It’s My Birthday!!!

I’M 23 TODAY!!!!!

     A lot has happened in the past year, some good and some bad. I can honestly say that at this time last year I did not think that I would be where I am now but, for better or worse, here I am! Here’s some of what’s happened in the past year.
The not-so good:
I’ve moved back in with my parents: I’m currently sharing my old room with my two younger sisters which is not fun and my dresser is in my parents room and my books are in the hallway, but at least I have a pace to stay!
I’ve cleaned up my diet and am exercising regularly but am still not loosing weight: I don’t consider myself ‘fat’ but I have always been ‘bigger’ due to having thyroid disease, being put on steroids when I was very young for a medical issue which ended up severely slowing down my metabolism, and due to weight gain being a side-affect of a medication I have been on for years for another unrelated medical issue. But early last year I began gaining weight with no change in my diet. I also was feeling very fatigued and becoming ill after I ate. It turned out that I had become gluten intolerant for whatever reason. I cut gluten pretty much entirely out of my diet and in the summer I went on a diet. I lost about 20 pounds but I wasn’t eating enough and I felt weak. I didn’t want to loose weight unhealthy so I made a conscious effort to eat more and more healthily. Of course, once I did this I immediately stopped loosing weight which I wasn’t surprised at since it has always been hard for my body to shed weight for some reason. So, since December, I have been running regularly in addition to avoiding wheat and only occasionally eating other non-gluten grains such as rice, corn, and potatoes. But since I’ve been doing this I’ve only lost about 5 pounds! It’s really frustration, especially since about two months ago my sister started eating less- that’s it- and she’s lost about 15 pounds! Of course, my thyroid could be low again which could be the cause of these problems but I don’t think so because I am not getting experiencing my normal symptoms that occur when that happens. I’m sure I am gaining muscle mass in place of fat so that might account for some of the reason why I am not loosing weight but still … it’s frustrating. But regardless, I know that I am healthier then I was last year which is an accomplishment!
• I’m unemployed: since I’ve graduated I must have sent out around 100 applications. After graduating I sub-leased an apartment with my friend in the town where I went to university. I was hoping to find a job and stay for a while, figure out what I want to do with my life, that sort of thing. I filled out a ton of applications all over town but got no bites. By August I had run out of money so I had to move back home, which was disappointing. The town where I live is very service orientated and there are not a lot of job opportunities for positions where you can use a college degree. I applied everywhere. Target, Lowe’,s McDonald’s (twice!), Taco Bell, Barnes and Noble, Pet Co, my old job, CVS, Walgreens…. everywhere. I had two interviews and was offered a job at Lowe’s but it was about an hour away, and with what I would be paid it just wasn’t feasible with what I would be spending on gas. So I have been at home, unemployed, and very bored since August.
• My car is broken and I can’t afford to get it fixed: my brakes went a few weeks ago and I can’t afford to get it fixed so it has just been sitting in the driveway, gathering dust.
And now for the good from this year!
I graduated from college!: I graduated in early May with a degree in History and a minor in Spanish! I have a degree! It’s true- it’s framed on my wall!
• I’ve lost 25 pounds!: I’m started to live a healthier lifestyle which is great!
• I’m unofficially employed: my grandmother is in assisted living and needs help doing everyday things- getting dressed, her bed made, her room straightened. My mom usually is over there everyday to help her but on those days when she can’t make it because of appointments or whatever reason I go over for about an hour. My grandma is kind enough to pay me for my time which really helps pay my car insurance and my student loans that are non-deferrable. One of my aunts lives in town and she travels a lot for work. She is naturally a messy persona and can be gone for a week at a time, so occasionally I go over to her house and do housework: laundry, dishes, vacuuming, taking out the trash, cleaning out her car, etc. She also pays me and with the money from her and my grandma I am just able to pay my monthly bills. It’s not fun but unfortunately for me its the only option I have right now. Ever since I moved back home I’ve also been watching my one year old nephew for about 20 hours a week. Last month my sister finally agreed to pay me $40/month for watching him. It’s not a lot but it really helps.
We got another dog!: one of my older sisters, who lives in Virginia, came down to visit us for Christmas this December and brought her dog, a small black poodle mix. She didn’t really have the time to give him enough attention so he stayed with us when she went back up North. He’s about three years old, has a TON of energy, and is quite yappy. When he first came he had no manners at all- stealing food, chasing the cats, running out of the yard, barking incessantly. He’s improved somewhat since then and gets along so well with our other dog so we are happy to have him! Here’s a pic because he is so cute:


And here’s a picture of our other dog because I love him just as much:


• My family is moving in June!: My family has lived in Florida for the past 13 years or so but we are originally from the Richmond, VA area where a lot of our extended family also lives. Late last year my parents decided to move back. My father got a job up there in mid-January so he has been up there since then. My brother is in his senior year of high school so my parents decided to let him and my little sister finish up the school year here. The rest of us are moving up there this June. Last week my mom went up for a couple of days to visit him and look at houses so I had the responsibility of taking care of the younger kids which wasn’t that fun but it is over and done with! I can’t wait to move back, Richmond has a much better job market, especially for young college graduates so I am hoping that I am able to find something relatively soon after arriving. We’ve started some preliminary packing- mostly just the bookroom and some of the kitchen- but there is still a lot more to do. Not looking forward to driving 12 hours with 2 dogs and 5 cats but I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it!
• I’ve stopped procrastinating and have started working on my novel: taking baby steps- still working on outlines, character profiles, and general research- but it is a start!
     I’ll be honest, this past year hasn’t turned out as I expected. When I graduated I was looking forward to getting a job, moving into an apartment on my own, and being an adult… unfortunately this hasn’t happened. But in some since it’s a good thing that it didn’t as my family had no idea that we would be moving out of state. In a sense it worked out because if I had a job/apartment/a life on my own I would have been very upset learning that everyone was leaving the state and that I would be here without them. So although I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve somehow wasted this past year and accomplished nothing, I am looking on the bright side. Here are some things that I am looking forward to next year!:
• Moving!: Not only are we moving out of state but we are moving into the country! We are going to raise chickens! I can’t wait!
• Getting a grown up job: I can’t wait to have a job again, make some money, and pay off my student loans.
• Finding out what I want to do with my life: This year I really want to pin down what schools I’m interested in re: grad school and actually start the application process.
• Staring my novel: In the coming year I want to have completed all my outlining and research and actually have a chapter or two done.
• Continuing to live a more healthy lifestyle: Virginia is a lot cooler then it is down here so I’m excited to run in a place that doesn’t smother you with humidity every time you walk out the door!
• Meeting new people in a new place!
• Horseback riding lessons!: if I manage to get a well-paying job I would love to take up lessons again! I haven’t ridden in so long- I really miss it.

and of course…

• reading/blogging!: I’m so glad I didn’t let this blog die as I was tempted to do! I’m having a ton of fun, reviewing, talking, and reading books with you guys!
Well, that’s it! I can’t wait to see what the next year brings my way!




About hillarypat

I'm a recent college graduate and this is my blog where I talk about whatever happens to be on my mind- mostly books!
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5 Responses to It’s My Birthday!!!

  1. TBM says:

    Happy birthday! I know I’m late. It sounds like a lot has happened over the past year, good and bad. Good luck with your novel.

  2. Pingback: Sunday Saloon- 4/21/13 | ahorseandacarrot

  3. severalfourmany says:

    Happy birthday and welcome to Richmond! People here are pretty motivated about exercise, extreme sports and getting outside so you should get lots of encouragement and peer pressure. Also a great place to be interested in history. And dogs. And tatoos. And craft beer. Anyway, welcome to the neighborhood!

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