birthday and thanksgiving memories

I am 24 and a few days old! I love having a birthday in November–it means I get to kick off Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s festivities that much sooner! Plus, there’s nothing quite like having a birthday right before turning the corner into a new year–it’s a super inspiring time for me. I may have made a multi-page goal list. And maybe I’ll share it with you!

I received some lovely, thoughtful gifts from all around–adorable socks, a Tiffany-blue sweater, the triangle necklace and Lip Venom from my wish list (!), plus some other fabulous trinkets. Oh–and Wes got me a fancy new blender! Now I can make my fruit smoothies without yelling “Blend, baby, blend!” And my niece Jordan made the most delicious Tar Heel Pie for Thanksgiving. I’m a spoiled girl!

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To make the month even better, I received some surprise correspondences in the mail–one from Corrie in Seattle, and one from Sarah in France! It was AMAZING to hear from my friends. It’s so nice to know we can be off on our own adventures and still love and care about one another! (*Makes a mental note to write back.)

But the best part was just being home with family at Thanksgiving. For the first time in my ENTIRE college career, I just left my homework at home. And yeah, it made for a stressful week upon return, but it made the two days with family much more peaceful without a stack of  to-do staring me down at every turn!

This birthday + Thanksgiving made me feel super blessed, and much less stressed. Loved it! Now, onward to Christmas!

xoxo cat

a few little thoughts

I have an announcement to make.

It’s the weekend.

And that is exciting.

The first week of the new semester is long gone. Before I know it Christmas Vacation will be here. That’s just how it goes . . . a blink of an eye and a season is over. Before I get carried away in the momentum of Fall and homework, I wanted to think about and write down some  things about my new direction in life. Just so that I can take a peek at this post when the weight of the semester is pressing down upon me and remember why I’ve taken this road!

I am leaving the healthcare industry because . . .

. . . my first glimpse of work in the field has been a most sour experience. Unfortunate but true. There’s a solid possibility I will not be accepted into PA school and I am not going to risk working in this level of healthcare the rest of my life. Nor am I willing to keep other aspects of my life on hold for another attempt at admission to then start a 2 year program.

. . . I realized this past year that my passion with science lies in learning and teaching. I don’t want to do “science” as a professional anymore, at least not by doing research or practicing medicine.

. . . it does not involve the kind of creativity I thrive on. I thought that being challenged and thinking critically was a form of creativity that was enough for me, but I’ve discovered that I need to make and see and inspire truly beautiful things, like art and passions and imaginations.

. . . I don’t envision being able to maintain a healthy body, a healthy marriage, healthy friendships, or healthy hobbies while working in emergency medicine, the type which I would be most interested in practicing. Four years of undergrad has made me very, very familiar with my limits, and I know if I continued down this path, I would be faced to choose between my career and the rest of my life. I’m not looking for a career with less stress, just a different kind of stress.

. . . I am enjoying a nearly debt free lifestyle with my husband.

. . . I would like to have the opportunity be a stay at home mom and not feel like it would be impossible for me to re-enter and catch up in my field.

. . . I want to have dinner with my family every single night and never have to drive into work on the fly because I’m on call. This also goes for ballet recitals, soccer games, and music programs.

I am entering the field of education because . . .

. . . I absolutely love school. Or, more specifically, I really, really love learning. I want to be in a position to encourage others to fall as far in love with learning as I did! And this is my biggest motivator for choosing this path.

. . . “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Yes, that is from The Help, and I want every kid to know that. Poor kids, rich kids, happy kids, sad kids, confident kids, shy kids. Every kid needs to know that about themselves, and I’m going to tell them.

. . . I miss being responsible for building a community (read: I wish I could be an RA the rest of my life sometimes), and I know that if I can create living environments  that are based on respect and kindness and fun, then I can create learning environments that achieve the same.

. . . School supplies. Organizing school supplies. Building a reading library. Literary adventures.

. . . I like the idea of  a 3 month season during the year in which a schedule change occurs. Whether it’s filled with family time, professional development, pool time or a combination of all three, a change in habit always inspires me.

. . . I am excited to have vacation time that coincides with that of my wee little babes (that aren’t made yet, of course). There’s nothing wrong with getting excited over gingerbread cookie baking marathons during Christmas vacay and Staycations in Springfield over Easter break.

. . . I think I “fit in” better in this career, and that I will be able to achieve balance between my professional and personal life as a teacher.