Daily Prompt 2/21/2016 | The Road Less Traveled

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/21/2016 | The Road Less Traveled

Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.”

In June of 2008, I graduated high school. In the months prior to my graduation, I struggled with deciding where I wanted to go to college. My mom was the only person who ever went to college in my family, and she only went to the local community college, and I felt like that just wasn’t an option for me (no offense at all to anyone who went to community college, I was an ignorant child who thought community college was below me, but now I would be thrilled to be able to attend classes as our local community college). I had had four years of extra help, tutoring, advanced classes, and college tours, thanks to the Upward Bound program, but I still struggled. I think, deep down, I felt like I didn’t belong in the area that I grew up in. I had applied to many good schools in the area, and had gotten accepted into all of them, but I wanted something more.

During this time, I was dating a great guy named Matt, who I wrote about a bit here. Matt lived in Missouri, I lived in Maine, and we had met online. Matt was determined to go to school in Canada, so we applied to the same schools, and I ended up getting accepted to the Memorial University of Newfoundland, the Grenfell Campus. After springing this information on my mother, and packing my life up, I left for Canada, leaving everything behind, and changing my life entirely.

But what if I hadn’t?

What if Matt and I had stayed in a long distance relationship, or even went our separate ways, and I attended one of the several universities in Maine that I had been accepted into? Let’s talk about The University of Maine Farmington, for example. This is an excellent school, as well as my top choice school that I applied to, for local schools. Many of my friends from Upward Bound applied, and ended up attending this school. If I had chose to go to UMF, I would have qualified for so much more in financial aide, as well as scholarships, and probably would have been able to stay in school. I would have had more opportunity to make more friends, and become closer to the friends that I knew who went there. I have two good friends that I met in Upward Bound, Barbara and Kat, who both attended UMF, and who I have grown closer to in the last couple years, despite our distance. I would have loved to go to school with them. I would love to have friends that know me, and know where I came from, who I can talk to, face-to-face, and have a good time with. In the 8 years since I left home, I haven’t had that. At all. And it is so lonely.

I love my fiance, and I love my son, and I love our life that we have built… but all of these What If? questions tug at me daily. What if I had stayed in Maine, went to UMF, and had gotten my degree? Would I be married to someone else? Would I be single? Would I have any kids? Would I have a cat or a dog? Would I have started my career? Would I have a house? I don’t know. I have no way of knowing.

Heck, maybe on the day I would have left to go to UMF, I would have crashed, and died, and none of those questions would even matter. Who knows? What I do know, is that I love my life currently, despite financial difficulties, or family drama. I love my life, and I wouldn’t want it to be any different.

This prompt has inspired me to reach out to my old university, to see how much I owe them for tuition, and what my payment options are. I can’t afford to pay anything now, but it will be nice to have a number in my head to work toward.

Thank you for reading, friends.

Jan

Poll: Where Would You Go?

Hello, friends! Not long ago, I referenced in a post (or two?) about how one of the biggest things that I want to do with my life is to travel the world with my family. If I had the opportunity to go anywhere, I honestly don’t know where I would go! Anywhere in Europe would be amazing, but there is just so much out there! I’m interested in knowing where you would like to go if you could travel to a location, and spend 6 months there, without any cost to you. Feel free to specify more if you don’t see your country of choice on the list!

Have you traveled anywhere amazing already that you would recommend? I want to hear about it!

Thanks for reading and participating!

Jan

The Lovely Blog Award

03-one-lovely-blog-award-badge

Hello, friends! I am super excited, and totally honored, to tell you that I’ve been nominated for the Lovely Blog Award! As some of you have seen, I was also recently nominated for the Liebster Award, which was so great! I had seen the Lovely Blog Award floating around, given to some very deserving individuals, and now I’ve made the cut! I was nominated by the fantastic Lady CAS, who I adore entirely. I am so excited and humbled. Thanks again, Lady!

The Rules For Award Acceptance:
1. Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them (including a link to their blog).
2. List the rules, and post the blog award badge in the post.
3. Add 7 facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the Lovely Blog Award, and notify them that they have been nominated.

The official rules dictate that I tell you seven facts about myself, and I had to think hard about this one, because I’ve already posted two other posts with 30 total facts about myself, haha. After taking some time to think of a few more, here we are, and here are my seven facts!

7 Facts About Me:
1. Up until the age of 17 or 18, I hated my name. I’m still not a fan, honestly. It is spelled “Janise“, but pronounced the same as “Janice“. You’d think that would be obvious, but every teacher that I’ve ever had, from kindergarten up to my senior year, called me “Jan-EE-se“. Repeatedly. It became a running joke, but I hated it so much. I usually just go by “Jan” now.
2. I went to college in Newfoundland, Canada for one year. I was studying Psychology, which is something I have always been passionate about, but had to drop out due to financial problems. I still owe the school money, nearly 7 years later, and I have fears that I will never get to go back to school, or have a career.
3. I love Harry Potter. I can honestly say that the Harry Potter series played a huge role in shaping me into the woman that I am today, for so many reasons. Not ashamed!
4. I played the clarinet from ages 9-16. I originally wanted to play the trumpet, but my mom wouldn’t let me. I ended up being really good at the clarinet, and was selected as first chair every year. I was even specially chosen to attend several district music festivals (two of which required an audition), and was selected as first chair in all 3 music festivals, beating out over a dozen other talented clarinetists. Playing the clarinet was one of the only things that gave me a sense of pride, yet I foolishly threw it away, quitting band at the age of 16 for petty, stupid reasons. I’ve regretted it ever since.
5. I have mild social anxiety. I no longer experience anxiety attacks when in public, and have come quite a long way, but I still don’t enjoy being around other people. Family, friends, or strangers. Unfortunately, nobody seems to understand this, and often mistake my anxiety for rudeness, which only makes it worse.
6. I don’t really care for coffee, and I don’t like bacon. I decided to put these two facts into one, because they are equally addictive, and I have gotten equal amounts of hate for both. Come at me, bro.
7. I played World of Warcraft for 9ish years, but had to take a 1.5 year break when I was without a computer and internet. I came back only for a few months, after my son was born, but quit when I realized that there was absolutely nothing left for me to come back to. I’ve been drifting through the internet, alone, ever since.

Whew, that was fun! To finish off this post, I’d like to nominate the following 15 individuals for the Lovely Blog Award. I wish I could nominate everyone that I follow… but I can’t. Sorry.

My 15 Nominees For the Lovely Blog Award:
1. Jleigh
2. Supergirl2000
3. Amy
4. John Jr.
5. Gloria
6. The NYC Mom
7. Heather
8. The Flip of the Switch
9. Tessa
10. Matt
11. Accidental Hipster Mum
12. Life Beyond Mommy
13. Annette
14. Everythings Rosie and George
15. Paintbox Mum

Man, I need to follow more blogs. I apologize if this is the second or third time that any of you have been nominated, feel free not to participate if you don’t want to, I won’t be offended! I just wanted to recognize and share some fantastic blogs with you lovely folks.

I do hope that the rest of you guys accept and share! It is so nice that these awards exist, and I am so honored to have been recognized and nominated for two separate ones. They are also so fun to participate in, especially when I’ve got a little bit of writer’s block going on! Be sure to check out my fellow writer friends, and make a connection! Let’s all support each other. Thanks again, Lady CAS, for the nomination.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

15 Facts About Me!

If I get enough likes on the original post, I’ll post a part 2!

Hello, friends! Last night, I grabbed a neat image from my friend @Abashima on Twitter, that looked a little something like this:

CWUqiXrWwAADm0J

At the time that I am writing this, I have a total of 15 cute, little heart likes on the picture! I posted 15 short facts about myself on Twitter, but thought I would list them out here as well, with a bit more detail, for anyone interested!

So here we go!

Jan Fact #1: I went to college in Canada.
I went to Grenfell College, in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada. I moved to Canada with my ex-boyfriend, Matt, and we planned to move to St. John’s, Newfoundland after our second year, to finish our degrees. I had planned to major in Psychology, and minor in Social Work. I am still interested in both subjects, but now am looking more into working with children. I tried to stay active on the tiny campus, and joined the Residence Council. I was the representative for my floor, and relayed information about upcoming activities and events to my RA and the rest of my floor. Despite my outgoing, popular boyfriend, I wasn’t very popular, and kept mostly to myself.
Aside from my ex, and a few people from his floor (who always referred to me as “Matt’s girlfriend”), I really only had two friends, named Kurt and Jenn. Halfway through the year, they started dating, and ended up hating each other, and I was always stuck between them. We eventually parted ways. I also didn’t have a roommate until the second semester, which was awesome. My roommate, Stephanie, was a model, and had one the Miss Newfoundland Teen competition. I did not like her. She always had drunk guys over, and they were loud and awful. But anyway. I had to drop out after my first year for financial reasons, and have yet to continue with my education.

Jan Fact #2: I can not whistle.
So many people have tried to teach me, but I seem to be unteachable! I also was unable to snap my fingers until I was 22 years old. I always had to fake it in band and chorus whenever snapping was involved. People knew. It was embarrassing.

Jan Fact #3: My first pet was a cat named Rocky.
My next 3 cats were also named Rocky, but the 4th was named Napkin, although my mom renamed him “Hunter” after I left home. He passed away last year, at the age of 9. The first pet I ever owned on my own was a cat named Jade. She was a sweet, tuxedo cat, and I had her for 6 years, before re-homing her with a friend just before my son was born. I still miss her.

Jan Fact #4: Jenna Marbles follows me on Twitter!
It is true. She does. Because I am awesome. Duh!

Jan Fact #5: When I lived alone, I couldn’t fall asleep unless Spaceballs was playing.
I need noise to sleep. I am a light sleeper, and can not sleep in dead silence, because the tiniest, sudden noise wakes me up. After my ex and I split, and I was living alone for the first time in my life, I had a hard time coping. And sleeping. I had moved into a bad neighborhood, filled with barking dogs, trains, yelling, and loud music, and it was hard for me to get settled in at night. The first movie I ever watched in my apartment (after my electricity was finally turned on after a whole week), was Spaceballs. After that night, I started putting it in every night, and it helped me fall asleep, and stay asleep. It remains one of my favorite movies, and I have seen it over 100 times. I have memorized nearly every line!

Jan Fact #6: I will never name any of my future children “Saint”.
Ever.

Jan Fact #7: The only dog I’ve ever had was a Dalmatian named Snoop.
Snoop was actually my mom’s boyfriend’s dog. I was 5 or 6 when we moved in with him, and so was Snoop. We we’re the same age. He lived to be 14 years old. My mom accidentally ran him over with her Jeep, but after a long visit with the animal hospital, we were told that he was fine. No broken bones, no internal bleeding, nothing. He died in his sleep 3 nights later. I missed school the following day, and cried for a whole week straight. He was an amazing dog.

Jan Fact #8: I used to be a podcaster.
It is true. Once upon a time, I hosted a fun, little World of Warcraft podcast called Something Suggestive, which was named after a guild I once created in WoW. The final episode (episode 46) was hosted by my good friend @RhoWoW, as an April Fool’s Day joke. Unfortunately, this was during a rough time in my life, which ended up lasting two years. During this time, I was without a computer or internet, and the show died. You can still listen to old episodes on Stitcher Radio though!

Jan Fact #9: I can’t blow a bubble with gum.
I am a broken, sad human.

Jan Fact #10: I wear contacts.
I’ve been wearing glasses since the 3rd grade, and contacts since the 8th grade. I’m blind without them. I haven’t gotten a new prescription in years, and have been suffering really bad headaches because of this.

Jan Fact #11: I love the supernatural.
Despite not really believing in it, I find shows, movies, articles, games, etc. about the supernatural to be fascinating. I’m currently rewatching The X-Files on Netflix! So good.

Jan Fact #12: I still have my baby blanket.
It is a soft, white, knitted blanket, with tiny balloons in pink, blue, green, and yellow. I’m giving it to Liam, once I dig it out of the closet and wash it.

Jan Fact #13: I love Harry Potter.
I was 11 years old when the first book came out, and related to Harry so well. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the book that pushed me into the path of reading, and shaped me as a person. Is that weird? I don’t think so. In grade 6, my English teacher, who also loved the books, divided the class into the four Houses, and we competed all year for the House Cup. I was the head of Slytherin. We also won at the end of the year!

Jan Fact #14: I love horror!
Horror stories, horror films, horror games. I don’t scare that easily, but I love the feeling. I love gore, jump scares, and all that. The creepier, the better. I spend a lot of my free time watching scary game playthroughs on YouTube. I’m looking for recommendations! :3

Jan Fact #15: I already have more baby names picked out.
Well, if my next child is a boy, that is. I’m awful with female names. I don’t like most of them. So, we’ll see how that goes!

I hope you had fun reading my random facts! If you want me to post more in the future, go ahead and give THIS TWEET a like! If I get enough likes on the original post, I’ll post a part 2!

Thanks for hanging out, guys!

Jan