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Exquisite Wonder

Wow have you seen this life with those eyes? This world is beautiful

IG – @grateful.grace

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#writing · Photography · Travel · Uncategorized

Faking It

Growing up is hard. when you’re six years old, all you want is to be an adult, drive a car, have independence, and be your own person. Let me tell you, it’s difficult. Here I am, a twenty year old -gulp- woman. If you had asked me when I was thirteen years old, experiencing crushes for the first time, acne, crazy friendship drama, if THIS is what I expected 20 to look like, … this would not have been it.

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I always looked up to girls older than me, (literally and figuratively) and thought they had it all together. They walked with such elegance and confidence, I didn’t know how I would get there. I wanted to be just like those girls that were surrounded by tons of friends, laughing with music blared, windows down on the highway, sipping coffee and discussing latest “cool-adult-thing”. I wanted to be an amalgam of all of it. Cool, collected, wild, intelligent, artsy. Overall, I wanted friendships that helped me flourish.

Moving soon into my 21st season of life, it seems that a lot of it is faking it. Not by being a fake person or being pretentious in any way, but by putting on a smile, laughing, knowing that it will all be alright eventually, and moving forward. Putting one foot in front of the other, and trusting in God, that He has everything worked out. I might not always have all of the confidence in the world, but if I pray to God, tell myself to fake my confidence for a moment, I find that I come out more surprised with my capabilities than I had thought.

I know what you might be thinking; what is she talking about? “Faking” it? I in no way am saying change your personality, or literally push yourself to be around others you don’t enjoy hanging out with, just to try and “make it.” I am 100% being true to yourself and finding friends that fit who you truly are. Trust me, I’ve faked it in the wrong way and had to walk away from people who did not support me or who were true friends. This fake it attitude is simply a way to throw away the feelings of insignificance, or doubting that you are capable of joining in.

Because truthfully, you are not faking it. In that moment, you are more you than ever. You are letting yourself shine, and giving yourself permission to do so. It seems to be a way to trick your brain, and your conscience, into believing that you are worthy. It’s not something that needs to be faked; you ARE worthy of love, friendship, companionship, and so many more things.

So that’s my thoughts on this rainy, slightly chilly Sunday afternoon. I’m finishing typing this up in my favorite coffee shop, and want to give you all a big hug. I hope you have a great day, and if you have to, fake it for a bit. But remember, it’s allowing your true self to shine through!

#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