What I REALLY Learned About Myself Last Semester

So…big surprise. Not really, you guys know I’m in school and I’m learning new things. I’ve always loved school. The only drawback to being in school, I thought as a kid, was that other people would be there. Sounds silly. I know. I was so shy and reserved that I never realized that it was other people that made it enjoyable. I loved to learn, loved to interact with my teachers and I loved to be in the school setting. I didn’t realize that it was the back and forth, the give and take, of the student to teacher relationship that drew me in. The constant feedback, the discussion over lecture. I just loved it.
(I’m in the year book as the teacher’s pet, by the way)

Anyway, I wasn’t one of those people who had a hurtful or sad school experience and I’m grateful. School was actually my escape. Being a foster kid, turned adopted kid living in a foster home, was pretty hard on me. I shoveled it inside and didn’t dare let anyone see my pain or what I felt on the inside. Leaving the house, and going to school, took me away from anything bad that could happen. At school, I could expand my mind, learn new things and be a different person. I wasn’t a victim at school. It was a safe haven. If only I could just learn more, I’d be free, I thought.
As I grew older, it became very apparent that I needed to bring that kind of positivity back into my life. Now, my current home life is amazing. Despite any sadness that I’ve have due to my losses, I am very happy. It wasn’t that I needed an escape. I’m in love with my soulmate and I live eighteen hours away from anything that has ever hurt me. In the grand scheme of things, I’m doing fucking fantastic! It was that I needed more. More for me. More from me. More expansion. I needed to prove to myself, not to anyone else, that I could achieve anything I set my mind to.

This last semester solidified who I am as a person…to me. It told me that when I want something, I go after it. It told me that when something is hard, like that third math exam that really kicked my ass, I flip things around. It taught me that I do have the ability to meet deadlines. It said ‘You are attentive. You are responsible. You can do this.’ Most people may think ‘Aww, you’re just now learning that?’ and to that I say YES!

I spent too much time as a kid listening to other people.  Older people. People who knew things. Whether it was my bio mom saying she didn’t want me and wished she didn’t have me. Or a sibling concocting a cockamamy story that I was so worthless that I’d actually been left in a dumpster before social services found me. Whether it was my first grade gym teacher saying that I was so angry, he wouldn’t be surprised if I became a serial killer or that one lady who said I could never be a model because I wouldn’t grow up pretty enough. Or even those who gave the statistics about kids in foster homes or the life expectancy of those coming out of ‘the system’. I spent entirely too much time thinking about how people saw me and I retreated further into my bubble.

I retreated so far into books and fiction that for a moment I forgot what was real. People asked, when I grew up, why I didn’t feel compelled or peer pressured by the stories I read. Asked why romance and passion didn’t turn me into a fairy tale loving, wide eyed, girl with too many wedding aspirations. I just didn’t believe in me or anyone wanting to be involved with me enough to think those things would ever be real. In a way, it shielded me from a life time of disappointment. Now that I know differently, I go unbiasedly into relationships, friendships and yes, heartache still.

Now, as an old soul in a twenty-five year old body (albeit creaking knees and popping elbows), I still had things to learn and discover about myself. I was terrified to start school again. I know what kind of person I was during University back at 18. I was free. I knew exactly what, and who, I wanted to be and yet I knew nothing at all. There are a ton of mistakes I made back then. I don’t regret them, because they brought me here, but I do acknowledge them. I was scared that who I was then is actually who I would be now, in school.

But I’m not.

I’m a ‘stay up late until I get the assignment done’ kind of girl. I’m a ‘create a homework planner so I always know what’s due’ kind of girl. I’m a ‘help other students with their homework and assignments because I know the material’ kind of girl. I’m a ‘stick it through even though I might fail’ kind of girl.

That is what I REALLY learned about me last semester.

I know who I am.
Do you?

Stay Safe,
Jade

Reading for Self Betterment and Accomplishing Goals in 2018

Heya Readers,

I’ve been reading since I was a young child and, for the most part, it’s been for entertainment. I hardly ever read non-fiction. I always found it hard to find something that didn’t drone on like a history book. Lately, I’ve been really getting into biographies (autos) and non-fiction works and I think it’s because I’ve been seeking for something real. Something that will actually do something for my mental health. Don’t get me wrong, my love for fictional books (paranormal romance, thriller, psychological thrillers, mysteries, science fiction, general fiction, the list could go on) will never die but this is different.

I’ve been through a lot over the last few years. After the loss of my daughter last year (my second loss in two years) grief, depression, hurt, nights of crying myself to sleep, days of lethargy and more ruled my 2017. I am feeling better (Although I still cry when I think of her sometimes) and I plan to have a better 2018. I know that you can’t rush the healing process but it has been eight full months since I gave birth. I’m just ready to stop feeling so…down.

I’ve really been trying to take back control of my life. Last year I slacked off on a lot of things. My plans for weight loss, my strive to officially get a job in my career field (I tried to find the right fit and couldn’t and I didn’t try again, I’m embarrassed to say). After celebrating Cherchez La Vie this past December I listed several of these things on my goal list for the next six months. I’ve accomplished a few of them. I just got a new job and I’ve been attempting to figure out how I can work the gym into my new busy schedule.

As a child, I always wanted to be a writer. I thought the ability to spin stories and create new worlds, worlds better than the one I’d been living in, was a fascinating idea. I had a hard beginning and landed in foster care. Then I was adopted. It was tough and I still feel some of the residue of abandonment and rejection that was a huge part of my early years. Reading and writing were ways I could create something new. It could make the pain go away, it could make me feel wanted. Because…your characters never disappoint you right? Riiiiight.

Somewhere along the way I got distracted by the glamour of building design and the philanthropy of creating safe and envirnoment-friendly spaces for the homeless. It was a weird girlhood dream of mine, especially after a few months of HGTV and Extreme Home Make over (Move That Bus!). I studied hard and right out of high school I enrolled in college at the University of Kansas to get my master’s degree in Architecture. That was just a funny way of saying I was going to be stuck in school for six years. I loved it, for the short time I was there. I started out with reciprocity grants and scholarships, that only lasted for a while.

Attending school as an out of state student, without scholarships, would cost me nearly $30k a year. I eventually ran out of money and had to withdraw. That was six years ago. I was really upset about it in the beginning but decided not to drag me down. I moved to Florida; eighteen hour road trip with a friend, stretched over two days. I made new friends, I met my soulmate. I changed the course of my future even though I wasn’t sure how it would pan out.

My love for writing has never gone away, I have dreams and goals that, I feel, are bigger than me. I want to accomplish them. I am going to accomplish them. In 2018 I plan to set that into motion. Get a job in my career field, finish two books (WIP!), and continue my education. It will be tough but I’m sure that I can do it.

I have lived in Florida for three years now. This means that (exaggerated pause for effect) I can get instate tuition at the university here! I had no idea and I just happened to be sitting on the couch, watching TV when one of those commercials drew me in. You know, the ones that are like ‘Hey, do you want to finish your education?‘? Yes, one of those. The university here is actually pretty amazing, I’ve already been on campus. It’s literally a dream come true. That’s a major plan for self betterment that I’ve already put into motion. Less than two weeks from now I am starting my spring courses. I should graduate just over two years from now.  I’m getting my degree in English, with an emphasis in rhetoric and fiction writing.

Wow, obviously I talk a lot. Thanks for sticking around. I said all of that just to say  I’ve picked up Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes (creator and writer of Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder, Scandal, etc). Shonda (as she’s so informally referred to on the inside flap) is an introvert, like me! She, too, has issues with public speaking and large crowds. The book is about how saying yes turned her life around. “Yes, I’ll do…” “Yes, I would love…” “Yes, I will show up to…”.

Year of Yes

I’ve actually already started it and am excited to tell you guys what I’m gleaning from her story. She has a particular voice that makes me feel empowered when reading it. This year, I am really trying to incorporate books that will help me live a better life, fuller life. Live life…in general. This is one of many on my list this year. So here we go.

By the way, if you’ve read this book and loved it, leave me a comment below! Tell me what you thought of it? Did it make you laugh? Did you smile? Are you an introvert like us? (Yes, that’s me referring to Shonda and I like we are best friends). What are your plans for a brighter future? Do you have any goals, big or small, that you want to accomplish this year? Are you in school now?

Happy Reading,

Jade

 

 

Link to Book