Last month concluded my fourth and final semester of University, Round 2. This has been an incredible and exciting journey. Like I shared in my first "Whirlwind Journey" post, I am so thankful that I've had the opportunity to, as cliché as it sounds, pursue my dreams. I have now successfully spent two years learning, growing, and mastering my passions and interests. I have developed my skills in Latin and Ancient Greek, practiced and grown from yoga, and expanded my knowledge and understanding of and patience with myself.
We've called this whole experience "the journey" ever since it began, so it is only fitting that I told you a little about how I got here.
I knew this was the right path for me from the first week that school began.
As I mentioned in the previous Whirlwind post, on the first day, in the first class of the day--beginning Ancient Greek--my first professor talked about how learning a new language can carve out new paths in your brain--rewiring neurons and brain circuitry--and aid in things as remarkable as warding off dementia and Alzheimer's disease. I absolutely LOVED this--and the fact that he took time to tell his students.
Although I don't know all the specifics of the benefits Latin and Greek have provided for my mind, I know they certainly haven't hurt me. Learning new skills, from translating, to yoga breath, to riding a motorcycle have most definitely changed the way my brain operates. At 30, I feel stronger, smarter, happier, and healthier than I've ever felt. I am thankful for the time I have been able to dedicate to my studies and to improving my health and lifestyle as a result of all of this change.
Similarly, at the risk of sounding like I think my life is much more exciting than it is, in case you're interested, the time since last year has gone like this:
June: Spent the summer working on a digital project with my professor; prepared for the upcoming school year; worked on home projects; attended Richmond's Vegetarian Festival; visited home (Buffalo, NY), for a beautiful wedding See photo to right with my brother, Ed, outside of the church
July: Concluded my online project with my professor; visited Washington, DC for a 10 day workshop on Information Fluency with Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies (See this post on my High Maintenance Trip Preparations); turned 30!; experienced a "Circle of Life Week," including a magical wedding, beautiful celebration of a woman's life, and what would have been a visit to my godson's second birthday party See photo below for my party-themed pirate costume
August: Danny requested a transfer to a fire station closer to our home with a much more stable schedule, which really changed our life together for the better!; I began teaching weekly yoga classes at a nearby gym and continued my free community classes at home; began year two of University, Round 2! and started in my role as president of my university's Classical Honors Society, Eta Sigma Phi
September: Chopped my hair--See this post and photo right; kept working, studying, and growing
October: Began teaching yoga at the studio with which I trained, Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center (check out Nancy, the co-owner, in this "Let Someone Know They Inspire You" post); celebrated Danny's 29th birthday at the beach; presented at a national conference, held at the University of Mary Washington
November: Presented a paper at a local academic conference, discussing women's issues; began applying for graduate school programs across the country See the photo, left, Danny insisted on taking in our office upon my arrival home from the conference
December: Completed graduate school applications; finished my third semester of University, Round 2 with more excellent grades; went to Buffalo for a quick pre-Christmas visit
January: Started my New Year off with a new Blendtec/ life-changer!; celebrated my one year Blogiversary!; began tutoring in a rewarding and fulfilling position at a high needs school; started swimming regularly
February: First heard back from graduate programs for this coming fall semester
March: Celebrated our two year anniversary of marriage; flew out to visit a school that had accepted me into their graduate program (it was beautiful!); Danny and I decided on a program and new home (town) for the fall!
April: Finishing up my last semester's work made April mostly a blur; wrote and defended my senior thesis on Vergil's Georgics; I quit cheese! (no small feat!), making the transition to a fully plant-based/ vegan diet
May: Somehow successfully and sanely finished semester 4 of University, Round 2; visited Buffalo for a quick trip before what would have been my graduation ceremony; went back up the following week to assist my mom in her recovery from surgery for a few weeks (See this "On Being Quiet & Being Brave" post)
June: So, now, with a (BIG!) move on the horizon, we are packing boxes, giving items away, and making moves--trying to remain calm, relaxed, confident, and optimistic
So, although the first step, two years ago, was absolutely terrifying, it has been so worth the sacrifice and adjustment! To repeat much of what I shared in my previous whirlwind post: It was very nearly the best decision I've made as an adult. At times, even we thought maybe it wouldn't all work--sharing one car? driving a motorcycle to save money? or giving away most of our possessions?--but we worked each day to grow, learn, and progress towards our goals. Working as a team is a challenge, but when you keep working, it starts to come together.
I am thankful each day that I've had the opportunity to not only do what I've done, but do it successfully and with the guidance, support, and love of my family and friends. Latin and yoga may not be important to everyone, but the decision along with the subjects themselves have brought renewed joy and peace to my life, helped me follow the deepest passions of my heart, and given me the focus and determination to become the person I want to be.
My hope is that this post (as well as this blog in general) helps you to know that you can also, to borrow again from my husband's linguistic repertoire, make moves on your own life. You can be happy and successful in the undertakings that you undertake. You can make mindfulness happen in your life each and every day. You can help to inspire others.
My journey started one step at a time and so does yours.
What part of your journey is on the horizon? Which of your life choices excite and uplift you?
Labels: Life, Mind & Body, Positivity