Look how far we’ve come…

Look how far we’ve come…

Last year at this time I was merely going through the motions of everyday life at school.  I missed my family and even though I thought that being on the cross country team would make the transition better, it actually ended up making it a lot worse.  We had cross country practice at 7 AM everyday and the coach didn’t care about the people that weren’t in his top 7.  Everyone ran by themselves. That’s not a team. We trained and trained for just 3-4 meets. That wasn’t worth it to me. I would wake up every morning, half-heartedly go to practice, and then go to the library to catch up on studying.  I missed my old teammates.  I missed my friends and family.  I wanted to be with people of similar values.  I needed to find some real friends who would be there for me when I needed it most.

But now one year later I am a MUCH happier person.

I’m mentally and emotionally healthier.  I wake up excited to start a new day.  My group of friends here are the people that I know will be there for me when I need a good pick-me-up or a good laugh.  I not only have a support system in my hometown, but I have a support system here now that wasn’t here at this time last year.  It’s hard to be sad or upset here now because I know that I’ll always have people to turn to for advice and guidance.  And yes, life can get stressful sometimes, but by surrounding yourself with good people you can find a way to manage the stress in a healthy way.

I’m also physically healthier than last year.  Since I am training for something I actually want to train for, I have found myself looking forward to going out for a run everyday.  I’m embracing the challenge of the hills around here instead of letting them defeat me.  I enjoy every mile whether it’s uphill or downhill because I am grateful for every day I get to go for a run.  My mileage may not be as high as some other runners and I may not be able to average sub-8 minute miles around here but I am happy with my own progress.  There’s no purpose in comparing myself to others who are training for the same race that I am.  Everybody has a different approach to training.  And my approach is what works best for me.  That’s the beauty of the running world.  We may all take different approaches to training for the same race but on race day we all have to cover the same distance and follow the same course to reach the finish line.  

So here I am, one year later, content with every part of my life.  I’ve gained true friendships that I know I can depend on.  I have surrounded myself with people who truly care about one another’s well-being.  I have found my place on this campus and I have found my happiness.  Of course I still miss being home and spending time with my family and my dogs, but my friends here have eased the difficulty of being so far from home which has made living here enjoyable and memorable.  I don’t think I have to state who these people are because you probably already know who you are.  But I just wanted to let you know how important your friendship is to me and that without such an awesome group of people who I can depend on for guidance, support, and prayer, I probably would be going through the motions instead of living out the memories.

What a difference a year can make.

Within the chaos there’s peace

Within the chaos there’s peace

This last week has been a whirlwind of ups and downs, highs and lows.  But within all the stress and chaos, I’ve come to realize that there will always be things and people to be grateful for.  In the big painted picture of life, the small little stressors are just miniature droplets of paint mixed within the blur of other colors of happiness, peace, and positivity.  And I’ll admit it, two days ago I was seeing the big picture as one big mess of scribbled lines and colors.  I was stressed.  I was impatient.  I was every sort of anxious in the book.  But now, it’s ok.  As many times as I’ve tried mentally reassuring myself that it would be ok, there’s always that little whispering voice in my head that tells me otherwise.  So here I am blogging about the louder voice in my head telling me that life is bigger than that whispering voice and those scribbled lines.  Life is a masterpiece we are destined to paint ourselves.

**I helped my dad and brother at their new business and have spoken to a lot of people who are excited for the business to open.  This reassures me that overcoming all of the stress, work, and setbacks will be worth it in the end; therefore, the reward will be far greater than the stress leading up to it.

**My best friend (who was leaving for DCP at the end of the week) and I were able to successfully watch all three Hunger Games movies in one afternoon.  This was added to our summer bucket list after we finished all three books earlier this summer (because we are obsessed with all the characters in the books).  We also enjoyed some pizza that I made and brownies with icecream.  For the past 2 years of our friendship, pizza has been our go-to food because we both love it so it was appropriate for us to share a pizza before he left for 4 months.  As much as I’m going to miss him, I know that he’s going to cross something off of his life bucket list which makes me happy for him and we can still call each other like usual to complain to each other and catch up on life!

**I was able to re-connect with a few of my high school friends in a fun “game” called Trapped Philly.  Four of my friends, five of my family members and I were basically “locked” into a room and had to get out by solving clues and codes within an hour.  Unfortunately, our hour elapsed before we were able to successfully “unlock” ourselves but it was so much fun solving the puzzles and clues to get out.  It was basically a life-size, in-person, brain teaser.  I’m so glad I got to see my high school friends whom I only see about 2-3 times per year and also spend time with my family!

**I made myself a new CD to listen to in the car because the radio plays the same 10 songs over and over again and I really really reallllly like the variety that I put on it (not to brag or anything XD)

**I got to hang out with my cousins at my mommom’s birthday party which is always fun!  I’ve only seen them 3 times this summer so I always value spending time with them when we do get together.  It’s never a dull moment when we’re altogether!  Family is a huge part of my life and I’ve come to realize in the last few weeks that no matter what your family will be there for you.  I cherish the times we spend together no matter what we’re doing and I will miss them when I go back to school.

**Today I got a 7.5 mile trail run in with four other trailrunners.  Trail running has always been one of the things that makes me feel less stressed.  I think it’s because my mind focuses on the roots, the rocks, the trees and not getting lost in the woods rather than everything else going on in the world.  Trails provide an opportunity to lose yourself in the run. Although the pace might be slower than a run on the road, I would much rather spend 90 minutes on a trail than dodging cars.  I am also always amazed how trailrunners all have the same mentality.  No matter the pace or the experience level of the runner we all just love to run!  That’s why we always come back for more!

So with all these happy “moments” from the last week, my life masterpiece has been layered with positivity and things/people to be grateful for.  When life gets you down, pick yourself back up and look at the bigger picture.  We are the creators of our own masterpiece; therefore, you can choose to stay down and out on the ground or you can pick yourself up and charge forward with all the good things going on in the present moment.  The choice is yours!