The Winds Are Changing

Well in case you have been living under a rock (which I assume none of you have been unless you’re a starfish like Patrick on Spongebob), a new calendar year has begun. And with every new year comes new starts, a chance to change the things we didn’t like from the previous year and somehow make this year better than the last. Now I don’t necessarily think you should wait for January 1st to roll around for you to change something you don’t like about yourself or your circumstances (see my post called ‘The Green Light’ for my thoughts on that), but it is a good time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. It’s a nice starting point for those of us who have to start things at the beginning of the month or day or week. So if you are in desperate need of a push, starting something new or changing something old January 1 is a good time to start.

But, to get to the point of this blog post in particular: change; both personal and professional. 2014 was a big year for me, and not necessarily in a good way. I faced challenges that I never imagined I would have to overcome, at least not until I was 80 and practically withering away. I have dealt with a wide range of emotions and struggled to keep a smile on my face every day. But you know what? I did it. I made it through the year and am stronger than I was before, maybe not physically just yet but mentally and emotionally. And throughout those challenges I learned quite a bit about myself and those who surround me. I have learned that things will and do inevitably get better and having a sour attitude about the present won’t help me get through it quicker. I have learned that I have the strength to overcome the greatest odds as long as I stay positive and keep my chin up. I could go on about all the things that I have learned, and I will in an upcoming blog post on the anniversary of my auto accident, so keep an eye out for that on February 23rd.

Amongst those reflections, I took some time to think about my professional life and what I truly want to do with my life from this point onward. And to be quite honest, I do not have a clue. When I left college back in December of 2012 I was 100% positive that I was going to be a teacher until the ripe age of 75 or something like that, but now I’m not quite so sure. I love teaching and working with children, it’s a truly rewarding and exciting experience. But part of me isn’t sure if that’s the path I want to take anymore. Our time on this earth is so short and there is so much to explore, and being a teacher doesn’t exactly allow me to truly explore all of the wonders of this world that God has for us to see. So, many career choices have been floating in my mind and I plan on using 2015 and this time off from work to dig deep down into my soul and decide what would make me truly happy. It may sound silly, especially because I have a college degree in education, but what’s the point of life if you’re not happy with it? Why would you want to spend time on this planet feeling miserable and stuck?

While reflecting on my career aspirations I thought about this blog and the content that I have been putting out on the Internet for the world to see and read. I have to say I am fairly proud of the posts that I have written and hope that they have helped shed some light on different struggles everyone in their twenties has at one point or another. But since I am not Yoda or Professor Dumbledore, and my wisdom is still limited to my twenty-four years of experience, I would like to share a few different things on this blog. Now before you start to worry I will still be posting doses of wisdom on here, but I will mix it up with personal posts and some lifestyle posts. I feel like my blog needs to be more of an extension of myself or I will inevitably lose interest and I don’t want to do that. So look out for some book reviews, DIY, thoughts on being 20, travel dreams, and personal entries about how the struggle is real.

So until then, make every day brighter than the one before.

P.S. follow me on bloglovin by clicking the button below! It would make my smile as wide as Russia if you did that and you would never miss a blog post! So it’s a win-win.

Wanderlust: noun; a strong desire to travel

image found on weheartit.com

image found on weheartit.com

As I sit on my laptop this evening I find myself struck with an intense case of wanderlust. I have a tab open showing me airline prices to fly to London from Grand Rapids, MI. I have another tab open searching for travel books about Europe. And previously I had tabs open to various blogs about backpacking and traveling through Europe, a map of Europe and my lovely Pinterest board dedicated to traveling. So yeah, this case of wanderlust is one of the most intense I’ve experienced. Why? Why do I suddenly feel this urge to back a bag and go somewhere I’ve never been before? And, why is traveling simultaneously one of the most expensive and rewarding things one can do? So many whys and the answers are all unclear. Okay, maybe they aren’t unclear but they’re complicated to say the least.

For starters I could tell you that my need to travel and see new places is largely due in part to the fact that I have been relatively homebound for the past ten or so months. Since my accident (long story short: traumatic car crash, lots of broken things, lots of surgery, lots of recovery) back in February I haven’t exactly been able to go too many places. Until the last few months I haven’t felt comfortable going out in public because I was usually confined to a wheelchair if we were going to be walking long distances. And being in a wheelchair just made me feel uncomfortable, it made me feel like people were looking at me and that I was constantly in the way and I did not like that feeling at all. So instead I stayed home and watched or read about other people’s adventures. In the last few months I have been able to use a walker, which still brings a bit of unwanted attention to me and I still get super self conscious because of that, but it is still a lot more tolerable than a wheelchair. Things are more accessible for me and it’s not a huge inconvenience to go somewhere like it was previously. That’s the bottom line, I didn’t want to inconvenience people because a wheelchair is heavy. So now that I have less demanding equipment I want to make up for lost time and go go go, but I still have a little bit of recovery before I’m ready to fly solo.

I can also tell you that my great desire to travel and go on an adventure as of late has to do with the books and movies I tend to watch. I want to be like Bilbo Baggins and go on an adventure! So many book and movie characters just drop everything and go, and I want to be able to do that. Looking back on my life I have plenty of stories to tell and memories but they all take places within the comfort of the mitten state, minus a few trips to Chicago, Florida, Missouri and DC. And that is a bit depressing. God gave us this entire planet to inhabit and I have explored the absolute smallest fraction of it. I am wasting this wonderful gift God has given us and when I get to Heaven one day what stories will I be able to tell? If my grandma happens to spend her spare time watching the Courtnei Channel up there she is probably dying of boredom as I type. Sorry grandma, I’m trying to liven things up! There’s so much to explore and if we weren’t intended to explore it why would we have legs? Think about that for a moment.

Those two reasons are probably the biggest factors influencing my sudden onset of wanderlust and I’m not entirely sure what to do, mainly because traveling is so expensive. I saw a quote on one social media or another about how travel is the only thing that you buy that will make you richer. And I honestly believe that 100%. I am aware that it will not make you richer from a financial standpoint, but how many people do you know that have traveled someplace new and haven’t returned just a little bit different than they were before? I’m going to guess probably none, unless you think I meant traveled to a new laundry mat or grocery store…although those places can be life altering.

For now the way I am going to curb my wanderlust is plan a trip. Now this may or may not be a trip I am able to take, but maybe someday I will be able to do it. So until I am back on my feet and back behind the wheel of a car I am going to have to settle for reading about the adventures of others and planning my own adventure to go on someday soon. So world, you have a little more time to prepare for me, and in the mean time I’ll practice honing my Bilbo Baggins impersonation.

A Letter To My Future Husband

image source: weheartit.com

image source: weheartit.com

Hello, I’m not sure if I should introduce myself or not, probably since we haven’t met yet, or maybe we have? Well anyways my name is Courtnei and you and I are going to get married. Not right now, maybe not for another year or five or ten or fifty….okay please don’t make me wait fifty years. You are the person that is going to make me realize why things didn’t work out with my high school crush, why my first boyfriend dumped me, and why first dates are horrible but necessary to get to the second date. And I just want to thank you in advance for that, so thanks a million. You are also saving me from buying a bunch of cats and giving them all ridiculous names like button or trixy. Again, my most sincere thanks for saving me from having my dead body eaten by my cats when I die some day. Wow…that escalated quickly, sorry about that.

You are the person that is going to understand that I really hate using proper capitalization and try so hard to not use it but auto-correct likes to change i to I and it’s a pain to fix it every time so I cave. You are the person who isn’t going to judge me for wanting to own a hardcover copy and paperback copy of each Harry Potter book, in addition to the new box sets that have come out. You are the person who is going to force me to go out of my comfort zone and be assertive to that waitress that completely forgot to bring me a side of ranch for my fries. You are the best who is going to calm me down when that jackass in the black truck cuts me off on the expressway and makes me turn my cruise control off. You are the person who is going to have to tolerate catchy pop songs and my singing them at top volume when we’re in the car or really anywhere. You are going to be the person who lets me have the last cookie without having to ask for it because you know I’m self-conscious like that but really really really want that cookie. You are going to be the person that is there for me no matter what.

I am going to be the person that let’s you drive when we go anywhere because I know my driving makes your knuckles turn white. I am going to be the person that texts you to make sure your day is going well, and when it isn’t I promise to send you funny memes and gifs that will make you smile and remind you that there are only five hours left in the work day. I am going to be the person that will laugh at any joke you tell me. I am going to be the person that is willing to watch any movie you want as long as there’s popcorn. I am going to be the person that will listen to you ramble on about sports and agree with anything you say, your team is my team. (Unless your team is the Blackhawks, in which case we may have to agree to disagree.) I am going to be the person who will hug you tightly and will always smile when you open the door. I am going to be the person who will play video games with you, even though I will probably die every other minute. I am going to be the person who will always be your biggest fan no matter what.

Together we are going to go on adventures to new places. Places that are near, places that are far and places that only exist in our imagination. Together we are going to be the people who act like kids, but know when it’s time to be an adult (most of the time). Together we will figure out what the plan is and probably decide that we’re just going to wing it because life is too unpredictable. Together we will be the people who argue about the dumbest things and forget what our point was by the end of the argument. Together we will figure out who gets to be the big spoon and who gets to be the little spoon. And together we will build a relationship that people might not write songs or poems about, but one that will last and be one of the best and longest parts of our individual stories.

So I hope all that stuff is okay with you and that you’re out there somewhere. If you need directions to me, please don’t be afraid to ask someone…probably God, he won’t tell and your secret is safe with me. Until you stumble across me one way or another I’m going to be here, not waiting but yes waiting at the same time, if that makes any sense. I’ll just keep doing my own thing and someday our paths will cross. And on the day we get married, I’ll be the ginger in white…and when I say white I am referring to the dress, not necessarily the tone of my skin. Anyways, I suppose I will see you when I see you. And since this isn’t a goodbye…I guess I will just say, hello.

Sincerely,

Your Future Wife

but you can call me Courtnei