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!


I have to say that I had a great Christmas this year. It wasn’t perfect; for starters, I encountered a family issue the night of December 25th, but other than that, I had a great Christmas. Now, I’m just thinking about how quickly break is going by and how I feel about that. In a way, I am happy, because I miss all of my college friends, but at the same time, it is disappointing, because there are so many things that I would like to accomplish before returning to having very little time to myself, and it feels like I haven’t accomplished half of them. Luckily, however, the problem regarding the townhouses that I discussed earlier in my blog entries has been solved.

If you recall, the problem was that I was torn between whether or not I was going to live in the townhouses or live with my friend David, who is going to be a transfer student here. Well, here is what ended up happening. Unfortunately, not all of it is in my favor, but that’s all that you can expect out of life. You’re either going to get A or B, but it’s rare that you get both. Anyway, David successfully got into Oswego, so beginning this upcoming semester, he will be a student here. Therefore, when the time comes to request a roommate, he and I should be able to request each other for the Fall 2010 semester. At the same time, the Townhouses group has been dismembered. One of them has decided to live with a different group, and one of them has, more or less (to make a long story short), decided to stay in Waterbury.

Obviously, I gain something and lose something simultaneously. I will have David as a roommate, which is always a good thing, but the family that I have established will basically be dismembered, with everyone going their own separate ways. Things will not be the way that they are now, and that will be, at least at first, difficult to accept (I do not adapt to change well, especially when it is a change that involves me losing something). In time, I am sure that I will find a comfort zone, but it will indeed take time. In the meantime, I am trying to enjoy life as fully as is possible without allowing the future to meddle with me.

Right now, however, it’s not the future that’s meddling with me as much as it is the present. I am almost positive that I have mentioned it in an earlier blog entry, but if I haven’t, my father does not support my relationship. As a Christian, he does not support homosexuality in any way. He sees it as a serious sin and is therefore completely against gay marriage. It is something that is not easy for me to accept, because it is something that I not only feel very strongly about but also something that directly affects me. The issue therefore becomes a vicious circle; he can’t accept my relationship, I can’t accept his lack of acceptance, and he can’t accept my lack of acceptance of his lack of acceptance (sorry if that got confusing), and so forth.

Living in the same house with someone who believes that your lifestyle is the result of a devil having taken possession of you is not easy, to say the least. I have done the best that I can to talk to him in the past, telling him that homosexuality is something that you’re born with, not something that you choose, but his inability to see things liberally stands in his way and clouds his vision. He previously declared that Ray (my boyfriend, in case you didn’t know) can no longer come over, because, and I quote, “he is a bad influence on Cody and Eileene [my younger siblings].” I felt like saying to him that I guess I cannot be in the house, either, then, because, likewise, I am a bad influence on them, but I didn’t. I refrained from arguing with him, despite my natural instinct to do so, something that I fought relentlessly.

Right now, I feel trapped. I am going to be twenty years old in May, and I’ve gotten nowhere in life. The only feat that I have accomplished is that I am in college, and although that is a major feat, I admit, I don’t even have a car (I don’t even have my permit). The reason for that is because my parents either can’t or won’t help me financially. When I’m home, I don’t have a job, and when I’m in school, I can only earn a particular amount of money, since it is a work-study position. There’s no way that I could afford to pay for the course, pay for a car, pay for insurance and then pay for gas to fill the car; it is totally and completely unrealistic to even think about that; I’d need to be making thousands of dollars a year, which I don’t, not even close. So, whenever someone points out the illogicality of me being nineteen years old and not having a car, I help them realize that if it weren’t for their parents helping them out, they, likewise, would most likely be in the same boat.

I want to get an apartment with Ray and live on my own. I am tired of being dependent and am tired of having to work around my father’s strict rules to see him. This coming Wednesday (the 13th) will be nine months that we have been together, and it’s important to me that we spend it together. Normally, we can’t, because I’m in school, but now, I’m home, so it’s very important to me. I’m not sure how I’m going to go about arranging it. I have some ideas, but it feels like everything that I attempt blows up in my face and like I am therefore running low on options. I hate feeling caged, hate feeling trapped. It’s something that I want to escape, but there ultimately is no way to do so.

However, I don’t mean to be a downer and consistently write about negative aspects of my life. On a good note, I saw the new film Avatar tonight, and I am incredibly impressed. It reminds me of how movies can be magical and is so epically high on the scale of good movie-making that it is honestly the best movie that I have seen in a long time. It was very much a futuristic (the film takes place in the year 2154, I believe), sci-fi retelling of Pocahontas but epic, all the same. If you haven’t seen the film, then I highly recommend that you do. Trust me, it will blow your mind. Anyway, I guess that that is about it for now. I will do my best to check in again soon to let you all know how things turn out for me.

Still Afraid

Wow, I have come to the realization that I have been writing a lot lately, and with that, I have therefore additionally come to the realization that I have been seemingly complaining a lot as well, and to this, I have to laugh, because I promise you, even though that is what the majority of my blogs as of late have been centered on, my life is not a terrible mess at the moment. For the most part, my stress level has been very low lately, because I know what I have to do between now and the end of the semester, and I have a plan as to when I am going to complete each assignment and about how long each assignment is going to take me. Stress has therefore not really been much of a plague lately, but as I have been saying a lot lately, fear of the future has been a plague.

Of course, I suppose that fearing the future is in itself some form of stress, but when I feel something powerful, such as fear or anger or even extreme happiness (even though I have come to find that, oddly enough, happiness is the most difficult emotion to express), I feel the need to write about it, and that is why I have been writing so much lately. In this particular case, as I have been saying, the future is bothering me to a great extent, and because of that, because that is really all that is bothering me right now, some of this may be a bit repetitive to those who have been following my blog entries, but even if that is the case, there have also been some new developments, ones that really aren’t either good or bad at this point, because since they don’t really clear anything up for me, they don’t help me.

As I said very recently, I emailed financial aid about my issue regarding the townhouses. For those of you who have not been following my blogs and thus don’t know what I’m talking about, a group of friends, basically my best friends here, want to live in the townhouses next year. This was not on my agenda at all. It didn’t become part of my agenda, in fact, until one of these friends told me one day that she was considering the townhouses next year, but at the time, I didn’t take her as seriously, because she didn’t seem insistent on it or determined, for that matter; it more seemed as if it was merely something that seemed like a good idea to her. Now, however, everyone is determined to make it happen, and I seem to be the only one who finds fault with it.

I understand that I am very seriously jumping around here, and I apologize for that, but by the end of the blog, I will try my hardest to tie everything up. Anyway, I seriously doubt that there are, but if there are any of you who are reading this and don’t know what I’m talking about when I refer to the “townhouses,” then when you get the chance, take a look at west campus, and you’ll see a good amount of new buildings being built by the lagoon behind Oneida Hall, and these are the townhouses. The benefit is that they’re sort of like apartments; you get your own bathroom, each one of you (six per apartment) get your own bedroom, etc., so needless to say, it’s an appealing idea, because it’s kind of like living in a house. However, in my personal opinion, the cons outweigh the pros, which is why up until this was mentioned, I wasn’t considering this even in the slightest.

My plan was always to live in Riggs and to hopefully do so with a roommate that I can pretty much count on getting along with (I didn’t have the greatest experiences last year as a freshman, and I was miserable). This year, the Riggs part didn’t happen, because it was full, and so I had to live in Waterbury, but first of all, I love Waterbury, and second of all, the latter did happen. A good friend of mine agreed to room with me, and so far, it couldn’t be any better. We get along great, and there’s a very hefty amount of respect between the two of us, not to mention the fact that, as I said before, he is part of this group that I keep mentioning, and the problem with that is that if he goes and I don’t, then I’m back to square one.

Anyway, allow me to list off what I see as the cons of living in the townhouses. For starters, I don’t see them as being very convenient for students who don’t have cars, which I don’t. It’s so far away from everything. I’d have to leave the house a good half-hour or so before each class begins to ensure that I get there on time, and of course, the simple solution to that is to take a bus, and in the winter time, that is most definitely what will be happening, but when the weather is nice, I don’t want to be taking a bus everywhere I go. I like walking when the weather is nice, not only because it gives me alone time to reflect and to enjoy the world around me but also because it’s a little bit of additional exercise. Secondly, back to the winter issue, buses run, so getting to class would not be an issue; however, on weekends when the weather is terrible (which describe weekends of which there will be plenty, something you have to count on when you live in Oswego), I see myself cooped up in the house all weekend long, not even leaving to eat since their plan is also just to cook at home.

Additionally, and this is the most pressing con, it is more expensive. I have been told that it costs a lot more, since you’re paying to live in a single, whereas now, I’m living in a double, and that would drastically affect my bill, since I highly doubt that financial aid would cover the difference. Returning to what I said earlier about financial aid returning my email, they said that they are unsure of whether or not they would cover it or not but that I should keep in mind that they might not, which sort of annoyed me, because I am keeping that in mind; that’s why I emailed them. Anyway, I’m not sure what to do, because one idea that they (my friends) are considering is reducing or potentially even canceling their meal plans just to cook at home, and if I did that, then maybe I’d be okay, since the price of living in the townhouses would replace the price of having a full meal plan; however, then, I’d have to drop money (which I only get $1,600 a year of, mind you) each week for groceries, so either way, I lose.

There is no way for me to win. As I said the other night, my friend David is considering coming to Oswego for his BA, but the problem with that is that, first of all, he’s not coming until fall 2010, and I need to either make a decision regarding the townhouses or select a roommate much earlier than that, and I can’t select him as a roommate if he doesn’t get here until fall, because he won’t be a student here yet. I would say that I need advice, but I don’t really need anything except to make a decision, and I can’t do that when I don’t know how much financial aid is going to help me as far as money is concerned, and although I hate the idea of being so disconnected from the campus and being in an area where there is nothing but residence halls and therefore being so far away from classes, the finances are what trouble me the most, so I can’t even begin to think until I get some closure as to whether or not that is going to be a problem, which I think it will be.

If I can’t live in the townhouses, the plus side is that I won’t have to deal with all of those cons that I previously listed, but what it also means, however, is that I risk rooming with a jerk that is going to be incredibly difficult to live with and who I don’t get along with, and it also means that I won’t be with my friends, that they’ll be all the way on the other side of campus having fun without me, and I’ll barely see them, and that’s something that I cannot handle, and I don’t want to ask them to consider forgetting about the townhouses for two reasons. First of all, that’s an awful lot to ask someone; I cannot and do not expect people to live their lives, making decisions, for me. Second of all, I know that they wouldn’t anyway. They’ve made it clear without actually explicitly saying so that they are pursuing this with or without me. I am more or less dispensable. If financial aid drops that bomb on me that says that they’re not going to cover my expenses and I therefore can’t do it, they’ll just find someone else. There is so much to think about, and I really, really hope that this works itself out.