Life

“It’s not faith if you use your eyes…”

Time for a midnight update post. šŸ™‚

Summer 2017 has been pretty great so far… I have been working A LOT of hours (and at different pharmacies, at that!), spending time with friends and family, researching different volunteer options and planning a trip to Iceland! Spiritually, I finally feel like things are looking up again. I have had so many opportunities to read, reflect and spontaneously think of my future, while also making sure to truthfully live in the moment.

Anybody that knows me well knows that I am a planner and have always had a timeline in my head of how I want my life to go. For most of my life, I dreamed that I would graduate college, get married to my soulmate, and have my first baby at 24. (HA..!) Considering that I am 23 years old, single and will definitely be in college for at least another 2 years, those odds are slim. It’s funny how things don’t happen how you want/expect them to.

…but sometimes it really is for the best. For awhile, it really bummed me out that things were crashing down and not happening in the order that I hoped for. I’d experienced a lot of depression and anxiety for a long time because of it. However, it really taught me that (most) things are out of our control. Somewhere in the downfall, it made me also realize that life would be meaningless if we knew what and when things were going to happen. For the first time ever, lately, I actually feel like I am living in faith; trusting that what’s ahead is beyond my control.

Two recent events are shaping my faith:

  1. Getting my rejection letter to nursing school in April had me down for awhile. Self doubt crept up on me: “Are you sure you even want to be a nurse?” “I must not be smart enough to become a nurse.” “What do the other candidates have that I don’t?” “I’ll never get into nursing school.” These questions haunted me for weeks. Eventually, I rerouted my mental thinking to “How can I be a stronger candidate next time I apply?” “My desire to be a nurse is stronger now.” “I want to put my all into this.”Ā The rejection had me down but ultimately, it made me a better person.
  2. Going through this breakup with my ex-fiance has brought up all kinds of feelings. We broke up in late February, didn’t talk for a month and then he came back into my life with an “I miss you” text. Although I was on the path to healing a little bit, I was still weak and ready to talk to him again. We started talking again and it was almost as if we hadn’t broken up at all… However, it just didn’t feel right. We talked and hung out for those 2 months and then last week decided that we both needed to be alone for awhile. I say this brings up many feelings because: 1) The breakup itself has made me reflect on what he means to me. For a long time, I questioned whether he was “The One”…I couldn’t ever decide how I felt so this heavily strained our relationship. I spent so much time analyzing my feelings that I couldn’t even put my all into the relationship anymore. On top of that, I started feeling like maybe he wasn’t The One since I was even asking myself those questions in the first place. 2) Having this time alone has allowed me to reflect on what lifestyle I want to have (single and independent? married with kids?)…. and downright whether I want marriage/kids/etc. period. I have decided that I do, in fact, want those things, just in the far future. Although I am still learning with this event in my life, I am learning that we don’t have to know the outcome of every little thing. I am becoming a better person through this by learning to love myself and refusing to let a relationship be an all-consuming, stressful part of my life.

My relationship with God has grown a lot over these past few months. I’ve been praying for guidance, strength, wisdom and peace, and with each day that passes, I am becoming more and more accepting of my life and how it is turning out….. even if I don’t know all of the answers. šŸ™‚

From me to you: If you are going through difficult times, experiencing doubt and confusion, and/or not feeling good enough…. Pray. Meditate. Be kind to yourself. Trust your journey. Enjoy the good times and persist through the bad ones. Become empowered by your resilience. Grow.

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Adventures

Summer Bucket List Mark-Off #1!

So over the course of my 9 day vacay from work, I was able to do some things on my summer bucket list (yay!)! Two of them were visiting the mountains and hiking a challenging trail.

My roommate and I traveled to my favorite mountain city in the world, Asheville, NC. We drove up and explored downtown Asheville for a few hours, checking out the boutiques and even having lunch/dinner at Chai Pani (a delicious Indian street food restaurant) topped off with a dessert of chocolate ice cream from French Broad Chocolate Lounge. As we were walking the streets, we came up on this really cool ā€œBefore I Dieā€ chalkboard where people write things that they want to do before they die. (Mine says ā€œbecome a nurseā€!)

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Since it was getting dark, we decided to head towards the campground since it was on the Blue Ridge Parkway (and about 30 miles outside the city). We camped out in a tent on top of a mountain at Mount Mitchell State Park. It was understandably cold (I mean with an elevation of 6,684 feet this was expected) but also very windy. The sounds of the wind against the tent were unsettling, so we didnā€™t get much sleep.

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Despite the sleep deprivation, we were champs and toughed through a 5 mile hike the next morning! It was quite a strenuous hike, but we summitted Mount Mitchellā€¦ which happens to be the highest point east of the Mississippi River. šŸ™‚

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After we reached the peak, we hiked back down to the park office and drove into the city again to get dinner. We ended up grabbing a yummy burger and a beer at Wicked Weed Brewery (one of Ashevilleā€™s own breweries), a coffee from High Five and stopped by the shopping outlets before coming home.

Needless to say, it was very awesome!

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Life

Finding Peace

It’s the second to last week of the semester and the good ole’ Lord knows I have been a bundle of emotions. Some of the time my mind screams “when will it all end?!” Other times, I break down and cry. And then there are the rare moments that I just find……

Peace.


peace noun | \Ėˆpēs\ : a state of tranquility or quiet; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions


Call me a hippie or whatever, but until recently, I feel like I’d never known the true meaning of peace. I’ve used the word in so many senses but never truly understood what it meant for me. Peace, for me, is to be completely calm. No attachment to any thought, feeling, event, person, object, task, or idea. It is to just be. Here in the moment. Now. No fixation on anything in the past. No projection of the future. Peace is complete freedom and contentment with all of the world around you in this respective moment.

Not to say that these methods do not help, but I have learned that no amount of meditation, yoga class, self-help reads, green tea, deep breathing, hot baths, essential oils, or massages can bring peace… Unless you are truly and honestly willing to accept the moment for exactly how it is.

That moment could mean being stressed, heartbroken, ecstatic, devastated, confused, and so on… but peace is allowing these emotions and thoughts to flow freely and accepting them for what they are.

“Leave your front door and back door open. Let thoughts come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.” – Shunryu Suzuki

Peace is about acceptance…. of the present, and, ultimately, of ourselves.

Uncategorized

First blog!

This is my very first blog post on here, so bear with me!

I’m happy to have finally started this website – I can’t wait to start actually posting journal entries, makeup tutorials, how-to articles, pictures, ahhh!

Good ending to a good day. I had my Anatomy lab practical earlier this evening, and boy was it intense. There is just so much information to know, in such a short amount of time. I hope I did well on it! That would be the third big exam I have had this week. Monday, I took the TEAS exam (entrance exam for nursing school), and made an 80.7%. That seemed like an okay score until I looked at the national average, which was a 69%?! I hope that is a good thing! On Wednesday, I had a Biology lab practical. Didn’t make too hot of a grade on that one.

One thing is for sure, I am about to sleep so hard. Studying has been my life for the past 4 days.

Bye bye blog, hello bed.

 

Uncategorized

Manchester Arena Concert Attack

Two days ago, Manchester Arena in England was tragically attacked by a suicide bomber during an Ariana Grande concert. The attack killed 22 people, injured 120+, and affected the entire world.

What shakes me the most about this event is how most things are out of our control…Ā Car accidents, illnesses, unintentional injuries, natural deaths, and so on. For the most part, we are all outĀ here just trying to live our livesĀ the best way we can.Ā We can onlyĀ hope that others have good intentions. However, something like this happens; somethingĀ that makes no sense whatsoever. It wasĀ completely in someone’s control and had no reason to happen, other than to intentionally hurt others.

The aftermath created from this tragedy will be nothing positive; just fear, anxiety, isolationĀ and pain. Parents will be moreĀ distrusting of allowing their children to explore their world. Concert lovers, like myself, will now have a fear of being in a crowded venue andĀ possiblyĀ standing next to a ticking time bomb.

You can’t go to college,Ā the movie theater, a concert, an elementary school, a nightclub, a church, or anywhere for that matter, without some type of fear.

My heart is with theĀ family and friendsĀ of the victims, the concert attendees & staff, and Ariana Grande and her crew.

Life, Uncategorized

Summer 2017 Bucket List

  • Travel out of the country
  • Do volunteer clinical work
  • Learn and master a song on guitar
  • Continue my fitness journey
  • Hike a challenging trail
  • Go to the beach
  • Find an interesting book and get into reading
  • Study and retake the T.E.A.S. exam
  • See a waterfall
  • Work and make money
  • Go indoor rock climbing
  • Get a pedicure
  • Have my own themed photoshoot
  • Go swimming
  • Watch a sunset and/or sunrise
  • Cook something new
  • Bake some treats to share
  • Discover new bands/music
  • Go disc golfing
  • Day trip to a local city
  • Visit the mountains
  • Host a girls’ night at my place
  • Go kayaking and/or white water rafting
  • Go over anatomy text for next semester
Life

Embracing the Uncertainty of Life as a 20-Something

Long time no blog. 6 months, in fact. (Woops!) Life. Has. Been. Cray.

It is amazing how much we change and grow throughout life, but even more so as a young adult. As I sit here writing this post, I can most certainly say that 2017 has trekked me through some of the most uncomfortable and uncertain terrains I have ever experienced in life. Before I get into those, I will start with a little backstory.

Basically, from the time I came out of the womb until, well…recently, I have always been a planner – a perfectionist in the form of feeling like I could control life’s fortunate and unfortunate events. I have always been someone who sets my eyes on a goal/dream and doesn’t let it go: a go-getter, if you will. Being an only child probably had a huge influence on this facet of my personality. It is who I am. I always set my expectations high and refuse to settle… which leads to disappointment sometimes. A lot of times. Anyway, up until this point in life, I’d always attained most of what I wanted and hadn’t had too many setbacks. This semester, my perspective changed quite a bit.

I put my all into my application for nursing school and got rejected. My ex-fiance and I broke off our engagement. I almost lost my certification with my job by not reapplying by the deadline. And… all of this happened in a span of two months. It probably isn’t hard to believe that I felt like my life was falling apart. (Okay. I still feel this way.)

There are times where I randomly break down (even in public) feeling like a failure and being completely lost and confused as to what to do next. Should I continue pursuing nursing? Will I ever have the happy ending/relationship I desire? What if I never graduate college?Ā What if I’m stuck with the job I have forever? These questions run through my head a lot of the time. It’s hard when all of your peers on social media seem to be doing so well… graduating college, working at their dream jobs, getting married and starting families, etc.

These obstacles have taught me to become okay with not knowing what is going to happen tomorrow and to just live full in the present; NOW. It wasn’t until recently that I actually understood that cliche idea of “you’ve got to struggle before you can get to where you want to be.”

My faith now is stronger than it’s ever been, thanks to uncertainty.

 

 

Beauty

BEAUTY REVIEW: my favorite face wash!

In need of a new face wash and aimlessly scanning aisles at Target, I came across this face wash (to be specific, cleansing oil). What first caught my eye was “cleansing oil.” The only place I’d ever known to sell cleansing oil was Sephora and other upper end beauty chains, and always heard people speak of this type of product as a must-have. So, I figured… why not try it out?! What a great impulsive purchase!

Here it is: Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil by Palmer’s (It. Is. Amazing.)

My overall rating: 9.5/10

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Looking at it from outside of the bottle, it seems like it will have a baby oil consistency. However, when you squirt it in your hand, at first it feels oily but it turns into a gentle lather. What makes it even better is the rosehip fragrance: it feels and smells so good. It’s nearly therapeutic.

One of the main things I look for in a face wash is being able to remove long-lasting makeup, and this does the job. It melts your makeup, and is so gentle on your skin. (I even rub some on my eyelashes and around my eyes: no irritation!)

What’s To Love:

  • The product boasts that it “deep cleans and brightens” and “removes make-up and impurities.” IT’S NOT LYING. After using this wash, my face feels so fresh and hydrated.
  • It contains so many natural ingredients: sweet almond oil, soybean oil, apricot kernel oil, jojoba oil, cocoa seed butter, sesame seed oil, and the list goes on.
  • It doesn’t contain sulfates, parabens, phthalates, or mineral oil, and hasn’t been tested on animals.
  • Such a steal – only ~$7
  • It’s sooooo gentle. I swear any type of skin would love this stuff.
  • Perfect to remove make-up.

What’s Not To Love:

  • There really isn’t anything I can find to not like about this product, other than the fact that there are a very few ingredients with names I cannot pronounce. However, they may be harmless šŸ˜‰

As for myself, this will be a staple in my beauty regimen.

 

Nursing Journey

How to Prepare for the T.E.A.S Exam

You already know what it is: the nursing school entrance exam.

(I must add a disclaimer before continuing: I hardly studied for the exam, however, I ended up making a score of 80.7%. According to the results page, the national average was 69%. So…not bad?)

When I arrived to the testing site, several people stood around in groups nervously chatting and I could sense a tense vibe. Some people were at the tables on their laptops cramming information at the last minute. Others, like myself, just patiently waited and hoped for the best. Although I didn’t prepare for the exam as much as I should have, I have some tips and pointers that you may find helpful.

  1. Purchase the official T.E.A.S. Exam Study Manual: Do it. It will help you get an idea of what material is on the test and how it is set up. You can get it from Amazon.com, the A.T.I. website, or a friend that previously took the test. Go through subjects that you aren’t keen on and do the problems. Take the practice tests throughout the book and give yourself an allotted amount of time to take them: take them serious, as though you are actually taking the test.
  2. Study, study, study: Take time to study before your test. The sooner you begin studying before the test, the better the odds are that you will learn more information that can help you. Certain subjects are more prevalent than others. From my experience:
    • Grammar: This one shocked me. They took it back to elementary school, with several questions asking about subject-verb agreements, determining if an essay was persuasive, expository, narrative, etc., spelling, structures of sentences, and so on.
    • Science: This portion was heavily loaded with anatomy and physiology. If possible, take these classes before you take the exam. If this isn’t possible, get to know anatomy like it is your best friend.
    • Math: Most of the questions in this part were pretty simple math (in my opinion)… percentages, simple arithmetic, proportions and ratios, fractions, etc.
    • Reading: In this portion, there were questions based on reading comprehension, determining the main idea of an essay, understanding directions, etc.
  3. Get good rest the night before: This is so important! Rest your mind and body. It will work wonders for your memory and may even affect your score (in a good way!)
  4. Have your favorite healthy breakfast the day of: For me, I ate eggs, blueberry waffles, strawberries, and a big glass of milk. Eating a good breakfast will also affect your memory and your thinking ability.
  5. Stay calm: Don’t freak out. It really isn’t that bad. If you study and trust yourself, there is no reason to be nervous. On the night before, do your favorite activity to relax. Go in with an “I can do this!” mindset, and know that you will do great. (You will!)

If you didn’t do as well as you wanted on your first time taking the exam, remember: you can take it again. Just take time to go over the areas that you didn’t do well on, improve yourself, and try again.

If you set your mind to it, you WILL be a future nurse. šŸ™‚