March 2, 2016

A New, Blessed Brit

Wow. It has been a long time.

You know for a while I debated pulling this blog down, or giving someone else the domain because I felt so awful that I had not kept up with it. My first semester of college was so different from what I had anticipated. I had this view that it would go great, that my grades would be perfect, and that I would feel one hundred percent that it was where I was meant to be.

Well, I'm sitting here in view of beautiful Jordan-Hare (which is eerily quiet post-football season), so it's safe to say one of those things is true. But this post isn't for me to whine about how school is so hard and life's never going to get better.

Because I made a change. Er, not just one, but rather a few.

First semester I was excited (and anxious). I joined clubs and activities, I started attending a church, I made friendships, and I started my first round of college classes. But something wasn't right, I should have been feeling happy...or at least looking forward to the next activity or class or whatever. Yet, every day that I continued to do the same routine, I hated it. I felt that despite my best efforts to not want to change myself during college, I was shaping a life around me that just didn't feel like my own. It didn't feel genuine and it didn't bring me joy. Things started happening at home that were out of my control from 17 hours away and I didn't really know how to cope with it. I started to make mistakes and find problems in things I never had in the past. I allowed the stress from near and far to mess with me, to turn me into an anxious person I never wanted to be.

Here I was at a school I had worked tirelessly despite the odds to get into, it was my dream school since sophomore year, and I felt like I was not the person I wished to be.

Now looking back I know I can't be too hard on myself. College is a transition, and unexpected things occurred back a home that really swerved my path from what I had thought it would be. I look around at my friend group here at Auburn and think "Wow, did I luck out!" The friends that surround me went through many equally, if not harder, trials. They are so strong, bright, and some of the most passionate and driven people I know. Despite my inner anxieties or worries during those first few months, it truly was the people around me that reminded me why I was here.

But there was one thing I had been continuing to neglect. And that, was me.

This a new semester, and a new me. 

Change is not a bad thing. It is what drives life. But I had been trying to initiate the wrong type of change, one that didn't give me fulfillment or happiness. And in doing so I forgot to reflect and think about what I truly needed, rather than what I thought I should become.

One of the biggest areas of my life that I am focusing on is my overall health. Too many late nights at the library and all-nighters began to take its toll on me last semester. I was exhausted all the time and felt like I was spending endless hours studying for tests that I did "just ok" in. I started slipping on my food choices, eating things that were contrary to the gluten-free diet I needed to follow, simply because I didn't have the energy to spend on truly planning and thinking through my choices.

I also wasn't pursuing things that made me emotionally happy. I was stuck with a church that was great, but not for me. I was stuck participating in clubs and organizations that, again, were amazing, but not for me. I hadn't read a book in ages, nor had I sat down and taken time to do some hobby or something in general that I enjoyed. I was focused on school, but not really studying in a way that seemed to be working.

I have chosen to change. I am unwilling to be content with life if it makes me unhappy and unfulfilled. 

So the person typing now is a different, much happier, and a still continually blessed person. I am now (currently) sitting with all As in my classes, but more than that, I am truly spending time on myself. I've been eating gluten-free for almost a month now and feel exceptionally better. Not only am I making choices in light of my gluten intolerance, but I feel as though I've finally had one of those "a-ha!" moments when it comes to health. I want to eat good things that in hand make me feel and be the best I can be. I want to exercise and put up with the 20 minute walk to the gym. I want to find enjoyment in every day and not feel like other things, whether that be food, people, or grades, affect my happiness. 

I feel for the first time that I have a sense of control over my life. Not a control that rivals God's, but one that has allowed me to take full advantage of the gifts He has given me and the life that He wants for me.

And I want that life for me too! I'm returning to a place where I truly believe in my own abilities and a renewed confidence and self-esteem. I'm not allowing the setbacks I'm encountering to rule how I live my life, because they are part of it, but they are not all there is to it. Disappointments and hardships are important, because they enable me to fully appreciate the good. But I'm fed up letting things continue on if I have to power to change them.

I'm very optimistic for the future. I am planning to truly commit to this blog and use it to share advice and insight into my life here at Auburn. I will be posting tips to eating gluten-free on campus, workouts that I will be (attempting) doing, and random stories about everyday life here on the beautiful rolling plains. 

I owe a huge amount of gratitude towards the friends and family both here and at home that continue to uplift and support me. I love you all so very much and a day doesn't go by that I reflect on how lucky I am.

And of course I owe it all to Him.

To a new and Blessed Brit,

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