Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Playing It Safe

So if I'm being honest, when I released my "Stop Feeling Guilty" post I had the titles for my two follow up blog posts (this one and "Being Remembered"). I was having a really good writing day when I wrote "Stop Feeling Guilty" but when I tried to write "Being Remembered" a few days later I was stumped. My ideas were cluttered, I knew what I wanted to say but not how I wanted to write it (which is pretty rare for me).

I talked through my "Being Remembered" and "Stop Feeling Guilty" ideas with a friend. He gave me some really good insight and helped me streamline my thoughts. We talked about the idea of being remembered first and then how playing it safe prevents you from being remembered.

I have always had an idea of what I want to do. In 8th grade I had picked out the university I wanted to study at and the major I wanted to pursue... well that was until I visited Drury in the spring semester of my junior year. The news of me wanting to go to Drury instead of Truman shocked a lot of my friends and family because I had been set on it for so long. I guess you could say one of my biggest moments of not playing it safe was choosing Drury when I had already set my mind on Truman.

Going into college everything is a new opportunity, everything is a risk. My freshman year I adapted to the college setting a lot more than I anticipated. Part of that was pushing myself to not play it safe. I would constantly tell myself that I wasn't paying all of this money to sit in my room and stare at the wall, I could do that at home for free.

I had to (and still do) actively work to not play it safe. I went through sorority recruitment, I took smaller leadership roles in my chapter, I am managing editor of the newspaper. I would not have accomplished these things if I chose to step back and let others do what I thought I could do. 
I definitely have my friends to thank for pushing me to believe in myself even when I doubt my capabilities. Because of them I truly believe I am a better person than I was a year ago.
Lambda Chi Alpha's Watermelon Fest
This summer I spent a lot of time doing nothing and it was great for a while but I can only do nothing for so long before I go stir crazy. I missed my friends from school so much and all I wanted to do was spend time with them. Like I mentioned above, they motivate me to strive for more and I missed that so much this summer.
My little, Noelle, and I on Bid Day (obviously before we knew we'd be big/little)
Rachel and I after she ran home for the 2nd time. She was Panhellenic's VP-Recruitment and was disaffiliated for the recruitment process.
It's crazy to me because my best friends now are people I barely knew at this point last year and they are some of the most important people in my life. I want my sophomore year to be filled with as many memories and experiences as possible and I know that with them I can make that a possibility.
Life is full of great opportunities that you'll miss if you continue to choose to play it safe.

Until next time,
Taylor xx

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Being Remembered

It's pretty safe to say that we all want to be remembered. While what we want to be remembered for may vary, we all want to look back on our lives and see that we made a difference in some shape or form.

As I've continued my reading of Mark Manson's, "The subtle art of not giving a f*ck," (I introduce it more in my last blog post here) I have been reflecting on what I want to do and what legacy I want to leave behind.

Part of that legacy isn't up to our control. It's what other people thought of us, how they interpreted our actions and the values we held.

What we can control is what we do and why we do it. Many people let opportunities slip through their fingers because they are too scared or too lazy. I heard the quote "step outside your comfort zone" so much growing up that it makes me cringe, but Fred DeVito's quote "if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you," resonates much more with me.

It can be so incredibly easy to get caught up in our day to day routine and become complacent. I'm a creature of habit and I find that I get so engrossed in my routines rather than just living life. I have come to realize that I have to push myself to strive for more.

What do I want to be remembered for? Among many things I hope that I am remembered as someone who made an impact on someone's life for the better. I hope I make others feel important and valued.

This is a photo I've used before when I've talked about my trip to Hawaii. Visiting Hawaii is one of my most cherished memories and I cannot wait to go back. This is part of the Ironman triathlon swim course that I swam a part of while visiting and I hope to one day be able to qualify to compete for the Kona Ironman.
Manson's novel has made me reconsider who I value in my life. You only have so many cares to give and you should invest in the people who mean a lot to you. If I let the wrong things stress me out or consume me, what impact does that have toward how I want to be remembered? I end up neglecting the people I surround myself with.

We need to shift our focus from our worries to what we can do to live how we want. This will not only shape how we are remembered, but also give us a better sense of self.

Until next time,

Taylor xx

Friday, September 29, 2017

Stop feeling guilty

For the past two weeks or so I have had this blog post and two others queuing. I haven't had the time to sit down and write them, but just know that they are coming soon and I'm feeling really good about them. 
My inspiration for this post and the next two all come from my thoughts while contemplating a book I have been reading, "The subtle art of not giving a f*ck" by Mark Manson. My friend Ethan recommended it to me and it's completely restructured how I think about life.

While reading, the first thing it made me consider was why I struggle with feeling guilty. I have learned a lot over the past 5 weeks of my sophomore year, but one of the most important lessons is that you are only one person. You can only be so much for others without losing yourself. 

You can't change people. They have to want the change you seek for them. Sometimes you just have to step back from a situation because nothing you say/do can make it better. 

It's okay to be selfish. It's okay to spend time with the people I want to spend time with, I don't have to feel guilty about it. I can go on those late night trips to Andy's, spend all my time at Mudhouse, do what I want and not feel the need to apologize.

I think it will always be something I struggle with. I just have to learn to strike a balance between making others happy and making myself happy. 

Luckily, I have some pretty great friends who don't even realize how amazing they are. From the spontaneous movie nights to scrolling through Pinterest at 1 a.m., sophomore year has been significantly different than I anticipated but I wouldn't want it any other way.

Until next time,
Taylor xx

P.S.: Be on the lookout for my next two blog posts. I'm hoping to get them published as soon as possible but ya know life happens sometimes and there's this thing called my accounting class that consumes everything I am.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Going to the Gym

Fun fact-- I started working at the school gym at the beginning of the school year. As people have slowly found this out they ask how I motivate myself to go to the gym, how to overcome feeling self-conscious and how to get started (by the way, I'm more than happy to talk to anyone in person about these topics or any other questions).
I needed a picture of the gym and this is as good as it got, I'm sorry
If I am being honest, I battle myself every day in regards to the above questions. Sure, I "went" to the gym last semester, but "going to the gym" for me was getting on the treadmill and running for 1-3.5 miles. I'd promptly wipe down the treadmill with the sanitizing spray and walk out the gym doors. I'm not trying to disregard this accomplishment by any means. Any time you choose to get moving is a step in the right direction. I wanted to do more than just run on the treadmill, but if you read my fitness journey blog post, I was terrified.

It took me until this summer to pick up a dumbbell. I had nothing better to do when I wasn't working and I needed to occupy some time. We have a small gym set up at home, but I had no clue where to start. I followed plenty of fitness bloggers on Instagram but they didn't seem realistic. I searched YouTube for some sort of beginner tutorials and I stumbled upon HasFit. Now their video tutorials are what I use as a guideline for most of my workouts. They have have a lot of great options especially when you're under a time crunch.

Now to answer the question about not feeling self conscious. I always feel self conscious-- in regards to the gym and life. It's terrifying at first, don't get me wrong, and honestly a moment of panic flashs through me every time I open the door to the gym. What I've found, though, is that going to the gym makes me feel strong, confident and accomplished. 

I have this constant fear that everyone is watching me and judging me, but what I have learned is that no one is paying attention to me. They are focused on themselves and their own workout, as long as you aren't being obnoxious or stupid no one is going to really care what you are doing. I make a lot of accidental eye contact with people, but I've accepted that it happens sometimes and I move on. 

Life is going to be uncomfortable at times, you can let that stop you or you can use it as motivation to improve. 

Everyone's lives are incredibly busy, it's easy to forgo working out because you don't have time. I feel a noticeable difference in myself if I don't go to the gym when I originally planned to. It's also something I know I can check off my to-do list and feel proud about afterwards.

My best advice? As someone who feels like I'm still a novice, it's just to take the step and go to the gym. Start with the ellipticals and treadmills, or jump straight to the dumbbells. Do what you're most comfortable with, but then challenge yourself to go a little further. You'll be amazed at the progress you see physically and mentally.

Until next time,
Taylor xx

P.S.: Below are some of my favorite fitness inspirations:
- Whitney Simmons
- Bianca Franco 
- Carley Rowena 
- Rob Lipsett

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Reminder

It's a running joke amongst my friends that I spent $60 on a planner. At school I am constantly on the go. I have long days filled with lots of classes, work, extracurriculars and homework, but I'm no different from a majority of college students. My planner is my lifeline for time management and organization. While I could do an entire post on the ins and outs of this planner, that's actually not why I'm writing today. 
There is a section in the back of the planner dedicated to notes and I've turned it into a place to record quotes that have impacted me.
The one I wish to highlight today is the large block of text in the upper left corner that reads:
"And on some days you need to remind yourself that you're worth more than they've led you to believe. You are not a maybe or a back up plan. You have no time to waste trying to convince people to see that. Somedays you have to create your sunshine. Every day you must love yourself." 
So many times I get wrapped up in everything that's wrong. In today's society I feel that it's so easy to highlight the bad without ever acknowledging the good. Don't get me wrong, some days you do just need to have a pity party and recognize that life can suck. However, since coming back to school I am really trying to minimize my stress by maximizing my positivity. There are so many good parts of life that can become masked by our worries and problems.

I'm sure I'll talk about some more of my favorite quotes in the future because I absolutely love words and the power they have.

Until next time,
Taylor xx

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sophomore Move In

Hello everyone! This is just a quick little post that I wanted to share with you. Yesterday I moved into my first ever apartment.

I moved in early for my sorority and got unpacked/settled pretty fast. My apartment (the top half of the picture above) is a 4 bedroom, 2 bath, with a kitchen and living room. It's pretty neat because each apartment in the complex is working with a specific Springfield nonprofit over the course of the school year. My apartment-mates and I will be working with Jordan Valley Community Health Center, a healthcare facility that provides a full range of medical services to low income people in Springfield.
Here's an overview of what my year will consist of: 
    * I'll be continuing my classes for my Strategic Communication major and           Business Administration minor
    * I'm serving as the managing editor for Drury's newspaper
    * I'm volunteering as an assistant coach for Girls on the Run
    * I'm training for my first 10K in October 

This morning I set some goals for myself for the year, too:
    * Focus on what makes me happy
    * Continue working out
    * Find balance in daily routine (aka don't get overwhelmed)

I'm feeling really good about this year and I'm excited to start classes. Be sure to check back on my blog for updates as the year progresses!

Until next time,
Taylor xx

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Running From...

Running clears my mind instantly. As soon as I lace up my shoes and head outside my overwhelming thoughts escape me as the music from my Spotify playlist beats from my headphones.
While running is a great temporary fix, eventually you have to stop running... running from your problems, your future, or even yourself. Everything catches up with you.

Last night I was overthinking and I reached out to one of my best friends. She offered me a lot of advice and openly listened to me ramble about my problems (even though she has enough going on in her own life, so thank you, friend). She gave me a lot of advice that stuck with me, but what struck me the most was when she told me that my worth is not dependent on anyone.

See that's my problem.

So many times I feel like I seek validation from other people when really I only need to seek validation from myself. 
Life is too short to continuously think you aren't good enough. 

Other people should not define your self worth. Trying to gauge what people think about you 24/7 becomes exhausting (I've also learned that no one actually hates me, it's just my mind raising the doubt and constantly needing reassurance.... it's fine...)

Running isn't bad, in fact it can be pretty great. If anything, I'm learning to enjoy the runner's high and to not let those positive feelings fade away.

Until next time,
Taylor xx

PS: To my friend mentioned above, thank you, I don't have enough words to describe how much you mean to me.

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