## Monday, August 29, 2011

### #16--Confess a Secret

So, my lack of time to post anything on here means that you, my faithful followers (both of you), get a whopper of a post tonight.  Not a craft.  Not a picture of me eating a piece of sushi.  A major post.  I'm about to knock one of the toughies off my list.  I'm going to confess a secret to you.

I am terrified of marriage.

Terrified.

Most people would say, "I've got an easy solution.  Don't get married.  Problem solved."  If only it were that easy.

My fear is two fold:

1.  I'm terrified that I will never have the opportunity.

My whole life, I've never been a big relationships girl.  It wasn't really a conscious choice, it was just how things were.  I had a few boyfriends growing up, nothing serious and haven't dated much since.  And I've always been okay with it.  I grew up with two brothers, however, that basically had a girlfriend waiting list.  As soon as the ladies found out they were back on the market, the phone calls started and the ridiculous flirting began.  There was never a drought of women fawning over them.  While I've never been the most relationship crazy person that I know, I've always had a strong desire to be married and one day have children.

Here's what happens when you are single in a world of people in relationships:
High School:  It's no big deal.  Some people date, other people don't.  It doesn't really matter because all of those people hang out in a big group anyway.  Your family doesn't really notice that you aren't dating anyone and neither do you.
Freshmen & Sophomore Year of College:  Your family still doesn't totally notice the fact that you are becoming an adult because there is still a "1" at the beginning of your age.  They start to notice the day you turn 20.  You, however, are starting to become slightly more aware as your friends start dating, but you're still pretty cool with it.
Junior & Senior Year of College: It's becoming obvious that you are more of an adult and soon, you will be a real adult with a college degree.  The people in your life start to notice that you are single and you are completely aware of it.  More and more people you know are dating, and even better, they are starting to get engaged.  This is where life gets fun.
Post College Up Until 25: Your singleness is a constant source of conversation, especially at events with extended family.  Conversations start like this: "You're dating someone, right?" or "Who's the special fella in your life?".  And, when you set the record straight, their response is usually "Oh."  You start to hang out with more and more couples, usually married or engaged, because so many of your friends are moving into that stage in life.
After 25: You have basically entered Old Maid status as far as others are concerned.  People start to ask less and less because they assume you are not in a relationship.  And you have become one of a few single people hanging out with tons of couples.  It's awesome.

At 28, I'm in this awkward After 25 state in life.  I am totally single and I have my moments, but overall I am okay with it.  But I'll be honest, I mostly feel like at this point it's slim pickings.  All of the good guys seem to be taken and all of the single ones seem very. . . interesting.  I've heard the usual "Why don't you try online dating?" and I've tried it.  It's expensive and doesn't really seem to go very far because there are so many late 20s single women on there and approximately 7 late 20s single men.  I've moved into the point where my friends are all in relationships and now I'm one of the few single people in the group.  The people in my life don't know single people and neither do I.

My singleness has given me wonderful opportunities that I know a relationship would hinder.  I've been able to get involved in so many things that I love.  I have a job that I absolutely love and I get to invest in the lives of so many people.  I am a part of an incredible church and get to participate in so many things to deepen my faith and encourage those around me.  I get to serve on the leadership team for Stop Traffick Fashion and get to raise awareness about a devastating cause.  I get to get paid to workout and more than that, I have fallen in love with the Jazzercise corporation, what it stands for, and the women to take part in it. These are more than simply time fillers.  They are passions of mine.

I am blessed with so many opportunities, and yet I worry that these opportunities have hindered my ability to find someone to share life with.  I wouldn't trade any of the opportunities that I have been given, but I can't help but think that my packed schedule has left little time for love if it was looking for me.  It's hard to think that you are the one sabotaging one of your dreams.  I look on Facebook and constantly see my friends posting about dates, engagements, marriages, babies, buying houses and on and on.  Then I look at my page and see Jazzercise check-ins, posts about work, and things of this nature.  Sometimes I just don't even want to get on because my life feels so out of sync with others in my life, and then I give in to my Facebook cravings and look anyway.

2.  I'm afraid that if I ever do get the chance, I'll screw it up.

I know that 28 isn't that old (especially when college freshmen still confuse you for one of their classmates because of your baby face), but it feels like I've been stuck in this stage of life forever.  I've gone to so many bridal showers, weddings, and then baby showers for those friends who are having babies.  I've waited patiently, trying my hardest not to let my singleness get me down.  And yet I am nowhere closer to finding love.  Heck, I'm nowhere closer to finding a date.

I am just afraid that after waiting this long, if I do find someone, I'm going to mess it up somehow.  I keep hearing about people from my past who get married and seem like such incredible couples.  And then, next thing you know, their relationships are ending.  If these people can't figure it out, how am I supposed to?

Or, what if my schedule is too crazy for that special someone and they decide they don't want to put up with it?

Or what if I put my whole heart into a relationship and the fella decides he's had enough?

Or what if there are things about me that simply are not appealing?

This list could go on and on.  And I feel slightly hilarious for worrying about something I don't have.  It's like you're worried about what people will think of your purchases if you win the $23 million lottery that you haven't even bought a ticket for yet. Which is ridiculous, I know, but the truth is the truth. What does this all mean? It means I'm human. It means I worry about things that I have no control over. It means that I need to wake up every morning, hand this issue over to the One who can actually handle it, and live my life in such a way that glorifies Him. It means that I should keep praying for the man that God might bring into my life one day because if he exists, he deserves those prayers. And it means that I am totally normal. So, there you have it. A confession. #16 complete. ## Thursday, August 4, 2011 ### Craft of the Month There is a reason why I have been avoiding joining Pintrest. Because for a crafter like me, it is like quick sand. You get sucked in and you just can't get out. Here is a prime example: My friend, Brittany, wanted to show me Pintrest and how great it is. While showing me the things that she had pinned, this little beauty came up: Within 5 minutes, this was happening: Brittany is new to crafts, so I used this as a teachable moment to get her addicted to this passion of mine. Within minutes we had this: The trees were ready for decorating. We picked out the palette below to add some purple to my office (a major color in my area) as well as a few fun pops of color: Then we went to town using three different sizes of round foam brushes, adding more and more circles as we went: Until we got to this point: Now they are framed (thanks to some super nice frames Mom's old work was going to toss) and ready to be hung in my new office! ## Sunday, July 17, 2011 ### Craft of the Month My 30 Before 30 list item #19 is to post a picture of a new craft each month. Here is the first! July has been a crazy month, so I haven't had much spare time to get crafty. But, a quick craft was in order to welcome Luke Timothy McCoy (born to awesome parents David and Rachel McCoy) into the world. So this was a speedy craft that I was able to send to them, but who wouldn't want to look at that sweet little face? Congrats David and Rachel on that precious little bundle of joy! ## Friday, July 8, 2011 ### #9--COMPLETE!!! 9. Attempt to eat seafood. So I've been getting a little pressure lately because I haven't been updating my blog often enough (you know, the blog about the things I"m going to do over the next 22 months). Believe me--making a list of 30 things that I wanted to do was really difficult. It took a week and a half because I kept debating on whether the items I was listing were tough enough to be on a "30 before 30" list. Then, once the list was made, I had to post it on a blog. Me, the perfectionist, had to put this out there for the world to see. And now, I've got to start actually doing these things. Just picking the item to start with was tricky. I wanted to start with something that was going to be a definite stretch for me, but I couldn't knock out too big of an accomplishment right out of the gate. Where could I start that would satisfy all of my adoring fans (let's be honest--there might be three people other than my Mom reading this blog) and yet still leave me room to keep your attention. And then today, while at work, it hit me. #9--Attempt to eat seafood. For most, this wouldn't be a challenge at all. Seafood isn't an unusual genre of cuisine. For me, not quite. I've never liked seafood. But, I think that it always looks so good when other people try it. I figured that since I don't like seafood, or at least I don't think I like it because I never try to eat it, this would be a great one to knock off the list. So tonight, I found myself here: Walking in the door was the first step. Luckily, I took along a sushi expert in Brittany Smalling (she's at least an expert in my book). I would have been lost looking on the menu without her. We spent time checking out the menu and, after much debate, felt confident of our order. I would have had NO IDEA what I was doing if Brittany hadn't been there. Luckily, she helped me pick out a wide variety of sushi options for my first experience. After a few minutes, the food arrived. Like I've always thought: pretty, interesting, terrifying. Red Double Roll, California Roll, Philly Roll There was no turning back now. After a short debate, I decided to go all out and try the Red Double roll first. Not only is there shrimp inside this roll, it is also wrapped in crab (in case you couldn't keep up, that's double seafood points in one bite). Here we go! The verdict: It wasn't bad! Was it my favorite food of all time? I'll be honest--No. Do I think I'll eat it multiple times a week? No. But, did I hate it? NO! It was definitely the challenge to start with, giving me confidence to keep tackling these. Not only did I get to mark the first thing off the list, Brittany and I got the "Clean Plate" award. ## Thursday, June 30, 2011 ### #12 Is In the Beginning Stages 12. Take an actual vacation. The word "vacation" means something different to everyone. To some, it's camping yourself out on a beach with a Tervis full of water and a good book with your toes in the sand. For others, it's traveling to crazy parts of the world. Dictionary.com (totally worthy of being quoted) defines it as "a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel." If you've ever met me, you'd know that I have no actual idea what a vacation is because I never take them. I'm too cheap and always have too many things going on to fit them in. It never fails--people at work as me if I have any big vacation plans for the summer. My typical response: "Don't really have anything planned. I'll probably do a couple of long weekend trips at some point." Do I ever take said long weekend trips? Not quite. Next year will be different though. Not only will I make the promise to take a few long weekend trips next summer, I've partially booked one. And if you've met me, you know that's big. It's no secret: I'm a Jazzercise junkie. Started taking class about two and a half years ago. Last year around this time decided to move from student to instructor, and have been leading classes since October. And\it is most certainly one of the most random and fantastic things that I've ever done. This girl who hates having any sort of attention on herself stands on a stage four times a week with a Brittany Spears mic on, jumping around saying every cheesy thing possible to motivate her students to push themselves harder in their workout. And I absolutely look forward to it. It would make sense that I do some sort of mini-vacation with Jazzercise in mind. So, when I found out that Jazzercise was hosting a live routine taping at the end of next June in Orlando, I bought my ticket. Judi Sheppard Missett--I'll see you in 365 days. ## Tuesday, June 21, 2011 ### And So It Begins... Today a friend described me as a work horse. I have never been the kind of person who could just sit and do nothing. I always feel the need to do something. Even when taking the evening to relax and watch TV, chances are at the same time I'm doing some sort of craft or working on some sort of project. I have always felt that time spent just sitting is time wasted. Here's the rub: I am the person who cannot handle sitting still, yet there are so many things that I want to do and never have. I have big dreams of what I'd like to do, and still I do absolutely nothing to try and make these dreams a reality. I've had enough of just sitting by and waiting for things to happen. I was inspired by a couple of friends to take the leap and do this. So I've compiled a list of 30 things that I want to do by the time I turn 30. Some are very simple. Some are more complex. I don't think that 30 is the end of the world by any means, but I think it's an attainable time frame to finish all of these things that I want to do. Why do I want to do this? I will never be happy with my state in life. I will never be happy to wake up, and do the exact same thing over and over (even though I love a routine more than just about anyone). I will never be happy not growing. And I will never be happy staying stagnant, not challenging myself to grow. I know that I will grow through this. So, take a look at the things I will be challenging myself to do in the next 2 years. 1. Buy a pair of heels and actually wear them. I have always loved the look of heels...on other people. The thought of actually putting them on my own feet, however, terrifies me. 2. Learn something new. I love to learn how to do things. I just don't take the time to actually do it. Not anymore! 3. Lose 10 pounds. No, this isn't one of those "I'm so fat" goals to make me feel better about myself. As a fitness instructor, however, I would like to look as fit as I feel. 4. Learn a new craft. If you've ever met me, you know that I love crafts. Any craft. I am always looking for a new project to tackle. I look at blogs, stroll through little shops trying to figure out how I can make the things that I'm seeing on my own. But rarely do I actually try them out. 5. Prepare an actual meal for my friends. (Recipe required) I am not a chef. For this single lady, cooking does not happen often. By the time that I've grocery shopped, done the prep work, cooked the meal, and plated it, I am so tired of looking at it that I don't want to eat it. I love cooking for others though and would love to branch out further than tacos and brownies from a box. 6. Sew something from a pattern. Sewing is in my blood. My mom is a sewer. My grandma was a sewer. I received my first sewing machine for Christmas in the fifth grade. But despite all of the sewing I have done in my life, I've never made something from a pattern. In fact, the thought of it terrifies me. 7. Read a classic novel cover to cover. I love to read. But because my schedule is often crazy, whenever I sit down to read, I inevitably start to fall asleep no matter how interesting the reading material is. I love classic things, and the thought of reading a classic novel makes my heart happy. 8. Do something crazy. I live life on the safe side. I'm not a rebel. I'm not adventurous. I don't take risks. But everyone should do something crazy in their life, right? 9. Attempt to eat seafood. I always think that seafood looks delicious. And then the smell hits me and I almost can't handle it. And then there's the taste. But it can't all be bad, right? 10. Take a picture of myself I don't hate. I would much rather be behind the camera than in front of it. I can't think of the last time that I saw a picture of myself that I actually liked. But, in this project of self discovery, I hope to discover that I can actually take a good picture. 11. Treat myself to an outfit that is not on sale just for fun. I am cheap. My father taught me well (even though he still thinks that I own way too many pairs of shoes, even if I only paid$5 for all of them).  I will wait for a shirt to go on sale before I'm willing to pay for it.  But everyone deserves to treat themselves to something nice every once in a blue moon.
12. Take an actual vacation.
Remember that time I said I was cheap?  This applies to entertainment as well.  But I think taking time away from life is important.  I'm just too cheap to pay for it.
13. Do something huge for someone else.
I love people.  And I love to help people.  But I don't think that I've ever done anything for another person that could be described as huge.  I have been so blessed, and I want to bless someone else in a really big way.
14. Teach someone something.
Remember that time I said I loved people?  Well I really do.  And I love to learn new things.  I would love to help someone else discover something that they really love.
15. Paint a picture.
I find painting fascinating.  The way the colors and materials come together to make something so beautiful amazes me.  But painting definitely takes skill.  It's not like when you were five and your mom thought any finger paint that you smeared on a piece of paper was worthy of being displayed on the fridge.
16. Confess a secret.
I have lots of secrets.  And I think that is okay.  But there is something about opening up to people and being honest with them about something that you've held inside that is freeing.
17. Take a day off to do absolutely nothing.
It's no secret that I don't take time off from work often.  I have never seen the point of taking a day off for no reason.  Unless I have a doctor's appointment, trip, or actual reason to take off, I don't do it.  And, like I've said, I'm terrible at doing nothing.  This one is a double hit.
18. Pay off an extra \$1,000 on both my car and student loans.
My debt is reasonable, but debt is debt.  And challenging myself to pay off that debt even faster frees me from the burden that comes along with it.
19. Post a picture of a new craft on my blog each month.
I love to do crafts.  But I don't always take the time out to do them.  By committing myself to having to have a craft "show and tell" once a month, it'll force me to take time out to do something I love.
20. Beat my Jazzercise evaluation from last evaluation.
Sound like a silly goal to you?  Maybe.  But for me, I am a lifelong learner.  And unless I set constant goals for myself, I'll never keep growing.
21. Get a massage.
I love massages.  But I'm too cheap to pay for them.  Taking an hour to pamper myself is totally needed.
22. Complete a Beth Moore Bible study.
I currently have six half completed Beth Moore Bible study books in my apartment.  Six.  Each of these studies was started with gusto.  I made time for it, I put my heart into it.  And then somewhere in the middle, I quit making them a priority.  And then I feel bad opening the book back up to finish it later.  But I love these studies.  And I want to finish one.
23. Move.
I'll be honest.  This one wasn't my idea.  And this would be the hardest one on the list for me.  But my friends tell me that change is good (I'm not sure I believe them).  And the thought of packing up all of my things terrifies me.  But I'm willing to consider it.
24. Reconnect with an old friend.
The joy and struggle of Facebook for me is finding people that I haven't kept in contact with from my past.  But usually, it's a friend request, a little catching up on what's been going on in their lives (usually just by checking out pictures and information) and that's where it stops.  I'd like to take this one step further.
25. Plan a camping trip.
I love to camp.  My family used to go on camping trips when we were younger and I adored it.  We started off as tent campers and moved to a pop-up trailer, but there's just something about setting up a tent outdoors and enjoying the creation God has given us.  And I want to share that with people I love.
26. For one week, don't eat out for a single meal.
When you're single and you live by yourself, it just doesn't feel worth it to cook most of the time.  But cooking is better for me and it's better for my bank account.  And its a good way to challenge myself.
27. Read at least one Bible verse a day.
This shouldn't be something that I have to put on a "Things I Want to Do Before I'm 30 List."  This should be something that I'm doing anyway.  But I'm not.  So putting it out there is a way to hold myself accountable.
28. Plan a totally solo weekend getaway.
Sometimes you just need to get away from everything--work, commitments, people and life in general.  Taking time away for yourself gives you a chance to really look at yourself and evaluate.  And that is important.
29. Watch all of the Star Wars movies in order.
My older brother grew up with Star Wars.  He loves the movies.  My younger brother is a huge nerd and loves the movies.  I think that watching these movies is one of those things every American should do.  And I am an American, right?
30. Plan an Aunt Beth Day with Norah and Brighton.
Norah and Brighton are two of my favorite people on this earth.  Because I live 90 miles from them, spending a whole day focused on those two is tricky.  But it would bring me more joy than I can even imagine.