April 10, 2014

My dream isn't mine

over the past couple years, it has been no secret that i've struggled with dreaming and making it a reality. i've questioned myself and whether i was on the right path, or whether there was something else out there. maybe this whole struggle was to lead me to something else, and maybe it is, but maybe it's just about putting God first and sticking it out to see it through to the end. i feel like i'm starting to make it through to the light at the end of the tunnel, but i still have a long road to go.

my mom posted this on facebook earlier and tagged me in it. it immediately changed my perspective about the purpose of a dream. God gave me the dream in my heart of writing and telling stories to help others, to bring them closer to Him and to use my life as a witness. it's not about me at all. and the problem has been that i've been trying to work it out myself, forgetting why I'm even here in the first place. 

i'm looking forward to taking a step back and letting God work through me. 

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

{It's Wednesday}

It was another weird start to the day. I woke up at my usual time of 7 a.m. (with a horrible sore throat that didn't get much better as the day progressed), got ready, grabbed my stuff and out I went. Well, I decided to put my thermos with iced tea in my backpack. I thought sure it was sealed and sitting upright, so nothing would happen to it. I was wrong. By the time I got to school, I realized it had started leaking in my bag and had gone all over my notebook and was all over my pants. I didn't have time to go home, so I just had to cover up my pants with my binder, hoping no one noticed the giant tea spots on my pants as I walked in. Unfortunately, my notebook was all soggy and I had nothing else to write on, but later realized I wouldn't need it for any of my classes.

My poor notebook...
I went to my first class: Convergence Journalism, which I'm really enjoying. Today, we talked about interviewing, so it was a big review day for me and other journalists in the class. Then, we had to interview someone around us. After a few minutes, I finally asked someone to do it with me, and having done it last quarter, I felt like a pro with what to expect. We talked for a few minutes about our hobbies, our interests...Something that will get us a 350-word story out of it. We also found out that we went to the same community college and transferred at the same time, but since we have different majors, our paths have never crossed. I was kind of impressed with how outgoing I was about the whole thing. I know that my courage comes from God, because at least 10 years ago, I would have been terrified about new situations like that or the public speaking/leading I've had to do lately.

We even took a selfie- I wanted to document the moment! HA!
My next class was a bit of a surprise. We were supposed to be coming up with a source list for our stories, but instead, we went on a scavenger hunt around campus. We split up into teams, so I joined with a couple other editors from the paper that I'm friends with and a couple other girls who didn't have a group, but I've had classes with in the past. It was actually really fun. We walked all over campus- going to student affairs, financial aid, the campus police, and a couple of other places. We talked with whoever was in the office to find out more about the department, getting ideas for stories. It also gave me a chance to get to know the people in my group better; what their interests and passions are, as well as being able to tell them about the paper. Hopefully they'll join next quarter! It was a fun group, if nothing else. And now I actually know where things are on campus.WOO! Plus, I think we made a couple new connections, in case we ever need sources for stories that happen at school.

I was supposed to have lunch with my friend today, but it didn't work out, so we rescheduled for Monday. It was hot outside, so I decided to go to the newspaper to eat lunch, along with several other editors, which was nice, so I wasn't lonely! LOL. Class went by really fast today because we had a lot to cover. We all took pictures for our press passes, gave the story pitch ideas for our first issue, and I talked with my staff writers about their stories (AH! That's pretty cool to be able to say). I know all of this confidence is coming from my faith in Christ, because I've been trying to do this on my own, and I've been stressing myself out. I'm making a lot of changes this quarter, and I can already tell what a difference it's making. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and doubting myself, I've been excited about the challenge. The challenge of proving to myself that I'm capable of the dreams I've always had. I'm capable of helping others. I'm capable of being different than everyone else, and that's okay. In fact, for what God has planned for me, that's probably for the best. I'm starting to just do my own thing, and whatever comes after that is all a blessing.

After starting the book, I Am That Girl, I started realizing many things. I need to take more time for myself and to not burn out and finding out the reasons behind my procrastination. Now that I've put names to those things, I can beat them, and it has helped tremendously. I still have a lot to work through, but I think confidence is the key, and I'm finding it in pretty unexpected places. I guess when opportunity comes, you just have to rise to the occasion and get through it.

I was supposed to have an editor's meeting and another one for the journalism club, but no one really showed up, so we decided to call it a day. I hung around for a few minutes on campus in one of my favorite spots. I grabbed a seat on the bench under a shady tree in front of the school. I caught up on some snapchats and tweets, then headed out. 

When I got home, my mom and I made some fruit smoothies and watched Rob Lowe on Ellen! I just love that guy! I was mainly a fan just because I loved him on Parks and Rec, but I really like him as a person now. I worked on homework, rewrote notes in a new notebook and the like.

Later on, I watched American Idol, had dinner, and took medicine. I feel like I'm starting to come down with a cold or really bad allergies. My throat and head were bothering me, so I called it a night. I didn't even watch How I Met Your Mother before I went to bed. That's when you know I'm sick...Or becoming more responsible. Who would've thought?!

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

April 8, 2014

Just Another Manic Monday

This morning was not off to a good start. Actually, it wasn't a bad start..It was just weird. First off, I did not want to get out of bed when I heard my alarm go off. I tried to pretend that it was the weekend and I didn't have to go to classes, but no such luck. It was indeed Monday. I got dressed, put my makeup and was starting to worry about my class mix up situation. I was SO wanting to take Young Adult Novel, but because it was "Children's lit," I couldn't. Apparently I was signed up to minor in English lit, so it wouldn't count for credit. I was trying to figure out anything I possibly could to take it (and so I wouldn't have a Tuesday/Thursday class, like the one I had signed up for after I dropped Young Adult Novel).

The morning was a little more out of whack from there. I grabbed my stuff and off we went. We were already running a little later, and hadn't gotten very far when I realized that I had forgotten my lunch. We turned back around, I rushed in and...Take two! I walked into my convergence journalism class a few minutes after roll and the Power Point had already started, and had to just find whatever seat was on the end. Luckily, they were talking about the inverted pyramid, which I know a lot about, so I didn't miss much. We listened to the lecture, did an activity and called it a day. My next class, public affairs, followed the same pattern. Our prof talked to us about story ideas for the beat we're covering and gave us a chance to do some research.

Class got out earlier, so I decided to talk with my english adviser to talk about my class mix up. Luckily, she was in her office, so I was able to chat with her for a few minutes and she's so incredibly helpful and nice. I officially signed the papers to switch my minor from "English lit" to "Children's lit" and I am so excited about it. I figure if it's a goal of mine to write books, this would be the route I'd take. Plus, English lit can be a bit stuffy. And I get my Tuesdays and Thursdays back! WOO!

After I finished up there, I picked up a key from campus police, then found a quiet spot to eat lunch. While I was sitting there, some thoughts came to me.

So many people my age keep getting engaged. I do have an opinion on that, but at the end of the day, it isn't my place to say and it really doesn't matter what I think about it anyway. I'm no expert in the relationship field in the first place. 

There are several moments when I stop to think "Am I doing everything right?" "Am I doing okay?" I've never really had a relationship, like somehow that gives  meworth, and it doesn't. That's something I've really had to take a step back and learn over quite some time now. And you know what? I really do feel like I'm a good track right now. It's just a little different than I pictured. 

I'm so close to being done with school. I've had a lot of amazing opportunities and have been able to get out there and experience life with friends and family a lot more than I probably would have. I'm working towards a career in something I've always dreamed of. I'm finding out what I like, what I'm into, what kinds of decisions I make when it's solely up to me and not anyone else. I'm learning how to control my weaknesses and the things that set me off, becoming a better version of myself (or trying), and going where God has called me. This is by far the most exciting journey I have ever been on.

It's difficult, yes. It's challenging. But, at the same time, it's everything I could have hoped for! I remember just waiting and daydreaming about these moments in high school. When I wouldn't have a set plan, could pick my own schedule, could have a life OUTSIDE of school (well, I'm working on that a little) and could have new experiences. I'm living that out every single day.  

Each morning when I wake up, there's always a new battle that needs to be fought, whether or not I win, whether it's believing in myself that I have what it takes, finding the willpower to write a paper, call a source, get a meeting set up, etc. Some days, the challenge has just been getting out of bed and taking a chance on all of this; having faith that God has brought me to this and He will bring me through it.  

So, after all of these thoughts and finishing my lunch under the shade of a tree (where I used to sit when I didn't know anyone just a few months ago), I decided to go to our newspaper classroom. There are usually people in there, so I thought it'd give me a chance to hang out with them. A few of the editors were in there already, so I talked with them and started asking questions about what we were planning on doing for the day.

When class started, we all broke into different groups (photographers, returning writers, new writers and digital media), so we could focus on the things we needed to. I had one returning writer, so I mainly just chatted with him about some of the things he's interested in, which is Korean culture. He was telling me all about that, I told him about my interest in country music, and we talked about some of our connections/celebrities we've met. It opened my eyes to how we all have our things that we're into and passionate about, and we can all learn a little something from each other. After awhile, we decided to join the rest of the staff writers, where the other editors were doing "boot camp."

And then, we assigned/talked about stories that the staff writers wanted to write for this week. I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous...I mean, now I'm totally in charge. I don't necessarily have to run things by someone above me. I get the say. Well, unless I'm really unsure of what to do about something. But, it's really weird being the one to call the shots, so I'm still getting used to that. And I think I'm going to like it. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone in all kinds of ways this quarter, and I can't help but be thrilled for the opportunity.

Once all of the stories were passed out, I hung around to talk with some of the editors. I also decided that I'm going to join the journalism club, which will be meeting on Wednesdays. I figure it's a good way to get involved, and I spend most of my time in the newspaper class already.

When I finished there, my mom picked me up and we went to Starbucks. A long day always calls for a treat from Starbucks. My drink of choice was black tea with 10 pumps of vanilla that one of my best friends got me hooked on. We came home and I've been catching up on all of the TV I didn't get a chance to watch last night. It has been a good day, and I have a feeling that it's going to be an even better week.

That's all for now,
Shelby :)
Amen to that!

April 7, 2014

The Weekend Recap

Saturday was one of the nicest and most simple days I've ever had. I woke up a little earlier (I guess waking up earlier is starting to catch on...Not sure if I'm a fan yet) and vegged on the couch for awhile. I had a bagel, watched TV, then decided to take a bike ride. I never get the opportunity on Saturdays, so I thought, why not? Well, the weather has been very spring-like and warm, but today was very different. It was overcast and chilly, so I put on my sweats, grabbed my ipod and off I went. I listened to some tunes and just tuned out the world. Ah, bliss. I came home, finished watching Can't Buy Me Love starring a young Patrick Dempsey. I took a shower, ran some errands with my mom, stressed about a class mix-up I had, and came home for the rest of the afternoon. When my dad came home from taking care of things at work, we BBQ'd a late lunch/early dinner. It was so yummy. I also cleaned my room AND watched How I Met Your Mother. Later in the evening, I went out with my parents to get milkshakes and we went to Kohl's for a bit. I changed into my cozy clothes, watched Jeopardy and tried to to turn in a little earlier since it was going to a busy Sunday.

Yesterday (Sunday) was wonderful, and exactly what I needed, as I start getting into the real meat of this quarter. It's like the calm before the storm. A nice little reminder that life is still good, it just gets VERY intense for at least 8 weeks. GULP!

I woke up much earlier for a weekend than I would have liked, but it was all for a good reason. I set my alarm for 7:15 a.m, but turned it off and went straight back to sleep after it started playing "Where You Lead (I Will Follow)". Finally, my mom was practically yelling for me to get up, which almost gave me a heart attack, but got me out of bed. I got dressed and did my makeup in plenty of time.

We went to the early service at church, which gave us a chance to see a lot of people we don't normally on Sundays. It also gave us a chance to meet new people that we never see during our service. We worshiped (after a short glitch with the lights and sound), then got into the message about bitterness. It was really freeing to hear about letting all of that go, and not letting things just grow in our hearts. Which is what happens when we don't stay in tune or confront what's taking place in our lives. We have to get to the bottom of it or it will continue to control us. 

They were still having service!
After church, we stopped by Foster's for some donuts (YUM), then we came home to change and get  things ready for the rest of the day. I changed into my Dodger gear, grabbed my cameras, then my aunt came over. Once we had everything, we headed to LA. We listened to a Carole King tribute CD and Sara Evans' latest. We chatted about the latest happenings in our lives, celebrity news…Whatever. 

We made our way through the Pasadena area, and even passed the church from 7th Heaven, which was also used on The Office! We've passed it before, but I finally got a clear picture of it. We went straight to the Americana to eat lunch at Frida after that. It's a Mexican restaurant we had tried with family friends before, and it was SO good. Today was a bit different though, because of brunch and a mariachi band was playing. It was very loud, but we got in without a problem. The chips and (green) salsa were amazing, and filled us up before the food came. We ate, chatted, and listened to the Mariachi band playing directly behind us. It was very entertaining. 

My salad!
When we finished lunch, we didn't have any plans, so we walked around the shopping center. It was a beautiful day to be outside, so I didn't mind the warmth and the sunshine. We went into a few stores like Anthropologie and Free People, where I daydreamed about shopping trips that I will have there someday in the future. I also told my dad that will be after I buy his season tickets to the Dodger games. I better get a good job right after I graduate with all of these plans! HAHA! We also spent quite a bit of time in Barnes and Noble. I feel like even chain stores carry much more of a variety of things. I was even able to find the Parks and Recreation "Pawnee: The Greatest City in America" book. I was freaking out just a little bit. We wandered around a little longer, then decided to move to the next location in town, though we had no idea where we were going.
I wanted to go up to the Hollywood sign hiking trail, but after we made it to the area, my mom read online that it would take 45 minutes to walk the path. We didn't have enough time, so we drove around the area, which has gorgeous homes that I'm obsessed with looking at. We also stopped in the middle of the street, so I could get a picture with the Hollywood sign (I'm such a tourist). It was quite an adventure trying NOT to get hit by a car, too.

The thing about LA traffic is that you just never know when you're going to run into it, so you have to leave in plenty of time. And you might end up getting there much earlier than you intended, but you don't have time to stop anywhere else in between. It takes a lot of thinking and planning out what you want to do. Long story short...So we got to Dodger Stadium a little earlier. This is the first year we haven't had season tickets in awhile, so it almost felt like we were those "cool kids" who wore the wrong color that day and were kicked out of the "cool kids" club, so we can't sit at the table anymore. Okay, that's a little dramatic. But, it's weird that we can't go to any level we want anymore or any of the other perks. #firstworldproblems, right?
We parked, then went to our designated level, which was the same as the press boxes and suites. We hit the restrooms and concessions stand (I got cotton candy and a root beer), then went to our seats. We might not have season tickets, but I sure still felt spoiled with those tickets. There aren't many seats on the level, as there are only a few small sections. That means there's plenty of walking space, never a line for the bathrooms or snacks and we had our own row (made up of four seats), so people didn't have to keep walking past us. It was like a beautiful dream.

Lupe Fiasco (a rap artist) sang a couple songs (I had no idea I knew them) and a jazz Grammy winner played the National Anthem on his saxophone.  The first pitch was given by one of the former Dodger players, in honor of opening week. There are always so many festivities that take place during that first weekend, like a new chapter in the book that kicks everything off. It's a lot of fun!
We also thought that since it's a pretty special level, we might see some celebrities walk past. We didn't, but it was still fun holding out hope. I did see that Taylor Spreitler and Sterling Knight were in the suites on the opposite side of us, which was pretty cool. PLUS, they showed the fan code of conduct video and ADAM SCOTT (Parks and Rec) was in it! I was so excited! Throughout the game, I was also keeping track of the ACM winners, since the awards were on that night. Let's just say, I was very disappointed in most of the winners. But, what else is new?

Quote of the day:
Me- I hate that it feels like Saturday. I'm gonna wanna punch myself in the face in the morning.
Mom: Can I do it?
(She was obviously kidding; I actually found it kind of funny) 

At the end of it all, the Dodgers finally won, which just reminds me that we are the good luck charms, Haha. It was such a fun time of hanging out with my family, pigging out on just about everything (root beer, cotton candy, twizzlers, pretzel, a few peanuts,etc) and cheering on the Dodgers. I'm just sad that we won't be able to go to a lot of the games this season. It's one of my favorite places in the world, and often it's the place that inspires so many of my ideas and stories. There's something in that Los Angeles air that will make you dream bigger than you ever have before.

As soon as the "I Love L.A" song came on, we headed out to the parking lot and got out incredibly fast. I had such a rush on the way home and felt excited, although a bit nervous for some school stuff. But, I'm learning to let it go. Everything always turns out fine, so why sweat it? We listened to the hits on the way home, talked, and stopped by In-N-Out, even though after all we'd eaten, I don't know how we were still hungry.

When we got back in town, I needed lunch for today, so I picked up a salad from Win Co and we came home. We said goodbye to my aunt, then came inside. I started preparing some notes for the newspaper, then I decided to call it a night, before I stressed myself out. I read some of my Pawnee book and watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother. Then, I turned off all the noise and soaked up the darkness, as I drifted off into sleepyland.

That's all for now,
Shelby :)