End of the Month Reflection

As I sit in front of the computer this evening reflecting on the past couple of weeks, I find it hard to believe that we are well on our way into 2017. Is it just me, or does it feel like New Years Day was just a few days ago? This month has been so full of change, happiness, and positive energy – just the start to the new year I was hoping for. I hope that the month of January has been as lovely for the rest of you as well.

I wanted to devote some time today to looking back at my goals and habits that I set for myself at the beginning of the month and assess how well I stuck to them.

I definitely met some of my goals – getting a job, recycling more, and doing yoga more often – but I ended up slipping on some of my healthy habits I was trying to establish. I started the month off strong doing 15 minutes of yoga in the morning and at night, I was journaling everyday, and making headway on my reading list. But then I started my new job and my routine got thrown out of wack, and I’m sad to say that I haven’t worked very hard on getting back where I was. So I think the month of February will be a great opportunity to do this.

During the month of February I want to get more serious about my yoga practice and dedicate more time to it daily. I want to start incorporating more fruits and veggies into my diet because, believe it or not, even though I’m vegan I definitely don’t eat all of the plants I should. I want to go to bed earlier so that I have more time in the mornings to read my Bible, do yoga, and eat breakfast before going to work. And I also want to write more – I want to journal, blog, and write letters and articles more regularly. These are just a few of my goals + habits though.

On another note, Roanoke continues to grow on me. Meeting new people and really learning more about the community is giving me a deeper appreciation for this city. I’m hoping that in the coming weeks I’ll have more to share with you about how I am getting involved in this beautiful little community and how I want to serve and make a difference.

Roanoke really has so much potential and I am excited to see it grow and thrive in the years to come. How awesome it is to be placed here right now at this time of growth and development and to know that I have the opportunity to help progress that change. I know God has me here for a reason and I pray that He will help show and guide me to the areas I can be of service.

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And with that I say so long January! You’ve been grand.

 

The Greatest Adventure is What Lies Ahead

Happy Tuesday!

My goal for my blog this year is to post once a week, and so far I’ve missed the mark.

One of the reasons I haven’t posted on here in a while is because I’ve been busy trying to accomplish some of my new year’s goals I set for myself – two of those being getting a job and getting involved in the local community.

Within the past couple of weeks God has so graciously blessed me with a part-time job, an offer to write an article for a local magazine, and an opportunity to volunteer in my local community. How amazing is that?

Brendan and I moved to Roanoke in June last year and it has been quite the struggle looking for a job. First of all, I was a little nervous about moving to a new city and looking for a job. I wasn’t at all familiar with the area, and I knew that jobs in my field were scarce. I looked for some local writing jobs, but could never find much. I did apply for a few retail/food service jobs, but if I’m being honest, I really, REALLY didn’t want to work somewhere like that.

I tried not to be close minded, but I just genuinely didn’t feel ready to get a job and start working. Brendan was so sweet and never rushed me, or made me feel like I needed to get a job right away (I was so thankful for his full-time job and that we were able to live off of one income). But there was this part of me that felt guilty for not wanting to get a job just yet. I felt guilty for staying home and doing everyday chores like dishes, laundry, sweeping, grocery shopping, and cooking. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough to help out. And I hated when people would ask me (or ask Brendan) what I was doing and if I had a job yet.

“Yet” – I hated hearing that word. It was as if these people were thinking “What is this girl doing with her time if she doesn’t have a job?”. It made me feel belittled and useless and there were times that I cried because of it. Believe it or not, I am rarely bored, even if I’m just at home by myself – I know how to occupy my time and I don’t feel the need to constantly be planning outings with friends just to fill the void. I’m not afraid of alone time, in fact I need alone time to recharge.

But back to the whole job thing. I felt like I needed to get a job because I didn’t want people asking me about it anymore. Which is really a terrible reason to get a job. I know it may sound kind of hippie, but I just wasn’t getting the feeling that any of the jobs I applied for were the right ones for me. I wanted to trust that God had the right job out there for me, and I would just know it when I saw it. I knew some people would roll their eyes at that – I didn’t want to use that as an excuse to not get a job, but that’s honestly how I felt deep down.

And I was right. The new year was right around the corner and I had this new surge of motivation and inspiration. I was determined to find a job and get to work. Little did I know I would find that job within the first week of the year. And I knew I should pursue it because it just felt right and I wasn’t dreading it.

So, within the past couple of weeks I started a new part-time retail job at a chocolate shop (kind of ironic because I don’t really like chocolate and most all of the chocolates they sell are not vegan), I have been writing a magazine article, and I also met with a lady in charge of the community gardens in the Roanoke area and talked about areas that I can get involved in and volunteer at the gardens.

My planner went from empty to filled almost overnight, and I’m totally okay with that. I want to get involved and make a difference in community.

To be honest (I’m trying to be very honest about my feelings in this post), there was this part of me that was still holding onto the city of Lynchburg. Over the course of my 4 1/2 years of college, I came to really love the city of Lynchburg. I loved the people, the local businesses, and the familiarity of it all. But that was the problem, it had become too familiar and I was stuck in my comfort zone. When I first moved to Lynchburg I hated living there. It wasn’t until I invested myself into the community that I really grew to love and appreciate the little Lynchburg bubble. And even though I tried to deny it, I knew it was time to break free of that bubble and have a fresh start in a new city.

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Downtown Lynchburg – home to some of the cutest shops and cafes. This city will always hold a special place in my heart. 

So even though I’ve been living in Roanoke since June last year, I’m just now allowing myself to let go of Lynchburg an immerse myself in this place they call the Star City. I don’t know why I tend to resist change (sometimes unknowingly), but I’m working on not dwelling on the past. From here on, I want to really put my energy into the present and and learn to be at peace with where I’m at instead of looking back to the past. J.R.R. Tolkien once said “The greatest adventure is what lies ahead”, and I’m learning to believe that.

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Downtown Roanoke – My new home. 
Sorry for rambling on, I just had a lot of thoughts I wanted to get out and share. Have a great day! 🙂

Chase the Blues Away

I’m starting my day off with some Norah Jones and a big cup of coffee! I just got her new cd Day Breaks in the mail yesterday and so far I am loving it – I was so excited to hear that she’d be returning to her jazzy roots. Jazz music is good for the soul.

After a somewhat emotionally draining weekend, this week has been refreshing for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Do you ever have those days where you just feel like you’re in a funk and you don’t know why? Well, that was me Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

For starters, last Monday my car Gypsy decided to give me a scare. As I was on my way home from the gym, the check engine light came on and the steering wheel locked up on me. Luckily, I was almost home and was in a good spot for it to happen. Brendan was able to leave work and run over to help me out (so thankful he works close by!). I was so worried that my car was dying and that would be the end of her, which upset me because I love my old car and don’t really want a newer one.

Physically speaking, I haven’t felt the best this past week. I’ve had some obnoxious headaches that just won’t seem to go away. I used to get headaches regularly, but over the past year or so haven’t really had one. I don’t like to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen unless I’m dying, I’d rather use more natural pain relievers (drinking a cup of ginger tea which helps with inflammation, essential oils, etc.) and finding the root of the problem. I think these headaches could be a combination of not getting enough sleep, going three weeks without taking my vitamin d, vitamin e, and evening primrose oil supplements, and watching/reading the news. No joke on that last one. Saturday I was SO stressed out over all of this presidential election crap. I really hate seeing friends and family members arguing back and forth about which candidate they think should be president. It’s frustrating, tiring, and so draining (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually). I have temporarily blocked several people from my Facebook newsfeed until the election is over because I was getting tired of seeing all of the hateful posts about either or both candidates.

So, to get away from the stress and negativity for a while, I deleted the Facebook app off of my phone and Brendan and I went to get my engagement ring and wedding band cleaned. We also went to a puppy shop, Barnes and Noble, and Starbucks – so by the time I had had my fill of puppies, books, and coffee I was feeling better.

Another thing that has had me stressed out recently is the fact that I still haven’t been able to find a job. God has been so good to Brendan and me and has graciously provided for all of our needs since we got married and moved earlier this year. Brendan has a wonderful job in his field that is close to home and he makes enough to comfortably support us and I am so so thankful for that. However, there is this part of me that feels incomplete because I currently don’t have a job. I used to feel this way during my first couple years of college when I wasn’t working. I like working and staying busy and feeling like I’m doing something beneficial with my time. And I know I shouldn’t care what other people think, but I’m always worried that people will look at the fact that I don’t have a job and think that I am lazy and don’t care. But I know that God’s timing is perfect, I just need to keep searching and trust that an opportunity will present itself when it’s meant to be.

In the meantime, I am continuing to blog, journal, and read almost daily so that I can keep in the practice of writing and keeping my mind sharp. I always feel better after writing and/or blogging and reading helps me relax. I have found that if I set aside a certain time every day for reading and writing, regardless of whether I feel like it or not, I am forced to create and get my imagination and creativity flowing.

I Left My Heart in New York City

It has been a little over two years now since I went to New York City for my first (and only) time. It seems like it was only yesterday I was there though. I have been longing to go back ever since I left. And now, since I am thinking about that glorious city, I have decided to dedicate a post to it.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures I captured while I was in New York City and some feelings I happened to scribble down two years ago:

Lights, lights every where you look. Some of them flashing, some as still as the night itself. People always surround me here, never seeing the same face twice. People from every race and every nation. Faces of sorrow and hate, of experience and inexperience. Some of these faces look lost; they may know where they are at in the vicinity but they know neither where they are at in life or where they are going. People dressed in all different types of clothes; some in suits, some in heels, others in rags crumpled up on the ground. It amazes me that these people let nothing get in their way. They keep moving in rain or shine because they have to make a living.

The people of the city are so beautiful to me, in their many colored clothes and fancy accessories. Some of them kind, others that act like you’re not there. Old men in the park reading the morning paper, colored men on the side lines filling the air with sweet notes of Jazz. They smile at the people that pass by them and hope that somebody will throw some change into their box.

As funny as it may sound, I think I liked the city best in the mist and rain. The city had an air of mystery and wonder that hung about it in this weather, wonder that made me feel that if I had conquered this city, I could conquer the world. But conquer the world as I might, I did not want to be anywhere but there, in the city that never sleeps. Any store and any kind of food can be found in this glorious city. In this magical city one can travel forwards or backwards in time. It is the one place I have felt nearest to the big Hollywood stars. Standing where Miss Audrey Hepburn stood, walking where Amanda Seyfried walked. Many before them and many more to come after them.

Written: June 2012