Taking a Bite of Humble Pie

Take a Bite of Humble Pie…

…or in my case, eat the whole thing.

Life isn’t easy. Whoever says it is, well, they’re a liar. We read joke about suing Disney for giving us a the wrong ideas about love and fairytales and happily every after, but in reality, nothing in life is really like it is in the movies.

You don’t always get the boy you want (usually that’s something you’ll thank God for later, but if you don’t believe me, just ask Garth Brooks…), the ugly girl doesn’t always come out on top to win Prom Queen, and your “college experience” is nowhere near as perfect as the movies portray it to be. One big party? More like four (or four and a half) years of hard work, late nights studying, struggling to make it to 8am classes after working your part-time job and not getting home until midnight, declining going out for drinks with your friends because of a group project you’re doing solo… yeah, a real “party” that is (granted, I ended up in a national honors society and graduated with a 3.55 GPA, which may compare differently to the grades that some of those partiers got…let’s not get into the ones that could go out every night and still pass with a 4.0, we kind of hate them…)

Life is Supposed to Be Easy

I’m getting off track. Life isn’t easy. It’s supposed to be, but it isn’t. As humans, we make it complicated. As a perfectionist, I always feel as I though I fall short.

If you’ve been following my blog for any good length of time, you’ll know that I took two months off after graduation to travel throughout Europe. When I did this, I gave up my retail job at Victoria’s Secret, I declined a position at the ad agency I was interning at (which wasn’t really a “real” offer, but we won’t get into that right now) and I agreed to move back into my parent’s house.

Now, in my “movie-perfect” mind, I was going to return from my trip (okay, if I’m being honest, I had no intention of returning home from my trip – I really thought I was going to fall in love and never come back. Well, I met a boy, but I ended up back in Missouri, so that story doesn’t need any further explanation).

theleadingedgeblog.com

theleadingedgeblog.com

Fairytale Fail

But alas, here I am. Back in my parent’s basement. I didn’t expect to be here for this long. Somewhere in my crazy mind, I was only going to be back for a month or two before I snagged my “dream job”. I’m not sure how I planned to snag it so quickly, especially since I’m not even entirely sure that I have one… I’m also not sure who I expected to just hand me a job, or why I thought it would be so easy to come by. But I did. And I have found that I was so very mistaken.

So, here I sit. Slowly moving from the spare room upstairs to an empty room back in the basement apartment at my parent’s house, seeing as I’m going to be here for longer than originally expected. I’ve been getting my niece ready for school and on the bus, working out, doing internship blogs and working at a new pub in town for some cash to start paying off my credit card and student loans. I’m still job hunting, kind of. It’s awfully depressing when there is absolutely nothing available, and you haven’t heard back from anywhere you’ve applied so far. Wait, that’s a lie. I actually did get an “although we were impressed with your qualifications, we have decided not to move your application forward” email the other day. I think I liked not hearing back better…

But I will readjust my big girl panties and continue  moving forward. Continuing to move forward may be a slow process, but at least I’m not idle. If we stop moving forward, we will never get anywhere in life. I know God has great plans for my life, even if my small human brain cannot seem to figure out what they might be as I spend this season of my life waiting tables and rely on my parent’s for my room and board. I guess you could say that I’m learning patience in this process, as well.

And who knows, maybe I’ll be like Alexis Bledel’s character in Post Grad. Move home, put up with my crazy family, meet a cute guy, get my dream job…

My life might not be an academy award winner, but it’s still a movie. Once I’m lucky enough to get to be the lead star in.

Life Lessons: Mistakes and Goals and The Little Things.

Reminiscing about college makes me sad – partly because it’s almost over, but mostly because it didn’t live up to my expectations.

You know what they say,

hindsight is 20/20.

If I could go back and start freshman year over with the knowledge I have now, I would in a heartbeat. But wouldn’t everyone do something differently in their life if they knew then what they know now? I honestly think so.

Visiting Springfield this weekend put my heart into knots. I miss that town and my friends from Missouri State. As I was driving to meet Jodi for dinner, I wondered how different my life would be now had I not transferred to a school closer to home.

Love Life

When I graduated from high school, I was highly impressionable. I went to MSU with the promise of having my best friend there and not being as controlled by my mom, but looking back all I can think of is how much I hated it – I was doing awful in classes, Sam and I quit talking because of a guy, and I was 3 hours away from the family I was so close to. I took it hard, and the more I talked to Jodi, the more I decided that transferring was the best option. I wanted to go to Mizzou, but my mom wouldn’t allow the “party school” atmosphere. Sadly, my mother has had a hand in a lot of the decisions I’ve made. I was never sure what I really wanted, and my mind changes faster than you could believe sometimes, so what others thought and said always played a major role in my decision-making. Looking back, I hate that I was so vulnerable.

I guess that is something good that came out of college though – I have grown immensely as a person. I still may not be sure of what I want, but I know I’m not the only person who is about to graduate and is unsure of their future. I have become more independent. I know I can take care of myself, and I am much better at not letting people walk all over me or make my decisions for me. I take advice and apply it, weighing my options and my pros/cons, but I never let one person’s opinion be my deciding factor anymore. I no longer try to please the masses. I no longer am trying to please my mother, which is incredibly difficult, but necessary.

Please don’t think my mom is a terrible person. She is one of the most amazing, caring and giving people I have ever met. But she thinks she’s right about everything, always (okay, sometimes she’s right, but not always). She is my biggest supporter and would do absolutely anything to help me reach my goals.

What are goals and where can I find some?

Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions of life and don’t really know what you want or how to get it? I do, and pretty constantly lately. I’m about to graduate, but I feel so inept in my abilities. I worry I’m going to be a failure. Honestly, if you had asked me two and a half years ago where I’d be when I’d graduated, I would have told you that I’d be with that stupid boy. I guess that’s something I learned throughout college, too, that you should never center your life around something that can change in the blink of an eye – whether that’s a friendship or a relationship, or even a pan of fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies – they can all disappear. That entire relationship took me on a dizzy ride around and I’m only just starting to stop spinning.

I don’t know when my dream of working for a magazine in the city, living in a high-rise loft and eating pastries at a cute coffee shop ever went away, but I still have that desire in the back of my mind. I honestly can hardly wait to start applying for jobs. I’m going to search every city until I find something that fits. I honestly don’t see myself staying in St Louis for much longer. I’m not sure where exactly I see myself, but I’m telling you, it isn’t here.

To be completely honest though, I would be so content with just falling in love and making a home. I could craft and blog and live and love. I would be so happy. If only it were feasible. Maybe someday, but not today.

Today, I will snuggle into bed in my one-bedroom apartment in preparation for another week of classes. I will work hard this week to bring my grades up while I begin packing for when my lease is up, planning my Europe trip, and working out in my free time.

I’ll try to remember the good times I’ve had throughout my four and a half years of college. I’ll appreciate the friends I’ve made, the things I’ve learned and the opportunities I’ve had. I’ll mourn a bit for the things that didn’t work out the way they were supposed to or the way I had hoped that would, and then I’ll move on, remembering that everything I have been through in the last four and a half years has made me into the person I am today. And as much as I question my value, I am constantly reminded that the person I’ve become is pretty okay.

Complacency.

When did I stop striving to be more? When did I lose sight of these goals and dreams I had and just settle for getting by and doing okay?

I have always had big plans. If I could be anywhere after graduation, I’d be in a city loft, working for a high-end magazine and taking photographs. Spending my free time scouring the city for beauty, working out at the gym and sending gifts home. Why am I not doing these things? When did I settle for staying in St. Charles, thinking about taking classes on photography and sign-language at the local community college while working a 9-5 job? Is it because I don’t think I can make it in a big city by myself? Or maybe I just need another year to save up some money, apply for jobs and then really make it big?

Sure, I’m at the tail-end of twenty-two, but while that seems so young, it feels so old. I see these people doing all the things I want to and wondering why I’m not, wondering what is stopping me. And then I realize, I’m what is stopping me.

My life, my choice.

I’ve been looking at graduate schools for a few months now, as graduation is quickly approaching at the end of the year. Today, I told my mom that I was looking into Webster Graduate School London. It didn’t take but two seconds before she began shooting down reasons that I shouldn’t go – I have a job offer here, I can take my master’s courses at Lindenwood for less than other schools, I don’t have to go into grad schools right away because other people settle into a job first and do it as they have time, she told me it was a bad decision to go to MSU first and knew I regretted it like I would regret having more financial debt after grad school – the list was endless.

It broke my heart. I understand her small-town contentment, but that’s not me. I am made for so much more, and I know it. But how do you get to more when you’re main source of support is dragging you down?

I have thought ten times over about grad school at LU and the job I’ve been offered after my internship is completed, I am thankful that these opportunities are at my disposal. But what if they’re not enough? What if I want to go somewhere new and experience things I have only ever dreamt of? I have had a desire to be in London for years. If I can get a Master’s in my field in London, for the same price I would pay out-of-state at any other university in the US, why wouldn’t I take that route? Why wouldn’t I do something I have always wanted to do? Why shouldn’t I?

I envy people who have had their undergraduate school paid for, as I will have an incredible amount of debt coming out. I didn’t know half the things I know now, and if I could go back and apply for more, I would. But I can’t. So I plan to do whatever it takes to see if I can get funding for grad school. Particularly, grad school in London.

This is what I want.
This is my choice.
This is my time.