Thursday, January 26, 2012


What is your worth? What are you living for and who are you living for?

These are questions I ask myself all the time. I feel that no matter what, I will always be asking these questions and always be reevaluating my answers.  Here is the thing, everything I have done thus far in my life has been for me. As selfish as that may sound, it is true.  When I say that, I mean the big decisions. For example, which college I was going to go to, why I wanted to move to North Carolina and why I am moving back to Michigan.  My worth as a person can only continue to grow if I push myself to learn more about who I am and who I want to be.

When I say worth, I do not mean how much money you make, the value of your home or the material objects you own. I mean it as to who you are, what your "usefulness or importance, as to the world, to a person, or for a purpose"* is.  What is your character worth? That is the real question.

Your worth is a very broad topic because you can focus on so many different aspects of your life. I know when it all comes down to it, I live my life for Jesus. I live my life on Earth so that I may have eternal life in Heaven. That does not mean I do not sin or question my beliefs from time to time, but I do believe in the Lord God, Heaven and Hell, Creation, Science and all aspects of life. I am not here to judge you or tell you right from wrong. Yes, I am a Christian, but I am no better than person A or person B. We all make big mistakes, we all sin and we all fall. I guess there is one difference, it is that in the fall, I will be caught by God.

Another aspect of worth we can focus on, is who we are. I pride myself on being independent. I make my own choices and I follow my own path. I have never not made a big decision without weighing all of my options, making a list, checking it twice and making sure I have a plan for the follow through. My worth is what I make of it. Sure, I had the chance to go to a different college because my boyfriend was going there, but why make that big of a decision based off a guy? He dumped me the next month anyway, right before the first semester of senior year was over. I have my own big fancy dreams, if the guy was important enough and cared enough, he would have stuck around.

We all want to be loved. Is that not our soul purpose in life? To find that one person we can share our souls with? Sure, I am a romantic and I fall easily when I am attracted to a guy. I am a very passionate person, but I also get ahead of myself a lot. I ruin things and say things that may be misconstrued.  I say it because I want to be honest and upfront. It may be a little intimidating and against some kind of rule in "getting to know him 101", but what can I say? I honestly play out every scenario in my head of should-I-wait-or-just-tell-him-now? Sometimes, I am in a catch 22 situation and I just have to go for it, trust my own heart and not let others get inside my head. I feel I do these things and say these things to dig myself into a hole and say "well, if he is worth it, he will stick with it" or "sometimes you just have to let them go and if they come back, they are worth it, YOU are worth it."

It is a silly thing to do, to put your worth into how a guy loves you.  It is silly to say things you know he wants to hear and become who you are not, just to impress him. This is another thing I pride myself on and how I measure my worth.  I am me. I will not say that I like something just because he does. I will not agree with him just to agree with him. I have my own mind for a reason and I try to speak it, within reason, of course.  If I do not know something, I will admit it. I do not like to play games and I do not like to make decisions based off of a crush or a relationship.  I want to do what is right for me, first. Of course, if there was someone special, I would want him to stick around, but in the end, it has to be for me.  Who I am and who I want to be, should impress him and make him want to be with me more, rather than scare him away. However, I do have to learn patience because I know sometimes, people just need time to adjust to who I am.

So what is your worth? I ask you this because I want you (and excuse this cheesy and cliche line) look inside yourself and figure it out. We as people, need to stick together. We can only go as far as we are worth and what we are worth has unlimited possibilities because we can achieve anything that we want.

New Mantra, say this to yourself every day. Your own mindset and who you believe you are is everything:

I am not weak.
I am not intimidated easily.
I am not ready to back down from a fight.

I am strong.
I am independent.
I am worth it. 

Stay tuned, you know I am never in one spot for long

AC out.

*pulled from the definition worth from

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To make Personal and Obtainable Goals, NOT New Year Resolutions

As I discussed in a previous entry, I made a few New Year Resolutions. I have decided to call them "Personal and Obtainable Goals" instead. Yes, this is a new year and I want to change, however, 6 months from now, are they still supposed to be called New Year Resolutions??

Anyway, here are a list of my perfectly obtainable goals:
-Trust in God and myself more
-Let go and let God
-Be more patient when it comes to matters of the heart
-Become more confident when I speak
-Stop apologizing for unnecessary reasons
-Become more organized (even if it is organized chaos, it has to be better than what I am living in right now!)
-Take smaller steps with bigger issues
-Stop biting my nails
-Run 3 miles by March
-Apply and get into GV for their MPA program
-Write more
-Read more (I am open to suggestions, please!!)
-Finish art projects and VERY belated presents
-Get my right and left splits back
-FINALLY get my middle splits
-Finish FAFSA

It is a long list, but I feel that I will be able to accomplish all of them. I do not need them to all happen in one year, but I would like to see most of these happen! They are all written on my mirror in my bathroom and as I start crossing things off, I hope to add more. That way I am always growing in different ways. I want to challenge myself this year and for the rest of my life. I no longer want to let my best be OK. I want my best to be my best. It is like a wise woman once said "I ain't settlin' for anything less than everything" (thank you Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland...that is right, I did just quote a country song).

So, look out world, one way or another, I am becoming a new and improved version of the old me! Ya'll know I never stay in one place for long!!

AC out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

take me back to that place

I have this reoccurring dream, it is always a little different each time, but it always happens at the same house. When I was growing up, my grandparents had a cottage on an Island near Petosky. It is my favorite place in the whole world. I can still remember every little detail about that place.  Maybe, that is why I dream about it so often. There is a calming feeling that comes along with the cottage, it is surreal when I think about it now, but I still feel like I am there when I close my eyes and remember.

This time, when I dreamt of the cottage, there was someone with me. We were wandering through the house and I was showing them around. I wish I could remember who it was, but for the life of me, I cannot.  We were upstairs in the bedroom on the right. Instead of four beds, there were about 8 or so. I was standing on the bed, peering out the window onto the lake and it was winter. It looked like my cousins were trying to ski down the slope (in real life, there is no slope).  They were goofing off, so we went to explore the house a little more.

The house is always larger in my dreams than real life and in my dreams, there are secret passages and those passages lead to secret rooms. Sometimes the room is filled with books and a desk, like a study in a library, or one that looks like it could be from Beauty and the Beast. Sometimes there are staircases that lead no where, like a maze and you have to retrace your steps to figure out how to get to the next doorway.

One time the stairs lead to a huge waterfall where people were riding horses to the top and then jumping off, still on the horses. As long as one stayed on the horses, they would not go under water because of course, the horses could walk on water. There are other times where I am alone and I am searching for something. I never obtain it though.

This time, I kept jumping from staircase to staircase, in search of something. I am not quite sure what it was. After a while, my friend left me and I continued on the search all by myself. I want to say that in the end I find whatever it was that I was looking for, but I cannot. These dreams are quite troublesome.

The cottage was always a wonderful and glorious place. We were able to escape our lives for a weekend or longer. Out there, there was a limit to the amount of TV channels you got and when I was growing up, we did not have facebook, twitter or pinterest, let alone internet.  It was glorious. Those were the times! We had family game night, danced around to Queen, Kylee Manoge and The Beatles, we practically lived in the lake, whether it was fishing, swimming, boating or skinny dipping in the summer or ice skating in the winter, it was whatever we made it out to be. We went hiking and exploring; sledding and built so many snow forts, I have definitely lost count.

I usually like dreaming about it for a little while because in that one split moment, I am back where everything makes sense. I have escaped to a wonderland. Then, the dream starts to get weird and I do not know what to make of it anymore. As the day goes by, I start to loose more and more of my memory. I always dwell on the dream the next day. I cannot help it.

A lot of the times, I remember bits and pieces of the dream. However, most of the times, they are bits that I am too embarrassed to talk about.

stay tuned. You know I am never in one spot for long.

AC out.

Friday, January 20, 2012

It never rains when you want it too...

As much as I do not like storms or being caught outside in the rain, for wearing wet clothes is one of my biggest pet peeves (especially wet socks), there is more than just a literal antidote with the cleansing of rain.  It is more of a metaphorical meaning. Not in the sense of "it washes away the *insert emotion here* of the day before", but in the fact that after a rain, there is a clarity that we would not have seen without said rain.

Sometimes things happen to us to show us what we really need and somethings happen to show us what we want, but do not need just yet.  There is no shame in wanting something, unless that thing is something you are forcing.  It is always good to take a step back and see everything from a different perspective. In art, it could be because you have a skewed perspective or the wrong composition.  When you are able to take a step back and look at what you are trying to create, you give yourself a different angle, a new outlook. You can rearrange things and adjust your angle.  Then when you take that step back in to continue your work, you have changed your approach.  This new approach will give you something to work towards and live up to, but only if that is what you really want. Art can not be forced, it must be created with passion, hard work, consistency and love.  You have to be open to what it is ready to give and ready to learn.

Every now and again, you will ask another fellow artist to take a look. You would like a critique, a whole new set of eyes to tell you that what you are doing is brilliant, exciting, new and innovative and of course, never been done before.  However, they may not always say what you WANT to hear. They will definitely give you a new perspective because their minds work completely different than yours. Of course, they will try to understand what you are doing and they may go along with your explanation, but in the end, they are going to see what they want to see and say what they want to say. You cannot control someones thoughts just like you cannot control their words, but what you can control is your reaction to such statements. Try to be open to their, hopefully, constructive criticism.  Take their suggestions to mind but remember to always follow your heart.

In art, we express ourselves figuratively, emotionally, literally and metaphorically (along with many more 'allys I am sure), but one thing we do not do is bring false pretenses to our work. (Unless of course, we do it on purpose, then that is a whole different matter entirely...).  We are constantly changing our minds on how the final piece should look and flow.  We know that sometimes, the best thing is to just let it be, walk away from it for a little bit and then in our own time, come back to it.

We are artists, even though we will tell you we are not dramatic, we are. It is because we are passionate, that we are dramatic. We are in touch with our emotions because they are those we are trying to share with the world. We, (and I should really just start using I, because, lets get real, it is ME who I am talking about here...), I am going to continue to be who I am and express myself with as much honesty and passion that I can.  I am creating new work everyday and I do, what I feel, is best for me.  It is "me" who I have to look out for and even though I do seek the constructive criticism of all of you, I have to remember to not let that influence what is in my heart so much that I loose sight of what I want.

And like I said previously, it may be what I want, just not what I need right now. So, I am stepping away from art for a while, in a bit, I will come back to it. I trust that it will always be there for me in some way, shape or form.  I want to focus on the tasks I have at hand to get myself back to Grand Rapids, to where I am being called. There, I will start creating again and I know I can count on my art to be just as fabulous as before.

Stay tuned, folks, for you know, I am never in one spot for long.

AC out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It always happens when you least expect it...

Dear Friends, Fellow Blogger's and people who don't know me and are reading this,

I am determined to  have the most positive outlook I can and let me tell you, so far, 2012 has been a GREAT year. Yes, I know that it has only been 18 days, but everything that has happened to me within those 18 days, even the bad, has shown me that as long as you keep your head up and continue to truck on, nothing can go wrong.

It's all about being proactive, not reactive (right, Adrian Cook!?!?). Ha. There are many things that I have learned at camp, but none of them have stuck with me quite like being proactive.  Sometimes I may be a little too proactive, but who can blame me? I just go after the things I want.

I have recently come into a lot of happenstance circumstances. With everything working out the way it has, I have become so energized and I am determined to make that last. Not only that, but for the first time in my 26 years of life, I have WRITTEN down my New Years Resolutions. Normally, I don't make them, but this year, I want to improve on my way of life and I am choosing to better myself. Nobody is going to do it for me, so I am the one who has to start somewhere.  I heard somewhere that most people don't make New Year's resolutions because they "know" they won't stick with them. Yet, the people that do, about 50% of them give up within the first two weeks and then the rest slowly tapper off as well (do not quote me on any of the above information, I heard it a while ago and probably made up the 50% ratio...I believe it's higher, actually...but maybe not).

This will not be me. I have a list of my resolutions on my mirror. I wrote right on the mirror. That way I have to look at it EVERYDAY when I wake up and for light reading when I need it...
I feel so much better already. It is amazing what a "for real" positive attitude and some self motivation can do for a person. I have something to work towards now. Not that I didn't before, but now, it's real and I'm making it happen. Before, I think I was sitting on it because I was afraid of failure. Here is the thing though, I don't know if you know this, but nobody knows what the future holds. Sorry to burst your bubble! Ha. I know people say failure is "not an option", but when we fail, we learn from our mistakes. So maybe, in small ways, I will practice failure, that way I'll know what to do when if it ever becomes a big deal.

I think even though we, as people, know that we cannot tell the future, we still have some sort of glimmer or hope that the fortune tellers we call late at night, when nobody is around or that horoscope app you added to your iPhone, really will tell us when we'll find true love, get a promotion or find success in our newest weight loss program.  Truth is, people, our life is what WE make of it. I believe in God, the Almighty and I love Jesus. I believe that He has planned out my life, but there is only so much that He can do. At the end of the day, I am the one making the decisions in my life, I just have to make sure that they are with good intentions and I am following His guidance. God gave us free will for a reason. We can sit here and curse Him all we want, even if one does not believe in him. We think that "if there was a God", then he wouldn't let bad things happen. The fact of the matter is, He gave us free will and what we do with that is up to us. The question is, what do you do when those bad things happen and can you continue? Will you continue? You have to make the choice, you can either let this bad thing consume you, or you can do something about it and continue.

What you do, who you are and what you think are your own. Don't EVER let anyone take that away from you, but remember: Hold yourself responsible for your choices. You have nobody to blame but yourself if you fail or succeed. So choose to go on and choose to be the best person you can be. Seek council from friends, but remember you are the one who will have to make the final decision and make sure you are making it for yourself and no one else. Nobody can MAKE you do anything. You have the choice.

I don't mean to sound all preach-y, but the number one thing I am learning (even though my Dad has been telling me this since I was a wee, little one), is that we have a choice in EVERYTHING we do. We can decided to fight or we can decide to let go. Sure there are situations where it may not look like we have a choice, but if you really think about it, you will find a way to make a choice.

I am saying all of this because of the choices I am making, I want to make for the better, but sometimes, that just doesn't happen. It is what I am deciding to do after the fact and how I choose to help myself. Not often, but every once in a while, I let my friends influence my decision so much that I don't go with my gut. I know they are all looking out for me and their opinions are very important to me, however this time, I let them take me over. This wasn't a HUGE mistake, but it made me question some things and I hesitated. When I hesitate, I don't seem confident in my end decision. For that, I apologize. Yes, I went against what everyone was telling me not to do, but I wanted to do it. In the end, I should have been confident to know that it would all turn out OK and to go with my gut and tell you. It's not a decision that should change anything, now that I think about it all, but I believe it makes things a little more real. So, now I have to deal with that too.

Everything happens when you least expect it...or does it? I think you have to set goals and go after them. Along the way, things will happen that will surprise you and things will happen that you won't be expecting, but that is the beauty of life and things will happen no matter what you do, so you might as well make them positive.

Good Luck to you all and I will be posting every New Years Resolution I have, on this blog, so I can be held even more accountable than before. Make them known and then celebrate when the short-term ones happen and continue improving on the other long term goals. It's going to happen, ladies and gentlemen and it's going to be a GREAT year!

Make sure you stay tuned, for as you all know, I'm never in one spot for long...

AC out.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Ok, guys, I am completely re-formatting my blog and I'm making a conscious  effort to write more and not just updates on my life, but writing more for me. I was inspired by a few friends and I'm going to do it! BUT I do have a BIG life update for everyone, so, please, please, please read to the bottom and hang out a while! It'll be a good time! (and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you all!)
This is the best way I figured I could let everyone know and that way, I don't really have to explain it a MILLION times!!

I have a big life update for you all and I decided this would be the best way to reach you! (also, I know some of you know this already, but you're going to hear this twice! Deal with it! haha). Since the beginning of the year (yes, it's only been two weeks) I have bee feverishly working to find a way to come back to Grand Rapids. I was in a bit of a car accident on my drive back down here (North Carolina) after Christmas and it put a lot of things into perspective for me. I am 100% healthy and I walked away with out a scratch, but I shouldn't have. Then, a few days later a blue lake family member, was tragically killed in a car accident. The loss of Nick, really shook me up. We weren't really close, but the fact (and not to sound selfish or dramatic) that he lost his life and mine was saved, really made me think about what I was doing and why I wasn't going after what I really wanted in life. Again, I know we weren't close, but he was apart of my Blue Lake Family and I want to honor his life by getting off of my butt and doing SOMETHING because I was given a second chance. I know a lot of my other friends were really close to him and I want to offer my sincerest condolences to his family and all of his friends.

Everything that has happened has given me a lot of things to think about and even though I really like it here in NC, and I feel that it was the right move to make at the time, I have found that I might have put some things on hold with out realizing it. I looked at what I really wanted to do with my life and I have decided to go back to school for Arts Administration. I want to be able to help others and I believe I can do that through art and creating a facility for people to express themselves. It turns out that North Carolina has programs for dance, theatre and music administration, but no visual arts programs! So, I went on a search and low and behold, they have a program like that at Grand Valley, my alma here is the next part of my story:

I was planning on starting the Masters of Public Administration program in the fall and have been working on an application for that. This decision has not changed, however it won't be in the Fall. In talking with the dean of the Public Admin program, we figured out what the best course of action would be for me because I don't have actual, professional experience, which is one of the requirements (unless you have an undergrad degree in PA). With that being said, I have re-enrolled in Grand Valley for the Fall of 2012 to take a few upper level undergraduate courses in the following: Leadership Dynamics, Public Administration, Grant Writing and Voluntarism & Nonprofit sector. These classes will give me the background that I do not have at the moment to have a fighting chance in the program. He said that I pretty much needed a 4.0 and I would have a shot at the MPA program. It has become a very competitive program and I am going to need time to show them that I am the best person to admit to the school.

So, this is what I am going to do. I plan on moving back to MI mid-may. I have a friend's place I can stay at in K-zoo for a few weeks, but I am planning on being in GR for all the summer art happenings and to do whatever I can to get myself familiar again with the GR scene! [:)] I have my job back catering and bar tending at the Gardens and my start date with them is June 1st. I also will be going back to blue lake for 5 days to help prepare the Art Colony for the summer program (with Heidi's approval, of course). I plan on diving into volunteering with every opportunity that comes across my lap. Then in the Fall, I will be starting classes again and working my butt off. I am determined to make this work. It is what I want to do, plain and simple. (ALSO, another really awesome thing, there is no record with GV that I ever moved out of state, so I will be getting in-state tuition!!!)

I'm really pumped and I can't wait to start this new chapter in my life back in Grand Rapids!!! Deep down, I've always known that I would end up back there...

Everything fell into place so seamlessly, that I know it is God's plan for me. I can't wait to be closer to family and friends and continue on in my journey.

Thanks for reading to the bottom! I'm sad to be leaving NC, but I'm really excited for what is in store for me!! 
Keep comin' back, because as you all know, I never stay in one spot for long  ;) 

AC out.