some realizations // redefining23

I am coming to the realization that the statement “it’s okay to not be okay” rings truer than I thought.

Of course it’s okay to not be okay – this means you have acknowledged that something is off and are learning to cope/deal/take on whatever it may be.

Over the past week and a half I think I have been more upset deep down inside than I care to admit. And on more than one occasion these feelings have bubbled to the surface, unannounced and have completely taken me by surprise.

With that being said, these feelings have opened up conversations with others (and myself) that have got me thinking. I have come to realize a few things over the past month that I thought I’d share:

Telling myself that God has a plan is not always enough (like I always thought it was). I’ve always told myself this and truly believed it. But I am realizing now that it is not enough. I had a conversation with my dad the other day and he made a valid point – there is a difference between saying okay He has a plan, and actively listening to what that plan is. I honestly am still working on how to actively listen, but it is relieving to understand there is more to it; I cannot just sit back and only tell myself everything happens for a reason. I have to listen and seek His will in order to see any change.

Having all this time off, has given me the time to put more effort and thought into my freelance business. Sometimes when people ask me what I like to do in my free time, I often think Ha WHAT free time? What is this concept?!??? Honestly, that has been one of my insecurities. When most people watch TV or read or play a sport, I’ve always been stumped. Oh, I like to…uh…go on Pinterest? No shame, but not the answer I would really like to give. I’ve always looked at my life as a to do list. I always have something to do, something to check off as completed. And when I don’t, I usually feel like I could be doing something more productive. And this is why I am always looking for an answer to that question. What DO I like to do? Not until honestly sitting down to write this post did I realize that duh, I have passions and things I enjoy doing in my spare time. I choose to work on my freelance business during my free time because I love photography, design and all things creative. I would rather read blogs, scroll Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration and discover exciting people, places and things through these outlets than watch TV (although I did promise myself I would watch some TV after I graduated college, cause you know, it’s always a great conversation starter. Still working on that…) I have always considered my business as work, but it really isn’t. It’s my passion, something I want to do when I’m not at my actual job. My freelance business has been an actual form of income while being unemployed. Before, it was something I enjoyed, and provided a little extra money. Now, I’m more invested (effort and time-wise) to make it something more than a passion. We’ll see where it takes me 🙂

Vulnerability. This is something I need to work on. No not everything is fun and dandy all the time. I would like to be more authentic and vulnerable in how I am feeling and thinking. I don’t always think I am great with words, so I think this is partly why I have a hard time be vulnerable – how do I voice how I truly feel if I can’t even form how I am feeling in my head? This is something that I am working on. I find that when someone is more vulnerable, it shows your true colors and therefore shows who your true friends are, what you really want to do with your life, and how you process things. I really admire those who show vulnerability and am striving to be more transparent. I want to have that vulnerability but still have a positive outlook.

Recently, I took a personality test. It’s pretty much dead on. It’s called the RHETI Test (Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator). I am a Type Nine: Peacemaker. Below is a small description of Nines, provided by the Enneagram Institute:

“Generally, Nines are patient, steady, easygoing, receptive, relaxed, unselfconscious, agreeable, uncomplicated, contented, comforting, sensual, and idealizing.

Nines get into conflicts by being emotionally unavailable, complacent, inattentive, unaware of their own anger, ineffectual, passive-aggressive, unrealistic, resigned, and stubborn.

At their best, Nines are self-aware, dynamic, inclusive, steadfast, healing, proactive, contemplative, natural, imaginative, serene, and exuberant, engaged and passionate.”

Yes yes yes to all of the above. I received a very detailed synopsis of what it means to be a Type Nine. I strongly suggest you take the test, too. It’s a little strange reading something that is so on point personality wise. Being in this season of change and unknown, reading my test results really opened my eyes to who I am as a person and a little bit of clarity to why I have been feeling the way I’ve been feeling lately. I do understand this is just a personality test, but it has been a stepping stone to understanding myself.

I think I’ve mastered the Boston T system. Well, maybe not all the lines, but I have gone into Boston more times than I ever have growing up (not complaining – I LOVE Boston!) This may seem random and trivial, but I’m quite proud of myself – I’ve been to different parts of the city in the past month that I’ve never been to before. I have also realized that while I’ve been to most parts of the city, I don’t know my way around those parts. I think a goal of mine for the next year is to spend more time in the city exploring and familiarizing myself with the various areas. I love Boston and I love living so close!

Pinterest quotes, y’all. Don’t judge. When you’re having a rough day, Pinterest quotes are where it’s at. I’m going to share a few that have resonated with me recently.

everynowandthen mediocre  timeisright vision

If you’re at all interested, you can follow my Beautiful Inspiration board on Pinterest (or any of my boards for that matter) here! I guess these are not so much a realization, but nice little reminders that everything will be okay.  Also diving into the Word could be just as (actually, more) helpful, let’s not forget that 🙂

As this post is more like a journal entry; a place to jot down my thoughts, I hope it resonates with you in some way or another. I think although my 23rd year is off to a shaky start, I’ve already learned more about myself in one month than I have in all four years of college (that’s a bit of an exaggeration but whatever…) I think these realizations about myself will help set my mindset for the rest of the year.

Part of theclarissab’s #redefining23 blog series 

the shadow proves the sunshine // redefining23

 

I’ve recently been listening to a lot of Switchfoot. I really love their lyrics and recently put on a Spotify playlist that was a mix of all of their albums. “The Shadow Proves the Sunshine” really stuck out to me when I listened to it for the first time. When life isn’t going so great, those dark times make the good ones stand out and feel good. I’m trying to look at life this way.

In the past two weeks of being 23, I’ve had a lot of curveballs thrown my way. Highs and lows, as I’m sure many of us have experienced. I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty details, but at the current moment, I am no longer employed full time. It was very unfortunate timing, and I was (am) bummin’ for sure. As of now, I have a couple part time opportunities that will keep me busy and the creative juices flowing, but if I’m being brutally honest, I am extremely anxious. I know many people don’t have jobs, but to put things into perspective, I have never not had a job since I was 16. And since I’ve graduated college, student loans will be starting up soon (on top of all the other bills). I don’t get anxious very easily, but this is something that has been weighing on my mind consistently.

But I guess that’s adulting for ya. I’m thinking these curveballs are because God wanted to give me some good blog content for #redefing23 😉

So…where does this leave me? As I am trying to redefine the year of 23, I am focusing on the positive outcomes of these situations and what I can take away from them.

I just had a really fun weekend visiting friends and my little brother at his college, I’ve had some free time to visit family, work on freelance content, and work on strengthening my portfolio and self promotion.

I don’t want this to come off as a pity party. Yeah life sucks sometimes, but there have been some really great things happening these past two weeks too. For now, I’ll just keep reminding myself of my favorite verse, Joshua 1:9.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

 

“where your treasure is your heart will be also” // reflection

“Jesus said “where your treasure is your heart will be also.”  Don’t let your treasures determine where your heart is, let your heart determine where your treasures are.  Some of you will do whatever it takes to achieve your goal, I appreciate and respect that.  My desire here is not to attack your dreams but to challenge the ‘undecided’ 18-year old to think about the decisions that they are making today and how they could affect their future before they sign that big note that chains them up for 30 years.”

Is college worth it? (Link to article)

This is a section from a post called “Is college worth it?” from the blog brettshoemaker.wordpress.com. I cannot describe how true this statement is and how deeply I can relate. Coming from a broke college student who is paying her own way through school, this is so important. When it was time to apply to schools, I only applied to three schools in Tennessee because I was determined to live out my dream of going down south (specifically to TN). I found my dream school, looked at the tuition, and convinced myself I could make it work. And it did work out (thanks God!). But come end of July after my freshman year (2 weeks before I was to go back for sophomore year) I realized I could afford another year at my school, but I wouldn’t be able to afford any school (or anything else for that matter) after that. Long story short, after a weekend of tears and prayers, and a semester off, I’m now commuting to a state school, have a $34,000 loan to pay back (plus all those other small unsubsidized/subsidized loans), and 3 more years of tuition and fees to pay until I can graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

Life is rough.

But the good news is that this is what was supposed to happen. It is all apart of God’s plan, and I can say I’m very grateful for the one year I got in TN. I am still sad and disappointed, and sometimes I dwell on it a little too much, reminiscing and or comparing my life now to my friends’ lives who are still there. I’m not loving where I am in life right now, but hey, God’s on my side, leading me down the path He has chosen. So what’s there to worry about?

I will say this: I do not regret taking out that loan. The relationships, the experiences, the lessons were all worth it. But I was so focused on the present and wanting so bad to move far away and experience something different, that I didn’t take the time to look at the big picture. And when I prayed about it, it was more willing God to let it work out than asking if this was the right thing for me.

Overall, I’m happy with the experiences I had. I’m just not thrilled about my bills. But, who is?

{Pin of the Day}

I found this pin and had to share because 1) I think it’s a very important topic and 2) it has some great ideas!

 

How to keep your faith in college by Virginia Macias

Keeping up with your faith is extremely important, especially when you are in college where the world is being thrown at you in all different directions. I can say that I have no idea where I would be right now if it weren’t for my relationship with God. This article offers great ideas for making time for growth and devotion. I especially like the Pinterest board idea 😉 Definitely check it out!

#100happydayscb {day one}

100 Happy Days.

Everyday goes by so fast, and people are so oblivious to life around them. 100 Happy Days is a challenge to help find the little things in life that make you happy. Take a picture each day of something that makes you happy, for 100 days. I’ll be posting here, as well as my Instagram account (@theclarissab). Ultimately, at the end I will be more aware of what makes me happier, making me a more optimistic person 🙂

I decided to accept this challenge because I’m at a point in my life where I’m just not happy. I’m not where I want to be physically, emotionally, geographically, socially. 2013 was a hard year as I had to make the decision to not return to my dream school in Nashville. I spent pretty much my entire childhood dreaming about moving to Nashville. I had this strange obsession with Tennessee; I only applied to colleges in the state! But alas, it was not God’s will for me to stay in Nashville, at least for the time being. I got my one year living away at school which I am incredibly grateful for. But this transition into living at home, being a commuter, and having all my friends at schools far away is really hard. I’m trying to turn these feelings over to God, but it is very, very hard. I can, however, say that after I made the decision to not return, I’ve only cried about it once (this decision was made last summer). Regardless, I think that this challenge on top of devotion, prayer, and worship will help me reach a happier place and have a better outlook on life. I know God has a plan for my life and that I need to be patient and see how He works, so this is just something to do while I wait.  🙂

Join me in the challenge! I’ll be using this hashtag for all my photos (#100happydayscb). Check out their website for a full description at:

http://100happydays.com

I’d love to follow along so comment with your hashtags if you sign up, or are already doing it!

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100happydays(1)

Today is March 1st, 2014 & the first day of my challenge.

I want to start it off by posting a picture of my journal (purchased at Target). This is more of a prayer journal, where I write down favorite bible verses or when my devotional for the morning really speaks to me. I’ll occasionally write about different events that happen or how I’m feeling, but it’s ultimately dedicated to the growth of my relationship with God. I started this journal during my semester off last fall and I’m really happy I did. I think it’s brought me closer to God and is helping me understand the Word and pay closer attention to what it has to say. It’s basically an outlet for me to write down what’s relevant in my life at the current moment. It definitely makes me happy when I open it up to reread verses and write down new ones.