Moving on up! It is not a deluxe apartment in the sky, but it is 574 square feet of home sweet home for the next chapter of my life. My grad school schedule did not leave much room for a forty-five-minute commute back-and-forth each day, let alone having to do it twice some days. Either I was going to buckle up and deal with that obstacle or do something about it. I decided moving across the street from campus was a safer option on all fronts. I would not be on the road that much, have more time to study, and I would not be frazzled about making my trips count when I could. It will be for the better for my own sanity’s sake.
I made this decision back in May when I received a tentative schedule and spent an evening crying while dealing with the anxiety I was trying to suppress, but it had other plans by releasing through tears. I figured my parents would be hard to crack. Did I need to compile a PowerPoint presentation like I was entering a jury trial, or would a scribbled pros and cons list suffice? I decided going with a list would be a good starting point, and I would resort to more extreme measures if needed later. To my surprise, my mom and dad were on board later that evening. The next day, I spent my lunch and planning period virtual house hunting, took my mom to one property I liked and signed the lease by the end of the week.
I was over-the-moon excited that I was going to have my own apartment during grad school, and it sure did not break my heart to give up a lengthy commute. I will, however, miss my parents because I am obviously super close to them and really have not been away from home for extended periods. It may have been a coping method or pure excited bliss, but in true Kayla fashion, my Amazon cart overfloweth with home goods. For weeks, boxes were dropped off on the porch, and my mom and I had to go hunt in the stores for the few things I could not find on the ever-plentiful Amazon interwebs. It was like Christmas, except I had to wait to get to use the stuff. Talk about torture.
My parents tried to replicate the feeling of home as best they could, and they did not disappoint. I was not expecting to furnish it as much as we ended up doing, but one thing led to another. I had so much fun strategically planning my color schemes and décor, as well as picking out kitchen gadgets. From the looks of it, I should have my own Food Network show any day now with some guest appearances on HGTV. Okay, not quite, but you get the gist of how shopping with my mom went while picking certain things out. Let me just say I had to talk her down from a super duty cookware set for a more realistic one because who am I kidding? The oven and microwave will be my best friends!
The day to make the move to Toledo came. Before I get too far, let me give one big shout out and thank you to my parents, my best friend, Jen, and her dad for making it all happen. We loaded up three vehicles and moving day was in full swing. Between the stairs and the boxes, I had leg and strength day covered. I should not need to hit the gym ever after this. Boxes were all over the place, but somehow, we tackled the task of cleaning everything and unpacking. Jen took one area while I took another. My dad had to go back and get my custom shelving units, and my mom kept the shelf liners coming as we cleaned.
Anytime Jen and I are together, there are giggles and good times. This was no exception. The only thing that was different was the addition of my dad adding to the comic relief of our shenanigans. Picture it: my dad, Jen, her dad, stairs, shelving units, and my mom and me as onlookers. All I could say was “PIVOT!” Luckily for us, the rest of the furniture was already on the flipside upon arrival.
This weekend was a blur. It took parts of three days to get everything settled and placed. I am so happy with how it all came together and cannot wait to spend my grad school years here. Although I have not lived here long, I can already say I am in love with my apartment. It will be so nice to be close to my classes, client, study groups, and research labs. It will also be nice to have friends over to make memories.
My design skills were put to the test. I decided to go with pastel colors that were comforting, yet they were still young and vibrant enough to keep my creative mind space happy. Plus, my walls are stark white, so I had to do something to liven things up without going overboard. I stuck with a three-color combination. My bedroom has pops of yellow, the bathroom’s theme is coral, and the kitchen is a nice variety of aqua. Since my living room is open and ties into just about every room, I decided to tie in all three colors there, some more discrete than others, but I was not about to add a fourth color.
Some of my favorite pieces in my apartment may seem a little random, but it is a true representation of me. In the living room, I wanted to add color with some wall hangings, and while I found some I liked at Hobby Lobby, something was missing. Despite some hard-core searching, my shopping came up short, but I am so happy it did. I ended up asking my dad to paint something custom, and it turned out better than anything I could have ever asked. It captures a piece of my childhood and our song and seamlessly incorporates You Are My Sunshine in a sleek design element. As for my kitchen, it became a little eclectic, if that is what you want to call it. Between my pig collection (that is a story on its own) and living in the country, the farmhouse feel in a kitchen just comes naturally to me I guess. So, with that, no kitchen is complete without a pig paper towel holder, napkin holder, and salt and pepper shakers.
I am still getting settled in my home away from home. While this is not a permanent stay, it is my Toledo home sweet home for the next couple of years. I had so much fun putting all the pieces together and making it my home collection.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018
As cliched as “the best is yet to come” sounds, I think it holds true in some instances during life’s ups and downs. People talk about reaching their peak in life, and I often wonder what that even looks like. I try not to think about life in that way because once the climax has been reached it is all downhill from there, and we all know that. Life would be grim if we knew the best has come and gone already.
It may be the dreamer in me who makes me believe in chasing after life’s achievements are worth something. I would hate to think I set a limit for what I could accomplish in life or the experiences I could collect. Having a mindset that promotes reaching and chasing for the next adventure should ignite a passion that outweighs the mind games of second-guessing.
As I have expressed previously, life is lived in phases. We may live through more or fewer phases than the next person, and they will all look different for everyone. I like to think that with each phase, a best is yet to come. It may not be known at the time what the best was, but in good time it will be revealed or still awaits us.
Even on days when it feels like there is no light in sight, there is hope for something better to come. Sometimes, it takes looking for the best in the day to preserve a positive outlook. Regardless of how we have to prime ourselves for the day or year, we owe it to ourselves to look for the good beyond the bumps in our journey. Just remember to hope for the best.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018
It is no surprise that I thrive on having goals. As much as I try to live in the moment, my thoughts wander to the future and what that could look like. That is some exciting stuff, and as long as I am alive and kicking, I will continue to plan ahead to chase dreams and goals.
In recent months, I have been doing a little side hustle that I really enjoy and am appreciative of the opportunity. Because of this door opening, I read a book that just so happened to be written by Brian Tracy. This is when life has a way of saying everything is okay and as crazy as it gets sometimes, you are doing it right. I had gravitated to his quote long before I ever picked up that book and sat through a workshop. It was a perfect puzzle piece to my life and the application of my goals.
Being the visual person I am, I have to see things in black and white to truly understand and grasp ideas. On top of that, I learn and remember better when I take a physical step in writing whatever is important down the old-fashioned way with pen and paper. Technology has made life so much easier in some respects, but for this, technology needs to be thrown out the window. There is some psychological switch that is flipped when a pen touches a piece of paper and thoughts spill from the heart and mind that makes something abstract become tangible.
I have dubbed myself a professional student because I have actually become a pro at fine-tuning the science of my learning habits and the construct of my best practices. For as long as I have had a planner and a notebook, I have been making to-do lists like it is my job and dreaming of goals to last a lifetime. Once goals are written down, it becomes a plan, and that plan remains as a constant reminder to put action forth to achieve.
My fair share of lists of aspirations and even my daily to-do lists have come and gone while others still remain. I have crossed things off, but not until it has been achieved; otherwise, it has stayed on the list. I attribute much of the success I have met so far in life to the diligence I have taken to making time for my goals and valuing them enough to write them down to keep me accountable. It is the only way to get things done, and I am not settling for anything else because I am a goal digger.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018
It is no secret that I am continually working on myself and growing as a person. If you had known me in high school and my early days of college and compare it to now, it would be evident that I have stepped out of some comforts. In fact, I had a professor who would often tell me to “live a little, Kayla” because I could more times than not be a buzzkill. There was no interest in trying new things and being brave in my independent ways.
I have since learned the errors of the narrowminded ways. Now, I am slowly but surely eager for my next adventure outside of my comfort zone. It is hard telling the places I will go moving forward in my new take on life. It makes me excited to try something new or meet people my ordinary path would not take me.
Even though this lifestyle change did not require a major upheaval of things, it was significant enough to make me think differently and appreciate the new perspectives. I am doing things I never thought I was capable of doing or even thought I wanted to do. It is amazing how such a shift in a thought process can broaden opportunities. I have been abundantly blessed by the changes I have made in adapting to a more care-free and spontaneous attitude.
There is no telling where this path will take me in life, but I am sure glad I decided to take a turn for the unknown to break the cycle of being stuck in a rut for the rest of my life. I am far from seeing this journey’s close, and it excites me even more that I do not know what is next. Before this realization, not knowing would have driven me bonkers, but I am content with embracing an element of surprise. My life’s goal is never to stop being a learner and to ensure I maintain that status, I have to be willing to go wherever my next classroom is located.
The only place that growth flourishes will be at limits’ end.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018