MY 2015

 MY 2015

 41.What do you want the overarching theme for your 2015 to be?
I would really like the overarching theme for my 2015 to be “creatively stepping outside my comfort zone.” My comfort zone currently is driving an hour to work (one way), doing a job I only sort of like, and driving home. Actually, this comfort zone is just uncomfortable enough to make me unsatisfied with myself. I still catch myself falling into a routine and, basically, settling for less than what I truly want. I don’t want my current situation to be my norm. I want to branch out and accomplish new things.

42.What do you want to see, discover, explore?
I seriously want to travel the U.S. There are so many amazing state and national parks I want to visit. I’d like to do a mid-west road trip and see the Grand Canyon. Also, just recently Sarah suggested we go camping in the Adirondacks and fish for survival. I would love that. I’d really like to get a new car before then though, one conducive to outdoor sports.

43.Who do you want to spend more time with in 2015?
Besides practicing and making (see below), I’d like to spend more time with my grandparents and cousins this year.

44.What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?
I’d like to improve and master knitting, painting, photography (Lightroom and Photoshop), and playing the guitar. I have too many hobbies, and I’m proud of that. Of course, I also want to keep lifting at the gym and building muscle.

45.Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?
Self-confidence (as always). I think I’d like to strengthen my humor too. That seems like a weird quality to want to develop, but I’m so serious a lot of the time. It’s important for me to laugh at my self.

46.What do you want your everyday life to be like?
I want a 9-5 job. I know, “well that’s a boring statement.” No. My work schedule is random and inconsistent. I can’t do anything regularly because I may not be able to make it next week. I’d like to be able to plan more after work activities. I want to joint a volleyball league or something like that.

47.Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?
I want to be more habitually productive.

48.What do you want to achieve career-wise?
I would like to get into “my field.” Of course “my field” is still a little up in the air, but I have a general idea. It’s a good start.
49.How do you want to remember the year 2015 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?
I want 2015 to be the year I accomplished the most personal goals. I want it to be far more successful than a mere graduation. I want to learn new skills and develop my resume. This year, I want to be the opposite of stagnate. I want my life to flow.

50.What is your number one goal for 2015?
I’m 22. I want a job that supports my need to have it all. Just kidding. My number one goal for 2015 is to branch out.

My 2014 Questions 6-10

 MY 2014

6.What was your favorite place that you visited in 2014?
I visited family in Virginia this year, and it was my favorite trip of 2014.  I spent time with my cousins and saw places I had not seen since I was little.  I saw the beach! I hadn’t seen an ocean since my sophomore year of high school. I also had so much good food, both homemade and take out.

7.Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?
I think my resilience has been most helpful this year. Life hasn’t been going how I want it to, and I am someone who likes to be in control and have a plan. This year has shown me that even without a sold plan, my will to keep trying is strong.

8.Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?
My cousin Rachael was hands down my go-to girl this year. We shared so much and grew up a lot too. There were many nights sitting on bar stools laughing at life. She got me through some weird times this year and was always there to listen to me rant. She assured me I was making sense even though I’m sure I wasn’t.  She is encouraging and inspiring and hopeful.  I love that we are at a similar point in our lives and are able to share that with each other.

9.Which new skills did you learn?
New skills? Ninja skills obviously. I learned some alternative ways to practice yoga, but I have unfortunately fallen off that wagon (mostly that happened when I got a job). I hope to become stronger and more flexible in 2015. I guess I can also thank my new job for the list of skills I learned this year. Building a store from the ground up and then learning how to be a good sales associate developed my interpersonal skills and communication skills. I think I have learned a lot about working with other people.

10.What, or who, are you most thankful for?
I am most thankful for my car this year. It got me to and from school, Virginia, a state park in Maryland, and it gets me to work every day. I am so thankful that it is still running, even if it is awfully loud.

African Modernities

I’m taking an Anthropology course this year titled African modernities.  It focuses on the troubles that many sub-saharan countries face in the modern era.  We started yesterday, and we are first focusing on stereotypes.  I don’t think I knew or faced too many stereotypes before my trip to Ghana. Besides the obvious misrepresentations in the media, I never heard any words directed specifically at Africans. 

However, when I started to explain to people that I was taking a trip to “Africa,” the assumptions started to roll out.
 “Don’t catch the AIDS.”
“Don’t get raped.”
“Don’t drink the water.”
“Watch out for naked people.”
At that point in time, the response of friends of family surprised me, but I knew they were just concerned with my safety.  We were going to the other side of the world!

It is easiest to fear what you do not know or understand, and the variety of cultures and assumed strangeness of the people in Africa is an incredible example of this.

The film we are watching for class Wednesday reminds me so much of Ghana, a place I know and love and still think about. This film on Gambia takes me back definitely.

 All in all, I’m very excited to finally be taking a class focusing on Africa.