I’ve been browsing through different pins and posts regarding things to write about when you’re blocked, and it started to make me realize I don’t share much about my personal life on my blog. I claim to be a fashion and lifestyle blogger, but how can I claim lifestyle if I don’t write about my lifestyle? That realization coupled with a beautifully constructed post by one of my favorite bloggers, Bess, got me thinking that I’d really like my blog to have a bit more depth. I want to show to my readers that my life is not always as I portray it on my blog or my Instagram page. Life is messy. MY life is messy. So here it goes; how I got to where I am now. I’m starting with no real direction for this post, so if you’re interested, bear with me – it could be a crazy ride!
During my junior and senior years of high school, I absolutely detested talking about college. I mean, I was downright childish about it. Nothing excited me about moving miles away from my hometown and best friends to a place full of strange people and harder tests. I didn’t want to go on campus tours, and essentially had to be dragged kicking and screaming. I toured only three schools: University of Minnesota Twin Cities, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, and University of Wisconsin – Stout. I finally came to terms with the fact that I had to go to college (ugh) because I’m the rule, I’m not the exception. The ugly truth is that you probably won’t get very far if you don’t have an insane talent or a college degree and since I don’t have an insane talent, I best go get a degree, I thought. Alriiiight, I told myself, let’s make this as quick and painless as possible; I’ve got stuff to do. I didn’t want to go to Madison (more widely known as the University of Wisconsin. Fun fact: there are more than one universities of Wisconsin). Everyone from my high school was going to Madison, and despite my reluctance to leave my hometown, I was convinced I didn’t want to go somewhere I already knew everyone. I know, I’m a walking contradiction. Of the schools I toured, I came to the conclusion that Minnesota was too big, and Stout was too small. Eau Claire it was. I didn’t want a roommate. Heck, I had just gotten my own room for the first time three years prior, I didn’t want to go back to sharing my space. So what did I get? Five roommates. Eau Claire had (maybe still has?) a lack of housing, so the study rooms on each floor were turned into “overflow” rooms. Six girls. One room. As you can imagine, sometimes it was good, sometimes it was bad, but I went on to become good friends with three of them.
I lived in the dorms again my sophomore year with another random roommate. One of my roommates from the previous year lived on my floor while the other two I was close to chose off-campus housing. The remaining two left the school, one to participate in an internship program, the other to do who knows what. My second year was a pretty great year, and I finally decided maybe this college thing wasn’t so bad after all. That year was also the year I met my boyfriend, Sam. It took a lot of wandering for me to find him, and it’s completely true when they say you’ve gotta weed through a lot of duds before you find your Prince Charming. In a way, I’m thankful for my time at Eau Claire, because it (sort of) brought Sam and I together. In other ways, Eau Claire turned me into someone I didn’t want to be, and my downward spiral began at the end of the summer after my sophomore year.
My close friends and I had planned a trip to Florida so that I could “meet” Sam for the first time (we met online, completely by accident). It was sure to be an amazing trip; I’d booked a hotel within walking distance from the beach where I’d be with my best friends, and Sam would be there to spend a couple of wonderful days with me. To put it simply, the trip was not as amazing as I had hoped, other than my time with Sam. The entire purpose of the trip was so that I could spend time with Sam, and my friends were angry that I spent so much time with him (?). I won’t go into too much detail, but I attribute this trip to the beginning of the end of those friendships.
I felt as if spent the entire next year holding my breath, wondering if my friends were still my friends, which was unfortunate because I lived with two of them. I felt very alone throughout the duration of that year. We lived pretty far off campus, so I didn’t engage myself in any on-campus activity like I should have. I finally made the difficult decision to leave Eau Claire. I wanted to stay and complete my program, but I was afraid I’d lose myself entirely if I stayed any longer. The only person I told was the girl from whom I planned to sublease the following year, who happened to be the roommate of one of my best friends. Naturally, my friend found out, and confronted me about it. We exchanged no more than ten text messages before she concluded, “well, I tried.” If this was her trying to convince me to stay, I was even more convinced that I needed to leave.
I don’t mean to make them sound like bad people. I don’t know them anymore. Some days I feel bitter hatred about it all. Some days I feel sadness. Some days I can’t even believe it ever happened. Most days I try not to think about it.
I left Eau Claire with absolutely no plan. Well, that’s not true. I had an internship, and I had ideas. I was going to move to Florida, be with Sam, and finish my degree online. It sounded like just what I needed, but it was a lofty dream. The online program proved too good to be true, and I ended up transferring to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, a 35-mile commute from my hometown. And that’s where I am now. I balance my time between school and my (second) internship and waiting. Because once again, living even further off campus has restricted me from participating in extracurriculars and making friends. I went to a few club meetings here and there, but waiting around on campus for an evening meeting makes for some incredibly long days, so I stopped going. In a way, making new friends seems like a moot point, as I plan to move to Gainesville to be with Sam (at last!) after I graduate in May. I am thankful to have had a couple of high school friends move back to the area that I’m able to spend time with. Living at home also gave me the opportunity to be with my first dog in her last months, welcome a new pup into my heart, and it continues to give me valuable time with my family that I’ll surely miss when I move on.
The point of this post is that you can be okay. You can lose everything and still be okay. Because even when it feels like you’ve lost everything, you really haven’t. You have family. You have childhood friends. You have opportunities to further your education and career, to become a better version of you, and you’ll get yourself back up on your feet. You’ll have really good days and really bad days, but such is life. You cannot live in unhappiness for fear that change will be hard.
I will leave you with the quote that fueled my decision to leave Eau Claire:
“If you’re not on the right path, get off it.”