Big life changes :) and it doesn’t seem possible!

I almost can’t believe it – we graduate in two weeks! We’ve been careening into the last few weeks at the speed of light, it seems! I’m not allowed to give specifics of calendar events, but we’ve already had our final AMPA, and this is what’s on the docket before Tuesday: the Concert Band performance, the MPT performance/assessments (each individual in the MPT gets evaluated by an individual sergeant for a go / no go), the final APFT (shooting for a 300 again and a sub-13:00 minute two-mile run!), and the Ceremonial Band assessment. Whew! Maybe it doesn’t seem like that much, but having a major graduation-altering event every day for the next four days IS a lot! πŸ™‚

Here’s what REALLY makes me realize how close we are – there’s technically not a “Family Day” like there was at Basic Training, but we’re allowed to hang out with our families off-post next Wednesday (after the duty day), which is the day before graduation. NEXT Wednesday. AHHHHH that’s so close! I can’t wait to see my parents and Will. We’re going to Taste, that awesome restaurant I raved about in my last blog post, and then we’ll go to the NEX until the recall formation at 2045. What sucks about a recall formation is that everyone is required to be there, and I’m usually in bed by 2045 on a normal day πŸ˜‰ The day after “Family Day” is graduation, and we have a normal 0500 formation. After we graduate at 2 pm, we’re free to go off-post with our families again. We’re going to the Taphouse because it looked like it had some awesome beer for Will and my dad. And Will is going to buy me cake pops and brownies from the bakery earlier in the day πŸ™‚ They might run out of gluten-free fun if we wait until after graduation, and that would not be cool!

SO big life changes – some of you might already know this, but I was under a LOT of stress the last year or so. Will and I met in October and decided to get married and buy a house and move and leave each other for Army, he atarted a new job, and I decided I could coach track, train 25+ miles a week for a half marathon, work out like a crazy person, work full-time, go back to school for concerts and banquets, go to Contest with my choirs on Saturdays, recover from my eating disorder, etc. This school year would start out so frantically, because I get home from the Army School of Music the weekend before school starts (Monday!). I would have NO time to prepare for this year. The high school choir director was also going to take the Men’s and Women’s Choruses to Contest this year, so we’d probably have evening rehearsals.

I just know that I would be an absolute mess if I went back to teaching. Will and I need to focus on our marriage, I need to relax and tackle my eating disorder and exercises addiction head-on, and we both want to start a family, either adoption or biological. I would be the worst mom ever right now. My body is in a constant state of stress, and I need to sit on the couch and really not do anything for a few months. I cried SO hard when I wrote my resignation email and it took a long time for me to hit the send button. But the next day, I felt such a relief, and I still feel it. I will definitely miss my students and my colleagues, but there were so many factors that contributed to my eating disorder that it’s just best if I step away from being a choir director for now. Will and I prayed about it, and we need to focus on each other, and unfortunately, I can’t do that when I’m so stressed out. I’m not me when I’m hungry HA but seriously.

Honestly? A lot of this is on me. Sometimes I feel really guilty that I can’t handle it. Like I can’t handle my life. But I guess I need to just suck it up and realize that I dug myself into a pretty deep hole! This is what I need right now.

BUT… anyone who knows me knows that I really won’t sit on the couch for a few months. Will and I were tossing around some ideas, like getting really involved in some churches and volunteering organizations, working at a nearby coffee shop, working at a yoga studio, teaching more private lessons… nothing crazy, just a few days a week. I decided to email Yoga Bliss to see if they needed anyone for the fall. Yoga Bliss is my absolute favorite yoga studio in Akron, and I used to work there in 2013. I loved working there – the people who teach at the studio are so skilled and knowledgeable, the people who practice there are so sincere and genuine, and the atmosphere is so calming. And guess what?!? They do need someone to work Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30 AM – 1 PM! So I’ll start when I get back πŸ™‚ And I’ll get free yoga! Now THAT is exactly the type of exercise that I need. I also want to play piano and horn gigs, so let me know if you need someone to play at a wedding, cocktail hour, play at church services… I’m your girl!

Funny story, though – I was only going to teach one more year, anyway. I really want to teach yoga, and Will is really supportive of that. After this year, I was going to go somewhere exotic and get my yoga teaching certification. So really, we’re just bumping everything up by a few months. Yoga Bliss has a yoga teacher training program, so I’m planning on doing that in January! So less stress for me, less running around like a crazy person, more time with Will, more time and energy for friends and family, free time to volunteer and get into ministry, awesome part-time job at my favorite yoga studio… it’s exactly what I need. Will and I took a leap of faith and trusted God when I resigned, and I think it’s the best decision, for sure! We used to have such great discussions about how God was going to use us in ministry, around Firestone Park, Akron, and I think this is going to be the start of something great for us!

You also might have noticed that my Facebook name has been changed to Mandy, and my Instagram handle is now mandy_runsonjoy. I went by Mandy all through school and college, and I decided to go by Miranda when I graduated from college. I wanted to be more professional and fancy πŸ˜‰ But within the last year, I felt like Miranda was a persona I was putting on and almost faking, and I really missed being called Mandy. Maybe that’s super weird! But if it’s possible, try to call me Mandy, please! Maybe you’ll like it too? LOL. I LOVE mandy_runsonjoy as my Instagram handle, though, because I might not be able to run super seriously right now, but I want to be fueled by joy. I used to be a bundle of obnoxious joy and energy, and obviously the eating disorder drained me. But I WILL get my joy back – I’ve already seen it here at the School of Music. And I’ll bring it home with me πŸ™‚ and annoy everyone at home with it, too!

Thanks for supporting me – I’m SO grateful for the texts and Facebook messages I’ve gotten since I started my blog. I’m super excited to get back home and hang out with everyone!

Verse of the Day:
Psalm 105:1
– Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

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