The most expensive paper (That I didn’t own)

Last night I opened up my mailbox app and saw an email with the subject line “RE: Diploma Hold”. I opened it, of course. Read it. Then laughed and shook my head. Let’s rewind:
I graduated from college two years ago. I didn’t have a job lined up; I didn’t know what field I wanted to get into; I didn’t have a career lined up. During school I worked an average of 2-3 part-time jobs and did a couple of internships. I was struggling, hard, but I managed to get by. After walking the stage I still had a few courses to take to fulfill my degree unit requirements. So I was stressing about that. I also had no idea where I would or could apply to for a fulltime job. Number 2 of my stress. Then talk about bills piling up. It took me a little longer than 5 months to secure a job; which caused me to fall behind on a lot of my bills, including some student loans. It really became the decision between eating and paying a loan during some months. In the meantime I was still working retail, part-time, with terrible hours. After securing a better part-time job I quick my retail job and started to sign up for the last few units I needed to complete my degree. The only reason why I couldn’t start fulltime at my new job was because I didn’t technically have a 4-year degree yet. Thankfully, they let me work part-time and while I was taking courses online.
There I was a few months later. It’s taking much longer than I anticipated completing the courses, but I’m done! Finally! I submit my last assignment and finally felt accomplished again. I waited a few weeks, then a couple of months and I still haven’t seen my diploma. Then I email the registrar’s office. They emailed me back to tell me there seemed to be a hold on my account. They said I could log into my account and check out what the hold was. I do so. It was something along the lines of finances and gave me a number to call if I wished to do so.
Long story short after receiving that email last night after them telling me already why I couldn’t receive my diploma, I felt dispirited. I was literally living the expression “you’re paying for a piece of paper”. After putting in the hours, tears(literally), and work all those years. My diploma, which I earned, is being held hostage because to the university the small amount owed is much more important than rewarding my accomplishment. It’s disheartening. I tell my nephews and nieces often that college may not work out for everyone but give it a chance. Invest into your education because no one can take that away. Yet there I was, reading an email that made me sick to my stomach. That may sound a bit dramatic but seriously. As students(former students) we work and struggle to get this piece of paper that tells people that we are smart enough to work for (insert company). Then when we fall on hard times, institutions such as universities tell us that we can’t have that PIECE OF PAPER because they need more money.

It’s been a rough couple of days

These are the type of days I pray for more strength. I pray for courage. I pray for wisdom. These are also days I thank God a little more. 
I am learning to speak victory into my life instead of defeat. I shall not speak ill of my life. I shall not let negativity dictate my mood. I shall have faith. I will practice patience and trust in God. I know He does not bring me to something that I can’t get through. He will help me get through it, better, happier, and even more blessed. I am a child of God and I am highly favored. 

What to wear

For a few years I’ve would tell myself ‘I’m going to upgrade my wardrobe’. Well that was my sophomore year in college and I’m 25 and have graduated now. I still haven’t really updated anything. I managed to donate most of my wearable clothing. Now I’m down to clothes that I can’t wear in public, either they are too small, outdated, or plain ugly. 

I still struggle to commit to shopping for clothes. I always end up buying food. I don’t have the patience to go shopping anymore. Especially with my body weight being what it is. I just feel insecure and tired of trying to find anything that will fit and look good on me. I hope other mommies can relate because this mommy is in desperate need of a new look! 

Life is tough man

I have to fight hard to be able to look on the brighter side. There are many times in the past when I would just be paralyzed from a bad day. I wouldn’t be up to do anything for a few days. I would cry often and only saw the bad in every day. Years have passed and I am 25 now although I still have my moments my bounce back time is much quicker. Often times what kept me from optimism was fear. The fear of disastrous happening. ‘What if that?’ ‘What if this?’ ‘But that could go wrong.’ I was always expecting the worse. I let the fear of the future dictate everything about me.

After a few years I found myself turning to faith. I remember there was a point when I didn’t feel like I deserved to pray to God because I went so many years without doing so. I went years without praying for guidance or even giving thanks for what I had. I’m sure I’ve talked about this before but I find myself back here when I life gets tough again. My emotions get bottled up and I don’t know what to do. I want to cry but it’s difficult to cry. This is how I vent. This is part of my stress reliever.

“When life gets tough, the tough get going” It took me years to understand that saying, even longer to apply it to my own life. It’s always easier said than done because at the moment when you are dealing with problems it’s difficult to think straight. At that moment you are going off of emotion which 99% of the time is not a good idea. I am still working on thinking first and acting second.

 

BALANCE

Becoming a mother has taught me many things but one of the more important things is balance.

Raising children takes an entire different type of patience, time, and energy from you. Becoming a mother has been a tiring yet beautiful learning experience so far. I love to watch her laugh and scream in excitement. I can’t get over her smiles and her little “huh?!” Its beautiful to watch children discover and learn new things without you teaching them.

As I am becoming amazed and gushing over my daughter I realized that I am letting myself go – I have been having too much of the junk/fast food and not enough healthy food. I wasn’t able to figure out how to take care of myself. I know I mentioned in a previous post about learning how to take care of myself. I believe the first step in doing that is finding a good balance – things like not taking advantage of free time (if Emilia allowed me any), making sure I am on a healthy diet, making time for exercise, spend quality time with family and friends, personal time for myself to write, etc. For a few months I was struggling to find a balance.

Then one day, a couple of months ago, I was lying on my bed and saw my gut. I became a little disappointed in myself. Right after Emilia was born I was good, I made sure I ate well, walked around the house often, and wore my back support. Then I guess after I realized that I couldn’t breastfeed anymore I didn’t see an important reason to eat healthy and take care of my body. Finally, one weekend, a month ago, I got up and went to the gym. It wasn’t the best workout, I was there for 30 minutes but it was better than nothing. My body was slowly getting into movement again, it felt nice.

Fast forward to month and few weeks later, I worked the gym into my schedule. I work extra hard on the weekends, early in the morning. I am starting to eat right. And the best part, I have not disrupted my bonding with Emilia at all. I’m thankful for my mom’s help because without her it would be so much more difficult to find a balance. But she’s also who I learned balance from. My mom never stops.

A big part of balance is prioritizing. Which makes sense right? How can you make time for something without figuring out when and where it needs to get done? ‘Can I wait until the weekend to go to the gym? Yes. So I will work on laundry today.’ It’s about knowing the task you want to accomplish and prioritizing to get them done.

I have learned make use of my time in a way where I feel content. I don’t feel like I missed out on too much. I feel like I am taking care of myself and baby.