Earth Day – My Story Part 1

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

This is a very big topic for me and I am super excited to be blogging about it!  A good question is – where to begin?  The beginning is always good I guess…

I graduated from High School back in 2009 and started my first year of college at a local school that fall (Anoka Ramsey Community College Cambridge Campus).  I was super nervous and yet excited to be trying something new.

One of my courses that first year was Environmental Ethics.  The first day of class, I was shocked and very uneasy about how hard the course was going to be.  The professor even stated that the reading material would not be light reading and had a strict grading system.  Being the visual learner that I am and someone who is not good with theory, the course was definitely a challenge.  My first few reading quiz’s were pretty bad but I figured out how to study the reading material better.  Once I thought things were going well, one of my papers was ripped apart.  Even to this day I am surprised I was brave enough to make an appointment to speak with my professor about the paper.  I put a lot of work into it but the paper wasn’t my greatest work.

*Note – I am still not a professional writer and not a very good one at that.  But hey, this isn’t school.  This is for fun!*

My professor was kind enough to help educate me on my writing mistakes and give me a chance to rewrite the section I did the worst in.  I took this as a great learning opportunity.  After speaking with the professor, we spoke for a while getting to know each other. Once I left his office I was much more confident and kind of liked the guy as a person not just as a professor.

With things going better in the course I really began to like the class, despite the difficulty and grew to enjoy the professors personality.  Towards the final weeks of the class we learned about Global Warming / Climate Change, as well as a major (local) advocate to educate others about it.

For an assignment we had to write a research paper on Will Steger before we completed a service learning project over a 3 day weekend up near Ely, Minnesota.  After doing some research about him I was talking to my mother about the weekend I would be gone (I lived at home the first year of college).  When I mentioned Steger – she instantly became excited.  Confused, I listened to her say things like – “He’s famous” and “I remember learning about him my senior year in High School and watching his progress on the news”.  For my mom, she said she was jealous but excited that I would get to meet him.

I turned in my paper with pride and looked forward to the weekend of service learning (providing manual labor up on the property).  Being born and raised in Minnesota, heading into the deep woods was normal and fun for me.  The layout of the area we were at was beautiful, quite, peaceful and one of a kind.  I knew right away that it was something special.  Even though the work was hard, I rather enjoyed it as well as getting to know my peers and just being outside.  Meeting Will, asking him questions, hearing his stories and receiving a tour of the Center (aka The Castle) was eye-opening.

The following week of class after being at the center I felt a shift in myself.  I had become super curious about the topic of global warming / climate change, what I could do to educate myself and others.  So, when our professor mentioned starting up a college club that focused on the environment.  I was excited and interested but had decided to transfer to a college in the Twin Cities and would not be on ARCC campus anymore.  I offered any help with the getting the group started but fell out of the loop over the summer months before my transfer.

And once my grades came in for the semester I thought for sure that I would receive a ‘C’ but walked away with an “A”.  I was so excited and proud of myself for my hard work and honesty with my professor.

Fast forward to spring semester of 2010.  After a fall semester at a large 4 year university I went back to ARCC.  I made sure that one of the courses I needed was taught by my former Environmental Ethics professor.  The first day of class he went through getting to know everyone’s names and remembered me from his class the previous year – which was cool.  After that first day of class I asked him about the environmental club and if it ever took off.  When he said that it did I was super excited.  He gave me the day, time and where the first meeting would be and I made sure to show up.

Little did I know – how much this group would change me for the better.

If you would like more information about Steger Wilderness Center and The Will Steger Foundation please click the links below:

http://www.willstegerfoundation.org/

http://stegerwildernesscenter.org/

Also, feel free to check out his Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/willsteger?fref=ts

*Professors name has not been provided due to awaiting approval*

Thanks for reading!

*Manda

Lost in Choices – Quarter life crisis

Hello there!

Okay, so as some of you may know I am currently 24 and will be 25 this next January.  I read an article not too long ago about Quarter Life Crisis (yes, I guess it’s a real thing).  And I think it’s a very important topic to talk about – for me it’s something I need to figure out.

So, what is a Quarter Life Crisis (QLC)?

noun

1. a crisis that may be experienced in one’s twenties, involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life”

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/quarterlife+crisis

My QLC:

Well, to be honest I don’t know if it’s totally hit me yet. But it might be starting.  Recently I have felt a little lost in all of these life choices.  Anxiety, mild depression, constant changes… many things going on.

Within the last year I have been put on prescription medications to treat anxiety I have had.  Only a few people have known but I have been struggling anxiety for almost two years.

When I was 22 years old I took out a mortgage (on my own) for Mike and I to have a small two bedroom town home.  I was a ball a nerves and excited all at the same time.  Many individual and somewhat small factors played a role in my anxiety regardless of the proud fact that I was able to take a mortgage out on my own.  Even though I worked hard and have always been very good with money – lately I have not.

My finances have been a major trigger to my anxiety and stress.  It constantly feels like I cannot catch a break.  When something positive happens, I feel as if 3 bad things happen to set me back.  I’m about ready to give up on all of it and live off the grid and rough it.

Maybe it’s just shitty luck?  I don’t know.  But it sucks.

I’m not usually a negative person but it has been so extremely frustrating.  And I know I’m not alone in this struggle.

Besides financial issues, my relationships have been tested with Mike, my friends and my family.  At one point I wanted to just drop everything and go overseas – be daring and do something crazy.

Life choices such as where and how to live have been put into question.  Career/job options have never been easy for me and my ideas are constantly changing.  It’s amazing that I have even made it this far with this blog.  I have been looking into becoming a Certified Wedding Planner (takes 90-180 with a self pace online course).  As well as doing research on achieving my 200 hour Yoga Instructor certification (which can get expensive).

Now, I’m not saying all of these thoughts of options are bad or negative but it is very difficult not knowing what to do.  Or even, what I want.

I think this QLC crept up on me.  Now as I write this, I realize I am in the middle of it.

So…now the real question is how does someone deal with a Quarter Life Crisis?

According to The Guardian there are four phases someone goes through.

“Four phases of a quarterlife crisis

Phase 1, defined by feeling “locked in” to a job or relationship, or both. “It’s an illusory sense of being trapped,” said Robinson. “You can leave but you feel you can’t.”

Phase 2 is typified by a growing sense that change is possible. “This mental and physical separation from previous commitments leads to all sorts of emotional upheavals. It allows exploration of new possibilities with a closer link to interests, preferences and sense of self.

Up until then you may be driving fast down a road you don’t want to be going down. A minority of participants described getting caught in a loop, but the majority reflected on a difficult time which was a catalyst for important positive change.

Phase 3 is a period of rebuilding a new life.

Phase 4 is the cementing of fresh commitments that reflect the young person’s new interests, aspirations and values.”

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/may/05/quarterlife-crisis-young-insecure-depressed

I am clearly in Phase One but almost in Phase Two.  Mike has been a great support on this.  He does his best to help me keep my anxiety down and our communication has improved.  I’m very thankful for this aspect of it.

I will keep you posted on my progress but tell me what you think or what you have experienced.

Thanks for reading!

Continuing this week: #WorldDoulaWeek 

Money Saving Question…

So I know this a random blog post but I have a general question for the readers…

What has been the best TV service for you? And why?

The reason I ask this question is because I currently have DirecTV  with the $77.99 package (well, I’m supposed to pay that much each month but I currently owe $135.80).  They charge you for every little thing like the receiver, the boxes, administrative fees, taxes, taxes and “other” fees.  This is ridiculous.

I really enjoy a verity of TV shows like, The Walking Dead, Salem, Teen Mom & Teen Mom 2, Vikings, Mob Wives and Born in the Wild.

These are shows I watch religiously (especially TWD).  For me TV is a way for me to relax – and I have always loved a good story.  I will fully admit that I watch too much TV at times but I love great plot lines and wonderful acting.  BUT the bill is not necessary and gets expensive!

I feel extremely torn as to what to do with my TV/TV Bill.  Keep it, change it or let it completely go?

Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!  I am trying to focus on my finances and improve them.  I will be writing more about this in upcoming posts – so stay tuned!

I look forward to conversing with you.

Thank you,

Amanda ❤