All The Fun Things

My goal for this year was to have more fun. I wanted to get out of my apartment and really start doing things. I realize that in a few months my life may be consumed with data collection and dissertation writing. I want to make the most of the “free time” that I believe I have.  Yes, I know I should be reading and writing and working on my proposal, but I also know I don’t want to miss out on life anymore.

If you check out my wanderlust page, you’ll see that I’ve been making moves in 2015. I keep telling friends that I’ve had more fun since I turned 30 than I did my whole year at 29. I’d like to keep up that streak.

I’ve been very fortunate to have the means to travel for professional and personal reasons.  While I’m still on a vacation “high”, I’m ready to plan my next trip. I actually get a fall break this year friends!  So, we’ll see where I end up.  In the meantime, I’ve been looking at fun weekend adventures right here in South Carolina. Wineries, concerts, cooking classes, comedy shows, and beach trips are all possibilities for the next couple months.  Not to mention that football season is almost here and I’m excited to claim my student tickets to show off the stadium to my dad and visiting friends.

My goal for the fall is to stay productive and positive, while moving forward with my program timeline, projects for my faculty, and commitments to professional organizations.  There’s a lot coming up this year but I’m so excited and so blessed to have so many people sharing my life.

What are you excited for in 2015-2016? What do you do for fun?

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Hello old friend…

Hello again,

I realized this morning how long it’s been since my last real post. In case you were wondering, I survived the end of the spring semester.  I met all of my deadlines, I got high marks in my courses, and I dove head first into a whirlwind summer.

After spending a solid week advocating for my precious PhD timeline and combating class cancellations, I started summer classes. I’ve already finished one, the second will be done next week, then a small 5 day break before the final summer course begins.  Let’s just say I’m excited for July.

But what really brought my back is my friend’s blog post from today. Go read it. Michael Goodman’s wonderful. You’ll like it. 🙂

His blog about wandering and taking risks and not having all the answers reminded me of thoughts I’ve had randomly in the last month or so.  So, whenever you’re in school, people want to know when you’re going to be done with school.  It’s just natural. “You won’t be in school forever, so what are you going to do next and when will you have to make that decision? I want to know so I can follow up with you around that time and ask a more informed question that’s accurate in delivery so you can know that I listen when you tell me things and I care about you.” (These are the thoughts running through our minds.) However, if you’ve ever talked to any student that was on the verge of completing any degree, they most often don’t have an answer.  There are so many factors: getting hired, getting into the next degree program, moving, not moving, other people to consider.  It’s overwhelming and really we’re just trying to finish the first hurdle.

At least that’s how I feel. I feel like I still have so much left in this program to complete so I shouldn’t spend too much time on what happens after.  And still, I want to know myself. What am I working towards? It’s not the degree. I’m confident I’ll get the degree. That’s not the problem. It’s the after graduation that’s the question.

I’m looking forward to (prayerfully) graduating in December of next year.  That’s an odd time for hiring if I’m looking at any job at a college or university. That’s just not the cycle.  I want to use that spring semester to do something different.  I want to travel or live abroad or find some temporary post-doctoral program where I can just live somewhere else for a while. That sounds fun and terrifying all at the same time.  It’s also not me at all.  But hey, I’ve learned more about myself in the last 8 months.  I need to take better care of myself. I can’t work in a place without external support (more on that in another post). I’m probably going to be exhausted after my dissertation is complete.  So what better choice than to go off and do something completely unexpected! You know, with all that money I’ll have after life as a grad student for 2 years. But that’s not for me to decide. If it’s meant to be, God will provide the resources as He graciously continues to do each month.

So, then to add to that, the second confirmation that this might be a path I take.  I’m considering doing a mission trip.  I’ve never done one but I think that’s something that’s been presented to me as an option.  I’m not sure what that will look like or what that could be but having these two out-of-the-box thoughts in the same month can’t be an accident.  Again, I know I’ll be led in the right direction.  I’m excited to see what unfolds in the next year or so.

As Michael reminded me today, it’s ok to not know.  It’s ok to not know what you don’t know. It’s ok to wander. To move. To change. To evolve. To set yourself up for success in whatever way success lives for you.

Do. You. Boo. And do it unapologetically.