Accompany me on my journey to experience life in a different light with a whole new attitude en route to a deeper sense of appreciation for myself and the world around me.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Week 3: I Dreamed A Dream

This week, it was a little harder for me to complete the assignment. It COULD be because my primary focus is on my patient caseload OR because I am a CONSTANT dreamer.

Just to give you an idea, here is a random sampling of the "Dreams" thus far in my life (in random order):
  • NASA Astronaut (never worked out mainly because I have an incredible fear of heights)
  • Physical Education Teacher (I realized my true love was physical therapy)
  • ESPN Sports Analyst
  • Obtain Pediatric Physical Therapy Specialty Credentials (this still might happen)
  • Play for the Lady Razorbacks
  • Play Softball for the University of Central Arkansas (this happened after the aforementioned failed to come true)
  • Be a Rodeo Queen (my Mom was and in a lot of ways, I really would be thrilled to just be half of what she is)
  • Emcee An Event (mainly because I'm self proclaimed to have the "gift of gab"...not that anyone would want to listen HA!)
 Never the less, here is my current dream (which becomes reality in less than 198 days I might add!)

Let me throw out one disclaimer before I get on a tangent: If you've been following along with this blog (I do have 5 faithful followers; Good thing 'Famous Blogger' isn't on the dream list), then by now I am sure you are thinking, "How does someone who took a beautiful picture of a waterfall in the open country turn around to post a picture of a stuffed animal, a pillowcase, and a name tag?" Well, I'll tell ya! This girl is busy saving the world-one pediatric physical therapy patient at a time!

Now, on the quote at the bottom of the picture and the reason for the post. When I was 12, my best friend and I made a pact that we would play basketball for the Lady Razorbacks when we graduated high school. At this point in time, we were in the 6th grade, played pee wee basketball and ruled the world (so we thought).

As we grew up, we continued to be best friends and teammates and our dream was still somewhere amidst boyfriends, SAT 9 testing, and high school drama. We started most of JV and Varsity seasons. My junior year of high school, our team was invited to play in the Lyon College Invitational Tournament. Not the U of A of course, but it was still an opportunity to be noticed by a few college scouts. That night did indeed change my life, but not at all how I thought it would.

I'll spare you the intricate details but that was the night that I tore a ligament in my knee called my Anterior Cruciate Ligament, ACL for short. This wasn't just any ole ligament I would later find out. It was the ligament that would have to be reconstructed, intensely rehabilitated, and cared for in the many months ahead. I will never remember the day my world came to a screeching halt when I got the news that I wouldn't be returning to play basketball that year. I also remember who was standing in the room next to me, holding my hand, and who shared my tears that day and in the days to come: my Mom.

Throughout the next 6 months, I went to physical therapy to work on getting my knee back so that I could return to play before my senior year. It was hard, it was frustrating, and I was mad at the world. I didn't understand why this had to happen to me--especially since that was the year I sat on the sidelines and watched my team go to the State Tournament for the first time in 11 years. It was also the time that I began to think about my life after high school. And I thought that PT might be a direction to go...besides, all they really do is count to 10 anyways right? I'd been doing that since single digits!

It took a while, but I realized that through that tragedy, I gained quite a few blessings. I had the privilege to coach a little league softball team composed of 7-8 year old girls. Those girls helped my rehab more than they will ever know and I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through that without them. Several of those girls will graduate high school this year...crazy how time flies. I also found my passion and true calling (I believe anyway). I learned that year that God prepares us in many different ways.

For the most part, the dreams we have throughout our lives seem to be free. Dreams are not taxed and they aren't bought and sold like commodities. But those dreams to become reality, whether they be Dr. King's, for freedom, for happiness, or most importantly eternal life, the price, or the journey, are not free. A price has to be paid. In my case, lots of time, sweat, tears, prayers and money went into my dream of gaining a doctorate degree in physical therapy. And I can honestly say, even though the journey wasn't was completely worth it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Week 2/52: Made with Love!

Last week's photograph was so fun and refreshing but this week, I decided to stay inside and do a photograph involving two of my favorite possessions. Take a Look:

 As you can see, there are 2 parts to this picture. The first part, and the one which may be familiar to some, is ALF. My parents tell me that when I was a baby, there was only 1 thing that could truly keep me pacified and that was the show ALF. If anyone hasn't watched, I highly encourage you to do so. It's fantastic! I had great taste in shows even as a wee one! The stuffed ALF shown here in the picture has a neat story behind it. My dad and I were manning the cart while my mom shopped one day and as the story goes, my father and I found this doll and I just wouldn't let it leave my sight. Therefore, my Dad made sure that they bought it for me! I still have it and it's been with me ever since. It went to college with me and even on my clinicals. I literally don't leave home very often without it.

The pillow case is from my mom. She made my sister and I both one when we were kids. She held onto it and gave it to me a year or so ago after I got married and was trying to relocate all my stuff to my new house. It, along with ALF, now proudly go with me everywhere I go.

I keep them around so that I can always remember no matter how far away from home I am, there are two parents who raised me to be strong, courageous, compassionate, and strong in every situation I encounter. It also serves as a reminder of just how blessed I am to have those two individuals as my parents.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

P52 Picture of the Week: Resolution

I have been wanting to make a trip to Mountain View since I got my camera for Christmas but due to being sick with Bronchitis, I was forced to stay inside. Today, I finally got to get outside with my camera and I headed straight for Blanchard Springs.

Most people know that I have worked as a tour guide at Blanchard Springs Caverns for about about 6 seasons. One of the perks of working there is having an extensive knowledge of the park and hiking trails.

As stated in an earlier blog post, my resolution for 2012 is to spend more time exploring the world around me. With that being said, here is my submission for the week:

This picture represents my  resolution because in order to really capture this waterfall, you have to leave the boardwalk and hike down by the creek then climb up a few rocks to get there. This year, I want to change my perspective of life from staying on the boardwalk and challenge myself to get off the beaten path of the world in order to follow the path the Lord has laid out just for me.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Week 1: Resolution

Resolution: the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.

Resolution is the prompt for the first week of photographs. I haven't taken my picture yet (don't judge! It's not due until Friday!) but I have been thinking a lot lately about resolutions so until I have a picture, I'll talk about my past resolutions.

It seems that all my life, my resolutions have always been the following:
  1. Lose weight (in the fastest way possible)
  2. Exercise More (in order to lose weight the fastest way possible)
  3. Read my Bible daily (a good one no doubt but when I break this one, I feel incredibly guilty that I couldn't live up to the extreme standards I set for myself.)
This year, however, I am refusing to use this particular word to describe the changes I wish to make in the new year. Instead, Not only am I boycotting the word resolution, I am also boycotting the vicious (and shallow) high expectations that I put on myself. Sure, I still want to do all those things listed above but this year I want to explore the world God created for me. I don't just want to explore it for the sake of exploring either; I want to explore it in order to become closer to my Father in Heaven and find my place in His world.

Now-back to the picture of the week. I have a couple of ideas of how to portray this but I can't give any hints until I am able to get outside and work on it! Hopefully tomorrow I will be well enough to get outside and play with my new camera (HORRIBLE stent with Bronchitis has kept me inside for about a week now!)

I will, however, leave you with one of my favorite pictures from Christmas that I took on the very first day of having my new camera!

 All my Mom wanted for Christmas was family pictures. My younger sister, brother, and myself got together to surprise her with just that. This is her looking at these pictures for the first time.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year; A New Challenge

For Christmas, my WONDERFUL husband suprised me with a Nikon D80 digital camera with a Tamoron lens.  As you can probably already tell, I am SUPER new to the photography world but extremely enthusiastic to dive into this fascinating world!  This leads me to the topic of my first entry.  A very creative friend of mine first expired my interest in photography by posting 1 self-portait per week for an entire year. Therefore, I have decided that the best way to really learn my camera, expand my knowledge, and challenge my creativity is to join in on the fun!

Each week has a new challenge therefore each week I will upload several of the photos I have taken as well as the one I've submitted to the project. I will also try to post a link to the project page for access to all the other great photography enthusiasts who are joining in on the fun!

Since I will also be traveling a great deal of the year for clinicals, I will also use this blog to keep friends and family updated on my adventures!