“25 Before 25” Update

Since coming back to my blog and re-reading my older posts, I realized that I have not thought about or updated my “25 before 25” List in a long time. So here is where I stand on completing these 25 goals before I turn 25.

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“25 Before 25″
I am not one for New Years resolutions, so this year (2013) I decided to give myself 2 years to complete a “25 before 25″ list.

1. Run a half-marathon (I think I am re-thinking my ability to become a long-distance runner.  A good update for this would probably be “Run a 10k”)

2. Go to Costa Rica to work with Sea Turtles  Done!!

3. Go to Africa to work with the big cats (still hoping to do this! But I don’t know if I will have the funds before 2015)

4. Finish my undergraduate degree (Graduating in 2016)

5. Graduate with a 4.0 (or as close as possible) (Going to do this!)

6. Finish reading the 8 “for fun” Zoology books I bought recently (8/8)  Done!

7. Grow my  hair out long enough to donate to Locks for Love (Donating 9 inches to Pantene Beautiful Lengths July 2013)   Done!!

8. Try rock-climbing Done in Costa Rica!

9. Go to a new Zoo

10. Run a 5K in under 30 mins (Just getting back into running again after some surgery. I’ll get there!)

 11. Go Horseback Riding (DONE! In Costa Rica and VA last year)

12. Complete the Tough Mudder (and not injure myself) (July 2013) DONE!!

13. Finish the “100 push-ups” Challenge (Haha I think I got to about 10 and stopped)

14. Apply and get into Vet School (I have since changed my career goals, so I will no longer be applying to Vet school)

15. Get an internship at a Zoo (This is no longer an ambition of mine)

16. Go to an MSU football game (I hate football)

17. Get a professional massage

18. Donate blood

19. Tour a winery/ Wine tasting (March 2013 VA trip) DONE!!

20. Join a new club or group just because it sounds interesting

21. Go a whole semester without missing a class (Seriously, I know I can do this. Just have to work on staying healthy!)

22. Use my kayak at least 5 times DONE!!

23. Take my mom out for a girl’s day. DONE!!

24. Make a gift for a friend, just because DONE!!

25. Spend a day exploring a new city in my state (Brethren, MI and Manistee, MI: July 2013)  DONE!!

 

So out of my original 25 goals, I have completed 11, 4 no longer apply, and I have ten left to do. Not half bad I think. I still like the idea of completing all my “25 before 25” goals, but if I don’t that’s ok too. I have realized in looking back at this list that your priorities can change quite a bit in 2 years.  I have some things that I would still like to do from this list and definitely some things I would like to add. We’ll see what happens though 🙂

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I’m Back. (Again)

Hello all.

I am not sure what keeps bringing me back to this little blog. Maybe its just the appeal of having something with my name to it? Is it that I’m part of the so-called “selfie generation” and just have to broadcast my every thought and action on the internet for the whole World to see (Let’s be real though, theres probably only about 10 of you readng this)?

Maybe… Probably…

But whatever the reason, I keep being drawn back. I read through some of my old posts today and had a very hard time going through them. Its funny how the mind works sometimes, how it can make the hard parts fuzzy over time. How it dulls the pain as life moves on. I have been feeling healthy for a while now, mentally anyways. Dont get me wrong, I still have days where I can feel the dullness and sadness trying to creep back in, but I have learned how to deal with these feelings now and push through. But I am learning that it’s so easy to forget how bad it really was. When you are going through something like depression and anxiety it is so easy to feel like you’ll never be well again. That you’ll never be whole again. But then we start to heal and we begin to forget.

I am grateful at the turnaround in my health and well-being recently. But I also don’t want to forget the pain that has made me so strong. I dont want to dwell on it, but instead to take it in and learn from it. I am always afraid of a relapse, but I think by going back and remembering my warning signs I can learn from the pain and contnue to grow and he strong.

I can ony hope the same for everyone out there who had gone through or is going through depression or GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). I know that if I can make it to the other side that we all can. Even if its not always easy.

So I suppose that is what keeps bringing me back here. The reminder of where I have been and how strong I have become because of it. And I hope that anyone out there reading this will read my old posts and come back to this one and feel hope. Because you can get better. We all can, and we will.

Why Hello Again.

It has been months since I last looked at, posted on, or even thought about this little blog here. Many things have happened. I worked in Costa Rica for 5 weeks over the summer, moved 3 times, started 2 new jobs, quit both new jobs and now I am attempting to go back to school. And through all that I was thinking I was doing so much better. Off all my anti-depressants and anxiety meds! But then that switch flipped again and I’m back to struggling. It almost seems harder this time. Life is a daunting thing sometimes my friends. Making choices in a day that will affect the rest of your life. And without much of a support system, it can be downright terrifying. School is hard, finding a job that doesn’t cause me to have panic attacks in the bathroom is hard, and personal relationships are hard. I’m just waiting for something to get easier. But in the meantime I’m forging ahead, trying to make the best of it. Trying to make myself enjoy this process, this life. Sometimes all I want to do is lie down and sob. And sometimes I do. But other times is when that inner strength comes a knocking and says, “you can do this. You are strong”. And so I pick myself up for another day and hope for the best. I hope you are all doing well. Keep your chin up folks, its gotta get better.

Take me back here please. Paradise.

Crossing Items off My List, and For a Good Cause!

As you can see at the top of my blog there, I have a “25 before 25” list. Well, I was happy to cross one of the items off my list today!

For about a year I have been growing my hair out long so that I could cut it and donate it to a group that makes wigs for women struggling with cancer or other serious illnesses. I researched a few groups to decide who I was going to send my hair to, and I decided on Pantene Beautiful Lengths. They are a collaboration between Pantene and the American Cancer Society. They also donate all their wigs to women free of charge! Which was really important to me. I didn’t want my donation to go to a company that made a profit off the wigs.

My aunt and 80 year old grandmother both have donated their hair before, so I was inspired to also do it and follow in their footsteps. Lucky for me, my hair grows fairly quickly, so I hope to be able to donate again in the future.

But enough talking, here are the before’s and after’s!

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This morning before cutting!

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Sectioning it out. Slightly freaking out lol

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Ahhhh!

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Twin ponies!

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Finished Result!! 🙂

I even managed not to panic as she cut off the pony tails lol This hair has been my security blanket for a while now. It’s very freeing to be rid of it. I feel lighter physically and emotionally. And it feels good to be giving back. I am relatively healthy physically, but I know if I ever lost my hair I would be devastated. So I hope whoever gets wigs from Pantene feels more confident because of it.

Note: another website I found for donating hair is Wigs for Kids. I just didn’t choose them because my hair wouldn’t be long enough. But if you have 12 inches to donate, then I would recommend them for sure!

The Time I Didn’t Die: Tough Mudder 2013 Edition

So I have been meaning to post this for a while now, but I have been in a pretty dark place for the last few days (hence the super depressing post the other day).  I felt pretty good today though, and  I am just taking it day by day. I also have some pretty big life-decisions to make soon. But more on that later.

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I am officially a Tough Mudder! It kicked my ass, but that is besides the point! lol I finished and I didn’t die! I didn’t even really injure myself, which if you know me, is pretty impressive. I am still pretty black and blue, but those are just badges of honor for a Mudder 😉

I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to complete this race since I had to skip the Half-Marathon in April of this year already. But I did it!

I DID THIS!

"Arctic Enema"  (from seatletimes.com)

“Arctic Enema” (from seatletimes.com)

AND THIS!

"Walk the Plank"  (from Newstimes.com)

“Walk the Plank” (from Newstimes.com)

AND… AND!!

"Fire Walker"  (from if-fit.com)

“Fire Walker” (from if-fit.com)

And let’s not forget THIS!

"Electroshock Therapy"  (Toughmudder.com)

“Electroshock Therapy” (Toughmudder.com)

Note: None of those people are actually me (I know, shocking right!)

But here is our “After” picture of the team 🙂

All Done! Best team ever!

All Done! Best team ever!

All in all, I was very proud of myself and my team for entering and completing this race. We had a great time and weren’t worried about our time, just staying safe and having fun. It took us almost 5 hours to finish, and all of us were different levels of fitness going into it. You don’t just have to be a crazy marathon-er to do well! 😉

I would definitely recommend this race to anyone looking for a challenge. I have completed several Warrior Dashes before this and the Tough Mudder makes those look like child’s-play ha-ha! I will probably sign up to do it again next year, but we’ll see.

If anyone else completed a Mudder race this year, please feel free to share your stories, I’d love to hear them!

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Race on folks! You’re awesome!