CWA #2

Topic: The best advice for a teen just graduating from high school.
Purpose: I was flipping through my book today and came across this topic. I’m the oldest in my family on both sides. I received some sound advice when I graduated but a lot of it seemed to be cliché and was too little, too late. I have a cousin graduating this year and another cousin (or two) next year. This is for them.

The hat and gown suits you well. It seems to be the single outfit in human history to look great on everyone. Not only does it hide any physical abnormalities or dislikes about yourself but it, in all its plainness and flowiness, forces people to believe that you’ve accomplished something great – which you have. You graduated high school; an achievement that was 12 years or more in the making. The hat and gown you’re wearing – it makes people look at you with pride and accomplishment. It makes you, the one wearing it, feel good and special.

That same hat and gown is awfully deceiving though. It doesn’t give you a sure-ride ticket to anywhere unless you continue working beyond the blip of an achievement that you made. And I don’t say blip because high school graduation isn’t important – it’s probably one of the most important moments in your life. But it’s a blip simply because there are so many more great things you’re capable of doing going forward now that you have that checked off your outline of life. There are so many more moments and times in your future that people will look at you with pride and accomplishment – if you allow it.

If you’re lucky, your dreams for your future are clear. You have a plan and you’re going to go and get it as soon as this graduation party is over. On the contrary; you might not have a plan. You might not know what you want to do with your life. The dreaded “What are you going to do now?” has been asked a hundred times over the past six hours if not six months. “I don’t know” doesn’t seem to be acceptable even though it’s the truth.

Don’t be afraid to not know. That’s the absolute best advice I can give you. Don’t be afraid of figuring it out. It’s scary as hell but I promise you, it’ll be worth it. Simple the process of a future down. Go to and graduate college, get a job, buy a house, get married, have kids is still what people seem to want to hear. Even now in 2015, that’s what their ears are ready for. You’re 18, although thinking about your future is important and I wouldn’t abandon it all together, there is no use in thinking of the big picture right now. Consider each moment in your life a single picture creating a lifetime collage. All the milestone photos of your life will continuously accumulate, make them the absolute best. Be proud of what you’re going to do in your life. Follow your dreams, live your dreams.

Don’t be stupid and make detrimental mistakes. Don’t abandon those that love you; primarily your family. Appreciate the world and what it has to offer. Travel, make new friends, take photographs. Pay your bills on time and don’t be reckless. If you decide not to go to college – don’t waste those young years away. Understand the reality of real life and accept it instead of try to fight it. In doing that, you don’t need to give up your free roaming spirit or life. If you don’t see yourself in a typical 8-5 setting 10 years down the road, do something about it. You’re still going to need to make money to survive, accept it. Don’t rely on and abuse your parents financially. Save up some money and make wise decisions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Join the Peace Corps, backpack around Europe, fall in love, skydive. Do everything you possibly can because you want to not because society wants you to.

From personal experience, I do think college is important. However, I would only recommend college to those that know what they want to do. To those that do have a plan. I’m still paying off my 2 years of college debt 5 years later. I didn’t get a fancy job, I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know, I didn’t make lifelong friends, and it didn’t help me decide what to do in my life. But that’s me, don’t let anyone else’s experience deter you from living your dream. If I could do it all over again, I would have done more research in high school, visited colleges, and actually spent time to decide what I wanted to do. I would have moved away and attended a four-year college. I would have traveled abroad my junior year. But I never did because I felt that the resources weren’t available to me and I didn’t know where to look. That’s why you have me. What are your favorite things to do? Sports? Painting? Photography? Working on cars? Photoshop?

There’s something to do in the “real world” for everyone. You can become a sports reporter, journalist, newscaster. You can own your own art gallery or become an art professor. You can be a photographer on your own or with a media group. You can become an automotive or diesel mechanic, a shop teacher. You can become a graphic or website designer. The possibilities are endless, your future is wider than your arms are even capable of spreading. Don’t waste the days after high school graduation away. Find yourself but don’t lose yourself. Dream big and follow through.

So, even though this was important for you to read, take my advice; put this down and spend time with those that love you. Throw that square hat up into the air, smile until your cheeks hurt today and everyday. Be honest, take those milestone pictures, and show everyone what life is all about. Make your collage worth looking at.

A Working Title II.

Wow! To say “it’s been awhile” is a bit of an understatement. But I come to you with fabulous news! As you know (or you should know) I recently moved to a new city and started a new job.

I also received approval to start a Featured Staff Blog at the local newspaper that I’m working for. This is exciting news for me! I love to write and I would love it if my voice could reach more than the small handful I’ve received with this blog and my previous blog. But please, don’t fret. I won’t be abandoning this one.

This blog is going to remain the same. It will include my random ramblings, critiques on life in general and everything in between. My new blog, creatively dubbed “A Working Title II” will be a little more straight forward and to the point. I won’t be going in deep on the personal front or posting anything borderline offensive. It’ll be clean cut I guess some would say and I’m okay with that. It’s a foot into the right direction for me.

Since I didn’t go to school for journalism or actually anything even close to that; I feel that any opportunity I have to get my voice out there is an opportunity to take. I’ve posted a few times on my new blog and I plan to post the link for those posts periodically on this one so that you always have access to them.

I hope that you continue to see what’s going on in the wonderful (kind of boring) world of Ori as well as start a new trek to my new blog! If you have any questions or would like to you know…publish me – my contact information is updated on the appropriate page.

To visit my new blog; A Working Title II, click here.

As always, enjoy!

What Do You Do When Dreams Don’t Come True?

When is everything going to seem real? I’ve dreamt about getting married and starting a family of my own for as long as I can remember but it hasn’t happened to me yet. Everyone around me, old classmates, extended family, ect. – They are making and starting their own personal, self-contained lives. Starting futures with each other, raising babies, graduating with their masters degrees. But not me.

It’s funny because even though I “want” it so bad it seems like there’s a reason that my turn per se, hasn’t come around on the merry go round of life. It’s weird. I want to be a wife but what does a wife do that I don’t already do? I want to be a mom but I can’t picture a baby in my tummy or arms yet. I want to own a beautiful house with a giant yard and a big shaggy dog but I don’t see that dream as a reality financially. It’s like my dream life is just that; a dream. As if there’s no possibility of it being real because I can’t “feel” it happening.

When everyone else around me is planning their weddings, bachelorette parties, baby showers, and Caribbean cruises; I wonder what they are feeling. Do they feel like it isn’t real? Or was it just on their docket of life goals and they are checking them off?

In turn, I’ve also heard my whole life that..as much as you absolutely “want” something, it’ll never happen until you stop focusing on it. A woman wanting a baby, doesn’t get pregnant. It causes martial problems or divorce. She starts a new fresh life in a new city. She focuses on herself. She’s happy with the cards that she was dealt but then gets knocked up after a one night stand. And that once desired life dream is now an “oopsie.”

Obviously, that’s a drastic example but that’s how it feels to me. The people that I used to know or have many memories with lead totally different lives today. And although I have a wonderful job, loving boyfriend, and a semi-decent bank account – it still feels like I’m living the same life I was 10 years ago.

I’m nowhere near owning a house, let alone knowing which area I want to raise my future family in. The marriage wheel has been on a plateau for years and even though I want to go back to school, what the hell would I go for so that it financially pays off? That white-picket fence and children laughing while running through the sprinkler truly does feel like a dream. Just a dream.

So let me ask you, life-livers: When the big life moments do happen, does it feel real? Was your wedding the most special day of your life pre-children? Do you second guess the money it is going to cost you when you vacation out of country? Have you ever felt truly stuck or does life just magically happen to you?

Or am I the ugly duckling here? It’s as if I’m standing still, I’m the core. While the rest of the world is moving and evolving around me a million miles a minute.

Sometimes You Just Have To Spread Your Wings And Fly.

I’ve been feeling a little uninspired lately. My last post wasn’t really about anything and this one probably won’t be much more exciting. I think it’s just because we’re literally in the dead of winter. There isn’t anything to do around here and anything worth doing doesn’t seem too appealing thanks to the insane wind-chills that we’ve been experiencing. Yes, I know. Excuses, excuses.

Last night I was trying to brainstorm something to write about and after a conversation with my boyfriend, I wondered if I should talk about phobias. But I don’t know anymore. I visited my mom today and we talked about my anxiety with snakes. A little bit about why and where it came from specifically an incident that happened a little over a year ago. Now, coming home and quietly sitting here smelling the clean aroma of our freshly washed blankets and sheets; I don’t even want to dig into the painful topic of my “phobia.”

Speaking of fresh laundered linen; I realized walking into our apartment building tonight with my laundry in tow that it somehow reminded me of fresh baked buns that my grandma always makes. This might call for a classic Girl Code #IsThatWeird hashtag but since we’re mid-paragraph; it probably isn’t necessary.

Have any of you ever read those blogs that make it mainstream? What makes them get so far ahead of others? I admit; I’m not the greatest when it comes to reading blog after blog after blog but I do occasionally take a dip and see what’s happening in the world and I find that so many of them really aren’t that spectacular. Take Perez Hilton for example: Celebrity wanna-be and his blog is full of ludicrous bullshit. I find myself mostly geared toward travel type blogs and food critics. I think I like them more because I find them more realistic and dream worthy.

Wisconsin-Dells-7

Speaking of dreams, whenever I go home to visit my mom I find myself day dreaming a lot more which I love. Today we brainstormed destinations and/or mini-vacations. We looked at our local flight options and talked about how cool it’d be to go on an Amtrak. It might sound a little silly in the year twenty-fourteen but other than “on the road” with my dad; neither of us have really been anywhere far let alone an airplane or a train.

Why does traveling seem so scary? It’s probably more of a nervous thing over any other feeling. Nervous that the flight might be cancelled or if there are weight restrictions. Nervous about finding our way around or experiencing as much as we can wherever we’re at. I think we’re at a slight learning curve when it comes to traveling. The great thing though is that we both are determined to go somewhere sometime soon.

Driving home tonight I was imagining walking around Chicago or New York City. I imagined going for a swim on a Lake Havasu beach or flying over the Grand Canyon. I smiled at the adventure we could have during Mardi Gras in New Orleans or the breathtaking peacefulness of a week in Hawaii.

Where do you want to travel to? What was your first “vacation” like? Was it a dream come true or did you experience problems? Did you go through a travel agency or just wing it? Looking for some feedback tonight, lets here it!

Making Dreams Become Reality.

I’ve been day dreaming about lake homes lately. I don’t know if it’s just a built in fantasy coming from the land of 10,000 lakes or if it’s the pure serenity that comes from being at the lake. Regardless, the last few weeks of my life have led me to Google searching in all my free time. I’ve been looking at both the realistic possibilities and the true make believe wishes in my head. They’re all beautiful.

lakehome

I sometimes wonder if I messed up along the way. And if so, was there any way I could have altered my path? I’m not saying that everyone needs to have a 4+ year degree of college to even think about owning some beautiful lake front property but someone like me..would. I didn’t go onto a 4 year school because I had no idea or direction of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had many of the same passions I do today but I just didn’t want to be that girl that switched her major 14 times.

Sure, it probably would have payed off but at the time, I didn’t think it was practical. It still isn’t in my opinion but I might have been further down the road of adulthood than I am now. My mom sent me quote over the weekend: “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” written by Earl Nightingale.

And you know what? She’s right. Earl’s right. Whoever. I’ve been making excuses and contemplating for the last couple of years whether or not I should go back to school. I know that I’m bright and intelligent. I hold many great qualities the people in the work force are bound to admire but I’m not satisfied with myself. It doesn’t matter how many complements I get on my work or how proficient I am Monday through Friday, 8-5 because at the end of the day or the week when I have down time, I beat myself up at the lack of accomplishment in my life.

I have full confidence in myself knowing that if I’d been given the opportunity to land an amazing job at anywhere from a highly noted financial institution, to Twitter, to an accounting firm in New York City, that I’d excel at it. Given the world that we live in today though, you won’t even get a second look without a bachelors degree or higher.

Now, I’m not trying to lay myself out on a silver platter or anything, I just wanted to point out the obvious. And I’m right. There are actually people that I know personally who have graduated with honors from there respected universities, yet they know diddly squat in the place that they are beginning their career. Just because your name has a university degree stamped behind it means that you are right for the job?

Don’t get me wrong; I want to go back to school. I love learning and exploring. I want to flood my brain with endless knowledge. I want to cram for a test the next morning, write a 5 page essay. But in order to do that, I have to work. I have to work a full time job. I’m not privileged enough to work a 12 hour a week part time job nor would I want to be.

I graduated from a 2-year community college working 1 full time job and 2 part timers. It made me a strong, motivated person. But it also made me realize that I couldn’t have both. It’s either work or school. I had to decide if I wanted to see what I could find with my 2 year and if it would get me anywhere. Or I could have continued on, not knowing what to major in all the while keeping up with the dead end full time waitressing gig. Would it have paid off? It might have. If I would have continued on; I’d more than likely have been done by now but what would I be doing? Where would I be going?

My mom has offered the suggestion of night school and/or online classes for a couple years now. Although I’ve brushed it off in the past; I think I might have to take that advice just to get my foot in the door. I have many passions but none of which I can see myself making a career out of. The biggest of which is photography. I would love to learn more about the art. Become formally trained on various editing programs and such but it’s difficult to be truly successful at it seeing that everyone and their sister thinks they are photographers. I also wouldn’t want to put myself through another 3 years of school just to find when I’m done that I’d continue on to live in poverty until I have a portfolio the size of Delaware created just for people to book a session with me.

I know what I’m good at. I’m great with numbers and budgeting. I’m a planner and an organizer. I don’t forget, I’ll get things done no matter how busy or stressed I am. I have great work ethic and perfect any messy situation that I’m thrown into. In all the jobs I’ve ever held, none were like the other. I had all the ingredients and no recipe. I was given the bowl and spatula and made it work. I love the thrill in doing that. The timeline of day one to day 365 where you can still remember the first day of no knowledge to a year later and you could do it with your eyes closed.

But what does that all mean? That isn’t the formula to a career path, it’s just the frosting to the cake. The good stuff, it’s the extra added bonus to the degree behind your name.

penisula

It’s time to stop wishing and hoping and dreaming. I’m beginning to think that it’s time to make a damn change. Even if I take a few classes here or there that simply interest me, I really do think that I’ll feel more accomplished. Hell, at the very least I’ll be learning something new. I’m also bound and determined to make a change in our living situation. We’re tired of the apartment life. I’ve always hated it. White walls and noisy neighbors? The view of a black slab with 50 cars isn’t really what I would call peaceful.

If a mother of 2 can go back to college, work, maintain a happy family life and succeed in doing so than surely I should have the balls to give it a shot. I might not ever be fortunate enough to own a peninsula with 1700 feet of lake shore surrounding it but I will (mark my words, I will) own a beautiful home with a lake view one day.

What are you going to change to make your dreams become a reality? Better yet, what have you done in the past to find success now?