#writing · Photography · Travel · Uncategorized

Stuck in a Rut

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hi friends!

Do you ever feel like days, weeks, and months have passed in a very monotonous way? That your days are a constant routine filled with the same drive, same steps walked, and same conversations had? I felt this way a couple weeks ago, and I hated it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m almost the number one fan of Routine. But it gets so gosh darn BORING! I’ve been craving adventure, more moments of laughter, and more creativity flowing. Summer is great because it’s about relaxing and chillen out. I just feel that my brain becomes a little too mush during these months though. I need to be inspired and have thought-provoking instances.

So I made a conscious effort to change my habits. Instead of lollygagging around my house for the few morning hours before my shift at work, I decided to head over to my local pool and lather up the sunscreen to work on my tan. I could dip in the refreshing crystal blue water, and catch up more chapters of Wild by Cheryl Strayed. (I highly highly highly recommend that book if you’re looking for an adventure novel that also involves personal growth) Then I would rush back for a quick rinse off, pack my lunch or dinner, and run off to work! This way, I was in a much better mood, and felt that I had done more with my day, even though it was only so minuscule!

Other days, I’ve gone to the gym instead. Not only has this greatly helped boost my mood, I feel more accomplished. Working towards the goal of becoming more fit and slim makes me focus even more, and I feel more motivated. Going to workout with friends or my brother is great as well.

When I have more spare time, on the days I don’t work, I’ve felt even more of a pull to get out of the house. I almost feel like it’s FOMO. (Fear Of Missing Out)  Most of the time there’s not one particular event I feel like I’m missing out on; it’s just LIFE in general. I want to experience it all! I don’t want to miss out on opportunities or skip a sunset that I could’ve marveled at. This life is too short, and I know it can be taken from you before you think your time is up.

So for example, yesterday I had the whole afternoon off. My mom suggested we take our dog Lillie out for a walk, and of course I happily jumped at the chance. It was a beautiful summer evening out. Sunny and mid 70s, with a slight breeze. Sliding on my birkenstocks and leaf-printed shorts, we drove the few minutes to the spot. Tons of people were out walking, running, or biking next to the lake. We passed groups of friends laughing around the campfire as they started to set up a dinner, others swimming in the water, and young girls swinging in their hammocks together. The tall trees swayed in the breeze, and the greenery enclosed around us. I felt as if I was truly separated from the rest of the world for a moment. Wildflowers grew everywhere, and I stopped many times, making my dog stop as well. She would turn to me as if to say, “come on Grace, I’m here for the walk, not the silly flowers!” But I reveled in their beauty 🙂  I desperately wanted to pick a bouquet. Of course though, I care so much about the environment, and know that this is not a smart decision. So this small action, driving a couple minutes from our home, simply going for a walk with our dog, greatly lifted both my mom’s and my mood. Getting out and experiencing life is what it’s all about.

Whether it’s about making giant changes in your daily schedule, or simply going to your local craft store to pick up a couple crafts supplies for that night, shake it up a bit! There’s nothing wrong with a little change. Don’t be afraid to try new things either. You might find you greatly enjoy it, and it could become a new hobby, or you might meet a new friend! In the next few weeks I’ll talk about how my choice to go to a new church greatly impacted my summer outlook.

I hope you have a great week, and remember to look out for those small adventures!

 

Grace

IG – @falling.gracefully

#writing · Photography · Travel · Uncategorized

Plants = Happiness

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While living in the dorms, it’s very difficult to keep plants alive. From the horrible sunlight, to a small and cramped room, to leaving for weeks at a time, I’ve tried my best. And they’ve all died. Even the piece of bamboo that was supposed to be good luck..

Since I will be moving into a house this coming school year, I thought it would be best to try my green thumb one more time, or see if it really isn’t there. Thus my succulent garden was born. I started with a cute planter box from Target, and went to Home Depot yesterday to try and find a couple small succulents I like. I was overjoyed to find they had a whole section dedicated to folks like me who obsess over the tiny green plants. And right next to it was my other favorite section: the jungle plants. Small fig tree plants as well as some ferns, I was in heaven. I limited myself though, because I wouldn’t want to waste so much money if they’re just going to die on me.

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So I settled on three of my favorites. A little bit of green and a pop of bright watermelon red. I’m hopeful for their growth. As I am also hopeful for my own personal growth over the summer. This past year I’ve changed so much, but I still feel I can spread my roots farther and grow taller. I have learned to love myself more; that is a daily struggle. I have been learning to find the things that truly make me happy, which are not always the same as others’. I thought I had found some of that happiness in another person, but it seems they did not want to grow in the same way I wanted to.

I have been able to bond with friends over God’s beauty and love, and those are some of the closest relationships I’ve had yet. Buying these succulents and watching them grow might seem boring or insignificant to some, but it’s something I thoroughly enjoy. And it’s a small slice contributing to my daily happiness.

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I will keep you updated on their progress, and leave a comment if you have any tips for watering or fertilizing strategies.

I still need name suggestions!

IG – @grateful.grace

Grace

Current IG Favorites –

@kaetlyn.anne

@krupcake

@dreaming_outloud

#writing · Photography · Travel · Uncategorized

13 Reasons Why . . . And More

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The feel of your hand against mine. The smell of old books as I flip through the pages of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Smiling as the sun peaks through the clouds, bringing life and warmth back into my skin.

I have aspirations for this lifetime. I have moments that I cherish, and reasons why I choose to wake up every day and seek happiness. I seek it. It’s not always found. But I know that it’s right around the corner.

I want to study Vincent van Gogh’s paintings. Roll in the grass and run through huge sunflower fields.  I want to feel as my eardrums split in two and go numb from the sheer volume of thumping concerts. To slow-dance by myself in the living room, as a record slowly turns.

Shopping for bouquets of delicious smelling flowers for my own enjoyment, to laughing at 10pm in the grocery story as friends and I buy the necessary ingredients for chocolate brownies.

Strolling around the pond my grandmother grew up on, listening to her tell me stories of forgotten times. How the cows would wade through the water and snack on the grass; how she and her brother used a horse to pull the “perfect sitting rock” from one side of the pond to the other. She tells me she wonders if it’s still there. One day she will not be around to tell me these stories.

Watching as my brother grows up from the curly-haired three year old who shared his goldfish crackers, to the day his 6′ 2″ frame strides across the stage in cap and gown, graduating from high school.

Snuggling up with my twelve year old dog, breathing in her puppy scent one more time.

These moments make life worth living. There are far more than 13 reasons why life is so wonderful. Life is not perfect. I have had my fair share of challenges, and I know others have had more. But this life is precious, and should be lived fully and wildly and thriving and as a shooting star bursting through the sky.

These are the moments I live for.

IG – @grateful.grace

Grace

Current IG Favorites –

@_annalouise_

@katiemoyer

@emilyblincoe

Photography · Uncategorized

Does Time Heal?

Time seems to stand still while you’re waiting for life to change. You’ll want to freeze time. In this instant, right here right now, because it feels so good. You don’t want it to end. To savor it, ingrain every detail into your mind so you can always come back to it, like it’s never truly over.

Or maybe, you want this time SO DESPERATELY TO BE over. The pain seeps in to you and all you can do is rock with the motion, trembling with agony. Let this be over! To reach out and press the fast forward button, close your eyes and wait until the train hurtles off the tracks.

I want to know what makes time tick. Do the clocks control time? Because time always seems to be going too fast when I’m enjoying pleasant company. The hours tick by like seconds when I’m with the right person. Or I’m driving to something important; time seems to slip between my fingers like slimy glue. I can’t hold it, can’t make it stop.

Time seemed to stop when my parents announced to my brother and I that they were getting a divorce. Everything seemed to stop. That moment is stuck, lodged inside my brain like a piece of lettuce between the teeth. I want to erase it; pick at that piece of lettuce until the taste of the bitter salad has disappeared.

All the tears in my life, pain, suffering, even that time at the junior prom when nobody asked me to slow dance.

I can do without it all.

I will throw away my clocks. I don’t want time to control me.

IG – @grateful.grace

Grace

Current IG Favorites –

@_annalouise_

@katiemoyer

@emilyblincoe

Uncategorized

I’m not that girl

I’ve never been the girl that everyone wants to include.

I’ve never been the girl that everyone vies for my attention.

I’ve never been the girl that’s completely comfortable being herself.

I’ve never been the girl that says hi to every new person she meets.

I’ve never been the girl that’s good at including everyone in conversations.

I’ve never been the girl that’s the life of the party.

I’ve never been the girl who enjoys going to parties.

I’ve never been the girl that everyone includes in their plans.

I’ve never been the girl who laughs in the face of fear.

I’ve never been the girl who makes weird things cool.

I’ve never been the girl who all the boys want.

I’ve never been the girl who everyone wants to look like.

I’ve never been the girl who can flirt properly.

I’ve never been the girl who can plaster on a fake smile and pretend everything’s great.

I’ve never been the girl who’s the leader of her group of friends.

I’ve never been the girl who’s had a concrete group of friends.

I’ve never been the girl who can bond with someone over the simplest thing.

I’ve never been the girl who stands out in the crowd.

I’ve never been the girl unafraid to enter a crowd.

I’ve never been the girl who says, “Pull over, let’s go dance in the field of flowers!”

I’ve never been the girl who doesn’t doubt herself.

I’ve never been the girl who assumes everyone likes her.

I’ve never been the girl who’s comfortable with her weight.

I’ve never been the girl who breaks all the rules.

I’ve never been the girl who keeps friends close even when far away.

I’ve never been the girl who’s smile can brighten the day.

I’ve never been that girl.

Most days I want to be.

I desperately, wholeheartedly, want to be that girl.

Life looks much simpler and more wonderful on that side of the hill.

I want to become that girl. But I know I cannot change.

 

Uncategorized

Be Joyful

Life isn’t perfect. Days can go by and you feel as if nothing can go right. This week was the second week of classes, and I was already feeling overwhelmed. It’s not that I couldn’t handle the amount of work; I could. It’s just that I didn’t want to. I just wasn’t emotionally or physically ready to put that much time and effort in to my education again. Man, do I sound spoiled. I get to go to college, and get an amazing education, and I’m complaining about it.

Part of it isn’t the school itself though. I almost look forward to going to class. Because that means routine. I get up, get myself ready, walk out the door, walk to class with hundreds of other students, and sit in class amongst my peers. I get to interact with others without having to force myself totally out of my comfort zone. It’s not that I’m shy, it’s just that I feel uncomfortable walking up to a stranger and starting a conversation. That’s part of the reason why I don’t have 20 million friendships from last year. But I have some good ones. Unfortunately, I’m one of my friends that lives the furthest away, meaning I go home less, and stay at school more on the weekends. This leaves me with a lot of free time. When Saturday morning roles around, I definitely don’t want to start getting down to business and whipping through my homework; even though that’s what I should be doing.

So last night, Friday, I made a plan for myself. I would not spend my Saturday morning in my room mulling around, maybe cleaning up, or getting ready for a lone-Target run via the bus system. At 9:30 this morning, I slowly opened my eyes after sleeping in for the first time in a week. I allowed myself one Casey Neistat video, then promptly rolled out of bed. A quick swipe of mascara and concealer and I was a fresh face. I packed up my backpack, threw on cropped leggings and a hoodie, and I was out the door. I felt fearless, free, not afraid to take on the world! I strived confidently, knowing where I was going, not ashamed of being alone.

ok…I have to admit. I wasn’t 100% confident, or 100% fearless. But that’s ok. I was doing it!

I was on my way. I was taking care of my own happiness. I was taking charge, not allowing myself to be stuck in the dark depths of sadness and loneliness just because my friends didn’t want to go out or they went home for the weekend. Stopping by the local farmer’s market to admire all the fresh vegetables, have a bite of corn tortilla with pineapple salsa, and to pick myself up a dazzling bouquet of flowers, I was proud of myself. I even saw a friend on my walk over! I give all my glory to God. I would not have been able to do it without Him. I knew that He was with me, and that the only acceptance I needed was His. I wasn’t afraid of anyone’s judgments if they saw my walking by myself. I was creating my own joy. That’s the most important part. Now here I am, sitting at a cafe with my smoothie and flowers, admiring the local festival happening on the street in front of me. I’m off to explore! Maybe I’ll see more people I know, or maybe not. The important thing is that I did it through Him. I found my joy. Go out and find your joy! Don’t be afraid to be joyful, just because others don’t want to join you. Your happiness is important.

Uncategorized

Am I alone?

College. In those six letters an idea has popped in to your head. Whether that be partying at a frat house, meeting a ton of new friends in classes and the dorm rooms, to kissing a random guy you just met. There’s a ton of scenarios that could’ve ran through your head, but they’ll all include one thing: people. College is all about expanding your horizons and meeting new people, finding out new things about yourself and realizing that there are so many different perspectives in the world.

As a current college sophomore, I must tell you, I did not have the “typical” freshman year. It was not weekends filled with parties and mornings groaning because my head was pounding. It’s hard making friends that don’t want to do the typical party scene. People in my hall – the loud ones – were the ones that went out, so I didn’t see the girls that were choosing to stay in, because they were already hidden in their rooms, or had gone to friends’ rooms to do the same thing. In class I would sit by someone new, sure, and introduce myself. But sometimes it wouldn’t get very far past a polite conversation about where they’re from, or what the homework was for the class.

Eventually I met a few girls who liked staying in. But some of them like to go back home on weekends, one of them transferred schools after a semester, and another has other friends she likes to hang out with. I didn’t want to start clinging to anyone; it wasn’t like I had claim to them. We have only been friends for such a short period of time. So there are some times that I would just sit in my room on weekends, my roommate would be out, and there I would be, deciding on whether or not to watch netflix, clean my room, or just go to bed. It wasn’t a very happy time in my life.

So now I’m a sophomore. Things should be different, right? I should’ve made a whole bunch of friends, have one or two best friends who I could tell anything to, that sort of thing. Well…that’s not exactly the case. Yes I know more people. Yes I feel more comfortable with myself than ever before. But the fact of the matter is, I still don’t want to go out and party. And at my school, it’s a little uncommon to not want to.

I’m the type of girl who wants to stay in and learn Alphabet Aerobics by Blacklicious. (Hey, if Harry Potter can do it, why not give it a shot?) I’m the type of girl who wants to stay in and watch Youtube videos to try and learn more songs to play on my ukulele. I’m the type of girl who wants to stay in to work on perfecting my bullet journal. I’m the type of girl who wants to stay in to be able to wake up early enough to go to the local farmer’s market. I’m the type of girl who wants to stay in to go watch the stars as they unapologetically shine for the world. I’m happy with who I am. Truly. I just wish sometimes that I didn’t feel so alone.

I’m always looking forward to my future, leaving college, getting married one day, having my own kids; and maybe I get wrapped up in it too much. But I know that I am not for the typical college scene. There’s more for me out there. It’s just not very fun to me. This year it is my goal to meet more people who share my interests. Because nights like these when my roommate leaves to go meet some friends who enjoy going out, and I’m in my room, deciding whether to re-watch Friends for the 6th time or start the new season of Young & Hungry, I feel alone. I feel like I’m the only one who feels like this. I know I’m not. But it doesn’t help when I don’t physically see those others who also feel alone.

In the end though, I know I’m not alone. God is always with me. It may not help much sometimes, but it is reassuring. One thing I’ve always heard is that God has 3 answers to your prayers: “Yes,” “Not yet,” or “I have something better in mind.” When I’m praying to God, asking for him to bring amazing people in to my life who know his overwhelming grace and goodness, I know that He is giving me one of those three answers. I may feel alone at times, but God always walks ahead, next to, behind, and with me. He’s there to listen to me and understand my pain. I’ll leave you with this verse.

 

Deuteronomy 31:6
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, 
for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."