Bon Voyage part 2

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I still can’t get over how far a 10 hour plane ride can take you!

 

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View from Sugarloaf Mountain.

IMG_5023Downtown Rio de Janeiro- a view of the Cathedral

 

I’m back from Brazil!! I had the most incredible time! Here are a few of my best pictures from the trip.  Since arriving back in the US yesterday, I’ve been trying to catch up on school work and fight jet lag.  Two feats that really aren’t meant to ever be attempted together.  I hope you all had a super Easter holiday with your families!! I’ll do my best to post more pictures this week!

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Excitement

photo credit: jesslc.com

You guys, the last six weeks of my life have been a complete whirlwind.  I’m still trying to catch my breath from it all.  After finals, graduating, moving out of state, and settling into an internship (where I travel most days) I have been somewhat overwhelmed.  But, honestly my life right now feels like the beginning of some really great adventure.  I couldn’t be more excited to see what the next few years of my life have in store.  There are big challenges coming my way (grad school, cpa exam, being an adult and all) but I can’t let any of that take away from what I am experiencing right now.

My excitement over the next few steps in life is an intentional emotion that I have to remind myself daily, sometimes hourly, to feel.  It’s much too easy to fall into those yuck and toxic thoughts and feel stress, anxiety, or fear.  But excitement is a much more fun way to look at life.  I’ve noticed that this new attitude allows me to sort of celebrate the little victories and blessings in life (i.e. safe commutes on crazy tx interstates).  Take a look at your life and choose the number one thing that stresses you out and try and turn it into something you can be excited over.  If you stress about debt, get excited about the steps you can take to pay it off.  If you are overweight, get excited about changing your diet/exercise routine.  The key to this is YOU, because only you can make the choice to have intentional thoughts.

As I’ve mentioned before, I really enjoy reading books, articles, and blogs about intentional living.  I’ve learned so much about this concept from blogger Jess over at makeundermylife.  She is an honest voice of a woman trying her best to live an intentional life.  If you haven’t already taken a look at her blog, I really encourage you to.

On a different note, I am so glad to share with y’all that I finally am back on my running kick!  After months of rest and physical therapy, I am slowly starting to run again.  Running has become such a big part of my life and I started to feel a bit crazy without it.  I will hopefully be able to start increasing my mileage in the next few weeks, but right now I am enjoying the one or two miles I can run pain free!

Life Lately:: Guilt, Priorities, and Finding Balance

Happy afternoon!! I hope that y’all are having a delightful Monday (well, as delightful as Monday’s can be).  Today, I’m feeling renewed after a weekend of non-stop studying.  No, I’m not being sarcastic.  Let me explain recent events::

As I mentioned in Life Lately:: Intentions, personal intentions are essential to a purpose driven life.  Recently, I’ve had a reminder of how important priorities are.  You see, we live in a world where productivity is expected and “over-scheduling” is encouraged.  “No” is not an optional answer.  Even though we have goals and intentions, life tends to fly by as we go through each day guided only by our iCal alerts.  We pack more and more into each day, because we can’t say NO.  We justify our response because we think that “they need me…” or “they expect me…” or “I can’t let them down…”.

Now I’m not saying that it’s wrong to help others out or to live up to our obligations.  I firmly believe in having a servant’s heart and to give what we can of ourselves to others.  What I’m talking about is when our actions of “intended selflessness” actually detour us from our goals.  Our inability to say “no” can literally turn our lives upside down.  Balance is the solution.

I often reflect on the quote, “Sometimes taking care of me, means saying no to you.”  It helps me to feel better about slimming down my schedule.  Now understand that I’m a worrier…  I’m guilty-hearted…. I can’t let go of obligations without obsessing over what I see as a personal “failure.”  This is ultimately my kryptonite.  And boy, has it hit me hard lately.

Towards the end of last week and over the weekend, I had a lot of analyzing to do and some big decisions to make.  Y’all, I’m 22 and for the past month or so have felt like I’m approaching a nervous breakdown (I only wish I was exaggerating).  Something needed to change… Luckily, I was able to draw from the solid (and always loving) advice of my family.  Sometimes, (and I think this applies to all of us) I need to be reassured that I’m not crazy for my thoughts and that I’m making good, fair decisions.  I can always rely on my family + friends to set me straight.

After making some tough decisions and sizing down my obligations, I was able to spend the entire weekend studying for a major exam I took this morning.  This was my first baby step towards a newly prioritized life.  It was sort of wonderful to have nothing to do but study…. I know, it’s kinda sad and pathetic, but in my life this is a luxury.

If you find yourself feeling overextended and short on time, re-evaluate your priorities to determine if they align with your goals.  Don’t be too hard on yourself!  Acknowledge your positive traits in what you do, and realize that you have limits.  You are responsible for yourself… be sure to take care, after all, you are the only “you” there will ever be.  Make this the best week ever!

Photo Diary:: February and March (so, far)

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So far this week:: I have a broken dishwasher, a continued obsession with green tea, a play date with an awesome 4 year old, and a pretty great outfit.

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Last week:: received beautiful blooms, began my obession with green tea, fell in love with top-knots, and played a little b-ball

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Nothing’s better than:: studying outside on a beautiful day, watching the sunset, eating Lofthouse cookies, studying Gleim (sarcasm)