Eight years ago, I was a freshman in college at the University of Bridgeport. I was digesting the new found freedom of doing whatever I wanted and going to class.
When I sat down with my advisor a few months before, he asked if I could handle taking 6 classes, 18 credits. I told him, with my mom and dad by my side, that I should be able to. I could do the work. I am smart and if I'm focused, I can pass all my classes.
I should have looked back at my experience in high school. There are always distractions, even more now that I was pretty much on my own on campus, no parental vision. Also, I was head-over-heels for my boyfriend at the time.
I take 100% responsibility for not keeping my eyes on the prize. We all make mistakes. My mistake was not putting my schooling first, not taking it serious. I did well, but I could have done so much better. I lost a scholarship. Free money. Bye bye.
I wasn't a straight-A student in school because I wasn't focused enough. I probably should have taken 6 months after high school to actually miss school before I began college. That's how my brain worked.
So, flash-forward to Spring 2013. I'm suppose to be graduating with many classmates I started school with, but I had a few credits left (13) to complete since the year before I went to school part-time and started working at H&M.
A year later, I found out I was pregnant with my son, about a month before I graduate. Oh, the morning sickness and only being able to eat cheese and carbs: cream cheese on a bagel or queso de papa with crackers. Fun times when you have what is really all-day nausea and papers and projects to finish for finals week.
Once I graduated, I continued working at H&M and began the long job hunt that lead nowhere, but I did gain experience with interviewing and tweaking my resume and cover letter probably 100 times. No calls. Lots of "thank you for applying, but we have decided to go with another candidate..."
I was 2 months shy of my 5 year anniversary when I finally left H&M and started my current job. A new journey begins.
It's funny. On my Facebook, back in 2008/2009, I put this in my "About Me" section:
"I Just Came Up With A Life Plan- graduate college with a BS in Interior Design, travel to Copenhagen & other inspirational cities, get my MS in possibly Architecture & build up experience to get a GOOD paying job. All To Be Done By The Time I'm 25 :) I LOVE art. Its a part of me. Planning on being an Interior Designer/Architect or Real Estate Broker. Let's see what life has in stored for me."
So, if you don't already know, I'm 26 and out of all that, only one
thing happened: I graduated, lol.
I didn't picture my life being the way it is now 8 years ago, obviously.
How I picture my future is even more different from when I was younger mostly because back then, I had no clue how to get those "goals" done. There were no systems in place and I didn't realize what being an adult actually looked like.
Now, I've used tried and true tools and tips to realistically get where I want to be in the near future.
Here's what I do now:
Follow Through: On Sundays, I sit down and plan my week based on how I would like it to go/what needs to be done. I review my planner every day (at home or at work) to look at my planner and see if I have been keeping up with my weekly projects/goals (i.e. go to gym 3x/week, schedule blog posts, set-up appointments...)
Follow up: Pick a day and time, just 10-15 mins, out of the week (or every two days) to look at how I am doing so far. Maybe I may need to move something to another day/time.
Reflect: At the end of the work week, usually Saturday morning, I reflect on my week. Did I do what I wanted this week? What can I do differently next week?
Self-care: So important. As a mom, I have my little one running around and I have to make sure he doesn't hurt himself, get into things and at the end of the day, its exhausting. I mean, he is up and at it the millisecond he opens his eyes until he is fast asleep (after about an hour of pre-sleep... it's a thing, I swear...) So, time to watch my favorite show, drink some wine and/or eat some ice cream and relax is definitely needed. Even washing my hair is soothing, therapeutic.
PS I'm still working on getting a foot in the door of the interior design industry. It seems to me that I may have to create my own opportunities, even if that means being my own boss.
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