The Loneliness of Higher Education

Well, I’ve made it. It only took my 10 years, but this fall I finally got to proudly declare that this is in fact my final semester as a college student and that I would be graduating at the end of term.

However, as I posted that jovial post across my social media platforms I had a weird feeling in my stomach. An emptiness of sorts. Not because of my lack of my food that morning, though it probably had something to do with it. It was more the realization that I am going to be graduating once again another year behind my friends. Unfortunately last May a lot of my friends that I loved and had even started out my college career with turned their own tassels and took that step closer to adulthood and real life.

Now that I’m a college graduate the loneliness has really began to set in. Especially because I’m still living on my mom’s couch and because the current state of affairs is, for lack of a better word, insane. It also doesn’t help much that my mom lives 25 minutes away from anything resembling a city, but I don’t mind the drive and I won’t mind it if I get a job in the city in the near future. I just want to get to the point where I have a job and an apartment of my own because on top of it all I don’t have a lot of my own space at my mom’s house, which is fine because I’m just happy to have a roof over my head. But it’s hard to go from four and a half years of having my own space to being downgraded to a couch and a small closet.

At this point I’m just trying to keep my anxiety and depression in check so that I can actually attempt to get stuff done because as it stands right now I’ve been out of school for a little over a month and I haven’t made as much progress as I’d hoped I might. However, I’m trying like hell to pull myself out of my funk no matter how unmotivated my mom and brothers may think I am. To be fair though, it’s hard for me to be motivated there when I have very little to room to think.

I just hope that at some point in the near future I can find a job and get my life together better than it is right now. I hate living like this.

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On Chivalry.

Chivalry isn’t dead, not really.

In fact it’s alive and well and here’s how I know.

Tonight at work I covered a shift for a friend and I came in feeling particularly drained thanks to this semester. All of a sudden I hear the distant noises of an acoustic guitar coming from one of the corridors and it was one of my (guy) friends just casually strumming his guitar. You know, how boys do and such.

All of a sudden he sits down next to the chair by my desk and starts to sing a tune that sounds oddly familiar to me but I can’t quite place it, until finally he starts to sing the chorus and I realized that it was Tom Petty’s  “Free Falling”. I don’t think that I’ve ever loved an acoustic cover of a song more than in that minute right then and there.Oh how  wrong I was, because after a short tuning after “Free Falling” he started to sing “Hurt” by Johnny Cash and I more or less melted right then and there since Johnny Cash and Tom Petty are coincidentally two of my favorite artists.

So yes, chivalry is actually alive and well, despite all of the overwhelming evidence against it in today’s ridiculous society. The secret to finding some is to know where to look. I know, I know, it’s a bit of a process. I wasn’t even expecting anything like that to happen to me tonight, but here we are.

However, when/if ever you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this rare bird make sure that you mentally photograph every tender moment of it. Remember everything in that moment. Everything from the color of the shirt you were wearing, what the presenter of whatever chivalrous moment you just experienced was wearing and how lucky you are to be in this moment, even if it is purely coincidental or even accidental.

Enjoy these serendipitous moments when they happen to you, because for that moment in time, no matter how long it lasts your life is a movie. Or at the very least a lot like one. Drink in the moments like these because to quote Sarah Louise Delany, “Life is short , and it is up to you to make it sweet”.

So, go forth my lovelies and be chivalrous and sweet and loving to everyone around you because everyone deserves moments like these in their life, even if for a minute.

 

A Tale of Two Cities and the Futures They Hold

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Have you ever had two people fighting over you for your affections etc.? Well this is kind of what this feels like, but, like, with geographical locations.

This weekend is the weekend that I thought would

never come. It’s the weekend that I finally start to spread my wings and travel to a place that is completely foreign to me, and all on my own. Well, not entirely on my own since my friend is going to be my host for the next week and is going to show me around the wonderful city of Chicago.

My original plans were to go to the Windy City to job search for the future, but my prof

essor with a legit contact was unreachable for this entire past week. So, that’s out. While this is a little bit heartbreaking on my side, it’s also not a terrible thing because this trip just became strictly for pleasure.

In my noble pursuit of looking for a job, even though I still have at least two years left of schooling left since I decided to minor in Sociology I got the chance to go to a real life PR/marketing agency this last week with one of my classes. Said class is my Public Relations Practices class, which is also the class that is allowing me and my classmates to travel abroad to present various research projects in Athens, Greece and Italy and a few other places for a credit and a resume builder.

To say that this place, DEG Digital, is not what we thought it would be would be the understatement of

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the year. I think that all of pre-conceived notions of my classmates and I was seriously tipped on its head once we walked into the actual office. The building itself that it’s housed in was the most intimidating part of the whole experience since it’s in a giant corporate part of town. We all instantly fell in love with it. As the tour guide took us into th

e meeting/welcoming room we all stared at once another in complete and utter disbelief that such

a place could exist.

I should also tell you that DEG is in one of my least favorite places in the Kansas City area because of terrible past experiences from people that live there. I digress, this trip to their offices were definitely the game changer in my entire thought process of this town.

So tomorrow and next week in Chicago, the city and everything I do there is going to have to do it’s best to try to win me over so that one day I will want to live and work there. It has some pretty stiff competition now since I’ve had the tour at DEG and I have always been pretty adamant about wanting to get out of a state that I’ve l

 ived in for the past 25 years of my life.

So to you, Chicago, I dare you to make me fall in love with you.

“Dare to expand your horizons.”

Charlie Stewart: “My parents say my future is right on the horizon.”

Connie Baker: “Tell them the horizon is an imaginary line that recedes as you approach it.” – Mona Lisa Smile

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For the first time in my life my spending habits over the past month have revolved around nothing but traveling expenses.

This was not an accident. In fact, it was the most blissful I’ve ever been spending money because I’m finally doing something that my dad hammered into my head when I was younger, and that is to always look for ways to expand my horizons,

“If you aren’t expanding your horizons than you’re not doing anything worthwhile with that magnificent thing between your ears that God gave you Dare to expand your horizons.”

In two weeks time I’m taking a giant leap into what I would call the unknown because any traveling that I’ve ever done in my life was with family and they were usually road trips to dusty, smelly racetracks in podunk towns or to a family cabin in Colorado. However, this trip, which is spring break for me I am going to be going to Chicago.

I know, I know. Why Chicago during spring break? Shouldn’t I be going to somewhere like Florida or California or somewhere that’s actually sunny and warm and not like cold and balmy? To that I say, sure I’d go to those places if I had the money to go and a place to stay, but I don’t. Instead I’m heading due north for several reasons; to get out of Missouri and get a change of environment (for once in the three years that I’ve been at school), to go to PR firms and publishing companies  in the city to put my name in their ear because I want to work in that industry after I graduate, and to broaden my horizons and soak up as many experiences as I can in the span of a week.

Ever since my dad passed away in 2010 I’ve been aggressively trying to expand my horizons in his honor. It started out with applying to and getting into my school and then by finding a perfect program that I’m excelling at and where my professors have high hopes for my future. However,  the icing on the top of this cake is my most recent travel plans from taking my first train ride to Chicago all the way to applying for a passport and going on the trip that I wrote about earlier in the year which will pack in experiences such as riding in my first plane(s), seeing the ocean and visiting several countries including meeting the president of one and all along side 25-28 of some of my favorite people.

Sometimes my anticipation for all of these wonderful experiences that are within my line of vision feel like they’re about to tear me apart because they can’t get here fast enough, but another reminder of my dad’s comes to mind when that happens and that’s too just relax and enjoy the day/s in front of you because they’re all you have.

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due (or Finding Inspiration in the Financial Aid Office)

Earlier this week I had a meeting with the dreaded financial aid office with my uncle in tow to talk to the head of the department about  my current financial situation.

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Like any normal person I entered the office a little bit on edge because the financial aid office is scary no matter what school you go to, right? As my uncle and I walked into the office of the head of the department the tension started to slowly lift from our shoulders. We discussed everything about how the financial aid and student loans work to my uncle because he has never really had to do something like this before.

Since I was in the office I took a small chance and asked the lady that we were meeting with if I could get a copy of my transcripts because I needed them for another meeting that I had that day. Since she’s a school administrator she had full privelege to them and she pointed out that I had a 3,0 GPA after my first semester of going to school here. As she silemtly read my transcript to herself she began to ask me why it took me so long to come back to school. My answer was basically because I had gone through so much in the four years that I had been out of

high school and that I had finally decided what to do with my life, to a point.  I then preceeded to tell her that I had gone through in those four years including breaking my back, getting diagnosed with cancer, and then my dad being diagnosed with cancer too and then shortly passing away from it.

She looked at me like I had told her that I was actually an alien. After the shock wore off she told me something that immediately added a thick layer of icing to this surprisingly sweet and painless meeting. She to

ld me that I needed to stop being so damn hard on myself for all of the things that I do and to take more credit in life for the things that I have done, like beating cancer and finding the gumption to get myself back into school and setting attainable goals for myself.  My uncle, being the ever-so-caring and loving man that he is immediately agreed with her and began to count off all of the things that have tried to take me down in my lifetime and failed and made my emotions soar even more.  Througout the entirety of that week I basically soared on the high of the words from the angel in the financial aid office and from my caring and loving uncle that always has my back and will cheer me on when others are too busy to.

So, I guess the moral of this long-winded story is that no matter what you’ve been through in life remember to give yourself credit for all that you’ve been through and what you will continue to go through in your life. You will do great things because you are capable of them and make your support system as big as you can get it!

 

Beating a Dead Horse. Thanks Twitter.

It has come to my attention that I am apparently against marriage.

I wish I had known this. Instead it was oh so kindly pointed out to me on Twitter from a former coworker.

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I’m well aware of the fact that I am/can be a little judgemental of people at times, but it’s something that I’m working on and being incessantly reminded by people like this is not something I need.

I’m also not unhappy for my friend’s that are gettng married and having babies. In fact, I’m ecstatic for them and the fact that they’ve found someone to share and build

Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 5.13.41 PM their life with. As for me, I’m not ready for that because I’m working on making myself happy by concentrating on school and eventually my career.

I like to think to myself as an independent person. Yes, I need help as much as the next person every now and then. But when I ask for help, I get it.

Apparently just because I don’t and never really have went with the flow of what everyone else was doing with their lives makes me

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 a bad person. The person also tried to tell me that you only live once. As if I wasn’t already aware, Like, I have scars on my body from taings that almost killed me and I’ve lost more people in my life from a disease that killed at least half of family. I am more than aware that you only live once. 

I’ve covered this topic countless times in this blog, and I thought that the next time I wrote about it again that I’d have a boyfriend or something.

Which brings up another point that this lovely person assumed, “I get a sense that you’re against relationships altogether.” Actually no. I love the idea of a relationship and being equal with someone, but no, I’m definitely not against relationships. I’ve just seen some shitty ones happen to firends and family, so yes, naturally that shit scared me, So, my natural instinct is to avoid it.

Yeah, so it’s been almost been three years since I’ve had a boyfriend, who the fuck cares?

With that I am now going to get off of this stupid soap box and continue to just as they say, “do me”.

In the Pursuit of Being a Less Ignorant American

My school plays host to a myriad of International students and yesterday my school put on an International Fair to have them showcase their diverse cultures to the other students. Since my curiousity is something that will never be fully satisfied I decided to go and check it out and to also see some of my friend’s at the same time. I’m so glad I went too.

ImageAs you go to each country’s booth you’re supposed to ask questions that you may have about the country and/or the culture. I tried to do that, I really did, but my insecurites shined bright like a diamond every time I came to a new country because I didn’t want to ask any stupid questions or look even more foolish and ignorant about cultures than I already felt.

Earlier in the  semester I was presented with the opportunity to go on a study abroad trip with the Journalism majors and my fellow Comminicaton/PR majors to Italy, Malta, London and Greece.

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The other day I called my uncle, who handles my inheritance money, and presented the idea to him.  He automatically started to get excited for me and told me that I should take this opportunity because once I graduate my chances of ever getting to do something like this are slim.  

Today I have a meeting with financial aid to see if I can even afford the trip without throwing a lot of my own money into it and I gotta say I’m a little nervous about it because financial aid is the worst and I have so much to do if I do decide to go that I just want to throw myself on the ground and forget about it all.

As you can see by my tweets my wanderlust is starting to get a little out of hand & it’s only getting worse by the day. Mainly because of my correspondence with my friend from Germany that used to go to my school and is now living back in Germany and having so many wonderful adventures. I want that. I want to drink espresso in a cafe in a foreign city, eat my weight in authentic Italian food, and seek out the best little bookshops in London. I need more adventure in my life. Being stuck in the midwest for almost 25 years is making me crazy.

Should I do it?