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Last year, my boyfriend bought me a GRE study guide so that I would finally stop talking about graduate school and just start working towards it. I spent three months preparing for the test and $160 to take it, and it did not go as well as I’d hoped. I spent the next five months preparing my graduate school admission materials – stalking teachers for letters of recommendation, writing a statement of purpose and a personal history statement, speaking to professors in the program. I applied in early October to one school and banked my hopes on it, knowing that the chances were slim and that I had other options if I didn’t get in, but living life as if I would.

I didn’t get in.

This is another in a long line of failed dreams. It’s really frustrating to watch everyone around me get everything I’ve worked so hard for so easily – and in less time than I spend. I don’t know why I can’t seem to break out of the rut I’m in, but each time I get a rejection of this magnitude, or each time I start a new career path, I have to create a new path on my blank slate. This week I don’t have a list of truths, just this one:

1. I’m tired of rebuilding my blank slate, but I WILL color it in someday.

I’m thinking about reapplying next year, but it’s not my priority. My priority is to change my toxic environment. My priority is to accept that I don’t know if I have truly long-term goals, but I have long-term skills and that’s enough for now. My priority is to bring enjoyment back into my life instead of bringing in more stress. My priority is to get out of my depression. We’ll see where life goes from there.

When have you had to rebuild your dreams? What is your current life priority?

Every once in a while, I need a change. I don’t mean something small, like sleeping with my head at the foot of the bed or eating dinner for breakfast. I need huge change. Just like every person, I start wanting more. When things are going poorly, I have a hard time accepting that this is it. I move rather often and like redecorating – my mom moved a lot when we were kids, so maybe that’s part of it, but it’s also because I like change. I want to keep my life fresh and alive. I hate stagnancy.

My life has felt fairly stagnant for over a year, which includes a low-level depression. I really want to break out of that rut, and I feel like freshening up some aspects of my life will help. Here’s where I need your help!

I want to reinvent myself. I want a makeover!

Bearing in mind that I have almost no money to spare (so all suggestions have to be super inexpensive), I would like to gather makeover ideas. I’m trying to become more fashion-oriented and want to update my wardrobe. I also want to change up my hair style. To do this, I’m going to post weekly on something that I’m looking to update – clothing, shoes, hair, etc. I would LOVE your feedback and ideas!!!

Here’s where I bare my soul, somewhat abashedly – I’ll provide my specs in each post and post a picture or two to give you an idea of what state I’m currently in. Once I start updating things, I’ll post my progress and get feedback on if I’m going in the right direction. Ready?

I like making lists of goals. Writing down my goals helps me accomplish them because it forces me to not only think about them, but acknowledge why I want to accomplish each one. I would love to have help and/or reinforcement on these, so let me know if you’re interested in tag-teaming on some of your goals. Here are a few that I want to focus on over the next few months:

1. Make a new recipe at least every two weeks – I enjoy cooking when I have free time, and I really like trying out new recipes. That’s actually the reason that I started doing Foodie Friday posts – I want to share the recipes that I like and detail my successes and disasters along the way.

2. Put money into savings – This is always a goal of mine, but it is particularly pertinent right now as I’m about to pay off my car. I really want to build up my savings account, especially since I plan on moving sometime in the next year. I should set a certain amount to transfer each pay period, but I’m afraid that it’ll all go badly. I will save money.

3. Become more fashionable – As my wonderful friend, Kate, has been working on updating her wardrobe, she’s been showing me various outfits for feedback, which in turn has gotten me more interested in updating my own wardrobe. In fact, Kate has linked to some amazing fashion blogs (such as Work With What You’ve Got), which I highly recommend. I’m not big on fashion, but I really want to work on cultivating a style for myself. This will help once I have more money to spare, but hopefully I can add pieces slowly. Besides, I always need more shoes. 😉

4. Lose weight – I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’m overweight, but I really want to work to address that. I refuse to do any crazy diets, but I am currently finding ways to eat healthier and make smarter choices in terms of eating – for example, pairing a protein (i.e., peanut butter) with a carb (i.e., whole wheat bread) as a snack will help reduce hunger and cravings. I really hope to lose weight this year and make healthy living a regular part of my lifestyle. Anyone want to take on that challenge with me to hold us both accountable?

5. Take more pictures – I recently got a camera for Christmas, which was great because I’ve been without a camera for over a year. I got so used to not having a camera, however, that I forget that I have one now! I really want to get into the habit of taking pictures and creating images that help retain memories. Now I just need to get a memory card.

6. Prepare for moving – This is perhaps the trickiest of my goals, only because I might be moving this August or I might be moving next year; I might be moving to California or Winona or staying put. I just don’t know. What I do know is that I want to prepare for it so I’m getting the best bang for my buck in terms of getting rid of stuff I don’t need. My boyfriend and I are planning for a mid-summer garage/moving sale to get rid of items such as couches, dressers, etc., as well as smaller items that just aren’t necessary. I imagine we’ll do a certain amount of online selling. Who knows – maybe I’ll even do a monthly giveaway of some of the best stuff!

What goals do you have? How are you planning to accomplish them?

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