From a young age, writing has been my form of escape. It has been an escape from the outside world and it has been an escape from the swirling thoughts within my head and heart.

I have filled notebooks with my ramblings, dreams, and regrets. I find myself constantly scribbling on scraps of paper.. ideas, reminders, breakthroughs.

I have written short stories, I have written creative fiction, and I have written term papers.

But I have not written a blog. This is new. It’s unfamiliar, it’s different, it’s exciting.

And isn’t the same true for life?

I am in a state of transition. I am 22 years young. I am a recent college graduate. For years, I had life figured out. It was planned out down to the number of kids I was having and what names they would be given. .

And now, the rest of my life is in front of me. And I have no idea what I am doing, who I am, or what it is I want to accomplish with the years I have left. It is unfamiliar. It is different. But it will be exciting.

I want to share my life journey.. the good, the bad, the funny, and the heartbreak. I want to find my escape through writing again. But most importantly I want to use my writings to rediscover who I am and help carve the path to where I am going.

Let me end my first post with 22 facts about me.. one fact to introduce myself for each year I have lived.

  • I believe in the power of laughter. It truly is the best medicine, and I try my best to make everyone I encounter smile a bit brighter and chuckle just a bit more each day.
  • I am the youngest of four children. My siblings are all 10+ years older (wiser) than me, and I view our family structure as a wonderful blessing.
  • Some of my favorite people call me Auntie. Nine of them in fact, ranging from 16 to not quite born! I’m sure I will share much more about these kiddos in future posts.
  • I procrastinate until the last minute without fail. Whether it’s a lengthy paper or getting out of bed in the morning, I will wait until the last minute. Every single time.
  • I love storytelling. I do have a tendency to exaggerate when retelling my life events. My friends call this lying, I call these exaggerations “sentence enhancers.” You can decide which perspective you’d like to take.
  • One of my biggest passions is basketball. I grew up playing the game and I have tried my hand at coaching young players. Some of my favorite days are spent outside with Spalding and my jams.
  • I am a lover of animals. If I had my way, our home would be filled with an array of stray pets. It has always been my dream to open a “foster shelter” for stray cats and dogs to be adopted. I draw the line at birds though.
  • My dog gets his own point.. He has been my best friend since junior high. He has taught me about loyalty, how to start each day happy, and sometimes you just need to have a snack and take a nap.
  • I am quiet until I feel comfortable and capable of trusting those around me. However, I am never without thought. I am constantly thinking and analyzing my surroundings. When I speak up, I want my words to speak life.
  • I am learning that I was given a special set of leadership skills. I lead by example with as few words as possible. I am brave and fearless when the occasion arises and when the people around me need someone to step up.
  • I believe in small, random acts of kindness. Kindness is free and should be given out like candy at a parade.
  • I believe in unwavering friendship. Loyalty is important to me. Unconditional love and support are necessary ingredients within friendships, and I am learning these relationships have to be a two-way street.
  • I am a lover of words. A logophile. The origins and meanings behind words fascinate me. I often find myself wondering how certain objects were named.
  • Similarly, I could bury myself with quotations. I spend hours seeking out new quotations.. looking for words of wisdom, guiding metaphors, and little life lessons. I love using existing quotations to frame my own thoughts and ideas. Back to those scraps of paper, I’m always scribbling little quotes from books, conversations, and the Internet.
  • Some of my favorite things are old-fashioned: hand-written letters, baby names, ice cream, courting, books, recipe cards, black and white photographs.
  • I have a heart for old people. My day is a bit brighter if I cross the path of an elderly person. I want to hear their life stories and learn from their first-hand experiences. The older they are, the more precious they become. I have a passion for making these members of our society feel wanted and accepted rather than tossed aside.
  • I am anxious. I overthink. I jump to the worst case scenario almost every time. It’s a blessing and a curse: I am wonderfully observant and have a fantastic memory thanks to these characteristics, but they also make my head spin and heart question.
  • My two biggest addictions are Grey’s Anatomy and Doctor Pepper. Surprise me with a day of drinking Doc P while binge watching Season 2 of Grey’s… we will be friends for life.
  • I am terrified of failure. From my life experiences so far, I know that I have learned more from my failures than my successes. But I still remain terrified of failing. Toss in my need for perfectionism and self-doubting tendencies, failing becomes a lot scarier. I’m a work in progress.
  • I have a small Abraham Lincoln obsession. (I am lying. I am hugely obsessed.) I’m not sure what I like about him.. his honest, hard-working character, his brilliant, compassionate leadership, his humbling background story. Here’s one of my favorite Abe quotes: “I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”
  • I believe I’m an old soul. Most days, I don’t feel like I belong within the twenty-something generation. I want experiences that go beyond the surface. I want moments that are beautiful and meaningful. People often come to me with their problems and questions. I find myself able to understand their emotions and suffering and I want to find a solution for them. I’ve always been independent and valued time alone. It can be tricky living among other twenty-somethings, but it’s also a blessing to be constructed of pieces from both the younger and older generations.
  • The title of my blog.. determined tortoise. I came across this phrase a few months ago, and it couldn’t be more perfect. You can’t race through life like the hare. As we learned from that fable, slow and steady wins the race. You only lose if you refuse to finish.
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