Truth Chats: dealing with the future as an unknown.

Life is currently best described as the photo below featuring myself attempting to balance three different liquids to and from school and most likely spilling at least 2/3 of them by the time we make it to the door. Messy. Crowded. Overwhelmed. Grateful to even have three types of liquids in my life to be carrying, but really wishing that I could physically see everyone else in my life attempting to do the same in order to not feel so alone in this balancing act stage of life.

To try to claim that I am the only scared to death of the future second semester senior would be an absolute lie. I’m completely aware that I am one of approximately one billion other students in their last year of formal education that is questioning anything and everything possible. Which is exactly why I decided to write this post, because I know I am not alone in my feelings, and chances are someone else who reads this needs to hear the same. So there, to start us off and calm us all down, WE AREN’T CRAZY! LIFE IS MESSY! LET’S DO IT TOGETHER!

If there was a handbook for this stage of 20-something life it would be one of those choose your own adventure ones. The kind where I always cheated on as a kid and skipped forward to see the results of the choices you were given before “choosing” one. Basically, I was cheating the system at age 8; setting myself up for failure in the future in all reality. Because in those books we are able to take a glimpse at the result of our choices like I did, before making our decisions. Real life? We don’t get those glimpses. We don’t get to be like, “okay so if I choose this I will end up in 10 years here BUT if I do that other thing I’ll get this and this…So based off of those I’m gonna go with option A.” Our choices are instead pretty much completely blind, minus the occasional gut feeling that something is just right.

I’ve been struggling with not being able to see my exact future right in front of me for about a year now. I have never been someone that needs to know my schedule far in advance, and I actually am pretty go with the flow. But there is something about this whole real adult job situation that has thrown all go with the flow out the window and introduced all kinds of please-someone-just-make-my-life-choices-for-me-so-i-don’t-have-to. I have spent lots of time letting those emotions sink in and know that a big part of that is due to my life looking a lot different than those I am surrounded by in my head. I student teach all day long and then either go to class or work and then that is on repeat all the time until May. When there is time to make decisions about my future once you throw sleeping, eating, and breathing in there…I have zero clue. Our society these days glorifies both a culture of *hustling* and in all honesty- I hate it. I hate feeling exhausted over daily routine, I hate being stressed yet still adding things to my to-do list that I most certainly don’t HAVE to do, and I hate comparing myself to my peers subconsciously to make sure they don’t think I’m lazy.

Since when are we afraid of being lazy? When did it become such a negative word? I want to reintroduce lazy as a selfish term that allows us to have five seconds to breathe and not feel guilty about It. I want lazy to mean we have free time do indulge in a hobby FOR FUN. I want to be a productive kind of lazy on a week night where I am doing my homework HOURS before the deadline (unheard of if you know me, oops, QUEEN of the 11:59pm turn-in over here.)

I have felt more exhausted the past month and a half of this semester than I thought possible, and I won’t lie, I feel downright guilty for claiming that’s how I feel. I despise telling friends and family I am exhausted because we live in this hustling world that seems to expect us to be, especially as students. I spend 8 hours a day being my happiest and *attempting* ๐Ÿ˜‰ to be my most patient with 5-6 year olds. I adore it, I genuinely do. I love being there and this semester has absolutely confirmed my choice in careers through student teaching with kindergarteners. But yes, I also am exhausted after! A huge part of that is myself being an introvert and needing alone time to fuel after a day spent interacting with people all day long. I love my alone time but this year specifically have felt so guilty for It, or like I am not properly being a senior by spending my time after class making a Target run alone, or heck, sleeping by 9. (the 6am alarm thing has really taken a toll to my usually a night own sleep schedule!) I want each and every one of you reading this to know that you do not need to feel guilty or not-cool for taking time for yourself when you need It. You need to be proud of yourself when you recognize your emotions and listen to your body!

Back to the unknown for a bit, and to what the heck we should do about It. As for me, I won’t lie and say that I will be perfect at this, but I am going to try to be grateful for the unknown for just these next few months. To let myself understand patience in a way that I am so uncomfortable with, and to remind myself that my own path is my own, and it is happening the exact way it should be. Your life may look different than everyone else around you. You may feel as if you are the only one that has zero clue what they are doing. I promise you, you are not. But that’s what almost-grad / post-grad is all about; defining your own path and knowing it is yours and yours alone. You are not disappointing anybody, you do not have anything to prove to anyone, and you are allowed to be selfish while you wait for the unknown to become known.

Chances are this won’t be the last scared second semester senior chat posted, but it feels like a good first. To knowing you aren’t alone, to finding comfort in knowing that everything is already sorted out in God’s plan, and to enjoying college nights out with cheap drinks on Thursday nights while we still can.

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

#TenLittleJoys

Today marks 5 years of me having this little slice of web to share with you all. What seems like 3 weeks but was really 5 years ago- I was a junior in high school. I was a few months into 16 years old and equally as busy as I am now, but with far different activities. I was already preparing for college and was eager to get out into the world and see what it all had to offer me. Always being a little mature for my age (which I’m a firm believer comes from being an oldest child), I have looked forward to my twenties since becoming a teenager. Something about the age just seemed overall very sophisticated and full of adventure.

Well here I am. Five years later and a few months into 21 and I like to think 16-year-old Ally would be pleasantly surprised at how this quick glimpse into her twenties have gone thus far. Not sure if we’d count the takeout pizza for dinner and bawling at Toy Story 4 that I did last night “sophisticated”, but I’ll take what I can get ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have experienced a lot over the past year and few months and I think It just hit me a few days ago what I *really* want my twenties to be about. If I could focus on ONE aspect, It would be little joys.

My favorite posts to go back and read over the years are the ones I wrote on happiness. Now I’m still not sure why I thought I had the credentials to be talking about such a big topic at that age, but boy did I sure know what I was saying. Five years ago taking time to focus on happy things was such a priority to me and is something I feel like I have unfortunately lacked the past few years when I let everything else life throws at me get in the way. So starting today and from now on, I want to start myself, and to challenge you as well – to focus on those little joys in your life.

I put together a small list, just ten things, that bring me happiness and pure joy at this point in my life. Not only is It an amazing thing to reflect and use gratitude, but I am excited to try to do this every week and to look back on my weeks and what brought me joy. #TenLittleJoys

Leave a comment below with one of your #TenLittleJoys !!! I’d love to see what is bringing you happiness this time of year! Until next time!

xoxo, Ally

Summer Recap in Photos

Judging from the fact I had to literally RElogin to WordPress to type this and my last Instagram over on @xoxoallisonnicole was close to over 3 months ago, it’s no surprise I had a busy summer to say the least. I wanted to round up a few photos from this summer that gave you an idea of what I was up to , because although I was absent, I was still having a blast and a half in real life!

Another little tidbit I wanted to throw in here that I seem to mention often whenever I take a little writing hiatus, but still can’t seem to kick, is how much blogging has evolved since I first started this site back in literally 2014 (what.) Fran sums it up real well in this post that I’ll just let you read for yourself. She’s right in the sense that Instagram had BARELY come out when I first started this. People were using the PRESET FILTERS ON INSTAGRAM if that tells you how dated this hobby of mine is, lol. I started this space as a way for me to have fun and whenever I think too much about it is when I am at a loss for what to write. I really hope to get back into the habit of writing what I want and what makes me happy and hoping you all share some interest in it! However, I am ALWAYS up for suggestions on things you want to see, snippets of my life you want to hear about, or more. Feel free to comment those down below, shoot me an email, slide into my Instagram DM’s, or all of the above, ha!

Let’s get onto my summer…

May was super bittersweet hanging with my friends while living my last month in my sorority house. Easily my favorite living spot over all my years of college and I miss it already. Sunset watching was on our bucket list, and see above, accomplished.

After school ended I headed home for the remainder of May and went on FAR too many Coneflower ice cream runs with my siblings.

I moved into my senior house in Lawrence early June. My dad and I designed made my bed together and I LOVE how it turned out. I’m still working on finishing touches of the room, but will for sure post a tour if that’s something you’re interested in!

My 21st birthday!!! I headed to Omaha for the actual day. We celebrated with dinner at my favorite seafood spot in Omaha, drinks at the restaurant I’ve worked at on breaks home through college, and of course the prettiest pink cake ended the night.

Random, but I had been eying these multicolor manis on Instagram for months and on my birthday FINALLY caved and just did it. I went the safe route with all pink tones (naturally) but still loved the look and got so many compliments. If you’re even thinking about it, do it!

Spent plenty of nights out and about with friends exploring my little town.

Went to Union Pier, MI with my entire extended family for my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary! The trip was to die for and I wish I could go back every day. We spent most days just in the backyard lounging in the pool drinking until bloody marys turned to margaritas. We would nap until feasting for dinner and spending nights playing games like music bingo, karaoke, a murder mystery party, and even a casino night hosted by my family

Little bro and dad came to visit!! Love any excuse to see any of my siblings.

This just in: new level of tired = first full week of student teaching AND sorority recruitment. Not quite positive how I survived, but hey I’m breathing. I love my exec team and we absolutely killed the LARGEST recruitment KU has ever seen!

Ended with my very last bid day ๐Ÿ˜ฆ “the sweet life” at Alpha Chi was, well, bittersweet. I am so not ready for all the lasts senior year has to bring but am loving soaking up any time I have with my friends.

That’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed my summer recap! What’s the best thing you did this summer?

Until next time, xoxo, Ally