Revisiting the Box

I have a tendency to make lots and lots of lists, discard them somewhere, and never come back to them. However, I am determined to keep revisiting the list of goals that I’ve posted on my blog. Typical me – I made two lists of goals, so I am going to combine them into one and update on each point.

1) Donate my hair – Well I haven’t chopped my hair off yet, which is quite the feat since I have a tendency to chop it off whenever I get restless. And oh boy have I been restless.

2) Keep on running – I haven’t quit yet. It’s been very very tempting. I started running about 2 months ago when I started this blog. I have gone from barely doing a quarter of a mile to running my first mile ever to using a C25K app to help me train for a 5K in November.

Running on a treadmill is so very boring. I’ve recently resorted to streaming Say Yes to the Dress on Netflix to help the time pass quicker as my feet protest underneath me and my breathing becomes more labored. T and I have also been doing some outside runs. Last weekend, we ran at the new dog park and at the park down the road. While I cannot say I enjoy running, I do prefer running outside. Running with T also helps keep me motivated 🙂

I’m still feeling a bit skeptical about my ability to run the full 5K, but it’s not November yet! Just gotta keep at it!

3) Take a statistics course – Cutting it close, I signed up for an online statistics course at the local community college just before the deadline. Going from studying in a liberal arts private school environment to registering for a course at a public community college has been quite the experience. The course is going well, but math has never been a strong suit of mine, so it’s still a struggle. I am constantly emailing my professor with questions (yes I am one of those students). Like my job, I am just thinking of this course as a stepping stone to get from where I am now to where I want to be. Of course when I am cursing at my calculator or ready to rip my notes to shreds, I tend to forget this. Midterms are next week… I just hope I can get at least a B!

4) Apply to grad school – After rejection last year, I am not reaching as high this year. I am still feeling unsure about what program I want to do, but I am going to stay local and try to keep working while attending school (not easy I know). Right now I am looking at MA programs in applied anthropology, applied sociology, and writing. I am also looking at PhD programs in anthropology. So clearly I have no idea what to do. I decided I am going to apply to all these different programs and see what the results are. Based on those results, I’ll make a decision. I think I could be happy in any of them. Luckily, I have the guidance of a wonderful professor from my undergraduate program. Hopefully he can help me figure all this out.

Now I just have to write those personal statements, pay the exorbitant fees to send my GRE scores and submit my applications, and contact professors for references.

5) Compile, edit and self-publish grandmother’s biography – I’ve been working on this with my grandmother since last fall. The project paused in the spring while she was away, but now it’s back in full swing. I have been using my new fancy camera to photograph old photographs, as well as editing all the raw text she’s been sending me. It’s been quite the challenge to maintain her voice, yet make it flow as a written document. My goal is to complete the final product by Christmas time, so then we can move on to work on biographies of other deceased family members, including her parents, my grandaddy, and other relatives.

My grandmother just turned 84, and although she is very healthy, I can’t help but hear the clock ticking. She is one of the most important people in my life. I can’t imagine life without her. But I shouldn’t let my thoughts go down that road. Working on this project with her has been incredibly special and I love spending quality time with her.

6) Go outside and walk – With the weather so beautiful, I’ve been spending as much time as possible outside. The other week, my mom and I went exploring to look for some old horse trails that may connect to our property. I don’t often get to spend quality one-on-one time with my mom (except for when we do our weekly library trips), so it was very fun. I’ve also been spending more time with my horses, running outside with T, and throwing the ball for Molly. Later this month, my friends and I are going camping out in western Maryland right at the peak of fall colors. We’re bringing the dogs and plan to do lots of hiking!

7) Update wardrobe – Last weekend T and I went to the outlets to do some scouting. Since we are both on a budget and need some new fall clothes, we wanted to get an idea of what we want to buy before actually buying anything. Of course, I still ended up buying just a few things because I couldn’t resist. But we’re planning our big shopping trip for next weekend – Columbus Day sales here we come! I’m excited to buy some work clothes, cold weather running clothes, new black heels (since Molly has eaten three pairs), and perhaps a new winter coat (and boots…).

8) Rediscover my confidence in riding – After years of hiding from my fear, I finally signed up for riding lessons. I had my second lesson this week and am already noticing a difference! Riding, combined with running and other exercise, has made my body stronger. I rode my own horse a couple times recently and feel like I can handle almost anything he throws at me. I’m nowhere near as confident as I used to be, but it’s all about baby steps. I can’t wait to go home and ride Finnegan again tonight! It’s been a while since I’ve actually been excited and not timid to ride my own horse.

9) Move out – While I cannot actively work on this goal right now, I am looking forward to moving out and being a “real” grownup. In the meantime, I’m enjoying my time at home with my parents and horses. I know I will move out someday, why rush it? That time will come. When it does, I will be very excited, nervous, and nostalgic I’m sure.

10) Start volunteering – Have not gotten anywhere on this goal. Between work, riding, classes, meeting with my grandmother, and seeing my friends and boyfriend, the days go by quickly. I hope to start working at an animal shelter or with an environmental agency in the coming year after the above goal has been accomplished. Stay tuned!

11) Write, write, write – I’ve been writing a lot at work and while working on my grandmother’s bio. Recently, T has been encouraging me to write for myself. No one has ever seen me as a writer until him. I really love to write, to let my thoughts flow through my fingers, to play with the formation of words. In school, I hated writing full of jargon and fancy prose. I prefer to write for the everyday reader, to let my thoughts become words. I’ve been toying with the idea of working on a book. I have an idea. I just need to find the time and courage to commit myself to doing it. I am not saying I want to publish (not sure that I even could), but I want to work on a writing project for my own enjoyment and development.

I also love to help other people with writing. In college, my work as a writing tutor exposed to me all types of writers – the struggling and the brilliant. Writing is so valuable, yet I saw so many students who could barely carry an argument through a short paper. I am starting to think that teaching writing would be a really interesting and worthy (albeit not without transfiguration) job.

12) Embrace patience – And finally, patience. My downfall. I look ahead and dream so much that I forget to live in the moment. I work at this everyday. Keeping myself busy in the now prevents me from dwelling on the future. I have also been mentally checking myself whenever my thoughts runaway from me. This is not to say that I never let myself dream, that’s impossible not to do. I am just trying not to let those dreams taint my now.

13) Knit a sweater – This is my new goal! I’ve found a great pattern for a cable sweater in an Irish knits book. My Friday night will consist of getting dinner with my grandmother and going to  Joann’s to buy yarn. I can’t wait to get started. I’ve knitted two other sweaters but they turned out really ugly and I never wore them. This time I am determined to make this sweater into something I will actually wear! First I have to finish that pair of socks… the second one is always the hardest!

Phew! I have a lot left to do and will continue adding to this list as the weeks pass by. I promise in my subsequent posts I will include more photographs. I do not have access to any right now, but I know I prefer reading blogs with photographs interspersed in the text so I am being a bit of a hypocrite by not including any.

Anyway, I feel like I am getting somewhere and finally starting to take control of my post-college life. I am doing my best to live my life to its fullest every single day.

Happy Friday everyone!


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