Your year to grow

As 2018 rolled in, I set some different types of New Year resolutions. They had nothing to do with weight loss or fitness, but more to do with growing as a person. I wasn’t happy in the company where I worked last year, and I was determined not to spend 2018 stuck at that office, not learning, not growing, not being appreciated. So I went to Books-a-Million the first week of January and used some Christmas money to buy the prettiest planner I could find. On the cover, in big cursive letters it read “Your Year to Grow.”

This became my mantra for 2018 (and beyond). After all, being Forever 22 means never settling, refusing to think you’re too old, and always seeking out adventures, big and small. So in my planner, I wrote down some goals.

First, I wanted a better job–something with a pleasant work environment, long-term potential, and positive impact on the world. Thankfully, that goal is already checked off the list. I have a wonderful job with wonderful people–not everyone is lucky enough to be able to say that. [Side note: now that the job search is over, I’ll have more free time for writing, so hopefully this blog will be less…neglected in the future.] 🙂

Second, I wanted to try to get published. This is, admittedly, much more difficult than my first goal. But I wouldn’t be much of a writer if I never at least tried. I noted in my planner which publishers I submitted to and what dates.

Third, I wanted adventure (er, as much as possible when you have a new job and no vacation time to speak of). I filled my planner with every event in my area I could find–road races, festivals, fundraisers. I found a running group through Facebook. Coordinating with my boyfriend in Texas, we planned something fun for almost every weekend until May.

So far 2018 has been a year of growth. Every day I try to read or listen to something to expand my mind, especially since my school days are over. I’ll try to start blogging more about whatever topics I happen to be learning about–whether it’s finances, faith, health, or the human condition.

How are your new years resolutions panning out?

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Table for one

It takes a good amount of confidence to go to a movie or restaurant by yourself. Many people feel awkward going out by themselves, but I rather enjoy it. Being in a long-distance relationship, I don’t always have someone nearby to do things with. And at times, an outing with me, myself, and I is just as fun as a date night.

One benefit of eating alone at a restaurant is the silence. You can really focus on your food and your thoughts. Lately I’ve been having trouble finding peace and solitude during my day. On my lunch hour, I often walk campus to find a quiet spot to sit and eat. It’s an increasingly difficult task. Students are everywhere, talking on their phones, blasting rap music, holding conversations full of foul language. And then there’s the train, motorcycles, and cars with deafening mufflers.

Some days I spend way too much time walking and exploring, simply trying to find a place where I can enjoy nature and be alone in my thoughts. It’s a struggle only fellow introverts would understand. In a busy world, it’s hard to find opportunities to reflect. At times I’ll find myself having a profound thought when suddenly it’s interrupted by the startlingly loud blare of a car horn.

So no, restaurant hostess, I’m not here to pick up a to-go order. I need a table for one. Let me enjoy the quiet, serene atmosphere of this cozy, uncrowded, hole-in-the-wall place for an hour or so. I have a boyfriend. I have friends. But sometimes I just like to eat by myself, and that’s perfectly okay.

Wanted: Prince Charming

While sorting through some old notebooks tonight, I fumbled upon an amusing personal ad I wrote a couple years ago. Since it still rings true today, I thought it was worth sharing:

Shy brunette seeks single bachelor in his 20’s. Must love dogs. High school degree required, bachelor’s preferred. The ideal candidate will be tall, thin, and athletic. Kindness, respect, and generosity are musts. Candidate must be Christian, humble, and not clingy.

Applicants who participate in smoking, drinking, clubbing, promiscuity, or related activities will not be considered. Before being selected, applicants will undergo a social media check (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

Interviews will be conducted at Starbucks over coffee. Interviewee must be able to cover his own transportation and expenses (plus mine). Use of any 4-letter word, crude gesture, or snide remark may result in your application being rejected.

Desired qualifications: musical talent, athletic abilities, 6-pack, interesting talents or hobbies, nice family, cooking skills, computer skills (the ability to fix my computer when needed).

Duties will include buying me dinner, taking me to movies, treating me to ice cream, walking with me at the park, listening to my ideas and offering input, and telling me I’m beautiful. On occasion, candidate may be needed to act as a personal bodyguard. Candidate will be responsible for planning and executing fun and creative date ideas.

This listing is part of a career progression series. If candidate fulfills duties, he may be eligible for promotion to fiancee.

Please send resume, love letter, and links to 3 social media sites to ccormier@my.centenary.edu. This position will remain open until ideal candidate is chosen.

Cori is an equal opportunity dater.