guest post diaries: Diana

while i, as the new Mrs. Quigley, am away on my honeymoon and vacation and such, i asked for a few of my favorite blogger friends if they'd fill in for me. they're here for a few weeks, talking about big changes in their lives, whether it be marriage related or not. enjoy! and girls, thanks again!

hi lovelies :) my name is diana and i blog in my small corner of the blogosphere at the diana postulate. i'm 23, saved by grace and a lover of all things fitness, health and media. i was born and raised on long island's north shore but i absolutely loved the 4 years i spent down in north carolina during college and am hoping to return there one day soon :) the south has a certain charm to it that you just can't mimic north of the mason-dixon. 

i'm so thrilled jackie asked me to do this in the midst of all the excitement she's about to embark on! she's just about the sweetest little blogger there is and i'm honored to share in some of the love over at sweet & wild.

feel free to drop by my blog for a glimpse into the life of a wannabe southern belle living smack dab in the middle of new york's hustle and bustle.

confessions of a crazy girl|| 5 things i've learned in 411 days after college

i was one of those people who, when the second semester of my senior year hit, literally clung to every last moment i had left in college. i was unaffected by my last homecoming. and i didn't even cry at my last collegiate cross country meet.

but somewhere between racing to jfk to beat the 18 inches of snow that was headed straight for the new york metro area, making it onto the flight and landing in the charlotte airport for the last time of my college career-- it hit me like a head-on collision. the place that i had (sometimes reluctantly) called home for the past 4 years was about to fade to a memory; to disappear in the rear view mirror of my white honda civic as i packed up my apartment and headed north on 95.

and when i say i clung to every last moment, i'm not exaggerating even in the slightest. every last cookout. every last party. every last late night hangout. every last sunday morning at church. every last movie night. every last thursday dinner in the caf when ms. annette served us broccoli stalks and boney-fish.

the ordinary became breathtaking.

and the staggering realization that one day soon i wouldn't be living 10 feet from my best friend propelled me into a perpetual state of savoring the regular. i squeezed the goodness out of everything that was left and for my last semester, i cherished college to the very  last drop.

and in those last 5 months of my southern stint, i learned a lot.

i learned that sometimes, you don't get enough sleep. sometimes, you're not prepared for what life's going to throw at you. sometimes, you make a bad decision and end up on the bathroom floor insisting, "bad dream. bad dream," and sometimes,  you're not proud of what you've done. sometimes, you need more forgiveness than you've ever shelled out yourself and sometimes, you need to take a step back and realize you haven't been loving as recklessly as you should.

so i clung. and i clung. and i clung. and for the first six months after my college graduation, i was probably as close to depression you could get with out being actually depressed. being some 700+ miles away from all of my friends, i felt so removed from the community we so beautifully built. and so i thrust myself into a job and into running and into the new.

and yes, it's been tough. it's been different and at times it's been awkward and unpleasant. but soon, someday soon, this season of my life too will be a memory. so in the efforts of cherishing the "now" before it's on the verge of becoming the "then," here's a list of the top 5 things i've learned in my 411 days post-college.

1. you can't do everything. (but you can do anything.)
college was chock-full of things: meetings, projects, practices, track meets, study groups, etc. etc. and guess what? life after college is just as busy (and yes, with as many "have to's" as your scholastic days!). one thing i struggled with then and still struggle with now is this one little word: no. i just say yes to too many things. and before i knew it, i was  forgetting that i had committed to things simply because i had committed to too many things!

and the harsh reality is this: i can't coach a basketball team, lead a bible study, play on a summer league team, train for a marathon, begin writing a novel, start a business, manage social media for multiple businesses, work, spend time with my family and go to church. at least, not as long as there are just 24 hour days and 7 day weeks. and as much as i want to do all of these things (and do them well!) the fact of the matter is that it's impossible.

to do things well, you have to prioritize. maybe it means co-coaching a team and joining a bible study instead of leading one. or maybe it just means saying no sometimes. whatever it is for you, i promise you it's worth it in the end. it's better to do few things really, really well than a lot of things with a certain mediocrity.

trust me. you'll like yourself better for it. and so will everyone who's depending on you.

2. being indecisive is a great way to collect regret.
again. pin a rose on my nose. i am the queen of indecision. just ask my boyfriend, blake. i only look at the menu right before the waiter/waitress comes to take the order so i don't have too much time to think about what i want or don't want. if i don't, we literally will sit there for 40 minutes before i can make up my mind because i am trying to make the absolute best decision. (i know. weird.)

but, outside of food choices, life is way too short to live that way.

i spent the first 0-2 months post-college not being able to make a decision about grad school, jobs, living situations, churches, etc. (i say zero months because this whole indecision actually started even before i graduated.) but the fact of the matter is this: the longer you wait to make a decision, the more likely you are to not make one. that's not to say to make rash decisions and to not consider your options, but if you wait for a sign or wait until everything feels just right (i'm so guilty of this!), you'll never make a decision.

and then you know what happens? you wake up one day and you're 45 years old and have heartbreaking thoughts like, " man, i wish i did that when i was 23."

3. the real world is full of people in suits who are only productive when they have to be.
this one's a little depressing because for someone who puts all of herself into everything she does, it was kind of heartbreaking to see that a large portion of the workplace is lazy.

but here's the thing: in the real world, productivity is a relative term.
for most people, work ethic is out the window and no real work is done until it's eleventh hour and everyone's cramming to get the presentation done or the deal closed or the contract approved.

and while i don't condone subscribing to this idea of only doing what you have to to get by, this realization has helped me detach myself from all of the negative stress work too often causes so many of us. nothing (no matter how big, how small, how important or how much money it's worth) is worth my joy or my peace or my sleep.

4. you have to be a good person before you can be a good spouse.
okay, so this one's a little personal.

i went to a christian school. in the south. if you know anything about those two things you've probably already put two and two together and realized this: 99.9% of people are engaged before their senior year of college.

now for a new yorker born and a new yorker bred, this was a bit strange. but, of course, when i started dating blake my sophomore year of college and our relationship was still growing and wonderful by my senior year, i got the itch (which he had no intention of scratching anytime soon!). and so, my first 6-9 months (okay, so more like 9 months) post-college, were spent festering on being married. so much so that it was difficult for me (and as a result, him) to be happy in the current relationship we were blessed with.

and the ugly truth was this: i wasn't ready to be anyone's wife yet. (let alone this absolutely incredible man God had blessed me with.) i got angry to quickly. i didn't forgive. i wasn't understanding of the fact that he, too, got busy. and i was altogether just not ready to become a wife.

it was only after a harsh confrontation with the man that i love that i truly realized this: before you can be a great spouse, you have to be a great person. and that stretches so far beyond the romantic relationship you're currently in and meanders into every interaction you have.

so, it's been a challenge, but i am striving each day to be a woman that blake will one day want to marry. not the nagging kind or the bratty kind. but the kind that husbands can't wait to come home to because their love is so infectious and sustaining that they can't wait to see your smile. that's the kind of wife i am striving to one day be.

(and perhaps the most profound of them all...) 
5. weekends are golden.
let's be real here. even if you have a midterm for the one class you need to graduate the next morning, nothing ever deters you from going "out" in college. 8 am class? as long as i'm home by 6 i'll be good. oh, what's that? your honors thesis presentation is tomorrow at 1 and you have a welcome breakfast at 9? i can totally spend the night at the beach and drive back for the breakfast!
sadly (oh, ever so sadly), the real world doesn't operate like that. i don't know if it's because i'm lame or if it's because all of my friends are 700 miles away, but weekends have taken on such a ridiculous clout these days that i can't even tell you how much i cherish them. even if i do nothing, i can't tell you how much i love sleeping in and doing what i want to do between the hours of 8:30 and 5.

it's unreal how much weekends transform into legitimate platinum after college.

so, in retrospect, i guess the learning didn't stop in that little one stoplight town in north carolina. i've got a whole lot of living left to do. and with that, well, we all know comes a lot of learning.

thanks, jackie!

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