My Life in 2016 So Far

Last March, I wrote a post called What Life Has Taught Me So Far in 2015. Almost exactly a year gone by and my life has completely changed. Since that last post, I’ve experienced 3 major life changes:

  • FINISHED COLLEGE
  • GOT ENGAGED
  • WENT BACK TO WORK FULL TIME

Yeah. Graduation officially happened in September last year but my engagement to the BF and new job happened back to back at the beginning of the year so when I say it’s been a whirlwind, I mean Whirl. Flipping. Wind. And I know you know what it’s like cause these seasons come to us all. For better or worse, everything gets flipped upside down and inside out and you’re left trying to catch your breath and find a new equilibrium. I can happily say however, that this whirlwind is definitely for the better. Still kind of catching up with everything but while the year is still relatively young and while I’ve got a few moments on the treadmill (yes, I’m on the treadmill), let me catch you up on my thoughts on my life in 2016 so far.

I had plans to write some pithy post about what life has taught me but right now, I just need to dump. Nothing profound, nothing special–just simple, raw thoughts. You may pass it up if you’d like, I don’t mind. This one’s for me. I need to unclog my brain and share a little of what’s been going on up there.

Thoughts on finishing college…

I feel like I’ve been working on my degree forever! I took a slow, more unconventional boat to getting my B.A. and now, in my mid-twenties, I can finally say I’ve got a degree. And while I must say it is quite lovely not to come home from work and have assignments waiting for me, my education has only just begun (and best better believe Karen Carpenter is singing in my head right now too). It was during the last year of school when I discovered that there were so many other things I wanted to learn about. Things like content marketing, passive income, writing, neuroscience, relationships, the benefits of reading, healthy lifestyle habits, productivity, etc. My reading list has just gotten longer and longer and I keep thinking, goodness, if I could just get paid to read and research I’d be set! In no way does my degree mean that I’ve arrived. I took some great classes and it’s a great foundation I wouldn’t trade but that’s what it is – a foundation. And a foundation is only worth something if you build on it. So even though I’m done with college (for now, anyway) I’m continuing my education. I’ve just shed the assignment deadlines :).

I don’t have as much time as I’d like with a full time job but one of my goals is to really take time to further my personal education, to indulge in the things that spark my intellect and creativity.

Being engaged to your best friend is the most wonderful thing ever 🙂

I was thrilled when the BF asked me to marry him. Being engaged to my best friend is the coolest thing and I love it. I truly love the man more and more every day. However, this new phase of our relationship does have its own set of difficulties that I wasn’t anticipating. Nothing bad, just challenging. We live over an hour away from each other and mostly only see each other on the weekends so finding time to get things done is sometimes tricky. We’ve got different priorities and navigating through and coordinating our own processes and procedures, if you will, is uncharted ground for me. And while sometimes it feels like the wedding is so far away, the days are flying by at such a pace that I feel like I’m never going to get anything done! That’s why I’m so thankful that God gave me a man who is not only a sweetheart, he’s also reasonable, understanding, and not high-maintenance. Cause while being engaged is all very romantic, it’s also a time when you’re forced to think practically and seriously about the future. We’re building a life, after all, not just planning a wedding. Being engaged to a man who gets all that and helps keep me balanced is such an incredible blessing!

HE ASKED SHE SAID YES
HE ASKED SHE SAID YES

New jobs are like new mission fields.

If there’s one thing I know about jobs, it’s that you’re not there just to make money. When you spend the bulk of your week at a place with a group of people, you have one very important responsibility: shine a light so that people’s lives are made better because you were there to be a positive influence for God. I believe that if you let Him, God will hand pick your place of employment, not just so you can pay the bills, but so that lives can be touched-yours included. I love the people and environment of my job, I couldn’t have asked for a better situation. My goal for however long I work at my office is to stay positive, work hard, and be His hands, feet, and voice. It’s not easy, especially when the day is stressful but I count it a privilege and I’m every grateful.

And for now, that’s all she wrote! I’ve been hard pressed to find time to write this year and I’m working on finding a new groove. I’ve got so many ideas for posts and things I want to share so I will get it together eventually. In the meantime, I’m going to take it all one day at a time, allowing God to lead and things to fall in place in His time.

Y’all enjoy the rest of your day <3        

March Report Card

It’s April, yo!  And that means it’s time for my report card for March.  In case you didn’t know, I write a to do list at the beginning of every month and then grade myself at the end of the month to see how many things I actually got done.  You can check out my to do lists and report cards on the sidebar.  For now, let’s take a look at how I did in March!

March Report Card (1)

  1. Plant the Garden F.  This isn’t really my fault (yes, with the excuses).  We had some landscape issues, and weather funkiness, and…okay so maaaaybe I could have tried harder. *SIGH* I’ve got plans to get some stuff later this week or early next week.  Because of the lateness of the season, I’m going to stick to mostly flowers and herbs.  As for my goal, yep, March was a fail.
  2. Read 3 Books – A.  I did manage to finish several titles last month.  I finished a print book I started in January (Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman), one audiobook that I started two years ago but dropped and never finished (A Time to Kill by John Grisham), a whole book on my Kindle (Rich Mom Home Business Startup Bible by Renae Christine, one of my all-time favorite YouTubers), and Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby 8-book series on audiobook (it was a lovely trip to my childhood).  Thank God for audiobooks!
  3. Learn 1 Song on the Piano – F. This didn’t happen in any shape or form.
  4. Start a Recipe Binder – C. I’ve started intentionally collecting recipes and planning the binder organizer but haven’t put it together yet.
  5. Spring Cleaning Challenge – F.  It really has just been downhill, y’all, oh man.  This didn’t happen either.

Recurring Goals

  1. Work out daily, M-F – A. I have been working out faithfully, thank you very much!  I’ve skipped maybe a day or two but my sore muscles testify to that well-deserved A!
  2. Blog at least twice a week – B. I lost some time transitioning to this site.
  3. Practice piano for at least an hour daily – F. Yeah, didn’t happen.

I’m not even going to go through the motions of calculating my grade, I failed.

Not dwelling, moving forward!

I’ll be posting my April To Do List tomorrow!

Happy April, y’all!

Elyssa

What Life Has Taught Me So Far in 2015

Once upon a time when I was an adolescent, I was under the vague impression that there would come a time when I’d have it pretty much figured out.  You ever think that when you were younger?  You feel like there’s got to be a time in life when you’ve got the answers to your most important questions and you’ve reached a sort of life groove?

Yeah, hasn’t happened yet and I’ve since come to the conclusion that it never will.  Life isn’t meant to be fully understood because it’s constantly changing.  While sometimes this is quite frustrating, overall, I’m glad that this is the case.  As the first quarter of the 2015 comes to a close, I think about the things I’ve learned in the past three months.  I’ve come to terms with a thing or two about my life and what I want it to be and what I don’t ever want it to be.  These are lessons that I want to carry with me through the rest of the year  my life.  They’re not new concepts by any means but I’ve consciously tucked them away into my adulthood for safekeeping.  Sometimes, you have to learn a thing more than once before it sticks.  As I embark on this new blogging chapter, here’s what I’ve got so far.

2015 Has Taught Me

You should never, ever, ever stop chasing what you feel called to do.

If there is something that your very being longs to do, something you feel God has placed a passion in your heart for, chase it.  Chase it with everything you’ve got.  God put each one of us here for a reason. Period.

I’ve learned that as long as your life purpose is to glorify God in all you do and seek after His heart, He’ll show you for what purpose your passions and talents were given to you.  Don’t ever lose sight of that. Ever.


There are too many things to explore in this life to be satisfied with the mundane.

This is something I struggle with because there are Mondays and gloomy skies and lethargic mornings where all I want to do is stay under the covers for just 15 more minutes, please.  I don’t want to drag my feet; I want to hit the ground running.  And even though there are a lot of awful things going on in this world – some of it we see and much more that we’ll never know of this side of heaven – Earth is still in the hands of her Creator and He’s still in control.  There are so many things to learn and explore and try and create and think about and discover and pursue.

I’ve learned that life is much too short and too precious not to embrace with your whole entire heart and if you don’t make a conscious effort everyday to not be satisfied with normal and mundane, life will pass you by and you’ll wake up one day wondering what happened!  I’ve learned that as challenging as embracing life fully can sometimes be, I know what the results would look like if I just treat every moment as an opportunity to learn, give, and move forward.


Chances, risks, & mistakes shouldn’t paralyze you.

I’m not a risk taker.  Most of the time, I like staying within visible parameters.  If there is a chance that I’m going to fail, I’d rather stick to where I’m comfortable.  What I’ve come to terms with seriously for the first time in my short life is the fact that IT’S OKAY TO TAKE CHANCES!!!  It’s okay to jump without a safety net sometimes.  It’s okay to make a mistake.  It’s okay to get your hands dirty, to speak when you don’t exactly know what to say, to walk through a door when you have no idea where it’ll lead to.  Take a deep breath and give it a shot.

I’ve learned that I need to chill out and let myself take a chance every now and again.


You don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Just keep moving forward with what you do know. 

This is just a continuation of the last one.  I like having everything lined up in front of me.  Perhaps this is why I’m particular about the books in my bookcases and why I color code the hangers in my closet.  Perhaps this is also why I have a hard time when it comes to making something work from a mess.  I like to have certain things just so before I dive in and tackle a project or task. However, there are times when it is chaotic and you just have to run with it.  There are times when you have to step forward even when all the bullet points are not there.  There are times when there isn’t a map and you have to figure it out as you go along.  While I’ve proven myself capable of this in some areas, there are other areas where I can’t seem to get it together.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to not know exactly what you’re doing yet.  Forward motion of any kind is much better than standing still and just waiting for the right conditions.  Granted, sometimes waiting is prudent – God sometimes asks us to wait – but sometimes you can’t afford to wait for ‘right conditions’, you have to do something in the interim.


Just because it didn’t work out, doesn’t mean you failed.

This is the hardest one for me to be okay with.  I’ve failed so many times at this blogging thing.  I’ve started so many projects that didn’t sail or didn’t work the way I wanted them to.  And yeah, I know that it took Edison a zillion tries before he got the lightbulb to work right and I know that L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables was rejected numerous times before it was finally published but there are days when failure and the fear of failure have been overwhelming and I feel like stuff isn’t worth pursuing anymore.  I mean, wouldn’t it be better to just content myself with those things that will ensure as much stability as one can have in this life?  Why try again at something that you’ve proven you’re not good at?

I’ve learned that Edison was right when he said that his failures were only the ways in which the lightbulb would not work which brought him that much closer to figuring out how it would work.  I’ve learned that trying again and again and again is part of the growing process.  Anything worthwhile takes hard work – sometimes that means picking yourself up where you failed and starting over again.


As you can tell, there’s an underlying theme of fearlessness and perseverance and embracing life.  That’s because these are things I failed to focus on last year.  Yes, I worked hard at my day job and school but I didn’t push as hard for excellence as I definitely could have.  This year, I’m determined to change that.  Three months into the year and I feel so much better about life than I did last year at this time.  I don’t have everything figured out but that’s fine.  It’s a work in progress!

What has 2015 taught you so far?

Stay blessed 🙂

Elyssa

currently {3.19.2015}

currently link-up

This week’s themes: 

loving – showing – shopping – making – choosing

I am loooooooooooooooving this site I found for making graphics.  How in the world did I not know of this before!?!? Canva.com is the awesome-est thing for non-professionals like myself who have no formal training but nevertheless have an eye for beautiful graphics.  You can create an account for free and start designing! There are some features you have to pay for but plenty to play around with without spending a dime!

Finally showing my new site off.  I’ve been working on my new blog, Purple Ink Studios for awhile and I’m so excited now that it’s got a pulse and heartbeat (as the BF put it, *giggle*).  Farewell old site! Yay for a new corner of the interwebs!

Shopping for nothing at the moment. But I did receive three new books in the mail today for the thesis paper on reading and the brain that I’m currently researching for.

Making…juice!  I’ve been juicing for the fam every night this week and it’s been lovely 🙂  Combinations have included carrots, apples, pears, celery, cucumbers, lemons, oranges, ginger, and pineapple.  Yummy!

Choosing a song to sing in church this week.  Haven’t quite nailed one down yet…

What are you up to?


this post is linked to Kale & Beans

Starting Over: Hello Spring!

I cannot believe that spring is going to be here tomorrow!!  I feel like I just drank in the new year with a bottle of Martinelli’s in a houseful of family and friends!  But here it is, the middle of March with springtime on its way and another chance for new beginnings.  New Year’s isn’t the only time for fresh starts.  Springtime, birthdays, the beginning of the school year in the fall, the start of a new job, etc..  Life comes in seasons and new beginnings present themselves in all sorts of places!  

This is one of the reasons why I’m here instead of my old blog, Popcorn and Purple Ink. It’s time for a new season of blogging.  Time for a fresh canvas, a clean slate.  There are things I want to try, personal limits I want to push, and a comfort zone I want to escape.  I felt like those were good enough reasons to create a new space in the corner of the interwebs.

Starting Over

I’ve been thinking about this for a loooooong time. Moving to a new blog can be kind of a big thing, not to mention a hassle, and I’ve been vacillating between staying put and moving to a brand new space. What finally jumpstarted me was the fact that my Popcorn and Purple Ink site was having issues.  Since I was already planning on switching hosting services, and since I’d been exploring new ideas and playing with a new platform concept, I figured now was as good a time as any to make the switch.

Popcorn is still my forever snack passion *giggle* but when it came to making changes to my internet presence, I decided it needed to be dropped.  I have a new project in the works and several other projects on the drawing board and in order to showcase my future stuff, I needed a different space that embodied it all better.  And where does a creative do her work? In a studio, yeah?

Hello Purple Ink Studios!

I’m soooo excited about the new site and what springtime will inspire!  I love this time of year and I don’t know if it’s spring fever or just the creative bug but I’m itching to make the most of the brand new season!

Welcome to my new space and if we’re meeting for the first time, I look forward to becoming friends!

Stay blessed 🙂

Elyssa