here.

Hi.

I’ve been a stranger.  Like. TOTALLY a stranger.  Like. WOAH WHERE DID YOU GO stranger.  And it’s not that I didn’t want to visit.  In fact, I would have been here more often if I could get Siri to write my posts for me while I am driving.  Because I write LOTS in my head then.  Like at LEAST a post a day.  And then somehow, I start to work or hit the gym or text or SOMETHING and then I forget.  But please note.  I totally feel guilty.

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So. I applied for graduation and as of today – this moment – I have 234 days until I am finished. (I have a countdown on my phone that have to talk myself out of checking because I obsessively want to look at it every day. And I totally can’t help myself and I look again.) Two classes this summer, and two classes this fall. Pray. This semester I have taken three classes – Chemistry, Macroeconomics and Business Communications. And it utterly kicked my ass – not all the time, but definitely in waves. And I think that I have learned a little more grace for myself and for other people. In college (like real college when i didn’t have two jobs, a social life, a mortgage, rent, car, insurance…you get the picture!), I never understood how people could forget something so simple as HOMEWORK. I mean, just WRITE IT DOWN for crying out loud. And then now – twice I have gone to two different professors and explained that I forgot homework. Just forgot. Not that I didn’t want to do it. Not that I couldn’t have found time (something that I have this crazy talent for). Just plain ole’ brain-fart forgot. Neither one of them would allow me to turn it in late. But hey, oh well.
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So I find myself planning EVERY second of every day Monday through Friday. To the nano second. When I get home at 8 or 9p, I usually have an hour’s worth of stuff to do (laundry, dishes, prepare food, get my bag together for the next day, try to remember how MANY pairs of shoes, panties, and workout outfits I will need for the next day). And it becomes my power hour. I cannot sit down, I cannot stop moving until everything including washing my face and brushing my teeth is done. If I do, I cannot get back up. But with this regimented schedule during the week, I find my weekends EXTRA carefree. I have always been a fairly free spirit when it comes to playing. If I have the gas in my car, I will go do it. And for the past 3 months, my weekends have been super fun. Boo moved to Atlanta in March, I’ve been to Denver, the beach, dinner, railroad park, Regions stadium, bars I haven’t been to in years, random nights where I stay out later than I am used to, on blind dates and have just been happy. My poor roomates have remarked that I have the strangest schedule. Truth.

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Speaking of roommates, I moved into a house in February with some really awesome girls. Super sweet, super easy, and they handle my weirdness well. Nothing like roommates to make you realize how not normal you are. Or is that just me? I love having the company – and the ease of good roommates. I can only hope they say the same thing about me! I try…

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I’ve made some new friends lately. They are my age, single, and love to sweat it up. And I am starting to feel like me again. It only took me 6 years to get back to this point. But I know the journey from 24 to 31 has made me into SUCH a better version of myself. Kinder. Softer. Hopefully a little more knowledgeable and definitely more forgiving.

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March 6th was the 2 year anniversary of my divorce – and I can truly attest that divorce has a half life. It was some time in the last few months that I just felt, well, NORMAL. Not damaged, not angry, not blaming others, just normal. Praise God from whom all blessing flows, because without His Mercies, I would be in a ditch. I went to a Capitavating conference in Denver in March and it reminded me (as I need reminding EVERY DAY) that only God can put my broken heart back together. There are STILL times – few. FAR BETWEEN. But times that I get overwhelmed with the feeling of how damaged I am which leads me down the path of no one will ever love me into I’ll be single for the rest of my life and right back to how irreparable damaged I am. And don’t get me wrong. This heart has been shattered by SEVERAL men in my life and it is ugly and black and lifeless on its own. But God promises to repair it. to make it whole. And He assures me that I am beautiful. That He DOES see me, that HE is and will be everything to me that I’ve seen fail in the past.

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I also turned 31 in March. Don’t worry, I still continue to tell people that I am 30. I think that is a mix of not feeling 31 and how crazy packed life has been. My sweet loves took me to the beach for what was the best Birthday in a long while. It was FREEZING cold. But we drank wine, played Maajong, shopped (of course I was the ONLY ONE who bought anything), slept, watched Downton Abby, jammed to good tunes, cooked, and laughed. It was SO good for my heart. And there was this ONE cheese plate – I can’t stop thinking about it! Best meats, best olive oil, best cheese, best nuts…I mean. To. Die. For. And we drank more red wine than most people drink in a year. Not really. Well, yes really. Whatever. It was good.

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I’m trying not obsess about next steps. Here I am about to get my degree. Finally. Something that has kind of held me back. But not really. But kind of. And all my jobs in the past have been to push the ceiling on how far I could go without a degree. Like, DUH I don’t need one. But now? What do I want to do? I’ve utterly downgraded my life. And I wish I could downgrade it even more! So I don’t NEED to make money like I used to (staying in a job just to pay bills for stuff I don’t want. What I want is out of that cycle!!) You know that question? What would you do if money was no object? Yeah, I don’t know the answer yet. It’s mulling in my brain. And it looks REALLY different than what I thought it would be. I had planned on going to nursing school. Full. Speed. Ahead. Not that I won’t do that – I am not scared of it – that I won’t be able to finish or I am not smart enough. But as I pray desperately for God to help me see my path, what I DO hear is “wait”. Like, just get through this ONE step. Get to December. Get through 234 days. Just that. So. That’s what I am doing. Pray for that? Pray that I can figure out next steps. Or that I would be able to wait. How ever you want to pray for me – I will take it!

So here I am, friends. Back.

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you is kind

Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life. – Joel Olsteen
 
Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity.  Successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something and soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results. – William Jam

I am SURE this is hard to believe, but I am really hard on myself.  Like, harder than I should be.  Like, tell myself things that I wouldn’t even utter to my worst enemy.

Like:

You aren’t good enough

You aren’t smart enough.

You aren’t pretty enough.

You are damaged goods, no one will love you.

So many people have already given up on you, don’t you think God has too?

And it’s not just every once in a while.  I find that it’s constant white noise in the background.  This incessant dogging of myself isn’t triggered by something specific!  It’s just THERE.  Whispering things to myself that I wouldn’t ever say to an enemy, because they are the types of things that you can’t get back.  You don’t forget someone calling you fat, no matter how SKINNY you get.  It’s always there, especially when you don’t eat perfect or your pants feel tight one day.  And the older I get, the WORSE it gets.  Especially when you start to focus on any and all failures in your life.

BUT.

THIS YEAR.

It Stops. For good.  Not just for today, not for a month.  But for the entire year.  I promise myself that I will not be negative.  And despite the fact I don’t always believe in it.  I will be nice to myself.  Polite.  Respectful, even!

Goal 3 – Turn All Negative Phrases into Positive

Lord knows I am going to fail more times than I succeed in this practice.  Positive ANYTHING has got to be better than Negative Nothing, right?  So as most things in life, this is just about a habit.  I don’t believe in what I am saying yet.  But for example,

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results. – Wade Boggs

I REALLY want this year to be a positive year.  I want to achieve some very big things, and in order to do that, my attitude has to start that journey.  So I have been telling myself the following things daily:

  • You CAN do this.
  • You work hard every day – you look great!
  • Chemistry isn’t that hard and you ARE smart enough to do this.
  • Your backside is not too big – its just the way God made it.

These are just the top 4 things I hear myself say over and over.  And let’s be honest – I totally do not believe it.  Yet. But positive attitude fosters more positive attitudes.  So, where this isn’t a life-changing goal, it might just change my life.

 

make it yours.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing goals with you and will WELCOME comments and encouragement!  I am attending a Goal Workshop tomorrow night, and I hope that it will spur me on to really thinking about what I fully want.  Not what my parents think I should have, not what my friends are doing, not what my peers judge me into doing.  What Ruth Wants To Do.

Over the last few months, I really have been rolling that around in my head – what is it that I really want to DO with my life.  In my early 20’s, it was to get married and show people that I didn’t have to have a degree to get anywhere.  I was SO adamant about that point.  SO!  And I still think it is crazy for something jobs to discount experience for time spent in college.  After all, I technically spent 4 years and PLENTY of credit hours.  But in this world, I can’t force people to think the way I do.  So, I am caving and getting a degree….10 years after the first time I started.  10.  Full.  Years.

GOAL 1 in 2013 (to be completed by December, 2013)

Graduate college at UAB with a Marketing Degree.

That means I have to take eight classes in 2013.

That means this spring, I am taking three classes.

That means this summer, I need to take two or three classes (depending on what is available)

And that means hopefully just two in the Fall of 2013.

And while that sounds like a lot to most people, to me, I just have to stay focused.  I’m Broke As A Joke, so travelling doesn’t hasn’t been an option.  And I have spent the last 10 years being (relatively) footloose and fancy-free.  I’ve had worse.  So what is one really tough, busy, mentally hard year.  I will tell you what – it seems like NOTHING compared to the emotionally hard years of 2008-2010.  Mental strength, I can find.

 

This goal is a perfect example of falling down 7 times.  I really haven’t EVER been public about this – if you point-blank ask me, I would tell you.  But I certainly don’t even like to tell people this piece of information.  It automatically prompts two responses: I thought you had one or Why didn’t  you finish?  The first statement making me feel inadequate about lack of education albeit PLENTY of hardcore experience.  The second question is just never fun to answer…but it usually goes like this:  I was supposed to graduate a semester early as I came into college with 14 credit hours (a full semester) based on my High School education.  I wanted to take off a semester and work or do SOMETHING other than school because I was freaking out about being 21 and having to get a full time job.  At the time, I was fully advised (told straight-up) just to finish school and get it over with.  And in one of my better bits of rebellion, just decided to fail school instead.  Go ahead.  Just read that again.  To be honest, I don’t really know if it was a conscious decision or one I just let happen, but  I received a 68 in a class that I had to have a 70 to graduate.  The best part?  If I had just attended class, if I had JUST SHOWED UP to class, I would have graduated.  My sorry a$$ decided that I didn’t want to.  So I tried talking to three teachers and no one would help me (I don’t know that I would have either).  It is one of a HANDFUL of regrets that I have.  Not one that I focus and morn every day, but one single event that if I could go back and change I would.  But let’s be honest….would I go back to being 21?  Uhhh, NO.  I can’t think of a worser time to go back to!  I happen to like 30, and graduating college NOW is going to mean something that graduating then NEVER would have.

So.  Here on my 8th time getting up, let’s graduate college, shall we?