i like to think that photo has perfectly captured me, little alfalfa hairs and all
after such a long bout of silence on my end this year, i thought it worthwhile to take it slow and start from square one to get you all caught up on where i am (in life, i suppose? sigh.) and where my new plans are taking me. 

fall semester i made some big changes - really big - in regards to my educational and personal goals which led to a complete reevaluation of my entire life plan (resulting in a mild barely-quarter-life crisis along the way. this is only a slight dramatization). in the process of working towards becoming a spanish-speaking optometrist, i was enrolled in both a hispanic literature course and organic chemistry. i started off the semester feeling determined, positive, and strong, but the further i advanced in each of those subjects, the more obvious it became as to where my heart lay. my fire-y passion for the spanish language continued to blaze on, hot and bright, but my fire for the sciences began to dwindle, and with time i noticed the flame completely went out. there was a period of time i tried to fan the fire in hopes of bringing it back to life. i lingered on to the hope that, well, maybe organic chemistry isn't my thing, but genetics might be? or i can still just focus and get through the classes, i'm sure i'll learn to love it once eyeballs are involved. i got to a point, though, where i was just downright unhappy. i'd trudge into o-chem feeling weepy and moronic and then bolt out as soon as that 50 minutes was up so that i could skip my way across campus to spanish class - my happy place (even if it was spanish literature). it was in these moments (and thanks to many-a-conversation with my family and mentors) that i realized i needed to make a change.

i panicked. how could i just abandoned the one dream and "plan" i'd ever known? what on earth was i going to do now? i felt like i was letting my family, my peers, myself down. i eventually realized that the only way i'd be letting myself down was if i didn't follow my heart and pursue my passion. so i did. i withdrew from organic chemistry and dropped my biology degree from a major to a minor so i could focus on majoring in spanish. while it was a hard change to admit and act on, i immediately felt 100 pounds lifted off my shoulders and 100% more like myself. i finally felt so happy.

i am so happy. once my mind was made up (or more like my head had finally listened to my heart, which had been made up long before) i never looked back. not once has my confidence wavered or have i felt like maybe i made the wrong decision. wandering off of the straight and narrow path leading to optometry has allowed me to experience college and see the world in a whole new light. while my future seems a little less concrete, that's okay. i like to think that i'm not just sitting here teetering in a transitional state of uncertainty and unpredictability, but rather i'm being offered a tremendous opportunity to explore a wider range of career options so i can really find the best fit for me. all i know in this moment is i'm doing something i'm abso-stinking-lutely in love with. how lucky am i to be able to say that? i know, too, that the rest is in God's hands, and He will lead me where i'm called to be. i'm even luckier to be able to say that.
i realized this post was gettin' a little lengthy, so i decided to split it into a two-part series in an attempt to make it a little less painful for you all to get through. ;) check back soon for part two, in which i announce my exciting post-undergrad hopes and plans for the next couple of years! 

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