I'm turning my life around, in more ways than one.
1) Doing things that I love.
a) I moved Orion closer so that I can finally see him and do things with him on a regular basis. He's less than ten minutes from where I live now.
b) Proofreading. I've always loved to read, and I've always loved to write. While I'm still working on writing more, I've taken up proofreading on Fiverr.com. It's time consuming, but this is what I get out of it: I get to read new stuff almost every day. I'm reading a lot, something I haven't done since I was in high school or younger. I'm making a body of work better. I hate coming across stuff in books that I read that is just wrong and thinking that I could have written or edited that so much better...now I am. I love the feeling of knowing that, while it's still the author's work, the book, document, etc. is going out into the world with my mark on it as well.
c) Reading. In addition to proofreading, I've decided to take advantage of this extra free year before I start grad school. I'm reading every book I can get my hands on (and I can get my hands on a lot because I have a TON that I've collected since college started that I just never had the time to read. Add to that the ones that have come out recently that are sequels to or by the same authors as books I've read in the past, and it's quite a long list. Maybe I'll post it sometime.)
d) Spending time outdoors. This. It's true that I can spend time outdoors anywhere, but there are specific places that I want to go, and very soon, it will possible for me to go to them whether anyone wants to go/can go with me or not.
e) Writing. I love it. Blogging and writing fiction are two of my favorite things in the world. While I don't want it to be my career, I do want to keep this a prominent hobby for as long as it holds my interest and brings me this much happiness. And when (not if) I finally do publish some of my stuff, it will be nice to potentially make a little money by doing something I love, as well as to know that what I wrote might be bringing someone, somewhere, some joy and entertainment. That's one thing that I hope happens with this blog, aside from it being my chronicle of my life for me to look back on from time to time. I hope that it helps people in some way, whether it's with a problem they have or just by putting a smile on their face.
2) Speaking of why I can do all of that traveling very soon without help: I have a car. Until I broke my collarbone, the plan was to go test for my driver's license for the first time in my life two weeks ago. Now I have to wait, but having a car gives me (and everyone involved in helping me get there) so much more incentive to get on the ball and do it. I can't wait to be able to go where I want, when I want. Feeling restless and nothing to do at home? No problem. Hop in the car and go to the barn....to a friend's....just for a drive in general... I. Can't. Wait.
3) Applying to grad school. (Hold on tight; this is a long one!) Seriously, this is something I have struggled with since my freshmen year of college. Not the application, but the decision of what I want to do. Not long after my program lost its accreditation my freshmen year, I realized that my future plan was really someone else's. Yes, I was very interested in the field of health care. Yes, I love science, and the human body interests me. But suddenly I realized that being a PA just didn't feel like the right fit to me anymore. I think I kind of fell in love with the idea of going to AB for that program, going back to the town that I grew up in and loved so much, and going into PA school made my family really happy. Next to going to med school, it was the next best thing. I just got swept up in it and convinced myself that it's what I wanted, when really, I didn't know what I wanted. It ended up being a really long road figuring that out. Along the way I considered med school, vet school (specializing as an equine veterinarian - surprise surprise!), nursing school, something in environmental science, something in GIS, and now, finally physical therapy. And thank God, I think I've finally got it. I have finally found something that feels right, I'm extremely interested in, and in all honesty, has pretty much been under my nose the whole time. I was just too focused on other ideas, or the idea that I just didn't know what I wanted, to see it. So the only thing left to be done is to take my GRE (very soon), finish my applications, send them on their way, and wait.
4) Eating healthier. This has actually been going on for a while, so I'm not going to dwell on it, but it's something that I've been trying to concentrate on for the past year, off and on (but mostly on - there have only been a couple of times that I slipped up for a while - the rest of the time, which is most of it, I've been doing fairly well).
5) Exercising. I have a home workout plan that I was starting before I broke my collarbone. A lot of it isn't really possible right now because since it's a home plan, a lot of it involves exercises that use your own body weight (think of push-ups as an example), and obviously that's not going to work right now. However, I do plan to start hiking. I love running, and I hope that once I'm in better shape and have lost more weight, I can take that up again, but right now, it kills me. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's not enjoyable. So instead, I want to hike. I want to get outdoors more; the trees and other plants in the woods (and this is WV, so really everywhere) are the most gorgeous green right now (we've had a bit of rain recently). I really just want to get out and enjoy that, take it all in, and get some good pictures. Hiking is conducive to all of that, plus I'm getting a good workout in while I do it. I have the Endomondo Sports Tracker app on my phone and my iPod, so I can track my hikes with GPS the same way I try to track any long horseback rides that I do. There are places on my grandpa's farm that I can go, but even more than that, as far as this town goes anyway, I'm excited about going on the trails at the new stable (more on that here).
6) Looking for a new job. I like the job I have right now. I don't completely love it, but I like it. I've been there for going on 6 years now, and all things considered, I have it good as supervisor, safety manager, and restaurant manager, but with everything else I have going on, I just don't really feel it anymore. It was never meant to be a career, which my bosses know and understand (none of this is a shock to them; I've already discussed it with them). I really never meant to stay as long as I have, but with this extra year before grad school tacked on, that I didn't anticipate originally, I really want something that will mirror what my class schedule will be like (i.e. day time instead of late evening/night shifts - 12am). There's also the matter of going into a health care job such as physical therapy - while I'm not qualified to actually work as a physical therapist right now, I would like to get some sort of job in a hospital, preferrably the one here since I'm trying to establish myself here for the next few years, just so that I have some experience in that area since all I have right now are volunteer hours. There's nothing wrong with volunteer hours, but I just feel that working at the hospital in some way would benefit me in addition to those volunteer hours.
So there it is. That's pretty much my life right now, in a long, rambling nutshell. I'm happy with what I have and what I'm working towards. The only thing I have not mentioned here is getting my own place. Since I now have a bunch of medical bills to pay in addition to my car payments and car insurance, I'm thinking about staying with my grandpa a little while longer until I have some of that taken care of. However, as soon as I have the money saved up and can swing it, I plan to get my own place around here somewhere. I'm more than ready for it. It's been overdue for a long time now.