sudden no longer feel the intense heat of the sun on your skin, you can look up and thank the trees for the cool shade it provides. Trees seem to know just the right time for everything. They know when to shade, they know when to blow, they know when to be still and covered in snow.


We all take our sight for granted. It took a lot of creativity and reflection to choose my words wisely on how to describe life’s greatest treasures to those who aren’t as lucky to see them.

Take a moment and think about how you would describe the world around you to someone who can’t see it. Doing so provides a perfect opportunity to appreciate what we take for granted and send a thank you to the One above for the blessings we can see around us.

Far from “Spoiled”

A lot of different people, throughout my life, have used a lot of different adjectives to describe me.

Malorie: kind, funny, short, animal-lover…

The list goes on.

Unfortunately, one word that has been used (particularly by certain members of my family) is one that hits me the hardest in the gut…

Malorie: spoiled

Out of any word in the entire dictionary that you could use to call me, spoiled is arguably the worst. Scratch that, it is the worst.

But I’m not just here to talk the talk because I’m defensive. I’m here to walk the walk because I want to prove you wrong.

I did not grow up in a wealthy family. My parents worked harder than anyone I’ve ever known to support my brother and I. I remember a time when my dad was working multiple jobs. Teacher by day; retailer by night; with other side jobs here and there. And before that, both of my parents would work at a newspaper warehouse. Getting up in the middle of the night to go sort newspapers to be delivered before the sun. I remember my brother and I would have to go with them to this job because we couldn’t afford a babysitter. 2am, mom would come in and wake us to go to the warehouse. At the time it was fun for us; we though it was a treat. Looking back I realize how hard that was for my parents; taking their two young children to a warehouse in the middle of the city and try to keep them wrangled while tying papers together before the deadline. Sometimes dad would have to leave early for his other job and mom was stuck finishing the rest of the work on her own. Just in time to take my brother and I to school and her off to work. From the very beginning I was surrounded by hardworking people. I never knew anything different.

Flash forward 15 years later and my parents are still those same workers. Dad now retired from teaching but far from retired from working. I can’t even count how many jobs he’s had since being a teacher. Mom’s still at her same job fighting every year to keep her hours and the hope alive for a 10 cent raise. 20 years at the same place and she’s never once had insurance. My brother and I never had any kind of insurance until we went to college. That’s foreign for some people.

Flash forward and now I’m 16. The day after my birthday I was applying for a job. Cart kid at a golf course. For the next 3 years I will be there. Working every holiday but Christmas. Using every cent of my paychecks to buy a car and ride horses.

Horses.

My passion since I was a freckle in the sky.

I’ve never owned a horse, but I have done everything in my power to ride. I can’t even count how many horses I’ve managed to swing a leg over just by finding people nice enough to let me. I never started taking real lessons until I was in high school and was able to pay for them on my own and drive myself to the barn. Every year since before I could remember I’ve put a horse on my Christmas and birthday list. 20 years old and I still do it. 20 years and I’ve never expected it to happen. I just write it down to remind myself what I’m working towards.

Flash forward: now I’m in college.

I wasn’t supposed to end up at the college I’m at. I wasn’t supposed to be a University of Wyoming Cowgirl. I wasn’t supposed to move out of state. I wasn’t supposed to take out student loans. I was supposed to go to community college and live with my parents because that’s all we could afford. I wasn’t supposed to go behind my parents’ backs and apply to my dream school and get accepted. But I did because I knew I could do it on my own. I knew I could apply for scholarships and win them. I knew I could score high on my ACTs and graduate top of my class to make myself stand out for even more scholarships. I knew I could make it work on my own because I had to. And here I am.

I’m going into my senior year of college and I’ve done it all on my own. Every book bought, every tuition payment met, every loan paid on time. I’ve done it. I’ve had help along the way when I got stuck, sure. But it’s been me the whole way.

I’ve managed to get scholarships every semester for the past 3 years. I’ve managed to be an important and successful member of my equestrian team and continue my love of horseback riding, without ever once owning a horse. I will have lived in 3 homes throughout my college career, paying for them all with minimal help from my family.

Flash forward: today.

July 19th, 2017.

I’m sitting in a chair at a job that I hate, just coming from an internship that I worked so hard to get and almost had taken away from me.

Since the moment I stepped foot back in Colorado for the summer I’ve been working. 40 hours a week making minimum wage at two jobs.

Before walking into work today I watched a Snapchat of a friend of mine on a hiking trip. What I would do to be hiking at this very moment. My friend hasn’t worked. She does everything that I’ve always wanted to do. She has no worries.

And yet, I am spoiled.

No, friend. I am not.

I am working these mediocre jobs right now so I don’t have to later.

I am going to college so I can find a career doing something I am passionate about. I will be successful. I will make enough money to buy a car that doesn’t shake rattle and roll around every corner. I will be able to afford to buy myself flowers just because I want to. I will live in a house of my own with a barn in the back filled with horses that I worked hard for my entire life. My future is going to be sweet, my friend. I am not spoiled.

I am blessed.

I am blessed because I know the true meaning of hard work. I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck and not be able to rely on my daddy to send me money every month. I know what it’s like to cry in the middle of the night because I don’t know how I will be able to afford rent and horse show fees and bills from a surgery next week.

Life has not come easy from me. It’s been a guessing game for the majority of my life.

But I’m proud of it.

I’m proud because I know while you, my friend, are having a wonderful summer full of hikes and sunshine, my summer, full of long days and artificial lighting, will pay off when I get to truly spoil myself later.

 

 

8 years of suffering under Barack Obama — Teri’s Public Library

The sentence I hear most from well-meaning, conservative friends since President Trump’s election is this: “We suffered 8 years under Barack Obama.” Fair enough. Let’s take a look. The day Obama took office, the Dow closed at 7,949 points. Eight years later, the Dow had almost tripled. General Motors and Chrysler were on the brink […]

via 8 years of suffering under Barack Obama — Teri’s Public Library