Tag Archives: school

“An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow.” -Unknown

My topic for today is MY 5TH ANNIVERSARY of having this blog. I am grateful for everyone who has stuck with me. I may not be the most consistent blogger or the most interesting but you have been here for me though it all. From my first post, “A smile happens in a flash, but its memory can last a lifetime” to my wedding plans and trips around the US. So much has happened in my life and I am glad I get to share it with you. I am grateful for those who have been with me the whole five years and for those who are just joining me in my adventures.

I just can’t believe that it really has been 5 years since I opened this account and began sharing my stories with the world. Literally, people from all over the world have viewed my blog, something I thought would never happen. I may not have millions of followers or be any sort of popular in the blogosphere but I am here and I am happy.

I hope you all keep coming back and enjoying my content. And for now, enjoy this amazing song that came to my mind.

“Have no fear These are nowhere near The best years of your life” -Brad Paisley

Dear 16-year-old Carra,

16          Your life will change in the next year and I know it will be hard. Just remember that there are people who love you and are here for you. You will be able to grow and learn so much because you will be getting out of your comfort zone. You’ll lose people you love, you’ll move twice in one year, and you’ll grow closer to Heavenly Father.
When given the opportunity to go see Mountain Grove High School, you’ll do it, you’ll meet the counselor and come out of the meeting ready to move. Actually ask questions this time, don’t be afraid. It’ll be exciting but sad. Leaving your friends will be hard, it is worth it.
See your mom before you move. It’ll eat at you if you don’t. She wanted to say 16 3goodbye but you left before she could. Also, spend more time packing and less time playing. You’ll have a week to pack all of your stuff. Make sure you put Whoonu in a safe spot so you don’t lose it because if you don’t you’ll find out it’s $60 when you’re looking into buying it again.
There will be many boys interested in you, say no to all of them. I mean it, all of them. Don’t even text Casey after Christmas, you’ll thank me later. Boys are no good and you deserve better than all of them. Having Dakota as a friend is enough, he’s a nice guy. But seriously, do not date any of them.
16 1          Don’t give your friend Megan money because you’ll never get it back. Also, don’t spend your first week not eating and hiding in the bathroom at lunchtime. Make friends.You will become really good friends with the girl who you have almost every class with, her name is Shelby. She’ll introduce you to people and you’ll become “popular” because everyone in your grade knows you.
When your English class gets into a discussion about Mormons, don’t be afraid to turn it into a teaching moment. Straightening out the lies will help them in the long run. Tell Derek that chocolate doesn’t destroy your soul, tell Rachel that we are Christian, stun everyone because they had no idea there was a Mormon in the class. You can do it, don’t be shy.
Another thing to consider is your career project in Personal Finance. You’re 16 2thinking about doing it on OB GYN. Don’t. That’s not really what you want to be, you want to be a teacher or a writer. Don’t pick OB GYN just because it makes more money and it goes with what your classmates are doing. Be yourself Carra, it’s ok.
Finally, don’t yell at your grandparents. You’re going to miss them one day and all of those times you screamed and fought will flood your mind for a time. Try to see it from their point of view. Also, learn all you can from grandma, make it a point to cook with her. Ask her about her life. If you don’t, you’ll regret it later in life.
You are a very smart, beautiful, and caring young woman. Don’t let anyone change that or tell you different. Stay close to your family, spend time with them. Garden with grandma, play pool with grandpa. You’ll miss out on all of that if you don’t. They love you and I love you. Stay strong.

Sincerely,
25-year-old Carra

“You want, as an artist, to be pushing yourself to do what you haven’t done before.” -T. C. Boyle

17407585_1653152884993103_355375473_o          On Thursday evening I was given the opportunity to meet one of my favorite authors. T.C. Boyle came to Reedley College and I jumped at the chance to see him. I didn’t always name him as one of my favorite authors, I was actually just introduced to his work last summer when I had to purchase Tortilla Curtain for a class I was enrolled in but had to drop. I then had to buy the T.C. Boyle Stories II for my current fictional writing class.

T.C. Boyle’s visit was the last of a whole set of speakers at Reedley College but he was the only one I was able to go see. I17430962_1653152811659777_1552946766_o had known about his spot shortly after the
semester began so it’s been on the calendar for about two months. Going to see him in person and listen to him read “Chicxulub” made me have an even deeper appreciation for him and his writing.

Many may not have ever heard of T.C. Boyle but I encourage you to read any of his amazing stories or novels. If you ever have the chance to go and listen to him live, I would hope you would take that opportunity just as I did. I will post a few notes I took so you can get a feeling for what he said.17474292_1653152838326441_1942343247_o

  • Went to public school in New York
  • Middle Class family
  • He wrote Tortilla Curtain to sort out all of his feelings
  • Everything he writes is a kind of dream
  • He says he’s not retired, he’s “pre-dead”
  • Art takes you out of yourself
  • Advice on how to become a writer: come from a wealthy family (LOL)
  • If it doesn’t work after 2 pages, throw it away
  • Water Music was is first novel and it is his favorite
  • If you want to write, you need to read

Again, it was such an honor to meet T.C. Boyle and I encourage everyone to go out and get familiar with his work because you won’t be sorry.

17474100_1653152724993119_1124326754_o          If you have read his work or have had the opportunity to meet with him, please tell me what your favorite story or novel is that his has written. One that really sticks with me is his short story “The Underground Gardens” because it takes a historical place in Fresno and turns it into a story that is so raw, and so beautiful. I almost wish that it was longer so that I could read more.

As always, I am very grateful for you coming to my blog. Feel free to comment below with any questions about seeing T.C. Boyle.

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“Don’t worry about what you’re writing or whether it’s good or even whether it makes sense.” -Lauren Oliver

Do you know what time it is? It’s time to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo. If you saw my nano.pngpost from November about NaNoWriMo then you might know a little bit about it. If not, it’s ok. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. You are challenged to write 50,000 words in the month of November. So what does that have to do with right now? Well, in the months of April and July there is this things called Camp NaNoWriMo. For these two months, you set your own goal for writing and you work to hit that goal. One really cool thing about Camp NaNoWriMo is that you get to be in a group called a cabin. It is a small group, there is a max of 11 people in each cabin. I am in a cabin with other writers who are also Bullet Journal enthusiast.

The reason I am writing about this now, at the beginning of March, is to let people know about this awesome thing going on. I just signed up yesterday and will be preparing for April. I made a goal of 22,000 words. You can make any goal you want, some people in my cabin have a goal of 12,000. It’s really up to you and what you feel comfortable writing. It was a little difficult to get in the 50,000 words back in November and I didn’t win NaNoWriMo but I plan on winning at Camp NaNoWriMo.

To get started, you must visit the Camp NaNoWriMo site. If you have done any type of NaNoWriMo before, then all you have to do is sign in with your username/email and password from your account. If you forgot your password, like me, then you can click “forgot password” and you are able to make a new password. You just need access to the email you signed up with. If you haven’t done it before, then you would click the “join now” button on the left side of the page.

If you are unsure about whether you want to sign up for this or not, visit the Camp NaNoWriMo about page. You don’t have to write a novel, you can write a bunch of poems or a script or even a few children’s books. You are in charge here. Make the goal, whether it be hours spent writing, words to be written, or pages, you make it and strive to hit it or even exceed that. If you still have questions or concerns after visiting the about page, I would suggest the Camp NaNoWriMo FAQ page.

So, you’ve signed up. Now what do yo do? You have to set up your profile, try to add a picture to your account as well. Your picture can be of whatever you want, it doesn’t have to be a selfie, it doesn’t even have to have a person in the picture. My picture is my husband and I. Once you have your profile set up, set up your project profile. You don’t have to include a title for your project, I’ve seen plenty of people who don’t have one yet. Just make your goal and you’re ready. There are multiple ways to be in a group. If you know people, have them invite you to their group. You could also go on the NaNoWriMo Forums to read the “Finding Cabin Mates” post. Another option you have is to make your own cabin, if you have friends you’d like to join you. Your last option is to be randomly sorted into a cabin. For many people, this option works out wonderfully. If I didn’t already have a cabin I wanted to join, I would have selected that option. If you want nothing to do with cabins, that is ok too. There’s an option for you as well.

You now have your camper profile, your project all set up, and your cabin figured out. What’s next? Well, now is the time that you map out what your project will be about and how you want to get from 0 words to, in my case, 22,000 words. You don’t have to plan anything, some don’t. This whole thing is up to you.

If you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo, please comment below with your username so we can all be friends! Remember: You can do it!! And, as always, thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

“How often are we to die before we go quite off this stage? In every friend we lose a part of ourselves, and the best part.” -Alexander Pope

As we get older, our lives change. The things were valued when we were 5 are not the same things we valued at 16 and the things we valued at 16 are, most likely, different from the things we value most in our adulthood. We may move away from home, experience the death of a loved one, or even the birth of our own children. Some changes are hard to cope with while others are accepted with open arms. One of the more difficult ones that I have recently dealt with is loosing a dear friend.

As we age, we find that the friends we had in high school are probably going to go on different paths in life from you. Every once in a while we find that one friend, sometimes two, who stick with us through all of those changes. They’re what we all call our best friend. You don’t see anyway that would make your friendship end because you’re just too close. But then, life throws you a curve ball and you’re leaving her house at midnight because she hurt you in an unforgivable way. You go days, weeks, months without saying a word to her. You see that she’s happy, even with you gone, while you’re trying hard to stop the flow of tears. It’s not a happy time in your life. It’s harder than when the guy you were in love with broke up with you. She knows all of your secrets, she’s the one you talked to when anything (big or little) happened in your life and all you want it to have that again. But you can’t. You can’t have that again because she broke your heart in a way you never thought possible.

17238931_1647987095509682_603771781_nIf you’ve never experienced such a pain as I just described, then you are very lucky. I actually experienced this more than once. The first time started in high school. After several years of barely talking, we are actually on good terms. We are not where we used to be, we may never get there, but we are still friends and we do care about each other. The second time happened on March 4, 2017. I won’t go into details but when I was verbally attacked by two people I thought were supposed to be my friends. I wasn’t going to sit around and let it happen so I left. I left the house in the middle of the night and walked down the street. I left all of my stuff that I had with me, I had no jacket, I didn’t even have any plans. I just made a couple of phone calls until I found someone able to pick me up and take me out of there. I felt numb. Not just from being cold but from the torture I was just put through. The one person I trusted with my life, let me down.

I haven’t talked to her, I can’t. There’s nothing left to say. I still very much care about her but I just can’t get over what I was put through. At least not right now. I spent three days crying off and on because of it. My heart is aching. But the words that were said cannot be taken back. Nor will they even try. Them wanting me to accept their harsh words is more important that friendship, which hurt even more when I was told that.

I’m not posting this to call anyone out or to get sympathy from my readers. I am posting this because I want my readers to know that you are not alone in the pain you feel after losing your best friend. I’m not the first person to every experience this and I most certainly will not be the last.

I decided to do a bit of research on dealing with a “Best Friend Breakup” and I was pleasantly surprised that there was a lot out there on Google pertaining to the topic. Here are a few things that I took away from my Google search:

  1. “Friend breakups tend to go unacknowledged, which can contribute to why people suffer so much from them. When the public response is ‘Eh, it happens,’ you feel like you shouldn’t be mourning as much as you are.” (How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You)
  2. The closer you were to the friend you broke up with, the more you’re going to hurt. So give yourself adequate grieving time. (How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You)
  3. Don’t get down on yourself if you find that you need more time. (How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You)
  4. Try not to disavow all the good times you and your former friend had. (How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You)
  5. The 13 steps on wikiHow to Get Over the Loss of a Best Friend
  6.  Buzzfeed’s article “17 Things Anyone Who’s Ever Had A Friend Breakup Knows
  7. Let yourself cry it out (Surviving a Friendship Break Up)
  8. Write a letter to your friend that you never intend to send (Surviving a Friendship Break Up)
  9. It may seem obvious, but don’t force your other friends to take sides. Get comfortable with the fact that they may still spend a great deal of time with your ex-gal pal and that this is no reflection on you. (Surviving a Friendship Break Up)
  10. Just like dating, sometimes you have to be the one to take the first step (Surviving a Friendship Break Up)
  11. Put yourself first and make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, eating well and sticking to your usual routine. (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  12. You’ll need to surround yourself with other friends and family if you have lost a close friend, and it’s important to keep up with your social commitments, so that you don’t sit at home feeling increasingly depressed and isolated. (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  13. It’s normal to sit around going over things in your head and wondering what went wrong – this is how we grieve the loss of a person in our lives and it’s an important part of the healing process. (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  14. Be optimistic and remember that just because you have lost a friendship, doesn’t mean there won’t be more opportunities for new friends in your life! (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  15. If you are struggling to come to terms with the friend-shaped hole in your life, talking to other friends and family members can help you get some perspective. If you’re feeling really low, seek support from a counsellor or therapist (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  16. Don’t spill secrets that the two of you once had. (8 Ways To Survive A Best Friend Breakup)
  17. Don’t look at their social media. Like most break ups, when you look at their social media you’ll see that they went out with a different group of girls and jealousy will strike. (8 Ways To Survive A Best Friend Breakup)

I promise it will get better. It takes time but healing will come. I’m not there yet but I know I will be. Just like when a relationship ends, this friends breakup won’t end the world. There are people who want to be there for you, even if it doesn’t seem like it. I’m here for you.

If you have your own tips for healing after a best friends breakup, please comment below. I’d love to read them! As always, thank you for coming to my blog! Hit the follow button to stay up to date on all things in the life.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” -Zig Ziglar

After much consideration, I decided to make a 26 before 26 list. With help from my friend Jewel and my husband, I put together a list of 26 things I want to get done in the next year. If you read my post about 25 before 25 post, then you saw that I 16930552_10208900352046276_313945688_owas unable to complete it and you might be wondering why I would do another one. Well, one thing is for sure; I am definitely giving myself more than just a couple months this time so there is a better chance of me completing all 26 items. I’m determined to do it this time! I even added pictures to represent them to my vision board, to learn more about that, click here. Here is my 26 before 26 list:

  1. Finish a 5K
  2. Run a 5K (because it’s different than just finishing one)
  3. Finish Harry Potter 1-7 (I’m still on book 5)
  4. Finish the first draft of my Work in Progress
  5. Host a themed dinner party
  6. Throw myself a fabulous birthday party
  7. Get my food handlers card
  8. Go whale watching
  9. Blog at least weekly
  10. Read 26 books
  11. Make friends in L.A.
  12. Go on a girls-only trip
  13. Take a cooking class
  14. Start a YouTube channel with Jewel
  15. Get a job I enjoy
  16. Go white water rafting
  17. Make a music video
  18. Lose 20 pounds
  19. Learn to do winged eyeliner
  20. Get a calling in the church
  21. Visit 3 temples I’ve never been to (Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and San Diego are my goals)
  22. Buy and decorate a house
  23. Reach level 10 life
  24. Do something that scares me
  25. Be positive for a week
  26. Reach 200 members in Bullet Journaling California

 

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I am very optimistic about this list and I know that I can do it. And to help you know that you can do it too, go watch this video on YouTube from the Steve Harvey Show. Please share with us what you are hoping to accomplish before your next birthday. As always, thank you for reading. If you want to enjoy more content from me, follow my blog.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” -Marcus Aurelius

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What is privilege? According to Merriam Webster the definition of privilege is “a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor :  prerogative; especially :  such a right or immunity attached specifically to a position or an office.” The definition used for kids is “a right or liberty granted as a favor or benefit especially to some and not others.” Are we privileged? What makes a person privileged? I know that I am privileged, though when I took a Buzzfeed quiz it states that I am not. It also said that my husband is most privileged, which is interesting. I found the quiz the other day while I was sucked into watching Buzzfeed videos, which most of us know that’s easy to do. I stumbled across the video “How Privileged Are You?” The video takes 8 people from different walks of life and they all take this quiz of 100 questions together. For the quiz, you check which statements apply to your life. There are 100 statements about race, religion, education, wealth, and so much more.
I read a few comments on the video asking why there were no questions about abuse or the like. Abuse isn’t about whether you are privileged or not. Privilege is not like that at all. There are, however, privileges connected with being a certain gender, religion, race, or status. It is not a rule, however, that the middle age white man is more privileged than that of a middle age Native American woman. Like my husband and I, I am Caucasian and he is Mexican. Right off the bat people would say that I am more privileged than he is purely because of my skin color. This is not the case, though. You can see my husband’s results above and my results below. He scored 76 out of 100 whereas I scored 45 out of 100.
I know that, though this says I am not privileged, I most certainly am. The only reason I scored so low is because of my childhood. I was homeless, I skipped meals, I was teased and bullied. I was actually even bullied for being white. You don’t hear of that often but it happened. I was bullied all growing up, even into college. I know am I privileged now, though. I had a house, I am married to an amazing person and we can get by without me working. Some families do not of the privilege of surviving on one income. I have a car, I never have to worry about going hungry, I have clean clothes to wear. Yes, I hear ridicule about the religion I have chosen to be apart of but there are other religions who are suffering more.
Times aren’t like they were in the 1800’s, Mormons aren’t being murdered for no reason anymore. Other people are, such as Muslims. It breaks my heart to go on Facebook and see videos of a woman who was assaulted due to what she was wearing or men who talk about how others were shouting at them to “go back to their country” and calling them terrorists. What a world we live in.
I don’t think I have ever gotten really political on a post in the 4 years I have had this blog running but my heart goes out to those who are suffering. There are many who have lost so much and people look down on them, even though the losses were out of their control.
Please take the time out of your busy day to take the quiz How Privileged Are You? Check(list) your privilege. You won’t regret it. Also, remember that whether you score high or low, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t be ashamed that you went to an Ivy League school but your best friend could barely afford a city college. Don’t be ashamed that your mom fed you hamburgers out of the dumpster while your classmates ate at Olive Garden. Where you went to school or what you ate as a kid doesn’t define you, your actions and words do. Just be a good human being, privilege or not.

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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ―Maya Angelou

Hello readers! Today will be a little different. I am in a fiction writing class this semester and one of our assignments is to write a short 5-page scene. I want to share with you what I have so far. I want to know what my readers think about what it is. What grade would you give me? What advice do you have to offer to make my story better? Just as a note, my teacher wanted us to base our story off of real life people. Also, he said that there doesn’t need to be a beginning, middle, and end so don’t fret about that, either. I look forward to reading your comments below.

Accidents Happen

             I still remember the day that I found out that my best friend and her daughter were hit by a car. I remember it like it was yesterday. The memories haunt me every day; I always think about how one small thing could have changed everything, either for the good or for the bad. The memories always start off ok, always starting with the moments before I even knew what had happened.

“Community College has so many class options but not enough online, I just need a few more classes and I could graduate in a year. Too bad a lot of the ones I have left are either hybrid or face-to-face classes, huh?” I said to my brindle colored pug, Ramsey, as I was looking at what classes I wanted to, or at least could, take in the spring. He had just jumped up in my lap and settled there all comfortable and ready for a nap.

I had just moved 4 hours away from the college I was attending and I was taking as many online courses as I could before I had to transfer, in the summer, to the local college by my new home in the big city. “Maybe I’ll call Misha and she can give me some guidance, since she has a degree. Or she could at least listen to me go on and on about how annoying it is that I can’t take in-person courses and finish my degree on time.” Ramsey barked as if to say that my idea was a great one. Honestly, when is it every a bad idea to talk to your best friend about your life decisions?

I settled down on my fluffy couch, wrapped in my fresh out of the dryer blanket, with my computer, open to the list of web only course options on Web advisor, in front of me then picked up my phone to dial Misha’s number. My registration date was fast approaching and I needed to figure this all out fast. The phone rang several times, then, right before the last ring, a soft voice could be heard on the other line. I was so glad to have someone to talk to, other than Ramsey. Don’t get me wrong, he was a great listener, but sometimes it’s nice to talk to someone who can respond back with words instead of just kisses and barks.

“Hey best friend!” I was super excited to talk about school, especially since it was what we were talking about the day before. “This is Lidia, Misha’s mom, she and Colleen were hit by a car this morning while they were walking to daycare.” The phone slipped out of my hand with a crash, onto the floor. I was trembling and tears began to stream down my pale face.. Ramsey began barking wildly, as he knew something was wrong, and began nudging my messy blond hair from the couch. It took me all but several seconds to realize Misha’s mom was calmly calling for me through the phone, I heard my name being said several times before it actually registered in my brain. Finally I came-to and picked the phone back up off the ground. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” I was at a loss for words. Was my best friend of eleven years gone? And her little one-year-old daughter; was she gone as well? I needed answers; I needed to be there. Why was I still sitting on the couch in my little 500 square foot apartment, almost four hours away? I had a car; I had the ability to travel from my apartment to the hospital where she was, hopefully still alive. I hadn’t ever done it before because my husband was always the one driving but I needed to be there to see Misha for myself. I had to know that she was still here, I couldn’t lose her. Not this way. I couldn’t lose another loved one. I especially couldn’t lose another loved one due to reckless drivers. Would God take away everyone I cared about in the same way? How could this have happened, again?

My thoughts were almost drowning out what Misha’s mom was saying to me over the phone. My thoughts had slowed down enough to understand when Lidia had said “Misha is ok, she’s awake. She has multiple broken bones and swelling but she’ll be alright. She’s the one who told me to answer your call. She must have a specific ringtone for you because she knew it was you calling right away.” There was a small sigh of relief amidst all of my sniffling and tears. She also informed me of Colleen’s condition “Colleen is fine, there are no broken bones and she should, hopefully, be discharged later in the day.” The more words I caught, the less frantic I was feeling. By the end of our conversation, which was rather short, my tears weren’t flowing as heavily but I still wasn’t able to settle down.

I paced the studio apartment several times before deciding to log onto Facebook and write something about how I was feeling. I didn’t think Misha wanted everyone to know just yet, or ever, so I simply made a vague post stating that a close friend and her daughter were hit by a car and that they needed prayers and thoughts of healing. Not too obvious but anyone who knew Misha would know it was her, I was sure of it. Not too long after hitting the “post” button did two other friends, Mary and Melody, know exactly who it was and Melody quickly sent me the official article that was posted, hours ago, about the accident. I hadn’t even thought to see if there was already anything in the news. I pushed my glasses up the bridge of my nose and began reading. According to the news report, both Misha and Colleen were in critical care and fighting for their lives. Even though I knew this to be false, and that they were both ok, it had me freaking out all over again. I read on, though, wanting more information. I found a couple of other articles on Facebook along with a few photos. They all stated different excuses for why the driver hit Misha. “I bet he was texting and made a whole slew of excuses as to not get in trouble.” I said, angrily, to Ramsey. I kept reading the article over and over, thinking I had missed something. “The driver was a nineteen year old girl who had friends in the car. The driver didn’t see the woman crossing in the cross walk but the passengers all saw her and tried to warn the driver when it was too late. The driver didn’t even stop until her windshield was broken from the impact of the child’s body.” I kept imagining little Colleen’s body, smashing into the window then rolling to the ground. I didn’t want to read any more of what was said but I couldn’t help it. It was drawing me to it. And seeing those pictures. One of them was actually of Misha lying in the road, bloody and broken, underneath the car. Another photo showed the medical personal putting Colleen in the ambulance.

I then began reading the comments. “She deserved to be hit, she’s a horrible mother.” “She obviously didn’t love her child if she put her in that much danger.” “She doesn’t deserve to be a mother.” I was furious with every comment I read. My face was getting hot, I felt the world getting darker and the sounds of the big city were growing farther away. They had no idea what the situation was or what kind of mother she was. How could they be so harsh without having all of the facts or without knowing what kind of person she truly is? No one deserves what happened to Misha, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, not even my worst enemy. She was the best mom I knew, she was my best friend. I kept thinking, “I can’t lose her, I just can’t lose my best friend. I still need her in my life. She doesn’t deserve to die. She needs to be here for her daughter.”

I finally realized I was blacking out, as I was standing for a long time with my knees locked and hadn’t had a lot to drink. I quickly headed for the bed, where I had a collage of photos, several with Misha in them. I zoned out while staring at them, replaying the memories in my head. “What if memories are all I have left?” I stared at the pictures of us so happy. There we were on the school bus, her red hair was flowing because all of the windows were down. Another one of us, my favorite, was taken outside the theater while we were in line waiting for the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. We had just graduated a couple months before that, and Misha still had short hair from when she donated it all to Locks of Love. I still had braces and my hair was dark from when I decided to dye it brown. The most recent picture was taken when Misha spent a week with us over the summer. We did so much in that week; we took the metro for the first time, I got my first real sunburn from our time at the beach, we went to an AMC movie theater where they have reclining chairs instead of the uncomfortable ones we usually sat in. The picture was from our time on the Metro, Misha was making an “Oh my gosh, we’re going to get lost on this thing!” kind of face and I was just reading the maps to figure out where we were and where we needed to be. I didn’t want to scare her but we really could be lost already and we had only left ten minutes ago.

I was deep in thought when the sound of the door shutting made me jump. My husband, Philip, was home and he sat next to me as I burst into tears again, explaining exactly what had happened and how I was feeling. He just held me as I sobbed in his arms. My best friend was, according to the articles, near death and I wasn’t there. She could be dead by now. I would hope that someone would have contacted me but I knew that there would be so many other things to worry about. “Tara, how about we take a walk. Maybe get some fresh air. I think getting out of the house would do some good for your mind.”

I agreed on taking a walk so I slowly got up and got dressed. I felt so depressed and like a horrible friend for not rushing to Misha’s side. However, driving that far alone for the first time and in this weather in my state of mind would not have been the best idea. Melody was the one who pointed out how stupid it would be. “We don’t need another person in the hospital.” She was right, I needed to wait. Philip and I would just drive up there after he got off of work on Friday afternoon and head that way. I needed patience. All I could do was pray that she and Colleen would heal and that they would be ok in the end. I knew it would be, Misha was a strong woman, as was Colleen. They had wonderful people to be there for them and the support of many more.

As always, thank you for coming to my blog. I hope you have a great day!

EDIT (Feb 8, 2017): I am posting my classmates’ comments below.

“Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out.” ―Mark Twain

Many people now-a-days have attended, are attending, or will be attending college. I didn’t always know that I would go to college nor did I ever know what college I would be going to. It wasn’t until high school that I really thought about college. You’re entire high school career, people talk about all of these colleges and all these different majors that you can choose from. I remember in 8th grade we actually had a representative from FIDM come and talk to my class. I was really interested in FIDM for a short couple of hours but realized it was a dead dream pretty quickly. Starting in 9th grade, I developed a love for BYU Idaho. Yes, BYU is such a “typical Mormon” school and maybe that’s what was pulling me towards it. I had no idea what I wanted to do in college, though.

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 3.06.30 PM.pngIn 10th grade, I moved to Missouri and decided that I wanted to be a OB/GYN and go to Missou or maybe to the small college in West Plains. Really it was whatever my soon-to-be scholarship would pay for. Sadly, after the death of my grandparents, I had to move back to California for 11th and 12th grade. By Senior year, I had it in my head that I wasn’t good enough to go to a university. I wasn’t a straight A student, I didn’t have a lot of extracurricular activities under my belt, and I didn’t have the means to afford the tuition. I finally settled with the community college and picked English as my major because it was my favorite subject. I never took the SAT or ACT because I felt that I would do too poorly on it anyways, nor was it needed to get into a community college. I got in, not that FCC declines many people (if any). I took classes and found what I really wanted to major in: Child Development. It wasn’t until my 3rd semester that I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my degree when I got it. My goal was to one day own my own daycare and maybe teach Child Development in college when I’m older.

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-3-05-03-pmWhy do I tell you this? Because college is hard. From dealing with parents’ thoughts about college and your major, to picking your field, to paying for college and choosing where you will live. Some parents force a specific college down their child’s throat from their birth and they don’t really have a say in where they go to school or even what they want to do career wise. Others have family that tells them that college is a waste and that nobody really goes to college, that it’s all a scam. Then there are other families that tell you that your passion is pointless to pursue because you won’t make any money and that you should become a nurse.

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-3-03-41-pmI cannot tell you too much about how living in a dorm is but I have had experiences living in a two bedroom apartment with a complete stranger. It was kind of like living in a dorm and I really got along with my roommate. We shared food and makeup and we went places. in my car. I even went to her graduation and helped her move out into her new apartment. I might even do a post on my experience in that living situation sometime.

Anyway, I want you all to know ten things that I was not told while growing up.

  1. You are good enough to apply for a university
  2. It’s ok to go to a city college and transfer to a university
  3. You don’t have to pick your major during your first year of college
  4. Focus on doing your general education that first year
  5. Your passion absolutely can become your career, it’s not about the money it’s about loving what you do every day
  6. There are many ways to pay for college, it can be affordable
  7. It’s ok to apply at a bunch of schools
  8. Start thinking about college earlier
  9. You can still stay friends with your high school buddies but graduation will change how your relationships are. I’ve lost some friends and gotten closer to others.
  10. Just be yourself. Don’t change who you are just because you feel like you need to be something different in college.

I also want to include 10 resources that you may find helpful. I have used some of them.

  1. Go here to apply for FAFSA
  2. The 10 best sites to look for scholarships
  3. List of colleges in the US (this is not every college in the US)
  4. Resources for College Students
  5. Getting Textbooks from Chegg (I’ve used this one often)
  6. 31 Things You Need To Know About College
  7. You’ll get lost so you’ll need a map
  8. 50 Things Every College Student Should Experience At Least Once
  9. How to Deal with Homesickness Freshman Year
  10. Ten Common Problems Students Face in College

I hope my tips and resources help you or someone you know that is in college. If you have anything you would like to add, please comment below.

As always, thank you for reading. Click follow to read more from me!

“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” -Dalai Lama

We all have goals and dreams and we all have different ways of getting there. The Miracle Morning gives a specific one to try: vision boards. According to Google “A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life.” I decided to try one out. I purchased a poster board from Wal-Mart and began printing a few pictures out from the internet. After I printed a few pictures, I realized I had no idea how I wanted to set my vision board up. Should I just put a bunch of pictures, like a collage? Should I write on it? I stared down at the blank white board, waiting me to do with it as I want but I was blank. I expressed my thoughts to my husband and he suggested I make ideas and a lightbulb went off in my head. I could make a mini version in my bullet journal so I could decide where I wanted things without any regret because I can move them until I like it without getting upset because it’s just in my bullet journal. Of course, I went on Pinterest to find ideas for my vision board but nothing gave me any ideas. I actually took my level 10 life pages that I made and decided I would do it based on my goals for my level 10 life. Everything from publishing my book to getting my degrees and becoming a preschool teacher. I’m not done with it but I want to share pictures of it with you.

So, I’m sure some of you are wondering “Why should I make a vision board?” That’s an excellent question! Have you ever heard of the law of attraction? The Law of Attraction website, yes there’s a website,  says “Simply put, the Law of Attraction is the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on. It is believed that regardless of age, nationality or religious belief, we are all susceptible to the laws which govern the Universe – one of which being the Law of Attraction.” Also, according to the Huffington Post, “Creating a sacred space that displays what you want actually does bring it to life. What we focus on expands. When you create a vision board and place it in a space where you see it often, you essentially end up doing short visualization exercises throughout the day.”

So, there you have it folks, when we visualize our goals and dreams, there are more likely to happen because we have that reminder every day, staring us in the face. It also offers a great conversational piece and your friends and family can hold you accountable when you share it with them.

As I stated at the beginning, we all have goals and dreams. Hal Elrod says only about 5% of us actually achieve the life we truly dream of though. Through visualization, as well as other things, we can bring that 5% to a greater number. I challenge everyone reading this post to make their own vision board. Please share in the comments so we can all get inspiration. Thank you for reading!

Bliss Inventive is a great place if you want a little help creating your board.