Tag Archives: oneword365

20 days and counting down

1June2014 and we leave in 20 days.

There is plenty of doing left in these 20 days. In addition to the school work we have to do there will be hugs, drinks, and maybe a few tears before we get back. And probably all of those things once we get home too! I’m also making time to reflect and plan. Reflect on my semester here in South Africa and plan for what’s next.

I’ve never had a year like this before. Its funny because even when we have things planned, we don’t always know how they’ll turn out but we take security in the plan. Sometimes security comes in the planning too. I say that I don’t know what I’m doing not because I don’t have a plan but because I’m full-on honest with myself that this time, I really don’t know how I’m going to “make it happen.”

To-do list:
work
see friends
catch-up with friends
file all the correct paperwork to graduate
finish packing
defend thesis
find a place to live in Fairfax
figure out how to pay for a move
clean old house
Move
Set-up new place
Go through orientation for school
Actually orient myself to the area
Plan syllabus for class
Get books and such for classes I’ll be taking
Unpack
Walk dogs
Empty cat box
Don’t panic

In January I didn’t know how things were going to come together for my time here at NMMU. I wasn’t sure where I was going to live, who I would be working with, or even the people I was traveling with. When I got on the plane I didn’t know what I would be doing next. Then I didn’t know what my plan was when upon returning to the States. Each of these unknowns have unfolded nicely. This is the first time that I have really embraced the fact that what I plan and what happens do not always match up. And I’m ok with it. Each moment has its own requirement and I just need to stay mindful and respectful.

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5 Years #TBT

I keep saying, “Wow! What a difference 5 years makes.” Then I stopped, thought about it. And damn! If I wasn’t completely right about this one!

Five years ago…

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I was still reeling from the effects of 2008. In the short span of those 12 months my mother died, my sister and her family moved out of state, I relocated to Durham, got laid off from my job, went back to university for the last 9 credits of my bachelor’s degree, and graduated.

This time in 2009, I was bracing for my first birthday without my mom. It was the first time that I didn’t feel any joy on that particular day. It felt more empty, her absence amplified. Honestly, I do not even remember doing anything special for my own birthday. I took a trip to visit my sister and helped her celebrate her big day. It was my way to compensate for our mom being gone. She did an amazing job, even as we got older, to make our birthdays feel special. We were lucky to have our birthdays around Easter and almost every year we were all together at some point close to our birthdays.

But 2009 was the start of putting together new traditions with our smaller family. Her birthday was really great! Our dad and step mom came up for the day. My nephew really enjoyed so many of “his people” being at his house for the day. And there was lemon cake (always a win). As 2009 progressed things impoved. I was able to celebrate my nephew’s 3rd birthday with him. In September, I started a new job that I was good at and enjoyed. Double bonus! I got rid of all the notes, articles, and papers from undergad because I had no plans of going back to school! I was d-o-n-e!

Five years later, I not only changed jobs but careers. Moved to Minnesota, I still don’t know if its natural that people live this far north. I went back to school and I’m about to graduate with my master’s and start a PhD program in the fall! What? In 2009, I was still dreaming of Africa and now I’ve not only been here but I’m living here for 6 months.

None of what I’m doing now was on the agenda then. I’m in awe of my life and loving it!


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