Our Adopt Don’t Shop Story

I was supposed to go to Rhode Island this past weekend for a quick getaway, but plans changed fast.

My boyfriend and I moved in together a couple months ago. But before we even had the conversation about moving in, we were talking about getting a dog. I’m a huge animal lover and have wanted a dog since I graduated college. I had a couple of set backs on my journey to adoption.

One reason being that I didn’t have enough space, money, or time for a while and I knew it was unfair at that point in my life to get a dog. Another setback being, I’ve been bitten in the face twice by two separate dogs on two separate occasions that required a significant amount of stitches – really, that was just bad luck. And lastly, the dog I grew up with passed away not too long ago and it really hit me hard.

But still, we talked about getting a dog for a while and the longer we lived together the more and more we started looking at adoption sites. I had volunteered at a shelter when I first graduated and on Wednesday of last week the most perfect dog became available for adoption. We initially thought we would adopt her and come back to get her after the trip, but that wasn’t really realistic as we would have a hard time leaving her alone after falling in love with her.

I was a little panicky the first couple days, as seems to be the trend with big decisions. We are going to be responsible for this little pup for the rest of her life, I just was nervous we were taking a step a little too early. But we are finally beginning to get settled with her, even though we are facing typical puppy challenges that I will write about later on.

World, meet Kaya. She’s a little over 1 year old, the shelter thinks she is a chow/terrier mix, and she had puppies only a few months ago. She is a great dog and is already pretty well trained! We love her so much already! 🙂 Did you adopt your pet? I’d love to hear about your adoption experience in the comments!

Visiting All 50 States

One of the many reasons I envy Europeans is because their countries are relatively close together which allows them to visit a whole other culture that is basically in their backyard.

The United States is so huge that seeing the whole thing is a big task, especially if you’re like me and you also want to see the whole entire world!! But I have made it a goal now to spend quality time in every one of the 50 states. We’ve begun chipping away at the East Coast with weekend trips, but I reallllly need to get out to the West Coast soon! Check out my progress which I will be updating every couple of months! How many states have you been to?

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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My Spring Bucket List

I am welcoming spring with open arms! I hate winter, I’m not sad to see it go, and I hope there is no more snow in store for me. I managed to get a lot done in winter, but I always like to amp up my spring and summer bucket lists because the weather is usually better and I have more motivation! I made this list extra long to motivate me on weekdays because I’m usually so lazy. Check out my spring bucket list below!

  1. Read 3 books
  2. Finish crocheting granny square blanket
  3. Have friends over to my new place
  4. Go on a weekend trip
  5. Plan a summer vacation
  6. Visit Longwood Gardens
  7. Reach 3,000 WordPress followers
  8. Reach 7,000 Instagram followers
  9. Reach 900 Twitter followers
  10. Reach 600 Facebook page likes
  11. Go hiking in 2 places
  12. Leave the state 3 times
  13. Hold a sloth
  14. Save $$$ for a dog!
  15. Start a garden
  16. See the cherry blossoms
  17. Have a picnic
  18. Take a walk outside once a week
  19. Maintain happiness and presence
  20. Create a photo album

The Nervous Traveler

I’m pretty much always convinced something is going to go wrong when I travel. I get to the airport early, print out all my receipts, and check my luggage about 50 times to make sure I have everything.

Yet, I always get nervous. Even though nothing has ever drastically gone wrong, I always think that it will all go downhill for me.

I think this mostly stems from how much money I put into travel with very little insurance. What if I miss my flight? That costs money. What if the Uber’s are upcharging when we need a ride? That costs money. What if I forget something really important? That costs money.

Like clockwork, every time I have a trip the hours leading up to it include a nervous stomach and a migraine. My only tips for someone traveling with a nervous travel is to constantly assure them.

My boyfriend and I travel together a lot and I do 90% of the planning, when he assures me nothing will go wrong I have a hard time believing him because I planned it so I know the possibilities. But that’s his job, I plan and he makes sure I don’t go nuts.

But in the end, the travel is always worth it.

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My Monogamy Skepticism

I’ve been skeptical about monogamy for a while now. I used to be very gung-ho on love, having a family, and living happily ever after. But the older I got, the more unrealistic it seemed.

We are constantly changing. It’s hard for me to fathom that with all the changes we go through, we will like the same person for the next 50 years of our life. The only people that have even been in my life for more than 5 years are my family members and I’m stuck with them. Is that what marriage is? Making it work because you’re stuck with them?

It just seems odd to me that we force ourselves to be with one person for the rest of our lives when there are so many other places, other people, and other experiences out there. I see so many more bad relationships than I see good ones. I’ve seen the beginnings and the ends of marriages. And it just doesn’t seem like monogamy is natural for people who live 100 years.

I think it has a lot to do with my inability to live in the present, always looking towards the future. I look down the line and think that I couldn’t possibly be as happy as I am now in the next 10 years if everything is exactly the same.

It just seems weird to me that most people feel the need to anchor down to one person and they do it in their 20’s. 3 years ago I was a different person than I am today and in 3 more years I’ll be different again – can it really be that the person you marry will ebb and flow with your changes along  with their own? That it really does all just work itself out?

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Letting Stress Get The Best Of You

I am a continuously stressed out person. I normally don’t get worked up over small things, but I do get worked up over small things that keep building up higher and higher and I also really feed off other people’s stress. I’m not usually worried until someone else is worried, and when you work at a 9-5 job pretty much everyone is stressed all the time. So now I am stressed all the time.

And it’s really gotten the best of me lately. So much so, I developed an eye twitch for over two weeks – it’s starting to go away for anyone who has been following my complaints on Instagram. I have awfully vivid dreams and don’t sleep well at night. I get migraines that knock me on my butt for hours at a time. All of this from stress and not managing it correctly.

I have things that make me feel happy and organized. I’m a list maker, I plan trips to keep my wanderlust at bay, I have a gratitude journal, I organize my plans far in advance. And yet it still doesn’t seem to be enough in this postgrad world of mine.

I want to put the fun back into life – but even the fun things cause stress now. Everything needs to be scheduled, put in the planner. When unexpected things come up – fun or not so fun – it is a total drain on my energy.

What are your tips for dealing with stress and not letting life weigh too heavily on you? Leave me comments – I always appreciate advice! 🙂

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Somewhere In Between

I feel pretty weird about this stage of my life. While I know I don’t need to have everything figured out at 24 years old, I do know that there are some things that I should feel more comfortable with.

But everything is very up and down at the moment. I just moved into a new place, so where I live will be a constant for probably the next two years. Therefore, I really don’t have any big life changes coming down the road – and I kind of thrive on change. I don’t plan on moving, don’t plan on changing jobs, don’t plan on making any relationship steps. Which is all fine, but the lack of change makes me uneasy.

And I feel like I should be more comfortable with my friends, the way I spend my time, the way I look. But I just can’t find a balance.

My friends all have their friends and they all live more than an hour away making pretty much everything hard. I’m tired after work so I don’t really do anything exciting – probably the only thing worth mentioning is my blog but that has become so integrated into my life. And I can’t get past any fitness plateaus, I’m so stagnant.

But what do I do? Join a club at 24 years old? I’ve never been an outgoing person and just the thought of trying to make new friends makes me want to hide under the covers. Do I just accept I’m at a weird transitional part of my life and that the puzzle pieces will fall into place soon? Because so far I’ve learned when you expect things to get easier, they don’t.

Being 24 is weird.

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