I’m Still Here

The fall weather has set in here in Boise and I take refuge inside the university library from the chilly drizzle of rain outside. There are a thousand things I could be doing with my time like studying a little more, collecting my messy thoughts into a “to do” list for whenever the magical moment that I have extra time arrives, or maybe just taking a nap. But for now I have an hour until my last class of the day and a computer, so why not write. It’s been a little over two months since I actually wrote a blog post, which seems crazy, but completely believable. And I could come up with a million reasons as to why I haven’t even looked at my own blog, let alone tried to generate an idea for a post, but the very simple answer is that when I look at a list of the things I have to prioritize my time with, my unofficial occupation with my blog doesn’t hit very high on the list. Not to say that I thought about giving it up or anything, of course not! It’s just gotten lost in the sea of other tasks that fight for my every waking minute and attention.

So, what has been happening in the life of me? Honestly nothing and everything at the same time. I am balancing being a full time student with working a part time job and still trying to find the time and will power to do mundane things like clean my house while squeezing studying into every time slot I have, attempting and failing at getting a passable amount of sleep and trying my best (and also failing) at having anything that resembles a social life. So, you know, the usual stuff 😉 Oh, and I joined the worship team at my church and am a part of the choir now…so there’s that too 🙂

But while my school seems to demand every spare moment and I feel like I now live at my job despite the illusion of “part time,” I can honestly say I have never been in a happier state of mind. And it is true, the majority of the time I feel so busy that I don’t have a moment to sit and just breathe, but even through that I have realized that there is beauty. Almost daily now I take just a moment to reflect to myself about my life; what has happened and what is still coming, what I have done and what other people have done for me, and all the incredible adventures I have gotten to be a part of. And I think to myself, “You know, it’s not easy having all these expectations and responsibilities and it’s no picnic having to come home dead tired from work and realize as you go to bed that you’ll have to get up and do it all over again tomorrow. But would you actually trade this for anything else?” And the answer is always no. I was sitting at worship practice the other day and as I was looking around the room and taking everything in I got so happy that I took a picture of the moment. It wasn’t anything special by any means, and I doubt that anyone there even noticed. But I felt like I belonged and there was nowhere I would rather have been or people I would rather have been with.

There’s this adorable older Hispanic gentleman who I work with and the other night we were at our registers waiting to get off. He began by asking about my friend (who also works with us) and then had question after question about my boyfriend and I. Then he began asking about my situation and what I was up to. I told him about my situation (minus the personal details) about moving out and living on my own and my school and such. Throughout my stories he just kept saying, “You’re tough, you’re a tough girl, most people aren’t like that.” And as flattering as it is to have people think I am strong or courageous or tough in a way, I have to disagree. If this was all based on my level of courage or strength, I would have failed the first day I left my mom. If I base my success on me and my own strength and feelings, I would be nowhere with nowhere to go. This isn’t actually me, this wasn’t my idea, and I am most definitely not the one holding it together. Some days I get these episodes of what I call “despair” where I basically get overwhelmed with everything I have to do and the little time I have to do it in. I think about everything I have neglected from vacuuming my house and doing the dishes to calling my Mom. I haven’t talked to my bestie on the phone in forever and I haven’t talked to my brother in about as long. I neglected things like my magazine and this blog, and on those days of despair I feel the weight of everything I want to do and don’t have time for. Not only that, but I also get this crippling loneliness where I feel like I have no one to go to for help and I have to face everything on my own. If I had to fight this all on my own and accomplish what I needed to while still balancing my life and keeping a healthy mindset, there would be no point in trying. But thank God that’s not the case 🙂

As I said before, I have never been happier and there is nowhere I would rather be or people I would rather be with. Adventure isn’t easy but it’s always better when you’re not alone.

I’m going to wrap this up because class starts soon and I would like to publish this today 🙂  But the basic message of this post is to let you know that I am still here, I’m doing good, and if you feel overwhelmed you’re not alone 😉

Have a great day, everyone! It’s good to be back…

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Interview with Prince Addison 

As the new book The Corination by Livy Jarmusch nears its release, I had the opportunity to interview the character Prince Addison here on my blog! I hope you enjoy! 

1: So Addison, as you are nearly 21 it’s almost time for you to inherit the throne of Tarsurella! Are you excited?! 

Yes, of course! I’m not going to lie, it’s a little bit nerve-wrecking. I mean, I’ve been preparing for this position my entire life and wow…it’s a bit hard to fathom that it’s close to happening. It’s pretty surreal, and I don’t think the reality of it is going to sink in until the day of my Coronation. 

2: With this upcoming change of power comes expectations for you as the new ruler from the people who loved your father’s rule. How do you plan on meeting these expectations and raising the bar as king? 

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of weight involved. The citizens of Tarsurella adore my Father, and I can see why. He purposes to take time out of his busy schedule and meet with his people, hearing their complaints and suggestions, and just really reminding them that he cares. Obviously it’s impossible for us to respond to every beckon call of our people, and we can’t make the world a perfect place overnight, but my Dad has always been committed to the process, as well as letting the people know that he has their best interest in mind. I hope to follow in his footsteps. As far as raising the bar goes, I’m not really sure if I’ll be able to! Haha. My Father has set such high standards for us as a nation, it’s going to take everything within me to keep maintaining and continuing what he has set for us. But I’m committed to do that. I know that there are issues are people are growing restless about, and I plan to confront those things head on.

3: In addition to being the next king, you are also the most wanted bachelor in the kingdom. How do you manage to keep such a cool head with all the girls chasing you for love? 

Oh goodness, I never know how to respond to those kinds of statements! Whenever magazines interview me and ask, ‘So how does it feel to be Tarsurella’s most wanted single man?!’ I just have to shake my head and think, ‘What is wrong with you people?’ Haha! 

I mean, it’s not exactly normal to have screaming girls outside your gate, and obsessed fans longing to know whether you’re a ‘cat person’ or a ‘dog person’. Like, does that really matter? It’s just too strange. So I mean, I guess it’s flattering in a way, but I know their ‘undying adoration’ for me isn’t that realistic. The majority of those girls have never meet me, and I think they’re far more in love with the ‘romantic fantasy’ of whatever whimsical way the press paints my life to be, than the real me, you know? But as far as not getting a big head, I have seven younger siblings. And they’re not shy when it comes to pointing out my flaws. I am in no danger of thinking unrealisticly about myself, so long as I’ve got them around! We all keep each other grounded. 😉      

4: And finally, what is the first big change you hope to make as the new king? 

Well, the first major task is going to be getting our Palace Staff changeover to transition smoothly. Many of the men who worked with my Dad all these years are retiring, and come January, we’re going to have a lot of new faces around. So building a strong foundation for the new administration is going to be my main focus. Like my Dad always says, if you don’t have a strong foundation and deep root system, anything else you try to build on top of it isn’t going to last. So before we jump into making any major changes or taking on huge projects, we’ve gotta make sure that the foundation is strong. Thankfully my Dad will be around and can continue to direct me with Godly council during the early stages of my new rule.  


You can find out more about the Corination and its Author by checking out her website at: http://www.livylynnblog.com/

Or at: 

https://www.amazon.com/Coronation-Tales-Tarsurella-1/dp/1547070854/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1499090464&sr=8-1-fkmr0

The Pride of Adulthood 

I have done one of the scariest things I ever could do. Something I never believed I was strong enough for.

 I left.

 I left my family behind in Indiana and traveled across the country to Idaho to live on my own. And I was terrified. I still am a little. But instead of just telling you about it (because what kind of writer would I be if I just did that 😉) allow me to show you what I have done 🙂 


This picture may look a little strange to you. Maybe even a little lonely considering it is a dinner table set for only one. But for me, this is it. This represents everything I’ve worked for, everything I was scared of doing. This is the very first dinner I cooked for myself in my very first apartment. The first time I was truly out on my own. It may not look like much: a bowl of noodles and soup courtesy of my mom who hooked me up with some groceries before I left and a plastic cup of tea from a friend, but for me this means a whole lot more. And it is a possibility that it looks lonely. The lack of a dinner guest and an empty table save for two apples my grandma gave me. But lonely isn’t how I would describe it. 

I sat there that evening at my apartment and with the low hum of the refrigerator in the background providing the only noise in the silent house, I thought about how incredible this all was. I was sitting in a place of my own, far away from my family, and very much alone at the moment (unless of course you count the company of my cat.) And I was so happy that I took a picture! I was happy because this was what I was afraid of doing, I never believed I had the strength to live on my own and provide for myself. I didn’t ever imagine I would get to that place. And yet there I was. 

This is everything I have worked for, and everything I will continue to work for. And I now believe in myself more because of it. I never thought I could, but I did anyway and that dinner alone was the evidence of that. 

I have been so terrified that I was wrong about myself, that I couldn’t actually do the things I dreamed of and that I’m not as strong as I believed I could be. And though there are still many, many moments where I doubt myself, I don’t believe I’ll let them stand in my way. I was scared that I would fail at providing for myself, that college would be too much for me to handle and that I would have to return to my mom with the disappointment that I hadn’t lived up to what she believed I could do. And though I still fear that, I know that if it does happen, it won’t be the end of the world. It won’t be the end of my world. 

Now, I’m not just going to make this a post about my own empowerment, there’s something for you here too. If I can step way out of the boundaries of what I believed I was capable of and do what I dreamed of, then there’s no reason why you can’t either. There is nothing special about me, no resource or special upbringing or trait that sets me apart. I have had my fair share of trials and heartbreak. But if I don’t let that stop me, then what’s your excuse? Why would you settle for something less than extraordinary? After all, if a sheltered homeschooler can leave their family and live on their own for college, then you should definitely be able to 😉 

It’s time to stop making excuses as to why your happiness isn’t achieveable. You have a strength inside you that you don’t even know about yet. Test yourself and don’t be afraid if you discover exactly what you are capable of. 

I believe in you, why shouldn’t you believe in yourself? 

Success, Fulfillment, and the Beauty of your Dreams

_The Future Belongs to Those Who Believe in the Beauty of Their Dreams._

Money can’t buy happiness.

Everyone knows this. We’ve heard this repeated to us from the time we were children trying to figure out what life meant. We are told that the things in life that bring happiness, success, and fulfillment aren’t the things that are bought, but rather the experiences we have, the people we choose to love, and the still, quiet moments.

And we believe all of this. Our innocent child minds think, “I don’t need money! I can go anywhere I want, do anything I want to do! I can be anything! I think I’ll be a baker for the rest of my life…or a gardener…or a dress designer…or a painter…” (Or as a few of my siblings dreamed: A farmer ballerina, Bible Man, and a mail man…) But then that innocence is no longer what dreams are built on when we grow up and learn that life isn’t all that easy. Money is something you have to have and jobs like a baker, gardener, or painter don’t usually cut it. We have to look at the big picture. Instead of fitting life into our dreams, we now have to fit our dreams into our life. And more often than not, that means we have to break those dreams down into little pieces and try to fit them in wherever we can, ending up with a fragmented image of our happiness as dependent on our job and possessions.

But what happened to money can’t buy happiness? If money isn’t more important than our dreams, why then do we need it so badly? Are we forever doomed to working jobs we hate to try and make ends meet, all the while keeping that image of what our life could have been in the far reaches of our mind? Always there to tempt us, but never attainable because of reality. And if money can’t buy happiness…then what does?

I was recently asked by someone close to me what I wanted to do with my life; what my dream job was. And I jokingly answered, “To not work at Wal-Mart my whole life.” Now, I was joking because I do have an idea of what I want to do and where I want to be in a few years. But humor aside, I realized after I said it that my words had a lot of truth in them. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with working at Wal-Mart and I am really fortunate to have the job. I could be working somewhere worse or not have a job at all. But if that were my only aspiration in life I would be aiming much too low. However, it does swing the other way too. If I had said that my dream was to have a high paying job I would also be aiming at something less than what I am made for. So…what then? Am I telling everyone to pursue their dreams, regardless of the paycheck and future of their lives?

Well…yes. I am telling you that it is never too late to turn the direction of your life around. If you don’t like something about your situation or where you are heading, change it. We as humans are in a constant state of change and as such, our dreams change and develop as we get older. And that is perfectly okay. I used to want to be a makeup artist. Not that long ago actually, just last summer I still had that dream. I was sure that was the direction my life would take. And then I realized that makeup artistry wasn’t exactly my passion. And so, with the constant support of my Mom, I made the scary decision to pursue journalism at college.

I love writing. I love writing. And more than anything else in my life, I want to make a difference. It doesn’t have to be huge, but I was made to create hope and show people their strength that they never believed in. And I couldn’t do that through makeup. But maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance that my writing can be my version of success. My fulfillment shouldn’t be someone else’s idea of what my life should look like or what I should do. And my success certainly shouldn’t be measured on the version of success of someone who isn’t me.

Success isn’t measured in your job, or what your paycheck looks like, or the clothes you wear, or the places you have been. If that were the definition of success, I would be failing. I can’t afford to find my fulfillment in the number of likes on my Facebook, the pictures on my Instagram, the views on my blog, the amount of friends I have, the digits in my bank account, the car I drive, the job I work, the places I have traveled, the people I have met, or the “great” things I have done.

My definition of success and fulfillment, the things I base my happiness on, are the dreams I hold onto. Because if I let those go, I lose something far greater than just my idea of my future. I lose the things that make me the person I am. The things I have chosen to work hard for. The stuff I decide is important enough for me to sacrifice the greatest thing I have: my time.

Choose today to stop breaking down the dreams you have and trying to make them fit into your “life.” Your dreams are your life. Don’t let your happiness be dependent on your material things. And never try to measure your dreams up to the dreams someone else has for you. You are in charge of your life, your adventure. So live like it.

Are these just the ramblings of a naïve girl who hasn’t tasted the hardship of life fully? Quite possibly. Am I a 19 year old who is desperately trying to hang on to the shiny and bright future that I always imagined? Absolutely. Because what future would I have if I didn’t still have big dreams for myself?

Don’t ever give up on the dreams of your future. Be ridiculous, do outrageous things, dream big. Be a baker, or a painter, or a blogger, or a YouTuber. Do what makes you feel alive.

Believe you can fly, and don’t let the land dwellers tie you down with reality.

One Year of Girl on Fire

May 16, 2017

One year ago today I started my blog.

Well, technically speaking, that’s not actually true. I first started Girl on Fire over on Blogger in October 2015 but after a few months of thought, I decided to switch to WordPress and actually get serious about writing and making a difference with my blog. And I hope that’s what I’ve done so far.

The naming of the blog was actually my favorite part. I did a lot of thinking on what I should call it, but nothing really seemed to sum up what my blog was all about while still sounding cool and like something I would personally want to read. Being the Hunger Games nerd that that I am, Girl on Fire stood out to me for a couple of reasons.  Besides being an obvious nod to The Hunger Games, Girl on Fire seemed to express the person I was and hope to be. I wanted to be ignited with passion for change. I wanted to make a difference and not be forgotten. I wanted to stand out as a bright light of hope in a relatively dark world. Most of all, I wanted to influence others. I wanted to light fires in the people around me and in the people who I don’t even know. I wanted to inspire them to make a difference and change the problems they face instead of just giving up. And a blog with a tacky name like Girl on Fire was the venue I’ve chosen to do that through.

Though most of the posts on here are slightly comedic and don’t really have that much to do with inspiring myself or others, there have been a select few that I have really been passionate about writing and that I really wanted to share with the people who want to read this blog. And even though sarcasm is what I’m good at, I am hoping that in the next year of writing this blog I can make more of the content that makes me proud and passionate about what I’ve chosen to do.

However, there’s no way you would even be reading this post on a strange blog named from The Hunger Games written by an ordinary 19 year old if it weren’t for a few special people. Fires don’t just spontaneously ignite, and that’s what this post is really about. I have been blessed enough to have a support system of people around me who believe in me and encourage me to do things I never would’ve thought I had a chance to do. So this post is a thank you letter to them; the people who may not know it, but who are the real sparks behind Girl on Fire. I draw my inspiration from my faith, my family, and my closest friends and I wouldn’t have kept writing if it weren’t for them. Whether it be by teaching me something, saying something that inspired a post, or just reading what I put out there and commenting every time (looking at you, Bella ;), these people are the reasons I started it in the first place and stayed with it for a year.

Thank you so much for believing that I had something to say that was worth reading and for inspiring me to be a better person and learn throughout my own journey. You all make the real difference and I’m super thankful to know each of you!

Thanks for such a great year and I’m looking forward to seeing how God chooses to use this blog in the following year!

Bethany

Other posts that I love:

Life is your Choice

19 Lessons I’ve learned in 19 Years

 

Third Shift Thoughts

Ok, first let’s start this out with a huge apology for not posting anything for two months. TWO MONTHS!!!! I feel awful for letting it be that long before posting…

I would make an excuse about how my job has been keeping me busy a lot of the time and how my impending move has been pushing back all my inspiration, but the reality of it is that my blog has just had to take a backseat to all the other things I’ve given my time to and with all that occupies my mind on a daily basis, I haven’t thought of any really good content to post. That being said, I’m now breaking the two month streak of being absent and I am hoping to post a little more often, or once a month at the very least.

Now that the apology is out of the way, the post I have for you today is all about the randomness my mind comes up with while I’m at work. I work third shift (from 10pm to 7am) and we don’t really have a ton of stuff to do because I’m a cashier. When there’s no customers, my job is to make sure everything is in order in my isle, a task that takes maybe all of five minutes, and the rest of the time is usually spent waiting for breaks and lunch or watching the minutes tick away for an eternity. So in that time of waiting, my mind tends to wander across a broad span of topics, from book ideas and stories, to odd questions and random thoughts. I’ve compiled a list of these random thoughts and interesting nonsensical questions in the hopes that you may be able to relate and ponder them with me, or at the very least laugh at my odd mind. Also, for the sake of the funny aspect, I have not Googled any of these questions to find out actual answers because then I wouldn’t have a blog post, and who has time for that anyway…

 

“What exactly is a hedgehog? Are they a rodent?”

“If a store always has their prices marked down, is it really a sale? Or have the markdowns just become the actual prices?”

“There are books that teach you how to read. But if you can’t read, how is the book going to teach you?”

“Who came up with the idea of hugging (or kissing, for that matter) and how did it become an acceptable form of showing affection?”

“Does the potato have so many uses just because people haven’t stopped experimenting with how to cook it?”

“Why does fire give off light?”

“Are mice actually ‘as quiet as mice?’ And if they were actually that quiet, how would you know they were in the walls of your house? I think the phrase should be changed to, ‘as quiet as a spider’ because those little creeps can sneak right up on you and climb all over you without you knowing it…”

“Is it bad to eat expired candy?”

“Are romance books actually that popular of a genre if there are so many at thrift stores all the time?”

“How many working VHS players are still out there?”

“Who was the person who looked at stuff like snails and fish eggs and said, “yeah, I bet I could eat that.” …and then did?”

“Are ladybugs actually all ladies? And if not, do the male ladybugs ever get offended that people assume they’re women?”

 

That’s all I have for the moment, but trust me when I say that there will most likely be a part two, because my mind always comes up with all kinds of random things…

Let me know in the comments what kind of random things you think about when you have nothing to do! And again, so sorry for abandoning this blog for so long 🙂

Life Is Your Choice

In recent times I have noticed that much of modern life is spent trying to move it along faster and climb the ladder of society until you can make it to the top and find your happiness. The problem I see with this is that while chasing this ever elusive “happiness” you waste away your chance to make a difference.

life

Too many people wait to get their “life” started until they feel happy. Happy with themselves as a person, happy with their circumstances, happy with their finances, happy with their social status. But what tragically happens because of this is that they waste so much time that they can’t get back waiting around to be happy. As one of my inspirations, Lindsey Stirling, beautifully states, “Why postpone happiness? Why not find joy in the journey of life? We need to find joy in the simple, ordinary events that make up the everyday because that’s what we get the most of.” If you wait around to begin your life until you feel happy and content, you’ll be waiting for much too long. Waiting taks time, and time is one of the most precious things you have.

Don’t strive to feel happy, strive to feel alive. Happiness can depend on your circumstances, but life is a choice. Choose what makes you feel on fire. Choose to do the things that make you feel like you’re doing more than just breathing. That’s not true life, that’s just existing.

Life in the truest sense is doing small things greatly, challenging yourself daily, loving passionately, and making a difference even if it’s only in a small way. Life is believing that there’s something greater than yourself and knowing that you, individually, have a purpose to exist and a reason to be here.

Living isn’t just waking up, going to school, working a job, going about your day, and then going to sleep again at night. Living is being present in every moment and seeing an opportunity for greatness and beauty in everything. Even in the bad. If you wait around to get your life started until you feel happy, you will be waiting for too long.

Anyone can exist, but few people truly live.

 

 

Valentine’s Day

I may be wrong but the way I see it, Valentine’s Day is kind of a controversial holiday. People are divided as to whether it is just a cash grab by card companies who are dedicated to make singles feel bad that they don’t have a significant other, or if it’s a great holiday to celebrate love and romance and the important people in your life.

Since I am writing a blog post about it, you can probably guess that I’m on the side of the latter in this issue 😉 And so on this day of romance, I would like to celebrate my first love…literature.

Not what you were expecting, huh? 😉 No, I’m not here to talk about a special man in my life or what romance means to me (though they’re all well and good), but as for myself I feel the need to announce to everyone how much I love the written word.

But rather than trying to insufficiently express this love through my words, I’ll leave it up to a few people who were much better at that than I am…

 

_if-a-book-is-well-written-i-always-find-it-too-short-_

he-wedding-of

www-hiking-girls-com

 

In all seriousness though, I joke about books being my first love and I’m not lying, I love literature. But I also want to recognize the important people in my life who I love. My family that I was born into made up of my parents and siblings, as well as the family I chose for myself that is made up of my friends. You all mean the world to me.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ways To Beat Sadness

No matter how positive of a person you are, we all get those days where we are just…sad. Not depressed, not angry, but just sad. Maybe something happened (or didn’t happen) or maybe you just woke up wrong and nothing will go your way. I have found that the hardest thing about days like this is trying to pull yourself out of it. However, I have compiled here for you a few ways to pull yourself out of your sadness and help you be positive again.

seven-ways-to-beat-sadness

Tip 1: Don’t listen to sad music.

Honestly, I never understood the people who listen to sad music when they’re sad. Sad music doesn’t do anything besides pull you in deeper. Personally, I like listening to upbeat music or a movie soundtrack. Good upbeat music would be Skillet or Lindsey Stirling. And a good movie soundtrack is Hugo or Merlin (the BBC series). Or maybe you just want to block out your own thoughts and rest some. I’ve got you covered there too. My favorite white noise to listen to is rain and thunder so I would highly recommend that. Rain on dry leaves is one of my favorites.

Tip 2: Have breakfast.

There’s a reason why everyone loves breakfast; it’s comfort food. Whether you want to go all out and have biscuits, gravy, bacon, eggs, and orange juice or if you want to go simple with a bowl of cereal, I cannot suggest this one enough. There’s something nice about making yourself a nice meal and sitting down to enjoy it and forgetting everything you’re worrying about. Also, tea washes down everything nicely too, so I would suggest a good cup of earl gray.

Tip 3: Light a candle.

Seriously though, have you ever caught yourself zoning out while staring at fire? Just me? Well…I always knew I was weird… Anyway, a candle is super relaxing and it helps if you pick a scent you really enjoy (as if you would pick one you hate…). My favorite is vanilla or pumpkin. But if you want to feel energized and happy, pick a citrus scent.

Tip 4: Take a shower.

I suggest this for everything, but that’s because a shower can cure anything. Suffering from boredom? Shower. Just broke up? Shower. Broke your leg? Shower…at the hospital. Taking a shower or bath helps reset your mood and clear your head. And it makes you clean and you smell good after so…how is this a bad plan?

Tip 5: Get out of the house.

Failing all else, go somewhere. Even if you walk or drive to the middle of nowhere, get out and get some fresh air. Much like the shower, this helps you refocus and relax. Find someplace that you’ve never been before and explore some. Maybe try walking around a store and people watching or visiting a park.

 

Tip 6: Find a friend or phone one.

Good friends are there for you when you need them most. They have the power to make you smile when you are sad and they can cheer you up when you can’t imagine laughing. A friend is the ear you can rant to and can provide you a new way of looking at things since they aren’t directly involved in the situation. Friends are a great source of comfort and are really the best for pulling you out of a bout of sadness. And remember this favor for when your friend needs you to be there for them next time.

 

Tip 7: Rant about it.

Now, I don’t mean rant about it on Facebook or call everyone you know and hash everything out. What this means is get a paper and write everything out or just stand in your room and rant to the wall. Even if you aren’t sure why you feel the way you do, just start talking and eventually you will stumble on the thing that is making you sad. This is especially helpful if you are a person like me who sometimes can’t figure out your feelings for days.

 

I hope these help some. I have personally tried all of these and I can vouch for their effectiveness. So, whether you are going through a sad spell at the moment, or there is someone you know who is, try these tips to help you get back on your feet.

Rewind of 2016

It’s funny how simultaneously a year can feel so long and yet so short. 2016 has been one heck of a year, in good ways and bad. It’s been a busy, crazy, interesting, adventure filled year. I thought it would be a fun idea to do a rewind over each month and tell you about some of the best moments and fun times I had in 2016 🙂 I hope you enjoy! Let me know in the comments what was one thing about 2016 that you really liked!

 

2016-rewind

 

January:

A brand new and fresh start again. I started 2016 with a list of goals for the year (as I try to do every year) but what set this year apart was that I actually accomplished some of them! I didn’t do all of what I wanted to do, but since I’ve never actually stuck to my goals before, I’d say I did pretty good 🙂 The goals I accomplished were: Get my driver’s license, graduate high school when I’m supposed to, make new friends, and post to Girl on Fire more regularly.

I got my driver’s license at the end of June which isn’t when I had wanted to get it by, but hey, at least I got it. This was a big and necessary step in beating my procrastination, as it’s only been two years since I finished driver’s ed…but like I said in 19 Lessons in 19 years, “you don’t have to be the best, you only have to be better than you were yesterday.”

I graduated homeschool high school in July and I only have to do some additional studying before I take the SAT and ACT tests because my math skills leave a lot to be desired. However, it was a success for me as if further cemented the fact that I am, indeed, and adult when I didn’t have to go back to school like my siblings did in September.

I made a lot of new friends in 2016 which is probably the biggest milestone yet. It’s not particularly easy for me to make friends because of my introvertedness and awkward tendencies. But you’ll hear more about this accomplishment when we get to talking about June/July.

I started posting to Girl on Fire weekly (three times a week if I did really good) and it became super fun. Not that it was ever not fun, but I really enjoyed putting together a fun or interesting post and seeing what my readers thought of it. I haven’t had the chance to post as often as I wanted towards the end of the year but Blogmas (which just ended and you will hear about later) was a huge success and a ton of fun. Hopefully 2017 is full of more good posts from me and on a more frequent schedule. 🙂

 

February:

February was fun because my family and I got to volunteer with Compassion International and serve at the Rock & Worship Roadshow in Boise. Rock & Worship Roadshow (if you don’t know) is a concert of seven Christian bands preforming for only $10. My family got to go for free because of Compassion and we had a great time, not only because of the concert, but also because we got to see firsthand how God can use people to be his hands and feet and help others. I believe the number of sponsored children that night was over 600! And we also got to watch the concert which included Family Force 5 and Newsboys.

 

March:

In March, not a whole lot happened. However I did do a piano festival for the third year in a row. For the festival I memorize two pieces for the piano and play them for a judge who ranks me on a scale of 1 to 5. Five points is a superior rating and I got a superior rating for the third year in a row, which earned me a trophy. Honestly, this year of festival was my poorest performance that I’ve ever done but somehow, the judge still thought I did well enough for a superior rating 🙂

 

April:

April was a lot of fun. I participated in a piano recital for the festival that I talked about previously. It was a lot of fun and unlike the festival performance, I think that was the best performance I’ve done.

Also, once again we (my mom and a few of my siblings and I) volunteered for Compassion International at a for King & Country concert. It was a pretty small venue and we got to once again pass out the Compassion packets and help people sponsor the children. In addition to that, we got to talk to the boy’s mom and she was a super nice lady 🙂 Not to mention this month started the beginning of my obsession with for King & Country XD

 

May:

May was fun because of Mother’s day. I took mom to Boise (well, she drove but I helped 🙂 and we went to lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and then we did some shopping. Later on that night we went to see the documentary The Abolitionist in the theater and there was a huge crowd of people there with signs protesting human trafficking. The show was completely sold out which was so amazing. It was a really cool experience to see so any people there with the same passion I have and who want to put an end to slavery in the 21st century.

 

June:

In June I took Dad out for a day in Boise as well and after a lunch at Red Lobster we went to see the second Independence Day in the theater. It was nice to have a day for just me and dad as I felt like we got to talk about a lot of good things that we didn’t normally talk about and catch up with each other.

Also at the end of June, in addition to getting my driver’s license, my family decided to try out a new church in town. It had been almost a year since we had been kicked out of our old church and I guess we were ready to try again. I’m so glad that we did because I ended up making some of the best friends I’ve had in my lifetime and they are the source of many of the best moments the rest of 2016. 🙂

 

July :

July was the month that I quit my two year job, which was a little disappointing and a little freeing at the same time. I also celebrated Forever Day with my very best friend of 4 years on the 7th of this month. In a nutshell, Forever Day comes from the saying “Best friends forever.” Forever Day for me and Bella is formally known as the “start of our ‘forever” as it marks the day she wrote her first letter to me as a reply to a pen pal add I had put in a newsletter we both subscribed to. 2016 marked our four year anniversary of being friends 🙂 (you’re awesome Bella! 🙂

 

August:

August had one highlight that I can remember and that would be the camping trip that me and my brother went on with our youth group at the new church we became a part of. It was such a great two days! We didn’t do anything super special but we got to spend some time with our new friends (who by now felt like we had known them forever) and it was the first camping trip that I had been on in at least a year (and the only camping trip I’ve been on since). It was super fun and I would love to do it again 🙂

 

September:

September brings me to what I call “the best weekend of my life so far.” I’m talking about the Women’s Retreat that I was able to go on with the ladies of The Rock (our church.) It was up at a super nice retreat center near McCall and it was surrounded by lots of trees and hiking trails (which I was out walking on every day of the three days I was there). I got to know some of the girls a lot better than I did and both nights I stayed up super late talking to a few of them. I did a lot of great studying and I got to know the girls and Christ on a deeper level that I had before.I also got to go zip lining while I was there and that was so awesome 🙂  Of course, the next day after I got back, I got my wisdom teeth taken out which put a dampener on the whole thing XD But it wasn’t terrible 🙂

 

October:

October brought news of our impending move which I was not excited about in the least. It felt like I had just gotten to know all these wonderful people and now I was going to have to move across the country away from them for a long time (well, not so long now 😉 ) But there were many highlights in this month 🙂

I got tickets to go see Lindsey Stirling’s Brave Enough tour which came to Boise! I got a ticket for myself and Caleb and I happened to get an extra one so I was able to take a friend too. We didn’t know it at the time, but some of our other friends were going too and so we had a small group who went together. Lindsey Stirling is just as amazing live as she is on her albums and in her music videos! It was a great night, except that it was so cold!

I also had a super early birthday party/sleepover with my friends because I wouldn’t be there for my actual birthday. After having some homemade pizza we all went out to our camper where I presented everyone with some gifts I had made (which turned out way better than I thought they would) and some fair trade chocolate 🙂 We then played some games and Caleb and the two others who could stay the night stayed up until 6 in the morning. I wasn’t that brave however and went to bed at three instead 🙂 Then the next day we all met up at a park in town with a group of other friends and  had an epic battle of foam, pvc pipe, and duct tape weapons. It was really great 🙂

Now on to the best day of the year for me: the corn maze. For many reasons, this day was one of the best I’ve had. It would be super boring if I went over everything that I did, but it was awesome to spend time with good friends and have fun getting lost in a maze 🙂

 

November:

November was hard as it landed smack in the middle of a move. But we did have some good times as Caleb and I were able to fly back to visit everyone for a last time and go to a Disney Murder Mystery party that one of our friends held. She did an amazing job and everything looked great. I had been compiling my costume since she told me about the party (my character was the Evil Queen from Snow White) and as you can imagine, I tried to go all out with the evil theme. Everyone else looked amazing and did a great job of dressing as their character.

Also in November, I turned 19! Honestly, I don’t feel any different than I had before but it was still an interesting experience 🙂 I hope to put my newfound maturity to good use in the coming year though 😉

 

December:

December wasn’t the best month as far as the whole year goes. There were a lot of big changes for me and a lot of challenges.

I took on the challenge of once again doing three blog posts a week for “The 12 Days Of Blogmas” here on Girl on Fire. I was intending to write them ahead of time, but I didn’t get around to it so I usually had to write them the day before or the day that they were to be posted. But for the most part, I think Blogmas was a success and I’m already looking forward to doing it again next year. 🙂

Christmas was good, but a little different than what I’m used to. But it wasn’t bad in the least. We had a lot of extended family over on Christmas Eve which was nice as I hadn’t seen a lot of them in quite a while. The best part of Christmas for me though was the chance to gather gifts for my family and all my friends. It’s my favorite thing to do and I often spend all year choosing things to get or make for everyone. I was a little behind this year though because of the move and everything, but I hope I will have a better grasp on it next year.

 

 

So, that was pretty much all the good moments and fun times I had in 2016 and I am excited to see what 2017 will have for me. 2016 wasn’t all good, but the good moments outweighed the bad. I’m excited to see the fresh challenges of 2017 as well as how I will grow as a person. Thanks for supporting Girl on Fire by reading about all the randomness I post and I hope you will stick with me for another year 🙂

Happy new year, readers!

Bethany