2017: The Year of the Kaela
I started 2017 just like most people--planning resolutions, motivated and with a margarita in my hand. Ready to take on the world and daring anyone to stop me. Looking back, I feel like this mantra kept me going through the highs and lows that 2017 brought. I laughed, cried and spread myself a little thin per usual, but most of all I jumped. I jumped into wherever my heart led me and that is something that I could not previously say about myself. I am usually very composed and want everything to be the way that I planned. 2017 made me reveal my emotions and challenged my thinking. I loved what I saw, I hope my story makes others excited to take on whatever this year may bring!
I welcomed a chance for new beginnings. I decided the month before that I needed to change my major from nursing back to human development and family sciences. This decision weighed on me greatly in December, bringing many crying and freak out sessions to my mother over the phone. I made myself get more excited about the path that God chose for me to follow, beginning my journey of trust in God. I had just gotten a new job on campus and it seemed pretty easy compared to other jobs I have had (nine total since I have been in college, but never fired lol). Semester seemed to be off to a good fresh start. I had also been extended an invitation to be in the Eta Theta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, Miss Quintessential Pageant.
Literally, EVERYTHING in my life picked up. I was going from meeting to meeting and event to event for organizations and pageant practice was killing me (but in a good way!). Internship applications and study abroad applications were due and my balance was somewhat steady at this point, I was very proud of myself. I also attended a conference that left me feeling like I could do anything!
I felt weak. I couldn’t find energy in anything, whether it was things I loved or day to day activities. I cried a lot around this time. I began fasting food (eating nothing) regularly on Wednesdays. I also fasted secular music, I needed God to tell me what to do and keep my mind clear. As I felt him moving in my life and easing my worries, BAM! I had a car accident and my car was declared totaled. Spring break plans of me coming to my hometown were then canceled. Anxiety plagued me horribly for about a month after that, still happens when I am in the car now, but definitely not as bad as it was before.
There was a lot of celebrating happening at this time. This allowed me to really focus on myself and my mental health and lift myself up. My pageant was amazing and I left it all with amazing pageant sisters who helped me discover and develop different parts of myself that I had never seen. My line sisters and I celebrated our first AKAversary and I genuinely could see our growth from when we first crossed to now. This was a month of love and joy. I was fasho winning!
Grades were not where I wanted them to be and I was honestly disappointed for like 10 minutes until I realized that I literally did all I could do based on everything that was on my plate at the time. I accepted it, as well as accepted the opportunity to study abroad in Bluefields, Nicaragua for 6 weeks! Looking forward to this gave me some excitement after this trying semester.
All I did was work.
It was my second time on a plane and I was going to a different country, I was a bundle of excitement ready for the trip!
Read full about my trip in my Nicaragua post
I returned to America with tears in my eyes and an expanded heart. The idea of coming back made me very sad, life was so different there. I still miss it, but I plan to return someday and visit the people I interviewed and friends that I made.
Refreshed and ready for the semester, I made the decision to join Teach for America. I also solidified my plans of eventually attending medical school. The idea no longer felt so foreign and scary. I felt very connected to God and could feel his warmth in the decisions I was making towards the path he set for me.
I was struggling financially like never before, it just seemed as though I always had just enough (or a little less, but doable). The lack of a car was starting to interfere more and more into my life adding the stress on top of an already stressful semester. I also found out that my great aunt passed away. I was very upset, I wished someone would have told me earlier so that I could attend the funeral or at least when she was in the hospital so that I could say goodbye. Life was hitting hard this month, this adulting stuff is not what I expected and I truly did not like where I was starting to get emotionally. A positive that happened was that I was assigned to live in Houston, Texas for TFA as a high school science teacher. I began making more steps with Kurly Khronicles and was proud of what I was producing.
Working like crazy was tiring me out greatly. God also placed me in a position to be a vessel on a level I had never experienced. My best friend and sister’s mother passed away. It’s crazy that through this God showed me how capable I am when it comes to caring for others. He showed me what to do and what to say. I have never prayed for someone so frequently and so strongly. God used me more than I knew at this time.
Finished out my second to last semester at THE University of Texas at Austin. I was just happy it was over (kind of sad about grades, but once again it only lasted 10 minutes…). I also had my 22nd birthday! Yay! As well as a teaching certification exam (which I killed) the next week that I spent the remainder of the month studying like crazy for.
2017: The Year of the Kaela was an emotional roller coaster, but so much trust and clarity from God was gained. I feel a difference in the place that my spirit is from then to now. The year was far from perfect, but it was really what I needed in my life to grow and really see what I am capable of. I claim 2018 as the Year of flourishing! Carrying out whatever I can and finishing it through with grace and positivity! I pray that you do the same!