Monthly Archives: December 2014

Lesson #162: On the eve of the New Year, I learned…


It’s New Years Eve.

So, basically, I’m required to tell you some deep insightful thoughts that I have gathered throughout the past year.

I’m going to try something a little different.

On the first day of 2014, I wrote this.

It’s really weird coming back to something you wrote 365 days ago.

You smile at some things, and you cringe at others‚ and either way you’re thinking to yourself: I wrote that? 

It’s especially weird, and mostly a lot of scary, because you realize how much you’ve changed. You realize how much things have changed.

2013 was horrible. Well, wait. I shouldn’t be so blunt about that. It wasn’t that horrible. I did a lot of cool things, and I had a lot of new experiences. But when I think back, I just remember it being a very strange period in my life. What I should really say is that there was just a lot of change.

You should know the following.

In my family, New Years Eve has always been our holiday. It’s huge in the Brabham house. Family comes in from out of town and across the state; we dance and eat and party and laugh and bang pots and pans outside at midnight.

So you can bet that last year when I told my mother for the first time at 19-years-old that I wanted to go out for New Years Eve, she looked at me with half-crazy/half-saddened eyes, and was like, “I’m sorry, what?”

Pause. You should also know this.

I’m superstitious. Sort of. One time in seventh grade, I accentually broke a mirror and almost cried because I just knew I’d have bad luck for seven years. I avoid cracks, because obviously I care for my mother’s back very dearly. I get freaked out when people split the pole, and my heart drops when a black cat comes around. I still lift my feet when I go over train tracks, and wait until I’m outside to open my umbrella, and hold my breath when I pass a graveyard. Well, only sometimes. But it’s enough to make me feel weird if I don’t.

Even though a bad News Year Eve night isn’t on the traditional list of horrible omens, I was convinced that it was on January 31st, 2013.

Now that night was terrible. And there’s no doubt about that one. When I came home at 1am all upset, I found out that I wasn’t the only one. My aunt and younger brother decided they would go out for New Years Eve that year too, and they came home with stories of friends with broken wrists, and getting chased by cops from a high school party. We were all eerily convinced that maybe because we weren’t with our family like were supposed to be, we had horrible New Years Eves. And I was convinced that because I had a horrible New Years Eve, it was a prediction of how 2014 would go.

When it rains, it pours, right?

But I’m being honest here—I was nervous.

It turns out, 2014 wasn’t half bad. Hard, but not half bad.

Today, when I went back to read what I wrote that night, I laughed a lot, because I remember all of the things that happened that made me write the things that I wrote.

I considered re-editing the post before linking it back to this post, like, at least sixteeen times. (The overwhelming selfishness? Some of the word choices—who was I?) But then I realized that that would change everything. It would change who I was, where I was at that point in my life, and my progress as a person. It would erase the evidence of how different I am now. How much I’ve learned. I would be editing my old self. And that’s just a big fat lie.

It’s funny; my best friend called me a few hours ago, freaking out because she has to work tonight. She’ll be off in enough time to get home and go out, but it’s an hour drive, and that doesn’t include the time it takes to get ready. It’s prone to be a disaster. She was upset, and rightfully so. But I laughed, because I happen to be a little bit of an expert on this.

You already know what I told her, don’t you?

“It’s just one night, I promise.” I told her. “There are many more to come.”

Just because something is bad right now, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed forever. It actually means quite the opposite.

And on another completely related note, if you are cringing at who you used to be—or who you are—no need to fret. You aren’t doomed to that either. You change. Things change.

The lesson? Be proud of your growth. Be thankful for where you were, and look forward to where you are going.

I mean, look at J-Lo. She’s still, she’s still Jenny from the block.

In her classic song from the 00’s, she [sings? raps? what is she doing?] about how she will never forget the person she was and where she came from, and she carries that with her. But look at where she is now. Even more fabulous, still shaking that ass, and tremendously successful at a number of other things. Just like me from my first blog post of 2014 to now, but less fabulous and not famous.

The other take-away? Things are always moving, always changing, whether you like it or not.

And that just gives me hope for this world as well. We are not doomed to what’s happening right now. Times are ah-changing. And that makes me very excited.

Life is a work in progress.

This year has been fantastic. You know how you can feel something building? Like you are on your way to something greater, and you can just feel it in your soul and in your bones? That was 2014 for me. A glimmer of light. I guess that’s kind of been my theme this year.

I couldn’t even tell you one or two over-arching lessons I learned, because I learned so much every day. 2014 was a year of growth. Confusion and assurance and reassurance and wrongs and rights. But it was my step in the right direction. This elevator? Going up.

Thank you so much for hanging with me since August. I can truly say this blog has changed my life.

I appreciate you guys, and I love you so so much.

I’m hoping this New Years Eve will be a little better. I mean, if it’s bad… 2015 has to be good, right? And if it’s good… will I have a horrible 2015? Well. I guess we’ll find out.

Cheers to you all. Be safe tonight, and talk to you tomorrow, in 2015.

Here’s to another year of lessons.

Day 162.


“Unanswered Prayers.” Guest Lesson by Katie Tomlin

A life lesson I have learned recently was inspired by the country song lyrics: Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

More often than not, people who pray—myself included—find themselves doing so just to ask for something. A good test grade, a raise, or better relationships. We draw a road map of how we want our day, year, or life to go, and get discouraged when we have to re-route.

It’s good to work hard and pray for what you want in life, but as we all know, life won’t always go our way.

Six months ago, things in my life seemed to be changing in ways I wasn’t prepared for. I was losing touch with many people I cared for, my family was going through adjustments in our home, and even in the summer I was worried about whether or not all this student loan debt was going towards earning the right degree for me—having finally changed my undeclared status to a Philosophy and Religious Studies major.

Six months ago, I prayed God would put things back to how they were before, because I liked that idea better than the unknown these changes would bring. Since then, I have realized that not one of these changes was worth worrying over as much as I did.

Last semester, I joined the sorority Sigma Alpha Omega. I gained memories and sisters I know will be lifelong friends. My family grew closer through the strain we experienced, I began dating an amazing guy, and I made Dean’s List, acing the classes most relevant to my major.

Whether you aren’t exactly sure what you want in life, or whether you have the most detailed road map ever drawn—it’s discouraging when you are met with changes you think you aren’t prepared for. But fret not! You are.

God—or whatever or whoever you believe in—may not always answer your prayers how you want, as quickly as you want, or at all. But life goes on and you may find the path it takes you down is even better than the one you had planned.

-Lesson by Katie Tomlin-

Kimage001atie Tomlin is a sophomore Philosophy and Religious Studies major at Radford University. She aspires to be a director of children ministries in a church, and possibly a church pastor someday. She enjoys reading, watching romantic movies, and playing with her morkie puppy, Malibu.

My first year of blogging…

Everything about this is so true. 2014 has truly been a year of growth, and blogging has changed my life. Thanks for putting these wonderful thoughts into a post, MaRae!

I’ve truly enjoyed my first year of blogging! Not only did I learn a lot about the blogging world but it taught more than I expected to.

My first year of blogging…

1. When I first started blogging I felt the need to have a post up every single day. Being a college student I have a crazy schedule due to me being so involved in various clubs and while maintaining a social life. I was blogging everyday but only because I felt like that was what I had to do. Now I have schedule of blogging at least three times out of the week. Creating a blogging schedule for myself has made my life a lot easier! However, when I am not feeling blogging I will not do it because I don’t want to give my readers “fluff” or a post just because.

2. Blogging is A LOT of work!…

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Lesson #161: Boundaries.


The boundaries you create mean nothing unless you are willing to give them respect.

It’s not easy. But very necessary.

And I’m finding this out every day.

Day 161.

Lesson #161: Decisions.


You have to live with the decisions you make.

So make good ones.

Or make the wrong ones,

and learn from them. Just don’t look back.

Day 161.

Lesson #160: Kids.


You can learn things from the little ones.

Especially the little ones.

There is something so honest and naive and refreshing and carefree and adventurous and innocent about being in their presence. And these are things that we should never lose touch of.

I spent the day with my two cousins. I was hesitant about putting what I needed to get done aside, but after taking them to the park, I wanted to stay out even longer. The anxiety I was feeling earlier that day vanished, and soon we were running around a field, playing chase, jumping off of swings, kicking a ball around, climbing to the top of bleachers, running across the street to pet horses, and taking on the world.

Or, at least that’s what it felt like it.

“Thirty minutes,” I told them before we left. But that thirty minutes turned into an hour, and then two, and then a text from my aunt— “Where are you guys?”

If anyone can teach us something, especially about our spirits, it’s the little ones.

You don’t have to jump off a swing or play catch to experience being carefree or adventurous. You don’t have to visit a playground, or a farm, or your old high school track to be honest, naive, or innocent.

We can incorporate these things into our everyday lives. We can remind ourselves to get out. To throw our arms in the air. To not care for a few moments. To not remember. To forget. To live like nothing else matters than the moments we have right now.

I don’t know what makes for the perfect concoction of happiness.

But I know these things are apart of it.

Watch and learn.

The little ones are a lot smarter than we think they are.

Day 160.



Day #159: Fight.


Most things in this life don’t come easy.

And you don’t get everything you want.


This is the part where you learn how to fight.

When it’s what you think you deserve,

when you know this is what you want,

or what you need—

Prove it.

Fight for it.

It deserves the dispute.

And you’ll walk away knowing you gave nothing less.

Day 159.