I like to think I’ve accomplished quite a bit in my 20 years of life. I’ve traveled, volunteered, moved away from home and had many amazing experiences. Despite adults older than me telling me I should be incredibly proud of all that I have accomplished, I still felt quite inadequate with my life for a long time. I wasn’t in school, I wasn’t getting married, and I didn’t have my career all lined up like everyone else my age. I was told I was doing things that people dreamed about but we’re too scared to do; things that people assumed they couldn’t do or didn’t have time to do. I realized how fortunate and grateful to God I am to have been blessed with these opportunities. However, I also know that if I hadn’t done a lot of the things I did, I would never have done them. Sometimes you can’t think about it; you just have to jump. I jumped into volunteering abroad and jumped into moving to southern California. I jumped and didn’t think about the “what if’s” or thought “I can’t do this”. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I thought to myself “Allie you’re crazy! What makes you think you can do this??” Or “I won’t make it out here I need to go home now” the thing is, everyone tells you the world is full of right and wrong choices, but no one can tell you which choice is which. No one talks about how scary that is. I’m going to tell you that it is terrifying. Overwhelming. But it is so so so necessary because living inside your comfort zone isn’t living. It’s when you step out of your comfort zone, you find out things about yourself that you’d never have known otherwise. My advice to all of my friends when they wonder about making a big decision is just do it. Dive in head first and you won’t regret it. No matter what, the adventure will be worth it.
It’s been kind of a rough week. I’ve been moved around a lot at work, haven’t had NEARLY enough time to clean my house, and to top it all off I had to spend $500 to get my car fixed. And it’s only Wednesday. It makes my head hurt, worries about finances, prompts me to pray it will all turn out OK. Everyone has times like this, and I know I am no exception. In fact, I am grateful for the struggles I go through no matter how trying because I will always come out on the other side a better and far more appreciative person.
Working several jobs has its difficulties. I work seven days a week with very little time off, I am often over booked, and I don’t have much room in my schedule for rescheduling. As a cast member at Disneyland, my scheduling team can call me in early and change my location, without really asking and without much notice. It’s a challenge when you’re on your way to work in one costume, and they call you, only to inform you that they want you to extend your shift and, oh ya we need you to wear a different costume as your in a new location. When this happens, at first I want to tell them no (even though it’s not really a suggestion) and hang up, but then I take a minute to think about the blessings. They chose me. They picked me because they trust that I can jump right in and know what to do on short notice. They also are giving me more hours! Lord knows I can use them right now! I am truly blessed to be able to provide childcare for my church on Sunday mornings as well. I just wish I didn’t have to work until two in the morning the night before to then wake up at six thirty the next morning. Little sleep is not beneficial in the life of a child care worker. On these mornings I thank God for coffee. I also thank Him for the little faces that make waking up that early so worth it.
As I am looking around my bedroom as I write this, I think WHY AM I BLOGGING WHEN I SHOULD BE CLEANING!?!?!?! This thought crosses my mind often. no matter what I do, There always seem to be dishes in the sink and loads of laundry piling up and an unswept floor. As a girl who really enjoys a clean home this drives me slightly crazy. But I remind my self that all the dishes in the sink, mean that I’m eating a home cooked meal every night. I am thankful for that because it’s a luxury, not everyone has. All the laundry I have piling up- rivaling Mt. Everest at this point- reminds me that I have so many things to wear and that I should seriously go through my closet and sort out all of the things I don’t need so I can donate them to those who do. I am lucky to live in the apartment complex that I do. It’s right next to where I work and there is a Target near by #bless, but I am so hard on myself about keeping our floors as clean as possible (i prefer to be barefooted). When I go days without sweeping or vacuuming I can hardly stand myself. At times like that, I thank my lucky stars my apartment is not too big and sweeping only takes 5-10 minutes tops.
My car. My poor old well-loved vehicle. This car was given to me when I learned to drive and has been with me ever since. 5 years we’ve been together, I even call him Simon.He brought me from Washington to California almost a year ago-needless to say we’ve been through it all together. His check engine light has always been on, and we had checked it out a few times but no one ever could conclude what was wrong with it, that is until recently. You see recently Simon won’t start. Simon will try to start but ultimately he fails, unless that is, it is one of the times he does decide to start- he’s quite unpredictable this way. I finally broke down and took him to a mechanic, who ended up telling me what I needed to hear. The alternator was bad. So $500 later the check engine light is off for the first time in years, and he starts every single time I want to go somewhere. I am so thankful that it was just an alternator problem! It could have been much worse, like needing a whole new car or a way more expensive fix. I am excited to drive around without the engine light turning on! I am thankful that I get to go to work and do other things I love in a safe reliable car!
It’s hard often times to find the beauty in the things that make our lives hard. It’s difficult to be thankful for things that cost us money, keep our lives busy, or messy houses but if you look close enough there is always a reason to be thankful. Take a moment to be thankful for your not so wonderful moments today and every day, because they make you appreciate the good days that much more!
I pride myself on being a really open person. I have very few secrets, mostly because once you get me talking I can’t stop! I enjoy being an open book, it helps me build relationships and connections with many people over many different subjects and issues that a lot of us face. So without further ado, here are 10 things you probably don’t know about me!
1.I love peanut butter and pickles
And, if you were wondering if i like them together, my answer is OF COURSE!!!
2. I love to dance
This one is new for me, my whole life people have told me how awful of a dancer I was, it wasn’t until I began ballet and my teacher told me I had real potential that I began to love it.
3. I hate the word Silly
This comes as a surprise to many people because its often a word used to describe me and there is the fact that I don’t really “hate” things.
4. I wanted to be a marine biologist
When I was a kid I had big dreams of being a marine biologist because I have always loved the ocean and all things in it! This was however before I realized that the job did not entail sailing the seven seas looking for mermaids all day.
5. I fall in love with just about everything I see
Even when things seem bleak, I try to find something I love about where ever I am, in whatever I am doing, and whoever I am with. And often, that thing I find becomes so beautiful in my mind that I cannot help but love it!
6. Dumb jokes are my favorite jokes!
What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor? He said wheres my tractor! this is my all time favorite joke and likely always will be!
7. I struggle with depression
I have struggled with depression for a really long portion of my life, and it went unnoticed my my family and friends for most of that time, because I tried to keep a smile on my face thinking that was what was expected from me at all times.
8. One day I will go to Australia
I love the idea of Australia! My mom used to visit there a bunch when I was a kid and always brought back so many cool souvenirs and amazing stories. One day I am going to go and make my own memories there.
9. I’ve been told I remind people of Princess Anna
It’s probably because I lack style and grace, trip over nothing, and stumble over my words when I get nervous. Or maybe my sister has ice powers that i don’t know about??? Hmm…… the world may never know.
10.I find history simply fascinating
I have always loved history because its like listening to a story being told about real life! I love learning about facts and dates and what happened 100 years ago on this exact spot! It may make me a major nerd but that is fine by me.
Moving away from my family was one of the toughest things I have ever done. Not only was I moving out of my parents house for the first time in my life, but I was moving 1500 miles south! I was lucky enough to have my grandma along for the ride down, and I really truly am grateful that she came along, because she not only kept me company for the nearly 2 weeks it took us to get to southern California and find an apartment, but we became a lot closer and now share some of my most treasured memories. As a girl who grew up on a farm in a relatively small town, southern California was a really big change for me,(I am still amazed that they deliver just about anything you could ever want directly to your door here!!!) as I am used to pine trees, snow, and wide open spaces and California has palm trees, sandy beaches and buildings taller than any I’ve ever seen! Needless to say it was a very big adjustment.
Moving away from my family was really difficult. I had only been back in the country for a few months after a volunteer trip overseas, and my dad had just gotten married to my step mother so we (my dad, my step mother, my sister, my step sister, my step brother and I) were just getting adjusted to life in the big house together. My dad was so extremely supportive of the move, he was with me every step of the way, and for that I am grateful because other people I knew who were supposed to be there for me, weren’t so supportive and tried to talk me out of it, telling me I was making a mistake, or that I wouldn’t be able to make it down here. Luckily I followed my heart and I’m doing just fine! My first few months here were a pretty lonely time in my life. I had an aunt who lived near by but other than her, I knew nobody in this big lonely city. I had never felt so alone in my life.
I was depressed for a really long time, and I didn’t have anyone I could really confide in because I felt like I had to confident, happy, and well-adjusted all the time. I felt that if I told the people around me in my life how I really felt, they would think i was a failure and that i wasn’t cut out for what i was doing. When i finally did confide in someone about what was going on i felt a tremendous amount of relief wash over me because for once, in the six months i had lived here i wasn’t carrying my burden alone.
As time went on, I made some truly wonderful friends, started working at my local church, and have had so many amazing experiences that I will never forget. I was blessed when a local church contacted me to start working in their nursery. I knew I was missing something in my life but I couldn’t quite figure it out, and when they contacted me I realized i was missing my relationship with Jesus! I am truly beyond grateful to them for bringing that relationship back into my life. His word helped bring me out of a dark time in my life and without that relationship I’m really not sure where i would be.
Moving so far away was, in the long run, really good for my self-esteem. it made me believe I could conquer any challenge thrown at me even if I was alone or frightened. I’ve had my car die on me in the middle of the night, been lost without a GPS and even had some terrible roommate situations in my time here just to name a few. I came out on top in each situation and learned something new from every hurdle I’ve been thrown.
I am not sure I was prepared for what I would encounter when moving so far from the once place i had ever truly called home, but im thankful i pushed myself off the ledge, thankful that i jumped without even thinking. sometimes all you need in life is to just go. Go out there and do it, dont let thinking get in the way of everything! When your heart is telling you to go sometimes the best thing you can do is listen.