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While I Was Gone..

There’s a lot of exciting things in my life, as I have been gone for awhile — sorry about that!

It’s getting close to classes to start for the fall semester, I cannot wait! I finally got all registered at my new university, and I should be able to graduate December 2013. Woohoo! Only 3 more semesters.. so pumped.

My internship also begins in about a month. I met with the internship coordinator today and we discussed different project that I will be working on throughout the semester. Mainly, I will be completely planning several events, which I cannot wait to get a start on. I think I’m thoroughly going to enjoy interning there!

On top of all of that, I signed up to get my SCUBA certification. I’ve been working online for the past month on it, and my first in-class session is tonight. You do 5 confined water dives (which are in a pool-like setting) over a course of 4 days. Then, you do 2 open water dives (since I live in the Midwest, it’s in a large lake instead of the ocean — but it works!) After that, you’re certified and ready to go. I am so excited for this, you have no idea. It goes along with my career plans, but that I will save for another day.

Just thought I’d fit in a short post on what I’m up to before I’m off to go SCUBA dive.. Of course, I will let you know how that goes at a later date!

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

What’s Been Going On

I received an email today telling me that I have a second interview next week for this internship opportunity for the fall. I really want it, and think I may actually have a chance of obtaining it. To get the stipend, I’d have to do 20hrs/week for 3 months.. on top of a part-time job. My schedule will be really packed, but I think it’s worth it. As well as I could probably use a structured routine to keep me on top of everything.

I’m trying my best to find a part-time job. As my ankle has just gotten to the point where it isn’t as swollen and I can walk around with not ‘too much’ pain. I think I’m finally ready to go out and apply for more jobs. Let’s hope I get something soon.. I’m so broke.

The next month or so, I need to be working & saving. The 1st week of August, I’m going up to Chicago with my sister. I went 4 years ago, but I’m pretty sure it’s time for another trip. I want to go to the aquarium, as I hear they have an amazing Shark exhibit. Of course, The Navy Pier.. Millennium Park.. scope out the the city.. (shopping is really my last priority there).

Not a lot happening. Interviews.. job hunting.. getting everything finalized for school.. I’m glad I am finally able to follow a path that I am enjoying. Granted, there are some things I don’t want to do. But, I’ve learned that for me to get to the greater things, I must invest in the smaller -not so great- things as well.

I randomly decided that having an aquarium of fish was the best idea in the world. Therefore, I spontaneously went out and purchased a 10gallon tank, supplies, and fish. For the longest time, I thought it’d be cool to be able to have mini sharks as pets. Well, turns out you can only have one per tank.. otherwise, they’ll fight each other. So, I’ve resulted with a Red-Tailed Shark and a GloFish. Pretty exciting.

It’s actually really peaceful with this aquarium sitting on the side of my desk. I’ll probably add more as time goes on, but I figured the two are a good start. Funny thing, I could probably stare and watch them swim around for hours. It’s surprisingly entertaining..hmm.

ImageImageI don’t know where this is going. Except for the fact that I enjoy being random, and doing the unexpected. I’m not a fan of following the same routine and going with the ‘reasonable’ track. Granted, not that getting fish and an aquarium is that exciting or thrilling.. but, it’s just something randomly spontaneous that makes the day that much better.

Vegetarian Grocery Trip

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My vegetarian-inspired grocery trip

So, my vegetarian grocery trip was quite successful. So much delicious food in one kitchen..makes me happy! I honestly didn’t realize how easy it is to eat vegan. Obviously, it’s time-consuming and worrisome at times.. but, pick the right foods and you can have plently of delicious, healthy meals.

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gluten-free pasta with asparagus & broccoli

This was my lunch.. so good. Gluten-free and vegan..yumm. But, going out to eat will probably be the biggest problem. They can’t guarantee there isn’t some sort of dairy product or honey infused within the food. So that’s where “semi-vegan” comes into play. (I just began this change, so no jumping in ALL the way. Eventually ill find ways to ‘always’ eat vegan.. but until then, this will do for ‘most’ of the time).

Everything I bought at the store was vegan..except for the one frozen meal. That’s really good though, as I’m amazed at myself. I didn’t realize how tasty it all is. I’m really excited for this new change. Sometimes it may be a hassle.. but overall, I think it’ll be completely worth it in the long-run.

So, it has been a week since I have deactivated my Facebook. And you know what? I haven’t missed it one bit. It hasn’t once crossed my mind “Oh, I need to get on Facebook to see what everyone is doing, that I don’t actually communicate with anymore..” Seriously, if I want to talk to a friend and see what they’re doing, I will text or call them. I have no temptations to wanting to stalk on their lives.. it honestly is one of the best feelings not being connected to such a huge societal mess — okay, that might be a little over-dramatic. But, I am happier now that I am free from it.

It’s funny how I somehow began all these things to ‘better’ my life, without even realizing it. First, the Facebook-detox thing.. then,  becoming Vegetarian.. And up ahead is an interview next week for a nonprofit internship for the Fall semester.. as well as getting a job after I get back from vacation (as my foot heals completely from surgery). I have all these travel opportunities as well. It really is difficult — deciding to go take a semester off to travel OR go to school and finish my degree. Although I want to travel incredibly bad, I know once my degree is complete I will be so happy / thrilled with myself (and then I can go travel whenever/wherever, as much as I want). Just need a little more patience… one more year.

Back to my current state-of-mind.. I am incredibly happy with my life, and how everything is going. I honestly haven’t been this excited about things in a long time.. probably since I began college 3 years ago (when I was really optimistic, as well as very naive about the world & how everything actually worked). I just feel free from any “tie-downs” and there isn’t anything holding me back from accomplishing my future goals & dreams. It’s such a wonderful realization that everything in front of me is out in the open, & that I have so many possibilities that I can go for and fully accomplish.

I don’t think I’m ever this optimistic, and it’s strange… but, obviously good. I think I would normally cringe at someone this happy, but that may have been out of jealously or bitterness. I am definitely staying this way for a long time. — When you come upon horrible situations, always make the best of it. Once you realize there is good in every situation, you find happiness, and a brand-new journey waiting to be explored.

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So, I’ve come to the conclusion to go vegetarian. Actually, I haven’t ate meat in a day or so.. therefore, I guess it began then. Anyways, it’s a new challenge.. something I want to do for myself. I’ve been wanting to do it for awhile now, but I have just been lazy.. and, I’m finally getting the power to do so — as well as changing a lot of other things in my life. A new lifestyle, including new internship opportunities, jobs, and exciting adventures. So, now obviously seemed like the perfect time to start.

It all began when I took a class for my major last year, ‘Food in Society.’ We read a few books, as I really enjoyed “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food” — both written by Michael Pollen. We learned a lot about different types of food, how processed foods are completely killing our diet & slowly harming our health. As well as the abuse and horrid living conditions these animals are in while being continuously fed until they are ready to be killed. It’s all just a wake-up call to society, but again, no one seems to listen. It passes by like no problem at all, sigh.

I found this article, it’s about trying to go vegetarian.. found it quite interesting. There’s a few video clips that it lists as well, from treehugger.comTrying a Weekday Vegetarian Diet — for those who can’t fully commit to the “no meat” lifestyle.

So, this is my attempt to eating and living a vegetarian lifestyle. With my new change of pace in life, with all these new things happening, this is something that I know I can do. Not just for myself, but hopefully making a difference in the world.. even if it’s just a ‘small’ change.

Travel Volunteering?

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I purchased this book today at Barnes & Noble. It’s pretty much a list of different organizations, and all the information about their programs, with volunteer opportunities all around the world. I’ve made a long list of all the ones that “call-out” to me… as of right now, there’s 13 different programs that I just really would love to do. I mean, nonprofit + travel + volunteering.. it’s my dream.

Granted, I can travel without volunteering. But, it would just make it that much better. There’s a couple where you work on organic farms (WWOOF) or help animals in another country, or within the US (but in a different state), as they give you free housing. All of it sounds wonderful… now, for one of them to accept me. Or, I could just hurry up.. finish my degree.. and join the PeaceCorps.

So many options… but, no rush. I have plenty of time to do it all. — I just need to travel.