Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A New Leaf

"I'm turning over a new leaf."

We have all heard this phrase, and have probably even spoken it ourselves. Well, I'm here to say: I am turning over a new leaf. A couple leaves, actually. 

I have officially completed all course work for my masters degree. Baring an unexpected failure on my final project, I will have my official, completed transcripts in 6-8 weeks. New leaf #1: no more school! (For now)

For the last few weeks, I have had trouble finding the motivation necessary to get my butt to crossfit. And when I do go, I can't help but focus on what hurts. My back, my shoulder, my knees. Something is always nagging at me. I remember when I first started, and then even more when I learned how to really fuel my body for the work I was doing, it felt so good. There weren't injuries fighting their way to the surface, and I felt like a badass pretty much every single day. Today, none of that is true. 

So, new leaf #2: I'm taking a break from crossfit. I started a 30-day yoga challenge this week and rediscovered my love for yogurt (dairy free, duh), granola, and fruit. I've also had an itch to run a lot lately, so I'll probably give that a try. I know I'm going to miss lifting weights, so I am going to find a "globo-gym" to join to satisfy that need. But more than anything, I'm going to get my health and fitness routine back to where it started: a way to make me feel my absolute best. 

If I were to sum up what my adventure is Colorado has taught me up to this point, I would say: I've learned that there is absolutely no reason you should be anything but happy. 

It's amazing how much life can change when you live with that truth. Even the most stressful of times (like when you're locked out of your apartment for 8 hours, or when writing the final page of research feels like a novel) can be seen with a positive light. When you focus on what's making you happy (an amazing man who is locked out with you, or being less than 24 hours away from the end of grad school) you can't help but feel a little better. New leaf #3: release the stress, embrace the good. 

I am so excited to see what this next season of my life holds, and I am confident that big things will unfold at just the right time. Until then, it feels good to be back on the blog. 


Monday, January 20, 2014

Laughter

"All that I'm after is a life full of laughter, as long as I'm laughing with you..." -Daughtry


Friday, January 17, 2014

The Best is Yet to Come

How is it already mid-January?! I feel like last night was New Year's Eve. I guess it's true what they say: time flies when you're having fun!

Here's the truth, everybody. I have had major writer's block for the better part of a month. Seriously. Writing a 5 page literature review last month was torture. Now I need to somehow add 8 sources and 3-5 more pages...in the next week. I'm telling ya, they really make you work for a graduate degree. But guess what else? By this time next week (well, let's be honest...it'll be about midnight next Friday) I will be turning in my FINAL RESEARCH PROJECT. For my masters degree. Then it's all done. Over. No more school. For now. Whoa.

In addition to the lack of love for my literature review, this blog has also been a bit neglected. There are a few reasons for the silence. First, I've been busy. Between the holidays, a very special weekend visit, school/research, and having to pick up extra hours at work, I have been really busy. Second, I'm trying to enjoy my days-- every minute of them, really soak up this season. I know that means I should be making time to write about it, but, truth be told, I haven't wanted to. I'm not really sure why. I think because I have enjoyed talking about it so much, and living it, that by the end of the day, I don't even have the words to express myself.

However, a lot has happened in the last month. And while I have a few ways to look back on it all (photos, messages, written memories), one of the things I love about this blog is having a running record of big events in my life.

A few of the things I want to remember about this time in my life:
- My faith is stronger than ever, and growing ever day.
- I have learned to truly love and trust myself.
- God brought an amazing man back into my life, and I have no intentions of letting him slip away again.
- The most amazing part of the holidays is being able to spend time with those you love.
- My brothers are incredible men, and I am so proud of both of them.
- I have the best, and most supportive, parents in the world.
- You're never too old to call your mom sobbing.
- When you meet new people, you can tell immediately when you've met a life-long friend.
- Work isn't always going to be fun, but it will always teach you something about yourself.
- I am a much happier person when I fuel my body right.
- Distance doesn't really separate good friends.
- You can always go home, but you can also make a home anywhere.

And that's all she wrote. For now. Maybe I'll find my voice again when school is over...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Rewarding Year

This was my 2011 New Years post:



In 2011, I expected 2013 to be the year I was rewarded for everything that came my way in 2011/2012. Looking back at 2013, I think I can agree with my 2011 assumption. While this year was not without struggles, it was a fantastic year.

Here are the key thoughts/lessons I want to take with me into 2014:

- Be well. 2013 was the year that I finally learned to be completely comfortable in my skin. I am healthier, stronger, and more fit than I have ever been in my life.
- Love yourself. Going along with the previous reminder, I want to make sure I do not beat myself up over mistakes, or dwell on things I cannot change. I am becoming the best version of me, and in order to do that, I need to love myself.
- Stay focused on the present. You can't go back to the past, and we haven't found a way to travel to the future. The only time we can live in is the present. Dwelling on past or future events takes away from the life you're currently living, and I want to enjoy every moment I am given.
- Be true to yourself. I'm expecting to have to make big decisions in 2014, and I want to make sure I am making those decisions with my best interests in mind. There will always be people with opinions on how you should live your life, but you need to remember that it is your to live, not theirs.
- Slow down and stay still. While I am still very much a girl on the go, this last year has given me more opportunities to slow down, appreciate my surroundings, reflect on my thoughts and feelings, and be completely present in any given moment.
- Worry less, pray more. In my 2012 new years post, I reflected on the incredibly growth I had in my faith. I have continued to grow in my faith, and to include more people in my faith journey. I see my faith as a true blessing, but know that I can still improve. There are still times I find myself sick with worry, filling my mind with "what if" scenarios. I need to be more intentional about taking a step back during those times and giving my worry up to God.
- Never be afraid to dream a little bigger. Life isn't meant to be easy, it is meant to be rewarding. I have learned that if I set my sights on something, and I work hard enough for it, I can achieve what I want. There's not reason to have small dreams, and I won't let myself be limited by fear or doubt.

I spent my New Years Eve with my friend, Jaime, and her boyfriend, Steve. At midnight, Steve asked us what our three goals are for 2014. I am not one for resolutions, but goals I can get behind. My goals are to have a full-time job by July, to pay off my credit card, and to participate in at least three crossfit competitions. I love knowing that these goals are going to challenge me, but that if I stay focused, I can attain them.

I like that I laid out my expectations for the next two years in my 2011 post, but I don't want to continue that. While I have enjoyed using it to compare whether my predictions were accurate (they were) I want to stay focused on one year at a time now. These next few years are going to be full of amazing life changes, but I don't want to think about when they will happen, I just want to be happy in every passing moment and continue to take life as it comes. I finally feel like my story is unfolding naturally now that I have stopped trying to interfere, and it is my intention to continue living my life based on the feelings I have and the nudges I receive from God.

While it was not one of the goals I mentioned at midnight, another goal I have is to be more committed to this blog. I love looking back at posts, remembering how far I have come, and finding motivation in long-lost knowledge. School has consumed the majority of my free time for the last few months, but come February, I will be a graduate, and able to devote some of that free time to reflections on life and this amazing journey I am on.

With that, I want to thank you all for the roles you play in my life! I would not be the person I am today if not for the friends and family who have walked beside me this year. The love, support, and encouragement I have felt from you this year has been overwhelming, and I am forever thankful.

Sending you so much love,
Crystal