Thursday, June 4, 2015

Austin Trip Part One: City Life

Austin City

Austin City

During the end of May I went on a week long trip to Austin, Texas. I have been amazed by how much the week away impacted my life.

Today I am starting a blog post series all about my Austin vacation and the many ways it caused me to grow, reflect, celebrate life, rest, and become re-energized. I hope you enjoy reading about my travel adventure. Along the way I plan to ask a question at the end of each post and would absolutely enjoy hearing some of your answers!

City Life

The city lights sparkled brightly. There was a golden snake of traffic that seemed to ever slither on the highway. The view from the 20th floor of the Hilton captivated me in the mornings and in the evenings. My eyes were ever drawn to the city and the world below that I could observe from the comfort of my chair. I spent many hours there with a book or my journal.

I liked to watch the city wake in the morning. It began to move slowly as the sun brought in the new day. I also liked to observe the movement of the city throughout the day and the way it came awake in a new way at night. Apart from quieter moments in the early morning, the city seemed to be in an almost constant state of motion.


I was mesmerized by my view of the city, but the city also taught me lessons beyond the walls of my hotel room. It caused me to step outside of my comfort zone. It taught me to be a little adventurous.

Little by little, I learned to navigate parts of the city. I took time to walk many miles between conference sessions and my scholarship award dinner. One time I accidentally walked into one of the less safe parts of down town, but thankfully I listened to the inner prompting to turn around. I spent hours in Book People browsing their shelves and wandered around the streets people watching. I learned to safely navigate street interactions and to walk with the rhythm of the city. With each adventurous stroll I took, I realized that I was learning to explore the city all on my own. There was no one there beside me to lean on and there was no one else to speak with as I took one step after another. It was just me.

The city taught me to be a little more adventurous. It taught me that I am okay stepping out on my own. It reminded me that one day I hope I will have a partner to explore the world with, but it also taught me that my "someday" hopes do not mean that I am not able to go on adventures alone. I am so thankful that I stepped outside of my comfort zone and explored a little part of Austin alone.

It is a rather grand adventure learning to navigate parts of a new city, but it is also an incredible opportunity to grow.

Have you ever explored a new city? Did it teach you any lessons?


Monday, June 1, 2015

Graduation: Associate of Arts Degree...

I did it! I officially graduated from my community college with my Associate of Arts.

On May 15th I walked across the stage at commencement with a  bright smile. It took three years and a lot of work, but I am so proud of myself and incredibly thankful. There was a time when I did not know if my health would be well enough to go to college. Yet, here I am. My health is in such a good place and I have completed one of my first major academic goals. I am also incredibly thankful for the support of my family and friends, as well as the campus faculty and staff. I may have been the one enrolled in classes, learning, studying, and taking tests, but I know that I could not have done as well as I did without such an amazing support network.

It is amazing to think how much I have learned, how I have grown, and how life has changed since that first blog post I wrote about my very first day of college back in 2012. That is one of the incredible things about keeping a blog. Even when I do not write for awhile this space is still a way for me to document my life and share it with others. It is amazing when I take time to reflect back that this blog provides a way to visually see elements of how much I have grown.

I am not the same person that I was when I first began college. I have grown in more ways than I ever thought possible since that first day I got lost on campus trying to find my classes. I am really excited about the lessons I have learned, the connections I have made, and the woman I have become these past three years. It is amazing how much you really do change and grow in this stage of life.

This fall I will begin a new adventure at a larger university. I will be living on campus and starting work on my Bachelor's degree. I imagine that I will write about my first day at the larger university and that I will one day look back at that post with amazement too. I am excited for new classes, learning a new campus, and all of the incredible opportunities I will have to grow. Life is truly an adventure.