Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes.

Life announcement: I’m taking a new job!

It’s been quite a journey and though I am excited, I still have a lot of mixed feelings. I’ve been crying for days (daysssss) as I struggle with leaving a place filled with people I have come to love so much. But, the switch is necessary. As I’ve been wrapping up my final weeks, I’ve started to recognize a few things about myself  and how I deal with that ugly word. Change

I don’t like saying goodbye. And I think that’s ok. My final week is next week; which also happens to be spring break. Because of that, I’m seeing a lot of students for the final time. They are adamant about stopping in the office to see me before they leave campus (because they are the sweetest things on the planet) and as I give out hug after hug, I can’t bring myself to say goodbye. It just feels weird. I keep saying, “see you later” just like I would at the end of every other day. Maybe I’m delusional and think I’m going to see them all walk through my new office door. And I’m sure it will hit me when I have to start over with new faces and have a million new names to learn. But I think it’s important to not let go of special relationships and I have no intention of disappearing just because I’m in a new environment. Just like many times before, good friends are only a phone call or an email away – saying goodbye just feels too permanent and that isn’t necessary.

Don’t wait until the end to say thank you. When I sent out the announcement that I would be leaving, I was inundated with well-wishes and thank yous. I also found myself overwhelmed with how many individuals I want to be sure know how grateful I am for them; so many people have made an impact on me these past 4.5 years. And I’m reminded of something we all forget in our busy lives. Don’t forget to tell people what they mean to you. Write notes. Leave messages. Tell them. I wish I had continuously told these people over the past few years instead of bottling it all up at the end. You never know what your words will mean to someone else.

I’m allowed to be happy for myself. I have this complex where I am always worried about taking care of everyone else and always put myself last. So, you can only imagine that in my whirlwind of change I of course was concerned about all the nitty-gritty details and what everyone else around me was feeling. Because that’s healthy. It took me a few days until I was finally able to pour myself a glass of wine, do a little happy dance and really be excited. But that’s important. Let yourself enjoy an accomplishment and look forward to what is up ahead. It’s not a bad thing to revel in your own happiness for a little bit. 

Let’s hear from you! How do you handle change? Do you love it or run from it? What lessons have you learned?

Gratituesdays: Dancer Girls.

These girls have been somewhat of a family to me for the past five years.

Breathe for Bonnie 2012

Before our dance ministry group started, I had a giant hole in my life. It had been years since I’d danced and wasn’t sure how to get back into it. Right after graduating college, I saw a notice at church that the group was forming and couldn’t wait to check it out. Now, five years later, we’ve grown not only as an ensemble but as friends. We’ve had the opportunity to share our love of the Lord through our love of dance. We’ve also danced for some very important causes. And more than that, dance is like therapy to me; we meet and have rehearsals simply to move and have “me” time, even if there is no performance. I’m so very grateful for the chance to perform and be creative with these women.

Do you have a hobby or passion that you’re particularly thankful for?

Gratituesdays: My Mom.

A couple of hours ago I got this text…

While I’m at work, my mom is *happily* at my house painting my kitchen. And making drapes. And probably napping with my cat or planning the next 10 projects we should work on.

How did I get so lucky? So lucky to be blessed with someone who’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. Who is infinitely patient while I freak out and throw a tantrum (yes, this was our last night…) And who never gives up on me.

So thankful today (and everyday.)

That’s true love, friends. True love.

How’s your Tuesday??

Gratituesdays: Reminder.

I’ve had kind of a rough past week and, admittedly, gratitude was not always in the front of my mind. But then I found this little phrase that reminded me of the exact inspiration what started the Gratituesday posts.

So as a reminder to myself, this week I’m focusing on being thankful for all that I have and not being frustrated for what I feel I’m lacking. Because in my heart of hearts, I believe in God’s perfect plan and timing (even if it is UBER-frustrating to be patient for that.) And there is nothing else I could ever want more than His unending love.

How are your Gratituesdays going?

Gratituesdays: My Students.

Without a doubt, my favorite part of my job. They remind me of what all the hard work is about. They teach me new things constantly. They make me proud. They challenge me to be a better mentor and a better leader. And without question, they make me laugh and make me smile.

I work in higher education because I believe college is the most important four years of your life. It’s your chance to discover life, to change, to make mistakes, to gain a vast amount of knowledge through experience, and to grow up in ways you never thought you would.

I love living life with “my kids” as I sometimes call them. Cheering with them about good news, and crying with them over devastation.  They keep me on my toes to be a strong role model, a position I gladly accept, because not too long ago, I was in their shoes.

Gratituesdays: My Birthday.

27 years ago today, my wonderful mother got up, went to the hospital…and 12 hours later I made my entrance into the world 🙂 And for her patience, since day one, I am extremely grateful.

Today I was also reminded of how much love I have in my life. The phone calls and messages were just a small reminder of how blessed I truly am. Ending Christmas vacation with my birthday was a nice, reflective close to the break and a great way to start a new semester.

I’m thankful for the birthday wishes and the sweet words. I’m thankful that this weekend, I’ll once again get to go out and celebrate with our amazing family of friends. And I’m thankful that I’ve made it to 27 and, hopefully, this year will continue to look less like I would have planned and more like God has planned.

And this is my first Gratituesday of the year. Will you join me in taking time each week to be grateful in your life?