Changing Your Life

I was perusing some of my favorite blogs the other day and while I was on She’s a Fit Chick, I read this post about an article that questions where you are in life and where you want to be. Like Jennifer, I decided to answer the questions. This gets a bit long, but hopefully you enjoy it anyway.

1. Where do you want to be in life right now and in the future?

I’m in a really good place in my life, so there isn’t much that I would change. I’m in my senior year at an amazing college, where I’ve met so many fantastic people and learned more than I imagined. I’ve been involved in various organizations that I’m passionate about, started a club that will hopefully continue to grow and help other students who are interested in the magazine industry, and had a fantastic job at the fitness centers where I’ve discovered passions I never knew I had. Not to mention I’ve been lucky enough to live in New York City twice in a year and work at a magazine I absolutely love and 100 percent support.

But that’s only the work and education side. I’m also in a very loving relationship with my boyfriend of practically two years (13 days away) and I’ve never felt more sure of myself than I do when I’m with him. He listens to my worries, basks in my successes and encourages me to keep pushing even though I doubt myself at times and want to give up. He makes me laugh, I never (ok, maybe sometimes) get sick of him and he’s not too shabby on the eyes, either. What else could you ask for in a boyfriend?

I also have fantastic friends that I’ve kept in touch with throughout life and I can’t wait to see these friendships grow. My roommates in Oswego, Kayleigh and Meghan, are phenomenal; I love my good friends from back home and I can’t wait to be reunited with my ASME friends from NYC! I’m so blessed to know this many amazing people.

So yeah, I’m pretty content right now.

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop moving forward. My college career is ending in four months, which means a new part of my life is beginning. The adult part. The no-relying-on-anyone-else part. The make-it-or-break-it part. I’m moving to NYC with two of my ASME friends, Libby and Victoria, and I couldn’t be more excited. Or scared. I’m nervous about getting a job in the magazine industry. You never know if the timing will play out and in magazine world you can’t start looking for a job until two months before graduation (So if I’m a stress ball the last few months of college, you’ll know why). However, I’ll be positive and hope for the best! This time next year, I want to be living in NYC and working at a magazine I love. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it without living on Spaghetti O’s, too!

2. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t?

I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise. Since I was little, I’ve dreamed of traveling on a huge ship to some exotic and warm location with my friends. I don’t care if it’s with my family, a girls’ getaway, a mix of guys and gals, or a vacation with Dustin — as long as I’m with people who are ready to relax and have fun in the sun! This year, I’m determined to go on a cruise, possibly to the Bahamas, to celebrate my graduation!

3. What’s something you would regret never having done in life?

Applying for the ASME summer internship, hands down. I remember looking at the application, talking with my professor about it and wondering whether or not I should apply because all of the students who were accepted last year were from big-name schools. I mean, I went to a SUNY school — did I really have a shot of getting in? Turns out I did. I had no idea how ASME determined who got in, but I later found out it’s based completely on what you’ve done to get ahead. Nobody cared that I went to a state school. If I had let my fears get the best of me, I never would have gone to NYC and worked at FITNESS, met great people from all over the country and had the best summer of my life.

4. What are you doing to make yourself available to new opportunities?

Networking like a mad woman. I try to meet someone new every day and learn about who they are and what they do in life. I’ve learned not to be shy around new people and just say hi. I’ve been meeting with a lot of different magazine editors as well, just to learn about how they got to where they are. The mag industry is very much about paying it forward, so making that initial contact, and then preserving it, opens a whole new world of opportunity every time.

5. What do you like/dislike about your life?

  • I love my friends, family and boyfriend.
  • I like that I’m graduating in four months.
  • I like that I’m living with two fantastic people in NYC in a few months.
  • I like that I’m studying to become a nationally certified personal trainer.
  • I dislike that I’m going to be six hours away from my family and best friend.
  • I dislike that my college friends and I are going separate ways (except for Tom!)
  • I dislike that one of my closest friends and I no longer talk because of what he thinks are irreconcilable differences.

6. What are you doing in your life right now to make it better?

I’m working in my desired career field at a magazine I love, growing a networking organization at Oswego State to help future journalism students, launching an online magazine, meeting amazing people through blogging, and training to run my first half-marathon and complete my first triathlon!

7. Are you comfortable with yourself?

More and more every day. There are things I don’t like about myself, but movements like Operation Beautiful are teaching me that I’m an amazing person despite my flaws.

8. What’s holding you back from what you want in life?

A fear of failing. Which I guess segues into confidence. I’ve been successful at a lot of things because I push myself to the limit and because I’m afraid of what it will be like if I fail at something. I need to learn to forget fear and just go for it. I know life is lived to the fullest when fear isn’t a part of the equation.

What suggestions do you have for fighting fear? I encourage you to answer these questions about yourself and if you blog about it, send it my way!

Home is Where the Heart Is

I just got back from Thanksgiving break, and as cliche as it sounds, I must say that I wish break hadn’t flown by so fast. I’ve loved being at school and taking more steps to get me closer to the career I want, but sometimes I just really miss my family. I haven’t been home for more than three weeks all year, so I was grateful that I was able to spend time with a lot of family members over break.

However, I didn’t head straight home for break. Instead, I traveled through Boston, all the way up to Manchester, N.H. My mother’s entire side of the family, all of whom I’m really close with, live around Manchester and I always make a point to visit at least once a year. Thanksgiving break was my time to visit this year. I stayed at my Aunt Sue and Uncle Dave’s house throughout the week, but was lucky enough to see every family member.

Tuesday was just a day of traveling, so I didn’t do much more than hang out around the house. My friend, Kait, was awesome enough to offer me a ride from Oswego to Worcester, which is right outside of Boston. Then her parents became even more amazing and offered to drive me the whole way to Manchester so that I wouldn’t have to take a bus.

Wednesday became the special day between my Aunt Sue and I. Nicknamed her “special girl,” we hit the mall for some shopping, grabbed lunch and margaritas at Shorty’s, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, and went to the movies to see Love and Other Drugs. In case you were wondering, it’s a must-see movie.

I also had breakfast with my Grammy and caught up with my old friend, Nick, after the movie at Applebee’s. I’ve known him since we were little kids, but we often only see each other once a year and talk the rest of the time via Facebook or text messaging, so it was nice to catch up in person again.

Thursday was Thanksgiving! My uncles, aunts, baby cousin Devyn, Grammy and I went to Hart’s Turkey Farm, a restaurant famous for their turkey dinners. It was delicious! I followed my Surviving Thanksgiving Dinner guidelines too and ate rather healthy. Unfortunately, my family then surprised me with a birthday cake (apparently my birthday is a week-long celebration), which totally de-railed any healthy eating habits I had going. Not to mention I wasn’t expecting it at all, so my face turned about 10 shades of red.

I spent Friday with my cousin Joclyn, who shares a special bond with me because she’s exactly 10 years younger than me (Well, her birthday is the day before mine, but it’s close enough). I bought her a “Fight Like A Girl” T-shirt that Colleges Against Cancer was selling this year to benefit the American Cancer Society, and we both had black boots, so she loved the fact that we could dress up as twins for a day.

I headed over to my Aunt Carol’s on Saturday, where I got to have a second round of Thanksgiving dinner with her, her boyfriend Jim, my mom, step-dad, and my little brother, Scott. Once again, I followed my Survive Thanksgiving Dinner tips and ate a delicious yet healthy meal!

We also had family game night, and the girls kicked butt in Catchphrase for three rounds. I also won a round of Apples to Apples, but my Aunt Carol and Jim were able to claim a round, too. Scott put up a valiant effort each time, but was unable to clinch a title like he usually does.

I spent all of  Sunday traveling on a bus, which wasn’t fun because my phone decided to call it quits about two minutes after I boarded. Fortunately, I had my boyfriend’s phone number memorized and was able to get to a pay phone so he could pick me up safe and sound. And when I got back to Oswego, the view was definitely worth it.

How was your Thanksgiving break? Did you experience any memorable moments?