With 2017 coming to its conclusion soon, I have been thinking a lot about what I’ve learned so far. 2017 was a crazy year in more ways than one. My personal life took some punches and kicks. The world itself seemed to be falling apart this year. I know Taylor Swift is getting a lot of heat for saying that her 2017 was a great year, but it made me love her even more. She remained positive. Like me, I always strive to remain positive the best way that I can. Believe me, I can be very negative (just ask my parents and husband) but I like to stay positive the best way I can. Sometimes I put on such a strong outward appearance that I’m this positive, tough girl for so long that one day I have a meltdown. It happens. I’m only human. I’m also a teacher and some days just kick you in the butt.
I learned a lot this past year. I hope many of us did. I know that the world became very scary and emotional this past year. I don’t want to disregard the many tragedies that occurred this year, because there was plenty. The truth is, many people lost their way or had their own version of a meltdown. Some of them were very intense and shook the world. My blog isn’t political and I’m not going to rant about my views on the world because we get enough of that. I’m 25 and I have Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. It’s all on my phone and some days it’s like I can’t get away from the news, politics, or drama! Seriously, we get enough of it on a daily basis.
My point is that we will all have different views on 2017, but I choose to focus on my personal life and what I learned this past year. I learned a lot and many things I’m still trying to figure out. Here is (Part 1) of 25 things I’ve learned about life so far:
1. Life is messy – I know that in pictures or the way I come across seems like I have myself together, but I don’t. I moved to my new home in Basalt back in August and I still haven’t organized my clothes/closet. My classroom still has piles of papers and supplies in different drawers and cabinets. I literally leave messes around the house and I’m 25. I still have my suitcase from Thanksgiving on the floor of my room with clothes inside it. I’m a mess as a human being. I forget to call my own parents some weeks because I can’t seem to keep my life organized. Choices I’ve made this past year, have made one big mess in some parts of my life that I’m still cleaning up. Life is just messy!
2. Love is real – If you’ve been reading about my blog since day one, you will notice that I bring up my marriage a lot. I am happily married at 25. In fact, we just celebrated 2 years of marriage not too long ago. We have tough days and small fights, but overall we are truly happy. We have loved each other since college and I truly don’t ever see that changing. I know I can’t predict the future. I know that divorce has become very common. I know that kids change everything. The fact is, that my husband is my best friend and our love is untouchable as far as I know. I know that life will throw us some curve balls in the future and maybe even hit us with a hurricane, but we are in love. Marriage has been an exciting adventure so far!
3. Don’t take any moment for granted – I focus on 3 things in my life: God, family, and friends. Moving away from Texas almost 3 years ago and leaving those I’ve grown up with and love behind is still a big thing I learned from this past year. I don’t take the precious moments or quick trips for granted. My family is my everything and not being able to see my parents, brother, and grandparents on a regular basis is tough. What makes it more tough is moving to a place where I don’t have another family or group of friends right out the gate. I am building relationships as I go, but it’s not the same. I love adult friendships, because they know the me I am now. They know me as a married 25-year-old. They know me as the girl who says y’all a lot. They know me as a teacher and wife to a man in construction. My family in Texas and friends back home, know all about my school days. They know about my college days. They know me as Truman’s sister (Haha). They know me as the quiet girl in class or the girl who ran cross-country or the girl that was in Student Council. Or the girl that showed up to that high school party one time. They know me as a kid. But I don’t take any of those moments or the moments I’ve had this year for granted. I learn from every move I back. The times I get to spend with family are some of my favorite memories this past year. That week with my parents in Breckenridge was AWESOME! One of my favorite moments was popping champagne from the trunk of the car and watching the sunset with my parents.
4. People Come and Go – You’d think your days of friendships and other relationships in your life coming to an end would be done after college. You were growing up! It’s normal for your friends to change and for people to move on. When everyone embarks on new adventures to different colleges, it’s inevitable that relationships will move on. Or at least those relationships will make other relationships that don’t involve you. I had many people come and go in college. It was tough at the time, but I knew they were relationships that I had to learn from. Some brought great things in my life. Some brought the drama that took weeks to get over. It was college. Drama was happening everywhere for everyone. But being in my 20’s, I guess I kind of thought that it would be different. I knew that drama would probably happen, but I thought they’d be small things. I can’t explain where this reasoning came from. However, this past year I learned that drama can be WAY BIGGER in your 20’s. For me, I had some extremely tough people come and go that have still left me in utter confusion. I would like to blame it on the fact that moving to a new state made me drift away from some people, but I can’t. This was not a drifting away, but like Titanic meeting the iceberg. Utter chaos and confusion!
5. Being an adult is hard – Seriously though! It really is. I wish you were required to take classes in college about paying bills, bank accounts, saving money, and car stuff. I mean I tried listening to my dad growing up, but I pretty much shut out all these topics in high school, because…well…I was a kid! Seriously, my dad bought the Dave Ramsey stuff and made my brother and I watch them once a week for like a month in high school. He’s the best dad and now I wish had listened better! When I got a credit card for the first time, I realized why my dad never let me get a credit card. I didn’t understand that you HAD to go in each month and pay part of your bill. I honestly thought you could use it and pay later when you felt like it. Boy was I wrong! When Dakota & I first lived together and were paying rent in Colorado, those were the most emotional fights we had. I was working part-time and didn’t realize how much rent, utilities, loans, and bills were! It was truly a shell-shock year for me. Adulting is hard.
6. I have no idea how to make friends – Growing up you made friends because you both liked dogs or your favorite colors were both purple. Or you made friends because your mom stuck you in the same volleyball team or girl scout troop. Now…I don’t really know how you do it. Especially, being a married 25-year-old. I’m already weird compared to most 20 year olds who are single and stay out till 4 am drinking shots. I mean that sounds exhausting. Like when you’re 25 you either make friends with co-workers or you like walk up to random people and say, “Hi, you seem cool. Let’s grab a drink sometime”. I mean I don’t actually approach people but my husband does! Or random people in airports, bars, sporting events, or even waitresses have approached us and tried this weird – adult way – of “befriending” one another. Married couples befriending other married couples is pretty easy. You usually chat and make plans to grab drinks. You put on clothes like you’re going on a date, but you’re married and meeting a couple together. We typically talk about married life, living in Colorado, when did we move here, how did we meet, and so-on. Just like any date (I assume) you drink at least 2 drinks or 1 really strong drink. Not to get drunk on your first friend date and have some weird, married-couple sleepover…but enough to ease the nerves and relax the conversation. You and your man will eventually kind of split up halfway through because the men might be talking about a sport you don’t really care about or some sort of new camping spot. Meanwhile, you’re now talking girl-to-girl (which is scary for me because I don’t speak girl 60% of the time). You realize she’s cool because she’s actually talking about some movie you like or skiing. You realize she’s also funny and that she’s just as chill as you. Eventually, the convo pulls back to both couples talking and laughing together. If it’s a really great date, you will all move to the next bar. If it was a decent date and you enjoyed the couple, you will part ways and begin assessing the date with your man on the way to the car. You both agree they seem like a cool couple to try to go out with again soon. You feel excited because now you found another cool couple to hang out with who like to drink! Successful “befriending” date! See…making friends is so weird.
7. College is the fastest time in your life – Growing up, I feel like life was pretty slow or normal. Elementary felt pretty normal. Middle school was SLOW and high school was even SLOWER… Then we all went off to college and I swear. Those were the fastest 4 years of my entire life. I remember Freshman year like it was yesterday. It’s crazy how I went from moving out for the first time, living in a co-ed dorm, making my own meals (heating up pizza rolls), and walking myself to class. We all became independent very quickly in college and we LOVED IT! We’d all come back to our hometowns for holidays and talk about college. My junior and senior year flew by. Those were the toughest years, academic-wise. I had class until about 4 or 5 everyday. I worked at the on-campus gym 3 to 4 times a week until about 8 or 9 pm. I student taught for a full-year and took classes in the evenings. College was also the most fun, carefree years. I didn’t realize how much I would miss it until it was gone. 4 years was not enough time for me in college and being an adult is hard (see #5). Though it’s nice not having to take classes and finish assignments on time, I do miss my biggest life stress being Finals Week. Now, I have to think about where my money goes. What do I make for dinner that an adult should have (no more pizza rolls every night). I have to think about my job and stress about being the best! College went by way too quickly and I think we can all cheers to that. 🙂
8. You always need your mom and dad – I am 25 and I still need them. I call my dad to ask for help on things like credit cards, cars, loans, my job, etc. I call my mom about drama, what outfit I should wear, what’s stressing me out, etc. Yes, my mom and I still like to share what we are planning on wearing to things even when we are not attending them together!
Mom – “Ohhhh, that sounds fun! So what are you wearing?!”
Me – “I was thinking my nice, dark jeans with that one red shirt I like and tall boots”
Mom – “Yep, that would be cute! Make sure you add some jewelry!”
I still need them because I love them. I know if I really needed some help, even with money, that my parents would be the first to selflessly help me out. I don’t take that for granted, because I know I’m lucky. When I get upset or have some sort of problem, I still like to call my parents and tell them about it. I know that my parents are there for me no matter what.
9. Marriage isn’t where your movie ends – I am a BIG movie buff. I love going to the movies. I love renting movies. I just love watching movies. I especially love the feel-good, romance movies. Almost always, these movies end with the guy finally getting the girl or the girl finally getting the guy. I am a hopeless romantic and am huge suck for these ending. So, I was lucky and found my man my freshman year of college and we got married 5 months after graduating. I’ve realized this past year that my story isn’t over (though sometimes it feels like it is). What I mean is that I’ve had some moments this year where I feel like I am stuck in one place. I teach Monday – Friday. I make dinner around 5:00 pm every day. I take care of my puppy and walk him each night. I watch the next episode of our show with my husband. I go to sleep by 10 pm and it starts over the next day. I live in the mountains and I still seek adventure. I want more excitement in my movie because marriage wasn’t the ending. We still have a lot of life to live and I feel like our jobs take up 80% of it. 20% is taken up by sleeping, eating, taking care of ourselves, and those extra fun trips or nights you have. I guess I liked growing up with the structure. You went to elementary school for 6 years. Middle school for 2. High school for 4. College for 4. Adulthood is the REST OF MY EXISTENCE. I guess I can see it as a new schedule… enjoy married like with only a dog for 4 years. Having our first baby and then having another one a year later. Then my schedule can follow their lives.
But….I’m just not ready for that. I am not ready to have my babies be the structure of my life yet. Don’t get me wrong! I can’t wait to be a mom! I guess I’m just enjoying this part of my life so much that I don’t want to waste it. When we were in school, I couldn’t just tell my parents that one year of high school I want to spend traveling the world. I didn’t study abroad in college for some reason. I should have! I guess I’m holding back on the whole baby part of my story because I want to go travel somewhere like Ireland. I want to be able to say that I had this exciting adventure in my 20’s. I thing once I achieve this, my life will be able to become more clear and I will be ready to see where my movie takes me. Which lead me to my last point in this blog…
10. Finding you calling doesn’t come easy – I know that I am happy. I know that I am where I was supposed to be and I am with the people I was meant to be with. I know these things. I also just walk around feeling like there’s something more to my story. I don’t know why. I’ve had this nagging feeling for almost 3 years now. I pray about it. I write about it. I talk it out with Dakota. I just can’t figure out what it is. I thought teaching would for sure be it. I do LOVE teaching. When I am in my classroom and I’m writing on the whiteboard different math problem to my kids, I am in my zone. I feel like I am actually pretty damn good at teaching. But for some reason, it doesn’t feel like enough. I don’t know why! Maybe it’s just something people in their 20’s go through or maybe it’s just me. To be honest, I don’t even know what I am looking for. I still think about actually writing a book, but haven’t been able to take what’s in my head to paper. I have thought about volunteering somewhere. I think about changing jobs just to see if that’s it. I want to figure it out! It’s been bugging me for years. This is a big reason why I’ve started this blog. I know it seems like ramblings from a 25-year-old mind, but to me it’s where I feel the most at peace. I’m not asking for any attention from this. I’m not wanting to be this weird girl who blogs each week about marriage, life, and her problems. I think we all like to feel connected. I think we all like to know that there are other people thinking and feeling the same way that we are. So, I don’t know my calling. I don’t have all the answers. I’m not this intelligent mind that will invent the next big thing. I’m just a girl, who happens to be 25 years old living in Colorado.
I am so excited for the holidays to begin! Tomorrow is the last day with my 5th graders in 2017. We are having a DEAR morning (Drop Everything and Read) and decorating cookies while drinking hot cocoa in the afternoon. Please send your thoughts and prayers that tomorrow goes smoothly for myself and my fellow teachers. Kids are awesome, but they will be crazy tomorrow! Dakota & I are excited to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family this year. It’s been 2 years since we were down in Texas for Christmas. I can’t wait to open presents, drink Rumchata and Fireball, eat some queso (hopefully! I must have it!), and celebrate with my wonderful family. 🙂
(stay tuned for Part 2)