My Road Not Taken

Rewind four years ago. I’m one year out of college. I had taken the LSATs. I was accepted into law school and getting ready to start my first semester as an evening student with a full-time job in communications during the day.

Rewind two years ago. I reach the halfway mark. I’ve been working 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and going to school from 6 – 9 p.m. I’m not happy. I’m weighing a choice in my mind but haven’t spoken the words out loud to anyone.

And then I did it. I quit law school.

Back to present day. Today, Tuesday, July 30, 2013, is the day that I would have been joining my fellow law school grads to take the bar exam. It’s given me the chance to reflect on how much has changed in my life since then. 

At 23, you don’t know as much as you think you do. I’m actually finding that as I get older, I know even less. I went into the whole thing blind. I was smart. I liked to read. I loved school. I thought that was enough.

Despite the lost time and money, I wouldn’t change a thing about the past four years. (Okay… maybe the loans. Yes, definitely the loans.) I learned a lot, not only about myself, but about how the world works. I notice myself reading every word of any legal document set in front of me. I look at news stories about legal proceedings differently.

In school, while I was learning to look at the world with a more discerning eye, I also looked at where my life was heading. I realized that this degree wouldn’t give me what I wanted.

I didn’t want to work at a law firm. I didn’t want to put in long, horrific hours. I wanted to work an eight-hour day doing something I loved, with time and energy leftover for my family. And thankfully, after two years, that’s where I’m at.

I’m building a career for myself as a marketing and communications professional. I’m sharing my passion for health/fitness with the Columbus community as a barre3 instructor. I’m married to my best friend and we’ve started a strong foundation for a life together.

While law school wasn’t for me, I’m happy for those who have found their passion in it. I’m grateful for the time I spent there and for all that I learned. I’m especially thankful for the friendships and the amazing people I met.

Today is a huge day for those taking the bar exam. It’s also a huge day for me. I get to reflect on how proud of myself I am for realizing I wasn’t on the right path and for getting myself to where I am today. It’s been a long road but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m doing what I love and I get to share that with the people I care about the most.

If you don’t like something about your life, change it. It really is as simple as that.

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Let Faith Be Bigger Than Fear

As I continue to watch television and listen to the radio, my heart gets heavier. Even on a “normal” week I have trouble watching the evening news. I have made a rule that the only time the news is on is in the morning. I have a difficult time not personalizing the sad and tragic stories. “What if that happened to me?” “What if that was my family?” “What would I do?” It’s what keeps me awake at night.

But this week isn’t about me and my anxieties. It’s a selfish thing to sit here and say I’m devastated by what happened and continue down the trail of “what if someone I knew was there…” As a human being I am sad. I can try to empathize with others who actually experienced the loss, the personal pain or the injury to someone close to them. But try as I might, I never could. As much as this “personally” affects me as a U.S. citizen, it doesn’t even touch what others are going through. The pain of losing a child, a sister, a parent. So this time, it’s not about me and the “what ifs.”

I’ll continue to pray for those who were personally affected by this week’s events and put my own fears aside, honoring those mourning tangible, real losses.

faithandfear

April Resolution: MOVE!

This month’s resolution is purely physical: move my body more. I spend six days a week at barre3 instructing and taking classes. There’s no question that I’m getting great workouts in. However, like many others, I’m not moving at all for a good portion of most days at a desk for eight hours. 

I need to make a commitment to move in other ways. Go for a 10 minutes jog now that the weather is warm. Hit up that neighborhood yoga class. Re-implement the standing desk. Take a walk during lunch. Little “movements” for big results (one of my favorite barre3 mantras!)

Every day I will make an effort to move a little more than usual. Mostly because:

Deviation

7 Day Body Blast – Day 4

Today took quite the unexpected turn. I woke up to get ready for work and just as I finished blow drying my hair my minor “sinus headache” resulted in a wave of nausea. A full-blown migraine soon followed.

It’s now well into the evening and I’m still couch-ridden. Thanks to my food prep, I was able to stick very close to the meal plan despite the slight setback. Plus it was nice to not cook and try to find food when I was feeling so sick.

I had a Green Colada smoothie for a not-so-glamorous breakfast in bed and Sweet Potato and Cauliflower purée for lunch. Rob brought home Indian food for dinner since I still couldn’t move, and I only snuck a tiny piece of naan with my aloo gobi! THAT is an accomplishment.

I am lucky to work with a wonderful team both at my full-time job and at barre3. I was able to take the time to rest and heal myself with no worries, something I know not to take for granted.

Lesson for today? Know your limits- when to push yourself and when to take a step back. I can’t wait for a new tomorrow!

Engagement vs. Existence – March Resolution

I had such a fun time with my February resolution. I’ll be sharing some new restaurants and coffee shops I discovered in addition to healthy recipes in my next post! Right  now I want to focus on getting in the right mindset for March.

This month’s resolution is simple: to engage more with the world around me.  A lot of people, including myself, go through their day-to-day activities without much thought. Getting dressed, going to work, studying, cooking dinner, watching TV, social commitments. It’s all so routine.

I want to learn to be grateful for each moment and appreciate those around me. My action steps for this month include:

  1. Making the effort to call more friends and family members just to say hello.
    We’ll shoot for two each weekend. I hate talking on the phone, but it’s an important part of keeping any healthy long distance relationship going. I still don’t understand WHY this is so hard for me.
  2. Skyping with at least three friends this month.
    Who wants to volunteer?
  3. Looking people in the eye on the street.
    Smiling at them. Making small talk while waiting in line. At worst, I’ll become the creepy, talkative girl in the elevator. At best, I’ll brighten someone’s day a little.
  4. Mystery date night-ing with Rob.
    I have to give my friend Sara and her boyfriend, Michael, credit for this one. It’s such a good idea I’m implementing it. Rob and I will take a turn making secret date plans for each other. 
  5. Finding some peace in the outdoors.
    When it’s above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, of course. I spend so much time in front of a computer during the day that I need to get out more. Even if it’s just for a five minute walk around the block. I’ll really see what nature has to offer me!

Although simple, this short list will give me some places to focus. I often neglect friends that mean so much to me for absolutely no reason. I’m excited to get started and do more than just simply exist in the world around me.

New Thinking Thursday

Thursday is when I start looking forward to the weekend. I get to choose my own activities for a full 48 hours. Spend time with friends? Workout? Study? Go to dinner? Read a book? No one dictates that but me!

It’s become increasingly more important to make my free time count as the year progresses. I came across a few quotes today from spark new thinking that energized me:

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice

“Opportunity follows struggle. It follows effort. It follows hard work. It doesn’t come before.” -Shelby Steele

“Nobody ever wrote a plan to be broke, fat, lazy and stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.” -Larry Winget […and while I wouldn’t use all of Larry’s exact words… I get the point he was trying to make!]

I’m motivated for a productive, fun and fulfilling weekend. Bring on Friday!