There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
We could be them.
First, I want to congratulate anyone who has ever been put in a spot where another person(s) has looked down on you, slighted you, or was less than appreciative of you because of their own insecurities and you rose above them and didn’t let them destroy you. You rock and the best way to teach mean people they’re wrong is by not playing into their hands. You know what they say… Don’t wrestle with a pig… You’ll just get dirty, and besides THEY LIKE IT.
Secondly, to those of you who got sucked in or let people get you into that boxing ring that don’t deserve your fighting energy, I am sorry and I have been there. I understand that humans are good at deceiving others and have the ability to even turn people on each other! Sometimes we find our selves in a boxing ring fighting with a puppet, while the puppeteer is out of arms reach. This post if for you folks and how to bow out of that ring with grace and class and your dignity in tact!
I’d like to bet that most people who end up in these tangles with mean people are typically Type A’s. While a Type B may experience these unpleasant folks, it is more likely they are to simply walk away, let it roll off their back, and achieves success by not stressing. Being a Type B means though that sometimes defeat and even losing others is a side effect. Type A’s, like myself, need to have control. Not necessarily control over a person, but if another try’s to control us or put us in nasty situations, we fight back! Another fun fact about Type A’s is that when we start something, we want to finish it NOW. So we think we can just hop into a boxing ring, throw up our left hook, knock em’ out and be done… but when it doesn’t go that way, Type A’s can find themselves in a WORLD of hurt.
O.K. so we’re a strong Type A that has found ourselves in Round 6 with probably either another strong Type A or even a *’puppeteer’. We are starting to feel like the fight simply isn’t worth it. This is especially the case when your opponent has a certain disposition towards you that is founded more on what they just want to believe versus the facts which are hard to swallow. So if this is the case and you couldn’t get them to come around by Round 6, it’s time to bow out. You know the phrase, let bygones be bygones. That is easier said than done though when you’re fighting to keep what you have. You don’t want to see the bygone take off with something you have worked so hard on!
*puppeteer – one who controls and creates situations or people to be of their own will but is exempt from any consequence. Martinet is also another term that can be used alongside this.
Well I am going to tell you something… If whatever you worked so hard on… a career, a relationship, money… leaves with that bygone, then it was a bygone as well. If you have truly worked hard and truly put nothing but pure effort and love into everything and that something disappears when you bow out, you deserve better! You deserve someone who will love and appreciate you for being punctual, enthusiastic, and make you into a team member instead of a battering ram for their own insecurities.
Another thing I want you to remember… You very well might be their first victim. But you will not be their last if you bow out of this battle. You may have done things that made them realize insecurities and setbacks in themselves and instead of being grateful for light being shed on these shortcomings, they do what they can to put the spot light on you. “And why behold you the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3. I believe it seem fighting with a person that has a beam in their eye would be fighting in vain, and if they are a puppeteer, then it seems especially done in vain to the poor ‘cat’s paw’. I think that you can win this fight by taking a move from Type B’s and let the opponent have this match won. In reality, they are still battling with themselves until another opponent for them comes along. You won the moment you realized your energy and love isn’t being appreciated or optimized here and you yank the leach from your skin.
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men” 2 Timothy 3:1-9
It is our job as Christians to love and witness to others, but to tangle with wickedness is sin. (Even if you do not know the Lord, your worth as a human should still be preserved to its fullest!) “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you” Matthew 7:6
Regarding leaving bad situations like this and bowing out, I believe meditation is key. We must clear our mind and our hearts of muddy thoughts. I believe that I deserve peace and happiness because all I give is such. You may find that your attacker isn’t satisfied with the lashings they have given yet, and they may try to pull you back in. To decipher if they are being genuine or not is hard when our mind’s and heart’s are not clear. For me as a Christian, when I lean not unto my own understand, but to that of the Lord’s, I gain clarity, wisdom, strength, and renewal in my soul. For if they deny my love and my attempts for resolve, then they deny that of God, because everything I do be done to My God’s expectation. (For us Christians we can not win peace with those who deny us Christians).
Of course I have a closing verse for you:
Philippians 4:4-9 4 the say 5 6 7 8 about 9
The Lord never said this would be easy or this would be a gentle life. A better life is waiting for us on the far banks of Jordan, and those who toil with technicalities of worldly matter will not be there. For the only way to God is through Jesus, and we can’t get there if we’re stuck in a battling ring. (Again, even if you don’t know The Lord, you can’t receive anything better than what is in that battling ring if you remain there.)
Lord we come to you today to bring peace and to guard our heart. Give us tongues that speak only kindness always and a mind that can rest in you. Show us the way through your word and help make the pains of this world be less severe. We pray that you bless our lives in all aspects so that we can grow your kingdom, Oh Lord. May we walk in a way that represents you and find solace in your presence, for it is all we will ever need.
We love you and give you all the glory,
And Where Do We Go From Here?
You had everything a girl could ever want…
You’re real cool, money, good looks… we were a real head turner together. People looked up to a relationship like ours..
But you just aren’t beautiful to me.
Engineering, I think we should take our own paths.
I am upon my last semester in college. I am studying Mechatronics Engineering. It has been a lot like a blind date really. I went in knowing nothing at all, and the more I learned, the less I liked. Sure, there is always some reason we pursue a person or thing. My reason was success. I wanted that career, and people to say, “I wish I was that smart”. If my paycheck was due to what my brain was capable of, people would surely respect me. I also thought that my love of creating things and working to see an end product would pair nicely with my love for math and science.
Those things have clashed very hard for me. I love everything space, and my dream was to work for NASA in mission planning and eventually ground control or even an astronaut. I studied hours for the GRE so I could go to the Grad School of my dreams. I have lost something of myself in all of this, and I am not sure why it left or where it is at. I do know that I am capable of ANYTHING I set my mind to, being an astronaut even as one thing. At this point in my life though, I have concluded that my mind isn’t set to this path at all. That I find more joy in creating and making beauty. From Feeling, to Seeing, to Tasting and even Hearing… I have an obsession with our human senses. I want to heighten all of them. The human sense is what I want to be in awe, not just a man or woman in awe of my profession.
I love making works of art. My latest project has been a wooden maple table. I have put hours into making it feel simply pleasing. I sanded and sanded and sanded til it felt like glass. I am also a painter. When the eyes see something that just flows so naturally, it imparts a feeling of peace I believe. That is the goal of all my paintings, and I never stop until that is achieved. I have always loved baking, it is a dear passion of mine. I believe that this is probably my fathers favorite art form I create. But recently I have taken up cake decorating. I am mixing my passion for making something that Taste like heaven and also embarks the Feeling of peace when looking at it. Finally, I have a love for guitar playing. Classical guitar is my choice of sound. When I play it just right, it sounds like something prettier than what my rugged human hands could do.
Engineering, you have taught me a lot. I love using my brain in a scientific manner, and I have been gifted the opportunity to observe how strong it is. Engineering, you helped me travel the world… Europe, Texas, and California in the Mojave Desert. But Engineering, you have simply shown me where my heart is complete. It is not with you, but with creating things of beauty. I love rockets and satellites and all things aero… But those never were about creating so much as they are about making a rich persons dream come true. Sure people with money can lead innovative ideas for us and we work to make it true… But I need creation of things that are mine and things that my heart works on, not just my hands and my brain. I will always be proud to say I worked on the Stratolaunch project. I will always feel some of my deepest since of pride regarding that job. I am having to take care of me.
Today I am saying that I am the art of creating and I am a creator or art. ♥
So I discovered something, all the vegan cake recipes on the internet are morbid. Absolutely, the most dense and chewy cakes I had ever tasted. How mortifying.
So why on earth would my home-down cooking self be making a vegan cake. Well I was asked to make a wedding cake for my boyfriends sister’s wedding. NBD! … Or huge deal…
I want to share this recipe with you, because it works. Trust me. But in order for it to work, you must repeat after me… “I will follow this recipe exactly to the T and not make any changes to it because Courtney already went through the heart ache of making 10 different batches that went to the trash”. (You can sub extracts if you want, I totally understand if you don’t want to do the almond thing)
First I want to discuss the products I used. Just so you all know.
1 . BRAGG apple cider vinegar with the Mother. This is the stuff I like, I think it vinegar in the essence! It is super good for you too!
2. This just happened to be the only vegan yogurt I could find. It was a pain I couldn’t find it in a larger amount, but that is really o.k.! It worked out fine! I used less vanilla extract this way. It has actual vanilla bean in it too. Good product
3. I do use a little bit of almond flour in the recipe. I wanted this cake to have a rustic hardy texture to it due to it being a semi naked cake. The cake was still light and fluffy, but the almond added to the needed fat content and added some good texture to it.
4. Unsweetened PLAIN almond milk. Simple as that. I trust coconut milk would be a fine sub.
5. Do I enjoy using Walmart products? Occassionally yes. A good unbleached flour is what I used because I wanted a dark natural looking rustic cake. That was the theme of the wedding. If you are wanting a whiter cake, I trust that you could use Bleached flour.
Makes one 10″ round OR one 8″ round + one 4″ round OR two 6″ rounds.
- 3½ c. flour
- ½ c. almond flour
- 1½ c. sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ c. vanilla Soy Yogurt
- 1 c. almond milk
- 1½ c. water
- ¼ c. oil (vegetable or canola)
- 2 Tbs Vinegar
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla (I used Madagascar vanilla)
Preheat oven to 340 °F , set rack to middle.
Step 1: MINUS THE SUGAR – mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl
Step 2: Beat the yogurt and sugar together with an electric mixer until the sugar is nearly dissolved (2 minutes)
Step 3: MINUS THE VINEGAR – add the rest of the ingredients (milk,water,oil, extracts). Mix it thoroughly. If it seems too thick still, add an extra TBS of water or two. The vinegar will thin it down quite a bit more in step 5.
Step 4: Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients by thirds. Take your time. I found using a whisk allowed me to more evenly incorporate the dry into the wet, but I still used a folding motion, NOT A WHISKING/BEATING motion. Lumps are good. They are very good.
Step 5: This is my favorite step. With your rubber spatula, fold in the vinegar. It will foam up quite a bit. This is good. I promise the cake won’t have any vinegar taste.
Step 6: Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake for 50 – 60 minutes. As soon as you put cakes in oven, drop temp to 325 °F. The top of the cake will be domed and springy when you touch it when it is done. Do not open the oven door until you have let most of the time pass. You could ruin the rise if you prematurely open the oven.
__________STEPS WITH PICTURES________________
I use parchment on the bottom and make my own baking pan sleeves with paper towel and tinfoil. This is done to prevent over baking at the edges, but I think you would be fine without one. Some people love them some people hate them. I like them when the cake has to bake for a long time, like this one, because it keeps the crust formation to a minimum.
You can buy them here too —-> Wilton Bake even strips
slight dome but it works!
Here is the finished cake… I used a simple vegan buttercream and added some fresh lavender for a nice subtle kick. In between the layers I used an amaretto raspberry preserve spread…
Cake decorating is a lot of fun, think I might start a little side business! 🙂
I always felt blessed to have a multitude of talents and interest. I am not particularly amazing at any one thing, but I have the ability to do a plethora of things. Right now the top things I consider myself versed in is:
- Cooking (Baking cakes, sweets, anything delicious)
- Flying (shout out to the piper fans!)
- Painting and stained glass (art in general)
- Engineering (more so just science and aerospace studies specifically)
- Creative writing (obviously something I enjoy)
- Entrepreneurship (working specifically with my dads company Simpson Heating and Cooling)
Spoiler Alert, I am about to inform you all how I wish I didn’t have all these interests. I am quickly approaching a small milestone in my life. Graduating my undergrad in Mechatronics Engineering. That means it’s time to make some decisions. Where will I go next? Is it time to start searching for places to work? Go pursue a masters? Keep chasing that astronaut dream? I spent all summer foregoing fun activities in California just to study for the good ol’ GRE. I went through the entire Princeton review book! That was back in early August. Guess what, I haven’t even studied once since being home. I haven’t even looked at signing up for the exam. I am letting go.
I talked to many different professional people involved in the aerospace industry over the summer. Through conversations, I began formulating different companies I could work with or institutions I could study at. I found that some of these paths appeared to align better with my dreams as a young professional, much better than my summer host company. For example, I met Dr. Ilan Kroo at the AIAA forum in Atlanta. He is a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford. Dr. Kroo is always looking for new designs to advance the future of aviation. A mentor at my host company decried my thoughts of studying under Dr. Kroo. They said that Dr. Kroo is “too unrealistic, his ideas too radical”. It is obvious they never took the time to learn anything about me really. I am a person who enjoys exploring untouched areas of aviation and aerospace.
Ilan Kroo with his glider model of the Zee Aero, now a part of Kitty Hawk.
That is just one of several examples of avenues I pictured for myself taking post graduation. Because I didn’t absolutely fall in love with my summer internship, I feel like it is unfair to keep trying to find what I do look in the professional industry of aerospace. It’s no longer just “me”, it has become “us”. Because of the different interests I have, it is easy for myself to say that I am just not picking the right interest to do for my life’s work. Maybe I am meant to be a cake designer, take over the family company, or sell my art. If I had just one talent, one main interest, I could say this is exactly what I am going to shoot for. This is what I am. Instead, this whole issue is a bit more debatable for myself.
In all essence of the matter though, I have to be flexible. For the fact that I am moving based on where my SO is going to be, it doesn’t allow me to choose anything right now. I couldn’t do things like open my own brick and mortar cake shop if I wanted to. Moving miles away to pursue further studies or advance in my career is far fetched too. At least right now anyways. I just have to wait and have to be patient. That is the hardest part for me. I like exploring, I like doing, I love achieving. It’s a roll of the dice where we will settle at this point in life, but when that location is determined, maybe then I can start trying again. I can start preparing to go back to school, open a business, or whatever my heart desires. In the mean time, you’ll find me pecking away slowly but surely at my senior year of college. At least this dream is getting accomplished♥ (no jinks allowed!)
Strawberry cream cheese shortcake recipe inside!
Time. Sometimes minutes feel like seconds. Sometimes a minute feels like a minute. Then there’s those times that every second feels like an entire minute…
A few weeks ago, I was in Washington, D.C. for the Brooke Owens Fellowship Summit. Time sure flew by for that week. Upon returning back to Mojave, time started to slow to a crawl. It’s partially my fault, I listen to my classic country playlist on repeat throughout the day. I spend my days day dreaming about what comes next for my future. It’s hard to focus at a job where everyone is frantically trying to accomplish 101 tasks, and I have been given one where I ram my head into a wall constantly, and I’m too scared to ask questions. It sounds silly to be scared to ask questions. When I was doing structure analysis work, I asked a million questions. I knew I’d get a good answer, and I knew they’d be happy to answer. Not every situation is like that though. Sometimes it’s not always a safe zone to ask questions. This means about 75% of my day is pondering how to ask a specific question and when to ask that specific question to a specific person, in the perfect manner, just so I can minimize the demeaning manner I know I’ll be receiving. 6 out of my 9 hour work days is spent just formulating courage…
Imagine if flowers did this in the spring time… They’d never get around to blooming, let alone even breaking the soil.
At first I would dwell until tears welled up in my eyes. Now after being a bit inured from the situation, I just sit and observe what everyone else is doing. I try to imagine myself as the technician working with composites, or the engineer across from me working on a power system issue, or the cleaning lady taking my trash away for me. I then feel a bit envious of everyone else. Everyone else has a job to do. They have something that makes them important… needed.
I did this exercise the other day from a book I am reading. It’s to help you understand what you need. It’s like finding the thesis for your life’s work. Let’s walk though it.
Think of a time when you were truly happy…
O.K. easy when I took on cooking Thanksgiving dinner at the young age of 16.
What was it about that time that made you happy? We’re looking for a vocation word…
I had been given a task that is daunting for an experienced cook to take on, and I was going to put my best foot forward. I had to be BRAVE to take on this challenge. I want to be brave.
What are some professions that require you to do this?
Firefighter, police officer, president of the United States, being a mom and wife… an astronaut…
Now analyze it.
Any of these I think I would love to do. Right now though, I am needed to be brave at work, and I go into work every day frightened, and I let fear win. What gives? I need to be needed… If I am needed, it gives me the strength to be brave, and that’s when I really conquer.
So I need a career or job that requires me to be needed and brave. This all makes sense now.
I thought for sure my first project at Scaled Composites would go horrible. I knew very little about structures. The engineers were speaking a foreign language when they were telling me how to do it. At first I was scared, but then I saw how important the project was, and how important my job was in the success of meeting the deadline. All of a sudden I was more than willing to work 11 hour days to keep learning, working, and making progress. It doesn’t matter what I am doing so much as it does that I am needed.
Jake, my other half, is coming to visit me this weekend. I think he needs me to bake him something yummy… 😉 I have strawberries, Bisquick, and cream cheese on hand. Let’s get creative and let some stress factors go!
Strawberry Cream Cheese Short Cake
- 2 cups of chopped strawberries (frozen that has been thawed, or fresh with ¼ c. water)
- 2 T. brown sugar
- 1 T. powder stevia
- 1 HEAPING T. flour
- butter (1 stick is plenty)
- 1 block of cream cheese (any kind)
- 1 T. powder stevia
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 small can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 c. regular milk (any kind is fine, almond, dairy, etc.)
Instructions : preheat over to 410
- In a 5×7 deep pan, mix together the first 4 ingredients (berries, sugars, flour)
- dot the top of this with butter, and set aside
- In a medium sized bowl nuke cream cheese for 45 second, just until softened slightly.
- Mix one egg and 1 T. powdered stevia in WITH the cream cheese.
- In another large bowl, prepare the biquick recipe for shortcake as instructed on the box. *** I subbed the required milk with 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup almond milk. Set this aside.
- drizzle half of cream cheese mixture over strawberries in baking dish.
- put most of or all of the shortcake batter over the top of that.
- drizzle and swirl in the rest of the cheese cake mixture on top.
- put in the over, and immediately turn temp bake to 375. Bake for 45-50 min. If doing this in a larger, but more shallow pan, reduce cook time by 30-50%
***I mixed a cup of whipping cream with the rest of my sweetened condensed milk (1/2 can) with a blender and served it for people to drizzle over top of their dessert. Delish!!!
This is step 1 with mixing the berries together into your deep baking dish.
This is step 8 where you drizzle the last bit of cream cheese and swirl into shortcake.
This is how it should look coming out of oven.
Who can be stressed when you have something as delicious as a strawberry cream cheese shortcake to eat!? I highly recommend drizzling sweetened condensed milk mixed with whipping cream over it. It is absolutely delicious. Serve warm! Cold is just as good too though.
ENJOY and let me know how you liked this recipe. It fared excellent with Jake too by the way. We are fat and happy now 🙂
Except for your future grad school, future job title, and future home location. Oh plus the number of kids you’ll have and their gender.
Let me brake it to you all. There is no set way to go about living out our life and fulfilling our purpose. To try and do it one persons way is like also trying to fit their shoes, pants, and hat. The likely hood of that going well for you is slim to none.
(Actual picture of me trying to be an engineer)
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X
Hey Malcolm, what exactly am I preparing for?!
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Jim Rohn
O.k. so happiness is what exactly?
“feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”
I go through this little battle in my head everyday. I’ll be driving down the dry Mojave desert road and think, I just have to turn this truck east and keep driving. I just have to get through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, then Illinois. Indiana here I come! It won’t be that bad. I can sleep in the truck. It’ll be worth, it’ll be worth it.
Then I turn down Inyo street, pull up to my duplex, turn the truck off, and go inside.
So going home is what would truly make me happy then? No, that’s not quite it…
Oh. It’s about not facing tomorrow here. That’s more like it. I am so scared of my future that I can not possibly be happy. I am so consumed with feeling like I can’t do it, that I associate the career I’m pursuing as miserable and dreadful alike. Recently I was given a new project at work. This project entails the concepts that I have been studying in my undergraduate program, but I have never felt so lost and foreign to something. Suddenly, I can’t be an engineer. I don’t know what I am doing. The job scope of being an engineer only entails full time anxiety and depression due to feeling lost. This is obviously not true of this field, but I can’t help but feel that way every day moving forward. I feel like I’d never find my niche as an engineer.
So maybe there needs a mix of both Malcolm X’s quote and Jim Rohns. It is important to educate and prepare for our future, but it is crucial that we know how we will fare in that future. If you want to be happy in the future, I believe that it is every bit as important that we try to reach some form of happiness in the present. They say that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master of something. If happiness is at least attempted to be obtained everyday, then before no time, happiness would be something measurable and better understood on how to monitor it for yourself.
Before I got this horrid project at work, I planned on going to MIT to study Technology and Policy, I was going to aim to be an astronaut or work with mission operations at NASA. I was going to have two kids, a boy and a girl. Now because of this project, I think I just want to go back to my little home town and make way down to the bar for Karaoke night on Thursdays. Joking…
My point being is that while it is important to have goals, it is also important not to write your future in permanent marker on the inside cover of your bible. Wanting to be an astronaut is such a daunting career goal, that a very real pressure of performing more precisely than the robot I’m probably fumbling to build engulfs me. We can’t treat our lives like painting a car. If a section of primer didn’t get sanded enough, and the paint looks a bit rough, then it’s o.k.. Resanding the entire car then repainting it isn’t necessary to get the job done.
“But there’s people who make career changes ALL the time! How do you explain that?” Well, if I had to take a guess, they probably used the wrong kind of primer for the paint they were wanting to use, and it just wasn’t going on right. While this project has been tough, it made me start thinking about working in this field for the long run. What if this is more than just rough primer? What if this entirely the wrong primer? That is o.k., but I must become very o.k. with changing my situation to something that makes me happy while still understanding the effect that it has on my future.
I would like to close this blog journal today by making it clear that having large dreams is healthy and that wanting to do all the right things now to make them happen is surely a normal feeling, but it is also just as important to remain flexible. Don’t stop listening to your heart. If you are being compelled to start writing, learn how to be a carpenter, run a green house, or become a test pilot, then it is important that we don’t shut that out. If an exciting an intriguing opportunity presents itself, you should take it. Suppressing your best potential will only harbor feelings of resentment towards what was once your big ideal dream. It is o.k. for our dreams to change. It’s o.k. for our hearts to pick the happy path.
I want to be an architect and interior designer.
With a title like that, I’m sure all my readers are thinking “I’d like that Monday!”.
It’s never really a bad day when chocolate and caramel is involved is it?
Unless you really miss the comfort of home, or your head is filled the self doubt inflicting disfigurement known as “impostor syndrome”, or the thought of being held in the arms of your love 2500 miles away is a desire so deep in your heart that you feel as though your senses are falling out of it. Or all of it combined.
Some days are easier than others. Some days I get really excited to venture out into the world and experience something new and exciting. Other days however, like on a chocolate covered caramel apple kind of Monday, it hurts to swallow from the puffy little lump in the throat. On some days the stress and lack of confidence makes it feel like none of the trial is worth it. That going back to the comfort of home would be of best interest for the sake of knowing what is expected.
That there lies the problem.
If believing in yourself to take on a challenging project, or speak op about your career goals, or just having the confidence in knowing that your all is better than enough is too hard to fathom, then surely believing that running away and building a happier life based on that mind set is just as laughable.
It takes courage to do what we do. I am talking about young adults stepping out into industry without a lick of sense about it. Internships can be fun and almost comical, but sometimes they put a load of expectations on green engineers to some how save the world. At least that is how it feels. And though we work long hours, ask many questions, and fearfully voice all concerns, we still end up feeling menial. College never prepared us for this. College never handed me a back bone with a big bag of confidence to dip into whenever I felt like I was the dumbest person in the room. College gave me just enough to get my feet wet. That doesn’t do me much good when I feel like I need to be swimming the mile.
With all that said I am fortunate to have family, both biological and my Brookie family, a super loving boy friend, and work place that really does care about my success as a student and engineer. I know that if it wasn’t for all that support, I wouldn’t be where I am today, but at the end of the day it is up to me to decide if I am having a bad day, good day, or a learning day.
This Monday was a bad day. I decided I wasn’t going to ask questions, I wasn’t going to try, I wasn’t going to say good morning to my coworkers, and that sad country was the only suitable playlist worth playing.
Jake, my other half, had just left the day before. My heart longs to be with him, as he is truly my best friend and hearts purest desire. When he left, a lot of my energy went with him. I woke up Monday feeling like an empty vessel. The high dry deserts of Mojave had more to offer for enthusiasm than did myself. Hang my head as the desert sun makes most flowers do and go rejoin my place in my cubicle crunching numbers. Today will be an absolutely awful day.
On Saturday, Jake and I were in L.A. and we decided to get a chocolate covered caramel apple. We never ate it. It sat on my counter untouched still in it’s elegant little box. Everyday I come home from Scaled Composites for my lunch break. It is a good chance to relax and regroup. Today, that chocolate covered caramel apple couldn’t have been placed ever more conveniently. I ate a portion and froze it to save the rest for Jake. I can’t wait for us to be laughing and talking about our day as we share this in the near future.
I don’t know what it is about a chocolate covered caramel apple that can help you turn a bad day around. Or maybe it’s the thought of knowing that there is someone back home that believes in you, that you’re a part of a fellowship that wants nothing less than success for you. They’re like my chocolate covered caramel apples. It makes all the distance and trials worth it. They are worth trying for because they want to celebrate YOU.
Everyday I promise to look in the mirror and tell myself I am going to try my hardest and that is enough. I will tell myself that growth will come from exposure and it’s ok if the environment is less than pleasant. Just because the sun hides behind clouds sometimes doesn’t mean plants won’t prosper. Diligence. Diligence. Diligence. It will pay off. There’s a chocolate covered caramel apple at the end!
Luck or God, I am thankful.
Around the age of 4 I discovered that I liked art. A lot. I also discovered I liked to make stuff, like “food” and “toys”.
Around the age of 6 I discovered that I was in love with the night sky. I wanted to touch the stars. I also think hamsters are cute.
Around the age of 11 I discovered that I wanted to try sports and join choir just because my friends were doing it. By age 14 I discovered that doing what my friends do doesn’t always make me happiest.
Around the age of 16 I discovered that you can be artistic and a bit nerdy. I entered art shows and was holding down a 4.5 GPA.
Around the age of 18 I discovered I didn’t get accepted to my dream university Harvard, but realized that Virgil “Gus” Grissom didn’t need Harvard to make his dreams come true. Hail Purdue!
Around the age of 19 I discovered that a large university was not in the stars for me, rather an extension campus closer to home was. I worried about this move.
Around the age of 20 I discovered the taste of flight in a jet. I wanted more of this after my study abroad to Germany, so I began pursuing my private pilots license.
Around the age of 21 I discovered that I was selected as a Brooke Owens Fellowship girl, and I would be working with scaled composites. My heart is so full.
My life has been through a lot, and I have seen a lot. Between these years of discoveries, were a lot of dead end paths and distractions that pulled me away from my hearts truest desires, of which had yet to be discovered. From the little errors of taking advice from bitter adults, to the big detriments like my mother and her addictions, I always seemed to find my way back to what made my heart smile. The universe in its entirety, being breathed in and out of my lungs, every second of every day since August 19th, 1996. After hard days at school or days that I simply felt worthless, I’d look up at the sky and imagine looking back from where I was currently looking. There is so much to look forward to.
Year after year in college, I will attend the huge university wide engineering career fair. The lines for any of the aerospace companies will spiral and snake their way around the tables and booths of lesser known engineering companies. I always look at these students and think, what is it that they have that I don’t? I want to have what they have so I can be in an aerospace community. As I would be thinking these thoughts, a Cessna 172 would fly final over the thousands of students and it would feel like everything stopped and all the chatter had died. I would always admire and smile at the buzz of its engine. Until I felt someone brush past me or someone ask if I was waiting in line. This is when I noticed not a soul was looking up. I am competing in the wrong race, there has to be a competition more suitable for individuals that are strictly fueled by passion for this stuff.
I introduce you to the Brooke Owens Fellowship (BOF).
As a blogger, I enjoy reading other bloggers work. Sometimes I’ll find myself clicking through bloggers sites like people do when they’re going through their friends on Facebook. I started down the rabbit hole after applying to Ball Aerospace, as I’m sure thousands of other students just like my self according to a simple resume have already done, for a summer internship opportunity. This would have been my third time applying to ball, expecting another email saying they regretfully can’t offer me a position, and to apply again. This is about how every intern job I apply for seems to go. It’s easy for a student to expect the less than satisfactory result when they only ever get denial. I must admit, after every email from various companies telling me that I won’t be offered a job, I look at how I can improve. From my resume, to how I spend my time outside of class, I had to become something else other than who I was. So I thought.
After wrapping up my applications for the night, I started looking at a flight schools blog, where instructors talked about all sorts of aviation related topics. I looked at featured students, and I noticed that there was a majority of men pursuing their privates pilots license. Then I saw a young woman. I clicked her story and read about her recent solo and it provided a link to her blog project she was doing for the summer. This is where I read about her being a Brooke Owens Fellow. I was impressed with her drive, her love of aviation, and great blog skills. I decided to look into the Brooke Owens Fellowship just to see for myself.
I went straight to the Brooke Owens Fellowship web page. The first thing I read was, “paid internships and executive mentor-ship for exceptional undergraduate women in aerospace”. Cool, this sounds like me. What does this mean though for me? It means that I won’t simply be given an aerospace job because I am a woman, but it means that I will have been given an opportunity to rise up in a male dominated field. Super cool. Who is Brooke Owens exactly? A woman who came from a small town who had dreams and goals that came true with her passions and shear determination. She, like myself, also loved helping the humanities and giving back to the earth we all share as humans. Not only were these attributes similar to mine, but she was also a person who loved aviation every bit as much as aerospace. She too was a pilot. The heart of a pilot is about as passionate as they come. This is when I knew that this was the program that I needed to pour my energy in.
I immediately started working on my essay prompts, mind map drawing, and my aviation video (I talked about airplane safety with my AWESOME boyfriend Jake). This was finally a race worth running. While I was focusing most of my energy on this fellowship opportunity, I knew that nothing is for certain, regardless of how strong your gut says this is for you. I had gotten a call from a company called Gentex, a “smart” car-mirror manufacturer, in Michigan. They wanted to have an interview with me for a summer internship. As my dad drove me up to Michigan, I was working on my mind map drawing. I probably should have been focusing on my upcoming interview, but I couldn’t shut off the drive to pour my efforts into the BOF application. The interview with Gentex went alright. Although, I think I messed up when they showed me the assembly line where I’d be working on PLC’s most of the time. My face had to show nothing but dread, no matter how hard I tried to hide it.
This is a picture of the Mind Map that I submitted. This mind map not only showed the judges an overall picture of who I am, but it helped my mind get out of the one track thinking that typical internship applications make you get in (GPA, work experience, credits, etc.). The Mind Map was like an exercise for my brain to start accessing all the things that make me, me.
http://www.brookeowensfellowship.org/ – you can go to this link to find out even more for yourself about BOF.
I decided to write this blog post to not just promote the Brooke Owens Fellowship, but to talk about how important it is to never lose yourself. Being true to who you are will ensure you end up where you can reach your fullest potentials. It’d be pretty hard for a muscle car to compete with a Ferrari, but that doesn’t make it a wonderful car. I know I qualified for this fellowship because I vulnerably displayed everything I am. I am sure other young women applying did the same thing, and I am not sure what exactly helped me make the cut, other than being myself in my element. I hope that somewhere and somehow, someone who needs to be lifted up reads this and realizes that being themselves will get them further than any resume ever will. This summer will be filled with a lot more self discovering and friendship growth. This summer, more than work experience will be gained. I am so proud to be part of this fellowship to honor Brooke Owens. I am also proud to be a future employee of Scaled Composites in Mojave, CA this summer. It’s almost comical now to look back at all the long hours put into all the other internship applications, and the feelings of defeat. Now I see why it didn’t work out with anyone else. ♥
Hard earned money going towards a spice I’ll probably never use again? No way!
If you read my last mushy blog, you will know that I just started a new job in Houston, TX for an engineering co-op. I am still a college student (part time) taking online classes, but am working 40-50 hours a week. I have my own apartment that came fully furnished and the rent is subsidized, so I don’t pay full price. On top of that, I am making pretty good money! $20 an hour? Heck yea! I am getting so rich for this 8 month co-op.
So I thought.
Did you know taxes are a real thing? I thought it was some imaginary concept that was created by liberals to impose on right wingers. I never thought they were that big of a deal when my paycheck only amounted to $150 and $14 went out to taxes. I felt like I was giving to charity in a way. My first week here at Daikin, I worked 35 hours, so my paycheck came to $700. Not to bad. Then taxes knocked me back to $582. $66 to federal tax, $43 to social security, and $10 to Medicare. It’s not like they don’t tax everything else I buy. I don’t even have insurance in Texas! Thank God they don’t tax groceries. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if the taxes are just built into the price we are paying for the groceries since they are so expensive.
I am starting to see why people gripe about taxes, and I see why people who don’t work, or work low end jobs, are so easily advocates for taxes. There needs to be a better system for this whole “paying for your public goods and services” requirement.
In honor of trying to keep my health in check while still keeping on a budget (yes I had to create a REAL budget (not the cute budget with only 3 parameters)), here is my $ chicken chili recipe with cornbread. Feeds ~5 people.
White Bean Chicken Chili ~ $5.75
- 1 big frozen chicken breast – $.90
- 2 cans of white navy beans – $2.00
- TBS chicken bouillon – $.25
- 4 oz cream cheese (I used low fat) – $1.00
- 1/2 cup sour cream or I used 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt – $.30-.60
- cup of water (thin to your like, I like mine thick)
- Season with salt, pepper, and tsp cumin – $.10
- optional: Add a sautéed dice green bell pepper, can of green chilis, or cilantro – $1.00
Bake your chicken breast at 380 for 15-18 minutes. I pre-slice mine so it bakes faster. While it is baking, in a large pot add all the ingredients, and mix until incorporated over a medium heat. Once the chicken is done baking, shred it and add it to your soup. Serve with cornbread.
Corn Bread – $1.54
- One box of Jiffy – $.50
- 1 egg – $.12
- TBS flour – $.02
- two dollops of sour cream or plain greek yogurt – $.60
- milk as directed by box – $.30
Mix all together and add to a greased and floured pan. Bake at 385 for 12-15 min on high rack so bottom doesn’t burn.
So for $7.29 you have a meal that feeds 5 people, or yourself for quite awhile. So on a night you feel like eating out instead, try this cheap, easy, and quick meal. You’ll be glad you did! You might even find you have money (and calories) left over for dessert. 😉