Musings

A Clean Home is a Happy Home.

Hello, my dear friends! A happy Friday to you all. Perhaps this is a bit of wishful thinking, but it did feel like there was a slight autumn chill to the air today…Which has me thinking about how I’ve almost been writing on this blog for a whole year. That is so amazing! Perhaps I’ll do a post about what I’ve learned in my first year of blogging. I’ve enjoyed this yearlong adventure, and I can’t wait to continue on this journey!

Today’s blog I wanted to talk about the notion that a clean home is a happy home. I’ve written in previous blog posts that our homes needn’t be impeccable to be cozy and homey, and I still stand behind that. HOWEVER, I will say that a clean home makes for a happy home.

I write this blog post from my room that is a bit more messy than I’d care to say. And it’s making for a hectic mind. Too much stuff laying around has a way of making our minds reflect the state of our surroundings. I’ve always struggled a bit with being a messy person. It takes a very conscious effort for me to put things away instead of leaving them where I set them down. And the older I get, the harder I try to be a tidier person. And I will say that I have gotten quite a bit better at it, but there is certainly always room for improvement.

I’ve seen a sentiment floating around the internet that I absolutely adore. The idea that we need to begin thinking of cleaning in a brand new way. Instead of thinking of it as a chore and something we do NOT want to do, we think of it as an act of self care. The idea that we DESERVE to have a home that is clean. It seems like such a simple change, but it really has had quite a profound impact on the way that I view cleaning. And it’s really changed me, because as I write this, I’m compiling a list of all the things I’m excited to do around the house tomorrow.

For example, I’m excited to do my laundry tomorrow, because how wonderful is it that I have a washer and dryer to clean my clothes with? And how wonderful is it to have clean clothes?

As always, it’s the little things in life…

And on that note, my dear friends… I will sign off and wish you all sweet dreams, as this is another late night post.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

Advertisements
Musings

Moving with Mattie.

Hello, friends! This blog is brought to you by an IPhone photo I took months ago, and a blog post predominantly penned on my smart phone. Not how I usually do things, but sometimes, we just have to make do with what we have. My laptop is packed away, my camera battery is dead, and I’ve had hardly a spare second today! I should be able to have a better quality blog post come Wednesday, but today has been a busy day spent packing and moving.

It’s so crazy to think that I’m moving from my little town of Mount Pleasant. I’ve moved a time or two in my life, but I’ve lived in Mount Pleasant for the past eighteen years. And today is officially the day. Well, technically tomorrow is the big move-in day, but yesterday was my last night at my little ol’ apartment. Tonight will be spent at a friend’s house. And then come 9 AM, move-in appointment!

I’m such a terribly sentimental person that I can’t help but wistfully think of every little thing as my last time before I move. I even felt a bit melancholy about it being my last time at the laundromat. If I let it get any further, the next thing you know I’ll be saying farewell to the dumpster that’s behind my apartment.

Oh, isn’t packing just the most dreadful thing? I’ve done my fair share of it, but I’ve never gotten any better at it. I definitely didn’t start the packing for this trip until waaaaay later than I should have. You never realize how much stuff you have until you have to shove it all into boxes and bags.

I’ll admit, the packing up of my fridge magnets made me the saddest, of all my packing done thus far. Bobby, ever so practically reminded me that there will be a fridge at the new apartment.

But that fridge isn’t this fridge!

There are things I will not miss, of course. How gloomy it was to only have one window in the whole apartment, how horrendous and prison-like it felt.

And I don’t want to give off the impression that I’m not excited for this move — I’m SO excited, but gosh, am I bad at saying goodbye.

That’s when I need to remember that it’s not a firm goodbye!!! It’s just a “see you soon”!!!

Again, this post isn’t like what I usually post, nor is it terribly long, but I thought it would serve as a good update for all of you, my dear friends.

Thank you so much for reading!

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae

Musings

One Last Lunch.

Hello, friends! And a happy Friday to you all! Today’s post is one that was not planned at all. I had another post ready to go, but then I felt compelled to write this. It’s more of a journal entry than a blog post, but I still felt the desire to share it on my blog.

I suppose a small bit of a context, for those who don’t know, I’m moving on Monday to Traverse City, and today is my last day at my job in Mount Pleasant.

Today is my last day on CMU’s campus.

For the foreseeable future, anyhow. I knew I would feel wistful for the people, but I didn’t think I would be wistful for the location, but sitting here on my lunch break, I do feel melancholy.

I’m sitting on a bench by the fountain and the pavilion where I had my prom photos taken, years ago. There are other people taking their lunch break, riding their bike, or even going to their transfer orientation.

I think it’s easier to feel wistful when it’s sunny out. When it’s cloudy, I just find myself feeling mournful. There will be beautiful sunshine filled days in my new city, but they will not be this one. At this bench, by this fountain, eating this lunch. That’s just the nature of life, although I struggle with that fact.

Through various trees and bushes I can see the building where I took my first creative writing class. The brick exterior is slightly outdated, but still charming in its own way. I would argue more so than the newer, more expensive buildings. I can feel myself getting sunburnt as I run my bare feet through the grass.

It’s so easy to be impatient for the future, or to be nostalgic of the past. If that’s the case, why is it so hard to be present in the now, when in its own way, it’s a mixture of the two? I’m trying to soak it all in, the sound of the lawn mower across the way, the rice stuck in my teeth, and even my furrowed brow, brought on by the absence of sunglasses.

I’m living in the present because before I know it, it will be the past. I spent snow days in my dad’s office, on this campus. I accompanied my mom to “Bring Your Child to Work Day”, but that was then. And this is now.

Now looks a little something like this: I’m sitting, in the sunshine, with rice in my teeth, accompanied by the summer sounds of my sleepy little town, until I can no longer hear them. And though I do feel wistful, I also feel content.

—————————————————————————————

A little different of a post today, my friends, but I hope that you enjoyed it all the same. Life is forever moving, and it can be far too easy to get caught up in the changes. Sometimes, all we need is a moment or two where we allow ourselves to be totally present of the world around us.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

What Makes a Home?

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday! As always, I hope that this week is treating you well. Today I wanted to write a blog about the concept of home, something I find to be a bit more complicated than a place with four walls and a roof. Let’s dive in!

I know that I’m very blessed to have had multiple households where I’ve grown up to feel safe and loved. It’s not always that way for everybody. Sometimes we need to find and create our own homes. They don’t need to be big and fancy, in fact, I prefer them to be small and cozy. It can be a place of your own creation. I’ve been thinking about this more and more as I get ready to make my first big girl move — moving out of Mount Pleasant.

As I get older, I also begin to think of the home I’ll want to provide for my children, once I have them. What kind of home would they want? The kind of home we want for our children, we should aim to create for ourselves. If we want a place where a child would feel safe, we need to have an environment where we also feel safe in. And I know that life is hard, and it can be unfair. Sometimes we’re forced to endure situations where we do not feel safe or loved. Maybe the only safe place we have is the one we create within ourselves, and that becomes our home.

In addition to creating this safe and loving atmosphere for ourselves, we must also be sure to produce an atmosphere where others can feel safe and cared for. I became all too aware of how greatly others need a safe spot when I was working with elementary school students. For many children, school was where they felt safest, and where they felt most cared for. It was the closest thing they felt to home, being at school. Feeling safe is an important feeling that people can often take for granted. I know that I do. And it’s not lost on me how fortunate I am. Until I win the lottery, I will not be able to build physical homes for people, but I can always make sure that people feel cared for and that they feel safe.

And it’s certainly not always easy. We interact with people who are rude to us, and it doesn’t exactly make us feel up to replying with kindness. And we can’t forget to keep ourselves safe in the process. Both physically and mentally. This can be very difficult, and I find it quite tricky, finding the balance. I worry so much about seeming rude, but we must remember it’s better to be seen as a little curt, than to put ourselves in a situation where we’re in harm’s way. You deserve to feel safe, too.

We must do our best to create a space where people feel safe and comfortable but never at the price of our own safety. Which is easier said than done, I know…

It’s not selfish wanting to be safe.

Perhaps I’ve spun this idea of a metaphorical home too far from my original sentiments, but I do believe that they’re connected still. Everyone has different resources and different opportunities in life, and as always, all we can do is our best. ❤

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Simply Summertime: Five Simple Living Activities for Summer.

Hello, friends! A very happy Monday to you all! Today I wanted to write a post that is slightly reminiscent to this one, but different enough that I thought it was worthwhile to share. I felt compelled to write this in order to provide some inspiration for summer activities that are simple and don’t include spending unnecessary amounts of money.

  1. Admiring the flowers. I suppose that this one could work for spring as well, but I’m from Michigan, and you never know when these beauties will finally make an appearance. Appreciating flowers can happen all sorts of ways. You can find flowers in their natural habitat, or you can go to a grocery store to admire all of the beautiful pots of flowers they have. And maybe buy one or two… Or, see if anyone you know has a garden and would be willing to donate to your flower fund! I especially like the thought of that because then you have a patch of flowers that represent so many wonderful people that are close to you! My mom has a beautiful variety of flowers that come from many loved ones’ gardens.
  2. A picnic lunch. I absolutely adore picnics. I think they’re a lovely way to feel as though you’re eating out for much smaller of a cost! You may even be able to make a picnic lunch using food you already have in your kitchen. It’s a wonderful thing to do, especially when all you have are bits and pieces. A couple odd carrots, a handful of berries, and a chunk of cheese could be the base to an absolutely lovely picnic. And if the weather isn’t being kind, it’s also fun to have an indoor picnic! It’s the perfect rainy day activity. Rainy day picnics with a board game are such a wonderful way to pass the day!
  3. A scenic bike ride. Owning a bike is so wonderful because it can be put to practical use, when you have somewhere you need to be, or a leisurely purpose, when one has nowhere they have to be, but they just want to be out and about. You can look and see what sort of trails your town has, and take advantage of them. Some towns may not have such trails, but you could still bike all the same! You could maybe even sneak in an errand or two, especially if you have a nice little basket attached to your bike. Maybe a quick trip to the farmer’s market or to return some books to the library.
  4. An air-conditioned read. Speaking of libraries… I think that libraries, of course, are wonderful year-round, but there’s something about summertime library visits that are all the more magical. Maybe it causes me to reminisce of my summer breaks as a child, or maybe it’s because the air-conditioning in the library is such a wonderful refuge from the heat outside. Either way, this is one of my favorite activities to do in the summer. And once you have gotten your fill, you can continue your read under a nice and shady tree. How lovely!
  5. Wandering the Farmer’s Market. And speaking of farmer’s markets… I love a good farmer’s market. It’s so heartwarming to see so many hardworking individuals with so many wonderful things to sell. Maybe switch out getting your green beans from Meijer one weekend to buy a package of them from your local farmers. Or skip baking a loaf of banana bread to buy one from a local baker. I love making my own food, but I also love supporting local people as well. Bigger companies won’t care if you do or don’t buy one single loaf of bread, but for small businesses and local farmers, it will mean much, much more. I think it goes without saying that you shouldn’t spend yourself broke at farmer’s markets, but I definitely would suggest going and supporting your neighbors!

Thank you so much for reading, my lovely friends. I hope that your day has been wonderful so far, and that you’re able to take a minute or two today for yourself. A small thing or two that makes you happy!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Returning to my Bookworm Roots.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday! This week has been a pretty good one. I’ve been minimizing my screen time considerably, which makes me feel so refreshed! I mentioned in my last blog how I have been sewing quite a bit, but I’ve also been reading!

When I was younger, I spent most of my time reading. I read a couple of books per week, devouring them whole. I think around middle school is when I began to read less and less. And that continued into high school and college. I would read for my classes, but seldom did I read anything for pleasure. Nor did I enjoy reading most of the books I was assigned. I fell out of love with my dear friend, books.

Only recently have I begun to read for fun again.

I was always one of those people who read multiple books at a time, and it turns out, I still am! I’m reading four books currently. I’m thinking I want to start a section on my blog where I discuss the books I’m reading, so look out for that!

I’ve begun to carry around a book with me wherever I go, so that I can read instead of being on my phone. During my lunch break, I’ll try to read instead of scrolling. I’ll still look at my phone, but I’ll break up my screen time with some book time! Or last night, when I was at the laundromat, I brought a book along to read while I waited for my clothes to dry. I find I have an easier time reading when I’m not at home, probably because I’m not focused on all the things I could be doing instead. So a bit of a tip, if you can’t concentrate on your book, go elsewhere! I favor coffee shops, parks, and believe it or not, the library.

I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with being on our phones, but what I dislike is how automatic it is for me to grab my phone when I’m bored or when I have a free second. I want to break myself of that habit. I think it’s okay to be on our phones, but I think we need to work on being more intentional with our screen time. I think when it gets to be a problem is when we think that being on our phone is our only option when we have leisure time. Sometimes what we need is some mindless scrolling, but we certainly do not need it all the time.

Nowadays I have the worst attention span, I will watch tv AND be on my phone at the same time and STILL be bored. I find that I need several layers of stimuli. Which is such a bad habit to get into, because you end up not being totally focused on either activity I’m old enough where I can remember a time where I didn’t need to be entertained as much as I do now. I am trying to get back to that.

I also enjoy reading because it feels much more intentional. You’re making an active choice to NOT be on your phone.Which, if you’re anything like me, is your default. Bored? Go on your phone. Lonely? Go on your phone. Uncomfortable in a social situation? Go on your phone. Whatever I do, I like to make sure that I’m being intentional in it. I will say that pretending to make a phone call is probably better than a book to remove oneself from an uncomfortable situation…

Another thing I’ve rediscovered is how wonderful it is to read myself to sleep. I did it all the time as a kid, but now I spend my time before bed on my phone. I am all too aware that I shouldn’t do that, but I do it anyway. I’ve been trying to read more before bed, and it helps me get to sleep so much quicker. If I’m on my phone, I can stay up for HOURS, even when I’m past exhaustion. Reading allows me to listen to my body’s signals, and to pick up on when its time for bed.

As with anything, this process is taking time. Before I had a phone, reading was the thing I did without thinking, but now, things are different. I’m working on trying to get better with my choice of free-time activities. I’m not trying to villainize people who use their phone instead of read, not at all. I think there are definitely times where we need some mindless activities. I just wanted to share this blog to inspire others to revisit what we loved in our younger days. Perhaps it’s time to make a visit. 🙂

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

Musings

Midwest Summer: Past and Present.

Hello, friends! I hope that your Friday is going well so far! I have OFFICIALLY gotten into the summer mood, even if it’s not technically summer yet. Today’s blog post is really just a list of assorted memories and things that I’m looking forward to doing in the summer. A hodgepodge of summer fun, if you will.

I am looking forward to going to the park, surrounded by the green, green, grass. A bountiful picnic lunch is brought along, as is a book. I recently re-bought Anne of Green Gables, as my old copy was MIA. (I bought Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea for $2.00 total at Goodwill!!!) It was one of my favorite books when I was younger, and I just recently started to watch the Anne with an E series on Netflix, and it reminded me how much I loved the books.

I think back to summer break as a child, my FAVORITE thing to do was to read outside. We had a large tree in our front yard that was perfect for leaning up against while reading, as long as I remained vigilant, there were bugs crawling around, after all. I shuddered to think of ants crawling on my bare legs, or bugs finding their way into my hair. However,  I was in their world, so I had to be kind.

My current apartment has ZERO grass surrounding it. The back of my apartment is an ally, with many a dumpster surrounding it. The front of my apartment goes towards the rest of the downtown area. To achieve my dreams, I must go to the park. Which is really no trouble at all, but it sure feels like a feat some days.

And oh, the Farmer’s Market! I look forward to them every single year. Ours just started, but I haven’t been able to go yet. Bringing a little picnic basket and buying some fresh fruit and supporting local farmers… Last summer I went and bought peaches and freshly baked banana bread. How fun is it that now I can make banana bread, too!

I remember doing Sparklers as a little girl, and how magical those seemed. Spelling my name out with them, my ankles being eaten alive by mosquitos. And how cool it was that I was able to be outside AFTER DARK!!!

Or even going to the river and wading in it, having the time of my life, despite it being packed to the brim with fellow townies.  I didn’t mind.

Even more exciting, the rare trip to the beach! Making sandcastles and writing my name in the sand, watching the water erase my characters.

Going to the library, relishing the air-conditioning inside, choosing stacks upon stacks of books to devour. I favored historical fiction, anything about the Titanic, Jupiter, or the Bermuda Triangle.

Walking hand-in-hand to the nearby gas station with my dad and brother to choose a treat, typically an ice-cream, a sucker, or a couple Bazooka Joes. Maybe even a Faygo Cream soda.

Or gardening with my mom, not really knowing  what I was doing, but enjoying the time spent with her all the same.

Right now I have a little strawberry plant that’s growing on my windowsill. Every day I’m excited to check on its progress and give it an encouraging word or two. Seeing the little sprouts getting bigger and bigger each day!

Going for walks with my Grandma after dinner. Her letting me put my dolls and stuffed animals in a little buggy. Ice cream and popcorn afterwards.

Learning how to make flower crowns out of the dandelions that always overtook our yard. Never quite getting it, just enjoying being surrounded by flowers.

Celebrating my brother’s birthday with an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.

This blog post is definitely different from other ones, more snippets of thoughts than actual  concrete thoughts, but I’m feeling extra sunshiney lately, and wanting to write a post featuring some of my favorite SIMPLE summer things.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

Musings

A Writer’s Worst Nightmare: Writer’s Block.

Hello, friends! Happy Friday to you! I hope that this weekend proves to be refreshing and relaxing.

I come to you, my friends, less prepared than normal. I have 10 drafts of posts that I want to write, but can’t seem to execute them as I’d like to. My perfectionism comes out in full force in my writing. I want to write these blogs as well as I can, but it sometimes puts me at a freeze .

I think of little snippets of stories, poems, or blog posts, but can only seem to get a little bit out. It’s miserable.

Then, the spiral happens — I become convinced that I’ll never write anything good ever again. Not only that, but I tell myself that I’ve never actually written anything good ever.

This feeling, I’m sure can be shared with anyone who has a creative soul. It’s quite troublesome imagining ourselves as fraudulent in the field(s) we feel comfortable and confident in.

And then, there are other days when we have heaps and heaps of ideas, and there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to create them all. Those are the most invigorating of days.

I am going to be speaking about writing, but you can, of course, apply it to whatever creative endeavor speaks to you.

I am of the opinion that one must write through the block.

Which isn’t to say that you shouldn’t write about things you aren’t passionate about, not at all. I’ve found that if I continue to write, I will eventually find something I find interesting. Even if that thing is writing about not being able to write.

In all of my creative writing classes, we do exercises that help us open up our mind to writing.

One of them that I find to be most helpful is setting a timer for a couple of minutes and writing whatever comes to mind. Even if it’s utter nonsense. Sometimes, you’re so fixated on an issue in your life, you’re not able to write about anything else until you are able to mull it over in your head and/or on paper.

Another good exercise is to compile a list of some of your favorite words. Oftentimes this will fuel your brain and you’ll be able to write a poem/ story centered around those words.

Another thing that I find to be SUPER helpful is to find inspiration in different forms of media.

I’m heavily inspired through poetry, nature, and short stories.

I think that consuming art of any media will help you create.

We do not exist in a vacuum, our work benefits greatly when connected to our world.

It’s much too easy to become frustrated with ourselves when we’re unable to create as much as we’d like to, but it’s so important to KEEP GOING.

It’s true, you’ll never write anything good ever again… if you don’t continue to write.

You’ll make your own nightmare come true if you give up on your craft, and what a terrible thing it would be to deprive the world of your creativity!

Being a creative-type is difficult, because we can often find ourselves being much too hard on ourselves.

For me, comparing my writing to my peers’ is like shooting myself in the foot. 

It hurts nobody but myself, and it does NO GOOD. 

If available, go to readings. Little gets me as fired up for writing as hearing other people’s stories. When I go, I always bring a notebook so that I can write down my ideas.

Which brings me to one of the most important tips of all — WRITE DOWN YOUR IDEAS.

Otherwise, you WILL forget them. It doesn’t matter how great of an idea it is, you WILL forget them. 

I cringe to think of all the ideas that I’ve lost because I’ve failed to write them down. This is especially true for when we wake up in the middle of the night after having the most bizarre dream. You think to yourself, “How could I forget this? It’s so weird!” Trust me, you’ll forget.

Sometimes, sleepy time Mattie leaves notes for awake Mattie that are utter nonsense, but sometimes… they give me inspiration for something really wonderful.

(A bad night’s sleep can result in a really great work of art.)

Another writing tip I have is to write about what interests you. It doesn’t have to be life-changing, you just have to find it interesting.

I used to be far too caught up in having my writing feel BIG and IMPORTANT. It just led me to not write as often as I would’ve liked to. Not everything has to mean something, although when you’ve taken as many creative writing courses as I have, it’s hard to NOT find meaning in everything. 

Thank you so much for reading, friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings · Uncategorized

When You’re the Only First Grader Who Hasn’t Lost a Tooth.

Hello, friends! I wanted to try something a little different on the blog today. I always like sharing stories from my own life, but I thought I’d make this one a little more autobiographical. Flesh out some details a bit, stretch out my creative writing muscles. It’s a little sillier than I usually do, but hey, we all need silliness sometimes.

Here we go!

I was blessed with incredibly strong teeth. I’ve yet to have a cavity, despite my lack of flossing. Sorry to my dentist, if you ever find my blog… This may be a blessing I can recognize now, but my younger self found it to be a curse.

I was a happy first grader. I loved reading and writing, my favorite book being one about the Titanic that I would hide in the classroom so that no one else could take it. A happy and slightly devious child, it would seem. My only real complaint was that I hadn’t lost any baby teeth.

I envied those around me, I was the ONLY first grader who hadn’t lost any. I had a neon pink pillow that had a tooth-sized pocket. Should one lose a tooth, it could be inserted in said pocket to allow the Tooth Fairy easier access. It lay in my bunk bed, TAUNTING me.

At lunch, my classmates would drink from their juice boxes, resting the straw in their newly formed gap. I seethed with jealousy. I begrudgingly placed my straw between top and bottom teeth.

I remember singing “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”, but changing the lyric to, “All I want for Christmas is to lose a tooth, to lose a tooth…”. I played this Kidz Bop Christmas anthem on my Barbie CD player on repeat.

Ah, the things we worried about…

Time passed as the school year came to an end. My peers were losing their second, their third, their fourth tooth. I still had a smile full of teeth.

And then, one day, it happened. Ironically enough, I don’t remember the days leading up to losing my tooth. I was most likely too blissed out to function properly. Not washing my hands nearly enough for the length of time my fingers were in my mouth, but one day, it happened. My tooth was loose and then my mom pulled it out for me and I was a brand new woman. At least that’s how I felt. Let’s just say I would have much rather had this as my rite of passage, as opposed to actual puberty.

I don’t know what got me to thinking about this today, but remembering this made me smile. And due to the fact I’ve taken one too many English classes, I can’t seem to take anything at surface-level. My own memories included.

If anything, what can we learn from this story?

Perhaps the lesson that can be learned is that the things that seem life or death to us, really are neither. They’re not life-giving,  but they also will not kill you. Most of the time, they’re just something that will happen or won’t happen. When looking at life this way, some of the day-to-day stress can be removed. Some things are, of course, within our control, and we should try our darnedest, but for the things we cannot control…

Or perhaps the lesson is patience. Good things will happen, one must only wait for them. We’ll achieve life at a different pace than others, we must learn to be content with that. For metaphor’s sake, we won’t all lose our baby teeth at the same time.

What about: empathy for children? For many little ones, the world can seem like a sort of scary place. And small occurrences like this are a big deal to them. As we would with an adult, we must listen to their concerns and have love in our hearts for them. These children are not worrying about job promotions ,taxes, or politics, this is their life, this is what they’re concerned about. Some things seem minuscule to us, but to others, they can mean the world. Which, of course, extends to everyone, not just children.

Maybe there is no real lesson, this is just a silly little story from my childhood. Regardless, I thought I’d share it with y’all and hopefully bring a smile to your face on this dreary little Monday!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

When College Doesn’t Fit Right.

Happy Monday, my friends!

It’s graduation season! I’ve seen so many posts online of people at their graduation, it’s really heartwarming to see people whose hard work has come to fruition. I love it so much, especially when people are really passionate about the field they’re going into. They’re so alive with their potential and the possibilities that their college degree has granted them. It’s so strange to think that I started college three years ago, in August of 2016. I feel simultaneously as though that was ages ago and partially as though it was yesterday.

I’m writing this post having only recently made the decision to take some time off of school. Which isn’t something that I can admit without a slight tinge of embarrassment. I do feel quite embarrassed about it, honestly.  I overworked myself, tried too hard to be perfect, and as a result, I wound up severely burnt out. And I’m at the point where I’m questioning what I even feel passionate about. All the things I feel passionate about aren’t necessarily something you can get a degree in, trust me, I’ve tried. I’ve been an education major, an English major, and most recently, a Child Development major. And they’re all logical choices. I’ve always wanted to have children and I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Then where does the problem lie? Why can’t I seem to stay committed to one major?

And honestly, I don’t know. It’s something that I’ve been praying about a great deal. What am I meant to do? How should I live my life? Where is my life taking me? Why can’t I just pick a dang major and stick with it so that I can graduate? Why!

Every fiber of me feels the need to graduate college in four years. Even the thought of taking time off of college makes me feel ill. Despite being a slightly strange child, and an even stranger teenager, I’ve always been very concerned about doing what I thought was expected of me. My people-pleasing ways strike again!

And I hate saying that I don’t have goals for the future, but I just can’t say that they coincide with academia. Which again, isn’t to say that I don’t like learning. I love it, I always have. I just can’t seem to find that zest for knowledge within the walls of college.

And I do think that a rather large part of this has been the burn out. I’ve tried to do too much throughout my college career which resulted in me feeling as though I could do nothing. I had no desire to learn, because I knew that I couldn’t show what I was learning with my professors. I am terrified of people finding me lacking, especially when it comes to intelligence.

I am at perpetual war with myself, my free-spirited tendencies clashing with the practicality deeply embedded in me. I want to do what I’m told is normal, but it causes such great unrest within me. I’m not motivated by success, I suppose. At least in the sense of wanting a career. I was drawn to an education major and a child development major because it mirrors what I want, but not enough. And the same for my English major.

If I had my dream world, it would involve me being a mother and also being a writer. Those have always been the things I’ve held closest to me. If y’all can tell by my slightly obsessive writing schedule and my need to hold every baby that’s within a couple feet of me.

Again, all of this is so terrifying to say. I don’t want people to think I’m too idealistic or lazy or unintelligent, because believe me, I realize that this all sounds kind of strange. But I know that there must be people out there who can relate, and maybe by sharing this, they won’t feel as though they’re alone. Alone in what, I don’t even know. I felt compelled to share my story because I know what college does to people. Even for people who have these grandiose visions that require years and years of schooling.

We all have different paths, so why do we feel as though we’re required to accomplish our goals the same way? Four years in college, grad school for some, but for the majority, right into the workplace. That can make even the hardest of workers go mad. I think it’s important for us to push ourselves so that we can evolve as people, but not to the point of exhaustion. I’ve talked about this several times, but I don’t think we should be living these fast lives. Of course there are some people who thrive with such lives, but I am not one of them. I’m a hard worker, but I am not a fast worker. I cannot work at a fast pace without compromising the quality of my work. That’s just how I’ve always been. I’ve spent much of my life trying to change that, but it’s who I am. And that’s okay.

I long for a world where people aren’t turned into numbers. They’re not defined by how long it took them to graduate college, how much money they make, or even how many hours they work a day. It drives me crazy! And I totally understand that people will disagree with this, but as always, I can only speak for myself. I have no desire to live a fast-paced life in the hopes of becoming a billionaire.  All I want is a comfortable life surrounded by those I love. My goals may seem small, or perhaps like I have no drive in life, but I don’t think that’s true. I think that my goals are worthwhile and I think that they’re important. Not everyone can be the same, the world would be unbalanced if this was so. We need dreamers, we need doers. We need people being true to themselves. People who are working hard, but are remembering that they are an individual.

I realize that I’m extremely privileged to be able to go to college and that is not lost on me. I am extremely grateful for all the options that I have, but because I have so many options, I feel it would be wrong for me not to utilize them. It’s a wonderful thing to have a choice and I realize that not everybody has one. I’m so thankful that I do. And none of this is to say that I won’t go back to college. Perhaps once I’ve taken some time off I’ll realize that I do want to pursue something that I haven’t even considered yet. I don’t know where life will take me. None of us do! Isn’t it exciting? 🙂

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae