Time.

So I’ve been MIA lately and I apologize for that. I feel like I have been really busy lately, and exhausted on top of that. I haven’t found much time to blog, and if I did find time, I usually just wanted to lie down.

This summer I am working for the first time. Well, its technically not my first gig, but I don’t really count the first job. I worked at a country club, I ran the “Kids Night Out.” Its basically where the kids get dropped off while their parents attend the club parties. I worked two nights, and they were two of the most chaotic nights of my life. Twenty young children, unlimited marshmallows, and a bouncy house are not a good mix. After my second night, they never called me in again, due to my cross country schedule taking up the majority of my weekends. They never actually fired me, so I guess I technically still work there. However, I haven’t worked a single hour there since October 2009.

Anyway, this summer I am working my first long-term job. Its not technically long-term… But I have made it longer than two days. In fact, I’ve been doing it since the beginning of May. NEW RECORD 🙂 Anyway, I’m working as a nanny to two little girls, aged seven and five. They are a fun age, and they are both really sweet… But still, its hard trying to keep them entertained all day. When I get home, I am usually pretty tired. 

This week was particularly busy, because I took my first camping trip! Tucker and I spent Thursday and Friday night at Bear Creek Lake State Park. Not gonna lie… I was a bit nervous. I am not an outdoorsy person. The only things I like to do outside are run and tan. That’s it. But I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed camping! It was really quite relaxing. We went swimming, paddle boating, hiking… And it was just beautiful out there. The view of the stars was remarkable. Plus, we had access to a bathroom so it really wasn’t so bad 🙂

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Tim McGraw

Then, yesterday night, I surprised Tucker with an early birthday present… tickets to a Tim McGraw concert! Tim McGraw has been his favorite singer since he was a baby, so he was very excited 🙂 He even got to high-five Mr. McGraw himself! And Tim was awesome! He put on a great show, and he can still really rock for a forty-six year old.

So, as you can now see. It has been a very busy week, and that’s why I haven’t been able to blog much. Or, at all, really. To be honest, I’ve also been a little down this week. The summer is going by really really fast and I just feel like time is slipping away from me. I’m excited to start up at JMU, but I just wish I had more time. Soon my time with my family and Tucker will be gone for a while.

Time is a difficult concept for me to grasp. Like where does it come from? And where does it go? And why, when you are waiting for something, time goes by achingly slow? But when you are in the midst of something exciting, something fun; time seems to fly by? And we all know that eventually, our time will run out. So we as humans are faced with the daunting task of making the most of the time that we are given. And that’s scary, because you’ll never know if you made the most of your time until its gone.

And this summer, that is the problem I have been facing. When the Fall begins, will I be able to look back at my summer and feel that I made the most of it? I just feel like there is so much to do: spend time with my family and friends and Tucker, work hard at my job, try to run, blog, relax, have fun… But there is so little time to do all these things! I don’t know exactly what I am trying to get at here… I guess I’m just struggling with the fact that my summer is quickly ending, and I’m really not ready for it.

One of my favorite songs is “Seasons of Love” from the musical, Rent. Throughout the song, the question is asked:

How do you measure, measure a year?

I always thought it was an interesting question. How do you measure time: a day or a week or a month or a year? I think it really is a difficult thing to grasp. For me, it sometimes seems like an individual day goes by slowly, but when you look back, time seems to have flown by. Its hard for me to believe that I have been living for close to nineteen years. It has gone by fast.

I suppose its an ancient struggle that humans will forever deal with. How do we measure our time here, and more importantly, make the most of that time? I didn’t mean to get so deep with this. Really all I’m wondering is how to have a fun final weeks of the summer… I tend to get a bit overdramatic. Nonetheless, I hope you all are making the most of your summers! I promise to blog again real soon 🙂

xoxo Katie Lou

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The Transfer Process

I really wanted to write today, but I wasn’t sure what to write about. I eventually decided to discuss something I’ve mentioned a few times here, my transfer from the University of South Carolina to James Madison University.

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My first JMU football game…

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My first USC football game…

In my initial college search, I actually narrowed it down to USC and JMU. I loved both, but USC won out for a few reasons. I planned on running NCAA cross country and track, and I was pretty enthralled at what competing at an SEC school had to offer. I also drooled over their nationally-ranked football program and big school atmosphere. But I think one of the biggest factors in my decision was the new adventure USC would bring. My dad went to JMU and he still bleeds purple & gold, so I grew up constantly going to JMU for athletic events. Harrisonburg, Virginia is under two hours away from my house, it was a quick trip that we made many times. JMU was a big part of my childhood. USC on the other hand, was much more of a mystery. Columbia, South Carolina is six hours from my house. I wanted to explore uncharted territory and start an adventure of my own. It basically came down to going back to my roots vs. starting something totally new. And you know what I picked in the end.

So where did it all go wrong? Well, it turned out that the SEC athlete thing was much too cutthroat, Columbia was much too far, and I missed my family much too badly. The football was the only thing that was as amazing as I imagined, but that wasn’t enough to make me happy. The only thing that kept me sane was having my boyfriend, Tucker, there. But when he made his decision to leave USC, I feared for my future there. I didn’t feel like I had a place among the school. I didn’t have friends that I felt I could be my real self around. I didn’t think USC really was the place for me anymore. However, I was not willing to accept that thought. I had spent so long thinking that USC was my dream school. I had always imagined myself completing my education there and living as a proud Gamecock my whole life. I pictured myself loving my four years there, proudly becoming a USC graduate, and then return with my children decked out in head to toe garnet and black. I just wouldn’t let myself believe that maybe that wasn’t my destiny. I always told myself to just wait it out, any day now I would start loving it.

Returning to school following Thanksgiving Break was absolutely miserable. I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt so sad. I cried throughout airport security because I just really did not want to return. When I was dropped off at my dorm building, I immediately retreated to the couch and continued my tear-fest. I pretty much laid there all not feeling sorry for myself. That was the night I filled out a transfer application to JMU. Filling out that application is when I first accepted the whole thing, I knew I was not happy. Even still, the application sat untouched for another month. Christmas Break is when I finally broke down to my family, admitting that I was unhappy at USC and had considered transferring to JMU.

My family was just awesome throughout the whole ordeal. They were extremely supportive of me in making my decision. They helped me consider all of my options and let me know that the decision was ultimately mine. Together, they helped me decide to make some changes second semester. I quit the track team and got involved with other activities to get a feel for the school from a different standpoint. The second semester was definitely better, but I still found myself desiring a feeling of home. And that’s when I realized what I should do. I came to USC to find an adventure, but all I wanted was a home. Throughout my life, JMU had always been like a second home to me. My family and a good amount of best friends were constantly visiting. Now, a good amount of my friends are students there, and my family is still visiting. After being at USC for a year, it suddenly seemed so obvious that JMU was were I belonged.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret attending USC in the slightest. Picking USC in the first place was a risk, and one I’m glad I took. I had to try going and running there. I firmly believe that if I had attended JMU from the beginning, I would have always wondered what could have been at USC. Now I know it wasn’t all that, and I can happily and confidently attend JMU. I am so excited for my future there. There are so many opportunities for me to succeed and have fun. I also have so many friends already attending whom have been so supportive and excited about my decision.

I think it is important for me to write about my journey as a transfer student. Making the decision to transfer can be difficult, I know. Forever I was afraid to commit to the decision, for fear of looking like a failure. A lot of people feel this way but now I know that nobody thinks of transfers as failures. Everybody I have talked to has respected me for making such a decision. Some people have even commended me for being strong in a hard situation. I hope that by writing about my experience, others considering transferring can read and use my story to help guide them in their decision.

Obviously we don’t know if my transfer was a “success” yet, but we will soon. I added a countdown widget to my sidebar so we can track the days until I move in to JMU. I am extremely excited for this next journey in my life, and I’m excited to share it with all of you 🙂

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Go Dukes!

xoxo Katie 

Come One, Come All

Hello everyone and welcome to katie lou & other things too! Just the fact that you even clicked on this link means a lot to me, so thanks for visiting! For those of you who don’t already know, my name is Katie or “Katie Lou” as the title suggests. Katie Lou is a name my family has called me for years… It comes from my full name, Kathryn Louise. I have always loved it 🙂 The title is something cute I thought of… My little brother, Will thinks it sounds like the title of the newest Winnie the Pooh movie, but I am totally on board with that. Who doesn’t love Winnie the Pooh?

Winnie the Pooh

I’m really excited about this, because I have wanted to start a blog forever. I absolutely love to tell stories. My poor family has had to deal with my constant rattling off of stories (most of which have been repeated numerous times) throughout my entire life. I guess its about time to begin sharing those stories with someone else! Also, I am very passionate for writing. I have always loved to write, but a series of great high school English teachers really helped me improve my writing skills. In the future, I hope to teach high school English while pursuing writing on the side. Maybe this blog will help launch my writing career? Or maybe it will just help me improve my writing further… Either way is a win for me 🙂

So why did I decide to start a blog now? Well, I am in the midst of some big life changes. This Fall, I will be transferring from the University of South Carolina to James Madison University. I’m essentially getting a fresh start, so there’s no better time than this to begin! In the past, whenever I thought of writing a blog I always struggled with what to actually write about. I live the life of a typical 18 year old girl, there is nothing too exciting or interesting about it. I never really thought people would want to actually read about my life. But then I thought to myself, so what? This blog could become the next internet sensation, and would enjoy writing just as much if not a single person ever read it. I’m doing this for myself, to make me happy, and that’s the way it should be. Who cares if its just a simple blog about my life? I think my girl Pam Beasley said it best:

There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of ideas in my head that I’m just waiting to get out. And I’m really excited for this next journey in my life, and I’m hoping to share it with all of you (if there are actually any of you out there…) So if you’re reading, I hope you will join me on this ride! Until next time…

xoxo Katie Lou