hashtag blessed

refusing to believe that it is already about halfway through summer. a sacred time that i had been counting down the days to is almost gone?! i have been definitely doing my favorite thing though, which is staying busy.  i can count on one hand how many times i have slept in this summer, which i have grown to realize isn’t that bad of a thing… if i go to bed at somewhat of a decent hour, of course.  i’ve definitely learned the importance of making to-do lists, keeping up with a calendar (I use the app Fantastical, totally recommend!), and making sure that i accomplish everything that needs to be done for that day. although i feel like i say it as every year rolls around, it’s starting to hit that this is kind of the last “summer” i have. to be able to live here in Columbia, spending time with grabbing dinner or going shopping with my friends, taking fun weekend trips to nearby cities like St. Louis or the lake… it’s something that i am taking advantage of.

newsflash: being in college made me realize just how great my parents are. living in a dorm without a curfew and having to do “big girl” things, like going to the doctor alone, was interesting to get the hang of. i learned that life was happening so fast with so many different things going on, that i would often forget to mention any of it to my parents. i became so accustomed to the daily routine in high school of going to school/ work, coming home, sitting on the bar in my kitchen, and telling my mom the jist of how my day went. then, i went from seeing my parents everyday to seeing them less than 20 days of my freshman year. that is a crazy adjustment.

a couple weeks ago was father’s day. i won Best/Most Creative Daughter of the Year award by buying my dad…. wait for it… a Mizzou t-shirt!!! it took me a while to think of that one! i even threw in a hand-written card to top it all off. while facetiming my family that sunday, watching as he is anxiously opening his extravagant gifts from us, he opened his gift from me and somehow got the biggest smile on his face. he was pumped to add another black and gold collared shirt to the pile of the 10+ he owned. one dad could never have enough shirts from the college their kids attend, right?

right there, in that moment, made me realize just how lucky i am. it made me think about how much both of my parents had taught me. i don’t even think i could comprehend how much i’ve learned from them. to put on a happy face and show compassion, rather than saying a brief thanks and tossing it aside. of course a shirt isn’t exciting, but my dad’s positivity made it all better for me. little instances like that one teaches me how vital it is to just smile. fake it till you make it, right? one of the earliest lessons i remember my dad teaching me was the meaning of integrity. i vividly remember my dad explaining it as simply “doing the right thing when nobody is watching” to my 10 year old self. those days, it meant doing a small, good deed without receiving recognition from your 4th grade teacher at school.

but now, having this integrity is something that i struggle with almost everyday. the person that i am today will influence the person i grow into 1, 10, 20 years from now. the extra work i put into my school work, my job, or in who i am is something that i will rarely receive praise for because that is just what i am expected to be. that’s just how life is, you know? everyone experiences when their negative actions or mistakes have the spotlight, when all the effort and time they put into the positive aspects of themselves is deemed invisible. however, getting back up and continuing on with your life after that mistake proves much, much more about the person that you are.

anyone that is close to me knows how much  thought stress i put into my future after college. i overthink far too many things that i have no control over.  to be able to have a job that i love, in a city that i love, working with people that i love (and.. getting paid a decent amount? maybe?) is something that i anticipate often. partly because it will be interesting to be a real “adult”, but also because i have no clue what will happen. i spend a lot of time studying for tests and doing homework and rewriting my notes. there were far too many late-nights spent in study rooms or ellis library. i get caught up in the idea that if i do so, i will land surely that dream job of mine. if i get an A on my college algebra final, then you’ll find me killin’ it in some beautiful city after i graduate, right?! although mayyyyyybe true (a huge stretch, though), i often skip over the whole part of putting that same work and effort into who i am as a person.

i, like almost every other girl ever, wants to possibly be a mom when they’re older. i could ask any one of my friends how many kids they want to have or what they would want their names to be, and a good chunk of them will have somewhat of an answer.  who goes to college to be a mom? who enrolled in classes that consisted of “Introduction of Mom/Dad-hood 1000″at summer orientation coming into college? that’s one heck of a job. imagine having to buy someone food when you’re just so tired of them. it’s a boyfriends worst nightmare, right?

like i said before, this is where integrity plays such a key role in every one’s daily life, no matter what age they are. what they do and how they do it will reflect in the person they become. so, why is it that we, as college students, put in hours in a textbook without putting that same effort into the kind of person they are? i’m not saying drop out of school. or stay in school, but fail your classes. or not even care about school at all, because it will put you one step closer to your dream job someday.

but, seeing the kinds of people that my mom and dad are is something that i want to become. thankfully, they say imitation is the best form of flattery. living alone in this apartment with three other girls is challenging… i still need help doing the laundry and we take pride in knowing that our dishwasher has overflowed just once (knock on wood). this summer has definitely made me realize what it is like to live under a roof without parents… majority being because i have to cook EVERY meal by myself. but, it ultimately helped me realize the actions i need to take and what i need to do to reflect the people they are. even though they made it through high school and college, what they studied in school surely didn’t include how to raise a kid. what they show me on a daily basis, even being 5 hours away from me, is hard to put into words.  and for that, i am so thankful.

i don’t know how they did it, but i sure am happy they did. even though a dumb blog post is the best way to show them that i appreciate them, nothing will ever be able to show the appreciation that i have for them. here’s to father’s day and mother’s day being celebrated more than once a year.

…except i can’t afford that many mizzou t-shirts.

with love jenna copy


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