Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dangling with an Extra Day

February 29th, 2012 or Leap Day! It only comes around once every four years and there is a lot of hype about this all important day.

Last week, I was given a challenge by the Scholars Program that I am involved in. They posed the question, "what are you going to do that you can only do once every four years?" I wanted to accept the challenge, but when I really started to think about it I realized it was slightly impossible. The only thing that I know I can do today is write the date on as many pieces of paper as possible. And I didn't come up with that was suggested to me by one of my neighbors.

I realized that you make the decision to complete each action in life. If you want to do something more than once every four years then you can. Leap Day should be about living on the edge! It's a reminder to have a sense of spontaneity in your life.

I didn't get much of that in my life today. It was filled with a lot of studying for the exam that I had tonight. I also have another exam tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m., so it is safe to say that I haven't been sleeping much this week. Thinking about Leap Day, my goal is start living on the edge a little bit more. I want to make decisions that bring excitement into my life and not feel like I have to wait around for four years for those actions to have a lasting impact.

Today, will be my only Leap Day while I am in college. I guess that could have led to a bucket list full of spur of the moment activities to experience while in college. What today means to me is a reflection on the first two months of 2012 and remember that my goal is for this year to be better than 2011!

2012: about taking risks and enjoying each and every moment!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dangling with Sisterhood

There's a special kind of freedom sisters enjoy. Freedom to share innermost thoughts, to ask a favor, to show their true feelings. The freedom to simply be themselves. Unknown

I got the pleasure of planning my sorority's sisterhood retreat this weekend. The purpose of this retreat is for our chapter to renew our commitment to Delta Gamma as well as to develop the bonds of sisterhood and friendship.

I will admit that I procrastinated planning this event slightly. My procrastination was helpful this time because we decided to change the retreat at the last minute. I was still up until all hours of the night getting everything ready but the change was definitely for the better.
During the retreat, our chapter plans out the goals that they would like to see achieved this year. We came up with a great list of items that I am excited to take action on to make our chapter better. Each member class got to come together and define what they want their four years in Delta Gamma to represent. Both of these activities were meaningful to me because each member starts to understand more fully what being a Delta Gamma truly means.
There was chaos throughout the day since I was trying to facilitate while also participating in activities. It's hard to get 180 people to all be on the same page at the same time. The worst moment of the day was when I let my temper get the best of me. I snapped at a few of the members because they were not participating in the activities. I realized after the event that the way I handled the situation was probably uncalled for. If I had stepped back from the situation then I might have been able to better handle myself under pressure.
The last activity of the day is one of our rituals and it always puts everyone in a good mood. I got to hear wonderful stories about Delta Gamma and add this day to my collection of memories made in Delta Gamma. It is going to be really sad next year when it is my last year as a collegiate member. I have learned so much from this chapter and I am a completely different person than the one who accepted a bid almost three years ago. One of my sisters said that "Delta Gamma encourages you to be the best version of yourself." I am so happy that is the case because I would not be as capable as I am today without my sisters by my side.
The best part of the day was after the event when people were telling me how much they enjoyed it. I am a self proclaimed people pleaser so when I can't make everyone happy it gets to me. It was a boost to my confidence that the plans I put in place were well received by everyone.

The night ended with an A Cappela tournament at the Morton Theater. The Accidentals from UGA took home the top prize and will be competing in the Semifinals in March. After that whirlwind of a day, I was exhausted.

Delta Gamma for hope, for strength, for life!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dangling through Love

Let me preface this post by saying that if you are expecting a romantic story, you can stop reading now. This post is inspired by this quote that showed up on my daily calendar!

"The things we truly love stay with us always, locked in our hearts as long as life remains."
- Josephine Baker

Throughout life, we are asked what we are truly passionate about or what in life makes us happy. Last year, I resigned to the fact that being completely happy is impossible in life. It was better to be more focused on being content because it was a more achieveable goal. I think that was a momentary idea because I have come to realize that it just depends on the day. The days when I am focused on the things I love are usually the days that I feel much better about life in general. I think these days also concide with days where I am less stressed, so overall they are just better.

I wanted to elaborate on the things I truly love because it's important to realize them and cherish them.

1. My Family: I would not be the person I am today without the people who have been with me for my entire life or the people who I have choosen to be my family. These are the people who challenge me but also support me when my decisions do not go as planned. They are always going to be the first people I turn to in life even when their advice isn't necessarily what I want to hear.

2. Great Conversations: I like to consider myself an open book once you crack open the cover. I love asking people about their opinions and even though I have the ability to live my life in a completely different way, I like to talk to people about what has worked for them. I think this trait has started more in college but I just want to get to know people. I want to be friends with as many people as possible because it adds so many dimensions to my life.

3. A Bubble Bath and a Good Book: Since the beginning of college, this activity has become a rare occasion. I think I would be immensely happier if I had my own bathroom, so that I could enjoy a bubble bath whenever I wanted. A bubble bath confines you to a space for however long you want. It is the perfect opportunity to catch up on a book or just think about life. Also, there are not as many opportunities to just sit down and enjoy a book. I have so many books that I want to read, but not as much time to complete them. That is another goal for this spend a little bit more time learning through reading (and I don't mean required textbooks). I think this activity encompasses the idea of the power of relaxation. I like knowing my limit and being able to take a step back from the situation.

4. Being Independent: I like the opportunity to make my own choices and to feel secure in saying that life can change in an instant. I came into college thinking that I would never want to live/travel outside the Southeast region, let alone the United States. It's just not something that interested me. Now, I am looking at the next two years of my life and regretting not studying abroad my first two years of college. It's those kind of decisions that I like being able to take ownership of. I think a lot of people equate this idea to wanting to be by myself. I realize that the timeline I have had planned out in my head since age 4 is probably shifting with each passing day, but I also realize that when those big milestones come I will be willing and able to change to accomodate them because they will be a new, exciting experience. I think this idea can also meaning trusting what is going to happen in life. There is a plan and we can do what we want to influence our lives, but in the end it's going to work out.

5. Giving back to the world: Walking into a Habitat for Humanity meeting my sophomore year of high school literally put my life on a whole new path. Even though my family was always very giving, I never understood how much could be done to make the world a better place. If I don't sponsor a Habitat home in the future, my life will not be complete. I came up with this crazy vision during my Leonard class last semester about starting a foundation. I don't know how my life will progress to get to this goal but I know that at the end of my life I want to have made a difference on the world around me.

6. Knowing Myself: I think this process was accelerated by my participation in the Leonard program. I think it is also just a step in the college process. I understand much better now why I act the way I do and I know that some traits have been with me since the day that I was born. By understanding all those aspects of my character, I can make sure that the decisions I make are the best for me.

These are the six things that I can think of right in this moment. They are overarching ideas that make up so much of my life. One day, I will write a blog about all the little things that go on in my life that make it enjoyable on a daily basis.

I guess the "things we truly love" could also be compared to our values. I am discovering on a more daily basis how much life has to offer. I want to take advantage of opportunities as they come along but I also want to remember what "is locked in my heart as long as life remains".