What I Learned In September.

Second month in a row I’m joining Emily for a What I Learned Post! Let’s see if I can keep it up!

September was not a fun month. Student teaching stress was gone (which was a relief!) but a lot of other stress and worry took its place– particularly about what to do about student teaching.  It wasn’t as rough as August, but I’m kinda hoping October treats me a bit nicer.

For some silly things first:

1.Awards season is the best season.

Ok I didn’t just learn this; it’s been one of my favorite times of the year forever. I blame my mother for this obsession. But, combine awards season+ livetweeting? Seriously, one of my favorite things.

Also, sidebar: I want to be one of the Fallon Tonight livetweeters/social media people. How do you get to do that as a career?!? That job looks so much fun. And livetweeting as a career might be my new life goal.

Speaking of Fallon Tonight:

2. Ellen Degeneres’s lip syncing version of B***h Better Have My Money is better than Rihanna’s actual version.

Please, if you haven’t watched this, do it:

best lip sync battle to-date. Ellen is my spirit animal.

3. I WANT/NEED TO READ ALL THE THINGS.

Seriously, guys. I have a small pile of books in my house I’ve yet to read. Yet people keep publishing awesome things! And I want to read them all!! THIS IS A PROBLEM.

I’m currently reading All the Places To Go (How Will You Know?) by John Ortberg. I heard John speak at Lipscomb chapel last semester when he was doing press for the book; it’s fabulous so far, and perfect for this season of life.

Next on the docket: Girl Meets Change by Kristen Strong and Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (been waiting awhile for this one to come out!!).

4. Cookie Butter Milkshakes= life-changing. 

Guys. My mom has worked at SnS for around 8-ish years now, and I have never enjoyed one of their milkshakes as much as this one. If you’ve never had cookie butter– WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?!? (Heather’s cookie butter post is a good place to start for cookie butter beginners- you will become addicted).

Also, this exists. And needs to be in my tummy already. *drools* *ignores calorie/sugar count*

5. No matter the daycare/aftercare program, toddlers all act the same way.

I started a new job this month- part-time aftercare teacher at a local Montessori school. I’ve never learned about Montessori, so it’s been an interesting experience to see it (only in small doses, since I’m only there for an hour of the school day). It’s made me miss my CPC  kiddos and co-workers a ton, but it’s also shown me how much of a kid’s personality is based on their age/life-stage. I always have a couple of headstrong kids, a couple of chatty kids, some physical/ rough kids, quiet/shy kids, the list goes on. While the kids themselves have different personalities, their stage in life really does play a huge role in how they act. It’s both interesting and hilarious to me.

Serious ones…

6. I am (slowly) learning when to ask for help. 

I have always hated asking for help. I am a fix-it-myself kinda girl; I don’t give up control easily, and would rather carry everything on my own shoulders instead of burdening someone else with my baggage.

It’s a hard habit to break.

This week I was given a few direct opportunities to say I needed a little help. And I took them.

I feel so much better knowing that when I ask, people listen. And are willing to help. I need to start asking more.

7. I also am starting to see how little I’ve relied on God lately. 

I have a post about this in the works (I paused writing it to write this). But I’ve leaned on Him so little the past couple months, where He should have been the first source of help and healing. I’ve realized just how much I can’t do this thing on my own- I need Him a lot more than I want to admit most days. I’m starting to get back into the habit of really seeking Him, and leaning on him in spite of myself. It’s helping me figure life out- which is better than where I was before. 🙂

8.Back problems are of the devil.

Y’all. I’ve dealt with my fair share of pain problems/illnesses. But back pain is going down as the worst pain I’ve experienced ever. And most debilitating. I could barely move for 2 weeks of September!! It was miserable. Finally caved and went to the doctor (asking for help, who would’ve thunk it?!?) and she gave me some medicine to help with the pain, and some things to do to strengthen it. I hope it works, because working with toddlers plus back problems is never going to work out in my favor.

9. I am the worst at making decisions. 

FullSizeRender (4)Now that student teaching has ended for me, I’ve got a lot of decisions to make. It’s really not until you have a lot of decisions to make that you realize how wishy-washy you are. 

I have no clue what’s next. I didn’t have a Plan B for this, because I literally never planned to do anything but be a  teacher (this sentence makes me cry).

While I don’t have to have it all figured out right now (though for my sanity, I’d appreciate it), and I know God’s got a plan and it’s gonna be great and all, it’s kinda hard to not know what to do with my life… for the first time ever in my life. As my friend said today, it’s hard to feel purposeless.

Beyond that, I am the hardest at making even smaller (yet significant) decisions. Every time I make a decision, I am rattled with the what ifs and worst-case scenarios. I know God’ll use me no matter what choices I make-big or small. I’d just appreaciate a bit of a nudge in the right direction, y’know? Or at least a hint that I’m on the right path. Still waiting…

trusting in Esther 4:14: I was made for this. I just gotta believe it.

10. I need community back. Badly.

I was on campus on Monday to run some errands for the 1st time since the semester started. I got to see a couple of people, but my time was short (about an hour). I wanted to cry leaving. I miss it, so so much. I cannot wait for January to87eba-1456596_10151729280681957_438085731_n be here. I need to be with my people again.

On the same wavelength, I need community to help me realize how much I’m not alone right now. We’re all scraping by as we try to figure life out.  I went to lunch with one of my dearest friends today, and we were talking about how so many of us are struggling with this whole adulthood thing. Post-grad life (or almost post-grad life for me) is flipping hard. But we’re all so separate right now (and I’m so far away from my community) that it’s hard for us (at least me!) to not feel alone in all this.

I left lunch feeling so much lighter than I’d felt in months-amazing how a bit of community and fellowship can heal things. I need it more often. I feel trapped in this mess– until I speak with my people. Then I see how many of us are going through the same things, too. It’s hard to see that, but at the same time, it’s a relief to not feel alone in this mess called adulthood. It’s a lot harder than grown-ups made it out to be when I was a kid! 😉

11. Vulnerability is good. Scary, but good.  

1e145-fullsizerender2b2I wrote this post about suicide prevention week– and my own struggles with GAD, depression, and suicidal thoughts. I had many friends share it around the web, which was crazy for me. I’m not used to that! But it was great, because I got to hear/see others stories about their own struggles with the same things. There’s strength in numbers– knowing that you’re not the only one struggling is one of the most helpful things to help me get through.

Within the same week, a post I’d written on a whim for Kristen Howerton‘s “What I Want You to Know” series got published as a guest post on her site. I was a bit in shock when I read the words and realized they were mine! I was proud of myself for putting it out there- it was one of the scariest things I’ve written. It took me an hour to hitc0390-1b32d5e3f7877f21ea17d2d718e74b03submit when I sent it. Despite the fear, I’m glad I did it. Because if it helped one person know they weren’t alone (like so many have helped me), then I am happy to put myself and my struggles out there. Somedays it’s scary as hell to be vulnerable and open about everything  I’m going through- whether it be faith or health related– but as scary as it is, it’s the most freeing choice I’ve made for myself. It took many years to be as vulnerable as I am– and I still struggle with being vulnerable in person as I am in writing– and it’s something that has taught me more about myself than anything else. It’s still a work in progress, for sure, but I am learning that vulnerable is good. There is so much freedom in being honest with who you are-– to yourself, and the people around you.

I think that’s it for this month. Onto Fall! I LOVE FALL. Pumpkins, cool weather, leaves changing colors… it’s the best.

Last October was one of the hardest months of my life. I’m hoping this October, instead of bringing back flashbacks and fears from what was last year, lets me make new memories and actually enjoy my days… instead of fearing/dreading them. Here’s to making happy happen.

the song on repeat tonight. Love her.

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