Sunday, November 9, 2014

Reflections of 26 years!

So here I am, 26 years old and wondering, and thinking about my life, reflecting my past 26 years and thinking how I can improve and make the most of my next year of life, I feel that the older I get the more I think about my life and think about how I can improve it! I'm not going to lie, there's been times that I've thought, why is my life going the way it is going? I've thought about how my journey has been so different from any of my siblings. I mean all of them were married way before my age. But then I think of the awesome experiences I get to have and how great it is that each individual is unique, we all have our own path and our own story and journey. And although, if you would have asked me 8 years ago (as a high school senior) if I would've seen myself here where I am today, I would've laughed. But I know I really wouldn't have it any other way because the things I've lived through my life, and learned are particularly unique to me and I couldn't have learned my lessons another way. It's unreal how much God knows and loves us, that he lets us experience our own path, you know one size does not fit all, so I'm grateful, that doesn't mean I don't question my life and where it is going sometimes, but I do trust the Lord. So what have I accomplished in my 26 years of life?

1. First I fought off a birth defect, okay probably the doctor was incorrect the first time, but still according to him I should be paralyzed, and in a wheel chair, but last time I checked my legs work just fine, and my spine… well it's golden!

2. I had my first (and only) boyfriend from kindergarten to 2nd grade, talk about a long term relationship. Never thought that at 26 my only relationship would've been an elementary one.

3. I got baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, (It will be 18 years on Nov. 30 from my baptism, and Dec. 1 for confirmation) greatest decision of my life, although I may not have known it at the time.

4. I got voted for student council in 6th grade, that was a pretty big deal back in the day.

5. I survived a surgery and 6 weeks of a juice diet, to this day juice is a little hard for me to drink, except orange juice. I may have thought I would never come out of that experience alive and here I am 9 years later and my teeth and jaws work just great!

6. I graduated from high school, it really is a big deal, to graduate even high school!

7. I bought and paid for my first car in one year. I think that it is a great feat, to completely own my first car by the age of 19. I don't know if many can do that.

8. I moved out of home for the first time and went to Utah State University. I mean my experience at college away from home for the first time, was a huge learning experience! I wouldn't trade that for anything. My roommates I had through the years of college taught me so much i learned from each one of the 22 roommates I had through my 4 years of college and am grateful to them. I learned from my classes, yes even the one's that I failed and had to retake. I learned how to balance a job and school, never really excelled in the social aspect, but hey 2 out of 3 is pretty good.

9. I worked off and on at Maceys from 2006 to 2011. When I got that job as a junior, I never thought i would've stayed that long, but I learned a lot from a retailer job, I learned to be a conversationalist, learned a lot about produce and their codes, and I made some really great friends working at the 2 different stores.

10. I went to Moscow Russia for 4 months and Kiev, Ukraine for 2 months. This was the most shocking decision for me, I just decided to go to Russia to teach English, i knew I'd be going with a group but literally knew nobody I would be going with, and me being the shy person was surprised I was willing to step so far out of my comfort shell. but was grateful, for my host family, those Russian and Ukrainian kids, and my friends that I worked with their. I felt like I learned so much more about the world while I was there, everyone really is the same in their own way, sure culture is different, but at the end of the day we are all brothers and sisters, here for the same purpose.

11. Impact! This was a life changing experience. So grateful for that opportunity.

12. I went on a mission to Arcadia, California. This was another super surprising decision, I never had plans to go on a mission. Missions were for weird girls who couldn't get married. I guess I didn't get married, so maybe I am a weird girl, but without revelation and inspiration that could not have been denied I never would have gone. That year and a half was invaluable time. I learned so much. I furthered my testimony of the gospel and what our Savior did for each of us, and was able to help some of my brothers and sisters to see the light and the truth. Some of my best friends, came from the mission as well. i'm glad God knew me better than I know myself and that he had his own plans for me. I would not be here today without that experience.

13. Part of the mission was learning Spanish! That was quite the feat. I hate making mistakes I want to be perfect, so it was a challenge, because in order to learn spanish you have to make mistakes or else you will never learn. i still remember learning bendigras in the MTC, which I learned a few weeks later was actually bendigas. Oh but I feel like learning Spanish is a big reason that I have the job I have.

14. graduated with a bachelors degree in elementary education. I was successful in completing my degree after finishing my mission, that was quite the accomplishment. It's not easy to get a college degree. Many don't attempt it, but I'm grateful to my parents for teaching us the value of a college education, I do think one degree is enough for me, but who knows what is in store for me.

15. Got my first teaching job as a 2nd grade teacher at Midvale Elementary. After applying and applying, and no interviews, I landed a teaching job with the very first interview I had, and was so grateful for that opportunity, and to the chance Shad took on me.

16. Moved to Midvale. Another out of my comfort shell kind of experiences. Until I had interviewed for my teaching job, I honestly didn't know Midvale even existed, so on a whim I moved to a place where I knew 0 people. However, I lucked out and moved into one of the greatest YSA wards, with one of the greatest bishops, although the roommate situation hasn't been the greatest, I always am having the opportunity to learn.

17. Completed my first year of teaching. that was a big deal. If I ever hear someone say teaching is easy, I might smack them, because it's not easy, yes teachers get summers off, but we still work through summer and even if we didn't teachers really work 24/7 during the school year, whether is actual or thinking about it. i'm proud of that accomplishment. It was worth it, although at times i seriously wonder, but i think in ways I am making a difference.

18. Ran my first 5k, with the help of my sister Emily, 5k is not a lot, but for me it is.

19. Began my 2nd year of teaching at Midvale Elementary. Just as I said it's not easy, but I am learning so much from my students this year and for that I am truly grateful.

20. Bought a Nissan Altima, and qualified for my first and only loan on my own. Incredible really that I didn't get my first loan til now, and I had built up enough credit without loans to qualify on my own.

Well I guess I could only think of 20 major events, I wanted to get to 26, being as I am 26. But there are other continual learning experiences, such as experiences learned from friends and family, who have in essence been a part of my life the majority of my life. Now I have experienced a lot in life, but I could do more, I mean part of this life is always looking to improve.

I'll be honest I feel like a big portion of my recent life has been ruled by that feeling that I should be dating and find a marriage, and feeling pressure, trying to think of where I should be to make that happen, stressing myself out, because I'm awkward when it comes to guys, feeling insecure, and not knowing what I would have to offer, and thinking that i have to because that's what God wants me to, in order to obtain all of his blessings marriage has to happen. But I have to have faith that it will happen when it's meant to happen. I just get to live my life, serve God, improve upon myself, and trust that through that i will find the right person, and trust if i don't God does have my best interests and he has a plan for me, so with that being said, I'm going to make a list of goals, of what to accomplish in the next year. But that's the next post!


Nicole said...

Annie Love you are amazing!!! I hope you had the most amazingest birthday ever! :) Love you! PS We need to have another Roomie Reunion!

Cute Carbines said...

I love this post. You are right, we were all married before your age, but hello!? Look at all the awesome experiences you've had! You can add being the best aunt ever to that list! And you can also put that you have been so blessed to grow up with Holly as your older sister! (JK, I know Emily or Stacey would come before me.) Love you tons!!