Life Update & I'm Graduating!!

Welcome Back Y'all!

I am just WAY too excited today!! I feel like I am a huge ball of energy! Today was my final day of classes for my bachelors degree and boy oh boy has it been a long road to get here. I've been doing a lot of thinking about my blog lately, and what exactly it is that I'm looking to share with you all. I think with being torn in so many different directions between work, school and just daily responsibilities I haven't had the chance to dive into much of my personal life. I'd like to change that in 2018 and start sharing more of my life with you all! In the coming months you guys can expect to get to know me better, and I can't wait to start this new chapter with you all! *Story time alert*

As far as graduating goes, I can't believe I'm done! I did it!

If we go back to the beginning of my schooling, you'll start to get an idea of what I mean by a long road. Most people don't know this about me, but I dropped out of high school at sixteen and that same year I got my GED, and started community college. Now, when I was seventeen I started working full-time, I thought I was superwoman - why couldn't I work two jobs, take four classes AND hang out with my friends??? Quickly I realized none of this was realistic and I had no idea what I wanted to get a degree in anyways, so why waste my time?

Now going back before me, my mom is a "non-traditional" graduate of the Mount Holyoke College Francis Perkins Program. MHC's FP program is for non-traditional age students. When my mom decided to go back to school she was already married to my dad and in her early thirties. She always tells the story of how she had just quit both of her jobs to go back to school full time when she and my dad found out they were pregnant with my older sister. She says she remembers crying in the car with her dad about how she had just started school and how could she be pregnant NOW! My dad was thrilled though haha! They struggled for years, dad working days while mom took care of us, and switching off so my mom could work nights, all so they could pay the bills. My momma did it though - with my dads support she ended up graduating with her bachelors in her early thirties years with both my sister and I in attendance.

*Mom receiving her MHC degree at commencement*

*My mom at the Laurel Parade, a MHC tradition for all graduating students*

My mom always told me that school was no rush, if I didn't know what my calling was yet then I didn't have to just go to college to get any old degree. I continued working full-time, I ended up getting one of the coolest jobs I've ever had at Apple. During my four years with the company, I worked in sales and then as a technician. I built such great relationships with my coworkers, I could still see any one of them now and it's hugs all around. From the age of nineteen to twenty-three I worked for Apple, and the only reason I left was to pursue my degree at Bay Path University. They have an accelerated Saturday program which I knew would allow me to continue to work full time while completing my degree. My GPA was unimpressive to say the least, and I knew that in order to be accepted to BPU's program I'd have to take a few courses again at HCC to bring it up before applying. For one year I took classes at night at HCC, got all A's and then applied to Bay Path. I legitimately cried when I got my acceptance letter. It's not like Harvard hard to get into hahaha but the tears were more about the fact that I was finally going to finish my degree.

I started in September of 2015, going full time while continuing to work. Their 'full-time' consists of two classes every six weeks. Basically that turns out to be six classes per standard semester. Full time at most colleges is twelve credits per semester, which equates to 4 classes. I have been taking 18 credits per semester for TWO years!!! Damn! In order to get through - the statistics, the accounting, financial management (oh the joys!), I just kept telling myself 'I can do anything for six weeks, it's only six weeks'. It worked! Mind over matter, and boy that shit was hard sometimes! How about the time I was writing my fifteen page research paper and for the first time in my entire life (I've had a Mac since I was 7) Microsoft Word on my Mac crashed and I lost my first 6 pages. The meltdown was unreal, and Jon is my witness I could barely speak to tell him what happened I just started BAWLING. Wouldn't you?? Then I proceeded to chuck my brand new poor little MacBook, on the bed, but still. Jon tried so hard to recover the lost paper, but he was only able to get a few paragraphs. It was at that moment I vowed to only work in Google Drive, because it auto-saves. Hey, lesson learned right? Then there was the time I cried over getting my first A- at BPU, and not a straight A and Jon said to me "your GPA isn't going to be on your degree" hahaha and "it's still an A babe".

The road has been rough, but with reflection I definitely feel like going to college at an older age is much more emotional. This could also be because I didn't know what I wanted to do for so long, and once I found my passion I was fully invested. If you're eighteen and you know what you want to do then what would stop you from going for it? Nothing! That's because you care about what your degree is in, but for me school was completely uninspiring for a while there when I first started at the age of sixteen. It's important to note that the degree I went back to school for is not the same degree I am graduating with. I was accepted to BPU thinking I was going to be a teacher to 3rd or 4th graders. I have no idea what I was thinking, but somehow it sparked a flame big enough to get me on my grind and back to school. I'll never forget it though, a professor of mine during my second session of school had been a teacher for a long time and I really connected with her. I started to ask her questions about her life teaching, and as the course went on I saw her passion for it and I realized that I just didn't have that same passion. I'll always remember one day she said to me "you're not a teacher", but she implied 'you're meant for something bigger'. Her point was that to her, it didn't feel like I was pursuing my dreams, instead it was me settling.

Funny thing is that Jon had been pressing me to really think about what I'm passionate about even before I met this professor. All the while, he knew teaching wasn't my calling either. He kept asking me "what do you want to do?" and I kept saying "I want to be a teacher" and he would say "that's not what you want, if you could do ANYTHING what would you do". This went on for a couple months, and one day when he asked again, I showed him this fashion blogger I had been following on Instagram and I said "I want to have a fashion blog like this", and he said to me "So do it! What's stopping you?". I'm tearing up writing this! Y'all, anyone who knows me knows I can be very emotional haha! But do you know what he was doing there? He was pushing me outside of the box that I somehow thought I had to stay in, and at times I still visit my box but he always reminds me that it just doesn't exist unless I put it around me. The sky is the limit. God do I feel so blessed! This year and can you say forever feeling! I was in the middle of my finals for statistics when I switched my degree (stressful!!!) to Digital Marketing, and that is the degree I will graduate with in May. I can tell you all right now, I am going to be water works on graduation day!! I'm embracing this though, they are all happy tears. My degree definitely suits me better and like I said before, now that school is over I will be able to focus on my passion for blogging.

I am so high off of this energy that I am feeling. So many emotions - I'm tears, laughter and passion all in one and I am so very proud of myself. I couldn't have done it without the support of my Mom, Dad, Jon, Chelsea and Memere. Sometimes I wake up and wonder how am I so blessed? The struggles all through the years just made this moment even more sweet. I hope you guys enjoyed this (long) post, I'm all about stories and you can expect to get a little bit of a closer look into my life as the months go on. Subscribe to my mailing list to get email notifications when I post <3

P.S. - The outfit in my photo is my new sporty casual favorite! The leggings are fairly new to me, and I barely even want to take them off to wash them - they are legit THAT good. They are by an LA based brand called Evolution and Creation (EVCR) and I found this pair at my local Marshalls. They are still available online though on their website. I'm going to have to order like four different pairs! The vest was one of my birthday presents from my mom and dad this year, and I've been meaning to link it, so you will find both below :)

EVCR Floral Bliss High Waisted Leggings (I wear a small) HERE

Patagonia Los Gatos Fleece Vest in Drifter Grey (small in this vest too) HERE