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!

Tantalizing mind games

Ghana just beat the U.S. in the 2010 World Cup :) My friend Jenny who I met in Ghana is at the World Cup; I hope she saw it. My boyfriend and family says I have no national pride, which is slightly true. I was rooting for Ghana because I want to see a country whose main sport (arguably only main sport) is football succeed at what they do best. I get annoyed with the inherent winner-take-all attitude of American athletics. Why do we HAVE to be the best at every single sport in existence? Ghana beat the U.S. in two consecutive World Cups. Should we have hard feelings because the U.S. lost or should we be proud that a country whose intense focus on football reaped winnings?

I choose to sympathize with Ghana and give them as much congratulations as they deserve. I hope they win the World Cup!

Moving on to the title of this blog, “Tantalizing mind games,” I’ve been racking my brain recently with trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my life in the next year. A lot of good things have happened to me over the past couple of months. Got several big-ticket scholarships, got to go to Scotland, got to see the family in California, got my summer job back, and got to move in (partially) to my apartment in Oswego.

It’s hitting me every day: holy cow – I’m going to be a graduated senior within the next year, and I’m going to have to figure my life out!

I have so many thoughts running through my head, hence the mind games. I’ll think of possibilities for employment, where I’m going to live, how I’m going to afford everything. It’s like chaos in my head. I love to plan things out from week to week and have intricate details about what I’m going to be doing. The problem with planning for my life after college is that I can’t plan out what I don’t know!

I’ll be graduating with a journalism BA and global studies minor (which sounds good on paper but doesn’t actually count for anything concrete). I KNOW that I want to work as a writer/communications person for a nonprofit that works toward equal human rights/eco-justice/environmental justice. I want to be with my boyfriend, Josiah. The problem with that is that we have to wait until he finds out where he’s getting into law school. The options are: UCLA, UC Berkeley, San Diego Law School, possibly Georgetown, San Francisco School of Law, and others. This means that I have to find a job wherever he’ll be located. I wish I knew so I could start looking!

I also want to go to grad school for either journalism, nursing, environmental science, or global/international studies/diplomacy. They’re related, right? Sounds near impossible, but I think that our generation will be one where everyone has five careers or something. Hopefully.

Do you see my predicament? This is a dysfunctional blog – just like my creative non-mathematical mind on Sudoku. Sometimes I naively plead: why can’t this be easy?! Growing up is definitely not easy. I look forward to figuring out what I’m going to do. Hope these mind games clear up!